Friday, December 12, 2014

The Manifestival of Lights and the Divine Clueprint

In The River of Light, Kushner mentions several enduring themes that animate him, including "the name of God, the life of the first Jew, the primordial human archetype, the nature of consciousness, the relationship of self to God," and, most importantly, how these "are all interrelated to one another."

For him, finding the rug that pulls all these areas together would constitute "a 'unified field theory' for Jewish theology." But it seems to me that such a cosmic area rug would also look pretty good in a non-kosher household.

The name of God? Let's start with I AM. And it seems to me that the life of the first Jew is the life of every Jew: slavery, exodus, liberation, redemption, especially vertically. The primordial human archetype? This is largely revealed in scripture, especially Genesis, i.e., the themes and motifs that define, limit and deform the human journey. The nature of consciousness? This, as we have said, must be relationship, so "relationship of self to God" is its ultimate foundational goround.

To paraphrase Schuon, to say man is to say God. To not say God is to render man impossible. So we are back to "the name of God"-- a name we (as humans) uniquely share with him, and only because of him: I AM. Or, you could say we share it in him.

Now, the life of the first Jew is the life of every Jew, and this involves "a journey that is nothing less than the evolution of consciousness." I almost hate to say that because of the new age connotations, but we cannot allow the improper use of something to define its proper use.

The only alternatives to this evolution are stasis, meaningless lateral translations, or entropy and dissolution. Evolution is strictly impossible in the absence of God, the divine telos, otherwise it's just change.

For the strictly materialistic scientist, evolution must be the most miraculous and inexplicable phenomenon imaginable. Truly, such a misosophy can only pretend to understand or explain it. But because God is, evolution must be. God has a "gravitational attraction," or maybe you haven't gnosissed.

You just have to get in your right mind. Or at least leave your left behind once in awhile. For just as the eyes dominate the senses, the left cerebral hemisphere tends to bully the right.

So here's a tip: "By reading holy literature as if it were a dream, we gain access to a primary mode of our collective unconscious." For us -- the West brain -- the Bible "is an entrance to the cave," into "the great dream of Western religion."

We don't sleep. We dream. Then we awaken to a collective hallucination. What, you don't read the news? Worse, we awaken to history, which is a chronicle of the hallucinations of the past.

For example, I just read a 700 page biography of Stalin. Here was a man at the center of world history, and yet, the book could hardly be more tedious, because it is just the elaboration of one self-enclosed collective hallucination.

In contrast, a Washington or Lincoln are endlessly fascinating, because theirs is an encounter and a journey -- a dream -- of an entirely different sort. Oh, if only there weren't this organized mob trying to kill our ontological dream and replace it with the hallucination, the lucid nightmare, of the left!

Remember -- I'm sure you do -- in the book, where we spoke of the banged-out and thunder-sundered images of the One? Along these obscure lines, Kushner writes that scripture "seeks to join the fragments of one's life into a greater unity of meaning."

Yes, there is brokenness. But a part of us understands that this is a consequence of something, and retains the memory of wholeness. Where is it? O, above my head! It is Too old, older than Abraham, too young, young as a babe's I AM! For it is where origin and destiny meet in the muddle of the mount, right here, right now, even if only for a moment?!

Adamnesia is aphasia go through on the way to re-collection. Thus, there is a "primordial human form" in whom we all part-icipate. As alluded to above, the first Jew and the last Jew are as if linked by a thread -- or maybe a river of light -- between Adam and Messiah: Adamessiadam...

There is secular history and the idiolatry of postmodern herstory, but we are speaking of the Ur-story, the primordial story of us all. In this Ur-story of scriptural dreaming, we are "given a vision of the inner workings of 'God's psyche,'" which is a clueprint to the outer workings of Life Itself. It is one huge mythunderstanding for which no one need apologize.

"[T]he Creator, too, returns again and again to that underlying pattern of being.... This is reality's dream. Holy literature. Organizing motif beneath the apparent surface....

"Creation is in us. The plan the Creator used reappears everywhere: from the most erudite contemporary cosmological theory to the opening sentences of Genesis, it is the same."

--> in the beginning I AM creates --> (and repent as necessary)

(Quoted material taken from River of Light: Jewish Mystical Awareness)

19 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

I'm starting to think I ought to get a copy of The River of Light, unless someone else has done it for me.

I was about to reread Honey from the Rock, but of course it is nowhere to be found. Must have dropped it in a portal to someone/where/when else by accident.

12/12/2014 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

"Adamnesia is aphasia go through on the way to re-collection."

Boom.

12/12/2014 09:45:00 AM  
Blogger Paul Griffin said...

Evolution is strictly impossible in the absence of God, the divine telos, otherwise it's just change.

John Wright's latest book of short stories, The Book of Feasts and Seasons, has a very short story that centers around this idea, wherein a girl is abducted (well, she might argue with that description) by aliens and taken to a planet where evolution has proceeded without direction or purpose. It is full of trees with eyes on their roots, and whose trunks are too weak to hold their weight. She is surrounded by animals with legs on one side of their body, completely unable to move themselves and wriggling helplessly. Some are equipped with teeth growing randomly out of their skin instead of inside their mouths, rendering them useless. And so on.

He is careful to depict things that we take for granted and show that they all are directed toward something, have a purpose and a design, and are worthless when taken outside of their proper context by "random change." That he manages this in only a few pages makes for powerful writing.

12/12/2014 09:53:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

This is too funny not to share:
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/12/stand-with-hillary-the-remy-sequel.php?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+powerlineblog%2Flivefeed+%28Power+Line%29

12/12/2014 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Evolution is strictly impossible in the absence of God, the divine telos, otherwise it's just change."

By Design. Funny how the word design sets off the howler monkeys of scientism.
Especially with all the evidence to support it.

I haven't seen one iota of evidence that evolution is random chance cookedup by fate de jour.

12/12/2014 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Now, the life of the first Jew is the life of every Jew, and this involves "a journey that is nothing less than the evolution of consciousness." I almost hate to say that because of the new age connotations, but we cannot allow the improper use of something to define its proper use."

I heartily cooncur, B'ob. Besides, you use that phrase in the kosher sense.

12/12/2014 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"You just have to get in your right mind. Or at least leave your left behind once in awhile. For just as the eyes dominate the senses, the left cerebral hemisphere tends to bully the right."

Aye, it's always about them and their ludicrous theories rather than the truth.
To them, that's progress when in reality there is no progress without God.

12/12/2014 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Yes, there is brokenness. But a part of us understands that this is a consequence of something, and retains the memory of wholeness. Where is it? O, above my head! It is Too old, older than Abraham, too young, young as a babe's I AM! For it is where origin and destiny meet in the muddle of the mount, right here, right now, even if only for a moment?!"

Holy O'ley! That's a boat of Lighting right there!

12/12/2014 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"--> in the beginning I AM creates --> (and repent as necessary)."

And these colors don't run because God uses All.

12/12/2014 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Boom goes the dynamite, indeed.

Sometimes I think that fractured nature of Protestantism with each little group waving their little fragment may be as much a feature as a bug. The idea of reading the Bible "as if if were a dream" means that we are each going to draw out our interpretation.

In one sense, that's dangerous as with the new age/new thought folks, but I can't help thinking God's in that somehow. Almost as if He wants to know what we think about it.

12/12/2014 01:16:00 PM  
Anonymous neal said...

For the very shiny, covering up for purposes of demure, and respect. That can be just one thread.
Maybe pull the other one.
Lots of one, not so much for the other.

Choose, or not. It is different when that does not matter.

I hear the coyotes out here in the high lonely places.
They get the moon, and the other stuff after dawn.

They should wirite it down, but all they do is follow around, and live it. Some get to be dogs.

No one much gets them either, and they do not mind so much, being patient and all.

12/12/2014 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Neal, Could you please translate? :)

12/12/2014 05:54:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Perhaps the ebonics translator can help:

Yo fo' da very shiny, covering up fo' purposes o' demure, an' respect. dat can be just one thread. Maybe pull da other one. Lots o' one, not so much fo' da other. Choose, or not. It iz different when dat do not matter. ah hear da coyotes out here in da high lonely places. dey git da moon, an' da other sheeit afta dawn. dey should write it down, but all dey do iz follow around, an' live it. Some git ta be dogs. nahh one much gets dem either, an' dey do not mind so much, being patient an' all Jus' like Orenthawl James.

12/12/2014 06:02:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Interesting review of a book on the necessity of esoteric writing back when telling the unvarnished truth would get you killed instead of just fired by the politically correct.

12/12/2014 06:58:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Interesting. It reminds me of a Heinlein story where the US was invaded by China; the invaders were foiled in part by the American resistance's use of esoteric slang disguised as religious proselytizing.

Re. the danger of speaking the truth, I'd guess if you spoke up in certain parts of the country, or in the midst of a particular flavor of protests, you may very well be risking life and limb...

12/12/2014 07:56:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

I speak jive.

12/12/2014 08:30:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

There are people who think the book of the Revelation was written "in code" for that reason. I do know it's not a timeline for the Rapture and Second Coming. But I think it's like a zip file. They had to make it esoteric for the sake of compactness.

12/12/2014 08:38:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Julie, that's true. People of all colors need to be aware of the threat of Obama endorsed black supremacists, be they gangs, nation of islam or just common street thugs posing as peaceful protesters.

12/13/2014 08:22:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

I always smile with grim delight when so many "science" programs speak of how a species self-creates through evolution; the whales evolved blowholes, the newts evolved eyes. They use it as a verb, as a voluntary action and not a result. It's subtle if one isn't paying attention. Which, of course, is what they're counting on.

12/15/2014 04:05:00 PM  

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