Friday, December 22, 2017

The Last Christmas Post You'll Ever Need

What might that be? I can't say, because the title occurred to me before the post. At the moment, all I have is a bold title with no content. Nevertheless, I trust that if I just keep banging away, a post worthy of the title will somehow materialize.

I want to wrap up the review of Freedom from Reality, not because I succeeded in summarizing it, but because I give up. It's just too... unruly. I can't seem to reduce the thing to something smaller than itself, which I like to think is my speciality. Or something I can't help doing, at any rate.

Too much noise and redundancy. Again, not to belabor the point, but my favorite writers convey almost no noise, and if they are redundant, the redundancy is not in the message. In other words, they are never wooly or diffuse. If they repeat themselves, it is in the manner of a great artist who tosses out one masterpiece after another. That's not redundancy but fruitfulness.

Also, the work of the true spiritual master is very close to the source. The more distant one is, the "longer" the channel, and the more opportunity for noise to get in and contaminate things.

Schuon, in my opinion, always speaks in proximity to the Source, which is why he is so essential, universal, and primordial. As described in the foreword of his biography, "there are authors who occasionally examine things in depth, but who, very quickly, return again to the surface. In the case of Schuon, he starts at a considerable depth, and he remains" there.

This is quite true, but what makes it doubly intense is that once there, he doesn't go all wobbly or wooly on us. Rather, he maintains the same level of clarity, which is quite unusual, or maybe you haven't gnosissed. But this ultimately makes his yoke much easier, because he's done the hard work of stripping the celestial message of so much noise at the human margin.

Back to Schindler. Toward the end of the book, he summarizes what occurs with man's acquisition of diabolical freedom, calling it a kind of "anti-redemption," which is to say, a total inversion of "the perfect sacrifice of Christ." With it, man is reduced to "the all-powerful technician and the helpless product" of his own techne.

Indeed, you might even say that man, who is always analogue, literally makes himself into a digital being.

For this is the end result of a logical atomism that, on the human level, redounds to a radical individualism in which each man lives in his own private Idaho. Instead of being oriented toward the Transcendent Third that (who) unites us all, he... well, no one put it better than Thomas Wolfe, in his priceless description of some French pinhead, a

relentlessly rational intellectual that only France loves wholeheartedly, the logician who flies higher and higher in ever-decreasing concentric circles until, with one last, utterly inevitable induction, he disappears up his own fundamental aperture and emerges in the fourth dimension as a needle-thin umber bird.

In other words, he disappears up his own aseity. Which is, yes, funny, but more importantly, 100% ineluctably true if you take logical atomism to its absurcular conclusion.

But that conclusion simply cannot be, can it? Since this metaphysic is 100% false, it makes me wonder if its metaphysical opposite might be 100% true. And what might be the inverse image of this flat and desiccated world that can't even account for its own freedom, beauty, and intelligibility? In short, in what kind of cosmos is it possible for beings to know truth, let alone error on such a grandiose scale?

That also sounds funny, but if man cannot know error, then he cannot know truth. In other words, freedom and truth go together like error and subjugation. To be in error -- in particular, fundamental error -- is to be in thrall to... to what? I would say to powers, principalities, thrones, dominions. The usual cosmocrats of the dark aion.

In other words,

Pure power and utter powerlessness now converge into one, and man becomes the abject servant of his own limitless freedom, a passive object of active power: a slave of modern liberty (Schindler).

Paradox. The bad kind.

That might require a little more explanation. In reality, freedom is again distinguishable but inseparable from other transcendentals such as truth, beauty, and virtue. Sever it from these transcendentals, and what does it become?

Blind power. The person -- who was once-upin-a-timeless intrinsically connected to his own essence-telos -- is now adrift in a meaningless world over which he has this imaginary power he calls "freedom." Free, like a man dropped into a vast desert with no map, no compass, no companions, no traditions, and certainly no hope. The Aphorist:

Upon finding himself perfectly free, the individual discovers that he has not been unburdened of everything, but despoiled of everything. So, Total liberation is the process that constructs the perfect prison. In fact, Whoever is liberated from everything that oppresses him soon discovers that he is also liberated from what protects him.

Well, it looks like this is not the last Christmas post we'll ever need. Rather, we need at least one more, but it will probably have to wait until Tuesday. We'll leave you with a couple more aphorisms to ponder in the desert:

Freedom is not the goal of history but the material that it works with.

D'oh! Now you tell me!

The prestige of freedom in a society that professes scientific determinism is a Christian holdover.

Blasphemy! Cried the devil.

13 comments:

julie said...

In short, in what kind of cosmos is it possible for beings to know truth, let alone error on such a grandiose scale?

This is an important question, given that so many people cite the existence of error as proof that there is no God (and they really really hate him). They have it backwards, of course, but then that is often the result of disappearing up one's own fundament.

Gagdad Bob said...

Exactly. As Davila says, "If determinism is real, if only that can happen which must happen, then error does not exist. Error supposes that something happened that should not have."

julie said...

And conversely, if atheist materialism is true, then there can be no error because nothing in a godless cosmos is intrinsically right or wrong to begin with; it simply is.

julie said...

Apropos posts of this week, Joan shared this resonant post by Anthony Esolenon Facebook:

"Catholics -- all Christians, all Jews; there is no difference here -- should repeat to themselves again and again: The individual is an abstraction. Persons are always persons in relationship; persons have duties, by virtue of their personhood itself; the person, not the abstraction, claims our attention, and therefore also the intimate associations that make manifest to us and to others what our personhood is: the family, the neighborhood, the parish, the small business, the school, the platoon, the club, the town. The State is to subserve those. Instead what we get is the pincers: statism and individualism, evil twins of one misbegotten birth. Some of us are apt to see the evils of one twin more clearly than the evils of the other, or we see but a range of evils and not the whole. That describes me, I know. Which is why I have to return again and again to the foundations of things."

Abdulmonem Othman said...

The devil defied the do. Adam defied the do not,and between the do and the do not the human drama is enacted and continue to be enacted until the closure of space and time. The difference lies in the progressive enhancement of human consciousness in a definite movement toward the realization of the oneness of the consciousness truth in which the humans are participating all this time in complete oblivion of the truth of the one consciousness.There is no Christian or Jewish or Muslim or Buddha truth there is only one truth that has been abused by the ignorant of such sects. One god one humanity one cosmos and one consciousness. In such frame of truth and falsity of error and non-error are the two paradoxical pairs of our activities that determines the human fatal outcome in one venue or another.The whole story is to determine our stand from god in all honest and sincerity and not to allow ourselves fall in a godless cosmos, in a cosmos of associations and misrepresentations. This is why we have consciousness in order to realize our finite consciousness in his infinite consciousness. Words and concepts are living entities that motivate us negatively or positively in light of our own content of such living entities that are in full swing of interactions with these external entities. What is the devil but a negative living entity whose whole mission is to deviate the human from the path of god. Religion is simple, God is the central energy out of which all other energies flow, the three major energies are the positive angelical energy and the negative satanic energy and the human mixed energies, the testing field, either toward faithfulness or faithlessness. Perversion is the tool of the spiritual adulterer to distort the divine path. We are all in a continual process of aspiring in the way to him or the opposite away from him which in final outcome is back to him. Life is a process of orienting our attention and intention toward the source that helps us find our resourcefulness before the end. It is a meeting of evaluation.

robinstarfish said...

Merry Christmas from my private Idaho, to which you are all invited anytime.

julie said...

Someday, that would be wonderful, Robin.

We still listen to your wonderful Christmas album every year, by the way - in fact, it is playing right now :)
Merry Christmas!

Abdulmonem Othman said...

Happy Christmas to all from my Islamic cave

Rick said...

Merry Christmas ‘coons!
Where every day is the Office Christmas party ‘cept here! — cheers, chortle, chortle
:-)

debass said...

Merry Christmas from the Emerald Triangle.

ted said...

Merry Christmas everyone. Enjoying Christmas eve listening to Dylan at his best post-conversion.

doug saxum said...

Merry Christmas to all!
And to all, a good fight!

Van Harvey said...

Merry Christmas ya ol' One Cosmos!!!