We Don't Need Your Stinking Creativity!
Back to the topic at hand, which is the convertibility of love and logos. In a footnote that could have been clearer, Schindler adverts to this "convertibility of order and love in Jesus Christ," which is in turn "revelatory of the circumincession of order and love in the Trinity..."
perichoresis, which you might say is the interior dance of the three Persons; but the whole thing is fractal, in that the same threeness is present in each one, so it must look like... I don't know, like a dancing trinitarian fractal:
If I understand him correctly, Schindler is saying that this circumincession of love and order in the Trinity is the "primary analogue" for what we experience as beauty herebelow. To reduce it to a mathematical equation, we might say that personal order (i.e., the ordered subject) + divine love = beauty.
But that's all Schindler says about it, so we're left wanting a little more.
Help us out, Schuon!
"Art is the quest for -- and the revelation of -- the center, within us as well as around us."
We might say that it is an exteriorization of an order that transcends us, thus a kind of immanent ordering of spirit-love. In this way we imitate the creativity of the Creator -- in whom, I might add, the two cannot be separated. In other words, even more than "doing" creation, the Creator is creation. Or, he is what he does, and vice versa.
Schuon even says so in that peculiar way of his: "The essential function of sacred art is to transfer Substance, which is both one and inexhaustible, into the world of accident and to bring the accidental consciousness back to Substance.
"One could say also that sacred art transposes Being to the world of existence, of action or of becoming, or that it transposes in a certain way the Infinite to the world of the finite, or Essence to the world of forms; it thereby suggests a continuity proceeding from the one to the other, a way starting from appearance or accident and opening onto Substance or its celestial reverberations."
What this suggests is that "the man" Jesus is a kind of divine art, such that he is -- or in him is -- a continuous "transfer" of the divine beauty into our terrestrial order (and "personal order," quintessentially), for the purpose of raising that order into the divine beauty.
Yesterday we spoke of the divine attraction, of how "God is not force but attraction (to beauty and truth), persuasion, surrender-in-freedom. Or one might say that love is his force."
Therefore, we are (at least) equally attracted to the beauty as to the truth of Christ, and both paths are equally valid. Apparently this has become a controversial idea as a result of the iconoclastic tendencies of the protestant movement, but truth without beauty is... letter without spirit, light without warmth, absolute without infinite, particle without wave, etc.
So, "Art has a function that is both magical and spiritual: magical, it renders present principles, powers and also things that it attracts by virtue of a 'sympathetic magic'; spiritual, it exteriorizes truths and beauties in view of our interiorization, of our return to the 'kingdom of God that is within you'" (Schuon).
Right? In the book, I symbolize this sympathetic magic with the squiggly equal sign (≈). It can only take place between persons -- which doesn't mean that it cannot take place between you and an "inanimate" object.
What it means is that certain so-called inanimate objects -- works of genuine art -- have this effect on us because they communicate person, specifically, the Divine Person. We could say the same of the supernatural beauties of nature. Otherwise, how did they get here? These beauties are interior-to-interior communication, and ultimately person(s)-to-person(s).
Schuon kind of agrees that art is "a means of expression" of our personality, "a movement from ourselves to ourselves, or from the immanent Self to transcendent Being" and back again. The exteriorized work of art is like the contrail, or tracks left behind and below from this encounter(ing).
Which goes to why modern art is generally so deficient, because it fails to begin in reception, but rather, is mired in a promethean creativity that presumes to cut itself off from the very source of beauty. How stupid is that? Thus, it is a repetition of the Fall, only transposed to the key of art.
Again, Schuon kind of agrees, even though I'm thinking this through independently: "The modern conception of art is false insofar as it puts creative imagination – or even simply the impulse to create -- in the place of... an objective and spiritual" encounter.
In other words, we don't need your stinking creativity if it merely emerges from the abyss of your own festering sinkhole of inappropriate self-regard. For "profane art," as Schuon observes, "exists only for man and by that very fact betrays him." "Art for art's sake" is cosmic treason.
In reality, "beauty stems from the Divine Love, this Love being the will to deploy itself and to give itself, to realize itself in 'another'; thus it is that 'God created the world by love'" (Schuon).
And yes, cartesian dualism undermines all of the above, and leads directly to the grotesquely ugly world of contemporary liberalism. Schindler explains how:
"Liberalism's intended priority of method over content and its purely formal procedures entail a mechanizing of order and a 'subjectivizing' of love, thus involving us in the end in nothing less than an obstruction to holiness" and exclusion from the eternal perichoresis of order and love.
But -- and this is the good news -- nothing obligates us to participate in this cosmic inversion. At least so long as we can evade the Cake Nazis.