Priceless Book Offer
Well, the distributor is reducing its inventory, and my publisher gave me the option of taking them off their hands. I impulsively and unwisely purchased a bunch more than I can possibly unload on you folks. Therefore, the offer is back on, only this time with twice the desperation!
Remember, these weren't mere signed copies, as my competitors deign to hastily scribble off. Rather, each copy is adorned with a lovingly handcrafted and personalized metaphysical wisecrack or insult, or perhaps a limerick of questionable taste. Some readers were treated to a crude drawing of my discarnate collaborator, Petey, while others requested a paw print from our Great Dane, Eddie (back then it was Finn). The only limit is your imagination and my patience.
And remember -- the book will no doubt become a valuable collector's item if I am ever convicted of a well-publicized major crime or felled by a meteor.
I'm thinking, fifteen bucks, which will cover the book and the shipping, with a few dollars left over for a Love Offering that is sure to earn an indulgence or two from Petey. Two copies for $28...
BTW, this is the new CORRECTED EDITION that fixes some embarrassing typos and other infelicities in the first printing.
If you'd like one, e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or, just mail your love offering, along with any instructions for enscribblement, to:
26141 Veva Way
Back to the isness at hand. We were outlining Schuon's "universal metaphysic," to see if this can be harmonized with process theology.
Again, in order to visualize the spatial distinction between absolute and infinite, we may think of the former as point, the latter as extension; similarly, "in time the absolute is the moment, and the infinite is duration."
In terms of matter, the absolute is the ether, the "primordial substance" (prakriti in Vedanta) while "the infinite is the indefinite series of substances." In terms of form, the absolute is "the sphere" -- one more reason why we call it O -- which is widely considered the most "simple, perfect, and primordial form," whereas the infinite is "the indefinite series of more or less complex forms." Etc.
Now, there is an obvious conflict between Schuon's view and the Christian view of creation. Again, Schuon comes very close to an emanationist position, in which creation is a kind of inevitable vertical descent from plane to plane.
Conversely, Christianity always emphasizes the freedom with which God creates. In this view, creation is said to be completely unnecessary, an utterly free gift for which God receives nothing in return (since he is already complete, lacking absolutely nothing).
A few posts back I hinted at a way to harmonize these positions, and I think the key lies in horizontalizing Schuon's verticality, while converting a relation of dependence to one of complementarity.
For example, in Schuon's view, the absolute is prior to the infinite, even if the infinite is a necessary consequence of absoluteness. Another traditional way of saying this is that it is in the nature of things for the Sovereign Good to radiate its goodness outward. After all, a goodness that didn't spontaneously share it's goodness wouldn't be very nice.
But what if we tweak this formulation slightly, and see absolute and infinite as complementarity, whereby the one is impossible in the absence of the other? Here we can easily see how this would apply to Christian theology, since -- as far as I know -- it would be incorrect to suggest that the Son "emanates" from the Father in a vertical fashion.
Rather -- and this is a bit of an orthoparadox -- the Father is "primary," so to speak, but nevertheless, he has never existed without the Son. It is not as if the Father-Absolute (what we call Abbasolute) one day decided to have a Son. No, Father-Son is not a vertical relation but a complementary one.
And if I am not mistaken, this goes to the theological dispute that finally split the Eastern and Western churches, i.e., the filioque. In brief, for the East, the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father alone, whereas in the West the Holy Spirit proceeds from Father and Son.
I don't want to reopen old wounds, but it seems to me that the latter formulation is a defense against the vertical/emanationist view, in that it emphasizes the irreducible complementarity and intersubjectivity of Father and Son. In short, it characterizes ultimate reality in terms of relation rather than subordination.
It's like the old days, when we had three coequal branches of government instead of this peevish tyrant who thinks congress only exists to ratify his delusions.
Once again, I don't have sufficient time to get more deeply into things. All of this is still quite preluminary...