Thursday, January 06, 2011

7 Sermons: Sermo I - Week 2

In our last post, we spoke of the Pleroma, and how it contains everything and nothing.  Now, let us speak of creatura, the whole of creation, distinct from the Pleroma, and what exactly it means to be distinct.

What is changeable, however, is creatura. Therefore is it the one thing which is fixed and certain; because it hath qualities: it is even quality itself.

The question ariseth: How did creatura originate? Created beings came to pass, not creatura; since created being is the very quality of the pleroma, as much as non-creation which is the eternal death. In all times and places is creation, in all times and places is death. The pleroma hath all, distinctiveness and non-distinctiveness.

Distinctiveness is creatura. It is distinct. Distinctiveness is its essence, and therefore it distinguisheth. Therefore man discriminateth because his nature is distinctiveness. Wherefore also he distinguisheth qualities of the pleroma which are not. He distinguisheth them out of his own nature. Therefore must he speak of qualities of the pleroma which are not.

What use, say ye, to speak of it? Saidst thou not thyself, there is no profit in thinking upon the pleroma?

That said I unto you, to free you from the delusion that we are able to think about the pleroma. When we distinguish qualities of the pleroma, we are speaking from the ground of our own distinctiveness and concerning our own distinctiveness. But we have said nothing concerning the pleroma. Concerning our own distinctiveness, however, it is needful to speak, whereby we may distinguish ourselves enough. Our very nature is distinctiveness. If we are not true to this nature we do not distinguish ourselves enough. Therefore must we make distinctions of qualities.

What is the harm, ye ask, in not distinguishing oneself? If we do not distinguish, we get beyond our own nature, away from creatura. We fall into indistinctiveness, which is the other quality of the pleroma. We fall into the pleroma itself and cease to be creatures. We are given over to dissolution in the nothingness. This is the death of the creature. Therefore we die in such measure as we do not distinguish. Hence the natural striving of the creature goeth towards distinctiveness, fighteth against primeval, perilous sameness. This is called the principium individuationis. This principle is the essence of the creature. From this you can see why indistinctiveness and non-distinction are a great danger for the creature.
All of created life is relative to itself, all contained in the unrelated and unrelatable pleroma.  The only way to describe one thing is to relate it to another.  So, when there is talk about the pleroma, which has all things in itself, there is no way to relate it to anything else.  It is all, so to think and speak of it is of no value.

However, there is relative value in discussing everything else, to combat the 'dissolution in the nothingness' that is the inheritance of the pleroma.  To strive against sameness, to make oneself separate is key.  That is how life as a creature, as a being, is possible.  To distinguish, as Jung puts it.  This is seen in many people who call themselves artists, gnostics, freethinkers; this drive to make oneself distinguished, distinct.  To avoid the sameness that is the pleroma, to be creatura.  It's complex, this idea of being part of the all yet distinct from it, and I'm still wrapping my head around it.

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