Friday, February 06, 2009

From Egocentric to Cosmocentric

[T]he contradiction of wanting to be... the whole of reality and one's own self... is transcended first and foremost in Christ... --Balthasar

A few more thoughts on Soloviev before returning to where we were a few days ago, back in volume one. (And you folks should be grateful that I'm making my way through these dense volumes on your bewhole; it's quite a slog!)

I'm pleased to see that Soloviev highlights the importance of the individual to the cosmic spiritual economy, because this is again something that tends to be devalued among those who emphasize the obliteration of the ego. In other words, they conflate "ego" with "individual," which legitimizes either a state of boundaryless blobhood or a hypernarcissistic denial of one's hypernarcissism.

Most of the new-age gurus fall into the latter category (if they aren't borderline sociopaths like a Deepak or Tony Robbins). The blob-types tend to be those who can't tolerate the rigors of of mature functioning (like having a job), and therefore take refuge in a detached, prepersonal cloud of "spirit," while the narcissistic types always require "disciples," which keeps alive the dialectic of their fantasized superiority, which is simultaneously overwrought and brittle.

I suppose one must begin with the question, "just what is the proper role of individuation in the psychic economy?" Of Soloviev, Balthasar writes that "for him it is precisely the personal that is truly and properly 'ideal,' while, conversely, that which is purely generic and anonymous is assigned to matter." Therefore, to deny the individual is to negate one of the highest expressions -- a miracle, really -- of the divine creativity. What seems like an "ascent" into spirit can actually be a regression into matter, if it means tossing aside this divine gift of a unique self.

One critical concern is the very real danger of spiritual inflation that necessarily attaches to the individual. Thus, at every stage of the ascent, an attitude of deep humility is both the seed and fruit, for no one who begins to apprehend the contours of the Divine can possibly retain his grandiosity and hubris. Thus the well-known "paradox" -- which isn't really a paradox at all -- that those most aware of their sinful nature are the saints. In a certain sense, the higher you go, the smaller you get. Conversely, the lower you descend, the more inflated you become.

Think of Queeg, whose contemptuous superiority is sealed by his profound ignorance of both science and spirit. That is the bad kind of individuality. And what makes it bad? First, it is a caricature of individuality, because it exists in a stunted, reactionary, and especially closed form.

In other words, no one who is in a "vertically open" state (↑↓) could possibly maintain such a cramped and desiccated worldview. Such a person must literally die to spirit in order to "live" as a metaphysical Darwinist. In turn, his "self" can only be identified with matter -- for with what else could it be identified? -- which makes him a kind of generic character, superficial and worthless eccentricities notwithstanding. There is no uniqueness about him, just a bundle of horizontal reactions. This is the madness that results from believing that Darwin has counted every hair on your head.

In contrast, God loves people. Real people. But that presupposes "being" or "becoming" real, doesn't it? Now, all Raccoons will have pondered the fact that there are certain people with whom you walk away and say to yourself, "damn, now that's a real person." But what does that mean? Is it just a figure of speech, or is it an actual observation, albeit of a higher dimensional reality?

Obviously the latter. The real person has many subtle-but-obvious characteristics which can certainly be detected with cOOnvision (and scent), but can also sometimes even be literally seen (i.e., the "glow worm" effect). What are these characteristics? To a certain extent I touched on them on pp. 221-224 of the Coonifesto. Since I probably wrote that passage a decade ago, it might be interesting to review it to see if any of it still holds holy water.

Let's see. We begin with an observation by Unknown Friend, who says that "Real contact with the spiritual world always engenders the influx of forces." This is the grace or the subtle force, symbolized by (↓).

By the way, I often get emails from people, essentially asking "what's the secret," and as far as I'm concerned, that's it. Surrender + Grace is the only path I know. As Aurobindo wrote, once we enter this state, our "old predetermined destiny [I would say "fate"] begins to recede. There comes in a new factor, a Divine Grace, the help of a higher Divine Force other than the force of Karma, which can lift the sadhak beyond the present possibilities in his nature."

Amen to that. How could I, on my own, ever lift myself by my own buddhastraps beyond my present possibilities? I tried. I couldn't. If others can, go for it. But it is not the Raccoon Way.

Another important point is that while (↓) is (super)naturally ubiquitous, we must become conscious of it; we must prepare ourselves both to be worthy of receiving it and able to detect it when it comes. Here I might compare it to Polanyi's description of scientific discovery, which seems to be "guided," as it were, by a subtle intuition of an approaching breakthrough -- as if the future can cast its shadow back into the present.

I would say that the same applies to O. How can you know when you are "near" it? I think by something analogous. However, how it specifically manifests will partly depend upon how it is "inflected" through the lens of the individual. For example, for me, when I write these posts, I am clearly non-trying to enter that receptive space in which I conform myself to O. I'm definitely not "thinking" in the usual sense, just trying to "amplify" a kind of flow between O and (¶). And when it's really working, I hope it comes out in a way that is simultaneously universal even while being individual.

Now normally, one would think that those two categories would be mutually exclusive. For example, a valid scientific theory can only be universal, and must be cleansed of its individuality. Not so with the realm of Spirit. This is because physics describes a relatively simple reality consisting of only four dimensions, whereas the self abides in a bi-logical space that transcends but includes the world of physics (and from which the world of physics is a declension).

Here again, think of Christianity: the ultimate truth is a function of Word + flesh, of the ultimate universal being inflected through a particular human being. But is Jesus a generic son of a nobodaddy? Hardly! He is a quite vivid somebody and somabuddhi, a unique individual with a distinct manner of expressing himself and idiom all his own. He is not some anonymous sage spouting platitudes, nor is he a post-personal blob of holy goo. And frankly, he wouldn't mean anything to us if he weren't such a man. Which is why Petey says, Ascent you a son, amen for a child's job!

Here is a quote by Smoley from my book. It could hardly be more accurate:

"[Y]our whole body and soul are merely a sort of telescope through which something much larger and wiser and more powerful is peering out at the world. As such a realization grows and deepens, you may increasingly sense that you know certain things without knowing how you know them. You begin to have access to the knowledge that is common to the whole human race."

Think about the profound changes that occurred in you the first time you fell in love and became a deeply open system on the horizontal plane. Now, apply that same idea to the vertical plane. When we become open to the Divine, what is the result? Let's see, "lightness" of being, innocence, transparency, spontaneity, and simplicity, to which I might add presence, "flow," gratitude, humility, and a lot of why me?!, i.e., ongoing repentance and metanoia.

Also, I've noticed that figure and ground tend to be reversed, so that one lives from the inside out and top down, which results in a sense that time is leisurely flowing out from a center of eternity, instead of just "rushing by" and hurtling us toward our doom. In short, one becomes a "mode of the infinite," emphasis on both.

44 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

"And when it's really working, I hope it comes out in a way that is simultaneously universal even while being individual."

I'd say you manage that most days, at least from where I sit :)

2/06/2009 08:54:00 AM  
Anonymous richard_223 said...

Its started!

http://thepage.time.com/2009/02/05/raccoons-invade/

2/06/2009 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

"...the same applies to O. How can you know when you are "near" it? I think by something analogous."

Recently, I was reading one of the books you have referenced. Page after page, chapter after chapter, I seemed to follow the line of thought, catch the cross-references, recognize the more technical language.

About half way through, I was struck by a "Holy Carp!" moment: I realized I must be "closer" to the subject matter (O) than I generally sense, by virtue of being able to understand the material I was reading.

Means very little, of course -- and couldn't be said of many others you reference -- but is a little illustration of your point.

Very potent post, Bob. Not silly at all.

2/06/2009 09:20:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Walt:

Yes, at a certain point, as you begin to "understand," you suddenly realize that the "object of understanding" truly exists. This I think is what Blake meant by "truth cannot be told so as to be understood, and not believed."

2/06/2009 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

...you suddenly realize that the "object of understanding" truly exists.

One of the things that struck me the other day, with all the syncoonicities flying around (and part of why I found it notable) was the sheer ordinariness of it all. It's surprising precisely because it happens without any fanfare or fairy lights - it's just real, as real as the chill in my fingers and the ache in my spine, and only has meaning if we a) are able and b) choose to see it. It's there all along, hidden in plain sight - because it is plain, in a way. What's more banal than sunlight on leaves? But it's pure enlightenment, when viewed the right way. And when you notice it, it's like suddenly seeing the elephant in the room that was there all along - apparently materializing out of nothing, when in reality you just never paid much attention.

2/06/2009 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger James said...

Wonderful post Bob.

wv: frash freshly washed spirit.

2/06/2009 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

Yes, metaphorically speaking the multiverse becomes more and more "fine-grained" the higher up you come, with each tiny grain up there still containing as much reality as a whole brick further down. This is why the higher worlds are so painfully hard and unyielding. The only way to begin to conform to a higher world is to shrink. Without such a contraction or concentration we can not chew, much less digest, the food of a higher world, rather it will seem to us that we receive stones for bread. It is entirely too dense or too hard, and we gain nothing from it. Therefore the irony, that we must shrink to grow.

In the lower worlds, of course, it is the other way around. Everything there is pleasantly malleable. And no matter how much we eat down there, we leave more hungry than we arrived, as if we have lost more than we gained. Only if we are anchored above can we resist dissipation below.

(Or that's what the voices in my head tell me...)

2/06/2009 12:20:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I remember this novel called "Little Big," in which reality was described as a series of concentric circles around a central point, except that as you move toward the center, the worlds are successively larger, until you reach the central point, which is infinite. But you have to be very small to fit into a point.

2/06/2009 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Sorry for the length, but Bob’s riffin’ can set me off in so many directions. Indulge my simple mind for a moment, if you will. To me, “ego” is simply everything I am at this moment. It is obviously evolving, incomplete. See? It’s already changed in one sentence. There it goes again. For a Christian, “evolution” is the work God is doing in them, i.e. “growth in the grace and knowledge of Him". According to Peter,

“…you have been born anew, not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God. For, ‘All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls off, but the word of the Lord endures forever.’ And this is the word which was preached to you. Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.”

I would say, therefore, the power behind real evolution can only be God and His revelation through the cosmos and the words of those through whom he has spoken (the most original version of which is the Bible). While we obviously evolve from interaction and exchange of ideas, those words that most closely coincide with God’s will encourage the greatest growth. Whatever else we do, we need to read The Book.

God’s “ego”, on the other hand, simply IS (absolute, complete). Jesus claimed, “…before Abraham was born, I Am”. Interestingly, in the Greek it is “ego eimi”. None of us can say “I am”, but at best, “I am becoming”. There is a specific, individual ego that my Creator intends for me to become, and another entirely that I would intend for myself – if left to my own devices. Bob’s title today, “From Egocentric to Cosmocentric” well-describes the Christian’s intended evolutionary progression.

Without the Creator in mind, the mind of man is alone and can only ask the miniscule question, “Who am I”?...the only answer being, “Only what I can make myself to be, the end.” With the Creator in mind, the question expands exponentially to, “Who is it the Creator will continue to make me into…as I yield my will to His?” Now that’s LIFE as it is intended to be. In fact, that’s eternal life.

Every individual is unique, as is the relationship God desires with each of us, as is each individual’s ENCOUNTER with Him. For me, there was truly an “I Am”, inescapable, unconditional surrender moment – after which I KNEW, as if it had been indelibly imprinted on my soul, very simply that HE IS. In the simplest terms, as Ravi Zacharias likes to say, it’s about Creation…Encounter…Relationship. Recognize that the reality of creation demands a Creator, surrender to the Encounter with Him, then expect and cherish an eternal relationship with Him (growth in the grace and knowledge of Him).

Oh yeah, I also stumbled across this related reading on communicatio idiomatum. Still trying to keep it simple.

NoMo out.

2/06/2009 01:31:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

"Indulge my simple mind for a moment, if you will."

NoMo, we'll indulge you any time. That's some good riffin'.

2/06/2009 02:01:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Oh yeah, and check out what Krauthammer cooked up today...mmmm good.

Now I'm going to take the advice of my granddaughter and "take a chill pill, Pa".

2/06/2009 02:46:00 PM  
Blogger Dougman said...

wv: nesse
Nesse is the Essen that maps the Deep

Her report, "Here is life!"
"Go and tell the Sheep!"

Diana has delivered,
but the child is not mine

Faith, Hope and Charity
My duty, I did dine

(Crap, the phones ringing off the hook,...can't buy a freakin' second...
to be continued?...maybe, we'll see)

2/06/2009 03:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob wrote

"I'm pleased to see that Soloviev highlights the importance of the individual to the cosmic spiritual economy."

I've just recently renounced my lizardhood and tossed away my moonbat credentials (thank you, B'ob).

As far as now moving towards Raccoonhood, I understand surrender, sincerity, humility, and transparency.

But, How do I do my part for the spiritual economy?

I understand the importance of study of enlightened works to gain knowledge, and I understand the need to love God with all of one's heart and give full devotion.

What I don't yet understand is how I take this into the trenches of daily life; the world of work, of commerce, of service. What is the correct action of the God lover in the office? In the squad car? In the soldier's uniform?

How does one approach television? Sex? Drinking? Eating?

HOw does the influx of grace impart correct discernment for guidance in practical matters?

I don't want to be a knowledgable, devoted Raccoon who still is debauched and commercially pernicious.

HOw to proceed? Anyone?

2/06/2009 04:18:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

On the chance that you're serious, all I can say is pray attention.

2/06/2009 04:28:00 PM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

Actually, I strongly recommend not approaching television at all, except in emergency. I have seen what it has done to formerly God-fearing families. Most television programming is intended to suck you down into the netherworlds, into dissipation. Avoiding it whenever you are alone will save you from lots of repair.

wv: collar

2/06/2009 04:41:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Wow. As I told Julie, Magnus is always on the cutting edge. I see why she asked if I had read his comment.

MI said: And no matter how much we eat down there, we leave more hungry than we arrived, as if we have lost more than we gained.

This is exactly what was haunting me today.

wv: obleri -- those who are leri of oblongs.

2/06/2009 05:24:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

"Avoiding it whenever you are alone will save you from lots of repair."

I'll second that, Magnus. The most depressing phase of my life was probably when I watched a lot of daytime television, because I didn't know what to do with all the time I spent alone while DH was working.

2/06/2009 05:30:00 PM  
Blogger jwm said...

Anon:
I'll second what Julie and Magnus said, and add, don't get the wrong impression. We aren't exactly a pious bunch. And, to snag a line from AA: We claim spiritual progress, not spiritual perfection.

For me, the first step in this thing came with the prayer:

God, for this one day, I place my life and my will in your care.

I have come to believe, that once you make that prayer *with complete sincerity* (that's the hard part) to let God be in charge, it activates a sort of inner compas, and sets the needle on its way to pointing toward true north. To beat the metaphor into the ground, it may happen very fast. For some, that needle comes unstuck, swings around with dizzying speed, and fixes right on the pole. If you're like me it may be more like a series of slow, but wild gyrations, coming close, passing it up, swinging back and forth and only gradually beginning to point in the right direction.

JWM

2/06/2009 05:35:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

:D
You only just now saw it, Mushroom?

That elephant, it's pretty big, isn't it...

Yaknow, where one can hide in plain sight, there's probably a whole lot more that your senses just don't know how to recognize yet.

Not to make goosebumps walk up your spine or anything ;)

Oh, and Magnus - just for grins and giggles, you should read Mushroom's post for today, if you haven't seen it already...

2/06/2009 05:36:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Welcome to the family, Anon 4:18.

Rule 1: Listen to Julie, and Magnus, and JWM.

I guess the bit I'd throw in is we are disciples. Jesus said, "Come, learn of Me."

Don't panic if you occasionally slip into negative thoughts or behavior. Always remember the words of the great theologian, Jessica Rabbit: "I not bad, Mr. Valiant. I'm just drawn that way."

She's not the only one. The good news is that God is now drawing you "good".

2/06/2009 05:42:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Yaknow, where one can hide in plain sight, there's probably a whole lot more that your senses just don't know how to recognize yet.

Absolutely.

2/06/2009 05:45:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

(Mushroom, I'm just gonna note that I think Anon 4:18 is our usual anon, asking the usual questions in a slightly different variation.

F'rinstance,

"As far as now moving towards Raccoonhood, I understand surrender, sincerity, humility, and transparency.

But, How do I do my part for the spiritual economy?"

To even ask the question pretty much demonstrates that no matter how much he'd like to think he gets what we're saying, he still (after all this time - months now? or is it over a year?) doesn't really have the first clue. So all I can say to him, in all sincerity, is pray and listen, and actually try to embody those qualities. But he probably still won't get it - he's too wrapped up in worries about sex.)

2/06/2009 06:19:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

Let's see, "lightness" of being, innocence, transparency, spontaneity, and simplicity, to which I might add presence, "flow," gratitude, humility, and a lot of why me?!, i.e., ongoing repentance and metanoia.

Also, I've noticed that figure and ground tend to be reversed, so that one lives from the inside out and top down, which results in a sense that time is leisurely flowing out from a center of eternity...


B-but ... should I watch television?

2/06/2009 06:44:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

A few more thoughts on Soloviev before returning to where we were a few days ago, back in volume one. (And you folks should be grateful that I'm making my way through these dense volumes on your bewhole; it's quite a slog!)


Thanks Bob! You da dude, man!
I'm grateful that your writing is so greatful. :^)

2/06/2009 07:24:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Richard-
Its started!

Hell, no! We won't go! :^)

2/06/2009 07:27:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Walt said...

About half way through, I was struck by a "Holy Carp!" moment: I realized I must be "closer" to the subject matter (O) than I generally sense, by virtue of being able to understand the material I was reading.

Gagdad Bob said...
Walt:

Yes, at a certain point, as you begin to "understand," you suddenly realize that the "object of understanding" truly exists.

You gno, it is exhilarating to be able to actually Omderstand stuff that used to literally blow my mind!
And the really deep stuff I only fathom on a shallow level...I can still see where it's pointing.

I mean, wow! If I can get a fraction of this great stuff, anyone can!

Bein' pessimystic is a joyful experience, in a sense, 'cause the greater the challenge (and make gno mis-take, this is, seariously! the mudda of all challenges), the grader the victOry!

Note: Since Will only has one good aye, does that mean he's Omnimystic? :^)

2/06/2009 07:38:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

"...except that as you move toward the center, the worlds are successively larger, until you reach the central point, which is infinite. But you have to be very small to fit into a point." Bob

"Yes, metaphorically speaking the multiverse becomes more and more "fine-grained" the higher up you come, with each tiny grain up there still containing as much reality as a whole brick further down. This is why the higher worlds are so painfully hard and unyielding. The only way to begin to conform to a higher world is to shrink. Without such a contraction or concentration we can not chew, much less digest, the food of a higher world, rather it will seem to us that we receive stones for bread. It is entirely too dense or too hard, and we gain nothing from it. Therefore the irony, that we must shrink to grow.
And no matter how much we eat down there, we leave more hungry than we arrived, as if we have lost more than we gained. Only if we are anchored above can we resist dissipation below." Magnus

"When we become open to the Divine, what is the result? Let's see, "lightness" of being, innocence, transparency, spontaneity, and simplicity, to which I might add presence, "flow," gratitude, humility, and a lot of why me?!, i.e., ongoing repentance and metanoia.
Also, I've noticed that figure and ground tend to be reversed, so that one lives from the inside out and top down, which results in a sense that time is leisurely flowing out from a center of eternity, instead of just "rushing by" and hurtling us toward our doom. In short, one becomes a "mode of the infinite," " Bob

"So we live in a kind of spiritual whirlpool or dynamic process-structure created by the vertical energies of (↑↓), which in turn have a "purifying" effect, somewhat like the rinse cycle in your washing machine, which baptizes the garments in clean water and spins out the entropic impurities."
SS Bobservation

It strike me these fit together somehow, along lines of:
in a "vertically open" state (↑↓),
we get cycles of rinses,
which help us get smaller,
which allow us to approach/enter the point which is infinite,
so we may partake of concentrated, truly satisfying food,
resulting in "lightness" of being, innocence, transparency, spontaneity, and simplicity, presence, "flow," gratitude, humility, and a lot of why me?!, i.e., ongoing repentance and metanoia,
and become a "mode of the infinite"

Awesome

Umm, is there a queue forming somewhere so I can sign up, or do I just follow that trail of luminous paw-prints I can see from this very spot?

2/06/2009 07:41:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Julie said-

And when you notice it, it's like suddenly seeing the elephant in the room that was there all along - apparently materializing out of nothing, when in reality you just never paid much attention.

Aye. When I notice the elephant I realize how much of a dumbo I have been. But hey, that's oughter under the bridge now. :^)

2/06/2009 07:42:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Magnus-

Therefore the irony, that we must shrink to grow.

Excellent comment, Magnus!

Gagdad Bob said...
I remember this novel called "Little Big," in which reality was described as a series of concentric circles around a central point, except that as you move toward the center, the worlds are successively larger, until you reach the central point, which is infinite. But you have to be very small to fit into a point.

That's where humblebillity comes in handy. Or would that be humblebenitty? Humblebobitty boo?!

Has anyone else noticed a shrink is helping us to shrink? :^)

The incr-edible journey.

2/06/2009 07:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

Bob ain't jest any shrink. He's the biggest shrink!

And WV is alert: pundb...aye, that he is. :^)

2/06/2009 07:55:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

NoMo said-

While we obviously evolve from interaction and exchange of ideas, those words that most closely coincide with God’s will encourage the greatest growth.

Ho! Amen to that, Bro! :^)

2/06/2009 08:00:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

JWM said-

"If you're like me it may be more like a series of slow, but wild gyrations, coming close, passing it up, swinging back and forth and only gradually beginning to point in the right direction."

I hear ya Bro! I coonsider it a real blessing to gno all of you Raccoons...some who gnew God fast, some who took longer, but THE POINT IS...you gno!

And whether you gnew quickly or it took longer means diddlely to me.
I'm reminded of the workers Jesus talked about. They all got the same pay, and no Raccoon is gonna complain about who has been workin' the longest, or about how much the last guy onboard got paid.

We rejoice! Rejoice, I say! Because we have so much to rejoice about; the glory bein' that what was lost is found is so profound! :^)

2/06/2009 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

As far as teevee goes, if you watch what I watch you'll be okay.
There are a few good shows out there, like:

The Unit-
The most accurate show about the military since Combat!
Although the family drama is a bit over the top, the military operations (special ops, specifically) are the best I have seen, and the Soldiers (Delta Force, shhh...don't tell anyone) are as the most realistic I have seen.

Also, the Soldiers aren't portrayed as the usual Hollywood style psychopathic disturbed mental cases that Leftists like to wish we were.

There's some more gems out there. Ironically, as idiotic as Ted Turner is, his TCM channel (Turner Classic Movies) is always a good bet. With classics from the 20's to the 50's (with some 60' and
70's sometimes) you can't go wrong.
This is one thing Turner did right.

2/06/2009 08:27:00 PM  
Blogger jwm said...

What I don't yet understand is how I take this into the trenches of daily life; the world of work, of commerce, of service.

I don't know how I passed that up, because it is a question that recurrs to me frequently. Several times I've thought-OK, I can see where my beliefs have grown, and changed, but what do I make of all that? How do I integrate this with the mundane business of real life in the real world? Huge changes have taken place in the way I see Life, The Universe, and Everything. What now? Where do I go from here, and what do I do? I came over from LGF as well. But I was discovering that the republican/democrat stuff was far less interesting to me than the theological turns that conversations over there occasionally took. When I got here I had a general belief in the 'higher power' God, but I didn't want anything to do with the Jesus stuff. Now it's different. And maybe in trying to address the question as I hear it from you, my own answer to it begins to emerge. I mean- I don't think grabbing a Bible, and doing street preaching at Huntington Beach Pier is it. And when I hear born-again converts talk- you know- every sentence peppered with 'praise the Lord', or 'and since now I've accepted Jesus as my Lord, and Savior", and similar stuff I don't get all willied out, but neither do I wish to engage them in conversation about matters of the spirit. I get a gut feeling that what has happened to them and what has happened to me are not the same. In truth, I find it almost impossible to talk about it, except on-line with the folks in this community. And it isn't because I'm embarrassed by my faith, or ashamed of it. It's just- I don't know, I really don't.
Like The War.(over at Ricky Raccoon's) Given my reaction to the piece, you'd think I'd be grabbing people off the street and begging them to go read it. I posted about it, but only briefly, and in the real world I mentioned it- mentioned, to two friends, and that's it. Finally, maybe there is no one specific THING TO DO. You grow. You change, and the things that you do grow and change with it.
Best I can come up with off the top of my head.

JWM

2/06/2009 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"I suppose one must begin with the question, "just what is the proper role of individuation in the psychic economy?" Of Soloviev, Balthasar writes that "for him it is precisely the personal that is truly and properly 'ideal,' while, conversely, that which is purely generic and anonymous is assigned to matter." Therefore, to deny the individual is to negate one of the highest expressions -- a miracle, really -- of the divine creativity. What seems like an "ascent" into spirit can actually be a regression into matter, if it means tossing aside this divine gift of a unique self. "

O, Bravo!

2/06/2009 09:07:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

At some point we'll be getting to Eckhart's idea of "living without a why."

2/06/2009 09:13:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Nomo said "“…before Abraham was born, I Am”. Interestingly, in the Greek it is “ego eimi”. None of us can say “I am”, but at best, “I am becoming”"

Now that's a mouth full of food for thought.

2/06/2009 09:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having suffered from bibliphobia specific to the 'Holy Bible', I am grateful for overcoming that afflection. It would appear that the composition of 'Adam and Eve' before 'the fall' and humankind after 'the fall' is the same, except that in 'Adam and Eve' before 'the fall' their material nature and their spirit of God were in harmony. It was their then 'innocent evil that enabled them to 'fall'.

2/06/2009 09:17:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

julie said... "(Mushroom, I'm just gonna note that I think Anon 4:18 is our usual anon, asking the usual questions in a slightly different variation."

Thought I smelled the same scent too....

2/06/2009 09:29:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ben said "Has anyone else noticed a shrink is helping us to shrink? :^)"

Lol!

Ooh! Look! A mug of grog is now bigger than a keg!

2/06/2009 09:34:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

JWM said

"Given my reaction to the piece, you'd think I'd be grabbing people off the street and begging them to go read it. I posted about it, but only briefly, and in the real world I mentioned it- mentioned, to two friends, and that's it."

Sounds similar to a discussion I had once, as to why I don't generally tell people to come here to OC. As much as I love this place and you guys, as much as I am nourished by it, I'm fairly certain that nobody I know, in meat space anyway, would "get" it. They just aren't in the head space, and if I were to insist, they'd probably just smile and nod while slowly backing away. It really would be like handing them stones and insisting it was bread.

I think we naturally have a desire to share that which is Good. One of the attributes of having 'coon-vision, though, is having a sense of who will appreciate it. And for the moment, unfortunately, that seems to be a decidedly small segment of the population.

2/06/2009 10:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you say the secret is surrender + grace?

How very Islamic of you.

2/06/2009 11:02:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

You're thinking of surrender + gross.

2/07/2009 06:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Julie, JWM, and other commenters:

Yes, I am the same troll that always trolls here for several years. But actually, I was converted by B'ob. No lie there.

I started out as a card carrying Moonbat and I ain't anymore. That's all I know. The blog was a life-changing influence for me.

I ask about practical matters, and I think the answers were good. Thank you.

Although I am not technically a real 'real' troll anymore, I remain a contentious and inflammatory poster whose familiar bad smell you shall continue to savor.

That means you, Julie, who never fails to detect me.

2/07/2009 08:37:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home