Buying into God
Let's see: profit is what remains after costs are subtracted from value. Therefore, The World minus Your Soul = the Bottom Line.
Speaking of profits, I see that Pope Francis just called capitalism "the dung of the devil." But I wonder if that is what he actually said, for the piece later quotes him as referring to "the unfettered pursuit of money" as "the dung of the devil," which is something else entirely.
For example, Greece -- an anti-capitalist pile of devil dung if ever there was one -- is clearly engaging in an unfettered pursuit of money, the difference being that capitalism actually earns the money by producing something people want. Conversely, Greece produces nothing anyone wants and wants to be paid for it.
Robbing a bank is an unfettered pursuit of money. Offering things people want at prices they can afford is definitely fettered, as any businessman knows. Among other things, it is fettered by production costs, by taxes, by regulations, by competitors, by consumer preferences, and by civil law.
Where but in a socialist tyranny is the pursuit of money unfettered? Even Obama- or Clinton-style crony capitalism is somewhat fettered, unless you believe people send all those millions to the Clintons with no expectation of a return on their investment.
Anyway, back to the econo-pneumatic question posed in paragraph one. As awkwardly alluded to at the conclusion of yesterday's post, time is the economics of eternity. What I mean is that there can be no economics of eternity as such, being that by definition it has no scarcity.
Unless, as I suspect, time and eternity are actually complementary, in which case you might say that time is like a limited supply of eternity. Perhaps it's easier to conceptualize vis-a-vis finite and infinite: finitude is like infinitude bounded and thus limited.
Of which it seems we all have a kind of vertical recollection, as exemplified by mystics everywhere and everywhen. What I mean is that the mystic reverses perspective, as it were, in such a way that the infinite is seen in the finite, the eternal in the temporal, the absolute in the relative, the slack in the conspiracy, etc. Or just say creation.
If this weren't the case, then Jesus's ultimate profit-and-loss statement would make absolutely no sense to us. Of course we would trade our soul for the world, since it would amount to trading nothing for everything.
However, without coming right out and saying so, Jesus implies that this would be a bad deal, because we would actually be trading everything -- or something of infinite value -- for nothing -- or something of finite value, for all the finitude in the world does not add up to a single drop infinitude, which is a quality, not quantity.
Which reminds me. Adam raised a Cain. Or Cane, rather. Rosebud...
In short, bartering away the soul would be a core catastrophe, a spiritual blankruptcy, an eternal mortgage with a fatal balloon payment.
There are numerous other allusions to economics in the Bible. In fact, what is religion but a form of exchange with God? It is never a one way deal. For example, the whole thing starts with a contract between God and his people -- who become his people by virtue of the contract.
Likewise, God "gives" his son, but not without a price. The mystery there is that he does exactly what he says we shouldn't do, in that he sacrifices infinity for the sake of finitude.
More generally, the whole concept of sacrifice -- present in all religiosity -- entails an implicit awareness of spiritual exchange, however warped. For example, the Buddhist sacrifices the ego to nirvana, the leftist our prosperity to his resentments, the Islamist innocent men, women, and children to his transcendent sadism.
And now we are perhaps in a possession to grasp the perfect nonsense on p. 252, e.g., either pay your deus or be nilled to a blank, the rend is now redeemable on your mirromortal garment, and no body crosses the phoenix line lest it be repossessed and amortized. However you say it, Eloha, that's a good bye for the Love that removes the sin and other scars.