Monday, February 04, 2013

I Don't See Any Method At All, Sir

Continuing with Friday's post -- we're discussing Letter I of Meditations on the Tarot -- Tomberg points out that in order to become fertile, two things are necessary, one positive, the other negative.

First we must become receptive, or "poor in spirit." Secondly we must avoid what he calls "the most serious spiritual malady," self-complacency.

This latter pneumapathology falls under the rubric of acedia, which has no direct translation but means something like "spiritual laziness." Thus, Tomberg is affirming an orthoparadox here, to the effect that we must be simultaneously active and passive, or one might even say male and female (in the metacosmic sense). Obviously conception -- and the Second Birth -- can only occur with male and female.

This Second Birth has resonance with metanoia (the cosmic turnaround), except that the latter is more "effort based," so to speak. Tomberg refers to "a change of the entire spiritual and psychic motivation," which is obviously more active and related to the will.

However, this willed turnaround is associated with "a complete change of the plane of consciousness," which mere will could never bring about on its own. I would say that the will is necessary but not sufficient. Rather, something else must meet it halfway. The mystery and the mirrorcle is that someone actually does!

This naturally segues into a discussion of what we can do from our end, and what we could never accomplice in the absence of grace. There is no such thing as a do-it-yoursopher, no lifting ourselves by our own buddhastraps. Thus "it goes without saying that nobody initiates anyone else." Rather, the initiation "is operative from above" because "the Initiator is above."

Now, any initiate, to the extent that he is a true initiate, recognizes this simple Law, and this recognition is the very substance of humility (and of the spiritual emptiness alluded to above). A Raccoon, of course, instantaneously recognizes the soul-stench of a fellow Raccoon, but it would never occur to us to suggest that one is the master, the other a disciple. Rather, "there is only one sole Master, who is the Initiator above."

I remember Schuon telling a correspondent something almost identical -- that he would agree to take him on as a student so long as he remembered that Christ is his Master, not Schuon. There is a dangerous temptation at work here for both parties, and it almost defines the newage.

Think of the luminous archetype of John the Baptist, who is obviously a vertical initiate but who humbly insists up front that There comes One after me who is mightier than I.

Compare this with the bloomin' ass darktype of a Deepak, who dumbly boasts -- without irony -- of being one of Time Magazine's "top 100 heroes and icons of the 20th century"; and who, just moments ago, tweeted that "You create the universe in every act of perception," once again proving that cosmic narcissism is as cosmic narcissism does.

Why would state-run media elevate this wicked man to virtual sainthood? The question answers itself. He's like a one man war on spiritual poverty.

So: "Amongst Christian Hermeticists nobody assumes for himself the title and the function of 'initiator' or 'master,'" not even Toots Mondello himself. Rather, everyone learns from everyone, because "each is a master of each in some respect -- just as each is a pupil of each in some respect."

It's not about the master-pupil dialectic, but rather, simply about the circulation and flow of grace, bearing in mind what we said a few posts back about the (↓→) wondercurrent of grace.

I believe that all Raccoons can recognize "quality" in a human being. Yes, a man is a man is a man -- and sometimes even worse -- but there are some men who properly evoke a sense of reverence (not worship) in us. Or, we might say that the proper response to such a lumin being is reverence. This reverence creates a kind of dynamic tension that goes to what was said above about the relationship between effort and spiritual emptiness.

Tomberg makes reference to St. Gregory the Great, who, despite -- or because! -- of his greatness, "subjected himself in all sincerity to the pious men whom he visited and made it his endeavor to learn for his own benefit just how each was superior to him in zeal and ascetic practice." He would then assimilate in himself "what he had obtained from each and devoted his energies to realizing in himself the virtues of all."

Again, it all starts with recognition of spiritual quality, or what I call recognosis (i.e., vertical thou & I sight). This recognosis can never be reduced to some objective standard. Rather, it can only become spontaneously present on an interior level, and it is very important that one follow this "instinct."

It very much reminds me of what Mouravieff says about identifying and cultivating "B" influences (apparently discussed in these previous posts).

Tomberg then goes into an illuminating discussion of head and heart as applied to religion. "Hermeticism," he says, attempts to listen to and hear "the beating of the heart of the spiritual life of humanity." This very much relates to our recent series of posts on right and left brain differences, the former being more oriented to "hearing" in the spiritual sense.

You could say that the exterior church hierarchy is more of a left brain construct, more in the head than heart (and Tomberg is at pains to emphasize that this is by no means to minimize its importance).

But the heart is much more fluid, more interior, more "blowing where it will," so to speak. Therefore, it is spontaneously drawn to and attracted by "the mystery of the communal heart which beats within all religions, all philosophies, all arts and all sciences -- past, present and future." This is because it is oriented to O itself, in whose attractor field all those modes -- truth, wisdom, beauty -- come into view.

Looked at in this manner, almost everything is a theophany and an occasion for inwardness. Put another way, every out has an in and is even the manifestation of a hidden in. We might also say that the In is the Is, or the essence, while the Out is the existence or appearance. Everything is whispering secrets of God all the time! We call it the Gossipel of Nature.

Tomberg then moves on to a description of the first arcana, the Magician (and I would be curious to know how many of the elements are present in all these different versions).

But the bottom line of the card is the First Principle that undergirds all the others, and speaks to the rapport of personal effort and of spiritual reality -- or let us say of (↑) and O. It is not about doctrine as such, but rather, about method. And this method is as follows:

Learn at first concentration without effort; transform work into play; make every yoke that you have accepted easy and every burden that you carry light!

What, work at giving up? Thanks for the tip!

One thing is for sure: if you're going to successfully transform work into play, you're really going to need to get off the hedonic treadmill and reduce your overhead, because a simulated life is quite expensive.

To be continued...


Magister said...

a simulated life is quite expensive

dat's life in de eurozone

talk about bateleurs, williambanzai7 has skilz

mushroom said...

One is tempted to create a universe sans Deepaks.

mushroom said...

...almost everything is a theophany...

I think a lot more people know this than realize it, not just Christians, either.

mushroom said...

Simplifying is a lot more than de-cluttering. It's a recognition of what the hierarchy of control really is. You can't leave matter in the top spot. Even the most purely materialist must realize that energy rules matter.

Gagdad Bob said...

Oh, this is rich: Dear Republicans, What Makes Life Worth Living?.

Magister said...

his books should come with a warning on deepakaging

you know, I've read nothing by him, and it appears good to keep it that way

I like how MOTT begins by charactering a person's integrated and balanced disposition toward the infinite -- that is, what does such a person look like as a whole, and in action?

it's ingratiating to start with this rendering of a dynamic instead of, say, a particular quality of character (like a virtue) or a system of ethics

Gagdad Bob said...

I like how Deepak doesn't demonize the rigid, stupid, selfish, and xenophobic ideologues who disagree with him.

Magister said...


reading that column, I felt as if millions of neurons cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced

Gagdad Bob said...

Concur. He is borderline illiterate, and beyond the technical and logical deficiencies, his prose is "dead."

Gagdad Bob said...

"Soul crushing" comes to mind.

John Lien said...

I shouldn't have gone there. But I had to take a Depeek.

Progressives were dragged kicking and screaming in the wake of the Reagan revolution. Realists cringed as ideology ruled. Bad economics created ruinous policies that half-sunk the middle class.

It's like visiting another world. The separation of left and right intensifies as the freedom to select your own tribe for interaction continues.

I really, really don't like these guys.

Magister, I agree, williambanzai7 is amazing.

Gagdad Bob said...

Not dissimilar to hearing Obama speak.

Gagdad Bob said...

Chopra really demonstrates Voegelin's point about ideological "second reality" completely obscuring first reality.

Magister said...

The reason that John Boehner and others talk about Obama trying to crush them is that it's exactly what they would do if the tables were reversed -- indeed, they tried it for the first four years.

right, that was not the omnibus spending bill stimulus you were looking for that was rammed down everyone's throat without anyone actually reading it

Magister said...

The vapidity of his writing also illustrates what Giussani calls "emptying" or reducing the question into a mere social project.

I see egregores.

julie said...

Magister @ 12:34 - that was awesome.

julie said...

Rather, everyone learns from everyone, because "each is a master of each in some respect -- just as each is a pupil of each in some respect."

Yes, that's one of the reasons I love this place. The day I find that nobody here has anything more to teach me is the day I'll lose interest; I suspect that such a day will not occur in my lifetime...

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Again, it all starts with recognition of spiritual quality, or what I call recognosis (i.e., vertical thou & I sight). This recognosis can never be reduced to some objective standard. Rather, it can only become spontaneously present on an interior level, and it is very important that one follow this "instinct.""

Hi Bob! So, this would include discernment?
I've noticed, based on personal experience, that some folks instinctively have better discernment than others.

Incidently, my wife has been 100% correct when she discerns the character of folks we have met (some to become friends).

Much better than my discernment, although mine has gotten better since I got into metaphysics, reading OCUG and this invaluable blog, MOTt, and of coyrse the Bible and many other books covering these subjects.

Or, in short, it seems that we can improve, with grace our recognous or gifts if you will.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hi Julie! Well said! The comments from our brothers and sisters under the pelt are a must read as well as this blog of course. :^)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Um...I meant recognosis but recognous is close I suppose.

Magister said...

here's more evidence that deepak is either a liar or a credulous buffoon:

Unlike Republicans, Democrats are not in politics just to fix government and solve problems. They are secular missionaries who want to “change society.” Their goal is a new order of society— “social justice.” They think of themselves as social redeemers, people who are going to change the world. It is the belief in a redemptive future that accounts for their passion, and their furious personal assaults on those who stand in their way. When he was president, Bill Clinton once told Dick Morris he had “to understand that Bob Dole” – a moderate Republican – “is evil.” It is the same missionary zeal that allows Democrats to justify a campaign ad accusing a decent man like Mitt Romney of causing the death of a female cancer victim.

DeAnn said...

recognosis ... perfect word

Van Harvey said...

Magister said "reading that column, I felt as if millions of neurons cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced"

[Insert Chewie sound effects here]