Thursday, July 07, 2016

Building the Cosmic Infrastructure

We left off yesterday with the idea that history is a kind of race down from the trees of west Africa, to the wide open spaces of temporal change and development, and back up the nonlocal tree whose roots are aloft and branches down below. Is this a Christian idea, or just something I made up?

Yesterday I was reading Spitzer's God So Loved the World, in which he points out that Jesus brought "not only an entryway into the future Kingdom of Heaven, but a passageway that connected the present Kingdom to the future Kingdom."

In other words, he builds a path, a road, a bridge, from horizontal here to vertical there. The gift of the Spirit helps us complete the project of building this cosmic infrastructure, this "conduit between earth and Heaven." However, it's a project that not only takes time but keeps going over budget, given the nature of human contractors.

The Spirit is "the power of God" experienced on our end as a personal presence. "This 'presence of God' is more than merely 'the power of God' viewed as blind supernatural force; it has a subjective (indeed, intersubjective) quality." It is the more-than-human flowing through the merely human in various ways, i.e., charisms.

So the Kingdom of God is where we are headed, and the Spirit is what helps guide us there. It must also be where history is headed, indeed, the very purpose of history: "The "Kingdom of God' is the most synthetic concept in the Gospels. It is the reality that is thought to be the way, the means, and the end of humanity.... It is also identified with the divine life, and therefore, with the perfect, eternal condition of God to which all humanity is called."

Thus, word-made-flesh also ushers in the future-made-now, end-made-middle, and top-made-down; it "causes a dynamic force (the goodness of God) to enter into the world here and now."

In the past we have called the left the Good Intentions Paving Company, for we know where their projects always lead. Why is this? Because they are a repetition and prolongation of the Fall, i.e., the attempt to accomplish something without God that can only be achieved with God. Thus, the left never stops building towers of Babel and the roads between them.

Jesus advises us that we must look for the Kingdom "amid many distractions" in the world, "as well as choose it and remain faithful to it. If we do choose and remain faithful to the Kingdom, its power will affect us, making us 'Kingdom builders.'" Here again we encounter the orthoparadoxical idea that the Kingdom is the road we both build and and travel upon in order to help get us there; thus it is both path and destiny.

This is quintessentially true of Jesus, who "not only speaks of the Kingdom" but "acts it out..." As such, to the extent that he is Word, this Word is a verb, an "action word."

McKenna speaks of history as a kind of backwash from the eternal; history is a wave -- a timewave. "What we are moving toward in three dimensions is the passing of this wave of understanding into a higher dimension, the realm of the atemporal." And "the real Anti-Christ is history's distorted reflection of the Christ at the end of time." It is precisely this that causes the left to never stop immanentizing the eschaton with their good intentions.

About that atemporal reality to which we are (hope-fully) headed. Spitzer suggests that it "brings not only the satisfaction of intellectual curiosity, but the satisfaction of being immersed in tremendous beauty, the beauty of complete intelligibility, perfect symmetry, perfect creativity, perfect mind, and the perfect love behind it all." In this vision, "truth is beauty and beauty is truth; love and goodness are truth and beauty; and truth and beauty are love and goodness" beheld "in the midst of real interpersonal love" and joy.

So, the Kingdom of Heaven is really a "grace-filled adventure" toward its own fulfillment. Otherwise I just don't see the point.

3 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

"Here again we encounter the orthoparadoxical idea that the Kingdom is the road we both build and and travel upon in order to help get us there; thus it is both path and destiny."

Thus, not so much a where as a who and a how, without which there is no why.

7/07/2016 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

In this vision, "truth is beauty and beauty is truth; love and goodness are truth and beauty; and truth and beauty are love and goodness" beheld "in the midst of real interpersonal love" and joy.

I was thinking how lovely this sounds compared to form is emptiness and emptiness is form.

7/07/2016 11:14:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

The Way.

7/07/2016 11:49:00 AM  

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