Thursday, September 10, 2009

Cosmic Anthropology in a Pomographic World

The Tao gives birth to One
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

39 Comments:

Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Another vital essay by Doctor Zero. Thankfully -- to paraphrase Bo Diddley -- I don't need to do what he does, 'cause I gots him doin' it.

9/10/2009 07:12:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Or you could say that we live in a cosmos of geometry and music, of earth and water, of infinite 0 and definite 1.

Or from a couple more Schuonian perspectives,

God possesses two complementary perfections in an absolute fashion, liberty and necessity, each in a different way: liberty refers to the Infinite, necessity to the Absolute.

***

Relativity... is the Shakti of the Absolute.
If the relative did not exist, the Absolute would not be the Absolute.

***

God binds himself in His promises because He is Absolute; but He remains free in His grace because he is infinite.


There was one more I was thinking of that would have been a wee bit more apropos, but I can't find it now. Too many highlights.

Schuon is an excellent teacher.

9/10/2009 08:56:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

No time to read the post yet, but Bob, the white areas of this latest from Hubble sure remind of your book cover art your book.

wv: redus (Yes, loud and clear.)

9/10/2009 09:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Butters said...

Do you think that this is perhaps an anthropomorphic projection, and that the Absolute (presumably the transcendental/passive aspect of the Divine) is gender-neutral, just as the immanent/active aspect of the Divine (Grace or Providence) is gender-neutral?

The calming effect of fathers on children can be explained by strength and vital stability, which men often have more of. I don't see why we should assume that there is something of grand metaphysical significance going on here, given how vital strength and masculinity is encouraged in men. Presumably masculine women would have the same effect on their children (as men), as would feminine men (as women).

Further, the distinction between O and 1, or Absolute and Infinite, is not necessarily the same as the distinction between justice and mercy. You sneakily slipped from one dichotomy to the other, implying some sort of equivalence, whereas I'm not sure there is any. How would you establish that equivalence theologically/philosophically?

9/10/2009 09:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heavens forbid, but according to your resoning Bob, if you were to crock off this dimension your son would become a "monster?".

9/10/2009 09:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Davey said...

Yes, anon, along with all children who lost their fathers. One immediately thinks of Schuon.

Bob can get stuck in his evolutionary paradigms quite easily. It is hard to mix evolution with authentic metaphysic--it takes a blender with serious HP.

9/10/2009 10:02:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Butters, with all due respect I think there are a few points here that you may be missing.

Presumably masculine women would have the same effect on their children (as men), as would feminine men (as women).

One may presume this, but one may very well be wrong. Speaking from personal familial observations, I would have to strongly disagree. Women, no matter how strong and masculine they may seem, are no substitute for the best sort of male role model, ideally the father. And men, no matter how feminine, are just no substitute for the best sort of female role model, ideally the mother. It is a question of essence, and while there are as many ways people can screw that up as there are people, it is simply the truth that humans are more likely to achieve their ultimate humanness when raised in the mother-father-infant triad than in any other familial situation.

Just because one may compare a bad traditional family unfavorably to a relatively better non-traditional family, that does not change nor negate the essential truth.

Further, the distinction between O and 1, or Absolute and Infinite, is not necessarily the same as the distinction between justice and mercy.

Again, I think you may be missing a larger point. The way I read it (so take this for what it's worth) was as different ways to express the relationship between "male" and "female" from a cosmic, top-down perspective, not from the merely human and individual perspective.

Analogies can only serve to describe or illuminate a truth, but the truth must be internally realized if it is to be properly understood.

In this instance, 0 and 1, Absolute and Infinite, Justice and Mercy are analogous more specifically to that which is essentially male and female, or container and contained, or again liberty and necessity. They are all of a piece, truth seen through different facets.

If you're a newer reader, it might be helpful (assuming you can find a good chunk of time) to go through the archives. It may be helpful.

***

And to anony and Dave, all I can say, again from personal observation, is that a boy needs his daddy. If his daddy should "crock off" too early, he will have a more difficult time learning to become a man, unless he is fortunate enough to have another man in his life who is willing to take on some or all of that role, and a mother willing to allow that bond to grow. Even so, there just isn't a substitute for one's real father. And even so, this doesn't mean one cannot transcend the lack, only that it is difficult. One need only look at the percentage of fatherless men in prison to grasp that truism.

That you chose to make that point the way you did once again illuminates your own character rather dramatically, however. Bravo.

9/10/2009 10:31:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

The two words, "love" and "boundaries", is how I always start any discussion of child-rearing and what kids need most. Its surprising how many parents have never figured out how to boil it down...much less what the words really mean.

9/10/2009 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"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."

Hmmm... an interesting idea... that one's gonna roll around the noggin for awhile.

9/10/2009 10:55:00 AM  
Anonymous rackbabi said...

You know, I realized that not only do I disagree with all of you on many points, but I also find this all to frankly be unimportant and uninteresting. (Don't get defensive or combative--to each his own.) Therefore, I have made the decision to stop reading and participating at this blog. Thank you.

Julie and Susannah are nice to look at, though.

9/10/2009 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

NoMo -

The two words, "love" and "boundaries", is how I always start any discussion of child-rearing and what kids need most.

So true.

9/10/2009 11:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Davey said...

Julie,
"That you chose to make that point the way you did once again illuminates your own character rather dramatically, however. Bravo."
Diddo. Bob made the point, we only drew out its consequences. Quite obviously, it is far preferred to have "daddy" around, and involved, loving, boundary forming, etc. That without this, children are bound to become monstors, is, of course, complete nonsense. That the possibility is greater is of no doubt.
One of Bob's flaws, possibly fatal in my mind, is his tendency to polemicize so extremely in his writing. His book manifested very little of this, but his later writing demonstrates the mind of one lacking in the slightest subtlety or nuance. Frankly, it does him no service and limits his readership to a tiny, somewhat sycophantic core--mainly alligned along a political trajectory similar to that of NASCAR fans.
Contrast that with Schuon, whose writing style and content did the exact opposite over time, which was a sign of deeper and deeper wisdom and identification with his archetype. His writings, by contrast, are recognized by thousands as proceeding from the Bright Light itself, regardless of their political persuasion--politics always being in the realm of the human margin where points of view and disagreements will always abound, and, in fact, a kind of realism about possibilities has to hold the upper hand.

9/10/2009 11:47:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

For what it's worth, I have never gotten the infatuation with NASCAR. If I watch racing, it's horses or motorcycles -- preferably motocross or good ol' speedway.

Julie nails it nicely in her response to Butters.

The things that are seen are temporal. The things that are unseen are eternal.

9/10/2009 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

He says "sycophant" like it's a bad thing.

9/10/2009 12:02:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Gee, and here I was saving-up pennies, looking forward to taking Dear Leader up on the drooling acolyte in front of the in-laws invite thingie. Drat

Course, DL - that cheapskate - never did say water-balloons would be provided on his dime either.

9/10/2009 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

That without this, children are bound to become monstors, is, of course, complete nonsense. That the possibility is greater is of no doubt.

Uh huh. Just for context, here's what the post actually said:

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.

Note he did not say "all fatherless children will become monsters." If one cannot argue in generalities, provided that the generalities are true, one cannot argue, period. That's where the pomographics take over.

More to the point, I fail to see how his observation differs from yours.

Now Bob certainly doesn't need my defense, and given your observations thus far I doubt you'll get my point anyway. But alas, it doesn't stop me from trying. I blame yesterday's Michael Jackson cocktail.

In a notshall, if you're going to jump on your high horse and start making accusations about what's being said, you might want to be sure you actually have a disagreement. Furthermore, following up your non-disagreement by trying to insult everyone who does get the point of the post again speaks more about your own self than about anyone here.

Just sayin'.

9/10/2009 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

(re. the cocktail, I belatedly realized that might have come out wrong. In my defense, that's what the Dr. called it. Can I claim "term of art?")

9/10/2009 01:10:00 PM  
Anonymous laketrout said...

> Frankly, it does him no
> service and limits his
> readership to a tiny,
> somewhat sycophantic core

Producer to recording artist: "You should really consider changing your style to sell more albums...."

Sometimes this blog has the strangest affect on people.

9/10/2009 01:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Davey:

Actually, I'm pretty sure Bob's book sells more copies than any of Schuon's, and I am quite certain that his message is far more universal, as very few people wish to shun modernity and revert to the Middle Ages.

9/10/2009 02:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Northern Bandit said...

Some day all of the One Cosmos sock puppets should assemble in their very own basement apartment (when Ma leaves to get more milk).

9/10/2009 03:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NB what do you mean sock puppet, I'm no sock puppet I just repeat what Dear Leader said without thinking because I have no brain, not because I'm his sock puppet. Jeese.

9/10/2009 03:10:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

no wait

I am Sockpuppet

9/10/2009 03:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our prisons are full of them -- fatherless boys, which is to say, "infinite" male energy untempered by boundaries, by law, by the Absolute.

Our prisons are full of single-parent boys.

What you really want to do is show evidence that children raised in a stable home by a lesbian couple are more likely to become criminals, because that's what would really lend support to your point.

Currently, your point is merely philosophical.

it is simply the truth that humans are more likely to achieve their ultimate humanness when raised in the mother-father-infant triad than in any other familial situation.

I find it difficult to believe your personal experiences are so vast as to answer this question conclusively.

9/10/2009 04:04:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

My personal experiences? Of course not, and I'm fully aware that the plural of "anecdote" is not "data".

However, there's plenty of actual data to back that statement up, going back through history.

Telling yourself that there's no best family dynamic in which to raise children does not make it so.

9/10/2009 04:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Using troll-logic, we could easily prove that cigarets don't cause lung cancer, since the vast majority of smokers don't contract it.

9/10/2009 04:32:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

babybackribs said "Don't get defensive or combative--to each his own."

I do believe we tried to tell you that right off the bat, but nooo.....

"Julie and Susannah are nice to look at, though."

Even leftie trolls are right once in a while.

9/10/2009 04:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As anonymous notes, personal experience is not used much on this blog.

This is because well-off American caucasians form the readership here and their observations would not lend themselves to disatisfaction.

They are mostly posing as dissatisfied people but really it is all internally generated and therefore the blog should turn towards the causes of internal discord (more on mind parasites) and discords due to the free floating terror of nonbeing which drives human angst.

The problem is not out there, well fed people...it is you. You are your own problem.

9/10/2009 04:38:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Butters said ""

ParkaAayyy


(sorry... couldn't resist)

9/10/2009 04:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Juli, I don't really see how a succession of marriage laws constitutes data.

And please do keep in mind I did not maintain there is no best family dynamic. All I noted is that you have not proven male-father/female-mother is the only possible best dynamic, or indeed that it is in fact any better than any other except single-mother households. You're the one making the statement that "a woman setting boundaries can never be the same as a man setting boundaries." I'm just undecided.

Which is why Dupree's attempted "refutation" of my alleged "troll-logic" also badly misses the mark.

I realize many conclusions are reached here by resorting to enlightenment, and have no trouble with that. That's not entirely what's being done here, though, so where there is faulty reasoning it should be pointed out. This is the case even if your conclusion is correct.

why only human beings have eating disorders and other oral fixations.

Incidentally...not that it's really a critical point.

9/10/2009 05:01:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

All I noted is that you have not proven male-father/female-mother is the only possible best dynamic

Some truths are self-evident.

personal experience is not used much on this blog.

Some things must be withheld to protect the innocent and the guilty alike. We're not much for throwing family under the bus merely to demonstrate our street cred to trolls.

As to my personal experience, I can guarantee it's more varied than you think. But you'll never know that, because it's also none of your business.

9/10/2009 05:24:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Oooo, motocross... FTR, It's my Obama-supportin' MIL who is totally into NASCAR.

9/10/2009 05:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Some truths are self-evident."

Except for the fact that many children with mothers and fathers do end up in jail. What is self-evident is there are children out there who would be much better off under a different single parent than their current parents.

Just curious, when was flat-out being wrong a self-evident truth?

9/10/2009 07:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ignore Julie. Two parent systems, whether hetero or homosexual, tend to be more effective, however Obama graduated Harvard with a Juris Doctor and became president without hardly any presence of his father.

There certainly are single mothers who could do a lot better job than most coupled parents. Just because the majority seem to do fine somehow means it's always better? The outstanding few single mom's who raise some amazing people are a testament to the falseness of a statement claiming they're at a disadvantage. I mean honestly, who can beat the argument that a single mom raised the first black man to be president?

We don't really need personal experiences. We can just look at the experiences of others to see that the argument was bull to begin with. Yes, two parent households tend to raise better children, a but no, that doesn't mean a child would have been better off with two parents. And sometimes they're not.

9/10/2009 08:03:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

aninnymouse said "I mean honestly, who can beat the argument that a single mom raised the first black man to be president?"

um... not to question your intelligence or anything, but... looking around you here... are you really trying to use Obama as a character witness... here...?

9/10/2009 08:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Northern Bandit said...

Cigarettes do not cause lung cancer. That is "old think".

In fact you no longer remember that at all, right?

Your kids sure don't. By the way, we've sent someone to speak to your kids today. They'll be fine.

You don't look so well though. Roll up your sleeve.

9/10/2009 08:46:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Hey Doltanon, your hero was raised by his grandparents, not his mother. That would be 1 girl-type & 1 boy-type if 'Grandparents' is too confusing.

9/10/2009 09:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some truths are self-evident.

Yes, that's the "enlightenment" I was referring to. And if you want to say simply that you believe something, that's fine. However, when you claim evidence and argument for a proposition then you should make sure it's solid. After all, I could find plenty of people to claim it's "self-evident" that two men can raise a child just as well as a man and woman -- or to make some foolish claim such as because one particular person did well with two fathers, it's just as good as a mother and father.

It becomes important to know because each group wants to enact legislation that affects society (and in some cases, the other group). You may have your vote, but for those for whom it's not "self-evident" either way you need persuasion.

Incidentally, of course cigarettes don't cause lung cancer. It is quite easy to create cigarettes with no adverse affects at all. From what I understand, they're not particularly enjoyable to smokers, however.

But seriously, there was tons of data on cigarettes. Cigarettes with tar, without tar, with different quality filters and different varieties of tobacco. Data on how much tar was in the lungs of smokers when they died, data on blood pressure and strokes and ages and in which countries. That you'd try to make a direct comparison to the claim here is ludicrous.

"There are many men in prison who were raised by a single mother, therefore the best family arrangement is a mother and father." is faulty logic.

9/11/2009 08:00:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

I've seen it stated in many articles that a large body of research over three decades shows that children do best with a mother *and* a father. I cannot find a link immediately to the research itself, but here is one such article: http://deltabravo.net/custody/fathersmatter.php

9/11/2009 04:00:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"
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."

Very well put, Bob!
And as todays trolls so aptly demonstrate, detachment from divine intelligence is a recipe for stupendous stupidity.

9/12/2009 08:10:00 PM  

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