Man in the Presence of Absolute Mystery, or Seeing ʘ to O
For the intrinsic relation between man and mystery is not "prepositional" but essential. This relation is deeper than language, as language too is predicated upon it. If there were no mystery, then there would be absolutely nothing to talk about and no one to hear it. You know the type.
Today we want to get into man's experience of the ultimate Mystery customarily called God, but referred to here as O in order to preserve the Mystery.
As Rahner points out, the experience of this Mystery "is more primary than reflection and cannot be captured by reflection."
Indeed, man himself is the mirrorculous reflection of this prior Mystery, and the mysterious experience of oneself is also obviously deeper than reflection. It is the unfathomable Ocean upon which we float, AKA the Great Sea of the UnThought Known.
Man is always Oriented to the Absolute Mystery. Here again you may need to respectfully forget about your seenill grammar and gravidad, because this is like no other familiar relation. "For we do not have an experience of God as we have of a tree, another person and other external realities," all of which "appear within the realm of our experience at a definite point in time and space" (Rahner).
Rahner makes the provocative point that it is impossible to imagine a future in which the human race could exist without the word "God."
In order for this to occur, man would have to lose all contact with the experience that gives rise to the word; and to deprive ourselves of this experience is to annul our manhood and cash in our chimps, precisely.
Man's consciousness comes into being in the space between Mystery and mystery, O and ʘ, so the elimination of God would necessitate paving the space over with contingency and turning it a big barking lot.
Among other things, it would imply a complete eradication of our inborn bullshit detector. The whole world would be reduced to those 59 precincts of Philadelphia, where 100% (at least) of the people voted for Obama. All zzzombies all the time.
As such, our atheist friends, by incessantly using the word for what they haven't experienced, halfwittingly keep the experience alive.
The only alternative for the genuine øtheist is to not just feebly hope the word will someday disappear from the human vocabulary, but "to contribute to its disappearance by keeping dead silence about it himself and not declaring himself an atheist." You know, don't just stand there doing something, but sit down and shutup.
In order to achieve this, the atheists will need to be more like their fellow liberals, who are always trying to ban words in order to pretend that the unpleasant realities to which the words attach do not exist.
But in an evolutionary cosmos, words -- to say nothing of Word -- will always find a way. As they say, supernature abhors a vacuum. Banishing the word "retard" doesn't mean you aren't one, only that you're the last to know.
So "The mere fact that this word exists is worth thinking about," to put it mildly. For starters, as alluded to above, it's not like any other word, and yet, we still understand it, if "understand" isn't too misleading a term.
Which it no doubt is, because to understand God would be to be God. In other words, if God doesn't exist, only he knows it. And if he does exist, only a retard could not know it.
Even if we deicide that God is dead, we still need to reserve the name for what has died. But as soon as we do that, some mischievous rascal is going to start nosing around and redeuscover the empty tomb where the body is supposed to be buried. Game over. Or resumed, rather.
Nevertheless, if man were to effectively banish the word God from his vOcabulary, he would obviously still be immersed in mystery, except the mystery would "rot," so to speak, being deprived of all light and oxygen, i.e., its proper gnourishment.
What I think I mean by this is that man would have to regress to a time when he was plunged into the body and immersed in the senses, with no hope of an inscape or help of a teloscope. He would have to forget all vertical memories of higher things, and then forget he had forgotten, i.e., double I-AMnesia.
"The absolute death of the word 'God,'" writes Rahner, "would be the signal, no longer heard, by anyone, that man himself had died." Call it a signul.
Last night I was listening to the prophet Bob on my walk -- yes, in mOnʘ, as God intended -- and he reminded me of a number of plain facts that only the cosmically lost can never know, for example, that there are no truths outside the Gates of Eden -- whether Eden is understood in its proper sense or as some kind of statist utopia that denies all truth outside it.
But we won't press the point, for we know too much to argue or to judge.
With a time-rusted compass blade / Aladdin and his lamp / Sits with Utopian hermit monks / Sidesaddle on the Golden Calf / And on their promises of paradise / You will not hear a laugh / All except inside the Gates of Eden
The kingdoms of Experience / In the precious wind they rot / While paupers change possessions / Each one wishing for what the other has got / And the princess and the prince / Discuss what’s real and what is not / It doesn’t matter inside the Gates of Eden
The foreign sun, it squints upon / A bed that is never mine / As friends and other strangers / From their fates try to resign / Leaving men wholly, totally free / To do anything they wish to do but die / And there are no trials inside the Gates of Eden --Bob Dylan, Gates of Eden