Tuesday, March 24, 2009

All the World's a Stage, and Each of Us Plies a Part and Whole

All right then, little lambs, the stage is set for us to engage in the ancient Drama of Knowledge. We have a subject. We have objects. And we have a transitional space in between for them to establish their various links: (L), (H), (K), (-K), etc. But nothing has happened yet: "It is not until the other enters into the space of the subject that, like Sleeping Beauty, it [the subject] awakens from its slumber -- at once to the world and to itself" (Balthasar).

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.

23 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

All the world's a stage...(and) "... objects are real for the very reason that God eternally creates his own "Other i.e. the Logos..." - Balthasar.

Now, since wv sez in blue "coecra", I will share how I expressed that in 05' this verse titled, Spirit Speaks

We are Earth, Fire, Water and Air
We are many names and faces
Many loves and hatreds.
We are beggars, we are royal
We are Serpent the knowledge giver
We are blind we are wise
We are dark and light
We are....
Contorted past
Land churning
Sky watchful. . . .
Sublime beauty revealed
Spirit manifest
Exalted, mysterious
Forever more blessed be
Is it you and me?

Theofila

3/24/2009 09:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All the world's a stage...(and) "... objects are real for the very reason that God eternally creates his own "Other i.e. the Logos..." - Balthasar.

Now, since wv sez in blue "coecra", I will share how I expressed that in 05' this verse titled, Spirit Speaks

We are Earth, Fire, Water and Air
We are many names and faces
Many loves and hatreds.
We are beggars, we are royal
We are Serpent the knowledge giver
We are blind we are wise
We are dark and light
We are....
Contorted past
Land churning
Sky watchful. . . .
Sublime beauty revealed
Spirit manifest
Exalted, mysterious
Forever more blessed be
Is it you and me?

Theofila

3/24/2009 09:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beats me how that happened - the double post....ok, but since I'm posting again I will mention, this morn' at 8:22 I heard silent "you and me", that's why when I read Bob's teaching it instantly reminded me of Spirit Speaks.

Now, my use of the word "Serpent" is in same as Shakti-power....She, who looks like a silver bright Light during ascention towards the crown chakra. (there's more on that but I'm not goin' into it right now)

Theofilia

3/24/2009 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

A bright light post today. If it was a sidetrack, it was about time, without which the grand story* could make no sense.

*Christ, however, is the very archetype of the simultaneous healing and preservation of this cleft, the very cleft that makes existence possible.

wv: limboo, the online transitional space

3/24/2009 10:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"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."

As a denizen smack dab in the middle of Wilberworld, I can only say "Amen to that!" It's a lesson I'm still constantly trying to learn and it definitely means swimming against the tide, a lot of the time.

3/24/2009 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

or, to be precise, we harmonize the arrows of (↓) (↑) within our being

Yes, that clarifies the situation.

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."

See also today's Froth.

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.

And even then, if we're lucky it begins again and again within that individual transitional space, as we are birthed and re-birthed.

This is why we say that the Way of the Raccoon is only for mature adults who have already become Masters of Their Domain.

Going back to caterpillars and butterflies, one must first master being a caterpillar, then successfully get through the cocoon stage (however long it takes) before one can emerge and start to pump up the wings. And even that takes time. Patience is so important; I think one of the problems is, not only do we actively hinder the process in all the usual negative ways, we also hinder it by trying to help it along. But a caterpillar won't become a butterfly any faster by weaving its cocoon too early; doing so would probably result in an untimely death, or at best the discovery that it still has to wait. And then it gets the added bonus of being frustrated, thus missing out on all the good things about being a caterpillar.

Which all boils down to the cosmic importance of Slack, and brings me to wv's latest, a recommendation of Dos Equis, because if you're gonna Slack, you may as well have a beer and enjoy it :)

3/24/2009 11:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh vey, I scriblled Spirit Speaks in 95', not 05'.

C. Pinnock in Flame of Love writes,
"Suffering and struggle are involved in the creaturely process. Anxiety, loneliness, limitation, temptation are all part of it. We are not protected from challenges and trials. This is not a struggle-free world order. God wills good for the creature, but also a creature who corresponds with God in terms of love. Only a free creature can fulfill such a destiny."
*
"Spirit can be viewed as a ballet dancer who leaps into the air and lands in perfect balance in relation to a partner."
*
"God has access to the world from every point that is open and subject to the Spirit that pervades it. The whole world process is like the unfolding music of a divine composer."

Theofilia

3/24/2009 12:16:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

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.

Then again, getting a real job is no guarantee they'll be any less nutty. Immortality can be yours! All it takes is $1700/ month and 500 sq. feet of sheer discomfort! (tw Vanderleun)

3/24/2009 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Transhumanists are really, really batty.

Everyone who believes they're going to live forever probably thinks that until they actually start dying.

Then, God willing, they've got enough time to figure things out really quick...

Some are doing cryogenic storage to cheat death.

I think dying when I'm supposed to beats waking up in some strange post-apocalyptic future half frozen...

But 'faith' is 'faith;.

3/24/2009 12:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm curious Bob, if at any point Balthasar writes about his own "cosmoform" work-experiences. From the last paragraph "In so doing, the subject beomes increasingly "cosmoform".

Wondering if he, in his very own body felt the burden of the World...Did he feel the Pain of the World. Natural disasters -being the worst and most difficult, a time when many souls leave their matter-body all at once. Did he 'absorbed' their fear and panic... Could he sleep at night then?

Theofilia

3/24/2009 01:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Cassandra said...

After Julie's last link, I am starting to feel very forgiving---okay, downright cuddly---about Mr. Madoff.

3/24/2009 01:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Theofilia:

Tell more of the silent voice at 8:22 a.m.

Tell more about anxiety, lonliness, and suffering.

Tell more about yourself.

3/24/2009 01:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would appear as if the space we occupy between spirit and matter, could be likened to a rhizosphere . If residing in one or other of the blurred edges, one may readily identify with either spirit or matter. If residing mid-way, in 'Peters place', then one treads water with trepidation, having no confidence in either spirit or matter. ( Saint Peter should be the patron saint of panic attack sufferers.) However the dilema produced the answer, that's expressed in the words of the song-'Put your hand in the hand'. If only I had access I'd listen to the Elvis Prestley version on YouTube.

3/24/2009 02:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tell more about me? About my lonelines?
What lonelines? Even at night I'm not alone.

This morn' in soul-body I was with sis-in-law who was happy to see me. Glad to see many pots filled with homemade dishes (I like to cook) .... Telling me how "some talk about kings", about important people - implying I don't.....

Inside a very large dwelling marvelling at just how real every minute deatail was. Looking at a staricase with a landing graced with a very large window . Interacting with people...helping one boy child wipe his wet, very blond hair. One grrrlchild adoring me to pieces was sad I had to go. I told her she could have my email...Young woman came in shaking like a leaf.Instantly I enfolded her in my arms promising it will subside. She surrendered her body-fear. Accepted the healing.

Normaly, when in soul-body I ask people for a permission to place my hands on them ( when I see, or they talk about their pain), but not this time.
Her pain was so great I didn't have time to think about formalities. . .At some point wondering how I would get back. Then thought all I need to do is to imagine I'm back (in body).

In my question for Bob tho, the "World Pain" I'm asking about is not of the 'same category' as I described above.

Theofilia

3/24/2009 02:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ever felt the kind of love which made You weep and (while driving) uttering "blessed be" with every passing car? Wanting to put the wipers on then noticing it was sunny out?

The kind of love, which longed to lay hands on Hussein for the purpose of soul-healing?

Theofilia

3/24/2009 03:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

.....The kind of love which one day while embracing a fellow - healer, his body release-shuddered (like an electric shock kind of shudder) 'sending' a bolt of energy through me which exit-released through the bottoms of my feet... his body suddenly free of fear went limp in my arms. We were alone.
Another friend shared afterwards he and a couple of other students paused at the doorway . Not wanting to disrupt, sensing something extraordinary just happened.
Later, telling me how he never saw B. "this animated on the way home from class."

Theofilia

3/24/2009 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

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)

Kind of in the same vein -- "For the person who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen." (1 John 4:20)

wv: dentio when your PC suddenly starts working correctly after you dent the case.

3/24/2009 03:37:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

theo: The kind of love, which longed to lay hands on Hussein for the purpose of soul-healing?

Does laying on of hands suddenly count?

3/24/2009 03:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes
*
*
*
And, will add, I embraced B. with spoken, "This is God's love"

Theofilia

3/24/2009 03:53:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

>>"It is not until the other enters into the space of the subject that, like Sleeping Beauty, it [the subject] awakens from its slumber -- at once to the world and to itself" (Balthasar)<<

In a sense, I think, this sums up the relation between Godhead and God or between Godhead and His Creation, the sum total of everything that exists.

>>After the Ecstasy, the Laundry<<

For a book of this nature, this one wasn't too bad, I thought. It seemed to me that the author was set on taking the NewAge flock out for a reality walk - and the book was sprinkled with intimations re: the peril and utter seriousness of the spiritual path. That is, once you take up the cross/activate your karma, expect an Everest-scaled challenge or two or three. Most modern-day guru-type authors skip right by this.

3/24/2009 06:25:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"Regarding the healing of this ontological rupture, this is the secret meaning of Toots' cryptic mantra, in God we truss."

Don't try to raise your roof without it.

3/24/2009 09:40:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3/25/2009 07:43:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

(Darn it... missed the right page agains)

3/25/2009 07:44:00 PM  

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