Wednesday, December 05, 2012

I Pledge Adherence to the Flight into the United Space of Amorica

What do you call an animal who breaks into the luminous space of transcendentality through which he then actualizes his spiritual essence in time?

Hmm. How about Adam?

To paraphrase Rahner, this is a dynamic transcendentality which doesn't merely exist but takes place. Thus, the God <--> man encounter is an event; this event not only requires history to play out, but ultimately is what we call history.

This is an important consideration if we are to exercise due diligence and examine Christianity all the way down to the foundations, because "something historical" -- since it is relative and fleeting -- "seems by definition incapable of making absolute claims of any kind" (ibid.).

Furthermore, "if the whole history of creation is already borne by God's self-communication in this very creation, then there does not seem to be anything else which can take place on God's part" (ibid.).

You know, I created this endlessly fascinating cosmos, I brought you into existence from nothing, I gave you a mind and a conscience and women and grog. What else do you want from me? Immortality?

Well, now that you mention it...

Clearly, history itself is the history of transcendentality, which is why animals have no history. Rather, they have only genes. Which is what evolutionary psychologists and sociobiologists would like us to believe about man.

But in reality, man's discovery of evolution is a part of, and embedded in, his prior transcendentality.

To put it in plain english, our transcendence contains Darwinism. The converse is impossible and quite literally unthinkable, for if we are contained by Darwinism, there is no conceivable exit from that closed løøp, nor would we have any understanding whatsoever of what contains Darwinism, i.e. Spirit. As Petey says, if Truth doesn't exist, man could never know it.

The bottom line is that "wherever we really find a being of absolute transcendence... there we find a man with freedom, with self-determination, and with an immediate boundary with absolute mystery," with O. If you know about O, then you're a man. And if you don't know, or have forgotten or denied O, then you've only sawed off the branch that connects you to reality. Nice work, assoul.

It reminds me a little of being an American citizen. America is the only nation defined by a transcendental ideal, so we don't care if you're black, white, male, female, rich, poor, whatever. If you believe the ideal, then you're in: congratulations, you've exited the wilderness of nature. Let us be the first to welcome you to your bewilderness adventure in history!

(Suffice it to say we're speaking of the ideal here, not the primitive rebarbarization of the reactionary left.)

This is such an important point, because it again goes to the whole project of the left, which cuts at the very root of what man is. It goes lightyears beyond the noisy buzz of politics, all the way down to ʘntology, and beyond!

But at any rate, wherever this transcendentality is absent, "what we call 'man' in a philosophical and Christian and theological sense did not exist, however similar this being may have been in other respects."

Thus, if you're an animal who penetrates into the transcendent -- and so long as you can afford the $1.50 initiation fee -- then we don't care if you have a tusk, a tail, a trunk, or a tree for a house, you're a Raccoon, so you're in. Of course, thus far only a Homo sapiens with a public school diploma fulfills the criteria, but you never know.

To paraphorize G.C. Lichtenberg, the cosmos is a mirror. Therefore, when an ape looks in, no apostle looks out. In fact, trolls who are on the threshold of consciousness will dimly recognize that the same holds true of these posts: when a such a prehuman looks in, no Raccoon looks out. Your inane comments can only confirm this deeper truth.

So, we have a history. And so too does God. We call it "salvation history." Salvation history is the chronicle -- chronos meaning time -- of the ahistorical object (or subject) as it relates to time and history. From our side, it manifests in encounters with the self-revealing God; you could even say that history as such is a necessary artifact of God-consciousness.

In this way -- and only in this way -- history becomes the cure for the problems created by history. At the same time, man attempts to cure the problems created by man in history, but it seems that the only final solution is for God himself to "become the problem," i.e., to incarnate.

Of the latter, Rahner writes that "Not until the full and unsurpassable event of the historical self-objectification of God's self-communication to the world in Jesus Christ do we have an event which... fundamentally and absolutely precludes any historical corruption or any distorted interpretation in the further history of categorical revelation and of false religion."

Theoretically, of course. Man is still free to mess things up.

A housekeeping gnote: our next topic of discussion will be the writings of Luigi Giussani, beginning with The Religious Sense. I mention this because there may be some of you out there who want to participate in a readalong on the cosmic bus. This is one of those rare books which I wanted to reread immediately, which is what I'm now doing, so I probably won't begin posting on it until some time next week.


Blogger mushroom said...

But at any rate, wherever this transcendentality is absent, "what we call 'man' in a philosophical and Christian and theological sense did not exist, however similar this being may have been in other respects."

Not wheat, just weeds. That's kind of scary as I think about it.

12/05/2012 08:32:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

Delightful post. My son ventured again this morning, as he was putting on his coat, that the entire point of life might be to pass along genes to another generation. I asked him why he thought this dissemination had a point or value. Why is procreation "important"? He thought a moment and then said, "because life has to go on, I guess." Why?, I asked. He had no answer.

Count me in for the Giussani.

12/05/2012 08:41:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Not only is Giussani brilliant, but I found myself falling in love with his person. That doesn't happen often.

12/05/2012 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger David J Quackenbush said...


One note that might help -- Giussani's Italian was by reputation idiosyncratic and difficult to translate, and he has a rather aphoristic style sometimes. The English translations are of mixed quality. Sometimes there are sentences that just don't work, and it is not always that we aren't reading them well. Also, although he edited the Italian himself, I believe, they are originally notes and transcripts of talks, not formally composed writings. So I recommend trying to pierce the veil of the English to what he must have been saying, whether the veil is difficult Italian, poor English, or a nodding nous of the translator.

12/05/2012 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Quite true. That's why I'm rereading it, because by the end you can get his overall sense of things, and then apply it upon rereading. Things that were obscure the first time around are coming into focus.

12/05/2012 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

He's coming from a certain "place" that you have to enter....

12/05/2012 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

call it Amorica...

12/05/2012 09:49:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

Will you be reading the Viviane Hewitt translation from McGill-Queen's UP?

12/05/2012 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Take Five and Rest in Slack.

12/05/2012 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger David J Quackenbush said...

I was trying to say . . . it's a good day when your blog leader falls in love with the person of your spiritual leader -- only in Amorica!

12/05/2012 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

Oh no, Brubeck!


Damnable, thorough, consistent death! Brubeck was a believer. His jazz is eternal, now.

12/05/2012 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Too bad about Brubeck, but he had a great life. He seems to have had a lovely spirit that came through in his music. Almost everything he recorded with Desmond between 53 and 67 is well worth checking out. I saw an excellent documentary on him a couple years ago, probably available on youtube. There's an interesting story in there of how he suddenly converted to Catholicism in mid life, but I can't recall the details at the moment.

12/05/2012 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

And Magister, yes, it's the Hewitt translation.

12/05/2012 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

There's a new 19 CD collection of Brubeck's complete Columbia studio recordings, at least fifteen of which are worth having. The only problem is that it doesn't include the live sessions, which are equally great....

12/05/2012 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

Box set Brubeck! Maybe Mrs. Claus will be good this year.

Speaking of spending, let's Deck the Halls with Macro Follies:

12/05/2012 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Columbia has released a slew of these box sets of various artists, with their complete works in mini-LP sleeves for that retro feel. Some of theme are insanely cheap from European sellers. One that I highly recommend is the Bill Withers, speaking of lovely spirits. A hugely underrated artist. Took three weeks to get here from Europe, but at 24 bucks, that's less than three dollars per CD!

Also got the complete Byrds, 13 discs for 29 bucks. Their first six albums are mandatory listening.

These are the days of miracles and wonders!

12/05/2012 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

But the best recent reisuue might be this priceless 10 CD history of Philly Soul for under 70 bucks. I'm only through disc 3, but not a weak track yet. CosmoAmericana at its finest.

12/05/2012 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

Brubeck on the future of Amorica:

12/05/2012 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

the race is on [Coulter sleuths the stats]

12/05/2012 02:28:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

Can one write lines for Maher yet 'get it'??

seems so!

In his new book, “The KinderGarden of Eden: How The Modern Liberal Thinks And Why He’s Convinced That Ignorance Is Bliss,” Sayet strays from the humorous to explore why what he calls “Modern Liberals” support the policies they do.

“Modern Liberalism is a utopian ideology that is predicated on the notion that, since mankind lost paradise when Adam and Eve ate from the apple of knowledge, then mankind can return to paradise if only we’d all just ‘regurgitate the apple’ and give up all knowledge of right and wrong.”

12/05/2012 04:03:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Thanks for the book recommendation. The first few pages make me think of Prager a bit; next week should be good...

12/05/2012 06:11:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

From the blurb: "...Asserting that all the tools necessary for self-discovery are inherent within us, he focuses primarily on reason, not as narrowly defined by modern philosophers, but as an openness to existence, a capacity to comprehend and affirm reality in all of its dimensions..."

And available on the Nook - done, bought, downloading... then downloading.

12/05/2012 06:48:00 PM  
Blogger EbonyRaptor said...

Me too - Kindle is too easy.

12/05/2012 08:49:00 PM  
Blogger Sal said...

St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, when he wasn't throwing dowries for poor girls through windows, was heretic-slapping Bishop Arius at a certain ecumenical council:

12/10/2012 06:16:00 AM  
Blogger Sal said...

St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, when he wasn't throwing dowries for poor girls through windows, was heretic-slapping Bishop Arius at a certain ecumenical council:

12/10/2012 06:17:00 AM  

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