Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Obeying the Law of Levity: Playing Weightlessly in the Space of God

When it is said that "Jesus saves," I don't spend much of my timelessness thinking of that in terms of what happens after time runs out, i.e., death.

Rather, I think of the saving presence of the Absolute within the relative, in a way that is not only accessible to humans, but in which humans can participate directly. I am very much interested in saving myself -- including my intellect -- right now. The rest -- i.e., eternity -- can take care of itself.

In the forward to Cosmic Liturgy, Daley writes that it is only the "personal presence of the infinite God in our world as a human individual, and our own potential personal unity with God through and in him," that prevents us "from regarding the world as simply the extension of our own minds, the playground of our own ideologies, or the mirror of our own limitations and vices."

In short, there is an objective standard of Truth (which is the virtue of mind), Virtue (which is beauty of soul), and Beauty (which is truth in form or action), one that we may approach but never fully embody, even if -- or because! -- someOne else did.

Again, "progress" is only meaningful -- can only exist -- within this real space. In its absence, you end up with ironically named "progressives" for whom real progress is specifically impossible, since they deny the Absolute up front. Instead, the secular leftist simply absolutizes his own ego, so that the world becomes "the playground of his own ideology" and a "mirror of his own limitations and vices." Another general name for this is tyranny, while a particular name -- one of many -- is Obama.

Thus, in saving our mind -- in allowing us to think clearly about reality -- Jesus also saves us from political tyranny. Being that the person is "ultimate" -- or participates in the ultimate -- he can never allow the state to become so. For the Christian, that is a non-starter. One cannot be a "Christian leftist," for it is an oxymoron, pure and simple. Your sacred rights -- and duties! -- are grounded in nature and nature's God, not in the state. Period. The political struggle in all its iterations is with people (not persons, for only God can confer personhood) who do not believe this. End of issue. Beginning of struggle.

The mind is free. But it is only free because it is capable of knowing truth. And we only have freedom of will to the extent that we are able to assimilate truth -- that is, to live out of the "center of truth," so to speak.

Thus, truth is the axis and foundation of the human world. If there is no truth -- which is to say, objectivity -- then there is no possibility of anything deserving the name "human." Again, if there is only relativity, then we are just a bunch of wild animals who can be herded together based upon whomever is able to enforce their version of "truth." To live in subjectivity is to be a subject, i.e., subjugated. But we are Americans. We are not subjects, but citizens. We cannot be forced to pay for the healthcare of illegal immigrants or to murder babies in the womb.

I repeat: even if Jesus had not lived, I would still "believe in him," because I believe man is fashioned in the image of the Absolute, and it is only this fact that allows us to stand up to tyranny in a manner that is simultaneously objective (true) and righteous (good).

Yes, you might well get streamrolled like Sarah Palin in the process, but you have every cosmic right to hold up a cross in the face of His Smugness and say, "stop! That is not permitted here!" Yes, the world will do to you what it did to Him. Goes with the territory, the territory we call "liberty," which is always under assault from all sides.

Again, our freedom is a cosmic right. It is only ratified and forever memorialized by Christ's saving presence. You can only not know this if you have ceased being American, and are instead a "world citizen" or some other such nonsense.

"World citizenship" (not to mention "international law") is a lie, since it is not based upon any interior reality. Rather, it is something invented by tyrants for purposes of crowd control. It is one of the pillars of the criminal organization known as the UN, which does not promote the natural law, to put it mildly. "International law" is simply "man's law" writ large, and therefore cosmic lawlessness. It excuses anything but intrinsic goodness, truth, and freedom.

This is one of the reasons why they love "global warming," as it will allow them to extend and legitimize man's law (which is tyranny) in an unprecedented manner. It's bad enough that Obama can reach into our pockets. With crap & trade, dictators from all over the world can do so as well.

When I said a few posts back that "only America can save the world," I meant it in this precise sense. Only America can save the world, because only America was very much "founded in Christ"; or, you could say that America consciously founded itself on this principle of the "cosmic Christ" defining the limits of the state, whether you like it or not. Yes, liberty is a terrible thing, but that's no excuse to allow leftists to take it away and thereby cash in your humanness, just because they're frightened of it.

This post is going in an unforeseen direction, but perhaps not. "The spirit blows where it will," which it can only do in an atmasphere of truth and freedom, no? Thus, Balthasar writes of how a human being only fulfills his own potential when he "has seen his own star rising beyond all the cultural and political configurations and weaknesses of his time," and follows it in body, mind, and spirit "with a freedom that overcomes the world."

Thus, truth can only "overcome the world" in freedom. And freedom can only be free if it is grounded in truth. You might say that truth is the Absolute, while freedom is his beautiful but intimidating sister, the Infinite. "Male and female he created them." Boo!

There are a number of lines in this book that I just love. Balthasar speaks of how Maximus wrote in such a way that "he seems to crystalize automatically around his higher center," which could only be achieved in "the highest degree of Christian freedom." I discuss this in my own Coonish way in chapter four of my book, for example, section 4.2 "Escaping the Prismhouse of Language," or 4.6, "Saying More With Less." In that latter section, I talk about how "Truth is inexhaustible, flowing as it does from the direction of the Absolute (which is beyond image and form) into the relativity of formal language."

Thus, in order to accomplice this, one must maintain a rather different, more "fluid" relationship to words. One must allow the words to be spontaneously "formed," so to speak, out of the higher, or from the top down. As always, the best analogy I can think of is the jazz master, who is able to recall the world of music in the act of forgetting it. Just so, our absence is God's presence, and vice versa. So get the hell out of the way!

Elsewhere Balthasar speaks of Maximus' ability "to play weightlessly before God." What a marvelous phrase! This is "a calm freedom from all the passions that cloud or weigh down or tear apart the mind, in order to rob it of its freedom and self-possession."

These passions, or forces, are either centrifugal or centripetal, in that they alternately compress or disperse consciousness, and take us away from our "free center," the motionless mover within -- which is the "place" where truth can be known, since it is the "substance of truth." It is where truth intersects with our own being, like a lance piercing the side of matter. It is where the Light illuminates the darkness. And if you could com-prehend it -- which is to say, "wrap your mind around it" -- it would not be the Light.

This darkwomb is none other than the "mode of entry into the mystery of God, which stands beyond the world" (Balthasar). Yes, "only the spirit that has become pure and simple can encounter the transcendent One," and thereby become the very nexus of revelation, the middle term between the One and the many, time and eternity, Creator and creation.

Here we find the vertical axis of the world, a ladder thrown down from heaven, the very possibility of inword mobility and upward nobility, or freedom in action, truth, and being. Amen for a childs job!

Levity in action, as frosting effortlessly rises upward:

34 Comments:

Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Top of the muffin to YA!

7/22/2009 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

Jesus saves.

I like the way your focus in these posts is becoming more concentrated, even as the understanding you share becomes broader and deeper.

I guess you are becoming dis-passionate?

For, ...passions, or forces, are either centrifugal or centripetal, in that they alternately compress or disperse consciousness, and take us away from our "free center" ... and I never come away from OC feeling "squeezed" nor "scattered."

7/22/2009 11:14:00 AM  
Blogger robinstarfish said...

This post is going in an unforeseen direction, but perhaps not.

witness the faithful
marching around jericho
one more trumpet blast

7/22/2009 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Bob,
Choking of, I mean, reading this 1,000 page Healthcare bill, which you could say was “work many American’s simply would not do”, was it also the flip-side to, “the secret which protects itself”?
A terrible, terrible secret, as it turns out…

7/22/2009 12:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Memo to east coast Coons: the Manhattan Project is a go.

7/22/2009 01:55:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

I’m not buying it.
A rabid raccoon makes about as much sense as a Christian leftist.

7/22/2009 02:01:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Oh. And yes, they have wifi in the slammer.
We go over the wall at midnight.
Pass it on.

7/22/2009 02:03:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

>>Levity in action<<

Aye, there's a key to the mountaintop of holy detachment/dis-passion. When the dark passions gather in your mind and begin their taunting . . . laugh at them. If there's one thing the dark forces can't stand, it's being laughed at, not taken seriously. Levity = levitation = the incredible lightness of being.

We never take our *true* selves so seriously as we when we don't take ourselves seriously.

7/22/2009 02:05:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"This post is going in an unforeseen direction, but perhaps not."

Not with the end in the beginning, and the beginning in Truth.

Excellent!

7/22/2009 02:33:00 PM  
Blogger QP said...

Be like little chillins. To be steeped in chocolate cupcakes, is to cease to be a pompous ass.

7/22/2009 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

In short, there is an objective standard of Truth (which is the virtue of mind), Virtue (which is beauty of soul), and Beauty (which is truth in form or action), one that we may approach but never fully embody, even if -- or because! -- someOne else did."

Ho!

"Again, our freedom is a cosmic right. It is only ratified and forever memorialized by Christ's saving presence. You can only not know this if you have ceased being American, and are instead a "world citizen" or some other such nonsense."

Right on. I would include Johan and Magnus as having the same American spirit (the spirit of liberty) that we do and thus included in that statement.

As always, that goes without sayin', but I like to say it occasionally anyhow. :^)

7/22/2009 04:00:00 PM  
Blogger Christopher Olson said...

Bob, have you ever read anything by Dr. Werner Gitt?

He has written two incredible books that I think you wold be quite intrigued by: In The Beginning Was Information as well as: Time And Eternity.

The titles speak pretty well for themselves, I think - as well as the honest reviews at Amazon.

7/22/2009 08:22:00 PM  
Anonymous goddinpotty said...

One cannot be a "Christian leftist," for it is an oxymoron, pure and simple.

Tell it to Archbishop Romero -- oh but wait, you can't, because he was assassinated by right-wing thugs.

Some of these people are still alive.

I don't see how one can be a Christian non-leftist. Either your sympathize with power, authority, and privelege and thus are a rightwinger, or with the lowly, oppressed, and downtrodden. It's pretty clear where Jesus stood.

7/22/2009 09:03:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Christopher:

I've heard of the Information book but haven't read it. It looks interesting -- similar to Robert Wright's Nonzero, which I have read.

At this point, no one needs to convince me that the cosmos is the manifestation of intelligence. The question is, what do we do about it?

7/22/2009 09:25:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

"One cannot be a 'Christian leftist,' for it is an oxymoron, pure and simple." Bob, you never spoke a truer word. Christian "progressivism" inexplicably seeks to baptize human effort in the realm of politics, whereas true Christianity is embracing the Way, the Truth and the Life as the axis of the cosmos, and of one's existence. I often want to ask my left-leaning friends who claim the name of Christ (yet stand arm in arm with a party that enthusiastically supports the unmitigated killing of the unborn): Where is God in all this? I just don't see him. Where is God in the complete abdication of one's responsibility toward his neighbor to the state? Why is God even *necessary* to your political schemes? If the government's dispensations (or for that matter, any kind of human efforts) are sufficient to meet the needs of humankind, and if the answer lies only in the horizontal...well, why bother with Jesus? Why not simply dispense with his holy Name once & for all, since you have no apparent use for his manner of empowerment (see Phil. 2:8ff--hint, it involves a cross). How do class warfare and victim-centered policy fit into the golden rule? To the leftist, how is a human being ever anything other than a pawn of the state? If the government can so readily seize one's property and livelihood, regulate everything right down to what sort of light bulbs or garden plants one must use, and declare by fiat (at least in your dream world) no more medical treatment for grandma, or for that too-sick or disabled baby--and none of this raises *one single objection* from you--what does that say about your view of the autonomy, worth and dignity of your neighbor? How can you speak the name of God in one breath, and deny the imago Dei in the next? If you claim to love God, why do you not value the Word of God? For most lefty Christians, God's Word is malleable: if Jesus said it...well, as long as it's from his Selected and Redacted Quotes, and not from his Hard Sayings, they can consent at least to twist it to their own political purposes (take the most common example: "love your neighbor" via the all-powerful State, whether you like it or not--as if love can be coerced--but never mind about the loving God with your whole heart/soul/mind/strength part). However, if Moses, David, Jeremiah, Paul et al. said it, it's likely racist, homophobic, misogynist, paternalistic--in short, eminently excise-able. Absent the indwelling Spirit, it has no power to "divide" the thoughts and intents of their hearts (Heb 4:12). It offends them and they dispense with it. Because, quite frankly...well...Psalm 92:6; 1 Corinthians 2:14. Jesus loved the Word of God. He quoted the OT approvingly--in fact, *added* to the Law's requirements! (Knowing full well he was the fulfillment of it all on our behalf. Luke 4:18-20) He *never* spoke to state power structures, unless obliquely, to render unto it the refuse of this world (that which is passing away, that which rust, moth destroy and thieves--like for instance congress-persons--break in & steal). He always spoke from eternity into the individual human heart. THAT is where your responsibility lies. It's just you and Jesus, man, as far as he is concerned. You can't hoist your guilt off onto Society at Large. "They don't grade here on the curve/We both know what we deserve..." So again, why do they bother with him at all? To follow him is to be hated, reviled, and generally spat upon and considered a fanatic by the power-obsessed. There's no cachet in the name of Christ; he said so himself. To follow Christ is to be very peculiar indeed, to follow a very narrow path. I can only suppose that for many of these "progressives," the name of Christ is just an artifact from a long-dead tradition of man that was once infused with bright reality--a futile habit of speaking that will drop off with the passage of a little more time.

7/22/2009 11:34:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Ack! Forgive me; I can't do paragraph returns on this computer. My enter key's fried.

7/22/2009 11:34:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

wv: cladbat. :) By the way, handsome cupcake goatee!

7/22/2009 11:51:00 PM  
OpenID kaffepaus said...

Ben Said that:
“I would include Johan and Magnus as having the same American spirit (the spirit of liberty) that we do and thus included in that statement.”

Thanks Ben! And yes, I will definitely like to think so to about myself. Also the American spirit "blows where it will” because "America" is not just a country, but an Idea.

/Johan

And this wv: troldeti

7/23/2009 04:32:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"In short, there is an objective standard of Truth (which is the virtue of mind), Virtue (which is beauty of soul), and Beauty (which is truth in form or action), one that we may approach but never fully embody, even if -- or because! -- someOne else did."

Which is what is so appalling about those who claim there to be no objective right and wrong - they are calling for ugliness in soul... it's almost as if they really do look for and find their gods in the potty.

7/23/2009 05:13:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"The mind is free. But it is only free because it is capable of knowing truth. And we only have freedom of will to the extent that we are able to assimilate truth -- that is, to live out of the "center of truth," so to speak.

Thus, truth is the axis and foundation of the human world. If there is no truth -- which is to say, objectivity -- then there is no possibility of anything deserving the name "human." "

SoOo True. I wonder if those who argue against Free Will, do so because they've allowed so much contamination from what they want to be true, into their grasp of what IS true, that they've excluded themselves from it? Or of at least knowing it.

7/23/2009 05:20:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Excellent Post & excellent picture... quite the package!

wv:tricing
no, Icing... there is no Try, only doOo.

7/23/2009 05:24:00 AM  
Blogger QP said...

A most beautiful witnessing for Truth Susannah - Paragraph breaks would have broken the outflow from your heart to mine.

Realated ->

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the sight of
God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about in his own time--God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.

1 Timothy 6:12-16 (NIV)

7/23/2009 06:10:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Amen!

7/23/2009 06:12:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Even leaving aside the disastrous spiritual consequences, the leftist state is the very engine of poverty.

7/23/2009 06:15:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Huh, sounds like someone has been drinking the Liberation Theology kool-aid.

The Lord came to rescue everyone - the poor, the rich, and so forth. In fact, the rich need more help than the poor do, since they are most likely to get bound up in worldly things, having a lot of them.

He who uses Christ's care for the poor as an excuse to hate the wealthy has quite the wrong idea. Jesus took no sides, dear one - it is all about who took his.

It is easier to abandon worldliness when the world doesn't offer you much.

Conveniently, most liberation theology stuff was financed by a bunch of rich people.

Coincidence? No... reality.

Some people think that if they make a big show for hating their wealth and giving it away they'll get to keep it.

I feel for the poor people who were led astray by this nonsense. And we know what is said of those who lead the 'little ones' to sin!

7/23/2009 06:46:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Very well said, Riv.

7/23/2009 06:50:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Although I did enjoy how Bob stepped right over the guy to answer Christopher’s question.
That. Was a hoot.

7/23/2009 06:52:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

RE the Hot Air article, looks to be a good one. Have to read the rest later.
I’ll add this for now. The worst thing for the economy, I say, is the current administration’s unpredictability. Especially with regard to law, as in “contracts”. I don’t know what they will change, or not change next. Leave things alone so business owners can adapt, or not, and feel somewhat safe about their decisions and therefore, investments, either way. The less confident an investor feels about what the rules will be tomorrow, the more he “pulls back.”
In today’s environment, the business owner is spending way too much time trying to figure out how to withstand the government attacks coming at him from every conceivable angle – and adjusting his business decisions for them. This is not what businesses should be spending their time doing. They shouldn’t even be making business decisions based on this or that tax savings. They should be focused on improving their “products”. Period. When they are able to do primarily that, stand back.

7/23/2009 07:13:00 AM  
Anonymous goddinpotty said...

Jesus took no sides, dear one - it is all about who took his.

You're daft.

"And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats." -- Matthew 25:32

And many other instances.

It takes a certain degree of gall for some gasbag with a blog to declare that people who were martyred for their faith are not true Christians and that their faith is "oxymoronic". I guess we will have to leave it to Jesus to sort out, as in the quoted verse.

7/23/2009 08:39:00 AM  
Blogger Christopher Olson said...

Hi Bob,

Yeah, I did not mean that I thought you needed more convincing. I recommend them simply for your enjoyment and edification. Gitt elucidates some rather difficult concepts in a very powerful way in them.

7/23/2009 08:42:00 AM  
Blogger Christopher Olson said...

To "godinpotty" - whom I don't know if he is a troll or not, I have not been here long enough....

You mentioned something about being friendly with "power, authority, and privelege". Do you not understand that this is exactly what the Left is all about? They seek to give all power, authority and privilege to their deified State rather than leaving it in the hands of Free Men and Women.

This State I speak of is and always has been a "reaction" an "anti" to think Greek, to the authority of God.

To be a Christian Leftist is to commit to the State what belongs to God and the Men and Women He has created.

Do you need the State to take care of you? You will be a slave.

Do you need the State to take care of others? Why not do it yourself? Do you have no love?

Taking care of each other, in the love of Christ, is what WE are called to do - not the state.

The Welfare State in usurping this responsibility from the rightful hands and compelling all men to pay tribute to its "noble" endeavor, effectively becomes a replacement for God, His Christ and His People.

Of the world.

7/23/2009 08:42:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Why do people who don't love or understand the Word even bother quoting Him? That verse illustrates precisely what River was saying.

7/23/2009 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Lots of people are put to death for their beliefs...and unfortunately many die still needing Jesus.

7/23/2009 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Let the scripture verse wars begin!

Tell me who wins.

wv: rests - i.e. - silences.

7/23/2009 10:33:00 AM  

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