Monday, June 19, 2006

We are Endowed by our Biology with Certain Unalienable Illusions and Appetites (updated 9.08.07)

While trawling around for a topic this morning, I came across this idiotorial in the Guardian by Noam Chomsky, A Negotiated Solution to the Iranian Nuclear Crisis is Within Reach. Naturally he blames the United States and Israel for the problem. Unlike us, "sophisticated Iranians" are “surely not as willing as the west to discard history to the rubbish heap.” That is, “They know that the United States, along with its allies, has been tormenting Iranians for more than 50 year.” Unsophisticated Iranians presumably live outside Chomskian history as well, and perhaps think that the totalitarian regime that rules their lives is somehow evil.

But you knew Chomsky was going to say that. He doesn’t “think” so much as apply a template over reality so that it always comes out looking the same: U.S. bad, enemies of U.S. good. Chomsky, of course, is one of the intellectual luminaries of the far left, and the far left is increasingly becoming indistinguishible from the left (which long ago abandoned liberalism).

On the adolescent playground of college campuses, Chomsky's books are always among the biggest sellers. In the course of his career, like the left itself, he has only been wrong about everything (most egregiously, our last generations-long battle against evil), but that doesn’t matter, since the purpose of socialism is not to be effective or to describe reality, but to transform the consciousness of the person who believes it. Therefore, it would be a waste of time to analyze the substance of Chomsky’s ideas, which are frankly bizarre. He is much more of a religious cult figure and should be regarded as such. He cannot be discredited.

Religion is the realm of ultimate values. I was intrigued by a passing comment at the top of Chomsky’s editorial that reveals his: “The urgency of halting the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and moving toward their elimination, could hardly be greater. Failure to do so is almost certain to lead to grim consequences, even the end of biology's only experiment with higher intelligence” (emphasis mine).

So here we have a literal inversion of reality on every level: political, historical, ethical, epistemological, theological and ontological. The classical liberalism of American idealism is explicitly religious, even if it doesn’t explicitly favor one particular Judeo-Christian denomination over another. But clearly, there was a consensus among our founders that human beings, and only human beings, were endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights that are rooted in our very humanness. Liberty is meaningless without both free will and a proper divine end for our free will. In the absence of a free will that transcends biology, liberty is obviously impossible. And in the absence of the Good and True, both our behavior and our thinking can have no meaning that isn’t ultimately arbitrary. (In other words, thinking must converge on truth, just as behavior must converge on virtue.)

This is the “American experiment”: it was an experiment in the adventure of consciousness to see if would be possible to facilitate psycho-spiritual evolution by setting up the appropriate framework--to unleash human potential, in part by starting out with a more accurate anthropology and ontology. For if you get either of these wrong at the outset, then your political philosophy will be hopelessly dysfunctional.

Adam Smith’s ideas are infinitely more effective than Marx’s ideas because they begin with a very accurate and concrete assessment of human psychology, whereas Marx (and every leftist since him) begins with abstract and general ideas that are superimposed on reality. What doesn’t fit into the framework must be attacked, denied, belittled, and eliminated in order to preserve the framework. Thus, the ontological origins of the perpetually “angry left.” How could they not be? It’s inherently painful when reality doesn’t conform to your fantasies.

The mullahs and Islamonazis have their own dysfunctional version of reality, while Chomsky and the left have another. In the end, one is no worse than the other, which is probably why they find such common ground in their opposition to liberal America. In Chomsky’s religion, matter is God. A nuclear holocaust would be tragic because it would end “biology's only experiment with higher intelligence.” Turning the cosmos upside down, human intelligence is subordinate to biology. The human mind is simply an “experiment” of biology. Could this possibly be true? I don't know. You would have to ask biology. It’s her experiment, not ours.

The religious creed of the secular leftist would go something like this:

“I believe in a single substance, the mother of all forces, which engenders the life and consciousness of everything, visible and invisible. I believe in a single lord, biology, the unique son of the substance of the world, born from the substance of the world after centuries of random experimentation: the encapsulated reflection of the great material sea, the epiphenomenal light of primordial darkness, the false reflection of the real world, consubstantial with the mother-substance. It is he who has descended from the shadows of the mother-substance, he who has taken on flesh from matter, he who plays at the illusion of thought from flesh, he who has become the Human Brain. As a Human Brain, I acknowledge a single method for the elimination of error, thus ultimately eliminating myself and returning to the mother substance. Amen.” (Adapted from a passage by Valentin Tomberg.)

Stripped of their illusions of divinity, humans are then free to be what they are, with their biology unbound:

Power into will, will into appetite,
And appetite, a universal wolf,
So doubly seconded with will and power,
Must make perforce a universal prey
And last eat himself up. --Shakespeare

Chomsky gives a pass to the ravenous wolves of Islam, just as he gave a pass to the monsters of depravity who enslaved the communist world. He has to. It's his theology. Or biology. Same thing.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

I Got Plenty of Nothin'

Gee, usually if I write something needlessly inflammatory my numbers go up. But according to my site meter, I had only 350 visits yesterday. In fact, according to Google analytics, the last six days have been 523 --> 487 --> 501 --> 451 --> 373 --> 304, not a good trend.

I’m not complaining, but it seems that there is not a whole lot of potential interest in my bobservations. At this rate, if I don't stop blogging soon, I run the risk of losing my audience entirely. I suppose I never expected otherwise, but it does occasionally make a fellow wonder whether there might be a less futile way to bark at the moonbats, tilt at the windbags, and engage in this wild nous chase. It’s not your fault, since you’re obviously reading this. It’s that deathly silent majority of 6,451,058,290 No Cosmos readers.

I’m pretty sure I’d get more traffic if I posted nothing. In lieu of that, I suppose I could just post about nothing. After all, nothing is a topic of vital concern to us all. We’d all like to know something about nothing, since our lives seem to be framed by it. For those of you who have ignored my equally unpopular book, you have no way of knowing that it is also framed by NOTHING, since the book is circular and begins and ends with that word.

But if you look closely, you will notice that the book doesn’t even begin and end with nothing, for, as Meister Eckhart, the greatest Christian mystic of them all, said, “There is something in the soul which which is above the soul, divine, simple, an absolute nothing; rather unnamed than named; unknown than known....”

Thus, beyond even the nothing we can say is the nothing that can only be silently unsaid, and, as we all know, the multiplication of two negatives results in a positive, which is why the book (and cosmos) has to start up again with a big bang on page 12. Creatio ex nihilo is the technical term, the divine something for nothing or sacred free lunch to which we owe our existence.

This is what is meant by the mythsemantical phrase, conceived in d’light immaculate, every lila son of adwaita is born of a voidgin. Trancelighting this unglish into pure nonsense, it means, roughly, that, if we look at the situation veridically, we are all miraculously born out of the nondual void as a result of the cosmic play, or lila. To quote the Meister again, “the Father ceaselessly begets his Son and, what is more, he begets me as his son--the selfsame Son!”

Many Christians, Jews, Vedantins, and assorted Cosmonaughts have experienced the divine Nothing, that “fount of all being, unborn thus undying, beginning and end of all impossibility, empty plenum and inexhaustible void.” One of the great modern Eastern Orthodox writers, Vladimir Lossky, wrote that the divine nature is “like a sea of essence, indeterminate and without bounds, which spreads far and wide beyond all notion of time and nature.”

Why does it do that? Because existence is inevitable, given the fact that it is in the nature of the Good to radiate and communicate itself. God is not some old nobodaddy who can’t create anamour. Rather, he is really and truly the only unnarcissary thing there is. That’s why he even dies a little to give the cosmos life. As all you parents know, parenthood is a joyous sacrifice. In God’s case, it is kenosis, the self-emptying and self-surrender represented by the creation of the world and symbolized by the cross, where he is nilled to a blank for our benefit. Yes, the Nothing became something so that the something could become Nothing.

So we should thank our father in heaven and give him an abbasalute for his undertaking of mortality, for our daily lessons in evanescence, for this manifestivus for the rest of us. He expectorated this cosmic mirrorcle, and we are his spittin’ image. If that weren’t so, we could never know nothing but wholly matterimany. And to put it kabbalistically, that wouldn’t be ainsoferable. Far from it.

*****

"It is fantastic, this Light which empties, annihilates, fulfills you; and how true the Upanishads are! But to discover them is a mortal blow, because you can only discover them in yourself, on the other side of death!

"The 'I' of the morning of Easter is of another order... The saving name of Christ is aham asmi, I AM. And the deep confession of faith is no longer the external 'Christ is Lord,' but so ham asmi, I am He. Like him at once born and not born. The Father in relation to the Son--to me--to all. The Son in relation to me--to all. Myself in relation to every conscious being; born in all, ceaselessly, and yet always face to face.

"Everything is a mystery of the face to face and the within. OM Abba!"

--Father Henri Lasaux/Swami Abhishiktananda

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Democratic Culture of Conniption and the Devaluation of Fatherhood

Hysterical liberals are always having a conniption fit about something. Why aren't they having one about that most odious of illiberal holidays, Father’s Day? Why haven’t they banned this insensitive celebration of white male patriarchal values yet? Instead of going after Christmas or Columbus Day, it seems to me that they would be better served to make a frontal assault on the source of all the trouble: fathers, those individual embodiments of Male Privilege.

After all, it’s not as if these groups don’t try to hide their contempt for fatherhood. According to an analysis by one of the most influential liberal feel-tanks, N.O.W., "Underneath the facade of Christian religion are the workings of the radical religious right, mobilizing men against the rights of women, lesbians, and gays."

As we have had occasion to note before, contemporary left-liberalism is overwhelmingly a movement of unhinged or unbalanced (i.e., divorced from healthy male energy) female energy in various forms. Bear in mind that I’m not talking about all liberals. There are obviously some sane ones left, such as Joe Lieberman. It is surely no coincidence that he is the one person they are trying to purge from the party--not knaves such as Al Sharpton and William Jefferson, lunatics such as Howard Dean and Ted Kennedy, or unalloyed simpletons such as Barbara Boxer and Harry Reid.

Nevertheless, if you consider the primary constituents of the Democratic Party, you immediately realize that they could not be a functioning party without all of their dysfunction. Let’s just consider the black vote. "Job one" of the Democratic Party and their marketing arm--the brick-and-mortar spin machine known as the MSM--is to foment racial hatred and division. This is because the Democrats would no longer be a viable party in something like 26 states without 90 percent of the black vote. While there is rough parity between the parties, blacks represent only 12 percent of the population, but something like 20-25% of the Democratic base. Therefore, it is necessary to cynically keep them angry, riled up, persecuted, and, most of all, victimized.

If you could snap your fingers and and make one change that would instantly transform black culture, what would it be? More quotas? A new government program? More black faces on TV? More black coaches in the NFL? More sensitivity to Cynthia McKinney's changing hairstyles? No, of course not. Any right-minded person knows that you would wish for more fathers.

Liberalism is full of beautiful ideas that do not work. One of their most beautiful ideas (to them, anyway) is that there is no fundamental difference between the sexes. From this flows many equally loony secondary and tertiary ideas. If there is no fundamental difference between men and women, then naturally, there is nothing special about marriage. Nor can there be anything special about fathers. A woman or two women can be just as effective in raising a child, so long as the child is given maternal love. “Love is all you need” (crooned the brilliant but sadly dysfunctional man who was abandoned by his father and raised by two women).

Maureen Dowd, in the title of her latest ovary glower womifesto of gynecrock, asks the appropriately dingcatty question, "Are Men Necessary?" Duh, I don't know:

“...[T]he correlation between social deviancy and fatherless homes is irrefutably linked.... According to the CDC, DoJ, DHHS and the Bureau of the Census, the 30 percent of children who live apart from their fathers will account for 63 percent of teen suicides, 70 percent of juveniles in state-operated institutions, 71 percent of high-school dropouts, 75 percent of children in chemical-abuse centers, 80 percent of rapists, 85 percent of youths in prison, and 85 percent of children who exhibit behavioral disorders. In addition, 90 percent of homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes. In fact, children born to unwed mothers are 10 times more likely to live in poverty as children with fathers in the home.... '[The causal link between fatherless children and crime] is so strong that controlling for family configuration erases the relationship between race and crime and between low income and crime,' notes social researcher Barbara Whitehead."

D’oh! Stupid patriarchy. All it does is reduce behavioral disorders, dropout rates, suicide, poverty, substance abuse, addiction, homelessness, rape, violent crime, and the number of blacks behind bars. But on the negative side of the ledger, fatherhood also reduces the incidence of liberalism, so that one bad thing easily cancels out all the good it does. Plus, if there were more fathers, then there would be less poverty, crime and homelessness--all of the things that liberals exist to cure us of.

Therefore, it’s true: fathers really are the central impediment to the leftist takeover of government and culture--fathers and liberals are in direct competition for who can better solve the problems created by liberal solutions.

Thus, Job Two of the Democratic party must be to undermine and devalue the traditional family in any way possible. This has the effect of eliminating the importance of fathers and creating so many wonderful new problems to solve. Of course, the solutions won’t work, but they will allow you to feel better than those evil racist, sexist and homophobic conservatives, and that’s the main point of the exercise.

As I have mentioned before, my own field of psychology is so debased that it has become just another advocate for politically correct and dysfunctional lefitst lies. A politically incorrect psychologist can land in serious trouble if he utters certain elementary truths. I dropped out of the American Psychological Association long ago, and if I were a more enterprising individual, I might even try to start up a non-leftist alternative organization.

Most recently, the APA “has filed amicus briefs in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit opposing Nebraska's state marriage amendment because it denies same-sex parents equal status under law to heterosexual married parents," making it a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. Ah, the APA and the legal bullies of the left, joining forces to bring out the wrecking ball to overturn the order of the cosmos.

To quote Dennis Prager, "It takes a particularly noble Democrat to promote marriage and family. The strengthening of these institutions is not in the Democrat Party's self-interest. The more people marry, and especially the more they have children after they marry, the more likely they are to hold conservative values and vote Republican. That is why it is inaccurate to speak of a 'gender gap' in Americans' voting. The gap is between married and unmarried women. Single women, especially single women with children, tend to vote Democrat, while married women, especially married women with children, tend to vote Republican."

But as the left always says, "the personal is the political." Naturally, if you have--through no fault of your own--been scarred and disillusioned by your own lack of a harmonious family and a loving, noble father, you will look for a substitute “community” elsewhere, like Kosfest in Las Vegas or naked bike rides in San Francisco. (Trust me, you don't want a link to that last one. Father knows best.)

UPDATE--

I love this typically garbled take from dailykos because it shows how clueless liberals are on issues of sexuality. If you acknowledge any moral standards at all, or if you actually recognize that sexuality is a potentially destructive force if not channeled in pro-social ways, you are a sexual fascist who simply wants to repress others. It is kooky enough that liberals think what they think, kookier still that they think this is how conservatives think:

"Evil. Suspect. Immoral. Dirty and shameful. Something no one should be proud to admit either having or enjoying. But mostly the ultimate temptation to succumb to selfish hedonism and to betray ideals."

"... Who but a right-wing fundie would think that love consummated between two consenting adults, whatever their gender, whatever the position, is a sin?"

"I've long thought that the individuals on the right who assume sexual freedom will give rise to all sorts of inarguably exploitive sexual situations--pedophilia, rape, manipulation of the trusting sexual partner and abandonment--are telling us a lot more about their own dark side than about the reality of most of our sexual relationships. And I often give a silent prayer of thanks that they are tamping themselves down, even as I resent their efforts to impose their strictures on the rest of us..."

But of course, it's the other way around. Adolescents like her require sexual boundaries in order to rebel against them and therefore escape guilt and feel superior. Her tyrannical and judgmental superego is placed into conservatives for safekeeping. I can't say that I blame her. It's pretty out of control with the accusations: "Evil! Immoral! Dirty! Shameful!"

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Boundless Compassion of the Politically Incorrect

Look, I know I’m not the world’s greatest psychologist. But I’m still a psychologist, and I’m still a compassionate guy. You can’t fake that. You can’t jump through all of the hoops required to become a psychologist without demonstrating your boundless sensitivity at every step along the way. Without that sensitivity I could never be such a bleeding-mind conservative.

I’m still mulling over this epic piece on political correctness by a blogger named Fjordman (HT: our charlemagne man at LGF). It’s very long and I haven’t even finished it yet, but he comes to many of the same conclusions I have about this noxious phenomenon. His essential thesis is that the West may have defeated economic Marxism with the fall of the Soviet Union, but that this simply obscured the extent to which cultural Marxism had extended its tentacles into the very spirit of the West.

Fjordman agrees with me that political correctness is no joke. Rather, it is a genuine collective mind parasite in a quite literal way. Just as our bodies can become infected by viruses that hijack the host in order to reproduce themselves, history demonstrates time and again that pathological ideas can sweep through groups and do the same thing. It wouldn’t be so worrisome if PC simply destroyed the mind of the infected person, but the virus spreads and can take over whole institutions, like academia, or most every professional group. It is a cliché in conservative circles that every human enterprise that is not explicitly conservative will eventually become liberal. PC is one of the reasons why. It is why Republicans veer to the left just as soon as they are given power. Most Republicans are not explicitly conservative, like a Ronald Reagan, so it is as if they have no immunity from the PC virus.

My field of psychology is a case in point. It has almost been ruined by political correctness. It is not just unethical but literally illegal for a psychologist to maintain certain elementary truths. If you utter them aloud, you could easily be investigated by the Board of Psychology and have your license yanked. You could never be licensed to begin with if you were to affirm a belief in these truths during the course of your licensing exam.

Fjordman writes that,

“Political Correctness kills. It has already killed thousands of Western civilians, and if left unchecked it may soon kill entire nations or, in the case of Europe, entire continents.... Islam is only a secondary infection, one that we could otherwise have had the strength to withstand. Cultural Marxism has weakened the West and made us ripe for a takeover. It is cultural AIDS, eating away at our immune system until it is too weak to resist Islamic infiltration attempts. It must be destroyed, before it destroys us all.”

“The Leftist-Islamic alliance will have profound consequences. Either they will defeat the West, or they will both go down in the fall. We never really won the Cold War as decisively as we should have done. Marxism was allowed to endure, and mount another attack on us by stealth and proxy.

“... At present, PC prospers by disguising itself. Through defiance, and through education on our own part (which should be part of every act of defiance), we can strip away its camouflage and reveal the Marxism beneath the window-dressing of ‘sensitivity,’ ‘tolerance’ and ‘multiculturalism.’”

Precisely. You see, the world has been turned upside down. It actually takes a compassionate person to realize that “Multiculturalism is not about tolerance or diversity,” and that “it is an anti-Western hate ideology designed to dismantle Western civilization.” Nothing sensitive or compassionate about that.

There is also nothing compassionate about violently attacking the foundation of thought. All religious traditions agree--or should agree anyway--that there is no doctrine higher than Truth. Truth is the highest virtue, so a systematic assault on Truth itself must be regarded not just as a nuisance, but as satanic. This is what satan does. You don’t have to believe in wind to see the effects of the wind. Nor do you have to believe in satan to see his vast influence in the world, which starts with undermining Truth, the logos.

Fjordaman includes an excellent quote by Theodore Dalrymple, who notes that the purpose of communist propaganda “was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to cooperate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.”

This post has veered in a direction I hadn’t intended, but I awakened this morning pondering the spiritual reality that allows PC to flourish. The one area where I would deviate from Fjordman is in tying PC too closely to the specific ideology of Marxism. For there is a much deeper structure present, atop which Marxism is merely as wave is to ocean. I believe that PC is the faux form of thinking that goes hand in hand with this deeply spiritual condition. Remember, it is an error to think that spirituality connotes “good.” Rather, since spirituality exists on the vertical axis, there is good spirituality and bad spirituality. As we descend down the vertical we encounter various degrees of bad spirituality---new age fantasists, paganism, wicca, obligatory atheism, nazism, all spiritually pathological conditions. As I have said before, Marx was simply the anti-Moses with a reverse Sinai revelation, one of many such left-hand revelations.

Let’s move from the abstract to the concrete and bring it down to the personal level. Being that I am a compassionate soul, I hestitate to even use the names of the people I’m going to discuss, but I found these two posts this morning on dailykos. They both serve as outstanding “confessions” of the bereft spiritual state I am discussing.

One is entitled “My Dilemma.” The writing is sometimes incoherent, but I believe you can get the essential point. The writer is struggling with the gulf between reality and the revolutionary, utopian image in her head that tells her how reality ought to look:

“It is funny, my psychology. I'm a revolutionary in my mind that makes less than acceptable compromises with my life.... And that train of thought is a lie too.”

“What really is the price of revolution? Can we do it while maintaining the illusions? What is revolution? Would any of the majority of this site, with kids, jobs, homes, retirements, survive that?”

“And here is my ultimate question. Can we ever achieve a radically egalitarian society? It is the only thing that drives my thought. It is the only thing that drives my music. It is the only thing that drives me to still live.”

“I hope that in whatever we do, we express the life we wish we lived, and come to peace with our regrets. Because between those two, is the not only the life we should have lived, but the life of homo sapiens.”

Like I said, pretty incoherent, but this is the spiritual state of the purely horizontal person who is deeply depressed and disappointed that heaven does not exist on earth. Therefore, perpetual revolution is the only alternative, until there are no possessions and we achieve a radically egalitarian society. She says it herself: this is the only thing that drives her thought and gives her a reason to live. Living in this painful gap between ugly reality and beautiful fantasy is all there is for poor homo sapiens.

This is the “reality based community,” so immersed in a utopian fantasy that life would be unworthy of living in the absence of the fantasy.

A second writer confesses that he “thought I was losing my mind after the last election. Bush won, Kerry lost--though all the exit polls argued the other way. That week, I lost my religion at a meditation retreat.”

Here again, religion is confused with purely horizontal fantasies about how the world is supposed to be. Yes, it is religion, but it is an entirely infantile religion. The writer continues, describing his deep disorientation. Note the astonishing degree of psychological projection:

“I've felt nuts for awhile.... Orwell-speak was now the norm.... Every day the news was full of stories about an administration gone wild with hate, revenge, and a lust for power and greed. We had gone to war for no reason and nobody made much of a fuss. Anyone who railed against them was labeled a ‘crazy liberal.’ An entire industry of hate speech grew up around us...."

Note as well the cognitive projection, for projection doesn’t only involve emotions. Rather, the entire disturbed mechanism of thought can be projected into others, making them appear “crazy”:

“I've been on the other side of the looking glass so long now I didn't think there was a place to go. After 30 years in D.C., it hurt to watch my hometown change. The place always sucks when Republicans are in charge. They're just plain nasty and they can't argue logically for shit (!).... On the Metro, you would hear idiots supporting Bush. It was hard. I worked on letting go of the anger, but it was killing me.... it was breaking my heart."

But then he had an epiphany, a spiritual rebirth. He went into hock to attend “YearlyKos” in Vegas. This is where the compassionate part of me nearly weeps, because it really is heartbreaking:

“I got a chance to move to the Pacific Northwest and things got better, even though I hated my job.... [But] I was one of the millions of Americans who charged my credit card up last month--but mine was for YearlyKos. I'll be paying it off for a long time, but it was worth it to get back my faith.... [It] awoke something that died in me a few years ago.”

“All I could think after the last election was how the labels we use for religious beliefs separate us from each other. That seemed to me the opposite of religion's purpose. Raised Catholic, I ran from churches as soon and as fast as I could. Buddhism worked for me for a long time, but eventually that seemed just another label too.... I'd never felt the love of community you were supposed to feel in a parish or a sangha, but I felt it this weekend at YearlyKos.”

But the inevitable disillusion is coming. It’s just a matter of time.

“Once the shock wears off this week, I'll get down to work. I'm already writing down ideas and working on the first steps I think I can do for Oregon. I no longer feel crazy or alone. I feel like justice could be within reach and things might not necessarily have to go down the tubes. Maybe there was magic in last night's full moon.”

That last sentence is true. It is moon-magic. That’s why we call them lunatics and moonbats. It's sad, but one cannot allow compassion for the sadness to obscure the fact that they want to put us out of their existential misery, even if we don't survive the procedure. No thanks. Just heal yourself first. Only then will you even be in a position to diagnose, much less heal, the rest of the world.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Edginess and Leading Edges in the Adventure of Consciousness

Edgy people are a self-congratulatory bunch, but it has never been so easy to be “edgy.” Bad art, bad literature, bad music, bad comedy, bad TV, bad political websites--it’s all edgy, and that's about all it is. The trick, of course, is knowing what the edge is leading into. Since reality is more or less spherical, it has many edges. However, only one of them is the leading edge. Being at that edge is the only edginess that actually matters.

By definition, the leading edge has always been with us. We can recognize it in hindsight. However, very few people who are alive at any given time have any idea where that edge is. For example, only a tiny handful of people knew in 33AD that the edge of the cosmos was located on top of an obscure hill named Golgotha. That’s probably not the best example, because a Christian would argue that that was also the center and axis of the cosmos. However, even a secular historian would have to agree that it was the leading edge of mundane history as well, of mankind pushing itself beyond itself to a new understanding of the relationship between man and God and man and man. Likewise, the American Revolution was--and is--at the leading edge of history.

The drama of human liberty is meaningless unless it is oriented toward a nonlocal telos. This, as I have said many times, is one of the fundamental divides in the culture war between “left” and “right.” I hesitate to use these words anymore, because not a single one of my critics has ever understood what I mean by them. In failing to understand what I am talking about, I believe they confirm my thesis, because they are literally “in the dark” metaphysically. If you disagree with me, just assume that you fall under the heading of “left” in the larger sense that I am using the term. Your purely horizontal view may, of course, be the correct one. But it won’t be because you’ve understood me.

Leftists are aware of this fact--they know that there is something to this religion business---so they have lately been ramping up the effort to ape the lingo of religion and speak about “values” and the like. But their religious talk is about as convincing as Christian rock music--almost an exact mirror image. The pathetic genre of Christian rock is completely parasitic on the forms and idioms of real rock music. There is no originality whatsoever--it is completely hollow and derivative.

Which is unfortunate, because real rock music that is any good is ultimately derived from real spirituality. It is derived from certain collective forms of music that no one invented, but which spontaneously sprung from the earth, just as the authentic revelations spontaneously sprung from the heavens. Folk, country, blues, gospel--in their original form, these were all spontaneous vertical expressions of the human soul, with no commercial motivations whatsoever.

This is what makes a Johnny Cash or Howlin’ Wolf so much more compelling than any contemporary country or blues singer. They sprouted straight out of the earth. It is also what made the early Elvis or Beatles or Stones so great. They were still very close to those pure musical revelations of the earth, whereas later musicians simply ape the styles forged by purely commercial and derivative artists. It’s like a series of xerox copies that become increasingly faint with each copy. Don't get me wrong--it is still possible to make great music, but only to the extent that one is in harmony with the earthly or celestial spheres (for example Arvo Part in the latter case). If your art doesn't aim at, or derive from, something beyond this world, you are sure to hit your target.

(Obligatory memo to the clueless--please don’t accuse me of being a nostalgic old fogey who is out of touch with contemporary trends. I had no contact with most of the music I enjoy until I was an adult. As a child I can assure you I didn’t listen to Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Big Joe Turner, John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, Buck Owens, Mavis Staples, or Bobby Blue Bland. Only a musical primitive doesn’t know that Duke Ellington or Thelonious Monk--not to mention Bach or Beethoven or Shakespeare or Joyce--are still from the future, not the past. We are still trying to “catch up” with the musical edges they explored. Time is obviously not necessarily progressive, even though progress takes place in time. Regress takes place in time as well, which progressives prove every day.)

Being that the left is as spiritually hollow as Christian rock is musically empty, they have invented a purely horizontal theology. I found a fine example of this on huffingandpissed by a Christian pastor, Jim Rigby, entitled, Christians Who Want Democracy Must Stop Bowing to a Dictator Christ. This is essentially warmed over Marxism--the purest of horizontal revelations--recast in the language of Christianity. I will grant that it is very edgy theology. So edgy, in fact, that it drives right over the edge of the cliff:

“Many Christians seek a white male king. He may be called ‘Pope’, he may be called ‘the decider President,’ he may be called ‘televangelist,’ but the title only masks what he is, a benevolent (or not so benevolent) dictator.”

For the downwardly mobile left, the bottom edge is the leading edge. Jesus must have "street cred." He must keep it real and he must have attitude: “The real Jesus was born illegitimately.... The real Jesus was an anarchist.” Thus, a complete inversion: Christ was not the son of God, the logos, the third person of the trinity, but a bastard and a leftist social revolutionary--perhaps almost as lofty as Che or Chomsky or Arafat.

Yes, “If you want to know why Americans are so frightened and why we are attacking anything that would challenge our dominance over others, read the Bible.” Ah, if only Pastor Rigby had written, “If you want to know why Muslims are so frightened and why they are attacking anything that would challenge their dominance over others, read the Koran.” In fact, I would love to hear him say that in a Muslim country. Then perhaps he would understand that it is specifically Christian tolerance that allows such a twisted soul to blaspheme in the name of what he blasphemes.

For those with eyes to see, America--despite its flaws--is so obviously at the leading edge of history that it is difficult to conceive of where history would be without her. Not so for Rigby’s inverse Christian theology: “So called ‘Christian America’ is still a nation built on the work of slaves. We do not see them because they toil invisibly in other countries. Today’s church doles out bits of charity from booty stolen from God’s powerless people the world over.”

Yes, the World Sees U.S. in Iraq a Bigger Danger than Iran. Well of course it does. “The world” and its mullahs are at one edge, while America and her allies are at the other. Only one side is at the leading edge. Only one of us, as Van der Leun has noted before, has the groove. And they hate us for that. I can't say that I blame them. It's painful not to have it and to have no idea where to get it, whether you're a musically bereft Christian rocker, a left wing Christian off your rocker, or a demwitted cutandrun-from-Iraqer.

*****

UPDATE--

Speaking of the mullahterror & dusty old leftist complex: no fun allowed!

"The point of this post is not that Bush intentionally taunted (sic) a blind man, but that his insistence on clowning with the press is undignified and highly inappropriate...

"Bush's clownish banter with reporters--which is on constant display during press conferences--stands in such stark contrast to his administration's destructive policies and to the gravity of the bloodbath in Iraq that it is deeply unsettling to watch. This may be impolitic, but wouldn't refraining from frat-style horseplay be appropriate for this man? Or at the least, can't reporters suppress their raucous laughter every time he blurts out another jibe... the way they did when Colbert put them in their place?"

Right. NO COMEDY ALLOWED, unless it's the angry, unfunny kind that puts someone in their place. You know, like Arab anti-Semitic humor.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Stand by for Nous

Do you remember the original purpose of this blog? Because I don’t. Something to do with turning the cosmos upside down and looking at the news of the day through the lens of eternity. News, of course, happens in time. But since time is a function of eternity, it seems sensible to have one blog that tries to provide a Word’s-I-view of the eternal logos as it is deployed in time. Am I the person to do that? No, but at least there’s no competition. I don’t mind being a small fisher of men in the largest pond, so long as I’m the only fisher.

Temporal news is almost always bad news. That’s not a coincidence, because time itself is pretty much bad news. I mean, some good things obviously happen in time, but they are always followed by bad things. And then good things. And bad things again. So even good news is bad news in a way, because you know in the back of your mind it won’t last. That was the Buddha’s key observation, and who could argue with him? Copithorne, I guess.

Primitive people had a more direct understanding of the structure of time, which is one of the reasons they offered sacrifices when things were going well. They thought that by doing this--by giving up a little bit now--they could prevent the gods from forcefully taking it away later. It was a way to try to provide some air shocks for the cycles of time, to smooth out its rough edges. It worked, but only in the way liberal programs work. Which is to say it reduced anxiety and made everyone feel good.

As a matter of fact, according to Helmut Schoeck, this instinct is so deeply implanted in the human psyche that it prevented economic development for millennia. People were actually deeply anxious if times were too good, if there was too much abundance, so they would destroy surpluses in order to try to appease the envy of the gods. Now human beings have a more refined way of destroying surpluses, called “credit cards.” Paradoxically, it can be somewhat disorienting to be completely “in the black,” so to speak. For some reason it can make you feel more precarious and vulnerable, so people quickly go into debt to feel more secure. At least then your little surplus can’t be taken away.

I look at the DSM as a catalogue of psychological fossils. What we call a mental illness is simply an adaptation to the impossible conditions of being human, of being self-aware primates with a surprise expiration date. I believe that the further back in history you go, the more likely you are to find whole populations whose average mentality would meet the criteria for one of the mental disorders found in the DSM.

I honestly don’t know how historians and anthropologists interpret the crazy behaviors and beliefs of the past without recourse to knowledge of human development and psychopathology. Instead of calling it what it is, they bend over backward--and sometimes foreward, as in the case of Islam--to normalize any behavior they encounter, no matter how irrational or frankly crazy. Even as a kid I could never understand this, and now it’s only worse.

In California, for example, there’s a law that says that any textbook must depict any group in a positive light. Therefore, if, like me, you want to know why the Aztec ate people or Palestinians murder Jews, you can’t find out. You can’t even ask. Or if you do ask, you can only get an answer that puts a positive spin on it, like “the Aztec ate people because they thought they were occupied,” or “the Palestinians murder Israelis because they believe the sun will go dark without Jewish blood.”

Page 2

So time is the bad news for humans. On the other hand, religions are here to tell us the “good news.” This news is not really news, because it is not of time. Rather, it is of eternity, even though it takes time to hear it. And what is the good news? The good news is that, contrary to what our physical senses tell us, the cosmos is not a meaningless prismhouse, a nonstop colliderescape, a closed system. Rather, it has an exit and an entrance, a vertical passageway out of the transient world of decaying form, perpendicular to the inexorable march of time that is gradually making every day a more or less bad hair day for me.

Really? Yes, or so we have heard from the wise. To be “saved” specifically means to be saved from time and from what it is eventually going to do to you and to everything and to everybody else, even Cher. It’s obviously a delicate balance, because without time we could have no existence at all. But because of time--that baldheaded cheater--existence is irretrievably F.U.B.A.R.

Human beings are saved in the degree to which they conform themselves with their theomorphic, atemporal blueprint. Imagine a cross, if you will, with horizontal and vertical axes. The horizontal axis represents time, the vertical axis eternity. The miraculous now--the mysterious peep-whole through which the cosmos peers out upon itself--is actually the central point of the cross, where eternity pierces time and we are unborn again. It is where, like it or not, we are crucified, straight through the heart.

Page 3

JWM made a pertinent observation yesterday, writing that,

“The whole question of the soul brings up a peculiar thought. I'm thinking of feral children. There have been a few cases of children raised by animals, or otherwise separated from human contact during their developmental years. They never learn to speak, or think. They are human insofar as they have human DNA, but they never become fully sentient beings. They remain at a subhuman level mentally and emotionally. Feral children never learn to speak.”

Exactly. I actually discuss these feral children in my book. While they are genetically no different than you or I--i.e., their hardware is fully human--they have no access to the vertical, and as such, are not really human at all. The human genome only accounts for our horizontality. In the absence of the vertical, we would all be Dennis Rodman or Paris Hilton. In the absence of the vertical, a human being is not an animal but a monster.

This is one reason why artificial intelligence will never succeed, because it will never, ever, encompass vertical intelligence. Rather, it will simply be a mirror of the type of intelligence possessed by the nerds who believe in it. Just warped and hypertrophied MENSA-type intelligence--MENSA machines without the social graces.

Page 4

JWM goes on to note that,

“In the beginning was the word... It's as though an infant has only the potential to become fully human; if the potential is squandered, something less than human is the result.

"I wonder if it isn't the same with the soul. I've been reading the gospels, and I notice the oft used metaphor of plants bearing fruit. I am beginning to wonder if the soul itself isn't that fruit. That a soul isn't automatically implanted into a body at birth, but only the potential to grow a soul, just like there is only a potential to acquire speech and a fully developed human mind. Perhaps some of the deadly, or internally dead people who are identified as sociopaths, are soulless in a very literal sense of the word. Like the feral child.”

Yes. The soul is indeed a seed, a seed that is subject to growth, depending upon the conditions it encounters. Some of these conditions are karmic and out of our hands, while other conditions are malleable because of the inexplicable gift of free will. The soul is in the image of God, but only in the way that an acorn is in the image of the oak. The image is potential, not fulfillment. The purpose of life is for the image to become the likeness. It is paradoxically for us to become what we already are.

“Walking on water wasn’t built in a day,” as some beat up old poet put it. In short, timelessness takes time. And that’s the good news/bad news of existence. Do you want the good news first or the bad news?

The bad news? The bad news is that we’re stuck here together in time, drifting away alone alost along the riverrun to an unknown but ultimately calamitous destination.

The good news? The good news is hidden in the title track to the film Easy Rider, written by Roger McGuinn with a little assistance from Bob Dylan:

The river flows
It flows to the sea
Wherever that river goes
That’s where I want to be
Flow, river flow
Let your waters wash down
Take me from this road
To some other town


good Day!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Ask Not For Whom the Troll Smells, It Smells For Thee

The internet is so rich, it’s impossible to keep up. I’m still trying to assimilate the celestial teachings of my former critic and current teacher, Copithorne, when the maestro comes out of hiding and produces this mighty slapshot from the clueline.

But now I’m confused, because while I respect Van der Leun, and while I suppose he has a certain way with righteous anger, it’s still anger, and therefore impure. For example, he makes me a tad uncomfortable when he writes that “we need to acknowledge and celebrate the grand contradiction of the American character. This is that, as individuals we are a kind, generous, and always well-meaning, if not perfect, people. But piss us off as a group severely enough and we will reduce your cities to even smaller chunks of rubble than they are naturally.”

Is that nice? Is that the type of more "sensitive war" promised by John Kerry? I don’t know if he’s just trying to be “funny” or hyperbolic or one of those other literary thingys, but it sounds to me like 1) he’s condoning anger, 2) that there are situations in which it would ever be appropriate to act on this anger, and 3) that it might even be sort of... pleasurable to do so.

Yes, there is something chillingly unfunny about Mr. Van der Leun and his... his chillingly unfunny anger, even if his writing is superfically very deep and full of substance. Copithorne poses the question thus: “I can certainly understand that people with a particular theological perspective can appear to enjoy violence. But how do people like Zarqawi and Gagdad Bob come to that appreciation?”

How indeed? As I said, I’m still in the process of absorbing Copithorne’s teachings, so I don’t think it’s entirely fair to lump me in with Zarqawi anymore. Not so Van der Leun, whose soul--I don’t mean to be judgmental here, but whose soul also seems to be contaminated with just a wee bit of Zarqawian anger. Not just anger, but with some degree of “fear” as well. I've been there. I can smell it.

I’m now embarrassed to admit it, but before Copithorne helped me realize the radiant purity and perfection of the human soul yesterday, I was as confused and perhaps even as impure as Van der Leun. Maybe not that impure, but still, I wish I could somehow reach out to him across the internet divide, look directly into his forbidding but stylish shades, and comfort him with the honeyed words of Copithorne:

The other people and groups whose “evil” upsets you seem pretty powerless to me. Not worth the concern you give them. But if there are quotes or actions by these people that trouble you I'd be happy to talk about them with you.

But what are the chances? It’s sad, really. “So sad,” writes the boundlessly compassionate Copthorne, that “there are still people who feel that they and others are impure and evil.” Let us never forget the essence of the Copithorne Sutras: “The soul is radiantly pure. I know it is. It is always pure and whole and always available.” The witness and testimony of the Master, the Avatar, the Merciful, the Compassionate!

Yes, but when we descend into the Gagdad-Zarqawi delusions of the impure mind, we only illustrate “how the consolation of having enemies is a primary motivation for people.” Today I can honestly say with Copithorne: I have no enemies. I have nothing to fear from any human being on this planet.

Saddest of all, Van der Leun seems to believe in the concept of “death,” which is apparently his motivation in trying to “avoid” or “prevent” his--a double delusion! For example, he writes that “The facts on the ground, as we saw in peace-promoting Canada this month, is that this war is only interested in peace through death.”

But how can you prevent something that’s only an illusion anyway? For according to Copithorne (Sura 6:19), “The soul is continuously brilliant just as the sun is always shining. The soul cannot be hurt or damaged or killed.” Terrorists “killing" us, us “killing” terrorists. What nonsense! It is all illusion. Rise, awaken from the illusion, and the so-called “killing” will end, even though it never existed to begin with.

As I already learned from Deepak Chopra, we cannot “win” anything so long as we are in the world of maya, or illusion. For what have we won but another illusion? Until the awesomely flatulent cosmic winds conspired to deliver the celestial teaching of Copithorne into my soiled and unworthy hands yesterday, I might have agreed with Van der Leun that “The goal of the Terrorist War must shift from the oft-trumpeted plan of ‘implanting democracy and bringing freedom’ to one of unconditional victory over Islamic Totalitarianism.”

Now I know otherwise. I was blind but now I see. From this day forward, this blog will be dedicated to spreading the Gooeyspiel of Copithorne.

(By the way, does anyone out there have use for an obnoxious disembodied being who’s looking for a new gig? He just stormed out.)

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Will the Real Reality Please Stand Up?

Antibob reader Copithorne saw nothing unusual in the left’s reaction to Zarqawi’s death. In fact, he took me to task for “writing thousands of words” about a “private reaction” that doesn't exist "outside [my] own head." In other words, just like you and I, the left had a normal human reaction and celebrated the demise of this monster of depravity. Case closed.

Could Copithorne possibly be correct? This is one of the reasons I generally do not respond to critics. Even when the critic seems to be an otherwise intelligent and articulate individual, the problem is, we are usually dealing with two very different realities. The best I can do is delineate our differences as sharply as possible and say “here is an example of someone who literally lives in a different reality than I do.” I won’t even speculate as to the reasons why.

As for Copithorne, he believes he does have the answer for why our realities are so irreconcilable. That is, I am not actually conversant with reality. Rather, what I call "the left" is simply “a projection” of my own “disowned super-ego.” In Freud’s system, the superego is a construct that describes the internalization of parental values. How this figures into my perception of the left, Copithorne does not say, but I invite him to do so. I suppose it means that when I talk about the left I’m really talking about my father. Anything is possible, but I confess to not seeing the family resemblance at all.

Perhaps he was talking about Melanie Klein’s developmentally earlier conception of the pre-oedipal superego, in which case I might conceivably be projecting the “bad breast” into the left. But if I project anything into the left, it is the infantile mouth in search of a bounteous governmental breast, so that doesn't really work either.

Copithorne also disagrees with my shallow new-age, “Thomas Moore” theological blathering. He offers a sharp and unambiguous corrective, assuring me that In every theological tradition, the soul is understood as unconditioned. It does not get sick.

This is an interesting view, and I must again confess to never having encountered it, despite the fact that I have never read Thomas Moore. I don’t quite know what to make of it, because if it is true, it runs counter to all of my understanding and experience. In my view, only God is by definition unconditioned. As a Christian Vedantist, I believe that in our deepest ground we are Atman, and that Atman and Brahman are “not two.”

But the Atman is not the personal soul, which is of course conditioned. Otherwise, all souls are identical, all souls are God, and there is no reality separate from God, which strikes me as a profound misunderstanding--an intrinsic heresy. Yes, on some level we are not-two with God, but it does our soul no good whatsover to say that we are God until we realize the extent to which we are not God.

In my reality--which is different from Copithorne’s reality--the entire purpose of any religious practice is to purify and elevate the soul. In other words, we are not perfect as we are. Far from it. This, in fact, is one of the divides between left and right. The left generally believes that man is basically good and that society is therefore perfectible.

Evolutionary traditionalists such as myself believe that human beings are neutral at best, but probably inclined to evil in their spiritually untutored, "horizontal" state. Our souls are anything but “unconditionally perfect” and not subject to purification, purgation, illumination, and growth. Orthodox Vedanta specifically holds that the soul incarnates in order to undergo evolution and growth. Orthodox Christianity maintains that the ultimate purpose of our existence is to undergo theosis, or the divinization of the soul. God became human so that humans might become God; likewise, Brahman becomes maya so that maya might become Brahman.

I honestly don’t know where the contrary theological idea comes from. I always assumed that it was one of those wacky new-age deviations with which I constantly do battle, but Copithorne comes along and informs me that I am actually a member of the new age Thomas Moore school of theology.

Confusing. Again, all I can do is clarify our differences as sharply as possible and concede that we do indeed live in two different realities. However, I must insist that only one of these realities is the real one. Even I am not that much of a new age liberal.

*****

Don't miss this insensitive and celebratory video. Woo hoo!

Oh the Zarqman
Has no teeth, dear
'Cause we blew them
Clean outta' sight
And no virgins
Has old Musab now
And his walkin'
Just don't look right

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Left's Reaction to Zarqawi's Death Diminishes Us All

Only humans can fail to become what they are. Yesterday we killed the monster Zarqawi, a ready example of someone who failed to become human. Instead, he became a monster. Only human beings can become monsters, for a vile human being is far lower than a noble animal. No animal but the human being can be unfit for life and unworthy of the cosmos that bearthed and begaialed him from the womb of the eternal voidgin. --Petey

I wish I’d thought of this:

Democrats Vow to Fight On After Zarqawi Loss
by Scott Ott

(2006-06-09) — As Blackberry devices and cell phones on Capitol Hill hummed with news of the death of terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi yesterday, Congressional Democrats vowed that despite the loss they would fight on in “the war on the war on terror.”

“Zarqawi will be missed because he put a human face on the futility of the illegal U.S. occupation of Iraq,” said one unnamed lawmaker, who assured a reporter that “Democrats are still optimistic. We’re still looking for the silver lining.”

Rep. John Murtha, D-PA, a former Marine and vocal critic of the military occupation of Iraq, immediately denounced “the Zarqawi massacre” and suggested that the F-16 pilot who dropped the bombs had snapped under pressure and murdered the al Qaeda leader “in cold blood.”

Sen. Arlen Specter, R-PA, demanded an explanation of the secret intelligence gathering techniques and surveillance used to find Mr. Zarqawi.

“I want to give the president an opportunity to explain the program to the Congress and to assure the American people that nobody’s civil rights were violated,” said Sen. Specter.

Meanwhile, Democrat National Committee Chairman Howard Dean and former presidential candidate Al Gore observed a moment of silence as they heard of the passing of Mr. Zarqawi, a fellow Internet pioneer.”

*****

It makes a fellow wonder about the whole nature of meaning when an event of this magnitude has such a different meaning for a good portion of the country. How can something so obviously wonderful, even sacred--for it is a sacred duty to “purge evil from our midst,” as the Bible puts it--be taken by so many on the left as a negative?

I saw Nick Berg’s father on TV last night, promulgating some seriously twisted religious understanding by noting that he equally disapproves of both Zarqawi and Bush and lamenting that “the death of every human being diminishes me." On huffingandpissed, your one-stop shopping place for leftwing moonbattery, there is a morally confused article denouncing such “targeted assassinations” as “unethical.” A Washington Post columnist even praised Zarqawi’s courageous method of killing as “up close and personal,” in contrast to our cold, detached, and unmanly methods.

Some of this is political, but not the majority of it. Rather, I think this is one of those frightening areas that illuminates just how different the leftist mind is from a normal individual, just how wide the chasm is in our cultural war for the soul of America. For it is not a matter of logic, or reason, or intelligence. Rather, there is something sick in the soul of someone who doesn’t have a deep sense of moral satisfaction at the death of someone as purely evil as Zarqawi--or who is so morally retarded that they regard President Bush as evil. Something has gone seriously wrong with the soul of such a moral invert.

When I say that there is something sick in the soul of such an individual, I mean that literally, not as an insult. And I am not speaking as a psychologist. I’m not talking about the mind, but the soul. Very few people actually talk about the soul, even when they use the word. They either confuse it with the ego, which is the conscious, “executive” part of our personality, or they conflate it with the spirit, which is the impersonal essence of the human being.

The soul is what Sri Aurobindo called the “psychic being” or what the Christian fathers called the “nous.” It lies behind and above the ego, and is oriented on a vertical plane. It is the part of us that grows with spiritual growth. All authentic traditions make this sharp distinction between the ego and the psychic being. It is only the latter which is privy to objective truth, objective morality, and objective beauty. The ego deals only in subjective opinion (although the distinction between ego and soul is not absolute, and there are egos that have not entirely lost touch with the higher; rather, the “lostness” of the ego is on a continuum).

The psychic being cannot argue with the ego, it can only instruct it. But the ego knows only argument. Since everything is subjective for it, it can easily come up with arguments against the knowledge of the psychic being. I know in an instant (as do most of our “regulars”) when a commenter is coming at me from the ego, which is why I do not argue with them. Rather, I tell them either to read and learn from the commenters on this blog or go elsewhere.

This entire blog is aimed only at people who have fairly deep acquaintance with the psychic being, whatever their particular tradition calls it. If they haven’t identified the psychic being, then most of what I write will make no sense, especially if they are dealing with a particularly resistant, resentful, or rebellious ego. If you try to argue with such an individual about, say, the sanctity of marriage, they literally won’t know what you’re talking about. In fact, they will reverse the situation and project their ego into you, and accuse you of some base political motivation in merely trying to preserve marriage from the predations of tyrannical and illiberal judges.

There are two kinds of meaning, one imposed, the other discovered. The former is an egoic caricature of the latter, for it involves cutting reality down to the size of the diminished ego and understanding everything in its narrow terms. Various metaphors are used in the Bible to describe this, for example, eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil vs. eating from the Tree of Life, or building the tower of Babel to surpass God. All liberal and “progressive” forms of spirituality actually drain religion of its spiritual dimension by “containing” it within the ego. The ego shrinks the vastness of Spirit down to something it finds acceptable, so it merely becomes covert auto-worship of the ego itself. Once again it is the ego instructing the soul, instead of vice versa.

Scripture has a “vectorial” character that is designed to lead us beyond the ego to something higher. We do not look “at” scripture, but through and beyond it, to what it is pointing at (and ultimately derived from). We are subsidiarily aware of it in the same way that words are subsidiary to the meaning they are meant to convey. We do not understand a sentence by taking each of the words, looking up their meaning in the dictionary, and then assembling their collective meaning. Rather, we intuit a higher meaning that the words are pointing at while we read. The higher meaning is actually anterior to the words one uses, and is precisely that which organizes the “lower” words.

This is even more true of authentic scripture, which is uses words to convey meanings that are far beyond words. But it is always possible to understand the words in a horizontal way, which is to misunderstand them, precisely. The problem is not so much literalism as lateralism, for both errors involve the incursion and hegemomy of the ego. Only a particularly deluded ego cannot know that God was pleased beyond words upon hearing of Zarqawi’s death, for it makes his work a whole lot easier.

They have no idea about the world and talk like little children.... [This] is a defense of civilization and its highest attained social, cultural and spiritual values and of the whole future of humanity....

You should not think of it as a fight for certain nations against others... It is a struggle for an ideal that has to establish itself on earth in the life of humanity, for a Truth that has yet to realize itself fully and against a darkness and falsehood that are trying to overwhelm the earth and mankind....

It is the forces behind the battle that have to be seen and not this or that superficial circumstance... It is a struggle for the liberty of mankind to develop, for conditions in which men have freedom and room to think and act according to the light in them, and to grow in the Truth, grow in the Spirit.

There cannot be the slightest doubt that if one side wins, there will be an end of all such freedom and hope of light and truth, and the [spiritual] work that has to be done will be subjected to conditions which would make it humanly impossible; there will be a reign of falsehood and darkness, a cruel oppression and degradation for most of the human race such as people in this country do not dream of and cannot yet realize.
--Sri Aurobindo

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Move to Ban Square Circles Fails

Males form sexual associations with females not out of a tiresome, dutiful, pious, half-unwilling obedience to the demands of the culture but in fulfillment of the biological nature of the beast. The family is not the creation of culture: without the family there would be no culture! --Weston LaBarre

As always, I begin this post not knowing if it will go anywhere or whether I will be able to finish it. Except that today I’m doubly unsure, because I don’t know if I can put my feelings into words. This must be how liberals feel all the time, but they don’t seem to have the slightest bit of difficulty in finding the words to express their unthinking.

But I wanted to say something about the “homosexual marriage” issue, for there is almost no one on either side of this debate that discusses it with any depth or substance. Both sides are reduced to strong feelings that are merely backed up with boilerplate language. In the case of the left, they imbue their feelings with the language of human rights, whereas the right frames it in terms of religious values, tradition, and the welfare of children.

Although it is surely a truism that children ideally require a mother and father for optimal psycho-spiritual development, the materialistic left is always able to find some deeply flawed psychological study that disproves the obvious. Psychology is a field which is dominated by people with no intellect properly so-called, so they produce “studies” as a debased replacement for their inability to know metapsychological truth directly. Scientific psychologists have also in the recent past proven that pedophilia is normal, that children are not harmed by sexual abuse, that dreams are meaningless, that early childhood experience has no impact on adult development, and that treating boys and girls the same will eliminate gender differences. So psychology as a field (individual brilliant psychologists notwithstanding) has little to contribute to the issue.

“Psyche,” of course, means soul or spirit, so a true psychologist is someone who inquires into the spiritual basis of humanity, which is to say, the human basis of humanity. At its deepest level, our humanness is coterminous with the very foundations of the cosmos. It cannot be otherwise, for if we eliminate the subject that apprehends it, the cosmos vanishes into nothingness. Can you imagine a cosmos that cannot be imagined, perceived and experienced? Of course not. When we inquire into the nature of the psyche, we are ultimately examining the metaphysical foundations of the cosmos, not just individually but collectively. Any psychology that doesn’t recognize this fact is both trivial and subhuman.

These deeper layers of the psyche are covered over by various accretions, to such an extent that we no longer see and understand them. Rather, we generally only feel them. If we turn our gaze within and try to apprehend the foundations of our being, we get no further than looking at the night time sky and trying to see the edge of the universe with the naked eye. Although we cannot see it, we know that it’s actually there. As matter of fact, at its farthest edge, it meets back up with the subject at the bottom of the psyche.

Religious language is a way to talk about these ultimate terms of existence that are beyond the horizons of mere egoic knowability. Genesis, for example, deals with the hidden roots of ontology, anthropology and psychology. Genesis is not about our horizontal existence--i.e., about the world literally being created in six days, or about a garden and a serpent. Rather, it is trying to resonate with the deepest layers of our being. It is trying to tell us something about ourselves that we already know--we cannot not know it--but which we can easily forget or be unable to articulate. In fact, Genesis is so sophisticated that it even takes this perpetual self-forgetting into consideration in a self-referential way.

One annoying aspect of the marriage debate is that it is automatically framed in the misleading, two-dimensional language of the left. Thus, on Drudge there is the headline “Gay Marriage Ban Falls Short,” as if there was ever such a thing as “Gay Marriage” and that someone is trying to “ban” it. The headline might as well read “Square Circles Banned.” If you live in the two-dimensional secular world, then there really is no reason why “gay marriage” shouldn’t exist. Divorced from any deeper ontology, human beings are merely animals with special rights, including the right to marry anyone whom they please.

But what is marriage, anyway? This reminds me of one of my mentors, the psychoanalyst W.R. Bion, who would never inquire into whether or not a patient was married, because he wanted to discover for himself whether the person was married internally, regardless of whether they were married in the technical, legalistic sense of the term. For marriage is--and can only be--the union of two primordial categories of existence, male and female. Legal marriage is simply an acknowledgment of this existential fact.

Obviously, the marriage of male and female is a “naturally supernatural” institution that exists prior to the state, for it is the foundation of the state, not vice versa. The state did not come into being and then invent the thing called marriage. Rather, its legitimacy can only be founded on its respect for the human nature or “natural rights” that precede it.

Of course, it is always possible to have a state that not only doesn’t respect human nature, but violates it or even tries to reinvent it, such in communist or socialist regimes. Unfortunately, even in the United States we are well down the road of trying to remake and redesign human nature, not just with regard to the marriage issue, but in many other aspects of humanness as well. This is why I scoff at secular humanists, because theirs is a philosophy that is specifically subhuman, for any philosophy that severs human beings from their transcendent source is ipso facto a barbarism that reduces us to animality and regards us as beasts.

For me, the marriage issue has nothing whatsoever to do with homosexuality, regardless of whether one adheres to the fashionable theories of a genetic basis for it. It should go without saying that I have nothing against the individual homosexual. However, when the “homosexual movement” joins forces with a larger movement that wishes to redefine the very basis of humanness, then I get concerned. But opponents of this anti-humanistic movement must be able to articulate exactly what it is that they are concerned about. It won’t do to sputter like a liberal about your deepest feelings. Reduced to the language of feelings, liberals will win every time.

The family is a moral structure, a biologically validated “truth” now permanently imbedded in the physical and physiological nature of man....

.... A man has the pride and privilege, with his maleness, of returning to a woman a shared pleasure, like but unlike that which another woman, with her breast, conferred upon him first as a baby. Cherished and nurtured to strength by his mother, he may then protect and cherish another woman in his turn. And of all the things in this world these two, maternal and conjugal love, are without any qualification wholly good.

.... A boy must become a man by similarly admiring manliness--in a rival he may hate or envy--through the mysterious love of male
logos, not of physical males. --Weston LaBarre

Monday, June 05, 2006

Whack Like Me: On Victims and Their Ennoblers

I’m reading Shelby Steele’s new book White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era. Initially I hadn’t planned to, because I avoid books that I know ahead of time are simply going to reinforce what I already know. But when I read Steele’s astute comment in Taranto’s column about the relationship between reactionary baby boomer liberalism and the the oedipal triumph of “ousting a president” and “ending Vietnam,” I knew I had to read the whole book.

I haven’t been disappointed. I’m actually only about halfway through, but the book is full of brilliant and original insights about race, politics, and culture. The book is written in a deceptively low-key way, but I'm sure this kind of truth is absolutely toxic to hysterical liberals. I don’t even want to read the vile things they write about this brilliant, perceptive, and thoroughly decent man, and this time I mean it. It would be too disturbing. Ironically, the kind of abuse that a Steele or Thomas Sowell have to deal with must feel similar to the racism both men endured while growing up. I can't even imagine what the left would do if a white person had written this book.

Steele chronicles some of the indignities and disappointments he experienced as a result of racism during his childhood and adolescence. However, he utterly dismantles the liberal cliché that experiences with racism are the cause of low self esteem or “black anger.” When widespread racism really existed in America, Steele notes that it felt much more existential than personal. It just was. It was something immutable, like the weather, or the laws of physics. Certainly it caused a degree of disenchantment with the world, because it made the world seem not just unfair, but absurd. But Steele says it didn’t affect his self esteem. If anything, he says it increased his self esteem, because it made him “a little above the world and gave my judgments a new authority.” Even as a boy, he knew that the was a better person than the white racists he encountered.

Remember, Steele is writing about a time when America actually was still a racist country 50 years ago. And yet, black leaders were not as angry then as today's liberal white-appointed "leaders." The civil rights movement was led by men of dignity and moral authority. There were no Jesse Jacksons, Al Sharptons or Cynthia McKinneys. If the movement had been comprised of such low and disreputable hustlers and opportunists, it would never have succeeded so rapidly. It was led by men and women who could shame America precisely because of their dignity and because of the nobility and moral authority of their cause.

Steele’s book is in part the story of how, in a span of just 40 years, America could go from being a place where the murderers of Emmett Till could go free because they were white, to a place where O.J. Simpson could go free because he’s black. And it all revolves around how the civil rights movement, at the very moment it succeeded in achieving its goals, cynically betrayed its own ideals and became just another industry, an industry revolving around the exploitation of white guilt.

White guilt is the key, because in Steele’s formulation dysfunctional “black anger” varies directly with the guilt-ridden white liberal establishment that indulges it. In a truly oppressed people, this kind of anger would be unthinkable. There were no displays of “Russian anger” in the USSR, nor is there “Muslim anger” directed at the totalitarian states that oppress them. Just like black anger, Muslim anger is directed at a target that will indulge it: America or Israel. If Palestinians were truly an oppressed people we wouldn’t even know about it, because Israel would have driven them out and eliminated them long ago. The Palestinians' angry and dysfunctional existence revolves around the world’s indulgence of it.

Steele notes that the exploitation of white guilt leads to a perversion of character, wherein the victim can elevate himself above the guilty oppressor, thus creating “an empowering feeling of license.” He writes from the personal experience of having been a militant radical in the 1960’s, “the feeling that being black released me from the usual obligation to common decency and decorum.... I was licensed to live in a spirit of disregard toward my own country.”

Suddenly, with the perception of white guilt, Steele realized “I could use America’s fully acknowledged history of racism just as whites had always used their race--as a racial authority and privilege that excused me from certain responsibilities, moral constraints, and even the law.” It was “an abusive power very similar to the abusive power that had been wielded against me--a power of privilege deriving solely from the color of my skin,” capable of muscling “concessions from the larger society on the basis of past victimization...” Every black problem could be magically explained away “because it was an injustice to make victims responsible for their own problems.”

But point any of this out, and you are dead politically. Not once, writes Steele has there been “a single articulation by an American president of how blacks might so much as even share responsibility for their own advancement.” This is not out of respect, but either because of implicit racism and condescension, cynicism and political calculation, or fear of reprisal from people with real power to destroy a reputation, such as the liberal media.

The kind of anger Steele describes “is acted out by the oppressed only when real weakness is perceived in the oppressor. Anger is never automatic or even inevitable for the oppressed; it is chosen when weakness in the oppressor means it will be effective in winning freedom or justice or spoils of some kind. Anger is a response to perceived opportunity, not to injustice. And expressions of anger escalate not with more injustice but with less injustice.”

My dear bobbleheads, let’s pause here for a moment, for Steele has described a more generalized phenomenon that is central to the angry attacks on President Bush. All of those lunatics and moonbats who believe President Bush is a fascist, that we are in the midst of a theocratic takeover, that our freedoms are being eliminated--all of that kooky-talk varies inversely with the threat of these hysterical fears having any basis in reality.

Oh, how I wish President Bush were much more like the leftist fantasies of him. I wish he would act like President Reagan did with the air traffic controllers: “Oh, I’m so sorry. You’re angry? Well YOU’RE FIRED! Now get out, before I stuff a mattress with you.” I wish Bush would go after the New York Times with hammer and tongs for leaking government secrets and threatening our civil liberties. I wish he would call traitors traitors and terrorists Muslims. I wish he would give as good as he got. But he doesn’t, so it creates a perception of weakness and license for more angry attacks--for more speaking lies to perceived powerlessness.

President Bush’s failure to respond to the hysteria creates a vacuum of moral authority where the amoral leap in. The same thing occurs, according to Steele, in race relations. The missing authority then transfers to the “victims,” a role they will milk for all its worth. Victimhood becomes a literal currency or capital that is convertible to real capital. It creates real wealth and status, such as in the case of Jesse Jackson and so many other individuals and institutions, all of it made possible by white guilt. As Steele puts it, “White guilt had inadvertently opened up racism as the single greatest opportunity available to blacks from the mid-sixties on...”

Johnnie Chochran did not, for example, gamble on the racism of the Amercan legal system. Rather, he wagered everything “on the court’s being obsessed with showing its utter freedom from racial bias, its determination to let even a hint of racism disqualify sound evidence.” Cochran knew that the court was much less interested in the truth than in proving it was not biased against Simpson.

To a certain extent these types of problems are inevitable, because human beings have a deep need for illusion and falsehood. But truth is the highest societal value. A society that not only organizes itself around the Lie, but attacks any truth that undermines the Lie, is in trouble.

*****

RELATED--

As the unintentional ironist Stephen Colbert said to the graduates in his speech last week, "I don't know if they've told you what's been happening in the world while you've been matriculating. The world is waiting for you people with a club....They are playing for KEEPS out there, folks."

Yes, it's awful. If you humiliate the President to his face, they go after you with a club--a very exclusive one. They force you to be the guest of honor at a college commencement.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Disposable Bobservations with an Eye on the Eternal

Well, I’m sitting here waiting for my mind to come online this morning, but it’s not happening. Bad innernaut connection or something. It happens. Usually sleep reboots me, but not always. I think my sugar may have gotten a little low in the middle of the night, which can cause a sort of hangover the next day.

So, I’ll just keep applying my fingers to the keyboard, hoping for something to happen. If not, I’ll just close up shop early. Whatever. It’s Sunday. Shouldn’t be doing anything anyway.

Speaking of typing, if I have any obessive-compulsive readers out there, don’t be shy about informing me of embarassing typos. Although I’m a good speller--oddly, aside from PE it was probably the only “subject” I was good at in school--I’m a terrible typist. Plus, since my computer died a few months ago I’ve been using the lap top, which I can’t get used to. Totally different feel. Many atypigraphical 'orrors result.

The only bad thing about blogging is that I have to put things out there before they’re really ready. As I go through the day, not only do I correct little spelling or grammatical errors, but I tend to make more major changes in my posts, even though I doubt that anyone knows or cares. It’s weird. It’s like my aesthetic conscience won’t allow me to leave certain awkward, infelicitous, or unclear passages to stand. Why? What’s the point?

Perhaps because God can see them. In Europe, many of the cathedrals have gargoyles hidden on the roof that no one will ever see, unless you make a special point of it. I am told that the artisans of the middle ages were so serious about their work that these gargoyles are just as perfect as the visible ones. It’s not as if they stuck the flawed or chipped ones up there where no one could see them. These artisans consciously worked with their minds focussed on eternity, not within the field of time. Therefore, there was no point whatsoever in covering up mistakes and just getting by. They were not working in order to please others or even please themselves or Rick Nelson, but to please God. They were true karma yogis--the yoga of selfless work for the Divine.

Over the months, people have occasionally asked me for explicit advice about a spiritual practice. That is somewhat difficult to do, because it presumes tinkering at the margins of your life or simply adding something to it. But the truth of the matter is that, as I have mentioned before, you have to turn your entire life upside down and inside out. If you are serious about your quest--and even the seriousness of your search is not something you have full conscious control over--you have to change everything, not merely the “content” of your life, but the context. Like those medieval artisans, you begin living your life with a constant sense of the eternal in everything you do.

Again, a good part of this is apparently out of our conscious control. In some mysterious way, we do not choose God, but he chooses us. I would like to take the credit for turning out the way I have, but it was really more a matter of gradually removing layers of cultural, educational and familial accretions to reveal this very odd bird underneath. You don’t have to take astrology literally to understand that we all possess both a genetic and a celestial blue print, a vertical and a horizontal one. Our lives are woven out of the warp and weft of these horizontal and vertical influences as they create unique patterns in time.

This is why, by the way, even Jesus could say that “there is no one good but God,” for only God entirely transcends the horizontal (even though he is, at the same time, fully immanent within it). And it would also explain the inevitable blind spots of the most holy of holy men, whether Shankara, Saint Paul, Sri Aurobindo, or the Pope. Just the fact of being embodied means that your knowledge of anything is going to have some relativity mixed in with the absolute. One more good reason for stable scripture and dogma which is not subject to relativistic decay.

(Which reminds me--I saw a wonderful movie the other night, one I hadn’t seen since film school some 25 years ago, The Talk of the Town, starring Cary Grant, Ronald Colman and Jean Arthur and directed by George Stevens. It’s a very multifaceted work, but one of its central themes is the dialectic between the vertical, purely abstract rule of law, vs. embodied, flesh-and-blood human relations--between the Platonic and the Aristotelian, you might say. Wonderful film that works on many levels.)

Anyway, back to one’s spiritual practice. One is either serious about it or one is not. If you are serious about it and pursue it with all your mind and heart, then something eventually happens. You sort of “snap,” and there is a reversal of figure and ground. It’s somewhat like any other skill, like skiing. I remember the feeling of trying to ski, then suddenly effortlessly skiing. You fall into a sort of natural rhythm that effortlessly navigates over the contour of the mountain. You are a "born again" skier.

This goes to the question of how you find God. You don’t. Not really, any more than the scientist finds the world. Rather, you just learn how to look. Now it’s as if I can’t help looking for God in everything I write. It’s very automatic--it is the context of everything I think and write about. You might think that it’s repressive or restrictive, but it feels like the opposite--very expansive and liberating. I don’t know what I would do if I felt imprisoned within the walls of the merely horizontal. This is why we must be so grateful to those dedicated pneumanauts that preceded us and showed us the way out of the closed circle of mere animal, material existence.

For man was made for transcendence. He is the only animal who becomes less than himself if he doesn’t perpetually surpass himself, even though you never fully arrive at your deustination in this life.

Oh well, time to stop. Just when the spirit was starting to come online. Whatever you do, don’t let that happen to your life, for the night is coming when no man can work.

Or so we have heard from the wise. Not from just any old 9-5 Johnny or jnani-come-lately.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Greatest Liberal Rock Songs (Revised & Updated, with Readers' Picks)

Now that someone has put together the list of the Fifty Greatest Conservative Rock Songs, someone ought to do a list of the greatest liberal rock songs. Since I have an hour to kill, I think I'll give it a whirl.

Perhaps, as R.J. Eskow argued (see yesterday’s post), this is unnecessary, since all rock music is by definition liberal. It is liberal because, according to him, it “raises blood pressure, stimulates adrenaline, [and] creates sexual stimulation and physical aggression.”

Of course, I disagree with Eskow. Nevertheless, even if we were to stipulate that all rock music is liberal, still, some is obviously more liberal than the rest. As a matter of fact, the vast majority of rock music, at least until recently, was surprisingly apolitical -- or at least the politics was implicit and ambiguous, such as in Bob Dylan’s best work (very early on he saw through the left and stopped writing the kind of tedious and didactic songs they enjoy, such as Masters of War).

It’s true that when there is an explicit political message in rock music, it is virtually always from the left. In fact, this is what makes the songs so unartful, ham-handed, and generally lame. It is what makes them so wince-worthy. As we have discussed before, there is a vast difference between art and didacticism, the latter being a form of pornography.

In no particular order, I’m just going to rely upon my memory to call up some of the greatest liberal songs of all time. The list will obviously be incomplete, and readers are welcome to add to it with suggestions of their own.

The first song that comes to mind is War, by Edwin Starr. Although it is now over 35 years old, it still expresses the universal leftist sentiment about the military and about the need to defend ourselves from evil. In fact, the king of moonbat rockers, Bruce Springsteen, has taken to singing it in concert. Its boneheaded lyric asks the famous question,

War...huh...yeah
What is it good for?


The answer, of course, being absolutely nothing! (say it again, y’all!).

For the left, the problem is never the existence of evil. They scoff at that unsophisticated notion. Rather, it is the existence of people who fight it. For war itself “is an enemy to all mankind.” It “can't give life, it can only take it away!,” as every Jew who survived the Holocaust or every Kurd who escaped Saddam’s torture chambers knows.

They say we must fight to keep our freedom,
But Lord knows there's got to be a better way.


Sure there’s a better way. As the girl who spoke at the New School commencement put it last week, “We have nothing to fear from anyone on this living planet.... We can change the universe by being who we are.... it really is just that simple.” It seems to me that this approach has a long way to go before it can even be considered simplistic, let alone simple.

Even before Neil Young, there were America-bashing Canuckleheads making an extravagant living by attacking the country that makes their frivolous lives possible. American Woman, by the Guess Who, expresses sentiments that are still widely shared by our leftist friends to the north, who, in a recent poll, ranked the United States as the most dangerous country on earth:

American woman, said get away...
Don’t come hangin’ around my door
Don’t wanna see your face no more
I don’t need your war machines
I don’t need your ghetto scenes
Colored lights can hypnotize
Sparkle someone else’s eyes
Now woman, get away from me
American woman, mama let me be.


Of course, not all Canadians share the sentiments of their their pinheaded elites. I am told that normal Canadians who live outside the major cities, especially in the western provinces, are much more appreciative of the security and prosperity made possible by the United States. They know that the American “war machine” actually shoulders their share of the world’s defense, so their government can waste money on other things.

But leftist elites have always had trouble relating to the middle class. Secretly they have contempt for the middle class, whom they regard as clueless boobs for not being default leftists. They just can’t figure out why a middle class American would ever vote Republican, since Democrat elites know what is best for them. The song Pleasant Valley Sunday, written by Carol King, mockingly expressed the contempt that leftist superbians feel for suburban Americans who are not bitter activists and who simply want to enjoy their lives:

Another Pleasant Valley Sunday
Charcoal burning everywhere
Rows of houses that are all the same
And no one seems to care

See Mrs. Gray she's proud today because her roses are in bloom
Mr. Green he's so serene, he's got a TV in every room

Another Pleasant Valley Sunday
Here in status symbol land...

Creature comfort goals
They only numb my soul...


Carol King is a wonderful songwriter, one of the greatest ever. But give me a break with the "creature comforts." I think she owns a village in Idaho.

Of course, a major theme of contemporary liberalism is gender identity confusion. For this reason, I have chosen I’m a Boy, by the Who, which expresses the anger and confusion of a child whose mother is obviously a doctrinaire feminist who believes that sexual differences are simply cultural constructs:

I'm a boy, I'm a boy
But my ma won't admit it
I'm a boy, I'm a boy
But if I say I am, I get it!


Remember “The Eve of Destruction,” by Barry McGuire? Liberals like to make fun of fringe religious groups that predict the end of the world, and rightfully so. But hysterical mainstream liberals have been predicting the end of the world since I was a little kid, whether it's alar in apples or nuclear power plants or giving toy guns to boys. In the 1980s it was global cooling. Liberal scientists were unanimous that the world was catastrophically cooling as a result of manmade influences. It was even on the cover of Time and Newsweek. Now they unanimously agree (except for the ones who don’t) that the world is catastrophically warming.

For the hysterical left, it’s always the Eve of Destruction, like with Al Gore's new movie, which is the feel-bad hit of the summer:

Al Gore’s mind, it is implodin’
Penguins dyin’, cities floatin’
If cars are so bad, how come he isn't strollin’?
He don’t believe in oil, but what's that SUV he's rollin'?


What is it with the left’s perennial fascination with authoritarian regimes, whether Castro, or Arafat, or the Sandinistas? In “Washington Bullets,” the Clash sang,

For the very first time ever,
When they had a revolution in Nicaragua,
There was no interference from America
Human rights in America


Yup, for the first time, human rights in America. For the left, it’s a topsy-turvy world. Because of their anger at America, it causes them to ally themselves with anyone who opposes America. For example, the other day, leftist heavyweight intellectual Noam Chomsky, who was also a champion of the totalitarian Sandinistas, argued that the policies of Hamas were “more conducive to a peaceful settlement than those of the United States or Israel”.

It’s like the criminals are the good guys and the police are the bad guys. That’s what Eric Burdon sang in “San Franciscan Nights”:

Cop's face is filled with hate
Heavens above,
He's on a street called "Love"
When will they ever learn?


Cops. Selfish bastards. They’re nothing at all like the beautiful people of the left. As Joanie Mitchell put it in “Woodstock,”

We are stardust
We are golden
And we've got to get ourselves
Back to the garden


Yes, that would be the same reality-based garden where we have nothing to fear from a single person on this planet. Even if he wants to blow up the garden.

I’ll admit it, when I was in high school and had a devastating crush on Suzie Campbell, who sat next to me in biology class, I didn’t really get “Love the One You’re With.” Sure, it sounds good on paper, but unless you’re a rock star with groupies at your feet, or a President with interns under your desk, how do you get the opposite person of the complementary gender to cooperate?

If you're down and confused

Yes, that would be me.

Concentration slips away

Exactly! How did he know?

Don't be angry, don't be sad
Don't sit cryin' over good times you had
There's a girl, right next to you
And she's just waiting for something to do


Right on, dude!

Turn your heartache right into joy
She's a girl, and you're a boy
So get it together, make it nice
You ain't gonna need, any more advice


Wait! Don’t go away! I think I do need some more advice!

If you can't be with the one you love,
Love the one you're with
Love the one you're with
Love the one you’re with


Stop taunting me!

Like I said, there are surprisingly few explicitly political rock songs, but there are a number of repeat offenders such as John Lennon, David Crosby and Graham Nash. Nash is another guy who doesn’t see evil as the problem. Rather, it’s the military. In Military Madness, he sang,

In an upstairs room in Blackpool
By the side of a northern sea
The army had my father
And my mother was having me
Military Madness was killing my country


Not nazi madness, totalitarian madness, anti-Semitic madness, Islamo-fascist madness. Just “military madness.” And as we already know from Edwin Starr, war itself is evil. It can’t give life, it can only take it away. Presumably, Nash's father was insane for fighting the nazis:

And after the wars are over
And the body count is finally filed
I hope that The Man discovers
What’s driving the people wild
Military madness is killing your country


Similarly, Donovan, in The Universal Soldier (written by Buffy Saint Marie), blamed the individual GI:

He's the one who gives his body
As a weapon of the war,
And without him all this killing can't go on.

He's the Universal Soldier and he really is to blame,
His orders come from far away no more,
They come from here and there and you and me,
And brothers can't you see,
This is not the way we put the end to war.


Such a terminally adolescent view of the world. Perhaps the Doors, in their epic, The End, touched on the reasons for this pervasive developmental arrest:

Father, yes son, I want to kill you.
Mother... I want to... f*** you!!!!!!


I think I can sum up liberalism with just a few more anthems. First, as John Lennon observed, All You Need is Love. Just don’t ask for details of how this would work in practice. For if you read dailykos or huffingtonpost or listen to Air America, you immediately realize that the Who were correct: I Can’t Explain. Why? Because, as Morris Albert crooned, liberalism is based upon Feelings, nothing more than feelings...

Still, what does it hurt to live in a parallel reality-based world? The number one liberal anthem, as always, is Imagine:

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing John's brownstone


I don’t know... I imagine other things...

Imagine no Islamists
It isn’t hard to do
No damn bin Laden
And no Zarqawi too
Imagine all the people
Living in the same century....


*****

The readers speak:

"One Tin Soldier," from the movie Billy Jack
"Sky Pilot," by Eric Burdon
"Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die Rag," by Country Joe and the Fish (Also, let's not forget the brilliant "Fish Cheer" at Woodstock)
"The Flower Children," by Marcia Strassman
"San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)," by Scott McKenzie
"At Seventeen," by Janis Ian
"I Got You Babe," by recovered liberal Sonny & terminal case Cher
"When the Music's Over" and "Five to One," by the Doors
"Street Fighting Man," by the Strolling Bones
"Get Together," by the Youngbloods
"God Save the Queen (The Fascist Regime)," by the Sex Pistols
Rage Against the Machine, Their Entire Angry Corpus
"Little Boxes," I believe written by Malvina Reynolds
"American Skin--41 Shots," Bruce Springsteen (try getting past his security & see what happens)
"Woman Is The N-Word Of The World," by John Lennon (who would be the first to admit that he had some major issues with abusing women)

There were some obvious ones I purposely left off the list, such as:
"Give Peace a Chance," by John Lennon (who was, not coincidentally, giving heroin a chance when he wrote it)
"Almost Cut My Hair," by crackhead felon David Crosby (with CSNY)
"Long Time Gone," by felonious crackhead David Crosby (with CSN)