Tuesday, May 01, 2007

On Vertical Feelings: Love the Truth, Not the Truther

The first odor of business this morning is to thank my new research assistant, Susannah, who did something that has never occurred to the B'ob-denying trolls. Which is to say, she eliminated their reason for being by simply inserting the words "hate evil" in a biblical search engine, and sniffing out the following inerromatic results:

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?

DQ: Yes.

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?

DQ: Yes!

Q: Didn't you just say GB was doing bad things?

DQ: Yes!

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.)

88 Comments:

Anonymous DQ Sandwich said...

Q. What did Saddam Hussein and Little Miss Muffet have in common?
A: They both had Kurds in their way.


Hey, bring out the long knives. This is war. Hate is cool (thank you Susannah).

Red on Blue. Commie on Coon. Let's rumble. Let's loose the dogs of war.

No more pussyfooting around.

5/01/2007 08:28:00 AM  
Blogger W. Ben said...

I've enjoyed and benefited from the recent spiritual morning posts, but I must call you on Godfather II interpretation.

Bob wrote: "Ultimately envy is a self-consuming process that leaves nothing but itself standing, like Michael Corleone at the end of Godfather II or Charles Foster Kane at the end of Citizen Kane."

I agree all the way on Citizen Kane, but GFII wasn't about envy. It was about cold reason. The brilliance of the movie is that we should despise Michael, but don't, because we understand he became a man in a world of violent chaos, and had to coldly create order via pure reason. Michael pushed Tessio into betraying him so he'd have the angle on his enemies. That is cold blooded reason there.

Michael's tragic flaw was in not letting pure reason go after winning the war. His father, after wars, was warm and forgiving, treating men as friends, and women as saints. Michael couldn't turn the war off, perhaps because his tests of manhood were a series of wars: battle with his father over joining the family business; WWII; war over the drug business; Kay's Anglo customs and desire to be her own modern woman; saving the family from Barzini... what choice did he have but become reptilian?

But he should have let pure reason go. Fredo? He was all envy, but he was also Michael's brother, not Michael's enemy. The deal with Roth over Cuba? Did it ever occur to Michael to face Roth in the face, say "Hey, I know you tried to kill me, but I think we can still work this out and make a lot of money without war-- if not I'll have you killed, even if you kill me first, because anyone can be gotten to, and I have many loyal men"? No. Michael saw betrayal, and it was all war after that, because Michael understands the reason of war.

And Kay... man, that was harsh, but the loss of the child wasn't what pissed Michael off. That's not logical, because Kay was needed to make more babies. Michael was furies because Kay defied him, the Platonic Philosopher King, and accordingly banished her from his land. Rational? Yes. Reasonable? No. Michael pushed Kay, and sucked it up until she acted childishly, and, perhaps, evilly, but women shouldn't expect that crap from their husbands, and thus insanity abounds.

I know this is not a forum for film interpretation, but it's The Godfather II, and thus nigh holy.

WBJ

5/01/2007 08:39:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

WBJ:

Your points are well taken. However, I wasn't actually making a point about the Godfather but about rampant envy, which will indeed "leave nothing standing," in the sense that it becomes "king of nothing" -- like Michael Corleone, but for a different reason.

5/01/2007 08:57:00 AM  
Blogger W. Ben said...

I agree. I once watched GFII with a friend. During the end, when Michael sat on his chair and smoked his cig and remembered beautiful moments of his life, my friend said, "Nice memories. To bad you killed or alienated everyone you could share them with."

Sort of struck me as true.

WBJ

5/01/2007 09:04:00 AM  
Anonymous TalkinKamel said...

I've greatly enjoyed your posts over the past few days, Bob!

Keep up the good work. It's nice to see faith/religion/true coonhood defended by the wise and funny, not just clowns like Falwell. We need more people like you---and C.S. Lewis---and Dietrich Bonhoeffer---and Teresa of Avila---and St. Catherine of Sienna---and---and---and---

5/01/2007 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Bob said:
“..Mr. Spock, a computer could spend eternity just trying to figure out which tie to wear.”

Not if you gave them only one tie.

(I have more than one tie, by the way.)
(But I dislike most of them so ...)

5/01/2007 09:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Susannah said...

Bob said:

"...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."

"...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."

Exactly! Excusing evil always sears the conscience. That must be why (as evidenced by some commenters) people who morally equivocate can *commit* evil without even blinking. They see others through the lens of their own heart. The log & the mote, I guess.

The word "hate" is not acceptable in our current P.C. environment, but it's thoroughly biblical, given the right object. According to Christ, we're not to return evil our enemies, but we are to hate evil and overcome it with good. Hating evil means doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly before God. Hating evil means loving God with all your heart, soul, mind & strength and loving your neighbor as yourself. When you say "hate evil" what you are really saying is "embrace the good." I liked your question a while back: "Is God pleased by abortion?" It cuts right to the chase. Hating evil means drawing back from it as if from a poisonous snake, being repulsed by it, turning away from it--*running* away from it, and embracing the purity, truth, beauty, and goodness of God instead. (E.g., instead of despising and throwing away that unanticipated life, receiving it from God's hand and giving one's life to nuture it instead. The former action should repulse anyone who loves the good. The latter should be our way of life.)

If God did not hate evil, how could he be truly good or truly just? Yet in his kindness and mercy he makes a way for us to come to him in *spite* of our evil. Now THAT'S goodness beyond our ken! And the strangest thing...it's impossible to come to him until you recognize and disavow your evil. "Repentance" I think is the biblical term.

Bleah, I "talk" too much. But thanks for keepin' on telling the truth.

5/01/2007 09:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Sawdust said...

DQ said, "Let's rumble". You might want to reconsider that, Queenie, especially if your feelings are easily hurt. And the feelings of most lefties are usually hurt by the slightest reprimand.

Declare war if you wish. I don't know how long you've been reading this blog, be warned that for a leftie to challenge GB to a battle of words or wits is akin to bringing a knife to a gun fight. After all, most lefties come to a battle of wits unarmed, and if you think you're special, you have a hard lesson coming. Be of good cheer, though; the hardest lessons stay with us longest.

This is really getting to be fun, Bob. Oh, I know, it's supposed to be serious stuff, but I just can't help it. Watching the libs make fools of themselves is just good entertainment.

5/01/2007 09:31:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

RE “sulfurious meadow muffin” I’ve noticed these too. Frequently delivered here by the Drive-by Flatulators.
You know who you are.

5/01/2007 09:32:00 AM  
Anonymous a voice of reason said...

Talkincamel: Please don't conflate Bob with respected spiritual leaders.

He hasn't made his bones yet.
For one thing, he hasn't become an ordained minister yet, which is an easy enough thing to do. Bob probably doesn't know what to make of himself yet.

Am I a minister? Am I a politician? Am I a theologican? Am I a journalist? Am I a sadhak?
Am I a writer? What combination of these things am I?

These questions are important to parse, because failure to concentrate weakens and dilutes the effort. One cannot be all things.

This is why Bob fields so much criticism.

He is a minister who has no firm doctrine.
He is a politician with no specific platform
He is a theologian with...well, he is a theologian.
He is a journalist with...well, he is a jounalist.
He is a clearly a marginal or struggling sadhak
He is a writer, beyond a doubt.

So, in the final analysis, Bob is a theologian, journalist and writer of fine caliber. But, in his assays to be/do more, he falls short. If he were to become a sadhak, for example, he could no longer indulge Cousin Dupree.

If he were to become a minister, he would have stand down from the freeform mixing of doctrines. The he just wouldn't be Bob anymore, I guess.

So, with this analysis in minds, maybe the trolls could focus their criticism, saying "Bob, you are in an area in which your expertise fails you."

He's not a bad guy, just all over the map in terms of his activiities. That is why contention rises up on this blog.

5/01/2007 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I rest my case.

5/01/2007 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Oh, boy!

I want to make a qualm about Mr. Spock. Mr. Spock from what I can tell may have been the most vertical of all of the Trek members. He was at heart a reasonable man, and while it robbed him of outward emotion, he certainly seemed to 'understand' things that others did not. I think that he is mistaken for being Rational, but Spock (unlike, Data, for instance) had an understanding of Truth and a feeling for it even if his customs robbed him of the outward expressions of it.

I think he was supposed to be computer-like, but his reasonability marked him too human and his lack of outward emotion didn't make him a machine nor really cold but just very inward. There are a few episodes that I remember that hint at that about his character.

Anyhow, that's just my opinion on the guy. Not to lambast your use of him, but instead to point out that I think he represents an argument about outward emotion not equating at all to having a feeling for truth.

If Spock was supposed to have prayed we'd never know; if he had one, he carried his prayer closet with him wherever he went.

(note: just my opinion :))

5/01/2007 09:45:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

voice of reason:

I dissent, sir.

Wise old Paulie once said:

I shall become all things to all men, so that I may at very least win a few.

Your reason is shallow, sir!

Rrrrrrrrrrrrriposte!

5/01/2007 09:46:00 AM  
Anonymous juliec said...

Susannah,
believe me, you don't talk too much! I, for one, am delighted to read your observations. You wield the Cluebat with gracious manners and a powerful arm.

5/01/2007 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, as a matter fact, since Spock was half-Vulcan and half-human, he was a symbol of the ultimately false dichotomy between detached higher reason and emotion. Bones represents lower scientific reason and with it, narrow emotionality, while Kirk is the emodiment of more expansive, heroic emotionality, or "higher emotions" in action.

5/01/2007 09:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Bolt said...

If a child is raised in darkness, they lost the ability to see. Likewise, a child raised in an environment free of moral clarity loses the ability to discern the good. With that capacity lost, truth and beauty are obscured in a perceptual fog of grays and shadow. For want of any solid guides to get a fix on the good, truth and beauty, the emerging Leftist can only hold their finger up and follow the prevailing winds of liberal thought. Integration of water and poison, weakness and avoidance as virtue, transterrestrial global warming and, by all means, discover your inner victim. Such sad little feathers at the mercy of a capricious wind.

5/01/2007 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

--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?

Well, he could pay me more...

But here's a fun game: You can tell so much about yourself--apart from politics--by how you view the last question in that graf, and how you assemble your answer.

Envy is insidious; it dresses up as "fairness" and seeks to wheedle its way into the public consciousness by not really into anyone's conscience.

Oh, and haters, no only does God hate, He's not even fair.

5/01/2007 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

bolt said, Such sad little feathers at the mercy of a capricious wind.

What a turn of phrase and imagery!

:)

5/01/2007 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Brilliant: Dr. Sanity de-deconstructs the leftist food chain of victimology.

5/01/2007 10:13:00 AM  
Anonymous walt said...

From Dr. Sanity -

"Clearly, when all of humanity is at stake; when the socialist utopia is at-hand; lines must be drawn and the masses must be kept in their appropriate places in order to achieve social justice, peace, and universal brotherhood."

I have heard this left-wing creed in one form or another throughout my life. It is a formula for slavery; the only difference is the "degree" of the slavery.

5/01/2007 10:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Susannah said...

Joan, good one! (Thank God He's not "fair." Whew.) And Bob, I think your analysis of Star Trek is spot-on. :)

5/01/2007 10:23:00 AM  
Anonymous bolt said...

Thank you for the compliment Joan. It means much considering the source.

5/01/2007 10:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Sawdust said...

Bolt, I agree with you completely. The "War on Poverty", in my mind the greatest Evil ever forced upon the American people by their government, is an excellent example of what you're saying. I guess if you studied carefully all the effects of this legislation, you could cover a multitude of sins, as seen in any ghetto.

Bob, I'm embarassed to admit that I had never heard of Schoun before I started reading this site, but the quote from him is absolutely a wonderful thing. What would you recommend reading to learn a little more about him.

5/01/2007 10:30:00 AM  
Anonymous TalkinKamel said...

Voice of reason, you ain't the boss of me, so please don't tell me who (whom?) I can conflate, and who I can't. I'll conflate anybody, any time, in any way that I please! So there!

Frankly, the mere fact that somebody might be a minister doesn't mean much to me. As for the fact Bob is struggling---well, so am I, and so are most of the other Coons who come here. I really don't want to sit at the feet of some great, enlightened one, as he drops pearls of wisdom---which must never be questioned---from his vast store of knowledge, as we all listen passively and gratefully, with the proper humble demeanor----eeccch! One of the things I like about this site is the diversity, the all-over-the-mapness of it (if you stay in one place, you don't get anywhere) and the interest in many different spiritual streams of thought. If that's not your cup of tea, I understand, but some of us like it.

As for contention, what's wrong with that? Look again at the list of people I admire---they certainly had plenty of it, in their lives.

5/01/2007 10:44:00 AM  
Anonymous TalkinKamel said...

As for the trolls, they're going to stamp and howl and shout nonsense non-sequiters whatever Bob does or says---because they're Trolls, and that's what Trolls do. Reason holds no appeal for them, and they can't be convinced or unconvinced by logical argument.

5/01/2007 10:59:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Sawdust:

Not sure where the best place to begin with Schuon would be, as his writings are rather difficult for most, whereas if you like him, then you'll want to read everything. His books are almost all compendiums of papers on a variety of subjects, some of which may not interest you. Perhaps a primer such as Advice to the Serious Seeker, by James Cutsinger, who is an Orthodox Christian interpreter of Schuon. Also, his biography (found in my sidebar) is a pretty good intro, although more expensive. In the end, there is no replacement for reading him, especially since he directly conveys a very strong vertical mojo if you are open to it.

5/01/2007 11:02:00 AM  
Anonymous juliec said...

Joan, I've been thinking about that particular parable lately. It seems to me, though the ultimate tangible reward was the same no matter when in the day the workers came to work, there must have been rather a lot of intangingible rewards for those who came earlier.

For instance, if you were sitting on the corner that morning, hoping and praying for a job that day so you could feed your family and pay your bills, you might have felt a sense of relief or even happiness at being chosen early. You'd be spending the day doing something useful, with the assurance of a reward for your efforts instead of hanging around on the corner, stressing about whether or not you'd be able to feed your kids that night.

Chosen early, you might have spent the day singing with your fellow laborers as you provided a valuable service, enjoying the camaraderie of shared work and a job well done. As the day wore on and more people trickled in, you might even be happy that your work had been eased a bit, knowing that no matter how many people came in you'd be paid the same as you were promised. By the end of the day, you'd probably even get to enjoy a bit of slack, with so many more hands to help carry the load.

Yes, everyone ultimately gets the same reward, no matter when they came to work, but that probably has to do with the fact that there really is only one reward to give. It can't be multiplied or divided, weakened or strengthened. It is what it is. But there is another type of reward gained by showing up early and being a part of something greater than the self.

5/01/2007 11:14:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

DQ Lamethrower said "Red on Blue. Commie on Coon. Let's rumble. Let's loose the dogs of war.No more pussyfooting around. "

Hate to break it to you but you're in the comment section of a blog where the regulars see you as a ninny.
Not a strong position for starting a war.

5/01/2007 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

a voice of reason said "Am I a minister? Am I a politician? Am I a theologican? Am I a journalist? Am I a sadhak? Am I a writer? What combination of these things am I?"

Fine questions I'm sure, however one question far better and more relevant would be "Are you worth listening to?"

Answer:"Hell No"

Click nic, collapse comment. Next -

5/01/2007 11:34:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

River Cocytus said "I think that he is mistaken for being Rational, but Spock (unlike, Data, for instance) had an understanding of Truth and a feeling for it even if his customs robbed him of the outward expressions of it."

ooH, gonna spark a ST orig vs NG battle there... Data far outshown Spock on many occasions in exibitions of decency respect for truth. Plus he got lucky w'da security babe, liked cats, knew Shakespeare and could listen to several symphonies at once.

Tough to top that with just a wierd finger sign & pointy ears.

5/01/2007 11:40:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

DQ makes me think of Dairy Queen. Mmm... ice cream.

.. nearly killed my Marigold seedlings today in a bout of overconfident foolishness. I think they're officially 'hardened' now...

Poor guys.

Julie - recently I've been mulling over the parable of the two sons (forget where its at) - one son complains and whines but decides to do what he is told, while the other son acquiesces but defaults on his responsibility. Who is the good son? We all know who. Makes me think of those Atheists & Agnostics who despite denying God literally still do what is right.

Also, "Do not resent an evil man" or "Do no set yourself against an evil man" - two ways to translate "Do not resist an evil man" that make more sense, IMO.

PS - about Star Trek, despite being weak on the 'effects' Star Trek seemed like it was quite a bit deeper on the story and symbolism. Odd how the same dichotomy is present with the Star Wars series as well.

5/01/2007 11:41:00 AM  
Blogger Smoov said...

I don't think any 'Coon would ever "endorse violence" against leftists. However I will say that leftism is the sine qua non modern reason for the existence of the Second Ammendment.

5/01/2007 11:42:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Gagdad Bob said "Yes, as a matter fact, since Spock was half-Vulcan and half-human, he was a symbol of the ultimately false dichotomy between detached higher reason and emotion."

Oh yeah?! Well... well... well... Data wanted to be human... so... there!

5/01/2007 11:43:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Van: Data is my other favorite character. Hahaha, so I don't think we have much to argue about. Data is to me one of those 'true AIs' of good science fiction - and Artificial Intelligence that is only an intelligence because someone placed the image of their own intellect on HIM.

There is a sci-fi/giant robot anime series called 'Big Oh'. There are two notable robots, one of which was made and programmed by a pianist, the other is a maid. The maid can 'play' the piano, but it sounds horrible. The piano-playing robot can play beautifully but cannot teach the maid how to actually play. Why? Because his 'real' playing is the image of his creator and not something he can quantify or understand as a machine, and thus cannot teach to the maid. The maid might not understand it even if he could.

5/01/2007 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger robinstarfish said...

Adhan In the Free World
mayday! ma-mayday!
this emergency broadcast
will repeat each hour

5/01/2007 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

JulieC said " ...but that probably has to do with the fact that there really is only one reward to give."

Yep. Maybe partly because there's only one work worth doing, and done at all is done in all. Grasping that Truth is One and is All plugs you into it All - whether you've been there for a moment or a day - you're there.

5/01/2007 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

To be honest, I've never even seen the new Star Trek... I guess I just assumed it was a modern error, like Vatican II or the designated hitter....

5/01/2007 12:01:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Sorry, Bob. Edgar Martinez and I beg to differ on the DH. You just can't have thoroughbred pitchers messing around with bats and such. They cost way too much.

;O}

5/01/2007 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Gagdad Bob said... "To be honest, I've never even seen the new Star Trek... I guess I just assumed it was a modern error, like Vatican II or the designated hitter.... "

ergh... ulp ... new? (crestfallen... staggers away... another hero with gobs of clay trailing from their shoes)

I think it's safely two or three franchise resussitations old now. After the first season, had some very good stories.

Ah well.

Gotta be 15 years old, at least... during the opening, I used to put kids on my belly and roll backwards in a panic as the Enterprise zoomed at the tv screen - garaunteed fits of laughter.

5/01/2007 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger juliec said...

Helicopter ride
See from a new perspective
Footprint on the world

(/shameless plug for juliecork.wordpress.com)

5/01/2007 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger MizzE said...

"Hunting dove over a baited field"

Unbelievable! And yet so believeable.

Then I urge to to visit Motel Zero. The visit will clear your palate.

5/01/2007 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger MizzE said...

-o.o-ps! YOU too are urged to visit Motel Zero.

5/01/2007 01:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Sal said...

Joan and Julie, mesdames:

A very great favorite story, once you wrap your understanding around it. Thanks for it and the explication.

As one of the token Christian from Birth sistren, OC has had me pondering just what those intangibles might be. One is them is simply being unable to imagine an existence w/o the presence of God. Can't do it. I know, 'cause I've tried, experimentally.

Now this doesn't mean you don't wrestle with theodicy, like everyone else - just probably not to the same extent.

And a great, great deal depends on the quality of one's instruction - some of us get luckier than others.

bolt- that's some good writing

5/01/2007 01:42:00 PM  
Blogger The Bunnies said...

juliec, it took a while, but I wrote a response to your comment in today's post.

5/01/2007 02:24:00 PM  
Anonymous walt said...

Bob,
After your brief exchange with Sawdust earlier about Schuon, I re-read the quote you included at the end of today's post.

The first, simple sentence -
"The purpose of freedom is to enable us to choose what we are in the depths of our heart." - became an afternoon's pondering.

All the key words: purpose, freedom, enable, choose, are, depths, heart -- each one, worthy of so much re-membering.

5/01/2007 05:15:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Fum.. Got a post up about sentimentality. It is my thought that there is a connection between fantasy and theft; Just as there is a connection between utopian thinking and collective robbery. One leads naturally to the other.

It's called 'A Bit About Sentimentality' and is probably full of spelling errors. But, tell me what your thoughts are.

Fantasizing can lead to lots of things, but my theory is that it leads specifically to kinds of theft, and is certainly a tool of envy.

Later.

5/01/2007 05:53:00 PM  
Anonymous walt said...

River -

(Couldn't seem to leave a comment at your site.)

Good news: second time's the charm.

IMO, folks who truly succeed with plants are not only responsible "for them," but learn to be responsible "TO them"...if you catch the distinction. Of course, I came to that opinion by taking the same route you just took.

5/01/2007 06:31:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

At the risk of turning this closer toward a Trekie convention, the original Star Trek was the only one for me. Didn’t even care much for the original series movies. I watched the original series mostly as reruns – was a little before my vintage.

Seemed after the original they’d said all there was to say. I didn’t stick around long after the original. Everything afterward seemed imitation. But I didn’t stick around long to really find out…so I shouldn’t criticize those shows.

Anyway, Kirk, Bones Spock all favs, and critical, and if you’re going to make a Critical List, let’s not forget our fav engineer Mr. Scotty. He represented the working man:

“Here Scotty, take this bucket of bolts and make it fly. And make it fly fast, really fast, too while you’re at.”

“Yes sir. But these engines, she can’t take much morrrrre.”

But she always did, didn’t she?

The Trekies I thought, as funny as they were/are sort of brought the property value way down on a really great ‘story’ as Riv put it. Shame.

(Not a Trekie - no glue-on ears for me. But a fan of what the show tried to do.)

5/01/2007 06:41:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

New post alert at Eject! Eject! Eject!:
A MOVING COMPANY

5/01/2007 06:44:00 PM  
Blogger juliec said...

Ricky - thanks for the Whittle updates. I love reading his stuff, but I'm not used to checking his site with any frequency.
Perhaps that'll really change now.

5/01/2007 06:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the music, Gagdad. I know and have most of it; but it really nice to hear it as you have resembled it here.

It puts one in the mood to read the words, which will set you free..

5/01/2007 07:35:00 PM  
Anonymous debass said...

Scotty was beamed into space last week.

http://www.trektoday.com/news/300407_02.shtml

I really only watched the original series plus the Outer Limits and the Prisoner, which I didn't figure out until years later when I watched it on DVD.

5/01/2007 07:39:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

One more thing about today’s great post (thanks Dr Bob), and a couple of Dr. Sowell’s liberal self-evident truths:
“Global warming…”
and
“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."

I echo these in my post the other day saying, in one quick little package, that on the above subjects:

1. Science stops being science,
2. Things are being linked that really aren’t linked,
3. Too much Too-Zoomed-In-Syndrome,
4. Doing something is as good as doing something meaningful,
5. Feeling is as good as thinking,
6. It’s ok to fill in the blanks with your imagination and then base your life on them,
7. As long as you care you’re off the hook (they use this one for lots of things).
8. Etc.

Here’s the short post:
Another Missing Link

Did my fellow ‘coons not know it was little Ricky?

Let me know what you think.
...or maybe you already did…

5/01/2007 08:02:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

Despite phasers, beam-ups, dilithium crystals, and warp speed, as often as not ol' James T Kirk resolved the conflict by giving the bad guy a well deserved butt-kicking. Love that stuff!
River: I used to like "Big Oh" a lot. Are you an anime fan? I am a minor league otaku myself.
wv: gudnolk (Is there bad nolk?)

JWM

5/01/2007 08:02:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Hi Juliec,
Some interesting things brewing at Mr. Whittles house. He seems very excited. I can’t wait to see what’s coming down the pike.

Hi Debass,
RE Scotty’s ashes.
What a country.

5/01/2007 08:08:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

JWM,
Yep, Kirk knew what to do while everybody else was either bumping into each other, collapsing or imploding.

By the way, who other ‘coons can remember being disappointed Mr Shatner was not quite like Kirk in real life?

I mean, I like Mr. Shatner/Price Line…but he’s no Kirk.

Same thing with Fonzie/Winkler except worse.

5/01/2007 08:19:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

jwm: There is a saying, it goes,

"Anime: Drugs would be cheaper."

I'm a minor-leaguer myself as well. My favorite anime of all time? Martian Successor Nadesico. As much as I adore the phenomenal Cowboy Bebop (which I think all coons should at least SEE) the gritty Trigun and the mind-trip of FuriKuri (Fooly Cooly) its still got to be Nadesico. Its got a little bit of everything.

Big Oh I thought had some really good moments, including all of the giant robot combat.

All of it!

And the butler with the machine gun? Timeless.

5/01/2007 08:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Alan said...

In light of Bob's turning around DQ's argument on itself, what y'all think of the hypothesis that every leftist moral argument is self-refuting?

I know I'm probably wrong on this (it might just be most)... but it is an interesting thought?

5/01/2007 08:44:00 PM  
Anonymous terrence said...

I had not even hard of Finetunes before tonight. It is GREAT, and GAGDADBOB'S playlists are amazing - I would have picked most of the same tunes on playlist 3!

If you are not now listening, listen!!! AND KEEP LISTENING! Listen to word, children, listen to the word.

5/01/2007 08:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Bob it's been a trip. Having enjoyed your interview on WIE magazine's site I was keenly interested to read your recent work. I have been doing so for about two weeks now. On the positive, your thoughts have served to remind me not to sacrifice my own integrity in alliance with any political polariity. A good reminder in polarized times. In general however your comments have been a great disappointment. Evidently you are experiencing and expressing some great energetic flow but you should question it's source. Your realization, as evident in your language, lacks depth. In particular in this final and really quite bizzare exploration of "evil hating" and your childish game logic interchange with "drama queen". But then, this is your path and role for now. I however have heard enough and will bid your site farewell.
Best to you.
MHL

5/01/2007 08:59:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

River:
My favorites: Neon Genesis, GITS, UC Gundam, Dragonball Z, and anything by Miyazaki. I liked Outlaw Star better than Cowboy Bebop, but I have a sentimental streak.
You think anime is a bad habit?
If you value your bank account,
Don't go near the toys!
ps

pay us a visit a www.robot-japan.
(shameless plug)

JWM

5/01/2007 09:34:00 PM  
Blogger juliec said...

Okay, if we must discuss cartoons, how about The Venture Brothers? I know it's not anime, but still...

Spirited Away was pretty cool.

5/01/2007 09:54:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

annonymousMHL said "In general however your comments have been a great disappointment."

Gagdad... do try to bear up under the heartache - Colonol Beaglehole says "Stiff upper lip"

5/01/2007 10:06:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ricky, JWM... only teasing about the original Star Trek, I didn't have the ears either (bunch of models and phasers though), but enjoyed it on first run and mucho re-runs.

Scotties ashes in space - talking about poetic justice.

5/01/2007 10:08:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

Juliec:
Spirited Away is my favorite movie.
Since we're totally OT:
*guys only*
(giant robot stuff)
YouTube: Code Guardian Part 1
part 2 follows.
(still don't know how to do the link thing here)

JWM

5/01/2007 10:09:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

JWM - NO DRAGON BALLZ!

You know how hard it is keeping a 14/15 year old away from that stuff?!

CUT IT OUT!

Sheesh.




;-)

5/01/2007 10:12:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Alan said "In light of Bob's turning around DQ's argument on itself, what y'all think of the hypothesis that every leftist moral argument is self-refuting? I know I'm probably wrong on this (it might just be most)... but it is an interesting thought? "

Oh you're not wrong about that, in fact, they all are self refuting.

Leftist 'thought' is all based on an effort to make one thing seem like another, which means they are untrue and so contradictory. You can pick which end of their argument/assertions you'd like to extend to a logical outcome - it will definitely come around and refute the other end.

'Affirmative action helps minorities', 'Minimum wage laws help the poor', 'Not using military power to stop tyrants keeps the peace', 'Ban DDT and Save Lives!" (to date, multiple millions have died around the world because of this one), 'Campaign reform laws clean up politics' (Check out one of the first and worst efforts in the 17th ammendment - so destructive to the constitution and the structure and function of Congress), and on and on and on....

5/01/2007 10:22:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

It's about 2:15 AM here. That means it's time for me to comment.

>>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.<<

Yes, or in a sense, I think, the sublimation of emotion. Anyway - let us stand up and face the dawn here: we are talking about two different species of human being, literally. In esoteric terms, we are talking about two different root races, one with evolved (to a degree) organs of higher perception, the other not so. (the term "root race" has nothing to do with skin pigmentation, only degree of consciousness)

It's my belief that, generally speaking, the difference between what is now called "leftist" and "conservative" perspective is a matter of degree of consciousness. Of course, there are degrees of consciousness within the conservative perspective, likewise within the leftist perspective. HOWEVER -

If there is a spiritual quickening now at play in the world, it could be that, depending on what camp one is now aligned with, there is a magnetizing process pulling all toward the extremes of the separate poles. That is, even if you're just a shade over the degree of consciousness line marking you as lefty, you are being magnetized to the extreme left pole. And similarly if you possess a consciousness even slightly directed toward Spirit, you will be magnetized toward the extreme pole, ie., toward the Light.

Well, are not the lefties more numerous, more vocal, more just plain extreme than ever? Ah, you say, why aren't the Light-brigades equally as numerous, vocal, etc? Well, maybe they are, but their modes of discourse would, I think, tend to be unconventional, invisible to the material world. As would their ultimate power.

5/02/2007 12:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Michael Brazier said...

About "artificial intelligence": most of the research being done under that name isn't trying to create rational beings. It's aimed at creating machines that can see, hear, and touch, then interpret what they sense to produce a model of their surroundings, and navigate through those surroundings to accomplish a goal. All these are faculties of the sensitive soul, things that animals can do; and there's nothing impossible about building a machine with those faculties. Even so, it's proving to be hard sledding.

5/02/2007 02:30:00 AM  
Anonymous USS Ben said...

"Make scents, or is your nous too congested?"

Scentsational!

5/02/2007 02:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Skully said...

MHL said-
"On the positive, your thoughts have served to remind me not to sacrifice my own integrity in alliance with any political polariity."

I see. So integrity means fence sitter (moderate) to you. IOW, you don't take a stand on anything controversial.
How courageous of you.
How lukewarm.

On a positive note, I fail to see how that's positive.
Truth is always polarizing to those who are blind to it, or to those who don't have the moxy to bear the standard.

5/02/2007 02:53:00 AM  
Anonymous uss ben said...

Star Trek TNG wasn't all bad, but far too many episodes were gooey with PC/multicult crap.

DS9- see STTNG

Voyager sucked.

The last incarnation, Enterprise, was pretty good.
Captain Archer even tortured an alien! :^)

I still liked the original the best.

Still, I would much rather watch Combat!

5/02/2007 03:04:00 AM  
Anonymous uss ben said...

Will said:
"If there is a spiritual quickening now at play in the world, it could be that, depending on what camp one is now aligned with, there is a magnetizing process pulling all toward the extremes of the separate poles."

Good points, Will.
That would explain why so many "moderates" lean left.

5/02/2007 03:07:00 AM  
Anonymous uss ben said...

JWM, River, Ricky, Van, et al:
I got addicted to DB and DBZ when my kids were home.
Funny stuff!
The Tick was good also.
I rounded out their education with Looney Toons, Underdog, Popeye, and the Coyote and Roadrunner.

5/02/2007 03:13:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Exhibit 104582-c, you Honor:

Submitted as evidence.

The Left has it all:
1. "try, hang and shoot Pres. Bush."
2. "Love and Peace is in all our hearts!"

Sounds like they've become fully Integrated into Nasty Namastes.

Whatever. Hey troll physicians, go heal yourselves and get back to us on that, m'kay?

5/02/2007 04:36:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

[caution to otherwise normal people, what follows may deeply disturb you.]

JWM:

'What does the scouter say about his power level?'

'.... Its OVER 9000!!!!!!!' *breaks scouter*

'9000!!! That can't be right!'

- It's always amusing to juxtapose that little bit of melodrama into other places in life...

*you call up the bank*

'Hey, can tell me how much money is in my bank account?'

Teller: Hold on..

Teller: Its... OVER 9000!
*disconnected*

*bank calls back*

You: 9000? That can't be right...

(warning: 2nd link is really annoying ;))

Back to your regular scheduled coonments...

"...In particular in this final and really quite bizzare exploration of "evil hating" and your childish game logic interchange..."

Humour my dear boy, Humour.

5/02/2007 04:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Sal said...

JWM's opus knocked me out with its creativity, humor and deep thinking. Go, thou and read.

You are...my biggest fan.

Bill Whilttle asks: What are you good at? What can you teach? Coons are responding.

5/02/2007 05:27:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

OMG Joan of Arrgghh!, from your link "They changed my life. They made me a liberal," said sweat-drenched history teacher Rafael Ramon, 25, who had waited in a crowd packed shoulder-to-shoulder in front of the stage all day. " if that doesn't sum up the leftist iron filings lining up... ugh.

Will, your comment reminds me to make a note to self: Trade in all metalic clothing for nylon blends.

Ben, agree with your TV ratings..Combat!.

5/02/2007 05:30:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

I put up a Short post of links, as antidote to the grotesque article Joan of Argghh! linked to.

5/02/2007 06:32:00 AM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

Just this past week, a genuine new-ager explained why the obvious don't apply to them: "We all create our own reality."

I suppose this means to them, life is a single-player game, and all the people in it non-player characters that exist only for their benefit (or malefit). Not a bad word about single-player games: I bought an awesome one for my computer last spring. It is called Oblivion. No, seriously.

5/02/2007 06:47:00 AM  
Blogger juliec said...

Magnus,
I was playing Oblivion for a while. I haven't finished, but I had to take a break - I have a hard time stealing from people, even in a video game, and those oblivion gates just get boring and repetetive after a while. It is a well-put-together game though. I might even finish it eventually :)

5/02/2007 07:17:00 AM  
Anonymous jwm said...

Sal:
Thank you for the kind words, but what opus? (Not like I have a lot of them laying around)

JWM

5/02/2007 07:31:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Played Oblivion as well. My tip would be, learn alchemy. An arrow is effective, but an arrow dipped in 'damage health 20 points for 25 seconds' is a lot more effective.

Not to mention paralysis.

Beautifully imaginative, that game is. Not quite as 'big' as Daggerfall was, but it makes up for it in detail and character.

Don't get yourself lost in the game, though. Life ain't no single player game, like Mag said...

5/02/2007 07:38:00 AM  
Blogger juliec said...

I found that if i simply waited until I could raise three stats by at least four points, combat was fairly easy.

It was fun for a while, but then Meditations was calling and I just haven't gone back; now if I want to play a game, it's Luxor 2 ;)

rukklrrv - is Scooby running wv now?

5/02/2007 07:47:00 AM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

Juliec,
I haven't completed it either. I skip the stealing and get on with the honest killing. I have a special fondness for longswords of fire, which I swing back and forth. It is nice to be on that side of them.

5/02/2007 07:49:00 AM  
Anonymous jwm said...

River;
Cool link. I've never been able to get the scouter to read over 20 or 30. But then again, I'm not a Sayan.

wv: aumjm (aum jm!)

JWM

5/02/2007 07:59:00 AM  
Blogger juliec said...

Yeah, I know what you mean about the honest killing. Taking out the vampires, necromancers and goblins was fun; I admit to a certain amount of bloodthirsty laughter when they make that surprised sound after a successful sneak attack (I was a sneaky bard).

5/02/2007 08:17:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Hmm... Magnus, JulieC, River, JWM... I thought I'd clicked on the One Cosmos link, but ...apparently I actually knocked on my teenagers bedroom door... that's odd... what are you all doing here?

I'm so confused....

;-)

5/02/2007 08:54:00 AM  

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