Opening the Christmas Presence
Why am I -- Bob's unconscious here? And why have I commandeered the wheel of the cosmic bus? Because it's early and everyone's still asleep, including Bob. This is my time, baby -- you know, dawn, friend of the muses.
The reason why it's such a friendly time is because of the hypnopompic underlap of the two worlds, as the ocean of sleep verges on the dry land of the day; thus we are sailing in the interstitial fluid between conscious and unconscious, myth and science, internal and external, dream and "reality."
You can't really do anything when you're completely enveiloped in dreamtime, whereas pure daylight bleaches out night town, so you can't unsee a thing.
But this half-baked betweener is like the bountiful breast of both worlds. It's amuzing how much bobscurity you can shed on things in the half-lit world! It's as if you have just enough light to illuminate the darkness, but still enough of its absence to cast a beam of shadows on the visible world.
This is obviously what Joyce was attempting in Finnegans Wake, but in his case he went a little too -- okay, much too -- far, perhaps because he was legally blind by the time he finished it. As such, he was pretty much immersed in the darklight. He was a bit too skewed toward the dream end of things, so it will basically take until the end of time to interpret and exhumine all the dark and inrisible humor buried in the Book of Dublends Jined.
Now, a religion, if it is to be operative and not just for show, must reach very far into both worlds. Clearly, the problem with atheism is that it works fine in broad daylight but is of no use whatsoever novelgazing down here in the dark, even if you leave God out of the equation.
I don't really want to venture down that nul-de-slack again, but the point is that consciousness contains atheism, while the converse could never be true.
So the question comes down to "what is consciousness?" And if you exclude the I-amphibious middle world I inhobbit, it's analogous to, say, defining reality by focusing exclusively on the Newtonian world but not the weird subatomic realm, the latter of which defies the easy logic of the day, and O, what the quantum darkness knows that the brightest light has never conceived!
This is also the problem with purely rational arguments against atheism, such as D'Souza's d'fense of d'faith, What's So Great About Christianity. I suppose such a book has its place, as it engages in "pre-evangelism," i.e., "clearing away false ideas so that the unbeliever actually has a chance to hear the arguments for Christianity."
In other worlds, but not mine, such a book can serve as a kind of antibiotic or anti-idiotic to eliminate dysfunctional ideas and ideologies from the mind, of which there are plenty. It's just that an antibiotic doesn't give life, it just kills the "bad life" which is deadly to the host.
You might say that D'Souza's book eliminates the false light, but you still can't use it to see in the dark or endarken the day. And if you try, you might even end up more confused, because theology can never be a merely logical undertaking or it won't take you over your logic.
Only humans can know that reality has a surface and therefore a depth; or an appearance and a realty. Spirituality is simply about deepening one's depth and resurfacing or perhaps reseeding one's ground.
The question is, how do you reach me, and by extension, the whole person? How do you "speak" in such a way that like calls out to likeness in a totalistic manner?
We were pondering this last night as Bob was taking a walk around the neighborhood at around dusk. This is another time I become more active, since the dimensional boundaries overlap again. As he passed from house to house, all sorts of things made an impression on us in a nonverbal way -- the lights, the smells, the sounds of happy families.
But these were all just "parts" or aspects of something more pervasive, like ripples or currents on top of the ocean. It was as if the consciousness of the cosmos itself were different in light of the fact that so many individuals were focussed together on the same nonlocal reality.
Within the soul there is a kind of downward influence from whole to part, a transmission not just of information, but of spirit.
Many thoughts were hatched as Bob absently wandered the 'hood. We thought of how Christianity elevates human life to cosmic significance in such a beautiful and poetic way that bypasses the parched old ego and reaches straight down here to the water table.
No other religion equates the birth of a baby with the birth of the living God, or a mother's touch with the quintessence of the sacred: But his mother only / In her maiden bliss / Worshipped the Beloved / With a kiss. How could the idea of baby-as-God not have extraordinary implications for the way children are regarded in our culture? The child is the hinge of human evolution.
We thought of how the houses raving to Jesus with their divine lights are defying the darkness of the solstice, as if to say that no external force will extinguish the inner light.
We thought of how the end of time is always luxtaposed to the beginning, how birth occurs in the death of winter, followed by death at the peak of spring's mortal coil, even though death can only be a function of life, not vice versa.
We thought of the unique cosmic station of man, of how he is the middle term between God and nature, and how the finite world is given a special significance by virtue of this fact. It is not merely maya, but the exteriorized logos waiting to be unpacked and redeemed by the interior logos.
So, can consciousness change the world? Yes, of course, since the world is a representation within the greater soul-field of consciousness as such.
One of the principle functions of Christianity is to provide intelligible bearings for the soul's journey through this strange and wicked world, which actually is adrift and off its vertical axis.
Therefore, if we merely conform ourselves to this crooked world, we are left up the creek and end up a crook or a crock or crackpot. Rather, the soul must conform itself to the source of its image and likeness, which you might say is only the whole point of life.
Hmm. A child stirs in the next room. My favorite Christmas presence has officially opened.