Friday, May 31, 2013

Just My Lux

So, Caldecott, like your humble correspundant, is just a (¶)lay theologian, a soph-taught auto-deidact, not a credentialed pneumacrat.

Which is a good thing, in my opinion, for the most tedious books on theology are generally written by those who have the academic right to do so, but no divine obligation or mandate. I mean, no one asks Michael Jordan to show us his Ph.D. in basketballogy.

"There is an illiteracy of the soul that no diploma cures" (Dávila). Just so, there can be a hunger in the body that no amount of food can appease -- an insultaining formulation which explains the existence of both fatheads and fatasses.

Besides, in the words of Dávilagain, A dentistry degree is respectable, but a philosophy degree is grotesque. So a theology degree is just plain nauseating. For if you know what you're doing, you can't really be theologizing, because it's just coming from you, right? Thus, "the most lucid writer spends a lot of time doing what he does not know how he knows how to do" (ibid). I know I don't.

And what truly counts "is not what comes from the depths [↑] of the soul, but what invades [↓] it." (↑) can only take one so far. Even Aquinas -- one of the greatest thinkers who ever lived -- said that all his (↑) was "so much straw" in comparison to the overpowering infusion of (↓) he was vouchsafed toward the end of his life.

Not to mention the fact that "Prose is corrupted when it proposes to be convincing rather than simply intelligible" (ibid). In other words, I think the effective theologian must show, not argue, let alone "prove." It takes a lot of intelligence to not pretend to know what one is talking about, especially when one has a lot of education.

The first and last temptation of the tenured is the "solution." If this country fails, it will be due to the deadly solutions of the left, which mostly involve the manipulation language so as to try to alter reality.

Obama daftly illustrated this in his speech the other day at the National Defense University -- for example, "We must define the nature and scope of this struggle, or else it will define us."

This is a quintessentially postmodern sentiment, analogous to saying, "reality must comport with our truth, or else truth will be a reflection of reality." Can't have that!

As mentioned in the previous post, Caldecott's book is divided into three parts, the first one revolving around the "nature of nature."

Now, we all know that nature herself is supernatural, otherwise it would make no sense at all. I would say that, just as the intellect is "supernaturally natural," nature is "naturally supernatural." And to "know nature" is a form of mystical union -- to say nothing of loving nature, i.e., perceiving the beauty all around us.

So although the third section of the book is on "divine Wisdom," one is reminded of the fractal-trinitarian structure of the world, through which everything dynamically interpenetrates everything else. In order to depict this visually, one would need a trinitarian yin-yang symbol rendered fractally, only in a spherical form -- like the lower two combined into the shape of a ball:

The first chapter is on the nature of light. As we know, in a properly oriented, bright-side up cosmos, the light we perceive with our eyes is an analogue of spiritual and intellectual light, not the converse. And here is something I did not know: Caldecott (quoting Thomas Torrance) notes that

"Clerk Maxwell's belief in the God who became incarnate in Jesus Christ made him question whether the universe created by the Wisdom of God did really behave in the way described by Newtonian mechanics.... It was through allowing Christian thought (such as the understanding of interpersonal relations derived from the doctrine of the Holy Trinity) to bear upon his scientific thinking that he came up with the conception of the continuous dynamic field, to which Einstein was to point as introducing the most far-reaching change in the rational structure of science and our understanding of nature."

So light comes from Light (just as life from Life, intelligence from Intelligence), for the converse could never be true -- nor could there even be truth in such a backassword cosmos, for that matter.

Later in the essay -- and I'm just flipping around -- Caldecott suggests that "the whole world" might be "a product of zero and infinity, in a sense poised between these two extremes."

I don't think there's any doubt about that, regardless of what the physics shows. Man is without question suspended between O and Ø -- we are spirit and dust, or matter that may transcend itself and touch truth, beauty, love, virtue, etc. The ambiguity of this in-between space is the source of all this tension and drama, because compared to God we are nothing.

And yet, compared to nothing, we are everything.

That's it for today. To be continued...

31 Comments:

Blogger Christina M said...

no where and now here

5/31/2013 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

The first and last temptation of the tenured is the "solution."

I'm reminded again of the popularity of "awareness" campaigns. Some of them may actually do some good, but for the most part they seem to exist specifically to draw attention to (and far to much dialogue about) things that most people can do little or nothing about. Except maybe feel guilty.

5/31/2013 02:08:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

We could use a national Orthodoxy awareness campaign though. So few people know a dang thing about the Eastern Church...

5/31/2013 06:39:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

"So few people know a dang thing about the Eastern Church..."

And they like it that way.

Hence my theory (which is mine) that psychololgy was invented because people didn't like the answers religion offered. When psychology or psychiatry, or whathaveyou, when its successful, sounds an awful lot like religion -- which is to say, understands man as such, it is rejected.
We don't want those kind of cures. We want easy-street.

An example Bob gave once was a man who came to him for therapy. Life was a mess with his wife, etc. The fact that he had a mistress was beside the point. To him.

6/01/2013 06:31:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Bob tells that joke better.
But it's my theory.

6/01/2013 06:34:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I think I asked him something to the effect of, "why do you need another woman, when you don't even know how to appreciate the one you have?"



6/01/2013 07:27:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

If my theory is true, he promptly hired another therapist.

6/01/2013 08:16:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

"Even Aquinas -- one of the greatest thinkers who ever lived -- said that all his (↑) was "so much straw" in comparison to the overpowering infusion of (↓) he was vouchsafed toward the end of his life."

That's not a reason not to (↑), however.

You just have to know that the point of (↑) is (↓), which is to say the the point of (↑) isn't just more and more (↑), which I suppose is what a professional theologian has to be in order to continue to produce scholarship.

I mean, once you get as far as (↑) is going to take you, you're not really going to produce anything new. Well, I suppose, more importantly you aren't going to produce anything of actual value. Lots of new things are quite less than worthless.

At best, you're just going to go round and round in circles until you get really dizzy.

6/01/2013 09:38:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

"Hence my theory (which is mine) that psychololgy was invented because people didn't like the answers religion offered."

I think that psychology is quite useful with respect to the things that psychology can do.

The problem is when it is applied to areas outside of which it is useful.

I thought it was worthless until I actually had to start dealing with it.

6/01/2013 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Just to be clear, whatever the opposite of worthless is, that's what I think of psychology.

To Rip off Larry Sanders' producer, the problem with psychotherapy is the f'n patients!

6/01/2013 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger Christina M said...

"""So few people know a dang thing about the Eastern Church..."

And they like it that way."

Yes. Both/and.

Have a good summer.

6/01/2013 05:44:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Why do you need another woman when you don't even know how to appreciate the one you have?"

And, if you do appreciate the one you have you won't want another one.
Besides, one is way more than enough. I mean that literally and in every way imaginable. Really. Do you want 2 ladies throwin' stuff at you?

6/02/2013 03:58:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

'...compared to God we are nothing.
And yet, compared to nothing, we are everything'

Mind is a mirror
whose usefulness depends on its
being 'nothing' of itself but perfectly reflecting all/anything/everything that crosses its path
and if God does, nothing is reflected
if the world does, everything is... but an image presented...going away
which proves it ultimately aooarutuibak*
[only Mind is]

*apparitional

6/03/2013 12:25:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

"The ambiguity of this in-between space is the source of all this tension and drama, because compared to God we are nothing.

And yet, compared to nothing, we are everything."

I don't think that we need to go as far as to say we are nothing, since that leads to such wonderful ideas as the complete depravity of man and such.

I mean, if we didn't have something that we were supposed to do, we wouldn't be here in the first place

As Tomberg might say, the problem is intoxication.

6/03/2013 05:53:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

What I mean is that in the absence of God, life and history and everything else are in principle 100% meaningless.

6/03/2013 07:27:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

It doesn't necessarily prove the existence of the Creator, but one shouldn't misunderestimate the absence of one.

6/03/2013 07:29:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

In other words. one needs to reject God with eyes wide shut.

6/03/2013 07:36:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Speaking of just my lux, Tornadoes suck... but people are pretty darn cool!.

On the bright side, it made the basement flooding from overflowing rain gutters pretty much a non-concern.

6/03/2013 08:08:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Yes, you have to shut off the sense before you can deny without contradiction.

While sensuality is the root of much evil, its evil, as Lewis suggests in The Great Divorce, is small and manageable compared to the evil of spiritual pride.

The man who shuts off the sense in this way says, 'nothing but me and what I want.'

God will give him that which he asks for.

6/03/2013 08:09:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

"While sensuality is the root of much evil, its evil, as Lewis suggests in The Great Divorce, is small and manageable compared to the evil of spiritual pride."

I do wonder if the fact the Oscar Schindler was an opportunistic hard-drinking embezzling womanizer actually helped him in his quest.

6/03/2013 09:10:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Cortez also was a bit of a womanizer and was well known for his cupidity, but it seems like despite this he genuinely was a Catholic. Apostasy is truly the unforgivable sin.

6/03/2013 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Van, I think you just won the renovations game.

So does this mean close counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and tornadoes, too?

6/03/2013 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger Open Trench said...

My readings indicate at a certain altitude the awake person surrenders volition of the mind to the Light. This puts an end to reading, thinking, opionions, and the like, but at that stage these things are not missed.

Right now all here are enamored with the power and skill of the mind and enjoy playing within its precincts. Since all of you here are marked for success in the spirit life the day will come when you will leave it aside. This is a step upwards.

It is an honor to address this group of readers.

6/03/2013 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

@OT

It is unlikely I will be marked for the Great Schema any time soon.

If anything, my Great Schema will be my own blood, at last won in resistance to the monster my ancestors created and nurtured.

6/03/2013 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

OT said "... the awake person surrenders volition of the mind to the Light..."

I think that follows along well with your usual total and complete misunderstanding of anything having to do with truth, understanding, virtue, etc.

If anyone at any point, ever gives up volition, then they will be unable to be awake to reading, thinking, truth or light in any ways, shape or form. Having the understanding to be able to choose rightly, and making that choice, has no relation whatsoever to giving up any fragment (if that were even possible) of volition, if anything, it intensifies it.

6/03/2013 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Julie said "Van, I think you just won the renovations game."

Heh, yeah, I think you're probably right. We went from stressing over getting a couple rooms of basement carpet right, to possibly tearing it all down and starting from near scratch.

Winner, winner chicken dinner!

Oh well, the 'upside' is we probably won't be living in the building with the noise.

Hello, room service? Send me up a room!

6/03/2013 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

... said that all his (↑) was "so much straw" in comparison to the overpowering infusion of (↓) he was vouchsafed toward the end of his life.

After the thresher is finished, the straw pile is always bigger than the wheat pile.

6/03/2013 01:00:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

"After the thresher is finished, the straw pile is always bigger than the wheat pile."

It also takes a lot of stardust to make a solar system.

Let alone an earth.

6/03/2013 03:23:00 PM  
Blogger Open Trench said...

Hi Van:

I see your point about volition.
I have trouble with the concept of surrender of volition also. We tend to think it is necessary to guide or control our own life.

However, it is said, if a person, in all sincerity (and it must be total), offers their mind to God to have Him do with it what He may, marvelous results are to be had.

The life and body are offered up also and all fear and hope or preference for outcome is released.

Admittedly it is not for family folk trying to live a conventional life. The point I was trying to make is that sooner or later, in one of the many bodies you will inhabit over the coming aeons, you will arrive at that point because all who comment here are marked or identifed for eventual total spiritual conversion and reversal of consciousness.

You will be on the inside looking out, instead of on the outside looking in.

In the meantime, enjoy volition as at the normal human stage it is fit to do so.

And I shall write no more on the topic.

6/03/2013 03:57:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Off topic, but wow - who would have thought that France would provide a locus of sanity regarding gay marriage?

6/03/2013 06:44:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

OT said "I have trouble with the concept of surrender of volition also."

The problem you have is that you think that Truth is something that volition must surrender to, whereas I think that true volition revels in, embraces Truth. Volition, unencumbered by [insert appropriate Gagdad symbol here], is enhanced and expanded the more fully the Truth is grasped and realized.

It's not Truth that hampers volition, or that puts you against 'the way', but the desire for falsehood, the desire to make what is not, and cannot be, so.

IOW Descartes, Rousseau and modernity.

6/04/2013 08:54:00 AM  

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