Thursday, April 11, 2013
Creatio Prima & Creatio Secunda - Part 2
Whatever makes the literal sense more clear is what I prefer. Most important, however, is the fact that each time God said "Let the earth bring forth" and "Let the waters bring forth", (Days Three, Five and Six), something totally new was produced, because in each new substantial form, even the already created elements from the Earth and Air and Waters, took on a totally new and kind-specific arrangement or structure, a permanent, immutable and stable form to last throughout time in the Order of Generation that thereby preserves the Order of Creation. It is in this sense that not only do all things presuppose creation, but the Order of Creation is the source and foundational pool for all things that must endure if any societal communities were ever to exist. In brief, the Order of Creation is the source of all Law and Order.
St. Thomas continues: "Creation is the production of a thing in its entire substance, nothing being presupposed either uncreated or created."
Comment: This last phrase, "either uncreated or created" would certainly rule out an already created earth for the creation of the Plant Kingdom. I suggest that the earth here refers to a totally new arrangement of newly created elements - thus each plant kind in its "entire substance." You can see how very important the elements are, and how we really must have a theology of the elements as a necessary part of the material cause in the hylemorphic structure of the Body of the Universe. For as the physics of the elements requires, each element, although but an accidental form of the Substantial Form that is the Body of the Universe, as such, it has of necessity, its own little hylemorphic (matter-form) structure. (This, by the way, is how the analogy with literary form can be helpful. Each literary construct, according to its mode of discourse, has its own genre - specific matter and form.) This is very evident in Theodore Grey's book, The Elements, because it shows every material-formal aspect of each element, as far as it is known today. It makes very clear, too, that the essence of each element is quantitative and that the qualities we perceive (color, sound, etc.) all have their basic existential character, in some unique quantity.
Here Plato and his Pythagorean predecessors are very valuable, because they classified the geometric shapes of each element - as also does Theodore Gray in his book. This information is most valuable for our cosmology and our theology. St. Thomas continues: Hence it remains that nothing can create except God alone, Who is the First Cause. Therefore, in order to show that all bodies were created immediately by God, Moses said: "In the beginning, God created heaven and earth". Therefore, I suggest, and my Catholic Cosmology demonstrates, that on Day One, or, "In the beginning", God created the Body of the Universe - consisting of spheres surrounding earth at the center. The reply to objection 1 in this same article 3, must be quoted also: "In the production of things an order exists, but not such that one creature is created by another, for that is impossible - but rather such that by the Divine Wisdom, diverse grades are constituted in creatures.
Comment: This hierarchical order is also manifest in the order of the creation of creatures on each of the Six Days. For the inanimate world of the elements, the lowest grade of being, is created first, on Day One. Then appears the plant kingdom, then the sea animals and the birds, then the land animals. Finally man-kind receives the very special attention of God. Moreover, man-kind sums up in his being, or rather subsumes all previous lower grades of perfection, (see the 4th Way of St. Thomas), in his own rational being. By this character, he naturally holds - but is also explicitly given by God, "dominion" over all below him. (Genesis 1:26, 28.) - but not beyond.
Another aspect of the account or theology of creation in St. Thomas - that occasioned the artificial distinction of creatio prima et...secunda is the metaphysically - and theologically necessary doctrine that matter never exists without form. In the Summa, Part I, Question 66, article one, this doctrine is explicated. I quote only the most relevant passages:
"On the contrary...Deut.32:4: The works of God are perfect. Therefore, the work of His creation was, at no time, formless. Further, the formation of corporeal creatures was effected by the work of distinction. But confusion is opposed to distinction, as formlessness to form...at the beginning confusion, called by the ancients chaos, existed in the corporeal creation. (ST, I, q.66, a1.) To say, then, that matter preceded, but without form, is to say that being existed actually, yet without act, which is a contradiction in terms. Nor can it be said that it possessed some common form, on which supervened the different forms that distinguish it. For this would be to hold the opinion of the ancient natural philosophers, who maintained that primary matter was some corporeal thing in act, as fire, air, water, or some intermediate substance.
Comment: Here I base my cosmological theory that the elements are indeed but accidental forms that only effect change. They do not create, by any stretch of the imagination - they do not, therefore, confer substantial form - Absurdity! They do, though, cause change, by the power of the agency they possess as accidents, for this is one of the nine accidents or categories of being - possessed by the substantial form - which acts through, controls, and governs and directs the agencies and corresponding passive dispositions of its accidents. This is seen so wonderfully in the biological processes of living forms, such as photosynthesis in green plants and the protein synthesis specific to various kinds of animals. But also based on these passages of St. Thomas, I hold that primary matter, as St. Thomas asserts, "was not created altogether formless, nor under any one common form, but under distinct forms. (ST, I, q.66, a1, I answer....)
Therefore, I feel secure in holding that Primary Matter - as created on Day One, was and continues to be that potency invested by God in the atoms to take on, according to their immediate environment and the substantial form into which they enter, those accidental forms that preserve and/or benefit in some way - or may harm in some way - as in diseases caused by mutations - those substantial forms under which they, (the atomic structures) can and do act. Keep in mind, please, that accidental forms -- must of necessity -- by the Order of Creation, act and realize their virtual, innate potentialities, only under the formal directives of the substance in which they exist. Here I conclude my attempt to clarify, especially with reference to my own Catholic Cosmology, what I consider to be an artificial, and not really helpful distinction, of a creatio prima and a creatio secunda. It really concerns what God did on Day Three, Day Four, Day Five and Day Six.
I hold that on these Days, God really created, in the full sense, something totally new by reason of each one's hylemorphic (matter-form), structure. I believe the evidences of empirical science will demonstrate this fact. Keep in mind, too, that when God creates, No process - whatsoever is involved. His creative Word - Command - Fiat - is all act and atemporal. No time involved or required. Time only begins with the Form's existence, which then begins to perform its functions. Form comes before function. This is an absolute law of all finite being - even the inanimate. Here is a proof for the existence of the human soul at conception, because the zygote-embryo could not develop into a human being without the directives proceeding only from the Substantial Form, for which the Creative Act of God is absolutely necessary. And exactly so it is also with every Substantial Form. Only God can create/make the Substantial Form. These forms constitute the Order of Creation.
In the Order of Generation, these Substantial Forms are only transmitted, by re-production and pro-creation. In the case of plants and animals, only material forms are transmitted, and so, the action of God is required only as First Efficient and Primary Cause, as Providential concurring action preserving all things in existence. Only in the case of the rational-immortal human soul is the immediate and direct creative act required. We can see here that every individual human being is therefore an object of the most special predilection in God's Mind and Heart, - a special object of Divine Love. St. Theresa of Avila saw this when she went into ecstacy at the sight of the beauty of one human soul...And St. Therese of Lisieux suffered a life-long agony of consuming love in order to save as many of these precious souls as she could.
In truth, all things considered...everything presupposes creation. And so, where are the Apostles of Creation today?
at 8:44 PM