Friday, March 08, 2013

Matter and Life: Frozen Music and Flowing Architecture

Yeah, I'd better put MOTT aside for the moment -- just for the moment -- and begin blogging on The Nature of Order, or else I'll never catch up with myself. I'm already several hundred pages into the latter, and if I don't write contemporaneously, a lot of stuff just gets lost in the sea of consciousness.

First of all, I want to thank the person who read my book and alerted me to a possible connection between Alexander's approach and mine. I venture pretty far afield in my psychopneumatic peregrinations, but I don't think my wood've ever drifted into the frozen sea of architecture -- even though Alexander only uses architecture as a kind of focal point to discuss everything under the sun.

You might say that we have the same deep-structural approach to reality, even when we are sailing entirely different vessels on the surface. Twin brothers of different motherships.

Alexander has been building his ark since the 1960s, but the Nature of Order is said to be his magnum opus, the culmination of decades of attempting to feel his way into an entirely new way of looking at the world. From the ubiquitous Professor Backflap:

"Alexander describes a scientific view of the world in which all space-matter has perceptible degrees of life, and establishes this understanding of living structures as an intellectual basis for a new architecture.

"He identifies fifteen geometric properties which tend to accompany the presence of life in nature, and also in the buildings and cities we make. These properties are seen over and over in nature and in the cities and streets of the past, but they have almost disappeared in the impersonal developments and buildings of the last hundred years.

"This book shows that living structures depend on features which make a close connection with the human self, and that only living structure has the capacity to support human well-being."

Before reading the book, I wondered if he was just deepaking the chopra, but this is not the case. This is a very serious attempt to describe and draw out the implications of a deeper metaphysic that ultimately unifies the objective and subjective worlds that have been sundered from one another ever since the scientific revolution.

Interesting that in building my own little dinghy -- in particular, Book II, Biogenesis -- I searched everywhere for something like Alexander's buoyant approach. It's very much like what we discussed in yesterday's post: I had a preconceptual thingy of what I was looking for, but it had no content. D'oh! It was just a faith that somewhere there had to exist the concept to fill in the preconception, or the content to fill out the archetype. Frankly, I would have settled for some good BS to fill in the BSer.

The closest I came by far was Robert Rosen's Life Itself: A Comprehensive Inquiry into the Nature, Origin, and Fabrication of Life and Essays on Life Itself (neither of which is recommended to the casual mariner). Thus far I see no indication that Alexander knows about Rosen, but I think he'll be pleasantly surprised if he ever does meet him on the high seas. The description of Life Itself could have very well been written by Alexander:

"Why are living things alive? As a theoretical biologist, Robert Rosen saw this as the most fundamental of all questions -- and yet it had never been answered satisfactorily by science. The answers to this question would allow humanity to make an enormous leap forward in our understanding of the principles at work in our world."

That is a Critical Point: not only does science have no idea what Life is, but it will never find out using the tools at its disposal, which necessarily reduce Life to something else the moment the scientist ponders it. Rather, an entirely different approach to the world is needed if we are to understand Life Itself, i.e., to see the business of Life in all its glorious Isness. Herr Backflap:

"For centuries, it was believed that the only scientific approach to the question 'What is life?' must proceed from the Cartesian metaphor (organism as machine). Classical approaches in science, which also borrow heavily from Newtonian mechanics, are based on a process called 'reductionism.' The thinking was that we can better learn about an intricate, complicated system (like an organism) if we take it apart, study the components, and then reconstruct the system-thereby gaining an understanding of the whole."

"However, Rosen argues that reductionism does not work in biology and ignores the complexity of organisms. Life Itself, a landmark work, represents the scientific and intellectual journey that led Rosen to question reductionism and develop new scientific approaches to understanding the nature of life. Ultimately, Rosen proposes an answer to the original question about the causal basis of life in organisms. He asserts that renouncing the mechanistic and reductionistic paradigm does not mean abandoning science. Instead, Rosen offers an alternate paradigm for science that takes into account the relational impacts of organization in natural systems and is based on organized matter rather than on particulate matter alone."

It turns out that in order to understand Life, we really have to situate it in a cosmos capable of sustaining Life. Note that this is not quite the same as the intelligent design approach (nor of the Anthropic Principle), because the key issue -- or "ultimate primitive" -- isn't information but wholeness.

Without the prior wholeness, all the information in the world won't get you from matter to Life -- nor, for that matter, will it get you from Life to Mind, Mind to Spirit, or Spirit to God. In a way, the ID folks are laboring under the same paradigm that limits and stymies conventional Darwinism. The problem is the Cartesianism, whether it appears in the form of Darwinism or ID.

A thoughtful amazon reviewer of Life Itself says this:

"Although many influential scientists claim -- and most members of general public believe -- that all of reality can 'in principle' be expressed as the dynamics of its constitutive elements (atoms, genes, neurons), some have intuitively felt that this reductive tenet is wrong, that life and the human mind are more complex phenomena. Critics of reductionism have pointed to Kurt Goedel's 1931 'incompleteness theorem' (which shows that in any axiomatic formulation of, say, number theory there will be true theorems that cannot be established) as a contrary example, but this paradigm-shattering result has been largely ignored the scientific community, which has blithely persisted in its reductive beliefs."

I can probably save myself some time if I playgiarize with a reviewer of The Nature of Order. Let's see if I can find one who speaks for me.... Here, close enough:

"The essence of [Alexander's] view is this: the universe is not made of 'things,' but of patterns, of complex, interactive geometries. Furthermore, this way of understanding the world can unlock marvelous secrets of nature, and perhaps even make possible a renaissance of human-scale design and technology....

"[T]here are emerging echoes of this worldview across the sciences, in quantum physics, in biology, in the mathematics of complexity and elsewhere. Theorists and philosophers throughout the twentieth century have noted the gradual shift of the scientific worldview away from objects and toward processes, described by Whitehead, Bergson and many others. Alexander... takes it a step further, arguing that we are on the verge of supplanting the Cartesian model altogether, and embarking on a revolutionary new phase in the understanding of the geometry of nature."

Here is where I think Alexander's intuition converges with mine: "he argues that life does not 'emerge' from the complex interactions of an essentially dead universe, but rather manifests itself, in greater or lesser degrees, in geometric order. For Alexander, the universe is alive in its very geometrical essence, and we ourselves are an inextricable part of that life. This is a 'hard' scientific world view which is completely without opposition to questions of 'meaning' or 'value', 'life' or 'spirit.'"

That's another key point: in re-unifying subjective and objective, Alexander also shows how meaning and value are built into the cosmos. Things we think of as "subjective" are actually as objective as can be, including beauty, which is his main focus.

Here is what we said in One Cosmos, and I think you'll psi the psymilarity: "Life is not an anomalous refugee from the laws of physics, enjoying a brief triumph over the grinding, ineluctable necessity of entropy, but an intrinsic, exuberant expression of the type of universe we happen to inhabit."

Yes, please save your "woo-hoos" for the end of the post.

And "consciousness is not an accidental intruder that arrives late to the cosmic manifestival, but an interior, subjective landscape that may be followed forward and back, like Ariadne's thread, to reveal the transcendent mystery of our existence.... To borrow a hackneyed phrase, 'it takes a cosmos' to raise up a conscious being, and vice versa."

Elsewhere we wrote that "all death is local. Unlike Life, which must be a nonlocal, immanent spiritual principle of the cosmos, there can be no metaphysical principle called 'death.' Rather, there are only cadavers and corpses, strictly local areas where Life is no longer concentrated and outwardly visible at the moment."

Or, if you prefer the supersillyus version in an overused pompyrous font of nonsense: And the weird light shines in the dark, but the dorks don't comprehend it. For truly, the weirdness was spread all through the world, and yet, the world basically kept behaving as if this were just your ordinary, standard-issue cosmos.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Why Obama is Less than Worthless

The bad news: Obama can kill Americans on sight if he suspects them of terrorism.

The good news: he knows where Bill Ayers lives.

Next up in our chapter-by-chapter dialogue with MOTT, Letter IX, The Hermit. Tomberg claims that a person who is "truly young, i.e., living for an ideal," is instinctively drawn to this figure. This is neoteny raised to a higher key, in that it makes a man fit to understand and appreciate the highest things. The attraction is a result of archetypal projection, whereby the unsaturated archetype -- or contentless form -- is "within," but we must first locate it without.

In so doing, we assimilate the content into the preconceptual form within. Without the experience, the archetype will remain an empty category -- a dead letter addressed from the Self to oneself; alternatively, it might accumulate a hodgepodge of elements in a random way, but only if you attend a public school or university.

When atheists speak of God, for example, this is usually what's going on. They have the archetype, like anyone else, but without any systematic or rational/experiential content.

Or, think of a Sean Penn, whose archetype of "wise and good ruler" is filled with Hugo Chavez. How did that happen? For that matter, how did Obama happen? How does "the world's greatest deliberative body" end up headed by Harry Reid? Much more productive to ask: what the f*ck is wrong with man? That's the question our Founders started with. Which is why the left starts with the question of what the f*ck is wrong with the Founders.

The Hermit is "a wise and good father... who has passed through the narrow gate and who walks the hard way -- someone whom one could trust without reserve and whom one could venerate and love without limit." To venerate is to revere, not worship. However, you might say that veneration is horizontal worship, while worship is vertical veneration.

The reason why there are so many false teachers is that we have an innate need for actual(ized) ones -- just as counterfeit money (or fake anything) is parasitic upon the existence of the real thing.

But since our culture has largely -- and proudly -- severed itself from its own wisdom tradition, the Deepaks of the world rush in to fill the void. In fact, we can see that Obama is riding the waves of that same archetypal energy field. Human nature does not change, obviously.

The difference is that the sophisticates of the left do not believe in human nature (unless it is convenient to do so), which only makes them more susceptible to deviant versions of it. Which explains, for example, their insistence that the federal government enforce a new definition of marriage in violation of human nature. "Same-sex marriage," what ever else it is, can only be a caricature of the real thing, because a man cannot really be a woman, and vice versa. I have no objection to human beings arranging their personal affairs in whatever way pleases them. But why invert reality in the process? It's totally uncalled for.

With regard to our current two-bit hood of state, only a culture that has lost its spiritual bearings could regard this bumbling cipher as unusually intelligent, let alone wise. For an insight into Obama's unconscious archetypal swamp, one must only recall the sinister minister he idealized as his own Hermit -- Reverend Wright! That, my friends, is what archetypal pathology looks like (although Bill Ayers-as-freedom fighter will do just as well).

Such an odious choice of ideals runs much deeper than the question of "judgment," for what and who one loves simultaneously reveals who one is and what one shall become. Truly, we become what we love; or, to put it inversely, we love what we want to become. To paraphrase an aphorism of Don Colacho, to love a person is to understand the reason why God created them. But what does it say about someone who loves things that could only be repellent to God?

Likewise, the person who would expose his children to the spiritually toxic environment surrounding a Reverend Wright is unfit to be a father, much less president. The point is to protect your child's innocence, not shatter it with hatred and vicious lies.

I am also reminded of an insightful comment by Henry Kissinger that runs counter to conventional wisdom. That is, we often hear about presidents "growing into the office," but according to Kissinger, it is the opposite.

That is, by the time a man runs for president, he has acquired the bulk of his intellectual capital, and if he should succeed in making it all the way to the presidency, he will simply draw upon the existing capital, not add to it. It's not as if a liberal president is going to suddenly decide to look into the Federalist Papers, or read the Constitution, or immerse himself in Hayek, and realize his professors led him astray and that he is trying to govern with a headful of destructive fantasies.

For one thing, there is no longer any time or space to think, to read serious books, or to reflect. This is why Obama appears to shrink with each passing month, since he didn't have much working capital to begin with -- or, more problematically, it was just the intellectually worthless coin of the left. And even that was given to him to assuage white liberal guilt, meaning that he's really using inherited funny money. He's not just worthless, but worthlessness².

Now, the real Hermit "possesses the gift of letting the light shine in the darkness -- this is his lamp." And here is a critical point: "he has the faculty of separating himself from the collective moods, prejudices and desires of race, nation, class and family -- the faculty of reducing to silence the cacophony of collectivism vociferating around him in order to listen to and understand the hierarchical harmony of the spheres."

This reminds me of the task of the psychoanalyst, which is to listen to the patient with "even hovering attention" -- or with the "third ear" -- in order to hear into the deeper layers of the unconscious (or nonlinear and translinguistic right brain). One must "unlisten" to the explicit in order to hear the implicit; or one must delve beneath (or above) the plot in order to apprehend the theme or soul-mission.

Bion said that one must suspend memory, desire, and understanding, in order to enter a state of faith, or what we symbolize in the book as the receptive and anticipatory mode of (o). (o) is evidence of things unKnown, a memoir of the future, an apprehension of as yet undiscovered -- or of prediscovered -- realities.

But that is not all, because if it were, we would live in a kind of bloodless idealism which Christianity specifically reconciles with flesh-and-blood reality -- or, materiality, to be precise. In other words, the Hermit unites reality and matter within his own being. Or, you could say that he embodies the ideal, or principle, in imitation of the Master himself (and in whose absence the whole innerprize would be impossible). As Tomberg writes, the Hermit

"possesses a sense of realism which is so developed that he stands in the domain of reality... on three [feet], i.e., he advances only after having touched the ground through immediate experience and at first-hand contact without intermediaries." This is none other than 〇-->(n), or the transformation of prior reality into experience, which is the foundation of all real knowledge, i.e. Truth.

So the Hermit is an archetypal reflection of the good father, behind or above whom is the Father in heaven. The Hermit is a little word from our nonlocal sponsor, so to speak.

As Tomberg says, he also represents the method of obtaining valid spiritual knowledge, in that he is able to synthesize within himself the three great antinomies with which any thinking man is confronted, and which any efficacious philosophy must reconcile. These are the complementary pairs of 1) idealism <---> realism; 2) realism <---> nominalism; and 3) faith <---> empirical science.

Which we will leave for tomorrow's post.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

No Judgment, No Thinking, No Justice, No Equilibrium, No Peace, No Slack

On to Chapter VIII, Justice. There are different forms of justice: legal justice, spiritual justice, and, of course, "social justice," which is a god-term invented by the left to signify getting what you want while avoiding what you deserve.

More generally, Social Justice is one of the best disguises for envy ever devised by the cunning of man. It is essentially the denial of the first two forms of justice, AKA Justice.

But real justice doesn't require being unjust to another, as in, say, affirmative discrimination, or Title IX, or Obamacare, or the Community Reinvestment Act, or the federal minimum wage, or the perpetual imposition of the Voting Rights Act of Almost Half a Century Ago (as always, "progressive" means permanent solutions to temporary problems. Like suicide, only not painless).

Don Colacho has many fine aphorisms on the subject: "To corrupt the individual it suffices to teach him to call his personal desires rights and the rights of others abuses." The LoFo (low information) left consists of "individuals dissatisfied with what they have and satisfied with what they are." "The left claims that the guilty party in a conflict is not the one who covets another's goods but the one who defends his own." "Instead of demanding the repression of envy," the left "demands that we suppress the object which arouses it."

This is why so many on the left mourn the death of Hugo Chavez. It doesn't matter that this disgusting pig was an authoritarian thug who siphoned 100 billion out of the economy. He was for social justice! Plus he hated America, and that's just 'batnip to the left. There's a spot for him next to Arafat in leftist heaven, i.e., hell.

Tomberg points out that to think is to pronounce a judgment and to therefore render justice. Indeed, in order to make any sort of declarative sentence at all -- e.g., "Chavez was a man, unfortunately" -- we must exercise judgment.

The totolerantarian left prides itself on being "non-judgmental." Since thinking and judgment involve the same act, this is nothing less than a refreshing self-condemnation of their own critical faculties. It answers the question of why their ideas are so confused and why their policies begin and end in injustice: because they have renounced thought.

This also explains why their writing is such a mess, since logic is implicit in the proper use of language. If only they could learn to express themselves properly, truth would surely follow. But that would be deadly to their ideological fantasies, so the bad prose must continue. There is no James Taranto on the left, nor any Charles Krauthammer, Thomas Sowell, George Will, Ace of Spades, James Lileks, PowerLine, Roger Kimball, Sultan Knish, or a thousand other clear thinkers and therefore writers.

The left says: no justice, no peace. We back it up a couple of steps, and say: no judgment, no thinking, no justice, no equilibrium, no peace in which to hear myself think and judge.

And of course, in reality leftists are obnoxiously judgmental, which is a degraded caricature of judgment. But since they are not permitted to recognize this in themselves, they project it into conservatives.

One of the banes of the modern world is that science has become conflated with thinking, when it is actually just a tool of thought. Thus, proper thinking does not reject science, but nor does it turn science into an idol.

As Tomberg writes, the application of science has resulted in three singular discoveries; first, the fact that this is an evolutionary (which is not to say "Darwinian") cosmos; second, that matter reduces to pure energy, or patterned information; and third, that the consciousness of the surface ego is but a local phenomenon floating within (actually, "outside") an upper and lower vertical which are nonlocal.

Whereas science is "public" and "general," esoterism is private and particular. In short, no one else can make its discoveries for you. This is knowledge that cannot simply be "given" to you. Rather, it must be undergone -- at times even "suffered" -- so that in each person it will have a slightly different inflection but nevertheless be "objective." This is a critical point.

It should be axiomatic that only a person may synthesize religion and science. Religion cannot do it. Nor can science do it. Thus, the esoterist engages in a "double discipline": he prays and he thinks. Or he "thinks on his knees." In so doing, he is able to "redeem" whatever it is he successfully assimilates into his person (when you think about it, Jesus did the same thing, only on a macrocosmic scale).

And this integral assimilation can only occur under the personal conditions of creativity, clarity, fluidity, precision, warmth, magnanimity, sensitivity, faithfulness, intensity, breadth, depth, height, adaptability, firmness, dignity, and serenity.

This is how perception and thinking successively disclose a real Cosmos worthy of Man. And to say that we move from appearance to reality is not to say that reality is a function of perception, as maintained by the newage.

In reflecting upon Chapter VIII and then rereading and rewriting this post, I see that I've left quite a bit out. However, I'm so preoccupied with another form of judgment, or "aesthetic justice" -- i.e., trying to make my way through 2,000 pages of Christopher Alexander -- that I'm a little distracted. The older I get, the harder it is to think of eight things at the same time. But it's a good question: does beauty have any intrinsic rights in this world, or must it go the way of truth and justice?

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Reality: It's Always in the Last Place You Look

Following up on yesterday's post on spiritual temptation, I just received a synchronistic email from a representative of "California psychic and entrepreneur, Tori Hartman," who has "personally been reading your site for ideas and inspiration in my own personal life, and am excited to see where Tori's work can fit into the work you do."

Oh well. Not everyone is a careful reader. Tori's specialties include "Chakra magnetizing, Multi-Generational Healing, and working with the Color Wisdom Cards oracle deck." And that only screeches the surface! Her tangled website weaves

"a line of spiritual accessories designed to manifest miracles of transformation in the everyday lives of our customers. The concept is simple: provide tangible products and rituals that serve as doorways to the enchantments and powers of the Universe. The objective: make personal abundance attainable to every person who strives for change.... Our products guide the way to attracting those things our customers seek through intention, such as money, relationships and employment. Our spiritually connected team works to collaborate and deliver miracles with every item offered."

Sounds a little vague. Could you maybe spell it out?

"All of our products are tools [as are the customers] to assist you in attracting what you deeply desire and setting powerful intentions to make it happen. All of our products work in harmony and you will be attracted to those which most align with your intention."

Intention?

"It is bigger than a wish, more intense than a goal. An intention is the force that rolls determination and spirit all into one and throws it out into the universe like a meteor, hurling toward creation and manifestation. This is the power of you and spirit combined."

If a giant meteor hurtles into creation, that's a good thing?

Okay, how do I begin?

1. Identify your desire.

Wow. That was easy!

2. Feel it into your soul.

Um, where is it now?

3. Live the invisible.

Excuse me?

Let's check out one of the products, intention candles: "What if simply lighting a candle could attract money, love or miracles to you?" This sounds like something my father might haver come up with, as in, "Dad, can I have a motorcycle?" "Sure. Just light an intention candle and see what happens."

Yeah, but these are different. For one thing, they actually work.

How do we know this? Because each candle "is hand-poured by a Reiki practitioner using organic soy based wax. These candles weigh 2 pounds and have crystals hidden in the wax that carry the energy of your intention. These crystals represent the five energy points -- wind, air, fire, water, earth."

Makes sense to me. Is there anything soy beans can't do?

Best of all, the intention candle comes in its own soft velour chocolate brown BLESSING SACK. There are sixteen different candles, but it seems to me that you'll cover every contingency with a Miracle, some good Luck, and of course Health -- what good is a miracle if you've lost your health? -- which will set you back only $95.

You may think this is just so much infantile omnipotence, but Deepak lays out the tweet science behind the magic. In short, "Our thoughts shape our perceptions. Our perceptions shape our reality." Simple as.

In other words, we do not learn from reality -- i.e., knowledge does not follow being -- but rather, thought is anterior to reality. The downside of this infraphysic is that you are condemned to absolute stupidity because you have no contact with reality. The upside is that it doesn't matter, because there's nothing outside your kooky beliefs anyway. In which case, you don't need to buy the candles to get what you want, because you already have it.

I say, better to curse at these dorks than light a single one of their candles.

Speaking of getting what we deserve, let's finish up with The Chariot before moving on to Justice in our discussion of MOTT.

At the conclusion of The Chariot, Tomberg describes what an Integral Man would actually look like. Suffice it to say, he doesn't look like Deepak Chopra or Tony Robbins or even Tori Hartman.

For example, he will manifest creative being, meaning that his thought will possess the qualities of creativity, clarity, fluidity, and precision (in contrast, the disjointed ramblings of a Deepak are unimaginative, confused, inelegant, and imprecise, to put it charitably).

In the domain of feeling, his heart will radiate warmth, magnanimity, sensitivity, and faithfulness. And in the domain of will, one will see intensity, scope, adaptability, and firmness.

The integral person will balance serenity, mobility and resolution; and will also reflect the four cardinal virtues, i.e., wisdom/prudence, courage/strength, temperance/moderation, and justice. As Schuon would say, he will embody "the center at the periphery" or be a reflection of the "unmoved mover," hence his dignity.

Now obviously, putting flesh on these archetypal bones is a lifetime project. One of the reasons one must strive to be "integral" -- and this has always been known -- is that overemphasis on one of these qualities to the exclusion of the others will create an imbalance and therefore a fall.

For example, scientistic thought is precise but devoid of creativity or fluidity, not to mention lucidity (as in radiance of Light) or metaphysical discernment. It is rational in only the narrowest sense, and its clarity is purchased at the cost of a brutal simplification of reality. This kind of narrow clarity isn't just inhumane (or infrahuman) but also ends up doing violence to the Real.

In the final analysis, as Schuon writes, this type of "worldly intelligence" which oversteps its legitimate bounds is a product of pride; it destroys the "essential functions" of the intelligence, even "while allowing the surface mechanism to remain incidentally, as if in mockery." In other words, a Deepak mocks intelligence every time he presumes to exercise it.

This is why an Albert Einstein could be such a brilliant physicist but such an inane political and philosophical boob. One could cite countless examples of so-called "geniuses" whose intelligence is "fragmentary, unilateral, asymmetric, and disproportional." As a result of this imbalance -- or lack of integrity -- their thought will always contain a "hidden poison."

This is why it is critical that our intelligence not become detached from "metaphysical truth or with eschatological reality": "the definition of integral or essential, and thus efficacious, intelligence is the adequation to the real, both 'horizontal' and 'vertical,' terrestrial and celestial." Here again, this is the polar opposite of Deepak-style cognitive tyranny, for if we are not subordinate to reality, then ideology subordinates us. If power doesn't submit to truth, then power becomes truth, as in the Obama regime.

Lacking each of these personal dimensions, thought becomes a pale shadow of itself and ousts man from his cosmic station. It necessarily absolutizes the relative and thereby fashions a graven image. The rest is commentary. To live at the horizontal fringe of the cosmos is to subsist at the margin of one's Self. You become an unreal person in an unreal reality. But at least its yours! An immodest thing but thine own.

Let us conclude by emphasizing that it is extremely dangerous to surround oneself with mediocre and "un-integral" souls who have no idea that they are. Very dangerous. This point was driven home to me last Saturday, when I was at one of my all-day discontinuing education seminars. The speaker was a renowned psychoanalyst whom I had great difficulty understanding. Not because his thought was so elevated, but because it was so mundane and so metaphysically confused.

Here again, it must be emphasized that this has nothing to do with "IQ." But if I were to try to adapt my mind to his reality, I would lose it, precisely. I then realized that this was the problem with my whole journey through the educational system. I very nearly lost my mind. Well, I did, actually. Figures: it's always in the last place you look.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Space to Lent

Letter VII, The Chariot. Tomberg tells us that this arcanum has to do with that most subtle temptation, spiritual temptation. It is subtle -- or at least tricky -- because the temptation results from one's very spiritual success: "It is the temptation to act 'in one's own name,' to act as master instead of servant." The entire new age movement is so devoted to this particular temptation that it is for them a vice.

This is why all authentic spiritual paths begin with moral development. If they sometimes exaggerate man's depravity, this is far preferable to the converse, since one of its purposes is to prevent the inflation that occurs when spiritual energies are mingled with the unredeemed man, a la Deepak and his ilk.

Again, when this happens, you create a demon, a monster -- and not just spiritually but politically, as in Obama. Obama is what happens when untutored spiritual impulses are mingled with the projected ideal of "savior." This is simply religious instinct in the absence of the religious object -- i.e., the only object toward which religious impulses are properly directed. Anything less than this violates Commandments I and II. The rest follow.

Schuon said something to the effect that man tests his faith by renouncing, while God tests it by removing. Renunciation has the practical effect of opening up an unsaturated space where the ego would otherwise be. You might say that this space must be lent to God in order for the (↓) to get in and do its work.

Elsewhere in the book, Tomberg makes the wise crack that while nature abhors a vacuum, Spirit requires one.

Here again, the inverse of this would be the Deepak-style new age idea of The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire, or of Creating Affluence. To the extent that Chopra's magical ideas "work," it is because they harness demonic energy. To the extent that they continue to work, it will depend upon how thoroughly one has vanquished the conscience -- i.e., become less than human -- and how full of oneself one has become.

In a relativistic universe in which there is no difference between up and down, this is to become a Nietzschean superman. This is why Chopra is apparently regarded as a "wise man" by thousands, instead of the spiritual cancer that he is. For as Tomberg says, "it is not desire which bears magical realization, but rather the renunciation of desire."

Or, one might say, "blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Again, one must not saturate the space where vertical energies operate. Rather, one must get out of the way.

Here is the key practical point: "For some the superman has more attraction than the Son of Man, because he promises them a career of increasing power, whilst the Son of Man offers only a career of 'foot washing.'" The ego obviously prefers the superman, and it is to the power-seeking ego which all false paths appeal.

Thus the centrality of worshipping that which is above us and the ceaseless effort to do so, which Tomberg says is the best inoculation against spiritual inflation, since this serves as a reminder of the unbridgeable (from our end) distance between us and the goal.

We must not confuse "what we are" with who or "what the worshipped being is." True, "all is God" -- although it is far more accurate -- or less inaccurate -- to say that "nothing is not God." Nevertheless, to paraphrase Schuon, it does one no good whatsoever to say "I am one with God" before one appreciates the extent to which one isn't. A sense of perspective, please.

Tomberg points out that since the purpose of esoteric spirituality is the cultivation of height, depth, breadth, and profundity -- i.e, "that which works behind the facade of ordinary consciousness" -- inflation is the principle danger for all who would embark upon this path.

As such, this is why there is such an emphasis "on the cultivation of humility," for example, in remaining obedient to orthodoxy (or to the true Master), of systematic and continuous "examination of conscience," and on "the reciprocal brotherly help of members of the community" of Raccoons. "Authentic experience of the Divine makes one humble; he who is not humble has not had an authentic experience of the Divine" (MOTT).

This, by the way, goes to the meaning of true community, of which left wing statism is such a disgusting caricature. As Russell Kirk writes in Eliot and His Age, the left settles for the dreary monotony and soul-crushing exterior uniformity of the welfare state, rather than "to undertake the hard and austere labor of thinking through a program for restoring true community," which can only be rooted in the Spirit, not neo-Marxist matter.

Leftism and secularism embody the preference for -- and enforcement of -- illusion over transcendent reality. These vertical parasites "live upon a civilization to which they contribute nothing." In fact, because they are "progressive," they actively sever the living link between the present and the past, so that communication with the past -- the source of practical wisdom -- is impossible. The idea of "temporal progress" denies the spatial mode of civilization, in which we are presently floating atop -- and nourished by -- hard won wisdom, truth, moral beauty, and liberty.

Note how Tomberg saw the malignant Obama in his teloscope half a century ago:

"The reformer who wants to correct or save humanity easily falls victim to the temptation of considering himself as the active center of the passive circle of humanity. He feels himself as the bearer of a mission of universal significance, therefore he feels himself to be more and more important."

And why not, with deeply disturbed creatures such as this serving as his herald demon:

"You really only get a handful, a smattering, maybe three or four per lifetime if you're lucky or blessed or just so happen to be paying the right kind of deeper karmic attention. Historic events, I mean. Major shifts, upheavals, great leaps forward, the Thing That Changed Everything.

"President Obama will be just such a shift, an extraordinary marker, a type and flavor of history that we as preternaturally jaded humans rarely get to experience anymore.... the sheer volume of expansive energy surrounding Obama's run has been absolutely astonishing, a global outpouring of positive interest and awareness like almost no other leader, no other potential slap of progress we've experienced in modern American history. From the international headlines down to the forgotten corners of our own culture we normally never hear from, the message is the same: Something is about to upend. Something seems like it's about to give way."

(Note to the Reader: this post was first prewritten in 2008, before the devilry heilbullies moved in.)

Yes, something is about to give way (and be taken away) alright. With an Obama presidency, we will now be governed by those least capable of governing themselves, which is a recipe for hell.

It would not be too difficult to name some politicians whose influence and impact agree very well with the classical concept of the "black magician." Indeed, is it difficult to name politicians who have exercised a deadly, suggestive influence on the popular masses, blinding them and inciting them to acts of cruelty, injustice and violence, of which each individual, taken separately, would be incapable... and who, through their semi-magical influence, have deprived individuals of their freedom and rendered them possessed? And is not this action to deprive men of their moral freedom and to render them possessed the aim and very essence of black magic? --Meditations on the Tarot

Friday, March 01, 2013

Substance-in-Relation & Some Dunce Ruining the Nation

A plurality that cannot be integrated into unity is chaos; unity unrelated to plurality is tyranny. --Pascal

We already discussed Letter V, the Pope, so we're moving on to Letter VI, The Lover.

For Tomberg, the central theme of this card is the vow of chastity, esoterically understood. For "one is chaste only when one loves with the totality of one's being." Therefore, there is no true love in the absence of chastity -- and vice versa.

Chastity is the living unity and wholeness in being whereby body, soul, and spirit become one -- not through a merger that effaces differences but through a harmony that... harmonizes them. This is not uniformity but unity. It is the return of the many to the One, both in oneself and with the other, the former via the latter, meaning that, ironically, it takes two to be at one. (Technically three, but we'll get to that later.)

The bottom line is that two's company and three's a cloud. By which I apparently mean that a cloud has no discrete boundaries except from a distance. Inside the cloud, boundaries become blurry and indistinct. One cloud merges with another. Likewise,

"There is a difference between spiritual things and bodily things. Every spiritual thing can dwell in another." And "Where I am, there God is; and then I am in God, and where God is, there I am" (Eckhart). When wholeness comes, the partial vanishes (1 Cor. 13:10).

As usual, the psychospiritual left embodies a direct inversion of this two-in-oneness principle. For instead of beginning with the individual-seeking-unity, it is in perpetual rebellion against the individual. Rather, it posits the exterior collective -- i.e., the benevilant state -- whereby our fragmentation and alienation are "cured." Remember last year's DNC? The State is the only thing to which we all belong! Or else.

Taken to its logical extreme, such a cure represents "perfect integration through perfect fragmentation. That is, the perfect unity of the state requires the utter destruction of all autonomous social bonds, rendering each individual more isolated and powerless..." (Taylor). It is as if the left grinds humanity to dust, molds this desiccated clay into its new-and-improved man, and then breaths the spirit of Marx into him.

The critical point is that our drive toward unity can become as perverse and pathological as any other drive. The secular left creates a unity alright, but it is a physical unity only, a reduction to uniform matter and thus no unity of soul or spirit.

Which is why leftism always yields to the totalitarian temptation, for every free thinker is a reminder that this faux unity has not been achieved. It is why they hate Fox News, why they have campus speech codes, why they are tossing Bob Woodward under the bus, and why they enforce political correctness more generally.

Tomberg writes that "to feel something as real in the measure of its full reality is to love." Obviously, it is no coincidence that Genesis discusses human sexuality in terms of knowledge. Is the Torah simply confused on this matter? Or perhaps disclosing a reality from which the tenured have exiled themselves?

Imagine a typically prudish "human sexuality" class that leaves out the very reality without which sexuality is not human. Obviously, there is no need to imagine it, because the purpose of all leftist ideology is to demoralize and make us less than what we are, which is to say, human (in the full sense of the term -- body-soul-spirit).

Rightly ordered love -- like any other human activity -- has an end, a telos. To pretend that this telos is no different from any other animal is to live in an infrahuman fantasy world.

To love someone is to begin the process of knowing a person in their full reality. The operative word is begin, for as Bion theorized, love is a link (L) between subjects. It merely gets the party started. Until we forge that link, the Other is not really real, just a piece of psychic furniture.

Now, matter is obviously a kind of "one," but represents an inverted doctrine of spiritual oneness. This material oneness is the false unity that inspires the left, and is the basis of their first political principle, i.e., "what's yours is mine," or "you work, I eat."

How do we escape the prison of our narcissism? Primarily through love, because love partakes of being, which is intersubjective right down to the ground. Being is substance-in-relation, or self-communicating love. And participation in this movement of love is "the very rhythm of Being" (Norris).

Here is how John Paul II once expressed it: "Let us have no illusions: unless we follow this spiritual path, external structures of communion will serve very little purpose. They would become mechanisms without soul, 'masks' of communion rather than its means of expression and growth." Real communion is a dynamic unity that "unites persons one to the other in a cause greater than themselves" (ibid.).

Tomberg writes that there are two principle methods of overcoming our cosmic narcissism, generally corresponding to eastern and western religions (although each has both; it is merely a matter of emphasis).

The first is obliteration of the illusory ego, so that one becomes a "shadow among shadows." This is the "equality of indifference." If the separate "I" doesn't exist, then we're all one. Being that the ego is the ultimate illusion, just vanquish that illusion, and the doors of perception are cleansed (although nobody's oming behind the door).

The above approach to circumnavelgazing the soul strikes an unbiblical chord in us. We prefer the other way, which is to extend the love that one has for oneself to other beings. Instead of "me dead, you dead," it's "me living, you living" -- i.e., extend the vertical horizontally, and love the neighbor as oneself.

Now, this is difficult to do. Obviously. But you don't try to do it all at once. Rather, you start with a small circle, and then gradually widen the circle. Start at the center, not the periphery. Try loving your neighbor before The Planet. Again, the left begins at the periphery. Obama is the great Unifier. But what kind of unity is it that doesn't even recognize my real existence? I'm not some ant in the leftist hive:

"When a Marxist says 'power to the people,' he isn't talking about actual people.... It takes no time at all to realize that Marxists and their intellectual offspring have no use for actual people in general, and only one use for 'actual people' who do want what they're supposed to want. They treat them like pets."

Tomberg returns to Genesis, where God says that "it is not good that Adam should be alone," which is to say that "it is not good that man should love nobody but his lonesome." And God wasn't just ribbing, for he then creates the complementary other, who is actually of the same substance as Adam, even a part of himself. To love is to recognize the prior unity: "In the beginning there was only one love and its source was one, since its principle is one." (Recall again that the one being is substance-in-relation.)

Again, love has to do with the recovery of higher unity, not the imposition of a lower uniformity. This is a key point. Tomberg agrees that this reality is precisely inverted by the left, but also by old-fashioned Freudianism.

In the case of the left, it elevates economic interest to all. In the case of Freud, he elevated the sexual instinct to all. You might say that the left reduces everything to the first chakra, Freudianism to the second. And both are entirely compatible with materialism, scientism, and metaphysical Darwinism, which attempt to account for the top by reducing it to the bottom. That's not love. It is hate. Hatred of reality.

Naturalism is not so much a love of matter as a rejection of, or inability to apprehend, that which transcends it. This is why Obama feels that the founders erred in writing a constitution that made it such a hassle for him to appropriate our stuff and give it to others, or why his pal Bill Ayers feels he "didn't do enough" back in his days as a loving domestic terrorist. But he shouldn't worry. As an "educational reformer," he's destroying more young souls than he could ever have hoped to as a bomb-tossing psychopath.

Only a culpably self-deluded fool cannot perceive the hatred that drives Obama and the spiritually cancerous movement he represents.

Just as there is one God in three Persons..., we are all "members of one another"; there is, and we are called to become, a single Man in a multitude of persons. --Olivier Clement

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Obama: Stage IV Metastatic Liberalism

Today's post is on the Emperor, and it could hardly be more timely, even though it was mostly written several years ago, before Obama came along to foulfill its proophecy. (Don't worry, lots of new material; no post is ever played the same way twice.)

I wrote at the time -- 2008 -- that "This is a timelessly timeless archetype, what with the likely election of a president who embodies so many elements that are the precise opposite of what this arcanum symbolizes."

Meanwhile, we just lived through another election that came down to "full-blown cultural warfare against a large and diverse segment of society known as Republicans.... Allegations that Republicans want sick people to die and hate homosexuals are caricatures you might expect of an extreme House member or a raving partisan running for local office. That a president would say -- or even believe -- such things is deeply disturbing."

But such demonization and slander of conservatives is the only weapon the left has, and the only weapon it has ever had. As their own bumper stickers proclaim, they're all about God, guns, and gays -- hating the first, confiscating the second, and promoting the third.

UF begins with the observation that "the less superficial a person is -- and the more he knows and is capable of -- the greater is his authority." Specifically, "to be something, to know something and to be capable of something is what endows a person with authority."

Being. Knowledge. Action. Rightly ordered knowledge is a reflection of being, just as rightly ordered action follows from knowledge. The more of these one "possesses," the more intrinsic authority. And importantly, this won't be any kind of secular or conventional authority.

Rather, the person will spontaneously radiate the authority outward, from the center to the periphery. Thus, it is a quintessentially centrifugal force, but easy for the rank and foul to confuse with the mere charisma of a JFK or BHO. The latter doesn't just radiate but seduces, so there is a centripetal effect as well.

In turn, each of these categories has a dimension of depth, i.e., verticality. One can know superficially or deeply. One can do something adequately or with great depth, like the genuine artist. But the most interesting category is that of being, for that is the most mysterious of the three. One of the primary purposes of religion is to confer depth at the level of being.

The other day I was reading an article about Schuon by the Orthodox Christian scholar James Cutsinger, whose initial experience of his "intrinsic authority" was virtually identical to mine. No one had to tell me that this man was an authority. Rather, the depth of his authority was communicated directly, center to center:

"Nothing had prepared me for my first encounter with a book by Frithjof Schuon. I vividly recall reading the opening page, and then rereading it again, then a third time and a fourth time, before proceeding" (Cutsinger).

Now interestingly -- and importantly -- the depth is not a matter of "complexity" or sophistication. Indeed, those are often just mystagogic tricks of the tenured to make you believe they are deep when their ideas would be recognized as utterly banal if expressed in plain English.

Cutsinger agrees that "the words themselves were certainly not difficult, nor the style at all complex. Indeed, compared to many a modern philosopher's work, Schuon's books are noted for their simple, and often poetic, beauty. And yet for some reason I found myself unable to move with the speed I was accustomed to."

Precisely. Part of it involves the question of rhythm, in particular, the rhythm of eternity. This is what we call "time dilation," a term borrowed from the Church of the Subgenius. As we penetrate into this realm, time slows down, or "thickens," so to speak. Like water, you can only run if you skim atop the surface. Underneath the surface, the faster you try to go, the more resistance you will encounter.

There is another corollary at work here, for just as only depth can recognize depth, only depth can recognize shallowness and superficiality. This is clearly why so many shallow people seem to think that Obama is deep, or nuanced, or even beyond that -- that he truly represents some sort of messianic or "transformational" figure. \

In reality, the entire content of Obama's mind -- I mean his tawdry principles -- could safely fit into a little corner of the average Raccoon's melon. He's really an ignorant man whose inappropriate confidence is both a cause and effect of the ignorance.

Speaking of water, Cutsinger writes that it was as if he were running along the beach, and then suddenly found himself in the ocean. Very mysterious. In other words, he was merrily scampering on the surface of one medium, but then, to his surprise, found himself in a different medium. Let's just call it "being" for short, but being is not monolithic, and has "many mansions."

As Cutsinger notes, "Here was a new medium, no less able to support my movement, but requiring an altogether different engagement. There would be no more running now. I would have to swim."

You might say that the essence of scientism involves trying to walk on water. At the same time, they naively imagine that we are trying to swim on dry land, since our movements are unintelligible to these savages.

Back to the Emperor. Among other things, the Emperor is the symbol of divine authority on earth. He is not a replacement of divine authority, but its horizontal prolongation. And along these lines, perhaps the most important point is that, as UF writes, "God governs the world by authority, and not by force. If this were not so, there would be neither freedom nor law in the world."

This automatically excludes Obama from being a legitimate ruler, in that the left is all about governing by force. He will not "lure" you toward the good by his intrinsic authority -- by any appeal to truth -- but compel you to "share" and "spread around" the fruits of your labor. And that's all it is: force masquerading as legitimate authority.

God does not "compel" acceptance of his authority, or we wouldn't be free. Thus, the typical atheist who asks for miracles in order for God to "prove" his existence is really asking for God to remove his freedom. But that is something he will never do. Rather, only humans can do that to themselves and to each other. UF elaborates:

"One is free to be believing or unbelieving. Nothing and no one can compel us to have faith -- no scientific discovery, no logical argument, no physical torture can force us to believe, i.e., to freely recognize and accept the authority of God."

The atheist says to Jesus: "Come down from that cross, then I might believe in your power!" But power is not truth. Rather, truth is power. And the truth is, Truth is crucified in history, and yet, survives. This is a powerful miracle, and a lesson to bear in mind as we endure this illegitimate embodiment of falsehood -- this lying little tyrant -- over next four years.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Rule of Love and the Science of Magic

Letter III, the Empress. For Tomberg she symbolizes the realm of sacred or divine magic, which is embodied in the formula that the subtle rules the dense, and all this implies.

One could translight this as "the subtle causes the dense," so long as we don't confuse horizontal and vertical causes, i.e., scientific/material and spiritual/psychic.

As we know, there are four causes -- or four "be-causes," as it were. Every event has all four, but in any given event, one may stand out more. For example, one person falls from a window because he was defenestrated. The defenestrator is the efficient cause of the event.

Another person falls because he wants to commit suicide. Death -- or cessation of suffering -- is the final cause. Similar event, but very different causes, the second more subtle than the first. Free will itself is a subtle cause that by definition eludes the gross instruments of science. Science will never "locate" it because it cannot be located. Rather, it is nonlocal per se, indivisible from the soul. Might as well try to measure the beauty of a sunset with calipers.

"Magic" is a loaded word, but Tomberg has a very specific connotation in mind. First, he notes that the only legitimate magic is that which is "authorized from above." And the only legitimate aim of magic is liberation in order to ascend. And the only legitimate accomplice to this climb involves a combination of the two wills: divine and human, or what we like to designate (↓) and (↑).

Thus, real magic results from our alignment with the divine will in order to ascend toward greater freedom, which is always grounded in truth. A new power is re-created through the harmonious attunement of divine and human wills. Here again, note that we are talking about final causes: God has a "purpose," as do we. Ultimately it is the same purpose, because, as the saying goes, our will does not rest until it rests in God. Then it's the cosmic sabbath, and everybody's happy.

Elsewhere Tomberg quotes a fellow named Peladin, who spoke of the application of the strengthened human will to accelerate the evolution of the living forces of Nature. This is accomplished through the science of love. Love perfects our nature, so here again we have a case of the subtle -- love -- ruling the dense (although some of us are more dense than others).

Recall from the previous card (the Priestess) that love is the essence of unity, or of the free unification of twoness in oneness, even while preserving the twoness: "Sacred magic is the power of love, born of the union in love of divine will and human will." Freedom, love, magic, will, ascent, evolution, multiplicity, truth, harmony, generativity, oneness... all of these are interrelated in surprising and surpassing ways.

Yes, "this is the aim of sacred magic; it is nothing other than to give the freedom to see, to hear, to walk, to live, to follow an ideal and to be truly oneself -- i.e., to give sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, the ability to walk to the lame, life to the dead, good news or ideals to the poor, and free will to those who are possessed by evil spirits."

Forgive the self-reference, but the B'ob has received many communications testifying to the reality of this magic. He has been blogging about this stuff for many years, and there are now people -- one doesn't want to exaggerate the numbers, but probably in the high single digits -- who couldn't "see" God, but now can; people who couldn't hear, but now do; or people who couldn't walk the walk, but now dance the sacred coondance.

But to our everlasting relief, not a single one of these readers would attribute it to Bob. Well, maybe one person, but we haven't heard from him since the restraining order. The point is, they all "get it" -- that the magic results from aligning (↑) and (↓). No creepy cult of personality for us. We are not leftists.

Each person will navigate the the vertical terrain in his own way, from spiritual touch, to hearing, to synthesis and comprehension, then projection and vision. No one else can touch or hear or comprehend for you. Each has to be your own, so they will naturally be inflected through the particulars of your own personality. This is not so much eccentrism -- which means "outside the circle" -- as "essentrism" -- which I just rewordgitated, and means "inhabiting your own little space inside the sphere." Probably not a keeper, though.

Even Jesus -- who was a mode of the universal -- was nevertheless a human personality. True, he was "everyone," but he was quite obviously someone. This is what distinguishes him from merely mythological figures who are purely archetypal and therefore conventional. Jesus has a distinct personality that you just couldn't make up. Definitely an essentric.

Tomberg then goes into a very important passage on the inevitable obstacles along the path, one of which is none other than the mind parasites of which Bob speaks in the b•••(•)•••k. If the object of sacred magic is liberation in order to ascend, then anything that intrudes upon or prevents this process is more or less parasitic, dragging us down and stealing our launch monkey.

Well no, that's not quite correct. In fact, it's not correct at all. Earth is not to be confused with heaven. We are not meant to live non-friction lives, for it is precisely these obstacles -- so long as they do not escape certain parameters -- that present the opportunity for growth and transcendence.

In other words there are "legitimate" obstacles, tests and trials that work within the Cosmic Law, and illegitimate ones that may look satanic, but are actually mostly manmade (and often self-imposed via mind parasites).

For example, the legions of liberal losers who have transfered agency to the state have failed the test. Yes, one can always retake the exam at any time, but relatively few choose to do so once they have become spiritually entangled with the Machine, i.e., another prick in the wall. For this is what losers do: they project their failure on to some external demon of their own creation. But this hardly means they are "powerless."

Rather, through their coordinated political wacktivity, they conjur a very real loser power that allows them to get what they want without deserving it. So long as they do not question the machine, they are permitted to coast in the machine.

You might say that a kind of black magic results from the alignment of the human will with the forces of darkness and descent. A liberal victim is always rewarded with illegitimate power, otherwise no one would cast himself as one. And this power is ultimately grounded in someone else's existential guilt.

Tomberg makes the critical point that the Adversary never deprives anyone of his freedom. That is not his style, but more importantly, it is not his role. He's not some sort of street thug, or shiftless community organizer, or crude Chicago pol (but I repeat myself). No: "Temptation is [his] only weapon and this presupposes the freedom of he who is tempted."

But one can obviously squander one's freedom, to the point that one is essentially "possessed" by the demon that one has co-created with the Adversary. As Tomberg describes it, "One engenders an elemental being and one subsequently becomes the slave of one's own creation."

Look at the fiendly fire Herman Cain took for helpfully explaining to fellow blacks how this works in practice -- that so many are slaves to a dysfunctional ideology that casts them as permanent property of the white liberals who have the power to save them. Stray from the plantation, as Cain did, and you realize that the fugitive slave laws are still in force, and that the black conservatives have no rights that the white liberal is bound to respect.

Next on the left's hitlist? Ben Carson, because the life of a single child is not worth the death of millions more from the sanctified practice of abortion.

Tomberg observes that mind parasites "have been discovered by contemporary psychiatrists and are recognized as real -- i.e., as 'parasitic psychic organisms' independent of the conscious human will and tending to subjugate it."

I can personally attest to the truth of this statement. How? Back off, man: I'm a psychologist.

Tomberg continues: "One need not fear the devil, but rather the perverse tendencies in oneself! For those perverse human tendencies can deprive us of our freedom and enslave us. Worse still, they can avail themselves of our imagination and inventive faculties and lead us to creations which can become the scourge of mankind."

Let's pause here for a little more red state meat for the base. Liberalism is obviously about freedom. But the founders always understood this in the manner outlined above, as the slack magic of spiritual freedom, i.e., the freedom to ascend. For example, in the words of John Adams,

“Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom.... We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion.... Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.... We should be unfaithful to ourselves if we should ever lose sight of the danger to our liberties if anything partial or extraneous should infect the purity of our free, fair, virtuous, and independent elections.”

The Democratic party has long since abandoned the classical liberalism of America's founders for an illiberal leftism that is not just its political opposite, but its very negation. It is a collusion of man and his own lower nature in order to bring about hell on earth. Instead of a vertical (naturally supernatural) freedom conferred by God and protected by the state, it promulgates an unnaturally natural (for man) freedom granted by the state.

But just as the state cannot create wealth but only appropriate it by force, it cannot grant real freedom, since that freedom is a priori and intrinsically spiritual.

And by attacking and undermining religion itself, the left participates in the creation of a new kind of man-beast lowbrow hybrid whose narcissistic freedom is for his own sake. It is not even horizontal freedom, but merely the freedom to fall further beneath himself. And it results in the dense -- including dense people such as the Obamas -- presuming to rule the subtle.

It is remarkable that these change chumps and hope fiends of the irreligious secular left -- precisely because they are irreligious -- collectively created the pseudo-religious fantasy of Obama, a shape-shifting cipher and compulsively lyin' Hawaiian who represents the quintessence of soothing hypnosis and oily seduction, the favorite methods of the Adversary. For he is the inverted and perverted image of the Empress.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Speak Truth to Power by Getting a Clue about Yourself, Assoul

Yesterday we discussed that book in the Priestess's lap, which is said to represent the descent of spirit, from the spiritual/experiential "touch" of mysticism down to the religio-philosophical sense, and into the "writing of one's book," so to speak. Evidently, in order to become a journeyman spiritual transmitter, one must begin as an apprentice lightning rod.

This is what Tomberg refers to on p. 43, where he writes that "Gnosis without mystical experience is sterility itself. It is just a religious ghost, without life or movement. It is the corpse of religion, animated intellectually by means of scraps fallen from the table of the past history of humanity."

It is not dissimilar to how a once great nation that produced luminaries such as Washington, Hamilton, and Lincoln -- people who actually touched political truth -- has been brought so low that it can be led by an ill-educated political psychopath who agrees with his Marxist spiritual advisor that "white folks' greed runs a world in need." But no one cares because the state never makes a mistake. At least when race-baiting leftists are in charge, whose credo is speaking lies to the powerless!

As always, right thinking is the ultimate act of rebellion against the fallen world, just as disordered thinking is the root of auto-slavery.

Tomberg writes that a mysticism that fails to give birth to gnosis "must, sooner or later, necessarily degenerate into 'spiritual enjoyment' or 'intoxication.' The mystic who wants only the experience of mystical states without understanding them, without drawing practical conclusions from them for life, and without wanting to be useful to others, who forgets everyone and everything in order to enjoy the mystical experience, can be compared to a spiritual drunkard."

So many spiritual drunkards! This pretty much summarizes the New Age movement, which is so devoid of sobriety, like the incoherent ranting of Deepak Chopra. Example:

"If Occupy America can channel its anger into awareness, the next step is to ask, 'What is our goal?' When I was down among the demonstrators, I led a meditation on that question, and it seemed to calm down the people around me, which demonstrates, I think, that the whole Occupy movement is about angry idealists, not just people who feel screwed by Wall St., although that is the spark and the point of injustice that somehow must be faced."

More like channeling greed into wealth by selling impotent resentment to the masses.

Like all liberals, there is one thing Deepak knows: that nothing will change until you embrace and celebrate your inner victim and turn your power over to the state. "Eventually, all change starts there," by "standing up and saying 'I accuse you of injustice.'" Wahhhhhhhh!

Yes, all personal growth begins with an unwavering commitment to the ideal that It's all someone else's fault! My son's not even eight yet, and he knows he can't get away with that. So how can the president? Oh, right. Three. Different developmental stage.

Tomberg makes the important point that true contemplation picks up where discursive reason leaves off. "Discursive thought is satisfied when it arrives at a well-founded conclusion. Now, this conclusion is the point of departure for contemplation. It fathoms the profundity of this conclusion at which discursive thought arrives."

The contemplation of depth is the miraculous vertical rabbit hole that draws us in and up: "contemplation discovers a world within that which discursive thought simply verifies as 'true.'"

Please note that what Tomberg is saying doesn't only apply to the world of scientific truth, but to religious truth as well.

Again, there are spiritual books that are deep, but many more that are shallow. Both disclose "truth," but what a difference! It's like a great artist and a Sunday painter depicting the same landscape. Who knows, the latter might even be more technically "accurate," so what explains the depth of the former? Here again, it is that sense of mystical touch, which the gifted artist is then able to convey on canvas.

There is something much deeper than the simple binary question, "is it true or false?" Think of a great novel. Was it true or false? Did the events really happen as described?

As Tomberg writes, contemplation "perceives more the significance of the truth discovered by discursive thought," and then tries to trace this depth back to its ultimate source. How does one do this? "By listening in silence. It is as if one wanted to recall something forgotten."

It is analogous to the "tip of the tongue" phenomenon, in which you know it's there, but have to relax into it -- perhaps even forget in order to remember. Or, perhaps it's like the distant stars which disappear when you stare directly at them, but reappear in your peripheral vision if you look away. An infinite amount of light will elude you if you attempt to stare it down with scientism!

No, this is the realm of vertical recollection, or what Plato called anamnesis. As Tomberg points out, horizontal memory renders the past present, while vertical memory "renders that which is above as present below."

This is perhaps the key to understanding scripture, which, if reduced to mere horizontality, becomes functionally useless. No, that's an exaggeration. The point is, it will still operate vertically, even if you imagine that it is horizontal. It can still work its magic, but if you insist too much on the horizontality, it can diminish the verticality.

It reminds me of the sola scriptura of DNA fundamentalists. Their genetic determinism notwithstanding, they are free to believe that the story of man may be reduced to the literal book of DNA, but they're going to miss all the interesting stuff.

As the mystical sense is analogous to spiritual touch, the gnostic sense is analogous to hearing. Obviously, it is this that Jesus is attempting to highlight when he speaks of having ears but being unable to hear, for true hearing takes place on the level of vertical depth. This kind of deep hearing can only occur in an environment of expectant silence or passive openness, i.e., (---) and (o).

You will notice that we listen to a great artist in a different way than we do to the typical hack. One of the reasons for this is that the true artist has earned our respect, as we know from experience that there will be an added dimension of depth to his work if only we give it sufficient time. There are no hidden depths in the mediocre artist. It's all right out there, as in pornography (which may almost be defined as having no interior).

Tomberg goes into a little riff on the nature of art, which he compares to the magical sense of projection: "The talent of the artist consists in this: that he can render objective -- or project -- his ideas and feelings so as to obtain a more profound effect on others than that of the expression of ideas and feelings by a person who is not an artist. A work of art is endowed with a life of its own," very similar to the process of birth itself.

He concludes the chapter by noting that scientistic materialism can only be "true" if we exclude all of the other planes that make the horizontal plane of natural facts possible, and isolate the realm of quantitative facts from the rest of reality.

At the polar opposite of this is the Hermetic-philosophical sense, or the "sense of synthesis," which is capable of a vision of the whole: "The scientific sense... summarizes the facts of experience on a single plane, in the horizontal. Hermeticism is not a science and will never be one. It can certainly make use of sciences and their results, but by doing so it does not become a science."

Or, one could say that profane science is the study of the relative, which is change itself. But Hermeticism is essentially the science of the changeless, which is to say, metaphysics. Metaphysics is the science of the permanent, of those things that cannot not be, for example, the Absolute, and by extension, the Infinite. Or, of Beyond-Being, and its child, Being.

Again, science can verify truth on a single plane, while the gnostic sense investigates the depth of said truth. Thus, any philosophy of naturalism can only appear to be true to the extent that one fails to ponder its depth and significance.

The moment you engage in the latter, you have disproved it, for you have revealed a vertical depth of truth and being for which naturalism can never account. You have left materialism behind. For to listen in expectant silence in the vertical space is to be "instructed by God," i.e., theodidacticism.

It is the very opposite of the infantile approach advocated by Deepak, in that it is necessary for Truth to speak to our striving for illusory power. Real change begins there, by standing up and saying, I accuse me of being an assoul.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Liberalism is a Bitch

We are now moving on to letter II of Meditations on the Tarot, the High Priestess, AKA La Pappesse.

There is a reason the Priestess follows the Magician, and this has to do with the distinction between the pure Light of knowledge -- which is analogous to the sun -- and its reflection in the book (in her lap) -- which is analogous to the moon (the moon is always female, which is why moonbats are so much like insane women, i.e., lunatics; insane men have their own problems).

Interesting that the French name for High Priestess is, as you can see, La Papesse, or "The Popess." Interesting because Schuon often refers to the pontiff as the archetype of Man as Such, i.e., Pontifical Man, the latter being the microcosmic vertical principle who bisects all the planes of existence and who contains all potential within himself. The Latin pontifex connotes "builder of bridges," and Man is indeed the ultimate bridge builder, only it is a vertical bridge (or sometimes ladder) between manifestation and principle; or the many and the One; or Heaven and Earth; or the upper waters and the lower waters.

I am intrigued by this implicit idea of "female pope." What could it possibly mean when we combine -- or play with -- the archetypes of pontifex and female? To put it another way, what does female connote in its vertical aspect? I ask this because female is usually associated with all of the words and concepts derived from mother or mater, including matter, meter, mara, maya, measure. There is the Father Principle, or "pure form," which "fertilizes" pure materiality in order to bring about the manifestation (e.g., the play of purusha and prakriti, or Shiva and Shakti).

Genesis treats this subject in mythopoetic terms, as the woman represents the descending tendency who is seduced by the snake, the symbol of earthbound horizontality. For which reason Mary is the shadow of Eve, the light-filled womb that nurtures and gives birth to the quintessential pontifex.

Thus, Mary-Matter-Maya is "pregnant with God," not just 2000 years ago, but for all time(less). We don't have time to go into Eckhart's many fruitful ideas about the feminine aspect of divinity, e.g., that God perpetually lays on a maternity bed giving birth. Creativity -- which is often seen as a more masculine activity -- is actually more quintessentially feminine, both because of the birth motif, but also because true creativity is fertilized "from above."

Tomberg then goes into the difference between a "Christian yoga" and yoga-yoga, in that the former aspires to a unity of two rather then the dissolution of twoness into an acosmic and impersonal Oneness. (And don't be put off by the word "yoga," as it simply means the same thing as "religion"; both have to do with "yoking" or "binding" (from the Latin religare, "to bind"). Thus, "His yoga is easy," as it were.

A Christian yoga must be rooted in the principle that there is something higher than oneness; and that higher principle is the easy yoke of love. And clearly, love is not possible -- or, it is merely an illusion -- if all is actually one.

But Christianity teaches that love is not only not an illusion, but the essence of God, even a "name" for God, so to speak ("God is love"). Thus, the recognition of a trinitarian God, which you might say is "one in love" as opposed to being a mere quantitative one.

The point is, this does not mean to imply any dualistic cosmos; but it also isn't a monistic one. Duality, as Tomberg suggests, is always pernicious, as it posits two rival "ultimates" which battle it out until the end of time -- which never ends. But it is absurd to think that there could be two ultimates.

You could claim that one of the ultimates is merely an illusion, which is what materialists do. That is, there is a mind-matter duality that is ultimately reducible to matter. This, of course, is a non-starter, as it represents the worst kind of metaphysical nonsense: the intrinsically self-refuting kind.

Tomberg suggests -- and he is absolutely correct -- that Being deprived of love "would be the most appalling torment -- the Inferno itself!" Love -- and Truth and Beauty -- is what imbues being with worth, with value and with meaning. Being itself is morally indifferent, perhaps even vaguely sinister, in the absence of the divine light of love.

Tomberg then goes into a lovely little soliloquy on the "gift of tears" which are a sort of fluid membrane between the above and below, a certificate of authenticity in so many encounters with the God of Love. In contrast to the "dry" experience of depersonalized oneness, UF writes that the soul who experiences the miracle of divine love is moved to tears. Only humans cry tears of joy.

Now, man the microcosm is in the image of the Creator-metacosm. The most quintessentially human faculty is the Intellect, or nous. For us it is a passive or "female" principle, as it is a lunar reflection of the light of the Father. This is none other than Sophia, or wisdom hersoph:

"[T]he intellect is the feminine side of the soul, whilst the fertilizing imagination is the masculine principle. The intellect that is not fertilized by the imagination guided by the heart is sterile." In the pathologically feminized mind of the liberal, passions become hardened into irrational pseudo-thoughts that are impervious to reason. Being subjected to Obama is like having your ex-wife as president of the world.

The main principle embodied in the Priestess image is the descent of the Word through the stages of reflection, memory, word, and writing. In the descent of revelation, only the last stage is "the book" (recall that the Christian Bible wasn't canonized until something like 400). In other words, religion begins in the world of principles, or at the center, and moves out to the periphery.

Science, on the other hand, begins with facts -- "the book of nature" -- and attempts to reason from the periphery to the center (which is strictly impossible, as the very conduct of science presupposes the human center). Put another way, the "last stage" of God's involution is the material world, whereas the latter is the starting point of science.

Mysticism is the science of "spiritual touch," and it must be at the heart of all religion. As Tomberg writes, spiritual touch -- or intuition -- "is that which permits contact between our consciousness and the world of pure mystical experience."

It because of this contact that "there exists in the world and in the history of mankind a real relationship between the living soul and the living God -- which is true religion." And it is only because of this faculty of spiritual touch -- which is obviously a subtle sense that needs to be nurtured and developed -- that God is something "more than an abstract notion." Rather, as in the case of any other real knowledge, the abstract is rooted in the concrete.

But after mystical touch comes gnosis, or the spirit of understanding; and after gnosis, the magical sense, or the ability to put knowledge into action; and after magic comes the book, MOTT being as fine an example of the latter as one could imagine. As Tomberg writes, if the God-knower "wants all that he has experienced, understood and practiced to be not limited to himself and his time, but to be communicable to others and transmitted to future generations, he must develop the Hermetic-philosophical sense, and in practicing it he will 'write his book.'"

In Coonspeak we call it having the tome of your life.

And how eternally grateful we are to the many illustrious pneumanauts who left their living books for us to playgiarize with! For it is only through the very organicity of the living book that the totality of tradition may be "held together," from the top to the bottom, from the center to the periphery, from the vertical to the horizontal. To not have this experience of the living whole is to be possessed by a demonic partling, whether it is the demon of socialism, or of metaphysical Darwinism, or of materialism, or of scientism. Each of these results in the soul being possessed and ensnared:

"Yes, autonomous philosophical systems separated from the living body of tradition are parasitic structures, which seize the thought, feeling and finally the will of human beings. In fact, they play a role comparable to the psycho-pathological complexes of neurosis or other psychic maladies of obsession. Their physical analogy is cancer."

Ain't it the truth. And there is no cure for this soul-cancer from within the absurcular realm from which it arises, only via relationship with the higher principle to which the soul is always "feminine." There is no cure for disordered love except love rightly ordered.

Friday, February 22, 2013

It Takes a Cosmos to Raise a Smile

While on the subject of I, AM, and the link between the two, I'd like to discuss Scruton's The Face of God. It's a short book, containing the published version of his Gifford Lectures of 2010.

If you're not familiar with them, the Gifford Lectures were the deathwish brainchild of the Scottish Lord Gifford (1820-1887), established and endowed for the purpose of promoting and propagating "the study of natural theology in the widest sense of the term -- in other words, the knowledge of God." The quality of these lectures is often quite high, and draws big brains from many disciplines, and thus comports well with our own multi-undisciplinary approach.

Among others, I've read those by Royce, Gilson, James, Eddington, Heisenberg, Dawson, Toynbee, Barbour, Dyson, Eccles, Polkinghorne, Rolston, Taylor, and, of course Jaki, Polanyi and Whitehead, all of whom are recurring characters on the One Cosmos blog. Again, these are folks who are attempting to think across disciplines, so many of them are pione'er-do-well Raccoons.

I haven't read a lot of the more recent ones, but one can't help thinking the quality has declined in recent years, what with dubious choices such as Said, Chomsky, Dawkins, and Carl Sagan. I mean, Edward Said? Makes one wonder what you have to do to not be invited.

Anyway, Scruton's meditation on the human face touches on a number of our pet bobsessions, including how the I comes to BE. In Psychogenesis we put forth an anthropological fairy tale that attempts to account for the sudden and unexpected ingression of the I AM into our biosphere -- i.e., how Mind emerges from Life -- and in my opinion, it must have occurred the same way then (say, 100,000 years ago) that it does today.

That is to say, we cannot begin with the fully formed adult, because by then it's too late. Rather, self-conscious subjectivity must be teased from the Stone Age infant in the intersubjective space between an incomplete, plastic, and "open" neurology and its loving caretakers. We are only individuals because we are members of one another. There is no other way. We are trinitarian right down to the Ground.

When we speak of the "knowability" of the cosmos, we must begin with the Face, for it is the first thing we know (and which knows us, for the one perspective depends upon its complementary other). Upon leaving the cozy confines of the womb, we are greeted by "one great blooming, buzzing confusion," in William James' famous description. The mother's face truly stands out like a lighthouse amidst the confusion, and we come into the world ready to be oriented to it.

Now, there was a time, not too long ago, when the world was regarded by philosophers as an orderly cosmos overseen by God. By way of analogy, we are all infants in this blooming, buzzing confusion we call life. But man could make sense of it with reference to a transcendent and benevolent Face looking down on -- and from within -- the proceedings.

Although nothing has occurred with the scientific revolution to cause us to doubt the deep order of being, it has nevertheless been accompanied by a kind of adolescent rebellion against the Orderer. This occurs at predictable points in human development, in particular, during the separation-individuation of early childhood, and then again with adolescence. But in reality, it is a recurring motif -- and temptation -- that shadows us as long as we live, because of our irreducible intersubjectivity. No one is ever alone and human, but some people want to be.

Now, what is a face? The key point is that it is a whole -- an integration of particulars that discloses an interior/subjective horizon. There are actually two important principles at work here, wholeness and interiority, but I believe these are necessary consequences of each other.

For example, no one "assembles" a face from its parts -- eyes, nose, lips, etc. -- and concludes that this is indeed a face we're dealing with. Rather, we always first see the whole.

Moreover, this whole always has something "behind" or "inside" it: the animating subject. The expressions of the face have a transcendent cause, and "science cannot, in the nature of things, trace an empirical event to a transcendent cause" (Scruton).

Thus, when we say we look "into" a face, this is precisely what we mean. The face is our first clue that the world does not consist of appearances only, but that there is a mysterious depth beneath the surface of things.

Autism, in whatever form it takes (e.g., intellectual, emotional, religious, moral, or aesthetic) is precisely the inability to apprehend the subjective depth in things. Just as there are people who are colorblind or tone deaf, there are prosopagnosiacs who cannot see faces. And yet, they obviously see the exact same thing anyone else is seeing. Rather, they just can't put it all together and see the inside.

Now, what is more real, the face or the parts that compose it? Or, who is more "in touch" with reality, the person who is able to see faces, or the prosopagnosiac?

Scruton asks what he calls a "strange question," but it is precisely this question that has motivated our blogplay these past eight years: just "what kind of world contains a thing like me -- a thing with freedom and self-knowledge?"

It turns out that it is impossible to answer this question without recourse to everything. In other words, it cannot be reduced to personal psychology, but touches on everything from cosmology to neurology to anthropology. For truly, it takes a cosmos to raise a person (and vice versa, bearing in mind what was said last Tuesday about the I and the One).

If you scan a face looking for the person, you will not find him. The person is "in" the face, but obviously cannot be reduced to the face. The person is not identical with his face, just as the meaning of a text is not identical to its letters, or a melody to the notes of which it is composed.

Scruton suggests that it is the same with God: look for God on the surface, and you will find nothing, for that is not where he is to be found. Rather, "He is present in our world in the same sense that we are: as a subject."

So anyway, blah blah yada yada, in this context, the idea that the metacosmic I AM should decide to reveil itself by putting on a face is quite understandable, for what better way could there be?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Rule of Vertical Law

As discussed in yesterday's post, we begin with the principle of the unity of the world, which is the necessary condition for knowledge of any kind. The cosmos "is not a mosaic," but rather, "an organism -- all of whose parts are governed by the same principle," the principle of unity or wholeness (Tomberg).

Now, this unity means that things can be connected in surprising ways. We know about the obvious ones that apply to the horizontal world, e.g., gravity.

However, there is another principle that links things in this world, the law of analogy. This law "is the first conclusion drawn from the tenet of universal unity" (ibid.), because it is our guarantee that beneath the diversity of phenomena we will always find something that unites it on an interior level.

In fact, we no longer even need metaphysics per se to understand this principle, since physics alone has arrived there, i.e., at nonlocality. Then again, the research that proved the reality of nonlocality has been called "experimental metaphysics," but really, no one needs to prove in a laboratory that nonlocality must be the case around these parts, since the parts make no sense without it.

Science can never actually prove the wholeness of the world (since it can never get outside the world), but it can never doubt it for even an instant. Science is only able to understand the contingent because it is rooted in certain principles that are necessary -- i.e., metaphysical -- which is to say, trans-material, trans-spatial, trans-temporal, and transpersonal.

Not to go all Deepak on you, but if this weren't the case, then we couldn't even be having this conversation, in which particles in my bean are causing particles in your bean to resonate at the same truth-frequency. In other words, human communication is founded upon the nonlocality of the world.

Now, we all know about the four types of causality that rule the material world: material, efficient, formal, and final. Science tries to do without the latter two, which works well enough for practical purposes, even if it is metaphysically incoherent.

But as it pertains to the vertical world, we cannot do without formal and final causation, since they operate from the top down, and enlist material and efficient causation to achieve their ends. This is seen in a self-evident way in the most simple execution of free will.

For example, I can conceive the idea of taking a sip of coffee, and actualize it by reaching over with my left hand and grabbing the cup.

Science (or scientism) has no idea how this is possible -- and never will qua science -- for science literally "doesn't go there." In order to explain the same action, it has recourse only to material and efficient causation -- as if sipping the coffee causes the idea of doing so.

Peter Kreeft touches on some of these issues in his Summa Philosophica. Of the four causes, he notes that two are intrinsic, two extrinsic.

Formal and material causes are intrinsic, having to do with what something essentially is and what it is made of, respectively. But final and efficient causes seem to come from "outside," and are therefore extrinsic.

Thus, as it pertains to human beings, we could say that our soul -- which is the form of the body -- is a formal cause that is actualized through free will.

However, in the overall scheme of things, the soul is oriented to its final cause, i.e., the Great Attractor beam of O. I suppose one could say that God, or O, is explicitly extrinsic but intrinsically implicit, i.e., transcendent and immanent. Nevertheless, his transcendence always takes priority, and he is only immanent because transcendent. In other words, immanence is a necessary consequence of transcendence, as Infinite is to Absolute.

Anyway, it is because of the wholeness of the world that the Law of Analogy operates throughout & in. And it goes a little like this: That which is above is like to that which is below and that which is below is like that to which is above, to accomplish the miracles of (the) one thing.

Our favorite application of this principle is spoken by the Trinity in Genesis 1:26, when they say to himsoph, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness."

Among other things, this is the most profoundly humanistic principle one could possibly imagine, endless in its implications. At the same time, if not for it, we wouldn't even have the word "God," much less know anything about him. But because of this reciprocal principle, the essence of humanness will reveal certain truths of the Absolute, just as the Absolute reveals certain truths about us.

For our purposes, probably the most important fact about God is that he is a person, which is why he can say -- and what it means to say -- I AM. Only a person can say I AM, and anyone who can say I AM is a person.

So there is the prototype or archetype above, and the maninfestation below. How to express and develop this correspondance? You see, the problem here -- THE human problem, as it were -- is that we are in time, while God is not. This means that the analogy fails here, in the sense that parts of us exist in potential, but not so for God, who is "pure act," as they say.

Therefore, we have to actualize our essence -- or "become the Likeness" -- in time and in history. In other words, we are subject to change, but because of the Law of Analogy, we are not only subject to the "bad change" of entropy, but to the "good change" of growing toward our archetype.

Which just means that the orthoparadoxical point of Raccoon Life is to "become oneself," even while knowing that this is an endless process in the herebelow. Indeed, this is precisely what it means to be a "progressive" in the real world, in contrast to pretending to be one in the ideological spaces of various second realities of the left. For Marx's house contains only a few mansions for the vanguard of the proletariat, but many dilapidated shacks and hovels for the rest of us.

Tomberg provides a helpful little map of our cosmic situation. It consists of a horizontal line between past and future, bisected by a vertical line that runs from the prototype above to the space below. In between are myths, which are recurring motifs that recycle both individually and collectively. Sometimes these are rooted in the above, while other times they can be little more than reified collective mind parasites, and therefore "pseudo-archetypes," so to speak.

For example, forcing women to live in black bags has nothing to do with any real archetype. Rather, this is the transparent expression of a deep hatred and fear of women, leant a patina of pseudo-sanctity by an appeal to some twisted religious darketype.

Real myth has a timeless validity, even if it doesn't partake of the principial order per se. Rather, it applies to human individuals and groups as we find them here on the ground, in time and in history. Presumably they no longer apply in the celestial sphere, in "heaven."

Tomberg cites the example of brother-on-brother hatred, as exemplified in the myth of Cain and Abel. There can be no such hate "above," even though it seems inevitable herebelow.

Likewise, the Fall of A & E cannot be an analogue of something within the godhead, but is something that human beings did (and do) to themselves wheneveateapple. Rather, the Fall is a contingent, even if nastily persistent, pattern, and therefore doesn't negate the divine archetype. Which is why we are wounded, but not mortally.

What this means is that we have to be cautious in applying the "as below, so above," because we don't want to attribute human flaws and failings to the Creator.

Indeed, probably the only way to finally prevent this is to come down and show us how it's supposed to work. I believe Schuon said something to the effect that Jesus is the icon of God, just as God is the icon of Jesus -- in other words, we are dealing with the full implications of the reciprocity between image and likeness. Presumably this should inoculate us from using anything short of the real deal to "compare" God and man, or to confuse the two.

Speaking of which, Jesus overwhelmingly relies upon the Law of Analogy in order to disclose higher truths through the use of parables. Everything in the parable is an item or concept taken from below -- shepherd, vine, door, marriage, harvest, fruit, soil, etc. -- deiployed in order to illuminate the above.