Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Journey to the Center of the Cosmos

In keeping with our themes of Christian nihilism and Dudist abiding, I reread an essay by Peiper -- the limber lama of leisure -- on the ins & outs of these complicated subjects.

The Resistance. Just how does one resist a totalitarian worker state that seeks to enclose man in the Matrix, in service to the Conspiracy?  "In the long run, the only adequate resistance" involves rediscovery and realization of the idea that "we work in order to have leisure."

Yes, but what is leisure for? That's the point: it is for nothing, bearing in mind that nothing isn't just anything. It must be distinguished from the mere nothing of nihilists, pacifists, and other perverts lacking any real ethos. In this context, "doing nothing" would be the opposite of the One True Leisure:

we work in order to do something, in order to be able to do something that is not work. What sort of activity is being referred to here? Recreation, entertainment, amusement, play -- none of these is meant here. 

Bowling excepted.

No, what we're talking about here is "activity which is meaningful in itself." Work, for example, is indeed meaningful, but not for itself, rather, for the sake of other things. 

This touches on the original meaning of "liberal arts," which were in contradistinction to the servile arts. One might say that the purpose of the latter is to provide us the slack to indulge in the former -- as in how John Adams studied the arts of politics and war in the hope that his sons might have the slack to pursue mathematics and philosophy, and their children to fool around with painting, poetry, and music.

Of course, nowadays the liberal arts have been subsumed by the servile and worse; indeed, a man who does an honest day's labor with his hands is infinitely preferable to those tenured vulgarians who have transformed the liberal arts into a club with which to beat the restavus into ideological submission. The humanities now serve only to further our dehumanization. 

Yes, literally, bearing in mind the related questions of 1) what is a person?, and 2) what are persons for 

Clearly, it is only possible to give an answer to this if one has a particular conception of the human person. What concerns us here is nothing less than the fulfillment of human existence. In what does this fulfillment consist?

The lapidary leisurist speaks for me and perhaps a few other cosmic misfits: "The answer offered by Western tradition would be this: whenever, when seeing, watching, contemplating"

we make make contact with the center of the world, with the hidden, ultimate meanings of life as a whole, with the divine root of things, with the quintessence of all archetypes... wherever and whenever we turn in this way to reality as a whole, we are involved in activity which is meaningful in itself.  

I'm gonna guess that contemplating reality as a whole requires the whole of man. 

To know God with all that we are: the very infinity of the object of knowledge requires the totality of the act of knowing.... he who wants the center must realize the whole (Schuon).

This contemplative contact with the Center of the world requires "an attitude of receptive openness and listening silence -- an attitude, therefore, which is completely contrary to the attitude of labor, i.e., of strained activity." Rather, "the fulfilling things in life... come to us only when we are able to receive them as gift" (Pieper).

This checks out. For example,

The routine is the preferred scene of epiphanies.

In reality the only worthwhile thing is the spontaneous fruit of forgotten meditations.

Religion is not a set of solutions to known problems, but a new dimension of the universe. The religious man lives among realities that the secular man ignores, but he does not hold the key to a riddle. Religious peace is not the peace of the problem solved, but of the love accepted. --Dávila x 3

Monday, June 14, 2021

Making Time for Nothing

Here's a pithy little formulation by Schuon that bears somewhat on doing nothing, AKA non-doing. "Spirituality," he writes, "includes four principal elements," the first of which

cuts man off from the current of profane life; the second empties the soul of illusory contents; the third infuses the discursive intelligence with divine Light; the fourth essentially brings about deification.

Alternatively, 

This could be formulated as follows: in renunciation the soul leaves the world; in purification the world leaves the soul; in meditation God enters the soul; in continual prayer the soul enters God.

(This reminds me of the pneumaticons in the book -- e.g., (---), (o), (↓), and (↑) in relation to O.)

Along these lines, over the past several weeks a phrase keeps popping into my head: Christian nihilism. Of course, this shares nothing in common with the vulgar nihilism of the left, nor with mere fatalism, stoicism, or resignation. 

For one thing, it's a joyous nihilism (or innocent and childlike) because it has only to do with this (or that, rather) world, not the next; moreover, the latter is already here, bisecting this one, i.e., The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Living at the intersection of heaven and earth is where it's at. If not, to hell with it.

Elsewhere in the same book Schuon alludes to the rottenness of this world, for which there are compensatory graces unique to the challenges posed by the civilizational decay surrounding us; come to think of it, this is like an inverse analogy of the communist idea of "the worse, the better" (better because it means the glorious revolution is that much closer). 

Schuon agrees that "there are advantages to this [cultural] evil itself," but (obviously) for totally different reasons from those purely destructive Marxist devils such as Piven & Cloward; specifically, 

the world has become so emptied of substance that it is hard for a spiritual man to be too attached to it.... In former times worldliness was all the more seductive for having aspects of intelligence, nobility, and plenitude; it was far from being wholly contemptible as it is in our day.

Our elites and their institutions are indeed wholly contemptible. What spiritually awakened person could ever wish to take part in this malevolent farce except in opposition to it? 

But this opposition is the precise opposite of "reactionary," because it is rooted in the loving affirmation -- intellectual, spiritual, and experiential -- of a higher reality (or just say reality). 

Note also that "lower reality" makes no sense except in the context of the higher; to the extent that it becomes an autonomous dimension detached from its vertical source, this devolves to the vulgar nihilism of the tenured, i.e., accidental intelligence combined with axiomatic stupidity.

If we were merely opposed to this principled stupidity of the left, it would be a form of counterfeit slack, still rooted in an attachment to the world and its seductive appearances. But our attachment is again to truth, AKA the real. Compared to this reality, the world is literally but a dream, or even "a dream woven of dreams." What else could it be if the intellect weren't an adequation (in potential) to the real?

We cannot  doubt that truth is infinitely real and precious and that its absence must therefore imply a sort of inverted infinity.

Exactly. Absent our adherence to Truth -- at once saving and liberating -- the material world becomes a vast and necessarily meaningless psychiatric prison. Which it is, but the doors are locked from the inside.

Modern man, even when he stumbles upon a truth, never follows it all the way back and up; and any truth detached from the Absolute becomes no truth at all; one might say it takes revenge on the intelligence that pretends it can exist apart from Intelligence as such, i.e., Celestial Central. 

(Quoted material from Spiritual Perspectives and Human Facts https://www.amazon.com/dp/193331642X/ref=as_sl_pc_tf_til?tag=onecos-20&linkCode=w00&linkId=f86b12483b9ef2311a292cf307aed833&creativeASIN=193331642X)