On the Momentary Presence of God
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.