Metaphysics of the Divine Glance

Meaning as experience and living existence

St. Joan of Arc and St. Thérèse of Lisieux are to my own spirituality what wet is to water, or light is to the day.

Walter Emerson

The Divine Glance is both experiential and existential. We experience the existence of something, which we have defined previously as “meaning without understanding.” In this “something” is a seed of subjective-objective chaos which must be actualized through the revelation of patterns in our noematic field of meaning to a gestalt representation of story. The noemata are embodied in the living saints constituting a noematic syntax, which is a revelation of teleological Divine life in the experience of living existence. The noematic relationships are not revealed as analogous ideation such as projections in the mind but as thoughts received passively in experiential, living existence. They are not interpretations of reality; they are reality given to us. The relationships are phenomenological.

The experience of living existence is our point of departure from sole dependence on Aristotelian and Thomist metaphysics. The latter are essential in formulating principles of discernment that keep the expression of our subjective experience in continuity with objective scholasticism; however, by themselves they are insufficient for actualizing the seed of subjective-objective chaos. The world of scholasticism and the world of experiential existence are layered, and each layer requires its own form of actualization that keeps one in harmony with the other. Both lead to rational outcomes that express the harmonious “layering” between them.

Phenomenological rationality is the pursuit of meaningful relationships in the noematic field that can be categorized into more complex relationships leading to the Gestalt expression of story. Aristotelian scholasticism can provide the borders and boundaries of our developing relationships; however, between these boundaries, we are phenomenological. This is one way to describe the layering and pattern between them.

In its initial appearing, the Divine Glance creates angst. Angst is constituted by meaning and chaos inherent in the experience of living existence imposed through the Divine Glance. On the one hand, this experience brings meaning to our existence. Yet, as “meaning without understanding,” it also brings chaos. We “must” order the chaos to resolve the tension. Angst emerges and becomes a positive catalyst for the initial stages actualizing the seed of subjective-objective chaos.

However, once phenomenological rationality is established as described above, angst transforms into enchantment. Order is established out of the chaos which reveals more chaos in the “ordered revelation of chaos” previously described. The knowledge that chaos is part of the ongoing process of ordering toward the Gestalt transforms anxiety into awe.

We now see that in the Divine Glance and its seed of chaos comes life, our “being created,” as the Divine Glance itself is living existence. Enchantment is no more capable of seeing beyond itself than is angst, but the former emerges over the latter out of the comfort and assurance of phenomenological rationality. We know that the process “makes sense” even though we do not yet know the fullness of that sense. We have a comforting realization that we are led through phenomenological rationality by the saints who embody the noemata. This could further be described as a phenomenological “journey” with the saints in response to the call inherent in the Divine Glance as previously defined.

We have now advanced on the initial “meaning without understanding” to “meaning known to be understandable,” and even to “meaning as the ordered syntax of the saints” in response to the call. We are no longer filled with anxiety of the chaotic unknown; we are in a state of enchantment through rational phenomenological exploration of the unknown.

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