I say alchemy because marriages of hard and soft, above and below, word and flesh, have it in common that they bridge significant metaphysical divides — like the fall of the Berlin wall, to take a political equivalent within living memory — and thus perform a healing work.
That’s a nudge. You may well be able to think thoughts along these lines far better than I. Ergo, I won’t do your thinking for you. Besides, if I did, I’d need to do three whole heaps of research, and my library is in storage, my mind in limbo.
How anyone can conflate, or almost conflate, schizophrenia with lateral specialization with Kantorowicz’ theory of monarchy is, frankly, beyond me. But I’ve tried.
God is the principle of unity, of identity, bringing together in himself all opposites and then transcending them. He is the opposite of the opposites. He negates the contradictions of the world.
He is the opposite of the opposites!
And Wikipedia again:
Mircea Eliade, a 20th-century historian of religion, used the term extensively in his essays about myth and ritual, describing the coincidentia oppositorum as “the mythical pattern”. Psychiatrist Carl Jung, the philosopher and Islamic Studies professor Henry Corbin as well as Jewish philosophers Gershom Scholem and Abraham Joshua Heschel also used the term.
That’s pretty much my reading list for eternity, plus or minus Plotinus, Shakespeare and the Upanishads..
For Mitchell, ordinary life is a semioticist’s paradise, a place where coincidence and synchronicity can be the catalysts that reveal glimpses of a deeper pattern, a unity that underlies and ultimately resolves what appear on the surface to be irreconcilable opposites. In Mitchell’s tales of incredible coincidences on steamy streets or chance encounters with affable drunks in hotel lobbies, vital pieces of the puzzle drop into place, and the whole is glimpsed.
[ by Charles Cameron — an end to war & truce might bring peace ]
The leaders of the two Koreas did a little ritual dance whereby each invited the other to cross the border into his own territory.
You can look at Kim Jung-un and Moon Jae-in doing their border-skipping dance at minute 43 on this video:
If the camera people had been sharper, they’d have been following the leaders in full view, not cutting them off at the knees or waist, so we could see the whole event, of huge symbolic significance.
One MSNBC commentator aptly described the border as:
dividing a nation — or two nations — depending how you look at it.
That’s not only succinct, it’s profound, if you think about it.
I’ve discussed the issue of liminality — the symbolic importance of borders — in a major post, Liminality II: the serious part, which I recommend as a follow-up to this one.
It will fill you in with examples — from boot camp to monastic induction, and from the worship of Vishnu to the USS Topeka — of the importance of humility at border crossings.. recommended!
But let me give you a a souvenir, a reminder — just a taste —
Limen is the Latin for border, line drawn in the sand, threshold — and the liminal is therefore what happens at thresholds.
Something pretty remarkable happened as 1999 turned into 2000 — something liminal. And it happened aboard the USS Topeka, SSN-754 (below):
SAN DIEGO, Calif. (June 23, 2009) The attack submarine USS Topeka (SSN 754) departs San Diego harbor for a scheduled deployment to the western Pacific Ocean. Topeka, commanded by Cmdr. Marc Stern, was commissioned on Oct. 21, 1989 and is one of seven Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarines assigned to Submarine Squadron 11. Topeka was showcased in the recently released movie, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.” (U.S. Navy photo by Command Master Chief Charles Grandin/Released)
Its bow in one year, its stern in another, the USS Topeka marked the new millennium 400 feet beneath the International Dateline in the Pacific ocean. The Pearl Harbor-based navy submarine straddled the line, meaning that at midnight, one end was in 2000 while the other was still in 1999… The 360-foot-long sub, which was 2,100 miles from Honolulu, Hawaii, straddled the Equator at the same time, meaning it was in both the northern and southern hemispheres. Some of the 130 crewmembers were in Winter in the North, while others were in Summer in the South…
Sitting pretty on the threshold between two millennia, two centuries, two decades, years, seasons, months, days and hemispheres in the recent life of the one earth was an extraordinarily liminal idea — as the two-faced January is a liminal month — and I think illustrates effectively the terrific power of the liminal to sway human thinking
Navy commanders in charge of billion dollar ships seldom get up to such “fanciful” behaviors!
Zenpundit is a blog dedicated to exploring the intersections of foreign policy, history, military theory, national security,strategic thinking, futurism, cognition and a number of other esoteric pursuits.