ʘ, What a Beautiful World
The post concerns all of the superfluous beauty that radiates through the fabric of being. You might say that our world is composed of math and music, or that truth and beauty are its warp and weft. There are lots of revisions and odditions here, so it probably ended up taking as long as a new post. Oh well. You never really catch up with your work in this life.
[T]he world is fundamentally neither a mechanism, nor an organism, nor even a social community -- neither a school on a grand scale nor a pedagogical institution for living beings -- but rather a work of divine art: at one and the same time a choreographic, musical, poetic, dramatic work of painting, sculpture and architecture. --Meditations on the Tarot
What if we actually lived only in a world of mere desiccated scientistic truth but no intrinsic beauty? In addition to being an "impossible world" -- existence as such being an exteriorization of the divine beauty -- our very lives would be a cold and joyless task, like removing the Guy Ritchie tattoos from Madonna's wizened flesh (which has long since given up everything but its tattoos).
"Beauty is a crystallization of some aspect of universal joy; it is something limitless expressed by means of a limit" (Schuon). Beauty is both container and contained (♀ and ♂), or an explosive force within a limiting boundary. The material world is this boundary, or the "frame" around God's canvas. With no frame or page or stanza or stage, there can be no ex-pression (or im-pression) of beauty.
Now, as UF explains, the idea of the world as a work of art is implicit in Genesis, being that existence is a result of a creative act. So-called creationists focus way too much on the inevitable result of the act, rather than the act itself, which would have to constitute the very source and essence of creativity. Remember, since human beings are in the image of the creator, our own seemingly boundless creativity should reveal something intrinsic to God.
Furthermore, it is vital to bear in mind that the cosmogony of Genesis discloses a vertical, not horizontal, act. When Genesis says "In The Beginning," it really means in the beginning of the eternal creative act that is always happening now and which sustains the universe. The generation of the universe -- and the events of Genesis -- did not happen just "once upon a time," but is always happening.
These are not just my own eccentric Bobservations, but standard Thomservations as well. "In the beginning" refers not to the temporal beginning, but to the atemporal beginning, or the beginning of time as such -- which "flows" from (and back to) eternity in the now familiar absurcular way. It is the metaphysical, not the physical, or scientific, beginning. Therefore, as Aquinas knew,
"God is necessary as an uncaused cause of the universe even if we assume that the universe has always existed and thus had no beginning. The argument is not that the world wouldn't have got started if God hadn't knocked down the first domino at some point in the distant past; it is that it wouldn't exist here and now, or undergo change or exhibit final causes here and now unless God were here and now, and at every moment, sustaining it in being, change, and goal-directedness" (Feser).
In short, the "first cause" is above, not behind. But because it is above, it is necessarily ahead, which is in turn why the present cosmos is the "shadow" of its final fulfillment: "I am Alpha and Omega." This is also why on an individual basis, we live in the shadow of our own future self, which "lures" us toward our own full filament of incoondescent light.
Similarly, as Perry observes, "from the cosmological perspective, creation is a progressive exteriorization of that which is principially interior, an alternation between the essential pole and the substantial pole of a Single Principle." Again, of the two, essence is the more interior, and therefore takes priority. Essence could never be derived from substance alone (or quality from quantity, semantics from syntax), which is one more reason why it is absurd to insist that consciousness could ever be derived from matter. Why do you even try, you atheistic morons? What is wrong with you?
What? Oh yes. Petey would like me to remind you that this is the meaning of One's upin a timeless, as it refers to God's eternal creative activity, which, because it constitutes the true (vertical) beginning, necessarily encompasses the end of all things, the eschatology of the world, the cosmic telovator that lifts us to the repenthouse and beyond. Was that unclear? Perhaps Schuon can shed a little less bobscurity on the subject:
"Art has a function that is both magical and spiritual: magical, it renders present principles, powers and also things that it attracts by virtue of a 'sympathetic magic'; spiritual, it exteriorizes truths and beauties in view of our interiorization, of our return to the 'kingdom of God that is within you.' The Principle becomes manifestation so that manifestation might rebecome the Principle, or so that the 'I' might return to the Self; or simply, so that the human soul might, through given phenomena, make contact with the heavenly archetypes, and thereby with its own archetype."
In turn, this is why, as Eliot observed, our end precedes our beginning, and how it is that we may travel round the cosmos only to return to the beginning and know it for the firstest time. As I have said before -- or maybe it was after -- he wasn't merely being poetic, but noetic.
Zero, point, line, circle, and repent as necessary. The Father is O, the Son is •, and the Holy Ghost is (↓↑). Please note that the black fire of the dot is written on the white fire of the unKnown Godhead, while the arrows are the smoke and flames (or coontrail), respectively. Where there is "holy smoke," the flames of agni cannot be far above. Thus the "agni and ecstasy" referred to on page 16 of my book of the same gnome.
The movement from essence towards substance is also the movement of "the center toward the circumference" and "unity towards multiplicity" (Perry). Nevertheless, the center is always there at the periphery -- hence God's immanence and the resultant sanctity of the world -- and the unity is always in the multiplicity -- hence the possibility of the recollection of both union and transcendent unity, at any time or any place. Excepting perhaps Madonna's wizened flesh.
Now, as UF notes, the self-beclowning materialist or scientistic jester is "like the reader of a manuscript who, instead of reading and understanding the thought of the author, occupies himself with the letters and syllables. He believes that the letters wrote themselves and combined themselves into syllables, being moved by mutual attraction, which, in its turn, is the effect of chemical or molecular qualities of the ink as 'matter' common to all the letters, and of which the letters and syllables are epiphenomena."
Of this, Petey would like to say, And you pay a small fortune to deliberately expose your children this crap, about which the best one can say is that it is absurd?
[B]eauty stems from the Divine Love, this Love being the will to deploy itself and to give itself, to realize itself in 'another'; thus it is that 'God created the world by love'.... All terrestrial beauty is thus by reflection a mystery of love. It is, 'whether it likes it or not,' coagulated love or music turned to crystal, but it retains on its face the imprint of its internal fluidity, of its beatitude and of its liberality... --Schuon