Friday, February 07, 2014

Pictures of God, Man, and Everything

Very often, like yesterday, I start off writing a post, and it takes me down a completely unintended path. I never have any real idea what's going to come out, but I usually at least start with the seed of an idea. But then it's as if the seed grows into a different plant.

Which again makes me think that the mind must conform to some sort of higher organizing principle, so long as we abandon ourselves to it. In a certain sense this is a banality, but I don't think I mean it in the banal sense.

In other words, we're not just talking about familiar concepts such as "human nature," or "archetypes," or the old idea of "humours." Those are all too static and repetitive, whereas this is a creative process that ceaselessly generates patterned novelty. Who or what exerts the pattern on our random vertical walk? What makes it all cohere around a center?

These patterns aren't like those, say, of a cherished rug that pulls the room together, or the logocentric designs cranked out by the Mohammedans. Check some of those out; many could be stunning representations of O, such as:

The other day I yoinked a bunch of arresting fractal could-be images of O for future use, such as the one below:

I feel like the Richard Dreyfus character in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Except this would be close encounters with a kind of threeness, i.e., the Center, the Periphery, and the crackling Radius, AKA Father-Son-Holy Spirit chasing itsoph. The radius is where the (⇅) occurs. You can see how God writes straight with those crooked lines converging on the center.

But of all the images I swiped, my favorite -- the one to which I am most attracted -- might be the one depicted below:

I don't mean aesthetically attracted, but intellectually attracted, for it looks to me like a representation of the human situation.

There are the vertical spaces above and below, with us situated in the middle. Or, you could say heaven above and hell below, with Middle Earth in between. Whatever the case may be, there is a supra-conscious and an un- or infraconscious. Or better, infrahuman.

Except it's not static but dynamic and flowing. The center area is the place of metabolism, with energies flowing up and down. We're always receiving promptings from the unconscious. But we're also always receiving murmurandoms from above. It is for us to weave these together for a full and fruitful incarnation.

Some have suggested that this is the esoteric meaning of space voyager Genesis 1, where the great imagineer divides the waters above from the waters below. If he hadn't done this, then the water would simply seek its own level, and there would be no vertical flow, just the absurcular dog-paddling of the tenured.

Below is another suitable image of what I like to call the Great Attractor, O, drawing us up into its ether orbit:

Or how about the oversized one below, which might be the view from within the attractor beam -- perhaps of the Dark Night of the Soul and the Light at the end of the funnel of love:

I think Wanda is actually referring to that other centripetal funnel -- you know, the funnel of lust:

Well, I'd better complete some work-work before the day is truncated by the birthday party for Grandma.


Blogger mushroom said...

I feel like the Richard Dreyfus character in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

I'm more like the ape-man throwing rocks at the Monolith, but it's close.

I love whatever she's got on there that sounds like a sitar.

2/07/2014 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I wonder if that's where the Who got the idea of peeing on the monolith on the cover of Who's Next?

In any event, that's a good image of the left: pissing on the monolith.

2/07/2014 09:53:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Speaking of pictures, since I am among friends, I just saw a picture of Philip Seymour Hoffman on the front page of Wikipedia. The dude could be my brother. No wonder he was on heroin.

2/07/2014 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

The timing would be about right. Everybody would have still gotten it, and it probably hadn't been completely overdone yet.

2/07/2014 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Re. the Islamic geometric designs, it seems difficult, to me, to reconcile the beauty and precision of many of those designs with the utter lunacy of so much of the Muslim world. Unless it's that they have too much rigid order, with little room for the dynamics of life?

2/07/2014 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

They do have a very static view of reality. Quite literally: complete conformity to Sharia, with no change at all.

2/07/2014 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger Christina M said...

And then there are these:

I'm thinking the rigidity has to do with being trapped in a closed circle instead of a spiral?

2/07/2014 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

The Mohammedans have to be dogmatic iconoclasts or risk life and limb. Their artistic energies are thus driven in two directions: abstraction and variation. Thus the visual arts are 2D geometric rather than 3D representational, and their musical arts are 2D drone-based rather than 3D harmonic. Can these energies result in beauty? Certainly, and they do! Can they express the human image in its trinitarian fullness? I think the answer is no. I've always thought Islamic architecture is both deformed and unattractive in its proportions and yet beautifully decorated. They've done their best to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. I know that sounds snide and chauvinistic, but when I reflect on what could have been, I pity them.

2/07/2014 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Horizontal and deterministic, sounds about right.

2/07/2014 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Christina, I've always liked Celtic knotwork, although sometimes the complexity of the patterns can be almost dizzying. I like the idea behind the Celtic triangle as a representation of the Trinity.

2/07/2014 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger Christina M said...

Magister, 2D is exactly what I was thinking!

Horizontal, lacking the vertical, yes, mushroom!

I have begun (finally) to notice that the best art is multi-dimensional. I also like two dimensional things. I'm a big fan of Mayan glyphs, for instance, but they lack something that the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe has in spades.

Julie, I love the Celtic triangle representing the Trinity, too! I like the infinity of the knotwork and it's 3rD.

My husband came home this evening and asked if I had seen Dr. Bob's latest post. Not knowing that I had already seen it, he proceeded to describe the images that Dr. Bob had used and he said this: "They look like Nazar Boncugu." I started jumping up and down with excitement. I said, "That's what I thought too!"

That is too funny.

We're not obsessed with nazar boncugu, it's just that Mr. M. was in Istanbul for eighteen months with the Army and it had a huge effect on both of us. BTW I got to see THE St. Sophia, a dream come true and something I never thought I would get to see in person ever. Back in the day when it was still a Christian church, you could hear the tinkle of the gold mosaic tiles raining constantly down to the floor. It must have been spectacular.

2/07/2014 06:24:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Oh, that's a good point about the nazar boncugu. I had never encountered them until we moved; here in Florida, they are sold all over the place, but I never knew what they were called.

And I admit, I'm envious. I doubt I'll ever see St. Sophia. The air in there must have sparkled, back in the day.

2/07/2014 06:31:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

the doofus's hubris knows no BOunds

2/08/2014 06:07:00 AM  
Blogger Christina M said...

Julie, who is selling the nazar? I was born and raised in Miami, one of Miami's rare fifth-generation natives. I have been gone from Miami for over twenty years and only go back to visit family, and even that, only as infrequently as possible. I find it shocking and alarming, but not surprising, to hear that nazar are frequently sold there. I found southern Florida to be a particularly God-less place and I encountered evidence of the practice of Santeria frequently, even in my own neighborhood. I'd like to know, because it confirms a suspicion I have had about the area.

2/08/2014 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

They are sold in kiosks at pretty much every mall, and are especially popular in places that cater to tourists looking for souvenirs from Miami.

2/08/2014 08:37:00 AM  
Blogger Christina M said...

Christianity is the only religion that frees one from the fear of superstitions, taboos, and the evil eye (envy from others). I can only imagine that my pagan ancestors must have embraced Christianity with great relief and gratitude at being freed from those fears. Why people would want to go back to the pagan religions is a mystery to me.

2/08/2014 08:39:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

That said, I am not sure I'd characterize Southern Florida as "Godless," at least not these days. In my area, churches are particularly prolific, and there are also Hindu temples, a huge Orthodox community, and a good-sized Muslim community. The first house I wanted to buy was a block away from both a mosque and an Orthodox synagogue, which I suspected must make for some interesting neighbors...

2/08/2014 08:39:00 AM  
Blogger Christina M said...

Thanks, Julie. Unbelievable.

2/08/2014 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger Christina M said...

I'm guessing Tampa? Huge Greek Orthodox community.
I know nothing about Tampa as it was merely a fishing village when I was growing up.

2/08/2014 08:42:00 AM  
Blogger Christina M said...

Or do you mean Orthodox Jewish? :) Which would be Miami Beach area.

2/08/2014 08:43:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Nope, we live in Broward, just west of Ft. Lauderdale. So yes, Orthodox Jews :) Although there are some Orthodox Christian churches around, too.

Miami-Dade probably still has a lot of Santerians; we rented there for a year, and felt too out-of-place to want to live there permanently. English speakers are the minority, and my Spanish is too rusty; it felt like living in a foreign country. One where they don't much like Anglo Americans.

Broward is still recognizably American, almost aggressively so by comparison.

2/08/2014 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger Christina M said...

This is going to sound rude and smug, but it is not. The place is God-Less. Live there for a good while and we'll compare notes. It is a very hedonistic, shallow, soul-sucking place.

2/08/2014 08:48:00 AM  
Blogger Christina M said...

It's Peter Pan Land. I have earned the right to say that.

2/08/2014 08:48:00 AM  
Blogger Christina M said...

You are right about Broward. It's another world. Up until pretty recently, it was still part of the Everglades and sugar cane country. I know almost nothing about Broward.

2/08/2014 08:51:00 AM  
Blogger Christina M said...

And yes, to everything that you say about Miami Dade.

2/08/2014 08:52:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

We've lived all over the country, and I even spent a good chunk of my childhood in England. Miami is the most foreign place I've ever lived. We joke that we when we bought our house, we moved back to America.

Broward is very different. Where we are, inland, is still very close to its country roots. In some ways, our neighborhood is the closest thing to American nostalgia I've ever seen. It's still overcrowded, but there's a church on almost every corner, and they are heavily attended. The parks are simply beautiful, it's very family friendly, and there are tons of families with kids out doing stuff every day.

There are some weird things, too - I particularly loathe the gauntlet of panhandlers that stalk every intersection. The lights are very slow to change - I haven't timed it, but it seems to take at least a full minute to cycle, possibly longer - and it gives them enough time to walk up and down the lines of stopped cars and wave at every window.

And of course, the weirdest and most horrifying news stories lately seem to come out of Florida, so there's that...

2/08/2014 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger Christina M said...

South Florida is more a part of the Caribbean and South & Central America than the US. Broward County was the beginning of different country when we would drive north. There was almost nothing there except along the coastline. For me, everything north of Dade-County felt more like northern Florida and Georgia, and the people were very different. More country. More Southern accent. I have no accent at all. If you get a chance or the interest, check out Margorie Kinnan Rawlings' "Cross Creek. That's more what the rest of Florida was like when I was growing up. It was also more like what the Everglades was like too. I spent most of my free time in the Everglades, hunting for orchids and digging on indiam mounds; and on North Key Largo, helping my dad haul hardwoods out of the hammocks (which no longer exist, I think). The drug runners put an end to our rambling in the hammocks and mangroves. It became too dangerous. I once loved southern Florida so much that I thought I could never live anywhere else. I think some of my bitterness is heartbreak.

2/08/2014 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger Christina M said...

I always wondered why I was so terrified of letting the boys out of my sight, when they were smaller. I finally tracked it down to the Adam Walsh story. That's what started the fear, and it lodge deep in my unconscious.

2/08/2014 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger Christina M said...

Wait. Let me guess. It was the face-eating naked guy hopped up on bath salts. *shudder*

2/08/2014 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

That, and so much more. In fact, I think there was another case of naked face-eating in the past couple of weeks that couldn't be blamed on bath salts. But almost any scan of Drudge headlines these days has something awful from Florida. And yeah, I worry about my kids as they get older because this place seems to be a haven for pedophiles.

2/08/2014 09:45:00 AM  
Blogger Christina M said...

The pedophiles are everywhere. It's a crime and a travesty that they are released out into the unsuspecting public.

Son #2 was named after a family friend who was the medical examiner for Broward County. I have seen and heard things that would curl your hair.

But we have the same thing here too, in rural, Bible Belt, God-fearing Tennessee.

Same dangers in my little village in Germany.

People wonder why moms don't let their kids ramble and play outside all day anymore. There's the biggest reason right there.

2/08/2014 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

True enough, they are everywhere; same as it ever was. If anything, I suspect it probably happens somewhat less these days, it's just that when it does it usually makes for big news. Also, as ever, it's most likely to happen with family and close friends; in my experience, that's a factor of being careful about who you let into your home, and paying attention when you sense that something is off.

2/08/2014 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger Christina M said...

Julie: "that's a factor of being careful about who you let into your home, and paying attention when you sense that something is off."

So very true. There came a day when my husband saw firsthand that my internal warning system was extremely accurate. I won't let those people in my house and I will not let my kids go into their houses. Even to the point of being rude. Sometimes it has been weeks or years later that I got confirmation I was right.

2/08/2014 03:35:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

[guess where?]

2/09/2014 05:35:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Oh, good grief. Thank goodness it's a big county; I've never heard of Oakland Park before. I like how his lawyer says, "she doesn't have any marks on her. He's a perfect gentleman!"

Just wow, dude.

2/09/2014 05:43:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

Joel Garreau says there are nine nations in North America: New England, Quebec, The Foundry, Dixie, The Breadbasket, The Empty Quarter, Mexamerica, and Ecotopia. That's eight. The ninth nation, called "The Islands," has Miami as its capital.

I always thought New Orleans was more in The Islands, too, but then, I've never been to Miami. Garreau says Henry Flagler (a pal of JD Rockefeller's) started to build a railway bridge between Key West and Havana. A hurricane wrecked the first forty-one miles in 1935.

Six of one, maybe.

2/10/2014 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

"But then it's as if the seed grows into a different plant."

I'll bet it feels that way for someone following one of the straight lines on the double inverted funnels picture. Start off going straight, and keep on the straight and narrow, and suddenly you're plunged down into the depths, swung back around rising up and back to where you started from. What a Trip. Weird.

2/11/2014 05:15:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Julie said "True enough, they are everywhere; same as it ever was."

There have always been vampires and werewolves, sometimes they get pushed away into the shadows until people mistake not visible, got absence, and then they're back.

Dana Loesch used to do a bit on her radio show, once a week, called "Florida man!", of bizarre, lol scary stupid news clips from Florida.

Now she does them daily.

2/11/2014 05:40:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

argh:"got absence"->"for absence"

2/11/2014 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger hpoitiers said...

Consider the Riemann sphere, evincing symmetry but with 'circles' which are not static, do not close on themselves, a marvelously apt figure of the infinite in the world, incarnate, both within reach and not; 'not yet, and yet already.'

2/12/2014 09:16:00 PM  

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