Thursday, May 18, 2017

Something About Mary

A last minute cancellation has left an opening. Let's try to use this opening for an Opening.

It goes without saying that the feminine is a dimension of the divine. Nor is it merely an add-on: a compensation, an echo or consort. Rather, it -- She -- is absolutely primordial and essential.

We all -- meaning human beings -- intuit this on some level, so it has to be expressed in some form or fashion. In Christianity the principle form is Mary, but then what happened to Sophia, who is all over the OT? Is it possible they are two formal expressions of the same trans-formal reality?

"Scripture provides a sound basis for calling Wisdom not only a mother but a virgin, bride, partner and playmate as well" (Gottfried Arnold, in Cselenyi).

Hmmm, I like that last one: think of the psychic benefits of having a playful mother. My wife has an incredibly playful relationship with our son. My mom was... kind of a buzzkill. Fortunately, I don't think she was that way when I was a baby, when so many tracks of neurology are laid down and etched into our psyche-soma.

I believe Schuon traces masculinity all the way back and up to Absoluteness, whereas the feminine goes to Infinitude. There is no thinking per se beyond these two primordial categories, i.e., Absolute and Infinite.

By the way, just because Thinking Stops Here, this doesn't imply that reality ceases with it. Rather, it simply means we are at the threshold of the apophatic God -- the Godhead, the Ain Sof, the great Beyond-Being, the Divine Go-round of O. (And we use "O" advaitadly, because it is nothing, a void, until we give it content, i.e. wisdom, or it gives content to us, i.e. revelation.)

Oh, and by the way, I just have this suspicion -- a cosmic hunch -- that O is feminine, just as it looks.

It's like the "womb of God," which is of course represented herebelow by the womb of Mary. In a beautifully orthopardadoxical way, Mary contains that which contains her. But is this not the point of the spiritual adventure? To try to give birth to the God who contains us? We'll no doubt return to this theme as we go along.

Mary is also the Universal Church, or the womb of saints. But what is creation but the womb of saints? That seems to be the whole point of having a cosmos -- which, according to Paul has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Ouch!

Now, I concur with Hartshorne that the world is woven of complementarities, but that in any complementarity one side takes precedence. Thus, in the Absolute-Infinite complementarity, the former is first among equals. I mean, someone has to wear the pants in the divine family. HE is strength, while SHE is beauty. (Also, pure infinitude would yield to the cosmic inversion of absolute relativity, or the Left.)

The mother goes to inward relations, the father to outward relations; also, I would say that relationship as such is interior, and that relations are by definition relative. Thus, feminine-infinitude is the divine ground of appearances, of mamamaya.

Note that the Abba-solute has an ontological and not temporal precedence. It is not as if there was a "time" prior to infinitude.

In fact, it is very similar to the orthoparadoxical relationship between Father and Son, wherein Father is obviously primary, even though there was never a time that the Son was (or is) not. Rather, it is a perpetual -- or eternal -- begetting; or better, be-giving. The Father is always giving Being (to the Son), because that is how he rolls, has always rolled, and always will roll.

As the Fathers emphasized, begotten not made, the latter going to temporal creation. In contrast, the Son is... an atemporal creation, or perhaps Logos UnCreate, or something like that.

The command just popped into my head: honor your father and mother. Suddenly that command is loaded with metaphysical implications.

Another point just bubbled up: "Let Us make man in Our image, so male-and-female We is created. (First person plural is prior to first person singular.)

Now, that's provocative and even O-vocative (i.e., giving voice to O): maleandfemale is the unit of creation, and this unit is relation. Why? Because God is relation -- or, as W. Norris Clarke puts it, substance-in-relation.

And what is substance? Every existent thing is a combination of Form and Substance, the latter masculine, the former feminine: substance is like the womb, form the seed. It's mom'n'dad all the way up!

Well, that's about all we have time for. You take it from here. Hopefully you have a few seedlings to play with.

7 comments:

Van Harvey said...

"The command just popped into my head: honor your father and mother. Suddenly that command is loaded with metaphysical implications."

O. My. It is mom'n'dad all the way up!

Gagdad Bob said...

It would be different of course if we were hatched. But everyone is contained by an m(o)ther.

julie said...

Of course, "science" is working hard to correct that. To some, Brave New World was an instruction manual.

Ron Krumpos said...

The divine does not have the imperfections or dichotomies which affect we humans in apparent realities: no gender, beyond relative good and evil, neither human nor non-human, not this, that or any other.

Petey said...

It's 0 -> 1, 1 -> 2, 2 -> 3, and 3 back to 1, all in one timeless spiroidal movement. I'm just relieved we get to participate.

Gagdad Bob said...

Jennifer Upton's new book, The Ordeal of Mercy: Dante’s Purgatorio in Light of the Spiritual Path, is quite compelling so far (recall that we spent a month or so reviewing the prequel, on the Inferno. I can't say I understand it all, but those parts I do understand are like pleasant little stabs of light.

Roy Lofquist said...

26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Lot of ways to unpack those two verses.