Improbable blogging conditions this morning, and impossible tomorrow, especially given the nature of the subject. I need to think about this one. The Maestro must have SILENCE -- a silence that should resume once the boy officially graduates high school tomorrow and there are no visitors disturbing the peace. You know me:
I'm a quiet living man,
who prefers to spend the morning in the silence of his room,
who likes an atmosphere as restful as
an undiscovered tomb,
A pensive man am I, of philosophical joys,
who likes to meditate, contemplate,
far for humanity's mad inhuman noise,
A quiet living man....
Chapter 22, Time. Clearly, it is one of those fundamental *things*, like being, experience, space, or order, that cannot be thought away, because they are the very basis of there being anything to think about. Try thinking away "experience" and see how far you get.
A few posts back we spoke of how, in the case of a primordial complementarity, one side is nevertheless more fundamental, since it could account for the other side, while the other side could not account for it. Now I'm wondering if it also works the other way around.
In other words, if we find something that seems to be fundamental, it must have its complement without which it cannot be understood. In the case of time, its complement is eternity, and the traditional understanding of eternity is that it is not time everlasting but timelessness.
I frankly don't like either option. Infinite time is obviously absurd, but timelessness is no bargain either. It is literally unthinkable, and I like to think that eternity and thought are compatible -- in other words, that it's a joyous cerebration.
We'll sort through some options later, but first let's see what McGilchrist has to say. He mentions something that reminds me of the early Christian councils that were more about excluding error than defining truth in a perfectly rigid way; or at least they gave some leeway to the latter, even while defining no-go interpretations.
"As in the approach to all deep questions," McGilchrist proposes "at least to see more clearly what it is we now believe that is unlikely to be the case."
What are some of time's no-go zones? Sounds silly, but there's nothing silly about 100 million dead due to Marx's idea of time and history. And his is far from the only one.
How about the Aztec, who needed to slaughter thousands of victims in order to keep time rollin' along -- to feed the gods, keep the sun from dying, and ensure the continued existence of the world, in short, to stay on the right side of history?
McGilchrist also suggests that perhaps we can learn something about time by looking into what happens to it in cases of psychopathology, especially schizophrenia (which seems to be more an RH dysfunction) and depression (more of an LH problem).
This implies that there must be something like Temporal Normality, something McGilchrist nowhere implies, but hey, why not?
If we really want to widen out our discussion, we could always bring in Balthasar's five-volume Theo-Drama, which does indeed posit a kind of normative time -- a dramatic structure of history that comes to us directly from God. (https://www.amazon.com/Theo-Drama-Theological-Dramatic-Theory-Prologomena/dp/0898701856).
Balthasar shows how many of the trends of modern theology (e.g. “event”, “history”, “orthopraxy”, “dialogue”, “political theology”) point to an understanding of human and cosmic reality as a divine drama.
This discussion would take us so far afield that we'd never finish the present opus. Remind me to come back to it.
Now I'm curious. Just a peek.
The aim is to make the individual's short span of life coextensive with the whole span of the life of the world.
So, a person is a temporal fractal of the whole. I like that.
Is time "a cathedral in dramatic form?"
"Something has changed in salvation-time as it flows onward, something that makes it different from pre-Christian time."
And here's an interesting question: "If the Creator gives his creature [temporal] freedom, does he not become dependent on him?"
But we haven't even finished a single page of McGilchrist!