Lord Keep Me Out of the Loop
But clearly, there is nothing in nature that could have somehow willed itself to rise out of the loop. Rather, any apparent loophole would simply be another aspect of the loop. If one is a materialist, this is the way it is and the way it must be. But such reductiognostic sophistry is nothing more than a childish GIGO fit.
To be perfectly accurate, human beings do not actually rise above the loop. Rather, our means of inscape is a descent from above.
Again, we may think of this descent as a line in vertical space that connects us to our creator in the most intimate way. Which is why Eckhart was orthoparadoxically correct in saying that the eye with which I see God is the very same eye with which God sees I.
Note that this is another kind of loop. We call it the loopwhole, for it encompasses the All -- like the eye atop the pyramid on the back of your legal tender.
As the Rabbi expresses it, there is really only one source of light. The soul is not so much a "point" but more a "continuous line of spiritual being" that stretches from a general source to "the specific body of a particular person" -- and beyond, even into the darkness.
But note that this darkness is not and cannot be "intrinsic" or essential; rather, it is a function of the diminution of the light as it proceeds further away from its source, for shadows are a function of light, not vice versa.
We can all get caught up in closed loops of various kinds. For a human being, these are always pathological. Indeed, they are the quintessence of pathology, being that life -- and this includes spiritual life, not to mention psychic life -- must remain an open system in order to grow and develop. Once the mind is closed -- or in a loop -- there can be no true growth, only the illusion thereof.
This is for reasons alluded to in yesterday's post, that in a closed system, each event entails the next and is fully entailed in a previous one, extending back to infinity -- a false infinity, to be sure, but we cannot blame scientists for not being metaphysicians. They are not bound by the prescription, "metaphysician, whole thyself."
One could more accurately call it "hell," which is not eternal proper (which only applies to God), only "perpetual." Not only is hell closed, but it is the quintessence of ontological closed-ness. Not for nothing did Dante speak of "the circle of hell."
We'll get back to hell momentarily, but I want to continue with Bolton's discussion of the higher space of free will. And when we say "higher," we not only mean in the vertical sense, but also because this is a space of higher dimensionality.
Indeed, it is because of this higher dimensionality that we cannot comprehend the mind through any model of linear causation. Rather, the mind is in and of hyperspace, so it simply cannot be contained in any model derived from everyday Aristotelean space. Rather, the converse: the four-dimensional space of physics is contained in hyperspace, just as the circle is contained by the sphere (and this applies perforce to the circle of hell). We can only be in hell because hell is in us.
Bolton makes the subtle point that an accidental cause cannot really be thought of as a cause per se, in the sense that it "does not exist specifically for what it brings about." We are surrounded by such accidental causes, which are precisely the kinds of closed loops discussed above. In themselves, they are meaningless and always add up to zero.
But human beings have the freedom to respond in diverse ways to these accidental causes. This is because we partake of the higher Cause that can operate on the lower ones.
And this "is due to the presence in us of the 'weakness and slackness' of not-being" (Bolton) referred to in yesterday's post. Again, our space of freedom, or slack, must be a realm of non-specificity in order to be truly free. Specificity, or determination, is the opposite of freedom, and again places us in the loop.
Speaking of closed loops, I remember a period of my life in which I was trapped in a nasty loop. This was back when I first entered graduate school -- or it entered me, to be literal -- and was reading Freud. It shows you how internalizing a bad metaphysic can result in real despair. This absurcular loop resulted from taking to heart Freud's ideas about psychic determinism. There may also have been some herbal cigarets involved, which tautened the dread.
Long story short, if everything is caused by the primitive unconscious, and our conscious self is just a kind of derivative defense mechanism, then what is the point of life except the discharge of pure animal impulse? But I was already doing that. I surely didn't need graduate school to learn how to be a beast.
It was around then that I stumbled upon Ken Wilber's Spectrum of Consciousness, which succeeded in vaulting me out of that loop. He and I have since gone our separate whys, but I will always be thankful for what thy wilber done. Life is full of such offramps and inscapes. But once you exit the unfreeway, it doesn't mean you have to rely on the other guy's map. Indeed, to do so is to defeat the whole purpose of going on one's own bewilderness adventure -- just like Jesus did after his baptism.
When we deliberate, contemplate, meditate, or pray, we are out of the loop. For me, when I write these posts, I am out of the loop.
In fact, that's pretty much the whole point of this verticalisthenic. Actually, I am trying to relux into the more fruitful loop of the divine-human partnership, and just see what comes down. Re-pent is trancelighted from metanoia, which means to turn around. But in practical terms, it essentially means to turn around and get out of the loop. It is to leave the material thingdom for the divine kingdom.
Cooncidentally, this is beautifully discussed in Jennifer Upton's Dark Way to Paradise: Dante's Inferno in Light of the Spiritual Path, wherein she describes how the Inferno is a detailed description of the closed loop of hell. And while it may or may not apply to post-mortem reality, it undoubtedly applies to this life.
She also shows the necessity of hell, for it can be a "road to heaven." Along these lines, she quotes Martin Lings, who wrote that "the descent into hell" is necessary "for the discovery of the soul's worst possibilities." These "need to be recovered, purified and reintegrated" if we are to be fit for the upper storeys, i.e., the repenthouse. Anything incompatible with God must be left behind, like those boosters that fall off an ascending rocket ship.
Hell is also a static place, in keeping with its status as a closed system. Its unhappitants are "mired eternally in the form of their ruling sin," and "fixed in their stations": "they are chained to all the sins, the fears and the angers they simply could not face in life" (Upton).
In contrast, purgatory -- which you might say is where we live -- has in it the possibility of vertical movement, and is thus "the archetype of the spiritual Path" (ibid.).
In hell, "being itself is a burden." But we could also put it conversely: when we are burdened by being, we know we are in hell. Which is why Raccoons pray: O Lord, keep us out of the løøp!