Cosmo-Drama and the Reality of Time
Bear in mind that I said quite clearly that I was not using his example for the purposes of criticism but comparison. My only point is that his acosmic, impersonal, and ahistorical mystical view is not reconcilable with Christianity, as traditionalists apparently believe. In other words, in no way can we suggest that Christ was nothing more than a non-dual mystic, even the "highest" one; nor can we say that Ramana Maharshi was the only begotten son of God. The two points of view might both be worthwhile, but they cannot be said to convey the identical truth.
Yes, I disagree with Schuon on the equivalence of revelations. What can I say? I've said many times that Schuon wouldn't even like me, let alone agree with me, even though I absolutely hold him in the highest regard, our differences notwithstanding.
I am actually very interested in the reconciliation of Eastern and Western religions (cf. Henry LeSaux/Swami Abhishiktananda). After all, I am again not arguing Christianity from the inside out, but from the outside in. I am coming toward it from a neo-vedantic tradition. Or perhaps "tradition" is not the correct word, since Sri Aurobindo is another one of those people whom traditionalists find completely unacceptable. Schuon never mentions him by name, but you can tell when he's referring to him, because he always snarls when doing so. Same with Teilhard de Chardin. For Schuon, they might as well be Deepak.
And why do they find him unacceptable? For a number of reasons I won't bore you with, but I would say that the central one has to do with the reality of time. You could say that the traditionalists emphasize the reality of space over time; or, to the extent that they talk about time, they see it either as static or as winding down into the moral entropy and chaos of the End Times. In this scenario, man's best times are behind him, and history is pretty much all over except for the fight over who's the bigger victim.
Okay, here: "Time is but a spiroidal movement around a motionless Center" (Schuon). Is this true? Could be. But if so, a lot depends upon which way the spiral is moving, i.e., toward the center or away from it -- or "ascending" vs. "descending." For the Christian it is always doing both, and it is up to the individual to hitch a ride on one wave or the other, the centripetal force or the centrifugal farce.
Now, within the absolute, time and space must be unified; or, to put it another way, from our side of things, i.e., the relative, the Absolute breaks out into its two primary modes, time and space, which are "co-equal," the one being a reflection of the other. As Schuon writes, "to say Absolute is to say Infinite, the one being inconceivable without the other. We can symbolize the relation between these two aspects of Supreme Reality by the following images: in space, the absolute is the point, and the infinite is extension; in time, the absolute is the moment, and the infinite is duration."
Here again, this is not compatible with Christianity, the reason being that it leaves no place -- literally -- for Theo-Drama. In other words, if absolute time is a point, then nothing meaningful can "happen"; there is no "stage" upon which the drama can take place. And if time is just infinite duration, there can again be no drama. Rather, reality would be like one of Wagner's operas: endless waiting in order to discover that there was no point anyway.
I hope this is all clear. No disrespect is intended to my spiritual betters. It's just that, among other things, Christianity "divinizes" both time and history. Indeed, it wouldn't be going too far to say that Christianity transforms mere time into real history, the latter of which is a movement toward something instead of mere duration or decay. If time is not moving toward its own fulfillment, then it really is just a tale told by a tenured idiot, full of sound and fury but signifying a lifetime gig and adoring coeds.
"Ironically," even so-called progressives Christianize time, but they do so without Christ. For in their implicit metaphysics, time is also of the essence, except that it is only moving toward wholly immanent and material ends. They take the cosmos bequeathed to us by the Christian tradition and turn it upside down, precisely.
For example, the disgusting Deepak inhabits this bizarre, de-Christianized Christian cosmos, writing today that Obama promises us a "real" dawn whereas Ronald Reagan only gave us a "false" one. Deepak writes of how President Reagan hated women and trees, and wanted homosexuals to die.
I'm not going to go there. Let us just say that the Windy Hindi is anti-Christic to his rotten core, and leave it at that. What a hideously depraved man. I think I'm gonna hurl.
Now, one of the reasons Balthasar had to spend some 3,000 pages explicating the Christian theo-drama, is that the intrinsically dramatic nature of Christianity was apparently no longer evident to people, just as he had to spend some 4,000 pages on The Glory of the Lord, since the divine beauty was no longer obvious to folks. Rather, it seems that for many Christians, their faith is reduced to just that faith, but faith in what?
HvB notes that drama is one of our intrinsic ways of knowing the world. This is a strange fact, and too little remarked upon, but I certainly see it in my four year-old. That is, very much like our nightDreamer, human beings create and inhabit narratives from the moment they can think about reality. Therefore, the world of drama is not something "added to" our humanness, but is part of our very nature. HvB writes of how the child "translates its world of experience into theatrical terms, conceives things, reacts to them, in speech and in all forms of play."
Indeed, Future Leader is always playing various roles, through which he is simultaneously being himself. Only if something goes wrong in development does this become inverted, and the role starts playing us. But at this point in his development, one can clearly see how drama is central to his articulation of the self. When I put him to bed, I always tell him stories in which he is the main actor, whether he is a fireman, policeman, army man, or superhero. For him, these stories are literally a kind of food. They both nourish and structure his existence.
So, we cannot avoid narratives, no matter who we are. For example, the Darwinian, like Deepak, also lives in a bizarrely de-Christianized drama, as we witnessed yesterday. Try as they might, they simply cannot inhabit the boring world of metaphysical Darwinism, the reason being that it is literally humanly uninhabitable.
In other words, Darwinians unconsciously convert science into an exciting drama of "progress," when progress is precisely what Darwinism excludes. Rather, there is only change, and change is not drama. Imagine going to a film in which the characters and action merely change, but for no reason.
Again, this would be a kind of temporal analogue to the non-dual mystic who lives in a de-temporalized space, so to speak. For if time is mere change without purpose, then ultimately, nothing is really any different, or of any more value, than anything else.
In this regard, you can see that nihilism is a kind of "reverse mysticism." A Darwinian is not permitted to say that a man has more objective value than an amoeba. The "journey" from amoeba to man is just one inconceivably long string of accidents. Therefore, it is not really a journey at all. Rather, that's just a phony narrative we superimpose on the facts, simply because we would like reality to mean something.
But it means nothing, which again makes us wonder why Darwinians ware jumping for joy over the discovery of that fossil. Why joy? I don't get it. Who cares if there are eight wonders if the eighth wonder proves that wonder is completely pointless? Let's grant Darwinians their fantasy, and suppose that this fossil finally proves that human existence is meaningless. Why would that be a cause for glee instead of sadness?
Unless -- unless we are again dealing with an unconscious narrative that is a satanic inversion of the Christian narrative. Could it be that metaphysical Darwinians are parasites on the history they wish to destroy? Yes, of course.
A brief aside: one of the reasons I am able to embark upon this adventure in Christianity is that Sri Aurobindo cleared the way by converting the non-dual mysticism of advaita vedanta into an adventure in cosmic evolution, very much analogous to Christianity. Indeed, the best book on Aurobindo is called The Adventure of Consciousness, the point being that consciousness has a purpose and a vector. Aurobindo immediately saw the implications of Darwinism, but placed it in a much wider context of what we might well call Cosmo-Drama.
In turn, the B'ob came along and wrote a book called One Cosmos Under God, which endeavors to tell the entire story of the cosmos in four acts, plus an ainsoferable overchore and underture. But the point is, it is a story; it is a drama, a narrative, a bangography. It even begins with One's upin a timeless...
Indeed, you could say that it is the bedtime story I told myself before concluding the drama of the first half of my life, or that mysoph told to me, anyway. Only now I'm retelling it from a Christian standpoint. For 'tis atell that is retaled early in bed and later on life down through all christian minstrelsy. And
If you are abcedminded to this claybook, what curios of signs in this allaphbed! Can you rede its world? It's the same told of all. --Finnegans Wake