Monday, June 12, 2017

Heaven Veiled and Hell Unveiled

Back to our hacking expedition into the upper vertical. In truth we're already there. It's just that it's veiled. But a veil simultaneously veils and reveals, at least if your third eye is open. Or better, the veil will either obscure or reveal, depending upon how you look at it.

For example, in the final analysis, everything is a veil of God -- which is precisely why everything reveals him.

Our world is drenched in symbolism, and what is a symbol but a wall to the unworthy but window to the woke?

This notion of the Veil keeps popping up. "Revelation," for example, is "a Latin word that means 'to draw aside the veil'" (Jackson). Similarly, the "visible church" is there to signify the Invisible Church. Everything in the former "ought to be firmly rooted here, but point to there -- to what is beyond this world."

"The outward appearance of sacred things tells us little about their inward nature. It is the veil that tells us.... By visible beauty we may be led to invisible beauty" (ibid.).

Over the weekend I read an essay be Schuon on The Mystery of the Veil. In it he notes that the veil "evokes the idea of mystery, because it hides from view something that is either too sacred or too intimate." This can be conflated with mere curiosity, but curiosity goes more to an absence, whereas mystery testifies to a real presence (or presence of the Real).

And what is the world itself but a most mysterious presence? "The cosmic and metacosmic veil is a mystery because it has its roots in the depths of the Divine Nature" (ibid.). In short, the world is simultaneously a veil, a mystery, and a presence.

Nor can one actually get "beneath" the veil, at least in this life. What did God say to the Rabbi? You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.

However, Moses is permitted to see God's backside, which is a symbol of the Veil. Analogously, you can't look straight at the sun, but everything is veiled in its Light. One cannot comprehend the Absolute "because its luminosity is blinding." Nevertheless, its light is everywhere.

I've been thinking about this subject a long time, maybe almost an hour, and I've come to the following conclusion. How to put it.... Let's say that God isn't just God, but rather God + Veil -- at least from our standpoint. And probably his as well, because what is Creation but the veil of the Creator?

In fact, here is where we differ from the anti-Coon in all its hydra-headed manifestations: we all believe in relativity. However, for us, the relative is not self-sufficient but a manifestation of the Creator: "To be the vehicle of the Absolute, while veiling it, is the purpose of the Relative" (Schuon).

There is no other way to have an intelligible cosmos, is there? "Absolute relativity" reduces to absurdity and nihilism, while "Absolute-Absoluteness" renders our own existence entirely beside the point. The real action takes place in the dynamic space between Absolute and Relative. But it's not an empty space; rather, a veiled space.

In fact, Schuon makes the intriguing point that there is no such thing as "unveiled space." Rather, the veil is precisely what brings space into being:

Thus it is that space has no existence except through what it contains; an empty space would no longer be a space, it would be nothingness.

In like fashion, cosmic Relativity is only real by virtue of its prolongation of the Absolute; it (and we) becomes unreal when sundered therefrom.

Shifting gears for the moment, this is the whole idea of the Koon Klassic Ideas Have Consequences. These are some notes to myself that may or may not be direct quotes from the book: "Without imagination the world is simply a brute fact -- there is nothing to spiritualize it." "When matter is placed over spirit, quantity is placed over quality; but quality is not just another quantity."

Forms are the ladder of ascent. Every group regarding itself as emancipated is convinced its predecessors were fearful of reality, looking upon the veils of decency as obstructions it will strip aside. But behind the veils is a reality of such commonplaces that it is merely knowledge of death.

Genesis 3 all over again? Hmm, let's consult the Aphorist.

Without aesthetic transfiguration all of reality is pedestrian.

The existence of a work of art demonstrates that the world has meaning. Even if it does not say what that meaning is.

From an aesthetic experience one returns as from a sighting of numinous footprints.

Christianity does not deny the splendor of the world but encourages us to seek its origin, to ascend to its pure snow.

Faith is not an irrational assent to a proposition; it is a perception of a special order of realities.

Also, Unbelief is not a sin but a punishment. You could say it represents exile to an infrahuman world of brutish relativism, hypnotic appearances, and unalloyed tenure. Or just say Hell.

8 comments:

julie said...

Analogously, you can't look straight at the sun, but everything is veiled in its Light.

Further, the only way we can look at it with any comprehension at all is through a glass, darkly.

julie said...

Hm - I'm also reminded of Medusa, who could be seen eye to I only through her reflection; a direct look was literally petrifying.

Gagdad Bob said...

Or Orpheus, who shouldn't have looked back.

ted said...

Bob: Your son may get a kick about this.

julie said...

Oh sure - the guy can go down, but can he go up?

Also, my knees hurt just watching that - yikes!

Gagdad Bob said...

Not only has he seen the video, but he knows Calen Chan and had a lesson from him. That was the longest parkour course in the world, requiring pure speed. However, my son is more into tricking than parkour.

Leslie Godwin said...

Ted, I'm impressed that you know about Calen Chan and the Sky Ladder! One of the competitors got hurt (Don Tomaso), but will be ok. I think China was trying to disable our best and brightest with that stunt!

Calen Chan is worth following for anyone interested in Freerunning. Tristan got to take a lesson with him as part of our ongoing Parkour Pilgrimmage, as Bob mentioned, and that trip to Utah was magical in many ways.

Mrs. G

ted said...

Hi Leslie, I am not that aware of the parkour circles, but came across the video randomly which appears to have gone viral. It is amazing to watch this new art form, and I am glad that Tristan had the opportunity to spend time with such inspirational talent. If I was much younger, and born with better DNA, who knows? :)