Sunday, January 14, 2007

It's Getting Better All the Time (or Less Worser, Anyway)

All I care to know is that a man is a human being -- that is enough for me; he can't be any worse. --Mark Twain

Although parts of my book may appear speculative, they are not intended to be. True, the book contains a number shocking! ideas and theories, but I just happen to believe that these theories do the best job of explaining the facts as we know them, especially when placed in a totalistic cosmic context. In other words, my interest wasn't just in trying to integrate each discipline "horizontally" with itself, but vertically with all the others, so that everything makes sense in light of everything else rather than just in isolation. For example, materialism makes perfect sense on its own level. But there is no way to vertically integrate it with human consciousness, much less spiritual reality, so we need a model that embraces them all.

Speaking of shocking theories, when I finished the book, I came up with an over-the-top ad that was supposed to look like a placard for an 19th century circus or freak show. I was afraid to show it to the publisher after their downright chilly reaction to the whimsical autobobography I wanted to put on the back of the book. The ad had all different types of fonts that I cannot reproduce here, but went something like this:

One Cosmos Under God:
The Unification of Matter, Life, Mind & Spirit

KEY TO THE WORLD ENIGMA

The Cosmic Origins and Spiritual Destiny of EVERYTHING!

A Fourfold, Circular Cosmic Suite, Huge Mythunderstanding, and
Magnum Opiate for the Masses

A LOGICAL AND COHERENT ABSURDITY,
FULLY LOADED WITH ALL THE OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT


including

shaky suppositions, blind speculation, peculiar inferences, disembodied sources, 20/20 hindsight, hand-selected evidence, sneaking suspicions, and revealed hunches

Turning the World
Inside Out and Upside Down

Starring (in order of appearance)
Matter, Life, Mind, and Spirit

and featuring

Parallel Universes (one to a customer, please)!
Eternal Life (while you wait)!
Eradication of MIND PARASITES!
Fully Bipedal, Hands-Free APE-WOMEN!
helpless babies
Cosmic Loopholes
Death-Defying Meditation Tricks!
and for the little buckaroos
A Psychotic Fairy Tale Creation Myth!

Order your copy and discover your place in the cosmic scheme! Today!

Anyway, one of the more controversial aspects of the book is my belief that humans have actually continued evolving over the centuries, and that most people and cultures were impossibly cruel, barbaric, and frankly crazy by today's standards. This is an unpopular notion because it doesn't appeal to either traditionalists on the right or contemporary liberals on the left. Traditionalists don't like it because it seems contrary to the idea that human beings were created by God with an unchanging nature: a man is a man is a man, whether 2500 years ago or today. And liberals don't like it for reasons of multiculturalism and moral relativism. As I wrote in the book, the humanities have become "highly politicized, vulnerable as they are to crass politicization and to the noxious practice of 'deconstruction' by various interest groups interested in normalizing abnormality." Ya think?

In other words, for the same reason feminists are silent about the horrors of female treatment in the Islamic world (and hypocritically despise the world's greatest liberator of Muslim women, George Bush), liberals in general do not judge people of the past. They pass over in silence the systematic homosexual abuse of boys in Ancient Greece, or the horrific adolescent initiation rituals of primitive cultures, or the ceaseless and sadistic warfare of so many native American tribes. Of course, the only exception they make is for barbarism perpetrated by Christians, such as the witch trials. That they judge, even though it was a relatively time-limited and proscribed aberration. Or they judge the West's involvement in the slave trade, ignoring the much wider involvement of Arabs and Africans themselves, who had no regard for human life and no opposition to slavery at all. Frankly, it wouldn't have occurred to Africans that it was problematic. That requires Christianity or Judaism.

Although I present the theory that human attachment is the missing link between the macro and micro levels of history, I was careful not to reduce the human psyche to that which is explained by modern psychoanalysis. Rather, what I was specifically attempting to do was build an explanatory bridge between our divine and human natures, and try to account for why human beings are such persistent underachievers, to put it mildly. We need an explanation for just why human beings were (and are) so persistently irrational, self-defeating, narrow-minded, violent, and cruel. To say that we are "fallen" is half-correct, but I feel something is required to help explain why we fall so far. Since virtually no secular academics even believe in the idea that mankind is fallen, they don't consider it a problem. As usual, they are much more naive than the religiously informed.

As I note in the book, traditionally we have been given only three explanations for the apparent variability of human nature, 1) the modern sociobiological belief in a genetically determined, universal human nature that reveals itself in "superficially" different ways in various cultures, 2) the religious idea that we have "fallen" from a prior perfection, and 3) the Freudian/romantic view that we have evolved up from our barbaric roots only by repressing our primitive selves and covering them over with a veneer of civilization.

But in my view, I believe there is a transcendent realm of universal human nature -- a blueprint of our spiritual wholeness, as it were -- and that we do deviate ("fall") from it. Nevertheless, our march through history shows an obvious (if sometimes widely vacillating) tendency of progressive evolution, providing more people with the opportunity in this life to come closer to the divine ideal. There's no reason to review the whole argument here, but beginning on page 142, the section entitled Viral History 101 breezes through various phases of history, showing just how awful it was for the average person.

So it's very gratifying to see that some other would-be Raccoons are beginning to view history in the Gagdaddian way. On TCS Daily, there is an article by Arnold Kling, entitled Appreciating Our Moral and Mental Development that pretty much confirms the view laid out in my book. The article starts with a quote that animal lovers may want to skip, and which I won't repeat here. But neurologist Steven Pinker goes on to say that, "As horrific as present-day events are, such sadism would be unthinkable today in most of the world. This is just one example of the most important and underappreciated trends in the history of our species: the decline of violence." Furthermore, "as far as I know, every systematic attempt to document the prevalence of violence over centuries and millennia (and, for that matter, the past fifty years), particularly in the West, has shown that the overall trend is downward (though of course with many zigzags)."

Kling notes that the emergence in the West of the open system of free markets didn't just create wealth, but actually changed us: "As we get wealthier, we also become enhanced physically, cognitively, and morally, leading to a virtuous cycle of improvements to the standard of living. As the economy improves, human cognitive ability and moral reasoning improves, which helps markets to work better and makes the process of innovation more productive, leading to greater wealth, more mental and moral development, and so on."

Kling points out that "our intuition tells us that the human race is static. We think of ourselves as being like our ancestors." But in reality, "the human race is changing," and not just physically -- i.e., becoming larger and healthier. Rather, he argues "that the increases in human longevity, size, and health have been paralleled by increases in cognitive and moral reasoning. One of the most dramatic illustrations [is] that average IQ has been rising steadily in many countries for most of this century. Average IQ's in Britain may be more than two standard deviations higher than they were a hundred years ago, which says that the average citizen today would have been in the top 5 percent of intelligence early in the 20th century."

That is an absolutely shocking statement, but again consistent with the theory laid out I my book. To put it bluntly -- and with all due respect to our shambling furbers -- I indicated that the majority of people in the past were more or less stupid and crazy -- with obvious exceptions. But we cannot take the exception as the rule -- as if everyone were Plato or Shakespeare instead of Keith Olbermann or Barbara Boxer. If you look at the characteristics of people in the Middle Ages, for example, they very much resemble what we would call a Borderline (or some other) Personality Disorder -- impulsive, violent, childish, credulous, paranoid, etc. Despite the horrors of the 20th century, the death rate due to violence was exponentially higher among primitive peoples.

Kling does not whitewash the present, for there is "plenty of evidence that is inconsistent with moral improvement," for example, "vulgarity and violence portrayed in movies and video games. Clearly, the abuse of civilians by terrorists is not a sign of moral improvement." Nevertheless, "if one could examine every human interaction and attach a measure of the moral reasoning involved in that interaction, the average moral 'score' would be rising." He concludes by noting that "In the study of history, the importance of mankind's mental and moral development has often been overlooked. My guess is that the rate of mental and moral development will accelerate sharply over the next few decades, and the phenomenon will be more widely noticed and its significance better appreciated."

The one thing that does puzzle me, however -- and this is a point brought up by reader Joseph -- is the aesthetic ugliness that accompanies modernity. Why is our aesthetic sense not evolving too? Indeed, we seem to be regressing aesthetically. How to explain the appalling regression of, say, Vanity Fair magazine, from the heights of P.G. Wodehouse and T.S. Eliot to the post-literate depths of a James Wolcott? Why are we producing better humans, but at the same time, making a world that is aesthetically unfit for them? This is a very important concern, for beauty is one of the portals to the Divine. A beautiful world is the occasion for constant remembrance of the Divine, whereas an ugly environs can cause us to forget our divinity and regress to barbarism (is this perhaps why leftism is primarily a phenomenon of big cities?). Perhaps contemporary art is simply the Evil One's strategy for undoing and canceling out the progress made in other human domains. It keeps his hand in the game. The other strategy would be the secular detachment of the mind from the divine intellect, so that our IQs increase even as we become metaphysically more and more blind and stupid.

71 Comments:

Anonymous debass said...

Our aesthetic sense is evolving. That is why we are able to recognize the ugly because of a higher awareness of it. The more you find the truth, the easier it is to see the lie.

1/14/2007 09:05:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

This is profoundly interesting, Bob. As I was reading this post, I began to wonder about the very thing you discussed in the your last paragraph, The people we've put in charge of our arts and entertainment seem determined to drag us back into the primitive and pagan.

1/14/2007 09:13:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

>>Perhaps contemporary art is simply the Evil One's strategy for undoing and canceling out the progress made in other human domains<<

I can buy this. Spiritual progress is going to be countered; the more progress, the more countering.

It's pretty slick strategy, one that tyrants and conquering armies employ - seize control of the media, the organs of dissemination, seize control of the governing cultural institutions. It doesn't take a lot of people to do this, just a dedicated few. Then go about slowly polluting the minds and souls of the majority, particularly the young who will eventually add to the ranks of the dedicated.

1/14/2007 09:13:00 AM  
Anonymous walt said...

The end of the post mentioned,
"the secular detachment of the mind from the divine intellect, so that our IQs increase even as we become metaphysically more and more blind and stupid."

That idea is often expressed by Buddhists, and echoed throughout the Gurdjieff Work. But I like your hopeful theory that there is some positive development occurring at the same time.

1/14/2007 09:32:00 AM  
Blogger Smoov said...

I'm glad to see Arnold Kling discussed here. I've been a reader of his columns and books (Learning Economics) as well as a some-time email corrspondent for a while now.

The thing that struck me about that piece is that it establishes the deep immorality of those who oppose economic freedom (they are Legion). Leftists are not just wrong, they are bad.

For some time now I have found leftists considerably more repulsive than Islamists (and I abhor Islamists). Here is a fragment of a letter to the editor in a Village Voice style publication from Toronto:

"To feminists, reproductive freedom, including the right to abortion, has nothing to do with morality, whatever that is, and everything to do with a woman's right to control her own body."

Morality: "whatever that is"?

Words escape me. There is a deeply reptillian indecency--a flat, sinister banality--which is hard to capture in words (for me) but which stands out increasingly starkly the more I try to align myself with the Lord.

I really don't know what we can do about such wholesale inhumanity. I think this blog is a starting point, though.

1/14/2007 09:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Arnold Kling said...

So - you only mispelled my name 10 times - this time -

Arnold Kling

1/14/2007 09:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Mr. Mr. said...

Aesthetics is tied to attitude. For instance, jet contrails in the sky, backlit by the sun, are subimely beautiful. Yet, I have heard people say that they "spoil" a sunset are not appreciated because they are manmade.

The general thrust of your post, showing the improving beauty of the human psyche, reminds me that our material manifestations are more often beautiful than not.

A jet aircraft is a an arcanely beautiful object, in particular, as are submarines, ships, and automobiles.

1/14/2007 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger Smoov said...

Arnold:

Heh. I noticed that too. At least it was consistent :-)

1/14/2007 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Wow, that's embarassing. "Kling," not "King." Perhaps it was my unconscious recognition of the majesty of his ideas.

1/14/2007 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Aesthetics is tied to attitude, but cannot be reduced to it. No amount of LSD will turn Lancaster into Laguna. But only Van Der Leun would know that for sure.

1/14/2007 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger LukeBlogWalker said...

My good friend, we shall call "Dr. Al" did a study once with new borns.

They rejected people of other races, and ugly people of their own race.

Just thought I'd toss that into the notions of aesthetics.

Doug - They drag us back to the primitive and pagan -as many of them are pagans and occultists, or new age variants thereof.

-Luke

1/14/2007 10:10:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Bob said,

"Nevertheless, "if one could examine every human interaction and attach a measure of the moral reasoning involved in that interaction, the average moral 'score' would be rising."

I have a question for you as to whether you feel that morality, which has a grasp on what is needed for the health and continuation of a society and is willing to make the sacrifices necessary, in todays world has been replaced with a more shallow victimization mentality, with its "moral" solutions and its subsequent societal weakening.
This may dovetail in with the loss of aesthetic beauty, for when the selfish victimhood reaction is overcome in an individual or society and true moral justice takes its place, gratitude and the appreciation of beauty are then possible due to an outward shift from an inward stability and serenity. When the world is seen through the eyes of a victim, beauty is a tough thing to see.

I myself keep waiting for the evolution of western society out of the inward looking victim mode of seeing the world.

1/14/2007 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger Belloq said...

Maybe our art isn't improving because we need it less and less. Life itself is beautiful to the sane and intelligent.

I had lots of toys as a kid(spoiled youngest child born long after my father had "made it" so they had the resources to ruin me) but with all the X-Wings and video games, nothing was more fun than playing with ants. Not marauding, but investigating and studying them. Ants are free.

Also, we have total access, nearly free, to a universe of art. Just about every word Edgar Allen Poe ever wrote is on the internet. There is already so much we have that we could never read or study all of it even once if we lived to be two hundred years old, and a lot of it needs repeat reading or viewing or just musing over while on a walk. I still don't completely understand Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came, and I've read it many, many times.

Also, with all this new crap art, I think it's mostly the work of petulent teenagers that never grew up. They make bad art to show that there is no such thing as art because they think the universe lied to them and they're bitter.

However, King of the Hill is brilliant, so I haven't given up hope on us. Maybe we're just resting our aesthetic bone from the exertion of Casablanca and Lawrence of Arabia.

1/14/2007 10:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Joan of Argghh said...

"Perhaps contemporary art is simply the Evil One's strategy for undoing and canceling out the progress made in other human domains."

I was thinking about this, and decided to go over to Lileks' house and do a little mental change-up. However, it seems you and he are on the same page. Herewith, from his linkage, an image of "BOHICAstan.":

http://www.polarinertia.com/jan07/bus14.htm

Click on 'em all. Picture equals thousand words, etc.

1/14/2007 10:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Joan of Argghh! said...

Actually, Lileks has an even more appropriate-to-the theme link a bit further down in his latest "Bleat". It's a Cosmic convergence between OC and Lileks!

It's a great day in the neighborhood!

Luke: "They rejected people of other races, and ugly people of their own race."

Dear me! You mean we could reject a troll just because he's ugly, and then just blame it on genetic incoding? Man, that is so much easier! (And here I was going to employ the, "it's not you, it's... it's me," line as a last resort.)

1/14/2007 10:47:00 AM  
Anonymous dilys said...

Crikey! Joan's link kinda sums up the glory of coerced public transporation!

It seems that a complex, non-ironic, morally-developed Beauty is upsetting to the confirmed materialist, or Horizontalist, for the same reason so many get hysterical at even banal boiler-plate public prayer. Beauty elicits awe, reverence, self-forgetfulness. I think a great many leftist/activists are near-phobic as to those states, which create an interior exit out of the manipulable lock-step of victimized ressentiment.

In addition, a taboo on beauty keeps the aesthetically talented or sensitive (since talent isn't distributed by the Central Committee) from "getting above themselves."

Furthermore, enforced misery (especially, as C.S. Lewis points out, misery which must be called "fun") on any level is a very effective demoralizer. As Bob regularly points out, there's a common factor of tyranny under much leftist rhetoric, secular Grand Inquisitors hostile to the Brownian motion of Reality in Free Process.

Lots of the sanest recent theology is revisiting the idea of the Beauty of the Infinite. Hart, Balthasar, others.

1/14/2007 11:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Bleepless said...

While the average may be rising, our ruling clique (academia, religion, the media, the Democratic Party) is run exclusively by bloodthirsty scum.

1/14/2007 11:06:00 AM  
Anonymous walt said...

Joan -

Thanks for the link. Reminded me of a Gary Larson cartoon that had the tag line, "Same planet; different worlds."

1/14/2007 11:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Joseph said...

It is Schuon's view, and one that resonates with me, that art pertains to esoterism. Esoterism permeated the medieval craft guilds and hence would have been the genius behind all the beauty which is found in the arts and architecture. With society not consciously governed by any metaphysic, anything goes, and so everything comes. No amount of freedom and human quantitative improvement (height, nutrition, IQ), or moral improvement, will be able to resist the aesthetic decline, since art pertains to the divine intellect. Certainly it is a strategy of the evil one, but even those who are on guard against him seem to have not the slightest sense of aesthetics.

1/14/2007 11:09:00 AM  
Anonymous uss ben said...

Luke-
Use the force and email me at:
benster1962@netscape.com

I had to switch providers because msn couldn't cut the salsa (or anything else for that matter.

So, anyhow, I lost your email addy and I need to deliver a pax from smoov.

1/14/2007 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger Smoov said...

Luke:

I finally got a few minutes today and sent an email to Ben, which I requested be forward to you, as per our earlier discussions here.

1/14/2007 11:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Joan of Argghh! said...

Much Christian worship that is true centers on, "the beauty of His Holiness". I never saw that as the beauty of God, so much as the beauty of his pure nature. The very idea of holiness, so hotly debated even among Christians as to its meaning, is always (to me, anyway) an inutterable knowing, an undepictable vision,an intangible event. And yet, it's immediately understood by others who know of it.

It's a reason why I never strove to depict any so-called "religious" representations in my art work. It would all fall short, and the ones who may possibly recognize the attempt would already have a much better and real interpretation of the scene imprinted on their heart.

And besides, any mere daisy does a better job just by being itself.

May I strive to know as much about beauty as a daisy does.

1/14/2007 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

As the theologian Balthasar might say, "some things are just too beautiful not to be true."

1/14/2007 11:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Alan said...

Perhaps shock is the horizontalists' proxy for the verticalists' awe?

1/14/2007 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger GeorgeD said...

Not for nothing the the commandment to not make any graven image. God is invoked and manifests himself by the Word (which begs the question why is poetry so debased).

Imagery is frequently an emotional shortcut to the awe and wonder of God and the manifestation of the Spirit. Our response to the Spririt is largely emotional but Satan (who doesn't understand the Spirit) does understand emotions and counterfeits them by the bushel basket

1/14/2007 12:27:00 PM  
Anonymous PrincessSpirit said...

Aesthetic sense is not evolving for the Left. What they call "Art" is progressively distorted w/a pervasive increasing sense of dis-order & disease in it. In addition to psych & religion, am a Designer in Fashion, Jewelry & Accessories markets. For past 15yrs I've observed what I call Progressively Evil Recombinant Artforms that exhibit an increasingly twisted-malicious Aesthetic. Twisted humor is one thing; butt-ugly violent Psychotic Surrealism is another.

Artists now combine design elements together that absolutely do not belong together, except in Hell. To wit: the Left insists putting their brain where their ass is located. Good Design Principles, just as Good Spiritual Principles+Truth are tossed in trash in pursuit of "freedom" to create from "another Side" - yeah, the increasingly spiritually chaotic downSide of the Vertical called Evil. Lefties don't have Balance in the Divine, so why would their Art be balanced or aesthetically pleasing?

"Unholy Art, Batman!" An example: sculpting mangled dead rotted body parts mixed w/cotton balls, maggotty food dishes, rusty junk auto parts & tennis balls as joints. WTF?? Someones either enamored w/rot; rageful w/Death & decay; or feels pissed & powerless about their body aging. Heheh, "John MacEnroe Art" was my thot when I saw it! They have umitigated gall to call this "Beauty?"

I call it "Barf-Art."

Brooding Mystic-Artist types, counted on to perceive depths others routinely miss, look at "serial killer vomit" w/furrowed brow & classic "WTF?-look" w/a perplexed visage quickly turn away & reject it, finding it unbroodworthy. Likewise, healthy Detectives who face Evil are still revolted & repelled by killers victim-art. The Reality of Evil either draws them into itself or repells them. The Reality of Beauty, Truth & the Divine either draws one into God-Truth or repels one as well. WTF?-tude may be similar repulsion some Angels feel for a few of us.

Deevers chalk-art a few weeks back was fascinating. But typical art I observe evolving is downright ugly & ghastly, unnabashedly exhibits sinister-evil-elements I believe evidence underlying preoccupation w/the Spiritual Downside of the Vertical. Our Spirits are negatively impacted aethetically precisely due to the reversal, lack of order & lack of Divine evolvement. Lack of upward Spiritual evolvement is Spiritual corruption & putrefication. Satanists have always reveled in such "art," are quite proud to see it gaining ground in Horizontal arenas of Film/Movies, Art, Music, Radio/TV, Halloween/Holiday celebrations, Books, Magazines, Religious cults, etc. The uncivilized becomes accepted de rigeur to establish an alternate standard, all in the name of progressivism & "freedom." Phooey. Same old Lies peddled as "Truth & Freedom" when they are nothing but chains of spiritual enslavement.

Similarly, humans choosing to remain in their chronic arrested spiritual-emoto-mental disease w/o growth or evolvement evidence similar spiritual corruption / pollution yet illogically refuse to grow. Becuz they CAN choose Rebellion. You'd think they'd eventually comprehend "Its a major problem for us" but Nooo. Idiocy is the expected Evil outcome produced by narcissistic nihilistic braindead spiritually corrupt polluted Orcish PsychoTyrant adherents of the Religion of Leftism. You can easily predict it will appear to turn a corner & become more refined in outward appearance as it "evolves" but its fake-growth. Vertically downward Spirituality birthed in the Horizontal arenas systematically infects & corrupts every discipline it touches. Its Goal is to warp & kill Beauty, Truth & The Divine where possible, not simply to twist but to annihilate Its very Essence & Being. Why the constant contempt & murderous rage? Even if you understand why it doesnt help; someone must face it & not be conquered by it.

Abstract art is one thing. But Evil Art reflects corrupt mentality & spirit not only of the artist, but of the Spiritual Designer behind an artist serving as inspiration & catalyst. There are genuine sources of Grace & genuine sources of Evil. Afficionados of Evil can produce prolific Evil art & artists, just as afficionados of God can produce Beautiful Godly art & artists.

Normal human spiritual aesthetic sense actually shies from evil works (even Joan Rivers routinely criticizes "Bad fashion Faux Pas!"), instinctively rejects Evil art, just as a good detective faces but is simultaneously revolted by the butchery a killer leaves behind. Genocidal killers like Saddam & Osama should outrage anyone having respect for Life. But The Left, being spiritually anemic, dismembered in mind-spirit from Spirit, enamored with itSelf instead of The Divine protests poor Saddam's sentence - while it keeps churning out Barf-Art ad nauseam, congratulating Its artists & calling their works Superior Art.

Guess an Orc is an Orc is an Orc, Is never an Elf, unless it Spiritually transforms upward (transcends) to The Divine. Where theres no Spiritual Transcendence, Evil is free to morph & mutate into Chaos Aesthetics as we see. Classically, Light in the world appears to grow dimmest at greatest hour of need as Darkness enslaves & encroaches. But The Light remains, repels The Dark; and the Dark cannot conquer nor understand The Light. Evil simply rages to know its encountered Divine Truth it cannot conquer or destroy. Spiritually Beautiful Aesthetic: God gives each of us Liberty from Evil when we choose God-Truth-Light.

- PrincessSpirit -

1/14/2007 12:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Ms. E said...

One day, during the fifteen years I spent teaching at a small barrio school, a seven year old boy named Chris, wrote this article for his class newsletter:

"Ms. E is the Art teacher at Becker School. She likes wen kids find new ways to draw in art. The rezen she became a teacher is becuz she wanted to show the beauty in the world to kids. I feel happy at Art. Ms. E dus a good job of teaching."

Of all the notes of appreciation and letters of recommendation I've received, this one I treasure for
it's simple recognition of the truth about Ms. E.

Dare I say the obvious -- my children were my best teachers.

1/14/2007 12:55:00 PM  
Anonymous GLASR said...

Ah ha! Or, hmmmmm ...... An excellent example, through the personification of evil, would be Florida, Congressman Albert Herlong Jr.'s list of 45 Communist Goals of 1963 entered into the Congressional Record. You're on your own finding it, have it on a floppy somewhere, time compression factor in play for me. Also can be found in(guessing here) "The Real America" by Glenn Beck(?!?).

This factor amazed me when I was made aware of it several years ago. Large groups of Christians(?), awaiting the Rapture/Second Coming, stand idle when it comes to fighting back against the evil one(satan, pick the tag)and the personification of. This planet and all it's evil can enjoy the Hell they've created, we'll be lifted up and out, Dante's vision their reality. Do I have this correct? Well, ah, um, uh, so, we were discussing "stupid and crazy", no?

1/14/2007 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Good post Bob.
Puts morality in relation to violence in perspective.

1/14/2007 01:30:00 PM  
Anonymous GLASR said...

Almost neglected to Thank Lisa for the correction. Attention to detail is an honorable, valued, positive personality trait. There was a time this would be the point I would defend the use of the plural simply on how these particular Web Logs are set up and connected. Google, Technocrati, .com organization, how you can search(them). I let my license to practice surgical parsing to instill doubt and professional lying lapse long ago. hoarhey, probably got it right BUT if there is anything I can do for you outside of providing targets of opportunity, consider it an extension of my gratitude to oblige. Thanks again.:~)

1/14/2007 02:07:00 PM  
Anonymous cosanostradamus said...

There is some effort, at least, to further beauty and classical training in art, in opposition to modernist deconstruction: ARC

1/14/2007 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

If it makes you feel any better, Glasr, Lileks did the same thing on his site too. I hate to be so nit-picky too! The old me would have added that it is still singular no matter what method is used to display it. The sites you mentioned are only modes of delivery. ;0)

1/14/2007 02:49:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Hoarhey:

You asked whether I feel that morality has been replaced with a more shallow victimization mentality, and whether this may dovetail with the loss of aesthetic beauty.

That's a complicated question. I definitely believe that the victim culture is a sort of perverse secularization of Christian morality. In other words, ironically, only in a Christian culture would people care so much a about victims. Victims are essentially parasites on the Christian conscience.

This creates a cultural "race to the bottom" to compete for the spoil sof victimhood, which is a bizarre kind of power that again only occurs in a Christian culture. You're right -- victimhood simply fuels envy and ingratitude, so it is unlikely that an appreciation of beauty could be mingled in such a toxic soul, for there is no beauty without purity. Thus they produce polticized art, which isn't art at all -- or at least not because it is politcal, but in spite of it.

1/14/2007 03:51:00 PM  
Anonymous sehoy said...

No one could ever build the Koelner Dom today.

I find that to be tragic.

And yet, the medieval craftsman didn't build space shuttles either, which I guess have their own kind of beauty?

Got to think about this these next two weeks as I travel through the US.

The wall to wall strip mall landscape is killing me.

1/14/2007 04:25:00 PM  
Anonymous sehoy said...

Koelner Dom=Cologne Cathedral

[sorry, in German mode here]

1/14/2007 04:27:00 PM  
Blogger Gaude said...

One misguided day, I decided to treat the sixth-graders I read to to some selections from the Prologue to "The Canterbury Tales".
My aim was to show them that human nature doesn't change very much, and that they'd probably met some of those folk, or seen them on TV, etc.

But being eleven, they hadn't had all that much exposure to various types and it was kind of a bust.

Though they did very much enjoy the story of St. Thomas's martyr dom: "They killed him in the CHURCH? Kewl!"

I'll admit to initially rejecting the continuing human evolution idea out of hand on traditional grounds. I'm still kicking it around.

What I wonder is do new traits actually appear or do improvements in living conditions
(physical, mental and moral) just allow what was potentially there already to develop?

1/14/2007 04:51:00 PM  
Anonymous PrincessSpirit said...

Hoarhey: Kudos to you, sharp eyes & well worded. You speak of Societal Transcendence, same thing I speak of if one has spiritual imagination to SEE where Integralism will grow n go Vertically at Societal levels instead of insisting to see only individuals.

Imagine that: a Healthy Horizontal, Vertically Aligned w/The Divine people, groups & Society(ies). Thats just Spiritually HEALTHY, certainly not Utopia. Spir. Balanced & Healthy Society IS Spir-Evolved Transcendent Logical Outgrowth of Integralism no matter how Orcs, Lefties, Fundies & paranoids huff n blow to obfuscate. What else is Heaven if not dynamic society of Integralism & Divine individuals? As above, so below! No I dont advocate bringing Heaven to Earth its NOT necessary, is just a twisted distortion. Earth is temporal & a reflection of the Divine. Logical outgrowth of Vertical evol in form of a Spiritually healthy Society can certainly grow here on Earth & exists in Heaven. Divine imagination & Godly Vision is neither myopic, nor self-centered, nor evil-fear-centered, but is God-Truth-Divine centered; so sensibly, if Integralism is also Divine-centered it'll map out the entire Spiritual Continuum as G-BOBs book & The Bible already do.

Unlike you, Hoarhey I'm not as willing to "hold my breath to see" if evil societies here "will transcend." They aren't likely to due to the cold fact Upward Verticality is not their Divine Identity, not their Spir. Alignment, nor their Spir. Growth Direction. Its like saying Gollum will transcend into being Smeagol or into an Elf. Wont happen. However, Grace of God can also intervene as He chooses: a Saul-into-Paul can still be born & spiritually empowered by God to impact corrupt societies & people to Divinely reform, grow, change, but is also the setup for yet another Antichrist. What separates these 2 types of leaders? Those who actually Transcend Evil are people, groups & societies who do it Gods-Divine way. There simply isn't any other way. Has Indias 3,000+ Gods transformed their society? Compare Polytheism & Monotheism & view the outcomes. Spiritual alchemists dont transcend they just mix their play dough concepts together into a muddy mess lackng Spiritual vitality & life. Narrow is the Gate to Transformation & Transcendence, but not impossible to find. Refusal to give up victim-mentality perpetuates victims, Lefties & sick societies who destroy selves & others; is happening right here in USA.

Victimhood-mentality is not unique to America. Saudi Arabia (radical Islam), Israel, Australia, MiddleEast & Europe evidence Victimology people groups, religions, politics, etc. before us. Now they blame Us for their perceived victim-status. Leftism is not merely an American thing; we know it leads to Fascism & Totalitarianism in any country. Name a country, even a city where its been stopped & reversed without War to liberate people?

Contrast: Victorhood is chosen healthy responsibility to BE spir. evolved, balanced, grows Healthy Divine peeps. Secularists/Lefties do their damnedest to destroy concept of God in America so theres no spiritual opposition to their moral totalitarianism. Where do you think they are headed? They only further their own Descent into Evil. Millions spiritualy hang themselves AND seek to take us w/them into destruction while they lie & tell us "its all good." When victims rule, the House implodes, evil reigns.

Its not the norm for evil people & societies to do an about-face & Go Retrograde Up The Vertical to Transform self. Thats their whole issue-problem. Eternal Spiritual Life & Growth is as Anathema to them as much as Eternal Spiritual Decay & Death is Anathema to Us. They refuse to accept the die-unto-self principle Christianity & Psych uphold, so they remain psychotyrants choosing evil but posing as victims.

Why would "just individuals evolve Vertically or in Integralism" but NOT the Societies those individs are a vital part of, build, form & comprise? Its sloppy compartmentalized thinking, segregated by paranoid fears & myopic vision, Not Integrally Sound Thinking & Divine Vision (not saying you did this just making a point.) Spiritual evol. does occur in individ, groups, societies, then trans-societal. Bible teaches societies evolve when Divinely connected thru Spiritual Authority of their Servant-Leader King: "As the King spiritually goes, so goes the Land, societies & peoples" is a spiritual concept encountered often via Kings Saul, David, Solomon, etc. Bible & History teach Reality of Spiritual Evolution & Reality of Evil de-evolution of societies, groups & peoples. Both portray a Whole Balanced picture if one willingly opens their Spirit-eyes to See. If a King was a Victim-Tyrant, society killed him or was destroyed by the Tyrant. If King is a Victor in Godly sense, society becames victorious. Millionz choosing victim-mentality choose to NOT become Victors, but to remain Victim-abusers tips the scales in America toward Evil Leftism predominating as we see.

Obviously, Verticality & Spiritual Evol. applies not only to individs but to societies. Is AbTruth we can Know thru Integralism & apply w/Vision. I was not off-base to pose a visionary question "Wheres Integralism in its Individuals going? Whats its goal here?" Its logical goal is Spiritually Healthy Balanced Divine Aesthetic Society of Healthy Victors, is the opposite goal of Spiritually Unhealthy Evil Victimology-enslaved Tyrants ruling society hijacking morality as the Left does til God is so dead to them morality disappears & chaos rules.

God-Vision is necessary if one doesn't want to be Vertically conquered, spiritually crippled or morally compromised ad-nauseam into Evils spiritual takeover in any society & Horizontal arena. The only Spiritually Sane & Sound way to Evolve & Grow is Up The Vertical for individuals & societies BOTH. "As above, so below!" Evils goal is to reverse it to "As below, so above!" Count on Orcs to foul their own countries.

- PrincessSpirit -

1/14/2007 05:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Joan of Argghh! said...

Let's not forget that math is beautiful, too:

<"click">

Lots more math and beauty to be found here, if you're a gear-head:

<"click">

1/14/2007 06:39:00 PM  
Anonymous anonymous 51 said...

I haven't seen anyone express the idea that artistic depravity is in the eye of the beholder. Or this variant: filth is always with us. Could it be that "contemporary art" contains no more beauty or ugliness than it ever has, but that we are exposed to more of it than ever before? Hence the need for a galvanized moral constitution. I am less offended in my 50's by "bad" art than I was in my 30's. If anything, I am more easily able to look through the "offense" to the artist in an effort to discern whatever truth they may be attempting to express.

1/14/2007 07:10:00 PM  
Anonymous cousin dupree said...

Anonymous 51:

I don't know how you stumbled in here, but you're in the wrong place.

1/14/2007 07:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Uncle Carbunkle said...

Humanity is like rubble in its present state.
You are destroying the Divine Gift.
You are at war with the body.
Devious, double minded, rejecting the body and yet craven for it!
That is the wrong principle.
Not the method of Truth.
Ecstasy is outlawed.
No realization is permitted.
No beauty allowed.

Everybody is constantly being hammered with what they think are perhaps reasonable suggestions--being nieve "realists" themselves--that disconnect them from the True and Greater Reality. Human beings are now, in general, greatly disconnected from The Divine Reality.

All appeal to greater experience and to unique LIVING Spiritually evolved individuals has been denounced.

Tradition and authority were thrown out during the Renaissance and the Reformation. People were left with nothing but the book, which served for a little while until the book (quite rightly) was analyzed and found to be mostly untrue.

Therefore what connection to the Living Divine is there?
The local pastor, who is just as overwhelmed by anyone else by his or own unresolved complications and problems wouldnt have a clue how to even begin to straighten anyone out.

Some people want to affirm the old "truths" instead of starting from the the beginning and going through the necessary process of finding out what is really True by resorting to the report and Living Demonstration of those with greater hard won Spiritual Experience.

Ordinary egoic beings will not figure it out, and they will not (cannot) set the world straight. Such people (as the Hayek disciples) are on a destructive course that is not only confusing humanity but actually destroying the entire global environment. The very same people are even getting ready to invade the universe with the same aberrated, ego-bound, materialist presumptions--reactivity, competitiveness, dissociation, separativeness.

In this time and for hundreds of years in the West--and now as Western "culture" sweeps over the entire world (courtesy of the Hayeks --or is that Daleks?)--the Sacred has been anathema.

Science is free enquiry. Not the false reductionist philosophy of materialism/scientism. Scientism is propaganda which is wielding its power all over the earth and depressing mankind, making mankind psychotic--literally psychotic--even now destroying the global environment in which we exist.

In such science, so called, the (Hayekian) ego rules.

It is madness, and the root of it is the rejection of the Divine, the rejection of the Sacred, the rejection of Saints and Realizers, the rejection of that very Divine Influence that cures and makes humanity whole, individually and collectively.

Instead we have clinical psychologists utterly steeped in the limitations of scientism, who pretend to be "spritual" authorities.

Civilization is no longer about ones participation in the great Unity and That Which is its Source. But is is about one's aggressively manifesting omes "individuality" in competition with others and requiring governments, politics, economics, everything, to do the same, to be based on that priniple and to reinforce it.

Everything is collapsed upon the individual and upon the struggle of all individuals to "fulfill" their desires absolutely. All of politics & "culture" is based on this principle. Competitive individualism is reinforced and made into a political and economic agenda. Hayek rules OK!!

The great athletic game nowadays for all nations is the daily "news", brought to one and all by the TV insanity machine in the "living" room--even the bedroom.

The transformation of the principles that are being enforced politically, socially, economically, personally is not the subject of discussion.

The world is mad. Politicians are mad, economists are mad, media people are mad, so called "liberatarians" are mad, everybody is mad--dissociated from the great Unity and its Divine Source.

1/14/2007 07:21:00 PM  
Anonymous PrincessSpirit said...

Cousin Dupree: Good Eye. Excellent Aim. We luv you MIBs & need many more like you.

Aragorn said: "We travel Light. Let's hunt some Orc!!"

- Princess -

1/14/2007 07:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Dupree's annoying little sis said...

Uncle Bunkum, ....like, dude!

What The Funk? Cheer up. Things could always be worse...

1/14/2007 07:47:00 PM  
Anonymous anonymous 51 said...

Well sir, that's quite a shock! Because I don't immediately buy into the "godless left" solution to the evil in the world, you find me offensive? Because my opinion isn't bracketed by the intelligentsia that you seem to have a love/hate realationship with (I have been reading your blog), I don't belong on a blog site discussing spirit?

I'll offer this then, based as much on how you've responded as anything I had planned to say:

Scribes and pharisees have evolved too. They now have blogs.

You're right. I don't belong here. Thank God, thank the godless.

1/14/2007 08:39:00 PM  
Anonymous juliec said...

I've been mentally chewing this post (and Arnold Kling's article) over for most of the day. Forgive me if I'm just stating the obvious, but when Kling spoke of how we are currently evolving morally, this website (and any others that explore religion, faith, morality, et al) struck me as a prime example of that evolution.

A century ago, it would have been impossible for a group such as this to discuss Truth. In fact, I would hazard a guess that for most people throughout history being exposed to any different religion or school of thought, much less being able to study it in depth by acquiring texts from around the world and finding knowledgeable people to discuss them with, was unthinkable (excepting those people who were able to devote much of their lives to travel). Many people couldn't even read (hence the development of religious artwork in churches and cathedrals - everybody understood the pictures).

Today we have access to religious texts and sacred verses, in the original language and with numerous translations, available literally at the click of a button. We no longer have to seek out the proverbial hermit on the hill, we simply need to look for his weblog. Just writing this post I researched Mozart, Bach and literacy. I didn't use it, but the point is I had immediate access to accurate information, something which I admit I almost take for granted.

The evolution of our technology, it seems to me, is a vital part of this growing moral evolution; I know that, without the internet, I would still be stuck in a horizontal cycle, unsure of what I believed but with no idea of how or where to begin searching.

1/14/2007 08:43:00 PM  
Anonymous PrincessSpirit said...

Uncle Carbunkle: "Its always left to Pastors, Shrinks, Doctors & Morticians to clean up messes & Wars societies make for themselves, so we're always on People Cleanup duty. But Morticians are the Smart Ones: They don't suffer lies, backtalk, rebellion, games, excuses & constant whining as we do - unlike ours, their clients are gravely silent." Then we groan & mutter about how we should've become Morticians & Medical Examiners instead of Shrinks.

Of millions (even billions?) infected with Spiritual & Psych diseases, how many do you think our industry sees on average who succeed all the way thru treatment & therapy to actually live Spiritually-anchored, yet soaring-empowered, transformed evolving lives? Not a high enough number, thats for sure. We do what we do for the many (that's Many, not Money, LOL!) and also for the One. Each person chooses & knows which side they truthfully serve as we have free will, able to choose, change and commit to a side.

Our Anchor & Hope is in Spirit, transcendent relationship w/the Godhead, Absolute Truth, Principles, Salvation, Sanctification process, Growth, Grace, Beauty, Knowledge, Playfulness, Joy, Humor, Right Judgment, Love, Wisdom, Transcendence, Oneness, Communion of Saints, Body, etc. past present & future. Never lose sight or touch with Him while looking into the Abyss & wasteland, okay? Allow God to Be more relational w/you than Evil, so you will not fall in headfirst or be depressed or oppressed long. Train your Eyes on God thru all darkness & light, and you will not be lost or imbalanced, but will remain Balanced & Centered joyously in Him. He will radiate in & thru your Being.

Evil is only temporary. God-Truth is Eternal. Hope still lives here, within each Believer. His Light and Love are never lost, can always be heard, felt, seen, touched, experienced in Spirit. Not sure I see Balance in your posts so I offer encouragement to you or any who might need it while reading here. :D

- PrincessSpirit -

1/14/2007 08:46:00 PM  
Anonymous GLASR said...

Lisa,
Our exchange of pleasantries probably shows I am at least twice your age(plus) and that I am very PC/Mac/ether illiterate. Archive- disambiguity not withstanding. Always found "picky" endearing, humorous in its best sense. Honestly thought your comment was a wedge. Surely the temptation abounds to cue, "Your comments don't match up to the posts.", somewhere here, no? heh heh;~)

Uh, um, ah, JOAN - I was expecting disassembled transmissions, cams, brake shoes, leaf springs, headers, like that.;~)

1/14/2007 09:43:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

juliec: It may have been possible in America in the 1800's, at least to some extent (possibly not as extensive as ours, because of the connectivity.)

Luke: I would think as infants, we'd be operating in 'PS' mode, so we'd be confusing 'different' with 'ugly'. Or, I guess, different=repulsive. Interestingly, it seems deluded souls who are full of years do the opposite; confuse ugly with different.

Joan: I have struggled LONG, and I mean, LONG to write a song with explicitly religious lyrics. The only way I can do it, is to borrow scripture, more or less-- everything else is hokey to me.

Since I do music for others, I feel it is only reasonable to write a song that others can understand. For me it was a long task converting the click of the Word as Music into words that people commonly understand as pertaining to God. It helps to read a lot of scripture-- most great hymn lyrics are an amazing throwing-across of disparate scriptures that can only be done by the lead of the Spirit.

Here is a song I 'uncovered' recently, and it just bulldozed me. Here is what James Taylor says about it:

Boatman is my brother Livingston's song.
I've always assumed it was about how he and Maggie saved their marriage-- but I never really asked. In my family we like to save the intimate stuff for the general public.

The lyrics:

Hearts were exploding around us
As we drifted south down the bay
The gray up above and gray down below
Left us with nothing to say

So we drifted along in silence
til the tickle of life trickled in
And the rhythm began in the hiss of the sand
We were catching fire again

Chorus:
Oh boatman, I am the river
I am the mountain and the sea
Oh boatman, taker and giver
Can you deliver me
I would forever run free

Yeah we finally caught up with the legends
We were walking along side by side
We worked out a plan
To go out hand in hand
But the long trail just wasn't that wide

The water around us was freezing
We just laughed and threw ourselves in
And although we were old
The sting of that cold
Pumped up the feeling, here it is again

Repeat chorus

Oh Im a message in a bottle
Drifting along on a deep blue sea
Waiting for some foreign shore
Ready for something to be

No longer afraid of falling
We cut the strings to the sky
We found level ground
And we put ourselves down
Amazing we all didn¹t die

We took each moment as given
By second by second they came
The ice and the sun and the thundering guns
Good God I was finally sane

Repeat chorus

(Lyricsfreak ticks me off because they strip out a lot of capitalization and punctuation...)

What hit me was, ok, after reading the lyrics, there is obviously a travel, war, discovery, kind of thing going on. This was it, though. On the Chorus, it seems like he's talking to the boatman saying he's the river? But I say, different I.

Don't know what y'all think, but I'm quite certain of this conception-- and I want to thank Bob et al for expanding my understanding of the Word to the point where I could glimpse something like that.

---

I think, Bob, that material human intellect (as measured as the ability to crunch thoughts) and human nature are essentially unchanging.

The 'lower intellect' we talked about has improved, and does through better ideas-- as for the higher intellect, the improved culture creates room for it, but does not invite it in.

My opinion is this-- man has evolved as a function of his ideas and how he well shares then with his fellows. Beneath it, or around it, maybe, we're all still greedy jerks and could drop into a dark age with the right formula of events. Get a caveman here, strip away those neuroses (mind parasites?) teach him the language--- etc-- provided the guy isn't too old, he's got as much a chance as anyone I would think.

I recall the reaction of people coming from somewhat backwards places of the world as refugees to the US. The hosts thought they would be mean, bitter, etc, but instead they were humble and thankful.

For those from a very primitive culture, all that it would take is to grasp what they have come into-- and doing that, they can appreciate what we have attained and join in it.

And they have some advantage perhaps, in that they are not 'jaded' to the beauty of modern technology, nor to the importance of good ideas.

I would say I both agree and disagree, though I don't know to what degree each.

Clarifying, nonetheless.

1/14/2007 09:56:00 PM  
Anonymous River's Piano said...

If I might venture a guess, I would say that River is assigning an essentially Oblique harmonic motion to the development of mankind-- which is very like him with his Tonic and Dominant pedals-- whereas the TCS fellow might be leaning more towards a Parallel or Contrary (God forbid!) model.

Just remember to pick those sixths, thirds and tenths well for you parallel folks, and for the contrarians, Just remember to take a rest of a fifth or an octave once in awhile...

And please, play 'Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring' once in awhile. It's not just a 'holiday' song!

1/14/2007 10:09:00 PM  
Anonymous yerbuti said...

"Anonymous 51:

I don't know how you stumbled in here, but you're in the wrong place."

This is laughable. Sad, really. How can you take yourself seriously?

1/14/2007 10:38:00 PM  
Blogger LukeBlogWalker said...

"Anonymous 51" which being translated means, "My IQ is 51"

As my SAS friends would say,

"Wanker"

Smoov:

Transmission to your dead letter drop completed. Standing by.

-Luke

1/14/2007 10:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

katzxy said ...
Sorry for posting anonymously, no blogger id

Two comments.
(1) I too see the evolution you speak of, and have the sense that the process is not yet complete. Perhaps our distant descendants will look back at us with the same regard as we look back at those from hundreds or thousands of years earlier. You put it well - crazy and stupid.

(2) The aesthetic coarsening bothers me too, but not too much. Mostly for the reason above. There was, and maybe still is, an exhibit at the Victoria and Albert museum in London of household furnishing through the centurys stretching back as far as the 13th. Strolling through this I was struck at the decline in quality as I moved forward in time. But just as the quality declined, the quantity went up - goods were available to a broader group. I believe that the quality will return, but available on a mass scale.

1/14/2007 11:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doubtful that quality will come from lazy people, with lazy brain skills who are addicted to many things mostly laziness and passivity. It will come from artists and specialists and ones who care to preserve history and craftsmanship, not from the majority only interested to know whats in it for them.

1/15/2007 12:45:00 AM  
Anonymous anonymous 52 said...

Scribes and Pharisees,

"How can you take yourself seriously?"
"You don't belong here."
"Wanker."

Thanks for making my point: One finds what one is looking for. Regardless of moral aspiration, and because of it. We reap what we sow. This is a law that works whether you understand it or not. You people are building of bloviation your own wretched art:
a blogsite as "beauty", with fantastic shapes spun into the darkness, seemingly impossible shapes grotesque in their imaginings and beautiful to...the speaker. Held in place by strings of ideas too thin to be visible, but beautiful when the light hits just right.

Here's a test I predict you will be "too smart" to take: If art is beauty and beauty is art, and beauty is the natural state of the soul, then why is this blog chasing away more people than it invites in?

Jesus had to stand on hillsides to address the people, thirsty for spiritual truth. Yet you chase people away.

This blogsite is a freak show. You wonder why the uninvited are drawn to this site? It's not only for the ideas, which save for the generous helping of intolerance, are genuine enough in their quest. It's for the train wreck aspect of a bunch of self-professed spiritual aspirants rambling on about the esoterica of salvation, all the while bitch-slapping anyone who doesn't crossreference their ideas from the list of approved sources. The self-destruction and hatred that spews from the commentaries and the community as a whole is far more lurid and powerful than the blog topic.

This whole site reminds me of spiritual salvation as a sudoku puzzle. Bob has the whole puzzle solved. Just come look. The attraction is that he has solved it without filling in all the squares. There are a couple of lines missing, because to drop in the final numbers would be to break the rules of the game. Those who understand this as "complete" are allowed to appreciate Bob's work. Those who point out the missing lines are given the bum's rush.

In the "game" of salvation, the closer one gets to true source, the more one finds that source in all things. Yes, other people included. Not just those you like, or who kiss your self-anointed behind. All people. And to break this this rule is fine. I break it daily. But like Twain, I allow that failing in self, and in others, daily. You, however, hold your own brand of spiritual "worth" and "achievement" up as some kind of high art. Yes, when the light is just right, this blog is a thing of beauty. But the smell of ideas rotting through lack of air is pervasive. If you can't smell it anymore, that's not because closed ideas have somehow quit stinking.

The nasty attitude some of you are so proud of smacks of bad-actor goons in a cheap B movie. "Hey Vinnie! Is that an insult he just said?" "Dunno, but let's whack him anyways! Watch-- Hey, stooopid!" (exit laughing)

My time here has been educational. It has taught me that the promise of grace and/or acceptance, when mixed with a little harmless terrorism, is a heady mix. And unless one has the spiritual acumen to pull free, that sucking sound is Bob attaching another pelt to the wall of his den. Now I understand better the pull of a cult. You can call me stupid all day long if that works for you. I choose to call me "gone".

Scribes and Pharisees, woe indeed.

1/15/2007 05:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous 2 said...

Here's another test I'll wager none of you bobbleheads will take:

Since you've all been where the "opposition" is (to hear you talk), take up the other side and pose as a troll. Posit your hackneyed, outdated idea as well as you can, and see how quickly you are branded with names that make no sense.

It will open up a different understanding of ignorance.

1/15/2007 05:29:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Speaking of the ugly/different conundrum; If you can convince yourself that things that are ugly are just 'different' then I suppose you can play paper-rock scissors and convince yourselves beauty is fake, and thus ugly. Case in point, the reaction to Michelle Malkin's amazing photo (hotair link)

Something about the 'messed-with looking' line. As though a child like that couldn't POSSIBLY exist.

Different = Beautiful
Ugly = Different
Beautiful = Ugly

Leftist Paper-Rock-Scissors!

1/15/2007 05:59:00 AM  
Anonymous cousin dupree said...

Anonymous 52--

You're making it way too complicated. You sound hysterical. Take it into the girl's room.

1/15/2007 06:00:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

eponymouses; you are too familiar with Christian hospitality. Not being a church of any sort, Bob has no obligation to tolerate rude strangers.

As for posting anonymously hackneyed ideas, I don't think it is required of anyone here to assume they know who a troll really is-- because that's a game for children.

Enjoy your cleverness while your brains still work well enough to appreciate it.

1/15/2007 06:02:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Hey 52,

Leaving again?

The drama!

1/15/2007 07:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Any nonimous said...

RC-

Chrisitian hospitality? Try basic communication skills. That's the only standard I hold this blog site to. I didn't come on here being rude. But I can do rude when asked nicely.

There are several ways of dodging personal responsibility. Preconception is one of them. Do your own homework before you fingerpoint, RC. You've recently publicly shed a skin so as better to absorb the acerbic righteousness being passed off here as "wisdom", so excuse me if I question a bitchslap from you. Try posting personal silence for a few days to see how this new information, and your own new actions, jives with the rest of YOU rather than assigning yourself the role of blog maitre'd. Maybe it's you who's got residual "Christian hospitality" on the brain.

If the link between understanding and acceptance has been broken in your cosmos, put a puppy and a kitten together for a few days. Relearn something basic. Forgetting doesn't make you a bad person.

This pernicious idea that the spiritual aspirant should somehow equate intolerance with progress is nothing new. Look for mature manifestation of this idea in Islam. Those folks aren't afraid of putting their "righteousness" on the line.
Bob's repackaging doesn't change the nature, or the outcome, of this idea.


And this -
As for posting anonymously hackneyed ideas, I don't think it is required of anyone here to assume they know who a troll really is--

Although you use some of the same words I do, I don't see any evidence that you understand what I said. And I'm not using parochial language. Here's another non-rhetorical question: What's the basis for this sudden attack of obtuseness?
Come on, music man. Make some attempt to learn the tune before you show off your counterpointing skills.

Hoarhey-

I think I understand your proclivity toward "the assumption, then the hipshot". You've found a hideyhole. Good on ya, mate. And when all the world's reduced to a video game of "Me versus Them", reflexes replace cognition. One has only to fall back on the last success he can remember to feel all good again. How's "meals on wheels", anyway?

Here's the diffence between you and me:

1/15/2007 08:09:00 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Glasr- Sorry if you took my comment as a wedge or a personal attack. It was not meant to be. I did not specifically address it to you at first because many people make this common mistake, hell I did at first too. It's just one of those peeves you see and want to say something about, so I did, sue me or get over it. Sometimes, an old dog can learn a new trick.

Not really wanting you to get in the last dig about my comments having nothing to do with the post, I will add that accurately describing the logos with the proper words is important and always a part of Bob's posts. If he feels I am distracting from the comments, he is free to delete any of my posts. If my comments are a problem for you, all that I can lovingly say is TS! Take it to the girls room with 51 and cry about it! heh heh ;0)

1/15/2007 08:14:00 AM  
Blogger LukeBlogWalker said...

Integranonymous,

"take up the other side and pose as a troll"

I have no need to imitate a bed wetter with no brains and only rhetorical counterpoint, having grown beyond that some 25 or more years ago.

This has nothing to do with supposed "Christian hospitality" but with your rebelliosness and arrogance. Which you love to then wrap in what others do, never looking at what you are.

Wanker is as wanker does.

-Luke

1/15/2007 08:42:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Anonimoron 2,51,52,any,

What is it with all the cryptic B.S. that "we all" are supposed to "get"?
Feeling a little hurt and shunned are we?
The difference between you and the rest of the world is acrimony and it is eating your lunch. :)

1/15/2007 08:44:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Itergalamoron,
How about if you try an experiment and post something intelligent and constuctive. Just a sentence or two will suffice.

1/15/2007 08:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Gadabout said...

Troll is also a verb. As in, to pass a bait through the water in hopes of hooking a fish.

Anonymece: Nice cast! I'm glad this spot is such a well-kept secret.

1/15/2007 09:36:00 AM  
Anonymous The Real Integralist said...

One thing I find extremely amusing, Anonymous 52, is that one of the methods that the folks here use to write off criticisms without really pondering them is by assuming that all critics are the same critic. Therefore they, erroneously, assume that you are me, and I am you, and all the others that have come in and made similar bobservations.

Folks, get a grip: ANONYMOUS 52 AND I ARE NOT THE SAME. I have only ever posted as Integralist, save once: as "Yerbuti" in this thread--where, by the way Anon 52, I wasn't saying that you are sad, but that the responses to you are sad. Sorry for the confusion.

1/15/2007 09:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Integralisimo said...

P.S. Anon 52: great bobservations, btw. I think you hit the nail right on the head. This blog is interesting in a sociological sense because of its two-headed nature, exemplified by Bob Himself: one head is demonic, one angelic. That is a bit extreme, but you get the idea.

It is big fat elephant in the room that no one is acknowledging.

1/15/2007 09:43:00 AM  
Anonymous cousin dupree said...

You may not be the same but you might as well be, and that's what counts. It is obvious that your thoughts emanate from the same collective soul-space, and that neither of you are what we would call a serious person. It's your frivolousness and weightlessness that comes through despite the superficial content.

1/15/2007 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

It's very nice to take personal shots at people; particularly those who are brave enough to expose something real about themselves.

'Christian Hospitality' merely refers to the practice of not being Xenophobic. The modern practice of not kicking people on the curb because they don't look like you extends from this Christian practice in the West.

Or do you think someone invented it in the abstract, and thinking it a good idea, put it into practice? Don't answer that question; it's rhetorical.

It's natural for you to be defensive. After all, as the wisdom of the internet says: 'Offensive cat is offensive, defensive cat is defensive.'

Anyway, they also say it takes three times the force to make a good offense, too.

Fourth, acerbic accusations will gain you no traction. I was confused at first, but your response to Dupree revealed the clarity of his intuition. Apparently it is better than even mine.

No hatred on my part, just honesty. Bob does not have a practice of being hospitable to those who he thinks will piss on his rug. Even I have been hit with a few bricks.

So, you know, shit or get off the pot. But don't expect to have lies left unchallenged.

Unless you, like Pilate would ask,

"What is Truth?"

Defensive cat is defensive!

1/15/2007 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger LukeBlogWalker said...

As Luke looks at his cat, who has far more wisdom regarding life than Ken Wilbur or any Integralist..

You've see one Integralist, you've seen them all.

Mindless false posts defending themselves and stamping feet like crybabies.

Waaa Waaa I am serious, I am somebody! I'm not that other guy who talks just like me! Even though I posted under three or four names before, it really isn't me this time.

God save us from such.

The only two headed monsters in here are those too clueless to see their own unintegrated selfish nonsense.

Who took the integrity out of Integralism? I don't think it ever had any -as it starts with a false God and a false construct.

Something integralists fail to notice handily -and then attempt to shove the universe into their funnel.

Such a fetid ego driven philosophy does not deserve to be classified in the ranks of any rational thinking system, nor does it deserve to be called a philosophy, or sociological model at all.

Its just mental masturbation. Its not all about you, although you forever seek to have it be so.

Luke lights his cigar, sips his coffee and ponders what he can learn from the cat today.

The usual Integralist camp smoke and mirrors will no doubt ensue.

-Luke

1/15/2007 10:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Seeker said...

mmm. Countering progress/ corrupting people. Makes me think of Castro in Cuba - bringing in girls 10 to 15 from north africa, to work in the fields, and... get raped in the fields and used as child prostitutes in venues or houses. And bringing in german and US etc tourists to "get naughty" with them.

When I read about this, It came to my mind that this was a deliberate strategy by castro to maintain his people in bondage, or to give them an outlet (the kids) for their frustration against the sytem.

As this blog has pointed out, it's only fairly recently that kids were not used for sex and labour by their parents...

And I have noticed quite a bit of child abuse in suburbia... you hear it in the street.

1/15/2007 06:49:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home