Part of a work in progress.
One of your favorite sayings is “-O- is and the rest is commentary.” Would you explain that please?
The commentaries are the statements we make about -O-. A commentary is a belief statement in a particular -O-image, not a faith statement in the reality of -O- and there is a major difference between a belief statement and a faith statement. -O- is not a thing that is definable in the same manner we can define the sun. When we make the claim “-O- is this”, we restrict -O-’s ability to be that. -O- cannot be restricted in any manner. How can we say that -O- is “This” or “That” without stepping into the mudpuddle of blasphemy?
It isn’t that I have a problem with the commentary. What I have a problem with is the attitude the commentary actually reflects the reality. There are times we have no choice but to talk about -O- in terms of being but we make a major mistake when we take the menu for the meal. It may be that -O- is a being, but I highly doubt that this type of being is imaginable to us humans. The Infinite is infinitely more different from what we understand as a being as a single celled organism is different that a human. The most we can say about -O- is to make the statement “-O- Is.” To reiterate what Lao Tzu said, once we open our mouths, we are 186,000 miles off target. We would be just as truthful saying “Yak blab blah.”
This should not be taken as a condemnation of our images. It is a condemnation of our habit of daffyfining the Infinite with word pictures, which, by their very nature, are finite. What I mean by “Daffynition” is a word picture that we insist matches the reality. I can say that -O- is the mother of all creation but the minute I say -O- is a female, it becomes a daffynition. As long as we all believe that -O- is, it does not matter what we believe -O- is. -O- is like this to me, -O- is like that to you, -O- is like thus to that person, -O- is like so to another person. Not a one of the images is the Actuality. Have you fully considered what you are doing when you say “-O- is thus?” I have to question whether -O- wants to be thus or would so be better?
The way I look at it is that saying a particular -O-image is -O- is to show a profound lack of faith. The Tao is my particular -O-image but I’m not silly enough to make the claim the Tao is -O-. If we limit the Actuality to God, what is going to happen when Goddess needs to manifest? As I’ve said many times, this Actuality we call -O- is Infinite and there is no way to finite the infinite. People say there is no consistency to a -O- that is all things to all people. The ability to be all things to all people is consistency - no matter where we look, there -O- is. Everything in the universe - you, me, this, that, concepts, when I say everything, I literally mean everything, is an emanation of -O-.
Think of it as a type of Relativity, -O- does not change, the frames of reference change. It is the commentary about -O- that undergoes change and the commentary is not -O-, as I’ve yapped about many times. The way I see it is that too many are focusing on their particular commentary as an Absolute, rather than a Relative Truth. What people fail to comprehend is that -O- is not a one size fits all phenomena that can be neatly placed into a logical box. We make a major mistake in our drive to get all to agree on a particular commentary. In concentrating on a particular Whatness, we completely ignore that all of us agree on the Thatness, thus raising problems where none need exist.
Each of these Whatness statements reduces -O- to a thing we can claim to comprehend and I highly doubt many people realize what they are doing. A -O- that can be reduced to one true image is not much of a -O- as far as I’m concerned. Other than ‘Is’, the only word we can use adequately when discussing -O- is ‘infinite’. The most we should do with a -O-image is take the mindset that ‘This is what -O- is like for me.’ for, when we say ‘This is what -O- is.’ we step firmly into Idolatry and forcing others to worship our particular image becomes Blasphemy.
One major mistake of Western theological thinking as far as I’m concerned that has long confused me is where do we get this assumption that The One True -O- can be explained by One True Statement with the precision of a scientific theory? We take the approach of ‘one out of many’ rather than ‘one in many’ and so we lose the grandeur of Reality as it is. Much of this loss comes from how we think of the term ‘one’ in that we think of it in the connotation of ‘exclusive’. That is one but not the only way to look at ‘one’ for we can also look at it in the connotation of ‘inclusive’. No one -O-image is -O- for the simple reason that -O- is the Source of all images.
We have no problem with the idea that although light appears white, we can spread it with a prism and see that light is ‘composed’ of many colors. Red and blue are not two different lights; they are two aspects of the one light. The Hindu image of the Divine is quite different from the Jewish image of the Divine but they are both images of the Divine, just as blue and red are aspects of the same light. In the same manner that red does not compete to be The One True Light, the various -O-images are not in competition.
The Wave-Particle duality of light is a good illustration of how our dualism of -O- being either self or other causes problems. Light has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that it acts like a particle. It has also been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that it acts like a wave. The photon is neither particle nor is it wave, so what is it? Through the mystical experience, -O- can be experienced as either completely self or as completely other with the experience holding as much truth as the evidence supporting either a particle or wave. If -O- is neither self nor other, how can we image -O- accurately?
As I’ve said many times, I’m not suggesting we throw away our images. We need the images to communicate our ideas. We fail to realize an image is ‘what it is like’, not ‘what it is’. There are times one has to talk as if -O- is the Stern Father slapping you upside the back of the head for screwing up but we cannot say that is the actuality of what is happening. We do not confuse a road map of the United States with the actual United States, do we? This is what we do when we say ‘-O- is thus’. An image of -O- is no more -O- than the map is the United States. If we are going to make the claim ‘-O- is thus’, we are going to have to deny the Infinity.
‘Infinite’ is another concept all faiths confess, making ‘thus’ and ‘so’ integral aspects of the Infinity. Each -O-image is not of a different -O- as so many want to believe. It is more like a multilayered holographic image. The red ‘layer’ looks one way and the blue ‘layer’ has another appearance. The Truth of the hologram is the totality, not the red or the blue. When we reduce the hologram to a black and white image, we cannot see the beauty of the colorful image in front of us.
All I’m suggesting is that we have to get rid of this idea that any one particular -O-image has to be true for everyone. The closest we can come to actually defining -O- is the phrase “-O- is infinite” and leave it at that. We can find truth about -O- in an image but the truth of -O- cannot be limited to one image. Your particular -O-image reflects your particular innerreaction, my -O-image reflects my innerreaction; each one of us has a slightly different innerreaction. This means that each -O-image will be slightly different, reflecting the Infinity of -O-.
I want you to think about what you’re (I’m using the term ‘you’ in the generic sense) doing with this attitude about -O-images. You’re attempting to reduce -O- to a thing that can be understood. The most a -O-image should be is an icon to be venerated. All too many elevate it into an idol to be universally worshipped, which, as far as I’m concerned, is Blasphemy. As far as I’m concerned, something that is simple enough to be completely understood is too simple to be thought of as -O-. Despite what we may wish to think, -O- is going to be what -O- is going to be. The images of the Stern Father and the Loving Mother say nothing about the essence of -O- as all they yap about is how we interpret our experience of -O-. This is why I call them ‘commentaries’.
Another thing you’re doing is assuming different -O-images represent different -O-s. To use an Orchestra as an example, what we are doing is concentrating on one instrument and filtering out the rest. We do not have Orchestras made up of one instrument just as a piano has more than one key. Even when all the instruments are playing the same melody, they have their own sounds. One way I like to describe Theology in general is Symphonia Religiosa because it makes sense to me to think about the whole enterprise as the music of -O-.