Monday, June 25, 2007

On Hitting the Invisible Target

Schopenhauer said something to the effect that the talented man is like a marksman who is able to hit a target that others can't hit, while the great artist is like a marksman who is able to hit a target others can't even see. Irrespective of whether I hit the target, due to the very nature of the subject (non)matter, every morning's post is definitely like target practice, in which I aim for an invisible target that I'm trying to make out through bobscure layers of phenomena -- somewhat like dowsing for water. Whatever it is, it's always on the tip of my tongue -- or just beyond it.

Furthermore, in the absence of feedback, I would never really know if I hit the target -- that is, a target that exists objectively, not just in my mind here in Upper Tonga. Or, to put it another way, it is always a surprise and a delight to hear others say that I more or less hit the bulls-eye, because that's the most vivid testimony to the reality of the target. It means that there really is an invisible Matterhorn at which we are both unlooking from our respective photo uppertunities.

Schuon was an expert marksman who spent his life hitting invisible bulls-eye after bulls-eye. It's one thing to be a gifted scientist who makes many interesting discoveries in his life. He is like the marksman who hits the target. But the scientist is just a small part of a huge collective enterprise called "science" that is groping toward a target it can never actually reach. And in science, one day's bulls-eye is the next day's errant shot, as the target perpetually advances forward, making old discoveries obsolete.

But when you are writing about God, the target is fixed and final. You might say that science tries to discover timeless principles about the temporal, whereas metaphysics tries to arrive at relative statements about the absolute. They are relative only by virtue of the fact that we are not God, but nevertheless, they are the closest we can come to objective truth, at least on this side of manifestation. Thus, the realm of metaphysics is the "relatively absolute."

I'm currently reading a book that I am greatly enjoying (disclaimer: I'm only up to p. 94 of a 500 pp. book), The System of Antichrist: Truth & Falsehood in Postmodernism and the New Age, which does an outstanding job of sumarizing Schuon's basic philosophy. Interestingly, a reader yesterday left a comment that he wanted to start a discussion group of LOBSTRs, that is "Left Of Bob But Still a Raccoon," and this fellow may be your man. The author evolved up from the bowels of the deep, dark left, much further left than I ever was, and still hasn't made it all the way back. He acknowledges that almost all his fellow traditionalists are politically conservative, but that he is part of a tiny minority of liberal traditionalists. Therefore, every so often he makes a passing comment that is rather off-putting to the point of moonbattery, despite the fact that the great majority of the book is brilliant and extremely well-written -- both clear and beautifully expressed.

I give the man credit, for there is no question that the adage holds true: the greater the fall, or the plunge into darkness, the greater the realization, and this man seems to have come from the rock bottom depths of loony left activism (of the kind David Horowitz recovered from), which makes his present writing quite grounded and authoritative. His transformation has obviously been real, even if he is still (or was, as of 2001) needlessly frightened of conservatives. I know how difficult it was for me to realize that the people I thought were demons were just regular folks, so I can't even imagine how it is for him. He is also rather blind to the intrinsic problems of Islam (he is actually a Sufi), but the book was written prior to 9-11, so he gets a pass on that.

As I mentioned, I was never really a leftist per se, just a garden variety baby-boom liberal who was unwittingly swept up in the tide as the party moved further and further leftward, away from its modern liberal roots. Like all my friends, I didn't know the first thing about conservatism, only that conservatives were evil. But by the time I finally woke up and looked around, the Democrat party was no longer recognizable to me. Hard to believe, but back in the 1970s, they really weren't the party of haters, losers, the envious, the perpetually angry and the frankly crazy, as is true today. Even in the 1980s, those people were more on the fringe of the party, not the mainstream. But now the illiberal left completely dominates the Democrats. There's hardly a point of entry for a sane voice -- which is unfortunate, because it forces conservatives to align themselves solely with a Republican party that is more often than not completely at odds with our own values. But between the stupid party and the evil party, we aren't left with much of a real world choice.

Anyway, in his various books, Schuon set out to present "nothing less than a doctrine that is essential, integral, homogeneous, and sufficient unto itself; we would gladly say 'pholosophy' or 'theosophy', were these terms not susceptible to being misinterpreted." With regard to the issue of "hitting the target" -- and the impossibility of doing so -- he writes,

"One point that always seems to elude de facto rationalists is that there is inevitably a separation between the thing to be expressed and its expression, that is to say, between reality and a doctrine." Thus, "it is always possible to fault an adequate doctrine for being inadequate, since no doctrine can be identified with what it intends to express...." And "If the expression of a thing could be adequate or exhaustive in an absolute sense or from every point of view... there would no longer be any difference between the image and its prototype, and in that case it would be pointless to speak of thought or even simply of language."

But the whole point of metaphysical doctrine is not to paint a literal picture but "to provide a set of points of reference which, by definition, are more or less elliptical while being sufficient to evoke a mental perception of specific aspects of the real." So Schuon can only aim at the invisible target, but "the rest is a matter of intellectual capacity, good will, and grace" in the reader (and not in that order!).

That is, in pure metaphysics "there is no empiricism: principial knowledge cannot stem from any experience, even though experiences -- scientific or other -- can be the occasional causes of the intellect's intuitions." But the sources of these intuitions are ultimately "innate data, consubstantial with pure intelligence, but de facto 'forgotten'...." Thus, it is really a matter of vertical recollection -- which, as our unknown friend points out in Meditations on the Tarot, is as waking is to sleeping and resurrection is to death.

Therefore, the target Schuon is aiming at is intrinsically tied up with life, death, sleep, awakening, remembering, and realizing. Although hardly irrational (being supra-rational), it is the opposite of rationalism, which "consists in seeking the elements of certitude in phenomena rather than in our very being." This is why the targets of rationalism are so easy to hit. Again, an adolescent, so long as he is in Piaget's stage of formal operations thought, can completely understand the abstract and insipid arguments of materialism and atheism. And in fact, these doctrines often carry a lot of appeal to adolescents, but for extra-rational reasons. That is, rationalism exalts the adequacy of the ego, and easily fosters an attitude of pride and rebelliousness.

One reason Schuon is a "conservative" (not in our mundane political sense, but much deeper than that) is that for him, there are no "problems of our time." Rather, there are the same fundamental, underlying problems which reside in the nature of Man. Or, if there is a unique "problem of our time," it is this: that modern man thinks he is somehow fundamentally different than all the men who have gone before, especially in the sense that he imagines that faith (which is virtual gnosis) and gnosis (which is the fruit of faith) no longer have any relevance to him. It is as if all past generations were idiots, which raises the issue, as Schuon pointed out on a number of occasions, that if man was too stupid to know universal truths in the past, there is no reason to believe that he is intelligent enough to do so today.

Well, not much slack this morning. I didn't really have time to get into things as deeply as I had hoped. We'll pick up this thread and search for the invisible target again tomorrow.

61 Comments:

Blogger Robin Starfish said...

Today's PSA haiku is courtesy of a certain little wildlife spokesman from our national forests. Cut him a little slack; it's his first one.

It's just a little bit eerie that the photograph was compiled last night. Dowser Bob is really tapping into some ELF waves...!?

6/25/2007 09:26:00 AM  
Anonymous dilys said...

Leafing through the book at Amazon, it appears he's on to a couple of things.

1. Like Bob, he's trying to give wandering moonbats permission to tippy-toe into the demonized religious area, and he draws a few boundaries so that those who do, don't pitter-patter lickety-split to the Church of Science of Ego-Building Therapeutic Manipulative Occultism.

2. He seems to do a good encyclopedic horizontal overview of the landscape having the feel of "intellectual religion," though, as the comments note, why not look to the gold standard of Schuon and Guenon and Girard to handle the essential ideas better and more reliably? The downside of his wide range is that wandering in this high-sounding horizontality can indefinitely rinse and repeat without deepening into practice. So many, many things to talk about!!

How many people who read "choose a tradition and devote yourself to it" actually do, in the wake of intellectual excitement? The best outcome is that people survey the map, confirm there's nothing that much better than what is "calling" them, then try a door and nip right in.

Like Señor Dilys who, when he discovered the MBTI, rendered this touching spousal tribute: "An ENTP can be a real pain, but all the others look like they're worse." Thus ever in this imperfect world.

6/25/2007 09:58:00 AM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Dilys:
What are MBTI & ENTP?

Today, I don't feel like bothering to try to figure them out.

6/25/2007 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger juliec said...

I knew a guy in college who used to throw darts backwards (he stood facing away from the board, and tossed them over his shoulder). More often than not, he hit the board, though I don't know how often he hit the bullseye.

Reading these posts is sometimes like watching the guy, not only facing the wrong way but also blindfolded, still consistently hit the bullseye.

"But the whole point of metaphysical doctrine is not to paint a literal picture but "to provide a set of points of reference which, by definition, are more or less elliptical while being sufficient to evoke a mental perception of specific aspects of the real.""

Some days, to fully comprehend what you've written (and today is one of those days), I must reread the same paragraph a few times. The first time, my brain simply does not comprehend what it is seeing (much like staring at instead of through a magic eye picture). The second time, I have a slightly better idea, but it is only the third or fourth time that I properly grasp what you're saying, at which point it's like finally seeing the magic eye picture - so obvious, I don't know how I could not see it.

Not only are you good at hitting the target, you do it in such a way that, with a little attention, the audience can see that the target is real and it is possible to hit it, and then many Raccoons here manage to do the same.

6/25/2007 12:08:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

Ximeze -

Perhaps, this:

"People with ENTP preferences constantly scan the environment for opportunities and possibilities. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a personality test designed to assist a person in identifying some significant personal preferences."
- from acronyms.com

Dilys?

6/25/2007 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger juliec said...

Walt - thanks for clearing that up; I was wondering, too.

6/25/2007 12:29:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

I think Dilys was just randomly typing in the her word verifications. ;^)

wv:rzvbeau

How come she gets all the easy ones?

6/25/2007 12:39:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Julie:
That same quote from today's post stuck me as what, in a nutshell, could explain the difficulty our trolls of most stripes have in comprehending this stuff.

They often complain that 'it' & Bob make no sense, while to me, that it's NOT clear, makes no sense.

Also often angry that we 'won't' just hand it over to them: ie we're not being sporting & hogging the ball.

Course, the bottom of that paragraph likely explains the real problem:

"the rest is a matter of intellectual capacity, good will, and grace" in the reader (and not in that order!).

6/25/2007 12:39:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Walt: thanks.

I'm thinkin there must have been a time, likely when someotherme thought it was useful to stuff more stuff into my head, that the whole circus implied in that definition would have been intriguing & likely worth exploring.

These days I'd rather tend my flowers & horse-around with Beaky.

6/25/2007 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

I'd better comment soon, or I'll be reduced to "Me too! Me too!"

Having said that, please re-read Juliec's comment above, which echoes my feelings very well.

Bob, the precision of your statements has impressed me from Day One. I could have that opinion simply because I agree with this/that; but I'm referring to your explanations of Schuon, Christianity, MOTT, and the whole arc of salvation you've helped us see -- these are subjects I had no background in, really, when I first arrived. And I was not (knowingly) heading in their direction, either; so it's all had a very explosive effect in my life.

In fact, the consistency of your "direct hits" has inspired and insinuated me into Christianity, much to my surprise. Had you been "off-key" even now-and-then, I'm pretty sure my attention would have wandered.

"The rest is a matter of intellectual capacity, good will, and grace...." Van and I were chatting along those lines recently. I include your good will, which keeps generating these helpful posts!

6/25/2007 01:24:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

As Walt said, "Me too! Me too!"

6/25/2007 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"But the whole point of metaphysical doctrine is not to paint a literal picture but "to provide a set of points of reference which, by definition, are more or less elliptical while being sufficient to evoke a mental perception of specific aspects of the real.""

At the risk of echoing the Clockmakers analogies, I'll fall back on restating this through a PCGeek analogy - most of us I think are familiar with 'Skins', where something like your media player can be displayed as a small circular disc, buttons round the perimeter, or maybe as a long thin tab strip, buttons as segments down it's length, or maybe you prefer the full rectangular window with central viewer & menubar, buttons through the center... or maybe different ones at different times, different ways of accessing the same features of the same application where it's appearances are nearly unrelated, but it's functions identical.

We each have our own internal skins with which we access the 'application' - the person who attempts to report the exact appearance of his internal skin, is Greek to us all.

But the one who reports on the functions which give us access, and the nature of the application which they all point to... that rings true - a bullseye is felt to hit upon the unseen target, more clearly than he who attempts to the perfect literal description of the personal skin he's familiar with.

Lol... typical! Gagdad said in a line what took me three paragraphs!

;-)

6/25/2007 02:45:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

There must be some point at which I part company with Schuon, but I haven't found it yet. So far, everything you have quoted makes perfect sense to this very conventional evangelical. This post in particular was crystal clear. You definitely hit the bulls-eye!

"But the whole point of metaphysical doctrine is not to paint a literal picture but "to provide a set of points of reference which, by definition, are more or less elliptical while being sufficient to evoke a mental perception of specific aspects of the real." So Schuon can only aim at the invisible target, but "the rest is a matter of intellectual capacity, good will, and grace" in the reader (and not in that order!)."

There's just no way to improve on that. Me too! Me too!

Dilys, oh. my. gosh. I am married to an ENTP. Ha! Roller-coaster ride, that. The description Walt pulled that quote from describes his personal history to a T.

I agree, all the others are worse. I wouldn't trade my Visionary for anyone. :) Life's an adventure.

6/25/2007 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Robin, I laughed out load at that haiku. Thanks!

6/25/2007 03:07:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"But the whole point of metaphysical doctrine is not to paint a literal picture but "to provide a set of points of reference which, by definition, are more or less elliptical while being sufficient to evoke a mental perception of specific aspects of the real.""

This brings to mind how we used to (in the Navy) obtain navigational fixes (locations) or target fixes (friendly, unknown and hostile).

There are a variety of ways to get that information, both actively and passively.

For instance, to actively find out where we were or where a target is, we had to use RADAR, SONAR, Visual.

We could also find out the same information Passively, by receiving transmissions from beacons, other ships or aircraft RADAR/SONAR, radio transmisions, and even the frequency of engines, propellers, coolers, etc., which had advantages over active means,
such as not giving our presence or position away, and, if we have prior intelligence, we could determine the Signature of other vessels, based on type and even specific vessels (all of these frequencies were unique, even among same "classes" of vessels.

Active had an advantage over Passive because the info. could be obtained faster, but we couldn't determine who we were tracking with Active alone.

When Active and Passive were strategically combined (not necessarily used simultaneously) we got the most intel gathering bang for the buck.

We could also throw in Satellite and Intelligence capabilities, but that only gave us non-real-time info, and general areas to search (although Satellites can be used for semi-real-time, you had to know where and when to look, and
it isn't as reliable as the movies make them out to be).

But all of that intalligence and information was only as accurate as our knowledge of reference points, procedures, prior intel, and how well calibrated our equipment (Raccoon sense) was.

And all that information was amplified in area speed when we "linked" with other ships, land sources, and aircraft (other allied Raccoon senses), in real-time.

Of course, you had to know who your allies were. For instance, when we worked with the French or Spanish, we rarely got any useful information and we did waste a lot of time, but the Aussies and South Koreans were top-notch and reliable, despite the language barriers.

The better the equipment (and equipment Maintenance) the more accurate the information we received, thus we could get anywhere from areas of probability to exact locations.
This was also affected by range and "unanticipated" (Grace) events, where we would detect information farther away than the outside capabilities our equipment was designed for, or from some "unanticipated" Intelligence.

This is a very raw and quick summary, but it helps me to "see" what and where Bob and my fellow Raccoons are talkin' about (the Target or the Direction of the Target).

6/25/2007 03:10:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Ok Van:

This is a test

"Old floggers never die, they just.............. "

????????



(vw:sqleuz - a hint?)

6/25/2007 03:18:00 PM  
Blogger Smoov said...

Perhaps because I am a "hands on" type of person I find that OC serves as a tremendous practical resource in my life. I derive concrete benefits from reading Bob's posts. Soon when I've brought my current hectic travel schedule to heel I'll elaborate more. I'll mostly be in read-only mode for a bit longer.

6/25/2007 03:22:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"...fade away..."
... and radiate -

6/25/2007 03:22:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

?

6/25/2007 03:25:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Speaking of creepily accurate Meyers Briggs descriptions:

http://davefaq.com/Docs/ENTP.html

It's so weird, it's like the person who wrote that did so from inside my husband's head. This is our life!

6/25/2007 03:25:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Couldn't come up with any good endings, but that's what popped into my head when I read:

"Lol... typical! Gagdad said in a line what took me three paragraphs!
;-) "

Think it's an endearing quality about you, tho it might be fun to gno what your wife & kids think - hee hee.

Thought your analysis was spot-on.

6/25/2007 03:38:00 PM  
Anonymous dilys said...

"xeoaxgv!" ximeze

How easy was that? Undoubtedly the scientific term for a krypton-rich tree-fertilizer guano produced by the small prehistoric lizards on the carnivorous cactus blooming in all the rain (buckets!) we're getting.

An INFJ, for instance, would probably disdain such off-the-cuff silliness. OTOH, there's almost no limb too long for ENTP's to amble out on, no stranger too illustrious to pepper with perplexing badinage (^.^*)

6/25/2007 03:46:00 PM  
Anonymous cosanostradamus said...

And a me too...plus,

Therefore, the target Schuon is aiming at is intrinsically tied up with life, death, sleep, awakening, remembering, and realizing.

Apparently I need some of that precious sleep to get some glimpse of the shadow of the target, since my daytime mind is so stubbornly hidebound of late.
---

Per Julie's backward theme, I was struggling the other night in a dream to find the way through a complex monastery courtyard when a huge alabaster head appeared and said, "Don't you understand? You're living in reverse time."

Of course! Cleared that right up. Nevertheless I asked how to know which way to proceed. Big Head said, "Follow the shadow monkeys."

Duh. Who doesn't know that?

Thinking I'd heard this before (joan?), I turned around and sure enough there were 4 dancing shadows of - yes - chimpanzees racing along a wall and towards an adjacent corridor. Following them, I was out of the maze in no time and back in my "new home" - an enormous old mansion I had discovered earlier.

A small woman tugged at my sleeve and handed me a manila envelope containing a white envelope with a message for my wife. My job was to...

Buzzz! Alarm clock.

---

I haven't been getting enough sleep for a couple months, and I think it has a lot to do with why I feel so...plateaued. I'm aiming for 10 pm tonight.

wv: dkibbo (i dunno but it sounds cool)

6/25/2007 04:35:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Good Lord, Dilys, think I'd better stick to flowers.

Anyone remember the Monty Python routine where they speak mostly in acronyms? Knowing the MP crowd, it likely all made sense too.

6/25/2007 04:39:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

Here's a great essay:

Insensitivity Training

http://www.crisismagazine.com
/june2007/shea.htm

JWM

6/25/2007 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

cosanostradamus said... " I turned around and sure enough there were 4 dancing shadows of - yes - chimpanzees racing along a wall and towards an adjacent corridor. Following them, I was out of the maze in no time and back in my "new home" - an enormous old mansion I had discovered earlier.

A small woman tugged at my sleeve and handed me a manila envelope containing a white envelope with a message for my wife. My job was to..."

Cosa, I want to thank you. I now don't feel quite so alarmed about my phantom smoke.

wv:irflemz - infra red flames! That's why I could see the smoke and not the flame... oh crud. Now I'm worried again. Thanks anyway.

6/25/2007 05:38:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Wo! Isn't that how you line things up? You look just past the object, and it all flattens out in your vision; you can then line up parts to one another.

First you hit the target, then you hit through the target, then you hit through any target, or every target; you hit the invisible target, therefore making all visible targets of its type cake.

Musashi called this technique 'One Cut'. or as Bob would say

O(ne)->(k)ut ;)

6/25/2007 07:00:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Cosa-
Holy shades of Hiasl!
The next time you're in a maze, just keep making (repeated) right (or left) turns and you'll eventually get out.

As for the envelope, I used to get those all the time.
They always said the same thing:
"You may have already won 10 million dollars."

Oh wait! Sorry. Scratch that. That was in the waking world. My bad.

At any rate, because of my nifty dream advice (no charge...this time) next time you'll have more time for the envelope since you can now ignore the alabaster head and shadow monkeys.

6/25/2007 07:03:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

JWM-
That was a niggardly essay. :^)
I'm coonfused though. Who exactly was getting trained to be insensitive and how much does it cost?

6/25/2007 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

River-
Ah yes, the "one cut" method. Skully is big on that.

Me? I prefer the "one shot" method, preferably with a large caliber hollow point "starfire", copper-jacketed round (for maximum destruction) but it's good to know both, just in case.

6/25/2007 07:44:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Van said:
"wv:irflemz - infra red flames! That's why I could see the smoke and not the flame... oh crud. Now I'm worried again. Thanks anyway."

Not to worry, Van.
If you look carefully, that's infrared "flems", the plural of flem.
Messy, yes, but nothing to be too concerned about.

6/25/2007 07:50:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"ximeze said...
Ok Van:

This is a test

"Old floggers never die, they just.............. "

????????"

Flog another dead ass. :^)

I was gonna say horse but Skully's was funnier.

6/25/2007 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Juliec said...
"I knew a guy in college who used to throw darts backwards (he stood facing away from the board, and tossed them over his shoulder). More often than not, he hit the board, though I don't know how often he hit the bullseye.

Reading these posts is sometimes like watching the guy, not only facing the wrong way but also blindfolded, still consistently hit the bullseye."

Yeah! And Bob does it with throwing stars!

6/25/2007 08:01:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

hoarhey said...
"I think Dilys was just randomly typing in the her word verifications. ;^)

wv:rzvbeau

How come she gets all the easy ones?"

Because she's the link Queen.
If you were the link Queen, then yours would be easy too, but, alas, there's only one link Queen position available.

6/25/2007 08:07:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Sussanah said:
"I agree, all the others are worse. I wouldn't trade my Visionary for anyone. :) Life's an adventure."

What about the US Navy? It's not just an adventure, it's a job!

6/25/2007 08:15:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

dilys said...
"xeoaxgv!" ximeze

"How easy was that? Undoubtedly the scientific term for a krypton-rich tree-fertilizer guano produced by the small prehistoric lizards on the carnivorous cactus blooming in all the rain (buckets!) we're getting."

Wooden or metal buckets?
Hey, you brought it up! :^)

6/25/2007 08:19:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Smoov said:
"Perhaps because I am a "hands on" type of person I find that OC serves as a tremendous practical resource in my life."

The stewardesses on Smoov's flights can verify that. Heh!

6/25/2007 08:24:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Bob said-
"But by the time I finally woke up and looked around, the Democrat party was no longer recognizable to me."

Why do you think there are so many movies about "pod" people, or something along those lines?

In my oh-so-humble-or-not opinion, in a spiritual sense, the same thing happened to the Democratic party.

6/25/2007 08:34:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Wo, I had to read that one aloud, JWM. That man rolls the letter with the same skill and accuracy as this man handles his shotgun.

Pull!

6/25/2007 08:35:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

USS Ben said "Not to worry, Van.
If you look carefully, that's infrared "flems", the plural of flem.
Messy, yes, but nothing to be too concerned about. "

I actually was successful in recoiling from that thought before it could take full shape ... uhm... (Quick! River! Ximeze! While I've got Ben distracted! Swap the Decaf for his double dark columbian[coffee - I hope])...thanks for bringing it to light Ben

6/25/2007 08:42:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Damn! I think I broke my previous record of uninterrupted consecutive
posts!

Well, that's why records are made, I suppose.
Problem is the audience is missing, so the usual roar of the cheering crowd is also missing.

It's anti-climatic. No trophy presentation either. Where is everybody?
All by myseellelelf, gonna be...

I need help here people...c'mon, you know the words!

6/25/2007 08:42:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ahh... a nice clear night, bright moon... got the kids out on the deck with the telescope - haven't done that in awhile.

Life can be pretty good. Just keep a watch out for phantom smoke.

And flem.

yechh!

6/25/2007 08:45:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Van-
How did you know I had a double dark columbian, I mean, undocumented coffee?

You're working undercover for the international tea cartel aren't you?
I knew it!

6/25/2007 08:46:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"All by myself anymore All by myself Dont wanna live All by..."

urry-up-ha with the ee-caff-da!
"...myself anymore."

6/25/2007 08:48:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

;-)

Nighty-nite all....





wv:gwrvbirk - I'm not even going to speculate.

6/25/2007 08:50:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Thanks Van! Ha ha! You broke the spell of the undocumented coffee
blues with an excellent ISS sing along!

Remember kids, don't try this at home.

6/25/2007 08:52:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

River:
Glad you liked it. It was linked from a post on LGF.
Ben: The essay was not niggardly in its assault on Political Correctness, nor was it fatuous, or hystrionic. It was powerfully anti-idiotarianist, so it's guaranteed to drive the domestic moonbat into fits faints and hysterics of various sorts. Sort of like pouring the salt of truth on leftist slug-think.
wv:brgrpjg Now the damn thing is giving dietary advice. A double with cheese, maybe? Just what the doctor ordered.
2ndwv: rvmlgrk The noise you make after eating the burger?

JWM

6/25/2007 09:28:00 PM  
Anonymous cosanostradamus said...

Nite Van. Sweet dreams. =8-0

Uh oh. I said I'd be asleep by 10.

Let's see...

1. Start
2. Turn Off Computer
3. Turn Off

Those XP instructions never did make sense. And #3 is disconcerting.

6/25/2007 09:35:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

JWM-
Actually, I meant it as a double entendre, as in partly what it's about and the length of the essay.
I totally agree with the author and with your assessment. Honest Abe!

"Sort of like pouring the salt of truth on leftist slug-think."
I love that line! Ha ha!

6/25/2007 09:54:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Ben:
Thanks for filling in the end for me. It kept going round & round, like one of those jingles that invade your head & won't go away.

Now I can sleep.

Nite all.

6/25/2007 10:57:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Good nite y'all!
I'll be standing (or sitting) watch for awhile yet, so rest easy.

Remember, you have the power to strongly affect your dreams, and always make right turns in a dream maze (or simply fly out of it). :^)

G'nite PS-
Lisa's advice (we're still praying for you and Pinky, Lisa) about breathing works really well to get sleep, Ximeze.
Slow and full breaths; conciously relax your entire body and mind, from your head to your toes.
One muscle and area at a time if need be.
Feel the stress and tension leave you as the Lord of dreams beckons.

6/25/2007 11:10:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Bob,
Bulls eye.
I got that Van-ish feeling that wants to cut and paste the whole thing. That happens a lot.
Sometimes I wish there were a few blank lines at the bottom so I could add my signature. Not because I could have written it, I never could have, of course. But because its expression is about the same thing I’d have liked to have expressed. I’d have only used different words.

Speaking of targets, I saw this documentary once about competitive shooting. There was a segment on those winter Olympic biathlon athletes who, if you don’t know about it, have to ski like crazy, stop suddenly and try to hit targets with a rifle and a very limited amount of bullets. Something happens to them physically, right before they decide to pull the trigger. A sudden calmness comes over them. I’m not sure if they are aware if they consciously decide when to pull the trigger…but they pull it during this calmness. Competitive archers, same thing.

If Bob compressed his entire day down to one second, the quick calmness of his morning time before FL wakes must be like this. Everything else that will happen that day and the previous day has been cleared out right before he pulls the trigger of his post.
Meditation seems to be the same thing. When everything drops away, there’s just you and Him.

6/26/2007 05:01:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

G'mornin' Rick-
Skiing, shootin' and archery?
Cool! Kinda like cowboys 'n indians on ski's!

What's not to like?

6/26/2007 05:07:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

JWM,
Just finished the crises mag link, that was just what I needed to get my day going!

River, you're right, they're both top notch target shooters!

6/26/2007 05:34:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Hey Ben!
Shhhhh...
No exclamation points.
Shhhhh...
FL’s sleeping…

What’re you doing up at this hour? Isn’t it oh-dark-thirty where you are?

6/26/2007 05:52:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

(hey van. mornin...shhhh...)

(sorry about the lower case.)

6/26/2007 05:54:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

hi rick.
good idea, shhhing me. don't wanna wake up fl or puppy (what's his or her name, bob?).
i had the mid-watch, but now that i'm relieved, for awhile, it's time to navigate the oc dream blog.
mebbe write a few dream posts, and hopefully, avoid the oc at sea monkeys.

have a good mornin'.
watch out for the dark columbian.

6/26/2007 06:21:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

That Mark Shea article was GREAT! I've got to give that some linkage at my place.

6/26/2007 06:23:00 AM  
Blogger juliec said...

heh. it's finally my turn to add a "me too!" - great article, jwm.

cosa, i think your dream tops mine; i've never been told to follow the monkeys :)

van, i realized yesterday that i've smelled phantom smoke in my house on a few occasions, smells of either electrical heat or woodsmoke. it always sends me on a sniffing hunt, trying to find the source of the burning. then i go outside to scan the horizon, in case there's a forest fire headed my way. so far, though, it's just seemed to be an olfactory hallucination. weird.

6/26/2007 07:18:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Just a quick prompt towards Michael Yon's most recent dispatch, "Drilling for Justice" - also an often "invisible target".

http://michaelyon-online.com/wp/drilling-for-justice.htm

Excellent and fascinating insights and info. Particularly re the psychosatanic muftis, sharia law and the shadow govt in Baqubah, and bird-watching. The guy is amazing.

6/26/2007 07:49:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Confession of a cosmic freeloader. Sorry, GB, I have now mended my ways. Order complete. I guess I just respond to name-calling.

;)

wv: hxtmmhm (already rewarding)

6/26/2007 08:31:00 AM  

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