Wednesday, April 29, 2015

When Your Outside is In and Your Inside is Out

Following up with yesterday's post, it reminds me of what the Raccoon Fathers used to say: if a miracle can happen in your head, of all places, then one can happen anywhere. But since man specializes in transforming the miraculous into the mundane, he ends up with the opposite: as above, so below, and as inside, so outside. In other words, the vertical is first flattened and then projected, so man is imprisoned in his own mayateriality.

Therefore, if your inside is, say, quantitative, or hysterical, or predictable, or liberal, don't be surprised if your outside is too. Likewise, if you don't acknowledge God, don't be surprised if he doesn't acknowledge you. I can understand being stupid, but why be so proud of it? Then your stupidity goes from being treatable to fatal.

Look at Obama, trying to blame the riots (the exterior) on "Republicans" (the obsessively hated fantasy object of his impoverished interior life). I don't know if it's fatal stupidity or fatal cynicism, but either way, it renders him dead from the neck up and the skull in. And it just reinforces the pathological mindset of such baltimorons, who will do whatever liberals tell them -- implicitly or explicitly -- to do.

Odd that the soulless Obama should tell us we need to do some soul searching. And when I say "soulless," I am again referring to his turning his world inside out and then calling his crystalized delusions "reality." But this is what liberals do. Which I wouldn't mind if they didn't try to force the rest of us to live amidst their ruinous delusions and negotiate through their nasty psychopolitical dreamscape.

Hmm. I wonder if I'm already falling under the influence of Henry Corbin, about whom I am reading a book called World Turned Inside Out? He was a Sufi mystic and scholar, but -- similar to Schuon -- much more than that.

From what I've read thus far, he's uncategorizable, and apparently, often incomprehensible. I don't yet know what to think -- for which reason I have removed him from the sidebar list of coming attractors -- and yet, there is much that is ringing the old interior bell.

In fact, when the bell rings, it is often because the thought occurs to me: "Aha! So this is what I've been doing for the past two decades! Or maybe Corbin was just doing what I am doing, but calling it something else. In other words, maybe he's a Raccoon and not a Sufi.

Than again, as Schuon says, maybe you need the clothing -- the exterior form -- to manifest the formless, just as, say, in the pathological sense, the liberal needs angry and miserable rioters in order to manifest and justify his liberalism. Likewise, no one needs racism more than the race pimps of the left, just as no one needs "rape culture" more than shrill and unattractive women.

Hold on, sharp turn. What is the liberal projecting -- what is he seeing -- when he hallucinates this thing called "homosexual marriage," a thing which has never existed and which cannot exist? This is not a knock on homosexuals, mind you. They exist, to be sure, and for more reasons than one. It is just that they cannot enter a state of marriage. They can no doubt enter other states, and I will even stipulate that they can enter states from which heterosexuals are excluded. But why pretend they are the same?

As it so happens, our next chapter in Schindler is on the subject of theology, gender, and the future or western civilization. For if civilization is the exteriorization of an interior, then we've already lost it, for it is just a matter of time before the exterior matches the interior of perhaps the most spiritually impoverished generation(s) in American history. Millennials are poised to impose the benefits of their abject spiritual vacuity on the rest of us by overturning the order of the trimodal soul.

For this question "cut(s) to the very heart of Christian faith and to the very foundations of human civilization." Note again that the civilization we have built -- the exterior -- is only the projection of an interior. This naturally involves the meaning of gender, "for gender implicates... our basic view of the world (ontology), and indeed our entire way of life (spirituality)."

Ironic, isn't it, that the left treats gender as the Most Important Thing In The World (along with race), and yet, utterly trivializes it. We agree on the importance, except the importance is a consequence of anterior principles as opposed to posterior ideology.

As we have discussed in the past, God creates human beings in his image, and (therefore) simultaneously male-and-female. Male-and-female "is" the (or an) image of God; in particular it is an icon of the Trinity, which redounds to the sanctity of marriage -- the very sanctity homosexuals wish to misappropriate.

Sanctity involves a flow of energies from one world to the next -- like the sunrise discussed in yesterday's post, someone has to be there to receive it. Any sacrament is like a window, or a transparency, between this world and the one(s) above.

Just as God's radical relativity (i.e., his tripersonal life) is not a deficit but a perfection, "the gender difference is thus a perfection, and this perfection is somehow inscribed in the very being of man and woman as created."

Deny this ontological fact, and you are setting yourself up for misery, because it is miserable to live at odds with reality. You will either be miserable, like a self-disempowered liberal, or create misery, like a liberal with power.

I don't know, perhaps "tradition" is partly to blame for regarding the feminine as some sort of deficit, or like "masculinity minus x." However, I think it is more due to fallen human nature, which infects everything, including religion. But it is also partly due to the exigencies of human development, in which the male, in order to be one, must declare his independence from Mother, even while having to return to the realm of the feminine in order to find mature love. There are glandmines everywhere!

As a consequence, the subterranean world of Mother Love can be more or less conflated with the realm of Sexual Love, resulting in a whole rainbow of pathology. Back before it was against the law to say so, homosexual impulses could often be illuminated in this developmental context. I mean, if heterosexuals can be sexually neurotic, why can't homosexuals be? Duh! For the same reason blacks can't be racist.

In reality, both masculinity and femininity are "perfections" in the platonic sense. When we tell a boy to "be a man," we mean that quite literally. And when we tell a woman to act like one, we are not being figurative, let alone sexist.

And critically, male and female can only achieve their perfection in union with each other (we will leave to the side people who for one reason or another are "solitaries" and who must achieve this same union on an interior basis). This goes to John Paul II's theology of the gift, whereby "love in all of its purity is not only a pouring forth but a receiving and giving back," in a metacosmic spiral of exteriorization and interiorization.

We could say that this goes to receptivity (feminine) and activity (masculine), so long as we stipulate that (as alluded to in yesterday's post) there is an active passivity at one end, and receptive activity at the other, and that these always interpenetrate; like the Trinity, they can be separated but not divided, or they could never be brought together. In other words, there is a deep interior unity beneath the fruitful and generative "polarity," symbolized of course by the (divine) child.

Note that there is nothing "passive" about the Son, even though (or especially because) he is the quintessence of receptivity. Furthermore, "the Father, who allows himself to be conditioned in return in his begetting and spirating, himself has a (supra-)feminine dimension."

Therefore, "God, precisely in the 'masculine' activity whereby he creates the world, allows himself to be 'affected by' the world; and he remains present within the world he creates. It is for this reason that Balthasar says that 'God's relation to the world is not only masculine... but womb-like and feminine...'" There is a fullness of both generativity and receptivity, and if it's good enough for them three, it should be good enough for us.


Blogger Rick said...

"I don't know, perhaps "tradition" is partly to blame for regarding the feminine as some sort of deficit, or like "masculinity minus x."

How about this: there was a deficit in Adam and it could not be seen until fulfilled by Eve. Prior, she could only be felt as a longing in Adam for something that was "not there". In this sense, she "stands for what is missing" in Man and calls it out. This means she is not less than Adam but "as important as" and to each other.

Then the serpent sold them a vacuum cleaner.

4/29/2015 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Ah, that goes to one of Corbin's main principles, that man renders himself absent to the presence. We will no doubt cover that subject later in the week, if not later.

4/29/2015 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger swiftone said...

When your outside is in.... You become a Klein bottle, and a warning to those with eyes to see.

4/29/2015 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

So much food for thought in today's post.

I don't know, perhaps "tradition" is partly to blame for regarding the feminine as some sort of deficit, or like "masculinity minus x." However, I think it is more due to fallen human nature, which infects everything, including religion.

That's one thing I think makes it difficult to battle the extremes of leftwing thought. At first, they weren't insane. Feminism really did make things better for women, not just in the workplace but in the areas of sexual harassment, etc. Environmentalism, in the sense of trying to reduce pollution, littering, and waste, really did help to clean up the air in some areas and make things nicer and safer. The trouble is, the leftists didn't know when to quit, and now they're pretty much just crazy. And determined to win converts.

4/29/2015 01:33:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Something about Corbin's exteriorization of interiority vs. interiorization of exterior probably explains the difference. His thought sure is convoluted. Provocative but convoluted. I'll definitely need to translate it into plain coonspeak.

4/29/2015 01:48:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Exteriorization of interiority: by their fruits shall ye know them. Also, brings to mind how we can get a feel for people not only by the way they present themselves, but also by seeing someone's home or getting a glimpse of their family life, etc.

Interiorization of exterior: conversely, we are what we eat, more or less. The dietary restrictions placed on the Jews come to mind. But also the truism that it isn't what one consumes that defiles one.

Very interesting topics...

4/29/2015 01:56:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I have to take a break from Corbin every 10 minutes or so. Requires concentration to be cranked up to Stun.

I just read a passage and wrote in the margin that I need to follow up on it, because it reminds me of Christopher Alexander.

Then I look down and there's a footnote: "The architect Christopher Alexander calls this Presence 'the Quality without a name.'" At which point I let out an audible gasp. It's been that kind of book. Keeps connecting with things we've just recently discussed.

4/29/2015 01:58:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Very cool.

Do we have the gnomes of Amazon to thank for this one? If so, it seems that targeted marketing isn't purely a bad thing.

4/29/2015 02:00:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

The Quality without a name is the celestial presence through which we are promoted to full personhood, FYI. It's safe to say the baltimorons don't know about it. In other words, to turn away from the presence is pretty much to cash in your humanness.

4/29/2015 02:02:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I don't remember how it fell into my hands. I blame the Presence, through whom it was inevitable.

Even though I am uncomfortable with the whole Islam thing. But he trained under the great Catholic philosopher Etienne Gilson, and again, he seems more expansive than any system he uses to explicate his ideas. What I'm looking for is resonance with Raccoon doctrine -- places where he can illuminate and deepen or even just vouch for our view.

4/29/2015 02:05:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

There are some truly stunning passages in this book. Corbin is openly (upper case) Gnostic, however, and I guess that's part of my ambivalence. In any event, I don't think I've read anything this Out There since the Gnosis trilogy by Boris Mouravieff. He's like Schuon on LSD.

4/29/2015 02:36:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

See, my amazon advisor is starting to point me to books by this person. Such a fine line!

4/29/2015 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

And now Big Data is suddenly showing me scientology ads in my sidebar.

4/29/2015 02:57:00 PM  
Blogger Portraits Plus Art said...

I Wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your writing. I have to work at it, but you give me a lot to think about. If you had a "like" button I would push it for all your articles. On a lighter note I have what I consider the perfect song for your title "inside out and outside in" as it applies to Obama World...

4/29/2015 03:23:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Re. Corbin and the Islam thing, didn't Schuon start out Catholic as well? On the one hand, I don't really understand why a great mind would go from the latter to the former, but on the other maybe the Catholic background acts as a sort of leaven which keeps people from losing their minds to Allah. Or something.

Re. the link, too funny. Depending on who writes the wiki, being described as a "batshit insane blogger and crank" might actually be a compliment. But the Scientology is definitely taking things too far.

4/29/2015 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Hi, Portraits Plus Art. Funny moniker, but good choice on the music.

4/29/2015 03:51:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I was just reading in a preview of this book (see chapter 9) how there was a whole generation of European thinkers who violently rejected Catholicism, and corollary of the rejection seems to have been an embrace of the far-flung and exotic, as in the cases of Corbin and Schuon -- similar to how so many Americans turned to Zen and Yoga in the 1960s. Interestingly, this is like a mirror image of all the Anglo-intellectuals such as Eliot, Lewis, and Chesterton, who did the opposite and embraced orthodoxy.

To a certain extent I might sympathize with the rejection of pre-Vatican II Catholicism, which had become pretty stale and constricted. But a whole movement of intellectual and spiritual renewal was taking place under the surface, culminating in Popes JP & Benedict.

4/29/2015 04:04:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I was actually thinking of that song by the Wilbury's, as well as this one by the Beatles.

4/29/2015 04:07:00 PM  
Anonymous B Ambrose said...

Hi Julie, I love the Wilburys. Don't know what happened with the name. Was trying to put in my Google+ name of +B Ambrose. Trying again.

4/29/2015 04:29:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Ironically, Corbin lived in Iran for the last 30 or 40 years of his life, under the special protection of the, ahem, western-supported Shah. Then he died like a month or two prior to the Islamic revolution. As such, he never really got to see unalloyed Islam up close!

4/29/2015 04:35:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

In order to do that, he would have had to return to his homeland, France, where the Ayatollah had been hanging out.

4/29/2015 04:36:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Interesting about the various in- and out-flows of Catholicism. I was talking to someone today who mentioned that she was raised Catholic, but left it because she never felt that she knew her faith; just showed up and recited the same words at Mass every week (apparently, she never noticed the minimum of three Bible passages being read during each service...). Said she never knew Jonah was swallowed by a whale until she became friends with some Evangelicals who named their kid Jonah. I think there are a lot of people like that, actually, which is a shame because even just a little study reveals so much depth.

4/29/2015 04:43:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

A big part of Vatican II was to get the laity much more involved in catechesis and other functions, instead of just relying on the priesthood. It's like diabetes. You need a doctor, but if you rely on him to manage it, then you'll REALLY need a doctor.

4/29/2015 05:09:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...


4/29/2015 05:15:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Sanctity involves a flow of energies from one world to the next ...

And it reminds us of the necessary polarity of male-female. Next thing you know they'll be calling batteries sexist.

The other thing it brought to mind was that the left is really, really mired in appearances and forms and could care less about essence or whatever you want to call it. To the extent that they have a philosophy, it is pure pragmaticism. No wonder they are so incredibly boring.

4/29/2015 05:43:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes: depth is banished up front. When you eliminate the Nonlocal Presence, you are forever going to be persecuted by its absence.

4/29/2015 08:58:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Look at Obama, trying to blame the riots (the exterior) on "Republicans" (the obsessively hated fantasy object of his impoverished interior life). I don't know if it's fatal stupidity or fatal cynicism, but either way, it renders him dead from the neck up and the skull in. And it just reinforces the pathological mindset of such baltimorons, who will do whatever liberals tell them -- implicitly or explicitly -- to do."

Aye, and on cue, leftists are now screaming about how BaltiMore needs more money. Afterall, it's racist not to invest in neighborHoods that are prone to riot.

Indeed, after all the trigger words leftist leaders like to use it's no wonder when their fine, upstanding constituents pull the trigger.

4/30/2015 05:22:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Random question:
What does Christianity lack that Islam provides?
(positive things, I mean)

5/01/2015 05:10:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Bonus wives.

5/01/2015 07:20:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Oh, you said positive....

Or as a happily married Christian friend said, "Imagine trying to keep two wives happy."

5/01/2015 07:23:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...


Though I suppose for much of Islam, they think it should work the other way around.

Anyway, to Rick's first question I wonder if it could be more accurately asked what Catholicism lacked - and why did they not consider Orthodoxy instead?

5/01/2015 07:28:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I think it's the whole oikophobia thing that often animates elites.

5/01/2015 07:31:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I used to have it myself. Among other things, it's a way to set oneself apart from and above the masses. But as the country drifts more and more leftward, now the masses are becoming oikophobic too. I remember back in the 1980s, I subscribed to such far left publications as the Nation, Mother Jones, and Dissent. But now the mass liberal media is just as oikophobic as those rags.

5/01/2015 07:38:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Well, I guess I really should ask Schuon. Though I don't know if he actually converted from one to the other (did he?), he must have found something in Islam that Christianity did not have. He was "in it" enough to know, I would think. Or am I way off base, and his interest in one and the other simple an interest in what they had in common?

As much as I know about it, it seems Islam is based on the OT + NT, but then becomes something beyond that foundation (which seems to indicated the Gospels (Christ) did not say everything which needed to be said.
And if so, what is it?
What does Schuon got that we haven't got?

5/01/2015 07:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Tin Man said...


5/01/2015 07:53:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I've read quite a bit about Schuon's attitude, and he says that he chose Islam for "tactical" reasons, so to speak, in that there is no tradition in western Christianity for the authorization of an independent spiritual teacher. Rather, that line of transmission supposedly runs through the apostles on down. He could always have been a protestant, but he would have seen that as an inappropriate usurpation as opposed to a legitimate transmission, i.e., a Mandate from Heaven. But he never renounced Christianity (far from it) and always situated himself in a higher metaphysical view. For him, religions were formal expression of a formless and universal truth. It's like any other language: "language as such" exists, but you still have to speak one particular language.

5/01/2015 08:00:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

As I've said, I am sympathetic to that view, the main difference being that I would situate that ultimate reality in the Trinity as opposed to the Nirguna Brahman of Vedanta.

5/01/2015 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

I wonder what he would say about the repellent aspects of it (the popular ones - scriptural passages, apparently - we've heard referenced many times by others).

5/01/2015 08:09:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Schuon remarked on the repellant aspects, especially in letters. I'm in the middle of a post, so not much time, but another of his mistakes was the belief in a cyclical world in which time = degeneration. Therefore, there are degenerative forms of Islam, whereas Schuon, being a Sufi, was part of the remnant holding on to its legitimate form. Of course, there is no historical truth to this, but Schuon never allowed history get in the way of his metaphysic. Nor does Corbin, for that matter.

5/01/2015 08:25:00 AM  

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