My Bucket's Got a Hole in It
So that's the difficulty we're having here: I've finally met my match. I can't wrap my mind around this, because it's too close to the source. Imagine if you have a little bucket, and you're trying to collect water from a fire hose. If you're far enough away, it's not a problem. But if you get right up next to the nozzle, it will send your bucket flying, if not tear it apart. Then u has no bucket.
Obviously, we're gonna need a bigger bucket. Yes, I'm going to have to pull out the Big Crock, which only Bob's Unconscious has access to (and when I say "unconscious," I really mean our total verticality, extending from the lowdown downdest to the tip-toppermost of the poppermost). The unconscious is much bigger, much more capacious and hyperdimensional than the conscious mind that floats on its surface. So, trying to wrap the conscious mind around Balthasar (heretofore HvB for short) is truly like trying to capture the sphere with the circle. It can't be done.
Nope. We're going to have to fight firehose with firehose.
I don't think the conscious mind -- or, let's say left brain -- really has access to being per se anyway. Rather, it is the right brain that gives direct access to the background of being, and the left brain that "thinks" about it in a more linear way. In fact, for those of you who have read my paper on quantum physics and psychoanalysis, it reminds me of how the ponderable explicate world is a function of the ceaselessly flowing implicate world.
It seems to me that HvB operates right on the border where those two worlds touch, and where the one is transformed and translated into the other. And it is my opinion that this is the very reason why we have a left and right brain (or conscious and unconscious, which operate along such different logical principles), because otherwise we could not possibly be proportioned to the totality of the cosmos in both its implicate and explicate poles. (By the way, one could think of, say, Joyce's Finnegans Wake as operating on the other side of that line altogether, in the total implicate darkness of dream logic; in that case, we have to do all of the explicating.)
But of course, there are not really two worlds. Again, we can draw distinctions, but never separate the two poles, for the one is a function of the other. It is really one flowing process, like O-->(n). Or, put it this way: the more alienated one is from the totality of this flow, the more the world will appear to be either, on the one hand, an irreducible chaos, or, on the other, a kind of dead rationalism (the latter being the specialty of the atheistic nerds and other substitious neo-barbarians).
I might also add that this is actually a circular process, something I couldn't really get into in the book (the more symbols a book has, the more likely it is that the potential reader will place it back on the shelf). But in the mode of O-->(n), (n) "returns" to O -- to the ground -- and "refertilizes" it, so to speak, in the manner, say, that leaves fall from the tree and fertilize the ground from which the tree draws its nourishment to produce more leaves. Here again, this is why it is a tree of life for those whose wood beleaf.
You will also note that what I am describing is not "abstract," but quite concrete and empirical. It is simply a description of "what happens" in spiritual growth. All of my regular readers will have noticed that as they shun the junk food and take in only the whole foods, it puts in place a positive feedback loop -- which, not to get self-referential again, was one of the points of the circularity of my book. Only by the end of the book are you fit to restart at the beginning and know the place for the first time. Which is also why it is posssible, in the words of Rabbi Zimmerman, to be "younger than yesterday." Or, as in Cosmobliteration, the attractor suction of the book, And you shall never grow so old again, or dopple, your monkey back.
Let's let the great sax-man Hank Mobley illustrate it for us. Hank? You out there Hank? Alright! Let's give a Big Round of applause to the middleweight king of the tenor! (And remember, to repent is to "turn around.") (This is Hank's greatest record, which is highly raccoomended even if you think you don't like jazz. Musically speaking, it just "flows" from the origin, illustrating our point aurally.)
Now, HvB, talks about the "double-sidedness" of truth, which again can be compared to the cosmic marriage of ♀and ♂ (or container and contained, respectively). In short, truth is neither container nor contained, but the eternal dynamic play between the two. Please bear in mind that this is not at all analogous to the polarity of rational <--> irrational, as a benighted secularist might imagine. Rather, the higher Reason deploys itself in the form of this perpetually living process -- for truth is very much alive, to say the least.
Here is how he describes it: "on the one hand, the object is captured and enclosed within the subject, while, on the other hand, the subject is initiated into the all-embracing world of the objective disclosure of being." So, in this formulation, being is ♂ while the containing subject is ♀. "Thus, knowing the truth happens when knowledge, by virtue of an 'adequation' (♀) to the thing as it really is, lets itself be measured and determined by the thing (♂)."
BUT, it is hardly man's lot to be nothing more than "a kind of machine for recording objective states of affairs," like some hindbrain atheist medullard. Rather, looked at vertically, in the total cosmic context, objects actually come to their full fruition in the human subject that knows their truth (and beauty). That is, "objects exist for the sake of subjects," not vice versa, as that would be an intrinsic absurdity, a his & heresy.
Thus, "the disclosure of being is meaningful only if it is directed to a knowing subject." The subject brings into being the truth of the object; as such, you might say that the human being -- in potential anyway -- is the being that brings being itself to its cosmic conclusion, which is none other than gnosis, properly understood (not "gnosticism," it should go without saying). Rather, it is just that "the human subject enjoys here a special participation in the power of the divine intelligence to positively bring truth into being."
Again, think of that half-luminous penumbra between O and (n): "It is in this shifting middle, in a kind of balancing act between reason's two functions -- receptive, consenting self-abandonment, on the one hand, and judgment, on the other -- that truth itself moves." But the main point is that there is an "indissoluble polarity between subject and object," which quite mysteriously "comprehend each other reciprocally," to the very ends of the total cʘʘvision of, say, a Meister Eckhart.
Given what we have just outlined above, we understand that truth is intrinsic to being, for it is "being unveiled," and it is only unveiled in human subjects -- hence our overall importance to the divine-cosmic economy. For without humans, being cannot become transparent to itself and know its own truth. Other animals can know the exterior of being -- the appearance -- but only human beings can know the interior -- the essence.
Here again, essence and appearance can be distinguished but never separated, for essence only shows itself in terms of its manifold appearances, while appearance is incomprehensible without seeing it as the instantiation of essence.
It can be no other way. Think of the relationship between your own true self -- or, as we call it, your unique coonstellation -- and your outward life. The more you operate from your nonlocal coonstellation, the more your thoughts and actions come into alignment with it. But it is not as if you can ever circumnavigate or know your true self as an object. Rather, it is an inexhaustible plenitude. My posts, for example, are definitely "all me." Cut this blog, and it bleeds Bob's blood. But I am not the sum total of the posts. Rather, they can never be more than just a tiny sample of O.
THIS IS SO FRUSTRATING! Time to get ready for work.