Sunday, June 03, 2007

Deep Change

As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I'll be posting under adverse circumstances for the foreseeable future. Frankly, I don't know how I've made it this far, because the circumstances have been pretty adverse ever since I started doing this, what with a newborn in the house. Now with the puppy, it's crazy. I won't go into all the details, because it would be too long and boring.

Yesterday Will wrote about change -- in particular, the biggest change of all, death. Actually, I suppose death would have to be tied with birth. And maybe the birth of your first child at 49. And then maybe throw a great dane puppy into the mix. Add a little type I diabetes that is diagnosed the same month your son is conceived....

By the way, thank you Will for bobstituting yesterday. Will actually proposed some other ideas for how I might take the day off as needed. For example -- I think this would be interesting -- someone could interview me. Or, one Raccoon could interview another Raccoon of his or her choice in some depth. I personally think that would be quite interesting. For example, imagine, say, Dilys interviewing Will, or vice versa.... I think I'd pay for that....

One reason I don't generally just post an oldie is that there is something about producing a post out of thin air that makes it feel as if it's connected to the cosmic weather pattern of the moment, even if the topic of the post has nothing explicitly to do with current events. Hard to explain, but there's a certain kind of energy behind or under or around it. Perhaps it's like how some wine experts can supposedly tell what year a wine was produced and what part of the country the grapes came from. Maybe someone with extremely advanced coonscent could smell one of my posts and name the day it was hatched.

There are two things I wanted to write about, but I have no idea if all hell will break loose around here before I can get into them in any depth. So I'll just start, and see how far we can get.

At the moment, I only have two words that kept rattling around my brain after reading Will's post yesterday. One of them was depth. The other was change. We take both of these words for granted, in a classic case of what Bion called "saturation." That is, we don't actually have any idea what these words really mean, but if we keep using a word long enough, then we convince ourselves that we do.

It's very much like money in that way. Obviously we use money all the time, but who ever stops to think about what it actually is? As soon as you do think about it, it becomes a little absurd. Look at a dollar. What is that? Yes, it symbolizes something, but what? And since it symbolizes something, can I exchange it for what it symbolizes -- for the reality underneath the symbol? No, not since the gold standard was abolished. Even then, what is a piece of gold, anyway? Ultimately, I suppose we could say a dollar is like a little ladle with which we can dip into a vast ocean called "wealth." Whatever that is.

In my book, I wrote about how this problem is especially pertinent when we discuss God and religion. But then again, probably no more problematic than when we discuss philosophy, or relationships, or art, or anything that is both real and above the material plane. Frankly, it's amazing that we can communicate at all, especially when we are talking about highly abstract and sense-distant subjects. With regard to spirituality, the idea is to be able to cash in religious words for the experience they symbolize or "store," not to get hung up on the abstract symbol. A symbol is a bridge between one domain and another.

Returning to the poor cognitively diminished atheists and their complaint that I literally make no sense. This is actually quite fascinating, because what they are actually saying -- obviously -- is "I don't understand you." But instead of trying to do so, they childishly foreclose the transitional space in which such understanding could occur by insisting that there is no understanding to be had. This solves their problem, but only in a spurious way that makes growth an impossibility.

This is a fine example of Bion's oft-repeated point that the answer is the disease that kills curioisity (and obviously, many religious people are as bad as atheists in this regard -- they are simply mirror images of each other). This concept is central to psychoanalysis, although different analysts understand it in different ways. But all analysts are familiar with the fact that ninety percent of the battle in therapy is creating the conditions under which understanding, change and growth may take place. You could tell the patient many important things on their very first session, but they would be of no use to them. And if you used highly technical clinical language, they'd say -- just like the atheist -- that you make no sense at all and never come back (except the atheists keep coming back).

As always, "self-satisfaction" and "growth" are inversely related. A rock-bottom prerequisite for gaining anything from therapy is the understanding that, in the deepest sense, you are and always will be an irreducible mystery to yourself (I believe this is because we are created and not the creator of ourselves, but that's the topic for another post). The people who know themselves the least are generally the ones who don't even think about it. But no amount of psychotherapy will ever result in absolute knowledge of the self, the cosmic interior.

Therapy actually aims at two rather different and not necessarily related ends, one "negative," one "positive." In fact, as you grow in therapy, one part of yourself should become less mysterious, while another part becomes even more mysterious.

It reminds me of one of the last works of fiction I read some 20 years ago, called "Little Big." I don't remember anything else about it except that it proposed an ontology that consisted of a series of concentric circles. The purpose of life is to journey closer to the center. But unlike a series of euclidean circles, which become smaller as you approach the center, these circles become wider and more expansive until you reach the center, which is infinite -- furthermore, it is the infinite ground of all the surrounding spaces -- or "realms," "principalities," "domains," etc.

That is not an imaginary world. Rather, it is this world.

Anyway, the "negative" aspect of psychoanalysis involves understanding and transcending those aspects of the self that cause one to be "stuck," so to speak -- which interfere with growth (another word that is fraught with implications). These often fall under the heading of "mind parasites" as outlined in my book. Especially during our first few years of life, we internalize various things from the (largely) parental environment that become "hardwired" in, since our brain is developing at the same time these experiences are occurring. Therefore, more than at any other age, experiences are converted to "background objects" (or subjective alter egos) that are etched into our neurology.

Freud's classic description of the purpose of psychoanalysis still holds, which is to work, love, and play. To the extent that your mind parasites are limiting you, it is likely to manifest in one of these areas: the ability to be productive in a meaningful and pro-social manner; the ability to find fulfillment in enduring intimate relationships; and the ability to be freely spontaneous and creative. Besides rhythm, who could ask for anything more?

The second aspect of therapy is more "positive," and in my opinion -- and the opinion of Bion, at least implicitly -- verges on the religious and the mystical. For it has to do with maintaining a harmonious dialectic between the two utterly different modes of being that constitute the human subject. Again, different psychoanalysts use different words to describe these different parts: you could say ego and unconscious; or like the Jungians, ego and Self; or Being and knowing; or symmetrical and asymmetrical consciousness; or the Dreamer Who Dreams the Dream and the one who is involved in it.

Following Bion, I simply chose to use the abstract symbol O for the ultimate unknowable reality underlying both the internal and external world. You might think of it as an existential "place marker," in that it signifies something that obviously exists -- must exist -- but which we can never, ever contain, describe, or completely circumnavelgaze. This is the inexhaustible ground of existence, which is not a riddle to be solved but a mystery to be played with and enjoyed. It tosses up various ideologies and philosophies -- various -isms and wasms -- out of its depths, and, like the ocean, washes them all aside with the passage of time. Today's cutting edge philosophy will be swept away in the cosmic tide, just like all its predecessors -- unless the philosophy specifically begins with O as its ultimate ground and final term.

Which is one reason why proper theism is so much more infinitely deep than atheism. If one of our atheist friends were here, I might like to ask him: do you consider atheism deep? Never mind true or false, but deep. If he says no, then he is dismissed. We have made our point about their radical disconnect from O for the purposes of assuaging cognitive and existential anxiety.

But supposing he says, "yes. To me, atheism is very deep stuff, protean in its implications, so deep I can hardly stand it!" The first thing I would want to do is define our terms. For what does the atheist mean by "deep?" Is this a "fact," an objective thing that can be located in the external world? And is there in fact any correlation between "deep" and "true?"

I don't mean for this to sound grandiose (for one thing, anyone can do it), but often I get into a sort of "prophetic" or "oracular" mode, in which Proclamations just come to me with a kind of certainty. Sometimes I don't even understand them myself at first, but I've come to trust the process. I'm not saying that my "prophecies" are always true -- that's for others to decide anyway. But what I'm saying is that this is an example of a kind of knowing that far exceeds what my little ego is capable of. Clearly, if I am right, it is simply what I call in the book O-->(k) -- or, as alluded to above, a product of the dynamic reconciliation of our little local self and our BIG NONLOCAL SELF. Living at the shoreline between these two diverse modes of being is where it all happens, baby. It is where I always try to be. Frankly, everything else is a slightly wearisome distraction at this point in my life.

Anyway, a phrase might pop into my head that feels very "certain" -- or is endowed with the "spirit of certainty," so to speak -- even though it's not any kind of emprical or mathematical certainty, like 2 + 2 = 4. For example, I -- or it -- might declare, "soul is the dimension of depth in all things."

Hmm. Okay. Nice platitude. Have you considered writing greeting cards? But what does it mean? Obviously it cannot be proven in the usual way. Should we even take it seriously? Or just put the card back in the rack?

Yes, I think the former, because this petrified bobservation is full of implicit meaning that cannot be explained in any other way.

Damn, baby is stirring. Totally breaks the mood. Where did O go?

I wanted to make a point about revelation in the context we have been discussing. Clearly, the atheist cannot know -- experientially, I mean -- what it means to dwell in revelation, to unceasingly meditate upon it in such a way that it generates a kind of knowledge that percolates up from deep within the self. How and why does this happen?

Because, in my opinion, revelation is as close as we can get to an "objectification of O." I realize that some Christians are uncomfortable with this, but I do not reduce revelation solely to the Bible or to Christ -- the latter being another objectification of O, by the way. I won't get into the other revelations that I consider divinely authorized objectifications of O, but that's not important anyway. The point is to engage in the ceaselessly generative process of interior engagement with the sacred forms of revelation -- which we "light up" from within, and which in turn light us from within. The purpose is to change us. In depth. In turn, this "deep change" is sufficient proof of the reality of God. Whatever that is.


will said...

Wonderful post today, Bob. I'll be commenting later, but first . . .

Well, I'm sure everyone will be relieved to hear the Bob didn't do quite as well on his rodeo clown tests as he had hoped. He won't be "out on the circuit".

The judges liked Bob's clown suits for the most part, but they added, "We don't care for the gossamer gowns at all."

The judges indicated that Bob's words to the bull riders before they came out of the chute - "Hey, I'm glad I'm not you, buddy!" - was not the kind of encouragement they were looking for.

Also, the proper clown response to a bull after it has tossed a rider is to taunt and distract it from the fallen rider - it is not to make a beeline for the nearest exit while screaming, "Whoa mama, I'm out of here!"

According to the judges, Bob spent an inordinate amount of time taking advantage of the free concessions allotted to the rodeo personnel. Evidently parents complained that the cotton candy stand was empty by mid-morning.

The judges found Bob's juggling and acrobatics "good to excellent". They were confused, however, by Bob's frequent use of the word "infrahuman" in his categorizing of certain members of the crowd.

Overall, while not giving Bob a passing grade, the judges did find Bob's enthusiasm to be "boundless," and they encouraged him to try again. Well . . . I suspect that the next time Bob needs a vacation, it will be because he wants to explore something different - who knows, maybe stunt double for Charlie Sheen or manager of a Motel 6.

Anyway, the rodeo's loss is our gain. We're all glad to have him back!

interlocutor said...

Inspiring post today, Bob. I believe in your ability (and sincerity) as a mystic and channel and I accept your intuitions as genuine emanantions from 0.

The statement that arose, "soul is the dimension of depth in all things" makes good material for a meditation.

I also liked your image of 0 as a sea, and the shoreline the interface between 0 and ordinary life, and how you enjoyspending time at this seashore.

In honor of your return, I'll spend this entire day at this beach, even as I go to Costco and do other ordinary things.

I accept you as a spirit leader of the highest stripe.

juliec said...

Hmm - I wasn't going to comment yet, but my word veri is "gnogc," which must be a bit like "logic" except that it comes from someplace deep, and probably can't be adequately explained by mere reason.
It's a little spooky that this software so often comes up with non-words that seem so pertinent to the discussion; on the one hand, it's clearly a type of online Rorschach test, but on the other, today for example, "gnogic" just seems a little too perfect.

As to scientific evidence of souls and depth, I stumbled across this article the other day on Irish Trojan's blog. I'm not a regular reader of his, but this was interesting to me.

Gagdad Bob said...

True, the clowning didn't go as well as might have been hoped. Very conservative group. Who made up the rule that a rodeo clown can't wear a thong? You know, something for the ladies as well as the kids. But at least while up in Bakersfield I had the opportunity to visit the Buck Owens museum, which is even more awesome than it sounds.

will said...

In reponse to Susannah's comment this morning (on yesterday's post) re: death as being ultimately inimical to our real, natural state of being.

I agree. Whereas I think that death, as defined as "profound metamorphosis" is indeed a natural characteristic of Creation, what we know as physical death is, in a very real sense, literally unnatural. I think many just have a spiritual, intuitive sense that this is so.

Our fallen world, we sense, is just "not supposed to be this way." I believe that when we fell from the Archetypal Realms into gross materiality, the "higher death" became the "lower death", ie., physical death. In the same way, the "waters of Spirit" literally became material water, a corruption of the heavenly water.

However, in spite of being their being corrupted by materiality, water amd death as we know them still have divine resonance. Genuine artists have always been spiritually inspired by rivers, lakes, oceans. Similarly, the spiritual mind can sense the resonance of profound rebirth in physical death, as awful as it is.

As to whether the fallen world and physical death was absolutely necessary to our becoming partners with God, who knows. I think it does help to keep in mind that the Godhead Itself died to It's own Oneness in order that the Many (you and me, in other words) might be born and rise to full partnership with God.

will said...

Juliec - "gnogic" should definitely be a word. Let's have a contest for a proper and exact definition.

Gagdad Bob said...

That reminds me. When Mrs. G and I were on our honeymoon 20 years ago, we spent a lot of time, yes, playing Scrabble. We had a rule that you could make up a word, but it had to have an exact definition, plus it had to actually sound like a real word. The only one I can recall at the moment is "slimp." The slimp refers to a bar of soap in its final days, when it's almost down to nothing. Somewhere in the house is a whole list of similarly useful words.

walt said...

Juliec -

My gnogc (such as it is) says, "Thanks for the link. Very interesting."

Lisa said...

Don't forget that we, ourselves, are made up of over 70% water. Our bones are literally floating around in layers of fascia and muscles. Proper alignment of the body can help the body vibrate at higher frequencies which keep the internal organs functioning better and also creates more negative space in the body. Breathe! Just another friendly reminder.

know what you mean julie, my wv is pikqy....;)

juliec said...

I'm still fuzzy on the definition, but I'm fairly certain that Bob could be considered a gnogician. (Like a logician or a magician)

will said...

"gnogic" - a form of logic exclusive to the domain of higher perception, gnosis. "Gnogic" may be revealed through forms of expression not traditionally granted to linear logic, ie., poetry, revelation, dream, intuition.

"pikqy" - a very high class pickiness.

Lisa said...

Negative space in the body is expanding the space in nothing or space, in case anybody is wondering. This is another familiar pattern of withdrawal to the center in order to emerge and create or move or change. Paradox and infinity can be mindboggling, sometimes I can understand why ubersmart scientists and mathmeticians go mad!

will said...

Lisa, is also true that the earth is about 70% wawa?

Nice example, I think, of "as it is above/so it is below"-ness, a.k.a., the law of likenesses.

Hey. who knows, maybe the cosmos is about 70% dark matter.

will said...

>>Paradox and infinity can be mindboggling, sometimes I can understand why ubersmart scientists and mathmeticians go mad!<<

They wouldn't if they could apply gnogic to what they contemplate.

Lisa said...

yes, thanks, Will. you can always finish my half-baked thoughts...!

Anonymous said...

The usual person whether an atheist or religious is full of self-image only. If you really look into the mirror, to see your true relection there, you will see that you are actually a hairy, shitting, dying ape. Contrary to any self-image that you presume,that is what is actually reflected in the mirror itself.

Generally speaking, when people look into the mirror, they are preening themselves, imagining all kinds of glamorous things about themseleves, including religious self imaginings. If things are not going well they see negative things reflected there. In either case, they are identified with the relection. Generally, they are not seeing what is actually in the mirror. They are only seeing their ideas about themselves which are mind made ideas, or mental programming, programmed into the brain, and into the body altogether, on the basis of impulse, desire, reaction, bondage, and illusion. Much of the imagined self-imagery is also culturally manufactured.

Are you the emporer with your "new clothes", your glamorous persona, full of attractiveness and power, opportunity and self-pleasure, or all of absurdities of mortal presumption that having nothing to do with Reality itself? Such games are nothing but culturally programmed performances---full of sound and fury and signifying nothing, as Shakespeare said.

To identify with the ego-persona, including the religious versions of such, is to set yourself up for the inevitable tragedy of the absolute destruction of the imagined centre of your life. Life is not purposed for your self-fullment as an imagined person. No one is fulfilled in life. To come to this understanding only at the end of your life is not good enough.

The mirror does not reflect lies. In reality, your preciously maintained self-image, which is always beyond all bodily hairiness, all that is repulsive and unattractive, is pure imagination. By identifying with your illusory self-image, you are actually identifying with the gross, dying thing that appears reflected in the mirror. Why would you identify with that?

The only reason people persist in their illusions of self-imagery is that they are imagining something about the natural hairy, shitting, dying ape of human-form, that is not true. Self-image of any kind, including the usual religious imagining, is purely imagination. Human beings are motivated by ideas and language. They indentify with their habitual modes of language, but language is merely something in the mind, something temporary generated in the brain. Language is mortal. It is nothing. It is not substantial. It is a program of illusion only.

There is no reward whatsoever for participating in such an absurdity, either before or after death. There is always merely more of the same, forever, until the spell is broken. Whatever you have realized while alive, you will realize after death, and not one thing more of less.

River Cocytus said...

Oooh, dem's fightin' words, chile'.

Ah, Soul is the depth and measure of things - I think of soul as the distance between body and spirit, which is not like a regular distance, but rather, as soul gets deeper and larger the distance is smaller. It's like a bridge that gets shorter the bigger it is... Or is it that when soul gets bigger it is one that is getting bigger with it and thus closing the distance in a Zeno-like fashion?

Who gnoze.

Big Black Steinway said...

"Language is mortal. It is nothing. It is not substantial. It is a program of illusion only."

Pauly Boy usta say: "Knowledge will pass away." So, yer kinda right on that one.

Keep tryin'!

Jacob C. said...

It reminds me of one of the last works of fiction I read some 20 years ago, called "Little Big." I don't remember anything else about it except that it proposed an ontology that consisted of a series of concentric circles. The purpose of life is to journey closer to the center. But unlike a series of euclidean circles, which become smaller as you approach the center, these circles become wider and more expansive until you reach the center, which is infinite -- furthermore, it is the infinite ground of all the surrounding spaces -- or "realms," "principalities," "domains," etc.

Or as C.S. Lewis summarized it: "Further up and further in!"

maineman said...

Anonymous, I think the idea of backing off on your Prozac is turning out to be a mistake.

Magnus Itland said...

Yes, Bob, you are in fact a prophet.

For the benefit of benighted visitors, let me hasten to add that a prophet is not necessarily a cosmic bigwig. Even the lesser prophets quoted in the Bible are top of the crop. At their time - as in any healthy society - there were plenty of prophets. The Bible refers frequently to "a prophet", "the prophets", "the prophets' disciples" indicating that there were a bunch of them at any normal time. In the New Testament, Paul has to tell the church that only two or three of the prophets should speak each time (not necessarily the same two or three) and the others try (or test) the message.

(This testing, incidentally, is not a criticism but more like a resonance. I've seen this often enough in practice, and it intrigues me to see the same form of enlightened communication spontaneously form in the comment section here when there aren't trolls to play with.)

River Cocytus said...

There also is criticism involved, Mag, especially depending on what the prophet is prophesying. Those who are wont to prophesy predictive messages, or rather, wont to prophesy for their own magnification will find they get some 'critical analysis'. This of course creates anger about a 'double' standard. But, I think, spirit speaks to spirit. Different level, and as per usual, different message....

They say the main tasks of a prophet are to exhort and to caution (I think?) predicting the future is not 'normal' prophecy in this regard. In fact, most prophecies that tell of future destruction have 'if's attached, except those that speak of the universal future destruction/end of the enemies of God.

But spot on I'd say, and the same to Bob.

Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, I would be the first to acknowledge that the "prophetic" is a mode of expression, so to speak. Whether it is true is another matter entirely.

River Cocytus said...

Better prophetic than propathetic. Or propathelogical...

Sometimes, folk get All Elijah with the 'I'm the last of your prophets, God!' God doesn't deny you FEEL that way, but most likely wants you to know that it just ain't the case. I have found a lot of people who prophesy destruction are not prophesying from 'above' but from 'below' - emotions, or subconscious.

Aquila said...


If you really look into the mirror, to see your true relection there, you will see that you are actually a hairy, shitting, dying ape.

You must be a lot of fun on dates, O Anonymous One.

River Cocytus said...

I think at this point a valid question would be, what does Mum-ra think when he looks in the mirror?

I mean, it just throws off the whole equation!

juliec said...

I was noticing that line as well. It's a good thing that we are more than the sum of our physical parts. If that's really all that we are, there would be no need for us to differ in any appreciable way from chimps.

One thing I find fascinating, speaking of the human body for a moment, is the question of why we look as we do. No other mammal looks like us. Seriously - what's the point of having hair that grows in long strands from our heads, and provides an excellent means of entrapment, or in having skins that suffer from prolonged sun exposure? Our nails, even when grown out and scraggly, don't make efficient weapons or climbing or digging tools. We tend to find our own body odor offensive, though it seems most mammals don't. These are just a few of the physical oddities of mankind; there are many more.

Yes, we are hairy, shitting, dying apes, but what puzzling apes indeed; thank God there is so much more to us than that, and that we have the capacity to wonder at our very strangeness.

River Cocytus said...

And power plants. Why do we, um, build power plants? It never ceases to amaze...

juliec said...

Ha! I haven't thought of that character in years.
Thundercats, right? When I was a kid I wanted to be one - they were awesome! Then I made the mistake of watching that cartoon as an adult once, and I realized how appallingly bad it was. Of course, having that background does make The Venture Brothers that much more hilarious, so I guess it all balances out.:)

jwm said...

"They asked me how old I was, and I said, how the hell should I know, I wasn't there when I was born."
John Claire.

speaking of prophets




"If you really look into the mirror, to see your true relection there, you will see that you are actually a hairy, shitting, dying ape."

I had a mirror in front of the john, but moved it. Don't humans have the least hair of all the apes? At least your body is not busy being born.


vw: pttui

walt said...

I presume self-knowledge is a "good thing" to the seeker, including the inevitable warts - and including as much self-delusion as can be spotted.


What (only) hairy/shitting/dying ape extracts meaning and profit from this:
"The point is to engage in the ceaselessly generative process of interior engagement with the sacred forms of revelation...."

Explain me that.

Magnus Itland said...

by resonance I mean that those who try the message should resonate with the Holy Ghost (to use the Christian name, since that's where I first heard of this). If the message being tried is partial or lopsided, it will then be corrected in a non-personal way. This attunement to something higher than the individuals is an essential difference from a normal discussion. If a contest of wills arises, there is a sense of profound loss as the coming together is reduced to a human level. It is a remarkable difference.

River Cocytus said...

Well, it might be interesting to know, but I was working with small seeds today, and if I was all hairy in the hands? Would not be able to handle them. In fact, long nails would allow me to pick up even the tiniest seeds one by one to place them in the dirt.

Odd coincidence, that.

wv: jktut - no, no. It was mum-ra.

River Cocytus said...

Magnus, I do understand what you mean. It is almost like God in one person speaking to God in another. I was speaking of the idea of 'prophesying' which is oft abused.

Magnus Itland said...

Right. People use "prophecy" when they mean "foretelling", whereas prophecy is more like instant messaging from God.

River Cocytus said...

By the way, I keep misreading (somewhat tired) the title as 'depth charge'. Or maybe it isn't a misreading?

walt said...

River -

Or maybe you are remembering
this post?

Anonymous said...

As Bob has so eloquently pointed out over the past couple of weeks, it is the role of man to become a partner to the divine, so that together they might accomplish the miracles of the One thing.

But man is not yet a full partner in the ongoing creation of the cosmos.

Man (as an ontological category)will somebody become the full actualization of his archetype, as he inevitably must. But he is not there yet. He is an unfinished masterpiece, and he alone is charged with the direction and pace of his progress.

However, the saints and mystics who know of these matters, tell us that there was indeed a time when man had always already fulfilled his cosmic destiny. A time prior to The Fall when all men, both great and small, knew the Lord.

This is how we know that the corrupted, fragmented state of being in which we find ourselves is not our natural state.

What then, is our natural state?

Simply, it is a state of holiness, and a state of wholeness.

But if man was already whole prior to The Fall, what purpose then for our traumatic crash to non-reality?

There are two general ideas about the meaning of The Fall. The first says that The Fall was a necessary step in our evolution towards full partnership with The Divine. That we needed to leave the sheltered playpen-proving-ground of Eden in order to realize our full potential.

The other maintains that instead of a necessary step in our evolution, the Fall was actually a regression - a rejection of the abundance we had been given.

For although God had given us the entire world, there was one thing he could not grant us: He could not make us Gods. The very nature of the self-emptying creative act from which we were born gaurantees that the many must remain subordiante to the One. While man can surrender Himself completely and become a conduit for the divine, He can
never become God Himself.

But man rebelled against this status in the divine hierarchy. And he fell...hard...and repeatedly.

Therefore, according to this model, our fallen state is neither an evolutionary stepping stone nor a punishment for our rebellion. It is simply the necessary reality that man is thrust into when he defies God.

If this is the case, then our typical understanding of a fall from the vertical to the horizontal, is not accurate.

That is, the Fall is often understood as a decent from one of the higher modes of Grace to our current physical world. i.e. humans being thrown out from a non-physical paradise into the harsh realities of materiality.

However, what if The Fall in fact occurred solely within the confines of the horizontal mode of existence? What is the fall was not from the vertical to the horizontal, but rather, from an elevated, paradisic horizontal to a debased horizontal?

If this is the case, then repairing the horizontal world becomes one of man's central roles for existence.

The cosmos, as well as each individual man within it, is comprised of a divine and an earthly component.

The divine, vertical aspects of the cosmos are unchanging and immutable. Man cannot affect the vertical whatsoever. All he can do is fully openly himself to it, recognize it, and live a life in line with it.

The vertical is God's business. This is His role in the divine-human partnership.

Man is resonsible for the other half. He must ensure that the earthly realm becomes the paradise it was meant to be.

A paradise not in the sense that it becomes static and unchanging perfection like the divine itself. For this would have the effect of repeating The Fall. Trying to turn the physical world into the divine realm would be analagous to man's original desire to revolt against the divine hierarchy and become God.

No, true paradise refers to the natural, uncorrupted state of the horizontal realm. A state of ever-changing ongoing manifestation of the limitless possibilities of infinity. All men working together and with God to accomplish His will.

To create this paradise is the calling of the Racoon. It is the true calling of all men.

-The real Herman

herman said...

"To create this paradise is the calling of the Racoon. It is the true calling of all men."

You wouldn't happen to be a Jehova's Witness would you?

And Julie, Puleeeease finish that portrait and get on to the next. That dour mug is really getting me down.

maineman said...

"That dour mug is really getting me down."

What, projecting again, Fake Herman?

Try getting off the net and going to bed earlier. That may help.

Or, in the word of the uncanny and immortal WV: xhfcckq.

maineman said...

Real Herman,

(And speaking of fake Herman) Aren't you, on some level, talking about overcoming our own narcissism? And if so, how do we know when we're righteous and combatting evil in the service of what you lay out, as opposed to just looking in the mirror and seeking self-validation?

walt said...

Seranade for Not-Herman, from a tune by Frank Zappa:

What's the ugliest part...of your body?
Some say your nose,
Some say your toes,
But I think it's your mind."

Anonymous said...


Yes, I see the Fall as the direct and inevitable consequence of man's hubris. Not a punishment or a an evolutionary stage, but the only possible result of our turning away from God, thinking we can do better.

This is why surrender is so vital to true teshuvah.

P.S. I really wish not-Herman would stop aping my name with his ugly ideas. Then again, all matter has its anti-matter.

- The real Herman

maineman said...

Oh, if only we could do something about all the Fake Herman's of the world. But alas . . .

You could, however, become less annonymous yourself and solve the problem that way.

Anonymous said...

Alas, the web page crashes every time I try to enter a name, so I will be relegated to anonimity for the foreseeable future.


CrypticLife said...

Perhaps I should dismiss myself: atheism alone is not "deep".

Considerations of reality -- the events, processes, and effects we do see can be deep, however. The process by which one comes to arrive at a real-ization that no gods exist can be deep.

As was suggested in an earlier post, there's nothing about atheism itself a middle-school child couldn't understand. Atheism is quite simple, and simply a belief that gods do not exist. One doesn't build a worldview around it, and some are disinclined to identify themselves that way because it says so little. Despite its simplicity, people continue to misunderstand atheism. As you've pointed out, understanding is not merely a matter of intellectual achievement, it's also of willingness and sincere consideration. That works for atheism, as well as theism.

I believe your question on atheism's lack of profundity was rhetorical. It is interesting that you'd start with the self-professed "deep" atheist with the questions you chose, however:

"The first thing I would want to do is define our terms. For what does the atheist mean by "deep?" Is this a "fact," an objective thing that can be located in the external world? And is there in fact any correlation between "deep" and "true?" "

They're quite worthwhile questions. Have you answered them yourself, or have you put yourself in a position where your answers are self-referential?

Gagdad Bob said...

The latter. Of course, it all depends on what you mean by "self."

River Cocytus said...

Just a little... uh, I kept remembering this passage whenever speaking with the particularly militant atheists; telling me God does not 'exist'. Of course...

The Ni To Ichi Way of strategy is recorded in this the Book of the Void.

What is called the spirit of the void is where there is nothing. It is not included in man's knowledge. Of course the void is nothingness. By knowing things that exist, you can know that which does not exist. That is the void.

People in this world look at things mistakenly, and think that what they do not understand must be the void. This is not the true void. It is bewilderment.

In the Way of strategy, also, those who study as warriors think that whatever they cannot understand in their craft is the void. This is not the true void.

To attain the Way of strategy as a warrior you must study fully other martial arts and not deviate even a little from the Way of the warrior. With your spirit settled, accumulate practice day by day, and hour by hour. Polish the twofold spirit heart and mind, and sharpen the twofold gaze perception and sight. When your spirit is not in the least clouded, when the clouds of bewilderment clear away, there is the true void.

Until you realise the true Way, whether in Buddhism or in common sense, you may think that things are correct and in order. However, if we look at things objectively, from the viewpoint of laws of the world, we see various doctrines departing from the true Way. Know well this spirit, and with forthrightness as the foundation and the true spirit as the Way. Enact strategy broadly, correctly and openly.

Then you will come to think of things in a wide sense and, taking the void as the Way, you will see the Way as void.

In the void is virtue, and no evil. Wisdom has existence, principle has existence, the Way has existence, spirit is nothingness.

I would dispute his use of the word Buddhism unless it is applied in a very general fashion meaning, "In philosophy or in common sense."

Van said...

anninymouse said "If you really look into the mirror, to see your true relection there, you will see that you are actually a hairy, shitting, dying ape."

Ok, that's it. No T.V.'s, No Mirror's, Finito! That'll fix it, then we can all just relax into our natural eden.

Van said...

cryptlife said "They're quite worthwhile questions. Have you answered them yourself, or have you put yourself in a position where your answers are self-referential? "

Bobbed, weaved & kicked it on down, kicked it on down the road....

wv:dxqbs - hmm... dix que BS - very mysterious this wordverif....