December 18th, 2022
It has become way too easy for us to ignore the reality of the infinite cosmos in favor of the near and the finite. I taught thirty-one years in a public school, and the subject of how to live in an infinite universe almost never came up. The fact that I taught 7th grade Language Arts only serves to underscore the fact that our young are not being taught to basically ignore the most fundamental question of the human condition - how are we supposed to relate to the oft neglected the truth of infinity
I learned about concept of Metaxy after reading a thesis by a guy named Glenn Hughes on the philosophy of German political philosopher Eric Voegelin who believed that the principal duty of our thinking is to, "Keep in mind the encompassing context of the Whole of reality within which thinking and living incur," with Metaxy referring to the idea that human beings dwell in a space in-between the infinite and the finite that gives rise to the human race inhabiting a perpetual state of tension because of the polarizing thinking involved. How are we supposed to think and act when we are living in an infinite universe, yet must constantly deal with finite material concerns.
Voegelin believed that for any artistic creation to stand the test of time, it had to reference both the existence of the cosmos and mankind's relation to it. In his view, all of the garbage we currently have on our TV sets, movie screens, bookstore shelves, and radio airwaves is just so much distraction from the real thinking that we need to do in order to align ourselves to some kind of a transcendent reality. For a while, I believed it was all just about culture and the creation of art but finally wised up to the fact that this thinking would apply to every human endeavor, even something as seemingly mundane as playing basketball.
We used to understand that playing sports were all about achieving some form of transcendence, that is, before it all got corrupted by the influx of money and politics. On every basketball court there are ten individuals each with their own history, motives, skills, egos, and self-doubt running around in a state of flux. They do their best to score points for their own team and deny the other team members a chance to score. Whether they know it or not, the players are out trying to prove something, to others like their coaches, friends, or family members, but mainly to themselves.