Looking at Carlo Vigano’s Speech (2020) “How the Revolution of Vatican II Serves the New World Order” (Part 1 of 14)

0001 The presentation under consideration appears in a book, titled A Voice In the Wilderness: Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano On the Church, America, and the World, edited by Brian M. McCall and published in 2021 by Angelico Press, in Brooklyn NY.  The article is located at the end of Part II on pages 251 through 274.  It is a transcript of a speech given to the Catholic Identity Conference on October 24, 2020.  A video can be found on Remnant TV.

0002 The presentation is of interest as a follow-up to the June 2022 blog, Looking at Peter Redpath’s Essay (2000) “The Homeschool Renaissance”.   It complements the professional path taken by Dr. Redpath, who now promotes online courses, teaching “uncommon” common sense.

0003 Indeed, Vigano’s talk can only be described as “uncommon”, in the same way that Redpath’s essay, published 20 years earlier, is uncommon.  Plus, Vigano’s talk expresses common sense in the same way that Redpath’s essay does.

0004 Here is the difficulty.

How does one portray a turn of events that makes no sense?

0005 Redpath portrays the history of Italian humanists, who jettison logic at the very start of their movement, and who end up subjugated to the deterministic (and incomplete) logic of empirio-schematics.

Perhaps, the European humanists did not see it coming.

A little mathematical and mechanical logic can overthrow no logic at all.

0006 Vigano fixes on the political stagehands behind the theatrics of Vatican II, who embed themselves in the matrix of positional authority in the traditional Church as the drama of the Novus Ordo unfolds into a lurid parody of historic Catholicism.

Perhaps, the participants of the Council of Vatican II did not see it coming.

A little political intrigue can overthrow the realm.

0007 No, it does not make sense.

0008 How can one make something that does not make sense make sense? 

Obviously, the word, “sense”, has two implications.  The first implication is that it is sensible.  The second implication is that it impacts our five senses.  That is, it is sensical.  Sensible is not the same as sensical.

Something that does not make sense is not sensible.

Something that one cannot see, hear, taste, smell and touch is not sensical.

0009 Here is the trick.

Through diagrams of triadic relations, something that is not sensible may become sensical.

0009 So, my examination transforms into a question, asking, “How can I associate features of Vigano’s argument to empty slots in purely relational triadic structures, such as the category-based nested form?”

That is my task.

0010 The following blogs rely on the three works listed below.  Each displays the synthetic process of association and implication.  Once I associate features of Vigano’s speech to elements in a category-based nested form, I consider the implications.

0011 The three works are available at smashwords and other e-book venues.  Search for the author, Razie Mah, along with the title.

A Primer on the Category-Based Nested Form

A Primer on Sensible and Social Construction

How to Define the Word “Religion”

0012 Vigano’s presentation breaks into eleven sections.  Each is covered by a blog.  Then, a conclusion suggests other applications of Charles Peirce’s synthetic logic.


Looking at Carlo Vigano’s Speech (2021) “How the Revolution of Vatican II Serves the New World Order” (Part 14 of 14)

0092 The analogy in the previous blog brings me back, full circle, to the so-called spirit of Vatican II, as well as the title of Vigano’s speech.

Mercy is not the same as mercenary.  The Catholic elites of the time before Vatican II wanted to be accepted by their secular superiors, Big Government (il)Liberals. They wanted to be acknowledged by those-in-the-know so badly that they promulgated a new theology to mask a cruel exploitation.  That new theology alchemically dissolved and coagulated the sacraments into the open religion demanded by the wealthy and well-positioned purveyors of “the human brotherhood” and “the open society”.

This examination reveals that the Catholic elites, operating on the society tier, recapitulate the exploitation practiced by the financial elites in the organization tier.

0093 Students of political theology take note.

The alchemist says, “As above, so below.”

0094 Does the societal alchemic transmutation of the body of Christ2V into the human brotherhood2H and the kingdom of God2V into the open society2H have a parallel below, where well-funded organizations transmute our bodies as primal matter2V into products for sale2H and the labor of caring for human health2V into product-driven social arrangements2H?

0095 Intersections can be mysterious.

Intersections can also be cruel.

0096 Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano on the Church, America and the World is the subtitle for A Voice in The Wilderness,published by Angelico Press in 2021.  The presentation under examination appears on pages 251-274.  The speech is worth reading.

0097 How To Define the Word “Religion” is a masterwork by Razie Mah concerning political theology, one of the most disconcerting intellectual challenges of our current Lebenswelt.  This e-work is available at smashwords and other electronic book vendors.

0098 Plus, there is more.

Other electronic articles for sale may be found in the Intimations of Political Philosophy Series.

0099 In addition, recent blogs include the following.

Looking at Peter Redpath’s Essay (2000) “The Homeschool Renaissance”, raziemah blog, June 2022

Looking at Thomas Michaud’s Article (2021) “Anatomy of the Progressive Revolution”, raziemah blog, May 2022

Looking at Josh Hammer’s Opinion Piece (2021) “…Experts”, raziemah blog, July 2021

Comments on Philip Marey’s Post (2021) “Insurrection”, raziemah blog, Jan 2021

Comments on Yoram Hazony’s Post (2020) “Challenges of Marxism”, raziemah blog, September 2020

Theology of the Deep State, raziemah blog, May 2020


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.


Comments on Fr. Dwight Longenecker’s Podcast (2020) “Myths, Monsters and Mysteries” (Part 8)

0065 Now, I proceed from monsters to mysteries.

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.

Figure 17

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.

Figure 18

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.

Figure 19

0077 In the life and passion of Jesus Christ, Roman rule2 and Jewish legalism2one 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 theodrama3The 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.

Figure 20

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.