Monday, January 24, 2022

Are We AllOne?

In the previous post we alluded to the oneness of things, from creator to cosmos and everything in between. 

Now, this oneness should not be thought of in terms of quantity, rather, qualitatively. If we think only numerically, there are always other numbers. Rather, we're thinking more along the lines of one-ness or of unicity. 

More than that, I suppose we're talking about a kind of dynamic complementarity between the one and the many. I was reading something about this the other day, but I can't recall where... Ah, here it is, from a chapter called The Spiritual Organism in Garrigou-Lagrange's Three Ages of the Spiritual Life.

Now, I kid you not, but I have a bunch of unneeded or obsolete books lined up on the floor that I was going to transfer to the garage, and one of them just now spontaneously fell over: it is called Rhythm of Wholeness (probably something I read in the late ' 80s). I wonder if the Cosmos is trying to tell us something? Let's have a peek inside. 

Okay. From the Prologue:

Reality, as presented in this book, is the unceasing, dynamic interplay of subjectivity and objectivity, of a principle of Unity and a principle of Multiplicity. It is neither Unity nor Multiplicity, neither spirit nor matter -- separately.

Agreed. You've got my attention, but can you be more specific?

Thus the word unity can refer not only to the state of being one but also to the process of becoming united and the quality required for the fulfillment of the process in a union....

[I]n an abstract sense, one can be considered the principle of numeration.... such a process is obviously a kind of self-multiplication. The tendency inherent in number one to generate all numbers, seemingly ad infinitum, clearly shows that unity and multiplicity are both inherent in number one.

I recall Schuon saying something similar, for example, 

The Pythagorean numbers prove that number in itself is not synonymous with quantity pure and simple, for they are essentially qualitative; they are so to the degree that they are close to Unity, their point of departure....

One might wonder if Unity is really a number; strictly speaking, number only begins with Duality, which opens the door to that projection of the Infinite which is the indefinite.

Schuon agrees that

it is in the nature of Unity to tend towards an extrinsic overflowing: there where God is, there will also be the world.

And vice versa. This is not to say, of course, that God was compelled to create this world, only that he wouldn't be God if he didn't create worlds out of nothing. It's what he does-and-is. Nor would we be human persons in the absence of the Divine Person, rather, only pretentious monkeys.

Back to Rudyar. I sense that he has something more important to convey to us, something we didn't already know, but I could be wrong. 

[T]he metaphysician has to infer two levels of oneness -- an absolute level at which one is not even a principle of numeration, and a level at which, as such a principle, it contains all numbers in potentiality.

Ah ha. This might be the place where I came up with the idea that the cosmos is shaped like a Klein bottle or maybe a möbius strip or dynamic donut -- 

an immense globe of undefinable energy-substance. The core of this globe is absolutely homogeneous and unchanging, yet it is endowed with the mysterious capacity to exteriorize itself without these exteriorizations ever leaving the globe....

[T]he core of the globe could be imagined as being either absolutely solid or absolutely void; it would make no difference as long as the state of being at the center, whatever it is, never changes. From this central core, power could be imagined to radiate in all directions as a kind of "superabundance" of being, but the overflow of the One is intrinsically nothing but the One.

Sounds very much like Eckhart.  

Also sounds like the Cosmos is fractally organized:

Wholeness is in every whole, but it is also in what are inadequately called "parts" of the whole. The term part is confusing because parts are also wholes.... Accurately speaking, there are no parts, only wholes -- a hierarchy of wholes...  

Back to the wholeness of the spiritual organism:

All the parts of this spiritual organism grow together, says St. Thomas, like the five fingers of one hand. This proportionate growth demonstrates that a soul cannot have lofty charity without profound humility, just as the highest branch of a tree rises toward heaven in proportion as its roots plunge more deeply into the soil (Garrigou-Lagrange). 

Out of time...


John Venlet said...

Also sounds like the Cosmos is fractally organized:

Well, fractals are everywhere, of course, so it only stands to reason, though at times one must look quite closely to discern them.

julie said...

This proportionate growth demonstrates that a soul cannot have lofty charity without profound humility, just as the highest branch of a tree rises toward heaven in proportion as its roots plunge more deeply into the soil

Reminds me of that phrase from something we were reading here way back when. You know, from that one book by that guy. Thingummy.

Anyway, it was something like:

"To be long multiple is to be deeply one."

The name and the actual quote will no doubt come to me when it is no longer even remotely relevant to the conversation. Mondays.

julie said...

Apropos of nothing, reading various headlines and news blurbs tonight, it occurs to me: There's a story trope where someone tells the protagonist, usually early on, that there's something really important that he is supposed to do, and if he screws it up there will be mass suffering. Pandora's box, for instance. We're living in that trope, on a cultural level.

Gagdad Bob said...

Even Brandon knows we're at an Inflection Point with the Soul of America at stake.

julie said...

Finally remembered the specifics of the quote: The author was The Intellectual Life, and the quote was:

To be long multiple is the condition for being richly one.

Close enough.

julie said...

The author was Sertilanges. Original post here.

The book referenced was The Intellectual Life.

Preview is my friend...

Van Harvey said...

If you've never heard of it, "The Theology of Arithmetic" attribute to Iamblichus in the fourth century A.D., it's kinda fascinating.

"[1] The monad is the non-spatial source of number. It is called
'monad' because of its stability, 1 since it preserves the specific
identity of any number with which it is conjoined. For instance,
3x 1 =3, 4x1=4: see how the approach of the monad to these numbers
preserved the same identity and did not produce a different number.
Everything has been organized by the monad, because it contains
everything potentially: for even if they are not yet actual, neverthe-
less the monad holds seminally the principles which are within all
numbers, including those which are within the dyad. For the
monad is even and odd and even-odd;2 linear and plane and solid
(cubical and spherical and in the form of pyramids from those with
four angles to those with an indefinite number of angles); perfect
and over-perfect and defective; proportionate and harmonic; prime
and incomposite, and secondary; diagonal and side; and it is the
source of every relation, whether one of equality or inequality, as has been proved in the Introduction.3 Moreover, it is demonstrably
both point and angle (with all forms of angle), and beginning,
middle and end of all things, since, if you [2] decrease it, it limits the
infinite dissection of what is continuous, and if you increase it, it defines the increase as being the same as the dividends (and this is
due to the disposition of divine, not human, nature.)..."

Van Harvey said...

... you should see the entry for Three. And of course, once you get to Four, you're already at Ten, soOooo....