His self-made immortality is at stake; and in order to protect it, he must cling to his conception of time. On the older level we find the entities, i.e., the immortal gods and mortal men; on the new level, represented by Plato and Aristotle, we find the tension of e  xistence with its poles of mortality and immortality. Since the beginning of the century, the situation has changed substantially. Immortality is one of the language symbols engendered by a class of experiences to which we refer as the varieties of religious experi­ence. Since then, the organization has expanded greatly, producing a series of well-regarded workshops and undertaking a variety of electronic initiatives. Nevertheless, even at the time of histor­icist exuberance Eugène de Faye had insisted, in his Gnostiques et gnosticisme (1913), that Gnostic symbolisms could not be under­stood without recourse to the experience engendering them. With a personal account, you can read up to 100 articles each month for free. . The ideologue’s position seems to have a basis in reality; we must ascertain what this reality is, and how it is transformed into the dream construc­tions of history. The question how the issue of history presents itself to the phi­losopher has been answered, to a large part, by the preceding analy­sis. Immortality: Experience and Symbol -pt 1--When doctrinal truth becomes socially dominant, even the knowl­edge of the processes by which doctrine derives from the original account, and the original account from the engendering experi­ence, may get lost. For the specific cause of assent, we must look to the specifically Western and modern ambiance of language and opinion as it has grown through two centuries of ideologies. Our participation in the divine remains bound to the perspective of man. Never­theless, the most important strands in the matted growth can be discerned and enumerated. Thus, the veiled sense in the background, if made articulate, proves to be just as much nonsense as the proposition in the foreground. For what can you do with a man who will not find his peace of mind either with con­ventional belief or with conventional skepticism! Today, with our wealth of comparative materials, we must be even more insistent on the point. His concern is, therefore, not with truth as a bit of information that has escaped his contemporaries, but as a pole in the tension of order and disorder, of reality and loss of reality, he experiences as his own. Both society and history are man written large. In some instances, when the sequence attaches it­self to the great ordering experiences of philosophy and Christian faith, it is discernible as a structure in historical processes of in­finite complexity. It looks as if the surrounding society were to be characterized as suf­fering from a severe loss of ordering reality, manifesting itself in the vulgarian character of the argument; as if the troubles of the age were to be understood, not simply as a breakdown of govern­ment on the pragmatic level, perhaps caused by the disfavor of the gods, but as events somehow connected with a disintegration of existential order. Specifically, the author complains: Transposing the thought into the language of classic philosophy, one might say: The philia politike in the Aristotelian sense, deriv­ing from love of the divine Nous that is experienced as constituting the very self of man, has become impossible, because the divine presence has withdrawn from the self. In order to confirm the sameness of structure expressed in different symbolisms, I shall quote the essential passage from the Definition of Chalcedon (a.d. 451), concerning the union of the two natures in the one person of Christ: “Our Lord Jesus Christ. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization helping the academic community use digital technologies to preserve the scholarly record and to advance research and teaching in sustainable ways. I do not have to go into details–we are fa­miliar with the Hegelian aftermath of existentialist theology and the God-is-dead movement. Even the transformation into doctrine, however, is not the last loss that truth can suffer. Hence, the Soul now has to proceed to a radical attack on the core of Man’s misery: man is in deadly anguish, because he takes life seriously and can­not bear existence, without meaning. In the Gorgias 492-93, Socrates addresses Callicles: Well, but on your own view, life is strange. For the life struc­tured by death is neither the life of the mortals, nor the lasting of the gods, but the life experienced in the tension of existence. 4. This rather large com­plex of symbols must be considered a unit, because its various parts–of which “immortality” is one–are the expressive ramifi­cations of the one originating experience. Where in this madhouse is there room for a rational discussion of immortality which presupposes the very contact with reality that has been lost–if there is any room at all? The time had not yet come for the transfer of authority from the cosmological ruler to the prophet, sage, or philosopher as the nucleus of a new communal order. If we want to overcome the confusion caused by historicism, we had better remember the treat­ment accorded to the issue by Clement of Alexandria. Truth experienced can be excluded from the horizon of reality but not from reality itself. Since the deficient mode of existence belongs to the comprehensive field of history, the pathological deformations which characterize the subfield are historical forces. This excerpt is from Published Essays: 1966-1985 (Collected Works of Eric Voegelin 12) (Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 1999). Let me advert, in conclusion, briefly to this problem, as we are living in an age of major disturbances from this source. Recent years have seen new work by established authors E. L. Doctorow, Louise Erdrich, Seamus Heaney, and A.S. Byatt, as well as new voices-such as, Meghan O'Rourke, Roy Kesey, Kellie Wells, and Ron Rash-featured in KR. The confusion will dissolve if we acknowledge the historical stratification in man’s experience of reality. It is a clash between two theologies: the philosophers abolish the gods of the polytheistic tradition and identify their own God as the Nous who reveals him­self, through noetic search, as the Ground of existence.

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