In rereading the post, the following passage caught my attention: "Rather, I can only provide some general outlines and directions, but I hope to begin fleshing things out on Monday. Anyway, don't jump to any conclusions just yet. It will all make sense in the end."
First of all: Napoleon, like anyone can even know that.
But... I do know it, at least in a kinda sorta way. I mean, I don't know it like I know the sun is shining outside, but I have this intuition that a number of diverse strands will somehow come together and make sense.
So, it's not yet knowledge. Nor is it foreknowledge, because it's not like a mathematical equation, which, given the variables, has only one solution. You know the feeling. Call it... faith.
Faith is always a kind of unKnowing, because it's not just blind stupidity or flat ignorance, but an irreplaceable mode in the search for meaning, guided -- or lured -- by an invisible gradient of deepening coherence. Faith points and we follow -- it's analogous to our natural compass that points us toward foodsexgrog, but on a higher plane. It's a supernatural compass.
The world is full of “particulars,” of loose ends and bits of disconnected information. The deeper philosophy will be the one that connects the most fragments into a unified whole. Therefore, reality is both “present” and hidden from us, depending on our skill in weaving our own psychopneumatic area rug and pulling the cosmic womb together.
But this goes to what one commenter said yesterday vis-a-vis the differences between present, past, and future. These three are so different that it is difficult to see how they relate to the same word, time.
For the past is fully real (or realized), the present is the space of possibility, and the future hasn't happened at all, so it is not "real" in the same way as the first two.
Anyway, you might say that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unSeen. Thus, it is both substance and evidence, but not a physical substance and not empirical or (merely) rational evidence.
This got me to thinking: faith is said to be such a commendable virtue, I wonder if there is something analogous with God?
Again, I go back to the principle that man is in the image of the Absolute, so if this modality is so critical to our existence, why wouldn't it also be present in God, albeit in some analogous fashion? (Or, more properly, our faith would have to be an analogue of God's faith.)
So, is there any evidence that God has faith? Or is there some kind of reciprocity going on, whereby we have faith in God and God has faith in us?
You biblical scholars out there will be better at this than I am, but my first impulse was to check out my concordance in search of God's faith, and there it was, all over the place. For example,
Even with the Holy One who is faithful (Hos 11:12).
But as God is faithful, our word to you was not Yes and No (2 Cor 1:18).
He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it (2 Thes 23:24).
... for He who promised is faithful (Heb 10:23)
He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 Jn 1:9).
So, it's almost as if we are called upon to have faith in God's faith in us. If God's faith is analogous to ours, I suppose it would mean he "hopes" we do the right thing, just as I hope this series of posts will make sense.
In both cases, the faith is not just "passive"; or rather, it is passive in the sense of opening up an unsaturated space of freedom and possibility in the now, but active in the sense of movement toward the source of our faith, which in turn is the "vector of coherence," so to speak, or the density and interconnectivity of wholeness. Our faith is the shadow cast back and down by the light of this wholeness.
This again touches on the issue of God's omniscience, and whether it is possible to have the same sort of omniscience vis-a-vis the past, present, and future.
It seems to me that omniscience of the past is not especially problematic, because it consists only of "what happened." And knowledge of the present would flow from God's interior prehension of the whole -- or in other words, there would be no coherent whole, no cosmos at all, in the absence of God.
But what of the future? When God "prophesizes," I wonder if it is, in a way, analogous to my "prophecy" that this series of posts will somehow "all make sense in the end." Thus, it wouldn't so much mean This is going to happen, and I know exactly how, but rather, Don't worry. This is gonna happen, even if the particulars aren't all worked out yet.
Thus, this would allow for genuine surprisal in history, and God's ongoing "adjustment" to it, so to speak, to bring about the "ordained" outcome. In other words, there are many roads, none of which were built in a day, all leading to home.
Well, that's about it for today. Still no time to get into the unseen substance of what I was hoping for.