Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Freedom is Founded on the Love of Truth and Truth of Love

Let's begin this morning with an orthoparadox: "First of all," writes Schindler, "we belong to the truth before the truth belongs to us."

For readers who 1) do not believe truth exists, or 2) do not believe it is accessible to man, you are excused.

But to the extent that truth exists, it is obviously anterior to us. I suppose there's one other possibility, the new age choprafication of quantum physics, such that we create reality -- and therefore truth -- by observing it.

Example. "There have been half a dozen different universes conceived of in the human mind." (Really? Only six?) "As each conception changes, so does reality." So, "Remember this the next time you are tempted to pick the universe you live in. There are a lot more choices than you may imagine. Ultimately this is good, because it opens the door to ponder the deep questions of existence..."

If that is enlightenment, then we need much less of it, thank you. Chopra embodies a malign complementarity of smugness and vagueness that simultaneously explains nothing and everything. Liberals should remember this the next time they are tempted to force the rest of us to live in a universe that doesn't exist. Freedom is not liberation from reality.

Back to the real reality. The "truth to which we belong is ultimately a matter of love." In other words, anterior to the truth that is anterior to us is the Divine Love. Therefore, ultimate reality -- God -- "is a Trinitarian circle of divine love."

As a corollary to "we belong to the truth before the truth belongs to us," we could say that the cosmos is in the Trinity before the Trinity is in the cosmos.

I don't find that this requires any great leap of faith, because this universe would be radically different if the Trinity weren't at its heart.

To put it another way, the most astonishing features of this cosmos are inexplicable in the absence of a trinitarian metaphysic. And while there are many astonishing features, they wouldn't matter if there were no one here to be astonished. Therefore, the most astonishing cosmic fact of all is the human being.

We don't always come out and say it, but this is one of our guiding intuitions. It says so on p. 21 of the Encirclopedia, that "human beings, by virtue of their unquestioned existence, are the meeting place of all possible scientific disciplines, the one place in the cosmos where all departments of learning harmoniously coexist in a single, multidimensional youniversity..."

Therefore, "the synthesis of all possible fields of study exists in us as an established fact: we are de facto interdisciplinary subjectobjects, unproblematically defying any reductionistic, single-level explanation."

We span all the degrees of reality from the empirical and below to the psychic and above, and perhaps this makes it appear as if there are "different universes," as per the Enlightened One.

In any event, "we gain a truer perspective of the whole evolutionary process if we study it from its most recent results rather than only from its beginnings" (Charles Birch).

At risk of relaboring the bobvious, we can explain more about matter than matter can explain about us -- unless we stipulate that matter itself is trinitarian as well, which seamlessly explains how and why it is so intelligible to our intelligence. In short, the cosmos has an exterior and an interior, and these two mirroculouly reflect one another in a truth that is prior to both.

Back to Schindler. I think we are now in a position to better understand what he means when he says that "to belong to truth is to belong to a love that, especially as seen in the light of the Incarnation, is simultaneously God-centered and human-centered." In a Word, it means that human beings can fully participate in the divine reality. Yes, we can choose God, but only because he first chooses us.

Thus, only the Creator "can establish values that are grounded in the essence of humankind," and which "are inviolable" (Ratzinger, in Schindler). This can hardly be more at odds with "picking the universe we live in." Superficially the latter sounds like a good deal, but it actually renders man absolutely worthless. It is a Devil's Bargain.

Ratzinger: "The existence of values that cannot be modified by anyone is the true guarantee of our freedom and of human greatness." Our dignity lies not in the ability to invent reality but to bow before it.

To put it conversely, nothing is less dignified than living in your own reality. While it is proper to empathize with such lost souls, we shouldn't elect them president.

Does matter create reason? Does pure chance produce meaning? Or do the intellect, logos, and reason come first, so that reason, freedom, and the good are already part of the principles that construct reality? --Ratzinger

7 Comments:

Blogger Van Harvey said...

"Freedom is not liberation from reality."

B
O
O
M
!

11/03/2015 08:55:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Triggered by the Constitution. Obama can relate.

11/03/2015 09:15:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

If there are other universes, by definition, we couldn't know it. That is a hopeless cause.
Not so with God.

11/03/2015 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

This can hardly be more at odds with "picking the universe we live in." Superficially the latter sounds like a good deal, but it actually renders man absolutely worthless. It is a Devil's Bargain.

People do try, though. Addictions, affairs, all the different ways people try to run away from that which they wish was not so. Devil's Bargains, indeed.

11/03/2015 11:32:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

Our dignity lies not in the ability to invent reality but to bow before it.

So beautifully put.

11/03/2015 02:04:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

These last two posts... just wonderful. Thanks!

11/03/2015 04:34:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Yes, we can choose God, but only because he first chooses us.

This is where Calvinistic predestination is both right and wrong. God has to choose us, but He has.

Sometimes it is hard for me to do justly and live righteously, but it even harder to recall how I ever thought that living contrary to truth was a good idea.

11/03/2015 06:50:00 PM  

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