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