Vision, Policy & Practice Adviser, M.P.Aff.
ProSocial Democracy, Engaged Education and Quality of Work Life
Leviathans of the Deep
A brief history
My thesis is that we as distinctive modern homo sapiens humane beings c. 300,000 bce are far more than, as Aristotle famously proclaimed, “political animals who are meant to live in a Polis,” by which he meant membership in a Greek City State was essential to sustain a whole people as knit together, each member a part of the larger whole, and thus able to grow and flourish as if a living corporate being like an individual. The City State gradually over history became the basis of more sophisticated living “Body Publics” or “Res Publica” as they existed when Aristotle wrote about them in th 3rd century bce. These denoted “all things public” or Republics—the body public was an organized and integrated vital, creative and authoritative various, dynamic, and multifaceted complex of living systems of political, social, cultural, economic, linguistic and intellectual life. These existed across the Mediterranean and throughout the ancient world, especially as developing and ascendant from the 8th to 3rd centuries according to the historiography, theology and philosophy of the liberal perennial tradition and the “axial age thesis” of Karl Jaspers, Aldous Huxley et al. They are thus the foundation of modern states.
With apologies to Aristotle and the entire historiography of our liberatl “modern total world,” I prefer a longer, more profound, far richer, promising, open understanding of modern formative humanity as evolutionary anthropological and historical animals that are expansively inclusive of which this thesis as political animals is but a part of our entire provenance, nature, promise and ongoing dynamic revelatory evolving and emerging epic grandeur as interwoven with germinal creation, our eternal God and illimitable humanity. This is a deep forming, structuring, embedding of over 260 thousands years that can be said to be bred in our very bone, marrow and tissue. And then there is an inclection point, a change in our trajectory I will show during a time of tumultuous and constant change from 50 to 40 thousand years ago.
Melville knew his Bible and the beauty of its poetry and power of its story and symbolism. Ahab is the perfect depiction of hubris, megalomania and the ungodly horror of the unbound “will to power” when claiming absolute supremacy and mastery even over God’s Leviathans of the Deep, which signify that we are a humble and finite part of the sacred mystery and radical amazement that is the whole of God: the Leviathan affirms our impossible but palpable sense of the transcendent, the holiness and presence of God within and without humanity, creation and every breathe, living process, imagination and part of us! Moby dick is then literally an allegory of Biblical proportions and cosmic significance.
Book of Job, 41: 1-11 (read entire chapter, this is beautiful poetry)
“Can you pull in Leviathan with a fishhook
or tie down its tongue with a rope?
Can you put a cord through its nose
or pierce its jaw with a hook?
Will it keep begging you for mercy?
Will it speak to you with gentle words?
Will it make an agreement with you
for you to take it as your slave for life?
Can you make a pet of it like a bird
or put it on a leash for the young women in your house?
Will traders barter for it?
Will they divide it up among the merchants?
Can you fill its hide with harpoons
or its head with fishing spears?
If you lay a hand on it,
you will remember the struggle and never do it again!
Any hope of subduing it is false;
the mere sight of it is overpowering.
No one is fierce enough to rouse it.
Who then is able to stand against me?
Who has a claim against me that I must pay?
Everything under heaven belongs to me.
- Dialogical Jesus Christ
- Double Grace
- Dual Processing
- Engaged History
- Epic Grandeur
- Franciscan Spirituality
- Jude the Obscure
- Letters from Utopia
- Leviathans of the Deep
- Modern “Just So” Optimal Ethos
- Political Ideology
- ProSocial Education
- Public Theology
- Renaissance Dialogo
- Unified Public Theology
- Walks with Gracie
- Why I Write