Some people walk the Camino, the Way of St James, to arrive back at the origins of Christianity. Others make local pilgrimages, stopping off at various points on the way to a Holy Door. The Church subculture has all but disappeared but people turn to holy places to rebuild culture. Why would someone light a votive candle at a side altar? What function does it perform? How would we build an interactive grotto?
'Economy' - The obstacle is the way.
The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.
— Marcus Aurelius
In the documents of Vatican II, the word economy means 'the plan of salvation' but for our purpose we need to go back to Newman's original source, Clement and the School of Alexandria. Aristotle had used oikonomia to describe the administration of a household, and it is from here that we get our modern day economy and economics. Clement of Alexandria pairs oikonomia/akribeia, lenience/strictness, to talk about matters of conscience: If you are required to write a reference for someone and you say they are generally satisfactory, when what you mean is that they are not particularly satisfactory, are you telling a lie? - the next employer will think so - or is it simply an economy where you are not disclosing the full truth? You say she is a sweet girl when you mean she is an unsavoury character.
Although God gives men an enduring witness to Himself in created realities, the truth is contained in an economy. The imprint of Wisdom has to be uncovered, for it is not fully disclosed. Strict intellectual truth has to be drawn out from our experience of the world.
A ring leaves an impression in wax.
A block of marble contains the form of a statue.
A photograph is produced from a negative.
The real meaning of an IDEA!
The Apostle Paul and the Greek Fathers, along with John Scotus Eriugena, all use the same word for causality, 'proorismos,' which means to mark out providentially. Their world brims with value. Good gives itself in paradigms, prototypes, exemplars or archetypes of goodness, beauty, truth and unity. Although creatures are potentially endowed with these qualities, they lack the capacity to fulfil their potential. A lure or enticement is required to lead and influence the creature so that they will live out their potential and present to the fullest degree the presence that dwells within. Proorismos does this but, more specifically, it marks out providentially, sending forth the appropriate idea or theory for the right occasion. This is the real meaning of an idea and in this concept the role of reason is to appreciate and then to participate in what it appreciates. When providential normative measures are felt intelligently, they lead on to goodness of all kinds. The thing that is structured participates in a value that becomes a norm for its structuring.
Or to put it another way, the structuring activity of the higher system provides the form of the lower system.
Aristotle's Lagoon - a snippet (If Chrome doesn't play nicely suggest Firefox)
The scientist says it really is something like information. The philosopher agrees that it is like information, or an activity. The last bit is the key to a virtual grotto. The form of the lower system is provided by the structuring activity of a higher system. We go to a grotto to be informed.