0001 In the December 2018 issue of Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, Amos Yong reviews the compilation, Evolution and the Fall, edited by William T. Cavanaugh and James K. A. Smith (2017, Eerdmans: Grand Rapids, MI, ISBN: 9780802873798).
0002 The book is the product of a three year initiative asking the following if-then question:
(A) If humanity emerges from nonhuman primates, as suggested by genetic, natural historical and archaeological evidence…
(B) …then what are the implications for Christian theology’s traditional account of origins, especially the origin of humanity (B1) and of sin (B2)?
0003 To this question, I attend.
0004 First, the masterwork, The Human Niche, proposes that the ultimate human niche is the potential of triadic relations (B1). Triadic relations are independent of genes and the environment of evolutionary adaptation. Even though these play roles in the actualization of triadic relations, they do not alter the nature of the relations (A).
Triadic relations explain why archaeological evidence exists in the first place (B1, A). Physical evidences are signs of human evolution, to the beholders, that is, ourselves. Obviously, we are adapted to look for and to participate in sign-processes. Signs are one type of triadic relation.
0005 Second, the masterwork, An Archaeology of the Fall, dramatizes the coming to awareness of a recent twist in human evolution (B1 and B2). Our current Lebenswelt is not the Lebenswelt that we evolved in. I call the transition: the first singularity. The first singularity begins around 7821 years ago. It leaves a fairy tale trace.
0006 The hypothesis of the first singularity (B1 and B2) raises novel questions concerning our current living world (B2). What is this the nature of our current Lebenswelt (B2)?
0013 Here is the complete Marey square, once again.
0014 Do I see a problem?
Modern economists advocate for federal policies to reduce income inequality (A2) as a way to keep the peace (A1). In other words, inequality (A2) feeds into economic causation (A1).
Does the same pattern apply to the contrasting elements (B1 and B2)?
Should modern economists also address the contribution of identity?
Or does that responsibility rest with a different suite of experts?
You know, the one’s who argue that “identity” is fully malleable, yet behave as if it is fixed.
0015 Does the proposed solution of reducing economic inequality (A2) create an unintended consequence of forcing equality (B2) onto identity (B1)?
Is there a word that describes forcing equality (B2) onto identity (B1)?
How about the term, “conformity”.
If, identity cannot be fashioned out of the creative expression of experts, then identity is not something that readily changes. Identity is not so easily altered.
0016 What happens to the proposed solution?
Reducing economic inequality entails conformity, which explains government and private-public sector behaviors subsequent to the incident in Washington DC on January 6, 2021, the so-called “insurrection”.
The US Congress passes legislation to crack down on “domestic terrorists”, that is, people who do not conform. They also impeach, for a second time, a figurehead that serves as the “other”, the one who does not conform. Onto this other, they project their own crimes.
Private-public sector companies purge their platforms of people who do not conform with their corporatist stance, where the federal government handles the problem of economic inequality. In doing so, they promote equality of identity for those remaining on their platforms. Those who remain are complicit in purging those who do not have identities worthy of equality. Of course, those who are unworthy of equality do not believe the experts.
0017 Marey’s square identifies two experts. One drives the broadcast conversation, attributing social unrest (insurrection) to economic causes, particularly inequality. The other drives a hidden conversation, where favored identities conform to the narrative. In the latter case, experts are cultivated in order to chastise those who do not conform and to justify exclusion from public-private platforms.
0018 In short, Marey’s brief article hones in on a serious entanglement, which cannot be discussed, binding a BG(il)L public narrative (A1) with a hidden agenda concerning identity (B1). Forced conformity (B1, B2) is as disturbing as economic inequality (A1, A2).
0009 The next slot, A2, speaks against identity issues. Since identities are not equal, then the term, “inequality”, fits. Yet, inequality is not the same as different identities, so the contradiction is real, yet confusing. What happens when all identities are equal?
0010 What contrasts with inequality?
Equality, of course.
0011 Here is the completed Marey square for the causes underlying insurrection.
0012 What characterizes the word, “insurrection2a“, as situated by causality2b by modern academics?
Economic causation (A1) is the economist’s focal point.
Identity issues (B1) contrast with economic causation (A1) and lingers slightly below consciousness.
Inequality (A2) stands in contradiction to identity (B1) and complements economic causation (A2). Indeed, many BG(il)L academics conclude that government policies should be designed to reduce economic inequality, in order to remove fuel for insurrection.
Equality (B2) contrasts with inequality (A2), speaks against economic causality (A1) and complements identity-as-cause (B1).
0001 The Greimas square is introduced in Comments on Gregory Sandstrom’s Essay (2013) “Peace for Evolution”, available at smashwords. This purely relational structure is introduced as a way to visualize langue as a system of differences. This is not the only way to visualize the word-in-mind. But, it is useful in labeling a word as a node in a symbolic order.
0002 Here is a picture of the Greimas square.
0003 Philip Marey is a senior US strategist at Rabobank. He contributes to the website, Zerohedge. On Friday, January 8, 2021, at 18:25, Tyler Durden posts Marey’s short work, commenting on recent events. The title consists of one word: insurrection.
0004 “Insurrection2a” should go into slot A1, as the focus of attention. However, the situating actuality2b is causality2b. Marey’s post considers the projection of causality into the term. What explains the presence of insurrection2a?
0005 The first cause that Marey raises comes from academics, in particular, economists. The primary cause of insurrection is economic.
“Economic causes” go into slot A1.
0006 In contrast, Marey offers an alternate cause: identity. His researchers show that the US political system becomes increasingly polarized after the 1964 Civil Rights Act. This demonstration is a red herring, because polarization is already present in the 1964 presidential contest between Barry Goldwater (populist, “insurrectionist”) and Lyndon Johnson (party insider, “statist”). The 1964 Civil Rights Act is a symptom, not a cause.
The cause is the expansion of the federal government, with its attendant religion, Big Government (il)Liberalism (BG(il)L).
0007 Perhaps, the relevant factor for the growth of identity politics in the US is to be found in the rapid expansion of state university systems in the 1950s and early 1960s. New positions and fields of inquiry germinate a novel brand of Marxism. Cultural Marxism exploits cultural distinctions, rather than economic.
0015 Does Aquarius touch base with the first singularity?
Capricorn is half-goat and half-fish, which corresponds to the dual earth-water origin of the Ubaid culture, 7821 years ago.
The Greeks do not capture this image with their story of Pan being caught in an alternate chimerism.
0016 Neither do the Greeks capture the nature of how Aquarius resonates with the origin of astrology within our current Lebenswelt.
Ganymede is a youth so handsome that he is taken up to be the cupbearer for the Greek gods. So Aquarius is symbolized by a youth pouring water from a jug onto earth.
0017 Ah, it turns out that in Babylon, the god Ea carries an overflowing vase of water. This is the same Ea that is associated with both land and sea in Capricorn. And, this is the same Ea that is associated with the primordial waters.
0018 So, bearing jugs of water for the gods?
In one Mesopotamian origin myth, humans are created in order to do the work that the gods were tired of doing.
Is that what is in store for the next 200 years?
0019 Against this speculation, the sign of Aquarius is an air sign, rather than an earth or a water sign. So, where does Ea fit in with the creation of the air.
What does pouring water have to do with giving birth?
In one ancient Mesopotamian myth, Enlil, the god of the air, is born from the union of Aku, the sky, and Ea, the water.
0020 Ah, that is more like it.
Aquarius touches base with the birth of unconstrained social complexity. Unconstrained social complexity has the character of the weather, the air, the storm and the wind. There is no telling how the spirit moves. But, drop a coin into an astrologer’s hand and you may hear how the sun, the moon, the planets and the constellations put your turbulence into a celestial perspective and divinized opportunities.
0021 So, the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, in the sign of Aquarius, in December 2020, also resonates with the start of our current Lebenswelt. Enlil is born again.
0011 In April 2020, I posted a series of blogs about the Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Capricorn, with Jupiter co-present (but not in conjunction). This celestial event in January, 2020, marks the start of one of the most bizarre plagues of modern medical history. Even though the novel coronavirus from 2019, has a fatality rate of less than 5% for people over 75 years old (and for people with co-morbidities, including asthma), the responses of governments throughout the world has been amazing.
Rather than protecting old folks, health-care bureaucrats locked down entire populations.
0012 How did the crisis start?
The novel coronavirus initially spread after the City of Wuhan held a huge banquet commemorating the upcoming lunar New Year, the Year of the Rat. Already, the easily transmitted RNA-based virus had infected many. This was its opportunity. When Wuhan’s residents returned to their native homes for the Lunar New Year, the disease spread throughout China. Also, the disease passed through international air terminals to the rest of the world.
0013 This mundane event coincides with the Saturn-Pluto conjunction. Capricorn is the sign of government and organization. Saturn is the planet of time (as in, ‘your time is up’ or ‘your time has come’). Pluto is the sign of the underworld.
Is it any coincidence that health-care experts come out and declare this novel coronavirus to be a grave disease?
Here is a picture.
0014 As discussed in my blogs in April, 2020, the imagery of the sign of Capricorn touches base with the first singularity.Thus, the conjunction of Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn resonates with the dawn of astrology, as a specialization within our current living world.
0005 The normal context3 and the potential1 for astrology2 depend on another actuality2, consisting of what we see in the celestial spheres, the motions of the sun, moon, planets, constellations and other stars.
This gives rise to the astrologer’s vision, where a reading of celestial events1b expresses the potential1b of celestial arrangements, transits and so on2a.
0007 Now, there are two actualities. On the content level, there are celestial arrangements. On the situation level, there are various civilizational events, including personal dramas.
There is no apparent material or instrumental causality connecting the two, even though the sun, the moon, and the planets have gravitational influence. The sun also determines space weather. Plus, the sun orbits the galactic center.
The tradition of astrology offers final and formal causes, cobbled together over time through correlations between planetary motions and mundane events.
0008 The discovery of planets beyond human sight contributes to modern astrology. An entirely new branch of astrology looks at historic events and trends in relation to the motions of the outer planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and now, Erin. This branch of astrology considers civilizations as beings.
0009 Conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn, the outermost visible planets, occur in a every 20 years. One lifetime may see 4 conjunctions.
However, the pattern extends beyond one lifetime. The conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn occur in one type of sign for around 200 years. The typology of signs is earth, air, fire and water. So, every 800 years, the cycle completes.
The last conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn occurred in an earth sign. The 2020 conjunction takes place in an air sign, Aquarius.
0010 The Jupiter-Saturn cycle of 800 years, belongs to both ancient and modern astrology.The recent Saturn-Pluto conjunction, in January of 2020, belongs to modern astrology.
0001 Does astrology begin with the first singularity?
The first singularity potentiates civilization, by opening the door to unconstrained labor and social specialization.
Astrologists exemplify a certain type of specialization.
0002 How does astrology work?
Astrology offers a primary causality, associated to the celestial realm, as a way to appreciate the secondary causality of our mundane realm.
0003 In sum, astrology provides context and potential to events that we experience in the here and now.
0004 Yes, this structure parallels the primary and secondary causalities appearing in scholastic philosophy.Primary and secondary causes are discussed in Comments on Fr. Thomas White’s Essay (2019) “Thomism for the New Evangelization”.
0082 Longenecker introduces a podcast entitled “Myths, Monsters and Mysteries”. My guess is that he intends to proceed through these three topics using insights from Jungian psychology. This is good, but not complete.
Jungian psychology addresses essence. Longenecker may argue that if the essence is convincing, in terms of patterns of the human psyche, then esse_ce needs not be actual. He may argue this even though his previous independent research locates the magi, not as Persians, but as traders living between Persia and Israel.
0083 Myth has a hylomorphic structure, requiring attention to both esse_ce and essence. Without substance, the myth becomes a fantasy (pure essence) as opposed to a historical documentary (pure esse_ce).
0084 The doctrine of original sin rests on the esse_ce and essence of the Genesis stories of Adam and Eve, even though they are fairy tales.
Augustine paints Adam and Eve as the first humans.
The hypothesis of the first singularity pictures Adam and Eve as fairy tale figures that encapsulatethe theodramatic appearance of the Ubaid culture. Speech-alone talk is realized and sets the Ubaid on an irreversible course towards unconstrained social complexity.
0085 In terms of mystery, a single actuality forms out of two. The Lebenswelt that we evolved in intersects with our current Lebenswelt.
0086 This intersection depicts the first singularity. Adam and Eve stand at this intersection. So does the esse_ce and essence of the doctrine of original sin.
The myth Adam and Eve is a fairy tale. As such, the metaphor of grain of sand [hides within and gives rise to] a pearlapplies. The oyster is the human mind. The oyster is also our world of unconstrained social complexity.
0087 In sum, the stories of Adam and Eve bring us to the beginning of our current Lebenswelt.
Ours is a world of mysteries.
Ours is a world of monsters.
Ours is a world of myths.
0088 A grain of sand hides within and gives rise to a pearl.
00892 The myth of Adam and Eve sets the stage for the two monsters that Jesus brings into one. Roman rule2 is all about state power. State power maintains order1. Jewish legalism2 is all about the routinization of righteousness1. Legalities2confer righteousness in the eyes of God1.
Jesus Christ stands as the single actuality2 containing Roman rule2 and Jewish legalism2. This intersection serves as the starting point for all political theology. In Roman rule2, the state does not serve the people. In Christian political theology, it does. In Jewish legalism, the deed does not stand for the intention1. In Christian ethics, it does.
Jesus is the one who tames the two monsters of state and church. One without the other leads to catastrophe. Both without Jesus leads to devastating conflict.
0090 In sum, political theology transforms one of the mysteries of Jesus Christ into a hylomorphism, a thing to be discussed and explored.
Here is a picture.
0091 Myths are like pearls, expressing both esse_ce (being as existent) and essence.
Myths offer monsters to perceive.
Our perception of monsters allows us to appreciate imbalances between esse_ce and essence.
0075 The most horrifying monsters are articulated in the modern era. They are existence0 (esse_ce without substance) and form0 (essence without substance).
They are not confined to the modern era. Indeed, they have been here since the beginning. They include Roman rule2and Jewish legalism2.
The life and passion of Jesus Christ takes on the characteristics of myth. Jesus brings two historic monsters into a single actuality. Jesus both contains and transcends these monsters. Jesus serves as their intersection. All roads lead through Christ.
Political theology brings this mystery back into Aristotle’s hylomorphism. The mystery becomes a field of inquiry. That inquiry is called, “political theology”.
0076 This concludes my comments on Fr. Dwight Longnecker’s Podcast (2020) on myths, monsters and mysteries.The progression from myths to monsters to mysteries constitutes a profound insight that inspires these comments. My gratitude for Fr. Longnecker’s intiative.
Many Jungian commentators of the Matrix movies say that the hero, named “Neo”, is a Christ-like figure.
Is the comparison appropriate?
If it is, then Jesus gives substance to twin monsters through a human sacrifice. In doing so, he humanizes them.
0066 What are the monsters?
The Roman empire is like the machine world.
The fixation of the Jewish law into ritual is like the matrix.
Here is a picture.
0067 Every monster is an actuality2. Every monster is an ill-proportioned thing. Esse_ce and essence are out of balance. That tells us something. It produces phantasms that serve as warnings.
0068 Remember the minotaur?
Do you have some money to invest?
Most investors have met a minotaur. He is someone so bullish that it makes him dangerous. He survives in a labyrith of rules, conditions, and documentation filled with fine print. Once your money is in, it cannot come out of the investment. The financial minotaur is completely confident. He is fully capable of losing your investment.
0069 Longenecker may talk about monsters like the minotaur.
0070 Perhaps, he will talk about the most horrifying monstrosities. These monsters lack substance. Such is the case for the monsters of Roman power and Jewish ritual law.
Roman power is like esse_ce without substance. Rome serves the order that it imposes. Sure, Romans pay tribute to their gods. But, their gods did not order them to construct an empire. Roman power survives because trade flourishes under its rule. Romans place tariffs on trade. Romans rule foreign subjects and tax their wealth. Romans take slaves and sell them at their markets. How does this serve Jupiter?
Jewish ritual law is like essence without substance. Self-described scholars examine the Pentateuch for legal proscriptions. By the time of Christ, scholars accrue lists with hundreds of regulations. There is no way that a Jew could fulfill all these proscriptions correctly. Of course, wealth provides options. One can hire a scholar to manage one’s divine legalities for a reasonable fee.
That fee, of course, is unreasonable for the common person.
0071 Roman power is existential, existence0.
Jewish legalisms are formalisms, form0.
0072 Is there a relation between these two monsters?
At first, it seems that Roman rule2b situates Jewish legalism2a. Standard histories of first-century Palestine make this assumption. These histories try to establish what happened. They propose material and instrumental reasons for conditions and parameters.
In the context of modern history, the following sensible two-level interscope applies. The following configuration is one answer to the question, what does this mean to me3b. That answer is proximate. It addresses the esse_ce, not the essenceof history.
0073 There are other answers. After all, history does not reduce to conditions and parameters. Is there an essence to history?
These are the answers – or perhaps, the questions – that Longenecker addresses.
In the context of what it ultimately means to me3b, Roman law2 does not situate Jewish legalism2. One monster cannot honestly situate the other, because something is missing on a higher level. Rome does not have righteousness and Jerusalem cannot impose order. What brings them into relation?
0074 The passion of Christ, depicted in the four gospels, is masterful. It reads like a fantasy. It reads like a historical document. The four gospels embody and transcend myth.
Both Roman rule2 and Jewish legalisms2 play out in the contradiction-filled theological and political arenas of first century Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a provincial capital for Rome. Jerusalem is the center of message, meaning and presencefor the Jews.
0075 Two monsters occupy Jerusalem. Each accommodates and resists the other. Neither wants to see anyone like Jesus. Jesus appears to threaten Roman order. That is easy to accomplish. Gathering a crowd will do. Crowds intimidate the lion. Also, Jesus obviously undermines the letters of Jewish legalities. He upsets the sheep. He insists that the Jewish Law has a substance, a moral and theological vision.
0076 Monsters do not necessarily create mysteries. No, monsters are drawn into mysteries.
One way to appreciate how Jesus unites both Roman rule2 and Jewish legalism2 is found in a permutation of the previous diagram.
0077 In the life and passion of Jesus Christ, Roman rule2 and Jewish legalism2, one monster filled with esse_ce and the other full of essence, are drawn into a single actuality2. For this moment in history, two monsters coalesce. This is the type of event that eventually leads to myths. It happens right before the eyes of the disciples.
0078 What is this single actuality2?
If Roman rule2 does not honestly situate Jewish legalism2, or visa versa, then they cannot align. Their normal contexts3are mutually exclusive. They may accommodate one another. But, in the encounter with Jesus, they coalesce, forming a single actuality that resists Jesus.
This is the way of theodrama3. The essence of history is theodramatic.
The theodrama of power3 appears independent of the theodrama of revelation3. Until, of course, they are not. They are never independent in the eyes of God. They are never independent in the presence of God.
0079 Intersections are mysteries. Intersections are described in the chapter on message in How To Define the Word “Religion”.
Here is a picture of the intersection.
0080 Indeed, before the eyes of the disciples, Roman law2 and Jewish legalism2 coalesce into one intersection, one mystery.
What is the single actuality that labels this intersection?
The most appropriate label is the name of Jesus Christ, who rises from the dead to defy Roman rule2 and who offers a pathway to the Father in defiance of Jewish legalism2.
0081 In mythic terms, Jesus tames two monsters. The lion lies with the lamb. The power of the state and the legalism of religious institutions come into conflict, but that conflict is contained within the object that brings us all into relation, Jesus Christ.Without Jesus, two monsters are set loose upon the world.