Thursday, October 10, 2013

Priceless Cheap Book Offer

Good -- or indifferent, depending on your point of view -- news for One Cosmos readers! Long-time stalkers will recall the seemingly once in a laughtome offer of 2006, when I came into the possession of 100 copies of my book, One Cosmos Under God: The Unification of Matter, Life, Mind, and Spirit. Readers long ago snapped up the original 100, but I still get the occasional request for a personally enscrypted copy.

Well, the distributor is reducing its inventory, and my publisher gave me the option of taking them off its grubby hands. I impulsively and unwisely purchased a bunch more than I can possibly unload, so the offer is back on, only this time with twice the desperation!

Remember, these won't be merely "signed" copies, as my competitors deign to hastily scribble off. Rather, each copy is adorned with a lovingly handcrafted and personalized metaphysical wisecrack or insult, an official pronouncement of Raccoon membership, or perhaps a limerick of questionable taste, each different from the other, because no Raccoon is alike.

And remember -- the book will no doubt become a valuable collector's item if I am ever convicted of a well-publicized major crime or felled by a meteor.

A Love Offering of just $10 will suffice, and this pittance will even cover schlepping & fondling.

BTW, this is the new CORRECTED EDITION that fixes some embarrassing typos and other infelicities in the first printing.

If you'd like one, e-mail me at:

Or, just send a check, along with any instructions for enscribblement, to:

Robert Godwin

26141 Veva Way

Calabasas, CA



Back to the isness at hand. We were outlining Schuon's "universal metaphysic," to see if this can be harmonized with process theology.

Again, in order to visualize the spatial distinction between absolute and infinite, we may think of the former as point, the latter as extension; similarly, "in time the absolute is the moment, and the infinite is duration."

In terms of matter, the absolute is the ether, the "primordial substance" (prakriti in Vedanta) while "the infinite is the indefinite series of substances." In terms of form, the absolute is "the sphere" -- one more reason why we call it O -- which is widely considered the most "simple, perfect, and primordial form," whereas the infinite is "the indefinite series of more or less complex forms." Etc.

Now, there is an obvious conflict between Schuon's view and the Christian view of creation. Again, Schuon comes very close to an emanationist position, in which creation is a kind of inevitable vertical descent from plane to plane.

Conversely, Christianity always emphasizes the freedom with which God creates. In this view, creation is said to be completely unnecessary, an utterly free gift for which God receives nothing in return (since he is already complete, lacking absolutely nothing).

A few posts back I hinted at a way to harmonize these positions, and I think the key lies in horizontalizing Schuon's verticality, while converting a relation of dependence to one of complementarity.

For example, in Schuon's view, the absolute is prior to the infinite, even if the infinite is a necessary consequence of absoluteness. Another traditional way of saying this is that it is in the nature of things for the Sovereign Good to radiate its goodness outward. After all, a goodness that didn't spontaneously share it's goodness wouldn't be very nice.

But what if we tweak this formulation slightly, and see absolute and infinite as complementarity, whereby the one is impossible in the absence of the other? Here we can easily see how this would apply to Christian theology, since -- as far as I know -- it would be incorrect to suggest that the Son "emanates" from the Father in a vertical fashion.

Rather -- and this is a bit of an orthoparadox -- the Father is "primary," so to speak, but nevertheless, he has never existed without the Son. It is not as if the Father-Absolute (what we call Abbasolute) one day decided to have a Son. No, Father-Son is not a vertical relation but a complementary one.

And if I am not mistaken, this goes to the theological dispute that finally split the Eastern and Western churches, i.e., the filioque. In brief, for the East, the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father alone, whereas in the West the Holy Spirit proceeds from Father and Son.

I don't want to reopen old wounds, but it seems to me that the latter formulation is a defense against the vertical/emanationist view, in that it emphasizes the irreducible complementarity and intersubjectivity of Father and Son. In short, it characterizes ultimate reality in terms of relation rather than subordination.

It's like the old days, when we had three coequal branches of government instead of this peevish tyrant who thinks congress only exists to ratify his delusions.

Once again, I don't have sufficient time to get more deeply into things. All of this is still quite preluminary...


julie said...

Back to the isness at hand. We were outlining Schuon's "universal metaphysic," to see if this can be harmonized with process theology.

Okay, that gave me a chuckle. I'm pretty sure the old chap just spun around in his grave. Which isn't to say I think you're wrong at all, just that I'm fairly certain he would not have approved...

Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, that's what I meant yesterday about rotating in his sarcophagus. It's always a little disconcerting looking into those eyes. I think I'll avoid them for awhile.

julie said...

D'oh - shows how much I've been paying attention. I blame the children. But yes, I was thinking of that picture of him just now. That is not a gaze one faces lightly...

Gagdad Bob said...

There are always inside jokes tucked away in each post, most of which are seen only by God. And even then, I can never be sure if it's only a courtesy laugh.

julie said...


I used to notice a lot more, but it's hard to stay focused when the munchkins can only spare your attention for thirty seconds at a time.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Yikes! I feel like the idiot disciple when I see that look!
Then again, maybe I am. Still, rather scary looking.

mushroom said...

As regards the filioque, I see that the Wickedpedia references the first verse that came to mind for me -- John 15:26, But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. (ESV)

I think that covers all the bases.

Speaking of which, I am really appreciate the Dodgers taking out Atlanta. Any of the possible outcomes will be all right. I was even OK with the Pirates. Now, for me, the least interesting Series would be Oakland vs. LA -- unless the Dodgers have a pinch hitter named Gibson stashed somewhere.

Gagdad Bob said...

Just ambiguous enough to keep theologians busy for a couple thousand years.

With Grienke and Kershaw in four games, I like the Dodgers' chances. Should be a great series.

mushroom said...

OT, you make us sound like a bunch of Smurfs, or Ewoks, which may be worse.

I'm an old Baptist turned Freak turned Biker turned Pentecostal turned Tongue-talking Freaking Biker.

And, by the way, Ben is quite poetic. I think he won the Limerick Battle at the last Coonvention.

There was a switch-hitter named Trench
We called him in off of the bench
Stay away from the banks
There are sharks in the tanks
Just haul out the vault with a winch

mushroom said...

... the last line was a bit obscure.

Jesus said, If your right eye offends you pluck it out.

Thus, extremism or any extraordinary measure in pursuit of what really matters is quite reasonable.

ge said...

that's a lot of
Easter Egg Rolls!

Van Harvey said...

"Rather -- and tis is a bit of an orthoparadox -- the Father is "primary," so to speak, but nevertheless, he has never existed without the Son. It is not as if the Father-Absolute (what we call Abbasolute) one day decided to have a Son. No, Father-Son is not a vertical relation but a complementary one."

Not to be too flip, but isn't to argue against that, a bit like arguing about whether the Heads preceded the Tails on the coin?

Flip for it?

Not to reduce it

Van Harvey said...

(friggin' Android) The Coin precedes both... but just try and describe it without both the heads and tails or try and say which side appeared first.

Not to mention the circumferential edge.

Kristor said...

"... [the filioque] is a defense against the vertical/emanationist view ..."

Precisely. Emanationism elides almost instantly into Arianism. The filioque seems to have been employed first by Iberian clerics to clarify the difference between the orthodox catholic doctrine of the Trinity and the Arian doctrine, which (being the version of Christianity to which the the Visigoths had first been converted) was stubbornly persistent in Gaul and Iberia.

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