Navigating the Cosmic Winds to the Edge of the Known
To put it another way, if I were just some kind of "expert," presuming to tell you what I supposedly know, then it would be another thing entirely. When I write, it is always with a sense of discovery. I don't know what attracts readers to my writing, but I do know what attracts me to it, which is precisely this sense of adventure that is taking place in the moment. I have no idea what's going to happen next, any more than you do.
Now that I think about it, an image comes to mind, of literally being at the edge of the (or my) known cosmos, and trying to use language to push further into the unknown. I don't expect it to be like this for anyone else, but that's what it's like for me. If I learn something through the process -- which I do -- it is a result of abandoning myself to forces or agencies of which I am not consciously aware. They are very much "other," like the Dreamer who dreams our dreams.
Again, the image comes to mind of a sailor, who is guiding his vessel via forces he cannot see or touch, i.e., winds and currents. Are there cosmic winds and currents? Of course there are cosmic winds and currents.
Which is why, when I repost something, it is like revisiting where I was in the cosmos on that particular morning.
Okay, busted. What I really mean is that I'm pressed for time and have to get ready for work. So here's where I was in the cosmos five years ago this month:
What the devil?
Good question. According Schuon, the devil be "the humanized personification -- humanized on contact with man -- of the subversive aspect of the centrifugal existential power; not the personification of this power in so far as its mission is positively to manifest Divine Possibility."
In other words, the Absolute, insofar as it manifests in time and space, radiates from a cosmic center to the periphery ("the centrifugal existential power"), somewhat like a series of concentric circles with God at the center. God's energies are like radii emanating from the center outward, while the different concentric circles are the various levels of being, or the cosmic hierarchy. (You can also picture it as a cone, with the "point" of God at the top, degrees of manifestation below.)
Therefore, although everything is ultimately God, not everything is equally God. The idea that everything is equally God leads to pantheism, which is an indiscriminate flatland philosophy no more sophisticated than bonehead atheism. It is logically equivalent to saying everything is not God. Or one might simply say "everything," and therefore "nothing" -- it doesn't matter, or mind, for that matter.
In any event, nothing is that simple, let alone everything, let further alone the Divine Nothing-Everything at the center of it all.
Now ultimately, everything "is God" in some sense, but God is not the sum total of everything. Things vary in their proximity to God. You yourself know when you are close to, or distant from, God, even though God hasn't gone anywhere.
We call the movement toward God "evolution," but we should probably come up with a different term -- perhaps Adam & Evolution -- so as to not confuse it with mere natural selection, which reduces the transcosmic fact of evolution to a random and mechanical process of meaningless change.
But it goes without saying to anyone with common sense and uncommon vision, that the greater cannot be derived from the lesser, and that there is presently no plausible theory whatsoever that can account for the miracle of the human subject, which represents a miniature "cosmic center" within the whirling microcosmos of man.
And like the cosmic center of which it is a mirror, the individual center has a natural tendency to radiate outward and lose itself in the playful phenomena of its own creation, or the form of its own sensibility, as Kant would have it.
However, in its properly balanced way, this radiation leads to further centration, not dissipation. For example, when we love what is beautiful, we identify the soul's "within" by locating it in the without, which has the effect of strengthening our central being.
Conversely, if we love that which is ugly or "know" what is false, this has the effect of diminishing our center -- which, at the same time, necessarily pulls us further from God, the cosmic center.
The periphery must be -- i.e., there must be things that are more or less distant from God -- but this does not mean that they need be evil. Nevertheless, as Schuon implies, the divine radiation results in "cosmic interstices," so to speak, where evil enters the picture. This is where the soul-cancers arise and take root. It is one of the inevitable even though unsanctioned possibilities of the Divine radiation, somewhat like an existential blood clot.
The cosmos is permeated with arteries that carry "oxidized" energies away from God and veins through which creation returns to its source. Only human beings may partake of this circulatory system in a conscious way, and become co-partners in the divine plan. It's an offer we can and do refuse, although no one in their right mind would do so.
On the one hand, creation is already "perfect," being that it is a metaphysically necessary but unnarcissary objectification of God. Nevertheless, by virtue of not being God, it cannot be perfect, but can only "become" perfect through man's conscious participation.
Or let us say that perfection is only a possibility because it is woven into the very warp and weft of creation. If it weren't, we wouldn't even have the word. Nor would we have the words for truth and beauty if they were not coursing through the arteries of existence as divine possibilities. Truth is either "invented" or it is "discovered." If invented, then it is not true. If discovered, then it is of God -- or at least underwritten by God, the Absolute.
Now, today we find ourselves in a struggle of truly cosmic proportions between forces representing the human personification of the centrifugal existential power -- which is a very real, even if derivative and parasitic, power -- and those representing the center (or evolutionary return to the center).
It's funny where one can pick up important ideas, but a couple of days ago I heard a promo for the new Dennis Miller radio program. In reference to the weather hysteria of Al Gore, Miller said words to the effect of, "hey, I'm not worried about the earth -- I'm worried about the world."
Exactly. The earth is simply an object deposited somewhere roughly in the middle of the arc of creation. The human world, on the other hand, is very near the top -- or at least the bottom of the top. If you imagine that the earth is a fragile and delicate thing but the world is not, then you are quite naive.
In particular, the world of the West -- the wonderful world created by Judeo-Christian principles -- is without question the most rare and precious thing in all of creation, since it represents the apex of the possibility of the cosmic return to God. In a sense, it is even more precious than individuals -- who are intrinsically infinitely precious -- since it is the only guarantor that the individual may actually discover his unique idiom and become himself, thereby being an individual reflection of the cosmic center.
Let's be honest -- this is why it would suck to have to endure the horror of being born in most any other time or place. Given the choice, would you want to be born a Saudi? A "Palestinian?" A feudal serf? An Argentinian? A Cuban? Lost most anywhere in the continent of Africa? Why? What would be the point? In most times and places, there has been no way for you to do anything but remain frozen in your little cosmic rut with no options.
Now, the cosmo-political battle in which we are engaged is ultimately between forces who deny hierarchy and those who affirm it; and those power-mad drunks who ride the centrifugal waves to the periphery, vs. those who soberly partake of the centripetal return.
Importantly, those who deny hierarchy do so -- either consciously or unconsciously -- with the intention of replacing the natural hierarchy with their own illegitimate one. This is where all the false absolutes of the left enter the picture and set up shop (remember those cosmic interstices alluded to above). Left alone they become cancers, which means that, as they grow in strength and intensity, they actually begin to take on a gravitational attraction of their own.
You might even say that they become an alternative cosmic center that sets itself against the real one. It arrests progress -- the cosmic return -- by pulling both the innocent and guilty into its dark principality. Its methods are moral relativism, multiculturalism, and "critical theory," or deconstruction; its defender and guarantor is the coercion of political correctness rather than the "lure" of Truth; and its goal is the reversal of the cosmic order, the instantiation of the Fall, the obliteration of the vertical, and the exaltation (and therefore bestialization) of man, thus sealing his spiritual fate and ending the possibility of divine co-creation and theosis, or God-realization.
It is appropriate that these cosmic tyrants are called "Democrats," for democracy is a system of information flow that can lead to the higher or to the lower. In fact, it will inevitably lead to the lower if we do not acknowledge at the outset that there is a higher toward which democracy must orient itself. In other words, in the absence of hierarchy, demo-cracy will become exactly what the word implies, which is to say, tyranny of the horizontalized masses, or demo-crazies.
This is why the ads for Air America can insist that they are the "real majority," a bizarre statement on its face unless one understands that this is the leftist substitute for truth. Or as Jim Morrison sang, The old get old / And the young get stronger / May take a week / And it may take longer / They got the guns / But we got the numbers / Gonna win, yeah / We're takin over / Come on!
Who's taking over? In point of fact, the crazies of the left are half correct, in that we are ultimately faced with the choice between democracy and theocracy. The American founders, in their infinite wisdom, chose theocracy, in the sense that the only legitimate purpose of democracy could be to preserve and protect the spiritual freedom of the theocentric individual. In short, they created a benign theocracy that would be mediated not from the top down -- which is never a real theocracy, but man-archy -- through thousands and now millions of godlings, or "divine centers." But a democracy mediated by mere animal-men will sooner or later lead to the Reign of the Beast.
In the specific sense we are using the word, theocracy is "the only guarantee of a realistic liberty" (Schuon). Otherwise, the centrifugal riptide in which secular man stands soon leads to the following ideas: that "truth amounts to the belief of the majority," and therefore, that the majority for all intents and purposes creates the truth, which is one of the explicit assumptions of the left -- i.e., "perception is reality."
Under such berserkumstances, authority cannot appeal to truth, but "lives at the mercy of the electors," which in the end degrades them by patronizing them. Schuon adds that this doesn't mean democracy is impossible, but that "it is primarily a question of... an inwardly aristocratic and theocratic democracy" as envisioned by the Founders.
The adage vox populi vox Dei has no meaning except in a religious framework which confers a function of “medium” on the crowds; they then express themselves not by thought but by intuition and under the influence of Heaven..., so that the feeling of the majority coincides in any case with what may be called “the good".... --F. Schuon