Tuesday, February 19, 2013

You Must Be One Before You Can Be Someone

Continuing with our discussion of Letter I of MOTT, it is fair to say that the approach to Christianity espoused by Tomberg is essentially a science of everything and the art of assimilating it.

Thus, it is neither science nor religion per se, but bothand (and with bothbrains working over time). To put it another way, it is not in competition with religion or science, but accepts the truth of each (in its proper place in the proper scheme of things, of course).

All of this is predicated on the Oneness that IS; or which infuses all that is. Every itty in the universe, regardless of how bitty, is a lil' one (similar to how all numbers are just multiples of one, or of unity).

Indeed, one might say that ONE is the most important discovery of man, and is a prerequisite for all that follows. Conversely, the insistence on radical manyness -- i.e., nominalism -- is his most impotent discovery, for it leads nowhere.

However, ONE can only be discovered in THREE. In other words, if there is only ONE, then there is nothing to discover and no one else to discover it. And TWO is either an irreconcilable dualism or an imaginary one, for as Wittgenstein said, "to draw a limit to thought, thought must think both sides of that limit."

Scientism always engages in a version of this fallacy, in which it draws a line between two realms (say, mind and matter) and covertly floods one zone with content from the other.

Science itself is none other than the reduction of multiplicity to unity, and it is the ability to discern this unity in every dimension that characterizes the human. For example, although a dog is subject to gravity, it can have no conscious knowledge of this unifying force that appears under so many guises.

More generally, no animal can discern the abstract in the particular, i.e., have conscious knowledge of universals. But human beings do it "without thinking," even though doing so is the essence of thought.

Which is why we live in neither a universe nor multiverse, but uni-multiverse, in which the oneness is perpetually flowing down into manyness and then back up to oneness, in the old (↓↑) spiral. (Tomberg prefers the LOOP d' LʘʘP infinity symbol, ∞, which works just as well.)

Bearing this in mind, Tomberg proposes the following rule: "it is necessary to be one in oneself (concentration without effort) and one with the spiritual world (to have a zone of silence in the soul) in order for a revelatory or spiritual experience to be able to take place."

It is only IN oneness that we may discern the oneness: "the tenet of the basic unity of the world" redounds to "the basic unity of the natural world, the human world, and the divine world." Without this unity, "no knowledge" -- of any kind -- "is conceivable."

Thus, a truly brilliant scientist (not the mere wanker bee kind) is really a mystic of matter, no matter how much he denies it, for he has peered into the deep unity of whatever realm he is looking into. Some, like Einstein and all the others, are fully aware of this, but it is by no means similar to being a religious mystic, for the latter involves oneness with the divine, not just with the epidermis of being.

Clearly, the unity of which we are speaking must be prior to any act of knowledge, of any kind. If it weren't, then there would be no way to gain any knowledge at all. We would first have to build a ladder between the known and the unKnown, but, like animals, we wouldn't even know of the latter, so it's a moot point. No one needs a ladder when there's no up.

This is why, although dogs have co-evolved right alongside human beings, I frankly don't see any progress in them at all. Rather, like liberals, they perpetually chase their tails and sniff each others butts, and then call it "progress."

What our Magician is really concerned with is vertical unity. Along these lines, Tomberg notes that unity -- or the vector of truth leading toward it -- proceeds from facts, to laws, to principles, to essence or being.

And when we say that reality is knowable, we are really affirming faith in a promise that it is so, based upon the prior gift, or presence, of unity -- ultimately, of knowing and being. If knowing and being weren't so linked, then knowledge would be just a dream, and truth wouldn't deserve the name.

Thanks to this unity, everything that exists is knowable; in fact, these two categories reduce to one: to the Logos that bifurcates into intelligence and intelligibility. To exist is to be known in potential in man but actually in O.

Which, by the way, is why you are one, i.e., a specific person (although the qualifier "specific" is really unnecessary). Indeed, to say "person" is really to simultaneously utter the most profound mystery of the cosmos, along with its "solution" (hint: three letters, starts with an I).

I guess you could say that "AM" accounts for oneness, but only "I" accounts for someoneness, the particularity in the universal.

(Interesting that I and 1 look so similar, and that we're playing with Letter 1 -- or is it number I?)

That's all I have time for this morning. Our leisurely climb up Mount Oneness will resume tomorrow.

18 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

Indeed, one might say that ONE is the most important discovery of man, and is a prerequisite for all that follows.

Way back when, before I ever encountered OC, but after listening to Prager for a while and certainly part of what led me here, I was asking myself my own version of Pascal's Wager, which was essentially: What does it mean if god isn't, and what does it mean if god is. Following both of those questions to their logical conclusions, I found of course that one was a dead end. The other I am still answering because the implications are pretty much infinite. But the only way to get to all that follows is to start with Is. Or rather, Am.

2/19/2013 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

With God, the inquiry remains alive forever. Without him, it can all be wrapped up in some equation. Will those string theorists ever learn?

2/19/2013 12:16:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Some ... are fully aware of this, but it is by no means similar to being a religious mystic ...

This is the misunderstanding that will sometimes cause people to argue that God doesn't explain anything more than one gets from the Big Bang. The ultimate unity makes sense in the case of religious mysticism, but material mysticism is still derivative.

2/19/2013 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, material mysticism is a kind of pantheism, and therefore precisely half the story.

2/19/2013 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Yes, MOTT has helped me in several ways, not the least of which is uprooting and exposing my own romantic sympathy for certain aspects of pantheism. One of the bad things about smoking dope was that goofy, pseudo-experience of one-with-everything.

And there was also all the weight I gained from the urge to have one with everything.

2/19/2013 03:22:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Spork!

2/19/2013 04:45:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

"Clearly, the unity of which we are speaking must be prior to any act of knowledge, of any kind."

Which re-thinks that the Ten Divine-Human Pleas were not created when Moses received them, but rathe in the beginning.
Hearing requires readiness.

2/19/2013 04:59:00 PM  
Blogger ted said...

Back to music, I just came across this. What a journey for man!

2/19/2013 05:42:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Hey I remember that! Only it was a bloated and ponderous stoner fantasy I heard while smoking a doob on my water bed. Still, a big influence on the Cosmogenesis section of One Cosmos.

2/19/2013 05:55:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

The Moody Blues reminded me of this classic that I once had on 8-track. We'd listen to this in the car, out in the boonies, not a light around for miles. The sound on the car stereo was surprisingly good, though I could hear much better back then.

2/19/2013 07:12:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I remember personally installing an 8 track in my dad's Gran Torino, and listening to the Moody Blues' Seventh Sojourn and Floyd's Dark Side on it. It's been all downhill since then.

2/19/2013 07:55:00 PM  
Blogger John Lien said...

Mush, you sure that isn't that your predator calling tape?

I had to stop it at 3:51 because the Mighty Quinn started growling and barking.

2/19/2013 08:49:00 PM  
Blogger ted said...

This is why, although dogs have co-evolved right alongside human beings, I don't see any progress in them at all.

Just came across a trailer for some of these dogs.

2/20/2013 06:16:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Works for calling coyotes or brujos...

2/20/2013 06:18:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Heh - the comments below that video certainly seem to be nothing but barking...

2/20/2013 06:18:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

this article seems related:

http://chronicle.com/article/The-Quest-for-Permanent/137039/

written by an untenured English prof, so be fairwarned

I'm puzzled by his saying this:

The poet can't have what he wants; even worse, he can't even say exactly what it is he wants.

Is it not obvious that Keats wants to keep lying there on his lover's breast? Has the professor never experienced this or felt the same? Why on earth does the professor hear "despair" in this poem instead of pretty understandable erotic longing?

Perhaps it's significant that the professor omits the middle of the poem, which goes on to talk about the moon as watching over the tides, which are like "priest's ablutions." The religious connotations here are important and perfectly in line with other poems of his which contrast youthful/energetic eroticism and aged/static religion.

Paying attention to that contrast would lead the professor not to hear "despair" at all, but the typical Romantic rebellion.

Keats was good with language but died a youth. It would've been interesting to hear what he'd have written as a Victorian.

2/20/2013 08:03:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

"However, ONE can only be discovered in THREE. In other words, if there is only ONE, then there is nothing to discover and no one else to discover it. And TWO is either an irreconcilable dualism or an imaginary one, for as Wittgenstein said, "to draw a limit to thought, thought must think both sides of that limit.""

Yep. The failure (or refusal) to grasp that, is at the heart of most philosophical errors and historical horrors. On the Philosophical end, Reality, Identity and Consciousness are a Three-Pack, and to deny that is to risk becoming a Depak.

Reality exists,
Identity is what Reality exists as (in a given context),
Consciousness is your awareness of them.

There's no getting below, behind or around any of them, they are the axioms that are required in any attempt at describing the others.

2/21/2013 04:04:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

"I guess you could say that "AM" accounts for oneness, but only "I" accounts for someoneness, the particularity in the universal."

;-)

Sweet.

2/21/2013 04:08:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home