Saturday, November 27, 2021

The Rock Bottom Upon Which I Will Build My Post

Expanding upon the previous post, recall that -- for how could you forget? --  IT IS and I AM

We don't want to say "therefore," because each is a spontaneous realization that isn't deduced from or reducible to anything else. This is the Rock Bottom upon which we will build this post.

As mentioned this morning, there is the ocean (of being) and there is the shore (of intelligence and knowledge of being, which is truth). 

Nor is man able to drink the ocean, only drink from the ocean. If the human subject could somehow contain "the whole reservoir of truth," it would suffer a fate worse than Midas, for 

wherever it turned, it could find only itself and its own truth. Just as Midas could not eat anything without turning it to gold, the subject could not receive any truth that it did not already recognize as its own. 

Absolute boredom. Might this be another hint about what goes on behind the door of the Trinity, and why the party there never stops?

Back to the simultaneous recognition of IT and of I, of being and subject:

We need to understand that self-knowledge and the disclosure of the world are not just simultaneous but intrinsically inseparable (emphasis mine).

Again, not I think, therefore I am: "It is not as if the worldly subject began with a kind of solitary self-preoccupation," and after pondering it for awhile,  

realized that it also had the ability to apprehend other truth outside of its ego. Rather, one knows oneself simultaneously with actually being addressed by another's truth.... 

There is no moment when subjectivity monadically and self-sufficiently rests in itself. Rather, subjectivity is a matter of finding oneself always already engaged with the world.

Just wanted to clear that up. 

Okay then, if intelligible being is on the ocean side and we're on the shore, how is progress possible? Good question.

[K]nowledge does indeed make authentic progress, which means that there is such a thing as certitude but that every new step displays the field of truth in ever greater, ever more infinite enlargements.

It's like the ocean of being gets bigger, which of course it doesn't. Rather, 

The more of the truth the subject manages to master, the more the truth overmasters it.

So, it's always high tide, but we learn how to swim:

At the beginning of knowledge is an expectant readiness... Yet insofar as each new truth opens and promises further truth, this readiness does not gradually grow numb or surfeited but, on the contrary, becomes increasingly intense.

Yes, INTENSE!

The more particular truth the subject comes to know, the higher and vaster the firmament of truth as a whole arches above him.

Very much as if the bigger we get the smaller we become, but also vice versa, for the poor in spirit shall inherit the cosmos.

It all reminds me of O, which is to say,

a sphere of absolute identity on which all reality and truth in the world are necessarily based. 

On the Next Day But in Yet Another Post

We made two rather largish points at the conclusion of the previous post: first, that truth is double-sided, and second, that the disclosure of being implies an absolute and a relative aspect. Each of these claims is in need of additional justification, or at least a plausible alibi.

As to the first, truth is always double-sided, for the simple reason that Being is frankly a two-faced beach. 

For to say ocean is to say shore, and here we stand on the latter, casting the pole of intelligence into the sea of being and pulling out something fishy indeed. But here at One Cosmos we throw back the little ones and pan-fry the big ones.     

Regarding the second truth, as we've said so many times and in so many ways, it turns out that I Am and It Is -- Creator and Creativity -- are so intimately related as to be...  relatives. Absolute relatives. 

Let's say you open your eyes and gaze upon the world for the very first time -- no, not as an infant or progressive, but as a fully functioning adult. What do you apprehend? 

First, IT IS! 

And second -- although it may be nearly simultaneous -- I AM!

With God, of course, it's the other way around: I AM!, followed by IT IS! 

Or Abracadabra! -- which is from the Aramaic phrase avra kehdabra, meaning “I will create as I speak." 

However, to say "followed by" is slightly misleading, if it is true that there is no time in the Godhead, but you get the point: in heaven the tense is always present, while for us it stretches forward and back, up and down, inside and out.

Now, come to think of it, our account of God isn't quite accurate, because IT IS! should properly read HE IS! In other words, God engenders the other subject(s), who is in turn "followed" by a relation-in-love -- this latter being not a verb or noun but a third pronoun.

The point is -- and we will no doubt return to this subject as we proceed -- ultimate reality must be thought of in terms of three-subjectivities-in-oneness, even if doing so strains your puny brain. 

And do not think of either three or one in mere quantitative terms but in fundamentally qualitative quantitative terms. God writes straight with a crooked number.

Thinking properly about God requires both a maximum of precision and a generous slackful of wiggle room. This latter is not a loophole or a copout, rather, just an acknowledgement of the limits of.... of limitation. God doesn't have any, you know.

I take that back, since God is of course "limited" by his own nature. If this weren't the case, then we would have no word for God.  

I'm not trying to annoy the reader, rather, it is quite effortless. But we'll also have to take back what we just said, because Who are we to linguistically limit God with our own linguitations? Isn't this crudely anti-semantic? The Jews recognized this early on, thus the Unpronounceable Name. But guess what? 

"Jesus" is actually the Greek form of the Hebrew Yeshua, which in turn was a shortened form of Joshua (Ye hosu'a). Yeshua, a common name at the beginning of the Christian era, means "Yahweh saves" (Marthaler, The Creed). 

But properly speaking, "Yahweh" is just our way of pronouncing the Unpronouncable. So if we want to be quite literal and in context, we would have to say something to the effect that the meaning of the name "Jesus" is that the Great Unprouncable becomes Pronouncable in order for the pronounceable to become the Unpronouncable.

I remember -- must have been 20 years ago -- mentioning Jehovah to a Jewish friend, thinking that I was being culturally sensitive. He responded with words to the effect of, "who is this Jehovah of whom you speak?, and of course, by Jove, he was correct to do so, for Jehovah is a made up Christian term. Prof Wiki:

Jehovah is a Latinization of the Hebrew יְהֹוָה‎ Yəhōwā, one vocalization of the Tetragrammaton יהוה‎ (YHWH), the proper name of the God of Israel in the Hebrew Bible....

The historical vocalization was lost because in Second Temple Judaism, during the 3rd to 2nd centuries BCE, the pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton came to be avoided, being substituted with Adonai ("my Lord"). 

We're just about out of time, so let's just stipulate that Someone whose name is linked to the ocean of being that surpasses language not only became that ocean but then leapt from the ocean to the shore in order to fish for men. Or something like that....

Friday, November 26, 2021

On the Same Day but in Another Post

 I don't want to get too far ahead of myself in the Theo-Logic, but rather, try to post as I'm making my way through it. So many thoughts arise, but just sail by if I don't catch them in flight and reduce them to a post. 

We have often written of the "in between," i.e., the mysterious space between subject and object where it all goes down. This is because subject and object are primordial complements, neither one reducible to the other. Well, Balthasar agrees:

there is an indissoluble polarity between subject and object. Subject and object comprehend each other reciprocally, in the sense that the subject is introduced into the ever vaster world of the object, while the object's appearance opens it to be surveyed and judged from the subject's more comprehensive vantage point.

This means that subject and object, as subject and object, are always in communion with one another -- that world and intellect are two poles of a single dynamic, or inspiraling process. This is not woowoo deepakery. Rather, quite literal, matter-of-fact, and experience-near.

This explains why 

truth begins to unfurl its inexhaustible plenitude -- which only goes on becoming more and more inexhaustible -- in the course of long familiarity with it.

Way back in the previous post we spoke of how ideology darkens the windows and bolts the doors, enclosing one in horizontality. In reality,

truth cannot itself be enclosed within the limits of any definition.... The land of truth has no fixed frontiers of the kind to be found on maps, because its essence and its domain are as boundless as the essence and domain of being itself.

Being, while infinite, is fungible into truth: "truth can only be described as a property of being and knowing." Truth can never exhaust being, but being can never cease from communicating its truth(s). 

And yet, all the truth in the world adds not one whit to being, since being already subsumes anything and everything that Is. It's analogous to God: there's never more God, since God is essentially completeness itself.

As to the nature of being, consider this:

Consciousness implies not only the abstract property of being conscious, but also, with equal immediacy, the reality of being conscious....

Again, this is not a woowoo argument to the effect that "everything is consciousness." Thus,

It is not essential to the concept of truth that all being should be self-conscious, but it is essential that all being should have a relation to some self-consciousness.

This goes back to why reductionism of any kind is such a non-starter, since it always removes the subject from the cosmos, which necessarily removes the objects-in-communion with it. To use a biological analogy, it would be like a world of men with no women, or vice versa; or, it is like a language with no ears to hear it.

We'll end with this:

Now, this two-sided relation in which, on the one hand, the object is captured and enclosed within the subject, while, on the other hand, the subject is initiated into the all-embracing world of the objective disclosure of being, suggests a fundamental point that will be decisive for all our further reflections, namely, that truth is double-sided. 

In other words, the disclosure of being implies an absolute and a relative aspect.

And boy is that important, all the way up to and including God.

... In the Same Life but on Another Level...

Let's begin with a mysterday passage that's worth coming back to, albeit on a different level:

The same basic questions keep coming back, at a new level, as we wind higher around the spiral, or as we drill more deeply into the mysterious abyss of being.

It's called human development, and it never ends, even though it has a telos without which Balthasar's description would lack any sufficient reason. But the description is true, and this truth has implications that lead all the way up to... let's just call it O, so as to not foreclose this fertile space.

Back in another lifetime, a late colleague (Dr. Grotstein) wrote a book called "... But at the Same Time and on Another Level...", ellipses and quotation marks included. I've never actually read it, only lived it. Perhaps I should have a look at it, for reasons of closure. Nah. For now let's just plagiaphrase the title.

The title alludes to the fact that the mind is (obviously) multidimensional, such that we can view most anything from a multitude of perspectives, or what Bion referred to as "vertices." I don't want to get bogged down in psychology, but it's very much like the text of a great novel, which can be approached and interpreted from various angles. Which is the correct one?

Well, if you're a postmodernist, the correct interpretation is that there is no correct interpretation, so let's dispense with that one right away due to its unreflective reductio absurdum.  Such absurdity doesn't necessarily prove its opposite is true, but it's a good start. 

For example, reductive Darwinism is another absurdity, so it goes a long way toward proving the existence of God, but only in negative terms. True, God is the opposite of complete idiocy, but this doesn't provide us with much positive information about him. 

What we really need to do is consider the implications of Darwinism at the same time but on another level... However, we've bored into this rabbit hole in so many posts that it's more than a bit boring. 

Suffice it to say, to the extent that our intellect comprehends natural selection, then natural selection cannot comprehend the intellect; in other words, either we contain it or it contains us. All we ask of reductive biologism is that its devotees be consistent with their own principles and commit intellectual suicide. Don't pretend you can embrace scientism and call yourself an intellectual (in the non-vulgar sense of the term). 

In the course of a long life we're bound to run into a bonafide genius or two. According to the google machine, between .25 and 1.0% of the folks are geniuses -- or one in one to four hundred. I'm inclined to the latter, but that's not the end of it, because there is hardware (genius) and software (the form or discipline in which it is expressed). 

Let me think... I suppose I've only known two genius-level intellects, one of whom was Dr. Grotstein. Unfortunately, he limited himself to the software of psychoanalysis, from which -- as is true of any manmade ideology -- there is no escape once one adopts it. Yes, there are always windows and doors -- thank God, literally -- but ideology blacks out the former and bolts the latter. 

Let's move on. Again, I just want to highlight passages from the Theo-Logic that hit me where it counts. These may or may not provoke additional commentary on my part.

Behind every answer there is a new question, and behind every reassuring certainty there is an expansive new horizon.

Well duh. On the one hand this is obvious, but few people stop to wonder not only why this is so, but why it must be so.  

In other words, the constantly deepening intelligibility of the cosmos tells us a great deal about the cosmos, about man, and about the Creator. 

It's getting late, so for the moment let's just stipulate that a good answer is the gateway to an even better question; and that one -- question or answer -- is no more important than the other. For without answers and questions there is no progress.  

Ever notice that progressives have all the answers? Now you know why they render progress impossible, and devolution inevitable. Barbarism is the opposite of civilization, but that doesn't mean that knowledge of Darrell Brooks, or Barack Obama, or Paul Krugman tells us anything positive about civilization.

This is a short post. You know why? Because last year I published 180 posts, while this year I've so far published only 141. For reasons that escape me, I'd like to surpass last year's tally, which means I will occasionally have to double up. So who knows, maybe another post will appear later today....


Thursday, November 25, 2021

Thanks for the Truth, Sorry about the Deicide

For those of you keeping score at home -- who glance at the sidebar to keep up with the latest grist -- you will have noticed that I'm remilling Balthasar's three-volume Theo-Logic, beginning with... Volume 1. Notes to myself indicate that I first read it on February 27 in the Year of our Balthasar, AKA 2009. 

Long-sophering readers will recall 2009 as the year we plowed through all 16 volumes of Balthasar's unfamous trilogy, which looked at God through the distinct-but-inseparable lenses of the three transcendentals: the Good (Theo-Drama), the True (Theo-Logic), and the Beautiful (The Glory of the Lord).  

Balthasar actually began the series with Beauty, in that hyper-educated modern man is too indoctrinated in various esoterisms of absurdity to appreciate or understand the True. Beauty is more direct than Truth, and can sometimes do an end-run around the crystalized stupidity of the tenured.   

Now, why are we rereading the Theo-Logic? Several reasons, and, more importantly, no reason at all, mainly the latter. As we all know by now, there is no method around here, no rhyme, no reason, and certainly no masterplan.   

There is, however, a Meisterplan, which we unfollow to the unwritten letter. To quote the Meister himself,

--The only way to live is like the rose which lives without a why.

It scarcely matters, because 

--Wherever I AM, there is God.

So, let Bob go and let O: 

--For the intellect to be free, it must become naked and empty and by letting go return to its prime origin.

Okay. How? 

--We become a pure nothing by unknowing knowledge which is emptiness, and solitude, and desert, and darkness, and remaining still.

I have it covered: at the moment I am alone and still in the slackatoreum. While it isn't dark, I do live in the spiritual desert that is California, and I have emptied the melon. So here we are, with no idea where this post is going, let alone why we want to get there.

Back to the Theo-Logic. While we undoubtedly posted about it in 2009, we cannot remumble what we might have mumbled back then. 

Having said that, this is no more relevant than suggesting that while we know we ate a pizza in 2009, we have no specific memories of the meal. It was no doubt tasty, but that's all we can say about it.

Well, it's the same with regard to reading. We do not read for purposes of diversion, or filling our head with information, or discovering Deepak's Secret. In the end, all that matters is finding and assimilating Truth. As with food, it is not eaten for its own sake, but for the sake of Life -- the higher, deeper, and wider Life. Mmmm, delectio divina.

Will you get on with it! 

Right. I just want to review some of the passages that stood out to me yesterday. Twelve years is a long time, and I've changed a great deal since 2009. 

Or, you could say I haven't changed at all, in the sense that I am just more myself than ever: like Bob, only worse. Come to think of it, there's a passage in the book that implicitly goes to just this orthoparadox, i.e., of "changing into oneself":

The same basic questions keep coming back, at a new level, as we wind higher around the spiral, or as we drill more deeply into the mysterious abyss of being.

Drill, baby drill! There's a never-ending spiral around and into the Divine Attractor, such that proximity to God covaries with proximity to ourselves. The Wonder at this Mystery -- which we symbolize (?!) --  

for the genuine thinker, does not decrease but only steadily increases in the course of his research.

Tell me about it. And I'm not even a genuine thinker, just a diligent cosmographer taking dictation from. From Who? Maybe, but I'm only the the whomble scribe. At any rate, this we know:

Behind every answer there is a new question, and behind every reassuring certainty there is an expansive new horizon.

And the bang played on, for truth is symphonic and thensome. 

Physics discloses a four-dimensional cosmos, but metaphysics reveals the most important dimension, which is to say, vertical depth (or height, if you prefer). 

In reality, even physics can't get along without the ladder, which is why we can say, for example, that quantum physics is deeper than Newtonian, which is deeper than Aristotelian physics. Same world, increased depth. 

Indeed, this is the job of man: to sound the depths of the cosmos. After all, if not us, who?

Speaking of the Devil -- who may be complicated but is always shallow -- 

All of the perversions that human freedom can inflict upon being and its qualities always aim at one thing: the annihilation of the depth dimension of being...

There's so much potential insultainment loaded into that brief passage that it could easily engulf this post in glorious flames of mockery and abuse. We will resist the temptation to make this post about the left, and instead join Balthasar in asking

How can divine, infinite truth be translated into creaturely, finite truth?

This is much more problematic than we might realize, as there are so many potential pitfalls. How to reveal the Truth in ways that accommodate our humanness, without it being perverted and even destroyed by the intended recipient?

This paradox is indeed baked into the message, for what did the intended recipients do with the message? They literally murdered it. I don't want to say this tells us all we need to know about man, but I will say that if we don't know this about man, we don't know much.

In short, man is for some reason a logocidal maniac. Or maybe you didn't attend college, or don't watch CNN, or don't read the NY Times. 

What's going on here? Why the murderous hatred of the one thing man is good for? I mean, remove truth from the monkey -- or the sapiens from the Homo -- and what do we have? Man is reduced to a beast who is as nasty, brutish, and short as Brian Stelter.

I don't want to leave you with that disgusting image. Instead, one more comment from Meister Eckhart, who wishes us a happy Slacksgiving from 800 years into the future:   

If the only prayer you say in your entire life is 'Thank You,' that would suffice.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

The Re-Unification Church of Bób

Loose ends.

The very purpose of the mind is to tie these loose ends together, i.e., to seek and to attain unity.  

Come to think of it, that's pretty much the structure of this post my day my life: every day is an effort at unification, synthesis, integration, you name it. 

Every morning I wake up to find my ontological shoes untied. Or, sometimes I just untie them myself for the fun of retying them. Thoughts are laces, and our posts tie the laces together. 

Many of us turn on our computers in the morning and react to the news of the day with a facepalm. But frankly, I love the smell of facepalm in the morning! All the more loose ends to tie up and weave into the cosmic rug.  

Every post has different laces. For example, the previous post attempted to tie together the laces of.... let's see, of cosmic intelligibility, mystery, time, eternity, change, possibility, necessity, fallenness, death, metanoia, redemption, the rhythm of the beating heart, and V.I. Lenin, AKA Vladimir Ilyich Ulynov!   

This is pretty much what I do all day, every day. Particles & wave, wave & particles, and wave back again. Hello! Catabolism and anabolism. Someone's gotta do it. 

It reminds me of that other Bob -- or in the parlance of the 19th century times, the Báb. According to Wiki, this prior Báb 
was a merchant from Shiraz in Qajar Iran who, in 1844 at the age of 25, claimed to be a messenger of God.

We see the obvious parallels, in that our Bob was a merchant from Market Basket in Malibu, California, who, at the age of 25, mysteriously claimed to be a grocery clerk, sent by errant goys, to correct some bull

Were my methods at times unsound? Undoubtedly, and I have acknowledged as much. But was I insane? Yes and no. Let's just say I wanted a mission, and for my sins they gave me one. 

Back to Báb and Bábism. The latter is 

monotheistic religion which professes that there is one incorporeal, unknown, and incomprehensible God who manifests his will in an unending series of theophanies, called Manifestation of God. 

Sounds haramless enough. Tell us more. 

It has no more than a few thousand adherents according to current estimates...

Okay, that's a few thousand more than Bóbism, but the Báb had a 150+ year head start. Who can say how many Bóbis there will be in the year 2155? 

The Báb was eventually executed by firing squad. Nothing changes. F*cking Nazis.

Let us scour the Teachings of the Báb for any other pearls of wisdom or comedy (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teachings_of_the_B%C3%A1b#Summary). 

The Báb taught that the realm of language, as well as all other aspects of phenomenal reality, including natural and cultural objects were symbolic of a deeper spiritual meaning.... In this way, reality is a type of language that consists of words and letters that celebrate the divine revelation in all things.

Shit yeah. No argument there.

Unlike the Bób, the Báb did not blog. Nevertheless, 

The Báb foreshadowed later developments in media, by emphasizing the need for a rapid system of news communication, which would be available for all to access, no matter their wealth or social standing.  

So, he practically invented the internet.  

In his later writings the Báb described the divine or eternal essence to be unknowable, indescribable and inaccessible. 

That's half true. But as mentioned in yesterday's post and reconfirmed in this one, the loose ends of the apophatic God are complemented by their cataphatic reunification in a never-ending spiral. It's how God rolls, all day, every day.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Go North, Young Man!

You get what you pay for, and the following associations are entirely free!, meaning they won't cost you a thing except your time. Yes, but some readers will ask: where do I go to get my time back? 

Sorry, but that's above my praygrade. Only God could redeem your time, but first you have to ask. Oh, and don't forget to say thank you.    

For obvious reasons, I'll never have as much time to read as I want. The less obvious reason is that the more I read, the more there is to read. In other words, one thing leads to anauthor, and that author to seven others. There's no closure, even though the case is closed with regard to the big ticket items.

Regarding the latter, as we've discussed in the past, there is a covert but necessary relationship between the world's intelligibility and its... let's call it mystery

What this means is that the world is both completely understandable and never completely understood. Rather, it is intelligible to intelligence -- forever, or so long as time should continue.

"Forever," of course, is not synonymous with eternity, since the latter is timeless. We can't wrap our minds around the latter, being that we are necessarily timebound. 

Then again, I suspect that, deep down in the beating heart of things, there is some analogous relationship of timelessness <--> time in the divine economy, as systole is to diastole. Can't have one without the other -- or if you do, make sure to have a defibrillator handy.

I can't help thinking -- and this is just me, so take it with a pile of sodium chloride -- that time and timelessness constitute a primordial and irreducible complementarity a la Father and Son. I want to say there is a kind of trinity of the Heart, the Arteries, and the Circulating Blood.

What are the objections to such a heretical kettle of fishy bish bosh? I was about to say it started with the Greeks, who equated time with change, and change with appearances and deception. In order to apprehend the unchanging reality, one had to ascend beyond appearances and know the timeless Platonic forms of things. 

In short, time is seen as a privation of the "fullness" of eternity. 

Eh. I don't buy it. Among other reasons, I say that when the second Person of the Trinity goes to all the trouble of incarnating, he doesn't just take on human nature, but in so doing takes on everything this nature entails. And one of the things it entails is time. Isn't there something about "redeeming the time"? What's that supposed to mean?

Ash and ye shall recite. The time was 1930. The day was Wednesday. The man was T.S. Eliot: Redeem / The time. Redeem / The unread vision in the higher dream / While jeweled unicorns draw by the gilded hearse. 

Now, what's that supposed to mean? It surely means that there is something messed up about time, but that it isn't time's fault. Rather, the fault lies with Man, who has severed time from eternity. He does this way down in Genesis 3, meaning that he never stops doing it. Or at least it constitutes one of those permanent temporaltations herebelow.

So, how is time redeemed? Where do we start? Well, the first thing to realize is that we cannot do it -- that man is powerless to redeem the time, and the more he tries, the more costly it is to Build Back Better. BBB will piss away trillions upon trillions, but far from redeeming us, it will only re-reamus.

But seriously. How? 

Let's begin at the beginning. To say beginning is to say time, since eternity is without beginning or end. Now, what or who is man? Not only does man have a beginning, but the beginning begins with man. 

What I mean by this is that man qua man is the being who is consciously aware of the passage of time and all it implies, not the least of which being its End, AKA the nul de slack of Death. 

Now we've got a problem, and a big one. Animals don't have this problem, since they live beneath time, so to speak; they are infratemporal. Nor do angelic intelligences sweat it, since they are above time and don't even perspire anyway.

So, it's a uniquely human problem. Therefore, if -- hypothetically speaking -- the Ultimate Reality assumes human nature, among the things it assumes is Time (as such) and temporality. This is how -- and the only way how -- time can be redeemed. Again, hypothetically.

As it so happens, yesterday I read a passage that goes to this question. 

Yes? Petey wishes to say that just because God and only God can redeem the time, it doesn't mean we (human beings) have nothing to do with it. 

Rather, precisely because God has done the hefty living, it is up to us to participate in it. God is the necessary reason, i.e., the condition-without-Who, while man is the sufficient reason, the condition-with-who (which sounds ungrammatical, but like V.I. Lenin -- Vladimir Ilyich Ulynov, Donny! -- we're making a deeper point about subject -- who -- and object -- whom). 

For this reason it is said that "with God all things are possible." Possible, not necessary. If they are necessary, then man is irrelevant. We are cut out of the deal. We are pure whom to the one and only Who.

What was the thing I read yesterday? Don't go anywhere. I read half a dozen books at a time, so I have to figure out which one. 

On a preliminary basis, I want to say that time is a kind of prolongation of eternity, but that redemption is what transforms what is otherwise an ever-diminishing line into an open circle, AKA endless spiral. This spiral perpetually closes in on itself without ever reaching its deustination, since God is God and we aren't.

It has something to do with "metanoia," i.e., that primordial turning-around that constitutes conversion. Note that the first convert was Eve, followed by Adam. Except they turned around in the wrong direction. D'oh! The first cultists.

Here's the passage I was looking for -- from a quasi-philosophical and quasi-devotional book by Bishop Sheen called The Life of All Living: only man can sin, and sin is ultimately

the loss of a higher life which is a gift of God, and the domination of the lower life which is that of this world.... [It] implies a turning away from God and a turning to a creature. Its greatest malice is that it is the death of Divine life which is in us.

Leave it to man to crucify his own savior, but there you go.

The point is that man is as it were a metannoying creature who can do a 180º in either direction, ultimately toward Life and Truth or death and falsehood. The choice is yours. But remember: on one side is the degenerate line, which is like an ever-diminishing ray of light until one is enshrouded in total darkness; the other an inspiraling and renewing journey toward Celestial Central. 

We'll end with this passage from the same book:

The continuation of the Incarnation is the union of Christ with every individual human nature in the world.... Christ just as really and truly lives now in His new and mystic body, as He did during His physical life.... The Incarnate did not exhaust himself in the Incarnation (emphasis mine).

Amen.