Saturday, August 01, 2009

If You Find Yourself in a Sabbath Hole, Keep Digging

Let's see if we can't complete a post. Its length will depend upon when the boy wakes up. It's sort of like a game: find your way to ultimate reality before the ticking timebomb goes off!

Come to think of it, just like life.

But it's shabbat, so there's no pressure. We won't force things. We'll just let the cosmos come to us.

Indeed, that is the whole point, to relux and call it a deity. To quote myself, "Esoterically speaking, the sabbath refers to the OMnipresent 'hole' in creation that allows for (↓) and (↑) to enter and leave the 'kingdom of man.'" The point is to turn away from the world's "nihilocracy of urgent nonsense" and toward what is "behind," "above," or "beyond." As such, it is a time of vertical recollection, of time dilation, and of gnostalgia for paradise. It is a "memoir of the future."

Or you could say that it is a day to catch up with your verticalisthenic exercises, or O-->(n). I see that Maximus is right with us, as Balthasar informs us that he was quite concerned with "the 'realization' of theoretical knowledge," or what a Raccoon calls the distinction between (k) and (n). He also talks about the inner peace that counters those jarring worldly energies "that cloud or weigh down or tear apart the mind, in order to rob it of its freedom and self-possession."

In my book, I symbolize this attitude or stance as (---) and (o). You could say "calmness" and "openness," but it's obviously more than that, as it has an intrinsically sacred quality.

As Balthasar writes, "This calm is also [the] mode of entry into the mystery of God, which stands beyond the world. Only the spirit that has become pure and simple can encounter the transcendent One; the soul that has fully emptied itself, that has 'no song to sing,' becomes the place of revelation, the abode of the infinite God."

Ah, perfect: "Right through the middle" of our "hierarchically ordered universe cuts -- straight as an arrow -- the Alexandrian way of ascending from the sensible to the intellectual and ultimately to the divine world" (emphasis mine). For Maximus, this is the very axis of the world -- which it most assuredly is. Looked at in a certain way -- whether you are theist or atheist -- it is all we ever know, all we ever encounter directly, which is to say, "our" own consciousness.

This is surely not solipsism. Rather, it is the Darwinists and other materialists who are the crude solipsists, for they confuse their simplistic abstractions with the Real, which is always radically other, and certainly more than what a glorified ape can entertain in its head. The problem with atheists is that they don't know what they don't know, which, like dark matter and energy, is some 90% of reality.

I distinctly remember when I first began the systematic practice of (---) and (o). It was 1982. I was still working in the supermarket, attending graduate school for my masters degree, and living in a single apartment. I began studying yoga with a certain Yogi Raj, every Tuesday night I believe it was. I think my brain neurology was finally beginning to settle down on its own after an extended adolescence. Prior to that, I don't think I would have been capable of any kind of interior journey.

Anyway, I had all of the usual worldly troubles and worries at the time. But I decided that just once a week, while in the yoga class, I would completely forget about the world. Rather, all there was was the now, and it was up to me to mine out of it whatever I could. If I couldn't get anything out of it, then it was my fault, not the fault of the world. I decided that paradise was just a few microns away, but that I nevertheless had to make the first move. It wasn't going to come to me.

So that was the seed. Afterwards it just got a little out of hand, and here we are. In fact, I also distinctly remember when it began to "take," so to speak, both in thought and in action. You know it is "working" when you begin having thoughts and making connections that you couldn't before, and when this shift in attitude begins to manifest in behavior. Sri Aurobindo describes this as the "psychic being" coming to the "front" of the personality, as if you are now operating around a new axis. In Christian terms, it would simply be the perpetual event-process of metanoia, and the discovery and strengthening of the nous.

And of course, this is a new axis (¶), which in turn relates to the world axis alluded to above. As discussed in my book, (¶) is to O as (•) is to Ø. This is when you rediscover that human beings really are the "center" of the cosmos, just as God is the "center" of the meta-cosmos. And those two centers come together -- or reveal their prior unity -- in ʘ.

But Maximus is quite cautious as to the precise meaning of ʘ, and you might say that this is what all of the Christological debates were about. There are many intrinsically heretical ways to understand ʘ, and which lead to all sorts of problems -- e.g., relativism, fascism, totalitarianism, and other pathologies of the left. Indeed, you might even say that leftism itself is the "left hand path to god," for above all else it is a political religion, or a fully "horizontalized verticality." It is certainly where a Deepak Chopra is coming from, which is why his brand of spirituality results in such sinister nonsense and evil.

A key point to bear in mind is that ʘ is not "a 'mixture' of divinity and humanity," like a union "of two fluids blending with each other." In fact, this kind of indiscriminate mixture of essences is "far from the most perfect and intimate kind of union." Rather, it is "a reciprocal indwelling of two distinct poles of being." That little dot in the middle is "everything," including the essence of love, which requires two (actually, three, the lover, beloved, and the love that passes between them).

Balthasar: "Love, which is the highest level of union, only takes root in the growing independence of the lovers; the union between God and the world reveals, in the very nearness it creates between these two poles of being, the ever-greater difference between created being and the essentially incomparable God." This is "the mystery of a polarity that can never be seen in anything like a final vision," but is instead perpetually ascending toward, and being drawn into, the divine ground.

In short, we do not confuse God's aseity with the hole in our ground.


Gagdad Bob said...

The Aggressor State of the Left. One reason why leftists are so unspiritual (or demonically spiritual) is that they never take time off from trying to control other people's lives. That is the essence of their religion, in which they engage seven days a week.

jwm said...

Good morning Bob, and all Raccoons of whatever various and sundry natures ye may be. Good heavens, I have missed you all. After lurking around a bit night, I broke my internet fast with this morning's post. I'm not kidding, it feels like I'm getting my eyeballs back, here. And I have the promised boatload of bs, and I'm gonna' start slingin' it sometime later on, on the wfb. In the meanwhile, for this one day I set my course for slack. No speed ahead. Free parking mandatory...

as in shime it on fer now.


ximeze said...

jwm -
missed you too

right, did forget to have breakfast today

Gazriel said...

Bob said..."In my book, I symbolize this attitude or stance as (---) and (o). You could say "calmness" and "openness," but it's obviously more than that, as it has an intrinsically sacred quality."

The complexity of (---) and (o)keeps increasing in my life for sure. First of all, this amazing sense of confidence has appeared within me. Whenever I go meditate and pray I know with absolute certainty that it is possible to enter a state of exaltation and Love, to realize the ever-present Communion that is taking place. This knowledge humbles me and fills me with gratitude, but there is so much more than that going on.

Realizing that O is a mystery, that the Totality is ultimately unknowable, centers my awareness and fills me with awed surrender. But within that surrender to O and to my state of unknowing is beginning to emerge a realization that O wants me to know it way more than I thought possible, that O in some sense is ACHING for me to release my conditioned self and allow It to flow directly into me, illuminating and transfiguring this mind and vessel into an expression decidedly more conscious, loving, blissful, wise, expressive, creative, and downright funky than I already am.

Since I know with unconditional certainty that O exists, is ever present in all that is taking place and yet is completely Beyond, It wants me to know It with clarity, confidence, affection, admiration, and consistency. In this way, I can be a beacon of Its Light wherever I go or no matter what I am doing because Communion is starting to shift into everyday activities, as if my body-mind has finally taken to the lessons.

I liken my spiritual practice to someone learning a musical instrument. Once the chops have been learned and one starts playing from a place feeling and passion, then it becomes a higher expression. The pains of struggle are over with while trying to execute certain maneuvers and the soul can just shine. But inestead of rocking out on the electric guitar I am rocking out o the body-mind as a whole.

Gagdad Bob said...

Well put. Cooncur.

Sean said...

I'll have an order of what Gazriel had, please.