Are My Methods Unsound?
I don't know what to say about this, but, as you know, we've been unpacking volume one of HvB's Theo-Logic, which is only a single trunk of an elephantine, three part, sixteen volume work, with probably at least 8,000 pages of text.
That's a lot of text. But there could have been much more. At a number of points, HvB apologizes for having to give short shrift to many subjects that would be worthy of a book in themselves, even though he also realizes that he is taxing even the most dedicated pneumanauts with the length of his voyage.
For example, I am now well into the five-volume Theo-Drama, and in volume one -- which is only 650 pages -- he mentions that it is so skeletal that it can only serve as "the apparatus, as it were, so that gymnasts may eventually exercise upon it." Which is precisely what we are doing with the Theo-Logic, what with our daily verticalisthenics, gymgnostics, and praerobics.
In volume one of the Theo-Drama, he also mentions that this work is analogous to a pile of iron filings, which will require a magnet to align and assemble them. This magnet, of course, is the Holy Spirit, without which we could have no understanding whatsoever of the "facts" of revelation. In this regard, it seems that both types of fundamentalist, i.e., religious and materialist, miss the point entirely. The Holy Spirit is what gives "life" to the letter, and in-spires the kind of "infinite outpouring" that is HvB's "corpus," or body of work. And this is very much a living body, to say the least, whereas the letter itself is a "corpse" without the spirit to reanimate it.
We know that HvB composes living letters, because even though 8,000 is a lot of pages, each page or two inspires a lengthy post of my own. And each post could go on all day if I didn't have to leave for work!
So, what is the point? First of all, it reminds me of the last line of John, in which he mentions that he has merely skimmed the surface of Jesus' life, and that if all of the other things "were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written."
Now, that statement was written in around AD 96, over 1,900 years ago, and there is still no end in sight, is there? This was a very remarkable -- even "crazy" -- statement to have made at the time, but it now qualifies as a truism. Why? What's going on that creates this never-ending flow of (n)? For I will go one further than John: time itself cannot contain all of the posts that could be written. For God's revelation is like a fractal, which is both bound and yet infinite: wheels within wheels within wheels. We can try to impose boundaries around it, but the Holy Spirit specializes in shattering our little containers and reminding us of who is in charge.
The point is that both revelation and doctrine should paradoxically contain and yet liberate. Do you see the point? It's really quite practical. For example, in raising a child, one of the most important tasks is to help them develop psychological boundaries, which serve as a "restraint" without which growth cannot occur, or will be seriously compromised.
Or, it is like the rules of grammar and syntax, without which one cannot build upon speech to ascend higher or penetrate more deeply. But if your religion does not simultaneously bind and liberate, then something is wrong. And it should liberate at every level -- body, mind, and spirit. It cannot merely "repress," or it has become a caricature of itself (which often happens, obviously through no fault of God).
The other point is that in order for the above-noted magnet to assemble the iron filings, it requires a highly developed ignorance. You could call this "faith," or "unKnowing," but we like the term "higher bewilderness." Whatever you call it, you must eventually learn to love the feeling of being "lost" for the joy of being "found"; or the thrill of leaping into the void for the surprise of being caught at the last second.
For example, each of my posts is a leap into the void. Now, if you don't like what comes out, then that's all they represent: a pointless plunge into nothingness.
But that's not what it feels like to me. It reminds me of a comment I left last night before plunging into my night sea journey, to the effect that It is possible for one's whole life to be a prayer, as it were, in that it is "aimed at God." Certainly it is possible for thinking to be a kind of prayer. To this, Will added that
"I think anything done with full conscience and awareness is a form of prayer. For example, one has a love of cooking, then preparing a meal is prayer, provided one cooks with awareness. Gratitude for one's own existence is a form of prayer. Gratitude for the existence of others, for animals, for trees, is a form of prayer. Such gratitude literally divinizes life, activates the slumbering holy sparks within all things, as the Kabbalist might say. Silence, inner and outer, is a form of prayer. Prayer, among other things, is a state of being, I believe."
In the Coonifesto, I used the symbols (---) and (o) to designate this state of being, which must involve silence and openness, i.e., openness to the vertical. In turn, this is how the iron filings get organized, for you couldn't do it yourself in a million years, any more than you could organize the cells of your body.
In fact, each step in evolution results from something that was once done consciously being handled by the unconscious (or supraconscious, as it were). Again, whatever you think of these posts, they could never be produced "consciously," i.e., by planning ahead, doing research, assembling data, making arguments, anticipating objections, reaching a conclusion, etc.
"The characteristic of the true knower is that he resolves once and for all not to want to know many things.... He disposes of a constructive unmindfulness, which by rejecting some things, helps bring the essential cognitive elements to the fore and, in this way, fashions the world of truth into a vivid relief. It is not until we see this negative capacity to overlook and to withhold attention from things that the corresponding positive capacity to welcome them freely becomes fully visible" (HvB).
In this regard, an important point is that these posts are obviously addressed to the same "mode" or "frequency" in you from where they were produced. In other words, if you experience them in the proper way, then they should "provoke" as much as they "inform," much in the way that HvB has provoked me.
That is to say, HvB bewilders every bit as much as he instructs, and this bewilderness becomes the fertile ground for even more "flow" from the source (i.e., the "increase" given by God). In fact, there are many things HvB says that I frankly don't consciously understand, and yet, the overall effect is nevertheless a kind of palpable transmission.
As someone said of Schuon in one of those videos I linked to yesterday, he is patently angelic. Patently! That means obvious, palpable, empirical, experiential, etc. It seems that many people have no idea how very physical Christianity is, but the (↓) is always there. (Which is also how we can "register" the demonic, which is nothing more than "discerning spirits.")
So I think you see the problem. This post is already getting out of hand, and yet, it has covered zero ground. It was inspired by HvB, and yet, I'm still on the first word, "Ascending...." And when zero inspires everything, you are in the realm of the infinite, almost a mirror image of "creation from nothing." Here is the full sentence, and I think you can see how it relates to everything I've just said:
"Ascending the scale of beings from the point of view of the object, we have found that truth, as self-unveiling, has increasingly taken on the form of freedom."
One could write a whole book from this single sentence! First of all, where the Lord is, there is freedom. The corollary of this is that where the Lord isn't, there is no freedom. But ironically, the only "place" in the cosmos where the Lord cannot be is in the human being who has rejected him in exchange for a counterfeit horizontal freedom. But when the Spirit is "in" a soul such as HvB -- or if HvB is in the Spirit -- we are again witness to this quasi-infinite outpouring which is true intellectual freedom, i.e., the fertile freedom of the intellect properly so-called (not the mere intellectual-ism of the infertile egghead, i.e., the tenured).
Surely the result of this mode of being is an inversion of the cosmic subject, in which we go from passive witness of objects to participant in, or even "co-creator" of, the infinite depth of being. This is what makes knowledge a "spiritual activity" instead of the mere accounting or stamp collecting of the radical secularist living under the tyranny of quantity. The materialist can never kill God. Rather, he is nothing more than an errand boy sent by demonic grocery clerks to collect a bill. But the Raccoon has already eaten all the groceries with great gusto.
And he doesn't have to pay that bill anyway, thanks to the Divine Bailout.