Outside the Gates of Eden
To cite an obvious example, take justice and mercy. In the higher dimensionality of God these are one, but herebelow they can seem at odds. In God, perfect justice is perfect mercy, and vice versa.
This is not a new idea, but rather, very old. "Orthoparadox" is just a neologism for a paleoconcept.
For example, over half a millennium ago Nicholas of Cusa wrote of his discovery that God is "girded about with the coincidence of contradictories." He calls this the "wall of paradise" beyond which God resides: "Thus, it is on the other side of coincidence of contraries that you [God] will be able to be seen and nowhere on this side" (in Bell).
On this side most everything about God seems somewhat paradoxical, but that's just the way it is in order for us to be in Isness for ourselves. Presumably in Eden we were inside the walls of orthoparadox, but in our fallen state we face the wall of complementarity.
But it is no small thing to realize this. This may not be the best analogy, but it reminds me of Panic Disorder. A panic attack is a terrifying experience, especially if you don't realize it's "only" a panic attack. But if you do, then it's possible to detach from the experience somewhat and ride it out.
Likewise, if you imagine the various cosmic complementarities to be paradoxical contradictions, then your thinking will suffer. Indeed, most every bad philosophy -- which is most -- begins by abstracting one complementarity from its I-AMese twin and then elevating it to a totalistic metaphysic. Materialism is just one version of this. Idealism is its pathological sibling.
Which leads to an important point about heresy (and about the charge of Gnosticism discussed in yesterday's post). That is, if you consider the various heresies, they all result in an ontological shrinkage, not an expansion, of the divine reality. While they always masquerade as liberating or mind-expanding, they do so from an anthropocentric point of view.
The logical endpoint of such shrunken Gnosticism is modern liberalism, which has managed to fully liberate itself from God.
But this perverse liberation is just another name for nihilism. In reality -- the divine reality -- freedom could never be detached from the Good. In God, freedom and goodness are obviously one. And if you believe in saints and in sanctity -- or in the sanctification/theosis process -- it comes down to an increasing harmony of freedom and goodness as we ascend closer to the divine source.
Conversely, "progress" for progressives is whatever redounds to the destruction of Christian civilization. They don't hesitate to acknowledge this. Why do conservatives?
The progressive materialist is free "in the sense that breaking an arm confers a new freedom of movement on the arm: it is the freedom of incoherence. In philosophy as in morals, it is the facile path that leads to hell and the hard one that rises to heaven..." (Sire).
Yes, if you jump from a building you will "fly." Up to a point. Or, it is "like a husband who resolves the problem of controlling his wife by murdering her" (ibid.).
Nothing brings more narcissistic joy to the progressive than the conceit that he is more educated, or sophisticated, or scientific, or intellectual than the restavus. To a certain extent these are accurate, so long as we deploy the qualifier "merely," as in "merely intellectual."
For the cheap omniscience of the tenured leaves them entirely -- and proudly -- outside the Walls of Paradise alluded to above. After all, if mere words were sufficient then the Incarnation would be superfluous. But not only did Jesus leave no book, he left not a single printed syllable. Rather, he is the book God throws at us.
One of our fundamental epistemological distinctions is between (k), or ordinary knowledge, and (n), which is essentially (lower case) gnosis. This is again a wholly orthodox and venerable idea, for it goes to the difference between open and therefore living vs. closed and therefore dead language. To be open to O is to assure that language never reaches a dead-end nul-de-slack, but rather, is perpetually infused with energies from the very source of language itsoph; for
"Language is not its own end: it comes from and leads to thought that transcends it" (Bell).
This again goes to that pulsating meta-cosmic circular flow at the heart of creation described in yesterday's post:
"Movement along this vertical axis is not simply upward: life from heaven can come down to earth." Via man-through-Christ, "Heaven [reaches] to earth through him even as earth reaches to heaven in him. Downward and upward he is as a tree" (ibid.).
God is an open book. Only man's learning can close it.
Man too is an open book. Only rejection of God can end it.
And although he's got a Way with Words, God is fortunately a terrible mathematician, or one plus one would equal one or two instead of three. I suppose he's a practitioner of the evernew math.
At times I think there are no words / But these to tell what’s true / And there are no truths outside the Gates of Eden --Gates of Eden, Bob Dylan