Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Prequel to a Principle of Everything

Just some preliminary sketches of our Principle of Everything. Literally and figuratively, although most of what follows was above Gemini's praygrade, too abstract to generate many suitable sketches.

Why are there different things instead of an indistinct soup of being?

Difference in God is the origin of the creation from God, and the difference that is within creation. All of this is grounded in Trinitarian difference, in the difference that is eternally present in God as threefold (Davison).

Oh. What about our participation in God?

The creature's participation in God is grounded in God's own participation in himself: it is a likeness of the intra-divine participation. Creation's life and being are a participation in God's eternal participation, a share in his own eternal sharing. 

Oh. What about causation? If God is the first cause, why are there always four?

Well, God is not the material cause, rather, the cause of matter; and Davison sees the Father as correlative to origin and therefore efficient causation (characterized by the preposition "from"); the Son to formal causation ("through" the intelligible Word); and the Holy Spirit to final causation, or perfection ("in").

Hence all the all-powerful movement from the Origin through the all-knowing Wisdom of Logos-form, to the finality of Perfection, AKA the eternal spiral of Alpha to Omega. 

The Principle of Creation itself is nothing other than a reflection or refraction -- a fractal? -- from

a yet more primordial giving and receiving from within God.... the gift and reception that is creation is an image of eternal giving and receiving in God. 

Oh. Could you say a little more? 

The overflow of being, to and as creation, which we call the creature's participation in God, has its archetype in an eternal "overflow" within God's very self.

Oh. Which also accounts for our involvement with Truth, Beauty, and transcendence in general:

[T]he inherently relational nature of both nature and culture -- what we might call "intra-finite participation," or the participation of creatures in one another -- is a further reflection of divine interrelation and procession. 

Or what we call the interiority and intersubjectivity of things and of everything, i.e., the intelligibility-to-intellect of being itself. 

As we have suspected all along, God doesn't have to create this particular creation, but he can't not create, for

in creating, God is doing externally and in an unnecessitated register, what he is internally, and necessarily, in his very being.

Oh. John, for example, "provides ample material" -- a total metaphysic, as it were -- "for saying that human participation in God participates in the Son's participation in the Father." 

Or in other words, "The incarnate human life of Jesus reveals the relationship of the eternal Son to the Father," for "I am in the Father and the Father is in me." Likewise, "I receive both what I am [i.e., essence] and that I am [existence] from God by participation." 

Well, good: we both are and are someone in particular.

A participatory vision of theology stresses that God is the beginning, middle, and end of all things. 

Not just in a one-and-done way, but everywhere and everywhen, AKA continuous (vertical) creation. 

Now, this process implies a spiritual adventure, for "the notion of a goal has spatial, journeying connotations," of a "coming forth and returning," ultimately of "a personal journey back to God." In the words of Thomas,

It belongs to creatures to be moved toward that end which is without beginning, and to come to rest in the perfect end that is without end...

Or in the words of Maximus, to be "immortal by participation," and why not? It's what the mystics are always going on about, and this accounts for the very possibility of mystical union, the first and last word in the journey of Participation.

Again, "creatures are 'but finite representations' of what God is infinitely," thus all the interiorly related plurality and diversity.

As we alluded to yesterday, it "is not so much that God is like a human father, but that human fatherhood -- at its best -- is a participation in divine fatherhood." Put another way, God is "not only the universal Father but the archetypal Father, the Father of whom all fathers are derivatives or types."

"Likeness-in-unlikeness," which goes to the principle of analogy that we will soon be blah-blah-blogging about in more detail. 

Suffice it to say that we are like God but God is not like us. Again, the principle of analogy applies so long as we don't forget that the differences infinitely dwarf the similarities, as we said yesterday about my dog and me. 

An analogy is a kind of metaphor, and the Aphorist reminds us that

Metaphor supposes a universe in which each object mysteriously contains the others. 

I'll definitely buy that, even though it's priceless. 

What about freedom? The Aphorist suggests that

The permanent possibility of initiating a causal series is what we call a person.

Similarly, Davison says that "God not only causes but, in causing, bestows upon creatures the power to be causes themselves." This too, I suspect, is grounded in the Persons of the Trinity.

In any and every event, the events of Genesis -- which are always occurring -- depict "human beings as themselves makers, bearing the image of the creator in their creativity." Hence all the endless creativity, which is a "delegated creativity."  

We've just skimmed the surface. The next book we will playgiarize with -- Christ the Logos of Creation: An Essay in Analogical Metaphysics -- takes the discussion much deeper. 

1 comment:

Open Trench said...

Hello Good Dr. and all Readers:

Another post which pushes the envelope of what the mind can wrap itself around.

The great issue I have with One Cosmos, the totality of all in God, and all in God, is it seems in the final analysis a little bit dreary. Solipsistic. Onanistic. Lonely. This can't be it. The Father God, emanating the cosmos from Himself, putting all in motion, allowing free will, it is all beautiful, true, and good.

But at the end of the day its still God dividing Himself and making Himself alien to Himself, to cut the ennui of being alone. With no other source but Himself. Even his Son and the Holy Spirit, default back to God the Father.

So I sense the there is another factor involved in the Cosmos. I call it factor X. I doubt total unity is going to be found to be the case. Call me a freak. I think there's more but darned if I know what, and He is not talkin about it, beyond to say, "Wait for it."

Which is His polite way of saying "this conversation will be had after you are done with your tour of Earth." I'm not going to get satisfaction while still pulling breaths. Oh well I just have to deal with it.

In the meantime, woman troubles keep me so busy I hardly notice I don't have all the cosmic answers, because I can't even figure out one woman. Go figure.

Any today was sublime. I say woman troubles, but sometimes, when things are well, it is paradise on Earth to be with a woman. And her mysterious interior is enchanting, and in a way I'm glad I do not know all, and can expect revelations ongoing. So too with God; perhaps it is best not to have Him all figured out...

Love, Trench.

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