Out of My Head
For example, what is Paul talking about with his Christ-living-in-me isness? That idea is fundamental to Paul, but it is rooted in a more general biblical metaphysic that doesn't necessarily obey Euclidean geometry and Aristotelian logic.
So, what kind of logic does the Bible reflect? This is important, because if one doesn't understand the logic, one might be tempted to think something in it is illogical when it is merely obeying a different and possibly higher logic -- perhaps even the Logic of logic.
Barron suggests that "When Christ is the center of one's life, then all the elements that constitute the self" will "tend to fall into an ordered pattern around it." Thus, the Christ-principle is the magnetic center, or the person-to-person call that pulls order from chaos.
Which is not too far from our very first description of the Creator in Genesis 1, where he hovers over the dark and formless void. Nor is that too far from its sister passage in John 1, where we read that nothing is created without God's Logos, his creative word-logic. This implies -- sort of -- that there are things in the world that are not created by God.
This is an ill-sounding assertion, but what I mean is that, just as creativity is a signature of God, un- (or better, anti-) creativity would be its counter-sign. For practical purposes it would mean that where we see the trite, the trivial, the banal, the lifeless, the boring -- you know, leftworld -- God has been exorcised from the persons involved. Say what you want about God, he is never boring. Rather, the boredom is in you.
As you probably know, "sin" is etymologically related to "missing the mark" or target. What target? "Because we are, by nature, supernaturally oriented toward intimacy with God," deviation from our target "results in the disordering and disintegration of the entire self: mind, body, spirit, and passions." In short, sin "involves the unmooring of the self from its properly divine origin and telos."
Thus, when we are not aimed at our proper telos, our prior wholeness breaks up into its constituent parts. You might say that when we fall, we fall apart. Instead of pneumanauts orbiting around the central sun, we are like those stranded astronauts in the film Gravity.
In that situation, the astronaut discovers that all of his usual gifts -- from physical strength to training to intelligence -- are precisely worthless. He is missing the one thing that would render all the others efficacious: connectedness.
However, now that I'm thinking about it, the George Clooney character does accomplish one thing, which is to mysteriously transmit something of himself into Sandra Bullock. This is depicted as a kind of dream-hallucination, but this whole scene is riding piggyback on our still (albeit distantly) Christo-centric culture, such that she assimilates and "contains" his spirit in order to summon the skill, creativity, and presence of mind to save herself: not I, but Lieutenant Kowalski in me.
Gravity indeed: something organizes her hysterical, deathbound fragmentation before it takes her life. Something pulls her together, such that she rises above slavery to her dysfunctional passions into a higher freedom.
Now, I think you'll agree that this is weird. I just looked up the film on wikipedia, and it says this: "Some commentators have noted religious themes in the film." Oh? Like who?
"For instance, Fr. Robert Barron in The Catholic Register summarizes the tension between Gravity's technology and religious symbolism. He said, 'The technology which this film legitimately celebrates... can't save us, and it can't provide the means by which we establish real contact with each other.... there is a dimension of reality that lies beyond what technology can master or access... the reality of God.'"
If this were a movie, Fr. Barron would no doubt be sitting next to me in a spacesuit.
The "real contact" to which he alludes is not surface-to-surface, as in two contained substances coming into contact. Rather, we must abandon the "language of substance" in favor of a "sheer relationality and other-orientation, the coinherence of love."
Referring back to the meta-logic of our cosmos, we see that the principle of coinherence cannot even be expressed in the language of Euclid or Aristotle. And yet, if we fail to apprehend (and express) it, we are missing its most important feature.
As Bortoft puts it, if we begin our analysis with the "self-conscious subject, conceived as a self-entity," we are actually beginning at the end, which is therefore literally pre-posterous.
Rather, we must begin with coinherence and intersubjectivity. In practical terms we must "go to the stage prior to our usual awareness, which has the effect of reversing the direction of our thinking so that we can recognize that we usually begin from what is, in fact, the end." This is what it means to reverse worldward descent and cross the bridge of darkness to the father shore (p. 256).
All of this suggests that ideas are active, in that an idea about reality brings about the reality the idea is about. This is similar to how God works: he "speaks" his ideas into creation, whereas we hear them. Remove the ideas, and there is no there to be perceived. There is raw sense perception, and that is all. But raw sense perception doesn't disclose reality. Rather, limited to our senses, real reality would be foreclosed.
Which is to say, when we lose contact with the nonlocal source that is simultaneously beyond and within.