I concluded my post about calling by suggesting that, when a cook goes beyond merely satisfying appetites and begins trying to create something like culinary beauty, then perhaps the cook’s passion goes deeper and the calling higher — as if it were the Holy Spirit working in and through this cook. This low/high, shallow/deep distinction between appetite and art is an elitist one, where God is more concerned with pleasing the food critics than with feeding the hungry. But a cook who makes food more readily available to the hungry who otherwise might have to do without: isn’t such a cook performing an act of justice? So let’s democratize the possibility of divine calling: not just deeper and higher but wider might distinguish the Spirit’s summons.
In this mystified model of Passion and Calling the Holy Spirit has a job to do, but for the Christian Trinity that’s only a 33% employment rate. How about the Father and the Son: what useful work might they perform? Here’s a tentative outline of trinitarian job descriptions:
The Holy Spirit generates the energy that activates Passion and Calling, through which the self maintains a dynamic connection to the other and the world. The Spirit’s force is immanent, generating the drives and desires that propel human action, as well as the environmental attractors and affordances that draw human attention to themselves as possible satisfiers of desire. In Deleuzian terms, this Spirit-force is the source of all multiplicity, shooting rhizomes through the world that merge and collide with and counteract each other, churning up a dynamic force field in which everything takes shape. It is through the widespread and complex interactions and attractions affecting these immanent vectors of multiplicity that the Spirit also generates transcendence: the structures and collective forces which accumulate into a medium in which all this dynamic activity takes place.
The Son is the force of incarnation, where body interacts with spirit. This is the force of individuation and subjectivity and personal agency. It’s the force through which the free self paradoxically emerges from the interacting tyrannies of biological determinism and sociocultural hegemony. The incarnate self is inspired, channeling the passions that flow through him or her in order to shape the rhizomes of multiplicity shooting through the world. The incarnate self cultivates expertise and taste and standards in order to shape the world in particular ways. Through interaction with others and the diverse calls they issue, the incarnate self moves toward identity within flux, toward individuality within collectivity, toward meaning within absurdity. The Son represents human agency both individually and corporately: the senders and receivers of passion and calling, the individual worker and the workforce, the impetus for discrete works of creation and for the cumulative works of human culture.
The Father is the force of plenitude and perfection. Truth, Beauty, Justice — these are standards that exceed passion and calling, that go beyond individual self-expression and difference. These standards cannot be prescribed by law nor are they universal and eternal: they depend on the movement of Spirit shaped by the agency of incarnation in specific places and times. The Father also establishes the standard of subjective incarnational excellence which manifests itself uniquely for each individual. The Father is the horizon toward which all creation and every creator moves.
I haven’t compiled specific Scriptural references to justify this framework. As a materialist I don’t even buy into it myself. As I said, it’s a tentative formulation, possibly providing a basis for further conversation and collaboration.