The previous post about emergence and anticipatory systems left off with an unanticipated remark about the Incarnation, which in turn touches on the presence of additional dimensions in our cosmos beyond the usual plain vanilla three spatial + one temporal.
Sources confirm the truth of that chance remark. Specifically, later in the day I was reading a book called The Pope Benedict XVI Reader, chapter 13, The Resurrection. I'll cite some of the passages while italicizing the particular words and phrases that slapped my interior mama:
Whether Jesus merely was or whether he also is -- this depends on the Resurrection.
Those italics are actually Benedict's, but go to the very nature of time, because if Jesus is, then either history isn't what we think it is, or else it has become something else, more on which as we proceed. (In fact, the last aphorism at the end of the post touches on how the Was and Is relate in the Now.)
From the perspective of the original witnesses, Benedict asks, "What actually happened?" For
They were confronted with what for them was an entirely new reality, far beyond the limits of their experience.
For this is not merely a resuscitation or reanimation -- like, say, Lazarus, who eventually died just like the restavus will. Rather, this is "utterly unlike anything they had previously known." There is no existing intellectual, religious, or philosophical category or paradigm for what is taking place.
It's starting to sound like a genuine emergence -- or better, a kind of "meta-emergence," the only comparable prior cases of which might include the emergence of the cosmos from nothing, the emergence of life from an inanimate world, and the emergence of an immaterial soul in bipedal primates.
If this were only "a resuscitated corpse, it would ultimately be of no concern to us" -- lucky for Jesus, to be sure, but having no bearing on our own luckless rendezvous with death.
I suppose it would be more like a typical "near-death experience," in which case we'd want to know if Jesus saw the familiar white tunnel with his relatives awaiting him at the other end.
But it's not like that at all, rather, "about breaking out into an entirely new form of life," one "that opens up a new dimension of human existence."
A new life in a new dimension? Yes indeed,
a new possibility of human existence is attained that affects everyone and opens up a future, a new kind of future, for mankind.
This is beginning to sound like a new kind of cosmos, again, analogous to the transition from a nonliving to a living one, or a nonthinking to a thinking one.
Christ's Resurrection is either a universal event, or it is nothing.
Either/or: a new universe or the same old cosmic nothingburger.
Exactly what is going on here? Is this an evolutionary leap into a new kind of species, or is this the inbreaking of a higher dimension into ours, like the sphere passing through the plane? Whatever it is, it is
something that surpasses all experience and yet is utterly real and present.
How can something beyond experience be present? Easy: it's called a "numinous experience," which comes down to an experience of the Noumenon. But this seems to go beyond these prior close encounters with O, to a... how to put it... to a face-to-face encounter with the actual Person-Source of the prior meetings. For the disciples clearly
speak of something new, something unprecedented -- a new dimension of reality that is revealed..., a further dimension, beyond what was previously known.
Even Benedict stammers before the radical novelty of this emergent n-n-new d-d-dimension of r-r-reality. But it sure looks like this is an evolutionary universe and thensome, like we're seeing -- and offered participation in -- a "last and highest 'evolutionary leap,'" which is to say, a "union of the finite with the infinite," or nothing short of "union of man and God."
I just had to get that material out of the cosmic inbox. We'll return to our irregularly unscheduled programming in the next post. Meanwhile, Aphorisms that touch on the subject from various angles:
Faith is not an irrational assent to a proposition; it is a perception of a special order of realities.
Religion is not a set of solutions to known problems, but a new dimension of the universe. The religious man lives among realities that the secular man ignores...
Christ was in history like a point on a line. But his redemptive act is to history as the center is to the circumference (Dávila).