Thursday, August 02, 2018

Losing Our Religion and Finding Our Antichrist

I want to go back to the question of exactly -- exactly! -- where we are. In order to answer the question, we have to posit an immaterial space and an atemporal time. This is because there can be no merely scientific answer to the question. To be sure, science can answer the question in a multitude of ways, but any answer it furnishes will only satisfy the incurious, the credulous, the tenured.

The best science can do is to say that we exist in relation to a primordial event that occurred 13.7 billions years ago, AKA the Big Bang. For science, this must be the absolute, the origin, the center, the source of all existence.

But it's really just a vastly diminished placeholder for God. It is unthinkingly given all the attributes of God, in that from it springs everything from life to mind to truth, beauty, love -- the whole existentialada.

I can't even get this fable past my son. Or perhaps I should say "especially" my son, because a child's mind will not be as easily pacified by such totally implausible answers.

For example, if the truth of the Big Bang is relative to the Big Bang, then it can't really be true. Rather, if it is true, then it somehow transcends the Big Bang, since truth is not a material thing. The Big Bang is supposed to be our ultimate container. If so, it cannot be contained by anything else. And yet, we contain it in our abstract conception of it. As the old gag goes, the soul is not in the cosmos, but vice versa. It's how knowledge is possible.

No, there is can be no purely material explanation for man. Yes, we are surely relative to something absolute, but it can't be the Big Bang. It can't be the laws of physics, or natural selection, or, for that matter, race, class, gender, or any other political pseudo-absolute.

In his Book of Absolutes, Gairdener writes of how

citizens of the Western world have been uncritically subjected in the media, the public square, and the classroom to the disturbing idea that there is no permanent truth in human life or in the material world and that the meaning of something can therefore be found only relative to something else. For most of us, this has become the only indisputable truth of modern times, and we announce it from a higher moral ground as a badge of our open-mindedness.

Even though this must be the last word in closed-mindedness. It is the ultimate foreclosure, since it forecloses the Ultimate. "Ironically" -- I would say "inevitably" -- "relativism has become our only absolute." But "absolute relativity" is strictly impossible; it simply cannot be. It is a self-negating contradiction in terms.

According to the perennial philosophy -- or my version of it, anyway -- a thing only exists to the extent that it participates in Being. Every existent has a thatness and a whatness, the former going to substance, the latter to essence. As mentioned the other day, there are things that have essence but no existence, say, a unicorn, or a successful socialist country. Just as to exist is to partake of being, I would say that to be relative is to partake of absoluteness.

Again, we have to imagine another type of spacetime that is actually much more fundamental than the spacetime of mere physics. Indeed, I would say that the latter is a kind of shadow or echo of the former -- which is one reason why it is so silly to maintain that time only begins with the Big Bang.

As existence is rooted in being, time is rooted in the atemporal -- which is not timelessness per se, but a different order of time. There is still time in heaven, but it is more analogous to dream time; it is a more fulsome and multifarious time, the "hypertime" from which time is a declension. Herebelow, time cannot give without taking away. In the next (vertically adjacent) world, it only gives, since there can be no privation in God.

I think this goes to the question of "paradise" and of the fall and exile therefrom. Apparently there was -- is -- no privation in Eden. Rather, privation results from a kind of descent. Obviously this descent is not in physical space, but it is nevertheless a kind of vertical plunge. But how? From what? Into what? And can we stop it? Or is resistance to the resistance futile?

This descent must somehow be "away from" the source, the real Absolute. Now, man is always condemned to transcendence, which is another way of saying he is vertically free. Problem is, he is repeatedly seduced by what amounts to a transcendence from below (the sssnake being a perfectly adequate sssymbol of horizontality and below-ness).

Call it sss-sin if you like, but this is a much more systematic plunge than just this or that naughty choice. Leftism, with its iconoclastic destruction of standards and absolutes, is a perpetual transcendence from below, which is why yesterday's liberal is today's fascist.

Secularism in all its forms is an attempt at liberation and wholeness from below. Which of course is impossible. It can never be more than a pseudo-compensation on a lower plane for the loss of the higher. Schuon describes the situation:

Once Heaven was closed and man in effect installed in God's place, the objective measures of things were lost, virtually or actually; they have been replaced by subjective measures, purely human and conjectural pseudo-measures, and thus man has become involved in a movement that cannot be halted, since in the absence of celestial and stable measures there is no longer any reason for it to be halted, so that in the end a stage is reached at which human measures are replaced by infra-human measures until the very idea of truth is abolished.

Aaaand here we are. As mentioned a few posts back, the plague of "fake news" is just a symptom of a much more systematic fakery. For you can't really eliminate God; rather, you just replace him with a fake, and the most destructive faker of all is man. Don't believe me. Believe Dávila:

Not only is humanity the only totally false god, but The Antichrist is probably Man.

So, He who does not believe in God can at least have the decency of not believing in himself.

5 comments:

Gagdad Bob said...

I want to reiterate that Slouching Toward Gomorrah is the best book I've ever read on modern liberalism. I can scarcely get through a paragraph without scribbling copious notes to myself. It's extremely triggering. In a good way.

Eddie Marcia said...

Regulars must all be on vacation. Those of us who make up the dark matter part of the audience are tuning in, as always.

Van Harvey said...

Gagdad said "... Slouching Toward Gomorrah is the best book I've ever read on modern liberalism..."

I've had that sitting on my 'to be launched' shelf for awhile... I'll have to boost it up in the order.

Gagdad Bob said...

Very cheap for used copies. I'm into Part II now, and it's starting to lurch into Get off my lawn! territory. Still, Part I was worth the price of admission...

Spirit Ed McMahon said...

Hiyoooooooooooooo!