Monday, May 07, 2007

Enthusiasm, Inspiration, and Charisma Banned by the Left! (5.05.10)

One of the many uncoonsolations of secular humanism is that since a human life has no intrinsic -- which is to say, transcendent -- purpose, it is not possible to waste one's life. Nor, if absolute truth does not exist, is it possible to be intrinsically stupid. And, of course, if virtue is reduced to an arbitrary cultural agreement, then one cannot be bad -- much less, evil -- only "different" and probably oppressed, to boot.

If human beings are not free to know truth, then neither freedom nor truth can exist. These two categories are fundamentally intertwined, and any diminution of one leads to a diminution of the other. Therefore, it should be no surprise that a philosophy such as leftism, which does not value liberty, should be permeated with so many lies. And it is not just as if these lies represent bad or faulty information. Rather, these are vital lies which one is compelled to believe. In other words, one is not free to believe otherwise.

A mundane but nevertheless illustrative example is the recent case of high school cheerleaders being compelled to root equally for boys' and girls' teams. As Prager writes, "almost no one directly involved wants this -- not the cheerleaders, not the fans, not the boys' teams, and not even the girls' teams. But it doesn't matter: The law coerces cheerleaders to cheer at girls' games."

And it all begins with a vital lie of the left, that men and women are identical. Since no normal person believes this, it must be mandated by law. Put another way, it is against the law to be normal. Once a vital lie such as this is accepted, freedom must be constrained in a thousand ways -- not just for men, but obviously for woman as well, since a normal girl doesn't have much spontaneous interest in being a cheerleader at a girls' softball game. For that matter, at least back when I was in high school, no, ahem, "normal" boy wanted to be "yell king."

Come to think of it, what an intrinsically undignified designation for a young man. Real men don't yell (except when necessary), any more than they whine or pose as victims. If you would be a king among men, you must possess a genuine center of power. This power may lie in the realm of knowing, or doing, or being, but a man, in order to be one, must conquer something in one of these realms. Furthermore, in order to be a man, you can't just know "anything." Rather, you must know truth. Nor can you do just anything. Rather, you must courageously do what is virtuous in a fallen world.

And you certainly cannot be just anything. Rather, your being must radiate the calm presence of Being, which undoubtedly supersedes the other two powers. For example, one senses that Republican voters do not yet feel that any of the existing presidential candidates fully pass muster in the realm of being, as did, quintessentially, Ronald Reagan. In point of fact, Reagan was a man who took ideas very seriously, and who clearly possessed much more truth than the typical leftist intellectual.

But where he really left his puny detractors in the dust was in the realm of being. Reagan is often referred to as the "great communicator," but he communicated something much deeper than mere ideas, which any pinhead philosopher can do. The Clintons, John Edwards, Obama -- each is sort of "vacuum" of being. One could say that they are existentially weightless -- in particular, Obama -- except that darkness takes on a paradoxical "heft" of its own.

Prager notes what should be a truism, that "Of all the myths that surround Left-Right differences, one of the greatest is that the Left values liberty more than the Right. Regarding a small handful of behaviors -- abortion is the best example -- this is true. But overwhelmingly, the further left one goes on the political spectrum, the greater the advocacy of more state control of people's lives.... It is astonishing that this obvious fact is not universally acknowledged and that the Left has somehow successfully portrayed itself as preoccupied with personal liberty with regard to anything except sexual behavior and abortion."

Again, since the left does not value liberty, their version of "truth" must be coerced, never arrived at freely. As Prager notes, "Most activists on the Left believe that they, not only their values, are morally superior to their adversaries. Therefore, coercing people to adhere to 'progressive' values is morally acceptable, even demanded. It is thus quite understandable that laws would compel high school cheerleaders to cheer at girls' athletic events as much as at boys'. And true to leftist totalitarian models, not only is behavior is coerced, but emotions as well."

Regarding the cheerleaders, for example, leftist activists insist that they should "attend girls' and boys' games 'in the same number, and with equal enthusiasm' as part of its five-year goals.'" Is it not Orwellian to require "equal enthusiasm" of anyone over anything? Ironic, since "enthusiasm" comes from en theos, or to be in-spired by God. Thus, for a leftist, enthusiasm of any kind should be against the law on the grounds that it violates the so-called separation between church and state. So too inspiration and charisma ("divine gift"). The ACLU has fought for more bizarre causes. (And my own field of clinical psychology has many similarly illiberal demands mandating, for example, that I "respect" diversity. Why?)

Because so-called progressives "are often unsuccessful in competing in the marketplace of ideas. Same-sex marriage and affirmative action are two contemporary examples. And when persuasion fails, laws are used. If you can't convince, coerce." And of course, "The more secular the society, the more laws are needed to keep people in check. When more people feel accountable to God and moral religion, fewer laws need to be passed. But as religion fades, something must step into the moral vacuum it leaves, and laws compelling good behavior result."

Natural law is eclipsed by unnatural law, which ends up producing unnatural men -- which is to say, either feminized males or developmentally arrested boys. France apparently elected a man president yesterday, which has the boys rioting. This is to be expected.

Arnold Kling notes that "human planning tends to work poorly when compared to trial and error." For example, "many medical discoveries are serendipitous, while systematic efforts such as those of the National Cancer Institute often yield disappointing results." This is because liberty results in the spontaneous emergence of robust order, as is patently true of the economy.

But something similar -- actually, identical -- happens in our spiritual growth, so long as we use our liberty correctly. Just as a command economy ends up strangling growth, efficiency, and wealth production, a "command religion," so to speak (of which leftism is an example), will stifle spiritual growth. More on this below, because it is a point that can be misunderstood.

Regardless of your stance on the merits of embryo stem cell research, it is simply bad science to start with an end that science may or may not be capable of reaching. We can see the absurdity of this more clearly if applied to other fields. For example, imagine funding a philosophy department with the mission that they must elaborate and defend this or that position, instead of freely exploring wherever truth leads. It sounds absurd, but this attitude already prevails in our illiberal leftist universities, where, for example, "diversity" must be achieved. This represents death to thought because it is death to the freedom without which thought cannot function.

Any time thought is in the service of something other than Truth, then it is no longer thought. I don't think we have a word for what it is, but it certainly should not be associated with the beautiful word "liberalism," because it is essentially servile. The typical leftist wackademic is hardly a proponent of the "liberal arts." Rather, no matter how "intelligent," he is a drone practicing the servile arts. He might as well be flipping burgers, except that at least no child is harmed in the process of burger flipping.

As Schuon writes, a proper human being is one who “knows how to think." Conversely, "whoever does not know how to think, whatever his gifts may be, is not authentically a man; that is, he is not a man in the ideal sense of the term. Too many men display intelligence as long as their thought runs in the grooves of their desires, interests and prejudices; but the moment the truth is contrary to what pleases them, their faculty of thought becomes blurred or vanishes; which is at once inhuman and 'all too human.'”

Furthermore, "man is so made that his intelligence has no effective value unless it be combined with a virtuous character. Besides, no virtuous man is altogether deprived of intelligence; while the intellectual capacity of an intelligent man has no value except through truth. Intelligence and virtue are in conformity with their reason for being only through their supernatural contents or archetypes; in a word, man is not fully human unless he transcends himself, hence, in the first place, unless he masters himself."

Do you see how it all hangs together in a beautifully complete and coherent manner: liberty, intelligence, truth, virtue, self-mastery, transcendence, reason for being? This is the classical liberalism of our wise fathers.

The truth is not at your service. Rather, vice versa. Only by virtue of this constraint -- the yoke which is paradoxically easy -- are you free. Not to mention, intelligent.

But this is not to say that there is no sort of connection between the fulfillment of the "common good" and the philosophy taught in a country! Only the relationship can never be established or regulated from the point of view of the general good: when a thing contains its own end, or is an end in itself, it can never be made to serve as a means to any other end -- just as no one can love someone "in order that." --Josef Pieper

77 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your scathing indictments of the left are profound, but when, oh when, are you going to take a critical look at the right? If Clinton, Obama et al are spiritually vacuous, how about Guliani, Romney and co. Without suffering from Bush derangment syndrome, I believe that this man - a cheerleader in college, a "yell king" - with no spiritual depth, should never have become President. The fact that he did speaks volumes about the bankruptcy of the right. In a way, the right is a mirror image of the left, only twisted in a different way. It may go against the impulse to purge leftism from your soul, but why give a pass to those who give Christianity and faith a bad name, the Pharasees of our day?

5/07/2007 08:17:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Anon – While there is certainly lack of spiritual depth at both ends of the spectrum, the left end makes this shallowness into a religion to which everyone is expected to convert. There lies the difference. The results of shallowness on the right are benign compared to the aggressive, vicious cancer of the left.

Gem of the day- “…liberty results in the spontaneous emergence of robust order…” True liberty can only lead to true order.

5/07/2007 08:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous,

I really don't understand why you hate Bush so much.

I'll concede that he's not a spiritual powerhouse like Washington or Grant were, but the facts seem to indicate that he is doing a pretty good job.

Booming economy, low unemployment, no attacks on the homeland in 6 years.

What more can you reasonably ask of a President than to keep the country safe and implement policies conducive to a thriving economy?

And you're whole bit about his spiritual bankruptcy: Have you ever actually listened to the man speak?

Once you get past the occasional verbal stumbles, I think you will find a fundamental core of strong values and a deep devotion to our country and its citizens.

Seriously, instead of just throwing around emotionally charged-indictments, how about explaining why you think the president is both spiritually bankrupt and doing such a poor job leading the country.

5/07/2007 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

The yell-king comment was a joke, but in general, your point about my not criticizing Republicans is well-taken. Unfortunately, very few Republicans are conservative, but they are at least susceptible to conservative influence, whereas the left is not.

And I agree with anonymous 2 that you would have to give reasons for your objection to President Bush, who has performed superbly in most respects -- most obviously in the most important areas, homeland security and the economy.

5/07/2007 08:44:00 AM  
Anonymous WBJ said...

To the first Anon,

I am very disapointed with the Republicans on a number of issues. However, the difference is that I'm disapointed with the Republicans for their failure to follow their own tenets, while I despise the lefties for very successfully following theirs.

The republicans need to get shocked out of their apathy or fear or whatever it is thats making them take the left's mendacity without waging all out war. The left needs to be put into straight jackets and sedated.

WBJ

5/07/2007 09:00:00 AM  
Anonymous joseph said...

Though anon's tone is a bit acrimonious, I believe his point is that "republicans" are really leftists posing as conservatives. If that is his point, then I, for one agree. Bush has always advocated leftist ideology, attempting to argue that it is conservative. This quote from the great article Bob linked is apropos: "For example, in Iraq the Bush Administration intended to create a swift transition to democracy, and to set an example throughout the Arab world. However, democracy is a phenomenon that cannot be imposed by planners. Instead, it must emerge, and Iraq was not ready for such a transformation."
There may indeed be "republicans" who are capable of being influenced by conservative ideas, but the party has been overrun by leftists, so where these ideas may come from is very hard to say. Certainly, they are not reading Bob's blog.
One does not have to "hate" Bush to vehemently disagree with him, and despise his policies.

5/07/2007 09:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, there is nothing more tiresome than Bush bashing, which I am not interested in engaging in, despite my comment. I've always found the man vaguely likeable, with a simple friendliness and faith that is appealing, at least to me though not most of my lefty associates and friends. But that makes his failures all the more grating. While it's true that the economy is doing well, and there have been no attacks on the homeland in 6 years - two accomplishments for sure (but ones for which we cannot be certain would not have occured without him), I would point to the decision to invade Iraq - a strategic blunder of enormous magnitude -and most significantly, a foreign policy stance, without getting us bogged down (save this for the blogs) into the details, that has been self-righteously oblivious to how we are perceived by other nations. This flows from the rightist ideology (in my view also a immanentist surrogate for true faith) that constantly spawns its opposite and is content with platitudes rather than the hard work of spiritual growth and discernment. This talk of the left being a "vicious cancer" and the need to be "put in straitjackets" is mostly in fun but bespeaks a spirit that has more in common with
Ministers of Propaganda than with the voice of the Nazarene.

5/07/2007 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

If you would be a king among men, you must possess a genuine center of power. This power may lie in the realm of knowing, or doing, or being, but a man, in order to be one, must conquer something in one of these realms.

This is the succinct answer to a very insightful question posed most vocally by Dr.Laura years ago. She asked men--now deprived of the intrinsic value of being provider, protector, and procreator--how they defined themselves.

I realize Bob's transcending answer applies to MAN as a species as well. But what better legacy to hand to one's son than a solid ideal of what it means to be a man.

5/07/2007 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Hmm, I think that 'intelligence' aside from virtue, that is, quickness of learning, logic, computation, is an ironic intelligence. It would be like a horse with terrific running legs that is unridable. To call that horse a great runner would be put in an ironic context, as in:

That horse is a great runner, too bad nobody can ride him.

I recall back in the day graphically sophisticated games would come out before their time -

They had great graphics, too bad nobody had computers fast enough to look at them.

So of a man it can be said,

He is a quick study, too bad he doesn't have enough discipline to use what he learns.

He is not stupid, but rather 'intelligent', not to be confused with intelligent.

The more 'qualifiers' your 'qualities' require to be considered such the lower 'quality' they are...

Virtue, please!

wv: bytor - what? That's an insult! :P

wv #2: phnwecmy - sounds like a surgery...

5/07/2007 10:25:00 AM  
Anonymous womyn of power said...

Bob writes:

"And it all begins with a vital lie of the left, that men and women are identical."

It IS a lie, but can be made into truth with enough practice. Let's fake it 'til we make it, brothers and sisters.

We're going all the way, and to hell with nature and history. We're going to make our own way.

Equal in money
Equal in power
Equal in sex
Equal in cheerleading

It's all good, it should all be legislated to the hilt, and anyone who doesn't like it had better get outta da way.

This is one Nietsche we're going to scratch.

5/07/2007 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

I honestly don't see the Iraq problem. I think its a isolationist impulse, honestly.

Would you have it that we write them a full constitution or let them make theirs?

What of the terrorist connections? Should we allow all of those states just to fester with terrorist supporters?

There are many reasons to do what they did; I think most disagree strongly with at least one. And that's usually the one they talk and talk and talk and talk about.

I think it is a decidedly conservative move; allow them economic freedom and they will develop the others.

Or am I misguided? Step down to the ground level and tell me all of the pros and cons you can think of and why the cons so outweigh the pros.

And if you can't think of any pros, you must be thinking of a different Iraq...

5/07/2007 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Anon (09:24:00) - Neither vicious cancer nor being put in straitjackets is fun.

Do you mean this Nazarene? -

"Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword."

5/07/2007 10:31:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

w.o.p: The Myna birds have contacted the ACLU and are determined to get 'MYN' out of the hands of the 'Womyn'.

Quoted: "Human females are not just some variant of the noble Myna species; they are a whole different genus, at least!

The she-mynas, longing for their rightful title, Womynas, are suing those human females with the AUDACITY to invade on their titular entitlements!"

heh. titular.

5/07/2007 10:34:00 AM  
Anonymous red state red in the face said...

thank you joseph, for speaking the truth: there is no difference (or very little) in the policies of conservative and leftist leaders.

In addition, it will be seen that no difference can be discerned in the consuming habits, lifestyles, and worship patterns of these supposedly "disparate" groups.

Fundamentally, there is no schism in American politics or thinking, although you would think there was by the amount of yabbering about it going on.

Sheesh. Somebody should step up and do or think "different."

5/07/2007 10:37:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Anon said,

"This talk of the left being a "vicious cancer" and the need to be "put in straitjackets" is mostly in fun but bespeaks a spirit that has more in common with
Ministers of Propaganda than with the voice of the Nazarene."

Actually, the voice of the Nazarene might have something to say about this assessment of the whitewashed tombs of the left. Abortion advocation, legalized drug use and prostitution in the guise of an "open" society, the scrambling of gender roles creating pathology and confusion in a society, elevation of animal rights over the rights/interests of humans, increased secularization of society with the attendant mocking of religion, rededinition of marriage (and don't think it will stop at gay marriage), etc., etc., etc.

Think the voice of the Nazarene might have something to say about these issues?
Think the voice of the Nazarene would be down with it?




Didn't think so.

5/07/2007 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger MizzE said...

OT (hope I'm excused for the interruption)
Subject: Lileks is desperate

James Lileks, in today's Bleak, reports on a bleak situation regarding his position at the Star Tribune. In his post, he
asks his readers to write the editors and he provides a link.

I felt called to respond and sent the letter below.

Should you feel so called, here's a link to his appeal at The Bleak.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I was gobsmacked to learn of James Lileks reassignment.
What a loss for his loyal fans and what a missed opportunity for the Star-Tribune. Why down here in Austin, Texas we have for 30 years been sustained by the views of humor columnist, John Kelso at the Austin American Statesman. John always pokes fun at just about anybody or anything. He has a way of adding a twist to an already ridiculous situation. Now don't tell any Texans I said this, but Lileks is a better writer and humorist and the Star-Tribune would fair better if it elevated Lileks to a position worthy of his talents.

5/07/2007 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Speaking of feminized men, I recently had a run in with one. Strange, desperate and erratic, and perverse.

And also a Christian.

Seems as though until he recognizes what a man is supposed to be he won't be able to overcome what he is right now.

Run the race to its completion.

With the Sedes Sapiente many believers are lost, I think; Divine Wisdom must be recognized and reclaimed before all we have left is lukewarm or compulsory.

By encounter, I must say, I mean what might be considered sexual harassment. It was shocking, but taught me an important lesson about vigilance of character.

5/07/2007 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger juliec said...

"Fundamentally, there is no schism in American politics or thinking,..."

I can't decide if you're serious or joking, so here's my response if you're serious:

While I might agree with you to some degree on the politics (but only some - you can't convince me that there is no distinction between those who support the war and those who want to guarantee we lose it), if you can't see the schism in American thought, perhaps you should remove your head from the dank, smelly hole it's buried in and look around. Roughly half of this country apparently wants a nanny state, if elections this century are any indication. The other half believes in personal responsibility, by that same measure. The two are fundamentally mutually exclusive.

Yes, we all want the world to be a better place for as many people as possible, but there are huge distinctions in how people define that better place. As yesterday's links pointed out, there are even quite a few who think the world would be a better place sans people.

I think, perhaps, you listened to that Bette Midler song a little too often; yes, it all looks nice from a distance, and we all want the same thing from a distance, and war makes no sense from a distance. We don't live at that distance.

5/07/2007 10:51:00 AM  
Blogger juliec said...

Hoarhey,
"...increased secularization of society with the attendant mocking of religion,..."

Yesterday, before my concert, we had a lecture on Italian art. It was a late decision by my director to invite this person, an art teacher from a local community college who has apparently led several art tours around Europe, to speak in the hopes of sharing more than just the music inspired by Italian basilicas over the centuries.

The lecturer, with a power-point presentation in the front of a church, proceeded to long-windedly mock the art, along with the Christian culture that inspired it. He was trying to be funny, pointing out how the horses at St. Mark's (along with the body of St. Mark) were originally stolen from somewhere else. While the information may have been true, he didn't bother to put any of it in context, or discuss the beauty of the art - in fact, he started his lecture by saying that much of the Christian art was silly or bizarre.

His whole intention was to be shocking and mocking, mentioning only the worst and most shameful tidbits of Italian history (there are many, I know, but I've heard much of it before in college, better presented, and with some respect).

I was astounded. Here he was, in a church, speaking to an audience who were there to listen to music billed specifically as sacred/ spiritual - and mocking it all, clearly with the assumption that we all thought as he did.

I didn't stay for the whole thing.

He talked at least 15 minutes too long.

The concert was great though :)

5/07/2007 11:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Steve said...

Anon Said:

"the decision to invade Iraq - a strategic blunder of enormous magnitude -and most significantly, a foreign policy stance... that has been self-righteously oblivious to how we are perceived by other nations."

Ummmm, perhaps this is an oversimplification, but I believe Bob's entire point is that arguments of the left are inherently pointless. It is hardly self-righteously oblivious to disregard something that is, on it's face, nonsense. In fact, paying an inordinate amount of attention to nonsense has a name. Its called stupidity.

Rather than a fault, ignoring Schroder and Chirac is one of W's greatest virtues. (Do you notice to how I responded to what Bush REALLY did, rather than what you have implied with your question?) Want proof? I think the elections of Merkel and Sarkozy suffice.

Furthermore, the invasion of Iraq was not a strategic blunder, it was a strategic necesssity. Since the fall of Baghdad, it has been an inexcuseable series of tactical errors. To call the war in Iraq a strategic blunder you must believe that we would be better off if we had never invaded and gotten rid of Saddam. Is that a point you care to argue? I hope not, or I will have just paid an inordinate amount of attention to nonsense. That is an activity in which I try not to engage.

Clean out your head gear, new guy. Start looking at the world the way it is, and not the way you wish it to be.

5/07/2007 11:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joseph,

Respectfully disagree with your statement:

"democracy is a phenomenon that cannot be imposed by planners. Instead, it must emerge, and Iraq was not ready for such a transformation."

History seems to indicate otherwise. Japan and Germany come to mind as the obvious examples. We forced democracy upon our conquered enemies, and left once it took root.

5/07/2007 11:54:00 AM  
Anonymous walt said...

While I don't like the Republican Party, I hold the Democrats in utter contempt. However, I find that in matters involving "getting through the day," republicans usually are seen to be my "natural allies."

For instance, over the weekend there was the Rasmussen Poll. It asked: "Did Bush know about 9/11 in advance?" And 35% of democrats said a definite 'yes,' while an additional 26% said 'not sure.' In the same poll, republicans answered 'no' by a 7-1 margin.

Now I ask, with which group am I likely to be able to have any sort of socio-political conversation?

I think Bob illustrated this sort of problem when he wrote, "...it should be no surprise that a philosophy such as leftism, which does not value liberty, should be permeated with so many lies. And it is not just as if these lies represent bad or faulty information. Rather, these are vital lies which one is compelled to believe."

5/07/2007 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Annonymous said "Without suffering from Bush derangment syndrome" and then "with no spiritual depth, should never have become President"... hmm perhaps just the flu then?

"there is nothing more tiresome than Bush bashing," and then "...no attacks on the homeland in 6 years - two accomplishments for sure (but ones for which we cannot be certain would not have occured without him)" How is not giving credit for results following from Bush's actual policies, not bashing?

Still, not central to your point, so I'll let your glancing blows be met with mine and leave them there.

I mostly agree with wbj & Joseph's comments. I covered the justifiable
Reasons for Iraq War at my site, so won't rehash them here. The idea that democracy can't be imposed is silly, it's the simplest thing to do, as long as guns are evenly distributed, mob rule by the Demos is sure to follow - for a while.

Imposing a Constitutional Republic is a bit trickier. I would look to Post WWII Japan for a general model and method to be imposed and enforced with absolutely unapologetic force. You don't bother getting 'buy-in' and input from people who have already faild at civil civilization. Impose a constitution (yes, includes a Bill of Rights). Impose an administration. Ruthlessly destroy violent opposition. Stop pretending that War and it's aftermath can be prettied up. As the people begin to get the hang of the process, an understanding of Individual Rights and rule of law, Then you begin turning over the reigns of power. Not before.

Would it be as successful as soon as it proved to be in Japan? Doubtful. Japan had a unity of culture, a people already in possession of a high level of self-controll, which Iraq and the mid-east can only envy. Is that any reason to fold and do otherwise? No. Does anyone seriously think that the current attempt, or the cut and run strategy is going to produce better results than the WWII-Japan Model? Gimmee a break.

And as Gagdad said, there's unfortunately few things rarer than a Conservative Republican, but their failings stem from attempting to immitate, mollify and kiss-up to the leftists and their media-'inte-llectuals', not their adherence to Conservative (Classical Liberal) principles.

What the country needs most, is voluble discussion and teaching geared towards the realization that "...Any time thought is in the service of something other than Truth, then it is no longer thought. I don't think we have a word for what it is, but it certainly should not be associated with the beautiful word "liberalism," because it is essentially servile."

Calculating and sssly, come to mind. One of the few things that the Progressives got right, was that the only way to destroy and take over America (and that was their stated intent - do some research), was to begin by replacing Education with their indoctrination. Any movement forward Conservatives think they are making, will be temporary at best, untill that first step is reversed.

Uh-oh, lunch ended a bit ago, better end there.

(P.S. Petey's tin cup should have rattled with my purchase of "Leisure The Basis Of Culture by Josef Pieper" ref'd at the end of today's post. Looks interesting)

5/07/2007 12:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Zi said...

you wrote

"The truth is not at your service. Rather, vice versa. Only by virtue of this constraint -- the yoke which is paradoxically easy -- are you free. Not to mention, intelligent."

I felt compelled to bring to your attention the basic Confucian principle "it is man who makes truth great, not truth which makes man great." Was Confucius [and the great Confucians like Mencius] not free and intelligent?

5/07/2007 12:07:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

zi said "it is man who makes truth great, not truth which makes man great."

My creaky memory is hollering that you've got that wrong or out of context, but it's not giving me any details... will have to look up tonight.

When reading Mencius and the followers of Confuscious, I was startled with how much of what they had to say, was very compatible with Classical Liberalism.

You got book, chapter & verse for your reading of them?

5/07/2007 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger robinstarfish said...

While We Slept
silent before dawn
red men approach the river
passing from this world

5/07/2007 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

'it is man who makes truth great, not truth which makes man great'

IF that is it, word for word, it means this:

Truth must be spoken and displayed, otherwise it may be unknown and lost.

It is not saying whether men serve truth or it serves them; sounds to me like it has nothing to do with that at all.

5/07/2007 01:01:00 PM  
Anonymous klingon warbird said...

Bob writes that stem-cell research is "bad science." How so?

Isn't science amoral? If it follows the correct process of truth finding, then whatever truths are uncovered must be legit.

The moral spin on it comes later and has nothing to do with science.

5/07/2007 01:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Chief Ottomway said...

A great wind rushes over this land.

Men must make war in order to be men--cannot we see that?

The world has been offered to our nation by the Great Spirit-- why do we not accept the gift?

Surely we are the favored ones.
We have been given great weapons, multitudes of sturdy warriors, and all the means necessary to win the prize.

And yet, we hold back.

Are we not the best nation?
Is this not proven by what we have been given?

Is it not a slap in the face of the Great Spirit to hold back in camp while the enemy sleeps undisturbed in his?

Where is our heart in this matter? We might as well go forth and dig tule roots with our women if we do not rise to the occasion.

That is all I have to say.

5/07/2007 01:21:00 PM  
Anonymous anonymous said...

Yeah, chief, except that modern war tends to kill lots of civilians. Factor that in. This ain't the Great Plains.

5/07/2007 01:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Susannah said...

"Come to think of it, what an intrinsically undignified designation for a young man. Real men don't yell (except when necessary), any more than they whine or pose as victims. If you would be a king among men, you must possess a genuine center of power. This power may lie in the realm of knowing, or doing, or being, but a man, in order to be one, must conquer something in one of these realms. Furthermore, in order to be a man, you can't just know "anything." Rather, you must know truth. Nor can you do just anything. ***Rather, you must courageously do what is virtuous in a fallen world.****"

Whoo, Bob! (Fanning self.) Mmmm, real men. :) Lucky gal that I am, I've got me one.

I hope womyn of power's was an ironic posting. If so: heh. You could definitely pass for one with that schtick. Keep polishing it, though.

And from that "people are viruses" article Bob linked a couple of comment threads ago...

“We need to radically and intelligently reduce human populations to fewer than one billion,” says Watson. From SIX BILLION. I don't even want to know what he proposes. Pretty shudder-invoking. Looks like the devil has a new assistant.

Not only that, but he split an infinitive. [Shudder]

As for anonymous' complaints against Bush, I have similar complaints, but they have less to do with Iraq (a necessary move, IMO) and more to do with the federalizing of education, gov'tal oversight of Christian organizations (there won't always be a Christian Republican in power), laxity on illegal immigration, heavy spending, etc. The Iraq move was definitely conservative and well within the designated jurisdiction of commander & chief. The others...not so. What bugs me more than Bush are RINO representatives. Grr. I think Bush does have spiritual depth. But he conflates Christian compassion with left-oriented control-freak policy. A lot of left-wing Christians try to distort Jesus' teachings to justify welfare statism, social experimentation, etc. Who's obliterating the supposed "line of separation" betwixt church & state, I always ask.

Anyway, I challenge Anonymous to read National Review Online for two weeks and then claim that the right is only a twisted mirror image of the left. Not so for the *thinkers* on the right.

5/07/2007 01:28:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

"If it follows the correct process of truth finding, then ..."

Oh, I do believe that's entirely what Bob is saying.

5/07/2007 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Key misunderstanding in science.

Scientific process starts with a hypothesis.

Where do you get the hypothesis?

Tell me THAT is an amoral decision and I would be required to disagree.

5/07/2007 01:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Susannah said...

"Bob writes that stem-cell research is 'bad science.' How so?

Isn't science amoral? If it follows the correct process of truth finding, then whatever truths are uncovered must be legit.

The moral spin on it comes later and has nothing to do with science."

I'm not Bob, and I don't speak for him, but I say no, science is not amoral.

Is experimentation on black men o.k.? Are Mengele's methods acceptable? Did the moral spin come later in those cases? Stem cell research is good science and is producing amazing results. *Embryonic* stem cell research is immoral and moreover is not producing results, yet those in the service of Moloch or whoever's driving it are still pushing it like it's actually good science.

5/07/2007 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Chief Ottomway said "Surely we are the favored ones. We have been given great weapons, multitudes of sturdy warriors, and all the means necessary to win the prize."

Aside from our not being 'given' anything, seeking to expend 'warriors' and our wealth to win a 'prize' is pidgin for the 'Ends justify the Means.'

Go back and read Thucydides for some examples of your 'philosophy' in action, or if you need it broken down simpler, the opening of the Republic with Thracymicus.

The American Indians who you ape, had the virtue of not having any hisorical examples to judge from, were still in a 'Heroic' culture, and so can be excused for their errors.

You can't.

5/07/2007 01:59:00 PM  
Anonymous terrence said...

What impact would those billions of dead bodies have on the environment? Would they be buried or burned?

5/07/2007 02:09:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Eaten?

It would suit our new-found regression if we did.

BTW, chiefy, if you're going to assume something is a gift, recall James:

'Every Good and Perfect gift comes from God.'

Anything given by God is given for his purpose, which is good and perfect;

Slaughtering and subjugating the world? Decidedly not perfect.

So if we were given those things by Him it certainly wasn't for that purpose.

Geez. Is it so hard for people to think through their theology?

5/07/2007 02:41:00 PM  
Anonymous walt said...

"To be a man, you must -
1)know the truth
2)courageously do what is virtuous
3)radiate the calm presence of Being"

Whatever messages received by me early in life about "being a man" mostly had to do with money, sex, and performance. I can recall the whole subject being a very open - and uneasy - question, for many years.

Bob, I hope your boy can absorb the wisdom in the definition you shared with us. And, of course, it pertains to us as adults as well. Very well said.

5/07/2007 02:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Modern science tells us that everything is kight, that all of reality---every person, every object, every iota of space and time---is nothing byt waves in an ocean of light.

But what science does not tell us is that this light is not merely and impersonal force or a mass f energy. It is CONSCIOUS: It is ALIVE---in fact,it is Great Person of Light, a Radiant Being of Infinite Brightness. Even more, in REALITY, Light Is the DIVINE Person, the Great One, Living as everything, (even as Onecosmos acolytes!!!) Appearing as everything,and yet,paradoxically, Always and Only Conscious Light.

5/07/2007 05:02:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

aninnymouse said "...Even more, in REALITY, Light Is the DIVINE Person, the Great One, Living as everything, (even as Onecosmos acolytes!!!) "

yeh. Very illuminating. Thanks.

(Don't you guys love it when the trolls bust open the thesaurus & learn a new word like 'acolyte'? It's fun to see how many times they try to work it into a sentence.)

5/07/2007 05:31:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

zi,

Got to watch out for isolated quotations from foriegn languages & cultures, plopped out on glossy web pages - especially ones with a newagey and/or leftist bent. You should look for several translations before assuming you've got the flavor of it, even (and maybe especially) with Greek.

The one you quoted is part of a sequence, but just to stick with the skim which you took, you had:

"It is man that makes truth great,
and not truth that makes man great."

This is also translated as:

"It is not the Way that broadens people,
but people who broaden the Way."

or the one I think probably puts it into the best perspective:

"Man can make System Great,
it is not System which makes Man Great"

I way less familiar with Confucius than I am with the Western philosophers, but from what I've read, he didn't make a lot of cut and dried pronouncements about "Truth" as a definable, graspable thingy, easily observed, tagged and put on the shelf.

He had more of what we might call a parable type approach - more interested in propper ethics, behavior, things which showed the process of good community relations and respect - and which really needed to be understood and applied, rather than just easy quote's for easy occasions. Which is the reason why I think the last seems closer to an accurate translation. You, your understanding, your integrity to do what is right, to take principles, think them through and thoughtfully apply them, is what can make a system Great (such as with a constitution that can be printed on just a couple pieces of paper), as opposed to a system which is rigid, seeks to dictate every thought and action and variable - comes up woefully short, and breeds loop-holes and corruption (such as the tax code, or other socialist systems).

5/07/2007 06:01:00 PM  
Blogger juliec said...

Am I the only one who's wondering what our most recent Aninnymouse has been smoking this afternoon?

5/07/2007 06:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been smoking the "weed of God' (mixed in with a small pinch of light giving peyote).
Got a problem wit dhat, miss goody two shoes?

5/07/2007 06:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Herman said...

Bob,

I particularly enjoyed your post today.

I woke up thinking about man's purpose and what it means to become fully human. I guess this synchronicity shouldn't come as that big of a surprise given our connection to the same Source.
But it always feels a little eerie.

Anyways, I'm currently trying to unravel a seeming contradiction in my understanding of the cosmos. It might be an interesting topic for a future post, and I could certaintly use the push.

On the one hand, my internal experience of the world suggests that there is more than meets the eye to what is going on here. That true reality is fundamentally deeper and more profound than the world of appearances and that the world of appearances is merely a shell of what is real and true.

The internal experience of this phenomenon is sometimes visual. At times, I can almost see beyond the veil of sight, tearing through the fabric of the material universe, and peering into the formlessness from which the visual world arises.

Other times the experience takes on a more emotional tone, and I can feel the deeper meanings that are being reflected by events "on the surface."

Sometimes the experience is an exercise in pure intellection, where I just know that a layered cosmos in which humans straddle the horizontal and the vertical is the only cosmos that makes sense and the only cosmos that can possibly exist.

But whatever its manifestation, I am convinced of the reality of the principle that the world of form is but a shell of a what is ultimately real.

On the other hand, I am thoroughly convinced that human sensory perception is very closely aligned with the way the world actually is.

First of all, I have absolutely no compelling reason to believe that my experience of the sensory realm is false. So in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, I'm going to choose the most reasonable, straightforward explanantion for my experience - that the material world exists in pretty much the same manner as I experience it.

Furthermore, I just don't think God would have endowed his creation with abilities that were specifically designed to mislead them in their pursuit of Truth.

Thus, the paradox. Is the material world a veil, a lie and a shell of what is truly real? Or is the material world real in and of itself?

Of course, after writing this lengthy post, it somehow only now seems painfully obvious that the answer is both. That the material world is real, but partial. One layer in a cosmos of infinite depth.

But if this realization is correct, it elicits another question I've been thinking about: What is this elusive thing called Ultimate Reality actually comprised of? What is its substance? And how do I accurately perceive, and align myself with, Ultimate Truth?

The world of form is a manifestation of formless ideas, emotions, and values. It is a stage on which the cosmos acts out its script, giving substance to essence, expressing itself in a manifest medium.

Feelings, ideas and values are themselves expressions of typological and archetypal Forms that existed prior to their emergence.

But what precedes the archetypes? And how deep can our understanding of reality actually go?

Because obviously, at some layer before the archetypes, we have to run into a first cause. An infinite cause, a boundary beyond which the human mind cannot go.

This is Ultimate Reality - the Mind of God - and it is ultimately unknowable to the human mind.

But it is certainly knowable to the part of man that transcends himself.

To know the mind of God, to Know Ultimate Reality and live a life aligned with its purpose - this is the transcendent purpose of the life of man.

Nevertheless, the question stubbornly persists: What does Ultimate Reality LOOK LIKE? What does it FEEL LIKE? How does one describe an actual ENCOUNTER with it, let alone SUSTAIN a mode of existence in alignment with it?

These are the questions I am now grappling with on my spiritual odyssey, as I try to whittle away untruth from my being just enough for the Truth to break through.

As I work on myself, I hear a voice reminding me to be patient, and not to over-intellectualize the search.

That the answer is simple, and that it is right in front of me.

That the great mystery is only a mystery from the human perspective.

That the Truth will not be contained by Reason.

That the answer lies not in understanding, but in transcendence.

5/07/2007 06:43:00 PM  
Anonymous terrence said...

If you want to see a bit of inspiration, check out this blogg post and watch the video.
This guy does not have room for self-pity, or fancy talk.

http://www.texasrainmaker.com/2007/05/07/life-without-limits/

5/07/2007 06:43:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

herman: Not to belittle your musing... but maybe... cream?

You know, whipped cream.

Dunno, just all of that talking about the substance of ultimate reality - made me think of whipped cream.

Of course, I was just playing Chopin.

And thinking about how it would be great if they filled more foods with cream.

So, take it all with a grain of salt.

OR sugar, since salt would not go so good with all of the CREAM.

wv: abufy!

5/07/2007 07:24:00 PM  
Anonymous herman said...

Cream, ey?

That clears it all up. Thanks.

Or did you just mean to be belittling, despite your claim to the contrary?

And what's the link between Chopin and cream?

5/07/2007 08:03:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Bob said,

“France apparently elected a man president yesterday, which has the boys rioting. This is to be expected.”

Was thinking the same thing. Actually, children have more open sense than that. Or rather they easily accept or recognize this behavior as wrong or that that behavior doesn’t make sense.

5/07/2007 08:51:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

By the way 'coons, sorry for the late arrival.

Man, my horizontal has really been cramping my vertical lately.

5/07/2007 08:55:00 PM  
Blogger juliec said...

Apropos today's post, I just came across this on Protein Wisdom (via Instapundit).

5/07/2007 09:05:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Bob,
Speaking of “Orwellian tactics, convince by coerce, command economy ends up strangling growth…” and other such compassions of the left.

Such lovers of freedom and nature. Yet they just can’t leave us alone, can they.

Been thinking…

You can be a socialist in a capitalist society if you want to. Go for it. Be a dope, no one cares here.
But a capitalist in a socialist or communist society?...they will hunt you down.

5/07/2007 09:06:00 PM  
Blogger juliec said...

Is it just me, or does that process bear a rather disturbing resemblence to the practices of taqiya and kitman? It seems they have more in common with the Izlambies than I, at least, had thought.

5/07/2007 09:11:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Bob said,
“…least no child is harmed in the process of burger flipping”

Correction. This former child’s memory was damaged by too many short orders in summer 1981. Thanks Burger World. Billions and billions served? Had to be at least that many.

5/07/2007 09:14:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

WOW!...Good post...Did you submit your site at blogsearch.sg?

You can reach blogsearch by just typing blogsearch.sg in your browser window or click here

This is a service by bizleadsnet directory of web logs.

5/07/2007 09:15:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

JulieC,
Now that you mention it, yes.

The MSM's gotten so convoluted and tangled, that they are destroying what they surely started out to protect …way, way long ago.

5/07/2007 09:26:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Herman,
What is the stuff of reality made of? I think probably the same thing you are.

When I used to think on it too much (many, many moons ago), I used to have the impression that if I turned sideways at just the right moment, I could step behind the curtain, and then... and... then... hmm... might find a very displeased Usher waiting for you. Your mind will do it's best to provide you with the clues you want to be there, and there's plenty of mind parasites out there ready and willing to make the best of the clues you think you find. Doesn't mean they'll lead anywhere though.

We don't have a 'Made in OC' label stamped on us, no compartment for the batteries, no reset button - we're here, and here is what we have with ourselves to make sense of it. My guess is that no matter how good our guesses, if there is a big programmer in the sky, he wrote some clean and tight code, and we aren't going to find any eastereggs or cheats that are going to let us sneak to the next level before completing this one.

I also figure that everything is here, right now, that we need to play this level to the hilt, and learn all there is to learn, without resorting to cheats and shortcuts.

My advice would be not to miss out on playing the game by looking for the rivets. They aren't the point.

(P.S. I don't River meant anything by the whipped cream comment... probably just having a Franz Liszt moment)

5/07/2007 09:39:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ricky Raccoon said "...my horizontal has really been cramping my vertical lately."

Oh... I can seriously relate to that.

5/07/2007 09:41:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Anyone else hear that 'beep' after Ash's comment?

5/07/2007 09:42:00 PM  
Anonymous garuda said...

Well herman, the way I parse it, God is like water; can be a solid, liquid, or a gas. God can be matter, energy, or conciousness. In the case of the human being, all three at once.

But regular matter, the periodic table of elements and so forth, is God-stuff, which can swing in many different ways. Can't call any of its forms the 'real' one.

It (HeShe Yahweh Jehovah Vishnu) probably conserves part of Itself out of the cosmos. What this conserved part is like is open to speculation.

5/07/2007 09:45:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Sigh... trying to insert more hours into the day by pretending they're there. Clocks not buying it though.

Nighty-nite raccoon's.

5/07/2007 09:47:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

xi, Van:

A further note on Confucius, and the saying in question. I have it in the Analects of Confucius translated and annotated by Arthur Waley. (1938)
Book XV,28:
The Master said, A man can enlarge his Way; but there is no Way that can enlarge a man.

AHA!
There is a footnote:
1)Without effort on his part. Play on 'Way', and 'road'. A man can widen a road...etc."
I have read this book many times. Confucius often speaks of Truth, but it is always in the context of honesty, integrity, "the keeping of promises", etc. I can't recall an instance of his adressing Truth directly as a transcendent value in the way that we do here. Goodness, and Wisdom, and Honesty, yes, but not Truth per se. I'm a little over my head here, but it seems to me that the idea of absolute Truth is implicit in the virtue of Honesty, whether Truth is addressed separately or not.
At any rate, the passage does not mean that man is the measure of truth; It means that no Way will broaden you without effort on your part.

JWM

5/07/2007 10:33:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Come to think of it, what an intrinsically undignified designation for a young man. Real men don't yell (except when necessary), any more than they whine or pose as victims. If you would be a king among men, you must possess a genuine center of power. This power may lie in the realm of knowing, or doing, or being, but a man, in order to be one, must conquer something in one of these realms. Furthermore, in order to be a man, you can't just know "anything." Rather, you must know truth. Nor can you do just anything. Rather, you must courageously do what is virtuous in a fallen world."

Chivalry is not dead, but alive and well, as long as at least one Coon stands in the gap.

5/08/2007 12:45:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Herman: no offense intended, just trying to lighten the mood.

5/08/2007 04:46:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

JWM,
Syncoonicity! That is my favorite copy, the one I was hunting all over the house for (Me to 18 yr old, "You seen my good 'Confucius and Lao Tzu' book? The one with the purple ribbon?", 18 yr old looking at me warily as if I were wearing a dress and carrying a hatchet, "No-ooo Dad, haven't seen that... eh, we gonna watch 24 & Heroes or what?", me, dejected "Yeah, gimmee a minute"), I finally gave up & went with the lesser copies.

Naturally after posting and sitting down to kick on TIVO... there was the copy I was hunting for, in my reading basket.

5/08/2007 05:05:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Herman,

One other point, "What does Ultimate Reality LOOK LIKE? What does it FEEL LIKE? How does one describe an actual ENCOUNTER with it, let alone SUSTAIN a mode of existence in alignment with it?"

Answer that like a Zen master would. Pick up a rock. Notice the temperature. Feel it's heft. Whack yourself sharply across the skull with it. Feel that? That's what ultimate reality is like.

Chop wood, carry water. Work for yourself or someone else, 9 to 5 or otherwise. That's how you sustain a mode of existence in alignment with it.

Don't get wrapped up looking for the Vertical in the Horizontal. Reality is real, it is here, it is us, it's put together well & doesn't obey the our commands unless we follow it's design and rules (Bacon's "Nature to be commanded must be obeyed"), but you don't get to the Vertical through it, except through yourself and your relations with others.

IMNSHO There's no hidden panel to flip back & see Ultimate Reality, that is ony found by looking inward, upward & outwards.

5/08/2007 05:23:00 AM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

See, this is where the ethnocentricity becomes painfully obvious. Only Americans believe that the American economy is doing well.

New figures on released March 14th showed that Americans spent some $857 billion more than they produced in 2006, the equivalent of 6.5% of GDP, and a new record.

And yet there are no plans, nor even fantasies or daydreams, about how to pay back, or even how to sustain the economy without borrowing two billion dollars a day.

"The wicked borrows and does not pay back, but the righteous is gracious and gives." Psalm 37:21. If America has joined the wicked, who is going to be gracious in the days to come?

(Of course, contrary to popular belief, it is not Bush who has borrowed more than $2000000000 a day. But please don't associate the man with the American economy if you wish him well.)

5/08/2007 05:31:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

magnus: Even we are aware of the bullishness of the current economy. However, the idea that it is doing poorly is also false.

The overspending probably has something to do with credit card debt, just thinking offhand...

5/08/2007 05:42:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

RE: Chopin/cream; I found that playing his waltzes on an organ has this odd effect not unlike a calliope... mesmerizing!

5/08/2007 05:44:00 AM  
Anonymous herman said...

"Chop wood, carry water. Work for yourself or someone else, 9 to 5 or otherwise. That's how you sustain a mode of existence in alignment with it."

9 to 5, that would be nice, wouldn't it?

No time to go in depth right now, Van, but I think you missed the point of my comment.

And I'm not a big fan of Zen. It's a cop out. The same cop out you're taking - "The questions don't matter, what you see is what you get, just live life to fullest!"

Just because you gave up on the search "many moons" ago, doesn't mean you made the right choice.

The Truth is HIDDEN, for a reason, and it is waiting to be found by us.

I won't, as the Zen Buddhists do, lull myself into a false sense of peace by stopping thinking. The goal of thought is to transcend the mind, not to ignore it.

5/08/2007 06:48:00 AM  
Anonymous walt said...

Hmmm. Never found a Zen practitioner yet that was "lulled into a false sense of peace," nor one that had "stopped thinking."

Must be a case of mis-taken identity.

5/08/2007 07:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm. Then maybe you're as blind and stupid as your comments.

5/08/2007 07:57:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Herman,
I think I got your point, but maybe I dashed off my reply too quickly, because the only use I have for Zen is where it reinforces Western thinking. Thinking (and doing) is the key, and "The questions don't matter, what you see is what you get, just live life to fullest!" is so far from any point I try to make that I'm scared to scroll up and reread my previous comment, just in case that is how it reads.

I didn't give up on the search, I stopped looking in silly places.

The answers are to be found within your spirit, you mind, your grasp of principles, how they derive from and integrate with reality, and how integrating those within you by word and deed, leads your grasp up the Vertical ladder.

Again... time is short... 9 to 5 indeed.

5/08/2007 08:02:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ah, the heck with it... looks like Gagdads saying it alot better on tomorrows post.

5/08/2007 08:18:00 AM  
Anonymous herman said...

No worries, Van. Judging from your previous writing, I'm sure you get the point.

Perhaps my comments are somewhat colored by my personal feeling towards Zen. I lost a relative to a kooky temple in India. And I don't think Eastern revelation holds a candle to Western thought.

Anyways, when contemplating ultimate reality I find myself asking: Is ultimate reality something deeper than I can possibly comprehend? What is the source of this feeling that something profound is going on behind the scenes of ordinary, every-day life?

Or is ultimate reality actually the most simple of concepts, in front of my face at all times?

Is Truth in plain sight, and I only need to to retreat from untruth in order to see it more clearly? Or is Truth hidden?

5/08/2007 08:29:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Herman said "...What is the source of this feeling that something profound is going on behind the scenes of ordinary, every-day life?"

I thought I had recognized something in your first comment... I wonder if either of these earlier posts of mine as it is above, and charged thoughts from depths, ring any familiar bells for you?

5/08/2007 09:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Susannah said...

In my mind, ultimate reality = the kingdom of heaven, which is not eating or drinking, but righteousness, peace, and joy through the Holy Spirit (which is certainly accessible to us during any activity of life, including cleaning toilets and changing dirty diapers).

Jesus showed us what the Father looks like. You've seen me, you've seen the Father, he said. I am the Door, he said. I think you reach ultimate reality through Christ.

1 Corinthians 4:16ff may help too:

"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal."

And 1 John 3:2

"Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is."

Right now, we're sort of stuck in that tension between the now and the not yet. Yet, we still have that "deposit," or guarantee of what is to come, that seals our hearts.

5/08/2007 11:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A mundane but nevertheless illustrative example is the recent case of high school cheerleaders being compelled to root equally for boys' and girls' teams.

Is that anything like the DPRK's "Comrade-Workers Joyfully Dancing With Great Enthusiasm Before Dear Leader Kim Jong-Il"?

5/08/2007 11:58:00 AM  

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