Friday, April 12, 2024

Linking, Verticality, and Symmetry

Because we are so immersed in it, it's hard to say exactly what time is. In this regard it is like the words "experience," "consciousness," or "self," none of which can be defined without presuming their existence. But Thomas is onto something when he suggests that 

The soul is on the horizon of eternity and time, existing below eternity and above time (emphasis mine).

Now we've got something, because we have three terms in which to map things out. We are surely in time, but only partly so, because we can be aware of its flow -- like standing on the bank of a river and watching it go by. Thus we can be aware of past and future, since we are not totally immersed in time. If we were, then we couldn't be aware of it. 

In short, transcendence trumps time, and proceeds all the way up to eternity. Although we partake of transcendence, we are not totally transcendent, otherwise we would be angels. We always have a dry foot in the land of immanence. 

The human person, whatever else it is, is a Link between various terms, for example, between intellect and being, between material and spiritual, or between other subjects. Without this primordial betweenness, we could never be.

This is not natural. Or rather, there is no purely natural -- or immanent -- explanation for such a strange condition. This condition at once "reaches down into matter" while "lifting up matter into the light of consciousness and enabling the material world to return to God in the great circle of being" (Clarke, emphasis mine, because this is the same below and above cited in the first quote).

Above and Below, Up and Down. Is it even possible to think about the human condition in the absence of these terms, or in other words, without positing verticality, whether implicitly or explicitly?

And is it possible to posit Verticality in the absence of the Link referenced above?

Here again, man is the Link between terms, but how? By virtue of what principle?

By virtue of the triune God, of course. For the Godhead consists of irreducible links between the divine persons, like so:

Does this not violate the principle of non-contradiction, since Is and Is Not are claimed to be equally true?

Nah. We have only to partake of Matte Blanco's symmetrical logic in order to see why. Or just use the dream logic of the right cerebral hemisphere. 

Can you back that up?

I can try. Let me flip through Bomford's The Symmetry of God.

Ontology failed to make rational what the doctrine of the Trinity asserted, that there could be absolutely and completely one, and yet be distinctly, also, three. Symmetric logic, however, has no difficulty with this problem whatever.... Symmetric logic makes unities out of things apparently different.

Things like Father and Son, or, for that matter, God and human nature, AKA the Incarnation, not to mention our unity with the latter: "The identification of the believer with Christ may... be seen as effected by symmetric logic."

Perhaps you could define "symmetrical logic"?

Asymmetrical relations are relations that are nonreversible. For example, “Jack reads the newspaper” cannot be reversed to the newspaper reading Jack. In this way, asymmetrical relations are logical relations and underlie everyday logic and common sense. They govern the conscious sphere of the human mind. 
Symmetrical relations, on the other hand, move in both directions simultaneously.... Matte Blanco states that the symmetrical, unconscious realm is the natural state of man and is a massive and infinite presence while the asymmetrical, conscious realm is a small product of it. This is why the principle of symmetry is all-encompassing and can dissolve all logic, leading to the asymmetrical relations perfectly symmetrical....

Matte Blanco gives this mixture of two logics the name bi-logic and points out that our thinking is usually bi-logical, expressing the both types of logic to differing extents (Wiki).

Always both. Here again, I suspect this is why we have right and left cerebral hemispheres that give access to both modes. In short, they are complementary. But denial of half this complementarity results in the Flat Cosmos Society whereby

there is clearly no place for the conception of the human being as living on the frontier of matter and spirit: there is nothing there on the upper side of the border! It has all been leveled out and absorbed down into the material underside (Clarke, emphasis mine).

But how can there be a down without an up? This violates everyday cutandray logic, let alone dreamtime symmetrical logic.

This could veer into any number of directions requiring posts of their own. But this post is apparently done.


julie said...

Symmetrical logic reminds of how negative space and positive space interact. Combined with asymmetrical logic, it also reminds of how a gyroscope works, with a flat plane spinning around an axis. The two together - spinning plane and axis - create a stability that can almost seem to defy gravity, but either alone and without the spin is just a disk or a rod.

julie said...

Daughter has only just gotten interested in Spongebob. Just heard the driving test episode; good example of symmetrical logic:

"Floor it?"

"No! DON'T floor it!"

"OK, floor it!!"

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