Looking at Mariusz Tabaczek’s Book (2021) “Divine Action and Emergence” (Part 22 of 22)

0331 My sudden turn to semiotics does not occur in Tabaczek’s text.

Such is the examiner’s prerogative.

At this point, I stand at the threshold of section 1.3.4, almost precisely in the middle of the book.

My commentary on this book is significant.

Shall I review?

I represent the Positivist’s judgment as a content-level category-based form and discuss how it might be situated (points 0155 to 0184).

I suggest how reductionists can game emergent phenomena.  Plus, I follow Tabaczek back to the four causes (points 0185 to 0239).

I present a specific example of an emergent phenomenon, building on the prior example of a hydrogen-oxygen fuel cell.  Then, I return to Deacon’s general formula for emergence (points 240 to 0276).

Finally, I examine Tabaczek’s “philosophical history of panentheism” up to the section on Hegel (points 0277 to 0330).

0332 These are notable achievements.

But, my commentary is not more significant than Tabaczek’s text.

At this point, it is if I look through Tabaczek’s text and see something moving, something that catches my eye.  It is not for me to say whether it is an illusion or a registration.  It is enough for me to articulate what I see.

0333 At this point, I draw the veil on Razie Mah’s blog for April and May of 2024 and enter the enclosure of Comments on Tabaczek’s Arc of Inquiry (2019-2024), available at smashwords and other e-book venues.  Comments will cover the rest of Part Two of Divine Action and Emergence.  June 2024 will look at the start of Tabaczek’s next book, Theistic Evolution and Comments will complete the examination.

My thanks to Mariusz Tabaczek for his intellectual quest.

0334 But, that is not to say that I abandon Tabaczek’s text.

No, my slide into sign-relations is part of the examiner’s response.

This occurs in Comments.

There is good reason to wonder whether the response is proportionate.

I let the reader decide.


Looking at Mariusz Tabaczek’s Book (2019) “Emergence” (Part 1 of 22)

0001 Philosophers enamored of Aristotle and Aquinas tend to make distinctions.  So, what happens when such philosophers wrestle with modern science as it confronts the realness of apparently irreducibly complex systems, such as um… hydrogen-fuel cells and the Krebs cycle, which serves as the “fuel cell” for eukaryotic cells?

On the surface, Tabaczek fashions, yet does not articulate, a distinction between… hmmm…

0002 Consider a sentence, found on page 273 of Emergence, midway in the final chapter, seven, saying (more or less), “I hope that my re-interpretation of downward causation and emergent systems, in terms of old and new Aristotelianism, will help analytical metaphysicians sound more credible to scientists and philosophers of science, who employ, analyze and justify methodological reductionism.”


Philosophers of science and analytialc metaphysicians?

0003 Philosophers of science attempt to understand the causalities inherent in the ways that each empirio-schematic discipline applies mathematical and mechanical models to observations and measurements of particular phenomena.  In terms of Aristotle’s four causes, their options are few.  Science is beholden to material and efficient causalities, shorn of formal and final causation.  So, they end up going in tautological circles.  What makes a model relevant?  Well, a model accounts for observations and measurements of phenomena.  What are phenomena?  Phenomena are observable and measurable facets of their noumenon.  What is a noumenon?

Ugh, you know, the thing itself.

If I know anything about the Positivist’s judgment, then I know this.  Science studies phenomena, not their noumenon.

Everybody knows that.

Except, of course, for those pathetic (analytical) metaphysicians.

0004 …what?

A noumenon and its phenomena?

0005 Tautologies are marvelous intellectual constructions.

In a tautology, an explanation explains a fact because the fact can be accounted for by the explanation.  For modern science, mathematical and mechanical models explain observations and measurements because observations and measurements can be accounted for by mathematical and mechanical models.

Scientific tautologies are very powerful.  Important scientists ask for governments to support their empirio-schematic research in order to develop and exploit such tautologies… er… technologies.  Philosophers of science tend to go with the flow, so they end up employing, analyzing and justifying the manners in which mathematical and mechanical models account for observations and measurements, along with other not-metaphysical pursuits.  One must tread lightly.  First, there is a lot of money on the line.  Second, the positivist intellect has a rule.  Metaphysics is not allowed.

0006 …hmmm…

Does Tabaczek offer a way out of the rut of not-metaphysics, without noticing that the rut is what distinguishes scientific inquiry from experience of a thing itself?  Aristotle will tell me that the rut is not the same as the world outside the rut.  The scientific world is (supposedly) full of mind-independent beings.  Ours is a world of mind-dependent beings.  

0007 …aha!

Now, I arrive at the yet-to-be-articulated distinction between what science investigates and what we experience.

For the modern philosopher of science, models are key.  Disciplinary language brings mathematical and mechanical models into relation with observations and measurements of phenomena.

For the estranged modern metaphysician, the thing itself is key.  The thing itself, the noumenon, gives rise to diverse phenomena, facets that are observable and measurable.

Consequently, the distinction that Tabaczek does not name looks like this.

Figure 01


Looking at Mariusz Tabaczek’s Book (2019) “Emergence” (Part 22 of 22)

0149 In chapter five, Tabaczek starts to develop the noumenal side of his mirror, beginning with dispositions and powers.  Tabaczek wants to use these terms interchangeably. Perhaps, it is better to regard them as two contiguous real elements, where the contiguity is [properties].

Disposition [property] power is a hylomorphe that is slightly different than Aristotle’s hylomorphe, matter [substance] form.   Even though they differ, they both belong to Peirce’s category of secondness.

To me, Peirce’s secondness opens the door to expressions of causality that reflect Aristotle’s hylomorphe in so far as they have the same relational structure.

Currently, no modern philosopher views Aristotle’s hylomorphe as a prime example of Peirce’s category of secondness.

How so?

As soon as a modern philosopher recognizes the point, then he or she becomes a postmodern philosopher.

Labels can be slippery.

0150 In chapter six of Emergence, Tabaczek introduces forms and teleology (that is, formal and final causes).  The operation of these causes within the category-based nested form has already been presented.

0151 In chapter seven, Tabaczek labors to apply his dispositional metaphysics to Deacon’s formulation of dynamical depth.  Perhaps, the results are not as coherent as the application found in this examination, but his efforts are sufficient to earn him his doctorate in philosophy.

Amen to that!

0152 Overall, Emergence is a testimonial to the resilience of a graduate student who completes his doctorate in philosophy of science without knowing that the model and the noumenon are two (apparently competing) illuminations within the Positivist’s judgment.

0153 Why doesn’t he know?

Well, no one knows, because philosophers of science are not paying attention the traditions of Charles Peirce or of Jacques Maritain.  As noted in Comments on Jacques Maritain’s Book (1935) Natural Philosophy, Maritain uses the scholastic tool of three different styles of abstraction to paint a picture of science displaying the structure of judgment.  Peirce’s semiotics and categories clarify Maritain’s painting by resolving two integrated yet distinct judgments: the Positivist’s judgment and the empirio-schematic judgment.

Plus, another reason why no one knows is because philosophers of science still think that the positivist intellect is alive.  All laboratory scientists obey the dictate of the positivist intellect.  Metaphysics is not allowed.  So, if well-funded scientists are correct, then philosophers of science must project what is for the Positivist’s judgment from science into their own image in Tabaczek’s mirror.  They do not realize that Tabaczek inadvertently de-defines the positivist intellect by not getting the Positivist’s memo and regarding a noumenon as the thing itself and its phenomena as manifestations of dispositions [properties] power.

0154 Say what?

Tabaczek’s “dispositional metaphysics” disposes with the positivist intellect by vaporizing the relation of the Positivist’s judgment and condensing what ought to be (the empirio-schematic judgment) and what is (the noumenon [cannot be objectified as] its phenomena) as two distinct illuminations.  Both enter secondness.  Two hylomorphes stand juxtaposed.  In Tabaczek’s mirror, each hylomorphe sees its own image in the other.


Comments on Fr. Dwight Longenecker’s Podcast (2020) “Myths, Monsters and Mysteries” (Part 1)

0001 Why would a Catholic priest podcast on the topics of myths, monsters and mysteries?

Are these actualities somehow related?

Perhaps, they are nested.  Mysteries are locked within monsters.  Monsters are contained in myths.

The outside is myth, the middle has monsters, and the center holds mysteries.

In addition to nesting, the title tells a story. A story has a beginning, middle and end. This podcast title opens with myths, proceeds to monsters, then resolves in mysteries.

Two approaches complement one another.

0002 Why?

Each word in the title labels an actuality.  These actualities fit into one another.  These three actualities tell a story.

0003 Our world is full of stories.  Some are fantasies.  Some are histories.

Fantasies have no foundation in real human events.  So, the story is not real.

Histories are founded in real human events, but often the story is incoherent.

Myths seem to blend these two poles.

Fantasies illuminate how we (humans) think.  For myths, Jungian psychologists investigate this particular topic, revealing universal mental habits.

Histories tell of what happened, by connecting various evidentiary dots or exploring clues.

The magic of myth is simple.  It holds historic dots and clues within itself, long after what happened has passed into the mists of time.  Myths are repeated with such accuracy, that dots and clues may remain for centuries, even millenia.

Consequently, there is no coherent discipline investigating how myths address something that actually occurred.

0004   Can I say that all stories contain clues.

These clues reveal something real. 

 On one hand, this something pertains to human psychology.

On the other hand, this something includes human witness.

0005 Are these poles to a continuum?

Here is how that might look.

Figure 01

Comments on Fr. Dwight Longenecker’s Podcast (2020) “Myths, Monsters and Mysteries” (Part 2)

0006 Fr. Dwight Longenecker sets out on a quixotic quest.

On first listening, he appears ready to deliver insights in Jungian psyhcology and critical aesthetics, as if these will imbue actuality into myths.

On second thought, he touts his book on who the magi actually are.  They are not Persians.  They are traders, located between Persia and Jerusalem.  They are in transit between both civilizations.  He follows clues in the infant narratives.  He examines archaeology.  He looks at historical documentation.

0007 What does this mean?

Think of a real historical event as a grain of sand.

Think of human psychology as the maw of an oyster.

The grain of sand enters into the maw of the oyster and then, over time, something mysterious happens.  The grain of sandgives rise to a pearl.  

The pearl is like the myth.

0008 In sum, the continuum expressed in the previous blog will not suffice.

There are two real elements, the grain of sand and the pearl.  The grain of sand cannot be recognized within the pearl, but it stands as its origin.  The two elements are contiguous, like matter and form.

0009  For Aristotle, matter and form are contiguous.  The technical term is “hylomorphism”.

Here is a picture.  

Figure 02

0010 For Charles Peirce, the category of secondness, the realm of actuality, consists in two contiguous real elements.

An entire series of comments are published in smashwords on the proposal that Aristotle’s hylomorphism coincides with Peirce’s category of secondness.  This is a portal to the Fourth Age of Understandingthe Age of Triadic Relations.

One way to write the contiguity between matter and form is matter [is contiguous with] form.  Matter and form are real elements.  The contiguity is placed in brackets. The word, “substance”, labels the contiguity between matter and form.  Or, should I say, “being and form”?

Figure 03

0011 There is a beauty in this configuration.

There are two terms that scholastics used regularly.  One is the Latin word, esse.  Esse is translated as being as existent, in contrast to ens, being as being.  Esse concerns presence. The other word made it into English, essence.  Essence concerns form. 

As it turns out, these two terms apply the Arisotle’s hylomorphism.

Here is a picture.

Figure 04

I coin a new word, esse_ce, which sounds the same as esse, but is defined as being [substance], in contrast with essence, which is [substance] form.

0012 What does this have to do with Longenecker’s podcasts?Perhaps, Longenecker aims to discuss the esse_ce and essence of myth.


Comments on Fr. Dwight Longenecker’s Podcast (2020) “Myths, Monsters and Mysteries” (Part 3)

0013 Now, I travel in a little circle, turning around Peirce’s secondness and Aristotle’s hylomorphism.  One is postmodern.  The other is premodern.

0014 Myth is a hylomorphism, which may be depicted as follows in the style of Peirce’s secondness.

Figure 05

0015 Peirce’s secondness is one of three categories.  It is the realm of actuality.  Secondness consists in two contiguous real elements.  The two elements are real.  The contiguity, placed in brackets, conveys a feeling of causality.  A myth is a story. Its real origin hides within.

0016 A myth does not seem like a thing.  A pearl does. A pearl serves as a metaphor for myth.  If it were not for science, we would not know that a grain of sand gives rise to a pearl inside the maw of an oyster.  This implies that the real world event may be known from other inquiries, not from the story itself.

Here is a picture.

Figure 06

0017 Aristotle’s hylomorphism applies to things.  A pearl is a thing.  A thing has two real elements, matter and form.  Matter has two facets.  If material, matter is called “matter”.  If immaterial, matter is called “being”.  Being is relational.  The Latin word for being is “ens”.

I label the contiguity between matter and form with the word, “substance”.  The term, “substance”, has quite a history.  So, it should be fine if a thing is matter [substance] form.  Note how the contiguity could just as well be a verb, “substantiates”.

0018 Now, many of us have heard the term, “essence”.  Essence is all about form.  Indeed, I suspect that essence captures one facet of Aristotle’s hylomorphism.

There is another, less well known, scholastic term, “esse“.  Esse is Latin for being as existent.  I will now make up a word, esse_ce, which is a complement to essence.  Esse_ce captures the other facet of Aristotle’s hylomorphism.

0019 Here is a picture of the myth, with esse_ce and essence denoted.

Figure 07

0020 Ah, in myth, both esse_ce and essence share the contiguity between a real event and its story.

Isn’t that curious?

Even more, I can extend this pattern to the pearl.

The esse_ce of a pearl contains a grain of sand.

The essence of a pearl is a translucent spherical form.

0021 A pearl serves as a metaphor for myth.I have come full circle.


Comments on Fr. Dwight Longenecker’s Podcast (2020) “Myths, Monsters and Mysteries” (Part 4)

0022 When Father Longenecker begins his discussion of myth.  It seems that he is discussing Jungian psychology.

Jungian psychology investigates the way that the mind works, especially in regards to the so-called “collective unconscious”,  mental habits common across civilizations.  This corresponds to essence.

Essence contributes to the realness of the story.

0023 However, there is the complement to essence, esse_ce, that is discovered through independent inquiry.  One could label this inquiry, “science”, but the modern term means building mathematical and mechanical models.

The premodern term for “science” is “natural philosophy”.  Natural philosophy seeks out a thing or process or event, tries to explain it, and reaches understanding of the thing itself, not the observable and measurable facets of the thing.  

The thing itself has a hylomorphic structure.

0024  So, an independent inquiry, having great compatibility with natural philosophy, may try to figure out the real event that hides within and gives rise to myth2.  The discovery of the event is prophetic, since it cannot be predicted by examining the story itself.  Only after the discovery of the event, does the myth become more that pure essence (fantasy).  The story gains esse_ce.

Esse_ce contributes to the realness of the myth in ways that essence does not.

0025 Here is a picture.

Figure 08

Comments on Fr. Dwight Longenecker’s Podcast (2020) “Myths, Monsters and Mysteries” (Part 5)

0026 Now, I want to offer an example. This example may take Father Longenecker by surprise.  It is the story of Adam and Eve found in the early chapters of Genesis.

Many argue that the temptation of Eve is pure fantasy.  It is pure essence.  There is no esse_ce.  Really, a talking serpent?

0027 Longnecker may speak of the essence, using Jungian psychology.

I will offer a picture of the esse_ce, using the evolution of talk, as opposed to the evolution of language.

Figure 09

0028 Two works shed light upon the esse_ce of this myth. One is a scientific proposal, The First Singularity and Its Fairy Tale Trace.  The other is the dramatic fiction, An Archaeology of the Fall.  The evolutionary backdrop for both is found in The Human Niche.

0029 What is the evolution of talk, in a nutshell?

Starting with the adaptation of walking, characteristic the genus, Australopithecus, the foot is enslaved and the hand is freed.  The hand is free to gesture.  Why gesture?  Manual-brachial gestures convey intentions during team activities.  Why engage in team activities?  That is how a band of walking apes survives.

Homo habilis and erectus adapt to the opportiunity that manual-brachial gestures offer. Gestures convey intent (message), content (meaning) and role (presence) during team activities.  The semiotic qualities of hand talk are iconic (images) and indexal (indicators).  So, a referent defines the message, meaning and presence of its word-gesture.

Hand talk is crucial for team activities, such as gathering seasonal vegetables and hunting or scavenging game.

0030 On top of that, word-gestures should differ from one another, fitting Ferdinand de Saussure’s definition of languageas two related systems of differencesparole (manual-brachial gesture) and langue (particular sets of messages, meaning and presences).

0031 The domestication of fire allows hand talk to become a team activity in itself.  Hand talk expands from team-activities to something more general (that is, conversation).  A full fledged grammar develops, all in the milieu of hand talk.

The generalization of talk is very successful, expanding brain volume and group size.  

0032 Humans evolve in social circles of increasing size.  Larger circles have different dynamics than smaller circles.  Bands are permanent.  Bands gather in community.  Communities are semi-permanent.  Communities gather into mega-bands.  Mega-bands are seasonal.  Mega-bands gather into tribes.  Tribes meet occasionally.  

Adaptation to gatherings of the larger groups includes the use of the voice for social synchronization.  When the tribe gathers, time is limited.  Everyone must quickly get in sync.  The voice comes under neural control for singing.  The Neanderthal and the Denisovan most likely practice lingusitic hand talk and sing.

0033 With the speciation of anatomically modern humans, around 200,000 years ago, the voice is exapted for language.  The voice joins hand talk.  From the very start, Homo sapiens practices hand-speech talk.

Hand-speech talk lasts for hundreds of thousands of years, until…

Something weird happens.

0034 Slightly before 7800 years ago, one culture drops the hand talk component of hand-speech talk.  The Ubaid of southern Mesopotamia forms when rising ocean waters fill the formerly dry-lands of the Persian Gulf, pushing a river and coast dwelling mesolithic culture into the same territory as a dry-land stock-breeding culture.  The cultures meld, despite thier vastly different traditions.  Their way of talking breaks down into pidgin. The resulting creole is unrelated to any family of languages.  This creole is the Sumerian language.  Sumerian is a linguistic isolate.

0035 The Ubaid culture is the first speech-alone talking culture.  Speech-alone talk has very different semiotic qualities than hand-speech talk.  Speech-alone talk cannot image or point to anything.  So, the referent cannot define the word.  Instead, message, meaning and presence is projected into the mind, as if there is a referent that is pictured or pointed to.

0036 Does that sound like the snake-like serpent talking to Eve?

The snake says speech-alone words and Eve projects message, meaning and presence into the forbidden fruit.

This is what we do in our current Lebenswelt of speech-alone talk.  Such projection is not possible in the Lebenswelt that we evolved in, of hand and hand-speech talk.

0037 Needless to say, this shift in the semiotic qualities of talk potentiates the formation of unconstrained social complexity, including civilization.  Speech-alone talk spreads to the far corners of the Earth, on the wings of power and wealth, the fruits of unconstraind social and labor specialization.

0038 Yes, the key to the talking serpent is this: The serpent has no limbs.  It cannot engage in hand talk.  Therefore, it presents an image of the actualization of speech-alone talk.

How creepy is that?

The talking serpent is more real that anyone imagined.

The talking serpent is a clue to the esse_ce of the story of Adam and Eve.

0039 Fr. Dwight Longenecker is onto something.  The stories of the Bible have esse_ce and essence.

Longenecker’s work on the infant narratives stands at the threshold of the use of both Jungian psychology and independent inquiry to address revelation.  Real world events, like grains of sand, hide within Biblical stories, embodying pearls of revelation.  In myth, esse_ce meets essence.


Comments on Fr. Dwight Longenecker’s Podcast (2020) “Myths, Monsters and Mysteries” (Part 6)

0040 The esse_ce and essence of myth coheres to the dyadic structure of Peirce’s secondness.  It also expresses Aristotle’s hylomorphism.

The esse_ce of myth is an intimation of a real world event.

The essence of myth is explored with Jungian psychology.

These two approaches complement one another.

0041 What does this have to do with monsters?

Monsters appear in myths.  And, we perceive them as monsters.

There are monsters in the content of myth.  Then, our perception constructs thier monstrosities.

0042 On the content-level, the myth, a story told by a story-teller, is an actuality2, emerging from the possibility of common attention1, in the normal context of what is happening3

The following formula is introduced in A Primer on The Category Based Nested Form.  In a normal context3, an actuality2 emerges from (and situates) the possibility of ‘something’1.  The subscripts refer to Peirce’s categories.

0043 Here is a picture.

Figure 10

A situation level emerges from (and situates) a content level, according to A Primer on Sensible and Social Construction.

Monsters appear as content in myths.

This content is then situated by the human imagination.

0044 A myth2a is situated by possibilities inherent in the imagination1b, giving rise to a phantasm2b, in the normal context of what it means to me3b.

The two-level interscope is typical for sensible construction.

Figure 11

0045 Each column produces a virtual relation.

The imagination1b virtually emerges from (and situates) common attention1a.

Phantasms2b virtually emerge from (and situate) the telling of a myth2a.

What does it mean to me3b virtually emerges from (and situates) what is happening in the story3a.

0046 Jungian psychology studies the ways that imagination1b situates myth1a.  Imagination picks up on essence.  Essence associates to form.  More than that, essence goes with the filling in of a form (that is, [substance] form).  The way that form is realized addresses the question, “What do the various features of the story mean to me3b?”

But, the phantasm2b is not pure fantasy.  It is not solely essence.  The imagination also brings experience into the picture.  For this reason, the child perceives a myth as literally true and the adult senses that the myth is a mix of fact and fiction.  The more experience one has, the more important the matter that goes into the story becomes.  Or, should I say, “being”?

0047 Experience includes one’s own personal accounts.  Experience includes one’s traditions.  Experience includes encounters described in myth.  Experience is both practical and theoretical.

Experience tells us that something real is going into the essence of the myth.  The esse_ce may be taken to be literal (making the story a historical documentation) or figurative (making the story a fantasy) or any mix of the two (bringing us back to the continuum in the first blog).

There is a continuum between matter, which is material, and being, which is immaterial.

Both contribute to esse_ce.

0048 So, what is going on in one’s head when one encounters a myth?

The mind3b constructs a phantasm2b that appropriates the structure of Aristotle’s hylomorphism.  Actuality is dyadic.  A myth2a is actual.  So, the phantasm2b uses imagination1b to construct the same dyadic structure, but in a way that reveals the monstrosity1b in monsters2a.

0049 Here is a picture of what the phantasm constructs.


Comments on Fr. Dwight Longenecker’s Podcast (2020) “Myths, Monsters and Mysteries” (Part 7)

0050 The myth is hylomorphic.  So is the phantasm1b that the myth’s telling1a inspires.  

The hylomorphism of the myth1a is some real event [hides within and gives rise to] a story.

The hylomporhism of the phantasm2b is a configuration of matter and form by way of the imagination1b.  Matter or being (in Latin, ens) should substantiate the form.

0051 Here is how that looks.

Figure 13

0052 What does an independent corroboration of the stories of Adam and Eve accomplish?

It changes what is happening3a by revealing an esse_ce that lends the story2a a realness that we cannot ignore1a.

To the modern, the stories of Adam and Eve are suppposed to be fairy tales.  Adam and Eve are not supposed to serve as harbingers of civilization.  They are not supposed to be weirdly consistent with a scientific hypothesis on the potentiation of unconstrained social complexity, that is, the first singularity.  They are not supposed to be witnesses.

In light of the first singularity, the Genesis myth becomes counterintuitive to the modern imagination.  It becomes monstrous.  Essence without esse_ce can be ignored.  Essence with esse_ce cannot.

0053 Strangely, this may be one of Lonenecker’s subtle contentions.  As soon as one adds esse_ce to essence, a fantasy becomes more real than previously imagined.  Myths may become monsters.

The same surprise works for the phantasm generated by the myth.  The monstrosity of a monster comes from an unanticipated balance between esse_ce and essence.

0054 Premodern monsters have this character.

For example, the minotaur is a monster dwelling within the labyrinth of King Midas.  The minotaur is half-bull and half-human.  Its esse_ce is human.  Its essence is a bull.

What a monster!

But, there is something natural to this monster, because it informs us of a familiar actuality, the matter of a human [substantiating] the essence of a bull.  Here is a monster worth pondering.  Where does the word, “bully”, come from?

Premodern monsters have an imbalance between esse_ce and essence.

0055 Moderns take this imbalance to the limit, making two radical discoveries.  Both discoveries are built on one insight. We can lose touch with the contiguity between matter and form.  We have discovered (indeed, even actualized) worlds without substance.

I label these two discoveries, the zeroth order of existence and form.  I label then existence0 and form0.

This is how they work.

Figure 14

0056 Existence0 is esse_ce without substance.

Form0 is essence without substance.

Work serves as an example.

Humans are designed to work.  Work gives people purpose and honor.  Work goes with the essence of a civilized human.

So, what is work without humans?

What is pure work without substance?

May I mention the industrial revolution?

How modern can I get?

The modern era is full of monsters.

0057 Machines do work.  Then, humans work machines.  Sometimes, this takes great skill.

Now, with robots, humans get in the way.  The robot is awarded the status of purpose and honor.  Today, postmodern economists call the robots, “the fourth industrial revolution”.  Make room for the pure existence0 of robots and the pure form0 of robotic work.  Robots are not aware of what they are making.  Robots do not know why they are working.

0058 Here is a picture.

Figure 15

0059 How does this play out in our phantasms?

Humans become less than human.

Consumers are a type of monster.  We choose among flavors of peanut butter without knowing what a peanut is.

One may reply, “Robots manufacture things that consumers buy.  So this is an essence.”  

Here is an essence that denies humans the dignity of work, turning humans into things (that is, consumers).

Savor the word, “consumer”.

0060 A consumer dies, leaving an estate filled with manufactured momentos, icons of life as a consumer.  This monstrosity must be dealt with.  Maybe a robot can be designed to do the job.  The sheer bulk of the consumer’s life weighs down the world.  Imagine the cynicism required to build a robot that performs this work.

0061 The sequence of movies, titled “The Matrix” (1999), portrays a cyncial resolution to these two great philosophical discoveries.  The human becomes (1) a battery that powers a machine world and (2) the one who accepts the illusionary works of the machine world.  The matrix is the deception that allows humans to be used as batteries.

0062 Both the machine world and the matrix are monsters.

Figure 16

0063 In these movies, the hero’s journey gives substance to these twin monsters through a sacrifice.  This is not any sacrifice.  This is a human sacrifice.  In doing so, the hero humanizes the two monsters.  He provides substance, allowing the monsters to continue for another iteration.

If Rene Girard is correct, this plotline is as ancient as the most ancient civilizations.  This plotline begins with the first singularity.

0064 Modern monsters are exemplars of things without substance.

Where does substance come from?All substance flows from God.  God’s grace pours into the interstices between matter and form, body and soul, and a real event and its myth.  Substance is the contiguity between being and form.  God is foundation of substance.