Monday, May 04, 2015

Bon Voyage, Angel!

Bad traffic on the way to school. Not much time this morning, but perhaps enough to build a little diaphanous foundation.

"Intimacy," writes Kenneth Schmitz, "is the self-disclosure of a personal presence;" this presence is ultimately "rooted in nothing short of the unique act of existing of each person." Thus, "in intimacy we come upon and are received into the very act of existing of another."

This whole line of thought obviously goes to Genesis' quaintly euphemistic way of equating sexual intimacy with "knowing"; in reality, this is not so quaint, but rather, goes straight to the metaphysical essence.

As an asnide, we could also say that the left celebrates privacy while devaluing and destroying intimacy. After all, to destroy persons one has only to destroy intimacy, as is understood by all totalitarian regimes.

Intimacy is the voluntary sharing of presence(s): it cannot be forced, which no doubt goes to the horror of rape, i.e., stealing what can only be given.

In intimate sharing -- in the space of intimacy -- we become more "real," or we are able to existentiate our personal reality, our Personhood.

To the extent that this is the case -- and I am assured by Petey that it is the case -- it seems to me that it is because we are images of an ultimate reality which is dynamically "structured" in the same way.

For the Father and Son are the quintessence of intimate presence to one another. You might say that threeness is far more intimate than oneness, for in the case of the latter you can only be intimate with yourself, and we know what that means: yes, it results in spiritual blindness. Three's company but one is a... lonely and pathetic number.

This concept of presence has repeatedly been making itself present to me for several weeks. If I were Henry Corbin, I might say that the Angel of Presence has been trying to get my attention, for where he differs with Plato is that for him, real ideas are not static but active presences. They are angels, or vertical messengers between levels of being. This means that you and I too are angelic beings, unless we choose not to be. This will all become clear as we proceed.

For Corbin (according to Cheetham), the Big Question is, "To what is human presence present?" "Around this question," writes Cheetham, "revolve the central motivations of the spiritual Voyager, and here lies the ultimate significance of the Personal God of all the Religions of the Book..."

Evangelicals have done us the service of re-emphasizing this notion of personal relationship. Referring back to what was said in the first few paragraphs above, at the deepest level, these two -- person(al) and relation(ship) -- might as well be synonymous, for to be a person is to have relations, while to have relations is to manifest the personal, however attenuated. It is why the world is present to us, and vice versa.

Our "limitless cosmos is full of Presences, full of Persons -- full of Angels." In the book I refer to these as "nonlocal operators standing by, ready to assist you."

Yes, that is a "joke," but only to throw the unworthy off the scent, for there is simply no question that -- however you wish to express it -- there exist benign vertical presences with whom we may "relate" and who communicate with us via a sympathetic resonance (≈).

And like all Persons, they love communicating! Conversely, it makes them sad to be ignored, again, like any other person. Communicating real truth is a joy. Why? Well, for starters, it goes back to the idea of the intimate sharing through which we make ourselves Present. It makes us really exist, or exist more real-ly.

I think it also bums out God when people pretend not to believe in him, because he is denied that unique presence and therefore the joy of that particular relationship. Why else did he create you, just for the hassle?

Looked at this way, it is up to us to render God present, each in our own uniquely personal way. This doesn't imply relativism, except that it does. Actually, it is a way to have an Absolute without absolutism and a relativity without relativism.

Corbin puts forth the wild and wacky -- but appealing -- idea that "Each human soul has a counterpart in Heaven, who is the eternal and perfected individuality of that soul."

Before you reject your Angel out of hand, please understand that Corbin is expressing a kind of undeniable truth, even if you object to his particular way of expressing it.

For what does it mean to grow, to develop, to surpass ourselves even while becoming ourselves? This clearly implies a personal telos, but what is the ontological status of this telos? Where and what and who and why is it?

You can call it an Angel, as long as you define your terms and explain what you mean. In the book, in order to free it of its mythic baggage, I just call it (¶), to distinguish it from (•). Your Angel doesn't mind, so long as you don't blow him off.

In between these two vertical attractors is the Spiritual Voyage alluded to above, which confers the direction and meaning upon our lives, the measure of which is our deepening Personhood and intimacy with God (which are two seeds of the same coon).


mushroom said...

we are able to existentiate our personal reality

I like that.

mushroom said...

Each human soul has a counterpart in Heaven, who is the eternal and perfected individuality of that soul.

I think I might have run into him once, quite accidentally.

In Descent into Hell, Charles Williams talks about a doppelganger that was feared by one of the character. This may have been kind of what he was getting at.

julie said...

After all, to destroy persons one has only to destroy intimacy, as is understood by all totalitarian regimes.

On that note millennials, who are having fewer kids than any generation before them, apparently can't even tell if they are in a relationship. An excellent point is made that they are for gay marriage because they are all gay now. No sex act is off limits, assuming it's "consensual," provided that they don't really know each other in any other sense. It's all explicit, but never intimate.

Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, it's all impersonal, and therefore private without being intimate. You have to be SomeBody to be intimate, and vice versa.

Gagdad Bob said...

Interesting that Pamela Geller, who was almost murdered by Muslim savages last night, started out exactly how and when I did, as a frequent and prolific commenter on the blog Little Green Footballs. It's also possible that another commenter there encouraged me to start blogging, or maybe it was someone at ShrinkWrapped.

Gagdad Bob said...

Say what you want about One Cosmos, at least our trolls don't come after us with AK-47s.

Maybe she should change the blog's name to Atlas Ducks.

Gagdad Bob said...

The brain-damaged Charles Johnson of today:

"I will finish by saying this: if you sling shit at a group of people long enough eventually you will find the mean, the crazed, and the extreme among them.... There is free speech, and there is provocative free speech designed to make you think, and then further on the edges is free speech designed to provoke..."

So, I guess this means Christians and conservatives will soon be coming after Johnson with AK-47s.

julie said...

I can't believe someone actually thought it a good idea to try that crap in Texas. As if half the attendees weren't carrying. Or if they weren't, they will be for the foreseeable future.

I was thinking last night that this event had a mere 40 attendees. How many people even knew about it? Now thanks to a couple of dead trolls the whole world knows that in America, you can totally mock Mohammed and your attackers wind up dead.

julie said...

And cripes, Johnson seems to become even more of a loser every year.

Honestly, I hadn't even realized he was still a going concern.

Gagdad Bob said...

The psychologist in me still can't understand how someone can so suddenly and violently transform into their polar opposite. It's like a demonic conversion experience.

julie said...

Yeah. I was never on the "inside" there, so don't have as much of a sense of what happened, but it seemed like overnight he reversed polarities.

Magister said...

Word on the street is that CJ was a lefty before 9/11 and Rathergate. His anti-Islam phase was simply part and parcel of his anti-theism.

I was finally banned from LGF after someone there found out I posted here. I've never been back, never even been curious.

Ace's place is full of the banned, too.

Magister said...

Those are fascinating articles, Julie, lots to think about there.

My hope is that American youth culture is approaching maximum entropy.

My worry is that there isn't enough gravity in the center to bring the pendulum back.

B Ambrose said...

Beautifully written article Gagdad Bob. Also love the comments. Julie, you are right about your comment on Texas Terror attack in Garland... Muslim Terrorists picked the wrong dang State. We are mostly armed and shoot back! Yea Haw! I have noticed the media trying to make this about Geller! This is about an Islamic Terror Attack in Texas, on U.S. soil! With the intent to kill with malice aforethought. What next? Do we shift the blame on all those Christians who deserved to be caged, burned alive, beheaded because Islamic Terrorists were provoked when Christians made the 'Sign of the Cross' in public... Or Jews wore a skullcap in public... OR...

julie said...

Huh. The second gunman was rather poetically named "Nadir Soofi."

Would that make Schuon "Zenith Sufi," then?

Gagdad Bob said...

Waiting for the MSM to blame rape on provocatively clad women.

Gagdad Bob said...

If Schuon is Zenith Soofi then Corbin is Apex Soofi. Very different approaches, and maybe even complementary in some way, as in reason (Schuon) and imagination (Corbin).

mushroom said...

Atlas Ducks

I laughed.

Yeah, really, Garland is not Paris. We used to live on the north side in Flower Mound, and even we thought the people over east in Garland and Mesquite were a bunch of rednecks.

Joan of Argghh! said...

I don't think I've ever read a post here where at the end I said, "What a sweet post. In every way."

Is winsome the word for it?

Anyway, thanks!

mushroom said...

We thought our problem was dysfunctional families. Down in Australia, they've realized that functional families are giving an unfair advantage.

This is the link to Andrew Bolt that Brendan references.

julie said...

Madness. Almost makes me want to wake my little'uns up for one last bedtime hug.

Gagdad Bob said...

You just have to reformat your head and get into the cosmic drama of being a part of the Remnant, like those monks in medieval Ireland who Saved Civilization.

Joan of Argghh! said...

That's still a favorite book for me. Right now reading Cahill's "Sailing The Wine-Dark Sea--Why the Greeks Matter"

Leslie said...

"Texas is where ISIS wannabees get outgunned at an art gallery."
Kevin D. Williamson

Van Harvey said...

Julie, to go with your two sunshine relationship links, we may soon have a means of discarding intimacy entirely, as well as its 'unintended' consequences, via an artificial womb.

Party on dudes!

(head->desk, head->desk, head->floor....)

Van Harvey said...

Leslie said "Texas is where ISIS wannabees get outgunned at an art gallery."
Kevin D. Williamson

HA! Love that guy.

julie said...

Re. the artificial womb, weird - I woke up thinking that would be the next step once it dawns on people that even though parenthood is totally lame, new people still have to come from somewhere.

Brave New World was not supposed to be an instruction manual.

julie said...

On a tangent, reading the comments over there suddenly makes me appreciate the Coonosphere ever so much more. I am kind of surprised that not one so far has brought up Brave New World; instead, it's becoming a debate about feminism.

Rick said...

"Corbin puts forth the wild and wacky -- but appealing -- idea that "Each human soul has a counterpart in Heaven, who is the eternal and perfected individuality of that soul."

Wacky - ha! I'll show you wacky. I've been developing this theory that Don Draper (of Mad Men) is dead. I think that's been kicked around some by fans. That's not the wacky part, this is: I think the death happened one or two seasons ago -- so that what we are seeing now in subsequent episodes is what the "after-life" looks like to Don, including true interactions with individuals who (though they haven't died yet in the herebelow) also exist in the afterlife. Perhaps we have counterparts at all (gulp) levels (if we are talking about realms which are outside time).