Unity versus Diversity

Rational discussions on metaphysical and abstract topics.
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Sebomai
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Unity versus Diversity

Postby Sebomai » Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:41 pm

This may seem at the start like it belongs in the Norse Myth section, but really, it is a philosophical question.

I am reading a great book, not agreeing with ALL of it, but it's mostly amazing. It's called Summoning the Gods, by Collin Cleary. It's a philosophical/theological tract on neo-paganism in general, and Northern heathenry more specifically. In one essay on the Runes, the author basically states that the concept of absolute unity is unworkable because all things can only exist in some kind of opposition to something else. Not in the sense of conflict, but he states that, at the very least, things need to have other things that are not them in order to define their existence as what they are and what they are not.

Now, this may seem contradictory on the surface to what we think, but I have an idea that I think reconciles it and that the author himself might even see as plausible. We believe in and teach unity in the Star. The unity of all things in the Divine, in essence. But what about in practice? We do travel a somewhat Left Hand Path road, so we definitely have some aspects that put a high premium on individuation. So, is it possible that the Divine, which is a unity and pervades all things, eternally emanates "creations," for lack of a better word, because without things, created, material things, to differentiate on some level what is the Divine and what is not, in PRACTICE as opposed to in ESSENCE, or else the Divine itself could not be considered an existing reality? I hope I'm making myself clear. Basically, what I'm driving at is: Does the Divine or the Absolute need to emanate things that exist seemingly differentiated and outside of unity, in order to divide what is Divine and what is not, so that it perpetuates its own existence through an eternal emanating of material existence that clearly is not the Absolute Itself in PRACTICE. In ESSENCE, we are all one, but obviously, in practice and in experienced reality on the conscious level, we are separate. Any thoughts?
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Nefastos
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Re: Unity versus Diversity

Postby Nefastos » Wed Aug 14, 2013 11:45 am

This is very important topic to talk about.

I'm not familiar with the said book, but I agree with its idea of impossibility of total unity in practice, to a certain point. If we start to think in terms of the Absolute only, it will soon become clear it doesn't matter at all what we do or do not, because everything fits everything already.

As a Satanist, I'd say the problem has these two ends: Death and Satan. Total Death is the result of forces nullifying each other, when they are in perfect harmony. That is both the beginning and end of our cosmos of separation: to bring forces back to each other & "let the darkness come". That is what Slavoj Žižek also said in the quote posted by Jiva. Thus, Death is the ultimate reality, ultimate victory. But that Death needs total consolation of forces, & that is the longest process indeed.

Only, as occultists we know (or believe) that that cosmic Death is not the death of Self: it's only the death of not-self, the world of illusion.

Satan, on the other hand, is the maker of Diversity - or separation. He, it, is needed because total unity leading to nothing else but total unity would remain blind, powerless in its omnipotence so to say. Ego must be created, activated. Only after that it can be able to return to macrocosmic unity as "the son of God".

* * *

In practice, what we need is devotion to archetypes, i.e. divinities, that in the long run help both ourselves & the so-called world outside us (what is outside us? there's no such thing actually) can be helped in the best possible way in that great return.

For example, these Death and Satan are achetypes themselves. They are two ways of seeing, and following, cosmic order of things; there are numerous other ways. But they are chosen to be emphasized because there have been imbalance before, regarding them as evil per se.

And so, the whole philosophical point of "practical unity is futile" is actually a problem of/in time. It is futile for one who wants to grasp it right now for oneself: because it slips away when grasped, or at its best, makes everything equal and because of that all work & helping people equally worthless.

Novelist Roger Zelazny put it thus:

"The ego, as I see it, exists at an intermediate stage between rationality and reflex existence. Blotting it out is a retreat, though. If you come from that Absolute - of a self-canceling All - why do you wish to go back home? Do you so despise yourself that you fear mirrors? Why not make the trip worthwhile? Develop. Learn. Live. If you have been sent on a journey why do you wish to cop out and run back to your point of departure? Or did your Absolute make a mistake in sending something of your caliber?"

This is what I too want to say to those who only emphasize unity over archetypal ideas. If such would be the need of the world, why live at all? Why even think? Why have we born men? We must separate, we must emphasize, because they are our tools & our dharma as differentiated beings. Just going falalah with the supposed harmony of the world would be extremely selfish. For as Žižek said, there's no harmony actually, as long as this metaphysical impossibility called the world exists. It exists because it is not in total harmony; and we must help it to attain that harmony, by cultivating divine archetypes in ourselves & in our culture.

One important lesson of why we do the Celestial Hymns practice in the Star of Azazel is to help our minds to understand that all of the archetypes, all the seven cosmocrators, are equally important, but they must be emphasized in the right time of theirs. There are lesser cycles of time, & greater. One tiny cycle of time is a 24 hour period; but there are hundreds & thousands of years when some archetype is in ascendance, and should be noted. Cleaned of impurities & helped to shine in this world of men, too.
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
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Sebomai
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Re: Unity versus Diversity

Postby Sebomai » Wed Aug 14, 2013 12:39 pm

That was a very powerful response. (I could have said this about a couple other responses you've given me, but I didn't want to sound trite and respond when I had nothing else to say, other than that!) I think you touched on a number of points I find very important and meaningful. The quote by Zelazny makes me badly want to read The Chronicles of Amber, now. I have been told to by a friend and that just reinforces it.

I think, an opposite possibility of getting too caught up in Unity, is the kind of dippy blissed out sort of "I love the God in all of you" thing that actually doesn't recognize any other being as a differentiated individual. It loves the Divine in things but it doesn't love the beings AS THEMSELVES. And that, to me, is a huge key to the Love we go on about. If you're only loving a perception of Divinity in someone, an externally imposed brotherhood in the bosom of God, and not the PERSON with all theri faults and quirks, you're not really loving THEM. You're loving an idea you thrust upon them, an image that you use to cover up the face they are actually showing you. That's not Love to me.
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Re: Unity versus Diversity

Postby Jiva » Wed Aug 28, 2013 12:07 am

Perhaps the word “unity” itself is unhelpful in this context as it has connotations of bringing two or more different things together. Maybe “re-unity” or “non-dualism” in the Hindu sense of the word are better as these suggest a re-unification or a realisation that although it may appear that things are separate due to our level of perception, they actually aren't in any conventional sense.

This concept of non-dualism – or unity, or whatever one's preferred term is – has been the subject of a lot of my thoughts, even before I got interested in the psychological occult as I was lucky enough to begin studying different Hindu theories at secondary school.

I think Nefastos has hinted at this issue elsewhere, but when discussing unity there's always the issue of individual personality and how it relates to any concept unity. For example, in the first Aghori book, Svoboda/Vimalananda states that ultimate unity shouldn't be aimed for as this would cause the “fun to end” due to a complete obliteration of personality. I actually tend to sympathise with this sort of statement, but instead view it from a different perspective, even though it could be interpreted as hedonistic.

At the moment I favour a 'liberation in this lifetime' kind of view; a Jivanmukta in Hindu terminology, an Arhat is the Buddhist equivalent. Regardless of whether there is an existence after Human death I'm of the opinion that realising any ultimate state of unity/non-dualism would still mean an attachment to the world. To use similar Platonic terminology: perceptions may change but not the underlying form. Personally I haven't thought enough about the possibilities of existence after Human death and reincarnation, so I basically view this from a largely psychological point of view.
'Oh Krishna, restless and overpowering, this mind is overwhelmingly strong; I think we might as easily gain control over the wind as over this.'

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