Thursday, May 20, 2010

An Incalculable Contribution to Mathsemantics

First God and then the world. If you know one you know all. If you put fifty zeros after a one, you have a large sum; but erase the one and nothing remains. It is the one that makes the many. First the one, then many. First God, then His creatures and the world. --Sri Ramakrishna

Or, erase the one in order to get to the zero. In my book, I used unsaturated symbols to express the same truth, since, in this materialistic age, people forget that the principial numbers express quintessential qualities, not just quantities. Indeed, the qualities are prior to the quantities, since the former can never be derived from the latter.

The primordial ideas (meaning that they are universal and a priori) conveyed by these symbols are like seeds, not like material objects that can be passed from mind to mind (i.e., like profane knowledge). You don't toss a bunch of these precious seeds at someone and expect anything to happen. Rather, you have to plant them. And then wait.

As expressed in the Tao Te Ching, Zero gives birth to the One, the One to Two, the Two to Three, and the Three to everything else. This doesn't happen "in time" but prior to it, or "within" the eternal Godhead. It is simply in the very nature of things, which I believe is the mysterious reality which trinitarian theology is trying to convey, i.e., that God is one and three, but also neither, i.e., zero. Vertically speaking, reality proceeds from the Godheaded Zero of pure potential to the One of unity to the bifurcated Two of Creator and created to the ever-new unity-in-plurality of Three; or, Beyond Being --> Being --> Existence --> Transcendence.

Or, you could say that apophatic theologians emphasize the Zero, which is nirguna brahman (God with no attributes, or Eckhart's ground), while cataphatic theologians emphasize the One, which is saguna brahman (God with attributes). The former emphasize union through gnosis, the latter union through bhakti. Still, both transmit the gift of knowledge; the gnostic ultimately knows Nothing (or unKnows everything), while the bhakti loves the One to whom he cleaves, and is thereby separated from nothing, which is the highest knowledge, i.e., heart-knowledge.

Listen to the wise words of Swami Ramdas, O little ringtailed one: "There are two ways: one is to expand your ego to infinity, and the other is to reduce it to nothing, the former by knowledge, and the latter by devotion. The Jnani [i.e., gnostic] says: 'I am God -- the Universal Truth.' The devotee says : 'I am nothing, O God, You are everything.' In both cases, the ego-sense disappears." Yes, you may well ask: what is the Truth which, in possessing it, renders its possessor a lie? What is the Truth that annihilates that dirty liar who tells it?

"Things are made from nothing; hence their true source is nothing" (Eckhart). Guffah-HA! "God's naught fills everywhere and his aught is nowhere" (Eckart). That's everything in a naughtshall!

Or, as Lao Tse put it, it is like the cup, which is only useful because of its empty space that "protects" the family jewels. And like the athletic cup, we ourselves benefit from existence, but make use of non-existence. Without that space, Existence is impossible, like trying to live inside of a wall or eat soup from a flat spoon. Variety is the space of life and the life of space. Live in that space and you'll never be bored, for God is generous, entertaining, a kick in the head, fun for the whole family!

The Zero is simply the dark side of the One; or the One is the bright side of the Zero. And they are forever bethrothed and betruthed, like cosmic man and wife, or Absolute (1, male) and Infinite (0, female). Oops! A dirty world!

Appropriately, the 1 is the vertical axis of existence, the O its infinite and even mercurial potential, as it expands out into time and space, from timeless potential to endless plenitude, from the dimensionless point that is everywhere to the circumference that is nowwhere. To ask why a woman can't be more like a man is to ask why the play of existence, or immanent substance, can't be more like transcendent form, when you can't have One without the Other. Even God had a mother to whom he gave birth!

God's essential threeness emphasizes a number of things, such as God's going out of his mind (which you'd have to be) into the adventure of existence in order to return to himself, or exhaling in order to inhale, which he cannot not do, at least in the wrong lung.

And the adventure of existence is in reality a godventure in trinitarian consciousness. God's without is our within, so our inword oddventure is a journey outside ourselves and back to God. Likewise, God's within is our without, which is why we see traces of beauty and intelligence everywhere we look, like the face of the beloved. Oh, my gnocternal mischief making friends, "the universe is the outward visible expression of the 'Truth,' and the 'Truth' is the inner unseen reality of the universe." Do you not see it?

To put it another way, existence is an adventure of consciousness, in which consciousness becomes what it isn't in order to rediscover what it is, which was just the modification of consciousness all along! It is the true Big Bang, and it will never cease banging, because that's what it does, baby. This is the one truth, which is no truth at all.

You might say that the grubby deconstructionists recognize this truth "from below," while the Raccoon recognizes it "from above," thereby going from modification to transformation. Thus, the mighty Raccoon may, to the foolish, look for all the world like the deconstructionists he deconstructs. But this is merely to confound the ignorant, for Petey is wise, compassionate, merciful, silly! He is always pulling your leg -- upward! Ho!

O, there is only the One Truth which requires no proof, is there not? If not, then you may stop speaking, now and forever! For errors and lies are many, while Truth is One. Or, to turn it around, in the absence of One, there could be no truth at all. None whatsoever. Hear the wise words of Sri Chandrasekharabharatiswamigal of the long and unpronouncable name!

"When [one] has recovered from the disease and regained normal health, nobody asks, 'What is the health you are now having?' The reason is, though diseases may be many and various, health is ever one and the same." Health is not new, it is merely the restoration of the proper state of things. It is the body -- or mind, or soul -- situated in its proper end. The body finds its rest in one station, the soul in another. But if enlightenment or reluxation is a state of total relaxation, then these are the same station. So take good care of your monkey, and your monkey will take care of you, dear friends! So says Scatter, the curious, the easily bored, the malodorous, the Coconut head, the Chimp of the King!

In going out of himself, God has left some mighty big footsteps. His revelations are the paths he has left to reascend to their source, are they not? How to get from the outhouse to the penthouse, from the cesspool to the blessedpool, from the frying pan into the purifying flames? Choose your vehicle: trial by fire, or rebirth by water.

William Law: "I feel within me a consuming fire of heavenly love which has burned up in my soul everything that was contrary to itself and transformed me inwardly into its own nature." Burn, baby, burn, for this agni is ecstasy!

Or, drown yourself in the flood, and flow into the bottomless sea of the naked Godhead. This is the vast O-cean into which all rivers lose their form and find their end. Yes, you'll shed a drop or two along the way, but you'll get them all back in the end. And if you don't like it there, you can always evaporate, become a cloud, and spend some more time hovering halfway between heaven and earth, or the sun and the soil.

So have a good naughty day!

28 Comments:

Blogger Grant Maher said...

The post manages to be profound and lighthearted at the same time; it has a very good vibration.

It rises to the level of a contemplative teaching, and a very complete one. In the post is an entire map of reality and details of two routes by which one reascends to the source.

The style and tone is a departure from previous posts and I like it. The writing deserves to be the kernel of a new monograph.

Bravo, good sir! Play on!

5/20/2010 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

[Amazing. Like a prick to a balloon, with one comment he again manages to release a fulminating pungency even (especially?) in the midst of approval.]

***

Even God had a mother to whom he gave birth!

Amen for a child's job...

***

Erroneous headline of the day:
Why We Exist: Matter Wins Battle Over Antimatter

How is it that so few people grasp the difference between mechanism and the motivating force behind it? A correct version would simply begin with "How," not "Why." Scientists have discovered that zero gives ground to one, just enough to make many, but they can't even begin to explain why zero would have any inclination to do so.

5/20/2010 10:36:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Or, as Lao Tse put it, it is like the cup, which is only useful because of its empty space that "protects" the family jewels. And like the athletic cup, we ourselves benefit from existence, but make use of non-existence. Without that space, Existence is impossible, like trying to live inside of a wall or eat soup from a flat spoon. Variety is the space of life and the life of space. Live in that space and you'll never be bored, for God is generous, entertaining, a kick in the head, fun for the whole family!"

Woo-Hoo!

"And the adventure of existence is in reality a godventure in trinitarian consciousness. God's without is our within, so our inword oddventure is a journey outside ourselves and back to God. Likewise, God's within is our without, which is why we see traces of beauty and intelligence everywhere we look, like the face of the beloved. Oh, my gnocternal mischief making friends, "the universe is the outward visible expression of the 'Truth,' and the 'Truth' is the inner unseen reality of the universe." Do you not see it?

To put it another way, existence is an adventure of consciousness, in which consciousness becomes what it isn't in order to rediscover what it is, which was just the modification of consciousness all along! It is the true Big Bang, and it will never cease banging, because that's what it does, baby. This is the one truth, which is no truth at all. "

Really sent the ol' frontal lobes a spinning with this post today! And that last,
"...existence is an adventure of consciousness, in which consciousness becomes what it isn't in order to rediscover what it is... "

, reminds me of the Schall quote I commented to the end of yesterday's post,
"...This seeking to know is what, in its own way, defines us in the highest sense. We are the beings who seek to know all that is not ourselves. We do think that we will not really know ourselves unless we come at ourselves through what is not ourselves... "

Good stuff.

5/20/2010 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Julie said "[Amazing. Like a prick to a balloon, with one comment he again manages to release a fulminating pungency even (especially?) in the midst of approval.]"

Thanks for saying it first.

5/20/2010 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

It's a dirty job...

Anyway, now that there's a little space, what I originally wanted to say was:

[insert entire post here/]

Yes, exactly!

***

And for anyone wondering, the distinction is that Grant's praise, in its essence, is of the type one might give his dog after it finally does that trick he's been demanding it perform for the past few months. Never mind that the dog is laying down because it was about to do so anyway, the "master" must give praise in hopes that the dog will eventually perform out of obedience.

Me, I just agree because it's the sort of gnocturnal mischief I've been trying to be unmade.

Also, Hear the wise words of Sri Chandrasekharabharatiswamigal of the long and unpronouncable name! honestly made me laugh out loud. And brought to mind The Road to Wellville.

5/20/2010 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

Doing my homework must have paid off, as I could follow every line of the post. And it was a pleasure to read!

"As expressed in the Tao Te Ching, Zero gives birth to the One, the One to Two, the Two to Three, and the Three to everything else. This doesn't happen "in time" but prior to it, or "within" the eternal Godhead."

You've quoted this formulation in a number of posts. Since you express realities in symbols, perhaps I can add something. I believe that it correctly expresses the Chinese view:

O (Wu-Chi, or Zero) ----> ☯ (Tai-Chi, or One); this ☯ ----> ♂ (yang, male) and ♀ (yin, female), which is the Two; then ♂ + ♀ ----> "events" (the Three); and from these Three, moving ---etc.,etc.---> through time comes the myriad of things (Creation).

This is how I've understood Chinese cosmology, and I think it corresponds to your post. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Anyway, the whole post is just full of savory flavors and juicy in-sights! Thanks!

5/20/2010 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Speaking of of over their headlines, from AP:"Scientists Create Synthetic Life in Lab".

5/20/2010 01:14:00 PM  
Blogger Grant Maher said...

Bob, Julie, Van:

You three are the core of raccoon-dom, the basic constituency. Others come and go, but the trio holds steady.

The trio does not count me as a friendly commenter, and I believe Julie has hit the nail in the head as to the why. I have come off as condescending, arrogant, and manipulative.

On the positive side of the ledger I possess a solid and unwavering committment to the raccoon project, and a belief in the soundness of Bob's Weltanshauung and the general decency of the raccoon constituency, despite any negativity I might exude.

And I exude alot. It is, in fact, a twisted sort of calling.

5/20/2010 03:01:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

One of my friends in Rome (a novice) saw the Shroud of Turin this week. He was deeply affected, to say the least. "A photograph of the Resurrection!" his email exclaimed today.

5/20/2010 04:14:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Hey, NB - how is the new family doing?

5/20/2010 04:15:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

I've been lately working through a book on the qualitative aspects of number. One I had purchased 5 years ago, got stuck in reading, and eventually sold. Repurchased it and--lo and behold--I kind of get it.

This was prompted by a passing tangent in MOTT on the qualitative nature of mathematics (or something to that effect).

In college I was so tightly would it would often take 2-3 hours to fall asleep...instead of counting sheep I would go through the harmonic series and related fractions to string length. At the time it seemed like a platonic revelation to me. Now it just seems beautiful.

Great post.

5/20/2010 04:20:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Breaking: Dalai Lama is a Moral Idiot.

5/20/2010 04:20:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

"Still I am a Marxist," the exiled Tibetan Buddhist leader said in New York, where he arrived today with an entourage of robed monks and a heavy security detail to give a series of paid public lectures.

Oh, that's disappointing. I wonder if he ever gave a moment's thought to the irony?

In other Australian-sourced news, Ninjas!

5/20/2010 04:27:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

The Dalai Lama and Marxism just about defines my lefty college town...that and the inability to think clearly. Or is that just saying the same thing?

5/20/2010 04:28:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

It's so far beyond irony -- it's like Stockholm Syndrome, after what the ChiComs did to Tibet. In contrast, when a country is occupied by the US, it's the luckiest day of its existence -- Germany, Japan, Iraq, South Korea....

5/20/2010 04:32:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

It kind of reminds me of Schuon's blind spot for medieval times. In the new bio I read, it said that he once tried gardening with his wife, but accidentally cut through a worm with his implement, and was so horrified that he could never garden again.

Nice enough sentiment, but in medieval times they sliced through people with implements just for the hell of it....

5/20/2010 04:37:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

I had read that as a quote several years ago by the Dalai Lama, but you never know for sure off just one AP storyline. He said in that original article that he had no use for Mao, but thought Marxism was fine. I guess that, as used to be said about Bill Clinton, he has learned to "compartmentalize."

While he himself is like a "goodwill ambassador," claiming to speak as an advocate for humanity, the "socially active" arm of his lineage is the Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Buddhism (160+ centers all over the world), headed by Lama Zopa, up here in Portland. I used to be on their mailing list, but un-subscribed when, a few years back, Lama Zopa viewed An Inconvenient Truth and was very moved. He instructed all his peeps to promote Algore's film and to organize appropriate action policies.

Presumably, one becomes a Lama by investigating what is real and true. So they claim, at any rate.

I have distrusted "Buddhist activism" ever since. But that's just me.

5/20/2010 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

somehow i was over at over at TIME magazine where you can aks the Dalai a question [10 will be selected] for next issue
Mine:
"Hello Dalai, This is Louis Dalai, it's so nice to have you back where you belong...youre lookin' swell Dalai I can tell Dalai youre still growing you still glowing you still goin' strong!"

5/20/2010 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Schuon was that freaked out by cutting a worm in half? Heck, if memory serves he probably doubled the worm population in the hole he was digging when it happened. I seem to recall earthworms being quite resilient in that regard. I'm guessing he was also never a fisherman.

Funny, I was just at the store thinking about Jainism, and how difficult it would be to live from day to day with that kind of philosophy. For instance, going to WalMart (or really, stepping foot in any modern building) must be completely verboten. Think of all the precious vermin that had to die for that structure to be built, not to mention being stocked with things that undoubtedly either directly or indirectly caused the death of all manner of critters!

5/20/2010 05:32:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Julie:

I must have thanked God 100 times in the past 10 days. Baby Katie is perfectly healthy, as is her Mom. We're all still in that new baby haze of delight. We're also lucky that she sleeps through the night (except for feeding) and in general is a happy and quiet baby.

Katie at 10 hours old

5/20/2010 06:34:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Awwwwwww, what a sweetie!

I'm glad to hear she and mom are doing so well!

5/20/2010 07:35:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

NB said "Baby Katie is perfectly healthy, as is her Mom"

Awesome!

"We're also lucky that she sleeps through the night (except for feeding) and in general is a happy and quiet baby."

blink.

That's great. Really it is...

(well behaved babies are somewhat wasted on new parents. Yeh... liiiitle bit of Schadenfreude there... coming from a Dad who did the football carry for hours nightly several months in a row... give those thanks with big bow ties of enthusiasim on them!)


"We're all still in that new baby haze of delight."

As Bill Cosby said... wait till God puts the smell in the poo.

;- )

But seriously, big congratulations and best heartfelt best wishes to all three of you!

Julie, here's wishing that you'll soon make me equally grumpy!

5/20/2010 08:06:00 PM  
Blogger anon said...

Funny, I thought he was more of a Nazi.

5/20/2010 08:33:00 PM  
Blogger Jason T. said...

A-HO!

We are all One to the Trinity Power! We are basking in the Light so that the Dark may know itself better! We are deconstructionist dirty but oh-so clean in the wink of an Eye, tooting on the shores of the everlasting!

Can I get an amen from the congregation? Can I get a lisp from the soldiers of misfortune, those black-listed, heartless vagabonds we call trolls? Can I get a syrupy cough medicine to clear this vertical-less wish from my throat?

The Christ blood is flowing to the brain from this one for sure, cluing me into the fact that the descending channels of non-sense (used in the most glowing of contexts) are illuminating this region of cyberspace today. Excellent post, Bob-o-rific! May the Swami Set and Om-Boys (also known as the Original Saintsters) hook you up with one of their Heavenly Ho's for such glowing work.

5/20/2010 10:30:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

From the Further Irony Dept:

After the Dalai Lama's appearance last night at the Radio City Music Hall, quotes were garnered by the Press from the enthralled audience. Here's one:

Allison Wright, a 35-year-old lawyer, said she is also a Christian, but "you can ... adopt aspects of the Buddhist faith, like compassion, love, goodness and helping others."

5/21/2010 03:58:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

Lovers leak liquid
Saints leak light
Lucky lizards leap
Whilst wizened wizards weep
and the twain shall never meet
the
mark, shania

wv=
trudats
newest street lingo

5/21/2010 06:48:00 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

Gagdad,
I'm a bit of newbie here and you've probably written of these, but what of 666?

I'm glad we exist on the same planet:-)

5/21/2010 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Oh my goodness, NB! How perfectly beautiful she is! You must be a very proud papa. Thank the Lord for content first babies.

5/24/2010 11:34:00 AM  

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