Achieving this is a tricky linguistic balance, because too much specificity and concreteness is incredible to modern minds, while too much vagueness and abstraction is simply uninteresting. What we need is a language that combines abstraction and concreteness, so that "transcendental experiences may be held in memory, meditated upon, ordered and made mutually coherent." What we need is what Bion called a language of achievement which can convert O into (n).
Now, if Spirit did not exist, we wouldn't even have a word for it or know where to begin looking for it. Nor would we know it when we had found it. Therefore, any talk of Spirit actually presupposes preconceptual knowledge of it, otherwise it is strict nonsense. A preconception is an empty category, a sort of blueprint that will be filled out by experience. Humans are born with many such innate, archetypal preconceptions, and Spirit is one of them. Everyone except an atheist knows this, but even the atheist uncoonsciously knows it because they can't shut up or stop thinking about it, no different really than the repressed hysteric who sees sexuality everywhere but within themselves.
For most people, it is not dogma that gives rise to belief, but otherwise ineffingbelievable transcendent experience that gives life to belief and leads to the effort to search out the means to make sense of, articulate, and give body to the effing experiences.
As we mentioned yesterday, a sense of the eternal can be evoked by the presence of the very old or the very new, the "everlasting" and the extremely transient. People can experience a sense of the eternal (including the "infinite potential") when they first see their newborn baby, which offers some insight into the focus on the baby Jesus. I am the alpha and omega, first and last.
The "first time" of most anything important resonates with eternity, which is why recollections of childhood live in a kind of eternity -- almost every day was a first of some kind. It was such a brief period of time, but childhood memories are charged with a kind of mystical intensity. This is one of the reasons liberals are still lost in the hypnotic mists of 1967. The mythical "summer of love" won't die until the last baby boomer croaks and takes this pseudo-Eden with him.
One of the purposes of rituals is to resonate with the mythological Great Time that abides deep within. You may notice, for example, that when you experience the Christmas season, it temporally resonates with all your past Christmases (time becomes "thick," so to speak), ultimately going back to the first one -- one that you never personally experienced, but nevertheless partake of. Likewise, when you rest on Saturday or Sunday, you are reluxing with the Creator, whether you consciously realize it or not.
Eternity can also be hinted at "by the last event in a series." Bomford cites the example of an aging travel writer who had visited a particularly beloved destination on many occasions. When he consciously realized that he was visiting it for the last time, it regained the freshness and vividness of the first visit.
"In the same spirit, the last words of the dying may be seen as a key to an understanding of the whole life. The last of the series completes the picture, ends the story, and thus hints at the instantaneous wholeness of eternity."
It is accomplished.
Everything. The whole existentialada. I just can't say it, because it's too literal. I have to hint at it. Language of achievement, don't you know.
Bomford notes that eternity is also evoked in "the uniting of old and new, or first and last... St. Augustine addressed God as 'Thou Beauty, both so ancient and so new.'"
Let us rejoyce:
I am passing out. O bitter ending! I'll slip away before they're up. They'll never see me. Nor know. Nor miss me. And it’s old and old it’s sad and old it’s sad and weary I go back to you, my cold father, my cold mad father, my cold mad feary father, till the near sight of the mere size of him, the moyles and moyles of it, moananoaning, makes me seasilt saltsick and I rush, my only, into your arms.
Here, in the dream logic of Finnegans Wake, Joyce fuses the old and new, birth and death, infancy and old age, time and eternity, river and ocean, earthly and celestial fathers, miles and moyles circumnavigation and circumcision....
My leaves have drifted from me. All. But one clings still. I'll bear it on me. To remind me of. Lff! So soft this morning, ours. Yes. Carry me along, taddy, like you done through the toy fair! If I seen him bearing down on me now under whitespread wings like he'd come from Arkangels, I sink I'd die down over his feet, humbly dumbly, only to washup. Yes, tid. There's where. First. We pass through grass behush the bush to. Whish! A gull. Gulls. Far calls. Coming, far! End here. Us then. Finn, again! Take. Bussoftlhee, mememormee ! Till thousandsthee. Lps. The keys to. Given! A way a lone a last a loved a long the
Old and new, time and eternity, are fused as the book circles around to the beginning: riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us to a commodius vicus of recirculation...
This book by Bomford has finally helped me understand what Petey was up to in the merging of those barmy Cosmobliteration and Cosmogenesis sections of One Cosmos, that ensure that it will never sell many copies:
Cut me down to sighs. Too old, older than Abraham, too young, young as a babe's I AM. Brahmasmi the Truth. The whole Truth. Nothing but the Truth. So ham, me God. We'll meet again. Up ahead, 'round the bend. The circle unbroken, by and by. A Divine Child, a godsend, a touch of infanity, a bloomin' yes....
Words fall. But one clings. Still. You don't say. Emptiness! drowning the soul in its everlasting peace, an eternal zero, a spaceless and placeless infinite, supremely real and solely real, our common source without center or circumference, no place, no body, no thing, or not two things, anyway: blissfully floating before the fleeting flickering universe, stork naked in brahma daynight, worshiping in oneder in a weecosmic womb with a pew, it is finally...
It seems that Petey thought of everything in his absurcular attempt to evoke eternity: unbroken circles, the fusing of alpha and omega, childhood and old age, darkness and light, yes and no, God and man, whole and part, birth and death, nothing and everything....
Hallucinations. Is there anything they don't know?
*With apologies to Terence McKenna