Okay, so the last post is very “My God … It’s full of stars.” Most of us have had some sense of that in our lives and it doesn’t seem to change much for most, right? If anything, it can be a little bit of a paralytic. If it is all full of stars and wonder, then so is all that we would judge horrible, right? Gilles de Rais is as good as Joan of Arc, Stalin is as good as the Dalai Lama, right?
Well, slow down there, partner. When it all dissolves, there isn’t you or me, Stalin or Joan. Those distinctions are gone for a moment and between all those points, there are only surging spiritual potentialities, not yet falling back into patterns and shapes that can be assigned to individuals of any sort, much less to ethical agents. Good and bad aren’t yet questions we can ask when we properly realize the dissolution into points.
Wave or a particle? Yes, but not at the same time.
As we are easing ourselves back toward the place where ethics arises, it useful to return to the meditation on the cone. Remember those points? That’s right–they don’t quite exist in this world like lines or shapes. They are the barely here things that define the forms, not the forms. To get at them, we needed to stage the world in such a way that they became, for a moment, visible.
At the level where the staging happens, we are still very much ethical agents and we need to keep that in mind. The means used to modulate the world are open to ethical questioning, because at that level we are agents whose actions are open to ethical contemplation. We don’t get a pass on what we do there because we do it to receive divine insight.
We have to make decisions about the virtue of such work within the world we occupy and, assuming it is warranted, determine the proper place of that work within that world. Now, the practices that set the stage for the revelation are the very same sorts of practices that set the stage for its reintegration. They provide the tools for bringing the fluidity of the dissolution of points in contact with the visible manifestations through which we live.
These traditions themselves must be fluid. The question of how fluid and in what way, though, need to be addressed. There are no easy answers here. The tradition needs to be integrated both with the visible and invisible world, responsive to each. By way of tradition’s mediation, the invisible world can make ethical claims on individuals within material manifestation, but so too can individuals make claims on the invisible.
Questions of doxa constitute a tradition and a tradition is only as alive as the questions that constitute it. the questions are the means through which the visible and invisible meet. When they cease to be active, when they congeal into habit and assertion, the tradition generally loses its vitality, and its members drift toward aimless gnostic dreaming, fall into deep dogmatic slumber, or die into simple routine. The tradition must be equal to both its spiritual potencies and to the demands of the concrete portions of the world through which it manifests.