Monday, October 02, 2006

On Perversions, Pedophiles, and the Homophobes of the Left

One of the great drawbacks of our “enlightened” times is that we cannot speak honestly about sexuality. There are basic truths about human sexuality that your grandparents took for granted, but which cannot now even be discussed in impolite elite society. It is the opposite of sophistication or openness--it is a willful and destructive naiveté. Make no mistake: this modern attitude has nothing to do with freedom or liberation, but falsehood and slavery. But if you speak openly about it, the dogs of political correctness will be unleashed.

Let us stipulate that there is something problematic about male sexuality. In fact, if we cannot agree that this is so, this is a fine example of how far from reality the “reality based community” is. Virtually all perverts are men. I don’t have the statistics -- nor do I need them -- but I am quite certain that nearly all violent rapists are men, as are almost all pedophiles. It is well understood that nearly all of the paraphilias -- what used to be called perversions, which is a judgmental and not nice word, so it had to be changed by the left -- apply to men.

For example, I once had an elderly patient with a shoe fetish. His entire sex life revolved around fancy high heeled shoes--wearing them, having sex with them, wearing them while having sex, etc. It’s almost unimaginable that a female patient would enjoy having sex with a sweaty old tennis shoe. When they have a shoe fetish, it involves compulsively purchasing them, not intimate companionship with them.

It is interesting to read the hysteria coming out of the left regarding the situation with Congressman Foley, who I wholeheartedly agree is a pervert. Furthermore, it is fascinating to hear the left using this normally shunned word so freely and openly. Normally, the left specializes in defining deviancy down, so they are definitely at cross purposes with themselves in this matter.

In fact, someone left a shrewd comment about Foley on La Shawn Barber’s blog, that “Twenty years from now, he will be able to marry a 16 year old boy.” Seriously, who could argue with this comment? Is this not the trend that the left has been working toward over the last 40 years? Twenty years from now this might be an epic story of forbidden love overcoming the medieval, benighted, and unprogressive attitudes of conservative sexual oppressors.

But there is a much deeper reason the left is at cross purposes with itself. They keep stridently referring to Foley as a “pervert.” While I certainly agree that he is a pervert, I am quite sure I don’t understand why they do. Is it because he is attracted to young men? If that is the case, why is he a pervert, when all normal heterosexual men are just as attracted to young female flesh? Can I get a witness? I'm hardly excusing it. "Is" is not synonymous with "ought." In fact, this is why society must have "oughts" in place that acknowledge the problematic nature of male sexuality.

On dailykos they keep calling Foley’s actions “pedophilia,” but this is amazingly deceptive. Pedophilia specifically revolves around fantasies, urges, or sexual behaviors involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child, a very different thing. Therefore, we can take the charge of pedophilia right off the table.

It is well understood that almost all true pedophiles are men. This is hardly a knock on men. Saying this does not make me an androphobe. Furthermore, the majority of pedophiles are heterosexual, which is perfectly understandable, since they constitute over 98% of the male population. But let’s be honest. Let’s just look at the statistics, and see if we can draw any inferences from them aside from the truism that male sexuality is problematic for civilization--or that, for that very reason, both cultural mores and laws must be designed to guide male sexuality toward healthy, or at least pro-social, outlets. Otherwise, men will be inclined to “do what they do” in a state of nature, and be reduced to what George Gilder called the “naked nomad.”

In proportion to their numbers, homosexual males seem to be significantly more likely to engage in sex with minors. Let’s take the homosexual priest problem that afflicted the Catholic church. It is again deceptive to call this a “pedophile priest” problem, since the majority of victims were post-pubescent teenage boys. This is apparently consistent with studies indicating that “While no more than 2% of male adults are homosexual... approximately 35% of pedophiles are homosexual. Further, since male-on-male pedophiles victimize far more children than do heterosexual pedophiles, it is estimated that approximately 80% of pedophilic victims are boys who have been molested by adult males.”

Of course, it is only anecdotal, but there is no question that the majority of homosexual patients I have seen had their first encounter with an older man when they were still adolescents. Now, I am neither a researcher nor a statistician, but let us suppose that the above statistics, which were published in reputable journals, are roughly true. That they are in the ballpark.

Let’s put it this way. I am not a member of the American Psychological Association, for the simple reason that it has been taken over by agenda-driven leftist activists, including sexual activists. In their prestigious Psychological Bulletin in 1998, the APA published a ho-hum research paper arguing that the harm from childhood sexual abuse was vastly overstated, and that even then, much of the harm was probably due to extrinsic factors such as family disapproval. In other words, it was not intrinsically harmful, much less pathological (or, needless to say, immoral). For many, it was actually a positive experience.

“Moral passion” is an interesting thing. Just like other impulses and drives, it will find a way to express itself. On dailykos, this situation is generating the kind of moral passion usually reserved for blind Bush hatred. Assuming it is genuine and not merely opportunistic, it makes me very curious. Why? Because there are many on the psychological left who would argue that what Foley did was not only not pathological but perfectly healthy, so long as the boy didn’t object, and Foley didn’t use his position of authority to exert illegitimate power over the boy. At bottom, it would be considered nothing more than an office flirtation with a willing participant.

And so, if Foley is neither a pervert nor a pedophile, what has the left so morally exercised? Is sexual corruption of minors really on their radar? If so, they had better be careful what they wish for, because they are aligning themselves with the cultural conservatives they normally despise. Can we start with MTV? Not banning it, of course, but stigmatizing it as the psychosexually toxic moral cesspool it is. And if (I said if) the above studies linked to are correct, how about addressing the more general problem of adult male homosexual seduction of underage teens? Make it a special category of "love crime," or something.

But if this is just about abuse of authority, then surely what President Clinton did was far worse, because 1) he actually acted on his urges (rather than just talking about them), and 2) felt no real remorse, unlike Foley, who immediately stepped down from his position in shame. So is it just because the left is homophobic?

(By the way, if my meaning is too ironic or oblique, you may find that some of the comments shed additional obscurity on my point.)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Meditation: Gracing the Skids with Assisted Cluelesscide (10.13.11)

We left off yesterday discussing the three modes of spiritual knowing: meditation, concentration and prayer. Why three modes? Because man is a being made of intellect (which relates to truth), will (which relates to virtue), and heart (which relates to love). Meditation addresses itself to the intellect (not the profane intellect of the worldly intellectual, but to the uncreated intelligence), while concentration (as we will be using the term) applies to the will, and prayer to the heart (not the physical heart, of course, but the integral being, or “mind in the heart”).

Each of the three modes is polarized into a duality. In the case of meditation, the duality is discernment <---> union (the former being objective, the latter subjective; in the first instance, we must differentiate between the Real and unreal, and then assimilate the Real). Another way of saying it is that meditation is the way we transform religious know-how into spiritual be-who.

Before we even start, I should probably emphasize that I am not a spiritual do-it-yourselfer, which brings an element of will into the discussion. I tried the “willful” approach for a number of years, but didn’t really get anywhere with it. This is what the Buddhists call jiriki, or “self power,” as opposed to tiriki, or “other power.” In our language it is a matter of grace vs. effort. Being that I didn't have any faith in a higher being, I couldn’t very well rely upon the assistance of that higher being, now could I? Also, being then of a rationalistic (in the limited sense of the word) strain, I was initially drawn to atheistic approaches such as Zen or Taoism. Left to my own efforts, I was simply unable to get nowhere fast enough.

It was only starting in 1995, when I made the decision to consciously surrender to some nonlocal assistance, that I started gaining some traction in hyperspace. You know, harvesting. Born again from above. Leaving my alter egos on the ego altar. Repossessed and amortized. Cashing in my chimp. Nilling mysoph to a blank. Getting the keys to my luxury corps. Blissting off from the errport on the higher planes. Departing in order to bewholed. All that stuff.

So bear in mind that all my advice must be understood in the context of a real relationship with an unlimited partner. For me--and I imagine for most westerners--a human partner is best (living or "dead," it doesn't matter), since our consciousness is infused with the principle that the logos may go so low that it glows in human form. Although one form may transcend and surpass the others--I don’t want to get into that argument right now--I know for a fact that there is more than one who is capable of transmitting a real grace and a real spiritual power and presence. Of this I have no doubt, because, for one thing, we are talking about a cosmic principle, not a one-time violation of a cosmic principle. In fact, Orthodoxy compels assent to this more general principle, what with the veneration of the saints, starets, and early fathers.

Also, bear in mind that it is almost always necessary to find this nonlocal assistance in an established orthodox tradition. This is why manmade, improvised new-age approaches wrenched from their sacred context do not work. Real traditions are protected by forces that guard against egoic vulgarians who wish to take heaven by storm. Outwardly this is called “dogma,” but there is an interior protection as well that ensures that the fruit of the usurper or false prophet will always be unsound. Once you get your bearings in the domain of spirit, it is easy to pick up most any new age book and play Spot the Heresy!, usually on the first page. It gets boring real quick.

According to Schuon, in meditation, “The contact between man and God becomes contact between the intelligence and Truth, or relative truths contemplated in view of the Absolute.” In other words, meditation acts upon the intelligence (in the deeper sense, as defined above) in order to awaken certain timeless “memories” (vertical memories, as it were) and to engage the higher imagination (as discussed in yesterday's post). This is how truth is metabolized and assimilated into the being--it is a very organic process which exactly mirrors mundane, horizontal learning.

That is, as I noted in my book, the process is identical, just applied to a different plane. In both cases, there is a knowing subject, a plane of phenomena, and a transformational space in between. In each case we are dealing with what Aquinas called adequation between subject and object. It is just that in spiritual knowing, we are working with knowledge that transcends the senses (although not always, and not forever, since the higher intellect is capable of seeing the material world as a “theophany” of God, a principle that we routinely rely upon in order to appreciate the noetic light that shines through a great work of art, or simply perceiving the naturally supernatural beauty of the Old Master Painter himself).

Again, I am not big on attempting to spiritually lift oneself by one's own jirikstrap. For one thing, it chafes. Here I agree with Schuon: “Contrary to what is too often stated, meditation cannot of itself provoke illumination; rather, its object is negative in the sense that it has to remove inner obstacles that stand in the way, not of a new, but of a preexistent and ‘innate’ knowledge of which it has to become aware. Thus meditation may be compared not so much to a light kindled in a dark room, as to an opening made in the wall of that room to allow the light to enter--a light which preexists outside and is in no way produced by the action of piercing the wall.... The role of meditation is thus to open the soul, firstly to the grace which separates it from the world, secondly to that which brings it nearer to God and thirdly to that which, so to speak, reintegrates it into God.”

While truth is truth, it must be realized in order to begin transforming the person. It is not like scientific knowledge which, once known, stays that way. Rather, the realm of spirituality involves truths that must be known and reknown repeatedly, in a spiraling process. There is no end to it on this side of manifestation.

Q. Is not an increasing effort of meditation needed and is it not true that the more hours you meditate the greater progress you make?

The Mother: The number of hours spent in meditation is no proof of spiritual progress. It is a proof of your progress when you no longer have to make an effort to meditate. Then you rather have to make an effort to stop meditating: it becomes difficult... to stop thinking of the Divine, difficult to come down to the ordinary consciousness. Then you are sure of progress... when concentration in the Divine is the necessity of your life, when you cannot do without it, when it continues naturally from morning to night whatever you may be engaged in doing...

Q: But is not sitting down to meditation an indispensable discipline, and does it not give a more intense and concentrated union with the Divine?

The Mother: That may be. But a discipline in itself is not what we are seeking. What we are seeking is to be concentrated on the Divine in all that we do, at all times...

There are some who, when they are sitting in meditation, get into a state which they think is very fine and delightful. They sit self-complacent in it and forget the world.... This is not a sign of spiritual progress.... There are some who act and seem to feel as if meditation were a debt they have to pay to the Divine; they are like men who go to church once a week and think they have paid what they owe God....

To enter the spiritual life means to take a plunge into the Divine, as you would jump into the sea. And that is not the end, but the beginning....

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Jesus Chrysalis, Bob, Just Tell Me How to Caterpult My Buddhafly! (10.02.11)

I am often asked to provide specific advice on how one might begin to develop a spiritual practice. Most recently, a reader asked for “any ideas on how I can overcome my fear of myself as well as my pride in myself, and sincerely invite God into my life.”

I was under the impression that I had devoted a number of posts to this specific topic, but when I went back and looked, I realized that my advice tends to be scattered throughout the One Cosmos bloggereliquaruim. Better to keep the knowledge hidden that way, I suppose--only available to the sincere and determined seeker, safe from those barbarous hands that would greedily pry into God’s secrets and distort them for their own shallow ends.

Indeed, God should only be spoken of in a manner that “protects” and guards against the distortions and simplifications of the spiritually unqualified, while at the same time posing a challenge to the sincerity and intensity of the true seeker’s aspiration. This is not mystagogy. It is actually no different than in psychotherapy. A seasoned therapist will often know the exact nature of the patient’s problem within a session or two. However, it would serve no purpose whatsoever to prematurely blurt this out to the patient, for truth that is given is truth that cannot be discovered, and that makes all the difference.

Not for nothing did Jesus speak in paradoxables. When asked about this by his inner brotherhood of Cosmic Raccoons, he responded, “For you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.... Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.”

Therefore, Jesus is identifying and highlighting a perennial problem with spiritual knowledge: many who hear hear it do not hear it, and many more who understand it do not comprehend it. It is an organic process, in which the seed must be planted in fertile soil, so as to actually transform the person. Again, it is absolutely no different than psychotherapy. Very early in my training I learned various ways to deflect the inevitable question, “Can’t you just tell me what’s wrong? Just give it to me straight, and I’ll work out the rest myself.”

A particular patient comes to mind who had great difficulty getting beyond the idea that there was some unremembered event from his past, and that if he could only remember what it was, he would be magically transformed. Also, being a narcissistic character, he was convinced that he (being a special person) could bypass the usual drawn out process, and that I would simply disclose the secret to him and send him on his way. But his greed for the truth was a symptom of his very problem. I constantly gave him truth in the form of "nourishing" interpretations, but he greedily swallowed them so quickly (without even chewing!), that he had no time to metabolize them, much less feel gratitude for them. And the absence of gratitude was one of his core problems. Do you see the dilemma? How can you “give” someone the “thankfulness” they lack, until they learn it in a real relationship?

Having said that, our civilization is in real danger of losing touch entirely with its wisdom tradition, and as the Kabbalists kabbalize, “it is better to divulge Wisdom than to forget it.”

In response to the reader’s question, I had a few thoughts off the top of my head: “For starters you need to either fall in love (easier with a human form) or be intellectually convicted, depending upon your personality style (bhakti vs. jnani). Only in that way does Spirit become the context, not merely the content, of your life.” Also, “Remember, the greater the struggle, the greater the realization. Everyone is a unique ‘problem of God,’ and the great project of your life is how the Divine is going to get himself out of this jam he got himself into.” I pointed out the unhelpful truism that “the seeking is the beginning of the finding,” and noted the importance of being exposed to the direct testimony of others whom one respects--in other words, community.

Speaking of which, many readers chimed in with their own helpful suggestions. Will recommended not becoming preoccupied with “the concept of ‘God.’ God exists and you don't have to ‘conceive’ Him any more than you have to ‘conceive’ the sunrise to know that it's there. The question is, how do you come to *perceive* God or at least His edges?”

This is exactly what I emphasize in my book, that while you may or may not be able to prove the existence of God to your satisfaction, what you can definitely prove is the existence of a part of yourself that may know or love God. It would be odd if there were no corresponding object for this subject, but you needn’t be troubled by that at the start. It’s like appreciating a painting and wondering if beauty really exists. Who cares? Just enjoy it. Religion provides a beautiful way to live and to think about existence.

Will added the importance of being patient, diligent, and developing the imagination. This is a critical point. As I have mentioned on a number of occasions in the past, there are two forms of imagination, one passive, hypnotic, somnolent, downward pulling, and ultimately destructive, another that is active, creative, and aligned with your highest aspiration. One drags you into the abyss, the other draws you toward the Center and Origin. Religious language (including rituals) is carefully honed imaginative language, a symbol system “designed” to facilitate intellection, or “thinking of higher things.”

BP made an interesting point, noting that in his “relationship with the living God I do not necessarily experience as much ‘pleasure’ as I did before, but don't seem to need it. For me, pleasures were always sought and indulged in as a form of temporary relief from my general dissatisfaction with myself. Now, though not necessarily satisfied with myself, I really ENJOY myself. Or better yet, I would say that I enjoy God's involvement in myself, sometimes to the point of laughing my ass off. As important, I also get to experience God's enjoyment and appreciation of me. Hard to explain until it starts happening, and it's usually pretty subtle, but when it does start happening it is pretty darn cool. Furthermore, as my enjoyments have increased in relation with God, I've started worrying less and less about when/how/where I will get my next fix of ‘pleasure.’”

I have found this to be true. If one were to look at my outward life, one might find it rather mundane and predictable. But this is not at all what it feels like on the inside. I am reminded of a novel I read some 20 years ago. I don't remember anything about it except that it conceptualized reality as a system of concentric circles around a center. But unlike normal geometry, the closer you converge toward the center, the “larger” and more spacious the world of each successive ring. Then, at the center, which should be the “smallest” area, you arrive at the most expansive and unrestricted space. The absolute center is, of course “infinity.” Sri Aurobindo never left his room during the last 30 or so years of his life, but what an expansive existence!

Frithjof Schuon, one of the greatest spiritual masters, wrote a short piece about spiritual practice entitled “Fundamental Keys.” In it, he emphasizes the importance of meditation, concentration, and prayer: “These three words epitomize the spiritual life, while at the same time indicating its principal modes. Meditation, from our standpoint, is an activity of the intelligence in view of understanding universal truths; concentration, for its part, is an activity of the will in view of assimilating these truths or realities existentially, as it were; and prayer in its turn is an activity of the soul directed towards God.”

I will further discuss these three modes of spiritual knowing further in tomorrow’s post.

Friday, September 29, 2006

9-11 and the Parallel Looniverse

Dr. Sanity has made some very interesting observations based upon a typically cryptic (or craptic, depending on your point of view) comment casually tossed aside by Petey, to the effect that 9-11 did not just alter the future, but the past. Every psychotherapist knows that present insight can transform the past, but does it also work on a macro level?

Hmm. As with all of Petey’s wiggets of gnosdom, this one is worthy of the application of some sustained higher bewilderment. For, if it is true that the present alters the past, then before getting into specific cases such as 9-11, we should ask the question: “by virtue of what principle?” In fact, this question is at the heart of metaphysics, which looks beyond surface appearances to inquire into the principles by virtue of which various appearances are possible.

Vincent Vega: Example?

Jules: For example, by virtue of what principle are human beings capable of knowing truth? Answer that one, and you will be able to cut through the thicket of about 99% of philosophistry. By virtue of what principle was the big bang so precisely ordered mathematically? By virtue of what principle may a cosmos be so arranged that it contains living entities capable of knowing (and therefore containing) itself? By virtue of what principle do animals leave the closed system of their own neurology and enter history? By virtue of what principle may human beings know the absolute? Answer these questions and you may skip my book.

The great theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar wrote that “All our destinies are interwoven,” and that “until the last of us has lived, the significance of the first cannot finally be clear.“ For some reason, I was pondering this quite literally the other day. Think about it. No matter how you slice it, the world and the cosmos are going to end. Like everything else deployed in time, they had a beginning and they have an expiration date.

Even before genetic Homo sapiens entered the realm of the truly human a mere 40,000 years ago, the adventure of biology was already two thirds over. That is, biological life manifested on earth just under four billion years ago, but according to my watch, in another two billion years the sun will incinerate the earth, putting a final end to the struggle. Even in the exceedingly unlikely event that we could somehow populate distant planets with billions of people, that will only postpone the inevitable.

Someone is going to be the Last Man Standing. Only he will finally be in a position to take one last look at the orange colored sky, scratch his size 14 Omega Man head, and ask the question, “What was that all about, then? What was history? What did it all mean?” Certainly he will be able to tell us how that ancient war on Islamo-fascism turned out. Only he will finally be able to put everything in its place, see where things ultimately led, see beyond the appearances, and know What Really Happened.

Is that true? Not to repeat myself, but by virtue of what principle? Because human beings have three sources of information about history: 1) facts and reason, 2) pure intellection, and 3) revelation. So even this last man is going to have a very different take on things if he is a secular man, a religious man, or a gnostic man.

But for the religious/gnostic man, we don’t necessarily have to wait until the end of history to discern its ultimate meaning. This is because revelation--whether you agree or disagree with it--purports to disclose the end of both history and creation itself. This is the study of eschatology, that branch of theology concerned with the end: of mankind, of history, and of the world.

If--and only if--you can know this actual eschatological end, can you discern ultimate purposes within history. Let’s take an example I cited a few weeks ago. The great historian Christopher Dawson made the provocative and yet axiomatic assertion that being an eye witness to history is of no consequence whatsoever to historical insight. Obviously, most of us lived through the Clinton years, so we think we know what happened. We were there. But were we really, at least historically?

Dawson uses the example of the Battle of Hastings, which every British schoolchild evidently knows: “A visitor from another planet who witnessed the Battle of Hastings would possess far greater knowledge of the facts than any modern historian, yet this knowledge would not be historical knowledge for lack of any tradition to which it could be related; whereas the child who says ‘William the Conqueror 1066’ has already made his atom of knowledge a historical fact by relating it to a national tradition and placing it in the time-series of Christian culture.”

Similarly, an eye witness to the crucifixion of Jesus would have undoubtedly taken as much notice of the two criminals who were crucified beside him. Only in hindsight was the centrality of Jesus’ death recognized. It is fair to say that no one who witnessed it thought to themselves, “Hmm, interesting. This is the center and still point of history. Yesterday was BC. Tomorrow will be AD.”

As Dawson writes, “Behind the rational sequence of political and economic cause and effect, hidden spiritual forces are at work which confer on events a wholly new significance. The real meaning of history is something entirely different from that which the human actors in the historical drama themselves intend or believe.” A contemporary observer cannot have imagined that “the execution of an obscure Jewish religious leader in the first century of the Roman Empire would affect the lives and thoughts of millions who never heard the names of the great statesmen and generals of the age.”

Thus, there is an unavoidably eschatological aspect of history. Events cannot be fully understood without reference to their finality, that is, what they point toward and reveal only in the fullness of time. As Dawson says, “The pure fact is not as such historical. It only becomes historical when it can be brought in relation with a tradition so that it can be part of an organic whole.”

Therefore, in order to be a proper historian, you had better have your story right. And what is the story? Ah, that’s the question, isn’t it? For it is fair to say that left and right are operating under the umbrella of vastly different stories--politically, culturally, economically, psychologically, theologically, and in just about every other -ally way. Somebody's hiding under the historical dumbrella.

As Dr. Sanity notes, 9-11 was not so much an event as a fork in the historical road creating two parallel universes--a universe and a twin looniverse, not so much parallel as truly perpeculiar. It is as if we veered in one direction, whereas the left veered into what is called a cosmic wormhole, another branch of time altogether. Being that they are trapped in the safety of their own delusional punyverse, they continue to interpret contemporary events by the dim light of 1996, just as, I suppose, there were some people who never stopped interpreting events after 12-7-41 in terms of 12-6.

In the end, this is what the Clinton phallap is all about: trying to stop history and freeze it as it appeared at some point in the 1990’s, prior to the stock market crash and 9-11 (just as it's eternally 1955 for the race hustlers sniveling rights activists). But it will never work. Only by knowing where history went can we know what history meant. All the facts in the world do not speak for themselves, not even the “facts” in Richard Clarke’s autofellatiography. History does not and cannot speak for itself. Depending on its deeperending, you will see completely different facts and regard them very differently.

So there is history and mythtory. But with the right eschatall tale, you can know the end of the story and place contemporary events in their proper context. You may--dare I say--know the signs of the times, and discern them from the designs of the Times.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Memo to the NY Times: Conservatism is Caused by Fighting It

Has it always been this way? Has mainstream journalism always been so transparently agenda-driven as it is today? Probably. It’s just that we didn’t notice it until the rise of alternative media in the form of talk radio and blogs that began challenging our state religion of illiberal leftism.

The question is again raised because of the fraudulent reporting of those slimese twins, the New York Times and the Washington Post, on the National Intelligence Estimate. Now that President Bush has declassified the document, we see that its overarching conclusion is the exact opposite of what the liberal media would have you believe.

There’s plenty of good blogging on this story already (e.g., Dr. Sanity, Right Wing Nuthouse, American Thinker, et al), so there’s little I can add in that regard. As always, I will try to consider the cosmic implications.

There is absolute truth and there is relative truth. Ironically, contrary to what most sophisticates will tell you, it is possible to know absolute truth absolutely. Being that truth is another matter, but knowing it is a human birthright. For example, we may know absolutely that reality is One, that appearance is not the same as reality, that the world is intelligible, and that human beings possess free will with which they may choose good or evil. This is the realm of perennial religious truth, which expresses metaphysical knowledge in sometimes mythological language accessible to virtually everyone.

As I mentioned in my book, you might think of religion as the science of the Ultimate Subject, and science as the religion of the ultimate object. While we may possess objective knowledge of the ultimate subject--e.g., he is love-truth-beauty, or being-consciousness-bliss, or father-son-holy spirit--we can possess no similar knowledge of the relative world, where everything is tinged with human subjectivity. But “subjective” should not be confused with “arbitrary” or “untrue.”

The philosophical tragedy of our day is that the postmodernists use this subjective opening--which is an inevitable artifact of our humaness--to come in with their wrecking ball and destroy the whole idea of objective truth, thus elevating relativity to an objective truth. In so doing, they promulgate the “false vertical” idea that there are absolutely no absolutes, a metaphysical absurdity if ever there was one. In other words, as soon as you say it is absolutely true that all knowledge is relative, you have disproved your own statement. You have actually acknowledged that humans may objectively know absolute truth.

In order to understand the relative world, we must begin with an objectively true framework or paradigm that puts everything in its proper place and allows us to “see” what is important or significant. But the secular assault on religion has badly damaged the extraordinarly bountiful framework ("fruitfulness" being an aspect of truth) that guided western civilization for hundreds of years , only to replace it with their own thoroughly secularized pseudo-religion that we know of as “leftism.” (Memo to moonbats: I am not making the absurd suggestion that all leftists are somehow “bad people.” Rather, I am drawing out the implications of the leftist world view, implications that the average well-meaning leftist surely doesn’t even understand, much less approve of.)

I have heard estimates from reputable members of the elite media that the typical newsroom probably tilts fifteen or twenty to one, liberal to conservative. But at the same time, virtually every one of them believes that they can see beyond their own biases and report the news “objectively.” One wonders what they would say if the situation were reversed, and all newsrooms, not to mention universities, had twenty times as many conservatives as leftists. Especially given their built-in victim mentality and sense of entitlement, there would be howls of indignation. There would be calls for civil rights investigations, ACLU lawsuits, boycotts.

But because of their absurd philosophy, these leftists would see only a structural problem of “not enough liberals” instead of recognizing the truth that their own opinions, attitudes and perceptions are thoroughly colored by their own leftist assumptions. They would have to concede that “I see the world completely differently because I am a liberal,” and they would have to abandon their pretense of journalistic objectivity.

This is why so few people trust the liberal media anymore, because they will not admit their biases. Whatever President Bush’s perceived level of trustworthiness, you can be sure that the MSM’s is significantly lower. And yet, the latter will arrogantly opine on the former, as if their opinions about Bush’s trustworthiness are trustworthy! If they were forthright, they'd say, "don't trust me on this, but I don't think Bush is very trustworthy."

And this is why people flock to alternative sources of news such as talk radio, blogs, and Fox news--because they are transparent. I don’t pretend that I see the world through anything other than the lens of classical American liberalism. Viewed through that lens, the world is an entirely different place than it is when viewed through the lens of illiberal leftism. We literally see different things. We have different assumptions, different ideas about what is important, different values, different notions of good and evil, even entirely different ideas about fundamental causes.

For example, the typical liberal unreflexively believes that “poverty causes crime” (thus the New York Times' clueless headline, "Crime Down Despite Rise in Prison Population") whereas I believe that bad values cause crime. The difference is that the typical liberal has never thought this through. They are generally quite naive about their beliefs, for the simple reason that they have never been challenged. They don’t experience the kind of constant cognitive friction that a conservative does, so they don’t even know how to argue or defend their ideas, which we saw with Clinton last Sunday.

Liberals will typically say that Israeli policies somehow have something to do with Palestinian terror, while I believe that Palestinian terror is caused by their psychotic death cult theology. After all, there are no Christian Palestinian terrorists. They are just as “occupied” as Palestinian Muslims, and yet, it doesn’t occur to the Christians to strap on bombs with pieces of twisted metal and rat poison in order to kill and maim as many women and children as possible.

You and I are not even able to entertain thoughts so evil. We cannot even go there. Under no circumstances whatsoever can we imagine decapitating an innocent journalist or murdering a baby. But could I waterboard a terrorist to stop a terror attack? In a hearbeat. I literally cannot understand the mind of the person who wouldn’t (or the truly "pro-torture" mind of someone who makes excuses for Palestinian terror, which is to essentially say that they would not rule out engaging in it themselves). Different values. Different world. If fighting Islamo-nazis means that more of them are willing to fight for the cause of evil, that's okay. There is a ready solution: kill them faster.

If you unreflexively believe that poverty causes crime or that the cause of terror is fighting it, then all of your reporting is going to reflect those basic assumptions, something we constantly see in the liberal media. For them, these notions are simply “reality,” whereas the idea that bad values cause crime or an evil theology causes terror are “conservative” ideas. Neither point of view is absolutely true, but one is much more true.

Thus, we should not be surprised when liberals take things out of context and distort reality to fit their peceptions. For them to say “the war on terror causes terrorists” is simply a cherished assumption dressed up as a conclusion. If you give it a moment’s thought, their whole world view is just so stupid. Would they ever report that terrorists are the cause of the American military that liberals so despise, and that if terrorists would only appease America, our military would stop trying to harm them? Or that Islamo-nazis have to stop their unwinnable war on the west, because it will only create more George Bushes and Tony Blairs and John Howards?

Or that they themselves must stop mindlessly attacking conservatives, because it will just make us stronger?

Personally, I hope they never figure out that last one.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Secularism and the Mystique of Nothingness (9.30.10)

As I have gnosissed on many occultions, the current divide between left and right, between a deeply illiberal leftism and the classic American liberalism of our founders, mirrors a hauntological divide that goes back to the very Origin and Center of the cosmos. Looked at in one way, the Origin and Center are situated in the distant past, where history blurs into myth. Looked at from an other angle, they can only be situated in the now.

Human beings are fallen creatures in a fallen world. This concept is thoroughly misunderstood by the secular mind. In fact, “misunderstood” is perhaps not strong enough a word, because it presumes that one may understand it from the outside. However, as is true of all important metaphysical ideas that are couched in religious language, they can only be comprehended from the inside. One must first be in a religious world to know the world from which religion arises. Otherwise you are somewhat like a music critic who happens to be deaf.

For similar reasons, many people believe that you must first somehow decide whether or not God exists before joining a religion, but the opposite is true. One becomes religious so as to make God present in one’s life. Whether or not God exists is a separate issue. The important point is to make him present and real, and thus inhabit the space where our true humanness emerges. Anything short of this makes you merely human, which is necessarily to say less than human, in the sense that a person who does not transcend himself sinks beneath himself (i.e., we are speaking vertically, not of wordly civil responsibilities and the rights that that derive from them).

Once upon a timeless, human consciousness made a choice that brought this fallen cosmos into being. In a sense, this choice was an inevitable consequence of our uncontained curiosity. What would such a world be like? A world of contingency, relativity, of separation from our source. Let’s do it!

It’s not a matter of assigning blame, because in order for there to be a cosmos at all--a mamafestivus for the rest of us--there must be a fall, for to say “manifestation” is to say “relative” is to say “other than the Absolute” is to say “alienation” is to say “remote from God.” And here we are.

So we make the leap from up to down and inside to out. We exchange essence for existence and plunge headlong into the starry naught, the cosmic nothing. The link with the invisible world is broken, and a visible world fills the void. Bang! What a strange, eery, beautiful place!

Having said that....

“We must distrust the fascination abysses can exert over us; it is in the nature of cosmic impasses to seduce and play the vampire; the current of forms does not want us to escape its hold. Forms can be snares just as they can be symbols and keys; beauty can chain us to forms just as it can be a door to the non-formal” (Schuon).

The “cosmic leftism” of which Petey, the merciful, the compassionate, speaks, is the fascination of the abyss. In other worlds, it is an extension of the fall as a solution to the fall. If we can only keep falling, then perhaps we will “break on through” to the other side, perfect mankind, create heaven on earth, and win the human race. Thus, on the deepest cosmic level, our puny cultural divide reflects a much larger choice: reverse the fall, or keep on plunging?

Leftists are activists. And they are socially aware. And they are committed. But their frenetic activity is a substitute for being, “the restless and disappointing turmoil of superfluous things”; their social awareness is a substitute for vertical awareness; and their commitment is an ersatz replacement for faith--a false absolute and graven image for purposes of idol worship. This is why leftism generates such emotionality in its adherents--it is religious emotion in the absence of religion.

Taken together, this plunge of illegiance to allusion represents a hypnotic capitulation to the self-created cosmic machine that drags us down, 32 feet per second per second. The reversal of this fall cannot be achieved, much less imposed, collectively. Rather, it can only be achieved through metanoia, repentance, or “turning around,” toward the light of the transpersonal sun and source.

Secularism begins and ends with the material world. Being that the material world is a shifting and transitory world, one can only derive a shifting and transitory metaphysic from its study. Furthermore, one will necessarily confuse the Principle with its manifestation. One will have to adhere to the bizarre metaphysic that the naturally supernatural mind that is able to know absolutely is somehow derived from relative matter. And if you can believe that, you'll believe anything, which is why so much of wackademia is a moonbatument to folly.

Here is what we have heard from the wise. In “reality,” the cosmos is a “message from God to Himself by Himself.” But this should by no means be taken as an excuse for pantheism or narcissism, since the message is nonetheless real. For while God is both Alpha and Omega, sender and receiver, above and ahead, the message is deployed in time, which is one of the names of Eternity. We have received the message when we have achieved our end. Which is to say, beginning. A new beginning. Perpetually born. Existence renewed. At the razoredgeon.

We were children once, still close to God, fleshly reflecting our celestial origin, older than Abraham, young as a babe's I AM. Then we became very old, very adolt, methusalossed in maya. But then we went 'round the bend, where our past and future finally caught up with us. But only now. And again.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Clinton, Shame and Narcissism: Destroying the Eyes of the World

Clinton’s pathetic performance with Chris Wallace this weekend was a wonderfully revealing moment. While the purpose of his humiliated fury was to try to destroy the eyes of the world, for those of us with eyes that survived the attack, it simply cemented the perception of him as a world class pathological narcissist. For those of you who don’t have the benefit of a Ph.D. in psychoanalysis, allow your old Gagdad to break it all down for you. I knew that piece of paper would come in handy some day.

The narcissistic personality has several core problems, all involving dysregulation of one sort or another. First, they are subject to wide mood swings, the reason being that their mood regulation is not internalized but is dependent upon external circumstances. Circumstances good, mood good. But if circumstances turn bad, than their mood will become poopy very quickly, as is true of my 17 month old. In his case, it is entirely developmentally appropriate. However, it’s a little frightening imagining him carrying around the nuclear football when he hasn't gotten his way.

The adult narcissist has a specific difficulty auto-regulating shame, the “keystone” affect of their disorder. It is unconscious and therefore unrecognized, or only dimly so. Narcissists are quite brittle, the reason being that they attempt to bypass their shame by erecting a facade of grandiosity. But when the grandiosity is poked or prodded, the narcissist will bristle. He might well accuse you of having a “little smirk” on your face or being part of a right-wing conspiracy after making some innocent comment that threatens their grandiosity, as Chris Wallace discovered on Sunday.

Narcissism is not a monolithic condition, but is actually situated along a spectrum from mild to severe. However, the most severe narcissists can often appear to be the most outwardly accomplished. One of the reasons for this is that the more severe the narcissism, the more driven they are to accomplish something in accordance with their grandiosity.

(As an aside, this is why it is generally a mistake to elect someone president who desperately wishes to be president, such as LBJ, Nixon, Al Gore, Clinton. Our better presidents could take it or leave it, because they already had satisfying lives and were capable of generating meaning from within--Truman, Eisenhower, Reagan, Bush.)

There are two main classes of narcissism, an egotistical, Clintonian type, and a dissociative type. See if this does not ring a bell: the egotistical (also described as the “oblivious”) type is self-absorbed, arrogant, unabashedly self-aggrandizing, attention demanding, and seemingly shameless.

But underneath the smooth and competent facade, these individuals show a preponderance of shame over guilt, the latter of which is much more healthy. For example, in response to Wallace’s question about Clinton's well known failures to take terrorism seriously, a non-narcissist would simply have said, “hey, my bad. I was like everybody else. Before 9-11, I didn’t take al Qaeda seriously, and I’m really sorry about that now. Let's just be thankful my successor is nothing like me.”

But for a narcissist, this kind of guilt instantly descends into shame, which cannot be tolerated. The EJECT SHAME NOW button has been pushed--therefore, the finger in the face and the shrill accusations of unfairness and right wing conspiracies. We saw the same desperate pattern a few weeks ago with the 9-11 movie. We will continue to see it as long as Clinton takes breath, or until he finally realizes that he doesn't have a pale and pudgy legacy to stand on.

As another aside, does this not demonstrate the systematic bias of the left wing MSMistry of Truth? Bush and Rumsfeld and Rice have to deal with these kinds of questions from the press constantly, but when liberals interview Clinton, it’s like a warm bath. He relies upon the liberal media to mirror his grandiosity, and they do a fine job of it. He simply does not know how to deal with tough questioning, both because he’s never had to and because he falls apart unless he has a ready lie at his disposal to ward off both the questioner, and more importantly, his shame.

The narcissistic personality is known to experience rage in reaction to a narcissistic injury--or even the threat of an injury. Clinton, of course, is famous for his infantile “purple fits” of shame-rage, which are not to be confused with manly aggression or assertiveness. Rather, it is the weak man’s imitation of a strong man. It is the same weakness and vanity that caused Clinton to govern by poll rather than principle (and to govern his private life by pole rather than principle).

Speaking of which, awhile back, Ann Coulter took some heat for suggesting that Clinton was not our first black president but our first gay president. This comment is very easy to misunderstand, but there is no reason for homosexuals to be offended by it. Most insightful homosexuals are aware of the fact that there is a substantial segment of male homosexuals who unconsciously feel an absence of masculine power, so they engage in compulsive sexual activity in order to try to appropriate and internalize the masculinity of the anonymous partner.

Naturally the compulsion doesn’t work, which is why it must be acted out again and again. Clinton’s well-chronicled sexual compulsion and subsequent inability to separate crotch and state must be understood in this light, as a blind attempt to gain the spurious sense of masculinity that he lacks. Apparently it hasn't succeeded yet (hey, here's a free tip--next time don't marry a castrating phallic mother. That goes for all my readers).

While on the topic of sexually confused narcissists and their mothers, the history of the egotistical type narcissist will not infrequently involve a seductive type of “wooing” mothering that resembles love, but actually stems from the mother’s own emotional needs. According to Allen Schore, “this type of ‘psychotoxic’ maternal care is the diametrical opposite of emotional deprivation, namely a surfeit, an overdose of affective stimulation,” which is generally more aversive and harmful than understimulation.

Another analyst notes that these individuals are often reared “by ‘adoring,’ doting, narcissistically disturbed parents who have objectified the child and through their adoring gaze have projected onto the child aspects of their own idealized self; these parents have not only failed to find adequate support for the child’s true sense of self but have also failed to provide enough realistic positive and negative evaluation to support some degree of tension between the actual and the idealized self.” Such parenting may outwardly look like a generous gift, but as they say, “yes, Santa Claus, there is a Virginia.”

*All quotes taken from Affect Regulation and the Origin of the Self: The Neurobiology of Emotional Development.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Lovin' and Lyin' in the Dumb-as-a-Post Modern World (9.20.08)

There are two laws in history: the law of gravity, and the law of destiny. Left to their own devices, human beings will recapitulate the fall day by day, moment by moment, plummeting further and further from the Origin and Center.

In this sense, the ancients were correct in being suspicious of time. At any given point in history, looked at in a certain way, things always look bleak and seem to be getting bleaker. Therefore, why not stop the whole colliderescape and get off?

If one were to look at the way things stood in the world over the 500 years or so up to 1700, one “would not have been optimistic about the future of mankind." As historian Robert McFarlane notes in his The Riddle of the Modern World, nearly every civilization had reached some sort of "invisible barrier” that prevented further development. "The world and its roughly 500 million inhabitants seemed to have reached the limit to its potential to support human life.... Mankind seemed to be caught on a treadmill."

How did we ever get off that treadmill? It's an important question, because it is at the heart of our current conflict with Islam. They are still on that treadmill, and when one isn't progressing, one generally degenerates. Life is not static. Reduced to stasis, it becomes death. There is no middle ground. You cannot be "a little bit" alive or dead. Any evolving system must maintain disequilibrium by exchanging matter or information with the environment. The deepest problem with the Islamic world is that it is a closed system, both individually and collectively.

Prior to West's discovery of the dynamics of material and intellectual growth, life consisted of unrelenting deprivation for all but a very few. In order to accomplish our breakthrough, “almost all the trends of the last 2000 years had to be reversed. ” Among other things, the monopolization of knowledge had to end, so that knowledge and technology could be shared through widespread education and literacy. Furthermore, this couldn't be just any kind of education. Rather, it had to be a rational education in which one freely discovers universal truths that are not context-bound.

There is a divide between people that is mirrored in the gulf between left and right. There are those who say that what the world really needs is more love, more peace, more mutual understanding, more cuddly blah blah.

Nonsense. Nearly every serious problem in the world may be reduced to an absence of Truth. The pursuit of love and peace is perfectly admirable on a micro level in one's personal life. This is the meaning of “love your enemies," “turn the other cheek," "the meek shall inherit the earth," and all that other mushy stuff.

But the Bible is not a suicide pact. On a macro level, the most important societal value by far is Truth. And not just any kind of Truth, but the Truth of truth and a method for discovering it. It has been said that it wasn't this or that particular invention that distinguished the west. Rather, it was the invention of invention, the discovery of a method of discovery.

In the Islamic world, truth is received, not discovered. And most of what they receive is not only untrue, but cannot possibly be true. But because they have no tradition or means of independent verification, they are immersed in darkness and falsehood, drowning in lies the same way a body eventually consumes itself if deprived of food.

The other day, an acquaintance mentioned the left wing barking point one often hears, that if only the Israelis had settled someplace other than Israel, there would be no problems in the Middle East. Nonsense. Muslims do not object to Israel merely because it exists, but because they believe outrageous lies about Israel. Likewise, for all those leftists who say that America is hated, that may be so, but it is hated because the haters believe things about us that are outrageously untrue, just as the left hates President Bush because they believe lies about him.

By being sensitive to Muslim feelings for decades, we have essentially honored their insane lies. In the spirit of a deeply illiberal multiculturalism, we have allowed these lies to take their place alongside the truth as a coequal partner. Light shall no longer shine in the dark, but shall dialogue with it, imam to man. The Pope let slip a banal truth about the sordid history of Islam, and look what happened. The entitled liars bristled in defense of their primordial lie, a lie which has been further enshrined by that half of the postmodern world that regards truth as relative and arbitrary. In so doing, they have simply allowed these tyrannical hordes to elevate their truth (which is a lie) to an absolute.

For, although they are the benefecesaries of liberal academics who teach the false absolute that truth doesn't exist, they don't believe that for a second. Rather, they simply use the means of leftist relativism to advance their own absolute end of religious totalitarianism. For when truth is denied, raw power fills the vacuum, destroying love and everything else in its wake.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Death Defying Laughter and a Touch of Infanity

A world is a perceived world. There are many worlds, and if you do not have the upperatus to pursuve it, it will not exist for you and come out to play.

A scientific world is a quantitative world, whereas religion (not the scary kind) addresses itself to qualitative aspects of the cosmos. Science, restricting itself to the horizontal aspects of reality, necessarily regards the human being as essentially superfluous, no different than any other scientific fact of matter, matter of fact.

However, on the traditional view, human beings are regarded as a microcosmos, a “universe in miniature,” sharing the same plan and clueprince as the whole existentialada. Holy guacamole! This is what the dry desert father Origen meant when he said, “Understand that you have within yourself, upon a small scale, a second universe: within you there is a sun, there is a moon, and there are also stars.”

As Meister Eckhart yelled out while running away from the religious authorities, “The world is created anew for each newborn person.” Or, you might say that when you were bearthed and begaialed, a mirrorcle of the abbasolute was born, and infanity put in a finny phase.

Existence, if you are sonsitive to these these maters (the voidgin kind), is a nonstop guffah-ha! experience. I know it is for my 17 month old gagboy, anyway. It’s all a big joke to him--discovery, surprise, convulsive laughter, rinse and repeat. How does one lose that essential attitude of existence as play, and is it possible to ungrow it again? For as I have munchkinned many times, every lila one of us is an inrisible pax of the puzzall, speaking in apunnishontical way.

One is struck (ouch!) at how absent this gladitude is in the two grim angriologies of our day, Islamism and leftism. Strangely, Ahmadinejad is always smiling, and yet his only humor is quite tensional and headache inducing. And the Tourette’s left of dailykuss and huffingandpissed is an unrelieved stream of anger and unfactive.

Here again, this is another reason why gliberal talk radio will always suckceedngly, because the left can never make fun of so much that is eminently jokeworthy--for excremplement, Ahamdinejad and Chavez, Howard Dean and Jesse Jackson, the hordes of feminist shemales and their feminized femaniacal consorts such as Johns Kerry and Edwards. The left’s laughty loondry list of sacred cowpies is so long and malodorous, that any humor that doesn’t involve hating President Bush is bound to offend one of their conflatulencies, so in a mallard of time it gets terdious very quackily, not to mention blasfumy.

Many people will have to await the occasion of death to hear the final punch line and to get the Joke Beyond Which There is No Funnier. But to live nobly is to live in the company of death, and death is a dark cosmedian, no doubt. For example, my wife and I decided somewhat late in life to have a child to always be heir for us (although our fairytality doctor reassured us on our first shakedown that we weren’t even close to the oldest fossils he had exhumined that day). As it so hap unhappyns, my son was conserved in the very same month (but in a different dish) that I was diagnosed with type I diabetes. Ha ha ha! Life and death juxtaposed. Sugar & sweet. Very funny!

This humorous yuckstaposition of various pilarities such as life and death is pregnant on nearly every page of Finnegans Wake. Sure, we’re all going to die. You anyway. But “Hohoho, Mister Finn, you’re going to be Mister Finnegan! Comeday morm and O, you’re vine! Sendday’s eve and, ah, your vinegar! Hahahaha, Mister Funn, you’re going to be fined again!” In fact, we die a thousand deaths in this liffey life, but “even if Humpty shell fall frumpty times as awkward..., there’ll be iggs for the brekkers come to mournhim, sunny side up with care.”

What will you remurmur when you died? What will you tagalog in your philopaean? I was thinking around this the other day, as I was shooting hoops, mostly oops, by my lonesome at the nearby park. Thinking about my fimfim. You know, my funferal. You’d think it would be slightly mausolating, but it was sort of... I don’t know... wet’s the world... oceanic I suppose.

And then a little byrd spoke his dylan' words to me: “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.” That's a way a lone a last a loved a long the riverrun, the same bloomin' yes that worships in oneder in a weecosmic womb with a pew and is finally nothing after all (before it, two). Or so we have heard from the whys.

It reminds me of a poem Elvis used to recite to his friends and other peerasites, he really did:

As I awoke this morning
When all sweet things are born
A robin perched on my windowsill
To greet the coming dawn
He sang his song so sweetly
And paused for a moment’s lull
I gently raised the window
And crushed his fucking skull

But not a king crosses the phoenix line in this life lest he be repossessed and amortized. I guess that’s my pointer. Somehow gravity must be exchanged for levity and lovity if you want a mahahasamadhi from this womentary maninfestation, while you wait. We all go back to the mamamatrix anyway once we’re cured of plurality. Why not staret now, I for One, One for all?

Now that I have an itty bitty, I remama with him sometimes. What it was like! Face to face in a sacred space, into the blisstic mystic, no you or I, nor reason wise, count the stars up in your eyes. That's how you seeternity. It's there in a wee be tweenus. You know, the nature of reality, the rapture of nihility, a peace magnificent, silent-still, crystal clear, outshining mystery, Truth of truth, syrup hovering over the waffles, Divine spark, breath of life! And you shall never grow so old again, amen for a child's job.

A touch of infanity. Couldn’t we all use it?


(Note to commenters--I had to enable comment moderation because HWSNBN keeps trying to hijack the thread with his inane and inapproprate comments, so there may be a short delay between posting your comment and seeing it. His assholiness has done this several times before, where he will spend hours posting the same thing no matter how many times I delete it...)

Friday, September 22, 2006

Will the Real Reality Please Stand Out?

It all comes down to the question of reality, doesn’t it? What is the real world?

There are three ways of obtaining information about the world and answering this question, 1) logic and empiricism (i.e., inductive and deductive reasoning), 2) revelation, and 3) intellection. The modern world--or most of its elites, anyway--has rejected the latter two categories, which I believe creates a false and misleading image of the world. Ultimately it is not a human world fit for humans, and yet, we are increasingly forced to live in it.

I used to scoff at those ultra-orthodox Jews in Israel who are supported by the state for spending all day poring over the Torah, as if the government should be involved in funding people’s private religious fantasies--as if they are doing something “important,” like embryo stem cell research or advances in queer theory.

I now realize that such individuals are much more in touch with reality than the materialistic scientist, because they are specifically exploring a human world, and the human world is more real than the material world. Please, this is not to exclude or belittle science in any way, only to emphasize that human beings have real spiritual needs that science can never meet. To reject spiritual knowledge is actually to reject mankind, to run away from what man actually is in his deepest being.

For example, love is a dimension of real knowledge, as is beauty. So too the sacred. None of these quintessentially human categories is detectable by the methods of science. When you explore the sacred or the holy--which is what those bullfighting Torahdors are trying to do--you are dealing with a legitimate realm of human knowledge. Furthermore, just as profane knowledge “feeds” the mind, spiritual knowledge is metabolized by another part of ourselves, the nous, the "psychic being," or the intellect properly so-called. Just as there are mathematical geniuses, there are spiritual geniuses who are simply in contact with a different world. The former may well know nothing of the latter, just as the latter may be ignorant of the former.

And the failure to acknowledge the two worlds can lead to real problems. Historically we are well aware of what happens when the spiritual world is taken as the only reality. No need to chronicle those problems here, for we are living through them in the form of our struggle against global jihad.

But do the jihadis have a point in their condemnation of the west’s rejection of the spiritual world in favor of a non-human material world? Yes, in some twisted sense they might have a point, but this hardly justifies their actions, and more importantly, mired as they are in their deeply infrarational sprituality, they have no idea how spiritual a country the United States actually is (half the country, anyway--we’re not talking about the metaphysical yahoos of the New York Times). In reality, it is the most spiritual country on earth, especially because we are talking about a mature spirituality that has been honed by its encounter with modernity and which traditionally placed scientific knowledge in a wider spiritual context. If you completely extricate scientific knowledge from a spiritual framework, you will eventually end up with something very nasty.

We are using the term “intellect” in its time-honored way, as that which allows the human being to distinguish between substance and accidents. Intellection is direct knowledge of reality, very much analogous to physical perception. If you see something with your eyes, no one will ask you to prove the existence of sight. But in our current anti-intellectual climate, if you perceive something equally vividly with the intellect, you will be asked to provide logical proof--itself a wholly illogical demand. In reality, only a deeper intellect can judge the claims of the intellect. And there is no rational basis whatsoever for determining who has the deeper intellect. It is only something we can know with our own awakened intellect.

I humbly and gratefully bow down before intellects wider and more penetrating than mine, but I surely won’t waste my time with someone who challenges my perceptions but whose own intellect is disabled or asleep. This is not arrogance, it is just common sense. I wouldn't debate the merits of a poem with someone who cannot appreciate poetry. But in our egalitarian world, we would like to believe that knowledge is an external “thing” that can be passed from mind to mind like an object. Sadly, much religious knowledge is regarded in just this manner--as if you can “know” it in the same way that you know any other subject.

But as I was at pains to point out in my book, religious knowledge is realized knowledge. That was the whole point of my admittedly preliminary attempt to develop an abstract system of empty symbols to describe the realm of spirit. There are so many religious “talkers” out there whose talk is precisely vacuous--it is literally empty, devoid of the experiential light that would give it real meaning.

The analogy with the mystery of music is fairly exact. Two highly schooled musicians can play the exact same thing.... No, let’s make it even more dramatic. A true master--say the jazz great Bill Evans--can say more with the suspended silence between his crystalline notes than most pianists can say in a musical lifetime. Have you not felt the ontological weight of a real spiritual presence in certain souls? Have you not heard the identical words uttered by others, now rendered weightless, frivolous, and slightly silly?

The latter type of person would be happy to go on national television and share their banal insights with a profane boob such as Larry King or Keith Olbermann. On the other hand, Petey would probably just stare in stunned disbelief after the first moronic question, knowing that no matter what he said, it would only be experienced as words, just like any other words. Petey would be pleased to commit career suicide on national TV, since he’s already "dead" anyway. Knowing him as I do, he would probably say something along the lines of, “I’m having trouble answering your question because I can’t remember what it was like to be so stupid, and thus provide an answer suitable to your reptilian brain.”

(You might have noticed that this is a common problem in debating liberals. As one advances into the real world, one forgets what it was like to be so foolish and naive. Which is why those who have recently left the fold of liberalism are its most able and energetic debaters. They remember why they believed the stupid things they did, and can thus provide reasons.)

Just as there are materialists who are nothing but empirical “factualists” in a self-created infrahuman world, there are pseudo-spiritual types who are what Schuon calls “realizationists.” This is one of the banes of the whole new age movement, which arrogantly tells people that they are too good for traditional religiosity, that religion is a pernicious mythology that modern people have evolved beyond, and that they are so special that they can bypass the rest of us and become “one with God.” Virtually any person who claims realized knowledge of this type outside a traditional framework is either self-deluded or a con man (there are exceptions to every rule, of course). For one thing, if they had such insight, they would not have the attitude they do toward religion, but would be awakened to its profound depth and beauty.

The purpose of this post was to get into the question of the two worlds--the abstract world disclosed by science and the concrete world as experienced by humans--but I can see that my preface has already filled the allotted space, so I’ll have to get to it later. But the point I want to emphasize is that the world disclosed by science, although clearly useful to human beings--no argument about that on this end--is not the real world. Rather, it is merely an abstract world that is essentially based on an extension of our sensory faculties, i.e., the subatomic world.

But we do not live in that world. Rather--one hopes, anyway--we live in the human world, and it is this world that religion specifically addresses itself to. And this is why the unsophisticated literalist who says that “God created the world in six days” is far, far more wise--on a human level--than the man who knows only the equations of quantum cosmology, but is blind to the world from which those beautiful equations arise. For just like any other species, in order to thrive, human beings must live in a human environment.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

A Bridge to the Center of the Cosmos

Today we are going to do some verticalisthenics, so bring your Denys shoes and casuist clothing, and I'll talk along some loose fitting gab.

Frithjof Schuon writes of two key ideas, that of the origin and that of the center: “In the spatial world where we live, every value is related in some way to a sacred Center, which is the place where Heaven has touched the earth; in every human world there is a place where God has manifested Himself in order to pour forth His grace.

“And it is the same for the Origin, which is the quasi-timeless moment when Heaven was near and things were still half-celestial...”

For those of you who are familiar with my book, the nonsensuous uberchore at the beginning was my attempt to describe the badda bing-badda bang of the Origin, while the nonsense at the end was my attempt to describe the journey to the Center, where heaven and earth meet once again in the muddle of the mount, right back at the Origin. Hallow, noumena!

Most of our waking life is spent outside the Center and Origin, although one of the purposes of the spiritual life is to spend as much timelessness there as as possible. Outside the vertical world of Center and Origin, we pass our days in the horizontal categories of space and time that flow from them. But in the spiritual view, time takes on a special, eschatological meaning, as it relates to the perfection that leads to theosis--both individually and cosmically. In other words, timelessness takes time, and as some Beat up old poet once said, “walking on water wasn’t built in a day.”

To be situated in space is to be situated in a cosmology, even if it is a very boring and stilted cosmology that is not worthy of humans, such as materialism. A legitimate religious cosmology serves the function of providing the human being with all the tools he needs to discern his existential situation and to do something about it--not on his own, mind you, but with the assistance of the grace which flows through it. Religion is supposed to provide you with a vertical cosmology that helps you know your way around the interior of the cosmos. Science, on the other hand, deals only with the exterior aspect of the cosmos--its outer tier, or epidermis, so to speak.

Through grace, we may surpass ourselves and therefore become ourselves. We may realize our highest destiny, which is not found in the things of this world, but back at the vertical Center and Origin, now further enriched and transformed by our presence, which it is our duty to radiate back out horizontally into the world. And so it glows....

Multiculturalism is a pernicious crock in the cosmic egg because, among other reasons, there is no ultimate value in culture per se. Rather, we judge a culture in its vertical aspect in terms of how effective it is in orienting us to our destiny and allowing us to arrive there. There are many cultures that focus on our ultimate destiny--in a charitable mood, one could even say that this is what the contemporary Islamic world attempts to do. However, their various horizontal pathologies prevent anyone from actually achieving their vertical destiny--or at least they had better keep quiet about it if they do stumble upon it, or sufi the consequences.

Other, more dynamic societies such as ours, provide us with all the tools we require to move, to get off the dime and go forward. But forward into what? Here is the nub of the crux of the gist of the rub, my cosmonauts, for if all our wonderful dynamism is not oriented toward the Origin and Center....

Does anyone out there understand what I’m saying, or does it sound like I’m speaking of irrelevant abstractions that do not touch our day-to-day lives, much less the future of our civilization? Can I get a witness? Can I get a hallelujah? Is this thing on?

Naturally, we in the west have our well known metaphysical pathologies of materialitis and reductionosis, effectively barring the gates of heaven and installing man in place of the Creator. As a reaction to this impoverished horizontal cosmolatry, we also have our curiously muddled spiritual pathologies that reverse the cosmic order and elevate the relative to the absolute, e.g., “Nagarjuna is God.” This is the way of most spiritually barren new age alternate post-religious magic. You shall know them by their fruit cakes.

It goes without saying that no culture is perfect, just as no relative world of any kind is perfect. “There is none good but the One.” Human perfection lies in its proximity to the Perfection of our vertical lighthouse at the end of the historical tunnel. It’s a narrow path toward that tunnel, but it is only on that path that the ravages of time are essentially reversed, leading toward perfection rather than mere repetition or degeneration.

The cultural bridge that leads us from the relative to the absolute is badly broken, not just through neglect, but because some vertical errorists in our very midst--most of them terminally tenured--have been actively trying to blow it up for several centuries. It was once a very sturdy bridge that led to many blessings, such as science, democracy, liberty, and the ultimate value of the indvidual. But now, those things are in danger of becoming ends in themselves, thus enclosing us in a linear prison rather than a means of reaching the Center and Origin.

For man does not flourish in the circular world of old-fashioned paleo-paganism or the linear world of contemporary neo-paganism, but only in the open spiral of vertical faith and horizontal reason.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Ahmadinejad, Ape of God

In order to understand patients, psychologists routinely monitor and observe their own reactions to the patient, known as counter-transference. My counter-transference reaction to Ahmadinejad is that he is palpably and disturbingly evil, like a demon in human form--like Hitler or Arafat.

Not only do I agree with Dr. Sanity that Ahmadinejad’s positively satanic speech yesterday before the UN was nausea inducing, but I believe that if you didn’t have some sort of similar gut reaction, there is something wrong with the state of your soul. And yet, one sees the useful idiots of the MSM blithely analyzing the literal content of his speech, as if it has any meaning or significance whatsoever. On the other hand, President Bush cannot utter the most banal truth without the MSM trying to determine his "actual" underlying political motive.

My reaction to Ahmadinejad must have felt somewhat similar to the way the delusional left reacts to President Bush. This is no secret, for if you read most any liberal blog, they openly talk and write about their visceral hatred of the President. Thus far I have seen no mention of any similar reaction toward Ahmadinejad, which speaks volumes about their moral compass, or lack thereof. I’m trying to imagine, say, a Republican in 1942 who absolutely loathed FDR with every fiber of his being, but who was indifferent toward Hitler. What to make of such a morally broken person?

To further quote Dr. Sanity, “Only in a world that values nothing would there not be instantaneous outrage at the lies, deceptions and self-serving tripe offered for world consumption by a man who clearly has no conscience and enjoys lying and distorting for the fun of it.” What kind of world is it, in which there is instant denunciation of the Pope’s truthful words about Islam, but no similar reaction to the outrageously vile lies of Ahmadinejad? It means that in this dark world, the Truth is under constant attack while the Lie flourishes, abetted at every step along the way by the nihilistic left. I will say it again: there is no religion or doctrine higher than truth, for if all good people were united in confronting the Islamic world with the simple truth, as did the pope, it would wither like a coward. These monsters are only emboldened by our cautious and mealymouthed evasions of their truth.

Ahmadinejad’s speech was not aimed at people like you or me or Dr. Sanity. Rather, as she writes, it was addressed “to the passive, uncritical and morally bankrupt minions who nod sagely at any idiocy as they desperately try to maintain a world view that ignores reality as its founding principle.” In fact, the speech was aimed at three varieties of idiot, 1) those with Bush Derangement Syndrome, both foreign and domestic, 2) the airheads of the mass media, and 3) well-intentioned but foolish and naive people who believe liberal platitudes about the world.

In the past, I have discussed Bion’s idea that truth is anterior to the thinker, and that it is only for us to discover it. In that sense, truth doesn’t require a thinker. It just is. The lie, on the other hand, requires a thinker-- often a brilliant one for particularly grandiose lies, such as Marxism.

In order to know and speak the truth, one needn’t be aware of the lie. But in order to lie, one must be aware of the truth, otherwise it isn’t a lie. This is why it is such a damnable lie for liberals to mindlessly chant that “Bush lied.” First, to say that “Bush lied” is to deceptively redefine the meaning of “lie.” But on a more malignant level, in order to advance their own lie, these libeling liberals must be aware of the truth. In other words, their lie has no basis in reality, but exists solely as a reaction to the truth--in the same way that a shadow exists only as an artifact of light.

There was a profoundly cosmic symmetry yesterday, what with existential light and darkness crossing paths in the same building on the same day. I don’t know if you had the opportunity to hear President Bush’s speech, but it was one of the most straightforward and morally lucid political speeches I have ever heard. If anyone but Bush had made the speech, it would be considered one of the few shining moments in the sordid history of the UN. So full of light were the President’s words, that I am surprised the U.N. building didn’t burst into flames. The very walls of this sanctuary of darkness must have cried out in pain at the violent intrusion of such an unfamiliar force of truth. It was like a reverse rape--forcing decency upon an unwilling subject.

Ahmadinejad’s words were a precise mirror image of truth, again highlighting the fact that one must on some level know the truth in order to lie about it. In Ahmadinejad’s case, one was struck at how frequently he made appeals to specifically Judeo-Christian principles and rights that he and the dictators of Syria or Libya or the Saudi entity would never dream of granting their own enslaved peoples: “Citizens of Asia, Africa, Europe and America are all equal. Over six billion inhabitants of the earth are all equal and worthy of respect. Justice and protection of human dignity are the two pillars in maintaining sustainable peace, security and tranquility in the world.” (Where is my CAIR-sickness bag?)

This is one of the most disgusting and dysfunctional aspects of the U.N., for it means that tyrants and dictators can make pleas for the very justice or liberty or democracy that they deny their own people. And liberals fall for it every time. Indeed, why can’t Iran have nukes when Israel does? Why don’t the so-called Palestinians deserve a state? How are oppressed peoples to express their grievances but through terrorism?

Liberals love beautiful but empty platitudes about peace and justice and oppression, so Ahmadinejad was speaking directly to them when he said that “Today humanity passionately craves commitment to the truth, devotion to God [liberals don’t mind so long as it's a non-Christian one], quest for justice, and respect for the dignity of human beings. Rejection of domination and aggression, defense of the oppressed, and longing for peace constitute the legitimate demand of the peoples of the world, particularly the new generations and the spirited youth who aspire to a world free from decadence, aggression and injustice, and replete with love and compassion.”

Ahmadinejad sounds exactly like the America-hating Jimmy Carter--whom he is once again slapping in the face--when he says “The Almighty has not created human beings so that they could transgress against others and oppress them. By causing war and conflict, some [he didn't have the courage to say the United States and Israel] are fast expanding their domination, accumulating greater wealth and usurping all the resources, while others endure the resulting poverty, suffering and misery.”

In words calculated to warm the hearts of empty-headed liberals everywhere, Ahmadinejad asks the same vapid questions they asked of Reagan: “What do they need these weapons for? Is the development and stockpiling of these deadly weapons designed to promote peace and democracy? Or are these weapons in fact instruments of coercion and threat against other peoples and governments? How long should the people of the world live with the nightmare of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons?” As every liberal knows, evil people don't kill people, weapons do.

Sounding just like our own resident One Cosmos moonbat, he appeals to the hearts and so-called minds of those who believe that pseudo-spiritual platitudes are the answer to the world's problems: “Is it not possible to rely on justice, ethics and wisdom? ... Aren't wisdom and justice more compatible with peace and tranquility than nuclear, chemical and biological weapons? If wisdom, ethics and justice prevail, then oppression and aggression will be uprooted, threats will wither away, and no reason will remain for conflict.” He knows full well that people such as our resident moonbat confuse personal spirituality with civilizational suicide, and is speaking their language.

Speaking directly to the anti-Semites of the angry left, he echoes their grossly distorted understanding of history: “The roots of the Palestinian problem go back to the second world war. Under the pretext of protecting some of the survivors of that war, the land of Palestine was occupied through war, aggression and the displacement of millions of its inhabitants. It was placed under the control of some of the war survivors, bringing even larger population groups from elsewhere in the world who had not been even affected by the second world war, and a government was established in the territory of others with a population collected from across the world at the expense of driving millions of the rightful inhabitants of the land into a diaspora and homelessness.”

And sounding just like neo-Marxist new age dopes such as Deepak Chopra, he says “Peoples driven by their divine nature intrinsically seek good, virtue, perfection and beauty. Relying on our peoples, we can take giant steps towards reform and pave the road for human perfection.”

If not “the,” then certainly Ahmadinejad is an Antichrist, in the sense that he is an absolute ape of God, of all that is good and decent and holy. I don't think he said a single thing that wouldn't fit perfectly into the Democratic platform. You can be sure that no prominent Democrat will rise to defend our country and our president from the insults of this little creep, as they know that he was playing to their base (in both senses of the term). After all, he hit every one of the Democratic barking points, except perhaps for global warming. My advice to him is that he tell the world that Iran is only pursuing nuclear power because it is gravely concerned about the adverse effect of fossil fuels. That should neutralize Gore, outflank Hillary, and cinch the nomination.


He says he just bangs this stuff out, first draft, last draft. Should we believe him?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Speaking Truth to Pouters & Doubters

It’s too bad that the main point of the pope’s recent talk has been lost amidst the willful misunderstanding by habitually aggrieved and pouting Muslims and their western mouthpieces in the MSM prick-and-martyr spin machine. This is probably perfectly understandable, because what the pope said was just as insulting to the secular left as it was to Muslims. It’s as if there is a secret affinity between the left and the Islamists--what Eisenhower* famously called the "mullah terror & nasty-old-leftist complex"--as the left riles up the Muslims so as to encourage them to act out their own aggression. The left does this in a thousand little ways, and the terrorists are fully aware of it. We even have their own internal memos revealing how much they rely upon the western media and other useful jihadiots to achieve their aims.

The reaction to the pope reminds me of my own detractors, in that they habitually take one small part of my writing that they think they understand and proceed get all emotional about it, meanwhile ignoring the much larger context that they are probably incapable of understanding. They are like the drunk who looks for his missing keys under the street light, except they are looking for an argument under their dim little metaphyical street light.

In any event, the pope’s main thesis was something that is equally incomprehensible to both the Muslim world and to the secular left, that is, “the close relationship between reason and belief. Without the right balance between the two, the pontiff said, mankind is condemned to the ‘pathologies and life-threatening diseases associated with religion and reason’--in short, political and religious fanaticism.” When the Pope said “political fanaticism,” you can be sure he wasn’t talking about the creeping fascism of Bushitler, but about the actual life-threatening spiritual and cognitive pathologies of the secular left.

In his talk, the pope spoke of the truism that in Christianity, God is inseparable from reason: "In the beginning was the Word." He noted that "God acts with logos. Logos means both reason and word," and that "The inner rapprochement between Biblical faith and Greek philosophical inquiry was an event of decisive importance not only from the standpoint of history of religions, but also from that of world history.... This convergence, with the subsequent addition of the Roman heritage, created Europe."

This fortunate convergence of faith and reason occurred at only one time and in only one place: the Christian west. It did not take place in the Muslim world--or at least where it did begin to take place, it was stillborn (or rather, violently aborted). But in the west--particularly in Europe--the covenant between faith and reason has been relentlessly attacked and almost completely vitiated by various secular and materialistic ideologies, with truly grave and deadly results. In the long run, it is doubtful that Europe can even survive its own cognitive and spiritual pathologies, because they are now steeped in a philosophy and a way of life that was never intended for humans. Their “spiritual environment” cannot sustain a truly human community, if only because it cannot passionately defend itself.

As for the pathology of Islam, the pope quoted another Catholic theologian, who said that "for Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent, his will is not bound up with any of our categories." The writer of the WSJ piece linked above asked, “If this is true, can there be dialogue at all between Islam and the West? For the pope, the precondition for any meaningful interfaith discussions is a religion tempered by reason: ‘It is to this great logos, to this breadth of reason, that we invite our partners in the dialogue of cultures.’"

Yesterday a reader expressed bewilderment at our mention of intrinsic heresy. An intrinsic heresy is a religious idea that cannot possibly be true in any objective metaphysics, while an extrinsic heresy is one that only applies to a particular religion. The belief that God is not both radically transcendent and equally immanent is an example of intrinsic heresy.

To cite a fine example of intrinsic heresy, another reader yesterday expressed bewilderment at my pointing out that it is fruitless to affirm the great Upanishadic truth tat tvam asi--thou art that, or atman, the self, is brahman, the ultimate reality--before realizing the extent to which, in our fallen state, thou aren’t much of anything, much less that. This is simply respecting the objective metaphysical truth that, while God may be immanent, he is also radically transcendent. To emphasize only half of this paradoxical equation leads on the one hand to collective pantheism and personal narcissism, on the other hand to the type of spiritual darkness inhabited by the Muslim world, where God is radically transcendent and therefore beyond human understanding.

Orthodox Christian doctrine, like the Vedanta, gets the equation exactly right. Modern people are generally baffled by the intensity of the early Christian debates on the nature of Christ, but the stakes were actually quite high, and if those councils had gotten it wrong, the Christian world may well have gone the way of Islam. Among other things, they determined that in Christ, God was both fully God and fully human (I am not a Christian theologian, so forgive me if I get any details wrong here.) They didn’t say how this paradox could be or how they knew it (it was a divine mystery), but they rejected every possible variation--Nestorianism, Monophysitism, Monothelitism, etc. (look ‘em up yourself). In the end they affirmed that Christ embodied the two natures unconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, and inseparably. And what goes for Christ goes for us, to the extent that we may participate in his life and consciousness. We may become through grace what Christ is by nature.

Now, secularists habitually steal things from religion and then either pretend that they invented them or presume that they can be wrenched from their sacred context without doing grave damage to them. For example, secularists benefit just as much as anyone else from the blessings of Judeo-Christian values, while at the same time doing everything possible to attack or belittle the source of those values. Again, many things we take for granted in the west developed specifically in a Christian context and nowhere else: the infinite worth of the individual, liberty, democracy, science, etc.

This is one of the primary reasons why secular progressives are so ironically named. They can never really be progressive, since their materialistic metaphysic denies meaningful progress at the outset. Scratch a leftist and you will always discern a nostalgic, backward-looking, non-friction metaphysic--the painful recollection of the lost entitlement of infancy and the desire for a romantic merger with the conflict-free eden of childhood--only projected into the future.

As I have mentioned before, in the absence of the supernatural, people will fall back onto more primitive, pre-religious and magical modes of thought, but then imagine that they are progressing beyond religion. But in my view this is impossible, for I believe that religion discloses objective metaphysics. Therefore, anything short of real religion descends into mere mythology: relying upon it to orient yourself in the cosmos, you will move laterally and eventually backwards, as we see in contemporary Europe--a fine example of trying to live off the fumes of Christian values in the absence of the Christianity that gave rise to them. This was definitely one of the main points of the pope’s talk, and one that the left will not understand because they cannot understand--partly because of the intense, mocking superiority they feel toward religion.

The vast majority of our contemporary pagan scholars would undoubtedly agree that intrinsic meaning does not and cannot exist. For a secularist, this is necessarily the case. For example, if history does not refer to something outside itself, it has to be without meaning or purpose, truly the proverbial "tale told by a tenured idiot, full of sound and fury, but signifying a nice paycheck and adoring coeds.” While there can be limited purposes within history, there is no transcendent meaning to any of our endeavors, any more than there can be transcendent meaning to your individual goals and pursuits. It's all ultimately pointless. History is simply history--just a material process, a journey of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing.

But if this were true, mankind would never have found the exit out of its closed circle of material and instinctual existence. In the logoistic understanding of Christianity, history is witness to a literal descent of the logos into the stream of horizontal time, so as to forge a concrete link between the vertical and horizontal--between the One and the many, time and eternity. To say that "God became man" or "Word became flesh" is just another way of saying that the vertical, that is, the ultimate, timeless ground, outside time and anterior to manifestation, poured itself into material form and chronological time--not just in a single human being, but in all of humanity.

Only humans can serve as a bridge between the higher and lower planes that are manifest in the outward flow of history. Indeed, this is our purpose: to nurture and grow the seed of eternity within the womb of time. How do I know this? I don’t. I just water the plant and watch it grow.

*A persistent urban myth has it that Eisenhower warned us of the "military-industrial complex" rather than "mullah terror & nasty-old-leftist complex," when clearly, we require the former to defeat the latter.