Wandering, Wondering, and Blundering into the Mystery
To know what man can be is to know that God is, which in turn leads to an understanding of what to do about the situation, i.e., meditation, prayer, the cultivation of virtue, and wandering about aimlessly but not omlessly in the desert, each of which is a different mode of faith and worship. In this regard, "Faith is like an ‘existential’ intuition of its ‘intellectual’ object" (Schuon), the pre-conception required to give birth to the seed of God.
First of all, you needn't waste any time trying to prove whether God exists, because man is the evidence you seek, if only you would seek and discover the Real Man behind the mask. It is like leaves trying to prove -- or disprove, as the case may be -- the existence of trees by growing more leaves. Once you walk the plank into God's arbor and your wood beleaf, the coonundrum ends and the Great Mystery begins. And it is a "mystery in motion," otherwise known as an adventure -- the only one that really Is and has ever been: the adventure of consciousness. The melody of your life continues to play, only transposed to a higher key.
Now "mystery," like "worship," is a misunderstood word. Just as "worship" -- or what we were calling (w) -- is the cultivation of an (L) and therefore (K) link between God and man -- or O and (¶) -- mystery is not an absence of knowledge, but a pregnant space where a certain kind of knowledge flows. But to distinguish this from profane, horizontal knowledge (k), we call this latter form (n).
As a brief aside, I feel sorry for anyone who is not able to plunge heart first into the adventure of consciousness and abide in the Great Mystery that is. Having lived in both worlds, I would never return to being a sleepwalking clockjockey down in 4D. To be honest, I never really was. Rather, I made a solemn vow way back in high school that I would never join the conspiracy to rob me of my own slack -- a loss which cannot be quantified because timelessness cannot be measured. Suffice it to say that it is of infinite worth to a man who cares about his spiritual development and the fate of his soul.
I think I was probably a born "pneumatic," as Schuon calls it (although Petey might take issue with this). I can't think of any better explanation. There are just certain people for whom it requires little effort to see that the spiritual world is more real than the conspiracy world, and that the game isn't worth the condle in the latter swindle. Schuon writes that "The pneumatic is a man who identifies a priori with his spiritual substance and thus always remains faithful to himself; he is not a mask unaware of his scope, as is the man enclosed in accidentality."
I don't want to romanticize my past, because it hasn't always been easy being, er, different. One of the reasons is that when the typical neurotic person notices -- but doesn't yet gnotice -- that he is different from the Others, he usually blames himself and tries to conform to the group, thus sacrificing his individuality and aborting the adventure of consciousness (since it is only the individual that can take this trip; there is no group rate). It took quite a while to simply let my freak flag fly without feeling self-conscious about it. To be honest, it was probably only after I started blogging that I really "pulled out all the stops," so to speak.
I mean, even in writing the book, you can see that I "pulled back" from where I am now. This is because when I wrote it, I wasn't sure if there were any other Raccoons out there -- you know, freevangelical pundamentalists, vertical theocons, and neotraditional cosmonauts. Therefore, as odd as the book is, I still had to make some concessions to the conspiracy, since I hadn't yet started the coonspiracy. But now, with the blogging, I don't care. I now have a small audience of Raccoons scurrying about in my head, which is what has stimulated my creativity and allowed me to blog every day.
I'm probably going to get sidetracked here, but this is important. The other day I was reading a talk by Joseph Campbell, about how he took the extreme measure of checking out of the conspiracy back in his day, which in turn became the interior touchstone of his life, since it allowed him to contact his true self and then live from his center from that point onward.
It's really a pretty remarkable story, and I imagine that most Raccoons will relate to it, even if they reject some of Campbell's later new age noodling. He attended Princeton in the mid-1920s, and could have easily taken the traditional path to graduate school and then academia. But during a visit to Europe in 1927-28, he came into contact with all the new trends that were going on at the time -- Jung, Joyce, modern art, etc. -- so that when he returned, he had lost all interest in what academia had to offer:
".... So I said to hell with it. I went up into the woods and spent five years reading.... It was from 1929 to 1934, five years. I went up to a little shack in Woodstock, New York, and just dug in. All I did was read, read, read, and take notes. It was during the Great Depression. I didn't have any money...."
Importantly, this wasn't just aimless reading, but what someone else once called the "mystery school of individuation." Perhaps you're familiar with the concept. You find one book that speaks directly to your soul, which tips you to another one that does the same. Pretty soon you're embarked on a wild nous chase, not for any "exterior" purpose, but for the purpose of trying to articulate the idiom of your own soul. The end result -- among other things -- is that 1) you know you have a soul, 2) you are aware that your soul is very specifically yours (i.e., it has its own divine clueprint, so to speak), and 3) you don't want to do anything in life that would interfere with the intrinsic joy of living from your soul.
But it takes a lot of courage and persistence to do this: "Actually, there were times when I almost thought -- almost thought -- 'Jeez, I wish someone would tell me what I had to do,' that kind of thing. Freedom involves making decisions, and each decision is a destiny decision. It's very difficult to find in the outside world something that matches what the system inside you is yearning for. My feeling now is that I had a perfect life: what I needed came along just when I needed it. What I needed was life without a job for five years. It was fundamental."
Because he was detached from the conspiracy, Campbell was able to take advantage of the more subtle currents that course through the arteries of the Cosmos: "... there's the idea of bumping into experience and people while you're wandering. You really are experiencing life that way. Nothing is routine, nothing is taken for granted. Everything is standing out on its own, because everything is a possibility, everything is a clue, everything is talking to you.... You are in for wonderful moments when you [live] like that -- for example, my putting up my hand in the Carmel library and finding a book that became a destiny book.... That rambling is a chance to sniff things out and somehow get a sense of where you feel you can settle." (This reminds me of the rabbinic saying that God spends most of his time arranging meetings and marriages.)
I feel sorry for young men and women today who go straight from high school to the university idiot factory and then on to some slackless job, slaving away for the conspiracy. They're missing out on the experience of a lifetime, which is to say, the writing of their own unique lifetome -- which only the individual soul can compose.
I can relate to Campbell's story, because in my case I quit college in my junior year (before they could expel me), and spent the next five or six years wandering, but not idly. Rather, it was a period of intense non-doodling, as if my soul were on fire and I was looking for water. By the time I entered graduate school in 1982, I was an utterly different person than I would have been had I spent all those years in the idiot factory. In short, I never would have become me. Whether it was luck or destiny, I cannot say.
But for the "pneumatic personality" -- which I imagine describes most Raccoons -- "he is born with a state of knowledge which, for other people, would actually be the goal, and not the point of departure; the pneumatic does not 'go forward' towards something 'other than himself'; he stays where he is in order to become fully what he himself is -- namely his archetype -- by ridding himself, one after the other, of veils or outer surfaces, shackles imposed by the ambience or perhaps by heredity. He becomes rid of them by means of ritual supports -- 'sacraments,' one might say -- not forgetting meditation and prayer."
Now back to our irregularly unscheduled program. Schuon agrees that mystery is not an absence of knowledge but the presence of a certain kind of profound knowledge; for it "is the essence of truth which cannot be adequately conveyed through language -- the vehicle of discursive thought -- but which may suddenly be made plain in an illuminating flash through a symbol, such as a key word, a mystic sound, or an image whose suggestive action may be scarcely graspable." Elsewhere he states that "Mystery is as it were the inner infinity of certitude, the latter could never exhaust the former."
Again, it is far from being something vague or fuzzy: "By ‘mystery’ we do not mean something incomprehensible in principle -- unless it be on the purely rational level -- but something which opens on to the Infinite, or which is envisaged in this respect, so that intelligibility becomes limitless and humanly inexhaustible. A mystery is always ‘something of God.’"
Let go into the mystery
Let yourself go
There's a way and a mystic road
You've got to have some faith
To carry on....
You've got to dance and sing
And be alive in the mystery
And be joyous and give thanks
And let yourself go --Van Morrison, The Mystery