But what about the mind? What is its purpose? If we adopt a Darwinian approach and treat it like any other organ, then its purpose is to survive. But does anyone short of a psychopath actually regard his mind in this manner, as a survival machine?
For Thomas, a being "is perfect in the measure in which it reaches up to its origin." Ah, but where is the origin? For the Darwinian -- or any other materialist -- it is necessarily below. But where's the perfection in that? In fact, that is the elimination of progress altogether.
It reminds me of the Freudian idea that the purpose of an instinct is to discharge tension. The infant, for example, doesn't love his mother; rather, he only cares about the elimination of tension caused by being hungry or cold or frightened or whatever. In this view, the human links between mother and infant are eliminated, and the person is reduced to a hedonistic atom instead of a trinitarian community of love.
But the origin is not, and cannot be, below. Rather, it is above. Note that both perspectives are vertical in nature. It's just that the false view turns on itself and eliminates verticality. It is literally a case of using transcendence to deny transcendence, which is obviously a contradiction, a form of the old all-Cretans-are-liars gag, i.e., "all verticality is horizontal."
For Thomas, "The highest perfection of human life consists in the mind of man being open to God." Is this not axiomatic? Obviously the mind is situated in a vertical space, or between O and Ø. Equally evident is the fact that we can move closer to or more distant from O.
Thus, in the ultimate sense, the object of life is conformity to O. The only alternative is conformity to Ø, which is a kind of cosmic suicide. Not only does it deny the purpose of life, it denies -- again, necessarily -- purposes altogether.
In reality, "Every rational being knows God implicitly in every act of knowledge." Boom. In the absence of God, neither reason nor knowledge would be conceivable, let alone achievable.
Some atheists are honest about this, but not many. In truth, it's God or anarchy. The an-arche is literal, in that there is no order: no beginning, no origin, no source, no ground, no basis for action, no first principles of knowledge -- and each of these is a reflection of the same First Principle.
Instead of regarding the cosmos as a tree with its roots aloft and branches down below, the materialist drives his roots deep into matter. Which of course turns him into the sap.
"Nothing is knowable except through its likeness to the first truth." No doubt true, but what is the first truth that all truths resemble?
Hmm. I would have to say Trinity, which is the last and therefore first truth. I may be wrong about this, but it is as if the structure of Trinity is Subject, Object, and Intelligibility. It is a dynamic spiral in with the Incarnation allows us to participate. The Son is the real-ization of Being, and Being radiates (or glori-fies) the implicit Intelligibility of the Father.
"The natural desire for knowledge cannot be satisfied in us until we know the first cause." Really, this goes triple for any scientific discipline. It's just that each discipline (except theology and philosophy) arbitrarily stops short of the first cause.
YOU MUST HAVE A FIRST CAUSE, whether or not you call it God. But if it is not God, then you are elevating something less than God to godhood. An atheist is just someone who confers godlike qualities on matter.
"God, however, is the first cause. Hence the last end of the creature endowed with a spiritual intellect is to see God in his essence." Alpha and Omega. You can't have one without the other. The only alternative is a static and closed circle, or an absurcular tautology. If you find yourself in one, you need to get out more often. Windows and doors are everywhere, but no one can force you to take the look or leap of faith.
Returning to the vertical space between O and Ø, we have termed the former the Great Attractor. We could never even know about it unless we were lured in its direction. Conversely, we are not lured by Ø. Rather, the operative word there would be "seduced" or "hypnotized" or "ensnared."
"Liberation" -- the truth that sets one free -- involves freeing oneself from these lower vertical snares. You are not so much in need of information as dehypnosis. In the hypnotic state you can't understand the information anyway.
Lately I've been catching rats in the backyard. It's amazing how effective peanut butter is in luring them to the rattrap. The other morning I went to check out the trap, and the peanut butter was missing, even though the trap had sprung. Lucky rat! Or clever.
This strikes me as a useful analogy to the lures that surround us. The clever ones are able to snatch the peanut butter, and yet, keep on thinking. They are like zombies who are psychically dead but alive, AKA the tenured, the fake news media, and the plague spreading Democ-rats more generally...