Sunday, December 1, 2013

Cognition- And Other Issues....Part 1

I have been asked to expand upon the processes of cognition, (knowledge=science), with direct reference to my views of cosmology, or, more specifically, what I call my Catholic cosmology, to distinguish it from that of the evolutionary Big Bang cosmology. First of all, I must beg the indulgence of anyone reading these papers. I am confined, (I won't say imprisoned) to a nursing home - with no way to document my statements, since my library is in storage. And so, because I write from memory, please check what I say with my previous papers and the reference I give there. Some readers may be familiar with the work of Bernard Lonergan. I am not at all conversant with his work, and so, I cannot speak in any way about it. I speak entirely out of the context of such Neo-Scholastics as Father Reginald Garigou-Lagrange, O.P., Brother Benignus, Father Celestine Bittle and Father Charles A. Hart. I am most indebted to the extensive work of lay Thomist historian Etienne Gilson. And finally, last but certainly not least, Dr. James Craig La Driere and Father (Dr.) William Joseph Rooney. Both R.I.P. These latter two professors were the major directors of Graduate programs in English literature at the Catholic Univ.of America in Washington DC, during the 1940's and 1950's, and well into the 1960's - when the proponents of Structuralism, based on the Thomistic principles of Matter and Form, were replaced by the De-Constructuralism of ---I cannot recall his full name - but any account of recent literary criticism will advert to this big change in literary studies world-wide.

I have also been urged recently by someone really more competent than myself when it comes to physics and especially chemistry - to demonstrate the assumed truth of my cosmology. I have just been re-reading my Litany of the Creator, and on page 86 of the handwritten copy, I have this statement: "Ultimately, all beings or physical existing entities, must come to this first Substantial Form, and the Material-Formal Cause of all material being." In this Litany, first written during the Lent and Paschaltide of the year 2010, I was still referring to the Body of the Universe as the Ethereal Substance. This term is cumbersome, but does designate the quintessence of Aristotle, which he termed the aether, anglicized as ether. And Aristotle's ether - I believe - is an essential constituent of the Body of the Universe. It is made up of those particulate entities - formerly recognized as the medium necessary for the operations of ALL physical beings - but invisible and perhaps, in Aristotle's mind, even insensible. And this reveals, indeed, the very point at which we must, of necessity, distinguish between the spiritual and the material. I based my conviction on the importance of this real distinction on the work of Henri Van Laer, a Dutch scientist, who insisted that ALL physical motion is local - because it takes place in the medium, which must also be physical in order to preserve the radical difference between the spiritual beings of God and of the Angels, and the inanimate physical beings of the atoms. There is no action at a distance, that is, there is always some physical contact between the two beings acting and reacting.

Does not the telephone prove this? There is actual, physical and successively, local contact, amounting to immediacy, much like the instantaneous "speed" of light, between the sounds of my voice and the voice of the one at the other end of the phone line, wherever that may be! Back to my quote from the Litany. What I have and had in mind, there is or was to trace the action of any atom or compound to its ultimate source in a Substantial Form, assuming, as I am, that all atomic and molecular structures are accidental forms of the Body of the Universe, which is the Substantial Form in which they necessarily inhere. The Body of the Universe is necessarily the only corporeal or physical Substantial Form that does not depend directly upon another physical being for its very physical life. I do not say existence - because God alone and directly is the Cause of every being's existence. And so it is also with the Body of the Universe. God alone maintains it in existence and in its physical being as a whole, with all of its particles, atoms, photons and larger parts. Here, I think, the analogy with the human body may be helpful.

The Medievals made much of the difference between the celestial bodies and the sub-lunar terrestrial bodies. And here in 1 Corinthians 15:38-41, there is also one of several New Testament confirmations of Genesis 1-5 and the very important distinction and immutability of the substantial forms created during Creation Week - just as narrated in Genesis One. St. Paul says: "and there are bodies celestial and bodies terrestrial. But one is the glory of the celestial and another of the terrestrial. One is the glory of the sun, another the glory of the moon, and another the glory of the stars, for star differeth from star in glory. (See Dr. Jason Lisle on this.) So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption - it shall rise in incorruption...." Before these verses, St. Paul says: " every seed its proper body. All flesh is not the same flesh: but one is the flesh of men, another of beasts, another of birds, another of fishes...." (1 Cor.15:38-43)

I could not wish for a better verification from Holy Scripture of the radical destination of the substantial forms that God created in the plant seeds and in the flesh of men, of beasts, of birds and of fishes on Days 5 and 6 of Creation Week. And there is also an implicit, or at least, an allowance for the admission that the celestial bodies of the sun, moon and stars are of quite - radically different matter than the bodies of earth and water. There is also confirmation of a point that needs to be emphasized by Catholic scientists. I had occasion to correct a Catholic scientist who was accepting the fusion of hydrogen and helium as a process to make the heat and light of the sun. It is imperative to resist any sort of process where God's Acts of Creation and Making during the first Six Days are concerned. This is not an eccentricity of my Catholic cosmology. It is a most important point of dogmatic truth. When God created Water on Day One, hydrogen and oxygen were present in their proper quantity and ratio. The same is true of hydrogen and helium in the sun. God created these forms in toto. And it was just as necessary for the forms made of the elements in their inanimate state, in Earth, Water, Air and Fire, as it was for the Bombardier Beetle to have the Form in toto before any processes could begin. A great deceit of the evolutionists is to con the public into believing that the “pathways” --- that is, the processes going on during development in the transmission of all substantial forms, is the same as the evolutionists “pathways” in his changing of species due to the work of “natural selection” or mutations. I had occasion to see this deception in action in my analysis of The Evolution Controversy by two professors from Christendom College, and which I had the temerity to entitle – The Resolution of the Evolution Controversy. Please consult it, and be on the lookout for these deceptive “pathways” in action by the Luciferian deceits of evolutionists.

Now please allow me to draw upon the analogy of the Body of the Universe with the human body. Keeping in mind that all analogies “limp” – because there is never a perfect correspondence between forms in the different grades of the hierarchy – but only enough similarity to clarify. It may have been Blessed Hildegard of Bingen who made famous the imagery of Man as the Microcosm, but I believe it was a common theme in the earlier Fathers and Doctors of the Church. And please remember, I have no access to my usual reference books. Recall, first of all, that the Body of the Universe has no soul. The idea of a “world soul” – is Platonic or in the Platonic tradition. It is not Aristotelian or Thomistic. But this immense Body of the Universe, besides having virtually – innumerable – accidental forms in the areas of identifiable and quantifiable structures in each of the Grades of the Hierarchy of Being, also has parts that consist of a unity of particles that are strongly tempting us to label these parts as Substances. In the human body, such parts are the “vital organs” – the brain, heart, kidneys, liver and even the organs of sense, such as eyes, ears, etc. But the criteria of Substantial Form will always prove the “litmus test’ to distinguish. The current debate over brain-death in organ donation is a good example. Let us begin with Cognition and an article from the Summa (ST, I, q.47, a.3). St. Thomas says that only those can assert that many worlds exist – who do not acknowledge any ordaining wisdom, but rather believe in chance, as Democritus did, and who said that this world, besides an infinite number of other worlds, was made from a casual, i.e., concourse of atoms.

But the mind of the normal, honest man sees and affirms as a given, that is, self-evident – and therefore – undemonstrable, that this world is one by the unity of order, whereby some things are ordered to others. But St. Thomas did demonstrate that all things created by God have a relation of order to each other and to God Himself. This is his 4th Way of proving, that in demonstrating the existence of God from the evidence of the Hierarchical Order of all things. There can be no ORDER without inequality, the differing Grades of Perfection manifest in the World of Nature.

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