I Am. Not Myself. But Maybe Somedeity...
This particular orthoparadox "informs the entire theology of C: thus, Christ is God and man; the bread is the body; One God is three persons, etc. In short, the boundary relations of absolute identity, on the one hand, and infinite difference, on the other, combine to yield identity-in-difference..."
And as mentioned a couple of posts ago, it is as if C embodies a balance between predominantly left (J) and right (V) cerebral hemispheric approaches to the divine.
Again, one doesn't want to oversimplify or push the analysis too far, but I think it is fair to say that a law-based approach is more exterior/objective, whereas the experiential approach of Vedanta (or Zen, or Mahayana Buddhism) is more subjective/interior.
Just as there is no monastic tradition in Judaism -- radical withdrawal from the world being considered mishuggah (except on the Sabbath, and even then the slaccent is on being with the world more intimately) -- Vedanta is in many ways a lawless religion, so to speak.
Or in other words, remove all of the laws from the cosmos -- which are ultimately spun from maya's web -- and what you are left with is God.
Along these lines, Davie goes on to suggest that Judaism's "main concern" lies with "finding an answer to the question, Who? (who is this God revealed to Abraham, Moses, and the prophets?...)," whereas the central concern of Vedanta "is identity-with" the ultimate principle. In Judaism there can be no identity with God, just as in Vedanta our apparent separation is only a stubborn illusion.
As it so happens, if we dig a little deeper, we see that the same dialectic obtains within Hinduism, between the rival ganges of Shankara and Ramanuja, or nondualism vs. qualified nondualism.
And Davie points out that in the Old Testament there are numerous references to the godmensch. Still, there is a certain line one cannot cross in Judaism, for which reason (among others) Jesus-as-God is a non-starter, and more generally, "what H takes to be saving truth, J regards as blasphemous."
Another interesting contrast between Judaism and Vedanta has to do with creation. J is famous for taking a lot of pointless speculation out of the grubby hands of the tenured, and insisting that creation has a beginning, so deal with it.
Conversely, Vedanta maintains that creation has no beginning, and that this particular cosmos is just one in an endless series of emanations.
Likewise, with J, creation involves divine choice, whereas with V it is somewhat "automatic," in the sense that Brahman cannot not create, because this would violate its own nature.
Because of this, it seems that Judaism cannot help but be eschatological, or future-oriented, most particularly, with regard to the messiah or savior. But in Vedanta there can be no end, because any end will just be a new beginning. To be perfectly accurate, beginning and end are always now.
Davie reminds us that Jesus is called Alpha and Omega, first and last, beginning and end, which permits of two perspectives which are unified in the one person.
The whole thing becomes a little confusing because of our immersion in time. Because God is in eternity, beginning and end must by definition be the same in him; or, what we call beginning and end are the serial instantiation -- the "moving image" -- of eternity in time.
As we have said on a number of occasions, herebelow eternity takes time, whereas thereabove it takes all day to get nothing done. But nobody minds, because you've got forever to do it.
Now, a religion provides the cure for the particular spiritual disease it diagnoses. The cure is what we call redemption in Christianity, or holiness in Judaism, or moksha in Vedanta. But is there a way we can see these three as different symptoms of the same underlying disease?
At least superficially, it appears not. For what is the disease? In Judaism, identity with God would be a fatal spiritual sickness, whereas in Vedanta the very same thing is the cure!
But we need to make some more subtle linguistic distinctions, or at least find a way to bullshit our way out of this metaphysical nul-de-slack.
For example, in Vedanta the point is not to elevate the local ego to godhood. Rather, there is a lower self (jivatman, [•]) and a higher self (atman, [¶]), and we dis-identify with the former in order to identify with the latter. And for Davie, the lower self "approximates to the Hebrew nephesh," while ruah does duty for the higher, more subtle being. (And as always, we are happy to be corrected by brother Gandalin for our hamhanded analysis.)
There is also the distinction between local image and nonlocal likeness that is emphasized by both Judaism and (Eastern) Orthodox Christianity. Thus, our "fallenness" is essentially a measure of the distance between image and likeness, lower self and higher self, jivatman and atman, nephesh and ruah, slack and conspiracy, etc.
In each case, redemption, or sanctity, or liberation, or slack, is an eschatological movement from the one toward the other. There is an "immaculate manhood" (Davie), so to speak, at the end of our seeking, which "draws us on by offering glimpses of ourselves in our ideal nature."
And in the case of C, "the likeness which was lost through Adam is fully restored in Jesus," who is uniquely image and likeness; whereas for the subgenius, we would measure the same distance on a logarithmic scale of 1 to Bob.
In fact, I believe it was Schuon who said something to the effect that Jesus is both man's icon of God and God's icon of man (man-as-such).
And what -- or who -- is man-as-such?
Ah, that leads us into a deuscussion of this purusha character, more on whom tomorrow.