Thursday, April 07, 2016

Things That Cannot Not Be

Continuing with the keys to the damn world enigma, AKA "the principles that determine everything else" (Schuon). These principles equate to metaphysics, precisely, which you could say consists of the laws that Cannot Not Be given the Way Things Are.

For example, Darwinism pretends to be a kind of ultimate law of biology. But in order to be a law at all, it requires a very specific kind of cosmos. A universe that will support life is so rare, that Darwinism will almost never even come up. Therefore, Darwinism cannot be the general law of biology.

Whereas science moves in the direction of facts to laws to principles, metaphysics moves in the opposite direction, beginning with the principles that illuminate everything -- and I do mean everything -- else.

An example of a starting principle that cannot not be is that the world is intelligible to intelligence. However, this is already a bifurcation of a deeper principle, which is to say that reality is composed of a Truth which reveals itself on one side as knowledge and on the other as knower.

Any alternative to what I just said is impossible -- i.e., incoherent, self-refuting, absurd, tenured, etc.

With metaphysics we "touch God" in a way, because this is not a human -- or at least merely human -- knowledge. Since it is knowledge that must be, it is knowledge that will always be, and is therefore timeless and transcendent. It will never be out of date. It is not derived from reason, but rather, "made of truth," so to speak. It is the substance of truth, hence its intrinsic certainty. It is why Jesus can confidently say "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away" (not to reduce his words to mere metaphysics, because in his unique case he is the Truth he is speaking).

"The foundation of metaphysical certitude is the coincidence between truth and our being; a coincidence that no ratiocination could invalidate." Thus, "things deriving from the Absolute become clear by their participation in the Absolute, hence by a 'superabundance of light' -- according to Saint Thomas -- which amounts to saying that they are proven by themselves."

That sounds like a tautology -- "proven by themselves" -- but it isn't. Imagine, for example (speaking of an abundance of Light), the Transfiguration of Jesus. It is followed immediately by Peter's recognition of Who This Really Is. Not only is it its own proof, but the proof is beyond the capacity of the apostles to fully assimilate: again, it is a superabundance of Light. So yes, you can have "too much proof," in that it overwhelms the (lower case r) reason.

Must be what happened to the OJ jury. Not to mention the FBI investigation of Hillary.

In any event, "universal truths draw their evidence not from our contingent thought, but from our transpersonal being, which constitutes the substance of our spirit and guarantees the adequacy of intellection" (Schuon).

Now, metaphysics is not God; rather, it is a kind of ladder to God. Or, it is the ladder God provides in order for the intellect to climb up to him. However, there are both ascending and descending energies along this ladder, just as old Jacob said upon his awakening.

Along these lines, Schuon is as helpful as ever:

"Metaphysics has as it were two great dimensions, the one 'ascending' and dealing with universal principles and the distinction between the Real and the illusory, and the other 'descending' and dealing on the contrary with the divine life in creaturely situations, and thus with the fundamental and secret 'divinity' of beings and of things..."

Whereas the first is more sober and static -- for it is Reason -- "the second is mysterious and paradoxical, seeming at certain points to contradict the first, or again, it is like a wine with which the Universe becomes intoxicated."

The first is like the ascent of Reason up the mountain of Spirit, while the second is the descent of Spirit down to the plains and valleys and hollers of maya, or appearance, or phenomena. It's probably good to practice both, since they are complementary, i.e., intellection and mysticism.

Of all our cosmic peeps, I think Eckhart might have pulled off this complementarity most successfully -- you know, words and music. Let's see if I can pluck an example from that very book.

Here, from page 3: "What the philosophers have written about the natures and properties of things agree [with the Bible], especially since everything that is true, whether in being or in knowing, in scripture or in nature, proceeds from the one root of truth.... therefore, Moses, Christ, and the Philosopher [i.e., Aristotle] teach the same thing, differing only in the way they teach, namely as worthy of belief, as probable and likely, and as truth" (emphasis mine).

As we know, the cosmos is a tree, its roots aloft, its leaves and branches down below. The leaves of science are only alive because they are connected to limbs and trunk. So don't be the sap. All our middling relativities are related by way of the Absolute-Father, and are only related in and by Him. In other words, everything in the cosmos is more or less related, literally.


julie said...

The leaves of science are only alive because they are connected to limbs and trunk. So don't be the sap.

Thinking of all the reports out lately regarding shady science and unrepeatable studies, not to mention hysteria over an assortment of fake near-catastrophes, it seems as though many of the leaves of science have been ripped off the tree.

julie said...

Off topic, Bill Clinton stands up to BLM protesters. On this, I agree with him. SMOD must be on its way.

ted said...

Yup. Ties in with this article posted via HappyAcres on Trump & Christopher Lasch:

“Diversity – a slogan that is attractive on the face of it – has come to mean the opposite of what it appears to mean,” Lasch remarked. “In practice, diversity turns out to legitimize a new dogmatism, in which rival minorities take shelter behind a set of beliefs impervious to rational discussion.”

The elites who run the nation’s institutions “labor under the delusion that they alone have overcome racial prejudice,” said Lasch. “The rest of the country, in their view, remains incorrigibly racist.” This unhealthy “monomania” on race suggests a mixture of self-righteousness and panic, he observed.

Multicultural obsessions—and above all, ideological purity on all things African-American and ascriptive—mark a multivalent “civil rights” movement now many decades old. Movies, advertisements, lectures, awards, history months, and news stories keep the narrative in motion, shaming anyone who does not openly spurn America’s white, straight middle class that clings to religion, guns, and more.

Van Harvey said...

Julie said "SMOD must be on its way."

Good news Julie, the SMOD, aka 'Planet Nine', is on its way, and according to this highly objective and not to be doubted piece of scientific reporting, it should arrive and wipe out all life on the planet WELL before the GOP convention.

So there's that.

ted said...

Van, not good. I just opened a Roth IRA.

mushroom said...

I just paid a boatload of tax on a rollover. I should have filed for an extension.