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