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Ideea acestui forum nu este de a starni polemici intre cei ce cred si cei ce nu cred in astre, in Dumnezeu, in terapii naturiste, in miracole sau in ghicitul in palma. Pragul acestui forum poate fi pasit de oricine, fara nici o exceptie, dar cei care nu sunt de acord cu ideile sau marturisirile celor care posteaza aici, sunt rugati sa se abtina in a face comentarii malitioase, sau contradictorii. Aici ne dorim sa avem coltisorul lipsit de orice stres, iar scopul real ar fi acela de a-i ajuta pe cei din jurul nostru sa se simta bine, ba chiar sa gaseasca solutii catre iesirea din situatii disperate - de ce nu?

 
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> Sfaturi, Despre cunoasterea metafizica
shapeshifter
mesaj 10 Apr 2009, 04:31 PM
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THE NOBLE MAN

The noble man is one who dominates himself.
The noble man is one who masters himself and loves to master himself; the base man is one who does not master himself and shrinks in horror from mastering himself.
The noble man always maintains himself at the centre; he never loses sight of the symbol, the spiritual gift of things, the sign of God, a gratitude that is both ascending and radiating.
The noble man is naturally detached from mean things, sometimes against his own interests; and he is naturally generous through greatness of soul. [Esoterism as Principle and as Way, Frithjof Schuon].


Generosity
Generosity is the opposite of egoism, avarice and meanness; nevertheless let us be clear that it is evil that is opposed to good and not inversely. Generosity is the greatness of soul which loves to give and also to forgive, because it allows man to put himself spontaneously in the place of others; which allows to one’s adversary all the chances that he humanly deserves, even though these be minimal, and without prejudicing justice or the cause of right. Nobility comprises a priori a benevolent attitude and a certain gift of self, without affectation and without failing to do justice to things as they are; the noble man tries to help, to meet one halfway, before condemning or acting severely, while being implacable and capable of speedy action when reality demands it. Goodness due to weakness or dreaming is not a virtue; generosity is beautiful to the extent that man is strong and lucid. There is always, in the noble soul, a certain instinct of the gift of self, for God Himself is the first to overflow with charity, and above all with beauty; the noble man is only happy in giving, and he gives himself above all to God, as God gave Himself to him, and desires to give Himself to him.

Piety
Transcending oneself: this is the great imperative of the human condition; and there is another that anticipates it and at the same time prolongs it: dominating oneself. The noble man is one who dominates himself; the holy man is one who transcends himself. Nobility and holiness are the imperatives of the human state.
The noble man is naturally detached from mean things, sometimes against his own interests; and he is naturally generous through greatness of soul. The pious man, for his part, holds himself detached from the things of this world — either within the framework of a legitimate equilibrium, or else by breaking this framework —because they do not lead to Heaven, or to the extent that they do not contribute to this end; and he is generous as a result of his love of God, because this love allows him to “see God everywhere”, and because “God is Love”. The fact that the two dimensions, horizontal and vertical, are linked in depth, results from the nature of things: the one conditions the other and the one proceeds from the other, and they are destined to coincide, if they do not already do so.
It is perhaps not superfluous to insist once more on the double significance of the notion of morality, that is to say on the distinction between what is good according to the law and what is good according to virtue. The two do not always coincide, for a base man can obey the law, be it only through simple constraint, while a noble man may be obliged, exceptionally, to transgress a law out of virtue, to put pity above duty, for example. [Logic and Transcendence].


Perception of the world
To have the sense of immanence — parallel to the discernment between the Real and the unreal, or between Reality that is absolute and that which is relative or contingent, or in consequence between the essential and the secondary, and so on — is to have the intuition of essences, of archetypes, or let us say: of the metaphysical transparency of phenomena; and this intuition is the basis of nobleness of soul.
The noble man respects, admires and loves in virtue of an essence that he perceives, whereas the vile man underestimates or scorns in virtue of an accident; the sense of the sacred is opposed to the instinct to belittle; the Bible speaks of "mockers." The sense of the sacred is the essence of all legitimate respect; we insist on legitimacy, for it is a question of respecting, not just anything, but what is worthy of respect; "there is no right superior to that of the truth."
It may be added that the noble man looks at what is essential in phenomena, not at what is accidental; he sees the overall worth in a creature and the intention of the Creator — not some more or less humiliating accident — and he thereby anticipates the perception of the Divine Qualities through forms. This is what is expressed by the words of the Apostle “ for the pure all things are pure”.
The noble man, and consequently the spiritual man, sees in positive phenomena the substantial greatness and not the accidental smallness, but he is indeed obliged to discern smallness when it is substantial and when, in consequence, it determines the nature of the phenomenon. The base man, on the contrary, and sometimes the simply worldly man, sees the accidental before the essential and gives himself over to the consideration of the aspects of smallness which enter into the constitution of greatness, but which cannot detract from its greatness in the least degree, except in the eyes of the man who is himself made of smallness.


Sacrificial instinct
The sacrificial instinct, which on the whole coincides with the sense of measure, enters into the very definition of nobleness: the noble man is one who controls himself and who loves to control himself; the sense not only of reality, but also of beauty demands that discipline which is self-mastery. Moreover, the impious man can never be altogether noble, whereas piety necessarily gives rise to nobility, no matter what the social milieu; the pious man is noble because truth is noble.
Especially beauty perceived by a noble man, that is: whose soul is beautiful, precisely. As Socrates said: "If there be something other than absolute Beauty, then that something can be beautiful to the extent that it partakes of absolute Beauty" (Plato: Phaedo).


Noble and Vile Man
"... man must see things according to the spirit of the Creator, not with the superficial, profane and desacralizing view of the vulgar soul. The noble man feels the need to admire, to venerate, to worship; the vile man on the contrary tends to belittle, even to mock, which is the way the devil sees things; but it is also diabolical to admire what is evil, whereas it is normal and praiseworthy to despise evil as such, for the truth has precedence over everything.
The primacy of the true also clearly implies that essential truths have precedence over secondary truths, as the absolute has precedence over the relative. The definition of man according to immortality has precedence over the definition of man according to earthly life.
The noble man respects, admires and loves in virtue of an essence that he perceives, whereas the vile man underestimates or scorns in virtue of an accident; the sense of the sacred is opposed to the instinct to belittle; the Bible speaks of "mockers." The sense of the sacred is the essence of all legitimate respect; we insist on legitimacy, for it is a question of respecting, not just anything, but what is worthy of respect; "there is no right superior to that of the truth."

Acest topic a fost editat de andra_v: 16 Apr 2009, 04:00 PM
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shapeshifter
mesaj 10 Apr 2009, 04:33 PM
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THE SPIRITUAL MAN

Transcending oneself: this is the great imperative of the human condition; and there is another that anticipates it and at the same time prolongs it: dominating oneself. The noble man is one who dominates himself; the holy man is one who transcends himself. Nobility and holiness are the imperatives of the human state.
Intelligence, since it distinguishes, has the faculty of perceiving proportions. The spiritual man integrates these proportions into his will, into his soul and into his life. All defects manifest a lack of proportion; they are errors that are lived.
To be spiritual means not to deny with one’s ‘being’ what one affirms with one’s ‘knowledge’, that is to say, what is accepted by the intelligence. Truth lived: incorruptibility and generosity.


Virtues of the Spiritual Man
The spiritual man does not rejoice at his progress, but at the disappearance of the old self; human perfection is the norm and not a peak. According to the Buddhists, after purifying oneself from one's defects one must purify oneself from one's virtues; everything must be brought back to the Divine Cause; this is the perfection of humility. To think that ‘I have’ such and such a virtue is almost as false as to think ‘I am’ God.
Beyond doubt, the virtues of worldly men or of unbelievers have their own relative worth, but the same is true of physical qualities at their own level: the only qualities that contribute to the soul’s salvation are those that are quickened by the Truth and by the Way; no virtue cut off from these bases has power to save, and this proves the relativeness, and the indirectness, of purely natural virtues. A spiritual man does not feel that he owns his virtues; he renounces vices and extinguishes himself — actively and passively — in the Divine Virtues themselves. Virtue is that which is.
The difficult thing for the spiritual man is that he has to live on two planes: on the one hand he has to recognize the dream-stuff — into which he himself as “I” is inwoven — for what it is, and as it were set it aside; and on the other hand, within the dream-stuff he has to discriminate rightly between things, solve those problems which need to be solved, and give his neighbor his due.
Man fluctuates, moreover, between spiritual pretension and spiritual right; it is loathsome to overreach oneself in prating about things with which one has no real God-given connection; at the same time our spirit has a right to all that it can really grasp, to the extent that it has in fact the power to grasp it, and to the extent that this is granted by Divine Providence.

Spiritual Man and Emotion
This is not to say that the emotion of a spiritual man is altogether like that of a profane man; the very term "holy anger" shows that a sanctifying element is present in a spiritual man which is lacking in a profane man, namely an underlying serenity which prolongs, so to speak, "the motionless mover," and which stems — in Eckhartian terminology — from the "inner man," whereas emotion as such is situated in the "outer man."
In the spiritual man there is continuity between his inward impassibility — resulting from consciousness of the Immutable — and his emotion: when a spiritual man becomes angry, it is so to speak on the basis of his contemplative impassibility and not in a manner contrary to it, whereas a profane man becomes totally enclosed in his anger, and this to the very extent that the anger is unjust or disproportionate; he "becomes enclosed," that is, cut off from his consciousness of God, hence from his substance of immortality; and it is in this sense — and in this sense only — that theology considers anger be a mortal sin, without however overlooking that there is a holy anger which reflects and prolongs the Divine Anger.
Emotion is profane to the extent that it belongs to man alone, in which case the celestial Archetype cannot enter into play. All this shows that in the emotion of a spiritual man, the "motionless mover" always remains present and accessible. As his emotion is linked to knowledge, the truth is never betrayed; his mind remains lucid, spontaneously and without pedantry.


Perception of the world
The love of God results necessarily from the logic of things: to love the accidents is to love the Substance, unconsciously or consciously.
The spiritual man may love things or creatures which in themselves are not God, but he cannot love them without God or outside Him; thus they bring him back towards the Sovereign Good in a quasi-sacramental manner, while they themselves are only what they are.
"It is not for the love of the husband that the husband is dear, but for the love of Atma that is in him": by directly loving a creature, we indirectly love the Creator, necessarily so because "every thing is Atma."
Nobleness of love is, on the part of the subject, to choose the object that is worthy of love and to love it without avidity or tyranny, while being aware — quasi-existentially — of its heavenly archetype and of its divine substance; as for the object worthy of love, it ennobles him who loves it, to the extent that it is loved in God. What is pure, primordial and thereby normatively human, has its roots in the divine order and tends ipso facto towards its own Origin.
... for the child, a small garden appears to be a whole world; for certain adults, the whole world appears to be too narrow; with the spiritual man the one does not exclude the other, for this lower world is an exile while being at the same time a reflection of Paradise. The sage combines hope with gratitude, or old age with childhood.
The noble man, and consequently the spiritual man, sees in positive phenomena the substantial greatness and not the accidental smallness, but he is indeed obliged to discern smallness when it is substantial and when, in consequence, it determines the nature of the phenomenon. The base man, on the contrary, and sometimes the simply worldly man, sees the accidental before the essential and gives himself over to the consideration of the aspects of smallness which enter into the constitution of greatness, but which cannot detract from its greatness in the least degree, except in the eyes of the man who is himself made of smallness.


The ego of the Spiritual Man
"In the Absolute," said Ramakrishna, "I am not, and you are not, and Brahman (in Its personal determination) is not, for It (the Absolute) is beyond all speech and all thought. Yet as long as there still remains something outside myself (that is, so long as I am still on the plane of individual consciousness), I must adore Brahman within the limits of my reason, as something outside myself." The fact that a spiritual man who has attained Nirvana can return to his individual modality, and even remain in it parallel with his state of "supreme Identity," proves precisely that Nirvana, if it is an "extinction," is not an "annihilation," for nothing that is can cease to be.
Intelligence, since it distinguishes, has the faculty of perceiving proportions. The spiritual man integrates these proportions into his will, into his soul and into his life. All defects manifest a lack of proportion; they are errors that are lived. To be spiritual means not to deny with one’s ‘being’ what one affirms with one’s ‘knowledge’, that is to say, what is accepted by the intelligence. Truth lived: incorruptibility and generosity.


Bhakta and Jnana
For the spiritual man of an affective temperament to love is to be and to know is to think; the heart represents the totality, the very depths of the being, and the brain the fragment, the surface. For the spiritual man of an intellectual temperament, on the contrary, to know is to be, and to love is to will or to feel; the heart represents universality or the Self, and the brain individuality or the ‘I’. Knowledge starts from the Universal, and love from the individual; it is the absolute Knower who knows, whereas it is the human subject, the ‘creature’, who is called to love.
The spiritual man of an affective temperament knows God because he loves Him. The spiritual man of an intellective temperament loves God because he knows Him and through knowing Him.
To love God is to attach oneself to Him. The spiritual man of an affective temperament arrives at the vacare Deo through love; the intellective man arrives at love in the vacare Deo, and this void is the fruit of his science and not of his fervour, as it is in the case of the affective man. True science is, however, fervent in a secondary manner, since it involves the entire being, and true fervour is conscious, lucid and active in its very centre where it is attached to truth.
If a spiritual man of an affective temperament can look on himself as the greatest of sinners, an intellective could, with the same logic and the same illogicality, look on himself as the most ignorant of the ignorant. With the same logic, if our fall is a state of revolt, it is also, and with greater reason, a state of ignorance. With the same illogicality, if it is inconsistent to hold that the greatest of sinners is the man who takes himself to be such, — the sin par excellence being pride which, precisely, excludes the recognition of its own baseness, — it is just as inconsistent to take oneself as the least wise of men, since the man who knows he is ignorant cannot be more ignorant than one who does not know this.


Wordly & Spiritual Man
For the worldly man, an experience is something like a space in which he moves — in which he is pushed about, into which he is thrust, and from which he is expelled. For the spiritual man the same experience is like a content of his soul, an essential or non-essential expression of himself.
I said that the worldly man, or the spiritually undeveloped man, swims in the water of his soul or, what is essentially the same, in the water of worldly agitation; then a consciousness of God bursts upon him, world or soul falls away from him and turns to ice; this ice, however, becomes liquid again, but from within; instead of swimming in the water of illusion, the saint himself becomes spring or stream; illusion swims in the stream of his knowledge, and not the other way round.
Whence the radiance of the spiritual man; unspiritual men can also have a radiance — a purely psychic one — but in this case it is selfish and produces narrowing and hardening, while the shining of the spiritual man is selfless and brings about expansion, liberation, solution. The radiance of mother-love brings about no spiritual expansion, for maternal selflessness is selfish, because the species, in whose name the mother gives herself selflessly like an animal, is selfish and only wants itself. The radiance of the spiritual man alone is selfless and liberating. Therefore, because he is selfless, he cannot die, for every flower, every morning, every spring day, every star is He. [Memoirs]
Beyond doubt, the virtues of worldly men or of unbelievers have their own relative worth, but the same is true of physical qualities at their own level: the only qualities that contribute to the soul’s salvation are those that are quickened by the Truth and by the Way; no virtue cut off from these bases has power to save, and this proves the relativeness, and the indirectness, of purely natural virtues. A spiritual man does not feel that he owns his virtues; he renounces vices and extinguishes himself — actively and passively — in the Divine Virtues themselves. Virtue is that which is.


Indian and spiritual man

This idea of "power" is crucial for the Indian: the Universe is a texture of powers all emanating from one and the same Power which is subjacent and omnipresent, and at once impersonal and personal. For the Indians the spiritual man is united to the Universe or the Great Spirit by the cosmic powers which penetrate, purify, transform and protect him; he is simultaneously pontiff, hero and magician; around him, these powers are apt to manifest themselves through spirits, animals and the phenomena of Nature.
Among real or apparent graces there are also “powers” such as those of healing, prevision, suggestion, telepathy, divination and the performance of minor miracles. These powers may indeed be direct gifts from Heaven, but in this case they are related to some degree of sanctity; otherwise they are only natural, however rare and out of the ordinary.
Now in the opinion of the most diverse spiritual authorities one should treat them with great caution, paying no attention to them, particularly because the devil may be involved in this and has an interest in so involving himself. Gratuitous powers may, a priori, indicate election on the part of Heaven, but they can also cause the downfall of those who become attached to them to the detriment of the purgative asceticism which all spirituality demands. Many heretics and false spiritual masters have started by becoming the dupes of some power with which nature had endowed them.
For the truly spiritual man powers such as these are seen primarily as a temptation rather than as a favour. He will not stop there, if only for the simple reason that no saint will take his own sanctity as axiomatic. Man does not determine the standards which are God’s, except in abstract terms or through a particular grace which derives from a dignity already by nature prophetic; for no man can be both judge and party in his own cause.


Ascetiscism
There is an ascesis that consists simply in sobriety, and which is sufficient for the naturally spiritual man; and there is another which consists in fighting against passions, the degree of this ascesis depending upon the demands of the individual nature; finally, there is the ascesis of those who mistakenly believe themselves to be charged with all sins, or who identify themselves with sin through mystical subjectivism, without forgetting to mention those who practice an extreme asceticism in order to expiate the faults of others, or even simply in order to give a good example in a world that has need of it.
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shapeshifter
mesaj 10 Apr 2009, 04:36 PM
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THE CONTEMPLATIVE

It often surprises me how deeply sunk in phenomena most men are, how much they identify themselves with their own everyday world of appearances, and how little strength of imagination they have... [Memoirs, Frithjof Schuon]
According to the Vedanta the contemplative must become absolutely ‘Himself; according to other perspectives such as that of the Semitic religions, man must become absolutely ‘Other’ than himself — or than the ‘I’ — which from the point of view of pure truth amounts to exactly the same thing.
The knowledge which man does or can enjoy is at the same time animal, human and Divine. It is animal in so far as man knows through the senses; it is human when he knows by reason; and it is Divine in the contemplative activity of the intellect. Now man could not be Divine without first being human; the intellect, in the direct and higher meaning of the word (for the reason and the senses also derive indirectly from the intellect), cannot be actualized, in the human domain, in a being lacking in reason.


Outer man and inner Man

The whole question is to know whether man possesses a “prelogical” intuition of Substance or whether he is fundamentally bound up with accidentality. In the first case his intelligence is made for gnosis, and reasonings, or imagery, confined to the accidental will in the final, reckoning have no hold on him.
For the average man, existence begins with man placed on earth: there is space and there are things, there is “I” and “the other,” we want this and another wants that, and so on; there is good and evil, reward and punishment, and above it all there is God with his unfathomable wishes.
But for the born contemplative everything starts from Truth which is sensed as an underlying and omnipresent Being; all else is only completely comprehensible through and in it; outside it the world is no more than an unintelligible dream. First there is Truth, or the nature of things, then there are the consciousnesses which are its receptacles: man is before all else a consciousness in which the True reflects itself and around which the True or the Real manifests itself in an endless play of crystallizations.
For the contemplative, phenomena and events constitute a compact and naive postulate; they are only intelligible or supportable in the light of the basic Truth.
It is necessary to make a distinction in the human being between the outer and the inner man: the former is turned toward the outward and lives in the "accidental”; the latter looks inward and lives on Substance. Spiritual life, on the one hand, awakens and develops the inner man and fixes him upon the substantial axis in order to transmute him progressively, or even instantaneously, according to the particular case, and, on the other hand, it establishes an equilibrium between the inward and the outward by determining the latter in conformity with the former.
There are here two poles of attraction; first one must look beyond the barrier of ice which man carries within himself and which is most commonly signaled by indifference toward Heaven, and discover the inward pole which draws us toward Substance; then, with this pole freed and acting upon the soul like a magnet, one must know how to keep oneself attached thereto; but by the very fact of this attachment the outward pole is transformed under the influence of the inward pole, by virtue of what we have, on several occasions, called the metaphysical transparency of phenomena. The spirit then discovers that everything is within itself and that everything is Substance.
The word "objectivity" signifies, in short, "conformity to the nature of things," independently of all interference of individual tendencies or tastes; the word "subjectivity," for its part, ought to designate the contemplative withdrawal into the "heart," given that "the kingdom of God is within you."
For man, the reason for the existence of outward values is spiritual interiorization: in the direction of the Real which we can encounter and attain to only within ourselves, in our transpersonal center. But this is possible solely in virtue of our consciousness of the Transcendent, which is the ultimate Essence of all "objective" values, while at the same time having its seat in the depths of the Heart-Intellect. Tat tvam asi: "That art thou."


Love of God
The love of God implies, not only that man should turn away from the outward dimension as such and from those things which directly manifest this outwardness, but also that within this dimension, viewed now as the mirror of the Inward, he should love certain things to the exclusion of others, that he should love, that is to say, those very things which manifest Inwardness.
In other words, the love of God must be projected indirectly upon things which are its symbols or its vehicles and which, because of this fact, may be said to prolong the Inward in the outward; and this projection is all the more legitimate in that nothing is really situated outside God and outwardness is basically only an appearance.
Thus the contemplative man will be disposed in principle to prefer the almost paradisal virginity of nature and its solitude to urban centers and their manifold human activities. If it be objected that he should also love men and human works, it may be answered that alongside his love of nature and solitude, he necessarily loves both the company of spiritual men and sanctuaries made by the hand of man.
Among human works the sanctuary is Divine: it is as if virgin nature, in all its reflected divinity, manifested itself within the very framework of human art, transposing the latter on to the Divine plane; virgin nature and sacred art may thus be likened to alpha and omega, opposing each other in a complementary manner like the Earthly Paradise and the Heavenly Jerusalem. Each in its own way manifests the Inward in the outward, and plays its part in bringing about the reflux of the soul toward the Inward.
The problem of the “love of one’s neighbor” is obviously contained in that of the “love of God,” in the sense that the first is essentially an exteriorized aspect of the second; that is to say, charity between men retraces in the “outward dimension” something of the “inward dimension.”
The crucial importance of this charity results from a certain complementarism between “God within” and “God in the world” and from the necessity of an equilibrium between the outward and the Inward. To express this in another way: one cannot enter the inward dimension through egoism; now to transcend oneself in order to meet God is to see oneself (and in a certain manner God) in others; conversely, to strive to see oneself in others in the name of Truth is to contribute powerfully to contemplative interiorization.
In the absence of other men, in the case of the hermit, for example, the ego of the contemplative becomes the ego as such and, by this very fact, includes all individualities; its deliverance is virtually that of all believers, whence a sort of analogical magic which scatters its invisible blessings like dew.
Consequently it is important to understand that the metaphysical and so to speak abstract aspects of God also suggest beauties and reasons for love; the contemplative soul may be sensitive to the immense serenity proper to pure Being, or to the lightning-like crystalinity of the Absolute; or one may — aside from other aspects — love God for what is adamantine in His immutability, or for what is warm and liberating in His Infinitude.
In our terrestrial world there are sensible beauties: those of the limitless sky, of the radiant sun, of the lightning, of the crystal; all these beauties reflect something of God. Moral beauties are analogically of the same order; one may love the virtues for their so to speak aesthetic participation in the beauties of divine Being, just as one may and ought to love them for their specific and immediate values.


To be childlike
... in too many cases the psychological potentiality of childhood never achieves its normal flowering; the necessary manifestation of this possibility is checked—most often by the misdeeds of school education—and subsists as though stifled or crushed, or like a shrunken and hardened kernel, throughout the further development of the individual; whence a psychic imbalance which will show itself on the one hand by the apparent absence of the childlike element, and on the other by childish reactions, such as are not undergone by the balanced man since his mature possibility will have integrated his childlike possibility, the latter being as it were the background of the former. Any human excellence is always an aspect and the fact of an equilibrium; the person who is adult only, that is to say adult to the exclusion of any childlike element, is so only imperfectly and as it were through an inability to remain a child; now an incapacity is never a superiority.
The state of childhood must be transcended by integration, by “digestion” if one may say so, and this necessity is already indicated by the fact that there is a perfect continuity between the different ages; this means that the individual must at every age make use of all the positive contents of the preceding ages, and that he will then react to events not in a way strictly dependent on his age, but with complete balance, uniting for example the spontaneity of youth with the reflectiveness of maturity; in other words, he will possess his temporal “self” in its integral state; every positive attitude, be it childlike or other, is necessary and precious.


Oppression of Contemplatives

No doubt some will say that humanitarianism, far from being materialistic by definition, aims at reforming human nature by education and legislation; now it is contradictory to want to reform the human outside the divine since the latter is the essence of the former; to make the attempt is in the end to bring about miseries far worse than those from which one was trying to escape.
Philosophical humanitarianism under-estimates the immortal soul by the very fact that it overestimates the human animal; it is somewhat obliged to denigrate saints in order to better whitewash criminals; the one seems unable to go without the other.
From this results oppression of the contemplatives from their most tender years: in the name of humanitarian egalitarianism, vocations are crushed and geniuses wasted, by schools in particular and by official worldliness in general; every spiritual element is banished from professional and public life and this amounts to removing from life a great part of its content and condemning religion to a slow death.
The modern leveling — which may call itself "democratic" — is the very antipodes of the theocratic equality of the monotheistic religions, for it is founded, not on the theomorphism of man, but on his animality and his rebellion.


Mystical Proof of God
... before putting aside the mystical or experimental proof as unacceptable from the outset, one should not forget to ask oneself what kind of men have invoked it. There can be no common measure between the intellectual and moral worth of the greatest of the contemplatives and the absurdity that their illusion would imply, were it nothing but that. If we have to choose between some encyclopedist or other and Jesus, it is Jesus whom we choose; we would also of course choose some infinitely lesser figure, but we cannot fail to choose the side where Jesus is to be found.
In connection with the questions raised by the mystical proof and, at the other extreme, by the assurance displayed by negators of the supernatural—who deny others any right to a similar assurance without having access to their elements of certainty—we would say that the fact that the contemplative may find it impossible to furnish proof of his knowledge in no wise proves the nonexistence of that knowledge, any more than the spiritual unawareness of the rationalist does away with the falseness of his denials. As we have already remarked, the fact that a madman does not know that he is mad is obviously no proof to the contrary, just as, inversely, the fact that a man of sound mind cannot prove to a madman that his mind is sound in no way proves it to be unsound. These are almost truisms, but their sense is too often missed by philosophers as well as by men of lesser pretensions.
Moralism and Contemplativity
There is a moral relativism which is truly odious: if you say that God and the beyond are real, this shows you to be cowardly, or dishonest or infantile or shamefully abnormal; but if you say that religion is just make-believe, this shows you to be courageous, honest, sincere, adult, altogether normal.
Were all this true, man would be nothing, he would be capable neither of truthfulness nor of heroism; and there would not even be anyone there to note the fact, for one does not extract a hero from a coward nor a sage from a man of feeble mind, not even by “evolution.”
But this moralistic approach, base as it may be or simply stupid according to the case, is not altogether a new thing. Before it was applied to intellectual positions, it was used in order to discredit the contemplative life which, for its part, was described as an “escape”—as though a man did not have the right to flee from dangers concerning him alone, and what is more important, as though the contemplative life of withdrawal from the world were not much more truly describable as a pilgrimage toward God.
To shun God as do the worldly is far more senseless and irresponsible than shunning the world. To run away from God is at the same time to run away from oneself, for man, when alone with himself—and even though he may be surrounded by others—is always in the company of his Creator, whom he encounters in his very being.


Passion and Contemplation

... the two great traditional ‘dimensions’—exotericism and esotericism—can be, if not defined, at least described to some extent by associating with the former the terms ‘morality, action, merit, grace’, and with the latter the terms ‘symbolism, concentration, knowledge, identity’; thus the passionate man will approach God through action supported by a moral code, while the contemplative, on the other hand, will become united with his Divine Essence through concentration supported by a symbolism, without this excluding the former attitude—that goes without saying— within the limits which are proper to it.
Morality is a principle of action, therefore of merit, whereas symbolism is a support of contemplation and a means of intellection; merit, which is acquired by a mode of action, has for its goal the Grace of God, whereas the goal of intellection, in so far as the latter can be distinguished from its goal, is union or identity with that which we have never ceased to be in our existential and intellectual Essence; in other words, the supreme goal is the reintegration of man in the Divinity, of the contingent in the Absolute, of the finite in the Infinite.
Morality as such obviously has no meaning outside the relatively very restricted domain of action and merit, and therefore in no way extends to such realities as symbolism, contemplation, intellection and identity through knowledge. As for ‘moralism’, which must not be confused with morality, this is merely the tendency to substitute the moral point of view for all other points of view; it has the result, in Christianity at least, of fostering a kind of prejudice or suspicion with regard to anything of an agreeable nature, as well as the erroneous notion that all pleasant things are only that and nothing more.
It is forgotten that for the true contemplative the positive quality and hence the symbolic and spiritual value of such things will greatly outweigh any disadvantage which may arise from a temporary indulgence of human nature, for every positive quality is essentially—though not existentially—identified with a Divine quality or perfection which is its eternal and infinite prototype.
If in the foregoing remarks there is some appearance of contradiction, this is due to the fact that we have considered morality first of all as it is in itself that is to say as a matter of social or psychological expediency, and secondly as a symbolic element, therefore in the quality of a support for intellection; in the latter case, the opposition between morality and symbolism (or intellectuality) is obviously meaningless.
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mesaj 10 Apr 2009, 04:37 PM
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Contemplative & the world
... one is only too familiar with the prejudice which would have contemplative love justify itself and excuse itself before a world that despises it, and which would have the contemplative engage himself unnecessarily in activities that turn him away from the end he has in view; those who think in this manner are obviously unaware that contemplation represents for human society a sort of sacrifice which is salutary for it and of which it is strictly in need.
The whole problem here lies in the definition of “duty”: the imprescriptible vocation of the contemplative — of the “pneumatic” whose spiritual ascent results from his very substance and not from a choice or a conversion as in the case of the “psychic”— may possibly be reconcilable with activity in the world, but there are cases — and this is more probable — where it is not so. At all events, it is through the duties that are properly his that the contemplative fully satisfies the love of God, and thereby the love of men, the latter being contained in the former.
A world is absurd exactly to the extent that the contemplative, the hermit, the monk appear in it as a paradox or as an “anachronism”. The monk however is in the present precisely because he is timeless: we live in an epoch of idolatry of the “age”; the monk incarnates all that is changeless, not through sclerosis or through inertia, but through transcendence.
The worldly confusion between charity and natural — or passional — attachment does not concern the contemplative, whose sanctity is infinitely more profitable to men than would be his complicity in their dissipation. One of the characteristic features of the worldly is that they do not like being lost alone: for them charity means to have their perdition shared by others.
When perceiving a sign-proof of the divine Principle, the contemplative mentality has two spontaneous reactions, namely essentialization and interiorization, the first being objective, and the second subjective: through the first, man sees in the sign or quality that which is essential — the divine intention if one will — whereas through the second, he finds the sign or quality in his own soul; on the one hand "unto the pure all things are pure"; on the other, "the kingdom of God is within you." The first reaction refers to transcendence, and the second to immanence, although transcendence too relates to what we bear within ourselves, and although immanence also exists outside ourselves.


Virgin Nature
The virtues, which by their very nature bear witness to the Truth, also possess an interiorizing quality according to the measure in which they are fundamental; the same is true of beings and things that transmit the messages of eternal Beauty; whence the power of interiorization proper to virgin nature, to the harmony of creatures, to sacred art, to music.
The aesthetic sensation — as we have often remarked — possesses in itself an ascending quality: it provokes in the contemplative soul, directly or indirectly, a recollection of the divine essences.
For the “pneumatic” [contemplative], sensible beauty, as well as moral beauty, possesses a virtue that interiorizes; it ennobles the world while separating us from the world.


Spiritual Union
Spiritual doctrines admit ‘union’ or ‘identity’, according to whether they envisage the being from the point of view of creation or from that of Divine Reality.
From the point of view of creation nothing can ‘become God’ or ‘become nothing’; in the Divine Reality the world has never been and so the creature can never have ceased to be.
Now the intelligence which is immersed in God sees according to the Divine Reality, otherwise it would not truly see God.
In the last analysis everything comes down to a question of terminology: the unconditional affirmation of identity by Shankara, though not by all Vedantists, necessarily results from the perspective of the absolute Subject.
For Ibn Arabi it is not a question of ‘becoming one’ with God: the contemplative ‘becomes conscious’ that he ‘is one’ with Him; he ‘realizes’ real unity.
In Christianity ‘deification’, the necessary complement of the ‘Incarnation’, does not imply any ‘identification’ on the same plane of reality. That man as such should literally ‘become’ God would imply that there was between God and man a common measure and a symmetrical confrontation.
No doubt it was this reservation Shankara had in view when he affirmed that the delivered one (mukta) is without the creative power of Brahma.
Be that as it may, the expression ‘to become God’ has not to be rejected any more than has the formula of ‘identity’ of a Shankara, for they retain all their value as paradoxical and elliptical indications.


Man "center" & "periphery"
When humanity is considered from the standpoint of its values, it is necessary to distinguish a priori between the man-center, who is determined by the intellect and is therefore rooted in the Immutable, and the man-periphery, who is more or less an accident.
This difference is repeated — mutatis mutandis — in every man who is conscious of the supernatural, whether he belongs to the first category or the second; without this awareness he has no authentic centrality nor consequently any decisive worth.
That is the meaning of the Eckhartian distinction between the "inner man" and the "outer man": the latter identifies passively with his experiences, whereas the former may enjoy or suffer in his temporal humanity while remaining impassible in his immortal kernel, which coincides with his state of union with God.
The possibility of such a parallelism lies in man's very nature, and is the essence of the notion of the avatara; in this respect — analogically speaking and with all due proportion — every pneumatic is "true man and true God." The underlying divine substance does not abolish the human mask, any more than the mask prevents the divine manifestation.
It has been said that there are saintly men who "laugh with those who laugh and weep with those who weep"; which indirectly expresses the detachment, and directly the good will, of the "pneumatic" or "central" man.
He is detached because he does not identify with the accidents; and he is good-willed because, for that very reason, he could be neither egoistic nor petty; but his very superiority poses for him problems of adaptation, for on the one hand he must form part of the human ambience, and on the other he cannot grasp immediately all its absurdity.
The man-center is necessarily situated in an isolation from which he cannot but suffer "externally": feeling that every man is in a certain way like himself, he sincerely puts himself in their place, but it is far from the case that others put themselves in his.
Moreover, the ways of acting of the man-center may be "amoral," although not "immoral": they may be contrary to a particular morality, but not to morality as such; thus it is proper to discern between a "justice" that is extrinsic and conditional and another that is intrinsic and unconditional.
We mentioned above the isolation of the man-center in the face of the world's absurdity; now the fact that his behavior can be like that of the man-periphery may give the impression of solidarity with the worldly ambience, but this is a deceptive appearance, since similar ways of acting can hide dissimilar intentions.
Aside from the fact that the superior man may behave "like others" to mask his superiority, precisely — either out of charity or out of an "instinct" for self-preservation — there is this to consider, and it is essential: for the contemplative man, pleasure does not inflate the individuality; on the contrary, it invites to a transpersonal dilation, so that the "sensible consolation" gives rise to an upward opening and not to a downward inflation.
Moreover, an analogous grace intervenes for every sincere believer when he approaches pleasure "in the name of God" and thus opens himself to Mercy: he "invites" God and at the same time takes refuge in Him.


Contemplative and Altruism
Some people readily accuse of "selfishness" the contemplative preoccupied with his salvation, and maintain that instead of saving oneself one should save others; but this is firstly hypocritical and secondly absurd because, on the one hand, it is not from excess of virtue that those who argue thus refuse sanctification, and on the other hand, it is impossible to save others, since one can only know and will with one's own knowledge and one's own will; if it is possible to contribute to saving others, it is only by virtue of one's own salvation.
No man has ever been of service to anyone by remaining attached to his own faults out of "altruism"; whoever neglects his own salvation certainly will save no one else.
To mask passions and spiritual indifference behind good works is a proof of hypocrisy.


Contemplatives and society
It is quite obvious that in order to be able to determine the rights of earthly things — and we regret that this is not a truism — it is necessary to start from the axiomatic truth that the value of man and of things lies in their adequation to the integral Real and in their capacity to participate directly or indirectly in this end; the role of the contemplative man is constantly to look towards this Real and ipso facto to communicate to society the perfume of this vision; a perfume both of life and death, and indispensable for any relative wellbeing to which the world here below may be entitled.
It is necessary, therefore, to start from the idea that spirituality alone — and with it the religion which necessarily is its framework — constitutes an absolute good; it is the spiritual, not the temporal, which culturally, socially and politically is the criterion of all other values.


Spiritual Perfections
The first spiritual phase is isolation, for the world is the ego; its summit is to "see God everywhere," for the world is God.
In other words, there is one spiritual perfection in which the contemplative sees God only inwardly, in the silence of the heart; and there is another that is superior to this and derives from it — for it can only be conceived as an extension of the first perfection — in which the contemplative perceives God equally in the outward, in phenomena; in their existence, then in their general qualities and then in their particular qualities, and indirectly even in their privative manifestations.
In this realization, not only does the ego appear as extrinsic — which happens also in the case of the first perfection — but the world appears as inward by revealing its Divine substance, things becoming as it were translucent. It is to this realization, at once radiating and all-embracing, that the Sufis allude when they say, with Shibli: "I have never seen any thing but God.


Contemplative thought
Contemplative thought is a ‘vision’; it is not — like passionate thought — ‘in action’. Its external logic is dependent on its inner vision, whereas, in passionate thought, the logical process is so to say blind. Such thought does not ‘describe’ realities that are directly perceived but ‘constructs’ mental justifications on the basis of preconceived ideas, which may indeed be true, but are accepted’ rather than understood.
The word ‘thinker’ implies that an individual activity is attributed to knowledge, and this is significant. As for the ‘contemplative’, he may abstain from ‘thinking’: the act of contemplation is principial, which means that its activity is in its essence, not in its operations.
Morals can vary, for they are founded on social exigencies: but virtues do not vary, for they are enshrined in the very nature of man; and they are in his primordial nature because they correspond to cosmic perfections and, a fortiori, to Divine qualities.
For the moralist, the good lies in action: for the contemplative it lies in being, of which action is only a possible and at times a necessary expression.


Contemplation and sexuality
An enjoyment which brings man nearer to God — by virtue of its symbolism, its nobility and the contemplative quality of the subject — is no less profound than suffering, and perhaps in some respects even more profound. But this possibility requires rare qualities of nobility and contemplative penetration, of intuition of the universal essences.

The renunciation of the contemplative has in no wise the aim of accumulating merits in order to enjoy individual bliss. It serves to put the soul, by what one might call radical measures, into the most favourable possible disposition for realizing its own true and infinite Essence.
Love of God, far from being essentially a sentiment, is that which makes the wise man contemplate rather than do anything else.
The virtue of the contemplative is that he makes of his virtues a grace for others; in the last analysis his positive virtue is that of God which he realizes in his vision.
Art has an aspect that is inward and profound by virtue of its symbolism; it then fulfills a different function and speaks directly to the contemplative mind: in this way it becomes a support for intellection, thanks to its nonmental, concrete and direct language.
The intrinsically sacred character of sexuality was not unknown to Judaism or to Hinduism, from which the two ascetical religions just mentioned issued respectively; however, neither Judaism nor Hinduism was unaware of the value of asceticism, which obviously keeps all its rights in every religious climate.
Man is so made that he naturally slides towards the outward and has need of a wound to bring him closer to "the kingdom of God which is within you," and this notwithstanding the complementary fact that the contemplative — and he alone — perceives the traces of the divine in outward beauties, which amounts to saying that given his predisposition, these beauties have the capacity to interiorize him, in conformity with the principle of Platonic anamnesis.
This means that man's ambiguity is that of the world: everything manifests God — directly or indirectly or in both ways at the same time — but nothing is God; thus everything can either bring us closer to Him or take us further from Him.
Each religion, or each confession, intends to offer its solution to this problem in conformity with a particular psychological, moral and spiritual economy.
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mesaj 10 Apr 2009, 04:39 PM
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THE SAGE

For the sage, every star, every flower, is metaphysically a proof of the Infinite.
In the Middle Ages there were still only two or three types of greatness: the saint and the hero, and also the sage; and then on a lesser scale and as it were by reflection, the pontiff and the prince; as for the “genius” and the “artist”, those glories of the Lay universe, their like was not yet born.
Saints and heroes are like the appearance of stars on earth; they rescind after their death to the firmament, to their eternal home; they are almost pure symbols, spiritual signs only provisionally detached from the celestial iconostasis in which they have been enshrined since the creation of the world.


Spiritual Gravity

... one must take into consideration the gentleness and humility of sadness: it is opposed to pride and hatred and is close to love; it must also be appreciated that noble sentiments symbolize attitudes situated above and beyond the emotional plane.
Seen thus, sadness, far from being opposed to the impassibility of the sages is an attitude of spiritual “gravity,” an alchemical quality which brings our substance into conformity with the contemplation of the Immutable; for gravity, and this is the important point, has the same virtue as tears, that is, it excludes, as they do, hardness, levity, and dissipation.
If sadness is a weakness, we shall find no trace of it in the Divinity; but if it has a positive side, as it has, it is prefigured in God; now in God there is no suffering, but there is in him a sort of grave and merciful gentleness, which is not unconnected with the gift of tears in man.


Wisdom and Certitude

Human life is studded with uncertainties; man loses himself in what is uncertain instead of holding on to what is absolutely certain in his destiny, namely death, Judgment and Eternity.
But besides these there is a fourth certainty, immediately accessible moreover to human experience, and this is the present moment, in which man is free to choose either the Real or the illusory, and thus to ascertain for himself the value of the three great eschatological certainties.
The consciousness of the sage is founded upon these three points of reference, whether directly or in an indirect and implicit manner through “remembrance of God.”

Dream and Reality

Objection will no doubt be made that the sage should not concern himself with relative reality and therefore with degrees of universality; we reply yes, he must, since he is concerned with it in all kinds of ways, which deprives him of any right to claim to consider the Absolute exclusively; whoever has eyes and ears is obliged to discern relativities, with or without spiritual vision of Atma.
If a man dreams of eating, he has the excuse of not acting freely or in full lucidity; but if he eats when awake, while denying the qualitative ontological difference between the two states in an unconditional sense, he has no excuse, since he believes he is dreaming and knows that the dream is illusory; he should not then perform voluntarily actions the sole excuse for which, in dream, is that they are involuntary.
Moreover, in dreams it happens to all of us to work all sorts of wonders: jumping over precipices and floating happily in the void like a bird, and so on; let him who believes that all is dream and mere subjectivity do half as much in the waking state, if he is sincere!
If the opinion which unconditionally confuses the states of waking and of dreaming were well founded and if these two states were equivalent precisely on the plane of relativity — whilst in reality they are so only in the sight of the Absolute — it would be indifferent whether a man was a sage dreaming he was a fool, or a fool dreaming he was a sage.


The Sages of Asia

Hindus and the peoples of the Far East clearly do not have the notion of ‘sin’ in the Semitic sense of the word: they distinguish between actions, not with regard to their intrinsic value, but with regard to their opportuneness in view of their cosmic or spiritual reactions, and also with regard to their social utility. They do not distinguish between the ‘moral’ and the ‘immoral’, but between the advantageous and the harmful, the agreeable and the disagreeable or the normal and the abnormal, leaving themselves free to sacrifice the former, — outside any ethical classification, —in a spiritual interest. They are capable of pushing renunciation, abnegation and mortification to the very limit of what is humanly possible and of doing so without being moralists; the sage of Asia renounces not only the immoral but also the moral, in so far as these words designate, not virtues or vices, but categories of action.
Every truth can assuredly be proved, but not every proof is acceptable to every mind. Nothing is more arbitrary than a rejection of the classical proofs of God, each of which is valid in relation to a certain need for logical satisfaction. This need for logical satisfaction increases in proportion, not to knowledge, but to ignorance. For the sage every star, every flower, is metaphysically a proof of the Infinite.
Ramana Maharshi
In Shri Ramana Maharshi one meets again ancient and eternal India. The Vedantic truth — the truth of the Upanishads — is brought back to its simplest expression but without any kind of betrayal. It is the simplicity inherent in the Real, not the denial of that complexity which it likewise contains, nor the artificial and quite external simplification that springs from ignorance.
That spiritual function which can be described as ‘action of presence’ found in the Maharshi its most rigorous expression. Shri Ramana was as it were the incarnation, in these latter days and in the face of the modern activist fever, of what is primordial and incorruptible in India.
He manifested the nobility of contemplative ‘non-action’ in the face of an ethic of utilitarian agitation, and he showed the implacable beauty of pure truth in the face of passions, weaknesses and betrayals.
The great question ‘Who am I?’ appears, with him, as a concrete expression of a reality that is ‘lived’, if one may so put it, and this authenticity gives to each word of the sage a flavour of inimitable freshness — the flavour of Truth when it is embodied in the most immediate way.
The whole Vedanta is contained in the Maharshi’s question ‘Who am I?’. The answer is the Inexpressible.


Rűmi
Rűmi considers, with finesse and profundity and not without humor, that the sage is conquered by woman whereas the fool conquers her: for the latter is brutalized by his passion and does not know the barakah [blessing] of love and delicate sentiments, whereas the sage sees in the lovable woman a ray from God, and in the feminine body an image of creative Power.


Sage and proof of God

The mystical proof of the Divinity belongs to the order of extrinsic arguments and carries the weight of the latter: the unanimous witness of the sages and the saints, over the whole surface of the globe and throughout the ages, is a sign or a criterion which no man of good faith can despise, short of asserting that the human species has neither intelligence nor dignity; and if it possesses neither the one nor the other, if truth has never been within its grasp, then neither can it hope to discover truth when in extremis.
The idea of the absurdity both of the world and of man, supposing this to be true, would remain inaccessible to
us; in other words, if modern man is so intelligent, ancient man cannot have been so stupid. Much more is implied in this simple reflection than might appear at first sight.

Sage and thinker
Mention has already been made of the passage from objectivity to reflexive subjectivity—a phenomenon pointed out by Maritain—and at the same time the ambiguous character of this development has been emphasized.
The fatal result of a “reflexivity” that has become hypertrophied is an exaggerated attention to verbal subtleties which makes a man less and less sensitive to the objective value of formulations of ideas; a habit has grown up of “classifying” everything without rhyme or reason in a long series of superficial and often imaginary categories, so that the most decisive—and intrinsically the most evident—truths are unrecognized because they are conventionally relegated into the category of things “seen and done with”, while ignoring the fact that “to see” is not necessarily synonymous with “to understand”; a name like that of Jacob Boehm, for example, means theosophy, so “let’s turn over”.
Such propensities hide the distinction between the “lived vision” of the sage and the mental virtuosity of the profane “thinker”; everywhere we see “literature”, nothing but “literature”, and what is more, literature of such and such a “period”.
But truth is not and cannot be a personal affair; trees flourish and the sun rises without anyone asking who has drawn them forth from the silence and the darkness, and the birds sing without being given names.
There are men who believe themselves to be without passions, because they have transferred their whole passional life on to the mental plane, which becomes ‘egotistic’. ‘Wisdom after the flesh’ is, among other things, mental passion with its compensating complement — petrifaction. It is the thought of a ‘hardened heart’.
The sage, since he transcends the mind, loses his concepts in contemplation; he is always being reborn anew. Charity means to lose oneself.


Sage and ordinary man

What is subjective in the ordinary man — a feeling or an emotion — becomes objective, that is, alien for the sage, and what appears to the ordinary man as objective — some object or other, a natural law, a truth — enters intimately into the life or will of the sage and as a result becomes similar to what was a psychic and therefore subjective disposition for the ordinary mortal; the profane man a priori places his love in facts, whereas the spiritual man places his in principles; which leads us to point out that a fact has a deep meaning only insofar as it manifests a universal law, whereas from the profane point of view principles seem to be just some facts among others.

When the sage says: "I desire," he speaks truly, but when the ordinary man says of him: "he desires," he is mistaken. One might also say that the sage, when he "desires" something, does so with divine consent ... (or by divine order ...), and to the extent that his individuality does desire, it has simultaneously sacrificed the object of its desire; this is expressed in the words of Christ: "Not my will, but Thine be done," words which characterize the disposition of the perfect sage in all his wishing, and which compel us to admit that, from the ordinary human point of view, the perfect sage is beyond desire.


Sage and Religion
There are people who, disdaining the religions and traditional wisdoms, believe they can draw everything from within themselves, for which there is logically not the slightest reason; no doubt, the sage draws everything "from within himself" — regnum Dei intra vos est — in the sense that he benefits from intellectual intuition.
But such intuition, aside from the fact that it has nothing to do with either ambition or, a fortiori, presumption, accords with the sacred traditions, from which the sage does not dream of turning away, even if he is born with infused knowledge.
Be that as it may, religions and wisdoms are values as "natural" — although "supernaturally" so — as the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat...


Sage & perception of the world
Before the Fall, every river was the Ganges, and every mountain was Kailasa, because the Creation was still "inward," the knowledge of good and evil not having yet "exteriorized" or "materialized" it, and likewise: for the sage, every river is a river of Paradise.
According to the relationship of the element "Consciousness" or "Intelligence," the sage realizes a return to the quintessence in an analogous manner: his mind is concentrated, it maintains itself in the transpersonal climate of the Intellect; it does not lose itself in "what is thought," but tends to identify with "That which thinks," with the Intellect itself. The mind, rather than reposing in its being, is concentrated on its essence; but quite evidently the one does not go without the other.
All things are God and the sage sees the Divine Face in each thing — howbeit according to very different relationships — or, more exactly, he sees the Divine Face "through" each thing.
This precision is imperative in order that no one be tempted to see pantheism in a conception that is as from it as possible. The pantheistic error arises from the incapacity to see God in the appearances, whence the confusion — atheistic at the same time as being idolatrous — between the world and God; which is to say that pantheism consists in nothing other than the error of admitting an identity that is material and not essential between the Principle and manifestation.
The idea of "God's existence," although it has a certain legitimacy from the purely human point of view — for which "existence" is synonymous with "reality" — is not foreign, however, to the genesis of the pantheistic conception, in the sense that "God's existence" is a first stage towards the "divinity of that which exists."
If we also appear to attribute to the created a divine aspect, it is however in a totally different manner and in a purely metaphysical sense that has nothing either material or quantitative about it.
The world, whatever it may contain of things permanent or transitory, is never detached from God; it is always the same celestial substance fallen into a void and hardened in the cold of separation; the limits of things and the calamities that result from them bear witness to that.
The sage sees in things and through things the Divine origin now distant, and also—as he considers limitations and miseries—the fall which is inevitable and in which the world will finally crumble; he discerns in phenomena the ‘flux’ and the ‘reflux’, the expansion and the return, the existential miracle and the ontological limit.
The sage sees God everywhere’, but not to the detriment of the Divine Law to which he is humanly subject.
The nature of Intelligence is not to identify itself passively and as it were blindly with the phenomena which it registers but, on the contrary, to reduce these to their essences and thus to come in the end to know That which knows.
By the same token, the sage — precisely because his subjectivity is determined by Intelligence — will tend to "be That which is" and to "enjoy That which enjoys," which brings us back to the Vedantic ternary: Being, Consciousness, Beatitude (Sat, Chit, Ananda). There is in reality but a single Beatitude, just as there is but a single Subject and a single Object. The three poles are united in the Absolute, and separated insofar as the Absolute engages itself in Relativity, in accordance with the mystery of Maya; the final outcome of this descent is, precisely, the diversification of subjects, objects and experiences.
Object, Subject, Happiness: all our existence is woven of these three elements, but in illusory mode; the sage does not do otherwise than the ignorant man, that is, he lives on these three elements, but he does so in the direction of the Real, which alone is Object, Subject, Happiness.
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shapeshifter
mesaj 10 Apr 2009, 04:41 PM
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THE GNOSTIC


For too many persons the gnostic is someone who, feeling illumined from within rather than by Revelation, takes himself to be superhuman and believes that for him everything is permissible; one will accuse of gnosis any political monster who is superstitious or who has vague interests in the occult while believing himself to be invested with a mission in the name of some aberrant philosophy.
In a word, in common opinion gnosis equals "intellectual pride," as if this were not a contradiction in terms, pure intelligence coinciding precisely with objectivity, which by definition excludes all subjectivism, hence especially pride which is its least intelligent and coarsest form.
For the gnostic — always in the etymological and not the sectarian sense of the term — or for the jnâni, there can be no question of "egoism," since the ego is not "himself." The "I" is for him the "other," objectification, the vital tangible center of the world.
We have written in one of our books that to be objective is to die a little, unless one is a pneumatic, in which case one is dead by nature, and in that extinction finds one's life.


Gnostic & Philosopher
Philosophically speaking, there are two great problems, that of Being, of Reality, and that of Consciousness or of Knowledge; these are problems because of the prejudice which treats the roots of Existence as if sensible objects were in question. For the gnostic — for the born metaphysician — there are no problems; he perceives Being — or conceives of It — through phenomena, and perceiving Being, he knows ipso facto that he "is" what he "knows."
The gnostic — in the original and not sectarian sense of the word — does not ask: "What attitude of will and sentiment is the most contrary to pride?" but rather: "What in this particular case is the nature of things, and what consequently is the positive attitude — of the spirit and the soul — of which pride is the negation or the privation?"
First, the attitude of the spirit: namely, discernment between the Absolute and the relative, and in the relative between the essential and the secondary — discernment which entails ipso facto the sanctifying and unitive contemplation of the Absolute and of the essential.
Then the attitude of the soul, itself governed by this discernment or by this sense of proportion and equilibrium: namely, self-effacement on the one hand, and generosity on the other; for all the fundamental virtues are included in these two qualities.
It is indispensable to know at the outset that there are truths inherent in the human spirit that are as if buried in the "depths of the heart," which means that they are contained as potentialities or virtualities in the pure Intellect: these are the principial and archetypal truths, those which prefigure and determine all others. They are accessible, intuitively and infallibly, to the "gnostic," the "pneumatic," the "theosopher" — in the proper and original meaning of these terms — and they are accessible consequently to the "philosopher" according to the still literal and innocent meaning of the word: to a Pythagoras or a Plato, and to a certain extent even to an Aristotle, in spite of his exteriorizing and virtually scientistic perspective.
One may wonder which we should here admire more: the gnostic who penetrated the mystery or the philosopher who knew how to make it explicit. But if man does what he is, or if he is what he does, why strive to become better and why pray to this end? Because there is the distinction between substance and accident: both demerits and merits come from either one or the other, without man being able to know from which they come, unless he is a “pneumatic” who is aware of his substantial reality, an ascending reality because of its conformity with the Spirit (Pneuma), “Whoso knoweth his own soul, knoweth his Lord”; but even then, the effort belongs to man and the knowledge to God; that is to say, it suffices that we strive while being aware that God knows us. It suffices us to know that we are free in and through our movement towards God, our movement towards our “Self.”


Gnostic and Believer
Let us here recall once again the difference between the "man of faith" and the "man of gnosis": it is the difference between the believer, who in all things has in view moral and mystical efficacy to the point of sometimes needlessly violating the laws of thought, and the gnostic, who lives above all from principial certitudes and who is so made that these certitudes determine his behavior and contribute powerfully to his alchemical transformation. Now, whatever be our vocational predispositions, we must needs realize a certain equilibrium between the two attitudes, for there is no perfect piety without knowledge, and there is no perfect knowledge without piety.
The difference between FAITH AS BELIEF and FAITH AS GNOSIS consists in this: that the obscurity of faith, in the ordinary believer, is in the intelligence, whereas in the metaphysician it is in the will, in the participation of his being: the seat of faith is then the heart, not the mind, and the obscurity comes from our state of individuation, not from a congenital unintelligence. The faith of the sage — or of the "gnostic" — has two veils: the body and the ego; they veil, not the intellect, but ontological consciousness. Wisdom, however, comprises degrees.

There are various ways of expressing or defining the difference between gnosis and love — or between jnana and bhakti — but here we wish to consider one criterion only, and it is this: for the volitional or affective man (the bhakta) God is "He" and the ego is "I," whereas for the gnostic or intellective man (the jnani)1 God is "I" — or "Self" — and the ego is "he" or "other."
It will also be immediately apparent why it is the former and not the latter perspective that determines all religious dogmatism: it is because the majority of men start out from certainty about the ego rather than about the Absolute. Most men are individualists and consequently but little suited to concretely making an abstraction of their empirical "I," a process which is an intellectual problem and not a moral one: in other words, few have the gift of impersonal contemplation — for it is of this we are speaking — such as allows God to think in us, if such an expression be permissible.
The exoteric distinction between ‘the true religion’ and ‘false religions’ is replaced, for the gnostic, by the distinction between gnosis and beliefs, or between essence and forms. The sapiential perspective alone is an esoterism in the absolute sense, or in other words, it alone is necessarily and integrally esoteric, because it alone reaches beyond all relativities.
The way of love is more or less esoteric as seen from the angle of social religion, and more or less exoteric as seen from the angle of gnosis, and this moreover explains certain somewhat ambiguous aspects of Christianity; but one must take care not to confuse the aspect ‘love’ in gnosis itself with doctrines and methods of a specifically bhaktic, and therefore ‘dualist’ and emotive character.
Religion is to a large extent in the hands of “psychics” and not “pneumatics”; the Word, in descending, adapts to the needs of “sinners” more than to those of the “righteous”; the collective soul collaborates in the outward face of the Revelation owing to the fact that it is the latter’s plane of resonance.
This insistance of a certain esoterism upon the ascetical dimension which is after all merely secondary and conditional, could not be explained if this esoterism did not address itself to a large collectivity rather than to a restricted elite only; for in the latter case, esoterism would be defined by its essence, namely an integral metaphysical doctrine, and such a doctrine is spiritually operative only for the "pneumatics," not for the "psychics"; thus for a minority, not for the majority.


Gnostic, Psychic, Hylic
Gnostically speaking, there are the "psychics" who can be saved or damned; then the "pneumatics", who by their nature cannot but be saved; and finally the "hylics", who cannot but be damned. Now Luther practically conceived only of this third category, and theoretically — with reservations and conditions — that of the "psychics", but in no wise that of the "pneumatics", hence all the tormentedness of his doctrine. In reality, in every man there are three seeds, the "pneumatic", the "psychic" and the "hylic"; it remains to be seen which predominates.
In practice, it suffices to know that to say "yes" to God, while abstaining from what takes one away from Him and accomplishing what brings one closer to Him, pertains to the "pneumatic" nature and assures salvation, all question of "original sin" and "predestination" aside; thus in practice there is no problem, save that which we conceive and impose upon ourselves.
The "pneumatic" is the man who so to speak incarnates "faith which saves", and thus incarnates its content, the "grace of Christ"; strictly speaking, he cannot sin — except perhaps from the point of appearances — because, his substance being "faith" and therefore"justice through faith", all that he touches turns to gold. This possibility is extremely rare, being "avataric" above all, but finally, it exists, and cannot but exist.
The "psychic" is saved through "conversion", whereas the "pneumatic" is saved by "nature". The second of these accepts the truth — as did Ali and Abu Bakr — without the least hesitation and from the heart, by virtue of an almost existential "reminiscence". One must bear in mind that in Pauline language, the "psychic" is the earthly and fleshly man, hence practically the "hylic" man ...
Whatever may be the general aspect of Islam, as a Semitic monotheism, one may nevertheless be amazed by the fact that many and even the majority of Sufis, if not the greatest among them, express themselves in the style of a will-dominated and emotional individualism, whereas Sufism itself, by definition, is founded on gnosis and fashioned by it.
The reason for this is that the majority of men, even at the level of sainthood, are “psychics” and not “pneumatics”; they are consequently subject indirectly to the regime of fear, and it would be hypocrisy or temerity on their part to express themselves otherwise than they do; it is true that many amongst them could subsequently have changed their mode of expression, but they sought to remain faithful to what their individual substance demanded of them at the start, more especially as it is better to appear less than one is than to be less than one appears. Account also must be taken of the point of view of religious solidarity, which demands or favors a common language, without forgetting the symbolism of love which readily rejoins the language of sentiments and emotions.
Having spoken of physical and psychic types, we are all the more obliged to take account of what we may term "eschatological types," whose order — like that of the castes — is vertical and hierarchical, not horizontal and neutral. Gnosticism — which despite its errors contains many a truth — distinguishes three fundamental types: the pneumatic, whose nature is ascending; the hylic or somatic, whose nature is descending; and the psychic, whose nature is ambiguous.
Clearly, this hierarchy is independent of ordinary hierarchies, and consequently it gives rise to cases that at first glance are paradoxical; as a matter of fact, we may meet with quasi-angelic individuals among the least endowed as well as among the most gifted men, and others who personify the opposite.
This leads us to the problem of predestination, which is intimately linked to that of initial possibilities and individual substances; of course, the divine foresight also embraces the psychics, whose case seems to be undecided, but who in reality "veil" their substance — and consequently their destiny — by a complex and moving fabric of contradictory and more or less superficial possibilities.
Still on the subject of fear and referring to the Gnostic, terminology, one could also put forth the argument that for the "hylic" or "somatic" type, it is primarily threats that determine the will; for the "psychic" it is primarily all of the promises or the imagery of religion in general; whereas for the "pneumatic," it is the metaphysical idea. But as man is not an absolute unity, we may also speak of man "inasmuch as" he is this or that, in order to avoid the idea that threats concern the "hylic" exclusively, or that the "psychic" — always in connection with volitive assimilation — is necessarily inaccessible to the language of universal principles.


Anti-gnostic satanism
If there exists a "Gnosticist" or pseudo-gnostic satanism, there also exists an anti-gnostic satanism, and this is the comfortable and dishonest bias that sees gnosis wherever the devil is; it is to this mania — which strictly speaking pertains to the "sin against the Holy Ghost" — that may be applied Christ's injunction not to cast pearls before swine nor to give what is holy to the dogs.
For if in the human order there are pearls and holiness, these are certainly to be found on the side of the intellect, which is, according to Meister Eckhart, aliquid increatum et increabile, hence something divine, and this is precisely what annoys and disturbs the partisans of pious superficiality and militant fanaticism.

Acest topic a fost editat de shapeshifter: 10 Apr 2009, 04:45 PM
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shapeshifter
mesaj 10 Apr 2009, 04:46 PM
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Some examples of Gnostic
From another point of view, Maya is relativity or illusion, and is not "on the left" but "below." As the universal archetype of femininity, Maya is both Eve and Mary: "psychic" and seductive woman, and "pneumatic" and liberating woman; descendent or ascendant, alienating or reintegrating genius. Maya projects souls in order to be able to free them, and projects evil in order to be able to overcome it; or again: on the one hand, She projects her veil in order to be able to manifest the potentialities of the Supreme Good; and, on the other, She veils good in order to be able to unveil it, and thus to manifest a further good: that of the prodigal son's return, or of Deliverance.
The emperor Augustus, who was divinized while still living, is supposed to have said before dying: "Applaud, for have I not played well the comedy of life?" This indicates in its way the distance of the "pneumatic" in relation to the "psychic" and the "hylic".
A companion of the young St Thomas Aquinas told him, in the presence of other young monks, to look out of the window to see a flying ox; this the saint did, without of course seeing anything. Everyone began to laugh, but St Thomas, imperturbable, made this remark: “A flying ox is less astonishing that a lying monk”. There is no occasion to reproach pure souls for having a certain credulity which, in fact, is to their credit, in that their humility inclines them to overestimate others, provided that evidence to the contrary is not immediately present.
In the language of gnosis, he [pope Celestine V] was what is called a “pneumatic” namely a being who is attracted by Heaven in a “supernaturally natural” manner; the name of Coelestinus, chosen by the new pope and given to the monastic order which he founded, is also an indication of this.
The “pneumatic” lives on the memory of a lost paradise: he seeks only one thing, a return to his origin, and having himself a quasi-angelic nature, he is to a large extent unaware of the average nature of men. Incapable of knowing in advance that the general run of men are wild beasts, Celestine V, with a holy naivety, believed them to be similar to — or even better than —himself; he was unaware to what extent passions, ambitions and other illusions dominate intelligences and wills, and to what extent men are capable of pretence — which incidentally proves their culpability. He had to become pope to find this out.


Gnostic and the World
There has been much speculation on the question of knowing how the sage—the “gnostic” or the jnani “see” the world of phenomena, and occultists of all sorts have not refrained from putting forward the most fantastic theories on “clairvoyance” and the “third eye”; but in reality the difference between ordinary vision and that enjoyed by the sage or the gnostic is quite clearly not of the sensorial order.
The sage sees things in their total context, therefore in their relativity and at the same time in their metaphysical transparency; he does not see them as if they were physically diaphanous or endowed with a mystical sonority or a visible aura, even though his vision may sometimes be described by means of such images.
If we see before us a landscape and we know it to be a mirage—even if the eye alone cannot discern its true nature—we look at it otherwise than we should if it were a real landscape; a star makes a different impression on us from a firefly, even when the optical circumstances are such that the ocular sensations are the same; the sun would fill us with tenor if it ceased to set. In the same sort of way a spiritual vision of things is distinguished by a concrete perception of universal relationships and not by some special sensorial characteristic. The “third eye” is the faculty of seeing phenomena sub specie aeternitatis and therefore in a sort of simultaneity; to it are often added, in the nature of things, intuitions concerning modalities that are in the ordinary way imperceptible.
The sage sees causes in effects, and effects in causes; he sees God in all things, and all things in God. A science that penetrates the depths of the “infinitely great” and of the “infinitely small” on the physical plane, but denies other planes although it is they that reveal the sufficient reason of the nature we perceive and provide the key to it, such a science is a greater evil than ignorance pure and simple; it is in fact a “counter-science”, and its ultimate effects cannot but be deadly.
In other words, modern science is a totalitarian rationalism that eliminates both Revelation and Intellect, and at the same time a totalitarian materialism t hat ignores the metaphysical relativity—and therewith also the impermanence—of matter and of the world. It does not know that the supra-sensible, situated as it is beyond space and time, is the concrete principle of the world, and that it is consequently also at the origin of that contingent and changeable coagulation we call “matter”. A science that is called “exact” is in fact an “intelligence without wisdom”, just as postscholastic philosophy is inversely a wisdom without intelligence.


Gnostic and Virtues
An objection might here be raised that charity requires to be transcended in gnosis and that it is illogical to concern oneself with it since Knowledge, being beyond oppositions, contains the undifferentiated quintessence of every virtue; to this the reply must be made that positive charity is necessary in so far as the individual has not understood the meaning of negative virtue; the jnani asks, not: ‘Am I charitable?’ but: ‘Is this being free of egoism?’, indicating that his virtue is as negative as his theosophy is apophatic. Intrinsic virtue lies beyond all moral specification; it is our fundamental being, so that to be virtuous means to abstain from the vices of fallen nature.
This by no means prevents abstention from being able to assume, according to circumstances, an aspect of volitive affirmation, hence of exteriorisation and activity. On the other hand the strictly moral perspective, which the jnâni or the ‘gnostic’ has to leave behind, implies adding works and virtues to our being and thereby tends towards individualism; in practice it runs the risk of putting works and virtues in the place of God, while the manic perspective, which confines itself to maintaining the soul in the virginity of our fundamental being, is impersonal from the fact that it sees virtue, not in human initiatives, but in an existential quality, namely the primordial and innocent nature of creation; but this fundamental being, or this theomorphic nature, represents an ontological layer deeper than the level of the fall. Virtue then is not dissociated from contemplation, it rests, so to speak, in God; it is less a will to do than a consciousness of being, and that is why it withdraws from the plane of moral oppositions instead of entering actively into their play.
But the transcending of the virtues could not in any case be equivalent to an absence of virtues; on the contrary, it means freedom from the individual limitations which the divine Qualities assume in the human ego; what counts most, for God, is the quality of our contemplation, for to be contemplated is for God a manner of ‘being’, if one may so express it, in the sense that the fact of human contemplation is a consequence of divine ‘being’.


Gnostic and Bhaktas
In doctrinal formulations those of an affective temperament (the bhaktas) tend to adopt individual and rational modes of thought, and, being more or less aware of the limitations which this implies, they attribute them to man as such.
For Shankara theory is an objectivation of Reality, which is the Self. For Ramanuja theory is a dialectic — even an apologetic —destined to prepare the ground for the way of love.
For the affective man knowledge flows from love as a gift. For the intellective man, the gnostic (the jnani), love flows from knowledge as a necessity.
Man's deiformity implies moral beauty, if only — de facto — as a potentiality. The pneumatic is a man who identifies a priori with his spiritual substance and thus always remains faithful to himself; he is not a mask unaware of his scope, as is the man enclosed in accidentality.
The question: ‘What is God?’ or: ‘What am I?’ outweighs, in the soul of the gnostic, the question: ‘What does God want of me?’ or: ‘What must I do?’ although these questions are far from being irrelevant, since man is always man. The gnostic, who sees God ‘everywhere and nowhere’, does not first of all base himself on alternatives outside himself, although he cannot escape them; what matters to him above all is that the world is everywhere woven of the same existential qualities and poses in all circumstances the same problems of remoteness and proximity.
This last specification provides the key to the enigma: voluntaristic mysticism readily resorts to biases, to catapulting arguments or surgical acts of violence, for the simple reason that at that level the truth pure and simple appears as an inoperative abstraction. For the "gnostic" or the "pneumatic," the inverse takes place; while being insensitive to exaggerations and other means of pressure he is immediately receptive to the truth as such, because it is the truth and because the truth is what convinces and attracts him.
... for the voluntaristic and moralistic theologian, that is true which will yield a good result; for the born metaphysician, on the contrary, that is efficacious which is true; "there is no right superior to that of the Truth." But not everyone is a "pneumatic," and it is necessary to give societies an equilibrium and to save souls as one can.


Knowledge and Deliverance
“There is no other means of obtaining complete and final Deliverance than by Knowledge, this alone removes the bonds of the passions ... Action (karma), not being opposed to ignorance (avidya,), cannot remove it; but Knowledge dissipates ignorance, just as light dissipates darkness.”—Such remarks concern only “ pneumatics”; now the fact that the majority of pneumatics practiced certain actions—ritual, moral or other—does not mean that they were ignorant of the rel ative character of action, nor still more so that they attained Knowledge by means of action; and if a given hadith appears to make mystical Union dependent on supererogatory acts, this is solely because it takes as its starting-point the tendencies of exteriorized man, not to mention the fact that certain rites can be supports for cognitive actualization. Action collaborates with intellection and contemplation, but does not replace them, nor is it a conditio sine qua non.


Gnostic and the Sacred
As regards lower moral disciplines presented as stages towards higher intellectual and spiritual results, the great question that arises is knowing whether or not metaphysical ideas act on the will of such and such a man, or whether on the contrary they remain inoperative abstractions; that is to say whether or not they unleash interiorizing and ascending acts of the will and affective dispositions of the same order. If this is the case, there is no need to seek to create a distaste in the person in question for a world which already hardly attracts him, or for an ego which already has no more illusions or ambitions, at least not at the level that would justify crude disciplines; it is pointless to impose on the “pneumatic” attitudes which for him are meaningless and which, instead of humbling him in salutary fashion, can only bore and distract him.
To think otherwise — but there are here many degrees to consider —is to place oneself outside esoterism and sapience, whatever be the theories to which one thinks one can or must refer; it is to forget in particular that the “pneumatic” is the man in whom the sense of the sacred takes precedence over other tendencies, whereas in the case of the “psychic” it is the attraction of the world and the accentuation of the ego that take priority, without mentioning the “hylic” or “somatic” who sees in sensory pleasures an end in itself. It is not a particularly high degree of intelligence that constitutes initiatic qualification, it is the sense of the sacred — or the degree of this sense — with all the moral and intellectual consequences that it implies. The sense of the sacred separates from the world and at the same time transfigures it.
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shapeshifter
mesaj 10 Apr 2009, 04:52 PM
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THE PRIMORDIAL MAN

Primordial man knew by himself that God is; fallen man does not know it; he must learn it.
Primordial man was always aware of God; fallen man, while having learned that God is, must force himself to be aware of it always.
Primordial man loved God more than the world; fallen man loves the world more than God, he must therefore practice renunciation.
Primordial saw God everywhere, he had the sense of archetypes and of essences and was not enclosed in the alternative "flesh or spirit"; fallen man sees God nowhere, he sees only the world as such, not as the manifestation of God.


Primordial Man & Nature
Primordial man sees the "greater" in the "lesser": the world of Nature, in fact, reflects Heaven, and conveys, in an existential language, a divine message that is at once multiple and unique. The moral result of this perspective of the "translucid" cosmos is a respectful and even devotional attitude towards virgin Nature, this sanctuary — the key to which has been lost to the West since the disappearance of the mythologies — which fortifies and inspires those of its children who have retained the sense of its mysteries, as Terra did for Antheia.
Christianity, having had to react against a truly "pagan" spirit (in the Biblical sense of "idolatrous") has at the same time caused to disappear — as always happens in such cases — values which did not deserve the reproach of paganism; having to oppose, among the Mediterraneans, a philosophic and "flat" "naturalism," it suppressed at the same time, above all in the Nordics, a "naturism" of a spiritual character.
Modern technology is the result — quite indirect, no doubt — of a perspective which, having banished from Nature the gods and the genies, and having also by this very fact rendered it profane, has ended by allowing it to be "profaned" in the most brutal sense...


Human Body and Nudity
This spiritual function of the body explains the sacredness which is attributed to nudity in some non-religious traditional forms, notably in Hinduism, the form which most nearly corresponds to the Primordial Tradition.
This sacred aspect of nudity is indeed met with, if only exceptionally, in every traditional form, whether in the symbolism itself or in the case of isolated spiritual personages: we need only recall the nudity of the crucified Christ, which is far from being without significance, or that attributed by Christian iconography to Saint Mary the Egyptian and sometimes to Saint Mary Magdalene.
In a certain sense there exists a sort of symbolic opposition between the face and the body: the face represents in that case the individual and the mental faculty, while the body corresponds to the species and the Intellect ; consequently the denuding of the body is capable of manifesting outwardly a penetration or ‘transfiguration’ of the body by the Intellect, and therefore a re-integration of the flesh into the state of primordial innocence’.
In another respect the denuding of the body represents the spiritual exteriorization (the jalwah of Sufism) of what in the ordinary or ‘hardened’ man is inward and hidden. The body, having become a sanctuary of the ‘Real Presence’, thereby becomes sacred and ‘radiates’ in its turn, and for the spiritual man who affirms this corporeal ‘glory’ this also signifies the rupture of a profane or social bondage and the rejection of the artifices of the mind and so of individual limitations.
On the other hand nudity—serving thus as a support of contemplation— may also express love towards the Creator whose Presence man feels in his consecrated flesh, which implies as a consequence the abolition of the artificial and specifically human limits —represented by clothing—which separate man from the rest of creation.
The naked body has not only an ‘innocent’ or ‘child-like’ aspect, due to the fact that it is the work and image of the Creator and in this respect ‘good’ and ‘pure’ like the primordial Creation itself, but it also possesses an aspect of ‘nobility’—one might almost say of ‘love’— because it reflects God’s beauty by its own, or in other words, because it manifests the Divine Beatitude and Goodness, which preside over the Divine Act of Creation.
Lastly the body possesses also an aspect of ‘serenity’ or ‘reality’ since it affirms ‘That which really is’, that is to say, the naked ‘Truth’, unique and formless, unobscured by the veils of arbitrary human thought.
To say that the body symbolizes spiritual and even Divine Aspects—the former necessarily having a reference to the latter—amounts to saying that it really ‘is’ these realities and Aspects on its own plane of existence, and in consequence that the positive aspects of the body are metaphysically more real than its aspects of impurity and ‘flesh’; and it is precisely this knowledge that sacred nudity affirms.
Finally it may be added that the aspects of ‘innocence’, ‘nobility’ and ‘serenity’ refer respectively to the symbolism of the nudity of the new-born child, that of the body exalted in love and that of the corpse ‘in the hands of him that washes the dead’.
One of the functions of dress is, no doubt, to isolate mental subjectivity, that which thinks and speaks, from the two existential subjectivities which risk disturbing the message of thought with their own messages; but this is nonetheless a question of temperament and custom, more or less primordial man having in this respect reflexes other than those of man too marked by the fall; of man become at once too cerebral and too passional, and having lost much of his beauty and also his innocence.
“And they saw that they were naked”: their intelligence and their will, like their way of feeling, had become exteriorized, and their love had thereby become detached from the divine essence of things and transmuted into concupiscence; reflections of the Divine Sun on the water of Existence, they had taken themselves for the Sun itself, forgetting that they were but reflections, and they were ashamed of the humiliating consequences of this error.
If in the Biblical and Koranic symbolism the sexual parts evoke shame and humiliation, it is because they remind man of blind and God-fleeing passion that is unworthy of man because it ravishes his intelligence and his will: but it goes without saying that this moral perspective does not represent the whole truth and that the positive symbolism of nuditas sacra is much more profound: on the one hand, it evokes the semi-divinity of primordial man, and on the other hand, it seeks to draw us away from accidentality, which is diverse and outward, towards substantiality, which is simple and inward.
Besides, the Bible does not reproach Adam and Eve for their nakedness; it records that they looked upon it with shame, but this refers to the fall and not to nudity as such.


Intellection & Revelation
For primordial man, Revelation and Intellection coincided: contingency was still transparent so that there were as yet neither “points of view” nor “perspectives.”
Whereas in later times Revelation is multiple because, geometrically speaking, the circumference implies many radii, the “point of view” of primordial man corresponded to the whole circle; the center was everywhere.
Likewise, the unavoidably limiting aspect of expressions, forms, or symbols did not yet imprison human minds; there could be no question, therefore, of a diversity of forms, each expressing the same Truth in the name of the impersonal Self while being mutually exclusive in the name of this or that particular manifestation of the personal God.
Now that these diverse manifestations exist, what matters is to know that intrinsically they speak in absolute mode, since it is the Absolute which is speaking, but that extrinsically they are clothed in the language of a particular mental coloring and a particular system of contingencies, since they are addressed to man. The man to whom they are addressed in this manner is already cut off from that inward Revelation which is direct and “supernaturally natural” Intellection.


Before and After the Fall
Before the loss of the harmony of Eden, primordial man saw things from within, in their substantiality and in the divine Unity; after the Fall man no longer saw them except outwardly and in their accidentality, and thus outside God.
Adam is the spirit (ruh) or the intellect (‘aql) and Eve the soul (nafs); it is through the soul — horizontal complement of the vertical spirit and existential pole of pure intelligence — or through the will that the movement towards exteriorization and dispersion came; the tempter serpent, which is the cosmic genius of this movement, cannot act directly on the intelligence and so must seduce the will, Eve.


Man "image of God"
Man is ‘made in the image of God’; to humiliate this image may be a profanation. Likewise, the intelligence cannot humble itself in its impersonal essence or in its transcendent principle; one must not seek to humiliate the Holy Spirit along with man. In our fall one thing remains intact and this is the intellect.
Moral requirements do not account for the whole of man; if the difference between primordial man and fallen man was absolute they would not be the same being; only one of them would be human. But there is something unalterable in man and this can be a spiritual starting point just as can the abyss of the fall.
That which, in man, becomes aware that he is despicable cannot itself be what is to be despised; that which judges cannot also be that which is judged.


Primordial Man & Faith
The demerit of unbelief or lack of faith does not therefore lie in a natural lack of special aptitudes, nor is it due to the unintelligibility of the Message, for then there would be no demerit; it lies in the passionate stiffening of the will and in the worldly tendencies which bring about this stiffening.
The merit of faith is fidelity to the supernaturally natural receptivity of primordial man; it means remaining as God made us and remaining at His disposition with regard to a message from Heaven which might be contrary to earthly experience, while being incontestable in view of subjective as well as objective criteria...


PS: citiţi şi mai ales înţelegeţi ce scrie mai sus, nu vreau nici analize pe text, nici impresii, nici opinii, iar de suspenduri prea puţin îmi pasă... consider încheiată prezenţa mea pe acest forum...
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Acest topic a fost editat de shapeshifter: 10 Apr 2009, 05:10 PM
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andra_v
mesaj 10 Apr 2009, 05:05 PM
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Shape, esti binevenit pe acest forum. Din orice text putem invata ceva; dat fiind ca ai foarte multe postari pe o anumita tema (gnosticismul si ezoterismul), ar fi mai bine sa fie grupate toate pe o arie, fie religioasa, fie filosofica, in functie si de alegerea ta. De ce sa placi? Uite ce discutii interesante ne ofera, spre exemplu, Ovidiu Bufnila pe Dezbateri, care deschide in fiecare zi cate un topic unic pe net?


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An Appeal From James’ Family

An Appeal From James’ Family
Unidentified gunmen kidnapped journalist James Foley in northwest Syria on Thanksgiving Day, November 22 2012.

Jim is the oldest of five children. He has reported independently and objectively from the Middle East for the past five years. Prior to his work as a journalist, Jim helped empower disadvantaged individuals as a teacher and mentor assisting them in improving their lives.

The family appeals for the release of Jim unharmed.
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shapeshifter
mesaj 10 Apr 2009, 05:09 PM
Mesaj #10


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eu nu vorbesc despre gnosticism ci despre Gnoză şi mai ales nu de gnoze ci de Gnoză!

Metafizica nu ţine nici de filozofie,nici de religie, e deasupra lor şi în ele... nu orice filozofie duce Acolo... nu orice gnoză duce la Gnoză...

Cine are vocaţie, va merge mai departe singur... eu am indicat incotro să se uite aceluia care are deja vocaţia spre metafizică... şi crede-mă: sunt foarte puţini, căci chiar dacă intră pe cale, calea mai devreme sau mai târziu îi aruncă înlături dacă au intrat prin „efracţie” (ca să nu mai spun că pe majoritatea îi scoate pe partea cealaltă ca şi cum metafizica nu ar fi acolo, ca şi cum ar fi un voal transparent care, dacă nu intri prin „unghiul” care trebuie, te scoate fără să-ţi dai vreodată seama prin ce comoară ai pătruns, te scoate deci pe partea „cealaltă” ca şi cum n-ar fi acolo ceva infinit de preţios)... iar pe alţii îi înfundă datorită inerţiei lor, inerţiei de a nu fi cu toată fiinţa lor in act...

To be spiritual means not to deny with one’s ‘being’ what one affirms with one’s ‘knowledge’, that is to say, what is accepted by the intelligence. Truth lived: incorruptibility and generosity.


Acest topic a fost editat de shapeshifter: 10 Apr 2009, 05:22 PM
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Clopotel
mesaj 10 Apr 2009, 07:40 PM
Mesaj #11


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Draga Shapeshifter,
QUOTE
eu nu vorbesc despre gnosticism ci despre Gnoză şi mai ales nu de gnoze ci de Gnoză!

Metafizica nu ţine nici de filozofie,nici de religie, e deasupra lor şi în ele... nu orice filozofie duce Acolo... nu orice gnoză duce la Gnoză...

In acest caz, cel mai bun lucru ar fi ca sa mutam toate aceste topicuri ale tale (eu am numarat cel putin 26 unul dupa altul hh.gif ), la Dincolo de Ratiune, sau, daca insisti sa ramana aici, atunci o sa le unim in unul sau doua topicuri despre Metafizica si Gnoza, dar asta abia saptamana viitoare, cand voi avea ceva mai mult timp. Pentru 26 de topicuri probabil o sa pierd cam o ora...

Pana atunci, pentru eventualele mesaje, ...ca sa nu ne dai mai mult de lucru, nu ai vrea sa dai copy-paste intr-unul din topicurile ce deja le-ai deschis, in loc sa mai deschzi altele noi cu variatiuni pe aceeasi tema?
Multumesc frumos!

Obs. Iti repet: ar fi foarte simplu pentru oricine sa deschida aici topice pentru fiecare capitol din Scriptura si inca mii din comentariile diversilor oameni la Scriptura, mai ales ca multe sunt deja in forma electronica si copy-paste ar fi cel mai la indemana. La fel ar putea face si musulmanii, si budhistii, si yoghinii, si ne-am intrece toti in a da copy-paste si a deschide noi topicuri. Insa nu asta este ideea acestui forum de religie.
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