Saturday, March 10, 2007

Vertical Memes and Horizontal Genes: Upright Men and Lowdown Dirty Dogs (12.08.10)

"Heredity" means simply the transmission of similarity from ancestors to their descendents. In this sense, the invisibly divinely created archetypes are the "ancestors" of the visible species of animals. And the invisible archetype of man, the divine being itself, is the "ancestor" of the human being. The sickness which arose as a tragic consequence of the Fall was a change in the direction in the mirroring process of heredity; it changed from being vertical to become horizontal. --Valentin Tomberg

According to Tomberg, the second miracle recorded in the Gospel of John addresses this issue of vertical vs. horizontal heredity. As a psychologist, one's stock-in-trade is people who have dropped vertically into the stream of time (indeed, as we all must) but whose vertical heredity is overwhelmed by horizontal factors emanating mostly from parents: the sins of the fathers and mothers are visited upon the sons and daughters, in an intergenerational transmission of pathology.

Psychoanalysis calls the medium of transmission "internalized objects," while I call them "mind parasites," because it is a more accurate description. Plus, I thought I might need a slightly more colorful term just in case I were going to steal a bunch of stuff from psychoanalysis and start my own bogus religion, like L. Ron Hubbard. Instead, Petey and I just formed a local chapter of Transdimensional Raccoons, but kept the name.

As the first miracle -- the Wedding at Cana -- resonates with the seventh day of creation, the second miracle -- the healing of the nobleman's son -- resonates with the sixth. The nobleman implores Jesus to heal his son, who is said to be "near death." In the recently discovered "gnostic gospel" of Shemp, Jesus says, "Dang, you folks are starting to get on my nerves." John 4:48 adds, "Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe." But at the seventh hour, Jesus says to the man, "Go your way; your son lives." Later the nobleman is told by his servants that his son became well at exactly the seventh hour, when Jesus spoke those words.

God created human beings "on the sixth day," based upon the divine archetype, when He (or perhaps the trinitarian They) said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness." The second miracle speaks to the restoration of the divine-human hereditary archetype that was forged on the Friday of creation, prior to the Fall, which doesn't happen until the following Sunday evening at the earliest. The distortion introduced by the Fall is restored "by the father bringing his son into a direct relationship to the divine archetype -- through his [the father's] faith in Jesus Christ, the new Adam."

In other words, we mistakenly, if understandably, focus on the healing of the son, when the real action takes place in the father, who quite clearly "believed the word that Jesus had spoke to him" prior to the healing. So the real transformation -- and restoration -- occurs first in the father, but has a "vertical" trickle down effect on the son. After all, Jesus made a pretty brusque statement, "Go your way -- your son lives," but the father didn't doubt it. If he had, the entire meaning of the parable would be different.

This brings out a very important -- and perhaps dangerously politically incorrect -- psychological point, that there is something central to fathers and to fatherhood in arresting the intergenerational transmission of mind parasites. Frankly, this is common sense, but it is certainly confirmed if we examine the anthropological and sociological evidence.

Put it this way: in the absence of a strong, vertically oriented father figure, a boy is very likely to remain a more or less horizontal animal. He will be male -- a biological entity under the influence of his horizontal genetic and cultural programming -- but not a man -- which is the first vertical category introduced into human culture. Indeed, it is the foundation of human culture.

This is not difficult to understand. As I explained in the Coonifesto, the mother-infant dyad is a biologically natural phenomenon. Not until men entered that closed system could humans escape biology by becoming the psychologically trimorphic family: mother-father-baby. Thus, "father" is the pillar, so to speak, of society, a non-biological category that then alters the other two: mother simultaneously becomes wife, and baby simultaneously has a way to escape engulfment in the Great Mother archetype, but not without difficulty.

However, it is almost impossible to bridge this gap and escape the orbit of the primordial mother without a vertical father to model the way. Almost all of the really serious problems in society can be traced to the absence of fathers and of men, either literally or figuratively. Our prisons are overcrowded with horizontal males who never became men, although perhaps not to the extent of our professional sports leagues. (I am reminded of the mother-bound Deion Sanders, who was asked by a reporter if his divorce would affect his play. "Nah," said Deion. "It's not like it's family or anything.")

Perhaps someone will relink to that study from about a week ago, documenting how the father's church attendance varies directly with the child's, much more so than the mother's, which has almost no effect. (Here it is -- TW: Smoov.) In light of today's discussion, this makes perfect sense. As in the parable of the nobleman's son, somehow the vertical restoration of the father has a direct effect on the child.

This is also relevant to why God is spoken of as "Father," or why the Pope must be a man. To mess around with these divine archetypes is not just to render them ineffective, but it is to undermine the divine-human economy and attack man as such. To suggest that this is somehow "chauvinistic" is the height of hysterical naivete. Woman and girls benefit from proper men just as much as boys do.

The nobleman in his horizontal aspect may recede into the background once he has brought his son into a vertical hereditary relationship with the new Adam, thus restoring fatherhood and sonhood in the same way that the first miracle restores marriage.

To be honest, the greatest anxiety in my life is that I will not be around long enough to accomplish this for my son. (If only we could purchase a vertical life insurance policy and know that our children would be spiritually "taken care of" in our absence.) I would like to provide Future Leader with plenty of opportunities to experience me as a mere vertical deputy of the real father, so that he can make the naturally supernatural transition from horizontal heredity to vertical heredity. Truly, that is when your mission as a father has been accomplished -- when you may "go your way," knowing that "your son lives."

42 Comments:

Blogger NoMo said...

Recognition and proclamation of goodness, truth and beauty is a seed that multiplies more of the same. Its form is myriad.

Fresh in my mind today is "300" (saw it last night with 2 of my sons). While stylized and fantastical, it very solidly pictured the father, mother and son - and goodness, truth, and beauty as values worth dying to protect. Quite a poignant lesson in Western Civ if you ask me.

New heights today, Bob. IMHO. Thank you.

3/10/2007 08:36:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Dr Bob said:
“If only we could purchase a vertical life insurance policy and know that our children would be spiritually "taken care of" in our absence.)”

This why you must keep this going. Your son will have your journal here - whether you’re here or not. He won’t be able to not read them.

3/10/2007 08:42:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Nomo,
I'd like to see 300 even if just for the visual aspects.
Hadn't considered bringing my son because of the violence.
He's 13 and has seen the Lord of the Ring's trilogy - which to me does not glorify the violence but instead is necessary for the story.
How old are your son's and was this a problem..?
I may have to do what I usually do – see the movie first by myself…

3/10/2007 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

It’s Christmas at Bob’s again today.
He said:
“man -- which is the first vertical category introduced into human culture”

Yes! There is a reason Adam/man is introduced as a man at first and not a child.

3/10/2007 08:57:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

RR - Mine are in their 20s with kids of their own. I'd adhere to the "R" on this one.

3/10/2007 09:03:00 AM  
Anonymous alan said...

Ricky: Thank's for asking Nomo - I had the exact same question.
Nomo: Advice taken. Mine are 12 and 11 and desperately want to see this as they know the story from their history lessons this year.

3/10/2007 09:10:00 AM  
Anonymous cosanostradamus said...

"If only we could purchase a vertical life insurance policy and know that our children would be spiritually "taken care of" in our absence."

Ah, but thats exactly what you're doing right now in the critical first years. The credited righteousness of honest Truth seeking fathers passes down through generations further than the inevitable sins. And most of it is non-verbal and transferred early, so as wonderful as your writings are, your inner character is what will travel furthest downstream.

As a psychologist you obviously know that, but as an old guy that's been blessed to watch it happen, I know that.

You can make a million horizontal mistakes, all overcome with reliance on the vertical One. It's the best insurance policy around.

3/10/2007 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger juliec said...

Nomo - I saw "300" last night, too. Wow.

Worth every penny - the visuals were fantastic and the storyline was moving. One family behind us brought a youngish boy, perhaps 8 or younger. He never made a sound through the whole movie, but I bet he'll have nightmares about it. Also, there is some nudity and sex, if you are concerned about that.

As to the gore - it's there, but very stylized. Unlike Sin City, which had blood spraying everywhere constantly, this downplayed the blood quite a bit, but had much hacking of limb, etc.

My husband described it as "fake but accurate," from a historical perspective; it's based on real events, but nobody could mistake it for reality, so to me it nicely avoids the whole revisionism debate that often comes up for people who actually know the history.

Anyway, unless you're squeamish go see it.

3/10/2007 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger Smoov said...

Bob:

The study in question was quoted by me from the National Post newspaper. The columnist who referenced the Swiss study is Barbara Kay. Here is a link that column: Men of the church.

To get the actual study itself you could drop a line to Barbara at Bkay@videotron.ca. I've corresponded with her a few times. She is a decent, intelligent woman who I'm sure would be glad to help.

3/10/2007 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger Smoov said...

BTW, re my post above, Barbara publishes her email address online at the newspaper she writes for, so I'm not posting private info.

3/10/2007 10:41:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Thanks Bob.

3/10/2007 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger robinstarfish said...

my father is dead
cold fog crept into his brain
i'm a lot like him

3/10/2007 11:09:00 AM  
Anonymous joan of argghh! said...

Dion DiMucci's first "Christian" album is still a favorite, and the song you quote one of the best on it. I thought I was the only one who'd ever heard it. Now I feel even more coonship with the transdimensional tribe.

I must go find a turntable somewhere and pull out the old vinyls today.

:)

3/10/2007 11:09:00 AM  
Anonymous joan of argghh! said...

Holy google-gift, Batman!

Dion's newest.

Must-have. It's another Cosmic moment, when a simple reference, a memory, a Google, and... heaven!

wv: ilm bob rc

3/10/2007 11:15:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

My own horizontal Father had his own plentitude of mind parasites and unregulated shame. He's gone from Earth now and those parasites are probably how he will be remembered by most who knew him.
He also had a searching, spiritual side that most never saw but which this son did. I spent more time with him throughout all the activities of his life than anyone in the family and was able to see multiple aspects of him which others never did. I knew the whole man more than any other, including his wife, my mother.
As I've come see their origins and to forgive his negative horizontal aspects through the years, I realize that he did the best he knew how, and those spiritual memories are the ones which stay with me, and quite frankly, make me a better man.

3/10/2007 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Joan--

That album is great -- he's got real blues chops, no doubt about it. He's become one of my favorite artists. He may be the only one of the first generation of rockers who continued to develop artistically. Johnny Cash, I suppose, if you consider him rock (which he sort of was at the beginning).

3/10/2007 11:19:00 AM  
Anonymous joan of argghh! said...

Bob,

I just read his spiritual journey and am equally pleased to see that he, as one of my spiritual / musical influences so long ago, is still unashamedly growing in Grace and Faith. Must be why his music is still deepening, too. It's like catching up with an old friend. Can't thank you enough.

:)

3/10/2007 11:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are days when I try to be a good vertical type, and there are days when it doesn't feel worthwhile; these latter are usually days when A. Rational Human, whose main thesis is that Islam's barbarity and Christianity's supposedly rigid dogma are one and the same, sees fit to post at Dr. Sanity's site. I hear this obtuse objectivist preaching that all religion is slavery, and I feel the very horizontal urge to knock some sense into him.

3/10/2007 11:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are days when I try to be a good vertical type, and there are days when it doesn't feel worthwhile; these latter are usually days when A. Rational Human, whose main thesis is that Islam's barbarity and Christianity's supposedly rigid dogma are one and the same, sees fit to post at Dr. Sanity's site. I hear this obtuse objectivist preaching that all religion is slavery, and I feel the very horizontal urge to knock some sense into him.

3/10/2007 11:41:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Joan and Bob - All right! The Dion vertical vinyls have been enjoyed by the NoMos for a long time now. Thanks for clueing us into a new release.

3/10/2007 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Anonymous:

A Rational Human is an adolescent prattler playing with a toy. Pay him no mind. Being restricted to self-enclosed reason, he has no acquaintance with the Reason. He thinks he's rational, but he's just proud.

3/10/2007 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

No broadband or high speed net
No choice but to wine
I cry in my beer

3/10/2007 01:22:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

A. Rational Human = A. Irrational Arse.

3/10/2007 01:24:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Father Bob said:
"Thus, "father" is the pillar, so to speak, of society, a non-biological category that then alters the other two: mother simultaneously becomes wife, and baby simultaneously has a way to escape engulfment in the Great Mother archetype, but not without difficulty.

However, it is almost impossible to bridge this gap and escape the orbit of the primordial mother without a vertical father to model the way."

Indeed it is nigh impossible.
I can relate to what Robin said.

Thanks to Our Father Who Art In Heaven, through the mirrorcle of Grace, Love and Mercy (not to mention Truth and Justice), it is possible!

Let the healing commence and continue...

3/10/2007 01:34:00 PM  
Anonymous cosanostradamus said...

I first heard of Dion's new release last year on NPR. It's the best work he's released in years - great songs stripped down to their essence and beautifully recorded. Blues album of the year, in my opinion.

Worth a listen: Dion on Fresh Air and especially Dion on World Cafe

It's too bad the world didn't keep up with him during his gospel years. This isn't a comeback album - he never went away.

It's also a great cd to learn guitar with. I'm finally making progress!

3/10/2007 01:39:00 PM  
Anonymous cosanostradamus said...

Sorry, the first NPR link seems to be 'unavailable' by direct link. So you'll have to search the NPR site.

Dirty Commies.

The World Cafe gig is best anyway.

3/10/2007 01:44:00 PM  
Anonymous walt said...

Although my father read a lot of history and philosophy, he seemed to shy away from religious thought in general, and I don't recall him addressing spiritual perspectives. I believe he considered reason and logic to be "enough" for mankind's needs. And yet, his influence struck his two sons as what Bob called, "a strong, vertically oriented father figure." He forever drilled into us values like self-discipline, integrity, and honesty, seldom contradicting his own admonitions. He had a "goodness" about him that allowed him to coax wild birds to come and eat from his hand (no, not seagulls).

He died viewing the world horizontally, and without the vertical, naturally felt deep despair. Still, he somehow created a "condition" from which his two sons grew toward the vertical from a very early age.

3/10/2007 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

cosa--

Yes, I hadn't realized until relatively renently that Dion never stopped being artistically vital. His career spanning box set is wonderful -- reasonably priced too.

I don't know if you remember the 1972 live reunion album, but it's great too. That's how I first got tutned on to him, because, oddly enough, it got a lot of airplay on the underground FM stations I used to listen to back in high school.

Extremely soulful singer....

3/10/2007 01:51:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Re: Dion. Another silky, rich bluesy vocalist that the NoMos have loved over the past few years is Boz Skaggs. Never listened to him in his heyday, but the "mature" Boz really brings it.

3/10/2007 03:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Aquila said...

Bob,

Superb post today, packed with wisdom and chewy food for thought. In the name of all that's Good, Beautiful and True, how on Earth do you rattle off these gems on a daily basis?

Today's meditation got me thinking about one of my favorite authors: Ross MacDonald. In his Lew Archer novels, which are, like Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe books, detective stories that view the deeper psychological and moral implications of crime, the central plot nearly always revolves around a grossly dysfunctional "nice" (read, "rich") family spiraling into violence and madness. I've noticed that his families almost always have an absent or ineffectual father, and that the violent actions are inevitably set in motion by the mother and/or the child, as if to compensate for the lack of moral center and right action maintained by a proper father figure.

Interestingly, MacDonald's protagonist Archer, who narrates his day-to-day life in great detail, rarely mentions his own family. We do know he was a juvenile delinquent who grew up to be a cop, and is divorced. One wonders if the reason he can move so deftly through the complex train-wrecks of California nouveau-riche lives is because he himself instinctively grasps their dysfunctional dynamics through personal experience, and is confronting the "murder" of his own idealism and humanity by solving literal, real homicides.

The Archer books are worth reading for anyone interested in fictional treatments of this theme, and they're great straightforward mysteries as well. Start with THE MOVING TARGET, which, among other things, has an ahead-of-its-time satire of California New Age cultism as part of its plot.

Another review for Raccoons, courtesy of *The Eagle*

3/10/2007 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Nomo--

I don't know if you have the Boz Scaggs anthology, but it is outstanding. Personally, I much prefer the earlier material, as it is more authentic and not so slickly produced. Very difficult to produce genuine R & B properly with modern recording tecnnology.

You probably know this trivia, but Scaggs started out as rhythm guitarist with the Steve Miller Band before Miller started cranking out the bland corporate rock.

3/10/2007 06:03:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Thanks, Bob. I will check out the anthology. Now, forward, into the past!

3/10/2007 09:07:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

>>To mess around with these divine archetypes is not just to render them ineffective, but it is to undermine the divine-human economy and attack man as such.<<

Which is why marriage - which is meant to directly reflect the divine archetype in human affairs - should be between man and woman solely.

I have no doubt that the sort of cosmic imbalance the earth is now experiencing, things that are attribited to "global warming", are, at least in part, a result of these perversions of divine archetype.

As it is within, so it is without.

3/10/2007 09:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Oedipus Rex said...

I'd like to hear more about the father/daughter axis. How does a father affect the daughter? Is he needed to make her into a proper woman, the same as his son needs him to become a man?

How should a father relate to the daughter to foster her spiritual growth?

3/10/2007 10:12:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Oedipus:

That's an excellent idea for a post: the spiritual impact of fathers and men on daughters and women. Not enough time today. Perhaps later in the week.

3/11/2007 06:18:00 AM  
Anonymous dilys said...

Maybe the father, and authority figures in general, help the Vertical-developing kit past the fear of being deceived, the theme that River introduced. That may be one reason why it's important for parents to be straightforward and reliable rather than ironic and hip to their children. It certainly would be interesting to have data points about the upbringing of hostile modern materialists.

Here's a short story from The New Yorker online by a modern Russian writer that touches on learning about the Vertical etc. Interview with the author.

3/11/2007 06:33:00 AM  
Anonymous dilys said...

Gagdad's response to Oedipus on daughters and fathers is something to anticipate!

IMO the best thing a father can do for a daughter is to faithfully and joyously love her mother. A hazard in the family romance is for the father to move past paternal care into over-devotion to the daughter, directly and almost exclusively; and the mother to the son. Tempting, ecstatic, & dangerous.

3/11/2007 06:40:00 AM  
Anonymous sehoy said...

I knew dads were essential when I saw my two boys hurtling joyfully down a steep street on their tricycles. I clutched my hands to my heart in fear and my husband cheered them on. I knew at that moment, that there are essential things that only a father can give to his sons.

Thank you, God, for fathers!

3/11/2007 07:32:00 AM  
Anonymous joan of argghh! said...

Dilys,

A thousand thanks for that link. Just awesome writing. I saw her name and immediately thought, Tolstoy? Turns out I was right. I love how the Russian mind/thoughts translate to English... it just makes it better.

3/11/2007 08:57:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

To Gagdad & fellow Racoons, a top notcher post & comments today (my yesterday), sorry I missed it happening, but
I had to write my own post because my brain was on fire from Fridays post and seeing "The 300" Saturday morning - NoMo, Ricky Racoon, Juliec and all - Yep, a winner of a movie.

Hopefully I'll get to get to the actual todays post later today - I've got to go help pick out plants. ugh.

Gagdad, I hope you keep up this series on the seven miracles, as eyeoracle opening as last years on the ten commandments. The flames that keep bursting out of my head because of it are a little distracting, but I'm dealing with it.

3/11/2007 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger DcFather said...

Sehoy said: "Thank you, God, for fathers!"

What the Lord giveth, family law judges taketh away, for a buck.

3/12/2007 07:23:00 AM  
Anonymous sehoy said...

dcfather: "What the Lord giveth, family law judges taketh away, for a buck."

Tragically true.

And I'll bet if you asked the kids, they would want mom and dad together, no matter what.

My mom and dad fought like cats and dogs. And specifically, from 1976 to 1979, on a daily basis, and we kids got dragged into it all.

But you know what? We survived! And we are all stable, contributing members of society. Drug-free, even.

Because, despite it all, we had a mom and dad to come home to every day. And if I was sick, I could stay home from school and lay in bed and my mom would fix me soup.

And boy, does that matter.

3/13/2007 02:04:00 AM  

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