Friday, March 24, 2023

And God Considered Everything He Did, And Indeed It Was... Not Inappropriate

Apparently, most people aren't motivated by intelligence, even the intelligent. This isn't difficult to prove, so I won't bother. If you can read this, then you have only to supplement your intelligence with a bit of rudimentary self-awareness. 

For example, the seven deadlies afflict both idiot and non-idiot alike. Indeed, if intelligence alone were the ultimate solution to anything, then history would be the story of paradise. Instead, it's the story of intelligent primates just flinging poo. On a good day.

But if it were only the story of intelligent primates, then the anthroposphere would be no more gruesome than the biosphere. Nature is simultaneously cruel and innocent. But man is cruel and guilty guilty guilty. Mea maxima culpa, anda youa too!

The question for God is how to reach these people. Meditation? LOL. Education? LOL out loud. A lot of rules? Yes, and the OT is a chronicle of how rules are made to be broken. 

Which is not to single out Jews. The whole Judeo-Christian narrative is a story of man's endless disobedience to God, culminating in outright deicide. They say when you strike at the king, you'd better not miss. Well, this was a direct hit.

But unsuccessful. Now what?

These are all preluminary halfbakeds while waiting for the steaming b. to work its thing on the adrenals. But there may be the seed of a post in there, which is to say, what would you do if you were God? What would you do? And what would you do?  

Yesterday I was reading a book about the Summa, and it points out that Thomas never asks these questions. Rather, for him it's a matter of what God did do. We can inquire into why he may have done it the way he did, but bestwecando is say it was "fitting," or appropriate. Or at least not inappropriate. 

Can we do better than Thomas?

Careful there, Bob. Pride goeth, and all that. Not to mention presumption, arrogance, grandiosity, pomposity, megalomania, hubris, nar-

I get it! 

Narcissism, egomania, chutz-

Okay, okay. You sound like my old psychoanalyst. 

Now, this whole business of fittingness. Jews, for example, would say the Incarnation is pretty much the last word in unfitting and even anti-fittingness. Not kosher. Muslims would say the same, whereas a Hindu might say Cool! The more the merrier.  

What does Thomas mean by "appropriateness"?

He simply wants to bring to the fore the connections that bind together the truths that we do hold and to show how all of this is explained as coming from God.

But he has a larger scheme in mind, since the Incarnation is a sort of fractal of the Great Cosmic Circle I'm always going on about:

This, ultimately, is the meaning of the overall schema of "going out from" and "returning to." 

So, the circle of the Incarnation is situated in the Circle as such. And Aquinas divides the circle of Christ's life into four, beginning with the "entrance" into the world, necessarily -- or at least appropriately --  commencing back with the Immaculate Conception and then Annunciation and ending with Christ's baptism.

Next is "the unfolding of Christ's life," followed by "his leaving the world, which includes his passion"; and "Lastly, his exaltation," which is to say, resurrection, ascension, and the rest of the ongrowing story (especially our "ascending" participation in the sacraments). 

And again, this is very much like a fractal of the whole existentialada -- or like a Summa within the Summa:

This schema is that of the Summa as a whole; only the vocabulary changes slightly. The path followed by Jesus is in fact that of all creation and is, therefore, the path that we must take to be with him in paradise.

The other day we spoke of the Trinity as a circular perichoresis. For us it is situated vertically "above," but in itself it is "horizontal," in that the Father is not "higher" than the Son. 

And the Incarnation-Resurrection-Exaltation schema is simply a vertical descent and re-ascent of this primordial pattern, except that we get to hang on to Christ's very long coattails and zoom up with him.


Well, if Ultimate Reality is what we think it is, then it is pretty darn appropriate, and certainly not inappropriate, looking at it from every angle. If God becomes man that man might become God, this rides piggyback on "Father engenders Son that the Son might return to the Father via the Spirit," or something.

I guess that's enough for today.


julie said...

Nature is simultaneously cruel and innocent.

Indeed; for every cute video of, say, an apex predator making cuddly friends with a dog or a cute bunny or whatever, there are probably at least a hundred incidents where a similar dynamic ended up with the cute critter in the predator's belly.

julie said...

But there may be the seed of a post in there, which is to say, what would you do if you were God?

Personally, I would hope that if I were God, I wouldn't do anything differently. But then, I tend not to be a fan of micromanagement. I wonder sometimes, if someone had a wish, and they decided to wish that the world would be exactly as God wants it to be, would it be a surprise if nothing much seemed to change?