Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Don't Burn Your Bridge of Flames

Okay people, now you've done it. That embarrassing piece of fluff Dupree knocked out yesterday only generated twice the usual traffic, and now he's demanding "equal time." I can't deny that he has a point, because every time I toss out one of those piece-of-my-mind red meat posts, the blog suddenly becomes popular.

I don't even remember where we left off. I'll just start typing, and see if it eventually turns into writing while we wait.

Let's talk about the mystery of unity. On the one hand, as HvB says, we are all members of the species of humanity, even though the species doesn't exist outside the individuals who express it. Each of us contains the whole of human nature, even though the whole transcends us. This is indeed a paradox, for it means that we somehow contain what contains us.

At the same time, "to be a particular man never means to be only a specimen of humanity." Indeed, this would be a kind of insult, as if one were completely interchangeable with anyone else. This is true of insects, or sheep, or MSM journalists, but it is manifestly untrue of persons, each of whom is utterly unique. But how can the unique be a member of any class?

I know that I am unique, which is one of the reasons why it is sometimes difficult to find other people to play with. If this fellow likes philosophy, then he doesn't like baseball. This one likes baseball but doesn't like jazz. This one likes theology, but doesn't want to talk about the first lady's butt. You can see the problem.

This irreducible uniqueness can only be a spark of the divine, since God is uniqueness as such. Man cannot be quantified: "persons, insofar as they really have a uniqueness that images and reflects a glimmer of God's uniqueness, cannot be numbered. Each of them is a world unto himself" (HvB).

This is again a paradox and a mystery, so long as we remember that paradox is the threshold of truth and mystery one of its modes of articulation. For it means that man is forever polarized within the space of two centers; we are "bi-centric," which is what it means to be a human being. Emphasize one center over the other, and our humanness is diminished and we are no longer be-ing but been. Stick a fork in our road, or we're done.

Indeed, this is always a movement, not a static condition. It is more like a perpetual self-giving of God to man (↓) and man to God (↑), a point we will expand upon later, if we ever do.

Consider the strangeness of it all: from the standpoint of the species, our essence -- that which defines us as unique and particular -- can only be a kind of "accident." But from the standpoint of the essence, our common characteristics seem more like accidents.

In other words, the things we share with everyone else are more or less generic by definition, or just "average." Man has "intelligence." He has "language." He has "art." So what? These things don't mean much until you have your own particular versions of them.

Therefore, it is clear that "the concept of unity, which everyone takes for granted as something well known and transparently obvious, is at bottom as full of mystery as all the other fundamental concepts pertaining to being" (HvB). In reality, we do not know what unity is, since our own unity only exists in this bi-centric complementarity of universal and particular. "We can never lay hold of what unity is beyond this duality." "Beyond" this complementarity is not One, but zero.

It very much reminds me of music. I have always been drawn to musicians who are not just musicians, but who have created their own musical world, so to speak. Thelonious Monk is an example. Sun Ra. Duke Ellington. Brian Wilson. Sinatra. Johnny Cash. Ray Davies. It is as if these artists are at a "right angle" to music as such. They have discovered and colonized their own musical worldspace, and to the extent that they have followers, they will just sound like imitators, with the "essence" missing -- like an Elvis impersonator.

But how can one be a musical world of one's own, and still achieve perfection? In other words, what can be the standard of measurement for the unique, since the unique by definition cannot be compared to anything else? This is what some clever fellow meant when he said that "great art cannot surpass itself," since it is already a kind of absolute. Who's better, Aretha or Sinatra? Who knows? They each achieved aesthetic perfection in their own unique way.

Now, you might think that this has nothing to do with theology, but you would be wrong, for it is one of my ongoing struggles. That is, how do I reconcile the uniqueness of me with the universality of, say, the Catholic church? I only really feel as if I am spiritually flying when I'm "doing my own thing." As soon as I try to subordinate myself to another authority, I'm grounded. I know exactly how Blake felt when he said something to the effect that he needed to develop his own system or be the slave of another man's.

But at the same time, I am well aware of the dangers of this approach, and would never make a general recommendation that everyone else should be an off-road spiritual aspirant or extreme seeker. That would be a disaster. Perhaps some people are truly called to this lonely vocation. I don't know.

I do know this. The other day I mentioned the idea that I am not a Christian per se, but on a Christian adventure. I look at it this way. There can be no question that we need the pillars of dogma and tradition, without which Truth cannot survive and be handed down. Now, when someone argues from the standpoint of their particular faith, they are arguing from the "inside out," from first principles to their consequences. Again, I don't want to ever minimize the importance of that.

But I feel as if my particular adventure embodies the opposite movement. That is, I am not arguing from Christianity but toward it, from the outside in. This is exactly what it feels like to me. It's as if I am in this vast phase space with a throbbing mystery at the center drawing me further and further in. I find it so fascinating, that I don't want to end the journey just yet. You know, like Frank:

Hey baby, what's your hurry / Relax and don't you worry / We're gonna fall in love / We're on the road to romance / that's safe to say / But let's make all the stops / along the way.

Again, this is a real ontological movement. As HvB describes it, it is a movement "in which we go out from the empty universal to the particular and return to the universal laden with its fullness." This is virtually identical to how Bion describes mental growth, in which conception involves the "mating" of a preconception and a realization to produce a thought.

Now, another mystery is how we can gauge "progress" for something that is unique. How can the unique surpass itself? And if it was unique before and is unique now, aren't they two different uniquenesses, unique being by definition a singular instance?

That's a difficult question. I'm stumped. Can't we just talk about the hump, the slump, the bump, and the plump rump on that grumpy frump?

This strange journey from unique to unique, what is it? How is it possible, and where does it take place? Yes, it is a kind of progress, and yet, it cannot be reduced to an abstract and impersonal dialectic of progress, à la Hegel. It seems that it simply must be "tolerated" and borne again and again: "Just as the gap between essence and existence can never be closed by thought, there is no way ever to bridge in any real sense the gaps between essence and appearance, universality and particularity."


Are we moving toward the fire yet? Or will the fire come to us?


julie said...

That is, I am not arguing from Christianity but toward it, from the outside in.

Yes, exactly - I think I saw that from the first time I came here, and it's what kept me coming back.

Re. Unity and uniqueness, the Pope had some interesting words yesterday:

Similarly, every culture with its inner capacity to give and receive gives expression to the one human nature. Yet, the individual is never fully expressed through his or her own culture, but transcends it in the constant search for something beyond. From this perspective, dear friends, we see the possibility of a unity which is not dependent upon uniformity.

Northern Bandit said...

I came for the insultainment, but I stayed for the guided cosmic tour.

Northern Bandit said...

Insultainment is one thing, but I had to search my memory long and hard to remember encountering anyone as viciously vulgar as Wanda Sykes in my lifetime. I have an aunt who works with really low-bottom street people. On the occasions I've met these poor souls, nothing approaching the utter depravity on display from Obama's homies was ever in evidence. It certainly isn't poverty, addiction or mental illness that produces such people... something much darker.

If he didn't already, Obama really scares me now.

Anonymous said...

This is an excellent post which foregrounds the fact that the serious spiritual aspirant has to cut his own deal with God.

Guidelines and the testimony of others, which are the helps provided by organized religions, provide signposts pointing the way, but the path trodden is always unique and in the end it just comes down to you and God, as all other persons and dogmas fall away like the solid rocket boosters fall off the shuttle.

You orbit alone.

Progress is measured by how surrendered, how peaceful, how single-pointed, how sincere you can be. The final measure is love.

Gagdad Bob said...

Here's a piece about the creeping and now galloping fascism of Obama.

julie said...

What Alinsky's critics saw was the burgeoning of a national movement, the carefully manipulated construction of people's organizations, which all had two elements in common: (1) a collectivist creed, which denied the existence of personal responsibility; and (2) an amoral dogma, in which all means were justified by an imaginary utopian end.

I can't help wondering about the motivations of sociopaths like Alinsky. Deep down, it must be the desire to play God. He obviously doesn't care about people, beyond what he can make them do. He doesn't care about truth, beauty, goodness, or freedom. He has no interest in actually helping bring about the best possible outcome for the greatest number of people, which is what we have had and what he expressly is fighting against. The whole thing is a gigantic game of manipulation; he must go to bed every night practically swooning at the thought that his golem is now in charge of the free world. His pathogenic mental creations are poised to turn the world upside down. I don't believe for a second that he actually hopes for a better world in any sense. He just wants one of his own creation. I can't imagine that hell would be any worse than seeing his dreams come true.

ximeze said...

"Now, another mystery is how we can gauge "progress" for something that is unique. How can the unique surpass itself? And if it was unique before and is unique now, aren't they two different uniquenesses, unique being by definition a singular instance?"

Umm, wouldn't synthesis of two uniques to make a higher third uniqueness solve that problem?

Northern Bandit said...


Just as there are genuine saints, there are the opposite of saints. Alinsky was one of the latter. Personification of Evil (just like Hitler, as Goldberg so masterfully shows us).

Northern Bandit said...

Alinski's lust for power for its own sake is clearly satanic. Ultimately the Left seeks to abolish the individual, and hence foreclose the possibility of Love. What else can this be, but the manifestation of universal Evil?

Love will win in the end, but America has yet to experience hurricane season.

julie said...

NB - indeed. Unfortunately.

This irreducible uniqueness can only be a spark of the divine, since God is uniqueness as such. Man cannot be quantified: "persons, insofar as they really have a uniqueness that images and reflects a glimmer of God's uniqueness, cannot be numbered. Each of them is a world unto himself" (HvB).

To that, I'd just like to add another HvB quote that I highlighted last week:

God calls us into being with a particular 'name', and 'in order to respond to him, the soul makes use precisely of the word that had been directed to it'. How should the soul not, after all, be capable 'of hearing something of this essential name which the divine Lover incessantly both whispers to her and demands from her'?

The wonder of living is that this calling into being isn't something that happens just once at our birth, but rather is an ongoing calling forth throughout our lives of our own, particular name, which spoken by the Word also both makes us unique and also a part of the Absolute uniqueness. The other wonder of living is that we can choose to ignore it; the tragedy is that we so often do.

jp said...

Bob says:

"And if it was unique before and is unique now, aren't they two different uniquenesses, unique being by definition a singular instance?"

Two different unique expressions of the same underlying (geometric) uniqueness. The underlying geometric uniqueness is the unity that undergirds the (unique) expressions.

When you listen to music that is created by someone with their own style I suppose you are listening to their personality, so to speak, as well as "music" per se. It's a projection of their personality onto musical space, where each song is a perfect representation of a only a portion of their personality.

Jeb Bush said...

Please support me for president in 2012!

"... it’s time for the Republican Party to give up its “nostalgia” for the heyday of the Reagan era and look forward, even if it means stealing the winning strategy deployed by Democrats in the 2008 election.”

"The truth is useless. You have to understand this right now. You can't deposit the truth in a bank. You can't buy groceries with the truth. You can't pay rent with the truth. The truth is a useless commodity that will hang around your neck like an albatross all the way to the homeless shelter. And if you think that the million or so people in this country that are really interested in the truth about their government can support people who would tell them the truth, you got another thing coming. Because the million or so people in this country that are truly interested in the truth don't have any money"

George H.W. Bush said...

Please support my son, Jeb, for president in 2012!
"Now, we can see a new world coming into view. A world in which there is the very real prospect of a new world order...in which "the principles of justice and fair play ... protect the weak against the strong ..." A world where the United Nations, freed from cold war stalemate, is poised to fulfil the historic vision of its founders. A world in which freedom and respect for human rights find a home among all nations."

wv: daire, as in, I daire you to fact the truth

Judge Andrew Napolitano said...

I hate to say I told you so:


Robin Starfish said...

A seminal post. Gonggggg.

Man cannot be quantified: "persons, insofar as they really have a uniqueness that images and reflects a glimmer of God's uniqueness, cannot be numbered. Each of them is a world unto himself.

Vertically, the silver cord. Horizontally, a snake pit. What a difference 90 degrees makes.

Fly-fishing Dave casts a complementary line today.

will said...

>> . . . we go out from the empty universal to the particular and return to the universal laden with its fullness<<

In other words, I think, from tribal-minded herd instinct to democracy (with a lot of steps in between), and then on to . . . well, whatever we might term the universal laden with its fullness, it is definitely the particular that graces the universal with fullness.

So I'm wondering if the particular, the unique, can "backslide", retreat into the empty universal. I tend not to think so - I think the fate of those who do fail the promise of their own individuality is far worse than mere retreat into herd instinct. Only the unique, the particular, can become spiritually corrupted.

This is why I think democracy, freedom, is not an end-point in itself. It's certainly necessary in the divine scheme of things, but to extol the virtues of democracy without a spiritual end-point is just about as empty as extolling the virtues of totalitarianism - and totalitarianism *does* have its virtues, at least in the relative short term.

What is the end-point then? I don't think it's a "theocracy" per se, not as we currently understand the term. But it would have to be a community of shared spiritual ideals, a community in which *spiritual hierarchy is recognized and honored*. So yes, in a sense, this would mean a non-coercive blending of Church and State (a "Chate"?, "Sturch"?), once in which everyone is both teacher and student. Hard to conceive such a thing now, but it will eventually come, and when it does, it will seem a product of "effortless effort" - it will seem natural.

Bob @ work said...

Along thos lines, HvB keeps referring in the Theo-Drama to this idea of Jesus handing the fulfilled kingdom over to the Father at the end of history -- somethging like that. I wonder if it's something similar, but on a cosmic/eschatological scale?

will said...

Julie -

I think Alinsky certainly served an evil cause (he died in '72, btw), but as for his ultimate motivations . . . well, I assume, perhaps incorrectly, that he thought he was doing what he could to better things. It would make things easier if he and his fellow travelers were fanged and red in tooth and claw, wouldn't it? But as was, I believe, the case with Judas, Alinsky sincerely thought he was acting for the best by shunning the spiritual and cleaving to the material, to material "progress." (Judas couldn't see Christ as transcendent Being, only as a Sandanista)

However much Alinsky's desire for good, I don't think he's one bit less culpable for the wreckage he continues to inspire. Ignorance, spiritual ignorance, is a sin. I think it's probably true that at some point, the spiritually ignorant are completely overtaken by the evil they unconsciously serve, at which point they begin to relish destruction for its own sake. I can't say whether or not Alinsky reached that point, but as I said, he was fully culpable for his own ignorance.

julie said...

D'oh! - my mistake, and thank you for noticing it, Will. I was reading "Alinsky" and thinking "Ayers." You may well be right about Alinsky, both in motivation and culpability. So for my earlier comment, if you just switch in "Ayers," perhaps my observation isn't so far off.

julie said...

Speaking of creeping fascism, though...

At least the ASBO is one bit of insanity that doesn't seem to be contagious. Yet.

Northern Bandit said...


Could you not say the same of Mao Zedong, or even Pol Pot?

Even Hitler thought he was doing the "right thing" on behalf of the Volk.

I still think these anti-saints are just that.

Aquila said...

Re Alinsky as an "anti-saint": He dedicated RULES FOR RADICALS to Lucifer, "the original rebel".

NoMo said...

Today's post took me here:

According to scripture, if one trusts entirely in the finished, redemptive work of Christ for one’s eternal life and relationship with God, one has been made a member of the body of Christ (the church transcendent) - by whatever label one displays. As regards each member’s place and function in the body, Paul wrote to the believers in Corinth:

For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body ... and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot says, "Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body", it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. And if the ear says, "Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body", it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired ... Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it.”
(I Cor 12:12ff)

Be you foot, hand, ear, eye, or? – it is “just as He desired”. Although the body of Christ will forever be one, during its time in this fallen world it will always(?) appear more diverse than unified. But one day...

(and all wv can think of to say is "smshiono")

will said...

Bandit - oh, they're anti-saints all right. But I think that's what makes them anti-saints - they attempt to do good insofar as they understand it, which, given the constraints of their own spiritual ignorance, is hardly an in-depth understanding.

As someone once observed, Liberalism - or fascism, communism, etc. - is Christianity without Christ. And that kind of aping of God is a recipe for evil.

ximeze said...

Judge Andrew Napolitano:

So you agree with yourself & have video as proof that you do so?



will said...

Aquila - that's what I mean by spiritual ignorance. I strongly doubt that Alinsky actually believed in the existence of Satan or in the existence of evil itself, at least as it relates to the individual battle of overcoming the ego-self.

Alinsky, I think, championed the figure of Satan as just that, a James Dean figure, a rebel archetype. However, even if disbelieving in the actual existence of Satan and spiritual evil, by evil virtue of his own dedication, Alinsky aligned himself with the spiritual evil he probably didn't believe in. A dedication, after all, is a kind of ceremony - something else of which the Alinsky's of the world are ignorant.

It doesn't matter whether or not one believes in that kind of black magic - if you go through the motions, you activate the evil same as you would if you did believe in it.

That's why its incumbent on all of us to carefully watch what we say, do, see, read, think.

Aquila said...


Well put.

Alan said...

I never thought that running into the first lady's posterior (twice, no less) would make me laugh.

Perhaps surprise is the sign of uniquely expressing unity.

Gagdad Bob said...

I noticed some traffic from LGF, and I see that it's because Queeg commented on Dupree's post yesterday:

"Here you go -- it's at Gagdad Bob's site, who turned on me like a cornered chihuahua when I started criticizing creationism. Some pretty ugly stuff there, and several 'right-wing' bloggers are linking to it with great approval."

Gagdad Bob said...

He is such a loon! As if I care about creationism...

julie said...

He never did get it, did he?

Northern Bandit said...

Many people have attempted to clarify the "creationism" issue with Johnson. He is apparently quite unable to comprehend the relevant points. It's not hard to tell when someone does comprehend an argument but nonetheless disagrees with it. For example, I can easily summarize the main Marxist talking points, and then coherently argue why they are wrong.

Johnson has never shown the slightest indication that he in any way understands the entire "creationism" issue. He's like one of those bovine CNN "science reporters" who keep on chewing the global warming propaganda cud week after week, oblivious to the mountain of contrary evidence.

Self-righteous and thick-as-a-plank is no way to go through life.

wv: inwoomn

First the one, then the other.

Gagdad Bob said...

This book I'm currently reading, Why Us?, confirms most of the science in One Cosmos. At times it seems as if he read my book, but it's not mentioned. In any event, I'll be reviewing it soon.

mushroom said...

Christianity is like the harbor with all the docks and the structure, the anchorage and the services. But ships aren't built to float in a sheltered bay -- as Jesus said, in a different context, Launch out into the deep. That's what we are made to do. We have to sail out and bring back goods and tales of exotic lands and skies, returning to refresh others and be refreshed by them.

julie said...

The Gigolo?

julie said...

Looking through the Amazon listings, I kind of like Lee Morgan's titles. I'm tempted to download The Procrastinator, since it might as well have my name on it...

Gagdad Bob said...

Lee Morgan is actually the greatest jazz trumpeter of the late '50s and '60s (excluding Miles Davis, who is in a different category, being that he was as important for being a bandleader, discoverer of talent, and trendsetter, as he was for his playing). No serious jazz collection should be without Morgan's Sidewinder, which is the logical place to start if one wishes to explore his body of work. I don't know if anyone except for Louis Armstong played the trumpet with as much personality.

julie said...

Is it just me, or has the trumpet (and the flute - or almost any wind instrument other than saxophones) pretty much disappeared in the last 20 - 30 years as the main instrument in most pop/ jazz music? Or is there just a whole bunch that I haven't encountered yet?

Gagdad Bob said...

I think jazz is just more or less moribund in terms of being a vibrant, leading edge art form. Wynton Marsalis, for example, leaves me totally cold. Which is fine, since we're still trying to catch up with Monk, Ellington, Sun Ra, Coltrane, and many other forward thinking musicians from that artistically fertile period of time. They are all still "from the future," so it doesn't really matter that they're not technically living. As always, "the only thing new is the history you don't know."

Gagdad Bob said...

This is ridiculous. Now Dupree has been linked at Lucianne. I've never come close to such notoriety. He's going to be insufferable.

julie said...

Oh, dear. See what happens when Dupree is catty? Everyone loves it. And it all goes downhill from there...


julie said...

As always, "the only thing new is the history you don't know."

The older I get, the more I love that about history. Especially since I know so little that everything is new. Meanwhile, a lot of the stuff that's actually new seems like the same old, same old, just repackaged with shinier wrapping.

I know of a lot of conservatives who have lamented that they were born in the wrong era, but in a sense we were actually born in exactly the right one, since this is probably the first time in history that so much of the past has been available so fully in the present to so much of mankind. Just tonight, DH was wondering about the origin of the myth of Lilith. Even twenty years ago, neither of us would have probably been interested enough to actually go down to the library and dig through card catalogs to find out, but ten minutes of digging online provides a wealth of information. It's all old, and it's all new.

julie said...

Interesting video by Roger Simon:

How Ahmadinejad Made Me a BelieverAnd no, he's not being facetious.

Cassandra said...

Re anti-saints:

Long ago,when I was in college (and a functional atheist,)I read this sentence from Dostoyevsky:

Loving man without first loving God is SATANIC.

If he had used an adjective like "unwise," "difficult," or "dangerous," I suppose I would have forgotten the phrase immediately and entirely. As it was, though I tried to dismiss it by chuckling at those melodramatic Russians, it stuck to my brain like superglue.

A decade or so later I realized he meant precisely what he said....and that he was right.

Van said...

First off, waaay off topic, just so I can get it off my chest... I just got home form work here in fly-over company, I...HATE... computers!!!... or rather, somewhat more fairly, I... hate the way computer programs are allowed to be randomly written!!!




Van said...

"That is, I am not arguing from Christianity but toward it, from the outside in. This is exactly what it feels like to me. It's as if I am in this vast phase space with a throbbing mystery at the center drawing me further and further in."

I'm in the same mOat. Beginning many moons ago from a nominaly atheistic position, seeking what truth could be found in philosophy, literature & history... I've, very much to my surprise, found myself & mysoph spiraling inwards and upwards towards that Truth which Christian dogma illuminates.

Still surprises the heck out of me.

Van said...

Stepping into the Julie, NB & Will discussion, Will said
"But I think that's what makes them anti-saints - they attempt to do good insofar as they understand it, which, given the constraints of their own spiritual ignorance, is hardly an in-depth understanding."

Which I would amend to "...they attempt to do good insofar as they desire for that which they want to be good, to be thought of and accepted as being good..."

... and the deeper a person descends into that maze, even though they may 'think' they are moving forward, like the person who moves forward on a sphere, eventually they're upside down in lower tonga.

That first step of substituting substituting how you wish things were, for how things truly are, is the first step along the road of good intentions.

the gargoyle's garden that path leads to.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I checked it out and noticed there were only a few lizards who were actually agreeing with Queeg's idiotic comment.

Then again, he's also writing stuff like this, which also ain't popular among his queeglings:

Monday Afternoon Open

410 Charles 5/11/2009 5:00:52 pm PDT 3

re: #192 IslandLibertarian

our president laughed at what was said...........

"Meh. I just don't see the point of getting all worked up over a bad comedian's jokes about Rush Limbaugh.

But then, a lot of people thought it was no big deal for Limbaugh to say he wants Obama to fail, either. I thought that was much worse than Wanda Sykes's bad jokes."

No wonder Queeg only got 3 updings. I mean c'mon, Rush wanting Obama to fail is worse than Sykes wishing for Limbaugh's death and calling him the 20th terrorist of 9/11?

Then again, Queeg denounces Prager as well (for being too nice to IDer's), who helped make Queeg famous (now infamous), so Rush is in good company.

Is there anyone on the right (classicliberals/conservatives/libertarians) Queeg hasn't attacked?

Good point. Anyone who doesn't concur with Queeg's brand of Darwinian Fundamentalist Reductionism is, ipso facto: a "creationist," in his eyes. He hasn't got an inkling of even horizontal knowledge of the Bible or Torah, let alone any vertical understanding.

will said...


Ginger snaps with cream cheese.

Anonymous said...

Van 9:45

Theofilia here (*7*) droppin' in to say you're starting to sound waaaay too much like me:(

CrypticLife said...

Liked today's post, particularly about the dichotomy between uniqueness and universality. I would liked to have seen more on your own internal resolution of it.

ximeze said...

Hi Cryp

CrypticLife said...

Hi Ximeze, hope things are going well with you.

Van said...

A day late... and maybe a dollar short... but,

"...This irreducible uniqueness can only be a spark of the divine, since God is uniqueness as such. Man cannot be quantified: "persons, insofar as they really have a uniqueness that images and reflects a glimmer of God's uniqueness, cannot be numbered. ..."

The last of that is so important. Let me try foisting a slightly different perspective on ya ... those who feel that being identified with numbers would cause them to lose their individuality through 'feeling like a number'... really? Do you realize that numbers can in fact, uniquely identify you... far more uniquely than mere words and names ever could?

For instance, imagine counting up from 1 towards infinity, or even a really big number instead, say like O's govt budget... in all of those many, many numbers, consider just one of them like ... oh... I dunno... say... '42'. That number '42' is absolutely individual and unique. No matter how many trillions you somehow manage to count up to, you will not come to 42 again. Well... sure, you'll come to one of its cousins every hundred or so... but no, no duplicates. None. Nada one.

If being unique is what you are all about, then... it is actually that great flat expanse of the 'many' that are calling your name.

Numbers and quantities have uniqueness up the ying yang... but I'd suggest that that is not the way to look at the matter - or yourself. It isn't that quantities & numbers can't offer you uniqueness, rather, uniqueness is the only thing that the many can offer.

But it is the One in the many, which gives to the truly 'unique', the ability to be more than merely unique, to be not just an individual number, but one unique instance among the many which partakes of the whole and through that becomes more than one of the many... it becomes a distinct One in the many, many aspects of the One.