Friday, July 01, 2022

Who Models the Modeler?

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.

Moreover, 

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.  

Thursday, June 30, 2022

It's Fractals of Three All the Way Up & Down

As readers know by now, I don't like to speculate, preferring rather to deal in Truths that cannot not be true -- or are at least so vague as to be beyond or beneath criticism or dumbtrollery. And if I do ever speculate, I'll give you a heads-up.

I'm speculating. 

Yesterday's post left off with a surprising image that looks suspiciously similar to a Star of David (consisting of two intersecting triangles). 

One thing leads to another, yada yada, and according to Guénon, triangles in general "are a feature of the major traditions," as they represent "symbolic ternaries" -- not just the Trinity, but all sorts of interesting threesomes, from Being-Consciousness-Bliss to Larry, Moe, and Curly.

However, he cautions us not to necessarily equate them; for example, the Sat-Chit-Ananda of Vedanta is intriguing, but not identical to Father-Son-Holy Spirit. Unless... 

I shouldn't have said that, because at this early juncture I have no idea where the post will end up. Maybe there's a connection, maybe not. We'll all just have to wait and see. 

Consistent with what was said yesterpost, Guénon distinguishes

two kinds of ternary. The first, type 1, can be represented by an upright triangle [], and symbolizes a principle giving rise to two opposing or complementary aspects of itself.

Thus, at the top is the Principle (however one wishes to approach it), which then bifurcates into, for example, Subject and Object. 

Down here, it is difficult if not impossible to understand how to reconcile these two... I don't want to say "opposites," because this term isn't sufficient to describe such radically different realities. I mean, what's the commonality between, say, a rock and the concept of justice? No wonder people fall into incoherent dualisms of various kinds.

Rather, the only way to unify these two is at the top of the triangle -- which, if I'm not mistaken, is the esoteric meaning behind that eye at the top of the pyramid on our legal tender. Yes, if thine eye be single, then you can see past the dualities.

Back to Guénon, before we get too carried away. The type 1 ternary is even a kind of unsurpassable map of Ultimate Reality,

in which Being or primal Unity polarizes into the first of all dualities, that of Essence and universal Substance which then gives rise to the whole of manifestation.

In this scheme, if I'm not mistaken, Essence would go to Absoluteness, Substance to Infinitude; or, Essence is always a limitation of Substance, otherwise the universe would be just a blob of undifferentiated Substance. (And for God, of course, his essence is existence, which is to say, he is Necessary Being, and cannot not be.)

Put another way, everything that exists, by virtue of existing, is a combination of substance + essence. I, for example, am apparently the human substance with the essence of Bob. Or a biological substance with the essence of humanness. Or a material substance with the essence of life. Etc.

Let's move on to the second type of ternary, "in which two complementary elements give rise to a third," for example -- you guessed it -- Father (⇆) Mother (⇅) Child, e.g., Osiris-Isis-Horus. 

Or Joseph-Mary-Jesus, which is immediately rendered ambiguous because of the ambiguity, so to speak, of Joseph. Here is a ternary amidst, or contained by, what must be the utterly unique ternary of God-Mary-Jesus. One would think that the middle term is disproportionate to the other two, but... Let's just say that the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception renders it fitting if not totally proportionate.

If I'm understanding Guénon correctly, then it would be a mistake to put the second type of ternary ontologically prior to the first; although they are complementary, as with all complementarities, one must be ontologically prior, and in this case it's the upright triangle (). Indeed, this must be the case if everything resolves into unity, as it seemingly must.

But wait a minute: Christianity resolves into Trinity. Yes, but the Trinity is of one Substance, or a single Substance in three Persons, beyond which there is not whicher.

Or so they say. But what if it's fractals -- fractals of Three -- all the way up and down? No, you can't buy some pot from me, but hear me out: 

The three-dimensional cross represents the six directions of space emerging from the seventh position, the center.

If we're going to speculate, let's go all the way and say that this center is the heart-intellect and the sacred heart of Jesus, which reflect and now (thanks to the Incarnation) interpenetrate one another.

The two triangles that cover the cosmic waterfront (∆ and add up to six, and "Six is associated with creation as in the six days of Creation in Genesis." Just to rub it in, "There are six fundamental colours in three pairs of complementary colours." 

Hmm. Instead of all this speculation, perhaps I should have just flipped to page 322 (all of the material above has been taken from the book Prophet for a Dark Age: A Companion to the Works of René Guénon): the "double triangle" represented by the Star of David (or Seal of Solomon) "is one of the ancient symbols of Christianity, symbolizing the union of human and divine natures in Christ":

the upright triangle represented Divinity and the inverted one human nature... so the two triangles together symbolized the union of the two natures, divine and human.

Moreover,

the Seal represents the number six, which is the number of union and mediation, and also the number of creation, hence of the Word: "The role of the Word in relation to Universal Existence can be indicated by the addition of a cross within the Seal -- the vertical bar links the apices of the two opposed triangles, or the two poles of manifestation, and the horizontal bar represents the 'surface of the Waters.'"

And don't ask me what "the Waters" symbolizes, because we're done speculating. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

In the Beginning Were a Couple of Triangles?

In yesterday's post we spoke of what must be the first vertical polarity or distinction within the Godhead. In it, according to Schuon,  

are prefigured or pre-realized all possible complementarities and oppositions: subject and object, activity and passivity, static and dynamic, oneness and totality, exclusive and inclusive...

I'm thinking that this ultimate Principle of Complementarity must be the basis of Bohr's complementarity principle in quantum mechanics -- at least if the latter is ontological and not just an epistemological limitation. 

I'm no physicist, but back off man, I'm a metaphysician, so I certainly reject the idea that our act of observing creates the reality. If that were the case, then the Dodgers would have won last night, and Trump would still be my president. And if I created Brandon, then being God isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Says here in this book (The Creator and the Cosmos) that there are at least ten other interpretations of quantum mechanics, some of which are actually sane, others even more woowoo than the Copenhagen Weed interpretation -- for example, that "The physical realm is the materialization of pure thought," or "All possible outcomes will actually occur."

Okay Deepak.

Some people will believe anything in order to avoid God. At which point they really become religious. 

Back to that principial and primordial complementarity within the Godhead. I would say that we can and indeed must arrive at this principle via natural reason alone. What we could never know -- at least with certainty -- is of God's tri-complementarity. This must either be revealed or not known at all.

As it pertains to the horizontal, I'm gonna say that every true complementarity we encounter must be rooted in Big Vertical. Importantly, some oppositions are genuine complementarities, while others are merely contraries, dualisms, or privations.

For example, male-female is as true a complementarity as there could be. Likewise subject-object, time-eternity, and self-other. 

Conversely, the progressive left is by no means the complement of conservative liberalism, rather, its negation -- as feminism is the negation of femininity, "homosexual marriage" the negation of marriage, and secular humanism the negation of man.

I say time and eternity are complementary, because I suspect there is something analogous to time in God, only a kind of higher dimensional temporality. The above referenced book got me to thinking about this subject as well, because I've never liked the idea that God is utterly static and changeless. Ever since Plato -- and even before -- a lot of eggheads have considered time to be a mere privation or entropic deterioration.

Well, I say our experience of time is a distant reflection or analogue of an eminent perfection in the Godhead. Of course I could be wrong about this, but in my opinion the party never stops up there. Yes, I am fully aware of the fact that the Father has generated the Son from all eternity, and that there is no time "before" this. But be reasonable. Even timelessness takes time!

If we see true complementarities all over the place, there must also be -- and for all the more reason -- genuine tri-complemenarities in our horizontal world. Let's try to find some.

The most obvious one would have to be Mother-Father-Child. These terms cannot be reduced to anything less, and each implies the others. Or, how about the substance, or constitution, of the human person, who consists of Intellect, Will, and Sentiment; or Truth, Freedom, and Virtue.

There's also science, which is rooted in the subject's conformity to the object, which results in knowledge. Likewise art, which is something like creator-creation-beauty.

There's also the Sat-Chit-Ananda of Vedanta, but I want to stay in my westernmost lane.

Although not coming at it from a strictly Christian perspective, Schuon goes into a little riff on the divine ternary. He explains that it can be regarded from two perspectives, as upright () or downright (triangles. Both are "dynamic," in the sense that the horizontal base forms a duality moving toward, and harmonized in, the point (which is either above or below).

In the upturned triangle,

the duality of the base is contemplative in the sense that it indicates, through the summit, a turning back towards unity...

It is also "relativity intent on conforming to absoluity (sic)," and it very much reminds me of the psychic movement that takes place spontaneously in a healthy mind, and which my old pal W.R. Bion referred to as PS <--> D, i.e., the sudden emergence of meaning out of the scattered elements of thought. 

Which in turn reminds me of Michael Polanyi's triad of subsidiary particulars, the focal target, and the knower who links them in a kind of endless progress from tacit knowledge toward explicit meaning. I could explain it better, but I'm a little rusty on my Polanyi.

In the downturned triangle there is movement

through the inverted summit, towards extrinsic radiation or production.

Or just say toward creation, or "infinite Possibility," or overflowing manifestation with "numberless refractions." 

I say, let's put the triangles together with their ascending and descending currents, in which case we come up with (✡︎), and why not? Seems like a good place to end this meshuggana post. Let's eat!

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Squaring O and Doubling Down on Three

Continuing with the idea that O must be our first idea and the source of all ideas, in it (O) there must be something like Thinker and Thought -- or Absolute and Infinite, potency and act, implicit and explicit, principle and manifestation, reality and appearance, field and particle, etc. I could go on, but you get the point. And sphere. 

Call it the First Complementarity, so to speak, otherwise God is truly AllOne, with no room at the inn for the outword, let alone us

As Christian Raccoons, we know fool well that God is indeed AllOne, and yet, not so fast: let's approach this from a purely translogical and metaphysical standpoint before mixing in theology or faith or any other vertical mischief.

Frankly, this may be above my praygrade. Let's let Schuon sort it out, stopping along the way to ask questions as they arise (in particular, asking how we might square his universal metaphysic with orthodox Christianity).

 In Ultimate Reality -- O -- there is

a principle of polarization, perfectly undifferentiated in the Absolute, but capable of being discerned and the cause of every subsequent deployment.

Okay, let's stop right there: "perfectly undifferentiated in the Absolute" goes to, of course, the principle of God's radical unity, i.e., that he is of a single substance, so this checks out as far as it goes. Only God can know his own unity, but this unity is surely "capable of being discerned" by us, otherwise we wouldn't be here discerning it right now. 

Somewhat -- or pretty darn -- paradoxically, we can understand metaphysically that God is One, even though saying so seemingly cuts us out of the picture, or renders us less than Real; or, if only God is ultimately real, this renders us less than. We are second class cosmic citizens at best.   

Unless there's more to the story -- the story of man as such -- which I suspect there is. But let's not get out in front of our headLight. Rather, let's just stipulate that there either is or isn't more to man than we might appreciate on superficial consideration. 

Either way, it's a true binary question, something like "no meaning whatsoever" or "ultimate meaning beyond your wildest imagination," e.g., the beatific vision, nirvana, moksha, perfect and total Slack, etc. Which is it going to be?

With regard to this ultimate complementarity or bifurcation or polarization, Schuon -- paraphrasing him -- says that it can be represented both horizontally and vertically. This is full of implications, but for me it suggests that this primordial polarity is going to be fractally present in everything -- heaven and earth, celestial and terrestrial, man and God, etc.

Come to think of it, just yesterday I was reading a used book I picked up for a dollar at the weekly library sale, called The Creator and the Cosmos, by Hugh Ross, which turned out to be much more interesting than I had anticipated. Explaining why would be the subject of a different post, but in it he writes of how, on the one hand, our sense of time is characterized by a one-way cause-and-effect, but on the other, how God is able to cause effects "even before the beginning of the time dimension of our universe."

How is this possible? Easy: revelation "speaks of the existence of extra dimensions beyond our time and space, extra dimensions in which God exists and operates." How many dimensions? Wrong question. Speaking only for myself, it can't be a quantity, but must be a quality. A qualitative dimension? Absolutely. 

However many it turns out to be, Ross estimates that, given all the parametrical fine-tuning we now understand to be present in the cosmos, and without which life would be impossible,  

the Creator at a minimum is ten trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion times more intelligent, knowledgable, creative, and powerful than we humans.

Like anybody could even know that!

The only way we could know that is by translating those eight trillions into a single quality. Call it a lot, AKA Infinitude. See how easy that was? God is Absolute; and also Infinite. Two words or qualities for what must also be a single substance.

Let's get back to the vertical and horizontal axes or polarities. In the first, there is a distinction between Being and Beyond-Being, which reflects the ultimate "creative principle." 

Speaking again only for myself, although we live in a "creation," I suspect this can only be understood in the context of an eternal creativity that takes place within the Godhead itself, and which can be schematized with the Beyond-Being <--> Being axis.

Is there any reason for a Christian to believe such perfect nonsense? Oh, I think so, although only for weirdos and hyper-curious misfits such as ourselves. Or Eckhart: 

God is a being beyond being and a nothingness beyond being.

Or, try this on for size:

[T]he Trinity constitutes the inexhaustible fruitfulness of the Unity. From the Trinity comes all unification and differentiation....

The Father is God beyond all, the origin of all that is. The incarnate Son is God with us.... The Spirit is God in us (Olivier Clement, The Roots of Christian Mysticism).

So, if God's pronouns are I AM and WE ARE, his prepositions are Beyond, With, and In. We'll continue down this rabbit hole in the next post.  

Monday, June 27, 2022

Dimensions and D'mansions of God

As we all know by now, I often use the symbol (or pneumaticon) "O" to represent ultimate reality -- the Absolute, the Infinite, the Perfect; the transcendent source of the Good, True, and Beautiful; the eschaton, the beyond, the Final Frontier; or just God, if that's your thing. 

But for purposes of a strictly scientific approach to ultimate reality, that little word "God" can miscommunicate as much as it communicates. 

This is because most everyone -- believer and heathen alike -- has their own idea of what the word means. In short, the word is saturated with personal meaning, when we're trying to discuss something in as disinterested, universal, and impersonal a way as possible. 

For example, we all know atheists who easily disprove the "God" who only exists in their imagination, but who has nothing to do with the real one. Suffice it to say that no one will ever disprove O without thereby proving it. 

Having said that, the problem with the symbol "O" is that it implies ultimate reality is bound, when it's the opposite: the Great Boundless. In other words, it's the space inside (and outside) O that counts, not the circular boundary. But there is no symbol for Infinite space, since any symbol is finite. 

I ran into a similar idea in an essay by Schuon called Cosmology & The Traditional Sciences. In it he discusses the same problems described above, from a slightly different angle:

Once can represent Absolute Reality, or the Essence, or Beyond-Being, by the point; it would doubtless be less inadequate to represent it by the void, but the void is not properly speaking a figure... the simplest and thus the most essential sign is the point. 

In my case, if you thumb to page 6 of your Coonifesto, you will see that I attempted to represent the void by what amounts to a giant point, or completely black page. A footnote explains that "This black whole is not a blank page, but a page full of nothing," before referencing Meister Eckhart's crack about how the intellect properly so-called is in a sense continuous with God, who is himself unknowable, unnameable, and unconceptualizeable. 

Which is why we are a mystery to ourselves unless we actualize this implicit connection to the infinite God. Only then are we really a mystery to ourselves!

God is of course knowable, just not ultimately knowable, hence the well known distinction between apophatic (negative) and cataphatic (positive) theology, the latter always and necessarily flowing from the former.

Which we have on excellent authority (more on which below) -- not just the anti-authoritative ortho-heterodoxical ravings of an Eckhart, who can sometimes say the right things in the wrong way, and thereby give aid and comfort to the wrong people, i.e, the Deepfake Chopras and Marianne Woowooliamsons of the world. 

Another important distinction here is that when Schuon refers to the "void," he likely has something Vedantic or Buddhistic in mind, whereas when we deploy it, we are simply acknowledging the unknowability of God, i.e., that the finite can never contain the infinite, any more than a circle could exhaustively describe a sphere. 

Which is not to say we can know nothing about the sphere, being that the circle provides legitimate two-dimensional points of reference for the 3D object, provided you use a little imagination.

It's the same in my view vis-a-vis revelation. Not to get even further sidetracked, but it seems to me that this is precisely the function of revelation: to provide man with humanly comprehensible points of reference for what quite obviously transcends them and abides in a hyperdimensional reality. A sign always point to something beyond the sign. Which is what makes it a sign rather than the thing itself.

How many dimensions are we talking about? Obviously we don't know, but it can't actually be a number, since a quantity is a limit and God is limitless. Let's just stipulate that there are a lot. Lots of d'mansions, as it were.

Bear in mind that the apophatic Christian God is different from the Buddhist void because, among other reasons, it is a Who, not a What or Which -- not even a Good Which. 

Back to our venerable authority in defense of the apophatic God, or O. On the one hand, according to Thomas,

The end and ultimate perfection of the human soul is to transcend the whole order of created things through knowledge and love, and to advance to the first cause, which is God.

Moreover,

The end which the intellectual creature reaches by its own activity is the complete actualization of the intellect in relation to all intelligible things lying within its capacity; in this the intellect becomes most like to God.

Woo hoo! Omniscience! 

Not so fast. For

This is the final human knowledge of God: to know that we do not know.

D'oh!

But this is how it must be if we are to adopt a strictly scientific approach -- not only to God, but to the material things studied by profane science. 

For as we've explained any number of times, science can know a lot of stuff about a lot of things, and yet, it can never know everything about any single thing, not so much as a gnat or grain of sand, let alone more complex things such as DNA or the Cosmos itself, to say nothing of Being. Go ahead and try to exhaust Being, and see how far you get. It's like trying to empty the ocean with a thimble, or exhaust Hunter's drug supply one coke spoon at a time.

No one ever pauses to wonder what kind of cosmos allows for the endless accumulation of valid knowledge, without ever arriving at its end. 

Long story short, only in a cosmos created by a rational being who transcends the creation and dwells in the hyperdimensional space alluded to above, and toward whom we are always journeying. Or not, depending upon how you exercise your (also God-given) freedom.

Here's another excellent orthoparadoxical crack by Thomas:

God can in no way be said to be like creatures; but creatures can truly be called like to God in a certain sense.  

In the second paragraph I alluded to a strictly scientific approach to metaphysics. Well, that last statement by Thomas is as certain as any scientific theory, and in fact, more certain, as it is the very basis of the possibility of science, i.e., that we can know much about everything, and yet, never know everything about anything. Starting and ending with God. 

Which is why we might fruitfully think of our Final Frontier as a kind of dynamic complementarity between the cataphatic God and apophatic O. 

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Lead Us Not into Tenure, But Deliver Us from Stupidity

One of my favorite passages by Schuon touches on the miracle of consciousness:

The first ascertainment which should impose itself upon man when he reflects on the nature of the Universe is the primacy of that miracle that is intelligence -- or consciousness or subjectivity -- and consequently the incommensurability between these and material objects, be it a question of a grain of sand or of the sun, or of any creature whatever as an object of the senses.

Done. I have ascertained that intelligence is indeed a miracle -- especially for me in particular, in that there was no sign of it until I was 24 or so, and even then I was a liberal for another two decades. Don't tell me evolution is just a theory!

The principle of original sin obviously extents to the intellect, in which case we should call it "original stupidity," with the understanding that truth is to the intellect as virtue is to the will. (In point of fact, nothing can actually damage the Intellect as such, although we can betray and fail to live up to it, for which reason there are so many intelligent people -- certainly more intelligent than I am -- who are so wrong.) 

I also see that nothing in existence escapes the purview of the intellect, and that every material thing put together can never add up to even a single digit of IQ. I hate to admit it, but even the stupidest troll is smarter than an inert lump of coal. However, in defense of the lump of coal, it may not know truth, but nor does it defend error or perversion; then again, it is possible it voted for Biden.  

Viewed from the bottom up, the radical discontinuity of a transcendent intelligence is quite evidently impossible. Thus, having ruled out the impossible, what's left?

No sh*t, Sherlock. Interiority and intelligence must be continuous with the toppermost of the poppermost of the cosmos, i.e., its ground, source, and Principle. 

Now, this is not to say that it is

our personal thought which preceded the world, but it was -- or is -- absolute Consciousness, of which our thought is precisely a distant reflection (ibid.).

Precisely. How precise? Precise enough to say, for example, that In the beginning the Creator creates the the heavens and the earth, AKA the vertical and the horizontal. It took some 2,500 years for science to catch up with the truth that our cosmos has an absolute transcendent beginning, and 47 years later there still exist physicists who are trying with all their intellect (!) to find some way to wiggle out of this theistic checkmate.

But as things stand, there is no way out: we just have to accept the truth, no matter how pleasant. No, our universe is not a bouncy house with infinite iterations. We can rule that one out based on entropy, plus, all existing signs point to the cosmos expanding forever. The idea that it will eventually collapse in on itself is just that: not only an idea, but an idea born of antitheistic passion: intelligent stupidity.   

And if the cosmos were to somehow collapse in on itself, the idea that it would then bloom into another impossibly information-rich cosmos is just begging the question of how all this finely-tuned information got here to begin with. If someone tries to sell you that BS, sock 'em with Occam, I say. 

So, we agree -- and can't help agreeing -- with Schuon, that our own consciousness reminds and proves to us 

that in the beginning was the Spirit. Nothing is more absurd than to have intelligence derive from matter, hence the greater from the lesser; the evolutionary leap from matter to intelligence is from every point of view the most inconceivable thing that could be.

Concur: not only inconceivable, but the most inconceivable. Is he exaggerating? 

Please. Schuon never exaggerates. You may or may not agree with him, but he always writes with precision, so much so that he actually switched languages from German to French because he thought the latter facilitated increased metaphysical precision over the former. That's commitment! Also proof that thought is prior to language, not merely a product of it: he couldn't precisely say what he needed to say in German. (Towards the end of his life he returned to his mother tongue in order to write poetry.)

Where does this leave us English speaking yahoos? No worries. If it's a good word, we'll just steal it and insert it into our lingo. We are the world's most accomplished linguistic appropriators, and I suppose Finnegans Wake is the last word on that score. Joyce "could not repose contentedly within the bounds of experience and expression delimited by the Anglo-Saxon tongue," and "seized all language for his province" (Campbell & Robinson).

Did he succeed? Don't ask me. I was a Radio-TV-Film major. I'm just impressed that someone would try to combine English, Latin, Greek, Sanskrit, Gaelic, Russian, Italian, French, German, Finnish, Arabic, Malay, Persian, Hindustani, Samoyad, and more. 

Could there exist, say, a Chinese Joyce, appropriating every other language in order to make its universal point(s)? Indeed, could even pp. 10-17 of my bʘʘk be translated into Chinese? Doubtful. I would ask my literary agent if he's fielded any requests from Chinese publishers, but I haven't heard from him in over 15 years, and I'm pretty sure he must be dead by now.  

Anyway, what happens when we -- as a former civilization -- deny Spirit and replace it with matter? Well, first, we don't know, and second, we're in the process of finding out, good and hard, aren't we? We don't know what a post-Truth, post-freedom, post-Christian civilization looks like, do we?

Speak for yourself, because I don't think it's all that difficult to read the Signs of the Times. I say the gift of prophecy is given by the Holy Spirit to most Raccoons, at least to a certain extent. We can all see around temporal corners because intelligence as such puts us in contact with the essential, the universal, and the timeless. It's just another way of saying that what can't continue won't continue, even if the transition is a tad catastrophic. In any event,

With good humor and pessimism it is possible to be neither wrong nor bored (Dávila).