Continuing with the red pill / blue pill theme, man is presented with a -- TRIGGER WARNING -- binary choice that is as consequential as that between theism and atheism, because it amounts to the same thing. For to say that the cosmos is closed is to say that it is entirely self-sufficient, such that No Gods Need Apply.
But in reality, it is impossible for man to transcend transcendence, since any attempt to do so already participates in it.
Indeed, even to say cosmos is to have escaped the cosmos, because the latter is something that no one has ever perceived or experienced. We take for granted that there is a cosmos -- an ordered totality encompassing space and time -- but on what grounds?
For a worm, for example, the cosmos reduces to what is sensed through touch. Supposing worms could think, they would no doubt think of the cosmos as a kind of infinite surface.
Then, after a few thousand years, a clever Kantian worm would slither along and proclaim: The surface does not actually exist; what you perceive as a surface is only a form of your sensibility. Behind this phenomenal surface is the unknown and unknowable noumenon, an Ultimate Surface.
But like our present day worms of tenure, this literal worm would possess insufficient self-awareness to realize it just transcended wormhood, for its opinions about the nature of ultimate reality obviously aren't material sensations, they're immaterial thoughts.
More to the point, Professor Kantworm just transcended the material cosmos.
This is all very basic, but it only highlights contemporary man's crying need for basic training in Certitude 101. If we are to know anything -- I mean really know it, not just have opinions about it -- it must be grounded in absolute certitude, in what simply cannot not be.
Let's go back to whether the cosmos is a vertically open or closed system: either it is or it isn't. Pick one, but then do not pretend to escape the consequences of your choice.
If you say the cosmos is closed, then have the courage of your convictions and try to live that way: for it means, among other things, that there is no truth and man can't know it, that morality is entirely subjective, that life is utterly devoid of intrinsic meaning, and that there is no escape from the tyranny of relativism.
Nor from any other Ism, for that matter, for relativism is but the Sum and Substance of All Cosmic Heresies, e.g., materialism, naturalism, empiricism, positivism, reductionism, humanism, racism, utilitarianism, et al.
The Aphorist says that mysticism is the empiricism of transcendent knowledge, which is certainly true. But equally true is that even empiricism is the transcendence of any material conception of the cosmos.
Somewhere the Aphorist makes another vital point that touches on That with which we are in contact when we transcend the material world. What is That?
That's a bit of a tricky questioner, because we can know only the effects, whether we call these effects grace or shakti or chi or revelation or whatever.
The main point is that something is coming into us from above or beyond or behind, and it is definitely not us, rather an encounter with the Other, whatever or whomever this Other might be. Faith is an opening of the channels of communication, or often just "communing" with and in That, other to Other.
I have to run, but I should be able to complete this post later in the day, assuming I can transcend the lazy, which is by no means a certitude.