Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Did Somebody Hear a Bang?

So, only in human understanding does the cosmos develop to its full potential. It’s not just that self-conscious knowers were one out of the infinite number of possibilities baked into the Big Bang. But nor should we default to the other side, to a deterministic cosmic historicism. To be sure, there are rules -- this isn’t Nam -- but the rules don’t determine the game, they only enable it.

Oh, but it is a game. I wouldn't say say that man’s existence implies that God kidnaps himself within time, but nor do we believe God has no skin in the game of history. Even prior to the Incarnation God dips a toe into the drama of history, since man is created in his image and likeness. 

“It is important to note,” writes De Koninck, “that God does not act on things, but from within.” Why is this important? Before getting to De Koninck’s answer, I would say it is because God is the principle of “within-ness” as such, and that this interiority possesses degrees ranging from matter on down to man on up. 

Which is one reason why we can say that man contains the cosmos and not vice versa. And if you don’t believe me, believe Thomas:
Intellectual natures have a greater affinity to the whole than other beings; for every intellectual being is in a certain manner all things….
Our intellect in understanding is extended to infinity.... In its active nature the intellect is therefore capable of knowing everything that exists.... [T]he ultimate perfection to which the soul can attain is that in it is reflected the whole order of the universe and its causes.
The End. Of man, i.e., our telos. Or in the words of De Koninck, 
Already in man the world is bent in on itself, and in God its extremes touch.
For if Intellect is the first author and mover of the universe,” then its last end “must necessarily be the good of the intellect,” which is to say, truth: “Hence truth must be the last end of the whole universe” (Thomas).

Is it that simple? Yes, but it’s also that complicated, like, say, our brains, which consist of -- looks like it depends on who’s counting, but some say over 100 billion neurons and 1000 trillion connections. Whatever the figure, it’s just a numerical representation of infinitude, since the sun will burn out before anyone could count them.

And yet, this infinite complexity somehow resolves itself into a simple I AM, and it doesn’t get any simpler. Literally -- which is what is meant by saying that both the soul and God are “simple,” not simplistic but indivisible.  

We’re really getting far afield. Let’s refocus. Here’s a good one, and simple:
Creation is essentially a communication.
Boom. And bang. 

Yes, literally, in so far as we can know all about the Big Bang, which is much like being witness to our own birth, only on steroids. In other words, the Big Bang not only happened, it is happening, and we know it. Therefore, it is communicated in and through us. 

Whatever else it is, it is also a message. Which shouldn’t be a surprise, since everything else in existence is also a potential communication just waiting to be discovered by us. But every discovery is a surprise, so forget what I just said about not being surprised. 

I suppose we could say there is only one big Surprise but an infinite number of iterations.

With each little surprise discovery, creation returns to its Principle and the circle is complete; only science is a circle within a larger Circle without which -- obviously -- science would be impossible. But it is possible. Therefore God is necessary, but tomorrow we’ll flesh this out in more detail.

19 comments:

John Venlet said...

I did not hear a bang, but I experience a bang each and every time I look at creation and walk in creation, not to mention the effects of intellectual stimulation which occur in many ways, shape, form, and words, which basically means daily I get banged around, but in a good way.

Gagdad Bob said...

Philosophy begins in wonder, and wonder is permanent openness to surpr!se.

Gagdad Bob said...

It's interesting how everyone was expecting the messiah, but it was still a total surprise.

Gagdad Bob said...

In other words, not the messiah anyone expected.

Gagdad Bob said...

There are still aspects I don't get, but maybe I'm in for some big surprises.

John Venlet said...

...but maybe I'm in for some big surprises.

I'd say so. Referencing Isaiah 64:4, I Corinthians 2:9 says so too:

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.

julie said...

This post puts me in mind of those images of what some angels (as described in the Bible) might have looked like. Wheels within wheels, spinning, bearing witness, veiling and revealing. If man is in the image of God, perhaps some angels are in the image of the cosmos.

Anonymous said...

The Cone of Shame?

Gagdad Bob said...

Paul Desmond:

Bossa Nova feature by a jazzman who can easily listen to. However, it is undeniable that the gym hall itself is a sober (compliment) quiet type, or there are places in Latinos that can't get through. Paul Desmond has that light alto alive and well. It will be played in the background music at the time of the meal... music that will gently snuggle up whenever you listen.

What the hell have you heard for decades? In addition, because of illness, I did not hear music once a year, but finally became able to listen to “jazz,” “off-course” and “Okamura Takako,” so even myself well understand. It is not, but anyway, it is a “healing” that is fashionable now. It is one (dissipated) goods that can be sincerely recommended to those who seek it or those who do not.

There was someone who said he was a swan that scatter under the water, but there was a tremendous effort and practice. A moderately latin that doesn't come to your ears as much as Posanova. I've listened to it many times, but it's really good. It will be healed.

julie said...

I think this one might be my favorite so far, the way it escalates so quickly from "music that will gently snuggle up" to "What the hell have you heard for decades?"

It's like one of those inexplicable Japanese commercials where someone is just getting all comfortable and relaxed, when random guy in a unitard comes leaping into the room (probably not through a door), shouting and banging on one of those hand drums, demanding that the victim eat something or start dancing.

julie said...

For the record, I didn't have any specific commercial in mind, but the first one in that video pretty much sums them up.

Gagdad Bob said...

I'm thinking that the "swan that scatter under the water" might be like the duck that looks calm on surface but is paddling like crazy underneath.

Gagdad Bob said...

Because Desmond has a very cool and detached style, but it takes a lot of effort to sound so cool and detached.

julie said...

Yes, definitely. This would be good music for painting.

Anonymous said...

Those who mine deep in order to know the truth of the bigger picture rather than just believe it secondhand get to realize that it's a taboo topic for the intellect when the pain sensation kicks in, in the reptilian brain with associated distress. The mental cold shower is definitely needed, but not for us the once removed.

Gagdad Bob said...

No doubt made more sense in the original Japanese.

Gagdad Bob said...

Miles Davis:

I listened to CD. The rigors receded, and it warmed my heart when I listened to it, probably because it was a time when I wanted to sing songs obediently. The infinitely beautiful Miles trumpet. In his long career, he penetrates all the time at 100% tense and can't publish an album. No man can do such a thing. In classical terms, Raksaint Beethoven could not do either. There is some time to relax, which also stores the next explosive power. It reminded me of the length of time until my own distant past.

Van Harvey said...

" Which is one reason why we can say that man contains the cosmos and not vice versa. And if you don’t believe me, believe Thomas:
Intellectual natures have a greater affinity to the whole than other beings; for every intellectual being is in a certain manner all things…."

Wo... I was literally (literally) just reading that 20 min ago. And phantasms. Thomas was so far ahead of the information age, if the know-it-alls who wrote of the scholastics, would've just read them first, we could've had computer programming ages ago. But... probably for the best.

Van Harvey said...

*of* -> off. Argh.