Sunday, April 16, 2006

Hooray! Surrection!

What can one possibly say about Easter or the resurrection that hasn't been said in the past 1973 years, give or take? In particular, what can I say that hasn't been said by various church doctors, saints, popes, priests, and simple people of faith?

Well, for starters, I'd like to see the Pope come out on his balcony, pump his fist in the air, and start chanting, "Hooray! Surrection! Hooray! Surrection! Hooray! Surrection!" That's certainly what I would do. Then again, that's the difference between me and the Pope. He's God's pit bull. I like to think of myself as his rodeo clown.

As I have mentioned before, this is what is so fascinating about scripture--and personally, I am not just talking about the Gospels, but about the Torah, the Upanishads, or the Tao Te Ching--that it is so inexhaustible. This is why, despite all that has been said about it for hundreds and hundreds of years, there is always more to say. It is incapable of becoming saturated. You think you're looking at it, but it is always looking through you. It is actually a means with which to look at the the world, especially the deep interior world.

And yet, because of its specifically unsaturated quality, we can never really comprehend scripture, in the literal sense of "wrapping our understanding" around it. Rather, try as we might, it is always comprehending us. Furthermore, paradoxically, the more of it we comprehend, the more it comprehends us.

How can this be? It is the reverse of becoming an "expert" at something. An expert knows everything about something that is ultimately about nothing. But to become a spiritual "expert," you are constantly rediscovering the fact that you know what amounts to nothing about the ultimate something. You are a lifetime apprentice. It is constantly instructing you.

Two of the very greatest biblical exegetes, Meister Eckart and Moses Maimonides, adopted the same scheme in interpreting scripture. They indicated that there were four main ways: the literal, the moral, the allegorical, the purely spiritual. Now, this point is subject to misunderstanding, so listen closely. I used to be one of those people who would have resented dogma, whereas now I fully understand why it must be preserved. And yet, if we adopt the approach of traditional metaphysics, there are always degrees of being, and the material is considered the lowest degree, the furthest in distance from God.

Perhaps this in itself might provide a key--for some bobbleheads, anyway--to understanding the resurrection. As we discussed yesterday, God is both pure existence beyond being and pure potential, compared to which we are but nothing. According to Frithjof Schuon, since nothingness cannot be possible within God--i.e., God is the one thing that cannot not be--"it is necessary that this 'possibility of the impossible' should be realized in an 'internal dimension' which is 'neither real nor unreal.'"

In other words, the ephemeral world of illusion--of maya--that surrounds us "represents the possibility for Being of not being." This is somewhat similar to the Jewish concept of tsimtsum, which means that, in order to create a cosmos separate from himself, God must first generate a void and then withdraw or contract from it. Otherwise, creation would be identical to God, and we would be left with simple pantheism.

This is precisely why and how God "reveils" himself through creation: it both discloses and veils God at the same time. As Schuon put it, "Reality has entered into nothingness so that nothingness might become real."

Therefore, existence itself is problematic, in that it represents an inherent separation from God. "There is none good but God," or something like that. To exist at all means to be other than God. Truly, you must grasp this existential fact: we are darkness visible and nothingness tangible. In diagnosing our own bare nothingness, we can have no disagreement with a naughty existentialist such as Sartre or Nietzsche.

But this is also where we part ways with them. Because for Sartre and his ilk, there is truly no exit. The cosmos is a closed circle with no doorway in, up, or out. Or perhaps a doorway in, but certainly no way out short of death.

But death is not so much a way out as a simple end of the line, a final closing of the circle, a period at the end of the death sentence. Period.

Who was Jesus? In manifesting his celestial nature on earth, he did not seem particularly concerned about making it fully intelligible. After all, that's why we're still talking and arguing about it two thousand years later. He simply incarnated his cosmic destiny and largely left it for others to figure out. What did it mean? What could it possibly mean?

Rudolf Steiner wrote that "the secrets of the Mysteries became manifest in Christianity." What secret? What mysteries?

Here I don't want to dwell on the literal aspect of resurrection, but how it might pertain to consciousness. Jesus was a divine "depth charge" dropped not only into history but into consciousness as well. It is said that his atonement (at-one-ment) was a reversal or undoing of mankind's original fall. That fall, in my view, was the fall alluded to above: the fall of God within himself into the possibility of non-being and nothingness, from symmetry to asymmetry.

Clearly, knowledge played some role in the fall, for it was specifically a type of knowledge--i.e., eating from the tree of good and evil--that precipitated it.

Therefore, the "fall" into the world of asymmetrical knowledge and finite being must be reversed as well; our consciousness must be raised up, back to its source. How do we eat from the Tree of Life and return to the symmetry of the infinite One beyond being?

Today marks a transhistorical, metacosmic day, a day to meditate on timeless truth in its metaphysical transparency. An anonymous Greek Orthodox theologian remarked that "We do not ask whether or not the resurrection happened. It is the horizon in which we live." Dwelling within this vertical horizon is a way to contemplate reality at its deepest level--a level that is well beyond mere discursive thought. For the Father is the transcendent aspect of God, the Son the immanent aspect. How to reconcile them?

Perhaps they were only ever separated by the veil of death. It is said that upon Jesus’ death, the temple veil was rent vertically from top to bottom. The resurrection is reality unveiled, which is to say reveiled, for it is a mysterious new veil with which to think about reality and to reconcile its ultimate terms. For if your powers of deception were cleansed, nothing would appear as it isn't.

O Death, you old mahahasamadhi, show us your secret mannascrypt, your Divine Cosmodeity. Take us before and beyond this womentary maninfestation, reveal not the horizontal but our inmost upmost vertical bigending at somarise.

Insinuate! Now put down the apple and back away slowly, and nobody dies. Ascent you a son, amen for a child's job. Reset your chronescapes and preprayer for arrisall, beyond the phoenix line. And you shall never grow so old again.

A hoppy yeaster to ale. Whorise? Ourrection! For He is accompliced.


Just for kicks, absolute consciousness becomes its opposite and plays at being trapped in the closed circle of manifestation.


ben usn (ret) said...

Happy Easter Bob and bobbleheads!
It's Resurrection day!
An insurrection in deaths prison.
Freedom is there for all who see.
It is time to leave Egypt behind,
cross the Red Sea, see, enter the wilderness and cross over to the promised land.
Dad is waiting, so
no slacking off.
Milk and honey for dinner, folks!

That was the most unique Easter message I have heard, Bob.

debass said...

" You are a lifetime apprentice. It is constantly instructing you."

Music is this way too. One expression we used for musicians that thought they were experts was

"He doesn't know enough to know that he doesn't know."

will said...

Bob and the Bobbleheaded Who Are Shaped Roughly In The Image Of Bob -

Some meditational musings on this Resurrection Sunday:

>>--"it is necessary that this 'possibility of the impossible' should be realized in an 'internal dimension' which is 'neither real nor unreal.'" <<

I think of time as being the nexus of the "real" and "unreal" - we could not exist separate from (yet always at one with) God without this limiting, this impossible constriction, of timelessness. Time exists as a measurement and yet it doesn't exist. (SEE Augustine) I find the concept of time to be the most "porous" fact of existence - it's very fact suggests all is real and unreal at the same time.

In historical, linear, time, the Resurrection understandably splits past from present and future (BC and AD), but in the symmetrical, trans-historical sense, the Crucifixion/Resurrection occurs at every moment up and down the timeline - it is occurring NOW. Not figuratively but in actuality.

A time theorist might say we are being annhilated, one frame of time to the next, then reborn, ad infinitum - the eternal Becoming.

Taken this way, then Creation - the death of the Godhead's Onenss and Its resurrection as the Multiplicity - is occuring right now, not as a static past event, but as an eternally present actuality. Every nano-second we are springing into existence out of the Divine Potentiality. Every moment we look out on the first day of Creation.

I'm sure there are infinite ways in which to take in the meaning of the Resurrection. For me, right now, as of this moment, on this Resurrection Sunday, I see Christ's Resurrection as the full manifestation, the time/space embodiment, of the Truth of eternal Becoming - so designed that we might become aware of our own sacred, eternally ressurecting nature.

Lisa said...

Happy Easter, my Bobbleheaded Peeps! Does the term Easter have any correlation to the direction? I love the way Will has put it, that we are constantly resurrecting ourselves from moment to moment. It is a hopeful stance to take because there is always another moment to improve and learn from past mistakes. This morning I raise my coffee mug and toast the (n)ever-changing divine moments we experience in life!

Plus, all the Easter candy goes on sale tomorrow! Yippee!

jwm said...

Good morning all. It's hard to type here because Booger the Cat has moved from her traditional spot at my left elbow to warmer quarters on my lap.
Wow. There is so much stuff brewing and spinning in my head and heart right now. It's like the 101/405 exchange at rush hour (Los Angeles referrence for those in other locales)
Something in our hearts inclines to God. We have gathered here in this on line space that is both real and unreal. We put some tendril of our conscious being out into cyberspace, and somehow we know that we reach one another. I wouldn't recognize Will, Lisa, LLH, Khantheroad, Ben, Hoarhey, or Dilys if I were sitting next to you on a bus. Yet somehow I do know you, and you me. Somehow there is a connection, even though the only proof I have is a line of text on the monitor. We sometimes hear of troubles afflicting others among our on-line friends. We say a prayer for them and never worry that the prayers will be routed correctly even though we haven't a clue what the person looks like, or where he or she may be in the world. Amazing stuff, no? Anyway, Bob- thanks for providing this space, and these discussions. To the rest of the Mystic Knights of the Eternal Bobble. Be well and may God bless you all.


Lisa said...

Aww, that's really sweet JWM! I feel the same way! Here's a really cute Hip-hoppy Easter Wish for all ya Bobbleheads out there!

Dan Spomer said...

Fascinating Easter message from the Pope today. The transcipt can be found over at Michelle Malkin's site.

90 said...

I guess I am inclined to beleive the word's of Jesus when He said "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no man comes to the Father except by me." It pretty much excludes any other way. It's offensive to those who are also competing to present another way, but considering the Words, Deeds, crucifixion and Resurection of Christ, I choose to trust in Him.