You Complete Me!
We are seeing this inevitable auto-negation play out in real time, what with our authoritarian president and his lawless and/or clueless administration eroding our fundamental freedoms. But to attack a fundamental freedom is to equally attack a fundamental truth, the one being a necessary correlate of the other. And freedom + truth = responsibility.
Thus, we have reached the bizarre stage at which our federal government -- whose sufficient reason is to preserve and defend our God-given rights -- is presuming the right to force its citizens to pretend that a homosexual union is no different from a heterosexual twodom. As such, the state is reaching down to the very ground of being in order to pull our theomorphic nature out by the root.
I am reminded of people who complain that the Church won't "allow" female priests, when in reality, the Church has no right and no authority to do so. In short, unlike the left, it is not permitted to just make sh*t up. It certainly cannot be like Obama, one day having no authority to redefine marriage, the next day persecuting people who fail to do so.
You know the old crack, I don't believe in miracles, I only depend on them. Similarly, the left doesn't believe man is fallen, but rather, only relies on his being so. You could say that the fall is both a cause and consequence of leftism. This is what you call a bad infinite, in that it is at once a downward spiral and a mocking caricature of the Divine Spiral of Ascent.
Now, God is both the source and the vector of our freedom. You may have noticed that science cannot account for free will, for which reason it attempts to make it go away through various rationalizations, in such a way that it would make Gödel sick (or sicker). That is, if man is a closed system, then no truth of any kind can be known about man -- rather, it will all be self-referential and tautologous yada yada, AKA tenure.
As the philosopher of science Stanley Jaki wrote, "All arguments against free will are so many proofs of it," because "no determinist argues deterministically."
In a sense, free will "is subjectivity itself," that is, this mysterious subjective space we are privileged to inhabit. In the end, the reality of the human subject brings one "face to face with that realm of metaphysical reality which hangs in mid-air unless suspended from that Ultimate Reality, best called God, the Creator."
That is, what we call freedom "dangles," as it were, from the celestial to the terrestrial. True, it's Frank's world, but each of us holds a world by the string.
Interestingly, Jaki goes on to say that "the reality of free will" is "the only safe foundation of democracy. Political freedom without attention to free will invites rank irresponsibility, couched, of course, in convenient slogans about human fulfillment and economic prosperity." This is what I mean about the left being absolutely committed to man's fallenness.
The idea of freedom is a Christian one. Freedom is precious, but not for its own sake, since the latter redounds only to nihilism and absurdity.
Rather, "the conviction that man is born free" is an outgrowth "of the perspective that man was given freedom not in order to do anything he wants to but that he should be able to do what he is supposed to do" (ibid.).
It can hardly be overemphasized that our authoritarian state is forcing us to do what no one is supposed to do, under the guise of "liberation." If we are free to do everything, this is functionally equivalent to being free to believe anything. But we are only really free to believe truth. Believing lies hardly makes us more free, but rather, enslaves us. It's how Beelzebub rolls.
Note that freedom "cannot be reduced to anything else," and certainly to nothing merely quantitative. In this regard it reminds me of Planck's constant, which apparently defines how small something can be. In other words, there are irreducible units of tininess, tinier than which things cannot get. Likewise, man is "composed" of certain irreducible constants. These constants can be reduced, but only at the cost of eliminating man.
Not to change the focus -- or lack thereof -- of this post, but what are the constants that define man? One of the purposes of Jesus' mission is to show us these constants. Ultimately they revolve around the related concepts (or realities) of person and Trinity, and everything these imply.
Ratzinger has a profound essay on this in a book I just read, called Concerning the Notion of Person in Theology. It has too many explosions to assimilate in the time remaining, but he writes of how person is relation, and of how this relation is grounded in love.
But love is always a relation, so man is a relation of receiving and giving. Receiving and giving what? Oh, various gifts: Love. Truth. Beauty. Freedom. We do not generate these, but rather, as the Son is generated by the Father, we receive them -- not to hold onto or horde them, but rather, to pass the gifts along.
Thus, the very form of Jesus' existence is in "being from someone toward someone," in an "absolute openness of existence without any reservation of what is merely and properly one's own."
Yesterday a reader emailed me to let me know I sounded "needy and unappreciated" in my comment the other day about having so few comments the day before -- you know, like it's a bad thing. In my ingenuous and unsuspecting mind, that wasn't my point at all. Rather, I just wish more people wanted to receive what I have to give, in order to complete that cycle. True, so long as it reaches one person, that is sufficient. But still.
"For again, the point is that a word is essentially from someone else and toward someone else.... Your 'I' is on the one hand what is most your own and at the same time what you have least of yourself; it is most of all not your own, because it is only from the 'you' that it can exist as an 'I' in the first place" (Ratzinger).
Not to sound all needy and stuff, but what I mean is you guys complete me, and there's not a damn thing I can do about it.