Eavesdropping on Nature's God
Reader Magister commented that "Feminists seem to be perpetually at war with their own bodies." However, this resentment is projected into men and into babies, as if it's our fault that their bodies are so sexually alluring, or the baby's fault that women have such nice cozy wombs just perfect for perpetuating the species. It's almost as if the female body has a purpose or something.
However, feminists reject the sufficient reason of their bodies -- for readers living in Rio Linda or laboring under the delusions of gender theory, that means the reason why your body exists. I mean, everything has a reason, right? Can we at least agree on that? Or do feminists now regard logic as an abusive form of mansplaining?
No? I see. It's a form of rape. Besides, that's not funny!
Did you know that 90% of workplace deaths occur to men? So, why isn't everyone freaking out about MORTALITY INEQUALITY!
In my response to Magister's comment, I wrote that, "Speaking of cosmic rights, the baby certainly has a legitimate right to the mother's body, which is why, you know, breasts. (Which are to be distinguished from boobs, which is what breasts look like to a man.)
"More generally, as we've discussed in the past, not only are our minds intrinsically intersubjective, but so too are our bodies. Man and woman point beyond themselves and 'refer' to one another. So to say that we 'own' our bodies and that's that is a little simplistic, to say the least, and certainly not humanistic." (I don't want to imply that I am devaluing the gift of our individuality, only that it is a gift that must be given in return, ultimately for reasons of cosmic math, i.e., to assure that 1 + 1 = 3.)
The reasons humanism is not humanistic are that a) human beings could not have evolved from such a static situation, and b) no existing human being lives as an isolated body, cut off from the rest of mankind. Rather, a living body is an open system at every level, biologically, emotionally, cognitively, and spiritually. Or supposed to be, rather.
Now, in order for language, or information, or meaning, to exist, one thing must be capable of standing for another. This is an extremely simple and basic concept, so simple that you have to be the victim of a public education to not know it.
Of note, this feature is woven into the very fabric of existence, and was here long before human beings arrived on the cosmic scene. Consider DNA, for example, through which a gene, or combination of genes, stands for -- one might even say "symbolizes" -- this or that trait.
But even prior to that, we know that the world is always susceptible to intelligible abstraction, which is why, for example, we can talk about a "big bang." We can talk about a big bang because of background radiation that encodes information referring to that primordial event -- just as light striking your retina can tell you that a star existed a billion years ago, or however long it took the light to get here and now.
This means that at the moment of luminous impact, our present and the star's past -- or the star's past and future -- are thoroughly entangled in this moment of knowing. When the star gave out that light a billion years ago, little did it know that it would someday arrive at the back of the eye of a lifeform that didn't yet exist. But stars were bigger back then. It's the cosmos that's gotten smaller.
Now, perhaps the one Big Idea I have retained from Christopher Alexander is that Life Itself is latent or implicate everywhere in the cosmos, but becomes manifest or explicate under certain conditions.
This is an extremely handy idea for discerning the Living from the Dead at every level of the cosmos. But it is really helpful in sorting between the humans and the zombies, because the language of the latter is both dead and endeadening (see the leaden communiques of our anonymous troll, for example). There is something wrong with their whole encoding system. They radiate Death from every pore.
Now, to recognize the implicit Life in things is to realize that "The universe is made of person-stuff. I always thought it was made of machine-stuff, but now I see that it is not" (Christopher Alexander).
Yes, exactly. Person-stuff. Among other things, this means that human beings -- better, Persons -- are not late arrivals to the cosmic manifestivus, but its whole basis; or rather, its quintessential expression, only made explicate and local. For anything, the end reveals its purpose, right? Final cause is chronologically last but ontologically first.
This is why everything makes so much damn sense, but it also explains when and why things don't, because things are supposed to make sense. Absurdity is the exception, not the rule -- just as most things in the world -- unspoiled nature, that is -- are oddly beautiful. Why? What's with all this useless beauty? Indeed, what's with all this useless truth?
So, that is the end of the old post. On to the new. Recall what was said about cosmic messages: somehow, everything in nature is a message, or encoded information. I recall Chesterton making this point. He says something to the effect that if we're going to talk about messages, it makes a great deal of difference who the messenger is. Agreed, the world is a message. But from whom?
The message of Darwinism (or any other secular philosophy) is that there are no messages -- at least no human messages, nothing addressed to us. Yes, there are instructions for encoding proteins, but that's pretty much it: we might say there are messages but no messenger and no recipient.
So, how did humans decode the message? I guess you'd have to say that, like the NSA, we're just eavesdropping on conversations (or monologues) that are none of our business.
All of this goes to the fact that it is impossible to imagine a more inhuman philosophy than humanism, since it isolates the human being from this whole trimorphic network of messenger-message-recipient. In his From the Divine to the Human, Schuon has a typically illuminating essay called The Message of the Human Body.
Now, in the Raccoon view of things, everything is a revelation. Or in other words, there is revelation proper, AKA scripture, or the Incarnation, or direct mystical experience (or infused contemplation).
But obviously the creation itself is a revelation, as is the human person. By way of comparison, I can know with certainty that another person exists, for he is revealed to me. However -- and this is where revelation proper comes in -- I cannot truly understand "what he's like" unless he reveals it to me. So, the world is like that: it certainly reveals a Creator, even if it cannot necessarily convey intimate details of his subjective life -- what he's really like.
Back to the human body: what is its message? "Choom Gang '79?" No, no, not the tattoos. Just the body itself. Schuon suggests -- or reads, rather -- that the male body accentuates absoluteness, while the female body expresses the infinite; or I suppose one might say strength and nurturance.
"Even without knowing that femininity derives from an 'Eternal Feminine' of transcendent order," writes Schuon, "one is obliged to take note of the fact that woman, being situated like the male in the human state, is deiform because this state is deiform." Nor can there be any strict demarcation between the two, because we all descend from the "primoridal androgyne" that "survives in each of us."
This seems like common sense -- and certainly common experience: "the feminine body is far too perfect and spiritually too eloquent to be no more than a kind of transitory accident." Can I get an amen or two from a man or two? Dávila says something similar: The laws of biology alone do not have fingers delicate enough to fashion the beauty of a face.
The child too carries a message, which all spiritually attuned parents recognize. (Again, for Jesus to emphasize this reality in the ancient world was almost unheard of.) The child reveals to us "what is simple, pure, innocent, primordial, and close to the Essence." His "beauty has all the charm of promise, of hope, and of blossoming," of "a paradise not yet lost" (Schuon).
You could say that the child has not yet drifted so far from the "divine intention"; they are much higher upstream, where the crystal waters flow. Thus the necessity of retaining the message of childhood in the wisdom and maturity of the adult, e.g., "the qualities of simplicity and freshness, of gratitude and trust, which he possessed in the springtime of his life."
There's more, but that's enough for today....