Infrahuman, Suprahuman, Human, and All Too Human
"Be a man!" As soon as you say this to a boy -- which you must say or transmit in one form or another -- you are simultaneously saying to stop behaving like one. In other words, master yourself, transcend yourself, rise above yourself. Thus, there is hierarchy, or there is no man. The hierarchy is not merely about outward behavior. Rather, if one has truly transcended oneself, the behavior is simply the mark of an inner transformation -- or the failure of such.
Granted, there were and are times that this formula is abused. Naturally, it is possible for a bad man to imitate the gestures and bearing of the superior man, but he can only fool others who have not risen above themselves (the trousered apes of the U.N. come readily to mind). Again, if your coon scent is operative, you don't have this problem. You can smell one of these people a phony smile away. As I have said before, it doesn't just come through in the content of their communication, but through the essence of it. A person cannot really hide his essence except to people whose own essence is hidden from themselves -- which is a lot of people, by the way, certainly the majority. It is why people such as John Edwards or Hillary Clinton could ever even be considered to lead this great nation.
Still, there are enough people with a subcoonscious sniffer to know what's in the air, which is why, say, Hillary Clinton's "negatives" and Rudy Giuliani's "positives" are so high. As frightening and destructive as Clinton's policies are, her negatives have nothing to do with that. Rather, they are a response -- instant feedback, as it were -- to the state of her soul, which is getting very close to Nobel territory. Likewise, no matter how negatively the liberal media tries to depict Giuliani, normal people have a positive reaction to him (as they did with Reagan).
Just as we are aware of the infrahuman, we are aware of the suprahuman, for the one implies the other. Just as you can fail to achieve proper humanness, you can surpass it. In fact, speaking only for myself, I am perhaps even more "suprahuman oriented" than I am "God oriented." Or, I find the most direct and vivid evidence of God in the form of certain particularly lofty souls who directly transmit the realm of the suprahuman. Apparently, this is a controversial claim in Protestantism, but not so in Catholicism and certainly not in Orthodoxy (much less, Vedanta), where there is very much of an awareness of how extraordinarily helpful the saints can be to us. Again, not just in a didactic or educational way, but in the form of a direct spiritual transmission. And it is a guruvy two-way transmission, as in Father so-and-so, pray to God for us!
I judge religious writings solely in non-discursive and "suprahuman" terms, by the spiritual "perfume" they emit. If they aren't readolent with this written fragrance, then they are not likely to be very helpful, much less transformative. This is why I dismiss the Deepaks and most of the other new-agers as frauds. It's not out of any maliciousness, but because I just can't stand the smell. It's the same with atheists. Again, as always, not the ones who, for whatever reason, are simply indifferent to the spiritual realm. Rather, the ones who are passionately hostile to it. How could they not be lost and tangled in the web of the infrahuman?
I'll tell you how. As someone -- it might have been Will -- pointed out, for a serious seeker, atheism is quite frequently a "stop along the way," as it was for me and I imagine the majority of Raccoons. In a certain sense, giving oneself over to atheism is a spiritually generous act of kenosis, or complete self-emptying, analogous -- roughly, of course -- to Christ's descent into hell. In Balthasar's unique interpretation -- which is controversial -- Christ does not enter hell "triumphantly" trailing clouds of glory, but as part of his complete identification with fallen man and his ultimate fate. Only upon hitting rock bottom does the true transfiguration of man become a possibility in the divine-cosmic economy.
So one of the reasons Raccoons do not take atheism seriously -- why we do not argue with you, but laugh at you -- is because we have been there. Truly, there is nothing you can say that we haven't heard before. And besides, whatever you say is so thoroughly tangential to our personal experience that all we can say is "if it pleases you, go nuts." One of these atheists made the bizarre accusation that I was "attacking" them, which can only be maintained if you nurture a very special kind of narcissistic need for persecution and self-victimization. How can you feel persecuted by a group of crazies having a private conversation amongst themselves? I do not write for an atheist audience, any more than Beethoven composed his symphonies for canines. (Not to make the unfair comparison of a musical dawg such as myself to the suprahuman Beethoven.)
Sorry. That was just a bunch of unfocused rambling. Let's get serious, and try to determine what a human being actually is, for only in so doing will we be in a better position to discuss the infrahuman and the suprahuman. Sri Aurobindo maintained that the human being was not a fixed entity but a possibility; not an island but a bridge; not a wall but a door or window. But this is really no different than the distinction between the mirror and the image. In this sense, developmental time is simply the distance between what we are and what we are to become.
And that we ought to become something automatically implies that there is something that we ought not be. For example, even the breathless atheists maintain that I ought not be such a bigot. There is nothing in their ontology that can explain why I shouldn't be one if I prefer to be one; nor is their anything in their ontology that can account for the free will with which I could make such a choice, but metaphysical absurdity can pose no barrier to a self-refuting ontology which is the essence of absurdity anyway.
(Speaking of which, Mackenzie, this month's reserpient of the One Cosmos Trolls Royce award -- the wiener by a nose over his fulsome friend Cline -- just left a comment at 6:21 that is so stupid as to be beyond disbelief. To think that such malicious stupidity is susceptible to reason, fact, or logic is beneath a proper Raccoon. Again, any Raccoon should be able to smell the realm from which this troll is operating. It is hardly "neutral," but lucilphuric.)
Here is a typically gem-like quote from Schuon that shall be our starting point: "There is a great deal of talk these days about 'humanism,' talk which forgets that once man abandons his prerogatives to matter, to machines, to quantitative knowledge, he ceases to be truly 'human.'" Furthermore, "nothing is more fundamentally inhuman than the 'purely human,' the illusion of constructing a perfect man starting from the individual and terrestrial; whereas the human in the ideal sense draws its reason for existence and its entire content from that which transcends the individual and the earthly."
Obvious, no? But would it be possible to make this so obvious that even the atheist could understand it? No. It is already as obvious and clear as it is possible to be. The fault, or "lack" is not within the message but the recipient, who is incapable, for whatever reason, of elevating his mind to the realm from which spiritual truth arises. Indeed, rather than merely "understanding" it, he is offended by it. In this regard, he experiences the open hand as a fist. Which I suppose makes sense. Bacteria are not big fans of Lysol.
Here is another, more subtle observation: "There is nothing human which is not an evil from some point of view: even tradition itself is in certain respects an 'evil,' since it must handle evil things in man and these human ills invade it in their turn, but it is then a lesser evil, or a 'necessary evil,' and, humanly speaking, it would obviously be far truer to call it a 'good.' The pure truth is that 'God alone is good' and that every earthly thing has some ambiguous side to it."
Thus, all Raccoons are fully aware of their lower nature, which automatically coonfurs protection against the kind of religious authoritarianism envisioned by the atheist trolls. If we are "better" than others, it is only because we are worse, and have had to repeatedly surpass ourselves. I am not nearly grandiose enough to claim that I am the worst of all. That designation is reserved for the true saints. That the atheists could see me in such a light is the highest flattery, if only I were thurstoning for such magooey blindishments, not to mention howeling for such maroonic loveys.
Now, here is how you end up being lojacked on the infrahuman plane. The miracle of our humanness has "a reason for being that is proportionate to its nature, and it is this that predestines -- or 'condemns' -- man to surpass himself; man is totally himself only by transcending himself. Quite paradoxically, it is only in transcending himself that man reaches his proper level; and no less paradoxically, by refusing to transcend himself he sinks below the animals which -- by their form and mode of passive contemplativity -- participate adequately and innocently in a celestial archetype; in a certain respect, a noble animal is superior to a vile man" (Schuon).
What a mean thing to say about Mackenzie, whose comments continue to frantically stink beneath themselves, and he with them.
I'm running out of time, so I'll just leave you with another observation which I think you'll agree is the esscence of claritin for your stuffed up nous:
"In a word, there is nothing more inhuman than humanism, by the fact that it, so to speak, decapitates man: wishing to make of him an animal which is perfect, it succeeds in turning him into a perfect animal; not all at once -- because it has the fragmentary merit of abolishing certain barbaric traits -- but in the long run, since it inevitably ends by 're-barbarizing' society, while 'dehumanizing' it ipso facto in depth."
Who could say it isn't so?
You know who. Let's just say they're not heaven scent. Hey Mac, open another window!
Smell ya' later.