The Waystation Between Must Be and Can't Be
D'oh! This means that we always have one foot in existence and another on a banana peel. It is what makes life so... bracing. We are situated smack dab between Must Be and Can't Be, so there is an inherent degree of absurdity, or at least ambiguity.
To choose atheism or scientism or existentialism is to essentially say we are either children of the Can't Be or an extension of the Must Be. If the former, then our lives are indeed absurd and nothing more. And if we have no free will, then it is as if everything is preordained, and we Must Be who and what we are.
It seems that people are uncomfortable with the ambiguity and enigma of the Possible. One immediate implication is that there is a lot of Luck involved. Why did that white guy in Charlotte get dragged from his car last night and brutalized by the rioting savages? Wrong place at the wrong time. Bad luck.
I'm thinking of Curtis Mayfield, who was just standing on stage at an outdoor concert when a lighting scaffold blew over and crashed down on him, breaking his neck and rendering him quadriplegic. A couple of years ago an enormous tree broke in half and crashed into my back yard. If anyone had been standing there, it would have killed him. Who knows how many close calls we have in a given day? We generally only know about the bad things that happen, but not all the near misses.
The point is, we are always perched between existence and nonexistence, and although we can take precautions, there is nevertheless an element of randomness we can't eliminate. If we could, then we would be in the realm of necessity, not possibility.
In fact, for Schuon, God's All-Possibility is the whole explanation of evil. Evil is something that ought not be, but is nevertheless possible. What Schuon would say is that God doesn't will evil, of course, only possibility. But possibility includes the negation of God's will, hence, evil.
"Infinitude, which is an aspect of the Divine Nature, implies unlimited Possibility and consequently Relativity, Manifestation, the world. To speak of the world is to speak of separation from the Principle, and to speak of separation is to speak of the possibility -- and necessity -- of evil; seen from this angle, what we term evil is thus indirectly a result of Infinitude, hence of the Divine Nature..."
Therefore, "The nature of evil, and not its inevitability, constitutes its condemnation; its inevitability must be accepted, for tragedy enters perforce into the divine play, if only because the world is not God; one must not accept error, but one must be resigned to its existence." Haters gonna hate, and all that.
This latter goes to man's fallen nature (or to the tragic vision of life, if you prefer), and it is precisely this Lamentable Fact that the liberal denies (c.f., Sowell's A Conflist of Visions and Vision of the Anointed).
So, the world is a tapestry of necessity and contingency, which is precisely what makes it the world. If not for the contingency, it would be heaven. Schuon says somewhere that it is also product of geometry and music; and what is architecture but frozen music, and music but flowing architecture?
This means that to perceive reality we must, as it were, see the geometry and hear the music. In a certain sense, science is about the former, art and religion the latter. But there is also a kind of intuitive hearing in science, and a kind of hierarchical structure in God.
Now, one of the purposes of religion is to render us more "real" by participating in the Real -- in Necessary Being. In our own way, we participate in Necessary Being simply by virtue of our uniqueness: "each human being is a unique reflection of God, since 'Self-disclosure never repeats itself.'"
So, on the one hand, we might or might not have been; but once we are, then there can be no repetition. Our "true self" -- or soul -- must be a kind of fragment of Cosmic Necessity, of the Divine I AM, but again, woven with contingency.
And "man is not man until he brings the divine attributes latent within himself into actuality." But most people -- you will have noticed -- are closer to "animal man," or "animals in human form, since they have not actualized the divine form which would make them human."
So, it appears that the human station is the very possibility of participating in human being or in non-being: your call. If you've never met a human non-being, then you need to get out of the house more often. Or just turn on the news.
"'Animal man' is the opposite of perfect man," whether the latter is limited to Jesus or is widened out to encompass the saints. From my perspective, I think the saints "participate" in Jesus, hence the (relative) perfection.
Jesus is "the way," but also the "waystation." For "A 'waystation' is a station to which God descends to you, or within which you alight upon Him.... He desires to descend to you and places within your heart a seeking to alight upon Him" -- the old (⇅).
Well, that's about the size of it.