This morning I was looking for that quote (by Schuon) promised in the previous post, but in so doing fell into another unanticipated rabbit hole. Then again, maybe that's why I find the post s'durned innarestin'.
Schuon is like Dávila in his compressed rabbitholery: the sentences are fractal, such that each one contains a whole essay or book or even doctrine, so to utter One is to mutter it All.
Remarkable when you think about it. I know of no other writers who do that. Some come close, and some do it sometimes, but these two are masters of fractal speech. Which is a real thing requiring a real explanation, not something I just made up. Oh, we'll see about that!, said the rational side of his brain.
I assume you know about fractals, but a brief review never hurts:
a fractal is a detailed, recursive, and infinitely self-similar mathematical set.... Fractals exhibit similar patterns at increasingly small scales.... [and] can also be nearly the same at different levels.
Fractals exist in nature, but how? To put it more philosophically, by virtue of what principle are fractals possible and even necessary? As Mandelbrot, the discoverer of fractals, remarked, "A fractal is a shape made of parts similar to the whole in some way." I would say that if fractals are in nature, this must be because nature is fractal, which is what Whitehead suggested in so many ways (before the formal discovery of fractals). For example,
in a certain sense, everything is everywhere at all times. For every location involves an aspect of itself in every other location. Thus, every spatio-temporal standpoint mirrors the world.
Dávila suggests that
Phrases are pebbles the that the writer tosses into the reader's soul. The diameter of the concentric waves they displace depends on the dimensions of the pond.
This implies that the soul is a series of concentric circles, and this would be correct. It is why we apprehend the world as just such a series, except that different people locate the circles around different centers, from energy to idea to soul to matter to unalloyed grievance (in the case of the left).
Leaving the dimensions of the pond to the side, there must be a center, or we couldn't think at all. Now, this center is the ground of thought, and -- whether implicitly or explicitly, coherently or incoherently -- a prolongation of the absolute.
Let's bring this down to a practical level: why is the nation of E pluribus unum -- of all places -- engaged in a civil war? Easy: different unums, which is to say, Absolutes.
The (real) Absolute includes the dimension of first principles, which you might say are as Son to Father. The Absolute "iterates" in time and space as (for example) principles of logic, natural law, and human nature. These constants are all different, and yet the same; they are brothers and sisters, related through blood to the vertical Absolute. They are also fractal, in that each "contains" and reflects the others, so it is more like an interlocking net than, say, a pointillist painting.
The point is, everything isn't just connected, but interior to everything else. On the metaphysical side, this is expressed by Whitehead; on the scientific side, by quantum physics; on the psychological side by intersubjectivity; and on the religious side by the great I AM or the irreducible interpersonalism of the Holy Spirit.
Ultimate reality is and must be personal, which is to say, Person, or human persons would be impossible. And a person is never just a person-in-isolation, or a monad; rather, a person is always implicitly person-in-relation, and this principle is the last (and first) word.
I need to emphasize how literal I'm being here. It's similar to how the Bible doesn't mention the word "Trinity." Rather, the Trinity is needed in order to tie up various loose ends that otherwise make no sense. It is the Truth of these lesser truths -- as in how quantum physics is the truth of Newtonian physics, which is the truth of our common sense world of experience.
Likewise, the Absolute is Person(hood); conversely, if it isn't a person, then truly, the center cannot hold, mere an-archy is loosed upon the world, and uh oh, here comes the blood-dimmed mob.
Again, I'm not trying to go all visionary on you this morning. Although Yeats words have become a cliche used by both right and (without irony or self-awareness) left, he was definitely on to something concrete. Yes, he was a visionary, but a vision is not a hallucination.
Let's put it this way: both the left and right agree that the gyre is widening. If there exists a "responsible left," it has lost control of its falcon mobs. But the falcon masters don't call their birdbrains mobs. Rather, they would no doubt say that a vast image troubles their sight, with the shape of a businessman and the head of a tyrant, a rough beast slouching toward re-election!
Back to what is at issue in our civil war: ultimately it is the Absolute on one side, and Absolute Relativism on the other. The latter, of course, reduces to nihilism, but don't tell the nihilists! Nevertheless, this is the only way to understand the ground of leftism.
For example, on one side we have the Constitution, on the other side whatever they want the Constitution to say. But if the Constitution can say anything, then it says nothing.
Which was true of the Soviet Union. The communist bill of rights was much better than ours. But what did it actually mean in practice? That's right: nothing. No, worse than nothing!
The clock is ticking down, so I want to get back to Schuon, which is where this all started. He writes that "If there is such a thing as abuse of the intelligence, it is to be found in the substitution of the relative for the Absolute..."
Intelligence on one side, abuse of it on the other. No wonder we're in a civil war.