Temporal Pathologies and the Current Crisis
In fact, when you think about it, that’s the basis of our present historical impasse with the Islamists (and to a certain extent, leftists, who have their own issues with time). Clearly, what we call “progress,” the Islamists call “decadence” or “degeneration.” They would specifically like to put an end to what history has wrought over the past 700 years or so, and revert to the static and timeless mode that humans have always known.
Because of our historical consciousness, everyone seems to sense that we have entered a particularly “thick” slice of time in the last week, with the possibility of all out war in the Middle East. Outwardly it looks like a war, but inwardly it is a flooding over into consciousness of a rising tide of infrahuman subconsciousness and barbarism. I imagine that World War I must have felt similar to people--as if they were living amidst a great upsurge of uncontrollable, but somehow necessary, energies.
The esoteric understanding of time is that it has several different dimensions of its own. In other words, it is not mere duration, but has ontologically real modes and qualities. Clearly, the present moment is causing so much anxiety because it is so rich with potential. We are getting very close to the essence of what is wrong with the world--as if the polarized essences are about to “touch,” so to speak, which would set off a sort of historical explosion. We can all sense the impending thunderclap, as light meets dark in a sort of apocalyptic showdown.
For that is clearly what this represents. When you pare away all of the intellectual sophistry, there is no subtlety about this whatsoever. Hamas is pure evil. Hezbollah is evil. The Iranian mullahs are evil. The chinless wonder who rules Syria is evil. They are every bit as evil as Hitler or Stalin or Mao. It’s just that, because of our historical “progress,” we have become too sophisticated and subtle to recognize and name evil anymore.
The moral gulf that exists between Israel and her enemies is literally infinite, for the simple reason that the distance between life and death is infinite. Does this mean that Israel is absolutely good? Of course not. It just means that the moral abyss between Israel and her enemies tends toward the infinite. Quite literally, people who worship life are doing battle with infrahuman beasts who worship death. Normal people who love their children more than they love life are in a struggle for survival with deranged beings who love death more than they love their own children.
Because this latter existential stance is so demonic, so frankly satanic, many in the West simply cannot see it. If you live in the light, then the darkness is visible. But if you yourself live in horizontal darkness, then it’s a case of a very dark night in which all the cows are black. It's just a "cycle of violence," tit for tat. To quote one of the most morally idiotic statements ever made, "an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind."
Because we are human, we can know when we are dealing with a being that is subhuman, human, superhuman, or divine. For example, we know that animals are subhuman, whereas animals cannot know that we are “super-animals.” But this innate human capacity obviously can and does become corrupted. People can lose their ability to recognize the subhuman in humans. This tends inevitably to happen to people who cannot recognize the divine or superhuman. I know, for example--as I am sure most of my readers know--that Jesus was divine or that the person who wrote the Gospel of John was superhuman, for the same reason we know that Zarqawi was subhuman. There are degrees of light that are obvious to the noetically attuned soul.
I’ve never given it much thought as to why people are uncomfortable naming the subhumans in our midst, but it must be because of the experience of nazi Germany. For nazi Germany represented the case of a subhuman ideology attempting to extinguish a divine one. It is as if the Left came away with an entirely backward lesson: that it is bad to call anyone evil or subhuman. But you will notice that when this happens, it is not as if evil disappears. It just gets relocated and projected into things that are patently not evil. Thus the deep moral confusion of the Left that sees George Bush or Israel as evil, even subhuman. I could provide hundreds of examples from dailykos or huffingtonpost or other left wing sites that depict George Bush as an animal or a monster, but I’ve never seen them do that with Arafat or Kim Jong Il or Castro.
I might add that if you do not see the evil in yourself--or the potential for such--then you will generally be unable to see it in others. Here again, this is an entirely postmodern liberal ideology that I’ve never taken the trouble to think through where it came from, but I suppose that it comes from my own debased field, psychology, which has replaced the traditional view of human existence being a battleground of good and evil. There is a struggle within our own soul over who and what will rule over it. But if you are steeped in postmodernity, then human beings are really just animals--we are all subhuman, and nobody is any better or worse than anyone else. Therefore, we teach “self esteem,” that there is nothing wrong with you except your belief that there is something wrong with you.
But there is something wrong with you. Especially you--and you know exactly who I'm talking about. Your only hope is to recognize what it is and to do something about it. That’s why we are here, and that is the actual saving grace of history. It is why history has a forward and a reverse. There is a law of vertical gravitation at work in history, exerting its influence on the soul. We can be pulled in one direction, by the divine attractor, or fall further in the other direction, 32 feet per second per second. This is what it means to truly be a progressive: to fight for the political, cultural, and historical circumstances that allow vertical liftoff for the maximum number of souls.
A child naturally lives in an innocent, light-filled world, and it is the job of a parent to preserve that light for as long as possible, until it is inevitably penetrated by the darkness of the fallen world. In so doing, we can re-experience the primordial light that has gradually dimmed in ourselves. Likewise, there is a life-stream and a death-stream that flow through the cosmic arteries of our existence. The former moves from the past to the future, while the latter moves from the future to the past. Children are naturally oriented to the present and future, but as we age, we become increasingly aware of the entropic death stream. Yestalgia for nostoday sets in.
The only way out is in and up, both individually and collectively. For history must be lived in the light of something that is beyond it, something it is aiming for, something that reveals its meaning and purpose. This something is not found within history, but above history. The Islamists would like to impose something on us from below history, while the Left wants to impose something on us that they think is inside history, but can never actually be found there.
Over and against the soporific influence of the world stands the way of awakening.... All movements of a social, political, artistic, intellectual, and religious kind may indeed have different speeds of devolution, but one thing they have in common: if no reinforcing impulse is given after a certain time, they will inevitably exhaust themselves. A thing of motion or of life becomes a corpse unless “reawakening impulses” intervene. Impulses of regeneration, however, do actually intervene--precisely out of the hidden energy center belonging to the “night realm” of history and also to every individual biography. --Valentin Tomberg