Yes, not so fast. There is a difference in principle between anything and everything, because the former occurs within the cosmos, whereas the latter presupposes an extra-cosmic view that only God could possess (we do not say "gods," because pagan deities were always understood to be inhabitants of the cosmos, not the radically transcendent creator of it).
Genesis 3 presents a timeless -- AKA eternally true -- cautionary tale about indulging in any Godlike intellectual pretensions. Rule One for would-be thinkers: don't be an irritating Gnosis-all!
Speaking of which, the last page of Johnson's Intellectuals has a good summary of what's wrong with these babeling kleptomaniacs, who can't help themselves from trying to steal fire from the gods, and who don't know their place in the cosmic scheme of things:
One of the principle lessons of our tragic [20th] century, which has seen so many millions of innocent lives sacrificed in schemes to improve the lot of humanity, is -- beware intellectuals.
Note that he doesn't say to beware intelligence, which would constitute an endorsement of stupidity. There is, however, a way for intelligence -- no matter how intelligent -- to go off the rails and transmogrify to evil.
Now, how could intelligence ever become so naughty? Well, this is one of the threads that runs through Voegelin's entire corpus. We'll get to him in a moment, but allow PaJo to finish his point and his book:
Not only should [intellectuals] be kept well away from the levers of power, they should also be objects of particular suspicion when they seek to offer collective advice.
Is it any wonder that the great majority of these boneless brainiacs want us to give up the second amendment? It's our last line of defense against the implementation of their homicidal ideas. And why do they all think alike, anyway? If they're such free thinkers, why are universities the least intellectually diverse places on earth?
intellectuals, far from being highly individualistic and non-conformist people, follow certain regular patterns.... Taken as a group, they are often ultra-conformist within the circles formed by those whose approval they seek and value (ibid.).
Ah ha. This is indeed a key point, because, while they imagine they are fearlessly seeking truth wherever it may lead, they are actually fearfully seeking approval -- and avoiding disapproval -- whatever the cost (paid in the coin of intellectual honesty and integrity).
The same pattern is seen in our mainstream media. How is it that they can, in unison, systematically unsee what is by far the most consequential political scandal in the nation's history? Is it a conspiracy?
I don't think so, any more than fish conspire to avoid dry land. We'll return to this idea as well. Johnson is almost finished. The instinct to spontaneously assemble into an intellectual cirque du jerk (pardon the French)
is what makes them, en masse, so dangerous, for it enables them to create climates of opinion [i.e., the water in which they swim] and prevailing orthodoxies, which themselves often generate irrational and destructive courses of action.
A lone intellectual, like a single madman, can only cause so much damage. But when a swarm of them takes over an institution, then we have a problem, because it causes the institution to become a madhouse.
This is how the university has become the Looniversity Bin, and how the deep state has become a political and judicial insane assoulum (Judge Sullivan, presiding over the Flynn case, is just an Adam Schiff in robes, while the impeachment showed Schiff to be a hanging judge disguised a legislator). What can we do about it?
Above all, we must at all times remember what intellectuals habitually forget: that people matter more than concepts and must come first. The worst of all despotisms is the heartless tyranny of ideas.
Now, we've had our share of intelligent presidents, but only a handful of true intellectuals. Among modern presidents I can think of only two: Woodrow Wilson and Barack Obama, two of the most dangerous and destructive in our history.
By way of transition, I want to switch gears for a moment and touch very briefly on A Very Brief History of Eternity, as it shares some commonality with Voegelin. For one of Voegelin's central points is that the normative condition of mankind is to live in tension with a transcendent reality that can never be reached but must never be forgotten.
I won't presume to speak for Voegelin, but I would say that human beings necessarily live in a dynamic space between now and eternity; indeed, the passage of time occurs within this space, and in a sense, is what time "is."
To put it another way, eternity and the present moment are as two ends of a single transcendent reality to which human beings have unique access. Animals, for example, more or less live in an "eternal now," but have no conception of eternity.
But the human now stretches forth to eternity, thus illuminating a space of history, creativity, progress, etc. And as Eire describes it, "when we lose eternity as a horizon we can end up with totalitarian, materialistic nightmares."
I agree, but would omit the "can," because materialism -- or any other ismolatry -- forecloses the proper human space and seals us in a matrix of soul-dead journalism, authoritarian tenure, and ideological fantasy. Conversely, the "paradoxical conjoining of the eternal with the temporal," writes Eire, is "the very essence" of Christian metaphysics.
The bad news: we're just about out of time. The good news: I invented a new word: episteleology. It means that temporal knowledge occurs -- and can only occur -- because it is in dynamic tension with the transcendent absolute.