The Question

Rembrandt_-_The_Philosopher_in_Meditation
“The Philosopher in Meditation”, Rembrandt van Rijn, 1632.

There is an inherent desire at the heart of humanity, a yearning for the clarity of omniscience, a longing for the certitude of belief; in the life of faith, the human spirit finds the fulfillment of this process of questioning. Questioning is an integral part of human existence, it is a certain feature of the rationality of man, of that capacity to understand and to seek ultimate Wisdom before all the questions of existing. From a young age, as children awake to the age of reason, they start to question the world in order to make sense of it; coming to the mastery of language, they arise to symbolic comprehension, conceiving in their nubile minds the meaning and the reality of their external environment. Parents and family play a determinant role in this development, the education received serves for the soul of the young mind to grow, assimilate, learn, understand, and comprehend reality as it presently stands.

“What is God?” Among the central questions of existence, is the matter of the existence of God. In simple terms, God can be comprehended as the Creator of the universe, of man, of inanimate being and of animate life forms. The problem of the existence of God is fundamental to the human co-existence, since it is existential as it is universal in scope, involving considerations that determine the shapes of cultures, the fates of civilizations, the forms of human law, the conception of reality itself, as God is understood in monotheistic religions to be the Beginning and the End of all that is, of reality. The question of God reveals a central feature of homo sapiens, that the creature is essentially, a religious animal that finds in belief the central act of his existence and the determination of his dignity, as ultimately, he is an ensouled being. In Christian anthropology, the spiritual soul, the principle of human life, has a Divine origin and is immediately created by God, destined towards the domination of nature, the incarnation of Grace into human life, and the divinization of the human person in love with the Divinity. In contemporary times, it appears that religious faith has receded from the radius of reason to the private sphere and the emotive dimension of life, to the point that society is secularized and the standards of amorality of secularism have proved triumphant, having become incarnate in law in contradiction of the Divine Law subsisting in the Ten Commandments. In truth, religion is the formative force in culture, and the enduring element in civilization is the religious ideal evident in the desire for transcendence, the yearning for universality, and the aspiration for the peace of society. The contemporary world has inherited from Catholicism and Christianity these universal abstractions, having erected an international order of law, policy, practice, economics, and politics. In the last end, the world seeks the happiness that is possible only in the life of religion, for the religious soul is evidently peace, a spiritual peace that eases the tension of life and blesses the human condition, in the activity of labor towards the attainment of Wisdom: the Omniscience of God.

“Why do I will?” At the moment of ensoulment, God incarnates the spiritual soul into an animal body forming a new human body with the substantial unity necessary to develop a human person in the womb of a woman. The moment of ensoulment is not known, though the Ancients and the scholastics believed that it occurred 40 days upon the fertilization of an egg by an individual sperm. At the term of gestation, a new person is born to the world, an event that is the cause of great joy for the parents and the doctors and the nurses, it is the promise of hope for the world, for a better and more perfect tomorrow in which the illnesses of society and the diseases of civilization find their remedy. Each human being carries within the self, the fidelity of God, the promise of peace, the hope of reconciliation and of the faith that perfection is possible, for nature is perfect in the exercise of its function, unless it is impaired in this activity for a reason or another. Life is sacred and remains a mystery that poses the question of free-will: a sacro-sanct consecration of the rational creature that is confirmed by the adoration of God and the co-operation to Grace, the human person marvels before the responsibility of his freedom, of that capacity to elect between competing actions and move himself in participation to the Motion of the Prime Mover, who is ultimately responsible for the movement of creatures, and the permanence of their being. God in His Reason, is the Being that is participated of, by finite existence, to the End of the glorification of the Holy Trinity, a personal communion of Three Divine Persons united in the same Love, the same Substance, the same Nature, the same Essence. In the human person, free will can be conceived as an extension of Time in the spiritual soul, a participation of finitude and temporality that writes in the infinite and the multiple acts of willing, the story of personal life that is ultimately responsible before the Judgement of God that administers a sentence at the time of death, to the merit or the demerit measured on the mystical balance of the Divine Intellect. Freedom is the dignity of man, the certainty of personhood that respects rights and duties in accordance with justice, and renders life a blessing that involves a reasonable consideration of ends before the judgement of every choice, and the performance of every action. Free will, is the reality of the human person as a reasonable creature.

Questioning arises out of observation which as matter of fact, generates wonder; here, a question is born and the imagination of reason is stimulated. The self wonders before the imagination that generates in reason a marvelous question: “What is fiction?” The self, the I, the ego, is essentially fictional, the source of the imagination that creates out of its ingenuity the wonder of stories, of worlds that beggar thought, of heroism and of love, of conflict and of peace, of life itself in love with existence, from the fictional self arises the contemplation of existence, of that wondrous act that gives thought a purpose incarnate in the activity of willing, in love with power. The soul is the measure of the story, it assimilates its purpose and learns from its wonder, from the reality of fiction, which, in truth, adorns existence with flowers, petals, and jewels and renders life bearable. Literature, the story of erotic love, is the culture of the human condition that seeks to encounter the other, the person, in the expression of the heart, of a power that mystifies language and surpasses understanding. The human person, is a fictional being, that incarnates in his romance with the human condition, his affinity for the fantastical and his inclination towards mystery and Romanticism. Stories, these are the foundation of life, the mechanisms that drive the multiverse, that acquaint the human person with the realm of possibility, of an infinity that stretches beyond the known, into the unknown, a territory of truth and of knowledge that satisfies the desire for discovery that is inherent to every self.

“What is power?” At the foundation of all life, resides will, the movement of all forms of life for omnipotence and universality. Stories find their echo in an imagination that is will to power, a desire for the fantastical, a quest for discovery: the self, the I, the ego, seeks ultimate power in fantasy, in the creation of stories, in the fascination of literature, in the poetry of art and the music of mathematical notes, in a force that seeks to explain the need of existence itself, the power behind life, the response that is even the Eternity of God. The will to power is a force of existence, a quantized relation in being between strings and thought, that affirms the primacy of will before the reign of Reason that comprehends existence in the Perfect Word: Yehoshua. Power is inherently good, for it allows for the exercise of living, the formation of life, the existence of thought, the activity of reason, the acts of the will, the creation of matter, the substance of God, the evolution of the universe; in power, life expresses its desire for universality, its kingdom over the domain of existence, its necessity for the concept of story, its primal force constituting the true nature of all virtue, of that moral inclination towards the Good, the True, and the Beautiful. Life seeks power in order to tell the story of the fictional self.

“Who am I?” The angelic substances were created in a state of grace, in the glory of the Empyrean and were faced with the question that determined the fate of their destinies: “Would you adore Perfect Beauty?” God created the angels from the Omnipotence of His Thought, and the Fount of His Goodness in order to be His ministers to creatures and extend His Kingdom to the universe, a desire manifest in the Plan to tell the Story of the Word in Time – in the life of Adam, the formation of the Incarnate Word, the generation of the Woman, and the existences of countless other human persons that would pace the Earth and punctuate the globe with the heroism of story, the action of life, the drama of the human condition, the love of religion, the beauty of human culture, the finality of a spiritual civilization. Questioning is at the center of the discovery of the self, it is a natural emergent property of rationality, a curiosity that is existential and that determines as a result of a response, the actions of free will, the spirituality of the rational creature, the end of its religious position whether in faith, or in atheism. That the angels fell from grace, is an event that is recorded in Sacred Scripture and part of the Tradition of Christianity, it explains the existence of Evil, and the permanence of Sin, the reality of War, and the inevitability of Death – in the end, the march of Chaos.

Empirical science begins its investigation with a question, a hypothesis borne out of the wonder of an observation, a relation with the peculiar character of a feature of reality and of nature. “What is my purpose?” In the end, man questions his place in the cosmos, his function in the universe and comprehends that in reality, he transcends his external environment while being conditioned by its reality. The purpose of the human person, in truth, as evidenced by the creation of the first man, Adam, is the mastery of speech, which is a labor of reason oriented towards God and Heaven.

Existence is a paradox, for it is inherently formulated by the unknown mystery of a question. In the last analysis, the end of all scientific investigation is finding the true question, the foundation of all existence that would explain all its remarkable features and provide a satisfying answer to the miracle of life itself. 

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