Thursday, February 09, 2017

Have You Been Truthed Today?

To affirm that "truth is one" is not identical to saying that "there is one truth." Rather, the one truth can -- I would say must -- manifest in a diversity of ways. Indeed, it is precisely because truth is one that reality -- which is so diverse and mayaplicitous -- is true.

To back up a bit, I'm perusing an essay by Schuon called Diversity of Revelation. To back up a bit further, I've decided to reread all of Schuon's books from the beginning. Well, almost the beginning, and almost all. For various reasons I'm starting with Gnosis: Divine Wisdom.

The reasons I'm doing this are twofold. First, I've had a long run of mediocre books that makes me feel as if I'm not getting anywhere. We don't want to be like the man of whom Churchill said "he occasionally stumbled over the truth but always picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened." With Schuon, I always feel as if I'm drilling down to the core. Plus, he always stimulates my own thoughts.

Come to think of it, this would constitute an experiential example of diversity flowing from the one truth. Again, just because something is true, that doesn't mean it is static. Rather, I would say the closer we get to it, the more dynamic, fruitful, and explosive. In my opinion, this is one of the characteristics of the trinitarian God, who is not static but inexhaustibly creative, even the very source of creativity.

Which makes me think of uberCoon Meister Eckhart. Probably a lot of his orthoparadoxical utterances make perfect nonsense in light of the approach we are discussing:

Earth cannot escape heaven; flee it by going up, or flee it by going down, heaven still invades the earth, energizes it, makes it sacred.

God is a great underground river that no one can dam up and no one can stop.

God forever creates and forever begins to create. And creatures are always being created and in the process of beginning to be created.

So, I guess you could say truth is a verb. Therefore, we wouldn't ask someone if they "know the truth," but rather, something like "have you been truthed lately?" or "how's the truthing going today?"

Along these lines, McGinn writes that "Trying to force a mystic as creative as Eckhart into a rigid system of thought is a self-defeating project that can only blunt the depth and challenge of his message."

For Eckhart, God is a kind of perpetual "boiling over" or outflow of creative exuberance. He cites a scriptural basis for this in Psalms: God has spoken once and for all and I have heard two things.

The following, from a sermon by Eckhart, goes directly to our point: "Distinction comes from Absolute Unity, that is, the distinction in the Trinity" Thus, "Absolute Unity is the distinction and the distinction is the unity."

McGinn elaborates: "the more distinct, or different, the Trinity of Persons is, the more indistinct, or absolutely one, the three Persons are in their pure potentiality, namely, in the divine ground." On the one hand "God is distinguished by his indistinction from all other things"; on the other hand "The One itself points to distinction."

There's more, but you get the point. Back to Gnosis. Schuon writes that "Truth and Revelation are not absolutely equivalent terms since Truth is situated beyond forms, whereas Revelation... belongs to the formal order."

If Truth is the verb alluded to above, might we say that revelation is a kind of "nounification" of the verb? Certainly it is an attempt to tame and domesticate what must always remain the Wild Godhead. No matter how much we know, it's only a fraction of the great unknown.

One area where I differ from Schuon is on the question of diversity. I believe I would be correct in saying that for him, diversity is already maya and therefore "outside" divinity, whereas the Christian tradition situates the diversity firmly within it.

In fact, Eckhart posits a kind of meta-trinitarian God, in the sense that the Trinity is begotten of the Godhead. It's just that neither is prior; rather, like the distinction between Father and Son, the distinction between God and Godhead is also a unity.

"In the Godhead God 'unbecomes,' so that this ground must be described as pure possibility, the unmoving precondition of all activity..." (Eckhart). This is where "God Is" shades off into "God Becomes" -- or where the pure I can add the AM. Thus, whereas Godhead can say "I," the three Persons of the Trinity can each say that "I AM." But this whole procession of distinctions is complementary to the ground of indistinction.

This is why God cannot be captured or contained in the distinctions of conventional speech. Rather, "The uncreated Word shatters created speech while directing it toward the Truth; in this way it manifests its transcendence in relation to the limitations of human logic.... To wish to reduce divine Truth to the conditionings of earthly truth is to forget that there is no common measure between the finite and the Infinite" (Schuon).

I can't help thinking this is why Jesus went out of his way to leave us no book, rather, just himself (from which the book flows). Of all people, he would know that booking himself -- enclosing himself between covers -- cannot be done. What he left was a relationship, a gift, a ceaseless truthing that cannot be reduced to mere truth.


Olden Ears said...

Earth cannot escape heaven; flee it by going up, or flee it by going down, heaven still invades the earth, energizes it, makes it sacred.

Whither shall I go from they spirit? or whither shall I flee from they presence? If I ascend up to heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me and they right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

- Psalm 139:7-12

julie said...

I can't help thinking this is why Jesus went out of his way to leave us no book, rather, just himself (from which the book flows). Of all people, he would know that booking himself -- enclosing himself between covers -- cannot be done. What he left was a relationship, a gift, a ceaseless truthing that cannot be reduced to mere truth.

Perhaps this is also why the book we do have is written from several different accounts. It reminds us always that the lens through which we view Christ, in-spired though it is by the Holy Spirit, comes to us through the filter of the mere men. Thus, by its very nature, it is relational. So, too, the Old Testament, for that matter: brought to us not by direct divine action, but rather through prophets and scribes.

Gagdad Bob said...

And why the last thing John says is that not even the world itself could contain the books that could be written about Jesus.

Gagdad Bob said...

In thinking about it, I may have gotten the I and the AM backwards. Maybe the AM is pure undifferentiated being, while the I locates being in one of the differentiated persons... Then again, maybe I is pure interiority beyond being, while AM locates it in the person. It's tricky to use words to say what can't be said!

mushroom said...

Right. "Long ago, at many times, in many ways, God spoke to our fathers through his prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us through his Son ...", Hebrews 1:1&2, more or less.

"I am ... the Truth ..." sounds pretty emphatic to me.

Anonymous said...


I am an American man, and I have decided to boycott American women. In a nutshell, American women are the most likely to cheat on you, to divorce you, to get fat, to steal half of your money in the divorce courts, don't know how to cook or clean, don't want to have children, etc. Therefore, what intelligent man would want to get involved with American women?

American women are generally immature, selfish, extremely arrogant and self-centered, mentally unstable, irresponsible, and highly unchaste. The behavior of most American women is utterly disgusting, to say the least.

This blog is my attempt to explain why I feel American women are inferior to foreign women (non-American women), and why American men should boycott American women, and date/marry only foreign (non-American) women.

julie said...

Ah, the howl of the rampaging MGTOW.

If chasing foreign wimmins is your thing, there are plenty of blogs out there where that's pretty much all they talk about.

As to your experience of American women... *shrug*

People see what they want to see. There are lots - maybe even most women in the younger generations, since the message of grrl power has been promoted for so long - who are just as bad as you say. Particularly among leftists.

I know plenty, though, who aren't. My whole group of female friends are married, family-focused, respectful of our husbands, consider it a duty as wives to guard our marriages, and work hard to take care of our families. Many of them home school. None of us are perfect, but we do our best to lift each other up as wives. We don't talk smack about our husbands to each other, ever - and if someone did, I doubt the comment would stand.

Pro tip, if you're looking for wife material: look for "Bible-believing" Christians. They tend to take to heart the ideal of the Proverbs 31 woman. It's not a guarantee, but your odds of finding a decent woman are better there. Anti-feminists are also a decent bet.

If you're just looking to get laid, well, duh - any ho who will jump on your schlong for the price of a dinner or a drink is quite likely to be "immature, selfish, extremely arrogant and self-centered, mentally unstable, irresponsible, and highly unchaste." You expected something better?

ted said...

I watched Brief Encounter last night for the first time. I loved the subtle noir style, but also earnest ending.

Noting the prior poster's frustration with American women (and I agree with Julie's points), I will say this film pointed to something that would never happen today: the couple decide not follow through with their feelings and decide their character is more important.

It's a film that would never be made today, because it's not where culture is today. Feelings, unfortunately, have become primary.

julie said...

I've never heard of Brief Encounter, but the description reminds of the end of Casablanca - another ending that would probably never be made today, because doing what is right seems so much less sexy and exciting than giving free reign to the feelz. Which would be a shame, because the ending is a big part of what makes Casablanca great.

Anonymous said...

In reference to women and mate selection,the best move is to select a mate with a different skin color. If you're light, pick dark, and if dark, pick light. The main goal is always reproduction, and not cooking/cleaning or other servant like attributes which get too much emphasis.

Be that she doesn't keep house well, as long as you get your gametes on to her eggs she will do just fine.
We should foster the process of re-homogenizing the human species after a long spell of migration which caused regional variations which have proved to be divisive and irksome. We must spin back down to a light brown, resembling our originators from central Africa. Think Polynesians, Song tribespeople, etc. After we get that straightened out we can say goodbye to race tensions.

Abdulmonem Othman said...

Olden ears are golden ears, wherever you turn there is He. Generalization is a shameful art. The earth accommodates all the low and the high the dark and the light theist ad atheist and as they say diversity is the spice of life and god allows all these diversity to keeps life going and to expose the good from the ugly. Everyone is allowed to his experience without trying to enforce it on others or to make it the standard for all. As there is bad men there is bad women and the reverse is true,then why focus on women and forget the ugliness of men. Staying with god the high, the code of value save us from swooping in the sphere of the low. Every one is pawned by what he says and what he does under a watchful force that gives the human all the space and time. It is a long term program with a wide package of selection. Some correct themselves on that basis and some are oblivious of the plan of his existence.

Abdulmonem Othman said...

Back to the very interesting thoughts of the post away from the diversion. I like truthfully to know the reasoning behind dividing the one into the three in light of the thoughts you have clearly depicted. If we are going to put ourselves in a self-defeating state if we try to force mystical creativity into a rigid system of thought how can we then put the unknown whom we only have little knowledge of, the one as you said that can not be enclosed in any sort of enclosures, in a rigid system of thought, knowing that the truth of the creator is untainable and that there is no common measure between the finite and the infinite. Putting god in an indistinction state will encorage other to give him any shape they desire. No wonder we are faced with all these pagans gods.Distinction between his essence which is unknown and his commands is a must to save ourselves all these interpretations. Diversity is part os his commands and not his essence that is why Shuon refused to incorporate diversity in the one.Yes I fully agree not to ask any one if he know the truth but ask him if he is truthful. We are all programmed to dialogue in order to clarify the road and to decide where to put our steps away from imitation and culltural or religious enclosures. Thank you.

Van Harvey said...

Dear (American) wimmn hating aninnymouse, I have a message for you from... guess who?