It’s Logoi All the Way Up

Worlds are implementations of logical calculi; or, equivocally, every world is an implementation of some logos. But no particular logical calculus is both consistent and complete. Inconsistent logical calculi cannot be implemented concretely, for it is impossible to enact contradictions. At best, we can wave our hands at the notion of an inconsistent calculus; we can’t actually *operate* with it, can’t *do* anything with it. So inconsistent calculi – i.e., falsehoods – can play no constructive role in worlds. They can play only destructive roles, as defections of consistent calculi.

Whatever is, is then necessarily an implementation of some consistent logical calculus. So, the logos of this world is consistent. But it is incomplete. It can be completed only by some more spacious calculus, that includes the logos of this world as a subdomain.

It must have been thus completed, for in no other way could we ascertain the truths that it can express but cannot itself demonstrate.

So the logos of this world is both consistent and completed by a superordinate logos. And this is so also for that superordinate logos. There is an infinitely deep stack of such logoi. That whole stack must have been completed, in order for any member thereof to be completed. Some of those members being complete, so then is the stack. But only infinite mind is capable of completing an infinite stack of logoi. Ergo, God: the Logos.

The logos of every world then is a subdomain of some more expansive superordinate logos that completes it. But logismoi – ideas – cannot themselves alone act to implement a world. Mere principles are inert, in the absence of some active principal. Implementation of logismoi then is a function of some concrete projector, that abstracts forms implicit in some logical calculus and adstracts them concretely. Logoi are not concrete things in and of themselves except insofar as they are properties of some concrete thing. Ideas don’t have themselves, but are always ideas of some concrete mind.

As the logos of our world is a subdomain of some more spacious logos, so likewise then is our world a subdomain of the world that implements that more spacious supersidiary logos. Every world then is a subdomain of some more spacious world.

What operates in a world can operate in and upon all its subsidiary worlds. This is how the angels operate upon us.

31 thoughts on “It’s Logoi All the Way Up

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  3. This is why Plotinus wrote of the material world as an hypostasis or subordinate manifestation of The One, his name for the Logos.

    Speaking of epistemological limitations, it is worth considering what Heraclitus, writing seven hundred years before Plotinus, asserted about his Logos:

    “Though this Word is true evermore, yet men are as unable to understand it when they hear it for the first time as before they have heard it at all. For, though all things come to pass in accordance with this Word, men seem as if they had no experience of them, when they make trial of words and deeds such as I set forth, dividing each thing according to its kind and showing how it is what it is. But other men know not what they are doing when awake, even as they forget what they do in sleep.”

    • Beautiful passage from Herakleitos. Cf. John 1:1-5 & Romans 1:20-25. It is easy to see why Lewis would suggest that Natural Theology is the deliverance of high paganism.

  4. Would Aquinas’ theory that each angel is a different species be equivalent to saying that each superdomain is the realm of a single angel?

    • I don’t think so. There seems to be no logical difficulty with the notion that a logical calculus could specify more than one species. After all, the logical calculus of this world accommodates billions of species.

      • But the lowest level only has one species of rational creatures. Could it be that each level only has one species of rational creature?

      • It would be awfully hard for us to determine that the logos of this cosmos can accommodate only one sort of rational animal. There seems, e.g., to be no logical requirement that rational animals be bipedal mammals.

  5. [Thordaddy: the last five comments you have submitted were not intelligible. I could take a stab in the dark at your gist, but no more. Yet I could tell that you were reaching for some important commentary. Please rewrite, as clearly as you can, spelling everything out. Thanks. – Ed.]

    • Kristor…

      You worship Christ because said worship just is a desire to wholly implicate one’s self in all of reality. Your desire to perfectly articulate reality is a testament to your absolute faith in The Perfect Man. The totality of these phenomena is, from an outside perspective, Logic proper.

      Then again, I suspect you love your father and do not consider yourself an egalitarian anti-racist?

      Yet, this is wholly separate from the fate of Lucifer who devolves under the forever-lasting impression that he was so created to be forgiven for even having existed in the first instant. So he rebels against saying “sorry” to a betrayed Father, self-annihilating under the misconception that His Father desires to hear “sorry” from his son for having merely existed. Lucifer’s self-abnegation is the unintelligible Evil which amounts to “nothing.” The first time Lucifer felt the urge to say “sorry” for existing in the face of Perfection where Perfection never gainsay the necessity of forgiving His very creation, perpetual self-annihilation just is Satan and all Hell unleashed..

      • Thordaddy, the first two paragraphs of your comment make sense to me. They seem correct.

        You lose me on your third paragraph. Not at all sure what you are trying to say there.

      • Christian man understands hatred for Perfection in recognizing Lucifer. But explaining Lucifer’s hatred for The Perfect Father leaves us at “nothing.” Ergo, Christian man cannot make sense of Lucifer’s hatred for The Father as desire for annihilation. He settles at “ignorance” to the subconscious dismissal of desire. The aim of the Zeitgeist has been to TRANS-form The Father into thr one demanding an apology for our very existence. So whereas a Dr, Charlton puts repentance near the center of Christianity as a sorrow for our imperfect errors, the Luciferian mindset perverts this idea of repentance into a rebellious son wanting a father to admit his error of creating a free willed Lucifer. No such admission can possibly manifest unless the whole created order is annihilated. Hell IS perpetuating self-annihilation. Lucifer is the perpetuating self-annihilator BY CHOICE contra ignorance.

      • Kristor…

        If you would attest to the attempt at articulating reality absolutely and in doing so admit to personal acts of self-annihilation, such actuality neither indicates ignorance nor asserts contradiction, but rather, initimately expresses the gift of God-ordained free will within your possession. The explanation for Lucifer’s rebellion must be explained in terms of coherent desire for free will and not an inexplicable “ignorance” of its perversion.

      • I think I see what you are getting at here, Thordaddy. I’ll take a shot at responding. Your point seems to be that when I sin, it isn’t because I’m ignorant of the meaning of evil, but because I’m just exercising my free will; and that we must stipulate the same of Lucifer when in his prelapsarian innocence he decided to rebel; so that it won’t do to ascribe his Fall to his innocent ignorance.

        The problem with your objection is that the reason I am aware of the meaning of evil before I commit my next sin is that I have from conception been subject to the pain of a Fallen world. There has never been a moment since my birth when I have not been aware of the meaning of pain. The Fall has furthermore worked itself into me, too, so that my decisions are all more or less Fallen – this being why, despite my knowledge of evil, I go ahead and sin anyway.

        In his prelapsarian innocence, Lucifer had no experience of evil whatever. It could not therefore appear bad to him, as pain does now to us.

        Recall what happened to Adam: he ate of the apple of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and then *for the very first time* he knew what evil was. But by then it was already too late, and he and all his heirs were infected with the evil consequences of his choice.

        The problem with your explanation of sin – that free creatures are just exercising their freedom – is that it doesn’t explain why, being free, they would ever be such idiots as to choose to sin. If Lucifer knew full well the meaning of his rebellion before he determined upon it, why in Heaven’s name would he go through with it?

      • If Lucifer knew full well the meaning of his rebellion before he determined upon it, why in Heaven’s name would he go through with it? — Kristor

        He hates Perfection and desires total annihilation. He believes he was created to apologize for his very existence. He pains for The Perfect Father to admit the unforgivable “mistake” of granting His son absolute free will. So IMHO, Lucifer does not desire total annihilation due a prelapsarian innocence, but to SPITE it.

      • He hates Perfection and desires total annihilation. He believes he was created to apologize for his very existence.

        Why? What would be his reason for that hatred? What is it about nothingness that would appeal to him? How does he come to believe a falsehood about the reason for his existence? What is it in his mere existence that would call for an apology?

        You’ve got assertions here, but no grounding for them yet; no arguments to support them or explanations of them.

        Further: the thing we are struggling to understand here is why Satan hates Perfection; why he rebels. That hatred is not an explanation, but is rather the thing that calls out for an explanation.

      • Why?

        Because the gift of God-ordained free will is taken to mean “radical autonomy.” And for all intents and purposes, The Father has granted Lucifer’s desire within the proper order of things absolutely congruent to his son’s prelapsarsian innocence. That Lucifer instantly turned away to suffer the inconceivable pain of rebellion AND CONTINUES to suffer the conceivable pain of rebellion only makes the case for an originating desire for rebellion to be found within that box gifting a son his God-ordained free will versus merelyhis ignorance of sin AND the “limitation” of ONLY knowing Perfection.

      • To ask why Satan hates Perfection, I ask why high IQ “white” male hates objective Supremacy?

        The simplest answer is that this hatred of Perfection is a consequence of DESIRE for radical autonomy.

        If Satan was truly ignorant it is in his painfully held idea that his God-ordained free will equals radical autonomy.

      • OK: Lucifer took his free will to mean radical autonomy. But this was a mistake; an error of understanding on his part. He didn’t intend to make a mistake, but he did in fact make one. Had he known better, then – being still innocent and perfectly good, before his Fall – he wouldn’t have made that mistake. But he didn’t know better. He was ignorant.

        But then, you’ve also just said that Lucifer’s desire for rebellion was “within the box [of free will] ordained by God.” That reads to me as though you mean to suggest that God planted the desire for rebellion in Lucifer ab initio, and before Lucifer had anything to say in the matter. But that would mean that God intended Lucifer’s rebellion; i.e., that God intended evil. And that would mean that God is not perfectly good; which in turn would mean that God is not God. It would mean that the Problem of Evil had defeated theism.

        Either God intended Lucifer’s rebellion, and is not therefore God, but rather himself something like Lucifer; or else, he did not intend Lucifer’s rebellion, but that, rebellion being capable to Lucifer, he did it on his own. Only the latter alternative can work. The problem then is explaining why Lucifer would have done such a stupid thing. Ignorance is the only thing I can think of.

        If Satan was truly ignorant it is in his painfully held idea that his God-ordained free will equals radical autonomy.

        Sounds like we may be fundamentally in agreement.

      • Kristor…

        It seems our disagreement revolves around an “ignorance of sin.” The ultimate sin being a Self-Ish Negation, ie., desire for total annihilation. Lucifer’s absolute lack of knowledge for a freely willed self-ish negation WAS NOT an actual deficit sufficient to provoke defection FOR such prelapsarian innocence can in no way be construed as a real deficiency. So it is in the phraseology which gives legitimacy to the idea of a defectiveness as mechanism of defection. But the “ignorance of sin” is not a defectiveness. It is, in fact, an absolute effectiveness. So this must include at least one defection. This is Lucifer.

      • I think I get your drift, although that comment was more opaque than your last. What you seem to be saying is that Lucifer’s prelapsarian innocence was not a defect of knowledge – after all, he was then a perfect seraph, and the most glorious of all God’s creatures – and cannot therefore explain his subsequent rebellion. Implicit in this critique – if I understand it correctly – is the notion that one can’t generate a defect except from a prior defect. Lucifer’s defection, then, must have been somehow implicit in his nature; his freedom must somehow in and of itself inclined him to rebellion.

        Decline is indeed possible to perfect freedom, but it is not foredoomed. If it were, the freedom would not be perfect.

        So, the Fall was not necessary.

        While it is in the nature of finite perfection to admit of some decline, it is not quite true that defection depends upon some prior defect implicit in creaturely freedom per se. That notion echoes the classical precept that you can’t give to another what you don’t already have. But that precept applies, not to defects, but to virtues, to positive qualities. A defect is a lack of possession; a lack of quality. A vacuum of quality cannot give rise to anything; so it cannot give rise even to a vacuum of quality.

        The simplest way to see this is to consider the transmission of momentum from one billiard ball A to another B. A cannot transmit more momentum to B than A possesses, obviously. This is the sense of the maxim that no A can give to any B what it does not already possess. But it turns out that A cannot transmit to B even the momentum that it does already possess, due to the fact that some of that momentum is lost to heat. We see then that for a closed causal system it is possible for a state of greater virtue to pass into a state of lesser virtue, via even the simplest and most innocent of transactions; but not vice versa.

        So may the perfection of such an one as Lucifer, the most beautiful of all God’s creatures, pass into utter corruption, not by infection from some prior corruption, or due to an inherent logical defect in his original perfection, but simply as a matter of tragic happenstance.

        As with entropy of merely corporeal systems in our own cosmos, such corruption is a hole that cannot be escaped by any creaturely power. It can only be deepened by our thrashings. Such a pity, and a sorrow.

        Some might reasonably object that the Atonement enabled the cosmos to pass from a state of dire wickedness and disorder into a state of perfect virtue. True; but this tells us only that *the cosmos is not a closed causal system.* Utterly new things can enter it; new things can happen. It is of all notions at once the most commonplace, and the most radical, the most astonishing – and, for us, the most hopeful.

        What I have suggested about Lucifer’s Fall is that it was really more like an inadvertent stumble than an intentional dive. He rebelled, but only because he didn’t know what rebellion meant. It didn’t seem bad to him to disobey his Father and Captain, because ab initio he had no idea what badness was. And this ignorance was not a defect in him, but rather an aspect of his perfect innocence and beauty.

        It’s a tragedy. Tragedy is always a story of relentless karma restoring the good order of things after a transgression thereof *that was generally inadvertent.* There is always a price to pay for such a restoration, and often it is paid by a hero for whom the audience feels great pity, such as Oedipus, blinded and banished for a sin that was not his fault, but for which someone must pay. Blameless Priam and Hector, too, paid for sins not their own, trapped by their own filial and national piety.

        In the case of the Atonement, a price was indeed paid to redeem and repair the Fallen world to its proper good order, by God himself. But it was not sufficient to redeem poor Lucifer, for his doom was sealed forever by his first and irrevocable and permanent Fall. God could no more have rescued his beloved Lucifer than he could have made 2 + 2 = 5. For, as you insist, Lucifer was perfectly potent. Due to the aeviternity essential to his seraphic nature, his rebellion was perfect in the sense that it was sealed hermetically from the inside, and impermeable. Like our acts, it was irrevocable; unlike us, he cannot change his mind, cannot repent. As with us, what he does is what he is; unlike us, he can determine himself only once, and to only one course.

        Ex post facto we cannot but ascribe to Lucifer some malice as a factor of his original Fall. But this is only because he is in our experience so full of malice, so that we cannot easily know any other way to understand him. Lucifer is indeed full of malice. But his malice is not the cause of his Fall. It’s the other way round. An innocent is incapable of malice. Before he Fell, Lucifer was ontologically incapable of malice. Only as Fallen, and so injured, might Lucifer then have acted with malice.

        Here’s the way to think of Lucifer’s Fall. Think of your own. When you Fell, and became subject to evil, corruption and death, were you innocent? Of course you were. Did you yourself know beforehand what evil was, and concupiscence, and choose them advisedly? Of course you didn’t. Did you Fall *on purpose*? Of course not. Did you nevertheless Fall? Yes. You did.

        That’s the tragedy. And you must pay for it, with everything you have, with every mite of your being. Fortunately, thanks be to God, who has added his own weight to the scales, everything you have will suffice.

        You will pay it, all, no matter what; either to your damnation, or to your salvation. All you need do to be saved is to present your inevitable ultimate utter privation as a living sacrifice at the altar: a reasonable service, holy and acceptable unto God.

      • Kristor…

        As usual, you make entirely clear your desire to perfectly articulate reality. I truly appreciate this desire and the opportunity to be immersed in it. What I will say is that I believe that you and I are in near perfect agreement about absolute reality.

        This is what I see:

        Absolute knowledge of Perfection + Desire for total annihilation = Eternal rebellion…

        The question is what provoked Lucifer’s DESIRE for total annihilation and non-existence? What provoked Lucifer to “see” what he could not possibly have seen and then DESIRE that vision of “nothing?”

        I say his absolute knowledge of Perfection… And you say his false conception of total annihilation and/or his total lack of knowledge for “total annihilation?”

        So I “look” at high IQ “white” male who lacks an absolute knowledge of Perfection AND possesses a desire for self-annihilation to speculate on the origin of this mindset? Both Lucifer and the most “intelligent” of the “white” males DESIRE self-annihilation NO MATTER how much knowledge they possess of Perfection. .

        It seems straightforward… To know any aspect of Perfection is to realize a potential for self-annihilation. Lucifer wanted TOTAL annihilation. The Perfect Order necessitated one defection… One archetype self-annihilator who must perpetuate in rebellion to “show” that a total annihilation can never be.

      • Thordaddy:

        I say his absolute knowledge of Perfection… And you say his false conception of total annihilation and/or his total lack of knowledge for “total annihilation?”

        How can Lucifer have had an ‘absolute knowledge of perfection’ when he himself was/is not absolute being? It appears to me that you are violating the law of non-contradiction in that statement.

      • I agree with Terry here. It looks, Thordaddy, as though you are saying that an absolute knowledge of Perfection necessarily involves a desire for self-annihilation. But that makes no sense. Perfection can allow for imperfection, but it can’t require it, or it wouldn’t be Perfection in the first place.

      • Kristor…

        I am saying that Lucifer, in possessing “only” a strict knowledge of Perfection, initiated from within a conception of TOTAL annihilation, i.e., anti-Perfection.

        You are saying, if I read you correctly, that being “ignorant of sin,” i.e., possessing no knowledge of total annihilation (a prelapsarian state of absolute innocence), provoked Lucifer’s turn towards total annihilation?

        IF Lucifer cannot repent then this indicates his turn away from The Father and towards “nothing” was not a mistake or an error, but rather, a real desire.

        To me, lacking all conception of total annihilation cannot be the catalyst for desiring total annihilation. Experience tells me that in desiring total annihilation, one has glimpsed Perfection and was utterly demoralized by the vision. Common sense tells me that the turn away from The Father is not betrayal until a desire for total annihilation arises. Ontologically, one cannot be absolutely innocent and feel guilty by mistake.

      • Lacking the conception of what evil is like is not the “catalyst for desiring total annihilation.” It is merely the absence of anything that might prevent a decision to rebel. So, Lucifer’s ignorance did not *provoke* his rebellion, but merely *allowed* it. He didn’t intend to do evil – again, it is ontologically impossible for an innocent spirit to intend evil – but, rather, happened into it, as it were by accident. The opportunity arose, in rather the way that we come upon an interesting pebble in the road. He took it. Had he known what it would be like to rebel before he did it, he wouldn’t have done it.

        Lucifer cannot repent because that’s how angels are. They are aeviternal. They make one decision, and that’s it. We are temporal; we make lots of decisions. God is eternal: he just Is, no decisions needed. Such is the theory, anyway.

        Your experience is not a guide to what life would be like for a perfectly innocent spirit in a perfect world never yet spotted by sin, because you have never known what it is like not to have Fallen in a Fallen world.

        Finally, a perfect knowledge of Perfection such as you impute (not perhaps wrongly) to the innocent Lucifer can indeed include the knowledge of radical imperfection – i.e., non-being – as a term. But, again, this mere terminological knowledge could not alone suffice to motivate a turn toward imperfection, for to an innocent spirit imperfection would be an incomprehensible term.

        In the end, I think the difficulty you are running into is that you are trying to come up with an intelligible motivation for the innocent Lucifer’s turn toward evil. The problem is twofold. First, again, it is ontologically impossible for a perfectly innocent spirit to intend evil. Second, that, as a privation of rationality, evil is essentially unintelligible. It can’t be understood.

        So we *can’t* make sense of Lucifer’s innocent turn toward evil. The best we can do is understand how Lucifer might have stumbled into it innocently.

      • The best we can do is understand how Lucifer might have stumbled into it innocently. — Kristor

        And my best answer is that Lucifer possessed an innocent desire for total annihilation. One can retort that the innocent cannot possess a desire for evil, yet, we know of Lucifer’s rebellion. We know the “project” of Lucifer is self-damnation. And we know Lucifer himself would seek to narrate his turn as the mistake of perfect innocence. An “accidental” defection just doesn’t sit right within a perfect paradigm.

        It seems as though God’s Perfect Creation encapsulates one aeviternal defection made rebellion to serve as unmitigated falsification of Total Annihilation.

      • And my best answer is that Lucifer possessed an innocent desire for total annihilation. One can retort that the innocent cannot possess a desire for evil …

        The innocent can’t desire evil as such, because they don’t know what evil is. They can innocently desire apparently good things – like a delicious apple – that turn out to be evil. This is more or less what I am suggesting must have happened to Lucifer. I do not however think that his first desire in rebelling was to annihilate himself. For one thing, being essentially immortal, angels can’t be annihilated. The option just isn’t there for them. But even if it was, there is in nothingness nothing good, that Lucifer might have desired.

        It seems as though God’s Perfect Creation encapsulates one aeviternal defection made rebellion to serve as unmitigated falsification of Total Annihilation.

        No; impossible. God’s Creation obviously *allowed for the possibility of the Fall,* or it couldn’t have happened. But, while the *possibility* of a fall is implicit in any creation, the *fact* of such a Fall is not. The Fall was not necessary. The only way it could have been necessary is if God had from all eternity intended it, and all the ensuing evil of it. And that would make God himself evil: i.e., would have made him something other than God. The necessity of the Fall would also have made it unavoidable; and that would have eliminated the category of sin and error, and thus of pain and suffering; for, creatures who fell exactly as God had from all eternity intended that they should could not be said to have done other than God’s will, and would not therefore stand in need of redemption and atonement, of rescue or salvation.

        And again, being immortal, Lucifer *can’t* be annihilated, so that he can’t serve as an object lesson to other creatures on the imprudence of Total Annihilation.

      • How about this: Lucifer knew the order of nature. And he was the highest created being in the order of nature.
        He was OK with worshiping God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; because God is higher than Lucifer in the order of nature.
        He was OK with worshiping Christ, the God-Man, because He is higher in the order of nature.
        However, he knew that the Blessed Virgin Mary would be the highest creature in the order of Grace, not Lucifer. This he could not accept.

      • The order of Nature of Heaven *just is* the order of Grace. So it would be also for this world still, had it not Fallen. If Lucifer knew well the order of the Nature of Heaven, he would know that it was completely fitting and right that Mary should be Queen of Heaven, and outrank him.

        [Bit of a paradox, there, though; for if Lucifer knew that Mary was rightful Queen of Heaven, he would know that this was so only because he himself had fallen …]

        A number of theories about Lucifer’s motivations in rebelling recur to the notion that he was envious of Mary, or of Adam, or of Jesus the mere man, or of YHWH, or even of El. The problem with all such theories is that envy, being a sin, is not something that a perfectly innocent spirit such as the prelapsarian Lucifer might possibly have committed; an innocent soul could not have felt envy, because he would be perfectly content with his rightful station in the created order. Lucifer can feel envy now that he has Fallen, to be sure. But he could not have felt it beforehand.


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