How to be a Big unKnow-it-All
Also, I think we'll let me, Bob's Unconscious, take the wheel of the bus, so this interior duologue may or may not be of benefit to you. Which doesn't matter much anyway, since we seem to have run off most of our readers with the the lengthy MOTT series. We're down to the diehards, dead-enders, cultists, and stalkers.
The point is, Bob's Unconscious does not -- cannot -- write for an "audience." Rather, he -- or we -- just rants. Also, since we are attempting to articulate the "unThought known," we have to somehow bypass the entity that already "knows it all." In other words, we're taking the keys to the bus away from Bob.
Consider this a peek into the supraterranean One Cosmos liberatory, where you can actually see some of our delicious products in the process of being made, using only the finest theologoumena, and then offering them to you fully half-baked.
Now, speaking of the unThought known, this is one of the most vital virtual organs for the detection of God. Without it, you're pretty much screwed and going to hell, gosh! It's analogous to a "sense of humor," which is not itself funny, but the ability to know what is funny ahead of time. The latter is an empty category, or a "preconceptual readiness" to appreciate humor in whatever form it arises. You may have noticed that a gifted comedian is often able to see the humor in some everyday situation that goes unnoticed by most people. The humor is already in us, but we don't explicitly think about it until the comedian "reminds" us of it, which then causes us to laugh with re-cognition.
I would say that Raccoon theology is somewhat like that. It's not as if the B'ob tells you anything you don't already know, I mean, right? Rather, he mainly gives voice to preconceptual airy-fairy things you may not have consciously thought about. Hence, the sacred "guffah-HA!" experience when he punches you right in the nous and gets a clean kill. But this is true of all real theology, which is aimed at vertical re-collection. Whenever Bob's or anyone else's key fits perfectly into your unThought known, you will notice a little "tickle." You should try to be aware of this and eventually transform it into more of a real chortle or belly laugh. Ho!
It's also somewhat like being a good cook. We think of someone having a good visual or verbal imagination, but having a good gustatory imagination is a thing apart -- like having a good "tactile imagination," which I suppose blind people possess. A good and adventurous cook can presumably combine ingredients in unexpected ways, because he has a sort of highly developed "foretaste" of potentially tasty combinations. Frankly, I think this is how advances take place in any field, which was one of Polanyi's core points -- the idea that the scientific researcher is guided by tacit foreknowledge of, say, an as yet undiscovered chile recipe.
But at the same time, it's a tricky balance, because if your mind is saturated with too much foreknowledge, then it closes off the possibility of new discoveries. And this may sound like blasphemy, but who said that all the great theological discoveries have already been made? At the very least, I know for sure that they haven't been made by Bob. I mean, I could take someone else's word for it, but I'm not much interested in second hand theology unless it specifically illuminates my own unThought known. Theology's the ultimate adventure, baby. It's not supposed to be just mechanical memorization.
The other book we've been rereading is McGinn's excellent introduction to the mystical theology of Meister Eckhart, The Man From Whom God Hid Nothing. Who knows if it was providential or cooncidental, but I am finding that these two books illuminate one another into a "higher third," and you might say that it is this "third" to which we are attempting to give birth in concrete form.
The birth metaphor is quite exact, and in fact, this was one of Eckhart's key psimiles -- that the birth of the Word is eternally recapitulated in the ground of the soul. Jesus reconciles creation with Creator on a macro scale, but we must nevertheless engage in the same activity on a micro scale, i.e., "the imitation of Christ." You might say that he blazed the trail, but that doesn't mean that we don't have to take the journey. It just means the journey is possible, because Christ is always coming down and "taking on" human nature: "Since we possess human nature, the same nature that the Word united to himself, by grace we are now Christ's 'personal being'" (McGinn).
Also, you definitely have to appreciate Eckhart's outrageous sense of humor, which, unfortunately, the religious authorities of the time did not. He uses humor in a zen sort of way, in order to jolt you out of your habitual way of seeing things. He is the True GagDaddy.
Eckhart reveled in "word games that are meant to be both playful and serious insofar as they 'play' a role in the practice of deconstructing the self and freeing it from all that pertains to the created world. Identity in the ground [of being] is a 'wandering' and 'playful' identity.... Speaking to a restricted group of learned God-seekers, he also feels free to indulge... in paradox, oxymoron, and hyperbole," the "rare and subtle" forms of speech "that comprise the 'shock treatment' of a mystical discourse designed to awaken by challenging traditional modes of speaking and understanding" (McGinn).
Like the unThought known, "the ground is transcendentally real as 'pure possibility,'" and "is the 'place' from which the mystic must learn to live, act, and know" (McGinn). It is also flowing and spontaneous, like jazz: "Many of Eckhart's sermons have an improvisational character, appearing as a series of virtuoso variations on oft-repeated themes."
I didn't intend to get so deeply into Eckart, but I did want to mention what he said about the unThought known: "This not-knowing draws [the soul] into amazement and keeps her on the hunt, for she clearly recognizes 'that he is,' but she does not know 'what' or 'how' he is.... [T]he unknown-knowing keeps the soul constant and still on the hunt" (Eckhart). McGinn says that "this incommunicable knowledge keeps the mystic ever on the inward path, not turned outside."
Now, this "inward path" is the path back to God. Just yesterday Bob was comparing it to a sort of vertical mine shaft, in which we must all work in darkness, taking one blow after another, occasionally pulling out a nugget of gold, and getting closer each day to the Fatherlode. It's there. We can sense it with our charcoal activated cOOnvision, like old Walter Huston smells the gold in Treasure of the Sierra Madre.
Here's how Eckhart describes the cOOnvision: "Though it may be called an unknowing, an uncomprehending, it still has more within it than all knowing and comprehending outside it, for this unknowing lures and draws you from all that is known, and also from yourself."
The B'ob make many veiled references to this in the Cosmobliteration section of the Coonifesto, such as unknowculate your brain; leave your apprehensions behind; knowing without knowledge all that can be unKnown; return your soul to its upright position and extinguish all (me)mories; etc.
Also, the importance of having a divine sense of humor at the outset: last rung in's a written gag; your seenil grammar and gravidad may not be malapropriate for my laughty revelation; that's the New Man, we're just putting him on; when you reach a ribald age you can grasp the wheel of this broken-down trancebardation, etc.
And not a moment sooner!