The Cluelesscide of the West (11.29.10)
What if the purpose of education were not simply to receive knowledge (k) but to cultivate the weird light (n) that lights up every man?
As it so happens, this is the purpose of education, so those who run our educational establishment are really just ideologues, propagandists, technicians, mechanics, and clowns. It's no wonder that young adolts are generally more stupid coming out of a liberal university education than they were going into it. Because if you're not exposed to the Light, you will simply assimilate the darkness and try to use it to illuminate your life. I am convinced that this is one of the primary reasons the left is so confused, and why they cannot argue or even think logically. They value education but not the Light from which it derives its value.
Our dehumanized and anti-intellectual university system is obvious to us now, but Dawson noticed the problem some fifty years ago -- that it was becoming quite anti-liberal, anti-scholarly, and sub-literary because sub-religious. This mania "arose among the half-educated and gradually spread both upwards and downwards."
Among other things, the upside-down education of the left emphasizes rights over duties, self-esteem over self-transcendence, and the antihero over the hero, since the former is the authentic nihilist who sees through the sham of hierarchy, eternal values, and first principles. The left worships these monsters because only they have the courage -- i.e., violence -- of the leftist's absence of convictions (see here for example).
A hero, on the other hand, is only heroic to the extent that he risks life and limb for something transcending himself. Since transcendence doesn't exist for the secularist, the hero must therefore be an idiot or a manipulative liar -- as the left regards, say, General "Betray Us." This is why masturbatory leftism and fruitless cynicism go hand in gland.
The religious superman differs from the Nietzschean superman, in that the former "is free from some of the practical implications of morality only by identifying with the intelligible source from whence morality arises" (Bolton). He is free not just to do anything, but to do good, which is the only real freedom -- just as freedom to know truth is the only real intellectual freedom.
Another way of saying it is that the hero is free to defend reality, while the antihero is free to be hostile to spiritual reality and to therefore live in fantasy. Leftist intellectuals are certainly free within the constraints of their two horizontal dimensions (who, because of the tamasic inertia caused by the absence of grace, also inevitably fall into a third dimension, the lower vertical), but in the absence of the transcendent, their freedom doesn't even have the value of animal freedom, since it will always be tainted by a guilt-stained recollection of the Real, or what Joyce called the agenbite of inwit.
Yes, the left has its heroes, but when you scratch the surface, you will see that they are always worshipped for their destructive, not creative, capacities. For example, one of the reasons I was against the MLK holiday is that I knew the left would simply turn it into an anti-holiday celebrating anger, bitterness, envy and division -- the opposite of what a holy-day is supposed to accomplish, which is the facilitation or recollection of wholeness or transcendent unity. The problem isn't with King, at least to the extent that he was simply trying to make America comport with its first principles, which are so obviously rooted in the transcendent, i.e., "all men are created equal." The problem is how the left cynically uses King to advance principles that have nothing to do with American ideals. Ultimately, the left is a revolt against the vertical order, or "defiance of the cause of their own existence," i.e., intellectual cluelesscide.
Why do leftists instinctively and unreflectively embrace the environmental hysteria of the climate change fanatics? It is because in the absence of mature spirituality, they have no metaphysical bullshit detector, so they essentially convert a spiritual crisis into a weather crisis -- the externalization of inward evils. In the hierarchy of being Man is above the environment, not an entity that is reducible to it. Nature is not actually our mother, unless balanced with the transcendent male principle, i.e., immanence + transcendence.
But "liberated" from transcendence -- i.e., the Father -- then we are swallowed up by irrational realm of the Great Mother. Free of the One, we simply fall back into the orbit of the (m)Other. If this were ever completely successful, the result would be, in the words of Bolton, "an opting out of [Man's] place in the cosmic hierarchy, while retaining a dominance over nature based on human powers and techniques alone. Nothing further from truth and stability could be conceived, nor anything better calculated to result in a stampede into the jaws of Fate in its most inhuman form." In other words, leftism in itself is an environmental crisis of the first magnitude.
This reminds me very much of depressed patients who cannot bear their depression and therefore experience it only in the body, i.e., the "physical environment." I evaluated just such a woman a couple of weeks ago. She was clearly profoundly depressed, but was consciously unaware of being so. However, she had pain in nearly every part of her body, in the absence of any objective findings to account for it. Each case is different, but in her case her conscious mind very much existed on a two-dimensional plane that excluded emotional (and therefore intellectual) depth, so that the only way she could "think" about her depression was through the body. In other words, one can no more deny the unconscious than one can pretend one doesn't have a body. To the extent that it is denied, it will simply return in some other misrecognized form.
It is no different with Spirit -- both good and bad. To the extent that it is denied, it will simply return in some concealed form. And this is why, to paraphrase Richard Weaver, all attacks on religion inevitably result in attacks on the mind, for how could it not be so? To cite just one obvious example, if we are nothing more than materialistic Darwinian machines, then there could be no way for us to know that truth. All truth, by definition, is supernatural and could never have come from nature. Nor, for that matter, could goodness or beauty come from nature -- unless nature is not what you think it is.
This is why we can say that all good comes from God, even if indirectly -- which is almost always necessarily the case, given the hierarchical complexity of manifest existence (just as your brain must work through so many layers and systems to accomplish even the simplest goal; it doesn't accomplish its ends by magic -- except that it actually does). Real power is always spiritual power, the ability to make an idea manifest in the material world. In this sense, we are all mirrorcles of the absolute, in that we have the capacity to make the word flesh.
What, you think dirt just becomes flesh and flesh becomes Word on its own? Then you're an idiot and you desperately need to know it, which is the only reason I'm saying it. It doesn't give me any pleasure. Dupree, that's a different story. Nevertheless, extremism in the defense of reality is no vice, just as tolerance in the pursuit of terrorists and other asshats is no virtue.