Occupying Wall Street vs. Occupying Reality
"a being that has fallen out of Being and therefore continually reaches toward it, as the only entity by which and to which Being has revealed itself as a question, as a secret and as meaning" (which we refer to as [?!], or the sacred WTF?). The human "drama unfolds in the rupture between his orientation 'upward' and 'backward' and a constant falling 'downward' into now.'"
He adds that "the world of an 'I' that is oriented toward Being is different from the world of an 'I' that has succumbed to its existence-in-the-world." The latter is "enclosed within itself, barren in its superficial variety, empty in its illusory richness, ignorant, though awash in information, cold, alienated, and ultimately absurd."
Conversely, "Orientation toward Being as a state of mind can also be understood as faith," through which our "relationship to life is informed by hope, wonder, humility, and a spontaneous respect for its mysteries."
So, "How can this vicious circle [of alienation from Being] be broken? There would seem to be only one way: a revolutionary turning toward Being."
Openness to Being is... well, openness, which we symbolize (o); it involves "the experience of meaningfulness as a joyful encounter with the unity between the voice of Being within us and the voice of Being in the world," which "thus opens the Being of the world up to us at the same time as it opens us up to that Being." (Think of this as a variant of [↓↑], only prolonged into the vertical.)
Now, what is Being? We might say that Being is unadulterated AM. But man, unique among creatures, possesses -- or is possessed by -- a mysterious center of subjectivity, the I. In order to be aware of the I, it seems that we must, in some sense, be ousted or exiled from Being. Therefore, the perennial problematic is: how to make Being comport with the individual subject who only knows of himself because he is divided from Being? In short, how do we put humpty-I and dumpty-AM back together again?
unKnown Friend provides a clue: "Now the words 'I am; do not be afraid' spoken by the one walking on the water amount to the statement: 'I am gravitation, and he who holds to me will never sink or be engulfed'.... Thus there is another field of gravitation than that of death, and he who unites himself with it can walk on water, i.e, transcend the agitated element of 'this world,' the electrical gravitational field of the serpent."
There is a key passage on page 314 of MOTT, where UF discusses the difference between terrestrial and celestial gravitation: the former is centripetal and enfolds, while the latter is centrifugal and radiates. Perhaps a better way of saying it is that terrestrial gravitation hardens, compacts, and deadens, while celestial gravitation liquifies, disperses, and sows. There is density and opacity in the former, light and space in the latter.
Think of all the forms of intersubjective gravitation that "hold people together," everything from love to culture to ideology to religion and more. This is not metaphorical language, but literal, both individually and collectively. In fact, the word "religion" comes from the latin religare, "to bind."
Religion in its lower sense becomes quite terrestrial, for example, in the Islamic world, where people are bound and compacted together in a common prison where light and air cannot enter. Similarly, ideology can mimic religion, so its adherents are bound together by a spirit of faux radiation -- the OWS tantrums being a fine example.
This is another key point, for there is always a moment when one must assent to the ideology (or political religion), no different than the revolutionary conversion that orients us to Being. Havel is on the case:
"What is fanaticism? I would say it is nothing other than this reified, mystified, fetishized, and thus self-alienated faith.... [P]recisely at this moment, the 'I' commits a fatal error, which is extraordinarily seductive to a lazy mind, [and] a weak character..." There is an absence "of intellectual and moral courage," which precludes "the courage to go it alone against everyone and deny oneself the advantages of mob possession of ideas..."
Again, think of the OWSer mobs. Are they alienated? You bet. But from what? They haven't a clue. For "the fanatic is someone who, without realizing it, replaces the love of God with the love of his own religion; the love of truth, freedom, and justice with the love of an ideology, doctrine, or set of promises to guarantee them once and for all..."
On an individual basis, it's always a good idea to explore one's center of gravity. When we talk about "values," about the culture war, about political parties, we're really talking about very different centers of gravity.
For example, for the leftist, the center of gravity is the compacted collective, or state; for the conservative liberal, it is the radiant individual. In fact, for the leftist -- since he is fully terrestrialized -- his center of gravity is generally politics, period.
What normal, productive person with a life and family would have time to spend weeks on end screaming at walls? This is why the brain-dead left can always muster more raw political energy than the opposition, since it is their life. They're just obeying gravity and going with the flow, whereas for the rest of us, politics is a distasteful distraction that we mainly engage in to prevent the left from making matters worse and ultimately destroying the country. To paraphrase Eliot, we have no expectation of actually prevailing, only of perhaps recapturing and holding a little ground and then passing it on to the next generation.
Another danger of politics is that it tends to organize people around their hates. As a result, their center of gravity becomes that which they hate.
Yes, troll, I know what you're thinking. How is this any different from how Bob treats the left? One difference is that you are here. Why are you here, anyway? To open yourself to Being and change your center of gravity toward O? Or simply to use me as a focus for your hatred and stupidity?
When evaluating a patient, it really comes down to identifying their center of gravity. Most any mental illness results from a false or relative center of gravity. What is a fetish? An obsession? A compulsion? A fixation? A phobia? A depression? Paranoia? Each of these serves to organize the mind around a false center, which limits intelligence and falsifies being. They cannot "radiate," only focus. Or, if they do radiate, it is in a diffuse and chaotic manner, certainly not toward the nonlocal attractor, O. Their psychic content just spills all over the place, like a toxic dump.
Why is a great artist great? Because his words, images, or music come from a deeper or higher center of gravity that helps reveal and deepen ours. The great mystery is how this center can be communicated with very simple language or just a few notes. A great jazz musician will communicate more with just his tone than a mediocre musician with thousands of notes.
I do not wish to be anyone's center of gravity, but rather, perhaps be of humble assistance in helping them locate and amplify theirs. You shouldn't be looking at me, but through me.
In reality, what binds you and I is the mysterious third which we are looking at together. None but the troll stares at and even sniffs my finger. No, the rest of you try to focus upon what I am pointing at. Eventually it comes into view. You already sense it, or you wouldn't be here. It's just a matter of perfecting your senses.
Conversely, I can only assume that our obsessive trolls keep coming back because they want us to see what they see, and to share their perverse center of gravity. Don't worry, we see it. And even lived it. Which is why we can look through and beyond it, to what it is pointing at.
In short, for us, matter is legible, like the page of a book. When we read we do not stare at the letters, but look through them to the meaning. I suppose one could argue that the "center" of MOTT is page 335, being that the book contains 670 pages. But in reality, its center is O, which is present on every page. This explains how it is that Man, seemingly so insignificant, can be the "center of the universe."
To summarize, the Hanged Man "lives under the state of celestial gravitation," which is why he is both suspended and upside down. As UF writes, "the soul is suspended between heaven and earth." It is outside the world because it is inside O. This is "the zero point between the fields of terrestrial and celestial gravitation."
And to say that we are "upside down" means that for us, the "solid ground" is located above, while the realm below is an airy abstraction -- this is the abstract world of the scientistic atheist. Perhaps this is the reason why so many infertile eggheads are materialists, since materialism is purely "head knowledge," a shadowy caricature of the real thing.
I once knew a man who "fell in love with O." As his love deepened, so too did his faith. And as his faith in the unseen deepened, so too did his Obedience. Soon his feet "walked in O." And as his Obedience deepened, his head and heart followed his feet. Now he walks in a cloud of radiant unknowing, calmly placing one foot in front of the other and enjoying the walk.