Thursday, November 07, 2013

Most Transparent Cosmos Ever

This may or may not be the best of all possible worlds, but it's certainly the most transparent. "Transparency," of course, is a metaphor borrowed from the world of sight.

Or is it? For how else to characterize a world that is never merely its appearance, but rather, always reveals inexhaustible depths of intelligibility? This intelligibility permeates existence like light streaming through a window -- the window being us.

To put it another way, if the cosmos were simply its appearance, this would equate to an utterly meaningless existence. That reality is not appearance -- even while appearance is reality -- is the starting point for the Adventure of Consciousness.

Both believers and unbelievers have faith in this ultimate transparency, at least in the West. In Islam, Allah's motives are obscure and unknowable, resulting in a cosmos that is equally arbitrary and unintelligible. There is a reason science did not, and could not have, developed there, for the very possibility of science rests upon correct metaphysical assumptions.

Now that I think about it, religion may be thought of as concrete metaphysics, just as metaphysics may be thought of as abstract religion. And not all religions are equal, for if they were, it would amount to the belief that truth isn't One and that reality is whatever we want it to be.

But reality is what it is. Which is what? Well, if we begin by not arbitrarily excluding one pole of reality, there are subjects and objects, or interior and exterior, or being and knowing, or world and spirit; or let us just say (a la Voegelin) a single process of reality becoming luminous -- i.e., transparent -- to itself. You can never get beneath or beyond this inclusive description, because this is What is Happening, period.

In The Experience of Being, Hart writes that "The human striving to know the truth of things, as far as possible and in every sphere, is sustained by a tacit faith in some kind of ultimate coincidence or convertibility between being and consciousness."

Now, this is a Remarkable Fact, probably the most important Fact there is, because it is the Fact that makes all other facts possible -- even facts that deny the Fact! That is, for human beings,

"There is a natural orientation of the mind toward a horizon of total intelligibility -- a natural intellectual appetite for immediate knowledge of what is -- that requires us to venture our time, our hopes, our labors, and our contentions on the assumption that rational thought and coherent order are two sides of a single reality..." (ibid.).

Now, any tenured yahoo can verbally deny this link between mind and world, intelligence and intelligibility, but no one can live by such a belief, unless he is surrounded by caretakers and conservators -- or, in Obama's case, if he is shielded from reality by the Matrix Media.

Self-delusion cannot maintain itself in the absence of a whole system of reward for compliance, pressure to conform, and self-soothing (and/or -aggrandizing) fairy tales. Auto-pullwoolery doesn't work unless an awful lot of people are pulling on the same blanket.

Now, to remove the blanket is to turn around in Plato's Mancave and peer outside the Matrix. In so doing, we see that "there is a wonderful transparency of the world to thought, and a wonderful power of thought to interpret reality coherently through forms and principles that are of an entirely noetic nature." For this reason, "no scientist imagines that... reality will turn out to be essentially irrational" (ibid.).

At the end of the deity, we don't have to conquer nature, for doing so is like smashing through a door that is wide open. We are open to the world, just as the world is open to us, in a two-way flow of being. Thus, "The world yields itself to our abstractions, and we cannot help but work upon the assumption that it always will precisely because being itself is pure intelligibility" (ibid.).

Always? Yes, always. Just as we will never run out of poems or songs, the cosmos will never exhaust its intelligibility.

Unless.

Unless what?

Unless the left or some other materialist metaphysic prevails. Since progressives already have the answer, they effectively divorce themselves from the living process of reality.

Exaggeration? Well, just ask yourself: what is Obama learning from the reality of Obamacare? Correct: he is learning nothing, except perhaps how to burrow more deeply into his lower intestine. As it so happens, we are also learning nothing, but for entirely different reasons.

That is, when government-run healthcare was but a dream of Obama's deadbeat father, we knew this dream did not comport with reality. Therefore, one side -- dream or reality -- must go. So Obama's still got his comforting and indestructable dream of iron, while we're stuck with the nightmare and the bill.

[T]he very search for truth is implicitly a search for God... --The Experience of Being

14 Comments:

Blogger Rick said...

"[T]he very search for truth is implicitly a search for God..."

Can we therefore also say:
The very search for beauty is implicitly a search for God...
?

11/07/2013 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes -- as is true of all the classic transcendentals.

11/07/2013 09:38:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Now, to remove the blanket is to turn around in Plato's Mancave and peer outside the Matrix.

lol - There's a loaded sentence, if ever I've seen one...

11/07/2013 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Instead of Plato's Mancave, I should have said "the Dude's apartment."

11/07/2013 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Self-delusion cannot maintain itself in the absence of a whole system of reward for compliance, pressure to conform, and self-soothing (and/or -aggrandizing) fairy tales. Auto-pullwoolery doesn't work unless an awful lot of people are pulling on the same blanket.

Speaking of which, the more I'm learning about this DeBlasio fellow, the more glad I am to be far away from New York.

11/07/2013 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

Speaking of learning nothing, this guy learned something (but maybe too late). Social Justice doesn't pay!

11/07/2013 12:08:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

...shielded from reality by the Matrix Media.

Matrix Media -- perfect.

11/07/2013 12:26:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

24 hours late and several $ short but a satisfying answer to
"Who Let the I AM In?" hit me:

'Whoever let the Gods out'

funny you touch on Dogs within yesterpost...

11/07/2013 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

ge, I'm starting to think our brains just don't work as fast as they did back in '68.

11/07/2013 04:56:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

"...Unless. Unless what? Unless the left or some other materialist metaphysic prevails. Since progressives already have the answer, they effectively divorce themselves from the living process of reality...."

They not only have the answer, they have the answer they wanted, a 'pure reason', unsullied by any of that gross reality based stuff, an answer that they can 'clearly and distinctly imagine to be true'... can't beat that, right? What could be better?

Aside from actually being true that is.

Hater.

11/07/2013 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

the brain exists in awareness
awareness doesn't exist in the brain

11/07/2013 09:41:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

The brain is also a filter.

Van probably has some computerey thoughts about this.

11/08/2013 06:35:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

"They not only have the answer, they have the answer they wanted, a 'pure reason', unsullied by any of that gross reality based stuff, an answer that they can 'clearly and distinctly imagine to be true'... can't beat that, right? What could be better?"

Well, for something that both completely wrong and precisely insane, it works pretty well as a worldview.

11/08/2013 06:36:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

"The brain is also a filter."

like a filter. Or rather, the other way around: a filter is like the brain.

...continue...

11/08/2013 07:03:00 AM  

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