One Cosmos Over Many
I'll just speak for myself and say that where I live in the vertical, none of us are really “left” or “right,” but overwing, so to speak. Our problem with the left is that it isn't really left, but "underwing," at least from our vantage point. From here, the left doesn't look progressive at all; it's like looking through a reversed telescope. They're very far away from here. Not as far as the Muslim world, but sometimes it's hard to tell, because they're both moving backward at such a high rate of speed. Either that, or time is whooshing past them so quickly that it makes them look as if they're falling backward. As for the right, they’re just sort of static at the moment, essentially “keeping up” with time. --Petey
As I mentioned yesterday, I get so many urgent requests to “give it a rest,” that I think I’ll refrain from posting new material on the weekend. So here’s some additional review of our understanding of the relationship between politics and spirit.
As a preramble, let me suggest that in this Middle Earth plane we inhabit, God’s very purpose -- or so we have heard from the wise -- is to create a Unity starting from scratch, or from “bang,” if you will. Human beings are central to this divine mission, as we embody the full spectrum of cosmic existence and serve as the very link between above and below, the celestial and the terrestrial, the One and the many. There are regressive forces opposed to this evolutionary co-creation, and it is our self-appointed task to correct them, occasionally with divine severity. So yes, ultimately we are “one” with the moonbats, only on a level of reality that is inaccessible to them by virtue of their own benighted philosophies. I don’t mean to be hard on them, but sometimes you have to crack on a bad egg to make an Om alight.
Clearly, political maturity has been a long time coming for human beings. Because of the very conditions that allow us to become human to begin with -- infantile helplessness, neurological incompleteness and plasticity, and extended neotany -- various personal and cultural mind parasites get more or less hardweird in, so that the field of politics becomes a displaced struggle with the projected ghosts of the nursery. Forget about the grave. Leftists demand cradle to cradle welfare. Only the size of the cradle changes.
The plasticity of language is a vehicle of creativity, but it can also easily accommodate itself to infantile omnipotence. But the left takes this omnipotence to a new level, challenging the entire truth-bearing capacity of language. Language is very much tied in with reality -- in many ways, it “is” reality, in that nothing that was made was made without it. But there is a psychotic part of the mind -- an infantile remnant -- that believes that if it attacks language (i.e., meanings and links between words), then it can alter reality.
Nietzsche's famous "death of God" was a turning point in the descent into postmodernism, and was soon followed by an all out assault on the living Word, or logos. "Deconstruction" is the official name of this logocide, as it is really more of a murder, with murderous consequences. For if truth is relative and perception is reality, then no one’s idea about the world is any better than anyone else’s. Fact is reduced to opinion and conformity to opinion is ultimately maintained by the group or institution that has the power to enforce its version of reality.
Ironically, this achieves the opposite effect intended by its "progressive" proponents. That is, if we cannot judge the merit of competing ideas by assessing their relative truth value, then either everyone will have their own private truth or truth will be enforced by the state or some other powerful collective. On college campuses, no one is unsophisticated enough to believe that absolute Truth exists; however, you had better not utter the wrong truth, or you will come face to face with the Dark Cosmocratic Power that has replaced the Luminous Word.
In one version of history, the "secular revolt" may be traced to the alienation and disenchantment caused by the scientific and industrial revolutions of the 17th and 18th centuries. There was a deep sense that the organic unity of the world had been fractured -- a widespread perception of a sort of breach with the natural order of things, and with it, a collective mourning over the loss of timeless and familiar ways and customs. Similar to today’s radical “greens,” the romantic movement of the early 19th century was actually a reactionary and nostalgic yearning for an idyllic past, answering to the sense of loss of community and oneness with the rhythms of nature. This backward looking movement idealized the primitive and sought to unleash the subjective and irrational passions (countering the rational and objective detachment of science).
Up to this time, one's personal identity had been based on such objective standards as a clearly defined role within an organic hierarchy, or merger with a large extended family. With modernity, this gave way to an uncertain identity that had to be forged for oneself in the world. The philosopher Charles Taylor calls this "an epistemological revolution with anthropological consequences," as it led to a new kind of human being that had never before existed on a mass scale: the modern, self-defining subject in a world devoid of intrinsic meaning -- the “skin-encapsulated ego,” as Alan Watts called it.
Virtually all modern ideologies, movements and philosophies are somehow aimed at addressing this problem of alienation, of recapturing the broken unity of the world. Communism, nazism, European fascism, the beat movement, the hippie movement, the free love movement, the environmental movement, the new age movement -- all are futile attempts to turn back the clock and return to a mystical union with the "volk," with nature, with the proletariat, with the instincts. You can see this phenomenon in today's leftists, who clearly long for the "magical" 1960's, which represented a low water mark for a resurgence of romantic merger with the group, free expression of the primitive, and idealized notions of recreating heaven on earth: "All you Need is Love," "Give Peace a Chance," "Imagine no possessions, no need for greed or hunger, a brotherhood of man, imagine all the people sharing all the world," etc. As the scientist E.O. Wilson put it in another context: Beautiful theory. Wrong species.
We can see how contemporary liberalism fits the bill as a bogus cure for modern alienation. For example, multiculturalism devalues the concept of the individual in favor of the ethnic group, while socialism in all its forms favors the large and powerful mommy state that unites us all (and suppresses -- for [to paraphrase someone] any time government does something for you, it does something to you). Leftists are uncomfortable with the painful idea of competition, but replace it with the notion of individual expressiveness. Everyone's natural impulses are beautiful, and we must not judge them, much less try to elevate them. Deconstruction throws all objective meaning into question, so no one has to have the disappointing experience of being wrong or denied tenure, no matter how stupid one's ideas. The burden of personal responsibility is mitigated, because one's being is determined by accidental factors such as race, class, and gender, not one's owns values, decisions and actions. Skillful knowledge acquired by intense effort (or just being born smarter) is replaced by an obnoxious, hypertrophied adolescent skepticism that knows only how to question but not to learn. It is grounded in a sort of bovine materialism that is not the realm of answers, but the graveyard of meaningful questions. The primitive is idealized, because it is within everyone's reach.
As my favorite Christian hermeticist Valentin Tomberg summarizes it, the human being is always faced with the choice between two basic attitudes or outlooks: that of existential being or that of essential Being. According to the choice he makes, he is either "orphaned" in the purely material, deterministic and horizontal realm with no reality higher than the ego, or his individual being is grounded in the more essential, trans-subjective Being which is his true home. The secular leftist lives shackled in a "house of bondage," where the past determines the present and the present determines the future. No vertical causes can intervene in this closed chain of cause and effect, so that one is truly imprisoned as it pertains to the moral/metaphysical/spiritual realm.
From this leftist/materialist outlook follows a host of disastrous ideas, such as class determines consciousness, poverty causes crime, free will is an illusion, private property is theft, hierarchy is evil, the vertical dimension is a hoax, and a coercive state is needed to enforce equality (vs. the American belief in a Creator who endows us with spiritual liberty which it is government's primary job to protect and nurture).
The difference between spiritual progressives and secular leftist reactionaries is that they worship different gods -- or more accurately, they have entirely incompatible understandings of the meaning of One. There is an antinomy between these two Ones: there is a left one and a right One -- or more precisely, a higher One and a lower one, a Luminous One and a dark and sinister oneness that results from the blending and loss of distinction of the night.
Tomberg uses a visual image to conceptualize the problem. Imagine two cones placed base to base. At the top there is a point, in the middle an “equator” where the bases meet, and at the bottom another point. Now imagine this as a sort of crystal. At the top is the “white point” where pure light, which is the synthesis of all colors, enters. As the light moves down toward the equator it becomes more and more differentiated into the various colors of the spectrum, until they reach their maximum degree of separation and intensity at the equator. Moving further down, the colors begin to merge until, at the bottom point, they once again lose all of their distinction and become black, which represents the blending and confusion of all colors. There is one sort of synthesis or Oneness above (the white point) and an entirely different kind of oneness below (the black point).
The white point is analogous to wisdom, for it represents the underlying unity of all the different types of knowledge available at the equator, where all of the individual colors represent various disciplines and sciences. The black point below would represent the suppression of diversity, as in the Soviet Union, the Islamic world, or the politically correct totalerantarians of academia.
This touches on the central point of both my book and blog. The synthesis of all our seemingly contradictory truths lies “above,” toward the white light of wisdom. If two seemingly contradictory things are true, say, the Book of Genesis and the theory of evolution, then their common source of truth must be found above, not below. There is a way to resolve the contradiction, but not by finding a compromise between the two at the "equator" or by simply confusing and blending them together below.
For example, teaching intelligent design as an adjunct or alternative to natural selection is simply adding another color to the equator. Even worse, teaching it as the only truth would take both the Creator and science down to the black point, merging and blending science and theology in an unhealthy way. In fact, this is what is done in the Islamic world. Yes, they have intellectual and spiritual unity there, but it is the bad unity of the black point: One Nation Under Allah’s Big Sandal Heel. A similar thing happens in academia, where intellectual diversity is not permitted, only a materialistic substitute enforced by the noxious oneness of political correctness. What we want is to allow maximum diversity but to synthesize it on higher level, not eliminate it on a lower one: this is the meaning of One Cosmos Under God. If you don't like the word "God," then just call it "One Cosmos Over the Many." Or "One Cosmos." Or "One." Or "O."
Ironically, the secular left in America regard their fellow religious citizens as an incipient Taliban that wishes to enforce a black-point unity, when the opposite is true. That is, to the secular left, there is no white point above or black point below. Rather, there is only the equator, where we all live in our beautiful, diverse cultures and subcultures, none better than any other: multiculturalism, moral relativism, no objective or "privileged" truth. And yet, multiculturalism and diversity are enforced from on high despite the fact that the left supposedly does not recognize the existence of morally superior cultural perspectives. What’s going on?
In reality, the left is enforcing their absolute black point god, but simply denying it. They don't really care what culture you're from, so long as you are committed to diversity itself and intolerant of any other view. This is nothing less than the unholy god of the black point flexing its muscle while pretending to be just another beautiful color in the rainbow.
In reality, there is no absolute system at the equator that can synthesize knowledge and explain our existence. There is only diversity and contradiction there, which is as it should be. Otherwise there would be no creation, nothing separate from the Creator. However, it is only the white light above that illuminates and unites everything below. We must maintain a commitment to that absolute white light that is reflected in all the relative truths at the equator, not to this or that relative truth enforced absolutely from below.
Or we may simply affirm the root of all political goodness, the trinitarian curse on the left that is found on any coin: Liberty, In God We Trust, and E Pluribus Unum. For if the ACLU had their way, you can bet that our coins would say Equality, In Matter and Collectivism We Trust, and E Unum Pluribus.