Live Grenades and the Smoking Crater at the Center of History
This reminds me of a metaphor from Meditations on the Tarot, in which our Unknown Friend compares a seed to a nuclear explosion; only it is a constructive bomb as opposed to a destructive one: "each little little acorn is such a 'constructive bomb' and the oak is only the visible result of the slow 'explosion' -- or blossoming out -- of this 'bomb.'"
Yes, the celestial depth charges "blow your little mind," as they dismantle your manmade scaffolding and rebuild -- actually, regrow -- the mind anew. In turn, a New World comes into existence, which is the meaning of birth, for every birth is the birth of the Totality. But just remember: you only get one chance at a second birth. It's called your "life."
"Pockets of lucidity" appear here and there throughout profane history, as the divine light is prolonged through time. In hindsight, an "Arc of Salvation" becomes recognizable, a sort of rolling horizontal revelation to go along with the vertical. In this regard, we can indeed trace a continuous line -- or wave -- of light, say, from the Hebrew prophets -- and the ancient Greek philosophers -- to America's founders. Looking down, I see these waves lapping at my feet as I type this. The water is both warm and transparent.
In turn, the American Constitution is very much analogous to our timeless "political revelation," something that even liberals are forced to at least pretend is true, even though, at the same time, they do everything within their power to erode and undermine it. In fact, they usually adopt the strategy of using the Constitution to subvert it, e.g., extending civil rights to terrorists, compelling citizens to discriminate on the basis of race, forcing us to redefine the fundamental unit of civilization, etc. In this regard, an original sindicate such as the ACLU is "politically satanic," in that they not only subvert the Light, but oppose it.
Some people call the vertical depth charges "myths." The same people inevitably replace the true myths with false ones, e.g., Marxism, Darwinism, Global Warming, etc. Schuon describes the steep descent from luminous Myth to darkland fantasy:
"When true myths are done away with, they inevitably come to be replaced by artificial myths; and in fact, a mode of thought content to rely on its logic alone while operating in a realm where this logic opens up no horizons, becomes defenseless against the various scientistic 'mythologies,' rather as the abolition of religion leads finally not to a rational view of the Universe, but to a counter-religion which will not be long in devouring rationalism itself" (emphases mine).
How True is that? Artificial myths are never liberating, but always "enclosing" (although they compensate for this with a horizontal dissipation masquerading as freedom). While genuine myth, in the higher sense of the word, opens up the subjective horizon toward the Boundless Infinite -- and indeed, helps us to fruitfully think about it -- the artificial myths of scientism -- not to mention the leftism which is its political action wing -- place boundaries on the Final Frontier, i.e., consciousness -- which is analogous to trying to grow an oak tree in a five gallon pot. But Raccoons -- unlike Lizards -- are not Potted Plants.
Again, as Schuon points out, it is the height of naivete to say that there is "religion" and "irreligion." Rather, there is only religion and counter-religion -- which includes, of course bad and perverse forms of what typically goes by the name of religion. To use these crazies (or morons) to attack the legitimacy of revelation would be like using the ACLU to attack the legitimacy of the rule of law, or Al Gore to attack science.
Note also that the abandonment of religion -- and when I say "religion," I am specifically referring to the Divine Sparks alluded to above, as they are prolonged horizontally, in particular, in the luminous minds that miraculously grow in the fertile soil of Tradition -- leads to the devouring of rationalism itself. This is such a critical point, for it is the key that explains the deep irrationality that animates both the insane kos kids of the left and the intelligent stupidity of LGF. Reject the vertical and that's what you end up with: horizontal darkness and confusion, shepherded at every step by Pride and even grandiosity.
And when I say "grandiosity," I am using that word as a kind of shorthand to describe the Postmodern Pathology that revolves around narcissism, (false) individualism, libertinism (which results from having no transcendent boundary conditions), and an intrinsically absurd -- and therefore demonic -- "absolute relativity," or "the impossible made possible."
Was that clear? No? Let Schuon shed some further obscurity on the subject: "[T]o treat man as absolutely free -- he who is not absolute -- is to set free all evils in him, without there remaining any principle which would limit them. All this goes to show that basically it is a kind of abuse of language to give the name 'science' to a knowledge that leads only to practical results while revealing nothing concerning the profound nature of the phenomena."
This scientistic misuse of logic results in the ability to draw patently false and even monstrous conclusions from "true" premises. For example, if Darwinism is true, then the radicals of PETA are absolutely correct that there is no moral distinction between killing a chicken and murdering a human. Nor can the killing of a fetus -- or even an infant who cannot take care of itself -- be morally problematic, as Peter Singer maintains. For if there is no God, then man becomes God, i.e., the Absolute. And if you don't understand that, then you very stupid, lizard brain.
Yesterday I discussed the question of "why I love Jesus." There is another perhaps idiosyncratic reason I didn't get into, but it follows logically from what I wrote about how he "saved my mind." Now, I am quite sure that my particular bewilderness adventure does not comport with that of most other Christians -- especially protestants and evangelicals -- who seem to come first to Christ, and then let the implications work themselves out from there, often in -- you will excuse me -- ways that don't place much of a premium on logic, consistency, or intellection. Which is fine. The way of the bhakti is perfectly valid and efficacious.
But in my case, it was the reverse. That is, I actually began at a point of vague hostility, but the more I immersed myself in the lighterature of certain particularly luminous minds -- including the early fathers, but especially one of those "light threads" that runs through people like Origen, Denys the Areopgite, John Scottus Eriugena, and Meister Eckhart -- the more I began to appreciate the conspicuous "smoking crater" at the Center of it All, and without which none of this luminous wisdom would have been possible. I mean, you can't really miss it. It's like the Grandest Canyon.
And what -- or who -- is responsible for this smoking crater, this giant hole in the center of creation? Perhaps this is a delicate subject, but one thing that always gave me the Jesus willies was this idea of substitute atonement. But now that I am aware of the smoking crater and the radiant Light that continues to glow from its center, I realize why it's there. It is because someone was selfless and heroic enough to dive on the Mother of All Live Grenades in order to at least give the rest of us a fighting chance. And no greater love has any man.