If the purest esoterism comprises total truth—and that is the reason for its existence—the question of “orthodoxy” in the religious sense quite obviously cannot arise; direct knowledge of the mysteries could not be “Muslim” or “Christian”, just as the sight of a mountain and not something else.
Anselm classically defined theology as fides quarens intellectum—“faith seeking understanding.” Not faith that already understands and so no longer needs to seek. That would by definition no longer be theology. Theology is not itself the faith but its quest. If we stop seeking, we are no longer on the way. Faith seeking understanding has then turned into “belief that understands.” It then closes the very root of quarens, from which come both question and quest.
the quest for a New World in literature would be mere escapism if we did not feel that the text was reaching out beyond itself to something of 'ultimate concern' to us. It would be mere fantasy if we did not sense that it was pointing to a mysterious reality which can only be hinted at.
In dominator culture the killing off of the imagination serves as a way to repress and contain everyone within the limits of the status quo.
I would like to thank Aaron Cheak for this wonderful translation from Henry Corbin. The selections get to the heart of Corbin's understanding of alchemy. It resonates with the process of concrescence in Alfred North Whitehead. It breaks from any materialism and from any spiritualism. It seeks what Roland Faber writes as the intermezzo, the in-between. It is wholistic, in each different, with resonances when we relate with one another.
A wonderful quote on defining/experiencing/participating in alchemy:
> Not only does it contain a mine of information, it is eminently representative of a conception of alchemy that is neither a simple dramaturgy of the unconscious or psychological allegory, nor a simple manipulation of materials practiced in the manner of a mere chemist or pharmacist. It is an operation at once material and spiritual, the juncture between the two aspects remaining the hidden secret underneath the symbols of the “Philosophers” (as the alchemists designate themselves). And because the ars hieratica integrates the two operations, its locus is in fact a mesocosm (intermonde), of which the ritual form and the cadre of a temple are the best means of imposing the integral representation.
“Appetition can also mean construction, the process of prehending a datum for feeling, taking things in, digesting. The reason for this is that to construct something one needs materials and to build what is being expressed. It is more than a postmodern shifting of objects and makes something new; we digest it in our senses, our mind does something with it, we construct.”
I was trying to describe Alfred North Whitehead's term “Appetition” and how it resonates with George Steiner's understanding of Digestion vs. Consumption. Appetition is necessarily a part of life; it is, in a very real way, to relate, to prehend, to take in, to chew on things, to take in deeply of its nourishment, its enjoyments, its consequences. It allows one to construct.
violence does not participate in any order of reasons...it denatures, wrecks, massacres that which it assaults...it is not the stupidity that comes from a lack of intelligence, but much worse: it is the stupidity of le con. It is the calculated absence of thought willed by rigid intelligence.
In the moments of peaceful protest due to the murder of George Floyd, among the many more African Americans that have died due to police violence, I reflect on the above quote as poignant and reveals to us the problem. When persons of authority exert violence on the innocent, when they try to exert their power, they no longer “participate in any order of reasons,” not thinking but having a rigid intelligence. Rigid. This exists in all systems of authority that fail to realize their role to serve people, and not themselves.