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Language symbols convey the existence, in the experienced world, of a sense perception that is purposefully designed to reconstitute, for the listener, an “engendering reality.” The truth of these symbols, even if they explicate a non-existent reality, belongs to the non-existent experience. It is important, in terms of a societal “right order,” that we believe these truth-symbols because their purpose is to convey the truth of existence of the ground that defines the whole, complete nature of man as finite being, in search of and responding to, the pull of Infinite Being. The sequence in time of these symbols that define the metaleptical relationship between God and man is: the actual engendering truth experience, the social-doctrinization of the truth experience, and finally the loss of the meaning of the doctrine of the truth experienced and the consequent collapse of right order in human existence.

The bad news is our age is an age where we are losing at a very dramatic rate the meaning of the symbols and as a result we are experiencing the madness (nosos) explicated as a pneumopathological condition where the individual loses his ability to conceive of or participate in a personal or social order because of the loss of nonexistent reality.

While modernity signaled the rise of certain technological benefits, a number of examples of a resilient social order, and the political possibilities inherent in the concept of human rights it also carried the weight of a pernicious, ideological, totalitarianism that reached denouement in the twentieth century concurrent with the fierce desire to engage in the act of alienation (allotriosis) by withdrawing from the self “as constituted by the tension toward the divine ground of existence”. The ideological distortions of this age, predicated on this alienation, stand accountable for filling the earth with the stench of a hundred million souls and laying waste to countless nations. And, so it is that we live in a contradiction where we have willfully disassociated ourselves from the source of good, and consequently reject existence in tension toward the divine ground and seek an existence that is deformed and closed to the existence of the reality of the ground.

The good news is that man is an intricate, complex, being designed to seek, quest, and search for the truth of reality and order. And, since we are so constituted this age of loss, of gross pneumopathological derailment, also includes the participation of the philosopher, or holy man who seeks to recapture the truth that is lost, even at the risk of death. In essence the philosopher is engaged in a dichotomic conflict with the modern sophists who practice the magic of misconstructing reality for personal gain. The thing we must remember as citizens of the polis is that the philosopher is often able to communicate with those that share his knowledge and understanding of the ideological deformation. And, as Dr. Voegelin wrote, “One of the typical phenomena of the twentieth century is the event of spiritually energetic people breaking out of the dominant intellectual group in order to find the reality that has been lost (I like to think that to some degree that’s occurring at PoMoCon).”

To those of you who join with us in the joy of the dialectic, you are the philosopher. You are seeking and questing to recapture the truth of reality, you are making yourself aware of the ideological distortions of our time and you are working to restore order. Thank you for your effort.

We have, then, quite the challenge. Our language symbols are corrupted and we must restore the meaning for reason, order, ground, being, and so forth. But we should not despair. This rise-collapse-restoration is an experience in which all men participate, in one way or the other. But we are being existing in the reality of a consciousness of existential tension experienced between the immanent and transcendent and we have the great lesson from the twentieth century that teaches us not to deform, into propositional dictums, the “spiritual and intellectual phenomena connected with experiences of divine reality.”

We must then turn toward the experience of reality first, by turning toward the divine ground (periagoge), seeking the engendering existential experience of that ground, and in so doing exist as created being acknowledging the presence and love of God.

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