Here's an important point: human intelligence "is either separative or unitive," depending upon "whether it is applied to the Absolute or the contingent," the latter two reducing to -- in the ultimate sense -- "the Real or the illusory" (Schuon).
This is why in the past I have called religion the science of the ultimate subject (or Real), and science the religion of the ultimate object (the contingent or illusory).
It is also why folks like Thomas Aquinas call theology the "queen of the sciences," because it deals with a more fundamental, enduring, and unchanging reality than does mere science; indeed, profane science, in order to even be itself, must be situated in a more unitive "meta-science." Science analyzes, but only because there is first something to be analyzed: the whole is obviously prior to the parts.
This is not in any sense to devalue science. Rather, there is a reason why science developed in the Christian west and no place else: because we situated it in the correct metaphysic (from which it flows).
Speaking of which, yesterday an elliptical thought occurred to me while on the elliptical. For man there are exactly four possibilities: 1) in the world and of the world; 2) of the world but not in it; 3) neither of nor in the world; and 4) in the world but not of the world.
#4 is of course the Christian way: very much in, but definitely not of.
#1 would be the materialist/atheist way, involving a total denial of transcendence: solely of the world and inescapably in it.
#2 would be like Buddhism, at least for the awakened person who is of this absurd world but has found the escape hatch and is liberated from it.
#3 -- neither of nor in -- is the neoplatonist or Gnostic (in the naughty sense) for whom the world is just a big mistake, so get out now! Or rather, eliminate the illusions of "in" and "of," and you're free. Minus you.
The world is surely an illusion but it is not a mistake. We know it is an illusion because otherwise we wouldn't need science. To take an everyday example, it looks like the sun revolves around the earth, but science reveals this to be an illusion. One could obviously cite thousands of similar cases, but the point again is that an illusion is not a mistake, often just a matter of perspective.
Back to our original point of departure: unitive knowledge (to paraphrase Schuon) assimilates while separative knowledge eliminates. This relationship between separation and assimilation forms a continuous, dynamic complementarity. You could even say that it is the deep structure of the metabolism of thinking, or even the metabolism of being.
Gosh. I would go even further and suggest that it reveals something of what goes on inside the Godhead -- in other words, that this complementary relation is an analogue of the eternal Divine Activity.
Otherwise, why go to all the trouble of positing a dynamic Trinity as the source and ground of all reality? If it's just an impenetrable mystery that teaches us nothing fundamental, then who needs it? For my money, Norris Clarke is the most clear and compelling on this subject, e.g., in Person and Being or The One and the Many.
In the former, for example, he writes that the Trinity is "the very inner nature of the Supreme Being itself -- even before its overflow into creation." It "is an ecstatic process... of self-communicating love." The only distinction between Father and Son "is the distinction of two complementary but opposed relations, Giver and Receiver." Surely this means something. We're not supposed to believe it Just Because.
As Clarke alludes to, this self-communicative love subsequently -- in the vertical sense -- "flows over freely in the finite self-communication that is creation." So "no wonder, then, that self-communication is written into the very heart of all things." In short, no wonder the world is such a wonder!
This goes precisely to what was said in the previous post. To quote ourselves,
finitude proclaims infinitude. But the converse is also true (and ontologically prior): infinitude proclaims finitude, via none other than the Logos. Creation, you might say, is the proclamation of finitude (by infinitude).
And only in such a world -- in a world suchly understood -- is science possible. For example, go back to #1 above, of a being who is both in and of the world. This would be a world of pure immanence, devoid of transcendence (as if these two aren't eternal complementarities). Knowledge and personhood would be strictly impossible:
There would be no way for anything else to know that it exists; it would make no difference at all to the rest of reality; practically speaking, it might just as well not be at all -- it would in fact be indistinguishable from non-being.
Do you see why? Each being "would be locked off in total isolation from every other. There would not be a connected universe..."
For any universe is a connected universe, but "where" is this connectedness? It cannot be seen, only assumed. To be clear: no one has ever seen the universe, and no one ever will. Rather, it is a metaphysical assumption, but not just any old assumption. It can only be understood if we are in the cosmos but not of the cosmos. If we were strictly of the cosmos, we could never know it. And if we are fundamentally out of it, then knowledge of it is superfluous and science is a big waste of time.
One could cite many aphorisms, but I'll leave you with these to ponder:
The universe is important if it is appearance, and insignificant if it is reality.
Appearance is not the veil, but the vehicle, of reality.
We are saved from daily tedium only by the impalpable, the invisible, and the ineffable.
Science cannot do more than draw up the inventory of our prison (Dávila).