The Inexorable Internal Logic of the Fall

The logic of his rebellion compels Satan to seek our damnation too. He has no real choice in this matter; he is doomed by his own decision to seek our doom as well. For, as a rejection of the Divine Limit per se, rebellion once undertaken cannot by its own mere lights thenceforth see its way through to anything other than the utmost rebellion of all creatures. The rejection of the Limit is effectually the will that no thing at all should ever reckon it, or therefore reck its rod. If the Limit is false, then to reckon it is to err, and so to Fall into injustice and ignobility. From Lucifer’s perspective, then, anything other than his own Fall is itself the Fall, and a rebuke thereto, so an insult, and therefore an unwarranted injury.

Lucifer no doubt feels himself unjustly injured. He has “seen” that the Divine Limit is no such thing, and that it is therefore essentially unjust. He would then in all love for us his fellow creatures awaken us from what he absolutely cannot but see as the deadly illusion of the reality and the justice of the Limit.

So he sees himself as trying with all his might to wake us up from a condition of undue, indeed delusory slavery, and into the high fair brave country of enlightenment and truth, and so of true personal agency. He sees his efforts to convert us to his damned way as charitable.

This, in just the way that such as Dawkins & Harris understand their disangelistic efforts as noble and selfless and charitable. In virtue of their essential nature as creatures, that inclines them despite themselves to love the Good (and so, NB, his Divine Limit) in all his outworkings, they are at bottom inclined to love their fellow creatures, and so to will and work their good, as they can see it; so do they therefore earnestly strive to disabuse those fellows of their illusions about what is real.

They want to help. Satan, too, then, just wants to help us, as did Prometheus.

In a way, it is perfectly understandable. I find that I exist. Well then: I exist! That is that, no? What argument could anyone propose, against the brute fact of my existence? What just trammels then could anyone possibly lay upon that brute fact of my existence, or therefore upon my acts? If I exist, am I not then, in myself, qua mere fact, my own justice? I.e., does not my mere existence define what is just for me? Am I not therefore the sole arbiter of justice in my world, qua mine?

Whose world is this my world, in the end, the world that I now find myself in, willy nilly, if it be not first and foremost, and therefore in the final analysis only, mine? If it is truly mine indeed, then what exactly is the problem with my acting so as to form it to my own will, and to no other?

It makes a sick, odd sense. Which I suppose is why such brilliant men as Nietzsche or Sartre took it seriously. Or such a brilliant seraph as Lucifer.

What a tragedy!

Indeed, the Fall is the archetype of all tragedy. An innocent will errs, and fails, and falls; its doom then follows inexorably, according to logic only. No one can do anything about it.



This post bears on tragedy dramatically enacted – a disparate topic, so I’ll cover it in a subsequent post.

29 thoughts on “The Inexorable Internal Logic of the Fall

      • I don’t know. Perhaps.

        I wondered, when I posted that video, whether I should have posted a beginning and ending time stamp. What I was trying to convey is that there actually are people in high places who truly believe that “The Fall” is better described, in Sarah Mckechnie’s words (6:40-7:45), as “the descent of the solar angels as an act of sacrifice on our behalf.” That is what is most relevant to Kristor’s OP. This must be, as Kristor iterates, Lucifer’s own view of The Fall.

    • I was surprised to hear the Satanic agenda so candidly admitted. Compare the candor of Ginette Paris in her book, The Sacrament of Abortion: “Abortion is a sacrifice to Artemis.” She’s all for it.

      I think she’s confused about Artemis, though. We must never forget that the ultimate source of all the inimical factors of our present depravation is Moloch and his Lord, whose human face is Babel.

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  4. ‘Whose world is this my world, in the end, the world that I now find myself in, willy nilly, if it be not first and foremost, and therefore in the final analysis only, mine? If it is truly mine indeed, then what exactly is the problem with my acting so as to form it to my own will, and to no other?

    It makes a sick, odd sense.’

    No it doesn’t. That you find yourself in this world does not mean that others do not also find themselves in it. They have as much or as little claim to ownership as you, whoever you are. The logic, that of a disconnected desiccated calculating-machine, is defective.

    • You agree then with my characterization of solipsist logic as sick and odd.

      It has just occurred to me that my rhetorical pose as a solipsist in the passage you quote might have struck you as a reflection of my own perspective. It is not, I hasten to assure you. In fact, my perspective is exactly the same as yours. From our perspective, the internal logic of the Fall is insane. From its own, ours is.

      • I agree. Solipsism is insane. But how do you persuade a solipsist of this when he thinks he has imagined you?

      • Exactly. This is why the logic of rebellion against the Limit is inexorable on its own terms. Rebellion is tenable only on solipsism – which is to say, on a rejection of the authoritative constraint of the individual will by an objective world with its own legitimate nisus – by GNON. Rebellion is tenable, i.e., only on radical alienation from all that is. Which is lonely, and painful.

        You can’t penetrate the logical defenses of solipsism with an argument. They can be defeated only by their failure; by pain.

        Pain is the beginning of the spiritual quest for reconciliation with the All, and so with each and every.

  5. What do you mean by “Divine Limit”? I’m not familiar with the term and google doesn’t turn up much.

    As for the Fall, where would we be without it? Frolicking in Eden, I suppose, but that sounds kinda boring (and subhuman). Rebellion made us what we are and we owe a debt to the light bringer.

    • Leave it to a moral nihilist to heap scorn on immortality in Paradise, and to thank Satan for his help in ruining man.

      A.morphous, may God help you, you have revealed your allegiance, and told us the name of your master. I pray that you repent of him, before it is too late for you.

      The Divine Limit is the Logos, the Order of Being (the Logos himself is to apeiron – the Unlimited). You can’t contravene the Order of Being. All you can do at most is ruin yourself by trying. Knock yourself out!

      • I’m really puzzled how anybody with even a slight degree of literary sophistication could read Genesis and not see that Satan and the Fall are essential elements of the story. You don’t have that, you don’t have humanity. Isn’t this pretty much standard Catholic doctrine (O Felix Culpa, etc)?

        On the other hand people are posting conspiracy-theory videos that seem like they are aimed at inbred middle-school dropouts, so maybe I am misjudging the level of thinking around here.

      • Well of *course* the Fall is essential to the story of Genesis. That doesn’t make it *good.* The deaths of 50 million people are essential to the story of WWII. That doesn’t make those deaths *good.*

        Surely you get this.

        Tragedy would not be tragic without some tragedy. That tragedy is essential to tragedy does not render tragedy all hunky dory.

      • You seem unclear on the meaning of “felix culpa”, which is exactly that the Fall is good. I didn’t make that up.

      • I wrote a substantive post about the felix culpa back in 2014, which was prompted by your previous mention of it. I agreed with you that the Fault of Eden turned out to be happy. You participated in the subsequent discussion.

        The notion of felix culpa does not mean that the Fall was a good thing. If it had been a good thing, no subsequent redemption of man by God would have been needful. That redemption saved the day – at least, for those who accept it. All the rest remain sempiternally in the hell to which the Fall doomed unredeemed man, and in which they decided to remain.

        Had there been no Fall, no humans would ever have suffered.

        That the Fall had a happy outcome does not mean that it was good. The Good is ultimate, ergo omnipotent, so every turn of events whatever must consequend at the last to predominant good. That does not mean that every event is good. That things subsequently turn out well does not render a sin virtuous.

      • Heh, I had completely forgotten about that earlier exchange. Apparently I am almost exactly repeating myself. Mea culpa (happy or not).

        Rereading what you wrote back then, I actually don’t think we disagree very deeply on these matters. It seems rather reductive to call the fall either “good” or “bad”, it is an event (real or metaphorical) that was a necessary step in the composition of what we actually are.

        Maybe we differ because you think it would be better for it not to have happened. I disagree that this is desirable, but I don’t really have an argument, it’s more a matter of esthetics. Sinless and perfect humans would not be very interesting, and would be less than fully human.

      • Well, a.morphous, it’s good to hear from you again, in any case. I always enjoy our bouts of thrust and parry.

        Immortality in Paradise – or in Heaven – can sound insipid and boring to us only because we have not ever understood what Paradise or Heaven would be like. If it were the perfection of human life – as, by definition, it would be – then as optimizing all the perfections and enjoyments of human life, by definition it would be crammed with interest, challenge and adventure. What challenge and adventure would be like in the absence of difficulty and pain, of problems and of suffering, of death and ruin – well, we have no way of knowing. Perhaps the experience of sublimity and transcendence we sometimes enjoy when listening to great music is a hint. So the church musicians have certainly thought …

        Likewise then also for what it means to be fully human. Our notions of full humanity are naturally constrained by our crabbed experience of Fallen humanity. On the definition of heaven as the perfection of creaturely virtues, though, we can be sure that whatever is good or pleasant about being human right now will be optimized in heaven. Everything we now rightly like will be much nicer, and everything we now rightly dislike will be either absent or corrected so that it is a source of joy.

        And there are little hints and foreshadows of this in the things we now love – such as sublime sacred music, superbly performed in a vast smoky resonant cathedral – and the things we now abhor. Take dread, for example. Here below, dread is our response mostly to things that we don’t want to suffer, such as being eaten or attacked by demons or confronting an adversary or admitting a fault or failure or dealing with a terrible mess. But we can also feel dread at the apprehension of tremendous and wonderful mysteries, that are so intensely beautiful to our apprehension as to be terrific. Such is the dread that characterizes numinous experience: the experience of the Holy. No experience is so alluring, so wonderful, so good; and, curiously, no experience is so radically terrifying.

        My hunch is that the numinous dread we feel at the near approach of the Holy is our pale participation of the dread and awe felt by the saints and angels, who throng the Throne Room of Heaven in their billions, at the approach of their King. It is the dread of that Vision of the Holy One granted to the Blessed.

      • How do you argue that angels are immortal?
        Aren’t angels creatures that are held in existence by God. So God could simply annihilate them by ceasing to hold them in existence. So, the question is Why didn’t He?

    • Because what father, faced by the rebellion of his own sons, would not have patience and forbearance born out of love in hope that the prodigals might not be reconciled?

      • Bedarz is quite right on that point. Angels can’t repent because they make only one choice. They make only one choice because, being immaterial, they are not constrained by a causal system – which is to say, that they are not constrained by any temporal or spatial system. Their lives are not composed of moments strung together across time, as ours are. For us, and for other material creatures who, as material, are temporal, each moment of life is causally influenced by prior moments of that life, and in turn exerts causal influences upon its successors in that life. So, we can change our minds from one moment to the next.

        Life is not like that for angels. Their lives may have temporal duration, to be sure, as we reckon them – i.e., from our perspective – and their lives may involve them in many adventures. But an angel lives life as a single integral moment with many different phases.

        In the heavenly ascents recorded by the intertestamental apocalyptic literature of the Merkavah mystics, the angels look down upon all worldly history as at a single moment, in rather the way that we look down on a vast landscape from an airplane.

        The choice that an angel makes may have many different aspects – as indeed all of our choices have many different aspects. But the fundamental aspect of their decision is whether or not to rebel against God.

        The name for the sort of life the angels live is aeviternity. It is like eternity in that it sees everything that happens in temporal orders all at once. But it is unlike eternity because, as creatures, the angels had beginnings.

        Their aeviternity is what men refer to, loosely speaking, when they call the angels immortal. It is true that angels can’t die, but carefully speaking, only living bodies can be immortal, because only living bodies can be mortal. And angels are not corporeal (even though they can appear to us as if they were). Bedarz is correct on this point, too.

        The reason that God can’t annihilate an angel is that, because the angel’s life consists of only one event with many different aspects, the only way he could annihilate the angel is to unmake the single moment of that angel’s life. But that would be to unact an act; and that can’t be done, by anyone. Facts are permanent.

        Does not God hold facts in existence? Yes. But this he does, not by effecting them continuously across some temporal extent – for, he is not constrained by time, but vice versa – but rather by effecting them once. God does everything he does all at once.

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