Friday, August 06, 2010

The Myth of the Airy Godmother

To review where we stand in our full account and description of the cosmos: "we begin our metaphysical adventure before the beginning, with the necessary distinction between Being and Beyond-Being, or 'between the ontological and existentiating Principle and the supra-ontological essence' (Schuon). And the reason we begin here is because the Absolute is beyond name and form, untied by any tongue and untainted by anytroll."

So our first principle can't even really be Beyond-Being, since by definition it must also be "beyond principle" (or "the principle's orifice"). Thus, the first principle doesn't appear until Being, which one might say is the "first fruit" of Beyond Being (and don't think in temporal terms; this is all "taking place" in eternity, not unlike the relationship between Father and Son, in which the former is "prior," but not in time).

Not to immediately get all soph-referential on you, but you will note in the Cosmonaught section of your local Coonifesto, that in order to leave something to the imagination, the author takes a muddled position between respecting the veils of decency provided by mythological symbolism, vs. just "letting it all hang out." In other words, he presents it all in the form of a divine cosmedy, or Holy Joke, in which one is guided to truth by the higher knowing of the Guffaw-ha! experience.

This was also the playful approach of Meister Eckhart, although certain authorities obviously didn't get the joke. But not for nothing does the first black page of Cosmonaught: Before the Beginning not begin with a page full of nothing, and with Eckhart's orthoparadoxical wise crack about how "there is something in the soul which is above the soul, divine, simple, an absolute nothing; rather unnamed than named; unknown than known.... higher than knowledge, higher than love, higher than grace, for in all these there is still a distinction."

I think that last line about no distinction is where certain unimaginative types can miss the point, and, for example, conflate this teaching with, on the one end, vulgar pantheism, or on the other, complete merger with God. I don't believe that that is what Eckhart is saying.

Rather, I think he's just making the sane point we are, and trying to reconcile the fact that we can both know God and not possibly know him. In one sense, everything that is not God is nothing, but in another, anything that is not nothing is God. Paradox. Deal with it.

Revelation is an explosive transmission from the heart of O, addressed to man (the eros shot into his cardiac center). Being that it is addressed to man, we shouldn't get carried away with certain formal properties that must be veiled in such a way that man can comprehend the inner message.

For as Schuon writes, "To be shocked by the anthropomorphic character of the Biblical God is logically equivalent to being surprised by the very existence of man [boo!], for the Reality we call 'God' necessarily assumes a human character on contact with the human being, though of course this cannot be taken to imply that it is human in its own aseity."

Elsewhere he writes of the potential confusion "brought about by the fact that on the one hand theology envisages God anthropomorphically, as if He were a human subject and that on the other, it claims to take the whole of the Divine Nature into account, which is incompatible with the preceding viewpoint."

So here again, in scriptural exegesis we must respect the distinction between Being and Beyond-Being, or what is traditionally regarded as the husk and the kernel, respectively. To take revelation only literally is to literally deny God, for one is isolating oneself on the human side of the distinction.

But again: Word becomes flesh so that flesh might become Word. This is the ultimate purpose of revelation, which is to say, salvolution -- which is nothing less than crossing the ascending bridge of darkness between natural and supernatural man.

And which is why it is written: Before caterpultering your buddhafly, lotus pray: last rung in's a written gag, so your seenill grammar and gravidad may not be malapropriate for my laughty revelation. If you can unpack that sentence, it truly contains within it everything we are discussing in today's post. See footnotes for assistance.

Also, note that a lotus is the beautiful flower that incongruously grows out of the filthy mud below, like wisdom from tenure (yes, I agree, but we exaggerate for didactic purposes).

Schuon points out that the Scholastics drew a distinction between an Infinitum absolutum and an Infinitum secondum quid, identical to our point, and similar to the distinction in Vedanta between Nirguna and Saguna Brahman, also the Kabbalistic distinction between the Ain Sof (the limitless Godhead) and the more distinct "God of Israel," so to speak.

Now, when we speak of "divine will," it very much matters whether we are speaking of Being or Beyond-Being. Looked at in a certain way, Beyond-Being is feminine, while Being is masculine; also, Beyond Being can be identified with the Infinite or the Divine Substance, while Being can be identified with the Absolute and with Essence (all in a manner of speaking, of course).

Therefore, following this ombilical line of thought, it is as if Beyond-Being -- the Divine Mother, the cosmic womb with a pew -- gives birth to Being, the Father, i.e., the Voidgin Boyth. Is this possible? Well, Eckhart certainly thought so. But even to this deity, people still don't get the yolk.


Van Harvey said...

"In other words, he presents it all in the form of a divine cosmedy, or Holy Joke, in which one is guided to truth by the higher knowing of the Guffaw-ha! experience."

Providing much merriment during the Best & Worst of time.

Yeah... I liked the first Darin best.

mushroom said...

Revelation is an explosive transmission from the heart of O, addressed to man

As I recently quoted in another context, "May the Good Lord take a likin' to ya and blow ya up real good."

mushroom said...

Beyond-Being is feminine -- Take a Tao.

Rick said...

Speaking of Godmothers and open joke Friday, this lady calls into Rush. Stop me if you heard this one. Anyways, she says that it wasn't until her son was born did she, paraphrasing, "see the light of our heavenly Rush". He says unto her, and I quote:

"Sounds like the son is the father of the mother."

True story.

Anyways, I think this pretty much proves Rush is reading your book, el Bob-O.

Gagdad Bob said...

What a beautiful asskicking of Joe Klein.

julie said...

Speaking of funny things, Lileks provides...

Tigtog said...

To Gagdad re:

"In the past, his writings could be insightful, somewhat balanced, and at times elegant. These days, he’s not good for much more than a rant — and even his rants have become predictable, pedestrian, banal. Witless, even."

Throw Klein a bone. Its really hard staying on all the important cocktail invite lists. Georgetown is a very competitive place. Being one of the beautiful people requires many makeovers.

Isn't it great to belong to a country that allows you to choose whether you will or will not support a war it is involved with? As long as the little people do all the dirty work, such as fighting, one can concern themselves with more important tasks such as preening in the mirror, community organizing and collectivizing others lifetime earnings. Really makes you want to put your shoulder to the wheel with everyone else, doesn't it?

Tigtog said...

To Black Hole re: Collectivization

"Expand on that theme please."

Dear BH, in my effort to achieve utopia, it is required for you to supply me with 50% of your income for the rest of your life. In return for your servitude, I promise to provide you with just what you need and no more provided you behave. It is clear that you have taken more than you deserve from those unable to do for themselves. On their behalf, I will re-educate you and yours to recognize your sins against the people. Should you disagree with my instruction, I shall be forced to exterminate you. I do all this for the good of mankind. You can now thank me. Yours truly - tigtog

julie said...

Tigtog - that was awesome. Thank you.

Tigtog said...

To BH re:

"Why take 50%? Why not 100%? It is not good to go too easy on the workers. They must give all."

So it is said, so it shall be done.