The Original Synergy: Nobody Ever Got Spiritually Rich On His Own
Now, Schuon writes that "a metaphysical doctrine is the incarnation in the mind of a universal truth."
Thus, what was said in the first paragraph about the transformative power of faith is a result of the gradual "incarnation of truth," so to speak. Before it is a "cognitive truth" it is an ontological truth, i.e., truth of being.
For example, Symeon didn't understand what was happening when it was happening, since it occurs on a vertical plane that is ontologically prior to thought. When first granted a vision of the Light, he "was at a loss to tell what was happenning; who or what the light was did not emerge at the level of conceptual understanding," of the "conscious psyche" or ego (Matus).
For this reason, in the obscure "One Cosmos" book mentioned in last Thursday's post, the enigmatic author uses the symbol (?!) to categorize the spontaneous mystical experience without thereby limiting it with some superficial manmode cognitive definition.
In these matters -- no different than in a neurosis -- thought can be and often is a defense against experience.
Indeed, this is the self-imposed barrier faced by the gorgon-variety ovary-tower intellectual, who cannot climb in from the comfortable little cage she has fashioned for herself at our expense.
In a passage ripped from the One Cosmos praybook, Matus writes of how for Symeon the vision was "an 'unexpected wonder' which left him filled with 'amazement' but with little understanding."
Rarely does an individual pass their whole life before their I experiences one of these metaphysical freebies.
But many people -- especially the cagebound intellectuals mentioned above -- treat these peek experiences (in which we are granted a peek behind the veil) as mere anomalies to be unexplained away. They exercise a pathological foreclosure of curiosity (-o), ensuring that this experience, so fraught with potential meaning, is just "meaningless."
The (?!) is the ingression of a grace that tells us, among others, that there are more things in heaven and earth than these intellectual whoratios dream up in their philosophy departments and law schools.
Thus, the last thing we should do is close ourselves to the experience. After all, if everyone had done that, we'd still be indistinguishable from apes and liberals. Truth, beauty, virtue, art, music, poetry -- anythink that requires contact with the Subject beyond (and before and behind) would be off limits.
So Symeon did not reject the gift of (?!), but set out in pursuit of its source, of what it meant: "His life thereafter became a progressive initiation into the meaning of his visions" (Matus). This is indeed the Way of the Raccoon: to follow the sparks back upsdream to that big whole in the ground of being.
For Symeon, this upward and inword journey is at the same time "a restoration and reintegration of our original condition." The journey is not from a "here" to a "there" in any Euclidian sense.
Rather, it is via a kind of transpersonal membrane, so to speak, through which energies flow back and forth. Thus, the key practical principle is "openness," or what the tri-curious One Cosmos author symbolizes (o).
From another angle, Schuon describes our spiritual membrain as follows: "[H]uman intelligence makes itself similar to its own universal Essence, thanks to a sort of reciprocity between thought and Reality."
Or in other words, thought makes itself similar to truth, not vice versa. We do not begin with an axiom but an experience, for no axiom can wholly contain the experience. The attempt to do so is like "a man trying to draw the geometrical point by setting out to make it as small as possible" (ibid.).
But just as there is in physics Planck's Constant, which is the smallest unit of energy, there is on our being a constant plank we walk between I, Thou, and the Love and Truth that freely pass between. Truth embraces us, not vice versa.
It is preferable to use these empty symbols because we again don't want to assume too much about what they symbolize. For one thing, as Symeon suggests, it is not actually "possible to distinguish divine activity (or energy) within us from our own," or what is "'infused' from what is 'acquired.'"
One might say that it is always a trynergy, or a case of "yours, mine, and ours," unmixed and inseparable. There can be no sharp "division of labor" between Creator and creature, for nobody gets spiritually rich on his own, only impoverished, both spiritually and, as a consequence, intellectually and politically.
We might say that the above-noted membrane is a kind of light-transducer, no different from any other sense. For example, our eyes transduce photons into the experience we call "light," just as our ears transduce air vibrations into "sound." What the One Cosmos author calls (¶) tranduces (↓) into (n).
You don't even have to know what this means to know that it is true. Not only is it the equation of your birth, but we might say that it is the "Christmas presence" or "Christ principle," in that 〇 (↓) (¶) so that (¶) might (↑) 〇. If we succeed, we are ʘ, so not to speak. (And I do hope that was sufficiently unclear).
Please note that this is of necessity a neverending -- which is to say, alwaysbeginning -- process. Symeon, writing of himself in the third person, says that "If he would wish to write down his experiences, he would run out of paper and ink -- I don't think there would be enough time for him to describe them all in detail."
This, of course, brings to mind the Apostle's dilemma described in the last paragraph of John. Who has the necessary timelessness?! Mine just ran out.