Monday, April 06, 2015

You Are Ordered to Love!

This is the sort of idea that I would have once considered hopelessly sappy -- maybe not even sappy -- but now believe to be not only truth, but the Truth of truth. "Thus my fundamental claim" -- hey, mine too! -- "is that, in our understanding of the basic structure of the cosmos, logos and love are convertible" (Schindler).

Thus, way before it is a human emotion or attitude, it is "the meaning or order basic to the universe, even as the meaning or order basic to the universe is now understood always to include love." Or as God said to creation, "I order you to love!"

First, of all, no, I can't sell you any pot. Second, what does this even mean?

It means that the universe cannot be subjected to that naughty cartesian dualism without doing it great harm. You could even say that Descartes ushers in a metaphysics of hate. Or at least a lot of hateful ideologies eventually spring forth from that initial bifurcation of reality -- for example, Marxism, scientism, reductionistic Darwinism, etc. I don't mean this in a polemical way, but rather, quite literally. I'm just sayin'.

Explain.

Okay, assuming the convertibility of Love and Logos, "it follows that the basic order of the universe -- hence the primitive meaning of object(-ivity) and subject(-ivity) -- is not mechanistic; and that love -- hence subject(-ivity) -- in its primitive meaning is not arbitrary" (ibid.).

There are so many new age books on how cartesian dualism is all wrong blah blah blah that it has become an empty cliché. And you hear so much from those divine salesmen about how God-is-luv-yada-yada-now-give-me-money that it too can become a platitude.

But put the cliché and the platitude together, and now you've got something: "In short, the Christian understanding of creatures as made in the image of Jesus Christ entails a convertibility of 'logic' (logos) and love," and therefore -- and this is the key to God's whole thingdom -- "a convertibility of object(-ivity) and subject(-ivity)."

In other words, no-thing is merely a thing, if by thing you mean something radically separate from the primordial love of the Divine Subject.

I came to this coonclusion long ago, at least insofar as the Subject is concerned. Six years ago I wrote a post about it, called Getting Intimate with Sophia. Let's see if it contains any memoirs or premumblings of this future post we're working on right now.

Not surprisingly, the old post is discussing Balthasar, who seems to be Schindler's main influence too. There is a quote from von B. to the effect that "The intimate character of being, which reaches its completed end in the conscious spirit, has its preliminary stages in unconscious nature. There is no being that does not enjoy an interiority, however liminal and rudimentary it may be."

Realizing this latter was a major (?!) WTF moment for me. It even says so: "I was idly contemplating something Whitehead had said along similar lines, when the Gagdad coconut 'snapped' in such a way that the inside was now out, and the outside in. I suppose you could say that it was like the sudden solution to a koan, which is not an intellectual affair, but more of a breakthrough into the ground of being."

And "once you have secured this realization, then so many other pieces of the puzzle naturally fall into place. In other words, once one understands that interiority is not somehow magically confined to animal brains in such a way that it defies all explanation, then the most intractable problems of philosophy more or less vanish. We see that these 'problems' were just the inevitable residue of our defective mode of knowing" -- you know, the cartesian mode.

You could say that the cartesian split is literally a kind of brainwash, to the point of brain sterilization: like chemotherapy, it kills everything living, both the good and bad, the ugly and the beautiful. It makes sense of one narrow dimension while making nonsense of a much larger one. It is precisely what renders the infertile eggheads infertile and their yolks so laughable.

In the old post there's even a riff on how the end is the beginning and all that, just as we -- or Balthasar -- were riffing on about yesterday. Coincidence? I don't think so.

HvB: "Here every ending becomes a beginning...." Me: "O me ga!" is "the shocking realization of the end (omega), the telos, which tells us all about the beginning [the Bigending referred to yesterday and forever]. Thus, we can 'explain everything,' but only in the eternal now, where there is no longer a radical disjunction between the 'it' and the 'I,' or subject and object (no 'it'). It's the same place, but now we know it in an entirely different, participatory manner."

And this "participatory manner" is none other than Love. "'It is accomplished' by the One who has already rejoined heaven and earth, inside and outside, man and God. And he's always happy to extend a little nonlocal assistance to get it accompliced" (note the same stupid pun with which we ended last Friday's post. The prophecy has been foolfilled!).

"With regard to scientific law, one could never say 'it is accomplished,' since the laws apply only to a finite realm that has already been unnaturally split into rigid categories of subject and object." Or, conversely, one could say that it is too facilely accomplished, as I was telling my friend Victor yesterday. Oddly enough, we were speaking in a place called Paradise Cove, and it was Easter Sunday, and a Victor was present... In any event, we agreed that the world described by science is infinitely smaller than the one described by theology. The more you know about latter, the bigger it gets. Exponentially.

Which is also why "at their margins, both science in general and the scientific method in particular generate metaphysical absurdities that can never be resolved within the realm of science, since they assume up front what they try to eliminate at the back. This is strictly impossible, but don't tell the tenured. It would be cruel to deprive a primitive people of their comforting myths" (Bob).

In other words, you might say that the cartesian split takes out a huge epistemological loan on future discoveries which can never happen. Or, it is like setting off in search of the back of one's head, or trying to kiss one's aseity. It encloses one in an absurcular process from which one can never escape, or his name isn't Gödel.

In fact, Gödel would agree that the realm of nature "must always remain richer than any cognition of it," such that "the truth of the lowest level of being contains a richness that so utterly eludes exhaustive investigation that it can continue to engage inquirers until the end of time..." Ouch, that's a whole umlautta love.

To sum up, it seems possible that John Lennon was right all along, and that these lyrics aren't quite as trite as they sound:

8 Comments:

Blogger Van Harvey said...

"But put the cliché and the platitude together, and now you've got something: "In short, the Christian understanding of creatures as made in the image of Jesus Christ entails a convertibility of 'logic' (logos) and love," and therefore -- and this is the key to God's whole thingdom -- "a convertibility of object(-ivity) and subject(-ivity)."

In other words, no-thing is merely a thing, if by thing you mean something radically separate from the primordial love of the Divine Subject."

Yup. It is wholly integrated, so integrated, that the you soon find that the inside is out, and the outside is in, and arbitrarily doubting that is the nature of being a Cartesian. Not surprisingly, I had similar commentary graffiti 6 years ago:

"... With the result being that the integrity of appearances are divorced from the substance which they reflect, the metaphysical is reduced to mere arbitrary chance, object is divorced from subject, and with truth seemingly divided against itself and their foundation in it split, the initiate who once stood upon the foundation of Truth, can do nothing but fall...."

Wheee!

4/06/2015 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger Ephrem Antony Gray said...

There is an apocryphal story in which someone, trying to convince Lewis of something, fell back on, "But God is Love!"

His response, very telling, was, "Yes, and you shall pay dearly for it."

We are on a similar wavelength today, methinks.

Love without terror, sadness and laughter - dread, bliss and mirth - is therapy for the dying.

4/06/2015 11:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Stu said...

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/theanchoress/2015/04/03/it-is-consummated-the-mad-eros-of-the-cross-2/

4/06/2015 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Yes, logos and love, one without other makes no sense. The Beatles remind me of what happened when people rejected logos and tried define love through their own circular logic.

4/06/2015 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Not that I'm picking on the Beatles. It was the whole '60s Boomer vibe.

4/06/2015 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Agreed -- it was another kind of split, order and reason from love.

4/06/2015 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Stu, I was thinking of the Anchoress' post today, too. "Consummated" is so much more evocative a term, but I can understand why many shy away from it.

To the context of the post, as well, it is even less probable one would ever describe a scientific law as "consummated" than "accomplished."

4/06/2015 02:14:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"And this "participatory manner" is none other than Love. "'It is accomplished' by the One who has already rejoined heaven and earth, inside and outside, man and God. And he's always happy to extend a little nonlocal assistance to get it accompliced" (note the same stupid pun with which we ended last Friday's post. The prophecy has been foolfilled!)."

Ha! I've made a few soph-foolfilling prophecies in my day.
Okay, more than a few. But less than all of them.

4/06/2015 10:39:00 PM  

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