Knowings

In the Arts of Metaphysics, Cosmology, and the Spiritual Path

Charles Upton

San Rafael, CA: Sophia Perennis, 2008.
296 pages
Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-59731-074-1
Price: $19.95 US
Buy now on Amazon.com

As the poet T.S. Eliot said, ‘Where is the wisdom lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge lost in information?’ Our postmodern ‘information culture’ makes us over-cerebral, but it doesn’t teach us to think; consequently it becomes nearly impossible for us to imagine a knowledge that is beyond information, much less a Wisdom that is beyond knowledge.

We all know what it is to uselessly ‘spin our wheels’—and if we become too involved in this ‘monkey mind’, we may begin to believe that meaning is neither possible or desirable, that there is no such thing as objective Truth. Such beliefs are of great use to the Powers That Be, who know that they will stop us from asking embarrassing questions. To break free from this socially-imposed subjectivism, we need to remember that Reality is not something determined by belief, but that belief is only true when it conforms to Reality. And if we see nothing beyond this material/social world, we will take our subjectivity as the only way out of the social trance, and fall even more deeply into that very trance—into the collective subjectivity. But if we know objective Truth as metaphysical, beyond material nature and human society, then we have begun to catch a glimpse of the One Way Out.

The notion of objective Truth—not to mention Absolute Truth—immediately suggests oppression, tyranny, and fanaticism to the postmodern mind. Why? Because we have been systematically taught to see things this way by those Social Engineers who construct and impose the terms by which ‘reality’ is to be viewed. The traditional notion of knowledge, however, maintains, 1) that Truth can be known with certainty, and, 2) that the reason for knowing Truth is to transform our lives. To begin the path toward this transformation, however, we will need to know how to know; and this requires, as the necessary first step, that we know how to take knowledge seriously. As metaphysician Frithjof Schuon put it: ‘Knowledge only saves us on condition that it enlists all that we are, only when it is a way and when it works and transforms and wounds our nature, even as the plough wounds the soil.’

The shifting illusions of subjectivity will always betray us. But if we are rooted in a Truth which, in the words of Lew Welch, ‘goes on whether we look at it or not,’ then we have a Protector to Whom we can always turn, when we can no longer deny the suffering and insecurity of conditional life. So let’s begin.

Table of Contents

Preface

PART ONE: METAPHYSICS

Reality Is: A Response to Postmodernism—Mythopoeia and Metaphysics—Who is the Doer?—On Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Non-Dualism: A Dialogue Between Charles Upton and Robert Bolton—Is Buddhism Really Atheism? A Letter to Gary Snyder—Christian and Muslim 'Trinitarianism': A Reply to Philip Sherrard—Intrinsic Crucifixion—Experience vs. Being in the Mystical Life: A Meditation on Psychedelics—Morality and Gnosis—Gurdjieff, Ramana Maharshi and the Name of God—A Tantra

PART TWO: FROM THE LORE-STREAM

Hamlet's Soliloquy: A Metaphysical Exegesis—Watching Olivier'sLear—The Groves of Arcady: Some Templar Correspondences—Chessmen and Hexagrams—Speculations on Esoteric Ecumenism in René Guénon's Insights into Christian Esoterism—An Exegesis to the Prologue of William Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell—Homer, Poet of Maya

PART THREE: PHYSICS AND METAPHYSICS

We are the Bees of the Invisible—cV: The Slowing of Light

PART FOUR: SPARKS FROM THE ANVIL

On Reincarnation—On Changelings—On the Manipulation of Subtle Energy—On Psychedelics and Psychic Powers—On Tolkien—On Syncretism—On Evil and Unreality—On Antichrist—On Mummification, Incorruption and the Resurrection of the Body—On Polytheism as Monotheism's Decadence—On Prayer as Pure Act—The Eye of the Buddha—On Christianity and Eating Disorders—On Hiding or Admitting One's Sins—True and False War; True and False Peace

PART FIVE: THE LAST THINGS

Personal Immortality vs. Liberation—The Solipsistic Denial of the Afterlife—What Is Death? Theosophic Meditations on the Passing of a Friend—Who Reincarnates?—Mystery of Iniquity, Mystery of Mercy: A Meditation on the Occasion of the publication of The Gospel of Judas—The End of Knowledge

PART SIX: LAO TZU'S JOURNEY

About the Author

Charles Upton, poet, author, activist, and veteran of the counter-culture, developed an interest in metaphysics 'via mythopoeia' and, having survived the social upheavals of the Sixties, and the psychic allures of New Age occultism, awakened at the end of the Eighties to the esoteric teachings of the traditionalists, eventually becoming initiated into Sufism. His critique of New Age occultism and modernism is his best-known work and is published under the title, The System of Antichrist: Truth and Falsehood in Postmodernism and the New Age (2001). Sophia Perennis has published many other books by Charles Upton. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, in Lexington, Kentucky.