Friday, March 02, 2018

Coordinates of Existence

The following phrase popped into my head this morning: coordinates of existence. It must be the tip of a post, or at least of a Friday Ramble. Let's hope there is something beneath its provocative surface.

Clearly there are coordinates of existence, some of which are given and therefore absolute (at least relatively speaking), others manmade, conventional, and contingent. Often the former are expressed in terms of the latter -- in other words, different cultures have different ways of expressing the same underlying truths. More problematically, purely cultural coordinates are often conflated with ontological ones, which causes no end of mischief.

All normal people know that male and female, for example, constitute one of our given coordinates. This then expresses itself culturally in diverse ways. But note how the left takes a cultural stereotype and elevates it to a given. In other words, a man who imagines he is a woman is just identifying with a particular stereotype, the stereotype being contingent upon actual womanhood.

There are so many things wrong with this that one scarcely knows where to begin, but beneath it all is an absurd inversion of a given coordinate. It is no less absurd than exchanging north for south, or adult for child, or winter for summer. Some things just are. If they aren't, then neither are we. Literally, for we are no longer rooted in truth but in will (or worse, willfulness): I am what I want to be, which renders man an absurd tautology.

The ultimate coordinate is God -- or rather, the God <--> Man axis (and who is Christ but its fillfullment?).

Now, God is I AM. Our being is obviously contingent upon his ("God is, therefore we are"). But the false coordinate described above essentially identifies God as I WILL. Big. Difference. "I will, therefore I am" is bad mojo. Hitlerian, even.

Yes, there's an aphorism for that; maybe more than one. Note how each of these goes to the givenness of certain cOʘrdinates (all aphorisms are by the Aphorist, AKA Dávila). For example:

The two poles are the individual and God; the two antagonists are God and man.

Again, so much mischief when we turn a complementarity into an opposition!

If man is the sole end of man, an inane reciprocity is born from that principle, like the mutual reflection of two empty mirrors.

This reduces the vertical line to a point. Bad!

Today the individual rebels against inalterable human nature in order to refrain from amending his own correctable nature.

Here again, this reifies our opposition to God; really, it's just Genesis 3 All Over Again.

Modern man denies himself every metaphysical dimension and considers himself a mere object of science. But he screams when they exterminate him as such.

Exactly. Treat an atheist like the pointless agglomeration of matter that he is, and he won't like it. He might even scream that his "rights" are being violated. What rights?

Only God and the central point of my consciousness are not adventitious to me.

That is a quite literal distillation of this post.

The Church’s function is not to adapt Christianity to the world, nor even to adapt the world to Christianity; her function is to maintain a counterworld in the world.

The Church -- or the magisterium -- fleshes out (heh) the vertical axis. Does some of it pass over into the human margin? Yes, no doubt. There is no human without a culture. It's a question of whether the culture is in conformity with the nature of things, or in opposition to or rebellion against it.

Christianity does not deny the splendor of the world but encourages us to seek its origin, to ascend to its pure snow.

There is nothing wrong with being-in-the-world (hey, it's good enough for God). Without it, we couldn't bloody well be, could we? Just don't amputate the world from its cause, or elevate the world to its own cause. That's just stupid.

Faith is not an irrational assent to a proposition; it is a perception of a special order of realities.

Big Time. It is a vision -- or prevision -- of the nonlocal coordinates.

He who does not believe in God can at least have the decency of not believing in himself.

Right? Why on earth would an atheist believe in atheism, of all things, or a leftist believe in leftism? That makes no sense. If God doesn't exist, then only He can know it. So if you're going to be nonsensical, go all the way, like Venezuela, or California.

Getting back to the thread we've been on, two poles of existence are freedom and necessity. According to Schuon,

Now in things, the two poles are always present, but with either the one or the other predominating; in possible things, it is the aspect of freedom which veils the aspect of necessity, whereas in actual things, it is the aspect of necessity which predominates...

It's like the Tao, isn't it?

It may be difficult for human reason to reconcile these two poles, and the temptation to deny them is[sssss] great; the difficulty is not, however, greater than in the case of the boundlessness of space or time, which we are obliged to accept even if it is impossible for us to imagine it.

Exactly. No one knows what time -- let alone eternity -- is, and yet we all know. Indeed, I know I'm out if it, which is to say, my freedom is shading off into necessity. For no one can deny the SlackWork axis.


Gagdad Bob said...

BTW, I ran across a good aphorism for yesterday's post:

The noblest things exist because some men do not despise useless things.

ted said...

Our Aphorist says so much with so little. I know that's the point. But like you're doing, we could spend years unpacking one phrase.

Gagdad Bob said...

Never has so much been said with so little!

ted said...

I just noticed there are a couple books about Dávila, but none of them translated to English. Someone needs to get on that.

Gagdad Bob said...

There is actually one, but the translations are terrible. For unknown reasons, his family absolutely refuses to authorize any wider publication. Perhaps it was his wish.

ted said...

Makes sense. I assume he saw his life beyond his being. Or at least, beyond anything that could be written about it.

Gagdad Bob said...

What with the goings-on in Colombia, maybe the family would prefer to remain under the radar for, er, health reasons.

julie said...

It may be difficult for human reason to reconcile these two poles, and the temptation to deny them is[sssss] great; the difficulty is not, however, greater than in the case of the boundlessness of space or time, which we are obliged to accept even if it is impossible for us to imagine it.

There's a dark irony in how we easily accept at once the infinite vastness and mystery of the universe from micro to macro, while yet believing that scientists can contain it all in a pure understanding. Having seen a photo of a billion galaxies, we think it is all knowable. And we expect that same level of understanding of the I AM, again as if it could ever be contained by one little i.

We are such silly creatures, never more so than we are at our most demanding.

julie said...

Treat an atheist like the pointless agglomeration of matter that he is, and he won't like it."

Related, The Atheist's Imagination.

julie said...

Ha - in the comments there, using is our old troll, Ray. Still shilling the same tired arguments, of course.

julie said...

(Me fail English? That's unpossible!)

Gagdad Bob said...

What a deeply shallow thinker is Pinker. At the very least, He who speaks of the farthest regions of the soul soon needs a theological vocabulary (NGD).

Gagdad Bob said...

And Man calls “absurd” what escapes his secret pretensions to omnipotence.

ted said...

The secularist knows only the first, which makes his God a measurable thing. We are not so unimaginative.

As they say in secular land, you can't manage what you can't measure. Pinker wants an accountable God, but no accountability from his ideal secular state.

Anonymous said...


I'm visiting today as a representative of your ruling elite. I'm available to take questions. What would you like to know about us? There is a lot to learn.

For instance, I helped to draft the Political Correctness protocols way back at their inception in the 1960's. We consider it the greatest achievement in social engineering of all time; an ideology that perpetuates itself automatically.

The entire purpose of the PC protocol was to prepare the populace for a global one-world government. This is why the heavy emphasis on diversity. This isn't a moral or philosophical point. We just want people to get used to being lumped together under one leadership.

Anyway, I'm available for questions. Anything related to the left, I know inside and out.

doug saxum said...

What is your name?

julie said...

Probably Legion.

ted said...

Advaita shuffling humor

Gagdad Bob said...


Anonymous said...

Doug, Julie and others: You got the name almost right; it is Leigh Ginn. But what's probably puzzling is the nature of my game.

I am the media manager for Region IX, Western North America of the Globalist Deep State, or the "New World Order."

I have answers to many conspiracy related questions; the short answer for now is, they are all largely true.

Except for the Illuminati. They have parted ways with us unfortunately.

Regards, Leigh

Van Harvey said...

"This reduces the vertical line to a point. Bad!"

Good point! :-)