Monday, June 16, 2008

Blogging Under the Influence

As I said yesterday, I'll eventually get back to the ID thread. It's just that I wanted to complete the SA (Spiritual Ascent) thread before moving on. Or back around. Last things first, as the Wise Ones telos all the time.

For when you think about it -- and I'm thinking about it for the first time -- this would mirror the circular structure of the Coonifesto, which is to say, up and out of manifestion, only to circle down and back in again. This is the moment-to-moment ontological, or vertical, structure of reality. (There are many references to this circular structure sprinkled throughout The Spiritual Ascent, another weird coonfirmation that I was correct in following that nonlocal pattern; I'd love to go back and assemble all of them in one place.)

You see, one of the points of that bercircular structure was that it was supposed to convey the idea that one looks upon reality with "new eyes" once one reaches the highest state: first there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is. The book ascends the mountain, only to reach the peak, where one discovers that there was never any mountain to begin with. (Helpful visual here.)

But then -- like any good bodhisaltva the earth -- we come back down and in to help others make amends meet in the muddle of their mount. "Once veiled by ignorance and later revealed, Reality looks as if newly realized. But it is not new" (Sri Ramana Maharshi). Same old same old, same shunyata-yada-yada.

I hope this isn't too dreadfully solipsistic! It's just that no one else will ever review the book at this depth, so it's left for its author to do so.

Anyway, when we return to our familiar locution at base camp, we see that it is the same mountain. But it now looks entirely different. So that would be the purpose of revisiting some of the material alluded to in last weekend's posts. As I said, I am way beyond using ID arguments to try to arrive at God. Rather, once you have confirmed for yourself that God exists -- and no mere logical argument could accomplish this -- then you understand that "intelligent design" is reducible to "intelligence" which is in turn reducible to "God." Of course the Divine intelligence radiates through manifested things.

How could it not? Foolish one, do you really pretend that random mutations are responsible for the transcendent beauty of the butterfly? Then too bad for you, buddy. You're still on the outside looking in, with your nous pressed against the glass dorkily. No, my friends, Beauty is like the sun: it acts without detours.... its ways are free, direct, incalculable; like love, to which it is closely connected, it can heal, unloose, appease, unite, or deliver through it's simple radiance (Schuon).

Ho! Let it be so, mischievous ones!

Another way of saying it is that from the lower, profane, perspective, everything is necessarily "inside out" -- which is why the things of time exist to begin with (ex-ist meaning to "stand out"). What I mean is that things that ex-ist for us only do so at God's in-sistence, comprende?

Likewise, to achieve Christ-consciousness would be to dwell fully within oneSelf, or to know the luminous interior Self of Being, or Light of light. But because modern men, as Schuon points out "live almost entirely for things of the senses," for that very reason they remain ignorant of the radiant interior. And that is where all the inaction is, baby! O the grievous vanity of the sub-Raccoon masses, who toil by day for no nocturnal reward! 'Scuse me, but they shall never kiss the sky!

"Reality" is "that by virtue of which we exist" (Schuon). In turn, renouncing the illusion -- or let us say, derivative nature -- of existence returns us to the Real. Or you could just say, "cleave to God and let the dead bury the tenured." Here, in Upper Tonga, we draw all of the contradictions and complementarities of the world into our compassionate bosom and "transmute them into radiant silence" (Schuon). Listen to the silence that surrounds my words, O nocturnal varmints! For Mystery is the penumbra of the Truth I unSay!

Alternatively, you could just say that the sage has transcended "fragmentary experience" (Schuon) in order to know things from the perspective of the Whole, which is to say, the Great Within. To achieve this is to become a Son of God or Cousin of Toots through adoption (or enough beer, in the case of the latter). And if you want to say I'm not a blogger but an "interior decorator," that would suit me fine. Either way, we are always attempting to transmit a passion for wholeness, or the view from eternity. So do not come after me with temporal arguments, trolls! For you are attempting to sever the ocean with your little sword of reason! So we have heard from the wise, the merciful, the unpredictable, Petey!

The point is, I haven't looked at Errol Harris's books in over a decade, even though they were instrumental at the time in helping push me up the mountain. They were an important wu wei station. So it would be kind of fun to take a fresh look at them from a new perspective and see how they hold up. In so doing, one thing I would now attempt to do is to place them in a traditionalist context, since I now recognize that as the higher, or more general, truth to which lower truths must conform.

But as I said, we still have a mountain before us, so we'll wait until we get to the top before we come back down and look at things with the scales removed from our I's and our I's from our skulls.

At the moment, we're attempting to realize what we know and integrate what we've experienced of the Divine. I see a helpful footnote on page 872: "Reality is not complete unless all of its three poles -- Being, Knowledge [or consciousness], Bliss (Sat-Chit-Ananda) -- are present." This roughly corresponds to Father-Son-Holy Spirit, or alternatively, to Light, Love and Power, or Mind, Heart and Life, or Father-Mother-Baby.

Ah, read the fine words of Swami Sivananda: "You can distinctly feel the shift of mind as it leaves its seat in the brain, attempting to return to its original seat; you realize that it has left its former channels to enter into new ones.... Its psychology is transformed. You now have a wholly new brain, a new heart, and noble sensations."

Think back, little Raccoon, to when you first stumbled upon this blog, and how far you've come! At first you did not know whether Bob was a fool, a freak, a knave, noodge, a kook, a crock, a crap-slinger, a schlemiel, a schmendrick! But now you know him to be all these things, and less! First there is a mountebank, then there is no mountebank, then who knows?! Ho!

Let us whisper across cyberspace "Coon to Coon." Sri Ramakrishna relates the story of the man who appeared completely intoxicated first thing in the morning after just one adult beverage. "But another man said, 'Why, he has been drinking all night!'"

For waking on firewater wasn't built in a day!

Well, I'd better sober up. Time for work.


walt said...

I'll have what you were drinking!

Petey said...

If you can use some exotic booze, there's a bar in far Bombay.

Petey said...

In fact, in lama land there's a wise old man, and he'll goose your nous for you.

Smoov said...

I've found myself flipping Spiritual Ascent open time and again.

I'll have a bit of time now for a while as this is another career transition period for me. The company I was working on over the past 5 months is basically prepped.

Today I'm considering either buying a convertible or watching "I'm Not There" (the Dylan biography). God, that sounds awful. I sure don't want to rub it in that I have a few extra bucks, especially when I know others here don't. I earned them though, and I've given back as much as I've received.

Anyhow Spiritual Ascent is a nice transition after re-reading the Coonifesto. It takes time for all this to sink in. Should we expect otherwise? I especially enjoy the conceptual organization -- the ability to just start reading under such chapter titles as HOLINESS - UNIVERSAL MAN (p. 896) is exhilerating.

So Bob, have you seen that Dylan flick?

Gagdad Bob said...

No. But we have seen Peter Pan on DVD 73 times.

Gerard said...

You fastest gun with the link in the land.

Petey said...

Wrong, grasshopper! Nonlocal connection instantaneous! Take no time!

QP said...

An.other worldly post; that is, what a gritty/ giddy revelation of you Awake in Spirit post this is!

Petey said...


Smoov said...

My girlfriend has girlfirneds with 2 and 3 year olds. 73 times seems about right.

Absolutely proving that one can crawl through the space behind the couch -- and emerge westward laughing uproriously -- seems to be another timeless pleasure for those still below three feet in stature...

Smoov said...

Here's part of what I understand so far:

Reductionism is unintelligible becaue it is self-refuting. If I press the conjecture that all can be reduced to random fluctuation, then my own conjecture is thus undermined. If I am right, then nothing is reliable -- including my own argument.

Our ability to reflect, appreciate art, nature, children, etc. indicates or points to our role as reflectors or "mirrors" of principles which are Divine. When we look to the highest art, the most subline natural tableaux, or the unfolding miracle of a child -- we cannot (nobody, anywhere on the planet) can account for such things in the world without invoking transcendant principles. We need transcendence to account for that which is experienced as sublimity.

There's much more. But I've nailed those few points. Where should I go from here, 'Coons?

James said...

I have come so far and grown so much. I can't even begin to describe it. It's amazing what happens when you start eating good food. Thanks all.

mushroom said...

"Who Goosed the Nous?" I think I read that. Or was that "Under the Bleachers" by C. Moore Ringtails?

"Reality" is "that by virtue of which we exist" (Schuon). In turn, renouncing the illusion -- or let us say, derivative nature -- of existence returns us to the Real.

I like "derivative nature" much better than illusion. "Illusion" has connotations and baggage that can get you on the wrong track and you wind up writing "The Secret".

Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, that is actually the real meaning of "maya" -- not so much illusion as just relative. In Christian terms, it would be analogous to "there is none good but God."

mushroom said...

Blanchette as Dylan would just leave me too conflicted. I love Cate and I love Bob, but in totally different ways.

Buy the convertible.

christopher said...

Maya: When there is a well placed snake in the forest holding really still and you are not thinking "snake" then you see a stick. When the snake is not poisonous and you pick it from the rear end it defecates in your hand and gets away. The surprise you get is precisely the same quality as the surprise of what is real revealed behind the play of Maya. A stick that poops in your hand is an odd thing.

That actually happened to me when I was a lad.

I am sure that the distinction between illusion and hallucination is critical. There is point for point something real behind all points of the play of Maya.

Maya is not a quality decision like good and evil but more in the nature of a geometric mathematical issue, human consciousness not able to match the curled up dimensionality that extends beyond the four dimensional space/time. String theory points the way in the latest human grasping for truth and it requires something called extra dimensions (really tiny and curled up). It is in that kind of revision to space/time that Maya will be found.

Or else look in the heart with the assistance of God's eyes. Maya is immediately apparent in such a vision.

Joan of Argghh! said...

"Under the Bleachers by C. Moore Ringtails" has me giggling! Until I read your comment on Dylan and Blanchette. Bravo, mushroom!

Smoov, what the 'shroom said.


Van said...

Gagdad Bob said "No. But we have seen Peter Pan on DVD 73 times."

Heh... I got you trumped 3 times over - and that's just the Disney animated movie - the live action one's been about worn out too(not the abominable Robin Williams one, the one with Jason Isaacs-you'll know him when you see him)

Van said...

Christopher said "It is in that kind of revision to space/time that Maya will be found."

Better yet, look in your hand.

Van said...

"'ll know him when you see him" not Peter, the Dad/Hook.

Robin Starfish said...

Simple fun with maya.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Okay, I was commenting under the influence.
Not really, but like Julie said last week, it's hard not to watch a train wreck.
Or somethin' like that.

Anyway, I have (temporarily) come to my senses, and decided I didn't have time to spare for those who are that dumb and happy to wallow in ignorance that is beyond wrong.

Don't get me wrong, it's fun to watch Bob work, but the patients kept right on babbling and throwing feces.

Anyway, I think I would've preferred to watch a real train wreck instead.
Must be what Van felt like debating those Amazon kooks awhile back.
Hi Van! :^)

Gagdad Bob said...


I have no excuse, except that I am completely caught up with my work (which happens about twice a year), plus the Dodgers & Lakers had the day off. So I had nothing else to do but try to pull some souls out of the water. Then I remembered: you can't save a drowning man unless he wants to be.


Smoov said...


There is an elliptical curve in apparently lost lives, no?

My better half was on the freeway two days ago. There was a man prone on the side. She stopped, and as she said to me, poked him with her foot. She was on 911 the whole time. The woman on the other end told Lisa to get back in her car and lock her doors.

The stiff arms of the apparant corpse on the side of the road began moving again. He was alive. He's in a hospital now.

River Cocytus said...

Robin: reminds us not to 'look for signs and wonders' - we'll 'see' them, alright, won't we?

christopher said...

Poop washes off but Maya remains.

So does the surprise I felt so long ago.

Yet that point for point alignment with whatever is under has to be true or else the success of science is a truly elaborate and apparently limitless hoax. I am in engineering, a related business, and I know the search and research guys are at least as sincere as any other group of seekers. Perhaps there is a hoax played on us, but I have never found God's play to show that kind of heartlessness.

It is a matter of faith for me that God isn't that kind of cold trickster. Indeed coyote has a heart. The tricks are there but warm. The cold stuff isn't found in a bag of tricks but arises from the necessities of world creation.

I am a designer and know how hard it is to avoid painting myself into creative corners with only a few parameters. Imagine trying to juggle sesquiquadrillions.

The grieving God is real.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Bob- Well, perhaps there was a few seeds sown...

When I got back here I felt like Dorothy (in a manly way, of course).
There's gno place like home, there's no place like home! LOL!

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

BTW Bob, that Kerouc is one funny dude! :^)

Petey said...

You mean no place like OMMMMMMMM?

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I bow, corrected, Petey!
Ooom, Om on the range...