Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Cosmic Eclipse

Here is how a man loses the cosmos, and then proceeds to become lost in it. Pay close attention:

First, reduce the world "from act to fact," which results in a flattened and opaque blandscape of "absolute things." In order to accomplish this reduction, one must "separate in thought what exists together in reality," thus granting "analysis priority over synthesis" and conferring metaphysical primacy to "the analytically abstracted parts of reality... over the wholes from which they were abstracted" (Hanby).

This is all done unconsciously, of course, or at least without due diligence. Indeed, no one would invest in this dodgy isness or proceed down this path if they thought about it beforehand or reflected upon it afterwards. If there is a metaphysical equivalent to the primordial D'oh! of Genesis 3, I'm thinking this must be it.

Consider the alternatives: either the cosmos is contingent or it is necessary. There is no in between, unless, as I believe, God extends a private sphere of contingency known as free will.

But if the cosmos is strictly necessary, it is impossible to explain how beings have escaped this necessity, from life on up to free will. Certainly there is no explanation of how science could conceivably arise -- of how subjects can even exist, let alone stand above and understand the objects of existence.

Nowadays, science operates as if it can accomplish this in any old cosmos -- or not even a cosmos as traditionally understood. However, its very existence implies a very specific sort of reality. If we could only recover or re-member that reality, it would be... a good start. At least we'd have a foundation we can all agree upon, like a Cosmic Constitution.

Which, when you think about it, is what the Founders had in mind, what with all the talk about Nature (meaning the essential nature of things), Nature's God (for there can be no essences without God), createdness (or contingency and dependence), self-evident truths, and the inalienable rights that flow from these. It's all of a piece, don't you know. Shatter the primordial unity, and none of it makes any sense or has a legacy to stand on.

Which I suppose is the point of the left, which itself starts with division rather than unity. As they say, diversity is our strength! In reality, without the prior unity, it is our weakness-unto-death. As we've discussed in the past, diabolos, or diabolical mischief, comes down to division, blending of hierarchy, and applying truths to the wrong level. Most fundamentally it is a lie; or, the Fundamental Lie.

Exactly what is the Fundamental Lie? It must be "this reduction of the single actuality of the cosmos to an aggregation" (Hanby), to a vast collection of private parts, to the metaphysical nul de slack of logical atomism.

I first ran into that term -- logical atomism -- in the works of an apparently little known philosopher, Errol Harris, for example, in a book called The Reality of Time. There he writes that change and diversity are "impossible apart from some permanent and unifying matrix within which they occur and of which they are the diverse accidents."

Conversely, a strict logical atomism "leads finally to sheer chaos" because it assumes a jumble of objects "excluding all order and system that might impose unity on the plurality." But -- and I think I yoinked this exact passage for the bʘʘk -- "What is intelligibly diverse must be unified and whole, and only what is whole and unified can be intelligibly diverse. At the same time, only what is diversified can be intelligibly one."

So, this is your cosmos: "a single unity" but "at the same time a unified diversity." Moreover, "the reality of time... establishes concurrently the reality of a whole which is nontemporal." That last crack veers into a somewhat different subject, but you can nevertheless see how it must be the case: time is indeed the moving image of eternity, as relativity is the shadow of the Absolute.

Literally. Allegorically speaking. Think, for example of Plato's famous cave, where the dancing shadows can only exist because of the absolute light shining from outside the cave. Science studies these shadows -- AKA appearances -- but then pretends the shadows can subsist without light! Which is a kind of madness. Metaphysical madness, anyway.

Note that these shadows are not "nothing." However, they are indeed made nothing if man detaches them from the light that produces them. Then we're lost in the (anti-) cosmos, as alluded to in paragraph one.

From another angle, we can start with the Absolute, which is necessary being. But it doesn't end there. For Schuon, "To say Absolute, is to say Infinite," for "Infinitude is an intrinsic aspect of the Absolute." It is a way of saying that God is good, such that it is in his nature to radiate this goodness. Therefore, in a way, he can't help creating. Christian orthodoxy holds that creation is a radically contingent and pure gift, which conveys an important truth.

Nevertheless, it only applies to this creation, not to the divine creativity per se, which is what God does, or better, is: In the beginning, God creates. Period. For it is always the beginning, if you look upon things vertically. From this perspective, absoluteness radiates infinitely, all the way down and into worlds of contingency and possibility. Looked at this way, possibility is necessary, so to speak, or we couldn't have a (our) world.

But every thing that exists, no matter how contingent, nevertheless shares in absoluteness, for the distance between existence and non-existence is infinite. In other words, to exist is participate in being, which is God's primordial and continuous act.

Only man's ignorance and presumption are vast enough to eclipse the One Cosmos. It takes a big man to render man so small, and vice versa.

6 comments:

Abdulmonem Othman said...

Last night I was reading Theodore Roszak, Descarte angel ,reflection on true art of thinking in which Roszak was quoting Descarte saying, that in his sleep, the angel of truth appeared to him like a flash of lightening revealed a secret to him which says, Lay the foundations of a new way of understanding and method of science and in light of this he set to work zealously forgetting all about the angle of truth initiation. This is exactly the story of our so called modern world that has clothed itself in the garments of untruth and denial of the first source of inspiration. Forgetting the responsibility regarding the life purpose and the wonders of the cosmos that calls upon the humans to ponder and decipher every manifestations of the diversified unity. Widening our sphere of wise knowledge is a divine obligation and not a social imposition. It seems humans can not relieve themselves from their personal responsibility in deciding their independent path under the cover of family or society. We have been given words to convey meaning and not to abuse meaning or to run with words aimlessly in an aimful cosmos.Abiding by truth, before the truth imposes itself on the untruthful. The absolute that deserves our reverence and worship to avoid falling in the traps of distorted fake information and worshiping other than the one.

Anonymous said...

And where does man's ignorance and presumption come from?

Six hours contemplate this over a deep bowl of good California medicine, and much wisdom shall you gain.

And, refreshed at each sunrise, the question: "What is the best use of my time, right now?"

To good use shall your wisdom be put, if you can answer this question with a still mind and a stout heart.

Peace be with you.

julie said...

Which I suppose is the point of the left, which itself starts with division rather than unity. As they say, diversity is our strength! In reality, without the prior unity, it is our weakness-unto-death. As we've discussed in the past, diabolos, or diabolical mischief, comes down to division, blending of hierarchy, and applying truths to the wrong level. Most fundamentally it is a lie; or, the Fundamental Lie.
...
So, this is your cosmos: "a single unity" but "at the same time a unified diversity."


This was good in light of the address last night. All the times the leftists scowled and frowned about American goodness, decency and success, as they champion all the things which have weakened us over the years. They couldn't leave that room fast enough!

julie said...

But every thing that exists, no matter how contingent, nevertheless shares in absoluteness, for the distance between existence and non-existence is infinite. In other words, to exist is participate in being, which is God's primordial and continuous act.

For this reason, I know that nothing God loves is ever lost.

Abdulmonem Othman said...

Thank you Anon for your search after the significant and the essential. We are host of all meanings, ignorance and knowledge, presumptions and faith,good and evil,beauty and ugliness, alertness and oblivion etc etc. It is how to soften the clash of the paradoxical and to create to ourselves a safety net. Intentional contemplation that is to know our missions and the message of our cosmos in a unified fashion without letting the diversified mode distracting us in a world of dispersed fragmentation, is the best way to utilize the time available to us during our short stay on this earth, which has been treated badly by our ignorant humanity.. In you, you carry your medicine of intoning chanting meditative drug without need to resort to the external. We live in a network of sounds that gives shape to everything material or immaterial. In the world of the symatics where the messages of the sounds produce coherent or incoherent patterns when directed on the grain of sand or water. In the same mode there are certain divine alphabetical formations when used in a certain intoning fashion enhance the connection with the epistemological divine field. Hindu mantra is a good place to start, also the kabbala. Ani Williams interview with Patricia Chaplin on the question of sound intonation is helpful in understanding the sound role in the enhancement of human consciousness and how such consciousness is connected to the divine consciousness, the fountain that waters everything. Reality is behind the appearances, that is why those who imprisoned themselves in the seen measured and quantified have gone astray and have derailed others. In the black holes nothing goes unrecorded. It is deep and only those who venture in the deep will know the deep,as for those who follow the shallow ambition of making money or power will soon realize the futility of their distorted ambition that will lead them in the swamp of deadly darkness.

Anonymous said...

Hi Abdulmonem:

Thank you for your comment. I like your phrase, "In the black holes nothing goes unrecorded." Perhaps in the depths of the black hole, all knowledge is revealed to them who can dive down deep enough. And, the visit may well be entered in the guest ledger of them who dwell in the abyss.

The use of Mantras I could do more of. I have only one in use, and it gets me to a certain point. In order to go beyond I sadly must use an herbal assist. I hope to cease the use of all adjuncts at some point.

Recently I pilfered a piece of a sanctified mango from a shamanic source. I swallowed it and experienced an explosion of bliss unlike any other. But it was not deep, more like expansive.

The swamp of ambition is like a shallow body of standing water which becomes dank with organic matter and infested with snakes and alligators. That would be the money and status chase.

I do need some folding money though, I must admit. That is annoying.