(We use the term "whatever" advisedly, because we don't want to scare away the unbelievers, who should just think of this post as a typical exercise in re-cognition, i.e., a verticalisthenic.)
As Schuon writes, ultimate reality is "on the one hand Immutable, which determines us," but "on the other hand it is the Living, which attracts us."
Please note that that is it. Schuon provides no further explanation, so it is for us to unpack and decipher.
Which is good. I like unsaturated, because it is analogous to a "blank structure" with which we must fill in the content. Indeed, like life. Or maybe this post.
First of all we confront the reality of a Reality that is simultaneously Immutable and Attractive. How's that?
One way of looking at it is to say that humans are always subject to two temporal "forces" or "streams," which we call Fate and Destiny (we have posted on these two rascals in the past).
Both words imply That Which Must Be, but it seems that it is indeed possible to turn away from, or be denied, our Destiny, hence the reality of tragedy.
Those two words -- Immutable and Attractive -- also remind me of Absolute and Infinite, and therefore Male and Female in their cosmic dimensions.
Immutable is what? Strength, majesty, nobility, firmness, stability, authoritative, unwavering, rock, shelter, unconquerable, indomitable, incorruptible. Particle. Justice. Word.
Attractor is what? Radiant, beautiful, luminous, appeasing, liquiescent, dissolving, melting, nurturing, encompassing. Wave. Mercy. Music.
All human beings are descended from one male and one female. Might we say the same of our vertical descent?
Interesting that as the soul ascends toward the source, it too becomes simultaneously Immutable and Radiant, i.e., attractive.
For me, the "community of saints" -- and sages -- serves this function, for they are like fixed stars that radiate and attract us from above. They never compel, they attract.
Thus, they are "compelling," but compel our assent in such a way that our freedom is never compromised. Indeed, our assent to this radiant attraction is the height of freedom, for it is freely given assent to truth.
The Immutable Attractor defines the contours of existence, since it also implies the circularity that constitutes the human journey. For the Immutable is detachment, elevation, and eternal, in the shadow of which our lives are just inevitable ephuneral arrangements and fleeting lessons in evanescence.
But there is elevation and there is compassion: "by elevation it withdraws from things, and by compassion it comes back to them" (Schuon).
Which is reminiscent of the bodhisattva principle, whereby the enlightened being renounces liberation until every person is so freed of his existential entanglements and ontological coagulations.
Or in other words, love overcomes death and returns to the battlefield of existence.
I'll just leave off with this luminous passage by Schuon, which goes to Immutability and Attraction:
God has opened a gate in the middle of creation, and this open gate of the world toward God is man; this opening is God's invitation to look towards Him, to tend towards Him, to persevere with regard to Him, and to return to Him....
Unbelief and paganism are whatever turns its back on the gate; on its threshold light and darkness separate....
[W]hat a waste and a suicide -- to slip through the human state without truly being man, that is, to pass God by, and thus to pass our own souls by...