In the second, God is still at the center, only now related to the periphery by an infinite number of radii:
To review, the first image depicts discontinuity between knower and known, and ultimately between man and God.
Indeed, if we were a Kantian, there would be a black hole at the center, about which we can know nothing. That would be the famous noumena (or better, noumenon). Kant thought he was saving religion by placing this unknowable black hole at the center of everything. Thanks for nothing! No, literally.
The second image goes to knowledge that is continuous with what it knows. In fact, it goes to one of our foundational principles: that any truth is a function or reflection of the one Truth. It shows in a straightforward manner how "all truth leads to God," being that any conceivable radius leads both from and to the center.
The third image suggests that the world is a tapestry of circles and radii. Which it is. You could even say that the left cerebral hemisphere knows the circles, while the right knows the radii. (I would only add that the image should be spherical and dynamic instead of flat and static.)
Which is also why all left-brained knowledge is ultimately circular. It is necessarily exterior, self-enclosed, and tautologous. Gödel's theorems are merely a formal way of expressing this.
Ultimately, if you confine yourself to circular knowledge, you cannot say how you can actually know anything at all. Rather, you are just chasing your tail around the noumenal center.
Mysticism involves radial knowledge par excellence. The whole point of mystical experience is that it is one with what it knows. But if the real world is depicted in image #3, this means that everyone is a mystic and cannot help being so.
This explains a lot.
Please note that I didn't say they were good or even adequate mystics.
Who are my favorite mystics? Let's see. Meister Eckhart. Henri Le Saux (AKA Swami Abhishiktanada). I would say Schuon, but I wouldn't want to reduce him to one category.
Come to think of it, although Michael Polanyi was not a mystic per se, he essentially demonstrated how all circumferential knowledge is actually radial knowledge. His theory of personal knowledge gives us a "post-critical" philosophy that shows the way out of scientistic tautology.
Just yesterday I was thumbing through a few books by Abhishiktanda, and then ordered one I haven't read before, Prayer. It had been out of print for awhile, but has been republished. I'm pretty sure that for Abhishiktananda, the purpose of prayer is to hop on board one of the radii leading back to God.
There is an excellent biography of Abhishiktananda called A Christian Pilgrim in India. I notice that some guy named Ted gives it his highest endorsement while namedropping a prominent Raccoon.
Oldmeadow cites some passages from Prayer that precisely describe what we mean by radial knowledge: "Truly speaking, there is no outside and no inside, no without and no within in the mystery of God and in the divine Presence." It is because God is beyond form that "he can reveal and manifest himself under any form."
Oldmeadow quotes another perennialist, Jean Bies, who makes an orthoparadoxical statement that describes image #3 above: "Every form shows Him because He is in every form. None show Him because he is beyond forms." Perfect nonsense!
This is all prelude to discussion of another distinct kind of knowledge we call faith. As Schuon explains, "Faith amounts to an objectivized heart knowledge" which helps "awaken in us as far as possible the remembrance of innate truths."
Note the (ortho)paradox: "objectivized" implies circumferential, as in image #1. But "the remembrance of innate truths" is radial, as in image #2. Therefore, faith is a gift from God -- from the center to the periphery -- that allows the periphery to know the center in an "indirectly direct" way.
Was that clear? It is to me. Similarly, what is sacred art -- AKA art -- but the "recollection" of the center in the periphery? Or, it is like a hole in the circumference leading back to the center. Light from the center is radiated through the arthole.
Now, when man falls, he falls from the center to the periphery. Or, one might say that he goes from spontaneous radial knowledge of God to self-enclosed absurcular knowledge of the (or a) circumference.
Which goes to the purpose of revelation, which is a memo from Celestial Central that allows us to get right with the radius: it shows from the inside-out (or upside down) what we need to know from the outside-in (or downside-up).
That's about it for today. Extra duties, since the wife is out of town visiting her mother.