[Milton-L] Perspectivism and Chaos
Horace Jeffery Hodges
jefferyhodges at yahoo.com
Sun Sep 23 17:31:42 EDT 2007
Michael Gillum asks:
"[D]o you think Satan really believes he bubbled into existence through his own power in accordance with Fate, and just by accident before the throne of Somebody who happened to bubble up sooner? or is he just saying that to strengthen his followers¡¯ resistance to Abdiel¡¯s very convincing charge?"
Well, I don't really know, but Satan is fallen in his thinking ever since choosing to allow deep malice to form in his mind, so he may believe his own words here. And he does sincerely appear to doubt God's omnipotence or he wouldn't be rebelling, it seems to me. Or does he just want to cause trouble despite knowing that he cannot win?
Michael Gillum <mgillum at unca.edu> wrote:
Chaos seems as dangerous and intimidating to the angels as it would to us, so perhaps this would be the perspective common to created beings, except for the Son armed with the power of the Father. Chaos seems allied to evil and rebellion from this viewpoint, but perhaps that¡¯s a faulty impression.
[The angels] view¡¯d the vast immeasurable Abyss
Outrageous as a Sea, dark, wasteful, wild,
Up from the bottom turn¡®d by furious winds
And surging waves, as Mountains to assault
Heav¡¯ns highth. . . . (7.211-15)
Jeffery, that¡¯s a very smart connection to make between the momentary constellations that form in Chaos and Satan¡¯s claim that the angels arose spontaneously. However, do you think Satan really believes he bubbled into existence through his own power in accordance with Fate, and just by accident before the throne of Somebody who happened to bubble up sooner? or is he just saying that to strengthen his followers¡¯ resistance to Abdiel¡¯s very convincing charge?
On 9/23/07 2:48 PM, "Horace Jeffery Hodges" <jefferyhodges at yahoo.com> wrote:
I don't know if this is directly relevant to Professor Mascetti's query, but I went off on an excursus 'through' Chaos in my article "Milton's Tree of Knowledge: Why 'Sacred' Fruit?" (MEMES 16.2, November 2006), so I'm posting it below just in case it contributes something relevant.
In passing, I'd just note (and perhaps more relevant to Professor Mascetti's question about perspectivism) that Satan may find in the 'existence' of Chaos some evidence for his belief that he and the other angels has arisen independently of God, for he sees that possibility before his eyes in the 'atoms' of Chaos coalescing as he watches. Temporarily, of course:
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Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley
(Doctoral Thesis: "Food as Synecdoche in John's Gospel and Gnostic Texts")
M.A., History of Science, U.C. Berkeley
B.A., English Language and Literature, Baylor University
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Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
School of English, Kyung Hee University
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