The Resurrection of Flight 111
Casting the Net

Sometimes it takes a catastrophe to put us to sleep; speaking teleologically, that is.  Consider the “breakdown of the bicameral mind.”  It may be true that it was the explosion of Thera that triggered the lateralization and individuation of our thinking.  Looking at that prehistoric event from the perspective of final cause, it was a principal one of a myriad of public and private traumas in which there is a conversion between comprehension and potency depending on which way one runs the film of history.  This is the dynamic of the ‘AXO’ schematic.  This is similar to the mechanical cycle between potential energy and work energy, which is also reversible, but only when there are no discontinuities such as I am suggesting here.

The traumatic discontinuities seem to function as focusing devices.  A mechanical analogy would be the eyelet in a spinning machine.  If it were to be run backwards the eyelet would appear to be causing the material on the bobbin to be individuated into fibers.  That is what happens with historical trauma: what was collectively unconscious becomes individually conscious.  The traumatic events break open the smaller cycles to enable the cosmic cycle between the conscious and unconscious to be completed.  The christ-event, more than any other, broke open the tribal cults and confronted the individual with a cosmic choice.  This is the dynamic of the AXO schema that defines cosmic history.  Reality is necessarily teleological, and that entails or requires a reversible Cs <=> Ucs cycle.

I did not anticipate such a lengthy preamble to flight 111.  The vicarious trauma of that crash has triggered a greater specificity in my thinking on teleology and time reversal.  It has individuated my thoughts, enabling greater comprehension.

Such a cataclysm is a public interruption of the natural life cycle.  Its apparent irreversibility is a stark challenge to the ordinary meaning of our lives.  In order to comprehend its meaning or function we have to run the film backwards while observing from a cosmic perspective.  But can we?  Does that not violate logic?  It violates only the logic of materialism.

Instead of AXO the schema is now O111A, where we are temporarily substituting flight 111 for the x-event and reversing time.  In Omega there is comprehension.  In Alpha there is potency.  Comprehension evolves, but only after the self-containment of the latency in the system has been broken open.  That is the insult.  The necessary and sufficient insults are implemented teleologically.  There is not a Deus ex machina.  There is a Deus in machina.

I suggest a realism of the Present.  The ultimate Presence is the eschaton.  History evolves in our memories.  History becomes present as the present projects itself retrospectively.  This evolution of the ‘past’ transpires primarily in our collective unconsious, while the historical events become increasingly present to us.  At the Alpha there is a potent, unresolved, cyclical presence.  The Omega comprehends and resolves all of history and the Alpha.

We are seemingly left with a paradox.  The tape of history is being created retrospectively and experienced prospectively.  Some philosophers have speculated that our dreams are produced and experienced in this same fashion.  How else could the waking stimulus become meaningfully imbedded in a complex story line?  All I am suggesting is that the eschaton is our waking stimulus, and history is the retrospective story line.  The eschaton then has ‘already’ occurred and history is just our groggy attempt to rationalize it.  The telos very definitely wags the dog.  The dream and the memory of it are not two things.  There is only the artificial ‘memory,’ and ditto for history.  The apparent direction of time is purely contrived.  The world is indeed a construct.

The world is not created.  It is what is caught up in the net of the eschaton.  God is the fisher casting her net on the waters of forgetfulness.  She and we are lifting ourselves by our own seine net.  Each person constitutes one strand of history.  The consensual moving present arises through the synchrony of public events.  ‘Irreversible’ cataclysms are each a proxy for the eschaton.  Flight 111 was another necessary proxy.  Global communication of such events serves to produce the greatest response with the least stimulus.  Hiroshima, the Holocaust and the x-event served likewise, each in its own way.  The eschaton is the sum of its proxies.  Each pushes us to align our own strands with the pull of the cosmic net.  Without that pull we revert to the state of cyclical tribal unconsciousness which characterized the Alpha state.  With that pull we revert to the state of global consciousness that is Omega.

What happens to those of us who suffer a premature ‘awakening?’  This is a question that often concerns the faithful.  Each of us has cast his own line.  God casts her net.  Understanding is seen in the resulting tapestry.  Grasp understanding and you become the Omega.  Disseminate understanding and you become God.  Would you have or be more?

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rev. 9/18/98