Tuesday, April 11, 2017

On the Momentary Presence of God

This post totally got away from me. First, I was pulled into an unforeseen but promising rabbit hole that consumed much of my blogtime.

Then the post veered into a rather deepish province that required my utmost presence, just when I was running short of timelessness. I'm tempted to delay posting this, but why not? It's a start, anyway. We'll have to wait until tomorrow to find out it it's also the end...

It's always hard to pick up the thread when we've set it aside for a few days. Maybe it's because our blogging is like journalism, only in an inverted sense.

To paraphrase Kierkegaard, everyday vulgar journalism is "of the moment, for the moment, and by the moment," such that "no man who has the least inkling of the eternal in his breast can cease to wage everlasting war" against its vacuity.

But wait a moment! Everything I write is of, for, and by the moment. So, what's the difference, if any?

Naturally we don't know, being that we are presently In the Moment and have never before pondered the question.

But the first thing that pops into our head is a comment by the Aphorist: One must live for the moment and for eternity. Not for the disloyalty of time. Sound advice, as usual, but is this what the journalist does?

It's like the difference between a properly religious existentialism vs. a merely atheistic one. Existentialism is fine, so long as it is grounded in a Being-ness, or Presence, that surpasses it.

But an existentialism reduced to mere existence is entirely soph-negating and unworthy of the man who voluntarily confines himself to its cramped confines.

Raccoons are born with the pre-knowledge that it has not pleased God to save men through tenure, let alone journalism.

Or, to put it another way, we are aware of man's limitations, in particular, his inability to save himself, especially from himself. But we are equally aware of man's privileged station in the cosmos (AKA our divine light privilege). What gives?

Ah, there's that missing thread! It goes back to the aforementioned distinction between concluding and perceiving. It turns out that even the best conclusion is a kind of "circumstantial evidence," so to speak, and that, as always, first hand evidence is the most reliable.

Being cannot be concluded, rather, only.... been. Better, it is either present or absent.

Nevertheless, we too must be present in order to participate in the Presence of Being. Which I would suggest is the whole point of religion: to facilitate perception of and access to the Presence of Being, which is again either now or always, but not "in between," in time (except as shadow, or echo).

Along these lines, Schuon writes that "modern philosophy is the codification of an acquired infirmity" revolving around "a hypertrophy of practical intelligence"; in a sense, it is the conquest of the right brain by the left, and worse, a systematic disruption of their dynamic complementarity which allows us to "perceive" the vertical (or "within" the vertical, to be precise).

"It goes without saying," writes Schuon, "that a rationalist can be right on the level of observations and experiences." But "man is not a closed system," and certainly not enclosed within himself (although fallen man never stops trying to seal the air holes and bolt the inscape hatch).

I think it is accurate to say that God is not only present, but Presence as such: Being is the presence of Presence. And I am that I am.

4 comments:

julie said...

Ah, there's that missing thread! It goes back to the aforementioned distinction between concluding and perceiving. It turns out that even the best conclusion is a kind of "circumstantial evidence," so to speak, and that, as always, first hand evidence is the most reliable.

Just so. It seems like people on all sides of the cultural divide have been shrieking as though their hair is on fire over the news the past week. Partly, this is the result of the inevitable disillusionment that comes from discovering one's human idols to be merely human. And partly, it is that people forget that, even for those in the middle of the action, one seldom has all the information. We don't know what we don't know, nor would we herebelow even if we had all the merely horizontal details.

Abdulmonem Othman said...

I was reading Rumi poem, the self we share, speaking of the oneness of life of knowledge of will etc and said but we should turn to the source, the origin what is what we truly are. Lapse in separation is causing all these unhappy outcomes. Respect both the moment and eternity is the road for the human spiritual accomplishment. Talking about anything without the full awareness of the divine presence means throwing oneself in the hell of the vacuity, the abyss of the lost soul. No wonder there is the I am of the I am to remind us of the self we are sharing. Words are our tools for more clarity in seeing the way to Him. Everything is distinct from everything to help us navigate in the divine sea, yet the question of precedence,dimension and essence rein supreme without mixing what is his and what is ours. We share life but the difference between the human life that ends and the endless divine life and this goes for all other sharing attributes and as you said, we exist but our existence can not be equated with His. Conclusion is one of our perception outcomes. I thank god that has given us the ability to express what we think or feel. Yes we are not closed system but an open system that is open into His wide wide system which we can not comprehend save what he allows us to comprehend. It seems we are living in a time where the divine doors are open for all honest seekers, no longer confined to the few.

Abdulmonem Othman said...

It is ironic how god shares what he knows and what he has with others yet so many humans refuse to share what they know or what they have despite the divine call to share. Free air and free water and we sell air ,water and knowledge. What a gloomy world that has opened itself to whatever divinely not permissible and deny other from what is permissible. I say that because america can do a lot of good to the world instead of the ugly turmoil it has realized in the middle east, but this is not to absolve the people of the region leaders and others from the responsibility of what is going on. They bear the whole burden, these puppets. It seems we always forget the prime mover who is activating all these disturbances to wake up the sleepers, whether out of ignorance or out of perverted knowledge. It is the presence making itself present in the human awareness. Nothing random.

Van Harvey said...

"I think it is accurate to say that God is not only present, but Presence as such: Being is the presence of Presence. And I am that I am."

Ohh... that takes root.