Dead Men Waking
"Basically, then, it is a matter of dying to this false self of our ego-consciousness and to its loves and desires, for this self is our dead self" (Sherrard). We must transition from the egocentric to the theocentric position, which is the true basis for the anthropocentric position; as I mentioned in my book, worship of God activates a kind of latent dialectical space between O and (¶), and this is the fruitful space in which it all goes down.
O "strengthens" and vivifies (¶), while (¶) becomes the "lens" through which the energies of O are refracted. In contrast, the local ego, or (•), basically repels the divine energies (↓). And it is too proud and self-sufficient to reach beyond itself to its source (↑), so the cycle of spiritual metabolism is completely disrupted on both ends. You either asphyxiate or become anorexic.
As I've mentioned before, I can imagine some people thinking that the symbolic system of gnotation I use in OCUG to map spiritual growth is a little cold, or idiosyncratic, or abstract. But I explained there that the whole point is that the symbols must be filled with transpersonal experience, otherwise they remain empty categories.
For example, here is how Sherrard describes what I would call (↑): the "condition of being reborn, or resurrected... cannot be accomplished without the fulfilling of another condition: that we continually aspire towards and form links with the divine world, the world of eternity. The purpose of the spiritual life is not achieved through some abstract conception of the Kingdom of Heaven, or even through belief, in the pious sense, in the Kingdom of Heaven. It is achieved through strengthening our living relationship with the Kingdom of Heaven, and through cultivating in ourselves those organs through which we can experience the life of eternity."
This approach properly emphasizes both sides of the dialectic. Obviously, without the grace of (↓), nothing is possible. I mean, you can try, but good luck. More often than not, you'll ether just go in circles while engaging in some kind of glorified auto-hypnosis, or what we call spiritual Ønanism. In reality, it is just unhip gnosis by another name.
If there is a purpose of life -- and there is -- it can only be understood and actualized in reference to eternity. It's not going to be found down here -- that is, unless we have achieved the ability to see eternity in time, or the nonlocal radiating through the lens of the local.
Indeed, this is how human existence is to be understood: man is the local being through whom the nonlocal may be received and transmitted to the others in the form of truth, love, beauty, etc. Our job is to receive and assimilate (↓), but to then propagate it horizontally (<--¶-->).
If we fail to engage in our verticalisthenics (↑) in this life -- and therefore fail to activate and bring forward the (¶) -- then buddy, you've screwed yourself bigtime. "We will remain impervious to the light of eternity and to the blessings of the Kingdom of Heaven, locked up in our subjective dreams which are by now second nature to us. Surrounded by the spiritual world -- as we are in fact all the time -- we will not be aware of it: we will be outside it, exterior to it, in hell."
Do you see why? The local ego is "exteriority" as such. When you think about it, it's the only thing that is "outside" the cosmos. It is merely a kind of Darwinian adaptation to external circumstances, and is therefore largely a mirror of the environment. It is more or less exiled from spirit, and in need of deliverance, or salvation. This is why various cultures are so crazy, because they have no living relationship to the truth that transcends the quasi-animal ego. Ultimately they are just neurotic or psychotic collective adaptations to the ubiquitous problem of having a mind. For example, read Scipio's post yesterday about the gories of Islam:
"Imagine if any other religion acted as does Islam -- Christianity for example. If Christians made war upon cartoons? If Christians made war upon Buddhist statues? If Christians chopped off heads on camera? If Christians sent legions of suicide killers into schoolhouses? If Christians murdered their daughters for violations of ‘honor?’ If Christians boasted about blasting civilian airliners from the sky? If Christians were involved in almost every war on the planet? If Christians at the Vatican regularly stampeded and trampled to death hundreds of their own? If Christian youth made a sport of raping non-Christian girls? If Christians hunted down and killed all who tried to leave the faith? If Christians sent out hit squads to murder all who insulted the faith? If Christians around the globe jumped with glee after the towers fell? If Protestant and Catholic Christians engaged themselves in mutual slaughter? If Christians sexually mutilated their adolescent girls?"
I don't just blame Islam for their mess. Rather, I blame man. Mankind is the problem, therefore more mankind surely cannot be the solution. This actually goes to one of the quintessential differences between the illiberal left and conservative liberals, something which Dennis Prager reminded me of yesterday: the leftist "loves" mankind, but treats individuals with contempt -- in the same way that the Islamist loves the idea of everyone living under a worldwide Caliphate worse than death, but has no problem butchering and maiming individual Muslims, who are worthless to him.
But the conservative liberal has no great regard for mankind. Rather, he loves individuals and individualism. Which is why an illiberal statist such as Obama must be his sworn enemy. The leftist pretends he can cure mankind with various material inducements, or simply by coercively rearranging the socioeconomic floors of the cultural titanic.
Won't work. Can't work. Wrong species. You're not going to get people out of hell by imposing it on them. Rather, they must realize where they are, and then make the effort to leave. Obama says, "don't worry. No need to change. We love you just the way you are. We'll just change everything else but you."
Real change and real hope can only result from real rebirth. First and foremost, we must nourish and cultivate the subtle organs of spiritual perception, or cʘʘnvision. Engaging in a serious spiritual practice simultaneously opens us to spiritual energies and influences (not just from God, but from certain authorized Deputies and helpful nonlocal operators).
Equally importantly, this will "awaken and galvanize in us the latent spiritual potentialities of our being, those that foster our rebirth, that allow us to transmute our consciousness, to free it from its hidebound ego-centered state in such a way that it is once again able to perceive and mirror divine realities and to interpenetrate with the consciousness of God" (Sherrard).
So the day-to-deity work of spirituality involves severing certain links and nourishing others. Conversely, egoic death-in-life consists of feeding and strengthening the links that keep us bound to illusion and sin, and ignoring those energic channels that would liberate us from our fetters. So the choice is yours: undead man walking, or dead man waking.
More tomorrow on how to circumnavelgaze and I-ambulate around in Bob's peculiar map of hyperspace...