Sunday, June 18, 2006

I Got Plenty of Nothin'

Gee, usually if I write something needlessly inflammatory my numbers go up. But according to my site meter, I had only 350 visits yesterday. In fact, according to Google analytics, the last six days have been 523 --> 487 --> 501 --> 451 --> 373 --> 304, not a good trend.

I’m not complaining, but it seems that there is not a whole lot of potential interest in my bobservations. At this rate, if I don't stop blogging soon, I run the risk of losing my audience entirely. I suppose I never expected otherwise, but it does occasionally make a fellow wonder whether there might be a less futile way to bark at the moonbats, tilt at the windbags, and engage in this wild nous chase. It’s not your fault, since you’re obviously reading this. It’s that deathly silent majority of 6,451,058,290 No Cosmos readers.

I’m pretty sure I’d get more traffic if I posted nothing. In lieu of that, I suppose I could just post about nothing. After all, nothing is a topic of vital concern to us all. We’d all like to know something about nothing, since our lives seem to be framed by it. For those of you who have ignored my equally unpopular book, you have no way of knowing that it is also framed by NOTHING, since the book is circular and begins and ends with that word.

But if you look closely, you will notice that the book doesn’t even begin and end with nothing, for, as Meister Eckhart, the greatest Christian mystic of them all, said, “There is something in the soul which which is above the soul, divine, simple, an absolute nothing; rather unnamed than named; unknown than known....”

Thus, beyond even the nothing we can say is the nothing that can only be silently unsaid, and, as we all know, the multiplication of two negatives results in a positive, which is why the book (and cosmos) has to start up again with a big bang on page 12. Creatio ex nihilo is the technical term, the divine something for nothing or sacred free lunch to which we owe our existence.

This is what is meant by the mythsemantical phrase, conceived in d’light immaculate, every lila son of adwaita is born of a voidgin. Trancelighting this unglish into pure nonsense, it means, roughly, that, if we look at the situation veridically, we are all miraculously born out of the nondual void as a result of the cosmic play, or lila. To quote the Meister again, “the Father ceaselessly begets his Son and, what is more, he begets me as his son--the selfsame Son!”

Many Christians, Jews, Vedantins, and assorted Cosmonaughts have experienced the divine Nothing, that “fount of all being, unborn thus undying, beginning and end of all impossibility, empty plenum and inexhaustible void.” One of the great modern Eastern Orthodox writers, Vladimir Lossky, wrote that the divine nature is “like a sea of essence, indeterminate and without bounds, which spreads far and wide beyond all notion of time and nature.”

Why does it do that? Because existence is inevitable, given the fact that it is in the nature of the Good to radiate and communicate itself. God is not some old nobodaddy who can’t create anamour. Rather, he is really and truly the only unnarcissary thing there is. That’s why he even dies a little to give the cosmos life. As all you parents know, parenthood is a joyous sacrifice. In God’s case, it is kenosis, the self-emptying and self-surrender represented by the creation of the world and symbolized by the cross, where he is nilled to a blank for our benefit. Yes, the Nothing became something so that the something could become Nothing.

So we should thank our father in heaven and give him an abbasalute for his undertaking of mortality, for our daily lessons in evanescence, for this manifestivus for the rest of us. He expectorated this cosmic mirrorcle, and we are his spittin’ image. If that weren’t so, we could never know nothing but wholly matterimany. And to put it kabbalistically, that wouldn’t be ainsoferable. Far from it.


"It is fantastic, this Light which empties, annihilates, fulfills you; and how true the Upanishads are! But to discover them is a mortal blow, because you can only discover them in yourself, on the other side of death!

"The 'I' of the morning of Easter is of another order... The saving name of Christ is aham asmi, I AM. And the deep confession of faith is no longer the external 'Christ is Lord,' but so ham asmi, I am He. Like him at once born and not born. The Father in relation to the Son--to me--to all. The Son in relation to me--to all. Myself in relation to every conscious being; born in all, ceaselessly, and yet always face to face.

"Everything is a mystery of the face to face and the within. OM Abba!"

--Father Henri Lasaux/Swami Abhishiktananda


donna said...

But even when you're talking about "nothing," it's still worth reading. I loved your Saturday post about Father's Day. I'd really miss you if you stop. You have so much insight and say it so well. I know it must be very time consuming and you have to decide, but I hope you keep bloggin.

Cosmophile said...

Is the quality of work really determined by the number of readers? I shudder to think. Kos gets about 10 billion readers a day but I don't think he's doing anything to improve their mental health or their lives.

Plus, I like being an elitist... never could stand those Hollywood blockbusters or insipid songs on the Top 40. Sure they get a few good ones here and there, but it's rarely worth it to slog through the chaff for a few kernels of wheat here and there. This blog is certified 100% organic whole-grain nutritious. (Let me toss a couple more metaphors in the blender while I'm at it...)

Bottom line: PLEASE don't stop!

Anonymous said...

I discovered your book and this blog from your fascinating 2 part interview on WIE. Since then I've been reading your blog everyday.

Honestly, some days I think what you post is 90% b.s. and 10% vital. But that vital 10% is EXTREMELY important.

If you stopped posting I'd be very sad. If you need to cut back to just one or two entries a week that'd be better than . . . er . . . "Nothing". Or maybe even close to as good as...

Please keep posting. Even when I disagree with you I have the utmost respect for what you say and the way you say it. Even when you get overly hyperbolic there's still something irrefutable behind your thinking.

Gagdad Bob said...

Only 90% BS? I am touched.... That's nicer than anything Petey's ever said.... I don't recall him ever going under 95.....

jwm said...

I'll add my voice to the swelling 'please don't stop' chorus, but I'd suggest that part of the problem (if it is a problem) is that you have been too modest about plugging your blog at other sites- namely LGF. I know it's considered bad form to do so, but the conversation over there so frequenly drifts into matters of the spirit that I expected a flood of people from over there would find their way over here. Similarly, have you sent Dennis Prager a copy of One Cosmos Under God, or a link to the blog? Again, it seems like exactly the sort of thing that he would jump on for an hour's discussion on his show.
OK- end of helpful hints from JWM. I'm going for more coffee. Maybe be back later.


Gagdad Bob said...

As a matter of fact, I did send a book to Prager, but never heard back. If he looked at it at all, I suspect that he confused my lack of orthodoxy with unorthodoxy (not in the Jewish sense, but in the new-age blather sense).

Unfortunately the book is neither fish nor foul, since it's obviously not new age but not obviously traditional either (even though it tries to be). Even traditionalists would object, since it takes science seriously and is evolutionary.

One would really have to put one's mind to it to come up with a less effective marketing strategy... Surely it is no coincidence that I flunked out of business school in 1976.

geckofeeder said...

Who else in the world would describe God as "really and truly the only unnarcissary thing there is". You be da man Gagdaddy, with your words and spirit of fun This soul spirit truth Godstuff you're channeling is wholesome and nutritious as Cosmophille said, and Van der Leun ( American Thinker) sure did give you a major nod.
Happy father's day - what a great piece yesterday!

Marcus A. said...

Your wie interview drew me to your blog & book. I wonder what you hope to accomplish with this blog - is it mostly about community? Your interview is insightful/ inspiring. I am just starting to write for this field (evolutionarydynamics.bogspot) but wonder if it is worthwhile. You are clearly much further on the track than I, but it seems an unhappy journey? Thanks for your work!

LookingGlass said...

People at the tip of the mental spear probing reality are rarely surrounded by a great crowd, but for those of us following along it is really nice to have someone doing the heavy lifting . You might be surprised at how many people follow you into the tunnel you are boring, even if you can't see them behind you.

Tana Zajicova said...


I got your book last week. My eighteen years old son snatched it from me. Keep it up please.


Tatana Zajicova

SonnyJim said...

I don't remember exactly, but I beieve I was bounced over to you from neo-neocon or Dr. Sanity. Whichever, I have been waiting to hear from you regularly ever since. I also suspect you are at some percentage b.s. but then I have to admit that I don't understand enough to be certain of the amount. The vital amount cause me to resonate with you and to wish for your continuance.

Happy not to be among the 6,451,058,290 (and counting).

will said...

A morning without a One Cosmos post would be like:

- a day without arm rests on chairs

- a day without port-a-potties

- a day without fog horns in the distance, or at very least, imagined fog horns in the distance

- a day without all these voices in my head (I get along with them quite well)

- a day without mint juleps

(and Fergus the Cat adds the following)

- a day without 21 hours of solid sleep

- a day without shedding

- a day without getting cranky over something or other

And personally I think Jacob Boehme was the greatest Christian mystic of all time, though of a very different sort than Eckhart. If you want to contest my claim, you'll have to stick around.

Gagdad Bob said...

I must confess that I'm not that up to speed on my Boehme. I only have superficial knowledge, but I always thought of him more as an idiosyncratic visionary like Blake, as opposed to a more orthodox mystic. What's a good point of entry? Odd coincidence--I had a book about him on my amazon wish list for about a year. This morning I deleted it, thinking I'd probably never get around to it. Now I can't think of the name of the author... last name starts with V.....

scaredstraight said...

Numbers down? One word: Summer...

Gagdad Bob said...

Actually, I probably shouldn't complain. The number of visitors has actually increased every single month since its inception...

will said...

Bob -

B. Nicolescu's *Science, Meaning,and Evolution - The Cosmology of Jacob Boehme* is very good. Plus (mild synchronicity alert) it's got a forward by Joscelyn Godwin.

Boehme was certainly of the eccentric visionary sort, but his mysticism, while not as "lyrical" as Eckhart's,is every bit as complete. E. Underhill gives him top billing in her "Mysticism", justifiably so, I think.

debass said...

I have nothing to say.

ELC said...

My daily average, between 400 and 600, hasn't changed much since I stopped blogging every day, about a year ago. Go figure.

Was it Hopkins who said to Patmore that you really write for the one other person in the world who will really understand you? Or was it Patmore who said that to Hopkins? I can never remember........

PSGInfinity said...

Let me throe my hat into the "We wuv you" chorus. I washed upon this shore via a link about six months ago. It took several months to clue in. I still get lost at least once a post (or comments, in this case).

But I love reading a blog that pushes me mentally and spiritually, and yours fills the bill. Might I suggest dropping to a couple of posts a week for awhile?

OT: Speaking of spiritual burnout, what's with Phil Mickelson?

pete(y-not) said...

I've only been visiting/reading for a short time, but I find that your posts are an interestingly moderated/modulated stream-of-conscious/unconscious along with some similarly treated hints from the "no-mind".
I've never been particularly interested in readings on mysticism, having been privileged to a few direct experiences thru my long association in the Traditional Chinese Martial Arts.
You're helping me to consider how I might verbalize my own experiences.... if that is even the appropriate thing to do with them.

An added plus that I've already had occasion to recommend would be things such as your precis of Fjordsman's recent long post at Gates of Vienna.

Sal said...

Well, that's one way to get the lurkers into the light - threaten to quit...

I made you my home-page a while back. That should be worth something, yes?

Hoarhey said...

I also truly appreciate your lone voice crying out in the wilderness and have selfishly gleaned much from your daily toils. It takes an exceptionally fertile mind to do what you do everyday.
I struggle each day to stay with the process of my own life and try and give the least emphasis possible to the outcomes. (outcomes which are unknown to me and in the future) I’ve also been ready to give certain things up right before some of the best outcomes have occurred because I stuck it out a little longer. It is up to each individual, with guidance from their Creator, to find and follow that process.
If this blog has run its course, I’d be the first to encourage you to go with what‘s next. I‘d also greatly miss the profound stimulation early each morning.

P.S. The visits count is down in the last few days but so is the troll count.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

You're still ahead of me by a factor of 10.

I'm writing for the robot in 2050 who is going to read my entire corpus in less than a second, send it on its voyage of reconnects with all the other related information for another few seconds, and synthesizes whatever is worth keeping into simple form.

I'm hoping it will be "forty-two."

Lisa said...

Please don't start to break into the Abba song, Knowing me, knowing you .....

There is nothing we can do
Knowing me, knowing you
We just have to face it, this time we're through
(This time we're through, this time we're through
This time we're through, we're really through)
Breaking up is never easy, I know but I have to go
(I have to go this time
I have to go, this time I know)
Knowing me, knowing you
It's the best I can do

Even if only a handful of Bobbleheads appreciate your wit and insight, it is worth it! Happy Father's Day!

I am up in Northern California right now, I can sort of understand how it can cultivate so many moonbats. It is really beautiful up here and they should feel guilty for living such a good life! It is very easy to escape the ugly reality of most of the world up here!

NEP Admin said...

I too read every day -- your insights are the tip of the pyramid, Gagdad, if that's any consolation. An intellectual WalMart this ain't.

As was once said of Peck's Road Less Travelled, it was a spontaneous act of generosity. So is One Cosmos.

One of these days i need to print every single 'Cosmos post, oldest to newest, and stick em all in a big three-ring binder.

It's that good, Bob. And that said, we needa get you linked from Pajamas. Anyone?

Anonymous said...

I bought your book; Ipuzzle over your thoughts and comments. There's a certain air of mystery about your posts. Your posts are a bit like annotations to the book. Someday I might even really appreciate what you're trying to say.

Anonymous said...

Oh don't stop, for heaven's sake!

I do not know what I shall do without you. Have you considered teaming with other people?

CatoRenasci said...

Bob, I'm a fairly regular for the past month or so - and I've sent a few others, my kids included, to see some of your posts. I didn't visit much of anyone online this weekend, sorry about your low numbers.

But, keep it up, your observations have been very interesting and thought-provoking, even when I disagree.

Jenny said...

I was on vacation and away from the internet, if that makes you feel any better. :)