If I understand the previous post correctly, it put forth the paradoxical -- or at least convoluted -- idea that man is always in the form of a question, and that, in the Incarnation, the very God who is the answer to this question assumes the form of the questioner who seeks him.
Clearly, the infinitely open question that we are points toward verticality and transcendence. No horizontal, terrestrial, or finite answer satisfies the Question of questions -- or rather, man has a habit of positing answers that are seemingly designed to make the Question go away, but are absurdly incapable of doing so, e.g., materialism, scientism, positivism, Marxism, progressivism, et al.
Or just say ismism, or ismolatry, or craniorectal exploration.
Now yesterday, in my restless search for something to stimulate my head, I reread Voegelin's Science, Politics & Gnosticism, and couldn't help noticing certain parallels to this question of man the Question (and questioner).
First of all Voegelin is famous -- or obscure, rather -- for the idea that the structure of being involves two poles -- immanence and transcendence -- and that we are always in between them. Always have been and always will be, because this is just the way Being is. If it weren't this way, we could never know it, period.
Yes, it's a mystery, but a infinitely fruitful one. Unless, of course, we stop asking questions, or worse, the Powers that Be won't permit questions. Then progress stops, at least until the vertical space reopens for isness, for example, as Elon Musk is attempting to do vis-a-vis the political space.
Why then is he being vilified for doing something that is intrinsically spiritually healthy? I mean this literally, in that the very essence of spiritual health involves maintaining an open system with verticality and transcendence, so vertical closure of any kind is inherently pneumopathological, for it results in spiritual malnourishment, asphyxiation, craniorectal occlusion, and/or death.
Voegelin uses the term "deformation"
for the destruction of the order of the soul, which should be "formed" by the love of transcendental perfection inherent in the fundamental tension [between immanence and transcendence] of existence (Eugene Webb).
You could say that he regards the genuine philosopher as truly normative, as in lover of wisdom:
As Voegelin conceives it, philosophy is characterized by the realization that one does not actually possess transcendental truth but is oriented toward it through love [of wisdom, truth, beauty, goodness, etc.] (ibid.).
But you will have noticed that this is precisely what ismism and ideolatry don't do. Rather, they indulge in philodoxy, which is the love of, like, just your opinion, man: it
conceives of truth in immanentistic rather than transcendental terms and tends to claim a perfect correspondence between ultimate reality and ideas or interpretive models used to represent it (ibid).
whereas philosophy is inherently oriented toward further inquiry through openness to the Question, philodoxy is the expression of a desire to put an end to questioning and thereby escape from the "tension of existence" (ibid.).
Which isn't just obnoxious and annoying, but humanly catastrophic, as seen, for example, in the metastatic ideologies of the 20th century. As of 1991 (with the collapse of the Soviet Union) it looked as if the last of these cancers had been eradicated, but it is very much as if this spiritual retrovirus sleeps in human nature until opportune conditions allow it to reassert itself.
If you want to look for evidence of the retrovirus, one thing to monitor is attacks on free speech; it starts with certain forbidden questions, but again, has a tendency to attack and stifle the Questioner (and therefore human nature) as such -- perhaps seen most explicitly on our elite university campuses. One can only emit a laugh -- the hollow and bitter kind -- at Joseph Pieper's innocent description of the purpose of the university:
It means a refuge where discussion takes place, in total independence, on just one question: How are things?, "what are the facts"?
This free space -- or space of intellectual freedom -- "must be safeguarded and protected" from interference by forces opposed to the open engagement with the transcendent truth of What Is.
One thing that occurred to me in rereading S, P & G is that we focus too much on this or that ideology instead of the deeper structure of ideology per se, which is again the expression of intrinsic pneumopathology -- which is why it is in the very nature of leftism to ban speech, because speech has a way of leading to forbidden questions and unlawful answers.
Leftism is literally inconceivable without suppression of the very questions that discredit it. "The opposition becomes truly radical and dangerous"
when philosophical questioning is itself called into question, when doxa [hardened opinion] takes on the appearance of philosophy, when it arrogates to itself the name of science and prohibits science as non-science (Voegelin).
As seen most vividly, I suppose, in the non-sciences of catastrophic global warming, transgender ideology, and experimental vaccines. In each of these conspicuous examples, Questions and Questioners are banned and punished -- not because of any confident and robust science, rather, the opposite, for such thinkers know that their construct "will collapse as soon as the basic philosophical question is asked," which "induces him to prohibit such questions."
When "socialist man" speaks, man has to be silent (ibid.).
But not only socialist man, for Voegelin outlines "three major types for whom a human inquiry has become a practical impossibility," including also "positivist man" and "national-socialist man" -- to which we might add scientistic man, New Atheist man, transgender man, and various others.
Each of these is founded upon a "resolve to ignorance, for arbitrary occlusion," and for a "defensive stand against much that is knowledge." In this pathological movement "man remains shut off from transcendent being. The will to power strikes against the wall of being, which has become a prison" (ibid.).
Or matrix, as we like to call it. The normal man becomes acutely aware of suffering in this matrix of "demonic occlusion. He is imprisoned in the icy light of his existence." Schuon often speaks of the modern mind being encased under a layer of ice.
Is there hope? Yes, but mostly on a retail basis, as
No one is obliged to take part in the spiritual crisis of a society; on the contrary, everyone is obliged to avoid this folly and live his life in order (ibid.).
Which is to say, the open order -- or order of openness -- whereby man has the privilege of participation in the ground of being.
I'll stop now and pick up the thread in the next post.