Saturday, November 16, 2019

The Satanic Eucharist : You Are What Eats You

More arresting passages from our reading of Ratzinger, presented with or even without comment if you're lucky:

When the eternal Word assumed human existence at his Incarnation, he also assumed temporality. He drew time into the sphere of eternity. At first it seems as if there can be no connection between the "always" of eternity and the "flowing away" of time.

But now the Eternal One has taken time to himself. In the Son, time co-exists with eternity.... In the Word incarnate, who remains man forever, the presence of eternity with time becomes bodily and concrete.

How is it possible for the infinite to "take on" finitude without obliterating it? How can the container exist within what it contains?

Well, I suppose finitude tried to swallow infinitude in the crucifixion, but fails in the resurrection. For

the historical does not serve the cosmic; no, the cosmic serves the historical. Only in history is the cosmos given its center and goal.

The Incarnation builds a bridge from the now to the forever. The "purpose" the cosmos is to actualize this in history:

The cosmos finds its true meaning in the Firstborn of creation, who has now entered history. From him comes the assurance that the adventure of creation, of a world with its own free existence distinct from God, does not end up in absurdity and tragedy but, throughout all its calamities and upheavals, remains something positive. God's blessing of the seventh day is truly and definitively confirmed.

For all time. And all time:

The centering of all history in Christ is... a new experience of time, in which past, present, and future make contact, because they have been inserted into the presence of the risen Lord.

History has a New Center "from which everything comes and to which everything tends." But recognizing this circular center requires a "new kind of seeing," a delivery "from that closure of the senses which perceives only the externals, the material surface of things, and is blind to the transparency of the spirit, the transparency of the Logos."

Any animal can see things. Only man can see through them.

The modern Problem of Knowledge in a notshall: as in thou shall not reduce reality to the means of knowing it. In another book, Ratzinger writes of the distinction

between ratio and intellectus, between reason in relation to empirical reality and man-made things and that reason which penetrates the deepest levels of being.

Reason reduced to the former (to mere ratio) is literally sick, and becomes sick because it is not and cannot be nourished by what it needs in order to flourish.

"Reason that can no longer recognize anything but itself and what is empirically certain is paralyzed and self-destructive." It is epistemological and even ontological clulesside, eagerly swallowing the satanic eucharist hook, line, and sinker. Genesis 3 all over again.

Nevertheless, the satanic eucharist is the opium of the tenured masses, giving strength to ratio-bound intellectuals. Hey, a man's gotta eat!

It gets worse, for the diabolical doctrine leads directly to progressive practice:

Revolution and utopia -- the nostalgia for a perfect world -- are connected: they are the concrete form of this new political, secularized messianism. The idol of the future devours the present (emphasis mine).

We are what we eat. Or what eats us. You decide. Or deicide.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The Cosmic Liturgy

I want to take a side trip from our sidetrack into Dunning-Kruger because now I'm preoccupied with another book, Volume III of the Collected Works of Joseph Ratzinger, Theology of the Liturgy. I'm 130 pages into this 600 page volume, and if I don't capture the sparks as they fly off the page and into my head -- i.e., blog about them in Real Time -- they'll likely just cool off and fade away.

I'm tempted to just highlight certain passages that banged my gong. I was in an unusual frame of mind while reading it, but I'm not sure if the space I was in made me read it in a different way, or if the material itself vaulted me into the space. Although the writing is "intellectual," like art, it has a kind of primordial power. Of course, the transmission of the power presupposes a receptor (not to mention a power line), which is one of the most compelling proofs of the higher Intellect.

Speaking of which, here is one description of how it might take place: "God wants to speak to every person" such that "his word becomes a light that enlightens every man." That isn't a poetic description, but nor is it literal, since the light of physics is not the Light of God or Intellect.

However, to the extent that it is a metaphor, its purpose is not "lateral," but rather, to deploy a lower reality to illuminate a higher one. Once that is accomplished, then we see that the lower is actually a descent of the higher -- that mere biological sight is a distant echo of Vision as such. For example, God obviously "sees," but not with material eyes. See?

"Neither reason nor faith can operate independently of the other and arrive at its proper destination. Reason and faith are preserved from dangerous pathologies by reciprocal correction and purification." Emphasis mine. Why? Because human intelligence, like any other organ, is ordered to a proper end; and failure to achieve that end is the very definition of pathology.

Which is precisely what renders pathology -- including both psychopathology and pneumapathology -- an objective study, not a matter of mere opinion. To cite one obvious example, relativism in any form is a mind and soul sickness. So too are materialism, scientism, Marxism -- anything that denies the Absolute, and therefore the ground and guarantor of truth. In short, deny intelligence its proper object, and it is ultimately just another form of stupidity.

Now, there is a kind of truth that results from logic or deduction; these are indirect means, just as proving the existence of eyes is not the same as seeing. And some truths -- the most important ones -- are seen directly with eyes not made of flesh. This comes to mind in Ratzinger's description of what occurs during the liturgy, through which "Christ unceasingly becomes contemporary with us, enters into our lives." Is this Presence something that is seen with biological eyes, something that could be photographed?

Schuon mentions somewhere that God (for us) is Truth and Presence. If you really dwell on the meaning and implications of these words, you'll understand what he means. Indeed, a person is someone for whom Presence is present. It's why with God, you're never really alone, even when you've abandoned him, for oneness is always threeness. Aphorisms:

--God is not the object of my reason, nor of my sensibility, but of my being. Therefore,

--God exists for me in the same act in which I exist (that act being I AM).

--God does not reveal with discourses, but by means of experiences. The sacred writer does not transmit a divine discourse; his words express an experience given to him (i.e., the Presence).

--In certain moments of abundance, God overflows into the world like a spring gushing into the peace of midday.

--If we believe in God we should not say, “I believe in God,” but rather, “God believes in me” (again, light from Light).

St. Irenaeus describes the Great Cosmic Circle: "The glory of God is the living man, but the life of man is the vision of God."

This one banged my gong so hard that I've made it a permanent comment above the comment box:

"The cosmos is not a kind of closed building, a stationary container in which history may by chance take place. It is itself movement, from its one beginning to its one end. In a sense, creation is history."

Later he writes that "For Christian thinkers, the circle is seen as the great movement of the cosmos," except that it isn't a closed circle, rather, more like "an upward flying arrow" spiraling toward a target the archer cannot see.

Another bang:

[I]n the Christian view of the world, the many small circles of the lives of individuals are inscribed within the one great circle of history as it moves from exitus to reditus. The small circles carry within themselves the great rhythm of the whole, give it concrete forms that are ever new, and so provide it with the force of movement...

In these circles, the mystery of beginning is repeated again and again, but they are also the scene of the end of time, a final collapse, which may in its own way prepare the ground for a new beginning. The two -- the great circle and the small circles -- are interconnected and interdependent.

Bottom line for today, courtesy of Sr. Dávila:

Everything in history begins before where we think it begins and ends after where we think it ends.

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