Stars & the Apeman and Sun for the Moonbats
All of us are of the stars, but some of us are looking at the gutter. --Petey
Tomberg writes that the fourth day of creation -- which gives us the various heavenly bodies that populate the upper vertical -- implies "an all-embracing world rhythm" which affects all beings, and which unites them in a transcendent cosmic community.
It truly is one cosmos, in that everything interpenetrates and is connected to everything else. Nothing is radically separate, even though everything is distinct. Nothing whatsoever could be if it did not orthoparadoxically share both of these features, distinction and unity. Like the human body, the cosmos is not just one and many, but one because many, and vice versa. Everything is brought to us by our nonlocal sponsor, the One.
Tomberg compares this to the mystery of human subjectivity, the main feature of which is transcendent unity and wholeness -- science knows not how -- despite being "constituted," so to speak, of numberless impulses, memories, plans, whims, fantasies, dreams, desires, moods, etc. -- not to mention billions of individual neuronal connections. Despite the infinite complexity, subjectivity "orders itself around a central point -- the self -- which represents the center of gravity of soul life, i.e., the permanency of the identity of the personality."
Thus, the human being is always one and many, which is fine, so long as there is a preponderance of coherence around the one. When the self becomes too dis-integrated, and parts begin to spin off into their own orbits with their own centers of influence, that is when psychotherapy (or something analogous) is indicated. We should always be on the way toward integration and unity, even if we can never arrive there this side of the manifestivus.
The self -- at least a healthy self -- does not merely spin around an interior axis. Rather, aided by "the light of Reason" (understood in its integral, not merely rationalistic sense) and by transcendent ideals, this center of subjectivity can undergo increased order and evolve in the direction of one's highest aspiration, toward the true cosmic center of which we are a distant and middling relativity -- we are the "center at the periphery," as Schuon has called it, the true center being the nonlocal, space-pervading spirit of I AM.
Speaking of the rhythm of being -- days, seasons, years, etc. -- for Schuon, all natural phenomena are here to convey deeper lessons to us. Thus, for example, our lives are not just divided into day and night, but into seasons: the childhood spring of "formation and learning"; the mature summer of "actual and effective realization"; the late-middle age autumn of "consolidation, reparation, and the directing of others"; and the old age winter of "detachment and transcendence."
Alternatively, one could say that childhood is "the paradise of innocence," youth "the time of the passions," maturity "the time of work," and old age "that of sadness" -- at least for the horizontal man. For the vertical man, "the opposite takes place: age is an ascent towards another world." Extremes meet, as paradise comes into view (hence the resonance between grandparents and grandchildren, who are on the same page, i.e., pages 266→007 of the cosmic maryOground).
For Tomberg, the fourth day of creation is ultimately the divine-cosmic archetype of holy communion, or the vertical recollection of the a priori unity that embraces and subtends all beings in the world.
As such, the fourth miracle of John -- the feeding of the 5,000 -- "is the corresponding healing work of the Word-made-flesh." For as the central sun "nourishes" and unifies all beings, so too Jesus ("sitting on a mountain") functions as the "nourishment-giving center" for the multitude below. It is as if he "speeds up" the time it takes for the sun to produce bread -- planting, sprouting, growth, ripening, harvesting, etc. -- multiplying it in the same way the sun multiplies the small amount of wheat or corn that is planted (all life involves transformations of the same energy emanating from the central sun).
Interestingly, Jesus does not distribute the bread and fish directly, but through the mediating principle or "reflected light" of the disciples. Tomberg suggests that this is a mercy, for the direct light would be so shattering an experience that one would be temporarily blinded, like Paul on the road to Damascus.
This also speaks to the hierarchical structure of the world, which is not simply bipolar (i.e., creator and created, God and man, heaven and earth), but has degrees of being. Each level of the hierarchy is a moon to the level above but a relative sun to the level below. Better men than I can withstand the direct rays of the sun. For now, it is enough to stand in the reflected light of certain nonlocal operators who illuminate the path.
We must never forget that an unreflective spirit of democracy will usually end in an inhuman horizontalocrazy in the absence of hierarchy. In reality, there is no ordered wholeness without hierarchy and no hierarchy without a top and bottom.
But as Richard Weaver writes in Ideas Have Consequences, forms are the ladder of ascent: "Every group regarding itself as emancipated is convinced its predecessors were fearful of reality, looking upon veils of decency as obstructions that it will strip aside. But behind the veils is a reality of such commonplace that it is merely knowledge of death." The "taking away of degree" creates a tyrannical flatland which is death to the soul and its spiritual evolution toward integration and actualization. This is why leftists are always mindlessly rebellious, anti-authority, and radically "democratic" (when it is convenient).
If the raw stuff of life is precisely "what the civilized man desires to have refined," we shouldn't be at all surprised that in these leftist-dominated times we find ourselves swimming in it -- or that websites such as the dailykurse or huffingandpissed propagate political raw sewage (as in yesterday's post), precisely. Indeed, this crass warfare is one of the things that makes these snivelized whiners so repulsive. (Nor should anyone be surprised that there is exactly 18 times more pre-articulate profanity on leftist websites.)
Weaver points out that the loss of transcendentals also brings with it the loss of heroes. Like living works of art, heroes are in the world but point beyond it, to a higher principle that animates and shines through them. Without them, we are loused in space and moroned in time. We're just here and now, with no one to fly the planes up, out, or in for a promised landing.
In reality, the contemporary left has no real heroes, merely victims and their "heroic" enablers. Making the victim the hero is to overturn the ontological order of the cosmos, precisely. It is not merely to annihilate hierarchy but to substitute a reverse hierarchy -- which ends in a "race to the bottom" for superior victim status. (I might add that this is a true perversion of "the meek shall inherit the earth, which is why leftism specifically developed in a Judeo-Christian context -- as its shadow, as it were.)
A spiritual practice should be a force multiplier, in the same way that Jesus multiplied the bread and fish. Each of us can be an effective source of light below, but only if we are reflections of the true light above.
Tomberg concludes: "There thus arises a wonderful picture out of a deeper consideration of the miracle of the feeding of 5,000: in the center, high up on a mountain, Jesus Christ, as the shining and life-giving sun; then the circle of disciples as the silver moon; and round about the mountain a swarm of thousands of stars -- the people."
Alternatively, we can have a horizontal, farce-multiplying swarm ruled by its elite masters. But who will feed the endlessly multiplying victims? I mean, now that their masters have run out of other peoples' money?