Friday, October 15, 2010


"We believe that we invent symbols. The truth is that they invent us; we are their creatures, shaped by their hard, defining edges. When soldiers take their oath they are given a coin, an asimi stamped with the profile of the Autarch. Their acceptance of that coin is their acceptance of the special duties and burdens of military life--they are soldiers from that moment, though they may know nothing of the management of arms. I did not know that then, but it is a profound mistake to believe that we must know of such things to be influenced by them, and in fact to believe so is to believe in the most debased and superstitious kind of magic. The would-be sorcerer alone has faith in the efficacy of pure knowledge; rational people know that things act of themselves or not at all."
Gene Wolfe, Shadow of the Torturer

Getting close...
The complexity of Reality has to do with the Incarnation:
"History is neither necessity nor freedom, but rather their flexible integration. In fact, history results neither from impersonal necessity nor from human caprice, but rather from a dialectic of the will where free choice unfolds into necessary consequences. History does not develop as a unique and autonomous dialectic, which extends in vital dialectic the dialectic of inanimate nature, but rather as a pluralism of dialectical processes, numerous as free acts and tied to the diversity of their fleshly grounds."
Davila, again. The vertical movement down (Schuon) into matter, but what transpires after that is flesh and spirit. Neither half one, half the other, or both at once separately, or capable of separation...reality is existential, but not intellectually. It is what it is, and how it is. Art and poetics and philosophy are ALL used to grip it, or recreate it, or evoke it.

The symbol is the closest thing we have to incarnation, among us. It begins to comprehend the paradoxes at the heart of the truth of what happened & is happening.

Schuon agrees that Westerners tend not to "have a sense of the metaphysical transparency of phenomenon," and instead "insist as a matter of preference on penitential means" of religious practice. In short, they emphasize the "moral alternative, not that of contemplative participation." But as a courtesy to other spiritual types, "if these fideists have no wish to use their intelligence, at least they should not forbid others to do so" (Schuon).

OneCosmos is doing a good job of using Platonism as a means/vehicle to achieve Christian objectives. The Reason and Intellect have suffered mutilation in various ways in the West, which is now extremely anti-intellectual, even (and most especially) when it is pretending to be most intellectual. Marx, for instance, for all of his dialectic, says "the point of history is not to understand it, but to change it". This assassination of Intellect, after its worship, effectively enthrones Will in such a manner as to be beyond question. In this sense, Nietzsche & Lenin & Adam Smith all carpool to work together.

But if all are corrupt (which is to say, partial) visions/liturgies, then where is truth to be found?

Baby steps, but the insanity of God is wiser than the wisdom of men.

Yet, as a human, clearly, something which transcends either Right or Left would be desirable.

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