Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Okay, So Reality Exists: Now What?

Another item from several years back. In addition to being tweaked and recalibrated, it was the best one of about thirty I scanned & canned, the only one worthy of the eternal distinction of being tossed up and rewordgitated...

Let's suppose reality exists. If it does exist, then it is not sufficient to merely think or talk about it. Rather, we will want to be in conformity with it, no?

To put it another way, to not be in conformity with reality will result in death, injury, disease or dysfunction in one form or another.

For example, if you are not in conformity with the reality that walking into a speeding bus can be harmful to your health, you won't live very long. Likewise, if you aspire to be a world-class mathematician, you won't get very far if you refuse to conform to the dictates of basic math. Your career will die, as it were.

And if you wish -- or even don't wish -- to know God in the absence of conformity to the divine reality, you will undergo spiritual death. But only again and again.

So there obviously exist different environments -- a vertical spectrum as it were -- to which man must adapt. Unlike other animals, it will not do for man to only adapt to the physical world, for if he were to succeed, he would be an animal, not a man.

Now obviously, it is possible -- common, actually -- to have thoughts that do not conform to reality, and not just if you're frankly crazy. Leftists are proof of this. Nor does intelligence help. Our universities are proof of that. And good intentions are of no help at all. The Democrat party proves this year in, year out.

As we have discussed before, in order to have a cosmos at all, there must be a synapse between subject and object (we call this synapse "spacetime"). But no sooner do you have this differentiation, than you have a distinction between reality and appearances. The human vocation is to bridge this gap and to act upon it. The former is wisdom, the latter morality. Beauty is the creation of objects through which this reality is transmitted and reflected, i.e., the higher shining through the lower.

In the words of Schuon, "He who conceives the Absolute... cannot stop short de jure at this knowledge, or at this belief, realized in thought alone; he must on the contrary integrate all that he is into his adherence to the Real, as demanded precisely by Its absoluteness and infinitude."

Therefore -- and here's the point -- "Man must 'become that which he is' because he must 'become That which is.'" Which is why the new and improved "first commandment" is to love the Lord with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.

In other words, it takes all four -- heart, soul, mind and body -- to achieve this vertical conformity. Leave out one, and you leave a "hole" in the Divine reality, the fullness of which is deveiled only in our adequate mirroring of it.

In man, the big three transcendentals -- the Good, the True and the Beautiful -- are reflected in the form of Will, Thought, and Love, respectively. In other words, we must will the Good, know the True, and love the Beautiful. For who would want to will the bad, know lies, and love ugliness?

Okay, besides the left.

Just as wisdom is beauty of mind, virtue is beauty of will. And beauty itself reveals the intelligence -- not to say, love and will -- of creation, and therefore the Creator.

The point is that our Thought, Will, and Love are not merely isolated functions that arose through some sort of Darwinian magic. Rather, they specifically function in a vertical-teleological manner toward their appropriate ends. It is impossible to coherently argue otherwise. People will the bad all the time, but it's only because they confuse bad and good, as does, say, the U.N.

Likewise, people regularly teach and learn falsehood, but only because they either conflate it with truth, or deny the existence of Truth. If the latter, then "thought" will simply meander in a meaningless way over the blandscape of the mind, going from nowhere to nothing and then back again. It takes approximately four years to complete this round trip at a major university.

To quote Schuon, "Without beauty of soul, all willing is sterile, it is petty and closes itself to grace; and in an analogous manner: without effort of will, all spiritual thought ultimately remains superficial and ineffectual and leads to pretension."

Let's think about that one for a moment. Are there beautiful souls?

Who would have to even pause to answer something so obvious? What I don't understand is how the bonehead atheist can get through life and not be in conformity with this simple reality, i.e., the existence of beautiful souls, along with the naturally supernatural desire for one's own soul to attain to such beauty. But if beauty is just an illusion and the soul doesn't exist, I guess that's their only real option.

Again, such madness is analogous to wishing to develop one's mind even while denying the sufficient reason for its development, which is Truth. And who doesn't love Truth?

Okay, besides the tenured.

It's quite simple, really, because the Real is simple: There is something that man must know and think; and something that he must will and do; and something that he must love and be (Schuon).

Notice the invariant in these three statements about human reality: must.

Therefore, Man is the unnecessary being who must Must, in conformity with the Being who Must Be, since we didn't have to be.

In other words, human beings are contingent -- which is to say, relative -- not necessary, or Absolute.

And yet, religion is here to teach us how to travel the perilous path from contingency to Necessity. The secret lies in the Must, which is that little portion of necessity we share with the Creator. But, in keeping with the gift of free will, it is necessary for us to "activate" the divine Must, for only in conformity to this potential reality are we necessarily free.

Or, the crucifixion of the contingent is resurrected in the Absolute.

29 Comments:

Blogger black hole said...

Why is it not enough to eat donuts and watch TV?

Must I do/be/think?

And if so, will I get paid for it?

If I MUST, then I want compensation.

10/06/2010 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Again, such madness is analogous to wishing to develop one's mind even while denying the sufficient reason for its development, which is Truth. And who doesn't love Truth?
***
The secret lies in the Must


Of all the people I know, it seems the vast majority are "agnostics." Even if they profess Christianity and attend a church. They believe they can just sort of keep their options open regarding the existence and nature of god, but they don't really want to know Truth, because they know there is a Must involved.

They think that knowing Truth means they will be forced to give up the things they love, and they don't believe they'll get anything in exchange besides a bit of a dunking and a "get out of hell free" card, along with an expectation that they'll have to sit on the sidelines of life and just sort of be nice. And boring.

What they don't understand at all is that conforming oneself to Truth means seeing those things as they really are, and eventually realizing they aren't worth keeping anyway. Losing them is painless, and the Must is not a command from without but rather a gift from within, and what we gain in return is everything. And the self that develops as a result of this giving is likely neither nice nor boring.

***

Heh. I should have know bh would provide the illustration...

10/06/2010 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Beautiful souls...
I remember this post, because of that. That's the heart of it, isn't it? The heart you remember.

10/06/2010 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Let's suppose reality exists. If it does exist, then it is not sufficient to merely think or talk about it. Rather, we will want to be in conformity with it, no?"

Heh... proregressive leftists around the world are screaming "nnnNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooo........."

10/06/2010 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

Honest Troll says:

"Must I do/be/think?"

No, you don't have to do anything.

Unless you have decided that you don't have free will. In which case, I offer you the following revised quote from the Matrix:

Concordantly, while your second question may be the most pertinent, you may or may not realize it is also the most irrelevant.

"And if so, will I get paid for it?"

I offer you a revised quote from John:

You will have Life.

10/06/2010 09:45:00 AM  
Blogger black hole said...

Julie, I see your point. Blandness, settling for comfortable and safe, is probably not going to be a life well-lived.

Best to confront the harsh realities and reap the rewards thereof.

JP, from your quote I guess it shows that life itself is a compensation; I don't need more.

I am enough. I have enough. That is truth.

That being said, now I'm back to the usual round of getting and consuming, mixed with unfullfilled nebulous cravings and so forth.

It is very dark in the hole today.

Cheer me up, Van. I am a leftist out of conformity with reality, and I need ridicule, hostility, and verbal abuse. Heap it on.

10/06/2010 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Completely OT, but <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/8044018/A-genuine-elixir-of-life-at-least-for-mice.html</i>this is interesting</a>.

Back when I worked out with a trianer at a gym, I took BCAAs to help speed up muscle recovery and reduce soreness after new workouts. They were very effective. I haven't used them since then, but maybe they're worth a second look.

10/06/2010 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

That's a beautiful and truthful way to understand the sense behind "take up thy cross daily and follow Me".

10/06/2010 02:04:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Here you go, BH. A couple of prominent lives have ended. You can pick up either the mantle of Kurt Albert the Redpoint man or Charlie's mantle.

10/06/2010 02:12:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10/06/2010 02:15:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

BH -

What do you really want? Do you want people here to believe what you are offering? That is not going to happen, you know? Are you seeking to find where you disagree with people here? Are you trying to show people here where they disagree with you?

Just curious... Thanks for reading these questions.

Btw, there is life, and then there is Life. The discrepancy of conditions is part of the current human situation.

Is it that you like that people here are part of a (larger) community, so that is attractive to you? Sorry if I am asking too many questions. I'm just curious.

10/06/2010 02:17:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

BH -

It's just kind of fascinating. A black hole is devoid of light... so go figure...



wv: mightuo

Hehe... Might u O?

10/06/2010 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

There are two schools of thought. One, that matter "secretes" an illusion of consciousness. The other, that spirit informs matter.

10/06/2010 02:31:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

And the reason we have to differentiate "secreting" of consciousness versus mere biological existing is because we have to account for language, love, thought, writing, feelings, relationships, imagination, etc... The human experience, as contrasted with animals' existence.

10/06/2010 02:33:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Re BH,
When ever I wonder about why he's here, I can only think of those kids that pull the wings off insects. How this is fun, or better than doing nothing..
A mystery I don't want to understand nor have the least bit of interest in.
I don't mean to be hurtful. I just. don't. get it. And know I never will.

10/06/2010 02:40:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

It's funny... Those who believe that thought is an illusion of matter spend time showing what this means life isn't. Those who believe in the existence of the spiritual realm spend time finding out what this means about life, what life is. An interesting dichotemy.

10/06/2010 02:50:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

Anna says:

"What do you really want? Do you want people here to believe what you are offering? That is not going to happen, you know? Are you seeking to find where you disagree with people here? Are you trying to show people here where they disagree with you?"

BH wants to troll. Specifically, BH wants to be fed.

Apparently, BH has a very soft spot for Van. This is normal for One Cosoms trolls.

A few days ago, the open thread confused BH and he/she/it started asking questions because Bob didn't create an actual post. BH lashed out in anger and frustration.

Now that Bob is posting again, BH is having to relearn how to properly troll.

It's not going so well for he/she/it. BH is obviously rusty and irritable.

10/06/2010 02:52:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Ask not for whom the hole trolls...

10/06/2010 03:04:00 PM  
Blogger black hole said...

Anna:

Between the two options, matter secreting consciousness versus the spirit informing matter, the second one is more plausible.

In that way the universe can be imbued with purpose. Raccoonism is based on premise #2.

Option #1 is for weenies. It makes no sense at all.

I comment here for love. I love the blog author and his talent, I love the commenters here, all of you. I love the thrill of matching wits with others here, I love the learning, I love my niche as a troll.

I did not make the cut as a "made" raccoon; I was rejected because I argued with Bob, Julie and Van. Therefore, I created a place for myself so I could play here.

I love myself; even the lightless hole which I contain. Yes I hurt. I am in pain.

Beautiful souls, all of you (us). I do not begrudge the rough word-play.

To commune is of the essence; time spent here is time very well spent indeed.

What else is there? Getting and consuming. I do enough of that elsewhere.

That being said, I believe in climate change.

10/06/2010 04:02:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

BH -

Think about the way someone in the US can treat freedom with blase versus what someone escaping the Iron Curtain thought. That's all I have to say.

10/06/2010 04:14:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

"Grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved."

10/06/2010 04:22:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

I did not make the cut as a "made" raccoon; I was rejected because I argued with Bob, Julie and Van.

Oh, good grief. This just shows how much you do not, will not get it. There is no cut, and if you ever pulled your head out of your butt and started acting as though you are interested in aligning yourself with Truth instead of just demanding attention like a bratty child who doesn't care if s/h/it's being punished or praised so long as all eyes are looking its way, you'd see that.

You don't want Truth. You can't handle the Truth. Unfortunate, for you and for us.

10/06/2010 04:26:00 PM  
Blogger Smallish said...

BH:

Bob has cultivated a wide audience who seldom comments, for probably multiple variations of the theme you express. I for one am always glad to see you here. While I don't usually agree with everything laid out in the blog, the edible far outweighs that which already "done bin et" and is merely reprocessed through some coon's idea of ThemOwnSelf. That you don't always assume the party line makes the chatter much more lively.

I admire your version of your place here. I too don't find my own style of "rancorous query" welcome, but that doesn't stop me from benefitting mightily from my time spent here at OC. My goal never was to find a path well-traveled, nor was it to piss anyone off by asking questions.

Also I don't see your questions as childish or bratty, as implied here. The very act of writing them out and posting them qualifies you as a questioning, exploring human, being. That makes you an adult in my book, at least. You are involved and engaged here, perhaps as much or more than most of the coons. And if there is indeed Real Reality to be confronted here, nothing can be wrong with being engaged.

As for the pot-shots and sniping which marks the seasoned goon, don't you find it odd that such brave and intrepid explorers of the soul find it comforting to hang out in a gang hurtling insults at outsiders? Personally I'm looking for a club with something more than a fight song. Carry on, BH. There's light at the end of your darkness. You see it even now.

10/07/2010 06:55:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

Smallish says:

"Also I don't see your questions as childish or bratty, as implied here. The very act of writing them out and posting them qualifies you as a questioning, exploring human, being. That makes you an adult in my book, at least. You are involved and engaged here, perhaps as much or more than most of the coons. And if there is indeed Real Reality to be confronted here, nothing can be wrong with being engaged."

It has more to do with the bad faith vibe that BH is radiating more than the questions.

I'm surprised that my comment indicated that it was deleted by me rather than deleted by the moderator. I didn't realize that Blogger could do that.

10/07/2010 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

I didn't realize that you could do that, either.

Fascinating.

10/07/2010 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger black hole said...

Smallish:

Thank you for your support! I'm glad to know you are there. You seem to get what I'm all about.

Julie:

You zero in on the fact that I like attention. True. That could be a wrong movement. I guess I like it a little too much.

However, I disagree with your contention that I am somehow not "getting it." Not so. I certainly do get "it." It's what I do with it that you don't approve of.

JP: Are you seeking only good vibes? If so, how can you engage in any form of physical, verbal, or electronic combat, here or elsewhere? Are you shirking duty, son? Want permanent leave?

Think about it. A raccoon is self contained. Bad vibes do not threaten a raccoon.

You could have made a decent troll. We talked about that, and you turned it down. So now, step up and duke and out.

10/07/2010 08:24:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Is that someone's sock puppet showing?

10/07/2010 09:05:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

Well, at least BH is self-identifying most of the time.

10/07/2010 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10/07/2010 05:51:00 PM  

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