Thursday, March 7, 2013
The inner eye
I had an interesting moment the other day when someone from the Parabola Facebook community lamented on my post "a greater good" that they were "with me until I started muddying up the issue with God and the Lord."
Let's face it, this space is not for people who want to think in atheistic terms. Anyone who comes here hoping to find a philosophy sterilized to exclude deity is going to be profoundly disappointed.
We may all agree that deity may carry a different set of meanings, associations, or understandings for different people; indeed, that's a foundational proposition in my original Episcopalian faith, and, within the context of this level, inevitable. Swedenborg was more than willing to allow for this; yet he, like Gurdjieff, pointed out — in his own delightfully unique way — that at a certain level of understanding, such distinctions dissolve, and one is faced with fundamental understandings related to Divine Love and Wisdom.
Why Gurdjieff failed to more openly emphasize these essential properties of the universe, while Ibn Arabi and Swedenborg expounded at such great length on them, is a mystery to me. His work is not only fundamentally consonant with that of these two great spirits, it is profoundly suffused with understandings that emanate from these two universal properties. And, in fact, his work is — like the work of Sufis — a work of the heart, a quintessentially compassionate and extraordinarily loving work, no matter how misunderstood it has been as a consequence of Ouspensky's well meant, but tragically clinical, version of it.
I make no secret of my devotion to God, and I am not embarrassed by it. This is the central question of a human being's life, unless they choose to turn their face in the direction of the world — a tragic error, again by the accounting of Ibn Arabi and Swedenborg, both great authorities on the subject. Spiritual seekers ignore their advice at their peril. The question of devotion to God is furthermore the central question in Beelzebub's Tales to his Grandson; the book is not a work of secular humanism or anything like it – one can't even get to agnosticism if one accepts its premises. Rather, one must turn one's soul towards a greater light.
In my own eyes, the only muddiness lies in the souls of men whose inner eye is not open. If the inner eye is open, there is no question what direction we must go in; and if it is not, there is no direction.
Those who would argue the point, in my own eyes, lack a good understanding; and no one can acquire that by reading or arguing about it.
"...let the dead bury their dead, but go thou and preach the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:60.)
May your soul be filled with light.