Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Morning After: The Word is Born, Now What?

Christmas mamamorializes not just the birth of the celestial Word in the terrestrial flesh -- or the vertical child in the horizontal voidgin -- but the eternal conception in the mamamatrix, or "womb with a pew," where these two irreconcilable realities somehow become one.

In ether worlds, no conception, no birth. But birth obviously isn't the end of it. Or, like all births, it is the end of one mode and the beginning of another; every birth conceals a death, and vice versa. Where there's a wake there's awake.

Also, many things can prevent conception and/or terminate pregnancy, including such permicides as materialism or the various abortofascisms of the left. Such verbicidal techniques either prevent the union of Word and flesh, or assure a celestial abortion once it has taken place. For many people, spiritual conception is a disaster, as it would totally interfere with their preferred manner of living, i.e., their wholly narcissism.

I don't know if this is true, but I read somewhere the other day that Christmas wasn't celebrated for the first 400 years or so of Christianity's existence. One way or another, it grafted itself onto pre-Christian celebrations of the winter solstice, which marks the moment when the world arrests its descent into cosmic darkness, and imperceptibly moves toward the new life of spring.

But this hardly makes the cerebration of this any less Christian. Rather, it simply makes Christianity the most adequate expression of permanent truths that have always been known. As Warren mentioned in a comment the other day,

"Basically, everybody more or less knows this stuff. It's the wisdom and experience of the entire human race speaking here. The only people who claim to deny it are a few little fringe modernist groups (materialists, certain fundie Protestant sects, etc.).

"In fact, this is a big reason why some fundie Protestants view Catholics as 'pagans'. In a way, they're quite correct, because the Catholic tradition includes much wisdom from the pagan world, while trimming away (ideally) the false and/or devilish elements in it. Rejecting the entire pagan worldview, as certain Christians do, is to needlessly throw out a large chunk of the human race's traditional wisdom, thereby making oneself much more clueless than is strictly necessary."

Raccoon omeritus Meister Eckhart agrees with this view, in that "throughout his life, [he] championed the... position that philosophy and theology did not contradict each other and that philosophy was a necessary tool for Christian theology."

I suppose this is one of the ways in which I part company with the mainstream, which, it seems to me, tries to derive metaphysical truth solely from history, whereas I would say that it is the other way around -- that what we call "salvation history" must be the instantiation of certain meta-cosmic principles.

I will grant that a potential danger in the latter approach is the reduction of the personal God of history to a kind of quasi-mathematical deism, but that is not my view at all. Rather, the Creator is a person. But he has principles. And unlike Democrats, his principles are not for sale to the highest bidder.

Here is how Eckhart put it: "What philosophers have written about the nature and properties of things agrees with [the Bible], especially since everything that is true, whether in being or in knowing, in scripture or in nature, proceeds from one source and one root of truth." Philosophy, science, theology and revelation all "teach the same thing, differing only in the way they teach, namely as worthy of belief, as probable and likely, and as truth."

Remember, although Jesus is "Word made flesh," this does not mean that the Word was nowhere to be found in this vale of tears prior to the Incarnation. Rather, I would say (with Augustine) that the Word and wisdom of the Christic principle were (and are) always here, and couldn't not be here; again, where there is truth there is God.

So Eckhart's whole project was guided by a coonviction "about the conformity between reason and revelation, philosophy and theology." The Meistrʘ, who often used paradox to convey truth, expressed it thus: "It does not so much seem to me that God understands because he exists, but rather that he exists because he understands."

Do you see the point? Surely, understanding must be anterior to existence, to such an extent that to understand is to exist (I mean, someone had to have understood all those finely tuned mathematical equations that govern the big bang; surely we can't have been the first). Naked existence itself is neither here nor there. Thus, God is first and foremost "the negation of negation," or perhaps the negation of invincible cosmic stupidity.

I would go so lo as to see that the affirmation of anything is the affirmation of God, and therefore the negation of "nothing," i.e., the absurd affirmation of blind nihilism. Otherwise, there is no ground for any affirmations at all, not even "I am an idiotic troll named anonyorthogonal." For to know that one is an idiot is to at least know a permanent truth, and thus nurture a conception that may eventually come to full term.

All of the above quotes are taken from Bernard McGinn's The Harvest of Mysticism. I'm going to just keep philipping along and see where it leads.

Starting tomorrow I guess. I still want to catch up with my work by the end of the year.....

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Immaculate Family Planning: On Conceiving & Giving Birth to the Word

Regarding the Gospel of John, Unknown Friend says that it appeals to the human soul to shift its ground of intelligence from the created to the creative through a union of sun and moon. What does this mean? Let's find out.

The mode of science is entirely lunar, in that it seeks to "reflect" matter, or the lowest level of possible knowledge. Which is fine for science. Just don't confuse science with philosophy or metaphysics, much less theology, which are adequations to higher levels of reality -- intellect, soul, self, spirit, slack, etc.

The lunar mode can only comprehend that which is discontinuous, never that which is continuous. In fact, if I am not mistaken, the word "science" is etymologically related to "cut," which is what science must do in order to understand anything.

However, the cutting is in the mind of the scientist, and cannot be confused with what is ultimately real, and which unites the scientific knower with what he knows. Matter is atomistic, malleable, and infinitely divisible. Using only the tools of science, it is impossible to even approach the problem of intrinsically continuous and holistic properties such as life and mind (which is why the wave-particle complementarity is such a paradox for materialists).

But the Gospel of John confronts us with the creative Word, "which is the light and life of men." Here, intelligence "has the task of understanding the whole world as the organisatory act of the Word and Jesus Christ as the cosmic Word made flesh." Whereas lunar intelligence seeks to understand "that which is," this logocentric mode seeks to participate "in the becoming of that which is to be." It is not just to be "born again," but to give birth -- which is to participate in the intrinsic and eternal creativity of the Word. This is the Voidgin Birth alluded to on page the tenth of the Godspiel of Toots (no, it wasn't just his Brooklyn accent).

Real creativity is clearly a kind of higher life and higher life that is continuous with, or a mirror of, the divine activity. The point is, on the intellectual plane, approaching God doesn't just require a leap of faith, but a leap of creative intelligence -- which is one of its seals of authenticity, for it means that the seed-word has taken root in our own soil. It is again one of the things I intended to convey by the symbol O→(n), as it is a kind of continuous flow, "or river of water of life," not something static or repetitious, which are hollow caricatures of Absolute and Infinite, respectively.

UF writes that this kind of creativity involves the true union of intelligence and the intuition of faith. In the typical believer, it seems that these two modes are "betrothed," but they have to move on to a true marriage and become "one flesh." It is not simply one mode added to the other, but a real harmonious -- and creative -- union which then produces real fruit that neither one alone could have made.

UF singles out several thinkers whom he believes approached or achieved this fusion of faith and intelligence, including Origen, Denys, Aquinas, Jacob Boehme, Berdayev, and Teilhard de Chardin. He also has a lot of praise for Bergson, with whom I have only a general familiarity. But he includes an extended passage from Bergson that well captures what we are discussing here. He makes reference to the circularity of mere lunar logic, and the need to break out of this closed world:

"If we had never seen a man swim, we might say that swimming is an impossible thing, in as much as, to learn to swim, we must begin by holding ourselves up in water and, consequently, already know how to swim. Reasoning, in fact, always nails us down to the solid ground."

You can no doubt appreciate the baleful consequences of our scientistic jester's mundane and earthbound intelligence, which is again in servitude to that which is infinitely beneath its scope and station, i.e., matter. Such a constricted intelligence "looks to the least developed and the most primitive for the cause and the explanation of what is most developed and the most advanced in the process of evolution.... it retreats into matter. It does something with regard to the world which would be absurd with regard to a work of art.... Intelligence which prefers retreating to flying must inevitably arrive at the impasse of absurdity.... And the absurd... is suicide for intelligence" (MOTT).

Bergson continues: "But if, quite simply, I throw myself into the water without fear, I may keep myself up well enough at first by merely struggling, and gradually adapt myself to the new environment: I shall learn to swim.... if the risk be accepted, action will perhaps cut the knot that reasoning has tied and will not unloose."

This reminds me of the anecdote in my book about the yeshiva student who is asked if he knows how to swim: "No, but I understand swimming." The analogy with our scientistic trolls is exact, in that their pride forbids them from leaving the solid shore of matter, but who nevertheless imagine that they understand what it means to dive heartlong into the ʘcean.

So our intelligence must take the plunge in order to leave the prison of materialism: "[L]eap it must, that is, leave its own environment. Reason, reasoning on its powers, will never succeed in extending them, though the extension would not appear at all unreasonable once it were accomplished."

For example, one could publish thousands of studies on the nature of walking on solid ground, but they "will never yield a rule for swimming: come, enter the water, and when you know how to swim, you will understand how the mechanism of swimming is connected with that of walking. Swimming is an extension of walking, but walking would never have pushed you on to swimming."

This is a critical point, for from the perspective of walking, the leap to swimming looks "discontinuous." But from the perspective of swimming, one can appreciate the continuity, which is none other than "the God of the gaplessness" of reality. Science sees "gaps" that it imagines the religious believer fills in with "God." But it's actually the other way around. Once one leaps into the Word, one sees how there are no radically discontinuous gaps at all, and why it is so easy for science to fill the apparent ones with their own autistic god of the insane coincidence, AKA the scientistic god of the saps.

This, in case you didn't know, is the reason why I arranged the Coonifesto so that the chapters are both continuous and discontinuous, so that there are distinct "chapters," even though the sentences that link them run together. Only from the perspective of the lower is the world radically discontinuous. But from the higher point of view, one doesn't just "see," but one unproblematically lives the continuity. One swims in the cosmic waters.

After all, doesn't your body easily unify matter and life without you having to think about it? And doesn't your mind easily unify intelligence, life, and matter? And doesn't the Raccoon naturally live the unity of matter, life, mind and Spirit, or O? Of course. And there is no "technique" for doing so, accept for aspiring (↑) to the nonlocal Grace (↓) that meets us more than halfway, and then contemplatively breathing in its eternal rhythm. We could never do it ourselves, not in 13.7 billion years.

The unity comes from the top, not the bottom, of the cosmic hierarchy. Which is why it is indeed One Cosmos Under God, and why all genuine conceptions are immaculate matings of sun and moon, celestial and terrestrial, word and ground, seed and water.

And Jesus was a sailor
When he walked upon the water
And he spent a long time watching
From his lonely wooden tower
And when he knew for certain
Only drowning men could see him
He said "All men will be sailors then
Until the sea shall free them"
--Leonard Cohen

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Much Updated Ruin From a Much Outdated Style

A word of caution:

"The rule of every serious esoterist should be to be silent -- often for a length of years -- concerning every new illumination or inspiration that he has, so as to give it the necessary time to mature, i.e., to acquire that certainty which results from its accordance with moral consciousness, moral logic, the totality of spiritual and ordinary experience -- that of friends and spiritual guides of the past and present -- as also with divine revelation, whose eternal dogmas are guiding constellations in the intellectual and moral heaven" (Meditations on the Tarot).

Yes, unlike climate change cultists, we have objective standards of proof.

Even Jesus apparently spoke little of these matters until around age 30 -- which, back then, was rather elderly, since life expectancy in ancient Rome wasn't much more than 20 or 30 years.

Ironically, things are so much easier for us today, that they can actually be more difficult, in that every unqualified yahoo has instant access to the most sublime wisdom. We're well past "every man his own priest," and even "every man his own prophet"; for this is the dark age of "every man his own god" -- which can only make it much more of a challenge to identify actual prophets and the real God.

Just because one can read, it hardly means one is literate, much less that one understands. Rather, it merely gives the illusion of literacy and understanding. Plenty of liberals have gone to law school, and yet, do not understand the first thing about the Constitution.

Unfortunately, our president is one of them. He has sworn before the almighty to preserve a document he no more believes in than the strange god to whom he has sworn to preserve it. I guess you'd call that a "negative tautology," similar to the ACLU's ceaseless effort to have the Declaration of Independence nullified on the grounds that it is unconstitutional, since it mentions God.

Nor do post-literate atheists understand religion, to which they stand as living (or is it dying?) proof. Only a kind of cosmic narcissism allows them to convert a sad disability into a virtue, to elevate a confession of ignorance to a witness of truth. It's incredibly childlike, really, for children are also unable to stand back from their immediate perceptions and appreciate their intrinsic limitations.

Once detached from the vertical, one is in the "zone of mirages." Now, just because this zone isn't real, it doesn't mean it isn't "creative." It's just that it is a kind of worthless creativity (the protean world of "infertile eggheads") that bears on no eternal truth or beauty transcending itself. It is "art for art's sake," which is no better than "tenure for tenure's sake" or "science for science's sake."

Liberals think that conservatives are "anti-science" because we understand that science must always be grounded in, and converge upon, something that is not science, at risk of becoming demonic. One can never derive values from science -- the ought from the is.

This is the monstrosity of reductionistic Darwinism: not that it is "true," but that it replaces the integral Truth of which it can only be a tiny reflection. For if Darwinism is the unvarnished truth of man, dreadful consequences necessarily follow -- not the least of which being the impossibility of Truth and Virtue. I won't even bother to catalogue them, for only a gold-plated intellectual and spiritual cretin such as Charles the Queeg could be unaware of them.

That Darwinism can satisfy his barren intellect is a statement about his intellect, not about Truth. Such ingrates have no idea what religion has done for them, because it has all been done collectively and subliminally through a kind of cultural and historical osmosis. But to be unaware of the extraordinary spiritual sacrifices others have made in order to make your insignificant life possible is to live as a barbarian. Your whole miserable life is lived in borrowed -- no, stolen -- Light.

What is true will always be so. Scientific fads and fashions will come and go, but Man will always be in the image of the Creator, a meta-cosmic truth from which our rights, our duties, and our dignity flow. Only man can -- and therefore must! -- live by the light of eternity, so that all we do, say, write, create and think, can resonate with the Real and thus "pass the test of time":

"Artists, like esoterists, are obliged to make their works pass the trial of time, so that the poisonous plants from the sphere of mirages can be uprooted, and there remains only the wheat -- pure and ripe" (MOTT).

When I write something, I want it to stay written -- or, for the benefit of my devoted trolls, to stay rotten. I am always writing from the standpoint of eternity, not because I am grandiose, but because it is the least one can do. Otherwise, there is no point whatsoever in putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, at least regarding the temporally nonlocal matters we belowviate upon down here. This is not a shopping list or editorial, much less something as trivial as an academic paper.

In order to properly do one's omwork, one's writing must be "objective," even while being "transparent," or perhaps "translucent," in that it must be both rock solid and capable of refracting the Light. Why? Because this is the way in which the Divine Spirit works, which is to say, through a reflecting medium. What, you thought it was just magic?

To get the ego out of the way merely means to try to transcend all pettiness, all that is time-bound, all that refers back to oneself instead of pointing beyond. I must decrease so that He may increase: one "becomes poor, so as to be able to receive the wealth of the divine spirit..."

This is "the gesture of actualizing below that which is above," so that one's very life becomes a work of sacred art -- which is again to be transparent to that which transcends us. So,

men of fame
Can never find a way
Till time has flown
Far from their dying day
--Nick Drake

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

False Truth and the Unholy Ghost

If there is no truth, then there is no falsehood. Likewise, if there is no beauty, then ugliness is an impossibility. But many people don't stoop to drink that if there is no crystal water of the Holy Spirit, then surely there is no ______. Rather, ______ is nothing more than a kind of attractive lie, or demonic energy, or parasite-infested bilge water.

What shall we call ______? Unless I can think of something better by the end of this post, let's just call it (-↓), which is a mirror image of (↓). A constant infusion of its death-affirming "graces" leads to the development of (-¶), which is hardly a minor or peripheral problem for mankind. Rather, this speaks to the whole problem of false teachers who presume to speak for or represent God. They are no doubt full of it, but of exactly what are they full? Well, (-↓) for starters. (Also, importantly, once in place, (-¶) will seek out and attract (-↓) in order to "feed" itself.)

Just a brief snidebar, but every week I am astounded all over again that anyone can regard Deepak Chopra as anything other than a sinister moron, a man too stupid to know how wicked he is. Look at the latest authoritative babbling of the Windy Hindi. Whatever else (-↓) does, it fills its recipient with a kind of bloated confidence to spew absurdities or banalities as if they are pearls of great wisdom instead of sacred cowpies carelessly dropped on the information highway. All of these gnocturnal creatures are cut from the same ghastly cloth -- Deepak, Tony Robbins, Wayne Dyer, and all the rest of Brother Lib's Fellow-Traveling Charlatan Show (not forgetting our own hideous Gazbag).

The only way to guard against the false Holy Spirit is to first and foremost seek truth, virtue, and beauty, and then allow joy or beatitude to be a byproduct. If you seek first the joy, then you will become the sort of "intellectual drunkard" who staggers around the watering holes of academia and is so popular in the sophisticated saloons of Europe. There, babbling intellectual drunks and leftist whinos are elevated to great authority. (There are also "spiritual junkies" and "aesthetic addicts.")

Here in the US we mainly quarantine our lie-roasted wackadenia nuts in state-run looniversity bins, and otherwise don't take them too seriously. For the most part, Americans have always been blessed with the intuitive understanding that most of the serious problems of the world are a result of the imposition of some insanely self-regarding intellectual's idiotic idea. We're seeing it play out all over again with Nobamacare, with Cap'n Tax, with Porkulus, and no doubt with Illegal Democrat Reform next year.

The joy of the intellectual drunk is just the intoxicated self-satisfaction of the narcissistic child, who needs others to mirror his brilliance and to reassure him that he really is the center of a universe that can't actually have one in the absence of God. Now that I have a four year-old who is at the zenith of his narcissistic joy, I have even more insight into the psychodynamics of the tenured, whose narcissism appropriates their intelligence in the service of an intoxicated celebration of the ego. Hence the adage, let the dead bury the tenured.

As UF explains, the difference between dead and living truth is that the former is born in the false joy of intoxication, while the latter results in a kind of "sober joy." In turn, this joy "is the key which opens the door to understanding the Arcanum of the world as a work of art," because the joy is a result of a sort of inner harmony; or specifically, a "rhythmic harmony" between the inner and outer, above and below:

"Joy is therefore the state of inner rhythm with outer rhythm, of rhythm below with that of above, and, lastly, of the rhythm of created being with divine rhythm." Call it the Tao, if you like, for the essence of Taoism involves harmonizing oneself with these greater cosmic rhythms. Ignoring them will bring pain and disorder, one way or the other, because one is going against the grain of being.

Existence and life are a function of countless rhythms at every level of being, and this is what, say, the I Ching drives at -- at harmonizing human and divine rhythms, which results in intrinsic joy (but not intoxication).

For example, what is the joy of the Christmas season? It is partly a result of everyone being locked into the rhythm of the season, which not only resonates with "heaven," but with all past Christmases. Everything reminds us of this rhythm -- the smells, the lights, the music, the foods. Premodern man always lived in this kind of rhythm, since festivals were not restricted to once a year, but occurred throughout the year, and were his principle means of "marking time." Thus, he was constantly resonating with heaven, and being brought back to celestial essences. He was not a slave to the jagged rhythms of modernity, which tend to detach man from his source.

We know about natural selection, but there is also a kind of "supernatural selection" that operates in man, as he adapts to different vertical planes of being. Someone who fully adapts to "the world" is necessarily unadapted to higher planes he will never even know about, whereas someone adapted to the higher planes will try to shape the lower world so that it is in conformity with the higher, and thereby becomes a truly human environment fit for immortal souls.

Interestingly, as I have written of before, we come into the world in a state of "rhythmic chaos," so that the most important function of early parenting is to help the child internalize various rhythms, which will achieve physiological and psychological "set points," including with regard to sleep, hunger, emotion, etc.

As I noted in my book, a mentally ill person will always suffer from some sort of dysregulation, say, of self esteem, or shame, or anger, or impulse control. The dysregulation results in chronic disharmony between inner and outer (not to mention, above and below), so that they then have difficult relationships or problems with work or creativity.

In fact, I can see how my blogging is a result of an inner rhythm and resonance between various levels of being, that is now "locked in," so to speak. It is not something I would have ever thought possible before I started doing it. But again, as UF says, this type of "living rhythm" is basically joy. Which in turn is why the primordial state of man and nature is one of joy: "that the world, in so far as it is a divine creation, is a kingdom of joy. It was only after the Fall that suffering became added to joy."

Now, one of the good things about the Fall is that one may consider it as literally or as metaphorically as one wishes. My main concern is the mechanism through which the Fall repeats itself, and what we can do about it.

In the case of Future Leader, I will be watching very carefully to see that the Conspiracy doesn't get to him too early, before he has had the chance to stably internalize the celestial rhythms, which in turn become a spiritual touchstone for the remainder of one's life. Soon enough, the conspiracy will get its hooks into him and try to rob him of his slack. But with a good foundation, one can repel the pressures of the world, and retain one's ground of slack. To lose this ground is... to lose everything, at least for the Raccoon. It is to become alternatively hardened or dispersed, instead of fluid and supple around a dynamic and living center which grows through the infusion of (↓) -- and also the (↓→) that comes from relating to rightly oriented others.

Some children are robbed of their slack so early in life, that it is very likely that they have no conscious recollection of it, of "paradise." Nevertheless, there will definitely be an unconscious recollection of the deprivation of their birthright, except that they will then project it onto present circumstances. Given the appalling level of parenting in the Islamic world, one must conclude that this is central to their chronic whining, victimization, paranoia, externalization of blame, homicidal rage, and bizarre combination of superiority and psychic brittleness.

But the same dynamic no doubt motivates the leftist, who imagines that mother government can make up for the Great Lost Entitlement of Infancy. But unlike the leftist, the infant is legitimately entitled to his omnipotence, and if you fail to provide it, he may well spend the rest of his life either searching for it (the victim) or imagining that he is its source (the narcissist). The former needs the psychic bailout of the breast; the latter imagines that he is the breast. Obama is the breast; his cult members are the hungry mouths. Just in case you were wondering about that giant sucking sound you hear.

Monday, December 21, 2009

When Beauty Attacks! (or, The Birds & Beatitudes)

Might as well continue with the topic of yesterday's post, which, oddly enough, touches on the little controversy set off by one of our readers, who enjoys sharing the details of his -- wait for it -- sexual attraction to women! Unlike you poor repressed or married (a distinction without a difference) folks, he has managed to convert this biological attraction into a spiritual practice by.... indulging it. Wow, what a concept! Love the one you're with. Why didn't I think of that?

Obviously, anything that is powerful -- from religion to government to electricity to sex -- can be dangerous and destructive. In Meditations on the Tarot, Unknown Friend discusses the dangers of beauty. I would say that on the whole, men are more aware of this danger than women, being that women are the primary danger.

But the danger to women lies in unconsciously becoming the object of beauty in order to feel the rush of primordial power over men (for whom they will secretly feel contempt). For the most powerful man in the world -- say, Bill Clinton -- can be reduced to a mere pawn if he isn't master of his own domain.

A man could hypothetically rule the world, but if he himself is ruled by his zozo, what does this mean? Well, for starters, it will mean that the world is ruled by the seductive "spirit of Eve" that pulls Adam from the center to the periphery, so that the serpent is actually in charge by proxy.

Can Truth, Love, and Beauty have a "dark side?" Of course. It mainly happens when one of them gets separated from the other two -- like when a sock falls out of your drier and tries to go it alone. To paraphrase Professor Seinfeld, the lone sock doesn't get very far, does it? Oh sure, it's thrilling at first to feel the static electricity coursing along your heel, as you cling to another item of clothing in order to make your great escape. But then what? You fall off into the street, somewhere between the laundromat and car -- maybe even the gutter. That's when you find out the truth about maverick socks. And it isn't pretty.

Here's how UF explains it: the good severed from the beautiful "hardens into principles and laws -- it becomes pure duty." This goes to what I mentioned a couple of posts ago, that virtue ultimately results from consciousness of a plane of reality, not just from a kind of repressive, top-down moralism. An exclusive reliance on latter approach will not just alienate people, but often be the source of rebelliousness. I know it was for me. For example, as Oldbob might have thought to himself, whatever that hypocritical gasbag Jerry Falwell is, I will be the opposite. I will Falbadly.

Likewise, "the beautiful which is detached from the good... becomes softened into pure enjoyment -- stripped of obligation and responsibility." This is the "art for art's sake" of an aesthetic hedonism that soon becomes luciferic at best. But it also speaks to anyone who is foolish enough to imagine that sexuality and morality can be detached from one another without vacating oneself from humanness as such. In other words, one must become an animal (but really, not even an animal, but an infra-human).

UF continues: "The hardening of the good into a moral code and the softening of the beautiful to pure pleasure is the result of the separation of the good and beautiful -- be it morally, in religion, or in art. It is thus that a legalistic moralism and a pure aestheticism of little depth have come into existence."

On the one hand, you can have the narrow and clenched religious type without joy or art (or, conversely, with a joy and art that are equally kitsch). This type co-arises with its shadow, the increasingly antisocial artiste who is more or less detached from objective truth and virtue (or, conversely, becomes a tedious purveyor of political correctness as a substitute for truth and decency).

Soon enough beauty falls down the cosmic wayslide, so that art no longer even justifies its own existence. For man has no cosmic right to produce false and ugly art. Nevertheless, for the postmodern hack, "transgression" exists for its own sake, thus transgressing against the very purpose of, and justification for, art, i.e., truth and beauty.

You will notice that when the Creator was finished with his own artistic creation, he said to himsoph, it is good. Which is why this creation is infused with so much inexhaustible -- and beautiful -- truth. Which is none other then the Divine Light in all its metaphysical transparency.

So, the arcanum of The World is here to offer a gentle but firm warning to those who would mess with the Creator's woman, because Sophia is your sister (Proverbs 7), not your wife, got that? For it is written, the moment you become "wise in your own eyes," you become either a wise guy or a wise ass.

Now, just as there are true illuminations from the Holy Spirit, "so there are intoxications from the spirit of mirage," which UF calls the "false Holy Spirit." Here we are dealing not just with Maya, but the dark side of Maya, or her evil twin sister. On the one hand, Maya is the power of "cosmic illusion," but on the other, the Creator's divine consort, or Shakti, which means conscious force (forgive the Hinduisms, but it just so happens that they have a very precise language to describe these maters and paters, whereas Christianity often speaks of them in more metaphorical language that must be decoded, e.g., the polarities of Mary-Eve or Sophia-Word).

UF outlines the criteria for distinguishing between the two: if you seek only "the joy of artistic creation, spiritual illumination and mystical experience," it is ineveateapple that you will "more and more approach the sphere of the spirit of mirage" and become increasingly seduced and hypnotized by it. Remember, the satanic is the spirit of seduction and hypnosis, not compulsion and force. Been there, done that.

BUT, if you first seek for truth in the above referenced activties, "you will approach the sphere of the Holy Spirit" and open more and more to its influence, which brings with it an entirely different mode of joy and coonsolation, for it is in no way "egoic." Rather, it tends to reverse the hostile forces that result in either hardening or dispersion of the ego. Call it a "soft and supple center," which is none other than the divine slack and d'light immaculate that abides in "Raccoon Central," or "Toots' Tavern" -- where it is always "happy hour."

UF discusses the nature of mirages, which are not the same as hallucinations, as they are rooted in something that is "really there" -- like when the desert asphalt up ahead on the way to Vegas looks "wet," or when you think you can beat the house once you arrive there. But the mirage is a sort of "floating reflection of reality," which is nonetheless one step removed from it. And this is indeed the problem with what most people call "truth," including the truth of our scientistic jester, which floats atop the Real like a missing sock that I'd like to stuff in his mouth, to put it poetically.

I remember back in my college days, you'd occasionally hear a guy say that he wanted to meet a girl who didn't play games. Well, that's what Maya does, all day long. Her "lila" goes on unceasingly, which is why we need to get "beneath her veils," if I may put it so indelicately. This is because on the one hand, she "reveals God by manifesting him," but on the other hand "hides him by covering him."

Correction. It's not so much that we remove the veils, but appreciate what they are hiding, which is pretty obvious if you've ever seen the annual Victoria's Secret show -- which I've only heard about through Dupree. The point is, the veils -- we're speaking of reality now, not the supermodels.... no, I suppose we're talking about both -- simultaneously reveal and conceal, depending upon the spirit with which you look. As part of our standard equipment, we are all given a pair of X-ray Specs with which to see through the veils to the "ground." Sadly, they don't work on the supermodels.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

ʘ, What a Beautiful World

No time for a new post, so I thought I'd select a prewordgitated one, since I haven't visited the arkive lately. Plus, I really, really want to get caught up with my work by the end of the year, so I need to get an early start on it today.

The post concerns all of the superfluous beauty that radiates through the fabric of being. You might say that our world is composed of math and music, or that truth and beauty are its warp and weft. There are lots of revisions and odditions here, so it probably ended up taking as long as a new post. Oh well. You never really catch up with your work in this life.

[T]he world is fundamentally neither a mechanism, nor an organism, nor even a social community -- neither a school on a grand scale nor a pedagogical institution for living beings -- but rather a work of divine art: at one and the same time a choreographic, musical, poetic, dramatic work of painting, sculpture and architecture. --Meditations on the Tarot

What if we actually lived only in a world of mere desiccated scientistic truth but no intrinsic beauty? In addition to being an "impossible world" -- existence as such being an exteriorization of the divine beauty -- our very lives would be a cold and joyless task, like removing the Guy Ritchie tattoos from Madonna's wizened flesh (which has long since given up everything but its tattoos).

"Beauty is a crystallization of some aspect of universal joy; it is something limitless expressed by means of a limit" (Schuon). Beauty is both container and contained (♀ and ♂), or an explosive force within a limiting boundary. The material world is this boundary, or the "frame" around God's canvas. With no frame or page or stanza or stage, there can be no ex-pression (or im-pression) of beauty.

Now, as UF explains, the idea of the world as a work of art is implicit in Genesis, being that existence is a result of a creative act. So-called creationists focus way too much on the inevitable result of the act, rather than the act itself, which would have to constitute the very source and essence of creativity. Remember, since human beings are in the image of the creator, our own seemingly boundless creativity should reveal something intrinsic to God.

Furthermore, it is vital to bear in mind that the cosmogony of Genesis discloses a vertical, not horizontal, act. When Genesis says "In The Beginning," it really means in the beginning of the eternal creative act that is always happening now and which sustains the universe. The generation of the universe -- and the events of Genesis -- did not happen just "once upon a time," but is always happening.

These are not just my own eccentric Bobservations, but standard Thomservations as well. "In the beginning" refers not to the temporal beginning, but to the atemporal beginning, or the beginning of time as such -- which "flows" from (and back to) eternity in the now familiar absurcular way. It is the metaphysical, not the physical, or scientific, beginning. Therefore, as Aquinas knew,

"God is necessary as an uncaused cause of the universe even if we assume that the universe has always existed and thus had no beginning. The argument is not that the world wouldn't have got started if God hadn't knocked down the first domino at some point in the distant past; it is that it wouldn't exist here and now, or undergo change or exhibit final causes here and now unless God were here and now, and at every moment, sustaining it in being, change, and goal-directedness" (Feser).

In short, the "first cause" is above, not behind. But because it is above, it is necessarily ahead, which is in turn why the present cosmos is the "shadow" of its final fulfillment: "I am Alpha and Omega." This is also why on an individual basis, we live in the shadow of our own future self, which "lures" us toward our own full filament of incoondescent light.

Similarly, as Perry observes, "from the cosmological perspective, creation is a progressive exteriorization of that which is principially interior, an alternation between the essential pole and the substantial pole of a Single Principle." Again, of the two, essence is the more interior, and therefore takes priority. Essence could never be derived from substance alone (or quality from quantity, semantics from syntax), which is one more reason why it is absurd to insist that consciousness could ever be derived from matter. Why do you even try, you atheistic morons? What is wrong with you?

What? Oh yes. Petey would like me to remind you that this is the meaning of One's upin a timeless, as it refers to God's eternal creative activity, which, because it constitutes the true (vertical) beginning, necessarily encompasses the end of all things, the eschatology of the world, the cosmic telovator that lifts us to the repenthouse and beyond. Was that unclear? Perhaps Schuon can shed a little less bobscurity on the subject:

"Art has a function that is both magical and spiritual: magical, it renders present principles, powers and also things that it attracts by virtue of a 'sympathetic magic'; spiritual, it exteriorizes truths and beauties in view of our interiorization, of our return to the 'kingdom of God that is within you.' The Principle becomes manifestation so that manifestation might rebecome the Principle, or so that the 'I' might return to the Self; or simply, so that the human soul might, through given phenomena, make contact with the heavenly archetypes, and thereby with its own archetype."

In turn, this is why, as Eliot observed, our end precedes our beginning, and how it is that we may travel round the cosmos only to return to the beginning and know it for the firstest time. As I have said before -- or maybe it was after -- he wasn't merely being poetic, but noetic.

Zero, point, line, circle, and repent as necessary. The Father is O, the Son is •, and the Holy Ghost is (↓↑). Please note that the black fire of the dot is written on the white fire of the unKnown Godhead, while the arrows are the smoke and flames (or coontrail), respectively. Where there is "holy smoke," the flames of agni cannot be far above. Thus the "agni and ecstasy" referred to on page 16 of my book of the same gnome.

The movement from essence towards substance is also the movement of "the center toward the circumference" and "unity towards multiplicity" (Perry). Nevertheless, the center is always there at the periphery -- hence God's immanence and the resultant sanctity of the world -- and the unity is always in the multiplicity -- hence the possibility of the recollection of both union and transcendent unity, at any time or any place. Excepting perhaps Madonna's wizened flesh.

Now, as UF notes, the self-beclowning materialist or scientistic jester is "like the reader of a manuscript who, instead of reading and understanding the thought of the author, occupies himself with the letters and syllables. He believes that the letters wrote themselves and combined themselves into syllables, being moved by mutual attraction, which, in its turn, is the effect of chemical or molecular qualities of the ink as 'matter' common to all the letters, and of which the letters and syllables are epiphenomena."

Of this, Petey would like to say, And you pay a small fortune to deliberately expose your children this crap, about which the best one can say is that it is absurd?

[B]eauty stems from the Divine Love, this Love being the will to deploy itself and to give itself, to realize itself in 'another'; thus it is that 'God created the world by love'.... All terrestrial beauty is thus by reflection a mystery of love. It is, 'whether it likes it or not,' coagulated love or music turned to crystal, but it retains on its face the imprint of its internal fluidity, of its beatitude and of its liberality... --Schuon

Theme Song

Theme Song