How to Create a Real Cosmos (11.10.11)
At the conclusion of The Chariot, UF describes what an integral man would actually look like. Suffice it to say, he doesn't look like Deepak Chopra.
For example, he will manifest creative being, meaning that his thought will possess the qualities of creativity, clarity, fluidity, and precision (in contrast, Deepak's disjointed thought is unimaginative, unclear, desiccated, and imprecise). In the domain of feeling, his heart will radiate warmth, magnanimity, sensitivity, and faithfulness. And in the domain of will, one will see intensity, scope, adaptability, and firmness. The integral person will balance serenity, mobility and resolution; and will also reflect the four cardinal virtues, i.e., wisdom/prudence, courage/strength, temperance and justice. As Schuon would say, he will embody "the center at the periphery" or be a reflection of the "unmoved mover," hence his dignity.
Now obviously, this is a lifetime project. One of the reasons one must strive to be "integral" -- and this has always been known -- is that overemphasis on one of these qualities to the exclusion of the others will create an imbalance and therefore a fall. For example, our scientistic jester's thought is precise but devoid of creativity or fluidity, not to mention lucidity or metaphysical discernment. And its clarity is a result of his terrible simplification of reality. This kind of artificially narrow clarity always comes at the expense of doing violence to the Real (and therefore oneself).
In the final analysis, as Schuon writes, this type of "worldly intelligence" which oversteps its bounds is a product of pride; it destroys the "essential functions" of the intelligence, even "while allowing the surface mechanism to remain incidentally, as if in mockery." This is why an Albert Einstein could be such a brilliant physicist but such a political and philosophical boob. One could cite countless examples of so-called "geniuses" whose intelligence is "fragmentary, unilateral, asymmetric, and disproportional." As a result of this imbalance -- or lack of integrity -- their thought will always contain a "hidden poison."
This is why it is critical that our intelligence not become detached from "metaphysical truth or with eschatological reality": "the definition of integral or essential, and thus efficacious, intelligence is the adequation to the real, both 'horizontal' and 'vertical,' terrestrial and celestial." Lacking each of these dimensions, it becomes a pale shadow of man's true capabilities and ousts him from his cosmic station. It necessarily absolutizes the relative and thereby fashions a graven image. The rest is commentary. To live at the horizontal fringe of the cosmos is to subsist at the margin of one's Self. You become an unreal person in an unreal reality.
Let me just conclude by emphasizing that it is extremely dangerous to surround oneself with mediocre and "un-integral" intellects who have no idea that they are. Very dangerous. This point was driven home to me last Saturday, when I was at one of my all-day discontinuing education seminars. The speaker was a renowned psychoanalyst whom I had great difficulty understanding. Not because his thought was so elevated, but because it was so mundane and metaphysically confused.
Here again, it must be emphasized that this has nothing to do with "IQ." But if I were to try to "adapt" my mind to his reality, I would lose it, precisely. I then realized that this was the problem with my whole journey through the educational system. I very nearly lost my mind. This, by the way, is why so-called "intellectuals" such as Peggy Noonan, David Frum, or David Brooks disapprove of Sarah Palin. I would also go nuts if I were forced to assent to these mediocrities. They imagine themselves superior to a Rush Limbaugh, when they're really just lame bloggers with huge platforms.
On to The Justice. I have to admit that this card posed some challenges for me, and in many ways is above my pray grade. For the most part, I try to write about more general religious principles, but this card has a lot of material that is quite specific not only to Christianity, but to Christian mysteries. Therefore, I'll just poke around the edges and see what resonates with me.
I like the idea that to think is to pronounce judgment and to therefore render justice. What immediately comes to mind is the totolerantarian left, which prides itself on being so "non-judgmental." As such, this answers the question of why their thought is so confused and why their policies begin and end in injustice. And of course, they are actually extremely judgmental, but since they are not permitted to realize it, must project it into the "intolerant" right. Thus, hanging Sarah Palin in effigy is "art," while hanging Obama in effigy -- which no conservative would actually do, but liberals know they'd really like to -- is vile and racist.
I also like what UF has to say about science, as it is pretty much the Raccoon view, being that we by no means reject science, but nor do we turn it into an idol. As UF writes, the application of science has resulted in three singular discoveries; first, the fact that this is an evolutionary (which is not to say "Darwinian") cosmos; second, that matter reduces to pure energy; and third, that the consciousness of the surface ego is but a "local" phenomenon floating within (actually, "outside") an upper and lower vertical which are nonlocal (i.e., the "unconscious" and all it implies).
Whereas science is "public" and "general," esoterism is private and particular. In short, no one else can make its discoveries for you. This is knowledge that cannot simply be "given" to you. Rather, it must be undergone -- even at times "suffered" -- so that in each person it will have a slightly different inflection but nevertheless be "objective." This is a critical point.
As UF writes, only a person may synthesize religion and science. Religion cannot do it. Nor can science do it. Thus, the esoterist engages in a "double discipline": he prays and he thinks. Or he "thinks on his knees." In so doing, he is able to "redeem" whatever it is he successfully assimilates. And this integral assimilation can only occur under the conditions of creativity, clarity, fluidity, precision, warmth, magnanimity, sensitivity, faithfulness, intensity, breadth, depth, height, adaptability, firmness, dignity, and serenity.
This is how one turns mere perception and thought into a real Cosmos worthy of Man.