36 Chapter 3
PLATO AND ARISTOTLE
3 The Nature of Reality: Plato and
Fr. Keefe argues that whenever and wherever the paradigm of
dehistoricized cosmology is accepted -- whether the acceptors are
pagan, modern, or even Catholic -- that paradigm is always eventually
going to reach out and bite us. It will always eventually lead even the
bravest and the brightest among us to a fundamental pessimism about
absolutely everything, including about Man himself. Indeed, one irony
that acceptance of the paradigm inevitably incurs, is that it will always
be our bravest and our brightest who will ultimately become the most
pessimistic, for they are the ones who will seek, find, and face the
paradigm's final implications with the greatest vigor and seriousness.
Plato was without doubt one of the foremost of those to see and to
face the underlying pessimism that acceptance of the paradigm causes
one to find, both at the heart of the universe, and in one's own heart.
But Fr. Keefe presents the evidence that the liturgical representation of
the paradigm far preceded Plato's philosophical representation of it. All
the Great Wheel religions (for example, Hinduism, Buddhism), and the
ecstasies of the Greeks, represent it as well, and resolve its pain in the
only way possible: in flight, whether into the sporadic timelessness of
ecstasy, or into the surcease of timeless nirvana.
Philosophical/Scientific resolutions are identical in form, whether into
the sporadic timelessness of The Proper Technique Repetitively
Applied, or into the surcease of a timeless Theory of Everything.
The Proper A Theory of
For what the acceptance of dehistoricized cosmology always
ultimately implies -- however well that is disguised by its acceptors --
is that there is no point to the universe, no point to man, because there
is no point to time itself. Only the time-less has significance, but here
the universe is, here we are, trapped in time. There is no way out, but
to reject time itself.
Acceptors of the paradigm, particularly but not only if they are
very brave and very bright, realize, then, that Hell is Time, that we
therefore already are in Hell, with no way out, except .... [fill in the
blank]. But the way out is just that, a way out, a flight to the time-less.
2500 years later, experts are still arguing about what Plato's
writings mean. Plato is trying to find words for new thoughts, so his
N.B. This is an html-ized copy of a page from the pdf file, The Knucklehead's Guide to Covenantal Theology.