Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Secret Message of the Human Form

Short on time. A couple of rewordgitated laughedovers.

In a logoistic universe, everything is a symbol, and will therefore "refer" to something else. It is for this reason that concrete things are knowable in their abstract essence, and that essential things (archetypes) may take on a corporeal form. It is the reason why humans can communicate with one another, and why the world communicates with man, who is its "spokesperson." Everything carries a message, including the human form. The cosmos is made of language -- in fact, various languages -- that humans may decode and understand. This is the presupposition of both religion and science.

What is the message of the human body? It depends upon how well you can listen, and what your agenda is. If you are a biologist, you may be interested in the message of DNA, of the genes which encode various protein sequences. Obviously, this is a language. Or, on the macro end, you may be more interested in the form, the phenotype. For this person, the animal form will essentially be a "message" about the environment in which it evolved. For example, the thick fur of a polar bear is a message about the cold climate in which it evolved.

These reductionistic approaches obviously work in a limited sense for the lower animals. But they don't work for man; or, man clearly transcends any mere genetic or environmental explanation, if only because he is free to ignore his genetic "programming" (for example, he can choose to either pass on his genes or keep them to himself, which violates the whole point of natural selection), just as he can choose his environment (i.e., he needn't live in eastern Africa, where man evolved). You might say that if man comprehends natural selection, it cannot comprehend him. Or, if man understands his own genetic programming, he is no longer subordinate to the program.

Now, in the Coonifesto, I suggested that man is subject to two main programs or blueprints. There is the horizontal or terrestrial blueprint of our genotype; and there is the divine blueprint containing our "celestial archetype," so to speak. Any attempt to reduce the latter to the former is just plain silly. It accounts for the shrillness and condescension of reductionistic Darwinians who try to shout down their opponents with a "truth" that cannot be true.

The majority of scientists are not intellectuals properly so-called, but merely worker bees practicing a servile art on some micro-problem at the fringes of the ponderable or abstract Cosmos. We do not consult them for human wisdom, to say the least. Although a biologist specializes in "life," it would never occur to us to consult one to help determine the best way to live. Likewise, physicists specialize in the "material world," but it wouldn't occur to us to consult one to help us decide on the sorts of material objects we should use to decorate our house.

In short, the dispute between radical atheists and their opponents is basically a problem of knowing one's caste, or of material intelligence vs. spiritual intellect. Being that the divine plenitude results in a hierarchical, full employment cosmos, atheists surely have their (mainly catabolic) role and their place. It just isn't at the top.

The following is imperative: if we want to know the proper way to live, or understand the nature of beauty, then we must consult someone who is in touch with "reality," that is, human reality. Human reality is not found in mathematical equations or genetic programs, which are abstract, not real. The whole point of religion, properly understood, is to reconcile the human with human reality, or appearances with the Real. And the Real is not found "below," but above.

Equally important, this is not to say there is no "below." Obviously there is, since we are standing right above it. Religious people who deny the below end up looking just as silly as scientists who deny the above. If there is an above, there must be a below. Ultimately, as we shall see, man "refers" to God, and vice versa. This is the principle "message" of the human being, both in his objective and subjective states, i.e., body and mind.

As Schuon writes, "to say that man, and consequently the human body, is 'made in the image of God,' means a priori that it manifests something absolute and for that very reason something unlimited and perfect."

Here again, this is imperative: being the "summit" of creation, man transcends his animal form, even while having one. In other words, the human being is the quintessence of "earthly creatures, but also -- for that very reason -- the exit from their condition." Thus, "to see a man, is to see not only the image of God," but also a doorway that is open towards the "illuminating liberation."

To put it another way, we are the door or the lens through which God's energies are focused most intensely, a locus for the "inpouring" of grace into the world. But every entrance is an exit, so God's way into the world is our way out to God. Or, to paraphrase Eckhart, God's inflowing is our outflowing; or, God's outflowing is our inflowing. Same difference.

Now, among the human -- not merely genetic -- archetypes, are Male and Female (in fact, the genes are an expression of the archetype, not vice versa). Male and female, he created them. As maintained in Jewish thought, the Human Being as such is not male or female, but a complementarity of Male-Female, which is precisely why marriage is a sacrament, because it helps bring us closer to the divine archetype that transcends our individual and separative existence. And it does so through the unifying principle of love (not just Darwinian survival), which is only fitting. Even Darwinians get married, but one wonders why. In other words, why don't they just obey their genes and reproduce as indiscriminately as possible, like NBA players?

Again, if what we are saying is true, then we should see abundant evidence of man's deiformity. Here is an example that you will either understand or not (probably not if you went to graduate school), so I won't press the point. Being that God is by definition Absolute, he is necessarily Infinite. As Schuon writes, "the masculine body accentuates the first aspect, and the feminine body the second aspect." In other words, male principle = Absolute, female principle = Infinite (or you could even say 1 and 0, but I'd like to keep the discussion clean). This breaks down into further intelligible complementarities, such as the infinite compassion of Mother and the Absolute law of the Father; or Mercy and Justice; or "my baby's innocent!" vs. wait 'til your father gets home!

Culturally speaking, in the absence of the Father principle, there is only mercy and compassion, therefore the creation of victims, no matter how guilty. But in the absence of the Mother principle there is only rough justice for innocent and guilty alike, as in the Islamic world. Infidels and women get what's coming to them, even though they don't deserve it. But in liberal victim culture, no one gets what's coming to them, so no one learns, changes, or profits from experience.

2.

If the human body carries a message, who's the messenger? Is it Darwin or God? Or some weird hybrid, like Dargod or Godwin? In other words, if the body is a reflective surface, does it only reflect the below, or does it also convey information about the above?

As we have discussed before, this is a problem science can't even pose, let alone resolve, because it excludes at the outset that which the scientist is not predisposed to believe. But for the believer, there can be no privilege higher than Truth, regardless of where it comes from or leads to. Science can only deal with a small subset of this greater Truth, and cannot even justify the existence of its own assertions, as per our friend Gödel.

Speaking of Gödel, now that I think about it, there were probably three or four singular intellectual developments in the 20th century that must be counted as being of the utmost importance to metaphysics, for they decisively undermined the entire metaphysical framework of reductionistic scientism.

In no particular order, these would be Gödel's theorems, which proved that any sufficiently complex logical system contains assumptions that cannot be justified by the system, but which are nevertheless true in the platonic sense (by extension, this means that a logical system can be consistent or complete, but not both).

Never forget Gödel.

Second, the nonlocality of the cosmos, as per the "experimental metaphysics" of Alain Aspect, which showed that subatomic particles are in instantaneous communion, irrespective of the distance involved.

Third, the emergence of chaos and complexity theories, revealing the deep fractal order of the cosmos at all levels, and how complex systems are governed by nonlocal attractors.

And fourth, the systematic mapping of the unconscious mind, showing that human thought results from a dialectical (or "bi-logical") synthesis of the asymmetrical conscious and the symmetrical unconscious mind.

Any attempt to comprehend the world without these deep truths will be feeble at best. As you may have noticed, religion has no difficulty accommodating these truths (indeed, it rests upon them), whereas they are highly problematic for any linear, atomistic, rationalistic, mechanistic, or reductionistic metaphysic. For example, anyone who has felt the real presence of a Great Soul who is no longer technically living, has no problem with nonlocality. I mean, I rely upon guidance from the "communion of saints" in the same way another person might rely upon wikipedia. I just take it for granted that they can speak to one in the here and now, across any spatial or temporal boundaries. It's not magic. Rather, it would be magic if they couldn't.

Nor does any religious person have a problem with the idea that science can provide no final answers to the quandary of existence. Rather, he is very comfortable with the provocative symbolism of revelation, which vaults the mind into a higher and deeper understanding, into the very dimension from which truth and revelation emanate like so many sparks from a central fire. Science can't do that.

And surely, no believer has a problem with the idea of mysterious archetypal attractors that seem to canalize or lure existence from a nonlocal phase space. Isn't this why we pray to do the Creator's will, to conform ourselves to the greatest and most attractive Attractor of them all?

And what sophisticated believer would be a big enough ass to think that mere logic is capable of mapping reality? Please. We thank God for the unruly symmetrical logic of the unconscious and supraconscious mind, for it is truly the Spice of Life. Without it, we couldn't have imagination, poetry, music, humor, mythology, and even the visionary leaps of the true scientist. If not for the unconscious (I should really say "transconscious" or "metaconscious"), bean-counting mathematicians would be the legislators of this world, instead of poets and prophets.

Now, as we were saying yesterday, the supreme principle breaks out into the absolute and infinite, or the male principle and the female principle. As Schuon writes, "each of the two bodies, the masculine and feminine, manifests modes of perfection by definition evoked by their respective sex; all cosmic qualities are divided in fact into two complementary groups."

This is just as the physicist Neils Bohr might have predicted. In fact, in my list of 20th century metaphysical breakthroughs, I should have mentioned the principle of complementarity. In your day-to-day life, whenever you are confronted with a seemingly unresolvable paradox, it's almost always a case of complementarity -- not "either/or," but "both/and" -- for example, time/eternity, form/substance, subject/object, matter/spirit, wave/particle, conscious/unconscious, male/female, science/religion, intelligent design/natural selection, tastes great/less filling, etc.

As it pertains to the complementarity of male/female, Schuon points out that there is naturally something anterior to this, which is "the non-material being that was the primordial androgyne," and "which survives in each of us." This is Adam Kadmon, the Cosmic Man, or divine blueprint for humans.

What this means is that the human form is a "harmelody," i.e., a complementary synthesis of vertical chords (the archetypes) and horizontal melody (or terrestrial plunge into time and evolution), and that we are of a nonlocal piece with the stars that gave birth to the elements of which we are composed. In other words, when a human being looks at a star in the night time sky, he is really registering photons from a long-ago event that might very well mirror his own cosmic birth. The cosmos is thoroughly entangled with itself in this bizarre manner, so that we can literally see our own cosmic past as it arrives at our doorstep.

And to say that we are but a fugitive dream within the deathless, sleeping what's-His-G-d-name, is simply to acknowledge that our life is a dream dreamt by the nonlocal Dreamer beyond name and form, a Dreamer that lives within our deepest Self. Yes,

The world of things that come to be and cease to be is a world of dreams. He who is asleep and dreaming (in the literal sense) in this world is in reality dreaming doubly; and when he wakes (in the literal sense), he is like a man who has been awakened from an "incidental" sleep, but has given himself up again to his "natural" sleep. --Hermes

So awaken to the great Dreamer who dreams the dream of this cosmos, and dream actively instead of being passively dreamt -- especially by the hypnopompous dreams of sleeping materialists.

I once had a dream. I dreamt that I, even though a man, was pregnant, pregnant and full with Nothingness like a woman who is with child. And out of this Nothingness God was born. --Meister Eckhart

27 Comments:

Blogger JP said...

Bob notes:

"As it pertains to the complementarity of male/female, Schuon points out that there is naturally something anterior to this, which is "the non-material being that was the primordial androgyne," and "which survives in each of us." This is Adam Kadmon, the Cosmic Man, or divine blueprint for humans."

And, now to get on the subject of Mormons (my most favorite non-Vegas subject), in Mormon theology, wouldn't everyone (and his/her spouse) get to become their own Adam Kadmon and become a cosmic blueprint for the humans in their own sub-cosmos?

I'm just excited to link Schuon, Kabbalah, and Mormons together.

Not that I'm actively keeping score, but I would like to know how many points do I get for this?

4/22/2010 09:03:00 AM  
Blogger f/zero said...

Now, in the Coonifesto, I suggested that man is subject to two main programs or blueprints. There is the horizontal or terrestrial blueprint of our genotype; and there is the divine blueprint containing our "celestial archetype," so to speak.

It's written in stone.

4/22/2010 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger Ilíon said...

"In no particular order, these would be Gödel's theorems, which proved that any sufficiently complex logical system contains assumptions that cannot be justified by the system, but which are nevertheless true in the platonic sense (by extension, this means that a logical system can be consistent or complete, but not both)."

That's not quite what Gödel showed.

First off, Gödel's theorems aren't so much about "sufficiently complex logical system[s]" as about 'robust' formal axiomatic systems ('robust' in the sense of being sufficient to perform arithmetic).

Secondly, importantly, by definition, any formal axiomatic system "contains assumptions that cannot be justified by the system" -- these are the axioms, after all. If that were all Gödel had shown, he'd be a yawner footnote.

RATHER, what Gödel showed is that for any consistent (i.e. non-contradictory) formal axiomatic system there exist true statements about the system and/or its subject matter which cannot derived from the system's axioms in conjunction with its rules/operations. These statements cannot be shown to be true from within the system precisely because they cannot be derived via the system.

But, yes, a formal axiomatic system "can be consistent or complete, but not both." Also, if a formal axiomatic system is inconsistent, then it is wholly inconsistent; that is, all the statements of the system ... and their denials .. can be derived via the system.

4/22/2010 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Well, so long as I misunderstood it correctly...

4/22/2010 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Gagdad Bob wrote: "Well, so long as I misunderstood it correctly..."

Love it. :)

4/22/2010 12:11:00 PM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

To Gagdad re Todays Post

This one you hit out of the park. I am going to have to reread it a couple of more times. Good on you.

4/22/2010 02:59:00 PM  
Blogger kabir said...

You know I really don't agree with your politics, and if anything would have to call myself a libertarian. Yet I find myself oddly compelled to read your blog, most often to look for an angle of attack on your politics.

Today though I found absolutely none. That was an inspiring synthesis of the horizontal and vertical. In particular you presented the absolute male and female components of reality from an angle that is shedding new light on the subject.

I'm curious to explore the analogy of the islamic culture as an extreme male world and the western liberal world as an extreme mommy daycare center.

Specifically, once this rupture in cosmic polarity balance occurs, either at the individual level, or the collective level how is it to be restored? This sounds like a stupid rhetorical question, but considering that once a person becomes polarized, in either male or female modes, everything is seen through that lens, therefore it seems extremely difficult to restore balance, since the unbalanced are blind to it.

So assuming you have a vertical program that has the correct archetyepal balances from the grand attractor you'd face considerable challenges from any group polarized too strongly male or female. The males would say too soft, and the females too rough. Whats the answer to this? (Bonus points if you can do it in quantum termnology)

4/22/2010 04:04:00 PM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

To Gagdad

I just finished reading Steyns' "Stasi on the Avon", and I realized that you put yourself at great risk professionally publishing this site. You could easily be "Star Chambered" by those wishing you harm within your profession and employ. Have you thought about this?

4/22/2010 04:34:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Sure. My profession is riddled with liberal fascists.

4/22/2010 04:37:00 PM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

We are in a Hegelian swing through the briar patch, just saying.

BTW - Redskins got a Left Tackle, I know you were worried about that.

4/22/2010 05:10:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

GB-

You've mentioned on occasion some books you read that cured you of your "Jesus Willies". I could probably use a book or two like that at this point. Any recommendations?

Thank you.

4/22/2010 05:36:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

It really depends on where you're at spiritually and how bad a case you have. You can't do better than Meditations on the Tarot, but it took me awhile to build up to that. The first time I attempted it, I failed.

4/22/2010 06:22:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

I am making slow, slow progress on MOTT. The first time I attempted it...well I just didn't get it, it even seemed like gibberish to me. Slowly, reading by reading my eyes slowly adjust and I get a little bit more of it each time (I hope). Well if that's the best medicine I will keep at it. I thought maybe there be some supplementary books that could help me along.

Thanks.

4/22/2010 06:40:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

You should go into the arkive and look at the letter-by-letter series we did on MOTT, beginning on 10-10-08.

4/22/2010 07:44:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

yes. I will check that out.

4/22/2010 07:46:00 PM  
Blogger Ilíon said...

"Well, so long as I misunderstood it correctly..."

So, you do understand it correctly, yet you didn't express it correctly? Was that a conscious choice?

4/22/2010 08:35:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Just careless. Hey, it's blogging. My readers are my editors.

4/22/2010 08:53:00 PM  
Blogger anon said...

Likewise, physicists specialize in the "material world," but it wouldn't occur to us to consult one to help us decide on the sorts of material objects we should use to decorate our house...in short, the dispute between radical atheists and their opponents is basically a problem of knowing one's caste...

So in your caste system, interior decorators rank higher than physicists? Weird, maybe it's an LA thing. Not that I have anything against interior decorators.

4/22/2010 11:37:00 PM  
Blogger dwongmeichi said...

I do need your help. It is in reference to Elizabeth Clare Prophet,the name of her church was The Church Triumphant and Universal. Once I asked you why I should not use their version of the "Hail Mary" which they revised as: Holy Mary Mother of God pray for us Sons and Daughters of God now and at the hour of our victory over death, Amen. I shared with you that I found that to be more of an affirmation of the "I AM" than "Holy Mary Mother of God pray for us sinners" which continuously affirmed us as sinners. You gave me a valid and sensible explanation as to why we do not revise certain liturgies, could you please explain to me again what you told me about changing the ancient scripts,by the way Elizabeth Clare Prophet died so speak not unkindly of the dead,dwongmeichi

4/23/2010 12:05:00 AM  
Blogger Ilíon said...

Anon "So in your caste system, interior decorators rank higher than physicists? Weird, maybe it's an LA thing"

Way to really miss the point, Anon. Do you take lessons? Or is this an innate skill?

4/23/2010 12:22:00 AM  
Blogger Ilíon said...

G'Bob: "Just careless. Hey, it's blogging. My readers are my editors."

OK.

Now, a properly understanding of the implications of Gödel's theorems (which seems to me to require a proper phrasing of the implications) has important real-world consequences.

For instance: contrary to the hopes and sometime assertions of atheists/materialists, minds are not formal axiomatic systems and no computer program will ever be a mind.

The minds we are familiar with, our own and one another’s, clearly make mistakes, clearly generate inconsistencies. So, IF we are formal axiomatic systems, THEN we are inconsistent formal axiomatic systems. BUT, we are also able to recognize and correct the errors we make. HOWEVER, no inconsistent formal axiomatic system is able to decide which of any two mutually contradictory statements it generates it the correct one. ERGO, minds are not formal axiomatic systems.

At the same time, all computer programs *are* formal axiomatic systems, and since minds are not formal axiomatic systems, it follows inescapably that no computer program shall ever be a mind.

4/23/2010 12:40:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

Bob says:

"It really depends on where you're at spiritually and how bad a case you have. You can't do better than Meditations on the Tarot, but it took me awhile to build up to that. The first time I attempted it, I failed."

I think it also depends on your prior expieriences with respect to non materialistic "weirdness" and spirituality in general.

I have found that this book provides plausable answers to a number of questions that I have had for some time with respect to certain issues.

In some places, he seems somewhat off, but that's just me applying my own intuitive framework to what he is saying in his letters.

4/23/2010 06:38:00 AM  
Blogger Dianne said...

Dwongmeichi said -
I shared with you that I found that to be more of an affirmation of the "I AM" than "Holy Mary Mother of God pray for us sinners" which continuously affirmed us as sinners.

We should affirm to ourselves that we are sinners. But at the same time, remembering that Christ's sacrifice offers forgiveness, and what he allowed to happen to him to prove his love and make enough of an impact that it has reverberated through 2000 years of history). It gives us the ability or insight to be honest with ourselves about our flaws and what we need to work on improving in ourselves so that we continuously become more and more aware of who we are as individuals and pinpoint behaviors in ourselves that get in the way of productive and joyful lives.

Not wanting to remind yourself that you're a sinner is being a coward, unable to face the truth, and therefore you never grow "up."

I used to be terrified of it too, but then shaking with fright I asked God to put the truth in front of my face, because you can't fix what you don't know is broken - and now my relationship with God is a comfort to me. I'm not scared anymore - of life, death or God. (Well, I do get the occasional tremor, but that's usually because I'm afraid I'm not living up to expectations, but then I remember Jesus - and like Julie commented in an earlier post - just grab hold of the plow and hang on).

You want your life to be kind and easy with no worries or feelings of discomfort, but it's my belief that life wasn't mean't to be easy. Without anything to challenge our minds, we would become lazy blobs with atrophied brains. We might as well be amoebas.

4/23/2010 08:17:00 AM  
Blogger Ilíon said...

"... but then I remember Jesus - and like Julie commented in an earlier post - just grab hold of the plow and hang on)."

Paul Clark: Hand to the Plow (a song from 1976)

4/23/2010 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Dianne,
You want your life to be kind and easy with no worries or feelings of discomfort, but it's my belief that life wasn't meant to be easy.

I'm with you on that one. reminds me of something I read just a minute ago:

The philosopher seeks happiness, but Christianity, Chesterton says, asks a man not if he is happy, but if he is alive.

4/23/2010 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"The following is imperative: if we want to know the proper way to live, or understand the nature of beauty, then we must consult someone who is in touch with "reality," that is, human reality. Human reality is not found in mathematical equations or genetic programs, which are abstract, not real. The whole point of religion, properly understood, is to reconcile the human with human reality, or appearances with the Real. And the Real is not found "below," but above."

Lots of zounds per square inch in that one. I'm betting Balthasar could easily expand that into a 5 volume set... as an introduction.

The strange thing is that some claim to find reality in our abstract concepts, instead of realizing that the abstract concepts are found within us - the subset does not, and cannot explain the superset, let alone the ability to even form Sets. And in the same way, they try to 'explain' laughter or beauty, as results of particularized analytical steps, instead of the reverse.

Yuch.

4/24/2010 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger dwongmeichi said...

Thank you Dianne, that was really very helpful,secretly we all wish that our lives were easy, but no matter what the commercial tells us there is no "easy button", I am just one of the battered and butchered walking among you, I was knocked off the path about a year ago, staunch Mormon: Temple, funny underwear et al and I just can't find my way out of this, or into it? And there is not one yellow brick in sight. Maybe if I continue to read this Bob man I will become enlightened or insane, how do they differ?

4/24/2010 10:59:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home