Tuesday, July 07, 2009

On Packing Light for the Eternal Journey

They say that the sales of a book will be diminished by the percentage of pages that contain any kind of mathmatical equation. People might pluck the book from the shelf, but as soon as they see any numbers, they put it back.

I'm afraid it's the same with my symbolic oquations, perhaps with the exception of O, since it can camouflage itself as a letter. But throw in stuff like (•), →, (¶), or •••(¶)•••, and people start to recoil. There, see. Wait! Come back!

But for me, these symbols were a kind of lifesaver -- or mind saver -- because they allowed me to see through to the unity beneath all of the various revelations I had immersed myself in at the time -- not just across revelations, but within them. Really, it's like musical notation. Imagine how musically limited we would be in the absence of an abstract system to describe it.

The other day I was reading about an album Sinatra made with the Duke Ellington band in the 1960s. Sinatra always worked with the very best studio guys, who both had jazz chops and could also sight read as easily as you're reading this post. But as great as they were, no one in the Ellington band could sight read. Ellington wrote hundreds of compositions, and the band learned each one by simply playing it. In a way, it makes each composition a unique entity that cannot be seen as anything more simple or abstract than itself.

This is largely the position mankind at large was in prior to the scientific revolution. No one knew, for example, that the same force that caused the apple to fall from the tree, also caused the earth to fall through the curved space around the sun -- or, in Newtonian terms, that there was an underlying g-force that accounted for such diverse phenomena.

So imagine my surprise when I discovered the similarities between certain yogic approaches and Orthodox Christianity. Faced with such a similarity, one has several options. One could say that one is a debased or partial form of the other; or that one is a premonition of the other; or like Schuon, that each is true in its own right and in its own human world; or that they are symbolic or mythological expressions of perennial truth.

In my case, I suppose you could say that I attempted to develop a "general theory of spirituality" that would apply to all particular spiritual experiences, so that modern people who otherwise cannot appreciate religion could begin to access its priceless wisdom. And I am particularly interested in reaching the many westerners who are attracted to Buddhism or yoga, because only a revitalization of Christianity will save the West -- and therefore the world. We need you on our side. There is nothing in eastern religions that cannot be found in Christianity, but much in Christianity that is responsible for our uniquely valuable civilization.

Please bear in mind that the experience always takes precedence, and that the symbols are merely a means of "storage and communication," so to speak. Instead of musical notation, it's spiritual notation. But in neither case does it exist for its own sake. Rather, the purpose of music is to be played, heard, and understood. And the purpose of spiritual experience is to discover your true self, and therefore, God (and/or vice versa).

Sherrard writes that "to know oneself may be said to be a condition of knowing God.... In other words, if one cannot know God without knowing oneself, one also cannot know oneself without knowing God. To be ignorant of oneself is thus to be ignorant of the divine source of one's being. If to be ignorant of oneself is to fail to achieve an authentic human life, then by the same token to be ignorant of God is to fail to achieve an authentic human life."

So, each is a prerequisite for the other, which is why I say that (¶) is a kind of "prolongation" of O, whereas (•) is a reflection of Ø. Thus, you can see that I simply abstract the essence of what a Sherrard is conveying. Then it's up to you to refill the abstraction with your own experience. The purpose of life is to reflect and embody eternity within time, or let us say O through (¶).

For a real life example of what happens when someone fails to know themselves -- and therefore God -- see Scipio's two recent posts on the eternally clueless Maureen Dowd.

On one of Scipio's pieces, I left a comment about having viewed the Ingmar Bergman film Wild Strawberries yesterday evening. If you haven't seen the film, it's about an elderly professor who is about to receive some kind of honor. During the course of the journey to where he is to receive the award, he reflects upon his life.

I haven't gotten to the end of the film yet, but one can sense that it is all about a kind of nightmarish realization that he died long ago, and that he is solely identified with (•). The painful realization that he has missed out on his own life comes to him in the form of disturbing dreams and images. At one point, his daughter in law says to him, You know so much. And yet you know nothing.

This is the fate of all (k). It really has no living relationship to O, but is merely a kind of cloak with which intellectuals cover themselves in order to produce a kind of self-generated warmth and security. But upon your death -- or birth, it's up to you -- this (k) dissolves like a dirt clod in the water. It just decomposes and returns to the earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

There is a living source and a living knowledge (n), and only this is free from the grip of Death. It is what you take with you when you grow. The rest of your intellectual baggage is eternally lost in the errport.

@ American Thinker, another dangerously false self, Obama.

Monday, July 06, 2009

The Eternal Drama of Cosmic Stupidity and the Cluelesside of Man

One may consider man's evident fallenness from many different angles that correspond to his will, his emotions, his conscience, his lower nature, his intellect, or his taste in music. Undoubtedly it involves all of the above, but Sherrard focuses on the intellect, calling the whole fiasco a drama of knowledge.

Specifically, Sherrard describes "a dislocation and degradation of our consciousness, a lapse of our perceptive and cognitive powers -- a lapse which cuts us off from the presence and awareness of other superior worlds and imprisons us in the fatality of our solitary existence in this world."

On some level, the Fall always comes down to knowledge, for at the very least, if you don't know you are fallen, you can't do anything about it. Instead, you will keep on doing what you're doing, which is to engage in your own auto-expulsion from reality. You end up like the Wicked Witch of the West Side, bitterly blaming everyone and everything for your pathetic condition.

Whether correctly or incorrectly, I always like to get beneath the surface of these things, and discuss them in them in terms of abstract and universal principles. As such, employing the symbols from my book, the "fall" may be preconceptualized as the distance between (•) and (¶). You could even represent the fall schematically as (¶)→(•). Conversely, to be born again in spirit is (•)→(¶).

The fall is also a measure of the distance between matter and spirit -- a distance that is entirely manmade, since matter regains its metaphysical transparency for the spiritually opened eye. Obviously, the spiritual world is not simply something "added on" to the material world, but is its very essence. And even if it goes unacknowledged, the material world cannot be understood at all in the absence of some "spiritualizing" by even the most atheistic man. No man could -- or would want to -- live for a second in a wholly material world deprived of spirit. He would asphyxiate or die of thirst faster than you can say "Richard Dawk..."

The unredeemed (•) commits two fatal errors that flow from the initial separation of spirit and matter. First, "material forms are regarded as totally non-spiritual, and thus either as illusion or as only to be known through identifying their reality with their purely material aspects." In turn, the "the debasement of the physical dimension of things" results in the denial "of our own created existence." When natural things are denied their "theophanic function," the world-revelation becomes a sort of "dead and soulless body." Thus, it is a murder-suicide of spirit.

Now, the "inner meaning" of things obviously cannot be attained by (•), which only has access to the Ø that it simultaneously creates and is created by. As Sherrard writes, "the human mind, without enlightenment from a more-than-human source, cannot attain a valid form of knowledge." In short, we cannot lift ourselves up by our own buddhastraps. Darwinian monkeys cannot know truth or attain to objectivity (which amount to the same thing).

In order to regain the purity of vision and "see things as they are," we must in some way break free of (•) and its highly limited and distorted maps of reality. There are many ways to do this, but obviously "technique" is of secondary consequence. The main point is that "we have to free ourselves form all that we think we know, of all the conceptions we have formed as a result of going in pursuit.... of knowledge we think we have obtained through our own efforts." The reason for this is that true knowledge can neither be obtained nor verified through (•).

This is the distinction between horizontal knowledge (k) and vertical wisdom (n), or true gnosis. Only the latter is unchanging. It is timeless. As such, it is not discovered in the same way we discover something unknown on the horizontal plane. Rather, it is already known to us, but must be recalled. Ultimately this is because (¶) is of the same substance as O, and only like can know like. (The fact that you already know it is why you understand me.)

Here is how Sherrard describes what I call (n): it is not "something that is not known. It is not even something that we do not know. We do know it -- it is our lifeblood -- only we have forgotten and lost it, just as we have forgotten and lost our own reality. If we can recover our own reality we will also recover this knowledge, for the two go hand in hand. This knowledge is part and parcel of who we are, in our true being. If we recollect who we are, we will also recollect this knowledge" (emphasis mine).

This is why I said in the book that it is not necessary to "believe in God" in order to get your spiritual adventure underway. Rather, you can start at either end: with O or with (¶), since the latter is a reflection of the former; or you could say it is the son of the father, and that the O-corn doesn't fall far from the tree of life. But the point is, as (¶) is developed, strengthened, and nourished, O inevitably begins to come into view. A transformation begins to occur, both internally and externally.

In principle, it is no different than the acquisition of profane but highly specialized knowledge, say, of a physician. A gifted physician has the ability to "see" realities that are invisible to the untrained eye. Does this mean that these realities are all "in his head?" Of course not. He has what we might call a "professional (•)," something that most of us have in one field or another. Everyone's an expert on something, even if it's just how to bullshit people. But enough about the MSM.

So, true knowledge "is something that is given to us, but we can perceive it only when we are in a condition to perceive it." Please note that we can never contain this knowledge. O always contains us, on pain of (¶) confusing itself with God -- which of course does happen, always because of unmetabolized traces of (•) -- or, to be technical •••(¶)••• -- you know, mind parasites.

Now, speaking of (•)→(¶), i.e., the reversal of the fall, please bear in mind that all the "→" in the world could not accomplish this in the absence of supernatural grace, or what I call (↓). The (↓) is always there, but even God cannot save us without our co-upperation. Thus, our own (↑) is a necessary but insufficient condition for (•)→(¶).

Referring again to the symbols in my book, (o) and (---) are a prelude to the movement of (•)→(¶). Again, I should emphasize that these symbols are not arbitrary, but as precise -- but empty -- as can be. Here is how Sherrard fills them in: "we have to attain a new state, a state of unknowing which, contrary to the negative not-knowing, frees us from bondage to our ego-consciousness and to its stream of hallucinatory and dismembering thought, and allows us to perceive the seamless robe of nature in all its pristine integrity."

To be continued.....

Sunday, July 05, 2009

The Books of Liberal Wisdom and Islamist Virtues

A short and refrivolous post from two years back, with bonus material added as it comes to me:

The other day, Dr. Sanity posted on the new children's book Mommy is a Moonbat, er, Democrat. One wonders why such a book was necessary, given the existing plethora of college textbooks.

Anyway, here are a few gems pulled out at random:

--Ask not what your country can do for you. Instead, organize a demonstration and demand it.

--It's not how you play the game, so long as no one wins or loses and gets their feelings hurt.

--A fool and someone else's money can solve any societal problem (the Liberal Credo).

--Judge not, lest ye be a member of a liberal-approved victim class.

--Whining isn't everything. It's the only thing.

--If life gives you lemons, file a class action suit against Sunkist.

--A person is known by the company he boycotts.

--A lie travels halfway around the world. The other half doesn't get the New York Times.

--Eternal vigilance is the price of paranoia.

--Like father, like, what's that?

--Don't count your chickens before they're aborted.

--Beggars can't be choosers. Rather, they're now called "homeless."

--Necessity is the mother of government handouts.

--An attorney who represents himself is a lobbyist for the Trial Lawyers Association.

--Spare the forceps, spoil the fetus.

--When I was a child, I spoke as a child. After attending graduate school, it was even worse.

--Boys will be boys until Obamacare provides subsidized ritalin for every one of them.

--Regardless of your background, any American who really works hard at it can still become a victim.

--Those who don't learn from history must have majored in it.

--And a child shall lead them. Unless the GOP can get its act together before 2012.

*****

While at the book store the other day, I came across the Muslim Book of Virtues, by an imam who is sort of the William Bennett of the Islamic world. If we could just take the time to try to understand their culture, I think we'd get along a whole lot better.

I've assembled a list of "wise old Islamic sayings" from the book that I think are particularly relevant to our discussion. These are virtual clichés in the Muslim world, but they are probably new to you:

--Sticks and stones will break your bones if your words should ever humiliate me.

--If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try to blame the Jews.

--Fool me once, death to you. Fool me twice? Not gonna happen.

--A penny saved will help finance a martyrdom operation.

--There's something rotten in Denmark. Free speech.

--Don't judge a book unless it's been approved by the Ministry of Vice and Virtue.

--Don't try to reinvent the wheel before you've even discovered it.

--Give a Palestinian a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and the UN will have to feed him.

--A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Period.

--One picture is worth a thousand riots.

--Ask me no questions and I will tell you lies just for the hell of it.

--The race doesn't always go the swift, but to the sneaky and duplicitous.

--Good fences make it more difficult to kill your neighbors.

--If it ain't broke, that's a relief, because we have no idea how to fix anything.

--If you can't beat 'em, at least try to kill and maim as many of their children as possible.

--If you can't say anything nice, you should run for office in the Palestinian territories.

--It's not whether you win or lose, it's how much meaningless suffering you can inflict.

--It's always darkest before the dawn. So if you're going to sneak into Israel with a suicide bomb, that's the time to do it.

--What doesn't kill you won't kill any Jews either.

--Don't shoot the messenger. Torture his family in front of him.

--The road to hell -- or anyplace else, for that matter -- is paved with IEDs.

--Those who don't learn from history are respecting the will of Allah.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

We Hold These Truths and Virtues to be Soph-Evident

I was going to repost something from 2006 about Independence Day, but there was nothing there. The closest thing was this one from July 3. It has nothing to do with Independence Day. Then again, I suppose it does, because the day would be absolutely meaningless in the absence of absolute truth, objective morality, and decent music.

Allow me to explain. As I have discussed in the past, the possibility of truth is rooted in freedom. Likewise, the possibility of freedom is rooted in truth. That is, if truth isn't freely discovered, it isn't truth (i.e., you can't compel truth, as the left tries to do). And if freedom doesn't lead to truth, then one isn't really free (i.e., to live a lie is only the illusion of freedom).

There are people who do not believe in free will. For them, truth is impossible. Others do not believe in objective truth. For them, freedom is impossible. And there are others who do not believe in the soul, or an essential self. However, that sophistry can be easily disproved, for if man had no essence, he couldn't know it. To speak a truth is to know -- to be -- an essence.

The same principle applies to beauty and morality. If these were not objective categories, we couldn't even know about them. So when our liberal founders said, "we hold these truths to be self-evident," they said at least two things that are offensive to the modern left, that there is objective truth and that it is self-evident to the intellect (which transcends the reason, or empirical ego).

But for the Founders to add that all men are created equal and that they were made this way by their Creator -- I'm surprised that the ACLU hasn't found a way to overturn the Declaration of Independence on the grounds that it's unconstitutional.

There is horizontal freedom and vertical freedom. The former is "freedom from," the latter "freedom to." The former doesn't necessarily lead to the latter, while the latter always implies the former. That is, if one is truly spiritually free, one is free. But the horizontal freedom of the left -- which is only horizontal -- might as well be tyranny. Note as well that it necessarily excludes beauty and morality, except accidentally, not essentially.

In the post of three years ago, I was musing about music. Let's see if we can't tie it in with the above:

When it comes right down to it, the vast majority of music is just ephemera with no lasting value. There are a lot of things I can enjoy, but then not feel compelled to listen to a second time.

It occurred to me that we’re so focussed on the now and the new, that we may not realize that the musical “now” is not a week, or a year, or even a decade. For example, in my case, the musical "now” extends back to the mid 1920’s or so, when Louis Armstrong emerged as the greatest star in jazz -- which, bear in mind, was the popular music of its day. It wasn’t like today, where jazz is considered a scary or esoteric art form for initiates and idle beatniks who gobble down reefer pills all day.

But Armstrong revolutionized singing in a way that is still felt today. You can trace all pop vocalists in a more or less continuous line that eventually leads back to him. Naturally, in the 1920’s, you couldn’t have known this. The records he recorded then were considered ephemera, just cheap trinkets tossed into the marketplace in hope of some quick sales. It never occurred to anyone at the time -- least of all Armstrong -- that they were producing timeless art that would influence music forever, not just in America, but all over the world.

Another thing the average person wouldn’t have noticed in the 1920’s is how singular Armstrong was. Just like today, thousands of records were made by various pop and jazz acts, but how many of them are of any interest to us today? Very few. In hindsight, we can see that only a handful of musicians were even in the same league as Armstrong.

It’s obviously the same way with classical music. There you can survey even larger expanses of time and see that only a few geniuses stand way above the rest -- Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, Brahms, etc. -- all of the usual suspects.

But now the now is more distracting and dizzying than ever, obviously not just with regard to music, but with everything -- religion, philosophy, psychology, you name it. There is so much information, so many choices. On the one hand, this has undeniably positive aspects, but on the other hand, it can leave us drowning in the trivial and transient, when the purpose of life is to see through the accidental to the essential -- to know the truth, and for the truth to set us free.

I am fascinated by things that you might think are subjective, but which are actually 100% objective -- perhaps even more objective than what we call “objective reality,” since that reality is always changing, plus it is colored by our vantage point and by the limitations of our neurology. Does the subatomic world consist of particles? Or waves? Who knows? It depends on how you look.

But there are certain musicians and musical performances that can catch your ear in such a way that you know in your bones that they cannot be surpassed. I'm thinking of, say, Frank Sinatra or Ray Charles between '53 and '61, or Aretha between '66 and '73, or so many others. Sometimes it's just a single song by a particular artist that achieves a kind of perfection that they can never again duplicate.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident.” Today, because of the influence of science, we suppose that the only self-evident truths are found in math or science. But the opposite is true. Science is constantly evolving, changing, progressing, outgrowing old truths. Before Einstein -- the Louis Armstrong of modern physics -- published his revolutionary papers in the early 1900’s, physics was considered essentially complete. College students were discouraged from entering the field, because, with the exception of a couple of “unresolved clouds on the horizon,” physicists had wrapped up their work. But Einstein ignored the received wisdom of his day and forged ahead with his unorthodox ideas.

So, Bob, what's your point? My point is this: religious truth is of the same order as artistic truth, only more so. It too might appear to be subjective, but it is not. In fact, it is the most objective truth available to human beings. There are people who can recognize it, others who, for whatever reason, cannot or will not.

At the time Jesus lived, only a few people recognized what was going on. But they did so in an instant -- John the Baptist, for example. Not to trivialize it, but he clearly experienced something that was as obvious and objective as hearing a perfect musical performance which you just know is true, even though you could never explain why.

More generally, there has probably never been another time in human history when it has been easier to overrun the truth and continue searching for it long after you've found it, as if it never happened. Our founders discovered the keys to liberty, decency, and prosperity. Meanwhile, Obama is busy changing all the locks.

I'm freeeeeeeeeeee!



Friday, July 03, 2009

And the Weird Light Shines in the Dark, but the Dorks Don't Comprehend It

I think we can all agree that there is a real world. I call this world O. This real world is irreducibly horizontal and vertical. There is no vertical in the absence of the horizontal, and no horizontal in the absence of the vertical -- similar to how there is no form without substance, and vice versa.

However, the horizontal is a world of linear effects, while the vertical is the realm of nonlinear causes. Within itself, the vertical is characterized by connections which we experience down here as synchronicities. For example, it is not as if your true self is caused each moment by the immediately preceding moment. Rather, it is ultimately rooted in a vertical archetype that is outside time.

And this archetype is connected to other archetypes reflected in the herebelow. This is how you might be closer to me at this moment than you are to someone in the next room -- or how we can all occupy the same barstool next to Toots. Obviously such a thing would be impossible in profane time and space, or outside Babe's, his favorite watering hole.

Sherrard writes that "Each natural form is the center of an influx coming from its divine archetype or theophanic Divine Name." However, there is no "gap" between archetype and worldly form, at least from the top down: "The one is the other, the archetype is the icon, the icon is the archetype, there is an indissoluble interpenetration of the one by the other." In a way, you could say that this corresponds to the two poles of Christ's -- and of our -- existence, i.e., immanent incarnation and transcendent identity.

But again, these are not two different worlds. Rather, it is more like one world with two ends -- more a way to think about reality than reality itself: "Though there is a disctinction, there is no dualism between the natural and supernatural world. The spiritual world is not another world set apart from the natural world. It intermingles and coexists with, and constitutes the invisible dimension of, the natural world."

But of course, only the saint -- or the Thrice-Cleared Operating Thetan and Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler of the Holy Temple Church of Tonga Pacific -- realizes this truth in its fulness, while the rest of us only get occasional glimpses, or (?!).

Everything is simultaneously within and beyond itself, like an arrow pointing in two directions. Detached from the vertical, no thing is any thing at all; it has no reality, but is merely a condensation of nothingness floating over a sea of dreams. This is what it means to say that creation is dependent upon God. It must be understood in the vertical, not horizontal, sense.

As I described in the book, (k) corresponds to Ø as (¶) corresponds to O; and (k) flows from (•) as (n) flows from (¶). These empty pneumaticons are like algebraic placeholders that must be filled by personal experience. In other words, they have no particular meaning until it is realized by the individual.

Sherrard perfectly describes what is intended by the distinction between (k) and (n): the latter "combines the reflected knowledge of the data given by Revelation and the most personal inner experience; for without such experience, all that can be conveyed is a mere collection of concepts," or (k) (emphasis mine).

In my book, I compared revelation to the reflectors on the back of a car. They are dark until you shine a light into them, at which time they seem to illuminate from the inside out. Here is how Sherrard describes it: "One might say that the divine revelation is the light that makes it possible to see, while the inner experiential vision of the gnostic is the light that sees. To ignore the first -- the divine revelation -- is to remain permanently in the dark. Not to attain the second -- the inner experiential vision -- is to remain blind."

What a wonderful analogy: scientistic darkness vs. religious blindness. Fortunately there is a way out, but it is only thorough (¶) and (n). To plagiaphrase a formulation Schuon used, revelation is the light of the intellect objectfied, while the intellect (¶) is the light of revelation subjectivized. When you think about it, this makes perfect sense: (¶) and (n) are again two poles of the same divine reality. And ultimately, it is as Eckhart described, God knowing God, i.e., "the eye with which I see God is the same eye with which He sees me."

This eye is (¶), and you might say that it shines in three directions, "up," in, and out. It is what illuminates heaven for us, but also that which allows us to know heaven on earth -- or to understand that "the kingdom of heaven is within."

Again, (¶) is qualitative, not quantitative; it is also a measure of depth. Therefore, to spontaneously apprehend the "deep qualities" of existence is ipso facto to be operating out of (¶). This is why I say that one of the organizing principles of the spiritual life is to follow the depth, from whatever realm, whether science, philosophy, or theology, for the attainment of depth is the realization of soul.

Please note as well that this attainment of depth is not a horizontal phenomenon. In other words, it can never be like the hypertrophied (•) which conflates depth and width, so to speak. This is why some wise man or guy said that an intellectual is just an ass bearing a load of books -- or an (•) bearing a load of (k). For if the (•) in question knows nothing of (¶) or (n), what good is he? True, he can be a good plumber or mechanic, but that's all he can be, no matter how tenured.

In contrast, (n) can only take place now. I don't care how much of a biblical scholar you are. If you can't put down the Book and reproduce and transmit some of its light now, then you are probably fooling yourself. Everyone knows the devil can and does quote scripture with the best of them. Indeed, he has been known to memorize the Koran front to back. But the devil knows only the letter, never the spirit that contains, protects, and illuminates scripture.

Thus, (n) is specifically timeless. It cannot be realized in time, because it is atemporal, like a Vegas casino, where there are no clocks. When you play blackjack with God, you bet everything, with no concerns about yesterday or tomorrow. And you can't beat the house.

Just getting started. There's much more. If I don't see you tomorrow, happy Independence Day. And for Obama supporters, happy Dependent Life.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

When Egos Attack!

Sherrard notes that the scientistic reduction and bifurcation of reality into reason and matter ultimately results in the spiritual nadir of Obama worship. Well, not exactly, because he died in 1995. But he might as well say it, because again, as a result of this bifurcation, what is specifically excluded from reality is our mirror of the Real, i.e., the nous, intellect, psychic being, or what I prefer to call (¶).

In one way or another, the elimination of (¶) is always Job One of the left, whatever sophistry they try to hide behind, e.g., "separation of church and state," bonehead Darwinism, multiculturalism, feminism, moral relativism, the "living constitution," etc. Once (¶) is out of the picture, the field is cleared of objectivity, of higher standards, of adults, of timeless truth, of our nonlocal telos, of the very reason for man's existence.

In short, what you end up with is "the triumph of the Demos expressed in such clichés as 'my view is as good as your view'" (Sherrard). You end up in the ironic situation of a "reality based community" that simultaneously believes that "perception is reality." Thus, a scientistic Queegling and hard-left Kosbag find common cause in their magical denial of reality in all of its modes and dimensions. Or, to put it another way, they have a common enemy: reality.

Again, reality "takes place" between O and (¶). We can never know O. As I explained in my book, anyone who is naive enough to think he can contain O within his reason -- no matter how brilliant -- automatically renders it Ø. Thus, the scientistic clown -- Dawkins, Harris, Queeg, et al -- is always talking about Ø, not O. For him, Ø is reality, the reason being that he is identified solely with (•).

I hope this is not getting too obscure or complicated, because my purpose is to cut through the complexity and to literally present things as simply as possible (but no simpler).

Yes, in a certain relative way, perception is obviously reality. That is, we can only know as much reality as our being will permit. A dog lives in a very different reality than a human being. There are many things a dog senses that a human cannot, but many more things a human can know to which a dog has no access at all.

As I have said before, I am not one of those who believes that the ego is intrinsically "evil," or that it is the repository of fallen man. Rather, I believe it serves an evolutionary purpose (which we'll get into later). In the grand scheme of things, it is like a launching stage for further psychic growth.

Indeed, this is why I use an empty symbol for it, (•). It's rather like the body. It's good or bad, depending upon the use to which it is put. Also, the body can become "bad," so to speak -- or at least an impediment to psychic growth -- if we are completely identified with it, like an animal (when man does this, he renders himself lower than an animal).

I routinely see patients who are more or less identified with the body. Usually they are from third-world countries or from lower socio-economic classes, but not always. Really, it's more of caste thing, as I have described in the past. What does the world look like to such an individual? I don't know. A Big Mac. A vagina. A basketball court. [Sounds good to me! --C.D.]

I once thought about writing an article about the idea of a first world, second world, third world, etc., only applied to the psyche instead of economics. Because there surely exist different "worlds" to go along with different degrees of psychological development. This is why we cannot simply say that "man is the measure or all things," because there is no "thing" in the absence of a psychic container. For example, a shoe is a radically different object if contained in the mind of a dog vs. a person.

Likewise, for an illiterate person, a book is just an object. It is not even as interesting as a shoe is to a dog, unless there are lots of pictures.

Now, I have a huge library. Much of it is filled with books on psychoanalysis, religion, theology, mysticism, and metaphysics. For me, they mirror and disclose various worlds. But to the reified (•), they are just meaningless objects. They do not disclose any reality.

Here again, you can appreciate how this attitude leads to the triumph of the spiritually vacant boobieoisie. But what's really going on beneath the surface is an all out attack on O. If you stand back and look at it abstractly, you will see that it actually takes the form of (•) attacking (¶). You can see it in our trolls. Their dispute is not with me. Rather, it is with (¶) disguised as me -- and ultimately with O.

Likewise, this is the basis of my dispute with Obama, who is really a big Øbama. He is a big vacant somebody who is the result of a lot of big nobodies making him into one. But Ø + Ø always adds up to Ø.

Time's up. To be continued....

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Dead Men Waking

So, anything that doesn't have its roots aloft in the divine life is essentially dead -- or undead is more like it, since it is the negation of Life, not its opposite. Our undead self consists of identification with various mind parasites, and it is from this pseudo-self "that we have to be rescued, or saved." Deliverance from this state is a kind of resurrection in this life.

"Basically, then, it is a matter of dying to this false self of our ego-consciousness and to its loves and desires, for this self is our dead self" (Sherrard). We must transition from the egocentric to the theocentric position, which is the true basis for the anthropocentric position; as I mentioned in my book, worship of God activates a kind of latent dialectical space between O and (¶), and this is the fruitful space in which it all goes down.

O "strengthens" and vivifies (¶), while (¶) becomes the "lens" through which the energies of O are refracted. In contrast, the local ego, or (•), basically repels the divine energies (↓). And it is too proud and self-sufficient to reach beyond itself to its source (↑), so the cycle of spiritual metabolism is completely disrupted on both ends. You either asphyxiate or become anorexic.

As I've mentioned before, I can imagine some people thinking that the symbolic system of gnotation I use in OCUG to map spiritual growth is a little cold, or idiosyncratic, or abstract. But I explained there that the whole point is that the symbols must be filled with transpersonal experience, otherwise they remain empty categories.

For example, here is how Sherrard describes what I would call (↑): the "condition of being reborn, or resurrected... cannot be accomplished without the fulfilling of another condition: that we continually aspire towards and form links with the divine world, the world of eternity. The purpose of the spiritual life is not achieved through some abstract conception of the Kingdom of Heaven, or even through belief, in the pious sense, in the Kingdom of Heaven. It is achieved through strengthening our living relationship with the Kingdom of Heaven, and through cultivating in ourselves those organs through which we can experience the life of eternity."

This approach properly emphasizes both sides of the dialectic. Obviously, without the grace of (↓), nothing is possible. I mean, you can try, but good luck. More often than not, you'll ether just go in circles while engaging in some kind of glorified auto-hypnosis, or what we call spiritual Ønanism. In reality, it is just unhip gnosis by another name.

If there is a purpose of life -- and there is -- it can only be understood and actualized in reference to eternity. It's not going to be found down here -- that is, unless we have achieved the ability to see eternity in time, or the nonlocal radiating through the lens of the local.

Indeed, this is how human existence is to be understood: man is the local being through whom the nonlocal may be received and transmitted to the others in the form of truth, love, beauty, etc. Our job is to receive and assimilate (↓), but to then propagate it horizontally (<--¶-->).

If we fail to engage in our verticalisthenics (↑) in this life -- and therefore fail to activate and bring forward the (¶) -- then buddy, you've screwed yourself bigtime. "We will remain impervious to the light of eternity and to the blessings of the Kingdom of Heaven, locked up in our subjective dreams which are by now second nature to us. Surrounded by the spiritual world -- as we are in fact all the time -- we will not be aware of it: we will be outside it, exterior to it, in hell."

Do you see why? The local ego is "exteriority" as such. When you think about it, it's the only thing that is "outside" the cosmos. It is merely a kind of Darwinian adaptation to external circumstances, and is therefore largely a mirror of the environment. It is more or less exiled from spirit, and in need of deliverance, or salvation. This is why various cultures are so crazy, because they have no living relationship to the truth that transcends the quasi-animal ego. Ultimately they are just neurotic or psychotic collective adaptations to the ubiquitous problem of having a mind. For example, read Scipio's post yesterday about the gories of Islam:

"Imagine if any other religion acted as does Islam -- Christianity for example. If Christians made war upon cartoons? If Christians made war upon Buddhist statues? If Christians chopped off heads on camera? If Christians sent legions of suicide killers into schoolhouses? If Christians murdered their daughters for violations of ‘honor?’ If Christians boasted about blasting civilian airliners from the sky? If Christians were involved in almost every war on the planet? If Christians at the Vatican regularly stampeded and trampled to death hundreds of their own? If Christian youth made a sport of raping non-Christian girls? If Christians hunted down and killed all who tried to leave the faith? If Christians sent out hit squads to murder all who insulted the faith? If Christians around the globe jumped with glee after the towers fell? If Protestant and Catholic Christians engaged themselves in mutual slaughter? If Christians sexually mutilated their adolescent girls?"

I don't just blame Islam for their mess. Rather, I blame man. Mankind is the problem, therefore more mankind surely cannot be the solution. This actually goes to one of the quintessential differences between the illiberal left and conservative liberals, something which Dennis Prager reminded me of yesterday: the leftist "loves" mankind, but treats individuals with contempt -- in the same way that the Islamist loves the idea of everyone living under a worldwide Caliphate worse than death, but has no problem butchering and maiming individual Muslims, who are worthless to him.

But the conservative liberal has no great regard for mankind. Rather, he loves individuals and individualism. Which is why an illiberal statist such as Obama must be his sworn enemy. The leftist pretends he can cure mankind with various material inducements, or simply by coercively rearranging the socioeconomic floors of the cultural titanic.

Won't work. Can't work. Wrong species. You're not going to get people out of hell by imposing it on them. Rather, they must realize where they are, and then make the effort to leave. Obama says, "don't worry. No need to change. We love you just the way you are. We'll just change everything else but you."

Real change and real hope can only result from real rebirth. First and foremost, we must nourish and cultivate the subtle organs of spiritual perception, or cʘʘnvision. Engaging in a serious spiritual practice simultaneously opens us to spiritual energies and influences (not just from God, but from certain authorized Deputies and helpful nonlocal operators).

Equally importantly, this will "awaken and galvanize in us the latent spiritual potentialities of our being, those that foster our rebirth, that allow us to transmute our consciousness, to free it from its hidebound ego-centered state in such a way that it is once again able to perceive and mirror divine realities and to interpenetrate with the consciousness of God" (Sherrard).

So the day-to-deity work of spirituality involves severing certain links and nourishing others. Conversely, egoic death-in-life consists of feeding and strengthening the links that keep us bound to illusion and sin, and ignoring those energic channels that would liberate us from our fetters. So the choice is yours: undead man walking, or dead man waking.

More tomorrow on how to circumnavelgaze and I-ambulate around in Bob's peculiar map of hyperspace...