Saturday, April 01, 2006

Noble Raccoons, Trousered Baboons, and Horizontally Marooned

Once again, another puzzled reader who is confused by my darwhiggian politics. How is it possible that I -- your jehovial witness and authorized cosmocrat of the luminous aion, Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler of the West San Fernando Valley chapter of the International Order of the Friendly Sons and Daughters of the Cosmic Raccoons, a true and faithful brother under the pelt -- can be a non-leftist?

I tried to address this a couple of weeks ago, noting that "some people who enjoy it when I discuss politics are turned off by the spiritual bobservations. But that group isn't nearly as disappointed as those who appreciate the discussion of spiritual matters, only to be outraged when they discover that I am not a left wing moonbat."

Many misguided and covertly superior souls echo the sentiments of one reader, who complained, "political musings seem out of character with a search for self. How and when did that particular journey become politicized?... I respect your spirit-driven posts, but I'm having trouble with the political ones. I don't find it useful to tar myself with either brush. I swing both ways, depending on the issue, and work hard to stay limber."

My short answer was that regardless of whether I am posting about politics or spirituality, my opinions are "of a piece," and follow directly from my understanding of the whole of things. First, spirituality can only proceed on the basis of Truth, and leftism in all its forms is rooted in a primordial Lie. Secondly, spiritual evolution on a mass scale depends upon the proper cultural conditions. The deep structure of Leftism is anathema to these conditions.

In the future, when I get around to it, I'm going to insert a lengthy summary in the sidebar, so I can just refer readers there without having to go around in circles like this. That way, if they read the summary and still don't get it, then they will know that this blog is simply not for them. Our values are utterly polarized and irreconcilable.

It is amazing what people project into you when they disagree with you. Disagreement triggers an emotional reaction that is promptly projected into the person responsible for triggering it. As a psychologist I am well aware of the process, but you never really get completely used to it.

For example, I've never called anyone evil who isn't actually evil. Nor have I ever "dehumanized" people with whom I disagree, unless they have already dehumanized themselves -- such as the Islamists. But this doesn't stop people from accusing me of accusing them of being evil.

For the most part, I am analyzing things from the deepest of deep structures, not on the surface of day-to-day politics. I specifically try to avoid getting involved in the political "tempest of the day," or if so, try to place the tempest in a much larger framework of cosmic evolution.

Looked at in this way, we can say, for example, that Karl Marx was the great anti-Moses who belched forth his unholy and illiberal revelation from the depths of the abyss. I do not say this in a polemical or emotional way. Rather, I say it in a matter-of-fact and literal way. And all forms of leftism may trace their squalid genealogy back to this cunning sorcerer of dysfunctional historical, psychological, economic and religious fantasies that continue to infect leftist thought today.

But in turn, all forms of thought which I oppose may trace their lineage even further back to the primordial origins of time, history, and humanness itself, where events are shrouded in mythology. Myth speaks to us from beyond the horizon of linear history, and tells us about our origins in the vertical. Rumors and stories abound regarding a Primordial Calamity, of some propensity deep within human beings that makes them turn away from the light and proudly embrace darkness.

In my view, the most simple way to conceptualize this calamity is to say that humans repeat the fall every time they reject verticality for horizontality. Many baleful consequences follow from taking the wrong turn down this priomordial fork in the psycho-cosmic road. For example, reduced to horizontality, human beings are indeed descendants of apes, nothing more. It is a merely a difference of degree, not kind. We are monkeys that know a few more tricks, but that's about it.

Talk about dehumanization! There is no one more anti-human than the secular humanist, since he fiendamentally denies our very humanness as the first principle of his philosophy.

However, viewed vertically, the reverse is true: apes -- and a fair number of human beings -- are degenerate and degraded descendants of the Human Being as such, not of Adam the man, the terrestrial belowprint, but of Adam Kadmon, the divine clueprint, the perfect primordial man, firstborn of the naked godhead.

In order to believe in strict horizontality, one must necessarily renounce intellection (higher thought) and artificially enclose oneself in an ultimately absurd and unintelligible wheel of misfortune. But the vertical does not so much disappear as become displaced into the horizontal, so that the cosmic process of evolution is reduced to a pale imitation. You have now been reduced to a hungry ghost that goes by the name of "progressive."

A "progressive" in the colloquial sense is someone who wishes to force his version of horizontal utopia on the rest of us, a progress denatured of its most vital element, the soul of man. It is a two-dimensional paradise where no one goes hungry because there is free junk food for everyone.

As I have mentioned before, the story of Genesis is not about our horizontal origins, but about our vertical origins. You might say that God created the horizontal world in six days. However, he sanctified and blessed the seventh day to remind us that creation is not a self-enclosed loop -- that there is an inscape hatch.

That is, the Creator specifically left a conspicuous hole right in the center of his creation. It is everywhere and it is always here, although there are some more obvious springs dotting the landscape, pleasantly bubbling forth from a higher dimension. I'm looking at one right now, outside my window. Talk about a master painter!

This cosmic sabbath is our means of spiritual egress in an otherwise inescapable prison of meaningless horizontal repetition and circularity. Where would we be without this blessed hole?! It is a miraculous thing to contemplate. And a tragic thing to contemplate those proud and self-sufficient trousered apes who don't know of its existence.

For one thing, their pride and hubris bar them from entry into it. On the individual level, the fall repeats itself in the closed world of the proud little ego, a subjective hell, if hell is understood as eternal existence in the closed circle of materialistic natural selection rather than the open spiral of supranatural election.

The field of nature is a thophany, a meeting point of vertical and horizontal energies. The serpent -- the most horizontal of all beasts -- represents the self-enfolded world of scientistic materialism or Spinozean pantheism or Marxist dialectics.

Its complementary symbol is the tree, archetype of verticality. Unlike terrestrial trees, the Tree of Life has its roots aloft, its branches down below. Or, it is a lotus that blooms in the heart, but whose roots are out of this world. Or perhaps the anti-serpent is a winged-dove that descends from above.

Either way, we are called upon to be as wise as serpents and innocent as doves. I take this to mean that we must not forsake either the horizontal or the vertical. We must be as wise as serpents to avoid being one. In my case, I am exactly as wise as a serpent, since I could once hiss with the best of them.

But how do we manage our descent into materiality without reducing ourselves to bestiality? Moreover, how do we manage our ascent in the vertical without rejecting the gift of holy animality?

Put another way, how do we reclaim and actualize our noble raccoon heritage? For,

In the West and in the East
There's a mighty little beast
For courage there is no other.
When the chips are all at stake
We are proud to call him brother.
So with our noble tails entwined
And a spirit strong of mind
We'll have hearts that cannot melt.
In the forest, in the trees
On the land or seven seas
We're brothers under the pelt.
Raccoons, the noble Raccoons

I think I'll stop now, consult with Petey, give it some further reflection, and be back tomorrow. For clearly, the cosmic evolutionary struggle in which we are engaged comes down to completely incompatible ideas of what it means to be a fully realized raccoon.

PETEY'S CORNER

Regarding Cynthia McKinney's claim that she has been victimized for "being in congress while black," as usual, Petey has an unusual take. He believes that liberal victimhood is psychologically empowering, because at least it allows the self-proclaimed victim to actively participate in their own subjugation.

It's the best of all worlds, because the person can be a disgraceful human being, like Cynthia McKinney, whose failure is entirely self-generated. But proclaiming yourself victim means never having to recognize that painful truth. Perfect! You oppress yourself all the way to secular godhood, for the victim is the sacred liberal icon. In the liberal world, you are not innocent until proven guilty, you are guilty unless granted victim status.

26 Comments:

Anonymous Will said...

Bob -

You may not have noticed, what with your interview pending yesterday, but one of your Constant Readers, Liquid,to be specific, did suggest the idea installing a flak-catching sidebar.

Ordinarily I'd just take credit for it myself but since she is a Constant Reader, I'd probably get caught.

4/01/2006 08:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Sal said...

I concur, b/c dealing with the "does not compute" -ers will be a Sysiphean task. Nip it. Nip it in the bud.

Two questions: the horizontal and vertical are 3-D, right? Like 3-d chess? Not 2-D, like a math class graph? (yes, I know it's an analogy.)

And - I'm a recent (within the year) reader of Parabola and the like. What I'm noticing is that when discussing Christianity, or referencing Christian sources, the authors/editors are big on God in general; Spirit, ditto, but not so much on Jesus, except as a sort of Guru. No discussion of the salvific role that I see. Any thoughts on why that is? Is it so taken for granted that it needs no mention? Or something else?

Embodiment, or incarnation, if you like, is one of the answers Christianity has, for me, that other traditions don't. Its answers about material stuff is more sensical than others.

4/01/2006 09:53:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Nip it in the bud!

Barney Fife, RIP

Parabola types are committing what is called an extrinsic heresy to the extent that the person calls themself Christian and believes that Jesus may be reduced to a mere prophet, guru or wise man.

Extrinsic heresies are particular to a given religion, whereas intrinsic heresy applies to all religions. For example, it would be an intrinsic heresy to deny the vertical.

4/01/2006 10:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Will said...

Sal -

Just a guess but since Parabola stresses an ecumenical approach re all religions, maybe they don't want to seem like they're playing favorites. Plus, maybe they don't want to appear un-hip or appear as if they have anything to do with Christian fundies.

And maybe they'd feel like they'd lose readership if they played up Christ's salvific role. I have to think that their readership likes things the way they are.

4/01/2006 12:02:00 PM  
Blogger Tusar N Mohapatra said...

For fellow readers
(Not for the learned Author)

Sri Aurobindo and The Mother have formulated an Integral roadmap for the future of humanity by synthesizing the best elements from all cultures and religions. They have written extensively in English and French the philosophical background of their vision as well as the practical means to achieve that.

Their works need to be read patiently and over a long period. The next evolution that Sri Aurobindo has heralded is an inevitability but waits for our receptivity.

4/01/2006 12:22:00 PM  
Anonymous dilys said...

Sal has identified the key test prescribed by one of the Apostles to judge any assertion that claims to represent Christianity.

BTW, I think what he notices in the routine generic "spiritual" discussion is called in academic apologetics "the scandal of the particular," that would privilege a particular Event distinguished from a leveling array of similar ones. Our human ego seems to have an affinity for the abstract when faced too immediately with the "full [non-Manichean] catastrophe" of the realities of mortal life.

The generic "Parabola heresy" is somewhere in the Nestorian / Arian / Adoptionist and environs territory, taking a bead on a man-like-others, but with a more or less advanced mission.

On the other end of the continuum, as Bryan has intimated, one of the hazards for would-be Christians is to put the elements of the Incarnation and the associated revelation in some kind of set-apart category on the order of, "well, that was Jesus, the Son of God, can't expect that kind of effort from me. Meanwhile, I'll just borrow his claims to dominate others..." That kind of weaseling is, I think, rooted in the Monophysite heresy.

The heresies seem arcane, but like other ideas, Christology and soteriology Have Consequences. As any visiting experts could tell, I'm just stumbling into the concepts. Not unfortunately equipped to generate a film series on the subject parallel to the Commandments... Presumably extrinsic heresies would in a way be intrinsic heresies, to the extent that dogmas are somehow about Ultimate Reality. To be true, I think they have to be.

Here's an amusing excerpt from a Catholic writer that legitimately straddles the considerations in all this, regarding how disappointed, in their immediate concerns, the mamas in Nazareth with marriageable daughters must have been with social realities of Jesus' unusual /unique / non-domestic mission!

4/01/2006 12:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Tusar--

Which author is not allowed to read our blog, Bob or me?

4/01/2006 12:33:00 PM  
Anonymous dilys said...

PS to Tusar re: "the philosophical background of their vision as well as the practical means to achieve that."

Unless you maintain that none of this can be represented except in the words as spoken/written (in which case why translation?), I would encourage and request that you drop a few tidbits of your knowledge into our discussion. Evangelistic reading assignments are not persuasive. The Historical Inevitability of the Aurobindean Vision may indeed be the case, but isn't there a principle somewhere of putting out sweets to lure the flies, in the buzzing blogosphere as anywhere else?

Surely your Master must have set an example of productive communication. What have been your own recognitions? What aspect of the philosophical background, or means to reach the future of humanity, do you find helpful in your own experience?

21st Century listeners may be forgiven for being leery of a promise for a brighter future without the specifics. It may be necessary to find them interpreted by those advanced students who understand and bear the vision, to introduce those who do not yet grasp the promise.

Should work so long as we lesser folk are allowed to read your comments without some kind of graduated access....

4/01/2006 12:53:00 PM  
Anonymous June said...

I appreciate what you wrote today, an alternate title for which could be "Snakes on a Plain". You are right, or at least, I agree with you about some of what you said with regard to why people do what they do. But you are not right about the only aspect of this about which I feel utterly confident to speak: my own visits here.

Though the fault undoubtedly lies in my inability to clearly communicate, for the most part, you have mistaken my thought processes for those of some other or others. I am genuinely trying to understand what exactly you mean by the left, because you are not describing the Left as I know it.

When I said that you dehumanize people, I meant simply that you describe them in terms that neglect all their appealing human qualities, thus painting an incomplete and slanted picture. When you say things like, "unless they have already dehumanized themselves like Islamists," [I paraphrase you] how is one to tell whether you mean the men who behead people on video or the millions upon millions and growing of followers of the religion of Islam? Do you relegate them all to the same fate? Do you ascribe to all of them the same motives and intentions? Would it surprise you then to learn that in other countries, they judge us by our acts of war, by the fact that there are people living in their cars here, by our serial killers?

I suppose I would hear shrieks of horror if I were to suggest that a source of leftist thought is the sermon on the mount.

I do not presume to teach you anything. I am sounding, trying to find out what underlies all of this. This will be my last comment for I have seen the futility of my quest. I will still finish your book for you clearly have something to teach.

Humbly,
June

4/01/2006 01:12:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

June--

I think much trouble could be avoided if you just read my words carefully and dispassionately. For example, I specifically said "Islamists," not 'Muslims." Islamists by definition want to kill as many innocent Americans as possible. How many rank and file Muslims are in sympathy with the Islamists is an open question.

"Would it surprise you then to learn that in other countries, they judge us by our acts of war, by the fact that there are people living in their cars here, by our serial killers?

--I really don't care wheter or not people judge, so long as their judgments are accurate. Obviously, someone who condemns America because some Americans live in their car is a fool or knave. You judge a nation by its overall goodness, by the contribution it has made to the betterment of the world, not because we have some some severely mentally ill people living here.

--A related problem is that in many parts of the world, especially the Muslim Middle East, they are suffocating in a sea of lies, so they have no way of knowing that their judgments are completely inaccurate, even evil. In Europe they have no means at all, such as talk radio, to correct the pervasive left wing media bias.

"I suppose I would hear shrieks of horror if I were to suggest that a source of leftist thought is the sermon on the mount.

--I would just re-emphasize that you have cited a perfect example of how the left reduces the vertical to the horizontal in the form of Marxist "liberation theology." It is a horror. Jesus was not a proto-Marxist.

4/01/2006 01:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Sal said...

Thanks, all, for the input. My suspicions are validated. "Who do men say that I am?" is the question to ask in this case, alright.

Appreciate it.

4/01/2006 02:16:00 PM  
Anonymous digdug said...

This is more for June, and myself, than you Bob, if you will allow this sort of radical behavior on your amazing site.

--Respectfully, the purpose of my blog is not for me to learn from you. It is to help those that can benefit from it. Not everyone can. In fact, very few can. I mean, it's obviously a public blog and you are free to read it, but I discuss a lot of esoteric matters that are not meant to be bandied about and debated the way you would on talk radio or in any other forum, really. I'm already pushing the envelope in that regard, in danger of vulgarizing certain teachings by exposing them to all and sundry, regardless of spiritual merit. In any event, I am certainly not here to debate, I am here to help.

Bob, it's hard to argue, or even take issue, with those words. They speak loudly and clearly.

June, I remind you that the polarization that Bob terms "left" and "right" is as old as Adam and Eve, or mind and heart. Created in God's image, we are each and all nevertheless capable of vastly different orientation points. That says something worth keeping in mind about God. What is unusual, as Bob frequently points out, is the use in this blog of "liberal" spiritual ideas within a conservative framework. I was confused, then fascinated, when I ran across this blog, and have not missed many days since I first tuned in. How could someone who certainly seems on a path toward enlightenment glow so brightly on some issues then seemingly suck the air out of the room on other issues? Who are these people who stand on the sides and applaude the vaccuum? Bob "seems" right in so many ways yet twists my heart in other ways. Am I wrong? Do I need re-orienting? It has been rewarding pursuing those answers to a backdrop of "Bob Vision".

Yes, I am wrong. Yes, I need fixing, IF I want to be accepted by this group. I need a good dose of Kubrick-style eye-opening, IF I WANT TO BE ACCEPTED BY THIS GROUP. What I have come to understand as a result of spending time at this blog is that I resonate with the idea that God is an inclusive, not an exclusive God. Many of the "humanists" that seem to be fodder for jokes and jibes on this site do. And when we run across a seeker, be it Bob or Carol or Teodor or Ali, we have conditioned ourselves to look for commonality. In this case, Bob seems to want none of it. As he says in the above quote, he's not for everybody.

I am reminded of the first time I questioned my sexuality. I ran into a group of homosexuals who seemed like really nice folks. Bright, lively, lots of fun. I saw nothing wrong with them as friends. Soon one of them approached me with the idea that I was probably gay, since I didn't mind hanging with this crowd. I was young enough to entertain the idea for days, maybe weeks, that I was gay. Until one day it dawned on me that I could like these people without wanting to have sex with any of them. It was OK to accept them for their differences and not react negatively toward them. It was an inner search I never regretted. Just as hanging here has been. Have I been subjected to any untoward spiritual advances? Absolutely. Life is for learning. Have I submitted to anything distasteful? Not so far. I have searched myself and my ideas more thoroughly than any time in the last three decades, purely as a result of reading this blog. How can I resent that?

Remember your own orientation, June. Bob cannot, in spite of the complex ideas he can string together, save your soul. He may even admit as much. What he can do is give you a good kick in the spiritual crotch so you will remember who and what you are. I left the Christian church as it was presented to me when I finally came to understand that its version of salvation left too many out. I could not worship that version of God. The Jesus that loved me in the still moments always had his arms wide open, and He still does. Try as I might to hear otherwise, the only voice I hear here is Bob's. As it should be. Believe me when I tell you that My God is blessing Bob and his flock, especially when we disagree. Truth is truth, wherever you find it. Namaste to all.

4/01/2006 05:16:00 PM  
Blogger Tusar N Mohapatra said...

Construed almost synonymous with democracy, the idea of plurality and choice is also lapped up by the market economy. The more the merrier, is the new refrain. But what about consensus, synchronicity and solidarity? Are they not equally significant?

This war between the modern and the post-modern has forced upon us lopsided priorities and warped perspectives. The fact that the divergent concepts must be applied in their respective locus is easily forgotten, and the contra attempted to corner browny points.

Then what about creating such a consensus on a particular knowledge system or a philosophy? Can’t it be attempted in an informed environment by employing dispassionate discourse? Or, at least, is it not worth striving for?

Sri Aurobindo holds a unique position among the modern day thinkers of the world. He has lived through the tradition of the east as well as the west for quite a long time and has not only delved deep into the soul of both the cultures, but also written about them extensively in English with a universal sweep.

4/01/2006 06:22:00 PM  
Anonymous chuck said...

The amazing thing is that so many individuals espouse a belief or express a point of view without actually understanding that view or even trying to think it through.I remember the exact moment when I realized that communism was not a movement for the people but, in fact, an anti-freedom agent of control.I remember watching planes purposely being crashed into tall buildings that would eventually crumble to the ground killing thousands of people, and a nation united in anger and fear saying never again!And I remember the moment that I realized that many of us have forgotten that day.I remember having a discussion with an individual who seemed to support the "insurgents" in Iraq and being amazed that she did not realize that in light of her alternative lifestyle "they" wouldn't even allow her to exist; and I remember having a discussion with my sister-in-law, who under the influence of Vanity Fair argued that the USA should be reacting to North Korea and thier very real WMD's in the same way that we reacted to Iraq's threat. When I asked her if she thought we should go to war with North Korea she didn't know what to say and quickly changed the subject.
The "left" has defined itself as progressive, compassionate, and intellectual while at the same time "they" have defined the right as opressive, discompassionate, and controlling ,and yet it seems that very little thought has been put into how or why these definitions were developed; or more importantly, whether they are statements of truth or not. Seems that the truth matters not to some, what is truly important to many is an agenda , whether it is based in fact or not, whether it is good for either the masses or the individual or not, what is truly important is that the agenda is pushed forward.
It is good that those who disagree come together to discuss, as long as the discussion remains reasonable and based on truth. Remember the biblical exhortation: Come let us reason together....

4/01/2006 06:23:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Digdug--

I like your kung fu. Continue to use me as you wish. But do use me. To wrestle with yourself, not with me. That's all I ask. That's all that matters.

4/01/2006 06:24:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Tusar--

As you know, Sri Aurobindo had no interest whatsover in creating a new religion for the masses. Why are you debasing the teachings in this way? I would appreciate it if you would cease from doing so on my blog. If you wish to proselytize, please do it elsewhere. Better yet, stop doing it. Trust me--you are not doing the Master a service.

4/01/2006 06:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Will said...

Bob-

Re the view of Jesus as the Ur-Marixst: I am sensing (fearfully) that the Dems, who have finally caught on to the fact that the image of Christian virtue/faith sells pretty well politically,are going to try a new marketing strategy - right, what it will come down to is that Jesus was a Sandinista. Watch as Hillary starts stressing gov programs as manifestation of Christ's teachings.

Since Day One of his time in the spotlight, Michael Moore has been saying this in interviews. I think it's about to become part of the Dem Party platform.

4/01/2006 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Will--

You are absolutely right. It's the only way they can try to comprehend religion, by making it horizontal. Even if they're being sincere and not just manipulative, they're clueless.

This is not to say Republicans don't often engage in the same behavior. I draw a sharp distinction between conservatism and Republicanism, classical liberalism and contemporary illiberal leftism

4/01/2006 07:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Arlen said...

Just flew in (and boy are my arms tired). Here's a thesis statement I'm not clear on:
Do you believe in reincarnation on this blog? If I'm killed by a narrow-thinking, violence-is-virtuous, religious fundamentalist (country or religion unimportant), do I get to come back again to get it right?

4/01/2006 07:37:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Arlen--

People keep asking me to post on that topic. Maybe in my next life.

Actually, I will get around to it. The thing is, it's an extremely esoteric notion that is unavoidably misunderstood by the masses.

4/01/2006 07:42:00 PM  
Anonymous larwyn said...

Being a Catholic, when I first learned of reincarnation I figured my religion had it covered quite nicely with the Sacrament of Confession. You didn't have to die and come back again and again to reach Niverna. You just went into that little booth every Friday and you came out clean and new.

And, Heaven forbid, if that crazed one did murder you on a Thursday, well you might have to spend a bit of time in Purgatory before you got to Heaven - but that wasn't really a bad deal. You could even get some prepaid Purgatory cards, they were called Indulgences, for making Novenas or doing the Stations of the Cross.
And you could earn them for that recently deceased relative that you weren't too sure had a "go directly to the Pearly Gate ticket".

Only problem was being murdered with a Mortal Sin on your soul.
But they were really pretty hard to commit -- as they must be a grievous matter or thought to be and one must know it and have full intent to do it, knowing it. Like premeditated murder vs manslaughter 2. Mortal vs Venial.

2 Subject and Question
I cannot seem to get an answer to this from any on the Left.
For how many years now have they excused all the bad behaviors of their anointed victim classes. They have swollen our domestic social services, psych services and bookshelves with their theories of abuse victims becoming abusers because of their abuse. They therefore are not responsible.

Yet when an entire country of 25,000,000 persons have spent almost 35 years being abused by Saddam and his thugs -- not one voice on the Left went on the morning shows, Oprah or Dr. Phil to tell us to have patience with the Iraqis. That is would be a long process before they would be able to trust us or each other.
Not one LEFTY voice -- and I am not even talking about NOW and NARAL and PLANNED PARENTHOOD and the rest of the crazy fems who have totally ignored the treatment of women in Islam.

So June, you'll have to do much much more to convince anyone that Jesus would be a Dem today, or would have been a Commie 60 years ago.

4/01/2006 10:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Dave Reaboi said...

Chuck said: The amazing thing is that so many individuals espouse a belief or express a point of view without actually understanding that view or even trying to think it through.

I haven't had so much time these days to be up on every post or comment-- but this one was right to the point. Bob's blog is one of the few places where the implications of the Big Lie are not dealt with at the price of ignoring the wayback Lie itself.

In dealings with leftists or self-described socialists, this is consistantly the point I'm making. All worldviews take its roots in epistemology and, by walking the conversation back logically, most people come to the same reasonable conclusions. (The others are PoMo philosophy profs.)

I think the most essential read for folks who take issue with Bob's politics is the Stephen Hicks book, "Explaining Post-Modernism." In it he traces the anti-Enlightenment nature of the Big Lie some know as Socialism. Bob does a great-- and novel-- job of bringing this analysis back (as 'mind parasites') to the early stages of human development, illustrating how they move from one generation to the next.

4/01/2006 10:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Kahntheroad said...

Dear June (and members of the 'why-isn't-Bob-a-moonbat?!' crowd),

I hope you reconsider your threat to stop posting. Please heed Digdug's eloquent response.

Just by having to deal with the frustrations you express from reading this site you are learning more than you know about what it has been like to hold a conservative viewpoint in this country for the last few decades.

For most of my life your views - meaning left of center - was the default position. There was rarely any serious debate, or resources to even hear an alternative view (especially before the internet). In school I was taught one side, in the media one side was clearly elevated, even in pop culture "Republican" was a punch line.

In college I found myself reexamining the liberal orthodoxy and becoming more and more conservative. And, believe me, this was no whim. I had no choice but to do my homework. Not only did I have to know what I believed, I had to know why I believed it and I had to know, inside and out, what the other side believed. If I so much as raised certain questions in a class I had to be ready to defend myself against a professor armed with a PHD and mob of affirming students.

If politics came up in a social setting and I opined I had to be ready to explain myself thoroughly.

As a conservative I have to be prepared to overlook the fact that nearly all of my entertainment choices - from music to books to film - are produced by people openly hostile to my worldview and will often include pointed insults to beliefs I take seriously.

This is not to mention politics coming up on dates, jobs, etc. I'm confident in my views, and I'm happy to explain, but there are times I don't want feel like discussing it, but can't be silent when someone presumes that everyone thinks as they do.

And once I found myself on a spiritual quest? Forget about it! Trust me, I know how you feel as a liberal reading Bob - I've dealt with the same thing in reading or listening to just about every modern spiritual guru on the bookshelf. Fortunately many years of practice prepared me for the critical mind required to discern wisdom from politics.

By none of this do I mean to portray myself as a victim - it's just an explanation of my experience and how it's something I simply deal with as a fact of life. I'm secure enough in my views that I can enjoy a great film or album made by a liberal artist. Also, I understand why people are liberal; like many here I was once liberal myself. I also have many friends with a broad range of views with whom I disagree, yet have a deep respect, and i gain much from debating. I have not come to my conclusions lightly, and I'm not afraid to be challenged or even proven wrong, as I have had to reevaluate, and sometimes alter, convictions many times.

So welcome to the arena of ideas. The first steps will be bumpy, but if you stay in the ring I guarantee you'll come out more enlightened - and, who knows, maybe you'll enlighten some of us know-it-alls.

4/01/2006 10:41:00 PM  
Anonymous June said...

I promised to stop commenting, but I was encouraged, so I hope you will forgive me if I exercise my prerogative and change my mind.

Larwyn, you've asked twice so I want to answer your question. I find it very interesting that you would have made that comparison, because I made the same comparison several years ago. However, I made it as a basis for a reason not to go to war. It never occurred to me that it would "help Bush" as you put it the other day.

I should admit for all that until perhaps five years ago, I studiously avoided politics. I was always on a spiritual quest and politics just didn't fit in. I came to my "leftist" views through my spiriutal quest. I didn't even know I was on the left until I actually was forced to pay attention to politics. What did someone say here not long ago--something about the definition of evil being to cause pain? That is how I came to my definition of evil. And that is how I got to the left. I'm sure the same must apply to the founders of the liberation theology movement, however, I don't think the American secular left boils everything down to that. I'm fairly sure, in fact, that most people would have no idea what "liberation theology" is.

I get some grief in real life from close friends who don't understand why I always play the devil's advocate. I am blessed and cursed with the compulsion to look at everything from all sides. This is the source of my tolerance--or beyond tolerance. I actually seek to accept and respect the spiritual and religious views of others. It is not lack of convictions that makes me do this, but the conviction that the path one takes is not important. It is the journey.

Yesterday I spent several hours wishing I had someone I could talk to about my reaction to this blog. I told my husband I had developed a lurid fascination with it. That is not quite accurate. I didn't want to tell him that I had been spiritually frightened for the first time in years. I sat with this feeling for sevaral hours, thinking exactly what dugdug said. Is something wrong with me? Could I have been wrong all this time? Am I evil somehow? Could I be missing the forest for the trees?I found a few dings on my conscience, but nothing I couldn't resolve fairly easily.

By the end of the evening, I had let go of the feeling and realized that I could leave that part aside and just focus on the merits of Mr. Godwin's teachings. So what if he thinks I am an idiot who doesn't get it. I don't get less out of it. I'm not a Democrat. I'm not even a Christian though I revere Christ. I could stand without these or any other labels before God knowing everything I've done and everything I know and feel only joy, so why should I fear this place? I'm here to learn. And to befriend Sal.

4/02/2006 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

June--

When you say that "the definition of evil is to cause pain," and that that is how you got involved with the left, you are making a very important point.

Leftism has a superficial appeal to nice people who want to do good and don't want to hurt anyone. But again, you must think "beyond stage one" and try to understand the implications of leftist ideas as they play out through the years.

Looked at that way, they cause untold suffering and evil, whereas classical liberal (conservative) ideas may appear superfically harsh or painful but cause the greatest good as they play out in time.

Ronald Reagan for example--great primordial enemy of the left--is both one of mankind's greatest liberators AND one of the greatest creators of wealth and human abundance the world has ever known. But leftists fought him tooth and nail every inch of the way.

You say you are "blessed and cursed with the compulsion to look at everything from all sides. This is the source of my tolerance--or beyond tolerance."

Here again, this is refreshingly candid. However, you are talking about the lower mind, which is a doubting machine. That is what it is there for, and you are turning one of its great limitations into a virtue. The lower mind, by its very nature, is condemned to agnosticism and doubt. It must be transcended to the higher mind, which can know universal truths and principals which determine everything that exists.

Your self-described fascination with the blog is not a "lurid" one, although it is a great danger to your lower self. Hence the vague perception of "danger." Part of you is in danger. But it is not a real part.

Please. You are certainly not evil, nor do I think for a moment that you are an "idiot." You just need to tolerate what is taking place within you and not immediately externalize it or try to prematurely resolve or foreclose it. That is the pathway to real growth.

4/02/2006 11:13:00 AM  
Anonymous larwyn said...

June,
you wrote:
Larwyn, you've asked twice so I want to answer your question. I find it very interesting that you would have made that comparison, because I made the same comparison several years ago. However, I made it as a basis for a reason not to go to war. It never occurred to me that it would "help Bush" as you put it the other day.

Dear June, before I bang my head against a wall, will you clarify what you mean?

Is it that because the abuse of 25,000,000 had gone on so long ~35years - that that was normal for Iraq - so just keep it stable?

or
It would be long and hard to free these people and you
sorta agree with the "kill them all, let God sort them out" crowd?

Maybe I just have the wrong edition of the Sermon on the Mount, but your answer shouldn't be pleasing to you if you think about it.

4/02/2006 04:59:00 PM  

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