The Accidentally-On-Purpose Driven Life
As I mentioned yesterday, a good way to avoid hostility when conversing with The Anointed is to follow Dennis Prager's advice about seeking clarity, never agreement. Obviously you cannot reason a man out of what he was never reasoned into, so you're wasting your time if you try. But if you just clarify your differences as sharply as possible, that usually dissipates much of the open hostility, at least from our end.
It doesn't always work, because leftists are notoriously slippery about naming their first principles, instead preferring an incoherent and ad hoc blizzard of il- or semi-logical arguments to conceal them.
But it's very easy for conservative liberals to name their first principles, e.g., limited government, low taxes, racial colorblindness, freedom of religion, school choice, judges who don't legislate from the bench, etc. It can be very tricky to get a leftist to admit that their first principles are the opposite of these classically liberal goods, hence their intrinsic intellectual dishonesty.
Our first principle is that "we are accident, not Substance" (Schuon). Of note, this is also the first principle of America's founders, although they express it in a different way, that "we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights." Rights, which are Substance, flow from the Creator, thus rendering them eternal (in time) and universal (in space). They do not and cannot flow from man, since man is accident. If they did flow from man, then quite obviously they could not be inalienable, since accident ultimately robs us of everything except our immortal soul.
Bearing in mind our first principle -- that we are accident, not Substance -- then our liberty is not only guaranteed by the Creator, but originates in him. Or, to put it another way, if there is no Creator, then we are not free. End of issue. "Accidental freedom" is as oxymoronic as "true lies."
What? Say a little more? No problem. If there is no truth, then all our knowledge is ultimately in error. Therefore, it would be silly to say that we really "know" anything, since "knowing error" is a contradiction in terms. Just so, if freedom has no "point," then it can hardly be called "free," for randomness is the opposite of freedom (whereas tyranny is the denial of our prior freedom, and the oppression of our soul's will).
This is precisely what Schuon means when he says that "our freedom is nothing other than conformity to this Substance, from which we sprang and which is Freedom itself." (And again, we are not attempting to convince anyone of anything, just laying out our first principles for the sake of clarity. For you trolls out there who cannot keep yourself from commenting, at least try to clarify your differences in terms of your own first principles instead of compulsively insisting that mine are "evil" or "stupid," which we know already ad nauseam and beyond.)
Likewise, "if our sense of justice is not delusion, it comes from God," and "our intelligence cannot be other than intelligence itself" (Schuon). At this point, I'm guessing that only trolls won't understand those axiomatic truths, so I don't need to elaborate further. To offload intelligence and justice from God to man is to pave the road to tyranny and stupidity, the one propping up the other.
A revolution that seeks only a temporal good is ultimately self-defeating and a waste of the human lives that went into it -- the French revolution, the Bolshevik revolution, the National Socialist revolution. Only a revolution for the Substance has any meaning at all. Thus: "To revolt against Being is to revolt against ourselves" (Schuon). In turn this is why leftist revolutionaries are always revolting.
Following our first principle, we can say that in "the final analysis," every God-given, orthodox "spiritual doctrine expresses the relationship between Substance and accident" (Schuon). As outlined in my book, when you "do" religion, this is precisely what you are endeavoring to do. Or, to turn it around, this is what religions are designed to help you do, even if you are not consciously aware of it, or if you wouldn't necessarily express it in those terms. Nevertheless, I think you can see the truth of it.
This is also how you can tell if your religion is "working." If it is, then you "move" from accident toward Substance. In order to do that, you must assimilate the Substance in one way or another, for it is not merely a matter of knowing but being. You must be what you know, or it's not real knowledge. Religion helps you know what you be so you can become who you are. To know Truth; to love Beauty; to act with Virtue; these are all ways of assimilating and living in the Substance.
Yes, it is true that God is all, so that, in a certain way, everything is already substance -- or participates in substance. In other words, God's immanence means that the morning light is ultimately not different from the sun itself. Nevertheless, from our relative standpoint, the sun is up there and its rays are down here, and it makes no sense to say that we live inside the sun until we first realize that we don't.
Also, within the sun-Substance there are deeper causes. We only see the sun because of our relative position. We are the ones who not only draw the distinction between the sun and its rays, but see the sun to begin with (with light we borrow from the sun). The real cause of the sun is a profound secret known only to itself; we see only the effects, which include the visible sun. Or you could simply say I Am the Light You Are.
Thus, "we speak of 'Substance' in order to underscore the gulf between What subsists in itself and what exists only secondarily, the profound cause of which lies in a greater and higher reality." Therefore, if you're following my drift, the very idea of Substance is already a kind of accident. Behind the idea is the Reality, the intrinsic mystery that can only be unKnown or "undergone." This is to live one's life accidentally on purpose.