Are they iterations of something else, or are they truly fundamental? Just off the top of my head I would say that verticality implies absoluteness, interiority, form, and essence; while horizontality goes to infinitude, exteriority, (prime) matter, and accident.
Other ways of expressing this complementarity are male/female, wave/particle, heaven/earth, purusha/prakriti, noumena/phenomena, brahman/maya, semantics/syntax, container/contained, etc. I'll bet you a dollar you can't even think without partaking of both.
And always, if we attempt to understand the world with only half the complementarity, its partner will inevitably slip in through the back door. It's like the old gag that you can throw nature out with a pitchfork, but she always returns, probably in a bad mood and looking for vengeance.
Speaking of which, what is the left but an organized movement with degrees instead of pitchforks, trying vainly to remake nature into what it isn't? Redefining marriage, for example, is throwing out nature with a blow torch.
As we've mentioned before, what we call "science" is the method par excellence for investigating the horizontal. But to imagine this can be accomplished in the absence of verticality is preposterous.
Which I mean literally, for pre-posterous means to reverse the order of pre and post -- in this case elevating the material world above the mind that comprehends it. Only a human being can engage in science, but a human being cannot be reduced to the horizontal categories of the scientific method.
Conversely, religion as such is all about verticality. But if it forgets horizontality, then it too becomes idiotic. You will notice that dopey religion is often a reaction to dopey science. For example, the fundamentalism of the early 20th century was a reaction to equally kooky scientific ideas, e.g., that Darwinism is adequate to explain man.
But this descent into metaphysical dopiness should not be unexpected, because man is man, irrespective of whether or not this man calls himself religious or irreligious. Indeed, if I were irreligious I would nevertheless call myself religious just to avoid grotesque metaphysical errors. I would search out my own covert religiosity, because I would know it's hiding in there somewhere.
Yesterday I was listening to Rush on the way to work, and he brought up the case of Stephen Hawking, who ought to get some kind of prize for simultaneously being the Smartest Man in the Universe and the Dumbest Ass in Creation. Here is what he was referring to:
On his 75th birthday, renowned physicist Stephen Hawking told the BBC that President Donald Trump’s climate policies could permanently destroy the Earth’s livable climate. “We are close to the tipping point where global warming becomes irreversible,” explained the world’s most famous scientist. “Trump’s action could push the Earth over the brink, to become like Venus, with a temperature of 250º” C (482°F).
I can't even. Or won't, at any rate. I'm almost out of time. Only three years left to blog before Trump burns us all alive.
The other day I read something equally foolish from Einstein, who said a lot of foolish things. Outside physics -- and sometimes even inside -- Einstein was clearly no Einstein.
Anyway, all of the above was provoked by a brief passage by Schuon. I began discussing it a couple of posts back, but here it is in toto:
There is, in man, a subjectivity or a consciousness that is made for looking outwards and for perceiving the world, whether this world is earthly or heavenly; and there is also a consciousness that is made for looking inwards, in the direction of the Absolute or Self, whether this vision be relatively separative or unitive.
In other words, and more to our point about verticality and horizontality, "there is in man a consciousness that is descending and obeys the creative intention of God, and another that is ascending and obeys the divine intention that saves or liberates."
I don't know of a more concise way to symbolize these two directions than (↑) and (↓).
In short, if there is a vertical dimension in the cosmos, then there is an up and a down. Because of this, we can be closer or more distant from truth, from beauty, and from virtue. Furthermore, verticality is precisely what entails the category of obligation or duty or loyalty.
For if there is truth, then are we not obligated to know and conform ourselves to it? If there is beauty, oughtn't we do our best to create and celebrate it? And if we have the gift of distinguishing between good and evil, don't we owe our allegiance to the former?
Out of time. To be continued...