Thursday, May 19, 2022

Rhythm & Clues

Two observations by Clarke, the first going to our horizontal substance-in-relation, the second to its vertical analogue:

1) Unless someone else treats me as a "Thou" I can never wake up to myself as an "I," as a person.... the entire development of personal life unfolds through active dialogue with an ever growing matrix of relations to other persons and the larger world beyond them.

2) [A]t the deepest level of its being and self-identity the human person must be defined in terms of its permanent relationship to God, the Source of all being, as the latter's created image. Who I am at my deepest level can only be understood in irreducibly relational terms.

Each of these may be envisioned as a rhythmically alternating open spiral "between the two poles of the person's being: self-possession and self-communication." Any "personalized being" -- whether vertical or horizontal -- 

must obey the basic dyadic ontological structure of all being, that is, presence in itself and presence to others.... To be a person is to be intrinsically expansive, ordered toward self-manifestation and self-communication.

This is what Raccoons refer to as the ultimate Goround of Being, and once seen it cannot be unseen:

we are caught up in, and give conscious expression to, the great, ongoing, alternating, dyadic rhythm of all existential being: in itself and towards-others, as though the whole universe itself were one great rhythm of breathing in and breathing out.

As though? 

Shifting seers for a moment, Schuon writes of how "the majority of minds are closed to sapiential esoterism" resulting from

a kind of wish not to understand; this in turn comes from individualism and thus from an attachment to the formal order with which the individual is bound up (emphasis mine).

On the one hand there can be an inward hardening that closes itself to vertical reality; or alternatively "a passional tendency toward outwardness and dispersing activity." But in either case, 

If one insists on making a fundamental distinction between men, it should be between the worldly and the spiritual.

Oh, I insist alright. 

But to be perfectly accurate, it is between the vertically open or closed, in contrast to those purblind worldlings who are more or less open on the horizontal plane only. 

As for the whole universe being a great rhythm of ex- and in-spiration, in the introduction to this newly released collection of letters, the author relates an anecdote of how Schuon "spoke about breathing" and of how the very air that surrounds us is "a vehicle of the universal Presence of God," allowing us to "breathe in the divine Omnipresence." 

I'll buy that: communion via the lungs -- just as the eyes facilitate a communion with the Divine Light.

I guess we'll conclude this morning's post with the following passage from Person and Being, with which we wholeheadedly agree: 

In a word, the final goal and perfection of the whole universe is, literally, the communion between persons, who in turn gather up the whole universe in their consciousness and love and thus lead it back to its Source.

I frankly can't think of a more interesting way to pass the timelessness down here, even if few few others see things our way. 

7 comments:

julie said...

Unless someone else treats me as a "Thou" I can never wake up to myself as an "I," as a person

And then what happens, when instead of being treated as an "I" we have whole generations who have been treated as, essentially, objects? Rhetorical, of course, we are seeing the effects daily and everywhere.

Schuon "spoke about breathing" and of how the very air that surrounds us is "a vehicle of the universal Presence of God," allowing us to "breathe in the divine Omnipresence."

Back when I used to make giant bubbles for the kids, we discovered how literally real this is. When you rely on the wind to do the work, you quickly discover that on "calm" days, it doesn't continually blow in a single direction, but rather moves one way, pauses, shifts to the opposite direction, pauses, etc. - like the motion of waves, or indeed very much like breathing.

Pinto said...

Can I buy some pot from you?

julie said...

:D

At the time, I was completely unmedicated; doubt it would help...

Anonymous said...

a kind of wish not to understand; this in turn comes from individualism and thus from an attachment to the formal order with which the individual is bound up (emphasis mine).

Speaking of giant bubbles, Constantine the Great started out as a giant bubble. A ruthlessly ambitious giant bubble ready to do every kind of political intrigue. His goal was to conquer the other Roman co-emperors and rule the empire alone.

Since his rival Diocletian was actively persecuting Christians, Constantine chose the clever strategy of having his troops fight against Diocletions forces with their shields having a painted Christian symbol on it. He knew that Christians under such circumstances would be excellent fighters and he won. He did the same against Maxentius. Instead of screwing his constituents in favor of his donors, he made Christianity legal. Sadly, his political intrigue came back to bite him and took his favored son and ruined his family. His bubble got popped.

Constantine rethought his life, and influenced by all the Christians in his court, came to embrace the Christianity which he’d previously used for political gain. He spent the rest of his years in contemplation and building churches, for the sake of contemplation and building churches. And the rest is history.

Nicolás said...

The event without an intelligent narrator dies in frustrated virtuality.

Anonymous said...

Indeed Nicolás.

I was going to add that Constantine moved the capitol to his version of Mar-a-Lago, the Western half of his empire fell into impoverished chaos, and a warlord feudalistic system took hold in all of western Europe for over a thousand years. But I didn't want to break the mood.

Those folks did get to keep their diversions though. Like today.

Nicolás said...

Real history exceeds what merely happened.