The Word Calling to Be and Being Chosen

Light of truth

Thomas Aquinas in his theological language conceived God not as a noun but as a verb. In his Latin God is not an ens – being but esse – to be. This clearly means that for him God is not a being as other beings are. But God is acting or act of being. St John opens his Gospel “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. …All things came into being through Him…and the Word became flesh and lived among us.” It is the story of beginning as in book of Genesis. God spoke and creation happened: “God said, ‘Let there be light!’ And so light is.” God saw how good the light was” (Genesis 1:3-4a). In God’s speech—the Word—were the heart, character, will, and creative mind of God. It was the logos that created the cosmos. John affirms that it was God’s logos, God’s Word, that set the universe in motion. The key word here is the linguistic word. “The word is not a material thing but rather the eternally mobile, eternally fickle medium of dialogic interaction. It never gravitates toward a single consciousness or a single voice.” The flesh has to be read as word. I am an event of God’s communication of calling. I open my eyes and ask why me? I am given. My inception and guarantee comes from a real presence which is real absence. The giver or the caller is not present. I am also called into freedom of becoming what I am which is a horizon of becoming. I owe my freedom from the solipsism of an ‘absolute consciousness’ to my bringing-to-birth in the horizon of the other. I become conscious of myself in and through you; calling to be, called to be oneself in and through the other, the other is absent, the absence is a mark in me, a scar that cries.

I live in a world of other’s words, there is we who enter the chain of speech communion. Our consciousness develops with our ability to communicate, to interact. I am called to being and I am called to utter and call for. Man is a communicating being and lives in the home of language. Consciousness is synonymous with the inner word, the inner sign, and inner speech. This word and speech are natural flow of the wonder that being is simply given. It is ethical and aesthetic consciousness. Ethics and aesthetics precedes existence. Before I am, there is a call by which I am. The first expression of being called into being is the sense of wonder. The ethics and aesthetics of gratitude of being given. The sense of call is expressed in rituals of gratitude and adoration. Grateful feeling of vocation is beautifully expressed in first pages of the book of Genesis, “God saw that it was good.” It is also a human expression of the word of wonder at existence, of wonder at being that is good and beautiful. The eyes and ears see and hear, speech of values and meanings are uttered. Creative individuality is nothing but the expression of a particular person’s basic, firmly grounded, and consistent line of social orientation. The individual develops out of other. Everything which is related to the individual enters his consciousness from the external world through the mouths of others with their intonation, in their emotional and value-assigning tonality. Individual subjectivism is wrong to derive the origin of the utterance from the speaker’s inner world. One can speak of the absolute aesthetic need of man for the other, for the other’s activity of seeing, holding, putting together and unifying, which alone can bring into being the externally finished personality. On another level Jesus Himself is identified as the “chosen one,” (“then a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, My Chosen One; listen to him. And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone” Luke 9:35).

Being called, becomes a calling to respond, which is calling to responsibility. Being responsible is a dignity and a chosenness that one owes for. This explains the scandal of the Jews as the chosen people, submitting that this chosenness is neither pride nor will to power, but ethical and aesthetic consciousness itself, consisting of compelling, non-transferable responsibilities. The chosenness of a people is, no more and no less than, human beings living in a pluralistic, human society, under obligation to each other. It is also remain committed to their singular chosen identity, thereby simultaneously actualizing the universal. “I can substitute myself for everyone, but no one can substitute himself for me. Such is my inalienable identity of subject.”

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