When you know that you have become this perfect work, when you are self-gathered in the purity of your being, nothing now remaining that can shatter that inner unity, nothing from without clinging to the authentic man, when you find yourself wholly true to your essential nature, wholly that only veritable Light which is not measured by space, not narrowed to any circumscribed form nor again diffused as a thing void of term, but ever unmeasurable as something greater than all measure and more than all quantity -- when you perceive that you have grown to this, you are now become very vision: now call up all your confidence, strike forward yet a step -- you need a guide no longer -- strain, and see. --Plotinus, The Enneads, 1.6, "Beauty"
Now I understand why I've been practicing my sharpshooting on Call of Duty so obsessively for the past couple years... hope it translates into reality
If he exalts himself, I humble him.Carl Jung, from The Red Book (Liber Novus), [liber primus fol.i(v)/ii(r)]:If he humbles himself, I exalt him.And I go on contradicting himUntil he understandsThat he is a monster that passes all understanding.
Believe me: It is no teaching and no instruction that I give you. On what basis should I presume to teach you? I give you news of the way of this man, but not of your own way. My path is not your path, therefore I cannot teach you. The way is within us, but not in Gods, nor in teachings, nor in laws. Within us is the way, the truth, and the life.
The foremost mystic of the Hellenistic world, [Plotinus] relates to the Religions of the Book in this regard as the Upanishads do to Hinduism. Plotinus was a professional philosopher who based his teachings on his own "Union" experiences, which his disciple and biographer, Porphyry, stated he had four times; Porphyry himself had the experience once... For Plotinus, the mystic experience was utterly ineffable: "Thus The One is in truth beyond all statement" (Enneads V.3.13). The experience cannot but be discussed from the standpoint of what is not; that is, by negation.
Mysticism is an eruption of the absolute into history. Like music, it is the crowning of culture, its ultimate justification.
Thereafter, one is undisturbed by the dualities.
In Hinduism, in Neoplatonism, in Sufism, in Christian mysticism, in Whitmanism, we find the same recurring note, so that there is about mystical utterances an eternal unanimity which ought to make a critic stop and think, and which brings it about that the mystical classics have, as has been said, neither birthday nor native land. Perpetually telling of the unity of man with God, their speech antedates languages, and they do not grow old.
As one coming suddently out of darkness, I perceived the full meaning of the doctrine of immutability and said: "Now I can believe that fundamentally all things neither come nor go." I got up from my meditation bed, prostrated myself before the Buddha shrine and did not have the perception of anything in motion. I lifted the blind and stood in front of the stone steps. Suddenly the wind blew through the tress in the courtyard, and the air was filled with flying leaves which, however, looked motionless. I said to myself: "This is the whirlwind that will destroy Mount Sumeru and which is permanently still. When I went to the back yard to make water, the urine seemed not to be running. I said, "That is why the river pours but does not flow." Thereafter, all my doubts about birth and death vanished.Jimi Hendrix, speaking of his guitar as a metaphor for Tr-th:
Sometimes you want to give up the guitar, you'll hate the guitar. But if you stick with it, you're gonna be rewarded.
Let him who seeks continue seeking until he finds. When he finds, he will become troubled. When he becomes troubled, he will be astonished, and he will rule over the all.From Jacob Boehme's Six Theosophic Points (1620):
...and the eternal Light cannot be laid hold of by anything, unless that thing fall into death, and give its essence voluntarily to the fire of Nature, and pass with its essential will out of itself into the Light; and abandon itself wholly to the Light; and desire to will or to do nothing, but commit its will to the Light, that the Light may be its will.
...I'll tell you a terrible secret--Are you listening to me? There isn't anyone out there who isn't Seymour's Fat Lady. That includes your Professor Tupper, buddy. And all his goddam cousins by the dozens. There isn't anyone anywhere that isn't Seymour's Fat Lady. Don't you know that? Don't you know that goddam secret yet? And don't you know--listen to me, now--don't you know who that Fat Lady really is?... Ah, buddy. Ah, buddy. It's Christ himself. Christ Himself, buddy.From The Chandogya Upanishad
As the rivers flowing east and westMerge in the sea and become one with it,Forgetting they were ever separate rivers,So do all creatures lose their separatenessWhen they merge at last into pure Being.There is nothing that does not come from him.Of everything he is the inmost Self.He is the truth; he is the Self supreme.You are that, Shvetaketu, you are that.
We hate the people who try to make us form the connexions we do not want to form.
"In Jewish mysticism, it is not always understood that union with God is but a temporary experience. Hence, there are warnings against allowing oneself to be dissolved into nothingness due to an assumption that returning to the state of a separate existence is not a subsequent step. But clearly in the above passage, it is accepted that at least some do come back to their former separate being."
When the Zaddik cleaves to the nought, and is [then] annihilated, then alone he worships the Creator from the aspect of all the Zaddikim, since no division of the attributes is discernable there at all.... There is a Zaddik who cleaves to the nought and nevertheless returns afterward to his essence. (qtd. in Paper)
Swimming and Wetness: A Parody
A Conversation between Emmanuel Lewis and Nemo
(Begging patience from my uninitiated readers)
Nemo: How does one begin swimming?
Emmanuel Lewis: Swimming is the result of an original trauma -- a scene of violence wherein the consciousness of wetness manifests itself as the result of separation from floating.
N.: What is ontology in the context of swimming, and does swimming require a direction?
E.L.: For me, the swum does not count as much as the swimming. The swimming is the fact that before the Great White, I do not simply study its teeth; I react to them. The swimming is a way of announcing the Other by assuming responsibility for him. Directional swimming closes the infinite and is, in that sense, against the ethical. One can swim -- depths are not ontological necessities -- but the confrontation with the Great White commands: "Thou shalt not swim."
N.: You would say of Moby Dick, all other things being equal, what Jaws said of Leviathan?
E.L.: There are many things for which I can still not pardon Leviathan -- his participation in Pacific-pack-swim primarily. I for my part analyze the modalities of swimming, focusing on its verbal sense. We tend to think of swimming in the form of a gerund: "Swimming is good exercise," but I return to its action-based definition -- the act of moving through water. It is not a matter of escaping from the pack, but rather of escaping from swimming.
N.: In The Pacific and its Depths, you speak much of the Great White. It is your most frequent theme. What does this phenomenology of the Great White consist in and what is its purpose?
E.L.: One confronts the Great White before ontology -- even before swimming. Thus the best way of approaching the Great White is not to see his giant, glimmering white teeth or his eyes rolled back in his head! When one observes the sharpness of the Great White's teeth, one is not in a social relationship with the Great White. The relation with the Great White can of course occur in swimming, but what is specifically the Great White does not take place in swimming.
N.: You speak ocassionally of knowledge as an illumination of the possessed, of the thing owned.
E.L.: Or possessable. Down to the remotest clams.
N.: By distinction the escape from swimming is going to be a dispossessing?
E.L.: What is needed is a way of being wet that does not require swimming. The most audacious and distant swimming does not put us into a "school" with other fish; it does not take the place of moving together; it is still and always a wetness.
There is a troubling point that connects these profoundly different thinkers: the ambiguous place of religious experience and its relation to the sphere of ethics. In fact, in addition to reducing the religious to the ethical, they both disavow the very kind of experience that could bring clarity to the issue of religious experience, namely, mystical experiencing.
Question: is it theoretically possible to become a propaganda writer without knowing it?
There is that in me - I do not know what it is - but I know it is in me.
Wrench'd and sweaty - calm and cool then my body becomes, I sleep - I sleep long.
I do not know it - it is without name - it is a word unsaid,It is not in any dictionary, utterance, symbol.
In one of those odd coincidences of the stars, I just caught onto one of the biggest defenders of metaphysical ethics (i.e., "Platonic" ethics) of the 20th century... her name is Iris Murdoch, and you've probably heard of her as a novelist. I didn't name my baby after her at all, but now it looks like I may be reading lots of Murdoch for a while. [interruption]
David Schenck has published frequently in scholarly journals, literary magazines and newspapers over the last thirty years.He is the author of "Zchenk Among Demons," praised by Iris Murdoch as "a deep and stirring book," and of its companion, "Z Coming Home."He has taught in colleges and universities in the northeast and the south, and has spent the last two decades working in the non-profit sector in various capacities.He lives in Asheville, NC with his wife Annabeth, and now works at the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy.Whenever he can, he is out in the mountains hiking and camping ...
"No one realised that the book and the labyrinth were one and the same." --Jorge Luis Borges, The Garden of Forking Paths, possibly translated to Russian by unknown, then quoted in Victor Pelevin's The Helmet of Horror, translated into English by Andrew Bromfield.
This seems like an interesting case in the field of Truth Studies. The rules of baseball don't allow for instant replay, but the truth, as anyone who watches the video can tell, is that the umpire made the wrong call here. That makes baseball an institution with more respect for "the Law" than for Truth, and that troubles me a bit. But as I think about it, this seems to be an inevitable problem with Law. It must obey itself first, even when, after the fact, it recognizes its mistake. And isn't that necessary?--precisely because sometimes we need a decision in the moment, before we can watch the metaphorical (and actual) "instant replays," etc.?