All the World's a Stage, and Each of Us Plies a Part and Whole
In the Wholly Coonifesto, I was interested in identifying the precise moment when the curtain opened on this play of knowledge, which simultaneously ushers subjects and objects onto the stage.
Ever since that moment, the two have been quarreling over top billing, but one could no more have a subject without an object than form without substance or inside without outside. True, the wise men & guys of the east talk about a type of consciousness-without-object, but they do always come back on stage to talk about it, proving that it is more a trick of the senses than any permanently inhabitable state.
The plain fact of the matter is that if everyone lived in a world without consciousness of objects, mankind would soon enough become extinct, which would solve the problem once and for all. Frankly, the world would be better off if all self-proclaimed gurus just got real jobs and manifested their so-called enlightenment in slightly more challenging circumstances than lecturing groups of starry-eyed and adoring dupes.
That's the easy way out. A while back, one of those genial new-agers wrote a book called After the Ecstasy, the Laundry, about this very topic. I didn't read the book, but I did thumb through it at the bookstore several years ago, so I believe I am entitled to a possibly mistaken impression, but I think that the essence of the problem is that he had great difficulty reconciling subject and object -- i.e., "enlightenment" and reality -- after coming down from his lengthy solitary ecstasies.
Let's put it this way, and then move on: there are ascending spiritualities, and there are descending spiritualities. Raccoons are emphatically in the latter camp (or, to be precise, we harmonize the arrows of (↓) (↑) within our being). For example, we do not wish to escape from the body, but to divinize it. Even more than that, we feel we are here to divinize the very cosmos, and then hand it back to the Creator, which is none other than cosmotheosis. God pours himself out in the kenosis of creation. It's the least we can do to return it to him unharmed. Rememeber the Kit Scout rule: always leave the cosmos more sacred than you found it.
I'm confusing volumes here. We'll get more into this subject when we move on to volume 2, but the point is again that objects are real, for the very reason that God eternally creates his own "Other," i.e., the Logos, or second person of the Trinity, so wherever there is one there are actually three (and vice verse; where there are the Three there is the One).
In turn, this is why human beings can never find their true unity in either the object world (which science attempts to do) or in the subject world (as ascending spiritualities and idealist philosophies attempt to do). Such an approach does not heal this cleft in existence, but merely exaggerates it by imagining that the other half has gone away. But it always returns, often with a vengeance.
Christ, however, is the very archetype of the simultaneous healing and preservation of this cleft, the very cleft that makes existence possible. In Christ, God and man are "united without division and without confusion." The incarnate Logos is "the unifier of all that is divided, whether by nature or by sin." He "equally indwells -- and transcends -- both poles of creaturely unity" (i.e., existence and essence).
And as we are sons "through adoption," we too are called upon to repeat this feat, only from our side of the maninfestation, to carry out the unification of the cosmos in ourselves, to rejoin heaven and earth, to reconcile spirit and matter, and "and to present the world thus unified to God." When you do that, then you can say with Christ that it is accomplished, the difference being that we must accomplish it continuously until checkout time.
Only in this way is the Great Circle unbroken: "the creature's procession from God" is balanced by his return, but with brother ass in tow, for "the indestructibility of the body"-- the resurrection of the flesh -- "is the end of the works of God."
Put it this way: there is no better temple to encounter God than in the human form. You will not find superior lodging elsewhere in the cosmos. Is this not again the point of God becoming man, rather than a temple, a book, or a mountain? For one thing, only man can consciously evolve toward his source, and have "unKnown knowledge" (i.e., faith) of the end toward which he tends: his being is in his becoming, like a melody that cannot be reduced to its notes.
Sidetracked! As I was saying, in the Coonifesto, I attempted to pinpoint that glorious moment when the cosmos as we know it actually came into being some 35 to 40,000 years ago, with the "big bang" of humanness. However, it also occurs on a micro, individual basis each time a baby awakens to the world he co-creates in his own transitional space.
We can say that there were two necessary stages for the cosmos to come into being, first Life, then Mind. With regard to the former, the book talks about that "luminous fissure that was about to break open in this heretofore dark, impenetrable circle. Here, the dawning of an internal horizon in a universe now divided against itself, the unimaginable opening of a window on the world." This represented an ontological rupture in the cosmos, with only two ways to heal it: up or down, that is back to matter or up into the mind and eventually spirit capable of encompassing the whole.
Regarding the healing of this ontological rupture, this is the secret meaning of Toots' cryptic mantra, in God we truss.
But this takes time. In fact, you might say that time is the time it takes for time to return to eternity. For as Balthasar explains, "The subject's subjectivity is not a finished product" that "merely awaits the arrival of the object to come into appearance." Rather, "the subject comes to itself only through the construction and completion of the world that [goes] on inside it." Without the world of objects, we remain "an unformed ego" with "no form, no contours, no definite lineaments, no character. It becomes formed in the measure that it takes the world in and helps it take place."
This is why we say that the Way of the Raccoon is only for mature adults who have already become Masters of Their Domain. Unlike, say, Ken Wilber, we will never start a children's crusade of empty-headed 20-somethings to try to trigger the Revolution. Rather, we would advise such saps and saplings to stop running away from life and to get a real job, maintain a healthy marriage, be a good parent, etc. Bring Spirit down into that world, rather than escaping it into new age fantasies that elevate you above the people who actually make your comfy world possible.
"Thus, it is only by toiling away at sifting and analysis, division and composition, that the subject gradually regains its freedom. It begins totally expropriated by the world, and only by performing the work of the subject does it get its recompense for its labor, which is its character as a well-rounded, formed and masterful self." In so doing, the subject becomes increasingly "cosmoform" (Balthasar), and fit for handing back to the God who did all the heavy lifting anyway.