Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Satanic Miracle of Victimhood (12.11.10)

In discussing the fourth day of creation, Tomberg notes that it implies "an all-embracing world rhythm" which affects all beings, and which unites them in a transcendent cosmic community. He compares this to the mystery of human subjectivity, which somehow has a transcendent unity and wholeness -- science knows not how -- despite being "constituted," so to speak, of numberless impulses, memories, plans, whims, fantasies, dreams, desires, moods, etc. -- not to mention billions of individual neuronal connections. Despite the infinite complexity, subjectivity "orders itself around a central point -- the self -- which represents the center of gravity of soul life, i.e., the permanency of the identity of the personality."

But the self -- at least a healthy self -- does not merely spin around an interior axis. Rather, aided by "the light of Reason" (understood in its integral, not merely rationalistic sense) and by transcendent ideals, this center of subjectivity can undergo increased order and evolve in the direction of one's highest aspiration, toward the true cosmic center of which we are a distant reflection -- we are the "center at the periphery," as Schuon has called it, the true center being the nonlocal, space-pervading spirit of I AM.

Speaking of the rhythm of being -- days, seasons, years, etc. -- for Schuon, all natural phenomena are here to convey lessons to us. Thus, for example, our lives are not just divided into day and night -- or what Joyce called the "wideawake and cutandry" vs. the clearobscure remumbled murmuries of the night -- but into seasons: the childhood spring of "formation and learning"; the mature summer of "actual and effective realization"; the late-middle age autumn of "consolidation, reparation, and the directing of others"; and the old age winter of "detachment and transcendence." Alternatively, one could say that childhood is "the paradise of innocence," youth "the time of the passions," maturity "the time of work," and old age "that of sadness" -- at least for the horizontal man. For the vertical man, "the opposite takes place: age is an ascent towards another world."

For Tomberg, the fourth day of creation is ultimately the divine-cosmic archetype of holy communion, or the vertical recollection of the a priori unity that embraces and subtends all beings in the world. As such, the fourth miracle of John -- the feeding of the 5,000 -- "is the corresponding healing work of the Word-made-flesh." For as the central sun "nourishes" and unifies all beings, so too Jesus ("sitting on a mountain") functioned as the "nourishment-giving center" for the multitude below. It was as if he "sped up" the time it takes for the sun to produce bread -- planting, sprouting, growth, ripening, harvesting, etc. -- multiplying it in the same way the sun multiplies the small amount of wheat or corn that is planted.

Interestingly, Jesus does not distribute the bread and fish directly, but through the mediating principle or "reflected light" of the disciples. Tomberg suggests that this is a mercy, for the direct light would be so shattering an experience that one would be temporarily blinded, like Paul on the road to Damascus.

This also speaks to the hierarchical structure of the world, which is not simply bipolar (i.e., creator and created, or God and man), but has degrees of being. Each level of the hierarchy is a moon to the level above but a relative sun to the level below. Better men than I can withstand the direct rays of the sun. For now, it is enough to stand in the reflected light of certain nonlocal operators who illuminate much more than I can assimilate anyway. Don't let your I's be bigger than your metaphysical stomach, or you may sopher indeigestion.

Personally, I think it was a bit cavalier to toss out the entire church hierarchy in favor of a purely "personal relationship with Jesus Christ," but perhaps that's just the authoritarian in me. But I see a more or less infinite gulf between the majority of people who say they have such a direct relationship vs. those who actually did and do -- say, St. Theophan the Recluse, or St. John of the Cross, or Seraphim of Sarov. For me, the Philokalia is like the bread handed directly to the disciples. If you are capable of digesting and assimilating it, then you have achieved the imapostleable. You can withstand the seering rays of the sun. The rest of us need a little sonscreen.

We must never forget that an unreflective "spirit of democracy" will usually end in "horizontalocracy" in the absence of hierarchy. In reality, there is no ordered wholeness without hierarchy and no hierarchy without a top and bottom. This is why Orthodoxy and Catholicism naturally "tend" toward conservatism, while protestantism tends toward left-liberalism -- or at least there is no natural mechanism to prevent the downward slide, which is how you end up with a true "anti-Church" of Christianity such as the National Council of Churches. (And of course, the opposite problems can and do sometimes appear in more conservative denominations, i.e., illegitimate authority and authority wielded illegitimately.)

As Richard Weaver writes in Ideas Have Consequences, forms are the ladder of ascent: "Every group regarding itself as emancipated is convinced its predecessors were fearful of reality, looking upon veils of decency as obstructions that it will strip aside. But behind the veils is a reality of such commonplace that it is merely knowledge of death." The "taking away of degree" creates a tyrannical flatland which is death to the soul and its spiritual evolution. This is why leftists are always mindlessly rebellious, anti-authority, and radically "democratic" (when it is convenient).

If the "raw stuff" of life is precisely "what the civilized man desires to have refined," we should not be at all surprised that in these leftist-dominated times we find ourselves surrounded by raw stuff -- or that websites such as the dailykurse or huffingandpissed propagate political "raw stuff," precisely. Indeed, this is what makes them so repulsive, not to say frightening. (Nor should anyone be surprised that there is approximately 18 times more verbal "raw stuff" on leftist websites.)

Weaver points out that the loss of transcendentals also brings with it the loss of heroes. Like living works of art, heroes are in the world but point beyond it, to a higher principle that animates and shines through them. Without them, we are loused in space and moroned in time. We're just here and now, with no one to lead the way up, out, or in.

You will have noticed that for the left, our men and women in Iraq are not heroes but victims. Obviously, they cannot be heroes if their battle is fundamentally unjust, even fascistic and imperialist. Thus, the left's way of "supporting the troops" is to convert them into victims and to then "fight" on their behalf. (I had no idea that Dr. Sanity had an excellent post on this topic yesterday.) This has the psychological side benefit of making the leftist a hero in his own eyes while destroying the possibility of real heroes. Naturally they tie themselves in knots in attempting to be intellectually consistent, for example, trading on the "heroism" of a former "baby killer" in the last presidential election. Which is it, hero or baby killer? And naturally, he was victimized by the "swift-boating," when a real hero would have been impervious to such slings and arrows.

In reality, the contemporary left has no real heroes, merely victims and their "heroic" enablers. Making the victim the hero is to overturn the ontological order of the cosmos, precisely. It is not merely to annihilate hierarchy but to substitute a reverse hierarchy -- which ends in a "race to the bottom" for superior victim status. Who is the bigger victim, the female or the (half) black? What force can possibly speak more articulately on behalf of victims than the predatory effeminacy of the bottom-feeding trial lawyer, John Edwards? For when we speak of victims, we are also speaking of a feminine nurturing impulse gone haywire, unbalanced by the male principle.

A spiritual practice should be a "force multiplier," in the same way that Jesus multiplied the bread and fish. Each of us can be an effective source of light below, but only if we are reflections of the true light above. Tomberg concludes: "There thus arises a wonderful picture out of a deeper consideration of the miracle of the feeding of 5,000: in the center, high up on a mountain, Jesus Christ, as the shining and life-giving sun; then the circle of disciples as the silver moon; and round about the mountain a swarm of thousands of stars -- the people."

Alternatively, we can have a horizontal swarm ruled by its victims. But who will feed all the endlessly multiplying victims?

31 Comments:

Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Great post Dr.

Re our Heroes,

Here's a riddle I wrote for our lefty friends:

Why did President Bush send our soldiers into Iraq?

Answer: Because they can't send themselves.

3/13/2007 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

From Van’s blog: blogodidact, he
provides a link to another Blogger out there getting’ it done for the rest of us:
http://acutepolitics.blogspot.com/

How wonderful to know we still make ‘em like this. His photo puts a lump in my throat.
There is hope.

3/13/2007 08:55:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Bob, there's also a problem with removing the personal relationship with Christ as well. In impersonalization, the burden for 'spiritual progress' is laid entirely upon the intercessors; and they themselves invariably become 'Christ' to their followers.

On the other extreme, you have the mad horizontal flatland of spiritual 'feeling' where there are no guides or checks and balances; no lighthouses, no candlemen, no virgils or dantes, and eventually this extreme comes to justify itself by calling them all "false Christs" - any image that isn't God, who doesn't really have an 'image' literally, I.E. iconoclasty-- no book aside from the actual words of God-- which, who can know what they are except that there be a shepherd to at least lead the way?

Hence there is a scattering- one side denying some scripture, and the other side some other scripture.

And yet neither genuinely appealing to God for the truth.

Well, maybe appealing, but not listening.

I think the hint is,
1. The disciples merely reflect his light, (lively stones, as Peter calls 'em) meaning that they still have to encounter the light even if only indirectly at first.
2. True stars may not be the Son, but they emit the same thing; the same light.

A fine balance, to be sure.

3/13/2007 08:58:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

"There thus arises a wonderful picture out of a deeper consideration of the miracle of the feeding of 5,000: in the center, high up on a mountain, Jesus Christ, as the shining and life-giving sun; then the circle of disciples as the silver moon; and round about the mountain a swarm of thousands of stars -- the people."

A wonderful image to happily accompany that beautiful passage...the Wonder that is our Cosmos:
http://heritage.stsci.edu/2003/24/index.html

More don’t miss images here:
http://heritage.stsci.edu/gallery/galindex.html

3/13/2007 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

The original "victims" -

The man said, "The woman you put here with me — she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it." Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."
(Genesis 3:13-14 TNIV).

And on and on...

3/13/2007 11:42:00 AM  
Blogger robinstarfish said...

i do not deserve
the grace and mercy granted
on this holy ground

Motel Zero

3/13/2007 11:49:00 AM  
Anonymous cosanostradamus said...

Oh no. I have seen the enemy and it is...grandma! It's Just Like Frying Chicken

3/13/2007 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Nice, Robin! That's an interesting photo.

Was messing around with Anagrams the other day and:

Here IN GOD'S KINGDOM, we are MIKING ODD GNOS, but are NO GOGS KID DINK, because NO SMOG DID G INK; if he did he would certainly be a SOD KID GOG MIND. That ODD G SINK OM-ING was a KONG ID 'MID GNOS - couldn't bear the G_D KGS DOMINION.

etc. I'm sure I broke a few rules, but that's okay. I've always been terrible at anagrams.

DO RE MI FA SO LA TI DO

I EAR FLAT MI-SO, DOOD

O, ODD SOMA AIR I FELT... etc.

PS, where do you typically get your photos, if I may ask?

3/13/2007 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger juliec said...

Cosa - my word veri right now is: puken!

Actually, it sounds like a tasty meal (if you're there for the turkey, of course!)

3/13/2007 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger robinstarfish said...

river c -

For anagram lovers: Internet Anagram Server. It's not really cheating unless you're a masochist.

All pictures are my own. I rarely go anywhere without a camera.

3/13/2007 02:02:00 PM  
Anonymous ms. e said...

"Don't let your I's be bigger than your metaphysical stomach, or you may sopher indeigestion."

I'd give Philokalia cooking school a try if I could find one close by, led by a master chef within a community of fellow sinners.

For now, I'm satisfied with cooniary guidance from Dear Leader and support from fellow coons in the all voluntary One Cosmos cooking coonrespondence course.

CheeriOs pudding with Petey sauce anyone?

3/13/2007 02:08:00 PM  
Anonymous louisville slubber said...

Well, I'll go to bat for the Left, as I invariably have to do on this blog, since nobody else seems to want to touch it.

On the subject of our soldiers in Iraq--there is anecdotal evidence that morale is slipping fast because of the stalemate there. Let's not gloss this over and call it all good for our "heroic" soldiers. They are human and get discouraged, petulant, and left-leaning if not led properly. Yes, they do. Don't deny it.

Soldiering is a profession and since soldiers get money for it, they are no more heroic than police officers, which is to say, fairly heroic.

Then again, anyone who takes a walk in certain parts of Santa Cruz, California, makes the cut.

But victims? Not as long as the paycheck rolls in. Then, they are employees.

Neither heroes nor victims, soldiers are instead professionals, and if you ask any soldier that's what they will tell you.

And being a victim is not a bad strategy; if it meets needs, then its a valid move. In the Darwinism of our culture, every single avenue for gain will be exploited to the full.

There's even a new TV show about people who parasitise the vacated homes of dead people. This dysfunctional family is held up for adulation as an example of cleverness and spunk.

Yeah, not really what raccoons are all about, I know. But the lefties are not raccoons, and never will be. So why act outraged when they do what they pretty much have to do, which is make a buck?

Does this surprise you?

3/13/2007 02:31:00 PM  
Anonymous cousin dupree said...

Nothing you say could possibly surprise us.

3/13/2007 02:35:00 PM  
Anonymous space monkey said...

I find myself kind of agreeing with the "slubber" about the lefties. Can they be held to "racoon" standards?

The victime mindset of the lefties seems like a manipulative behavior designed to produce certain gains--a sense of having the moral high-ground, a sense of entitlement which sometimes leads to actual monetary gain, and a palliation of guilt.

Since it does all of these things,can you blame the poor buggers for using the tactic? They all just want to feel better about themselves and make some money.

If you would take away their victimhood, what could you offer in compensation? Why would they give it up if it produced no gain?

Anyway, that's my two cents on it.

3/13/2007 02:55:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

louisville slubber,
You are gobbedlygook. You can’t possibly be serious.
This is a joke, right? Nobody thinks like this. I’m not buying it.
Ahhh I get it. You’re making fun of libs. Good one.

3/13/2007 03:10:00 PM  
Anonymous joan of argghh! said...

Space Monkey said, "can you blame the poor buggers for using the tactic?" "can they be held to 'raccoon' standards?"

Um... no. Not if they were parasites. But those you describe are supposedly human beings whose meaning and creation is much higher than mere survival.

3/13/2007 03:15:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Robin: I recently got a camera myself, so my own photos are the same. I like some of your filter work! I mostly take pictures of the sky, probably because I dream of space.

Love that anagram servant....

3/13/2007 03:50:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Inte Slubber Monkey said "Since it does all of these things,can you blame the poor buggers for using the tactic?"

Yes.

"If you would take away their victimhood, what could you offer in compensation?"

Life.

My screen feels unclean, where's my Liesol?

3/13/2007 05:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Slubber and Monkey,

Please don't assume that this response dignifies your questions in any way.

"So why act outraged when they do what they pretty much have to do, which is make a buck?"

You mean why be outraged that some people exploit and distort all that is good and true about the U.S. military and its servicemen to serve their own demonic urges? Because, quite obviously, the fact that they do it, doesn't make it any less vile.

"Since it does all of these things,can you blame the poor buggers for using the tactic?"

Yes. Absolutely. Free will and all. There much better ways to alleviate misery other than debasing the good, the pure and the true.

"If you would take away their victimhood, what could you offer in compensation?"

A chance to walk on the road to eternal life.

"Why would they give it up if it produced no gain?"

Clearly, the choice is between the path of misery, dragging others down with you and the path of salvation. If you cannot see the gain associated with the latter, you are not ready for the path.

Seriously, gentlemen. Your comment have no place on this site.

I come here for transcendence, but when I read comments like yours I feel myself being pulled right back down into your world.

Please don't post here again until you understand more, or are willing to learn without spouting off innane comments.

Thank you.

3/13/2007 06:24:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

300 - incredible. That's all I need to say.

3/13/2007 07:12:00 PM  
Blogger Smoov said...

river:

That movie is giving the leftists convulsive fits. The very idea of showing valiant (white!) soliders defending freedom against an alien, brutish culture (Persians, no less) has them contorted with rage.

Let 'em burn.

3/13/2007 07:49:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

When you think about the feeding of the 5,000 -- I mean 5,000! In a way it was transparent. That is, a basket of 5 small loaves and 2 fish gets passed around and basically never empties -- just keeps giving, as if a spring of creation lies in its base. Then, once everyone eats their fill -- all 5,000 of them -- they gather up the leftovers and there's more than when they started! After that, of course they wouldn't leave him alone. So, after walking on water that evening (no big thing), he concludes the lesson the next day. "Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval."
Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?"
Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."

Nice summary. It really is just that simple.

3/13/2007 09:53:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Dear Bob:
Bravo Zulu on today's post!

Bob said: "For me, the Philokalia is like the bread handed directly to the disciples. If you are capable of digesting and assimilating it, then you have achieved the imapostleable. You can withstand the seering rays of the sun. The rest of us need a little sonscreen."

Right on! I try to always remember my Sonscreen, because, like "Doctor Vectman" on Ghostbusters, I would probably look when someone that has transcended much higher says "don't look directly at the Son without protection".

Without that veil of Sonscreen, I could go blind (if I'm lucky), or I could burn up, or maybe even die.

The Sonscreen is actually a blessing.

3/14/2007 12:30:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Lubber said:
"Neither heroes nor victims, soldiers are instead professionals, and if you ask any soldier that's what they will tell you."

It's called honor and selflessness.
Words you will no doubt have to look-up, but don't bother, because you still wouldn't get it.

3/14/2007 12:37:00 AM  
Blogger phil g said...

Wow...Dr. Bob you are certainly on a roll. You seem to be at a crest of your creative energies lately.

Thank you for this great source of spritual nourishment.

3/14/2007 03:11:00 AM  
Anonymous uss ben said...

Phil G-
I don't believe Bob is ever at the crest for long, before he arrives at a gnu crest. :^)

3/14/2007 03:22:00 AM  
Anonymous uss ben said...

This is an outrage for this to happen in the US!

http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2007Mar12/0,4670,RaccoonRevival,00.html

3/14/2007 04:02:00 AM  
Anonymous uss ben said...

Try this.
http://www.foxnews.com/
wires/2007Mar12/0,4670,
RaccoonRevival,00.html

I'm beside myself in horror!

3/14/2007 04:05:00 AM  
Anonymous dilys said...

There is a shadow "force multiplier" in victim status -- every little thing, from getting out of bed to buying a house, can be framed as mythic and heroic and worthy of notice and acclaim, superior to the daily accomplishments of others, purely by virtue of my having the pressure of victimization to overcome.

How else would I authorize the inner monologue of self-praise and -excuse. However half-hearted and ineffective my performance, "darn good," I can tell myself, "for a poor mistreated disadvantaged victim!"

Not to mention the unending entitlement moral-litigation based on my collection of injustices.

It's a whole netherworld psychic economy, and in its own terms self-supporting and -renewing, since contradiction of or indifference to the story constitutes further injustice. Diabolically neat.

Especially as it moderates the experience of the horror occupying a universe entirely separate from selfless heroism, generosity, or gratitude, inasmuch as these qualities cannot coexist with Victim.

In that sense, being a victim is not a bad strategy.

Except, what about Life?

3/14/2007 05:58:00 AM  
Anonymous dilys said...

ms.e writes: "I'd give Philokalia cooking school a try if I could find one close by, led by a master chef within a community of fellow sinners.

For now, I'm satisfied with cooniary guidance from Dear Leader and support from fellow coons in the all voluntary One Cosmos cooking coonrespondence course."

It's finally happened! The Church-o-Bob!

3/14/2007 06:35:00 AM  
Anonymous sehoy said...

Falling way behind as usual on reading these posts. *sigh*

Thanks for writing this post and for linking to Dr. Sanity's. I have just copied Dr. Sanity's linked post to give to my husband, who has just finished reading Thomas Sowell's "Visions of the Annointed."

I just debated a lib school teacher at my kids' DODs school last week on this very subject. I told her I was proud of my husband and his service and that he is not a victim of "that Bush, the Author [apparently] of all evil."

About two months ago, my sons and I had a conversation about heroes. I told them that their dad was one of those quiet heroes that you forget to notice, because it takes years to see that they are heroes. They're quiet heroes because of all the small right decisions and actions they perform every day of their lives, instead of the big noticable actions, that capture our attention.

3/15/2007 12:24:00 AM  

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