The entire mental life of man consists in gradually filling in this at first conceptually empty and indeterminate but limitless horizon of being with increasingly determinate conceptual comprehension, as we step by step come to know one part of this totality after another.
The "conceptually empty and indeterminate but limitless horizon of being" is none other than O; while the endlessly flowing knowledge thereof is (k). Our intellectual life assumes the structure of O --> (k).
Of course, we can always turn that around and adopt a (k) --> O approach; this is acceptable so long as we don't go too far. For it is possible -- or maybe even likely -- to superimpose (k) over O, with the result that we are no longer in touch with reality, but only our little theory about it.
If and when a particular (k) --> O becomes rigid and static, this is precisely the point at which the idea becomes ideology, science becomes scientism, and philosophy becomes philodoxy. You could say Socrates is killed all over again. Scott Adams claims President Trump is the most successful stand-up comedian of all time. He's certainly the most successful today, but we'll have to wait another 2400 years to find out if we're still reading his wisecracks, as we are with Socrates:
I am only too conscious that I have no claim to wisdom, great or small. So what can he [the O-racle] mean by asserting that I am the wisest man in the world?
....[B]y dog, gentlemen -- for I must be frank with you -- my honest impression was this. It seemed to me, as I pursued my investigation, that those men with the greatest reputations for being wise, were almost entirely deficient, while others who were supposed to be their inferiors were much better qualified in practical intelligence.
To paraphrase the immortal gagfly, "it seems that I am wiser than our so-called elites -- our media-tenure complex -- to this small extent, that at least I don't freaking pretend to know what I don't know, or to presume expertise in one subject just because I know a little about another. I'm not Fredo Cuomo, let alone Paul Krugman."
So, (k) --> O is fine, so long as (k) is used to probe and explore O, not to foreclose it. The same applies to religion, by the way. Don't light a match to try to illuminate the sun!
Speaking of which, just as the sun exerts a powerful gravitational pull on us, so too does O. You could even say that O is the sun, or central star, of our intellectual and spiritual life; specifically, it attracts via love, truth, beauty, and unity.
Angelus Silesius: The abyss in me calls out to the abyss in God. Tell me, which is deeper?
Correct: the latter. Nevertheless, our little earth does indeed exert a gravitational attraction on the sun. Does the sun feel it? Does God hear our prayers?
We'll come back to that question in a subsequent post. For now, let's just say that the Divine Attractor
gives full intelligibility to the horizon of being itself, as its unifying center and source, and also confers full and magnificent intelligibility on the natural dynamism of my mind and the whole intellectual life arising out of it.
Yup. We are oriented to this "ultimate Fullness," to "the ultimate Whereunto of [our] whole intellectual life":
This at once launches us in a new direction, no longer along merely horizontal lines at the same level of things, but in a vertical ascent toward qualitatively ever-higher and richer realities.
Yesireebob, we "suddenly become aware in a kind of epiphany of self-discovery precisely that its very nature is to be an inexhaustible abyss that can comprehend and leap beyond any finite or series of finites..."
This goes to what we symbolize (¶), which is drawn and
magnetized toward an actually existing, totally fulfilling goal, which confers upon it total and magnificent meaningfulness and opens before it a destiny filled with inexhaustible light and hope.
You could say that "Man is an embodied affirmation of the Infinite," which goes to the reality of Incarnation and all it implies. But for now we'll leave off with this:
If I accept and listen to this radical innate pull of my nature as intellectual being, if I accept this nature gratefully and humbly as a gift, I will affirm with conviction the existence of the ultimate Fullness and Center of all being, the lodestar that draws my intelligence ever onward.
Amen. For a child's job.