Wandering through God's Dreamscape
We've discussed this idea extensively in the past, but Corbin comes at it from a slightly different angel, speaking of "the revelation of God to man" as a theophany that is not only mirrored in man's conversion toward God, but is ultimately the same thing.
Or in other words, as hinted at in yesterday's post, a "religious conversion" takes place in the space where man turns toward God and God toward man, in a single embrace.
Which is why Corbin says that God appears in the form of our ability to comprehend him, even though God is still God and man still man. God is always "the same," and yet, necessarily different for each man, because God's sameness is a sameness-in-relationality, not substance.
Let me say that I am not necessarily advocoting this idea, just spontaneously interacting with the text. We shall see where it all leads as we proceed.
Corbin speaks of a "divine passion for man... motivating the 'conversion' of the divine being toward man," complementing a corresponding "sympathetic state in man, a state in which the divine pathos is revealed." You could say that we cannot know God except in the form of our response to God.
Which makes a lot of sense, if you think about it. For even straight-up scripture requires a response on our part; it is not soph-evident. Animals, for example, don't respond to it. Which implies that scripture is already God's response to man, in that it is in a form man can comprehend and assimilate. You know what they say: if English was good enough for Jesus, it ought to be good enough for us.
The response on our end "depends on the degree to which man renders himself 'capable of God,' for it is this capacity which defines and measures sympathy as the necessary medium of all religious experience."
Incidentally, I symbolize this sympathy with the wavy equal sign, (≈). However, up to now, I had only considered the resonance from our end; but apparently, (≈) is as much God as man. Which again makes a lot of sense; I'm thinking of an aphorism to the effect that The Bible is not the voice of God, but of the man who encounters Him (Dávila). It is neither God nor man, but man and God in eternal communion.
While looking up that one I found another: The history of Christianity would be suspiciously human if it were not the adventure of an incarnate god. Christianity assumes the misery of history, as Christ assumes the misery of man.
By entering history, God transforms it to salvation history -- it is no longer just "the actions of man," so to speak, but of the man who encounters God, and the God who encounters man, in history. History is the residue of this transaction (or of its refusal).
Which is why Radical sin relegates the sinner to a silent, gray universe, drifting on the surface of the water, a lifeless shipwreck, toward inexorable insignificance (ibid.).
About this trans-action, I was thinking of this as I walked through the Departed's house yesterday. Every object in it -- not excepting the house itself -- was chosen by a particular soul for a particular reason; it had a personal meaning and significance that only he would know. As such, it is a little like walking through someone else's dreamscape -- through all the little "meanings" that illuminated and guided his life, but also revealed himself to himself -- and to others. It is like one big text.
I suppose you could say that I was struck by a vision of intimate communication. The communication is still occurring, even though the Communicant is no longer with us. Which is no doubt why we are spontaneously reverent toward the Stuff of the Dead. To the Dead it wasn't just stuff, but a cartography of their inner horizon. Which is why the final scene of Citizen Kane is so unsettling, when the workmen are carelessly chucking his stuff into the furnace.
I remember reading of some writer who donated his papers to a university, and they included everything from shopping lists to toenail clippings. That's taking it a little too far. But why? I would say because it doesn't imply any divine encounter -- or any externalization of the soul -- just an absurd and indiscriminate inflation of the mundane, like Hillary Clinton's campaign manifesto.
Orthoparadox: "I was a hidden Treasure and I yearned to be known. Then I created creatures in order to be known by them." The divine passion is the "desire to reveal Himself and to know Himself in beings through being known by them."
If we are in the image of the Creator, then our tendency to exteriorize our soul via objects and relationships is much like God's tendency to do so. For just as Uncle Jack's house is a kind of self-communicating dreamscape, so too is existence as such. Jesus is God walking through and interacting with his own exteriorized pneumatosphere. Salvation history is its residue.
God describes himself to himself -- and to us -- through ourselves in communion with him. Thus, "by knowing Him I give Him being." And vice versa, because it is the same inspiraling movement.