Lies and How They beGet that Way
As I have said before, the Bible itself is extra-Biblical, having been deeply informed--not to mention selected and assembled--by tradition. Christian faith and teaching were in the world before the scriptures were written (to be perfectly accurate, it was here, at least in part, even prior to Jesus). Revealed truth was first handed down orally, and tradition embraces certain truths that are either not contained in scripture, or else expressed there obscurely.
Not to downplay their importance, but I am of the firm belief that tradition upholds the validity of scripture at least as much as the reverse. I personally could not possibly have the understanding I do without recourse to the writings of the great Saints and Church Fathers. I stand in awe of their living testimony. By itself, knowledge of revelation is relatively useless. One must know how to be transformed by it.
We live in a world of forces. There are physical forces, mental forces, and spiritual forces. In the mental realm, truth is a force. There is a counter-force called "lying," which, if you think about it for even a moment, has possibly had an even greater impact and influence on the world than truth. Or at the very least, it is a constant battle. Truth is always embattled on all sides, just as light is surrounded by darkness. Darkness, on the other hand, is not necessarily surrounded by light.
You'd think it would be uncontroversial to utter a simple truth, but you'd be wrong, wouldn't you? If you don't believe in the "force" of falsehood, try uttering a controversial but banal truth at one of our elite universities, such as "men and women are fundamentally different and, on average, excel at different things," or "children do better with a mother and a father than with two mothers and two fathers," or "some, if not most, cultures are patently sick." It seems that to carry Truth is to pick up a cross and paint a target on one's back.
Animals cannot lie. While they can have certain naturally selected mechanisms of deception, they cannot live a lie. But living a lie is in the normal course of events for human beings. Someone said that language was given to man so as to conceal his thoughts. Interestingly, this problem is fully recognized in scripture, as the very first conversations recorded in the Bible are lies. The serpent lies to the woman, the woman transmits the lie to the man, and the man lies about it to God. The very emergence of self-consciousness seems to be inseparable from lying.
So lying is absolutely fundamental to human existence, a fact that wasn't systematized until the early 20th century, in the works of Freud (the good Freud) and his followers. In particular, the psychoanalyst W.R. Bion developed a sophisticated epistemology showing how a vital lie is at the basis of most all forms of psychopathology. Once the lie is in place, it causes the psyche to enter a sort of parallel universe, for it constructs itself on the foundations of that primordial lie.
In my own colorful terminology, I have called these internalized lies "mind parasites." I believe the term is an accurate one, for it is meant to convey the idea that a vital lie that lodges itself in the psyche is not static, but takes on the characteristics of the host, so to speak. I remember once discussing this with my analyst. I don't remember the exact context of the problem I was whining about, but he said words to the effect of, "What do you expect? It's as smart as you are."
In other words, the mind parasite has available to it all of the elaborate machinery of the mind. Therefore, it can easily justify itself, elaborate itself, gang up on the truth, intimidate healthier parts of the psyche. It's like a dictator who uses legitimate means to come to power, but then corruptly uses all of the levers of power to stay there and eliminate opponents.
Those who are in thrall to the lie are slaves. While they may enjoy a subjective sense of freedom, it is an illusion. In fact, they have forfeited their freedom and are attached to a monstrous demon that they have generated out of their own psychic substance, in the same way that a spider weaves a web out of its own body.
Think of a vivid example that is readily at hand---the Islamists. Is it not obvious to one and all that they are absolutely enslaved by artificial beings of their own creation? And that they want everyone else to be enslaved by the same demon? Does this not demonstrate the insane power of demons?
There are personal mind parasites and collective mind parasites. Many cultures revolve entirely around monstrous entities that have been engendered by whole communities, such as the Aztec. Here again, it would be wrong to say that the Aztec had a bloodthirsty god--rather, it clearly had them. Thousands upon thousands of human beings sacrificed to satisfy this god's appetite for human blood, elaborate mechanisms set up to supply fresh bodies, the heart of the sacrificial victim cut out by the officiating priest who would himself take a bite out of it while it was still beating. A whole society of Jeffrey Dahmers trying desperately to allay anxiety by vampirically ingesting the life force of others. The Islamists are just the latest edition of this primordial anti-religion. But you undoubtedly know some people in your own life who do the same thing--hungry ghosts who "feed" on the spirit or blog of others.
In all times and in all places, human beings have looked for ways to objectify and worship their self-created demons. This is preferable to having them run around loose in one's own psyche. Take again the example of the Islamist. How would one even begin to tell him: "you have a persecutory entity inside of you that your life revolves around. You have placed it outside of yourself so as to make your life bearable, for it conceals a truth that is too painful to endure."
To a large extent, this dynamic is at the heart of more mundane politics as well. For those who do not experience George Bush as a demon, it is almost impossible to understand those who do, any more than we can really understand the motivations of the Aztec. The collective mind parasite has a grammar and logic all its own, inaccessible to all but initiates into the Lie.
You don't actually want to get that close to an intoxicating Lie of that magnitude. It's not safe. Better to observe it from a respectful distance. Otherwise, you will find yourself pulled down into a false world of counter-lying rather than simple truth. You cannot create an artificial "good demon,” which is what secular leftists are trying to do when they aren't creating bad ones. Those who criticize my "negativity" probably think I am engaging in the former--heatedly countering the lie--when I am calmly engaged in the latter--simply affirming the truth. This is the inner meaning of "resist not evil." Resist it in the wrong way, and you come into its orbit.
For a demon operates through a combination of will and imagination. You may think of perverse will as the male principle and perverse imagination as the female principle. Together they beget the demon child that then controls the parents, taking over both will and imagination. Consider how so much art and academic nonsense is nothing more than the elaboration of the perverse imagination--ideological superstructures giving cover to lies of various magnitude. Think of how much "activism" is simply the angry agitation of the perverse will.
This is the inner meaning of "you shall not make for yourself a graven image," for Truth is a living thing, a Being, that cannot be reduced to the idolatrous systems of men, especially corrupted men who do not honor Truth to begin with. Most modern and postmodern ideologies and philosophies are opiates of elites too sophisticated for such nonsense as Truth.
And this is the inner meaning of "honor your father and mother”: not rebelling against received truth and tradition in an adolescent manner, especially before you are even mature enough to understand what it is saying.
Unfortunately, I've run out of time, because I wanted to get into the sophisticated means that tradition has bequeathed to us for uprooting those lying entities that have no business taking up space in our psyches. I guess this will have to be a two-parter.