Thursday, October 02, 2014

Response to Paul Thordarson on Christological Anthropology

   I would have to sort out the vocabulary with my own understanding. E.g., “Irreducible” – for me (and I think Wojtyla) – means not reducible to concepts, but rather “known” experientially as “consciousness.” The former is “objectified” knowing; the latter, subjectified. “Mediation” understood anthropologically is “self-determination” whereby the “I” masters the integral self (everything in the self which is not only “I” but “nature” [as in Christ mastering His human will laden with sin], and so is capable of the gift of self. That is the great mystery: “self-gift” is not only “willing” but ontologically turning the whole “I” into “flow – out.” I  understand this to be the meaning of “priesthood.” See Hebrews 9 where Christ gives not the blood of bulls and goats, but His own. This priesthood of Christ is the meaning of Christian anthropology. It is the meaning of “freedom” in that “I” give myself and am not given by anyone or anything. It is the proper sense of autonomy (as in secularity) and freedom. “To know” is to become another. I am taking the deepest meaning of know – as you – from Old Testament conjugal union of husband and wife. It is that understanding of “knowing” that is the meaning of “faith” as knowing by doing, and by doing becoming who the other is in his being. I.e. Simon “knows” Christ to be “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Lk. 9, 18 --à) only by the doing of prayer where he goes out of himself. But since it is an action of  his whole being, he becomes the Other as divine Person-out-of Self, and therefore his name changes to “Rock” (Saxum): “Petros.”
            Then, the actual achievement of becoming an “I” depends on being “affirmed” by Another (i.e. the meaning of grace). Only when I have achieved being an “I,” am I capable of determining myself. And it is only in determining myself [mastering myself] that I experience, and become conscious, of being free – and able to will, i.e. choose. If I self-determine and choose to make the gift, my whole being becomes “good” and I become conscious of the value: “good.” Morality thus becomes grounded in the metaphysics of the ontological self that is not “substance” but relation as self-gift, and therefore “good” as God, alone, is “good” (Mk. 10). As Ratzinger said, that the being of the person is “ontological tendency” toward this and that, I don’t think that is will yet, but only “tendency” as in “natural law.” When I am loved by God (grace – as the Son by the Father), and rendered capable of deciding about myself, then will kicks in, and “I” become “good” or “bad” – and I am “conscious” of that as absolute value.
    Vis a vis “knowing:” I don’t think we “see” beyond the sensible empirical. Rather, we “know” beyond the phenomenon by experiencing the “I” in its going out of itself by loving. The point is that I experience my “I” as supreme ontological experience and therefore, the “absolute.” I, as person, am absolute as image of the Son/Truth/Word. Therefore, I experience absoluteness only by experiencing myself in love. I can measure sensible reality scientifically, but I can only come up with statistical approximations. However, the absoluteness and universality that experience is really the experience of myself doing the measuring and finding percentages, and transfer absoluteness to the approximations by reason (not seeing). This is the way we know Christ. This is the way we know another person in his “I.” It jibes with Newman’s way of knowing in the “Grammar of Ascent.” But I digress………………………….. Fr. Bob P.s. this is just a stab at  vocabulary…

No comments: