Deep Stupidity and the Medicine for a Nightmare (5.13.10)
A prime example of deep stupidity and grandiose error is Marxism and all of its many polluted streams, branches, creeks and crocks. That variants of this falsehood still proliferate on the left today means that, as always, intelligence alone is no unknowculation against evil, darkness, and error. Hardly.
For conservative "classical" liberals, we are generally faced with an odious choice between the stupid party and the evil party. We generally align ourselves with the former, since the former is at least susceptible to our influence, whereas the latter is not. Someone who has truly given himself over to evil is not going to be persuaded by truth. His intelligence is in the service of forces he neither sees nor understands, and there is just no point of entry in dealing with him, since he is not lacking information as such but light. Truly, you can hand them the truth on a silver platter, and they will not only reject it but be quite hostile to it.
There are many way to react to truth, only one of which is quiet acceptance. Truth is not just true, but a force. This is why it elicits such strong reactions in people. You will have undoubtedly noticed that when you comprehend a deep truth, there is a pleasant physical sensation that goes along with it -- hard to describe (Christopher Bollas calls it "the erotics of being"), but if you could amplify its vibrations, it would feel like getting the punch line of a joke, or the parts of your being lining up like iron filings, or perhaps properly hitting a baseball. If you hit the ball too close to your hands or too far toward the end of the bat, it's an unsatisfying feeling even if you get a base hit. But there is a feeling of deep satisfaction if you smack a troll right on the "sweet spot" of Hoarhey's cluebat.
Another way of saying it is that Truth is a presence. This is something all Raccoons will know by experience, but will make no sense to the leftist -- for whom it will literally be a meaningless statement. To suggest that Truth once dwelled among us -- and still does -- is the height of absurdity. But truth is the link between Being and knowing. Thus, to say, for example, that Christ is the truth is to say that he is a humanifestation of the divine presence, and vice versa. It's actually very simple, but simple isn't easy, much less simplistic.
Truth is not only not accepted by most people, but it seems to engender a counter-force that is actively hostile to it. This may seem like a controversial statement, but it is the stock in trade of psychoanalysis, which essentially comes down to a study of the varieties of self-deception, or the ways in which one part of the mind pulls the wool over another part. Think about that for a moment, and I think you'll agree that it is quite remarkable -- how the left brain literally doesn't know what the right brain is doing.
I say "literally" because there is good evidence that what we call the unconscious is actually "lodged," so to speak, in the nonverbal -- but also transverbal -- right brain. Every patient comes into treatment with what I call a "likely story." This explicit story is located in the left brain, the seat of language, aristotelian logic, and linear time. However, the right brain has its own story to tell, but how do you tell a story in the absence of verbal language? You do so in the form of symptoms, or quirky character traits, unexplainable likes and dislikes, unaccountable mood storms, obsessions, compulsions, or self-defeating behaviors that the left brain is powerless to stop. This is because every self-defeating behavior is ipso facto a self-fulfilling behavior for a part of the mind of which we are not consciously aware. "There's no success like failure, and failure's no success at all," sang Zimmie.
Freud stumbled upon the method of free association with which to try to understand the various agendas of the mind that ran counter to truth and were the source of psychological pain and dysfunction. There is no great mystery to free association, in which the patient lies down and tries to say whatever comes to mind without censoring it. It is simply a way to try to lull the left brain to sleep and allow the right brain to come out of the shadows. Sounds easy, but every step along the way is met with resistance which can become labyrinthine in its ability to prevent the discovery of the truth.
Here again this is remarkable, for it means that the part of the mind that is resisting must know the truth on some level, otherwise there would be no reason to resist it. Therefore, as Bion pointed out, the truth is prior to the lie, just as light must be prior to the shadow. Indeed, Bion went so far as to say that only the Lie requires a thinker -- and actually brings the thinker into being. On the other hand, truth requires only our accession to it. We simply "bow before reality" -- which, when you think about it, is an excellent way of putting it, for reverent bowing is one of the appropriate responses to the force, or presence, of truth.
Schuon said something similar when he wrote that "A truth is efficacious to the extent that we assimilate it; if it does not give us the strength we need, this merely proves we have not grasped it. It is not for the truth to be 'dynamic,' it is for us to be dynamic thanks to the truth. What is lacking in today’s world is a penetrating and comprehensive knowledge of the nature of things; the fundamental truths are always accessible, but they could not be imposed on those who refuse to take them into consideration."
Among other responses, truth engenders a dynamic sense of veneration -- a sense of the sacred. And this is why you will have noticed that the left attempts to surround so many of its moldy lies with the penumbra of sanctity. But the sanctity is entirely bogus -- it readily slides into the sanctimony that is intrinsic to the left. In a perverse way, this sanctimoniousness answers the human need for the sacred, but in an alternatively crudely sentimental or authoritarian manner enforced by the many varieties political correctness. (You will notice that the left's confusion of sentimentality with moral/religious depth is just as evident as their totalitarian mind control; they are not opposites but complementary -- like Hitler's sentimental love of dogs.)
This is why the left doesn't really have ideas but icons -- including "iconic ideas." It is an insidious and sinister process, because there is great psychological pressure on all us of to bow down before these false gods, as if they were actually sacred (for example, the many fawning MSM tributes to "the Goreacle"). And there is absolutely no symmetry in this. For example, if a conservative steps in one of the left's many sacred cowpies, there is a good chance that his career will be ruined. But if a leftist offends what is actually sacred, he will be praised as someone who "speaks truth to power." It is inconceivable that the media would trot out some moral equivalent of Christopher Hitchens to blast Martin Luther King on the occasion of his death because of the latter's embrace of dangerous socialist ideas. For one thing, few conservatives are so tasteless, not to mention enraged.
The point is that nearly every one of the leftists's core beliefs is not a proper idea but an icon, whether it is manmade global warming, being "for the little guy," affirmative action, abortion, homosexual behavior, "peace," "progress," multiculturalism, diversity -- in fact, "progressive" is the quintessence of a meaningless icon, since it bears no relationship to progress and promotes economic and social policies that ensure not just a lack of progress, but regression. For example, the "peace movement" can only bring about more war, just as affirmative action can only bring about harm to blacks.
And this is why it is so easy to be a conservative, because you no longer have to contort yourself with so many lies in order to be thoroughly consistent, both internally and externally. The left confuses their contortions with "nuance," but nuance is simply the left left brain's feeble attempt to keep reality at bay, which inevitably seeps in through the walls, ceilings, and floorboards. Or as Randy Newman sang,
Guilty, baby I’m guilty
And I’ll be guilty the rest of my life
How come I never do what I’m supposed to do
How come nothin’ that I try to do ever turns out right?
You know, you know how it is with me baby
You know, I just can’t stand myself
And it takes a whole lot of medicine
For me to pretend that I’m somebody else
This medicine is called leftism, but it has never actually cured anyone, much less a nation of people. Instead it rapidly worsens the disease it is intended to cure, so that greater and greater doses are required until the patient perishes -- if not literally, then in spirit, as we see in western Europe.
"It takes a whole lot of medicine for me to pretend I’m somebody else." Yes, it takes a whole lot of affirmative action for the leftist to pretend he's not a racist, and a whole lot of diversity to pretend he isn't intolerant of dissent. It takes a whole lot of coddling illegal immigrants to pretend they don't just want the votes, and whole lot of global warming to pretend they don't want to undermine the engine of global capitalism and progress. It takes a whole lot of outrage at President Bush to pretend they aren't allied with the Islamo-fascists, and a whole lot of talk about the "little guy" to pretend they aren't filled with class envy. And it takes a whole lot of multiculturalism to pretend they don't hate American culture and values, and a whole lot of fearful talk of separation between God and state to pretend they don't hate the former and love the latter.
Yeah boy, it takes a whole lot of moral relativism to pretend they're not immoral, and even more education to pretend they're not wrong.