Solid as a Cloud, Ephemeral as a Rock
It's 9-11 again, but I'll let others deal with that. We're more interested in what lies above and below 9-11 than what's happened since. That never changes, so there's nothing more one can say.
We left off yesterday with an observation by Schuon 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.'"
What this means is that profane space and time as experienced by the common man are actually modes of something more fundamental.
For example, when a physicist says that time and space "started" with the Big Bang, this is nonsense. Rather, a certain mode of time and space became manifest. To say that there was no "duration" "prior" to a certain temporal "point" is absurd. To put it another way, if there "was" eternity, there was time. And since eternity simply "is," there is always time taking place at its edges, so to speak.
The important point is that everything is woven of space and substance, even -- or perhaps especially -- invisible realities. This is obviously what Plato was groping toward with his doctrine of the Ideas, or Jung with the archetypes.
Likewise, when I talk about mind parasites, these really are "internal objects," even though they're obviously immaterial. They are somewhat like an ocean current, which can maintain itself for hundreds of years, and endure much longer than many "solid" objects. Or, think of the river that eventually wears away the hardest stone.
Now, think of the mischief that an immaterial mind parasite can cause -- for example, Ahmadinejad's conviction that Israel needs to be annihilated. I can't imagine any earthly power that could sway him from this belief. Rather, you can only kill him, just like any deadly virus.
In vertical space, "the elect are an aspect of Substance -- an aspect, hence a kind of accident; the damned on the contrary are a crystallization, hence a kind of substance; they are creatures who refuse to be what they are" (Schuon).
Do you see how this applies to an Ahmadinejad? He is indeed the "substance of evil," even though, in the ultimate sense, evil has no substance. Therefore, he is also, paradoxically, the "substance of illusion," as if a nightmarish vision could attain solidity.
It is the opposite for the "elect," who know better than anyone that they are pure accident in the face of the Absolute, hence their abiding humility. Here again, narcissistic pride becomes a kind of "false substance." One thinks of ________.
But how can the humble ever vanquish the proud? Well, Christ obviously came to show us how, in that the light eventually overcomes the darkness and life ultimately triumphs over death, in the same way that the river eventually wears away the stone. Ahmadinejad will soon die and go to his reward, for a good creation cannot be unjust. That's where the faith comes in, but it's certainly not "illogical."
As Schuon explains, "Heaven and hell are said to be 'eternal' because... the element 'substance' comes into play in each case." Ironically, "we are saved by Substance even though it is clothed in accidentality," just as "we are damned by accident because it arrogates to itself the quality of Substance," and pretends "to be be an end in itself."
This is why "materialism" in all its forms is the road to hell, since it is the sine qua non of accidental substantiality and therefore the infinite modes of self-justification: "the devil doesn't exist and he made me do it," the secret doctrine of the left.
Thus, to be in hell is to be encased in stone; whether it is stifling hot or bone-rattling cold is up to your imagination. Either way, it is perpetual fire with no light or ice and snow with no clarity or purity, being that it is crystalized at the farthest edge of creation.
Now, "sin" can be accident or substance; if the latter, then you are in Big Trouble, because you have become the "substance of sin" and are therefore "rotten to the core." As Schuon explains, repeated sin can eventually transform "our substance because it encloses and penetrates us" (emphasis mine).
Enclose and penetrate. These are the "ontological opposites" of both light and love, which radiate and liberate. In the absence of the latter, we would indeed be enclosed in hell, with no means of vertical escape. The truth really does set us free, quite literally. But so too do beauty and virtue, not to mention love. No one is less free -- and more dangerous -- than the bad and hateful man laboring under an illusion. One thinks of _______. Or, if one is a troll, one thinks of me.
I think you can now all understand how the "essence" of sin is "the absurdity of an accident wishing to be pure Substance." In another context, Wilber calls this one's "immortality project" (actually, I think he might have borrowed that term from Becker). So many of the things people do are vain attempts to cheat death by becoming substance. (An apt quote I just plucked from American Digest: "An empty man is full of himself"-- Edward Abbey.)
Unfortunately, these are the very folkers who "make the world go 'round," since the people who are most interested in real immortality -- i.e., making the world go spiral -- are the least likely to get involved in politics.
Yesterday a troll asked why I mention politics in my posts, and that's why. Please let me emphasize that effecting any kind of genuine change is the furthest thing from my mind. In reality, I am as hopeless as a river trying to erode a boulder. Besides, that's already been accomplished.