Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Truthsong to Love

I'm a little tired this morning, so I don't know if a post will appear, and I don't want to force anything. Not a problem. The Intellectual Life is so filled with pithy little maxims, that I can just rebleat some of them without having to comment. Or, maybe one of them will provoke a post, and off we go.

I'm going to organize them in such a manner that the essence of a full-service "Christian gnana yoga" emerges:

Know that "Every study is a study of eternity.... keep yourself in the state of eternity, your heart submissive to truth." Slacken the tempo of your life.

Next, "Plunge every day of your life into the spring which quenches and yet ever renews your thirst.... The soul is that secret spring: do not try prematurely to clear up its mystery.... impatience is a revolt against Him." (Here again, this is the meaning of "To be long multiple is the condition for being richly one.")

Begin by laying your foundation "according to the height you wish to reach. Broaden the opening of the excavation according to the depth it has to reach."

"There are books everywhere, and only a few are necessary.... In ourselves also there are volumes and texts of great value that we do not read."

More importantly, "the value of a book" is limited by "what you are capable of getting out of it." Our task is to find "a way of entry through them into a new domain." Thus, "The source of knowledge is not in books, it is in reality, and in our thought. Books are signposts; the road is older, and no one can make the journey for us...."

"We think too little of the privilege of this bond with the greatest minds.... Next after men of genius come those who can recognize their worth."

"Every truth is life, direction, a way leading to the end of man.... one is fully oneself in surrendering to what is above self."

To paraphrase, we should turn our eyes toward first causes and our hearts toward supreme ends: "[I]ntellection passes from God to God, as it were, through us. God is its first cause; he is its last end."

In order to "properly to regulate the intelligence..., qualities quite different from intelligence itself are required."

"Love is the beginning of everything in us.... Truth visits those who love her, who surrender to her, and this love cannot be without virtue.... This submission to truth is the binding condition for communion with it."

"Truth is, as it were, the special divinity of the thinker.... By practicing the truth that we know, we merit the truth that we do not yet know."

"No branch of knowledge is self-sufficing; no discipline looked at by itself alone gives light enough for its own path.... There is a great revelation in discovering the hidden links that exist between ideas and systems the most dissimilar.... Each truth is a fragment which does not stand alone but reveals connections on every side. Truth itself is one, and the Truth is God.... "

"Everything is in everything, and partitions are only possible by abstraction.... Those who rest satisfied with provisional answers to problems that in reality remain unsolved, warp the answers given to them" (and thereby warp themselves, I might add).

"Hence, for the fully awakened soul, every truth is a meeting place.... Everything that instructs us leads to God on a hidden byway. Every authentic truth is in itself eternal, and its quality of eternity turns us towards the eternity of which it is the revelation."

Theology inserts "a divine graft into the tree of knowledge, thanks to which this tree can bear fruits that are not its own. It loses nothing of its sap thereby, on the contrary, the sap circulates gloriously."

As a result of "human effort [and] the collaboration of heaven" (↑↓), a "soaring impulse is given to knowledge," all branches of which "are vivified and all disciplines broadened.... Everything makes one harmony in the concert of the human and the divine."

However, on a discordant note, "he who is united to men and to nature without being hiddenly united to God... is but the subject of a kingdom of death.... [S]uch are those... who are out of their element in any higher region," and "who would like to reduce others to their narrow, elementary school orthodoxy."

The setting of our knowledge is the cosmos; and this is itself organization, structure.

Serve truth!

28 Comments:

Blogger black hole said...

"To be long multiple is the condition for being richly one."

This, at risk of beating it into the ground, is the basic arguement in favor of multiple lives.

Multiple life theory gets panned here because of it's unprovability but I think it is safe to take it as an article of faith because it is so necessary to make spririt evolution theory "fit."

Human spiritual evolution is not possible or even necessary if only one life is alloted per soul.

So, does it matter? An arguement gets put forth that it does not matter, to "make the most of this life."

I argue this is a poor philosoply, leading to regrets, rushing, lack of slack, guilt, etc.

If we know we have an infinite amount of time to mold ourselves into some semblance of God, we can slow down and do the thing right.

It is perfectly acceptable to blow a lifetime on debauchery, for example, if you know what it's for and why it is needed for the overall mosaic of experience.

One may die for one's country in a suicide charge against a fortified position, for example, without sorrow over missing out on the rest of life.

In other words, a multiple life philosophy allows unrestricted freedom to concentrate on whatever might be at hand, without that feeling of desperation brought on by the sensation of "having to do it all" in one go-round.

That is my arguement, and I will accept rebuttals now.

9/30/2010 08:22:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

Bob says:

"No branch of knowledge is self-sufficing; no discipline looked at by itself alone gives light enough for its own path.... There is a great revelation in discovering the hidden links that exist between ideas and systems the most dissimilar."

It would be nice if our modern universities would figure this out.

9/30/2010 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

The troll formerly known as anonymous says:

"It is perfectly acceptable to blow a lifetime on debauchery, for example, if you know what it's for and why it is needed for the overall mosaic of experience."

A lifetime of debauchery is never needed for the "overall mosaic of experience."

That's also on my list of "things that I know are stupid."

It's stupid for the same reason that 2+2 is not equal to 5.

9/30/2010 08:36:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Begin by laying your foundation "according to the height you wish to reach. Broaden the opening of the excavation according to the depth it has to reach."

Nice, pithy, true... not to demean it, but I could see it being on a fortune cookie. This one is a goldmine:

"More importantly, "the value of a book" is limited by "what you are capable of getting out of it." Our task is to find "a way of entry through them into a new domain." Thus, "The source of knowledge is not in books, it is in reality, and in our thought. Books are signposts; the road is older, and no one can make the journey for us...."

, Should be lesson #1 for anyone attempting to teach students, followed quickly by,

"In order to "properly to regulate the intelligence..., qualities quite different from intelligence itself are required."

. I'd like to walk into the nearest school, rip down, stomp & burn all the "Reading is Fundamental!" posters of some movie star posing with a book, out of every classroom, then carve those two into the wall where the blackboards used to be.

Course we'd still have to deal with the latter half of this,

""We think too little of the privilege of this bond with the greatest minds.... Next after men of genius come those who can recognize their worth."

wv:abyke
I think that was meant for bh

9/30/2010 09:15:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"However, on a discordant note, "he who is united to men and to nature without being hiddenly united to God... is but the subject of a kingdom of death.... [S]uch are those... who are out of their element in any higher region," and "who would like to reduce others to their narrow, elementary school orthodoxy."
"

- Abandon hope all ye who enter here -

9/30/2010 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Serve truth!

I must be loopier than usual today; I see that and can't help thinking "To Serve Man."

Though in this context, it wouldn't be so much a cookbook as a set of instructions on serving Man. Though the post does bring home how important it is to be selective in what one puts in one's crock and allows to stew...

(I blame the baby. For the first time in his short life, 3 AM was suddenly a great time to be wide awake and noisily delighted to be alive...)

9/30/2010 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger Theofilia said...

When you do things from your soul
, you feel a river moving in you,
a joy.

-Rumi

Good stuff Bob!

9/30/2010 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Truth is, as it were, the special divinity of the thinker.... By practicing the truth that we know, we merit the truth that we do not yet know.

I have to go with this one. Indeed, until I practice the truth I know, I don't believe it. And why would I need more truth if I am doing nothing with that which has been shown to me.

My uncle took the message, and he wrote it on the wall

9/30/2010 11:34:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Re: Van

Save the books, burn the schools!

9/30/2010 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Mushroom, I think H.L. Mencken had a more comprehensive solution:

"a startling and dramatic improvement in American education requires only that we hang all the professors and burn down the schools".

9/30/2010 11:56:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Heh - meanwhile in the real world, the TOTUS is proposing that we hire 10k more teachers.

9/30/2010 12:20:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

Hey, without schools, I would never have gotten to experience the high points of my life, namely middle school and 11th grade!

9/30/2010 12:26:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

An old man who had experienced great hardship and loss lay on his deathbed. His life had been difficult such that at one point he was wrongly imprisoned for four years for a crime he didn't commit. He was actually looking forward to death when an angel appeared.

"Are you coming to take me home?" he asked.

"No, I have some bad news for you, sir," the angel explained. "Due to a slight miscalculation the Great Equation, it has become necessary that you relive your entire life from birth to death, just as it was lived originally in order for us to recalibrate."

The old man was shattered and began to weep uncontrollably.

The angel continued, "I do have one bit of good news for you. We have a fast forward mechanism that will allow you to skip the anguish of up to four years of your existence, if you choose."

"Thank God," the man said through his sobs, "I won't have to go back through high school."

9/30/2010 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Amen.

9/30/2010 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

I would definitely skip college, if given the chance. I think I was better off before I started college than after I graduated.

At least in high school, there was external structure (i.e. parents) who basically told me what to do and provided purpose to my life (i.e. graduate valedictorian).

In college, I eventually figured out that the only thing I had to do was sleep, play computer games, and take exams. And that's exactly what I did.

9/30/2010 01:04:00 PM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

OK, I know when I am outpithied.

However, I will nuance the notion that only a few books are necessary. This is true, but that does not mean one should only read a few books. I believe that one cannot claim to be an intellectual before one has read a thousand books at least. It has to do with context, with getting a broad sweep of the land. However, after having read a thousand books, you will find that there are only a few you return to, and return to again. This will come naturally, at that time.

9/30/2010 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

It may also be true that by practicing the truth we know, we merit the truth we don't yet know. Yes, in the long run. But truth also has a way of knowing when it is loved, even at the time when that love is still an infatuation, and we are not yet mature enough to love it bodily. And there is in that period a great forbearance. So much so that we for a while remain unaware of our shortcoming, having eyes only for the truth before us.

9/30/2010 01:31:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Magnus - yes, that rings true.

Before I forget, you've mentioned a book a few times recently - the something Buddhist - what's the title?

9/30/2010 01:38:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

OT, really? Because I don't think I've ever heard a guy say anything like, "wow, check out her guns! Those arms go all the way to her ears!"

Australia's tax dollars at work. At least its not ours, I guess...

9/30/2010 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

Julie,
the Blasphemous Tax-cutting Buddhist is not a book. It is a my non google-able name for a certain Japanese cult leader who has written a number of highly interesting books, some of which contain blasphemy and some not. He believes himself to be a god from Venus, so it takes a certain detachment to enjoy the bright and luminous insights in his books. I cannot in good conscience recommend it to you.

(Black Hole, on the other hand, would probably not notice much difference from here.)

9/30/2010 02:09:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

:D

That almost sounds tempting. It's not like I don't have a massive list of books I've been meaning to pick up, though, so I'll take your word on his unsuitability. I love the nickname.

9/30/2010 02:17:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

As Rick might say, I suspect their survey oversampled Subaru drivers.

9/30/2010 02:42:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

"He believes himself to be a god from Venus"

I thought men were from Mars.

9/30/2010 02:51:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

In Japan, anything is possible...

9/30/2010 02:54:00 PM  
Blogger Grant Maher said...

The trouble with serving truth is that it can run counter to important goals set by an individual.

For example, the Japanese wise man would like to be a God from Venus. He desires this strongly, and yet he knows, as do we, it is not true. However, the wise man, wisely, chooses to assert his vision and claim Venusian Godhood anyway. And, the claim adds flair and elan to his works, as MI can attest.

There is a lesson here. You can serve truth, or you serve it as a general rule but depart from it to accomplish certain ends.
A unswerving fealty to truth is not always the best policy.

For example, in intimate relationships there are always certain truths which must be cloaked, guarded, or euphemised, to preserve the union.

The unvarnished truth is often painful to those on the recieving end.

A judicious puddle of small and merciful lies follows the saint or yogin on his rounds of the neighborhood, to be sure.

Therefore, I would urge for best results, keep a certain plasticity in your stance. Rigidity in any area, even in a virtuous one like serving truth, can paradoxically be a wrong movement.

And that is my offering today. Greeting and salutations to all.

9/30/2010 04:41:00 PM  
Blogger Anonymous said...

"As Rick might say, I suspect their survey oversampled Subaru drivers."

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

9/30/2010 04:49:00 PM  
Blogger Mizz E said...

Lovely. I began my day with finding this pithy ditty from Sir Winston Churchill: ""The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is."

And I'm ending my day with a "A Truthsong to Love".

Look! There it is!

Thanks Bob.

9/30/2010 06:18:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

Grant says:

"For example, the Japanese wise man would like to be a God from Venus. He desires this strongly, and yet he knows, as do we, it is not true. However, the wise man, wisely, chooses to assert his vision and claim Venusian Godhood anyway. And, the claim adds flair and elan to his works, as MI can attest."

It also gets him placed onto my list of "cults to investigate".

If it lies, it dies.

9/30/2010 06:59:00 PM  

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