Strange Things are Afoot: Malicious Software in the Human Brainframe
"Malware, short for malicious software, is software used or created to disrupt computer operation, gather sensitive information, or gain access to private computer systems." It "is a general term used to refer to a variety of forms of hostile or intrusive software."
You mean like mind parasites?
Yes, it "includes computer viruses, worms, trojan horses, spyware, adware, and other malicious programs." "Sometimes known as a computer contaminant," it "is not the same as defective software, which is software that has a legitimate purpose but contains harmful bugs that were not corrected before release."
Are you thinking what I'm thinking? If so, that's a lot to digest.
First of all, how does the malware get into the hominid wetware? Where does it come from? If we stipulate that God didn't create it, then how does it get here?
And by "here" we are of course referring to Genesis 3, which is perpetually speaking to us from There to Here in vertical phase space, i.e., from Celestial Central to our 4D outpost at the edge of the subjective horizon.
Again, the real trouble can't come from the body, which only has a few simple needs and impulses that are easily satisfied. Indeed, since the body as such doesn't exist within the infinite subject, it doesn't even know about tomorrow (as is true of any animal).
However, it is incorrect to say that human beings "have" a body -- or even "have" a mind. Such thinking betrays an ontological (and ultimately Gnostic) dualism that just isn't there.
Rather, human beings are always a "bodymind." You can't even say that "we" are "embodied," because you've again separated the subject from its matrix in a way that we never encounter in the real world.
I think also that we need to widen out our conception of what it means to be embodied.
Language, for example, is an extension of the body. When we speak, we are simply using a thingy inside our necks to vibrate the air around us in order to tickle a bunch of little hairs within the listener's inner ear. In this context, it's a miracle that anyone understands a thing I'm saying (even leaving aside distortions resulting from the malware).
The question was raised in yesterday's comments as to whether our fallen condition is necessary or contingent. Was it inevitable that the humans would mess things up so badly? If so, how come God didn't foresee it?
There seems to be a genuine orthoparadox at work here, similar to the idea that we are created in the image of God, and yet, in need of redemption. The former would seem to obviate the need for the latter, but there you go. We all need a vertical lifeline.
Similarly, we are told that the creation -- man included -- is "good." Why then the mischief and mayhem?
Commenter Gandalin is on the bright track, noting that there must be some sort of "fall" woven into the very idea of creation, since it implies an existence separate from the Creator:
"And yet, in another sense... the material Creation is the apex and pinnacle and purpose of all of the 'higher' levels that progressively (or perhaps discontinuously) lead to Malkuth" (the latter term referring to the crystallized and coagulated material ghetto unhappyted by us I-ambodied malkutents).
But if I understand rightly, we actually inhabit the entirety of the Sephirot, at least implicitly or in potential (which is sort of the Whole Point). The Sephirot essentially maps the possibilities of Spirit, from top to bottom, Keter to Malkut.
Antother subtle point: the Sephirot may be thought of as a kind of manifestation of the unmanifest God. Behind it -- and totally infused by it -- is the Ain Sof, which I believe literally means No End. It is uncontainable, unimaginable, beyond all categories. It is utterly transcendent, for which reason it is also immanent in everything.
In other words, since it cannot be contained, it is present in every where and every thing. It is the mOther of all, the womb with all views and the mamamatrix of all Neovelty.
Yes, you might call this ainsoferable mystery 'O' for short.
It just so happens that I am reading a book that hardy-har-harmonizes with these thoughts, Foundations of Christian Faith, by Karl Rahner. It's extremely challenging, so I cannot give a general raccoomendation -- like a combination of Heidegger and the Philokalia. If this is the Foundation, the mansion must be something else.
In discussing this "foundation," Rahner does just that: he drills all the way to the bottom, in the effort to establish the cosmic and ontological principles that make such a weird thing as Christianity possible. In other words, Christianity, if it is to make sense to human beings, must be in conformity with "the way things are," including all of the things that are prior to Christianity as such -- things like embodiment, for example, or having a language, or being a person.
For example, this word "God." Note that the apostles didn't first have to establish the existence of this entity, and then go about describing Him. Rather, they go straight to the description, and waste no time establishing the principle of God.
But as I said, Rahner digs deeper. Which is clearly necessary in our day and age, when so many people doubt the very existence of God. You can't just tell someone what God is like, if they have already rejected his existence. So we moderns have a lot more spadework in terms of building the foundation.
In practical terms, this means that it is much more difficult to be a believer today than it was 1,500 or 1,000 or 2,000 years ago. It's not even clear what sort of conscious "decision" was necessary to be a believer back then, since there were no unbelievers.
There is a kind of reverse analogy to contemporary times, since no one today has to make a conscious decision to accept science. Rather, you have to make a conscious decision to reject it, and even then you have to be more than a little crazy to do so.
Conversely, no longer can faith be "taken for granted" and "supported by a homogeneous religious milieu common to everyone" (Rahner). Look at the Islamists, who want to shove all this novelty back into the tiny bottle that existed in 800 AD. That's pathetic, and unworthy of any God deserving of worship.
Rahner wants to show that it is possible to live a Christian existence with "intellectual honesty," but again, an honesty that penetrates all the way down, deeper than both science and typical churchianity. This requires no less than an integration of everything, and you have to admit that there is a helluva lot more to integrate today than there was 2,000 -- or even 100 -- years ago.
But ironically, as we shall see, even the fact of so much new stuff to integrate speaks of the Hidden God alluded to above, who is again the source of novelty, and why things never get boring around here. Not only is God the cure for boredom, He is its radical antithesis. If nothing else, He is the highest form of entertainment.
Remember, we're not just talking about scientific developments, but "all the various non-scientific manifestations of the life of the spirit in art, in poetry, and in society..."
Rahner describes a kind of "anonymous" and preconceptual knowledge of God that is present in, and available to, anyone, theist and atheist alike. It is frankly why we -- and all cultures -- have the word "God," and why the word can never be eliminated from the human vocabulary.
Even if all people were self-described "atheists," we would still have this word, since the very existence of human beings is unthinkable without it. To put it another way, the moment we have persons, we are going to have the concept of God.
Why is this?
That's a big subject. To be continued...