Surefire defense vs “semi-ism” (my neologism — blame me): kind of a heaving mass of semi-arianism churned up with semi-gnosticism, along with a practical* belief in being-as-power:
“… if the beauty of material existence is not merely the overflow of a self-enclosed, strictly unitary, and entirely spiritual beauty into the confining channels of material deformity, but is the unnecessary, untrammeled, and contingent expression of a divine delight that is always already ‘differential,’ created difference is loosed, as univocally good in its creatureliness, though it is analogically imparted; and when Christian thought replaced the identist and substantial analogy Platonism presumed between the world and ‘God’ with a genuinely ontological analogy between creatures who own no substantial claim on being at all and a God who is the utterly transcendent and absolutely immediate actuality of any being’s existence, every form of metaphysical reasoning had to be recast.”
— DBH, Beauty of the Infinite, pp104-5
Please forgive the tentative nature of these propositions, but they are thoughts that have percolated through various “strata of consciousness” over time.
What a context we have to deal with. On one side, we have a population who is allergic to non-material concepts in general. And part of the pathology of that allergy is a disregard of beauty, ignorance of peace as a reality, and a poor notion of joy (mistaking it for short bursts of enthusiasm and other dionysian experiences).
On another side, we have ecclesiastics who might not pay much attention to surface beauty at all, and may seem to be evacuating the demotic and quotidian, the insignificant, the unimportant intervals that do not rise to the usual academic categories. Where “personhood” has been adopted as a mark of deification, and nature — if not denounced — is at least disregarded (so that it might be surmounted and its lineaments discarded).
On another side, we have public intellectuals who say, as a matter of policy, that we religious sorts can go on with our cute little narratives (that are valued as one menagerie exhibit after another), but at the same time they articulate — across the board (philosophy submerged in the argots of soft science, arts and politics) — a rather colonializing rhetoric of being as chaotic power (i.e., the multiverse and Nietzsche are frighteningly similar in conceptual form), and individuality displacing the whole of soul-body-community, and the eviction of meaning from time and space.
There are other sides too, I’m sure.
The above paragraph is taken out of DBH’s essay on Nietzsche, in particular, who has only begun to be applied practically to culture and the West.
I am asking this — and I really am honestly open for your thoughts:
Did Nietzsche (and like philosophers/critics) cause this? Did such philosophy produce the sector of physicists that, for the sake of defending ultimate chance, posit a multiverse to escape the otherwise clear evidence for theistic design? Or what it the other way around? Are passions the cause of the radical materialism that obtains — and, in turn, such materialism (buttressed by the apparent success of technology) produced such anti-ontological notions as “being-as-power”?
One wonders, as one repairs back to prayer, the Word, and the simple real beauties of flesh and blood.
* such belief could hardly be theoretical