Story as the Key to the Cosmos: An Exploration of the Symbolic Design of Narrative
1. Story: Heaven and Earth
It may be useful to begin this article by explaining in what manner story is explored. However, it’s perhaps more intriguing for the reader to contemplate the following wise phrase, which implicitly contains this entire article in a simple statement.
St. Ambrose says, “When you are tempted, recognize that a crown is being prepared for you”.1
This phrase is meant to signify the single thread that runs through this article, that weaves together its beginning, middle, and ending. It implies that there will be a reward at the end, similar to how most stories include a reward or lesson at the end. To understand it more fully, though, we must journey through this article’s beginning and middle. Similarly, the character must journey through the story’s beginning and middle to seize their reward. To those who are up for the journey, come along. To those who remain hesitant, the following introduction should suffice.
This article investigates story through a symbolic lens. Throughout, the diagrams, terminology, and symbolic patterns as described in The Language of Creation are translated from the cosmic scale to the scale of story. Additionally, the fairy tale of The Three Little Pigs serves as an accessible example for this article’s theory. So let’s dive into the symbolic design of storytelling and explore its (micro)cosmic significance.
1.1 Story as a Microcosm
A story can simply be defined as a series of events woven together by a theme. The events manifest what happens, where it happens, and who is involved and the theme informs them with the reason why they happen. The theme informs the events with abstract meaning (heaven) and the events express the theme with concrete manifestations (earth). This already makes the fundamental structure of story analogous to that of the cosmos, since the macrocosm is composed of the same interaction but with heaven as informer and earth as expressor, the result of which is called knowledge.2
The creative process of many storytellers begins with a series of experiences, characters, and scenes that may seem somewhat random at first sight. This is because the theme is abstract and invisible, even to the storyteller, who may struggle to explain its identity without using the events. Nonetheless, all stories are informed by a theme that unifies its series of events. Therefore, all storytellers contemplate a theme and narrate a series of events accordingly. From the listener’s perspective, a theme can be discovered by reverse-engineering a story. This is done by connecting a series of details (earth) that fit together to make a point or convey a message (heaven).
The first little pig is lazy, so he builds his house out of straw. The second little pig is somewhat lazy too, so he builds his house out of sticks. The third little pig, however, works hard all day, so he builds his house out of bricks.
The wolf blows down the first and second little pig’s houses and eats them up. But the third little pig’s house is too sturdy, so it remains unharmed and so does the third little pig.
These events clearly convey the message that “work pays off” and laziness does not. The third little pig acts in accordance with this message and thus lives to tell the tale. The simple phrase “work pays off” is the theme of this story.
1.2 The Storyteller’s Role as Microcosmic Mediator
While story is a miniature version of the cosmos, the storyteller is a miniature version of the human. The human is a cosmic mediator between heaven and earth, and the storyteller is a microcosmic mediator between the theme and the events.
As mentioned, one side of the storytelling process involves the contemplation of a theme, which helps the storyteller choose a suitable series of events. This is analogous to how humanity lowers heaven (also described as hosting angels and naming animals). The other side involves the composition of chosen events into a coherent narrative. This way, the story becomes part of the “body of knowledge” that develops and expresses the theme. It “feeds into” the theme to assist humanity’s understanding of that aspect of reality. This is analogous to how humanity raises earth (also described as eating animals and feeding angels).3
A balanced story contains events that are detailed and personal enough to be understandable and engaging as well as events that are universal and simple enough to be meaningful and memorable. This way, the storyteller acts as a microcosmic mediator for the knowledge of a theme within a story.
Wolf: Little pig! Little pig! Let me in! Let me in!
Little pig: No! No! No! Not by the hairs on my chinny chin chin!
Wolf: Then I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down.
These iconic lines add some melody and personality to the story while simultaneously being relevant and meaningful. The little pig takes an oath by his beard, which is an ancient folklorish practice. However, he also turns it into a humorous expression, since a pig’s beard merely consists of some stray hairs that gain all of their volume from delving in mud.
1.3 Story Structure: Beginning/Middle/Ending
The implications of story as a microcosm and storytellers as microcosmic mediators will be explored in more depth, though this article is not meant to completely encompass these phenomena. Accordingly, this article uses the notion of one theme and one (main) character as well as the following structure, to interpret story.
In the beginning of a story, the listeners meet the character, who lives a stable and monotonous life. Then something disrupts and overturns the character’s world, which means he’s forced out of his stasis and must act. In the middle, the character encounters lots of conflict. He overcomes many challenges, but will ultimately reach his lowest point as the tension reaches its peak. In the ending, the character’s life changes from worse to best as a final challenge is overcome and he reaches his goal. The conflict is over and, as stability is regained, the character receives his reward and the listeners their lesson.
2. Story: Time and Space
Story may be called a microcosmic version of space from the outset, since its purpose is to distribute its theme through its events. When the theme is clearly expressed and embodied by the events and the character, the story is an image of the stable world.
The theme is a wise statement or argument that must be elaborated or proven by the story’s events, since it contains the story’s meaning in principle. On the cosmic scale, this phrase is defined as “I am what I am” which means “I am in heaven what I am on earth”. This is the metaphysical principle of space.4 On the scale of story, it can be translated into “it is what it is” which means “the theme is what the events are”. This is the wise statement that informs the stable world of the character.
The third little pig works hard all day, so he builds his house out of bricks. It’s so sturdy that it remains unharmed by the wolf and so does the third little pig.
As a human being (or humanized being), the character acts as a mediator between the theme and the events within the story. The third little pig expresses the theme through action, he proves its validity because his “hard work pays off” and he regains a harmonious life in the stable world.
At least in the eyes of the storyteller, the theme is a true statement by definition because it produces the stable world. Similarly, the metaphysical principle of space is also self-evident and true because it produces stability and certainty on the cosmic scale. The thematic message often remains hidden or uncertain until the very end when it’s finally revealed through the events, and produces a stable world at the story’s conclusion.
2.1 Beginning: Story as Space and Time
2.1.1 The Stable World
The beginning of a story often represents the common meaning of the phrase “it is what it is”, namely a situation that must be accepted because it cannot be changed. This is the character’s belief because he has never experienced change and transformation and is thus unaware of that possibility. This can be compared to the Garden story in the Bible, which does not mention the “tree of death” because humanity had not experienced “death” and was therefore unfamiliar with its mediation.5 Consequently, the character is prone to believe the opposite of the story’s intended theme because it allows him to stay in an acceptable yet imperfect situation. Accordingly, he must journey from the unawareness of change and of the theme as well as belief in the theme’s opposite, all the way to embodiment of the theme through change and transformation.
A story’s beginning can also be understood with the following analogy. Fairy tales often initiate their narrative with once upon a time, which indicates that their stable world existed somewhere after the beginning and before the end. Distinctively, the Bible initiates its narrative with in the beginning, which means the stable world of the Garden before the Fall was unaffected by history. Whereas fairy tales and other stories happen somewhere within history and after the Fall, causing their stable world to naturally inherit imperfections. Similarly, on the human scale, any person is born with an imperfect inheritance.
Once upon a time, there was an old sow who had three little pigs, who were growing up.
This story begins in the stable world, wherein the old sow cares for the little pigs. They’re unaware of the story’s theme and embody its opposite. Its opposite is the belief that “laziness and playfulness pays off”, which probably kept them in the same place.
The first little pig is very lazy, so he builds his house out of straw. Then, he sang, danced, and played the rest of the day.
The little pigs were lazy and playful while growing up, which causes them to initially act the same way while on their own. They’re still unaware of the possibility of change, transformation, and the hostile wolf’s existence.
2.1.2 The Transformative World
A disruption of the stable world is necessary for the narrative to continue, as can be understood with the following two considerations. Firstly, “… in order to transform one thing into another, it must pass through a series of intermediate states”.6 The character must move through a series of intermediate states or events to gain different beliefs and skills. And secondly, “… the more two things are different, the harder it will be to transform one thing into the other”.6 The stable world’s current stasis needs to be made impossible for it to change and transform into a different and improved version.
At some point the old sow cannot support the three little pigs anymore, so she sends them out into the world to make their fortune.
As the consequence of an ironic disruption, the little pigs are sent from the stable world into the world of change and transformation. This world includes homelessness and hostility, since they need to build houses and the dangerous wolf lives there. At this stage, “the theme is not what the events are” because the character does not embody the theme through action. He’s still unaware of its existence and thus embodies its opposite.
2.2 Middle: Theme and Anti-Theme
2.2.1 Hosting the Anti-Theme and Theme
In the story’s middle, a metaphysical battle is initiated because the theme’s principle and its opposing principle, that of the anti-theme, are reinforced. On the cosmic scale, this battle is exemplified by the tug-of-war between the dominion of space and the dominion of time, which was the result of the Fall of Adam.7 This battle over superiority is embodied by the events and the characters.
On one side, the events are diabolic because they loosen and disconnect the character’s actions from the story’s theme. His confused state makes him susceptible to the transformative world’s pointless vicissitudes. Consequently, he soon encounters events and other characters that persuade him to follow them because they embody the anti-theme. On the other side, the events are symbolic because they connect and strengthen the character’s actions with the story’s theme. He encounters events and other characters that help him do this because they embody the theme. Both sides punish and reward the character. The former is motivated by fear of change and promises a safe return to the stable world. The latter is motivated by the possibility of a better life and promises an improvement of the stable world.
The first little pig meets a man with a bundle of straw. He takes the straw and quickly builds himself a house. Then he plays the rest of the day. The second little pig meets a man with a bundle of sticks. He carefully builds his house. Then he joins his brother to play the rest of the day. The third little pig meets a man with a load of bricks. He works hard to build his house. It takes him all day.
The next day, the wolf comes along and knocks at their doors. When the first and second little pigs refuse to open, he blows their houses down and eats them up. The wolf also tries to blow down the third little pig’s house, but it’s too sturdy.
The first man, who is hosting the anti-theme, gives the little pig the opportunity to embody laziness and playfulness. The little pig is rewarded because he gets to play during the day, which reinforces his belief in the anti-theme. However, he is subsequently punished because the wolf devours him on the next day, which sheds doubt upon his belief in the anti-theme. The second man, who is partly hosting the theme, gives the little pig the opportunity to embody careful work. The little pig is still punished despite his efforts to work more carefully, which sheds doubt upon his belief in the theme. The third man, who is fully hosting the theme, gives the little pig the opportunity to embody hard work. The little pig is rewarded because he survives the wolf’s attack, which reinforces his belief in the theme.
2.2.2 Down to the Flood
The loss of stability causes the character to move further into the transformative world, where his embodiment of the theme and the anti-theme increasingly affect his universe. This tug-of-war culminates in the narrative’s lowest point. At that point, the character has been carried by one wave of subversion and descension to become completely lost. He rejects the anti-theme because his experience has falsified it. However, he also rejects the theme because his experience has not validated it yet. His beliefs have been disintegrated and overturned, which means he does not embody any principle at all and thus may be considered dead. Consequently, the story’s theme and the storyteller’s intentions are completely hidden, which means the character and the listeners can only guess what the conclusion will be.
At last, the wolf was so out of breath that he could not huff and puff anymore, so he stopped to think for a while. But this was too much, he danced about with rage and swore he would come down the chimney and eat up the little pig for his supper.
When the little pig saw what the wolf was about to do, he was very scared indeed and did not know how to stop it.
This story’s conclusion is now completely concealed because it seems that the theme and the anti-theme produce diabolic events. Even though the little pig may be physically alive, he’s spiritually dead.
2.3 Ending: The Improved Stable World
In the story’s ending, one final wave of reversion and ascension carries the character to his goal and the story to its conclusion. He must prove the theme’s validity by embodying it through a leap of faith. This is his journey’s ultimate test that leads to rejection of the anti-theme and embodiment of the theme. This event is highly symbolic, which means it ends the tug-of-war by cutting off the transformative world and establishing the improved stable world. Accordingly, most fairy tales finish their narrative with they lived happily ever after because, from that point on, the series of events and experiences are exclusively woven together by the theme.
The Bible includes many stories with similar moments. For example, after Jonah fled from God’s word, he was thrown overboard a ship into the raging sea. Then, from inside the fish, he turned and prayed to God. God answered and commanded the fish to vomit Jonah onto dry land. In this story, Jonah remembers God’s word and proves his faith with embodiment through an elaborate prayer. Therefore, Jonah is brought out of the raging sea (transformative world) back onto dry land (stable world).8
The third little pig built a sturdy house out of bricks, including a fireplace and chimney.
When he saw the wolf climb down the chimney, he quickly hung a pot full of water above his fireplace and made up a blazing fire. Just as the wolf was coming down, he took off the cover and in fell the wolf. So the little pig put on the cover again, boiled up the wolf, and then ate him for supper! The little pig lived happily ever after.
The narrative of The Three Little Pigs finishes when the third little pig’s “work pays off” and he experiences the fruits of his labor. This ends homelessness and hostility because the wolf is eaten and the house is built. This time, the wolf gets to experience transformation instead because he’s boiled and eaten by the little pig. The story’s purpose is now fulfilled because the storyteller has distributed the theme through the events and “the theme is what the events are” in a clear and conclusive manner.
3. Story: The Key to the Cosmos
The (micro)cosmic significance of story has now been explored extensively. This included examples from the cosmic scale and the human scale, which juxtapose with the scale of story. These scales were described with “cosmic words” that embody metaphysical truth because they reflect the principles of creation.9 Story has its own varieties, as seen below.
3.1 Story as a Narrated Journey
Story is essentially a narrated journey down and up the “cosmic mountain”, which means the hierarchy of space and the cycle of time are always present, though perhaps between the lines or behind the curtain. Consequently, the stable world and its improved version, or the beginning and ending, resemble each other. For example, these are often a return home or a newfound appreciation of tradition. This can be visually represented as a cycle that begins and ends somewhere high up the cosmic mountain, where the theme and the events connect most clearly.
3.2 Story as a Nested Microcosm
Since story is a microcosm of creation, its cosmic principles or “cosmic words” can be applied to a series of embedded representations, which down- and upscale to micro- and macrocosmic forms.
Story is a series of events woven together by a theme.
A biography is a series of life events woven together by significance. This genre or microcosmic form of storytelling has multiple purposes. Firstly, it can preserve the life course of prominent historical figures. Secondly and distinctively, hagiography (the writing about Saints) demonstrates the manner in which people can fulfill their purpose in the Christian tradition. And thirdly, a storyteller can carry someone who is in the transformative world back into the stable world by way of narration. This person (who’s traumatized, sick, lost, or even dying) can remember significant events from their life with the help of a storyteller. By composing these events into a coherent narrative, a single thread or theme can be discovered. This can help with accepting things as they are, improving a sense of belonging, recapturing a purpose, or even discovering that life’s story is fulfilled.
A scene is a series of actions woven together by a small goal. The actions include various storytelling techniques like action, description, dialogue, monologue, and exposition. The small goal is one of the many stepping stones that carry the character closer to his embodiment of the theme.
Tradition is a series of rituals woven together by the transcendent. The rituals involve various practices, services, biographies and hagiographies, stories, and feasts. The people who follow tradition attend to a transcendent person or deity and pattern their rituals accordingly.
And on the ultimate scale of story, universal history is a series of narratives woven together by a master narrative. The narratives include the history of people, the roles of countries, biographies and hagiographies, as well as stories and traditions that can be integrated. Akin to the theme in relation to its events, the master narrative transcends and unifies its narratives. The master narrative will be explored further in this article’s final section.
4. Story as a Complete Microcosm: Meta-Space
A regular story is created by a covenant between the theme and the events, which establishes the stable world. This is done at the transformative world’s expense because its diabolic events must be cut off and rectified along with its anti-thematic message. It is pushed into the margins of the character’s universe, which allows him to transcend the vicissitudes of transformation and thus live a stable and virtuous life.
However, the problem has not been completely resolved because the transformative world lacks a proper place in the character’s universe. It now wanders aimlessly until it circles back to encounter the character again, which confuses and bewilders him because it cannot be integrated by the stable world. This problematic encounter revives the battle between the transformative and stable world. The thematic message is challenged again because it cannot completely account for the character’s universe. A similar story ensues, involving a descent into transformation and an ascent into stability. Stories like this can be re-told in endless succession, which means the character has to experience countless descents and ascents. In practice, this is exemplified by stories that have countless sequels or by TV series that never end.
4.1 Balance of the Transformative World and Stable World
For the character to withstand another descent, he somehow needs to resolve the problem by having the transformative world exist alongside the stable world instead of having them periodically clash and destroy each other. Therefore, after the character has established the stable world by understanding and embodying the wisdom of the theme, he needs to acknowledge the anti-theme as a legitimate part of his universe. This also requires some degree of embodiment, the manner of which will be discussed later with examples from The Three Little Pigs.
By balancing stability and transformation, both worlds allow some degree of the other’s influence without overextending into the other’s world. This peace agreement creates a higher form of narrative which transcends the duality of regular story marked by a recurring tug-of-war over superiority.10
4.2 Final Transcendence of the Stable World
The preservation of the stable world at the center and the transformative world at the margin is achieved by the character’s following realization: The thematic message (principle of stability) which informs the stable world can never completely inform the character’s universe. This realization leads to the acknowledgement of transformation as a legitimate aspect of reality. This humbles and renews the stable world and allows it to exist alongside the transformative world under a higher thematic message (the singular principle of stability and transformation).
This perfect balance between the stable world’s virtuous qualities and the transformative world’s humbling qualities allows both transformation and stability to be transcended. This elevates regular story by the creation of what may be called the meta-story, which hosts the singular thematic message of both worlds.11
4.3 Transmutation of the Transformative World
The realization that stability is incomplete and the acknowledgement that transformation is legitimate, does not mean the character gives in to transformation’s regressive tendencies. This would inevitably subvert and thus disintegrate the stable world. Rather, transformation that disintegrates can be transmuted into transformation that completes. The former causes confusion in the character’s eyes, leaving him bewildered. Such transformation can be described as a dispersed remainder, a strange tail, or being flooded by death. Conversely, the latter arouses wonder in the character’s eyes and ignites in him a taste for natural beauty. Thus, he learns to appreciate the risks and rewards that the transformative world offers. This type can be described as a perfect surrounder, an ornamental crown, or being touched by glory.
Transformation that completes is informed by a higher thematic message, namely the singular principle of the character’s universe, so it also requires an aspect of stability. This notion “… is often symbolized by a periphery that ironically seals itself off”.12 For example, the cover image of The Language of Creation shows a tree surrounded by a snake, as seen below.13 Analogous to the cosmic mountain as described before, this cosmic tree or “tree of life” is an instance of the stable world. Conversely, as an animal, the snake without the tree can be described as nothing but a strange tail, which makes it an instance of transformation that disintegrates. When coiled around the tree, though, the snake that ironically eats its own tail becomes a manageable version of itself. Now, it has been transmuted into an instance of transformation that completes and can be described as an ornamental crown. A closer look at the cover image also reveals that the snake’s body is smooth and “sealed” on the inside yet frayed and loose on the outside. The perfect balance of these dual aspects safeguards what has now become the meta-tree of life against the excess of transformation on the inside and the excess of stability on the outside.14
4.4 Completion of the Stable World by the Transformative World
The discussed version of The Three Little Pigs offers enjoyment and an essential life lesson. However, the story is truly completed in a more subtle version, wherein the little pig attempts to reach beyond stability’s limited confines by embodying some degree of transformation. As usual, this version has the third little pig fend off the wolf by building a sturdy house, but then it continues as follows.
The wolf comes up with a new plan to eat the little pig. The wolf tells him about a field of turnips. And they plan to go there together the next morning. But the little pig rises an hour too early, gets some turnips, and returns to his brick house. When the wolf knocks for him, he says that he’s already been to the field.
The wolf is annoyed but comes up with another plan. He says that he knows of some juicy apples on a tree. So they plan to go there the next day. Again, the little pig rises too early and goes to pick some apples. But the wolf doesn’t let himself be fooled twice. He catches the little pig up the tree with a basket of apples. The little pig then throws an apple very far away and the wolf chases after it. By the time he has returned, the little pig has escaped and gone back home.
The wolf tries one final time. He invites the little pig to the fair the next day, and the little pig agrees. But the little pig goes early on, buys a butter churn, and is already returning home when he sees the wolf coming. The wolf is angry at having been fooled thrice. So the little pig hides in his butter churn and ends up rolling down the hill towards the wolf. He’s frightened and runs away.
The next day, the wolf goes to the little pig’s house to ask him why he wasn’t at the fair before. When the little pig tells the wolf that it was him who rolled down the hill, the wolf loses his temper and climbs on the roof, determined to slide down the chimney and eat the little pig.
Then, the wolf falls into the pot with boiling hot water, turning him into the little pig’s supper. In these events, the little pig has realized the transformative world’s legitimacy and thus has it exist alongside the stable world by incorporating manageable versions of transformation that “seal off” the disintegrative and hostile wolf. More precisely, he balances his embodiment of the theme with his embodiment of the anti-theme by subsuming them both to the singular thematic message of his universe. In general, he does this as follows. On one side, he risks his life and gains rewards by wilfully descending into the transformative world to a limited extent, which transcends stability. On the other side, he recaptures the stability that he has worked for by wilfully returning to the stable world, which transcends transformation. The perfect balance between these dual movements safeguards what has now become the meta-story against the excess of either world.
These events also express the stable world’s completion by the transformative world. In particular, the little pig does this as follows. Firstly, he sees through the wolf’s lies, since the wolf is only pretending to be his friend. Therefore, the little pig tricks the trickster by going an hour too early to their meetings. Then, he safely returns to his house with some turnips. Secondly, the little pig sees that the wolf’s invitations are intended to be distractions that would lure him out of his house. Consequently, he distracts the distractor by throwing an apple very far away and having the wolf chase after it. This enables him to escape and return to stability with a basket of apples. And thirdly, the wolf has been terrorizing and scaring the little pigs all throughout the story, threatening them to come out of their houses, or else I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down! Finally, though, the little pig frightens the scary monster by rolling down upon him inside of a butter churn. So he takes the butter churn home where he can enjoy it in peace.
In its completed form, The Three Little Pigs does not just express the importance of work and the danger of play, but also the limits of work and the possibility for play to serve a higher pattern. The third little pig learns to embody a higher thematic message and will therefore be able to deal with the wolf more gracefully upon another encounter. As a meta-story, it transcends the duality of work and play, which means it withstands the recurring tug-of-war that rules over regular stories with the same thematic message. It has probably been preserved over regular stories because it stands the test of time and play, which has turned it into what we call a fairy tale.15
Whereas The Three Little Pigs answers the riddle of work and play, the master narrative answers the riddle of life and death. The following section includes various intuitions that may point to this reality. Hopefully, some key insights about storytelling have been distributed successfully through this article so far. However, any key is incomplete without its lock. Therefore, the reader may have noticed that a lock has been present since the beginning of this article. In the end, we will open this lock with our key and therein we will seize our reward. So let’s move on and complete our journey.
5. The Master Narrative
The master narrative ultimately transcends all regular stories and all meta-stories because it transcends the duality of life and death, not only smaller aspects of duality. Christianity fulfills this role in our world, to which the following inklings will hopefully point. Importantly, none of them are meant to completely encompass the phenomena that they describe.
“When you read Scripture, [you get the sense that] all that Christ is doing is a recap, return, and transformation of the story in Genesis. When you look at how the story ends in Revelation, that it’s a return into the garden and an addition of the crown of the city around the garden”.16
On the scale of story, Scripture ends its series of events with a return into the garden. As mentioned before, the garden with the tree of life in it represents the stable world (it is what it is). Conversersely, as a consequence of his sin, which was the murder of Abel, Cain build the first city. In this case, it represents the transformative world. In the end, though, Christ transmutes the city into a crown around the garden (balance of transformation and stability).
This symbolic pattern can be repeated on all the embedded representations of story. In the context of Christianity, Christ mysteriously weaves all things together as a single thread. On the scale of a scene, Christ permeates all virtuous actions and crowns all of humanity with mercy. On the scale of biography and hagiography, his life fulfills humanity’s purpose and his death completes it. On the scale of tradition, his rituals satisfy humanity’s hunger and his sacrifice quenches our thirst. On the scale of universal history, humanity’s living and telling (of various narratives) glorify Christ and our waning and silence mysteriously preserve his story (the master narrative).
As can be surmised from these descriptions, Christ solves the paradox of life and death in many ways. Accordingly, the ultimate purpose of the master narrative, and each of its scales, is to host Christ within creation.
5.1 The Wise Phrase
Now that we have arrived at the final stage of our journey, it becomes possible to understand the wise phrase from the beginning more fully. However, it has also become more apparent that it contains a profound mystery.
After much more, St. Ambrose concludes, “Whenever you are tempted, know that a crown is being prepared”.17
For someone to be tempted, he must initially stand in the stable world. Then, the person can walk in two directions when this inevitable moment occurs. He either turns and follows his temptations. Or he perseveres and follows the one who prepares the crown. The first movement represents a descent into the transformative world, where his vision becomes blurry and his path slippery. He can eventually recapture his vision and ascend into harmony again, where he’s given another chance. The second movement represents the completion of the stable world by the transformative world. This person suffers patiently when he’s tempted, and trusts faithfully that he will receive a reward in the end. He recognizes that his crown is being prepared in moments of temptation. In other words, the crown is being prepared from the moments of temptation. This realization allows for the weaving of the crown.
5.2 Author and Co-Authors
Now that its symbolic design has been explored, it has become evident that story is of (micro)cosmic significance. Throughout, The Three Little Pigs has served us surprisingly well. However, the fundamental symbolic patterns as described in The Language of Creation made it possible to even begin this investigation. As valuable distributors of themes and patterns, they participate in the narration of our story. Whereas God is the Author of everything, we are co-authors of creation, which means our mission is to live and tell stories that establish virtue and stability as well as complete that world with humility and natural beauty. This way, story is the key to the cosmos.
At last, it’s time to take this key in hand and open its lock. Herein lies the completion of our journey.
- Lapide, Cornelius Cornelii a. The Great Commentary of Cornelius À Lapide: Volume 1, at 144. Translated by Thomas W. Mossman, Vol. 1, London, John Hodges, 1876.[↩]
- Pageau, Matthieu. The Language of Creation: Cosmic Symbolism in Genesis: A Commentary, at pts. II, III. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2018.[↩]
- M. Pageau, The Language of Creation, at ch. 17[↩]
- M. Pageau, The Language of Creation, at chs. 22, 23, 45[↩]
- M. Pageau, The Language of Creation, at ch. 55[↩]
- M. Pageau, The Language of Creation, at 137[↩][↩]
- M. Pageau, The Language of Creation, at ch. 59[↩]
- Holy Bible, at Jonah 1-2. American Standard Version, Bible Domain Publishing, 2013.[↩]
- M. Pageau, The Language of Creation, at ch. 53[↩]
- M. Pageau, The Language of Creation, at chs. 49, 68[↩]
- M. Pageau, The Language of Creation, at chs. 52, 74[↩]
- M. Pageau, The Language of Creation, at 194[↩]
- M. Pageau, The Language of Creation, at cover image[↩]
- M. Pageau, The Language of Creation, at chs. 50, 79[↩]
- M. Pageau, The Language of Creation, at chs. 51, 82[↩]
- Pageau, Jonathan. “Is Time Viewed as Linear in Christianity? | Jonathan Pageau,” at 00:45. YouTube, uploaded by Jonathan Pageau – Clips, 14 Aug. 2020.[↩]
- Lapide, The Great Commentary of Cornelius À Lapide, at 166[↩]
Max Teernstra on 2022-12-11 21:41:06
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