Friday, May 15, 2015

God Becomes Prisoner So that Man May Escape

About that prison discussed at the end of yesterday's post: we might say that everybody's got one, and that each is different from the other. Just as we are unique, so too are our prison cells.

Now, ever since man has been one, he has been plotting his escape from the prison. In other words, there is a profound paradox at work here, as humanness is obviously in one sense a "liberation" from mere animality, but in another sense just a transfer from one prison to another.

What makes it paradoxical², however, is that animals do not know they are in prison, which equates to not being in prison at all. But man, who has the nicest and roomiest prison of all, is the most aware of his confinement.

There is also the issue of our imagination, which ensures that there is always a gulf between what we have and what we can imagine. If we fail to discipline this space, it becomes perhaps the greatest source of existential misery.

I read somewhere that even the poorest American is still in the top 1% compared to the world as a whole -- i.e., Africa, India, the non-Jewish Middle East, etc. But this does nothing to extinguish the envy that is both a cause and consequence of leftism, nor to weaken the leftism that is a cause and consequence of envy. The left stokes what it promises to ameliorate, but envy doesn't operate on the same plane as Government Cheese. Rather, placating envy only feeds envy, which is why the War On Poverty is an absolutely self-perpetuating swindle.

A few posts back we spoke of the Rupture, and we could say that, among other things, this rupture causes a breach in the prison walls, opening out to a "circle" with "a far larger circumference than that of agnostic philosophy: it includes the more-than-human," but "it is up to us, through our passion, to unveil it" (Corbin).

Now, I do not believe we can break through the walls without the Aid of Heaven. Indeed, I would agree with Schuon that the human station is already a Divine Escape Hatch in its very essence: it is a door or window where the animal is walled in by its own genetics or neurology or ideology.

This is quite similar to John Paul II's theology of the body, wherein even the human body itself is the Way Out and Up. As Ratzinger describes it, "The body in its physical structure as such bears a vision of reality." It discloses "a theology, which indeed implies an anthropology or, better, a metaphysics rooted in the personal" (in Schindler).

Looked at this way "nothing is 'merely biological'" on the divine/human/personal plane. Rather, biology itself becomes an expression of the prior Truth; the body "is never, after the manner of Descartes, simply physicalist 'stuff,'" but "a new way of being in the world, a distinct way of imaging God and love" (Schindler).

In other words, you might say that the human form is made for love, truth, and beauty. It is not as if we accidentally stumbled up into these realities, for such a thing could never occur randomly, rather, only via a Mighty Strange Attractor or Teloscape tugging at our heart- and headstrings from above.

Thus, the body is "made for" the other, both horizontally and vertically; it always "opens out," beyond itself. This is why I made (in the book) such a Big Deal out of the "premature birth" that renders us so completely dependent in early childhood. This primordial state of radical openness and dependence reveals the most essential thing about us.

Think about the alternatives. What if, like the baby lizards that are hatching in my yard, we were born into a state of basic independence: you crack through your shell and there is no mother or father to be seen. Rather, it's go-time. You're on your own. Go find your own bugs to eat.

What if the reptile were an icon of God? That would be a very different God, not the trinitarian, relational God of eternal giving-and-receiving. And again, the reptile is completely enclosed in his reptilian nature. He can neither move forward nor rise above, because he is already full of himself.

Which goes to Jesus' emphasis on the centrality of "spiritual poverty," which comes down to making a space for God. Here again, this space is already a kind of escape, which reminds me of something Schuon says about the nature of prayer: "The remembrance of God is at the same tome a forgetting of oneself; conversely, the ego is a kind of crystallization of forgetfulness of God."

Thus, an Obama-level narcissist literally worships at the altar of his own ego: being full of himself, he is void of God. There is no exodus from such a personal hell -- which is precisely what makes it hellish.

What the Raccoon calls the Rupture is what Jews call the Exodus. It doesn't matter what you call it, so long as the Light breaks in and the path is revealed: "The fundamental structure of Reality" is then seen to be a "form of Descent and Return," or fall-and-redemption, or Egypt-and-Israel, or death-and-resurrection. It is how the Slack gets into the conspiracy, or how God hides the hacksaw in the birthday cake.

Only through the Word can the cosmos be released from the world of literal matter, quantitative space, and historical time. Without this Presence the world is mute, faceless, collapsing forever downward to the level of object. With it, not just the human soul, but the world itself exists in a perpetual state of Resurrection. --Cheetham

25 Comments:

Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Funny and sad: man tries to help woman escape from her miserable feminist prison.

5/15/2015 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

There is also the issue of our imagination, which ensures that there is always a gulf between what we have and what we can imagine. If we fail to discipline this space, it becomes perhaps the greatest source of existential misery.

Prager takes this dilemma on this week.

5/15/2015 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

Yes, feminists scare me. I would be celibate for life if they were the only women left in the world.

5/15/2015 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

Well the younger me probably would have succumbed to the ideology just so I could get me some. Testosterone is a powerful force. These days, not worth my time.

5/15/2015 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"What the Raccoon calls the Rupture is what Jews call the Exodus. It doesn't matter what you call it, so long as the Light breaks in and the path is revealed: "The fundamental structure of Reality" is then seen to be a "form of Descent and Return," or fall-and-redemption, or Egypt-and-Israel, or death-and-resurrection. It is how the Slack gets into the conspiracy, or how God hides the hacksaw in the birthday cake."

The Great Escape ain't just a movie, it's always happening now.
You hit a homer, Bob.

5/15/2015 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Ha ha! IRT that link, Bob, I saw that last night, and I don't usually watch Hannity, but that was pure comedy gold wrapped on truth.
Hilarious.

5/15/2015 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

From Dan Greenfield's latest post:
"The talking heads on the television insist that the cartoon contest was irresponsible because there were bound to be “some crazies” who would “take the bait”. But if Islam is no more violent than any other religion, shouldn’t it be just as statistically likely that some Christian or Jewish crazies would attack one of the art exhibits, plays or musicals ridiculing and blaspheming against their religions?

Weren’t museums and galleries exhibiting “works of art” like Piss Christ or Shekhina provoking and baiting those Jewish and Christian crazies? And since there are more Christians than Muslims in America, isn’t it statistically far more likely that there should have been far more Christian terror attacks targeting blasphemous exhibits?

We can only conclude that there is a much higher proportion of “crazies” among Muslims than among Christians. How much higher? 78 percent of Americans identify as Christians. 0.6 percent claim to be Muslims. Only 0.3 percent appear to be Sunnis, who are responsible for ISIS and Al Qaeda attacks.

There is indeed a tiny minority of extremists in America. It’s known as Islam."

Greenfield hit a home run too:
http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2015/05/schrodingers-jihad.html#comment-form

5/15/2015 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

And this:
"In Schrödinger's Jihad, the Muslim terrorist is in an indeterminate state until some Western observer opens the box, collapses his wave function and radicalizes him. The two Muslim Jihadists were in an indeterminate state until Pamela Geller and Bosch Fawstin and the other “provocateurs” suddenly turned them into terrorists in a matter of days or weeks. It didn’t matter that Elton Simpson, one of the Garland terrorists, had already been dragged into court for trying to link up with Jihadists in Africa.

Every Muslim is and isn’t a terrorist. He is both a peaceful spiritual person who is eager to embrace our way of life and a violent killer who can be set off by the slightest offense. Like the cat in the box that is neither dead nor alive, he is both violent and peaceful, moderate and extremist, a solid citizen and a terrorist. He does not choose which of these to be or to become; we decide what he will be.

The Jihadist paradox is that the Muslim terrorist is always defined by what we do, not by what he does."

Greenfield nailed the typical leftist thought process, which is confined to a prison they don't wanna escape from.
A prison they wanna impose on everyone.

5/15/2015 10:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Skully said...

If I ever go to Iceland, I'm goin' here:
http://lebowski.is/En/index.html

5/15/2015 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

...envy doesn't operate on the same plane as Government Cheese.

Envy makes the cheese more binding.

5/15/2015 12:22:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

What a way to end the week.

What if the reptile were an icon of God?

There was this serpent ...


Rather, biology itself becomes an expression of the prior Truth ...

This seems to be coming up wherever I look. I think you are onto something.

5/15/2015 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Ted, that bit caught my eye, too. My younger child has finally discovered tantrums - always a result of the gulf between her desires and reality, which either will not or cannot be reconciled. She woke up howling this morning because she wanted to make a picture.

At two, it's normal. At twenty-two, it's a feminist.

5/15/2015 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Wow - that video at Ace's is priceless. She looks like her head is about to explode. I don't know what I think of McInnes most of the time, and I'm not even sure I completely agree with him here, but watching him poke that bear with a stick was worth a couple of minutes.

Now back to reading the post...

5/15/2015 12:38:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

On the McGinnis/Holder thing -- a few years ago, I was talking to my old boss, she's an extremely intelligent ethnic Chinese woman originally from Singapore. Back when I worked for her, she had a long-time boyfriend that she had met in college. He worked in Tennessee; she was in Texas. They'd get together every so often. He's from Malaysia and also Chinese and very smart.

When I worked for her, she was about 30, and about 35 by the time I left. She kept moving up in the company, a high-achiever with a very successful career. When I last talked to her, she was around 50. First thing she was said was, "Yeah, still with Xxxxx; still not married."

Here's this beautiful, extremely intelligent, competent, successful person -- not very happy. It made me sad.

5/15/2015 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

A few posts back we spoke of the Rupture, and we could say that, among other things, this rupture causes a breach in the prison walls, opening out to a "circle" with "a far larger circumference than that of agnostic philosophy: it includes the more-than-human," but "it is up to us, through our passion, to unveil it"

This reminds again of the process that happens when an egg pops out of an ovary, makes its way into the uterus, and gets fertilized. Or vertilized, as the case may be...

5/15/2015 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

People don't want to think that their happiness is tied up with dependence, but that's the way it is. It is why that feminist kook bristled at the notion that she couldn't invent her own version of fulfillment, independent from the theology of the body.

5/15/2015 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

That was in reference to Mushroom's comment about the sad sack from Singapore.

5/15/2015 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Of course :)

Great post, by the way. Seems like there's an extra dose or two of vertilizer today.

5/15/2015 12:51:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

"The Great Escape"

Ben, I was thinking of that movie too :-) and Hogan's Heroes for some reason -- I think because the ones in charge of the camp really weren't aware of what was going on under their schnozes.

And Frankl too, since he was the one who discovered that the guards were really the ones in prison.

5/15/2015 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Couple of wonderful videos over at Father Strphen's -- he really radiates (pretty off-the-hip funny, too). Long videos put he pretty much covers everything.

5/16/2015 04:25:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hi Rick,
Aye, at least those involved in the conspiracy ain't very bright.

Hey guys, might wanna say a prayer for Don and his wife.
They have a respiratory infection.
Let's hope n' pray they recover soon.

5/16/2015 04:48:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Will do. I think he mentioned something about being sick on FB a few days ago, but had the impression he was getting better. Seems like there's a lot of nasty stuff going around.

5/16/2015 05:06:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Will do, Ben. Thanks

5/16/2015 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Beware of imitations.

5/16/2015 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Too funny. I wonder if he's ever read your book?

5/16/2015 01:46:00 PM  

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