"The horizon of modernity," suggests Hughes, "was established through the absolutization of immanence," AKA "nontranscendent reality."
We rate this suggestion Entirely Plausible, with the caveat that it is strictly impossible for man to deny transcendence, any more than he could deny, say, language, for to deny it is to affirm it, even if one attempts to deny it with an interpretive dance.
To be perfectly accurate, one can obviously pretend to deny transcendence, but this hardly eliminates it. Seriously. Eight year olds, dude.
The far more interesting and consequential question is, What happens to transcendence when someone denies it? Where does it go? How is it transformed, distorted, and symbolized?
And, more to the point, what happens when a mass political movement is organized around the violent rejection of transcendence, as with Marxism or national socialism or Antifa or BLM?
To ask the question is to answer it. Unless one is on Twitter or Facebook, in which case to ask the question is to be censored by the very fascists one is describing.
Happy Acres Guy asks: Did you notice how quickly Lefty relativism turned into Lefty absolutism? (https://twitter.com/HappyHectares/status/1352975030531973120)
Why, yes. We've noticed it for a long time, for it is one of the permanent possibilities of man: the ineradicable freedom to get it utterly and catastrophically wrong.
Longtime readers -- if they've been paying attention -- already know how and why leftism is a destructive political religion, so let's try to build on that foundation rather than just rebleating ourselves.
Among other things, this religion believes men can be women, that it is possible to run a modern economy on renewable energy, that it is possible to control the world's temperature, that the most effective way to end racial discrimination is make racial colorblindness illegal, and that forcing businesses to overpay employees will increase wealth and employment.
And that was just day one. What other strange gods does the left have in store for us, good and hard?
Ironically, another hallmark of the postmodern left is "incredulity toward metanarratives," but this is just a consequence of the rejection of transcendence, since "meta" and "trans" are synonymous. But here again, the only way to eliminate metanarratives is to...
Come to think of it, I can think of several ways. For example, psychosis is characterized by a terrifying loss of any metanarrative, or alternatively, a rigid and unbending one, e.g., a fixed paranoid delusion. In each case, reality is denied, or rather, the organ through which reality is contacted and interpreted -- the intellect -- is dysfunctional.
But there are nonpsychotic ways to seal oneself in unreality, e.g., indoctrination, ideological deformity, and miseducation. There are also purely utilitarian reasons to render oneself stupid, for it is difficult to get a journalist or professor to see something when his paycheck, his prestige, and his social standing all depend upon not seeing it.
The bottom line is that the Absolute is the bottom -- i.e., the ground -- of intelligible being. It is the first object of the intellect. Always was and always will be, and there's not a damn thing we can do about it. Like it or not, the soul of man is immaterial and immortal.
Only human participation in a dimension of meaning that is nonparticular, nonfinite -- a realm of transcendent meaning -- justifies any metanarratives about humanity (ibid.).
"Nonparticular" and "nonfinite." Or in other words, universal and infinite. The left likes to talk about "unity," but there is and can be only one unity and one ground of unity.
Or is that too complicated? For in the absence of transcendence, you won't have unity, rather, its impossibility. And because it is impossible, it must be violently forced into being. Hence all the censorship, repression, and threats: unity, or else!
Here is another pet point of ours: that symbols of transcendence "tend, in the course of their use and diffusion, to become cut off from the experiences of transcendence that originally engendered them." These symbols can "lose the power to communicate, or to evoke, such experiences and insights."
Seeing through our vernoccular, these symbols become saturated and thereby unfit for the influx of transcendent experience and meaning.
This is a genuine problem, partly because people don't recognize it as one. And it is a more general problem, because our minds are on the one hand narrowly adapted to survival, but ultimately conformed to a reality that vastly transcends mere biology or psychology. Language can become disengaged from transcendent reality, resulting in an enclosed world of concretion and literalism.
You will have noticed that this error characterizes two kinds dysfunctional religiosity, one of which unironically calling itself "a-theism."
Suffice it to say, one must be careful with language, because it can both engender the experience of transcendence and foreclose the experience. Just don't blame transcendent reality for rendering its experience impossible. That was you, not God.