Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Old Milk in New Bottles

So: what is over and around the subjective horizon cannot be brought back within the horizon.

It's a little like that distant-but-close boundary of death -- and why we can't find out something only dead men know, or buy back the beat of a heart grown cold (referring again to the Prophet Bob -- no, not me, the one with all the honors).

The infinite "presents itself to us in the mode of withdrawal, of silence, of distance, of being always inexpressible, so that speaking of it, if it is to make sense, always requires listening to its silence" (Rahner).

It is what the rabbis mean when they refer to the Torah as words of black fire written on pages of white fire, i.e., finitude on infinitude -- or perhaps relatively-absolute on absolutely-absolute.

Also, note that as we expand, the wild frontier of the godhead recedes but doesn't shrink or contract. Which is why the cosmic bus has a "way" but no end. The map is straight but the roads are crooked.

In euclidean space the expansion of one sector comes at the expense of the one adjacent.

But in this higher-dimensional non-euclidean space, as we expand, so too does God. This is why atheists have such a tiny godling, and why it is so easy for them to understand and reject their imaginary fiend.

This whole approach ensures that God is always our measure, not vice versa. If we are God's measure, then God is not God. We are.

In reality, we exist by way of analogy to God, not the converse. But for this very reason, you can learn a lot about God by studying his highest and most complete creature.

Speaking of which, the Bible is much more interested in vertical than horizontal creation, an area of confusion for both believers and infidels.

When it comes to horizontal creation, we're happy to accept whatever tentative conclusions science comes up with -- so long as they don't take the word "creation" literally, since nothing can't actually create anything but more nothing. Obviously, only someOne can make something of nothing.

But vertical creation takes place not once upon a time, but always upin a timeless. It doesn't "point back to an earlier moment in time at which the creation of the creature in question took place" (Rahner).

Rather, it is "an ongoing and always actual process which for every existent is taking place now just as much as at an earlier point of time," although "extended in time" (ibid.).

If you need a visual, imagine a sort of (↳) movement. A universe of pure (→) is a metaphysical absurdity. Understand this, and you have sufficient proof of the Creator.

When we say we have a "relationship" to God, we need to look a little closer at this word, relationship. For it is easy enough to understand how we have relations with our equals (other humans) and lesser beings (animals, liberals, and material objects). But how do we relate to that which infinitely transcends us?

By way of analogy, how does a circle relate to a sphere? The circle can think to himself, "I understand the sphere. It's a humongous circle, the biggest one we can imagine!" Or, "it's like the giant circle that surrounds us!" Or, "it's like a circle, only with no outer boundary."

This is an example of how imagination can betray us when try to use it to think of higher things. Just like the subphysical world, the supraphysical world is intelligible but not imaginable.

Intellect and the imagination are very different faculties. Imagination can of course aid intellect, but for most people in the modern world -- especially the educated -- imagination has displaced intellect (for example, via ideology, idiolatry, and plain idiocy).

I recently read a book by an author who is so clear, he could be the anti-Rahner. He's a bit like Josef Pieper, who wrote with such clarity but without sacrificing depth or subtlety or giving me a headache.

I'm referring to Theology and Sanity, by F.J. Sheed.

The author shares the laughty goal of this blog, which you might call Sanity with a capital S. In other words, not the contingent and ultimately meaningless sanity of anthropologists, psychologists, and historians, but the true sanity of the coonical pslackologist, which connotes radical adjustment to WHAT IS. Cosmic sanity, baby.

Funny that sanity and sanctity are only one letter apart. Or that insane and in sin are so close.

"Just as loving what is good is sanctity, or the health of the will, so seeing what is there is sanity, or the health of the intellect" (Sheed).

Simple as.

In the introduction, Sheed is almost apologetic for focusing on the intellect instead of the will, but he has actually hit on the main stumbling block for most people in the modern west (and this was some 65 years ago): that they genuinely cannot wrap their minds around religion but can only submit to what they don't really understand.

In a way, it's like the difference between children and adults. In the formation of a child's soul, you first have to work on the will, because they don't understand enough to reach them through the intellect. But as they grow, it becomes increasingly possible to speak to them of principles and abstract truths.

Milk and meat.

Not much time this morning. To be continued.


Gagdad Bob said...

About that 47%. I tried briefly to explain it to the liberelatives on Thanksgiving, but it was like talking to a wall. And it was in response to their question!

When is a question not a question...

Rick said...

Lemme guess:

They didn't like the answer.

Gagdad Bob said...

They're the kind of media-indoctrinated folks who ask, "what's with this Rush Limbaugh calling that girl a slut?"

I responded, "what's with all the death threats he's been getting from liberals for two decades?"

Gagdad Bob said...

Should have responded, "why do these sluts think we're misogynist?"

Rick said...

I might have said:
Define slut.

Gagdad Bob said...

Exactly. Or is that another reality that has been defined out of existence by the left?

Gagdad Bob said...

My dictionary says "a lazy, careless, or slovenly woman," then a "lewd or dissolute woman."

Only someone who doesn't love women could not know about sluts.

Gagdad Bob said...

Liberal immaculate conception: sons of bitches but no bitches.

Gagdad Bob said...

I guess the preferred term for Obama supporters is "ho."

ted said...

Those in-laws serve your practice well Bob. Concerning the slut issue, no salvation without temptation. Serves my practice well too. :)

Tony said...

I find the term "sons" particularly offensive.


If they're all womyn, I suppose that makes us all myn. As in, "postmyn," "humynity," and "mynkind." However, now that we're all femynized, I find the whole use of the word "myn" to be prejudicial. I mean, wouldn't "wo" be more gender-neutral? As as "postwo," "huwoity," "wokind."

Can I hear an amen? Er, amyn? Er, awo?

Tony said...

Sheed akbar, by the way. Love the way he talks about the Trinity.

Recreational these days:

Near A Thousand Tables -- a ridiculously learned/entertaining history of food

L'albero degli zoccoli -- DVD of 1978 film by Ermanno Olmi

assorted tunes by pianist Kenny Drew

Tony said...

Only etymology reveals additional prizes:


I'm going with "slore."

Gagdad Bob said...

Off topic, but I think I just made an important discovery. I poured a Costo Energy Shot into a diet Coke, and my IQ spiked 10 points.

I'll let you know later if it works in beer.

mushroom said...

If you need a visual, imagine a sort of (↳) movement.

God runs a down-and-in.

mushroom said...

Beer always made me smarter by itself.

julie said...

Heh - If it weren't for energy shots, I'd spend most of my afternoons in a coma.

julie said...

Magister - slore almost seems redundant, rather like slut^2. Then again, it also fairly accurately describes a lot of the leftist women I've read...

John Lien said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
julie said...

Funny that sanity and sanctity are only one letter apart. Or that insane and in sin are so close.

There's also the element of clean/unclean; I guess there's a rason we call it a "dirty mind"...

Rick said...

Emily Latella is working on a story about eagle rights to free contraception for gays and lesbians.

Anna said...

Bob wrote yesterday... "replace Christ as CEO of the Cosmos"

There is a percentage of why I come to this blog that is exactly for phrases like that. They strum a funny bone string that is at once absurd and perfectly sound. The thought of Jesus being as measly as a CEO over something as wide as the cosmos is fertile (holy) funny ground. Nothing against CEO's at all. It just puts them in their proper spot, while also pointing out the truth that Jesus is the Chief Execute-ive (as in action and plans and other).

Gagdad Bob said...

Sandra Fluke has discovered a way to combine the world's oldest and second oldest professions.

ge said...

OT pardon me but just coined a word that seems to sum some things up in this Obamanoid era: Mulattarchy

Anna said...

ge - Somehow malarkey seems to be present in that construction.

Anna said...

Hmmm... and from there, it is quick to get to: malarchy.

mushroom said...

And then malocracy

Magnus Itland said...

Problems may seem to be political, but isn't this because politics has become the new religion? Or in other words, the overarching framework of life?

The real problem, as I feel it, is perdition. It is an ongoing process. I think of it as our limited amount of "being" becoming scattered throughout time and the lower dimensions. Rather than becoming gathered or concentrated in the fifth dimension (Eternity, or the vertical axis of Time), particles of being are attached to various things in the physical world or even in lower, imaginary worlds. (Well, for most people even the everyday world is an imaginary world.) To quote the psalm 58, we become like a slug that dissolves as it moves. Our substance smeared out across time, attached to more or less random things. They don't become nourishment for us, we lose ourselves to them - that is the nature of attachment, or perdition.

There is no way we can create an ideal society - or even an ideal neighborhood, an ideal workplace, and ideal family, an ideal individual life or even a reasonably healthy one, as long as this process is ongoing and accelerating in each individual. With the loss of the traditions that ... traditionally conserved people, what can we do? The dissolution of the soul is followed by the dissolution of the body, as the sum of irresponsible actions stemming from unrestrained desire overwhelms the individual body and then society's justice and health care system in a flood that just keeps growing. It is not merely a matter of religion anymore. The entire society is teetering on the verge of collapse due to the sum of our individual dissolution, or perdition, our sinking into time and getting smeared out across our attachments.

But I may be wrong. You see, you hear these funny voices, in the Tower of Song...

ge said...

Magnus: reminds of the 8 worldly 'dharmas' of Buddhism:
Gain / loss,
status / disgrace,
censure / praise,
pleasure / pain
...which one must steer super-clear of to advance spiritually. [+ One should have forsaken family, country, creature comforts etc-- Yee-haw!]
In present day we might add: internet, cellphone, & polytrix
as life-sapping tire-hisses

Magnus Itland said...

Yes, Buddhists are like the experts on attachments, but I've seen Catholic saints worry about them too. And I can kind of begin to see why.