Friday, May 21, 2010

Numbers and How They Get That Way

Let's talk more about the meaning of numbers. Even to say "meaning of numbers" is interesting, for it is another way of saying the "quality of quantities" -- which is to say that numbers cannot only be quantities.

Although this is axiomatic, it flies in the ointment of a scientistic worldview that reduces all qualities to the secondary phenomena of quantities. For example, for the lonely scientist, the color red is just light waves vibrating at a certain frequency.

But as anyone who has read One Cosmos knows, semantics cannot be reduced to syntax, which means that meaning cannot be reduced to order. So reduced it becomes meaningless, precisely.

In other words, to reduce, say, a beautiful pink sunset to a certain frequency of light is to eliminate the sunset. It's analogous to saying that love is really just a side effect of oxytocin, or that there is a "God area" in the brain that explains religion.

But this is what science does, which in itself isn't problematic. Problems only arise when it conflates method and ontology, and thereby confuses its abstractions with reality. Reality is not reducible to numbers. Well, actually, as we shall see, it is. It's just that numbers cannot be reduced to quantity. A number is not just a number.

In the past, I have been frustrated by this subject, as it is often surrounded by a penumbra of occult nonsense, e.g., numerology. If you peruse the numerology department of your local bookstore, you'll soon realize that everything symbolizes everything else, which is logically equivalent to everything meaning nothing. It all becomes arbitrary rather quickly.

But as usual, Schuon discusses the subject in a way that is concise, universal, and essential. By "essential" I mean that he manages to convey the reality of what he is talking about -- the essence -- not just abstract meanings that are detached from that to which they are supposed to refer.

Just as science begins with the reality of the (immanent) world, metaphysics begins with the reality of the transcendent. Both worlds can be described by word or by number, by concept or symbol.

Schuon notes that "The Pythagorean numbers prove that number in itself is not synonymous with quantity pure and simple, for they are essentially qualitative; they are so to the degree that they are close to the Unity, their point of departure."

In other words, the most "qualitative" numbers are those upon which number is based, especially Zero, One, Two, and Three, but also Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, and Twelve (not sure about Eleven). Pure quantity only arrives later, as numbers become increasingly distant from that initial point of departure.

By the way, this is something that many fundamentalists forget, influenced as they are by our scientistic and quantitative age. That is, the Bible quintessentially uses number to express qualitative realities, e.g., "seven days," "forty years," "500 witnesses," etc. Some numbers convey "majesty," others "totality" or "unity," etc.

One obviously stands for Unity, while Two is duality, e.g., man and woman, form and substance, Creator and created, inside and outside, vertical and horizontal. Clearly, Two must be the number of manifestation, for without it, there can be no "second," nothing separate from the Creator. Thus, to say "Two" is to say "world."

Schuon asks if "one might wonder if Unity is really a number," since, "strictly speaking, number begins with Duality, which opens the door to that projection of the Infinite which is the indefinite." In other words, prior to Two, there is only the One, abiding in itsoph.

This is what we were attempting to convey in the opening pages of One Cosmos, except in a non-dogmatic way that would nevertheless express some of the essence of this principial reality. Once you get the jokes, you see that it's all quite literal, e.g.,

It was not good that this Godhead should be allone, so He expired with a big bong and said "let there be higher physics," and it was zo.

To ex-spire is to ex-hale (whole) or give up the ghost, which God does in breathing the creation into existence. And zo, of course, implies life.

I remurmur this like it was yesterday, but bear in mind that it's all really happening -- can only happen -- now, in the ontically vertical reality prior to each "moment" of time. Now is where all the eternity flows in, and there's not a thing you can do about it.

Thus, One's upin a timeless without a second to spore and noplace to bang anyway. The abbasolute day, before eve or any other middling relativities. Only himsoph with nowhere to bewrong, hovering over the waters without a kenosis.

Here again, this conveys the principial Unity prior to the duality of the mayafestation and man-infestation. That being the case, One cannot be in time, but is necessarily "in a "timeless." Only by banging with a second do we end up with those middling relativities, and a manifestivus for the rest of us.

Abba-sol-ute imples Father (abba) and central Sun (sol), while "nowhere to bewrong" conveys the truism (or True Is Him) that "there is none good but the One," since there is nothing yet separate from him.

Only with the self-sacrifice and self-giving of kenosis does the creation (the lower waters) come into existence, and with it, the possibility of evil -- which is inevitable (or in eve-ate-apple), as the ray of creation becomes increasingly distant from the central sun (like the numbers that start with, and partake of, One, but go on forever).

As Schuon writes, "to say Unity is to say Totality; in other words, Unity signifies the absolute Real, and likewise with Totality, which represents the Real in all its ontological 'extent'..."

In this formulation, Unity would signify the Absolute, while Totality would signify the Infinite -- and the One automatically implies the Other. Absolute is prior, but nevertheless contains the Infinite as its first fruit.

In case that wasn't clear, to say One is to say Unity, but to say Unity is to say Totality, the latter of which is deployed in time, hence, the creation.

Which is why we can say that the creation is God -- i.e., not other than God -- but God is not the creation. What this means is that transcendence automatically spills over into creation, thus implying immanence.

But immanence implies transcendence, which is why nothing is really just "what it is," least of all a mere (profane) number. That is, nothing can be completely "contained" by scientistic understanding, since every thing is also a theophany of the infinite God, a divine spark.

In short, One is everywhere and everywhen, especially when Two is Three, as soon we shall see. But that's enough higher mythsemantics for today. To be continued....

Thursday, May 20, 2010

An Incalculable Contribution to Mathsemantics

First God and then the world. If you know one you know all. If you put fifty zeros after a one, you have a large sum; but erase the one and nothing remains. It is the one that makes the many. First the one, then many. First God, then His creatures and the world. --Sri Ramakrishna

Or, erase the one in order to get to the zero. In my book, I used unsaturated symbols to express the same truth, since, in this materialistic age, people forget that the principial numbers express quintessential qualities, not just quantities. Indeed, the qualities are prior to the quantities, since the former can never be derived from the latter.

The primordial ideas (meaning that they are universal and a priori) conveyed by these symbols are like seeds, not like material objects that can be passed from mind to mind (i.e., like profane knowledge). You don't toss a bunch of these precious seeds at someone and expect anything to happen. Rather, you have to plant them. And then wait.

As expressed in the Tao Te Ching, Zero gives birth to the One, the One to Two, the Two to Three, and the Three to everything else. This doesn't happen "in time" but prior to it, or "within" the eternal Godhead. It is simply in the very nature of things, which I believe is the mysterious reality which trinitarian theology is trying to convey, i.e., that God is one and three, but also neither, i.e., zero. Vertically speaking, reality proceeds from the Godheaded Zero of pure potential to the One of unity to the bifurcated Two of Creator and created to the ever-new unity-in-plurality of Three; or, Beyond Being --> Being --> Existence --> Transcendence.

Or, you could say that apophatic theologians emphasize the Zero, which is nirguna brahman (God with no attributes, or Eckhart's ground), while cataphatic theologians emphasize the One, which is saguna brahman (God with attributes). The former emphasize union through gnosis, the latter union through bhakti. Still, both transmit the gift of knowledge; the gnostic ultimately knows Nothing (or unKnows everything), while the bhakti loves the One to whom he cleaves, and is thereby separated from nothing, which is the highest knowledge, i.e., heart-knowledge.

Listen to the wise words of Swami Ramdas, O little ringtailed one: "There are two ways: one is to expand your ego to infinity, and the other is to reduce it to nothing, the former by knowledge, and the latter by devotion. The Jnani [i.e., gnostic] says: 'I am God -- the Universal Truth.' The devotee says : 'I am nothing, O God, You are everything.' In both cases, the ego-sense disappears." Yes, you may well ask: what is the Truth which, in possessing it, renders its possessor a lie? What is the Truth that annihilates that dirty liar who tells it?

"Things are made from nothing; hence their true source is nothing" (Eckhart). Guffah-HA! "God's naught fills everywhere and his aught is nowhere" (Eckart). That's everything in a naughtshall!

Or, as Lao Tse put it, it is like the cup, which is only useful because of its empty space that "protects" the family jewels. And like the athletic cup, we ourselves benefit from existence, but make use of non-existence. Without that space, Existence is impossible, like trying to live inside of a wall or eat soup from a flat spoon. Variety is the space of life and the life of space. Live in that space and you'll never be bored, for God is generous, entertaining, a kick in the head, fun for the whole family!

The Zero is simply the dark side of the One; or the One is the bright side of the Zero. And they are forever bethrothed and betruthed, like cosmic man and wife, or Absolute (1, male) and Infinite (0, female). Oops! A dirty world!

Appropriately, the 1 is the vertical axis of existence, the O its infinite and even mercurial potential, as it expands out into time and space, from timeless potential to endless plenitude, from the dimensionless point that is everywhere to the circumference that is nowwhere. To ask why a woman can't be more like a man is to ask why the play of existence, or immanent substance, can't be more like transcendent form, when you can't have One without the Other. Even God had a mother to whom he gave birth!

God's essential threeness emphasizes a number of things, such as God's going out of his mind (which you'd have to be) into the adventure of existence in order to return to himself, or exhaling in order to inhale, which he cannot not do, at least in the wrong lung.

And the adventure of existence is in reality a godventure in trinitarian consciousness. God's without is our within, so our inword oddventure is a journey outside ourselves and back to God. Likewise, God's within is our without, which is why we see traces of beauty and intelligence everywhere we look, like the face of the beloved. Oh, my gnocternal mischief making friends, "the universe is the outward visible expression of the 'Truth,' and the 'Truth' is the inner unseen reality of the universe." Do you not see it?

To put it another way, existence is an adventure of consciousness, in which consciousness becomes what it isn't in order to rediscover what it is, which was just the modification of consciousness all along! It is the true Big Bang, and it will never cease banging, because that's what it does, baby. This is the one truth, which is no truth at all.

You might say that the grubby deconstructionists recognize this truth "from below," while the Raccoon recognizes it "from above," thereby going from modification to transformation. Thus, the mighty Raccoon may, to the foolish, look for all the world like the deconstructionists he deconstructs. But this is merely to confound the ignorant, for Petey is wise, compassionate, merciful, silly! He is always pulling your leg -- upward! Ho!

O, there is only the One Truth which requires no proof, is there not? If not, then you may stop speaking, now and forever! For errors and lies are many, while Truth is One. Or, to turn it around, in the absence of One, there could be no truth at all. None whatsoever. Hear the wise words of Sri Chandrasekharabharatiswamigal of the long and unpronouncable name!

"When [one] has recovered from the disease and regained normal health, nobody asks, 'What is the health you are now having?' The reason is, though diseases may be many and various, health is ever one and the same." Health is not new, it is merely the restoration of the proper state of things. It is the body -- or mind, or soul -- situated in its proper end. The body finds its rest in one station, the soul in another. But if enlightenment or reluxation is a state of total relaxation, then these are the same station. So take good care of your monkey, and your monkey will take care of you, dear friends! So says Scatter, the curious, the easily bored, the malodorous, the Coconut head, the Chimp of the King!

In going out of himself, God has left some mighty big footsteps. His revelations are the paths he has left to reascend to their source, are they not? How to get from the outhouse to the penthouse, from the cesspool to the blessedpool, from the frying pan into the purifying flames? Choose your vehicle: trial by fire, or rebirth by water.

William Law: "I feel within me a consuming fire of heavenly love which has burned up in my soul everything that was contrary to itself and transformed me inwardly into its own nature." Burn, baby, burn, for this agni is ecstasy!

Or, drown yourself in the flood, and flow into the bottomless sea of the naked Godhead. This is the vast O-cean into which all rivers lose their form and find their end. Yes, you'll shed a drop or two along the way, but you'll get them all back in the end. And if you don't like it there, you can always evaporate, become a cloud, and spend some more time hovering halfway between heaven and earth, or the sun and the soil.

So have a good naughty day!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Organ Failure and Spiritual Death

The supralogical is superior to the logical, the logical to the illogical. --Ananda Coomaraswamy

While one should never base a belief in God on the inevitable gaps in our knowledge -- except perhaps as a jumping-in point -- it is nevertheless a point of great significance that we are immersed in a universe of irreducible mystery, and that this mystery includes several fundamental conundrums that will never be beaten by science.

The mysteries to which I refer represent limits to our cognition, as opposed to its content; or, one might say that they are our containers (♀), but can never be the contained (♂). While we can think about them rationally, we can never arrive at any satisfactory intellectual (in the lower, profane sense) answer as to what they actually are, any more than the hand can grasp itself, for they are the very conditions of our being and knowing.

To cite one obvious example, one must be alive in order to know, which is why explicit or articulated knowledge cannot contain Life. (True enough, Life is obviously a kind of hyper-sophisticated unarticulated knowledge, but we'll get to that later.) We all act as if we know what Life is, but it would be much more accurate to say that we know what lifelessness is, and that Life seems to be a bizarre and unexpected violation of this general rule (when it is actually the reverse, since the higher can never be fully explained by the lower).

Likewise, it is absurd to suggest that science could ever comprehend the mystery of existence -- that is, why there is an ordered something instead of a chaotic nothing. Science simply assumes this a priori order, for without it, science (and scientists) would be impossible. The mystery of existence is so much a part of our cognitive background that we generally stop even asking about it after childhood. Science actually provides no sensible answers to this question at all, nor was it intended to. Only esoteric religious metaphysics even begins to touch this dimension, for the latter provides intellectual forms adequate to the majesty and mystery -- not to mention, sanctity -- of the subject.

Even more bizarre and problematic is the existence of consciousness. We have this astounding gift of an inwardness that is both unique and universal, and yet, what is it for? Why would the universe evolve into a subjective horizon containing love, beauty, truth, justice, poetry, music?

We can know so much, and yet, we cannot know anything about these fundamental mysteries of existence, life and consciousness -- at least not with reason alone. As the Buddhist scholar B. Alan Wallace observes, "Despite centuries of modern philosophical and scientific research into the nature of the mind, at present there is no technology that can detect the presence or absence of any kind of consciousness, for scientists to even know what exactly is to be measured. Strictly speaking, at present there is no scientific evidence even for the existence of consciousness." Another way of saying it is that, if consciousness did not exist, science would have no trouble whatsoever explaining the fact.

That is, the only evidence we have of consciousness consists of direct, first person accounts of being conscious. And yet, not everyone is conscious in the same way or of the same things. Although we don’t know what consciousness is, we do know that there are degrees of it. Every psychologist navigates over the subjective horizon through the use of a developmental model of some kind, in which consciousness unfolds and develops through time. But why? Other animals don’t have degrees of consciousness within their own species, but the gulf between human beings at the top and bottom is as great as the gulf between a dog and Beethoven, or between Petey and Keith Olbermann.

This is why one can easily prove the existence of God. But not to you, jackass. Anyone with a sufficiently awakened intellect can read Meister Eckhart or Frithjof Schuon, and know that they are resonating on entirely different planes of consciousnes than, say, Richard Dawkins or Sam Harris. Again, it is a physical sensation, albeit a subtle one -- and one which it is the purpose of a spiritual practice to identify, develop, and amplify, as with any other "skill."

As such, one can well imagine how it would be possible for the trollish rabble to arrive at the misosophical or sophophobic nul de slack of atheism, since they are blunted to the subtle vertical transactions that constantly flow between the planes of consciousness -- or between the Subject and the subject, i.e., (↓↑).

In my view consciousness is an organ, just like any other organ in the body -- heart, lungs, kidneys, etc. But those are material organs that exist in three-dimensional space. Consciousness, however, is an immaterial organ that operates in multidimensional space and time. In short, the conscious self is the first hyper-dimensional organ of the cosmos.

What is an organ? Two things, mainly. First of all, it is a differentiated structure. In other words, it is not just a blob or an aggregation, but a definable form that has an identifiable structure. A while back, during my nuclear treadmill, I got a good look at my heart. Even with a material organ such as the heart, no one can draw a sharp line and say "this is where the heart ends and the vascular system begins." And yet, the heart is an obvious structure with valves, chambers, arteries, etc.

The second characteristic of an organ is that it has a purpose; it performs a function through cooperative activity. The heart pumps blood. The lungs exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide. The kidneys filter the blood.

By implication, organs have a third characteristic, that is, pathology. If an organ is defined by a function it is supposed to accomplish, then pathology means failure to accomplish that mission.

Although no one has ever seen consciousness, it nevertheless has a differentiated structure and a function. Part of its structure is a reflection of the structure of our brains, but not all of it. For example, the brain has an obvious horizontal structure in the form of left and right hemispheres with very different orientations that, in a healthy individual, will harmonize in a higher dimension, a manifold unity or "higher third" (and this higher third is a constant work in progress, what I call a "rolling catastrophe in hyperspace").

Likewise, the brain has a clear vertical structure, in the sense that we have what might be called a reptilian brain, over which there is a mammalian brain, and on top of which is the neocortex: our "human brain."

But this three-dimensional physical structure does not come close to exhausting the structure (much less content) of consciousness, which is hyper-dimensional, meaning that it exists in a space of more than three (or four) dimensions.

This is a thorny problem, because our normal thinking -- especially scientific thinking, which you might say is linear "common sense" taken to the extreme -- takes place in three dimensions. We cannot think scientifically or (merely) rationally in higher dimensional space. Take, for example, causation. In the three dimensional world, causation is relatively easy to conceptualize: A causes B, B causes, C, C causes D, etc. D cannot cause A, nor can A and D occupy the same space at the same time.

So how does one "think" in higher dimensional space? As a matter of fact, we do it all the time. For example, dreaming is a form of hyper-dimensional thinking freed from the limitations of the outer, three-dimensional world. This is also how we might understand the Wise Crack that "poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world." The genuine poet uses language to express what cannot be said with words.

Think of it this way: the mystery of the dream is that it is the brain’s attempt to represent in three dimensions a space that actually far exceeds three dimensions -- like trying to represent a three-dimensional image on a two-dimensional plane. Imagine, for example, people living on a two dimensional plane -- a sheet of typing paper. They know nothing at all about the three dimensional world.

Now imagine if you could pass your three-dimensional hand through the sheet of paper. What would it look like to the flatlanders in 2D? First they would see five separate points grow into circles, as the fingers touch the paper and move through it. But then the five circles would disappear and become one larger circle -- the wrist. Let's say that these people in 2D are very careful scientific observers of empirical phenomena. No matter how much they study the data, they would have no idea that the disparate phenomena are all actually aspects of a higher dimensional object they cannot see. This would require a "leap of faith" into the higher imagination.

This is how dream consciousness operates. A dream might be thought of as analogous to that hand passing through the sheet of paper. In dreams, various elements are connected in a hyper-dense manner that violates all notions of linear logic. Time is abolished, in the sense that you can be in two different times in your life, or your adult self can be side by side or "within" your child self (or vice versa). But if you don’t know how to read the dream, you will see merely a linear, if somewhat crazy, narrative. You won’t know how to unpack all of the different dimensions. And as a matter of fact, as Joyce well knew, human history is just such a "crazy dream," but with a dense network of subterranean connections that go undetected by the secularized mind.

In order to understand reality objectively, we cannot arbitrarily limit ourselves to its illusory three or four dimensions. Rather, we must somehow learn to think in a hyper-dimensional manner analogous to the dream, because the higher dimensional things above are seen as in a three-dimensional mirror down below.

Authentic scripture must be understood in this manner. There is no language known to man that is more hyperdense and dreamlike than scripture (some parts of scripture much more so than others). And we might also understand, say, Jesus, in the same way. If we limit ourselves to a naive scientific or "rational" view in trying to understand Jesus, we will simply generate fundamentalist banality or logical absurdity. But if we assume that Jesus is analogous to that multidimensional hand passing through four-dimensional history, now we’re getting somewhere. For where is the “body of Christ?” Hint: the Father's kingdom is spread out upon the earth, but the flatlanders don't see it.

The madness that comes of God is superior to the sanity which is of human origin. --Plato

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Useless Truth and Useful Idiots

Josef Pieper notes that "Truth is the self-manifestation and state of evidence of real things. Consequently, truth is something secondary, following from something else. Truth does not exist for itself alone. Primary and precedent to it are existing things, the real. Knowledge of truth, therefore, aims ultimately not at 'truth' but, strictly speaking, at gaining sight of reality" (emphasis mine).

If Pieper is correct -- which he is -- then when we speak of "truth," we must add the qualifier of, since different things -- or diverse levels of reality -- are known (and reveal, or give of themselves) in different ways. Matter and mind, for example, reveal themselves in very different ways. In fact, one cannot know the mind of another, unless the other cooperates -- truthfully! -- in revealing himself (and this applies quintessentially to self-revelations of O). To study O as if it were a physical object -- as materialists are condemned to do -- is to render oneself stupid.

A good working definition of reality is something that doesn't go away when we aren't thinking about it. Thus, material objects are obviously real, in that they are antecedent to our knowledge of them. Therefore, to know the truth of a material object involves aligning our minds with its properties, such as weight, mass, color, etc.

But again, the truth of matter is very different from the truth of man, much less the truth of O. Or, you might say that matter speaks one way, while consciousness speaks another. And O speaks yet another way -- although O is also the very basis of all the otherwise inexplicable "speaking" and "hearing" that goes on in this very talkative cosmos.

The idea that matter inheres in its own truth, and that it speaks this truth to human minds is weird enough. Weirder still is that it speaks not only quantitatively -- i.e., mathematically -- but qualitatively, something which known to every poet, even good ones. For example, rivers, mountains, oceans, wind, trees, seasons, storms -- in fact, nature in general -- all of these material things whisper their secrets -- their truth -- to the human soul (which is one way a fellow knows he's got one).

As we have discussed before, the radical environmental movement represents what you might call a godless effort to preserve this aspect of divine reality -- a sort of hollow remurmuring of the fullness of God's self-revelation. The environmentalist loves this divine truth -- or one part of it -- but not the source of this truth, which is to say, principial reality. Thus, he often slides into the barbarism of pantheism, or at least becomes the functional equivalent thereof. (And it should go without saying that every normal person loves virgin nature without having to descend into neo-paganism.)

Similarly, if we attempt to understand man in the same way we understand matter, we will simply generate confusion and paradox. And if we attempt to build a philosophy and a way of life around this misunderstanding, we will create a human nightmare, for we will have created a misanthropic world that is quite literally unfit for human habitation. This anti-human trend affects us in a thousand little ways, so we must constantly be on guard against it. We are truly being overrun by horizontal barbarians, e.g., the tenured flatlanders who suffocate the souls of children with their own ignorance.

This is reason #847 that leftism is a waking nightmare, for not only does it elevate matter to the ultimate, but it necessarily elevates our most primitive way of knowing the world to the highest wisdom, which is the denial of wisdom, precisely. This would be reason enough to reject the radical atheists such as Harris, Hitchens, and Dawkins, since in rejecting reality, they not only reject God, but declare war on man as such. Theirs is truly a reactionary misosophy aimed at the most base and common demonimatter.

This is why Aristotle noted that while all other disciplines are more necessary than philosophy, none is more important. To which I would add, "except theology." That is, the higher the discipline, the less necessary for mere physical survival (at least in the short term), but the more significant. At the same time, the higher the reality -- i.e., the more Real -- the less important the particular thinker, since it is closer the the one truth.

Again, truth is a secondary phenomenon, contingent upon the ultimate Real. Since religion is the science of this ultimate real, we must ultimately eliminate ourselves, so to speak, if we would fully comprehend it (or rather, it us). And this is why religion involves both revelation and faith, for revelation is the manifestation of the ultimate real in terms the average human can understand, while the "full emptiness" or "empty fullness" of faith is the anticipatory mode of knowing it.

And of course, this is where our divine Slack comes into play, for if it is true that philosophy must serve no merely pragmatic purpose in order to remain philosophy, then theology must be completely and utterly useless. In other words, theology can never serve anything other than Reality -- and certainly not the insidious designs of some grasping bipedal hominidiot. It cannot be made to serve manmade, "practical" ends. Rather, we were made to serve it. And serving it is the sufficient reason for our Slack, which is otherwise simply a "waste of time." The difference between "doing nothing" and "non-doodling" is pretty much infinite. Gosh!

Slack is that which makes us free insofar as we are engaged in an activity that serves no purpose outside of itself, the ultimate case being worship of God, or conformity with the Real, if you prefer. In losing our freedom, we regain it. Or, in dying, we are reborn. However you wish to put it. But it is an actively passive state, which is why it is more analogous to hearing (which is feminine) than to seeing (which is active and masculine):

"Leisure amounts to that precise way of being silent which is a prerequisite for listening in order to hear.... Leisure implies an attitude of total receptivity toward, and willing immersion in, reality; an openness of the soul, through which alone may come about those great and blessed insights that no amount of 'mental labor' can ever achieve" (Pieper).

When we talk about the true meaning of "separation of church and state" -- one of the favorite phrases used by people who hate Reality -- the deeper meaning is the preservation of our divine Slack, which is the purpose of the state, not vice versa. Only a fool or a knave believes that the state is the source of cosmic slack.

As Pieper writes, this free and slackful space is exactly "what is meant by the ancient term scholé, which designates 'school' and 'leisure' at the same time. It means a refuge where discussion takes place, in total independence -- that is, without the interference of practical goals."

Rather, it is a "zone of truth" that is "set aside in the midst of society, a hedged-in space to house the autonomous engagement with reality, in which people can inquire into, discuss, and assert the truth of things without let or hindrance; a domain expressly shielded from all conceivable attempts to use it as a means to achieve certain ends." In short, it is a place to be human, and a completely useless one to boot.

Not only must this slackademic space be defended and preserved from without, but also from those threats that arise from within "as an infection of intellectual life itself." We know some of these nasty infections by the names "political correctness," "social jusdtice," "diversity," "tolerance," "multiculturalism," "critical theory," etc.

Thus -- at risk of being a champion of the bobvious -- the problem with our schools is that they are no longer schools (scholé), which is to say, pointless and disinterested centers of leisurely slack serving no merely practical end. Instead, they are centers of indoctrination that reduce human beings to serving the ends of leftist ideology. This leftist ideology is also the essence of selfishness, in that it is the polar opposite of the selflessness required to know higher truth. Obammunism is just the same old leftist whining in a new battle.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Waking on Water and Sailing to the Father Shore

As it pertains to the nonlocal spiritual dimension, one of the ways you can confirm its reality is that -- as all senior Raccoons know -- with applied non-doodling, the membrain between the so-called "inner" and "outer" worlds begins to weaken, so that your life begins to reveal a dense network of synchronistic connections, both in time and space. It is as if you turn over the rug of your life, and can see the warp and weft underneath the outward pattern. Only then can you truly understand how this transdimensional area rug secretly "pulls your room together," dude. Not only is it the reason why you can know the One, but the reason why you are one.

In other words, unity comes from above, not below. No above, no unity. Except material unity, I suppose. Which is why the only unity known by the left is the dreary and coercive material unity of collectivism. And please note that secular materialism doesn't just appropriate matter, but Spirit. As they used to say of communism, it makes everyone equal -- equally poor. But the same principle applies to realms above matter, so that with materialism, everyone becomes equally stupid -- especially the intelligent, who are denied the very reality to which human intelligence is miraculously proportioned. And when the mind is allowed only to work on matter, soon enough it reflects this reality and becomes dense, compacted, earthbound, and generally "materialized" (cf. our trolls).

I can't tell you how many times I blog about a subject, only to see the subject thrown back in my phase space later that day, often in a geometrically transformed manner within the bi-logical space of consciousness. Why, it's almost as if I -- or someOne pulling my strings -- "anticipated" the future, or as if the future cast its shadow back into the past. Of course, it does both and neither, as the hyperdense connectedness of bi-logical consciousness cannot be reduced to any crude linear conception.

Long-time readers of this blog know full well that they were drawn here by their own future self. I mean the ones who benefit from it, not the trolls; they are also drawn to their future, but in their case, they reject the message -- or bizarrely try to shoot the transdimensional messenger. But (obviously) the bullets pass right through Petey. You might say that the troll's future bleekons -- which is why they cannot stay away. It reminds me of a co-dependent woman who marries her abuser, because she cannot tolerate being far from her own persecutory mind parasites. You know the old slaying: "Keep your friends close, and your mind parasites closer." Never ask for whom the trolls yell, for it is always theirSelves.

The deeper you penetrate into consciousness, the closer you come to the organizing singularity, as well as the archetypal "stars" that also lure the self inward and upward. If you live your life on the surface of consciousness, then you won't notice the Nonlocal Network, or else you'll simply dismiss evidence of it because of your absecular brainwashing.

The existence of the Network has always been acknowledged by eminent Raccoons down through the ages, but you have to know how to decode the language. For example, as Perry writes,

"If the spiritual work has hitherto shown itself predominantly as an effort to transcend the 'lower waters' and attain an equilibrium on the 'surface of the waters,' it now becomes through inverse analogy a journey or 'immersion' into the 'higher waters' of formless possibilities -- supraindividual states which no longer concern the human condition as such (hence the idea of 'drowning' or 'extinction'), but to which the human being has access, at least potentially, through the centrality that is the primordial birthright of his state, and which by definition are fully realized in the plenitude of the Universal Man."

In other words, this represents a sort of fulcrum in our spiritual development, in that we must first learn to "float" on the lower waters of consciousness before plunging into the upper waters of trans-consciousness.

What does it mean to "learn to float?" To a large extent, this is the domain of psychotherapy, of becoming familiar with your own deep sea monsters -- i.e., mind parasites -- that dwell in the depths of your being, and constantly threaten to pull you down and even swallow you up. Clearly, in some form or fashion, you must become a Master of your own Domain, or, like our ønanistic trolls, risk becoming a chronic masticator who grinds away with the lower mind and therefore never become truly fertile.

Conversely, many people -- the new age and integral rabble come to mind -- try to plunge into the upper waters before mastering the lower, so they merely end up "polluting" the pure waters with their psychic impurities. One wonders if this is why they all seem to believe in the climate change hysteria. Probably so. This would represent a fine example of a psychic transformation being externalized without any insight whatsoever.

This is one of the considerable dangers of go-it-alone spirituality. I'm sure the same people have transformed a shallow, gaffe-prone cipher who is capable only of mouthing recycled leftist platitudes he assimilated in college, into a person of stature in their own minds. Talk about going off the shallow end.

Which is an important point. We talk about people "going off the deep end," and with good reason. In fact, never trust a spiritual teacher who has not, at some point in his life, genuinely gone off the deep end, for only he will truly know about the lower waters and how to dog-paddle -- and God-paddle -- in them. Read any serious spiritual autobiography, and you will read of the depth of the struggle to master these lower waters. Not only that, but you will obtain objective information about the currents, the undertows, the doldrums, the winds, the fixed stars, etc., for your own night sea journey on the ark in the dark.

Only once you've learned to float your boat will it be worthy of sailing into the upper waters, as you graduate from the "lesser mysteries" to the "greater mysteries." What makes it so difficult is that you must simultaneously build this ark while learning to swim. But once it is seaworthy, then you will have a kind of calm center that can withstand the storms that lie ahead. The nature of this vessel will determine whether you can avoid drowning, walk on water, part the sea, swim upstream, survive underwater for lengthy periods, make it to the farther shore, etc.

Now, I found this particular passage in Perry (quoting Guenon) fascinating: "The voyage may be accomplished, either by going upstream to the source of the waters, or by crossing these to the other bank, or else by finally descending the current to the sea" (emphasis mine). In short, there are three possible deustinations: up, down or across; or to the Source of the waters, to the infinite Ocean into which all waters eventually drain, or to the bank on the other side. In turn, these would correspond to the ways of gnosis ("knowledge of the source"), of non-dual mysticism (diving into the ocean of being), and of bhakti, or loving devotion to God.

As Perry explains, "going upstream" is identified with the "World Axis," or the "celestial river" that "descends to earth." Alert readers will have gnosissed that Petey makes reference to this in the Cosmobliteration section of One Cosmos:

Floating upstream alongside the ancient celestial trail, out from under the toilsome tablets of time.... Off to sea the River Man, starry-eyed and laughing, cloud-hidden, who-, what-, why- & whereabouts unknown, bathed in the white radiance of ecstasy central. In the garden misty wet with rain, eight miles high, far from the twisted reach of yestermorrow. Insinuate! Now put down the apple and back away slowly, and nobody dies! Here, prior to thought, by the headwaters of the eternal, the fountain of innocence... .

Petey also makes reference to the way of the nondual Ocean, or what he calls "being drowned in the Lao Tsunami":

Returning to the Oneself, borne again to the mysterious mamamatrix of our birthdeath, our winding binding river of light empties to the sea.

And then there is the way of bhakti across the river:

Reverse worldward descent and cross the bridge of darkness to the father shore; on your left is the dazzling abode of immortality, on your right is the shimmering gate of infinity. Return your soul to its upright position and extinguish all (me)mories, we're in for a promised landing. Touching down in shantitown, reset your chronescapes and preprayer for arrisall.

Petey realized when he trancelighted these island passages that very few readers would ever obtain any benefit from them. The surprise is that they were published atoll even though they only bear wetness to the same old water in new skins.

The wise man can through earnestness, virtue, and purity, maketh himself an island which no flood can submerge. --Udana

I [the Buddha] can walk on water as if it were solid earth. --Samutta-nikaya

I [the Buddha] crossed the flood only when I did not support myself or make any effort. --ibid.

If drifting in the vast ocean a man is about to be swallowed up by the Nagas, fishes, or evil beings, let his thought dwell on the power of the [Bodhisattva], and the waves will not drown him. --Kwannon Sutra

The name Moses means, taken from the water, and so we shall be taken out of instability, rescued from the storm of the world-flow. --Meister Eckhart

But while it is the case that if thou lettest not go of thine own self altogether to drown in the bottomless sea of the Godhead, verily one cannot know this divine death. --Meister Eckhart

God is the Lake of Nectar, the Ocean of Immortality. He is called the "Immortal" in the Vedas. Sinking into It, one does not die, but transcends death. --Sri Ramakrishna

I shall throw myself into the uncreate sea of the naked Godhead. --Angelus Silesus

The desirous soul no longer thirsts for God but into God, the pull of its desire draws it into the Infinite Sea. --Richard of Saint-Victor

...To flow in God and sink down in Him -- like a vessel full of water which when emptied nothing remains in it, so will I wholly empty and sink myself quite into God. --Johannes Kelpius

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