Middle Earth and the Cosmic Palace
Again, there is the empirical/material world we encounter via sensation, and the intelligible world we negotiate via math and reason. In between is the imaginal world where vision, gnosis, theophanies, and other *interesting* phenomena take place. Just as the physical world is disclosed by (and clothed in) our senses, the imaginal world comes to us in the form or our religious sensibilities (in image, myth, archetype, etc).
This is really quite similar in structure to how Polanyi envisions science. One of the points of his philosophy is to demonstrate that the ideal of strict objectivity is an unrealizable abstraction, and that we can only know that from which we are not detached.
Rather, the object of knowledge emerges "only through our actual dwelling in its particulars," i.e., its subsidiary clues. There is no mechanical operation that can accomplish this. Rather, it requires a subject in order to dwell in and integrate the clues.
Yesterday I cited a few aphorisms that reflect this same approach, thus making for a surprising Polanyi-Dávila-Ibn Arabi nexus. Indeed, we might even surmise that if we dwell in all three long enough, perhaps a new reality will emerge from their joint integration, a la Polanyi.
Let's first dwell in a few more aphorisms. From an aesthetic experience one returns as from a sighting of numinous footprints. Or in other words, it is as if one has "touched" (or been touched by) the noumenal, which is clothed, as it were, in the art form. This is identical to how the imaginal works, in that, just as no one "sees" the realm of art as such, likewise no one sees God face-to-face. Rather, in both cases we have access to the forms which testify to the Formless.
Allusion is the only way to express what is intimate without distorting it. Allusion has a from-to structure, in that dwelling in the from gives access to an implicit and unstated to. This is precisely the structure of poetry, and why poetry reduced to prose generally becomes banal.
Ah, Nothing is more superficial than intelligences that comprehend everything. Such an intelligence consists of explicit knowledge only. It points to nothing and nowhere; it is enclosed within itself, or rather, it is the precipitate or crystallization of a mind that has closed itself to reality. Consequentially it is both dead and endeadening. It is experience reduced to a dogma -- or scientism elevated to religion.
Related: Man believes he is lost among facts, when he is only caught in the web of his own definitions. Has this ever happened to you? It happens to stupid people, but may become aggravated in bright people like yourselves who are more capable of abstraction. They are perhaps capable of building a bigger prison, but it's a prison nonetheless.
There's a gag by Kierkegaard to the effect that the philosopher builds a beautiful palace but is condemned to live in the shack next door. This goes to the essential grandiosity of such factsimians, whose imaginative eyes are always bigger than their existential stomachs. There is a palace, but you can't reside there without God's Moving Company.
Speaking of which, Christianity does not solve "problems"; it merely obliges us to live them at a higher level. Or in a bigger house, as it were.
Nor does Christianity deny the splendor of the world, but rather invites us to search for its origin, to climb towards its pure snow.
That is straight-up Ibn Arabi, for it is "the world to which the ancient Sages alluded when they affirmed that beyond the sensory world there exists another universe with a contour and dimensions and extension in space, although this is not comparable with the shape and spatiality as we perceive them in the world of physical bodies."
It is not that this higher world is "in" the lower, rather, the converse. The ontological direction -- involution you might say -- runs from imaginal, to rational, to empirical.
And that is all we have time for this morning.