Monday, December 06, 2010

It's a Wonderful Reality Tunnel

The miracles of Jesus Christ reveal the secret of the influence exercised by individuals for the universal, and by the universal for the individual. --Valentin Tomberg

Let's talk about miracles. According to Schuon, the phenomenon of miracles "has in itself nothing mysterious or problematical about it: the so-called natural laws of a lower degree of Existence can always be suspended through the intervention of a higher degree, whence the perfectly logical term 'supernatural.'”

In other words, there is in any phenomenon a combination of both horizontal and vertical causes. Some things are almost all horizontal, while others -- we call them miracles -- are predominantly vertical. Thus, what appears supernatural on the horizontal or terrestrial plane is actually “'natural'” on the universal scale."

Scientists, of course, "confuse the miraculous with the irrational and the arbitrary," but Aristotle was correct in his outline of the four types of causation: material and efficient, which are horizontal; and formal and final, which are vertical. This is why scientists are baffled by anything that clearly manifests final causation, such as free will. Acknowledging final causation would destroy their faith in matter, so they attempt to explain it through material and efficient causes only, which ends in self-refuting absurcularity.

According to Tomberg, the seven miracles recorded in the Gospel of John "represent the healing of the seven principal infirmities of human nature in both individuals and groups." As such, they are "not just miracles," but "signs of the future spiritual and bodily healing processes within the human organism, which is sick as a consequence of the fall of humanity" (emphasis mine).

Please note that healing of any kind has a teleonomic aspect, in the sense that it is an attempt on the part of the organism to "return" to its archetypal form (which is always "above" in space or "ahead" in time).

Three orthoparadoxical statements come immediately to mind: 1) The kingdom of God is within [or among] you, 2) Seek ye first this kingdom, and 3) from the Gospel of Thomas, The Father's kingdom is spread all over the world, but the folks cannot see it. Hold these thoughts for later.

Just as the scientist can deny the miraculous, it is possible for the religionist to deny the mundane, so to speak. And he would be ontologically correct in doing so, although it would make functioning in the world difficult. I mean, someone has to grow the food, make the clothes, and take out the trash.

The point is, since verticality takes priority over horizontality, we could say that there is an "upper vertical" magic and a "lower vertical" magic (one is reminded of the observation that Isaac Newton was not the first scientist but the last magician).

Which is why signs and wonders are happening all the time -- i.e., the Father's kingdom is spread all over the world -- but the interventions are so subtle that we may underlook them, so to speak.

We may also fail to notice them because we can only scamper through one reality tunnel, and cannot see the other timetube that "might have been" in the absence of the vertical influence. It is not possible to conduct a double blind study on reality, which is why faith is unavoidable, whether secular or religious (e.g., Paul Krugman and other leftist economists have the faith that if only Obama had spent a few trillion more, the economy would be in great shape).

Of course, this is the great spiritual lesson of It's a Wonderful Life, which is about a man who spends his life selflessly aligning himself with the good, at great personal cost. However, in his case, he is shown the alternate reality that might have been had he spent his life pursuing only his egoic desires. Thus, he is able to understand that by acting so selflessly, he was actually socking away capital in a moral bank account that is "not of this world."

Another way of saying it is that George is granted the spiritual boon of a clear vision of all the miracles and magic that had occurred in his life as a result of unselfishly aligning himself with the Good.

And realizing this is the greatest miracle of all, for with this realization, the magic that had always been operating in his life bursts upon him like a sudden downpour of grace. What a tragic waste of life to miss the magic that is happening all the time, for this magic is precisely what nourishes the soul and feeds the "second birth." Living for others is a great liberation.

The same lesson is present in Dickens' Christmas Carol, in which Scrooge is first given a vision of the forces that went into exiling him from the greater reality and enclosing him in the cold world of his bitter and envious ego.

Envy and entitlement are literally forms of "reverse magic," in that they will spoil whatever they acquire. Envy may or may not help you get what you think you want, but it will also prevent you from enjoying it once you have it. Conversely, gratitude is both the cause and effect of spiritual awareness and contentment.

This lower vertical magic forms the basis of the leftist agenda, which is why they only become more bitter upon getting what they want. The bitterness of the left has not remitted one iota since prevailing in the 2008 election, because envy is an addictive way of life.

Leftism begins with the childish observation that the world is not perfect -- that it does not conform to their fantasies -- so that even things that work miraculously well must be attacked. Which only results in more problems that the leftist will decry and demand that the state remedy. If this downworld spiral is not arrested soon, it will eventually reach bottom.

In hermetic terms, the subtle rules the dense, and the deeper the effect, the higher the cause. The highest cause being God, aligning ourselves with this cause should, so to speak, lift us out of the closed circle of horizontality and manifest in our own lives in terms of the "subtle ruling the dense."

Now, this is not to say that the dense -- the horizontal -- can ever be wholly eliminated. We are not angels, which is to say, purely vertical beings. But it does mean that we can do our part to reverse the fall and restore the priority of the vertical over the horizontal. Obviously, if everyone did this -- individuals working on behalf of the universal -- we would have "heaven on earth," or a kind of earthly analogue of paradise.

On the other hand, "hell on earth" is the leftist agenda of the individual being forced to work on behalf of the (false) universal which is the state. For the true liberal, the individual is the true universal, not the collective.

Now, the first miracle recorded in Genesis is the archetype of all others, for as our Unknown Friend says, creation ex nihilo -- or out of nothing -- "is the highest possible expression of magic, namely divine and cosmic magic." This is why the primordial act of creation was not so much a bang as a blossoming seed. As he says, this is "not too difficult to imagine, because each little acorn is such a 'constructive bomb' and the oak is only the visible result of the slow 'explosion' -- or blossoming out -- of this 'bomb.'" What is a butterfly but an exploded worm -- or in our case, a buddhafly caterpultered from a christallus cocoon?

The seed has both a husk and kernel. The husk is there to protect the kernel, but it is possible that we can come to identify with the husk, thus defeating its purpose -- and the purpose of our lives -- by arresting the "blossoming explosion" of our true self. This blossoming -- once you begin to experience it -- is the "personal magic" that mirrors the magic of creation itsoph -- of God's unfolding, creative self-revelation. You too are a Big Bang.

The kernel, since it is internally related to the whole, seems miraculously able to draw the people and materials it requires in order to fulfill its mission. Or as a rabbinical expression puts it, "God spends most of his time arranging meetings and marriages."

Better stop now. Late for work....

12 Comments:

Blogger JP said...

The horizontal cause of everything we see was the so-called "Big Bang".

I think scientists have to use UF's approach of "let's pretend everything has a horizontal cause" because to do otherwise would lead to incoherency.

Bob notes:

"Which is why signs and wonders are happening all the time -- i.e., the Father's kingdom is spread all over the world -- but the interventions are so subtle that we may underlook them, so to speak."

Some aren't so subtle, they just aren't accepted as divine intervention because "miracles can't exist" in the minds of many.

Plus, when you talk about miracles, you are moving out of horizontal causation, which means that miracles are by their very nature unpredictable. Miracles happen because someone with the power to create miracles wants the miracles to happen, not because the recipient said the right magic words.

12/06/2010 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

Acutally, the real "hell on earth" would be a state of horror that's actually lower than the lefist dream of serving the omnipotent state.

That is to say that the lefitst dream is not a stable configuration. It will either get better or worse from there. It's actually one of the upper levels of hell, so to speak. Not the Ninth Circle of Hell.

12/06/2010 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Leftism begins with the childish observation that the world is not perfect -- that it does not conform to their fantasies -- so that even things that work miraculously well must be attacked.

Interesting. When I was a child, that particular observation led me to realize that since the world is greater than I could ever possibly imagine, there must be a god.

12/06/2010 09:27:00 AM  
Blogger Grant Maher said...

A very interesting post.

These interventions of which you speak--

I see these sprinkled here and there.

The most frequent variety is a bending of the usual laws of happenstance. These are blatantly unlikely occurrences that address some kind of need or desire.

A less common variety is the thought, dream, or vision that if followed yields a result.

Rarely, there is a deformation of physics (often a tactile or audio experience).

Interventions must be carefully distinguished from the background chaff of ordinary consciousness. Interventions carry a certain emotional tone that you begin to recognize as the calling card of O.

Specific interventions are not to be discussed. Not even with other Raccoons.

12/06/2010 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Thus, he is able to understand that by acting so selflessly, he was actually socking away capital in a moral bank account that is "not of this world."

Or according to wv, imerich!

Speaking of Mr. Bailey, there are links to several good meditations about him here.

Living for others is a great liberation.

Timely reminder. Thanks.

12/06/2010 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

I mean, someone has to grow the food, make the clothes, and take out the trash.

That's right, and I could use a little help, too (as my wife would say).

I was thinking yesterday, not so much of Jesus' miracles in John, but of how He, knowing that He came from God and was returning to God, got up from the supper table and washed the feet of His disciples.

The scripture makes it clear that His taking on the form of a servant occurred because He knew perfectly who He was. It was natural.

Ha, and WV says it shines through.

12/06/2010 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Scientists, of course, "confuse the miraculous with the irrational and the arbitrary," but Aristotle was correct in his outline of the four types of causation: material and efficient, which are horizontal; and formal and final, which are vertical. This is why scientists are baffled by anything that clearly manifests final causation, such as free will. Acknowledging final causation would destroy their faith in matter, so they attempt to explain it through material and efficient causes only, which ends in self-refuting absurcularity."

Yep. They're willing to acknowledge the need to admit some things which they'll call 'principles', such as laws of gravity or conservation of energy, or even supply and demand, but only up until the point where they can point to some material instance as a cause - ignoring the fact that the principle they are willing to admit, cannot be found in their materials at all, you won't find 'mass x velocity = force', only examples which make it hard to deny; as Hume said 'we don't really know that the Sun will rise tomorrow, all we can really say is that based on all yesterdays, it seems likely.'

They'll play along until you point out that what they're playing at is True, at which point panic ensues and they'll call you unrealistic.

..."In hermetic terms, the subtle rules the dense, and the deeper the effect, the higher the cause...."

In terms of Physics too, and even Economics... but... they're willing to take that higher cause only up to the nexus of the hourglass... they'll admit the grains of sand falling on their heads, but not that they are falling from anything or anywhere or anywhen... everything in the upper chamber isn't just considered non-material, but simply, and ironically, beyond belief. Free Will, our entry into that upper chamber, from which ex-nihilo comes our every decision, they cannot even consider, since it would lead to their wishes and whims meaning so much less than they want them to mean... and for us to point it out is just downright mean.

wv:unticke
tock...tock...tock...

12/06/2010 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

Mine said...

wv: thrfin

There final.

Also fin, "the end", in French, which can also mean "the point" of something.

12/06/2010 11:56:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

"Isaac Newton was not the first scientist but the last magician..."

into Alchemy big-time, he were!
see

12/06/2010 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

Julie says, first quoting Bob:

"Leftism begins with the childish observation that the world is not perfect -- that it does not conform to their fantasies -- so that even things that work miraculously well must be attacked.

Interesting. When I was a child, that particular observation led me to realize that since the world is greater than I could ever possibly imagine, there must be a god."

When I was a child, I presumed that world was, in fact, perfect. Then, once I reazlied that there were problems, I noticed that the problems seemed to emanate from people. I realized that the problem was people. Specifically, that people used feelings rather than logic to make decisions (basically that they weren't computers running programs).

However, before I took the time to design and implement a perfect utopian world in which there were no feelings and no error, I got sidetracked by the realization that spiritual evil existed. Suprisingly, I didn't blame God for the problem. However, I did, at that point, realize that I was going to need a really big sledgehammer to solve the problem.

At some point, I also realized that feelings were actually useful to being human.

12/06/2010 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

You might be right, JP, but there should be a better way to classify feelings.

There's the Barry Manilow "Feelings", but there's also James Brown, "I Feel Good."

This confuse ought not to be.

12/06/2010 04:28:00 PM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

"This lower vertical magic forms the basis of the leftist agenda, which is why they only become more bitter upon getting what they want. The bitterness of the left has not remitted one iota since prevailing in the 2008 election, because envy is an addictive way of life."

The most destructive force known to man: envy. It destroys its practitioners as well as all who come into contact with them. It hates all that is good and detests anyone who is happy. The sad part is it is taught and recommended at the best schools. God save us from Harvard/Yale graduates.

12/07/2010 07:13:00 AM  

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