Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Re-verberations in the Logosphere

I'm always struck by how Schuon can use such ordinary words to disclose the most profound profundities: no mathematical equations, no specialized vocabulary, no idiosyncratic neologisms, and certainly no tenured flimflammery.

Example.

I can think of many, for example, center and periphery, radii and circumference, absolute and infinite, horizontal and vertical, inward and outward, possibility and necessity, geometry and music, or (as we've been discussing lately) form and substance.

Incidentally, you will notice that with each of these antinomies, one side goes with all the others. Thus, center, radii, absolute, vertical, inward, necessity, geometry, substance; and periphery, circumference, infinite, horizontal, outward, possibility, music, form.

And in my opinion, this is because each of these antinomies must be grounded in an (or the) ultimate Antinomy. Each is a reflection or fractal of the one Antinomy.

Which itself is (ortho)paradoxical, since "one" and "antinomy" would appear to be antinomic. In other words, One is one; or as they say in Islam, "there is no Allah but Allah." But if there is an ultimate antinomy, doesn't this imply a vicious dualism, as in Manichaeism?

Antinomy: a contradiction between two apparently equally valid principles or between inferences correctly drawn from such principles; a fundamental and apparently unresolvable conflict or contradiction.

I believe the doctrine of the Trinity is here to rescue us from what is otherwise an insoluble metaphysical nul de slack. The problem is, if All is One, then all this many-ness is just an illusion and the world is reduced to insignificance, AKA mayaplicity. In my opinion, the antinomies in which we are plunged can only be resolved with recourse to an eternally dynamic threeness.

At any rate, I am no longer able to see how one could possibly understand the world without these ordinary words which clothe such weighty concepts. Indeed, how can one understand anything of consequence in the absence of just verticality alone? It's not as if one can rid the world of verticality, or reduce it to horizontality with no remainder.

Time out for aphorisms, for Dávila too discloses the deepest of truths with the plainest of words. I have taken the liberty of arranging them hierarchically in order to reveal the final (!):

The lesser truths tend to eclipse the highest truths.

Often the simpler a truth is the more difficult it is to understand.

Every truth is a tension between contradictory evidences that claim our simultaneous allegiance.

The man does not escape from his prison of paradoxes except by means of a vertical act of faith.

There was never any conflict between reason and faith, but between two faiths.

Truths do not contradict each other except when they get out of order.

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

As long as we do not arrive at religious categories, our explanations are not founded upon rock.

If it is not of God that we are speaking, it is not sensible to speak of anything seriously.

Four or five invulnerable philosophical propositions allow us to make fun of the rest.

Therefore,

We've gotten far afield, because I wanted to discuss two of those ordinary words, "reverberation" and "resonance." According to Schuon,

Absolute Substance extends Itself, through relativization, under the aspects of Radiance and Reverberation; that is to say, It is accompanied -- at a lesser degree of reality -- by two forms of emanation, one that is dynamic, continuous, and radiating; and the other static, discontinuous, and formative.

If this were not the case, then quite frankly, "the world would not be."

Bold statement!

Later in the same chapter he says, "Expressed in geometric terms, the Substance is the center; Radiance is the cluster of the radii, and Reverberation, or the Image, is the circle." What we perceive as Existence "is the surface which enables this unfolding."

We'll continue to unfold this tomorrow, as we're out of time.

Condolences to Ted for the loss of his feline friend. All loss is the image -- or reverberation -- of Loss.

6 comments:

ted said...

Bob, so sweet of you to remark on my loss.

Or are you just checking to see if I'm reading your posts :).

ted said...

I had a boss who would literally put an obscene word in a document/letter he needed others to review. He just wanted to make sure they were looking.

ted said...

So would Radiance/Reverberation be analogous to chaos/order?

Allena Conrad said...

“Absolute Substance extends Itself, through relativization, under the aspects of Radiance and Reverberation; that is to say, It is accompanied -- at a lesser degree of reality -- by two forms of emanation, one that is dynamic, continuous, and radiating; and the other static, discontinuous, and formative.”

When Schuon says “lesser degree of reality,”
What precisely does that mean?
That the image is not as real as God?

julie said...

What we perceive as Existence "is the surface which enables this unfolding."

So for instance, screen + light = movie. Or canvas + paint (and the action of the painter) = art.
Maybe.
Feel like I'm off base a little there.

Anonymous said...

So, I get what the post is saying. But, I'm not convinced this kind of knowledge is useful for the task at hand.

So, the reality we live in is a creation, and doubtless the mechanics and techniques used in creating it were/are complicated. God wants it and us here, made it all happen, and now-

The task at hand. What are we supposed to do? This is the primary question which needs to be cracked.

The blog author asserted in past posts the task at hand is to become more and more like the Creator in nature. This is a pretty good estimation, but there may be other things the Creator wants from us. There is an awful lot going on, and we seem to treat it (especially unpleasant stuff) as errata we create ourselves, but we don't know for sure. We sort of wallow in doubt and self-recrimination over the darker stuff, but it could be something the Creator wants/needs. We have no way of discerning.

Communication seems tricky between us and the Creator, but if we get a clear channel we could resolve much, like whether reality is less real than the Creator, and all of the other questions which come up. The smart money seems to rest on getting in touch with God and getting definitive answers to all questions, rather than trying to puzzle it out ourselves with our limited data.