I Dream of Gagdad, Gagdad Dreams of Madonna
Hmm. Last night I was interrogating Madonna. In my dreams! No, really, in my dreams. I blame Drudge's headline that she had FALLEN HARD during a recent performance. In the dream she stuck out a leg and tried to trip me as I walked past her in the course of my cross examination. I jokingly raised the back of my hand toward her, and she smiled.
I remember about twenty years ago, reading something about a book that collected people's dreams of Madonna. Turns out I wasn't dreaming: I Dream of Madonna: Women's Dreams of the Goddess of Pop. Rather, a nightmare: "Lustily [?] conceived like a Dada art object... the dreams of fifty women reveal their nocturnal encounters -- by turns moving, bizarre, and erotic -- with the Material Girl and are accompanied by original collages that help illustrate the dreams."
Good news for me: the authors argue that Madonna has invaded our collective psyche "as a symbol of fearlessness, sexuality free of shame, and self-realization." So I got that going for me.
However, I'm not sure that shamelessness and self-realization covary. Indeed, if I were a psychologist, I might venture to say that exhibitionism is a primitive defense mechanism against shame.
I don't know if I have sufficient fearlessness to check out the reviews; or, if I can handle the vicarious shame. But I will summon my inner Madonna and forge ahead anyway!
Proving that a man with a Ph.D. in anything other than a hard science is 1) easy to obtain, and 2) hard on the rest of us, Dr. Trivino says the book "captures the inner perspective of so many devotees to this pop icon," leaving "no taboo unturned and yet expos[ing] an innocence of a different time.... The dreams and devotionals in this book will make you want to pull out your Madonna tunes and celebrate the angst of a time when anything was possible."
Celebrate the angst of a time when anything was possible. Except angstlessness, I guess.
Another so-called man writes that "in a world where traditional spiritual & mythic images have lost much of their power for so many people, new ones arise to fulfill the same function. And why not a figure like Madonna, who embodies sexuality, creativity, individuality, and the spiritual through her songs & ever-changing public persona?"
Really? Why not? Why not build a religion out of Madonna? It's like he's never even heard of Obama.
Here's a thought. Given how easy it is to end up in someone's dream, I'll bet you anything that more than one of you has had a dream in which I appeared. Next time it happens, leave an anonymous comment describing it. Eventually we'll have sufficient material to produce a book called I Dream of Gagdad: Raccoon Dreams of the Titan of the Internet.
Okay, back to the ? at hand. Schuon actually draws a distinction between the Absolute and God, suggesting that the former "has no interlocutor." Rather, he is eternally all by his (l)onesome.
First of all,
Second, I think I've caught Schuon in a rare contradiction, for he writes that "God is Divinity that personalizes itself in view of man," thus becoming "a partner or interlocutor" with us.
Excuse me, but "personalizes itself?" Isn't that a soph-tautology? For what is a self if not a person? In the Christian view, the OneGod is person, or, more to the point, three persons, for there can be no person -- or self -- without the other. Self-and-other are built into God, or rather, vice versa (same difference). There is no prior non-personal something that needs to somehow personalize itself.
Having said that, is it possible that there is something of the non-personal in God? Or better, how do we account for the millions of souls who not only claim that ultimate reality is impersonal, but have had the experience?
I would suggest that what they have actually experienced is anOther side of their own selves; note that this is a side, not the ground, for the ground is divine personhood.
However, I am of the belief that there must be a "dark side," so to speak, of this personhood, otherwise eternity would be a very tedious place.
In other words, surprise, creativity, novelty, etc., all emanate from this dark side, or rather, from the complementary and fruitful play of the divine persons. If "other" is built into God, then it is also built into us. As such, it is incorrect to suggest that creativity is an outcome of our engagement with some unconscious cauldron of primordial urges and instincts.
Rather, creativity results from our own trinitarian nature. It is very much as if there is another person or two down there. To cite one particularly obvious example, our Dreamer is not the same as our conscious self, and yet, it clearly behaves like a very creative, perceptive, and even weird person. It wasn't me who inserted Madonna in my dream, but there she was.
To be continued...