Being and Incarnation (Part 1)

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Socrates reaches the climax of his life, incarnating the truth in his last hour while drinking the hemlock poison, his sentence for corrupting the young with his philosophical teachings.

INDEX

SECTION A:

The Book: Being and Incarnation

Part 1Being and Incarnation

Part 2: The Immediacy of Love

Part 3:  Awakening from Sleep 

Part 4: The Christ Beyond Religion

SECTION B:

PAPER 1: An Interpretation of Quantum Theory

PAPER 2: “Non-Being & Time”: Awakening Heidegger from Sleep

PAPER 3: Karl Barth and the Unproclaimed Word

PAPER 4: Beyond Psychoanalysis and the Interpretation of Dreams

PAPER 5: A Commentary on St John’s Gospel (Chapters 1-11)

PAPER 6: Beyond Feminism and the Gender Debate

PAPER 7: A Solution to the Problem of Grace and Nature

PAPER 8: Derrida and Beyond the Text 

PAPER 9: Ziziolous and the Lost Communion between East and West

PAPER 10: The Good beyond the Moral Law

PAPER 11: Wittgenstein and the Nature of Language

PAPER 12: Postmodernisn and The Return of the Prodigal Son

PAPER 13: A Commentary on St Mark’s Gospel

PAPER 14:  Summary of My Work (2018)

PAPER 15: Summary of My Work (2020)

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 INTRODUCTION

The world is not what it seems, it holds a mystery which it is reluctant to give up. Since man evolved to the age of reason and self-consciousness, he has endeavoured to find the Holy Grail, which unlocks the mystery of his existence and the nature of the world he lives in. Thousands of years before the golden era of Greek philosophy, before the first great Western philosophers set their minds to grapple with these mysteries, primitive man expressed his being-in-the-world through art, religious rituals, sacrifices and various forms of mythology. His culture took him beyond the mere necessities of survival via-a-vis the harsh realities of life, to explore the tension that existed in his inner being between his immediate world of mind and senses and his deeper need to fulfil himself in an invisible cosmic relation, which united the particular of his existence with a universal reality. The world of his experiences did not have the final word, there was a gap, or yearning, which kept him restless, always looking for something more, a yearning which marked him out from all other creatures.

This yearning in man has driven him on in search of something, which has not yet happened in the process of evolution, something which will close the circle of his eternal recurrences, and quench his insatiable thirst to find peace and personal happiness. The transcendental forms of the Good, the Beautiful and the True have been his motivation and guide in pursuit of a final unity-of-being or absolute form, of which he catches glimpses in his ecstatic moments. The masterpieces of art and music of bygone eras, are a permanent reminder of man’s longing to unite himself to a deeper current in life, which he sat and pondered in the silence of his heart, before giving expression to it in an outpouring of creativity. In more recent times, from a diversity of fields, including Religion, Philosophy and Science, there have arisen spiritual, learned and prophetic people who have foreseen a new era, in which this yearning will be realised in a New Man, through some sort of break through to a higher state of consciousness. They believe that this development will provide a new way of engaging the world, which will bring with it man’s personal fulfilment and a new world order of peace and harmony; the world is now seen to be suffering the birth pangs, as it awaits the arrival of this new age.

Some look to the new sciences to usher in this era with its startling insights into the nature of the world, insights which are proving to be radically different to man’s perception of the world in the post-Newtonian age of Quantum Physics. Others look to Eastern practices, such as Yoga and Meditation, which have evolved from ancient wisdom, with its insights into the nature of human desire, suffering and conflict. These practices seek to bring harmony between the elements which make up man’s world, both interior and exterior, overcoming the dualism which underlies all conflict. Others too look to the insights offered by more modern disciplines, such as Psychoanalysis, which seek to go beyond the “male” rational concepts of human thinking, to the “female” archetypes of the unconscious. These more archaic, collective and universal symbols, are more prevalent and active in our world than rational man had previously realised, and they may hold the key to understanding man’s true nature and relationship with the world, while offering possible solutions to his predicament.

However, not everybody shares this optimism of the dawn of a new humanity and an ecological harmony between man and earth. Technology has not only reduced the vast world to a global village, but it has set itself up as the new god, to be worshipped and served in that village. This god, which was made by human hands has, like a Frankenstein, broken free and taken the power into its own hands, making his creator its servant, in the modern day slavery of capitalism. Any sacred bonds which existed between man and the earth have been severed, as man now toils the land, to exploit its resources, to feed the insatiable greed of his new master. While technology is here to stay, and brings with it some obvious benefits, it is accompanied by a false sense of security, well-being and self-sufficiency. This very self is a child of its times, rooted in a self-ism, which is not the sign of a new maturity and independence, but the product of a lost identity. Modern day catchphrases such as “freedom of choice”, or “buy now pay later”, ensure that man’s identity is shaped by consumerism, backed up by a relentless campaign of advertisement and easy credit, which tells him, “you should have it because you’re worth it”. However, this freedom to choose from an ever increasing, and ever present array of brands, only belies an increasing sense of lost freedom and alienation. Maybe this is best exemplified in the modern day adolescent who has the latest piece of technology attached to his hand, not only as an extension of his body but of his very self, as it determines and programmes his thoughts, feelings, actions, and sensory movements throughout the day. The scenario of a family night out, where they all sit around the table at a restaurant, each silently mesmerised by a piece of hand held technology, with no exchange of glances or words, during the meal could be a scene from George Orwell’s book 1984, with its chilling prophecy and haunting vision of the future.

While modern man also takes up a sedentary position, like his fore-bearers, it is not to be an instrument of a creative, mysterious power which takes hold of him from within, but rather it is to be fed on a shallow diet of mass media and internet entertainment from without. It is not that the deeper yearning of human nature has gone away, or that man has finally found what can satisfy his needs, but rather it has been overlaid by the constant bombardment of his mind and senses, by a world which has continuous access to him. The hollow space in man’s being, which was his source of creativity, born out of a fundamental gap between who he was and who he ought to be, has been resourced out to advertisement in a materialistic, hedonistic age, that likes to remind him of what he has and what he ought to have. The tension within of not yet being, which left him undefined and in search of being, has become a dreaded place of boredom and angst, which must be filled by a continuous influx of junk mail, which provides cheap answers to the priceless question: who am I? Maybe this dilemma can be characterised by the disillusioned middle class American adolescent who, despite years of personal therapy and having all that money can buy, uses social media to proclaim the day of retribution before turning the family guns on those who failed him. Even though social stability, family life and personal happiness have had to contend with many challenges and difficulties in the past, Western civilisation seems to be in an age of increasing dependence on anti-depressants and therapies, which are the direct consequence of the depersonalizing effects of a society in which humans are seen as a means to an end, a mere resource at the service of large impersonal, corporate forces.

Those who have the time or inclination to step back and view the present epoch of man’s history, quickly come to realise that, in this post modern era, thinkers reject the “tyranny of wholes”. They no longer believe in overarching theories and universal solutions to the world’s problems, as history still bears the scars of unfulfilled promises and the bloody genocide of ideologies, which have also left man sceptical about any attempt to return to the past or to learn from it. Yet many would argue that the signs of our times behove mankind to find answers, and quickly, to some of its fundamental questions, if it is to avert an apocalyptic era, where global violence, natural disasters, environmental damage and social fragmentation reach unprecedented and irreversible levels. Socrates, the eminent Greek philosopher, who was considered the wisest of all men on earth, declared “an unexamined life is not worth living”. He saw how easy it was for humans to simply accept life as it presented itself, without questioning its underlying assumptions and conditioning. He believed that such a modus vivendi, deprived people of the understanding and inner strength needed to live a truly human life, which in turn would have adverse effects on society. Arguably, this lesson has never been more applicable than today, when technology ensures that mass media creates the news that humans should be talking about, while surreptitiously programming them with the questions and answers to their free-thinking minds. People are not encouraged to think for themselves, but only about their self, within the context of a modern world which has the power to first determine that self.

This crisis in thinking is evident in education, which doesn’t so much train people to think as to develop certain thinking skills which will be useful to the corporate machinery that they will serve. Even modern day Philosophy, with its emphasis on linguistic analysis, has been reduced to the housemaid of the positivist Sciences, where its task is to tidy up and suitably arrange the mental laboratories, so that Science can more effectively do its work. There is a renunciation of truth itself and a reliance upon what is verifiable and correctness of method, a characteristic of Science, which determines the form of modern day Philosophy; Philosophy is reduced to experiments in logic, chiefly in linguistic analysis, where man only operates within his own shell, a prisoner of his own methods. The Philosophy which was born out of man’s existential angst and fundamental desire to understand the nature of things, some 2500 years ago, now feels self-conscious and embarrassed to ask those questions in front of its academic peers, who have never shared their sense of philosophical crisis, since for them, philosophy is just a job. To dare ask metaphysical questions about the nature of things, the meaning to life, or why there is something rather than nothing, is deemed unfashionable at best, or simply to be pitied, like a mad scientist who still thinks the world is flat. These troubling questions have never found universally agreed answers and anything that can’t be answered is seen to be a waste of time, in an modern era where knowledge serves efficiency and productivity. To dwell on such questions might be considered a form of illness, an unresolved psychological complex due to a troubled past, just as a psychoanalyst might look with pity on a patient who believes in God, adjudging his belief to be the result of a fixation on an infantile father figure.

Man lives in his world of shadows, blind to reality.

Man lives in his world of shadows, blind to reality.

Another great Greek philosopher, Plato, also recognized the difficult task facing humans to understand their nature and predicament, and yet he deemed the enterprise essential to authentic living. He depicted this in his allegory of the cave, in which people live chained to the wall of a cave all of their lives, facing another blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall by things passing in front of a fire behind them, and they begin to designate names to these shadows; the shadows are as close as the prisoners get to viewing reality. He then explains how the philosopher is like a prisoner who manages to get free and leave the cave and consequently he comes to understand that the shadows on the wall of the cave are not reality, as he can now perceive the true form of reality beyond the cave. It becomes the philosophers task to return to the cave to try and convince the people of this reality which lies beyond their senses, but which the majority won’t accept because they are accustomed to the world they live in and they won’t accept the risk or burden of change. According to Plato, it is Ideas in the Mind rather than the material world of change, known to us through the senses, which possess the highest and most fundamental kind of reality. Although most people today would not consider their thoughts, and the contemplation of them, the ultimate reality, few would doubt that ideas and their manipulation are central to both personal human development, and the history of mankind. They are the building blocks of mankind’s civilisation, and the touch paper from which ideologies have ignited bloody revolutions in the name of freedom. It seems that whoever would seek to resolve the mystery of life, will need to find an appropriate answer to the tension that exists between the abstracted and universal ideas in man’s mind and the world of concrete and particular objects to which they relate.

Whatever a person’s position in life may be, he shares the common experience of all humans, of being thrown into a world that he did not choose to be in, one in which he is “condemned to be free”, according to Sartre, the French existentialist philosopher. Regardless of his temperament, upbringing and cultural background, he cannot escape taking a position with regards to life, and its fundamental philosophical questions, even if it is done unthinkingly and unconsciously. His manner of living life, the values and priorities he gives to things, reflects his fundamental beliefs about how the world is. The philosophy of those who live in the Western world today can largely be described as secularist, materialist and utilitarian; secularist, in that man, not God, is the measure of things; materialist, in that what one has determines who one is; and utilitarian, in that nothing has an intrinsic or absolute value but rather its worth is based on its usefulness. For those who stop to ask more philosophical questions about their life on earth, the disconcerting fact is that philosophers seem no nearer to agreeing to the answers to these questions than they did 2500 years ago. In fact, the many branches of philosophy seem as varied as the personalities which wrote them, and the content of which may say more about those personalities than it does about any objective, universal reality, which they seek to address. Nietzsche, a German philosopher of the nineteenth century, challenged and undermined the pretentious claims of Philosophy by arguing that “there are no facts only interpretation”. His philosophy railed against what he saw as a pernicious lie, that there is a neutral vantage point from which to view the world and so to attain to objective truth. He saw this belief as an unconscious, man-made control mechanism used to keep humans subjugated and preventing them from reaching their true potential.

If we have never considered ourselves philosophers, then maybe even less so have we considered ourselves mathematicians, and yet, the Greek philosopher Pythagoras believed the world was governed by numbers, which seek a harmonious whole like a musical symphony, of which humans play a part. At the heart of man’s experience of being in the world are experiences of more-less, from-here-to-there, which constitute the basic elements of the Arithmetic and Geometry that he learnt at School. Man is in a constant state of reaction to numbers, as his life is lived out along the geometrical x-y plane of space and time, and its content, where he is always in a rush to get somewhere; his life governed by goals and targets. He seeks to find his position in that world and to position everything else relative to him; those things that have increasing value are drawn close and those that lose their value are gradually pushed away, obeying mathematical laws of attraction and repulsion. Occasionally, he will make a conscious effort to think about numbers, like when he negotiates his salary or pays the bills, but more often than not his response to numbers are unconscious, programmed reactions to the values he gives to the things which make up his life. When he is ill from the stress of numbers, he will be analysed by a doctor who will gauge his illness according to further numbers; blood pressure, heart beat, levels of substances in the blood etc. He will often feel that he is not being treated as a person, but as an object made up of parts to be fixed, somebody who is known by the number of the bed in the hospital, or the number he was assigned when he entered the waiting room.

A child that begins to learn a musical instrument will have to consciously count the beats, and make a conscious effort to span the distance, with his hand, between one note and another. However, when he becomes a concert pianist, he will do the same movements with the agility of an eagle that glides through the air. It is as if he can finally let go of the numbers that tied him to the earth and enter into a new reality, through a “love for music”, which binds the discrete notes and numbers into a unity of being, made possible in his own self. People who listen to great classical pieces of music can experience being transported out of this world into a transcendent reality, through an appreciation of the music, which came from the soul of the composer. Einstein spoke of a similar thing when in reference to his scientific insights, he attributed the breakthrough to a “love of objects”; the working of great minds, laboriously sifting through numbers, experimental data and formulae, gives way to a higher reality, where the two are joined as one in a transcendent reality, which reveals itself in an immediacy of love, like two soulmates meeting for the first time, a reality which lies beyond the mind. Many people today feel their freedom has been taken away by a debt to numbers; they live in hope of winning the lottery so that they can find some sort of redemption from numbers, freeing themselves from its tyranny and entering into a new reality where they can know true freedom. However, for those who win the lottery, they soon come to realise that money cannot buy happiness, and that the sum to infinity of money does not add up to the unity-of-being, which their heart craves.

Philosophy and Mathematics have become abstracted, formal disciplines, but they find their origins in primitive human nature before reason was born, when answers and numbers were not important for passing exams, but were a matter of life and death. For the average person, Maths and Philosophy are too important to be abstracted, or left to specialists, as they belong where they originated, at the heart of their experience of being-in-the-world. In some Eastern philosophies the focus is on finding a Middle Way, or a harmony between opposites, like solving an equation for living, which enables them to attain to happiness. Just as the perfect cake is made from the right quantities of ingredients, the appropriate oven temperature and the correct position in the oven, so too humans seek the perfect recipe to living. In this book I would like to put forward a philosophical answer and mathematical solution to the mystery of man, which has not come out of my abstracted studies of both disciplines, but from my ordinary lived experience. My reasons for once studying these disciplines largely came out of my own philosophical crisis of being-in-the-world and my search for meaning, but when I came to realise that the formal study of them both replaced life itself rather than addressed it, I gave them up and set sail again on the stormy seas of uncertainty, like an intrepid explorer, one man in search of his being. It is only many years later, when I decided to jump ship that life gave up its mystery. Like a shipwrecked man washed ashore, I vomited out the remnants of the sea which had carried me along for so many years, only to regain consciousness and know life, as it really is, for the first time.

BRIDGING THE GAP

CHAPTER 1

A lot of ink has been spilt on the debate between nature and nurture, that is, the extent to which our genes determine who we are and how we relate to the world, and the extent to which parenting and culture have an influence. The final allocation and distribution may yet have to be decided but one thing is for sure, the manner in which people engage the world, their priorities, interests and outlook are dependent on their personal character. Each person is unique in that respect, often to the annoyance of those in authority or those in charge of their development, as people have a tendency to impose uniformity, or at least their expectations, on those beneath them. It is only in recent times that education has begun to recognise the individuality of the student and the need for differentiation in terms of how a students learn; it is no longer a case of one model fits all. One evident example of how personality determines outlook on life can be seen in how students choose their optional subjects, particularly in their preference for the arts or sciences. While those drawn towards the arts may be more expressive, original and creative, those who focus on the sciences tend to be more precise, practical and intellectual. A similar distinction was made in Greek mythology between the gods, Dionysus and Apollo, which Nietzsche saw as the two opposing central principles in Greek culture. While Apollo is associated with the structure and form that individualizes things, typified in rational man, Dionysus breaks down the barriers of such forms and seeks to reach up to the greater whole through all forms of enthusiasm and ecstasy. Man’s historical search for reality can be seen as multifarious expressions of these two driving forces in his personality, the one expressed in aesthetics and the search for Beauty, and the other in understanding and the search for Truth.

Whatever a persons personality type or cultural upbringing, there seems to be an intrinsic problem at the heart of man’s experience, to which everything else is a response or reaction, and that is, dualism. We live in a world of I-and-Thou, subject-object, the world within and the world without, between the universal ideas in the mind and the particular objects in the world. Man has relentlessly bombarded this problem in a vain attempt to overcome it, solve it or dissolve it, as he senses that the answer to his own alienation lies in it. A person with an “apollonian” personality may seek to fill the gap through rational thought, logical arguments or scientific explanations based on cause and effect. One such person was the famous German, idealist philosopher Hegel, who wrote a dialectical philosophy, which predicted that the world was evolving to a final single state of Absolute Mind, which would bring an end to the continuous tension between opposites. Karl Marx based his own materialist philosophy on Hegel’s work, believing that the dialectical tension was due to material alienation in the capitalist system, which would finally collapse into a proletariat utopia. The apollonian drive seeks to dissect the world, analyse its parts and put it together again in an ever growing encyclopedia of knowledge, which it then imposes on the world, in an attempt to create uniformity. It attempts to understand the nature of the chaotic world of change and uncertainty, by stripping away the particularity of existence and imposing universal ideas which explain everything. That which can’t be explained is ignored or eliminated, which results in totalitarian regimes and social engineering, which devastate the actual reality of human living in favour of an idealistic truth, which only those in power, the privileged few, can understand.

The Greek's believed that the content of all great tragedy was based on the tension created by the interplay between Apollo and Dionysus.

The Greek’s believed that the content of all great tragedy was based on the tension created by the interplay between Apollo and Dionysus.

The person with a “dionysian” personality, in contrast, will seek to overcome the duality inherent in nature through some form of artistic expression or ascetical practice. They will attempt to break down the barrier between the subject and object, and overcome the rigid categories created by words and ideas, which impose a narrow vision of reality upon the unsuspecting world. The artist realises that such cold, rational concepts have been sanitised from a more archaic man and archetypal world, which is more true to reality and which is the source of his artistic expression. He seeks to merge the concepts and objects of the world, filling them with the rich colours, emotions and meaning, which they once had in a previous dynamic context, before they were abstracted and made to stand alone at the service of logic. Eastern spiritualities and philosophies embark on a similar enterprise, but by means of ascetical practices and meditations. They perceive an illusory nature to the world of the senses, with its boundaries and dualistic concepts. They seek to transcend the limits of the mind and senses, arriving at a transcendental state of oneness, in a higher form of consciousness, which is not based on an accumulation of knowledge, but on a self-emptying way of “unknowing”, in which the self is also perceived as an illusion, a product of the world of dualism. This “apophatic” spirituality, of going by a way of unknowing to arrive at knowing has an important place in all major religions. Even the great Socrates declared that one could only get to true knowledge by first realising ones own ignorance, a task he embarked on through a dialectic process of questioning peoples assumptions, revealing their ignorance about what they thought they knew. This would unsettle people in the ground of their convictions, but in so doing he would lead them to a deeper appreciation of the world they lived in. However, it also led to his death, as he was seen to be undermining the very foundations of society and so corrupting the young, a death he happily accepted as the ultimate finale and necessary outcome of his philosophy.

The history of philosophy has seen great thinkers come up with ingenious ways of trying to overcome the problem of dualism, or at least to reconcile its opposites through mapping ideas to objects in an elaborate philosophical system of explanations. Some, like Plato, have focused more on the mind and its ideas, while others, like Aristotle, have focused on the world and its objects as the unifying or locus point for reality. One of the first known philosophical problems that challenged the earliest pre-socratic thinkers, was to find a single, underlying substance, which unified the diversity of things in the world, and which could explain the world of change and flux. The first substances put forward were air, water, fire and earth, and then later philosophers suggested more abstracted or invisible elements, such as atoms, numbers, mind or will. No one school of thought has stood the test of time, all have been reduced to mere expressions of their time, with none of them able to stand outside the flux as a permanent reality for all ages. All that is left of them are ancient monuments of man’s intellectual endeavours and aspirations, to build towers of Babel, in a vain attempt to reach the Absolute. It seems that whatever the Truth about life is, each of the schools of thought will make its own contribution as a patch on its motley coloured robe. Bertrand Russell, an English analytical philosopher, who failed in his own attempt to find a unifying structure to all Mathematics, declared at the end of his life, that whatever the truth of life is, it must be a paradox, which brings us back to the problem of life’s hidden mystery. Post modern thinkers have largely given up on the possibility of finding an underlying, unifying system of thought, and propose instead that thinkers should be content with dialogue and inter-disciplinary work in order to further man’s understanding of the increasingly complex and differentiated structures which make up his world. However, this response seems unsatisfactory as there is a collective, unconscious sense amongst humans, that reality does have a unifying element even if it has not yet been found.

If this unifying force, idea or system exists, then Philosophers have failed to arrive at it by approaching the problem head on, with mind and senses. Artists have, at best, only given us momentary glimpses of it, and ascetics have made it such an elitist, abstracted enterprise, that it has nothing to say to the common man. So maybe it needs to be approached from a wholly different angle, or from no angle at all. Maybe it is like a Harry Potter 9 ¾ platform, something that is very present in our midst if only we had the means to see it, like a parallel universe. If the philosopher has run out of original ideas and finds himself in an nietzschean “eternal recurrence”, where mind and will don’t avail him in solving the riddle of life, then maybe the answer lies in a paradox like an “unthinkable thought”, which cannot be thought otherwise it would not be unthinkable. This may not be as absurd as it first sounds, as the insights of therapy have shown, that often a therapist has to carry a feeling or thought of a patient, which the patient has projected into him from his unconscious because it is too painful to bear for himself; given time and the right supporting environment, the patient can finally reclaim the experience, and think the unbearable thought, a process which is fundamental to the healing process. The 17th century philosopher Berkeley suggested something along the same lines, when he sought to get around awkward philosophical questions about perception, by proposing that when man is not perceiving something, it is kept in existence through the mind of God, who perceives all things.

If all that humans have are mere perspectives on life with no objective ground, as Nietzsche suggested, then the elusive “objective perspective”, if it is to exist, must be “wholly other”, lying beyond all human perspectives. If this was the case, then all human effort of mind-and-will would be futile in attaining to it, and this perspective could only be viewed through some form of “gift”. This may again sound strange but one wouldn’t have to look any further than the mystery of love to find an analogy. One can’t force somebody to love them, and one might be taken aback when somebody who they admired from a distance for many years, suddenly declares their undying love for them, as they feel they haven’t merited it and there is nothing about them which is deserving of such love. Their initial feelings of astonishment and bewilderment are later replaced by ones of anxiety and fear of losing that love. What are they to do to retain it as they didn’t do anything in the first place to merit it? They might begin to try and earn that love that was once a free gift, which in turn can change their whole personality as they become a jealous, controlling person, losing the self that was loved gratuitously in the process of trying too hard to earn that love, which may result in them losing it. In this book I propose to share with you what I believe is that gift, which is both a paradox and a unifying element which unlocks the mystery of living. It is not based on rational argument, even though it is not irrational, rather it embraces both aspects of man’s nature, the apollonian and the dionysian, so I recommend that you read the rest of this book like a little child, one who follows the way of unknowing, with an openness to be Surprised.

FINDING HIS PLACE IN THE WORLD

CHAPTER 2

Modern, and not so modern, discoveries have left man feeling increasingly displaced and uncertain about his place in the universe, in the world and even within his own self. The Copernican Revolution of the sixteenth century revealed to man the disconcerting fact that the earth is not the centre of the universe, a belief that he had held, largely unquestioningly, throughout the history of astrology until the sixteenth century, based on the observation that the Sun, stars and planets seem to revolve around the earth each day. Darwin’s discovery of natural selection in the nineteenth century, led to the theory of evolution, which explained the existence of man as the end product of a very slow evolutionary process, which lasted millions of years, in which higher forms of life evolved from lower forms, with man himself evolving from primates. Such discoveries caused great consternation in the Christian Church, as they challenged some fundamental beliefs that Christians had long held, based on a literal reading of the Bible. Freud’s psychoanalytical work on the unconscious, in the same century, also debunked the myth that man is fundamentally a rational, conscious being with free-will. This aspect of man’s character was revealed to be merely the tip of an iceberg, with the other 90% of his nature hidden beneath the depths of his consciousness, in the realm of blind, irrational, chaotic emotions and drives. Man, in effect, was not lord over his own actions, choices, interests etc, as these were seen as a bi-product of deterministic, unconscious processes, which have their roots in experiences and events of his early life. This was exemplified in the proverbial “freudian slip”, where a word or action disclosed an unconscious wish or motive, which lurked beneath the façade of a person’s words and actions.

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science.

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science.

Man’s exact position and role in things may have become less certain, but with these insights had come a greater awareness of man’s participation in his environment. He doesn’t merely stand on some high point to view the world, like a king admiring his kingdom, he is profoundly involved in it, such that his very claim to objectivity collapses. Nietzsche’s philosophy of “perspectivism” gains further support from the insights of Psychoanalysis and Science. Psychoanalysis has shown that a person’s history cannot be left behind, as one might like to shrug off the past by saying “forget it”. It may be an event of the past but it is not a thing of the past, one can’t walk away from it, nor switch it off at the source. As mentioned already, the experiences buried in the unconscious help to shape and determine the way people experience the world and how they choose to live their lives, which lends truth to the saying that, people become more like their parents as they get older. Einstein’s discovery of the theories of Relativity, also undermined the claim to an objective reality put forward by the mechanistic world described by Newton’s laws, whereby the universe operated like a clock, independent of its maker. That scientific worldview is now seen as an imposition of a particular perspective, based on certain beliefs and assumptions, which have since been disproved or absorbed into a broader context. Quantum physics informs us that a system exists in superposition, that is, in all possible states, until one makes an observation, when it reveals one specific state. The upshot is that the new Science denies that reality is “out there” as it blurs the line between the observer and the system being observed, in other words, the observer determines the outcome of the experiment. The very nature and bonds between space, time, subject and object are now seen to be far more interrelated and complex than humans realized. In a sense, man is back at the centre of his universe, as he seems to be the chief protagonist of a play that wouldn’t make sense, or even exist, without him.

Heidegger, a twentieth century German philosopher, believed that at the centre of Philosophy’s failed attempt to provide an adequate understanding of man’s situation lay a fundamental error, a false move by mind to claim Being, which occurred when the “beings” of objects in the world became confused with Being itself. He believed the problem lay in a misuse of concepts, which began with Greek philosophy and has continued for over 2000 years; he sought to rectify the problem by going back to the origin of the error and correcting it, by writing a new philosophy free of the erroneous concepts and language that it engendered. By so doing it, Heidegger hoped to reintegrate man back into the world, a world from which he had become alienated through abstract concepts, which had reduced him to being a mere observer, rather than a participant. I would agree that there has been a fundamental mistake in Philosophy’s understanding of Being, but the solution I propose is quite different from Heidegger’s as the problem does not lie in a mistaken use of concepts, which can be simply resolved by the mind, and by writing more philosophy. I am not going to look for the origin of the problem at the beginning of Philosophy’s history, as Heidegger did, but rather at the beginning of each person’s own history, namely, at their conception in their mother’s womb; I don’t believe the error belongs to concepts, or the mind, but to man himself. I am going to start my analysis of man’s predicament here, as the early formative experiences of life set the paradigm and parameters for man’s later conscious awareness of self-in-the-world.

A baby starts life in a narcissistic state with no sense of the dualistic tensions between the interior-exterior, subject-object and body-mind etc. Even when the baby´s limbs explore the world around him, he experiences it as just an extension of his own undifferentiated state of omnipotent being. However, one day he comes to the realization that there is a world beyond himself, there is an I-and-Thou; his body is the boundary between a here-and-there, an inside and an outside; he finds himself trapped inside a body, looking out at a world of objects. This is a Copernican revolution for the baby, a moment of great disorientation and emotional turmoil. He is no longer the sole being, giving being to all other objects, but just another object thrown into a world of objects. When the baby realizes that some of these strange objects are attached to his own body and over which he has some control, namely, his limbs, he begins to explore his environment. He can touch his own body, within which he finds himself enclosed; he can also reach out to the objects in the world, exploring their boundaries while noticing that each one is separated from every other one by its own body. Confused and alone, the baby wants to go back to the world he once knew, where all of this formed a single world of being through him. Over time, the baby comes to realize that he has a power to think about the world out there, he can close his eyes and bring it inside. Maybe the solution to his problem lies here, maybe he can make the outside world disappear and just live in a world of thoughts and fantasy, regaining his once begotten omnipotence. However, he quickly realizes that this solution will not work, as the world outside will not go away, in fact, it seems to have more of a reality than the world inside, as over the latter he still has a certain power and control, which he doesn’t with the former.

After going through a depression and yearning for his lost-world, the baby finally accepts his fate; he will have to live in this new shared world, there is no going back, he is cast out of his garden of Eden, and he now settles down to try and make sense of it. The new world is initially more menacing as he has less control over it, he has to learn to survive in it, like a cast away on a strange island; maybe the inhabitants of this world could come and destroy him, as they have their own being and power. Gradually, the child comes to find his place in this new world, using the powers at his disposal. He can use his body for manipulating objects in his reach; his imagination and reason can be used for working things out and planning ahead, while his developing language skills can help to create a harmony between his inner and outer worlds; each object in the world corresponds to a name in his mind, which facilitates his interaction with others. By watching and listening to those who nurture and care for him, he adopts habits of living that suit his needs and enable him to live at peace and make the world his home. However, in his quieter moments, he realizes that the fundamental questions about his life have not been addressed. What is his purpose here? What lies beyond this life? What lay before it? He senses that he lost something when he came into this world, which people prefer not to dwell on, as they occupy themselves with the more practical and urgent matter of living in it.

The scenario described above is the sort of world that most people can relate to, that is, an embodied self with a mind and will, which is used to engage the world they find themselves in. This embodied self-consciousness has been the starting point of philosophers throughout history, as they have sought to make sense of their reality, whether it is from a more person-centered point of view, “I think therefore I am”, or from a more inter-relational point of view, “I am addressed therefore I am”. They believe that the world is governed by laws of reason, which in turn are based on a priori principles or transcendentals, which means that as long as they start from an indisputable vantage point within consciousness, they can come to understand man and the world he lives in. In more systematic disciplines, like the Sciences, they can even discover the laws that govern the behaviour of objects and so situate man within an objective reality. However, although Science has been able to provide accurate descriptions about object relations, the knowledge of which has made man Creator and Master of his environment, it limits itself to questions about those relations, avoiding the more metaphysical questions about existence itself and its meaning.

As previously mentioned, Psychoanalysis, over the past 150 years, and many modern philosophies, have presented us with a very different view of man-in-his-world. It has shown that man is not primarily a rational being with free will, a model adopted from the Greek philosophers, but rather irrational and driven by unconscious forces. Before the baby-child finds himself looking out at a world and trying to make sense of it by the use of reason, as described in the scenario above, the self and world are already filled and submerged in a complex interaction of life forces, from which they later emerge as separate, independent entities; in other words, there was a creativity prior to the dawn of reason, which remains below the radar of reason. Thales, the pre-socratic philosopher was known to have observed “the world is full of gods”, which could be rephrased today as “the world is full of self”; the self is never divorced from the world, which is what makes man’s experiences of life so personal, emotive and tragic, as if the world was full of gods. Some philosophers, most notably Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, have based their philosophy on this primal, archetypal energy, which existed before forms began to take shape in the light of reason; they have sought to get beyond all later accretions of rational man, to a more primitive state, from which they can have a better understanding of the intrinsic nature of man and his world. So let us look again at the first stages of a baby´s life in the light of psychoanalytical insights and in so doing, revise our original model, with its emphasis on consciousness.

THROWN” INTO THE WORLD

CHAPTER 3

It is true that the baby starts life in a narcissistic world, and that at some point the baby loses this state of undifferentiated being by becoming aware of some primitive Other or Thou. He has to somehow deal with this new differentiated reality of I-and-Thou, which is an intrusion into his world of omnipotence. At some moment, probably coinciding with this “thrownness” into the world of objects, the baby will project his raw, unrestrained emotions into this Thou, both idolizing it as the perfectly “good” object and then demonizing it as the perfectly “bad” object; the baby’s inner world oscillates between two extremes, either the bliss of a world of good objects or the dark terror of the menacing bad objects. In order not to be overwhelmed, and for the baby to develop a secure ego, which can negotiate itself through these turbulent waters, the baby has to use various defense mechanisms, most notably, splitting, projection, introjection and identification, to protect itself.

According to the founder of child psychoanalysis, Melanie Klein, the baby will go through two stages of profound psychological development in the first six months of his life. The first is known as the paranoid-schizoid stage, at about 3 months, in which the baby keeps the good and bad objects apart, and then the depressive stage, at about six months, in which the baby finally begins to accept that the good and bad exist in the same object, which leads to a disillusionment about the world he lives in. The baby comes to the realization that the good mother is also the bad mother, and that there are no perfectly good objects in the world; he has to learn to accept the “grey” reality of the new world he lives in, if he is to develop normally and successfully integrate himself into the world. The world lacks the perfect holding environment, it is always going to fail him, as “not good enough”. The child will grow up to experience life as full of disappointments and compromises, where the objects in which he invests his energy fail to meet his hopes and dreams. His sense of self and world will be broken and recreated again and again, as he learns to modify his expectations and accept that neither his self nor his world are the way he would like them to be.

The world contains our fragmented self.

The world contains our fragmented self.

This early object-relation world, both interior and exterior, filled with the projections and introjections of the baby´s chaotic emotional world, makes up the unconscious, irrational world of the growing child. Psychoanalysts see in neurotic and psychotic patients the consequences of the failed efforts of the baby to resolve these early object-relation tensions, often due to inadequate baby-mother interaction. Whether they cope well or not in their early months, children carry into adulthood, the psychological habits that were formed in those first months of life, which were formative in shaping their personality. They live in an uncertain world of objects and part-objects, with all their emotional energy invested in them; they have an ego, which at times struggles to maintain itself between the two Kleinian positions of paranoid-schizoid and depressive. All of this is played out in their daily lives through their natural likes and dislikes, prejudices, envy, concern for others, love, attachment, addiction, obsession, fear, phobia, guilt etc. Between their inner rational mind and the exterior cultural norms of society, they gain respite from the personal emotional chaos, through the shared common values of social structures and the orderliness of reason, which provide a certain stability, direction and measure of normality. However, lurking not far below the surface, one can see reason influenced by prior, unconscious, irrational perceptions of the world, as can be seen, for example, in the way highly educated, political figures can use rational arguments to justify policies of violence, or how an addict justifies his compulsive, and self-destructive behaviour by appealing to reason.

The complex bond which exists in the I-and-Thou of self and world, which Psychoanalysis has uncovered, had already found expression in Kant´s revolutionary philosophy of the eighteenth century. Kant successfully challenged some of the fundamental philosophical assumptions about the world when he recognised that some aspects of our world, which we take as objective characteristics of the world itself, are in fact imposed by the mind on to the world in order to make the world intelligible to the subject. These characteristics, which he termed, Transcendentals, included space-time, cause-effect and substance. This meant that how the world existed in itself, apart from human perception, could not be known, as man can only know the world through the lens of these transcendentals, glasses which all human’s innately wear to perceive the world about them. However, whereas Kant saw the structures imposed as pertaining to the mind, like a collective unconscious structure common to all people, Psychoanalysis proposes a more emotionally based structure, personal to each one, like a unique finger print on life, where the latter takes place within the transcendentals of the former. If the first keeps man separated from the world, with an unbridgeable chasm existing between the phenomena of experience and the noumena of the world-in-itself, the second keeps man immersed in the world, in a “messy”, complicated interrelationship, which has no clear demarcating lines between where self ends and where the world begins. If the first is a “thrownness” into the world, which keeps mankind in exile from Being, the second is a “thrownness”, which seeks to overcome that separation, in a personal attempt to unite the two or to deny man’s predicament.

In the modern age, people are more taken with this second model presented here, even though it undermines the established order, with its values and norms, upon which society was founded. It gives way to a world marked by subjectivism, relativism, individualism and skepticism, which makes man the measure of all things, while at the same time leading him into an identity crisis, as there seems to be nothing certain or permanent beyond himself to help define him or hold him; he is alienated from the world and from his self. However, what I propose to do now is put forward a third model, which denies the claim to reality of these first two models, the philosophical and psychoanalytical, and hence it will show that mankind, from the beginning, has been duped by Descartes´ “Deceiver”. I want to begin by going back to the baby in his narcissistic state and present another scenario, which I believe leads us to a correct understanding of man’s predicament in his cave of shadows; it involves a novel and revolutionary distinction between Being and Non-Being.

THE MYTHOLOGICAL NATURE OF EVERYTHING

CHAPTER 4

The baby is in his original state of undifferentiated being, which is an I-Thou identity, formed from the unity of his self with the Thou of the maternal “holding environment”. This is a term used by the child psychoanalyst Winnicott for the special bond which exists between the baby and mother; he also enigmatically said, “there is no such thing as a baby”, meaning that the mother and baby form a close knit unit, such that the baby must not be considered in isolation from the mother. From this state of undifferentiated being, as has happened in the first two models, the baby experiences a “fall” into a differentiated I-and-Thou; I use the term fall because of the interpretation which follows. Whereas in the previous models, the I before the fall and the I-and-Thou after the fall, both shared a common element, namely the “I”, which could be later used as a starting-point from which to consider man’s predicament, I propose something quite different. In the moment of the fall, the original state of Being is completely extinguished, like a burst balloon or like the loss of light in a room when the lamp is switched off, and it gives way to a primitive Mind-World; the previous unitary I-Thou gives way to an I-and-Thou dualism at the heart of man’s fallen state. A gap opens up between the I and the Thou, which is filled with man’s “experiences”, an I-experience-Thou, which in Phenomenology is called “intentionality”, as every experience is necessarily directed to some object, in a world of object relations. In other words, man’s world-of-experiences, which is basically the world he lives in and where he goes about his daily business, is necessarily an experience of “fallenness” and of his state as “lost-being”; he can know nothing else, he is a child of Adam, in exile. If this interpretation is correct then, while leaving all things in our world unchanged, it throws a light on the nature of “everything”, in its totality, which will open the door to a whole new way of being-in-the-world. The rest of this book aims to clarify the truth of this claim and to unpack some of its fundamental consequences, including how it unlocks the mystery of life and how it leads to man’s true self-realisation. The point I am making here is unusual, maybe even unique to the history of philosophy and it is central to the rest of my writing, so I wish to stay with it and elaborate on it further.

Man’s predicament is so totally lost that he cannot know or refer to the original state of unitary Being, as any attempt would have to be expressed within his “experiences”, which are necessarily dualistic; there is no way back to Being and he is fundamentally alienated from himself. Man finds himself in a continuous state of mind-body, subject-object, interior-exterior dualism, played out in space-time, which will define his sense of self and freedom, which are themselves expressions of his predicament, not his reality. The sum total of his experiences is only an articulation of his predicament as lost-being. In other words, the very world which is about to unfold before him, in a continuous dialectic of I-and-Thou is a “mythological expression of his lost-being”; man has become the sleeping beauty who pricked her finger and fell asleep. Descartes, the father of modern philosophy, while in pursuit of the starting point for his philosophy, toyed with the idea that man might be dreaming or deceived by a great Deceiver. He was nearer to the truth than he realised but, unfortunately, the Deceiver got the better of him as he fell into the illusion of the first model proposed earlier, believing in a still-point within consciousness, a reality point, from which to grasp the world through knowledge and understanding. Descartes, in effect, gave himself a mental-pinch, and declared himself awake, with his “I think therefore I am”, but he failed to realise that the pinch was part of the dream. Understanding the radical nature of the fall is essential to understanding the nature of the world, of man’s predicament and the nature of any possible solution to it, which all philosophers have failed to do, as they have all fallen prey to attributing being to object-relations, which Heidegger’s philosophy was trying to address.

Man’s predicament is not that he is lost but much more radically, he himself is lost-being. The loss does not pertain to his position, like somebody lost in a forest, which would allow philosophers to articulate something about man’s position within the reality of his forest, but rather it defines his very nature in exile. It follows from this that man cannot even interpret his predicament, as any interpretation would need further interpreting in an infinite regression. Man’s predicament is “uninterpreted”, it awaits interpretation from beyond itself, like a blind man who doesn’t even know he is blind, as he has nothing to contrast it with but he senses there is something missing, which brings us back to Plato’s analogy of the cave. While man can do nothing to attain to Being by himself, he is free to choose how he responds to his deepest yearning, which is a cry for Being. He can decide to ignore it, as one might ignore an unsettling pain so as not to have to go to a doctor; or he can try to silence it by being busy in the world, as one might try to hide ones loneliness by losing oneself in ones work; or he might seek to listen to it and try to determine its cause and meaning, and live his life in response to it. This search has led many philosophers to define man’s nature as “questioner”, but to do this is to fall short of man’s predicament, as his questions are only a reaction and response to a prior event, an event which cannot be articulated, as it lies on the other side of the gap, rather man’s nature in space-time is “lost-being”.

Life is a myth-expression of man's search for being

Life is a myth-expression of man’s search for being

What is missing to all philosophy is another dimension. Human experience lies in the dualistic, “horizontal” x-y plane of space-time but this is always accompanied by, and is the result of, a non-experienced event of falling from a “vertical” z-axis; if this vertical axis did not exist, then neither would the x-y plane of man’s experiences. Maybe this has its analogy in the big bang of creation, which cannot be experienced directly, but which the rest of our experienced universe points back to, which is also true of black dwarf stars which cannot be seen, as they do not emit radiation, but they can be surmised to exist indirectly by other influences such as their gravitational pull. In other words, man’s experiences are necessarily of one who has fallen and is falling; this state defines his very self-in-the-world, within which he experiences himself as one who has a mind, body and will in a world of objects. Philosophers have taken the immediate data of our senses as certain and directly given, a neutral starting point from which to begin their understanding of the nature of things, which is not true. Our sense experiences are not neutral, on the contrary, they have been proceeded by a non-experienced event of falling, and so our attempt to understand our experiences is a “reaction” to our predicament, to a prior event. Mind and senses are trying to put together the pieces of a lost totality, like a shattered pane of glass, but it is a vain attempt, as their sum total in the horizontal plane of man’s experiences can never attain to the vertical unity-of-being, from which he fell, which is why philosophy has never been able to find an adequate answer to the question, “why is there something rather than nothing?” The answer lies beyond object relations, in something that mind-will-senses cannot grasp, as these belong to man’s predicament as lost-being. Our very knowledge is necessarily knowledge of exile, of non-being, which sets new limits to not only reason, as Kant sought to do, but to all experiences, which are only myth-expressions of lost-being.

Plato recognised something of this predicament in his philosophy when he argued that man “forgets” the world he came from, when he is born into a body. He believed that the soul before birth dwelt in a realm of pure Ideas, from which it is exiled through its imprisonment in a body. He further believed that man is reminded of this lost world through the imperfect, passing experiences of ideas which come through the bodily senses. Learning for Plato was a process of “recollection” of the ideas that were forgotten at birth, and so it followed that the noblest occupation of man was to contemplate the ideas in his mind, purifying himself of the transient, imperfect impressions of the senses, until he died and was released from his body, to return to the realm of Ideas. Plato’s philosophy contained the essential ingredients of a fall into exile and a lost state of being due to a mind-body duality, but I propose that the fall is more radical than Plato realised, as reality belongs to neither body nor mind and so it can’t be attained to by human effort. He believed that by use of mind-and-will man could strive to his original lost state through recollection and contemplation, as he attributed reality to ideas. It is not that such efforts are worthless, as they are myth-expressions-of-man’s-search-for-being, which is man’s dignified attempt to search for that which essentially defines him, but it is only a journey to the origin of the x-y axis of his non-being plane. However, no matter how close he gets to that origin he can’t lift himself up to the vertical z-axis of Being, no more than by drawing close to the reflection of a loved one in a pool of water, brings one into their presence.

Eastern philosophies and meditation practices, which seek to attain to a unity of Being through a transcendental experience, are equally mistaken when they confuse an approximation to, or reflection of, reality, with reality itself. No person can raise himself up to Being, as their very attempts belong to mind-will, which together with their experiences belong to non-being, it is a “futile passion”, in the words of Sartre. By analogy, this predicament can be compared to somebody who has lost their one true love, and inconsolable with grief, they fall asleep and dream of a less traumatic predicament, an abstracted and modified I-Thou problem, in which it is feasible to arrive at a solution by an effort of mind-will. A problem of the heart has been replaced by a problem of the mind, a loss of Love has been replaced by a search for Truth. Man’s search for being, expresses itself in the Good, Beautiful and True, but these are only reflections in a river of the living reality, namely, Love. This can be compared to a pure white light, which strikes a lens and refracts into different colours; neither the individual colours nor their sum total brings us back to the original white light. Self, Mind and Will are born out of this refraction, or fall, so all attempts by man to seek a unity of being, whether through a universal philosophy, the arts, or ascetical practices, can only be a reflection of that reality, like a prisoner who creates works of art as a reminder of the love that awaits him outside. Philosophy’s attempt to resolve the dualistic problem that being-in-the-word throws at it, is like a recurring dream in which man vainly attempts to execute an action, like going to the toilet, which can only be fulfilled by waking up. Sleeping beauty awaits her prince.

The upshot to what I have said so far is that the underlying unity that philosophers have long sought to the problem of mind-world duality is Non-Being. Mind is mind-of-world and World is world-for-mind, they necessarily co-exist, like the two sides of a piece of paper. Mind and World should not be considered independently, they generate each other from the baby´s loss of being, like an equal and opposite reaction. They are the parchment upon which man writes his myths, and the stage upon which he lives and experiences his exile, where the play is “Man’s search for Being”, acted out in an I-and-Thou dialectic of non-being. Kant’s transcendentals, which are not derived from, justifiable or refutable by experience, but are applicable to it, and which bind man to his world, are in fact the very grammar in which man will experience his exile and articulate his myth of lost-being. In other words, the transcendentals do not pertain to the mind, in some abstracted form, as Kant believed, but to the living, non-experienced, falling state of man’s predicament. Kant’s understanding of the transcendentals is only a reflection in the pool of man’s exile, a modified problem in the dream state of mind-body-world. The transcendentals do not merely set limits to reason and knowledge, but they set the boundaries of man’s living experience of exile, just as the perimeter fencing, bars, uniforms and daily routine of prison life sets the limits to the new arrivals experience of life, limits which do not merely address his consciousness but his very lived experiences as a “prisoner”.

The first model in this book presented a fairly straightforward picture of reality, where mind and world are mapped together through language and conscious experiences, into “facts”, where what you see is what you get. The second model uncovered another layer to man’s world, which meant that the first model needed “interpretation” in order to make reality conscious and so bring man out of his shadow of caves. However, the third model goes much further in claiming that, not only are there no facts but there isn’t even interpretation, as there is no still-point within the continuous state of falling, from which an interpretation can be made, all is encompassed within the totality of man’s lost-state with nothing left over. Man’s predicament means that everything is “myth”, a myth-expression-of-lost-being, including psychoanalytical interpretation, which I will return to later. Man’s problem is not that the question mark or interpretation does not go deep enough, as such an understanding reduces man’s predicament to a mere horizontal mind-will problem, where the solution will be found in a matter of time. To take such a stance condemns Philosophy to Nietzsche’s eternal recurrence, as it fails to understand the nature of man’s problem as “wholly other”, it gives a false sense of depth and progress to man’s sojourn in the horizontal plane of his exile. Before moving on to consider the solution to man’s predicament, it is necessary to consider further what is lost in the fall, and what is happening in the splitting, projecting and introjecting of good-bad objects in the baby’s psyche.

THE GOOD OBJECT AND LOST-LOVE

CHAPTER 5

Into the baby’s primitive mind-world come all the object relations that Klein´s theory of psychoanalysis described, with its splitting of good and bad objects. The baby originally keeps the objects apart in a futile attempt to return to its lost state of “goodness” but when this becomes an unrealisable task the baby finally settles for a world of good-bad objects, he begins to accept his new reality, like a prisoner who gives up thoughts of escaping and makes the cell his home. Not surprisingly, this stage of development comes with a depression from which it gets its name in Psychoanalysis. I want to propose at this point that the Good was originally a relationship of love, such that the I-and-Thou formed a unique I-Thou, where the two were one in a unity-of-Being. Being itself is defined by this relationship of love, which can also be describe as Presence, the sort of presence that only the language of silence can convey, like when two soulmates meet for the first time and immediately know that they are one, or in a mystical experience, which transcends the dualism of this world. Any attempt to articulate these experiences into knowledge only subtracts from the immediacy and certainty of the ecstatic knowing, before which discursive reasoning stands superfluous. In the fall, this relationship is lost; everything else has stayed the same but something is missing, like a married woman who after years of a loving relationship with her husband, realises in a moment that he no longer loves her, even though everything else, his words and actions, have remained unchanged.

These aforementioned analogies are only analogies and must not be mistaken for the true I-Thou, of which these are only pale reflections in the x-y plane of man’s experiences. The lost I-Thou cannot be repaired, it cannot even be experienced, the Spirit which held them together in love is now absent, leaving a gap, which will never be filled, a yearning which will never be satisfied, a problem which can never be solved. In losing love, man has lost his very identity, becoming alienated from his true self as a unity-of-being with his Thou, which leaves Sartre to declare, “Hell is other people”. The world is now perceived as one of equal and opposite reactions, a will-to-power and survival of the fittest in a world of object relations. The baby seeks to retrieve this lost love through a projection of the good into the Thou-object followed by its introjection into the I-object, in a futile attempt to bridge the gap and make the two one. It is a desperate reaction to his predicament, which is both a denial of, and yearning for, lost- love, which might be characterised by the wife’s reaction to her husband’s infidelity, when she exaggerates the expressions of love in an attempt to both get him back and to deny the reality of the situation. The gap created by lost-love defines man’s fallen nature as lost-being, which cannot be filled by objects in the x-y plane of man’s experiences, whether in the interior world of knowledge and fantasy, or in the exterior world of material goods and sensual pleasures.

It is an unfortunate consequence of the fall, and a characteristic of man’s exile, that the good is no longer a relationship of love, but a thing, it pertains to objects and how objects relate to each other, in the non-being world of I-and-Thou. Moral laws attempt to point people towards what is good, but such laws can’t address man’s predicament or lost nature, they can only attempt to give right order to object relations; they can’t solve the problem of object relations, which would be to unite them together in their original unity of being. In other words, moral laws can restrain the heartless by speaking to the mind-will, but they can’t restore the heart; they cannot force people into a communion of love. Socrates believed that the Good existed but he threw doubt over the possibility of grasping it and defining it with the mind, as any such attempt particularises it, in a endless series of differentiation. However, his philosophical dialectic purified him from concepts to become the Good himself, in his philosophised-self, when he accepted death as his reward for seeking Truth. Less scrupulous and less wise philosophers exploited this gap in concepts of the mind, and identified the Good with that which enabled people to be successful in life; the gap was filled by use and usefulness, which has parallels in our own world of relativism and utilitarianism. Establishing what is the “good life” was one of the earliest problems of Philosophy. It was always closely associated with a virtuous life, which meant that it was not a problem of the mind but of the total person and how they lived their life in the world, which points us back towards a lost I-Thou, a problem of man’s disposition towards the world, or a “love of objects”. To see man’s predicament in terms of lost-love, rather than a search for truth, will provide a whole new context for looking at philosophy, and interpreting philosophical problems.

One such example, might be the problem of cause and effect. David Hume, an eighteenth century philosopher, undermined Sciences claims to an objective knowledge of the world when he showed that causation did not lie in the senses nor the mind, so despite our familiarity with it in everyday life, it couldn’t be proven to be a reality that existed in the world of objects. He concluded that it must be a “natural” assumption imposed by human beings on to the world, which Kant later attributed to the transcendentals of the mind. I have already pointed out that I disagree with Kant’s, and for that matter, Hume’s solution to this problem, as I believe the explanation lies in man’s “falling state” of being-in-the-world, which is prior to mind-world duality and which gives rise to it. In other words, when Love was lost in the fall, causation took up the role of explaining why there are two objects and not one, like somebody who has the task of explaining to a child why mommy and daddy don’t live together any more; it is a story of lost love. No amount of explanation can satisfy the child, as reason can never take the place of love, even if what the person says is true, the child still yearns to have her parents back. Causation is essential to Science for explaining how objects relate, but it doesn’t deal with a fundamental philosophical question of “why is there something rather than nothing?” Causation has the task of describing our fallen world but it does not explain why it is fallen nor can it provide a solution, a truth which sets the limits to all scientific knowledge. When all explanations have been exhausted nothing will have been said about reality; the solution must come from beyond causation, where explanations, justifications, questions and answers end, to use a Wittgenstein term, it must be “shown”.

It is worth considering a little further at this point the distinction between the I-Thou before the fall and the I-and-Thou after it and how it impacts love and trust. In true Love, the Thou is “wholly other” from the I, the one contains no part of the other, rather it is loved simply and purely for itself, and this love makes the two one in a unity-of-being. In the fall this love is lost and with it man’s true I-Thou identity. This catastrophic fall causes a chain reaction akin to a Big Bang of creation, in which the I projects into the Thou the good, and then in turn, introjects it, in an attempt to recover the original I-Thou. This dynamic becomes the basis of the dialectic and differentiation process, which makes up man’s experience of being-in-the-world. In other words, all man’s experiences are a series of Thou’s, which stand apart from him, which he can’t live with and yet he can’t do without. A gap remains between them, which he longs to fill, and which gives him his false sense of progress, as his primal energy drives him forward in space-time to close something which exists in his very fallen nature; it is like chasing a mirage in the desert or trying to clear a black spot before ones eyes when the spot exists on the retina of the eye. This “gap” led Sartre to define man as a self-conscious being that is “not that” before all experiences of Thou, as no Thou can define him; he always stands apart from his experiences as something Other. What Sartre failed to see was that this self-consciousness does not define man’s nature but his fallen-nature, it describes his predicament. Man no longer forms a unity of being with the Thou, but experiences it like a shattered pane of glass, where each piece reflects his own image, a projection of his I into the Thou forming an I-I(Thou), where love has been replaced by self-love. There is no possibility of man accepting the Thou as “wholly other”, as all his experiences are necessarily made up of this projection, which means he is permanently alienated from his true identity, from Love or Being, for the two are one and the same. This predicament is portrayed in the Greek myth of Narcissus, who saw his reflection in a pool of water and fell in love with it, not knowing it was himself. He grew thirstier but he wouldn’t touch the water for fear of damaging his reflection; he eventually died of thirst because of the illusion created from self-love, staring at his own reflection.

Narcissus saw his own reflection in the water and fell in love with it, not realizing it was merely an image. Unable to leave the beauty of his reflection, Narcissus died.

Narcissus saw his own reflection in the water and fell in love with it, not realizing it was merely an image. Unable to leave the beauty of his reflection, Narcissus died.

Man’s pursuit of the “wholly other” Thou, his other half, is ultimately in vain, as any effort on man’s part must start from self and pertain to self-seeking, which means it is rooted in self-love; all his yearnings have their source in this alienation at the heart of his being. All that he does in life, whether it is to settle down to make his home here; or to be an intrepid explorer in search of new life or inner meaning; or as an artist who wishes to express himself creatively, all are expressions of man’s attempt to unite the I-and-Thou, which keeps him alienated from his nature as being. People throughout life embark on various forms of deconstruction and construction in an attempt to free themselves of all that reinforces their false self and self-love, such as adolescent rebellions, social revolutions, or midlife crises. As mentioned before, art, ascetical practices, meditations and philosophies have been used to undertake this journey, but any beauty, ecstatic or transcendental experiences are only a reflection of Being in the x-y plane of non-being. When an object approaches the sun it will heat up, it may even turn to fire, but neither the heat nor the fire are the sun, and this is where man has failed to distinguish between Being and approximations to being within the plane of his non-being experiences. Being itself cannot be experienced, to experience it would be to reduce it to non-being.

This journey to Being has its analogy in Calculus of Maths where, for example, a sum to infinity of fractions like ½ + ¼ + 1/8+ 1/16+… approximates to “1”, but will never reach it. A calculator, even a powerful computer, will eventually round off the answer to one when it is sufficiently close, but it will never actually attain to one no matter how long it is given. While such rounding-off can be justified in our world of object relations, it is not the case with Being, or reality. The former belongs to the truths of this world, which is man asleep, dreaming of a solution to his predicament, in which he envisions the endless steps finally attain to its goal, like the fairy tales with their happy endings. In truth, no approximation can attain to reality, as Being and non-being lie in different planes, at the origin of the x-y-z axis. The infinitesimal small gap of calculus, which allows for rounding, is an unbridgeable chasm in the reality of lost-love. Fallen man reacts to his predicament by arming himself with a will-to-power, in a attempt to take by force the Thou, or to fill his world with a surfeit of Thous, in a vain attempt to quench his thirst for Being. Whether it is the abstracted Calculus problems of the mind or the existential, experiential Maths of living-in-the-world, which I mentioned before, man finds himself in an infinite regression trying to put the pieces of shattered glass together to return it to its original state of Being. Man’s search for the lost love, which defines his nature, will always result in “disappointed love”, as the world can never give him what he wants, he will always have to settle for less.

Man’s predicament can only be addressed if he can find a perfect holding environment, one of unconditional love, a Thou which can never fail him and which accepts him totally for who he is in all circumstances. Only such a Thou, which is free of its own projections and self-interest, that is, one which has true love, can make it possible for the I to let go of its own reactive, projection mechanisms of self-love. Only then can the two accept each other and their own self for who they are, free of all self-interest or fear of rejection, in a true love, which binds the two as one. Carl Rogers, the founder of non-directive counselling, learnt from experience that it was sufficient for a therapist to provide three core conditions in a therapy session for a patient to find healing; these conditions were, unconditional positive regard, empathy and congruence. He saw them as the necessary pre-requisites for a “good enough” holding environment, which would allow the patient to feel secure enough, to let go of their masks, which hid their fragility, pain and woundedness, so that they could be true to their deeper self. The patient no longer feels the need to react to his world and to hide behind the defence mechanisms and ego which helped him to cope in an I-and-Thou world. The safe environment created by the therapist enables him to discover a new identity in the I-Thou bond formed with the therapist. This is an analogy, and only an analogy, to the perfect holding environment which I mentioned before, as therapy clearly has limitations. The therapist himself is only human, he has his own inner limitations, and neither can he control the Thou which the patient will face when he walks out of the session and back to the world he came from. I will elaborate on these limitations to therapy later, but for now, I will say that therapy deals with man’s “woundedness” and not with his “fallenness”.

You must be the change you wish to see in the world. Gandhi

You must be the change you wish to see in the world. Gandhi

The need to let go of a false self, which alienates man from his deeper identity, and which is recovered through a new I-Thou bond, based on love, finds expression also in Gandhi’s satyagraha, or love-force. This philosophy and its practice was first used to face the institutional evil of colonialism. Many institutional structures are born out of man’s will-to-power, which is why those who rise to the top of them are so often corrupted by their thirst for power. This means that our institutions and those who run them have their own pathologies; those who commit their lives and beliefs to it, as a “reality”, are ultimately left enslaved to their own narcissism. Behind their masks of eloquent speech, professionalism, success and concern for others, lies a narcissistic self, which seeks to be the measure and enforcer of its own interpretation of I-Thou. Gandhi sought to unmask these institutions and bring them into a new I-Thou relationship, where the will-to-power was undone and replaced by a will-to-love. Whereas fallen man’s Thou will always draw him into a battle of minds and wills, in a survival of the fittest, satyagraha presents a new and paradoxical Thou. The will-to-power, which came into being, and thrives, on a chain reaction of violence and alienation, fed by a projection of fear and hate into the Thou, meets instead a Thou, which forgives his enemy and does good to those who hate him. This new Thou is based on a belief in a will-to-love, which can bring harmony by seeking truth in a spirit of peace and non-violence. It shares the three conditions of Carl Roger’s therapy; it empathises with its enemy’s institutional predicament, while pointing out congruently the harm it is doing in a spirit of brotherly love. This Thou forces the I to confront its own hatred and self-deception, which in turn unmasks its will-to-power for what it really is, a cry for Being and a perversion of the Good, which all humans seek. The I now sees this Good being offered it by the non-violent Thou which both confronts it and holds it in a new I-Thou bond; the I finds itself disarmed and converted in a revolution of love.

The solution to man’s predicament must lie not only outside his field of object-relations, or experiences, but also outside his drives, which are not free of man’s fallen nature. This is why philosophers like Nietzsche, who try to get back to an original force that preceded the structures of the world of experiences fails, since the drive in man is necessarily “intentional” and so belongs to object relations, which it can’t be separated from. In other words, Nietzsche’s will-to-power, although more primitive, is part of the problem, not the solution, as it is a fallen-will; it was born from the split in the original I-Thou, a “reaction”, which seeks in vain to unite them again. This insight led Schopenhauer to write a pessimistic philosophy of the Will, where even doing good was a waste of time, as man could not realise himself by good acts. Freud made a similar mistake to Nietzsche in his understanding of the Id, a pleasure principle drive, which he used as the basis of his interpretation of man’s nature, development and neuroses. Later psychoanalysts were to recognize the limitations and one-sidedness of his model, which denied the richness and complexity of human development, which they recognised as intrinsically relational, an I-to-Thou, and not merely a pleasure seeking I. The tendency in the modern era to solve social and personal problems by simply unleashing the powerful drives within man, as a means to self-realisation and a free, productive society, reflects a failure to understand the nature of man’s fallen state; the truth of it can be judged by its fruits. The past century has seen the greatest number of atrocities committed in mankind’s history by those who adhere to a nietzschean philosophy of a “will-to-power” and a “Superman” race of people. It is also seen in the damage caused by an unhindered, rampant capitalism, and the social breakdown caused by a sexual license and freedom-to-choose, which values individualism at the cost of social responsibility, while deeming any form of morality as repressive and unhealthy.

The solution to man’s predicament must lie outside both the apollonian and dionysian aspects that make up his experience of being-in-the-world, as they both rely on objects in an attempt to attain a final unity. Man, ultimately, awaits an “interpretation” of his predicament, which will draw him out of his shadows of object-relations, where he is trapped by the Kantian transcendentals, which define his exile. A new Transcendental is needed which will break down the barriers of dualism, which separate Kant’s world of phenomena from his world of noumena, in a New Man. A saving-myth is needed which will answer man’s cry for Being, and end all myth-expressions of man’s-search-for-Being. Such a saving-myth needs to be both in the world but not of the world, a myth which not only interprets his myth but existentially frees him from the differentiation process which keeps him locked in his myth of eternal recurrence. This requires Being to share man’s predicament without giving up its own I-Thou identity, offering man an alternative way of being-in-the-world, which transcends his experiences, drawing him from the non-being shadows in the x-y axis, into the light of his original I-Thou being in the z-axis; his redemption has to be as total and unitary as his fall was total and dualistic. This “interpretation” will revolutionise the way man understands and practices religion, philosophy, social reform, ethics, therapy etc, as it reveals what it is “to be” and what it is “not to be”, the confusion of which has been the source of man’s questions, ailments, conflicts and pursuit of happiness down the ages. Now I have come to the point of presenting my solution to man’s predicament and the way out of the cave of his fallenness.

 

 

 

The Immediacy of Love (Part 2)

GOD HEARS MAN’S CRY FOR BEING

CHAPTER 7

Abraham's sacrifice transcends all human measures of Good in a new Ethic, only known to God.

Abraham’s sacrifice transcends all human measures of Good in a new Ethic, only known to God.

Man’s saving-myth is summed up in the words of St John’s gospel, “God so loved the world that he sent his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life”. The God of Being has heard man’s cry and intervenes in his history of lost-being, to redeem his myth. He first appears to Abraham, from whom he asks the ultimate sacrifice, his only son, Isaac, a sacrifice which transcends all other sacrifices made by ancient religious practices, and which is a myth-expression of the final sacrifice which Jesus, God’s only Son, will make on the cross for all mankind. Kierkegaard, the nineteenth century Danish philosopher interpreted Abraham’s intended sacrifice, as a “suspension of the ethical”, as his act defies all sense of moral goodness. A new ethic is manifested, a new measure of Good, which transcends all previous ethics that were based on fallen object relations. I will return to reflect more carefully on this new ethic later, however, Abraham’s act is more than that, it has its context in a “suspension of object relations ” itself, as Abraham is prepared to sacrifice everything which pertains to the future promise God made to him, of being the “father of a great nation”. He believes, in faith, that he will receive it all back in a manner which is only evident to God. God’s power and wisdom is not reduced to the mind of man nor the laws of nature, it transcends the horizontal plane of man’s exile; “For as the heavens are above the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8). The whole differentiation process which defines mankind is being offered in sacrifice, including Abraham’s self-identity, which is rooted in the future history of object relations; there is nothing held back, he has no ground of the old order to stand on. This is man’s transcendental act, par excellence, the one truly religious act, which acknowledges the fundamental truth of mankind’s predicament, that “everything is nothing but God alone”, a truth which religious man has continuously forgotten, throughout history, as he has sought to reduce God to his experiences. This is the act which makes Abraham the Father of Faith, and with it time and history have taken on new meaning; they are no longer merely the parchment on which man’s mythological-search-for-being is written, but it is where God’s myth-of-redemption is being realised.

Over four hundred years later, when Abraham’s descendants are in slavery God intervenes again in history by appearing to Moses in a burning bush, which was not consumed by the flames. This event is symbolic of the transcendent presence of God, which is not reduced to the laws of nature; he is in the world but not of it. God commanded Moses to go to Egypt and set his fellow Hebrews free from slavery, which in turn lead to their 40 years sojourn in the desert, as they made their way to the new land which God had promised them. All these events and stories of the Old Testament are myth-expressions of God’s plan of salvation, to set man free from his bondage to object relations and the laws of nature, to redeem space-time, the parchment on which his myth is being written, and to free him from his eternal recurrences in the desert of his exile, by bringing him into a new reality, or “presence”, of which the promised land of the Isrealites is a myth-expression. Although no law, as such, can address man’s predicament, as all laws have their context within object relations, the Law God gave to Moses in the desert, allowed them to be present-to-Being in a unique way. This present-to does not rectify the absence which lies at the heart of man’s fallen state, it cannot close the gap; Being can’t be touched by the mind or senses, which is symbolised in God’s instructions to Moses to take off his sandals before approaching the burning bush. The Jews carried around on tablets of stone the Ten Commandments, a sign of God’s presence among them, but it was kept in the Ark of the Covenant, hidden from the eyes of the people by a large veil. This sacred gap is also characterised by the Holy of Holies, the inner sanctuary of the Tabernacle, where the Ark of the Covenant was kept, which nobody could enter except the high priest, and even he could only enter it once a year to atone for the peoples sins. Man’s fall, or sin, keeps him alienated from God and his own being, which will only be overcome when sin has been atoned for, once and for all, in a new covenant.

The Law allowed the Jews to experience and articulate a new myth beyond all previous myths of man’s-search-for-being, something that was not possible before, namely, the myth-of-God’s-chosen-people. This was not a mere label or description of an historical event, but rather it shaped their identity; just as all previous myths defined man as lost-being, this new myth gives him a new definition, which is neither being nor lost-being. However, this myth also meant that the Jews were going to experience God as the God of Justice, as he is the giver of the Law, and therefore he will judge them according to the Law; they cannot experience God any other way, as he has not revealed himself in any other way. The other important purpose of the Law is it will reveal to man the reality of his predicament, the unbridgeable chasm between him and God, which is lost-love. Their failure to keep the Law is a constant reminder of their failure in love, since to love God and neighbour, are the commandments that sum up all the other commandments. By always falling short of the Law man will come to see more clearly his nature in this world, which is not just an unworthy sinner but a lost-being, who looks to God’s mercy and not to his own righteousness. Ironically, this is the most appropriate preparation for the new covenant which will bring to fulfilment all laws and object relations through a new divine law, and a new transcendent object relations. Something dramatically new is about to take place in the history of mankind, for which all that preceded it, all religions and philosophies were merely a mythological cry. God has heard the cry of his people who recognize their own nothingness and their total dependence on Him as Saviour.

EMMANUEL, GOD-IS-WITH-US

CHAPTER 8

In Jesus, man’s “interpretation” has arrived, a light has shone in the darkness. Emmanuel means God-is-with-us; Being has come to non-being, the present-to of the law is surpassed by Presence itself. A new myth is “incarnated” which will restore man’s I-Thou, setting prisoners free to a new way of being-in-the-world. This interpretation does not address man’s consciousness or unconsciousness, as would an interpretation in psychoanalysis, rather it is an “incarnating interpretation”, the sort that existentialist philosophers have tried to provide in order to overcome the abstractions of Idealist philosophy. Jesus is the true existentialist philosopher, as he alone has Being, he alone can redeem man from his alienation, not by mere teaching but by his own presence, which unites the human to the divine, bridging the gap created by original sin. Jesus is the universal of love, which is to unite all the universals of the mind, which Plato aspired to do through the contemplation of ideas; truth-seeking is silenced in the presence of love. Jesus is to renew the face of the earth, by bringing a new object relations in the form of Trinitarian love; he is to end history itself, by collapsing space-time, like a collapsing star, to bring God’s kingdom to earth in the “Now” of his own incarnate presence. Where the myth of the Old Testament reveals a God of Justice, the myth of the New Testament reveals a God of Love, the two God’s are the same but man’s self-consciousness has changed, like a break through in the evolution of consciousness, which in turn changes his way of being-in-the-world from an unworthy servant of God to a Child of God. It was necessary for the vertical to become horizontal in order that the horizontal could become vertical, “God became man so that man could become God (St Athanasius)”. The place man is entering is no longer of the mind nor senses but of a living faith, which transcends the non-being nature of his experiences.

The Law reveals to the world a God of Justice and Jesus reveals a God of Love, teaching his disciples to address God as Father.

The Law revealed to the world a God of Justice and Jesus revealed a God of Love, teaching his disciples to address God as Father.

The Jews anticipated a Messiah who would be like one of their previous kings, a warrior king who would overthrow their rulers and oppressors and give them back their promised land, making them a great nation. Such a plan would only have anthropomophised God and reduced the myth-of-salvation to another myth-of-lost-being, as happens in the history of revolutions. It would have only taken place in the horizontal plane of object relations, and so the seeds of alienation and violence, through cause-effect, would have remained within. Man can only be saved by something “wholly other”, a revolution which does not rearrange object relations but ends them, one that breaks down the kantian transcendentals, which have held man in exile in a world of phenomena, by a new divine transcendental, which lifts man across the gap to the realm of the noumena, which philosophers in history have vainly tried to achieve. Jesus is to proclaim that the Kingdom of God has arrived in his own incarnate person, that He and the Father are One in a unique I-Thou, and that all people are called to share in this new order which is here, now present, in their midst. This book will show how Jesus is the “incarnate transcendental”, who makes it possible for all men to incarnate themselves into their I AM in a new myth-of-being, written on a new parchment, which does not belong to space-time. Jesus calls people to walk by a new sense, that of faith, like their father Abraham; this new sense cannot be justified by reason alone, as reason belongs to the old order. It will be justified by his own resurrection from the dead, when he makes himself present again, a presence he wishes to share with all people; “peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you” (Jn 14:27). Those who participate in his pascal mystery, entering into the new myth-of-being, through a living faith, will need no further justification. Jesus’ resurrection changed his defeated, scattered and terrified Apostles into fearless proclaimers of the Good News that God’s Kingdom has come and that man has been truly set free.

Mary's fiat is the paradigm to true freedom.

Mary’s fiat is the paradigm to true freedom.

God’s saving myth begins with Mary’s fiat to the angels announcement, that she will conceive by the power of the Holy Spirit. Mary’s response, “be it done to me according to your word”, gives permission for Being to make itself present on earth through its own breath of life. Mary is the first instrument of God’s creative work, the first participator in the myth-of-being, which was made possible because God had already privileged her with special graces. Her disposition was one of “lowliness”, a person emptied of the false self, which condemns all humans to exile, and yet “full of grace”, as she was free of the attachments to this world, with a pure heart, ready to obey God in all things; her will was already disposed towards the transcendent, as it did not belong to the object relations of this world. Like Abraham, she believed that what the angel promised could be possible, despite defying the laws of nature, for a new reality had broken in beyond the façade of object relations and found its faithful servant, awaiting her master. Her fiat is to be the paradigm of man’s true freedom, the freedom “to be”, which is a gift of God, a work of the Holy Spirit, which I will show in the following chapters, incarnates man into the same myth-of-being. Mary’s miraculous conception, is appropriate and illustrative of the new order, as it transcends the natural laws of cause-effect and the object relations of this world, making present a Trinitarian object relations, where the Son is incarnated through the power of the Holy Spirit by the will of the Father. In the light of psychoanalytical insights, like those of Winnicott, it seems expedient that the Church proclaimed as a doctrine of faith that Mary herself was “immaculated conceived”, that is, she was conceived without original sin, as this provided a spotless “holding environment”, the Thou, for the I of the Incarnate Word; she provided the sinless human nature and the Holy Spirit provided the divine nature, for God to be made man in an I-Thou, which is both perfectly human and perfectly divine.

Jesus’ incarnation is to be the meeting point of two myths, which the Church calls a “hypostatic union” of two natures in one person. Jesus shares in the myth of man’s exile, “he did not count equality with God something to be grasped but emptied himself and took the form of a servant, being like man in all things except sin” (Phil 2:6). He also makes present the myth of God’s salvation by proclaiming “the Father and I are one” (Jn 10:30). Jesus shares in the experiences of man, the differentiation process that makes up his myth-of-lost-being, but Jesus’ experiences are not due to a fall, unlike all other men, but freely chosen out of his love for the Father and for the world, “I love the Father and I do exactly as my Father commands me…. as the Father has loved me, so I have loved you (Jn 15:9)”. Unlike all other men Jesus retains a perfect presence before the Father, obedient to him in all things, never deviating or reacting to circumstances, however unfavourable. He accepts all from the hand of the Father, as providence works through all human events; “my food is to do the will of him who sent me (Jn 4:34)…the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing (Jn 5:19)”. Even on the eve of his betrayal he ate with his betrayer, and he accepted the injustices, false testimonies, torture and crucifixion from the hand of his Father, “let not my will but yours be done (Lk 22:42)”. The Gospel writers remind us that even in the seemingly most barbaric, sinful and unjust situations Jesus was fulfilling what the Scriptures had prophesied. The present-to relation of man to God, which came through the Law has been surpassed by the presence of Jesus to the Father; the gap which defined man as lost-being, through disobedience, has been bridged by Jesus perfect obedience, in the immediacy of divine love, where two wills become one, which restores all human experience to a unity-of-being; the pane of glass remained unshattered in his I-Thou with the Father.

On the day of Atonement, the Jews placed all their sins on a scapegoat, which they sent into the desert to die. Jesus is the final scapegoat as he takes the sins of the world upon himself and is cast out as the “bad object” for all humanity. He pays the price of mankind’s guilt before the Law and before the God of Justice, bringing closure to the old myths, while revealing the true nature of God as the God of Love, in a new myth. He forges a new covenant between man and God, in which man can audaciously call God, “Abba, Father”; a new myth-of-salvation is being written in his own blood. The cross is the meeting point of two divine forces, both God’s wrath and love, which are both directed towards Jesus who realises in himself the perfectly “bad object” of man’s sin and the perfectly “good object” of divine sonship. Whereas the presence of good-bad in the same object, in the baby’s world, marked a time of depression, a sign of lost-love and a sentencing to the exile of non-being, in Jesus they mark a new covenant of love, as man is set free from his exile, to enter the promised land of Being. Jesus on the cross must have experienced a divine abandonment, when the God of Justice cast him out of his presence, like a scapegoat, but in the deepest, darkest night of faith Jesus did not react or flinch in his obedience to the will of the Father, accepting if necessary an eternal separation from the Father, just as saints have expressed a longing to suffer eternally if it meant saving souls. This hour of divine abandonment, of the loss of the Trinitarian holding environment, may be symbolised both by Jesus’ crucifixion between two criminals in a trinity of lost-being, and the three hours of darkness which covered the whole earth before his death. Where Moses lifted up a bronze serpent in the desert, so that those Israelites who were bitten by snakes could be healed by looking at the standard, Jesus is lifted up on a cross as the one who will heal all men of their lost-being, the result of the bite of the serpent in the garden of Eden, when man fell into the sickness of original sin.

The two myths meet in one person, who bridges the gap between God and man.

The two myths meet in one person, who bridges the gap between God and man.

The will-to-love finally overcomes the will-to-power, presence overcomes absence, obedience overcomes disobedience, as the I-and-Thou of man’s myth-of-lost-being gives way to a new I-Thou myth; the duality which marked man’s exile is undone by Jesus’ death, symbolised in the rending of the curtain of the Holy of Holies, which separated the sacred and the secular, as He breathed his last. Jesus has done what no man before could do, uniting the two myths in his own person, the horizontal and the vertical, as symbolised in the shape of the cross on which he died, bridging the gap with his own broken body. The cross is the platform on which Jesus makes his final prayer and sermon before closing history and it is the stage upon which he invites his followers to play their part in the new myth, by taking up their cross and following him. Jesus has made it possible for all humans to unite the two myths in their own person, but it will involve living in a paradox, a dying to self on their own cross so that a new life can be born, something I will elaborate on later; Jesus’ pascal mystery, as we shall see, is central to the new order. If the final cry of the old myth is expressed in Jesus’ words, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me”, the cry of the new myth is expressed in Jesus’ words, “I thirst”, as God expresses his thirst to pour out his divine love into all men as a new creation, a new incarnate-being. Man is finally in a position to recover the “wholly other” Thou, his other half, in a new I-Thou, which is expressed in Jesus final act on the cross, when he unites Mary and John at the foot of the cross. Mary and John look upon the new standard lifted up, which heals the duality at the heart of all relations on earth, as the power of original sin is finally broken.

In the resurrection Jesus has overcome the myth-of-lost-being, he is no longer sharing in man’s bodily experience of exile, but has taken on a transformed body, a resurrected form, which transcends the limits of space-time, cause-effect, as manifested in the empty tomb, his passing through locked doors and his refusal to be touched. The Apostles did not even recognise him in this new resurrected form, as it could not be grasped by the mind or senses. On the road to Emmaus, after the two disciples have shared their own myth of the lost-Messiah, and Jesus in turn has shared his myth of the saving-Messiah, the hearts of the disciples “burn”. However, it is only in the breaking of bread that “there eyes were opened and they recognised him, as he disappeared from their sight (Lk 24:31)”. The breaking of bread is to be at the heart of the new order, as it makes present the new incarnating reality, something which I will say a lot more about at the end of the book when I look at the Eucharist, in the light of the incarnating transcendental, which is now in the world and at the heart of a new creation. It is only at Pentecost, with the coming of the Holy Spirit, that the disciples enter into this new living myth themselves, which is manifested by their fearless preaching in tongues, in a language which united all the foreign languages. This new language is man himself as “incarnate word”, a living language of universal love, which the Holy Spirit makes present, a new I-Thou dialogue between man and his world, which will recreate the face of the earth. The new language transcends the limits of the old order, redeeming the fallen-languages, which have kept people divided and in opposition to one another as enemies. Man no longer needs to build towers of Babel to reach up to Being, because Being has come to earth, and the people are united in one common language, which articulates the new myth-of-being, God’s kingdom come.

In the resurrection Jesus has overcome the myth-of-lost-being, he is no longer sharing in man’s bodily experience of exile, but has taken on a transformed body, a resurrected form, which transcends the limits of space-time, cause-effect, as manifested in the empty tomb, his passing through locked doors and his refusal to be touched. The Apostles did not even recognise him in this new resurrected form, as it could not be grasped by the mind or senses. On the road to Emmaus, after the two disciples have shared their own myth of the lost-Messiah, and Jesus in turn has shared his myth of the saving-Messiah, the hearts of the disciples “burn”. However, it is only in the breaking of bread that “there eyes were opened and they recognised him, as he disappeared from their sight (Lk 24:31)”. The breaking of bread is to be at the heart of the new order, as it makes present the new incarnating reality, something which I will say a lot more about at the end of the book when I look at the Eucharist, in the light of the incarnating transcendental, which is now in the world and at the heart of a new creation. It is only at Pentecost, with the coming of the Holy Spirit, that the disciples enter into this new living myth themselves, which is manifested by their fearless preaching in tongues, in a language which united all the foreign languages. This new language is man himself as “incarnate word”, a living language of universal love, which the Holy Spirit makes present, a new I-Thou dialogue between man and his world, which will recreate the face of the earth. The new language transcends the limits of the old order, redeeming fallen-language, which has kept people divided and in opposition to one another as enemies. Man no longer needs to build towers of Babel to reach up to Being, because Being has come to earth, and the people are united in one common language, which articulates the new myth-of-being, the Good News that God’s kingdom has come.

THE GOSPELS PRESENT THE NEW MYTH

CHAPTER 9

The Gospels can be read in the light of this saving myth which ends object relations. Jesus’ birth is marked by a census and a bloody massacre of the innocent, which characterises man’s need to control history through knowledge and power. His 30 years hidden in the insignificant town of Nazareth, a town that doesn’t even get a mention in the Old Testament, is no accident or quirk of providence. The new myth does not belong to history, it is not contained within its articulations, but rather it announces the end of history as we know it; the history of man’s articulations is to be fulfilled in the unarticulated history of God’s presence, where time fulfils itself in the “Now” of Being. Jesus’ life does not occupy the stage of space-time, like the great leaders before him, but it exists in the Now of the presentimagesBSPNYXFO moment, where he is about his Father’s business, establishing his kingdom on earth in his own Incarnate-Being. This task does not require Jesus to be preoccupied by the many things of this world, but only with the one thing necessary, his presence to the Father, in an obedience to the present moment, which is both ordinary and supernatural. The dialectic of the I-and-Thou, which gives rise to the will-to-power of man’s fallen-world is replaced by the I-Thou, of their union of wills, which characterises divine love. A new revolution is under way, which doesn’t draw attention to itself, as it lies beyond the radar of mind-senses, in “presence”, which is the nature of Being and the nature of Love, which are one and the same. This is not a passive revolution, rather it is the context for any authentic revolution, as it has its roots in Being. All other revolutions are a visible reaction to man’s absence from Being, which only leads to further forms of alienation, in a spiral of violence, as man seeks the solution to his alienation within the context of object relations, where it can’t be found. Jesus grew up in a humble carpenter family, while remaining faithful to the customs and traditions of the Jewish religion, yet when his hour came he spoke “as one who had authority”, which left the religious authorities bemused, saying “he is the carpenter’s son and we know Mary his mother… where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers (Matt 13:54)?” The new order does not set itself apart, it is present in the humble guise of the present moment, the place where man continues to “trespass” against God, imposing his will over the will of God.

The primal for evil and destruction meets the primal force for love and life in the desert.

The primal for evil and destruction meets the primal force for love and life in the desert.

The desert has great symbolic importance, both in the Old and New Testaments; it is a place of purification and preparation for a new beginning; a place of sojourn to a divine encounter and a place where man does battle with his demons. The old order ends with one last prophet, John the Baptist, who lived in the desert, stripped of object relations through his ascetical life, while calling people to repent of their sins; repentance was always the essential disposition needed if man was to approach the throne of God. Ascetical practices can help to prepare a way for that which is to come, but John is in no doubt that his work is from “below”, horizontal, and the work of him who is to come after him is from “above”, vertical. John acknowledges that he is not even worthy to untie Jesus’ sandals, while Jesus recognises that, despite the greatness of John, the least in the new order is greater than him. There is no comparison between the two orders, which Christianity has continuously failed to respect in its history, which I will elaborate on later. Jesus’ baptism by John in the Jordan, marks the end of the old order and the beginning of the new one, which is symbolized by the presence of the Trinity, the new object relations. Jesus’ ministry begins with a withdrawal into the desert, which symbolizes a return to man’s primal state, where he first confronted his inner demons in the terrors of his infancy. He is tempted by Satan to satisfy the human drives that keep man imprisoned in his myth-of-lost-being; he seeks to draw Jesus into the horizontal plane, which would be to worship object relations. The three temptations may be symbolic of the forces which hold man captive to object relations; the bread representing the object relations of the body, the angels the object relations of the mind, and the kingdoms on earth, the object relations of the world. Jesus’ confrontation with Satan shows that a new order is now present, which is more powerful than the forces which have kept man blind, sick, imprisoned and possessed. Jesus has returned to the primal place where Nietzsche and other philosophers have sought to redeem man, setting him free to find his true identity, which has only led to the forces of hell pouring themselves out on to millions of innocent lives; only Jesus can redeem the primal forces by transforming the will-to-power into a will-to-love.

When John the Baptist, who represents the old order, has been arrested and removed from his public work, Jesus begins his work with the proclamation, “The kingdom of God has come (Mk 1:15)”. The prophecy of the great Old Testament prophet Isaiah is fulfilled in Jesus himself, “the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light”. According to Luke’s account, Jesus goes into the synagogue in Nazareth and spoke the words of the prophet Isaiah, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me…. to preach good news to the poor, to announce release for the prisoners and sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free”, and he told the people that this prophesy has been fulfilled today in himself; Jesus is the Messiah who sets mankind free from the oppression of object relations . The people “fix their eyes on him” and hear it with “approval”, which makes Jesus the “good object” in their world of mind-senses. However, when Jesus proceeds to lambast them for their lack of faith they become enraged and turn against Jesus, who they now experience as the “bad object”. They react by taking him out to kill him, but Jesus “passed through them”. Jesus is neither a good nor bad object of space-time, he is of another order, and so they fail to lay hands on him. The Father is in control and Jesus is surrendered to his plan, which means only at the appointed hour, when history is complete, will Jesus hand himself over as the bad object of God’s judgment, to willingly take upon himself the sins of all humanity. Despite appearances the power does not lie in the hands of people but in the hands of God, which is good news for all those seeking a perfect holding environment, as Jesus said to Pilate “you would have no power over me unless it were given to you from above (Jn 19:11)”.

When Jesus called his Apostles to follow him, they “immediately left their nets and followed him (Mk 1:18)”. This description of how the first followers responded to the call, is very telling about the new myth and the new way of being-in-the-world. The abandonment of their nets, is an abandonment of their livelihood and family, it is a letting go of everything which defines them and holds them in this life. In the light of that which is now in their presence, everything else is experienced as nothing; “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord (Phil 3:8)”. This simple response of the Apostles, like Abraham’s sacrifice, exemplifies the “suspension of object relations”, as they move from the non-being, I-and-Thou myth of their lives as fishermen, into the I-Thou myth of fishers of men. What the Apostles are about to do has already been done in Mary’s fiat, where she allowed the word of God to take over her life and do with her as He willed, her will was one with God’s. Jesus’ call, “follow me”, is all they are given and it is all that is needed, for Jesus himself is, “the Way, the Truth and the Life (Jn 14:6)”. There is an “immediacy” and “totality” about their response, which would only be possible if they were filled with a conviction or “knowing” that made all discursive reasoning of object relations superfluous and which addressed their deepest thirst for Being. Reality itself has broken into their world in the simple words of Jesus, which wakes these fishermen from their sleep of non-being; their lives will never be the same again, because they have tasted reality for the first time. Jesus does not give them a detailed plan of where they are going and what they are to do, there is a notable absence of any dialogue, promises, plans etc, which belong to space-time. The goals and ends which define all object relations have been replaced by a Way, which is Jesus himself, the new incarnating principle of God, who is the alpha and omega point of all “intentionality”; man’s end point is simply Being itself, “Be still and know that I am God (Ps 46:10)”.

God has brought his presence to the darkest storms of life;

God has brought his presence to the darkest storms of life; “Oh men of little faith”.

Mark and Luke recount the story of Jesus asleep in the boat when a storm blows up and threatens to sink the boat. Like the desert, the sea is a place of primal forces, it can bring forth new life or it can destroy life. This was symbolised in the Old Testament’s account of Moses leading the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt, through the parted Red Sea, which led them into a new life, while destroying the enemy which pursued them. The storm terrifies the Apostles with the sense of imminent death that a baby experiences when it faces the full force of the bad objects in its fantasy; it is in such moments as these that adults regress to an infantile state of powerlessness and despair. Like a baby who cries out for his mother, the disciples awaken Jesus, who himself sleeps like a baby in his cot, unperturbed and free of the anxieties that come from the dark terrors, which constitute a baby’s primal experience of falling, which Jesus doesn’t share. When he is awoken he rebukes them for their lack of faith; faith is the new sense, which his followers must learn to walk by, if they are to awaken from their own nightmares. Jesus’ calming of the storm shows that he has power over even primal forces of nature, which points to the order of the work that is entrusted to him. Jesus has not reacted like the Apostles, a reaction which is at the heart of man’s alienation from his self and his world. Instead, he remains unflinchingly present to the Father throughout his mission on earth, accepting all things from his hands, in a new obedience to the present moment, which undoes man’s disobedience and subsequent absence from Being. Jesus is uniting all experiences, however terrifying, under the mantle of God’s will, the unconditional love of the Father, which is the perfect holding environment. Faith offers man a new way of being-in-the-world, which will cost nothing less than everything but which comes with the divine guarantee that, “all is well, all is well, and all manner of things is well” (Julian of Norwich).

Jesus’ teachings and parables are full of the message of this new order which is in their midst, in his own presence. To enter its “narrow gate” demands a radical change in peoples way of engaging life, “you cannot put new wine into old wineskins (Mk 2:22)”. It calls his followers to sell everything and purchase the one treasure that matters, to let go of all preoccupations to the object relations of this world if they want to enter into the new I-Thou, which he already shares with the Father, and which alone can satisfy their restless hearts. This is not something to be achieved by human effort, “that which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the spirit is spirit (Jn 3:6)”. There is something “wholly other” in their midst, which must be received as a gift from above, as it is not of the old order, “unless one is born of water and the spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God (Jn 3:5)”. This vertical element, the Spirit, can only be received through a radical letting go of the old self and its attachments, as it has nothing in common with the old object relations of non-being; it entails entering into a new object relations of trinitarian love, into an I-Spirit-Thou, which binds everything into a unity-of-being; may they be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us (Jn 17:21)”. This letting go does not belong to the order of ascetical or stoical practices of past traditions, which remain rooted in self-mind-will. It is essentially a dying to self and rising to new life, “whoever tries to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it (Mk 8:35)… unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies it remains alone; but if it dies it will bear much fruit (Jn 12:24)”. It is letting go of all non-being so as to receive being, a movement from the horizontal to the vertical, which is only made possible by sharing in Jesus’ own pascal mystery, which is the paradox at the heart of the new creation. There are no threads of the old humanity to hold on to, however refined by asceticism; God will tolerate no other gods, there is only one form of object relations in the new myth.

The letter of the Law is fulfilled in the Spirit of the Law.

The letter of the Law is fulfilled in the Spirit of the Law.

The Law given to Moses, in its simplicity, was to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind and with all your strength, and love your neighbour as yourself (Lk 10:27)”. In their attempt to fulfil it, the Jews had created a multiplicity of laws to govern every aspect of life, and so to consecrate all things to God. However, man’s attempt to restore the unity and love that he once had with the world and God backfires, and it becomes an unbearable burden and an obstacle to love. This fact only serves to highlight the double-edged sword to man’s predicament, namely, the very things which support and guide him in life also serve to alienate him from it, becoming a stumbling block instead of a stepping stone, as man becomes obsessed by the letter of the law, with its clear definition and sense of security, while losing sight of the spirit of the law. This is essentially what Jesus points out in his sermon on the mount, when he gave the Jews the Beatitudes; he calls them back to the heart of the Law, which is not done by adding to it nor subtracting from it, but rather by transcending it, a transcendence which is not about trying harder, but about opening ones life to the new reality; “to man it is impossible but to God all things are possible (Mt 19:26)”. Jesus has come to renew the face of the earth, by making everything new through the power of the Holy Spirit; he puts love where there is no love, by performing the ultimate miracle of transforming non-being to being. God’s unilateral love, a love-for-loves-sake, by which God loved mankind even when it was dead in its sins, will constitute man as a new person, called to share in the divine life. This new man does good to those who hurt him, he turns the other cheek to those who strike him, he prays for those who persecute him, undoing the chains of causation of the old covenant, where it was an eye for an eye. This is only made possible through Jesus, who is the incarnating principle, who not only brings love into the world but makes love possible again through a new commandment, “love as I have loved you”. There is a new paradigm for man to live in, one in which the “unthinkable thought” has become thinkable and the “unlived life” has become liveable.

THE “LITTLE” WAY

CHAPTER 10

Jesus’ incarnate myth is the new paradigm for man, which makes it possible for him to become incarnate himself, leaving behind the world of object relations, with its duality and dialectics, which left man divided within himself as a mind-body-will. How is such a myth possible if man is still rooted in this world of experiences? The answer lies in something which is very simple and natural to man, and yet in Jesus it becomes a supernatural act. Jesus calls man to let go and stop striving for something which is necessarily a gift. Man can do nothing of himself to redeem his situation, he simply has to accept that it has already been done for him; there is a “totality” both about man’s predicament and about God’s work of redemption. Every attempt by man to engage his world, whether by mind or will, necessarily creates differentiation, even his words differentiate between an idea in his mind and the object it refers to in the world. The subject always stands apart as the “not that” of his experiences, he can never be defined by them, which is not a mark of his radical freedom, as Sartre believed, but of his predicament, as lost-being. Only God can make man truly free by giving him back his being. St Therese of Lisieux, who sought a “little way” to God, which did not entail great heroic acts of asceticism, discovered the way of “total trust and absolute surrender”. Trust is a very natural disposition but the trust and surrender that is being asked of man, in the new order, changes the whole direction of the flow of his life-force. It will entail a total annihilation of the old man, of the self that was formed from the primal object relations and the reactionary will-to-power at the beginning of his life. This degree of trust and surrender is alien to a man, who has learned to stand on his own two feet and who prides himself on his independence vis-a-vis the world, which has helped to make him the man he is. It is ultimately infinite in depth, as man’s experiences of being-in-the-world regress to the infinite space of his conscious and unconscious mind, like a universe which has expanded out over millions of years from an initial big bang. God’s infinite love seeks to embrace it all within his omnipotence and omnipresence, which offers the perfect holding environment. He seeks to touch every aspect of man’s fallen experiences, changing its non-being character into a unity-of-being, through man’s simple fiat.

“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job)

This fiat is man’s truly religious act, which is marked by an immediacy and totality, which are the necessary conditions for man to “incarnate” himself into the present moment. In other words, it is not something which merely impacts his consciousness, as one aspect of his world, increasing levels of knowledge or understanding, which he can then use to improve his situation on earth. God does not add to what man has, he does not improve his lot like a social worker or a charitable person. Nor does he improve the harmony of numbers in the universe, by rearranging the notes on the musical score of life, so that things work out fortuitously in the lives of his followers. God has paid man’s debt, and the numbers that man has attempted to use to add up to life, freedom and happiness, have been redeemed. Man’s state of “nothingness” now adds up to “one”, where all infinite regressions end in God’s unity-of-being. Man cannot put himself right with God by doing penance for a list of sins, by paying off his debt, little by little, as he might do with a master on earth; such thinking belongs to the old order, when God was a God of justice, and the Law was the only means of being present-to-Being. Man’s state is now revealed as lost-being and all that he has to offer is non-being, which God will transform into Being through his surrender. In doing so man receives a new I-Thou identity, whereby the I is born of the Thou from the “givenness” of the present moment. The totality and immediacy of this religious act ensures that it cannot be accessed nor assessed from any vantage point within human experience, by neither mind nor will. It can only be known by participating in it, through a living faith, whereby man consents to have his life recreated by uniting his will to the divine will in all things. All is received from the hand of God, through the power of his Spirit, which breathes new life into all creation in each moment, in a reverse flow of life.

The solution to man’s predicament is no longer to be sought in abstractions of the mind, or concerns for this world, for “only one thing is necessary”. Man now realizes the nature of his alienation and he finds the solution to it near at hand, in fact, it is uncomfortably close. He realises the answer to his problems and those of the world lie in his own hands, in an immediacy and totality, which keeps nothing back in reserve just in case. Man is indeed radically free as Sartre claimed, but that freedom lies in giving his fiat, in faith, allowing God to act in a radically free way, “Into your hands I place my spirit, do with me whatever you will, whatever you may do I thank you, I am ready for all and I accept all” (prayer of Charles de Foucauld). The Superman of Nietzsche’s philosophy does not come through a will-to-power, but in a will-to-love, when man realises himself as a child of God by surrendering to the creative power of God, which seeks to make him an instrument of peace in the world, a pen with which to write His new myth. Jesus is the incarnate transcendental which makes it possible for the Spirit to flow into the body of humanity, he is the mould for all humans, which shapes each one into his own unique I AM, through the one universal of love, which is Being itself; It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me (Gal 2:20)”. To take seriously the immanence of God’s presence it is necessary to maintain its transcendence, which is only possible in a total trust and absolute surrender to all that is. The follower of Jesus engages in a new fall, a falling-into-love, into the divine embrace. The first vertical fall was a falling-out-of-being, resulting in a will-to-power and the second is a falling-into-being, resulting in a will-to-love. The first took place within the kantian transcendentals and the second takes place within the incarnating transcendental of Jesus. The first gave rise to a myth-of-non-being, written on the parchment of space-time, and the second gives rise to a myth-of-being, written in the sacrament of the present moment.

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Man has striven throughout history, by many paths, to arrive at the summit of life.

This new way of being-in-the-world is the difference between scaling up a mountain and free-falling from a plane. The former engages the mind and will in a task which is arduous and slow, undertaken step by step, to reach a summit. The latter asks for a level of trust and surrender, to let go and allow something to be done to the whole person; it is an all or nothing, where life and death lie in the hands of the Thou, which gives rise to a new experience of living. This latter is a way-of-being rather than a goal to attain to. Those who do adrenalin sports, like skydiving or bungey jumping, describe the exhilaration, liberation, or even spiritual experience they encounter, when they are taken beyond their ordinary bodily experiences, which daily life has imposed on them. Similar experiences are sought by taking drugs or practising certain meditations in order to transcend the limits of consciousness. All these are myth-expressions of man’s-search-for-being, as he intuitively senses that there is a greater reality that lies beyond the limits imposed by his mind-body-will in the world. However, even though these adrenalin experiences take people further than that which is offered by their deadening routine lives, it is still not reality, it doesn’t ultimately quench man’s thirst for life. The paraglider who returns to earth can have a drink and talk about his experience before he goes back to the “reality” he came from, but this isn’t so for those called to “follow”- “anyone who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is not worthy of the kingdom of God (Lk 9:62)”.

Such an articulation and separation doesn’t exist in the incarnating transcendental, as it is a totality which gives man his reality, so there is no going back or looking back to something he has left behind. It cannot even be spoken about unless it is done within the context of his free-fall, where he is called to proclaim the Good News to his fellowmen in the present moment. This articulation cannot be separated from his disposition “to be”, otherwise he is merely talking-about it, as an abstraction, which is to separate the branch from the vine; it is no longer reality. The divine free-fall into love does not happen in places removed from society, it is not exclusive, catering only for those with money, or powers of mind and will, or physical fitness, to engage in it, like so many adrenalin sports and ascetical practices. It is an event which necessarily takes place in the present moment, and is available to all people at all times, coming to them and meeting them wherever they are at in their life. It crosses all cultures and boundaries, as God’s love does not discriminate, but redeems all non-being. This new “adrenalin sport” is not a past-time, nor part-time, nor is it a religious practice to put alongside all other religious practices in life, rather it is a new way of being-in-the-world, and the one true religious act. It is to live in a permanent state of free-fall, where there is no solid ground to land on; it is a continuous state of flux, which only finds it permanence in a love which is always new. Later in this book I will consider one of the oldest philosophical problems, which was debated first amongst the pre-socratic philosopher over 2500 years ago, and which has never been adequately solved, that is, the problem of permanence and change. Heraclitus believed that all is flux and that permanence is an illusion, whereas Parmenedes believed the contrary, that there is only permanence and that change is an illusion. I would suggest that they both have part of the truth, which is reconciled in the distinction between a “fallen change”, which came with man’s fall into non-being, and a “true change”, which comes with man’s fall into being.

“I count everything as loss for the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Phil 3:8)

To live in this new dynamism is to live in the Christ-event, to share in his pascal mystery. This event could never have been replicated by another human being in history, only a God made man could have done it. It is the only event which is truly vertical, and has no aspect of the horizontal in it, which is why it is inaccessible to the mind or any human experience; yet all men are called to participate in it by faith. Man has only known the horizontal, his whole being-in-the-world is designed by it, so to give it up for a vertical-life is as terrifying as one who has fear of heights finding himself no longer standing on solid ground but falling through the air. It is the totality which is annihilating because it gives no room for perspectives or interpretations, no place for mind or will to get a handle on it, no home for man to lay his head. It de-constructs man’s non-being barriers, which is the prerequiste to incarnating himself into his I-Thou, as one set of object relations have to be shed to put on the new set. The qualities of totality and immediacy provide the holding environment for incarnation to take place; anything less would allow duality to re-emerge, which means a fall back into object relations in space-time and a self-mind-will. God leaves no such room, the gap is filled by his all-consuming love, just as man’s fall is total, leaving no room for self-justification. This free-fall does not come with an adrenalin rush but it is often accompanied with an “angst”, which Heidegger described as a dread of being-in-the-world, which is not directed to any particular object, as happens with a fear; he saw it as an important quality for living an authentic life in the world. Sartre used another term “nausea”, the name of one of his plays, to describe a feeling which impinged on everything he did or enjoyed. These terms are not directly applicable to fall-into-being, as neither philosopher managed it, but it describes their experience of standing at the edge of the chasm between the realms of phenomena and noumena, to where their philosophy brought them, where they sensed the dread of what life might be asking of them. It is into this chasm where God purifies man of self-love, making him a work of art, which transcends the Good, Beautiful and True of all other forms of art, for the final product is incarnate Love, of which the other three are only its transcendentals, based as they are on object relations. This work of divine love necessarily entails a “dark night of the soul” for those who want to go there, as St John of the Cross, a Spanish carmelite mystic, so carefully described in the sixteenth century.

This fall-into-being is only possible through the Father’s offer of unconditional love, which requires of man in return a living faith, manifested in a life of total trust and surrender, and not a faith which is merely an intellectual assent to a set of doctrines, or the adherence to a set of religious practices, both of which remain rooted in dualism. G.K Chesterton once said “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried”. Unfortunately, Christianity itself has so often failed to take seriously the significance of the incarnation and the pascal mystery of Jesus, which has resulted in lip service being paid to the nature of original sin, to the nature of God’s Revelation, and the call to discipleship, which has meant that the Good News has not been realised; “I have come to set the world on fire, and how I wish it were already burning (Lk 12:49)”. The story of love has been reduced to another pursuit of truth, where revelation merely provides data from heaven to support man in his horizontal journey to the origin. Man doesn’t need to be redeemed but enlightened; it is not that his nature lacks being, but his mind lacks answers. God merely assists man in what he is already doing, enabling him to go further along the same path, where theology merely provides the answers to Greek philosophical questions. This does violence to Revelation, since Revelation belongs to the genre of Being and that of data for the senses to non-being. Not surprisingly, this leads to a theology which reduces God to a measure of man, where God has to fit in with the laws of Science and scientific discoveries, like the theory of Evolution, as these are seen to define “reality” and God must fit in with that reality, a reality which is prescribed by the mind of man. Such theologies struggle to find any place for an historical intervention by the Divine, as man seems to be doing quite well without it. Essential aspects of God’s revelation become embarrassing for theologians, which need to be explained away in order to make compatible the infinite of God within the finite of man’s holding environment; God’s consciousness is reduced to man’s consciousness, Being to non-being.

A UNITY-OF-BEING IN A NEW CREATION

CHAPTER 11

The man who wakes up in the morning to face the challenges of another day, to make choices by which he hopes to more fully realize his self, his goals and ambitions, is now confronted with a new dynamic. He has allowed life to decide for him as he receives his I from the Thou of the present moment; he merely gives his consent to its work being done, like an obedient servant. This all sounds very passive, demeaning and unworthy of human dignity, considering that each person possesses their own will and consciousness to make their own decisions. However, things are not what they seem, which is why the journey we are embarking on is a difficult one, as it asks us to let go of our familiar, entrenched ways of perceiving things and be open to an “unthinkable thought”, a thought in the mind of God, which seeks to take hold of us and define us as I AM. Man is not being asked to be merely stoical or fatalistic, in the face of some impersonal, deterministic force, like the throw of a dice, about which he can do nothing except mitigate the pain by passively accepting his fate. Such an outlook or philosophy presumes that man already has some reality to hold on to, which he protects by defending himself against the onslaught of fate, like a boat caught in a storm at sea. On the contrary, man has no reality to defend, and if he wants to arrive at that which truly personalises him, he must give his consent to the work of that personal force, which has already given its unconditional “Amen” to life, drawing being from non-being in all situations. The I which is born from the Thou is directed to the Thou in a unity-of-being, it does not stand apart as an independent entity, but owes its I to the Thou, in a communion of love, which is the very life of the Trinity. This new life cannot be first grasped by understanding, it can only be known through a life of faith, by living the new myth.

“Come Holy Spirit fill the hearts of your faithful, enkindle in them the fire of your love, send forth your spirit and all shall be created and you shall renew the face of the earth”

“Come Holy Spirit fill the hearts of your faithful, enkindle in them the fire of your love, send forth your spirit and all shall be created and you shall renew the face of the earth”

God’s kingdom has come on earth. It is not locked away in a religion, nor is it in the hands of a priestly caste. The walls between the sacred and secular have come down, and the divine life touches every aspect of life, inviting each person to participate in it. Life no longer flows outward from man, from “below”, but rather into him, from “above”; man has become a receptacle of God’s love, an instrument of his peace. The consciousness of God is not like man’s consciousness because in God Truth and Love are one, whereas in fallen man they are separated. It seems a common mistake in many theologies, to treat God’s consciousness as an extension of man’s consciousness, something which lies in the same plane, but infinitely greater; this is a “bad infinity”, to use a Nietzsche expression. In the divine life the Socratic statement is realised “To know what is good is to do it”, the two functions are not separated as they are in man, whose life reflects the adage, “Do what I say not what I do”. In the follower of Christ the knowing and doing will become one in the new incarnate-being, in the I-Thou of the present moment; Truth and Love will emanate from his being, as a personification of who he is, a child of God. Everything else that he says and does in life will be a manifestation of this new reality. There will be a transparency and a unity, which will touch the lives of those he comes into contact with, as his very being emanates from that life and returns to it through the Spirit. It is a sacramental moment, a “eucharistic” moment of incarnate-being, where Being and non-being meet, where the latter feels itself “needed” and “invited” into a new reality, like the guests invited to the wedding feast, which is the proclamation of the Good News.

At the heart of this new way of being-in-the-world is a “kenosis”, a self-emptying, which stems from the recognition of man’s own nothingness and his total dependence on God, which is not a source of humiliation or enslavement but of true freedom. Sartre mistakenly believed that man is free to choose his own essence in every moment, a belief which is based on the first model, namely, man’s consciousness as a neutral point, from which Sartre derives human freedom. On the contrary, man’s essence in this world is lost-being and his consciousness is the myth-expression of his lost freedom. Freedom of choice is a fallen-freedom as it is based on object relations which cannot set man free, no more than the choices on a prisoner’s menu can make him free. The follower of Christ has found true freedom in his fiat, a freedom which is only made possible through grace, “if the Son sets you free you will be free indeed (Jn 8:36)”. Man now has the choice to remain in the cave of shadows, in his world of dreams, or to come into the light of the resurrection, where he awakens from sleep. He has a God given fundamental choice, “to be or not to be”. In that sense, Sartre is right to say we can choose our essence, but our choice is to either remain in lost-being or to participate in Being. Man’s true freedom and essence is realized in the sacrament of the present moment, when he gives his fiat, which is a “freedom from freedoms (choices)”. It is not that “man is condemned to be free”, as Sartre says, but rather man is “free to be condemned”, as he uses his true freedom to share in the pascal mystery of Christ. When one interprets Sartre’s philosophy as a myth-expression of man’s-search-for-being, as one should do with all philosophies, then one can see that man’s radical freedom lies in God’s divine guarantee, that all things will work to the good, which gives man the freedom to give his fiat in all circumstances; “who can separate me from the love of God? (Rom 8:35)”. The radical freedom does not lie in man himself, as Sartre believed, but in God’s power to bring being from non-being in all circumstances. Sartre’s mistake typifies man’s sinful and deluded state, where he attributes the power to define I AM to himself when he sees his reflection in the river of his exile.

“… only one thing is necessary, Mary has chosen the Good part”

History has ended for man, as history is man’s-search-for-Being, his search to realise himself; that realisation has been fulfilled in the sacrament of the present moment. He is no longer caught up in the projection-introjection played out in space-time, a life of reactions to what has happened in the past or what will happen in the future, a pursuit of interminable ends, which have their end in Jesus, the alpha and omega of all creation and life. “Martha, Martha you are worried about many things, but only one thing is necessary; Mary has chosen the better part (Lk 10:41)”; Mary chose to be present to Jesus, while her sister ran around preoccupying herself with the chores. This does not mean the response to life is to be passive or lazy, but it is about “authentic action”, one that is not a mere reaction to man’s predicament but one that is born out of Being itself. It is only from Being that man’s actions can be truly free and good, “for nobody is Good but God alone (Mk 10:18)”. This will bring us to a whole new ethics, an ethic which is not defined by the old order of rigid laws, nor by a relativism of “situation ethics”, but an ethic which has its source in incarnate-being itself. It is an ethic which both fulfils the Law and transcends it in a new living reality, which was demonstrated in the action of Abraham. This ethic is always new, as it experiences no two moments the same, so it cannot be defined by the laws of the mind, which depend on repetition for their existence. It can only be defined by the one universal law of God’s love, of which the natural laws and man’s conscience are mere reflections, articulations within the context of object relations. The universal of love gives man his I AM anew, in every moment; in the words of St Augustine “love then do what you will”. To think this exhortation is a licence for man to do whatever he wants is to fail to understand the revolutionary and transcendental significance of the first word, “love”.

Man’s home is no longer of this world, he is in it but not of it. It has lost its “seriousness” as a place in which to survive and carve out a life; man is no longer oppressed by the weight of its numbers. However, it takes on a new eschatological meaning and importance, as the place where God’s saving myth is being written, in which his followers have the responsibility of manifesting to the world this new reality, and so waking people from their sleep. The Good News will not be heard unless there are living witnesses who testify by their lives, to the immediacy-of-love, this new incarnate transcendental; “by this the world will know that you are my disciples, that you have love for one another (Jn 13:35)”. This demands a radical and courageous way of living in the world, as man has to resist the flow of the horizontal, standing naked, scourged and mocked by a world that doesn’t understand him, while paradoxically witnessing to a fullness of life, which the world is thirsting for, a “peace that the world cannot give (Jn 14:27)”. To participate in this love requires a living Faith and Hope, which are not embedded in object relations, as they are transcendentals of the new order. Faith does not belong to the intellect, the world of inner object relations, even though it articulates itself there; it is a living faith which manifests itself in “total trust and absolute surrender”, a letting go into the free-fall of incarnate love. Likewise, Hope is not a hope that God will give me whatever I ask him whenever I ask him, as that would reduce God to mere cause-effect. “For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it (Rom 8:24)”. This hope is rooted in the promise that God hears all prayers and works to the good in all things, which makes every effort by his follower infinitely worthwhile, even though he doesn’t see the fruit of his labours, because God’s ways will not be reduced to man’s ways. Abraham lived in the hope that despite sacrificing everything he would get it all back and Jesus lived in the hope that even by his death he would fulfil the Father’s plan of salvation for the world. Love is for loves-sake, it is its own reward. It is enough for the follower of Jesus to know that whatever happens, through his surrender to the divine transcendentals of Faith and Hope, he shares in the divine Love, which is the greatest of the three and without which the other two are dead; the transcendentals of Faith and Hope make possible the free-fall into Love.

The new I-Thou is not created from a mere passive reception of the Thou. It is only complete when the I returns all things to the Thou, as it perceives all objects differently in the light of the divine love, which has made its home “below”, redefining man and his world in a unity-of-being. This is already expressed in the Trinity itself, where the son “proceeds” from the Father, and returns to the Father in a union of love, which the second person of the Trinity also lived perfectly on earth; “I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now Father, glorify me in your presence, with the glory I had with you before the world began (Jn 17:4)”. This new incarnate-love is for me exemplified in the Gospel story of the feeding of the 5000. Some Biblical scholars have interpreted this miracle as a mere change in attitude of the people who have been listening to Jesus’ teaching. Jesus touched their lives by appealing to their better nature and so with a change of heart, they decide to take out their hidden food supplies and share them with the others present. This interpretation is typical of what happens when Revelation is reduced to object relations; Jesus is reduced to a social and moral reformer. However, my bone of contention is not with the interpretation that these people took out their food supplies and shared them, despite it negating the more astounding, literal reading of the story that Jesus miraculously fed a multitude from five loaves and two fish. Rather, I want to dispute their interpretation of the meaning of this very ordinary action of sharing ones food. I want to propose an alternative interpretation, which does not take away from the miraculous nature of the story but rather brings it to the fore, as it highlights the “wholly other” nature of Jesus and God’s kingdom on earth.  

The story is a “eucharistic” miracle, as it takes the form of Jesus offering the food to the Father in thanksgiving, before breaking it and sharing it with the people. I will look at this in more detail later when I consider the matter of the Eucharist, but for now it is enough to say that the Eucharist is an “incarnating-event”. The 5000 who are present enter into this incarnating-event through Jesus, who is the incarnating transcendental of the new order, as Jesus makes the offering of the loaves and fish to the Father. The real miracle which takes place is this hidden incarnating-event which transforms their I-and-Thou into an I-Thou. A similar thing happens when Jesus forgives the sins of those whom he cures, where there is no obvious outward change, other than the consternation of the Pharisees who see it as blasphemy; it is accompanied with the miracle of healing, as proof that Jesus can indeed forgive sins. In this miracle of the feeding of the 5000, the outward miracle of the feeding hides the real miracle, which is the change from non-being to being of the people; they have become incarnate-being. In that intangible change the world is perceived differently because they themselves are different, which does not amount to being kinder, or better than before, but being a new creation. In the fall, man is defined as “not that” and objects are interpreted as “for me”; objects are given values depending on their “usefulness” for the I, where the Thou is experienced as “enemy”. In the new I-Thou, man is defined as “and that”, as everything is given from the hand of God without exception, “give us this day our daily bread”, and objects are perceived as “for you”. All objects have the single value of gift, and their sole use is love, as all life, including their own, is now experienced as a gift of God’s love, as they share in the divine love. This is the revolution of love which will transform the face of the earth. This is the real miracle and significance of the story, which underlies all the miracles in the Gospels, namely, God’s kingdom has come on earth.

The new object relations, Trinitarian Love, is God's kingdom on earth.

The new object relations, Trinitarian Love, is God’s kingdom on earth.

The healing of man’s fallen-state has come through the forgiveness of sin and manifests itself in a new incarnate being, an I-Thou, which is the real “eucharistic” event. The nature of the I-Thou is love, and all objects in the world are at the service of love, which is what gives them their unity-of-being. This can be seen even in human love when two people fall in love, they put everything they have at the disposal of love, to express and reveal their love to the other. As this miracle takes hold of the world, through the proclamation of the Good News, then everything in creation is put at the disposal of love. God’s revelation of love is still ongoing, as God thirsts to make his love present in the world. An essential point to note is that when the I completes itself in the gift of all things to the Thou, this is not a matter of good works between an I-and-Thou, but it defines his very nature, his way of being-in-the-world. In other words, it is not a new way of thinking or acting but a new way of being. As said before “to know what is right is to do it”; there is a unity-of-being between the person and the action, it belongs to his new nature to see objects in this new way, as “for other”. One could argue that numbers themselves have been redeemed in this miracle, as the values given to numbers, which determines the structures of man’s “utilitarian” fallen-world, as well as man’s sense of self, gives way to a new creation which has one value, “for love alone”, a trinitarian love, where three equates to one, in a unity-of-being. Love makes a nonsense of numbers, producing enough food for 5000 from a mere five loaves and two fish. Love is essentially “wasteful”, it does not count the cost, as demonstrated in the story of the woman who wasted the costly oil to anoint Jesus, when it could have been used to help the poor. Love sets man free from the unbearable burden of “efficiency”, from the weight of increasing numbers, of profit margins, productivity etc, which enslaves the modern man. “Success” in this world is measured by numbers; the fastest car, the highest salary, the longest life, the biggest house, the thinnest waistline, but in love “the last shall be first and the first last (Mt 20:16)”. Love collapses the old order into a unity-of-being where only one thing is necessary; “I count it all as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord (Phil 3:8)”. However, love has its own productivity, as Jesus promises those who give up all for the kingdom of God will receive a hundredfold in this life and eternal life. Paradoxically, true productivity comes through this “wasteful” way of being-in-the-world, as love conquers all things, which maybe is the message in the overt miracle of feeding 5000 people with so little food.

When all this is borne in mind, it throws a very different interpretation on this miracle story. The sharing of their food is indeed an extraordinary miracle, which is probably why it has such prominence in all the Gospels. Its importance is particularly highlighted in John’s Gospel, where he dedicates a whole chapter to the theme of food; Jesus is “the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world (6:51)”. Jesus’ feeding of the 5000 is much more than a miracle before the senses, one which defied the laws of nature, like a conjuring magician who can pull a rabbit from a hat. Jesus doesn’t just show his ability to make more bread out of a little bread, which would be a miracle in the horizontal plane of object relations, another sum to infinity. The real miracle is in the vertical plane of incarnate-being; Jesus is showing that something “wholly other” is in their midst, which changes the very flow of life. Jesus is not here to merely heal man’s woundedness, by performing miracles which astound the onlookers, but rather to perform the greater, more hidden miracle of redeeming man’s fallenness. Jesus is not here to “improve” man’s self-mind-body-will but to change it for an incarnate-being, like changing water into wine. This understanding of the miracle also helps to throw light on a long and heated debate between Catholics and Protestants over faith alone or faith and good works. This division is an artificial one, as it is based on a theology of object relations. The good works, are the fruit of a new incarnate-being, which perceives all objects as “for other”, so good works necessarily flow from this living faith, as the rays flow from the sun, or the branches stem from the vine. It is not something to add on or take off, as they form a seamless robe where a “faith without works is dead (James 2:14)”. Even protestant terms like “faith alone” and “scripture alone” become misunderstood when the Bible is only assigned a place within object relations, even is it is a “holy place”. Unless it serves to incarnate man, which means to transcend object relations, then it fails in it task, to be a “living bread come down from heaven”; I will return to this again later when I consider the use of Scripture in living faith.

This aforementioned unity-of-being is replicated in many Eastern philosophies and their practices where man attempts to create a new I refined from the world, which it perceives as illusion, by the use of mind-will. The world is given a totality and immediacy through the dissolving of boundaries, but the flow of life has not changed, there is no true pascal mystery, only an asceticism which comes from the monk, which centres on the I. This process does indeed create a new I-Thou, but it is built on human endeavour, which is like building a house on sand. It can stand firm when the conditions are right, but the monk has to be continuously practising his meditations and asceticisms, in isolation, to avoid the house sinking, or like a ship that is taking in water. This is a noble and heroic endeavour for one that is seeking truth, like one who has to be admired for managing to climb to the top of Mount Everest. However, ultimately, the love he has to share with the world is only a refined human love, like an object heated by the sun, which emanates that heat to others, but it is not the sun itself. Christ went away to pray in a quiet place to the Father, but he never practised meditation, or lived in isolation for hours each day, nor does he expect his followers to do it. The truth which a Buddhist seeks has now come to earth; the mountain of man’s transcendental experience has been levelled, revealing itself as love, a love which comes to meet man where he is at. The world is not an illusion to be detached from but rather, non-being, which could understandably have been equated to illusion before the coming of Jesus, when its true nature was revealed and redeemed. With the revelation of God’s nature as love, a whole new dynamic is introduced, namely, the non-being world becomes essential to man’s attainment to being, as it makes up the other half of his lost-being, in a story of lost-love. This miracle which lies at the heart of the new creation, calls man to free-fall into life, not to shelter from its storms; “let your heart not be troubled, trust in God, trust also in me (Jn 14:1)”. He is called to live a paradoxical, pascal mystery, at the heart of the new creation, where life comes from death; it is essentially pro-life, since even if the Thou slays him it serves to bring him to the fullness of life. In fact, the reunion of life and death is an essential aspect of the new life, which I leave to another chapter to elaborate on.

The sacrament of the present moment holds the unity-of-being which Eastern practices have sought in a transcendental experience. The importance of the present moment can be seen from various myth-expressions, of which I will give a few examples. In temptations or addictions it is the moment of a life-death struggle, where the tempted cannot wait a moment longer, as it is pure torture bordering on insanity, he must have it “Now”. In science and philosophy, it is the place where man makes his observations, where the mind receives the raw data of the senses, and from which he makes his abstractions to the “real” world of ideas. In the great realm of theories and laws the present moment holds the lowest position, a place of contemptible disregard, as it belongs to mere flux, change and the uncertainties of a passing world, yet these higher realms can’t be reached without it. Even in the history of numbers, zero, the starting point of the axis of Geometry was the last number to be invented, as it was given little regard, being merely a symbol which had the lowly task of marking the “absence of any number”, yet since the time of Descartes it has become the most important number, fundamental to the discovery Calculus, which in turn paved the way for physics, engineering, computers and much of financial and economic theory. Man in his every day life treats the present moment with similar contempt, as he is always busy chasing life, which even comes at the expense of personal health; human love and relationships are often compromised by peoples inability to be present and give “quality time”. The origin of projection-introjection, the fundamental psyche experiences and coping mechanisms of a baby’s world, and the world that adults live in, can be viewed as a denial of the present moment, a reaction to man’s state of lost-being, which is depicted in the garden of Eden where Adam and Eve hide themselves from God’s presence. The Church, although acknowledging a sacrament of the present moment spirituality, sees it more as a personal devotion or way of praying, but gives it no serious regard alongside the seven official Sacraments of the Church. Despite its lowly place God came and dwelt there, because this is the “gap” point between being and non-being, it is the “zero” point of man’s nothingness, which is not a symbol of the absence of a number, but the absence of Being. It is the origin of a new creation, or big bang, which does not expand out in the x-y axis of space-time, but in the vertical axis, of God’s transcendental love.

JESUS THE DIVINE HEALER

CHAPTER 12

I want to consider more carefully what is involved in the “pascal mystery”, this paradox at the heart of the new creation, which brings new life out of a death experience, healing man of his “fallenness”. It does not seek to address man in his consciousness, nor is it an “ideal”, as ideals are applicable to the mind, which are often set in opposition to the world, which is perceived as “real”. This is a false dichotomy within the works of philosophy and in the world of people’s experiences, as reality belongs to neither idealism, realism, or even “getting real”. The pascal mystery is reality brought to earth, and it is rooted in man’s messiness, woundedness and fallenness, which is where Jesus was to be found throughout his ministry, and not in some holy sanctuary. In each moment of his daily life, man experiences a “myth-picture” of his predicament, like taking a snapshot of an event. This is his disposition before the world in that moment, and it defines him in that moment; it is his experience of exile in that moment, in all its “totality”, like a surreal Van Gogh painting, or Edvard Munch’s “The scream”. Each word, proposition or gesture which attempts to clarify or articulate the moment is full of its own history of non-being, just as each stroke of the painters brush seeks to convey all the turmoil and complexities that constitute his search for being in that moment. Man is not called to stand back and analyse, understand, or interpret the picture. Any attempt to do so belongs itself to that “myth-picture”, in which it has its context and where it is absorbed into the totality; to paraphrase Derrida’s famous dictum, which I shall return to later, “there is nothing outside of the picture”. Any part played by mind-will is an abstraction from the messy context of living, into some sanitised world, which may alleviate the pain of man’s exile like an anaesthetic, but it won’t provide the cure. Therapies of “positive thinking” provide coping mechanisms, by putting problems into a “perspective”, within space-time, which often doesn’t address the real problem but only finds ways around it, which draws criticism from other therapies such as Psychoanalysis, which argues that these therapies don’t go deep enough. However, even the “deep” therapies remain within the context of space-time and object relations, even if that takes place in the unconscious world. This is not enough to heal man of his “fallenness”, because for that to happen, even space-time must be redeemed, and that can only happen when man gives up all perspectivism and accepts God’s perspective.

“To be or not to be…” Hamlet

This demands a radical letting go of everything, which finds its analogy in the “reductionism” of philosophies, which attempt to get back to some zero-point, from which to reconstruct reality; or in the analogy of the “unmasking” of therapy. This therapeutic unmasking is made possible when the therapist provides a “good enough” holding environment, together with an appropriate “interpretation”, which enables the patient to open up to the pain that he has been concealing, and upon which a false self has been constructed to face the world each day. However, the work of Christ the healer, is to address man in his fallenness, which is not merely a case of strengthening an I which faces a burdensome Thou, but to recover an I-Thou at the heart of creation, by man is to recover his true identity. This means he has to address the fundamental flaw in all of creation, in order to unite the I to the Thou. God’s healing power is not reduced to a 30 minute therapy session, nor to a 45 minute Church service; it must engage man in his living context, which extends to every aspect of creation, in all times and places. Human therapy pertains to object relations, to man’s experience of “disappointed love”, in the context of space-time, which puts the focus on parental care and the early experiences of nurturing. God’s therapy pertains to a lost-love event which is not even in the realm of experience, but which gave rise to experience, of which all other experiences of lost love are myth-expressions, a form of “acting out” on the stage of space-time. In other words, where a therapist tries to alleviate the pain which has its cause within a person’s history, God alleviates the pain which caused history itself. Man often uses his leisure time to distress by watching TV, dramas, soaps, plays, comedy etc. These entertainments give him a perspective upon another history of acting, where he can laugh at the predicament ofuntitledmmm other humans, or share their emotional journey from the comfort of his armchair, while having the luxury of knowing that he can walk away from it when the programme ends. This is a form of escapism, which momentarily gives man a sense of freedom from his own play, life itself, which he can’t escape. He is afforded a perspective on another world, something he is deprived of in his predicament of lost-being. Man’s ability to give himself perspectives, through self-consciousness, enables him to fill the gap with creativity, which acts as a catharsis for his non-perspective predicament, but it can’t set him free; his free-time soon ends and he has to go back to the misery of living in his own soap.

Man’s live-soap is an eternal recurrence, it is like watching an endless series of programmes and films, which may appear to be always new, but they all serve the same purpose, to keep him entertained or distracted in his prison cell, where he is going no where. It is only in Jesus that this deep longing in man, expressed in the various forms of art, as well as fairy tales and dramas, where the protagonist finally succeeds in getting his woman and living happily ever after, is realised. This redemptive-unmasking is only possible because God as Father, has provided the perfect holding environment, which no man could provide, the three perfect core conditions of therapy, namely; Unconditional Love, by sending his only son to save mankind; Empathy, by sharing in man’s predicament, taking on flesh; and Congruence, by revealing to man his predicament as lost-being. This unmasking is a letting go of the myth-of-lost-being and becoming incarnated into the myth-of-being, which is possible because all sin, which alienated man from himself, has been transferred on to Jesus, who brings the correct “interpretation” in his own incarnate-self. A patient does a similar thing in therapy when he transfers onto the therapist the pain of his past history, which he cannot bear to face, and which now leaves him a prisoner of his past, as he acts out destructive behaviour patterns in his present relationships; he is in exile from his self. The therapist takes that pain and modifies it to make it bearable, before returning it to the patient, and in so doing making the unconscious conscious, which sets him free of his neurosis. What the therapist does for the patient, in healing his “woundedness”, is only a myth-expression of what Jesus does for mankind in its “fallenness”. In the words of Freud, the founder of Psychoanalysis, “the goal of Psychoanalysis is to change neurotic misery into ordinary unhappiness”; therapy can only alleviate the pain of man’s exile, but it does not have the solution.

Man offers his

Man offers his “myth-picture”- all that defines him in that moment.

The redemptive-unmasking is a religious act, an “offering” of the myth-picture, in its totality, which includes man’s very self. It is a continuous prayer and sacrifice at the heart of the new creation, where all men share a common priesthood; “I give you my non-being that I may be”. As Abraham offered God everything, knowing that God could give him it all back again, man offers his myth-picture and receives it back, just as it was before, but now it is all united in Being. This is as simple as inhaling and exhaling, but it is rooted in a living faith of the total person, where his “hour” has come. The moment and he are meant to be, it was made for him, and he accepts it as his defining moment, as if it was his first, last and only moment. He is like a tennis player who is playing the final point at Wimbledon, where a pin could be heard drop, as the crowd await with abated breath; the genius player has no nerves for he knows this is the moment for which he was destined, the culmination of all his hopes, dreams and plans, it is the moment which will realise him as a great player, as what he already knows himself to be, in that sense it becomes the most natural moment. The words of T.S. Eliot express something of this reality, “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time”. This offering necessarily has the form of a confession and act of repentance, as man recognises that he has nothing good of his own, and that God alone is Good; it is the prodigal son returning home to the father’s embrace. This way of living could only make sense if the distinction between non-being and being, as set out in this book, are correct, where everything is nothing but God alone; otherwise it would be suicidal or degrading to man’s evolved nature. I will return to theme of Evolution later, when I will argue that, paradoxically, the fulfilment of Evolution is this very pascal mystery, man’s sacrificial offering, which takes place on the mountain top of man’s history of evolution and the evolution of history. Man is called to perfect himself in this surrender to the present moment, to free himself from all reactions and flinching, which define him as lost-being. When Wittgenstein wrote his famous philosophy, while fighting on the front line, in the first world war, he said he felt ashamed of the feelings of fear which came over him as bullets flew past his head, as it showed him that he had a “false view of life”. His philosophical search for truth taught him that when his disposition towards the world was right, then he would be able to face life and death with the same equanimity; “perfect love casts out fear… he who fears is not perfected in love (1 Jn 4:18)”.

When Henri Nouwen gave up his intellectual post as a lecturer and writer at a university and went to work with mentally handicapped people, his task each day was to care for the every need of one severely handicapped person, Adam, who could do nothing for himself, as he was totally paralysed. As the years went by some of his intellectual friends were quietly critical of his choice, seeing it as a waste of his life and talents for the sake of a person, for whom many might deem it more merciful to let die. Henri, originally found it very difficult to be attentive to the smallest needs of Adam, because he had to learn a whole new way of communicating, which involved becoming not only Adam’s hands and feet but having to develop an almost telepathic power to anticipate his needs by reading the smallest signs. Over time he realised that through this shared, intimate communion of life with Adam he was learning a whole new way of being-in-the-world. As his teacher, Adam, was not addressing Henri’s intellect, the place where most of his former learning had taken place, and which his sense of self was closely identified. Adam taught his lesson on the front-line of living, where all the pain, tears and emotional turmoil of life are encountered, with its repeated failures, humiliations and setbacks that make up the real journey of man’s-search-for-being. Henri was having a new identity forged in the fire of the incarnating I-Thou, which Adam, his therapist, was offering him. Jean Vanier, the founder of that organisation, L’Arche, who was also a academic and a philosophy lecturer, foresaw the healing and prophetic powers of the mentally handicapped, who offer their own I-Thou holding environment, to people who have lost their identity through over exposure to the excessive individualism of a world, which offers lucrative opportunities for “professionals”. The person who comes to live in L’Arche is lookingimagesYU54FRBP for himself, he senses he has lost something, which he can see in the face of the handicapped who are happy and “alive”, despite their broken minds and bodies. At first they may feel uncomfortable, anxious or even fearful of the handicapped as the handicapped don’t respect “professionalism” with its codes of conduct. They are unpredictable, and cross all boundaries, intruding into peoples worlds where they are not invited. However, through their gift for warmth and friendliness they are soon made welcome and become trusted friends, who take the assistant by the hand and lead them on a journey they have never been on before, to forms of relating and intimacy, which redefine their identity, as it breaks down the cold walls of fear which they have been living behind.

If L’Arche is to fulfil the task which Jean Vanier set out for it over 50 years ago, it is for the assistants to become like the handicapped, to become people who live beyond the rigid boundaries of an alienating world, which imposes its own expectations and measures of “normality”. The period of time in their life, which they share with the handicapped, is a therapy in the way of I-Thou, which they then bring to the world as a new incarnate-being, which is itself a proclamation of the Good News. However, if this is not to be reduced to mere therapy and being simply warmer and friendlier towards people, something more radical has to take place, for which the handicapped also provide the analogy. The follower of Jesus is called to become like a severely handicapped person, like an Adam. He is to become dis-empowered of the old self, through this divinely assisted kenosis and receive everything from the hand of God, as Adam did from Henri. Man will live, move and have his being in the divine life, which guides all his thoughts, words, and deeds; “it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me (Gal 2:20)”. This analogy can also be turned the other way around, as God becomes a severely handicapped person, emptying himself of his omnipotence, while awaiting man to be attentive to his every need, in each moment, as his will is revealed in that moment, for without man’s fiat God can do nothing. This reality is expressed in a common theme of Our Lady’s messages, in her visions in Medjugorje, where she says that Jesus and herself long to draw close to us but they are prevented by man’s refusal to cooperate. This unique intimacy between God and man, means that man is totally dependent on God to have true life, and God, who is dependent on nobody, has made himself dependent on man, because his nature is love. Jean Vanier set up L’Arche, sacrificing his career, because God had called him to it; they shared that intimacy of love, which costs not less than everything, and through which the wisdom of God was revealed to Jean through the handicapped. L’Arche represents a visible incarnating transcendental on earth, where people go to lose their I and discover their I-Thou, which is why some people go for a year and stay a life-time; they find there the treasure of God’s kingdom, so they sell everything to possess it.

EVIL AND SUFFERING

CHAPTER 13

The modern man may instinctively recoil at the disposition to life proposed by this book. However, this very reaction only highlights man’s predicament, as he no longer knows his own nature, he is like a man born blind, who doesn’t know he is blind. He is lost in his shadows and he mistakes his world of self-love for love, freedom-to-choose for freedom, and non-being for being. The Way, which Jesus is asking him to follow transcends his commonsense as did Abraham’s sacrifice. He will experience it as an annihilation of his “nature”, but so would an addict who had to go to a clinic to dry out. Jesus promised that the new order would be known by its fruits, which has been testified to by the lives of the saints, those who risked all to enter into this new alliance of total trust and surrender. One can look to suffering and evil in the world to challenge such a disposition to life, but suffering and evil, of themselves, are not accessible to the mind of man. Those who argue against the existence of God from the presence of suffering and evil in the world, fail to understand the nature of all three; they are mysteries that lie beyond the limits of a logic. The case against God, brought by logic, must be thrown out of court as the evidence is based on object relations, non-being, whilst God is Being; logic has shown itself to be talking nonsense, however eloquent its argument might appear to be. This is not an altogether unusual outcome, as much philosophy that has been written has had the same fate, as logic has been shown to exceed the limits of what it can sensibly talk about. Later in this book I will bring what I think are the three strongest arguments against the existence of God, but for now let us attend to these mysteries within their own context of Being.

God’s response to suffering and evil was to send his only Son. Jesus did not avoid these mysteries but confronted them directly. Firstly, through his healing miracles, which dealt with the symptoms of the fall, man’s woundedness. Secondly, through his forgiveness of sin, which dealt with man’s fallenness, the basis of all evil and suffering in the world. And thirdly, and most importantly, through his crucifixion, death and resurrection, where the perfectly good object took man’s evil and suffering on himself as the perfectly bad object, and then through his undying obedience, overcame them both together with the last enemy, death, through his resurrection. This answer would not be convincing or sufficient for people limited to the shadows of rational thinking, just as “Doubting” Thomas, refused to believe in the resurrection unless he could see Jesus’ wounds with his own eyes. Thomas typifies the sceptic who can only believe what he can observe, test and prove from experimental evidence or logical reasoning. Reason has its place but also its limits, which if not respected becomes a temptation, which leads to despair, stagnation and loss of faith. The simple fact is that Being cannot be proven from non-being premises, no more than the awake state can be known from the dream state, or the moment of death can be known by reading about it. The proof lies in trying it, as G.K. Chesterton said, or as the Church teaches, “believe that you might understand”. The understanding comes through living it. One has to dare to risk all, by taking Jesus at his word, and live his radical message in the face of a world which considers it nonsense, and a Church which so often waters it down to “mere religion”. If the pascal mystery, at the heart of the new creation, really does work, then it should bear fruit, like a seed sown in a dry desert, which a year later blossoms into a beautiful rose, defying all the laws of nature. Only then will people begin to believe that there really might be something more to life than this, like the philosophers of Plato’s cave who have to convince those who live in the cave to leave it. The saints are the incarnate evidence of those who have drunk from the chalice of suffering at Jesus’ invitation and who can testify, in life and in death, to its saving power, that God has turned all things to the good; “I rejoice in my sufferings… to fill up what is lacking in Christ’s (Col 1:24)”.

Victor Frankl, the psychiatrist who survived the holocaust, and experienced life in the concentration camps first hand, saw that the men who survived longest in the camps were those who found meaning to life in the face of such evil and suffering, while those who died quickest were those who despaired and lost sight of any meaning. His subsequent Logotherapy is based on helping people to find meaning in their lives, as even the most absurd, painful and dehumanized situation has potential meaning. Jesus is the one who gives ultimate meaning to suffering and evil, as he defeated it by his resurrection; the answer does not lie in philosophical reasoning, nor even in therapies, which only serve to ameliorate suffering. It lies in a unique historical event, which is both past and present, as it overcomes man’s history of alienation, which includes time itself. Man’s offering of his myth-picture in the present moment, which contains his personal life story in the context of the public now, is converted into a living myth of incarnate-being. Man does not merely endure suffering, or seek to ameliorate it, as suffering has been given new meaning in the light of the resurrection. He is called to participate in the ongoing pascal mystery of Jesus, to share in his suffering as a work of redemption, through all that constitutes his daily life, including its trials, suffering, injustices and evils. This “new meaning” to suffering was exemplified by Maximilian Kolbe, a Catholic priest, who was also in the concentration camps. He put himself forward to die in the place of other prison who was to be sentenced to death by starvation. To speak of the suffering Christ is not a devotional thought or a past event in history but a cosmic reality, which has broken into our world and redefines the nature and order of things, which mere logic cannot grasp; suffering is the crucible which refines the man of faith. He is assured that no matter how bad things get nothing can separate him from the love of God “neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither fears for today nor worries about tomorrow, not even the powers of hell… nothing in all creation (Rom 8:38)”. Suffering, evil and even death have lost their sting, they have already been defeated in Jesus’ resurrection. The final outcome is already known but all men are called to share in the victory. In the words of Mother Teresa, who throughout her life was exposed to great personal suffering, as well as the mass poverty and suffering of the humanity she served, “however great the darkness becomes never let it overshadow the light of the resurrection”.

“Hi! My name’s Stephen and I’m pretty much like your average teenager, except now I’ve got cancer…. I want to spend as much time as possible raising funds for a charity before I die”.

Suffering and evil are a consequence of man’s fall, so naturally man has sought to avoid them or remedy them, as one might bandage a wound of one who has fallen over. However, unless one deals with the meaning of suffering, these solutions have limited effect as they don’t address man’s deepest yearning to be. Jesus doesn’t merely heal the sick, he does something much more, he gives new meaning to suffering, making it a source of redemption by bringing Good out of Evil. Medicines and therapies only seek to relieve suffering, which leads to a society of people dependent on anti-depressants to anaesthetise the pain caused by the depersonalising effects of living in the modern world, a world which seems to provide everything except meaning. The importance of meaning in the face of suffering, is not only highlighted by Victor Frankl’s experience but it can also be seen in peoples responses to terminal illnesses. While some people have found their suffering a turning point in their life, something which has deepened their appreciation for life in all its forms, others have seen it as intolerable and meaningless. Some have fought doggedly for the right to euthanasia, a cause which is ironically the only thing which gives meaning to their lives. The emphasis on individual rights in society, while being a myth-expression of man’s-search-for-being, also contains a pernicious lie, as it turns away from the I-Thou of man’s intrinsic social nature, to that of the false self, which gives an absolute value to freedom of choice and personal rights, over society, which it perceives as “enemy”. With the disintegrating sense of community and shared values, a further symptom of the insidious consequence of sin, which seeks to destroy the I-Thou nature in man, power has shifted to the individual and to minority groups, who become the measure of the law. Society is fearful of infringing a person’s rights, and yet that person’s rights imposes an interpretation of life on everybody else. Each person’s choices does effect others, which points back to the I-Thou nature of human beings, and the destructive nature of individualism. The death culture of modern times is not a sign of man’s freedom to choose death but of his failure to choose life.

THE REVOLUTION OF LOVE

CHAPTER 14

“He who controls the minds of the people has the power”

The disposition of Christians in the face of suffering and evil, has been the source of much criticism from thinkers and writers down the ages including Karl Marx, who saw religion as the “opium of the people”, as he believed it made people passive to the injustices which surrounded them. Nietzsche also railed against a Christianity, which he saw as presenting a “slave morality”, which repressed and denied people access to their own creative drive within, a dionysian drive which he saw as essential to personal fulfilment and the advancement of the human race. Marx’s and Nietzsche’s philosophies, however, were based on a misunderstanding of the nature of man and his world, which led to a distorted view of themes like creativity, identity, freedom and progress. Such misconceptions have resulted in some of the worst genocides that mankind has ever seen in the past century, the fruit of man’s fallen will-to-power. All revolutions are rooted in their history and culture, they see the problem there and they seek to address it by writing a new chapter of history, which will right the wrongs and readdress the balance of power, by rearranging object relations, where they believe the source of the alienation lies. They are motivated by the memories of past atrocities and fallen heroes, who have fought valiantly for the cause. If that is not enough to oil the machinery of war there will always be emotive propaganda, used to stir the innate feelings of injustice and retribution within the hearts of younger generations. They may be too young to share those memories of history but they hold within themselves their own sense of injustice, an archetypal of a fallen humanity, which has been thrown into exile for something it didn’t do. This innate injustice will be projected and identified with a particular cause within their own culture and the history of their nation. It shares this common root with other violent forms of projection including racism, where certain groups of people become scapegoats, or “bad object”, for ones own loss of identity and freedom. It follows that all revolutions are myth-expressions of man’s search for a freedom and justice, a “promised land”, which does not lie within his reach, no more than one can arrive at a mirage in the desert. Many of the Jews who followed Jesus, including his Apostles, projected their expectations on to Jesus, seeing him as a warrior-Messiah, who would overthrow the Romans and give them back their land. Jesus brought a wholly different revolution. His revolution is based on the true nature of things, identifying the true structure of alienation, which people like Karl Marx failed to do, while offering man an exodus to true freedom.

To recap what has been said before, Revelation shows that the fall of man was a sin against God, a rejection of Love, which left man alienated from his true nature and subsequently from his neighbour, who has become his enemy. This alienation and its subsequent cycle of violence has never been understood by man, as its interpretation lies beyond any human thought or measure. Man projects his own alienation into his neighbour, who becomes the scapegoat for his problems, in a culture of fear, envy, blame, prejudice, racism etc, where “hell is other people”, to use a sartrean expression. All those who have attempted to define man’s alienation, or readdress it, have failed, as they do it from their own position of alienation, within the context of space-time and object relations, which itself is man’s exile. The interpretation and solution had to come from beyond man and his world. Jesus is the true revolutionary, who brings the means of peace that man has hungered for, yet his way is paradoxical to say the least, it is “foolish to those who are perishing but to those who are being saved it is the power of God … for the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength (1 Cor 1:18-25)”. Jesus has his own weapons for overcoming injustices and evil, which is exemplified in the Gospel account of Peter withdrawing his sword to cut off the ear of one of the men who came to arrest Jesus. Peter thinks as man thinks, as Jesus often reminded him, he wants to fight like any good revolutionary, ready to shed his blood in order to protect his leader. Jesus responds enigmatically “Put back your sword in its scabbard, am I to refuse the cup which my Father has prepared for me?” The will-to-power of all revolutions, symbolised in Peter, is replaced by the will-to-love of Jesus. The injustice which lies at the heart of creation, which is man’s sin against God and neighbour, is to be overcome by love, by Jesus himself, who alone can pay the debt. Jesus manifests the divine satyagraha as he accepts his fate, not passively, but with an active love, praying for those who persecuted him, turning the other cheek to those who struck him, forgiving those crucified him, while accepting all in an obedience to divine love.

11gThe history of injustices are myth-expressions of the one injustice, man’s sin against God, and they all find their solution in the one act of divine justice, which is the death of the Son of God on the cross. Jesus makes all men just before God, because he has paid the debt of sin, and bridged the gap between God and man. This is not simply a one-off event of historical interest, it defines a new reality and a new way-of-being in the world. Man continues to live in a world of injustices, and he will do so while remaining in this exile, but the victory is already his, Justice has already overcome human injustices in Jesus. He may not win the personal battles of justice against his neighbour, but he lives in the light of the resurrection, where injustice, like death, has lost its sting; “Oh, death where is your victory, Oh, death where is your sting. The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Law, but thanks to God, who has given us the victory through our Lord, Jesus Christ (1 Cor 15:55)”. Man’s ongoing fight for justice in this life, does no longer needs to be tainted by a projection of his own alienation, instead he unites his suffering in the face of injustices, to that of Jesus’, knowing that he shares in the work of redemption: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. This does not mean that he merely bears the injustices in this life stoically, awaiting the justice in the afterlife or second coming. Rather he participates in the active work of bringing that victory to bear in the world of injustices today, through the new life he lives in Christ. The follower of Jesus shares in the work of justice by living in the myth-of-being, which means that all his thoughts, words and actions flow from that single unity-of-being, where he lives in a new I-Thou with his neighbour, even when the Thou is his enemy. He has overcome the fundamental injustice of sin through Jesus, he is no longer alienated from his own being, and he invites his neighbour to share in that victory. If his neighbour cuts his head off in the name of injustice he has still won, “to live is Christ to die is gain (Phil 1:21)”. St Paul, one of the first persecutors of followers of Jesus in the early Church, was converted to become one of Jesus greatest missionary disciples, after he successfully had Stephen, one of the first martyrs of the Church, stoned to death.

In this revolution of love and true path of Justice, man is called to put down his weapons of violence, like Peter, and see them for what they are, an extension of the violence and injustice within his own heart; “let he who is without sin cast the first stone (Jn 8:7)”. Man is called to do the most difficult thing because it is transcends his experiences and so relies on faith in what has been revealed about the nature of things. He has to recognise his own personal history as intrinsically an act of violence against God and neighbour, he is a lost-being, who shares in the betrayal of true love; he has failed to live by the one true commandment that God revealed to the Israelites, which is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and strength and love your neighbour as yourself (Lk 10:27)”. He must ask for forgiveness, not only to God, but to his enemy. The one weapon Jesus gave to those who would follow him, is unconditional forgiveness, “just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive (Col 3:13)… not seven times but seventy times seven (Mt 18:22)”. If man is to reunite to the Thou, as “wholly other”, which is the source of his alienation, then he must surrender unconditionally to every Thou without exception, even his enemy, which in turn demands an unconditional forgiveness for all pain suffered. Unconditional forgiveness goes against man’s fallen-nature, as it annihilates his very self and will-to-power, which are built on the dialectic of I-and-Thou, which is a drawing of swords even from within the mother’s womb. Such forgiveness is only possible when this dialectic and will-to-power are redeemed through a reconciliation of I-Thou, where the Thou is restored to its “wholly other” status. This in turn is only possible through a Revelation from above, which reveals the true nature of man’s own alienation, while offering a new myth to set man truly free. This takes place in the new transcendental dialectic of Jesus offering himself on the cross, while showing unconditional forgiveness to his enemies, “forgive them Father for they know not what they do (Lk 23:34)”. It is from this position of unconditional forgiveness that man free-falls into incarnate being, which is the starting point of the new revolution.

11cWhen we face difficult circumstances in life, we are told it is “character building”, and this expresses something of that more profound mystery at the heart of the new myth. Man’s new I is purified in the furnace of his Thou, as he is purged of his self-love, by forgiving and loving his enemy and persecutor. God has armed man with unconditional forgiveness, a power which was not accessible to man before Jesus came, as the myth had not yet be written in Jesus’ blood. It is an act of faith, as it is an “non-experienced” act, which is made possible because God has revealed it in Jesus. It has to face the full torrent of man’s most innate experiences of emotion turmoil, which have their roots in the most primal chaos of the baby in his mother’s womb, before even his psyche was formed, including hate, rage, retribution, murderous intentions, dread and envy. This hidden world of the “innocent baby” is so well captured by the insights of psychoanalysis and is also clearly portrayed in the early stories of the Bible, after man’s fall into exile. It is by faith alone that man must stand against the tide of this dark, destructive, primal force if he is to participate in a new creation, which finds its expression in the aforementioned Gospel story of Jesus calming the storm, when the Apostles were fearful of drowning, while Jesus chided them for their lack of faith. Such a radical disarming and its consequent loss of identity, which is first experienced as a humiliating defeat or act of cowardice, is only possible if there is another identity to be realised; this very real experience of death is beneath human dignity unless there is indeed a resurrection to new life on the other side of the storm. Jesus has shown that this paradoxical act is the source of true life and freedom because it gives man back his I-Thou identity in a new myth of love. Forgiveness of ones enemy is a recognition that ones own violence is part of a chain of cause-effect, which has come about through man’s failure to love, it is the fruit of a broken I-Thou which both sides are guilty of as they share in as the common guilt of humanity. This is evident in daily life, by the simple observation that if one person changes their attitude towards another, that change brings about a change in the other person; “where there is no love put love and there you will find love”(John of the Cross).

Man’s repentance for his own contribution to the state of the world is not about a fixation on feelings of guilt; true repentance leads to an act of kenosis, a new disposition or way of being-in-the-world, based on faith. It is not rooted in feelings, which belong to mere experiences, which can lead to unhealthy complexes, based on self-love. Rather, man casts out all that defined him, for he recognises that his only true definition is found in that which lies outside of history and its content, in God alone. This does not mean that man forgets his past and the struggle of those who shed their blood in pursuit of freedom and truth, but he can only be true to those memories and fulfil those dreams through recognising that both sides were slaves to their history and memories, and that history itself has to be redeemed, in a non-historical act. This responsibility lies on each person’s shoulder in their present moment, the point where all past history ends and future history begins. History cries for redemption louder than blood cries for vengeance. Man has the fundamental freedom “to be” in the new ahistorical myth-of-being where history is redeemed, or “not to be” as just another player in the history of man’s-search-for-being. Only in this religious act does man free himself from the alienation for which so many shed their blood. In that moment he joins heaven and earth in a single reality in his own incarnate person; God;s kingdom has come, man has arrived at the promised land. Man has finally achieved justice, without shedding any more blood, not from the hands of his enemy, who could never give him justice, but from the hands of God. This justice is not a mere thought, prayer or belief but a living reality, as it is only realised by incarnating himself in the I-Thou of the present moment, which demands repentance and forgiveness, something which peace treaties and peace dialogues point to, but ultimately fail to achieve, as signed agreements do not amount to a conversion of heart. Incarnate-being is its own language, a language of true love, founded on Being, whereas treaties are written in man’s fallen-language, non-being, so they are like a house built on sand, which is destined to fall.

It is only from the context of Being that man becomes a true instrument for peace in the world, as all forms of violence begin within each individual person, as lost-being. It is by addressing that alienation in its particularity, man-to-man, act-by-act, word-by-word, that the global problems can be addressed. They work from the bottom up, rooted in incarnate-being, unlike ideologies which work from the top down, from the hands of those in power, and so are necessarily violent, as they are rooted in abstraction, mind, knowledge and will-to-power. Nothing is too small. To quote Mother Teresa, “do small things with great love”. It starts with each person’s responsibility to let go in love and become a new creation, which of its nature reaches out to the Thou, inviting it into an I-Thou, it is an incarnate reality so it must be rooted in the particular and not the universal, although it has its source in the one universal, God’s universal love. It finds its identity in that which is given in the present moment, so it does not identify itself with any cause by projecting into it. If man does not root himself in Being and work out of Being, then it is inevitable that any cause he fights for, however noble, will be tainted by his lost-being; the cause is hijacked when he projects his lost identity into it, as all forms of projection are inherently alienating and violent. His cause can never satisfy him, even when he wins, as his victory is short lived and comes at a cost. The identification with a cause often makes the person fanatical, narrow-minded, blind to their own faults, while seeking to impose their perception of life on everybody else. These “peace-seeking” people are often aggressive, bigoted and intolerant of others, clearly not at peace with themselves, where even their victories become occasions of triumphalism and further aggression. In other words, their victory defines them relative to the cause, so they remain defined within the field of object relations, which cannot set them free. The person who decides to concede his right by forgiving his adversary, may appear to be stepping down and losing, but he has put his “rights” within the larger context of Being, he forgoes the part-object to retain the totality, like an astute chess player, who sacrifices one of his pieces in order to gain a winning position.

The law cannot give man his being. It is right and just that humans should seek to have laws which protect the dignity of each individual, but the law in itself is not enough, and in fact, like causes, it can be a source of violence. People will often use the law to threaten others, or they will even look to exploit loopholes in it to make their own selfish gain. The law can ensure that aspects of man’s life has equal rights and recognition before society, but the sum of those aspects do not give man his identity, they remain part-objects. It is only in the law of love that man is truly given permission “to be”, he is accepted unconditionally as he is, something that only God can do, as he alone proves the perfect holding environment for man to incarnate himself as I AM; nobody can take that away from him but neither can any law give it to him. We live in a society which tries to affirm the rights of everybody, to the extent that there is a fear of making any form of discrimination, in case one is sued, or accused of denying a person their rights. Children have to be affirmed in everything they do; even when they fail, they are given rewards for “improvement”, “attendance”, “effort” etc. Society wants to be the all-affirming authority, the perfect holding environment, for humanity, but in doing so it is denying its own limitations and man’s predicament, which results in an unconscious, repressed pathology within society, like a parent-child relationship, where the answer to everything is yes. Everything is acceptable except to tell people they are wrong, everybody has rights but nobody is responsible. This all-inclusion drive within society is again a myth-expression of man’s-search-for-being, but it is something which society cannot give. It is God alone who gives the great AMEN, he has brought good out of evil, life out of death, Being out of non-being. He alone can affirm man in his identity, but this is not done by denying man’s failings, on the contrary, it comes by man recognizing his predicament as lost-being, offering that totality and receiving it all back, blessed by God, where man can finally embrace his I AM in God’s unconditional forgiveness and love, like the prodigal son. He then has nothing to hide from the world, nothing to be embarrassed about or apologise for, as he lives his new life in the context of Being. This can be seen in the new life of Mary Magdalene, who became one of Jesus’ most faithful followers.

 

Awakening from Sleep (Part 3)

LIFE AND DEATH

CHAPTER 14

In times of temptation a person is possessed by their primal drive, which sets before them an object or end to be attained, where the “now” is projected full of values, like the proverbial “all eggs in one basket”, which makes it a matter of life or death. Life and death, in that moment, are experienced intensely as enemies, opposites, an either-or, where the “good object” is associated with life and the “bad object” associated with death. In the less intense affair of simply living out ones daily life, “life” seems to exist in the future, it is something to be awaited, looked forward to, or striven after. Man’s false self, lost-being, in his desert of non-being, experiences the life he thirsts for like a mirage in theimagesYVNSTKQT desert, like the illusion created by the mind of a man dying of thirst for water. He spends his life chasing life, following an infinite regression of choices, which ironically only leads him to the same point as death itself; the two finally meet, in an inevitable, fateful encounter, which man strangely seems to have been ignoring or repressing. Does this meeting contain the ultimate “disappointment in love”, or does this fateful encounter, the final outcome of all human longing, point to a profound truth about the meaning to life. Man unconsciously lives as if life can finally be realised in a matter of time, with sufficient effort, and enough choices, in a future where death has no place. Sartre’s self-conscious man, stands before the Thou of the world as “not that”, which he uses as the basis for man’s freedom to choose in each moment his own essence. However, this self is trumped at the end of life, when death makes the final choice for him; despite all his choices, as he stands before death with all his life possessions he remains defined as “not that”, which is not a mark of his freedom, but his lost-being, as he fails to close the gap between the I-and-Thou. Death is the only way out of the eternal recurrence, which Sartre called a “useless passion”; death seems to mock life, to stand before it as its final captor. Death shows no respect for Life itself nor individual lives. It can arrive at any time and in any place. For some it can be experienced as a welcome relief, while others, through suicide, make it a solution to an unbearable life. For others it is experienced as the ultimate injustice, as it takes away the goodvbh and leaves behind the bad; it deprives people of their youth and it intrudes when the party of life is in full swing. In this chapter I want to give death back its rightful place.

Originally, Life and Death were not enemies, they are only perceived so in a fallen-world, where man claims life for himself. Life and death belong together defining the “limits” to human life, to incarnate-being; like the two sides that make up a page, they constitute the parchment of the myth-of-being. The Creator God, who has no limits, does not know death, but for man it is a necessary quality of his life as a “finite” being; the infinite God necessarily holds the life and death of each person in his hands. An important characteristic of the fall, is that man claimed life for himself, and so he refused to recognise the power that God has over him. Man has become the megalomaniac, who seeks to conquer the world, invading others countries to seize power, where every boundary or limit is experienced as a temptation to have more, the “curse of numbers”. While every human is not a world tyrant, they are all living in a state of reaction to limits, numbers and boundaries, even if for the most part it is done unconsciously. They are always seeking to extend the territory that defines life for them, whether it is more free-time, less work, a bigger house, a better car, a higher salary etc. The Thou on the other side of the boundary is projected with man’s unconscious emotions, it becomes either the “good” object,imagesNM6NRYL2 which must be possessed, or the “bad” object, which is the scapegoat for his misery. “Hell is other people” in the words of Sartre, as the Thou of other people, becomes man’s biggest obstacle to increasing his share of the spoils. Man sees it as favourable and necessary to work in peace alongside his neighbour, where they negotiates object relations, since life is necessarily a shared experience of the I-and-Thou. However, it doesn’t take much for the underlying will-to-power to raise its head, when the Thou tries to cross the I’s territory, something that is even evident in what might be considered loving relationships like marriage and friendship.

For man to be Lord of life, he needs to either overcome death itself, by finding the elixir of life, or he must deny its existence; death becomes projected away from life like an infinite regression. Death is sent into exile by man, who does not want it in his kingdom, just as God sent man into exile for attempting to defy the limits set by death. Where death defines the “limits” to incarnate-being, and is therefore a quality belonging to human life, in the fall it is experienced as the “end” of life; it is its opposite and enemy, experienced as the ultimate shame and defeat. Through its projection into space-time, Death is not experienced as an existential reality, which accompanies life, but merely a concept, a possibility, which lies at the end of an infinite regression. It is something which will never happen to “me”, and if I should allow for a moment the fact that it will happen to me, based on simple observations of finite human life, then I can be sure it will never happen “today”. The world is sanitised of death, which gives man a false sense of “totality”, where there are no limits to life; the only limits now are those set by the differentiation process, which are like ripples on the lake of exile after the original fall. At least with these limits man can vie for more life by extending his boundaries, using his mind-will, in a will-to-power. Unfortunately, this leaves man with an insatiable thirst, as he never has enough, he is caught in an infinite regression, which can only end with death, the final limit towards which all other limits tend. This denial of death’s true place has become a fundamental, archetypal repression in the human race, which manifests itself in the psychoanalytical observation of a “death instinct” in man, which I shall come to shortly.

The close bond between life and death is also unconsciously manifested in other behaviour patterns, beliefs and choices of humans in life. Some people love adrenalin sports, in which life and death are literally only held apart by a string. They experience a sense of exhilaration, when they break through the narrow confines of their routine lives with its securities, a life buffered against the risks of death. They experience a greater sense of “reality”, when life and death are brought together, and located in a single Thou, over which they have no control. Some people prefer to fight on the front-line of war, or be involved in high risk events, like peacekeeping in dangerous parts of the world; they find an authenticity to life when they are close to death, an example of which I gave earlier with Wittgenstein. Some peoples beliefs in the meaning to life include the passing on of their genes or a belief in reincarnation, where life will be extended indefinitely, so that death will not have the final say over life. One can even measure a person’s true character, genius or even holiness by those crucial, high pressured moments, where it is a matter of all or nothing, life or death. A tennis player facing the last point, which could make or break his career welcomes it as the defining moment, the moment of revelation when the world will see what he already knows himself to be; Jesus himself welcomed his imminent death as his “hour”. That final point is not held by mind-body-will, it is not a moment for “positive thinking”, nor even for trying harder, rather, it is a moment for letting go and allowing his true self to be realised in an incarnate “I have arrived” moment. Defeat is not experienced as the opposite to victory in that moment, nor the end of a dream, but rather it gives victory its value, it imagesLRXT315Yenables the player to show his real genius. To have victory without the possibility of defeat would rob the victory of its value, like winning a context which has already been fixed. For Heidegger, it is the “angst” caused by a sense of imminent death, which gives life its authenticity. It is often the case that when people have had to face near death experiences that they reach a turning point, where they know life for the first time.

Freud, the founder of Psychoanalysis was baffled by the evident manifestation of a “death instinct” in his patients, an instinct which seemed to oppose the pleasure principle, which he associated with life. People in various forms of neurosis were fixated on a bad experience from the past, which they refused to move on from, reliving it in their daily life, through unconscious, destructive practices and relationships. All of this was contrary to his belief that man ultimately seeks pleasure not pain. Why would a person remain fixated on a painful experience, when they can experience the pleasure of letting it go and moving on with their life. He saw this repetition as more primitive, more elementary, more instinctual than the pleasure principle and over-riding it. He attributed it to “an urge in organic life to restore an earlier state of things”, a state from which life originally emerged. Later in life he related this “death instinct” to man’s aggressive-instinct, or will-to-power. This death instinct is something of an enigma and an embarrassment to Psychoanalysis, as it is difficult to make sense of its existence. It seems to serve no real useful purpose, and it prevents therapy from working, as the ill patient holds doggedly to pain and self-destruction, over health, progress and well-being. The life of a therapist would be a lot easier if people really did choose pleasure and life over pain and self-destruction at each opportunity, but it is often the latter they choose. Schopenhauer, the eighteenth century German philosopher, attributed this phenomena to the fact that life contains more suffering than happiness, so people instinctively choose death over life, which led him to declare, in his pessimistic philosophy, that “death is the goal of life”. In the light of what I have written in this book I want to propose a different explanation for this strange phenomena.

Freud realised that people who were labelled insane and locked away for their eccentric behaviour, were actually communicating through that behaviour. Their seemingly mindless ramblings needed to be interpreted at a deeper level if they were to be understood and subsequently healed, which is where Psychoanalysis began. People with addictions, anorexia, suicidal tendencies and other psychological problems that lead to self harm, are shunning the life they have here, even in the face of death, as this life doesn’t seem to meet their deepest need to realise themselves, it is a “disappointment in love”. I would suggest that an understanding of this rejection of life can be put forward by looking again at the whole process of the babies psyche development, which I outlined at the beginning of this book. I would suggest that the phenomenon of projection-introjection of good and bad objects, can be interpreted in terms of a battle between life and death. The baby originally had an I-Thou bond, where life-and-death was a single defining element of finite human life, which I mentioned before. When the baby fell into exile from Being, life and death had to be redefined. Death is the ultimate and primal “bad object”, which must be rejected as the baby clings to the “good object”, life, which cannot tolerate the limit of death, which is now perceived as its enemy. The baby keeps the good object and the bad object apart, in order to retain some form of omnipotence. This interpretation does not conflict with the earlier interpretation of the baby’s search for a lost-love in an I-Thou, as they can only be unified in love where life and death are unified, for true love is until “death us do part”. Within that first primal, dualistic experience all other forms of differentiation will have their context, like the ripples on the lake mentioned earlier. This means that all man’s experiences of life contain elements of a life-death struggle, a dialectical will-to-power, which Derrida, the French linguistic philosopher, even found constituted the way words are used and the development of language. While man can no longer face death, as death has been projected into the exile of space-time, death haunts him in his very thirst for more of life, as true life cannot be found without death, its defining character.

This interpretation makes sense of the examples given earlier, of man’s behaviour patterns and beliefs, which seek to unite life and death. It also makes sense of man’s need to procrastinate living, by projecting life into the future, to the edge of space-time, where ultimately life and death will once again meet. It also throws light on the death instinct, which is actually a yearning for true life, for something that has been lost at the very beginning of each person’s life. This would explain why a person may refuse to get better in therapy, where “health” is measured by a neurotic world of non-being, man’s exile. The person who does not wish to go forwards into life, but would rather go backwards, regress to an earlier state, instinctually knows that reality and life do not belong to this world of space-time, but to something which proceeded it, where life and death formed a unity of Being. Man’s fixation on disappointed love in his childhood, is not because he doesn’t want to move on into life; on the contrary, he holds on to it because it is a disappointment in love, which reminds him of his true lost-love in the fall. That lost-love has been projected into the objects of his primary carers, which the adult has been doing since infancy, when they were the good and bad objects of his psyche. He is like a crying baby who refuses to be silenced until his mother comes to pick him up, he will not settle for any other carer. To give it the name “death instinct” only highlights the paradoxical nature of the world we live in. Man is “fixated” in his exile, where there is no possibility of knowing true life here below; he can’t go back and be born again. He demands an authentic answer to lost-love, which psychoanalysis can’t give, but it can modify the pain through a catharsis of the objects into which he has projected the pain; in other words, it helps him to write another chapter of his myth-search-for-being. All man’s articulations are talk about life without truly knowing life. He is like aimagesNG2WAFMK rambling madman, or like a timid person who for many years has failed to express his undying love for a woman, but all his words and actions have been filled with the anguish and desire to say, “I love you”. Man can’t bring life out of death, but it doesn’t stop him trying, like the “fixated” loyal football fan, who religiously supports his non-league team at every match, a team that has never won anything and has no hope of ever winning anything but it doesn’t stop him dreaming. Man must reconcile himself with death again if he is to know life.

The solution comes in Jesus, who reconciles life and death in himself by rising from the dead. He offers man the opportunity to be born again, and to share in his pascal mystery, “unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies it remains alone, but if it dies it bears much fruit (Jn 12:24)”. When it was time for Jesus to die he referred to it as “the hour has come (Jn 12:23)”. Death for him was the climax of his work, which was to reveal God’s love to the world, a task which came to an end which his dying words, “it is finished (Jn 19:13)”. The pascal mystery is at the heart of the new creation, it is where man can finally find his true being, where life and death are reconciled. Death is no longer seen as man’s enemy to life, but as a source of new life, a means of sharing in the divine life on earth, through living faith. This finds its fulfilment in natural death, when man is finally freed of his exile, to be reconciled with the Father. This understanding of the reconciliation of life-death may also help to clarify the Church’s doctrine that Mary, the Mother of God, at the end of her life was “assumed into heaven”. Mary did not meet a natural death, where her body expired and corrupted, the fate of all other human beings. Rather, at the appointed time, when her earthly life was finished, her death was a “vertical” ascent into heaven, where her being imagesGJER5Y2Xwas united to the eternal Being that called her home. She would not have encountered the “horizontal” death of mankind, as that form of death belongs to those who have original sin, where death is experienced as the “end” of life, and the self-mind-body is rooted in the transience and decay of object relations. For her, death has its correct place, as the gateway to heaven. Her disposition, as incarnate-being, is always vertical; like an arrow shot upwards, it has its end point in the heavens, not like one shot horizontally, which must find its end point on earth.

The interpretation of death put forward here also throws light on a long theological debate about whether Jesus saved the world through his incarnation, or through his crucifixion. In other words, was it necessary for him to die for the sins of the world, or was it sufficient that he became a man? I would argue that to redeem mankind, Jesus needed to unite the two primal opposites in man’s world, life and death. A pascal mystery was necessary in which he remained obedient in the most annihilating experiences of human life, to the very depths of suffering and death itself, so that God’s Amen unites life and death in all forms of differentiation that define man’s exile. The pascal event then becomes the new transcendental on earth, to which all people are invited, if they want to experience true life, as incarnate-being; “deny yourself take up your cross and follow me (Matt 16:24)”. The mysteries of the incarnation and the pascal mystery are intimately united, man cannot have one without the other. Life cannot be affirmed without affirming death, putting death back where it belongs as the limit to life, a limit set by God not man. This takes place in the total trust and absolute surrender of man’s fiat, when man accepts all from God’s hands with equal equanimity; “to live is Christ to die is gain (Phil 1:21)”.

PERMANENCE, CHANGE AND BECOMING

CHAPTER 15

Before proposing a solution to one of the earliest philosophical problems, namely, that of permanence and change, I want to consider the nature of God, which will help to throw light on this topic. By his very nature God must be Trinitarian, as God has revealed his nature as Love, and love is relational. Love is a unilateral gift of an I to a “wholly other” Thou, forming an I-Thou, in which the I has its identity from its relation to the Thou, and not apart from it; this is difficult for us to grasp as all we know is self-love in object relations. For the Thou to receive the totality of this divine gift, it would have to be equal to God while being “wholly other”, which means some sort of unity in diversity. However, if we are to say that the Thou is also God then the argument must work the other way around too, namely, the Thou has its identity from its relation to the I. In Christianity this distinction between God and God is made by the recognition of the order of “proceeding” or personhood, that is, by their relationship as Father to Son and Son to Father. It follows from this relationship of love, of total giving, God-to-God, that it bears fruit, as love is necessarily fruitful, and that this fruit glorifies the relationship. The only fruit that is worthy of giving glory to God is God. This fruit of love will therefore also be “wholly other”, distinguished by its order of proceeding from the Father-Son relationship; in Revelation, this fruit is revealed as the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is both the fruit of their love and the recognition of that love, like a baby who is conceived from a loving relationship, and who manifests the characteristics of the parents, bearing their likeness; hence we have a Trinitarian God. The two characteristics of “permanence” and “change” pertain to God’s nature; the former in his “identity” as defined by his order of proceeding, and the latter is his nature as perfect love, which is always new. The order of proceeding does not exist in space-time, but in the now; it is an immediacy and totality, which makes up the very essence of love. This love is replicated in the new incarnate-being, whose own identity is a trinitarian I-Spirit-Thou.

tttI now turn to the concepts of change and permanence”, within philosophy, which have been a source of philosophical debate and conundrums since the pre-Socratic philosophers, exemplified in Zeno’s paradoxes of motion (e.g. the tortoise and the hare). Parmenides argued that there is no change in the world, it is only an illusion, as Being can’t come from non-being. Reality for him was ‘One Being’, an unchanging, ungenerated, indestructible whole, and the phenomena of movement and change are simply appearances of a static, eternal reality. Heraclitus, on the other hand, argued that everything is in change, and so permanence is an illusion. For him, all things are one, but this unity, far from excluding difference, opposition and change, actually depends on them, since the universe is in a continuous state of dynamic equilibrium, an ‘ever-living fire’, whose incessant transformations are the basic operations of the universe. Later philosophers have tried to account for change by considering a dynamic force which moves objects through various types of cause-effect, as nature tries to realise itself in some final end, towards which everything is directed. Newton gave a scientific account of change through the discovery of his three laws of motion, but Hume, a Scottish eighteenth century philosopher undermined Sciences claim to knowledge, when he discredited any claim to cause-effect being an objective reality. I will address the problem of change in this chapter by arguing that a distinction needs to be made between the change before the fall, which is the very nature of God, love, and the change after the fall, which is man’s “experience” of change, which I will call, fallen-change. This distinction has never been made before, as philosophers have always mistakenly attributed some form of reality to this world, confusing Being and non-being.

The change in God is pure love, which is not of the mind-senses, as it is a “presence” which is immediate and total, which means it can’t be perceived by the mind-senses, as these can only experience the object relations of space-time. It is like the love between two soulmates who meet for the first time, which is very real but can’t be perceived by those around them, or again, like the atomic world which makes up the objects before man’s eyes but which is too small to be seen. This divine love is in continuous change, as by its very nature it gives itself anew in every moment; if it was to stop or stagnate it would lose its unity and identity as Being. This is what happens in the fall, when the “immediacy” is replaced by space-time, and the “totality” is replaced by differentiation. Instead of imagesX5VRCGCP“knowing”, the quality of presence and intimacy that exists in an I-Thou love, man now has “knowledge of”, which is merely functional, as it serves the task of doing the right thing at the right time, to keep the peace and harmony between I-and-Thou, which are experienced as two separate entities. In other words, in the fall, there is a “present-to” of the mind and senses to the world of object relations, which gives rise to a phenomenon-of-change. The silence of true love has been replaced by man’s need to articulate a human love, which is only a myth-expression of man’s search for lost-love. The expression, “love makes the world go around”, should be rephrased as “the world goes around because man is in search of his lost-love”. The pure change of the divine universal love has been replaced by a fallen-change based on the universals of the mind-senses, which is marked by an infinite regression of discrete steps, like the first motion films which created the illusion of movement by a series of individual still pictures set in motion. Unlike the Universal of Love, which has a continuity in Being through its immediacy and totality, the universals of the mind “name” things without giving them being, it provides an essence in place of existence, and those essences are put together like the still pictures of the motion film, to tell the tale of man’s-search-for-being. God’s consciousness of Truth-Love has been replaced by man’s consciousness of “truths”; man’s world is like a loveless marriage, which goes through the staccato motions as tasks to be done, rather than love to be revealed. In his exile, the artist seeks to capture that missing love by uniting the discrete musical notes together into a continuous symphony, which lifts the heart of the listener to a realm beyond this world.

It follows that the change we see before our eyes has its context in man’s myth-of-lost-being, which is “permanent”, as man cannot escape his predicament. In that sense, Parmenides was correct to say that change does not belong to this world, and that there is a permanence, which only gives the appearance of change. However, he made the mistake of attributing Being to that permanence, when in fact the permanence of this world is non-being. Another way of seeing this is that the change in the world is an “eternal recurrence”, like a recurring dream, which gives man a false sense of progress. He is in one of those nightmares where he is striving to reach a point, but no matter how hard he tries he can never get there. He will only reach his goal when he awakes from his “permanent” state of sleep, with its frantic fallen-motion, and realises himself in the authentic “change” of his father’s loving embrace; “Be still and know that I am God (Ps 46:10)”. The noise, commotion and restless, neurotic busyness of the world must fall silent and still if man is to know true change, which is the true love that defines him as Being. This does not mean that people should do nothing in the world and remain on their knees, in permanent prayer. On the contrary, they are called to “authentic action” in the world, which is to manifest to the world “true change”, which is only done through incarnate-being, where man’s life becomes one of permanent prayer and sacrifice, as a lived reality. This is made possible because Jesus shared in man’s state of permanent exile, while retaining authentic change, through his presence to the Father. He never succumbed to the fallen-change of man, as he never reacted to object relations in any circumstance; his one value was to do the will of the Father. By uniting in his own person,images7C5SFK8Y the permanence of exile to the change of love, he broke the chains of exile like a hammer that snaps the chains which hold a man in his dungeon. If Parmenides can be said to be right in the context of non-being phenomena, then Heraclitus can be said to be right in the context of the sacrament of the present moment, where man lives in the continuous change of God’s Universal Love, a Universal which redeems all other universals of man’s mind.

Volumes of philosophy and theology have been written to try and deal with the problem of “becoming”, or change, which is evident in the world around us, where things are always growing, changing or in transition. Aristotle and Aquinas, tried to explain this phenomenon by creating a new set of dual concepts, such as potential-act, form-accident, as well as various types of cause: material cause, formal cause, efficient cause and final cause. Each thing in the world is in motion and each motion is caused by something else which moved it, and that object in turn must have been moved by something else. The “final cause”, is the goal towards which an object is moving, which for an acorn, for example, would be an oak tree. They also saw that there must be an initial “uncaused cause”, or unmoved mover, which set the whole world in motion, otherwise the chain of causes would regress to infinity, with no still-point to get the ball moving, which would be illogical. They then attributed this starting point to God, who is the great Unmoved Mover. This means that “permanence” is the essential characteristic of God, where change is perceived as inferior to God, and only belonging to this world. This is not surprising as the early philosophers considered the world of flux and change as inferior to the world of permanent ideas, which was the realm fitting for Being. This is the sort of mistake that arises, when reality is attributed to object relations.

Correctly, they perceive that the world of cause-effect is something in the process of attaining its end in Being, and since God already has Being, he can’t be part of this process or world. However, they then conclude that since God must lie outside of this change, he must be permanent, an Unmoved Mover, who started off the change. It all follows logically within the context of object relations, but it is wrong, as it puts Being in the same horizontal plane of object relations, to which they attribute being. It fails to recognise the fall from the vertical into the horizontal, which gave rise to cause-effect. It is true that the change in this world is not of God’s nature, but they don’t see it as a “fallen” change, which articulates man’s-search-for-being, nor that there is another form of change which is divine love. To attribute permanence instead of change to God, is to make the same error as considering him the God of Truth rather than the God of Love. The Revelation of God’s love has failed to impact the world, because God has been reduced to a God of Platonic ideas, where the life of faith is one of intellectual assent. In Revelation God presents a fifth form of causation, namely the cause-of-divine-love, which is the vertical transcendental that makes God present in the world; it is a causation which seeks to overcome all the other causations, as man is freed from his chains. God is not the one who kick-starts causation in the world he is the one who ends it, by redeeming man’s myth. This new cause is not external to him, but belongs to his very nature as Trinitarian love. God is also the “final cause” of all things, as he alone can satisfy the desires of the human heart; all creation came from him and all creation returns to him. In man as incarnate-being all the other causes are realised, as everything in creation forms a unity-of-being in the I-Thou of the present moment. All creation now worships God, as man is in a continuous disposition of “offering” himself and all creation to God in the I AM of the present moment. In other words, all horizontal change and causes are realised in the vertical change of the present moment, through the cause of God’s-love-for-the-world. Man no longer explains or justifies his actions from the point of view of cause-effect, he acts simply because it was given to him in the present moment; his will is one with the Father’s.

Aristotle and Aquinas, like all philosophers, have made the mistake of attributing reality to the 2-D plane of space-time, like an artist who makes a sketch of reality by looking at its reflection in a stream, but fails to look up and see that reality is a person standing next to him who seeks to embrace him in love. I imagine Aquinas saw something of this in the mystical experience he had, as he came towards the end of writing his tomes of theology; God revealed to him that all he had written was “straw” and he never wrote again. It was not that his writing was wrong, but that it was only a reflection of a reality which is now present in the world. It is no longer appropriate to make drawings of the loved one, as it was in Greek culture, for the bridegroom is now with the guests, so man must wake from his sleep.

GOOD AND EVIL

CHAPTER 16

The third model of this paper began with a Fall, the full meaning of which has not yet been considered, but only inferred in passing, by words such as disobedience, sin and will-to-power. The Fall has its context in the cosmic reality of Good and Evil. The most characteristic element of the latter is not the manifestation of suffering and the evident acts of evil in the world, but the quiet omnipresence of a deception, or “lie”, which pervades all human experience of being-in-the-world, which has duped mankind into believing that its state of lost-being is reality, leaving man imprisoned in his cave of shadows. Jesus said of Satan, “he is a liar and the father of lies (Jn 8:44)”. ItimagesEH2SWV4C is not a case that man is simply ignorant of all the facts, and that with time, he will attain to Truth by the natural process of evolution, nor that through his gradual understanding of the nature of things, he can finally achieve world peace and personal fulfilment. The Fall is often denied, even within theology, or its impact is reduced to some sort of handicap or defect, which is compensated for by the truths of Revelation, where God intervenes to assist man in arriving at the Truth by enlightening his mind and strengthening his will, enabling him to go longer and further than other mere mortals. The fact that philosophers and theologians have failed to recognize the essential difference between the nature of the horizontal and vertical planes, between the I-and-Thou problem of mind and the I-Thou of the heart, only highlights the power of the deception and the extent of the fall.

The stark duality between Good and Evil is highlighted throughout the Gospel of St John, which begins with the Gospel writer recognizing Jesus as “the life, which is the light of men, the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it (Jn 1:5)”. The world did not recognise its Saviour, not even God’s own chosen people, who awaited the Messiah. Instead they hated him and put him to death, while believing they were doing a good; “it is better that one man die than that a whole nation be destroyed (Jn 11:50)”. If the Law served to reveal to the Jews the depth of their sinfulness, then the Saviour of the world nailed to a cross, is the culmination of this revelation, which is also, paradoxically, the solution; “even when we were dead in our sins, he made us alive together with Christ, and raised us up with him (Eph 2:5)”. The powers of reason, open discussion and training in the Holy Scriptures, were not enough to help the Jewish leaders to recognise Jesus as the Messiah, despite the fact that after the resurrection, his followers saw that Jesus fulfilled the Scriptures and the prophecies of the Old Testament. This shows that Sacred Books are not enough to draw man into the light of Being, as even these belong to the realm of object relations when subjected to mind-will; I will say more about this when I come to Scripture. The subtle, underlying force of Evil in the world reveals itself at Jesus’ trial when, even though Pilate, an independent judge, could find no wrong in Jesus, the Jews, driven by the force of darkness, cried out for his crucifixion, using reason to justify their position “He claims to be a king, and we have only one king… everyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar (Jn 19:12)”. Reason can be an instrument for good or evil, as can Sacred books, which has been evident throughout history, where atrocities have been committed by religious and political powers, in the name of God and the dignity of man. It is also evident in the pervasive presence of advertisement, which appeals to peoples reason to explain why they must buy certain products and live certain lifestyles in order to be happy. In the rest of this chapter, I will give further examples of these subtle lies; I will also look at how this fundamental deception operates, how it originated and where the solution lies.

One such deception is to make people believe that their Conscience, which in religion is associated with the “voice of God”, guiding each person to choose right from wrong, belongs to some unresolved, infantile complex or superego, which must not be allowed to interfere in a mature, independent person’s freedom to choose. The very belief in independence and freedom, based on freedom-to-choose, is itself a subtle lie, which I have already addressed to some extent when speaking of Sartre and his philosophy, where man is perceived as fundamentally free to choose his own essence. This is to attribute a reality to himself, which exists only in God. This highlights the deceptive nature of projection and identification, the “masks” which people hide behind, to deny their true identity. Following on from this, another subtle lie is the denial of the existence of Satan and God, where the latter is seen as a projection of the mind. To have followed the arguments in this book so far, will lead one to see that this last “trendy” claim has been turned on its head since, on the contrary, everything in life is a projection, including man’s self, except God. Space-time are themselves projections, the transcendentals of mankind’s fall into lost-being, which is the context for each person’s own projections of “disappointed love”; space-time is the stage upon which they “act out” their myth-search-for-being. God is the one who frees man from all his projections, by bringing an end to object relations. Reality exists in the Now, of a new incarnating-transcendental. Man’s claim that God is a projection of the mind, is itself a projection and denial of his predicament, just as a person might lay their guilt on another in order to deflect attention from himself Man seeks to attribute lost-being to God, by denying his existence, while attributing to himself Being, which is not a simple mistake but it rather highlights the presence of a cosmic “liar”, a force of Evil, which seeks to dethrone God and place himself in power. When Psychoanalysis offers such an interpretation of Religion and God, it is going beyond the limits of its powers to interpret, falling into the trap of Philosophy, which has often been accused of over stepping the limits of reason and language, and consequently talking nonsense. Psychoanalysis claims the power to put “belief in God” into perspective through interpretation, and so heal man of his neurosis. However, it is God, through Revelation, who has provided the interpretation to heal man of his fallenness, while putting Psychoanalysis into perspective; psychoanalysis can only heal woundedness but not fallenness, it only has the power to change “neurotic misery into ordinary unhappiness”. When Psychoanalysis attempts to speak of God it is only revealing its own neurosis and will-to-power.

imagesEH8508X9The origin to man’s fall is depicted in the story of Adam and Eve. An original I-Thou bond of love, in the presence of God, is broken by a “temptation”, which is based on a “lie”. It addresses man’s mind, through a subtle question, which seeks to sow doubt about his sense of reality, while promising him a true reality, which is nothing less than to be like God. This story, whether historical or not, contains all the ingredients of the world of deception that we live in today. By understanding it, we come to understand the nature of our predicament, and then with the help of Revelation we also come to understand how the problem is rectified. There is an important relationship between the primal drive in man, which Freud would call the Id, and the subtle “lie” which exists in his mind. When Jesus went into the desert, he went to do battle with Satan, as mentioned earlier. It was a battle between primal forces, the will-to-power and the will-to-love. Satan attempted to hijack the will-to-love, to seduce it, as he did with Adam and Eve when he asked them “Did God really say, “You must not eat from any tree in the garden?” (Gen 3:1)”. Jesus was hungry after 40 days fasting, so his Id was raging to be fed, and Satan seeks to draw that Id away from its rightful place, as a non-experienced, incarnating, I-Thou force, which is manifested in Jesus’ presence and obedience to the Father. He applies the same subtle tactics that he used in the garden of Eden, as he seeks to abstract the Id to his own territory of Mind, which fragments man’s incarnate-being into a mind-body-will. Through the object relations of thought, he seeks to tempt Jesus to use his own will to grab at the objects of the world to feed his own body, drawing him away from his heavenly food, which is to do the will of the Father, a will which incarnates Being in the present moment. Unlike Jesus, Adam and Eve succumbed to temptation and took the fruit from the tree of life; this tree held the fruit of good and evil, the duality of “good” and “bad”, life and death. Through their disobedience Adam and Eve’s incarnate-being was fragmented into a mind-body-will, as they fell into a world of dualism and differentiation. Jesus is on earth to redeem this situation by accepting to be “lifted up” on another tree, the wood of the cross, where he will reunite in himself life and death, the good and bad objects; by his obedience he overcomes mankind’s disobedience.

In exile, man’s primal drive has found a new base, Mind, which as mentioned, has fragmented his incarnate-being into a mind-body-will, where a will-to-power has replaced a will-to-love, and where the unitary I-Thou of man-and-world has been replaced by differentiation and dualism. Man’s consciousness-unconsciousness reigns supreme in this new world, as Mind is the point from which he engages it. The primal drive, which once has its place rooted in “incarnating” love, is now rooted in Mind, either as a mind-will-world in the conscious mind, or a mind-id-world in the unconscious mind, where the Will is a will-to-power, and the Id is a “pleasure principle”, according to Freud.imagesE6QREPDF Both the will and Id are striving to recover the lost I-Thou, which is in vain as they have their basis in Mind, which is an alienation from incarnate-being and is the “lie” at the heart of man’s new world. This alienation can be seen in man’s pursuit of knowledge, where “knowledge is power”, which is used to oppress the poor, to create and win wars, and to exploit the world’s resources. It can also be seen in man’s hedonistic, life of pleasure. Sex is one of the most potent and fundamental expressions of man’s need to incarnate himself, but it can never realise man on the level of pure pleasure, as it roots him in selfism, which is contrary to the very nature of incarnate-being. This fallen-drive highlights the deception and alienation that lies at the heart of man’s own self, which if not addressed leads to loneliness, depression, addiction, disease, the destruction of family life and any possibility of truly loving relationships; I will say more about this when I come to consider temptation in general. When man is not abusing himself and his world, he is seeking to recover that lost unity-of-being, through either an apollonian pursuit of knowledge, which seeks to find the truths which explain and unify everything in a lost harmony between man and his world, or the dionysian creative principle, which seeks to unite the subject and object in ecstatic expressions of art.

From what has been said so far, man’s primal drive is a fundamental aspect of his nature, but it is fallen. This means that any genuine anthropology must take seriously man’s primal drive, as it is an essential component to his self-realisation, which should not take second place to the perception of man as a rational being with free-will. However, just as it would be dangerous to ignore or repress this drive for a sanitised version of man, it would be also harmful to perceive it as the ultimate defining factor in man. Nietzsche and Freud had this understanding, which led them to believe that man could realise himself if he gave free reign to his will-to-power or Id, like a free market force; by failing to take into account its fallen nature, it has led to war, human atrocities and social misery.

The primal drive needs to be understood and given its rightful place, as the source of man’s true creativity, not only in the Good, Beautiful and True of object relations, but in man’s own self-realisation as a being fully human and fully alive. God’s Revelation needs to address man in his real predicament, reaching into the heart of his lived experience of being-in-the-world, speaking to him and touching him where he finds himself, namely, as lost-being; if Revelation can’t do that then it becomes irrelevant. It is evident from the Gospels that this is what Jesus has come to do, not only from his encounter with Satan in the desert, but in the manner in which he lived out his ministry, which was not with the religious castes of Judaism, nor with the Greek philosophers, but amongst the sinners and sick. Sin and sickness are often manifestations of man’s drive to realise himself beyond the limits defined by society. I gave already the example of the death instinct and psychosomatic illnesses, but it can also be seen in the two great sinners of John’s gospel, the Samaritan woman and Mary Magdalene. Jesus encounters them in their own myth, in their dionysian thirst for life, and he promises to quench their thirst; they experience in Jesus the “spring of water welling up to eternal life (Jn 4:14), which transforms their lives.

Jesus did not address man as merely a rational being, otherwise he could have just taught him truths and practices to free his mind from sin, and given him new ethical codes to replace the ones he had, thus creating a new religion. Unfortunately, for many people that is what Jesus did; they reduce him to being a “good teacher”, alongside all the other good teachers in history. Most people cannot identify themselves as simply a rational being with free-will, who can act in each moment with “full knowledge and complete consent of the will”. Those who can usually liveimagesR01PSYUT in denial of their emotions and the dark side of their personality; they prefer to live in a safe, cold, rational world, which they call reality, and which they seek to impose on everybody else. This is an abstracted notion of man in an artificial, sanitized world, the sort of world a child grows up in when its parents are puritanical and don’t allow for “dirty” things to enter; it is a world more appropriate to computers and robots. In such a world, Revelation addresses man as “questioner”, where man bears the likeness to God in his mind and will; God’s is only greater by degree, by extension to a “bad infinity”, where faith is a set of intellectual teachings and doctrines . Such an abuse of Revelation only manifests the work of Satan, who seeks to hijack Revelation, reducing it to Mind-will, just as he sought to do with Jesus at the beginning of his ministry. God’s consciousness becomes reduced to man’s consciousness, while man’s mind-will is elevated to the likeness of God, which subsequently denys man’s fallen nature, just as it did with the primal drive. It also attributes reality to mind-world, where Revelation has the task of assisting man to pursue Truth with the mind, which must necessarily lead to God and the redemption of the planet. This is obviously not the case, as man’s increased knowledge has led him away from God, as he claims the power for himself. Knowledge is not neutral, it can be used for good or for evil, but the Id is aligned to the Mind, and so man, unknowingly, is intent on conquering his neighbour and taking the spoils for himself, despite the peace treaties and friendly handshakes.

The primal drive in man is meant to incarnate him in an I-Thou, but that bond has been broken, and it is now a dangerous drive, which seeks to use objects for its own ends, whether through pleasure or power. The destructive alliance between Mind and Id can be seen in “temptation”, especially in those that lead to addiction. The thoughts,untitlediiii feelings and passions that lead up to temptation, sexual or otherwise, do not merely focus on the act itself, they are accompanied by a false sense of euphoria, which promises a future self-realisation, in the “incarnating” act. This drive in man, which is first experienced as a temptation, when it comes into conflict with his conscience, is later transformed into a right, when conscience is silenced by a thousand lies and the deception, like a drug, changes his perception of the world around him. Because the Id is a primal drive it disempowers, or anaesthetises any rational arguments, while making itself felt as a matter of life-and-death, like when an addict seeks his next drink. This disproportionate and tormenting experience is a regression to the infantile world, where the drive of the baby is experienced as a matter of life-and-death. What started out as a temptation, and is later experienced as a right, is now experienced as a desperate need of a man possessed. The mind has hijacked the Id, and man is now being bombarded by thoughts, images and fantasies that goad him on relentlessly to undertake the act, in order to incarnate himself. In the face of its continuous demands, that which was considered sacred or of great value, such as fidelity, family life and conscience, is reduced to mere social conventions and unnecessary obstacles to personal freedom. The Deceiver is close at hand to confuse man’s sense of reality and values, it turns his world upside down, such that he is willing to sacrifice everything else in his life to complete the act, even if it means robbing, and at times, killing his neighbour, which is depicted in the book of Genesis, where Cain killed his brother Abel .

imagesKUG33420The secondary place of rational thinking and the limited power of man’s will, is most evident in times of temptation, when man has to stand up against the onslaught of the Mind-Id. The temptation is essentially in the mind not the body; it is the mind which provides the repeated lie which hounds its victim into submission. Mind provides the fuel which is thrown on to the fire of the Id to stoke up the flames into a conflagration, which becomes out of control. The mind-id presents a feigned sense of the “immediacy and totality”, which are the characteristics of incarnate-being, together with the sense of an imminent, life-death “Now” moment. The fulfilment promised by the mind is never in fact realised, no matter how often the event is repeated. The fundamental choice which is laid before him “to be or not to be”, does not lead to life but to an anti-climax, disappointed love, addiction and ultimately death. Despite the history of repeated failures, each temptation has the same sense of authenticity about it; it comes as fresh, original and convincing as the first time, with increasing regularity and potency. What should be man’s self-realisation as “incarnate-love”, a human fully alive, is instead a powerless victim, manifesting “incarnate-hate”, hatred of self, hatred of neighbour, and even hatred of life. Families and loved ones stand by as they watch them slowly self-destruct, powerless to do anything, as all advice, encouragement and support have lost value against the one value that matters. The object of their addiction has become for them the perfect “good object”, while those around them can see it as the perfect “bad object”, which only serves to highlight the “deception” which lies at the heart of all creation and man himself. The person in the grip of temptation loses all human perspective, succumbing to the perspective of evil, which is a hatred for life and for love. Yet despite its destructive nature, its very potency points to its primary place in man’s world, and its importance in man’s ultimate self-realisation.

The true place for man’s primal drive is within the “incarnating transcendental”, which Jesus brought in himself, and which he left on earth in the form of a new Trinitarian object relations, in the sacrament of the present moment. This leads to a very different experience of reality from the one described above, where the Id was released into the world of object relations. It is different and difficult because it is essentially a non-experienced event, in contrast to the onslaught of passionate emotions, and vivid fantasies, which accompanied the former. It is to walk in the eye of the storm, by a way of faith, which believes in the Good, and the Good-life, knowing it to be true, not by experience as such but by its fruit, which is the opposite to the former. This can be seen in Alcoholics Annoymous, which is designed to help people to attain to a life of sobriety, overcoming the dark force within, which seeks to destroy them. To achieve this the first and fundamental requirement is to admit ones addiction, the second is to recognise that one is powerless before this force, and the third is to recognise ones dependence on a “higher power” beyond ones own mind-will. The core group of fellow addicts who meet regularly and share their experiences, is also an essential component, as the higher power is present within the “incarnate” group. Even though a member does not have to be religious, and the higher power does not have to be explicitly named as God, the elements which make up this process of healing are those I have outlined earlier, namely, a belief in a life-force, which seeks to incarnate man into an I-Thou, a force which transcends his own mind-body-will and experiences. It requires great heroism for man to stand against the drive and tide of “lies” from the mind-id, with only a belief in a non-experienced “higher power” to defend himself. This belief cannot be arrived at by reason, nor defended by reason, as any attempt to use reason is mocked before the lie; it stands on its own ground, which is faith alone. The mind-id offers an impassioned incarnating-event in the Now, against which the attempt to construct cold, detached rational argument is like building a house of straw in a hurricane. It is at this moment of temptation that man experiences most acutely his state of lost-being, as he has to choose between these two forces, which gives rise to a violent struggle and outcry, from the angst of his “not that” state of lost-being. This “not that” is not a mere detached, self-conscious thought before a Thou, which Sartre’s philosophy reduces it to, but the annihilating sense of imminent death, as man stands before the full force of temptation and refuses to consent to its lie.

In faith, the person who is tempted sacrifices the climax, the moment of fulfilment of all his hopes, dreams and desires for self-realization, for something greater, which he can only believe in but cannot experience, and yet when he comes through the storm, he knows it as reality and Truth. When God revealed himself to Elijah in a cave, it was not in the fierce wind, which broke the rocks in pieces, nor in the earthquake which followed the wind, nor in the fire which followed the earthquake, but in “the sound of a gentle whisper (1 Kings 19:12)”. The Id in the object relations of man’s experiences creates havoc and destruction like the wind, earthquake and fire, none ofhj which realise man in his search for Being. The true context for the Id is man’s fiat, when he surrenders himself totally and completely to God’s Id, to the divine “Will”, a will which Schopenhauer saw as underlying all things. It is God who holds all things in existence, even in exile, and it is he who seeks to restore them to a unity-of-being in a new creation. In the life of living faith, even in the face of all temptations, man’s Id realises itself in the quiet whisper of faith, where he does not rush out to find God in the wind, earthquake or fire which impacts his senses, but rather walks in the gentle whisper of faith, which lifts him up into the reality of incarnate-being, just when he feels he is drowning. This truth can already be seen in the familiar psychological mechanism “sublimation”. Sublimation is a transformation of the Id and unacceptable, sexual instincts into acts of higher social valuation, which Freud saw as an essential part of cultural development. It enables man to transcend his lower order impulses and put them to use in higher forms of creativity such as science, art, inventions and acceptable, civilised social behaviour. However, this sublimation finds its ultimate fulfilment in man’s total trust and absolute surrender to Being, whereby man unites his Id to that of God’s, to transcend all object relations, allowing God to be creative in him; the Good, Beautiful and True of man’s work gives way to the divine work of art, which is man himself recreated into incarnate-love; the Id has finally returned to its true home.

imagesG5QDNNSTMoving on from the deceptions that accompany temptations and addictions, as described above, I want to consider a more subtle deception within creation, which has kept all humans in the cave of their shadows, including the history of philosophy. When the Id lost its context in incarnate-love, it found its new context in Mind, as mentioned before. This means that instead of addressing reality from the heart, in an I-Thou, it is now addressing it from the mind, as consciousness. This consciousness means “intentionality”, that is, the mind must direct itself towards something, which set up a mind-world dualism. Through consciousness man looks out at his world; he reaches out to it with the thoughts of his mind, as well as the senses of the body, listening to it, smelling it, touching it. By his will he engages the world, stepping out into it to make a life for himself. Man can have his own private thoughts, feelings, plans, etc. but eventually he must step out of this private consciousness into the shared world of mankind. This world is full of goals, values and objects to be used, all at the disposal of man, who seeks to make a life for himself, as it is his reality. However, I have present in this book another picture of such a dualistic world, which denies its claim to reality; this world is man’s island of exile, where he is stranded, and where all uses of things, values and goals are ultimately geared to either making his home on this island or seeking to get off it.

This experience of I-and-Thou consciousness has duped every philosopher in history, in one way or another, as it is a model which is so encompassing, that it offers no other perspective as Nietzsche rightly pointed out. Nobody can “think outside of the box”, as all that man has is consciousness, and consciousness is the box; it would be like trying to look at ones eye using ones eye. Any attempt of man to address reality has to be done using consciousness, and therefore it cannot be reality. Man is always something other than his experiences, whichimagesBMYZX9CH Sartre’s attempted to articulate with his “not that” consciousness. However, he failed in his endeavour because he still relied on consciousness to articulate man’s predicament, but as I have said before, man cannot articulate his predicament, it must be done for him. Consciousness, before the world, necessarily has its context in terms of space-time, cause-effect etc., the kantian transcendentals, which belong to the fall, and which set the boundaries and conditions of his exile. It follows that for the Id to recover its true context, and man to be set free from his exile, consciousness must be transcended, which includes the dualism of mind-world, and the kantian transcendentals of space and time, cause-effect, which is no small feat, but which ascetics, particularly of the Eastern tradition have spent a lifetime striving for. The deception of consciousness can be characterised by Descartes’ starting point to his philosophy, “I think therefore I am”. Mind claims Being for itself, whereas in truth all that Descartes can really say is “I think therefore I am something”; that “something” is man as lost-being, in exile from Being. In other words, Descartes’ statement is man’s “cry for being”, but the Deceiver has changed it into a claim for being, upon which the modern world is built, as Descartes is considered the father of the modern world. Ironically, it was Descartes who suggested that there may be a great Deceiver, who keeps us all in a dream state. Eastern philosophy has correctly deemed this Cartesian dualism to be an illusion, that must be overcome if man is to arrive at reality. The deception is so complete that even God and his Revelation have been reduced to it. This book has been an attempt to break this dualism, and wake philosophers and theologians from their sleep, while reclaiming Revelation as a mystery of Love(-Truth), not Truth. Only then can the Good News be heard, as Revelation addresses man in his exile as lost-being.

The Eastern proverb “when I am hungry I eat, and when I am tired I sleep”, emphasises a truth, about a harmony and immediacy between the I and the Thou, of man’s relation with the world. One of the fundamental truths of Buddhism is that “desire is the cause of suffering”. These truths have come from man’s attempt to understand his predicament, they are as far as man can get by his own effort and observations of the world he lives in. However, they don’t address the underlying important issues like the meaning of desire, or why most of the world’s population are hungry with nothing to eat. They fail to give an adequate answer to the problem of Good and Evil because these matters lies beyond human observations, as mentioned before; they are mysteries which belong to the transcendent and whose meaning must be revealed. God’s revelation has revealed that all desire is ultimately man’s desire “to be”, which has been fragmented and dispersed into the world of objects, due to a cosmic fall. This desire is not something to be merely “overcome”, by human effort, but it is something which to be “fulfilled”, as a gift from God, by directing man’s desires back to the one true object of his heart, Being itself has made itself present in man’s midst and all the infinite regressions and desires of his heart find their realisation in the present moment, when the Id is given back its true context, wrestled away from mind and its claim for truth, and placed in incarnate-being, where Truth and Love are one again. Revelation also reveals the inherent disharmony in our world, which can never be recovered by mind-will, as the world is a battlefield between the cosmic forces of Good and Evil. Instead, suffering is not to be overcome, or avoided, but rather united to the suffering Christ, who has given meaning and salvific power to man’s suffering. The new man receives the divine food in every moment, his “daily bread”, regardless of circumstances or the balance of objects, in a new immediacy, which is of God not man.

I would like to finish this chapter by considering a few analogies that, despite their limitations, might help to give an insight into the incarnate reality which exists beyond the dualism of mind-world. Gestalt therapy uses the familiar picture of the vase, which also looks like a face when one adjusts ones vision, so that the foreground andimagesCRQA4E2C background interchange. This image is meant to depict the way man perceives his world from consciousness. This may be true but both perceptions belong to object relations, and therefore neither belongs to reality, From my own myth-picture model, I would argue that there is a bigger canvas than just the vase-face. This bigger picture includes the man himself who is observing the vase-face, together with his observation, his self-consciousness of the observation, all that he feels and thinks while observing, and any unconscious factors. The picture is made up of all his experiences, conscious and unconscious, it is his totality in that moment. His experience of standing apart to view it is a projection into space-time, which gives man his experience of 3-D and with it his sense of “reality”, but this man in his exile. This 3-D experience of reality is like some sort of optical illusion, like putting on 3-D glasses in the cinema, as it all belongs in the same plane of non-being, in the one myth-picture, where man has no perspective on reality, only God does. The man now offers this myth-picture, in its totality, including his very self, to that which does stand apart, God alone, who is the one who has the only perspective on reality. Man breathes out his offering of non-being, and then he proceeds to breath it all in again, but now the breath of non-being has become the breath of being through the Holy Spirit, which incarnates him into the present moment. He receives it all back as a unity-of-being, from the hand of God, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Man now shares in God’s perspective, not through his consciousness but through his incarnate-being, by fulfilling the will of the Father in each moment. He cannot stand apart to view it, but rather he is called to share in it through love. Man lives in the picture of life, he participates in a living reality, which is the book-of-life. God holds the “perspective”, as the writer, but as Love, he cannot but make himself present in the story.

Another analogy is that of two touching concentric circles. The inner circle is the self, which is a 2-D circle or disc, and the outer one is a 3-D sphere. The point where the sphere and circle touch is the present moment, where man faces his fundamental choice, “to be or not to be”. The 2-D circle belongs to the horizontal plane of object relations, to man’s experience of being-in-the-world. In the offering of his totality, the circle bursts like a bubble,images0QGRGEBI but instead of resulting in annihilation, which is man’s fear, it becomes an incarnate breath of life, as a 3-D sphere. Again, it can be compared to a man who is reading a book, where his eyes pass over the horizontal page, in space-time. In an instant his self-consciousness catches himself reading the book in another dimension which lies outside the page of the book and senses. This self-consciousness is aware of the feel of the book resting on his hands; of the distant dog barking and a passing car; of the smell of fresh coffee from the cup and the pleasant feeling that comes with knowing it is a Saturday afternoon. This self-consciousness lies beyond the book but contains the physical book and the storyline within it, it is a greater reality, belonging to another dimension beyond the 2-D book. However, this is not reality, rather it is a dimension which lies in the same plane as the 2-D book, as “the one who sees himself reading the book” is part of the horizontal plane of space-time. The vertical dimension of reality only breaks in when this totality is offered as non-being and man breathes it all in again, accepting it all back as the will of God. He now abides in the book-of-life, which is something that cannot be reduced to self-consciousness, as it is where Love and Truth meet in incarnate-being.

A NEW CONTEXT FOR SIN

CHAPTER 17

Jesus brought something unique to offer the world, a transforming power and authority, which was not to be found in the Jewish Sacred Scriptures or Traditions, but only in himself. He set himself up as a new authority, which transcended even that of Abraham, Moses and the Law, which was scandalous to the Jewish authorities. He claimed that his authority was based on a unique relationship with God. He has taken man’s Id out of its fallen context in consciousness and object relations, and placed it back where it belongs in incarnate-love, which he manifests in his love for the Father. Nobody understood this new order, not even his closet followers, the twelve chosen Apostles, who all interpreted his actions and teachings in terms of their own human understanding. This new order is highlighted in the Gospel story where the Jewish leaders brought to Jesus a woman caught in adultery; the Jews wanted to stone the woman because the Law demanded it. The old order, with its roots in alienation and violence had come face to face with the new order present in Jesus himself; it was a show down between the horizontal and the vertical, which will happen again at the end of the Gospel, when Pilate confronts Jesus at his trial and asks him the fundamental question, “what is truth?” Jesus does not get into great debates over the meaning of the Law or the answers to fundamental philosophical problems, not because they do not interest him, but because the answer cannot be articulated, it is present in incarnate-love.

jjjjJust as a Zen Buddhist might use a koan, a paradoxical statement, to break though the conditioned thinking processes of a disciple, and so help him to gain insight into a reality beyond the limits of his rational thinking, Jesus replies to the Jewish leaders with his own koan, “let he who is without sin cast the first stone (Jn 8:7)”. The old order finds itself powerless to respond, as all people are tainted by original sin, the system is fundamentally flawed; the Pharisees have to leave in silence, as even their words belong to fallen-language. Reality is about to break in, not from any point within the old system but from Jesus himself, who is the corner stone of God’s kingdom on earth. When the Jews had departed, Jesus forgave her and told her to go and sin no more. The sin is not denied, as that would not be congruent, but Jesus does not point it out from the position of the Law, which only has the power to condemn, not to heal and save. The Law contributes to the violence of alienation, through cause and effect, as epitomised in the Jewish leaders with stones in one hand and the Law in the other, standing righteously before Jesus, while putting him to the test. They seek to trap Jesus with the use of Scripture, Tradition and Reason, asking Jesus to give them his “interpretation”. God’s interpretation is not from below but from above, it is of a different order, which cannot be articulated but “shown”; it does not address consciousness or unconsciousness, but man as lost-being. The failure of man to understand this has resulted in Philosophy’s futile attempt to explain man’s predicament by the use of reason, logic and words; tools of articulation which are themselves part of the problem and so cannot be the ground for any solution. It has also resulted in Psychoanalysis’s futile attempt to free man from his “death instinct”, through an interpretation of the unconscious, when in fact the “death instinct” is a mark of man’s thirst for life.

Jesus does not attempt to meet them on their terms; he has brought a whole new dynamism to the way man deals with sin and alienation, which needs to be considered here. In the context of the Law, sin is often experienced as the mere transgression of some external, impersonal law in the field of object relations, but in the context of Love it is experienced as an obstacle to true self-realization, freedom and happiness. Jesus transcends the power of the Law, not by criticising it or changing it, but by placing it within the broader context of man’s predicament as lost-being and God’s unconditional forgiveness. The Law does not merely reveal acts of sin, but by its very existence, it reveals man’s sinful state of lost-being; it was created for man’s hardness of heart, in his predicament of lost-love. In other words, the Law abides in consciousness and addresses consciousness, which is the context of lost-being, so the presence of the law does not merely point out a sin, which is a disorder in object relations in the world, but it reveals man’s lost state, which is object relations itself. The Law is of the mind, not the heart, it is of truth not of love, it is a guide to man in his exile but it can’t free him from it. The Law is a double-edged sword, and Jesus will use it to reveal man’s predicament. The Law enabled the Pharisees to stand in self-righteousness and say “I am-not that” relative to the sinner and the sin, which is not dissimilar to Sartre’s “not that” articulated by man’s self-consciousness before the world of objects. Sartre’s articulation enables man to claim a radical freedom before the world, a world from which he stands apart as “wholly other”. It follows from this articulation that man plays the role of God, using his unconditional freedom to define his essence. Similarly, the articulation of the Pharisee enables him to stand righteously before the world of sin and sinners, as he does not commit those transgressions; such a stance also attributes to himself a divine characteristic, as he claims to be righteous before God. Consciousness has duped man into claiming Being, as we saw with Descartes; into claiming ultimate freedom, as we saw with Sartre; and into claiming righteousness, as we see with the Pharisees. Consciousness is the ground of Satan’s lie and man’s ultimate deception, which has given him a false reality in the dualism of mind-world.

Jesus’ “silent” presence before the Law reveals himself as the new ground of Being. One might conjecture about what Jesus was etching in the dust while the Pharisees awaited his answer. I would guess he traced a circle, as Jesus closes the circle of man’s eternal recurrence and infinite regressions. His presence as incarnate-love is the solution to Philosophy and the Law. Jesus transforms the life of Mary Magdalene by drawing her into the new I-Thou reality of unconditional love present in himself. Her Id finds its home in a new context; her passionate, dionysian thirst for life has been quenched in incarnate-love. However, there is a second transformation in the story, which is easy to miss and yet it is probably more important, as it effects the whole of mankind and not just Mary Magdalene. Jesus transforms the function of the Law, he has turned the blade of the sword inwards, reversing its function. His words, “let he who is without sin cast the first stone (Jn 8:7)”, prevents mankind from throwing stones at each other; there is no more self-righteousness nor judging of others, as nobody is righteous before God, and everybody stands guilty before their neighbour and God. This sentence disempowers man, it disarms his will-to-power, which has defined his self in the world. This means that man must now find a new way of being-in-the-world, and a new form of worship, as Scripture, Tradition and Holy Places of worship have been reduced to nothing before God. A reverse flow is effected in Jesus’ words, which was affirmed on another occasion, when he said, “first take the plank out of your own eye before you take the splinter out of your neighbours (Matt 7:5)”. An insight into this reverse flow can be gleaned if we return to the fall, where man has been exiled into an I-and-Thou state of sin and alienation. When the law makes him aware of the sin in the Thou, this visible sin is only a myth-expression of his own non-experienced state of sin, as lost-being. In other words, just as man’s ability to articulate “not that” before the Thou, indicated a separation of I-and-Thou, which revealed man’s predicament, so too, his awareness of sin in the Thou is only possible because he is in a state of sin and alienation from God, which gives truth to the saying, “it takes one to know one”.

Man has an inherent fallen tendency to deny the “plank” in his own world, while finding “splinters” in other peoples world. This dynamism can be seen in the way people tend to project their problems into other people, and spend their time highlighting other peoples problems so they can avoid dealing with their own. It can also be seen in revolutions where a leader projects the problem of alienation into other objects, which become the scapegoat to his own alienation, which leads to an endless cycle of violence. Jesus reveals the true source of man’s alienation,kkkk sin and violence as his own self, man as lost-being. The occasion of observing sin in one’s neighbour has now become an occasion for recognising one’s own sinful state, as that observation is only possible from a position of sin, and one’s sinful state contributes to that cycle of sin. The sin of the Thou is only a symptom, which has its context in the alienation of I-and-Thou, which can be seen in our world, where people are a product of their environment and where “the sins of the parents are visited on their children (Exodus 20:5)”. Instead of standing in self-righteousness before the sinner, man now offers his “myth-picture” in that moment, which includes his own predicament of lost-being and the sin of his neighbour. He throws himself at the mercy of God, like Mary Magdalene, knowing that God has revealed himself as a merciful Father, who seeks the presence of his lost children. Man’s offering is transformed into incarnate-being, as man is put right with God through Jesus’ own offering, which is united to his. It is only from this position of incarnate-being that man is impelled to point out the sin of his neighbour, as he discovers his true identity in an I-Thou with his neighbour, which means that his neighbour’s sin is also his own sin. This is done from the righteousness of God and not from man’s self-righteousness, just as the servant in the Gospel was told to forgive his fellow servants debt, because the master had forgiven his debt. The I embraces the Thou with the unconditional love-forgiveness, congruence and empathy that he has experienced from the Father. Sin can only be overcome through the divine holding environment, when the Thou experiences the incarnate-love of the I, as Mary Magdalene did with Jesus. It is only by putting love where there was no love that sin is finally overcome, as sin is a manifestation of man’s failure to love and his reaction of lost-love.

This new context for dealing with sin can help man to deal better with the destructive habits of sin. Instead of trying to tackle them head on with self-mind-will, which themselves are part of the problem, man lets go of them, placing them in the full context of the myth-picture of the present moment. Individual sins are only symptoms of this greater “problem”, which has been revealed to the world, namely, lost-being. To depend on mind-will to arrive at Being, has driven philosophers and sinners alike to despair, as it is a temptation from Satan to makes man believe that he can achieve it by his own efforts if he only puts his mind to it. Man remains obsessed about the small details, instead of looking at the bigger picture. By focusing on the individual sins and the powers of mind-will to overcome them, grace is then reduced to mere hand-outs to strengthen will and enlighten mind, which leads to further despair, as grace seems powerless to put man right with God, which means that man is no better off than when he had only the Law. In the light of God’s revealed mercy and love, and man’s predicament as lost-being, man now recognises that “everything is nothing but God alone”. St Therese said that even if she had all the sins of the world on her, she would go with confidence to the Father, knowing he would forgive all. It is not about how long or short the list of sins are, as nobody is righteous before God and nobody can make themselves righteous. God has redeemed numbers in love. God wants the totality of man’s shattered glass, all that makes up his lost-beingimagesH6K1FFQN in that myth-picture, which he heals and returns as incarnate-being. Grace does not work through cause-effect like object relations but through the healing power of abiding in God’s presence, it draws man into that presence as a totality, and not by fixing the parts, piece by piece, while man anxiously keeps an account of his mistakes, for which he seeks grace one-by-one; “only one thing is necessary….”. Each sin is like a drop in an ocean of God’s love, so man not only pours his sins back into the ocean, but he plunges in himself in a continuous renewal of his baptism.

imagesL91GV4DAThis new dynamic is one of presence-absence to God, “to be or not to be”, as God the Father seeks the presence of the sinner, regardless of the individual sins. He does not keep an account of the sin like a judge, but he seeks the presence of a lost son, as the concerned father in the story of the prodigal son. This presence is achieved in the child-like simplicity of letting go, and throwing oneself into the arms of the Father, which is not some abstracted battle of mind and will. Man’s woundedness and sin, which makes up the very messiness of his life, is no longer an obstacle, something to be feared or hidden, but rather it is to be plunged into with the confidence of a naughty child who knows that his father loves him as he is. It is an offering of the totality of the I-and-Thou moment, knowing that no matter how bad things have got, he is already forgiven. As man begins to experience God truly as a loving Father, who longs for his presence in each moment, and as he begins to experience sin as not something to be punished by a tyrannical God, but an unnecessary self-harming and turning away from his loving father, then a natural and supernatural healing takes place in that divine holding environment of love, as Carl Roger’s witnessed in therapy.

If life is a game of cards then its a game that man is destined to lose, as the the cards are marked in Satan’s favour; he draws man into a game that man thinks he can win, but Satan is playing by his own rules, and those rules stack it in his favour. He seems to offer man a reasonable deal, something well within his capacity, like a person who lays three cards on the table with the middle one an ace, and then he asks the player to keep a close eye on the ace card as he moves the cards around rapidly, face down; the player wins if he can correctly pick the card out when the cards stops moving. What man doesn’t see is that that his senses and mind are effected by the drink that Satan offered him when he came into the room, his judgement is impaired. Also, while Satan has the player’s mind and senses focused on the ace, the player fails to observe the card that Satan has up his sleeve to ensure that he wins. The innocent player who comes into the game is already beaten, as the professional cheat already has it all staged, while duping the man into believing that he is giving him more than a fair chance to win. The man is also over confident about his own powers to win, since it is only a matter of being attentive and making a simple choice. Man cannot win the game of life as his self-mind-body-will are of lost-being, they are part of the problem not thelll solution, but Satan has led him to believe that it is his reality, and therefore his strength, just as he dupes man into believing that his freedom to choose is freedom. This can be seen in people who endeavour to defeat a bad habit, but the harder they try the less progress they make, even if it is as simple as losing a little weight. For man to perceive God’s grace as a mere hand-out which strengthens the will to conquer the habit, only leads to despair, as it seems that not even God has the power to defeat it, or that man is so sinful that he refuses to cooperate with grace. This plays into the hands of Satan, who seeks to make man believe that either God doesn’t exist, or he doesn’t care, or he is powerless against evil, or man is too sinful for God to help him or love him; man is driven to despair and loss of faith in a loving God, and Satan wins the game.

imagesO9I64IHEHowever, God in his wisdom has created a new game out of life, such that the tables are turned against Satan, and now man cannot lose. The rules of the game are such that God is allowed to play the last card of every game. This allows God to use his power and wisdom to defeat Satan in every game, no matter how badly man plays his hand. Just when Satan appears to have won, the game is always snatched away from him on the last card. This reminds me of the board game Othello, which is played with black and white discs. The winner is the one with the most discs of their colour on the board at the end of the game, when all the discs have been played. The fact is that no matter how many black pieces are on the board and how few white pieces, the game can still be won or lost when the last white disc goes down, as this disc can convert all the black pieces to white pieces. This is how God’s grace works. He asks man to offer him his myth-picture, the totality of his hand, no matter how bad it is, and he converts his bad hand to a winning hand, by converting all non-being to being. Man cannot win by mind-will, as of himself he can do nothing, but in his surrender to God, even his defeats, wounds and sins are acceptable to God and are a means of sanctification and redemption. God’s ways are not man’s ways, and success for God is not man’s measure of success, which is why Jesus told the rich man to leave behind his “successes” and follow him; Jesus is the true treasure that can only be possessed by dispossessing oneself of all other treasures. A man may never overcome an addiction or bad habit in his life, but that does not mean God is not interested, or his grace is not sufficient; such a perception of grace reduces it to mere functionality, where God is a “sugar-daddy” who is there simply to give people whatever they want, whenever they want it. The addict knows that his sufferings and failures can be pleasing to God, not when he merely indulges them and sees no wrong in them, but rather when he allows them to humble him without defeating him, when they are a source of continuous offering to God of non-being. St Paul exemplified this paradox of grace when he wrote, “there was given me a thorn in the flesh a messenger of Satan to keep me from exalting myself… the Lord said ‘my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’, so gladly, I boast in my weakness that the power of Christ may dwell in me (2 Cor 12:9)”.

Sin and the law lay in the horizontal, dualistic plane of right and wrong, Do’s and Don’ts, where God kept a record of each person’s debt, like the list of stars and crosses that a child might have against his name on the classroom chart, which is meant as a means of motivating him to do better. However, in the new ethic the rules of the game are different, which is good news for the troubled child, who can do nothing to improve his situation, as his problems are a consequence of things that lie outside of his control, such as an unhappy family life. The Law whichimagesQRNEBSPA was a stumbling block, resulting in an ever increasing debt of man to God, has now become a stepping stone in a game with new rules. “I am no longer trying for perfection by my own efforts, the perfections which come form the law, but I want only the perfection that comes from faith in Christ (Phil 2:30)”. However, the fact that the sum to infinity of sins is wiped out by a merciful God, does leave man free to do as he wants. It may be replaced by the child-like simplicity of trust and surrender, which St Therese knew as being-with-God, a new familiarity of walking with God, even here in exile, as man once knew in his garden of Eden, but it is not the easier option. Love demands everything, and St Therese said at the end of her life that she did not know she would have to suffer so much to be a saint. The old way sought to appease God and put man right with him by adhering to a sufficient number of discrete actions, which man fits into his life like a ritualism that is added on. However, the new way demands a total annihilation of the old self and all that defined it; nothing is to be kept back, if the sum to infinity of man’s regression is to attain to “one” in his simple fiat. Man cannot hide behind his sins or wounds, using them as an excuse for why he can’t get on with his life, like a patient who evades the responsibility of getting better because he blames his parents, society or his therapist. Instead, the new life comes from embracing in each moment those wounds and sins of his world, his circumstances and his self, making them his offering. He transfers all on to the one who bore all the sins of the world on the cross, the divine healer, who returns being for non-being. There is no place for man to hide, as his past has been redeemed, and there is only the Now, where he stands naked bearing his past in his wounds of lost-being, in the present moment.

Mary Magdalene was very much exposed to the full impact of the old game and the new game. She almost lost her life as a result of the rules of the old game, but Jesus played the last disc, which not only defeated the Pharisees at their own game and saved her life but it converted her to the new life of incarnate-being. Before her she saw the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament. Mary Magdalene followed Jesus in the Way, which transcended the rules of the game of man’s object relations. This can be seen in her audacious entrance of the house of a Pharisees, where Jesus had been invited; she broke all the etiquette, while offering no apology or excuse, free of the curse of self-consciousness; she is a sinner supremely confident of her reception, in her I-Thou with Jesus. She transcends the law, represented by the house of the Pharisee, which kept her outside, denying her access to God’s mercy, which highlights the new bold approach possible with the Gospel. Being the talk of the town neither intimidates nor inhibits her. There is a new physical intimacy which is scandalous to the Jews. Her passionate drivenko which found an outlet in sex, now finds its fulfilment in an incarnate-being, which is symbolised in her physical contact with Jesus, as she washes his feet with her tears and dries them with her hair. Mary’s breaking of the jar and pouring out of the costly ointment symbolises the end of the old ethical measures. She shares in the new ethic of man’s “wastefulness” at the service of God; she already shares in Jesus’ pascal mystery, as she uses the ointment to prepare him for death.

THE NEW ETHIC

CHAPTER 18

Wittgenstein recognised that “Ethics does not treat of the world, but is a condition of the world, like logic”. Ethics, as such, like logic, treats of object relations in man’s fallen world; the latter seeks the underlying, orderly structure of the world, and the former deals with living orderly in the world. Schopenhauer also saw the limits to ethics in this world, which led him to write his pessimistic philosophy, in which man’s very attempt to choose the good was seen as a pointless exercise, as he could not realise himself in such acts. Even for the Jews, the keeping of the Law that God had given Moses, could not make them just before God, and so they had to await a new covenant. In the Beatitudes, Jesus presented a new ethics, which was to transcend anything man had known before; it belonged to the heart and it created a new way of being-in-the-world, which was only made possible by God’s decision to intervene in man’s predicament. This is exemplified in the Gospel account of the rich man, who kept the Law rigorously since his youth, and who came to Jesus to see what more he had to do to gain eternal life. The rich man addressed Jesus as “Good teacher”, to which Jesus replied “nobody is Good, but God alone (Mk 10:18)”. Jesus first addressed the matter of Good, before turning his attention to the rich man’s question, as knowing where the true Good lies, is a prerequisite to the answer. The new measure of Good does not belong to this world, to object relations and laws, which are learnt, practised and passed on by good teachers, but it comes from above, it is “wholly other”. A new ethical measure is present in their midst in Jesus himself, not as another teacher or prophet but as the Son of God.

Jesus then gives an unexpected answer the man’s enquiry, he tells him to sell all he has and give it to the poor and then “follow me”. Jesus does not add to the rich man’s list of things to purchase, nor does he add more duties to his meticulous adherence of the Law. Instead, Jesus turns the man’s world upside down by telling him to do the “unthinkable”, to let go of it all, not just his riches but all that defined him as a good Jew; like Abraham, he is being asked to let go of all object relations. Jesus is pointing to a new reality, which comes in “follow me”, which his Apostles had already experienced, and which led them to leave everything “immediately”. This new way of being-in-the-world, requires man to empty himself of everything that went before, of all that defined him, even his very history, counting it all as “nothing”, because it is nothing, it is non-being. There is a radical kenosis at the heart of the new way, which Eastern traditions, and Socrates himself, pointed to, but they did not possess the answer to the mystery of life, as that had to come from above, when the transcendent came to earth. His own Apostles were astonished that the rich man could not get into the kingdom of God,bnv since the rich were considered to be blessed by God. Jesus replied, “it is easier for a camel to enter the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God (Matt 19:24)”, which caused great consternation to those who heard it. In the new order, “the last shall be first and the first last (Matt 20:16)”. Man’s ways are not God’s ways, and God’s wisdom is foolish to men, which only points to the perverse nature of the world we live in, which sees things upside down and back to front, like the image of an object on the retina of the eye, before it is adjusted by the brain.

Because peoples measure of good in this world has varied from culture to culture, it has led many philosophers to conclude that the nature of good is purely arbitrary and man-made. This in turn has lead people, in an age of relativism and selfism, to feel free to be their own measure of good. However, to come to such a conclusion is to make a mistake like Hume’s, when he jumped from his observations about the absence of causation, substance, self etc. in mind-world, to conclude that such concepts are arbitrary and therefore knowledge has no foundation; it followed that there is no ground for truth, there is only mere human opinion. I would argue the same point here as I did earlier with regards to Hume and Kant, and that is, just as the transcendentals have their origin in the fall, not in mind-world, so too, the Good had its origin in an incarnate I-Thou love, which has been lost in the fall. This dynamic form of Good has now been reduced to “right relations” between objects. Such measures of good will attempt to align the I to the Thou, in some form of harmony and justice but it will never be able to unite them as one in divine love, which is the only true authentic Good, which Jesus pointed the rich man to. It will follow from this that any attempts to bring order and justice to society will reflect the culture in which people live. The fact that the articulation of good will necessarily vary from culture to culture, does not make it purely arbitrary or man-made, as it also reflects the universal lost-good common to all men, which can be known imperfectly in peoples conscience, in their inner most being, where they know right from wrong.

The Law of Moses affirmed the inner law written in peoples conscience, which Jesus summed up as loving God and neighbour as oneself. Good is a unity-of-being in love, between God, man and his neighbour, an I-Spirit-Thou, which is lost to man. After the fall man is left with a sense of good based on a sense of equality between himself and his neighbour, which is summed up in the Golden rule, “Do to others what you would want them to do to you (Lk 6:31)”. This measure is an imperfect expression of man’s need to be one with his neighbour. It is limited by his own sense of self and what he thinks is good for himself, which becomes the guiding light as to how he will treat others. Its imperfection as a measuring tool for ethical behaviour is all the more evident when one bears in mind that man is a fallen-being and therefore he is already deceived and being deceived by his own lost-bnnnbeing and the fallen world around him. We only have to look around to see how distorted and self-centred peoples sense of good can be; man’s conscience is dulled and confused by the world he lives in. In Jesus, a whole new measure of good has arrived, “A new commandment I give you: love as I have loved you (Jn 13:34)”. This is not merely a more perfect human love, by somebody who is better at it than others, it belongs to a new dimension, which no man has known or could achieve by his own efforts. Jesus loves with the divine love, which is unilateral; a perfect, unconditional love, which has no self-love in it. This is the love which accepts the Thou as “wholly other”, something which was lost to man in the fall, when he was condemned to a world of self-love. Man becomes a new creation, by allowing himself to be defined and recreated by the Universal of Love, within which all the universals of the mind, all laws and transcendentals find their fulfilment and meaning. Schopenhauer saw the futility of mere “acts” of the will, within the world of object relations, acts which do not enable man to attain to the one unifying Will, which underlies all things. This is the fundamental gap between the phenomena of experience and the noumena of Being, which Jesus has bridged. Man is given one “act” of will that is not futile, his fiat, which is the true act of freedom that defines man as I AM. This fiat was not possible before Jesus came, as God’s plan of salvation was only revealed in Jesus, a revelation which invites man to participate in the new myth-of-being, by free-falling into love. In man’s fiat non-being becomes Being, the phenomena becomes the noumena, in the reverse flow of the Holy Spirit, who unites the particular of man’s will to the universal of God’s will.

This Good, from above, creates the new ethical man, who fulfils the law by incarnating it in his being. The law is no longer external with its focus on rearranging objects; man has a new commandment, which creates a new object relations. Natural law finds its fulfilment in man’s incarnate nature as I AM, where it belongs, an unarticulated, incarnate reality, of which the written law, known by the mind, is its reflection in the pool of man’s exile. For man to break the natural law is indeed to sin against nature, but to merely use the law as a tool to point out peoples failings, from a position of non-being is itself a “trespass”. Truth and Love cannot be separated in reality, so the Truth must be spoken from incarnate-love, otherwise it is alienating man even though it is the truth that is spoken. In other words, one can go from Love to Truth, but one can’t go from Truth to Love. We have already seen the importance of this in the Gospel story of the woman caught in adultery, where Jesus provides a new context from which to point out the sin of ones neighbour. Incarnate-being is the alpha and omega point of all laws, as all “ends” towards which things tend find their end in love, which is the context from which the law is to be used. This means that any true conversion of neighbour can only take place by ones own conversion; it is not enough to throw the book at somebody, or point out the error of his ways, by telling him the end to which he should be tending, when that end is a mere part-object. It is not that the end is wrong but that it must have its context within love, where all the parts fit together in their totality, even the broken parts. This final end in love does not depend on the other ends being achieved first, it is not conditional, as it is not of that order, which is why Jesus revealed his I AM to people even while they were in sin.

When it comes to the law people tend to respond in one of two ways, which reflects something of their personality. Some people prefer to absolutize the law, as for example in Kant’s moral philosophy, where the “categorical imperatives”, are principles which are universally valid and which allow for no exceptional circumstances; they are justified as ends in themselves, and not as means to some other end. Such an ethical approach can seem heartless or ridiculous when one considers hard cases, as for example, if one believes that telling the truth in all circumstances is a universal imperative that allows for no exceptions, then when a killer comes looking for his victim who is in hiding in your house, and he asks you are they hiding in your house then you must tell him yes! People who claim to follow such ethical rules are often inconsistent or hypocritical, as they don’t live by the rules that they preach, or they are uncompromising in the face of some rules while being lax and indifferent about others. They are often emotionally insecure people, who find it difficult to cope with the messy, grey areas of emotions; they compensate by over-intellectualising, while keeping an ordered, simplistic world,images6K6DX09X where everything has its box, place and purpose. Such people are the hypocrites of the Gospel stories, as they deny their own lost-state by focusing on the sins of others, while making themselves righteous before the law. They repress the “bad” within themselves, which is often deep emotional and psycho-sexual issues, and compensate by identifying the good with a rigid adherence to black and white rules, which gives them a sense of “good” in a sanitised world. At the same time they project their unconscious “badness” into those who fail to keep the rules.

The second group of people are those who prefer to relativise the law, allowing each person to decide for themselves, according to their situation, which is where the term “situation ethics” comes from. They are sensitive to the fact that there is a “living” reality, which belongs to the present moment with fdsf its circumstances, which can’t be captured by the black-and-white dogmatic nature of the law. In other words, the natural law must find its context within a greater, living reality, which can be summed up in the words of Jesus, “the Sabbath was made for man not man for the Sabbath (Mk 2:27)”. Their error, however, lies in believing that they themselves are Lord of this “situation”, that they are free to decide for themselves what is best in a given situation, and that whatever they decide God will approve it, or at least he will respect their decision. They fail to take into account the fundamental fallen nature of man, as lost-being, while reducing God’s consciousness to man’s consciousness. The first group described above, justify themselves relative to a certain interpretation of the law, which suits them, as it mitigates the pain of seeing themselves as they really are, and therefore the law is a reflection of their own self-love. This second group justify themselves by being “true-to-self”, which like the Golden rule, is limited and one-sided as it relies on a self that is guided by self-love and not love. Both groups fail to recognise man’s predicament, namely, that nobody can justify himself before God, and that the only solution is to accept the justification and life that comes through Jesus. Jesus has brought about a new law and a new “situation ethics”, which transcends and fulfils the other two, namely, the law of love and the sacrament of the present moment, by which man becomes true-to-self by dying to self and being born to a new life as incarnate-being.

Only God can make man Good and that happens through man’s fiat, when he lets go and receives all from the hand of God, sharing in the pascal mystery of Jesus, who is the incarnating transcendental of the new “situation ethics”. This new situation ethics is of God not man, where God alone is Lord of Life. In this situation there is no such thing as “hard cases”, as God’s love embraces all circumstances. Just as hard cases cannot be used as an argument against God’s existence, as explained before in the chapter on suffering, nor can they be used to justify man’s right to break the law. Rather, hard cases reveal man’s lack of faith and love, because in perfect faith all things are possible as Abraham knew, and as Jesus reminded his Apostles. God will bring good out of all things, as he has redeemed all suffering and evil, but suffering brings the worst out of man, as “conscience makes cowards of us all”. The new man is called to be “wasteful” and risk all in love, as even the most difficult circumstances are occasions to purify him of self-love and to be born again in love. Jesus’ exhortation to “go with him two miles (Matt 5:41)” is not an addition to man’s duties, or an extension to his ethical code, rather it belongs to a new logic of the new ethical man, where “the first will be last and the last first”. It transcends cause-effect, as man is exhorted to “turn the other cheek”, obedient to the divine causation of unilateral love, which pours itself out in the face of the darkest Thou, as God’s promise is certain in good times and bad. This new dynamism is symbolized in Jesus cursing of the fig-tree for not bearing fruit out of season, for in the new order, there is no bad time for bearing fruit.

This new “situation ethics” cannot be reduced to relativity, even though it does not adhere to rigid laws. It transcends the law in a new absolute and universal law, which is not something simply bigger and better than the others, but of a different order; the former addresses man in his consciousness and the latter addresses man as lost-being. Just as relativity ends in Science when two objects move at the speed of light, so too ethical relativity ends when a man abides in the new situation of God’s kingdom, which is the light of a Trinitarian object relations. “Love then do what you want” is not a freedom to do whatever man fancies, since in love, the will of God and the will of man are one, as it was with Mary’s fiat, “be it done to me according to your word”. This incarnating event is soimages3JO82T7T total and unitary that it fulfils the Socrates’ philosophical maxim “to know what is right is to do it”. Knowing and doing are unitary in the immediacy of the present moment, when man is the unarticulated, incarnate word of God. This Good cannot be articulated, analysed or measured against any previous ethical code without reducing it to object relations. This is why people who try to understand what Abraham did in terms of their own ethical standards fail to understand the full significance of Abraham’s sacrifice. Abraham IS the new ethical man, where Love and Truth meet, which can’t be said about any other ethics. This is a Good which must be “shown” to the world, as an incarnate reality; it is a “preaching without preaching”. This way of being-in-the-world, which is a “follow me”, cannot be prescribed by laws as it is always new. It can only be contained by Christ himself who is the universal mould, the I AM, by which each person realizes his own unique I AM; it is where the universal and particular, the essence and existence are one. The new ethic is the fundamental choice, “to be or not to be”, which confronts man in every moment of his life, which is nothing more or less than giving his consent to be loved by God, and allowing others to share in that love; to paraphrase Mother Teresa, man’s ethical duty is to quench God’s thirst to incarnate his love in the world.

Mistaking mind-world for reality, philosophers and theologians have proceeded to define man in terms of Natural Law, a law which can be seen in nature and which defines the “normal” behaviour and goals of things, where each organic object is tending towards the one perfect form of its type. The universals and Natural Law restrict what it means to be a human being. Human beings have to fit into a certain mould and way of behaving, according to the Natural Law, otherwise they are labelled as misfits, perverts, abnormal, insane etc. Just as the universals of man’s mind are inadequate to define the mind of God, as they don’t belong to being, neither can Natural Law define what it is to be human as it does not belong to being. The only law which belongs to being is the Law of Love, the law which sets man free, giving him permission to be. This does not mean that Natural Law can be ignored, or that it is merely man-made, but rather it must be fulfilled, where this “fulfilment” is not by a mere extension, but by its incarnation into being. In other words, when man has found his I AM, he will be living the Natural Law, he won’t need to articulate the Law, as it finds its goal and end in being itself, which is in the Now of incarnate-love. Another way of saying this is that the Natural Law is necessary but not sufficient; the lack of sufficiency cannot be filled by adding to the Law, just as transcending the Law is not achieved by ignoring it. The goals and ends which scholastic theology speak about belong to space-time, to man’s predicament, which are redeemed and fulfilled in the one goal of Christ, which is the new ethic. So, whereas the law focuses on the parts of a human, as a surgeon might focus on the parts of a human body, rather than see the whole person, in the law of love man lets go of the parts, as they all belong to non-being and he receives it all back in the totality of being. Jesus did not come to change any of the laws but he came to fulfil them. Unfortunately, Christianity has failed to understand what that “fulfilment” means, and have reduced the problems to debates over object relations; they are attempting to sum the parts into a whole, which like the problem of Calculus, cannot be done. Numbers have been redeemed, and parts have been made whole, which is not achieved by adding on more numbers, but by transforming quantity into quality, by putting flesh on bones, in incarnate-love.

We can finish this chapter by returning to the hard case of whether to tell the truth always, even when it results in somebody being murdered. Based on the new ethical man my response to this is as follows. In the world of object relations and its infinite regressions, there will always be hard cases, like a man under torture who has his limits and will eventually crack and give away the secret. Fallen man cannot affirm life in its totality, he will eventually react or flinch in response to his circumstances, when things get bad enough. For this reason Jesus said “Because of your hardness of heart Moses gave you permission to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not this way…images5RXQ09VW what God has put together let no man pull asunder (Matt 19:8)”. In a world without love exceptions have to be made to even categorical imperatives, as life cannot be affirmed by the law, as the law does not have the power to say “Amen” to all circumstances; it is an imperfect holding environment. Like the calculus sum to infinity, at some point the number has to be rounded off, one has to say enough. However, in Jesus there is a new order, love is now present, life has been affirmed in all circumstances, which means, nothing, absolutely nothing can separate man from the love of God, so there are no more hard cases; God’s holding environment is perfect and allows for no exceptions, God has given his Amen. This new reality allows man to surrender to all circumstances, accepting all from the hand of God, as a totality, by which he incarnates himself as a new ethical man. God’s Amen allows man to accept the hardest of cases, even to see the death of his loved ones, like Abraham, as he knows God will bring good out of it. The harder the case the greater is the demonstration of God’s love and power. Nothing is to stand in the way, so the man tells the killer where they are hiding.

This is absurd ethically by human standards, but man has transcended it into another order, man has crossed the gap into the order of being, where he himself is the new ethic as incarnate-love; there are no more regressions, approximations, rounding off or hard cases. His action cannot be described as “unethical”, as it does not allow for contrasts, as it does not belong to dualism; his will is the will of God, which reveals itself in the present moment. His affirmation of life may bring about death to himself or others, but in incarnate-being, life and death are reunited, so death is no longer a tragedy; it is the gateway to heaven and man’s opportunity to demonstrate his supernatural trust and love, as Jesus did on the cross. Having said all that, there is something important to notice here, which it is easy to miss. Even though the new ethical man will tell the killer where they are hiding, he is not acting the same as the man who gave them away because he believed it was a categorical imperative to always tell the truth, which allows for no exceptions. Such a man remains in lost-being and acts out of it by a rule, which cannot affirm life. His use of the rule is callous and can be adjudged to be unethical, as his actions belong to object relations, so his actions can be compared to other possible choices. In other words, the law of the mind is not a suitable replacement for the law of the heart; the absolute form of the first is “heartless”, even though it is a myth-expression of the latter. Because this man does not abide in being, he should at least act compassionately and do the sensible and logical thing, which is to lie and save the lives of the people.

Jesus appears to be harsh and lacking compassion when he points out that man and woman should stay together, as it was from the beginning, not as Moses allowed, for hard cases. However, this is to misinterpret what Jesus is revealing. Jesus is affirming the great Amen of life, that God has reunited the I-and-Thou as an I-Thou. Even the suffering and hardships of disappointed human love, is not a barrier to the divine love; “even if a mother shouldimagesONAQPBRT forget her child, I will never forget you (Isaiah 49:15)”; God embraces man in all circumstances, offering the perfect holding environment. This does not mean that man and woman won’t separate in there weakness and sin, but that separation is because of their own failure in love and not because of God’s. Man’s hours of deepest darkness are no longer signs of God’s displeasure and abandonment, but are times of testing and refining of his faith, in the fire of divine love, which shapes him into incarnate-being; “If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself (2Tim 2:13)”. The interpretation of ethics offered in this chapter can help to throw light on other hard sayings of Jesus, including “leave the dead to bury the dead (Lk 9:20)” and “whoever looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matt 5:27)”.

WAKING PHILOSOPHY FROM ITS SLEEP

CHAPTER 19

lkjhSocrates, Plato and Aristotle sum up the predicament of man and his search for meaning. Socrates, by his process of dialectics came to a deeper realization of his own ignorance, a kenosis of the mind, which he saw as the basis for real knowledge. It could be argued that this kenosis found its fulfilment at the end of his life when he “incarnated” his philosophy, by fulfilling the elusive definition of words like Justice and Good in his own death. In his life and death he was a forerunner of Jesus, the “word made flesh”, who will finally realise all philosophy, by waking man from his sleep, 400 years later, just as John the Baptist was the forerunner to Jesus within Judaism, where Jesus comes to redeem religion. The attempt to bring to birth the meaning of words, in their fullness of being, by Mind, will prove to be an impossible task, as the fall has left the “naming” process without being. It has become a differentiation process of non-being, a consequence of the unbridgeable gap between the universal and the particular, between essence and existence. The philosophies of Plato and Aristotle will, in effect, form the x-axis and y-axis of the horizontal plane of the I-and-Thou problems, which philosophers will seek to solve. Plato introjects the problem, seeking Being in the realm of Ideas, of which the particulars, the objects in the world, participate imperfectly, as they do not have the permanence of the ideas. Aristotle projects the problem into the world, where particulars, have being in their own right, as each one has a “form”, which lies beyond the senses and yet which unites the “accidents”, or characteristics, of the object. The rest of the history of philosophy is not so much footnotes to Plato and Aristotle, as has been said by historians of philosophy, as myth-expressions of the lost I-Thou, in the x-y plane of man’s search for Being.

Each philosopher writes a story, which to varying degrees, bears a likeness to the reflection of Being, like the sketch of a lost lover, but it cannot attain to Being itself, no more than the sketch can become the lover. The problems and systems of philosophy can be seen, not so much as talking “nonsense”, as Wittgenstein described it, but as expressing “myth-truths” about Being, just as Freud realised that the ravings of a madman, should not be dismissed but interpreted. The problems of Philosophy do not have to be tackled head-on, as Wittgenstein pointed out, but rather the myth of the philosophers unconscious needs to be made conscious by the correct interpretation, so that he can be cured of the insanity he fell into when he mistook mind-world for reality. The philosopher must be awoken from his sleep, where finally his pseudo I-and-Thou problems find their resolution in his own incarnate I-Thou. Philosophy and the philosopher become one, as “love of wisdom” (the meaning of the word philo-sophia), becomes the “wisdom of love”, which is the wisdom of God, manifested in “The Word made flesh”. Man’s search for Truth is realised in Love, but truth-seeking could never have known that in advance, as it is of another dimension, unknown to man’s strivings; Love can seek out Truth, but Truth cannot seek out Love. Philosophy will incarnate itself into an unarticulated reality, which can only be “shown”.

aasJust as the futile attempt of Calculus to attain to One in Maths, through an infinite regression of steps, is a myth-expression of man’s-search-for-being, so too Philosophy and Science face similar disconcerting facts, facts that remind man of his predicament like a recurring dream. Philosophy cannot attain to direct knowledge of any of the objects in the world around it; man can’t even attain to knowledge of himself, as his I-experience-Thou alienates him from both the I and Thou. In other words, philosophers have had to concede that they cannot know things-in-themselves, there is an unbridgeable gap between essence and existence; they are condemned to only “experience” of objects. The task of disciplines like Philosophy, Science and Psychoanalysis has been to use these “experiences”, which includes the order found in the world through experience, and the order found in the mind of reason, logic and language, to come to a deeper understanding of the world of objects and of man himself, which is the basis of all knowledge. In other words, man is putting his Mind into the “gap”, where the I seeks to grasp the Thou in a unity of universals or knowledge, which can be seen as a reaction, response or cry for lost-being. This fact defines not just the limits of knowledge, but its very nature, as a myth-expression of man’s-search-for-being. Kant rightly recognized that man can never arrive to the noumena with his Mind, he can only have knowledge of the phenomena, however, what he failed to see was the nature of that phenomena and knowledge. Later philosophers vainly attempted to heal the divide between the phenomena and noumena of Kant’s philosophy, but it was all in vain, as every attempt depended on mind-will, which resulted in every philosopher sawing off the branch upon which he was sitting. Innmkl other words, the problem of object relations cannot be solved from within object relations. The separation of man into mind-body-will is a result of the fall and therefore these fragmented elements of his self-in-the-world cannot be used to go back before the fall, no more than a son can be born before his father. Consciousness, which is the ground of all philosophical premises, of all man’s attempts to answer the mystery to life, and of his pursuit of peace-of-mind, is itself a “lie”, man’s insanity. He has less chance of arriving at Truth from here than a completely insane man who lives in dark, solitary confinement can think his way out of insanity. Man is like the god Narcissus who fell in love with his own reflection in the water, mistaking it for reality.

Man has tried to raise himself by his own shoestrings into the vertical axis of Being. The problem is that man has no still-point, or objective ground upon which to begin to understand or interpret his predicament. Every such attempt necessarily denies his predicament and leads to some form of reductionism, where man redefines reality from premises which are a reflection of his self-love, like Narcissus’ reflection in the water. Man is so lost, that he can’t even admit it without denying it, since in order to articulate the fact, he would have to claim a reality point within himself from which to make the observation. The articulation of his predicament must be done for him; somebody must reveal to man his totally lost-being, from a reality point which lies outside of his world of object relations and experiences. Sartre’s philosophy typified man’s vain attempt to articulate his predicament. Sartre failed to see that the articulated “not that” of man’s consciousness is only a myth-expression of his true, unarticulated, existential “not that” predicament of lost-being. Sartre is in effect trying to bring Being from non-being, by redefining reality in terms of a Consciousness, which exists in a Cartesian world of I-and-Thou. By making this assumption he has already given man an essence, despite the fact that his philosophy is based on the argument that man has no essence, and hence man is radically free to define himself. His philosophy has sneaked an assumption in the back door, which attributes to man an essence, namely, “that which can say “not that” before another”. In other words, he has already described the character of the protagonist in his play “man’s search for being”; his essence in to be “the-man-without-essence”. God alone can articulate man’s predicament, which is the “divine reductionism”, where “everything is nothing but God alone”. God has the still-point or perspective, which man lacks. God does not share that perspective with man as another set of truths, which can give man a new angle on reality that he has not seen before and that he can grasp through his understanding. Rather he invites him into that perspective as an incarnate-being, which is something “wholly other”, something which lies outside the 360 degree panoramic view, which man has access to by mind-will, as it lies in the vertical plane of Being.

vgWittgenstein was not only considered to be one of the greatest philosophers in the last century, but he also had an interesting life, unlike most philosophers, so I think it is worthwhile saying a little bit about his life here before considering his philosophy. He was an Austrian-British philosopher of the last century who came from one of the richest families in Europe; his family would have been the Rockefeller’s of their day. Many of his siblings were considered to be of genius standing but three of them committed suicide and Wittgenstein himself considered it too. He only published one small book in his lifetime, but it was considered to be the definitive answer to philosophy from the top Cambridge thinkers and academics of his day. He wrote a large part of the philosophy while fighting on the front-line in World War I, as mentioned earlier, where he was awarded medals for bravery, as he risked his life many times for his squadron. For nearly 20 years he was a philosophy lecturer at Cambridge University, but he encouraged his students to never become professional philosophers, but rather discover their philosophy in the world. After writing his highly acclaimed philosophy he gave up philosophy for many years, becoming a gardener, a simple primary school teacher in poor, rural villages and later a hospital porter, where nobody knew he was one of the world’s most famous philosophers. He gave away his inherited fortune, to live a life of simplicity. He later returned to philosophy when he adjudged his first philosophy to be wrong; he saw that it was based on assumptions that could not be justified. Whereas most philosophers spend their lives trying to defend their philosophy and patching up any holes in it, he threw out his philosophy and started again, despite the fact that it was still highly regarded and influential in academic circles. He wrote a completely new philosophy, which was printed posthumously. He died in relative obscurity and poverty in Ireland, to where he retired from academic life to live and write alone.

In his first philosophy, Wittgenstein believed he had found, once and for all, the logical rules which determined all meaningful articulations between the Mind and the World. His book seemed to be the definitive word on Philosophy, which cleared up the confusion and pseudo-philosophical problems created by Philosophy’s misuse of language. Wittgenstein saw the cardinal error of philosophy being the attempt to speak about things that could only be “shown”. He distinguished between what could be articulated, and therefore had meaning in the context of jkomind-world, and what could not be articulated, as it belonged to a realm beyond the language-logic structure of mind-world. Any philosophical dialogue that went beyond the strict limits of language, set down by logic, was talking “nonsense”, as it put itself beyond meaningful expression. I would not agree necessarily that it is “nonsense” but rather a “cry for being”, like the ramblings of the madman which need to be interpreted. The neat mapping of mind-to-world, which comes through logic, reason and language, may provide us with meaning, but that meaning is ultimately rooted in the meaning of man’s search-for-being, not reality itself. This is something Wittgenstein eventually came to realise, which led him to reject this first philosophy, a philosophy which articulates the limits of non-being. Such a philosophy holds importance for disciplines like Science, which seeks to understand better the limits of the mapping of mind-to-world and so be able to do its job more effectively, which is to describe more accurately man’s exile.

Man is himself a “misplaced word”, who cannot be contained within the restraints of a “civilised” world. The meaning of his life cannot be exhausted by a neat logical mapping of mind-world, nor by the explanations offered by Science, which like Philosophy and Psychoanalysis, talks “nonsense” when it exceeds its powers to describe what it sees. Man’s life is de trop, to use another sartrean expression; it overflows any attempt to hold it and define it by consciousness, as it is always something more. This de trop often manifests itself through “unacceptable” behaviour, anarchism, adolescent rebellion, riots, revolutions or simply in psycho-somatic illness or neurotic behaviour, as well as the already mentioned “death instinct”. It is man trying to go beyond the limits which seek to define him, to deconstruct and reconstruct himself, in his own version of the pascal mystery, which leaves him in an eternal recurrence. Man seeks to recover his true context as “misplaced word” in the language of incarnate-love,1984-Big-Brother to which consciousness is barred from entering, and yet consciousness is man’s starting point for any path he will follow in life. Man’s predicament reminds me of the protagonist Winston Smith in George Orwell’s book 1984, who dreams of rebellion against the omnipotent Big Brother government surveillance, which deems all independent thinking as “thoughtcrimes”; the punishment and solution for such crimes, is to have the criminal taken away into solitary confinement, where he has his mind reprogrammed by brainwashing techniques. Man has a fundamental drive within him to go beyond the language and experiences which define him, in the very real modern day world of Big Brother, and it is to this drive that God addresses man.

Wittgenstein came up against the limits of his first philosophy when he failed to find the “atomic objects” and “atomic names”, which were the primary, logical, building blocks upon which the whole edifice of language depends. In other words, for the mapping of mind-to-world to work, there had to be some primary atomic mapping, upon which everything else is built, just as the world of Science is built upon atoms. This primary mapping had to reveal itself in a “totality and immediacy” without further need for description, otherwise the mapping would not be the simplest unit. In other words, when the atomic object and name revealed themselves, they would need no further explanation, as there appearance and use would make them self-explanatory. Bertrand Russell suggested that maybe the words “this” and “that” which point to an object in the world could be such atomic names, but Wittgenstein rejected them as unsuitable as they did not point to anything particular, they applied to all objects. He eventually found it unacceptable that the whole mapping of language was dependent upon atomic objects and names which were inaccessible to the mapping itself; the missing link failed to reveal itself, so the edifice of his mapping system came tumbling down.

In his second philosophy, Wittgenstein did a U-turn. He denied that words can be abstracted to a pure realm of correct definitions in the mind, which only trained philosophers have access to. This is what his first philosophy was attempting to do, as it sought to cleanse words of unnecessary accretions from their seemingly haphazard use in daily life, while giving them a pure, detached and objectified meaning. Like Nietzsche, he now denied that such an objective realm exists, and that such attempts were creating an artificially, sanitised world. He realised that the meaning of a word was exhausted by the context in which it was “used” and that it could not be abstracted fromnmkl that context without being rendered meaningless. Wittgenstein was undermining the way philosophy had been done before, summed up in his exhortation “Don’t think, look”. Philosophers had to look at the way words were being used so as to know their true meaning; they were being drawn towards a more incarnate I-Thou of the present moment, to the particularity and lived reality of a word. This more “incarnate” approach to philosophy can be seen in the term “family resemblances”, which he coined to describe the family of contexts within which a word is used. The contexts have similarities but they are also different, just as members of a family bear similar characteristics while retaining their own identities. It was a more inclusive and “incarnating” term than the more usual philosophical “universals” of the Mind, which are rigid and abstracted. However, Wittgenstein’s attempt to “incarnate” words does not go far enough. His very emphasis on “look” and “use” shows that he is still rooted in the world of object relations, as he gives himself a still-point from which to “look”, while the meaning of the word is tied to its “use” in the world of object relations. On the contrary, and this is important, the “use” that man gives to words does have a universal context beyond its particular use in a given situation, which Wittgenstein did not see. This universal context does not exist in abstracted concepts in the mind, where philosophers placed it, but in the myth-expression of man’s-search-for-being. In other words, man’s “use” of things serves the purpose of making his home in this exile or trying to find his way home to Being, like a Robinson Crusoe, who uses the materials on the island both to survive and make his home on the island and to build a raft to get off the island.

To seek the meaning of language in a mapping of mind-world, as in his first philosophy, or within a context of “use”, as in his second philosophy, is to attribute reality to this world. To do this would mean that man can ultimately exhaust all mappings, or all contexts, for words, if he continues to “think” or “look” long enough; I would deny this, as I see it only leading to the infinite regressions that marks man in his exile. Derrida saw as inherent dialectic in all language, where “words vie for power by which an order is imposed on reality and by which a subtle repression is exercised, as these hierarchies exclude, subordinate, and hide the various potential meanings”. This description points to the fundamental nature of man’s articulated language as fallen-language, a language which can never attain to Being, but suffers the same fate as man, who lives in a dialectical, will-to-power struggle between nbvthe I-and-Thou. Language may well map mind-to-world but it cannot be exhausted by it, because its roots lie in man himself as an unarticulated “misplaced word”. It was necessary for “The Word” to be made flesh, so that man as unarticulated lost-word could recover his context as incarnate-word, a context within which not only is man redeemed but the problems of the world are solved, problems which were created by man’s alienation from Being. Language is redeemed from its “use” in exile, where man as incarnate-word, is to be used by divine love, which seeks to write the new myth-of-salvation. The universals of the mind are redeemed in the one universal of love. Derrida sought to “deconstruct” the dialectical nature of language by introducing a “third term”, a term which did not belong to the dialectic process, like a “wholly other” word, which throws a spanner in the works. However, he failed to understand the nature of man’s predicament, which cannot be solved by inventing another object or word, which can dissolve the dialectic tension between object relations. Any new object or word would have been constructed from within object relations itself, under the watchful eye of Mind, so its “wholly other” nature is in name only. Derrida’s attempt only serves to highlight the myth-nature of all philosophies, reflections of the one true reality. There is only one “wholly other” object, “the word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us (Jn 1:14)”; Jesus is the third term which deconstructs all object relations and creates a new object relations, through his death and resurrection.

Derrida’s famous saying was ‘There is nothing outside the text’; he used it to highlight man’s predicament, and the nature of language, which is a constant movement of differences in which there is no stable resting point; one cannot appeal to a reality beyond it, as there is no refuge point independent of language. Everything in man’s world of object relations acquires the instability and ambiguity that Derrida claimed to be inherent in language, which only confirms my argument, that man is a lost-word, in a text of man’s-search-for-being. However, Derrida fails to see that there is one word, which does not belong to the text, and that is man himself as unarticulated lost-word. Wittgenstein intimated this in his first philosophy when he recognised that “what is important lies outside of the mapping”. It can also be seen in the Gospel of John, when Jesus turned to his Apostles and asked them if they were also going to leave him like the others, and Peter replied, “to whom shall we go? you have the worlds of eternal life (6:68)”. This is more than Jesus just having the truths or teachings, rather, he is the “text” of the new reality, of which there is nothing beyond, except non-being. He is the text within which man as lost-word finds his context, and from which the new myth-of-being is written. Jesus is the third term, who brings a “vertical dialectic”, which redeems all language in a language of love, as manifested on the day of Pentecost, when the Apostles spoke in tongues. This new dialectic breaks down all barriers of discrimination and distinction, which marks our world of fear and greed, bringing together all peoples as one, united in the Universal of Love. The I-and-Thou “mapping” of Wittgenstein’s first philosophy, and the “context” and “use” of his second philosophy, find their fulfilment and meeting point in the incarnate word, with its perfect mapping into a unity-of-being of I-Spirit-Thou, which has its context in Trinitarian love, for the use of building up God’s kingdom on earth. The atomic object and name, which failed to reveal itself in Wittgenstein’s first philosophy, has now been revealed in the “totality and immediacy” of the sacrament of the present moment.

SCIENCE AND EVOLUTION

CHAPTER 20

imagesI9M0F7NXIf this book presents a true picture of man’s predicament then scientific research should gradually confirm it or reflect it, by its own insights into the structure of object relations, as it tends towards the omega point of its infinite regressions. Arguably this is already happening in the shift from Newton’s scientific view of the world to Einstein’s, which undermines the belief in an objective reality, extended before us in linear space-time, in which man is an independent observer. The eighteenth century philosopher, Hume, had already shown that every man is condemned to believe in something. Man cannot step outside the world of belief, as an independent thinker, who can start from real, objective premises and create a certain knowledge free of the subject. Knowledge, both micro and macro, scientific or philosophical, stems from observations in the present moment, where they receive the raw material of the senses. The universals of the mind, which are abstractions from that raw data, are the basis upon which the laws of nature and scientific theories are established. These laws that describe the structure and order of the world are held in higher esteem than the flux of the senses, as they are seen to reveal permanent and lasting truths; it is Science’s way of being “dogmatic”, imposing its views on everybody else. Hume, however, undermined the position of scientific knowledge as he saw no philosophical justification for moving from the particulars of the senses to the universals of the mind; his radical claim was based on insightful observations about the content of the senses and the mind. In other words, there is a gap between the discrete perceptions of the senses and the mind, which cannot be justified by the mind or senses, but which is filled with a sense of determinism, a “givenness”, beyond mind-world, which reflects man’s way of being-in-the-world; Hume attributed it to a natural, but arbitrary, human imposition of the mind on to the world. This “givenness” enables man to see order in the world and so gain knowledge of the world, which in turn enables him to be the husbandry of its resources, or the oppressive Task Master of creation; knowledge gives him the power to live in harmony with creation or to destroy it. As I said earlier, the mind and its use of knowledge is not neutral, there is a fundamental “lie” in the gap between mind-world, a flaw in man’s relationship with himself and his creation, which came with that “givenness” of his being-in-the-world. It is a will-to-power, where “knowledge is power”; that power is ultimately destructive as it is necessarily selfish, and therefore it opposes true life and love. Knowledge, however, can also be used for good, as the essence of knowledge is man’s-search-for-being.

While acknowledging Hume’s observations about the missing link, Scientists and Positivists have argued that, although the assumptions which form the basis of scientific knowledge cannot be proven, knowledge tends towards certainty as the probability of something being true increases, through repetition of observations or experiments,imagesEN8EXF2V such as “the sun will rise tomorrow”. However, as I have already argued in this book, this regression to infinity highlights man’s predicament as lost-being, which can never attain to the certainty of “one”, just as the philosopher cannot know the thing-in-itself. The missing element, although appearing minuscule in object relations, is in fact the infinite gap of man’s fall from Being into non-being. This “appearance” only highlights the “deception” that exists at the heart of man’s predicament, where there is an unbridgeable gap between essence and existence, between what the mind seeks to grasp through understanding and Reality. There is an “absence” of being at the heart of all knowledge and of man’s place in the world; man’s knowledge is a substitute for that lack of presence, like a married couple who might talk more and show more acts of affection, in order to hide the fact that they no longer love each other. This lost presence defines the limits and nature of knowledge. Knowledge is a reaction to man’s predicament, where the lost I-Thou love has been replaced by an I-and-Thou problem, a search for truth. Man is duped into thinking that he can unite the two through knowledge, which leaves him imprisoned in his cave of shadows.

The “gap” which knowledge seeks to overcome is filled by Jesus, who is the only “certainty” that exists in our world of object relations, as he is the unique object that does not belong to cause-effect and its infinite regressions; in him essence and existence are united, There is no gap between him and the Father, they know one another as the thing-in-itself, in a unity-of-being, where “no one knows the Son except the Father, nor does anyone know the Father except the Son (Matt 11:27)”. That certainty, which can only come with Being, offers man a new way of being-in-the-world. It enables him to overcome the determinism, which defines man in his myth-of-lost-being, as prescribed by Science and cause-effect, as he enters into the new myth-of-being, through the one act of freedom, which God has left man. His fiat enables him to free-fall into the trinitarian object relations of the new myth, only imagesFP30W9N8made possible by the certainty that God will never abandon his people; he holds man in the perfect holding environment of a new covenant; “my love is an everlasting love…even if a mother should forget her child, I will never forget you… I have carved you on the palm of my hand (Isaiah 49:15)”. This certainty revealed itself in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, and his appearance to his disciples during the 40 days after his resurrection. However, this resurrection is not merely an historical event, but a living reality, to which many people down the ages have testified through their own personal encounter with the living Christ. This encounter is not through the mind or senses, which cannot know being, but through a breaking in of the reality into their life of lost-being. When lost-being encounters Being there is a “knowing”, a certainty, which transcends words and any discursive reasoning; these latter are silenced, as two soulmates meet for the first time, like St Thomas, he can say, “My Lord, My God”.

The proof Jesus gave to the people of his time were the miracles, which pointed to a new reality, and the proof for all men of all times is his resurrection from the dead. This proof cannot be grasped by Science which relies on induction and deduction, experiments and mathematical formulas, in other words, the evidence of the senses and mind, which is non-being. This proof is an incarnate-reality, which can only be known by engaging in the “new experiment”, which is to participate in the pascal mystery through man’s fiat and know for oneself that after death to self there really is a new life in Being, a life which gives a peace that the world could not give. This new order has the appearance of the old order, but while being in the world it is not of it, it can’t be “touched” by it. It is like looking at a Pdf file on a computer screen, which looks like any other word text until one tries to copy or edit it. To ones surprise and annoyance one finds one can’t do anything to the text, as it remains a totality, like a photo, which cannot be used for other purposes. There is a type of unity-of-being which joins all the words and paragraphs together, the whole is protected by an editing security, which prevents readers from treating it as part-objects. This is the unity-of-being which is given by God, the divine security and guarantor, to those who surrender to his will. It is a reality which cannot be accessed by the man of this world, which leaves him sceptical, as he is the “Doubting Thomas”, who must see it with his own senses before he will believe; he rejects any claim to an invisible, “wholly other”, as nonsense.

Yet, this “wholly other” is more prevalent than man realises, as it holds all things in existence. For example, man takes it for granted that the sun will rise tomorrow, and if he is asked why he will say because it has risen every other day, and if pressed further he will say that the laws of nature dictate they it will rise tomorrow. However, such a confident reply is based on a “belief”, not on reality. The laws of nature cannot guarantee such an event, it can only describe what has happened in the past and give an explanation in terms of object relations. This explanation or description is not determining of the future, as it only offers an answer based on probabilities, and as mentioned before, these probabilities, although tending towards certainty, are characteristic of non-being; lack of imagesAHLEZFJ3absolute certainty, although appearing small in terms of numbers, reflects a lack of reality. To not know reality is not a small thing, because it means that tomorrow reality may break in. Tomorrow man may wake up and realise that the world he had always been familiar with, up until that morning, which he took as reality because he knew nothing else, was in fact a dream. One might repeatedly observe the routine behaviour of a prisoner in his cell of solitary confinement, for many years, but that does not mean tomorrow he will do the same, as maybe tomorrow he will be granted a reprieve by the king and set free. This brings us back to the limits and nature of knowledge, as a myth-expression of man’s-search-for-being, and subsequently why Science cannot answer the metaphysical question of “why there is something rather than nothing”. In other words, the laws of Science do not determine our world, they only describe it, so it is wrong for scientists to attribute a deterministic nature to the world based on the observations of the past. The laws of nature can only describe what has happened, they cannot say what will happen; to attempt to do so is to go beyond its limits, it is to close the circle and attribute a reality to Science, to make it God, and reduce humans to mere products of cause-effect, of a complex molecular chain reaction that began with a big bang.

Why there is something rather than nothing” is because God has created the world and holds all things in existence. Just as he filled the gap which Science could not fill, by freely sending his only Son to save the world, so too, before the gap existed, before there was a fall, he created the I-Thou of his own free will. Knowing that it is God and not the laws of nature, who holds all things in being, frees man from the determinism of the laws; he is free to ask God to intervene where he needs help, and even to ask for a miraculous healing where necessary, as many have testified to in their lives. Jesus manifested the limits of nature and its laws by defying them through his miraculous works; his miracles silenced even nature, as he is Lord of nature. However, as I have said before, his power to perform miracles was only the visible sign in object relations of something greater. The greatest miracle in man’s midst is the new order, the presence of God’s kingdom on earth today. Man is participating in that miracle each time he gives his fiat, when he lives by the new universal law of love, a law which can even defy the natural laws, when God so chooses to make visible his hand. Those who have followed Jesus, the Saints of the Church, have been attributed many visible miracles during their life and after their life on earth has ended, but all these miracles only point to the one living miracle of incarnate-being. Man’s presumptuous, unthinking acceptance that vbthe sun will rise tomorrow only reflects his deterministic way of being-in-the-world. His life is lived in a world of abstractions, routines and laws, which may “hold” him, but he is being held against any true free-will, in his cave of shadows. Man takes life for granted and this disposition reflects his lost-being and lost freedom. For the new ethical man everything is a miracle, each moment is unique, and the only law that can hold him and define him is love. Sadly, most theology has succumbed to the deception of this world, and has subsequently sought to reduce Revelation and the work of salvation to the laws of nature and the process of evolution, which they take for the measure of reality.

Popper revolutionised Science by suggesting an alternative way of how Science actually develops. It had always been believed that scientific theory developed starting from experimental observations and induction to general laws about the behaviour of objects. Popper suggested that this was only the apparent order of events, and that the process actually began with deduction, whereby a scientist first had an insight into how things really are, through an enlightenment of his imagination, or a creative intuition, and only afterwards does he use experiments and images7PBZJ9BOobservations to find laws to confirm and articulate that insight. This is followed by a system of natural selection, whereby the experiments and laws which best describe that insight are accepted and the others rejected. This later process of induction is mistakenly taken for the basis of all developments in Science, which shows another duplicity at the heart of creation, where Mind seeks to claim the power from man’s “love of objects”. This original insight is more akin to Art than Science, a eureka moment, like a divine illumination that is given to man in his search for truth. It comes in the immediacy of a present moment, in the universal of love, but then mind-will lay claim to it, as they assert a will-to-power, while reducing the “reality moment” to space-time.

Science, like Philosophy and Mathematics is a specialised field, where people work in a world of cold abstraction, the sort of “objective” world that Wittgenstein denied. Its way-of-being in the world, is biased to generate laws of abstraction, laws which do not see determinism in the world, but attribute determinism to it, as it is a projection of Mind on to World. Such abstractions are a form of violence, as they alienate man from his world by creating the sort of technology that depersonalises man’s work and exploits the earth, giving the power and wealth to the specialised few who hold the reigns, as Karl Marx rightly saw. The truth is that Science, Philosophy and Mathematics need to be put back where they belong, with the ordinary person, who has the “love for objects” in a new incarnate-being. The problems of the world are overcome, in the same way as philosophical problems are overcome, by putting words back in their correct context. When man is incarnate-word he becomes the true source of creativity as he addresses the world in an I-Thou, which ensures that it is not used as a means to an end, in an endless abstraction of will-to-power, but is used to reveal love. Regardless of whether he has great insights or not, the man who abides in love, is already recreating the world, as he is living those insights, for all insights have their alpha and omega point in Being; Science, Mathematics and Philosophy realise themselves in the incarnate-word of man. If specialists do not do their work from this context, which is the true “love of objects”, then they are contributing to Mind’s intent to create its own nuclear bomb to destroy the planet and all mankind. If Popper and Einstein’s insights are true, then this “love of objects” is essential to a new way of doing Science. However, this love of objects is only realised in man himself as incarnate-love, where he unites himself to all creation in a trinitarian love, where he is a co-creator with God, in establishing God’s kingdom on earth.

The new Science based on the theories of Relativity have revealed to man a much more personal and unpredictable universe than the mechanistic one he was familiar with. It describes a universe of amorphous energy, which arranges itself into molecular object relations when it is observed, and then returns to an energy form when it is no longer observed. One might wonder if what is being seen by the observer is a myth-expression of their own search-for-being, as if their story has been written in the stars, or like a massive “projection” of who they are on to the universe, akin to Psychoanalysis’ claim that God is projected on to it. This would agree with my interpretation of the nature of knowledge and the limitations of Science. Unfortunately, these findings of Science are leading some scientists, scientologists, spiritualists and philosophers to suggest that man is moving into a new state of consciousness, where all will become Mind; Matter has already been uncovered by Science as another form of consciousness. I disagree with this interpretation of Science and I think it only highlights again the deceptive and surreptitious attempt of Mind to claim the totality of the universe and everything in it for itself, which Hegel, a German philosopher, attempted to do in Philosophy in the eighteenth century. I would argue to the contrary, and say that these insights throw light on man’s predicament as lost-being, and the nature of his world as a myth-expression of his search for being. When man is no longer “looking” at the world of object relations, describing it in words or formulas, he can transcend it into God’s reality, which is an energy, a light which overcomes relativity, but this does not take place in consciousness but rather in incarnate-being.

One might even suggest a similarity between Psychoanalysis and Science. The first works within a dual framework of consciousness and unconsciousness, while the latter works within the dual framework of particles and energy. The psychoanalyst applies his mind to the amorphous, energy of the unconscious realm, drawing out man’s story into consciousness, “acting out” the role of God, as he seeks to draw the being of consciousness from the non-being of the unconsciousness; the psychoanalyst reveals to his patient a hidden “myth-of-lost-being” by bringing it into the light of consciousness. This is all a myth-expression of what Jesus comes to do, and only he can do. To what extent could it be said that a Scientist does a similar thing, when he moves from the realm of energy to the realm of particles. The two states of unconscious-conscious in Psychoanalysis or particle-wave in Science explain or interpret the same present moment, but they are exclusive to one another, which means they can’t both be observed at the same time, in effect. They belong to separate myths within their discipline, symbolising the reality of man’s predicament as revealed by Jesus, where man must choose “to be or not to be”, choosing between two myths which are exclusive to each other. If he chooses “to be”, he abides in the divine energy of God’s love, in the myth of salvation, or if he chooses “not to be”, he remains in the exile of non-being, where all that he does is a myth-expression of lost-being, a world made up of object relations. Neither of the pair of myths, in either Psychoanalysis or Science, are reality, as they are only reflections of man’s predicament, they simply make up the foreground and background of his myth-picture in exile. The fact is that Knowledge in its essence is not neutral, which is why Postmodernists are right in their claim that we cannot simply return to the past. Knowledge and understanding, like the language they use, while having a universal, abstracted, articulated face are essentially personal and alive, rooted in man himself as a misplaced word in the present moment. “Knowledge is power” is the mind’s attempt to claim reality for itself, by making it a dogmatic system of thoughts, which can be contained in books, to be used for the benefit of all; reality is then in the hands of the specialists and those in power, Big Brother, rather than the ordinary person. Therapy has already shown that the patient has the power to heal himself, the therapist only assists him to utilise this power; the answer to each person’ s predicament lies within himself and not in the hands of others, which is a basic truth of Buddhism. Mind’s claim to universal answers and ultimate knowledge does not merely reveal an error of judgement, which can be repaired by man, by writing a new philosophy as Heidegger tried to do; it points to a deception at the heart of man’s world, which comes from a Deceiver who brought about man’s fall. Knowledge is a force for good when it is used to bring understanding to man’s predicament and to help govern him in right judgement etc.. but it is also a force for evil, when it claims ultimate authority and is put into the hands of those who see will-to-power as the ultimate good, where everything is used as a means to this end. This can also be seen in philosophy’s “demythologising” of the raw data of the senses, wiping it clean of the myth-of-lost-being, and using it as a neutral starting point to abstract and create knowledge of a new reality based on Cartesian dualism.

The theory of Evolution can also be interpreted in the light of the two myths, which constitute this book. The theory of Evolution is not a reality, but like everything else, it is a myth-expression of man’s-search-for-being. It is a myth, as the story of Adam and Eve is a myth, but it is of a different genre, namely, Science. It is no more “real” than Newton’s laws are real, as they are both descriptions of what man observes from his cell window; they are nietzschean perspectives, which Science has claimed for reality, done with the same confidence as Descartes appropriated Being to his consciousness. As said at the beginning of this book, in the third model, the mind is mind-of-world, and the world is world-for-mind, they are not independent realities, but uniquely interdependent. Man’s consciousness and self-consciousness are born out of this fallen-and-falling interdependence. Man cannot stand outside of this situation, no more than he can stand outside of his dream, while dreaming. This insight has been expressed by some philosophers, like Spinoza, who claimed that Mind and Matter are isomorphic, running parallel to each other, just two forms of the same substance. The story of evolution claims that mind evolved from matter, without being able to explain how that could be possible. It is also paradoxical that despite the mind’s evolution from matter, it cannot know the thing-in-itself. In other words, there is no real encounter between the mind and the object from which it evolved, it only has knowledge of man’s experiences, which is the result of an absence or gap between them. It is more consistent to accept that mind-matter were originally a unity-in-being, which became separated in a fall, resulting in man’s experience of his exile and a knowledge which seeks to bridge the gap. In that case, consciousness is “dethroned” from the centre of man’s world and experience is the new centre, which is unsettling because experience needs an interpretation beyond itself, otherwise man is left in the angst of his exile.

Knowledge of the world and creation has displaced man from the centre of his universe. However, this description of things is not reality, but like everything else it is a myth-expression of his predicament; it is his predicament writ large on the world, as if the mind was projecting the archetypal story of man’s fall on to the screen of the world. In the modern age, however, the story has changed, as the emphasis is now on the subject, where all knowledge is subject-based; man finds himself returning to the centre, which itself is a myth-expression of man’s-search-for-being. This finds its fulfilment in Christ who brings the new myth, which wakes man from his sleep. Man is no longer on the edge, like a prodigal son, but he is at the heart of a new creation, which is being formed in his very person. The theory of evolution finds its climax in this myth. Evolution “explains” where man came from, it is a myth-story based on scientific laws. The story is “true” in as much as it relates mind-to-world, but it is not “real” as it doesn’t belong to Being. In other words, The theory of Evolution is another dream with a mythological meaning, but its fulfilment will only happen when man wakes from sleep. In Jesus’ incarnation man’s interpretation arrives; he is the prince who comes to wake the Sleeping Beauty. Just as he fulfils the Law of the Jews and the Philosophy of the Greeks, he also fulfils man’s evolutionary journey to Being. The theory of evolution has revealed man as the climax of a long process, and so he is. In this dream he has a self-consciousness from which he can view the world, the universe and everything in it; even in his dream he knows where he came from, that he was once a Lord. The will-to-power of his dream reigns supreme and man will use this power to control and subdue the world that is at his feet, to make him “lord of creation”. However, God’s revelation brings a twist to the tale, just as any good story will have an unexpected ending; the dream of evolution is fulfilled in an unexpected and paradoxical manner, which no human could have anticipated.

As mentioned before, Bertrand Russell observed that whatever the truth is about life and its nature, it must be a paradox. The paradox comes in Jesus’ pascal mystery, which reveals that the climax of evolution is not a higher state of consciousness but rather the sacrifice of that consciousness, by which man recovers his Incarnate Being, just as one would have to give up a dream state to arrive at the wake state. Man has been led up the high mountain of evolution only to be shown that “everything is nothing but God alone”, which is the moment when he realises that he is only dreaming and now it is time to wake up. This is the interpretation, which has come from beyond him, through God’s intervention in his history, where God is like the Father at the bedside who is taking the hand of his son and whispering “wake up, wake up”, which the son incorporates into the dream as one of the figures who is leading him up the mountain to make his sacrifice of consciousness. Like Abraham, his Father in Faith, he is called to offer the sacrifice of his most precious gift, his very self-mind-will, all that he has and experiences, all that defines him, while acknowledging its nature as non-being, as merely a dream. He wakes to the reality of his true identity as a child of God, where God is his Father, while Jesus exhorts him to “stay awake”. Those philosophies, religions and disciplines which erroneously cling to a belief in the fulfilment of evolution in a higher consciousness need to hear the Good News, if they are to awake form sleep. This fulfilment of the history of evolution is symbolized in the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor in the Gospel story. Jesus took Peter, James and John up Mt Tabor, where he was transfigured, and in his presence appeared Moses and Elijah. Moses represented the Law and Elijah the Prophets; they were the best of the old myth, and they had awaited this day, when the old would be taken up into the new, by the vertical transcendental of Jesus, into the new object relations of the Trinity, which was manifested in the cloud and the voice of the Father. Peter, James and John, did not participate in it, as they were still of the old myth, they had to cover their faces. Jesus told them, on going down the mountain, that they could not understand it now, but they would later, after his resurrection from the dead, when it would be possible for others to participate in the new myth. Man’s dreams become a reality beyond his wildest dreams when he awakes, but the deception at the heart of his dream keeps him from waking, like the men in Plato’s cave of shadows.

(At the end of this book, in the appendix, I have added a more detailed interpretation of Quantum Theory in the light of my own philosophy of reality).

The Christ Beyond Religion (Part 4)

The Word in Context

CHAPTER 21

The philosophy of two myths outlined in this book, which presents new boundaries to what constitutes being and non-being, has brought about Philosophy’s “awakening”. It will have a similar revolutionary impact on Theology and our understanding of Religion, and in particular Christianity, which I wish to present here, in this fourth and last section of the book.

It could be argued that theologies in Christianity have, more often than not, been stumbling blocks rather than stepping stones, towards the proclamation of the Good News. As mentioned at various points throughout this book, Theology’s failure to understand the nature of object relations, has resulted in the vertical nature of Revelation being reduced to the horizontal plane of man’s exile in non-being. Some theologians have tried to address this reductionism, by giving back to Revelation its “wholly other” status; most notable amongst them has been two of the biggest names in theology in the past century, Karl Barth of the Protestant tradition and Hans Urs von Balthasar of the Catholic tradition. Unless Christianity comes to understand more fully man’s predicament as lost-word, or lost-being, then it can’t do justice to God’s plan of salvation, as it fails to plummet the profound depths of St John’s proclamation, “the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us (Jn 1:14)”. Where a misuse of words in Philosophyvcx has led man to talk “nonsense”, alienating him from himself and his world, in a technological age built on abstraction; the misuse of Revelation, as God’s Word, has led to man’s ongoing alienation from the God who has drawn near, which has subsequently led to man’s failure to realise the Good News in his own life. The Revelation which came to address man as “lost-word”, to set him free from the myth-of-non-being, in space-time, has been hijacked by Philosophy, which has led to the greatest misuse of a word in the history of Philosophy. It took “the word made flesh” out of its context as Being, leaving it captive to the realm of Mind, in Non-Being. This is not an accident, or oversight in Philosophy and Theology, but a clear demonstration of the force of deception, or “lie”, which works in creation, and that St John pointed out at the beginning of his Gospel, “the light shone in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it… he was in the world, the world was made through him and the world did not know him (Jn 1:10)”. This darkness and deceit is evident throughout his Gospel, from its beginning in the desert, to its end on the cross. It remains a cosmic force in the world, which seeks to lead the Church and man to ruin, but Jesus promised “the gates of hell shall not prevail (Matt 16:18)” against his Church.

As mentioned earlier, Revelation has been used to address man as “questioner”, as one whose image and likeness to God is that of mind-will, where God’s consciousness is merely an extension of man’s consciousness, to “bad infinity”. God addresses man as a philosopher, providing him with the heavenly data, which can clarify his mind and strengthen his will, as he sojourns towards Being, which lies in the horizontal plane of space-time. Instead of God’s Revelation waking man from sleep, it has been drawn into that dream, incorporated into that great “illusion”, which has kept all mankind captive in its original sin. The Revelation of Reality as Love, a Love which is now with us, inviting all men to share in it, has been reduced to “truths”; the incarnate-being for which man thirsts, has been reduced to higher states of consciousness and enlightenment. This has not quenched man’s thirst for life, by binding him in a new found I-Thou love to his neighbour, rather, it has left him divided against his neighbour in an endless religious bigotry over who possesses the “fullness of truth”, which is a further example of how man talks “nonsense”, when words are abstracted from their context. With this misunderstanding of both man’s predicament and God’s Revelation, the Good News of man’s salvation has not been realised, as Revelation fails to shed its light into man’s darkness, it fails to encounter him on his journey; Revelation and man don’t speak the same language. Instead, Revelation remains locked away in the ivory towers of universities, where it can only be understood by the intellectual elite; it is owned by a priestly caste system, which accentuates the dualism of the Old Testament, which kept man from approaching God. It belongs to ritualism and intellectual assent, which is experienced as something alien, external and irrelevant to man’s experience of being-in-the-world.

Yet this is not what Jesus intended when he said to the Samaritan woman, “true worshippers will worship thebhj Father in spirit and truth (Jn 4:23). He met her during her daily chores, he encountered her in her Id-life of sin, a life that manifested her thirst for incarnate-being. It is here where Jesus wishes to encounter all humans, wherever they are at in their life journey. This is the place of true worship, where man as religious-being offers his myth-picture through his fiat, to receive all back, like Abraham, in Being. It is where man’s myth-of-lost-being meets God’s myth-of-being; it is where man hears God’s invitation to “follow me”. This is not experienced as something external, there is no abstraction into space-time, nor I-and-Thou. The immediacy and totality of Revelation does not address consciousness, as consciousness, in its intentionality, is neither immediate nor total, rather, it fills the gap and quenches the thirst for incarnate-being. After declaring to the Samaritan woman the true form of future worship, Jesus proceeded to reveal himself as the I AM, which is where lost-being drinks from the living water of Being. The woman then left her empty water jar by the well and went to tell her fellow villagers of the Good News. Her inner vessel was now filled with a living water not of this earth, just as Jesus will tell his disciples, when they return from the village with food to give him, “my food is to do the will of him who sent me (Jn 4:34)”. Throughout the Gospels Jesus will encounter people in this manner, which will cause great consternation to the Pharisees, as Jesus breaks through all religious protocol, even tainting himself by mixing with outcasts and sinners; love pours itself out to fill all gaps in lost-being, which is necessarily an I-Thou incarnate encounter, and not a mere set of teachings. Jesus does not ask people to go back and “bury the dead”, or first satisfy all the conditions of the law before following him. Those things all belong to space-time, to the old order, and Jesus is inviting them into a reality which transcends space-time. It is the vertical dimension of the Now, which fulfils everything that space-time and its content tended towards, which is why Jesus’ proclamation has such a strong eschatological tone, “now is the time”.

A similar lesson can also be taken from another story, which also involves a Samaritan, in Luke’s Gospel. Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan, who stopped to help a man who had been beaten and robbed on the roadside, while the priest and Levite walked by on the other side. The priest and Levite live in an abstracted world of space-time, object relations, where worship to God belongs in a particular time and place, involving certain ritualistic practices, including keeping themselves undefiled by objects of the world. However, in Jesus, true worship is revealed as the fiat of the present moment, man’s truly religious act, where he says Amen to life by acceptingvgf everything from God’s hands. It is not a matter of simply doing good works, as these also belong to object relations; it is about the hidden and radically new way of being-in-the-world, such that man realises himself in the incarnate I-Thou of the present moment. Through the telling of the parable Jesus is not merely teaching the adage “do to others as you would want them to do to you”; this ethical code belongs to object relations, and as good as it is, it is only a reflection of the new ethical man, which is now possible in the new order. This new man is one that is reborn of the Spirit, not of flesh, in an I-Spirit-Thou. To say that the needs of the robbed man have become the Samaritan’s needs, is not going far enough, as the new reality is more consuming than that. Man’s day and life is no longer mapped out before him, following the laws of nature, the expectations of society and his own plans and intentions, rather, his mind and will are given over to the law of the present moment, which is, “God’s will be done”. Such a law does not have “plans” in space-time; its only plan lies in the mind of God, and reveals itself in the Now as an incarnating-event. The divine plan still realises itself within the context of this world, with its laws, expectations and daily chores, but it does not belong to it, nor is it defined by it. Instead, it retains a spontaneous, dionysian creativity of man fully human fully alive. Reality can break in and disrupt the smooth running of life and man’s plans and expectations whenever it will, which is why scientific laws cannot prescribe the way the world will behave in the future, nor from day to day. In this context, nothing in life is experienced as an interference, an intrusion or nuisance. To experience it in this way, like the priest and Levite, is to be living in abstraction from the gift of the present moment, in abstraction from God and man. The “interferences” of life, which often bring suffering, and are occasions for cursing God, man and life, are in fact man’s “daily bread”, which alone can give him true life, if he can only learn to nourish himself on this new diet from heaven and drink from its fountain of living water.

Just as Calculus seeks to close the infinitesimally small gap of its regressions by rounding off, a gap which actually reflects an infinite chasm between Being and non-being, so too Religions have attempted to do the same. I have given examples already, such as the East’s attempt to use mind to reach a transcendental experience, which unites man to Being, or the West’s attempt to use concepts in Philosophy, aided by Revelation, in Theology, to draw man to Absolute Truth. This book has interpreted such regressions, whether they belong to logic, numbers, concepts, language or consciousness, as myth-expression of man’s-search-for-being; they are a cry-for-being, which must not be confused with Being itself, something they can never attain to. Being, as Love, has heard their cry and come to set man free. Within this context I will proceed to consider where religions stand, in the light of God’s incarnate presence among men, and in particular, the role of Christianity. Philosophy failed to clarify the distinction between non-being and being, which, in hindsight, was impossible before Revelation came. Subsequent theology, based on that philosophy, has failed to present the Good News in its fullness, which has resulted in Christianity, as a religion, failing to fully understand its role, in the plan of God’s salvation. The identity crisis in Christianity can be seen in its long, bitter, and at times, bloody history of dissensions and schisms within, which has resulted in Christendom’s continuous fragmentation into rival churches, down the ages, with each one claiming a more authentic interpretation of Holy Scriptures and God’s plan of salvation. Christianity has come a long way in recent times to working towards reconciliation and unity, as the evident visible sign of disunity, is seen as contrary to the will of God, who wants to unite all his people as one body; it is also an obstacle to the proclamation of the Good News, that God’s kingdom has come on earth.

Most of that dissension is based around theologies, where each theology offers its own interpretation of Revelation, resulting in the Word of God being abstracted by Mind, where each camp claims their Mind is closer to the Truth than the others. If you have followed the arguments in this book, you will know that Mind is not a suitable medium for transmitting God’s Revelation; Mind belongs to man’s fallen state, and there is an essential deception between mind-world. Wittgenstein already drew attention to the history of pseudo-philosophical problems created by a misuse of words, and that insight applies to theology too. When Christians stop worrying about theology, truths and correct interpretations, they actually get on very well together and realise they have far more in common thanbhu points of disagreement. They are often more of a visible unity when they work together on a common charity project or cause, where the communities are united in a “love” rather than a “truth”, even if that love is a human love. This phenomenon can also be seen in therapies, where one of the surprising facts about the history of therapy, is that, no one therapy, from the broad spectrum of therapies generated by the mind, has been shown to be more effective than any other. As already mentioned in this book, Carl Roger’s believed that good therapy boiled down to three core conditions, which defined a therapeutic environment, a “love-space”, for want of a better word. He saw all the intellectualisation and theory behind therapies as secondary, and often not helpful, as it could get in the way of real therapy, which again all sounds familiar. What I am not about to advocate is that Truth is not important, as long as people hold hands and be nice to each other, as this position denies the three core conditions. On the contrary, I will show that Truth is too important to be abstracted to theory, it belongs in the heart of both the healing and redemptive processes, where Truth and Love meet. What I will attempt to do in this section of the book, like Wittgenstein, is put “The Word” back in its true context of incarnate-being, so that many pseudo-theological and ecclesiological problems can be dissolved; in other words, by taking the Incarnation of God seriously.

Man as a Religious-Being

CHAPTER 22

I want to begin by noting that Religion per se belongs to object relations, the world of mind-senses, so by its very nature it is non-being; it has no reality in itself and it can make no claim to reality. However, it still has a special role to play in the myth-expressions of man’s search for being, as it represents the mountain top experience of man’s cry-for-being. Religions become sacred places, with sacred objects, which they separate from the secular world and its profane objects; they have their holy of holies, set apart, which is a myth-expression of God’s nature as “wholly other”. However, these sacred objects are only symbolic, they are projected full of man’s desire for Being, for his lost reality, but they are not Being itself. Unfortunately, theologies have not respected the “gap” which remains between the two, and some use their transcendental experiences or Holy Objects as a means of possessing God, or coming into communion with him. For example, transcendental experiences become erroneously identified with Being itself, which is no more true than if a piece of paper which catches fire, when the rays of sunlight fall on it through a magnifying glass, is taken for the sun itself. This book has already looked at God’s response to man’s cry-for-being.vgr Gratuitously, out of his very nature as Love, God has chosen to intervene in man’s history, and free mankind from its exile. Jesus has made present in his own person a new order, which all people can share in; a light has shone into the darkness of mankind’s cave, and man is called to come out into the light of the resurrection. Christianity has a special role to play in revealing and making possible this new reality, which is God’s kingdom on earth. The nature of this role needs to be understood if Christianity is not to be reduced to “mere religion” and Revelation to the exclusive possession of one chosen religion. In failing to understand its own limits, as a religion, results in Christianity attributing to itself a positivism and reality which it does not have, as no religion has being. This will leave it in the market place of religions, laying out its claim to be merely bigger and better than the other religions, in a will-to-power struggle. Such debates hold less interest and relevance in a world that has grown tired of pretentious and dangerous claims to universality and metaphysical answers. Man’s thirst for life and Religion’s cry-for-being are one and the same, but it cannot be addressed by more religion. Both will realise themselves when religion is transcended in man himself as “religious-being”, where the true form of worship takes place in “spirit and truth”, when man becomes incarnate-being.

Christianity is unique, in that, although it is constituted by object relations, like all religions, the objects this time have the gap bridged by Christ. In other words, whereas all other myths, including religious myths, sum to infinity, approximating to being in the horizontal plane, Christianity has a vertical dimension. However, a critical mistake is made if that divine transcendental, is attributed to the religion of Christianity itself, which would result in Christ and Christianity becoming identified. Christ is not possessed by Christianity as a religion, which is why he told his followers after the resurrection not to “touch” him. The sacraments of Christianity can be compared to the “transitional objects” of Winnicott’s psychoanalytical work with young children. Winnicott believed that the objects abgt young child clings to, such as teddies, have more meaning than ordinary objects, as they form a transitional space from the world of the baby, to the world of the adult. Man is about to experience a transition from the horizontal plane of object relations to the vertical plane of trinitarian objects. He is about to come out of his cave of shadows into the light of the resurrection, crossing the impassable boundary between Kant’s world of phenomena and the world of noumena. To do this he will rely on the “transitional objects” of the Church’s sacraments, which is analogous to the Portkeys of Harry Potter’s adventures, where ordinary objects received a magical power through a Portus spell, which enabled them to transport the person who touched them to another place. Christianity is not about magic, but it is about a miracle, and a divine power which has been made present in ordinary things; it is about a transition from death to life, from non-being to being, and for this to happen, something more than religion is present.

Christianity in its essence is a pascal mystery, which means that by its nature it dies to itself so that something else can be born. It is like the Greek mythological phoenix, which would die in the fire and then rise again from the ashes; the symbol of the phoenix was quite popular in early Christianity. Christianity as a religion has a unique role among religions, as it announces the end of the old and the beginning of the new, not merely through its teaching but in its very essence. It reveals that all religions must die for new life to be born. Religion was a women in labour, waiting to give birth to incarnate-being, but that was not possible until Jesus came. Jesus is the first fruit of the new order ofphoenix1 incarnate-being. Religions do not have to cry any more, for man as a religious-being has been born; they must now become last so that man can become first. St John the Baptist played a similar role, as a “transitional object”, between the prophets of the Old Testament and the Messiah of the New Testament; “He must increase and I must decrease (Jn 3:30)”. John baptised Jesus in the Jordan, as Jesus uniquely carried both myths in himself; he participated in religion and he transcended it as the first born of a new creation. Jesus’ meeting with Nicodemus, an important member of the Jewish Council, is very telling as it lays out this new relationship between religion and man as a religious-being. Jesus said, “truly, nobody can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again”, which mystified Nicodemus, “surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born (Jn 3:4)”. Jesus proceeds to make the clear distinction between the flesh and the spirit, the things from above and the things from below, the mind of God and the mind of man, the way of light and the way of darkness; Nicodemus came to Jesus in the dark of night, but religion must now come into the light of the resurrection.

It is like at a wedding, where the father of the bride has the responsibility of handing his daughter over to the bridegroom. He has fulfilled his role and the bride and bridegroom must now become one in a new order blessed by God. An essential part of parenting is living this pascal mystery, of letting go and allowing the new life to grow independent of the parents holding environment; failing to do so crushes the child in adolescence and the next generation of family life. The parent refuses to let go in the name of love, “knowing what is best” for her children;imagesWVLSXCSX this is in fact a self-love, which makes itself the measure of love, as true love is to accept the other as “wholly other”. This pascal nature at the heart of Christianity is what needs to be understood better, otherwise it fails to fulfil its role, as it clings to the divine power, which, paradoxically, it only has through its power to die to itself as a religion. In other words, its role is to incarnate man into the world, which it can only do by dying to itself. This is a paradoxical way of perceiving power in religion, but Jesus made it clear that “you are not to be like them (in exercising power)… the greatest among you shall be like the least, and the one who rules like the one who serves (Lk 22:26)”. This is not a matter of merely rearranging object relations; there is something much more fundamental here, which relates the articulated and unarticulated forms of Christianity, which I will elaborate on in this section, as it is key to understanding the role and nature of Christianity. Unfortunately, Christianity has succumbed to the temptations of the world, it has equated divine power with secular power. The essential elements of the incarnation and pascal mystery, which make up the the heart of the new order and the Church’s mandate, have been reduced to mere doctrines and rituals. In this life man will always require religion, until he is perfected in the next life, but all religion has taken on a new significance, as it is no longer a cry-for-being. The bridegroom has come and Religion has become a wedding feast, it is the place of betrothal of man to God. Christ stands outside the cave of Religion calling man into the light of the resurrection.

Man was defined by a fundamental absence, as “lost-being”, in exile, which has been addressed by the I AM presence of Jesus on earth. While man articulates himself as “not that” before the world, Jesus is “and that”, as he accepts everything from the hand of the Father and returns it all to him; there is no exception to the rule of love, there is no “but not that”. This fundamental presence, God-with-us, is an invitation to man to address himself as a religious-being, as one who thirsts for Being, by responding to God’s personal invitation to “follow me”. This invitation lies at the heart of a new creation, which addresses each person in his Now. The fallen transcendentals of space-and-time, upon which man’s myth-of-lost-being has been written, are redeemed in the sacrament of the present moment, which is God’s incarnating transcendental. Man’s “not that”, which defined his reactionary freedom-to-choose and his lost-state before the world, is now transformed into an “and that”, through a reverse flow of life, where he gives up no-thing in particular except everything, as love demands to make all things new. This sacrament does not belong to Religion but to the World, wherever man finds himself, in the I-and-Thou of his present moment; it is God’s Kingdom on earth. This invitation is to let go in total trust and absolute surrender, to the will of the Father, as manifested in each moment, where God writes the new myth with man’s incarnate-being. This gives us an understanding of grace and nature, which overcomes the duality that results from wrongly attributing to religion a positivism it doesn’t have. It retains the “wholly other” nature of grace, while touching man in every aspect of his life. It is an omnipresence at the heart of all man’s experiences but it is not determined by them. It performs the incarnating miracle, of transforming all non-being experience to being, through each person’s fiat, which is the true fruit of Christ’s redemptive work, quenching God’s insatiable thirst to incarnate his love in man. God has come to make his home with man, in his humble dwelling place, of the present moment, as happened with Mary in Nazareth. The new order for mankind is not a break through to a higher state of consciousness, as many anticipated, but a realization of man’s incarnate-being through the myth of God’s-love-for-the-world.

The increasing lack of interest shown by people today towards Religion, especially in the Western world, does not reflect a lack of interest in God or the spiritual life. Peoples hearts remain restless, they thirst to fulfil their deepest needs, to realize their humanity, but they don’t find that thirst quenched by the church’s religious practices, which seem aloof and irrelevant. Man seeks something which unifies and gives meaning to all aspects of his life, just as the first philosophers sort a unifying substance beneath the flux of life. In our busy world, the present moment is the “stumbling block” for those who are of-the-world, “but for those who are being saved, it is the power and presence of bgtyGod (1Cor 1:18)”, to use a Pauline expression. How hard it is for people to just be still and do nothing, to not grab a book or remote control, mobile phone or ipad, but simply to remain empty with nothing to entertain them. It can be experienced by their false self as terrifying, boring, annihilating or simply a waste of precious time. Modern man is in a continuous state of abstraction, or reaction, whether as an academic, living in the realm of ideas; a professional, carving out a successful career; a fragile person, taking refuge in his imagination, from the pressures of the world; or an ordinary person, going about their busy life, fraught with things to do and buy, while chasing mirages in his desert of lost-being. Yet it is at this point, when man feels oppressed by the demands of the modern world, like a cog in an impersonal, corporate machine, that he encounters the personal God who offers to take that burden and replace it with a new way being-in-the-world, “my yoke is easy and my burden is light (Matt 11:30)”. While the two orders compete for man’s soul, it is not a case of either-or, rather, it is the renewal of creation within the context in which man finds himself; in the words of the song, “it is not what you do, it is the way that you do it”.

The Articulated and Unarticulated Faces of Christianity

CHAPTER 23

If man could live the Sacrament of the present moment perfectly, he would have no need of Religion, as he would be “full of grace”, like Mary, the Mother of God, whom I will return to later. Man’s calling to incarnate himself pertains to the immediacy of his present moment, it does not belong to an abstraction in space-time, to a particular time or place, otherwise it would make a nonsense of “incarnation”, which necessarily addresses the self-mind-body-will, which only subsists in the present moment. However, man cannot avail himself of this incarnating transcendental because of his sin, in other words, because he fails to have the perfect trust and surrender, which the new order demands. Man avoids the nakedness and kenosis that this truly religious act demands; his life is full of projections, masks, excuses, ulterior motives and self-love. This is even evident in religion, where God is put in a box, and worshipped from a safe distance, with mind, lips and warm sentiments of holiness but not with man’s life. God is anthropomorphised, a projection of the human mind, who gives man what he wants, and only asks for things, in return, but not everything. Because of man’s inability to drink from the pure living water of the present moment, he needs other divine sources to nourish him on his journey through space-time towards the present moment, which is imagesPTUBHZPLhis final resting place. This means that within the context of space-time, and his myth-search-for-being, man needs divine watering-holes, like oases in the desert. These holes provide grace in “digestible” form like a mother who breast feeds her baby, until the baby is ready to eat solid foods. This food, while being divine, manifests itself in object relations in order for it to be digestible; it must be in the world but not of the world, belonging to both myths, as Jesus did. This is where the Church provides the sacraments, which are “an outward sign of an inward grace”. They are tangible to the senses, but the reality in them transcends the senses, and must be received in faith.

These sacraments are an essential part of man’s sojourn in this life, just as the oases in the desert are essential, if man is to survive crossing the desert. The sacraments of the Church are articulations into space-time of God’s love for his people, just as the Law was for the Israelites. However, the need for such articulations also reveals man’s “hardness of heart”, that he lives without knowing true love. Religion, the Law and the institutional sacraments would not be necessary if man was already incarnate-being, as he would then already be living in the sacrament of the present moment. His life would be full of grace, as the new ethical man and his whole life would be a liturgy of praise and thanksgiving to God. Man goes to Church to give praise and thanksgiving to God, and to receive the divine nourishment from the sacraments, but this is always done against the backdrop of man’s ongoing state of original sin, which has prevented him from fulfilling the one truly religious act of giving his fiat in every moment. In other words, the very fact that he has to articulate a series of religious acts by going to Church, on a particular day to a particular place, a sojourn in space-time, is a reminder of his ongoing exile in this life. He has not yet reached the state of unarticulated worship, as incarnate-being, when he will worship God in “spirit and truth”. This state of unrighteousness and unworthiness, which gives rise to the need for religion and the sacraments is appropriately articulated at the beginning of the Mass, when the congregation first confess their sin before God, their unworthiness to be before him to celebrate his liturgy. However, there is an important point to take on board here, if Christianity is not going to misunderstand its role, and attribute a positivism to itself, which reduces it to mere religion and Revelation to non-being.

The aforementioned articulations of Christianity are born out of the unarticulated reality which is already in the world through Jesus’ work of redemption and it necessarily feeds back into that unarticulated reality, which is the alpha and omega point of God’s kingdom on earth. In other words, all the articulated sacraments of the Church have their source and end in the unarticulated sacrament of the present moment, made possible through the incarnating transcendental, which “the word made flesh” has realised on earth. To deny this would be to claim that the kingdom of God belongs to the Church, and the rest of the world must be converted to Christianity in order to enter God’s kingdom. This would create a stark dualism between the sacred and secular, between grace and nature, something Jesus has overcome. It would create another religion, which is triumphalistic, over all other religions, and worst of all, God and his Good News would become a possession of the Church, which reduces humans to servile creatures, who must simple “pray, pay and obey”. Man would come with cap in hand, to get his hand-out of grace from the high priests of the one true religion, like people standing in a dole queue, waiting for their weekly pay cheque. This understanding of God’s kingdom has resulted in missionary activity throughout the world, which perceives all other forms of cultural and religious expression, as uncivilised, ignorant, and in need of saving, resulting in the worst excesses of colonialism. The content of other cultures is adjudged to be nothing but lies and superstition, from which they must be cleansed if they are to be welcomed into the one true civilisation, culture and religion of Christendom, which is equated to God’s kingdom. Such an interpretation of God’s kingdom on earth, his plan of salvation and the proclamation of the Good News, has caused untold violence in the world, not to mention the psychological damage caused by alienating man, for generations, from his own roots. Not surprisingly, this form of missionary activity has failed to bear good fruit, but has instead drawn great criticism from thinkers, and even greater scepticism about Christianity’s claims to a God of love.

What is essential here, is that the incarnating principle, or Reality, does not lie in the hands of religion and its priestly caste, but in the world with its people. God has come to encounter man in his journey, as Jesus did with the sick, blind, sinners and outcasts. Love has no boundaries, it makes itself present in an authentic omnipresence and omnipotence, which cannot be reduced to particular times and places. The sacrament of the present moment, the unarticulated sacrament, puts all the other institutional sacraments in their correct context. It does not undermine Christianity but clarifies its role and essence, by removing the false positivism which bad theology has attributed to the Church, which reduces Christianity to mere religion. The fact is that God’s kingdom is already here in the present moment if only one could access it, and the failure to access it is not a lack of presence on God’s part, for God is bhgfomnipresent on the earth, but rather it is man’s failure to make himself present. Man fails to let go in love, he continues to live in abstraction. This can only be overcome by grace and the work of the Holy Spirit, “with man it is impossible but with God all things are possible (Matt 19:26)”. For even though the sacrament of the present moment exists wherever a human is to be found, it is not a natural event, but a supernatural one, one which is totally dependent on the divine gift, just as all creation is held in existence by God at every moment. The articulated Church is truly at the service of the unarticulated sacrament, a truth that is already acknowledged in many forms of the Church’s liturgy, teachings and doctrines. However, this truth will always be expressed more in lip service than as a lived reality, as long as theology is rooted in object relations, where the will-to-power of religion will ensure that the articulated holds precedence.

The emphasis given to the articulated form of religion over the unarticulated, from which it comes and to which it serves, can be seen in the Church’s teaching that, “at the Mass the Church is most fully and visibly itself”. This may be true from the perspective of an articulation, but with the emphasis on the visible, and the gathering of the faithful under one roof, it distorts the essentially missionary nature of Christianity, which has been sent out to reap the harvest which is already in the world. The Church realises itself in the world, as an incarnated, living reality, as Christ-among-us, and not in a “holy huddle”. The pascal nature of the Mass and the incarnate nature of the Eucharist, is not something to be merely spectated or eaten, but to be lived and witnessed to, as the reality that all men hunger for. This is done when man shares in the pascal mystery as incarnate-being, witnessing to the Good News of the resurrection by his own new life in Christ. This is much more than attending a religious service on a Sunday, which, unfortunately, it becomes reduced to, when Christianity attributes to itself a positivism. It is important to clarify how the articulated and unarticulated aspects of Christianity interrelate and to see how they need each other if God’s plan of salvation is to be realised, and the Good News is to be taken seriously, by the bystanders and wayfarers.

The expression, “an outward sign of an inward grace”, which the Church uses to describe the nature of its sacraments expresses what is also fundamental to my own philosophy and theology, namely, the articulated and unarticulated faces of the world, or its two myths. The distinction and interaction between non-being and being, the articulated and unarticulated, was essential to understanding the nature of philosophies as myth-expressions-of-being, and so it must be with theology and Christianity. Any model of theology which reduces grace, and therefore the sacraments, to mere cause-effect, is going to result in a positivistic Christianity, which shares the same fundamental weakness as Kant’s philosophy. Kant couldn’t avoid attributing cause-effect to the realm of the noumena (being), when explaining its relationship to the realm of the phenomena (non-being), despite acknowledging that cause-effect belongs solely to the phenomena, which was a contradiction in his philosophy. The gap between phenomena and noumena cannot be bridged by cause-effect, they must by united by something else, and that something else is “presence”. The gap is an “absence” in man’s fallen-world, a lost-love, or lost-being, which Jesus has rectified through his perfect presence andbhgft love for the Father. That same presence and love, has been left in the world as an incarnating transcendental, which binds objects together, not by cause-effect, but by man’s fiat, where he free-falls into love, uniting all as one in a new trinitarian object relations. The work of the sacraments and all the articulations of Christianity must be interpreted in terms of “presence”, in the context of the sacrament of the present moment, if Christianity is to understand its nature and role. To fail to do that would result in either the noumena collapsing into the phenomena, or vice versa. The former reduces grace to cause-effect in the horizontal plane, which is evident when the emphasis is placed on personal feelings, experiences or good works, where man becomes too “familiar” with God, and he loses sight of his transcendence. Or, in the latter case, it results in the phenomena being elevated to some rarefied realm, where God remains in the heavens and does not speak to man’s heart, only to his intellect, through cold, detached truths, doctrines and impersonal ritualism.

This work of making “present” finds an analogy in the therapy of Carl Roger’s who believed that each patient contains within himself the power to be healed. It is simply the therapist’s job to facilitate that process, to help the patient to own what is already his, and to make present what is already there, but is now absent through the pain of the past. For the priest-laity, this inner presence is God’s kingdom on earth. The priest during the liturgy makes present to the faithful what is already present in the world, but is not accessible due to man’s dependence on object relations in space-time, that is, due to his ongoing exile in this life. Grace is made available in a “digestible form”, as the priest gives back, in space-time, what is already in the Now, namely, the kingdom of God. The priest unites the articulated myth-of-religion, the phenomena, to the unarticulated myth-of-Christ, the noumena; this is not a case of cause-effect, even though it appears so from the perspective of object relations. Causation cannot be found in the vertical dimension of Being, just as Hume showed that causation is not present in the mind or senses. This is important to note, otherwise man starts attributing to the priest a special power, like a magician, who can make things happen by his own power; this would set the priest apart in a way which was never intended, and which leads to many forms of superstitious belief within the context of object relations. On the contrary, although the priest has a special role, God given, which is to unite the two myths, in a unique way, in his own person, and in so doing make grace present through the sacraments, his priesthood is truly at the service of the common priesthood.

This last point is not so, in some false sense of humility, but it is true in its very essence, as the articulated priesthood is derived from the unarticulated priesthood of all the people and it only exists to serve that unarticulated priesthood, until man has finally become incarnate-being at the end of time, when it will no longer be necessary, as all people will be priests in Christ. The Church recognises that the laity have a common priesthood, but justice is not done to it because it is articulated within theology of object relations, which always leaves it subordinate to the ministerial priesthood, which is higher in the order of object relations, and the will-to-power. A theology of two myths within thebnkl context of the sacrament of the present moment brings out this important truth, which the Church teaches, but fails to realise. Each follower of Jesus is called to share in his pascal mystery in the present moment, through his fiat, to let go into a new incarnate-being. The pascal mystery and the incarnation are inherently tied together, and they belong in the sacrament of the present moment, which is where the priesthood belongs. At the Mass the layperson unites his offering and sacrifice, of all that constitutes his myth-search-for-being, in that moment, to that of the ministerial priest’s and all the faithful. This offering which constitutes his very being-in-the-world, throughout the week, has special significance at the Mass, as God has ordained it that he can find a watering hole, an oasis on his sojourn, to strengthen and nourish him. The priest at the altar is serving a grace which is already present in the world, but cannot be accessed due to man’s sin, like water under the desert floor which is only accessible at certain places. For this reason the ministerial priesthood, truly only serves the common priesthood, a priesthood that defines man’s fundamental freedom, as one who is free to offer his sacrifice in each moment, “to be or not to be”.

The Nature of the Church as Mother

CHAPTER 24

This theology of two myths also throws light on the role of Scripture and Tradition within Christianity. Theologies of object relations have seen Scripture and Tradition as two “sources” of Revelation, which is an interpretation that is heading for trouble, as it effectively sees two objects containing another object, which brings us back to the problem of putting new wine in old wine skins. This interpretation of Scripture and Tradition leads to futile debates such as, which of the two contains the most Revelation, or does one contain a part of Revelation which the other doesn’t possess. Such debates highlight the abstracted approach to Revelation within Christianity, which takes it out of the context of noumena and reduces it to mere phenomena. I would suggest that rather than perceiving Scripture and Tradition as two sources of Revelation, they are understood as two divine transcendentals in the new order. Just as Kant’s philosophy was revolutionary in claiming that the philosophical transcendentals do not have an objective reality, but are the parameters within which man can experience his world, so too, Scripture and Tradition do not contain Revelation, in some sort of objectified form, but are the form by which Revelation incarnates itself as a living reality in man as incarnate-being. In other words, where Kant’s transcendentals set the limits to man’s experience of his exile, which prevent him from crossing into Being, the divine transcendentals of Scripture-Tradition also set limits, but they are the limits of where religion ends and man rises to new life in Christ. They are the gateway into Being, which can only be crossed by incarnate-being, by man who is invited to the wedding feast of Being. Both sets of transcendentals provide the parchment, or stage, upon which their respective myths are written, or acted out, but neither set should be mistaken for the myth itself. The incarnate-being of the new reality does not lie within the trappings of religion, it remains unarticulated, as a lived reality, where man encounters the living Christ, which is not about religion but about man as a religious-being.

The role of the Magisterium is to articulate that truth which pertains to Being, a Love-Truth which the saints already possess, as alter Christus. Historically the Magisterium has articulated its doctrines by listening to the faithful and stating explicitly what is already a lived reality; the written word has its context in man as incarnate-word. When the Church seeks to possess these doctrines, creeds, sacraments etc., and make them the very form of Revelation, it reduces grace to hand-outs and Truth to mere teaching and learning; subsequently, Revelation loses its power tobsh proclaim the Good News. This can be seen in the historical need to reform religious orders, when they lose the spirit of their founders. Christianity is not an end point in itself, it is not a place to make ones home, where one can live in a holy huddle; it is more like a departure lounge at an airport from which the anxious traveller steps out in faith, into new horizons, beyond the familiar territory of his own land. At the heart of Christianity is an apophatic spirit, or kenosis, by which the follower lets go of the truth to receive it back as a living reality, in the form of truth-love, incarnated in his very being; he lets go of Christianity to put on Christ. The failure of Christianity to realise its own nature has led people like Gandhi to say “give us your Christ, not your Christianity”, or Nietzsche, “Christians need to look more redeemed”. This is an indictment against the Church and its theology, which fails to understand its role in the work of salvation, resulting in too much Christianity and not enough Christ. The Church becomes like an over-protective parent, who tries to cater for the every need of its children, a disposition that denies its parental limitation, as a “not good enough” holding environment, which is an essential aspect of parenting. This “inadequacy” allows space for the child to experience the pain and negative emotions around its own, and its parents, failings, which in turn draws the child beyond the confines of his earthly family, towards that which can define him and hold him. His end point is nothing less than the family of God, in self-abandonment to the will of the Father, “For whoever does the will of my Father is my brother and sister and mother (Matt 12:50)”.

The articulation of that lived faith, by the Magisterium, is not essential to the nature of lived faith, and sometimes it is not appropriate, as the danger is that when it is articulated man loses sight of the lived reality, which is a “risk in love”, and opts for the safer option of an intellectual, armchair faith. It is the very temptation of Satan to reduce all to Mind, to bypass love, and to reduce religion to a battlefield for truth, which fosters a hatred and fear of neighbour. Bertrand Russell recognised that real Philosophy does not have to come up with answers, because that is not the essence of Philosophy, on the contrary, he observed that when Philosophy produced answers it resulted in a new discipline based on those answers, which was no longer Philosophy. Philosophy keeps the questions alive and ponders them in the heart, like a living organic reality, which can’t be reduced to the content of books and the mind. This was probably best exemplified in the life of Socrates, who could not come up with the answers to questions, but instead, he undermined other peoples answers, in a dialectical process, which revealed their ignorance and took them deeper into the reality of the question. The answers were fulfilled in his death, where he incarnated the definitions of Justice, Good and other virtues. All this can be said of man as a religious-being, who worships in “spirit and truth”. A Church which is shaped by the theology of object relations, becomes a “body made up of many parts”, which lacks the unifying “love at the heart of the church”, as St Therese described it, which is the blood that keeps it alive. The apophatic tradition of “the way of unknowing” is replaced by a theology of knowing the answers to questions that people don’t ask. The Church needs to be a living incarnate-being, which is not made up of a sum of parts, like a mosaic, or a skeleton, but is a resurrected body filled with the vertical breath of the Holy Spirit, in the immediacy of the present moment. This is the “shown” of Wittgenstein’s philosophy, which lies beyond the horizontal mappings and articulations of this world.

Like parents, the Church is not a perfect holding environment, there is a gap which it cannot fill, and any attempt to try and do so results in a positivism, which will stunt its children’s growth to holiness and to attaining their true I AM identity. It is not enough that those who attend Church should be mere spectators of a divine liturgy, for which they should manifest the correct emotions or disposition at the appropriate times- repentance, gratitude, attentiveness, praise, awe, faith etc. This would be contrived and it would deny their own myth for the sake of another myth which was being imposed upon them. They would be like children who repress their real feelings in order to please their parents, parents who pride themselves on being perfect, and having children who mirror that perfection. Such a bond would not be based on unconditional love as it lacks congruence and it denies the fundamental nature of those involved in it; it would be like saying the “right” things to the therapist to keep the therapist happy. When the parents accept their limitations then they can also accept the limitations of their children and they can begin to accept each other, as family, in a deeper reality, which includes the differences and failures that make up their personal myths. This is exemplified in the life of St Therese, who admitted that she was often distracted or fell asleep during prayers, but she did not let it bother her because she knew she could offer it all to her Father, because he accepted her as she was. As the priest articulates the myth-of-religion in the liturgy, which Jesus gave mankind at the Last Supper, the laity offer their own unarticulated myth, giving their fiat, as Mary would have done at the foot of the cross. This is a much more dynamic reality, which puts the gravitational centre of the new pascal-incarnating reality where it belongs, in the context of the sacrament of the present moment. Here it is truly omnipresent and omnipotent, as it embraces the totality of all that constitutes life, both for the individual, the community and the world. It is not a case of merely offering prayers and petitions to a Christ who is far off on his cross, a time for making special requests before the cut off, when the priest puts the Eucharist back in its box again.

Each of the faithful brings his story to Mass, he carries his distractions, burdens, negative feelings, preoccupationslkj and busy life. The Mass in which he participates is part of that story, so it is not for the faithful to pretend they feel something they don’t or to be something they are not during the service, as if they have to be on good behaviour until they go back to the real world. On the contrary, it is at the Mass when they should be most true to themselves, as they are before a God who is their Father, and who knows the silent concerns and needs of their heart. It is at the Mass when they unite their pascal mystery, in its totality, with Christ’s offering to the Father; it is where the two myths meet at the source and summit of the Christian life. This is a living faith, which is not exhausted by the mere recitation of a creed and the mechanical response to set prayers. It is “the groan too deep for words (Rom 8:26)”, which accompanies these formulaic expressions, but which is not restricted to them. The Spirit turns the heart of each person to the Father, who wants to hear the personal prayer of each of his children, which includes the “silent scream” of man’s turmoil, as one crucified with Christ. What is said by the priest in the liturgy is completed by what is left unsaid by each of the faithful, as only in that offering does the pascal mystery and incarnation reach its fulfilment; the faithful make up what is lacking in Christ’s. This bond between the articulated and unarticulated, between the personal and communal, finds expression in the Church’s teaching on conscience. Each person is taught to follow their personal conscience, however, they have the responsibility to ensure that their conscience is informed by the Church’s teachings. The conscience is only a smaller aspect of the larger picture, as it only pertains to the mind and consciousness. The larger context is the unarticulated reality of incarnate-being, from which the articulations of the Church flow and towards which it returns, to inform and form man as alter Christus. The ethical behaviour, as said before, ultimately transcends conscience, incarnating itself in the new ethical man, of which Abraham was the personification.

With this change in gravitational centre, the practice of religion is then no longer experienced as something added on, ertcreating a deep division between man’s life in the Church and his life in the world. It awakens man’s nature, as a religious-being, while making all aspects of daily life holy; this was something the Israelites were very conscious of, as their myriad of laws and traditions ensured that each part of their daily life was consecrated to God. The liturgy becomes man’s inner world writ large, as it reflects back to him what he already is and has, if only he had eyes to see. For example, the act of contrition at the beginning of the Mass articulates the fundamental truth that man’s nature is lost-being, and because of which he needs an articulated liturgy, as his life fails to be a liturgy of praise and thanksgiving. Likewise, the proclamation of the Gospel, in the liturgy, is an articulation of the unarticulated living Gospel,which is incarnate-man, revealing the living Christ to the world; the Gospels did not close with the Apostles, for all followers continue to participate in that Gospel. The sacrifice which the priest offers and the transubstantiation of the bread and wine, which are made sacramentally present, articulate and make possible the pascal mystery and incarnating process, which now defines man as alter Christus. When the Christian leaves the Church he has become another living Christ, religion has ended, or been fulfilled, in his resurrection to new life. The priest at the altar is truly last of all and servant of all, as his very vocation is articulated from the common priesthood, to nourish and nurture it, in a living reality; the one effectively ends and the other begins with the priest’s last words of the Mass, “go forth, the Mass has ended to love and serve the Lord”.

Positivism in Christianity

CHAPTER 25

A positivist approach to Christianity results in a sanitised pascal mystery and incarnating event, kept apart from the world, in the hands of an elite, ministerial priesthood, instead of it being a lived, “bloody” reality in the world, where the Church which is “bruised, hurting and dirty”, to quote Pope Francis. The problem is not so much that the Good News is not being proclaimed but that it is not being heard, and that does not mean with the senses, but with the heart. People will not be convinced if the word of God has its holding environment in the fallen-language, which comes from the lips of man, but only if it is realised in man himself as incarnate-word, in other words, when they meet the risen Christ, like St Thomas. For this to happen Theology, like Philosophy, must fall silent, and awake from its sleep, to become an incarnate-theology, which is an ongoing, living revelation, that proves that God is truly with us and that Christ is risen. Balthasar’s exhortation to “do theology on ones knees”, can be interpreted as: write about Being from the context of incarnate-being, so that the written and spoken word is always an articulation of who man is in Christ, where essence and existence are one, and not some abstract thinking, where God can be revealed by mere words and thoughts of the mind. This approach to a truly Christian theology correlates to Wittgenstein’s exhortation in philosophy, “about what one cannot speak, one must remain silent”.

The fruit of the Eucharist is not merely the hand-out of the body and blood of Christ, which reduces the laity to passive receivers of a grace that works by cause-effect; it follows logically, for many, that the more Masses they go to the more grace they have, and so the holier they are. Such a mentality does violence to God’s plan of salvation, and it leads to all forms of superstitious practices. The priest is seen to hold the keys to the kingdom of God, as he alone has access to grace, which he distributes to those who turn up and to those he adjudges not to be in serious sin. He is put on a pedestal, and set apart from the people, who inevitably project into him a mystic and power, like the many forms of idolatry practised down the ages, where objects of the world are worshipped as gods. As I said before, each person has their own priesthood, which is a living pascal-incarnate mystery that recreates them in their own unique I AM, a being-state, which the institutional sacraments and the ministerial priesthood serve. This does not mean that the ministerial priesthood does not have a divine power, and a unique role in making present God’s pascal mystery and incarnation, during the Mass, however, the institutional form is not an end in itself. To perceive it so, leaves the followers “infantile”, refusing to use the talents God has entrusted to them on earth, while they await a reward in heaven for being good “religious”. One only has to look to Jesus’ relationship with the Pharisees, to see that, not only is there no correlation between this mindset and God’s kingdom on earth, but the one is an obstacle to the other, and a force for evil.

The correct understanding of the Eucharist is already articulated by Jesus himself in the Our Father prayer which he gave to his Apostles; “your kingdom come, your will be done on earth…give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses; lead us not into temptation…”. The daily bread is the will of the Father as it manifests itself in every moment of the day to each of his children, something that is unique to that person, as God’s love is unique. This is theimagesTEVL05GB same bread from heaven that Jesus nourished himself on, as he went about his Father’s business on earth. It is as much an incarnating event for man, as it is pascal, for it requires a total letting go, so that the Father’s will be realised in the “givenness” of each moment. There are no abstractions to self-mind-will, which are forms of protection that man has learned to use to hide himself from pure “presence” and clothe his own naked “absence”. This is the incarnating transcendental, of God’s kingdom ,being realised in man, just where he stands on earth; the myth-of-being encounters him in his myth-search-for-being, on his road to Emmaus. Where the two myths meet, man is crucified in his fiat, he shares in the cross of Jesus. In that very place, God’s kingdom has come, as the Father’s will is done, through the daily bread of that moment and man’s fiat. Man “trespasses” when he seeks to do his own will, refusing to give his fiat, which results in him falling back into the self-mind-will world of object relations. It is here where he is exposed to the temptations of Satan, who will seek to lead him by a “better” way, which promises to fulfil man’s dreams of self-realisation; he teaches him to look after number one first, his own self interest, which is a never ending task and a bottomless pit of insatiable needs and wants.

Another important form of reductionism, to God’s plan of salvation, which results from a positivist approach to Christianity, relates to that of sin, justification and repentance. This book has already brought to light the cosmic impact of original sin, which has not merely caused man to go astray but defines his very nature as lost-being. The totality of man’s lost state is only matched by the totality of God’s forgiveness. No man is righteous before God, and there is nothing man can do to put himself right with God. Only Jesus can bridge that gap, which is why God sent his Son to save the world. Mind-will belong to man’s state of lost-being so they cannot solve his predicament, despite the appearance of progress being made in the realm of object relations. To reduce the alienation of man from God to mere acts of sin, to a list of transgressions, from which one must be forgiven by the power invested in a priest, is to fail to do justice to something which is fundamental to the Good News. It is to reduce the problem to the realm of object relations and cause-effect, which gives the priest the power to withhold God’s forgiveness and effectively bar people from receiving God’s grace; God’s forgiveness and grace have become conditional and dependent on his priests. This results in many church-goers having a hang-up about their sins, guilt and unworthiness before a fickle, judgemental God whose character is identified with that of the priest or some other fatherly figure in their life. Alternatively, they don’t make use of the sacrament of reconciliation, not because they believe they are without sin, but because they feel that public confession is unhelpful, even an obstacle, to dealing with their real personal difficulties and woundedness. The hand-outs of grace over many years simply don’t work, as they remain rooted in their habits of sin, which only leaves them more demoralised. When this sacrament doesn’t bear good fruit they leave to find healing elsewhere, within a context which is more “real”, and relevant to their life in the world. Wittgenstein, whose life was somewhat unusual, would later in life return to places he once lived and worked, to find the people he knew and ask them to forgive him for what he had done wrong. This was not commanded by religion but by his philosophical search for his true being-in-the-world.

The first point to make when considering sin and justification is that Christianity cannot bar people from God becauseimages054Q413X it does not possess God, nor can it make people worthy to receive God, as nobody is worthy to come before God except his Son, Jesus. God has forgiven all the sins of the world, and that remains a permanent feature of the new reality, which can never be revoked; it is not something man has to earn, it is God’s gift, which manifests his nature as love. To tinker with this Reality by introducing cause-effect, somewhere in the system, would do violence to Revelation and to God’s perfect holding environment, without which man cannot incarnate himself. However, this being said, the state of forgiveness is intrinsically united to the theme of presence-absence, which in turn is related to unconditional trust and surrender on the part of man. If man is to accept God’s unconditional forgiveness, something that will never be revoked, he must learn to also forgive unconditionally. In other words, God’s forgiveness is not merely a one off historical event, which lets man off the hook; it is a dynamism in the world, which calls man to a new way of being-in-the-world, and which is made possible by sharing in God’s nature. It calls man to love as God loves, which means to forgive unconditionally, which is an annihilating, purging process, as already outlined in this book. Man is freed of his self-love through an I-Thou incarnating process, where the I is formed from the Thou, which is “wholly other”.

Man’s failure to live in this unconditional state is understandable since “for man it is impossible but for God all things are possible(Mk 10:27)”. Man will continue to absent himself from God’s presence, but by grace he will keep trying and gradually perfect himself in love through his free-fall into the sacrament of the present moment. In other words, with Revelation, the focus changes from the old order of the law and sin, to that of man’s state of lost-being, an absence from the Father, like the prodigal son, whom the Father awaits his return. Man no longer needs to focus onimages7WOIHYZC individual sins, and his futile attempt to overcome them with mind-will, but on offering his myth-picture of non-being, letting go in love, into the incarnating reality of each moment, as St Therese taught in her “little way” of confidence before the Father. The issue is not about trying harder but about trusting more; it is not about quantity but quality; it is not about cause-effect but about presence; it is not about focusing on the parts but on the totality. It is to allow the parts to have their context in man’s total unworthiness as lost-being, and to leave that context with the Father, who accepts all, redeems all and heals all unconditionally, in a unity-of-being. It is the difference between standing before a tyrannical God who has a long list of man’s wrongs in his hand, and falling into the arms of a loving Father, when a child has been naughty. This latter is not a cosy, simple option, where God has gone soft on mankind. St Therese said at the end of her life that she didn’t know she would have to suffer so much to be a saint. When once somebody presented a basket of goods to Therese, and asked her to choose something from the basket, Therese said “I choose all”. The new way to the Father is not about changing things, but about receiving everything, which in turn means letting go of everything, for there is no common ground between the old and the new.

Because of man’s failure to live in the sacrament of the present moment, which means accepting God’s unconditional forgiveness by forgiving unconditionally, this unarticulated reality is projected into the divine transcendentals of Scripture-Tradition, and articulated as a sacrament of reconciliation. The pure grace is again made “digestible”, by putting it into object-relation form, where the Christian is fed from the breast of his Mother, the Church. However, this can easily be misunderstood, as with the Eucharist, if it is reduced to a positivism, which prevents people from accessing and experiencing God’s unconditional forgiveness and love. It becomes conditional, in the hands of the priest, who claims the divine power for himself, and sins are removed one by one through cause-effect, like applying an ointment to a wound. There is a subtle but real difference here, which I think “presence”, in place of “cause-effect”, helps to clarify. The truth is that the priest does not forgive the penitent his sins, but he allows the penitent to access the forgiveness of God which is already a reality in the world, but which he fails to access due to his inability to forgive himself and others unconditionally. In other words, it is not a matter of cause-effect, with the priest giving a hand-out of grace, from his store of graces, which God has entrusted to him as priest. As with the Eucharist, it is a case of making present what already is, so the vertical reveals itself in the words and acts of the priest, which are described as “an outward sign of an inward grace”. Again this brings home the fact that the priest is truly at the service of the lay person in his own priesthood, as he can only articulate what is unarticulated in the life of that penitent, thus enabling him to live out his own priesthood, where he can let go unconditionally, accepting all from the hand of God and forgiving unconditionally the Thou, which makes up the other half of his being-in-the-world.

One might argue why is there a need for a sacrament of reconciliation if God has already forgiven unconditionally, isn’t it enough to simply ask God to forgive sins personally. This argument sounds very plausible, but it only reflects a failure to understand the nature of things. Put simply, man is not an I, his true nature is an incarnate I-Thou, and forgiveness is not merely about acts of wrong doing, but about a failure “to be”, or to love, a failure to realise oneself as an incarnate I-Thou. This failure cannot be properly or fully realised by some interior act of contrition, because it is a sin against love, which means against God and neighbour in the I-Spirit-Thou. This can only be addressed in anbhui “incarnating” holding environment, an I-Spirit-Thou situation, which is what takes place in confession. This does not mean that God does not have the power to forgive man when he asks him, as he has already forgiven man unconditionally, even before he asks him. The problem lies in the nature of forgiveness as an incarnating event, which realises man as fully human and fully alive. Forgiveness cannot be reduced to mere thoughts and feelings, which is another way of saying, sin is not personal but communal, which may explain why Wittgenstein felt the need to go and find the people he hurt and to ask for forgiveness face-to-face. The penitent who confesses may feel naked, embarrassed, vulnerable before the priest, but this is part of the incarnating process, which he would not experience if he was to make a private confession in his inner conscience. However, what is important is that the penitent does not stop at those feelings or at the reflections of the priest, as these belong to the myth-of-non-being. To focus on these negative feelings or individual sins is to attribute a reality to them and a positivism to mere religion. The incarnating process is only complete if the penitent lets go of the myth-picture in that moment, with all that constitutes it, including his own sins and that of religion itself, falling from the phenomena, which keeps him absent from God, into the noumena of God’s presence and love. Even though religion is necessary, he does not allow religion to get in the way, because something greater is here.

This free-fall is essential to the sacrament of reconciliation, just as the offering of ones myth is essential to the nature of the Eucharist. Unfortunately, the penitent becomes so focused on those negative feelings and the sense of nakedness and guilt, as if he should apologise to the priest for being there, that he forgets to let go and accept the reality of unconditional forgiveness, which is already present in the world and is being made present personally in that moment through the words of the priest. The priest is only an instrument in this event, the one who provides the incarnating Thou though which the Holy Spirit works; he is not there as a judge, to deliberate as to whether the penitent is innocent or guilty and to pass sentence, but unfortunately, this is how it is so often perceived by both the priest and the penitent, because of the sin of positivism in the Church. It is also easy to overlook this incarnating free-fall, into unconditional forgiveness, because it is only known by the “non-experience” of faith, while the penitent squirms under the “experience” of guilty feelings and the watchful, juridical eye of the priest. The penitent can avoid taking personal responsibility for his true conversion of heart, by attributing the reality to the priest, where repentance amounts to merely recounting a list of sins, which the priest has the power to forgive. A similar thing happens in therapy when a patient puts up resistance to healing by attributing the power and responsibility for healing to the therapist in order to avoid taking responsibility for their own life, a defence mechanism, which made them ill in the first place. The fundamental choice for life lies with each person, both in overcoming woundedness and fallenness; it is not in the hands of a therapist or a priest. God has made this possible by giving each person back their fiat, which is their freedom “to be or not to be”; to deny this responsibility is to live in “bad faith”, to use a sartrean term. Just as there are people who love therapy but don’t want to be healed, so too there are Christians who love Christianity but don’t want to know Christ; they prefer a distant Old Testament God, as the God of Love asks too much. It is like a married couple who, rather than giving in to a true love, which dissolves the boundaries of their egos, uniting them as one in every aspect of their lives, they settle for token expressions of love, interchanging object relations, while retaining their own egos and independent lives, which is not a manifestation of divine love, but mere human love.

One final consideration I want to make in this chapter on the effects of positivism on religion, is that of the use, or misuse, of the Bible. The Bible is often approached as a book from which knowledge of God must be abstracted, it is the domain of scholars who bring their knowledge and skills to bear in unearthing the historical Jesus and the truths of Revelation. Postmodernism is right to reject man’s attempt to recover history with mind-will, as there is no objective reality to be retrieved, all is in flux and necessarily subject-based. This focus on history and man’s attempt to retrieve lost treasures and truths, including Psychoanalysis’ retrieval of the unconscious, is a myth-expression ofnbjh man’s need to get back to his lost-reality. However, in Jesus, the kingdom of God has come, time has been redeemed, and reality is made present in the myth-of-salvation. This may explain why the historical Jesus is so elusive, hidden in the silence of Nazareth or beneath the layers of the post-resurrection faith. Scholars have as much chance of finding the historical Jesus as philosophers have in finding the answers to their most fundamental questions; they are both elusive for the same reason, namely, the failure to understand the nature of their quest. The purpose of the Gospels is not only to share with man this historical event which closed history and its myths, but to also make present the new myth, which is not contained in a book, but is an incarnate reality in a living book-of-life. The Gospel story is ongoing and each person is called, like the Apostles, in their myth-of-non-being, to leave all and “follow”, in the myth-of-being.

The Biblical scholar Bultmann was mistaken in his attempt to “demythologize” the Gospels, and make them relevant for today, as if man lives in reality now, and the Bible needs to be applied to that reality if it is to say anything of worth. This interpretation of the use the Bible would reduce it to merely a book of wise sayings and lessons, which can help to guide man in life, like an elderly parent or grandparent who can share with the younger generation their insights about life. In this context the modern world becomes the measure of reality and the Gospels must fit into that reality if they are going to be accepted; God’s ways are reduced to man’s ways. On the contrary, man’s life is Myth, there is no reality in it, which is the great deception of the world he lives in. The Bible recounts another myth, which interprets man’s myth and makes it possible for him to wake from sleep into reality. There is no place for armchair supporters of the Bible, it is not enough to read a book on free-fall while standing at the plane door; the instructions are so simple that even a child can understand them, “Don’t look, jump”. The Bible is a “transitional object”, which tells the myth of why it is now possible to live in total trust and surrender; it gives the grounds for a new way of being-in-the-world. It invites people to “follow”, to let go, through their fiat, in living faith, and participate in the story as a living reality. If the Christian doesn’t let go in love, to live in this radically new way, then the Bible becomes counterproductive. Instead of realising man as incarnate-being, it empowers his false self to claim a subtly disguised self-righteousness through the mind-will’s possession of the “correct” interpretation of the Bible. This can be seen even in therapies, where after prolonged years of therapy, a patient becomes dependent on his therapist, where, despite showing increased self-knowledge and fervently proclaiming the healing powers of therapy, the patient has not made real progress in personal development. His new found ability to articulate his problems takes the place of actually being free of them, as an unarticulated living reality.

The Bible unfortunately, has a long history of being abused and used by those who prefer a “safe-faith” in the Word of God, which may manifest itself in scholarly thinking, fundamental Bible-bashing, or even as a social and political manifesto for revolutionary change in the war against injustice and poverty. The latter correctly seek to hear what theimagesJ2VNX9B7 Scriptures have to say within the context of the world they find themselves in, especially as it is quite evident that Jesus had a “preference for the poor”. However, this form of “situation ethics”, ends up abusing and misinterpreting the Bible, which is seen as a manual-object, to tell people how to behave in the context of object relations, which means it can only address man as a revolutionary in the horizontal plane. I have already addressed the correct interpretation of “situation ethics” earlier in the book, where the only true revolution was that of man as incarnate-being. It is not a question of man putting the Bible in the context of the world he lives in, as Bultmann would do, rather, he must use the Bible as a transitional object, to enable him to put himself in the context of the world he lives in, as a living Christ. This begins with a total abandonment to the present moment, which enables man to be divinely “present” to the moment, as a living incarnate totality, and not as an abstracted, reactionary part-object. From this context, the Bible has done its job, as an historical book, for now it has become a living Gospel, in the person who has incarnated himself into the present moment. This person will now act out of true love, to call his neighbour to conversion, and to face up to injustices and evil, even if it means losing his life in the process.

The Bible is a “magical” book, or living miracle, for it is the only book, which as man reads it, he is invited to accept the room he is now sitting in and the world around him, as an extension of that story, with him as an Apostle in an ongoing Gospel; he simply gives his fiat, accepting all from the hand of God, and responding in the immediacy of love. In this sense the Bible has its context in the present moment, in man as incarnate-word, speaking to the heart of the person who reads it. Even though scholars may have an interest in the historical aspects of the Bible, making use of modern sciences to try and unearth the context in which the Bible was originally written, this is cosmetic and secondary to the true context and purpose of the Bible. To fail to see this confines the Bible, its interpretation and role in God’s plan of salvation, to the hands of scholars, just as grace was confined to the hands of the priests. The Scribes and scholars of the Holy Scriptures in Jesus’ time failed to recognise Jesus as the Messiah, because they interpreted the Scriptures in the context of object relations. However, despite not recognising Jesus in those Scriptures, Jesus fulfilled the Scriptures perfectly, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing (Lk 4:21)”. The reason for this is that Jesus lived out of his Incarnate-Word, which is the correct context for all Holy Scriptures. This was the manner in which the Gospel writers operated too, as they did not obsess about historical accuracy, about getting down everything Jesus actually said and did; they did not attribute a positivism to history as we do today. The reality does not exist in history but in incarnate-being, and it is from that context that they wrote and interpreted Jesus’ life, as an ongoing, living Gospel. To attempt to remove the interpretation of the faith community, so as to get back to an historical Jesus, is to miss the point, as if an original piece of work has been tainted by layers of additional work by amateurs, which needs to be removed to bring out the lost genius of the original painter. It is the same today for all those who ponder the Scriptures in their heart. By enabling the Scriptures to speak to their heart, not mind, and subsequently, to realise it in their life through a living faith, not an intellectual faith, they are “fulfilling” the Scriptures in their lives. They are doing what Bultmann was trying to do by demythologising the Bible; they are realising the myth-of-being in their lives, where the fulfilment of Scripture is man as incarnate-word.

Christianity: A Religion of Two-Myths

CHAPTER 26

This responsibility of man, to participate in the new reality, by letting go of his myth-of-non-being to receive the myth-of-Christ, which St Paul described as “putting on Christ”, can be seen in some Gospel stories. I have already mentioned at some length, the encounter between the Samaritan woman and Jesus at the well, so I won’t elaborate further on that here. Mary Magdalene also had her personal myth laid-bare alongside her myth-of-religion, like the Samaritan woman; she was being condemned to death by Jewish law for being caught in adultery. However, Jesus intervened and offered a new myth, present in himself, which disarmed the Pharisees, revealing their myth as non-being, as they had neither the power to condemn nor the power to set free. Life and death have their true context in the I-Thou of love, as mentioned before, in an earlier chapter of that name. Jesus has taken death out of the hands of the Law and put it in the context of Love, where Mary Magdalene discovers true life, and enters the new myth. A further example, is the encounter between the two disciples on the road to Emmaus and the risen Jesus. As they walked along they shared with him their myth, both personal and religious, which included their disappointment, sadness and confusion over what has happened to their Messiah. Jesus, in turn, shared with them his own myth, as he interpreted the Scriptures. However, it was only in the breaking of the bread, later in the day, that their eyes were opened to know who Jesus was. Their myth is taken up into Jesus’ myth, only when Jesus is taken from their sight, beyond the mind-senses, when their pascal mystery is united with his in the Eucharist.

In these three Gospel stories, the people involved have had to let go of their myth, which included both their personal and religious life, in order to be taken up into the new myth. It is not a simple case of coming to a better understanding of their past, or making reparation for past sins, or making changes to their religious beliefs. A “wholly other” order is present, which transcends any interpretation of the past in terms of object relations; it collapses the past and future into the present moment. The “correct” interpretation is Jesus himself, who awakens man from his dream world of consciousness to a new incarnate reality. Unless man allows this vertical interpretation to take hold of his life, he remains like the Samaritan woman, thirsting for living water, or like Mary Magdalene, living under thevgt condemnation of religious laws, or like the disciples, on the road to Emmaus knowing only the disappointment of unrealised religious expectations. I will consider now a concrete, contemporary example, which embraces the personal and religious myth in peoples lives, to make my point about the danger of being trapped by the positivism of religion, instead of living in the light of the true freedom, which comes in the Resurrection. According to Catholic Church law a person who is divorced and remarried is not allowed to receive communion if the first marriage has not been annulled by the Church. This seems very harsh in cases where the second marriage is very happy and faithful, when the first marriage was not; it is even more so when one considers that the Eucharist, for a Catholic, is the “source and summit of the Christian life”. Like Mary Magdalene, the “adulterer” seems condemned to an unpardonable exile because of her sin. Such sensitive pastoral issues draw us again to the importance of a theology which can bring together the apparent contradiction between a religion which condemns people in their sin and a God who forgives unconditionally. I want to attempt an interpretation here, based my own philosophy and theology, which will seek to make sense of the two faces of Christianity.

Christianity, like any religion, has a mandate to uphold laws which identify sin and sinful ways of living, where sin is a transgression against the one true commandment: love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and strength and love your neighbour as yourself. The Law is never going to be a “good enough” holding environment, as it cannot recover the lost I-Thou love. It addresses man in his exile as one who bears a “hardened” heart, that is, a heart without true love, which is why the law is articulated through the mind. Whatever religion says or does to express God’s reality before man, there will always remain the gap, as its articulations only offer a present-to, of man-and-God, or man-and-neighbour. This predicament has already been exemplified in the account of divorce, which I spoke about before, when Moses gave his people permission to divorce under certain circumstances, such as adultery. However, Jesus pointed out that in the beginning it was not so, as what God had put together nobody could pull apart; in the beginning there were no exceptions because there was perfect love. Jesus is not simply cracking the whip and getting stricter than Moses, telling people to get back to the way things were at the beginning, which is how, rigid, unsympathetic, “traditionalists” might want to interpret it. Jesus is revealing the Good News, that the love which was lost is now present. God will never abandon his people again, his love is everlasting and his covenant will not be revoked no matter how sinful his people become, “If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is (2Tim 2:13)”. In terms of myths, this means that no matter how bad a person’s myth gets, no matter how unfaithful their partner becomes to them, God’s love remains true. God will work to the good in all circumstances, seeking to sanctify a person in all circumstances, if they remain true to him. This is not a recipe for being merely passive in the face of domestic violence etc., rather, it is the power that one draws on to be truly loving and make the right, courageous decisions in the face of hate and adversity. It is the hope against hope, it is the authentic love which can convert the most callous sinners, and it is the force which prevents one from being drawn into the cycle of violence through a reactionary life-choice.

Only God can bridge the gap, a gap which is present in all human lives, relationships and religions; all these belong to the myth-of-non-being and only God can offer something “wholly other”. Where a spouse fails to love, and becomes unfaithful, God does not fail to love and remains faithful. Where religion fails to hold man because it reaches its limits as a holding environment, God does not fail, as his embrace has no limits. Where difficulties that have their roots in the past, present or future, threaten to engulf, destroy or simply determine man’s life, God can embrace it, use it and transcend it. Neither man, religion, nor the world can do what only God can do; “for I am convinced that neither death, nor life nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height,bhgf nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 8:38)”. When a man and woman leave their families to be joined in marriage, they are leaving “not good enough” holding environments, to be joined in another “not good enough” holding environment. Human love is never good enough, and the myth-of-non-being, is past on from one family and generation to the next. However, what is impossible to man is possible to God and has been made possible in Jesus. The marrying couple join together “for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness or in health… until death do us part”. God’s unbreakable bond, which he has now made with mankind, and which is now present in the world, is made present again in the marriage vows, where God promises to make their incarnate I-Thou, unity-of-being, the ground of their sanctification. This vertical myth-of-being plunges down like a stack into their own I-and-Thou myth-of-non-being, a myth that will remain with them as long as they are in exile. The two myths subsist together, like a crucifix, upon which they have sacrificed themselves, in love, for one another, which is a manifestation of Jesus’ love for the Father, and the Father’s love for mankind. In each moment the couple strive to surrender, in total trust and perfect love to the other, through grace, so that they live in the light of the vertical myth, choosing “to be” over “not to be”.

This myth-of-being, where two people live as one, in an incarnate I-Thou bond, is not an “ideal”, for idealism applies to the mind of ideas and object relations, which can never be attained, so people settle for less. Rather, it is a manifestation of a Reality, which is now present on earth, and which demands not only great sacrifice and effort, but most importantly, the grace of divine love, to make it possible. If this “ideal” was to be compromised then one would have to say that God was unrealistic in his expectations, or that God needs to “get real”. The truth is that there is no compromise in God’s love, and so there are no other standards that can take its place, which is what the Church has to uphold in its teachings and laws; to do otherwise would make a nonsense out of Revelation. It behoves the Church to maintain the indissolubility of the marriage in its laws, because it is a law of God not man, it expresses a divine reality and is not a mere human convention, which can change with the times. To change the laws of marriage to suit peoples tastes or their changes in life circumstances would deny God’s everlasting and incarnating love, which is present in their I-Thou bond. Unfortunately, in our day, the attitude towards marriage is often very different, reflecting the culture of selfism. People choose a partner for what they can get out of them, and they enter the marriage with the intention that if it doesn’t suit them they will move on to find love elsewhere. It is all done in the name of freedom and personal happiness, but they fail to realise that neither of these goals can be truly accomplished in selfism. True love can only be attained through a pascal mystery which annihilates selfism, which is evidenced in cases where marriages have persevered through the ups and downs of life, and where the couple have stuck at it, not from fear of losing something, or from external pressures, but because they see that there is something deeper, beyond their own selfish wants and needs.

It is worth considering here, more carefully, what is going on when the Church marries two people. Firstly, there is the myth-of-religion, which is articulated in the rite, which includes the gathering of the families, the professing of the vows and the exchange of the rings. There is also present the myth-of-being, the unarticulated grace, which makes present God’s unconditional, everlasting love, which is incarnated in the joining of the two people as one, on that day. The words of the priest, as alter christus, makes present this reality, which is in the world, a bond between God and man that will never be broken, and which is particularised in this rite, between these two people who want their loveimages6Y59T642 to be perfected in God’s love. If the myth-of-religion was all that was present, then the whole celebration would be no more than a myth-expression of man’s-search-for-being, which is what all personal myths and religious myths are, in essence. In other words, it would be an expression of man’s search for true love, and when they don’t find it, their separation would be part of that same ongoing myth, as it would express the lack of true love found, and the need to continue the search; it would just be another chapter of their personal myth, which the Church could incorporate into its own myth-of-religion, by having laws which allow for this ongoing search. However, as said before, in Christianity there are two myths present, it is not merely about religion. There is a vertical dimension, a truly divine act, whereby the two truly become one, as a new I-Thou creation, which is how it was in the beginning, as Jesus said. Their marriage is the incarnate ground for their sanctification if they so choose; the success of the marriage may be dependent on the two spouses being true to their commitment, but the marriage as a ground of sanctification is not dependent on them, as it was made holy by God.

It is God who bridges the gap in the marriage service, a gap that cannot be bridged by the myth-of-the-family nor the myth-of-religion, for none of them have a “good enough” holding environment. The families have played their role in raising their children, which has included the myth-of-religion, as they have been shaped by their faith. All of this constitutes their past life, which is the myth they bring into the next stage of their life, as a newly married couple. Those myths will continue, as the families will support them and they will continue to practice their faith and bring their children up in the faith. All of this is a complex network of myths-of-non-being, as they belong in this world, in the context of object relations, played out in space-time. However, it also has its context within the myth-of-being, which confronts them in each moment, with the fundamental freedom “to be or not to be”, which is to live like Martha’s sister, Mary, who chose the better half. In other words, there faithfulness to each other and their growing in love, is rooted in the vertical, where they are faithful to God who is the ground of their marriage vows. Their unfaithfulness to each other will always begin in their unfaithfulness to God, when they choose “not to be”, and to go their own way, apart from God, which is a fall into self-love. This is why even if “anyone looks at a woman lustfully he has already committed adultery in his heart (Matt 5:28)”. When the Id is taken out of the ground of incarnate-being, in their I-Thou bond, and given over to the mind-senses, then infidelity has already occurred, as man has turned away from God, from the myth-of-being to the myth-of-non-being, from the vertical of incarnate-being, to the horizontal of object relations.

If the marriage fails two things happen. The first, is that it gets absorbed back into the myth-expression of man’s-search-for-being, into the eternal recurrence of self-love. It is another chapter in the complex network of myths, which brought them to the altar in the first place, and which includes the myth-of-family and the myth-of-religion. This will be “acted out” within these myths, in multifarious forms, such as, support, sympathy, correction, counselling, division etc.; in the latter it will include confronting the teachings of the Church on the matter of divorce, remarriage, receiving the sacraments etc. All of these things are necessary, as part of man’s sojourn in exile, but theyvgtr all belong in the same horizontal plane, as myths-of-non-being; they all contribute to it and extend the story of man’s-search-for-being. Maybe it can be summed up in the common advice people share in times of difficulty, “you need to get on with your life… you need to forgive yourself”. However, the second point to make about the failed marriage, is that it adds nothing to the myth-of-being, which remains the same, as it lies outside of religion and all the dramas of the myths-of-non-being. The gap remains closed by God’s everlasting love, by his unconditional forgiveness. God is not going to get drawn into all the emotional turmoil of a marriage breakdown, and whose to blame etc., not because he doesn’t care, but because his love is eternal and never changes, he is always there for man no matter what the story line is; all story lines belong to the space-time and God belongs to the present, for God is Presence. We see this in the father of the prodigal son, who did not have a list of questions to ask him: Where have you been these years? Where’s the money? What did you spend it on? Why have you come back? etc. The brother of the prodigal son would not have been so forgiving, as he would have confronted the wayward brother’s myth with the myth-of-religion; he would have been held accountable and made to pay back what he owed. The elder son and the father belong to different orders of myth, like the articulated and unarticulated faces of Christianity; they each deal with the problem differently.

This is where it is important to separate Christ from Christianity, and God from Religion. God’s love is unconditional, like the father’s, but the Church’s love is conditional, like the elder son’s. The Church, as a religion, is made up of object relations, its myth is of non-being, it cannot close the gap. It remains a “not good enough” holding environment, like the parents and family of those whose marriage failed, and this is how the divorced person can experience it. It was not religion which made the two become one, it was God. The Church only made present, in the rite of marriage, that reality, which already exists in the world, but it doesn’t possess it as a power of its own. Likewise, the Church does not have the power to rewrite the books, so that the one can become two again. The Church has its limits, and those limits include only making present to the world the reality which is already in the world, where its role is as a servant to that reality. Similarly, a therapist has his limits in the process of healing, and if those limits are not respected, he can do more damage than good for his patient. If the Church does not recognise its limits as an articulated religion, it will try to bridge the gap, which only Christ can bridge, which in turn will result in it pandering to popular opinion, or seeking to be inclusive of everyone, so as not to be seen to be judgemental, in the name of unconditional love. This would not be a proclamation of the Good News, as it fails the test of congruence, which is a necessary condition of unconditional love. It would be like parents affirming everything their child does, regardless of what he does or who he hurts; such an affirmation would be insincere and dishonest, and would ultimately harm the child’s development not to mention the community they live in.

However, while the Church has its role and limits as a religion, God does not. Whilst the broken marriage will be absorbed in the great myth-expression of man’s-search-for-being in this life, which includes the complex myths family life and religion, God’s everlasting love remains unchanged, as the permanence of Being in the flux of non-being. This means that whatever the circumstances of this complex network of myths-of-non-being, which appears before him, the myth-of-being embraces it, inviting man to let go and to allow God to work to the good in it. God’s perfect holding environment remains true to that person, despite all the upheaval, turmoil, heartache and disappointment; it transcends the response of family and religion. It does not follow that the Church shouldimagesJOKV5LIK necessarily give a person another chance, for it is not for the Church to do that, as the Church is limited in what it can offer. To give another chance implies a repetition, but repetitions only apply to object relations and the laws of the mind-world. In God, and the law of love, there is no repetition, as life is always new, you can’t go backwards or forwards, as these are abstractions. What follows is important. God has made the present moment the ultimate ground of incarnating being, so the divorced person is not obliged to go back and recover the shattered pieces of a broken marriage if she wants to resurrect the ground of incarnate-being, as if it is restricted to a particular place, time and person. This can be seen in how Jesus dealt with the Samaritan woman. He did not tell her to go and sort out her complex personal life with six men before she could attain to the ground of being; he presented himself as the ground of being in the immediacy of her present moment. While the Church is limited to object relations, to space-time and the law, which means it cannot overlook past events, God’s love crosses the gap and meets man in his present moment, asking him to offer all, in his myth-picture, where God seeks to change man’s heart by converting all non-being to being through his unconditional forgiveness.

When it comes to receiving the Eucharist, some may be allowed to receive and others not, according to Church law, but that is not to bar them from the kingdom of God, as this reality belongs to the world, to creation, and not to the Church. Those who go to communion fulfil the practice of religion, according to its rules, which is an objectified structure that offers a common ground for all the faithful to live out their myth-of-religion. However, everybody present has their own experience of that religious myth, which constitutes part of their total personal myth. Even if one does not fulfil all the conditions and rules of the common religious myth, each person has their own experience of the myth-of-religion, which is not less than anybody else’s experience, it is only different, and that is what they offer and unite to Christ’s myth. It is not a case that they have to fulfil perfectly all the acts of the common religious myth, as determined by the transcendentals of Scripture-Tradition, to be acceptable before God. Maybe this is exemplified in one of the earliest Church debates, which took place between Peter and Paul, about whether the newly baptised had to fulfil the Jewish law of circumcision before being accepted. It was finally decided that they did not have to receive circumcision, as it is not a matter of adding on the traditional practices to attain to the new order, what they are entering into is “wholly other”. God’s love for each person is personal, and that is why he accepts each person’s personal myth, which does not have to compare to others, it does not have to pass the “religious” test. If the brother of the prodigal son had his way, he would have wanted his profligate brother to have earned his place in the home again, but the Father was happy to have him back with all his sin, accepted without the conditions of religion attached.

Religion has common formulas, rites, laws etc., for all to follow, to put them right before God, just as one would go through various rituals of cleansing, dressing and codes of etiquette, before being presented to a king. Such conduct is only right and proper if the king is to be honoured in a way that is befitting of his position. However, if the king is ones father, then it is not inappropriate, even in the court room, to throw oneself into his arms and call him “daddy”. The latter does not negate the need for the former, otherwise everybody could disregard the etiquette and become disrespectful towards the throne by being over-familiar with the king. At the same time, the former does not exhaustimagesPKMKVWKV ones relationship with the king, as there is something personal between them which transcends all etiquette, namely, their blood ties. If the child that appears before the king is mentally handicapped, and has soiled his pants, and covered himself in his last meal, the king will still embrace him and love him, because he knows the son doesn’t appear like that to disrespect him, but out of love for him; love brings to nothing all that seems important in the dour atmosphere of the royal court, with its ancient traditions and customs. The sinful lives of the Samaritan woman and Mary Magdalene were not a bar to entering the myth of Jesus, they simply offered what was theirs. Even though their sin remained defined by the law, the ultimate purpose of the law is to call people to conversion of heart, and that does not require dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s. There is a short cut to conversion of heart, which St Therese knew as falling into the immediate presence of the Father. If anything, Jesus showed a preference for those who were outside the law of religion and ostracised by it, which is why these two women play such prominent roles in the Gospel, as did the prodigal son. Jesus reaches across the limits set by laws and the limitations of religion to invite people into the kingdom, without asking them first to complete the laws. He offers them a short cut, by asking them if they are repentant of their sin, which was demonstrated in Jesus reconciliation with Peter, who had denied him three times, when Jesus asked Peter three times, in turn, “do you love me more than these? (Jn 21:15)”; this simple affirmation of love is the fulfilment of the law.

People will experience the harsh, legalistic side of religion, when they fall foul of its laws, and that is an inevitable part of all religions, as they belong to dualism and object relations, which is always an inadequate holding environment, like all parents. However, this limitation also points to man’s ultimate, personal responsibility and freedom, which does not lie with the Church as an institution. Only man is invited to “follow me”. Only man can call God “Abba, Father”. Only he can cross the gap, in his personal myth. The Church can only lead man to the bridge, but to cross it is a personal call by God as Father, to each of his children. Those who are good at “religion” doesn’t mean they are the closest to God; Jesus was critical of those who worshipped God with their lips (and minds for that matter), but their hearts were far from him. Following the myth-of-religion does not mean one is living in the myth-imagesB2D8P4L2of-being, even though one cannot dismiss the myth-of-religion and replace it with the myth-of-being. The myth-of-religion is a context within which man can live out his myth-of-being, as true forms of worship are necessarily communal and incarnate, expressing man’s nature as an incarnate I-Thou. This is why religion cannot be fulfilled solely by a personal relationship with God in ones heart, which replaces any public form of worship; I made a similar point when I spoke about forgiveness. The myth-of-religion cannot prevent one from living out ones myth-of-being, it is only at the service of it. So whatever restrictions are placed on somebody by the myth-of-religion this does not in any way infringe their myth-of-being. To think otherwise would be a cardinal error in religion and theology, as it would make a nonsense of God’s unconditional love and forgiveness, reducing the infinite to the finite. The very prohibitions which are placed on a person because of their life of sin, constitute their personal experience of the myth-of-religion, which they offer at the altar, and which unites them to Christ in their myth-of-being, as they did on their wedding day.

When looking for a “solution” to such difficult pastoral situations as the divorced and remarried receiving communion, a theology of two myths can help to clarify the role and limitations of the Church. This in turn can help the faithful to move on with their lives, without feeling that their life of faith has been permanently compromised by an unforgivable sin; the impassable obstacle may reflect a limitation of the Church, which is not a limitation to their relationship with God. In other words, it is not for the Church to get around each tricky problem by looking to change its teachings and laws, so as to plug some hole; the solution has already come in Jesus himself. He asks each person to offer their sin and suffering, which includes that which their religion has charged them with, and its subsequent restrictions. Theirs is united to his on the cross, and it constitutes their pascal mystery, which is the very thing thatnbjo draws them into incarnate-being; ironically, that which separated them from religion, as a stumbling block, has become the stepping stone to unite them to Christ, as God brings good out of every situation. Whatever exclusion the Church has set upon man as sinner, that is an expression of the limit of religion, as much as it is an expression of man’s personal sin. The solution lies outside the hands of the Church, in the hands of man’s personal relationship with God, which reinforces the importance of the reality which exists in the world and with each person, a reality which does not belong to the Church, but which the Church makes present through its sacraments. Nothing separates man from the love of God, and to give religion the positivism which it does not have, would be to impose those limits of religion on God and God’s love, which does violence to the Good News. Jesus was very familiar with this conflict between the two myths, as he was cast out of his own religion by the religious leaders, something he accepted from the hand of his Father, thus uniting the two myths in his own person, which found its climax on the cross. This is why he invites all those who find themselves outside of the law to unite their sin and suffering to his, by which they bypass religion, as a repentant religious-being, who seeks to abide in God.

I want to finish this chapter by considering the uniqueness of the Mass and Eucharist, and what it means to participate in it, and to receive the Eucharist, as the body of Christ. In that context one can then consider what it means for those who cannot receive it. All man’s words, all his articulations have the nature of non-being, they can never unite the I to the Thou in man’s exile of I-experience-Thou. However, in the Mass the priest will uniquely become Christ, such that when he speaks it is Christ who is speaking. For the first time in man’s history, the articulation before his eyes and ears is a myth-of-being, it does not belong to non-being. It is an articulation which defies the nature of all experience, the laws of nature, it is a myth which Jesus has made possible by his own life on earth, and which he instituted at the Last Supper. What is before the faithful is a miracle of God’s presence on earth, but it can only be known by faith, as nothing visibly changes; the myth of non-being cannot grasp the myth-of-being. Philosophy and Science recognise nkopp that man cannot know objects in themselves, however, in the Mass, this truth is defied, as the articulated words of the priest change the bread and wine, into the body and blood of Christ. Being subsists perfectly in non-being elements, which makes the Eucharist a unique event, which is also a unique source of grace for followers of Jesus. Being is known immediately, not by experience, but by faith, where the man of true faith utters the words of St Thomas, “My Lord, My God “. Unfortunately, because of man’s lack of faith, he is often reluctant to attend the Mass or receive the Eucharist, and when he does he experiences it as boring, and receives it with indifference, which is not a reflection of the truth of the event but of his lack of faith. The faithful are standing before a divine mystery and the most perfect act of love; this myth before their eyes is the answer to their long sojourn and thirst for being. Their rejection of it in favour of more entertaining things, the food of the world, is no different than a drug addict who prefers to go hungry so he can spend more money on drugs, or an anorexic person refusing to eat because of their perception of himself and the world. It is evident in very day to day things, that humans do not know what is good for them; they live in a world of deception and self-deception.

When the faithful come to receive the communion, there is a unique encounter between two myths. They bring to the altar their myth of non-being, as manifested in their physical presence and they receive the body of Christ which belongs to a different myth, the myth-of-being. This meeting was exemplified in Thomas, who doubted the resurrection and wanted to see Jesus with his own eyes. Jesus’ reply to Thomas is very significant, “blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe (Jn 20:29)”. The true fulfilment of the Eucharist is not in the physical encounter of the two myths, but in the incarnating life of faith to which the Eucharist addresses itself, as happened when Jesus broke the bread for the disciples who were on the road to Emmaus. Thomas was called to let go of the life of the senses, the physical dimensions of the world in space-time and to enter into the myth of faith; maybe the two parts to his declaration of faith, “My Lord, My God”, affirm the two aspects of the incarnate I-Thou form of being-in-the-world. The receiving of the Eucharist is a miracle where two articulated myths meet, one of non-being and the other of being, the one cries for being and the other gives being. However, the Eucharist is not an end in itself, something to be merely eaten, stored away or adored, in other words, the “making present” of the Eucharist should not be reduced to the mere physicality of object relations. The Eucharist does not become fruitful merely by eating it; if it was so, then it would follow that the more one eats of it the more grace one has, as with ordinary food, where the more one eats the fatter one gets. The true presence in the articulated Eucharist does not translate into a true presence in the communicant simply by consuming it, as man’s articulations are of non-being and God’s are of being. The two myths cannot “touch” as they are of two different orders, so one cannot apply the laws of cause-effect to them; to believe otherwise would be to make a similar mistake to that of reducing God’s consciousness to man’s consciousness. It is not in the physical act of eating that the Eucharist graces man, but in the act of living faith that accompanies it, when man unites his non-being myth to that of the myth-of-being, so that he can become the incarnate eucharist himself, by “putting on Christ”.

Man lets go into incarnate-being, which the Eucharist makes possible, as all creation has become the Thou of God’s perfect holding environment, his kingdom on earth. The Eucharist is the point of departure for going out to all the world, to bear witness to this new reality, as incarnate-love. There is nowhere to lay his head for a follower of Jesus, as he is called to “go forth”, to be caught up in the new reverse flow, the personalising presence of the will of the Father in every moment, which recreates the impersonal, determinism of man’s experience of being-in-the-world. The world is now perceived as a “for-other”, instead of a “for-me”, which I wrote about earlier in the miracle of thebvcx feeding of the 5000. Those who for whatever reason cannot receive the communion miss out on the unique “physical” encounter of the two articulated myths but that does not exclude them from the essential matter, which this miracle serves. The incarnating event “touches” all those who give their fiat, from their own myth-of-non-being. To reduce this incarnating event to the physical eating of the Eucharist, would be to attribute a positivism to the “physical” of object relations, which in turn would confine the pascal mystery and the saving power of the incarnation to the hands of the institution, keeping man alienated from Being, trapped in the myth-of-religion. Man would remain alienated from the source of reality, which lies in the world, and from his own true freedom to define himself as I AM, of which Karl Marx’s philosophy of alienation, from the land and the source of production, is a myth-expression.

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and other Catholic devotions do not become irrelevant in the face of man’s call to incarnate-being, rather, their role is clarified, which avoids an excessive dependence on them as an alternative to man’s fundamental responsibility to incarnate himself. It is appropriate that the Blessed Sacrament is adored, as it is the only object in man’s exile whose essence is Being, something the Church recognises by the term “real presence”. The Blessed Sacrament is like the first “atom” of a new creation, which reaches out in the “big bang” of Christ’s pascal mystery, making all things new, transforming non-being to being. However, it requires the fiat of man, as co-creator, to make it a presence in the world, as its true tabernacle is man himself as incarnate-being; “do you not knowimagesTPHOL8P0 that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you (1Cor 6:19)”. The Eucharist has its end point in the incarnation of God’s love in the hearts of all men, a reality which Jesus thirsted for from the cross. To stop at the articulation of the Eucharist in adoration can only lead to superstitious beliefs, excessive devotions, self-righteousness and exclusivity, while denying the omnipotence and omnipresence of God’s saving power in the world. Prayers and devotions to the saints also has its place, when seen in the context of the incarnate I-Thou. The saints have attained the perfection of their incarnate-being, which is something they can still share after death, as death has only brought them to the fullness of life. If this book has shown anything, it is that space-time and death are overcome in incarnate-being, and so the presence of the saints remains a fundamental part of the reality of God’s kingdom on earth, which has its perfection in Mary, the “Mediatrix of graces”. Man is still on his sojourn in this life, to the sacrament of the present moment, where the saints already abide, so it is not inappropriate to pray to them, as they share their presence with man who still seeks presence, like a marathon runner who is supported along the route by those who cheer him on and give him food and water supplies.

Mary the Mother of the Church

CHAPTER 27

This distinction between Christianity and Christ, between the articulated religion and the unarticulated sacrament of the present moment can be seen in the lives of Mary and the Apostles as described in the Gospels. Mary is not present at the Last Supper, when Jesus celebrates the first Eucharist, the first articulated religious myth-of-being, which priests down the ages, will repeat as alter Christus. However, Mary was present at the Annunciation, when the first incarnating event took place, through her fiat, and the power of the Holy Spirit. Mary was absent from the first articulated religious myth-of-being, because she herself is the unarticulated, incarnate myth-of-being. She is the personified sacrament of the present moment, “full of grace”, and so she transcends Religion per se. It is from her that the sacraments of the Church will be articulated, as she will become the source of all grace, in God’s plan of salvation, which I will return to later. Psychoanalysis has gained the insight that a baby has a fantasy of filling the mother’s womb with all objects, which can be interpreted as the baby’s attempt to return to a lost reality, where once all differentiated objects, of non-being, were united in a unity-of-being in the mother. Mary too contains within herself all those aspects of Christianity that offer grace, the Church being an articulation of Mary, like the breasts of a mother from which the baby feeds; fallen humanity cannot feed on pure grace. In this context it is appropriate that the Church is called Mother Church.

Mary does not belong to the circle of twelve, who represent the pillars of Christianity, as an articulated religion of object relations, so it is not surprising that she is absent from the Last Supper. Interestingly, Judas is present at the Last Supper despite the fact that he is going to betray Jesus when it is over; his presence and Mary’s absence may be no accident, but may point to a deep theological reality. Judas is not only present at the Last Supper but he is to dip his bread in the same bowl as Jesus and have his feet washed by Jesus before he is allowed to embark on his betrayal. It seems necessary for Judas to undergo a washing of the feet by Jesus just as it was necessary for Jesus to undergo abhgft baptism by John at the Jordan. Maybe Judas represents the non-being nature of all religion, rooted in the infinite regression of object relations of space-time. Judas is the broken link in man’s unclosed circle, which Jesus is about to complete, which is symbolised in the two of them sharing the same bowl. If Judas’ work can be summed up in the words “do it quickly”, a characteristic of all infinite regressions, Jesus’ is expressed in the words “my hour has come”; the sum to infinity finds its answer in the “hour” of Jesus, where all regressions end in the Now of God’s immediacy to love. Jesus expressed his longing to eat the Eucharistic meal with his Apostles before he suffers; the Eucharistic meal is not an end point in itself but is the point of departure into the “bloody” Eucharist, where incarnate-being is realised in a pascal event. Mary may have been absent from the institutional Eucharist but she is present at its realisation at the foot of the cross. Mary does not need to be first nourished from the Eucharistic table, as she has her own food, like Jesus, which is the will of the Father; she already realises her fiat perfectly, which is the source of all grace, in other words, she can feed directly from the source of pure grace, which other humans can’t, as she does not have original sin.

As the personified sacrament of the present moment, Mary provided the holding environment for the first “incarnation”, in the Annunciation. Now, at the foot of the cross, she is called to provide the holding environment to the Church. It is from her that the institutional sacraments, its doctrines and all its sacred articulations will flow; she is Mother of the Church, as well as Mother of God. This is manifested in Jesus’ words from the cross, where he articulated the first incarnate I-Thou, uniting Mary and John, “woman here is your son… here is your mother (Jn 19:26)”. The religious myth-of-being, which Jesus articulated at the Last Supper, has its source in Mary as the unarticulated myth-of-being. In other words, the institutional Eucharist has its source and end in Mary as the incarnating principle of God on earth, the sacrament of the present moment. The liturgy of the Last Supper finds its fulfilment on the cross, as Jesus continues his prayer and offering to the Father, which ends with his last words, “it is complete”. One could say that Mary was not absent from the Last Supper, since what was articulated there, as a myth-of-being, for all future ministerial priests, is then placed in her womb at the foot of the cross, just as God was placed in her womb at the Annunciation. It can then be said that since all grace serves the purpose of incarnating man into his own sacrament of the present moment, all grace comes through Mary. This seems to undermine the role of Jesus, making him subordinate to Mary, which has understandably caused great consternation in the Christian Church. I want to clarify that misunderstanding here, which is the result of theologies, and human perceptions, which interpret the relationship of Jesus and Mary in terms of object relations. This necessarily imposes a will-to-power interpretation, which leaves Jesus and Mary vying for power, however, when one transcends the realm of object relations, one can see that Mary plays an important but humble role, as the “handmaid of the Lord”, in realising man’s incarnation, as she did with Jesus.

We saw earlier, that a question which is often asked is, “Why do people need to go to a sacrament of reconciliation, when they can receive forgiveness directly from God?” In a similar vain, one might ask the question, “Why should one pray to Mary when one can pray directly to Jesus? Doesn’t all grace come from Jesus, as he is God and Mary is not?” I answered the first of these questions in terms of the incarnating principle, and man’s need to find his true identity as an incarnate I-Thou; I argued that the confusion lies in having a perception of man as an I, which is based on object relations and a self-mind-body-will. I would use a similar argument here, to address this second question. Yes, Jesus is the source of all grace, he alone has redeemed mankind from their sins. However, one needs to understand fully what redemption from sin actually means, and hence what grace actually does, before one can understand the role given to Mary in God’s plan of redemption. From what has already been said, it should be clear that man is alienated from his own incarnate-being, through sin, and that grace makes possible an absolute trust and surrender, by which the I-experience-Thou of non-being, becomes an I-Spirit-Thou, in a unity-of-being; Jesus has made this possible by filling the gap, which separated man from God. However, Jesus has returned to the Father, and he is no longer in the world, which is why he would not allow his disciples to “touch” him in the resurrection and why he promised to send the Holy Spirit. Jesus has put in place what is necessary for man to “access” his grace when he has gone to the Father. Just as the articulated religious myth of the sacraments has been instituted by Jesus, and made present in his ordained priests, so too his unarticulated incarnating principle, the sacrament of the present moment has been left to Mary. Why is this necessary one may ask?

The presence of an incarnating principle on earth means that each person’s fiat is rooted in Mary’s fiat, as the familybvcxz of God are those who do the will of the Father, as Jesus said. Each offering and surrender, necessarily starts from “experience”, and is therefore grounded in this world, moving in a bottom-up direction, like a ladder which rises up with its feet on the earth. Mary is the ground of the incarnating principle, which can also be seen as the womb which gives birth to incarnate-being through the Spirit. One might argue that God could have sent his Son into the world without involving any human mother, through another miracle, but the “incarnating” aspect of God’s plan of salvation, necessitates sharing in man’s lost-incarnate being. Likewise, man is redeemed through his incarnate-being, and not through some higher state of consciousness. Grace is rooted in both the divine and the human, so man must be “born again”; just as everybody who lives on earth has an earthly mother, so too, they have a heavenly mother. This understanding takes nothing away from Jesus as the source of all grace and redemption, and it clarifies the role of Mary by simply clarifying the nature of sin and redemption. Anybody who abandons himself to Christ can only do so by “putting on Christ” in living faith, which is an incarnating-reality, it is not a thought or feeling or ritual. That incarnating event is grounded in his very midst, in the present moment, not in the heavens far away, which is why God’s kingdom is on earth, as it is in heaven. It follows that God has left his source of grace on earth, like a well of living water, for the sojourn in the exile of this life, and this source is found in Mary. Mary joins her fiat to every person’s, as Mother, so that they can receive the grace that the Spirit wants to pour into their hearts. Mary is simply fulfilling the role she fulfilled at the annunciation, incarnating into the world a new reality, first with the son of God and now with all people of good will on earth. This was exemplified in the story of the wedding feast when Mary, noticing the predicament of the host, that they were running out of wine, presented the myth-of-non-being to Jesus, which was symbolically fulfilled in Jesus turning the water into wine.

It is appropriate that Mary and the Apostles are together at Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit comes to inaugurate the new order on earth. The two myths-of-being are united in an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the one articulated and the other unarticulated. This union is manifested in the Apostles ability to talk in tongues and to be understood by the people of various languages, which signifies a new form of articulation. The diversity of languages, which marked man’s fall into non-being, becomes unified in man himself as incarnate word. It is not surprising that nothing more is heard of Mary after Pentecost as she remains the unarticulated incarnating principle. This silence is not an unfortunate accident, nor does it reflect a lack of importance given to Mary in the Church. On the contrary, it holds deep theological significance, as did Jesus’ 30 years of hidden life in Nazareth. When the age of the Apostles was coming to an end, the Gospels were written to preserve the articulated tradition of the Church, like the passing on of genes in human reproduction. Scripture and Tradition will form the divine transcendentals, within which the Church will articulate itself in history until the end time. It is appropriate that Mary is absent from that articulation in Scripture, as she does not belong to the objects of space-time, just as she was absent from the Last Supper. Her unique role is further highlighted by the manner of her death, namely, in her assumption into heaven. Mary did not meet a death like everybody else, since life and death are perfectly held within her as the personification of the sacrament of the present moment; for her, death does not define the end of life, as it does for the rest of mankind, who are children of Adam, but it marks the entrance into life with God. Mary’s Gospel is written in heaven and articulated on earth through the Church’s doctrines and devotions, where she is carried in people’s hearts as a living reality.

It could be argued that the two myths, articulated and unarticulated, which constitute the fullness of Christianity, can also be seen in the roles of Peter and John. John is the Apostle closest to Jesus’ heart and is found with Mary at the foot of the cross; he is the first to experience the incarnating principle in his I-Thou with Mary. However, it is to Peter, to whom the keys of the kingdom of God are given, despite the fact that in his own myth, he is going to deny Jesus three times. This shows that the articulated myth-of-being, which Jesus has inaugurated at the Last Supper, is not dependent on the worthiness of those who articulate it. It is something “wholly other”, which is made present, through the words and actions of the priest, regardless of his own myth-of-non-being and his state of sin or holiness. If John is closer to the heart of Jesus, then one might expect him to be closer to the incarnate sacrament of the present moment in Mary, which would explain why he is the one at the foot of the cross with Mary. It could be argued that John represents the unarticulated, incarnate- being amongst the Apostles and Peter represents the articulated form. After the resurrection Peter and John both run to the empty tomb, with John arriving first, however, John awaits Peter’s arrival and allows him to go in first. Similarly, when they were out fishing, it was John who recognised Jesus first and told Peter, “It is the Lord”. John has that immediacy and intimacy with the divine, which comes with incarnate-being, however, incarnate-being does not give itself precedence over the articulated. This can also be seen in the tradition of the Church, where even the saints of the Church never gave themselves an authority over the most unworthy Pope. Both aspects, man’s personal holiness and the divinely instituted authority are important to the Church, building it up and guiding it through the ages, just as a living person needs a heart to love and a mind to give clarity and precision to how that love realises itself.

These distinct roles can be seen in the Church’s Tradition, where the Magisterium has the authority to determineimages78XGWWT8 doctrines about God’s Revelation. However, the articulation of doctrines takes place in an I-Thou context with the unarticulated face of the Church, from which it gets its authority, in other words, it only articulates that which is already present as a living reality in unarticulated incarnate-being. The Spirit blows where it wills, it cannot be determined in advance by the mind-senses, not can it be reduced to it, which, unfortunately, is how Revelation is treated by those who seek to reduce it to a set of truths that define their life of faith. This has a parallel in Quantum Physics, where the nature of the world has been revealed as unpredictable waves, which “collapse” into particles, when one makes an observation. The observer can then draw out precise measurements from his observations, from which he can articulate laws of motion etc.; when the observations stop, the system returns to unpredictable waves. These bizarre results of Quantum Physics are as unsettling for a physicist as it is for a Christian to live by the Spirit without seeking to reduce to the Spirit to a set of rules. Humans by their fallen-nature seek to grasp reality, as the will-to-power seeks knowledge and clear definition, both for man himself and his world. To concede to something which has no handles on it, is to remove from man not only the solid ground on which he stands, but all perspectives, which define him and his world. This leads to either the worst forms of anarchism and scepticism, where will-to-power has free reign, because there is nothing else left, which is the conclusion that Nietzsche came to; or, this universal kenosis prepares the ground for a whole new way of being-in-the-world, a whole new understanding of reality, which transcends mere human understanding, revealing itself as “wholly other”, while realising man in a way of “knowing”, which surpasses all previous forms of knowledge.

When the Church loses sight of its unarticulated face, namely, the Spirit, and man as incarnate-being, then the articulated takes on a role and importance which distorts the living revelation, and reduces Reality to “straw”. Due to such distortions, people like Luther rebelled against the Church and set out to rectify the problem; this can be compared to Wittgenstein who rejected his own articulated mappings in his first philosophy, and then went in pursuit of a more living, incarnate philosophy. Unfortunately, because of his own failure to understand Revelation as a living reality, which transcends object relations in a new trinitarian object relations, he only created his own distortions, replacing one set of object relations with another, like all human revolutionaries. He also threw the baby out with the bath water, for although he recognised the importance of man’s personal fiat and his one-to-one relationship with God, he acted like a St John who denounces St Peter for his failings and then takes the authority of the Church into his own hands, failing to respect the dual divine aspects of the Church. In other words, the Church will be reformed when the individual members reform themselves, through personal holiness, as the essence of the Church is man as incarnate-being. By a form of “osmosis” or, presence, that holiness permeates the rest of the body of the Church, in an authentic revolution of love, which St Therese described as “love at the heart of the Church”. Only in this way is man not drawn into a reactionary war of object relations, where he sees his mission as the need to convert everybody else. Man can only do good by “being good”, which is to share in the divine life as incarnate-being, from which all good flows. This is not a passive way of being-in-the-world, rather, it is the only means of authentic action, which is not itself alienating. Unfortunately, Luther lived in reaction to the system, the fruit of which can be seen in the history of Church fragmentation. This has left many parts of that fragmentation without a vertical dimension, resulting in churches which blow with the whims of man, rather than with the Spirit.

Mary is the prime example of how the two myths subsist in the Church, as she “kept all these things and pondered them in her heart (Lk 2:19)”. The articulations arise from the heart of the Church, which is a lived, incarnate-being, and it returns to that heart to direct man in the way of holiness. The articulations are not ends in themselves, since to cling to them reduces Revelation to mere Religion. Unfortunately, those called “traditionalists”, who see themselves as preserving the true faith of the Church, a faith they equate solely with the historical articulations of the Church, are ironically the very ones who do not preserve the faith, but do violence to it. Taken to extremes this becomes the work of Satan, who seeks to use Religion to enslave the true living faith, keeping it locked away in pockets of space andbnhj time in history. Like the Pharisees, they have a “strong faith”, and are passionate about their religion and God, for which they will go to extremes to preserve it. This cloak of evil can be recognised by its fruit, as any sense of authentic love, the hallmark of true faith, is replaced by hatred, bigotry, self-righteousness and even terrorism and war. As the followers become more impassioned and fanatical in their beliefs, there is less place for love, and ironically, less place for reason too. Yet within all major religions there is a recognition that what is externalised in religion, needs to be internalised, if one is to be a truly religious person. The limits and interrelationship between the articulated and unarticulated must be respected, otherwise the first is not last and the last is not first. The pascal mystery, which is at the heart of the true faith of Christianity, must not be reversed to form another will-to-power, in the name of religion, as man seeks to destroy the enemies of the faith, in the process of reforming the Church. All those good intentions fuel endless, political debates over “right religion”, a temptation of Satan, which only gives rise to division, hatred and self-righteousness, while detracting man from “the one thing necessary”.

An example of the distortion which can ensue, from the emphasis being placed on the articulated Church, can be seen in the relationship between the laity and the ministerial priest. So often the priesthood of the laity is passed over in silence, as it can be perceived as competing with the ministerial priest for the keys to the Kingdom of God. While the ministerial priest does have a unique role in the Church, which sets him apart from the common priesthood of the laity, that role serves the lay priesthood, and is limited within its ministerial duties; it does not extend to every aspect of the priest’s ordinary daily life. In other words, the priest does not live in a permanent state of the myth-of-being, simply because he is an ordained priest, as if he has been granted an automatic right to the sacrament of the present moment, based on his ordination to priesthood. Such an understanding would leave him not only unaccountable to man for his behaviour, but even unaccountable to God. The power he is given to articulate the myth-of-being in the Mass and the Sacraments cannot be extended to every aspect of his life, such that it subsumes his myth-of-non-being.imagesAWXQUDGU This perversion of the truth is all too evident in the history of the Church, where priests and bishops have been put on pedestals, where they are “untouchable” by God or man, a position from which they have abused their power and the trust placed in them, inflicting horrendous abuses on the laity, most notoriously in sexual scandals and child abuse. This only brings home the importance of a theology which truly recognises the role of the common priesthood, in the context of the sacrament of the present moment, where all humans, including ministerial priests, are accountable to God and their neighbour, all of the time, in man’s fundamental freedom “to be or not to be”.

While on the matter of priesthood, I will consider briefly here the topical, and at times controversial subjects of celibate priests and male only priests in the Catholic Church. So much of the arguments, for and against, are abased on object relations, which I believe is a false basis for arguing on these matters. It leads to statements like, “women can do the job just as well as men if not better… it is a matter of equal rights”, or “it is unhealthy and unnatural to repress the sexual drive… it only leads to loneliness and perversions like child abuse”. Although the first statement is seen as a strong argument for women priests, especially in the modern age, it is based on object relations, on the comparison of the qualities and abilities of men and women. This would be fine when one is considering the suitability of somebody for a job, or for serving the local community, but the priesthood is not a career, nor is it a form of social work. In fact, the priesthood does not even belong to object relations, it is of another order, which is essentially a “gift”, so nobody has a “right” to it, as rights only apply within the realm of object relations. I don’t believe the argument can be won on this basis, where, typically, it is reducing Revelation to object relations, while the evolution of men and women is the measure of God’s work and plans. An argument for women priests, if it is to be convincing, would have to be put forward from the point of view of the two myths. However, on this ground, there is a strong argument for men only in the priesthood, for two reasons. Firstly, the priest truly carries the myth-of-being, as an altar christus, in the Mass, which is not symbolic, nor of object relations, but truly Christ made present. Can the same be said if it was a woman? Does the sex of the person matter more, in this case, than it would in object relations? Probably yes. Secondly, one has to look to Scripture to see what Jesus revealed about the new order, as Scripture reveals what object relations can’t reveal. It can’t be ignored that Jesus chose twelve men to be his Apostles, and neither is it a simple task of attributing this fact to mere cultural conditioning of his time, as Jesus was not afraid to break through the most traditional customs of day, as he brought something “wholly other”. Many females would have been disciples of Jesus, but he did not elect any of them to be one of the Apostles, which may have its meaning within the context of the two myths.

Turning now to address the second subject. First of all, neither loneliness nor the inclination to child sex have a direct relation to celibacy. Most child abuse takes place within the family, and it is a problem that manifests itself across all professions, especially where people are entrusted with power. Secondly, loneliness is not the result of being alone, as many people with families and an abundance of friends suffer from loneliness and depression. Before coming to the difficulties and obstacles facing a celibate priest, I would say that there is a strong argument for celibacy, as an essential part of Christian witness, not only in the priesthood, but in all Christian vocations. My argument is based on God’s plan of salvation. God has not come to clarify man’s mind, but to redeem his Id, as mentioned in detail, in aimagesY699C34M previous chapter. This means that man is called to sublimate his fundamental drive, located in his body, mind and will, as a pleasure principle and a will-to-power, in order to realise himself as an incarnate-being. If Revelation and God’s grace, fails to do this for man then it fails man, as it fails to encounter him in his deepest predicament as lost-being. In a world which is obsessed with sex, rights, possessions, knowledge, power, freedom to choose and selfism, it is important that the Church witnesses to the redemption of the Id; for the latter is God’s answer to the former. If the witness to the Good News to be taken seriously, man must show that the Id does not belong to consciousness and to the world of objects. He is called to be counter-cultural, to witness to the true realisation of man, which takes place in a paradox, where the Id is used to die to self and be born to a new life, in a peace that the world cannot give. If celibacy cannot witness to this then it throws doubt on the very redemption of man’s most primal drive. It is not a case of compromising so that man can have some outlets to some object relations, as a treat, or for good behaviour, for God’s redemption lies beyond object relations, and this is what celibacy must witness to. It is a secondary and poor argument to support celibacy from the point of view of its “practical use” in public ministry, where it affords the priest more time to serve his community. It is doubtful whether single people do give more time to the community, than married people, as single people tend to be more self-centred and selfish. The argument from practicalities is secondary as it belongs to object relations, which makes it a weak argument. The stronger and more fundamental argument is that it witnesses to the power of redemption itself, and to a reality which lies beyond object relations, which is now present in the world, in an incarnate I-Thou unity-of-being that does not require sex to realise it.

Having said all that, if celibacy is to truly witness to the power of Revelation, and God’s kingdom on earth, it is important that it is taken seriously, and not just seen as something imposed from outside, as a mere rule or discipline of the Church. If it is to be central to the Church’s missionary role of witnessing to the Good News, it must also be at the heart of anybody’s vocation to priesthood, as a mark of their spiritual and emotional maturity to take on the calling. So often the difficulties that students for priesthood have, around their sexuality and celibacy, are not spoken about, as the whole area of sex remains an awkward and personal matter, left for the confessional or brushed under the carpet. The very formation of priests in the modern world would also need to be considered in the light of this drive in man, to realise himself in incarnate-being. The seminaries, for the most part, belong to the middle ages. They remain places closed off from the world, where young men spend 6 years, largely training their minds to know God through books and knowledge. The Id is very mush located in consciousness, where the seminarian learns to jump through intellectual hoops, to raise the mind to God, like a pagan Greek philosopher. There are still pastoral tasks to be done and a spiritual life to live within the seminary but even these can be experienced as a tick list of things to do in order to get through the system to be ordained.

Not surprisingly, many men who come to be ordained do not feel they have been prepared adequately to face the world, and getting out of seminary can feel like a release from prison; many even feel they have regressed while in seminary. Before entering they may have held down a responsible job, paid bills, cooked their own meals, done the DIY, and had a social life in the community. After entering the seminary, like a prisoner, they might never cook again, nor pay a bill, nor take any serious responsibilities, other than the minor tasks that are handed out around the seminary, like the old school janitor and prefect jobs, or the prison bookkeeper. They give up the “real” world toimagesE706DGVK return to a boarding school for “boys only”, where the presence of a woman in the building can throw them out. I think a true appreciation of the importance of celibacy in Christian mission, and a realistic perception of human nature, which is not based on the ancient Greek understanding that man is simply a rational being with free will, would not consider this a suitable way to prepare young men for priesthood, some of whom have just left college and have no experience of the world nor relationships. It is these sorts of false perceptions of human nature, priesthood and God’s work of salvation that give rise to such programs of mal-formation, which further down the line lead to many disclosed, and many more undisclosed, problems in the Church around celibacy. It is not celibacy itself which is the problem, and yet the very thing which should be a powerful witness to God’s kingdom on earth, becomes a source of scandal and shame on the Church, before a world that thirsts for authentic life. It tends to be the World that takes the Church by the hand to teach it to live, to be open and honest, and to accept its human nature; in practice it is the World that is forgiving of the Church and its failures, rather than the Church forgiving of the World.

A proper understanding of the two aspects of the Church, the articulated and unarticulated, will ensure that the vertical and horizontal of religion are given their correct place, with Christianity, as a religion, not claiming a reality for itself, which it doesn’t have. Like any good parenting, the Church needs to understand its role better, and so enable her children to let go, take risks, and grow up with an experience of that unconditional love central to their faith, which exists not only inside the doors of the Church, but in the whole world. Without a theology to provide this fuller understanding, one is either left with a Church which tries too hard to be present and relevant to the modern world, or one which tries too hard to be “wholly other”, which results in it having nothing relevant to say to peoples lives and their deepest needs. The first type seeks to be trendy and with-it, like parents who try to dress and act like their children, so as to be accepted by them and their peers. This is the result of an identity crisis in the parents, which only makes their children feel awkward and embarrassed, while devaluing the importance of the unique role of the parent. The Church sheds its vertical identity, for fear of being out of touch, while allowing itself to be defined by political pressures, social expectations and new ideologies. This form of presence and relevance is like the house built on sand, or the seed which is thrown on the rocky ground, it has no depth and so it will not last, it will not address man’s deepest need to attain to being.

The second type of Church results in an intellectualised faith, a passive congregation, and a Church which is akin to a museum with all its treasures under lock and key. This form of Church does not address man in his humanity, it keeps the sacred and secular worlds apart, and leads to a religion of superstitious beliefs and hypocrisy. By failing to take seriously man’s humanity it fails to unite nature and grace, which results in a failure to present to the world the Good News of Christ’s resurrection. Instead, it presents to the world a self-righteous, pharisaical religion, which says nothing to the man who thirsts for life, it only speaks to people who have a fear of living and are seeking a hiding place from the truth. It is often the one who leaves behind his spiritual home in search of life, that will eventually draw close to the real God, as he has taken a risk for love and for life. Sometimes it is necessary to shed the God of religion, in order to encounter God again on another road to Emmaus, in some future place and time, when human lifeimagesULP6RWZA and love have sufficiently disappointed, and the heart still remains restless. God never grows tired of waiting and at the appointed time, he meets that lost soul, when one day it stops to drink from a well, exhausted and parched by the weight of life. It is only then that man realises that the God of religion and the God of life are one and the same, which is when man can internalise religion within himself as a religious-being. This truth is reflected in the saying, “You don’t appreciate what you have got until you lose it”, or in the words of T.S. Eliot, “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time”. This can be seen in the relationship between the prodigal son and his brother. The prodigal son came back to discover the unconditional love of the father, which he did not see or value before he left home, whereas his brother who remained faithful, still could not accept such love, as he remained blind by the legalism and importance of mere duty to laws and rituals.

The failure of these two types of Christianity can only be addressed with a theology of the sacrament of the present moment, the unarticulated sacrament of the Church, which brings together the wholly-other with the wholly-present. This is the sacrament which overcomes the duality of the sacred and the secular, it unites grace and nature in the present moment of peoples lived reality. It starts from peoples experience of life and ends there, making it the alpha and omega point, without being contained within it, challenging them to live the impossible from that which is very possible. Man is not called to sacrifice his reason and dignity for some add-on beliefs for a life hereafter, but he is asked to believe that if he dares to let go in love, he will come to an understanding of how life is, which will not merely answer his questions, but silence his questions in the encounter with the living Christ “My Lord, My God”.

INTER-RELIGION

CHAPTER 28

Until the Church address its own identity with a theology of bring, beyond object relations, it is very difficult to speak about inter-faith and inter-religious dialogue; in other words, it is very difficult to give the Good News to others, if one has not yet understood and appropriated the Good News for oneself. It has been a misconception, fuelled by theology’s rootedness in pagan philosophy, to believe that God’s Revelation is principally about revealing Truth, and creating a new religion which possesses that Truth, whose task it is to convert all other religions from their ignorance and errors to that one Truth found exclusively in Christianity. Such an outlook reduces God’s Revelation to object relations, while creating a history of religious bigotry, violence and triumphalism in the name of God, which bears nobvgf similarity to the life, teachings and Way of Jesus. When it is understood that God came to set all men free from their myth-of-lost-being, to address man’s cry-for-being, as expressed in all religions and transcendental experiences, through the ending of object relations, in an incarnate I-Thou, then the role of evangelisation is to be at the service of people, religions and philosophies to enable them to realize their own incarnation, rather than to simply stand over them and denigrate what they have to say as “nonsense”. It would be a contradiction if this incarnation could only take place in a certain place, time, culture or religion, as it would deny people their only natural holding environment.They would have to abstract themselves before they could be incarnated, which would be a contradiction, and which leads to the sense of meaningless and irrelevance that many people feel about religious practices.

Wittgenstein, in his second philosophy, highlighted the importance of words remaining within their correct context of use, if they are to have any meaning. In other words, words lose their meaning when they are abstracted from their context, which he believed was the source of most philosophical problems. Philosophers were misusing language by abstracting words and using them in an objective realm of ideas, which they believed to be a superior vantage point from which to understand reality. Wittgenstein was moving in the right direction, but what he failed to see was that man himself is a misplaced word; he has been abstracted from his true context in the I-Thou of Being, through the Fall. Jesus, as the “word made flesh”, returns man to his true context, as incarnate word, which is the new living philosophy, before which all previous philosophies are seen in their true light, namely, as myth-expressions of lost-being. The Good News is that all men are called to incarnate themselves as living words in the “book of life”, the new myth of God’s work of salvation. If the incarnation is to take place then it necessarily must happen within a person’s culture, religion, and life experiences; God wishes to make his home in man, to make him his temple and dwelling place. This takes place through the Holy Spirit, which does not change what we have, but renews it like a light that comes on to brighten a room, filling it with a presence, and a breath of life; with Being itself, which is a pure vertical movement that has nothing of the horizontal in it.

This presence is only possible through Jesus who unites the two myths in his own person; however, even though each person becomes a “living Christ”, that does not mean that all people must become Christians. Such a belief only highlights man’s ignorance about the “wholly other” nature of God’s plan of salvation and the far reaching significance of the incarnation, pascal mystery and resurrection; “I have other sheep, which are not of this fold, them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd (Jn 10:16)”. Eachimages8BFYUGT3 religion in its own way teaches man about his total dependence on divine providence and the need to strip away attachments to this world. They await and prepare the way for the new order, like a John the Baptist; “we know that everything God made has been waiting until now in pain, like a woman ready to give birth (Rom 8:22)”. However, the coming of Jesus is not principally about bringing a new religion, it is about making the Christ-event present in the religion and culture into which each person is born, just as Jesus practised his faith and worshipped the Father through the Jewish traditions, which he was born into. Just as the Trinity manifested itself in the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist in the river Jordan, so each person is invited into the divine life of the Trinity. If Jesus was born a Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist etc., he would draw his fellow religious to incarnate themselves within that tradition. Jesus did not bring a religion but himself, he always pointed to himself as a new order and an authority sent from heaven, who has a unique relationship with the Father. He is the fulfilment of all religions and philosophies, he is the true incarnating transcendental, which sets all men free from their religious and philosophical transcendentals. In other words, the words of John the Baptist, “he must increase and I must decrease (Jn 3:30)”, can be applied to all forms of religion. They must all learn that their essential function completes itself, as with consciousness, in Evolution, by dying to self; consciousness and religion realise themselves in the Christ-event, which Abraham’s sacrifice foreshadows, in the ending of object relations.

At the end of his life man will be measured by his love, by his participation in this mystery, which is present in the many forms where man surrenders his will to the divine will. Christianity arguably has the “fullness” of this Love-Truth, as it is the first to hear the Good News, which manifests itself in the Apostles, the Eucharist, Scripture and Tradition. However, to reduce Christianity to a treasure house of possessions, to mere rituals and intellectual assents of faith is to alienate Christians from their own essence as incarnate-being. People of other religions, will be closer to God the more they realize the essence of their own spiritual path, through their abandonment to God’s providence, than people who give mere intellectual assent and keep God at a safe distance. In other words, the former may be closer to their incarnation than the latter, despite the latter having inherited the divine promise, the plan of salvationimagesLMC3E94F and the first fruits in Jesus himself. The doctrines of the Church are indeed sacred, as they are a reflection of the divine reality, but it would be a big mistake to take the “reflection” for reality itself. To fall in love with the reflection of a loved one in a river, instead of turning to embrace them on their arrival to take one home, would be the ultimate act of insanity, the perfect deception of Satan, and the worst possible ending to a love story. It would be a greater tragedy than that of the men in Plato’s cave, who mistook the shadows on the wall for reality, for at least they never had God’s Son come to show them the way out of the cave. This should not be a surprising outcome, as Socrates was put to death for “corrupting” the young and Jesus was put to death for misleading the people and making false claims about his identity; the Jews failed to recognize their own Messiah and so the Good News was given to the Gentiles.

All religions are like mountains which people climb up to make their sacrifice and worship God. They are like caves outside of which Christ stands, calling the people into the light of the resurrection. Christianity, as a religion, has a privileged place, as it was formed directly from Jesus’ presence in the world, from his pierced side on the cross, where blood and water flowed. Jesus was entombed within the “cave of Christianity”, from which he rose after three days, no longer to be “touched”, as he was now beyond religion as a new incarnate-being. This makes Christianity unique among religions as it is the first cave from which there was a resurrection into the new order; it has the first of the new born, and it is the first to bear witness to the Good News. However, to try and “touch” the resurrected Christ, to possess him, within religion, is to reduce the Good News and Jesus to shadows in the cave. Christ remains apart from all religions, he does not belong to any mountain or cave, neither to transcendental experiences nor to any philosophical or ideological system; not even space-time contain him. It is only when Christians realize the full significance of a living faith, in total trust and surrender, and the full implications of the incarnation, can they witness to the resurrection, which Christ wishes to share with all people in their own particular cultures, religions and holding environments. Gandhi said, “if all Christians were like Christ there would be no more Hindus in India”. It is not about changing Hindus to Christianity, but incarnating the Christ of Hinduism, the Christ of Buddhism, the Christ of Islam etc., drawing them out of their own caves into their own resurrection, instead of seeking to draw them into the Christian cave. When all religions discover their own incarnation, towards which their own tradition has sojourned, like the Israelites in the desert, they will recognize the Christ in each other, and they will begin to share the samebhgt reality, which will be Holiness in different garbs. Jesus did not touch the lives of a particular sect of Judaism, like the Pharisees, or Sadducees, or Scribes, or Essenes, as if that group were the ones who preserved the “true faith”, they were top of the class with the most answers right. Jesus touched the lives of a wide diversity of people, and often the most unlikely people, and this was for the simple reason that Jesus has not come to address object relations, with its truths, laws and politics; he addresses man as a religious-being, who thirsts for life. The common language of inter-faith and inter-religious dialogue is “incarnate word”, which does not rely on articulated words, although where necessary, it manifests itself through articulation. This common language was manifested at Pentecost, and can also be seen when religions get together to share a common cause, through “good works”. However, good works only point to the deeper reality, which they share in common, and that is man himself as Good, as the I AM .

 

Paper 1: An Interpretation of Quantum Theory

AN OUTLINE OF THE WORLD OF QUANTUM PHYSICS

CHAPTER 1

Classical Physics explains matter and energy on a scale familiar to human experience, including the behaviour of astronomical bodies. However, towards the end of the 19th century, scientists discovered phenomena in the micro world that classical physics could not explain. This in turn lead to the development of new models that described the phenomena very accurately. However, these models could not easily be reconciled with the way objects are observed to behave on the macro scale of everyday human life. Their predictions often appeared counter-intuitive and disturbing to physicists, including the developers of those models. Niels Bohr, one of the prime developers of quantum theory, once said that “those who are not shocked when they first encounter quantum theory cannot possibly have understood it”; eighty years later, this is still true. The new models of quantum physics have been refined into an amazing tool for modern science and technology, they are used in many applications, including television and computers, and they even explain the nuclear processes taking place inside stars. However, scientists are still woefully lacking in the ability to say how the world can work this way. Any explanation of quantum phenomena is going to be weird, and standard quantum mechanics does not really offer any explanation at all, it just makes predictions for laboratory experiments.

While, on the one hand, the theory gives rise to experiments and equations that can be applied to the world in a practical way, on the other hand, it raises philosophical questions about man’s understanding of what constitutes reality. In order to try and understand this new phenomenon it is necessary for man to forget everything he knew about cause-effect, reality, certainty, space-time and much else besides. This is a different world, it has its own rules, which make no sense in the everyday world. Scientists find it necessary to have two sets of rules because particles do not behave in the same way as larger everyday objects, such as billiard balls. One can, for example, say preciselybvcx where a billiard ball is, what it is doing, and what it is about to do, but the same cannot be said for particles. They are, quite literally, a law unto themselves, and why this should be so is a source of much debate. Yet this strange behaviour of particles lies at the very heart of man’s understanding of the physical properties of the world. Before quantum theory arose, physicists could believe in determinism, the idea of a world unfolding with precise mathematical certainty. Since then, however, the weird probabilistic behaviour of the quantum world has rudely intruded, and the mainstream view is that this uncertainty is a fundamental feature of everything. Physicists would say that the unavoidable lesson of quantum theory, is that at its deepest level, nature is random, undetermined and unpredictable.

Despite playing a vital role in the development of quantum theory, Einstein felt philosophically at odds with its description of how the universe works. Facing the embarrassing situation that mere probabilities underpinned the scientific world of determinism, Einstein famously said, “God does not play dice.” He was not willing to give up the elegant determinism of classical physics, so he proposed that there must be “hidden variables”, which really control events at the quantum level. He believed that there must exist another level of reality in which all of physics would be deterministic, and that quantum mechanics would turn out to be a description that emerges from the workings of that level. The debate over “hidden variables” became an argument over the completeness of quantum theory. Newton’s laws once seemed to describe all motion, from particles to planets. However, these laws were found to be incomplete and were replaced by Relativity, with regards to planets and other large-scale objects such as humans, and by Quantum Physics, with regards to particles and other very small-scale objects. Many scientists believe that one day relativity and quantum physics will also be replaced by other theories, if only because the two of them, while explaining their respective areas extremely well, are not compatible with one another. In another sense, the hidden variables debate is a philosophical argument over whether the universe is deterministic and concrete, or merely probabilistic and somewhat “spooky”.

Before suggesting a philosophical explanation to the phenomena of quantum physics, one which will attempt to reconcile our understanding of both the micro and macro worlds, I want to draw attention to some of the bizarre findings of subatomic experiments; such findings left Richard Feynman, one of the most renowned quantum physicists, to say that quantum mechanics deals with “Nature as She really is – absurd”. There are three famous experiments in quantum physics, which highlight this “weirdness” of the subatomic world: the Double Slit Experiment, Schrödinger’s Cat-in-the-Box Experiment and the EPR Paradox. The Double Slit Experiment demonstrates that light and matter can display characteristics of both classically defined waves and particles; it alsobncv reveals the fundamentally probabilistic nature of quantum mechanical phenomena. When there is only one slit, the photons are seen to act as particles; they go through the slit like bullets, creating a vertical line pattern on the screen directly behind the slit, as one might expect. However, when two slits are exposed, the photons act like waves, passing through both slits, producing an interference pattern on the screen behind the slits. The photons seem to know if there is one slit open or two, and their behaviour changes accordingly, which demonstrates the principle of wave-particle duality. What makes it even more weird is that, if the two slits are observed, in order to see which slit the individual photons are passing through, the photons stop acting as waves and start acting as particles again, creating two vertical lines opposite the two slits. The photons seem to know if they are being watched! It also means that the observer is effecting the experiment just by the simple fact of observing it. Other atomic-scale entities such as electrons are found to exhibit the same behaviour when fired toward the double slit. Additionally, the detection of individual discrete impacts, on the screen, is observed to be inherently probabilistic, which is inexplicable using classical mechanics.

One of the earliest and most commonly taught possible explanations for this quantum “weirdness” is a theory called the “Copenhagen Interpretation”. The theory seeks to explain how an entity such as a photon or an electron, could travel as a wave but arrive as a particle. According to the theory, what is passing through the experiment is not a material wave but a “probability wave”. In other words, the particle does not have a definite location, but has a probability of being here or there, some locations will be more probable than others. In this theory, an electron that is not being observed does not exist as a particle at all, but has a wave-like property covering the areas of probability where it could be found. It is only when an observation is made that the function that determines these probabilities, the wave function, is said to “collapse” into a specific state. Before that happens all possibilities are said to coexist or are superimposed. Probabilities rather than certainty or causality are seen to rule in this micro world. In other words, quantum mechanics does not describe an objective reality but deals only with the probabilities of observing, or measuring various aspects of energy quanta, entities that fit neither the classical idea of particles nor the classical idea of waves. This has caused some very well respected cosmologists, like Stephen Hawking, to infer that there must actually be something “outside” the universe to look at the universe as a whole and collapse its overall wave function, while others argue that it is only the presence of conscious observers, that has collapsed the wave function and made the universe exist. If the latter is true, then we are left with the bizarre situation where the universe only exists because we are looking at it!

The second famous experiment is Schrödinger’s Cat thought experiment, which was used to illustrate the problem of the Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum mechanics applied to everyday objects. The cat, a flask of poison, and a radioactive source are placed in a sealed box. If an internal monitor detects radioactivity the flask is shattered, releasing the poison that kills the cat. The Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum mechanics implies that after a while, the cat is simultaneously alive and dead, even though one can only see the cat either alive or dead, not bothvbghy alive and dead at the same time. The thought experiment illustrates a paradox in the supposition of states. It poses the question of when exactly quantum superposition ends and reality collapses into one possibility or the other. Intuition says that no observer can be in a mixture of states, yet the cat it seems, from the thought experiment, can be in such a “blurred” state. It also raises questions about the nature of measurement, or observation, for does the cat or the radioactive detector count as observers? According to the Copenhagen Interpretation, a system stops being a superposition of states and becomes either one or the other when an observation takes place. In that sense the experiment can be interpreted to mean that while the box is closed, the system simultaneously exists in a superposition of the states “decayed nucleus/dead cat” and “undecayed nucleus/living cat”, and that only when the box is opened and an observation performed does the wave function collapse into one of the two states. Alternative interpretations have been put forward, which attempt to play down the importance of the observation; I will mention a couple of the better known ones here.

The “Many-Worlds interpretation” of quantum theory does not single out observation as a special process. In the many-worlds interpretation, both alive and dead states of the cat persist after the box is opened, but are “decoherent” from each other. In other words, when the box is opened, the observer and the possibly-dead cat split into an observer looking at a box with a dead cat, and an observer looking at a box with a live cat; each observer state becomes entangled or linked with the cat so that the “observation of the cat’s state” and the “cat’s state” correspond with eachvgtr other. Quantum decoherence ensures that the different outcomes have no interaction with each other, but each universe branches into a bunch of new universes every time a quantum measurement is made; all possibilities are therefore realised. The second interpretation is the “Relational Interpretation”, which makes no fundamental distinction between the human experimenter, the cat, or the apparatus, or between animate and inanimate systems. It sees all as quantum systems governed by the same rules of wavefunction evolution, where all can be considered “observers”. The relational interpretation allows that different observers can give different accounts of the same series of events, depending on the information they have about the system. The cat can be considered an observer of the apparatus; meanwhile, the experimenter can be considered another observer of the system in the box, namely, the cat plus the apparatus. In this way, the two observers simultaneously have different accounts of the situation: to the cat, the wavefunction of the apparatus has appeared to collapse; to the experimenter, the contents of the box appear to be in superposition. Not until the box is opened, and both observers have the same information about what happened, do both system states appear to “collapse” into the same definite result, a cat that is either alive or dead.

The third famous experiment is known as the EPR paradox, which challenged the claims of Heisenberg’s “Uncertainty Principle” as well as “Entanglement Theory”, both of which need to be outlined here before we proceed to the paradox itself. The uncertainty principle shows that in quantum mechanics it is impossible to know both the position and momentum of a quantum particle, a challenge that can be extended to other pairs of physical properties. This isn’t a statement about the accuracy of the measuring equipment, but about the nature of the system itself. It highlights the fact that the information an electron carries is limited in its totality. On the macro scale, these uncertainties are too small to notice, but when dealing with atoms and electrons they become critical. This can be seen in Bohr’s “planetary” model of the atom, where the electrons orbit around the nuclear “sun”. The uncertainty principle meant that the electrons cannot simultaneously have an exact location and velocity in the way that a planet does. Instead of classical orbits, electrons are said to inhabit atomic orbitals. An orbital is the “cloud” of possible locations in which an electron might be found, a distribution of probabilities rather than a precise location. The principle of uncertainty fixed once and for all the realisation that all knowledge is limited, and that there is no such thing as absolute certainty. Entanglement theory, on the other hand, describes how particles of energy or matter can become “correlated” in such a way that they predictably interact with each other regardless of how far apart they are. In other words, if two particles are entangled, then despite being found on either side of the universe, the measurement of one particle, determines and effects the measurements of the other particle. Entanglement is a real phenomenon, which has been demonstrated repeatedly through experimentation, despite the fact that scientists and philosophers of science have failed to find an adequate theory to explain it.

The EPR thought experiment highlighted the paradoxical nature of these two claims, in quantum mechanics, when they were put together. It was one thing to say that the physical measurement of a particle’s momentum affects uncertainty in its own position, but to say that measuring one particle’s momentum affects the uncertainty in the position of another particle, which may exist light years away, is another thing altogether. Einstein, Podolsky andbhjp Rosen, after whom the experiment was named, highlighted this paradoxical situation, where the second particle has to “know” to have a precisely defined momentum but an uncertain position simply because of the measurement made on the first particle. This would seem to imply that the one particle is communicating with the other instantaneously across space, i.e., faster than light, which contravened Einstein’s law of special relativity. Two possible explanations for this phenomenon were put forward. Either there is some interaction between the particles, even though they are separated, or the information about the outcome of all possible measurements is already present in both particles, analogous to sharing some kind of DNA. The EPR authors preferred the second explanation according to which that information was encoded in some hidden parameters, since the first explanation was in conflict with the theory of relativity. Einstein’s conclusion to the experiment was that quantum mechanics is physically incomplete and logically unsatisfactory. He recognised that time, space, and energy may be secondary features, where physical reality is totally finite and where there is an undiscovered theory of nature to which quantum mechanics acts as a kind of statistical approximation.

Einstein was not the only one who could not accept that the basis of science was random and indeterminate. David Bohm sought to develop a deterministic understanding of quantum mechanics, which did not rely on a Copenhagen Interpretation. He argued for a holistic view of the universe, where matter and life is a whole, coherent domain, which he calls the “implicate order”, where the nature of things is not reducible to fragments or particles. The implicate order, also referred to as the “enfolded” order, is seen as a deeper and more fundamental order of reality. In contrast, the explicate or “unfolded” order is the world of abstractions that humans perceive within the context of space-time. In the enfolded order, space and time are no longer the dominant factors determining the relationships of dependence or independence of different elements. Rather, an entirely different sort of basic connection of elements is possible, from which our ordinary notions of space and time, along with those of separately existent material particles, are abstracted as forms derived from the deeper order. Bohm saw that each moment of time is a projection from the total implicate order. He believed that the mathematics of the quantum theory deals primarily with the structure of the implicate pre-space and with how an explicate order of space and time emerges from it, rather than with movements of physical entities, such as particles and fields.

Central to Bohm’s schema are “correlations” between entities which seem separated by great distances in the explicate order. The correlation is not of the order of causation, which is something that relates to independent events in space-time. Bohm employed the hologram as a means of characterising implicate order, noting that each region of the hologram contains within it the whole image, which can be viewedghty from a range of perspectives, in other words, each region contains a whole and undivided image. This order is not to be understood solely in terms of a regular arrangement of objects or events, in space-time, as in the explicate order, but rather as a totality, which is contained, in some implicit sense, in each region of space and time. Where laws represent invariant relationships between explicate entities and structures, in the implicate order, Bohm conceived a possible physical law, which would address the undivided wholeness, similar to that indicated by the hologram, rather than to an order of analysis of such content into separate parts. In proposing this new notion of order, Bohm explicitly challenged the tenet that phenomena are reducible to fundamental particles and laws. In Bohm’s conception of order, primacy is given to the undivided whole, and the implicate order inherent within the whole, rather than to parts of the whole, such as particles, quantum states, and continua; the whole encompasses all things, structures, abstractions, and processes. The implication of the view is, therefore, that nothing is fundamentally separate or independent.

Bohm also described his insight into the fundamental nature of things as a unifying “flow”, which is in some sense prior to that of the things of the world, that can be seen to form and dissolve in this flow. Thus, according to Bohm’s view, the whole is in continuous flux, and hence is referred to as the holomovement. A key motivation for Bohm in proposing a new notion of order was the incompatibility of quantum theory with relativity theory. Whereas in relativity, movement is continuous, causally determinate and well defined, in quantum mechanics it is discontinuous, not causally determinate and not well-defined. Each theory is committed to its own notions of essentially static and fragmentary modes of existence, “causation” in relativity, and “quantum states” in quantum mechanics. Bohm maintained that relativity and quantum theories are in basic contradiction, a contradiction that stems from their attempt to overgeneralize, and claim a broader relevance than is ultimately warranted. He argued that a new concept of order should begin with that toward which both theories point: undivided wholeness.

AN INTERPRETATION IN THE LIGHT OF MY PHILOSOPHY OF TWO MYTHS

CHAPTER 2

I now want to put forward an interpretation, based on my own philosophy, which will attempt to interpret the bizarre findings of the subatomic world, while also reconciling it to the commonsense experience of the macro world. Even from a cursory glance of my philosophy and quantum theory, one can see a couple of obvious similarities. Where the Copenhagen Interpretation speaks of a “collapse” from a wave to a particle state, mine speaks of a “fall” from a world of being, which could be considered as a wave-of-love, to a non-being world of particles, or object relations. It should also be quickly evident that in both cases the collapse or fall is brought about by man, where his “touch”, or observation, seems to bring about this new state of affairs. While the collapse has raised serious ontological questions in science about the very nature of reality, my own work addresses that question head on, by making a clear and unique distinction between being and non-being. The failure to make this distinction in philosophy has led it to talk “nonsense”, according to Wittgenstein, a nonsense which has become the basis of some of the bloodiest ideologies in history. A similar failure in science would be at least as catastrophic, as any misunderstanding in the nature of reality, is destined to create the technology which will destroy the world, while dehumanising mankind in the process; signs of which are quite evident in our world today. The experience a physicist has of “creating reality” through his observations, only highlights the fallen nature of man, where consciousness claims reality for itself. Quantum theory raises questions about the nature of man’s “omnipotence”, which only raises further questions about the nature of the world, consciousness and knowledge. Einstein is right to consider that quantum theory is not complete, and that it is only a manifestation of a reality which lies beneath it, which has not yet been uncovered. My book has already addressed that reality, which I wish to use here to offer a “correct” interpretation of the weird behaviour of the subatomic world.

Just as the unconscious world of man needs to be interpreted in order to bring a richer meaning to his words and actions in the conscious realm, a similar thing can be said about quantum science. One might choose to ignore the unconscious world and define reality simply in the narrow terms of conscious, measurable outcomes, such as money, success, productivity etc. Many people live their lives within these parameters, while ignoring the adverse “symptoms”, which are trying to warn them about the falsity of their lives. It may only be when things become intolerable and cannot be ignored any longer, such as when the person has a nervous breakdown, suffers depression or addiction, or loses his wife and children in a divorce, that he finally admits he has a problem. It is then that he needs a therapist to help him to interpret his obsessive, destructive behaviour, which has been cloaked by “success”.imagesXU8MKWSN The therapist will lead him into a deeper reality, which will make sense of his conscious world; he will deconstruct his false perception of reality and assist him to construct a new “reality”, which is more holistic, and inclusive of human relations. I want to apply this to quantum science too, as I see a similarity between the realm of the unconscious and the realm of quantum science. The “paradoxes” of quantum mechanics, like the symptoms of an “unlived” life, or the dreams of the unconscious sleep, need interpreting, as they point to a deeper reality. The scientist could ignore any interpretations and simply apply the results of quantum theory in a pragmatic, utilitarian fashion, to create new technology, without questioning the value of what he is doing, or the effect it is having on the world. This can be seen in the “Instrumentalist Interpretation” of quantum science, which says, “shut up and calculate!” However, I believe it is essential that quantum science does not bury its head in the sand, and that the paradoxes, which arise from its experiments, are interpreted to help disclose the “implicit order”. I want to attempt an interpretation of these “freudian slips” in science, as manifested in the three experiments, but first I want to look at the “collapse”, which is at the heart of quantum theory, and consider what it might be revealing about the nature of the world.

As Kant’s transcendentals of space-time, substance, causation, etc., collapse in the micro world, one could be forgiven for believing that man has arrived at the world of the “noumena”, Being or Reality, from the world of phenomena. However, this is not the case. This new world does indeed give strange results which seem to defy the transcendentals, so the question can be asked, what sort of world is being revealed if it is not the noumena. My answer to that relates to the status of the transcendentals, which I described in my book, as the conditions of man’s experience of exile in non-being, or his “fall” into lost-being. When these transcendentals collapse, one of two things may be happening. He may either be attaining to Being, becoming free of his predicament of lost-being, or he is witnessing the ultimate form of “reductionism”, where even “lost-being”, the one distinct entity in this world-of-non-being, has become non-being too. Both of these situations depend on man’s fundamental choice “to be or not to be”. When man chooses “to be”, then space-time collapse into the present moment, where man attains to incarnate-being, through the totality, immediacy and givenness of the present moment. When man chooses “not to be” then he surrenders any possible future freedom “to be”, he relinquishes what makes him distinct from everything else, as he too becomes defined as non-being, which as we will see, is a world also marked by totality, immediacy and givenness.

This world-of-non-being is the purest form of determinism, which cannot be described by “causation”, as causation pertains to the world of lost-being, where all is a myth-expression of man’s-search-for-being. In this new world there is no such search for being, as man has conceded that right or cry. In other words, causation exists in a world where there is a “gap”, and it is used to try and fill that gap by explaining man’s predicament, which is the origin and nature of all knowledge. However, knowledge can never be determining, as it can never “close the circle” of man’s-search-for-being; man will never attain to the Hegelian Absolute Mind. In the world of lost-being there is always the de trop,imagesH3DQBPES which expresses itself in metaphysical questions about life, religious expression, art, music and even anarchism, revolutions or other forms of rebellious behaviour. But in the world of pure determinism, everything gives way to a perfect mapping. Wittgenstein sought that mapping of mind-to-world, but never succeeded in finding it, as he couldn’t find the underpinning atomic object-name, which I believe to be man himself as lost-being. There can be no perfect mapping of mind-to-world, as mind-world arises from man’s fall into lost-being, so lost-being is always the missing element; this can also be said of Kant’s transcendentals, as they are also the manifestation of “fall” into lost-being. This means that the perfect mapping of pure determinism must take place beyond the transcendentals and all forms of mind-world mapping, which express themselves through logic, language and causation. This brings us into the realm of “probabilities”.

When the scientist makes his measurement, according to the Copenhagen Interpretation, a probability wave collapses into a particle. Man, even though only made up of the same particles as the world he lives in, seems to play a cosmic role in how the world appears before his eyes, where probability decides the order of the day. This course of events would appear to be anything but deterministic, as man seems very much free to choose and his choices cover a spectrum of probabilities. However, I will offer here a radically different interpretation of these events. The “collapse” is only a myth-expression of the perfect form of reductionism, a reductionism which lies beyond man’s consciousness, so it cannot be known directly, except through paradox. This reductionism is being “revealed” in quantum mechanics, just as a dream reveals unconscious information to the sleeper. Unfortunately, physicists take the collapse at face value. In other words, instead of interpreting the collapse, and interpreting it correctly, they reduce it to consciousness, which means that “pure reductionism” has been reduced to man’s measure of reductionism, that is, to the limits of his consciousness. Because of this failure to awake from sleep, physicists end up with paradoxes that they cannot explain; the “dream” does not lend itself to the reason and logic of consciousness, as it obeys its own laws. The wave and particle, which are described as “complementary” in quantum mechanics, are indeed both necessary to give a correct interpretation of the dream. They complement each other, while being exclusive to each other, in a similar way to the unconscious and conscious in psychoanalysis; yet both pairs are only myth-expressions of reality, they must not be mistaken for reality itself.

The important thing about this “quantum dream” is that the collapse is “revealing”; it reveals a pure determinism, which cannot be revealed through mere consciousness, otherwise it would not be pure determinism. This revelation takes place through paradox, which has its analogy in the buddhist koan, which is a paradoxical statement that a master buddhist uses to jolt his disciple out of the limits of his conscious thinking state, so as to bring him into a higher state of consciousness. The paradoxes of quantum mechanics are the part of the dream that is trying to tell man that he is only dreaming, and to awaken him to what is really going on. So what is really going on? What does a world of pure determinism beyond causation look like? Well, if everything is determined, there can be no objective point from which to observe this determinism, for every effort, thought, plan or experiment that one makes is part of determinism, nothing escapes its embrace. It is a continuous flux, unfolding or “revealing” of the pure myth-of-non-being. It is as total, given and immediate, as that of the myth-of-being. This myth-of-non-being is different from all other myths of man’s experiences, as the latter express themselves in causation, but the former cannot be subjected to causation, as it is a totality; it is not a mere object, nor is it made up of objects. This unifying, totality means, “there is nothing beyond the text”, to use Derrida’s phrase. It is a unity-of-non-being, a myth-picture, which includes man in his totality, with his logic, language, freedoms etc.

In this new world of pure determinism, Probability rules. Everything is governed by probabilities, instead ofvcdf causation. In fact, I would go as far as to say that Probability is the transcendental, which underpins all Kant’s transcendentals. Probability is a “continuum”, which underlies all man’s experiences. It is prior to experience, unlike Kant’s transcendentals, which are formed from man’s experience as lost-being, and are therefore “discrete”, as man’s experiences are discrete. This might sound surprising, as man’s experience of space-time is one of continuity. However, this is only an appearance, just as light has always been perceived to be continuous, until quantum theory revealed its nature as made up of discrete quantas of energy. Probability is then the linchpin to everything, as physicists have already surmised, however, there is a radical difference between my understanding of what that means and what physicists take it for, so we need to look at this more carefully. Physicists “use” the probabilities of the wave to make predications, or at least, they see themselves as standing apart from the wave of probabilities, but this is to fail to give probabilities its correct weight. Probability governs everything, which makes it “certain” that things will behave according to the laws of probabilities. Man has no perspective on it, as his very perspectives have been determined by probabilities; there is no escape from its omnipresence as essence and existence become one in non-being. In this world the script has already been written, and everything happens as it was meant to, like a “fulfilment of Scripture”. However, the paradoxes of man’s “quantum dream” is seeking to alert man to his state of sleep, and to the fact that there is a state beyond determinism, which is Being. This brings us to the problem that quantum physics has unwittingly unearthed, and that is: What is reality?

It might be helpful here to give an analogy, which can bring out my understanding of how the “probability transcendental” works. It is not the same as our “use” of probabilities in the world of object relations, where this “use” gives rise to a false sense of freedom and progress. Imagine a casino, with a roulette wheel, where there are different probabilities of winning on each number, depending on how many times that number appears on the wheel. From the perspective of our macro world it would be clear that a person is free to place his bets by choosing a number and turning the wheel. He may be on a lucky streak and win during the first 10, 100 or 1000 bets. However, owners of casinos operate on the law of averages, which basically says that whatever luck a person has, it will eventually runimagesZCNYWPJR out, and the law of averages will ultimately reign; it is a law which no gambler can overcome. This law of averages seems to have a determinism about it; its authority comes in the sheer weight of numbers, as things tend towards infinity. Yet man’s nature as lost-being is defined by an insatiable thirst for being, his very sense of self-mind-body-will, or being-in-the-word, is constituted by “infinite regressions”. Whereas Sartre used the “not that” of man’s consciousness to define man’s being-in-the-world, it is the “and that” of his insatiable thirst for being, which truly defines him as lost-being. Man’s experience of being-in-the-world is in effect the “average” of his infinite regressions, as if he had played the game an infinite number of times, and his “experience” is that to which it averages out as. This is depicted in Nietzsche’s insight into the “eternal recurrence”, which does not literally mean that the world has been lived an infinite number of times – something Nietzsche may well have believed – but rather, the essence of man’s exile is an “average”, which is tantamount to the world having been lived an infinite number of times.

Another way of seeing this, is that, all man’s experiences, which belong to the myth-of-non-being, are a “revealing” or unfolding of the “law of averages”. The very first turn on the roulette wheel has already been done an infinite number of times, and the result has already been determined, and man is now fulfilling the script of non-being averages. The collapse of the wave function in quantum mechanics, is only disclosing to man that he belongs to an order where all is defined and already determined by probability, which includes the observer, the experiment, the calculations, formulas etc. The collapse is also revealing that man once had a freedom and an important part to play in the order of creation, but that has been replaced by a determinism, which goes to the very core of his being, to his self-mind-senses-will. The law of averages also means that in the myth-of-non-being there is nothing unique or original, there is only the illusion of freedom, choices, reason etc. The script of determinism has already been written, and as time unfolds, the actors on the stage are fulfilling the script. As pointed out already in my book, the ending to this myth is already known, it is the annihilation of the human race and the destruction of the planet. People who run casinos do not have the well-being of the gamblers at heart, despite their pleasantries. They are quite happy to nurture peoples addictions to gambling so as to leave them bankrupt. The world is at the centre of a cosmic battle between good and evil, where Satan is the owner of the casino of non-being, a casino that seeks to make the world bankrupt. The only way out of this determinism is for man to interpret the paradoxes, or “signs”, which reveal to him his predicament, and which can save him from his own insanity. If one is to say that man is part of a deterministic world, so that is not possible, unless it is part of determinism, the answer is that man does not live in the micro world of pure determinism, but in the macro world of lost-being. He can hear the cry for being in his heart, he has a conscience to guide him, and most importantly, God has used his freedom to intervene in man’s history to interpret his predicament and provide a new myth-of-being, giving man back his freedom “to be or not to be”. We already see this in the courageous lives of the saints and the many ordinary people who feel they can no longer sit ensconced in their own selfish world when they see unacceptable levels violence, exploitation, injustices, poverty, wars etc. around them.

What I am arguing in this work, is that quantum physics is not primarily inviting us to use its insights to merely expand human knowledge, which will inevitably be used in a will-to-power, which will enslave its master and destroy the world. Rather, it is challenging man to correctly interpret its paradoxes and so come to know reality as it really is, so that science can be done from the context of reality, where man becomes a co-creator with God. So let us get away from the mere “calculating” of Instrumentalism and get back to interpreting the paradoxes of quantum mechanics. We are looking for a reality which is consistent with man’s insights and experiences of both the micro and macro worlds. Just as the hidden unconsciousness of man can be interpreted to give meaning to his conscious world, so too quantum mechanics needs to be interpreted to reveal the nature of the macro world. I will now look again at those results and see how they are a myth-expression of a reality beyond both the micro and macro worlds, and yet towards which both of them converge, as to Bohm’s “undivided wholeness”.

THE EXPERIMENTS INTERPRETED

CHAPTER 3

In the double split experiment the behaviour of the particle reflects back to man his own predicament. The particle seems to “know” what is happening, and reacts differently according to whether one or two slits are open and whether somebody is watching it or not. This appearance reflects man’s status when he is in non-being mode. Man appears to have a choice, to be free and to be thinking ahead, as an independent being, but he is no more doing this than the particle is. The particle is not thinking and acting but “revealing”. It is presenting a surreal picture of what life is really like. Its behaviour cannot be explained because it does not belong to the order of logic and causation, which isimagesWQA87OHD why it results in a paradox. The two images it presents on the screen, either vertical line(s) or an interference pattern, represents man’s predicament, “to be or not to be”. These two realms of being or non-being, do not relate to each other by causation or logic, as the one is of a different order from the other, just as the unconscious is from the conscious. The unexpected interference pattern on the screen is like a freudian slip, or an unconscious dream, which is disclosing to man his lost-reality. The very pretentious claim of physicists that reality only exists when it is being observed by consciousness, only highlights man’s fallen-state, where consciousness seeks reality for itself. However, man’s influence on the experiment reveals the importance that he once played in reality, something he has now lost, as his very “touch” reduces reality to particles, to a script of determinism, which includes man as non-being. In other words, the experiment mirrors man’s exile, revealing his predicament in non-being, while pointing to an original state of Being, where man had the freedom “to be”, which was a participation in God’s creation.

Quantum theory, like the unconscious both reveal an underworld to man’s macro or conscious world, but it would be a mistake to take this underworld for reality; it is more like a “John the Baptist” voice crying in the darkness. They deconstruct the world we are familiar with, like a Derrida “third term”, which is unnerving, but at the same time they point to a reality which lies beyond both layers of object relations. The big mistake is to take the unconscious or quantum mechanics as the new reality, which would make the Psychoanalyst and the Quantum Physicist the new Messiah. To do this is more dangerous than mistaking the macro, conscious world for reality, as the former have a greater potency to drive man to final insanity and the world to self-destruction. This can be seen in the philosophy of Nietzsche, where he took man beyond object relations to the primal force of will-to-power. Nietzsche envisaged a new world of “supermen”, created from this will-to-power, when given free reign in the world of object relations. This philosophy has been the basis of some of the most violent and destructive ideologies from Nazism to Capitalism, and arguably it even assisted in Nietzsche’s own final collapse into insanity in the latter years of his life. The strange behaviour in quantum physics is a very real phenomenon, as it can be applied in a practical way in the macro world, which shows that it clearly relates to that world. However, it would be wrong to merely use this knowledge in a utilitarian fashion, for the sake of blind “progress”, when the insights of the micro world are also challenging the macro world’s claim to reality. The Instrumentalist approach to quantum mechanics, is man driving himself blindly towards the edge of a cliff, saying “shut up and keep driving”. Quantum science is revealing the double-edged sword of knowledge, which can be put at the service of will-to-power, or used to fulfil the ancient Greek aphorism, “know thyself”.

Let us now turn our attention to the Schrodinger’s Cat experiment. The fact that the cat has to be in a “blurred”, or “spread out” state of being either dead or alive, rather than definitely one or the other, before being observed, is again revealing about man’s predicament. It points to an interrelationship between presence, or lack thereof, and knowing. Until the experimenter is present to the cat, when the box opens, he does not know what the situation is with the cat, whether it is dead or alive. In the macro world we don’t seem to have this problem as man does not have to be present to have knowledge of a situation. He can know what is going on, and what the outcome of something will be, by deduction, induction and the laws of nature. However, I would argue that the problem at the micro level is disclosing a truth about knowledge, which is not evident to people in their everyday lives, although scientists and philosophers are more aware of it. I have already mentioned that philosophers agree that they cannot know a thing-in-itself, andimagesJ0VO3J30 scientists agree that they can never have certainty about things. This “gap” which exists in the relationship between the mind-senses and the world, is normally too small to concern oneself with, and for all intents and purposes one can presume it is not there. But it is there, and its presence is actually of crucial importance, as the laws and knowledge of the micro and macro world, including all “symptoms” of man’s folly, find their source in that gap, as they are a response or reaction to it. This lack of “knowing” at the micro level, reveals the lack of presence in the macro world with its subsequent “hidden” realm of probabilities. It is also revealing the nature of knowledge, which as I have discussed at length in my book, is a myth-expression of man’s-search-for-being. In other words, the “blurred” status of the cat is a myth-expression of man’s lost presence and lost knowing. The importance of being present also points to a lost incarnate I-Thou, which was the basis for true presence and true knowing, and without which man is condemned to mere knowledge, which lacks both presence and knowing. The cat’s inability to be in an alive state nor a dead state, may also reflect man’s own predicament which is “blurred”. Man in exile is neither dead nor alive, as life and death cannot be separated in Reality, but in exile man cannot live with death, as death marks the end of life, so he cannot know life; man is more like a zombie, or an automaton who is determined by causation (cf. my chapter on life and death). Man cannot say if the cat is dead or alive, the very question has no meaning until he observes the cat.

Some alternatives to the Copenhagen Interpretation, such as the aforementioned Many-Worlds Interpretation and the Relational Interpretation, seek to get away from the importance of observation, almost as if they sense that the paradoxes can only be overcome, or sidestepped, if man’s inability to “name” things – a power he once had in Being – is bracketed out of quantum mechanics. In the Many-Worlds interpretation the different possible outcomes, such as the dead and alive states of the cat persist, but in multiple and ever multiplying universes, decoherent from one another. This in itself is a myth-expression of man’s predicament, while revealing something of the nature of realityimagesPOK523Z0 too. Man’s very experience of being-in-the-world is made up of a differentiation process, which arose when he lost his I-Thou presence. This differentiation defines man not only by what he chooses but by what he doesn’t choose, as his discrete choices are played out against a backdrop of a continuum of probabilities, which defines the myth-of-non-being. While there is only one world to which he is present-to as a self-mind-body-will, the “other worlds” constitute his unconscious experience of being-in-the-world, some of which are played out in his imagination. The Many-Worlds view also highlights the predicament of the “self”, which is condemned to its own universe, through self-love, as an “I”, which is the only love that humans know, and from which each self has “present-to” points of contact with other “Thous”. The Relational Interpretation allows for different perspectives, which contain different amounts of information and truths, which only complete and complement each other, when the observers come together. This again points to the importance of the lost I-Thou, which is a totality and a unity-of-being, where all perspectives or part-knowledge are transcended in a “knowing”, which comes from the one perspective of divine love.

Before moving on to the third experiment, I will make the point here of disagreeing with the Many-World stance on one fundamental point. The Many-World Interpretation believes that all probable outcomes are equally likely, as they all actually occur, even if it is in decoherent universes. From this position it follows that probabilities are insignificant in the many-world interpretation, which I don’t agree with. Yes, I agree that probability does not determine the choice made, but not because all choices are made anyway, according to the many-world-interpretation, but because of the nature of pure determinism, where life is an “acting out” of probabilities. For this reason probabilities are important, as absolutely everything is determined according to the law of averages, so life in its essence, is a picture of probability. Probabilities even underlie the very consciousness that man needs to be aware of his choices, as well as making those choices for him. This means that the choices a person makes are a fulfilment and revelation of those probabilities, they are painting a picture, a myth-picture of man as fallen-being. The choices are not random, they are the brush strokes of the painter, or the words of a story which has already been written. This story is being articulated through man as self-mind-body-will, which is the grammar of the story, or the ink of the pen. This is not true of the other possible universes in the mind of the writer, so I would disagree again here with the many-worlds interpretation, that all the universes carry equal weight. However, while man finds himself fulfilling the script of a story, which has already been written, a story with a tragic ending, there is another story being written too, in which he is not merely the grammar but the protagonist.

Now we come to the third of the experiments, with the phenomena of entanglement and uncertainty. Entangled particles act as if they are not separated by space-time. The communication between them seems to break the rules of special relativity. However, maybe this can be explained if one understands the entanglement as a myth-expression of the original I-Thou between objects, before man fell into space-time, in other words, space-time belong to man’s predicament as lost-being, not to nature itself. So man’s measurements and experiences take place within this context, as does his knowledge and the transmission of that knowledge. The speed of light sets the limits to these experiencesimagesL3CXUOFW and measurements, but this is not the limit to the “knowing”, which pertains to the I-Thou and that is immediate. The other proposal for explaining entanglement was that each particle knows what is happening to every other particle at all times in the universe. In fact the universe seems to be a perfect holding environment, as it accommodates the change in one electrons energy quantum state by ensuring that no other electron in the universe has that energy state, since according to the Pauli Exclusion Principal, no two electrons in the universe can have the same quantum state. This again points to an original reality state, where all was one, forming a unity-of-being, in an immediacy and totality of being, where each entity preserved its own unique character. Here my own philosophy of reality, as outlined in my book, is in accord with a quantum theory, which argues that entanglement theory points to an original state where all the particles of the universe were united as one.

The uncertainty principal also reveals something of man’s predicament. The failure of man to be able to measure accurately, at one and the same time, the position and momentum of a particle, is a myth-expression of the “absence” at the heart of man’s fallen-state. To know all the properties of something would be tantamount to being “present”. However, just as a philosopher cannot know a thing-in-itself, the physicist also finds himself in the embarrassing situation of not being able to be “present” to the particle. Where the “entangled” particles defy space-time, by claiming a presence to each other, something that man cannot experience in his mind-senses, now man finds himself present to the particle with his measuring instruments, only to experience the particles “playing up”, as if they are mocking man’s claim to presence. Like other aspects of quantum mechanics, the paradoxes are denying man’s claim to reality, while pointing him to that reality. Untouched nature is fine until man disturbs it. Nature “knows” itself, a knowing that is not disclosed to man’s knowledge, as they belong to different orders. Man can never know nature as it really is, instead he projects into it his own mind, such as the theory of the survival of the fittest, which is man’s interpretation of object relations. I don’t believe this to be a true reflection of the reality of nature, but rather a projection of man’s own state of lost-being, where “hell is other people”. Man must discover again his “presence” to nature if he is not to destroy it and himself by following blindly the script of determinism. The results of quantum theory play an important part in the final outcome of mankind’s destiny. Man must heed its paradoxes, and come up with the correct interpretation.

GOD’S INTERPRETATION: THE NEW WAVE-PARTICLE

CHAPTER 4

The “Now” is the common denominator between the micro and macro worlds. The problem of the Now was a real issue for Einstein, who recognised the experience of the present moment as essentially different from the past and the future, a difference that physics could not describe or grasp. Physics seemed to offer no way of identifying the Now even as a single event in a single place, even though a local present moment, is evident as something undeniably real. How can there be no place in physics for something as obvious as that? Einstein was left with a similar embarrassing problem to that of Wittgenstein, who could not find the atomic object to complete the mapping of mind-to-world. Thegft missing piece to the jigsaw is not an accident, rather, the very absence, or “gap”, in the present moment, is a revelation of the nature of the world of object relations- it is a “black-hole” in the form of man as “lost-being”, which cannot be articulated, understood or grasped, as it is not of the nature of all other objects, it is “wholly other”. It belongs to Being, it cries for Being and it can only be addressed by Being. Some scientists believe that the quantum muddle is due to a failure to include a Now in the physical description of the world. However, it is not a simple matter of adding in a Now as another thing or object, alongside all other objects, as philosophers have done, but rather, interpreting the meaning of its absence, and what it reveals about the nature of the world and science.

In recent times Qbism has become a fashionable approach to interpreting and utilising quantum mechanics, with its focus on the subject in the Now. It takes a wavefunction to be associated with a physical system by an agent based on my past experience. It uses the wavefunction, following rules laid down by quantum mechanics, to calculate the likelihood of what one might experience next. Depending on what one then perceives, one can update the wavefunction on the basis of that experience, allowing one to better assess subsequent expectations. In this way QBism is more explicit about interpretation of probability from classical quantum physics; it treats quantum states as expressions of information, knowledge, belief, or expectation. Such an approach to the subject and the Now, is completely utilitarian, and in my view deterministic, as the subject is only fulfilling the “script” in a more explicit way, which is laid down for him by the probabilities that manifest themselves. This only highlights the importance of making the correct interpretation of quantum mechanics in order that man, as lost-being, can truly recover his identity, at the heart of a new science, which is not based on mere probabilties, and the law of averages, but on the one certainty and uniquely free event that allows for the new creativity. The absence, or gap, at the heart of man’s creation cannot be plugged by numbers, efficiency or utilitarianism, because the very nature of everything is defined by this absence.

The world as we know it is the fruit of this absence, like a big bang, which also gives science its parameters for doing experiments, discovering laws, developing a knowledge of the world, as well as the technology to manipulate it. However, that absence defines man’s predicament in exile, like a man stranded on an island after a shipwreck. His knowledge describes the island he lives on as well as enabling him to utilise the land in order to survive. He may even create things to help him to get off the island, and sail the seas around the island, however, he has lost his memory and doesn’t realise that he is a castaway, and that there is a real world beyond the island. Every now and again, in hisimagesDN9732GC dreams or moments of intuition, he gets the sense that his knowledge and skills derive from another source, which lies beyond the world he knows. Science cannot deal with the Now, it can only describe the world that the Now presents, which is the world of object relations. Man’s macro world of everydayness is a “reaction” to his lost Now. His use of language, concepts, logic, reason, laws etc., approximate to this lost Now, in a “present-to”, where the “gap” becomes negligible through its infinite regressions and approximations, giving him a false sense of presence. It is to this “dream” state of being-in-the-word that quantum paradoxes seek to awaken man to his predicament, which can be seen in the “leaps” in states of electrons, where there is no continuity, or “presence” between one state and another. The quantum muddle will by solved when man awakes from his sleep, and realises his true “particle” nature, as incarnate-being, when the wave of God’s love collapses into the Now of man’s being-in-the-world, which fulfils Jesus’ words, “God’s kingdom has come”.

In the macro world, man has a conscience, a sense of right and wrong, which means that he can choose to behave in a manner which is contrary to the flow of will-to-power. In other words, the wave of probabilities, which determine life, does not exhaust man’s definition, man can act as a moral agent. It was this moral aspect, which Kant saw as the means by which man can cross from the phenomena to the noumena man has access he has the probability of choosing the right action. The presence-to of man to the macro world is realised in the presence of Jesus, and the new ethical man. The two worlds of the micro and macro can be compared to a hyperbole, where the upper part is in space-time (x-y axis) where all acts are spread out in an infinite regression of waves, as man tends towards the origin. dsaThe lower part, the micro, is outside of space-time, it is a reflection, or “other-half”, but from a perspective which does not exist within the kantian transcendentals. Maybe this is what Sartre experienced, when he spoke of the “nausea” he felt as he stood before an old tree, where he experiences “existence” in its raw, nakedness. Maybe these two realms can be described as mind-of-world and world-of-mind, the one we are familiar with and we term it “real” and the other is captured in art as “surreal”. In science the upper is described by object relations and causality, whereas the lower is described by waves and probabilities. Both are fulfilled at the origin, where man becomes incarnate, where the world of particles united once more, as a unity-of-being, in the wave of God’s love. The world that was “touched” by man, which reduced him to object relations, a many-worlds, is now touched by God, who unites all in the one world of his Kingdom on earth. The law of averages is overcome, as everything that man does is unique, given only in the present moment, according to the law of love.

The correct interpretation finds its fulfilment in Jesus, who overcomes the probability wave of determinism, by God’s act of free will where “God so loved the world that he sent his only Son, so that everybody who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life”. In Being man is free from all possibilities, choices and universes, as he lives in the one possibility, one choice and one universe of God’s love, which is the only “certainty”. He surrenders his eternally recurring differentiations for the one reality, which takes place through his fiat, when he unites his will to the will of God. His many-worlds of non-being myths, has become the single world of God’s new creation, the myth-of-man’s-redemption. The partial perspectives of relationalism are resolved when man shares in God’s universal perspective, which is the “knowing” of the present moment. And the wave-particle duality is resolved, in God becoming man so that man can become God. Man is a new “particle”, incarnate-being, as he is transformed in the wave of God’s presence on earth. The given, immediate, totality nature of non-being determinism is consumed by the given, immediate, totality nature of God’s unconditional love. The 99.9999…% form of regressive determinism, which defines man’s world of non-being, has been redeemed by God, as he hears the cry of man’s 0.0000…1% element of lost-being. This is depicted in the parable Jesus gave of the Good Shepherd who leaves the 99 sheep and goes in search of the one lost sheep. In offering his myth-picture the 99.9999…% of non-being is transformed into incarnate-being; the “gap” of man’s infinite regressions is closed in the guarantee of God’s unconditional love.

The “probability transcendental”, which underpins everything has been redeemed in the divine, “incarnatingrew transcendental”. No matter which world man falls into, through bad choices, God is always there, like a wave function, to bring him into the one world of being. It is in God, as the wave of love, where all possibilities lie, and not in man, who finds himself determined by non-being, where his waves of probabilities are only a myth-expression of his lost-freedom. It is in this world that the micro and macro are united, and man becomes a co-creator with God. It takes place in the Now, the sacrament of the present moment, where space-time and causation collapse, for man is now free from the transcendentals of his exile in the macro world. The paradoxes of quantum theory are resolved in the paradox of the Pascal Mystery; Reality is to be found in the present moment, in the splitting of the atomic “human” particle, which is a dying to self and being born again as incarnate-being. Man lives in the still point of “offering”, as priest, where the vertical dialectic, which changes the direction of the flow of determinism through the flow of God’s love. This can only take place where there is certainty, where the probability is one, which is God’s perfect holding environment, into which man abandons himself as a new creation. Man lives life as a “miracle” as he accepts all from the hand of God. This is the Good News to the world, that man is now free to participate in a new creativity, where he is a co-creator with God again, which does not come through man’s “love of objects”, as Einstein put it, but in God’s love for the world. Man shares in a new love for the world, which unites all creation in incarnate-being, which is the “implicit order” and “local reality”, which Bohm and Einstein referred to respectively.

Paper 2: “Non-Being and Time”- Awakening Heidegger from Sleep

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Heidegger spent the best part of 70 years of his life wrestling with one fundamental question in philosophy, namely, the meaning of Being. He was troubled by the evident “oblivion of Being”, that marked the history of philosophy, which his own philosophy tried to address. He drew attention to a “forgetfulness”, common to all philosophies, which he saw as a fundamental flaw that began with Plato. He attributed the problem to “substance ontology”, which is a type of “presencing” that takes place in the mind, through abstracted, metaphysical ideas. Heidegger saw it as necessary to “start again” by returning to the pre-socratic philosophers, who had a primordial experience of an unfolding Being, a “presencing of presence”, which the history of metaphysics has concealed as man attempted to grasp Being. Heidegger’s proposed solution is a cause for incredulity, as it asks one to believe that all the greatest philosophical minds in history systematically confused, or overlooked, the conceptual differences between Being and beings, between reality itself and mere concepts of it. History has had to wait 2000 years for Heidegger to bring this oversight to the world’s attention. I would suggest that there is a more fundamental reason for this oversight, which lies beyond the mere problems of conceptual thinking and use of language, a problem that human understanding and philosophy cannot grasp. The fundamental flaw in Heidegger’s philosophy, and for that matter, the history of philosophy, is the failure to understand the nature and extent of the “fall”, which separates the realm of phenomena from that of the noumena. The correct interpretation of the “fall” will reveal the very nature of questions, concepts, understanding, mind and even self. This will, in turn, reveal the true nature of man’s pursuit of truth. In other words, the fall holds the key to all philosophy’s questions, as all philosophies have lived under the same common delusion, like men in Plato’s cave of shadows.

I will come back to the origin of the fall and its development later, but for now I want to jump straight in at man’s experience of being-in-the-world after the fall. The first thing to be observed in this fallen-world, is that there is a distinction between “whatness” and “thatness”, between essence and existence, a gap, which philosophers have tried, in vain, to plug by putting mind in it. The attempt to bridge the gap has inevitably led to various forms of transcendentalism, which is a symptom of the problem, like a hyperbola graph that tends to infinity as it approaches the origin, because the function cannot recognise X=0 as a valid real number. Two contrasting approaches to the problem has been Descartes’ cartesian, metaphysical model and Heidegger’s Dasein model. Heidegger accused Descartes’, and philosophy generally, of passing over the thatness, while preoccupying itself with the whatness. This can be seen, for example, in Husserl’s phenomenology, where he brackets the problem of existence, and takes essences for that which exists, thus creating his own version of thatness through a mental reductionism. In other words, the “givenness” of life, man’s reality, necessarily has its context in consciousness, which in Husserl’s philosophy gives rise to a transcendental ego. Consciousness itself might seem a safe place to start, a foundation upon which to engage reality, but it leaves unquestioned its nature. It is the revelation of that nature, something that lies beyond man’s interpretation, that finally resolves both sides of the debate, when the gap is filled with a “wholly other” object, that is not of consciousness.

My own philosophy proposes that the distinction between whatness and thatness is due to a “fall”, a fall from Being into non-being. The gap created cannot be bridged by mind, as mind is formed from non-being, and so cannot attain to being. Thatness is actually a unity-of-being, a totality, which cannot be approached or grasped by the mind or senses, as these pertain to part-objects, namely, to whatness, or non-being. In other words, there is an infinite chasm between thatness and whatness, as they have wholly different natures. However, man has a sense of the thatness both through the immediate presence of a world around him, and his own deep sense of self, which Heidegger interprets as a pre-intellectual openness to Being. I have argued in my work that this “sense” is not some transcendental openness-to-being, but rather, a cry-for-being. There is an essential difference between the two, which highlights both a fundamental error in Heidegger’s philosophy, and the failure of philosophy to understand its own nature. Man’s disposition is one of absence, he is a lost-being, one that thirsts for being in exile. Philosophy perceives a mirage in the desert and takes it for reality. It then devises interminably ways to try and reach this mirage, only to find itself going around in circles. The mirage is actually a symptom of a “real” problem, which cannot be interpreted since man is deranged by his thirst, which gives him a false identity; it is a total, encompassing affair. The correct interpretation will quench man’s thirst and reveal to him the mirage as an illusion, a projection of his thirst for being in exile. It is only by letting go of this illusion that he can receive the gift of living water, which will enable him to recover his “sanity” and free him from his relentless sojourning in the desert.

Man does not have the tools to be present to thatness. As we saw, the self, with its body-mind-will, is the result of the fall. It leaves man not only broken but alienated from his true identity; he is encompassed in a darkness which defines his very being-in-the-world. The shadows of the cave he lives in have the form of “whatness”. This is the oblivion of Being that has plagued the history of philosophy, which pertains to man’s predicament as lost-being. His true nature, as incarnate-being, which has been lost in the fall, is played out in Heidegger’s philosophy as Dasein, which is more like an incarnate-mind. Heidegger fails to realise the depth of the problem, where no solution can be found within the context of object relations. The unity-of-being, which man once knew, in an incarnate I-Thou, has been shattered and scattered into an I-experience-Thou world of “whatness”. Man will, in vain, attempt to unify all the raw data of the senses through the mental world of universals, and the analysing processes of the mind. However, all man’s expanding fields of knowledge are only ever myth-expressions of man’s search-for-being, for not only is the raw data “loaded”, as fragments of a fallen-world, but the very one who is doing the recording and analysis relates to that fragmentation as “lost-being”, just as a black-hole might relate to the universe around it. In other words, man’s always already “involvement” in the world, which Heidegger’s whole philosophy is based on, is not, and can never be, authentic involvement. Man’s presence in the world of experiences is one of “absence”. He lives in an exile of phenomena, from which he cannot escape. Kant’s “transcendentals” pertain to his falling-state, as lost-being, rather than to mind; they are the parameters of his exile, and the parchment of his living myth. Man cannot interpret his predicament, and Heidegger’s “spiral of interpretations”, is just another infinite regression that vainly attempts to close the circle of man’s fallen-state as lost-being. The only way out is for the noumena to hear his cry-for-being and to come to set him free.

Philosophers recognise that there is an “is” that arises through the distinction of whatness-thatness. It is evident in the many uses of the word “is” in our language. It is also essential to giving meaning to our lives, as well as carrying out the practical affairs of daily life; it is the glue that holds man’s projects together. However, Heidegger believes that the “is” that defines our being-in-the-world, actually points to an “is” that lies beyond the distinction of whatness-thatness, one that is prior to the articulated “is”, namely, Being itself. Heidegger is right, but what he fails to recognise, is the full extent and nature of “fall” and how that effects the “is”. In fact, we will later see later that the fall throws a spanner into Heidegger’s work, interpreting and revealing the true nature of Dasein’s “breakdowns”. The shocking truth, which “reverses” Heidegger’s philosophy, is that the “is” of man’s articulated world is essentially an “is not”, as it pertains to the unarticulated state of lost-being. In other words, man’s articulations are an unfolding of non-being, a myth-expression of man’s search-for-being, which in Heidegger’s philosophy, is expressed as “care”. The confusion over the nature of the “is” in this world only highlights a “deception” which lies at the heart of man’s predicament, a deception which brought about the fall, and keeps man in his platonic cave of shadows.

Two prime examples of this deception can be seen in the fundamental starting points to Sartre’s and Descartes’ philosophy, where they both use consciousness as a launching point into reality. Sartre’s use of “not that”, addressed to consciousness, allows him to recreate man with a radical freedom to define his own essence. This is actually the inverse of the truth, as the “not” does not address man’s consciousness but man’s predicament as lost-being. Consciousness itself arose in the fall from I-Thou to I-and-Thou, where the very awareness of “present-to-hand” entities, is a fall from a totality. Man can do nothing to address this by his own fallen-will, as the total is not a sum of the parts, which undermines Sartre’s Descartes’ or Heidegger’s projects from the start, and draws all philosophies into infinite regressions as man attempts to close the gap. Descartes’ ability to think, question and use language become his starting point, but he doesn’t question the nature of these things nor the nature of the world to which they refer. I am arguing in this work that the common underlying nature to all entities, in man and in his world, is non-being.

Man’s fall is “total”. He cannot step outside of it, as his very self is constituted by it, it all belongs to one layer, or horizontal plane, of space-time. To use a Derrida expression, “there is nothing beyond the text”, where the text in this case is non-being. All of man’s experiences are constituted by this I-experience-Thou, where the omnipresent “is”, is actually the “is not” of man’s exile from Being. However, there is one entity that is not defined as non-being and that is man himself, who is lost-being. Lost-being is in a state of “falling” from the vertical axis of Being into the horizontal plane of non-being, from an Eternal-Now to a fallen-now. In the Eternal-Now, space-time and its content form an I-Thou, unity-of-being with man, in the immediacy and givenness of the present moment, a “pure presence”, whose nature is Love, and which is a share in the nature of God. The fall is like a primordial Big Bang, in which space-time become the axis of “projections”, in a horizontal plane, as the unity-of-being is shattered and scattered in a continuous movement away from the origin. In exile man only knows a fallen-now, an “absence”, from which he cries for Being. Space-time is both the cell where he lives in exile and the parchment upon which he expresses his mythological search-for-being. Heidegger’s “temporalising-temporal” is each person’s myth being written on the common space-time parchment shared by all, each person filling out the blank sheet with their own story.

Before moving on, it is worth noting here, two forms of “change”, vertical or real-change, and horizontal or fallen-change. True change is Love, which can be described by the adjectives totality, immediacy and knowing; it is not accessible to the mind or senses, as they only relate to mediated part-objects. The analogy might be two soulmates meeting for the first time, where their love is not visible to others and even less can it be put into words, but it makes a real and instant change to their lives. Real-change appears as “stillness” in man’s fallen-world; in the words of Scripture, “Be still and know that I am God (Being)”. That stillness is lost to the fallen-world, which is busy about many things. In fact, the world is in a state of “reaction” to the fall, this reaction is a determinism, which is an unfolding of non-being, but I will say more about this later. There is no “still-point” in man’s falling-state, there is nowhere from which he can take an objective stance, to think about, look at, or interpret his predicament. Fallen-change is the change we are familiar with in the world, it is characterised by infinite regressions, unclosed circles and eternal recurrences. It gives man a false sense of progress, in his busy life and insatiable thirst for the things, when in fact, there is actually nothing new under the sun. Such a distinction between these two changes would help to resolve the problems and paradoxes that the early Greek philosophers were trying to address with regards to change. Unfortunately, they did not have the foresight of man’s falling-state, something that had to be revealed to the world, from beyond fallen-change. Oblivious to this fall, meant Heidegger in turn, believed that man simply had to “enter the circle the right way” rather than get out of it.

I want to turn now to the origin of the fall, which takes place early in a baby’s life, maybe even as early as the moment of his conception in his mother’s womb. From an initial narcissistic state of undifferentiated being, expressed as an I-Thou between the baby and the mother’s holding environment, the baby falls into a world of differentiation, a dualistic world of I-and-Thou. After the fall, everything in a sense has stayed the same, nothing is missing except the gift of love, with its presence, totality and immediacy. The fall creates great turmoil in the baby, as it projects and introjects good and bad objects. This primitive, dynamic world shapes the psyche and personality of the developing baby, constituting every aspect of his inner and outer world, physical, mental and emotional, while giving form to a self with a mind-body-will. Lost-being cannot experience itself, as that would be a contradiction in terms, experience itself is the outcome of the fall, it is the “not that” of man’s predicament as unarticulated lost-being. It follows that man can never truly know himself or the world, as his problem is not a lack of knowledge, but a lack of knowing, which comes in the immediacy of the divine love that created him as I-Thou. For the same reason man can never be truly “involved” in his world, as this involvement is his I-Thou, a unity-of-being, which has been replaced by the world of beings. The self that has been formed in the fall is a “being-not-there”, it is an absence, which can only be overcome if man can recover Love. Because Heidegger has failed to take account of the fall, he has failed to identify the problem of philosophy’s “forgetfulness” of Being. Philosophies have failed to realise the true source and nature of the problem of dualism, which is not between universals of the mind and the particulars of the world, as these are only myth-expressions, like a reflection in the river, of a real living dualistic problem. Consequently, the philosophies written in this medium are only portraits of the reflection of that reality in the river.

The real problem of duality can probably best be described by using the analogy of dreaming. Man in the fall has lost his Love, his other half in an I-Thou, which he can never recover, as he is sentenced to a lifetime in exile. In his traumatised state of losing the one who alone can give him life, man has fallen asleep and dreams. Dreams, by their nature, are designed to modify traumatic problems and make them more bearable; the dream offers a solution, as it is a form of wishful thinking. Dreams also need interpreting but in this case there is nobody who can interpret the dream, as the dream includes man himself. In the dream the problem of lost-love has been changed to one of lost-truth, a problem of thatness has become one of whatness. The sum of the parts, in the dream, do add up to the whole, so man can close the gap, he can rebuild the totality from the objects that man up his world, where the self with its body-mind-will is designed for the purpose. It is just a matter of asking the right questions and coming up with the right answers, or as Heidegger would say, coming into the circle the right way. Although man does not know he is dreaming, since he has nothing to compare it with, the paradoxes, infinite regressions, unclosed circles, and in Heidegger’s case, the spiral of interpretations, that make up his experiences of searching for truth, are a sign of his predicament. It is like a dream that becomes a nightmare as the person in the dream frantically tries to get to a place on time, but the harder they try the more impossible the simple task becomes; a small gap has become an infinite chasm, which is the truth of man’s predicament. This is the dream’s way of saying, “this is only a dream, now you must wake up, if you want to achieve your goal”.

The dream-state is a totality, a state that man cannot step out of; he must be awoken from his sleep, like a sleeping beauty who awaits her prince. The real duality is between the dream-state and the awake-state, which as we shall see later, relies on man’s fundamental freedom to choose, “to be or not to be”. All other dualities in his dream world are myth-expressions of this one duality, which can also be said of all other understandings of freedom. However, unlike psychoanalysis where an interpretation can awaken the unconscious, bringing it to consciousness, and thus heal a person’s “woundedness”, it is not so with man’s “falleneness” in his dream-state. In fact, the work of psychoanalysis, to make the unconscious conscious, through interpretation, is only a myth-expression of man’s real predicament, for which there is no interpretation in this world. Man’s problem is lost-being, for which the solution is incarnate-being. Man suffers from a vertical-problem, of which all the horizontal-problems of consciousness are myth-expressions. In that sense, Wittgenstein is wrong to speak of philosophers talking “nonsense”, for all talk and all problems are necessarily myth-expressions of the one problem and they simply need to be interpreted as such, just as Freud realised that a madman’s nonsensical words and actions have meaning if they are interpreted correctly. When man awakes from his sleep his questions will be silenced, his understanding will be realised in a knowing, and the desires of his heart will be fulfilled in a new I-Thou. The restless pursuit of knowledge, which seeks to convert whatness to thatness, in a unity and totality, epitomised in Hegel’s Absolute Mind, will find their answer in Absolute Love.

Man fails to recognise the infinite chasm due to a cosmic-denial which has “masked” lost-being with a self, equipped with understanding, where its busy pursuit of truth and life conceals the real problem of lost love. The “deception” at the heart of man’s predicament can be seen in the way he experiences the “gap” or “difference”. For example, in Maths Calculus, when the recurring decimal, say, 0.99999… gets sufficiently long it gets rounded to 1, as the difference becomes negligible, in the mind of man and for all practical purposes in the world of object relations. However, it is not so in reality, where sum of the parts cannot add up to the whole, as they are of different natures, one is Being, in the vertical plane, and the other is non-being, in the horizontal plane. This different in nature may help to explain the paradoxes that arise in the micro world of quantum science. The laws of the micro world have been found to contradict the laws of the macro world, despite the one being formed from the other. As the two worlds approach each other, one would expect them to meet, like hand-in-glove, at the gap, like the rounding off of numbers, which are consistent. The paradoxes that arise may well be trying to awaken scientists to the nature of man’s real gap, and to remind scientists that they are not merely dealing with numbers and entities, but with Nature. Over the last 80 years quantum physicists have failed to explain how both sets of laws can be correct and yet contradict each other. The failure to give an adequate interpretation has led many scientists to take a pragmatic approach and say “shut up and calculate”, but to opt out of interpreting these paradoxes, as if it doesn’t matter, like a tiny rounding error, I believe to be catastrophic to the world (To know more about that and my interpretation of the results of quantum science, go to my article on it).

Heidegger fails to interpret correctly “why there is something and not nothing”. He fails to see that man’s being-in-the-world, which is understood in the context of a world-of-whatness or for-the-sake-of-projects, is the result of a fall into non-being. Heidegger has failed to interpret man’s predicament and so he too remains asleep, dreaming that his own philosophy is real and that all the others are abstractions or derivatives of his. It is worthwhile here comparing and contrasting Heidegger’s dream with the metaphysical one, while interpreting both in the light of philosophy’s true nature, as myth-expressions of man’s search-for-being.

The metaphysical model seems to start from the position of an unconscious denial of man’s predicament; it knows that this world is his exile, time is his life sentence. It buries the pain of man’s predicament and seeks to start again from a new Now. Heidegger, like a psychoanalyst, will take up these repressed parts in his own philosophy, as if making the unconscious conscious through a spiral of interpretations. The new Now is centred in Mind, from which all transcendentals, such as space-time and substance, extend out before it. The “thinking” subject can then become Lord of a new creation, which is dominated by increasing knowledge, as Mind projects itself into Matter to take control of it, in a world-for-mind. Everything that enters through the senses is raw data, purified of any accretions of prior meaningfulness. Universals are extracted from the particulars and then applied to the world, in a process involving observations, induction, deduction, logic, language, which ultimately give rise to laws of nature. The Mind, which lays claim to Being, typified in Descartes’ cogito ergo sum, seeks to unify the I to the Thou, hoping to finally overcome all dialectics in a final union of Mind and Matter. Plato took a more idealist view, believing that the universals of the mind could ultimately reach up to the heavens, like a tower of babel, to the most perfect concept of Being from which they originated. Because he is unaware of the fall, he takes the reflection of the vertical in the horizontal river of man’s exile, for reality. Later philosophers took a more practical or positivist approach, making use of the knowledge that universals brought forth, described by Heidegger as a “technological mind”, to subdue, dominate and exploit the earth. Heidegger saw that such knowledge and truths, based on correspondence between the mind and world, rests on an a priori transcendental condition, or “original truth”. I will give my own interpretation of this original truth later, when I will argue that Truth and Love were inextricably united as one before the fall, and that man’s fall sees truth and ethics separated, as truth becomes independent of the good-life, which is the real fall in the history of philosophy.

Heidegger is right to see that man cannot just wipe the slate clean and start again in an abstracted manner, where subject and world are merely present-to-hand. Man is already involved in his world, he has been thrown into it and he is always projecting ahead-of-itself, such that his very being is inextricably linked to time. The contrast of the two models has similarities to the realms of the conscious and unconscious. The metaphysical world is like a man who takes the conscious world of present-to-hand things, including his sense of self, as reality, and lives his life at that level. Whereas the Heidegger world is like a psychoanalyst who seeks to unearth the unconscious realm, through interpretation, in order to reveal man’s deeper involvement in the world, and so to unconceal the deeper meaning of his words and actions. In doing so man can then be more authentic, as he can stand back from his apparent involvement, and make more independent, authentic decisions, which is not a mere “acting out” from past experiences and expectations. However, my argument is that psychoanalysis and Heidegger fail to realise the nature of their work. They are also myth-expressions of man’s search-for-being, as the unconscious remains in the realm of object relations. As said before, psychoanalysis can heal man’s woundedness but not his fallenness; in the words of Freud, “psychoanalysis changes neurotic unhappiness into ordinary unhappiness”. Interpretation can indeed help man to come to deeper insights into his sense of self and his relationship with the world. It can bring about a reconfiguration in both, and in so doing, reduce suffering and help man to engage more fully with himself and the world around him, through his work and relationships. However, man’s deepest desire, his “dream” for life in its fullness, cannot be realised unless, paradoxically, he awakes from his dream, to embrace life in its “totality”, which can only be done if he overcomes the problem of his alienation from his true I-Thou, which is his true “involvement” in a love. This takes place in an interpretation that wakes him from his sleep, of which all other interpretations, in this world, are myth-expressions.

Psychoanalysis looks to solve peoples neurosis by going back to an earlier point in their life, to identify a possible trauma, from which the repression and acting out began. Heidegger in turn is seeking to go back to an earlier event in history, where he can identify the point where philosophy went wrong. There was a time when philosophy chose a metaphysical way of looking at the world, as a coping mechanism, for being-in-the-world. Arguably, this happened in man’s unconscious trauma of realising that he could not recover “thatness”, which subsequently led to a denial of his predicament and the creation of a world-of-whatness. This event might be identified with the transition from Socrates’ to Plato’s philosophy. The former never committed his work to writing, as he saw it as a living reality, which the latter attempted to keep alive in the written form of dialogues. Socrates came to recognise that he was the wisest of men because he was ignorant. The more he questioned the meaning of words, the more he realised that his knowledge was empty of real meaning. This led Socrates into a kenosis of the mind, which was the precursor for the truth to be realised in his own life. His life came to epitomise the good-life, which he had sought to define with the universals of the mind, culminating in his death. As we shall see later, the good-life comes about, paradoxically, through a union of life and death. The Truth that Socrates sought through dialectics, inevitably led to an infinite regression of mind, which Plato dealt with differently from Socrates; the living reality could somehow now be held by the text. Like the mathematician who rounds off the recurring decimal, Plato sees mind tending to Being, and therefore concludes that mind can attain to Being through the contemplation of ideas, which is fulfilled in death, when the mind returns to the realm of Ideas. This is to create a direct link between mind and reality, between ideas and Being, which is not true. All regressions in man’s world, is a tending towards the origin of his fall, in the horizontal plane of space-time, but this is not a tending to Being, as Being lies in the vertical axis of the origin. Plato is mistaking the reflection of Being for Being itself, which is a living reality that cannot be grasped by the written word, nor the universals of the mind. By failing to realise this Plato is guilty of living in his own cave of shadows. It also paves the way to a future separation between truths and ethics, where man can create his own reality through his ideas, where truth is something independent of how man lives his life. Man can then reap the benefits of these truths by buying the good-life, without taking responsibility for his actions, paving the way for the modern consumerist, materialist age.

Whatever fall may have taken place in Greek philosophy, it only points to, and is a myth-expression of, the real fall, which lies in a past that nobody can access, as it is prior to time itself, and it gave rise to man’s experience of time. This is where Heidegger makes a big mistake, as he associates the problem of Being and philosophy to a point in history, to the “Greek fall”; in a sense he is guilty of rounding off another infinite regression, which is to claim reality for himself. Heidegger’s more primal world results in an “incarnate-mind”, which might be compared to the archetypes of the unconscious, which are more dynamic, alive or “real”, than the detached universals of the conscious, rational mind. Heidegger’s incarnate-mind may relate to a world prior to the rational mind, but it still belongs to the horizontal plane of the differentiation process, which means it can make no claim to reality; it is only a myth-expression that reveals what the metaphysical model is repressing. In fact, the two models can be said to be “shadow aspects” of each other, where the one is mind-of-world and the other world-for-mind. Heidegger has become the psychoanalyst who sets about making his patient well again, not aware of his own psychosis, which has him in the same psychiatric hospital acting out the role of a therapist. Heidegger is right to recognise the importance of terms like involvement, world, and time but he fails to interpret his own dreams, as we shall see when we come to his breakdowns. Not surprisingly, Heidegger never manages to move from the temporality of Dasein to the temporality of Being, which was his ultimate aim. He is caught between the temporality of “understanding”, and the atemporality of Being. At times Heidegger identifies the subject with time, and at other times he sees the ego as the source and origin of time, where the ego is a primordial still-point, from which time flows. The latter position could be said of lost-being, which stands outside of time in the Now, and yet from which all man’s experiences of being-in-the-world flow onto the canvas of space-time, as man’s cry-for-being in exile. The former position is true of ego, subject or Dasein, as they themselves evolve within the context of space-time, where they are exhausted by the differentiation process that constitutes their experiences.

Despite Heidegger’s spiral of interpretations he fails to actually interpret man’s predicament. This is very evident in the breakdown of man’s readiness-to-hand project, when man falls from the totality of his project into a substance ontology, which Heidegger interprets as a set of broken tools. The breakdown is perceived to lie in the tools and not in man himself, who is seen as the repairer, with Heidegger the Saviour. Heidegger sees the breakdown as the world announcing itself, revealing its “totality”, but such a totality does not exist in the world of object relations. Heidegger’s dream-world has given us a more manageable problem to solve, as did the metaphysical model, but it also highlights the deception at the heart of all experience, as man denies his predicament and projects it into the world of objects; in this case metaphysics has become the scapegoat. The breakdown might be compared to a successful entrepreneur who has a nervous breakdown, due to his relentless, workaholic outlook, which represses his deep sense of failure in the eyes of his parents. An insightful interpretation can help to reveal to the patient this underlying neurosis that drives him on to relate to the world of people and things solely in terms of their usefulness; his unconscious project is to define himself as “successful” and so win the love and respect of his parents. Similarly, an interpretation of Heidegger’s breakdown might reveal the readiness-to-hand project as a “masked” metaphysical system, constituted by a sum of present-to-hand objects, which can never be a totality, as it is not real. The breakdown also unearths something prior to Dasein and its project, a value prior to the “use” that Dasein imposes on things, something the metaphysical model points to, but Heidegger’s conceals. In fact, the “for-the-sake-of” character of all entities, which Heidegger sees as necessary to reveal them to the world, is not a disclosing of Being but a characteristic of man’s fallenness, where everything is put to “use”. This reveals the “reactionary” state of man’s world, where he cannot be “still”, but like the entrepreneur, denies his pain and “acts out” the identity he has lost.

Heidegger notes that the metaphysical model has problems proving the existence of an external “world”, which is necessary if it is to justify a real connection between the subject and his world. He comes to the conclusion that the world must be prior to the subject, and therefore all philosophy must start from here, from man’s involvement in the world. In other words, the world is not an object like the other entities in the world, which can be analysed by the subject; man cannot stand apart from it. However, just because metaphysics cannot account for the world, does not make the world more real or prior to the thinking subject. All that can be said is that both Descartes’ “thinking”, and Heidegger’s “involvement”, are only possible within some context, but nothing can be said about that the nature of the context, and therefore nothing can be said about the nature of man’s thoughts and actions, man’s predicament is uninterpreted. The very debate about which comes first, like the chicken and the egg, is not a question about which is more real, as order depends on time, and it is the nature of time that is called into question here, as well as its content. My argument is that before the fall, there is an I-Thou, a unity of mind-world, but in the fall, there is a separation into a world of duality, where order exists and matters, as man finds himself in a fallen-Id, which is will-to-power. The two models on trial here highlight the two aspects of this fall, where one is mind-of-world and the other world-for-mind, each evolving its own subject. As I said before they are shadow aspects of each other, where neither is real, but both can be interpreted as myth-expressions of what is real. The problem of connectivity and disconnectivity, which these two models throw up, will be resolved in the new I-Thou, where man finds his true independence in the unity of love, where the problem of order will be overcome in the will-to-love, which says “the first shall be last and the last first”.

Let us now turn to Dasein and its being-in-the-world. Heidegger is right to seek something in the past, which has been lost, while looking to a future, where man can complete himself. However, Heidegger’s modified, dream world has given Dasein a reality it doesn’t have, such that Being is thrown to it, and Dasein in turn can throw Being in a meaningful way. In truth there is no catcher or thrower, as ALL is in fact projection, including time and Dasein. Man is projecting onto the past his desire to recover his lost identity, and likewise, he is projecting into the future the hope of realising it, which makes his whole life a myth-expression of man’s search-for-being. Projections constitute Dasein itself such that, if projections were brought to end, Dasein itself would end too. The world of man’s articulation exhausts Dasein, there is nothing left over. It is not that Dasein reveals the world but that the world reveals Dasein’s predicament as lost-being, which is where Heidegger’s philosophy is “reversed”. It is not surprising then Heidegger has difficulties in separating Dasein from the “they”, in order to make authentic choices. This is a modified version of the real problem, which is not a fall into “they”, but a fall into I-and-Thou, from which man cannot free himself. In Heidegger’s version of the world, he seeks to carve out a solution, setting Dasein free, by use of conscience, guilt, angst, death and care. These are used to waken man from his complacency or sleep, to take his own life more seriously, instead of just going along with the flow. Like Sartre, Heidegger’s uses the “not” in his philosophy as a launching point into a new freedom and authenticity, but as I have argued before, this is to give “not” a positive value that it doesn’t have. It is to articulate “not”, which gives man an awareness of an alternative and therefore the freedom to choose to re-engage himself and define his nature.

Heidegger’s use of angst and death are, needless to say, modified forms of the real thing. Angst reveals to man his groundless nothingness, his uncertainties and lack of solid foundation for meanings. All is seen as contingent and subject to reinterpretations, which Heidegger uses to give man a platform from which to make changes to his life. Such a platform denies the real “groundless nothingness” that constitutes man’s predicament, which is not an articulated nothingness, experienced through angst, but an unarticulated lost-being, which cannot be experienced, not even in angst, for it lies beyond all experience. In other words, Heidegger’s angst is only a myth-expression of the real nothingness, which cannot be used as a launching point. Similarly, Heidegger makes “use” of death to get around the difficulty of Dasein having a never ending openness towards the future, which would mean it lacks the wholeness needed for authenticity. Heidegger brings death close, an imminent presence, but not too close, so as not to eliminate Dasein itself. However small the gap, death remains within the context of life, so the death is not real, it is man-made, like the calculus rounding off. To take an analogy, if time is accelerated so as to reduce a lifespan to one hour, then the things we project values into, to give life its importance, are reduced to mere passing phenomena that have lost their meaning. The bonds of projection, which tie Dasein to the “they” are broken, and Dasein is now free to re-project. However, if one increases the acceleration of time to one minute, or 10 secs say, then Dasein itself would fall into despair, as everything would be revealed as nothing, life would actually have no purpose. Dasein would realise that its whole life is constituted by projections, and that without projections there are is nothing but a black-hole of despair. Heidegger only takes things as far as they are useful to his project, so while he uses death to break the bonds of the “they”, he avoids using it to reveal the nature of Dasein as lost-being, which he also did in his interpretation of the breakdown. Instead, Heidegger is using death as a basis from which to start a new set of projections, in a more authentic life. However, the fact is that death is the opposite to life, and life is constituted by projections, so death cannot be used to simply improve man’s projections, without contradicting its nature. Having said that, there is an important link between life, death and reality, which I will return to later, and which Heidegger’s philosophy can be seen as a myth-expression.

Before coming onto the solution to man’s predicament, the unfolding of Being, I want to consider further the unfolding of non-being, for taken to its ultimate end it produces a shocking insight. This unfolding is a “revealing” of pure determinism, a true phenomenology, which encompasses everything, such that there is nothing beyond the text. It reduces all to a single layer of non-being, including man himself. This phenomenology cannot be reproduced by man, as all philosophies need a vantage point from which to look, think, examine and analyse, but man cannot stand outside the text. All man’s disciplines, experiments, results, theories and laws, which constitute the progress of man in history, is all contained within this one great revelation. It is a text which contains all language, spoken or unspoken, private or public, bodily or verbal, conscious or unconscious; it levels all dualities to the same plane. In other words, when man appears to be penetrating the mystery of life, with his explanations and interpretations, he is “acting out” a script, into which he is written. All his revelations are myth-expressions of the one revelation, as it is given, total and immediate. Lacking duality itself, it is a true revealing as there is nothing hidden, there is no concealing-unconcealing, as with man’s experience of being-in-the-world, such experiences are all games of lost and found, games which include man’s language and use of words, which he will keep repeating until he is actually found again, but that is something which this unfolding cannot satisfy. For although this unfolding unites space-time and all its content, as it was in the beginning, before the fall, there is a crucial difference. The difference is that this totality is created from a sum of all the parts, it includes everything, but only as parts, so it lacks the one thing necessary to complete the game, unity-of-Being, Presence, or Love, which leaves man in an eternal recurrence.

Another way of seeing this is that the world of object relations, is a world of “averages”, which only obeys the one law of averages. All other laws which reveal nature, are only revealing according to the law of averages. Nobody can stand outside of this law, not even when one turns the roulette wheel, as the wheel will show what should be shown according the cosmic law of averages at that moment, even if it is the jackpot number. It is as if the game had been played an infinite number of times, and in doing so the outcomes act according to the average. So even though things appear to be spontaneous, unlikely, likely or freely chosen, they only appear so, as we are observing it for the first time in this moment, but the present moment is a fallen-now, it is an absence, which is filled with man’s infinite regressions. Man’s freedom of choice is a fallen-freedom; man has lost true freedom to choose because he has lost Being. This law of averages is far more encompassing than Heidegger’s average everydayness, such that there is no possibility of Dasein freeing itself from the “they”, not even with the presence of death, for all “pure possibility” has been lost. The possibilities and probabilities that man knows in his world are only appearances, myth-expressions of man’s lost possibilities. When man truly recovers death from time, as we shall see, he also recovers true possibility. Man is not merely tied to a “they” but rather defined by an I-and-Thou, which unfolds him within the world, as one and the same, a world without love, without risk, a monotonous, repetitive, soulless world, as can be seen increasingly in our age of the “technological mind” where man is reduced to an automaton.

As preposterous as all this may sound, this theory has it has one thing going for it, and that is, it does not require us to change our perception about any part of the world we live in, it accepts all things as they are. Instead, it offers a novel and cosmic-interpretation of the whole thing, which cannot be assessed from outside, as all forms of assessment belong to the script. I also put it forward as a possible way to explain the paradoxes in quantum physics, between the micro and macro worlds and their contradictory laws. However, all this been said, there is one object which does not belong to the world of object relations, and therefore it stands outside the script of determinism and that is “lost-being”. Lost-being seeks Being, its lost love, and this is essentially manifested in man’s conscience and his sense of being true-to-self; it is that which calls him from beyond himself. Conscience here regains its original religious meaning, as it makes a claim on man to live a good life before God and neighbour. Conscience, for Heidegger, was merely a call to man to free himself from the herd mentality and to make his own authentic choices, free of any previous ethical values. The first conscience lies in the vertical lane and the second in the horizontal. However, even though conscience calls man back to his original I-Thou, this is something he cannot realise in his present predicament, as it is only addressing the self in its consciousness. Even the law given to Moses, which can be seen as consciousness written large, man is only “present-to” Being, in the context of object relations. God has come close, like Heidegger’s death, but there remains an infinite chasm, which is symbolised in the burning bush, when Moses was told not to come any closer; he took off his shoes and hid his face, as the senses cannot know Being. The law enables man to stand outside of the law of averages, of determinism, and be authentic, by living an ethical life. He is no longer “absent” from Being, but “present-to” Being; truth and love are once more being united in a good-life, which is the true context for all truths. However, despite the law given to Moses, which makes the Israelites a chosen people, it cannot redeem their predicament, as man remains in exile. Man still awaits a law which can overcome object relations itself, where man is no longer present-to Being, but is one with “presence” itself, in a new I-Thou.

The event or “happening”, which takes place to resolve man’s predicament is literally out of this world, it is not merely tied to culture, community life or the person himself, as it is not found in the horizontal plane of man’s history. It is not surprising that when Dasein, in itself, fails to be the answer to Heidegger’s problem of Being, he turns to history to find a “god who can save us”. His shift in focus makes sense, and is a myth-expression, of what I have said and what I am going to say about the true solution. It is also not surprising that Heidegger’s philosophy is susceptible to movements like Nazism, as there are plenty of contenders for the role of “god”, in a fallen-world rooted in deception and driven by a fallen-Id, namely, will-to-power. Ethics is intrinsically related to truth, which is the voice of conscience beyond object relations, guiding the determinism of object relations in a present-to-being. The differentiation process, which constitutes determinism, is never neutral, as from the beginning of life, it is a projection of good and bad objects. Man essentially seeks the good, but he is also corrupted by sin, which blinds him to the good and even draws him to choose the bad over the good as the ultimate deception. So although determinism acts in the horizontal plane, unfolding non-being, there is also a vertical element, which comes from man as lost-being. It is like a pen that is writing along the page in an inevitable, determinate manner, but what is written is a myth-expression of man’s search-for-being, it can either affirm life or deny life. In this sense there is both a determinism and a freedom about life, where the latter is only realised within the ethical; any other freedom, based purely on consciousness of “not that” is only apparent. The modern, secular world seeks to silence man’s cry-for-being, which will reduce man to just another non-being object, with only an apparent freedom, determined by the products on offer to feed his insatiable desire for things, as he himself has become just another thing. Such a state of pure determinism is not free from ethics, it only means that the good is determined by that which has succeeded in silencing man and reducing him to an automaton, which is evil, and whose ultimate aim, is to use the technological mind, to destroy God’s creation, which is why quantum science cannot afford to avoid interpreting the signs and to simply “shut up and calculate”. Heidegger’s philosophy leaves a vacuum, because of his failure to tie truth to ethics, which leaves space for evil to prevail in the name of a saving god. Heidegger is right to see limits to ethics and values, but while these can’t have the last word, as they only apply in the realm of object relations, they cannot be discarded as merely arbitrary or a hindrance to true freedom. Ethics is the precursor of a new ethic, which will be realised in man himself, when object relations come to an end. Ethics is the only way in which Heidegger’s Dasein can free itself from the “they” of determinism, as his strives for his own authenticity, which is to be true to the call within him, his conscience.

The solution to man’s predicament starts with Abraham. Abraham is called to do the unthinkable and kill his own son for God. kierkegaard describes this as a “suspension of the ethical” but it is more than that, it is a suspension of object relations. Not only does he give up any previous measure of Good dictated by the conscience or any ethical law, he gives up all that defines his being-in-the-world. God had promised to make him the Father of a great nation, and now all that was being destroyed at God’s orders. Abraham was prepared to do that because he believed, in faith, that there was something more beyond this order, which only God knows about. Abraham is prepared to count everything as nothing but God alone, God is the context behind all man’s thinking, plans and ethical values. God is clearly “wholly other” if he can reduce everything to nothing, even ethical laws, without defying his own nature. He is the true starting point and reductionism that philosophers, in vain, have sought. He is the true Good, which cannot be accessed by good works, as they do not share the same nature. It can only be accessed in faith, beyond all the experiences that keep man in his exile, beyond all thinking and human acts. Abraham performs the one truly religious act, which is to count all as nothing but God alone, a transcendental act, which makes him the Father of Faith; he has surrendered all human projects for God’s project, which defies human understanding. Those who try to debate Abraham’s actions from the point of view of ethics fail to realise what is being revealed to the world here. A new context is being made present, a new starting point, the Eternal-Now, which will create a whole new way of being-in-the-world, where the only measure is God. As we shall see, there is no similarity or analogy between the two realms. Man’s analogies of Being only arise due to a confusion of the nature of this world, which “is not”; such analogies are actually myth-expressions of man’s search-for-being. This search for Being has come to an end in Jesus, who will call all men to share in Abraham’s faith, offering their own sacrifice of non-being for Being, so as to participate in the divine project.

Heidegger questioned why Being would choose to reveal itself and the answer is, “God so loved the world that he sent his only son, that whoever believes in him, would have eternal life”. In Jesus the history of non-being ends, as he brings salvation history, which is the kingdom of God in the recovered Eternal-Now. The whole horizontal differentiation process with its projections ahead-of-itself, is brought to an end, or sublimated, in a new vertical dialectic between God and man. The I-experience-Thou has become an I-Spirit-Thou, which is nothing less than a share in the trinitarian object relations, of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The universals of the mind, which failed to unite all particulars, through knowledge, will give way to a universal of love, which is a new way of being-in-the-world, a way of “knowing”, through faith, which transcends the world of experiences. Man no longer seeks his own will, feeding the self in exile, concerning himself about his own projects, but rather he lives from the “bread from heaven”, which is the will of the Father, the one thing necessary. God has willed the salvation of the world, and that will is the new driving force, a will-to-love, which has overcome man’s fallen will-to-power. It unites the shattered and scattered object relations of non-being, into a new unity-of-being. Space-time are overcome in the givenness, immediacy and totality of the present moment, where the flow of life is “reversed”. Man’s determinism, which reveals non-being, is about to give way to man’s true freedom, as Being reveals itself.

One might ask, as in the words of Mary, when the angel announced to her that she is to be the mother of God, “How is this possible?” The answer is as simple as Mary’s fiat, “Be it done to me according to your word”. God seeks man’s total trust and absolute surrender. Man must unite his own will to the will of God in all things, as an instrument of his divine work. Trust and surrender may sound easy enough but it is actually contrary to man’s very way of being-in-the-world, which is reactionary. Man lives by a fallen-Id, a will-to-power, a self-love, a survival of the fittest, where he instinctively puts himself first, and he perceives “Other” as enemy, but all that now changes. The last shall be first and the first last, man shall love his enemy and turn the other cheek, the sort of behaviour that Nietzsche saw as weak and worthy only of slaves. Indeed, man has become a slave for God, but paradoxically, there is nothing demeaning or passive about this. On the contrary, Nietzsche’s ubermensch and man’s true creativity is attained in this new way of being-in-the-world, as man becomes a child of God. He is moulded out of the Christ-figure, which does not reduce all men to identical beings, but rather gives each person their true individuality, in their own I AM. The universal of Christ and man’s particular, are united by the law of love, which respects each entity in its own uniqueness, unlike the universals of the mind, which can never bridge the gap, without doing violence to the particular. The pure possibilities, which is at the heart of all true creativity, is realised in this surrender, as the givenness of each moment is always unique and open to God’s infinite possibilities, as God is not constrained by the laws of nature. God is the potter shaping man, who is the clay, to become the man that Nietzsche envisaged. The God that is dead, is the God of object relations. While Heidegger’s later philosophy reflects some of the motifs mentioned here, such as letting go, dwelling, willing not to will, unfolding of being and becoming an instrument, his Dasein’s individuality is compromised by the meta-narrative, of a particular interpretation of history, which imposes itself, from the will-to-power that underlies all object relations.

Man now lives by a will-to-love, which annihilates the old self-mind-will, as it brings life out of a death, which is what Heidegger was trying to do; it is the “reversal” which Heidegger enigmatically referred to as he tried to resolve the conflicts in his own philosophy. At the heart of the new way of being-in-the-world is a pascal mystery, as Jesus taught, “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies it remains alone, but if it dies it bears much fruit”. Man must be “born again of the Spirit”, if he is to recover the lost past, which Heidegger seeks in man’s history and culture. The one is from “above” and the other is from “below”, one is of the Spirit and the other is of the flesh. A whole new order has entered the world through Jesus, who is neither a prophet, nor a worldly leader, his kingdom is not of this earth. His way of being-in-the-world was not understood in his life time, not even by his closest followers, as God’s ways are not man’s ways. Human understanding and Sacred Scriptures failed to recognise him, but he fulfilled both in himself. Although Jesus shared in man’s experience of exile, as a man fully human, it was something he willing chose to do out of love for the world, and not out of sin. His divine nature is manifested in his “pure presence”, his oneness to the Father in all things. Their wills were one, such that Jesus never wavered from doing the Father’s will, even in his crucifixion, when he experienced an abandoned by the Father. It is the divine love which makes two one, in an I-Thou, which together with the Spirit reveals the nature of God as trinitarian. Jesus united in himself two myths, the myth-of-non-being and the new myth-of-being, the horizontal and the vertical, as symbolised by the two pieces of wood that make up the cross. He is the perfect good object, who takes upon himself all the sins of the world, becoming the perfect bad object, in order to bridge the gap between whatness and thatness, in his very person. This is not something that can be grasped by human understanding, but must be “shown”, which is why Jesus does not answer Pilate’s question, “What is truth?” Through his death and resurrection he has created a new, vertical incarnating-transcendental, which all men are called to share in.

The will of God that preserves all things in existence in each moment, is the same will that now seeks to recreate the world, in its original unity-of-being, which frees man from his exile. The self-mind-will that was formed out of the differentiation process, meets its death in man’s total abandonment to the will of the father, as manifested in each moment. Paradoxically, this is man’s true freedom, which is a free-fall into love. It can also be seen as a sacrificial offering like Abraham’s, as man surrenders the totality of the present moment, which is a myth-picture of his search-for-being, to receive it all back from the hand of God. Nothing has visibly changed, as the change does not belong to object relations. The change lies in the force of creativity, which is everything, it is the “new beginning”. Space-time and its content, as non-being, collapses into the new Eternal-Now. In the vertical dialectic of man’s offering, all non-being has changed to being, as he participates in the incarnating-transcendental. This is possible through God’s interpretation, which has revealed everything as nothing but God alone; man is awoken from his sleep as incarnate-being. He now obeys the one law of love, “love then do what you will”, which is the new ethic, that fulfils all other ethical laws, as man himself becomes the good object. Here essence and existence have become one, where to know is to do, as all flows from the givenness of the present moment, like the rays of light from the sun.

God alone has achieved what the philosophies of deconstructionism and reconstructionsim have tried to do, as he alone can change non-being to Being, through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Life and death have become one, as it was in the beginning, before man’s fall. Death used to be a characteristic of life, defining the limits and nature of finite being, but in the fall, this all changed. Death now marks the end of life, it is experienced as its enemy, and projected to the furthest reach of time. Fallen-man has sought a life for himself free of the limits of death. Man’s cosmic denial includes an essential denial of the nature and importance of death, something Heidegger’s philosophy does not adequately take into account, as he seeks to use consciousness to draw death close. This is only a myth-expression of the pascal mystery, when life and death are once more united, giving rise to the incarnating-transcendental, which brings about the true, authentic Dasein, incarnate-being. Man proceeds to live his life in this death, as he is no longer living “for-the-sake-of”, but in “love-for-loves-sake”. Progress is no longer measured in terms of the fallen-change of man’s own projects and understanding, but rather by the vertical-change of love. If he is to be an effective instrument in God’s work, he must be purified in faith, which leads necessarily to a dark night of the senses and the soul. In fact, if the world of experience is its own language, then that language must give way to the a new language of love. Suffering becomes the language-of-love in the new order, as suffering is nothing else than the breakdown in man’s experiences, thoughts, projections and projects that give him his sense of self. Jesus’ followers are told to take up their cross and follow him, to be prepared to drink from the same chalice as him. God’s most important and faithful servants are often the most despised and forgotten by the world, as God’s ways are “wasteful” and foolish to man.

Heidegger went beyond the surface phenomena of language of what is said, beyond the mere mappings of propositions to states of affairs in the world. He saw language as making possible that space, such that, “only where there is language is there world”. However, what he didn’t see was that the work of language, projecting a context for man in which gesture, timing, silence and so on are part, is only a myth-expression of man’s search-for-being. In other words, he fails to see that our language is a fallen-language, it has its basis in man himself as lost-word. Man has fallen from his true context in the language of love, and now the world as language is a cry for that lost love. In this context Heidegger is right to say, “it is language that speaks” and not the human being, as man cannot articulate his predicament. The “unthought”, which he sees can never be present as an entity, but is the context out of which particular things emerge, as the site of language, is man himself as lost-word. Heidegger and psychoanalysis want to interpret the “unthought”, in fact, Heidegger’s whole philosophy is a ”rethinking of the unthought bases of western thought”. To think unthought is as impossible as to will unwilling; for man it is impossible but for God all things are possible. Only God can interpret man’s predicament and only his will can set man’s will free, all human forms of interpretation and willing are only myth-expressions of this reality. Man as incarnate-word, is Derrida’s “third term”, which silences the unstable, dialectic of fallen-language, in the new vertical I-Thou dialectic. This is what Heidegger is trying to do when he speaks of man’s task as translating his own language into its “ownmost” word. Heidegger is right to see language as a medium in which Being takes hold of us, appropriates us, and allows us and all beings to come into our own. Language for him is not a human construct or human act but a deeper “saying” that should be understood as “showing”, an event of unconcealment. Man as incarnate-word is participating in a living Gospel, as the world has become another script, the unfolding of Being, the Good News of God’s kingdom, which is an incarnate, living reality, not a spoken or written word. This new language will only be convincing if it is truly “wholly other” from fallen-language, which means that, although it expresses itself through it, it does not have its essence in it, and this only happens if this language finds its ultimate meaning in suffering. The death of experiences is the birth of living faith, which is the form of the new language. Heidegger looks to poetic language as a means of redeeming language, as having a power in itself for “pure presence”, but of course poetry, as with all art, relies on object relations, and so is only a myth-expression of the divine poetry and art, which is man as incarnate-word. Man is God’s song of love to the world, he is the pure presence that fulfils Heidegger’s words, “let the unsayable be not said through the speech act”; he is the poet that awakens a renewed experience of the truth of being by abiding in the silence of the divine heart, which has revealed itself to the world.

(Further Unedited Notes-ran out of patience!)

(Nature of understanding and questions) Like all philosophers Heidegger fails to question the nature of Understanding and Questions themselves, so he accepts the presupposed view that questions have their bases in understanding and the subject’s relationship to Being. Heidegger simply challenges the metaphysical subject that has abstracted the problem of being-in-the-world, which it addresses with epistemological questions. Heidegger seeks to go “deeper” by asking ontological questions. He recognises that for Descartes to question existence he must have first presumed existence, so he concludes that ontology comes before epistemology. However, the problem is more fundamental than about which comes first; it is about the very nature of the two, and therefore the nature of questions and the mind-world to which they belong. Questions seek to relate the self to the world, to make sense of man’s experience of being-in-the-world, but this nature cannot be unearthed simply by asking more profound questions, or changing the order of things, as the nature of order and questions is what is on trial, and man is not in a position to interpret them. Heidegger takes ordinary experience as his point of departure, and seeks to understand the “nature of experience” to arrive at a priori, transcendental conditions that shape and structure it. Heidegger fails to see the “taking-as” event as a “falling” event into exile of non-being. The capacity for taking-as, which he takes for the essence of human existence, and which unifies all the entities through the temporality of “care”, is in fact a myth-expression of man’s search-for-being in exile. The very existential analytic of Dasein, at the heart of Heidegger’s philosophy, that uncovers the a priori transcendental conditions that make possible particular modes of Being is the transcendental condition of “falling”, which means that non-being is the unifying factor of all modes of being. There is no fundamental ontology from which all other ontologies arise.

(Epistemology-ontology) Although Dasein may come prior to the metaphysical subject, they both share the same predicament, namely, lost-being. Heidegger saw Dasein’s essence as existence, because he saw existence as a question that can only be addressed by existing. However, neither he nor Descartes are right, as it is not a question of which is first “I think therefore I am” or “I am therefore I think”. Epistemology and ontology are two sides of the same coin, a tautology, which is the unfolding of non-being. They are the form of determinism, which has its bases in a will-to-power dialectic, which sees concepts and entities vying for power, in an attempt to be the first to bridge the gap and claim reality for itself. Man grows in a “knowledge” and “involvement”, which belongs neither to Truth nor Progress; Dasein’s clearing is not the ground of possibilities but of determinism. The dispute over order and which comes first, has its basis in the cosmic-projection of space-time and the ordering of the object relations within it. Each of the models seeks to claim its own ground as a still-point from which to recreate reality by redefining the problem of duality and dialectics. My philosophy argues that mind-of-world and world-for-mind are co-generated in the fall, and are two faces of the same problem, like mirror reflections, or alter egos. The first, when mistaken for reality, gives rise to a Cartesian subject and the pursuit of knowledge, where the world is a projection, or res extensa, from a starting point in “mind”. The second, when mistaken for reality, gives rise to Heidegger’s Dasein, which seeks to incarnate-mind, or create the authentic person, through interpretation of its involvement, from a starting point in “world”. Neither of the models are reality, but rather they can be interpreted as projections and denials of each other. What the one model conceals the other reveals, so not surprisingly, when Heidegger’s model breaks down, it discloses the metaphysical model, and the metaphysical model in turn tends towards an involvement and practical project in the world, as seen in the technological age.

Heidegger seems to get around fundamental problems, raised by the metaphysical model, against the Dasein model, by arguing that the question asked does not make sense, as it presumes an ontic-position, which is seen to come later than Dasein’s ontological position. In other words, without Dasein, the ontic problems and questions fall silent; Heidegger is attributing to Dasein a positive role that it does not have. The “nonsense” of questions does not occur in the absence of Dasein, but rather in lost-being, in other words, in understanding itself, when it claims to understand reality. Questions do not have their bases in understanding, nor do they originate from man as subject or Dasein. Questions in this context are a form of “acting out”, which relates the subject or Dasein to world, as if this was reality. The correspondence that takes place between the mind and world, and the discoveries that are made, follow the laws of necessity and causation because they necessarily unfold in the determinism of non-being, which has its ground in Dasein. In this unfolding, man is not “lost-being” but “questioner”, and as questioner, he is part of the determinism, however much he feels himself to be a free-thinker, performing independent research and experiments to reveal the underlying reality of the world. Questions are essentially non-sensical as they are part of a tautology, they fail to have meaning or give meaning from the context of mind. The real context for questions is lost-being, questions are essentially a cry-for-being, and all that they disclose in mapping mind to world is a myth-expression of man’s search-for-being. The young child who looks out of the car window at the passing objects and repeatedly asks his mother “what’s that… what’s that… what’s that?” is not seeking to acquire knowledge, the infinite accumulation of which will never satisfy his thirst. The child seeks to address the fundamental question of his existence, that is, “Why is there something and not nothing?” Questions have their bases in man’s fall from Being, which is depicted in the story of Adam and Eve, when Satan sowed doubt in Adam and Eve’s mind, by questioning what God had said to them. Questions will only be silenced when man recovers incarnate-being, when he becomes incarnate-philosophy, and not when epistemological or ontological questions are answered, or Dasein disappears.

(Unfolding Being, vertical-horizontal) Because of Heidegger’s failure to account for the fall, he sees the prior unarticulated “knowing” that underpins all intelligibility as being embodied in man’s social skills and his culture, it lies in the horizontal plane of space-time, and it will be the driving force to incarnate man as Dasein. What Heidegger fails to see is that, just like parents, cultures are fundamentally fallen, even though both play an important role in man’s search-for-being. They provide the primary holding environment in which man experiences his fall, but they are always “not good enough” holding environments. This is very evident in history and society, where cultures and parents are often the source of violence towards those they are meant to protect and care for. Man has to set forth in search of a new holding environment, new parents and a new beginning. The very dialectical process at the heart of his experience of being-in-the-world, is a strife between what “is” and what “is not”, an alienation that both defines him and his sense of being-in-the-world. He tries to make his home here but he is always restless, as he cannot close the gap. This conflict marks every aspect of his life and culture, which finds its expression in art, philosophy, pleasure, power, capitalism, revolutions etc. Philosophies, such as Hegel’s and Marx’s, which have sought to deal with man’s alienation, are themselves only projections of the problem, as they fail to identify the source of the alienation in man himself, as lost-being. The true revolution and dialectic, which overcomes man’s alienation, cannot have its starting point in mind or world, as mind-of-world and world-for-mind are themselves products of the fall. It is then not surprising that later thinkers have taken these philosophies, including Heidegger’s, and used them to further the cause of will-to-power, scapegoating Other and driving man deeper into his own sense of alienation. Heidegger’s philosophy paves the way to man becoming more rebellious against the structures in which he lives, but it is not an authentic change, as it does not overcome object relations, it only brings into question its arrangement by being counter-cultural, which is only a reaction to the staus quo, and therefore part of the problem, as its response is defined by the problem. Man will only overcome his alienation when he can accept all unconditionally, as a totality, rather than react to a part. This unconditional acceptance must be made possible, and that is not something man can do himself.

(History of Being-Salvation history) Heidegger runs into difficulties in disclosing Being through temporal-Dasein, which is not surprising as Dasein is being-not-there and time is the parchment upon which man searches-for-being. His “turn” sees him shift the focus from temporality as the most fundamental a priori transcendental condition for being-in-world, to “dwelling”. He sees Being as unfolding in history, “appropriating” Dasein, an “event” that takes place in Dasein’s dwelling, which has many similarities to my “incarnating transcendental”. This appropriation takes place when Dasein comes to terms with the “fact” of the history of Being. Heidegger never really overcame the problems faced in aligning Being with Dasein, such as singularity and unity of the first with the plurality and freedom of the second. These tensions between his earlier and later philosophies are resolved in the only true “fact” of history, God’s Revelation, which is salvation history. This is the history of the Eternal Now, the living Gospel, which reveals the true nature of man’s history in space-time, while bringing it to an end. Man is set free to live in the new promised land of the present moment, in the presence of God. This is what Heidegger was trying to achieve when he moved from a world that was a culturally conditioned structure distinct from nature, to a world-as-fourfold, combining nature (earth, sky) and culture. Heidegger’s later Dasein became a self-opening medium of the interplay between humans and gods, as he attempted to bring the vertical and horizontal together in a totality made present through Dasein. To try and overcome some of the difficulties of his earlier philosopy Heidegger had turned from Being conceived in terms of human understanding to human understanding seen as an object of Being itself. It was as if Heidegger realised that the mind could not be an appropriate holding environment for Being, so instead, he made the mind the instrument of Being, the pen with which Being writes its project in history. The fact is that all mind-world dialectics and dualities can only be resolved in love, when the two become one in man himself as incarnate-philosophy. Understanding then becomes an instrument of Being, where thoughts form part of the totality of the givenness of the present moment. Man goes by the way of un-knowing, true to the apophatic tradition of letting go, where the paradoxical Zen “willingness not to will”, is fulfilled through the divine will, to which man abandons himself, and not through mere meditation practices, which rely on human will.

Heidegger’s unfolding of Being is a meta-narrative which undermines the personal face of Dasein, where the particular is forgotten in the universal. Its “single sense” contains an exclusionist, “essential” agenda, which conflicts with the “non-essential” heterogeneity of the history of thought, which is seen as secondary or derivative. Heidegger’s “history of Being” becomes a subtle, hidden, metaphysical, will-to-power, which ignores other conditions like individual choice, material condition or chance. Heidegger’s dangerously nationalistic, authoritarian and anti-democratic philosophy, however, finds its fulfilment in God’s revelation and salvation history, which can be described in the same terms. Jesus revealed the one nation to be God’s kingdom, the promised land of all mankind. God’s authority is total and not to be questioned, but it is the authority of a Father who prepares and disciplines his children, in love, to see his face; the individual’s I AM is realised in the great I AM. It is an authority which is also anti-democratic, but only because it reveals the false freedoms which enslave man to object relations; in its place it offers the true freedom in obedience to the will of God, the source of all freedom. Man is not called to merely submit himself to a communal and historical process, he is fundamentally responsible for himself. God addresses each person directly, in the uniqueness of his present moment, which is the ground of his freedom. Here, man frees himself from the cycle of reactions, that constitute his experience of self and its subsequent alienation, through the dialectic awareness of what “is” and what “is not”. He lives instead in the great AMEN, where all is given from the hand of God, so all necessarily “is”. This is the true deconstruction-reconstruction, which gives rise to the transvaluation of all values, that Nietzsche sought. There is no longer a gap, and the horizontal dialectic has been overcome, in the vertical dialectic of God’s love, which wills every moment for the salvation of each and every person. God awaits man’s fiat to reveal the Good News to the world, but that does not mean that Being is conditioned by man, as God remains “wholly other” from his creation. It is only out of God’s nature as love that he became man so that man could become like God.

(Evil and suffering) The stark contrast between Heidegger’s history of Being and Jesus’ redemptive history, can be seen in the problem of Nazism and the fate of the Jews. Germans were expected to open themselves to a new understanding of their identity, based on a notion of cultural supremacy, as revealed in an authentic interpretation of the history of Being. How does Heidegger’s philosophy benefit the Jew who is going to the concentration camp? The Jews clearly could not avail themselves of such a history, or Dasein project, as they were the very entities to be removed, in order for the new epoch of humanity to dawn. Heidegger’s concepts of death, angst and understanding have reached their limits in the Jew, as death has become a reality for him and not merely a ground of possibilities, from which to project ahead of himself into a better future. This meta-narrative of history, is a fait accompli, which even exonerates those involved from any personal responsibility. Yet in the midst of this unfolding Being, which depersonalises and destroys humanity, in favour of a “chosen people”, Jesus’ project continues to address each and every person on both sides of the war zones. Evil and suffering in the world are not proof that God does not exist, as these phenomena lie beyond the mind. Any attempt to address these phenomena with the mind can only lead to scepticism and atheism. The answer to such transcendental problems of life must be “shown”. Jesus crucified to the cross is the climax of this paradox, which finds its response and fulfilment in his resurrection. Death, evil and suffering have lost their sting in the new order, but this can only be embraced by a man of faith, who already lives his life out of the divine pascal mystery. An example of this is the story of Maximilian Kolbe, a Catholic priest, who was a prisoner in Auschwitz, and who volunteered to die, by starvation, by standing in for another prisoner in the camps.

The man of faith believes that God works to the good in all situations, which does not mean that God will save him from suffering, but rather, his suffering will not be in vain, when united to Christ’s. God’s work lies beyond human projects and understanding, and it is only at the end of time that God’s work will be revealed in its fulness, when each Christian will be rewarded according to his lived faith and each non-Christian according to his fidelity to conscience. In the face of untimely and tragic deaths understanding reaches its limits, but this is not the end of the story, as the disillusioned and frightened disciples of Jesus discovered after his death. Heidegger’s spiral of interpretations is trying to reach something that only God’s interpretation can reveal. This is the point where man lets go of his own projects and enters into the new myth through faith. The holocaust reveals the power of evil in the world, man’s fallen state, but the man of faith ponders the mystery of God’s love, that despite all this evil God still chose to redeem the world, by taking upon himself its suffering and evil, a reality that lies beyond all human “understanding”. Nietzsche is right to kill God and declare him dead, for the god of object relations is a god of idolatry. This god must be destroyed if the God of Revelation is to be revealed to the world. God’s revelation reduces all “perspectives” to myth-expressions of man’s search-for-being, that is, to non-being, and reveals Nietzsche’s will-to-p as a fallen-will, which is redeemed in Jesus’ will-to-love. God starts again in a way that Nietzsche or Heidegger could not, defining the ubermensch as a “child of God”. The old “slave morality” is replaced by a new ethical being, who is truly free and creative, through God’s infinite possibilities, where through love all things are possible.

(Angst) Heidegger interprets angst as the fear of Dasein losing the possibility to understand itself, when the projecting ahead-of-itself threatens to come to an end in death. His angst is tied to understanding, as his mind is to Being, but I would argue that it is more fundamental than that. Angst is fundamental to a baby’s primal experiences of life, which is prior to any mind or understanding, and in fact, is the source of the development of the human psyche and mind, which become coping mechanisms. Angst in the adult world is the fear of the mask of “understanding” itself being torn away to reveal Dasein as lost-being, while reducing all its projects to non-being. For Heidegger angst reveals a nihilism, which is experienced as a fundamental loss of meaning in life, a point from which Heidegger attempts to launch man into a new creativity and authenticity. Heidegger sees the angst as opening up the infinite possibilities that lie before Dasein, where no given array of entities can exhaust the possible significance of Dasein’s existence. Such an “inauthentic” step, while revealing the deception at the heart of man’s predicament, also points to a lost inheritance, man’s fundamental freedom. The impossible position of Dasein to actually confront its own death is an outcome of man’s predicament as lost-being, where life and death have been separated through a cosmic-projection, which has given rise to Heidegger’s Dasein. Dasein is defined completely by projection, which is something it can neither live with nor do without it; projection is something that cannot define man, nor give him closure, but is an infinite regression that constitutes the myth-expression of his search-for-being. Angst may be revealing of what man has lost but it does not have the essential “enabling” power that Heidegger attributes to it. An imminent sense of death tends to draw out a defensive, self-preserving and self-centred response to life, as the victim becomes incapacitated through fear, depression, insecurity etc. Death is something humans have a “natural” tendency to avoid, in their state of cosmic-denial, which is an essential, constitutive component of Dasein itself, something Heidegger fails to address in his philosophy. It follows that Heidegger’s moribundus sum, like Descartes cogito sum is an inauthentic starting point to authenticity, as the imminent sense of death that he ascribes to a life of authenticity, belongs to projection itself and is therefore not imminent. Heidegger’s approaching death, is like a calculus approximation in mathematics, which tends towards the “totality”, but in reality there can be no rounding off. The “totality” is the very thing that is absent from Heidegger’s model, and the gap, though appearing infinitesimal small, is the very gap that separates non-being from Being. It is only in a life of faith, which unites life and death in the pascal mystery of Jesus, the one sent to bridge the gap, is man truly free in the infinite possibilities of God. It is not angst that reveals man’s nihilism, but faith, as man cannot experience his nothingness, it is a “totality” and therefore by the nature of totality it lies beyond experiences. God reveals to the world that everything is nothing but Him alone, and in faith man finds his true launching point into a freefall-of-love. This is why Jesus exhorted his apostles, when they experienced their angst, to be not afraid but believe.

(Guilt) Heidegger sees Guilt as an awareness that man is not in control of his life. This “not” belongs to the existential meaning of “thrownness”, which is a nihilism that forms the very basis of Dasein. He uses this “not” as a launching point into an authentic way of living, like Sartre’s “not that”, but they both fail to see the radicality of the nihilism to which this “not” refers. He sees it as merely a wrong attitude toward ones past self, and ones social and historical background. Man is called to shape his life within the thrownness, where guilt enables him to cultivate a responsiveness, to his capacity for individuality, to choose himself with “resoluteness”. Dasein wrestles his particular from the universals of the they-world, as a patient in therapy might seek to claim his life lost in the unconscious, by making it conscious. The focus should not be on man’s predicament as thrown-into-the-world, but rather as thrown-out-of-Being, this thrown-out-of state, is an exile, creating a nihilism that surpasses all previous understandings of nihilism in philosophy, as the self or Dasein, and its understanding of the world, belongs to it. Man cannot even articulate his “not”, without denying his predicament, as his very essence “is not”, so no “is” can proceed from it, not even the articulation “not that”. Man’s real guilt is his predicament of lost-being, which is not merely a lack of control but a lack of being. He is only free of his guilt by accepting all as nothing, offering the totality of non-being, and living in the free gift of Being in each moment. His predicament has been washed clean in the blood of Christ, who willed to die on the cross so as to unite the world of object relations in a new reality, in the “givenness” of the present moment. This is where Schopenhauer’s pessimistic “will and representation” is resolved in an act of perfect love; fallen-will is overcome in the divine will.

(Revelation-theology) The role that Heidegger gives to understanding in bestowing Being, means that Being becomes totally dependent on Dasein, within a historical context, which is reflected in many theologies. The vertical transcendental of God’s redemption has been leveled by Heidegger into the horizontal plane, where it is attributed to culture, history and a chosen people, resulting in Hitler and Nazism taking the mantle of Saviour. Catholic theolgians like Rahner following Heidegger, saw questioning as the radical opening of thinking to being. The fore-having of being is seen as a pre-understanding of God, where God is the being that is sought in all man’s thoughts and actions. The believer is ontologically disposed to God’s revelation; there is a kind of ontological structure in Dasein in virtue of which its very being is to be addressed by Being itself. However, this understanding of Revelation limits the communication of Being, and Being itself, to the ontological structure of Dasein, which articulates the conditions of possibility of being claimed by the Word. It also opens it to a circular argument since one must already have some understanding of Being in general, if one is to grasp Dasein’s way of being-in-the-world. My own philosophy does not set such limits to Being, as man does not have a direct relationship with Being, he only has a thirst for Being, from his nature as lost-being, which is an essence seeking existence; the two are quite distinct although the former is realised in the latter. Man will only “know” Being when he encounters it, just as two soulmates, who have no preconception of their other-half, immediately know each other when they first meet. In the encounter of non-being and Being, essence and existence become one in man as incarnate-being, which is where Anselm’s “perfect being”, which lies beyond the mind, is realised. Unfortunately, theologians hellenised and secularised Revelation when they took the pagan Greek position that Being addressed itself to consciousness, laying claim to man within the context of object relations. This resulted in the demythologisation of the history of salvation in terms of man’s mythological search-for-being; Being was drawn into the cave of shadows of non-being. The revelation of God’s love, which sets man free, was reduced to a search for Truth, which has only served to alienate man further from God through religious wars, and endless denominational divisions between churches and theologians, each claiming to hold the truth of revelation.

(Reconstruct-deconstruct) Just as Heidegger’s philosophy is a myth-expression of man’s search-for-being, so too are the reconstruction and deconstruction philosophies which stem from it, since all these philosophies are played out within object relations, with their characteristic infinite regressions. The internal unity of meaning, which reconstructionism seeks in the text through interpretation, can only be found in God’s interpretation. God alone can reconstruct Being from non-being in the vertical dialectic, which interprets man as incarnate-being in a living Gospel. Man can do nothing of himself, as every act or thought on his part, is only a further participation in the differentiation process, which is necessarily a construction in the horizontal plane. Deconstructionism fairs no better, since the “outside” of the circle of understanding, which it endeavours to reach, can only be realised in the “wholly other” of the new creation which is necessarily “given”. All things have been made new through God’s revelation. Man no longer lives in a world created by God, but in a world redeemed by God, it has a new meaning, and that meaning offers a new way of being-in-the-world through faith. The old fallen-world has, in effect, been washed away in a great flood and and new one is being created in a new covenant, made possible through the blood of Jesus. Man participates in this new creation by going down into the water of baptism, as Jesus did in the river Jordan, and being born again in Spirit and Truth, in the life of the Trinity, as happened in Jesus’ ascent from the Jordan when the voice of the Father was heard as the Holy Spirit descended in the form of a dove. This “outside” does not belong to culture, as it is not of object relations, even though it operates within it. God changes all non-being to Being in the living miracle of the “incarnating transcendental”, which is the rainbow of the new order. All this is made possible through Jesus’ own deconstruction-reconstruction, in his death and resurrection, when the temple curtain was torn in two, signifying the end of all dualities and alienation. The universal “not that” which marked all experiences as an I-and-Thou, has become a universal “and that”, a great AMEN, which unites the I-to-Thou, through the givenness of every moment. All infinite regressions come to an end in man himself as incarnate-being, the missing “atomic object” of Wittgenstein’s philosophy, which is “being there”.

(Dasein as ground of Being or Determinism) Heidegger sees man gaining his understanding and his possibilities from the context in which he finds himself in life. However, what I propose is that Dasein is not the ground of possibilities but the ground of man’s determinism. The possibilities that are presented before him determine his role in life, akin to the omnipresent advertisement, which convinces man of his freedom to choose, while surreptitiously determining his choices and his very sense of self. The modern man feels more trapped and alienated than ever before, despite having more wealth, opportunities and leisure time than ever before; he senses he is programmed to act and think and relate according to a script. Everybody appears free to choose their role in life, but roles determine people, it sets man in the world as if it were reality, which is Heidegger’s for-the-sake-of. These contrasting interpretations of Dasein can be seen in Sartre’s encounter with the waiter. The waiter was adjudged by Sartre to be acting in “bad faith”, as he completely identified himself with the role of being the waiter. Sartre’s whole philosophy was written as a reaction to the claim that man’s essence is predetermined. On the contrary, Sartre saw man as radically free to determine his own essence. The waiter clearly got under Sartre’s skin; possibly he was revealing to Sartre something he doesn’t want to see, something he has repressed about the true nature of man. Another way of interpreting the behaviour of the waiter, is to say that he is mocking Sartre’s claim that man is free to choose his essence. The waiter is allowing himself to be completely determined by the role of the waiter, as if to say, “there is nothing beyond the role”. Freedom is an illusion, man is completely determined, such that the his apparent freedom to choose to “act out” the role of the waiter was the real pretence. He is like the madman, whose behaviour is dismissed as eccentric and meaningless, when on the contrary, it is communicating a profound truth about life, which people don’t want to see. In their state of cosmic-denial, society defines “madness” as a tool for marginalising those who don’t fit into the definition of “normal” and “successful” as laid out by the unfolding of non-being, that is, the orderly world that everybody follows from kindergarten.

It is the marginalised who are the living “angst”, as they threaten to reveal to society the nonsense of the ratrace, something everybody intuitively knows but refuses to face up to, because it comes at too high a price, namely, the meaninglessness of life itself. All man’s choices in life change nothing, he remains a lost-being, a truth echoed in Heidegger’s cryptic remark, “the second world war changed nothing”. There is only one revolution that can free man. He can only escape his predicament when instead of defining himself as I am a lawyer, I am a husband, I am a father, I am… in an infinite regression, he can say “I am nothing”. However, to truly recognise his nothingness is impossible to man, to attempt to do so is insanity for the individual and for society, as demonstrated by Nietzsche’s life and the third reich. The true existential nihilism is only bearable when it comes with the Good News, that the ubermensch is a gift, that man is a “child of God”. In revelation man is gifted the one role that truly defines his I AM, which he realises in true freedom, by giving his fiat. He is called to live in true poverty of spirit, with nowhere to lay his head in this life, for if he wants to gain his life he must lose it. He must live without identity or role, in this life, if he wants to recover his true identity and live authentically. He does not take life seriously, which does not amount to a mere stoicism or unhealthy detachment from life, on the contrary, he is to be truly involved with life, as he stands naked, with no agenda, or projections of self. True involvement can only take place when man receives the “totality”, a disposition that can have the appearance of being disinterested and uninvolved. He must start again, counting all as nothing, so that even in the worst circumstances, like Job, he can say, “the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the Lord”. This is to take a much more radical stance before life than any of the previous philosophies which merely deconstruct concepts and perspectives within human understanding. Man himself is deconstructed and recovers his life within God’s “perspective”.

(Meaning) Meaning, for Heidegger, is the context that gives man access to things, something that comes from his ability to project possibilities. Things then reveal themselves to man as relevant to his possibilities for existing. Man is initiated into this world in early childhood, from which he becomes a fully-fledged Dasein by learning how to participate in community, the community providing the field of opportunities; he learns to dwell in the world by projecting particular possibilities and fulfilling certain roles. For Heidegger, family and culture are seen to offer the perfect holding environment, where the focus is on creating more intelligibility and hence increasing possibilities, which is the ground of Dasein’s presencing. The mind projects into the raw materials of the world, so man can learn “to be”, to make his home in his exile. Ironically, it is Heidegger’s “meaning”, which seems to lack meaning, as meaning is determined by the structures that are in place, by the unfolding of non-being, which is only a search-for-meaning. The very projected possibilities of Dasein are only “averages”, obeying the law of averages. No amount of interpretation can arrive at meaning, as it only serves the determinism of non-being, of other words, the sum to infinity of non-being is non-being, it cannot add up to Being. Meaning is introduced only when for-the-sake-of is replaced by for-the-good-of, when man acts according to his conscience. This finds its fulfilment in the life of faith, when the good acts of conscience and ethics are transcended, and man himself becomes the Good in incarnate-being.

The closest one can get to an incarnate-being in this life, without revelation, would be to step out of the circle of self-mind-world at the earliest possible stage in the game, and so refuse to participate in the charade of living. This may be what happens when “problem” babies refuse to develop “normally”. They are rebels, who refuse to give their consent to the great lie, to come on board by acting out roles that begin with language development. Consequently, they fail to develop “normally”, they fail to conform to Heidegger’s model of “involvement” in the projects of this world. These are the people we label as mentally handicapped, deemed human “rejects” by society, and yet by their very “useless” existence, they offer an interpretation to life, which is more radical than any interpretation that Heidegger’s model can offer. They offer a “meaning” which lies beyond the mapping of mind-world and fallen-language, as they stand outside the circle. They are a living version of a deconstructionism; all other philosophical versions have sold out to the great lie, as they only act within its parameters. The handicapped are a sign of contradiction to those who draw close, as they offer a profundity, spontaneity, authenticity and love that the sanitised world hungers for. They challenge people to see the world differently, they upset the order of things, like true revolutionaries, which is why communities like L’Arche, which was founded 50 years ago, exist and thrive throughout the world. L’Arche is now an international organisation that touches and transforms many “successful” peoples lives, people who leave behind good jobs and careers to come and share their lives with the mentally handicapped, so as to learn something of the mystery of life that they capture. Jean Vanier, the founder, experienced this presence, which he found lacking of the world, and he sought to make it available as a source of hope and as a means of transforming the secularising, depersonalising world. By the time assitants leave L’Arche many of them have learnt a new language, they have found a new value system and a different way of engaging the world.

(Art) For Heidegger Art is a paradigm, which is a source of a community’s cultural life, something that cannot be articulated or grasped. It is not a mere reflection of the artists imagination, nor a mere act of the human will. The artwork itself is seen to arise out of nothing, it is radically non-historical and acultural. It does not have a “meaning” in the accepted sense, as it has its own “otherness”, which does not fit into conventional categories. However all human art is shaped within the context of object relations and therefore constrained by it. As much as it seeks to become transcendent through expressions of the Good, Beautiful and True, it remains dualistic, and therefore only a myth-expression of the divine art, incarnate-being, which unites all human transcendentals in the divine transcendental of Love. In God’s work of art, Being is drawn out of non-being; it is a work that transcends the human mind-will and the world of object relations. It transcends history and culture in the Eternal Now, where incarnate-being lives, moves and has its being, in the “wholly other” of God. Man himself becomes the new Parthenon, the temple of the Holy Spirit. This does not take place alongside other objects in the world, but rather it opens the world to the Good News of a new creation of the order of trinitarian object relations. Where Heidegger’s art sets up a struggle between “earth” and world, which can be interpreted as a dialectic that seeks to make present Being,

a new vertical dialectic arises that fulfils all previous artwork; the artist and the artwork become one, overcoming the duality between the subject and the object. Unlike man’s interpretation of art, which can never completely capture what a work of art means, and so lacks totalisation, incarnate-being, which is born out of God’s interpretation, is necessarily given, immediate and total. In God’s interpretation all is revealed and nothing concealed, as essence and existence are one. God seeks to capture man totally, to quench his thirst for being, by redefining him as I AM. This is a new language, incarnate-word, the I-Thou “third term” of Derrida’s philosophy which defamiliarises man’s fallen-language through a deconstruction of his I-and-Thou world of experiences. By living faith man becomes an instrument of God’s peace reconstructing the world as God’s kingdom on earth.

God as the artist is different to man as the artist. Man starts his work of art by drawing a clear outline of the figures, namely, a self with its understanding, around which everything else is painted in, like a child’s painting. The divine artist does not start with the figures, but rather he draws the figures out from the background as he applies the strokes to the canvas; they are not already preconceived nor pre-imposed, but rather they are one with the context, within which they express and retain their own unique characteristics. In a similar way Heidegger sees that literary texts likes Hamlet are not objects present-at-hand in any sense, either material, psychological or social; they are not merely constituted by the author’s original intentions, nor within their historical context. However, while creating their own unique space, they suffer the same shortcomings of other forms of art. They cannot offer the text which draws man into Being, as they do not contain the incarnating principle, which alone can make man an actor in the book-of-life. This can only happen in the Gospels of the Bible, which announce the Good News that “God’s kingdom has come”. This revelation is not a past event confined to a book, but is a living reality, it is Heidegger’s “repetition”, where Jesus is the “hero” who gives all men their true authenticity, by liberating them from their cave of shadows. As the “word made flesh”, he does not merely address consciousness, like a divine philosophy that throws light on the ignorance and errors of previous philosophical systems. Rather, he addresses man in his totality, as lost-being, inviting him to participate in the living Gospel, as one fully human and fully alive. God demythologises man’s world of myth, awakening him to reality. This literary text has no armchair readers, it is a true love story, of which all other classical novels are mere reflections; it is full of heroes, villains, tragedy and a happy ending. Philosophers, like Descartes and Kant, believed reality could be contained within books through knowledge of the correct representation between mind and world, connecting knower and known, whereas Heidegger believed it could only be contained within understanding as a lived reality, an involvement in a living book-of-life. However, Heidegger failed to see that this world of object relations is not a book-of-life, it is a dream, and it lacks the very thing he pinned his philosophy on, namely, involvement, and being-there.

(Asssertions-discourse) Heidegger sees assertions as second order abstractions from the unspoken language of practical involvement, they disclose entities as present-to-hand from the context of readiness-to-hand. Heidegger’s philosophy seems to operate at the level of psychoanalysis, where the unconscious is made conscious through Dasein, the ground of presencing. The fore-structures, fore-concepts and fore-interpretations, which already exist in the world of Dasein are articulated through Dasein’s discourse; Dasein speaks and it is. Heidegger gets around his linking language-assertions to disclosedness, despite assertions being also reductive and decontextualising, by saying that linguistic meaning and the meaning of entities are one and the same, with the former disclosing the latter. This intelligibility of being-in-the-world expresses itself as “discourse”, which is what brings disclosure of entities in their being. However, I don’t see Dasein as the ground for presencing Being, quite the reverse, Dasein is formed out of the unbridgeable gap between the two realms, mind-of-world and world-for-mind. Discourse in this context is the myth-expression of man’s search-for-being, a discourse that exhausts Dasein; the apparent unifying presence in Dasein is only a cry-for-being. Dasein is like a mirage, which shows up as a result of an unquenchable thirst for Being, the living water of true life, which is evident in man’s infinite regressions and unclosed circles. Dasein really only understands what it sees and sees what it understands; it is the ground of the unfolding of non-being. Dasein cannot articulate being as man has lost the power to “name”, When man speaks from this pool of fore-parts, he is personalising his involvement, his shared experience, which is an unspoken acquiescence to act out as if this was reality; he is selling out to the lie, as if to say “OK, I’m in”.

Heidegger speaks of the power of language emerging when the language of tradition breaks down, when it proves inadequate, fails and man loses control; it is in the failure itself whereby the new mode of thinking opens up for Heidegger. This is even more true in the reality of God’s language, as to attain to the language of love man must be purified of the fallen-language, which constitutes his very being-in-the-world. In spiritual writings this is called the dark night of the senses and the dark night of the soul. Suffering is an indispensable part of the purification process, as the new “meaning” cannot be grasped by understanding or experience; annihilation of these “guides” of the old man, is a pre-requisite to incarnate-being. This purification naturally takes place as man surrenders to the will of God in all things, as surrender is by its nature, self-annihilating. The painful experiences of everydayness, disappointments, setbacks, obstacles, accidents, bad luck etc., are not a sign of God’s abandonment or indifference, but rather, paradoxically, the language of love to the man of faith. Man must learn to unite his suffering to the cross of Christ, accepting all from the hands of God. The death of experiences is the ground out of which is born living faith, which is the form of the new language of love. The new man is free of self-love, as he lives, acts and speaks for-love’s-sake, seeking nothing for himself. Where religious traditions and philosophies, have sought to give various interpretations to suffering, in order to modify its effects, it is only in God’s revelation to the world, through Christ crucified, that suffering has been given a meaning, which is is “wholly other”. Suffering has become redemptive, the source of a new creativity, which is nothing less than a share in the divine life. This has led the saints of the church to long for increased suffering as a means of assuaging their thirst for divine love.

(Other minds) Heidegger has to face the common philosophical problem of “other minds”, of how one can know that other humans have minds, something we believe to be the case only by induction. The problem of mind belongs to the wider spectrum of problems that arise from the world of projections and object relations, and it can only be solved within that context. These problems dissolve when the fundamental I-and-Thou problem is overcome, that is, when two becomes one. This happens when man becomes Christ and sees Christ in Other. This is not to be achieved through use of the imagination, nor through some form of analysis, but rather through sharing in the life of the Trinity, as incarnate-being. The new object relations takes man out of the fundamental alienation that gave rise to his experience of self-mind-body-will-world, with all the dualistic problems that followed from that. Heidegger argues something similar when he claims that the concept of Dasein is irreducible to a body-mind problem, it is an absolute basic component of our understanding of the world. The issue of whether people share similar “minds” misses the point, as mind belongs to fallen nature. The question is whether humans share the same fundamental nature? Were they all created from Being and now called to share again in the life of Being? Revelation shows that all humans were created by God, they all share in Adam’s sin, and they are all invited into the life of the Trinity as a new creation. Although Heidegger sees the Other as essential to any adequate ontological analysis of Dasein, since Dasein is essentially Being-with-others, his being-with is equipment-based. There is a lack of true “encounter” between Daseins, while aloneness is perceived as a deficient form of Dasein’s Being, something Heidegger compares to unreadiness-to-hand, a deficient form of readiness-to-hand. It is only in God that man’s being-with is truly personal and social, as man recovers his true identity in the I-Thou, by which he knows as he is known; this life of faith leaves no room for doubt, for mind is not consulted on the matter. This truth finds its most perfect expression in the relationship between Jesus and the Father, which Jesus always referred to as unifying terms, such as, “the Father and I are one”. It is realised again in the sacrament of marriage, when the two become one, through the grace of the sacrament, as God intended from the beginning of creation.

(Mood) Heidegger’s “mood” addresses the self’s being-in-the-world. This mood could be private or public, in that it could relate to how a person feels at a particular time and place, or it could relate to the mood of a people, society or nation. However, whether it is private or public, Heidegger’s moods are only myth-expressions of the true moods, which exist before and after the fall. Like his systems of values, moods are a projection into the world of object relations, which can be categorised as positive or negative moods. Just as all “roles” in life are ultimately masks to hide man’s fallenness, and myth-expressions of his search-for-being, the same can be said of moods. The positive moods give a sense of euphoria, such as when one feels they are making progress of life, and it increases ones self-esteem; these moods reflect the reality of being that man once had before the fall. The negative moods in turn reflect man’s predicament, as man begins to experience the weight of his exile and aloneness. These projected moods are always related to man’s projects in this world and his false self, so they are manageable. Man continuously strives to change his moods from negative to positive, which is another infinite regression that marks man’s experience of exile. The good times can’t last forever, and even the most successful individuals, societies and even empires, will find themselves being drawn back into the “ashes” from which they came, through events beyond their control. The fluctuating moods of this world serve both as masks to deny man’s predicament, and also as myth-expressions of his search-for-being. Such mood swings can even become a form of entertainment, when, for example, one watchs a romantic-tragic play. The rollercoaster of emotions can serve to help one forget ones own real life problems, while also expressing the fundamental desire to overcome tragedy and finally win through to true love. But just as the moods evoked of a play are not real, neither are those that man experiences of his everydayness.

Man’s mood in this life must be one of “guilt”, since no matter what he does, he remains a lost-being, unrighteous and only worthy of condemnation before Being itself. However, to live in a permanent state of feeling guilty is not a solution to man’s predicament, for feelings are necessarily addressed to object relations. To be fixated in a particular mood, positive or negative, would be very neurotic, as it would indicate that the person has identified his self with a particular set of object relations, or with particular events in space-time, that have been allowed to determine his mood once and for all. Such a determination can only come from God, not man, since it is only revelation and a life of faith that can bring it about. The person in this fixated state has either identified his lost-being state with a particular object, like a lost loved one, which leaves him in a permanent state of depression and guilt, or he has identified his final unity-of-being with a particular object, person or practice, which leads to other forms of neurosis and psychosis like obsessive-compulsions or manic states. If he is to live healthily in this world man must learn to live with the rollercoaster of emotions, which reflect the full story of man’s pursuit of happiness. He must be open to the ups and downs of life, and not be overly protective, for he is ultimately responsible for his own journey, being true-to-self. He can’t escape this responsibility by living on a paradise island, or sitting and watching his favourite films and soaps all day, where he can safely watch others act it out. Having said that, there is something to be said for the person who has a tendency to pessimism in this life, when they sense, like Schopenhauer, the futility of this world to satisfy man’s deepest needs. However, in revelation, the true moods have been revealed, and by faith man can know true “guilt” for the first time. Guilt tears away the masks of “moods”, pertaining to object relations, and it anchors man in reality. He no longer counts on his own goodness and his worth before the eyes of others, for he now knows he is nothing and has nothing good of his own. Instead, he lives in the light of the resurrection, which provides him with a permanent optimistic mood, in the face of all trials, tribulations, suffering and death. Schopenhauer’s pessimism has been converted to a divine optimism, as man has been made righteous before God; of the words of St Paul, “I count all as loss for the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord”.

By living in this manner, “mood” has taken on a new power and meaning. Mood is no longer related to positive and negative feelings. It is not even related to the fundamental experience of private and public worlds, for such a dualtiy, however familiar it may be, belongs to man’s exile, more about which needs to be said. Nothing is ever really private, as all experiences originated from an I-Thou, which was a “shared” reality. Likewise, nothing is ever really public, for to be public implies it is shared, and man has lost the ability to share. This absense of true sharing can be seen in Heidegger’s disclosure of man, which is necessarily equipment-based, that is, he is only noticed for his “usefulness”. Man’s experience of a private and public world are the result of the fall, and they find their resolution in the I-Thou, where “what is mine is yours” is not a mere sharing of objects, but it defines man’s identity as being-in-the-world. In this context, “moods” are not real, as they belong to man’s experience of living in a private-public world. His moods are privatised, and he deals with them according to the dictates of his culture; he loses himself in his work, he treats himself to a new car or a holiday, he goes to therapy, he takes it out on others etc. Man lives on a roller coaster, where he is going nowhere fast. Moods are just an enabling or disabling force, which plays its part in the unfolding of non-being, as self reacts according to its moods, rearranging the world of object relations.

In the light of revelation, “moods” just become part of man’s myth-picture in each moment. They create the foreground and background of his experiences of a private- public dualistic world. This myth-picture is “offered” in the totality of the present moment, as a unity-of-non-being, which includes the self, and it is all received back, in its totality, as incarnate-being. If the mood is predominantly negative, man unites his suffering to that of Christ’s, and if it is positive, it is a prayer of thanksgiving. None of these moods have value in themselves, as they all belong to non-being, but when they are offered they become a means of “presencing” man, refining him through faith, which is not mere stoicism, its pagan sister. There is no self here to do the enduring, as in stoicism, as the self is reborn of the pascal mystery, which the man of faith is participating of. Man does not attach himself to any moods, nor does he seek to reject or avoid them, as any such moves are necessarily reactionary, and only serve to feed the self and his world of illusions. All moods now only have one meaning and power, and that is to give man his authenticity, as incarnate-being, in the present moment, before which everything else is counted as nothing.

Such a “presencing” will not be welcome in the world of shadows, as man will now see things as they really are, which is one of the consequences of living in the incarnating-mood. His life, actions and words will disclose what others are hiding, for he cannot be other than he. His mood brings him into the light, where there is no longer a separation of the private and public, concealed and

unconcealed. He does not live in fear of what might happen if he says or does certain things, which are deemed unacceptable in the public domain. Such a person may be cast out of social circles and thrown off the career ladder, as he fails to conform to the moods that are essential to maintain the great lie, which underlies society’s measure of success and progress. The true nature of mood will accentuate man’s sense of exile in this world, he will be a sign of contradiction and an unwelcome guest, to those who still live of the cave of shadows. However, he will also have that peace that the world cannnot give, the peace that Jesus promised to those who would follow him, for he will be living in the light of the resurrection, and therefore will experience an inner freedom that the world craves for. Unlike the people in the world, who appear to have everything, as a compensation for a lack of meaning in their lives, the incarnate man has nothing, counts everything as nothing, but his life is full of meaning, he has the one thing necessary for true happiness, he has found his treasure; he has no need for drugs, pills or therapy, for he is a free man.

All of this might be depicted by the analogy of the incarnate man standing on the street, looking in the window of a home where the family are seated around the family table for dinner. The privatised moods of the homeowner have materialised themselves in his lifestyle- a successful career, family home, settled routine life, an investment account to secure his future and the education of his children. Behind the appearances one finds a man who goes to stress counselling because he can’t sleep at night, he avoids the problems of his marriage by spending longer hours at work or at the social club, and he feels a lack of real meaning to his life but he doesn’t talk to anybody about it, for it comes with a sense of shame, and he can’t afford to lose face, having spent his life developing this independent persona. The poor man looking in the window, is living his mood, which has stripped him of his possessions, of his “role” of life; he has no where to lay his head. There are no walls in his life to separate the private and public worlds, he has no clear plans of what lies ahead, as life is a lived reality that belongs to the present moment, which is always as new as it is given. He feels the pinch of his poverty, at times he could envy the rich man, for he too longs to have a home, a family and security, but he knows he will not have it here below, he is a pilgrim. Although he has nothing to show for his life, he would not trade it for the rich man’s, as his journey is itself life, it defines him, as he is free to be true-to-self unlike the richman. The poor man is not a dropout, he has not given up on life to live off the state. To do that would just be a reaction to the system, it would remain within the same context as the system, creating another set of private-public moods, in opposition to the world of the rich man. The truly free man embraces life in its totality, which is only possible, if he is free of oppositions, as all oppositions contain “moods”. The true mood sets him free to embrace all and accept all. He would be ready to take on the life of the homeowner tomorrow, if that was what life brought him, just as he would be ready to let go of it the next day, if providence dictated it.

(Space-time) Philosophers like Kant and Heidegger have attempted to address the relationship between space and time, and whether spatiality can be considered equ