Saturday, April 29, 2006

Left and Right: What You See is What You Beget

Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. --2 Corinthians 3:17

I’m going to attempt yet one more time to explain as clearly as possible the philosophical, metaphysical, and spiritual basis of my opposition to leftism. I realize that I (apparently) have some left-leaning readers, for which I am grateful, and by no means do I intend to be needlessly inflammatory or offensive. Please again bear in mind that I am not talking about this or that issue or person, but about a primordial error--lie, really--that I believe is at the heart of leftism.

Furthermore, please remember that I am not talking about “Republicans” and “Democrats.” These are political parties, not philosophies. More often than not, in terms of specific policies and practical matters, one party is no better than the other because their primary mutual concern is always power, self-preservation, and votes. This is why we are often powerless to enact polices even when there is overwhelming support among the citizenry: reducing the size of government, simplifying the tax code, ridding ourselves of illegal immigrants, shunning the U.N., promoting school choice, etc.

The principles I will be discussing are very simple, really, and yet, they have profound implications as they resound through historical time and space. For if your fundamental conception of reality is in error, then your system is built upon quicksand and will eventually collapse. Even more so is this true if you have a fundamentally erroneous conception of human nature. In that case, you will eventually receive sharp blows from reality, but you will not know why, especially if your conception of reality is also faulty. Nothing will work, and you won’t know why. You will simply tinker about the edges of the monument to your folly.

Those of you who were conscious or sober during the Carter years will remember that that was a time when nothing worked. It was also the last time that we had a federal government completely free of the conservative principles that eventually rescued us from Carter’s disastrous mismanagement of the country, a mismanagement that we--and the rest of the world--will likely pay for with blood and treasure for the rest of our lives.

Forget 9/11--to this day, Carter’s abetting of the fall of the Shah of Iran represents the singular achievement of the Islamic terrorists we are fighting today, infrahuman monsters who are on the brink of possessing the greatest terror weapon known to man. Carter didn’t lift a finger to assist our friend the Shah, whom he considered a violator of human rights. And yet, the Khomeini regime murdered more people in its first year than the Shah’s secret service allegedly had in the previous twenty five (and don’t forget, the Shah was dealing with people like Khomeini; oh, how we could benefit from his likes today, someone who would regard Abu Ghraib as a reward for good behavior).

Just consider what Carter’s mindlessly liberal policies did to the economy. At the time he left office, annual growth rates were roughly half of what they had been in the 1960’s. Inflation was at a staggering 13.3% in 1979, while mortgage rates had climbed to 20%. Unemployment had reached almost 8% in 1980 (much higher in minority communities, which are always the most harmed by liberal fiscal policies), and the crime rate had increased 50% during the 1970’s (again, always more damaging to minority communities, both in terms of victims and the percentage of those imprisoned).

And yet, Carter famously blamed the nation's ills on our own selfishness, on a “moral problem” afflicting Americans, lecturing us that we would just have to get used to the idea of a permanently lowered standard of living in the future (a classic case of Carter projecting his own envy and greed into Americans, as we discussed yesterday). Carter is still venerated in liberal circles today, to such an extent that at their 2004 convention he was given an honored seat next to Michael Moore.

I’m digressing, aren’t I?

As I was about to say, in the final analysis it all comes down to two questions: 1) What is the nature of reality?, and 2) What is a human being? In both cases, ontology is prior to epistemology. If you get your ontology wrong, then anything else you “know” will be infected with that same ontological poison. Yes, sort of like that ultimate ontological choice faced by Adam. We are all faced with that same choice.

Yes, because of the liberty implanted in our soul by God, we can even choose to not be what what we are and to live in illusion. Of course, we can also choose to be what we are and to live in reality. But that’s not really a choice, is it? It’s more of a simple acknowledgment that follows from seeing clearly. For the most important things are not proven but seen in the palpable superabundance of their metaphysical clarity, by means of the uncorrupted intellect.

In fact, that introduces the first of the fundamental choices faced by our proto-Adam (who is always you and I). For scripture does not have to do with what happened "once upon a time" in the past, but with what always and inevitably happens in the now. You have the same choice right now: is there a source of truth higher than, and independent of, man? Or, are we the Last Word of the cosmos, able to arrive at the truth of our situation by means of sensory data and rational operations alone? If you choose the latter, then you have, with the wave of a hand, obliterated any antecedent, hierarchical reality that can only perceived by the the intellect properly so-called--the nous, or eye of the soul.

That’s okay--I mean, if the transcendental realm is just an illusion or comforting dopiate for the contemptible grazing multitude anyway, then the leftist is morally obliged to sweep it away. Morally obliged because... because... because why? Doesn’t moral obligation imply a universal, and therefore, transcendental, standard? No. Please. It is simply because the leftist knows what is best for you. Unlike you, he doesn’t live in illusion. His eyes have been opened. He is, in all humility, the measure of all things: a "humanist."

But respectfully, Mr. Leftist, how do you know that? I mean, how is it that you know anything at all? Specifically, you deny that transcendental realm which logically ends with the absolute and infinite One. Therefore, all reality is relative, contingent, and accidental. But your knowledge claim implies an absolute standard, does it not? If it doesn’t, then honesty compels you to acknowledge that your beliefs are arbitrary, does it not? Therefore, is it not an act of bad faith to make any appeal to truth, a truth that you have already a priori thrown overboard?

Since the leftist cannot appeal to truth, is it not accurate to say that, in the final analysis, truth for the leftist will be a function of power? In other words, truth will be purely a matter of convention, enforced by coercion, either physical coercion or through more subtle pressure, such as political correctness. For it is not possible to reject truth just once and be done with it; you can throw it out with a pitch-forked tongue, but truth, like nature, will always come rushing back in. Rather, the leftist will have to establish structures and mechanisms to prevent or discourage people from finding truth or even believing that it exists, things like universities, which are actually relativities in disguise. To become a king in the secular realm, it always helps to have attended one of our Elite Relativities.

Now, relativity always engenders the spirit of rebellion, which is not to be confused with the spirit of liberty. Scratch a leftist and you will always find a rebel. It won’t even matter what he is rebelling against--it can be “the corporate mentality,” or “heteronormativity,” or “sexual standards,” or “the class system,” or “rigid gender relations,” or “White European males,” or “the Western Canon,” or “arbitrary standards of beauty,” or “societal hypocrisy.” It doesn’t matter. Is not a passing state, but an abiding ontological stance at the deepest core, a result of that that primordial act of rebellion (which is ongoing). It is a chronic malady or “pneumapathology” against the Absolute and anything that reminds one of it. It is de facto an egoic state, at war with anything that calls to mind the contingent, derivative, and dependent nature of the ego. Therefore, this rebellion, no matter how attractive it may appear on the surface, is always a self-justification for the fallen ego. The policies it pursues will always be a symptom of the illness it proposes to cure.

There is no “perfect” or "ideal" rebellion, any more than there is ideal ugliness or untruth. Rather, rebellion is always reactionary--it is a “running from” disguised as a “running to.” Liberty, on the other hand, is not derivative of anything. It is a spiritual gift, ours to receive or reject. Liberty itself exists independent of free creatures, whereas rebellion only exists in them. Liberty is “an immutable essence in which creatures may either participate or not participate.” It is “the possibility of manifesting oneself fully, or being perfectly oneself,” a reflection of the “ineffable liberty of the Infinite” (Schuon).

The leftist would like to bestow this gift of liberty upon you, as if it ultimately derives from him, not from God. But what he really wishes to bestow upon you is the gift (or curse) of rebellion. Thus, he speaks only of rights, not of responsibilities, including our ultimate responsibility to the Source of our liberty.

For liberty is meaningless if it is not used as a means of assent (and ascent) to Truth. In other words, if liberty is not “oriented” to anything other than itself, then what is it, really? It is a monstrosity, a terrible mistake, a cancer on the body of nothingness, just as the naughty existentialist says it is. For freedom in this sense is mere nothingness. Since you have no essence, no choice is any better than any other choice. So the key instead becomes commitment. It doesn’t matter what you choose, so long as you are committed to that choice. Since you are not real, the act of choosing--especially rebellious choosing--gives you a sort of bogus or counterfeit “solidity.” Then you are authentic, which is the “highest” you can be in the ontological flatland of secular leftism. To rebel--especially if you do so with "attitude"--is to exist.

So you may have noticed that the far left historically reveres not the heroic conformist but the authentic rebel: Che Guevara, Mumia, Arafat, Malcolm X, Michael Moore and the Islamist “freedom fighters” of Iraq, Mother Sheehan. In order to succeed in leftist politics, you will always have to cast yourself as a rebel and an outlaw.

But our founding fathers were not rebels. Rather, they were revolutionaries, for to re-volvere is to turn around, to roll back, to return to the source. And what did their revolution involve? It involved an undoing of mankind’s primordial rebellion, for, as Jefferson wrote, “the God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time.” This is a self-evident truth, something that can only be seen by the higher intellect, never proven, much less granted, by the rebilious ego.

Well, I can see that I’m just getting started. Better save some blogviating for tomorrow. But not before a cosmic doggerel and puny show, respectively:


Sheol is out, summa vacation in the pneumatosphere. Off to see the River Man, starry-eyed and laughing, cloud-hidden, who-, what-, why- and whereabouts unknown, bathed in the white radiance of ecstacy central. In the garden mysty wet with rain, eight miles high, far from the twisted reach of yestomaya & no todeity. Insinuate! Now put down the apple and back away slowly, and nobody dies. Here, prior to thought, by the headwaters of the eternal, the fountain of innocence, the mind shoreless vast and still, absolved & absorbed in what is always the case, face to face in a sacred space.

Let's blake for a vision: ah, remama when she satya down in a crystal daze, grazing in the grass, loose & lazy beneath a diamond sky with both hands waving free, into the blisstic mystic, no you or I, nor reason wise, a boundless sea of flaming light, bright blazing fire and ecstatic sinder, Shiva, me tinders, count the stars in your eyes. A church bell in the distance, chimes of freedom fleshing. The key to your soul, egnaughted in wonder. Om, now I remurmur!


Anonymous will said...

Bob y heads -

A small thing, maybe - but for all of Carter's country-bumpkin folksiness, his born-again ooze and that idiotic glow-in-the-dark grin, his eyes reveal something else. Check it out. That's one cold, hard, glare.

Evil (yeah, I said "evil")always leaves some kind of overt imprimatur, seems to me, even though it might come with a whole array of camouflaging factors. It can't really disguise itself totally - and it says a lot that so many just gloss over these telltale signals.

Like Farrakhan. I mean, c'mon, nobody smiles that much, that widely, for that long. And how difficult is it to recognize that Farrakhan has only two faces, the eerie wide-smiling, benign "prophet" and the raging, hate-filled psycho?

We get tip-offs galore. Must be something about the telegenic age, the "glamour" age, that so many miss the obvious.

4/29/2006 10:14:00 AM  
Anonymous kahntheroad said...

Ahhh, love the Chimes reference, Bob! One of my favorite songs, and that's one where the words really translate onto paper (or maybe it's just that I can't read them without the haunting melody)

Don't tell me you're also one of the few who actually get Dylan, as I, presumptuously, like to imagine I do?

In fact, to me, Bob Dylan is one of the best confirmations that great artists tap into something, and often have no idea what they're really conveying at the time. What made Dylan stand out what that he was a patient craftsman and he knew to respect his source and get out of the way of whatever was coming through him.

I recommend anyone who's been reading this blog to go back and listen carefully to Dylan, forgetting the 60s leftist connotations imposed on his words.

(Actually, considering some of the biblical topics we've been discussing, I'd suggest our Bob throw 1968's John Wesley Harding on the sidebar. A rabbinical student once told me that, if you listen correctly, that album conveys the wisdom of the Talmud in just over an hour. Now, I can't testify to that, but I have made it a tradition to pop it in every Yom Kippur.)

Anyway, here an earlier song that, IMHO, applies to our topics:

Oh the time will come up
When the winds will stop
And the breeze will cease to be breathin'.
Like the stillness in the wind
'Fore the hurricane begins,
The hour when the ship comes in.

Oh the seas will split
And the ship will hit
And the sands on the shoreline will be shaking.
Then the tide will sound
And the wind will pound
And the morning will be breaking.

And the words that are used
For to get the ship confused
Will not be understood as they're spoken.

For the chains of the sea
Will have busted in the night
And will be buried at the bottom of the ocean.

A song will lift
As the mainsail shifts
And the boat drifts on to the shoreline.
[between the vertical and horizontal?]
And the sun will respect
Every face on the deck,
The hour that the ship comes in.

Then the sands will roll
Out a carpet of gold
For your weary toes to be a-touchin'.
And the ship's wise men
Will remind you once again
That the whole wide world is watchin'.

Oh the foes will rise
With the sleep still in their eyes
And they'll jerk from their beds and think they're dreamin'.
But they'll pinch themselves and squeal
And know that it's for real,
The hour when the ship comes in.

Then they'll raise their hands,
Sayin' we'll meet all your demands,
But we'll shout from the bow your days are numbered.
And like Pharaoh's tribe,
They'll be drownded in the tide,
And like Goliath, they'll be conquered.

Copyright © 1963

4/29/2006 10:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Kahntheroad said...


Actually, when I look into Carter's eyes I see more of a vacancy. I think he's just an extremely deluded man. The ultimate useless useful idiot.

4/29/2006 10:42:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes. What I really wanted to say was,

Through the mad mystic hammering of the wild ripping hail
The sky cracked its poems in naked wonder
That the clinging of the church bells blew far into the breeze
Leaving only bells of lightning and its thunder
Striking for the gentle, striking for the kind
Striking for the guardians and protectors of the mind
And the unpawned painter behind beyond his rightful time
And we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

Even though a cloud's white curtain in a far-off corner flashed
And the hypnotic splattered mist was slowly lifting
Electric light still struck like arrows, fired but for the ones
Condemned to drift or else be kept from drifting
Tolling for the searching ones, on their speechless, seeking trail
For the lonesome-hearted lovers with too personal a tale
And for each unharmful, gentle soul misplaced inside a jail
An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

Starry-eyed and laughing as I recall when we were caught
Trapped by no track of hours for they hanged suspended
As we listened one last time and we watched with one last look
Spellbound and swallowed 'til the tolling ended
Tolling for the aching ones whose wounds cannot be nursed
For the countless confused, accused, misused, strung-out ones an' worse
And for every hung-up person in the whole wide universe
And we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

Love the Byrds' version.

4/29/2006 10:43:00 AM  
Anonymous John Hinds said...

Hello again,

Re your post today and Apr. 24 too.

Ha! If that is what they say about you and your friend Will I wonder what they say about Vanderleun?

No doubt many of those "liberals" who drop by leave in a tumult of self confliction. Certainly some of what you say resonates deeply with those folks. The other half, sugar coated though it is, is yet too bitter for them to swallow. I am sure they come back, however, and eventually come around somewhat to your point of view. So you are doing good on a larger and larger scale if traffic comes in from Kos. The minions of evil itself are yet attracted by the light of truth. Do you think?

Today Robert wrote "...liberty is meaningless if it is not used as a means of assent to truth.....if it is not "oriented" to anyting other than itself, is a monstrosity.....a cancer on the body of nothingness...."

Does this dovetail with the emergence of the "conscience" evolute? I think so. At a certain critical mass the pull of the devine brings conscience into manifestation. A reading of your book indicates this is going on in the present times beginning, it would seem, just day before yesterday considering the overall scheme of things. Cultivation of this human attribute tends to assure that liberty does not degenerate to monstrosities in the unfolding human history.

We are so young in this journey. There is so far to go. Often I wonder, for mankind in general, whether we can make it in the four billion or so years left to this planetary system.

I am almost done with the book...first reading. The "architecture" of the work is beautiful. I love the design and the natural way that the elements follow on each other not to speak of your wonderful sense of humor seen in the neologisms. There are so many new approaches to ideas that a serious reader would take years to do an exhaustive study. I freely admit I am, and will always be, playing catch up with the great minds that works such as yours bring into my focus. But, what a struggle. Truly, it is the "Only Dance That Is".

John Hinds
Member, Patriot Guard

4/29/2006 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger Finding Fair Hope said...

I for one must be one of those leftoids who view this blog and wonder who it is you have all that hatred for. Today I find it's Jimmy Carter. But I keep trying stuff on and none of it fits. I think I get your point, that those obviously juvenile morons who revile you on DailyKos are representative of the thinking of all leftists, who are not really Liberals, you say. I come from the Left side of the blanket, but think much that happens here at onecosmos is interesting and challenging. But it all sounds kinda Cold Warrish to me, like when the enemy was the Commies and danger lurked across the water. I guess thhere is not that much anger in me, and most of it is for intolerance.

4/29/2006 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Tolerance is the virtue of the man with no convictions. Are you actually suggesting that Communism was not a mortal enemy, the most deadly and destructive ideology ever hatched from the spiritually alienated mind of fallen man? How many dead bodies do you need to be convinced of your hysterical airbrushing of reality? 25 million? 50 million? 100 million?

4/29/2006 11:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Yes, the banality of evil can result from hysterical blandness.

4/29/2006 12:05:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

I'm kind of reeling from all this this morning. All day yesterday, The Hour When the Ship Comes In was ringing in my head.

{sidebar: I have the early Dylan stuff on monaural LP's}

I also made a stop at Bible Gateway, clicked at random, and read Daniel 8. This morning one of my favorite folks over at LGF was quoting Daniel 8 with regard to the Iran situation.
Here's where this gets difficult. I don't think these coincidences are a result of blind chance. There are too many of them and they happen too frequently. I get a sense of a vast force drawing many hearts, and minds into alignment like iron filings in the field of a spiritual magnet. Yet I always have to be cautious. It's dangerous to get that "God told me" mindset, because as soon as soon as you get confident that God's telling you what to do, you end up doing something really stupid. Confucius warns repeatedly against presumption.
The other thing that keeps happening is very difficult to put into words. I've been making a point of reading something from the Old, and New Testaments every day. I read scripture, and I get this stereogram effect in my head. Something in the text just goes fourth dimensional. Something behind and beyond the words themselves has this luminosity, or depth to it. It's sort of the reverse of trying to look through a window when the sun is glaring on the glass. (see through a glass darkly?) But just like the 3D image in the stereogram as soon as you blink it goes away; it only reappears when your eyes are relaxed. As I said, I can sort of describe around it, but I can't hit the target with words.

And you know something is happening here but you don't know what it is.
Do you, Mr. Jones?


4/29/2006 12:12:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

Kahn -

Bob said I could shamelessly plug my music website now and then, so . . .

Like I said, shameless. I ain't no Dylan (I gotta be meeeee . .) but you should like the lyrics. Check out "Spirit Mountain", "God Made Me That Way", maybe "Three Days Darkness", or "Little White Picket Fence". Or "Two Thieves".

Go on. Won't hurt.

Dude, you can hear them for FREE.


4/29/2006 12:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Hoarhey said...

Nice try.
I for one am intrigued at the projection of anger and intolerance onto you from individuals who seem clueless to their own. P.C. runs deep, and I guess it's tough to extract ones subjective from a objective discussion. That, in my experience, is the key to remaining with the rebellious left, a lack of genuine introspection leading to the revelation of ego feeding motives. It's all hidden under a blanket of feel good and has never been questioned from day one.
Maybe you could write a piece on that............Naahhh.

4/29/2006 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...


As you lift yourself out of the stream of time and approach the singularity, the density of connectedness becomes more apparent, similar to the holographic dream logic of the unconscious. Back when I was a frequent poster on LGF, I had many fruitful back-and-forths with Babbazee. It turns out that she even knew of my wife's grandfather, the famous Dancing Dentist who appeared on the Joe Franklin Show on cable TV in New York. Small cosmos.

4/29/2006 12:32:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

For what it's worth, Carter actually had the salt once to quote Dylan during the '76 prez campaign.

Dylan always eschewed direct involvement in politics. Never showed up for one of Baez's Non-Violence demonstrations, despite her urgings.

Always had the mystic strain, which trumped all else:

Inside the museums
Infinity goes uo on trial
Voices echo this is what
Salvation must be like
After awhile.

Ok, maybe not his most mystical lines but, heh, that's evocative.

4/29/2006 12:45:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

Curiouser and Curiouser, Bob. This morning I sent BabaZee an invite to come over here.


4/29/2006 12:50:00 PM  
Anonymous kahntheroad said...

I for one must be one of those leftoids who view this blog and wonder who it is you have all that hatred for.

Again, it seems that the biggest complaint here from Bob's liberal readers stems from a problem differentiating disagreement from hatred.

What I don't understand is why it is so difficult to accept that we can disagree, and even be very critical without hating someone. To me it seems like a junior high mentality - 'oh, she doesn't want to go out with me - she HATES me!'

Bob likes The Byrds version of Chimes of Freedom; I prefer the Dylan version. Okay, fine, we differ. I don't HATE Bob, nor do I HATE The Byrds or their version of that song.

Today I find it's Jimmy Carter. But I keep trying stuff on and none of it fits.

I don't hate Jimmy Carter. I do hate his failed presidency and the problems he left us, I hate that he uses his status as a former president to enable our enemies and put all of our lives in danger.

we all seem interested in politics here, and when we discuss politics we discuss areas of agreement and disagreement; this brings up people who advocate certain positions. I don't see how pointing out our disagreements equals hatred. It's one thing if, like too many leftists, we just ranted and called people names. But I haven't seen Bob post anything critical about anyone without explaining specifically why he disagrees. If Bob hated leftists, why would bother to post on the topic of explaining himself? He'd just say F--k 'em, and go back to hating.

For those of us who believe Islamic terror is a mortal threat to our civilization, the views and behavior of people like Jimmy Carter are an impediment to our survival. And it would be one thing if they were content to offer ideas for debate, but they don't. They are the ones who put on moral airs and accuse those who merely disagree with hating them, and being mean, etc, etc. This is very frustrating to deal with when lives are at stake.

I think I get your point, that those obviously juvenile morons who revile you on DailyKos are representative of the thinking of all leftists, who are not really Liberals, you say. I come from the Left side of the blanket, but think much that happens here at onecosmos is interesting and challenging.

Sorry for the compliment, but if you find opposing idea interesting and challenging you are not a "leftist" as we define them here. You sound like a liberal, and, though I'm sure we'd disagree on much, I'm happy to engage anyone who bring ideas to the table and shares a common value in the foundations of intelligent, free exchange.

I guess thhere is not that much anger in me, and most of it is for intolerance.

See, we have common ground already! I have anger for intolerance - like the intellectual intolerance exhibited by Jimmy Carter and other "leftists."\

Now, if you can find a left wing blog that offers criticism of the right that is anywhere near as substantive as Bob's critiques of the left please let me know. And I'm serious.

4/29/2006 12:54:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

Bob, here's another holo-connect for you:

Charles (Green Footballs) Johnson himself once stole a guitar string from me, lifted it right out of my guitar case. I forgave him, maybe because I somehow intuited that someday he would host one of the most estimable websites ever and provide commentary space in which you, Bob, would issue forth.

Was way back when he was one of Al Jareau's backup guys.

4/29/2006 12:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Kahntheroad said...

Looks like it is to be fruitful day of comments...but I gotta a Duke Ellington Birthday Brunch.

Will, I listened to a couple and liked them a lot. This weekend I should have time to hear the rest.

4/29/2006 01:01:00 PM  
Anonymous DigDug said...


Clarify please:

If I follow your logic, then (using your vernacular) the enemy is one who, faced with the concept of a vertical axis, either ignores it or chooses anything but? Thereby damning himself ontologically, which results in his forever viewing reality via...a fun house mirror, for example? Is that a fair synopsis?

4/29/2006 01:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Hoarhey said...

Kahn said:
"Now, if you can find a left wing blog that offers criticism of the right that is anywhere near as substantive as Bob's critiques of the left please let me know. And I'm serious."

That would be a spiritual impossibility. (But you already knew that)

Leftism and true spiritual insight (sight within oneself leading to understanding) are mutually exclusive.
It's one reason the Air America radio network is going down the tubes, little truth or spirit behind it hence their ideas don't stand up under scrutiny.

4/29/2006 01:19:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...


>>If I follow your logic, then (using your vernacular) the enemy is one who, faced with the concept of a vertical axis, either ignores it or chooses anything but? Thereby damning himself ontologically, which results in his forever viewing reality via...a fun house mirror, for example? Is that a fair synopsis?

Not exactly. I would prefer my way of putting it, because in discussing spiritual matters of this nature, the form is the content. In other words, I am not just dealing in denotative statements but connotative statments that make a direct appeal to one's nous. This truth must be "seen," not just arrived at discursively or expressed just "any old which way."

You will notice, for example, that I did not use the words "enemy," "concept," "logic," "ignore," or "fun house mirror."

4/29/2006 01:39:00 PM  
Blogger Mr. Spog said...

A couple of observations on Bob's post—

1. If every time you elect a liberal like Jimmy Carter it does permanent damage to the country, there doesn't seem to be much long-term prospect for democracy, which is bound to make that kind of mistake now and then.

2. I think the old, Marxist, materialist left did have a genuine love of truth (as they saw it). Why else would anyone wade through 3 volumes of Das Kapital? One speculates they could account for this impulse as deriving from an evolutionary "instinct"—one needs to know the reality of which one is a part in order to maximize one's survival chances. Where they fell down was in their selective moral outrage against capitalism. They could "see through" bourgeois morality without noticing their own power lust. Nor did they notice their own residual transcendent sense of injustice. History for them was nothing but a power struggle, but this didn't stop them regarding the proletariat, enmeshed in this struggle like any other group, as somehow a morally superior species.

4/29/2006 02:29:00 PM  
Anonymous ben conrad usn (ret) said...

That's clear to me.
Leftists are caught in a paradox because they can't appeal to truth.
Therein lies the crux of the matter that smashes all their carefully crafted arguments stemming from rebellion.
Without truth there is no liberty, which is why the leftists must oppress, while constantly claiming victim status.
They don't want a revolution, because a revolution ends.
Rebellion can last their entire life, as long as it's fed with hate and envy.

4/29/2006 02:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Jenny said...

Hitting the nail on head - BG.

4/29/2006 02:40:00 PM  
Anonymous digdug said...

If you want to turn this into a semantics shootout, no thanks. It's your main street. Please see this for what I am intending that it be: an earnest attempt to put your thoughts into my brain in a way that I can process them, so that we have a hope of genuine communication. As I hope I've stated before, much of the time I don't understand the meaning behind your words. No slight intended. You have a codified style of expression that prevents the uninitiated from maintaining a logical stream of thought. IMO.

BTW: point taken. I was not using your vernacular very well at all. But I was attempting to use your inferences.

Let me try again:
Are you saying that the person(s) you are taking issue with are those who do not acknowledge any vertical dimension to their lives, thereby skewing their perspectives on life in general?
And if so, how does the human with vertical aspiration and achievement, whose perspectives don't match your own, fit into your cosmos?

4/29/2006 02:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Hoarhey said...

>> "If every time you elect a liberal like Jimmy Carter it does permanent damage to the country, there doesn't seem to be much long-term prospect for democracy, which is bound to make that kind of mistake now and then."

I believe Bob said we would be paying for the mistake with blood and capital for the rest of our lives, not necessarily forever (unless we get another Jimah Carter sometime soon). Even then it would be a drop in the bucket in evolutionary time, truth is hard to shake.

>>"History for them was nothing but a power struggle, but this didn't stop them regarding the proletariat, enmeshed in this struggle like any other group, as somehow a morally superior species."

The higher up communist leaders (true believers) saw themselves as the morally superior species and the proletariat as the useful idiots doing their bidding. Same then as now.

4/29/2006 02:59:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Digdug, I can't even begin to answer your questions in the space of a post. I could give you a short answer, but it wouldn't be helpful anyway. It reminds me of a patient who comes in for therapy and says "just tell me what's wrong with me." Of course I could do so, but it wouldn't help, because deeper truths must be discovered.

You must tolerate "not knowing" for a much longer time before you can benefit from my answering your questions, especially since you believe I communicate in a codified and illogical manner. I think you can understand by the enthusiasm of the people who agree with me that I actually communicate in an objective and translogical manner. They see exactly what I see, although perhaps I just have a way of putting it into words. Nevertheless, it is something objective we are looking at together. You would be better advised to perfect your vision than asking for the Extra Large Print version. Respectfully, that is the way of vulgarity and Chopraville, of spiritual thinking by and for the ego.

4/29/2006 03:11:00 PM  
Anonymous John Hinds said...

Digbug, words alone do not suffice to reveal the truth. They can take us to a jumping off point, but the true discovery begins at the boundary of language's ability to express the absolute. It has been noted in these pages before that "nothing can be said that can do more for enlightenment than what a finger pointing at the moon can do for seeing the moon." A point to ponder.

Also, I might add that reading Robert's book, for some, is more conducive to the learning process than reading the blog, though, I agree with his suggestion that one should begin the book with the afterword.

4/29/2006 04:02:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

Digdug -

Trust me (or not) but Bob's written expression of objective spirituality is unusually lucid and well articulated.

Again, it depends on the mode of consciousness in which you approache it. It's something you have to *know* prior to the shock of recognition.

4/29/2006 04:09:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

Khan and others: LGF registry open
Be quick!


4/29/2006 04:34:00 PM  
Anonymous digdug said...

Bob, (Will, John)~

I have learned from you what values a neocon holds dear, and what they are afraid of. And for that knowledge I thank you. I did not know. And I have looked hard in your words for evidence of spiritual ascendance, some small part of which I do know. You use words well enough to satisfy yourself and a chosen few at least, but God is not found in words, nor in self satisfaction.

I have read frequently here of your preferred style and tone of these posted comments. Condescension is the last thing I expected from you. To quote you, " discussing spiritual matters of this nature, the form is the content". Indeed.

Jesus spoke in parables for a reason, Bob. And it wasn't to thin the herd. Given this particular response, I will be able to tolerate "not knowing" your particular brand of truth for a looong time.

4/29/2006 04:49:00 PM  
Anonymous John Hinds said...


That is a real show stopper. I can hardly imagine a more hurtful response. You are speaking into a gale force wind that would blow away all your illusions yet you tack and belay the lines and sail along the vainglorious currents of the ego.

Those who frequent these dialogues do not claim a direct pipeline to G_d. It is in YOUR recent words that I see self righteousness, the smug certainty of ignorance. Interesting how the narrower the mind the greater the tendency to find the views of others contemptible.

Even now, it is my fervent hope, that you regret the aspersions you cast on Mr. Godwin's credulity.

4/29/2006 05:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Kahntheroad said...


These discussions are a very fine line - as it is very difficult to craft a response that doesn't come off as condescending, arrogant or even, well, 'cult-ish.'

But I would highly recommend Bob's book. It is written without a hint of the political angle of this blog. I think you have conveyed the right attitude previously, about being able to take what resonates for you and separate the rest - just as you would when reading any philosopher.

As for the spiritual angle, it really is something that either you 'get' or don't. I didn't 'get' it for a long time, and now it makes sense to me. I have friends who I agree with on almost everything, but I simply cannot explain the part that Bob calls 'the vertical.' I don't focus on it will them anymore, and I don't push it. I have faith that those who seek truth genuinely will find it - you seem like such a person.

For me, Bob has a special way of articulating something that I have been feeling, experiencing, yet could not quite understand. I did not go lookng for a guru, or some spiritual leader to fill a void - I am very, very adverse to that. I've said before that I am especially vigilant in my readings here precisely because it makes so much sense to me.

I'm still searching as well, I do not profess to have all the answers, and I do not presume that Bob or anyone else here has all the answers. I try to take every thought at face value. All I know is that I've gone down many roads, tried on many an idea, I keep as open a mind as possible, and, what can I say, I feel very deeply that I'm scratching at the surface of truth.

Anyway, my point is that you should not take it the wrong way when someone says you 'don't get it,'

No one is trying to convert anyone here, and, yes, you are joining in a discussion geared towards a specific state of mind, so to speak. In a way it is as if I went to a Star Trek convention and started asking people to explain what a Klingon is. Take what you can, keep asking questions, focus on what you do get, take it all in and discard, if necessary, what doesn't fit for you. If you do that with sincerity, you'll find truth - whether as expressed here or elsewhere.

BTW, digdug, if you want to discuss any of this in more depth I'd love to have you over at Cosmic Launch (click the link on my name).

4/29/2006 05:35:00 PM  
Blogger PSGInfinity said...


Another way of putting it is in terms of time.

It takes a looong time (many years, I suspect), to get to a fairly enlighted spiritual level. In my case, it's taken several months just to clue in to Bob's vernacular, never mind theactual insights. For myself I think I'm doing well if I catch maybe 3/4 of his musings. It's been an enlightening, humbling, amazingly fun ride.

I hope you choose to hang around, even if only to lurk...

4/29/2006 05:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Hoarhey said...

>>"that is the way of vulgarity and Chopraville"

Hmmmmm, is that a town or an atheist or what?

I'm a little slow, I just now figured it out.

4/29/2006 05:59:00 PM  
Blogger Assistant Village Idiot said...

There is a part of leftist anger that is significant, and less pathological - though not fully healthy. They believed in an America slowly turning to the light, elevating their attitudes to positions of power. Electing Carter was only a taste of victory to them, for he was not regarded as very liberal at the time of his election. He has gained that reputation more in retrospect.

The election of Bill Clinton was a singular marker for them. ("Those are our planes, now.") There was a sense that a corner had been turned, a line crossed on the way to enlightened America. Even Clinton was not regarded as especially liberal (he wasn't, he was a poll-obsessed weathervane), but he was wonderfully anti-conservative, and he made open hatred of conservatives mainstream. The world was moving in their direction, and they were going to finally inherit the earth.

The removal of that expectation in sharp jolts was painful, as it would be in anything one had devoted part of one's life to. If you had invested heavily in perfecting vacuum tubes before the transitor came along, you would be angry, and find it difficult to evaluate the technology fairly. If you had hoped to finish your business career in upper management, but through takeovers and change of company focus find yourself unpromoted these last ten years, your skills no longer valued, there is great temptation to be bitter. You will have a sense of being robbed of your due by forces beyond your control.

CS Lewis noted in Screwtape that What We Expect we come to see as What We Deserve. I think that sense of being robbed brings other pathologies with it: a willingness to believe your opposition has cheated, and relies on unseen and sinister forces to get what it should not have; a tendency to fixate on the worst of your opponents; a tendency to see all questions in a partisan light.

I do think this is eroding on the blogosphere. I have no measurement but my own impressions. There were always liberals of the more respectable school, who taught that government could be a force for good, and justice was best created top-down. (While I mostly disagree with those premises, they can be honorable approaches.) And tomorrow there will still be screamers and conspiracy theorists at But I think there is a change in the wind.

Perhaps hope deludes me.

4/29/2006 07:10:00 PM  
Anonymous digdug said...


Please, and Thank you, respectively. My interest here is not political. Surprising to me as much as anyone, we agree more often than not. Rather it is with spiritual comportment. None of the spiritual discussion is dense to me, despite your convenient assumptions. But as my own teacher would say, "Why take my word for it? Do the work and decide for yourself." I do, and have. I asked a question in earnest and Bob responded with something akin to a biker responding to a clinical psychologist's asking why he rides a Harley...

Would you rather have a person tell you s/he's at a spiritual level, or would you rather have him act at a spiritual level, and let you discern for yourself? How much truth are you willing to lay on the table? I can't say anymore with my actions than I already have, and Bob has rendered graphically the reasons why words no longer suffice on this blog. I have miles to go before I sleep, and I'll be the first to admit it. I'll see you on your respective lillypads. I'll be the one with the umbrella.

4/29/2006 07:36:00 PM  
Anonymous digdug said...


If anyone has any questions about what they think I mean, please ask. My desire is to communicate, even if it means we disagree.

4/29/2006 07:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Hoarhey said...

Great insights A.V.I.

4/29/2006 08:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...


I'm only surprised at how long it took for you to discern Bob's primitive level of development. Shame on you! Forget the umbrella. Bring galoshes and a shovel. And next time, ask your teacher which blogs to avoid. What are you paying him for, anyway?

4/29/2006 08:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Hoarhey said...

Sorry Bob, I was holding off but had to pull the trigger on this one, delete if you must..

dig dug,
I won't sugar coat things as others have, it's obvious that tact doesn't work well with you.
Drop the anger, the holier than thou phony civility, the fake intellectualism , the self importance and your inability to admit that you don’t know and you'll be miles ahead. You’re as transparent as Madonnas‘ holy underwear .
That's the best piece of advice you've been given since your birth, you just don't realize it yet.
People here have bent over backward to try and help you and for what? The nicer people have been with you, the more they‘ve fed the beast.
You'll be back, (if you ever leave)after all there is nowhere else to go and that part of you buried deeeep beneath the above mentioned character defects knows that. Find it!, and go with it.
And guess what? All that was an objective statement of fact so don’t project your anger and resentment into it or onto me.:)

P.S. Dude, you need a new teacher.

That’ll be $150, pay at the front desk.

4/29/2006 08:10:00 PM  
Anonymous digdug said...


My teacher does tell me which blogs to avoid. Bob's is still not on the list. Shall I take that up with someone in particular, or assume that the universe is still unfolding as it should?

PS: my teacher also said, "Beware of wardrobe tips from the unincorporated."

4/29/2006 10:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Kahntheroad said...

Bob, I'm not sure how best to express this, but it does seem there's a pattern here with dissenters.

Yes, I do believe there is a large element of reading emotion into dispassionate statements; but, is it unreasonable to pose the question of whether it might be incumbent upon us, if we indeed claim an enlightened status, to exercise a certain restraint, given our personal understanding of the trauma even the most sincere spiritual seeker is going to experience from blows of reality?

And I'm just posing this as a general question. What, if anything, do you see as the responsibility of 'those who have gone before' towards those who may be sincere but misguided?

Is it better to simply avoid or ignore certain questions from these people?

And to my dear bobbleheads, let me throw this out there - fully aware that some may be inclined to drop a boulder on my head. I'd like to think my credibility around here is such that I can ask if we should not, at the least, exercise some restraint. It's fine to ignore or dodge questions from someone who may be missing the point, but is it worth making self-satisfying statements that, frankly, can serve no purpose other than driving someone away all together.

No, I'm not going to assert that anyone has a duty to indulge everyone who comes along; however, perhaps it is more helpful to keep oneself above the fray.

Now, if someone can explain to me how further antagonizing someone who is obviously not going to be convinced - while perhaps worth a chuckle - contributes to anyone's spiritual ascension I'm all ears.

4/29/2006 10:57:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

July 28th, 2295

(from T Chang's Classical Etymology)

"Late 21st century historians, as well as philosophers and theologians, were considerably vexed by the etymological origins of the term "digdug-ism", which, then and now, refer to the mysterious beaching of whales and other marine life on land areas, particularly areas in which the unsuitability of surrounding shore and environs would seem clearly evident. And, as we know, the so-called "digdugists", those whose rather exotic psychological aberrations compel them to willingly, knowingly, align themselves to groups and associations to which they are clearly unsuited by temperament and/or philosophical orientation, have lent even more mystery to the term's origin.

Dr. Phinias Hotchkiss (2193 - 2267) of Princeton University first speculated that the word's two-syllable, somewhat guttural sound is the key to the mystery. Wrote Dr. Hotchkiss in "Deconstructing
Digdug": "The word was probably nonsensical and only meant as a command signal, much the same as "hey!" or "Yo!" but with a rising and falling cadence that indicated that the individual was present and was intending to stay, despite protests to the contrary." This view was later contradicted by the Lake Winnipeg School led by Drs. Ferdy Tangent and Edith Pemberton, whose view was refreshingly simplistic, or, as its opponents would contend, evasively reductionist. The LWS perspective can be summarized thusly: the term derives from the word "dig", meaning that one is "digging in", that is, intending to entrench one's self in claimed territory, and is thus followed by the word "dug", which is the means of declaring that one has, in fact, entrenched one's self in claimed territory, and the hell with anyone who wishes otherwise. Given the similarity between the Hotchkiss and the LWS perspectives, it is surprising that it took fifty years before a synthesizing thesis was offered by the philosopher Deacon DeCasablanca in the magisterial "Etymology For Dummies", a rare example of scholarly research and best seller.

Almost lost in the history of digdug etymological research and yet remaining persistently alive even today is the theory of an Earl T. Tuttle, a tool and die maker with an avocational interest in word derivation, who claimed to have traced the origin of the word back to early 21st century internet exchanges. In Tuttle's perspective, the term "digdug" may have actually been the moniker of an individual or individuals who were so strikingly obstinate in presentation that the name eventually became a synonym for a contextual obstinacy and "out of place-ness". In time, said Tuttle, the word was appropriated by marine biologists and applied to the phenomenon of beached whales, and after that, by psychologists seeking a framework for the type of aforementioned personality disorder. Tuttle's view is speculatively romantic and thus is shunned by most scholars; however, in the light of definitive evidence, his perspective cannot be easily dismissed."

4/30/2006 12:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Hoarhey said...

>>"And to my dear bobbleheads, let me throw this out there - fully aware that some may be inclined to drop a boulder on my head."

Yes, you may adress me directly and you do have my respect and:
No, a boulder isn't needed in your case.

You wrote:
>>"It's fine to ignore or dodge questions from someone who may be missing the point, but is it worth making self-satisfying statements that, frankly, can serve no purpose other than driving someone away all together."
"Now, if someone can explain to me how further antagonizing someone who is obviously not going to be convinced - while perhaps worth a chuckle - contributes to anyone's spiritual ascension I'm all ears."

In my case there was nothing self satisfying in my reply, nor was it meant to be comical or antagonistic. Its purpose was to point out underlying characteristics behind the contempt and condescention in each and every reply offered up from day one.
Go back and look though the comments of the last few days and decide for yourself.
You mentioned our responsibility to others who are sincere but misguided. I've seen no inkling of sincerity and no attempt to try and understand or learn anything.
People here have tried hard to be of assistance, basically pouring their hearts out to help.
But after a while it becomes obvious what other peoples intentions are. Should insincerity and worse be confronted? Some would say no. Obviously I'm not a part of that crowd.
I left the option open to Bob to delete the post if it were too harsh or out of line (not that he needed permission) and he is free to ban me from posting if I'm too controversial. But I will continue to come here to learn. Because as I'm sure you know, aint' no place like it in the Cosmos.
And out of respect for you, I promise to be nice for a few days ;).

4/30/2006 02:09:00 AM  
Blogger jpe said...

"Specifically, you deny that transcendental realm which logically ends with the absolute and infinite One."

None of this should be complicated: I have moral intuitions that appear apodictically; these do no imply the existence of God anymore than my apodictic intuition of the computer in front of me.

Once this is understood, the rest of the post is moot.

Your attempt to resuscitate uncritical Cartesian thought is interesting (from a psychoanalytic perspective), but there's a reason philosophers ditched Descartes hundreds of years ago.

4/30/2006 06:09:00 AM  
Blogger jpe said...

"if you find opposing idea interesting and challenging you are not a "leftist" as we define them here."

That's the problem: you define leftism in circular terms as "non-interesting and non-challenging," and then shred the scarecrow left for being non-interesting and non-challenging. Not only is this intellectually vacuous, it's downright boring.

4/30/2006 06:13:00 AM  
Anonymous jwm said...

Yeah, why bother with the north star when the lantern on the bow gives much brighter light?


4/30/2006 08:07:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...


Correction. The entire post is moot to you, as it is impossible to reason about a suprasensible reality of which one has no knowledge. To suggest that my views reflect "Cartesianism" is to so thoroughly misunderstand them that one doesn't know where to begin. My knowledge does not culminate with your ability to understand it.

4/30/2006 08:12:00 AM  
Anonymous kahntheroad said...


Yes, you may address me directly and you do have my respect

I didn't address you directly because you're not the only one.

All I want to do is point out that there are times when this members group - all of whom I have deep a respect for - slip into a clan mentality.

Bob's daily musings offer such an amazing opportunity for others to be exposed to a unique perspectives. Some may be too offended to take it in, or just here to cause trouble, etc. - not much we can do about them. But there are some who stick around and do show a genuine desire to understand. Not long ago I might have been in the same position and I would have been turned off by some of the, frankly, smug sounding dismissals.

Look, I'm not going to tell anyone what to say or how to say it. I will say that I've come to the point where I believe that the least I owe my ideas is to carry myself in a way that does them justice. That doesn't mean sugarcoating or pandering, but it does mean taking care that my words do not go beyond what is necessary to make my point, and refraining from the temptation to score debating point zingers.

We are in a fight for our survival, after all, and the key battle is a civil war of ideas. I want others on my side, and I take seriously how, without compromising or water down my ideas, I can cause others to take these ideas seriously. All I propose is that we all, at the least, take into account whether a particular set of words or the tone we use gains ground (i.e., forwards an idea and does not discourage others from being open to our perspective).

Smart people are stubborn people. It’s hard enough to shift your worldview without being driven to spite.

Should insincerity and worse be confronted? Some would say no. Obviously I'm not a part of that crowd.

Confronted to what purpose? The debate was over, the intellectual points had been exhausted. Personally, at that point, I find it best to present nothing more to distract from the ideas at hand, and leave them baffled as to how I can believe what I believe and still be a calm and agreeable guy. But, hey, that's just my style.

he is free to ban me from posting if I'm too controversial. But I will continue to come here to learn. Because as I'm sure you know, aint' no place like it in the Cosmos.
And out of respect for you, I promise to be nice for a few days ;).

No, no, no - don't change on my account, you do your thing I'll do mine. Who knows, maybe a good cop bad cop dialectical method is worth something. ;)

4/30/2006 09:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Hoarhey said...


Point taken.
It's difficult to convey an emotional (or lack of) state over the internet. I guess things I've said here on this blog could be viewed as from an angry perspective. Actually for me it's forceful, but calm, and difficult to convey if not face to face with someone. Body language and projection of intent loses everything when communicated over the net.
I feel it's fairly easy to see through the ego motives of an insincere person. Because of my been there done that experience of seeing it in myself.
What happened earlier was my feeble attempt to:
1. Expose all the phony ploys and posturing in an attempt to turn digdug back on himself with the slight possibility of him seeing what he was doing.
2. If the insincerity continued, all the B.S. ploys were exposed to the extent the fantasy would be laid bare and he would know he wasn't fooling anyone.
In the second case it would be his decision as to whether or not he was here for the pontifications or something else and leave or not. Thus the reference to the true self hidden under the pile (it did hear me). He can get whatever he wants here.
I could be totally off base in my perceptions, but I don't think so. Waaay to many examples.

I like your good cop bad cop analogy. That possibility occured to me yesterday also. I'm the good cop ....................Right? :)

4/30/2006 12:01:00 PM  
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