Thursday, December 09, 2010

This is Your Captain Speaking: Return Your Seat of Consciousness to its Upright Position

For those who haven't been keeping up with the program, we've been exploring the inner resonance between the seven divine acts of creation and the seven miracles -- or signs -- recorded in the Gospel of John (miracles are neither here nor there if they don't convey a deeper truth). We're up to the third miracle, which must relate to the fifth day of creation.

God's activity on the fifth day is rather intriguing, even for Him. First, he fills the waters below with fish and the sky above with birds that fly "across the face of heaven's firmament." He creates "everything that moves" according to a divine archetype (its seed idea), but purposely holds back a bit, in that he doesn't fill the earth to capacity. Rather, he reserves a degree of creativity for the world, and blesses its creatures with the generative activity through which they may "be fruitful and multiply."

Current scientific evidence suggests that the fifth act of creation occurred 3.85 billion years ago, when the cosmos suddenly exited its closed circle of material existence and became filled with "an abundance of creatures" -- a sphere of life. As for how this miracle occurred, scientists have no idea. They can only say that life is just a side effect of deterministic material processes or that it was a case of outlandishly good luck. Or bad luck if you are an existentialist.

How does one "disprove" that God created life on the fifth day? To even ask the question is to have missed the point, the point being to meditate upon the deeper meaning of the statement. In order to do that, we must examine its entire context, as well as the general metaphysical view that is developed and promulgated in Genesis.

And if one is a Christian, one must analyze it teleologically in light of the full revelation, since the Old Testament points to (or in philosophical terms, "entails") the New, while the New Testament illuminates the Old.

In other words, the Old and New Testaments must be distinct and yet continuous, so that the two actually entail each other (just as the man is in the child and vice versa). The correspondence of miracles is just one of a multitude of ways to expand upon this dialectical resonance between Old and New Testaments.

In general, as Tomberg points out, the ingression of life into the cosmos represents the presence of "ensouled movement" in the world. The specific reference to fish and birds implies hierarchy and verticality: creatures above and creatures below the plane where man is situated. There are beings who skirt along the firmament above -- the supramental, archetypal, or angelic membrane between God and world -- as well as those who dwell in the dark waters below -- the unconscious or inconscient. As if we didn't know.

Now, the third miracle recorded in the Gospel of John involves an incident in Jerusalem, when Jesus comes across a multitude of sick people who are blind, lame, and paralyzed, and who lay by a pool of water (Bethesda) that has five porches. The water is still, but every so often a vertical being descends and "stirs the water," and whoever is first in thereafter is healed of his affliction.

Since life is ensouled movement, the implication is that paralysis symbolically represents an absence of life, while the still water suggests an absence of healing power. Life is the quintessence of ordered flow.

Jesus encounters a certain man who had been paralyzed for 38 years. The man's condition is entirely static, since his paralysis prevents him from entering the water at the opportune moment. Jesus proceeds to restore the man's "faculty of ensouled movement," but it doesn't happen as a result of any random "stirring of the waters."

Rather, it occurs after Jesus says to him, Rise, take up your bed and walk. According to Tomberg, the words "rise" and "take up your bed" refer back to the fifth day of creation, "namely the creation of ensouled movement in the vertical ['rise up'] and in the horizontal ['walk']" (one might also say transcendence and immanence).

Now, willed movement ("ensouled life") is cosmic in its significance, as I argued in Biogenesis. Tomberg elaborates: "the human being stands within a stream of cosmic energies -- his thoughts in the streams of the thought world, his feelings in the streams of the world's psychic forces, and his impulses of will are immersed in the streams of world-will-energy and are 'plugged into' them."

Therefore, just as someone "who holds his breath and takes in no more air will suffocate, so will someone who cuts himself off from the streams of cosmic energies become paralyzed." It is specifically this "cutting off," or self-willed vertical exile, that represents the quintessence of sin, which is why Jesus later encounters the man in the temple and admonishes him, "Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you," pal.

What is specifically denied the atheist -- not by God, of course, but by himself -- is robust vertical movement, or O-robic verticalisthenics. He is a vertical paraplegic, so that he can neither rise nor walk, only crawl and slither about in the faculty lounge. He omnipotently reverses the fifth day of creation and encloses himself in a horizontal prison, where flight is impossible (nor are such proud rationalists generally aware of the infraconscious realm below, so they become only more susceptible to its influence).

The third miracle -- and it is a miracle -- is a restoration of the higher life from its state of spiritual paralysis, or sin. As such, this miracle is the archetype of repentance or metanoia, through which one consciously "turns around" and reconnects with man's proper habitat, the vertical. Instead of laying around waiting for a miracle, we understand that the miracle has already occurred, and that our paralysis is self-willed, self-enclosed, and self-perpetuating.

But we cannot undo the paralysis with our own will only. Rather, we can only willfully participate in the saving miracle.

36 Comments:

Blogger Grant Maher said...

You describe atheism as a self-constructed prison.

The atheist is harming herself, then.

I've heard it said all behavior arises from some attempt to meet a percieved need. Sometimes these attemps go awry.

I'm trying to think of what need is met by atheism. Probably it functions to reduce anxiety regarding the unknown. We fear a bad outcome.

Existential anxiety leading to dread is a problem. We just don't like not knowing, and tend to assume the worst will happen.

And O seems to intentionally be somewhat veiled and not about to answer all questions or soothe these fears.

So humanity is between a rock and a hard place and some choose a stop-gap and destructive mind-set which temporarily soothes some angst but in the long term smothers the spiritual life.

We've got to figure out some remedy to get our frightened siblings' thumbs out of their eyes.

Either that or euthanize them all.

12/09/2010 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

As for how this miracle occurred, scientists have no idea.

I'm reminded of NASA's "big announcement" of last week, which turns out not to have been quite such a thing after all. My eldest niece is studying to be a biologist; she noted that if she had done a paper with the type of errors the NASA scientists apparently based their findings on, she'd get a big fat F, and rightly so.

Another good post today; think I need to digest it a bit before blathering on any further.

12/09/2010 09:45:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

"Jesus encounters a certain man who had been paralyzed for 38 years."

Well..41, but who's counting.

BTW, I'm glad you said "encounters" rather than "encountered".
Detail? Hardly..

:-)

12/09/2010 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"...The specific reference to fish and birds implies hierarchy and verticality: creatures above and creatures below the plane where man is situated. There are beings who skirt along the firmament above -- the supramental, archetypal, or angelic membrane between God and world -- as well as those who dwell in the dark waters below -- the unconscious or inconscient...

...Therefore, just as someone "who holds his breath and takes in no more air will suffocate, so will someone who cuts himself off from the streams of cosmic energies become paralyzed."..."

Or maybe drowning in the lower world... swimming wid da fishes....

"It is specifically this "cutting off," or self-willed vertical exile, that represents the quintessence of sin, which is why Jesus later encounters the man in the temple and admonishes him, "Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you," pal.

What is specifically denied the atheist -- not by God, of course, but by himself -- is robust vertical movement, or O-robic verticalisthenics. He is a vertical paraplegic, so that he can neither rise nor walk, only crawl and slither about in the faculty lounge. "

A vertical paraplegic, nice visual. How does one get themselves that way? The holding back of wonder, maybe? Does it begin with an effort to 'not get fooled again!', a demand that each claim and instant reveal it's workings before you, right there on the ground in order to be acknowledged, rather than simply demonstrating itself by soaring aloft? When you see that sunset, do you allow it to take your breath away... or do you just glance and glance away... nothing much, vapor and refraction... big wup...?

A sure mark of the materialist is the strident claim to being champions of Reason, while demonstrating their skills through flat logic chopping, devoid of any touch of imagination. For what reason do they call that 'reason'? "We must be clear... level headed... unemotional...", any output, be it wackademic treatise, or govt document, goes through hours of weeding out any hint of imagination, any words which may contain vertical lift, all to ensure a 'respectable' flat statement, unimaginatively dead to the touch and devoid of movement.

Yuck.

12/09/2010 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Speaking of mirrorcles (though this would have been more fitting for yesterday's post), Rick says I should ask if FL still knows how to trancelight...

12/09/2010 10:11:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

"As for how this miracle occurred, scientists have no idea."

Same for atheists who use the argument (hardly): well then, who created God?

And of course some eventually suggest aliens deposited us here.
I don't understand how they think "aliens" is a logical "beginning" point. Shouldn't something have created them? Of course and on and on until you reach "that which created all, created all."

Sounds like God to me.

12/09/2010 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger Grant Maher said...

All righty then. The question is on the table.

Who created God?

12/09/2010 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

GM says:

"Who created God?"

God is the source of creation.

Duh.

That makes your question invalid, by the way.

Your question is like asking "What is the square root of cheesecake?"

12/09/2010 10:51:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

"All righty then. The question is on the table.
Who created God?"

No. The question is, why are you stopping short of God.

12/09/2010 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Mmmmmm....

Cheesecake....

wv says the square root is "chheoseg," but I think it's just making things up.

12/09/2010 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

self-willed vertical exile, that represents the quintessence of sin

Jesus often asked people He healed variants of "do you believe", but I think the man at the pool is the only person He ever asked, "Do you want to get well?" -- Or as the KJV so memorably puts it, "Wilt thou be made whole?"

Can't say He didn't give him a choice.

12/09/2010 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Grant Maher said...

JP thought the question of who created God was invalid, because God is defined as the source of creation. Duh.

But what is the source of the source? JP simply reframes the same inquiry. That does not suffice.

Rick answers with a different question, loaded with a moral. A sound debating tactic but it does not address the question.

I would say the answer is that we don't know. That does not sit well in the craw. So....

The next question in the series is, "Can we find out who created God?"

The answer to that is most likely no.

And there the matter stops and sinks like a lead pipe to the bottom of a pond.

The Butler did it, of course. Get a Clue.

12/09/2010 11:56:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

The source is the source
of course, of course
unless of course
the name of the Source
is the famous Mr. O'ed

****
And that, btw, is a serious answer.

12/09/2010 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

Okay, wv sometimes makes me lurch and laugh.

wv: stalin

Too much!

(Notice that the word "stale" is in there, too. Which is also the first word in stalemate.)

12/09/2010 01:44:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

Well, and obviously, stallin' and Joseph S. ...

12/09/2010 01:48:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

GM:

God wasn't created. God is.

God does the (primary) creating.

It's one of the features in the cosmos.

You're asking a nonsensical question.

Or you're trying to make two and two equal five.

I'm not sure which you are trying to accomplish.

You also might be trying to assert something along the lines of:

"This sentence is false."

12/09/2010 02:09:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

Strictly logically speaking, just because some things are created, doesn't mean everything is. Or should I say (e)Verything... ?

12/09/2010 02:16:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

grant said "Who created God?...But what is the source of the source? JP simply reframes the same inquiry. That does not suffice."

Everyone always goes for the big Kahuna... but that's cheating... like trying to knock on the Administrator's 3rd floor door, while still standing inside the lobby.

Here's something written just for you a couple thousand years ago, from "On Metaphysics(Book IV)"
"... for not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education. "

Before you can even contemplate the mystery of "Who created God" (!), you've got several even more annoying hurdles to deal with. First you've got to admit that there's a reason to, that is, only because it's possible that you could be wrong or you could be right, it becomes worthwhile trying to find out which one it is (if either), and in so doing you admit that Truth is, which should be simple enough, unless you're corroded through with skepticism... and if so... why bother (except to torment the unsuspecting) going any further?

But having done that and entered into the realm of the Human, you then first (?) have to realize and admit (explicitly or implicitly) that there is something which exists... otherwise nothing would be there for you to consider... and neither would you. Then (?) you've got to admit that there is a distinction between all of the some things which aren't nothings, including yourself, and that because you can distinguish them, they (and you) have identity and are identifiable... within a given context. Then (?) you have to admit that you are considering these things, and can only do so because you are conscious, and because you are conscious, you can't help doing so, in one form or another... you can't be conscious without being conscious of existence and those things which you can identify existence as existing as.

Untangling that a tad, you're left with the annoyance of these three axioms, in no particular order (one can't really be said to come before the other)... which are at the root of all you can even begin to think about, and not one of which can even be considered, without also using, including and involving the other two in the consideration:

*Reality - Reality exists
*Identity - What exists, exists as something
*Consciousness - Consciousness attains awareness only through identifying what that which exists, exists as.
(arghh... break)

12/09/2010 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

(cont)

What's worse, you can't prove even a one of them, they are beyond proof, and attempting to do so involves you in an unending circularity (hmmm). They are self-evident truths which, as Axioms, cannot be proved, and must simply be accepted - period - like it or not - they are simply the necessary self evident prerequisites of being able to prove anything at all.

In order to say anything at all; to even attempt to deny any one or more of them, is to engage in using each - all words, ideas and thoughts rely upon them, even denying any of them, requires the use of each of them - which is why the liar burns so bad, he can't construct even the thinnest lie, without relying upon reality and what is True, in order to tell it.

Those three axioms form the base and barrier of our ability to perceive and conceive of reality, there is no getting beneath or beyond them... there is no possible way for us to reduce the three to two, or one, or none.

Before asking 'who made God', how about you first try figuring out where they came from? Why do they exist? If we can't deal with those three unexplainables which we can see staring us right in the face, how can you possibly move on to the One we can't see, that of the Big Kahuna and 'who created' him?

It makes you look kinda dopey trying to knock on that third floor door while you're still confined to the lobby.

12/09/2010 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

What about: who created God?

--nObody--

Creating is God's thing.

And, not coming from anything else, is kind of defacto part of His defintional Identity. Yes?

Axioms exist. Quite amazing how powerful God is. We are relative, He is not. He is absolute, but can relate within Himself and His beings in His image...

I'm rambling.

12/09/2010 02:33:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

Saying "Who created God?" is putting creating as the highest or most consistent point, when isn't it Being? Who IS God is a better question. (And of course, the answer is: I AM.)

12/09/2010 02:39:00 PM  
Blogger Grant Maher said...

Mushroom:

Good one! Your answer was appreciated, and understood as a serious response.

Van: You wrote "Those three axioms form the base and barrier of our ability to perceive and conceive of reality, there is no getting beneath or beyond them... "

There you have it. You have identified the predicament we are in.

We as human beings want to know stuff. It is hard to concede, "I don't know" and even harder to concede "I can't know."

This just goads the human psyche into further effort to understand everything. Look at our blog author. He's at it daily. He does not tolerate unexplored mystery very well. None of us do.

So this where our God has positioned us, on a torture rack or a cross. Or an amusement park ride. We are tormented by a desire to know what we cannot, and anxiety over a question "What will happen next?" that we cannot answer.

God, whom I know exists and with whom I have had some limited intercourse with, has some 'splaining to do. Doncha think? Or does He skate on this rap because He made it all and lots of it is good?

I'm not that great at getting through, though. I was counting on Bob.

Yes, God made us, but we as his children can still bring Him up on charges of neglect or abuse. That is our right.

He expects it of us, probably. That's all I was trying to say. Someone has to get His attention and ask, "Say what? Whatchoo doin' wit us, dog?"

12/09/2010 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

I see we are going to spend some time playing everyone's favorite OC game: "Missing the Point."

12/09/2010 02:56:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

:D

12/09/2010 02:58:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Heh - I just uncovered a post-it note stuck to my computer with a note to self quoting Bob a couple of weeks back.

Seems apropos here.

Ahem.

"Never argue with the other guy's content when his container is so messed up."

12/09/2010 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

God doesn't exist for us, we exist for Him.

Also, a lot of the anxiety people feel from not knowing stuff is from sin, the fall, etc...

God has to explain because there is stuff we don't know? First, He has explained it. And second, the process of discovery is a process of love anyway.

12/09/2010 03:33:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

... or in Dupree's immortal words, "never butt heads with a butthead."

12/09/2010 03:45:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

grant said "We are tormented by a desire to know what we cannot, and anxiety over a question "What will happen next?" that we cannot answer."

Speak for yourself (and re-read Aristotle's quote above).

"God, whom I know exists and with whom I have had some limited intercourse with, has some 'splaining to do. Doncha think? Or does He skate on this rap because He made it all and lots of it is good?"

No, I don't. Assuming there is a God (and that being a conclusion which you must arrive at, is the most brilliant stroke of all), I think it's a brilliant creation, and I wouldn't change it. What would be the good of having answers given us? They could only be given us in the way we are given to know that ice is cold and tea is hot... and just about as mentally and spiritually fulfilling.

An answer which we haven't arrived at, is mere perceived fact, not conceived and understood knowledge... the knowledge we are able to attain, is an achievement and a fulfilling realization which makes life worth living and enjoying.

To be given the answers as flat perceptions... would be like being condemned to riding a roller coaster for eternity.

Yuck.

12/09/2010 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

JP said "I see we are going to spend some time playing everyone's favorite OC game: "Missing the Point."

:-)

Gagdad said "... or in Dupree's immortal words, "never butt heads with a butthead.""

;-D

Never... such a long word.

12/09/2010 04:21:00 PM  
Blogger Grant Maher said...

I ask God's forgiveness for my harsh words; they slipped past my better judgement and you have admonished justly me for the slip, which I appreciate.

Trust. I trust Him and I work for Him. I exist for Him. I serve Him.

It's my brethren that concern me; them who suffer. But I should learn to relax and release them into the arms of Jesus.

It is not I who have to be concerned with that which is not my burden. They are looked after by better than me.

I don't understand why life has to be hard, even for the committed believer, but then I don't need to understand. If I trust and serve, all will be well.

12/09/2010 04:36:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

I am reminded of Vanderleun's essay on the Star: "the mystery is the Gift."

It is a gift to the those of us who need to know and to those of us who demand to know, and to those of us who simply know that the mystery is what there is to know.

To know the mystery and appreciate its unknowableness . . . ah, there is a thing to contemplate!

12/09/2010 06:18:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

If you're between a rock and a hard place, rise to the Rock.

12/10/2010 01:02:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Instead of laying around waiting for a miracle, we understand that the miracle has already occurred, and that our paralysis is self-willed, self-enclosed, and self-perpetuating.

But we cannot undo the paralysis with our own will only. Rather, we can only willfully participate in the saving miracle."

That sure does resOnate with me.
While one can be free regardless of one's physical health (including physical paralyses), one can never be free while spiritually paralysed.

It bears repeating that self imposed spiritual paralyses (a slave to sin) is like the Jews who wished to return to Egypt as slaves after Moses delivered them.

All because they didn't know how they were gonna survive or what was gonna happen next despite witnessing the power of God and His love for them.

IOW's they chose, as all fallen men chose ever since, to return to slavery because their was no mystery about it. There is no faith or trust required of men in hell.
Better the devil we know than the God we don't gno. Sound familiar?

As opposed to a journey to the promised land and freedom, which requires faith and trust in God, and mystery and yes, not knowing everything...however, having an opportunity to always gno more.

It seems like such a no brainer. I used to marvel at the stupidity of the Jews that wanted to return to Egypt, even laugh at the rediculousness of that choice. But how many times have I chosen to head back to Egypt? More times than I care to count, I'm ashamed to say.

Self imposed indeed. But it doesn't hafta be that way. Like an addict (to anything sinful) the first step is to recognize the sins.

The second is to be so sick n' tired of it (rock bottom) that the sinner (me) chooses Life, Love, Beauty, Justice, Goodness, Truth...God, and surrenders in order to be free of the chains of sin.

'Cause jest knowin' ain't enough. You gotsta make a choice and act, rise up, walk, run...and be.

Great post Bob! Thanks!

12/10/2010 01:46:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ben said "IOW's they chose, as all fallen men chose ever since, to return to slavery because their was no mystery about it. There is no faith or trust required of men in hell."

Nailed it like a true Chin Fu master.

12/10/2010 05:25:00 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

Van said... "How does one get themselves that way?"

Many things come to mind. "The way is narrow that leads to life and wide that leads to destruction." And all the other references of it in the Bible. "What good is it if a man gains the world but loses his soul?"

Any turn to Positivism yields a plank in the gears. Even if it gets into your perspective without any actual change in beliefs.

Re Postivism... Certain "truth enzymes" can boost immunity from infection. If you've never heard of Positivism and you meet someone who lives according to that mentality, certain things can be enticing. There can be a seduction.

It can even be due to a decision made out expediency, or a compromise.

Sin does it too, and it doesn't even have to be a blatant one.

This quote came to mind, as well:

"[A wasp] was sucking jam on my plate, and I cut him in half. He paid no attention, merely went on with his meal, while a tiny stream of jam trickled out of his severed esophagus. Only when he tried to fly away did he grasp the dreadful thing that had happened to him."

— George Orwell

--

Also, Bob's story about the temporary suspension of grace on a person (in the post that mentioned "It's a Wonderful Life") and then the repouring out comes to mind, too. If it weren't for the grace in which we move, we would all be sticks in the mud.

12/10/2010 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Thanks Van! Sometimes a good right cross on the chin really opens my ayes. :^)

12/12/2010 11:27:00 PM  

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