On Vertical Feelings: Love the Truth, Not the Truther
For you are not a God who delights in wickedness;
evil may not dwell with you.
The boastful shall not stand before your eyes;
you hate all evildoers. (Psalm 5:5)
I do not sit with men of falsehood,
nor do I consort with hypocrites.
I hate the assembly of evildoers,
and I will not sit with the wicked. (Psalm 26:2-5)
O you who love the Lord, hate evil! (Psalm 10:1)
The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate. (Proverbs 8:13)
Hate evil, and love good,
and establish justice in the gate;
it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph. (Amos 5:15)
The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil. (John 7:7)
As I said some 500-600 composts ago and have repeatmossed on a number of fertile O-->kasions, it would hardly be fitting to worship a God or to venerate a teacher who is less virtuous and moral than oneself. And someone who does not despise evil is not a moral person. Or, at the very least, there is something very wrong with their moral compass.
This is because our feelings provide us with a constant stream of critical information about the world. As a matter of fact, without these feelings -- which can be a subtle or gross form of cognition -- you would be morally paralyzed. It is one of the reasons why "artificial intelligence" is inconceivable except perhaps to an emotionally damaged ("schizoid") or particularly narrow and dense kind of nerd. Without our higher feelings, we could not possibly have access to the Good, the True, and the Beautiful. Like Mr. Spock, a computer could spend eternity just trying to figure out which tie to wear.
In the case of beauty, the centrality of feelings is obvious, but it is actually equally obvious with regard to the other two transcendentals. For example, one of the reasons why atheists are atheists is that they suffer from a grave disability with regard to their ability to feel Divine truth -- or "truth," for short. No one whose feeling for truth is in tact could believe that mechanical reason alone, ungrounded in principial truth, could disclose an adequate image of the world. To think otherwise is metaphysical naivete of the most rustic sort.
The logical flaw firm of Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens may or may not be "intelligent," but they are obviously very stupid when their intelligence attempts to reason about that which transcends reason. Therefore, their arguments are actually rooted in some rather crude feelings they have about God, which is not fundamentally different from other fundamentalists who have crude feelings about God -- the very fundamentalists they mock.
Again, at risk of sounding like a psychologist, there is nothing wrong with your feelings. Rather, it all depends upon two factors, one of them horizontal, the other vertical. The horizontal factor is the use to which the feelings are put, while the vertical factor has to do with the "subtilization" of the emotion. For example, as I mentioned the other day, wrongly ordered love is probably responsible for as much evil in the world as any hatred. The Islambies undoubtedly love the being they call Allah, but clearly, what the world needs now is less of this kind of bestial, misbegoatten love.
And as for the vertical aspect of emotion, one thing trolls are (apparently) incapable of understanding is that all Coons -- even humble neo-Coons such as Susannah -- are able to immediately identify where the troll is "coming from," so to speak, on the vertical scale of emotion. For a Coon, there is really nothing mysterious about this, as it is simply a higher form of the normal empathy through which one mind is able to "touch" another.
Even before we consider the literal meaning of your vacuous and/or malicious banalities and platitudes, the gift of "Coon scent" allows us to determine in an instant the rung of Jacob's ladder upon which you stand, so to speak. Which is why you aren't susceptible to Reason, including this post, so I'll just "move on" now.
Smell ya' later! Last rung in's a written gag!
Wait, Van just left a fragrant comment that emphasizes the aroma I am trying to give off. A particularly fetid troll named "Drama Queen" left a sulfurious meadow muffin last night, to the effect that my endorsement of hating evil meant that I was encouraging violence toward leftists. My Coon scent tells me in an instant that it is useless to respond to someone whose soul has reached this stage of rancidity, but Van always enjoys the sport. He holds his gnose and stenches out the following dramatic exchange:
Drama Queen: There are bad people out there!
Q: What was bad about what Gagdad said?
DQ: He said there were bad people out there!
Q: Isn't that true?
Q: So there are bad people out there, which is fine, but saying anything about the bad people is bad, because that will cause bad people to do bad things -- so you shouldn't say or do anything to identify bad people because that will cause the bad people to do bad things?
Q: Didn't you just say GB was doing bad things?
Q: Doesn't that mean you just did the worst bad thing possible, saying that someone was bad and doing bad things?
Clearly, by his own criteria, Drama Queen endorses violence toward Coons. Can you smell how such a malOderous person is literally morally deranged? Failing to despise evil does not make you a moral person, but, like the evil of pacifism, simply excuses you from making moral distinctions -- instead of just making errors, you become a veritable olfactory of error.
Now, back to the question of liberty and its relationship to truth. To say that it is "self-evident" that the Creator endowed us with liberty is a case in point with respect to vertical emotion. Let it be emphasized: this is only self-evident to someone who can feel its higher truth. It is patently not self-evident to, say, secular leftists or Islamists (not to morally equate the two). For example, if I am a leftist, it might be evident to my lower, "empirical" self that there is no creator and that liberty is something that is simply granted or taken away by the state. Or, if I am a Muslim, it might be self-evident that Christians and Jews are inferior, and that the being called Allah wishes for me to tyrannize them.
In short, "self-evident" is not self-evident. Again, it all depends upon where the particular self is situated on the vertical scale. For example, Jesus always speaks with a kind of assuredness that lets us know that what he says is self-evident to him. But from where we stand, we must often struggle to elevate ourselves to the point that his words become evident to us. This is why the deepening of wisdom represents our vertical freedom -- and why spiritual realization is ipso facto spiritual liberation.
Here are several statements that embody various self-evident truths, courtesy of Thomas Sowell:
--Liberals hold us individually [vertically] responsible for nothing but collectively [horizontally] responsible for everything.
--Our education system, our media, and our intelligentsia have all been unrelentingly undermining the [vertical] values, the traditions, and the unity of this country for generations and, at the same time, portraying as "understandable" all kinds of [horizontal] deviance, from prostitution to drugs to riots.
--Some of the biggest cases of mistaken identity are among [horizontal] intellectuals who have trouble remembering that they are not [the vertical] God.
--"Global warming" seems to be joining "diversity," "gun control," "open space" and a growing list of other subjects where rational discussion has become impossible -- and where you are considered a bad person even for wanting to discuss it rationally.
--Is your employer poorer by the amount of money he pays you? Probably not, or you would never have been hired. Why then should we assume that a corporation or its customers are poorer by the amount paid to its chief executive officer?
--A review of one of the many environmentalist books says that even if you can't do all you would like toward "living green," you can at least "congratulate yourself on taking small steps to improve the planet." That is what environmentalism -- and much else on the political left's agenda -- is really all about, self congratulation.
These statements may appear to be a random assembly, but they are unified by the deeper structure of an attack on verticality, and with it, truth and liberty. Because here is the true purpose of our spiritual, which is to say, vertical, liberty:
The purpose of freedom is to enable us to choose what we are in the depths of our heart. We are intrinsically free to the extent that we have a center which frees us: a center which, far from confining us, dilates us by offering us an inward space without limits and without shadows; and this Center is in the last analysis the only one
there is. --F. Schuon
Truth --> Liberty --> Verticality --> Interiority --> Heart --> Center --> Depth --> Light --> The One.
Make scents, or is your nous too congested?
Oh yes, one more thing -- new Finetunes set list in the sidebar: songs about, for, or inspired by God (including some ironic choices). Needless to say, such music would not be possible -- neither produced nor appreciated -- in the absence of a feeling for the Divine. And we're talking about Brian Wilson or Mavis Staples here, let alone, Bach, who is pretty much above my playgrade.... (By the way, some of the songs are superficially about "earthly love" but are actually about "celestial love," such as "I Could Never Repay Your Love," by the Spinners.)