Trippin' & Clueless in the Mosque & Media (12.30.10)
As we were saying yesterday, free will is not an either/or proposition, but a lengthy process of acquisition or realization that goes hand in hand and head in heart with what we call spiritual growth. It's like when liberals say "everyone's a racist." If they could just say "I and my fellow liberals are all racists," we'd agree with them wholeheadedly. Likewise, when someone says "free will doesn't exist," I want to say "in your case, I couldn't agree more."
Now, the question is, what is the main thing that interferes with freedom, and how do we eliminate the former and illuminate the ladder? I know what I think, but does anyone else in the world agree with me? I think I've found one. According to Bolton, the process of realizing freedom consists "in a progressive elimination, or at least subordination, of the alien causes which commonly manipulate the will, and a corresponding ascendency of what is owing to the will alone" (italics mytalics).
Alien causes which commonly manipulate the will. That sounds an awful lot like MIND PARASITES, those foreign agents and sinister minsters of propa' and impropaganda that we have internalized and mistake for ourSelves. You know, all of those agenda-driven hostile forces that hijack the machinery of the host or hostess -- that would be you -- and use it to crank out their own dysfunctional and anti-evolutionary thoughts, emotions and actions. You could say that the personification of the sum total of these parasites is what folks call Satan, and you wouldn't be wide of the mark.
Whatever the case may be, these "alien causes" block freedom and therefore spiritual growth. These are the machine-like parts of ourselves that are not really alive. Like viruses, they are something in between life and matter. If you could see one, you'd be horrified. It reminds me of a comment by Schuon, that "the lowest animal species, those that repel us, manifest most directly the quality of ignorance (tamas); they are repugnant to us because they are like 'living conscious matter' whereas the law of matter is precisely unconsciousness."
Other forms of matter, such as Al Sharpton, shock us for the opposite reason, for they are like a man deprived of what makes him one, which is to say, higher consciousness. Such disturbing individuals are like "decentralized" or "dissipated" consciousness. As Bertie Wooster said in another context, looking at the Reverend Al is like watching a snake egg about to hatch.
Back in the 1960s, when it was legal to study the effects of LSD, a lot of interesting psychological research was conducted on the subject of mind parasites. It was thought that by administering LSD to a patient in a controlled setting with adequate therapeutic support, you could bypass all of the ego's usual defense mechanisms and see the parasites directly, so to speak, and therefore process and work through them more rapidly.
I remember a book by Stanislav Grof -- here it is, Realms of the Human Unconscious: Observations from LSD Research -- in which he discusses how patients under the influence of LSD could actually draw pictures of their mind parasites in order to try to understand and work through them. I don't have time to dig out the book, but I remember one particular lady who drew a monstrous looking spider that had her in its grip. Of course, the mind parasite isn't actually a spider. Rather, that's just the mind's representation of the internalized hostile force which is otherwise invisible. Our minds are like "symbol making machines," so this is essentially identical to how our dreams use images to represent conflicts, impasses, and various hostile entities.
Carl Jung wrote of how the medieval pseudo-science of alchemy was actually a way to talk about mind parasites and their eradication. Bolton agrees that this process "can be envisaged in alchemical terms as a removal of the [parasitic] 'dross' which allows the [spiritual] 'gold' concealed in it to appear in pure form." What can be underemphasized, however, is that the "dross" is not a just an object, so to speak, but a subject with a will of its own -- or, to be perfectly accurate, something that can only operate in the world by taking over the human will.
When you think about it, this is not that different from how the Creator operates in the world, at least for the most part. That is, in the absence of human coupperation, it is as if God's will is "paralyzed" in the world. The traditional view is that human beings are the living bridge, or link, between God and nature, or spirit and matter, or freedom and determinism, however you want to conceptualize it. Therefore, when we say "thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven," we mean this quite literally, don't we? This is just another way -- perhaps overly saturated for some -- of saying that the purpose of life is to manifest truth, or love, or beauty on this plane.
It's no different looked at from the opposite direction. "Satan" is a paradoxical entity, being that he represents the "center of dissipation," so to speak, and spiritual dissipation by its very nature can have no center -- no, not even the Keith Olbermann show. The point is that both mind parasites and Satan can have no ultimate reality, since they represent the internalization or personification of the negations of the good, true, and beautiful. Rather, only the perverted human will can -- and does -- make them "real": thy will be done, on earth as it is in hell or in Keith Olbermann's head, so to speak.
Let's consider this fellow Allah, for example. I won't speak to the question of whether or not there is a non-parasitic Allah and what to do about it. That is for Muslims to discover for themselves. But clearly, the Allah of the popular collective mind of much of the Muslim world is nothing but a giant mind parasite. I mean, it's so obvious that it provides a particularly vivid object study of the reality of the processes we're discussing today. Instead of blogging or writing books about it, imagine if you could just drop LSD and draw a picture of it. Personally I'd like to see Victor Davis Hanson try this.
Look, when a voice in your head tells you to load up a baby with explosives and hand it to a lady who wants to bring liberal ideals to Pakistan, you can be pretty sure it's not God. That's called a "clue." When that same voice tells you to slash off your daughter's clitoris with a rusty hood ornament, I'd say that's a hint that you're not dealing with the Creator of the Universe. When the voice tells you to force women to live in bags or to cut your daughter's throat because she doesn't want to marry that malodorous 53 year old toothless letch with all the goats in his dowry -- nope, not the real God. I know, I know, that's a lot of goats, but God has more important things on his mind than selling your daughter to the highest bidder.
So what is this sadistic and suffocating entity? It sounds like a very bad acid trip, which, in a way it is, because there's no coming down. Hell, you can't even tell them they be trippin' or they'll just trip out more, like the witches and warlocks of Hizb'Allah, Hamas, and CAIR, who say "don't wake us from our nightmare, or you'll soon be in it, my pretty!" Whether it be angry jihadis in Khartoum or jihadis angry about a cartoon, they always trippin'.
Trippin' and clueless. That's what it is. And that is a very bad combination. In fact, you can look it up in just about any history book. Almost all the real evil in the world is caused by people who are trippin' and clueless, like Hitler or Stalin or bin Laden or the liberal media. As Bolton writes, in human beings, "freely-willed and unfree actions mingle in all proportions, because external causes can condition one's will in proportion to one's lack of self-awareness" (mytalics again).
You will immediately note that this is why the left is obsessed with so-called external barriers to freedom, when the real barriers -- at least in the contemporary U.S. -- are nearly always interior. Furthermore, when you eliminate these external barriers, it doesn't really do any good, because you aren't giving people real freedom, which they will still have to cultivate once the external barrier is removed. This is why racial quotas don't work. They eliminate the external barrier but ignore the interior ones, so failure is simply deferred. Liberals just kick the can't down the road. Daniel Patrick Moynihan is just about the last liberal who tried to discuss the interior barriers -- i.e., cultural mind parasites -- but he was lynched for it by the left. Trippin' and clueless, as always.
Well, that's all for today. We'll continue this line of thought tomorrow. Bob has baby-sitting responsibilities this morning, and I pretty much have to go where he does.