Friday, May 25, 2007

On the Intelligence of the Stupid and the Stupidity of the Intelligent

One of the most common logical flaws of the left is the dismissal of religion based upon the fact that so many stupid people believe and practice it. Frankly, I've never understood this argument, since it's not really an argument anyway. It's quite easy to dismiss anything based upon what its most unintelligent adherents believe about it. For example, I would also reject the constitution of the United States if my understanding were based only upon what dopey leftists say about it. After all, they think our constitution sanctions racial discrimination, murder, prosecution of thought crimes, government hostility to religion, and censorship on college campuses.

It goes without saying that there are plenty of bright and intelligent people who believe in nonsense. In a way, they are much more problematic than the mentally diminished religious believer, since one would think that the former's intelligence -- if it were truly intelligence and not something less -- would inevitably lead them down the path of truth. But to point out that this isn't so is a monumental understatement. If anything, the person who explicitly rejects religion is generally the most philosophically confused. Unmoored from perennial truth, they go on a wild nous chase that we know ahead of time will never lead anywhere.

In short, there is no necessary connection between intelligence and truth. At first blush this seems odd, but at second blush I think you can see why. It has to do with the two aspects of our intelligence, one natural (or animal), the other supernatural (or divine). For example, at this moment I have a nine week-old puppy playing at my feet. She is obviously very intelligent, but no matter how intelligent she becomes, she will never know truth. This is because she has only natural intelligence -- the sort of intelligence that can more or less be explained by natural selection (not really, but we'll let it slide for the moment).

But why can Coondog's intelligence never know truth? Yesterday a commenter who is himself brimming with rudimentary intelligence took issue with my statement that "either natural selection explains our intelligence, or our intelligence explains natural selection. You can't have it both ways." Instead, the commenter declared that "natural selection is the cause of our intelligence; in turn, our intelligence provides the written and/or verbal explanation of natural selection. Problem solved; now we have it both ways."

The tail-chasing circularity of this dogomatic barkument should be evident to all coonines. It is logically equivalent to saying that truth and intelligence do not exist, since they may be reduced to blind natural selection. With such a view, there is not even an ontological basis to draw a fundamental distinction between animal and human intelligence, much less between the evolved brain and the uncreated intellect.

Now, the above commenter may be excused, since his sort of metaphysical nonderstanding is obviously a "sign of the times." In most men of our age, the intellect has been reduced to a shadow of itself. In most people it is more a virtuality than an actuality, encased as it is under thick sheets of higher education. Even so, it is difficult to completely kill a soul while its body still lives. As Schuon observes, there is no watertight partition between the intellect and the reason, "for a sound process of reasoning indirectly transmits something of the intellect." Nevertheless, "the respective operations of the reason -- or the mind -- and of the intellect are fundamentally different," irrespective of "certain appearances due to the fact that every man is a thinking being, whether he be wise or ignorant."

In other words, you can't actually stop thinking, despite what the occasional Tolle-troll drops by to tell us. As a matter of fact, their insipid thoughts make the case, don't they? If they were actually coming from the plane Tolle thinks he has achieved, their thoughts would be luminous and clear instead of murky and new-agey. Furthermore, they would be "generatively resonant" for the person reading them, not dense and stagnant. And finally, you could not build a financial empire around them, a la other new age hucksters such as Deepak Chopra. The secret protects itself, something proven every time Chopra opens his ghastly piehole or sets his beastly fingers to the keyboard.

Schuon writes that the lower mind is analogous to the intellect "insofar as it is a kind of intelligence." However, at the same time, it is opposed to the intellect "by its limited, indirect and discursive character." Clearly, the reasoning of the lower mind cannot determine its own limits or provide its own materials, which are "exterior" to it. On the other hand, knowledge of the intellect is interior to it, but externalized, so to speak.

For example, Polanyi has written extensively of how the intellectually gifted scientist (as opposed to the typical "worker bee" scientific laborer) employs a kind of translogical vision in order to identify a fruitful problem that will then be susceptible to conventional reasoning. But this vision can never be reduced to some mechanical or deterministic rational formula (any more than great songwriting can be reduced to knowledge of musical scales). Rather, it is much more analogous to artistic vision, to a sort of holistic seeing, than to scientific reason. It is a kind of "seeing within," or into the "withinness of things." It is what Einstein meant when he said that he wanted to understand the mind of God.

Frankly, I do this all the time with my posts. I can often read a single sentence and intuitively know that this sentence can be expanded into an entire post. But if you are an "expert" at anything, I think you will see that you routinely do it as well. For example, I am quite sure that a successful businessman such as Smoov can peer into the marketplace and intuitively see things that are completely invisible to me, just as Dupree can look at a pro wrestling match and see all sorts of subtleties that elude me.

Another way of saying it is that the limits of the lower reasoning mind are inherent and intrinsic, whereas the apparent limitations of the intellect "are merely accidental and extrinsic." No, the intellect cannot know "total truth," for that would be equivalent to being God. Nevertheless, the formula "as above, so below" means that it is possible for the intellect to, as Schuon describes it, "establish certain points of reference which are adequate and sufficient," somewhat analogous to the way in which "it is possible to represent space by a circle, a cross, a square, a spiral or a point and so on." One immediately thinks of how scripture -- say, Torah -- is intended to function as a perfectly adequate "representation" of the eternal.

In any event, "there is no difficulty in the fact that pure intelligence -- the intellect -- immensely surpasses thought," even if we do not possess God-like omniscience. Philosophers and scientists habitually try "to enclose everything in the cogito alone," which is a fool's errand, for there will always be areas "which exceed the possibilities of reason" but "none that exceed those of intelligence as such."

For what is human as opposed to animal intelligence? For starters, it is objectivity, or the ability to consciously transcend self-interest, something no animal can do. Is is also discernment, or the ability to pass "from appearances to reality, from forms to essence, and from effects to cause." And beyond objectivity and discernment is faith which, according to Schuon, "is the propensity to pass from the concept to the thing itself, or from knowing to being." Faith is specifically a mode of knowing nonlocal realities, or an unknowing that clears a space for the supernatural ingression of real transhuman knowledge (which is always a grace).

At risk of championing the obvious, this kind of faith-lit intelligence far exceeds the animal intelligence of the Darwinians, let alone the lowbrow atheistic ravings of the Dennett-Harris-Hitchens crowd. After all, "intelligence is the perception of the real and not the 'intellectualization' of the unreal." The former not only gives rise to discernment of the higher realities of which it is an adequation, but "to the awareness of our superiority in relation to those who do not know how to discern."

All Raccoons know that this sober attitude is not to be confused with the smug sanctimony of the new-age Chopras on the one hand and the religious nuts on the other (for these are simply two sides of the same worthless coin). Rather, as Schuon points out, this awareness "is not in itself a fault, for we cannot help being aware of something that exists and is perceptible to us thanks to our intelligence."

But at the same time -- and this is the key -- awareness of this "superiority" -- if that's what we're going to call it -- automatically engenders humility, since it brings with it awareness of hierarchy, and therefore, our own relative inferiority to those -- and that -- who vastly surpass us. It is why it would never even occur to me -- or to any Raccoon, for that matter -- to pose as a some sort of spiritual master, as do the lowerdown Chopraesque darklings who fleece the grazing multitude of spiritually bereft sheep.

I don't mean to rely upon Schuon so much, but he wrote so many wonderfully lucid things about human intellegence, plus, as you know, I'm writing these posts under adverse circumstances that make it more of a challenge to dwell in the infinite in the usual leisurely way. Besides, I'm hardly inventing truth, but simply passing along the Truth as it is given to me, hopefully in a way that is not too distorted by my own bobliviousness.

As I have mentioned on many O->ksions, if I can simply redirect people back to the extraordinary richness of their own authentic spiritual traditions without being too much of a muddleman, then I will have accompliced your climb. That's enough for me, and nothing gives me more metaphysical joy than to hear testimony to this effect. For it means that it is not about me, which is naturally a great comfort. To know God is to know oneself, which is simultaneously an exalted privilege and a humbling diminution. Again, man is the measure of all things except for that which takes the measure of man.

70 Comments:

Blogger NoMo said...

"Intelligence of the stupid..."

Thanks goodness!

5/25/2007 08:58:00 AM  
Anonymous drama queen said...

The year is 2011.
Interior of a publisher's office, daytime. GAGDAD BOB sits with a PUBLISHER.

PUBLISHER: Bob, I'm happy to report that sales of your new book ( I'm O>K ) are very brisk. As a result, One Cosmos is flying off the shelves too. You stand to make a very large amount of money, in the high six or even seven figures.

GAGDAD BOB: Oh, I see.

PUBLISHER: But there's a problem. We have been made aware that you have a strong personal wish not to make too much money from your work. You don't want to end up wealthy like Deepak Chopra or Eickart Tolle. Is that true?

GAGDAD BOB: Yes, I have said that.

PUBLISHER: Good. Our lawyers will write up a new contract, limiting you total profits to...fifty thousand, let's say? Enough to cover your time and trouble?

GAGDAD BOB: Sounds about right. What about the rest of the money? What will happen to it?

PUBLISHER: We'll find some use for it. No worries.

GAGDAD BOB: Now I can rest easy at night, knowing that I'm not a money grubbing parasite like Deepak Chopra. Why anyone would buy his books is beyond me.

PUBLISHER: You are a wonderful example to all, Bob. We should all cap our earnings so as not to offend God.

5/25/2007 09:02:00 AM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

As I have mentioned on many O->ksions, if I can simply redirect people back to their own authentic spiritual traditions without being too much of a muddleman, then I will have accompliced your climb. That's enough for me, and nothing gives me more metaphysical joy than to hear testimony to this effect.

Precisely the joy of re-awakening as a result of being here every day. I mentioned to Mizze yesterday how Oswald Chambers resonates with me so much more deeply now than what I could handle of him a few years back. Without passing through One Cosmos, he'd still be on the shelf.

Time to wander on down the road to get ready for the

Barn Dance
join hands with the world
allemande left cast off right
do si do tonight

5/25/2007 09:07:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

Bob, you commented that, "I don't mean to rely upon Schuon so much, but he wrote so many wonderfully lucid things...."

Apart from the actual content of the ideas of authors such as Schuon, there is the on-going effect of becoming more and more familiar with their expressions. At first, reading Schuon made my mind glaze over - but now, with repeated exposure, I really enjoy extracting data from his quotes. Sort of "Prep School" for his books!

5/25/2007 09:13:00 AM  
Anonymous cousin dupree said...

Drama Queen:

It's much worse than you think, since Bob already gives it away for free every day. Which is a sore subject, because it means that I will definitely never be paid what I am worth.

5/25/2007 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Walt:

Yes, it was the same way for me. There is definitely a "phase transition" in spirtitual growth, where one rather suddenly goes from knowledge to understanding (i.e., the "second birth"). To realize that this understanding will continue to deepen and grow is the thrill of a lifetime.

5/25/2007 09:18:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

Ah yes, if only
she had reached for Bob's book, he'd be famous today!

5/25/2007 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Bob said,
“But at the same time -- and this is the key -- awareness of this "superiority" -- if that's what we're going to call it -- automatically engenders humility, since it brings with it awareness of hierarchy, and therefore, our own relative inferiority to those -- and that -- who vastly surpass us.”

Yes.
Just as our Founding Raccoons recognized and officially declared from whom our unalienable rights actually come from, this recognition therefore includes the protection in that, since these rights come from a place in the hierarchy that is above man, then no man can take them away or replace them with his own ‘form’ of rights or laws.
Recognizing that these rights come from God shows they can never be replaced.
And of course this is why extracting the recognition of God from everything related to our Government (separation of church and state) is a necessary step in manipulating and eventually taking away our claim on these rights.

5/25/2007 09:26:00 AM  
Anonymous cousin dupree said...

Walt:

Fascinating jugstaposition.

5/25/2007 09:31:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"But this vision can never be reduced to some mechanical or deterministic rational formula. Rather, it is much more analogous to artistic vision, to a kind of holistic seeing, than to scientific reason"

Yep. Now... I can put the mechanics of it into my Database Admin view, as having daily attention either creating a number of cognitive relations between facts and principles, and or marking them with varying excited levels of interest, causing some concepts or queried estimations to pop into awareness - but on that mechanistic view, there is no way to cause that initial application of attention, to first 'trigger' (that leftist, Skinnerian holy grail) the interest, the impetus to first bother with the self querying, or the immensly more significant task of creatively assembling numbers of these little mental pop-up queries, into a holistic set of interests, desires and plans.

When the nous chase is over, it takes the active intellect to observe & consider the relevant horizontal and vertical relations, an inherently discriminating process of evaluating and choice. It takes an informed, creative self to generate intelligence. It doesn't and can't come pre-installed, it is something that must be Done, an active process to be engaged in.

No matter how good the software, it requires an operator to fire it up and click it into action. And even then, while one person may have a super-de-duper speedy number cruncher, as someone noted yesterday, if you don't feed it the right numbers to crunch, and keep them within wise parameters, its GIGO - Garbage in, Garbage out. While "the Dennett-Harris-Hitchens crowd" maybe doing some mighty number crunching, they are unmoored from above - children playing with calculators:
Look at me! I got a Billion!,
Oh yeah... well, well, if you take 25780036.33 and multiply it times 3, you get 7734 01 09, and if you turn that over, it looks like it says 'GO TO HELL'!
Wow...
There you go.

5/25/2007 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

cousin dupree said "Fascinating jugstaposition."

mmm... maybe mugstaposition....


wv:kubmm

5/25/2007 09:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Geckofeeder said...

Couldn't resist sharing this one with the coonsters.
It was written by an 8-year-old named Danny Dutton, who lives in Chula Vista , CA . He wrote it for his third grade homework assignment, to "explain God." I wonder if any of us could have done as well?
[ ... and he had such an assignment, in California , and someone published it, I guess miracles do happen ! .. ]
EXPLANATION OF GOD:
"One of God's main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die, so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth. He doesn't make grownups, just babies I think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way he doesn't have to take up his valuable time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to mothers and fathers."
"God's second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times besides bedtime. God doesn't have time to listen to the radio or TV because of this. Because he hears everything, there must be a terrible lot of noise in his ears, unless he has thought of a way to turn it off."
"God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which keeps Him pretty busy. So you shouldn't go wasting his time by going over your mom and dad's head asking for something they said you couldn't have."
"Atheists are people who don't believe in God. I don't think there are any in Chula Vista . At least there aren't any who come to our church."
"Jesus is God's Son. He used to do all the hard work, like walking on water and performing miracles and trying to teach the people who didn't want to learn about God. They finally got tired of him preaching to them and they crucified him But he was good and kind, like his father, and he told his father that they didn't know what they were doing and to forgive them and God said O.K."
"His dad (God) appreciated everything that he had done and all his hard work on earth so he told him he didn't have to go out on the road anymore. He could stay in heaven. So he did And now he helps his dad out by listening to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to take care of and which ones he can take care of himself without having to bother God. Like a secretary, only more important."
"You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to help you because they got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the time."
"You should always go to church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if there's anybody you want to make happy, it's God!
Don't skip church to do something you think will be more fun like going to the beach. This is wrong. And besides the sun doesn't come out at the beach until noon anyway."
"If you don't believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very lonely, because your parents can't go everywhere with you, like to camp, but God can. It is good to know He's around you when you're scared, in the dark or when you can't swim and you get thrown into real deep water by big kids."
"But...you shouldn't just always think of what God can do for you. I figure God put me here and he can take me back anytime he pleases.

5/25/2007 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

Hey, you guys! I was referring to the book! You know: Tolle, and Bob's post...and...oh, never mind.

5/25/2007 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

drama queen said "your new book ( I'm O>K )"

Not bad, kinda like that.

It doesn't redeem you from being a mincing fool, but at least the rest of your comment does a fine job of illustrating the unintelligent in action.

wv:yyuounfj - a stutterer cursing?

5/25/2007 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger MizzE said...

To echo Robin's comment above.

From one coon who stumbled into this portal called One Cosmos many moons ago, all I can say is it has empowered the little dancer within me to get off the shelf and joyfully participate in the Cosmic Reel. Or as Tex Ritter might have sung it: Ain't No Wallflower NoMo - Praise the Lord and Pass the Biscuits Petey.

5/25/2007 10:28:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Gagdad,
As an extention to these posts on Intelligence, I've heard Proverbs Chp 8 described as the voice of Wisdom (which begins with "8:1 Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice? 8:2 She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths." and ends with "8:35 For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD. & 8:36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death."), might be interesting to plop it into Petey's gumball machine and see what rolls out in the morning...

5/25/2007 10:43:00 AM  
Anonymous hint hint said...

What's up with this new Humility line of undergarment you've been parading about in lately, Bob? Have you actually had some...personal growth? Personally I think it looks -and sounds- good on you.

5/25/2007 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

hint hint

You have it slightly backwards, for if what you are saying were true, it would mean that you had outgrown something I sense you haven't.

5/25/2007 10:57:00 AM  
Anonymous unsigned said...

"Stopping by My Ego during a Blinding Life"

By Bob Coldplay

Two points of view converged in the forest. I prefaced my choice with the words "I sense".

That has made all the difference.



Keep up the good compass work, no matter what your sense of one-upsmanship tells you.

5/25/2007 11:22:00 AM  
Anonymous cousin dupree said...

Drama Queen:

I won't delete you if you can refrain from putting ridiculous words into the Bob's mouth. Better yet, just tell us what you think instead of your inane fantasies of that others think.

5/25/2007 11:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Looky-loo said...

Yeah, drama queen. Putting words in others mouths is reserved for...well, Baaah'b.

5/25/2007 11:39:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

From where did all the 14 year olds suddenly appear?
Ahh yes, school's out = SUMMER VACATION!

5/25/2007 11:43:00 AM  
Anonymous That's Mr 14 year old to you said...

Harhey,

Yeah, ain't it cool? Remember,no "ups" just cause you were here first. After all, you never leave! BTW, nice clamdiggers!

5/25/2007 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

A few words from James on wisdom (and more) that seem apropos -

"Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness. (3:13-18)

5/25/2007 12:20:00 PM  
Anonymous late convert said...

mmm... maybe mugstaposition....

Maybe, but jugstaposition is more titillating.

5/25/2007 12:24:00 PM  
Anonymous cousin dupree said...

Yes, but only for the booboisie...

5/25/2007 12:32:00 PM  
Anonymous hint hint said...

Jugstaposition, mugstaposition, or simple discomboobulation, it sure puts the "oo" in "coon vision".

5/25/2007 12:39:00 PM  
Anonymous late convert said...

Undoubtedly the booboisie like to stay abreast of such things.

(Dupree started it!)

5/25/2007 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

late convert said... "Maybe, but jugstaposition is more titillating."

That's only because jugs contain more than a mouthful, which in this situation is obviously inaccurate - whereas mugs contain the more realistic sip or two being demonstrated. Ah the heck with it, I'm following the wise ol' owl to HOOters.

(I'm so ashamed)

5/25/2007 01:00:00 PM  
Anonymous spirit of van said...

If HIStory is to be believed, we now know what that recluse Howard WhOOs was doing while out of sight: putting his money where his mouth was. Cross my heart.
But enough of this juvenile thread. Someone needs to nip this in the bud.

5/25/2007 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

(Calling 'Herman's Haremetical Research Group', I think we need some adult supervision today)

5/25/2007 01:07:00 PM  
Anonymous troon or coll? said...

OK... I'll quit. But it WAS fun on this last day of school!

5/25/2007 01:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Spirit of cOOl said...

troon or coll? said... "But it WAS fun on this last day of school!"

Obviously a West Coaster, no snow days to be made up.

That's cOOl.

5/25/2007 01:20:00 PM  
Anonymous spirit of cOOl said...

Where'd the blue go?

5/25/2007 01:21:00 PM  
Anonymous spirit of cOOl said...

Where's da blue!

wv:urzaful

5/25/2007 01:23:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

got da blogger blOOs.

wv:intehzxy - i swear

5/25/2007 01:25:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

What's my excuse?
I'm testing replicating a sqlserver database to a pocketpc through the air with different settings to get an average time for each. What does that mean?

Click (wait an average of 6 minutes) Click. Enter results. Change setting.
Repeat 24 times.

Ahh the exciting world of high tech.

5/25/2007 01:40:00 PM  
Anonymous late convert said...

I’ve been reminded by the recent series of bobservations of an encounter I had many years ago.

I’d recuperated enough from a knee injury that I thought I was at last walking around without looking gimpy. As I came upon a bus stop a young woman said to me, "Oh! You hurt your leg!"

What was most striking was the degree of empathy and compassion that accompanied her unexpected observation. I stopped to chat with her for a few minutes and it was obvious that she was ever-so-slightly retarded. But her kindness and gentle nature simply shone!

I was left with the unshakable feeling that I had been in the presence of a person who was much more decent and far closer to God (of course I didn't think of it in those terms at that time) than I or any of my hip, artistic (eww!) friends.

5/25/2007 01:40:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Van:

Happy to see you're NOT going to take Final Vows on that unspeakable Wieney Pledge.

Thanks for giving me the credit... I mean saying it was my fault. We do what We can in the Service of Truth & Right.

Since I've joined the ranks of the MolePeople, doing my work at night, I don't get any MSM.

What's that boob Paris done now?

PS:"wv:intehzxy - i swear" Yup, never forget we've a Duty to battle idiocy where ever we find it

5/25/2007 01:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only the lover is lovable.

To love is to be forgiven. or released from past unlove and the destiny past unlove creates. To love is to be happy or radiant as the whole body to infinity. In this manner, the past, in the form of mental, emotional, and physical tendencies, will not be dramatised. The past becomes unnecessary through love. Love is primal freedom.

Love is the supreme science of life. It is Communion with the the Real, the very Divine. It is the principle of transformation, of moral and spiritual healing and growth, of meditation, of Realization.

Love is the evidence and proof of our freedom. Whoever is not active in and as this principle has not yet heard the Teaching of Truth, regardless of how much extraordinary worldly or psychic power and experience he or she has known.

There is no religious or spiritual "salvation" or "forgiveness" independent of this principle, wherein all righteous attitudes and destructive compulsions are shown to be the absence of love and God.

5/25/2007 04:09:00 PM  
Anonymous uss ben said...

"Unmoored from perennial truth, they go on a wild nous chase that we know ahead of time will never lead anywhere."

Me: "Catch any wild nouses lately?"

Lefty melitist: "F*ck no! G*ddamn things aren't metrosexually PC anyway.
But I did catch something better! A wild noose! I'm so choked up I can barely contain my inner child!"

Me: "Er, yeah. You do know you gotta noose around your neck don't you?"

LM: "F*ck you, you radical right-wing fundamentalist capitalistic pig!"

Me: "Terrorists hate and fear pigs too. Just sayin'."

5/25/2007 04:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

Geckofeeder-
That was good! That boy is overflowing with intelligence, wisdom and humor beyond his years!

He would make an outstanding Cap'n or Chief someday!

5/25/2007 04:13:00 PM  
Blogger Smoov said...

I'm off to Hot 'Lanta, as the Allmans used to say.

5/25/2007 04:23:00 PM  
Anonymous uss ben said...

"As I have mentioned on many
O->ksions, if I can simply redirect people back to the extraordinary richness of their own authentic spiritual traditions without being too much of a muddleman, then I will have accompliced your climb. That's enough for me, and nothing gives me more metaphysical joy than to hear testimony to this effect."

Amen to that, B'ob!
Did you say testimony?

When I saw your comments at Shrinkwrapped, before you started blogging, I thought you were a very smart eccentric.
When you started blogging, I honestly didn't know what to think about you. I was leaning towards kooky.
But I kept coming back every once in awhile.
After 4-5 months of this, I eventually left a comment every now and then.
Supernatural stuff I never considered, or put into words, was starting to resonate with me.

I scratched B'ob off my "too kooky to bother with" list and put him on my "must read" list.

In fact, I began to meditate and contemplate B'obs humble offerings, and voila! I saw more and more!
Ethereal beauty! Bright, shining Truth! An edifying, spiritual gourmet of Goodness!

B'ob's writings caused my spirit to stir.
I saw, as far as I could "see", Holy places and treasures of gnoledge I could now reach. And I knew they went on for Eternity and I have an eternity to get there, and there is so much to see, to gno, to do, on the Way!

Thanks, B'ob! You helped me see the true meaning and purpose I had given up on in a brighter Light!

PS-Thanks for the top-notch humor also!
Not just top-notch but spiritually satisfying humor! The kind of humor that strengthens and provides energy to fly higher!

5/25/2007 05:04:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

Bob,
Sheesh, you are ahead of your time! In re-reading today's post, I got all involved in the last few paragraphs with your description of "discernment, or the ability to pass from appearances to reality." Several questions arose, and I was struggling to formulate them clearly, so I might squeeze them into this little Blogger box.

Then I realized that you had perfectly answered them in your reply to me this morning! You said, "To realize that this understanding will continue to deepen and grow is the thrill of a lifetime." Ha-ha, I should have posted a "Thanking you in advance...!"

I was struck by your connection of the "sober attitude" of the Coons, and your statement that "awareness of this superiority automatically engenders humility...our own relative inferiority to those -- and that -- who vastly surpass us." This is where active discernment "saves" us, isn't it - from horizontality, temptation, "smug sanctimony," and lower intelligence i.e. ourselves?

5/25/2007 06:26:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

USS Ben said "When I saw your comments at Shrinkwrapped, before you started blogging, I thought you were a very smart eccentric.
When you started blogging, I honestly didn't know what to think about you. I was leaning towards kooky.
But I kept coming back every once in awhile.
After 4-5 months of this, I eventually left a comment every now and then."

Ben, Heh... My first time here (Jan '06?), I came by via Van der Leun & Dr. Bob's sites... I think the first Post I saw had Gagdad thinking back on waking in his car after getting hammered on Miller Lite, stumbling into work at a grocery checker and not being able to remember what celery was ... so he made up a price & still felt bad about it... and some strange guy named Petey that somehow talked in his thoughts... and somehow stranger still, it was very interesting.

All my buttons were getting lit up, and always with an angle I hadn't thought of before & wondered why I hadn't. Took me about 4-5 months before I put in my first comment too... I had a nice functional and clean Objectivist attic at the time, but the skylight was closed, seemed kind of a goofy idea to bother climbing up & see if there was anything to see through it.

Thanks for getting me to take a peak outsidein Gagdad, it's sooo much brighter with the light shining in!

5/25/2007 08:09:00 PM  
Anonymous GLASR said...

Well, ah, um, uh, just caught that pic of you(Dr.Godwin), all pics blocked on the job. Darn, if you do not, look like yourself. Use the intended double negative affect. Jack Nich gogs, very cool. Photosensitive? Tried that, then said forget it - make'm so dark you, well, you know, the name thingy. Um, I'm on the same "intellectual" level as best fed in the litter, we know Truth. Being a few points shy of clever, doesn't make us blind. Metaphysical ontological anthropomorphising. Lots of people have fun with the stretch. Shoulda stuck with the pic, huh? ;~)

5/25/2007 08:41:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Van! Very good! That was actually my first and last attempt to get Oprah interested in my story: A Million Little Peteys: The Trueish Memoirs of a Young Man's Amazing Peccadillos With His Discarnate Friend Riding Shotgun.

'night, all.

5/25/2007 08:54:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

LOL! That was the one! Nighty nite, don't let the aspic beet...

5/25/2007 09:29:00 PM  
Anonymous uss ben said...

Good God! Now I'm gonna have to relive Beet Aspic gelatin nightmares again!
And JWM's Ass-pic, two syllables...
don't get me started.

To be honest, I always immensally enjoyed Bob's Memoirs.
Oprah simply doesn't understand Standup Cosmology.
For one thing, it takes a cosmos-sized sense of humor to even begin to grok the seemingly uncontrollable laughter that erupts after a Standup Cosmology Event Verizone.

Honest hilarity is a form of grace, or maybe it's mercy. Or both. I dunno, but the main thing is, it's healing, and even 15 or 16 Miller Lites can't do it it justice!
Indeed, nor can they comPetey!

Thanks, Bob, for the Memoiries!
Somethin' I'd like to see more of (you never did finish that particular one. Granted, Oprah didn't call, but Pajamas Media did,
and look how many "Thinker Blog Awards" you have won).

PS- To illustrate what I mean there's this comment I read at E3:

I know writing very well, astronomy a bit less so, and enough American history to teach the basics. I also know how to effectively, quickly, and safely capture a spider and put him outside rather than kill him.

However, I imagine the guy teaching how to effectively, quickly, and safely smash a spider with a heavy object will attract more students; I'm a realist.
Posted by: Greg Neuman | May 25, 2007 4:28 PM

Do I have to spell out which categorey Bob falls into?
I rest my case...all 27 of 'em!

5/25/2007 10:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

GLASR-
LOL! Sometimes I'm photo-sensitive.
Usually only on Mondays, but you never really know.

5/25/2007 10:30:00 PM  
Anonymous uss ben said...

Van-
Heh! I gno what you mean.
Seems like yesterday,
But it was long ago...
Or mebbe last year in January.

Damn! There goes my chances to be a songwriter.
What ryhmes with ago?

5/25/2007 10:34:00 PM  
Anonymous skully said...

Shoot! Too early for bed. I'm only on my 11th grog.
Ah well...bartender, set me up with a rum chaser!

5/25/2007 10:43:00 PM  
Anonymous neocoon said...

You are so great we can't actually appreciate your humbleness Bob. As I have said many times since first reading you close-mouthed and open-minded, "Come for the humility, stay for the self-congratulation regarding that humility."

Thank Petey for the loyalists like Van and Cap'n Morgan, who will press their lips to your trumpet even when you've passed by it in your own oxcart.

Don't worry about how your heartfelt appreciation of your own humility sounds to those who are too intelligent or stupid to appreciate divinely nuanced discrimination. Wail on, Toots, lest we be subjected to more boozy pandering such as the above. You da man! Especially and because you say you ain't! Go on...Say you Ain't So!

5/25/2007 11:12:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

uss ben said...
"Heh! I gno what you mean.
Seems like yesterday,
But it was long ago...
Or mebbe last year in January."


A short line in Horizontal time,
But a long dive into what is verticaly gnown -

eh... too tired, no sleep-typing tonight - g'Night!

;-)

5/25/2007 11:32:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Thanks neocoon,

I didn't think anything could make my last entry look good, but I'd forgotten how the idiotic can help the mediocre look brilliant just by being there.

(yawn)

5/25/2007 11:39:00 PM  
Anonymous neocoon said...

Boy that's some deep shit, hoss. Gimmee some time to to reflect on it.

5/25/2007 11:46:00 PM  
Anonymous skully said...

Never mind Van. I just poured him a double. Now we're all on same page. Speakning of which, I gonna pour myself one more then its meditation time. Or medication time. Same search, different grades. g'nite.

5/25/2007 11:52:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Neocoon-
Reflect? Don't you mean project?
You got some serious jealosy issues stemmin' from envy, NC.

Of course Bob is the man.
If your lookin' for a woman your at the wrong site.
The lack of nekkid pictures shoulda been your first clue.

Look at the bright side, if you live long enough you might get
fed-up with who you are and seek to remedy that situation.
See you in oh, say 50 years?

5/26/2007 12:02:00 AM  
Anonymous google-boy said...

As you may havew noticed, Neo-moron is one of our "slower" employees.

5/26/2007 12:06:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

The Skully at 11:52pm is a fraud.
I know, because Skully just walked in with a new tattoo of his old schooner.

5/26/2007 12:08:00 AM  
Anonymous scully said...

Hey, you promised you wouldn't get delusional if we had a drink or two...That's just my heart on my sleeve.

Nother glass of insight, old buddy?

5/26/2007 01:01:00 AM  
Anonymous what kind of loser said...

What's up with this new Humility line of undergarment you've been parading about in lately, Bob? Have you actually had some...personal growth? Personally I think it looks -and sounds- good on you.

Yeah, drama queen. Putting words in others mouths is reserved for...well, Baaah'b.

Jugstaposition, mugstaposition, or simple discomboobulation, it sure puts the "oo" in "coon vision".

troon or coll? said... "But it WAS fun on this last day of school!"

Obviously a West Coaster, no snow days to be made up.

That's cOOl.

You are so great we can't actually appreciate your humbleness Bob. As I have said many times since first reading you close-mouthed and open-minded, "Come for the humility, stay for the self-congratulation regarding that humility."

Thank Petey for the loyalists like Van and Cap'n Morgan, who will press their lips to your trumpet even when you've passed by it in your own oxcart.

Don't worry about how your heartfelt appreciation of your own humility sounds to those who are too intelligent or stupid to appreciate divinely nuanced discrimination. Wail on, Toots, lest we be subjected to more boozy pandering such as the above. You da man! Especially and because you say you ain't! Go on...Say you Ain't So!

Boy that's some deep shit, hoss. Gimmee some time to to reflect on it.

Never mind Van. I just poured him a double. Now we're all on same page. Speakning of which, I gonna pour myself one more then its meditation time. Or medication time. Same search, different grades. g'nite.

Hey, you promised you wouldn't get delusional if we had a drink or two...That's just my heart on my sleeve.

Nother glass of insight, old buddy?

5/26/2007 01:51:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

Bob,
To draw a blank on celery after 16 beers is understandable.....but to not recognize the kohlrabi??

Easy to see why your future in the Grocery industry didn't pan out....

5/26/2007 05:05:00 AM  
Anonymous dilys said...

Interfacing with the grocery industry on the subject of semi-obscure produce is a daily adventure here, given my weakness for the full array of Martha's post-penal recipes.

The clerks at our declining Big-Mart-Chain certainly don't mind asking:
"Wha's tha?"
"Kale."
"Oh" [rings up lettuce].

This is much, much better than the short-lived store "flatter the customer" policy that required the scruffy adolescent check[ed]-out male to ask as if interested, "This looks good. What's your recipe?" Falling for that, cheerfully detailing the sequential steps of a frozen ginger-mango-macadamia-cream party confection, then realizing it was a set-up.... Well, even at his beet-aspic label-switching worst I do not believe GB ever routinely and insincerely solicited recipes from the middle-aged. If he did, we have shared a heaping portion of marketplace humiliation if not humility.

5/26/2007 05:56:00 AM  
Blogger MizzE said...

Speaking of vegetables:

Neo.not.coon,
Here's a thought to chew on:

Starter crucifer seedlings, as opposed to seeds that might not sprout, are a good way to go.

No guarantees, but worth a try.

5/26/2007 06:03:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

"Faith-lit intelligence" is a memorable phrase.

May all the sock puppeteers get their own blog and do their thing honestly with Bob's kinda courage.

Birthday party to-day! Off to the store. No veggies allowed! Except the deep fried crispy kind.

5/26/2007 06:36:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Susannah,
I think flour is a veggie. There’s lots o’ that in a birthday cake.
Shopping List:
1. Birthday cake parts – check
2. Veggies – check (see item 1)

I see that Anon guy showed up to Bob’s “Million Little Petey’s...” way back then.
That guy is still at it? Fingers must be awfully tired.
Hear, hear. Sock puppets invest in a blog or register a name – while they’re free.

5/26/2007 06:54:00 AM  
Anonymous muchas gracias said...

Nosce te internet, eh? A man's gotta search for something...why not an ip address?

At least you've got the tools to work with. Now if only intelligent wasn't stupid, hubris wasn't humility, and braying was praying....

Why do you resent being treated the way you treat others? What else aren't you, so that you can't take any credit? Truth is truth, wherever you find it. I find a good measure here, but still know a turd when I uncover one.

5/26/2007 08:10:00 AM  
Anonymous uncovered with every mirror he passes said...

Turds, that is.

5/27/2007 08:30:00 AM  

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