Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Incarnating the Cosmic Person

Damn. I can't recall being this depressed about an election since 1990, when the Sandinistas lost.

I mean, if public employee union bosses can't forcibly extract dues to help elect politicians who will conspire with them in good faith to grow the state and loot the treasury, freedom as we know it is pretty much dead IMO. What's next, a war on organized crime? (I know, redundant.) An attack on the privileges of 1/00 Indians?

And what's with the left? Isn't it a little late in the game to issue death threats? Isn't that like the New Jersey Devils deciding to goon it up tonight, after the Kings hoist Lord Stanley's Cup?

But as long-time cyberstalker and crackpot emeritus William Yelverton assures us, at least it was a good night for Barack. If nothing else, the results show the desperation of an increasingly radical right wing that thinks it can succeed by simply winning the war of ideas and trouncing the left in elections. That only works in America.

Speaking of infra-cosmic primates, back to Cosmic Humanism. Naturally, in order for there to be cosmic humanism there must be cosmic men and women. But what is a cosmic human?

I was thinking about this the other day.

Actually, that's not true. Rather, as usual, it just popped into my head. Only now am I actually thinking about it.

But it occurred to me that in order to qualify for the appellation, the human in question must be fully functioning in no less than four broad sectors, and possibly more if I think of them as we proceed.

I'm picturing two horizontal and two vertical areas. Thus, I suppose you could imagine a Cross with four quadrants.

We could say that the horizontal is an externalization of the right and left cerebral hemispheres, and their differing ways of perceiving and processing reality. To have access to only one would make us far less then human.

In human (i.e., non-neurological) terms, we might say that this ultimately redounds to the complementarity of science and art, or logic and emotion, or analysis and synthesis, or Spock and Bones (who are reconciled in the Kosmic Kirk). There are scientific men and there are sentimental men, but a cosmic man needs to be fully functioning in both sectors. Only then may he command the Innerprize.

No need to go into the latest research, but obviously there is much more appreciation these days of emotional intelligence and the manner in which emotion in general functions as a kind of high-speed information processing center. I would go much further than that. For example, we often talk about the implications of the Dreamer Who Dreams the Dream, Who is somehow able to, in the words of Grotstein, think and create in a manner

"that is beyond the capacity of conscious human beings.... [D]reams are, at the very least, complex cinematographic productions requiring consumate artistry, technology, and aesthetic decision making.... dreams are dramatic plays that are written, cast, plotted, directed, and produced and require the help of scenic designers and location scouts, along with other experts. The stage of the dream can be likened to a container or ground, whereas the play itself constitutes the content or the contained..."

So there is scientific genius and there is artistic genius, and though both are genius, the one can't be reduced to the other, because the genius is filtered through two very different modes.

The other continuum is vertical and extends from the unconscious (or infraconscious), to the conscious ego, to the supraconscious realms terminating in O. Emphasizing one end over the other is not the way of the Cosmic Man, i.e., Raccoon, who ideally wants to colonize as much space as possible between O and ø. "Know thyself" and all that.

In my opinion, modern psychoanalysis, rooted in neurodevelopmental attachment theory, does the most adequate job of mapping the lower vertical. The problem there is that it oversteps its rightful boundaries when it tries to usurp the egoic and trans-egoic realms, which has disastrous consequences for spiritual development.

For example, a psychoanalyst might interpret genuine spiritual experiences as being infantile in nature, thereby reducing O to some kind of wish fulfillment. Which no doubt happens.

In other words, there are clearly people for whom religion operates as a kind of primitive magic. Snake handlers come to mind. That sect strikes me as lower verticality masquerading as higher verticality.

But there is also a truly higher verticality that denies the lower vertical. Unfortunately, Schuon tends to fall into this error -- as if, say, a medieval man whose life revolved around religion didn't also have a primitive unconscious.

Again, the fully cosmic man will accept and try to integrate, or assimilate, both the lower and higher. And as a matter of fact, this type of verticality is quite explicit to both Judaism and Christianity.

Judaism, for example, has a quite this-worldly emphasis on the spiritualization of everyday activities such as family, food, sex, etc. It makes no effort to deny the lower vertical in favor of an escape into an abstract spiritual realm. You might call it the mysticism of everyday life.

Likewise, the message of incarnation and embodiment could hardly be more clear in Christianity. God did not merely become a man; rather, he also took on human nature, which extends into the collective human body. And the human body includes left and right hemispheres and supra- and infra-consciousness, on pain of the Incarnation not being "complete" and total.

Christianity is simultaneously simple and complex, and in the past we have discussed how Western (left-hemisphere) Christianity tends to focus on our fallen nature and its need of redemption, while Eastern (right-hemisphere) forms tend to emphasize the Incarnation. But in reality one obviously needs to hold both in a dynamic tension.

For example, De Lubac -- who was one of the first modern Catholics to rediscover the treasures of the early Fathers, who were more venerated in the East -- wrote that "if man digs deeper and if his reflection is illuminated by what is said in Sacred Scripture, he will be amazed at the depths opening up within him.

"Unaccountable space extends before his gaze. In a sort of infinitude he overflows this great world on all sides, and in reality it is that world, 'macrocosm,' which is contained in this apparent 'microcosm.'"

Thus the human wormgod, or spiritualized humus being, "knows that the lowliness of his origin in the flesh cannot detract from the sublimity of his vocation, and that, despite all the blemishes that sin may bring, that vocation is an abiding source of inalienable greatness."

Bottom line: the cosmic person needs to be left, right, over, under, sideways, and down.

10 Comments:

Blogger mushroom said...

Foxfire 13 is apparently a little buggy yet.

Regarding the WI results, most elections are a matter of picking what appears to be the least disease-ridden hooker in the whorehouse. This one was for love.

When Paul says "first the natural man then the spiritual", one way to understand that is in the contrast between the first covenant established in the Law under Moses and the new covenant established in and through Christ. While there are spiritual implications and mystical aspects to Judaism, the blessings of the Mosaic covenant are principally of and for this world.

Magical Christianity is not confined to the primitively weird corners but is widely disseminated and very lucrative for some practitioners.

6/06/2012 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

That would be "Firefox". Maybe I'm still giddy.

6/06/2012 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Best jokes I've heard all day -- top shelf!

"Hooper and Quint (who are reconciled in the Kosmic Brody). There are scientific men and there are sentimental men, but a cosmic man needs to be fully functioning in both sectors. Only then may he shoot the InnerBruce."

6/06/2012 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger John Lien said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6/06/2012 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

These Marxists can't help themselves from reducing ideas to money. I think they really believe it. Which only contributes further to their inability to cope with arguments and with fact and logic more generally.

A little self-deception can be healthy. Not so delusions, especially collective ones.

6/06/2012 12:22:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Couldn't get past the first line. Had to Tweet it (God, I actually not only thought that, but said it... sheesh).

Now on to yesterday's post.

6/06/2012 01:53:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

What's better than Cousin Dupree slapping William around? Taranto doing it.

6/06/2012 02:29:00 PM  
Blogger William said...

How's it lookin' in WI for Obama?

heh...

6/07/2012 12:39:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Baseball fans might enjoy this well-written piece comparing Pete Rose and Hamlet, via The Hardball Times.

The audience is meant to identify with the tragic figure to bring the lessons of the work home, to deliver the fear and pity the playwright means you to feel through the character's travails. Rose succeeded in that: there were times when it seemed a whole country identified with him. That his fatal flaw ended up being the quality so many of us wanted to
emulate makes the lesson far more potent.

6/07/2012 06:16:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

Because Obama delivers! You want soaring public debt? Done! An economy in the crapper? No problem! Bailouts for your political cronies? Line 'em up! Racial division across the board? Yes, we can! Etc. &c.

Just don't ask for his college grades.

Oh, and this is important: shut up.

6/07/2012 08:09:00 AM  

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