Saturday, July 15, 2006

Temporal Pathologies and the Current Crisis

Historical consciousness is a relatively new thing. Normally, history is what happens when we’re busy making other plans, isn’t it? In the past, people more or less lived in the present, which was in turn embedded in a timeless mythological structure. Although history was happening, perhaps it happened so slowly that no one noticed. Or, if they did notice, it was generally thought to be a bad thing, since it connoted deviation from the timeless ideal. Unlike in the modern West, there was no notion that time = progress. But for us, we can hardly even think about time anymore without attaching some notion of “progress” to it. If things aren’t getting better, then they’re getting worse.

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

16 Comments:

Blogger R. Sherman said...

Bad link on the first try. Good post. Also, check out the last two entries here, which touch on the matters you regularly discuss.

Cheers.

7/15/2006 08:07:00 AM  
Blogger Alan said...

Somewhat tangential to this is the recent trend towards "ahistorical" or "anti-historical" reporting - writing that explicity contradicts facts and opinions from past writings *by the same writer* without mention (as if the past never occurred and the writer is free to make any claims at all without worrying about being consistent in facts or arguments).

Anyway, another good post (what are we supposed to comment on when we just come read the posting and the only logical answer is "amen!"?)

7/15/2006 09:04:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

This would certainly seem to be a "night realm" of history, and I think if one now meditates on the atmospheric currents, one can feel, just beneath the jangly surface, an element of possible but very real transfiguration, personal and universal.

This, I think, is the necessary time to make the personal spiritual alignment. As it is without, so it is within - the drama in the Mideast has to be reflected, one way or the other, in every human soul. For some of us, the "within" struggle is tangible and obvious - the Enemy is right out in the open. For others, it might be more obscure, but I'm convinced that if we look inside ourselves now, the dual between Light and Darkness will become limned as perhaps never before.

Anyway, God bless us, everyone.

7/15/2006 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Will--

As usual, I agree with you entirely. This could be a chance for some real chemotherapy on the Middle East, so long as Dr. Israel isn't cowed by all all of the usual amoral and immoral suspects.

7/15/2006 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger geckofeeder said...

Glad to have you back, Will. Missed you.
Thanks, Gagdad, for helping us bobblebreathingbrains with our allignment.

7/15/2006 11:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Sal said...

Will - good to see you, I was beginning to get worried.

I'm wondering how many people will be felled by their own sophistication, as Bob describes. How sad to have to cling to a false sense of self, even to the point of being overrun by evil-doers.

It seems a little surreal to be living, and even enjoying, ordinary life right now. I'm doing it in a Francis-esque " I'd try to finish this row" kind of way.

7/15/2006 04:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Michael Andreaykovich said...

Alan:

And then there's the writers who make extensive reference to their past material, except for the parts they can no longer defend - those are swept under the rug or carefully disguised with obscurantist raving. Chomsky is the most exasperating practitioner of this method; his entire oeuvre has been one giant game of "See, I Told You So" - and he has the footnotes to prove it.

(Incidentally, I always wondered what a linguistics professor was doing dabbling in politics and sociology, but under postmodern standards the distinction between specialized fields has been rendered meaningless.)

7/15/2006 05:39:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Let me be the third girl to say, "WILL, you're alive!!!" We missed you. Bob had a hard time fending off trolls without your deputiness! I was almost about to stalk you and Fergus over at neoncat. Please comment more frequently! How's Pilates treating you?

Bob, thanks for the lovely compliment. The growth could not have taken place as easily without you and your book! The more I learn, the more I realize I need to know more! Praying for the light to shine through the darkness. Go, Israel!

7/15/2006 05:59:00 PM  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

regarding chomsky; he discovered that most sophomores barely knew what the word linguistics meant, so in his will to proselytise, chomsky switched to the hot button, politics for easy lecture money. so now he prattles along tautologically booking full houses and preaching to the politically converted.

7/15/2006 06:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Van said...

You mentioned “I’ve never given it much thought as to why people are uncomfortable naming the subhumans in our midst”, well if you’ll pardon a brief straying in the horizontal direction, I think that where ideology (mostly the Left's) went off the rails was beginning with the French branch of the Enlightenment, in their redefining of "Reason", making it synonymous with the so called Scientific Method. They looked at all areas of human thought, actions & behavior from their Watchmaker's perspective, and assumed the ability to measure all that was worth measuring, and if it couldn't be measured, it either didn't really exist, or was unimportant.

They looked at Free Will, closely, but when they couldn't see how it ticked, they concluded that it must not really exist. This line of Reasoning, concluded that since there is no measurable Free Will, there must be only a series of complicated cause and effect reactions to environmental factors, and so you only need find the proper trigger or lever, to produce more desirable outcomes from people. Just wind them up, set all their hands to the same time and viola – Utopia!

This is central to all leftist thought, and it is what divorced it from the long train of Liberal Thinking coming down through Western Civilization. Their deterministic concept makes ANY statement of ethical Good or Evil, into a massive threat to ALL of their beliefs. It also, I would argue, destroys true thought & replaces the very idea of decisions (choices made freely) with expected outcomes. It is also THE perfect environment for Evil (of the secular or religious variety) to come out of the closet and flourish and spread and grow & grow & grow.

When Evil can stand in the open and not only get away with saying “What I’m doing isn’t Evil, it’s just the effect of your causes!”, but get sympathetic attention for it – the very idea of the Vertical is lost.

Those ‘educated’ in this way lose the tendency to even try to look up, since expecting to see something “up there” would imply that there was also something “down there” that alone is not very PC – as for sub-human? That definitely doesn’t pass the multi-cultural sniff test, why… that might lead to Right & Wrong, and to what the real meaning of IS is! Their Utopian Watch springs strain at just the thought of it!

7/15/2006 07:46:00 PM  
Anonymous pete(y-not) said...

the so-called fwench "Reason" <> nihilism?

7/16/2006 02:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Sal said...

van -

that was brilliant - thank you!

Some, especially of the progressive Christian type, may be indulging in that as well as a sort of projection - they can't imagine themselves beheading hostages and so can't really wrap their minds around persons that could do that. Or that couldn't be reached by compassion and reason.
Still trying to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.

They've been deleting any and all extra-Scriptural references to fighting, armies, soldiers, etc. The pure-d pacifists and those who have bought into the victim pose of, say, the 'Palestinians'. (I'm thinking of a couple of orders of nuns - the sort who advertise in "Parabola".)

Do you blog? My list of Bob-bloggers can always use more...

7/16/2006 05:39:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Van--

I agree with Sal. That was an excellent take. You may have given me an idea for a post--some of the more subtle but noxious spiritual effects of flatland scientism. Although it is an infrahuman philosophy unworthy of the dignity of man, it nevertheless seems to be the default mental state of most people, certainly of the Left.

7/16/2006 06:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Van said...

Sal & gagdad bob (love that name), Thank you for the nod!
I've just recently thrown my hat into the Blogger ring... well more like blogging with training wheels, at msn.spaces,
Blogodidact

7/16/2006 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Feel free to pimp your blog here. You are obviously a kindred spirit.

7/16/2006 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger Sanctu said...

I just finished reading Mere Christianity by CS Lewis. I have to say your writing style reminds me of his a little. Although I believe Hamas, Hezbollah, etc. to be evil, the phrase you used "pure evil" suggests an absolute that I'm sure Christ never intended any of us to utter about anyone. Pure evil is just one of those cliches we use, but I can't believe it exists. As far as we know, absolute zero temperture cannot exist. Halving a number approaches zero, but never gets there. God's love prevents "pure evil" because I believe there is always hope. In the darkest darkness, there will always be that pinpoint of light on the horizon. Even for the most despicable among us. This of course upsets my sense of justice, but I believe it to be the truth nonetheless.

7/21/2006 09:12:00 PM  

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