Friday, July 17, 2009

The Alpha Male and Omega Man at the Bigending of Time

So what's the purpose of this whole spacey existentialada? For John Scottus Eriugena (JSE), the "marvelously complex universe of lights that the unknowable God creates out of his divine nothingness has as its goal and purpose the restoration of all the multiplicity into the 'simple unity of the concentrating and deifying Father'" (McGinn).

Fine. But how does God accomplice that? Yes, exactly. With an accomplice: "just as creation took place through the activity of the sapientia creatrix, the return is possible only through the descent of this sapientia into the historical world of effects" (McGinn). I don't know why he has to use the fancy Latin terms, but I believe he is talking about the escent-day of "creative wisdom," or what some folks call the the "supramental descent" into time and history. I just call it (↓).

As you know, when this (↓) collides with your own impurities, parasites, and "dead spots," fireworks occur. In fact, this is why some wise guys refer to this as the purifying fire of agni. If it causes fireworks in us, imagine what it does to the entire creation! Impossible to imagine, but you might think of it as the opposite of the Big Bang -- an inconceivable amount of energy, only instead of dispersing, focusing as through a magmafying gloss. Ouch!

In a striking passage by JSE, he talks about what I referred to in my book (p. 16) as the agni and ecstasy of the divine descent, as we ponder how Lo He can go:

"God's word cried out in the most remote solitude of the divine Goodness.... He cried out invisibly before the world came to be in order to have it come to be; he cried out visibly when came into the world in order to save it. The first time he cried out in an eternal way through his divinity alone before the Incarnation; afterwards he cried out through the flesh."

Like I said, striking. It reminds me of.... birth. Remama? Only this birth canal is called "time," and to say that it's a tight fit for eternity is something of an understatement, even a wonderstatement. You could say that with the Incarnation, time gives birth to eternity. But again, timelessness takes time, so in another sense, Jesus' entire life is his birth, just as the entire life of the living cosmos is a birth. And of course, he is always alive, so....

In fact, not to get too far ahead of ourselves, but Jesus' birth is an intrinsic dimension of the cosmic birth. In turn, this is why deification, or theosis, is always cosmotheosis. It is a cosmic event with metacosmic implications. The fulfillment of Man is the completion of the cosmos. Thus, it is a birthdeath, for it is also an end, i.e., "it is accomplished." The saints are the "last word" of cosmic evolution, so to speak, for they have successfully given birth to the first Word in the ground of (their) being. They are "complete sentences" instead of just death sentences.

Again, this idea of the Word crying out in the bewilderness is treated in the opening pages of my book. With some of the above exegesis, I believe you are in a better position to understand the following stoned blarney: How Lo can He go? How about all the way inside-out and upside down, a vidy long descent indeed to the farthest reaches of sorrow and ignorance? Yes, a scorched-birth policy, an experiment in higher kaboomalistics.... The molten infinite pours forth a blazen torrent of incandescent finitude, as light plunges an undying fire into its own shadow (oops! a dirty world) and f-aa-lll-lllllll-ssssssssssss in love with the productions of time...

Birth, fire, descent, sorrow, ignorance, 1-2-3-7-12, "crying out in the most remote solitude" of creation. This is the Divine Energy descending all the way down, even to the shadows of hell -- which, of course, darken man from the inside out.

So, as McGinn explains, with the Incarnation, "The Eternal Word has come into the world of effects, our material universe, by taking on the human nature 'in which the whole world subsists'" (again, the cosmos is in the soul, not vice versa, so to purify the latter is to cleanse the former). It's really rather profound, to say the least: "In his return to the Father he elevates the whole human race, and therefore the material universe contained in it" (emphasis mine).

You could say that this restores humanity -- and the cosmos -- to its pre-fallen state. Or, you could say that it fulfills the purpose of the Creation. Call me an optimystic, but that's how I prefer to look at it. Otherwise, it looks as if the whole thing is just one big mistake, and that the only purpose of time and history is to undo it. I mean, is your own life like that, i.e., one long effort to return to the infantile state of primitive fusion with paradise? I suppose if you're a liberal....

One last pint, mateys. It is the descent of the life-preserving Word that "saves" time and its productions -- the seaworthy ones, anyway -- from complete dissipation and destruction, and returns them safely to the harbor of eternity, i.e., "heaven." McGinn: "The effects are saved, then, by the Word's decision to descend into the material world, that is, to the furthest reaches of the theophanic processio, in order to restore all things to God."

Sounds like an ood-gay eal-day to me.

(McGinn and Eriugena quotes taken from The Presence of God, vol. 2.)

A bit of housekeeping: I may try to refrain from posting on weekends. We shall see. Also, I occasionally get emails from readers notifying me that I have been "added as a friend" on Facebook. But I can't confirm the requests, since I'm not a member. However, I'm not ignoring anyone, if that's what you're thinking.

14 Comments:

Blogger QP said...

Aware or not, like it or not, until we are returned safely to the bosom of eternity, seems we're all going to continue living inside a very, very long drawn-out, unspectacular?, apocalypse according this must read interview with Rene Girard in "Christianity Will Be Victorious, But Only In Defeat" @ First Things

His admonition: ". . . we must try not to surrender to the spiritual decadence of our time and rise above the world around us." That I suspect is why the B'ob is not a member of Facebook . . . it could be in your future though, maybe after FL presents GrandKits.

7/17/2009 08:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post gets down to the quick of things, all right.

Understand the basic cause of the cosmos, and you can then grasp likely intended purpose and course.

Grasp the purpose, and you can work effectively. Work effectively, and you become efficient.

Become efficient, and you align yourself with God. God Himself is pure efficiency because His every action is entirely appropriate.

Getting aligned with God=the only worthwhile pursuit in the cosmos and so retuns us full circle to the quick of the matter.

Time is of the essence. That's not to say there isn't alot of it available but still its efficient use should be the overweening concern of the aware person.

Idle hands are the Devil's playthings.

7/17/2009 09:08:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

VOICE OF THE EAGLE =
a fave author [C Bamford's] Scotus study

7/17/2009 09:28:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, but do be aware that he apparently oversells the Celtic angle for marketing purposes, since JSE is quite orthodox....

7/17/2009 10:43:00 AM  
Anonymous bob f. said...

"Otherwise, it looks as if the whole thing is just one big mistake, and that the only purpose of time and history is to undo it. "

I remember seeing a little box in a novelty store years ago; on its face was a toggle switch and on top a little trap door. When you flipped the toggle switch the trap door slowly opened, then a little hand came out and put the toggle switch back in its original position and went back into the trap door which closed.
Who knew that this was the left's intellectual model for the entire universe?

7/17/2009 12:29:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

>>. . the purifying fire of agni. If it causes fireworks in us, imagine what it does to the entire creation!<<

Y'all sing along with me now . . .

"God gave Noah the rainbow sign/ no more water the fire (agni) next time."

7/17/2009 02:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

alright, ge, who's the babe?

7/17/2009 04:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Gazriel said...

Bob said..."The fulfillment of Man is the completion of the cosmos. Thus, it is a birthdeath, for it is also an end, i.e., "it is accomplished." The saints are the "last word" of cosmic evolution, so to speak, for they have successfully given birth to the first Word in the ground of (their) being. They are "complete sentences" instead of just death sentences."

This is the very sort of wonderful statement that I come bye to wink up, the Purest nourishment! Yum!

End and Beginning are One. Birth and death are happening simultaneously with the One Life.

Yes! Can you feel it? This is the moment of realization, of apprehension, of the loveliest, creamest unification. As I say in one of my poems:

"Death is the virgin birth we've all been waiting for
And life is the single event of dreams blesses us wet
Is it raining yet?
See for yourself in the aftermath of my afterglow
Where wizards and witches gather in kitchens
To watch their kids grow
It's all just opposite sides of the same damn rainbow
Now where my spirits at?
Because the love of sound advice just doesn't translate well
Into the silent perfection that dwells on the inside
Taste that Endless Sea my freinds
Taste it and dream with all of your might
So when it it comes time to leave this shattered and fractured Garden behind
You'll know what language we speak on the other side"

7/17/2009 09:21:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

that's *NiNa* the sloven-a ballerina....age of 17-a.
gotta luv those toys in background
my title: "Here I Am, World..."

[pardon off-topic-ness, puhleeze GB! in appreciation of your continuing openness to tangents, wordplay]

7/18/2009 04:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Hoarhey said...

Always love it when ge shows up.

7/18/2009 06:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

I don't. Picture's too small.

7/18/2009 06:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Christopher Walken said...

Pornography? No. But it does the job.

7/18/2009 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Good post, not much to add, the points I had already made... clicked "Comment" to see GEEEEEE.

This one rings, "Birth, fire, descent, sorrow, ignorance, 1-2-3-7-12, "crying out in the most remote solitude" of creation. This is the Divine Energy descending all the way down, even to the shadows of hell -- which, of course, darken man from the inside out."

but is self explanatory.

wv:hogies
yum

7/18/2009 11:13:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Cuz,

Just order the poster.

7/18/2009 11:44:00 AM  

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