Friday, September 30, 2016

Wandering through God's Dreamscape

What I was driving at yesterday is that perhaps more real than God or man alone is the relationship between them. This would be consistent with theologians such as Norris Clarke and John Zizioulas, who speak of Being as being in relation; there is no "substance" that is not substance-in-relation (which is in turn reducible to "self-communicating love").

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.

14 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

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).

That's one of the things that is so striking about Christianity. In pretty much every other religion, the gods are characters acting out plays like a prior-day Kardashian drama with bigger theatrical effects. They aren't interested in knowing mankind unless it is in the Biblical sense. Communion in any meaningful sense would be right out.

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.

Yes, it is as if he is being killed off in a more deeply final way. There again is the comfort of Christianity: in the fullness of communion, the person of which the stuff speaks will be known through and through.

9/30/2016 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger Abdulmonem Othman said...

I was a hidden treasure and created humanity to know me, through knowing themselves the road to my disclosure. This is the first basic step of the Sufis or any seeker in their agnostic journey to him. It is a continual dialogue between the human and god, it is a relation through which we come to know each other. Religious experience is one because he is the one. He is also the many to accommodate the billions unique personal visions of him, As you see him he sees you. Tit for tat. Spiritual mobilization is a mutual process, him in me and me in him, An equation that is hard to mark how the part fits in the whole or how the whole accommodate the part. This is why it is called mystical, a mystical experience that never leads itself easily to linguistic expression. We roam around it and never enter it, because we are in it. All the masters have drunk from the same river and so we have to make our personal drinking unaided by others thus is the human destiny at this critical time of cross-reading,cross-exchange, where the higher self, the consciousness and the innate physical intelligent became clear prior to departure. Of course every body will leave his relics and memories behind ,while at the same time will carry his documentations for presentation to receive his dues. May everyone make it well in this unseen journey. I feel I do not need other human support on this journey, because it is an alone journey. I know the skeptic will feel disgusted at reading this.

9/30/2016 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

You could say that we cannot know God except in the form of our response to God.

If a person's response to God is judgment and rejection, pride and contempt, they don't know God but the devil. That does make sense.

Psalm 18:25-26, With the merciful you show yourself merciful; with the blameless man you show yourself blameless; with the purified you show yourself pure; and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous.

Kind of a scary thought.

9/30/2016 01:02:00 PM  
Blogger Abdulmonem Othman said...

It is scary but it is the truth and truth is always scary that is why most people are afraid or even refuse to face it.. I have trust in the revelation of Psalm 18.25-26 irrespective of where I have come out to face the world and what parent and society have taught me. It is convergence time so I smell the odor of our time, where the children of all masters start meeting each other in the realm of the real.

9/30/2016 02:04:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

"liberal, foulmouthed articulation of Christianity speaks to fed-up believers"

Forget heresy. Whatever happened to good taste?

10/01/2016 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

I find it darkly amusing that she is disappointed in the apparent normalcy of her congregation.

Also, isn't it rather bad form to declare oneself a saint?

10/01/2016 01:07:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

It's like a spiritual Dunning-Kruger effect whereby saints recognize with their sins, whereas the worst sinners are convinced of their innocence.

"Studies have shown that the most incompetent individuals are the ones that are most convinced of their competence.... An important corollary of this effect is that the most competent people often underestimate their competence."

10/01/2016 01:27:00 PM  
Blogger doug saxum said...

"Studies have shown that the most incompetent individuals are the ones that are most convinced of their competence...."

That reminds me of Donald Trump.
Scary.

10/01/2016 04:04:00 PM  
Blogger doug saxum said...

What am I saying.
That could describe so many people in politics, Hollywood, or a good portion of the population.
Narcissism gone wild.

10/01/2016 04:11:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

It certainly describes Hillary and Obama as well as Trump. But I think Trump will be more inclined to defer to people who know what they're talking about, because business isn't like politics. In politics you can be wrong for decades with no penalty, whereas in business one receives instantaneous corrective feedback.

But I am not optimistic about Trump winning. The left simply has too many deplorable interest groups dependent upon the state.

10/01/2016 04:16:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

In an honest fight, I think he would win. Considering that there are already reports of dead people being newly registered as Democrats, polling systems being hacked, and boxes discovered containing thousands of ballots helpfully pre-marked for Hillary, I have serious doubts. The votes for Trump would have to be massively in his favor, with no electoral college shenanigans, for him to actually win.

10/01/2016 04:25:00 PM  
Blogger doug saxum said...

I just watched about a half an hour of the 1st debate and cannot imagine the devastation that a Clinton presidency would cause.
Anywhere the democrats govern, abominations and destruction.

10/01/2016 07:24:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Unless Republicans grow a pair and obstruct her every move with extreme prejudice.

10/01/2016 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger Abdulmonem Othman said...

Thank you for the link, it is certainly a mind opener, pointing to the open-mixed field of our humanity, impostors and non-impostors. false seers and true ones, with taste and tasteless, liars and truth-tellers,theist and atheist and the humans are at loss or rather are not charged with the responsibility of judging others but to be responsible for their action, and bear witness to the the one god of this wide cosmos, and leave it to the one that knows everything. How impatient the humans are. Sages say be good and do not busy yourself with the bad, prove yourselves in your community as honest actor and truthful speaker. The divine program is a long term program, designed on exposing the dishonest. it is a question of time when the humans come face to face with their deeds to learn that everything is documented, only to be revealed at the end of the cycle. God is one despite all different interpretations,who will show us his signs sooner than later to prove to the deniers that he is the truth. We are all in a state of wait to see his signs.

10/01/2016 08:29:00 PM  

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