Friday, February 13, 2009

On Successfully Gaining No Faith in Oneself

Again, nine out of ten transcendentists agree that if we wish to prevent truth decay, the eye of spirit must become proportionate to the divine reality, and that faith is a necessary component of this. For this reason we insist that the act of faith in the divine reality is wholly rational, being that it has a rational end.

In other words, the rationality of faith depends upon its object, not the faith itself. After all, people have faith in Obama, or Al Gore, or the New York Times, but that is hardly rational. Such a misplaced faith actually shrinks the being and arrests the deepening of one's interior, so one remains a child forever.

In short, be careful what you have faith in, because faith creates an empty space for the Other to operate. And there are some bad otherf*ckers out there in the cosmos who are just waiting to hijack your soul.

Importantly, faith is not necessarily synonymous with "belief," the latter of which may simply be an overly-saturated dogma with no possibility of evolution. In fact, you might say that faith can clear a space for a kind of dynamic unbelief (not disbelief), which in turn makes it possible to possess something deeper and more robust than mere belief.

Here again, I don't have time to dig out exhumeples, but one will find many in the Gospels or Tao Te Ching, e.g., "blessed are the poor in spirit," or "to become full you must become empty," etc. This is why in my own godspiel, I employ the symbols (---) and (o) to signify this dynamic faith, or the silence and openness necessary to receive (↓).

To employ a computer banalogy, you could even say that this is the means through which we download the Word into our flesh, or the ultimate sophware into our hardheart. In turn, this would be how we begin to allow the Cosmic Center to reside in us, out here at the periphery. Then it is just as Paul said: it is longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God. Again, perfect nonsense, no?

It is not so much that we become the center of the cosmos, but that we participate in the center. Or, you could say that we are "not two," because for one thing, we are three. Here is how Balthasar describes the satchituation:

"God can be known only by God. Faith, along with love and hope, is infused divine life in us, which cannot be detached from God's eternal life, but which draws back and incorporates into this life the creature that has become detached" (emphasis mine). In other words, it is not so much we who are "born again," but God who is born again in the ground of the soul who extends the invitation.

Or, you could say that O is the Great Attractor, and as we participate in this fideal attraction, we are slowly converted into that which attracts us. In ether worlds, we might think we are attracted to God -- which we are -- but that is like saying that the earth is attracted to the sun. In reality, the sun is doing most of the heavy lifting and heavenly gifting.

In the fallen manalysis, "faith" is not even ours. Rather, it belongs to God. This reminds me of how, in reality, the breast does not belong to the mother. Rather, it belongs to the infant. The mother is "responsible" for it, but nevertheless, the infant is enteatled to it. The breast is as much a part of the infant as it is the mother. In fact, more so, since the baby will die without it, whereas the mother can go on living with fake ones.

So, we are responsible for our faith, but it really belongs to God. Again, Balthasar: "As long as he continues to treat 'his faith' as his own possibility, he still does not believe at all, but is perhaps still debating whether he ought to risk the leap of faith."

Only after we have reached the nul de slack of our own (merely) human possibilities -- i.e., spiritual blankruptcy -- can the Divine presence begin to get the upper hand. As Balthasar describes it, realization cannot occur in the believer until it becomes a "real event by his self-abandonment to Jesus Christ, who alone can help his unbelief" (emphasis mine).

Just as we cannot "see" reason, we cannot see faith, because both represent the light by which we see their respective spheres. The faith of the authentic lumen being "can never become objectified," but "shines forth only in the realization of either the act of faith or the act of knowledge when it is objectively oriented."

But here again, just as it is not wholly our faith, neither is it our knowledge -- which is no different than in science, since a scientific truth by definition cannot belong to the individual; rather, if it is true, then it is universal.

Balthasar: "[I]n man's turning to Christ what shines forth is not man's own aptitude for faith, but rather Christ's aptitude to give to the inept a share of his own light and power. The light of being envelops both subject and object, and, in the act of cognition, it becomes the overarching identity between the two."

And here's the money quote: "The light of faith stems from the object which, revealing itself to the subject, draws it out beyond itself into the sphere of the object."

This is how we cross the bridge of darkness to the father shore, and end up out here, floating upstream beyond the subjective horizon in Upper Tonga.

30 Comments:

Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Like a Klein bottle O' the good stuff.

2/13/2009 08:45:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Awe heck, it's Friday after all.

2/13/2009 08:47:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

(Ha - wv says renting. How true; we don't own, no matter what we tell ourselves. These forms are strictly on loan, and will be returned, sooner or later; ashes to Ashes and soul to Soul)

[I]n man's turning to Christ what shines forth is not man's own aptitude for faith, but rather Christ's aptitude to give to the inept a share of his own light and power.

I mentioned earlier this week about grinding and temptation. What I didn't mention was another one of those drifting-off-to-sleep realizations, a sort of vision, I suppose (though I hesitate to put such a lofty name to anything that comes out of my mind). I was thinking/ praying about how to deal with something, how to synthesize it so that what could really drag me down in the worst possible way becomes instead a stepping-stone to bring me up to a higher place, when I pictured the Man Himself saying "Take up your cross and follow me..." And so I did, with no small amount of relief at knowing there's a sOlution.

There was more to it than that, but not such that I can really put it into words very well. But the cross (mine, anyway) was this particular point of fixation. I can raise myself on it, in a manner of speaking. It'll be no easy task, but I get the impression that this may be how I cross that bridge of darkness to the father shore.

2/13/2009 08:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Related.

2/13/2009 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Thanks, Petey - that looks like just the thing. It's on my wish list now.

2/13/2009 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Cross the bridge... or is it, Cross, the Bridge? Meditations on the cross itself are common among the Fathers in their more mystical writings. Not long exhaustive systematic treatments, but whimsical musings about the joining of the four winds, the two bars representing x and y, and so forth.

Or as wv puts it: comenein!

2/13/2009 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

And there are some bad otherf*ckers out there in the cosmos who are just waiting to hijack your soul.

I think they're also called, managers.

WV: soisgood, and is so good!

2/13/2009 10:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Aquila said...

River, I once read an esoteric interpretation of the diagonal bar on the Orthodox cross. He said that it symbolized the two thieves, Dismas and Gestas, and their respective reactions to Christ, and fates. He also interpreted it as a "third dimension" of the symbol, since it seems to project both forward and backward. Taken together, all the elements of the cross also form a Trinitarian symbol (up/down, left/right, forward/backward contained in one object.)

2/13/2009 11:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Cassandra said...

".....just as it is not wholly our faith, neither is it wholly our knowledge...."

The modern Prometheans think that they have wrested knowledge away from God and made it their own. But the only "knowledge" that can be stolen, that can be made one's "own," is the formulaic magic of devils and the Author of Lies.

2/13/2009 11:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Cassandra said...

wv-- SALASE and PANISTES
Mmmmm. Lunch!

2/13/2009 11:32:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Following yesterday's post I just had to seek out more on "theosis". What I found was this excellent, enlightening, and encouraging paper on the subject.

"Rather than seeing our progressive sanctification as something done for us by God from outside, by God's acting upon our minds and wills from some external habitation, or as something we do from below as we pray to God above and seek to obey God here on earth, we may take a kind of quantum leap forward by understanding sanctification as the very life and energy of God in us. We are becoming increasingly like God because we are participating more and more in his divine nature. As Christians, our bodies are in very truth temples of the indwelling Spirit, who radiates his presence and power through us to others."

Seemed to dovetail nicely with "Successfully Gaining No Faith in Oneself"

Oh yeah...here it is.

wv: coour (close to the heart, very close)

2/13/2009 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

So, we are responsible for our faith, but it really belongs to God. Again, Balthasar: "As long as he continues to treat 'his faith' as his own possibility, he still does not believe at all, but is perhaps still debating whether he ought to risk the leap of faith."

Once again, the turning of a single troublesome piece in a jigsaw puzzle causes the entire picture to come into focus.

Placed the right way, it seems so obvious, and so simple. But like most puzzles, cramming a piece in upside down doesn't make it right just because you've used the big hammer that was issued to you decades ago in Sunday school and still carry around in a musty rucksack.

Thanks for prying that piece out, Bob. Illuminating!

2/13/2009 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Props to Balthy. He's incredibly wordy and disorganized, but there are still a lot of good eggs in there is you sift through the ovalanche.

2/13/2009 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Nomo: Theosis is the reason why the monks went out into the deserts.

Lewis had a deep understanding of the subject. Here is what I can find:

The command Be ye perfect is not idealistic gas. Nor it is a command to do the impossbile. He is going to make us into creatures that can obey that command. He said (in the Bible), that we were 'gods' and He is going to make good His words. If we let Him - for we can prevent Him, if we choose - He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, a dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfectly (though, of course, on a smaller scale) His own boundless power and delight and goodness. The process will be long and in parts very painful, but that is what we are in for. Nothing less. He meant what He said.

Some take this to be an endorsement of Mormonism. Mostly they reveal nothing about Lewis and everything about the loss of paradosis among the fundamentalists.

2/13/2009 12:46:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Nomo: Paul says of Tim and himself that they are 'coworkers' of (or more properly, with) God.

The Greek is 'synergios theou'.

While through Latin we got 'operation' i.e. cooperation (which to our modern ears sounds mechanistic) the connotation is closer to our word 'energy'. That is, those who move and breathe together with the energy of God himself. (For in him we move and live and have our being.)

2/13/2009 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

River - There is no Orthodox or Biblical endorsement for Mormonism. It is non-Christian at its core...although what a nice, attractive, appetizing peel they wrap around that apple!

Don't get me started...

2/13/2009 01:10:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Riv - and thanks for the add'l theosis refs!

2/13/2009 01:11:00 PM  
Blogger Dougman said...

To me, the power that was given to Pilate over Jesus meant he was charged by God to cross reference and nail down the Truth and display it for all to see, for goodness sake.

2/13/2009 01:38:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

(Total, 100% non-sequiter, but damn I needed a laugh today: Democrat panties - the root of all evil.

Now back to your regular ogramming)

2/13/2009 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger Dougman said...

Doctrine and Covenants 107:13-14
"The second priesthood is called the Priesthood of Aaron, because it was conferred upon Aaron and his seed, throughout all their generations. Why it is called the lesser priesthood is because it is an appendage to the greater, or the Melchizedek Priesthood, and has power in administering outward ordinances."

I read somewhere that Moses never consecrated the conveyance of the priesthood to Aaron. I think that was at the Catholic site, newadvent.org

2/13/2009 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Nice music here: And a bit on church architecture.

2/13/2009 02:09:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Dougman - For hard evidence, check this out.

2/13/2009 02:39:00 PM  
Blogger Dougman said...

SWEET!
A new database to sink my teeth into!
Mmmmm, STEAK!
It's what's for dinner.

Yo, Thanks NoMo!

2/13/2009 03:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

My annual Valentine's Day message.

2/13/2009 06:43:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

In Philippians 3 Paul said he was trying to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus had taken hold of him.

RE: otherf*ckers -- This is one of those things I'd just as soon not think about most of the time. But if you read the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares, you get the idea that there are some people around you that are just not right. They are children of the devil just as the righteous are children of God.

I want to believe that everybody is really all right, just ignorant, misguided, or whatever. Part of that is because I can't believe there's anybody worse than I am -- and that's probably true, but it is not the point.

wv: laterc -- than you think.

2/13/2009 07:47:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Only after we have reached the nul de slack of our own (merely) human possibilities -- i.e., spiritual blankruptcy -- can the Divine presence begin to get the upper hand. As Balthasar describes it, realization cannot occur in the believer until it becomes a "real event by his self-abandonment to Jesus Christ, who alone can help his unbelief" (emphasis mine).

Spiritual blankruptcy does wonders for your spiritual credit rating.

2/13/2009 11:23:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Joan of Argghh! said...
And there are some bad otherf*ckers out there in the cosmos who are just waiting to hijack your soul.

"I think they're also called, managers."

And community organliars.

2/13/2009 11:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

Again, nine out of ten transcendentists agree that if we wish to prevent truth decay, the eye of spirit must become proportionate to the divine reality, and that faith is a necessary component of this.

Aye! Truth decay causes coveties.

2/13/2009 11:28:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

And here's the money quote: "The light of faith stems from the object which, revealing itself to the subject, draws it out beyond itself into the sphere of the object."

Ergo, the light of faith is man-netic. :^)

Outstanding post, Bob! Thanks!

2/13/2009 11:37:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Cassandra said...
".....just as it is not wholly our faith, neither is it wholly our knowledge...."

The modern Prometheans think that they have wrested knowledge away from God and made it their own. But the only "knowledge" that can be stolen, that can be made one's "own," is the formulaic magic of devils and the Author of Lies."

Indeed! They are busy building their tower of babble.

2/13/2009 11:41:00 PM  

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