Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Human Existence - Part One

The other day I happened to glance at the latest album out by a band known as LMFAO. The cover screamed the pleasure and pain and foolishness of American popular culture as loudly as anything around, and it really spoke to me and made me think. The movement in this world, the spirit of the age that is so especially present in the American youth culture, is this buying into the idea of a one-way existence. What I mean is this: modern, progressive people generally accept the idea of evolution, and I would say most Catholics and even Christians in general buy into it as well at least in the sense of bodily and biological evolution, while believing in the special creation of the divine principle in man, the soul. The problem in general society, the rot that is occurring, is due more to the fact that men accept the concept of evolution as the philosophy of their lives without accepting the Divine Principle than to anything else.

You see, there are really two directions you can look in life. There are two directions that you can take your human reason, two depths you can probe, two abysses that you can attempt to shine light on. One is looking metaphysically "up" toward God, toward the Divine, toward the eternal. This means clinging to the sense of the Divine that is present in the human mind and consciousness, and extrapolating that outward to the infinitely good, the infinitely true, and infinitely beautiful; being and life itself, the Reason for Life. The other way you can probe is metaphysically "down" toward our material origins, toward evolutionary relationships, toward the animal kingdom, toward the denial of the divine principle in man, toward the profaning of the sacred, toward meaninglessness, toward nothingness; in a word, toward Hell.

If once you accept as your operating life philosophy a sense of only the latter, if once you acknowledge only man's hypothetical material origins, you have denied the reality that has become so much a part of the human consciousness that it is impossible to be fully human without it: that reality is that there is an infinite Being higher than this muck and dust that goes on down here on this earth. It is this consciousness that gives man this haunting sense of right and wrong, of imperfection, and of dissatisfaction with our state here. It is this consciousness that gives us the realization of our discovery of reality and truth in science, that inspires us to keep moving forward to "a more perfect society," to keep striving for the authentically better in our individual lives and in our collective life as a human society. As long as there has been a humanity, it has a 90% track record of acknowledging this divine principle, of surrendering to religion and spirituality, of allowing oneself to be conquered by God and by humanity at the same time. To refuse to acknowledge the best and highest and most noble of man, and necessarily God with him, a la Nietzsche, is to give in to despair. It is is not progress, modern world! it is the thought that stops thoughts (G. K. Chesterton). It is the most unrecognized form of insanity and absurdity, for once one has cast his eyes toward the muck of his bodily origin in the animal kingdom through evolution and refused to look Up, he has effectively argued back to pure, utter nothingness. For it is nonsense to stop at the animal kingdom; if man, whose soul thinks and exists in both the physical and spiritual realm, who confesses physical reality and the divine principle enlightening him to degrees of perfection, value, morality, goodness, truth, beauty, eternal being, can only trace his origin and his purpose and meaning to the animal kingdom, then what upholds the animal kingdom? nothing. Ok, go back further. The animal kingdom evolved from lower life forms. What upholds them? What gives them meaning? nothing. You can repeat this ad infinitum, but you must face this basic fact: You can't crawl your way out of Hell; if the only base principle of all things that you will bring yourself to acknowledge is non-being, even tracing history back past this world, all the way to "prior" to the Big Bang singularity, if the very essence of this transient and fleeting existence of each thing is nothingness, you are a fool if you value anything at all. You have given up on humanity, and God in the process; you have given in to despair. Many questions exist, but this certainty remains: the logic I have just run through is incontrovertible. The 75% of philosophers who are atheists and who acknowledge some form of the despairing nothingness I have just shown a light on are the priests of this humanity who has disavowed its own soul; they lead the religion of meaninglessness, the utmost denial of their own ability to intelligently and meaningfully deny anything.

This realization of where you're looking at when you move through this brief life is a shocking one. It compels your to make choices of how you're going to think, believe, and live; the actions you're going to take. The youth of today live by such flippancy, such uncaring, unthinking, monotonous filth, sexual promiscuity, profane attitudes and language, rebellion because they are drifting with no moorings. They have bought into the spirit of the age, the philosophy that will not acknowledge God, that has forgotten that if you don't look Up you'll fall into the mud you're staring into. Every once in awhile, the crowd of my peers who stares into that mud, who surrounds itself with such things as LMFAO, who let's this acronym be their banner of a flippant and despairing life, every once in awhile they experience the mud and meaninglessness in full force; they feel it clash with what remains of their soul most painfully when lovers turn into immature boys who use and abuse them, when love turns into lies and utilitarianism, when the veil of the lies we tell ourselves gets peeled back and we feel the divinely enlightened part of ourselves react violently against our lifestyle. That mud starts to look a whole lot like Hell, like the abyss of nothingness itself, with your very real Image of God, your soul, falling into it and joining to that Hell. When you realize that the mud and muck of this evolutionary philosophy of looking down to find the essence of humanity rather than up to God and to your soul is simply an illusion leading back to nothingness, you tend to wake up. Wake up fully, and don't go back to sleep!

The funny thing is that this Christian religion of ours is so utterly at odds with the supposed reality of nothingness. It represents either the last, most desperately beautiful lunging grasp of the human consciousness on an impossible dream, the dream of Divine Reality, or it is the heralding call of God reaching through the chaos and confusion of this evil and imperfect world to those created in His Image, telling them that they are not insane, nor inexplicable; their hunger for completion, purpose, and goodness, their search for Reason, meaning, and truth; the very soul of humanity is not absurd. The Christian religion teaches us that humanity is material and has a nature that he shares with the animal kingdom, but that there are real distinctions, real degrees of perfection, real contingency, real purpose, real meaning, real truth to this fleeting existence, based on the Immovable Mover. It teaches that man is the link between the spiritual and the physical, that his existence is to be Lights in a dark world, and that his contingency and connection with the Divine is assured by the fact that the Divine became man, joining and fulfilling the infinite chasm between the two for all eternity.

To be continued...

3 comments:

  1. You're pretty close here with your metaphysics, Jonathan. I would say, however, the actual reality of the world is a decision between the objective and the subjective (as opposed to spiritual vs. material). The test of this is Satan. Satan is not a material being; he is purely spiritual (meaning he is not a spiritualized substantial form in a violent state separated from its prime matter (as are deceased human beings), but rather he is as he was created: a spirit, i.e., an intellect and a will). Satan chose to look within for his fulfillment, to the subjective, rather than to look without to the objective (i.e., God, the Blessed Trinity) for his fulfillment. It was not a question of material in his case, yet he also chose separation from God and ultimately hell.

    The real decision here is either to form one's self on God and what is true (objective), or to self-define and be false (subjective).

    I also think that you hit the nail right on the head: if all that is is material, then the correct response in life is despair.

    I think that much of what you have written in this post is pertinent and shows a great effort on your part to grasp, so to speak, the objective. I applaud your efforts...and hope that you gain all the fruit you wish to reap!

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    1. Ah, you're right. I never took the angelic realm of spiritual intelligences into consideration, and I'm sure that they are part of the overall equation. My thoughts really were mainly focused on addressing specifically the philosophy that permeates America today that I honestly believe can be traced back to evolutionary thought run amuck without proper balance in philosophical outlook - people have an entirely imbalanced outlook without fully thinking through what it entails and following their logic out to its end. To be honest, all of my metaphysical speculation is entirely amateurish :) I have never taken up a formal study of philosophy, nor have I ever even read very much on it aside from enough to pique my interest over the years. I do love to think abstractly and Reason, so I hope to educate myself formally in this area sometime in college. But yes, this is purely according to "the natural light of reason" :) I am entirely liable to commit omissions like accidentally not including spiritual realities in my reasoning, or other errors.

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    2. I think with what you have had to work with in life, you're doing pretty well. I agree with you that materialism is a logical outcome of subjectivism...and that despair is a logical outcome of materialism. Most people do not choose to make the logical steps because they do not wish to despair or to have their sins/consciences bother them...they prefer to wallow in tepid and cowardly contradiction, rather than take life to the extreme hot or cold, so to speak.

      Really, the best study of philosophy is that which is present in the First Vatican Council. Correct philosophy cannot be gained by some source outside and opposed to the theology of the Catholic Church.

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