Chain of Being Thinking and Implications

“A second essential point with respect to ancient philosophy: for ancient philosophy, being is one and continuous. Now, what does this mean? As Christians, as believers in the scriptures, we declare that God is uncreated being. He alone is God. Men are not Gods, men are not divine, we don’t have a spark of divinity in us, we are creatures. So that there are two kinds of being in the universe. The uncreated being, God, and the whole word of created being, man and all the creatures, the entire universe. This means, therefore, there is a vast gap between God and the universe, and the universe, nor any part of it, can ever be termed divine. But in ancient philosophy, there was only one continuous world of beings, so that the Gods, the men, all shared in this divinity.

Now some people were more godlike than others, the heroes were ones who were at least half-Gods. The rulers or emperors very often became completely God. Everyone had a little bit of God in them and it was just a case of developing that in them. So salvation meant becoming more and more a God, whereas for us salvation is accepting the redemptive work of God by faith.

Now, the background of this idea of one continuous being was that being arose out of chaos, and here you have the whole religion of revolution and that it is working its way up. And since it is evolving, and the idea of evolution is the hallmark of paganism, there was no idea of creation in paganism, whatever they may try to tell you. The way for this evolution to proceed is through chaos. It has to have chaos occasionally in order to step upward. And so this takes us to the religion of evolution.”

R. J. Rushdoony
Lecture — The Early Thinkers from Plato to Augustine Q&A-Delivered 1969

These three paragraphs explain the modern West for those with ears to hear. Some observations.

1.) If all being is continuous then all being participates in and is reflective of God.  Any distinctions that exist, exist only because some realities have more being in them than other realities. The more the being the higher one is on the scale of hierarchy. This kind of social order was reflected in the Egyptian system of Mahat. Mahat had reference to the Universal mind. Pharaoh was understood to have the greatest participation of the Universal mind. From Pharaoh on down, everyone possessed less of the Universal mind.  If one possessed less of the universal mind one was the slave of the one who possessed more of the universal mind. Mahat gave a slave order where everyone was the slave of the one above them who had more being.

2.) The West has put a twist on this continuous being thinking by adding egalitarianism to continuous being. If all being is continuous (Chain of being) and if that thinking is going to be combined with egalitarianism then no being is superior or inferior to any other being and as no being is superior or inferior to any other being then no distinctions that mark superiority or inferiority can be allowed to exist. Hence egalitarianism, as combined with the chain of being thinking (called Oneism by Dr. Peter Jones), results in the certitude that no objection can be raised against Transgenderism, sodomy, New World Order Babelism, multiculturalism, multiracialism, multi-faithism or Open borders because all share in divinity and all are equal. Indeed in this system of continuous thinking as combined with egalitarianism any distinction made in terms of “superior” (better) vs. “inferior” (worse) is the greatest crime imaginable. (With the exception that egalitarianism is superior to inferior notions of Biblical hierarchy.)

3.) Wherever you find the doctrine of the chain of being (continuous being) there you find the religion of chaos.  Chain of Being thinking does not allow a creator God who has distinct unshared being and who is responsible for bringing order out of Chaos so Being and order must arise out of chaos. Chaos gives birth to order and being.  As such, those social orders who embrace continuous being (and Evolutionary thinking is the very nard of chain of being thinking), also embrace the religion of revolution. This religion insists that in order for a utopian order to come to pass that can only happen by returning to chaos that order may be birthed. You find this kind of thinking exemplified in celebrations of Mardi Gras, ancient rites of bacchanalia, and of course the post-Endarkenment blood-drenched Revolutions (1789 — French / 1848 — Europe / 1861 — America / 1914 — Europe / 1918 — Bolshevik / 1948 — China etc.).  This thinking teaches that destruction has the capacity to bring Utopia.  Order out of Chaos reflects a dialectical thinking of one step back in order to gain two steps forward.

4.) Of course, “chain of being” thinking disallows the God of the Bible. The God of the Bible has being that is unique and distinct from the creature. (In Christian theology this is called the Creator-creature distinction.) In “chain of being” thinking this Creator God must be eliminated.  Of course, when the God of the Bible is eliminated God pops up elsewhere. For “chain of being” thinking the god which has distinct being from all else (even though lip service is given that no distinct being exists) is the State. The State becomes that reality which has the most being and so must be obeyed. The new motto for “chain of being” thinking is “in the state we live and move and have our being.”

5.) Since all godhead must have unity of being the State as the god of the Chain of being must work in order to ensure uniformity in the social order. The motto becomes, “Everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.” If there is continuity of being and if the State is the Archimedean point of all being then all individuality in the State must be sunk in the god-State. This also becomes a factor in pushing all things towards egalitarianism.  The State becomes Queen Bee and all in the hive are drones serving the Queen bee.

Individuality is lost. Distinction is lost. Liberty is lost.

Author: jetbrane

I am a Pastor of a small Church in Mid-Michigan who delights in my family, my congregation and my calling. I am postmillennial in my eschatology. Paedo-Calvinist Covenantal in my Christianity Reformed in my Soteriology Presuppositional in my apologetics Kinist in my family theology Agrarian in my regional community social order belief Christianity creates culture and so Christendom in my national social order belief Mythic-Poetic / Grammatical Historical in my Hermeneutic Pre-modern, Medieval, & Feudal before Enlightenment, modernity, & postmodern Reconstructionist / Theonomic in my Worldview One part paleo-conservative / one part micro Libertarian in my politics Systematic and Biblical theology need one another but Systematics has pride of place Some of my favorite authors, Augustine, Turretin, Calvin, Tolkien, Chesterton, Nock, Tozer, Dabney, Bavinck, Wodehouse, Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Schaeffer, C. Van Til, H. Van Til, G. H. Clark, C. Dawson, H. Berman, R. Nash, C. G. Singer, R. Kipling, G. North, J. Edwards, S. Foote, F. Hayek, O. Guiness, J. Witte, M. Rothbard, Clyde Wilson, Mencken, Lasch, Postman, Gatto, T. Boston, Thomas Brooks, Terry Brooks, C. Hodge, J. Calhoun, Llyod-Jones, T. Sowell, A. McClaren, M. Muggeridge, C. F. H. Henry, F. Swarz, M. Henry, G. Marten, P. Schaff, T. S. Elliott, K. Van Hoozer, K. Gentry, etc. My passion is to write in such a way that the Lord Christ might be pleased. It is my hope that people will be challenged to reconsider what are considered the givens of the current culture . Your biggest help to me dear reader will be to often remind me that God is Sovereign and that all that is, is because it pleases him.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *