This sounds reasonable: in addition to the two ontological ternaries discussed in the last couple of posts (∆ and ▽), Schuon describes a third type, this one founded
not on the union of two complementary poles with a view to a third element, either higher or lower, or inward or outward, but on the qualitative aspects of space measured from the starting point of a consciousness which is situated within it.
In other words, a line from the top to the bottom of the cosmos, with stations along the way. Which reminds me:
Intelligence is a train from which few do not deboard, one after the other, in successive stations (Dávila).
But first, realize that human beings arrived at these symbolic maps of the cosmos long before the existence of science. However, they retain their validity for at least a couple of reasons I can think of off the top of my obtuse triangle.
First, thanks to Gödel, we know going in that no merely scientific theory will ever provide a complete and consistent model of the universe, and that ultimately
it is intrinsically impossible to know from the universe that the universe can only be what it is. Normal experience is sufficient to to show most of us that our human limitations will never allow us to learn everything about ourselves and the universe (Ross).
But humans easily escape the clutches of Gödel, since we know that no a priori model or deductive system or mathematical recipe can ever contain us.
Thus, we know in principle there will never be a scientific "theory of everything," although, at the same time, we can know there is and must be a transcendent source of everything. But since we are free, we are of course free to not know this, and to keep pretending science can account for itself.
Now, the second reason I can think of (for the validity of the visual analogues we've been discussing) is that we are equipped with a left brain and a right brain, and the productions of the latter can never be reduced to, or contained by, the former. (There are numerous reasons for this, but let's just say that semantics cannot be reduced to syntax; and that "a picture contains ∞ words.")
Having these distinct modes of consciousness is precisely one of the features that makes us human, and the two are complementary, not antagonistic or contradictory. They allow -- I would say demand -- a higher synthesis, although, at the same time, we have to be careful to avoid lapsing into a right-brained synthesis without realizing it.
What I mean is that there is no way we can avoid imagining How Things Are. Scientism, for example, naively imagines How Things Are, but promptly forgets it is only imagining, and that the model is -- obviously -- not the reality.
The same can be said of any ideological Ism, each one more naive than the last, from materialism to Darwinism to progressivism, whatever. For which reason the Aphorist says, for example, that
Within solely Marxist categories not even Marxism is explicable.
We could equally say that within solely materialist categories not even materialism is explicable, that relativism isn't even wrong, and that Darwinism can't account for Darwin or any other immaterial living soul.
Let me pause for an important announcement or clarification: the world does not appear to us the way it appears because we have left and right brains; rather, vice versa: we have this left-and-right brain complementarity because Ultimate Reality is the way it is.
Therefore, our most adequate model of the world will be a combination of math and poetry, or geometry and music; and in the last unalysis, Truth is symphonic. Let those with ears hear -- in vertical stereo! Or better, 3.0 surround.
What's that supposed to mean? Besides low blood sugar?
Let's go back to what Schuon was saying in paragraph two about the third type of ternary: it suggests an "ascending dimension or lightness, descending dimension or heaviness, [and a] horizontal dimension open to both influences" (emphasis mine).
First question: is this real, or just a model? Obviously both, because it is a kind of model that describes (among others) how those vertical murmurandoms reach us from beyond the model. It very much reminds me of how the Aphorist characterizes revelation:
The Bible is not the voice of God but that of the man who encounters Him.
God is not an inane compensation for lost reality, but the horizon surrounding the summits of conquered reality.
The ternary described by Schuon is very experience-near, in that we can't help being subjectively aware of a cosmos with ascending and descending energies; as human beings we are uniquely free to surf either current, i.e., waves of truth, love, beauty, virtue, and unity; or of consoling lies, pleasurable hatreds, ugliness masquerading as art, virtue signaling pretending to be virtue, and tribal division in thrall to various transdimensional powers, principalities, and dominions.
That's enough for today.