Monday, June 09, 2014

On Authority, Creativity and the Third Imperium A Meditation on God, Politics and the Meaning of Time

On Authority, Creativity and the Third Imperium
A Meditation on God, Politics and the Meaning of Time
Sean J. O’Reilly
The picture above, the head surrounded by a radiant crown or nimbus, is a detail from a marble altar dedicated to the Sun god. From Palmyra (Syria), it dates from the second half of the first century AD and now is in the Galleria Lapidaria (Capitoline Museums, Rome). The first line reads "Sacred to the most holy Sun." The eagle was thought to be the messenger of the god.

History might be thought of, in the broadest sense, as both a written record and a reflection of the hidden face of human motivation. The historian, besides simply chronicling events, attempts to understand the impulses that roil beneath the surface of time and the various expressions of authority that harness or destroy human potential. We attribute benevolence to civilizations that build society and gaze, for the most part, with undisguised contempt at those cultures that simply exist to loot and burn. The Pyramids, as we know today, were essentially public works projects, designed by Egyptian authorities to express the purpose and direction of a society with a complex belief system. The image of armies of slaves and overseers with whips is pure Hollywood. The reality is that we have records of worker strikes recovered from sites near the Pyramids[1]. Slaves do not engage in labor negotiations. The images that we have of the past are often so distorted by the lens of the present that we tend to forget that human beings face the same fundamental choices and questions generation after generation: how best to move forward into the future or, is what is desired right now attainable, or must it be worked towards by harnessing time and parsing human motivation? The dichotomy and struggle between what might be called the creative impulse to benevolence and self-restraint and the immediate and destructive default position of the human psyche, to appetite and fear, is as old as history itself.

Authority, expressed in both dictatorship and civil governance, toils with and against various moral imperatives expressed in the impulse towards democracy or rule by the people. Adding further to this force, running like a river of discontent through most societies, are religious beliefs that compel legions of believers using the unspoken algorithms of fear and hope in the search for eternal life.

What is the relationship between authority, creativity and politics? Is it simply a recognition of potential, and the power to persuade or coerce, or is it a testament to a relationship between the visible world of hard data and an invisible world of inspiration and power just beyond the edge of mind? The Greek word “kratos” means power. A series of “oughts” and “shoulds” bursting with kratos is often generated in human discourse, just beyond the calculations of physical cause and effect, when authority, creativity and politics meet.
And where does “ought and “should” meet today? Unfortunately they don’t often meet at the usual institutional junctures of politics and society. People are often left scratching their heads at the mindless repetition of slogans by politicians, and even religious leaders, who clearly have no new solutions or creative ideas to offer for pressing institutional or social issues requiring immediate attention.

Creativity is now, largely, a creature of individual and corporate enterprise and not something we attribute to politics. Politicians of all stripes tend to be mired in the accretions of legacy-driven politics and dog-whistle sloganeering. The notion of “ought,” despite the dismal political and judicial scene, seems hard-wired into human consciousness, even though its interpretations vary greatly. It is no stretch to say that how we conceive of “ought,” either politically, philosophically or scientifically and how it is prioritized is at the root of many creative decisions, both personal and political. Do we arouse our sense of creativity to engage the moral imperative of “ought”, or do we engage our appetites to suppress the notion of “ought”?
There is a dark side, however, even beyond misuse of creativity: it is the non-use of creativity. As Carl Jung noted: “One of the most destructive forces is unused creative power. If a man out of laziness does not use his creative energy, his psychic energy turns to sheer poison.”  

Authority, Creativity and Identity
Authority is defined as: “the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience.”  This is what we commonly think about when we refer to political power. Creativity, however, is defined as “the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.” Authority seems linked to creativity, in the individual, as a certain power needed to initiate the creative process. The more authority we elect, the more power it would seem, is available (theoretically at least) for creativity. Someone who is able to rise above convention and put creative ideas into practice, in new ways, has elected or connected in some deeper way with an inner authority that is hard to “place” and even harder to adequately describe.

Authority and creativity also seem closely linked to identity. If identity is defined as a person's conception and expression of their individuality or group affiliations (such as national identity and cultural identity)[2] then identity is as ephemeral as the wind. However, if personal identity extends beyond the local influence of personal ego, history and context into the realm of self or spiritual identity, then a host of other considerations come into play. If identity is conceived of as being related to a higher spiritual form, or soul, then the way we experience this blended identity of ego, self and soul may become a critical component in the subjective experience of both authority and creativity. Any proposed link between ego, soul and self or even God and the human soul, however adequately or inadequately articulated, ultimately requires a leap into metaphysics.[3]
Accessing our identity connects us with a hidden power.

Whether this opening to the power of identity is simply uncreated energy, as the physicists conceive of it, or is something more closely related to spirit is, in a way, unimportant for the purpose of the present investigation. Whatever it is, “it” seems to be the source of an additional power to create or to be creative that is accessible by all, in varying degrees, depending on circumstance. What is even more interesting is that when we notice the upshift to this place of additional power and clarity, we feel hopeful and excited. What may have seemed impossible prior to this access now seems effortless. We can do it—whatever “it” happens to be and suddenly a way forward takes shape in the inner consciousness. The glistening ship of possibility emerges slowly from the grey fog of potential, gold coins scattered on deck and a full head of billowing, white canvas.

As an observation, it seems that whenever this kind of individual authority increases, the potential for creativity can also increase. Conversely, when political authority increases, creativity seems to decrease or become more restricted. This is painting with a broad brush but the creativity of societies that are “free” is often contrasted with the slow development of societies that are less free. The obvious question, which is seldom asked, is: How can the relationship between authority and creativity be enhanced by political systems and how is it hindered by them?

Many of the debates, for example, between liberals and conservatives in America revolve around the way the authority of the Constitution is interpreted. Rather than returning to the intent of the Founding Fathers and focusing on the meaning and origin of authority, there are those who latch onto the literal meaning of the document, seeking to extract every possible concession for the emancipation of their appetites from reason and good sense. This is often no less true of conservatives than it is of liberals. Who could read into the Constitution the “right” to loot and pillage your neighbors financially and economically under the guise of free enterprise? Conversely, who could possibly read a right to the murder of infants in the Constitution under the rubric of “choice”?

It is interesting to note that in 1776, “The Founders DID NOT establish the Constitution for the purpose of granting rights. Rather, they established this government of laws (not a government of men) in order to secure each person's Creator­ endowed rights to life, liberty, and property.”[4]
This is not an irrelevant distinction as the clamor for additional “rights” continues unabated though litigation and popular appeal. When we consider that the rights guaranteed by the Constitution are Creator endowed rights, some of the rights now sought appear not to be rights at all but only wishes.

“Only in America, did a nation's founders recognize that rights, though endowed by the Creator as unalienable prerogatives, would not be sustained in society unless they were protected under a code of law which was itself in harmony with a higher law. They called it "natural law," or "Nature's law." Such law is the ultimate source and established limit for all of man's laws and is intended to protect each of these natural rights for all of mankind. The Declaration of Independence of 1776 established the premise that in America a people might assume the station "to which the laws of Nature and Nature's God entitle them.”[5]

“Herein lay the security for men's individual rights—an immut­able code of law, sanctioned by the Creator of man's rights, and designed to promote, preserve, and protect him and his fellows in the enjoyment of their rights. They believed that such natural law, revealed to man through his reason, was capable of being understood by both the ploughman and the professor.”[6] 

Is Separation of Church and State Based on a False Premise?
Consequently, and in the light of the foregoing, we can suggest that the strident separation of Church and State in the United States is based on a false premise: that what God wants is somehow other than what we should want. The problem is based on something very simple. God’s perspective is not our perspective. What appears as absolute, at His end, looks very different to those of us who are not inhabiting eternity. We get to have an opinion about God and His handiwork, and from our point of view, God has, so to speak, a lot to answer for.

Who in their right minds would allow natural disasters, excrement, mosquitoes, disease, birth defects and war and famine to be part of the parade? Despite this tongue-in-cheek, irreverent question, the point is that we don’t see things the way God does and He doesn’t see things the way we do. As Paul William Roberts noted, in an astonishing moment of clarity, as he was galloping on a white horse before the Pyramids at dawn: man is more moral than God.[7] As shocking as this sounds, it is true but it is also based on understanding the origin of different perspectives. Our limited moral consciousness is based on the kinds of causality we see and understand in time. God’s moral perspective is based on a completely different, infinite and eternal consciousness.

If we step outside the box for a moment, our perspective and God’s can be seen as two different and complementary points of view. God seems to cut us a great deal of slack because we don’t have the advantage of eternity. Perhaps we should do the same for Him. Part of having free will, and not just paying lip service to the concept, is that we actually don’t have to agree with God and He won’t force the issue; He will, however, keep on doing what it is that He does until we get it. God will not, so to speak, lose any sleep over our disobedience. He knew about the problems from the very beginning and He still thought it was all good.
There is, in the New Testament, (and this is said with equal amounts of humor, respect, horror and caution) a kind of crankiness that we might ascribe to Jesus. You know, things like plucking your eye out if it offends you, cutting off limbs that cause moral offense, putting millstones around your neck, eternal fire, etc. Making allowances for the weight of Redemption and the coming Crucifixion we would have to say that He may have had a few unpleasant things on his mind. Nobody enjoys torture and suffering. Jesus, as truly both man and God, likely, has a slightly different human perspective on the whole time and eternity issue now that He has had time to consider things for two thousand years. He moved on, so speak, when He put the Spirit in charge.

There are those who will read this with incredulity—what does He mean that Jesus has had time to consider things for two thousand years—doesn’t he know that there is no time in God and that Jesus is one Person subsisting in two natures—human and divine? And to this we can only answer: if Jesus was truly man and truly God, having assumed a human nature, the inability of the man to grow in wisdom, in time, would make a mockery of his Humanity. This is, of course, not the Christian position on the matter but it is something to consider. The heresy of Docetism, for example, claimed that the humanity of Jesus was just an illusion. [8] I would suggest that those who have invested the most in the static concept of Jesus as being both perfectly God and perfectly man may have something to gain from further reflection on the matter.[9]

The notion that God creates with change occurring in the creature and not in God [10] becomes problematic when considering the personhood of God. It could be argued that the Incarnation adds nothing to God in terms of His Existence but it cannot be said that that assumption of a human nature, which occurs in time, adds nothing to humanity, or does not involve a before and after (of some kind) in the perception of the second person of the Trinity. This can be theologically sloughed off as a mystery but a further investigation of the relationship between time and eternity is not without merit or the value of increased intelligibility.

From another, less controversial and common sense perspective, we can say that surely God enjoys Himself and that He would like us to do the same—but that there is a right way to do it and a wrong way to do it—given that we don’t have the big picture. Theologians have often been so focused on what God is not and what God doesn’t want us to do that they have missed emphasizing what God is and what it is we, being made in His image and likeness, are to do. The purpose of life cannot be based, simply, on a negative moral assessment of the world or on the notion that we owe something to God other than our love or our allegiance.

By moving from a perspective on God as the great denier, we can see Him for what He really is: the great allower.[11]

This doesn’t mean that everything is allowed but rather that God allows a great deal more than He denies. It is up to us to find the balance between what He allows and what might be unacceptable and that is, indeed, what the pursuit of virtue is all about. Building a political system on this insight may allow us move in the direction of healing the ancient rift between Church and State.

Bridging the Gap between Church and State
Current events in Israel, Russia, China and the United States indicate a slide towards a kind of authoritarianism that may be confusing to those who divide the world into good and evil or, simply, liberal and conservative ideologies. The endless, unresolved squabbles between Israelis and Palestinians, the Russian seizure of Crimea, the increasing power of enlightened collectivism in China and the sliding of America away from the authority of the individual towards the authority of the state are all trends that bear further analysis from a different and, perhaps, unique perspective. Issues such as abortion, homosexual marriage and government-run healthcare in the United States are harbingers of a future that the Founding Fathers did not and likely could not imagine. The future that is unfolding now is coming quickly. The hidden resonance of the unfolding future in the present is, perhaps, greater than our common vocabulary and understanding of history can quickly interpret or summarize. The one thing that is certain is that repeating the mistakes of the past will not guarantee a different outcome nor will the clattering of old rhetoric, without new and creative formulations, stir men’s souls.

Nicholas Wolterstorff noted in his 1998 Stone Lectures at Princeton: "In a participatory democracy such as ours, it's important that we each be open with and open to our fellow citizens concerning the deep sources of how we think about political issues" (Lecture 8) This is the first shot across the bow of what Wolterstorff calls "public reason liberalism", which eschews sectarian reasons in political discourse in favor of public ones. Wolterstorff claims that the "dream [of public reason liberalism] has failed" (Lecture 9): present-day disagreements over political issues are as intractable as ever. In that environment, why not give political theology a try in the "space of reasons"? Though political theology is not nearly so popular as in the days of Augustine or Calvin – two of Wolterstorff's foils –Wolterstorff argues that it's overdue for careful contemporary consideration.”[12]

A new kind of authority, it could be argued, is needed in the world; one that recognizes that the only authority worth having comes from both man and God with history as a guide for man but not the only guide. Is it possible to re-create an institution that both recognizes divine authority and yet limits the human interpretation of that authority within the calculus and variability of different beliefs and opinions? Can separation of Church and State be less than absolute as it should be but is not in the United States? Would a relative separation, with one influencing the other in the best possible way, be desirable in the world of tomorrow? Is it possible to create a new and better system that mirrors the same kinds of checks and balances that the Founding Fathers created while writing the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States?

Imagine the world four hundred years from now. What will it look like? Will there be a political role for religion and philosophy in the articulation of solutions for moral and public issues? Will there be a place for human creativity outside of science? Will there be a role for artificial intelligence? What can we do now to manage the future? It is my belief that we are entering the age of a new form of governance that I am calling, for lack of better words, The Third Imperium. This will likely be a fusion of state leadership and corporate free enterprise much as we see operative in China and Russia today. What we do now to build it, as an institution into which the future of the world can adequately unfold, may determine the course of history for centuries to come. First we have to know why we should be concerned.

Where Does Authority and Creativity Come From?
Rome, as the first empire of the western world, produced a wide range of technical and social innovations. Every time you lift a glass of wine to your lips, for example, remember that it was the Romans who came up with the innovation of storing wine in oak casks instead of clay amphora. Roman cement was also of extraordinary quality. Roman aqueducts that have remained standing for two thousand years are a testament to its durability. We, likewise, have only to remember that our Senate and House of Representatives are based partly on the Roman model.

The Roman Empire was the First Imperium; and the Holy Roman Empire, beginning in 800 A.D. under Charlemagne, was the Second Imperium. The word “imperium,” which means roughly, the power to command is emblematic, on one hand of all external, political governance and on the other hand, as a metaphor for the internal imperium of the human spirit. The power to command must be reached for from the source of all command and all authority: the energy of life. This power has already been given to us. We all come equipped with it. The power to see it and to use it is conditioned by our conception of ourselves and what we are or are not allowed by society. The creative person seems never truly bound by local circumstance, instead they always reach out to what is, to what is possible and to what can be. How this is done almost seems magical or mysterious but it is clear that there are those who are more creative than others, in reaching out to transform what might be, into what can be. What is clear is that there is individual creativity, and as seen in Rome, cultural creativity which is produced by individuals working with or employed by institutions.

The American experiment,[13] as it has been called, provides us with many wonderful examples that illustrate the oblique and sometimes puzzling relationship between creativity and personal authority. When we reflect on many of the great men and women of American history, we can only conclude that there are those who seem to resonate with a greater authority than their own. How did they do this? How did George Washington decide that he had the right to challenge England, the dominant country of his time? Who gave the Wright brothers the authority to fly or which government agency gave them permission? Who told Edison and Tesla to develop new electrical applications? Who told Rockefeller or J.P. Morgan to build their empires? On whose authority did Lucy Stone, Susan B. Anthony or Elizabeth Cady Stanton agitate for a woman’s right to vote? Who told Martin Luther King that he had the right to be like everyone else?  Who or what inspired Warren Buffett, Bill Gates or Elon Musk in more recent times? What is the relationship between the authority to begin a creative endeavor and its execution? What is the linkage? And more ominously for the future: what sort of authority might an artificial intelligence invoke to express its creativity?
On a more modest note, we might add, who told me to write about authority? How was I enrolled? On whose authority do I write? What or whose “kratos” am I tapping into for this creative endeavor? These are, admittedly, rhetorical questions but they should be considered for the truths that might be harvested. Authority appears to be something that can be tapped into, and like the air we breathe, is so obvious that we tend to gloss over its existence. We sadly only seem to notice it when it is taken away from us or when political circumstances are moving in the direction of its curtailment.

In order to better understand the relationship between authority and creativity, in the present time, we need to return to the cultural, legislative, religious and metaphysical foundation upon which America was built. The flowering of American industry and what has been called “American exceptionalism” [14] cannot be understood without understanding what suppresses creativity. Political institutions that do not support the creativity and initiative of the people do so by un-empowering individuals and vesting authority in the state. The growth of the “permission based” [15] society that America seem to be evolving towards is a direct contradiction to the principles of liberty espoused by the Founding Fathers.

America was founded on the authority of the individual as a God-given right as opposed to institutional rights doled out to human beings by monarchical or other political institutions. This moral dichotomy between the so-called “Divine Right of Kings” and the rights native to a democratic republic is taught by rote in our schools. However, without adverting to the real or divine origin of individual authority, as was actually stated in both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States, it comes across as a headless abstraction. At the root of this belief in the divine origin of individual authority is an idea that goes back to ancient times, and which was recast eloquently by the Roman lawgiver, Cicero, between 106 and 43 B.C.

Law Is Not Based on What We Think It Is
 “To Cicero, law was not a matter of written statutes, and lists of regulations, but was a matter deeply ingrained in the human spirit, one that was an integral part of the human experience.” In other words, authority was not just external for Cicero but internal. His reasoning was fourfold:
1.       Humans were created by a higher power or powers (and for the sake of argument, Cicero has the Epicurean Atticus concede the point that this higher power is engaged with the affairs of humanity).

2.       This higher power which created the universe did, for reasons known to itself, endow humans with a bit of its own divinity, giving the human race the powers of speech, reason, and thought.

3.       Due to this spark of divinity inside humans, they must de facto be related to the higher power in some fashion.

4.       Because humans share reason with the higher power, and because this higher power is presumed to be benevolent, it follows that humans, when employing reason correctly, will likewise be benevolent [and share that power].

Cicero considers the law to be whatever promotes good and forbids evil. What holds us back from upholding this absolutely is our human failings, our lusts for pleasure, wealth, status [and] other inconsequentials outside of virtue and honor.”[16]

Paraphrasing Cicero, we share in the authority and benevolence of this higher power by practicing intellectual and moral excellence or the good habits called virtues. This concept of a dynamic relationship between God and man, based on likeness, is at the root of both human authority and political authority for Cicero. Later Christian theological teachings about the children of God are also based on this notion of likeness. Likewise, the infusion of Divine energy in the soul or the Catholic “state of grace” is based on the notion of a conformity of moral and spiritual action with Divine goodness. This understanding of what might be called a relationship of honor between God and man is largely absent from modern thinking.
Imagine you love someone. You don’t want to do anything that will upset that person or make them think less of you. This is, partly, what I mean about a relationship of honor. We know what will be offensive to the beloved. We must understand then that it is our likeness to God that is the source of our creativity. The Creator has made all of us creators. This is a tremendous gift, and in honor of this gift, we need and should want to listen to what He says to us. Honoring this relationship means that if God indicates, either in Scripture or in our hearts, that something is not good, we shouldn’t go there. And we know this. Nonetheless, God doesn’t force any of us to do anything. He wants us to get it ourselves. He is, perhaps, not quite as hung up on sin as we are, since we frequently use the back and forth of sin as a way to stay away from making lasting spiritual and temporal decisions.

There is, consequently, a kind of odd insult that we level against God when we say “no, you do it—your will be done.” What He says back to us in life is: “you do it—my will is obvious.” If God wanted to have authority over our lives, He would let us know in short order without resorting to games of peekaboo. We know what He wants—that is the law that He has written in our hearts—the law that Cicero celebrates. Everything else is just spiritual gravy.

The Socratic dictum that the purpose of virtue is to make the soul as “good as possible” makes little sense without an understanding of the soul as mirroring, in some way, God’s likeness. The ancients simply and rightfully assumed that the soul required additional assistance and support from its original Source.
The respective realms of religion and state authority were also assumed to have areas of common overlap in the ancient world. There was little need to have the equivalence of separation of church and state in the ancient world. Religious beliefs and politics tended to mirror each other more closely than they do today. What the Gods wanted, the state wanted, and the gods’ personal behavior wasn’t overly different from that of mankind. The Romans were fairly cosmopolitan about religion. As long as religion didn’t interfere with the state, the state wouldn’t interfere with religion. And this is also the primary characteristic of an imperium: the imperium is a form of governance in which the boundaries of religion and state, or what is called church and state today, are not entirely separate.

This lack of fixed boundaries between religion and state didn’t change until Christianity became a fully organized and state sponsored religion, on February 27, 380 A.D, under the co-emperors Gratian and Theodosius the Great. This was done under the edict of Thessalonica. Despite the advantages of having a state religion it should, in reality, be more like having a state bird or a state flower; it should not be entirely exclusive except by popular acclaim. Jump ahead twenty centuries.

Creativity and Law Is Part of a Larger Ecology of Energy and Identity
Ecology is, in the broadest sense, the relationship of organisms to their environment.[17] When religion and moral codes form a significant element within a political and social environment, a different kind of ambient ecology is created than might be found in an ecology in which religion and moral codes do not predominate. A moral ecology is the relationship between human beings and their metaphysical, moral, spiritual and even their creative environments. The law, as it is constituted in any culture, is an expression of the beliefs of that culture writ large. When culture is good, the laws tend to reflect that goodness. When the culture is bad the law simply becomes a mirror of that culture’s vices.

A good example of what is meant by a moral and spiritual ecology is the teaching of Thomas Aquinas and the medieval scholastics concerning the meaning of evil in relation to various “goods” with a “good” being anything that might be desirable from a non-judgmental or appetitive point of view.  Evil was defined as “the absence of a good that could and should be present.” This indicates that a choice of lesser “goods,” than those put forth by conscience, or the soul joined spiritually to the Divine (or some other higher purpose) can lead to negative consequences for the soul and spirit of man.

Any society that considers a legal or spiritual hierarchical relation of “goods” to be chosen, in relation to various “ends” or goals must also advert to lesser choices, or what might be called “evils,” or those things that take us away from goals. This is, of course, the origin of what we call morality. A society that pretends that there are no objective “goods’ to be chosen leaves itself open to the subjective “goods” chosen by appetite. We see the results all around us in the many faces of exploitation. We live in a civilization that has glorified appetitive subjectivity, or what we want, to the exclusion of moral considerations that limit choices based on the possibility of negative moral or spiritual consequences.

The negative effects of bad or poor choices can include psychological disturbances and what is sometimes referred to as negative emotion. This is a profound teaching, as it tells us that we must prioritize what we think is good, based on larger standards than our own subjectivity or suffer negative consequences. Consequently, politics might be considered part of a larger ecology of objective meaning rather than simply the legal relations among groups of individuals with differing agendas.

Honor and clear conscience can be thought of as both an ecological and moral consequence of practicing virtue or good habits. These good habits, within the ecology of moral and spiritual relations between God and man, help us to be like God. The corollary to this is that an ecology of “viciousness” ultimately develops around those who practice vice or bad habits, and that bad habits have a negative impact on our legal, political and social ecologies. In other words, there are few victimless offenses within a moral and spiritual ecology. Everyone is affected/effected by what we do and often by what we don’t do.

A little imagination regarding the difference between those we consider “clear eyed” and good, or “shifty eyed” and bad, will provide most of us with graphic examples of both virtue and vice. There are people we encounter in everyday life that have “bad vibes” i.e., they resonate with possibly dangerous appetites or what we might call nasty habits. Those who take bad habits to an extreme and who allow themselves to be ruled by a constellation of impulses are usually labeled as criminals or as possessing marginal social skills. How can we understand virtue and vice from a more modern perspective?

The discipline of psychology provides a unique schematic to model the energy preserved by virtue and show how energy is consumed by vice. The opposition to the instinctual energies of the Id[18] in Freudian psychology, in order to sublimate and convert the energy of impulse into civilized action, is well-documented; it is also well-attested to by anecdotal and personal experience. We know that we cannot allow every stray impulse to take root in our lives. The problem is that most people don’t have a moral or a metaphysical map to guide them through the maze of their personal impulses. As James Davidson noted in his book 
Courtesans and Fishcakes:

“In classical Athens, whether the struggle was between you and the world’s pleasures, or between you and your body, this state of conflict was normal and natural. What was abnormal was to put up no resistance, to be continually and instantly overwhelmed. Such feeble characters threw in the towel without a fight. They were defeated and enslaved by their desires. They were known as the akolastoi, the uncorrected, the unchecked, the unbridled, or the akrateis, the powerless, the impotent, the incontinent.”

Can you imagine a politician talking about this today? The metaphysical relationship of sexual energy to the ecosystem of human consciousness and the social order is also illustrated in How to Manage Your Destructive Impulses with Cyber-Kinetics[19] published in 2000. The derivation of power and conversion to creative energy is often linked (although not exclusively) to a sublimation of appetitive power or what Freud referred to as the instinctual energy of the Id. Freud called this conversion of appetitive energy into more productive channels sublimation[20] and the way this energy is creatively invested in activities, objects and ideals is referred to as cathection.  

What happens when this sublimated energy “cathects” with spirituality may be the locus of all creativity. We have only to think about the celibate Irish monks who brought Christianity to Europe to realize the power that sublimated energy can have when it meets the power of divine intentionality.[21]

Ayn Rand, in the Anatomy of Compromise, noted the opposite effect of what happens when sublimation is not engaged, when impulses are favored and the cathection so necessary for creativity languishes:

"A major symptom of a man’s --or a culture’s intellectual and moral disintegration is the shrinking of vision and goals to the concrete-bound range of the immediate moment. This means: The progressive disappearance of abstractions from a man’s mental processes or from a society’s concerns. The manifestation of a disintegrating consciousness is the inability to think and act in terms of principles."

The aspersions cast upon those who seem unable to interrogate or check their appetites is a common source of amusement. The extremely obese, the greedy and the cheap, the overly talkative, the cruel, the dishonest, and those driven by an extreme need to “get off” under all circumstances are frequently the butt of jokes around the office cooler. Those with excessive appetites are seldom looked up to as model citizens.
The negative characterization of masturbation, for example, as a kind of “pollution,”[22] lasting up to about the middle of the 20th century marks the boundary line between the Christian notion of sexuality, as being on a continuum of honor between God and man, and the more modern conception of sexuality as simply a toilet function. The older notion of masturbation, as an intellectually unregulated, agent of disordered appetite is now openly mocked. Sexuality, stripped from any relationship with God, is open to whatever interpretation society, guided by the moral Frankenstein of positivism,[23] gives it.

Creativity makes little sense unless the energy behind creativity can be accounted for. Whether this is described as the instinctual energies of the Id, Psychic Energy, Chi or Kundalini,[24] a model is needed to show the relationship of energy-dissipating activities that may limit creativity, and energy-conserving activities that may enhance creativity. The ancient model of virtue and vice makes more sense when it is related to a gauge or a model of energy consumption. The notion of a natural life-energy or force that requires replenishment provides a useful illustration for the activities of moral excess that waste energy. Furthermore, understanding how life energy might be related to the energies of the Divine, provides a tapestry upon which the story of grace might be told.

Natural Law and Virtue Also Apply to the State
Returning to Cicero as a corrective against all those who assert that the law is “positive”[25] or that cause and effect are an illusion, we can say that without cause and effect, or the notion of creation, no form of morality, subjective or objective, can be asserted as being superior to another. “Not only right and wrong are [causally] distinguished by nature,” writes Cicero, “but also in general all honorable and disgraceful things. For nature makes common understandings for us and starts forming them in our minds so that honorable things are based on virtue, disgraceful things on vices” (1.44). In Book One of On Duties, there is an explanation of the basic human inclinations that give rise, with reason’s guidance, to the foundational (later to be called “cardinal”) virtues of wisdom, justice, courage and temperance/moderation. Finding these virtues is the way to finding nature’s way for humans, to finding the law of nature and thereby what is right.”[26]

“Cicero transmitted the Greek Stoic idea of a moral higher law to the modern world. In his dialogue De Legibus (On the Laws, 52 B.C.), he talked about the supreme law which existed through the ages, before the mention of any written law or established state. He also referred to it as the law of nature for the source of right. In De Republica (The Republic, 51 B.C.) he says:

“True law is right reason in agreement with nature; it is of universal application, unchanging and everlasting . . . there will not be different laws at Rome and at Athens, or different laws now and in the future, but one eternal and unchangeable law will be valid for all nations and all times, and there will be one master and ruler, God, over us all, for he is the author of this law, its promulgator, and its enforcing judge. Whoever is disobedient is fleeing from himself and denying his human nature, and by reason of this very fact he will suffer the worst penalties even if he escapes what is commonly considered punishment.” [27]

Forgive me for lingering over the contributions of Cicero to common sense but has anyone ever stated the relationship between the authority of God and society more forcefully? Cicero’s explanation of what later became known as Natural Law, as mediating between the authority of God and man, is timeless. Bearing in mind that Cicero lived before the founding of Christianity, universal moral concepts from the Greeks and the Romans that antedate Christianity are useful in the modern world, which is rapidly approaching a post-Christian state. Natural law[28] has been cast aside by those brandishing a new creed: that of a universe without causality and without moral laws. This is the world of atheistic science and political positivism[29] where nothing really exists except for what is in your head or on paper. It is this subjective world view that cannot accept any authority, which is not granted by the state, as it recognizes only the legal authority of political institutions and not the objective moral and spiritual authority of a higher entity—since those things are assumed not to exist.
“While Cicero derived many ideas from the Greeks, he also contributed some key ideas of his own. Greek philosophers had conceived of society and government as virtually the same, coming together in the polis (city-state). Cicero declared that government is like a trustee, morally obliged to serve society—which means society is something larger and separate. Appreciation for the myriad wonders of civil society, where private individuals develop languages, markets, legal customs, and other institutions, didn’t come until the eighteenth century, but it was Cicero who began to see the light.”[30]
“Cicero was the first to say that government was justified primarily as a means of protecting private property. Both Plato and Aristotle had imagined that government could be used to improve morals. [In this sense, government can and should contribute to the process of moral self-improvement by adhering to Natural Law.] Neither Plato nor Aristotle, however, had conceived of private property—an absolute claim to something over everyone else [as one of the primary functions of government].”[31]
Cicero’s De Officiis (On Duties, 44 B.C.): “the chief purpose in the establishment of states and constitutional orders was that individual property rights might be secured . . . it is the peculiar function of state and city to guarantee to every man the free and undisturbed control of his own property. Again: The men who administer public affairs must first of all see that everyone holds onto what is his, and that private men are never deprived of their goods by public men.”[32]

The Meaning of Imperium Is Currently Divided by Church and State
As we see the world sliding towards various kinds of authoritarianism, often even masquerading as democracy, it is enlightening to reflect again on the meaning of authority as understood by the Roman Empire of Cicero’s time. The Latin word “imperium” roughly means the power to command and was distinguished from the other related word regnum, which referred only to royal power. Imperium was, essentially, military command. Our English word emperor, for example, is derived from the word imperium. Imperium also referred, in a general sense, to the power of the state over the individual. Imperium, as previously stated, in the larger sense means the power of authority to command[33] and it is this meaning that can be applied to the development of a new Imperium for the present age.

Imperium also means the ruling authority of the Catholic Church, which is distinguished from the Magisterium or the teaching authority of the Church. (Imperium is a term that is little used at the present time as it more properly belongs to civil governance.) Authority must be held and regulated somewhere in society or within a religious or military group or it will default to being held by those who are the strongest and the most ruthless. We are so accustomed to democracy that we find it hard to imagine that rule, where power is held by a republican form of governance, imbued with spiritual and moral principles, may be preferable to the rule of the mob. A democracy is only as good as the people who constitute such a system and without virtue, the vices of the public will be mirrored in the laws of the Republic.[34]

The Imperium of the Holy Roman Empire, which succeeded the western empire after the fall of Rome was a watershed event. “In 410 A.D., the Visigoths, [a Germanic tribe] led by Alaric, breached the walls of Rome and sacked the capital of the Roman Empire. The Visigoths looted, burned, and pillaged their way through the city, leaving a wake of destruction wherever they went. The plundering continued for three days. For the first time in nearly a millennium, the city of Rome was in the hands of someone other than the Romans. This was the first time that the city of Rome was sacked, but by no means the last.” In 476 A.D. Romulus, the last of the Roman emperors in the west, was overthrown by the Germanic leader Odoacer, who became the first Barbarian to rule in Rome. The order that the Roman Empire had brought to Western Europe for 1,000 years was no more.”[35]

Following the fall of Rome, a series of events set into motion by many holy men and women, took place on Christmas in three different eras that set the stage for the Second Imperium.
·         The conversion of Clovis, the Frankish King of Gaul, in 595 A.D.
·         The final conversion of England to Christianity in 680 A.D
·         The crowning of Charlemagne (a Germanic Frank)[36] as head of the Holy Roman Empire in 800 A.D.

“Three hundred years after [St. Augustine of Canterbury’s mass baptisms at York], God gives us another glorious event in honor of the Birth-Day of his Son. It was on this divine Anniversary, in the year 800, and at Rome, in the Basilica of St. Peter, that was created the Holy Roman Empire, to which God assigned the grand mission of propagating the Kingdom of Christ among the barbarian nations of the North, and of upholding, under the direction of the Sovereign Pontiffs, the confederation and unity of Europe. St. Leo III crowned Charlemagne Emperor.[37] Here, then, was a new Caesar, a new Augustus, on the earth; not, indeed, a successor of those ancient Lords of Pagan Rome, but one who was invested with the title and power by the Vicar of Him, who is called, in the Sacred Scriptures, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.”[38]

The Holy Roman Empire, in Constantinople (now modern day Istanbul), inherited the mantle of Rome and this was the beginning of a very long dance between the Church and civil authority. The Church assumed an authority that transcended civil authority much in the same way that Islam fuses religion and state today in a theocracy. Given that religious and civil authority are two very different orders, embracing two different worlds, it is usually impossible for one to stop interfering in the affairs of the other without a clear demarcation and understanding of what it is that each is to govern. Human authority and divine authority are two different realms and require relative separation in order for each to keep an appropriate distance from the other. Like electrons in “shells” around the atom, the distance, not the closeness, between church and state is what has made the relationship functional in the modern world.

Pope Gregory the Ninth used the term “Imperium Animarum” or power over souls to buttress his authority in continuing arguments with the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick ll (1194- 1250 A.D.) who wanted the empire to have civic authority over the church.[39] The German Frederick, who was born in Italy, referred to himself as King of the Romans and consequently [at least in his mind] King of Jerusalem. Frederick established a modern bureaucracy. His empire extended from Sicily through Italy and included much of present day Germany. He was, apparently, an enormously gifted and energetic man who exercised authority along the lines of Aristotle’s virtue of magnificence. His own sense of authority, however, was often at odds with the institutional authority of the Popes.

This conflict between civil and religious authority had additional roots in what was called, the imperium in imperio which referred to the state within a state, presumably the Imperium of religious authority over or within the state. Henry the Xlll of England objected to this kind of power, exercised by the Church of Rome, as late as 1533. The English parliamentary action, Act of Restraint of Appeals, attempted to do away with the power of the Catholic Church and vest it solely in the English crown.[40]  This is also part of the modern origin of the centuries-old squabble between church and state.

The conclusion that can be drawn from the conflict between Church and State is that the conception of necessary social rules in order to keep people from falling off the spiritual map can be overdone—way overdone. It can be further concluded that the authority of Church and state should be considered as an original and necessary unity, or as two sides of the same coin, and not as separate entities in conflict. Didn’t Jesus say, “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and render unto God what is God’s”? The time has come to end the old, counterproductive division between Church and State and create a new synthesis that will take advantage of the strengths of both. God perceived as a “denier” leads to a completely different take on authority than does asserting that God is an “allower”. We’ve gone down the road of God as the great denier and it doesn’t work.

The Holy Roman Empire and Empire Building Today
The Holy Roman Empire actually continued on as late as the early 19th century, although by that time it had degenerated into a caricature of its former self. One can imagine nobles shuffling titles like decks of cards and vying for the attention of various courts based on those titles but having long forgotten that empire must have force and purpose behind it to mean anything.

“At this time it was centralized in the loosely defined and allied Germanic states/kingdoms. Following the rise of Napoleon and the defeat of many different, unaligned German kingdoms' forces by Napoleon's forces, Napoleon was able to sweep across the nation we now know as Germany. One of the first things Napoleon did was to dismantle the once-proud Holy Roman Empire as well as install a number of administrative and economic reforms. Doing so actually laid the foundations of a (loose) sense of German nationalism that had not existed prior to this and led the way to many of the revolutionary happenings of the 19th century in central Europe (more specifically in Germany, Prussia, Hungary, Austria, Denmark, France, and many other tiny German principalities and duchies).”[41]

It is interesting to note, in retrospect, that not only did the Germanic peoples ultimately conquer Rome, they were among the continuing and last remnants of the Holy Roman Empire before it was swept away by Napoleon. The echoes of empire and the disenfranchisement of the German people in regards to the former borders of Germanic Austria were keenly felt by Adolph Hitler and played a role in his establishment of the Third Reich.[42]

“Napoleon [once] sarcastically remarked that Germany was always ‘becoming, not being’, but in the long run, ironically enough, the consequence of his policies would be the stimulation of German nationalism and the emergence of a united Germany which would humble the French in the two World Wars.”[43] The echoes and consequences of empire still reverberate in Europe in a way that is hard for the average American to grasp. What is happening financially and economically in Europe and the rest of the world is, however, resonant with the old patterns of conquest.

As recently as 2011, British journalist Simon Heffer wrote, "Where Hitler failed by military means to conquer Europe, modern Germans are succeeding through trade and financial discipline. Welcome to the Fourth Reich.”[44] The same has also been said of the Japanese in their island purchases throughout the former south pacific war theater. Even Hawaii is emerging as a Japanese economic colony.  These trends are visible in other ways, too.

According to Andrey Fursov, Historian of the Institute of Scientific Information on Social Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences: “147 companies, 1% of all companies, controlled 40% of the world economy. This is very indicative. This means that the modern economy, whose basic unit of analysis is the market, conceals more than it shows. Politics and the nation-state are fading away, and this means that political science, with its basic units of analysis—politics and the state—not only cannot adequately conceptualize, but cannot even merely depict real power relations, especially on the global level.”[45] The creation and expansion of political institutions that are fueled by economic acquisition and development is the emerging trend upon which the notion of the Third Imperium is based.

The word “imperium,” with its long and suggestive history, can be applied to the present moral circumstances of today’s world as a way of beginning to recast the way we think and act politically, by observing the mistakes of the past and using those mistakes to create a new and more cordial relationship between church and state, and forge economic enterprises of benefit to the world at large. The emergence of radical Islam makes this a more urgent task than ever before, as the cultural unity created by a union of religion and state has a great deal of emotional power. Whatever form or name the Third Imperium takes, the outlines of its emergence can be seen in the rise of Islam and the vast conglomerates of economic and political power that constitute the amorphous and authoritarian regimes in Russia and China today. The real question that is before the West concerns what kind of belief system the future governance of the world will be driven by. Will it be driven by atheism or an open house of religious and secular beliefs?

Covenants between God and Man
The Bible speaks about covenants between man and God. The Old Testament is the old covenant and the New Testament is the new covenant. This is a way of dividing history into a kind of before and after Jesus Christ. This is, of course, the origin of B.C. (before Christ) and A.D. (Anno Domini or in the year of our Lord)[46]. However true this division of history may be it is not enough. God’s testament to us is not limited by the past or simply to the written word. We must consider that God is continually revealing Himself. This is the eternal covenant. “The Father desires,” as Jesus says, “worshippers in Spirit and Truth.” This means that we are not to be slaves to what was but to what “is” and what should be. The ultimate authority and source of “ought” is the Holy Trinity,[47] which, in metaphysical terms, “Is” its own existence. The ultimate authority of the Third Imperium, if it is to have any force at all outside of earthly power, is in the desire of the Father to have the earthly Kingdom mirror the heavenly Kingdom.

God’s authority, while it may be considered in the abstract as absolute is, and from the point of view of those of us in time, other than, but not unlike our own authority. If our authority is based on our likeness to God, then His power is our power through the magic of participation. Faith is the ultimate merger of our power with that of the Divine. It is a sublimation of our will and appetites to a greater will and an effortless kratos that literally has no limits. This is why Jesus was insistent that:

“If you had faith you could say to the mountain throw yourself into the sea and it would be done.”

What God, having given such authority to His children, would have any need to contradict that authority? It should be clear for even the most casual observer that God allows just about anything to take place in His world without interference. The consequences, for good or ill, of God’s tolerance are all around us. This kind of tolerance should be used in crafting the political structures of the Third Imperium. Ultimately all virtue, all goodness must be by choice and not coercion.

If we think about God and our likeness to God[48] as the manifest source of authority and creativity for individuals, then the earthly and political manifestation of that relationship should reflect the wisdom of the Celestial Kingdom. One should guarantee and support the other. Beyond this, however, in radiant splendor is the truth that the Kingdom of God on earth will be something new and not merely a reditus[49] of merit. If God simply wanted a return of the all to the All, it would have to be concluded that this is a very bad set-up. Clearly this is not the case. God made lessor creators in humanity, and in this, even the angels may be jealous as they cannot change their minds the way we do.[50] God’s covenant with mankind is that he made us creators and not slaves on some sort of assembly line to heaven. God wants us to get it—not get to it.

The Artifacts of Eternity
If we consider elements of the Old and New Testament as a metaphor for something not fully understood, we might say that what the Trinity is doing in the creation, from start to finish, is establishing the heavenly kingdom, including Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in an entirely new order of participated being. This is not for God’s benefit but for our benefit. Creation, in this respect, is roughly analogous to what we might describe as a virtual, evolving reality. The entire order of participated and contingent being, including time, might be thought of, simply, as an artifact of eternity. All of creation, as we know it, occurs within this artifact, or secondary level of created being, existing contingently just outside the Divine Essence.

This means that there are only two things in the universe: what is created and what is uncreated. The notion of what is created may be in need of some extension.

Some have referred to this notion as, aveternity, or a kind of secondary eternity that had a beginning but no end. Others, like the Greek Orthodox monk, Gregory Palamas (1296-1359 A.D.) referred to a distinction between the divine essence and the “divine energies.”[51] The teaching on the divine energies is well established in Eastern Orthodox theology and has a long tradition going back more than 1,700 years, likely originating in the mystical teachings of Plotinus.[52]

“The divine energies might be described as that mode of existence of the Trinity which is outside of its inaccessible essence. God thus exists in His essence and outside of His essence.”[53]

However described, the artifacts of eternity or everything that is created, are based on the common assumption and conclusion that there can be no before and after in God, therefore any consideration of quasi-temporal events involving God, such as the Incarnation or the Light on Mount Tabor, during the Transfiguration, or even relations between the Persons of the Trinity must be re-considered from within a metaphysical construct that allows the mediation of time. This is similar to Plotinus’s doctrine on the One[54] with everything that is not the One being an “emanation” or a secondary order of existence from that of the One, which is identified as God.

The Christian teaching on the Trinity, which appears, at first glance, to be radically different than Plotinus’s theory of emanation has, perhaps, more in common with this idea than not. The Three Persons of the Trinity are one and yet the One is actually Three. This is a paradox that can be restated as two questions. If the Three Persons are fundamentally one, how are they One, and how are they simultaneously also Three?  Using the teaching of the divine energies, they are, perhaps, One as God exists in His Essence and Three as He exists outside His essence. The two modes are equivalent in that the One is what is predicated from the perspective of eternity and Existence, and the Triune is what is glimpsed from the perspective of essence and time.

The traditional teaching in this regard is that the paradox consists of the One also being fundamentally Three, not One and then Three but this presupposes an opposition of time and eternity in God. We are, perhaps, looking at it the problem with the wrong filters.

When God regards Himself, (as He does eternally) He also sees Himself in all the possible ways that He might be seen and understood. Imagine that thousands of races across the universe have seen the face of God and that He has always seen through all these eyes—ours and theirs—yesterday, today and for all the tomorrows to ever be.

The division of everything that exists into what is Uncreated and Created may reiterate this dual modality of God’s Existence. Existence doesn’t exist[55] because it doesn’t come forth from anything other than Itself and yet it does exist precisely because its existence is self-caused—in and through Itself. When creation occurs, it must occur in time because creation presumes a before and after. Creation involves a kind of immediate downshifting to essence in time and then a long, slow upshifting back to Existence and Eternity via evolution and redemption. Time is the clutch in the machinery of eternity.

There is no effort on God’s part to shift gears and create, and creation occurs out of nothing—no-thing except time as the necessary result of creation. The before and after is in relation to the thing created, not in the Creator but in the contingent existence of the thing created that has been known from eternity. If it is true that time and everything in it has been known from eternity, then this knowledge is not, however, quite the same thing as nothing. It is, in the words of Dun Scotus, an ens diminutum, a little being. The notion of a “little being” points to the potential paradox of eternal time. If it is true that the matter and energy of the universe has always existed, then it may be that God’s binary mode of existence will help bridge the gap between atheism and religion. The argument is really between whether or not God is personal or impersonal. God as both One and Three enables a bridging of both arguments.

From God’s perspective, His existence in His Essence and outside His Essence are one and the same thing. The created creator of time is God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We might say that the two modalities are ontologically irrelevant from the point of view of Existence but also, and simultaneously, ontologically relevant from the perspective of Essence. This is, again, only an analogical way of attempting to grasp the relationship between eternity and time and existence and essence. This is also why time is important. God’s existence outside of Himself is not an illusion or a ghostly emanation but an integral expression of His own eternal existence in different modalities. As it says in Revelation 1:8:

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

God’s knowing of Himself, as the Alpha and the Omega or the beginning and the end, necessarily leads to the creation of the “energies” and, consequently, time and space which is simply the Infinite, mirrored as a kind of elaborate space-time geometry expressing dimension and duration in all possible directions at once.[56] The paradox can be stated: could there ever have been a time when God did not know how and why He might be imitated?

God and Time
Thomas Aquinas insisted that God and His ideas were one in the Divine Essence. God does not, at one time, have an idea about us and the universe and then, at another time, have a different idea. It is all at once in eternity. There could not be a time when God did not know why and how He might be imitated. We could also say that within God there is no necessary reason to distinguish between time and eternity. Within, so to speak, the Act of God’s Existence, the knowledge of time is One with that Act, and is only other than that Act, outside of God’s existence within His Divine Essence. There is, in this formulation (to repeat below) the hint of an immediate relationship between time and eternity, mediated by God’s own Existence in two modalities. Time is infinitely expanded in both directions and englobed by God’s own knowledge of Himself both as He is and as he might be known.  What is St. Thomas Aquinas’s notion of participation but a kind of virtual reality whereby what is eternal shares something of itself with what is created? What is created is a plurality[57] consisting of God and man.

There could not be a time when God, in His own eternity, did not know why and how He might be imitated and this knowledge represents a plurality of consciousness—God’s and ours.

This assertion could be viewed analogously (and this is a very broad analogy) as a virtual reality embedded in a space-time similar to a Mobius strip, also known as a twisted cylinder, in which a two dimensional object (usually a strip of paper) rotates through three dimensional space to turn back on itself. God’s knowledge of Himself necessarily includes all of the ways in which He could be known and like a Mobius strip, simultaneously reveals and hides itself, in the way that any beginning point of the strip is also simultaneously the end of the strip. The relationship of time and eternity, when compared to a Mobius strip, might also be predicated of essence and Existence. They are two sides of some original unity. The side you see is based on whether you are looking at the starting point as the beginning or the end point. Eternity makes no conceptual sense unless it can be contrasted with time. Likewise non-contingent Existence would have no contrast or no external intelligibility without the contingency of essence. Time as the expression of something completely eternal and radically non-contingent[58] would, in fact, be already contained, as a mirrored possibility, within this radical non-contingency
Physicist David Bohm hypothesized that there are two kinds of order in nature: what he called the explicate order (the stuff that we see) and a hidden implicate order. The implicate order for Bohm was a way of acknowledging how quantum mechanics reveals a hidden order where our world is influenced by the whole of all possible states. God, in knowing Himself in all the ways in which he might be imitated, could be said to be the sum of all possible states from the perspective of eternity. The implicate order is could be used analogically to help illustrate the actus essendi of Aquinas.

The actus essendi of Aquinas, if I understand it correctly, is indicative of two modes of being: Being as the uncreated Divine Essence and being as it is given to and participated in by creatures. The mystery of the essential order, in Thomism, is that both essence/form and the contingent existence that maintains that essence, as form, are both given by God in creation but God Himself undergoes no change in the process. He remains completely free of any sort of contingency or process related to contingency. In other words, the Christian God is not bound to any “system” or the explicate order but to His own Essence and that is not a system, as we might conceive of it, but rather the ultimate freedom and radical non-contingency of Existence Itself—the “I am who am” of the Old Testament and the implicate ordering principle of the universe. The paradox emerges when we attempt to consider the relationship between the radically non-contingent Existence of God and the contingent universe that we see all around us. That there is a relationship seems obvious but how can the relationship be stated with any degree of clarity? How can we explain, for example, these words of Jesus in the Gospel of John, 14:16 without invoking a profound relationship between time and eternity?
“And I will ask the Father,
and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always,
the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept,
because it neither sees nor knows him.
But you know him, because he remains with you,
and will be in you.”

The goal of religion, theology and metaphysics over the past five thousand years has been, to put it in the broadest terms, to explore this puzzling and mysterious relationship between the uncreated and the created or, using Bohm’s hypothesis analogically, the implicate and the explicate order. Does the change just occur in the created with no change occurring in God or is God somehow involved in the process as more than just the Unmoved Mover? From the perspective of Existence and eternity there is no reciprocal involvement but there appears to be some sort of reciprocity via the virtual construct that allows God to interpenetrate time so that he can be seen and understood. How does the implicate order affect the explicate order?
Who could understand God in his own nature without the assistance of a construct or what might be called the visible architecture of participation? St. Thomas refers repeatedly to the notion of participation but speaks little, to the best of my knowledge, about how this participation is actually structured in relation to time and eternity. The essential order or the world of forms indicates the bridgework but not the way in which time is administered and parsed[59] by eternity.

Imagine Aquinas’s essences or forms analogous to the “integral” of mathematics, which is an object that can be interpreted as an area or a generalization of area. The integral in this context is an expression of eternity with limits. Every definition of an integral is based on a particular measure or ratio. What is the ratio of time over eternal or infinite time? When you look closely at metaphysics and theology you see the outlines of a non-mathematical calculus[60] seeking a more perfect expression.

The God of Physics and Theology
Albert Einstein, who viewed existence in the space-time of four dimensions (height, width, length and time) instead of just three, concluded in his later years that the past, present, and future all exist simultaneously. Think of this, in a way, as the presence of the eternal englobing time in such a way as to both deposit time in the explicate order as sequential and simultaneously retain it in the implicate order as eternal or infinite time.
 “Einstein's belief in an undivided solid reality was clear to him, so much so that he completely rejected the separation we experience as the moment of now. He believed there is no true division between past and future, there is rather a single existence. His most descriptive testimony to this faith came when his lifelong friend Besso died. Einstein wrote a letter to Besso's family, saying that although Besso had preceded him in death it was of no consequence, "...for us physicists believe the separation between past, present, and future is only an illusion, although a convincing one."[61]

“In fact, it may be that space must include all possibilities in order to seem empty to us. So in summary, the universe we see is just a fragment nested in a timeless (everything) whole, rather than a single material world magically arisen above some primordial nothing. All universes exist without beginning or end in the ultimate arena of time, and each moment we experience exists forever.”[62]
“Einstein was followed in time by the colorful and brilliant Richard Feynman. Feynman developed the most effective and explanatory interpretation of quantum mechanics that had yet been developed, known today as Sum over Histories. Just as Einstein's own Relativity Theory led Einstein to reject time, Feynman’s Sum over Histories theory led him to describe time simply as a direction in space. Feynman’s theory states that the probability of an event is determined by summing together all the possible histories of that event. For example, for a particle moving from point A to B we imagine the particle traveling every possible path, curved paths, oscillating paths, squiggly paths, even backward in time and forward in time paths. Each path has an amplitude, and when summed the vast majority of all these amplitudes add up to zero, and all that remains is the comparably few histories that abide by the laws and forces of nature. Sum over histories indicates the direction of our ordinary clock time is simply a path in space which is more probable than the more exotic directions time might have taken otherwise.”[63]
“Other worlds are just other directions in space, some less probable, some equally as probable as the one direction we experience. And sometimes our world represents the unlikely path. Feynman's summing of all possible histories could be described as the first timeless description of a multitude of space-time worlds all existing simultaneously. In a recent paper entitled Cosmology From the Top Down, Professor Stephen Hawking of Cambridge writes; “Some people make a great mystery of the multi-universe, or the Many-Worlds interpretation of quantum theory, but to me, these are just different expressions of the Feynman path integral.[64]  (Note that an integral is a mathematical object that can be interpreted as an area or a generalization of area. Integrals, together with derivatives as a rate of change, are the fundamental objects of calculus.)

Now it must be stated at this juncture that a God Who Is His Own Existence has a great deal in common with scientific atheism and the First Law of Thermodynamics, which states simply that: energy is neither created nor destroyed. Arguing that God makes Himself be is, perhaps, one rung above the notion that energy is neither created nor destroyed but it is very important to look at the political and social consequences of holding to one or the other of these two different perspectives.

A God who is His own existence leads inexorably to either the Aristotelian notion of the Unmoved Mover who was somewhat impersonal, or to the highly personal Christian God involved in human affairs. Holding to the scientific point of view that energy is neither created nor destroyed leads, ultimately, to the kind of positivism that we are currently seeing in our political and legal system. Existence, taken as a given, is simply like Play Dough to be shaped in any way that common agreement sees fit. Existence, from this perspective, has no power to shape human moral or spiritual life except as a neutral motor force translated into various and relativistic belief systems.

It is, perhaps, an indication of how far both camps may have drifted from the truth when neither can admit to the essential similarity of the basic argument, which is in the very broadest sense that existence is not created. Existence can be assumed as a given but the failure to interrogate existence for further intelligibility is no less reprehensible on the part of atheists than it is on the part of clerics who use it as a kind of super glue to make all the bits stick together.
Orthodox Christianity insists that God is simultaneously One and yet mysteriously Three at the same time. However it should be clear that this is not, on the face of it, logically possible without adverting to paradox. It is likely not possible for there to be movement between the Three Persons of the Trinity and various exchanges of regard or affection without the element of time, divinized or otherwise. The only way to dispense with the notion of time is to pretend that it is suspended or disregarded in some way by the fundamental unity and power of the self-creating Act of Existence, which obliterates all accidents and allows distinction only by way of shadows.

“Thomas Aquinas made a categorical distinction between eternity and forever. Eternity, he said, is timelessness; forever is endless time. The former is not rooted within a temporal framework whereas the latter is. "Eternity is a now; time has a now and then." Eternity cannot be divided whereas time can be.”[65] Norman Geisler and H. Wayne House described it this way: Endless time is not eternity: it is just more of time. Eternity differs in essence, not merely accidentally in quantity. Endless time is an elongation of time. More of the same thing is essentially the same thing. … There is a crucial difference between the "now" of time and the "now" of eternity…. The "now" of time moves; the "now" of eternity does not move in any way.”[66]
This is an elegant argument but one which may be flawed. When you inject, so to speak, infinity into time you don’t just get more time, you get an infinite now with the notion of “then” only as a derivative function of eternal time. The distinction may seem unimportant at first glance but understanding that the function of infinity is not just to extend in a linear fashion backwards and forwards but in a geometric explosion of multi-dimensional time paths changes the way we might think about eternity.

If we accept that the Second Person of the Trinity walked upon the earth, it might make more sense to assume that everything we can and will know about God occurs in some sort of time—either now or in the presence of an eternity that is constantly illuminating time. This is what is meant by considering time as an artifact of eternity within the structure of participation. Time is a manifestation of the infinite time of eternity, an integral with derivatives that might be expressed in the sequential, derivative terms implied by a slope.
The Beatific Vision, for example, is a participation in the One, the True, the Good and the eternal but our translation of that vision, given that we are composed beings of matter and form, will always be one that involves some sort of time. Without time there is no intelligibility for the human mind. God’s intelligibility is only fully intelligible to God and He is One in eternity (“I am who Am.”) and Three in sequential time.
The old argument between atheism and theology is largely dismantelled if the notion of Existence as being eternally intelligible in an endless potentiation of reality is accepted as the birthright of all humanity. Those who claim Existence is unintelligible are the enemies of all progress and, ultimately, of mankind. Progress requires a constant movement from unintelligibility to intelligibility, from potentiality to actuality and from scarcity to abundance. Any embrace of the notion of scarcity is niggardly cosmology and bad theology.

The Dance between Existence and the Divine Energies
Aquinas, the absolute master of theology, and unequaled in broadness of mind, except for and only possibly by Aristotle, deftly substituted the Holy Trinity for Aristotle’s Unmoved Mover, replacing what was fundamentally faceless with Three Faces but the mystery remained. Whether the “creator” is considered a faceless Unmoved Mover or a God who is Three Persons sharing One, Divine Essence, the mediation of existence between the creator and what is created, remains an endless source of puzzlement. If God remains utterly removed from what is created, except as a kind of invisible power source being at right angles, as it were, from our own consciousness, we safely retain the majesty of God but gain very little additional intelligibility outside of “just accept it” within the given formulations of Aquinas and the schoolmen.[67]

Fortunately, what is one and the same in God may be further elaborated and understood in terms of the two modes of God’s existence—in His essence and outside His essence. This is, in fact, one way of describing the paradoxical nature of God’s existence[68] or the mysterious dance between the “little” being of contingent existence and the “big” Being of God’s existence in His Divine Essence. God’s existence in the Divine Essence does not constitute existence, in the common sense of the word, as existing out of or within a matrix. However, His existence outside the Divine Essence (only virtually so in the actus essendi or the divine energies) provides us with a rich source of intelligibility, which can further enhance our understanding of God’s Existence as Three Persons within one Divine Essence. It is no less mysterious but it is more immediately approachable and resonates with what we see in the universe around us. The famous double helix of DNA, for example, may be a direct result of the interaction between time and eternity and might, at some future date, be considered a metaphor for the binary nature of Existence. Think of it as God’s signature on the molecules of life.

It is, perhaps, an overly obvious statement but the more we understand of God, the better we are able understand ourselves. We can see, for example, that the commonplace division of human consciousness into ego and self is resonant with the notion that we have an eternal aspect in the mind of God relating to the notion of soul and a temporal, egoistic aspect, which is our knot of personal history within time.
What had previously existed, only in the One perfection of the Trinity, has been shared and not just shared in the abstract but really and truly shared.[69] This sharing occurs in time; it has a beginning even if it has no end. What is created and shared is truly distinct from the uncreated Creator and what has been created and shared encompasses more theological territory than may have been adverted to. Heaven and Hell are created artifacts and the birth of Jesus Christ occurred within the artifact known as time.[70] Hell, for example, did not exist until the angels fell.

The Incarnation, however it may have been contained, pre-eminently, in the eternal will and infinite attributes of the Three Persons, occurred in time. Jesus Christ the man has always either existed in the eternal Trinity (and only appeared in time as an effect of eternity without any change in God) or He hasn’t. If the personhood of Jesus, as both man and God, hasn’t always existed within the Trinity, we are faced with the conclusion that there is a fundamental difference between the personhood of Jesus Christ the man, and Christ as the second person of the Trinity. A substantial difference between the second person of the Trinity, who assumed a human nature, and the personhood of Jesus Christ is not possible, since there is no time or composition in God—unless we assert the two modalities of God’s existence. There is a hint of this in Jesus’s modest and yet puzzling response to the ruler who questioned him about what he had to do to obtain eternal life.[71]

"Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.” [72]

If Jesus Christ has always existed as the eternal Son, and however this may be expressed in the language of effect, without causal change in the Divine Essence, there is the risk of a kind of neo-Docetism whereby his humanity would be merely an “effective” expression of His divinity in the accidental[73] manner that colors appear in objects. In other words, Jesus’s divinity would so overwhelm his humanity, as to make it irrelevant. This would seem not to be the case as indicated by Jesus’s cry on the cross as He was dying: “My God my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Theologians will say that God’s Divinity so perfectly respects His humanity that there is no conflict between the two. If that is the case then it may be asserted that God’s relationship with time, in the two modalities of His existence, subjected Jesus to the limitations of time, irrespective of His Divine origin. This cannot simply be glossed over; it has real metaphysical, theological and scientific consequences.

The Incarnation, life and death of Jesus Christ is, in fact, theological proof that the divine energies exist and that God can and does exist outside of the Divine essence.[74]

There is the echo of an analogy here between what we see in physics, in terms of particle and wave, and the notion of locality and non-locality. That is to say when something is observed the wave form collapses. A particle may be considered non-local without direct observation and local when observed. What this means in terms of the two modes of God’s existence is that when God observes Himself, as other than Himself or how He might be imitated, He goes local or exists outside the Divine Essence. His non-local modality might be said to be, simply, Existence and his local manifestations more closely related to the essential order.  
There is also a hint of this formulation in Henry of Ghent (1217-1293) who was the leading Augustinian theologian after the death of Thomas Aquinas.

Henry argued that the possession of the Divine Essence was a primary actuality and that the secondary actuality of considering the Divine Essence was in potency to the first.[75]

It should be clear that for God to fully consider something other than Himself would require the element of time as He would be considering that which is external to His own Existence. It can be argued, on the other hand, that God’s own Existence necessarily includes all such knowledge of the permutations of created being from the beginning to the end of time and that no derivative form of existence is needed on His part.  However, the direct knowledge of Himself, as not Himself, would seem impossible without a derivative mode of existence outside the Divine Essence involving time. Furthermore, the idea that we—and all of time and history, are a creative product of the two modalities of God’s existence is enormously clarifying—even though from God’s point of view the two modalities are almost indistinguishably welded in the infinite act and power of existence.  Perhaps it might be easier to understand this mind-numbing line of thinking by asserting that there is no effort required on God’s part to exist outside of His Divine Essence, as it is part of the Act of Trinitarian existence, from the beginning to do so.

If it is true that God is both One and Three then it must be true to predicate both oneness and multiplicity equally, i.e., it is as true to call God One as it is to call God Three. It would be inappropriate to suggest that God is somehow more Three than He is One, and conversely, equally inappropriate to suggest that his “oneness’ somehow trumps his personhood. It is then, in an attempt to get some sort of intellectual traction on the nature of God, appropriate to consider God as Trinity from our limited perspective in time and yet simultaneously to consider God, ontologically, as One as might be imagined from the point of view of eternity. God is clearly Three, according to Christian theology, and yet also One. Rather than announcing the inevitability of the paradox and closing the door to further metaphysical speculation, the notion of divine energies allows us to approach the blinding reality of both God’s unity and personhood in such a way as to better understand the consequences of God’s relationship to time. Eternal or infinite time is attested to in this startlingly simple prayer.

“Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be.”

The Holy Spirit, for example, appearing as tongues of flame to the apostles, is either the uncreated Holy Spirit or some derivative effect of divine perfection entering time or just a symbolic projection of the Holy Spirit as fire, dove or wind. The Father speaking on Mount Tabor: “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well-pleased,” cannot simply be an affect/effect or an appearance in time of some sort of pre-existing script that has existed from all eternity but rather the real deal—the uncreated presence of the Father in time. (The One is perceived as Three in time.) Eternal and infinite time, consequently, can only enter time in some sort of derivative format through the divine energies. Infinite time or eternity could no more enter time in the absolute sense than could the ocean fit into a teacup.

The Political Consequences of Belief
The political consequences of belief are so numerous that listing them is hardly warranted. What is important is that belief or what William Thomas, Robert K. Merton, Karl Popper and George Soros scrub down to as ‘reflexive truth’ is at least partly true to the extent that people believe in such truths. We interpret the world around us based on what we believe or don’t believe. The astonishing range of arguments between those who believe in hot button issues like climate change, abortion, gay marriage and even free enterprise and those who don’t are all colored by reflexive truths—regardless of whether or not they are true in the objective sense. The Islamic fanatics who directed airplanes at the two towers of the World Trade Center clearly believed in what they were doing but for the vast majority of people, their beliefs were insane. What person in their right minds could believe that God would reward them with seventy virgins for such bad behavior? Clearly what we believe matters but in order for our beliefs to correctly mirror the reality of God’s universe they must be constantly interrogated and interpreted with new information. The failure to interrogate belief leads to intellectual stagnation. There is no system, personal, political, religious or scientific that cannot be improved upon in this regard.

“The principle of reflexivity was perhaps first enunciated by the sociologist William Thomas (1923, 1928) as the Thomas theorem: that 'the situations that men define as true, become true for them. 'Sociologist Robert K. Merton (1948, 1949) built on the Thomas principle to define the notion of a self-fulfilling prophecy: that once a prediction or prophecy is made, actors may accommodate their behaviors and actions so that a statement that would have been false becomes true or, conversely, a statement that would have been true becomes false - as a consequence of the prediction or prophecy being made. The prophecy has a constitutive impact on the outcome or result, changing the outcome from what would otherwise have happened.

….Reflexivity presents a problem for science because if a prediction can lead to changes in the system that the prediction is made in relation to, it becomes difficult to assess scientific hypotheses by comparing the predictions they entail with the events that actually occur. The problem is even more difficult in the social sciences.”[76]

Reflexivity suggests that absolute truth cannot be known with certainty. Whether this is true or not in the absolute sense is not an argument to pursue here. The notion of reflexivity does raise the issue of behavioral consequences in relation to revealed truth to a new level of consideration. The notion that God might exist in two modalities is not without political, social and religious consequences. Religious conservatives and the spiritually orthodox will reflexively leap to the conclusion that such thinking leads to immanetization. This is the idea that the eschaton[77] (the final heaven-like stage of history) is being immanetized, in the pejorative sense of the phrase coined by Eric Vogel: “Don’t let them immanetize the eschaton.” This phrase more correctly refers to the denigration of Hegelian academics who seek constantly to reduce what is divine to some sort of exclusive expression of materiality.

Properly understood, the eschaton is a metaphor for a continuous relationship between Eternity and the artifact called time, i.e., creation is not just a seven day event;[78] it too is an artifact. What this means, derivatively, is that the eschaton may not have been properly understood to begin with. The elevation of the material order to eternity is not an eschaton but rather the power of the Uncreated to remake creation in its own image. It is, in fact, a hypostasis of the third kind,[79]a transformation of matter into something more than matter.[80] The hypostatic union, the notion of Jesus being one person subsisting in two natures, human and divine, can be extended to all of creation in that the eternal Word is leading all of creation back to the Father.[81] Death is not a terminus but a gateway into a new kind of union that involves Jesus as Lord of the entire natural order.

The notion of the eschaton is a before and after concept that does not adequately take into account that there is no before and after in eternity.[82] (God, for example, was not waiting to create us and is not waiting for us to die.) Creation from our perspective looks much more like aveternity than anything else but from God’s perspective there is no beginning. Everything that occurs in creation is an effect produced by an Act that does not change and that is also not limited in any way except by its own dynamic, which includes the perfection of all things and simultaneously doesn’t include them from before the beginning of time. This is a paradox that really cannot be clarified unless we are able to theologically assert the dual modality of God’s Existence in both time and eternity. All we can do is accept our conceptual limitations in this regard and acknowledge that no such limitations apply to God.

A political system that understands that creation is a present summons and not an archaeological event will help set mankind on the path to a new relationship with God.

The divine energies are exerting a constant force, so to speak, on the earth to transform what is limited into something unlimited. Creation is an on-going process[83] for the entire essential order. What it is to the Three Persons in One God is entirely unknown except, perhaps, as a concatenation of endless existence, consciousness and joy. It is, perhaps, clear that what we might visualize as Satchitananda[84] is only so from a perspective that is outside the uncreated reality of God. What it is in Itself is beyond comprehension.
If we think about the divine energies as being the real power[85] behind what we are currently calling evolution, then a great many pieces of the picture puzzle of human existence are suddenly illuminated. 

Creation is continuous, as is Existence; it never started, it never stopped and it never will end. We are bathed in the rose red light of an eternal temple from the time we are born until we die. It is the immortal fire, which lights the world, and we go from light to greater light in virtue, or from darkness to greater darkness in vice.
God made us His children from the beginning and came back in the person of His Son to remind us that He made us His children—not in the hokey sense of tent-revival Protestantism or the tedious repetition of prelates who have ceased to believe in anything else but Sunday football and cocktails—but really and truly His children. Our likeness to God is such that what we do to each other we also do to Him. This points to a truth so profound that we can only stand in wonder before it. We live and have our being continuously in the glory of creation, in the Act of Existence that has no beginning and has no end. The creative power and love of God does not change; it has never changed. We change. It is there as it has always been and Jesus Christ, as God and man, is right there with us.

“I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
In a little while the world will no longer see me,
but you will see me, because I live and you will live.
On that day you will realize that I am in my Father
and you are in me and I in you.” –John 14/18

Our history is like the childhood of gods who have a psychological disorder. Until we realize the extent of the gift we have been given, as creators and participants in Divine Life, we will continue to engage in a wearying cycle between fear of the unknown and the hope that if we just repeat the right words and thoughts, and insist that everyone else repeat the same words and thoughts, we will get it right. There is no reward for doing the right thing except the right thing. It is its own reward. More importantly, until we realize that we must create with the same Spirit that created us, we will never have peace on earth.

The Imperium as a New Partnership between God and Man
It is, consequently, thought-provoking and refreshing to think about an institution that might guarantee both the eternal truths of religion and the truths of the relative order that we live in. This is the ultimate promise of the Imperium: a political structure that really works. One that is truly “of, by and for the people” by recognizing both the authority of God and the authority of man. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution acknowledge the Creator primarily by way of assumption. A more direct approach would seem to be needed for the present age. The issue cannot be pussy-footed around any longer.
Organized religion, when it oversteps the bounds of common sense and voluntary association, needs to be reined-in by civic authority as much as civic authority needs to be informed by religious and spiritual values. How can a new synthesis of politics and religion better serve mankind without engaging in the morally and spiritually unprofitable separation of Church and State? How can the energy of the antithesis between religion and politics be turned into a creative endeavor?[86]  The Spirit may provide the key for a creative solution to the age-old struggle between politics and religion.

“The higher judge is the universal and absolute Spirit alone — the World-Spirit ... The relation of one particular State to another presents, on the largest possible scale, the most shifting play of individual passions, interests, aims, talents, virtues, power, injustice, vice, and mere external chance. ... Out of this dialectic rises the universal Spirit, the unlimited World-Spirit, pronouncing its judgment — and its judgment is the highest — upon the Nations of the World's History; for the History of the World is the World's court of justice.”[87]—Schiller

The universal World Spirit, as conceived by Schiller, is better thought of as a metaphor for God’s continuous and creative action on and within human history. The Spirit would not likely reinstitute the human failure of political institutions, so interpenetrated by religious or theological authority, as to create a fascist neo-papal political order or an Islamic-style, authoritarian state. Neither would He desire the other side of the coin of intolerance—the pie-on-earth philosophy of Karl Marx’s atheistic Communism—which is no less demanding than any religion. Communism proved itself to be a moral and social disaster by imagining that Spirit was simply part of history, a universal spirit, without transcendental aspects. We have had a preview of the wrong way to go, so there is no point in repeating the old errors.

The transcendental aspects of what Schiller called Absolute Spirit can only be truly understood in the light of the Christian transcendentals; namely the One, the True, the Good and the Beautiful. Without the mirror of the transcendentals, sharing with us the true face of God, humanity descends into the darkness of Hegel’s dialectical materialism, which is nothing more than a cosmic meat grinder for both God and man.
The toll of human suffering in North Korea and sub-Saharan Africa, for example, would never be tolerated in a world infused with transcendental spiritual and moral values. How can we take the moral and spiritual power of religion and use it to guarantee the power and authority of the individual in such a way as to create desirable social and political institutions that actually work? How can we make such an institution morally, psychologically and politically attractive? How can such an institution be made to behave, in the words of Cicero: “like a trustee, morally obliged to serve society”?

On the one hand it can be argued that this is what the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States are supposed to guarantee but on the other it can be argued that a more comprehensive document and institution that embody these same beliefs seem likely to be required, in the near future, for a world that does not entirely share in the Christian vision. This is also why a concept like the “divine energies” is politically relevant. How we view our relationship with God and how that relationship is expressed politically is at the very root of what makes laws good or evil. Hinduism, for example, would find this notion entirely consonant with many of its theological teachings going back thousands of years. The monotheism of Judaism and Islam, likewise, might also find some comfort and purchase in the notion of a transcendent God utterly beyond and yet equivalent to the local configuration of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In other words, metaphysics and theology might be used as a tool for political reconciliation, instead of division.
The Founding Fathers, from the American perspective, assumed Christian or at least Deist values in crafting the legal documents of our nation.  As Thomas Jefferson noted:

"Man has been subjected by his Creator to the moral law, of which his feelings, or conscience as it is sometimes called, are the evidence with which his Creator has furnished him .... The moral duties which exist between individual and individual in a state of nature, accompany them into a state of society. Their Maker not having released them from those duties on their forming themselves into a nation."[88]

Our legal system is presently re-imagining the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, based on legal positivism, without the assumed spiritual values of the Founding Fathers. This is a dangerous and foolish enterprise as the ultimate result will likely be a return to the old immoralities and cruelties of the pagan world.
The time has come to re-imagine a world-wide Democracy based on the American vision, infused with a pre-Christian set of moral values, lying side-by-side with Christian and other religious values, in a new synthesis that takes the natural opposition of divergent belief systems and converts it into positive, forward motion. It is time to step into the human and divine authority of the Imperium. Sol Invictus![89] The unconquered sun awaits us.

The Right to Move Forward and Change What Is Not Working
The words of the Declaration of Independence attest to both our divine right and obligation to change government when it no longer serves:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience [has shown] that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

The Third Imperium may be the system of governance that will take us to the stars and into a universe with unbounded resources for all. Modeled on the American system, with significant modifications to avoid unnecessary polarization and factions, this how the Third Imperium might look in outline.

The Twenty Guiding Principles of the Third Imperium
(To be incorporated into a new World Constitution)

1.      The Imperium accepts all beliefs, including atheism, as legitimate from the point of view of election or free choice.
2.      The Imperium does not, prima facie, accept all beliefs as equal.
3.      What might be considered true is distinct from, and in opposition to, what is manifestly false. The principle of non-contradiction is invoked: “A “cannot simultaneously be “B”.
4.      The Imperium assumes that truth exists and is not, ultimately, unknowable within the limits of human knowledge.
5.      The discovery of what is “true” or real is the essential task of mankind, as falsehood and false narratives carry within them the seeds of vice and social disorder.
6.      The Imperium takes as its guide a system of morality that uses the concepts of virtue and vice and assumes belief in a Supreme Being.
7.      The Imperium will not be guided, in a definitive manner, by any form of positivism, either in education or in governance, except in legal contracts and science, or where applicable and useful.
8.      The Imperium, in the name of freedom, guarantees the right of men and women to make wrong choices, to engage in private vices to the extent allowed by law, but never to confuse what is allowed with what is good.
9.      The Imperium will guard truth in all its many forms and serve the best interests of mankind through a custodial relationship with the world and its resources.
10.  The Imperium will guard the validity of all voluntary religions but be limited by none.
11.  Any religion asserting the right to forced conversion will be persuaded otherwise.
12.  The Imperium assumes that human population growth is not an evil and that economic development is not incommensurate with respect for Nature.
13.  Banking, finance and taxation must serve the development of mankind.
14.  A flat tax, worldwide, of two percent will be levied. Financial parasitism and lending at interest rates above four percent is to be discouraged.
15.  The right to life is an inalienable human right and may not be revoked except under medically justified circumstances.
16.  Violent crime and terrorism, in all its forms, is completely unacceptable and will be suppressed using any and all means necessary.
17.  Rape and violent crime, in the first degree, against women will be considered a crime against humanity and will be dealt with severely.
18.  The Imperium supports the notion of Democracy and one man, one vote for men and women.
19.  Marriage may only be considered valid and legal between a man and woman. Civil unions may be permitted between homosexuals but should not be considered normal, except by way of defect.
20.  The US Declaration of Independence and Constitution is not just a model for America, but for the world. The Imperium must be built using these documents as its foundation.
21.  The Imperium wishes all association within the Imperium to be voluntary. The goal of the organization is to conduct its affairs in such an honorable and impartial way that everyone will want to participate in its affairs.


The Eleven Houses of the Imperium with Representatives
1.      The House of Science (one representative per scientific discipline)
2.      The House of Religion (one representative per religion)
3.      The House of Elders (method of representation to be determined)
4.      The House of Leaders (method of representation to be determined)
5.      The House of Law and Justice (method of representation to be determined)
6.      The House of Defense (method of representation to be determined)
7.      The House of Education (method of representation to be determined)
8.      The House of Morality (method of representation to be determined)
9.      The House of Industrial Development (one representative per industry)
10.  The House of Family (method of representation to be determined)
11.  The House of Finance and Banking (method of representation to be determined)

Nine Imperial Regions with Senatorial Representation
(Countries within regions will be considered “states” with the number of Senators to be determined by an algorithm based on population, resources and development)

1.      North America
2.      Mexico and Central America
3.      South America
4.      Europe
5.      Russia
6.      Africa
7.      China, Mongolia and Tibet
8.      Southeast and northern Asia
9.      Australia and the South Pacific

Voluntary Association
Two forms of completely voluntary association might be initially offered within the Imperium:
1.      Honorary membership whereby a country continues with its sovereign form of government and observes the activities of the Imperium but does not vote.
2.      Imperial citizenship whereby a country’s political institutions merge with those of the Imperium congruent with full voting rights and protection within the Imperium.

The eleven Houses of the Imperium and the nine regions of Senatorial representation will each select a candidate for Regent[90] Presidency and Vice Regent after public debates modeled on the American system. The division of the world into only nine regions is to encourage state alliances and federations.

Regent, from the Roman regens "one who reigns," is the informal or sometimes formal title given to a temporary, acting head of state in a monarchy. These Regents will be voted upon by popular, world vote and one Regent President will be elected and may serve for two terms of five years each and no more. The notion of “regency” is to reinforce the notion that the office is temporary and that the Regent serves in place of the only monarch that the Imperium recognizes: the eternal, living God.
The administrative center for world voting will, initially, be in the United States. The location of the capitol of the Third Imperium and its immense physical and legal infrastructure for world governance will be decided by a collective majority vote between Senators from the nine Imperial regions and Representatives of the Eleven Houses. The United Nations will be disbanded as an archaic entity whose usefulness has ended.

32 Judges to be selected by a computer-aided vetting process guided by the following Houses: Elders, Law and Justice, Family, Morality and Industrial Development. Fidelity to the new Constitution is essential. Judges will not be appointed by the Regent although he or she may suggest names to be vetted during their term in office. Term is for life with recalls for moral turpitude.

One of the ways that the Imperium might be initiated could be as an on-line game or virtual world, like Second Life, whereby individuals from different countries could act as “shadow” representatives. Once the size of the game becomes sufficiently large, by encompassing enough countries and “representatives,” it might start to have a political impact through “shadow voting” on popular issues.
One of the primary objections to the Imperium will, of course, be the notion that the state would, for all practical purposes, be in bed with religion. However the first guiding principle of the Imperium—that of the acceptance of all beliefs, and the eighth guiding principle, the right of citizens to a libertarian range of private vices—presumably licensed drug taking, gambling, prostitution, sodomy and other bad habits with various rational constraints, is not the kind of bed organized religion will find very comfortable.
Ultimately, the notion of God as “allower,” within the context of what is reasonable, and not the “denier” except in areas of obvious contradiction to goodness, such as murder, theft, rape, abortion, economic exploitation, environmental degradation, and intellectual and aesthetic non-sequiturs such as homosexual marriage, may help shift the focus of politics to what is positive rather than to what is negative in human life.

“Valor fares starward, fear, to the realm of death.
In living presence, mother, from the stars Heracles speaks;
Soon shall bloody Eurystheus[91] make you full recompense;
Over his proud head shall you in triumph ride.
But now it is good that I pass to the realm above;
Heracles once again has conquered hell.” [92]
-Seneca, Hercules Oetaeus

Virtus in astra tendit, in mortem timor
Praesens ab astris, mater, Alcides[93] cano.
Poenas cruentus iam tibi Eurytheus dabit:
Curru superbum vecta trancendes caput.
Me iam decet subire coelestem plagam:
Inferna vici rursus Alcides loca.

[3] There have been many books published on the relationship between ego and self, self and soul, and creativity and self but for the present purpose it only has to be noted as a wide field for further exploration. The relationship between authority, self and creativity still has many unexplored avenues.

[5] Ibid

[6] Ibid

[7] Roberts, Paul William, City in the Desert,  Random House; 1st edition (March 23, 1993)
[8] A variant of Docetism, for example, might tend to trivialize Jesus’ humanity by over-emphasizing the role of his Divinity.

[9] As silly as it may sound, the Second Person of the Trinity cannot take a leave of absence from the Trinity. This suggests either an eternal or a created temporal/aveternal manifestation of the Son, as Jesus Christ. It might be said, of course, that in the perfection of all things, within the Trinity, the Incarnation of Jesus is included in an a-priori fashion and only by effect, in time, without any change occurring in God. The question remains: is this true or just a theological assertion?

[10] This is perhaps one of the greatest insights of St. Thomas Aquinas and informs the entirety of his theology.

[11] This insight comes from the teachings of Abraham as spoken by Bill and Esther Hicks.
[17] “The original definition is from Ernst Haeckel, who defined ecology as the study of the relationship of organisms with their environment. In the intervening century and a half, other definitions of ecology have been proposed to reflect growth of the discipline, to found new specialties, or to mark out disciplinary territory.”

[18] Freud, Sigmund, The Ego and the Id. W. W Norton and Company, Copyright 1960, page 14
[19] O’Reilly, Sean How to Manage Your D.I.C.K: Redirect Sexual Energy and Discover Your More Enlightened, Spiritually Evolved Self; published jointly in January 2000 by The Auriga Publishing Group and Ten Speed Press

[20] Freud, Sigmund, The Ego and the Id. W. W Norton and Company, Copyright 1960, page 35

[21] We might say that when cathection is understood from the perspective of joint creative action between man and God that it is a forge of almost infinite power.
[23] As a philosophical system or method, Positivism denies the validity of metaphysical speculations, and maintains that the data of sense experience are the only object and the supreme criterion of human knowledge. In law it means that the law is self-referential with no outside or objective natural law to influence it.

[24] This ecology is articulated in How to Manage Your Destructive Impulses with Cyber-Kinetics; Sean O’Reilly, Ten Speed Press, January 2000,

[25] Positivism denies the validity of metaphysical speculations, and maintains that the data of sense experience are the only object and the supreme criterion of human knowledge. In law it means that the law is self-referential with no outside or objective natural law to influence it.
[27] Ibid
[28] Think of Natural Law as a kind of Divine or spiritual, cloud-based moral architecture. Using the cloud, as a metaphor from computer programming and system architecture, we can say that we all have access to this cloud-based system of values via the operating system of our souls.

[29] Positivism is a system of philosophical and religious doctrines elaborated by Auguste Comte. As a philosophical system or method, Positivism denies the validity of metaphysical speculations, and maintains that the data of sense experience are the only object and the supreme criterion of human knowledge; as a religious system, it denies the existence of a personal God and takes humanity, "the great being", as the object of its veneration and cult

[31] Ibid

[32] Ibid

[33] Hugh Chisholm, The Encyclopædia Britannica: a dictionary of arts, sciences ..., Volume 9, pg. 348, 1910

[34] A republic is a form of government in which power resides in the people, and the government is ruled by elected leaders run according to law (from Latin: res publica), rather than inherited or appointed (such as through inheritance or divine mandate). In modern times the definition of a republic is also commonly limited to a government which excludes a monarch. Currently, 135 of the world's 206 sovereign states use the word "republic" as part of their official names. Wikipedia

[36] The Franks, were a Germanic tribe in present-day Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and western Germany.

[37] Charlemagne, son of Pippin 111, (c.742-814), also known as Karl and Charles the Great, was a medieval emperor who ruled much of Western Europe from 768 to 814. In 771, Charlemagne became king of the Franks.

[40] Ibid

[42] Mein Kampf


[46] Note that the intellectual termites in academia, who developed the politically correct notion of B.C.E. (Before the Common Era) and C.E. (the Common Era), miss the boat completely. There was nothing common about, or even now commonly held, about the era that developed after the birth of Christ.

[47] The Father as God Being Himself, the Son as God knowing Himself, the Spirit as God loving Himself (formulation by Tim O’Reilly)

[48] Here assume the Christian God; The Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

[50] The theory is that angels’ decisions are irrevocable given the close fusion of their essences with their existence.

[53] Lossky, as quoted in A. N. Williams, The Ground of Union: Deification in Aquinas and Palamas, Oxford University Press, 1999, page 140

[54] The One is not just an intellectual conception but something that can be experienced, an experience where one goes beyond all multiplicity. Plotinus writes, "We ought not even to say that he will see, but he will be that which he sees, if indeed it is possible any longer to distinguish between seer and seen, and not boldly to affirm that the two are one."

[55] Wilhelmson, Frederick, The Paradoxical Structure of Existence

[56] There is an enormous amount of theological literature on this subject but to state that the matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of all theologians would likely be premature.

[57] I am indebted to Fr. Mark Byrne for clarifying this idea in a marvelous sermon he gave in May of 2014 at the Christendom college chapel.

[58] Wilhelmson, Frederick, The Paradoxical Structure of Existence

[59] Grammar : to divide (a sentence) into grammatical parts and identify the parts and their relations to each other: to study (something) by looking at its parts ...

[60] There is a tremendous opportunity for a trained Thomistic theologian and mathematician to articulate a new and non-linear calculus showing how the essential order of the actus essendi works on the basis of limits which might be mathematically described using the functions of infinite motion, infinite speed, and infinite space delimited by time. The concept of Derivative is at the core of Calculus and modern mathematics. The definition of the derivative can be approached in two different ways. One is geometrical (as a slope of a curve) and the other one is physical (as a rate of change). Time is clearly a derivative of eternity or infinite time. We just need the math!
[61] Georban, Kevin, Everything Forever: Learning to See Timelessness

[62] Ibid

[63] Ibid

[64] Ibid
[65] Jason Dulle, Eternity is Not Forever: An Argument for Theism

[66] Ibid
[67] “No method in philosophy has been more unjustly condemned than that of the Scholastics. No philosophy has been more grossly misrepresented. And this is true not only of the details, but also of the most essential elements of Scholasticism. Two charges, especially, are made against the Schoolmen: First, that they confounded philosophy with theology; and second that they made reason subservient to authority. As a matter of fact, the very essence of Scholasticism is, first, its clear delimitation of the respective domains of philosophy and theology, and, second, its advocacy of the use of reason.”

[68] Wilhelmson, Frederick, The Paradoxical Structure of Existence

[69] “Who through his immense love became what we are, that He might bring us to be even what He is Himself.” St. Irenaeus, (Adv, Hares V. Praefatio)

[70] What Jesus means when he refers to His Father as being in heaven is, likely, a metaphor for the derivative presence of the Father in Heaven based on the divine energies. What we will see of the Father in Heaven, for example, in the Beatific Vision, is likely an expression of our own contingency, in relation to a light that produces an infinitely expanding knowledge of Existence, limited only by our ability to process that information. The Father could be no more be contained in Heaven than could the Holy Spirit or Christ before the Incarnation. The Trinity is in act and that One Act does not subsist or exist out of any location.

[71] Gospel of Luke 18/18 and 18/19

[72] Ibid

[73] Accidents are the modifications that substance (the composition of matter and form) undergo, but that do not change the kind of thing that each substance is. Accidents only exist when they are the accidents of some substance. Examples are colors, weight, and motion. For Aristotle there are 10 categories into which things naturally fall. They are substance, and nine accidents:  Quantity, Quality, Relation, Action, Passion, Time, Place, Disposition (the arrangement of parts) and Rainment (whether a thing is dressed or armed, etc.).

[74] This can only be considered “proof” if the divinity of Christ is subscribed to.

[75] William Owen Duba, Seeing God: Theology, Beatitude and Cognition in the Thirteenth Century, page 250
[77] In political theory and theology, to immanentize the eschaton means trying to bring about the eschaton (the final, heaven-like stage of history) in the immanent world. It has been used by conservative critics as a pejorative reference to certain utopian projects, such as socialismcommunism, and transhumanism.[1] In all these contexts it means "trying to make that which belongs to the afterlife happen here and now (on Earth)" or "trying to create heaven here on Earth."

[78] The notion of continuous creation is found both in St. Thomas and in the works of various Protestant theologians. One of the issues is the distinction between God’s holding of everything in existence in his will (the notion of “occasionalism”) and its stand-alone, so to speak, existence in the essential order. These arguments put the cart before the horse as existence does what it does without the benefit of or limitations of before and after. We simply cannot imagine existence; we can only point to what it appears to be doing as it may be expressed in time and the essential order.

[79] Megan L. Ferandos, The Orthodox Teaching on God, Athens 1985. Chapter 7, pages 423-478

[80] Sri Aurobindo referred to this in his book, The Life Divine, as the supramental transformation

[81] It could be further argued, by way of speculation, that it was not possible for just the Son to Incarnate without the other two persons of the Trinity being involved. Clearly the Spirit and the Father were involved, as Mary was told in the Annunciation, by an angel that took the form of a man: "The Holy Ghost shall come upon you and the power of the Most High shall overshadow you.” (Luke 1:26-38). This is the virtual involvement of the Trinity, in time, whether by effect from all eternity or by way of the divine energies. It is precisely for this reason that Mary and the Holy Spirit have been closely linked. Mary is, as was suggested by no less than Saint Maxmillian Kolbe, an almost quasi-incarnation of the Holy Spirit. The mission of the Son was to Incarnate. The mission of the Spirit is to uplift Mary as co-Redemptrix of the universe. It is the Father who sustains all of creation, including heaven and earth through the divine energies.

[84] (The Hindu formulation of the Trinity: Satchitananda. “Sat” means existence, “chit” means consciousness and “ananda” is bliss or joy.)

[85] This is a notion that has found expression in the works of Teilhard de Chardin and Sri Aurobindo. The latter’s notion of the descent of a supramental force/consciousness into matter is, essentially, a modern reworking of the concept of divine energies.
[86] The Father desires worshippers in truth and spirit. This is no less true of individuals than it is of institutions.

[90] regent, from the Roman regens "one who reigns”, is the informal or sometimes formal title given to a temporary, acting head of state in a monarchy.

[91] Eurystheus is the [weak] king of Argos, who is in charge of assigning all twelve of Heracles' labors. Heracles was actually supposed to be the king of Argos instead of Eurystheus, but Hera interfered and caused Heracles to be born a few hours too late. Both Eurystheus and Heracles are great-grandsons of the hero Perseus.

[92], translation modified by SOR to read in modern English

[93] Alcides is the Italian for Heracles