Cosmic Anthropology in a Pomographic World
One gives birth to Two
Two gives birth to Three
Three gives birth to all things. --Tao Te Ching
This might seem a little pedantic, but stay with me here. Yesterday we discussed the cosmic Substance, which Schuon distinguishes from Essence.
For example, the sun is ultimately not different from its rays; they are of the same substance, which is to say, Light. As such, this almost argues for a kind of pantheism -- and it should be remembered that all true religions are pantheistic, just not only pantheistic. For example, in Christianity the idea of God's immanence means that everything is God. However, because of his transcendence, the converse is not true: God is not everything, but infinitely more.
This, by the way, is how it is possible for the sage to say "I am God" without ever meaning "God is me." A drop is not the ocean. However, looked at another way, water is nothing other than water, i.e. the identical substance.
Thus, there is a kind of continuity between substance and accident. In contrast, there is a kind of discontinuity between essence and form. Schuon uses the analogy of a kernel and the fruit. Where is the essence that is common to both forms?
Better yet, take the embryo and the adult man. Was the man somehow "inside" the embryo? Or is a man just a giant embryo? Ultimately we need to consider both substance and essence, which Schuon likens to absolute and infinite, which in turn are reflections of male and female, respectively.
I hope this is clear, because it should be: "there is in Substance an aspect of femininity and in Essence an aspect of masculinity." In the past, we have discussed this in terms of what the child receives from each parent, and how culture itself is rooted in this primordial cosmic distinction.
For the infant, the (m)other is quite literally substance. It is not exactly correct to say that the infant has a "relationship" with the mother, at least from the infant's standpoint. Or, let us say that the discontinuity implied by "relationship" must be balanced by the idea that infant and breast are "one." The baby not only has a "right" to the breast, but you could go so far as to say that it is an "external organ" of the baby. (So much for a woman's body being her own. Every mother knows that's a lie!)
Twoness -- and therefore relationship -- is only gradually discovered (at least ideally). First, the oneness (and therefore nothingness) of the womb; then the twoness of mother-infant; then the threeness of mother-father-baby, and therefore the trimorphic, transcendent space of culture.
For similar reason, milk and love, nutrition and soothing, are inevitably commingled in the infant's mind -- which, of course, is why only human beings have eating disorders and other oral fixations. In a regressed state, eating can evoke the mother-infant dyad, while at the other end of the spectrum, anorexia can keep a toxic mother (now internalized as a mind parasite) at bay. Bulimia is literally an ambivalent state of omnipotent control of the mother. I can take her in or expel her at my will.
Again, mother = substance = infinite. Or, you could turn it around and say that anything that partakes of the infinite also dissolves into the universal Mother -- for example, alcohol, barbiturates, music, the auto-hypnosis of television, anything that dissolves our boundaries and facilitates merger.
You may think that this is getting far afield, but this also applies to the left and to the nanny state which will magically take care of all of our problems and tensions and soothe us into a state of comfortable numbness. It is just as Dennis Prager says: the bigger the state, the smaller the citizen, all the way down to infantile merger and dependency. And the more feminized. Obama is our first female president, although Jimmy Carter came close. Yes, believe it or not, that was a penis.
In contrast, we can say father = essence = absolute. This came up just last night, when Future Leader wouldn't go to bed. Mother tried to ease him down for half an hour, but he wasn't having it. Father had to go in and lay down the law, which is what each generation must do in order to renew this fragile thing we call "civilization." Hello? What's your problem? That kind of thing. He's still asleep now. Civilization prevails another day.
This is of course why male energy nurtured only by mother love creates monsters. Yes, literal monsters. Our prisons are full of them -- fatherless boys, which is to say, "infinite" male energy untempered by boundaries, by law, by the Absolute.
You often hear knuckleheads of the left wonder why God has to be thought of as male, or why priests must be men, and this is the reason. A female God cannot sustain civilization, as history and prehistory demonstrate. This is not because we project human masculinity into the sky; to the contrary, it is because the Absolute is the axis around which male identity properly turns. One of our tedious trolls commented yesterday about how love is his first principle. But divine love detached from divine justice is a recipe for terrestrial disaster.
Again, the only alternative is for male energy to be oriented toward the female -- which, as we all know, is precisely what happened with old Adam. He turned from God -- the Absolute -- toward Eve, and gravity took care of the rest.
To say that the man must be the "head" of the family is simply to acknowledge that he must be its vertical axis. But the axis only properly exists within the infinite loving substance of the female -- like, say, Pope and Mother Church. At least that's how things operate around here in my garden. A man who is only absolute without infinite is like law with no mercy, or intellect with no heart, or rock with no roll.
Yes, yes, trolls and feminists will no doubt find this all so old-fashioned, retrograde, oppressive, etc. I'm sure I needn't remind you that this is a free country and that you may arrange your personal life in any way you please. Clarity, not agreement. Ask Mrs. G. if it is grim and oppressive or joyous and liberating around here. Or just ask me. Would I like to be married to man minus the wedding tackle? No. I prefer "all woman."
Believe me, sir
I much prefer
the classic battle
of a him and her.
I don't like quiet,
and I wish I were
in love again! --Frank
Let's get even further afield. Schuon writes that "Since everything in the Universe, both visible and invisible, requires both expansion and limitation, there is everywhere a kind of 'space' and a kind of 'time.'" The infinite is perpetually expanding, so to speak, like the cosmos. No matter how far we project our mind, it can always be projected further, like an infinite series of numbers.
But the universe is not only expansion. For example, from the very moment of its manifestation, it is "constrained" by those beautiful equations that govern its character and development. Again: male and female, he created them.
Or you could say that we live in a cosmos of geometry and music, of earth and water, of infinite 0 and definite 1. If that's not too graphic.
A little metaphysical diddling between a cabbala opposites, and Mamamaya! baby makes Trinity, so all the world's an allusion. --Tao Te Petey