Friday, April 07, 2006

Friendly Nonlocal Operators Standing By, Ready to Assist You (4.18.10)

Occasionally I will let slip a cryptic comment in passing and then get requests from readers to elaborate. That's good. It shows that someone is paying attention. As I have said before, I don't want to be like my competitors, and go all wobbly around the key points that would unlock the whole darn mystery.

A few readers have asked me to expand upon my description of the "friendly nonlocal operators who always standing by, ready to assist you."

Contrary to popular belief, the divine does not govern by authority or force, but by attraction. If people would just realize this point, it would clear up a lot of misunderstandings.

For example, yesterday I heard a comment from one of the family members whose spouse died on 9-11. She said something to the effect of "my God died that day" because he didn't intervene to stop the planes from hitting the buildings.

But looked at from the Christian point of view (which we seem to be focussing on lately), this is not surprising. After all, even God is reduced to a state of powerlessness and is crucified within history. In other words, even God submits to the rules of the universe he made. However, in so doing, he tries to become an "attractor" and draw men toward him.

In fact, in the Christian view, this ultimate case of submitting to history is the very gravitational "center" of history--it is what history was leading up to and the luminous point from which all subsequent history flows. It is the mysterious axis around which the very cosmos revolves.

This is in complete contrast to the Muslim god, which is in fact a god of power and force. Everywhere it has appeared, Islam has been forced upon people through violence and coercion. In the case of Christianity, it spread like wildfire throughout the Roman Empire, because when people heard the story, they were mysteriously attracted to it. In the case of Islam, it spread because people were attracted to the idea of keeping their head attached to their body.

The worship of power is the source of all idolatry. Thus, let's not pretend there haven't been Christian idolaters. It's just that the worship of power is a human flaw, not something intrinsic to Christianity. Jesus emphasized this point time and again: "the meek shall inherit the earth," "blessed are the poor in spirit," "blessed are you when they revile and persecute you," etc.

Even Genesis emphasizes this point. At first, Adam lives in spontaneous obedience to the God-attractor. The fall represents an act of willful disobedience--of turning to another center of "attraction" represented by the serpent.

The difference between "dark magic" and "sacred magic" is that in case of the former, the individual attempts to arrogate spiritual powers to himself, whereas in the latter, the individual submits to powers that exceed himself. One is achieved through force of will, the other through purity of will.

Truth, Love, and Beauty cannot be obtained through force. You cannot force someone to love you. Nor, for that matter, can God force you to love him. Why would anyone want to be loved through force, anyway?

In the realm of the vertical, "attraction" plays the same role as gravity in the horizontal. According to my anonymous friend, "the domain of our freedom itself, our spiritual life, shows the real and active presence of gravitation of a spiritual order. For what is the phenomenon of religion if not the manifestation of spiritual gravitation towards God--i.e., towards the center of spiritual gravitation of the world?"

He goes on: "Now, the domain of freedom--the spiritual life--is found placed between two gravitational fields with two different centers. The Gospel designates them as 'heaven' and 'this world,' or as the 'kingdom of God' and the 'kingdom of the prince of this world.' And it designates those whose will follows or is submitted to the gravitation of 'this world' as 'children of this world,' and those whose will follows the gravitation of 'heaven' as 'children of light.'"

Now, one of the things you must cultivate in your spiritual practice is the ability to sense this "spiritual gravity." Just as your body has proprioceptors that help to orient you in physical space, we also possess spiritual receptors that help to orient us in vertical space.

If you develop an inner ear problem, you will become dizzy and disoriented in space. Likewise, if you have an inner eye problem, you won't be able to sense spiritual attractors and to make your way about the vertical.

Imagine, for a moment, what the world would be like if we lacked such organs of spiritual reception. There would literally be no up and down, no high and low, no good and evil, no truth or falsehood. The entire world would he like academia, a horrifying thought.

One hardly has to imagine this spiritually weightless, topsy-turvy condition. The world is full of horizontal barbarians--sons of the earth--who are not oriented around any attractor above their own passions. They relentlessly make raids on the vertical, the only way they know of its existence.

An extreme case would be the nazis, who worshipped a god of pure will, of force, similar to the religious fascists with whom we are presently dealing. In the case of the Islamists, just consider the god to whom they are attracted: it is a purely terrestrial god who promises 72 virgins and other earthly delights to the "martyr."

Consider their misuse of the word "martyr" as someone who, through the force of his perverse will, murders as many innocent human beings as possible. The Christian--or Jewish--martyr (which means "witness," not "suicide bomber") is instead an I-witness of verticality to whom we are drawn by their living testimony--say, dancing and singing on the way to the lions.

Remember the famous story told by Elie Wiesel of the two men in the death camp? One asks to the other, "where is God now?" He responds by pointing to a child hanging from the gallows. One wonders: is this a thinkable thought in spiritual logic of the Muslim world?

We've barely gotten started on the subject of those friendly nonlocal operators alluded to above. We will probably continue with this attracive topic for a few days.

25 Comments:

Anonymous Will said...

Bob -

I think the Deity of the Old Testament was, to a degree at least, a forceful God, a selecting God, necessarily so in order that the table be set for the eventual manifestation of God in the human race, Christ being the exemplar.

We could be in cosmic no-man's land now. The OT Deity no longer exists as the selecting God, and we have as yet to allow Him to manifest through us in the fullest. Meanwhile, Islam wishes to regresse to the OT Deity, but since that Deity no longer exists in that form, islam insists on doing the enforcing/selecting itself.

One way of looking at it, anyway. But if true, the cosmic no-man's land is untenable as a permanent state of being, which is why some think that a period of "Tribulation" has been scheduled to force the issue. (would apply both universally and individually)

4/07/2006 07:48:00 AM  
Anonymous dilys said...

In fact, I suspect we are hard-wired in this life to be hierarchial and dualistic, and if tone-deaf to spiritual attraction/Natural Law (What we Can't Not Know, in J.
Budziszewski's terms, reviewed here and discussed here), we will assign "good" and "bad" based either on the pleasure or power principle. Topsy-turvy still has an up and a down, and it will be promulgated and enforced. There is no neutral opting-out, nor serving several masters.

Without commenting on the theological depths and ambiguities of the arguments implicit in Bob's "God suffers" explanation, for anyone who cares to pursue it the bedrock Christian apologetic in addressing The problem of pain recently showed up in the wake of the New Year's Tsunami at Touchstone Magazine from the magnificent David Hart and others. That makes clear to me that sentimentality on the subject resigns us to ever-more-painful and self-centered loops.

This issue is solved not by sympathy nearly so much as by the internal reorganization around Truth, which is the individual opportunity to force the issue. "Feelings," in this realm, are most useful as tuned to the "spiritual attractors," not to absolutize our natural attachments, however inevitable a default that seems. Like Gautama, using loss and misery to investigate this most amazing life of ours.

A most provocative assertion in a major Creed is "I look for the life of the world to come," not as pie in the sky, but aligning with that life here and now. Seeking first the Kingdom...

4/07/2006 07:57:00 AM  
Blogger Dan Spomer said...

Bob, I have now worked (wormed?) my way all the way into Chapter 4 of your book.

I had been meaning to read it far earlier than this, but something or the other always seemed to "come up." It also seemed too daunting of a task given the fragmented time I could devote to it.

Three days ago my daughter had to be admitted to the hospital for a rather nasty and worrisome case of pneumonia, and for some reason I took your book (and none other) to while away the hospital hours... perhaps giving myself a "you VILL read it or ELSE, comrade!!!" ultimatum?

Surprisingly, it's been one of the easiest reads I've ever enjoyed- almost as if I knew exactly which way you were going before I could turn the next page.

While it would be folly to suggest I could have written it myself, I did feel as if it were very familiar and an old friend, and I could feel my axis of rotation moving ever so slightly here and there as I progressed... or put another way, the venetian blinds of my perspective were turned JUST a tad at times in order for me to see more clearly.

Don't know if any of that makes sense, but I felt humbled as I became more and more aware of the vast amount of effort and time you expended to produce your book.

My daughter is home and fine now... and I'm more than certain that there was a reason I brought your book and your book only. Many thanks...

PS- Things not to do: upon being asked "whatcha reading?", attempting to describe your book to a nurse in one paragraph or less at 3:30 am. Heh.

4/07/2006 08:06:00 AM  
Anonymous dilys said...

There's an "elevator speech" challenge worth taking up. "Whatcha' readin'?"

"Imagine James Joyce and Wilfred Bion having a faith-based food fight at the Eleusinian Mysteries."

That'll send 'em packing stat.

4/07/2006 08:18:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Funny you should mention that. When people ask me what the book is about--a perfectly reasonable question--I honestly don't know what to say. And that's just to my publisher.

I wish I could have recorded and transcribed all the fumbling, improvised answers I've given. I'm sure I've never repeated myself.

4/07/2006 08:38:00 AM  
Blogger Dan Spomer said...

Well, it IS a difficult question to answer... I mean, what SHOULD one answer when asked what your book is about?

I believe the safest answer is; "An action thriller." Or perhaps;
"Cosmic comic book?" "Romance gnovel?"

But that works only if they DON'T see the cover. If they see that, then you are truly in a tight spot trying to explain. Orderlies and fashionably tight white jackets are in your very near future.

Heh. Just teasing.

4/07/2006 08:56:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

My copy of One Cosmos is about 313 pages.

4/07/2006 09:08:00 AM  
Anonymous jwm said...

It's about Life, The Universe, and Everything, only without Zaphod Beeblebrox.

And thanks for all the fish!

JWM

4/07/2006 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

"Now, one of the things you must cultivate in your spiritual practice is the ability to sense this "spiritual gravity." Just as your body has proprioceptors that help to orient you in physical space, we also possess spiritual receptors that help to orient us in vertical space.

If you develop an inner ear problem, you will become dizzy and disoriented in space. Likewise, if you have an inner eye problem, you won't be able to sense spiritual attractors and to make your way about the vertical. "

Are you referring to what some call the Third Eye? It seems once it starts to open and orientate itself in your body, it becomes very hard to close again. Which is a good thing, but difficult to explain to friends & family. I think that is why many of us feel compelled to share our thoughts in this forum.

At my training this past weekend,one teacher/student suggested imagining a string attached to either your heart or chest and another attached to the crown of the head/kether (is that also another name for 3rd eye?) gently pulling you forward and up as you walk and stand. I also like to imagine my spine elongating in space with each step I take. There seems to be a correlation between verticality in the horizontal world and receptiveness to verticality in the vertical world. It's almost as if proper physical body alignment allows easier vertical access because organs and fascia have space to breathe and the spirit can come to the forefront. It does not have to worry about bodily dis-ease as much and can focus on the vertical.

4/07/2006 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Has anyone else seen the news about the Gospel Of Judas being authenticated?
Here it is
I am not well-versed on Chrisitianity and the theological implications that will arise from this discovery. Any opinions?

4/07/2006 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Lisa--

What you are saying is true. It is one of the bases of yoga. Deep breathing and a dignified, elongated posture go hand in hand with maintaning the proper bearing for spiritual receptivity. Animals possess this grace automatically. Only humans can have a soul that is unfit for the body. In reality, the body should be more ashamed of the average soul than vice versa.

4/07/2006 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Reality can be a bitch sometimes!

LOL! I missed the South Park last night that says Islam is the biggest bitch in the world! Bummer, will have to look for it in re-runs...

4/07/2006 11:04:00 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Does anyone else feel that it was crucial for the Gospel of Judas to be revealed at this moment because it is parallel to God asking us to speak out against the true nature of Islam. The Left still doesn't want to hear it and is in a huge state of denial and has to vilify the Right (I use these terms loosely) as evil and Hitler-like. Things are really becoming "biblical" in today's reality....or at least I am just seeing it that way.

4/07/2006 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Oh my, PT is having a seizure right now! She'll be okay, though, it's quite common in small dogs. :0(

4/07/2006 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger LiquidLifeHacker said...

Lisa, I haven't actually seen all the facts on the new finding, I don't know for sure how much of the actual text will be available to the public, but for me, this new 'gospel' will have no bearing at all on my faith. We have no idea what the motive of the author was when this work was done, and without reading it all and knowing what it contains as of yet, I will have to hold off on my judgement. Will be interesting to see if this author even mentions Judas's suicide at all. But like I said, it was tossed as being heretic a long time ago and I think the time they have stamped on it and a little earlier was all the arugment about the gnostic stuff, so the date will be important too and maybe once we read it for ourselves, we will see why. I mean even a leader today could publish a book and keep it hidden for years for whoever found it later and it could be a total rewriting of the actual truth, because we have seen this happen in art too, where forgeries have slipped through. The thing I do pray for though is that it isn't used like Dan Brown used the other gnostics to try to discredit Christianity by creating theories. I mean there are true historians that keep the facts and then there are just writers out there with an opinion and some with an agenda. Which one cannot help to ignore that if it is heretic crap who would be behind using it for their own evil? Who would come along and use anything to twist the truth? Who would glorify and make a hero out of betrayal?

Some good may come from this though, maybe it can be used to open up more conversations between Jews and Christians.

Islam will embrace it full stop because many of them actually go so far as to say Judas was not only a hero but actually took Christ place on the cross!

BTW Dilys...thanks for your great links! Must appreciated!

4/07/2006 01:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Will said...

Lisa, is sort of interesting that the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges wrote a short story about 40 years ago with this exact Judas theme: Judas being the greatest of the disciples, by way of martyring himself and his reputation for several millenia in order to help Christ fulfill His role as crucified Savior.

I have my doubts as to whether the original author(s) of the text believed in the literalness of this gospel. Like the other gnostic gospels, it's making a certain point about gnosis itself, the idea of martyrdom, etc. However, as was discussed here before, many of the gnostic texts were then and have since been grotesquely misinterpreted. The timing of this Judas gospel news then, is, I think, suspect.

You do know that the Wed episodes of South Park repeat on Sat and Sun?

4/07/2006 01:45:00 PM  
Blogger LiquidLifeHacker said...

You know, I have strong doubts too Will and I'll tell you why, even before I get the chance to read this new finding which I don't think they even know "who" the author is but anyway for whoever is interested...

Galatians 1:6-9 teaches us this...

6I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!

Paul taught us to be skeptical of any 'other Jesus' or any "a different spirit" or 'different gospel' so that we wouldn't be decieved.
------------------

We must also remember what was being taught in 2 Corinthians 11

3But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. 5But I do not think I am in the least inferior to those "super-apostles." 6I may not be a trained speaker, but I do have knowledge. We have made this perfectly clear to you in every way.

4/07/2006 02:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Kahntheroad said...

"I don't believe you. You're a Liar!"

Anyway, I'm sure this Judas thing can be interpreted many ways, and I'm not schooled or qualified to offer serious speculation on it's deep implications.

But, on the surface, the new Judas spin makes him sound like a perfect role model for today's lefties: It is heroic to betray the civilization and values that have fed, clothed, educated and protected you, because it's downfall will bring about world peace and/or (fill in the blank with your pet fantasy...).

4/07/2006 03:35:00 PM  
Blogger Finding Fair Hope said...

No, no, no, it's not permission to betray. It's just a look at EVERYTHING from a different angle -- what if? All our lives we are taught to look at Judas one way, but he had a side in this, a side we've never been clear about. Let us give this thing time and maybe we can learn something about another possibility. Eh, Bob?

4/07/2006 06:33:00 PM  
Blogger Dan Spomer said...

So... we're rewriting the Bible in our spare time, now?

Sorry folks, this is where I get off the train.

4/07/2006 08:27:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

Here's a good article on the gospel of Judas, by a fellow named Mark Daniels. I got the link from Hugh Hewitt's site.

http://markdaniels.blogspot.com/2006/04/what-about-gospel-of-judas-first-brief.html

JWM

4/07/2006 09:15:00 PM  
Blogger LiquidLifeHacker said...

excellent article jwm...thank you for sharing that!

Dan...ummm, NO we are not rewriting the bible...just discussing what they call the judas gospel which they recently decided to restore and present to the public. In fact Dan, just wait, the lefties will start comparing it to the Bush/libby situation ...just give it time, so they will embrace it if only for that!

I personally am not moved by the finding since it changes nothing in my own faith.

4/08/2006 12:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Sal said...

Good one, Dilys!

Will, you said:
"I have my doubts as to whether the original author(s) of the text believed in the literalness of this gospel. Like the other gnostic gospels, it's making a certain point about gnosis itself, the idea of martyrdom, etc. However, as was discussed here before, many of the gnostic texts were then and have since been grotesquely misinterpreted. The timing of this Judas gospel news then, is, I think, suspect."

Could you unpack this a little, please? Grotesquely misinterpreted how and by whom? And for what purpose? Those of us who are coming at this from a very different angle would be interested in your pov. It would seem that "believing in the literalness of the gospel" is kind of the point, for gospel writers. If not, then why present it as one?

Dan - welcome, and glad your daughter's better! Buying Bob's book today, for myself.

4/08/2006 05:37:00 AM  
Anonymous micrdick said...

Another amazingly worthwhile and entertaining read.

I still think you are missing a lot by not looking into Christian Science. The idea that we are actually living in a dream (living out a dream) (spiritual beings having a human experience) etc. but that there is a God who is perfect and created us as perfect, and when we can see that true state expressed, instantly changes our human expression to a perfectly normal state, seems to be borne out in fact.

I am an electronic designer, very much a hard science type, who always had a strong attraction to the spiritual but who was never attracted to the mainstream protestant practice I grew up in.

After years reading about religious beliefs and practicing a meditative technique based mainly on positive visualation, I encountered a medical condition that I couldn't deal with. The silent prayer of a Christian Science employee healed me within 24 hours. Since then I have handled several broken bones in a foot and innumerable other physical issues through nothing more than "Prayer from the proper basis".

It really works, and the fact that it truly overcomes the apparent laws of physics says everything about our world, that it is totally a world created by our own beliefs. There is no other place than our current state of consciousness, and heaven and hell are merely states of consciousness. The trick is to find and maintain the state of God consciousness, "that mind that was also in Christ Jesus" Phillipians 2:5.

It seems to be the best kept secret of the age.

4/08/2006 07:49:00 AM  
Anonymous diz said...

Bob,

This morning I was reading the Autobibliography and Self-References from your book, and you mentioned your "competitors". I thought at the time that was a strange word choice, then I see it again in this post. Who exacly is it you consider a competitor?

4/08/2006 10:22:00 AM  

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