That is a perfect example of the very opposite of what we've been discussing for the past week or so: fusion as opposed to integration. The same proglodytes lump all religions together, as if Christianity and Islam "worship the same God."
Likewise, these vertically challenged spiritual dwarves conflate freedom and democracy, as if the latter somehow assures the former. (Remember when the press jumped all over Rumsfeld for suggesting that democracy is overrated?) But a Raccoon would much prefer to live in a monarchy with secure civil liberties than in a moonarchic 'batocracy in which our liberties exist at the pleasure and whims of the prince and the drooling mob that made him one.
Thus far we have covered the vertical integration of brainstem, midbrain, and frontal cortex; and the horizontal integration of left and right hemispheres. Siegel mentions several other biggies, such as memory, narrative, state (meaning temporary states of mind), interpersonal, temporal, and "transpirational" integration, the latter being the closest to what a Raccoon would regard as proper vertical integration, AKA the divine-human nexus.
We will get to all of these in due time, if ever, but over the weekend it occurred to me how compatible all of this is with one of our foundational texts, Meditations on the Tarot. Any Raccoon who hasn't read this book cover-to-cover at least twice probably isn't one. Why twice? Because by the end of the book you won't be the same person, so the second -- or third or fourth -- time around it will be a "new book" for this new man. Hello, noumena!
It's all as clear as day in Letter I, The Magician. Note that this arcanum is a fractal of all the others. In other words, while a "part" of the book, it contains the whole in essence. Therefore, the rest of the book will be a reworking of the same themes, just as in a symphony. I was just reading how old Beethoven would take "a piece of material, an idea," and transform it "into new passages that share an underlying essence but sound different." It "is a matter of contrast and diversity founded on unity and invention: fashioning many things from one thing."
Just so, we can say that the subsequent twenty one arcana are all "in" the first, for as our unKnown Friend says, the Magician is "the key to all the other Major Arcana."
First of all, what is an arcanum? It is a symbol -- an authentic symbol. Which is whatnow? Etymologically speaking, a symbol is something "thrown across." It is a means of getting from here to there -- in this case, a vertical there. As such, "they conceal and reveal their sense at one and the same time according to the depth of meditation." For which reason we invented the term reveil: any religious symbol reveils, meaning simply that it simultaneously veils and reveals (or, more to the point, veils so as to reveal).
This is similar, say, to a veil over a statue. But in the vertical world, without the veil we cannot perceive the underlying essence at all. You could say that we cannot "see" God, but we can certainly see his veils, more on which later. But there are two errors to avoid: trying to strip away the veils in order to see God directly, or elevating the veil to God. The former is barbarism (whether primitive or postmodern), the latter idolatry.
The arcana do not provide us with cutandry & wideawake answers, but rather, render "us fertile in our creative pursuits.... An arcanum, is a 'ferment' or an 'enzyme' whose presence stimulates the spiritual and the psychic life of man." As such, these symbols are what we call essential vertamins to aid in our spiritual metabolism.
In order to integrate and assimilate the influx of vertical forces, we must attain openness (o) and silence (---). Doing so involves being "one in oneself" so as to be "one with the spiritual world."
Now, to say "one" is to say integration. You could say that the spiritual life is essentially the exercise (or verticalisthenics) of practical unity, or of putting "unity into practice." That is, the Raccoon begins with "the basic unity of the natural world, the human world and the divine world." Indeed, without this prior unity, "no knowledge is conceivable." Period.
In short, "The tenet of the essential unity of all that exists precedes every act of knowledge, and every act of knowledge presupposes the tenet of the unity of the world." That latter is especially important, because to truly know anything is a key to the whole existentialada. Nothing would be knowable in the absence of this prior unity.
Having said that, we are again talking about a circular movement that begins in unity (or better, fusion), proceeds to differentiation, and returns to unity, only on a higher level (or in a higher key). It is precisely what the Poet means with that crack about rearriving to where we started and knowing it for the first time, or that metamagical transition from p. 266 to p. 6, AKA the endless riverrun to and from evenadam & backagain.
Think about that one once again: it takes one to know One. Or, it requires integration in order to approach the Source of integration. This implies, among other things, that our vision of God is a qualitative matter that varies with the integral width and depth of the subject.
How could this not be the case? Any perception or knowledge of God must be inflected through the human subject. An unintegrated subject is going to have a more or less narrow and/or shallow conception of God.
Think of the Islamists. How do they have such a dis-integrated conception of God? In a way, it is a perverse mirror image of Obama's undifferentiated, fusionist God. Both are primitive, but in different ways. For postmodernists such as Obama, they invert the words of the Poet by arriving where man started and not knowing it for the first time ever (since man has always known of God); this represents omnipotent ignorance upon omniscient stupidity, or tenure².
Our unKnown friend says some things that sound very much like what we said in the previous post about the integration of left and right hemispheres. In fact, he is saying the identical thing, only with a different vocabulary:
"The Magician [i.e., integrated person] represents the man who has attained harmony and equilibrium between the spontaneity of the unconscious [read: right hemisphere]... and the deliberate action of the conscious [left hemisphere]." Thus, "His state of consciousness is the synthesis of the conscious and unconscious" -- except to emphasize that this latter is not really "un-," but rather, quite oneconscious.
To be continued...