Friday, May 04, 2007

Who Controls the Past Defines the Normal, Who Defines the Normal Controls the Present (5.03.09)

George Orwell's pithy insight into the mentality of the left has not been surpassed. In his novel 1984, the motto of the Ministry of Truth is "He who controls the past controls the future, and he who controls the present controls the past." I couldn't help thinking this last night while suffering through the Republican debate, which essentially consisted of the candidates submitting themselves to orthodorks leftwing talking points filtered through that spluttering, loudmouthed hack from the MSMistry of Truth, Chris Matthews, whose main talent is the ability to barge through any truth he accidentally stumbles upon like a drunk goes through a hamburger.

But who controls the present also controls what is defined as "normal." Therefore, since leftists have taken over various institutions in the last 30-40 years -- the media, academia, Hollywood, etc. -- they have been engaged in the unyielding project of redefining normalcy -- of defining deviancy downward -- so that the abnormal appears normal and the normal abnormal. Their radical skepticism throws out all standards and categories as arbitrary and subjective, motivated simply by the desire to dominate, control, and oppress.

Therefore, to believe things as banal as "the man should be the head of the household" or "marriage consists of a man and a woman" is to expose oneself to ridicule by people who do not know what normal is -- nor do they want to know. (To be perfectly accurate, they unconsciously know, as all humans must, but they are in a state of rebellion against this knowledge, a rebellion which must be constantly renewed in order to stay one step ahead of the judgment of their conscience -- which they generally project into conservatives and then feel "persecuted" by them.)

Almost every "liberation" group of the left insists that their particular aberration be considered normal, whether it is homosexual activists, radical feminists, the "transgendered," etc. Teaching that there is a normal human condition is considered by these people to be the quintessence of tyranny and oppression. Being that the left does indeed "control the present," so to speak, all textbooks must be rewritten in order to make the abnormal appear normal, and to attack and undermine our intuitive understanding of what is normal. This is one of the big reasons why people homeschool their children, because they don't want them to internalize such abnormality at a young age, since it can be very difficult to undo this programming later in life.

Again, as I mentioned yesterday, I passively accepted a lot of this leftist brainwashing when I was younger, and it has been on ongoing adventure in liberation to cast it off bit by bit and regain my normalcy. Which, of course, would be considered very, very abnormal by anyone on the left, such as the Women's Aberration Movement.

Yesterday, someone made a valid point that my "temporocentrism," so to speak, causes me to overemphasize the importance of the 1960s. There is undoubtedly some truth in this, as it is difficult to avoid being a creature of one's time. In fact, a big part of being a "finished" human being is to transcend your time by becoming a mode of the universal -- which is another way of saying "normal." For, as I shall elaborate below, a normal man is a vertical man -- or what Schuon called pontifical man. The only alternative is to be a horizontal man, which is to say, not a man at all. Doing so is to cash in your manhood in favor of being a beast in human form.

If there is a vertical dimension proper to man, then it means ipso facto that we live in a hierarchical cosmos that is conditioned from top to bottom. This is why it is simply a truism that all attacks on religion are in the end an attack on mind itself -- and therefore on man. Hierarchy is the one thing that absolutely cannot be tolerated by the totolerantarian left. Religion must be attacked and scorned, for it teaches that there are values that are intrinsic to humans, and that some ways of living, being, and thinking are better then others. Ultimately, the divine conscience -- that which distinguishes between right and wrong, good and evil -- must be disabled. For example, children are taught "values clarification" instead of straightforward rules of right and wrong. They are literally indoctrinated into an anti-religion that sets itself in opposition to the true and universal one.

But for the nihilistic leftist flatlander -- and this cannot be emphasized enough -- the only abnormal person is the person who insists that some things are intrinsically abnormal. I believe it is a fact that of all professional groups, psychologists are the most liberal, which is to say, horizontalized. There is no human behavior so bizarre that one cannot attend a continuing education seminar on its virtues. (I had been saving an illustrative flier for an occasion such as this, but I think I must have recycled it.)

This explain the ubiquitous "inverted hypocrisy" of the psychological left. Although this type of boundary-less person superficially appears to be the most “liberated," they are desperately in need of an "external center" to rebel against. Like a child, they are most in need of that which they most vociferously and compulsively protest against. Since they are chaotic souls with no center, they gain a spurious sense of internal coherence by rubbing up against, or breaking through, a boundary. Thus, the transgression eventually takes on a wearily compulsive quality. They rapidly become caricatures of themselves, a pattern constantly seen in our trolls.

As Richard Weaver wrote in Ideas Have Consequences, forms are the ladder of ascent: "Every group regarding itself as emancipated is convinced its predecessors were fearful of reality, looking upon veils of decency as obstructions that it will strip aside. But behind the veils is a reality of such commonplace that it is merely knowledge of death." The obliteration of vertical degree creates a tyrannical flatland which is death to the soul and its spiritual evolution. This is why leftists are always mindlessly rebellious, anti-authority, and radically "democratic" (when it is convenient), and why their movement has literally "gone nowhere" -- for its own assumptions mandate that there is nowhere else for it to go but into further nothingness, something demonstrated on a daily basis by its more undisguised voices, such as a dailykos or huffingandpissed.


I'm having a very trying morning. You-know-who woke up before I even finished my coffee, and I have to get ready for work shortly. Therefore, some reworked past material, which you may or may not have already read, but which touches on the question of normalcy:


Only man -- and the cosmos coursing through him -- is a becoming of what he is through time, a journey from what “we are not yet to what we already are,” from the potential of the mirror to the fulfillment of the image. We have a simple word for man -- or used to, anyway, before leftists decided that it was oppressively sexist -- but we must never forget that man is not man in the way that matter is matter, for only man has the task and vocation of becoming what he is.

Perhaps this is the greatest divide between secular materialists and religious idealists, for the latter regard man’s life as an irreducible ought grounded in transcendence, instead of a mere is rooted in dead matter. Man is the only thing that ought, which immediately takes him out of the realm of both is and of mere things. For to do as you ought is to both transcend and to find yourself. It is also to be a normal human being.

But what ought we do or be or know or become?

Spirituality is the science of discovering and becoming what we already are. And what we are is an arrow shot from the stream of time into the heart of eternity. Or is it the reverse?

It is both. For “man is true to himself only when he is stretching forth -- in hope -- toward a fulfillment that cannot be reached in his bodily existence” (Pieper).


In the words of Schuon, the devil is "the humanized personification -- humanized on contact with man -- of the subversive aspect of the centrifugal existential power; not the personification of this power in so far as its mission is positively to manifest Divine Possibility." In other words, the Absolute, insofar as it deploys itself in time and space (which it does "inevitably"), radiates from a cosmic center to the periphery, somewhat like a series of concentric circles with God at the center. God's energies are like radii emanating from the center outward, while the different concentric circles are the various levels of being, or the cosmic hierarchy.

Therefore, although everything is ultimately God, not everything is equally God. The idea that everything is equally God leads to pantheism, which is an indiscriminate flatland philosophy no more sophisticated than the bonehead atheism of a Christopher Hitchens or Sam Harris. It is logically equivalent to saying everything is not God. Or one might simply say "everything," and therefore "nothing" -- it doesn't matter, or mind, for that matter. In any event, nothing is that simple, let alone everything, let further alone the Divine Nothing-Everything at the center of it all.

Now ultimately, everything "is God" in some sense, but God is not the sum total of everything. Things necessarily vary in their proximity to God. Furthermore, there is movement toward God. We call this "evolution," but we should probably come up with a different term -- perhaps Adam & Evolution -- so as to not confuse it with mere natural selection, which reduces the transcosmic fact of evolution toward theosis to a random and mechanical process -- a monstrous philosophy which "cannot be."

And like the cosmic center of which it is a mirror, the individual center has a natural tendency to radiate outward and lose itself in the playful phenomena of its own creation. However, in its properly balanced way, this radiation leads to further centration, not dissipation. For example, when we love what is beautiful, we identify the soul's "within" by locating it in the without, which has effect of strengthening our central being. Conversely, if we love that which is ugly or "know" what is false, this has the effect of diminishing our center -- which, at the same time, necessarily pulls us further from God, the cosmic center.

The periphery must be -- i.e., there must be things that are more or less distant from God -- but this does not mean that they need be evil. Nevertheless, as Schuon implies, the divine radiation results in "cosmic interstices," so to speak, where evil and falsehood enter the picture. This is where the soul cancers arise and take root. It is one of the inevitable even though unsanctioned possibilities of the Divine radiation, somewhat like an existential blood clot. Truth flows. The lie is a static lump in your head.

The cosmos is permeated with arteries that carry "oxidized" energies away from God and veins through which creation returns to its source. Only human beings may partake of this circulatory system in a conscious way, and become co-partners in the divine plan. It's an offer we can and do refuse, although people in their left mind commonly do. On the one hand, creation is already "perfect," being that it is a metaphysically necessary and unnarcissary objectification of God. Nevertheless, by virtue of not being God, it cannot be perfect, but can only "become" perfect through man's conscious participation.

Or let us say that perfection is only a possibility because it is woven into the very warp and woof of creation. If it weren't, we wouldn't even have the word. Nor would we have the words for truth and beauty if they weren't coursing through the arteries of existence as divine possibilities. Truth is either "invented" or it is "discovered." If invented, then it is not true. If discovered, then it is of God -- or at least underwritten by God, the Absolute.

Today we find ourselves in a struggle of truly cosmic proportions between forces representing the human personification of the centrifugal existential power -- which is a very real, even if derivative and parasitic, power -- and those representing the center (or evolutionary return to the center).

In short, the cosmic-political battle in which we are engaged is ultimately between forces who deny hierarchy and those who affirm it; and those who drunkenly ride the centrifugal waves to the periphery, vs. those who soberly partake of the centripetal return. Importantly, those who deny hierarchy do so -- either consciously or unconsciously -- with the intention of replacing the natural hierarchy with their own illegitimate one. This is where all the false absolutes of the left enter the picture and set up shop (remember those cosmic interstices alluded to above). Left alone they become cancers, which means that, as they grow in strength and intensity, they actually begin to take on a gravitational attraction of their own.

You might even say that they become an alternative cosmic center that sets itself against the real one. It arrests progress -- the cosmic return -- by pulling both the innocent and guilty into its dark principality. It's methods are moral relativism, multiculturalism, and "critical theory," or deconstruction; its defender and guarantor is the coercion of political correctness rather than the "lure" of Truth; and its goal is the reversal of the cosmic order, the instantiation of the Fall, the obliteration of the vertical, and the exaltation (and therefore bestialization) of man, thus sealing his spiritual fate and ending the possibility of divine co-creation and theosis, or God-realization. Progressivism is the end of man's progress qua man.

It is appropriate that these cosmic tyrants are called "Democrats," for democracy is a system of information flow that can lead to the higher or to the lower. In fact, it will inevitably lead to the lower if we do not acknowledge at the outset that there is a higher toward which democracy must orient itself. In other words, in the absence of hierarchy, demo-cracy will become exactly what the word implies, which is to say, tyranny of the horizontalized masses, or demo-crazies.

The crazies of the left are half correct in their paranoid fear of a "theocratic takeover," in that we are ultimately faced with the choice between democracy and theocracy. The American founders, in their infinite wisdom, chose theocracy, in the sense that the only legitimate purpose of democracy could be to preserve and protect the spiritual freedom of the theocentric individual. In short, they created a theocracy that would be mediated not from the top down -- which is never a real theocracy, but monarchy -- through thousands and now millions of godlings, or "divine centers." But a democracy mediated by mere animal-men will sooner or later lead to the Reign of the Beast.

In the specific sense we are using the word, theocracy is "the only guarantee of a realistic liberty" (Schuon). Otherwise, the centrifugal riptide in which secular man stands soon leads to the pernicious idea that "truth amounts to the belief of the majority," and therefore, that the majority for all intents and purposes creates the truth, which is one of the explicit assumptions of the left -- i.e., "perception is reality." Under such bersercumstances, authority cannot appeal to truth, but "lives at the mercy of the electors," which in the end degrades them by patronizing them. Schuon adds that this doesn't mean democracy is impossible, but that "it is primarily a question of... an inwardly aristocratic and theocratic democracy" as envisioned by the Founders. In short, an exterior democracy of interior aristocats & chicks.


Van said...

"while suffering through the Republican debate, which essentially consisted of the candidates submitting themselves to leftwing talking points filtered through that spluttering, loudmouthed hack from the MSMistry of Truth"

And the bozo charging out onto the stage with burningly relevant questions from the internet!

[I'm sorry, we interrupt the current comment to indulge in shameless self promotion of a somewhat related nature. I posted this morning on What of Education. We now resume the current comment, in progress. Thank you.]

My 18 yr old summed it up well "This isn't a debate, this is a tag team match", at which point I consigned the debate to TIVO to be zoomed through this weekend for any useful info (not likely), while we watched Smallvile instead.

Why don't the Republicans have the sense that the dem's fake, in refusing to be made fools of going into the whinons den?

NoMo said...

Van - I thought the debate was being broadcast from Smallville.

NoMo said...

"...I passively accepted a lot of this leftist brainwashing when I was younger, and it has been an ongoing adventure in liberation to cast it off bit by bit and regain my normalcy. Which, of course, would be considered very, very abnormal by anyone on the left..."

Which is why many of my former lefty friends condescendingly characterized the change in me when I escaped their prison as, "God got him by the throat."

TalkinKamel said...

Control of the present. . . I'd like to expand some of the comments I made on the previous thread about the allegedly unplastic and unspiritual 50's. Such accusations always sound quite vague to me, and they never really go into the details. For instance, what sort of "spirituality" would such accusers like the 50's to have practised? Buddhism? Greek Platonism? Hinduism? They obviously despise the Judeo/Christiniaty of the West, so they can't mean they wish people in the 50's had prayed more, or gone to church more often.

My own experience of Boomers is that too many of them had no real interest in any sort of spirituality (except for the occasional fling with watered-down versions of Hinduism, or witchcraft); they weren't interested in any sort of music, other than whatever was being played in the top 40 at the time and actually despised reading real books, or tackling real academic subjects---so, you have to wonder, when they accuse their elders of being unspiritual, or too materialistic, exactly what sort of life did they envision for them, instead? As I've pointed out, they weren't interested in, or actively disliked, so many things: learning, music, religion, etc. it's hard to imagine what sort of life they would have considered a good one. Did they want their 50's parents to pray more? Go to classical music concerts? Museums? Drop out of society, and live off the land? (Kinda hard on Boomer kids). Drop acid? Watch less T.V.? More T.V.? What, exactly, were they supposed to do in order to attain a life the Boomers would have considered a good one?

Boomers also overlook the fact that their parents did have to work---parents usually do, in order to support their kids, unless they have a trust fund, or a stash of gold coins hidden in the basement, like the Adams family. Food has to get put on the table, jeans on little Boomers' bodies; how did Boomers think all those clothes, toys, etc. that they denouced as materialistic trash were acquired? Santa Claus? Kindly elves?

They seem unwilling to admit that their 50's parents unwillingness to race off and discover themselves, or explore fascinating new life styles might have been due to a sense of responsibility, and love for their families.

Of course, the whole move to denigrate the 50's is another way the Left wants to run the present; the 50's must have been horrible and oppressive, so the 60's can look great.

Van said...

"But for the nihilistic leftist flatlander -- and this cannot be emphasized enough -- the only abnormal person is the person who insists that some things are intrinsically abnormal"

If anyone doubts this, give it the eyeball roll test. Go up to your friendly (!) neighborhood leftist, and at some relevant point in conversation say something that seems normaly sensible, such as 'Murders aren't good people', 'Virtous behavior is Good', 'republicans aren't evil', and watch those eyeballs spin round and round.

Excellent post today. I'm saving space by pulling only one quote... for the moment.

TalkinKamel said...

Van, I once said that very thing to a Leftist--that murderers are not good people.

Her reply? "That's a really stupid thing to say!"

The Left, in a nutshell.

MizzE said...

"Like a child, they are most in need of that which they most vociferously and compulsively protest against.

Yesterday's post spurred an investigation, or more precisely a "catch up", on Bob Dylan since I left his orbit after "Nashville Skyline". In a 1984 Rolling Stone interview I read some interesting things about his own religious odyssey that I may or may not weave into a future blog post. (I really don't want to become a Bobologist.) In the meantime, thought I'd post this:

Q: "At one point, didn't you disassociate yourself from the protest form?"

BD: "Well, you see, I never called it protest. Protest is anything that goes against the ordinary and the established. And who's the founder of protest? Martin Luther."

Sort of a typical Dylan, riddle question/answer, but I think it reveals a good self-correcting center. As a committed itinerate folksinger at heart, he would only feel true to himself by singing out about injustices that hinder man's vocation of becoming what he is.

He also said, and I quote because it is so delicious: "the only people who are gonna succeed, really, are the people who are sayin' somethin' that is given to them to say. I mean, you can only carry "Tutti Frutti" so far."

Gotta love Dylan.

River Cocytus said...

Dylan kind of represents what all of the hippies wanted so desperately to be. He is authentic, one-of-a-kind, freewheeling, free thinking, a bard and poet. Of course, take a look at a deck of cards - is it all aces? There are a lot number cards, aren't there. There are castes of man - though his profession itself does not make him 'great' or 'small' but the nobility of his character, the ambition and expanse of his mind, and the size and impact of his work.

Dylan is probably highly intelligent- which is not something very common. Aping his intelligence does not make one intelligent, nor does mimicking his style make one authentic. Their horizontal movement has the same flaw as all horizontal movements: the elevation of an ideal that is necessarily relative, as opposed to a full understanding of the Lord; who is necessarily absolute (while also being relative.)

Sal said...

Re: constant rebellion

Mizze had some quotes from Chesterton up the other day - the one about how the Muslims have one, and only one, event in their spiritual history - Conquest- that they must keep repeating in never ending mini-apocalypses is very like this.

Been pondering that one for the last few days. Is there a way out of that loop?

They were all excellent snippets, and worth the look.

a good thing: the tiny pink moth that landed on the apricot rose while I was weeding.

cosanostradamus said...

"Gotta love Dylan."

Yes, you (I) do. Slow Train Coming was one of 3 anvils that fell from the sky that year ('79), knocking me clean off my roadrunner path. I hated him for it at the time - such a betrayal! - but what a wake-up call.

A strange way to be introduced to the real Jesus, but just what I needed at the time.

Many people stopped listening to him after his 'Christian' phase, but his spiritual (and orthodox) integrity has only grown deeper and more meaningful with each new work.

One of my greatest joys is having my son 'discover' Dylan in his early teens ("Dad, you ever hear this guy?"), a love that continues now into his 20's. I know it helped inoculate him against much of the crap that passes for lyrics now.

Van said...

TalkinKamel said "..."exactly what sort of life did they envision for them, instead?"

You know the quip that comes to mind, is one that praises themselves, just like howdy-doody did.

And that maybe unfair to howdy-doody, having never really seen Howdy-doody, but the general 'Hey Kids! What do You think of this?! What do You want to do?!... what did That do to the boomers?

There is some truth to the sudden wealth, and material comfort corroding society argument, but I don't that that of itself could have flipped the world over as it did. And as much as I hate (word chosen with conscious enthusiasm) the Progressives policies, I think even their agenda, building as it did, gathering steam with creating the 'high-school' in the early 1900's, de-heirarchicalizing the Constitution with the 17th ammendment... even all that couldn't have wreaked the damage we've seen done, on their own.

Someone mentioned yesterday about a 'Perfect Storm' of events coinciding at just the wrong moment, and I think that's probably closer to the truth, yet I bet that the young childrens TV entertainment, the kiddie shows that focused such excited enthusiasms on You!, and what You! wanted and thought worthwhile, ad nauseum, brought a turning towards inner urges and perceptual thrills - that never had happened in all prior history.

What did they want when they grew up? Why, they wanted what they Wanted!

Prior to the boomers, entertainment was out there, a telling of tales or reporting of things that happened in Sherwood Forrest or some such place, and the child tried to be like Robin Hood... it wasn't a case of lining up Davey Crocket, Robin Hood & Zorro for the kids evaluation and signing off approval based on seeing which one sold the most goodies that You liked, and further fueling the inner gawd by acting like him that sought to please you most....

... maybe a Barney rant, but I think there's something to it... back to work.

robinstarfish said...

Curtis In a May Field
people get ready
cos' there's a train a' comin'
you just thank the lord

Anonymous said...

[Origin: 1715–25; < NL centrifug(us) center-fleeing (centri- centri- + L -fugus, deriv. of fugere to flee) + -al1]

[Origin: 1700–10; < NL centripet(us) center-seeking (centri- centri- + -petus, deriv. of L petere to seek) + -al1]

thought this might add to the conversation...

"to seek"
"to flee".


juliec said...

If the Cosmos is a doughnut, that makes perfect sense to me...

Van said...

Winchells...maybe, not krispy kreme

former home-schooler said...

Controlling the cultural atmosphere case study:

One day, years ago, my 11 year-old son---we had been living in another country and had never had to hear the word-- had to ask me what a "homosexual" was.

Oh hooray. Thanks, activists!

I didn't get all wigged out about the question, I simply asked him to take a minute to think about what he'd been taught of love and sex and creation. And then I asked him what he thought would be the physical expression of love and creation between two men.

He simply couldn't imagine it.

"It doesn't make sense," he said.

"Exactly," I replied.

"Then why...what..." and his voice trailed off as he considered.

He never asked again, as I was sure his new life in the States would guarantee him a graphic answer in its time. But I wasn't worried about it after that.

You can't be sure what atmosphere the kids will inherit. Teach them Truth and then let them think for themselves. They'll probably surprise you with their clarity.

maineman said...

This was said earlier, but the seeds of the sixties were sown over half a century before. Paul Johnson ends the first chapter of his excellent "Modern Times" with one of my favorite paragraphs, which begins and ends like this:

The disturbances in Europe and the world which followed the seismic shock of the Great War and its unsatisfactory peace were, in one sense, only to be expected. The old order had gone. Plainly, it could not be fully restored, perhaps not restored at all. A new order would eventually take its place . . . . Among the advanced races, the decline and ultimately the collapse of the religious impulse would leave a huge vacuum. The history of modern times is in great part the history of how that vacuum had been filled. Nietzsche rightly perceived that the most likely candidate would be what he called the 'Will to Power', which offered a far more comprehensive and in the end more plausivble explanation of human behaviour than either Marx or Freud. In place of religious belief, there would be secular ideaology. Those who had once filled the ranks of the totalitarian clergy would become totalitarian politicians. And, above all, the Will to Power would produce a new kind of messiah, uninhibited by any religious sanmctions whatever, and with an unappeasable appetite for controlling mankind. The end of the old order, with an unguided world adrift in a relativistic universe, was a summons to such gangster-statesmen to emerge. They were not slow to make their appearance.

Joan of Argghh! said...

Gosh, Bob. It's almost uncanny.

Communists controlling Hollywood in the 60s? Say it ain't so!

Anonymous said...

Coons might enjoy:

writings of the saints

hoyybbt said...

Bob, you write in your post:

"Religion must be attacked and scorned, for it teaches that there are values that are intrinsic to humans, and that some ways of living, being, and thinking are better then others."

But I wonder what your definition of "better" is. Everyone has a different definition of better.

Darwinists think that the more individuals of a species, the better for them.

A Biomass specialist will think that the more biomass that a species has (in metric tonnes) the better.

Some say the more education, the better.

What do you, Bob, mean by better, and are you trying to say that you have a better "better" than anyone else?

ilzteil said...

It should be remembered, regarding leftists, that they function as social mutants. Without some variation in behavior or beliefs, evolution would grind to a halt.

Some kind of "good" normalcy is fine, but dissenters are needed for forward progress.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone ever noticed that all the great saints, mystics and realizers of the Great Tradition had to go through a process of profound dis-illusionment with all the established conventions of the culture in which they lived before they broke through to the "other side" as it were. A dark night of the soul as it were. Check out the biographies of Marpa,Milarepa,Theresa of Avila and St John of the Cross for example. Perhaps one of the best modern examples/descriptions of what it takes is Chasm of Fire by Irena Tweedie.

Gautama Buddha was totally horrified by what he saw outside the gates of his priveleged princely palace. He was thus moved to find out what was really True and Real which involved a radical process of questioning everything.

Such radical dis-illusionment is also the process that everyone has to go through if they wish to "attain" a state of spiritual illumination.

All authentic spiritual teachers demand that their students and disciples go through this process of repentence and purification too---and they also offer comprehensive practical instruction about how to do this---plus the silent Spiritual Transmission of their realized state. In other words a living realized Spiritual Teacher is the necessary means for this process of transformation to occur.

Unfortunately we do not have any real living sources of Spiritual Transmission or guidance.
And besides which the very idea of submitting and surrendering to the guidance of a Guru or Spiritual Teacher is totally ANATHEMA to the American way of do it yourself everything--"I did it my way" being the immutable "gospel" of the American ethos.

In the absence of Realized saints, sages etc the "cultural" authorities are now the university educated intellectuals and they have become the arbiters of what is True, Real and Beautiful. And there is just as much pernicious bullshit on the "right" side of the culture wars divide as on the left. Being a bit inclined to the left myself I would say very much more so.

River Cocytus said...

I don't need your gurus.

Give me a good book.

walt said...

It's always intriguing to find words that match my perceptions:

"...the cosmic-political battle in which we are engaged is ultimately between forces who deny hierarchy and those who affirm it; and those who drunkenly ride the centrifugal waves to the periphery, vs. those who soberly partake of the centripetal return."

Then there are folks who drop off opinions here that I would describe as "what passes for thinking." Ehh, whatever.

Interesting mix and re-mix of ideas today, Bob.

Anonymous said...


The presumed self contained ego is a "guru" with a fool for a disciple.

bulletproof monk said...

I think the re-mixing and re-visiting of posts is a good thing now that OC is well into its 2nd year. I see it as part of the whole spiral of involution, viewing the center from different vantages, including over time. It helps paint a more vivid landscape.

Please read the archives. Bob is well-read in both Catholic and Orthodox spiritual teachings on the passions and theosis.

MizzE said...

River, Cosa, and Sal,

It's Friday O o'clock.

Gotta love on ya for enriching me.

Anonymous said...

Bullet Proof, Bob may have read all the Christian classics but there is no evidence whatsoever on this blog that he has gone through the necessary heart conversion, via the dark night of the soul, which is at the core of the Christian message/revelation.

Neither is their any evidence on your blog as to having passed through this conversion process.

Bullet is an interesting choice of name with at least 2 possible interpretations. You have an affinity for the "culture" of bullets/violence, or you are so thick skinned as to be inmpenetratable by Divine Grace.

cousin dupree said...

Dark night or not, somebody needs a nap.

bulletproof monk said...


Again, if you had actually read Bob's archives you would know that he is well-read in Catholic and Orthodox spirituality, though he is neither Catholic nor Orthodox himself. If that bothers you, then you should probably go elsewhere.

Since you mentioned earlier about the need for a spiritual guide or father, I do wonder if you have one yourself? If you do have a spiritual father, have you asked him whether reading and commenting on this blog is acceptable? These are rhetorical questions, you do not need to answer.

I do not know you, but you seem to take a lot on yourself even as you extol the importance of ascetic obedience. I applaud your emphasis on asceticism, but would just warn about letting pride get the better of you. It is not you who will save others, but the Lord our Savior.

You claim I am thick-skinned and unenlightened. Indeed that is true. For that very reason I throw myself on the Lord's mercy daily, and lament my unworthiness even as I rejoice in His love.

May God bless you on your journey, and have mercy on you.

P.S. You mentioned me having a blog? I have no blog myself. I do not know where you got that.

Ricky Raccoon said...


You asked about Meditations on the Tarot yesterday.

My two cents:

It clearly has an order intended by the Author. There is no question about it. The “Letters” / tarot symbols are numbered and are presented in their order to show the hierarchy.
I am almost half way through and there is wisdom in every sentence, so in that sense it can ALSO be used like a reference.

But I think you may miss an awful lot of meaning, the complete wholeness of all its meaning, if you begin by skipping around.

I suggest reading from cover to cover first and then consider skipping around. My guess is you may choose to read it again cover to cover. I know I will. I’m reading slower and slower, and I don’t care, except that I can’t wait to read it a second time. The first time is like meeting a new friend and the second time like meeting an old friend.

This goes for Dr Bob’s book too. I’m reading that a second time by Walt’s advice and he is right that it is practically a different book with the second reading. Like all the content wouldn’t unfold the first time.

Ricky Raccoon said...

Thanks for beginning with 1984. My son (13) read Animal Farm this year in school. I urged him to read it last summer – which he did. I didn’t know he would be assigned it this year. Thank God they still allow that book in school. I wonder for how long.

The pigs on two legs liked to rewrite things too. And the sheeple? They didn’t notice.

More from the front lines…
In his social studies class, (this used to be called history once I think, but they changed that too before even I got there as a young kit – evidently to insert the word social without anyone noticing) they are covering the holocaust. Each young kit gets to choose a particular historical person, do some research, a paper and present – dressed like the person. I dunno about that last part. Anyway, the students were given a list of people to choose from. Thankfully the list didn’t have names like Mengele, or Hitler on it. Mostly survivors. Regrettably I didn’t recognize a lot of them.
My son picked Oskar Schindler. He does know too much about him yet…but I am so proud.

Van said...

You try to draw a comparison between Bob's use of Better("...and that some ways of living, being, and thinking are better then others." ), and your slapdash selection of Better's, as if stating something thoughtful, apparently oblivious to the difference between the qualitative and normative use of the word 'Better' which Gagdad used, and your selection of quantitative uses of 'Better' where it's mostly being used to enhance 'more'("... the more education, the better").

Even Chomsky would beg off of that silly attempt at equivocation. Since you apparently don't realize that this is a fairly good example of being more Stupid than most, which is not better in either sense, you might want to do some more reading to try and better understand the different uses better can be put to, before bothering your betters again.

(Yesss, beer o'clock was extended this evening... why do you ask?)

River Cocytus said...

Anony: Paul says, 'I die daily.' This is as simple as it gets. I've had many dark nights and bright mornings, and you only one?

Kidding aside, spiritual pomposity is what you project. Precisely the Holier Than Thou attitude.

Show me your faith by your works. The ones you just showed me smelled like troll.

Gagdad Bob said...

Hiyo: "The capitalist system accounts for more than 100 percent of the reduction in poverty that has taken place over the past hundred years."

Van said...

Aninnymouse said "Has anyone ever noticed that all the great saints, mystics and realizers of the Great Tradition had to go through a process of profound dis-illusionment ..."

(yawn) Yeah... most everyone here has, as well as commented on the different implications of that in relation to numerous postings touching on that subject - the difference between those previous instances and your comment is that your comment is devoid of thought upon the subject.

"...Being a bit inclined to the left myself ..." How incredibly surprising.

River Cocytus said...

"Bullet Proof, Bob may have read all the Christian classics but there is no evidence whatsoever on this blog that he has gone through the necessary heart conversion, via the dark night of the soul, which is at the core of the Christian message/revelation."

Really? Tell me, which scripture is that? I'm not recalling. Please refresh my memory.

I seem to recall accepting the Lord Jesus as the core to the Christian message/revelation.

Van said...

Aninnymouse said "Coctyus: The presumed self contained ego is a "guru" with a fool for a disciple."
Ninny, listen to BP.

Read some previous posts and comments. To imply that River C views his self contained ego as his guru, shows all by itself, that you have a fool for a comment writer.

Ricky Raccoon said...

RE capitalism, reminds me, Roger Hedgecock was filling in for Rush (yesterday?) Anyway, some loonytune called in suggesting something like profit limits to certain big businesses – you know those big fat guys smoking cigars - and then apparently putting the excess profits to good use somewhere else. Roger did an ok job with this person – basically hung up. But I have news for both of them. Taxes already do this. If they weren’t taxes, they’d be profits.

Van said...

Aninnymouse said "Bullet is an interesting choice of name with at least 2 possible interpretations..."

Annonymous is an uninteresting choice of a name for a troll, with only one possible interpratation - you are nobody, with no ideas, and no wit or will to stand behind a name, even one as thin as a blog nic.


Ricky Raccoon said...

While you’re still up.
Little bedtime story, please?
Tell us about the days when word veri hadn’t been invented yet.
Those musta been the good ‘ol days.

Sheesh. I hope I’m the only one who gets 9 character word veris.
You Anons, (you know who you are) I’m sure can be held responsible for that damn word veri thing, particularly on this site.

River Cocytus said...

I think its the spammers, actually... the trolls, most likely being real people, won't be stopped by it..

I guess you could also have a 'soul verification' too.

That would be some funny stuff.

Ricky Raccoon said...

You said it.
Anon, get a name will ya?
While they’re still free.

River Cocytus said...

Crossed my mind tonight.

What hell do you think the specter of pornography will wreak on the men of my generation?

It has already done enough damage to us already.

To think what it will do to the next? I don't want to.

Ricky Raccoon said...

I think we’re both right.
Can’t you picture a troll filling out an application at SpamCentral?
I think they’d find the work stimulating.

I sorta giggled when you said ‘real people’, by the way.

Van said...

River Cocytus said "...Taxes already do this. If they weren’t taxes, they’d be profits."

So succinct and Painfully true.

What's depressing about the very good article Gagdad just ref'd, is that it is so simple and clear - so stupid-proof easy to understand - and has been from Adam Smith and Fredrich Bastiat's time to ours. It's been stated clearly. It's backed up with sources and examples and proof out the wazoo - and yet those railing on about 'the plight of the poor' and so forth, refuse, simply refuse, to comprehend it. To look and see and realize that the answer to their pet pathos, is at hand.

Let people be free to act in their own best interests, and the best interests of all will be served.

The depressing problem is, that they don't want to find solutions, they want to impose them, and revel in the Power(cue Darth Vader voice) of doing so.

Van said...

Oops, sorry Ricky, that was you, not River... got the 'R' right anyway...

(face turning red)

Ricky Raccoon said...

No worries, Van.
It’s tequila o’clock here too.
Actually it’s cinco de mayo by EST.
I don’t know anything about that holiday, by the way…other than tequila feels like a good choice.
Just a little though...

Van said...

River Cocytus said "What hell do you think the specter of pornography will wreak on the men of my generation?"

That, together with what now passes for 'humor', and the flattening of thought is likely to make a very potent coc... er... mixed drink of confused emotions.
#2 wv:attgslfk
wv:uglipoji - yep.

And yes, I too, so enjoy typing the 9 letter eye torture sessions 2-3 times in a row.

Ricky Raccoon said...

RE pornography, I think it’s what eventually happens sometime after soul murder - to both a soul murderer and a victim of soul murder.
It seems this thing can’t get much worse. It’s overdue for a big sharp turn. Hopefully because it’s built itself to such a massive bad it will collapse soon.

Van said...

Ricky Raccoon said "tequila feels like a good choice."

Back when I was an unwittingly stupid musician, I took advantage of my odd chemical structure that is mostly immune to hangovers. I used to love tossing them down all night & morning, egging the rest of the band on, and then waking up after a brief sleep and cooking breakfast. Almost always brought at least one gasp of "argghh.... he's at it again!" and then the merry sounds of worshiping the porcelain god.

Immune to hangovers except for wine and tequilla. Never forget my first experience with Long Island Ice Tea's. Plowed through 5 or six of them, then finally thought to ask 'theshe are grayate.. was in um...?"

Shoulda seen my face fall when I heard Tequilla was the active ingredient.

I was active all night long, face down in the bath tub.

ughhh. As a matter of fact, I think that was during cinco de mayo... think we were playing in beautiful downtown Barstow Calif....

ughhh. No mas.

wv:aigad - exactly.

Ricky Raccoon said...

I was picturing you as Doc from…was it the 3rd Back to the Future movie? Taking that one shot an falling stiff as a board onto that saloon table.

I have the opposite odd chemical structure now – Can’t Smell a Cork Syndrome. Wasn’t always like this, but half a beer now and I’ve had enough.

hoarhey said...

Anon. said,

"Such radical dis-illusionment is also the process that everyone has to go through if they wish to "attain" a state of spiritual illumination."

Radically disillusioned with Bob's blog? Then perhaps it's time that you too will begin getting a clue.
Exciting times ahead.

sagacious mensch said...

Home-schooler asked his child to think about sexual contact between two men in this way

" And then I asked him what he thought would be the physical expression of love and creation between two men."

As painful as it may be, someone will have to clue the kid in to the fact that people get horny, and that gay men are horny for other men. Love and creation have nothing to do with it. They sex each other up for thrills and to satisfy an appetite.

Now does homosexuality make more sense?

Don't feed kids sentimental crap unless you want to make wussy boys out of them. Give them the unvarnished truth.

Ricky Raccoon said...

Looks like you, me and Riv have night watch.
Ahh. Hoarhey. Have you seen Ben?
Must be loadin’ the cannons.

Ricky Raccoon said...

Do you have kids?

disciple seeking guru said...

Anonymous wrote a good comment about guruhood. There is much good truth in seeking out a living spiritual teacher. Isn't that what we'e doing here at Bob's place?

But who among us has enough humility to accept a teacher? I'm not sure about myself. I'm more comfortable with a book, as River C is. Is that because we are uncomfortable with any person being "more" than we are?

Something to think about.

I've taught several students spiritually; to these hungry souls I am a master of sorts. They have since gone on to other teachers. Dispensing the wisdom that I did seemed easy, far easier than accepting it would have been, I averr. I never had any teachers but books, probably out of pride.

I recant this pride. I seek a living guru. Will anyone among the raccoons take me as a student? I would be grateful.

sagacious mensch said...

Yes, the mensch has kids, and I repent of what I said earlier. Of course a parent has to mitigate the harsh realities out there. I made a fool of myself.

hoarhey said...

I'd be interested to discover who among those who astral projected over here from WIE have any understanding, or a scintilla of appreciation of what you are doing here. A poll perhaps?
Am I stereotyping WIE readers? You could say that.

hoarhey said...


Who was the original Guru, and how did he 'git er done'?

hoarhey said...


Ben usually shows up around midnight or later.

Ricky Raccoon said...

I hope he gets here quick, I’m fadin’
Too late. I’m out.
Night all.

jwm said...

Yawn. I worked the night shift, and just got here. I've noticed a pattern with our recent crop of trolls. They all seem to come here with ONE BIG ISSUE that they want to swing like a club at the nearest coon. One wanted to hairsplit post modern philosophers, then there was the "No salvation outside the church" guy, the "No hate allowed" guy, and now we have "Get a guru" guy. So what's next? (Maybe a visit from PETA?)


Walmart Shopper said...

I will take you on. Your first lesson will involve performing some kind of penitence for using the word "averr" in a non-ironic way. Maybe I'll have you mow my lawn.

walt said...

Ahem, yes, well, I am now accepting students, having wrung from this blog pretty much all the "good lines" I'll ever need to know.

I offer daily Spirit Credits to sinners, but in a "disciplined environment." (C.O.D. - no exceptions.) Delivered, as they say, in a brown paper bag, by a brown-shoed square, in the dead of night....

Smoov said...

LGF has a poll today indicating that 48% of them support abortion, vs. 43% who are against it (the rest undecided).

Who and what are these "atheist conservatives"? Their numbers seem to be growing. Is it just because these people gravitate toward LGF (which, let's face it, at times really does come across as a hate-filled screed against anyone who happens to be born Muslim--not Charles, the commenters)?

They are on other forums too. I see them on some times. These are the people who express the glee they would experience should a trespasser ever happen across their lawn, thus giving them the opportunity to shoot and kill. One conversation a year ago revolved around whether it was OK to shoot dead some teenagers who were on a property for the purpose of egging a pickup truck (the posters were split on the issue).

We talk a lot about the inherent evil of the Left around here--quite legitimately I might add--however I feel we do too little by way of examining the sins of our own "side" (do we even have one?).

All I know is that 'Coons seem utterly sane to me. As do Orthodox Jews, many Catholics and sundry others. Otherwise there are plenty of benighted souls to go around across the political spectrum.

River Cocytus said...

Not sure about LGF myself. I've been there a long time, and I see most of the anti-muslim bias as stemming from a reaction to terrorism. I don't comment much, because there isn't much that interests me said in the comments.

As for their poll? Its called, I'm certain, Rudy-ism, where they like him as a candidate so they are willing to acquiesce to his pro-Choice position. Its a big-tent party style reaction.

My favorite right now is (not yet running) Fred Thompson. I hope he does run, I think he has the strength, attitude and substance necessary to face down the Jihadis and say, "We don't surrender, punks."

Besides, he is quite strong on the conservative issues as well. I do lean a little libertarian myself, but that is just because I'm actually a Classical Liberal; I call myself a Jacksonian Liberal.

So, I don't know if I'd take those poll numbers to heart. Rudy is well liked, and so he is supported across ideological lines.

River Cocytus said...

disciple: I have many mentors, including but not limited to, the minister from my church, some of the elders, my mother, a good friend who is also a minister, and one of my bosses. All of them are 'greater' than me in some sense; so I can learn something from them. (This doesn't even begin to count those whose blogs I follow and have interchanges with, or the books I read)

To need a singular guru bespeaks a kind of primitivism; I.E. you want to do the disciple thing completely or not at all; can one learn EVERYTHING from a single person?

If that person was Jesus, maybe.

Otherwise, you know, network. The modern world is only made spiritually dead by the dead of spirit.

To the rest of us the skyscrapers twinkle with the humor of God.

Ricky Raccoon said...

“To the rest of us the skyscrapers twinkle with the humor of God.”

I agree with every word of your last comment.
And that last line was just a beautiful end for it.

USS Ben said...

This post about how leftists and horizontal (vital) man define normalcy, and the subsequent troll whinings, remind me of the brain that Igor retrieved in Young Frankenstein.
It was, of course, called
abi normal, which is a name we can easily ascribe to all those on the left, or indeed those on the right who aren't classic liberals, and who forsake normality.

USS Ben said...

Sorry I couldn't relieve you guys on the mid-watch the last few days.
I was on a secret mission. So secret even I had no idea what it was.
Preparation...okay, so I'm bein' obtuse, but all will be clear someday (I hope).
I was standing a different kind of watch, you could say.

Well, actually you could say anything, just sayin' you know? :^)

Ted Nugent said...

JWM said:
"So what's next? (Maybe a visit from PETA?)"

I hope so. I love animals.
Especially BBQ'd!
Kill 'em and grill 'em baby!

Magnus Itland said...

"Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is near."

That's the disillusion, heart conversion and dark night of the soul. (Just without the emo stuff.)

Definitely scriptural. But I don't think we need to be bipolar to become saints (though it may make for better writing). St Paul for instance was describing it pretty happily: "I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things."

Skully said...

Ooops. Sorry. Ted ugent was me.
No, wait, I was Ted Nugent.
Hmm, still doesn't sound right...okay, I was channelin' Ted Nugent.

Bit too much rum in my java this morn'.
Or mebbe not enough, who can say?

Skully said...

Anonymous said...
"Bullet Proof, Bob may have read all the Christian classics but there is no evidence whatsoever on this blog that he has gone through the necessary heart conversion, via the dark night of the soul, which is at the core of the Christian message/revelation."

But there is mountains of evidence that you are a scurvy dog.
No offense to normal scurvy dogs.

You didn't take yer vitamin see didja?

USS Ben said...

Speaking of animal rights-

Fighting for chimpanzee's to receive "person" status (but not to vote).

Only on the planet of the apes.

TalkinKamel said...


You made some very good points! What do Boomers want? Why, what they WANT! And they want it right now!

Certainly Boomers seem far more influenced by, and manipulated by, the TV they allegedly so despise than their parents, the allegedly souless 50's peope-in-grey-flannel suits ever were, or my grandparents' generation were influenced by the vaudville and musical comedies they loved---but again, that sort of entertainment was just "out there", as you pointed out; you could take it or leave it. A man spinning plates on "Ed Sullivan" or singers performing "The Student Prince" are just trying to entertain you. If you're not entertained, you'll change the channel, or leave the Theatre.

It wasn't Barney-the-evil-Saurian "entertainment", aimed right at kids, telling them how special they are, and what do you WANT, kids?

Even otherwise sane conservative 'toon types spend far too much time obsessing over things such as "American Idol" or "Lost" or "24." I had one dear, close Boomer relative, who became obsessed with reality shows, and how people were being "abused" on them. (The poor sould couldn't accept the fact that the things really are staged and scripted, despite disclaimers to the contrary.) No, TV for him was reality---much more important to him than his life, which he should have paid more attention to.

So that's what many Boomers want? A world where it's all about them and what they want and like? Well, I can believe that, sooner than I can believe that they were longing for a more "authentic", "spiritual" world; my own observation is that most of them hated spirituality and, well---just about any sort of honesty, or interest in the universe at large---whenever it cropped it.

The 60's were a perfect storm, weren't they? And I do believe that the invention of high schools, and of "Teenagers" and teen-culture did incalculable harm to our society. (I suspect they're trying to kid down the populace even more with the invention of "Middle-shcools"---what are these schools supposed to be in the middle of? Why are they necessary?)

MizzE said...

Ricky said:
It’s tequila o’clock here too.
Actually it’s cinco de mayo by EST.
I don’t know anything about that holiday, by the way…other than tequila feels like a good choice.

While the sons were holding down the fort during night watch on the OC blog late last night, MizzE was putting the finishing touches on her blog post for Saturday, The Fifth of May aka Cinco de Mayo.

"It ain't no party. It ain't no disco. It ain't no foolin' around.

It's a Fiesta!"


Van said...

Smoov said "LGF has a poll today indicating that 48% of them support abortion, vs. 43% who are against it (the rest undecided). Who and what are these "atheist conservatives"?"

In taking poll's the taker answers the question that brung ya', not necessarily the thoughts they hold.

My guess is that the conservative atheists are being antitheistic towards the lefties religion, the Fed Gov't.

I won't try to guess their true feelings on abortion, but given a different question, I suspect the poll takers would answer that they don't support the Fed Gov't being involved in any way shape or form. Without getting into the 'A' word question itself, I'm against Roe v Wade primarily because it's a convoluted, self manufactured piece of crap law stinking up the constitution, and affecting how other law is made and evaluated (itself enabled by another feel-good-but-bad-law, Brown v Board of Ed) - not because I think the Gov't should prohibit abortion - or enable it for that matter.

"...whether it was OK to shoot dead some teenagers who were on a property for the purpose of egging a pickup truck (the posters were split on the issue). "

Sounds like giddy reactionary talk against all things PC, enjoying the freedom to mouth off on LGF, in a way they wouldn't feel free to do elsewhere. Pretty sick either way.

"...too little by way of examining the sins of our own "side" (do we even have one?)."

For myself, I vote republican only because they disgust me less than the others... which I don't think actually puts me on their 'side'. Sort of in the way that the Right side's evils tend to be smaller scale, such as the egg shooters above, involves limited or one on one effects, whereas the lefties are more wide ranging. The Rightist might kill a couple rowdy teens in an overzealous defense of property rights, the Leftist would wipe out hundreds of thousands of people, in a bogus defense of bird eggs, such as with Rachel Carson's 'Silent Spring' and banning DDT. The latter tends to draw my attention more than the former, doesn't mean the former isn't reprehensible, but that it just doesn't stack up the the Leftist's sins.

Van said...

“To the rest of us the skyscrapers twinkle with the humor of God.”

That's a "good line" that has much that could be wrung from it. I like that a lot.

TalkinKamel said...

Speaking for myself, I think reliance on Gurus and spiritual teachers is usually a bad idea. A good one will let you find out things for yourself; a bad one will overdose on power, and become a huckster/tyrant.