Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Catch a Falling Man... Before it's Too Late

Anything can deliver us from our lost memory of the soul; science, history, art, or the sunlight on the grass taitami mats in the Zendo. And anything can enslave us: science, history, art, or the militarism of a Zen monastery. But if we are lost in time and suffering racial amnesia, then we need something to startle us into recollection. If history is the sentence of our imprisonment, then history, recoded, can become the password of our release. --William Irwin Thompson

This morning I am startled into recollection and inspired by Van der Leun’s beautiful zazen’s grokkings, The Star. Inspired how, you might ask? That I can’t yet say. We’re about to find out.

That is, if the baby doesn’t start screaming. He has a little thing called rotovirus. I will spare you all the vomitaceous diarrhetails, but suffice it to say, I got less sleep than usual and it is now later than usual, so we’ll have to see how far I can proceed into the wild godhead. Either way, I’m afraid it’s going to be a bit sloppier than usual. Perhaps I’ll be able to edit later as time permits....

I’m trying to pluck a quote, but you had best read the whole thing slowly, because it resonates with a certain aftertaste in the soul.... I’ll bet the French have a word for it, but if we do, I can’t think of it.

Theirs was the Age of Myth; a world where night was not clad in the web of lights that now obscures the stars. It was a world lit by flaring torches, dim oil lamps, guttering candles, the phases of the moon and the broad shimmering river of the Milky Way. When the sun went down and night ascended, life withdrew into homes....

The night sky, now so thin and distant, so seldom really seen, was to them thick and close at hand. They reclined on their hill sides, their roofs, or in rooms built for viewing the moon and the stars. They watched it all revolve above them. Remembered. Kept records. They saw beings in the heavens -- giants, animals, the origins of myth -- and knew that in some way it was all connected.

One of my favorite philosophers, Frithjof Schuon, expressed the counterintuitive view that ancient man was normative and that -- especially since the Renaissance -- we moderns have strayed into a hellish deviation that he equates with the kali yuga, or decadent “end times,” of Vedic lore. Modern secular humanism, he wrote, “is the reign of horizontality, either naïve or perfidious; and since it is also -- and by that very fact -- the negation of the Absolute, it is a door open to a multitude of sham absolutes, which in addition are often negative, subversive, and destructive."

We like to think that we have finally emerged from mankind’s long cognitive sleep or evolved out of our spiritual childhood, but Schuon insisted that it wasn’t so. Essentially, whatever we have gained in the realm of quantities -- the horizontal -- has been at the cost of alienation from the realm of precious qualities -- the vertical. Since the vertical is mankind’s true birthright, no amount of “quantity” can ever take its place. Rather, it can only result in getting more of what we really don’t need -- unless we are extremely conscious and careful.

Which, in a way, is one of the main themes of my book and this blog. I am acutely aware of the pathologies of modernity and postmodernity. And yet, is there a way to reintegrate the vertical into our modern world, or is it a hopeless task? For those readers who simply do not comprehend my condemnation of the error of leftism in all its forms, this is precisely why I do so, for I believe it results in a truncated, twisted version of man, with no hope of ever producing a society in which human beings can recapture their lost verticality.

With regard to the modern secular world, Schuon wrote that “there is nothing more inhuman than humanism, by the fact that it, so to speak, decapitates man: wishing to make of him an animal which is perfect, it succeeds in turning him into a perfect animal; not all at once -- because it has the fragmentary merit of abolishing certain barbaric traits -- but in the long run, since it inevitably ends by ‘re-barbarizing’ society, while ‘dehumanizing’ it ipso facto in depth.” The recent passage of the bloodiest century of all has left us with one brutal lesson, “that one cannot improve man by being content with the surface while destroying the foundations.”

Who knows -- rescuing mankind may not even be possible with the classical liberalism of the founders, but I simply know of no other system that comes close to being able to create and maintain a flourishing horizontal world for the purpose of verticality, interiority, and contemplation. John Adam’s said, “I am a revolutionary so my son can be a farmer so his son can be a poet.” Truly, my grandfather in England toiled for the railroad so that my father could emigrate to the United States and be a businessman so that I might abide in primordial slack and circumnavelgaze the divine with my cyberfriends. I can only hope that my son can do the same thing in his own way, irrespective of whether he turns out to be a man of action or of contemplation.

To see something special; something beyond you. To follow it wherever it leads. To always remain prepared for miracle and amazement. That's the inner music of the story of The Star. Like all stories that survive, it is one of the heart and not of the head, and like the heart, it will endure (Van der Leun).

In the end, I must respectfully reject Schuon’s belief that the historical present is beyond redemption, but I do not do so casually. There is great truth in what he says, and Van der Leun’s essay illuminates this. I myself am very much aware of how much our culture has deviated from its vertical bearings in just my lifetime, and Van der Leun touches on this as well: “In 1957, when I was twelve years old, we all lived in a far smaller universe with far fewer stars for God to destroy by way of cosmic birth announcements.” Our conception of the material universe has expanded since then, but this has not brought with it a simultaneous expansion of the mind. Instead, it seems to have engendered a dissipation and dispersal of the mind, as it can no longer come up against any “edge” to define itself.

I am reminded of how the first thing babies seek when they come into the world is not food, not love, but containment, for even food itself is simply something that serves to contain an infinite and boundless experience we call “hunger” but which the infant can only know as a persecutory presence within the horizon of its being. Eventually, with good enough mothering, this persecutory presence will be tamed and contained by a word, hunger, but food will nevertheless always be associated with its more primitive cognitive, even existential, foundation (which is why we have “eating disorders,” obesity, the plague of type II diabetes -- people eating not for the purposes of nourishment, but for emotional containment).

I think what Schuon means about the superior vertical ambiance of antiquity is that it more adequately “contained” and answered to man’s vertical needs than any watered down gruel that modern science can offer us. For man was not made for science, nor was science made for man, at least in terms of a place to live spiritually. This is a new, alien world we are living in, as we have essentially allowed a method for investigating material reality to eclipse and dominate the more direct modes with which man has always encountered his universe. Van der Leun writes that, with the passage of time,

“more intricately argued sciences would rise upon the structures of the proto-sciences of astrology and alchemy. These new fact-based sciences would push the first sciences into the realm of myth, speculation, superstition and popular fantasy.

“The new sciences, you see, were much, much more about ‘Reality.’ They would never be tossed aside as so many playthings of mankind's youth. The authority of astronomy, biology, physics, chemistry and others was as certain as the pole star. Unlike astrology and alchemy, they would never be questioned.... We could see (almost) into the moment of Creation. We could see (almost) into the mute heart of matter. We had the proven method. We had the hard evidence. Nothing was, in time, beyond our knowing. There was no doubt. We were Alpha and Omega.”

There are few things that modern man “endures less readily than the risk of appearing naïve; everything else can go by the board so long as the feeling of not being duped by anything is safeguarded” (Schuon). But in reality, it is the height of naïvety to believe that man can escape from naïvety on every plane, including the celestial plane which has always served as a sacred symbol of something far surpassing us.

Our over-educated blind men insist that we doubt all of "the original myths that have made us and sustained us as individuals and as a people across the centuries. In their pointless world, they would have us cast off the old myths and embrace their ‘new and improved myths -- complete with evidence'; myths made of purposeless matter ‘hovering in the dark.’"

Yes, our soulless elites are engaged in the endless project of evicting us from the interiority of things. And yet, as Van der Leun concludes, “every year a bit more it seems, a tide has shifted in the hearts of men and we turn like a lodestone to the deeper myths of the human heart; that place where The Star will always shine, always within and yet always beyond us.” If so, there lies our salvation, the rediscovery of man, and with it, God.

The sacred is the projection of the Immutable into the mutable; as a result, the sense of the sacred consists not only in perceiving this projection, but also in discovering in things the trace of the Immutable, to the point of not letting oneself be deceived and enslaved by the mutable.... The sense of the sacred is also the innate consciousness of the presence of God: it is to feel this presence sacramentally in symbols and ontologically in all things.... --F. Schuon


Early Morning Troll Attack said...

The flying troll, orbiting the electronic battlefield like a vulture, descends to make the first strafing run of the day.

Bob writes an eloquent passage that says beautiful and true things, but I am condemned by my jealousy to find fault. I beg for forgiveness.

Bob Writes:

"Who knows -- rescuing mankind may not even be possible with the classical liberalism of the founders, but I simply know of no other system that comes close to being able to create and maintain a flourishing horizontal world for the purpose of verticality, interiority, and contemplation."

But why rescue mankind? Bob and his crew have discovered verticality and can exploit it to the full; why the need to bring everyone else on board? Why save the culture? Why not let it perish like the diseased antediluvian civilization?

cousin dupree said...

It's a bodhisattva thing. You wouldn't understand.

ximeze said...


Still a legand in your own mind, I see.

Oh well.


What a lovely way to start the morning, will strive to carry that Star Image from the link with me all day & into the night.

dicentra63 said...

First, thank you for pointing us to that marvelous essay.

And now this:
O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish.
But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God.

It is true that we have created an alien world with our technology, but I do not think that it is inherently incompatible with a rich vertical experience. It just takes extra effort to ignore the distractions, ground oneself in gratitude, and identify and seize upon the diamonds among the cubic zircs and glass and paste.

Which is, unfortunately, why a goodly number of our brethren will never achieve it.

cousin dupree said...


Yes, regarding Van der Leun's essay, there are millions of bloggers who write, but only a handful of truly gifted writers who blog.

hoarhey said...

Lots to chew on here today Bob.

I have a friend (classical liberal type not a spaced out hippie type)who lives back in the woods up in a treehouse to keep out of reach of the grizzly bears. He runs the place on oil lamps and solar panels. It's always a treat to go visit him because the night sky is usually one of the many topics of discussion. He spends alot of time locating visible galaxies and star clusters and his sense of wonder is contagious. The topics of discussion can range from American Indian lore to Thor Heyerdahls Kon Tiki adventures to the fine points of building a homemade crystal radio. Always a pleasure to share a campfire with him.

Troll, you do realize that your envious attacks are just adding to that millstone around your neck, the weight of which will become quite evident on your deathbed.
Obviously you are still here for some reason. Why not just shut your mouth and find out what that reason is? It certainly isn't to teach anything.

Anonymous said...

I am not so sure it is the technological level which is proportional (inversely / supposedly) to the vertical growth.

I suspect it is the envelope of German Scientism which insists that we deny that which is not percieved by our senses, that which has no "evidence".

This is a rather dry assessment. For there exists evidence for the hand of God, they choose to not accept this, and promote their ideology.

Like political correctness and other Communist drivel, it asserts one to be insane if one is aware of the vertical.

One would think, in a surplus society like the West, the time we have saved in not having to do things by hand all the time would be an assist.

Ahh, but the feint is that we are told to be occupied by anything but the truth. It is okay to be spiritual, just not about God or truth. Thats insane.

So then, perhaps we can correlate the earlier times in our history, where things were harder, to the higher awareness of God in some ways.

That is to say, when you have less control, you seek his control with more furvor.

This then is no mystery, why perhaps God will relax his grip a bit, such that we will tighten our own.

If we also accept what the book of Romans tells us, that it is faith which God uses to generate his righteousness within us, then we can understand that we will always be seeking something, at (hopefully) an ever advancing level.

For to know all, would be to need no faith. The process would then be aborted. The connection wanes, and the light dies within us. We begin to tell, and not to persuade others. Because the mystery is then lost, and we are too sure of ourselves.

-Morning coffee drinking thoughts.


uss ben said...

You wrote a deep, disturbing and hopeful post today.

As hopeless as it seems, hope still emerges in the most unlikely circumstances, people, places, and ideas, at the most unlikely times.

When I read about our history;
what our founding fathers went through, against daunting odds, outnumbered, out-trained,
out-gunned, in bitter cold, with little or no food, clothing, or supplies.

With a certain death sentence hanging over their heads;
the founding patriots used their own money and supplies, losing a majority of their first battles.

All for an awesome ideal of Liberty,
granted by divine Providence.

It would take many miracles to make their God-inspired vision a reality.

Any sane or betting man would call the revolution insane.
A fools dream that can never be attained.

And yet...the miraculous happened...

We would do well to learn from their example of exemplary faith and hope.

The truth is, they were willing to die rather than surrender their liberties.

I see that faith, hope, and willingness to die for Truth and Liberty in the courageous young men
and women Warriors of the United States Military.
and in Patriots throughout our civilian population.

I'm not talking about nationalism, but rather the ideals our founding fathers forged.

I'm certain that we should never give up the the fight to defend Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness, no matter how bleak it appears.

Only faith and hope in our Creator can sustain us, and give us strength as we keep our focus on how precious God's gift of Liberty truly is.

The Reavers are always there, looking for any sign of weakness, with a burning, evil desire to destroy Liberty and those who
cherish it.

As Will said yesterday:
We must be hyper-vigilante, because these Reavers are cunning, and their supporters can kill and destroy with seductive and hypnotic words.

Anonymous said...


Treehouses! Cool!

When I was in college, I was VP of the Astronomy club. A small host of us would head out into the darker portions of New Mexico (of which there are several) and point our deep sky telescopes upward.

I spent many a night in well worth it wonder, nearly freezing my buns off with my eye pasted to a big bore Dobsonian.

Crystal radios are Kewl too. I am a radio monitor, so own several radios, from crystal sets, to classics like the Zenith Transoceanic, to masterpieces of intercept work like the Racal RA6790/GM.

Okay, enough nerd talk, looking at the stars is just awesome.


MikeZ said...

Van Der Leun is a poet. Poets light up places that the harsh glare of our Klieg light rationality doesn't always reach.

uss ben said...


Skully's catch of the day is now being served, piping hot!

Just click on USS Ben's name, and get ready to experience what I never put in words before.

I'm not sure words were enough for this one.

Well, at least not my limited repetoire.

NoMo said...

Thanks for leading us to “The Star”. Where it led me today:

Except when science, ancient or modern, follows strict scientific method, I see it as largely corrupted by working in reverse – that is, by seeking out and identifying those observables that support preconceived notions, rather than observing repeating processes that lead to their own conclusion. Our ancestors had the same fallen failings – with much the same results.

One must believe in God apart from direct evidence -- by faith. No science can ever rationalize a belief in God. Revelation beyond the natural is necessary. If, as the Bible teaches, our purpose is to glorify God, true science will only support that purpose. Any "science" that leads us elsewhere must be false.

Feel free to color me happily naive about a great many things, but joyously confident in what is most important (thank God).

will said...

There are those mystic philosophers, eg., R Steiner, who believe that the bygone ages of vertical awareness represented a youthful race memory of Spirit being born into matter - our 6th, 7th, etc. senses were still active, though our individualized selves were not. Steiner and others believe that the loss, the atrophy of the higher senses was necessary for the process of individuation to occur. The endgame involves the individualized self recovering the higher senses in full consciousness.

The whole concept of democracy, I think, represents at very least the opportunity to voluntarily ascend spiritually. However, given the extent to which we have lost vertical consciousness (perhaps as Steiner and co. believe, necessarily so), it seems to me that democracy mostly serves to pad the horizontal. Which is why I think that some kind of "universal trauma", a prescribed kali yuga, is now necessary, perhaps has always been necessary, for recovering our higher senses.

I think it's certainly true that a certain amount of material well-being is necessary for the beginnings of a beneficial spiritual contemplation. India, in Buddha's time was a wealthy entity - Buddha, in his father's palace, was fabulously wealthy. But it wasn't until he received an unwelcome taste of the world of death, decay, and entropy did he start out on the road to enlightenment. Abraham Lincoln, too - obviously he would have ever become the avatar that he was had he not been agonizingly well aquatinted with death, in his personal life, in the life of his war-ridden country.

No, I don't think we're beyond redemption at all. But, while this may not always be true, I think it usually does take a trauma to raise a spiritual village or a spiritual individual. That's why I can't despair over the spectre of mounting chaos in the world. It's probably necessary for our salvation. I believe in the coming years there are plenty of us who will be spurred on to the spiritual quantum leap - though until such time, we had better stay as awake as we can. The thief in the night comes when least expected, ya know.

Joan of Argghh! said...

Troll's"first strafing run...":

Well, the earthworms may have somewhat to complain about, but you missed with every volley. We're over here, silly!


Thanks for another quotable "Van" at One Cosmos! And every bit as mystic and moving as the other two Vans. That officially makes them a CaraVan of Magi, following one bright Star!

There really is a bigger world when we learn to constrain our brain with the hard edges of Truth first. Plus it makes for more to talk about.

Here's a poor offering for the One whose Star we seek:

A Holiday
no longer
still points
to miracles,
and rebirth,
and Presence.

A Holiday
carted, crated
and tagged,
straightens its crown,
looks into
a dark stable
of dubious shelter
not understanding
not doubting
the brilliant
Mind that pointed
to the
Breath of Heaven--
soft as baby's sigh
hard as Truth
old as Hope...

...and kneels

Early Morning Troll Attack said...

I loop around and bore in for my next run, but the guns jam...I try to pull up but the weight of my envy, guilt and sadness is too heavy, and I plow into the turf and explode.

The troll is dead.

Joan of Argghh! said...

...and yet somehow survived to tell the tale of his demise! LOL!

ximeze said...


Anonymous said...

Nomo doth speak..

"One must believe in God apart from direct evidence -- by faith."

This is a common misconception. That faith is somehow in opposition to science or common sense.

Remember, faith always has an object. In this sense, it is more like having faith in faith, or the faith process.

Faith is never in the abstract, ever. You can place it in science, in common knowledge, in folklore or in things common to your frame of reference. But faith always has an object, a person, a promise, a concept, a physical law or reality, a perception of reality that is close enough to work... always an object.

The only difference in the New Testament was that the object of you faith being God, and his ability to keep his word, is the process used by God to implant and impart his righteousness to you.

This is what the New Testament calls faith, and all other targets of faith are "apistis" or what we commonly translate disbelief, or literally, anti-faith, or simply, faith in the wrong thing(s).

Just remember, although mentioned as a quantity (".. if you have faith as a mustard seed..") it is a verb in Greek most often.

Words in English: Belief, Trust, etc. are all tranlisterations of the verb form of faith in Greek.

You can't not have faith. You used it to get out of bed today. You used it making your morning breakfast, but this was not the regenerating kind of faith if you did not do such things in awareness of God and his promises, and in his keeping you.

The idea that faith is nonsense and sensible people don't believe in such blind faith -is a lie.

There is no such thing as blind faith. Even blind faith, has an object -a misinformed one, but an object.

As for "direct evidence" there is plenty of that around to be found and understood. But it typically is not something that is considered under the envelope of Scientism, or what purports to be culturally normative behavior -because to look is to be somehow not rational.

I've said it before, but a good, basic starting place:

Josh McDowell's books: Evidence that Demands a Verdict, and More Evidence that Demands a Verdict.

God's hand is seeable in history, if one is willing to consider the possibility.

I actually saw a new Encarta dictionary a year or three ago, that defined faith as being a belief in something that did not exist or was not possible.

What poor scholarship that was, on a word that has manifold facets throughout history, in most languages and cultures. The PC dictionary for sure!

Use the Oxford English dictionary -library version (23+ volumes) -which is only somewhat clearer, but at least they really are, by and large, real scholars.

hmm.. coffee is kicking in..


hoarhey said...


Dude, you're gittin' it. Cool.

GeorgeD said...

Faith is what it takes to know the vertical. The horizontal may include a cross section of the vertical but the vertical can nver be understood by strictly looking at the cross section.

NoMo said...

Luke - I obviously wasn't clear. My point was a poor attempt to emphasize the central role played by scripture. It is through scripture, not science, that we know about Christ, the object of Christian faith -- meaning that one's view of scripture and science is crucial.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, perhaps I was not clear enough.

The point is, that faith, the same faith that lets you understand concepts of science, is the same faith mechanism that permits you to apply it to God.

In the Greek, there is no difference between a "mystical" faith towards the vertical, and the "boring" horizontal version. Only the object is different, and makes the whole difference.

The problem is, we like to attribute to faith, that mystical faith is different than boring faith. The "secret" is that you can use your boring faith, redirect it to the right object, and voila!

The mental bias that one is exclusive of the other is just untrue. It is the same mechanism, just on the wrong object.

Nomo, in addition to a more "traditional" view of scriptures, much of what is mentioned, in terms of people, places, things, and God's keeping his promises remains uncovered by traditional viewpoints.

Zarah of Tamar (brother of Pharez) is a prime example. He and his ancestors have gone very far, and are very well "hidden" in current traditional thinking.


Would not a cross section of anything contain elements of the functions of the vertical and horizontal? There are, no doubt, near boundary layer exceptions.


GeorgeD said...


Absolutely. The earth gives much evidence of its creator but something more is required to understand the Creator. The extra something is my definition of faith.

Jimmy J. said...

Envy is a sin and I commit it every time I read one of Van der Luen's essays. Oh, how I envy that man's writing talent. I suspect I am not the only sinner in that regard.

Our ancient ancestors knew many things we no longer least not the way they did.

They studied the stars, the movement of the moon, the changing of the seasons, the path of life. They knew they must nurture and teach their young well, lest the tribe cease to exist. They knew where to find game, when and where the berries would be ripe, where to go to dig edible roots, where to find good water, and oh, so much more. They saw the regular rhythm of weather, seasons, and of life and death. They sensed the wonder and majesty of it all. And they a Being whose name they did not know.

Some years ago I was in the bush of Kenya on a safari. Words canot do justice to the power of that experience. I felt as if I were in touch with life as our ancestors knew it. Each day we observed the rhythm of life and death as each plant, animal, and bird played out it's unique role on the vast stage of Africa's sere plains. Each night the heavens arched over us with their majestic displays of stars, undimmed by artificial light. Our guide was, like the ancients, in intimate touch with all our surroundings. He had a deep knowledge of and sensitivity for the bush that I could/would never have. In spite of that handicap, I felt vibrantly alive and in deeply touch with our Creator there in that wild and primitive place.

Van der Leun's poetic words put me back in touch with those same feelings. I count it as a CHRISTmas gift to have been transported by his words to those amazing days of Grace.

Thanks Gagdad for putting me intouch with his offering.

hoarhey said...

I'm finding your concept of containment interesting as I see it appying to my life.
You've spoken in the past of having a "religious container" to give direction and dispatch to spiritual growth.
I'm thinking back to an event which, as I see it, correlates to this concept.
I was making a transition from an uncontained decadent party life to a more spiritualy grounded and contained life. I had begun the spiritual journey when, wouldn't you know it, a couple of "friends" from the old life happened along and offered a quick return to the "glory days". Like the moron that I was, I took them up on it. What suprised and scared the hell out of me about the short but sweet high was that there was a definite disconnect from something that I wasn't even aware I had a connection to. I saw that in the past I had used the party atmosphere to dissipate and lose myself into a sort of insanity and that as a result of turning from that way of life, I had begun to establish a relationship with something nebulous but very real.

you wrote:

>>"Eventually, with good enough mothering, this persecutory presence will be tamed and contained by a word, hunger, but food will nevertheless always be associated with its more primitive cognitive, even existential, foundation (which is why we have “eating disorders,” obesity, the plague of type II diabetes -- people eating not for the purposes of nourishment, but for emotional containment)."<<

Addictions result from uncontained emotional/spiritual lives.
I've learned through the years that this concept of containment is applicable to all areas of life, the pieces have come together a little better for me today. In application to families, parents are a "containment" for children, spouses can be a "containment" for one another and God is the containment for the spouses.
It's actually a freeing concept as it allows a person to focus attention on the true adventures of life. It even acts as a guide to even know what the true adventures are.

River Cocytus said...

As the Psalmist said:

"Lead me in the way everlasting."

Had an interesting thought about his first paragraph-- about how dark the shadow was in those days-- before electricity.

Whenever watching movies or playing video games, I always find that 'dark places' are never dark enough-- not convincing to anyone but those who spend all of their days in the electric moonshine.

One exception to this, of course, was Doom 3, in which no matter of 21st century technology involved fitting a flashlight TO a weapon.

Nonetheless, not even I, dark-eyed as I am, could penetrate those shadows unaided. The world nowadays even at night is so bright that I will forget to turn on my headlights on occasion. Of course, I eventually hit a darker patch (like a stretch of road where there are no nearby lamps) and will notice there's less light than usual.

With LED's, light is so cheap that anyone could have it-- but yet, while the light is cheap and the shadow is chased further and further into our mental history-- the basic things do not change.

I recall someone saying (or singing) how much they loved the comfort of the dark-- being hidden from others in your troubles.

But when I played the recent Zelda game, some character or other says, "He (Gannon) wants to fuse light and shadow and make darkness."

I thought, ha, profound, coming yet from so pedestrian a source.

For what the person (singer) loved was not darkness, but the hiding-place of the shadows. Darkness is absence of light-- imagine the darkness if the sun went out. That is true darkness-- all other is just shadow.

WE who live in this modern era where light is cheap, and shadows are so dim, have forgotten that the shadow is an image of the darkness.

So many claim to embrace the 'dark' when they only embrace the shadow. But the shadow only is because of the light. The shadow without light is unending and everlasting darkness and death.

And the 'light' which makes the shadow is not the everlasting light, but the place of its vertical impact in the horizontal-- both a wave and a particle.

So when the shadows have retreated to the edges of the world, we have lost the emotional understanding of how the shadow is like the darkness.

And true, no man should fear the shadows-- but the darkness is greater than any living thing. What can persist at absolute zero?

Stars certainly can-- only the vessel known as light can live there.

And from these vessels is born life, the Sun, the Son-- as above, so below.

A thing we have missed is seeing the difference between dark and darkness, and light and everlasting light.

For while light and shadow complement each other, this light and darkness never can.

And so the foolishness of trying to integrate all things-- for while light and shadow must be part of the same whole separately, darkness and everlasting light belong not to the same whole. In trying to integrate light and shadow into the same thing, the unwise also try to fuse darkness and light. What is left is only shadows, and then, darkness.

The light and the material light drive shadow away, but only the everlasting light destroys darkness. This light cannot be one with darkness-- it can only drive it out.

And so Stars are like the 'as above, so below' equivalent, the material manifestation of this eternal principle of light everlasting. But as material things they too are born and die.

The lie of darkness is that like light and shadow, he and the light everlasting can be complementary as well. But the results cannot contain the light everlasting -- the heat of its flame -- its true fire, burns away the darkness like so much paper.

And so men are left with a complement of material light and spiritual darkness. As the shadows creep further away, the darkness moves slowly in. If only men remembered the light everlasting! If only they had an understanding of what the eternal night was!

For without the light everlasting there is no way to drive out the eternal night -- and so as material light slowly fills the world, the unending dark sits in the shadow, waiting.

One day the light will reach its end, and what will be left will be eternal night-- which will be impenetrable.

As the Psalmist said:

"A Mighty man is not delivered by much strength".

River Cocytus said...

Speaking of the hiding-place of the shadows, there's an old spiritual that goes:

"There's no hidin' place 'round here,
There's no hidin' place 'round here.
I went to the Rock to hide my face,
But the Rock cried out "No Hidin' Place!"
There's no hidin' place 'round here."

Someone earlier asked about the guitar song where I was certain that the musician was using the guitar's sounds as complements to the music. The song is called:

The Impending Death of the Virgin Spirit and it is by William Ackerman. He does the same changes Dvorak uses in the second movement of the New World Symphony, which to the musically grokked could be described as '6-5-3-4'.

The Bach Oratorio, lessee if I can find it...

It's considered a Cantata, Apparently, Ein' Feste Burg Cantata I think is what they are calling it. I found one link to it here at Amazon or Sheet music here. I wish I could share it with y'all, but I can't see a good way to do that.

MikeZ said...

I hope I can be excused (or at least, pardoned) for recommending another blog post. This one fits in with some of the discussions we've been having - about Political Correctness, about the cost of true free speech. It's by a lady who styles herself as "Mirthful Infidel and Brahms officionado" (and I doubt that is a careless misspelling).

True free speech is costly

She starts with the German resistance group White Rose (about which you really should find out), who paid the ultimate price for speaking out against the Nazis.

She's talking about "...the complicit, willing self-censorship of the free world's press." In other words, PC.

"We censor ourselves, WILLINGLY, because we don't wish to hurt anyone's feelings. That is the first link in the chain of tyranny."

As they say, read the whole thing. It's worth it.

River Cocytus said...

Triple post here, but rather, the changes are

6-5-3(6)-4 (figured.)
vi-V-I(6)-IV (roman numerals.)
with a melody of
1-7-5-6 (from 1 as the tonic.)

There's a retardation of 5-6 that Ackerman does which is not in Dvorak.

If that doesn't make any sense to you, then that's okay. If you read this book someday it will click way better.

As a side note, this particular melody/harmony pair seems to have an unusual quality to it.

GLASR said...

Do loop bordering perfection.

cousin dupree said...

River Cocytus:

You are no doubt thinking of No Hiding Place, by the amazing Dorothy Love Coates.

NoMo said...

lukebiblescholar (seems a more appropriate handle) - You are one who might appreciate for a ton of great Christian apologetics info. I've been listening to and learning from a radio program hosted by the site guy lately (his name is Matthew J. Slick -- gotta love it).

NoMo said...

cousin dupree -- don't forget "and the Original Gospel Harmonettes".


cosanostradamus said...

There is so much good stuff here today. My wee brain is freewheeling&reeling even more than usual...and although it's all been said many times before and far more eloquently, I just gotta say...

The Age of Myth was constructed around the importance of story, and brought people together knowing they played an integral part in it.

Our Age of Enlightenment is built around the god of knowledge and the accumulation of facts and measures in which humans have no role to play; we're just another fact, another measure, and all accidental.

Perhaps both are squinting hard to see the face of God. One sees the edge of a shadow pass by, or the slight flicker of a leaf as a raindrop falls from miles above, and is filled with inexplicable joy; the other looks in a mirror and is aroused by an inviting Narcissus or is horrified by a strangely familiar death mask.

Fortunately, there is still a remnant of true mythologists (Verts) rubbing archetypical salt into the wounded flesh of the age (Hos). Some are healed and join the journey, others scream and hurl offal at the merry band of passing pilgrims who laugh and press on toward the Celestial City.

There is far more Truth in archetypical myth (e.g the Genesis record, Virgin Birth, The Upanishads, or LOTR) than in all our scientific libraries. All done with far fewer words, as well.

And by myth, I don't mean lie; I mean parable or an abstract necessary to enable the mind's I to leap through the dim glass, however momentary.

Of course I don't want to give up my forced heat and air conditioning, 4-wheel drive jeep, or whizbang PC either - all the direct result of scientific endeavor and for which I am grateful - but I do not want to be distracted by them enough to forget that it's the Story that really matters. Is that possible in our culture? I really don't know, I ask myself that almost every day and most of the time I don't like the answer. Hey - it's a rerun of House MD - let's watch!

The magi, the star, the Christ child, the crucifixion, the resurrection - these are powerful Stories, true beyond all the explanations invented to prove or disprove them. They were and are life and culture and civilization and world changing in their impact. And utter heresy to trolls.

So as long as the salty ones are still around, I have plenty of hope. Darkest before dawn and all that, although I have heard it said that it's always darkest just before it goes pitch black (courtesy of Either way it's ok, it's part of the Story and we've been written into it.

Ok, it's Christmas week, let's start the's the first one, I'll start:

Joy to the World
The Lord Is Come
Let Earth Receive Her King......

cosanostradamus said...

river -

I think I have that Ackerman disc at home, gotta find it later...

Here's another great musical primer for budding songwriters or anyone interested in how songs are crafted - Tunesmith

PsychoPrincess said...

<*> Radiance Reborn <*>

"A Star on Her Finger, a Gleam in Her Eye, a Passion in Her Heart, a Light in Her Mind. A Fire in Her Spirit, a Joy in Her Soul...Diamonds, A Reminder of Radiance, Reborn."

"Tonight, after Shopping for Presents (as Princess' will!), walking outside in quiet and still, to clear my head of Shoppers-Frazzle, leaving behind Christmas Lights and the Holiday Electronica razzle dazzle...

Meditating on G-BOBs Blog today, my eyes are drawn upward, inward, away from the twinkling baubles, to my Companion within, to Listen to His Voice, to See thru His Eyes, to Know His Thoughts, and Reflect with Him...

Together We walked and talked and shared, Thru His Eyes I beheld Diamonds...Brilliancy set against the Black Velvet Night; Sanity, Clarity, True Beauty and Light, are the Diamonds Who Shine Here in the OneCosmos Sky...

Once They were Coal, yet under His Pressure, thru Spirit Formation, They are Chiseled, Molded, Refined and Reformed...Each Shines with His Light of Transformation...Born to Be Diamonds...A Reminder of Radiance, Reborn."

~ PsychoPrincess ~
"Diamonds ARE A Girls Best Friend"


PsychoPrincess said...

POWERFUL thoughts and images here today.

Can't Thank You All Enuf for Being Diamonds in My Sky.

The Spirit-Light You Share is... Exquisite. Profound. Touches me, Moves me often to Tears. Pierces my Soul with Sorrow and Joy. Reality and Hope are here, Eternal yet Present. The Spirit is Beyond, yet The Spirit is Right Here...Within Your Words, Alive in Your Souls.

You are A Nexxus - The Cruxpoint of Heaven & Earth Alive in Your Spirit & Soul. You..Are..Beautiful Beyond Belief!

Heheheh, Beauty must be what finally "does it" to get the Princess to type less, renders her to Grateful-Filled Tears & Silly Sweet Giggles, her face in a towel, fingers finally away from the keyboard. :D

Striking...the LACK of DEPTH of FELLOWSHIP at any of the Six Flags Over Jeezuz Professional Circuses.


A CyberHouse to Call Home
for the Previously Homeless.

A Hospital of Healing and Hope
for the Wounded, Weary & Hopeless.

A Beacon Shining for Lost Ships at Sea,
Guiding Them Back to Harbor, Safely.

A Wellspring of Water in a Wilderness Dry, Quenching Ones Thirst for Truth Free From Lies.

A WatchFire Burning Thru the Night
Warning When the Enemy draws within Sight.

A Fellowship Blazing with Spirit & Light, Helping Blind Men See with New Spirit & Sight.

~ PsychoPrincess ~

Anonymous said...

Beyond language, The Word. Beyond time, Eternal Light.
Beyond forms, Infinite Form.
Beyond humanity, Eternal Man.

Created as a Testament to Eternal Truth, I chose to live the primordial lie.

In Your Goodness You created me. But how could I know such Unbounded Love?

Your Wholeness was too much to bear. So I hid in the Abyss.

A fractured shell of the Man You created.

Alone in the Void, I made my own world. Blacker than the abyss from which it was built. An abominable mockery of Your perfect Creation.

Reenacting my Fall for all of time. Through all of history. Every instant of life.

Every day. Every breath.

The same patterns. The same symbols. An endless loop of untethered consciousness.

But You did not forsake me.

You entered the dim world of my creation and infused it with Your Light.

Allowing Goodness, Truth and Beauty to flourish in a place that had only known darkness.

I humble myself before you, Living God. Who, in Your compassionion, has returned to me my Spirit. Great is your faith in me.

NoMo said...

There's nothing finer...

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. (Rev 22:1-5 TNIV)


integralist said...

Nice post, Monsieur Godwin. And I applaud you for quoting William Irwin Thompson, one of my very favorite writer-philosopher-poets--perhaps one of the most unsung great thinkers of the last thirty years (IMO, at least).

What arises for me from your post is the clash of two archetypal views with regards to human culture and spiritual awareness: the Traditional or "Romantic" view espoused by Schuon, Guenon, et al; and the progressivist/evolutionary view as espoused by Aurobindo, Steiner, Wilber, et al. To some degree it is a directional thing: the former looks back for God, the latter looks forward.

But are either fully true? Or is there, again, a more embracing integral view? (I would even say that the big integral name, Ken Wilber, veers too much towards the latter, labeling the former "retro-romantic" and "regressive").

Walter Cruttenden's book The Lost Star of Myth and Time outlines an interesting possible synthesis. He believes, after Sri Yukteswar, that our sun is part of binary partnership with another star, and that what we know as the precession of the equinoxes is not the Earth's wobble, as is accepted, but the orbit our sun shares with this star (possibly Sirius). During this 24,000-year period the Earth goes through a spiritual cycle equating with the Indian yugas. But it is cyclical with two parts to the Great Year of 24,000 years: a 12,000 year descent and a 12,000 year ascent. According to Cruttenden via Yukteswar, we are in the early part of the ascending cycle--which began in the depths of the Dark Ages, 1400 years ago.

Whether or not Cruttenden's theory is at all scientifically viable, it offers an interesting solution to the "Fall of Man" vs. "Evolution of Man" debate. According to Cruttenden we do both; just as in the daily cycle it gets darker as we "descend into night" and gets lighter as we "ascend into day."

Anonymous said...

For some Sirius and intersting reading, Robert K.G. Temple's "The Sirius Mystery".

Also "The Glory of the Stars" by E. Raymond Capt, "The Gospel in the Stars" by Joseph Seiss, and "Witness of the Stars" by E. W. Bullinger

Or David Davidson's "The Great Pyramid, its Divine Dimensions" -which deserves a bit of discussion, and a few dozen other books -but it is late.

Integrate that pally!


Anonymous said...

Joan, I am curious, are you from Arrgghhentina?


hoarhey said...


Wasn't Walter Cruttenden on Art Bell? ;)

Joan of Argghh! said...


No. No soy de Argentina. Naci aqui en los estados unidos, pero vivia en el d.f. de Mexico.

Otra cosita?

uss ben said...

I integrated a very large beef and bean burrito, with hot sauce, cheese, and guacamole.

However, I don't feel enlightened.

Van said...

Joan of argghh!!! said... "That officially makes them a CaraVan of Magi, following one bright Star!"


I think your poor offering is a wealthy one.

Van said...

Hoarhey said ... "I was making a transition from an uncontained decadent party life to a more spiritualy grounded and contained life..." and then notes that with a slip up "... was that there was a definite disconnect from something that I wasn't even aware I had a connection to. "

I remember that time well as well.

And regarding the containers, I recall those days and think of the search for ... search maybe too deliberate a word... wandering through the variety of various ... um... inputs, be they liquid, or literary, spiritual, thrilling (and) or curvaceous, I had the decided mindset that there were many worthwhile 'goods and truths' in the world and no reason to hold one up over another.

It wasn't until I allowed the idea of a One being more worthwhile than the many (enter future wife), not a commitment, no-sir-ree-bob, just the idea of one maybe being elevated above the rest... and soon the many were just that - it was a rather awkward moment that the realization dawned on me, but this being a respectable joint, I won't go into that - but with the idea of a vertical scale of value being introduced, and of one 'container' at the top of all scale, those that didn't rise above the horizontal plane just became worthless.

I seems as if with the idea of not just a container, but of One Container being above the Rest, that the scattered interests that had all been of equal and distractingly enjoyable value, suddenly were shown to be but cheap knockoff's in the illuminating light of the One above the rest, and it becomes the container for all.

What had seemed to be an unnecessary restriction, is suddenly seen as being not a restriction, but a consolidating, a strengthening, the One value, a focal point from which the many are merely reflections of.

Van said...

cosanostradamus said... "There is far more Truth in archetypical myth (e.g the Genesis record, Virgin Birth, The Upanishads, or LOTR) than in all our scientific libraries. All done with far fewer words, as well.

And by myth, I don't mean lie; I mean parable or an abstract necessary to enable the mind's I to leap through the dim glass, however momentary."

You got it. I've got the first 2 of probably 4 posts up on my site relating to this idea, and the relation of thought to word... #3 coming soon...

Van said...

PsychoPrincess said...
<*> Radiance Reborn <*>

There you go - short and Very sweet.

(didn't your fingers almost crash from zooming down from sonic speed to standstill so abruptly?)


Van said...

annonymous of comment 12/20/2006 09:09:48 PM

ah... yes.

Van said...

uss ben said... "I integrated a very large beef and bean burrito, with hot sauce, cheese, and guacamole.

However, I don't feel enlightened. "


River Cocytus said...

The counterfeits all fit together nicely.

Just sayin'.

River Cocytus said...

Integralist: As God is both the Alpha and the Omega, he can be found both by looking forward and looking backward. You just won't see ALL of him.

Heck, you'll probably miss most of him.

But, eh.

Van said...


Interesting idea about the orbits - probably a bit of a stretch, but interesting.

A quick downing the coffee before dashing out thought:

If true, apart from the scientific knowledge, would it have any actual value or impact above the level of another fact among lists of facts?

But as with myth, the imagery conveys a value of it's own - but not entirely of it's own, it can't attain to it's coherent imagery apart from the facts, and the facts have no value of themselves, without their support for the imagery.

There's the archetypal contrast forever swirling about eachother, as with the Yin-Yang, and it's only when that the two halves of the swirl are seen to be contained by and within a One, that their full value can be grasped.

ximeze said...

Inte said:
"To some degree it is a directional thing: the former looks back for God, the latter looks forward."

How very linear of you.

Going on: "Or is there, again, a more embracing integral view?"

Seems you're looking to "embrace" a "line" function.

Ummm... can't you see you've set up a real problem for youself?

Anonymous said...

In my opinion the human race as a whole is more or less in it's teenage years.

We have collectively entered the annoying but for some reason natural/common know it all phase of our youth. This stage, which we all experience to varying degrees, is obviously annoying and/or comical to those around us, but for whatever reason God considers it a neccessary stage for us individually and collectively.

Now obviously individually some of us emerge from our teenage years with an unhealthy number of hang ups, which in many cases can be attributed to poor parenting by poorly developed adults.

My point of view is that collectively God is our parent and I am optomistic about his ability to parent us into healthy adults no matter how cocky and ungrateful our our current collective disposition appears.

integralist said...

Hoarhey, yes, Cruttenden has been on Art Bell once or twice.

Will, nice post about Steiner etc. I tend to agree with Steiner, but also with your assertion that modern civ. tends to "flatland," thereby obscuring even disallowing depth and what Godwin calls "verticality."

But I do think we are undergoing our "universal trauma" right now--the birth pains into a global civilization. Vertical development may be a necessity for us to survive into the 22nd century.

tsebring said...

Integralist - If by "global civilization" you mean a one-world government, good God, I hope not. It seems that there are some on the far, far left that would like nothing better, which kind of explains the popularity of the U.N. and Open Borders among those folks. If you mean a global economy, then I would tend to agree, and think that to be a most desirable thing. A global, free-market economy, despite the caterwaulings of the anti-globabization mob, is the best weapon we have against both the jihadists and the one-worlders.