Eternal Life While You Wait, or Live Forever or Die Trying (12.16.10)
If I'm not mishnaken, just as it prohebrits spookyounotions about the afterl'chaim, Judaism discourages bereshit amusings about the state of affairs prior to creation. This is the purpose of the definitive statement at the outset of Genesis. From the Yiddish Bible: "So, mister bigshot philosopher, you're going to support a wife and child with this mishegas? In the beginning God made everything. Before God was bupkis. Oy gevald, you're giving me a headache."
Nevertheless, I went ahead and wrote my Boblical new testavus for the rest of us anyway, despite the misgivings of my mother-in-law. In the Coonifesto, I attempt to provide ananda backscrypture about the satchidation prior to the creation, when there is nothing but God, therefore nothing at all from the human point of view. Being that there is nothing, there is no language -- which is what I remember trying to explain to my publisher in response to the agitated question, "what is this nonsense?"
True, it is nonsense, but it's meant to be perfect nonsense, a punway round trip that circumnavelgazes the whole existentialada -- without the crockohooey sauce, mind you. But as unknowculated Coons are aware, to grasp the wheel of my broken-down trancebardation, you have to reach a ribald age, otherwise your seenil grammar and gravidad won't be malappropriate for my laughty revelation. If you are the least bit abcedminded around a theosaurus, I think you'll find that my yokes are easy and my words enlight and even annoy. Think of it as a secret code to bar the trolls from listening in at our Coon lodge meetings.
In the beginning, there is only pure potentiality. God is everything and therefore nothing, which is why, in the kabbalistic conception (hey, didn't those guys have mothers-in-law?), God must first "withdraw" in order for there to be anything. For if God is identical to his creation, it isn't really a creation but an emanation, and the Bible draws a clear distinction between creation and emanationism -- the latter of which would essentially reduce the cosmos to pimple on the creator's aseity, pardon the bun.
The first creative act serves as a template or "fractal" that mirrors the other six days of creation. In fact, according to Tomberg, the subsequent six days can be seen as an extended commentary on the first, which embraces in its essence the whole miracle of creation. As such, the first day is not just dealing with creation but the principle of creation. It is "the creation of creation," which must precede this or that creation. Therefour, or two, anyway, it is also the creation of the Creator, who is paradoxically created by his withdrawal from the creation.
In a way, this is analogous to our dreams. What distinguishes daytime consciousness from night time consciousness is that in the day, we are separate from the creations of our consciousness -- or at least we weave in and out of them, merge and observe, merge and observe. At night, although there is a dreamer and a dream, we cannot experience the distinction. We are merged, so to speak, in a kind of oneness. To say "let there be light" is to say "let there be consciousness," specifically, a separative consciousness that may know both the interior and exterior worlds. Again, that's not quite the right way to say it, for the separative consciousness of day is what creates the world. Without it, there is, as Whitehead wrote, "nothingness, bare nothingness" -- just a darkhead after too many black cows (speaking drunken Hegelese nonzenz. Mu!).
In the Coonifesto, when One's upin a timeless, it is "nothing, pure emptiness, a formless void without mind or life, a shadow spinning before the beginning over a silent static sea, unlit altar of eternity." It is "One brahman deathless breathing breathless, darkness visible the boundless all, unknown origin prior to time and space, fount of all being, unborn thus undying, beginning and end of all impossibility, empty plenum and inexhaustible void."
Sri Aurobindo's epic poem of cosmic all-possibilty, Savitri, begins with the line, "It was the hour before the God's awake." It is the "huge foreboding mind of Night, alone," "opaque, impenetrable," "the abysm of the unbodied Infinite" "between the first and last Nothingness." Later comes the first "event" or act:
Then something in the inscrutable darkness stirred;
A nameless movement, an unthought Idea....
A thought was sown in the unsounded Void,
A sense was born within darkness' depths,
A memory quivered in the heart of Time
As if a soul long dead were moved to live....
Like Savitri, Genesis can only be understood lighterally, and therefore must be read slowly overhead and meditated upon, for it is trying to convey something from across the horizon of knowability -- something that cannot be known, only unknown. To unknow something is not equivalent to being ignorant about it. Rather, it is a special way of knowing what is beyond the brightly but ill-luminated area of consciousness -- it is to unvision the perfect night that precedes sight. In ether worlds, it is a way to try to get past the phenomena -- which we know can only be a shadow of the Real -- and to try to intuit the noumena, or the reality behind appearances.
As it so happyns, we undo this every naught when we enter the state of deep, dreamless sleep, or what is called in the Upanishads turiya. But how do we enter that state with eyes wide shut? Ah, that's the trick, isn't it, for this is to die before you die and to wake while you live. They say that enlightenment is to dance along the penumbra of this razoredgeon. Or so we have heard from the wise, from Petey, the mirthiful, the compassionate!
How does one awaken to the Dreamer who dreams the dream of our dream of the Dreamer? If you're asking me, I say you can try to gno it alone, but I think you'll get nowhere faster with the help of the Dreamer. But how to enlist his aid? It's an ether ore situation: to mine the ore from the ether, you must either pay your deus or be nilled to a blank. No body crosses the phoenix line lest it be repossessed and amortized -- yes, both amor- and amortized, love and death.
For if Genesis is correct, the cosmos is a gift that embodies love and death, which is to say, the divine kenosis, self-emptying, or self-sacrifice. If you are a parent, you are apparently familyar with the self-sacrifice that is necessary to bring a new little Adam in evolution. But it's a joyful sacrifice -- it is to participate joyfully in one's own funeral. In fact, as Joyce put it, it's a funferall!. Raising a child and creating a cosmos are both completely unnarcissary, to say the least. But at the same time, despite the death of my former Bob, I've become much more soph-centered over the past couple of years, thanks to my weird become flesh.
Now, the vector of creation moves in the "direction" of Zero --> One --> Two --> Three. The One cannot emerge until the "divine withdrawal," and the immediate implication of one is Two, for there cannot be One without Two. In other wordnumbers, or quanalties, without Two, One is reduced to Zero, or Zilch. Zee? Omyga!
That's a coincidence. At Belmont Club (TW: Larwyn) there is a piece about an article in Prospect Magazine, which has "invited 100 of the World's Thinkers to answer the question of what will define the coming century," some of which are reproduced in the post. I didn't even read them, because it's too early for a headache and I'm sure they're all wrong unless any of them happen to be right. But one certainly doesn't need to read Prospect Magazine to know what cannot be unknown unless one is very k->onfused.
For as always, the coming century will be defined by what defines every "century" and every human endeavor. In The Beginning -- which is always here -- God created heaven and earth, the above and below -- which is to say, the vertical: two worlds, two tendencies, two impulses, two realities -- or let us say reality and unreality, for there can only be one reality. But in order for us to know it, there must be unreality, which is not a paradox when you think about it. For it does not mean to say that ureality, or maya, is false, only to say that it is not the ultimate Real.
"Let there be light!"
"Lazarus, March Fourth! It's Coon Day!"
How do these relate?
To be coontinued.