Sunday, January 06, 2008

The Jesus Sutras and God's Tail Lights

One thing about this fellow Bolton -- whose book, Keys of Gnosis, we've been Bobbing and weaving in and out of in our recent deuscussions -- he certainly doesn't waste any words. As I mentioned, he writes in a very unsaturated manner, and always errs on the side of saying too little rather than too much.

This is in keeping kosher with the esoteric tradition, which has various layers of soph-defense in order to prevent the teaching from failing in the wrong heads and being misinterpreted and misused. You know, don't mix jewelry with kibble and don't give what is holy to porcynical folks who need a good whacking for what they're lacking. The seemingly vague language is there for very specific reasons, among them being that one cannot understand higher spiritual dimensions in the same unambiguous way one understands the material world, on pain of misunderstanding them completely. Although truth is only disclosed by freedom, there is a higher degree of freedom on planes above matter.

Ironically, it's much easier to twist things around when the teaching is more explicit. When it's not, it requires not just skill or knowledge on the part of the interpreter, but gnosis. Gnosis is the only thing that can fill the darkness between the words and the hyperdimensional truth to which they point, or bridge the abyss between ears and hearing or sight and vision. The words do not generally reveal truth in the manner of a literal equation, but require full and active participation of the aspirant, postulant, or coondidate in order to appreciate their "luminous obscurity" (Schuon). (Furthermore, even in the case of something quite literal, you still must ask what it means.)

As I mentioned in the Coonifesto, revelation is somewhat analogous to reflector lights on the back of your car, which only become luminous when light is shined into them. Likewise, scripture won't reflect the light unless it is illuminated by the "uncreated light." You need a nightlight not just to see in the dark, but to see the divine darkness.

In fact, there is a long tradition of this in the East, in both Hinduism and Buddhism. For example, both the Upanishads and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are quite skeletal, and, like the Ruby Slippers, are of little use to rubes who don't know how to "use" them. Nevertheless, there's noplace like OM, laterally. A genuine guru will demonstrate his spiritual attainment by fleshing them out and providing a commentary on the deeper meaning they both reveal and conceal -- or reveil -- almost like a spiritual "performance."

According to wikipedia, sutra literally means "a rope or thread that holds things together, and more metaphorically refers to an aphorism (or line, rule, formula), or a collection of such aphorisms in the form of a manual. It is derived from the verbal root siv-, meaning to sew." In Hinduism the sutras serve "as grand treatises on various schools of philosophy. They elaborate in succinct verse, sometimes esoteric, Hindu views of metaphysics, cosmogony, the human condition," etc.

Now clearly, Jesus stands in this grand tradition of communicating higher wisdom in the form of sutras. If you take just the four Gospels, they are mainly a collection of arresting and often puzzling sutras which definitely require the full participation of the listener (and now reader, since Jesus wrote nothing) to comprehend.

In a certain sense (not the only sense, mind you), you could say that the remainder of the New Testament after the Gospels is a commentary on the Jesus Sutras. But so too are the magnificent works of the early fathers, the Philokalia, or the sermons of Meister Eckhart. If someone asks what my objection is to fundamentalism, it is this -- that it reduces the sutras to just one fixed interpretation, thus preventing them from accomplishing their dynamic "work" in the intellect. (In an even more mysterious sense, Jesus himself is the multi-dimensional sutra of which he speaks.)

On the other hand, it's much easier to use esoteric-sounding language to simply utter vapid pseudo-profundities in order to conceal one's own ignorance. How to tell the difference between the real thing and a mere O-zone liar, or empty suitra? For starters, know them by their fruit, which you might say is a sutra about sutras and those who speak them.

Does this mean that their meaning is arbitrary, and that we can interpret them in any old witch or warlock way? No, not at all. I believe that spiritual truth is convergent, meaning that a "community of the adequate" will converge upon the singularity from which the language about it emanates. It's just that the singularity, or O, is not a three-dimensional object in space that can be exhaustively described by simply walking around it.

Nor is it a four-dimensional object, like a story that reveals its meaning if only we wait long enough. A heresy is usually not a falsehood per se, but just as often an exaggerated or "disproportionate" truth, or a truth isolated from its total context -- for example, insisting that God is either transcendent or immanent instead of both and neither.

The object reflected in scripture is more like a seven-dimensional object, which is something which the human mind can conceive or imagine but not actually picture. But don't worry. It turns out that the "material" world is essentially no different -- which it must be, since it is a lower reflection of the higher principles that govern the cosmos.

In other words, when we exhumine dead matter -- or pater our mater with the mind they gave us -- it is as if we are looking at the reflection of a tree in a lake. The first thing you must realize is that the reflection is an exact duplicate of the real object, only missing a dimension (or two or three).

The second thing you must realize is that the image, even while resembling the real thing, is upside down, so that the top of the tree is closest too you, while the bottom is at the other end of the lake. So it's actually not surprising that the subatomic world has ten or eleventy dimensions before language can even get its boots on. Rather, it would be surprising if it didn't.

Nor is it surprising that the totality of the quantum world is in instantaneous communion with itself, since the "whole" of the cosmos is present in each of its parts. If that weren't true, we couldn't have this divine-human partnership called "knowledge," for knowledge is only possible because the human mind is fashioned from the truth with which the cosmos was made, only interior as opposed to exterior. In other words, our mind is like an "interior lake" that reflects the tree of existence.

Or you could say that it's not really a lake, but an ocean; when we give it boundaries, it looks like a lake, but in reality it's a reflection of the infinite primordial ocean. In turn, the ego is like a little island, while the Self is a river that flows from ocean to Ocean. The river is constituted of time, which is the time it takes for your winding binding river to finds its sea. Can I get a wetness?

23 Comments:

Blogger walt said...

Agree completely that sutras are "threads" of esoteric doctrine. There's been some talk recently amongst ourselves about the need to be "active" in relation to teachings, to "bring something to the game," so to speak. You wrote:

"They do not reveal truth in the manner of a literal equation, but require full and active participation of the aspirant..."

And you say gnosis is the key tool, but my dictionary defines it as a "noun," as though it's a thing available off a shelf. I'm thinking you meant gnosis-as-verb....

1/06/2008 10:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Bob's unconscious said...

In the straight-shooting (i.e., non-heretical) way we are using it, it's just another word for the activity of the nous, or intellect, as understood by the early fathers.

1/06/2008 10:19:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

>>A genuine guru will demonstrate his spiritual attainment by fleshing them (sutras) out and providing a commentary . . . <<

And, I think, a genuine guru, by virtue of his or her very presence, can transmit a certain gnosis to the almost-ready, get the higher chakras spinning in sympathetic vibration. (If Krishnamurti helped to enlighten anyone, it was via his actual presence - cuz it sure wasn't through his discourses)

I think this is why the genuine guru does not go public, opting to take on a - at best - handful of students. The guru's higher energy can actually be harmful to those who are not ready to be exposed to such, ie., those who could only interpret the higher energy as an excitation and not as inspiration.

1/06/2008 11:00:00 AM  
Anonymous fly on the wall said...

I hope I'm not scaring Bob's Unconscious away by saying this, but Bob, you know you're Catholic right? It's almost as if we were watching the same program on EWTN last night with Fr. Corapi on the revelation of the Word.

1/06/2008 11:08:00 AM  
Anonymous bob's unconscious said...

Yes, it's true, I am pretty much of a Judeo-Catholic Orthoparadoxical Vedaotin' Thomist with mystic twist. As for Bob, I can't say. We don't discuss religion or politics.

1/06/2008 11:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Jim said...

Damn, that was one of the best, how do you do it? You have got to be plugged into the holy spirit (or visa-versa). I'm going to have to re-re-read it several more times, but damn that is good stuff.

1/06/2008 12:39:00 PM  
Anonymous fly on the wall said...

I think it'll just take time for Bob to catch up to you. ; ) Have you or Bob ever heard of The Cloud of Unknowing? Seems to be right up your mystic alley since it is itself a twister of mystical proportions.

1/06/2008 12:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Bob's unconscious said...

Oh my yes. My head has been in that cloud for years. We call it "negative capability," a term borrowed from Keats.

1/06/2008 12:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

"Ironically, it's much easier to twist things around when the teaching is more explicit. When it's not, it requires not just skill or knowledge on the part of the interpreter, but gnosis. Gnosis is the only thing that can fill the darkness between the words and the hyperdimensional truth to which they point, or bridge the abyss between ears and hearing or sight and vision. They do not reveal truth in the manner of a literal equation, but require full and active participation of the aspirant, postulant, or coondidate in order to appreciate their "luminous obscurity" (Schuon)."

AMan! You gotta work n' slack for the Answers!

1/06/2008 01:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

"Have you or Bob ever heard of The Cloud of Unknowing? Seems to be right up your mystic alley since it is itself a twister of mystical proportions."

Aye. You might call it an Oster of mystical proportions. An Obrazillion times infinity for you math freaks.

1/06/2008 01:16:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Bob said,
“As I mentioned in the Coonifesto, revelation is somewhat analogous to reflector lights on the back of your car, which only become luminous when light is shined into them. Likewise, scripture won't reflect the light unless it is illuminated by the "uncreated light." You need a nightlight not just to see in the dark, but to see the divine darkness.”

Or…a stained-glass window, which if you ask me, works best with available light or natural light; the light that’s already all around us all the time. I don’t know who or how they thought to try using colored glass in churches – but it must have been gnosis that told them, “yeah, this has got to be right.”

On a certain plane the spirit is transmitted again through the figures depicted in the glass – also beautifully symbolizing I think the spirit that ran through the actual people they represent. This analogy is transmissive color/light vs. reflective color/light. The light is activated by the color and vice versa.

1/06/2008 02:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Lurker uncloaking said...

I’ve been checking in for my daily dose of metanoia nigh on two years now, but haven’t interjected my opinion for quite a while…but… today’s post forced me to take up my keyboard and fire away!
A while before I “stumbled” apon your blogspot (courtesy of ‘American Thinker’ and Van), I had a 4:00AM !!! WAKE UP !!! moment with the following message burning in my brain…
“Love the Lord thy God with all your heart and mind and soul and spirit, and love your neighbor as you do yourself. While you’re at it, don’t forget to Do Unto Others as you would have them DO Unto YOU. The rest is commentary.”
…I’ve used this “Reader’s Digest Ultra Condensed Bible” as my basic guide to living ever since.
So… when my eyes beheld “In a certain sense (not the only sense, mind you), you could say that the remainder of the New Testament after the Gospels is a commentary on the Jesus Sutras.” I realized that great minds DO think alike! (Whether that applies to me is a question for another day…)
Anyhoo…I just dropped in to say thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU!!! For your daily offering of amusement, bemusement, enlightenment and confusion…please keep it going as long as you can…without causing a frontal lobe meltdown, that is.

On a totally-off-the-unrelated-topic note…if any of your acquaintances are having the CANT VOTE FOR ROMNEY CAUSE HE’S MORMON AND THEY’S NOT TRINATERIAN/CHRISTIAN willies…just explain to them that the Latter Day Saints are a 101% AMERICAN organization. It’s not that they’re non-Christian…they’re simply NEW-AND-IMPROVED CHRISTIANS WITH EXTRA-ADDED-SCRIPTURE!

1/06/2008 02:33:00 PM  
Anonymous lurker uncloaking said...

I’ve been checking in for my daily dose of metanoia nigh on two years now, but haven’t interjected my opinion for quite a while…but… today’s post forced me to take up my keyboard and fire away!
A while before I “stumbled” apon your blogspot (courtesy of ‘American Thinker’ and Van), I had a 4:00AM !!! WAKE UP !!! moment with the following message burning in my brain…
“Love the Lord thy God with all your heart and mind and soul and spirit, and love your neighbor as you do yourself. While you’re at it, don’t forget to Do Unto Others as you would have them DO Unto YOU. The rest is commentary.”
…I’ve used this “Reader’s Digest Ultra Condensed Bible” as my basic guide to living ever since.
So… when my eyes beheld “In a certain sense (not the only sense, mind you), you could say that the remainder of the New Testament after the Gospels is a commentary on the Jesus Sutras.” I realized that great minds DO think alike! (Whether that applies to me is a question for another day…)
Anyhoo…I just dropped in to say thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU!!! For your daily offering of amusement, bemusement, enlightenment and confusion…please keep it going as long as you can…without causing a frontal lobe meltdown, that is.

On a totally-off-the-unrelated-topic note…if any of your acquaintances are having the CANT VOTE FOR ROMNEY CAUSE HE’S MORMON AND THEY’S NOT TRINATERIAN/CHRISTIAN willies…just explain to them that the Latter Day Saints are a 101% AMERICAN organization. It’s not that they’re non-Christian…they’re simply NEW-AND-IMPROVED CHRISTIANS WITH EXTRA-ADDED-SCRIPTURE!

1/06/2008 02:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Lurker uncloaking said...

AAAAUGHHH!!!!!!! THE DREADED DOUBLE-POST!!!!!!!!!!CURSE YOU DREAD WORDVERF!!!!!!!!!!

1/06/2008 02:38:00 PM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

"As I mentioned in the Coonifesto, revelation is somewhat analogous to reflector lights on the back of your car, which only become luminous when light is shined into them. Likewise, scripture won't reflect the light unless it is illuminated by the "uncreated light." You need a nightlight not just to see in the dark, but to see the divine darkness."

Invisible Ikon
saint benedict wears
an onyx koukoulian
bread of theosis

BTW, tomorrow's MZ post is a red tail light on the back of a car. It was supposed to be today, but Trickster yanked it at the last moment.

So now i gno that Bob's Unconscious is CIA - Cosmic Intelligence Agent.

1/06/2008 04:24:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

threadbare existence
sutures leave me in stitches
healing funny bones

Seriously, no wonder our wounds are closed with stitches. Joy brings broken things back together, and mercy triumphs over Karma, and whatever we sow, we reap.

I keep praying for crop failure...
:o)

1/06/2008 04:44:00 PM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

Paul the apostle is very intense about the resurrection. If Jesus wasn't really resurrected from the really dead, being a Christian was the worst possible thing, and a blasphemy to boot.

He then goes on to write his best stuff about the death and resurrection IN us, as if he hadn't read a word of what he wrote.

No wonder modern fluffy Christians get creeped out by Paul and would rather park him on a side track. That even literal truth - no, especially literal truth - has a much deeper meaning... is pretty disturbing.

It is also obvious, but I don't know why.

1/06/2008 06:43:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

no secret knowledge
"jesus sutras god's tail lights"
simple faith can see

1/06/2008 08:31:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

(Magnus) "No wonder modern fluffy Christians get creeped out by Paul and would rather park him on a side track. That even literal truth - no, especially literal truth - has a much deeper meaning...is pretty disturbing."

So much for fluff.

Speaking of non-fluffy, I finally watched "The Nativity Story" tonight. A beautiful film - tears beautiful. NoMo five stars beautiful. Real.

1/06/2008 08:46:00 PM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

NoMo,
So much for fluff indeed. This sure brings back memories! Galatians 2:20, Romans 6:6, 1 Peter 4:1. Back in the unorganized days of the Christian Church at Brunstad, we were all familiar with them, and there was hardly a gathering where not at least one of them was brought up. I knew them by heart of course, so why didn't my life change? This was a riddle to me and a cause of despair.

(Actually my life did change, and quickly, but only from insufferably arrogant spoiled brat to a decent young conservative. The second mile eluded me, even though I could see it in the lives of my teachers, who were also my friends.)

And it was a good thing that I "failed" too, because I was of course not at all dead with Christ. I was simply like a dog rolling over and playing dead in the hope of getting a reward. And God does not give that which is holy to the dogs (with all due respect for the natural born canines, of course.)

1/06/2008 10:44:00 PM  
Anonymous joseph said...

Lurker,

"Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it"

Romney aside, Mormons are not Christians +. They are Christians -. They accept Jesus, or rather a particular Jesus of their own (or Joseph Smith's) design, and then reject, 101%, all of the tradition of Christianity as "apostacy". Meanwhile, back at the ranch of getting along in the world, they ACT like they are just good, clean-cut, thrifty, reverent Christian do-gooders.
All we have to ask is this: If I have had a Catholic, or Orthodox, or Baptist, or Lutheran, or (insert your Christian denomination here) baptism, will the LDS church accept this baptism as valid? NO, nada, nope nope nope. And why is that? Because, according to Mormons, the authority to perform baptisms was "lost" after the apostles. So....since about 100 AD or so, Christianity and the world has been in utter darkness, until the second to none save Jesus Joseph Smith finally arrived on the scene to stick his head in a hat and translate "The Book of Mormon"--a book with the same spiritual significance as the works of Blue Moon Odum.
Bud, you can't have it both ways when there are those of us still around who have been there, done that, and escaped to tell the tale.
I have one piece of advice for you--ask yourself what would the world be like if there was no apostacy and the Christian tradition were actually true. The authority was not lost. The leaders of the Church were authentic, inspired, guided, and fully vested with saving authority, while still being human. The Christians of the Middle Ages were SAVED and are in heaven, not awaiting "work for the dead" in the "spirit prison". The Christians of today are also saved and in no need of Mormon missionaries, none at all, unless they have a flat tire.

1/07/2008 08:23:00 AM  
Anonymous joseph said...

I meant to source the quote from the beginning about Joseph Smith. It came from the third Mormon "prophet", John Taylor. It should be recognized that Taylor spent the last few years of his life on the run from the federal government refusing to be tried for breaking anti-polygamy laws. He was a concientious objector, basing his faith that God would bless him for having many wives and continuing the practice which was required for the highest degree of glory within the Mormon heaven. It used to be anyway. Today, to get there, it is sufficient to run for president.

1/07/2008 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Ironically, it's much easier to twist things around when the teaching is more explicit. When it's not, it requires not just skill or knowledge on the part of the interpreter, but gnosis."

Sure got that right. There's a reason why most leftist material relies heavily upon numerable statistics and studies (which are usually just conglomerations of more statistics)

Liars guide to lying with specifics...
-'These oodles of measurements and graphs demonstrate why temperatures will rise and hurricanes will increase year after year due to global warming.'

-'These oodles of measurements and graphs demonstrate why temperatures are falling and why last years number of hurricanes decreased due to global warming.'

Liars guide to why you want to avoid the simple poetic when lying (swiped from one of my posts last year:

It is simple to quote rain fall measurements and random effects of clorofloro carbons and conclude that the end is near, but it is nearly impossible to imagine a plausible lie in opposition to Dumbledore’s
‘The time is coming when we all shall have to choose between what is right and what is easy’, or Harry’s ‘We’ve got something Voldemort doesn’t have – something worth fighting for’.

Difficult trying to imagine ‘Remember, what is easy is always the better choice over what is right’, or
‘Voldemort is angry, hateful, friendless, keeps followers only by the threat of destruction – wouldn’t we all prefer that kind of life to one of associating with friends, family and loved ones?”
Doesn’t quite work, does it?


The difficulty is only magnified as the material rises Vertically into the Gnosis of the inwardly outwards (though I hear directionaly aligned golden trumpet players help).

1/07/2008 11:06:00 AM  

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