Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Satan's Frenzy and God's Peace

Ever wondered what a demonic swarm looks like? Wonder no more! The media swarm has reached peak frenzy in the last couple of days. Or has it? Will it just burn itself out? Or -- being that it is demonic -- does it draw on an occult source of energy in order to fuel the frenzy?

Yesterday we spoke of grace, another nonlocal energy that fuels the human adventure. However, it is never frenzied. It is energetic, to be sure, but it is a kind of calm energy. It is also focused rather than diffuse, the latter being characteristic of the demonic kind. Both give "pleasure" in their own ways, as do love and hate. Just as scientism is a kind of cheap omniscience, hatred gives an egalitarian joy that is within anyone's reach. It is why the left is addicted to it.

Of note, the left's perpetual tantrum is also wrapped up in a covert superiority that is both a cause and consequence of the hatred. Speaking of demonic influence, it's very much like the Palestinians: if they're hateful enough to use themselves as bombs, then the hatred must be justified! Except it's not. Rather, the hatred comes first, justification for it later.

Sobriety. That's what it is. Is the left ever sober? No, their baseline is hysteria, and hysteria always exteriorizes, fragments, and dissipates.

Conversely, grace interiorizes, centers, and synthesizes. Which is why, as Spitzer notes, "fear and anxiety should be mitigated as quickly as possible by turning to the Lord in trust and prayer." It's the difference between reluxing in the spiritual kingdom of heaven or dissipating (or hardening) in the material thingdom of heathens.

"When I open myself to God's grace," writes Spitzer, "I often find that I am intellectually open, creative, serendipitous, synthetic, and comprehensive." Concur. It seems that "the Holy Spirit works within our creative subconscious and directs us toward 'serendipitous' discoveries in a subtle way -- allowing us to come to the main insight ourselves" (ibid.).

By the way, is grace synonymous with the Holy Spirit? I like to think so. It simplifies matters.

Put it this way: grace is the presence for us of the Holy Spirit, just as Jesus is the presence of the Son.

Note also that this grace is not just an energy but a link: ultimately it is the link between God and man, and this link is of course love. But all love is an iteration or prolongation of this same link: what links us to each other is the very same force that links us to God.

In the past we have discussed Bion's concept of "attacks on linking," a primitive psychological defense mechanism that destroys meaning by dismantling the links -- relations -- it is founded upon. Yesterday I alluded to the mental operation of (PS) <-> (D), which is analogous to catabolism (breaking down) and metabolism (synthesis).

Looked at this way, grace isn't just the metabolism, but a harmonious complementarily between breakdown and synthesis.

In turn, this provides a fruitful way of looking at suffering (which is the subject of Spitzer's book). Look at your own life: I won't even ask you how many times suffering turned out to be the vital prelude of a higher synthesis. Absent the suffering, the synthesis or integration wouldn't have occurred.

The other day I was thinking about the times in my life when certain paths were barred or doors slammed in my face. At the time these were painful or frustrating or puzzling, but in hindsight they were not only vital but life saving -- not biologically but spiritually. Thank God I didn't try to break down those doors or willfully push my way down the closed path. I give up easy. As it pertains to my own ego.

There's a famous passage where Paul thanks God for the affliction of his Thorn. I can relate. Humility is like a self-administered thorn. You can do it yourself or wait for God to take care of it, but his thorn will probably be bigger, depending upon how far up you have fallen from humility. Pride elevates so high that you live beneath yoursoph.

Speaking of which -- or whom -- I've been looking into another mater, the possibility that the Holy Spirit is feminine. I can't wholeheadedly recommend it, but I recently read The Maternal Face of God?, which has got me to wondering (note the question mark in the title). My preluminary answer is Why Yes, of course the Spirit is feminine.

One particular passage caught my attention. I haven't thought it out, but something in it tickled my epiphunny bone:

[M]an is aided by two principles: the Logos and Sophia. The Logos is a principle directed from God toward man while the principle of Sophia is directed from man toward God. The former (God's descent into the created world) is a theurgic act, and the latter (man's ascent to the spheres of heaven and becoming part of the divine) is a sophiurgic act. These two principles meet and unite in the Son of Mary, Jesus Christ.

First of all, this is very clear explication of what we call (↓↑). As we already know, these are not -- and cannot be -- linear arrows that are separate from one another. Rather, they are ultimately two aspects of the same spiraling arrow. You might say their relation is conjugal. Or at least ought to be. Otherwise you're living in sin!

Looked at this way, our ascent is always God's descent, and vice versa.

Mary -- who is all woman, and then some -- represents the last word in perfection attainable on our end. This meets with the descent of the Logos, and voila! The Godman.

Christ's human nature comes from Mary. Does this imply that his human nature is Sophia, so to speak? Might as well be.

Elsewhere Cselenyi reminds us that "there are polarities at every level of being. This proposition is closely related to the Sophia-principle, according to which the highest polarity in creation is the unity of Logos and Sophia" -- which is again Christ. However, I would not say polarity but complementarity; not polarized but conjugal. And of course fruitful. Fertile:

"Sophia increases new life inside individuals.... Sophia is the womb of becoming spiritual, an intermediary between God and world." Cselenyi cites a relevant gag by Angelus Silesius: "Even if Christ is born a thousand times in Bethlehem, but not inside of you, you will remain lost forever."

A womb with a pew or something.


julie said...

Is the left ever sober? No, their baseline is hysteria, and hysteria always exteriorizes, fragments, and dissipates.

Occasionally, people do manage to break free of the spell. Often, it seems, when they finally notice that what energizes them, in spite of their claims to be about love and inclusiveness, is the constant and ever-increasing state of hatefulness, even to the point where they regularly devour their own.


julie said...

(That is, they break free when they notice. That's what happens when I try to think in a hurry...)

julie said...

Speaking of which -- or whom -- I've been looking into another mater, the possibility that the Holy Spirit is feminine.

Contrarily, I've heard it argued recently that the Holy Spirit is male, at least in relation to Mary. She was described as daughter to the Father, mother to the Son, and spouse to the Holy Spirit. FWIW - not saying that's correct, just another mystery to ponder...

Gagdad Bob said...

Could be. It's difficult to figure out where Sophia fits in with the Trinity. For example, she is described as being there from the beginning and helping out with creation...

ted said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ted said...

Tomberg gave a go at it. Not sure how this works, other than overlaying an Sophia-laden Trinity with the traditional one. It probably gives the the Trinity a more robust relational ontology.

Van Harvey said...

Going with the feminine twist, I'm not sure whether or not this might land me a spot on "What's my heresy?!", but what popped into mind while reading. .. taking the holy ghost from the ghost in the machine, to the ghost IS the machine, where does "What if material reality is the physical manifestation of the Holy Spirit? The ever present womb, the first and last name in integration, the necessary basis for Sophia, that is always at hand and ready to be inspired?" land me?

Paul Griffin said...

Absent the suffering, the synthesis or integration wouldn't have occurred.

This is true, but the implications are so difficult, it is an almost unbearable thought when we are in the midst of our suffering. And saying it to someone in the midst of their pain may be the most unhelpful of all. And yet it is true. And somehow we must learn it. And watch those we love experience it. And watch them hurt for us while we go through it ourselves. It is terrible, but the alternative is unthinkable...

Speaking of which -- or whom -- I've been looking into another mater, the possibility that the Holy Spirit is feminine.

I have had very solid experience to back up the idea that your relationship with your mother becomes in many ways the template for your relationship with the Holy Spirit, in the same way that your relationship with your father is the template for your relationship with God the Father. Helping others work through issues surrounding their relationship with mom has opened up channels for receiving from the Holy Spirit pretty consistently.

Gagdad Bob said...

A more robust relational ontology. Concur. The ever present womb, the first and last name in integration. Concur ². Suffering is terrible, but the alternative is unthinkable. Concur³. Paul, you may enjoy the Spitzer book. It helped me better understand the whole question of suffering, although it still has its enigmas.

julie said...

Paul, well said. I've no doubt your lovely mother was an excellent example.

FWIW, I too tend to think of the Holy Spirit as feminine. But of course, also very Mysterious...

ted said...

That's also true Julie. In fact, Tibetan Buddhism and Kashmir Shaivism also have a trinitarian grounding to Truth, with a male-female complementary. I think this works too.

Paul Griffin said...

I think I would say that the enigma is exactly what you stated earlier, that some things you cannot learn except by experience, and sometimes that experience is suffering. Without it we do not bloom. But we cannot wish it upon ourselves or the ones we love. But we cannot wish it withheld it either, lest we become something worse in our comfort. I imagine that this must be the greatest difficulty for a parent, to know the pain that their child must go through to experience right formation, the pruning that must occur for blossoms to appear, but to wish more than anything that the cup could pass, that there was another way.

To see a loved one go through these sorts of sufferings, to be unable to wish them gone, only to wish them complete, is an unbearable pain, but is also, I think, to experience some part of the heart of God for us.