Tuesday, January 24, 2012

No Success Like Failure

This post evidently brings to a conclusion our three month excursion into Meditations on the Tarot: A Journey into Christian Hermeticism, which began last October, some 70 posts ago. I wonder if that makes the exegesis longer than the book, the echo longer than the echee?

I suppose that would be typical of any great book, which generates far more verbiage than that contained within its covers.

One might say that a timeless work of genius cannot be contained within itself, precisely. Nor could a mere threescore and ten toptypsical renderings expend what our friend penned, for every crookward feller has his own meandertalltale to tell, and no other soul can toll your own bell.

The previous post concluded with the observation that "if vulgar Darwinism is the integral truth of man, dreadful consequences necessarily follow -- not the least of which being the impossibility of absolute truth and objective morality."

That Darwinism can satisfy the cramped and barren intellect of contemporary timedwellers and ideobots is a statement about their desiccated intellect, not about Truth.

At the very least, these spiritual ungreats have no idea what religion has done for them, because it has all been done collectively and subliminally through a kind of cultural and historical osmosis.

But to be unaware of the extraordinary spiritual sacrifices others have made in order to make your otherwise insignificant life possible is to live as a barbarian. Your whole miserable life is lived in borrowed -- no, stolen -- Light, which you cannot even acknowledge.

As alluded to in the book, culture is analogous to a little clearing in a vast forest. Without culture, we are in total darkness. But different cultures permit varying degrees of light to enter. Some are still mostly forest, while others have cleared enough of the surrounding vegetation to take in the light from distant stars.

Thus, in a certain sense, light is space, perceptually speaking. To an animal without eyes, its "space" consists of whatever it is touching in that moment (let's leave ears to the side for the purposes of this example). It literally lives in a two-dimensional world. With eyes -- which specifically register light -- we suddenly inhabit a three-dimensional sensorium.

But this introduces a new problematic, for how vast is this sensorium? Is it infinite? If so, space merely introduces man to his own insignificance, as he is a kind of absurd projection of infinite finitude, which we symbolize ( ). Note that the symbol implies "containment," but of nothing, so that man's very existence mocks itself.

So man tells stories in order to contain himself and allay anxiety of the infinite, which results in (•). Among other things, that condensed little dot stands for saturation, the consoling absence of ambiguity that results from any ideology, whether Darwinism, scientism, leftism, feminism, Islamism, Christianism, whatever.

But man cannot contain himself. This is true of every level of being -- quintessentially so of the spiritual level, from which the others are declensions or projections. To say that man must love is to say that he must exist outside himself -- or that the other must exist within him. This is precisely what we would expect to see in a creature who is in the image of a trinitarian godhead.

Truth is both timeless and universal, so that what is true will always be so. Scientific fads and fashions will come and go, but Man will always be in the image of the Creator, a meta-cosmic truth from which our rights, our duties, and our dignity flow. An undignified man has no rights, and a man with no rights has no dignity. Likewise, a man with no obligations is not a man. (We are not speaking legalistically, of course, but morally, or better, ontologically.)

Man's obligations are prior to his rights, for if the reverse is true, man makes himself a god. This is the upside-down god of the left, for it is the undignified man who is entitled to his rights, which are actually your obligations. But to be forcefully obligated in this manner is to be treated in an undignified manner, so we end in a tyranny of the undignified. See contemporary culture for details.

Only man can -- and therefore must -- live by the light of eternity, so that all we do, say, write, create, and think, can resonate with what surpasses itself, and thus "pass the test of time":

"Artists, like esoterists, are obliged to make their works pass the trial of time, so that the poisonous plants from the sphere of mirages can be uprooted, and there remains only the wheat -- pure and ripe" (MOTT).

When we write so much as a measly blog post, we would like for it to stay written. We are always scribbling from the standpoint of eternity, not because we are grandiose, but because it is the least we can do, cosmic etiquette being what it is.

Nor are we suggesting that we succeed, only that to even attempt to do this is the privilege of a lifetome. Or painting. Or photograph. Or musical composition.

Otherwise, there is no point whatsoever in putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, at least regarding the matters we discuss here. This is not supposed to be an exercise in (•), but an exorcism thereof, a verticalaesthetic and a gymnostic.

In order to properly do one's omwork, one's writing must be "objective," even while being "transparent," or perhaps "translucent," in that it must be both solid and capable of trasmitting the Light. Why? Because this is just the way the Divine Spirit rolls. Deal with it.

To leggo the ego is merely a means to try to transcend all pettiness, all that is timebound, all that refers back to oneself instead of pointing beyond. I must decrease so that He may increase: one "becomes poor, so as to be able to receive the wealth of the divine spirit..."

This is -- to come full circle -- "the gesture of actualizing below that which is above" (MOTT), so that one's very life becomes a work of sacred art -- which is again to be transparent to that which transcends oneself. Thank God it's impossible.

Adieu, dear unknown friend.

10 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

Thanks for the refresher course, Bob. MOTT never gets old.

1/24/2012 09:07:00 AM  
Blogger Verdiales said...

Well, it seems I've jumped into MOTT just as you're finishing. I suppose, if we are really true to our experience, we all have our own rates of climb.

1/24/2012 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger John Lien said...

Is that the Cheshire coon?

1/24/2012 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

See contemporary culture for details.

That is the truth.

Among other things, that condensed little dot stands for saturation, the consoling absence of ambiguity...

Even the most exoteric Christians become aware of this once in a while. I heard a guy talking just last night about misperceiving Christ as a "stained glass cartoon" -- which I thought was a good phrase.

Nor are we suggesting that we succeed, only that to even attempt to do this is the privilege of a lifetome.

That meshes with what John and I were talking about in terms of prayer and praying over the "trivial" which then makes it not trivial at all.

1/24/2012 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

Don't worry, MOTT blogging is part of the One Cosmos liturgical year.

It will come around again.

Eventually.

1/24/2012 12:08:00 PM  
Blogger John Lien said...

Nor are we suggesting that we succeed, only that to even attempt to do this is the privilege of a lifetome.


Come to think about it, only with God do good intentions count. With everybody else, well, results are pretty much what they would prefer.

1/24/2012 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

"If so, space merely introduces man to his own insignificance, as he is a kind of absurd projection of infinite finitude, which we symbolize ( ). Note that the symbol implies "containment," but of nothing, so that man's very existence mocks itself."

I went through feeling like this through high school and college. Fortunately, that phase eventually passed.

1/24/2012 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"Nor are we suggesting that we succeed, only that to even attempt to do this is the privilege of a lifetome. Or painting. Or photograph. Or musical composition.

Otherwise, there is no point whatsoever in putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, at least regarding the matters we discuss here. This is not supposed to be an exercise in (•), but an exorcism thereof, a verticalaesthetic and a gymnostic."

Hear here.

wv:child
A bit terse, but that could be another way of putting it.

1/24/2012 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Truth is both timeless and universal, so that what is true will always be so. Scientific fads and fashions will come and go, but Man will always be in the image of the Creator, a meta-cosmic truth from which our rights, our duties, and our dignity flow. An undignified man has no rights, and a man with no rights has no dignity. Likewise, a man with no obligations is not a man. (We are not speaking legalistically, of course, but morally, or better, ontologically.)

Man's obligations are prior to his rights, for if the reverse is true, man makes himself a god. This is the upside-down god of the left, for it is the undignified man who is entitled to his rights, which are actually your obligations. But to be forcefully obligated in this manner is to be treated in an undignified manner, so we end in a tyranny of the undignified. See contemporary culture for details."

Aye! The OWSers believe that what they are doing is grandiose, but in reality they are promoting victimology and they are hostile towards obligations, responsibility and accountability (all of which are essential if one is to have the right of liberty.

In effect they think they want licentiousnesslike freedom or anarchy.

Of course, if they actually got their wish it would be chaos and a nirvana for predators (like the OWSer rape camps).

Some OWSers are both predator AND victim. How they make that work I have no idea.
Passive/aggressive I suppose.

Great series Bob! This is a wealth of wisdom and well worth going over and over.

1/24/2012 08:24:00 PM  
Blogger Aloysius said...

I know it's a tangent but let's talk Newt, the nasty auto-immune disorder of the right. His mob is the vulgar mirror image of the leftist rabble. They think that Jimmy Swaggart was sincere, that pro wrestling is sport and that porn is sex. They are full of lusts and their itching ears are anxious for scratching by the nastiest con man around.

Alinsky and like lower forms are chortling in their graves. Nancy only has one foot in and she can hardly contain her self until the nomination.

1/25/2012 10:40:00 AM  

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