Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Your Cosmic Rights and Responsibilities

"God alone is noun," says Bishop Ware. "All created things are adjectives." From this we infer that God is Is, whereas you and I are types or modes of Is.

But as we know from God's own testimony, his isness is not some sort of indefinable blobby business. Rather, it is I AM, which implies that we are the infinitely diverse manifestations of I AM. This makes sense, since we can't all be I. It reminds me of the two psychotic patients who both believe they're Jesus Christ. How can two beings occupy the same space? Or, how can one being occupy two people?

How can He not?

In an analogy Alan Watts used, we are like pinpricks in a lampshade, in which there is only one source of light -- the central bulb -- but from the outside will look like many individual sources. In short, there is one Light "behind" or "beneath" or "above" -- however you wish to characterize transcendence -- all light. I AM is the Word from our eternal sponsor.

Now, as far as I can see, you can't just say I AM and leave it at that. Rather, I AM immediately implies YOU ARE too. Does this mean I AM two? Yes and no. As we have heard from the wise, God is Love. Thus, I AM and YOU ARE are really the minimal conditions for the instantiation of LOVE. So the Light would appear to be Love, and vice versa.

Bishop Ware beats another conundrum, noting that "We have always existed for [God]; creation signifies that at a certain point in time we begin to exist also for ourselves."

Here again, it seems that Love is the motive force that sponsors the transition from AM to I AM. Thus, "Creation is not an event in the past, but a relationship in the present" (emphasis mine). Creatvity, love, intimacy, uniqueness, relationship, identity -- all are thoroughly entangled in the one metacosmic law or principle, i.e., I AM. One might very well say that they are horizontal prolongations of it. Indeed, "Man is a finite expression of God's infinite self-expression" (Ware).

But since we exist for ourselves as well as for God, it is possible -- to say the least -- to focus on the former to the exclusion of the latter. Indeed, to a certain extent, our notorious fall from the latter ladder is really just this: separation and alienation from our metacosmic source.

For this vertical ladder "leads to the kingdom," but is also that circular snarecase "that goes down to a dank and snake-infested cellar." Sin may be wrongdoing, but more to the point, it is wrongbeing, or being on the wrong rung.

I had -- or have -- no conscious intention of venturing down this particular path, but here we are -- or here I am -- so might as well push ahead. It must have something to do with Abhishiktananda, although I don't yet know what it might be.

Anyway, Bishop Ware expresses the coonologically correct doctrine that "Man stands at the heart of God's creation." And, "Participting as he does in both the noetic [i.e., vertical] and material realms, he is an image or mirror of the whole creation, imago mundi, a 'little universe' or microcosm. All created things have their meeting place in him." We are the living combo plate of the whole existentialada, not just the dead worm resting at the bottom of the cosmic tequila bottle.

In order to try to explain away the big bang (since it necessitates a creative intelligence), some physicists are positing the fantasy of multiple universes -- as if they wouldn't just be the manifestation of an even higher law, or metauniverse. But in truth, as mentioned above, there are already multiple universes. They are called human persons, and each one is unique, at least in potential.

But as with the multiple universe theory just mentioned, these microcosms do not and cannot stand alone. Rather, as Ware says, man is not just microcosm but mediator.

Thus, it is our God-given vocation "to reconcile and harmonize the noetic and the material realms, to bring them to unity, to spiritualize the material, and to render manifest all the latent capacities in the created order."

Ware emphasizes that the key is "to manifest the spiritual in and through the material," to such an extent that one could say that "Christians are in this sense the only true materialists" (although to be fair, there are others; for the most part, only materialists aren't materialists, since they reify and inhabit their abstract fantasies and I-AMputate matter from its source).

So we are microcosm, which is obvious enough. What about mediator? Ware summarizes it this way: as microcosm "man is the one in whom the world is summed up." But as mediator, "he is the one through whom the world is offered back to God."

This is what in coonspeak is known as the punway round trip, the absurcular argument, the endless circumnavelgazing, the deustination of our salvolution. It simultaneously starts where science ends and ends where science begins, i.e., the alphomega or bigending -- or, in the words of the poet, Before the beginning and after the end.

And what might that be? Peaking Allegheirically, it is the Love that removes the sin and other scars.

... two lovely is better than to leaf alone...

36 Comments:

Blogger JP said...

Bob says:

"In order to try to explain away the big bang (since it necessitates a creative intelligence), some physicists are positing the fantasy of multiple universes -- as if they wouldn't just be the manifestation of an even higher law, or metauniverse. But in truth, as mentioned above, there are already multiple universes. They are called human persons, and each one is unique, at least in potential."

You can count me in with the multiple universe fantasy.

Of course, I accept that they are all manefestations of the metauniverse.

Mostly this has to do with the fact that problably at about 5 years old, I realized that this world would end (thanks to Mr. Sun), everyone would die, and there was nothing I could do about it. Eventually, I figured out the same for the entire universe.

This actually caused extensive exitential panic in me for some time.

So note to parents out there: Don't let your kids watch Nova on PBS unless you want to cause absolute terror in your toddlers and have them run screaming and crying through the house.

9/15/2010 08:23:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Everything ends, or it could never be.

9/15/2010 08:29:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Endless time is like endless height. If you went on forever, no one could see your face.

9/15/2010 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

once upon an ever after
healthy brains aflame with knowing
the bliss of limitless awe at the infinite All
they lived happily for a time


[multic]

9/15/2010 08:45:00 AM  
Blogger Jason T. said...

You know guys, I read this blog everyday pretty much, and chime in from time to time. Whenever I do post a response it is usually an attempt to offer an insight that I have had, or relate my experience of Awakening in some way, maybe dig an elbow into the ribs of the looney-bat left wingers.

But the truth of the matter is that today I am suffering so much and I just want to feel like somebody is there for me. As I write this tears are coming from my eyes, and I know what Schuon says about hiding one's sin and suffering from others, but the fact is that I don't have a stable spiritual community, my life is in the air, and I am going through so much mental/emotional/energetic upheavl right now that I don't know what else to do.

Pleae, pray for me.

I feel so alone nad am in so much pain it would do me a world of good to know that there are others with Integrity and Love in their hearts offering words for me. The only reason I ask is because so much f my spiritual practice comes from the offerings of this readership, everything from aurobindo to Unknown Friend to Mr. Schuon.

Please offer prayers for me.

Thank you.

With Gratitude,
Jason

9/15/2010 08:52:00 AM  
Blogger black hole said...

Jason:

My prayers are with you. Do you want to talk more specifically about what is causing your suffering?

You have company I suffer wretchedly. I am unfullfilled. At my center is an orange ball of seething rage and in the middle of that ball is a black hole of sucking emptiness that threatens to anhilate me.

On the street level that translates to angst, resentment, and craving. I have stopped blaming other people and now I'm trying to stop using them. I guess that's progress.

And you?

9/15/2010 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Jason, will do.

JP, we discussed that "panic" a year or two ago here. I'm not sure how I would search this blog for them, but they were good. I believe Robin Starfish called his, "the big littles". I forget what Bob called it..

9/15/2010 09:49:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Bion called it the Nameless Dread.

9/15/2010 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger Mizz E said...

Meister Eckhart says,

What keeps us alive, what allows us to endure?
I think it is the hope of loving,
or being loved.
 
I heard a fable once about the sun going on a journey 
to find its source, and how the moon wept 
without her lover’s
warm gaze.
 
We weep when light does not reach our hearts. We wither 
like fields if someone close 
does not rain their 
kindness
 upon 
us.


_________________

For Jason:

Father, we beseech thee to have mercy upon Jason who is living in mental darkness. Restore him to strength of mind and cheerfulness of spirit, and give him health and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

9/15/2010 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

That's a good name for it.

9/15/2010 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Bob, that is unspeakably lovely. The post and the music.

Jason, I don't know what you're going through, but I do know how comforting it is to know that others are praying for you. So of course, you're in my prayers.

It may be hard to remember, but no matter how alone you feel, in truth there is always One there to help ease your burden. Even if it's difficult to see that for a while, and even though, especially at the worst of times, it may seem a cold comfort indeed. Give it time. Pour your heart out in prayer, as often as needed, and remember to breathe.

Kirie eleison
Christe eleison
Kirie eleison


This, too, shall pass.

9/15/2010 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Jason and black hole –

The realization that you are sinners in the eyes of a Holy God, and absolutely helpless to save yourselves from His righteous judgment is the darkest, emptiest place your soul ever needs to go.

Pay attention. It is from within the midst of that blackness that you may “hear” God say, “I Am”, and upon hearing, you may give up your resistance and receive by faith the gift of absolute forgiveness that was fully paid on your behalf by the perfect sacrifice of Christ.

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved."

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2)

With your “new birth” will come new life in Him. And that’s just the beginning. Believe it.

That's my prayer for you.

9/15/2010 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

Jason says:

"I don't have a stable spiritual community, my life is in the air, and I am going through so much mental/emotional/energetic upheavl right now that I don't know what else to do."

This sounds kind of like my normal baseline state of being.

Although, if you are suffering from something like major depression and/or panic attacks (I've already seen two cases like this this morning), psychiatric care might help. Part of my job is to tell people that they should to see a psychiatrist, so it's kind of reflexive for me to recommend that. Of course, I have no idea what your actual situation is.

I also have a reflexive urge to sue insurance companies and/or the federal government. However, I doubt that has any bearing on your particular situation.

9/15/2010 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger SippicanCottage said...

Nope. We're all nouns. God's the verb.

9/15/2010 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

Bob says:

"Everything ends, or it could never be."

and

"Endless time is like endless height. If you went on forever, no one could see your face."

I think everything, except God, has to have at least a beginning. I'm not sure that I have to have both a beginning and an end.

A certain amount of time will take place in this universe. Because the total space and time are defined by the amount of total energy in the universe and the geometric boundary conditions of the universe.

And in any event, everything always happens Now anyway.

9/15/2010 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

I also have a reflexive urge to sue insurance companies and/or the federal government. However, I doubt that has any bearing on your particular situation.

As a lawyer, you should know that you need an upfront disclaimer. I had a mouthful of coffee as I read the above. This could have ended badly.

9/15/2010 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

'Ware emphasizes that the key is "to manifest the spiritual in and through the material"'

I've been thinking along those lines quite a bit the past couple of weeks. Thanks to our fallen state, we are so much in the horizontal that when we experience the vertical, it can be easy to get dazzled, to where we don't notice that while the horizontal without the vertical is essentially empty, so too the vertical without the horizontal, albeit in a different way. That is to say, what good would be a pure spirituality if it were not married to the herebelow?

But where the two meet... now that would be sOmething, indeed.

9/15/2010 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger f/zero said...

Jason -

Done. We are all in this wonderful and terrifying entanglement together. When one falls another stands but we are indeed all roped together. So hang on - whatever it is will pass in its season and you will lift another in time.

One of the advantages of age is learning not only how true this is, but how to make it through the repeating waves of refining fire. One step at a time is what it boils down to. Be honest with yourself; be small in God's vast universe.

Meanwhile, make it real by helping other people in the tiniest ways. Size doesn't matter.

9/15/2010 10:36:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Jason, I add my prayers for you to those of my friends.

9/15/2010 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

In short, there is one Light ...

Now, as far as I can see, you can't just say I AM and leave it at that.

There is one Source of light and there is one Light. The Two are One ... yet Two. Pretty cool.

9/15/2010 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

It is an undeniable fact that we have been allowed to live in this world. If we had not received a lot of love even from we were tiny, we would never have grown up at all. Sure, that love was often tainted, perhaps painfully so; but had not love predominated, we would have been dead now. Whether through the goodwill of a parent or two (as in my case), or the society that instilled enough fear of the law in them to not throw you out with the bathwater, somehow and in multiple ways we all must have received a lot through the years where we could not fend for ourselves. This is proven by the fact that not only are we here, but we have basic literacy and a number of other nifty skills not found in those raised by wolves.

Even after we grow up, we depend day to day on the goodwill (or at least enlightened self-interest) of others to provide us with the necessities of life. While their work for us is almost always tainted, it is still there. And are we free from taint? Rarely ever.

Reflecting on this shows that we are continually receiving love, not just directly and spiritually from God, but in our daily lives, filtered through many imperfect and struggling people, but still the love is there, that has allowed us to live to see this day.

When we know we have received love and long to pass it on, we begin to shine with a bright, warm light.

9/15/2010 11:32:00 AM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Victor Davis Hanson: When Socialism Creeps In

As I have gone back and forth between Europe, US and Canada over the past 18 months in the process of starting a new company, I'm frankly amazed at how few Americans seem to understand how heavily socialized America has become compared to other nations. To be sure, America still represents the bedrock of freedom in the world, however that is being rapidly eroded and not just by Obama (Bush plunged the country into numerous new statist commitments). When it comes to large swaths of the economy and every day life, there is barely any real difference between the US, the UK, even France (which is not cowed by greens to anywhere near the degree Americans are, for example -- French lead world in nuclear energy).

The only antidote I can see is the Tea Party and the real Americans it represents (I expect most 'coons would feel some kinship with most Tea Partiers, and vice versa). And that's another critical difference: Europeans, Canadians et al are far more likely to just roll over and suck it up as Leviathan expands. Americans -- at least some Americans will fight the (leftist) power!

9/15/2010 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger black hole said...

Magnus: Your comment reaches me. I tend to focus on the tainted love, rather than on the love, tainted or not,that I recieved. The past tends to make one bitter unless one can see it as you do. I appreciate the comment; perhaps it will actually help me. It does help me. It makes sense. It is like a slap on the cheek to make me wake up.

I have forgiven myself, I have forgiven other people, and now I must cross the last frontier. I must forgive God for putting me into this predicament. Oh, I'm sure He has reasons, and I'd like to hear 'em. He's done me good, but still...there's a feeling of aggrievment here. A feeling that one would like to sue someone.

Maybe after I reach full forgiveness I will disappear in a puff of pink vapor. Peace Out. Or go about my business, ready to die at last of natural causes.

To NB: bring it then brother. Let's rumble. Hammer and Sickle Uber Alles.

9/15/2010 01:31:00 PM  
Blogger Jason T. said...

Thank you all so much for offering your words of comfort and kindness, your prayers. I have most certainly felt a sense of descending peace in the past few hours, which has brought some much needed objectivity to the inner turmoil, rather than the almost complete identification that it has been for the past 24 hours or so. It was close to overwhelming.

So thank you all once again.

Suffice to say that the experience was/is a frightening mixture of supersensible energy (causing shakes, twitches, headaches) and a flood of all the horrible shit that happened to me as a child emerging into my mind of its own volition. This is a sense of fear, dread, separation, self-hatred, physical agony, and thoughts like "I am subconsciously trying to bring about the end of the world because all is pointless and worthless."

As for checking myself into a hospital or seeing a psychiatrist, been there. All they want to do is give me a pill, which, when combined with the flood of kundalini, makes me feel like I am being strangled on the inside, to which I writhe around on the ground until the effects wear off.

The only thing that works is sitting in meditation combined with a very detailed practice of writing about the images and emotions as they arise, describing in every single detail what it is that I see and feel. As I do this I can re-own the dissociated aspects of self and integrate the energy that is flailing about in my body.

The initial energy break-through (which was like having my mind shattered into a thousand pieces) happened two months ago. After initially checking myself into the hospital I discovered the writing process and it has saved my life. I thought that my life was getting somewhat back to normal and tried participating in some group activities, which then triggered this episode. Thankfully, I am seeing clearly again.

After I was released from the hospital, Joseph Campbell's The Inner Reaches of Outer Space fell in my lap, and he describes word for word what I went through, am going through:

"The transformation of character that is a prerequisite for living in the light of a transformed world is symbolized in imagery of the yogic ladder by a final triad of chakras--numbers 5, 6, and 7--which are of the head and mind pursuing aims and ends beyond the physical senses. ...The required method to this end is known as a turning about of the energy, which is to say, simply, an application of all the available malice and aggression of chakra 3 , not outward to the correction of the world, but inward, upon oneself... The Indian pictorial metaphor is of a wrathful deity in demonic form, wearing necklaces of severed heads, kilts of severed arms and legs, flourishing weapons and trampling down human shapes under foot. This demon is a manifestation of one's own impulse to aggression turned back to oneself, the vanquished shapes under foot representing attachment to physical desires and the fear of physical death."

Thank you all for listening and understanding. It feels good to be able to be myself, whether in horrible pain or talking about all this esoteric nonsense.

9/15/2010 01:48:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

"Nope. We're all nouns. God's the verb."

Just as I suspected. Muslim!

9/15/2010 03:35:00 PM  
Blogger SippicanCottage said...

Heh. It's so much worse than that.

I went to Catholic School.

9/15/2010 06:24:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Verbum dei, no doubt.

9/15/2010 06:45:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Playing catch up in the book,

It must have something to do with Abhishiktananda, although I don't yet know what it might be.

Seems to me the whole post touches pretty closely on Swami A's philosophy:

"Every creature is then in its own intimate way a manifestation, an ontological witness of God, a 'Theophany.' Everything reflects, in some measure, the divine attributes, nay participates in the divine Essence and receives its existence from the absolutely Existent. Therefore it cannot but point to God not only as its supreme Source, but especially as to its ultimate goal.
...
[Man's] goal is to know God...to seek Him...and to love Him beyond measure..."

9/15/2010 08:15:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Peaking Allegheirically, it is the Love that removes the sin and other scars.

Along those lines, Robin of Berkely:

"I became an anxious adult, a pleaser, someone who bent over backwards not to offend. But it wasn't just my mother who catapulted me into lifelong perfectionism. It was the absence of a forgiving God.

Without a Higher Power, there was no avenue for redemption, no way to cleanse the ever-present feelings of unworthiness. All of my mistakes remained etched permanently in my consciousness.

I was alone in the world, attempting to be my personal mini-God. Assuming the role of my own judge and jury, any mistakes were dealt with swiftly and harshly.
...
When a culture banishes God as the ultimate arbiter, a guilt-ridden populace is the inevitable outcome. And stripped of God, what other path is there to liberation than liberalism?"

9/15/2010 08:21:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

One cosmos
One special cosmos
One cosmos to go with,
To talk with, And walk with...
One cosmos,
That's the way it should be...

One cosmos
One certain cosmos,
One cosmos to laugh with,
And joke with, Have coke with.
One cosmos, Not two or three.

One cosmos you find out
This is what life is all about,
You need some cosmos who
Is living just for you.

One cosmos,
One steady cosmos
One cosmos to be with,
Forever, And ever,
One cosmos,
That's the way it should be...
That's the way it should be.

9/16/2010 04:54:00 AM  
Blogger Sal said...

Testing.

9/16/2010 05:46:00 AM  
Blogger Sal said...

Jason- everyone has said it well. You're on my list. Feel better.

Magnus- thank you. I will contemplate that today.

So, man as mediator. Been kicking around Bob's statement that the universe needs someone to appreciate it to exist. I can see that that works in the context of, say, the Prayer of the Three Young Men, where all parts of creation are called on to "praise the Lord, praise Him and magnify Him forever". It's really our contemplation of them that is the praise.
Nice new layer.

9/16/2010 05:58:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

Jason, from your description of your psychological/spiritual event it sounds as though you are at midlife and are now dealing with the consequences of the past.

It sounds as though this is something that you simply have to endure and accept and then wait for it to pass. Fighting it may possibly make it worse.

Of course, that's just my off the cuff thinking based on one of the thousand thoughts stuck in my memory from the writings of others.

Since i'm not a psychologist, psychiatrist, or accredited mystic, I could be completely wrong. Your problem doesn't involve the federal bureauracy, which is my primary area of expertise.

You may need the assistance of professional monks.

wv: conseled

9/16/2010 06:04:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

Julie says:

"Everything reflects, in some measure, the divine attributes, nay participates in the divine Essence and receives its existence from the absolutely Existent. Therefore it cannot but point to God not only as its supreme Source, but especially as to its ultimate goal."

Except for those who have turned their backs on God.

Then they reflect Ø, all the while denying that God as either Source or goal. In fact, they simply deny God.

wv: consist

9/16/2010 06:08:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

True, but yet in their very existence as beings who can say "I will" or "I will not," they cannot help but proclaim that O is.

To reflect Ø with any truth, they would have to almost literally unmake themselves.

9/16/2010 09:22:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"For this vertical ladder "leads to the kingdom," but is also that circular snarecase "that goes down to a dank and snake-infested cellar." Sin may be wrongdoing, but more to the point, it is wrongbeing, or being on the wrong rung."

Yep.

NB said "The only antidote I can see is the Tea Party and the real Americans it represents (I expect most 'coons would feel some kinship with most Tea Partiers, and vice versa). And that's another critical difference: Europeans, Canadians et al are far more likely to just roll over and suck it up as Leviathan expands. Americans -- at least some Americans will fight the (leftist) power!"

Check.

bh said "To NB: bring it then brother. Let's rumble. Hammer and Sickle Uber Alles."

Ready and waiting. Warning: I will laugh at you.

9/16/2010 11:12:00 AM  

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