Monday, May 04, 2009

Icons, Con Men, Misplaced Concrete, and Absolute Condescension

Now it feels like Sunday. Will I ever catch up? Or will it always be like this, one day behind?

I think we've established that essence can only manifest itself in appearances. These two poles are always present in any act of knowing. However, it is critical to bear in mind that while we can make a distinction between these two poles, they can never actually be divided. Indeed, knowing is very much a "one in three," i.e., essence (or ground), appearance, and the link between them.

HvB says that "We cannot describe [this] movement either monistically or dualistically, but we can say that the structure of truth rests on it as on its deepest foundation." Although essence is primary, "both poles nevertheless remain in a reciprocal relation of dependence."

We have also established that being is involved in a kind of primordial "movement," in its ceaseless unveiling and self-revelation.

Meanwhile, what's happening at the other end, in the subject? You know, us? Just as "the essence seems abstract compared with the appearance," sensory images are concrete compared with our ability to think about them. (For those of you who have the home version, you may recall that I discussed this issue on pp. 198-206, under the heading Saying More With Less: The Problem of Conceptual Abstractness and Concreteness.)

I have no idea what I wrote there, but I would now say it like this: let's think of Jesus as the "icon of God." Consistent with what we have described above, this would be analogous to the "movement" of ground to appearance. No one can see the ground, i.e., the Father. But we can see his icon, his own unveiling, or appearance, the Son. And ultimately, the two are "not two."

But just as with everyday cognition, this is not enough, for at one end we have pure abstraction, while at the other we have the concrete image, which we can use as an occasion to descend into idolatry if we aren't careful. In fact, I think this is what the iconoclasm controversy was all about. Let me check to make sure.

Blah blah blah, read the whole thing yourself. The point is, the iconoclasts "condemned the making of any lifeless image that was intended to represent Jesus or one of the saints.... Any true image of Jesus must be able to represent both his divine nature (which is impossible because it cannot be seen nor encompassed) as well his human nature. But by making an icon of Jesus, one is separating his human and divine natures, since only the human can be depicted, or else confusing the human and divine natures."

Note how they resolved the problem: "the biblical commandment forbidding images of God had been superseded by the incarnation of Jesus, who, being the second person of the Trinity, is God incarnate in visible matter. Therefore, they were not depicting the invisible God, but God as He appeared in the flesh."

So the problem is a real one: on the one end, pure unknowable abstraction, on the other end, man's tendency to worship graven images. What is the solution? It is to respect God's "double movement," from essence to appearance, and then from appearance back to essence. Doesn't Jesus say as much about the way he himself is to be regarded, not as an end, but as a means, so to speak? < insert any number of relevant scriptural passages from Nomo here >

A variety of heresies results from getting this precise balance wrong. However, the interesting thing is that the same intrinsic heresies apply to purely secular thought, which requires the identical balance between ground and image. Indeed, it is not going too far to say that Christianity teaches men how to think properly about reality as such.

For example, we had a confused troll yesterday (and earlier this morning) who was specifically confused because of his inability to appreciate this distinction between essence and appearance. His writing, thinking, grammar, and punctuation are all rather sloppy -- other than that, he is a beacon of clarity -- so it's a little difficult to decipher his meaning, but I think you can get the drift from his latest utterance:

"Ok, you're either wrong about your fundamental philosophy or you're wrong about the word. You're choice. If people have different values, and God is intrinsic because he is extrensic, his standards and hierarchies. most certainly are not intrinsic. You keep changing subject. Are God's values intrinsic? If so, why is it that no people share the exact same values? No two people hold all the same values to the same degree. Thus, if God is intrinsic, he most certainly has not made his hierarchies or standards so. Otherwise why even have free will? You're squirming and changing subject."

Do you see his error(s)? The central one is the severing of God's transcendence from his immanence, or essence from appearance. Because humans have freedom, he seems to think that this is incompatible with having an essence. But freedom is an aspect of our essence, including the freedom to err. The proper use of freedom involves the journey from appearance to essence, from contingent to necessary, from relative to Absolute.

But to return to the main topic, the whole point is again this "double movement" that takes place between ground, image, and subject. A true icon, for example, is never a "thing in itself." Again, that would be idolatry. Rather, the icon is the quintessence of metaphysical transparency, in that it is like a two way mirror through which God radiates, but through which we can also "see into God" from the other end, like a "window to heaven."

Is that clear? I wish I could draw a picture of the process, but it would look something like this: >.<, with the first arrow representing God, the second arrow representing us, and the point between being the icon. But it's all one two-way, or spiraling, process.

Again, this doesn't just apply to icons. Rather, they are just the quintessence of a more general vertical movement, in that the entire cosmos is a theophany of God. It too has an obvious metaphysical transparency, which is precisely why it is so larded with overflowing truth and beauty. It offers itself to us in such a way that it always points back to its source, at least if we look at it in the proper way. File this under the heading of one of those things that cannot not be understood, at least until modern times.

This is why prayer is a movement; contemplation is a movement; lectio divina is a movement; my blogging is a movement. But the movement on our end is only possible because the Absolute has condescended to meet us more than half way.

Conversely, here is the danger -- a danger that has already manifested in various forms of postmodern pnuemapathology, e.g., atheism, metaphysical Darwinism, scientism, radical secularism, et al. Each of these represents idolatry by another name, or what Whitehead called "the fallacy of misplaced concreteness." Here is how HvB describes it:

"The concept has the capacity to distance itself from the perceptual image and to assume a stance of self-sufficiency in abstract isolation. In doing so, it falls under the sway of unreality, thus resembling the object of sense intuition -- the image."

In other words, man confuses God's power with his own, and thereby distances himself "from the vitality of truth." For unlike God, he becomes enclosed in his little false world, and exerts what might be called a "negative radiation" which attempts to pull everything into its absurcular purview. Here we confront the "vacant mystery of agnosticism and skepticism" in all its minus glory.

More tomorrow on how the universal can (only) appear in the particular, which touches on how Jesus can simultaneously be God's icon of man and man's icon of God.


julie said...

(This also describes how I felt when trying to make sense out of our humble dissenter's sentences yesterday...)

Anonymous said...

Bob, you're so pathetic. If that's what you're reduced to I'm sorry you couldn't hold an intellectually honest debate.

Hell, it was a shame to see how stupid some of your followers are, and yet some of them understood what I was saying, yet you couldn't get a single idea of what was going on. And you bother to bitch about punctuation. I told you, you get a little too pedantic. It's one of your weaker points. Instead of arguing the actual subject, you go acting like a baby about grammatical errors. That's funny coming from a guy who makes up words all the time. I think on the second page of your book I encountered 2 made up words. By the way, I tend not to take blogs as seriously as say, my publications. So forgive me for not wasting time on formalities with people of such high grammatical standards.

By the way, when did this come up in conversation: "...who was specifically confused because of his inability to appreciate this distinction between essence and appearance."

Essence and appearance? Bob you are absolutely full of shit. Changing the subject won't make it go away. If you don't want to admit you couldn't back up your claims, it won't help to change the issue. I take it you dodge the subject because you felt you had won it? Laughably childish.

And Julie, you don't have much room to talk. Not a single person backed up their stance with any more than insults or non-sequiturs. I take it if it was so obvious, you would have interrupted and corrected, but somehow I think you were on the same level.

But Bob, it was nice knowing you. All I needed was some form of confirmation you had no idea what you were saying, and the fact that you refuse to back up what you said any further is proof enough. Your whole blog consists of a bunch of close-minded assholes, I think Dupree and Van are proof enough of that, and by letting them get out of control I think you support that crap behavior.

Gagdad Bob said...

I'll cop to everything you say, except I have no control over Dupree.

walt said...


I dunno ... Dupree always seemed like a stand-up guy to me.

Who knew?

julie said...

Yes, Anonymous - you've pegged me correctly: I'm an asshole, something of which I tend to be painfully aware. How gentlemanly of you to remind me. Given that my poor intellect was not up to the task of arguing coherently with you, I decided against it, settling instead for the juvenile tactic of making a pained expression from the sidelines, villainous wretch that I am. Shame upon me - I should have maintained my carefully crafted poker face and pretended that you did not exist at all. One of thee days, I'll learn.

On a completely off-topic note, want to hear what I did this weekend, raccoons? it was awesome - we didn't hear the percussion parts until Thursday, so I wasn't sure what to think of this piece, but just wow! This recording isn't us (and I daresay we sounded better, but then being in the midst of it I'm a little biased), but you can hear the whole thing, professionally recorded.

Definitely not samey :)

Here (Click on "Sample 2" and "Sample 3" on the lower left sidebar to hear the rest)

Some of the effects were made by bowing the bars of a vibraphone - very cool.

Anonymous said...

You betray your ignorance by this phrase: "Bob you are absolutely full of shit." To understand the Absolute is to know that one cannot be absolutely full of shit, but only relatively full of shit.

wv: "croesho"--croeshoed yo' ass!

ximeze said...

By the way, I tend not to take blogs as seriously as say, my publications.

Before you let the door hit you in the ass on your way out, please O please leave links for your publications.

Cory said...

Wow. This one degenerated into profanity and foot-stamping frustration a bit sooner than most.

You know, it really isn't deliberate. It's just that you are writing about one thing and Bob is writing about something quite different. Bob uses the goofiness of the "left" to illustrate loony modes of core belief that form the boundaries of a deadly mode of being. It isn't the surface beliefs that are important. These change and recycle over the millenia. It is the core beliefs and the being they define that is important.

But I undoubtedly put this poorly. Sorry to trouble you.

absurcular said...

Cory -

Au contraire.

I think you just did an admirable job of separating forester and lumberjack. Too bad all here can't so deftly separate the wet from the chafe. Only problem now is, neither party has an unchallenged idea of which they are. And I for one enjoy their dilemma.

Simeze -

So like a feline to want it easy rather than simple. Why turn a snack into a houseguest? Remember your nature.

Gagdad Bob said...

I think the point is that I'm not really arguing but describing. If someone doesn't like what I'm describing, then I certainly have no desire to inflict it upon them. Rather, I'm just "putting it out there." It's an interior process, i.e., verticalisthenic exercise, that others can peek in on if they like.

julie said...

It's just that you are writing about one thing and Bob is writing about something quite different.

Cory, you are a true gentleman. I'm not, nor am I particularly ladylike, so I'm just going to call it as I saw it yesterday: Anony's first comment was less than coherent, and also came across as pedantic and boorish. There are grammatical errors and grammatical errors; the first are simply mistakes which generally don't muddle the clarity of the writer (such as improper use of apostrophes, the occasional typo, etc.), while the second demonstrates a lack of a basic grasp of the ability to structure a sentence so as to impart meaning. Anony almost constantly exhibits the second trait; it's as though he has hoarded a collection of multisyllabic words, but doesn't quite understand how to put them together in such a way as to adequately make use of them and get an actual point across. Conversely, he demonstrates an utter lack of both a funny bone and an ability to extract deeper meaning from creative word use (the distinction being that typos and spelling errors generally detract from the meaning of a word, while wordplay actually adds many layers of meaning. but you have to understand the basic references before you can get the joke.), if he actually read OC and believed that the puns were grammatical errors.

The anonys in general obviously don't believe it (perhaps because they've never tried), but it is in fact possible to disagree with Bob or anyone else here and not be mocked mercilessly. The key is to:

a) write with clarity, use preview and make sure what you say is coherent.

b) if you've been lurking a long time, try a strong argument we haven't heard a million times before, and be prepared to back it up with either some actual deep thought of your own, or with reference to someone who is demonstrably worthy of respect. Saints of major faiths are often a good resource.

c) try being a little respectful from the start - even if you don't think we deserve it, you might just find that we do repay you in kind if you don't start by sneering,
"Those are two pretty easy concepts that you've somehow confused. Don't over-think stuff or get to pedantic."
If you charge in with insults, that's all you're going to get back.

d) realize that if your position is adversarial, even if you do all of the above, there will probably be disagreement. Even very strong disagreement, especially if you are starting from a different set of ground rules from us (in which case, we probably have nothing to say to each other; all dialog will be fruitless. Just a fact). And if your idea strikes us as foolish enough, it's going to be called what it looks like. If you are easily offended and think we're full of shit, maybe you should realize that we're just a small group of oddballs who probably aren't worth your time, and find something better to do.

I mean seriously - I'm a housewife (with only a mediocre grasp of the "house" part) who spends far too much time in front of the computer instead of the tv. Do you really care that much what I think? In God's name, why? What possible value can my opinion be to you?


I know, I know - wasting my time. Setting them up for a chorus of whining about a history of abuse, etc. For which I apologize. But good grief; I truly don't grasp how they think they should be able to just charge in on a rude offensive and be taken seriously. Must be a result of tenure.

Zoltan said...

>.< is suggestive but not there. "There" is suggested the spiral you mention.

Think two cones joined at their apexes. The point you have between them, which is visible in the picture, is actually invisible because it is a point (point has no dimension, etc., and in this case also no one-only location).

If the point is a dot, i.e., visible, we have Arianism and an array of Docetisms, as have overwhelmed the churches of our time.

"Delicate balance" is an understatement. Only way to maintain it is assume the ontological unity of the emergence and mergence of existence in essence, of life in God.

And discussing that very much is not done.

Beyond this, I urge that the time for analysis is over, fulfilled if you prefer.

It is time for construction and development, and not of further analytical regimes, but of structure of life, large ones, portending ones, loving ones.

Rick@work said...

I’ve only done a drive-by today, but want to get my vote in early:
I think Cory is a lady.
Of course that has nothing to do with today’s post because I haven’t had time to read it.
Like I said, just a hunch – and no offense if I’m wrong about the lady part.


Rick@work said...

That doesn’t mean I don’t think Julie is a lady. She already knows I think that :-)


Northern Bandit said...

It's that season again when small creatures regularly splat on the windshield.

They don't generally whine and gnash their little teeth as much though...

Gagdad Bob said...

There's an easy way to find out. Cory's most recent comment is definitely male, whereas Julie's is definitely female. My post is, of course, "all man."

Anonymous said...

Placing his hands on the ground,
The frog respectfully recites
His poem


Who am I?

Northern Bandit said...

Queeg's list of friends has fewer and fewer names left to cross off. The latest erstwhile idol to run afoul of his boundless erudition on topics scientific and metaphysical is Melanie Phillips. It seems Melanie has written in defense of intelligent design, thereby triggering Johnson's hinged jaw to snap shut.

Rick@work said...

“My post is, of course, "all man."”

And I could lift you over my head.

Paste that in you’re algorithm and smoke it.

(Just kiddin Bob. You know I think you’re all man. – don’t paste this last part)

Cousin Dupree said...

Interesting that Queeg is so concerned about the "shrinking GOP." Must be an unconscious projection about concern for his shrinking traffic.

Van said...

aninnyass said "I'm sorry you couldn't hold an intellectually honest debate."

Wow. When someone begins with assertions, tangents and insults, spills out his logic 101 glossary and then demands that you respond as if he'd made an argument... pretty much says all there is to say about his intellect, his honesty and his ability to debate.

At least abcirculray was polite.

ximeze said...

abs -
It was too dull for a worthy snack. Kats don't eat cardboard, tho shredding it is good for claws.

Publications? Might be something to bat around in there, but it just squeaked when patted, hissed a bit & ran away.

As I said: dull

julie said...

The Gender genie is interesting. First I just tried it using my opening invective, and it came out decidedly male. Guess I balanced it out in the resolution.


So does that mean my fighting style is "roundhouse punch" followed by hair pulling, nail gouging and then a pat on the cheek and an offer to kiss the ensuing booboo?

Cory said...

I must be more in touch with my inner woman than I realized. Does Deepak have anything to say about that?

bob f. said...

Apropos your Orwell quote yesterday, American Thinker today has this Orwell gem:
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."

When liars rule they fear truth in any form.

Sal said...

Female: 184
Male: 446
I blame all those years of Classics.

Trolls practically write themselves, don't they?

Bob- the Gospel at Mass today was continuing the theme of the Good Shepherd. The phrase about 'other hireling shepherds slaughtering the sheep' reminded me of your discussion of how human sacrifice was, prior to Christ, the default religion of practically everybody.
Just thought that was interesting.

Anonymous said...

The anonymous tirade was reminiscent of the one JWM had several posts back. Tirades are both amusing and disturbing, because although they scratch that itch for entertainment (they could be called a form of emotional pornography), on some level we recognize there is someone suffering.

I enjoyed the abstract nature of this post, particularly the discussion of Jesus as an icon.

To really bend things further, I assert there are complex icons embedded in our consciousness in the form of problems.

Take for instance a compulsion, any kind. Lets say its gambling in this case. To confront and unravel a compulsion is to go on a journey, and it always leads to God.

The compulsion presents the whole problem of the human condition and its solution in one neat package.

First one must recognize the compulsion is out of one's control. Then one has to discover the roots of the compulsion and the emotional need it tries to satisfy. Then one must adjust one's morality to make the compulsion unacceptable. Then one must get the appropriate help. Finally, after multiple relapses, the sufferer realizes that only God can intercede. A basic choice is made; God or no. if no, the sufferer spirals down and out to prison or death or sputters along miserably until death. If yes, a direct opening to the source is established and life becomes much better than if the compulsion was never there.

"Normal" life is kind of the same way but moves slower and may not arrive at a conclusive opening.

So, as Jesus is the icon of God, the compulsion functions as an icon or appearance of the human condition concretized somewhat.

Sorry to go long.

Rick@work said...

Sorry about that :-) I read Robin Starfish wrong too.
However, you might be a Raccoon, since you were not offended.
In my defense, I did take a whole antihistamine this morning.

jwm said...

Wow. I pitched a flameball at the ghastly, grimm old raven quite a few days ago, and the ripples are still lapping at the shore. Hoarhey better get on the ball here.
Suffering? emotional pornography?

That's just a wee bit over the top.

just a wee.


will said...

>>Now it feels like Sunday. Will I ever catch up? Or will it always be like this, one day behind?<<

Weird. It feels like a Sunday to me, too, only I don't feel a day behind because it feels like *next* Sunday. Oh well, am too addled to cogently comment on anything.

Say, Julie - I clicked your link to "samples 2 & 3" and I keep getting a can't-access-website error message. What to do?

Meanwhile, try this:

Anonymous said...

Hey Cory,

I am def. in touch with my inner masculine and wouldn't like it any other way! My Mother was a strong, yet soft spoken woman who live-demonstrated the masculine energy very effectively when she had to. In turn my daughters are also in touch - as you say - with the inner - masculine.


ximeze said...

Tirades are both amusing and disturbing, because although they scratch that itch for entertainment (they could be called a form of emotional pornography), on some level we recognize there is someone suffering.

lame duck, b dat u hiding behind Anon?

julie said...

thanks for the heads-up; I put in a bad link. Doh!

Here's the correct one; it goes to "sample 1" (really just Part one of the whole piece), and the other links are below and to the left.

julie said...

I like that one, Will! You're right, it would go very well with vines & margaritas.

will said...

Very nice choral piece, Julie, thanks! Soaring yet light-filtering ethereal like a cathedral.

So you are in choral group that performs this piece?

Fritz said...

G. Bob,

I read "The Transfiguration of Man" over the weekend. First time reading Schuon. It's like he downloads directly into your mind -- his use of language is that masterful.

I didn't realize how much of him there is in you until now. Felt liek I was reading an uber-traditionalist version of your blog at times...

Just curious though: I found his disdain for democracy, even the law-bound republican variety, to be somewhat unsettling. Even moreso his pessimism about the future of the man and the world. He sees modernity solely as a devolution away from tradition.

Being the existential optimist that I am, what I am supposed to make of this? I find it hard to believe that such a profound Intellect just "saw" it wrong.

Van said...

♫ ♪ ♬ let this stranger pass ♬ ♪ ♫

Gagdad Bob said...


Well, I've had a number of posts on that very topic. There are many different ways to look at it. I think part of it is a European vs. American thing.

Having said that, I am much more aware of the intrinsic heresy and perennial temptation of immamentizing the eschaton. I'm pretty much hopeless about "the world," but not at all pessimistic. Go figure.

I think you just have to do with Schuon what you'd do with me or with anyone else, which is assimilate what you need and leave the rest. The more you expose yourself to him, the more of the truth will just get woven into your substance, and then inflected through your own being -- just as Schuon wove various truths into his own being. He is formidable, and I hold him in the highest regard, but no one's perfect.

As for me, I think there are enough theologians who implicitly say, "wipe that smile off your face!" My attitude is "wipe that frown off your face!" So I'm sure Schuon wouldn't approve of my use of his ideas. (Although I'm told that Schuon could have occasional flashes of humor that were all the more funny given his forbidding demeanor.)

Van said...

♪ ♬... he tried to grant my wishes with silk and sacks of gold, but a wayfarer's promise, is all I shall hold...♬ ♪♬ ♪

Ricky Raccoon said...

“Doesn't Jesus say as much about the way he himself is to be regarded, not as an end, but as a means, so to speak? < insert any number of relevant scriptural passages from Nomo here >”

The first one that comes to mind:

"Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments." Matthew 19:17

Ricky Raccoon said...

“Rather, the icon is the quintessence of metaphysical transparency, in that it is like a two way mirror through which God radiates, but through which we can also "see into God" from the other end, like a "window to heaven."…Is that clear? I wish I could draw a picture of the process…”

I think you have in the past, Bob…your analogy: what would a sphere look like to the witnesses as it passed through their 2D world. They could never grasp the totality at once, the 3D sphere.

I find I have to pray to Jesus and not God directly. Jesus being His approachable face.

julie said...

yes, I'm in a choir. We performed that piece on Saturday and Sunday. Also had a guest conductor on Saturday who works as a Chief Engineer at Boeing's Apache Helicopter factory; when he came onstage, he put on an old leather flying cap and a white scarf, and joked that he'd do better holding the baton like a joystick. Good times :)

If you ever want a free cd of my personal favorites, send me an email.

Anonymous said...

BTW, concerning the obsession over my gramatical and spelling errors, that's why I hire editors.

Ricky Raccoon said...

“It offers itself to us in such a way that it always points back to its source, at least if we look at it in the proper way.”

Tomberg has this to say:

“With all perceiving there has to be the possibility of a projection of the object into the subject, and simultaneously a projection of the subject out into the object. The eye is not merely the receiver of light-permeated impressions, it also rays forth light itself…it “speaks” at the same time as it perceives. The eyes, and the senses altogether, represent the concrete reflection of the cosmic principle of cognition…”


“As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
- Jesus

Anonymous said...


I'll take one of those free CDs :)
Shoot me an e-mail, I'll give you my addy, eh?


will said...

Well, thanks, Van -

But let this stranger pass . . what? A kidney stone? A hairball? A bowling ball?

Fritz said...

Thanks for the sober and direct response, G.B.

I was gonna say something about death and rebirth and how perhaps there is no hope for this world after all -- that it must die in order to make way for the New Jerusalem and whatnot.

But then I remembered that if Abraham found just 10 holy men in all of Sodom and Gomorrah, God would have spared the entire city. And of course there is Noahide covenant.

I am firmly in the evolution camp, with the important caveat that the world, like man, cannot save itself, but will be redeemed by God.

P.S. Here's another metaphyical stumper. Was man was created fallen or not? Given our intrinsically relative and derivative nature, and our necessary distance from the Absolute, is our "Fallenness" at all escapable? Or were we explitly created to "Fall" aeay form the Center so we could return there? Or is our Fallen nature something entirely different, in the sense that we fall from a "pure" relatively to an "impure" relatively? Get what I'm saying or is it the double Makers talking?

Cory said...

Me?!? Offended?!?

Sputter, cough, choke. HARRUMPHH!!

Inner leftist (mind parasite)trying to emerge.

Hope. Change. We are the ones we have been waiting for.


Ah. There. Much better now.

Hope you all are well. Be sure and stay in touch with that inner whatever. Remember that you are not what you can perceive.

Fritz said...

Given the grammatical errors, I'm guessing it's the Makers...

julie said...

The Herb Alpert collector's can? Hilarious and awesome.

In other news, today's schadenfreude.

Anonymous said...



Ricky Raccoon said...

“..which touches on how Jesus can simultaneously be God's icon of man and man's icon of God.”

Jesus is often referred to as “the Son of Man”, perhaps as often as he is as “the Son of God”. I say this is no accident, that it is for a meaning similar to what you may be suggesting, Bob. So that “… ultimately, the two are "not two"” and to indicate the perspective from where he is “facing” – facing toward God or toward man, or facing from God or from man.

julie said...

Hearkening back to this weekend's comments, guess what's on sale at Amazon right now, along with a ton of other Sci Fi stuff?

Ricky Raccoon said...

The music on the “sheet music” site is incredible. Thank you.

RE scifi, looking forward to a couple movies coming this summer: “Moon” and “District 9”.

ge said...

Bob: 'No one can see the ground, i.e., the Father. But we can see his icon, his own unveiling, or appearance, the Sun. And ultimately, the two are "not two."'
[ge changed one letter]

julie said...

Ricky, and speaking of seeing, just came across this in Seeing the Form:

We see the Thou with real bodily eyes, and indeed not as a thing but in all its exceptionalness and particularity as person in the midst of the cosmos...The fundamental human sense of the eye and its act of seeing is precisely the fact that this happens thus, that this 'other' becomes visible to oneself and is seen by one as person. All seeing is inhuman if it does not comprise this kind of seeing. 'But this is only the one half. When one looks the other in the eye, it takes place automatically that he lets the other look him in the eye:... that man himself should be visible to the other person'

julie said...

'Being in encounter is being in the openness of the one to the other and for the other'

will said...

In honor of recent troll "Anonymous", I immodestly bring my troll poem out of mothballs.


trolls come and go
like days of sun and days of snow -

one pictures them as tiny things
with crooked backs and insect wings -

and eyes that roll like a drunkard's moon,
and florid breath, aye, one could swoon -

from whence they come? well, no one knows,
but a school of thought says: from Black Holes!

with their clamminess and dark thought ramble-ly,
some think they're of the mushroom family,

that they grow in forests where the sun is nil
and sprout small legs eventually, but still

others think that their rife debasement
means they were conjured in some voodoo basement -

each theory has merits I must entertain
for as we have noticed, as they appear yet again,

all of them, down to the last nutter
is as though designed by cookie-cutter:

the garbling, the syntax, the fever of brain . . .
the notions themselves - they're all the same!

what if - no, it cannot be -
yet they bend the mind towards conspiracy

most foul and thoughts all undone
for what if there's not many a troll . . but one!

Aye, one massive troll, always in flux,
the size of one of those Monster Rally Trucks -

let's say it lives in the death valley gloom,
because, c'mon, who's going to rent it a room?

it's got glowing red eyes and giggles a lot
as it squats huge over its cowering lap top

as it posts its dribble and nonsensical spume
under one of many a nom d' plume,

be it "Raymond” or "Anonymous", the dithering fuss
(yes, when the troll is drunk, it's default "anonymous")

and when the troll shifts buttocks on the dried up rivers,
somewhere a Richter needle shivers -

all right, OK, this is only a guess -
perhaps I need an aspirin and a good eve of rest -

but when the hour is wee and the lights dim,
and your thoughts begin to churn grim,

you'll wonder if the fluttering leaves
aren't really fat massive fingers working the keys -

but enough! you all have your own memes -
goodnite, sleep well - and oh yes - sweet dreams!


Anonymous said...

Theofilia 5:30 and Theofilia 5:55 posts? = was not this moi!


Anonymous said...

Forgot to add, this Theofilia doesn't have a CD player.


Anonymous said...

So what is it you do have, Theofamilia et al? A record player? A cassette deck? A ukelele?

Anonymous said...

Since you asked anon, I don't have a tape player either. Both second hand CD player and the tape player, killed over long ago. I don't have a budget to replace 'em.
I do have 1 clock radio which works ok. The other, that's in the kitchen is full of static and on its last leg.


Anonymous said...

Anon. 8:23,

Was too moi, still want the CD.


hoarhey said...

Speaking of Icons.
ge wins avatar of the day.

julie said...

Hearkening back to Sunday's original topic is this observation at House of Eratosthenes.

Also, one of the best wv's ever: ashatic

Ricky Raccoon said...

I think ge's a lady.