Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mind and Mater (10.10.11)

Continuing with the High Priestess card. Interesting that the French name, as you can see, is La Papesse, or "The Popess." Interesting because Schuon often refers to the pontiff as the archetype of Man as Such, i.e., "Pontifical Man," the latter being the "vertical being," or microcosm, who bisects all the planes of existence and who contains all potential within himself. The Latin pontifex connotes "builder of bridges," and Man is indeed the ultimate bridge builder, only it is a vertical bridge (or sometimes ladder) between manifestation and principle; or the many and the One; or Heaven and Earth; or the upper waters and the lower waters.

As Rooth notes, the bridge is both conveyance and barrier: "Heaven and Earth were united in the beginning before they were separated by the event of manifestation.... So the bridge represents both the way across as well as the fact of their separation, and in this respect it is equivalent to the axial pillar which both connects and keeps separate." The vertical bridge back to God is the residue, or mysty coontrail, of the Creator's involution into spacetime.

I am intrigued by this implicit idea of "female pope." What could it possibly mean when we combine -- or play with -- the archetypes of pontifex and female? To put it another way, what does female connote in its vertical aspect? I ask this because female is usually associated with all of the words and concepts derived from mother or mater, including matter, meter, mara, maya, mattress, measure. There is the Father Principle, or "pure form," which "fertilizes" pure materiality in order to bring about the manifestation (e.g., the play of purusha and prakriti, or Shiva and Shakti).

Genesis treats this subject in mythological terms, as the woman represents the descending tendency who is seduced by the snake, the ultimate principle of earthbound horizontality. Conversely, Mary is the shadow of Eve (or rather, vice versa), in that she gives birth to the ultimate pontifex, or to the principle within the manifestation. Thus, Mary-Matter-Maya is "pregnant with God," not just 2000 years ago, but for all time. We don't have time to go into Eckhart's many fruitful ideas about the feminine aspect of divinity, e.g., that God perpetually lays on a maternity bed giving birth. Creativity -- which is often seen as a more masculine activity -- is actually far more feminine, both because of the birth motif, but also because true creativity is fertilized "from above."

It can also be fertilized from below. But enough about popular culture and the fallen bastard children of Eve.

UF goes into a lovely little soliloquy on the "gift of tears" which are a sort of fluid membrane between the above and below, a certificate of authenticity of most any encounter with the God of Love. In contrast to the "dry" experience of depersonalized oneness, UF writes that the soul who experiences the miracle of divine love is moved to tears. Only humans cry tears of joy (although our jester will no doubt provide a link to prove to himself otherwise; but this will be a horizontal link, when the only way to actually prove the point is to have the personal experience of the vertical link, i.e., to shed these real tears of joy and/or repentance).

Now, man is in the image of the Creator. The most quintessentially human "faculty" is the intellect, or nous, which actually shares in a part of the "uncreatable" substance of God. Again, it is a purely passive, or "female" principle, as it is a reflection of the light of the Father. This is none other than Sophia, or wisdom herself: "Pure intellect is that which reflects; love is that which acts." (Interestingly, this implies that the solar principle is located in the heart, the lunar principle in the mind; more on which later. But you can well understand why so many so-called "intellectuals" become so pathologically feminized, as they are detached from the solar principle above as well as its manifestation below in the heart, or higher mind.)

UF notes that "the intellect is the feminine side of the soul, whilst the fertilizing imagination is the masculine principle. The intellect that is not fertilized by the imagination guided by the heart is sterile." Here again, we can see why I keep our scientistic jester on the playroll, as he teaches us so much. One thing he teaches us about is the purely feminized mind, which is "all maya," or all quantity. Why would any of us want to return to that cold and dry crone-world?

Back to the Priestess. I won't get into all of the details of UF's reasoning, as I would prefer to focus on the principles. And the main principle embodied in the Priestess is the descent of the word through the stages of reflection, memory, word, and writing. For example, think of the descent of revelation, only the last stage of which is "The Book." In other words, religion begins in the world of principles, or at the center, and moves out to the periphery.

Science, on the other hand, begins with facts -- "the book of nature" -- and attempts to reason from the periphery to the center (which is strictly impossible, as the very conduct of science presupposes the human center). Put another way, the "last stage" of God's involution is the material world, whereas the latter is the starting point of science.

Mysticism is the science of "spiritual touch," and it must be at the heart of all religion. As UF writes, spiritual touch -- or intuition -- "is that which permits contact between our consciousness and the world of pure mystical experience. It is by virtue of this that there exists in the world and in the history of mankind a real relationship between the living soul and the living God -- which is true religion." It is only because of this faculty of spiritual touch -- which is obviously a subtle sense that needs to be nurtured and developed -- that God is something "more than an abstract notion."

But after mystical touch comes gnosis, or the spirit of understanding; and after gnosis, the magical sense, or the ability to put knowledge into action (or non-action, to be precise); and after magic comes the book, MOTT being as fine an example of the latter as one could imagine. As UF writes, if the God-knower "wants all that he has experienced, understood and practiced to be not limited to himself and his time, but to be communicable to others and transmitted to future generations, he must develop the Hermetic-philosophical sense, and in practicing it he will 'write his book.'"

And how eternally grateful we are that so many of these illustrious pneumanauts left their living books for us! For it is only through the very organicity of the living book that the totality of tradition may be "held together," from the top to the bottom, from the center to the periphery, from the vertical to the horizontal. To not have this experience of the living whole is to be possessed by a demon, whether it is the demon of Marxism, or of metaphysical Darwinism, or of materialism, or of scientism. Each of these results in the soul being possessed and ensnared:

"Yes, autonomous philosophical systems separated from the living body of tradition are parasitic structures, which seize the thought, feeling and finally the will of human beings. In fact, they play a role comparable to the psycho-pathological complexes of neurosis or other psychic maladies of obsession. Their physical analogy is cancer."

Ain't it the truth. The only cure is kenotherapy.

48 Comments:

Blogger walt said...

...this implies that the solar principle is located in the heart, the lunar principle in the mind; more on which later.

UF notes that "the intellect is the feminine side of the soul, whilst the fertilizing imagination is the masculine principle. The intellect that is not fertilized by the imagination guided by the heart is sterile."


This inverts the usual order we think in, of male/active/mind and female/passive/heart. And why not, since we see everything "upside-down and backwards"?

But the linkage of the heart and mind by "imagination" is likely the key to the concept, and the restoration of proper order in the person. Thanks for including this!

And you wrote, "...more on which later." Don't forget!

10/15/2008 08:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do you think of people who call God "she?" Are they left wing propogandists acting up or are they just being honest about what gender they feel God is manifesting?

I like to to call God "it" because "it" potentially can be either or both genders.

Also, "it-ness" seems more peaceful, because sexual tension is removed from the equation.

Is God horny? That is the question. I know God's creatures are, but that's not the same thing, is it?

10/15/2008 08:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Primitive mythologies identify God with the feminine, as a result of noticing the fecundity of the earth. This led to the universal practice of blood sacrifice, of "fertilizing" the soil with blood. Big misunderstanding.

One of the critical reasons to keep God masculine -- and this was a Jewish innovation -- is to desexualize God for men. Put it this way: if you put boobs on God, that's all men will notice.

10/15/2008 09:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Also, primitive mythologies conflate creation with a sexual act, whereas Genesis does not do this. Interestingly, the motif returns with the conception of Jesus, only in a sublimated manner that fully respects the vertical nature of things.

10/15/2008 09:05:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Only humans cry tears of joy (although our jester will no doubt provide a link to prove to himself otherwise...

Nope, you've actually managed to make a true statement. Tears as a part of crying appears to be unique to humans. Whether that has the significance you attach to it is a separate issue, of course.

10/15/2008 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

...primitive mythologies conflate creation with a sexual act...

...true creativity is fertilized "from above."

10/15/2008 09:58:00 AM  
Anonymous yar said...

only in a sublimated manner that fully respects the vertical nature of things.

10/15/2008 10:03:00 AM  
Anonymous christopher said...

Life Force

The girl ensouled me
With her eyes, her heart awake
Within my own heart,
The moon of tides within me
Rising with my heat, my breath.

From this place in me,
In memory and in praise
I call the Goddess.

10/15/2008 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Chris: We prefer the term, "The Queen of Heaven" or "The Mother of All Living." It maintains the legitimate twoness - there's only One God.

As for the first stanza; oh, yes, yes, yes!

10/15/2008 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Nice little post on the history of the income tax at PowerLine.

10/15/2008 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

This is interesting, of course, and makes the male and female more what they are. We tend to think of the 'heart' as 'just emotions' - when emotions probably are things bouncing between the heart and mind. The heart is the direct knower and creator, very masculine, and the mind is the organizer and container, very feminine.

I'm seeing icons for each of these so far. The first (magician) is either Elijah, or the one who came in his stead, John the Forerunner. And then following him is the Queen, Mary the Theotokos. What comes next?

10/15/2008 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

Man is indeed the ultimate bridge builder, only it is a vertical bridge (or sometimes ladder) between manifestation and principle; or the many and the One; or Heaven and Earth; or the upper waters and the lower waters.

One such architect.

10/15/2008 12:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

More cosmic rungs.

10/15/2008 12:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

And another.

10/15/2008 12:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Behold, the sacred Tree of Slack.

10/15/2008 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

That'd make some tattoo.


One more, for Ray.

The money quote:

"The satellites have found evidence for magnetic ropes connecting Earth's upper atmosphere directly to the Sun," says Dave Sibeck, project scientist for the mission at the Goddard Space Flight Center. "We believe that solar wind particles flow in along these ropes, providing energy for geomagnetic storms and auroras."

A "magnetic rope" is a twisted bundle of magnetic fields organized much like the twisted hemp of a mariner's rope. Spacecraft have detected hints of these ropes before, but a single spacecraft is insufficient to map their 3D structure. THEMIS's five satellites were able to perform the feat.

10/15/2008 01:27:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Thanks for the prayers, 'coons. =3

There are some pretty strong, er, solar ropes, I'd say. This yolk is over easy! Not a head-egg at all, but maybe an egg head...

10/15/2008 01:53:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

"three important discoveries about spectacular eruptions of Northern Lights called "substorms" and the source of their power. The discoveries include giant magnetic ropes that connect Earth's upper atmosphere to the Sun and explosions in the outskirts of Earth's magnetic field."

That's It! Science explains The Substorm Magnetic Power of Sarah Palin. At Last!

10/15/2008 01:57:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

Like I said McCain & I went to same hi school. Here's our main cheer-- I bet he remembers it too-- for the guy tonight: imagine bleachers full of standing [sitting not allowed] tie & jacket-wearing southern boys screaming this at top volume for the Varsity behind in the 4th!

''RICKETY RACKETY SHANTY-TOWN
WHO CAN TEAR McCain DOWN?
NOBODY NOBODY YEAH!!
NOBODY NOBODY YEAH!!
WHEN YOU'RE UP, YOU'RE UP
WHEN YOU'RE DOWN, YOU'RE DOWN
WHEN YOU'RE UP AGAINST JOHN, YOU'RE UPSIDE-DOWN!
W-A-A-A-Y DOWN--
FIGHT TEAM FIGHT!

10/15/2008 03:02:00 PM  
Anonymous christopher said...

Kind Eyes

I feel solar wind
Blasting past my earthen soul
With bright songs fading.

I journey beyond my life
To search every corner
As long as it takes.

I seek the kind eyes
Of the one who left me here.

10/15/2008 03:35:00 PM  
Anonymous bob f. said...

Will this be on the exam?

10/15/2008 04:21:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ohh... there is no joy in mudville tonight. In either series.

the Blues

10/15/2008 08:45:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Mind and Mater.
Head and Heart.
Reason and Faith. It takes both to make a man whOle.

I found this for you, Ray. I call it "faith and reason". Coontemplate.

10/15/2008 09:01:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Ah, but there's the rub, Nomo. If our jester were to truly coontemplate, he would no longer be our jester.

10/15/2008 09:37:00 PM  
Anonymous austracoon said...

"Mysticism is the science of "spiritual touch," and it must be at the heart of all religion."

Num 8:10 And thou shalt bring the Levites before the LORD: and the children of Israel shall put their hands upon the Levites:

10/15/2008 10:58:00 PM  
Blogger Captain Fezziwig said...

Ray,

Speeching of britches, we was just linking of you this morning. In Mitchell’s “Polanyi” he writes…

“While it is true that the objectivist claims to admit nothing as knowledge that depends on belief, it is more accurate to say the objectivist ‘tolerates no open declaration of faith’. The contradiction in logic manifests itself in practice:

‘I do not suggest, of course, that those who advocate philosophical doubt as a general solvent of error and a cure for all fanaticism would desire to bring up children without any rational guidance or contemplate any other scheme of universal hebetation. I am only saying that this is what their principals demand. What they actually want is not expressed but concealed by their declared principals. They want their own beliefs to be taught to children and accepted by everyone, for they are convinced that this would save the world from error and strife.’

In short, objectivism is fraught with contradictions. For these reasons, Polanyi rejects it.”

10/16/2008 05:07:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Excellent quote Capt'n.

10/16/2008 05:16:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Way off topic…
Nothing too shattering from last night’s debate. I did enjoy though when McCain said (paraphrase) “This is a hell of a time to be talking about taxing anybody.”

Also enjoyed listening to the precision of McCain’s hearing. Pointing out how OB would “look into” offshore drilling, and the wide open “health” of the mother "tell". Where ever you are on those issues, that’s some pretty good hearing.

BTW, if anyone, and I mean anyone, could follow either one’s complex explanation of their own health care plan, let that be an omen to you.

However, I thought the money quote was when he called OB “Captain Government”.

10/16/2008 05:20:00 AM  
Blogger Fido said...

Boss, it was a slip, and he actually said, “Senator Government”.

10/16/2008 05:22:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

What’s your point?

10/16/2008 05:24:00 AM  
Blogger Captain Fezziwig said...

Tanks, Van.
Polanyi’s got a way of cutting through the fog, eh? ‘specially in the mornin'

10/16/2008 05:28:00 AM  
Blogger Captain Fezziwig said...

Polanyi’s clever too. Funny how he was able to build his fortification well ahead of Ray’s linking barrage. And swift, I might add. So few bricks!

10/16/2008 05:34:00 AM  
Blogger Captain Fezziwig said...

He's got better quality stones, you could say.

10/16/2008 05:40:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Fezziwig - If he was trying to protect from my 'barrage', he built the fort in the wrong place. Van already noted that I'm not an objectivist.

10/16/2008 06:12:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Ray's certainly not the objectivest here.

Ho!

10/16/2008 06:34:00 AM  
Blogger Captain Fezziwig said...

What? No link?

10/16/2008 07:04:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ray said "Fezziwig - If he was trying to protect from my 'barrage', he built the fort in the wrong place. Van already noted that I'm not an objectivist."

I haven't read the book, so I can't say for sure, but my bet would be that Polyani was talking about general philosophical term of objectivism, as in subjectivism vs objectivism, rather than the 'Objectivist' movement, which only started rather late in Polyani's life, and which is quite different from Rand's ideas.

A quick search pops up a paper on it , I just made a quick scan, but seems to hit the basics.
And Ray is so in need of the basics. And links.

10/16/2008 07:43:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

I think Polanyi's objection is mostly the idea that an objective world exists outside of the human subject that can be examined and classified and dissected. He argues that not only is the human subject a part of this reality, but it is through the human subject itself and its nature that we even able to know anything at all. It's even cooler how he extends the notion of subject into the tools which we use to know the world. He also makes much of the decisive intuition: where we conclude something suddenly that could not be deduced from the facts. Sometimes we're right, sometimes we're not. A fruitful and honorable imagination is the sparkplug to this engine :)

10/16/2008 08:38:00 AM  
Blogger Brazentide said...

Science, on the other hand, begins with facts -- "the book of nature" -- and attempts to reason from the periphery to the center (which is strictly impossible, as the very conduct of science presupposes the human center). Put another way, the "last stage" of God's involution is the material world, whereas the latter is the starting point of science.

Good stuff B'ob~

Religion starts from the center and only reaches the periphery through the (imperfect) conduit of humanity. Science -properly applied- can only move towards the center via the same human conductor.

This is where the scientistic mind is really quite devious. It cuts the human chord with the transcendent sender and thereby reduces man to a flat organ-ic endtity. Once the soul's lieds are out, a man can easily convince hymnself that there is no Higher Power.

Fortunately, even in a whirled of randumb noise, a soul that is in tune with the vertexal One will never lose it's Composer.

(sorry for getting carried away)

10/16/2008 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Van - By that definition, I'm neither an objectivist or a subjectivist. Another mu.

(The whole notion of doubt automatically implying a lack of "any rational guidance" seems to be a glaring problem with Mitchell's apparent account of Polyani.)

10/16/2008 11:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the basis of reason? Faith.

10/16/2008 02:46:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Nice try Ray.

This is what I was acknowledging,

"that those who advocate philosophical doubt as a general solvent of error and a cure for all fanaticism would desire to bring up children without any rational guidance or contemplate any other scheme of universal hebetation. I am only saying that this is what their principals demand. What they actually want is not expressed but concealed by their declared principals. "

Pretty much sums up why I continually have to say what you don't realize you meant.

"The whole notion of doubt automatically implying a lack of "any rational guidance" seems to be a glaring problem with Mitchell's apparent account of Polyani."

That is the part that is absolutely true and accurate. 'Doubt' as a centerpiece of intellectual activity, is juvenile, and ultimately destructive of reason and knowledge.

(sigh)

My post on that coming soon....

10/16/2008 06:48:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Anonymous said..."What is the basis of reason? Faith."

Nope.

Reality is. And, IMHO, for faith to have any strength, it must respect and flow from Truth and Honesty, which can only have meaning in respect to reality - to what is true.

10/16/2008 06:53:00 PM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Van - But 'doubt' is not equal in all cases. You can never get anything in the real world down to zero degrees Kelvin - if nothing else, quantum mechanics will prevent it - but you can get close enough for any practical purpose. Similarly, you can't get to zero doubt about anything in the real world, but you can get 'close enough'.

10/17/2008 07:13:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Van - BTW, I too have a promised post 'under construction', but hopefully not too much longer.

10/17/2008 07:16:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ray said "...But 'doubt' is not equal in all cases..."

Doubt, in its proper context, is only a handmaiden to Questioning. Its purpose is to alert you that things don't jibe somewhere, that something doesn't add up, it is a result of perceived discrepancies in the 'things as you know them', and serves to advise you that you should look closer at something.

Attempting to use Doubt as if it were a primary, is putting the cart before the horse, or the advisor in the executives chair, or the child in place of the Man.

Doubt, when put in a primary role, doubts all, it disintegrates all that is integrated, both that which is properly integrated and what is misintegrated, it serves no knowledge, because it admits none, recognizes none, has none.

It masquerades as its better, Questioning, but doesn't measure up. Questioning examines, exposes error while seeking to unite and integrate for the purpose of creating or enhancing knowledge.

There's a reason why leftists are whiners, their philosophy descends from Cartesian Doubt, and at their core, they are little better than the most obnoxious of teenagers, posturing with their shallow cynicism, thinking themselves wise without a drop of wisdom in them.

To put it politely.

10/17/2008 08:06:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Van - As usual, we're in violent agreement about most things. But if it's not expressed in your vocabulary, it's automatically wrong. You're using British units and I'm using metric. Oh, well.

10/17/2008 08:10:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ray said "...if it's not expressed in your vocabulary, it's automatically wrong. You're using British units and I'm using metric..."

While you may soothe yourself over mere differences in vocabulary and appearances, I'm looking at the meaning of what you said, and use whatever words you'd like to there, the meaning would be the same... and it sure don't smell like roses.

10/17/2008 08:58:00 PM  

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