Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Truth, Mystery, Language, and Interiority

HvB notes that everything in the cosmos necessarily points to the Creator, while simultaneously pointing back to its own non-necessity, or contingency. We didn't have to be, while God cannot not be.

To put it another way, creatures cannot help but to speak of God, whereas God didn't necessarily have to speak us. Rather, he could have only created man in freedom, just as we can only return the love in freedom -- which is ultimately derived from the very unnarcissary freedom in which we were created, or it isn't love.

But in knowing this, we come up against a horizon of unknowablility. In other words, we can posit a vague kind of deistic or demiurgic activity in the cosmos without knowing a thing about the interior life of God. In order to gain insight into that, it will require a positive act on the part of the Creator, a desire and willingness to be known -- indeed, just like any other "person." Persons are always veiled by an irreducible penumbra of mystery that cannot be penetrated, only voluntarily opened. And even then, to open oneself to the other is to share the essence of the mystery, not to eliminate it.

(This, I think, speaks to the horror of real torture, in which the sacred mystery of the other is violated; it most definitely does not speak to the waterboarding of a KSM, who would cynically use our Christian scruples as a shield to hide his demonic essence. His defense is hardly the sacred mystery of being, but the bottomless credulousness of the useful idiots of the left. Those leftists who are kind to the cruel are inevitably cruel to the kind, as Taranto demonstrates.)

Coincidentally, this is Easter week, in which it is said that God revealed his inner being and shared it with human beings in the most intimate possible way. Naturally, -- again, just as in any other person -- to reveal oneself to the other requires vulnerability, and it requires great strength to be so vulnerable; one is, as it were, delivering oneself into the hands of the other, in the "faith" that the other will not abuse the privilege. Thus, this assumes a kind of prior intimacy that will only deepen as a result of the shared intimacy.

But God, of course, never does things halfway, but always goes the whole hog. In the Passion, it is as if God reveals his essence to everyone, worthy and unworthy alike (although I suppose the point is that no one is really worthy of such an infinite sacrifice), to do with it what they will.

That many respond with violence and sadism pretty much tells you all you need to know about man. The pattern is repeated every time we do violence to truth, to beauty, to innocence. Imagine opening yourself up to mankind at large! It is the main reason I prefer anonymity. Just one barbarous troll is enough. Imagine millions. Imagine millions of people taking the truth into their teeth and violently shaking it like a dog in order to subdue it and make it edible on their terms.

The same sort of beast wishes for God to reveal himself like... I don't know, like a kind of religious pornography that also does violence to the mystery of being. As we have said before, pornography is any activity that does this, which is why we would say, for example, that metaphysical Darwinism is truly scientific porn, just as, say, Scientology or Deepak Chopra represent spiritual porn. In "demystifying," they actually attack the sacred mystery at the heart of God's being.

As Balthasar explains, the higher something is situated on the ladder of being, the more it is "surrounded by a protective veil that withdraws them, like something sacred, from the grasping hands of the profane. Only a mind without feeling for nobility and its need for protection will complain of this hiddenness."

God can only be approached with open hand, not with the greedy and grasping hands of a scientistic cretin. It is not that God has not revealed himself to Bill Maher; to the contrary, it is that Bill Maher has concealed himself from God in his own sanctuary of malignantly self-sufficient narcissism. He only sees a God who is as bitterly self-enclosed as he is, but for that reason, neither party really exists. Rather, that God is as dead as Maher. Maher is a figment in the imagination of his non-existent God.

Such postmodern barbarians "confuse hiddenness with a deficient rationality or brand with irrationality all those objects that are not accessible to the anonymous, public knowledge of the man on the street." The point is that All truth is rational, but not every intelligence is competent to know every truth (HvB). On this blog we obviously share the most intimate secrets, and we can all see what the unredeemed man does with them. What they do with them has no effect upon us, but only results in their own further auto-desecration and spiritual beclowning.

Which is a fascinating thing about Truth, is it not? Truly it is a sword that cuts both ways, giving Life to one man and Death to another (and vice versa). Returning to the Passion, was this not a meta-cosmic event that cut through the very heart of history like a great sword? That was a rhetorical question, bearing in mind that the wound that cuts through history runs straight through our own heart, just as the San Andreas fault runs directly below the Slackatoreum. In short, it's my fault, and I know it.

Mystery and interiority are virtually synonymous. Where one intuits mystery, one is also perceiving interiority. Again, mystery is not to be confused with "ignorance," but is a positive mode that points to an essence that can never be seen or touched. Rather, it is like a kind of "radiant darkness" at the heart of all things. But it is also coterminous with delight, is it not? For imagine living in a world in which nothing was protected by this veil of secrecy. Again, this would be a pornographic world, like a giant liberal university campus.

But in reality, because of the mystery of interiority, "there are no naked facts." If there were naked facts, they would have no significance whatsoever, because they would have no relation to the greater mystery of things. Nevertheless, it is this kind of detached facticity that seduces the scientistic or atheistic bonehead. This is none other than Sophia's ugly sister, Agnes, who will "give it up" for anyone -- Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Queeg, Mtraven, you name it. Personally, I wouldn't touch Agnes with a ten foot pole, knowing who's been there.

Here we cannot overlook that mystery of mysteries, language, for language, or the word, is the lifeline suspended between subjects and those who would know them. Thus, at one end, language is always plugged directly into the mystery of being.

But at the same time, it's like an extension cord that can get so far from the source that there's almost no power at the other end -- no "electricity," no "juice," no "zap." You will have noticed that the language of the secular left is entirely of this nature. It couldn't compete with a firefly, for it is plugged into the wrong end. This is the real reason why newspapers will die. There are almost no mainstream journalists who are plugged into the source. Rather, like all fallen men, their source is "the world."

And that is not all. When being is deprived of its mystery and interiority, it also loses its value, its "lovability." In reality, this attitude is a result of boredom, cynicism, and saturation. Ultimately it is the projection of one's own dead and saturated self into the world (there is a reason why our trolls are so boring, but also fascinated by the "life" of this site). Again: knowledge and mystery are not polar opposites, but functions of one another: "Truth is the unveiling of being," but there is always more to unveil.

Existence is surely not a "fact." Rather, it is nothing if not a mystery, and the more we know, the more the mystery deepens. I am the same person I was yesterday. Only more mysterious. Or, to zimmarize, you could say that I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now.

****

More of the sane.

54 Comments:

Blogger jwm said...

Vanderleun has a couple or three facts for the morning. Better yet, some Truth to go with them.

JWM

4/07/2009 08:16:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I just added the link at the same time as your comment.

4/07/2009 08:18:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

I was just thinking, reading the first sentence, that if the link wasn't in there somewhere it would have been a gross oversight :)

4/07/2009 08:55:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Imagine millions of people taking the truth into their teeth and violently shaking it like a dog in order to subdue it and make it edible on their terms.

Then again, that's not so hard as one wishes it should be. All we need do is read the news, or think of the millions of voters who ignored all the evidence (or actively gorged on it) and voted for the TOTUS.

4/07/2009 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

Ah, but that's just the x-ray. What do you suppose the real Hand of God looks like?

4/07/2009 09:02:00 AM  
Blogger mtraven said...

This, I think, speaks to the horror of real torture, in which the sacred mystery of the other is violated; it most definitely does not speak to the waterboarding of a KSM...

I'm really impressed by how you manage to condemn and support torture in the same sentence. It's almost as if intellectual honesty was trapped just under the surface, trying to get out.

BTW, one of the chief arguments against torture is that it makes the torturers themselves demonic. That is, you may feel that people like KSM deserve no consideration from us. Maybe that's so, but once a torture regime is in place it is not confined to KSM, or to the guilty, as recent history has amply shown. But let's say (counterfactually) that everyone who is tortured is as guilty as KSM, "demonic" in your terminology. Is it really wise to make US soldiers, operatives, and employees similarly into agents of demonic practices? What does that do to their "sacred mystery of being", and ours, since these practices are being done in our name? Torture invariably corrupts the people and organizations that implement it.

4/07/2009 09:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

"BTW, one of the chief arguments against torture is that it makes the torturers themselves demonic. "

This is true. Your tortured logic has made you demonic, if you weren't already.

4/07/2009 09:16:00 AM  
Anonymous The Committee said...

Does killing terrorists make us murderers? Yes, of course.

4/07/2009 09:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob sez,

Persons are always veiled by an irreducible penumbra of mystery that cannot be penetrated, only voluntarily opened. And even then, to open oneself to the other is to share the essence of the mystery, not to eliminate it.

*

Mystery, not an absence of knowledge but a 'certain' kind of knowledge of Infinity. . .
Of Something that is always of God. . .
Love-vibration, older than humanity . . .
Beauty of your heart-soul makes real / possible for the knower and the known to be as . . .

One

Theofilia

4/07/2009 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Rather, it is nothing if not a mystery, and the more we know, the more the mystery deepens. I am the same person I was yesterday. Only more mysterious.

Could it not be said that, as we properly unveil the mystery, we reveil oursophs in those same layers of sacred substance, and in so doing become unified with it, so that we become of it, and thus, gradually, worthy of unraveling the next whisper thin layer of that infinite spiral?

I'm reminded of the meaning behind all of the ablutions that were required before one was allowed to enter the Temple. I believe the point was to raise oneself up, through cleanliness of body and spirit, to be able to withstand the mystery they would be encountering within. Failure to properly do so would, of course, not actually harm the mystery in the least, but would most certainly wreak terrible violence on the unprepared fool. Who would, being blind and ignorant, see at best only a horizontal fakery instead of the infinite depth of the mystery. As has already been demonstrated today.

4/07/2009 09:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Yes, the secret always protects itself, but especially from the ritually grubby.

4/07/2009 09:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, the fiery light of divine wisdom,

I ignite the beauty of the plains,
I sparkle the waters.

I burn the sun and the moon and the stars,

With wisdom I order all rightly.

I adorn the earth.

I am the breeze that nurtures all things green.

I am the rain coming from the dew

That causes the grasses to laugh

With the joy of life.

I call forth tears, the aroma of holy work.

I am the yearning for good.

~ Hildegard of Bingen

Theofilia

4/07/2009 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

:D
Or to borrow a psalm from Mushroom today,

Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?
Who may stand in His holy place?
The one who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not set his mind on what is false,
And who has not sworn deceitfully.

4/07/2009 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger jwm said...

I love the smell of torture in the morning. It smells like...

moonbat

JWM

4/07/2009 09:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Empty said,

"Torture invariably corrupts the people and organizations that implement it."

Does that mean you'll invariably be corrupted by coming here and dishing out your daily dollup of torture?

Theofilia

4/07/2009 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Naturally, -- again, just as in any other person -- to reveal oneself to the other requires vulnerability, and it requires great strength to be so vulnerable; one is, as it were, delivering oneself into the hands of the other, in the "faith" that the other will not abuse the privilege. Thus, this assumes a kind of prior intimacy that will only deepen as a result of the shared intimacy.
***
That many respond with violence and sadism pretty much tells you all you need to know about man. The pattern is repeated every time we do violence to truth, to beauty, to innocence.


The thing I find interesting about this is that, again, the violence isn't truly done to the mystery, but only to the misperception of the mystery.

Looked at another way: obviously, to those of us with eyes to see this blog is overflowing with the mystery as seen through Bob's eyes, and in the comments through our own. Then along comes an empty raven or an errant ray on the outside of this veil, who, seeing only the merest hint of the surface believes he sees it all, and finds it ugly and bad.

And so, he attempts to verbally eviscerate that which he sees, to do violence upon bad old Bob and the ringtailed howler monkeys that surround him, an ill-tempered troop of poo-flingers.

But this is about as effective as trying to spear a fish as seen on the surface of agitated water - the distorted perception bears very little resemblance to the actual fish, in any sense at all - size, shape, color, location; all they know for sure is they see something moving on the surface. So they poke and slash at the miniscus, and seeing the image break up and distort further they claim victory, and when the waters calm and the image returns, they do it again and again.

Meanwhile, down below, the fish (if he notices the commotion) looks up at the disrupted surface and can only laugh.

***

wv says partholi - that is, with one foot in the clouds and the other planted firmly on the ground ;)

4/07/2009 10:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And, speaking of God's mysterious ways . . .

Once upon, I gave my nanagrrrl for her birthday video-film, The Lion, he Witch and the Wardrobe. She loved it and asked if I wanted to see it.
The video sat on the shelf for a couple of weeks before deciding to have a look-see.

If anyone here watched it, then you recall the scene where the Christ-Lion breathes on all the dead's heads and instantly they lived!

How astonished was I? at the synchronicity of the "breathing-to-life", and what happened to me before I watched the movie? Something, I would not think was 'for real' / as 'God's doing', had I watched the movie first then had that happen. Thinking my subconscious, self-agrandizing ego-mind had somehow created that 'episode'.

The 'episode' was very short and sweet . . . In soul I woke up because the top of my head was being breathed on in one long exhalation bliss-filled breath, which caused me to flow-out in a softly spiralling motion . . .Up and up. Then slowly twirlling back in . . .

*

On March 4th of this year - a different kind of 'spiralling' in concert with the Holy one moment.

In body and soul sense-felt, the most blessed sensation of blissfuly spiralling.

Theofilia

4/07/2009 10:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 10:05, pls. sign yer name Theofilia 2, or somt eh?

Theofilia

4/07/2009 10:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Theofilia said...

Whaa da ya mean Theofilia 2?

I AM Theofilia

4/07/2009 10:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Julie said:

"Meantime, down below, the fish (if he notices the commotion) looks up at the disrupted surface and can only laugh."

Julie, my heart is pounding because with every fiber of my being I need to tell you that I DON'T LAUGH at those who don't yet see the whole enchilada.

I can't stress this enough. So pls. next time you make that observation, pls. exclude me. I Thank you in advance.

Theofilia

4/07/2009 10:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Theofilia said...

Yeah Jilie,

Don't be sayin' that stuff about me.
Just sayin'

4/07/2009 10:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey blue Theofilia!

Is it you who ummm . . . shall we say ummm . . .

yer crazier than me:(

Theofilia

4/07/2009 10:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Theofilia said...

And if you're still having trouble understanding this, just slide over to my blog and read my 'How To Save The World' post. You'll get it then.

4/07/2009 10:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Theofilia said...

Theo 2,

Have you just spat in my face? Crazy?, Crazy?
Just come on over to my blog if you want to see crazy!

4/07/2009 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

And back again to the idea of doing violence to truth, beauty and innocence...

Of course we know that in this world, real violence is done to these every day, with real and devastating consequences.

And yet, and yet...

(bear with me here; there is a point, but I don't know how well I can make it)

And yet, there is a way of seeing that knows that the violence perpetrated upon innocence may not truly destroy innocence; that beauty defaced both still exists in eternity, and when this is Gnown, can take on a transformation in dignity that renders it, somehow, even more beautiful; that truth is absolute, and no matter how much the lie tries to rip it to shreds, it always simply is, in itself, irreducible. It may be crusted over with filth, it may be buried or burned, but it exists nonetheless, and is always there to be found by those who know how to seek it. It calls to us, and for those who can hear we cannot not seek it out, because in the longing of our hearts we know it is us.

...I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now.

This is the mirrorcle - that as one approaches the mystery, even as one struggles to clean oneself, one is made clean by grace - innocence slowly emerges anew, the beautiful shines forth more brightly, and the miraculous truth infuses one's very being, in a reyouvenation made all the more precious for having known what it is to be opposed to it.

wv says I get the strangest notions...

4/07/2009 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger QP said...

The point is that All truth is rational, but not every intelligence is competent to know every truth (HvB). On this blog we obviously share the most intimate secrets, and we can all see what the unredeemed man does with them. What they do with them has no effect upon us, but only results in their own further auto-desecration and spiritual beclowning.

Ah! And the fact that the door to OC is always open to anyone wandering by is a blessing. Perhaps one day they may embrace the good that is yet to come from His hand.

Thanks for this wonderfilled post today Bob!

4/07/2009 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger QP said...

To Julie @ 10:58.

I'm not familiiar with the book, but I like the title: "The Grass Is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank."

4/07/2009 11:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Julie,

I soooo like those notions:)

Theofilia wv ectiO

4/07/2009 11:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Julie? Don't you like me?


Theofilia

4/07/2009 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"All truth is rational, but not every intelligence is competent to know every truth"

Ain't that the truth.

wv has a suggestion:
reach

4/07/2009 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

mtcraven said "Torture invariably corrupts the people and organizations that implement it."

Your words and screeds prove it so.

wv again:
ingated

4/07/2009 11:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Theofilia 2,

Don't bug Julie! or I''l bite yer ear off - agrrrrrh = scared yet?

Theofilia

4/07/2009 11:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know who KSM is. However, to the impartial observer here Bob doesn't seem to think that waterboarding is torture, or that if it is torture, it is still OK to use on certain folks (but not others?)

4/07/2009 12:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon:

Bob doesn't condone violence, yet he incessantly reinforces the dangerous nature and dire threat posed by the left.

I ask, won't this naturally incite his followers into acts of brutatlity sooner or later?

There is a strange disconnect here. One gets the sense that if given the opportunity to harm Bill Maher anonymously and with impunity he would certainly do so.

However, if you ask Bob directly would he harm a leftist, he will probably ofuscate and demure because raccoons are a "lost cause."

He is an inflammatory demagogue there is no two ways of it.

4/07/2009 12:05:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

From Vanderleun's "It's a funny thing about 'fact.' We've spun so far off center we've actually used fact to replace truth. Indeed, there are whole industries dedicated to expunging truth with facts."

That's rather academic.

!

;-)

4/07/2009 12:09:00 PM  
Anonymous mirror said...

One gets the sense that if given the opportunity to harm Bob anonymously and with impunity Anonymous would certainly do so.

4/07/2009 12:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Bob's at work, so I can say this: one gets the sense that if Bob could make himself invisible, he'd sneak up behind Maher and give him the wedgie of his life.

So yes, in mtraven's terms, he would torture him.

wv: dermight

An insect that gets under your skin.

4/07/2009 12:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob doesn't condone violence, yet he incessantly reinforces the dangerous nature and dire threat posed by the left.

I ask, won't this naturally incite his blind followers into acts of brutatlity sooner or later?
At times I even try and be symathetic, like I'm one of the gang, to draw Bob out and have him show himself for the racist progressive hating bigot that he is. Asking what "we" need to do on a physical level to take action. Much to my dismay, he doesn't bite.

There is a strange disconnect here. One (that "One" being me) gets the sense that if given the opportunity to harm Bill Maher anonymously and with impunity he would certainly do so. (personally I think Bill is kinda cute, too bad he's into Bunnies)

However, if you ask Bob directly would he harm a leftist, he will probably ofuscate and demure because raccoons are a "lost cause."
Heck, I've even tried to get the coons pissed at that whackjob Theofilia by being pseudo-sympathetic to her cause just to prove that they are all racist homophobic cop killers and even that didn't work.

So the evidence is clear.
He is an inflammatory demagogue there is (aint?) no two ways of it.
I done proved it.

4/07/2009 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

Bob's readers are neither blind nor followers. We're all perfectly capable of coming up with creatively unique methods of torturing Bill Maher.

4/07/2009 01:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:07 has correctly identified each post that I (Anon 12:05) wrote and exposed the motive behind them. Impressive forensic blogopsychology, whoever did it..

I do now see that I am baiting or provoking commenters on the site. I do seem to be angry at Bob; I wasn't even aware of it. My comments are hostile and aggresive.

I'm not sure what's wrong with me; my personal life is pretty tormented and I'm probably displacing or venting onto this site where I percieve its safe to do so.

In the long run Bob's Blog is not likely to harm anyone. Sure he's critical and that's probably what sets me off. He could even criticize fellow raccoons or food or whatever and those would set me off too.

I should just leave here and never come back.

But I am a tormented individual and I probably can't do it.

Sorry in advance.

4/07/2009 01:42:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Via Dr. Bob in Vanderleun's comments today, another relevant essay.

4/07/2009 01:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Bob @ work said...

Ho! Edward Oakes wrote the best intro to Balthasar. It was the first thing I read of Balthasar after MOTT.

4/07/2009 02:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry in advance Anon 1:42,

Hey, if the mood strikes you and you feel like venting or sharing stuff slide over to my blogspace and talk to me, eh?

I've been through thick and thin and maybe with the use of Tarot cards we can figure out how to ease yer angst? Crazy-like sees crazy, eh?
Seriously. The invite is sincere.
Besides, wv sez in blue ink, terrot

Theofilia

4/07/2009 02:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Cory said...

Brother Robert -

Thank you.

4/07/2009 02:46:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Edward Oakes wrote the best intro to Balthasar.

Is that in one of the books, or did you see it elsewhere?

4/07/2009 04:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Theofilia said...

Anon. 01:42

Come to my heaving bosom and be healed, you sick S.O.B. you.

4/07/2009 04:30:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Anon. 1:42

You think Bill Maher is cute?

4/07/2009 05:04:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

QP said...
To Julie @ 10:58.

I'm not familiiar with the book, but I like the title: "The Grass Is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank."

Except for Skully's septic tank. Even grass has standards.

4/07/2009 05:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

"Sorry in advance."

Yes, we know.

4/07/2009 05:17:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Persons are always veiled by an irreducible penumbra of mystery that cannot be penetrated, only voluntarily opened. And even then, to open oneself to the other is to share the essence of the mystery, not to eliminate it.

(This, I think, speaks to the horror of real torture, in which the sacred mystery of the other is violated....) For that horror, I cannot read this link myself, but I post it here with the comment that it bothers me too, to hear of people, via political grandstanding, trivializing real torture. God strengthen this brother.

4/07/2009 06:27:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Is it possible? Have I actually posted a working link? [Faints dead away.]

4/07/2009 06:28:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Now, here is a guy who articulates my feelings about the left.

4/07/2009 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

You said it.
Or rather, he said it.
Awe what the heck...where do I sign.

4/07/2009 08:07:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Ay chihuahua Bob, that's a bookmarked keeper. The Deserving will be getting copies. Thanks

4/07/2009 09:13:00 PM  

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