Episode 16 - Christianity and Agape


Key Ideas

  • “All agapic love is fore-giving love, because it is giving before the person that is receiving it can in any way be said to have earned it”.
  • Jesus “experiences himself as a kairos and he’s giving to people through agape, the possibility of experiencing their own personal kairos.”
  • “The transition from an egoic worldview to an agapic one is what Jesus offered.” “Jesus is the way in which we can experience the kairos of metanoia (a radical turning), and become fore-giving individuals who are constantly forgiving agapically to others.”


Welcome back to awakening from the meaning crisis. So last time we had begun to take a look at the transformation that was occurring in the Eastern Mediterranean around the time of the. Advent of what was going to become Christianity. Of course, this, figures upon the person of Jesus, of Nazareth, a very controversial figure to say the least. And as I said, I’m not going to endeavor to, claim to give the absolute or exhausted account of this extraordinary individual. But instead I’m going to try and do what I’ve done before. Which is to show how, what he did contributed to our understanding of meaning and wisdom and how that eventually pushed the history that has led to, the meaning crisis for it. So we were talking about, one of the core messages of Jesus. Jesus seems to have understood himself, or at least those around him. I understood him as Kairos. If you remember, that’s a turning point in the course of history, because as we spoke before the Israelites, and by this time they were known as the Jews had developed the psycho technology of understanding history as a cosmic narrative and which there are crucial turning points and Jesus saw himself as such. whether or not he saw himself as the Kairos that was known as the Jewish Messiah is again controversial. I don’t need that for the purposes of my argument. It seems though that he had a sense of himself as deeply participating, in the way in which God was directing and involving himself in the course of history. If you remember. The model of God. We talked about when we talked about the ancient Israelites, the God of the Exodus is a God who is creating into an open future. And that human beings participate in that creation by identifying with a particular course, the auth loving it, being shaped by it, as well as shaping, participating in its flow. And Jesus of NAZA has taught himself as having an especially deep participation, such that he felt himself to be at one with this God who is capable of altering the course of history and redeeming human beings. He seems to have understood this Kairos as having something to do with a profound way of understanding. The participation in God, which we’ve talked about before. Makes sense. We’ve talked about how this participatory knowing is a process in which you’re coupled, right. You’re neither making it or being made by it, but it’s this reciprocal revelation in which you are. You are making it, and it is making you the way you participate in your culture, the way you participate in your language, the way you participate in history. And you know, this, not by gathering beliefs, but the way in which yourself is fundamentally transformed. And so Jesus understood this participation, this, his participation in God, as the disclosing of this profound kind of love. And we began talking about this, the kinds of love that human beings experience and how a lot of is something that deeply transforms who we are and our salients landscape, our character, we talked about the Greeks have three terms and it’s helpful because by this time the new Testament is being re written in Greek. it’s helpful to understand these big terms. So there’s Eros, which is the love. Of being one with something. Right. And it can be just, you know, drinking water. So I become one with it, but of course it could become what it’s become more commonly known as becoming one with someone through sexual union, erotic love. Then there’s, , that’s at the core of philosophy. This is the love that is born out of right cooperation. So Eros is consumptive. Making one with a fire. Leah is cooperation. We work together. We work together and a lot of, how we succeed as human beings is the way we work together. But Jesus starts to emphasize a new kind of love a GAAP. And this is not the love of consumption or cooperation. This is the love of creation. It’s the love that God is demonstrating towards humanity in the way God is an ongoing creation of the open future. So God is creating the future. He’s creating the historical process and course of that history that makes people possible. See a God is the kind of love that creates. Persons. So the main metaphor for a , if you remember is the way a parent loves a child, you don’t love a child because you want to consume it in some way. That’s hideous and vicious. You don’t love your child when you bring it home from the hospital, because it’s a great friend to you. It can cooperate. It. Can’t do that at all. In fact, it’s not even a, a person it’s not a morally rationally reflective agent. In fact, It’s exactly the opposite. You love it. Precisely because by loving that, non-person you turn it into a person. This is the powerful creative it’s. It’s a godlike ability that we have by participating through love in another being. We can transform that being from a person into a person. A person that could enter into a community of persons and find meaning fellowship, belonging, so that radical transformative power of, of a GAAP it’s ability to radically transform us and reorient us. It brings about a metanoia, a radical turning. This means above and beyond. And this means your salience, landscaping, how you are fundamentally prospectively knowing the world. So metanoia I’m fundamentally turning, altering my whole field of consciousness altering my whole orientation. And what’s fundamentally happening in the metanoia right. Of a GAAP is I’m having a personal Kairos. My personal course is being radically transformed. So Jesus is not only teaching this. He is exemplifying it. He, he, he, he experiences himself as a Kairos and he’s giving to people through a GAAP Bay, the possibility of experiencing their own personal Kairos. See what happens in the experience that Jesus is pointing to, I believe is we get a fundamental reorientation. At for a very long time, we are born out of we, we are the receivers of a God Peck. It is only because you as an animal, cause that’s what you are before you are a person of biological animals. It’s only because you as an animal received the, a Gothic love of others that you were actually transformed into a person and what you actually do, right. Is you internalize other people and how they are aware of you. And that is how you gain your reflective rationality. That is how you gain your own understanding. You find them into the elite, gain your self, understanding your sense of self and your ability to reflect on yourself by how you are reflected through like, through other people. It’s a fundamental thing to say. And, and because it is so fundamental and we can say it with few words, it can be trivialized, but we are in a very deep sense, born out of an, a Gothic love that proceeds us. It’s because of a because of the way other people have devoted themselves and participated in you, that you went from a non person into a person that you got the ability. It’s almost like other people are mirrors through which you come to see and realize yourself that you got a sense of self, that you’ve got the ability to reflect on yourself, that you became got a sense of your own ownership. There’s nothing that in fact is more transformative for an adult than having a child. So from the child’s perspective, what’s happening is right. They are in a sense consuming the love that the adult is giving them they’re taking in this love and they are. Becoming one with it. You understand yourself and can reflect on yourself because of the way you have internalized other people’s attention on you. But that’s the child’s perspective. So you can see for the child it’s, it’s, it’s very egocentric. And Freud picked up on this it, but I think he also twisted it in this sense. It’s very our relationship to our parents. And please listen to this very carefully is in that sense, erotic, right? In the sense that we are consuming them, we are internalizing them. We are becoming one with them. Now I don’t mean erotic in the sense that flood ultimately meant because Freud thought that all of that was always a sexual experience. I think that’s too simplistic, but I think there is insight here, but take a look at this from the parent’s perspective, from the parent’s perspective, the person giving a God pay. It is not egocentric at all. In fact, there is nothing that will more challenge your egocentric orientation, that everything is moving this way. Then having a child, if you’re a good parent. And of course we all vary in how good we are as parents, I have been privileged to be a parent, myself. But what happens is you are no longer the center of your salient landscape. The child is because the child is absolutely dependent upon you. Do you see, this is the metanoia of a . I mean, the metaphor is turning, but the problem with that metaphor is alternating is still egocentric. You have to think of the turning this way. The turning is I go from being egocentric to being centered on someone else. And what I’m actually centered on is I’m very, I’m centered on the process, right. Of creating a person like God, but not egocentrically. Like, Oh my God. It’s like I am participating in that a Gothic process that made me the, the adoptee that proceeds me flows through me and transforms me as I’m oriented. And what Jesus was offering, I believe was he was offering a teaching so that all people could experience this, not just individually, personally, with their own parents, but in terms of our relationship to God. We could all experience this fundamental turning such that we become vessels through which a GAAP creates other human beings. So what’s going to happen. Of course. And you see this in, the, the epistles of John is the Christian, the Christian community starts to understand. This capacity for radically transforming people so that they become conduits of this, this God-like creative process whereby non persons are turned into persons. They’re coming to understand a God pay itself is God. That’s what God is. This is the, that, so the Israel like notion of God creating open history becomes right. It becomes specified in the teachings of Jesus to the idea that no, God is a God pay. God is this process that we participated and we put, look, it made you. You didn’t make it, you participate in a God, pay it proceeds you, it flows through you and you participate in it insofar as you help other people to come to personhood through you. No, this is a radical idea. As I mentioned last time, this is going to give the Christians a psycho technology, a a grammar. For how to transform perspectival and participatory, knowing that is going to allow them to conquer the Roman empire. I don’t mean militarily. Of course. What I mean is what Christians can do is they can offer all the non-person of the empire, a process by which they become persons within a community of persons in meshed together. And it got back love. So all the women, all the widows, all the sick, all the poor. Right. All the non male Roman citizens all the week can come to Christianity and receive the opportunity and the community that supports this opportunity of a radical transformation. Nope. We know that the community around there’s many different communities around Jesus. I should say there’s just like around Socrates. There’s many different Jesus movements, but this seems to be the, the, the key idea. And it seems that it carries with it. Some kind of notion of. A sacrificial element to it. And again, there’s a lot of controversy around this and we have to be careful not to read too much of Paul into this. but we’ll talk about Paul in a few minutes, but, God has a sacrificial element to it. In, in that you give yourself, you forgive, you give before the person earns. It’s not fine, Leah. It is not reciprocity. It is not you and I are working together. You have earned my trust and love for Leah. It’s great. And it’s important, right? And it’s not air OSS. I love you because of how you can cook. I can consume you and right. Make you one with me now, a God, they has a sacrificial component to it because what I’m actually doing right is I’m giving up. Hi, making myself an affordance for your transformation from non-person into person. So this is why Jesus emphasizes forgiveness as central to his message. And one of the things we should remember, and this is controversial to say is Jesus does not anywhere in the gospels present himself. Right. As the means by which, right. We obtained forgiveness from God, he often presents himself as a way and things like that. And we’ll talk about that, but when asked how to obtain forgiveness from God, this opportunity of radically transforming ourselves, Jesus, consistent messages by forgiving other people, we experienced a God pay. From God, the degree to which we give it to others. And this has been of course, radically trivialized in our culture. Right. We think about, we think of forgiveness largely as a matter of, you know, somebody feels sorry and we tell them it’s okay. that’s not the core idea of forgiveness. the, the idea of forgiveness doesn’t depend on your contrition. the degree to which you are trying to afford someone else rowing into their personhood and the degree to which you are making a sacrifice towards that. It’s already forgiveness. Some forgiveness is when somebody has slighted us and the relationship it is been damaged. And we have to act a Gothic lie in order to reestablish the relationship, but in a very. Real sense. All a Gothic love is for giving love because it is giving before, right? The person that is receiving the love can in any way be said to have earned it. So this idea that are we, we are sacrificially extending the capacity for individuals to redirect their own history. Experience their own Kairos was often captured by Jesus and famous language of being born. Again, you’re dying and you’re being born again, this radical transformation of your entire orientation, your entire way of being. Now the tragedy that befalls, the Jesus movements, at least some of them, because not all the movements care about this. This is again, something too many people don’t realize. There are many elements of the, of the early followers of Jesus communities that don’t care about his death. They only care about his teaching, but of course, Jesus does die. And that has a profound effect on some of these movements. And again, this is hard to state anything clearly or anything that we could have any great confidence in, but somehow his death exemplifies the sacrificial forgiveness. That right. That is at the core of God as a golfer somehow. Jesus deck and enables people to internalize that sacrificial love and empowers them two transform other human beings. Now there, of course his resistance to the Jesus movement and to Jesus. It’s plausible that his death was due to the fact that he was angering and upsetting. A lot of people, we see this as a right, as something similar to what confronted Socrates. One of the people that seems to have been an early persecutor is a guy by the name of Saul and his songs are very interesting person. He’s both a Jew. And a Roman citizen at a time when these two groups of people are quite antagonistic towards each other. there had been already Wars between the Romans and the Jews. A new one was about to come to major Jewish revolts. so the relationship is a very tense, one filled with a lot of tension and, This is reflected within this person himself. He seems to have, he seems to have integrated these two disparate and warring aspects of his personality and his identity together, around a commitment to law, organized rules of behavior and conduct. And he sees the Jesus movements, the followers of Jesus. They’re not in fact, in fact, just to point out something, they are not initially called the followers of Jesus. They were initially called the followers of the way because Jesus had presented a way. Ay. Ay, ay, ay, ay, it’s see. The word way is so wonderful because it doesn’t just mean method. It, it’s not just some procedures. It’s also an affordance of how you’re going to move into the future. It is a new orientation. So Jesus is the way in which we can experience the Kairos of metanoia. And become forgiving individuals who are constantly forgiving, to others, Paul, sorry. It’s all seems to see these people right. And their, their language of a God pay and their adoration of Jesus as deeply threatening to his Jewish heritage. And also to Roman order. And so he becomes involved in the persecution of the followers of the way. And it’s about at the time that he’s involved in the persecution that they start being called actually as an insult, initially Christians, the followers of Christ, what means the anointed one? And so he’s involved in persecuting them. He’s there the first time he has mentioned in the Bible, he is there when the first Christian is martyred Stephen. yeah, Steven is talking about this message and the crowd gets angered and they stone him and saw gathers. Every Saul basically holds everybody’s coats so that they can more effectively stone Stephen to death. So, so it becomes deeply involved in this and he, he gets basically a writ, a letter, an official letter, to travel, to Damascus and round up. okay. The so called Christians and bring them in for prosecution and on the road he has. Well, what I think we could call a transformative experience. He, he relates it himself and a couple places. It’s also represented third person and the book of acts and there’s differences in it as there always is in something that has a mythological element to it again, where myth doesn’t mean fable where a myth means trying to present a profound pattern, but he’s struck by a bright light. And of course, this is the metaphor of enlightenment. And we know that transformative experiences often involve this experience of radical, super salients, often tremendous light. And he is struck to the ground by it, overwhelming experience. And then a voice speaks to him and says, why, why Saul, Saul? Why do you persecute me? And Saul says, who are you? Lord? Lord, isn’t a title for God. Lord is any one who has some important, higher status than you. And the experience carries with it that onto a normativity that we talked about this, he saw has the sense that he’s confronting something more real, that himself who are you. And the voice says, I am Jesus who you persecute and. That’s all we need to talk about. I mean, Saul is blinded by this light and encountering this voice, right. And we can think about Plato’s metaphor here of, as we encounter these things, we’re often blinded by the light, but what we need to understand is this in, in genders, in Saul, a deep, deep, inner conflict. And in fact, When you read his biography, as I’ve already painted here, you can see that his experience of inner conflict is really profound. And this reminds us again, it’s, it’s analogous, but different of Plato’s concern with inner conflict, the way inner conflict reveals the psyche. But as whereas Plato is going to develop a scientific theory of inner conflict. Saul is going to undergo a transformative experience because of this inner conflict. It is going to ribbon him to his core because how can it be that he has had this transformative experience, this awakening experiences more real from the very being that he was persecuting. How can he reconcile these together? He’s actually, he travels to Antioch and he actually gets taken in by the very people he was going to persecute. Do you see this? This is this forgiveness, the very people he re he was going to persecute take him in. So the people that he was going to destroy are actually responsible for his care. And under their care, his sight is restored. What’s all this pointing to, again, it’s a pointing to right. He’s at war with God pay itself. And we all are like, we all are. We have a very tough time and this is part of the message. Well, Jesus and John and Paul, at least to my mind, we have a tough time acknowledging the reality of a God bag. We like to create personal fables of how we are self-made and self-directed and self secure. And self-sustaining when it got paid challenges that in a profound way, So Saul goes into the desert to reflect, and this is always a biblical mythological paradigm for a process of undergoing radical reflection. And when he comes out, He is gone through a radical transformed, formative experience. So he’s had this higher state of consciousness, this visionary experience. He then experiences a gap from the very people. He was persecuting. He goes into the desert and when he comes back, he’s a new person. He’s gone through a radical transformative experience that we know that because he’s changed his name and changed his name from Saul to Paul. And he has a radical message. It’s a powerful message. He comes to present a GAAP eight and yeah, one of the most beautiful passages of famous passages in the Bible. You’ve probably heard it at some point. It’s often misread at weddings. People read this passage often at weddings and, they, I think are misinterpreting it because, what Paul’s talking about is. And a Gothic spiritual kind of love. Now, there should definitely be that aspect in a romantic relationship, but I don’t think romantic relationships typically are understood by most people as venues in which a Gothic love is the primary focus. Let me read the passage to you. So. Paul begins by saying, and now I will show you the most excellent way. So he’s showing you the most excellent way. This is no, what’s the word. Excellent. The way in which we can most radically go through transformation and grow. I’ll show you the most excellent way. Now. He’s not going to make an argument like Plato. Instead, what he’s going to do is he’s going to, he’s going to present everything from the framework of a participatory kind of knowing that’s how he begins. If I, so he’s not making an argument, he’s talking about what his very identity, how his identity is being informed and transformed by it’s conformity to a Gothic love. If I speak in the tongues of men and angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging symbol. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge. And if I have faith that can move mountains, but have not love. I am nothing. Notice all the language here. This is participatory language. This is the language of knowing by identifying. If I give all, I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames as Christians are starting to be burnt. Right. But I have not love. I gain nothing. What is this language here? It’s very radical. Love is patient love is kind. It does not envy. It does not boast. This of course is not romantic love because romantic love does experience envy and jealousy. It is not proud. It is not rude. It is not self seeking. It is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Those are the, those are the features you need in order to help and afford someone coming into personhood. Love never fails. Now we think, what are you talking about? I’ve been in so many relationships and they fail that’s because you’re thinking of this as romantic love that love does fail. What he means is a GAAP Bay. Can’t fail. We. Are always born from and always have to give birth to a GAAP or personhood itself will disappear. But where there are prophecies, they will cease where there are tongues. They will be stilled where there is knowledge. It will pass away. No. Okay. He’s trying to get them to understand, like what, what, what are we talking about here? Okay. Before we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when perfection comes perfection here, meaning completion, the imperfect disappears and people are like, what? And so he gives a metaphor when we’ve seen elsewhere. When I was a child, I talked like a child. I thought like a child. I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put child tiled his ways behind me. Okay. So when you’re a kid, you have a particular identity, you have a particular salience landscape, right. And things really, really matter to you in a certain way. We talked about this when we talked about software soon, when you become an adult, right? Your world becomes radically reoriented. What is salient and what is central to you is radically changed. So I hope for many of you as adults, your life is not primarily centered upon and oriented towards the super saliency of candy and toys. If you’re right, really, really oriented towards candies and toys and playing, then of course your not growing up as an adult. When we go through a GAAP, it is like the change in our salient landscape and our fundamental identity. How we participate in ourselves in the world is fundamentally transformed. And that’s what Paul is offering here. Then he says, look, you got to know what this means. Now we see, but a poor reflection as in a mirror, then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part, then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known and now these three remain faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love. Okay. So now it’s like, we’re seeing an, a reflection we’re not in touch with reality where like the people in Plato’s cave, we’re looking at the right, the shadows and the echo. We don’t see things as they are. We’re not in touch with reality, but with a God pay the most excellent way we will come to know as we are knowing. All right, he’s talking about this participatory love. think about how, when you are DNL, you even use a romantic relationship, one with some significant depth. When you’re, when you really love someone, how you know them to the degree, to which they know you. Right? It is, it is such a participatory way of knowing. You, you, you get to be in touch with their reality in a way that somebody else doesn’t that’s. I mean, that’s part of the bargain of, of a mature understanding of romantic relationship, right? You give up the extensive erotic pursuit of many different partners in order that you can deeply know and be known by someone else. Yeah. And, and that’s, that’s like growing up. That’s like going from being a child to a man. So Paul is actually talking about, there’s a way of knowing we’re going to come back to this. The term that’s being used there is Narcis that is bound up with a God pay this way of loving. See, so all these things, God is a God pay. We forgive a God pay. We are forgiven by a GAAP. We know as we are knowing we are participating in the, the, the, the becoming a person of others, and then they are participating in ours. It’s this powerful, new, whole new way of being, and it has become so sedimenting in our culture and so ossified. And so below how we live, it’s like the ground we’re walking on and like the ground we walk on, we have contempt for it without realizing how much it holds everything up. I’m not a Christian, I’m not advocating for Christianity. I’m trying to get you to understand how profound an expression of meaning transcendence and way to wisdom is being on offer here. Now, there is a dark side. To this, I think, and here’s where I will probably part company with people who identify as Christians, see the difficulty with participatory knowing, and this narcissist, this is, we’ll talk more about this, right? This knowing by participation and going through radical metanoia transformation, right? This Narcissa GAAP that Paul talks so much about. There is a danger with it, right? There’s a danger of misunderstanding, but we have to go carefully here. Look, when I am knowing someone it’s a participatory, a Gothic relationship, right. My knowing of them. And my knowing of myself are deeply they’re inseparably bound together. That’s why Jesus will say his word. This relationship he has to God is I and the father are one and Paul will say, it’s not I who live, but Christ who lives in me, right? This is knowing by this deep bonding of identity, you know, not by transforming your thoughts or even right. Your mind, you know, by transforming yourself, but there’s a danger to this. The danger. Is that any aspect of yourself that you do not properly understand has not come into knowledge, can get projected onto what you love. This is the great danger also in the romantic relationship, precisely because. You are so bound to this person in your identity, a lot of what is unconscious in your identity. Get again, get projected onto that person. So see, this is why there’s such. A moral obligation on you. When you enter into a romantic relationship to commit yourself to a process of self knowledge in the Socratic sense, self discovery, because of the read to which you are self ignorant is agreed to which that participatory no one will be darkened and twisted into a projection of aspects of yourself. And I think. Okay. To my mind for all of his astonishing spiritual brilliance, that’s also happening in Paul. See the inner conflict in Paul was very profound. He, he, he comes up against the problem that many of us encounter. Aristotle talked about this with a crazy and weakness of the, well, we know what we should do, and we do the opposite of what we know is the right thing to do. I know what I should do. It’s clear in my mind that this is what I should do and yet I do. Yes, somehow. Yes. Even though knowing what I should do, I find myself almost if, if I’m being pulled to do something else. And he describes a Paul Paul uses the language of like somebody in the midst of a civil war who’s standing sort of at the center of their civil tool and the outlying provinces are in revolt. Any experiences, this radical inner conflict. There’s lots of different theories about what this is. What’s he what’s he so conflicted about but Paul comes up with a narrative. Of course, it’s going to be a narrative, right? He’s he he’s in Israel like Jewish tradition. He comes up with a narrative for understanding this conflict. And it is the narrative that comes from a personalization of the notion of the movement from the two worlds as being right, the liberation from an old place and a movement to a new place. The accident. Because Christianity is personalizing this, the X Paul experiences, the Exodus personally, he experiences. There’s two of him. There’s the old saw, right. Who wants to right follow the way of the law, but it’s actually right. It’s feels guilty and angry and feels. Feels disconnected from God and rejected by God. And then there’s the new Paul, the Paul of love who feels connected. And he sees, he sees the old man and the new man and what’s happening is the new man is trying to be born from the old man. And so we, we have picked, this has become endemic to our culture, this idea of the old me and the new me. We, we, we think, Oh, this is just natural. I came up with this. Such bullshit. We tell ourselves at times the old man and the new me, Paul understands this and he understands this tension between the old saw that was committed to law and order and justice and punishment, and the new Paul who is participating in the liberation of love. And he’s trying to understand why do I have this inner conflict? Because he is personalized the God of history. He understands his inner conflict. And here’s where I think the danger of projection is clear. He understands his earner conflict as reflecting an inner conflict in God. God was actually conflicted within himself. It’s it’s, it’s a radical idea. We need to know this. Not because again, I’m trying to advocate for Christianity because we have to understand Paul in order to understand Augustine and in order to understand Luther and we have to understand Augustine and Luther, if we’re going to understand the meaning crisis. So you’ve got this idea that God has two aspects to him or herself. One part is God represents law and justice and order. And insofar as God represents that we are, we stand in judgment. We have somehow failed. We have not lived up to the moral perfection that morality demands for us. Look caught, made the point about this morality demands nothing less than perfection from you. You have to be completely honest. You have to be completely brave courageous, and none of us can ever meet that standard. Now. I mean, we, we need to, we need to balance that with compassionate and love, but what Paul is seeing is he saying, well, God is perfectly just. And therefore we fail to meet that standard. And therefore, legally we are condemned to death, but yet God, isn’t just a judge. God is also the atopic parent that loves us. And so what he does is he takes the notion that Jesus, his death was somehow. Sacrificial, because we’ve talked about sacrifices, born up within a golf club and he gives it to this idea that Jesus sacrificed himself in order to satisfy God’s demand for justice so that God was capable of really loving us. There and, and, you know, and how that redemption model works out. There’s all kinds of theological battles about it. And, and whether or not we should understand it this way, or that way is not relevant to our purposes. What’s relevant, right? Is that within this astonishing foundational message of Narcisse and a God pay, there’s also. And attempt to project on like, sorry, this, this, this, this sounds so radical. And I don’t mean to make it sound ridiculous. I’m not, I’m trying to be respectful, but the, the idea that somehow the course of reality itself is a mashed in a conflict between justice and the GABA. what that’s going to mean is that people that experience deep, inner conflict are going to find a welcoming home within the auspices of Christianity. Individuals who are riven by a sense, right? Personal failure of not living up to what they can and should be that their personhood has been forted. They have not come into a fullness of perfection. As Paul says, a completeness of their personhood are going to be deeply attracted. To the Christian message. You’re probably now seeing how this might be relevant to the meaning crisis, because what happens if we still, because we are still participating in the waters of Christianity within our culture, even if we’re not Christians and most of us aren’t anymore. How do we tap into all of them? Is this okay? The power of a GAAP, acknowledging its reality, the participatory Narcis the radical transformation, our own sense of not living up to the fullness of our personhood. What have we still experienced all of that, but we do not have the machinery of Christianity with its metaphysics of cosmic redemption available to us. That could be a powerful experience of despair. I mean, Camou famously said my whole of my life. I’ve tried to figure out how could I be a Saint without there being a God. And he, of course, famously came to the conclusion that reality was radically absurd. We’ll come back to that. So. There is a price we pay, and this is not a statement of resentment, but there’s a price we pay for the gifts to use a Christian word. The grace. That’s what grace originally means. The gifts that Christianity has given us, it has given us the expectations of love and transformation and growth into personhood and relief from inner conflict. Expectations that I would say are not well met in our post Christian world view. So we carry the grammar of God, but we no longer believe any of the things we say with it. For many of us. So, what I’d like to do is try and now trace how Christianity coming out of the Israelite Jewish heritage. And I’ve already sort of been giving, making illusions of this starts to intersect with the axial revolution that was coming out of Greece. Because Christianity is going to take up into itself. It’s going to take up into itself. The stoicism we’ve already talked about it. Paul quotes, stoicism in the Bible. And as it does that, it’s also going to come into conflict, not conflict. Well, some conflict actually, to be honest, it’s what it’s going to come into confluence with that strain. the actual revolution spirituality that came out of Greece, it’s going to come into connection with Neoplatonism. It’s going to come into connection with Gnosticism. So next time, what I want to look at is I want to look at the Gnostics, these followers of Jesus. Cause of course it’s controversial to call them Christians who really centered in on this a guard Bay. What they were talking about and the Neoplatonism because all of that is going to have an impact on the generation of more orders of meaning. We’ll review that again. But if you remember, we talked about how with Aristotle, we had developed right in the West, a normal logical order to meeting a way in which we could pursue worldview attunement. We’re going to see that as. Neoplatonism and Christianity come together. We’re going to get two more orders of meaning emerging an order by which we pursue the most excellent way and an order by which this cosmic narrative history is. Immeshed into the Western world view. Thank you very much for your time and attention.