Thursday, December 22, 2011

Mary Chrysalis & the Midwinter Sun


Our nonLocal Friend next discusses the "mystery of the star" that guides us on our nighttime journey back to the Self.

If you don't realize that it is late in the day and that it is getting dark.... well, let's just say that the sun can't help you, since it will soon be halfway around the world. Daytime logic doesn't apply to dreamworld, just as dream logic doesn't illuminate the day. Well, it does, but only for specialists.

But more importantly, because there are so many stars, no one can show you yours. Just as there is a single sun that also rises on the billions, there are billions of stars, only one of which has your name on it. You cannot purchase a map to the stars from some filthy hobo on the corner, unless that filthy hobo is Cousin Dupree hawking stolen copies of my book.

We must follow our star without reserve, for "a whole world is at stake" -- the resurrected world of our interior being. This world is "there," but needs to be illuminated in order to be seen.

unKnown Friend cites the example of Jung, with whom I have some problems, but who nevertheless, it is true, followed his star "all his life, and followed the 'star' alone." He was no slithering Deepak, that's for sure.

It's just that, in my opinion, he ultimately confused his star with the sun, but that's a subject for a different post. In any event, it's a common temptation for intellectuals who isolate themselves from the sun of tradition. The more brilliant, the greater the temptation to do this.

And because of the childish cult of genius that has developed in our post-religious culture, you might say that we live under a garish firmament of diverse and irreconcilable third-rate stars -- kind of like the Vegas strip at night -- each claiming to be the sun. I mean, Darwin can easily illuminate a college biology course. But the whole cosmos? C'mon. He couldn't even be the Creator's opening act.

In any event, Gödel proved, among other things, that no star can be the sun, and that the sun exists even if man cannot prove it with mere logic.

The point is, the star should lead to the sun, not away from the sun, nor be an end in itself, for then you are dealing with narcissism or idol worship. For example, in the case of those three mages from the east, the star led them to the Christ. They did not worship the star, nor did they presumably elevate themselves for being such fantastic astrologers, much less open a Psychic Shoppe in West Hollywood.

unKnown friend agrees with our assessment of the ultimate value of Jung's work, but notes that his method has much in common with the humble way of the Raccoon, in that it partakes of "concentration without effort" (i.e., playful free association), "interpretation of dreams and spontaneous fantasy," cooperation between "the fertilizing sphere (outside of and beyond the normal consciousness) and fertilized consciousness," "the amplification of immediate data from the manifestation of the unconsciousness by means of alchemy, myths, and mysteries belonging to mankind's historical past," using the unconscious (I would say "supraconscious," or just vertical consciousness) "as guide and master," and most importantly, "not identifying oneself with the superhuman forces of the archetypes -- not allowing them to take possession of the individual consciousness (so that the latter does not become a victim of inflation)."

That paragraph was a mythful to digest, but I think that you could reduce it to the idea of sincerely playing in that expanding transitional space between O and (n), but with the fixed archetypes of tradition, which are not arbitrary or accidental, but as objective as the nighttime sky. Nevertheless, each person necessarily has a slightly different view of them, simply by virtue of existing. After all, to exist is to exist somewhere, i.e., to have a perspective. This is the correct part of postmodernism, as far as it goes.

What postmodernists forget is that we all have a perspective on reality, and that "reality" isn't simply the sum total of perspectives. Lacking in irony -- or failing to surpass it -- they forget to place their own perspective in perspective, which is one of the typical complications of tenure, usually fatal.

unKnown Friend also cites Teilhard de Chardin as someone who was unwaveringly faithful to his star, but in his case, he attempted to do so while remaining faithful to the Church-sun. Ultimately he was unable to square that circle, or to make both ends meet in the muddle, I think partly because of a certain lack of sobriety on his part, and perhaps some excessive sobriety on the part of the Church.

Today, I think there are some more sober Teilhards, on the one hand, and a little more buzzed Church, on the other. Call it "sober intoxication," if you like. It's certainly the unebriated balance I always shoot for.

There was a time that I was very much attracted to Teilhard's thought, if only because there was no one else attempting to go where no man had gone by reconciling modernity and tradition in such a bold manner. I wanted his breadth of vision, which was truly meta-cosmic in its scope -- in both time and space, subject and object, interior and exterior, Kirk and Spock.

As unKnown Friend describes it, Teilhard followed his star on a long trek "through the paths of the universal evolution of the world throughout millions of years. What did he do, properly speaking? He showed the 'star' above the universal evolution of the world, in a way that the latter 'is seen to be knit together and convulsed by a vast movement of convergence... at the term of which we can distinguish a supreme focus of personalizing personality."

In short, Teilhard re-cognized the star above mere natural selection, demonstrating how God and Darwin are as compatible as Adam and Evolution -- just as, in a post-quantum world, atoms and ovulation aren't as far apart as you might think.

I guess you could say that my wild nous chase of the Bobstar was (and is) completely soph-interested, in that I wanted to know how this vast universe resulted in, well, Bob. Not just me per se, but the very possibility of something as unexpected as a me (or you), or what Teilhard refers to above as the "personalizing personality" -- by which he means a local cosmic area of increasingly complex and centrated subjectivity.

What I really wanted to understand was the how the expanding human subject fits into the whole existentialada, and in just what kind of cosmos is such a superfluous and some would say pointless emergence of me even possible? Whatever else the book is -- appearances to the coontrary notwithstanding -- it is also a very personal journeyall that chronicles my attilt to bring together all the loose threads of my life without drowning in the quixocean of it all.

Of course I would like my ideas to be universal, but even if they were, it would nevertheless be necessary for each person to write their own book, i.e., to have the tome of their life. Somewhere in the book it says that we must all compose a symphony out of the notes and chords of our lives, and that no one's loony tune is identical.

But that is what we are after: ultimate co-herence and reconciliation of inner and outer, time and eternity, spirit and matter, faith and reason, intelligence and wisdom, science and religion, for that constitutes peace. And one way or the other, that coherence can only come from the top. Any alternative is a non-starer.

I will conclude by suggesting that this is indeed our cross to bear, but that, as luck would have it, someone else has done most of the heavy lifting for us. Which is the ultimate point of Christmas, the day on which we are simultaneously furthest from and closest to the newborn sun.

16 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

He showed the 'star' above the universal evolution of the world, in a way that the latter 'is seen to be knit together and convulsed by a vast movement of convergence... at the term of which we can distinguish a supreme focus of personalizing personality."

Re. how the universe resulted in, well, me, I'm reminded of the astronomy reports that have come out lately showing earth-sized planets around other stars. On the one hand, it's exciting news, but on the other, I don't hold out much hope that they will harbor any life worth mentioning. Just looking at the pictures, the difference between Earth - a brilliant, shining ball of not just blue, but all the hues of the continents - and the relatively dun lifeless appearance of any other is quite striking. Further, it seems to me that without a moon to exert the tidal pull that ours does (the regulating mechanism that affects not only our weather patterns, but our gravity and even the motion of fluids at every scale, internally and externally), life will never stand a chance, even if all the right chemicals are present in the right proportions.

In other words, there would have to be a planet almost identical to ours, in a system identical to ours, located in approximately the same spot in its galaxy as ours is (etc., etc.).

From a scientific perspective, each star is a sun at the center of its own system - but if each other star is at the center of a lifeless system, then truly there is only one Sun.

12/22/2011 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Secularists are desperate to find life elsewhere, because life on earth is otherwise inexplicable. But all it would prove is that life is woven into the very fabric of existence, which makes it equally weird.

12/22/2011 09:43:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Indeed; honestly, I think it would be wonderful if they did find life elsewhere - what a delightful thing to be wrong about! - I just don't hold out much hope for it.

12/22/2011 09:49:00 AM  
Blogger robinstarfish said...

We must follow our star without reserve, for "a whole world is at stake" -- the resurrected world of our interior being.

Aha - a much-needed "hear the bell" moment today. I think I can get through the rest of December now. :-)

12/22/2011 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pV8X762U4I
US band Chrysalis was a 1 album wonder of the 60s

12/23/2011 05:06:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Won't be no new post today. Maybe tomorrow. Slept too long because I was up too late.

Why? Good question. I use two kinds of insulin, one slow acting, one very fast acting. I'm surprised it hasn't happened before, but I accidentally injected the latter when I had intended the former, which amounted to roughly three times the usual amount of fast acting insulin. So I basically had to stay up and feed my face until the insulin cleared my system. Won't happen again, unless Klaus von Bulow tries to kill me.

12/23/2011 08:42:00 AM  
Blogger SippicanCottage said...

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family, Bob, and to all your readers.

12/23/2011 09:02:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Yikes, Bob. I hope that doesn't become a habit! Anyway, the stuffing of the face isn't supposed to begin until tomorrow, depending on your family traditions.

12/23/2011 09:13:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

My wife does the same thing. Lantus is bad stuff in some ways. Many times she wakes up in the morning in a reaction. Reactions are scary, even for me just watching.

Back in the summer, I suggested she switch to using the slow-acting when she gets up. That worked better for a while, but if she sleeps late -- which she's been doing since she not out in the garden, she goes back to taking it at night and using the Novalog exclusively during the day.

Our son got a new "wireless" pump -- whatever that is. It seems to work well for him.

Merry Christmas, everybody.

12/23/2011 10:11:00 AM  
Blogger John Lien said...

Here's to hoping Satan Klaus doesn't visit your home this Christmas!

Merry Christmas fellow Racoons!
(that includes OT and William as well).

12/23/2011 10:20:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

'Shroom:

For me, Lantus is great -- very slow and gentle over 24 hours. You just have to calibrate to bedtime glucose. I try to go to bed at around130 (after a little snack) in order to wake up at around 80. Works almost every time.

12/23/2011 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

", it's a common temptation for intellectuals who isolate themselves from the sun of tradition. The more brilliant, the greater the temptation to do this.

And because of the childish cult of genius that has developed in our post-religious culture, you might say that we live under a garish firmament of diverse and irreconcilable third-rate stars -- kind of like the Vegas strip at night -- each claiming to be the sun. "

I was thinking about this the other day... I think last Friday's post, especially with people like Hitchens... I don't mean in any way to speak light of things, but I wonder how important it is that a Religion be 'fanciful'?

I'm thinking mostly of the dismissive 'That's just talkin' snake stories! No different from all the other myths, from Zeus to Odin, and on and on!'... might not that layer of 'fancy', the poetic image, be a necessary defense against being able to 'know' the 'facts of the matter'? I can completely imagine, from far too many examples, how a clear, cool, rational philosophical understanding of things... beginning from philosophy, is just too inviting for your own mind to take dominant center stage in matters?

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep...." leaves no place for you to... pontificate... from an equal or even higher footing, than God, Wisdom is something to be sought, respected, and your own claims to it... in some sense feared.

On the other hand, "Many once believed that the universe had no beginning or end and was truly infinite. Through the inception of the Big Bang theory, however,no longer could the universe be considered infinite..." is nearly a red carpet invite to prance and posture above it all with me, Me, ME! at the heart of every pearl of wisdom you mint and cast before those who would like to be just like you.

Shudder.

12/23/2011 03:07:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Before I forget,

Merry Christmas, all you Raccoons!

12/24/2011 09:05:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Merry Christmas One Cʘsmos!

12/24/2011 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"That paragraph was a mythful to digest, but I think that you could reduce it to the idea of sincerely playing in that expanding transitional space between O and (n), but with the fixed archetypes of tradition, which are not arbitrary or accidental, but as objective as the nighttime sky. Nevertheless, each person necessarily has a slightly different view of them, simply by virtue of existing. After all, to exist is to exist somewhere, i.e., to have a perspective. This is the correct part of postmodernism, as far as it goes."

Very deep post, Bob!
I've been readin' it over n' over the past few days.
This is the stuff that sticks to yer ribs and builds strong spiritual muscles. :^)

Merry Christmas Raccoons!

12/24/2011 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger Mizz E said...

Merry Christmas Y'all!

12/24/2011 12:24:00 PM  

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