Alternatively, the beyond-history would have to enter history and disclose its own meaning, direction, and telos. Supposing this occurred, we might even be able to demark history with, say, "BCE" (Before the Centration Event) and "AD" (Annus Diametros).
Hold that silly thought for a moment. In Hope and History, Pieper discusses how "theology expands the scope of empirically accessible history into a realm of trans-empirical reality" and "testifies to the conviction that the history we can experience derives its meaning... from being anchored in a more comprehensive, universal structure..."
Time could never be "complete" from within itself. In terms of pure temporality, one moment is no different from any other, and they just keep coming. The second hand on your clock knows nothing of qualities, just identical units of space.
Like history, time could only be complete in reference to something beyond time, and this something would have to be qualitative (I would say personal, but we'll leave that for another post). And again, it could also be complete if the transtemporal Beyond were to somehow pay us a timely visit.
This reminds me of the theatrical convention of breaking the fourth wall, when the actor steps out of the play or film and directly addresses the audience in a "metatheatrical" manner.
Analogously, what if the playwright could break the fifth wall (or ceiling rather, i.e., time) and enter his own play? Is there a name for such a meta-metatheatrical occurrence? Besides incarnation?
Note that we're not talking about the play simply submitting to the playwright, because this happens anyway; rather, in this case, the playwright submits to his own play -- i.e., the creator becomes subject to his own creation, even while remaining wholly playwright.
In our cosmos, I suppose a prophet is someone who breaks the fourth wall in a big way, whereas the Incarnation breaks the fifth wall in a final way, such that it stays broken once and For All.
Now, if the fourth and fifth walls cannot in principle be broken, then this has certain dire implications, for I don't see how such elementary human realities as freedom, science, or creativity would be possible. Put another way, if human beings can grasp even the most trivial truth, we have broken the fourth wall of the cosmos. We are prophets with a message to deliver.
In the past I have said something to the effect that either natural selection explains man, or man explains natural selection; and if the latter, then natural selection doesn't explain man. Why? Because, in effect, man has broken the fourth wall of natural selection. If natural selection is true, then one of its players can't leap off the stage and begin telling the monkeys where they came from!
Pieper writes that "human existence takes place wholly and utterly within the force field of an infinite, trans-historical, and 'creative' reality," such that "what can be experienced of the here-and-now could never be identical with the totality of existence." Rather, again, "the end, and also even the beginning, of human history as a whole and of individual biography, must necessarily remain beyond our empirical grasp."
Nevertheless, we do -- all of us -- receive bulletins from the eschaton, or we couldn't be human. In other words, a human is human because he lives downstream from his own telos, and the discovery of this vertical stream is the event of human awakening. I know, I know, all of this no doubt sounds a bit woo woo, but I mean it literally: man is a longing for what surpasses man, and that's just the way it is:
Man is not a mundane object to be examined and grasped within the confines of a concept; rather, he is a process in which a center of mystery attempts to illuminate itself reflexively....
[M]an as such is constituted by a relation to infinity, a transcendental dimension within his very existence and without which he could not properly deserve the name of "man."
He is man, in other words, by virtue of the presence within his experiential field of the divine pole that draws him, and by drawing him -- insofar as it does so effectively -- constitutes him as the being that tends toward the divine -- toward the light of truth, toward beauty, toward love, toward all possible perfection of being (Webb).
Anyone living on that side is on is the right side of history. And on our side.