Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Post of Christmas Past & Presence

Last night we attended the family mass. While wife and child are fully immersed members who are completely afloat there, we remain a half-civilized wolf of the steppes -- a little jangled by the commotion, but curious enough to sniff around.

In the priest's homily he touched on some themes that were right up our alley, lujah! We wonder if he knows he was talking pure Eckhart -- proBobally, no?

He reminded us of why we cannot make a big deal out of Christmas per se. Don't get us wrong -- we get into the Christmas spirit just like anyone else. But that's more of a cultural thing, not the essence of the point of the gist of the crux of the martyr.

For if we heard Father Bill brightly, on Christmas we remama the eternal birth of the celestial Word in the terrestrial flesh. The whole thing is a silent nought unless we do the same, and give birth to the Word in our own ground, heart, matrix, womb, or what have you, and then grow our own Mary way.

But this is not, and cannot be, something that happens just once a year. Rather, it must be a perpetual labor; or really, conception-gestation-labor-birth, in a kind of continuous cycle.

Esoterism can apparently sound cold or excessively abstract to some. We understand. But for us, it is the other wayround to the same end: straight exoterism with no esoteric chaser always leaves us a little too sober. More blood, please!

Out of our own dark voidgin soil, two irreconcilable realities somehow become one. In short: no conception, no birth -- especially again.

And there are any number of spiritual verbicides on the cultural market, which either prevent or terminate the union of Word and flesh. All of them result in a mourning after pall being cast over everything.

Christmas wasn't celebrated -- at least by Christians -- for the first 400 years or so of Christianity's existence. One way or another, it grafted itself onto pre-Christian celebrations of the winter solstice, which, coincidentally, marks the moment when the world arrests its descent into cosmic darkness and imperceptibly moves toward a new life of spring in its step.

But this hardly makes the essential cerebration of it any less Christian. Rather, it simply makes Christianity the most adequate expression of permanent truths that have always been intuited. As Warren mentioned in a comment the other year,

"Basically, everybody more or less knows this stuff. It's the wisdom and experience of the entire human race speaking here. The only people who claim to deny it are a few little fringe modernist groups (materialists, certain fundie Protestant sects, etc.).

"In fact, this is a big reason why some fundie Protestants view Catholics as 'pagans.' In a way, they're quite correct, because the Catholic tradition includes much wisdom from the pagan world, while trimming away (ideally) the false and/or devilish elements in it. Rejecting the entire pagan worldview, as certain Christians do, is to needlessly throw out a large chunk of the human race's traditional wisdom, thereby making oneself much more clueless than is strictly necessary."

This is correct. Most of the things we call heresies are not so much flat out wrong, but involve doctrines taken out of the context of total truth, and then either over- or underemphasized.

The rank-and-foul try to derive metaphysical truth solely from phenomena and/or history, but in reality, what we call "salvation history" (or salvolution) involves the serial conception and fruition of certain meta-cosmic seed-principles -- which is why they are living truths that must beleafed, topped, baked, and smoked each morning. In a manner of speaking, bongbrain.

Furthermore, the Creator is a person. Thus, he has principles. But unlike leftists, his principles are not just convenient fig leaves to obscure or lend legitimacy to a tawdry snakedown operation.

Remember, although Jesus is "Word made flesh," this does not mean that the eternal Word was nowhere to be heard in this vale of ears prior to the Incarnation.

Rather, we would say (with Augustine) that the Word and Wisdom of the Christic principle were (and are) always here, and couldn't not be here; again, where there is Truth there is God, and vice versa. Tear down your temporal and he can build an eternal One in three deities, see?

We would go so lo as to see that the affirmation of anything is the affirmation of God, and therefore the negation of "nothing" (nothing being the absurd affirmation of a blind nihilism that can affirm nothing at all, not even itself). Otherwise there is no firm ground for any of your flimsy affirmations.

If, as Eckhart suggests, God ex-ists (for us) because he under-stands, it means that the poor toolish trolls who don't understand these truths don't even properly exist. Or, alternatively, they only exist. And existence without Truth is.... well, first of all it's an absurdity, but more to the point, it is hell. Which is why they refuse to put us out of their misery. The bad word must be shared, for it is lonely at the bottom.

But to know that one is a real idiot is to at least know a genuine truth, and thus nurture an inchoate conception that may eventually come to full term in the light of deity. We ourselves were once (okay, more than once) just such an idiot, and were only saved, if at all, by a much greater and wide-eyed fʘʘlishness.

So, I guess this is just our peculiar way of saying Merry Christmas 24/7/356/∞, and back roundagain...

37 Comments:

Blogger Olden Ears said...

Thank you for this Christmas post. I've been reading your blog for about 6 months now, after having read the book. Both have been means of grace for me.

12/25/2011 07:14:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

We love to hear from longtime readers first time commenters. Otherwise we never know if we are just posting into the wind.

12/25/2011 07:16:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Bob, let us also go, that we may be fools with you.

Merry Christmas, Bob, to you and your family. And for all you fool for us.
Same to the rest of me peeps.

12/25/2011 07:27:00 AM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

Thank you, Master B'ob. A Christian merriness and renewal of yearlong happiness is wished for you and yours as well!

12/25/2011 07:28:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

You're a joy Bob, do keep on "posting into the Wind".

BTW, on the off chance that you haven't already, be sure to check out "Baseball, Dennis and the French." Just another of the many fine places you've led me over the years. Thanks, again.

Merry Christmas, coonies all!

12/25/2011 07:47:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Christmas presence is the best kind of presence. A very merry to one and all!

12/25/2011 08:48:00 AM  
Blogger Gandalin said...

Merry Christmas, Bob!

12/25/2011 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

And a happy hanuchrifestivus to you, Gandalin! BTW, you may be interested in this book I'm reading on Kabbalah and Finnigans Wake. It's great so far, but I've only just started it (and there are five volumes), so I can't give any kind of unqualified recommendation.

12/25/2011 11:47:00 AM  
Blogger gringagirl18 said...

Merry Christmas to everyone. And Olden Ears, thank you for posting that. I can't imagine a more beautiful sentiment.

I hope all here are having a blessed Christmas. You all are a big presence in our lives...I'm not so great with fancy words, but I'm so touched by all of you and your posts and comments all year long.
love
Mrs. G

12/25/2011 12:21:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

yes in deed
and thought and word
not to mention music

12/25/2011 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

QBL + 'Wake', eh?
sounds nifters. a slimmer study emerged on Lowry's some-say
masterpiece

12/25/2011 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

A timely and puntastic post!

"He reminded us of why we cannot make a big deal out of Christmas per se. Don't get us wrong -- we get into the Christmas spirit just like anyone else. But that's more of a cultural thing, not the essence of the point of the gist of the crux of the martyr. "

I wonder if he had something like this in mind?

Awkward. There seems to be an inverse ratio between such forced nightmare-eee!ness, and any actual sense of celebration. Still... having

"So, I guess this is just our peculiar way of saying Merry Christmas 24/7/356/∞, and back roundagain..."

356? Is that the number of days in the year for the remainder of the 57 states?

12/25/2011 02:55:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Esoterism can apparently sound cold or excessively abstract to some. We understand. But for us, it is the other wayround to the same end: straight exoterism with no esoteric chaser always leaves us a little too sober. More blood, please!"

Esoterism used to appear that way to me...until I realized that the coldness resided in myself, because I hadn't embraced esoterism along with exoterism for balance or completeness.

Without the esoteric I was far too sober and everything was way to tidy since everything fit nicely into containers.

Esoterism enabled me to be contained by O rather than failing to contain the uncontainable.

It perfected my spiritual liberty, so to speak and freed my blind to see mythteries galOre I gnew were there, but never had access to.

More blood indeed!

Merry Christmas Bob, Leslie and FL! And to my fellow Raccoons! :^)

12/25/2011 09:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12/26/2011 06:34:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12/26/2011 11:05:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Remember, although the Jesus is "Word made flesh," this does not mean that the eternal Word was nowhere to be heard in this vale of ears prior to the Incarnation.

This was a truth that I ran across back thirty years or so ago that really helped me get on the right track. God was talking and people were getting bits and pieces of it, incorporating into their understanding via creation/fall/redemption/resurrection stories about Nimrod, Isis, Horus, et al. Lewis relates a incident where one of his fellow scholars admitted to being disturbed by the fact that the "dying god" thing had really happened in history.

12/27/2011 07:23:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Julie:

No. Plus, you don't tackle it. It tackles you. I would definitely start with the secondary literature -- for example, Campbell's Skeleton Key -- otherwise, it's a little like trying to read Chinese.

This book on FW and Kabbalah is the first one I've read that really gets into the question of why Joyce -- who had just written what many consider to be the greatest novel of the 20th century -- would spend the subsequent 17 years working on something so obscure, just for the sake of a multitude of jokes and puns. I have always suspected that he was trying to construct something like a total map of the cosmos, and Anderson is confirming that suspicion. I'm only up to page 100 or so of a five volume treatise, so we'll see where it leads.

12/27/2011 07:30:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Re the quotes, I have to admit that in the absence of metaphysical books, morning glories at my window would get old pretty quick. At the risk of sounding speciesist, to me they all pretty much look the same.

12/27/2011 07:35:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

And I don't see any reason to try to publish a new post. It's already 7:40, almost time to get ready for work. MIght even close up shoppe for the year, depending upon how the week unfolds. I have vowed to get completely caught up with my work by 2012. If the cosmos is going to end as scheduled, I want to have my affairs in order (although in Terence McKenna's forecast, he thought that we have until December. But when dealing with a 14 billion year chunk of time, it's hard to be precise... that's a coincidence -- McKenna is the person who first turned me on to FW. I think he published a short talk that might be available on amazon...).

12/27/2011 07:43:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Here it is: Surfing Finnegans Wake. So old, it's a cassette tape. I'll bet it's available elsewhere in some other medium...

12/27/2011 07:50:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Re. The quotes, I was thinking more of the wonder and mystery part. Of course absent the metaphysics, I'd probably be too depressed to maintain much of a sense of wonder or mystery...

12/27/2011 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Re. The wake, I am currently reading the book about getting through page one. So of course now I want to try and actually read page one. Realistically speaking, if I get any farther than that it'll be little short of miraculous, though I'm also fool enough to think that having managed the opening and closing of the Coonifesto my brain may be able to take in another page or two.

Now that I'm done with T of the B, I was thinking the Wake might be good reading in the wee hours, but maybe that's just begging for trouble...

12/27/2011 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

The whole text is available online.

The problem with Cliett is that he completely focuses on the trees to the exclusion of any forest at all. He's not completely wrong, of course, but again, it's hard to believe that Joyce would have gone to all that trouble just for the sake of an extremely dense joke.

12/27/2011 08:47:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Agreed. I suspect Joyce was tackled by something ever so much deeper than mere humor. If that were all, it would hardly be worth the effort to understand it, or so it seems to me.

Re. Focusing on the trees, seems to me one can squeeze every possible permutation of meaning from each word or phrase until all that's left is the dry husks of overwrought letters, or one can just try to read (to the extent one is able) and let the meanings unfold in the subconscious. I know which I prefer.

12/27/2011 09:31:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

The dying sacrificial god solved the problem of human sacrifice once and for all, right?

Meaning that it's a cure to human sacrifice.

Anyhow, it works, so let's stick with it. Although I'll admit to liking Christmas more than Easter.

In other news, Romney is about to win the nomination.

wv: krist(mas)

12/28/2011 08:11:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I'm not sure what the objection is to Romney. Four years ago he was the conservative alternative to McCain, and he's no less conservative today. Plus he's electable, and will be more effective at turning the left's hatred back on itself, because what is there to hate?

12/28/2011 09:02:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

I like Romney.

Unlike with McCain, I won't have to be drug out kicking and screaming to vote for him.

12/28/2011 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

If it weren't for Romneycare, I'd have no problem with him. The fact that he esesentially favors socialized medicine gives me pause, but other than that I think he'd be fine.

I wonder, though, if his Mormonism won't be too much of a stumbling block; an awful lot of people have a problem with that.

12/28/2011 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Gagdad said “Four years ago he was the conservative alternative to McCain, and he's no less conservative today.”

Romney wasn’t my alternative then or now, and I really don’t see him as being conservative, then or now – less leftist than Obama? Sure. Less proregressive than McCain? Sure. More capable at running against Obama than the others? Probably. I don’t think that adds up to being conservative though.

Despite his claims, he is a politician through and through, and as Newt pointed out, is not a lifelong politician only because he lost elections.

There are many ‘flip flops’ I could ref, but they themselves are minor, changing positions doesn’t really bother me, though seeming to do so, or to phrase positions so as to seem otherwise than he means them, to win an election, does.

I don't like his hair jokes. Basically, I don’t trust him, I don’t like him, I don't think that he is who he presents himself as being. VDH’s buddy Bruce Thornton touched on part of the flavor of my dislike for him the other day.

On top of that, I have a deep misgiving for businessmen who say they ‘know how to make government work’, no, they know how to make a business work, and confusing the two worries me. A lot. And like Newt, he believes that govt has an active place in doing good.

Do I see someone else who’s better suited to it?

Nope.

12/28/2011 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

In my opinion, a true conservative would not be electable, because the country is not conservative, despite polls indicating that the country is roughly 40% conservative and only 20% liberal. Rather, a lot of people who call themselves conservative are only Republicans, and so-called independents are mostly spineless and impressionable mush-heads, and therefore de facto liberals. The bottom line is that running a conservative candidate for the sake of ideological purity is asking for a disaster. And even if elected, he or she would be subject to a hysterical liberal Four Year Hatefest that would make it impossible to govern. We need someone who can enlist dopey moderates against the liberal powers-that-be, which is what Reagan managed to do, but just barely.

12/28/2011 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Gagdad, yep, pretty much agree with that, particularly,

“Rather, a lot of people who call themselves conservative are only Republicans, and so-called independents are mostly spineless and impressionable mush-heads, and therefore de facto liberals.”

I’d only modify “We need someone who can enlist dopey moderates against the liberal powers-that-be, which is what Reagan managed to do, but just barely.”

To “The best we can hope for is someone who can enlist dopey moderates against the liberal powers-that-be, which is what Reagan managed to do, but just barely.”

Which is why, while I’ll do what I can in various races, I’m focusing on decades down the line – we cannot have a ‘conservative’ candidate, a classical liberal, who can run, win and govern as such, until we have a significant percentage of the populace who understands why it is necessary to, and a sizable percentage of inattentive moderates who can nod and say ‘eh, I suppose that’s not too extreme’.

Lacking that… behaving as if it isn’t lacking ‘wouldn’t be prudent’.

Still sickening though.

12/28/2011 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Lol, Cuz... strikes like the wind.

12/28/2011 12:11:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Case in point, we've got a fellow active in forums out here who thinks he's discovered the ultimate litmus test, he thinks he's the second coming of Lincoln on the Kansas-Nebraska Act... and his humdinger of a For or Against question? "TARP! For it or against it!".

I just shake my head. I'll spend hours walking him & others through the problems with a single issue, especially one that is so poorly understood as that... but they just snap back into place like ronpaulubber band the moment they feel themselves seeing sense.

I just shake my head.

12/28/2011 12:25:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

Political cycle-wise, we're smack dab in the middle of a liberal (government expansion) era that's going to run until 2020 or so-ish.

Then we either solve our current debt/spending problem or it solves us.

Either way, we are almost certainly going to end up with *less* government due to the *less* money available.

Right now, we are trying more complex governmental solutions. Since that won't actually work, at some point we are going to try something else.

12/28/2011 01:03:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

jallelujah POTUS Romney

headroe

12/29/2011 03:25:00 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

"Esoterism can apparently sound cold or excessively abstract to some. We understand. But for us, it is the other wayround to the same end: straight exoterism with no esoteric chaser always leaves us a little too sober."

I'm partway through this post and finding I must mention that in order to just pay attention to the straight exo-T stuff, I have to amputate part of myself. Like gouging out one whole eye. I've come into acquaintance with people lately with a taste for the exo, and there is a sort of weird pressure to perceive the world in a certain way. But this would mean pretending that I don't see certain things or ignoring things. Well, anyway... For me, it is awkward.

Going to have to sort this out, especially because one of the people in particular is a fellow of interest (or rather, he has indicated a strong interest toward me). Not sure how a cross-exo/eso-cultural connection can work out. But it's intersting so far, in a zany sort of way.

I'll get off the 'couch' now and finish the post.

12/29/2011 05:11:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Good luck Anna! :^)

1/04/2012 05:27:00 AM  

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