Monday, October 16, 2006

The Left-Handed Fall into Nihilistic Destruction (10.04.08)

Our four-part fall from grace is nearly complete, having plunged from liberalism to realism to vitalism. All that remains is our last leg of the journey into destructive nihilism.

One wonders what, aside from sheer ignorance, animates people to adopt doctrinaire leftist ideas when they have proven time and again to not only be ineffective, but to generally make matters worse. At a certain point, you have to begin wondering whether there is actually an unconscious desire to do just that--perhaps something reflecting Freud’s idea of a death instinct in human beings.

In taking the long view of history, it is almost necessary to posit such an anti-divine force in the world, if for no other reason than to have an explanatory “place holder” until we discover what this force actually is. It’s the same with the notion of satan, or the old Zoroastrian idea that cosmic history is a battle between Ahura Mazda and Ahriman, or light and dark respectively. If it’s not, then it might as well be, no?

(Name the true man who said it: “God has created [the United States] and brought us to our present position of power and strength” in order to defend “spiritual values--the moral code--against the vast forces of evil that seek to destroy them.” Answer* at bottom.)

You can put any fancy spin on it that you wish, but no one can convince me that our struggle with Iran or with North Korea is anything other than a struggle against pure, unalloyed evil. But what if you are too sophisticated to believe in the primitive idea of evil? Then I’m afraid you may be too sophisticated to survive your own magical ideology. In naively embracing “peace” you are ensuring your own doom, which frankly wouldn’t bother me if I and my friends and family and beloved cosmonauts didn’t have to go down with you.

At this point, I wish we could have two separate countries, Red America and Blue America. Then, once and for all, we could have a true test of which ideas are the more functional and create more economic prosperity and moral goodness. In Blue America they would have high taxes, a huge, intrusive federal government, marriage for any two or more people who wished to do so, socialized medicine, economically crippling Kyoto-style restrictions, government enforced racial discrimination, open borders (except into our country--to preserve the integrity of the experiment we’d have to have a big fence to keep them from escaping into our beautiful Red America), a permanent ban on vouchers to ensure the stranglehold the Teachers Union has on education, a religious test to keep people of faith out of public life, no guns, no smoking, lots of abortions, even more special rights and protections for criminals and terrorists, a ban on evil places like Walmart which provide vital goods to people of modest means at rock bottom prices, free college for everyone no matter how stupid, and a high minimum wage to suppress employment, spur inflation, and keep tax revenues down.

As I mentioned a couple of posts back, if your conception of human nature is faulty, then your political philosophy is going to be dysfunctional. One of the reasons leftism is so inherently dysfunctional is that it revolves around the appeasement of perhaps the single most spiritually destructive human emotion of them all, constitutional envy. In the formulation of the brilliant psychoanalyst Melanie Klein, envy is the primary mode of expression of the death instinct. It is present in everyone, but can be exacerbated by early childhood experiences so that later in life it becomes a crippling barrier to psychological health and happiness. For envy prevents one from appreciating what one has. It can only attack the person or system believed to possess what one lacks. In this regard, it is the polar opposite of gratitude, which is one of the prerequisites of human happiness. As a matter of fact, Klein’s most famous book is entitled Envy and Gratitude.

At the heart of leftism is envy. Now, I am not a libertarian. I do not believe we should rid ourselves of all leftist ideas even if we could. But this is not because I believe leftist ideas work. Rather, it is because I believe that the force of envy is so strong in human beings, that the culture absolutely must have some means to channel it in an officially sanctioned way, or the society will explode from within. But the question is, how much should we appease envy? Because if you go too far, as they have in Europe, then you will reach that tipping point where the society begins to spiritually rot from within, because envy is a sick and unhealthy beast that can never be made healthy.

In America we try to appease envy by tolerating such odious things as trial lawyers, overtaxing the wealthy and productive, lottery tickets, racial quotas, and a general relaxing of standards in every arena so that people might feel “special.” The problem is, none of these things work to eliminate envy, for the simple reason that you cannot eliminate envy. The leftist thinks that the solution is to further appease envy, which simply leads to a vicious cycle of more and more envy, until no one is allowed to have any more than anyone else.

This, of course, was the ideal of communism, which ended up creating the most petty and envious population you could imagine. It wasn’t just in the Soviet Union, but even in the idealistic socialist experiments of the early Zionists. They had the idea--contrary to all scripture and all understanding of human nature--that the kibbutzim would eliminate the problem of envy and create heaven on earth. But the opposite happened. Envy could not be appeased, and found ever more minute and petty ways to express itself. Today very few kibbutzim remain, as Israel eventually adopted American ideals of free market capitalism which unleashed tremendous creativity, innovation and economic growth because it tapped into its most critical natural resource: Jewish culture.

Since leftism is a magical belief system that is no more effective in the long run than a kooky religion that keeps predicting the second coming or the landing of aliens, one must conclude that its benefits are mainly psychological and emotional. Based on my past flirtation with leftism, I think this is pretty much on the mark. It is also no coincidence that I wasn’t religious back then, so it obviously tapped into that archetypal dimension that was going unused at the time. In other words, leftism rides piggyback on properly religious impulses from which it derives so much of its energy and fervor. Leftist ideas may be ineffective in the world, but they are highly effective (in a perverse way) in transforming the psyche of the person who believes them, and that is the point.

A religious person knows that the world is corrupt and fallen. In fact, this banality falls under the heading of something one cannot not know. However, depending upon whether or not one is religious, one will respond very differently to this realization. For the leftist, it means that the present social arrangement is corrupt to the core and must be torn down--with extreme revolutionary prejudice if necessary.

It is no accident that leftists believe that there is some unique “culture of corruption” among conservatives, when the most generous analysis will demonstrate that the corruption is spread about equally between left and right, because the problem is within the human heart, not with ideology per se. But I’m pretty sure that if you conducted just a little investigative research, you would find that the corruption is much more common and pervasive on the left. People must have very short memories, because the Clinton administration was one of the most corrupt in history.

Let’s look at a recent example of corruption, Mark Foley, who was instantly denounced by Republicans and forced into retirement as soon as the naughty IMs became known. But Democrat Gerry Studds, who actually homosexually raped (assuming the age of consent was 18) an underage page? Here’s how the liberal media eulogized him yesterday. See if you notice any difference in treatment of the two cases:

“Gerry Studds, the first openly gay member of Congress and a demanding advocate for New England fishermen and for gay rights, died early Saturday at Boston University Medical Center, his husband (sic sic) said....

“[H]e was also a leading critic of President Ronald Reagan's clandestine support of the Contra rebels in Nicaragua. He staunchly opposed the Strategic Defense Initiative, which Studds once described as ‘the Edsel of the 1980s’ -- overpriced and oversold.

“His homosexuality was revealed through scandal. In 1983, he was censured by the House of Representatives for having had an affair 10 years earlier with a 17-year-old congressional page. For Mr. Studds, formal and dignified, a model of old New England reserve, the discovery sparked intense anguish, friends said.

“Once outed, however, Mr. Studds refused to buckle to conservative pressure to resign.... [H]e never apologized. He defended the relationship as consensual and condemned the investigation, saying it had invaded his privacy....

“And in addition to speaking on the House floor on behalf of same-sex marriage, he set an example. In 2004, he and his longtime partner, Dean Hara, became one of the first couples to marry under a Massachusetts law allowing same-sex marriage.

“Though his name had barely been mentioned in Washington since he retired, the resignation late last month of Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., revived interest in Mr. Studds' dalliance with a teenage page in 1983.”

So let’s get this right. Foley is a vicious homosexual pervert and child predator that corrupt Republicans knew about and condoned merely because they wanted to hold on to political power. But Studds was a courageous openly gay congressman who was outed and persecuted by Sandinista-hating conservatives who invaded his privacy merely because of a dalliance with an underage page.

I think I get it. If a Republican homosexual asks a page for a photograph, he’s a pervert and a pedophile. But if a Democratic homosexual rapes an underage page, he’s a champion of gay rights. Any questions?

Let’s give these people the congress!

To be continued tomorrow.

*****

*Harry Truman, back before the left ran all the liberals out of the Democratic party.

40 Comments:

Anonymous Michael A. said...

"Misery loves company. It is not right that other people should be less miserable and depressed than me, therefore I will MAKE them miserable."

Do you think that these people consciously KNOW what's at the base of their thought process?

10/16/2006 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

No, of course not. As always, the unconscious rules.

10/16/2006 08:41:00 AM  
Blogger Kathleen Lundquist said...

This is fascinating. I'm so glad I found you all and this conversation.

I was raised by a psychiatrist (dad) and nurse practitioner (mom), and so, although I've never taken a course in psychology, I've ingested enough of its principles to choke a horse. My parents are also (amazingly) Christians, as am I, and I'm so grateful to find other humans on the planet speaking sanely about philosophy, psychology, culture, history, and religion.

Sweet reason! Do go on.

10/16/2006 09:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Karl Vincent said...

Bob,
The only point upon which I find disagreement is with your characterization of Clinton as the MOST corrupt President. He deserves the #2 spot behind Lyndon B. Johnson who brought demogougery and avarice to heights yet unachieved by any other White House incumbent.
Karl

10/16/2006 09:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Will said...

>>In taking the long view of history, it is almost necessary to posit such an anti-divine force in the world, if for no other reason than to have an explanatory “place holder” until we discover what this force actually is.<<

I think one way to look at it is that leftism involves *fantasy*, fantasy being corrupted imagination. Fantasy has an addictive quality, just as do powerful negative emotions - we may acknowledge that they are indeed negative, but once indulged in, they can overcome and eventually extinguish our higher, nobler inclinations. Thus if leftism and its varied passions do make for such a fantasy-addiction, it may not matter at all to its adherents that it "does not work".

Of course, fantasy is the channel through with archetypal evil corrupts the spirit.

>>At this point, I wish we could have two separate countries, Red America and Blue America<<

De facto now, de jure later. Cultural ivil war, either way.

10/16/2006 10:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Will said...

Not "ivil", civil. Civil war.

Not that there's anything all that civil about it.

10/16/2006 10:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Karl Vincent said...

I find Will's addiction anaology a provocative notion. Leftist fantasy as the "opiate of the masses". Drug addiction is destructive, and the addict is well aware of this, but that does not dissuade from continuing the irresistable impulse to "feel good". My conclusion, leftists are a miserable lot who are willing to trade their freedom and self-realization for the comfort of an intellectual addiction that blurs their envy and sense of helplessness. Karl

10/16/2006 11:12:00 AM  
Anonymous nb said...

A brilliant post on contemporary manifestations of envy!

10/16/2006 11:18:00 AM  
Anonymous primal_john said...

Kathleen Lundquist has some nice sounding celtic music on her wesite. Click on her name in the third comment.

10/16/2006 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger Eeevil Right Wing Nut said...

Bob
“At the heart of leftism is envy."

No truer words were spoken. The left’s entire ideology is based on creating as much envy among Americans as possible; (black vs white, male vs female, rich vs poor, young vs old, gay vs straight etc) then convincing those who are the subject of envy to feel guily that they are envied (eg Americans should feel guilty that the world envies our freedom, power and prosperity). Additionally, the left is envious of the power of the ideals of the right and the power the right now weilds because of their ideals.

Will and Karl’s comments on addiction started me thinking…

When any manner of criminal, ethical or moral corruption is not only allowed but celebrated so that a group’s ideology can be furthered, it seems fair to say that there may be an ideological addiction.

For example Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Gerry Studds, Bill Clinton, Harry Reid, and William Jefferson, have all engaged in contemptible behavior which, if they were Republican, would have the left calling for the end of their political careers if not imprisonment. Yet these men are lionized and held up as champions and role models. Why? Because they strictly follow the party line by saying and doing all the things that advance the left’s agenda regardless of how bad it might be for the nation in general or their own party specifically.

Then compare them to Joe Lieberman. To the best of my knowledge he is pretty clean as politicians go. I think if he has any nasty skeletons in his closet, they would have been trotted out by now. Joe’s supreme unforgivable sin was that he refused to withdraw his support of the war in Iraq. Even though he could be counted on to vote the party line MOST of the time, he didn’t show proper political purity EVERY time, so he had to be jettisoned and replaced with someone who would.

It would seem then that a Democrat can be a murder, traitor, child predator, rapists, conman, or use their office for personal financial gain and still be a hero but bucking the party line, well that’s just going too far because ideology trumps everything.

SO, if the left’s ideology is based in envy and they are addicted to their ideology, would it be reasonable to say they are addicted to envy? Or am I having a wingnut moment?

10/16/2006 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

eevill--

I think you're on the right track, but it's a different dynamic for wealthy leftist elites vs. the envious masses. I think the elites project their envy into the masses, which they then want to appease by giving them stuff--not their own stuff, mind you, but other people's stuff confiscated at the barrel of a gun through taxes.

This projection of envy is a common defense mechanism among narcissists, so it should be no surprise that Democratic elites are disproportionately narcissistic--i.e., Hollywood and academia. Especially an actors and popular musicians, who are given huge sums of money for basically having no talent or virtue, the feeling of being envied must be unbearable, so they project it into the grubby masses for whom they actually have contempt. So becoming a leftist is a sort of magical psychic self-defense, so they don't have to feel envied.

The other addiction has to do with the dynamics of victimology, which is a very enticing pathology for two reasons. One, it allows one to blame others for one's dysfunction and 2) it allows one to disenable the superego and engage in antisocial behavior without guilt.

10/16/2006 01:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Karl Vincent said...

To explain a mass movement generally requires listing a multitude of motives; but the aparatchik of the liberal left is definately Stalinst in both content and style. The Party line must be followed in order to provide the political disipline for acquiring power. The drouggies must be fed the envy syndrome and conservativism satanized. And like the bolshieviks ninety years ago, once you unlock the door and let them in, they'll pull their "helter-skelter" and slice every innocent throat that doesn't voice their party line. Karl

10/16/2006 02:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. Although it is a beautiful process, the fact that we have to perform such intellectual and psychological gymnastics to say the same thing that Jesus said in one word -- "believe" -- speaks volumes about where "the fall" has taken the modern mind. Bob reminds me of Francis Schaeffer "speaking historic Christianity into the 20th century" -- only updated for the 21st. Good apologetics come in many flavors. Bob's, too, is tasty.

10/16/2006 02:30:00 PM  
Anonymous cosanostradamus said...

"I think one way to look at it is that leftism involves *fantasy*, fantasy being corrupted imagination."

"Of course, fantasy is the channel through with archetypal evil corrupts the spirit."

Good point, but it matters whether one believes and acts on the content of the fantasy or not. There's nothing wrong with an active imagination as long as one realizes that's what it is. But to believe it as reality commits one to all sorts of things, as we've witnessed too many times in history to count.

Fantasy literature may be a slight tangent, but provides an example - no one would take any of the fictional works of C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, or George MacDonald as real; however, volumes of truth are communicated through their otherworldly tales. God comes through loud and clear for those who can hear; they certainly make my life richer. But for some, they are merely good stories - so at the very worst they are harmless.

Not so with the "Harry Potter" ilk, however. While still harmless for discerning readers, the genre can be an unattended back door for that cunning evil corrupting spirit.

10/16/2006 03:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Karl Vincent said...

To Cosanostradamus,
C'mon dude, lighten up concerning Harry Potter. It's a series that have gotten a lot of kids' noses turned from the video games and pointed back into books. What's with all this Satanism some of you people perceive in Harry Potter? To me, that kind of disparaging censorship is as narrowminded as liberals wanting to ban Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs out of empathy for the vertically challanged. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder... and so is smut! Karl

10/16/2006 04:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Will said...

>>it matters whether one believes and acts on the content of the fantasy or not. There's nothing wrong with an active imagination as long as one realizes that's what it is.<<

I think addictive fantasy manifests as reality, presents itself as reality - that's why its the treacherous highway to hell that it is. And again, fantasy is not imagination, certainly not in the Blakean sense. I think you could say fantasy is dysfunctional imagination. Fantasy is "gravitational" in the extreme; imagination is anti-gravity, an upward pull. And fantasy is harmful to the spirit, even if the fantasy is not acted on. Porn addicts might not act out their fantasies, but they do considerable harm to their own spiritual equilibrium.

"Fantasy" lit the likes of Tolkien and Lewis should really be termed "Higher Imagination" lit. By way of the higher archetypal symbols, this kind of lit underscores Truth and the real Reality in a way that "realism" never can.

10/16/2006 04:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Will said...

Karl V -

Mostly I'm in agreement with you - and the Catholic Church, btw - in giving the nod to the Harry Potter books. They do follow in the Tolkien/Lewis unambiguous Good vs Evil-themed lit tradition. Have to admit though, that were I a writer in this genre, particularly a writer targeting the children's market, I would probably not emphasize the magic and spells and so forth in the way that the Potter books do - and they do go beyond Tolkien/Lewis books in this respect.

10/16/2006 05:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Connecticut Yankee said...

Will--

Does this mean we have to speak of Higher Imagination baseball rather than using the f-word? Of course I have no trouble with regarding the American League as an archetypal Dark Force within the universe of the Perfect Game. And in spite of George Steinbrenner's best efforts to make the fans of less well-financed teams feel miserable, I really don't envy either the Yankees or their fans. For some reason the recently retired slogan on the NYY website--Pride, Power, Pinstripes-- always struck me as a humorous example of anticlimax rather than an irritant provoking me to feel envy. As Bob has remarked more than once, humor is something that leftists and other narcissists just don't get. Which is why my Higher Imagination can happily envision the Phillies winning a second World Series.

10/16/2006 05:12:00 PM  
Anonymous joseph said...

I wish their were more than two countries at this point. I do have to wonder, though, who would be the leaders of this imaginary red country? I am aware of nearly no conservative politicians in either red or blue states.

10/16/2006 05:31:00 PM  
Blogger Big Possum said...

Bob,

The second coming would be best understood as a spiritual phenomenom, the onset of which will reach mass consciousness and achieve critical mass within the next 30 years. Probably sooner. Experiences of UFO's, as they are commonly referred to, will accompany this phenomenon. If you disagree then I suggest that you surrender your own understanding of these matters to God and give it some time to be brought into experiences of relevant insights. Until then, as long as ridicule remains part of your repertoire, you may want to take it light in these areas.

10/16/2006 05:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Will said...

Yank -

When I was 14 or so I was playing a crude version of "Higher Imagination" baseball with dice. Why Higher Imagination, you ask?

My lineups were something like this:

- Bob Dylan, SB
- Hieronymous Bosche SS (good field, no hit)
- Edgar Allan Poe FB (2-time MVP, hit for average and power)
- Dante Alighieri TB (steady but wouldn't play on sundays)
- William Shakespeare CF
- Dr Timothy Leary LF (tended to position himself too far out in left field)
- Marlon Brando RF (struggled with weight prob entire career)
- Sidney Greenstreet, catcher

pitching staff:

- Frank Sinatra
- James Dean
- Keith Richard
- Humphrey Bogart

manager - me

club president - me

team owner - me

10/16/2006 05:55:00 PM  
Blogger Eeevil Right Wing Nut said...

Bob-

Thank you for taking the time to explain the different dynamics involved. You always make learning fun.

Kelly

10/16/2006 05:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Sal said...

Anti-envy alert:
Today, our agency received the first of the big holiday food drives - this one from a Bible church in our area.

They were let out of church yesterday to go shopping - most of them hit the W-word, looks like - and the results arrived in our panel truck, piled four feet deep.

And in a U-Haul. Not a take-your-kid-to-college U-haul, but a move-your-whole-house truck, also full.

Luckily, we had a platoon of high school boys and their moms volunteering, as well as some of our adult CSR's. We got everything into the building to sort and store.

As we have had a VERY lean summer, we were deeply gratified by this outpouring of generosity. The shelves in the food bank look happier already.

10/16/2006 06:10:00 PM  
Anonymous feeblemind said...

Brilliant post and some really good comments. A question for Bob, sometime when you run short of ideas for posts, could you expatiate on the idea of the "death instinct"? I am not so sure leftists are living in a deluded fantasy hoping to create Utopia. I think the Utopian Vision is nothing more than a smoke screen for their real objective, which is power. I think they get some perverse enjoyment in trying to control other people's lives. At least this is what my personal experience tells me. And another question, is there any psychology behind the short public memory? People seem to fall for leftist clap trap time and time again. Why can't they remember?

10/16/2006 06:16:00 PM  
Blogger Big Possum said...

Bob,

re my comments of 25 minutes ago....


Shortly afterwards I retired to my bed where I have 20+ books on the bedside table. For some reason I reached straight for, "Meister Eckhart - A Modern Transalation", by Raymond B. Blakney. Once every few weeks I will pick it up and read a few pages. Tonight, as I grabbed it and just opened it up to no particular spot, I had the sense that I was opening it to something significant. Within one page and less than 30 seconds I experienced the following paragraph:

Then the loving God conditions then to spiritual ways, weans them from the obstruction of temporal things, makes them adroit in matters divine, strengthens and renews them by his body. For we are to be changed into him and sometime made One with him, so that what is his shall be ours and what is ours, his: our hearts and his are to be one heart; our body and his, one body. So, too, it shall be with our senses, wills, thoughts, faculties, and members: they are all to be transported into him, so that we feel with him and are made aware of him in every part of the body and soul.

Pretty interesting relative to the comment about the onset of the Second Coming, no?

"Peace to my peoples in Philly"

BP

10/16/2006 06:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Connecticut Yankee said...

Will--

No Elvis? And did your team wear pinstripes?

10/16/2006 07:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Will said...

Possum, excuse me for butting in here, but, while I agree with you about the "critical mass" thing, that in no way obviates an actual return appearence by JC - it may be the pre-condition that, in a sense, allows it to happen.

As to the numbers required for the critical mass - I think that's what the 144 k is all about.

For what it's worth, there is a correlation, I think, between the critical mass of individuals required for the Messiah to manifest on earth and the critical mass of "spiritualized" cells needed for an individual to wholly manifest the Light.

The Book of Revs, if understood esoterically, has both a universal and individual significance.

10/16/2006 07:02:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Does that 144 number have anything to do with 12 squared? 12 is a significant number throughout the Judeo-Christian religions.

10/16/2006 07:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Karl Vincent said...

Feebleminded, I second your motion. No question in my mind that the overarching desire of liberal left-wing politicians is to grab power and hold on to it by shredding the Constitution. The liberal 'useful idiots' I think fall squarely into Bob's envy analysis. Yes, what about the public amnesia of events more than 3 days old, Bob? I'd also like to read your analysis of this mystery.
Karl

10/16/2006 07:33:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

I think Will & 'wing nut are on the right track.

Envy and obsessive gutter fantasizing are the visible expression of the leftist worldview. A slightly more detailed picture would place the root more in their underlying philosophy. From first getting traction with Rousseau, their thoughts are marked by an emotional refusal to accept reality, a strident anger at having to take responsibility for their lives, a sense of deserving more without the burden of earning it, an obsession to make it seem as if they deserved what they desire, and a fearful hatred of anything that might expose the fraud of their lives - meaning anything that indicates the integrated Truths of Reality.

Lies, which are fundamental to the foundations of their views, must be hidden, which means disintegrating one related fact from another in order to obscure the truth and give the appearance of something favorable to them. One lie inevitably requires two or three more to cover it's tracks, and geometrically they progress and grow. Inevitably that turns Principles and Concepts - anything that clarifies and integrates truths, into a direct threat against at least some part of their cover story.

As far as Harry Potter goes, a line such as Dumbledore speaks "The time is coming when all must choose between what is Right... and what is easy" and catches fire in children’s imagination, is worth more than the combined contents and tonnage of every textbook in the public school system today - and I'm not exaggerating.

Stories such as Harry Potter, which vividly illustrate the importance of integrity, friendship, of responsibility, of the consequences of letting some responsibilities slip - and the importance of facing up to those errors and doing your best in spite of them - in a way that a child devours and internalizes, imparts an education far more valuable than the drivel I've seen coming in from our schools for the last 13 years. I don't think it can be dismissed as mere fantasy; it is Literature, maybe with a small 'l', but literature none the less.

C.S. Lewis is his booklet "An experiment in Criticism" dismissed the pretentious high brow (brows rooted in Hegel & Marx I might add) concerns that Literature must be deep, significant and instructive (in however they feel to define that). Lewis instead argued that Literature must first be pleasurable and is enhanced by in some measure being beautiful, engaging and inspiring - and the Potter books go far towards achieving those goals for kids.

Connecticut Yankee said...
"Does this mean we have to speak of Higher Imagination baseball rather than using the f-word? " 'fraid so, Cubs fans are an obvious example of fantasy taken to self destructive limits.
;-)

10/16/2006 08:26:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Big Possum said ..."The second coming would be best understood as a spiritual phenomenom, the onset of which will reach mass consciousness and achieve critical mass within the next 30 years."

You do realize that that line has been receited regularly for the last 1,000 years, don't you?

Best to take care of your own soul here and now than making predictions about cosmic UFO's bringing down the curtain early.

10/16/2006 08:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Will said...

Lisa, I would think it does in some way that I can't fathom at the moment.

3, 7, 12 seem to be "fundamental" numbers.

10/16/2006 08:59:00 PM  
Blogger Big Possum said...

Van,

I AM comfortable with my own soul as well as my role "in God" relative to the information I shared. Thank you for your concern.

BP

10/17/2006 05:27:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Big Possum said...
"I AM comfortable with my own soul as well as my role "in God" "...

Glad to hear it Vittles, glad to hear it.

;-)

10/17/2006 05:33:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"As I mentioned a couple of posts back, if your conception of human nature is faulty, then your political philosophy is going to be dysfunctional. One of the reasons leftism is so inherently dysfunctional is that it revolves around the appeasement of perhaps the single most spiritually destructive human emotion of them all, constitutional envy"

And it is insidious the way Envy worms its way into the mind. It starts with an easily people friendly proposition such as "Reason is the ideal that lifts all spirits to Olympus", then when Reason is pesky enough to insist on point out the danger of reasoning on high sounding thoughts without a solid context of reality, Reality and Reason are pushed aside, replaced with out of context logic chopping, and it's off to hell in a hand basket lickety split.

Although exhausting to trace in detail, it is interesting to see how the culmination of 1,300 years of effort on the part of the remnants of the West to painstakingly pull itself back up towards the heights achieved by Greece and Rome before their fall - was tossed away in just two centuries time from Descartes to Marx. The rest of the time from then to now has been just a free fall into nihilism.

Descartes added an unbalancing tilt to level headed reason when he mistakenly thought that his thoughts came prior to, and took precedence over reality - and in doing so fractured the foundations of Reason which must stand firmly upon reality in order to build a sound structure of thought. By reviving "I think therefore I am", putting the question as the soul source of all thought, forgetting that without the years of infancy which laboriously integrate the particulars of reality into thoughts we can think with, his statement and the doubt behind it, could never come to be.

William Godwin (Gagdad, really your great great uncle? Gotta love good comedy, God writes the best material!) and Condorcet extended Descartes expression to "If I think, therefore I am, then if I think I am good, therefore I shall be"

Rousseau didn't just fall for Descartes error, he wanted it to be true, of himself coming prior to and taking precedence over reality - why should he have to DO anything to earn a living, his thoughts were more precious than the Butchers, his desires more substantial than the sensibilities of the maidens he delighted in flashing his bare buttocks at through alley windows, he took the next step by gave philosophy a malignant twist by putting his precious feelings and emotions above poor unmoored reason. and from his thoughts the slide of modern philosophy became swift and shear.

Kant sensing danger to his pharisaical spirit, from those few who still thought Reality and Reason belonged together, fearfully pushed reality off the table completely to save his own sickly excuse for religion, forcing reason to chase it's tail to no ends but exercise ("I have found it necessary to deny knowledge, in order to make room for faith." ).

Hegel came soon after and cleared the table of the remnants of all religion and reason that came prior to him, in favor of his new whim of the historical spirit beast dialectic - no reality or reason or logic needed any longer in the Hegelian world, just one preposterous claim to oppose another and morph into a third like a fool lifting one foot ontop of his other knee in an attempt to climb up to his own shoulders.

That set the stage for Marx to openly state what they'd all secretly feared - that reality was their enemy, earning a living was their most horrid fear. Marx tossed away Hegel's historicity in favor of the real root of their fear - economics, the necessity of respecting reality and earning a living through it. His simple solution was to turn that dialectic from history to class and let all have at it against all - somewhere Hobbes is shuddering.

After Marx, modern philosophy has had only incidental snags of reality stuck in its fur, which all their nihilistic followers have been dutifully plucking from it ever since. It's there that the true beast, as Gagdad put it "an anti-divine force in the world, if for no other reason than to have an explanatory “place holder” until we discover what this force actually is. It’s the same with the notion of satan, or the old Zoroastrian idea that cosmic history is a battle between Ahura Mazda and Ahriman, or light and dark respectively." takes shape into our world.

As Montaigne pointed out in Plutarch's writing, all that it takes to stop the behemoth dead in it's tracks is for those of us who can still see, to say "No" and point to reality and truth, and shake their silliness aside.

10/17/2006 06:11:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Sorry for the typos, hard to proof read on a PocketPC!

10/17/2006 06:24:00 AM  
Anonymous tsebring said...

Van said: "As far as Harry Potter goes, a line such as Dumbledore speaks "The time is coming when all must choose between what is Right... and what is easy" and catches fire in children’s imagination, is worth more than the combined contents and tonnage of every textbook in the public school system today"...

Right on, Van. The theme of choosing what is easy vs what is right resounds through all of the best literature and cinema. Some examples:

LORD OF THE RINGS:
Frodo and Sam are repeatedly offered the opportunity to abandon their mission and retreat back home, especially when confronted by Galadriel, who sees through all presense and bravado to the true hearts of all the company. Frodo must repeatedly leave a safe place (Bag End, Crickhollow, Bombadil's house, Rivendell, Lothlorien) and push ahead to whatever awaits. Frodo is somehow able to summon the little courage that is inside of him to choose what he must do over what he would rather do.

STAR WARS SAGA:
Yoda repeatedly speaks of the path to the Dark Side as being the easier way, fraught with emotion (like a lot of liberals). Anakin is ultimately unable to resist this descent into darkness; Luke comes perilously close, but, though his wisdom is sometimes lacking, his training ultimately saves him and Anakin. A danger in this, of course, is that liberals can read Luke's salvation of Anakin as justification for appeasement of enemies.

SAVING PRIVATE RYAN:
Tom Hanks' colonel and his men choose to go on a difficult mission with little chance of success, all to save one man, rather than just fight the war like everyone else (A similar theme can be found in ARMAGEDDON, except that they're saving the whole planet, kind of like Frodo).

STAR TREK: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK:
Kirk is faced with the choice of simply obeying Star Fleet orders, or rescuing his lifelong friend from the dead and fulfilling the promise he made to Sarek. He chooses the harder way, and it costs him his ship and his son, and probably his career. When asked by Sarek why he did this at such cost, Kirk answered "If I hadn't, the cost would have been my soul".

There are countless other examples of this choice in life; Ivanhoe, Last of the Mohicans, Patton, Princess Bride, and even those cute little Veggie Tales DVD's. Conversely, Greek plays and Shakespeare are full of examples of people taking the easy way and reaping the consequences.

Of course, the devil is a cunning counterfitter. There are plenty of leftie favorites that contain the theme of choosing the "right" over the easy (Billy Jack, Norma Rae, Silkwood, Born on the Fourth of July, Erin Brackovitch, etc.). The difference comes down to what Bob has been speaking of this whole series; the perception of the nature of humanity of the author. If you believe that evil is real and the struggle to defeat it is part of what makes us fully human, than my former list will resonate with you. If you believe that there is no good or evil, that everything is relative, and that it is the duty of our government to make us all happy and healthy, then the latter list holds more appeal.

10/17/2006 10:52:00 AM  
Anonymous tsebring said...

One more example that I forgot:

NEW TESTAMENT:
Jesus is probably the prime example of someone who chooses the right way ("I only do what I see the Father doing") vs the easy way. This struggle came to a head in two places; the wilderness, where he was tempted by Satan to be all-powerful rather than fulfill his mission (like Anakin, or Frodo with the Ring), and The Garden, where he confronted the reality of the true cost of his calling, and prevailed by surrendering his will to his Father. The cost was, of course, terrible; the result was reconciliation with the Divine; the Father's ultimate goal and humanity's ultimate hope.

10/17/2006 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger Big Possum said...

tsebring,

you write....

.....where he confronted the reality of the true cost of his calling, and prevailed by surrendering his will to his Father. The cost was, of course, terrible; the result was reconciliation with the Divine; the Father's ultimate goal and humanity's ultimate hope.

Correct me if I err, but it seems the deduction here is that to participate in the hope for humanity one must be reconciled with the divine and that to be reconciled with the divine one must surrender his/her will to God. If this is true, then it seems fair to say that as God's hope full vision for humanity is realized, the only people who will share in the experiences of it will be those whose beings exists in a state of a fully-surrendered relationship with God.


BP

10/17/2006 11:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Michael Andreyakovich said...

"'I wish it need not have happened in my time,' said Frodo.

"'So do I,' said Gandalf, 'and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.'"


--John Ronald Tolkien

10/17/2006 11:27:00 PM  

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