Pulling the Cosmos Together with All the Eternity that's Fit to Print
Still, there is a subtle effect on the body, mind and spirit, so I'm not sure how far we'll get today. I remember Sri Aurobindo mentioning that he was actually able to transform any sensation into a pleasant and/or interesting one, just by hovering above and observing. Until he shattered his thigh bone in 1938. He said he wasn't able to detach himself from that one. Must have been like Spiderman 2, when Peter jumps off the building and lands on a car below. Even the b'atman has his limits.
So, diving right back into the Balthasar may be temporarily beyond my capacities. At least until I'm warmed up. Anyway, at the moment, I'm pondering something James wrote about, Atheism as Negation. Which, leaving its intrinsic merits aside, is an interesting thing in itself, for why waste your time trying to negate that which does not exist?
I remember when I started doing this blog, it was with the idea of turning the cosmos upside down and inside out (back to its proper orientation), and then publishing "All the Eternity That Fits." I mean, we are not just totally saturated with news sources, but with news itself. In other words, it is not just the epistemology of news that concerns us, but the ontology. "The news" -- at least in its present configuration -- would have to represent the polar opposite of "the eternals." It fixes us to the transient in the same way that Sri Aurobindo's broken leg fixed him to the body.
But just as the body has a soul (or rather, vice versa), the "news" is a function of eternity (for the converse could never be true). And if we ignore the eternity pole of the dialectic, news turns into what it has become, a kind of "reverse mysticism," a hypnotic fascination with the transient and trivial, so you end up leaving the frontier of O, the wild godhead, for the disjointed necropolis of Ø. Good luck with that.
Of course, it is always possible to sift through the news for its eternal patterns and lessons, but how often does that occur? Not often, because you can't just be a journalist, but an artist, seer, or visionary of some kind. I think of James Joyce, who demonstrated in Ulysses the "temporal resonance" that occurs on a moment to moment basis, as the otherwise banal events of daily life resonate with our metamythological and transtemporal substrate. That's always occurring, but it takes activated cʘʘnvision to see it.
I believe I touched on this in the new testavus -- something about how the modern world and its nihilocracy of urgent nonsense forces us to dance to its jagged rhythms instead of abiding within the dudely hammock of eternity. For let's face it: to recoil from one of Petey's parables, "only the rug of eternity can pull your temporal room together." (Image courtesy Ace of Spades.)
Think about it. To the extent that you cannot do that, I think you'll find that it is because you've likely internalized "the world," which in turn displaces vertical reality. Hence the children's nursery rhyme, "there's nothing wronga' / than exile from Tonga."
The bottom lyin' is that if you live at the periphery instead of the center, the finest area rug in the world cannot redeem time and coordinate it with eternity. It has never happened, and never will happen, with any manmade philosophy. Only God can do that, through us. You might even say that we are God's cosmic "area rug," in that only human beings have the unique capacity to span all of creation, from the highest state of consciousness to the lowest state of queeghood.
Speaking of which, can Darwinism do this -- pull the cosmos together? Don't make me laugh! Darwinism tries to coordinate the world by making it all black. So yes, it does "pull the room together," but at the cost of making it a colorless, two-dimensional room that is no longer fit for human habitation.
For the metaphysical Darwinist forgets that the human subject requires a human environment in order to thrive and evolve. Or, to turn it around: fail to raise humans in their proper soul-environment, and they will internally die (and quite possibly kill, as a way to obtain a spurious, vampiric sense of life). Or, to put it another way, they will die to eternity and therefore chuck their very reason for being. This, my friends, is the evil of Queeg. Yes, his intentions are good, like a legally blind man doing his best to drive an automobile. But he is without a doubt a tool and puppet of the adversary, the hostile forces: →(¶)←.
Now, back to James' and his ponderful little post. You often hear atheists -- in fact, a number have left such comments here -- saying that they are atheists for the simple reason that they do not believe pink fairies live under their bed, or some similar barbarism. But as James writes, "Consider an atheism that is just the absence of God from one's normal everyday consciousness. In my own case, this would involve giving God no more thought than pink elephants, Zeus, or the genocide in Burundi."
Think about that for a moment. I also don't believe that pink fairies live under my bed. Frankly, I never think about pink fairies, and to the extent that other people believe they exist, I would just conclude that they are crazy, and leave it at that. I would hardly waste time writing lengthy treatises on why pink fairies do not exist, largely because mental illness is not susceptible to reason. If you fail to understand this, then you could certainly never be a psychotherapist. The whole point of mental illness is that it involves self-defeating beliefs, actions, traits and emotional states that persist outside any conscious control.
Sure, I could get into an argument with my patient, and try to "prove" to him that his thinking is all wrong. But this would get me precisely nowhere. In fact, this is the whole reason why psychoanalysis developed to begin with, because of a new appreciation of the irrational in human life, smack dab in the middle of the new positivistic "age of reason" that should have eliminated it.
In fact, this is also why the Romantics began to romanticize mental illness, for at least it was preferable to living like a Darwinian reason-machine, divorced from the deeper wellspring of our humanness. It's also why so many people reject Darwinism -- not because of the science, which is what it is, but because of the infrahuman metaphysics they're always trying to ram down our throats.
In truth, no amount of Darwinian magical thinking can eliminate that deeper -- and higher -- wellspring of our humanness. But it can never stop trying, precisely because of the persistence of that wellspring. This is why you should never believe one of these atheists who says he doesn't believe in pink fairies, for in fact, he can't stop thinking about them. It is the properly religious person who has left such childish beliefs behind.
One other point I'd like to make, although I'm not yet sure how it ties into the above. But James Cutsinger has a blog (if you go there, be very quiet -- I get the sense that, like me, he doesn't really want to publicize it that much and attract the wrong types).
As I have mentioned, a fair number of people contact me, asking about this or that spiritual technique, but my answer is always the same. I'm not saying that mine is the only way, but I always let them know that I made no progress until I abandoned "self power" for "(O)ther power." In other words, I finally surrendered and turned myself in to the authorities.
Now, to reference the aforementioned atheist, you could say that I effortlessly think about "pink fairies" all the time. It doesn't require any effort, but the abandonment of effort. In this regard, Cutsinger advises his correspondent to give up his intense effort and to "to escape the illusion that everything somehow depends on us." He then quotes Schuon, who wrote in a letter that,
“What matters a priori is not that we know how to concentrate; what matters is that we love to practice the Invocation…. It is better to invoke with joy while being a little distracted by harmless thoughts than to invoke without joy because the effort of concentration prevents one from being happy. It is necessary to guard against a perfectionism that is angry and ambitious, and basically individualistic; it is necessary to guard against all ‘zeal of bitterness’. It is better to invoke with carefreeness, like a bird which sings or like a child at play. Holy carefreeness readily combines with the sense of the sacred, thanks to confidence in God. Metaphysical knowledge and holy childlikeness must go hand in hand: ‘extremes meet’."
So, to tie it all together: stop trying so hard to tie it all together. You can't do it anyway. Plus, it's already tied together. You don't have to create God, any more than you have to beat your heart or digest your food. Just relux and call it a deity. Abide. Soon enough the pink fairies will roost in your back yard.