Friday, November 10, 2006


I have been reading Michel Henry’s, I Am The Truth: Towards a Philosophy of Christianity, which was recommended to me by Fr. Mark Wenzinger who has been doing his thesis on the work of Henry. Henry was a phenomenologist for a big chunk of the 20th century and one who used the phenomenological techniques of epoche (bracketing judgment using purely descriptive language) for his own metaphysical purposes. That he understood the enterprise of Thomism is clear. That he had his own unique agenda and contribution to philosophy is less clear to academia at large. He was a man considerably ahead of the curve. Listen to this:

“Life absents itself from the field of biology, as it does, moreover, from any field of scientific investigation…it is true: we see living beings but never their life…”

This is a restatement of the notion that science has banished existence as a meaningful subject from its investigations by positing the notion of existence, simply, as a given. This notion is convertible with the first law of thermodynamics, which states that energy is neither created nor destroyed. Given this metaphysically opaque pronouncement, all investigation ceases into the notion of existence as anything intelligible. Having co-opted existence with something impersonal and that is self-existing (the old notion of God was a Person or Persons self-existing) science can ignore the most important question of all: where does energy come from? There can be no question you see because energy has been neither created nor can it be destroyed. Thus all inquiry into the important subject of Being and Existence and ultimately, God ceases.

What is most extraordinary for me is that Henri confirms one of the insights of the Conversations with God series, viz., that God is Life, (and that the terms are convertible), which is another way of saying that God is Existence. That science does not investigate life or existence is one of the most extraordinary shenanigans perpetrated by God haters over the past several hundred years. Investigating the algorithms of life while denying life or existence is one of the most curious “the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing” properties of intellectual life in the 21st century. To say that we are intellectually schizoid in this regard would be an understatement. What terrifies all liberal thinkers is the notion that what they call energy might really be an aspect of the Life and Person of God. There can be no moral accountability to a process. Pack fudge, masturbate, abort, lie, rape, cheat and get convicted murders freed on technicalities—all is possible, all is acceptable when God is not a Person. A person can be the anti-thesis of process. A person can by-pass process, jump over it, run around it—do what is not process derived or recommended. A person can act with the original energy of life and anyone so empowered is frightening to the custodians of an impersonal God. A Person is personified in the notion of Holy Roman Emperor or benevolent dictator—someone who can cut through layers of process and get things done. Think about Hollywood’s action heroes. They are a metaphor for the kind of action that only those guided by life and not process can produce. Everyone longs for action, for more life, not less. The Hollywood action hero is a metaphorical cry for life.

The co-opting of God by the notion of energy that is neither created nor destroyed and the impersonal processes of energy has resulted in the consequent depersonalization of life in the industrial world. Everything is reduced to process and anything smacking of life such as honor, sin, morality and even independent thinking is squished under the steamroller of process. What are your qualifications? Ask the last men what truth is and they will blink. No wonder Islam is attractive to the God-deprived.

The greatest discovery of the 21st century will be the discovery of Life. It is my belief that science will soon come upon the evidential bedrock of subsistent existence modulated within a multi-dimensional matrix and subject to observation either direct or indirect. The notion of cyber-kinetics or soul directed vectors within a multi-dimensional matrix should leave some quantum signature detectable by science. You find what you look for.

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