Hey, I Look Familiar: Haven't We Met Before?
Memory is an everynow mystery that is easy to take for granted, since without it we could not be. In a way, it is everything; nothing can exist if it isn't somehow "remembered." In other words, to exist is to endure, and to endure is to be essentially remembered. What endures is the essence of the thing, through its various transformations.
Memory is also one of those things that the cold hand of scientism unwittingly disfigures as a result of the very manner with which it understands. For to reduce the magic of memory to a mechanistic process -- as if it were analogous to pulling up a file in one's hard drive -- is to do great violence to something quasi-sacred. With memory, one is ultimately touching on the mystery of time itself, which is the substance of our being.
Specifically, we are made of "lived time," which is nothing less than the extended or prolonged interior of the cosmos (the "moving image of eternity"); one might even say "word made flesh," to coin a money quote.
In order to be prolonged into the horizontal, this vertical interior must in some fashion be "remembered." True, we can continue to exist if we sever ourselves from this source, but only in the same way that the Alzheimer's patient goes on living despite being "outside" his personal memories.
I, for example -- and I'm sure you do too -- have certain memories that live inside me "in eternity." There is even some suggestion -- I've overheard Petey thinking about it -- that these moments stamped with eternity -- or is it the other way around? -- are what we "take with us when we go," so to speak. For when we have touched the eternal, the eternal has also in-formed us most deeply, which is what makes the moment eternal.
Of course, we always "live in eternity," for it could not be otherwise. But one might say that the point of life is to lend eternity the stamp of our personal essence -- or again, the reverse: to imbue our essence with the eternal. Not that many people bother to do this. But some do.
For example, I'm currently reading the wonderful Team of Rivals, and it is quite apparent that Lincoln was of this cast of mind, his apparently unorthodox religious views to the contrary notwithstanding. (In other words, he may have been outwardly unorthodox but was inwardly one hundred percent orthoparadoxical).
Interestingly, Schuon felt that Lincoln was a man of great spiritual attainment. There are numberless "false geniuses" whose works and ideas are worthless to man, but also "the true genius of which people are unaware: Lincoln is one such example, he who owes a large part of his popularity to the fact that people took him -- and still take him -- for the incarnation of the average American."
But in reality, his "intelligence, capacity and nobility of character went far beyond the level of the average." To think that just a couple of years ago people were comparing Obama -- who must strain his capacities just to be mediocre -- to Lincoln! It only demonstrates the absence of spiritual discernment in these inverted and O-ccluded times.
Interestingly, we usually don't know at the time it is happening that we are having an experience that partakes of the eternal, but we can call up these moments in hindsight. Often they are quite random. I know that for me, for example, there was a "golden time" between the ages of 9 and 12 that endures like a kind of touchstone of eternity inside of me.
Perhaps it is just the natural mysticism of childhood, but to look at it from the outside is to miss the point. It is impossible for me to put it into words, but perhaps a poet could do it.
In fact, that's why we revere and even tolerate poets, isn't it? -- because the less annoying ones conjure eternity within time, or reincarnate a hidden selfinus, or "take upon the mystery of things, as if they were God's spies" (Shakespeare).
Let us suppose that we have actually chosen to be here in this life and this incarnation. Who is the "we" that chooses? Yes, you could say it is our "soul," but what is that? It is not the same as the mind. In fact, the mind often interferes with the soul's project and mission, for if the soul has chosen to be here, it has done so for reasons of something it is impelled to accomplish, or experience, or learn.
What the soul ultimately wishes to learn about is itself, and the terrestrial condition of human embodiment is the only way -- perhaps -- to do this. Remember, we're just supposing, but let's further suppose that our soul thirsts for a lived experience of itself.
It is one thing to "have a self," but it doesn't really mean much -- that is, it is a rather dry and abstract thing, an "empty category" -- unless we are able to discover and articulate the unique "idiom" (as the psychoanalyst Bollas calls it) of our authentic self. (One is immediately reminded of the question of why God creates, which must be for analogous reasons.)
Now, just the fact that we are born with an unarticulated true self -- and essence -- is a great mystery to ponder. It is another reason why we reject the cosmically inverted ideology of leftism, for all forms of leftism are at war with the Self, which may only articulate itself under conditions of ordered liberty.
That is, the latent self specifically requires the existence of an open future, which is the necessary condition to live in the hope that we will eventually "re-member" ourselves and then truly use the time we are given as a medium for the self's joyful articulation. This is the "art of living": the exteriorization of the soul for the purposes of the interiorization of eternity. One might say that soul becomes person so that person might become soul.
Conversely, to indoctrinate people into identifying with their skin color, or their dopey culture, or their socioeconomic class, is to reverse the ontological order; ultimately it is to teach that the self is here to serve the collective, rather than vice versa.
This is the horror of liberal academia. The original meaning of "educate" is from the Latin educare, meaning to "draw out." But for our tenured radicals, it is the opposite: these are doctors who indoctrinate, or shove it in, big time.
This is why you will have noticed that radicals are always -- always -- such existential phonies and frauds. In fact, the more genuine they are, the more deeply phony. They are ontologically weightless, but weightless in such a way that it takes the form of a heavy, spiritually opaque darkness that pulls them and the luckless souls under their influence further into the abyss, 32 feet per second per second, to be exact. They incarnate the Fall of man.
We cannot pretend that this leftist brainwashing and soultarnishing don't do real harm. If I were a bitter man -- which a Coon never is -- I would be furious at what this indoctrination did to me -- specifically, the precious time it stole from my life, time that should have been spent discovering, "drawing out," and articulating my true self and its idiom.
My book and blog represent the culmination -- or let us say, the ongrowing fillfullment -- or maybe the detritus -- of this idiom, and it is truly a miracle of providence that I climbed off the bleak scaffolding of a spiritually empty academonic world which would have me be what I am not -- which no one truly is, as a matter of fact. For no person is actually a Darwinian machine, or a gender, or a race, or a talking monkey. But as always, Light is the best disinfuckedup, if you'll pardon the French, which I'll never do.
They say you never forget the face before you were born. Once the true self is remembered, one finds that it is generative, or "fruitful." It is as if it produces waves from a hidden but intelligent ocean that lap upon the distant shore of consciousness. Anything that denies the ocean and prevents our river from finding its shore is a priori satanic, whatever the context, for it is the foreclosure of the self and the end of our reason for being.
In the words of Bollas, "From the beginning of life one's idiom is rather like a vision-in-waiting, a preconception, as Bion would say, of things to come, which takes shape over time. Idiom seeks objects because they materialize form which realizes itself as it shapes these contents of a life. This is a deep pleasure [emphasis mine]. It is a manifestation of the drive to present the particularity of one's being, a form which suggests itself as a visionary movement through the object world."
In another book, Bollas characterizes the articulation of one's idiom as the "erotics of being," surely an accurate description. We live in strange times, for never before in human history have more people had the opportunity to enjoy the erotics of their being, and yet, they imagine they are deprived. They are deprived, because they are misusing their time and therefore abusing their self -- and punishing God. But really they're just cutting off the nous to spite the face before they were born.
When we find and live our authentic selves -- and therefore, God -- it is analogous to a highlight in one of the books in his vast liberatory: the famous Book of Life. It gives him great delight, for each human book is full of surprises. Sure, he "knows" us before we do, but so do we. That doesn't take away the fun. Rather, it just adds to it. For it is the first day of creation all over again.
Which is God's favorite rememberme, because it's the gift that keeps giving like One←→Two←→Three -- to oneself and to others and to the Creator. It's that feeling you get when you see your child growing up to become himself, someone good, true, beautiful, and unique.
The essential act of faith is the remembrance of God; “to remember,” in Latin, is recordare, that is re-cordare, which indicates a return to the heart, cor. --Frithjof Schuon