Thursday, December 20, 2007

Dear Diary: Today I Met the Most Wonderful Book!

Time to move on to the next round, which is Robert Bolton's outstanding Keys of Gnosis, which I just finished yesterday. Took me three weeks to finish, which is unusual for a book that's only 147 pages long. But it's so rich and so dense, that it takes maximum concentration just to read a single chapter. He wastes no words and writes with a great deal of precision, so one must attend to each word, each sentence, and each paragraph.

You might recall that I had previously discussed his Order of the Ages: World History in the Light of a Universal Cosmogony, which I could see with my cOOnvision was clearly the work of a metaphysical genius, even if my essentially bobtimistic nature would not allow me to fully accept the idea that we are stuck in the Kali Yuga without a paddle -- groping around in the darkness before the dang apocalypse. While it's possible that a catastrophic cosmic shift is going to occur in, say, December 2012 or thereabouts, I still think that it could represent the opportunity of a lifetome for the true Children of Toots.

A book is all the more challenging when it is on the plane of pure metaphysics, because the reader must in part supply his own materials in order to fly it and comprehend and "embody" what he is reading. He must already at least partly abide in the archetypal reality of the forms that govern existence, even if he sees them only dimly or partially. Otherwise, it's like taking a blind person on a bird watching expedition. Also, Bolton's particular writing style is slightly stiff; or if not stiff, at least lacking in rhythm, in the sense that the form of his writing doesn't really give you any clues as to what is particularly important to attend to. In other words, it's not exactly like the human voice, which has a natural prosody which one can "lock into" so as to understand the harmelody beneath the wordlings. Nor are there any jokes. Or pictures.

By the way, this post is not for you folks. It's for me. So if parts don't make sense, too bad. As usual, there's just not that much interest in this kind of blog, so I'm going to stop trying to please a larger audience that doesn't exist anyway, and continue my own private explorations, at least for the time being. So if you don't mind, I'm just going to pretend you're not here for awhile, and alienate my audience further. Maybe I won't even spell-check anymore, or stop trying to write so purty. This is one of those rare books I'd really like to assimilate and digest, and that involves first of all going back and rereading it from the beginning (now that I have a sense of the whole) and slowly trying to weave it together with my own ideas -- even my own precious anamnoetic fluids. It's one of the few books I've read that I think could really help to flesh out and extend Chapter IV of my own book, being that it's so universal and abstract (while at the same time being very concrete, so long as you bring your own metaphysical cement mixer). Naturally, it will be going straight into the permanent sidebar list of foundational raccoomendations.

By the way, Bolton is a Christian -- Catholic, I believe -- even though he writes from a universalist perspective that almost transcends sectarianism. Or, at the very least, this is one of the finest examples I've ever read of balancing the universal and the particular -- of discussing universal principles within the context of a particular tradition, in such a way that any sufficiently developed intellect could profit from the book, irrespective of one's religion. In fact -- in contrast to Schuon -- Bolton provides a fascinating explanation as to why grace is not only available but necessarily operative in the world and in individuals, even if they are not nominally religious. It explains why it is indeed possible to be an offroad spiritual aspirant and extreme seeker, even if this perilous vocation is clearly not for everyone.

We'll get to that later, but a moment's reflection will inform you that the cosmos could not be structured in any other way. An orthodox revealed religion is like a lens which focuses the grace, but the grace is still independent of the institution, in the same way that light is independent of the magnifying glass. Besides, once grace enters the world, it circulates around in all kinds of unpredictable ways, affecting even people who don't want it and never asked for it -- even leftists who still respect Judeo-Christian values in spite of their nous, which is cut off. It is truly the wind that blows where it wishes and which you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.

I know it worked that way in my life. It's not as if the grace is only available once you "convert," otherwise no one would ever be subject to it to begin with! Rather, grace is what leads you to grace -- just as it leads you to truth, beauty and decency. Anyone who learns to cooperate with the grace will be given real powers, powers they didn't possess before (or, to be perfectly accurate, which did not possess them). Needless to say, this power will generally have nothing to do with the usual measures of material success and power. In fact, looking at it in that manner is one of the quickest ways to go "against the grain" of grace and lose its power. It is why someone like Deepak Chopra is so vacuous and sterile, even if he might say something that is technically true.

Many Raccoons have testified to me in private -- and some in public -- about inexplicable new powers they have received since discovering the blog and the scattered tribe of Coon brethren -- powers of expression, poetic powers, a vision of wholeness (wide angle pneumography), activated cOOnvision, unbidden freevangelical pundamentalism, a new understanding of the bottomless depth of their own faith, etc. -- all capacities that they didn't know they had before. Needless to say, it has nothing to do with me, but with coming into alignment with grace (which is symbolized by the downward arrow on p. 222 of One Cosmos). In my neo-traditional cosmic yoga, this grace is everything, so I am therefore nothing except in the degree to which I am aligned with it. And then I'm even less.

And this is one of the reasons, as we were saying a couple of days ago, that such a person "is free from some of the practical implications of morality only by identifying with the intelligible source from whence morality arises" (Bolton). He is free not just to do anything, but to do good, which is the only real freedom -- just as freedom to know truth is the only real intellectual freedom. It is a kind of slavery that frees, which is a fine example of how Jew-know-who conveyed universal principles in the form of light yokes and rustic paradoxables, so that their truth could be freely "discovered" rather than "imposed" from on high. Among other things, this is one way the secret protects itself. Which it does, as our trolls testify to. God never forces free will, nor does he interfere with it.

Now, back to my private coonversation with myself. Bolton writes that "Once it is realized that the everyday world depends on an unseen world with a reality of its own, values can be understood as the points at which this unseen world enters our awareness of the visible one, rather as the mountain tops of a submerged continent appear to us as islands." Better yet, turn the image upside down, as with the Upanishadic Tree with its roots aloft, its branches down below. Now we have the image of conical areas piercing the world of maya from above -- or, as I expressed it in the book, those little springs of grace that dot the landscape. Indeed, were it not for those springs, the world would truly be a barren, good-for-nothing wasteland, a literal prison, gulag, or cooncentration camp. This is certainly where truth, love, beauty, and all the archetypes come into contact with, "penetrate" and hijack this plane. It is absurd to think that they randomly lojack us "from below." Let the dead bury themsophs.

This is also the area where we leave behind the worldly A-influences and come into contact with the transnatural B-influences. We must follow the B-influences back upstream to their source. This is obviously the meaning of the sacred river, whether it is the Ganges or in Revelation: And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. This source is prior to thought, the latter of which is in time: it is up there by the pure headwaters of the eternal, by the fountain of innocence, next to the vantastic "garden misty wet with rain." Oh yes, don't you remama? When she satya down in a crystal daze, toddling loose & lazy beneath a diamond sky with both hands waving free? No? I do. ¡Straight into the blisstic mystic, bright blazing fire and ecstatic cinder, Shiva, me tinders, count the stars in your eyes!

We cannot understand what we really are unless we understand what we are capable of becoming (Bolton). Of course! An entity is not defined only by what it is, but by its potential -- by its most mature and developed form. The saint, the adept, the true artist of word, image or sound, each is respectively the highest embodiment of the Good, True, and Beautiful. There are saints of knowledge, just as there are artists of truth and adepts of beauty. In fact, to the extent that each fails to partake of the other, something will be missing. I take back what I said about not trying to write purty, since Truth is the purttiest thing out there, 'ceptin for

The vast pan-o-rama of human evil is ultimately reducible to "the problem of increasing numbers of persons who lack power over their lives spiritually as much as materially, the two problems being closely related." Of course. There is hardly a material problem without a spiritual solution, but the reverse is almost never true. Even if manmade global warming were a true threat, we could end it immediately if clowns such as Al Gore and Bono began living their lives as I do, which is to say, simply -- i.e., removing the clutter of those eight mansions and scaling down so as to inhabit just one or two spiritual mansions.

Regarding the intrinsic -- always intrinsic, mind you -- spiritual illness of leftism, it represents the "opposite movement" of the cosmic procession of spirit: There is something deeply unnatural about such helplessness because it does not come from our true nature, but rather from a blindness to that nature (Bolton). The trojan hearse of left wing victimology is literally un-wholesome, unnaturally natural (i.e., cut off from spirit), and an impediment to spiritual progress and maturity.

You cannot become what God intended for you to be if you assent to any kind of socialist regime. Rather, you will be what the regime intends you to be -- which is simply a cog in their life-denying machine. True independence and individuation are marks of the spiritually mature, so long as one's utter dependence on spirit is appreciated. Otherwise, the isolated individual is a monster, a mere caricature of uniqueness and wholeness. An original perhaps, but an original nothing -- creativity in service of death and vanity.

In the cosmic hierarchy, mysticism is above, material science down below. In between, linking these two worlds, is metaphysics, which has things in common with both, without being reducible to either. In fact, it is in competition with several other main strands of modern thought, including materialism (or scientism), new ageism, and fundamentalism. Each of these is a deeply false path, and they actually share more in common than they diverge from one another.

For example, the irrationalism of fundamentalism converges with the irrational ultra-rationalism of scientism, and all three movements shun the intellect. While some metaphysical thought may be found in the new age movement, it is nearly always confused, partial, contradictory, idiosyncratic, and certainly cut off from any kind of institutional grace, plus it is "out of contact with the historical roots of civilization" (Bolton). It merges nicely with the modern material ego, which is why it is also almost always left wing. The new age and integral movements are riddled with mushheaded moonbats. In any event, both it and fundamentalism end up drifting "into becoming a part of the cosmic process [they] should serve to overcome."

See there? We're only up to page six of Keys of Gnosis, so at this rate I won't be surprised if I lose half my readers in the next few weeks. Which is fine by me. I think I prefer this kind of uninhibited interior dialogue anyway. What, you think I'm just some godfella put here to amuse you?

What do you mean funny, funny how?

22 Comments:

Blogger walt said...

Sheesh:
"...once grace enters the world, it circulates around in all kinds of unpredictable ways, affecting even people who don't want it and never asked for it..."

The bestest Christmas present, ever! (and ever! etc, etc.)


BTW, where did you learn to write so purty?

12/20/2007 07:48:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

If this is what happens when you talk to yourself, feel free to do it every day.

12/20/2007 08:13:00 AM  
Anonymous jasonji said...

You are here to amuse us, Gagdad Bob. You're here to amuse us, heal us, edify us, and leave us spinning is circles of ever-present awareness. With Light in our hearts and fingers crossed in our pockets we'll pluck the insanity from the minds of deranged leftists and hold the squirming parasites up for the all the Cosmos to see.

12/20/2007 08:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Late Convert said...

So if you don't mind, I'm just going to pretend you're not here for awhile, and alienate my audience further.

I don't see how that would be even remotely possible, considering the dearth of Thanksgving Limericks hereabouts.

12/20/2007 09:20:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

Will this help?

There was a young writer named Bob,
Who eschewed the cheers of the mob.
When translating the O
With his nous and his gno
He'd be often late to his job!

12/20/2007 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

I'll give thanks for that limerick ;)

12/20/2007 10:07:00 AM  
Anonymous wired216 said...

I'm here to stay (I've been reading here daily for a long while). That was wonderful. Maybe you are at your most authentic when you write for yourself 'cause the True does shine thru!

12/20/2007 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger Warren said...

> By the way, Bolton is a Christian -- Catholic, I believe -- even though he writes from a universalist perspective

"Even though", doc??? "Catholic" means "universal". Accept no gnostic, esoteric, and/or Traditionalist substitutes.

(Thanks mucho for introducing me to Dawson, BTW - I hadn't run into him before.)

12/20/2007 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger James said...

Power huh. If you mean seeing the world in a completely different way, and having all your fantasies about the world and yourself exposed as fantasy. Then sure, I gots your power. The more power I get the humbler I become. That's true power. Keep it up Bob.

12/20/2007 10:54:00 AM  
Anonymous at in la said...

Without question, my favorite post to date, Bob. And then to boot, to have a little twist on some Dylan is icing.

Great poem, Walt.

Warren, I fully agree. Imagine now once Bob starts to ponder the mystery of the Eucharist. ; )

Have a great day, all.

12/20/2007 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

Blast. My 'Best of Bob' stack has toppled over. Must start a new one.

Ouroborice
passersby walk on
galaxies born of water
motel for zeros

12/20/2007 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger Smoov said...

It's just, you know. You're just funny, it's... funny, the way you tell the story and everything.

12/20/2007 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Bob, you know we can't stop readin'. It's the same as the preacher who is like, "I'm just gonna preach to myself for awhile..."

Really, no matter who yer talkin' to O is listenin'. And if you're lucky, O is talkin' to Himsoph through you!

12/20/2007 01:07:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Rather, grace is what leads you to grace -- just as it leads you to truth, beauty and decency. Anyone who learns to cooperate with the grace will be given real powers, powers they didn't possess before (or, to be perfectly accurate, which did not possess them)."

Just when I think that Bob's posts can't possibly get any more deeper, he continues to explore new territory.

This post is like the Marianas trench of metaphysics, boldly goin' where no Coon has gone before (or at least goin' in such a refreshingly, ascetically Beautiful, newclear submerging).

In other words, Raccoons have been there, albeit by his own unique path aligned with grace, and yet, still able to paint such a purty picture we can admire and strive to realize.

In other, other words, Bob has that really supercool power to show us the bridge over the river why, how, what, where and hence.
The True Aye-O of Man, if you catch my set n' drift.

Thanks Bob! This truly is the bestest Christmas everclear! :^)

12/20/2007 01:12:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

>>. . . even if my essentially bobtimistic nature would not allow me to fully accept the idea that we are stuck in the Kali Yuga without a paddle -- groping around in the darkness before the dang apocalypse<<

Bolton really thinks we don't have a paddle in a dark-night-of-the-soul Kali Yuga? Hmm . . .

We gots a paddle, all right. Anyway, isn't the whole idea the darkest hour is just before dawn, etc.?

Well, if I had a child in the house, the idea of a coming apocalypse would probably depress the hell out of me. However - the paddle, remember the paddle. And the apocalypse might be nothing like is currently imagined by the media schlockmeisters. In fact, the apocalypse, in terms of really hideous stuff, might happen to some and not to others . . if you catch my drift.

BTW, this comment is basically for me.

12/20/2007 03:55:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Was just at a discussion about St. Romanos' Kontakion of the Nativity .. (I'll dig up a link somewheres...) And got a few coonish tidbits; One, the priest's wife referred to the Nous as a 'perceptive, receptive organ.' Couldn't help but think of an antenna.. twist the Gnob a little bit and you get Coonception!

Anyway, about apocalypses, noting the birth of Moses and the birth of Jesus - which were accompanied by a slaughter of children - one of the men there noted that when God did a mighty act it was accompanied by a great slaughter of children.

Abortion.

How many kids is that?

I'm not gonna look up the numbers.

12/20/2007 06:03:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Wouldn't "children of Toots" be known as little farts?

:o)

I have so little to offer around here...

Sigh.

12/20/2007 06:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Jim said...

Joan of Arrgghh said


"Wouldn't "children of Toots" be known as little farts?"

Very funny, I do love gastric humor.

12/20/2007 06:57:00 PM  
Blogger phil g said...

I'm still here...keep talking to yourself

12/21/2007 04:09:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"There is something deeply unnatural about such helplessness because it does not come from our true nature, but rather from a blindness to that nature (Bolton). The trojan hearse of left wing victimology is literally un-wholesome, unnaturally natural (i.e., cut off from spirit), and an impediment to spiritual progress and maturity..."

Pound for pound, the most gno-how and noustrient rich mental dijestables available on the Web. You can feel free to grace us by writing for yourself and ignoring us as needed. That's gotta take a lot of deep thinkery meditating ability to do so and ignore all the beady little 'coon eyes pearing out of the night, but then that's why you get the big bucks.

Speaking of the Raccoon's amazing ability to dive to ever deeper depths, perhaps there's some evolutionary basis for that:

" It sounds like a stretch, but a new study suggests that the missing evolutionary link between whales and land animals is an odd raccoon-sized animal that looks like a long-tailed deer without antlers. "
(that was probably just Ben out diving for his car...)

(pant... pant... pant - phew, almost caught up to today... what a day this week has been...)

12/21/2007 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

e

12/21/2007 11:32:00 AM  
Blogger Elephant said...

This might be a 'dumb' question, but what is a fundamentalist?

12/31/2007 12:16:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home