Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Dead Men Walking and the Two Arrows of Time

Somewhere in One Cosmos I suggested that time actually runs in two directions, not one... yes, here it is:

"The most recent theories of physics agree that the properties of elementary particles 'are in the end influenced by the history and state of the whole universe' (Whitehead). If an event endures and has a future, then it follows that the past participates in the present, that the present anticipates the future, and that the future may affect that part of the present which is 'open' and not fully determined; there is both upward, deterministic causation (part-to-whole, past-to-future) and downward, teleonomic causation (whole-to-part, future to past) in the form of mathematical attractors, hierarchical control of lower levels, and boundary conditions exerting their influence on levels below them."

Petey was in a hurry that day, but one could add to the list Sheldrake's morphogenetic fields, the archetypes, the Platonic realm of pure mathematics, the three transcendentals (the Good, True, and Beautiful), and, of course, the teloscape at the end of the cosmic eschalator, O, which draws all of history in its wake, and all of the awakened through history.

Ipso facto yada yada blah blah blah, "the ultimate implication of this view would be that, just as the universe had an origin, it has a destiny; but in the end, the origin and destiny must be One, since the universe is only separable in our imagination."

Supposedly. The only way to "prove" this is to read and assimilate Chapter 4 and become the alphomega you were always meant to be and already are anywu wei. Another way of saying it is that Truth cannot be proven, only undergone -- suffered and sophered. It's not illogical or even alogical, but translogical, like knowing you're alive and conscious, which many of you are, trolls excepted. (Yes, it's leuny tune beyond all reason except Reason.)

This is why my book does not make the absurd promise of "instant enlightenment." Rather, it makes the absurd promise of eternal life while you wait. For eternity can only occur while you wait, since time and eternity arise simultaneously outside time, if that's not too paradoxical. To put it anortho way, God became man so that man might become God (St. Athanasius). And why did he do this? First of all, why ask why?

Secondly, it is written (on the "eighth page") that It was not good that this Godhead, the Most High, should be allone, so he exwholed with a big bong and said 'Let there be higher physics,' and it was zo. 'Zohar, zo good,' zedamon to himzeus.

Was that some kind of drug reference, Bob -- e.g., "high," "bong," "exhale"? Yes, and so what? You should try reading One Cosmos backwards, and see what comes out! Everything is a drug, especially serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which prevent the brain from going round. You think God doesn't know about those things? That he is a mathematician, but not a biochemist? C'mon. Get real.

Anyway, I was intrigued that Bolton also discusses the idea of two arrows of time, but from a different angle or perhaps pharmaceutical. He writes that,

"the immediate past issues in the present, through which the future is brought into being. From this point of view, one can see the future being formed from what is past."

Bueno, says the old-fashioned, straight-arrow materialist. I've got no problemo with that.

"However, it remains equally true that everything in the past was once in the future, and this means that the contents of the past which we see to be the generator of the future have all come to it out of that very future, by virtue of an equal and opposite flow toward the past."

Therefore -- don't put down the bong just yet --

"On this basis, the present time is the scene of two equal and opposite flows which build up the future out of the past and build up the past out of the future. The present could thus be compared to a window through which one observes two columns of troops marching past each other in opposite directions."

Wo, dude, I am so wasted! Do you see the little soldiers?


Then you are insufficiently wasted, which is to say, wasting your eternity down in the wasteland of 3D. Speaking of which, that corpse you planted last year in your garden / Has it begun to sprout? And will it finally bloom this year?

And while we're on the subject, what branches grow / Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man, / You cannot say, or guess, for you know only / A heap of broken images, where the sun beats, / And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief, / And the dry stone no sound of water.

Ah, but

I will show you something different from either / Your shadow at morning striding behind you / Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you.

And what might that be? Well,

Who is the third who walks always beside you? / When I count, there are only you and I together / But when I look ahead up the white road / There is always another one walking beside you.

Who or what is this third thing? In order to find out, we must, in the words of Mouravieff, "begin an interior revolution as soon as possible." Man requires "a transformation of his being which will permit him to restore the equilibrium between the technical and moral levels, now so dangerously compromised," another way of coonceptualizing the two arrows.

As Mouravieff explains, "The life of man is a film," a concept which is "difficult for our Cartesian minds to grasp":

"Incomprehensible as it may seem, our life is truly a film produced in accordance with a script.... Each human being, then, is born with his own particular film.... [E]xterior man, who lives in the system of Future-Past, cannot embrace in a single moment the ensemble of his film.... To do so, he would need to enlarge the slot of his Present.... As long as man lives in the wilderness, self-satisfied and immersed in lies and illusions, the film will unfold with mechanical inflexibility, and the Personality will remain entirely unchanged" (italics in original).

In keeping with the two arrows of time, we might say that, on the one hand, "exterior man" is the "crowning achievement of millions of years of evolution"; but from the spiritual standpoint (i.e., the future) he is just the raw material for something transcending himself, "a possibility which has not yet been realized." The former, or "anthropoids," are those who, in the words of Jesus, "believe themselves to be alive," but who are trapped in the circularity of their own bad movie. Let De Palma bury de' Redford.

Now, what was that about "enlarging the slot of the present?"

Yes, that's the key to the "third party" or person alluded to above. But my slot of timelessness just closed. To be continued.....

I sat upon the shore / Fishing, with the arid plain behind me --T.S. Eliot


walt said...

Please e-mail me your brand of coffee, okay?

Quoting Bolton:
"The present could thus be compared to a window through which one observes two columns of troops marching past each other in opposite directions."

Today's present is illustrated by yesterday's future, which is now in the past.

Gagdad Bob said...

The fine Colombian, of course.

Van said...

Do you bong that with cream or sugar?

wv:cluwl - no, I don't have a

Anonymous said...

Dilys here.

time actually runs in two directions

That helps account for the numinousness of the mere fact of memory, so highlighted in the Jewish tradition and the sense-triggered Proust anecdote.

Looking back from any point, it is easy to conclude/construct [since we are such pattern-seeking engines] that it was all leading right here, such cosmically great resources dedicated to the appearance of this moment in this way! Explaining the presence of certain cuts, edits, dollied long shots that puzzled or pained us at the time.

Possibly a foretaste of when we, like those long-gone Manhattan ladies in the 50's addled by luncheon cocktails with umbrellas [still my drug of choice], come to the top of the Lord&Tailor eschalator and stand there, looking around for the Designer and a suitable wedding garment.

walt said...

"time actually runs in two directions"

Fascinating to discuss, speculate about, try to wrap the mind around. There also is a way to participate, expressed by the aphorism:

"I work today to prepare the future and repair the past."

Magnus Itland said...

I recently heard a contemporary Japanese song which starts with the words (in translation) "The person I strive to become, waves fervently to yesterday". This amused me because, intentionally or not, it was a very One Cosmos thing to say.

Robin Starfish said...

I like Rabbi Heschel's observation that it is the things of space passing through the timeless that causes us to believe that time moves. Time itself is not running anywhere; it's at peace just where it is.

Rear View Mirror
sing the song of songs
in this world of consonants
time's holy vowel

Van said...

Magnus Itland said... "I recently heard a contemporary Japanese song which starts with the words (in translation) "The person I strive to become, waves fervently to yesterday". "

Like that.

BTW, thanks for putting the "(in translation)" there, sometimes when we Americans see words from a foreign language in english, we're not sure if they've been translated or not.


NoMo said...

..."God became man so that man might become God (St. Athanasius)".

This statement sits right on the heretical fence depending from which side you are looking. Since God is separate from everything else, all is not one. The "all is one" side of the fence is heresy (non-dualism) according to orthodoxy. By most orthodox reckoning and in the context of his volume of work, this was not Athanasius' side of the fence. Rather, this statement was his summary of the Truth that it is God's desire to share all that he is with us:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...And the Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us" (John 1:1&14)

"To those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God" (John 1:12)

"That you may come to share in the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4).

For what it's worth.

at in la said...

i second that, nomo.

River Cocytus said...

Nomo: yes, that is, as far as I can tell, the goal of the Christian life, to share in the nature of God. Or, it's the means. Or, the beginning.

'Become' is a useful bit of Rhetoric, Mr. Athanasius.

Gerard said...

Pssst..... over here:


"Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.

And over here: -- same place, different time:

Quick now, here, now, always—
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.

Or, in a more bluegrass vein, here:


They came from the hills and mountains,
The valleys and the plains
Some were kind and gentle,
And some too wild to tame

A string of fearless hearts, on an endless ball of twine

It's the same old train, it's just a different time
Just a different time

Anonymous said...

Ipso facto yada yada blah blah blah, "the ultimate implication of this view would be that, just as the universe had an origin, it has a destiny; but in the end, the origin and destiny must be One, since the universe is only separable in our imagination."

El Christo: "I am the alpha and omega"

Mizz E said...

q.->..... the film will unfold with mechanical inflexibility, and the Personality will remain entirely unchanged. /q.


The Return of the Living Dead

Even burning still releases the gas from the corpse, which can create more zombies.

walt said...

Mizz E -

You mean Chelsea in 2016?

Mizz E said...

Zombie bite - kills after a few hours, then causes reanimation:

The Revenge of the Hall Monitors

Coonified said...

Nomo and River

..."God became man so that man might become God (St. Athanasius)".

"Beyond-Being (God) is Reality absolutely unconditioned, while Being (Logos) is Reality insofar as it determines itself in the direction of its manifestation." --Schuon

"It is important to emphasize that while the level of Being (Christ, or Logos) is conditioned or relative with respect to the Infinite, it is nevertheless far beyond the relativities with which we are familiar in the world around us. It participates in the eternity and impassibility of the supremely Real."

--James S. Cutsinger

"There cannot be an 'absolutely relative,' but there is a 'relative absolute."--Schuon

There for ..."God became man so that man might become God (St. Athanasius)".

Makes perfect sense to me, insofar as we understand the difference between the first and second persons of the trinity. The "Relative Absolute" implies opposites, or dualities, so that whats beyond it all (GOd) is said to be "not-two," or non-dual.

Quotes taken from "Advice to the serious seeker"--meditations on the teachings of Frithjof Schuon.

By J. Cutsinger

"For what it's worth."

Coonified said...

More? Ok

No? Well, for my own sake.

"the fact that the world is in no way the Divine Substance as such by no means prevents the cosmic substance from being in its own way a modality of the metacosmic Substance." --Schuon

(Metacosmic Substance is a fancy word for Christ)

"The world is not God, but it may be described as existing within him." --Cutsinger

"In and through Being, God 'becomes the world a little' so that in and through Heaven, the world may 'become God a little."

"Reality has entered into nothingness, so that nothingness might become real."

"Just as Being is the word or name of Beyond-Being, so too the world--or Existance--is the utterance of Being (Christ), or the personal God."

"God has opened a door in the middle of creation, and this open door of the wolrd towards God is man; this opening is God's invitation to look towards Him, to tend towards Him, to persevere with regard to Him, and to return to Him."


River Cocytus said...

That sounds awful Christian-y for a Sufi. But again, Schuon is such a unique person that it may have all come together in his path - the very Christ and the truths from all other religions transcendent. If Schoun is a mystery, it is precisely because the Christian life (and even life in general) is a kind of mystery.

I don't always agree with him, but I can see that Schuon saw deeply. He was a mystic and lot of mystical experience is subjective. The miracle of it is that he was capable of communicating some amount of it in a way that others could understand.

dloye said...

"I work today to prepare the future and repair the past." Walt, you included that in quotes. I'm looking for attribution, as it resonated right into my dreams. Some of the work of this day is to follow, follow, follow... (Sing along? "Try to remember the kind of December...")

walt said...

Dloye -

As far as I know, that was an aphorism used by Gurdjieff.