Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Devil's Decalogue: Shackle Number Two

In the past, we have had occasion to note that the first five commandments govern man’s relationship to God, i.e., the vertical, while the second five govern man-to-man relations. However, these second five do not so much represent the horizontal as they do the vertical emanating downward and then radiating outward into all of creation, but especially toward other human beings. Thus, if, and only if, the commandments were actually followed by everyone, it would be on earth as it is in heaven.

Yesterday we discussed the secular leftist project of undermining the first commandment and replacing it with its counter-commandment (“there is no God, and we are his angry clowns”). This has the practical effect of turning the cosmos upside down and absolutizing the relative, thus shackling us in the Egypt of ontological flatland. Sounds like a good deal, but in the end, you're going to be e-gypped. Big time.

The first commandment is actually a fractal that contains all of the others, so once you eliminate it, a host of disastrous implications follows in its wake: the reign of quantity, the tyranny of the horizontal, the subversion of truth, the devaluation of beauty, and the loss of the quintessential categories of the holy and the sacred through which celestial energies radiate into our world. In short, hell on earth.

The reason why it is necessary to acknowledge the Absolute prior to the relative is that, in the absence of the Absolute, all transcendent values are bleached out and ultimately wiped away. Values can only exist in a hierarchy (i.e., some things are more precious and valuable than others), and any hierarchy is conditioned from top to bottom. There can be no higher or lower in an infinite horizontal wasteland. Rather, in such a case, the world is simply a brute fact, with nothing to spiritualize it. Matter is elevated to the “ultimate,” so that the world shrinks down to our most primitive way of knowing it. In fact, it is precisely because there are degrees within the relative that we may prove the Absolute, in that these degrees of relativity reflect the Absolute either more or less adequately.

Although secularists like to think that their's represents a sophisticated view of the world, in reality, no philosophy could be more provincial and monkey-bound. As Richard Weaver has noted, it substitutes facts for truth and logic for wisdom, elevating the world of the senses above the antecedent reality that can only be known by the intellect. Man becomes the center of authority, which makes him no authority at all, for no fact speaks for itself and no experience can tell us what we are experiencing.

The secular materialist attempts through endless induction to assemble the cosmos from the bottom up, but you can never get there from here. No one has ever seen this thing called “cosmos,” and no one ever will. Rather, it is accepted on faith, as it is an inevitable shadow of its unitary creator. In other words, we all intuit that there is a strict totality of interacting objects and events because we were built to do so (unlike any other animal). To say “cosmos” is to say “God,” for God is the cosmos, even though the cosmos is not God. It is a "reflection" of God, and therefore cannot help but to be One.

Haven’t you ever wondered why the cosmos is so beautiful? Why should it be? Why in the world should there be a category called “the beautiful?” Where is that beauty? Is it actually in the cosmos? Or is it only in us? If so, how did it get there, and what is its purpose?

In reality, beauty is another inevitable “residue” of its source, an exteriorization of the Universal Mind. To the extent that ugliness exists--and it surely does--it does not represent a fundamental reality but a deprivation of such. It is a measure of distance from the divine archetype, the full brunt of which reality could not bear. Thus we have degrees of beauty just as we have degrees of goodness and truth. And no one could plausibly argue that this beauty is perceived by the senses, but only by the uncreated intellect that mirrors it.

Two things that the uncorrupted mind cannot not know: that the world is intelligible and man is free. Take away either, and the world is simply an absurdity, a monstrosity, a mistake. For to say that we may know is equally to say that we are free, otherwise it is not knowledge at all. Knowledge proves freedom, freedom proves knowledge, and both prove the Creator, for the hierarchy of being disclosed by the free intellect leads back to its nonlocal source above.

Therefore, the second commandment follows logically from the first: you shall not turn the cosmos upside down and inside out, and worship created things. There are, of course, many parallel injunctions in the Upanishads: “He alone is the reality. Wherefore, renouncing vain appearances, rejoice in him.” Because of our uncreated intellect, humans, and only humans, are able to discern between the Real and the apparent, maya and Brahman, the Absolute and the relative, the transient and the eternal.

Behind the idolatrous secular impulse is a persistent, vulgar materialism that collapses the hierarchy of being and reduces the Absolute to some tangibly manifest idea or object that can be “contained” by the lower mind. But these are truly “mind games” for the childlike secularist, for no fragmented detail at the periphery of existence can explain the mysterious whole, much less the infinite interior center that represents its beating heart.

Life, for example, is not a function of DNA. Rather, the reverse is true. Likewise, consciousness is not a product of brains, but vice versa. For at the tip-toppermost of the poppermost, reality is sat-chit-ananda, or being-consciousness-bliss. Or so we have heard from the wise, from Petey, the merciful, the compassionate, the tendentious, the obnoxious!

“The universe is a tree eternally existing, its root aloft, its branches spread below.” So says the Katha Upanishad. We know that tree, for it is the same tree that appears in Genesis. It is a Tree of Life for those whose wood beleaf. For the grazing herdhearted woodenheads who wouldn't, they are the sap.

38 Comments:

Blogger Lisa said...

Having to deny the truth and existence of God constantly, as Leftists tend to do, is extremely time consuming and contradicting. No wonder why so many are unhappy, confused, and frustrated and take out their rage on those of us who do see truth and beauty. The funny thing is that they think they are the peace-loving ones and will tolerate any behavior as long as it is not civilized. The convoluted rage directed at anyone who dares speak their mind and question the motives behind leftist actions/non-actions is intense and anything but peaceful. Totally bizarro-world!

8/16/2006 08:24:00 AM  
Blogger Tamara said...

Reading your insightful statement that ". . .these second five do not so much represent the horizontal as they do the vertical emanating downward and then radiating outward into all of creation" reminded me of an article I once read written by a Rabbi.

In addition to pointing out that the first five commandments deal with our relationship to G-d and the second five with other people, the Rabbi also pointed out that there is a correspondence between these two groups. In other words, there is a connection between commandment one and six, two and seven, and so on. Alas, I cannot recall the author.

8/16/2006 08:41:00 AM  
Blogger The Bunnies said...

"The funny thing is that they think they are the peace-loving ones and will tolerate any behavior as long as it is not civilized."

I love that statement. It reminds me of the movie "American Beauty" which portrayed the successful businesswoman and a depraved prude and placed descending back into adolescence on the highest altar of self-fulfillment.

I remember hearing in sociology class that the working classes focus on "self-improvement", whereas the upper middle classes focus on "self-awareness." In my book, the workers got this one right. As long as you improve yourself, does it really matter if you don't comprehend how your mother affected your eating habits? If you understand every layer of your subconscious, what good does it do anybody (including yourself) if you don't somehow improve?

On the other hand, if you simply get on with the job of leading a better life, what fun is it if you can't obsess about how complex you are?

To me, that's how boomer narcissists violate the first commandment. God is part of us, but also beyond us. Too often, being "deep" is instead about ignoring that which transcends (and improves) in favor of infantilism.

And they say Gen X is the Me Generation.

8/16/2006 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger grant said...

You say "for the grazing herdhearted woodenheads who wouldn't, they are the sap," and I believe you have hit upon a core insight here, in that the "materialist" person is a creation of God going about his business in God's "reflection" (as you describe the cosmos)and therefore may well be as integral and useful a part (as the sap or lifeblood of the tree) as a believer is in the scheme of things.
The take home point here is that God may not require that all people at this time have the correct intellectual apprehension of the cosmos. In fact, I believe it possible that materialist people, en masse, may have an important part (even an indispensable part) to play in the evolution of life on earth, one that only they can play properly. Once they have completed that project (AI? Some other thing in the material realm?) then the materialist consciousness can be disbanded. In your writings I sense that for you, the time for the destruction of materialist consciousness is now, but how can you be so sure? What drives your certainty that you must now deliver polemics against secular materialist people? I question the need to rail against materialists for their own good in particular; after all, upon their deaths each individual one will become appraised of their erroneous ideas anyway.
You may already have a well formulated mission for your life, and fully articulated reasons for what you do, but if on the off chance you have neither, I urge you to contemplate further. From what motives do you write?

8/16/2006 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Grant:

What motivates me to write is simply to deepen my own understanding and to share it with others who are in some way helped by it. Believe me, I have no interest whatsoever in proselytyzing or in trying to change anyone who is at peace with God (or with godlessness, for that matter, assuming that is possible). The people who enjoy reading the blog do so voluntarily. Paradoxically, it is only the people who angrily disagree with me who seem compelled to read the blog. They can's stop, even though they despise me and the ideas I promulgate.

8/16/2006 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Grant--

By the way, I agree with your premise--it does take all kinds to make a world. But the spirtual view in no way negates the material. It both transcends and embraces it, so you've set up a false dichotomy. The materialist view, on the other hand, by definition negates the spiritual.

8/16/2006 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Alan said...

There is also the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the garden of eden. Both exist and both are necessary. The key, though, is which one do you get your nourishment from.

8/16/2006 12:43:00 PM  
Anonymous dilys said...

Note the comment in the link. They're eyeing Petey for the podcast. Might allow his keeper to sit in...

8/16/2006 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger Zrinyi's Last Stand said...

God is the absolute and still the devil has his commandments. A basic question- if god is the absolute, how does evil enter? No, I'm not trying to be a smart-ass, but I'm interested in how we can reconcile the absolute deity with the existence of evil. I dislike the monism that concludes since everything comes from the absolute, and the absolute is good, everything is good... so just sit back and stop worrying about the evil you see. I'm also troubled by the implications of more dualistic approach. Thoughts?

8/16/2006 02:49:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Evil is a necessary consequence of there being a relative world with free beings, separate from God. The absolute implies and actually necessitates the relative (since all possibilities must be present within it). To provide a simplifed graph: Absolute/Infinitude --> Possibility --> Relativity --> Good and Evil.

8/16/2006 03:02:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

>>Behind the idolatrous secular impulse is a persistent, vulgar materialism that collapses the hierarchy of being and reduces the Absolute to some tangibly manifest idea or object that can be “contained” by the lower mind.<<

And, I think, collapses the possibility for genuine intuition and the higher-to-lower transmission of divine inspiration and knowledge. Many tend to think of intuition as being a matter of the occasional "hunch" or flash-insight. It can manifest this way, of course, but intuition can and should exist as a steady-state field, one that slowly increases in receptivity over time, with the proper nurturing, of course. As this steady-state intuition grows, the more we gain perception of "things unseen", the fundamental "laws" of the greater cosmos.

I would think most people have little clue on how much they depend on their steady-state intuition, though with the ever-rising, purely materialistic perspective, along with its erosion of our intuitional capacities, many are going to find out. And they won't like it.

When the materialistic paradigm interferes with the clear higher-to-lower transmission, the signal gets "jammed". What comes through are intimations of fear, alienation. Instead of inspiration and insight, paranoia. And I think there's some truth in saying that paranoia is the inspiration of the left.

There are matters which depend on intuition for their essential validity, particularly those regarding the life-force. The majority of people have for millennia, intuitionally - that is, validly - regarded something like gay marriage as being spiritually out-of-bounds. However, when such intuition is downgraded, invalidated, in fact, it is near-impossible for many to articulate "logically" their opposition to something like gay marriage, and in time, they will abandon intuitional promptings in favor of "logic" and "common sense". What follows, eventually, is chaos. Not there yet, but not far away either, and there are no words to describe the Dark Night that will descend.

Of course, it could be that people have to lose their divine intuition completely in order to really acknowledge its existence and to fully appreciate it for what it is.

8/16/2006 04:54:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Oooh. The prodigal species. I don't like that idea. Or at least wait until I'm gone.

8/16/2006 04:58:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

Zrinyl -

Way I see it - a true love-bound partnership with the Creator (the purpose, I believe, of Creation) is only possible with autonomous, free-willed beings, those who have the capacity to choose. If were forced to choose love, then indeed, all Creation would be "good". But of course, it wouldn't be a true partnership; there'd be no need for Creation in the first place. No need for us.

So, the possibility for choosing evil has to exist in order that we be autonomous partners. An environment had to be created in order that we have a place to freely choose. The earth, in itself, is neither overwhelmingly evil nor good but has elements of both from which to choose.

8/16/2006 05:11:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

Not all of us, Bob. Pockets there, pockets here. And speaking of "here", that's where you will BE. Sorry.

8/16/2006 05:15:00 PM  
Blogger MaxedOutMama said...

Grant - but the materialist of today is engaged in a denial of some part of material reality, always.

There really isn't a dichotomy between dealing fully with the material world and recognizing that there is a transcendant reality not contained by the material world -
BUT THAT IS NOT THE PURSUIT OF MATERIALISTS! They don't seek to deal with material things, but some subset of them, and that subset is always selected by the materialist in question.

Thus, for instance, you will encounter them roaring in disapproval at "visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of those that hate me". It is, they cry, wicked to worship such an evil God who would punish the innocent. But this statement is simple truth. Ask any doctor who has treated congenital syphilis. Ask any psychiatrist. Ask anyone who has dealt with an adult survivor of childhood abuse or neglect. Because the world is material, the consequences of material acts are transmitted through generations.

What the "materialist" wants is to take the responsibility for what he or she does out of creation. The materialist cannot succeed in that, and so the materialist ends up inhabiting a self-created world founded in a denial of reality and fiercely reproaching those who want to deal with material reality.

Judaism is a deeply materialistic religion, and so is Catholicism. Both enshrine the day-to-day duties and stress the duty of the individual to recognize, repent and atone for that individual's errors of deed.

The materialist of today is NOT a materialist, but a wishful thinker, who angrily wishes to impose his or her own wishes upon even the mental and cultural life of others.

8/16/2006 05:18:00 PM  
Blogger gumshoe1 said...

apoligies in advance for the OT...

bob -

i wandered over to Ken Wilber's blog,and aside from the messiah-complex,self-infatuation,multi-level marketing schemes,and the neologisms...
he did have a topic i'd like to see you disccus in a seperate thread,if possible:

the Shadow.

you've mentioned on many occassions the problems of the Pali's and the Arab(and Persian) world with the Jews and the exsistence of Israel.

Dr. Sanity has also spilled
mucho pixel-ink on the topic.

i'd forgotten to bookmark Wilber's
three part "Shadow Series" discussion(with some linked .pdfs),
and in doing a google to re-access it, i came across a Wilber critic who pointed out the problem of "*projection* in the other direction":

ie we project our GOOD qualites [what Wilber's critic referred to as "our Light"]onto others:
...idols,heroes,gurus,
presidents,pundits,etc.

it struck me as a valuable,
non-psychological,non-obsessed
insight...along the lines of
"resist ye not Evil,but do Good..."

i would be interested to hear your comments on both "Shadow work",to use Wilber's term, and the observtation that "Shadow-Hunting" might not be the main game.

-gumshoe

8/16/2006 05:51:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

maxedoutmama--

You hit on a critical point, in that leftism is an entirely abstract, utopian, dissociated fantasy, whereas Christianity and Judaism are very much rooted in material reality. For that matter, so too is Sri Aurobindo's yoga. All are "embodied" metaphysics which take incarnation very seriously and regard the cosmos as neither ideal nor material, but ultimately "logoistic."

8/16/2006 05:59:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

gumnshoe--

That's a very good question, and I'll try to address it in the future.

The "shadow" is basically a Jungian concept, of which I am not one. I would simply use the terms "splitting"and "projection."

8/16/2006 06:04:00 PM  
Blogger dicentra63 said...

Of course, it could be that people have to lose their divine intuition completely in order to really acknowledge its existence and to fully appreciate it for what it is.

If an individual loses it suddenly, after a lifetime of having it, s/he will probably see it, but in the context of a society in a slow death-spiral, I don't think it's possible.

Many people who don't have spiritual insight don't know that there's anything missing. They have their material needs met, they have their entertainment and distractions.

Much has already been lost from our society in the last 40 years, but how many people on the left can articulate what it is? On the contrary, they think we've lost nothing to "progress." The valuable stuff we've lost is something they never valued to begin with.

For example, you can tell today's youth that promiscuity will impair their ability to form healthy sexual relationships, but because there is precious little modeling of healthy sexual relationships in our ideological circulatory system (the media, the schools, etc.), they don't know what in Sam Hill we're talking about. They settle for the lesser relationships and call it good, because no one has anything different.

It's as if our society were gradually losing its sight, and losing its memory of sight. So if after awhile we all go blind, who's to know that something's missing?

God destroys societies as soon as it becomes the lesser of two evils: when what we're doing to ourselves is so bad that we're better off dead, that's when the fire will rain down.

8/16/2006 06:27:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Dicentra, I like your style.

Mmmm hmmm. Preach, sista'!

8/16/2006 06:42:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

Dicentra -

>>If an individual loses it suddenly, after a lifetime of having it, s/he will probably see it, but in the context of a society in a slow death-spiral, I don't think it's possible.<<

I get your point but I think most people must have some spiritual intuition going for them or civilized order wouldn't currently exist at all. I really think people would know it if God were really "dead", ie., if all innate intuition came to an end.

8/16/2006 08:32:00 PM  
Blogger gumshoe1 said...

bob -

Wretchard posted a discussion of
Alexander Solzhenitsyn's speech at Harvard (1978) (speech link here):
http://www.columbia.edu/cu/
augustine/arch/solzhenitsyn/
harvard1978.html

....and Belmont thread here:

Wednesday, August 16, 2006
"Belmont Club:Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs "
http://fallbackbelmont.blogspot.com/2006/08/nor-any-voice-of-mourning-save-choirs.html


i thought you might find
both the speech and
the Belmont conversations valuable.

excerpt:

"If humanism were right in declaring that man is born to be happy, he would not be born to die. Since his body is doomed to die, his task on earth evidently must be of a more spiritual nature. It cannot unrestrained enjoyment of everyday life. It cannot be the search for the best ways to obtain material goods and then cheerfully get the most out of them. It has to be the fulfillment of a permanent, earnest duty so that one's life journey may become an experience of moral growth, so that one may leave life a better human being than one started it."

8/16/2006 09:07:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Taking a secular route towards the concept of Evil (I'm probably an odd ball in this, but I've found that if I first get a grip on something in the tangible or Horizontal plane, then the Vertical seems to kind of naturally draw my attention on up & deep-wards), I think that the possibility of being wrong is a necessary part, a by-product, of having Free Will - if everything truly was determined, there would be no error, only results.

Evil first creeps into the picture with our wish to deny our error, and it intensifies with our desire to pretend to not have made an error. It seems that it is with the attempt to avoid, to deny, guilt, that we first put ourselves into war with reality and Truth.

And once that snowball gets to rolling, look out BELOW!!!

I've pictured Intuitions as mental connective cables between related thoughts, concepts & facts, which the more you allow yourself to follow them to their connections, the stronger & farther reaching the connections become from one truth to another.

The attempt to ignore error and deny guilt, the process of putting yourself at odds with reality, obscures the whole, the Truth, and weakens your connections to the oneTruth (One Cosmos?) and the more fragmented and incapable of even sensing any whole you become.

In that situation maybe it's not surprising that you might even become irritated and angry at any suggestion that there is an integrated whole out there from which you've long since separated yourself from. No longer able (or willing) to see it, but still tied to it in half forgotten guilt. Denial (and guilt over it) doesn't change reality, it only binds you mercilessly to your attempt to deny it - just as turning your eyes away from something can't stop you from realizing that it is still there - and the fact that you're turning away emphasizes the fact that it is still there and you aren't courageous enough to even look at it, to admit it and see it.

I wonder if the desire to evade truth, to pretend that Truth isn't true, isn't the root of all Evil?

8/16/2006 09:42:00 PM  
Blogger Zrinyi's Last Stand said...

re: Van-
Is it that easy to know the truth? Then why does doubt so persist?

re: will-
Is choice so important? For most religions, it is central. But for Plato, choice doesn't really exist. If you know, you do what you know because you know it; if you do not know, then you're in trouble. Either way choice is non-existent. I think Plato's argument presents a strong challenge to the concept of free will.

re: gagdad bob
With the absoolute at the apex, and good and evil necessary consequences, does this lead to indifference and inaction? If in the end, both good and evil are functions of the absolute, then is there any reason to be worked up about evil in the world? Is there reason to be active against evil outside one's self or is it enough to focus on one's own well being?

I'm all questions and no answers, just like my boss, Plato.

8/16/2006 10:50:00 PM  
Blogger gumshoe1 said...

"If in the end, both good and evil are functions of the absolute, then is there any reason to be worked up about evil in the world?

Is there reason to be active against evil outside one's self or is it enough to focus on one's own well being?"


well...where does it all begin
(or end)?


and what IS "one's own well-being"?
...wouldn't it include being free from Evil?

just a few more questions for ya,
Mr Plato.

;0p

8/16/2006 11:47:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

Zrynil -

If Plato was right re: free will, the lack thereof, guilt would not exist.

The "Imp of the Perverse", as Poe called it, does exist - it's the desire to act against what one innately knows to be moral course of action. There are times when it takes great moral courage to resist - by an act of free will - the Imp This is so obvious it hardly needs stating. Any confusion one might have over this could only be the result of a serious disconnect between thought and Higher Intelligence.

8/16/2006 11:57:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

To Zrinyi's Last Stand -
"Is it that easy to know the truth? Then why does doubt so persist?" Easy? Hell no! It ain't easy, but you've got to respect it to discover it, and to do either, you've got to face the fact that it is difficult, but worth it, and CHOOSE to seek it. Doubt, when healthy, is just your mind proding you to look at the situation from all angles. When you think you've got it all covered, a doubt will pop up "did you think of X? Whay will happen if Y?!" and if you are focused on seeking the truth, you will consider those questions, and answer them as honestly as you can, and then dismiss the doubt. Ignore the doubt, and you distance yourself from the (I don't have the time to strip the 'fortune cookie' sound from this) path of Truth (!), you feed feed your doubt, distrust yourself, and warp your mind into a proliferation of doubt.

"If Plato was right re: free will, the lack thereof, guilt would not exist." No, it is only with Free Will that guilt can exist, because only with Free Will can you choose to try to avoid reality and the Truth.

Yes Choice is so important, and you are correct that from Plato on, as opposed to Aristotle (in essentials) the understanding follows against choice, free will, and freedom and in a direct line to the full mind body split of Descartes, Rouseau, Kant, Marx and the resulting rise of Hitler, Stalin, etc.

(Or rather, I think that understanding comes from a too fast reading of Plato. He's always been called the first master of Irony & veiled meanings... and I've begun to think he had old Socrates taunting us to look at the blatantly obvious monstrosities that must follow from the quick answer. I may be biased, because I've always liked 'Socrates' - his questions anyway, I disagree with nearly all of his 'answers'. Take a closer look in the Republic, particularly where he's Q&A'd poor Glaucon into agreeing something like "... and so, to start this perfect city, we'll have to lead everyone out of the city who is over the age of 10, so they don't contaminate the youth, right?' 'Yes' Glaucon concedes, and Socrates says "Right, well then" and off they go. I think he's leaving it up to us to involve ourselves in that dialog, and scream out "Lead them where? Just lead Parents off to abandon their children! Are you serious!!! You'd have to Kill Them ALL! Are you SERIOUS!.

Unfortunately, most people - like Pol Pot, don't pick up on the joke, and take it seriously, or rather let Plato's writing remain a monologue, instead of a dialogue.)

"Is there reason to be active against evil outside one's self or is it enough to focus on one's own well being?" I tell you what, move to North Korea & let me know what answers you come up with.

8/17/2006 06:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps "the world is simply an absurdity, a monstrosity, a mistake." A Course in Miracles certainly argues very forcefully for this position. How would you respond?

8/17/2006 08:36:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

That the Course in Miracles is an absurdity, a monstrosity, and a mistake. By its own definition.

8/17/2006 08:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Stu said...

I've seen ACIM summed up as transcendence without immanence. But your response was much more witty.

I'm glad I came across your blog. Thanks for sharing many of your thoughts to the public, free of charge. This blog is a great resource to all the rational "extreme seekers" out there.

8/17/2006 09:11:00 AM  
Blogger Zrinyi's Last Stand said...

re: van

Don't get me wrong, I think this blog is very interesting, I just don't agree with it at its base, probably because I haven't studied what it is based on. The farthest East I go is Zoroastrianism, whereas One Cosmos argues a lot from Indian sources. I still find it thought provoking.

I would disagree with your view of Plato, though. I don't think he is being ironic in banishing everyone over the age of ten. His view of society is that almost everyone contributes to the corruption of the youth- the sophists, the businessmen, the soldiers, even the parents. To educate the youths in virtue, these corruptors must be removed, as the young must learn virtue before they can be introduced to vice. So I think he's dead serious, and ain't it the most ironical thing being serious when you're thought to be an ironist.

8/17/2006 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Zrinyi's Last Stand said... "So I think he's dead serious, and ain't it the most ironical thing being serious when you're thought to be an ironist."

You're probably right, this new takes I've been having on Plato has been from me just wanting to slap him, & yell "Hey! I like you! Stop being such a dingbat!"

- I'll let Gagdad answer for One Cosmos ;-)

8/17/2006 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

ZLS--

You wrote:

"With the absolute at the apex, and good and evil necessary consequences, does this lead to indifference and inaction?"

--Obviously not. Our souls are attracted to the good.

"If in the end, both good and evil are functions of the absolute, then is there any reason to be worked up about evil in the world?"

You're misquoting me. Evil is not a function of the absolute, it is an absurd consequence of it.

"Is there reason to be active against evil outside one's self or is it enough to focus on one's own well being?"

--Of course there is reason to be active against evil. You are asking questions, the answers of which cannot not be known unless you are trapped in logical circularity. I'm afraid that Plato--nor any other profane philosopher--can provide the answers you seek. He will simply generate more questions that cannot be answered at the level from which they are arising. "Folly to the Greeks," and all that.

8/17/2006 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger Zrinyi's Last Stand said...

Gagdad
I did not intend to misquote you, and I'm not trying to troll, just trying to learn a bit.
Folly to Greeks indeed, but I do think that Plato has something to offer although he is also missing something- I'm just looking for what that is. This blog presents views with which I am unfamiliar, and I thought I'd poke around a bit.

8/17/2006 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Well, I myself come at it from an esoteric or hermetic neo-orthodox Christian Vedantist standpoint, which certainly includes Plato (as he was a major influence on the early Christian fathers) but transcends him. The early Christians, in particular, Origen and Denys the Areopagite, took care of what is missing in Plato.

8/17/2006 12:02:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

By the way, and excellent book that explains the Christian-Platonist synthesis nicely is "The Origins of the Christian Mystical Tradition From Plato to Denys," by Andrew Louth.

Also, I didn't mean to sound snarky. It's just that we've had this little troll problem lately....

8/17/2006 12:08:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

^^^^^ ^^^^^
| | ##### | |
\ / |- -| \ /
| | \ = / | |
| | |\_/| | |
| |____| |___| |
ROAR!!!
(Troll)

8/17/2006 02:09:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Hmmm, he lost something in the translation from Notepad to Blogger.
;-)

8/17/2006 02:10:00 PM  

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