Monday, September 24, 2007

The Patterned Irrationality of the Left

In the unconscious mind, where symmetrical logic rules the night, the stronger the emotion one is feeling, the more "symmetrical deductions" are likely to occur.

For example, as Bomford writes, on a deep unconscious level, "one who hates has to believe that his or her hatred is returned." Note that this is a logical operation, only based upon a different sort of logic. This logic is no doubt the source of the psychotic fear of Israel in the Islamic world. Their unconscious hatred is so profound that it simultaneously reverses the relation, so that they can't help perceiving that Israel hates them. But Israelis just want to shop, raise their families, or read the Torah. They couldn't care less about Muslims, except to the extent that bloodthirsty Muslim barbarians harbor murderous rage toward them.

It's fine to hate evil, but in the Islamic world, what is hated is transformed into evil. Something is not hated because it is evil, but evil because it is hated. One could say the same of the left, which habitually fears what it eternally hates. The left cannot be comprehended unless one appreciates the extent of their unbound hatred. Once this is grasped, what seems illogical is suddenly seen to obey the dictates of symmetrical logic. For example, the unconscious feeling that I hate America and want us to lose in Iraq is transformed to General Petraeus is a traitor, or I am a racist becomes America is racist, or I am unbearably envious becomes the wealthy are engaged in class warfare against me!

Another characteristic of the unconscious is that it is timeless, in the sense that it can reverse temporal relations. For example, in the unconscious mind, if A is the cause of B, B can also be the cause of A. Thus, "before" and "after" become meaningless. Therefore, although we were inexcusably attacked by Islamists on 9-11, within minutes, leftists were saying that the real reason for the attack was that we had done something to offend Muslims.

Likewise, throughout the Cold War, leftist scholars wrote "revisionist" histories, in which the United States was the cause of the Cold War, or at least equally responsible for it. You will notice that there are no conservative revisionists who write, for example, that blacks were the cause of their own lynching, or that Japanese Americans were the cause of their own internment. You can only think in this manner if you are pathologically under the sway of unconscious symmetrical logic.

Also in the unconscious mind, there is no distinction between the memory of something that actually occurred vs. the memory of a fantasy. Here we can understand how and why the left is so prone to mythologizing the past, as their fantasies are mingled with reality.

Thus, no amount of reality and asymmetrical logic will ever convince them that FDR made the Great Depression worse, not better, or that the black family only began to disintegrate after the imposition of all the "Great Society" programs of the mid to late '60s. No amount of logic could convince a leftist that his policies harm the "little guy," since his ruling myth, in the face of all evidence to the contrary, is that he is here to rescue the hapless little guy (for whom the leftist always feels rich contempt in the unconscious mind, contempt which only seeps out everywhere).

One thing you will notice about the left is that they are passionate. Because the left is guided by feelings and intentions, they are blind to the results of their actions. If their feelings are infinitely good, then in the unconscious mind, the results must also be infinitely good.

As I have written before, this is a religious passion in the absence of religion, so it has no traditional means to structure and channel it. Just as religion partakes of symmetrical logic in an adaptive way (i.e., the meek shall inherit the earth, the Golden Rule, humans are made in the image of the Creator, etc.), leftists do so in a terribly unhealthy way. That is, because of the intensity of their feelings, these feelings reach way down into the symmetrical realm, with no way to structure or make sense of them. This is why you always see so much highly charged, "unfiltered" unconscious material coming out of the left. To borrow a metaphor from someone, reading dailykos or huffington post is like taking a ride through a sewer in a glass bottom boat.

As Bomford writes, the dictates of symmetrical logic mean that deductions "do not follow the path of fact, but of feeling or emotion." And although this inevitably leads to "crazy" deductions based upon a chain of feelings, in a sense, it is much more "free" than asymmetrical, Aristotelian logic. For example, the latter "has a deterministic feel. That is to say, it never delivers a new truth, though it may deliver truths that had not been clear before. Everything is already 'there' in the premises."

Not so symmetrical logic, which has considerably more freedom to "deduce." It can easily arrive at patent falsehoods while still obeying its own logic. For example, the knuckleheads at Columbia University believe that having a genocidal sociopath speak on their campus is an instance of defending "freedom of speech." I would agree, but only in a psychotically cluelessidal way, rooted in symmetrical logic. By the standards of normal logic, it makes no sense whatsoever. It's crazy.

One of the most fascinating aspects of unconscious logic is the way it can shift attributes from agent to agent. For example, as mentioned above, it is the work of a moment for a leftist to turn a perpetrator into a victim and a victim into a perpetrator, based upon the emotional needs of the day. For example, the standard leftist logic would be Larry Craig --> Homosexual --> Ultimate Victim. But place an "R" after the name, and the overriding logic becomes Republican --> Homophobic Victimizer --> Burn him!

Likewise, the normal train of leftist logic would be ROTC --> Don't ask, Don't tell policy --> Homophobia --> Get off our campus, fascists! But Ahmadinejad -- whose government's policy toward homosexuals is "don't tell, because we'll bury you alive" -- is given a pass because he shares the left's passionate hatred of America and of President Bush. Their interests converge in the deep, symmetrical unconscious. Ironically, it is obvious that Ahmadinejad is much more conscious of this than the left to which his manipulative talking points are tailored. You might say that he is consciously speaking to the left's unconscious, pushing every one of their happy buttons he can think of.

Don't believe me?

Daily Kos: 45% Want Ahmadinejad As US President


I Am a Jewish Lesbian, and I Have a Crush on Ahmadinejad:

"... the guy speaks some blunt truths about the Bush Administration that make me swoon... Okay, I admit it. Part of it is that he just looks cuddly. Possibly cuddly enough to turn me straight. I think he kind of looks like Kermit the Frog. Sort of. With smaller eyes.... I can’t help but be turned on by his frank rhetoric calling out the horrors of the Bush Administration and, for that matter, generations of US foreign policy preceding...."

Homosexuality? In Iran? We don't allow it. Makes the goats jealous.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Infants and Other Leftists

The unconscious doesn't relate to individuals, but to classes. To put it another way, to the extent that the unconscious perceives the individual, it does so in terms of the class (in the mathematical sense of a set) of which it is a member.

Right away you see a potentially vast difference between leftists, who tend to see only groups, and classical liberals, who value the individual. But because the leftist sees only groups and classes, he doesn't realize the extent to which his thinking is susceptible to, and determined by, unconscious influences. This is why it is such truism that virtually all of the wholesale racism in America comes from the left, since they openly admit to their prejudice, i.e., that they can't help categorizing people by race, gender, or sexual orientation. They then want to paradoxically enact discriminatory laws to keep them from discriminating.

But as Chief Justice Roberts recently taught all of us in a tautologous decision, the best way to end discrimination is to end discrimination.

Actually the best way is to end descrimination is to begin discriminating, since discrimination is the opposite of indiscriminately lumping individuals into groups. For a person with discrimination, Thomas Sowell and Cornell West belong to wildly divergent groups with virtually nothing in common. There is nothing similar about them -- that is, unless you are a leftist racist who notices only their skin color.

Not only does the unconscious categorize by class, but classes within classes within classes. For example, in the unconscious mind, a wife could be a member of the class of females, which could in turn be a member of the class of mothers. Have you ever started to call your wife by your mother's name when you were angry at her? I haven't. This week.

Furthermore, because of the symbolic nature of the unconscious, the breast can be a symbol of mother. But because of its symmetrical nature, mother could be a member of the class of bountiful -- or withholding -- breasts. In the unconscious mind, the part can equal the whole, and vice versa.

For example, whenever my two and a-half year old son gets into a tight spot, he immediately begins chanting like Dustin Hoffman in Rainman, "up on mommy... up on mommy... up on mommy." I am quite certain that in these moments of unbound anxiety or pain or fear, "mommy" doesn't just refer to Mrs. G. Rather, "mommy" is simply a signifier for the the Great Comforter in the Sky, the class of all objects that can transform pain into security or pleasure.

In other words, the actual mommy -- Mrs. G. -- is a member of a much more expansive class of the Magically Infinite Comforter, or Good Breast. No human could ever live up to those expectations, which the baby, to his dismay, eventually discovers. Or not. And if not, he may spend the rest of his life in search of the lost entitlement, that Great Breast in the Sky.

Again, liberals are tranceParently prone to this, what with their wild, utopian schemes to end all pain and want -- free housing, free college education, free healthcare. Once you are in the unconscious, its needs are naturally infinite.

You might say that Dennis Kucinich is the most capable articulator of the infinite needs of the infantile unconscious, but all leftist politicians are in the same mold. But they have to speak more in code, so as to not alienate the parents who will have to take care of all the hungry and whining infants. After all, someone has to do it. Babies can't take care of themselves. Free healthcare is obviously not free. To the contrary, it's actually more expensive than the kind you pay for, since it removes any disincentive to use it. And when you put a baby with infinite needs in a context in which he is infinitely ministered to, guess what happens?

That's right. Old Europe.

Young people are naturally drawn to leftism, since they are at a developmental stage in which their task is to go from being a member of a primitive group -- the family of origin -- to a mature individual. This provokes a tremendous amount of anxiety (remember?), anxiety which -- because of the structure of the unconscious mind -- resonates with every past maturational stage, in which one had to pull away from "fusion" with the group (which ultimately goes all the way back to the Omnipotent Cosmic Comforter alluded to above) and become an individual.

Wahhhh, Don't tase me, Dad!!!

Looking back on your own life, you can no doubt reconstruct when you were in these transitional phases between fusion and individuation. Robin spoke of one the other day, in his real-life sandbox allegory. There he was, caught between two worlds, the one of blissful primary fusion with the enveloping cosmos, vs. breaking out and becoming an individual in the decaying world of time and form. Growth can only take place by leaving the world of fusion, but it is fraught with anxiety and depression. In fact, the great psychoanalyst Melanie Klein called it the depressive position, not just because it is inherently depressing, but because one must master and assimilate the depressing loss of unity. One must contain it or be contained by it.

But many people obviously do stay behind. However, it is no picnic. It is what Klein called the paranoid-schizoid position, which has a whole array of specific (and more primitive) defense mechanisms to keep the reality of time, growth, and separateness -- and depression -- at bay. For example, one way to deny depression is through the "manic defenses," and again, we can see how leftism fits the bill, what with its manic utopian promises to end all pain and want.

The Buddha realized that attachment to our desires is the source of suffering. The left has a better idea: just make unfullfilled desire against the law.

A young adult will often embrace leftism as a form of pseudo-maturity. In other words, it gives one the appearance of strength, maturity, and adulthood, since you can be so freely aggressive, hostile, and belligerent. But this is entirely counterfeit, merely the weak man's impersonation of a strong man -- you know, "General Betray Us," and all that. Imagine General Petraeus -- who, among other inconveniences, took a bullet in the chest while training for the defense of his country -- being aggressively called a traitor by these infantile chicken doves!

Only in the unconscious, where heroes can be cowards and cowards can be heroes, where dissent is the highest form of patriotism and patriotism is the lowest form of treason.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Bush Hatred and the Eternal Silence of the Infinite Spaces

To review, the psychoanalyst Ignacio Matte Blanco begins with Freud's model of the unconscious, which is characterized by 1) eternity (or timelessness), 2) spacelessness, 3) symbolism, 4) non-contradiction, and 5) non-distinction between imagination and reality.

However, Matte Blanco, who was also a mathematician, realized that these characteristics were necessary consequences of the kind of logic employed by the unconscious mind, which is to say, symmetrical logic. You might say that this is the logic of the timeless world of eternity, whereas Aristotelian ("asymmetrical") logic only applies to the more limited temporal world.

For example, in the asymmetrical world, it is not possible for two objects to occupy the same space. But in the unconscious mind? No problemo. There, your husband can be your mother, a government can be a bountiful breast, or President Bush can be Hitler.

Likewise, as we discussed a couple days ago, in the unconscious mind, "time travel" is as easy as failing off a blog. One of the most vivid clinical cases I've seen of this involved a man who had been shot in the abdomen in an attempted robbery about a decade before. He thought he had forgotten all about it, until one day at work a couple of coworkers decided to play a practical joke on him. One of them aimed a metal tube at him, as if he were holding a rifle. The other coworker slapped together a couple of two-by-fours, creating a loud cracking noise that happened to sound just like gunfire.

The patient reacted just as if he had been shot. He looked down and literally saw blood flowing from his abdomen. He became agitated, and an ambulance had to be called. He was actually taken to the ER, and only after being given a strong anxiolytic did "the past" recede from the present. But for 30 to 45 minutes, the past and present were completely interpenetrating, pulling him down into an infinite terror.

This is simply a vivid example of what happens to us all on a moment by moment basis. The past and present are constantly conflated on a deep unconscious level, which accounts for so much of the richness of being. But it also accounts for virtually all psychopathology, which you might say consists not of unpleasant memories that we recall, but unpleasant memories which recall us.

This happened to me just yesterday afternoon. I'm not even sure what provoked it. It could have been a song I was listening to from my high school daze, or the first feelings of fall, or the smell of rain, or the lower angle of the sun, but something triggered an unpleasant flood of nameless emotion. I couldn't put my finger on what it was or what was causing it, but it lasted for a couple of hours. It definitely had an unconscious quality though, because it came from outside time and had a kind of depth that can only come from the symmetrical unconscious, which always has qualities of the infinite. When it's good, you call it joy, or bliss, or ananda, but when it's bad, you call it the nameless dread.

I'm sure you've all felt the bottomless and unending nameless dread. When I was younger I used to feel it from time to time in the middle of the night. I'd wake up and feel as if all my familiar psychological landmarks had vanished, so to speak. Instead, I was wrapped in the eternal silence of the infinite spaces, as Pascal called it -- "the infinite immensity of spaces of which I know nothing and which know nothing of me."

Naturally, it felt like an "external" space, but it was in internal space merely projected outward. In reality, there is no outer space, only inner space projected. A lot of people who are obsessed with extra-terrestrial life are merely inside-out psychoanalysts, treating fantasized objects as if they come from the outside rather than the inside. For example, when I was in that unpleasant state, I might imagine a burglar trying to break in my window. Mrs. G used to imagine a nuclear holocaust.

In hindsight, it is also obvious to me now how my very first heartbreak at 17 reasonated in an infinite way with the loss of Eden that Robin was discussing the other day. I wasn't just alone, but infintely so. Furthermore, I always would be. Thank God for Joseph Coors, who was there when I needed him.

Usually, the deeper the emotion, the more it partakes of symmetrical logic. For example, Matte Blanco noticed that a large part of the pain of psychosis is that emotions are raised to a kind of infinite fever pitch. Imagine my little night-terror occurring 24/7, with no way to stop it. Each moment is a calamitous novelty, completely beyond your control. Even if you've had a single panic attack, you can get a sense of this "bad infinite," which is boundless and unending. This is why some psychiatric patients slash themselves or put cigarette burns into their skin -- anything to end the nameless dread and bring them back into contact with time. Finite physical pain is far preferable to infinite emotional pain.

The logic of the symmetrical unconscious definitely explains the angry left. To anyone who is not participating in their group fantasy, one can see how ridiculously overblown their fears are. But it all makes sense in the deep unconscious. Because of its symmetrical nature, that which you deeply hate is deeply frightening. The more you hate or fear it, the more powerful it becomes, until it is equated with the all-powerful and all-evil.

Even a casual glance at dailykos or huffpo demonstrates that this is the emotionally charged mental space in which they they live. If they didn't have the cover of a large community of people involved in the group fantasy, everyone would recognize them for what they are: crazy. But because of the dictates of multiculturalism, no one is crazy so long as their particular craziness is shared by others. For the left, politics is about the management of emotion, nothing more (except for their sociopaths who run things, for whom it is about power. They never experience anxiety, an even worse form of pathology.)

But this just begs the larger issue that this is one of the very purposes of culture: to create a cohesive group fantasy in which unconscious anxieties and impulses can be contained. True, some people do this with religion, but there, the greater purpose is to plumb the depths of the unconscious in a healthy way. The left's fantasies are strikingly unhealthy, in large part because they don't realize that they are fantasies. They are like children acting out, only they think they are rational.

The conscious mind, because of its asymmetry, is able to discern differences, whereas the unconscious mind ignores distinctions and sees sameness. Obviously this has an important function that is vital to psychological health and happiness. But both processes can go haywire. For example, the loony leftist notices that Adolf Hitler and President Bush both engage in aggression, therefore, on an unconscious level, they are identical. Only the "sameness" is seen, not the vast differences. At the same time, they may enforce conscious distinctions in an illogical way, for example, between the nature of our fascist enemies in WWII and our fascist enemies today. There they see distinction where they should see the similarities.

You might say that the unconscious only sees "classes," not individuals. As Bomford writes, "An aggressive dog is felt to encompass the class of all dangerous aggressors -- and is thus perceived as presenting an infinite threat. It is easy to see that an irrational phobia is at once accounted for by this principle: something trivially alarming or just something connected with an alarming situation, is treated as though the whole class of alarming things is present within it."

One of the keys to dealing with fear is to give it a kind of boundary. The next time you're feeling anxious about something, notice this tendency of it to shade off into the infinite, which is the real fear. It doesn't surprise me at all that the left is historically so phobic, paranoid, alarmist, and histrionic, since they have no way to tame the bad infinite, being that they have rejected genuine spirituality, which is nothing less than a systematic way to transform the nameless dread of the bad infinity into the boundlessly loving and infinite One. The left will always be with us, because the unconscious will always be with us.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Speaking Truth to unKnown Powers & Principalities

Some very provocative responses to yesterday's post, including Robin's recollection of his personal exile from the timeless Eden of infancy -- the loss of his temporally infanity -- and his rude awakening to the constricting and chafing reality tunnel of time:

I was playing in my sandbox, creating roads and imaginary buildings, an activity I loved doing for hours. This particular day something happened. I stood up and walked towards our willow tree and suddenly felt something change. I instantly “forgot” everything. I knew that just 10 seconds ago I had full knowledge and remembrance of everything past, and now it was gone. And I knew the loss was permanent, which filled me with sadness. The memory of that step into linear time has stayed with me my entire life.

Time. You can't live with it, and can't live without it. Unless he had entered time, Robin wouldn't remember those traces of the timeless. But he heard the pied piper's forbidden flute, and his temporal ears and I were opened.

Where are you before you're in time? You're in eternity, the atemporal, and to the extent that you are, you'll have no recollections of it, since there was no time for events to have taken place. The events Robin remembers are not actually in eternity, but in what is called a transitional space, an area of overlap between time and eternity, consciousness and unconsciousness (a good place -- perhaps the only place -- to be -- more on which tomorrow).

The real eternity of infancy is not conscious, but fuses with the Background Object of Primary Identification. It leaves its traces in the general way we experience the world for the rest of our lives, as a threatening place, a secure place, a hopeful place, a disappointing place, a hostile place, a loving place, etc. It's no doubt what causes someone to be a loony dailykosbag or huffpo' boysandwitch, since they can't help seeing and experiencing the ugly world they perpetulantly create.

I was reminded of this while watching Teletubbies with my son this morning. For those of you who haven't seen this inane program that has a hypnotic effect on babies, it begins with a sun with an infant's face rising over the horizon. The sun has always been associated with the light of consciousness, and we can see that this operates on a deeply symbolic level, as the baby, in his infantile omnipotence, believes that he creates the reality that actually created him. He is the Central Sun who even gives birth to his own parents, Adam and Eve. How could it be otherwise in the deep unconscious, where there is no knowledge of beforeafter?

You might say that eternity is "colorless," but that it takes on a certain emotional color based upon unKnown experiences during our first three years of lives, beyond the horizon of articulacy. If you are left with a "bad color" that tinges everything in a negative way, it's extremely difficult to change it. It's like a mind parasite that is not so much a content as a toxic context -- not the contained but the container.

But it can be changed, and I believe this is one of the purposes of a spiritual practice -- to uproot one unconscious narrative and replace it with another. Importantly, you can't do this with just any old narrative that you invent. You can't just look in the mirror every day and repeat, "I'm good enough. I’m smart enough, and gosh darn it, Al Franken loves me."

For one thing, in order to "speak" to the timeless unconscious, you must do so in a language it understands. This is the language of myth and symbol, puzzling paradoxables and smoking puns -- and revelation. Revelation is specifically revelation because it "reveals" things to the deep unconscious mind. It doesn't speak to the ego -- indeed, many aspects of religion make no sense to the the ego -- but to a much deeper part.

This is the reason, I believe, that Christianity spread so rapidly among the people who first heard it. To a historian of the era, it doesn't really make any logical sense, so they invent "rational" reasons why people heard "the word" and embraced it. But at the time, people obviously weren't hung up on the modern distinction between "fact" and "symbol," since the concept of factuality hadn't even really been discovered. Therefore, it was easier to embrace something that simply made sense to the soul.

The real reason most people are drawn to religion is that it bypasses the cramped illusions of the surface ego and speaks to them at a deeper and more expansive level. Once you understand this, you see how obvious it is. The ego has certain cognitive needs, but the ego is not the whole of our personality. Indeed, it is only a small part. Our Total Being has other cognitive needs, which include spiritual food.

How does one "engage the attention" of the unconscious? Clearly, this is the purpose of great art, poetry, or music. Indeed, the reason we call it great is that it somehow reaches deep within the reader, viewer, or listener, and engages the vast realm of the unthought known, as Christopher Bollas calls it.

Bollas also coined the phrase erotics of being for that disinct feeling that occurs when we discover or engage with an object in the external world that helps us to articulate an aspect of our Unthought Known. Without these objects, our Unthought Known would be unthinkable, and known only in potential. Or, you might say that it would be known by a nagging sense of its absence -- an absent presence.

Again, one of the purposes of religion is to resonate with this absent presence -- to flesh it out and give it body, blood, and voice. As I began exploring Christianity a decade or so ago, this was one of the realizations that dawned on me. I discovered so many luminous intellects -- Denys the Areopagite, Meister Eckhart, and others -- that I would have prevously dismissed as sadly superstitious mythtery mongers. Why would someone with a first class mind waste it on religion?

Because religion was simply the way they articulated the depth and greatness of their genius. It was the language they spoke in order to articulate the deepest aspects of reality. Once I realized this, Christianity suddenly "clicked" for me in a way it never had before. Now I understand why it is so much deeper than science, and why people will always have a need for genuine religion, without which they are condemned to superficiality and circularity. Like the obligatory atheist, they simply fall off the shallow end.

In a previous lifetime, I wrote a number of papers demonstrating that this way of looking at things was actually far more in accord with the latest findings of physics, let alone psychology. No one believes any longer that the world is constituted of material objects interacting like billiard balls in a deterministic way.

In my book, I go into this at some length, so I won't repeat myself here. The bottom line is that, if we base our metapsychology and metatheology on models emerging from modern science, we do not visualize an objective ego being buffeted from below by drives and instincts. Rather, we visualize an unbroken and ceaselessly flowing holographic field of energy-consciousness with implicate (unconscious, O) and conscious (explicate, (k)) dimensions.

But you knew that already.

But to the extent that you don't, it is highly likely that you will overemphasize mere logic as being sufficient to explain both reality and yourself. This overvaluation of logic is illogical to that which is the higher source of logic, which is to say, the intellect properly so-called. Logic is to ego as revelation is to Self, i.e., the total self of Being and its pal, the intellect.

I wish I had more time but I don't so we'll have to pick this up tomorrow. This will probably end up taking me a month or so to completely spit out, so don't get your expectorations up.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

True Hallucinations*

Where did we leave off? Oh yes, trying to express the infinite and eternal within the finite and temporal, i.e., struggling to find the words for God -- trying, as always, to channel the roaring torrent of O into the feeble stream of cyber-k. Science by definition cannot do this. But as Bomford explains, "the attraction of religion is that it attempts to speak of the transcendent, that which is beyond human knowing."

Achieving this is a tricky linguistic balance, because too much specificity and concreteness is incredible to modern minds, while too much vagueness and abstraction is simply uninteresting. What we need is a language that combines abstraction and concreteness, so that "transcendental experiences may be held in memory, meditated upon, ordered and made mutually coherent." What we need is what Bion called a language of achievement which can convert O into (n).

Now, if Spirit did not exist, we wouldn't even have a word for it or know where to begin looking for it. Nor would we know it when we had found it. Therefore, any talk of Spirit actually presupposes preconceptual knowledge of it, otherwise it is strict nonsense. A preconception is an empty category, a sort of blueprint that will be filled out by experience. Humans are born with many such innate, archetypal preconceptions, and Spirit is one of them. Everyone except an atheist knows this, but even the atheist uncoonsciously knows it because they can't shut up or stop thinking about it, no different really than the repressed hysteric who sees sexuality everywhere but within themselves.

For most people, it is not dogma that gives rise to belief, but otherwise ineffingbelievable transcendent experience that gives life to belief and leads to the effort to search out the means to make sense of, articulate, and give body to the effing experiences.

As we mentioned yesterday, a sense of the eternal can be evoked by the presence of the very old or the very new, the "everlasting" and the extremely transient. People can experience a sense of the eternal (including the "infinite potential") when they first see their newborn baby, which offers some insight into the focus on the baby Jesus. I am the alpha and omega, first and last.

The "first time" of most anything important resonates with eternity, which is why recollections of childhood live in a kind of eternity -- almost every day was a first of some kind. It was such a brief period of time, but childhood memories are charged with a kind of mystical intensity. This is one of the reasons liberals are still lost in the hypnotic mists of 1967. The mythical "summer of love" won't die until the last baby boomer croaks and takes this pseudo-Eden with him.

One of the purposes of rituals is to resonate with the mythological Great Time that abides deep within. You may notice, for example, that when you experience the Christmas season, it temporally resonates with all your past Christmases (time becomes "thick," so to speak), ultimately going back to the first one -- one that you never personally experienced, but nevertheless partake of. Likewise, when you rest on Saturday or Sunday, you are reluxing with the Creator, whether you consciously realize it or not.

Eternity can also be hinted at "by the last event in a series." Bomford cites the example of an aging travel writer who had visited a particularly beloved destination on many occasions. When he consciously realized that he was visiting it for the last time, it regained the freshness and vividness of the first visit.

"In the same spirit, the last words of the dying may be seen as a key to an understanding of the whole life. The last of the series completes the picture, ends the story, and thus hints at the instantaneous wholeness of eternity."

It is accomplished.

What is?

Everything. The whole existentialada. I just can't say it, because it's too literal. I have to hint at it. Language of achievement, don't you know.

Bomford notes that eternity is also evoked in "the uniting of old and new, or first and last... St. Augustine addressed God as 'Thou Beauty, both so ancient and so new.'"

Let us rejoyce:

I am passing out. O bitter ending! I'll slip away before they're up. They'll never see me. Nor know. Nor miss me. And it’s old and old it’s sad and old it’s sad and weary I go back to you, my cold father, my cold mad father, my cold mad feary father, till the near sight of the mere size of him, the moyles and moyles of it, moananoaning, makes me seasilt saltsick and I rush, my only, into your arms.

Here, in the dream logic of Finnegans Wake, Joyce fuses the old and new, birth and death, infancy and old age, time and eternity, river and ocean, earthly and celestial fathers, miles and moyles circumnavigation and circumcision....

My leaves have drifted from me. All. But one clings still. I'll bear it on me. To remind me of. Lff! So soft this morning, ours. Yes. Carry me along, taddy, like you done through the toy fair! If I seen him bearing down on me now under whitespread wings like he'd come from Arkangels, I sink I'd die down over his feet, humbly dumbly, only to washup. Yes, tid. There's where. First. We pass through grass behush the bush to. Whish! A gull. Gulls. Far calls. Coming, far! End here. Us then. Finn, again! Take. Bussoftlhee, mememormee ! Till thousandsthee. Lps. The keys to. Given! A way a lone a last a loved a long the

Old and new, time and eternity, are fused as the book circles around to the beginning: riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us to a commodius vicus of recirculation...

This book by Bomford has finally helped me understand what Petey was up to in the merging of those barmy Cosmobliteration and Cosmogenesis sections of One Cosmos, that ensure that it will never sell many copies:

Cut me down to sighs. Too old, older than Abraham, too young, young as a babe's I AM. Brahmasmi the Truth. The whole Truth. Nothing but the Truth. So ham, me God. We'll meet again. Up ahead, 'round the bend. The circle unbroken, by and by. A Divine Child, a godsend, a touch of infanity, a bloomin' yes....

Words fall. But one clings. Still. You don't say. Emptiness! drowning the soul in its everlasting peace, an eternal zero, a spaceless and placeless infinite, supremely real and solely real, our common source without center or circumference, no place, no body, no thing, or not two things, anyway: blissfully floating before the fleeting flickering universe, stork naked in brahma daynight, worshiping in oneder in a weecosmic womb with a pew, it is finally...

It seems that Petey thought of everything in his absurcular attempt to evoke eternity: unbroken circles, the fusing of alpha and omega, childhood and old age, darkness and light, yes and no, God and man, whole and part, birth and death, nothing and everything....

Hallucinations. Is there anything they don't know?

*With apologies to Terence McKenna

Monday, September 17, 2007

On Harmonizing Oursophs with the Vespered Strains of the Song Supreme

Later in the week, when I have less time and more timelessness, I will be getting into the questing of exactly how religious language accomplices its task of speaking to us on a level that bypasses the surface ego and goes straight to the deeper aspects of our being. In this regard, it obviously shares certain characteristics of poetry, which says in words what cannot be said in words, as some old poet-all once unsaid. Like poetry, scripture can make no literal sense, and yet, evoke a powerful response. How does it do that? And what is it inside us that is responding?

Let's compare it to music. By definition, music makes no literal sense. This is a tautological statement, since music is not semantic but pure sound. In fact, it is the only form of communication that is made of pure sound. And yet, people can be moved to tears by music.

Van Morrison is one of the few popular musicians who performs music with the specific intention of evoking a spiritual response. Especially between about 1979 and 1991, he entered a deeply spiritual period when he attempted to convey and facilitate spiritual experience through music. And yet, you can be sure that few people who heard the music responded to it in the intended way. For them it was just an oldies show or an exercise in nostalgia, like seeing the Strolling Bones at the Super Bowl.

I only subscribe to a few magazines. One of them is Stereophile, which is sort of the bible of hi fi enthusiasts. One of the enduring debates in the hi fi world parallels our frequent discussions of overmental language, translogic, and the vertical dimension of being. You could say that it's between the objectivists and subjectivists, engineers and enginees, ears and equations, scientists and mystics. This is the topic of the lead essay of a recent edition of Stereophile, entitled The Mystery of Music, by Jason Serinus.

I remember when I purchased my first CD player in early 1990's. I was a holdout in the digital revolution, and continued listening to vinyl exclusively long after CDs were available. I eventually purchased a good CD player, and yet, when I brought it home I was very disappointed with the sound. To my ears the music sounded superficially accurate, but it was flat, dull, lifeless, and lacking in warmth. It had a palpably hollow and somewhat shrill metallic edge and was missing a certain dimension of depth or presence that analogue brings out. (Just try listening to one of the first generation unremastered CDs that came out in 1985 or 1987, and you'll hear what I mean. They sound horrible.)

To try to address the problem, I purchased a pair of decent aftermarket cables to connect the CD player to my amp and replace the cheap ones that came with the unit. Voila! Suddenly there was an added dimension of warmth and presence -- of life -- that was lacking before.

Now, number-crunching engineers will assure you that this is impossible, that a cable is a cable is a cable. In fact, it is the official policy of magazines like Consumer Reports that there is essentially no difference in sound quality between one CD player and another. It's scientifically impossible, you see. You may think that you're hearing something different, but science says you can't be. If it cannot be measured by an objective test, then it doesn't exist. You are fooling yourself.

Sound familiar? This is a perennial debate in psychology as well. For example, science knows that the unconscious cannot possibly exist, and that Freud's ideas about it have been thoroughly debunked. But if you lie (in both senses of the term) on ShrinkWrapped's threadbare couch and aimlessly ramble for a few moments about this and that, he claims the ability to peer into your very soul and understand all sorts of secrets that you've been keeping from yourself. Just like the music lover, he will experience another dimension to your communications which entirely escapes the methods of science. Unless, like me and my expensive aftermarket cables, he's just pulling the wool over his own ears and charging his sheep for the fleece.

Back to religion. In Serinus' essay, he asks, "Is it possible that those who claim that some of us cannot possibly hear what we are hearing themselves lack the facility to comprehend what we're hearing in the first place?" For many listeners, music apparently registers only as rhythm and sensation assaulting the monkey brain, whereas others, for example, hear subtle shadings of color, emotion, and spirit. How can something made of sound contain colors or shades of light and dark?

Similarly, is it possible that those who claim to comprehend religion are experiencing an entirely real dimension that communicates its properties to those who know how to experience it, but doesn't exist for those "without ears to hear?"

Let's go back to the Freudian unconscious. Strictly speaking it does not "exist," if we take the word exist in its literal sense of "standing out from" (ex-ist), like an object in space. Nor does God ex-ist. But this doesn't mean that God or the unconscious aren't real.

For one thing, God is not found in space, because space is in God. Likewise, the unconscious -- or O -- is not strictly speaking in us -- ultimately, we are in it (more on this later in the week).

When we say that something is "real," are we talking about the atoms and molecules of which it is composed? Or the physical form that we perceive with the senses? Or the thought that is able to register and comprehend the perception? If only the subatomic or the physical are real, then there is no valid knowledge at all, for there is no knowledge at the level of the senses.

God is not that which "stands out," but That from which things stand out. Thus, "exist" is not the right word for God or for the unconscious. "In-sist," perhaps. That is, higher and more subtle realities do not stand out except to those who stand in them. How do you stand in a higher world? It has no physical existence, and yet, it can only manifest in the physical.

But only if you co-upperate. If you help bring it into being. If you make it present. If you act as midwife and give birth to the Word and the Melody. Which most people can do unless they unhappyn to be a hyper-rational soul in a midwife crisis.

Robert Frost once commented that the purpose of poetry was to help the reader "trip headlong into the boundless." Somehow, poetry jolts us out of the horizontal and into a vertical inscape. What can I say? I'm not a leuny poet. So you don't have to remand me. But I do my loveall best to be a hummin' being, and trip heartlong into the rhythm of the infinite. I prefer it to standing headwrong in the finite.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Verticalisthenics, O-robics, and Breathing in the Eternal

Let's see. What do we have here. There are objects and there is motion.

Revelation is like an intellectual cathedral that mirrors the hierarchical dimension of the vertical on this side of the manifestivus -- it is "heaven on earth," so to speak. But spiritual growth is not an object. Rather, it is a "motion" or movement -- an expansion. As a matter of fact, it is the leading edge of the cosmos.

In my book, I attempted to describe the algorithm of this movement with a set of abstract symbols that apply to any spiritual practice and all spiritual growth. To a large extent those symbols are descriptive rather than prescriptive, providing some hints but leaving the exact "how to" to the individual aspirant, who must combine "know how" with "be who."

We are fallen beings. Or, if you prefer, we are more or less exwholed and exiled from the vertical; we are strangers in this world, wandering in the desert of the horizontal, trying to find our way home. We go through books, experiences, teachers, trying to find Truth or Freedom or Happiness. Sometimes we catch a glimpse, only to see it recede into darkness, like a dream that fades upon awakening.

The universe is a nonlocal whole that is thoroughly entangled with itself, both in space and time. Let's suppose that I am not me. Rather, I am you. I am the higher you, speaking to you from your future, bidding you to join me. It's frustrating for me, because I'd like you to be here with me. Actually, I'd like to be down there with you. To you, your life looks like a bewildering panorama of free choices. But to me, looking down on the scene, I see that your life is actually on a train track. It doesn't really have much freedom, except to move forward and backward in one line. Unfortunately, if you stay on that line, you will inevitably end up where you are headed. Which is not me.

So to arrive at me, you have to derail your life. You have to repent, which literally means to "turn around" or change course. Now, many people who come to a spiritual practice do so because their life has been derailed for them. They are probably the lucky ones. They have achieved a state of spiritual blankruptcy. They are no longer moving, but at least they have stopped moving in the wrong direction. Now, instead of pushing themselves toward the wrong destination, they will have the opportunity to be lured into the heart of the right one.

For others, their catastrophe has to be self-willed. I remember when undergoing my training, when I was in psychoanalytic therapy. I said something to the effect of, "I don't know if I'm cut out for this. I might be too neurotic," or something like that. My analyst quickly corrected me: "No, no -- we don't exclude a treatable neurosis. We demand one. It's a prerequisite." You see, psychoanalytic therapy is a sort of self-willed crisis, as you dismantle your surface personality, dive into the unconscious, and try to reconstruct things on more stable footing. Only by doing so are you qualified to be a psychopomp for others, ushering them along the tortuous trails of their hidden self.

Likewise, there is no question that a spiritual practice will involve facing some catastrophic truths -- catastrophic not to your true self, but to your surface ego. In fact, spiritual growth is nothing but the assimilation of truth. At first, the truth can be unpleasant. To many people it is positively toxic. For them there is no hope.

Our minds are chaotic systems with different basins of attraction. Our surface personality is one such basin. If you have a lot of conflicts and fixations, you may think of those as basins of attraction as well. Each basin within our personality is an open system with a life force and agenda all its own, drawing relationships and experiences it needs in order to go on being. These are the instruments of our destruction, at least as they pertain to ever escaping the closed circle of the horizontal and establishing a little beachhead in the vertical.

In psychotherapy there is something called "resistance," and it is ubiquitous. No matter how much a person comes into therapy wishing to change, there are parts of the personality that will resist this change and try to sabotage the treatment. Why is this? For the same reason that any living entity has a life instinct and wishes to go on being. These resistant parts of the personality are much more like quasi-independent organisms than "objects." This is why in my book I refer to them as "mind parasites." If they are not parasites, they might as well be. For, just like parasites, they take over the machinery of the host -- you -- and reproduce themselves, bringing about the very conditions that allow them to flourish.

For this reason, most anyone on a spiritual path requires some equivalent of psychotherapy in order to gain insight into the adversary within. The mind parasites don't really care if you go spiritual on them, so long as you don't leave them behind. A moment's glance at the history of religion shows this to be true. Religion has almost been ruined by mind parasites, and it is perfectly understandable if a sophisticated modern person were to reject it on that basis alone.

However, this would be wrong and ultimately self-defeating. For it is obviously not just religion that has been ruined by mind parasites, but almost every other instrument or institution devised by human beings. For example, until quite recently, the history of medicine was the history of error. It consisted not only of beliefs that were untrue, but could not possibly be true. Should one therefore toss out medicine because its history is so riddled with kooky beliefs?

Lies are the wisdom of the world. The world is immersed in, and ruled by, lies. Therefore, to the extent that you lose yourself in this world, you too will be lost in a sea of lies. For example, the war on Islamofascism is not ultimately a war against a physical enemy, but a war against the most outrageous and pernicious lies. Likewise, the "culture war" in America is not really about culture, but about truth and about unconsciously motivated lies. Much of Old Europe has already lost this war. Like the American left they have abandoned truth for comfort, happiness for pleasure, vertical liberty for horizontal license.

Birth is always a chaotic and painful transition from one mode of being to another. The seeds of our new birth are already present within us, in the womb of our being. What are the conditions that allow the seeds to grow and bear fruit? Hell, I don't know.

"Petey? What do you think?" Okay. How about the sunlight of truth, the water of grace, the fertilizer of ritual, and the loving assistance of an expert gardener -- who certainly need not be technically "living" in the biological sense of the term, so long as he or she be alive.

Well, the horizontal beckons me from the threshold of transdimensional doorway, so I bid you adieu. In fact, I will leave you with adieu and don't -- a verticalisthenic, if you will. Today, whenever you have a spare moment, instead of wasting it in idle mental wanderings, try silencing your mind and breathing in the eternal, drawing breath from above your head down into your heart, and then offering the breath back up again to your oldenew gardener.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Dreaming of Reality from the Dark Side of the Moon

Now that my colonasscapade is behind me, it's time for a little reflatulating on the experience. I noticed that as I was coming out of the anusthesia, my mind wanted to make as if nothing unusual had happened -- as if there had been no gap or "crack" in my consciousness. As I looked over my shoulder at the doctor, my first thought was that I had been conscious throughout the grossedure. My second thought was "what an odd way to make a living."

The next thing I remember is laying there in bed with my clothes on. Only later in the day did I wonder how and when I got dressed. But that didn't stop me from murmuring a mild protest to the nurse to the effect that there was no need to call the wife, and that I was fine to drive.

I guess it's very similar to the lacunae in our field of vision. Each of our eyes has a hole where the optic nerve connects to the eye, but our brains fill in the visual gap as if it's not there.

As I've mentioned before, all of us do the same things with our lives, creating a coherent and linear narrative out of the chaos and randomness. While there is coherence in our lives, often it is unconscious rather than conscious. We superimpose a "likely story" on the outward events, but the real coherence is coming from below -- or above, as the case may be. People often enter pyschotherapy when their conscious narrative is being disrupted by an unconscious one. St. Paul is an example of someone whose narrative was disrupted from above.

In fact, it's very disturbing and disorienting to have one's narrative disrupted in this way. It is one of the big reasons the left is so crazy. For decades, their's was the official narrative of reality, enforced from on high by the media, academia, and other elites, and they just can't handle the fact that other narratives exist. So they hysterically "confabulate" like a psychotic or brain-damaged person, imagining events and perceptions in order to paper over the gaps in their narrative.

In Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Stephen Dedalus asks, "What kind of liberation would that be to forsake an absurdity which is logical and coherent and to embrace one which is illogical and incoherent?"

This brings us to the heart of the matter concerning the different forms of logic that govern the finite world of the horizontal and the infinite world of the vertical. Everyday Aristotelian logic is fine when applied to the horizontal, but if applied to the vertical, it will simply make a senseless and incoherent absurdity of it. Again, in the vertical world -- both the unconscious below and the "supra-conscious" above -- we are dealing not with irrationality but a sort of patterned transrationality, similar to the logic of dreams.

A purely scientific, materialistic, deterministic, and reductionist approach to the world will drain it of its vertical properties and create a sort of coherent but banal non-absurdity. Bonehead atheism is the quintessential example of this.

I am reminded of my first experience in psychoanalysis many years ago. I was laying on the couch and asked, "Am I making sense?" My cryptic analyst responded with words to the effect of, "Yes. Feel free to stop." You see, I wasn't really jumping into the uncharted world of the unconscious with both feet, but defending against it with a lot of surface rationalizations that made mere sense. Those familiar with the lingo of my book will understand that I was reducing O to (k) instead of allowing the evolution of O-->(k).

It is also possible to turn the world into an incoherent non-absurdity. This is what primitive cultures do, including most of the Mohammedan world. In other words, they create a world view that makes total sense to them and explains everything. Except that it is completely incoherent and actually explains nothing. It is a closed system that must repel any ideas that threaten it. Hence, their rejection of modernity and their consequent cultural Failure to Launch.

Finally, one can live in an incoherent absurdity. This is the world of the psychotic. It is also the world of hell, of a complete absence of logic or sense. Each moment of time becomes a calamitous novelty, as the psychotic mind perpetually disperses logic and meaning. To a lesser extent, this is also the world of deconstruction and much modern art, but for the denizens of that dark world, it is more of a contained process. For these modern sophisticates, it becomes a sort of parallel vertical world, superficially sharing certain characteristics with the religious. But it is an entirely counterfeit and ephemeral world of no lasting value.

Let us take two examples of the way language and logic are used to describe the horizontal and the vertical with regard to the origins of the cosmos. The horizontal view tells us that the universe is an Improvised Explosive Device that randomly banged into being 13.7 billion years ago. We know this because we can use logic and math to trace the outer edge of this explosion back to when it happened.

But this tells us nothing about the vertical. For that we need an entirely different kind of logic, something like this: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Now first of all, don't be like our trolls or like religious fundamentalists who get stuck on stupid and attempt to understand this vertical statement in the horizontal sense. In fact, the very point of the statement is to let us know that from the cosmic get-go "there is the vertical (heaven) and the horizontal (earth)."

As it so happens, if one is going to express the transcendent, the infinite, the eternal, one cannot do so without symbolism, paradox, myth, and wordplay. Wordplay? Absolutely. This is something that has long been known to the great rabbis, who "play" with scripture in order to mine it for its deeper meanings.

Now one of the reasons I like James Joyce is that he was fully aware of two things: that the world is made of language, of the word; and that our reduction of the richness of language to mere logical categories did violence to its creative potential for disclosing the nature of reality. For this reason, his last book, Finnegans Wake, consists solely of elaborate wordplay -- it is one long pun.

In Finnegans Wake, Joyce regards all of human history as one long dream in the mind of a single sleeping individual. Furthermore, the entire book is written in the vertical logic of the dream world, so that anything can symbolize something else and one person can stand for another or for an entire class of people. It is a timeless holographic world in which everything is internally related and happening simultaneously in the now of the dream. And, just as in a dream, there is no clear distinction between reality and imagination, nor is there the principle of non-contradiction that applies to the daytime vertical world of Aristotelian logic.

Unfortunately Joyce died shortly after Finnegans Wake was published, so he never had the opportunity to fully explain what he was trying to accomplish with his dense and seemingly impenetrable language. He saw that there was indeed coherence in the cosmos, but that it was the non-linear, vertical coherence of myth, poetry, theology, imagination, and dreaming.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

This is Your Cosmos Calling: Bang, Bang, Bang on the Door, Baby!

So, our mundane lives are simply a meaningless journey, in which we are rudely ushered through the turbulent corridor of time in our personal reality tunnel, a lonely tunnel inhabited by no one else. As any materialist, secular humanist, atheist, or other assordid metaphysical yahoo can tell you, there is no ultimate meaning to the journey. Regardless of what your instincts may say to the contrary, a human being has no intrinsic value. Like Wile E. Coyote, we are simply free-falling toward the canyon floor. Indeed, our life is that brief free-fall, and it ends with a futile splat that gets closer each day.

In fact, for a strict metaphysical naturalist, a human being probably has less value than “the planet” or “biodiversity,” but even that is an unwarranted assertion based upon the underlying metaphysic. For if the underlying metaphysic is to be self-consistent, it must insist that any meaning we encounter is entirely self-generated and ultimately meaningless, including the statement that there is no meaning. (Don't ask the naturalist how that last absolute statement is possible -- how monkeys can know the Absolute, even if it is absolutely nothing. But they most certainly can know absolutely nothing, especially if they are tenured monkeys.)

What is meaning? Meaning has to do with information. Even if we remove humans from the deuscussion and vice versa, our cosmos is filled with information such as DNA or the handful of mathematical parameters that govern the nature of the whirled process. In order for information to exist, one thing must be able to stand for, or symbolize, another. In ether worlds, the symbol and symbolized must be of a different order, the former more abstract than the latter.

So before we can even say anything else whatsoever about the cosmos, we have to concede that it is the kind of cosmos in which some things can symbolize and stand for other things -- almost as if the cosmos were having some kind of complex conversation with itself even before humans arrived on the scene. No matter where we mind, information is everywhen and where. When they study creation, scientific Adams are simply eavesdropping on the conversation, trying to get the details right without distorting the message. If that weren’t true, there would be nothing we could say or know about the cosmos.

Normally, when we think of information, we think of communication. The purpose of language, for example, is to communicate from subject to subject, interior to interior. But the cosmos was full of information before there were supposedly any sentient beings to pack or unpack the message. Now that we’re here, we can do that.

For example, we can trace information from the very edge of the cosmos -- the red shift -- all the way back to the primordial event that gave rise to the cosmos. But even then, we cannot get back to a time that there was “no information.” Rather, the best science will be able to do is come up with a mathematical equation that unifies the four fundamental forces of physics -- a “theory of everything” -- but that will still be an equation containing information, and therefore, meaning.

Even leaving aside Gödels’ theorems -- which would make it impossible in principle to discover any complete and consistent theory of everything -- this would have to be a very special occquation, because it will have to account for our bearthday presence. Obviously, any equation that is incompatible with the evolution of living beings capable of comprehending it will be a nonstarter, since we are undeniably here. Therefore, quantum cosmology us ultimately constrained by the presence of human knowers.


The paradoxes of quantum physics demonstrate without question that ours is a nonlocal cosmos that is thoroughly entangled with itself. Being that space and time are functions of each other, this must mean that the cosmos is not just spatially but temporally nonlocal, which helps to account for the mystery of memory, of the copresence of the past and present. Just as every part of the cosmos participates in every other part, all times are somehow copresent as well. This is reflected in dreaming, which may be a more normative form of thought than we appreciate. James Joyce certainly thought so.

Regarding the temporal entanglement of the cosmos, if you look up at a star in the night time sky, you are registering an event that likely took place before you were born -- indeed, perhaps before humans even existed. The sun, for example, happened eight or nine minutes ago. The nearest stars happened several years ago, while more distant ones happened thousands or millions of years ago. Quasars occurred so long ago that we are looking at an event from billions of years "back" in time. Britney Spears is so "yesterday," that her stardom might as well have been an eternity ago.

But what does it all mean? Oh, nothing. Just meaningless information. Or so says the slack-jawed materialist (which is an insult to Slack). Just meaningless information somehow entangled with a primate brain.

What's that? The cosmos gives you a sense of wonder? Oh, ignore that. “Wonderment” is not a source of empirical information, even though all great scientists have been guided by it. Awe? A sense of the sacred? Again, these are scientifically empty words that convey no information about the awesome adventure of scientific knowledge.

Okay, information is one thing. But why are the cosmos and the planet and some of the people on it so beautiful? The answer: they aren't, even though most any great mathematician would reject an equation out of hand if it were insufficiently beautiful, let alone a girl friend.

“Metaphysical naturalism” is so impoverished a philosophical view that it prides itself on its poverty. It denies itself all of the supernatural qualities that make the metaphysical naturalist possible. Could his impoverished philosophy possibly be true? Who knows, since his philosophy cannot make any meta-statement about itself. The most that the metaphysical naturalist can say is that his philosophy is truly not true, but that he’s working hard not to deny the illusion that it is true.

Since science cannot solve the really difficult philosophical coonundrums, it either eliminates the questions or reframes them in terms it can understand. Therefore, the metaphysic of scientific naturalism simply presupposes its own conclusions and omits the other 99% of reality, somewhat in the way that a neurotic individual reduces reality down to the scope of his compulsions and fixations. They don't live in the real world, but they do live in a secure and predictable, if rather crimped, one. To tell you the truth, it is a cosmos unworthy of man. As a matter of fact, it is a cosmos incapable of having given birth to man. At least a real man -- not the artificially intelligent kind.

Being that time is, as Einstein said, a "stubborn illusion," then if any part of the cosmos has ever been conscious at any time, then by definition it is as if all of creation has always been and always will be conscious at all times. I don't know if you can really prove that with airtight logic, but you certainly can by ironyclad translogical experience. It's another form of empiricism, but an empiricism that touches eternal objects, not just material ones. In fact, I'm touching one right now. Or vice versa.

When you boil it all down, the Cosmos is exactly as Petey has always said it is: a love shack, that is, a little old place where we can get together.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

What Cosmos are You Living in? (10.05.10)

Where does the idea of a universe, or “cosmos,” come from, anyway? Why do we assume it exists? Animals don’t know anything about a cosmos, for they can't escape or transcend their sense impressions.

Humans imagine there is a cosmos, but what do we really mean by the word? Is the universe the sum of things, or the whole of things? -- for these are two very different ideas. If it is merely the sum of things, there’s really no way to understand it, because each part is more or less independent of the other parts. But if it is the whole of things, that must mean that there is an underlying wholeness that somehow transcends and yet participates in each of the parts. Thus, to say "cosmos" is to say "unity" -- which is to say "the One," no matter how you say it.

Insofar as the universe is a whole, science cannot speak of it consistently. In other words, science, in order to be science, must treat the universe as a collection of objects, and simply assume their underlying unity -- if only to separate the scientific observer from what he observes. Like the mind itself, wholeness cannot be observed, only inferred. This leads me to believe that there is some hidden relationship between the mysteries of consciousness and wholeness. In short, the one cannot exist without the other -- they are somehow reflections of each other.

Every sense perception is an act of division within prior wholeness. Only the particular is ever observed, and there is no knowledge at the level of the senses. But every mental act is an act of synthesis and integration -- of bringing particulars together into a wholeness that reveals their meaning. Thus “the cosmos” is the ultimate scientific act of mental synthesis, very much the material equivalent of conceiving of God -- who also represents an absolute integrity and cohesion that we can never perceive in its a priori fulness with our senses.

For this reason, we can say that the cosmos is the exterior of God, while God is the interior of the cosmos (while not limiting God to that). Conceiving of either is only possible because human beings are able to intuit both the wholeness and withinness of things. We are able to conceive the Absolute not because it is a fanciful wish, but because it is the inner reality that subtends everything; in other words, the Absolute is the necessary condition for conceiving it.

All bad philosophies -- which is to say, almost all philosophies -- take the cosmos utterly for granted, without getting into the prior question of why they believe there is a thing called “cosmos,” that is, the strict totality of interconnected objects and events (much less how we can know that it exists).

The religionist doesn’t have this problem. Judeo-Christian traditions affirm that “in beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” In other words, there is a prior unity called “God” underlying the apparent division between the celestial and earthly realms -- the vertical and the horizontal, consciousness and matter, whole and part, knower and known, yin and yang, guys and dolls. Religion teaches: where there is apparent duality there is wholeness and unity, whatever the duality. Even life/death. Woo hoo!

The Mundaka Upanishad takes the story of existence back even further than Genesis, affirming that “Out of the infinite ocean of existence arose Brahma, the first-born and foremost among the gods. From him sprang the universe, and he became its protector.” In other words, the creator God -- Yahweh, Brahma, the Father -- is himself an aspect of an even deeper unity, called Brahman, the Ground (by Meister Eckhart) or the Ain Sof (in Judaism), for even God (like the youman beastlings that mirror him) must possess a relative outside but an infinite inside.

In the absence of revelation -- either “given” or “intuited” -- there is no way to know about either the cosmos or its "parent," or source. Reduced to natural reason, human beings are like spiders spinning concepts out of their own substance and then living in and crawling about on them, catching the occasional meal. In fact, if the secular black window spider is going to be honest, he will have to admit that all he can ever know is his own web, which was Kant’s point. Kant took profane philosophy as far as it could go, which is why most philosophy since has merely been a footnote on Kant.

For you have a choice that you must make at the outset: either we live our lives in an illusory, phenomenal universe, cut off from the noumenal reality. Or, because we are made in the image of the Creator, we can know the absolute in both its material and immaterial, supernatural aspects. The former aspect of the absolute subtends science, while the latter makes it possible to know transcendentrialities such as love, truth and beauty, being-conscousness-bliss, father-son-holy spirit, Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva, kether-hokmah-binah, or Tinkers to Evers to Chance.

Thus, secular philosophies create a problem where there is none. First, they exile us from the cosmos, and then complain that we can’t get back in. True, we are exiled in maya. But religion goes to great lengths to explain that as well, including how to cure us of that particular metaphysical illness. Scripture fully anticipated Kant and all of his followers in the allegory of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Yes, you have free will, so you are therefore free to nourish yourself from that particular tree. But just don’t be surprised if you end up with a bad case of spiritual malnutrition.

Of course, this doesn’t stop scientists from talking about the universe and making all sorts of absolute claims about it. In fact, science has hijacked the universe concept, and will permit no one else to make statements about it on pain of ridicule, ostracism, and ACLU lawsuits. As the philosopher of science Stanley Jaki writes, it is as if all of the central banks had been taken over by counterfeiters. So much of scientific epistemology and ontology is based on intellectual “funny money” that is not fungible into any underlying reality.

Like leftists who are only concerned with the distribution of wealth rather than its creation, secularists are only concerned with the propagation of "truth" rather than the specific metaphysical principles that make Truth itself knowable.

For example, science assures us that their model of the cosmos truly accounts for the strict totality of interacting objects and events. But how can the model contain the proof of its own claim, since it is part of that totality, not outside of it? The question is, can we take a scientific dollar bill and cash it in for real Truth? We can, but only if we realize that there is indeed a central bank that ensures the value of each of those scientific bank gnotes.

Yes, there is a cosmos. For the same reason there is a God: you kant half one without the under One. As a matter of fact, the same thing holds true of biology. Say what you want about natural selection, but it presupposes something that its theory cannot account for: the wholeness of the genome and the organism, which is a reflection of the primordial wholeness of Being. Natural selection operates on entities that are living benefactories of a prior wholeness, without which Life itself could not be.

Knowledge is simply adequacy between subject and object. We can know the Absolute because our intelligence is mirroculously proportioned to it.

The subject as such takes precedence over the object as such: the consciousness of a creature capable of conceiving the starry heavens is more than the space and the stars so conceived.... It is precisely in virtue of the dimension of inwardness, which opens onto the Absolute and therefore the Infinite, that man is quasi-divine. --F. Schuon

Sunday, September 09, 2007

All Your Islamophobic Joke Are Belong to Us!

In Albert Brooks' film, Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World, he imagines himself given a special assignment by the U.S. government: "Maybe the only way to really understand somebody is to see what makes them laugh," he is told. "Go to India and Pakistan, write a 500-page report, and tell us what makes the Muslims laugh."

As a matter of fact, my associate, Petey, has been looking for comedy in the Islamist World for six years -- to be precise, since 9-12-01 -- but in a different way. That is, he thinks the best way to really understand somebody is to see what makes them laughable. He makes no bones about his belief that the Islamists and their sympathizers are both evil and insane, and that they are much more worthy of mockery and ridicule than fear or respect. The "war on terror" would end tomorrow if these jihadis would just wake up, have a big laugh, and realize what perfect asses they are. A "normal" Muslim will be able to laugh at himself, just as a normal Christian or Jew. After all, it was a Jewish comedian who said that it didn't matter what your religion, so long as you were ashamed of it.

Something is terribly out of joint if comedians feel free to ridicule conservative Christians or President Bush or Catholic priests, but never "conservative" Muslims, crazy imams, or corrupt Palestinian leaders. It's like a symptom of the disease we are trying to eradicate. Can't we all just make fun of each other? It's a much healthier way to express aggression.

But who has ever seen a jihadi laugh, except for one of those hollow, bitter, mocking ones, like Dr. Evil? Have you ever seen a Palestinian having fun except after they've murdered some Jews or watched the Twin Towers come down?

For example, if I were to run into bin Laden, I might wink and let him know that I actually understand why he needs so many wives. After all, if you're going to play by Taliban rules, you never know what sort of beast lurks beneath that burqa. Who wants to make a lifetime commitment to the child bride behind cave door number two, sight unseen? There's safety in numbers, nudge nudge.

I read somewhere that Mohammed "is regularly cited as the most common name in the world, though there is no concrete evidence." Oh really? What about all the flying concrete? Not to mention glass and steel?

And the Palestinians? Forget about it. They finally have their own state in Gaza, but I don't know if they're going to be able to do much with it. It can't be easy dedicating your whole life to destroying something constructive, only to see it in danger of being rebuilt before your eyes.

Did you know that none of the maps in the Palestinian terrortories show Israel? That's what they mean when they refer to the Arab "roadmap to peace."

Did you know that part of their strategy involves having so many children that they can eventually overwhelm Israel with their population? However, demographers are worried that if the Palestinian baby boom continues, there won't be any babies left to boom.

They say the martyrs are just like every other kid, obsessed with sex. But their parents tell them "Be patient. There'll be plenty of time for girls when you're all blown up."

Hey, at least you don't hear about the Palestinians flushing Bibles down the toilet. That'll have to wait until they develop indoor plumbing.

Personally, I think we've got a wrong-headed approach. Instead of questioning terrorists and flushing the Koran down the toilet*, how about questioning the Koran and flushing terrorists down the toilet? [*Yes, I know, Newswack made up the story.]

And state or no state, Palestinian women won't have a prayer. Literally. They don't allow them to even pray with the men in the Mosque. I can't say I blame them. Who wants to go to the mosque expecting a perfectly sublime Day of Rage, only to have these women turn it into a sleazy Day of Lust? The men are naturally confused and conflicted by standing behind a woman while she’s bowing and kneeling. Rather, women are supposed to face their husbands while bowing and kneeling. When it comes to praying with women, sharia law is quite adamant about it: "You can't join 'em, beat 'em!"

But I guess the battle between the sexes runs pretty deep over there. In the Palestinian territories, women don't have the right to bare arms, only the right to bear armed children. And when the children "play doctor," the boys perform mock clitorectomies on the girls.

I read a study that says that in some Muslim countries, sixty percent of the girls are forced to undergo clitorectomies. I like to look on the bright side. This means that forty percent of the girls can run faster than their brothers.

And how about the wild anti-Semitism they teach in their schools? Somebody called Abbas on it, and he said he was shocked that they were teaching this virulent hatred of Jews to children. In an interview in Throwing Stone magazine, he said that in the future, students will be taught to murder Jews and just leave their feelings out of it.

But what's really depressing is their class reunions. They're so sparsely attended. I don't know why they should be surprised, when their best schools boast of a 90% detonation rate.

The latest is that Abbas wants to enlist the terror groups for security operations. That makes sense, since the Palestinian police can't be expected to prevent law and order all on their own. And making them police does solve the terrorist problem. Next week Abbas plan to conquer disease by renaming hospitals "health clubs."

But I don't know if they can solve the terror problem so long as Saudi banks are funding it. That's right: that mosqued imam is the loan arranger. Where else but a Saudi bank can you visit your moola and mullah at the same time? True, Muslims are not supposed to charge interest, but their loans have cost many people an arm and a leg. In order to get one, you have to provide a lot of collateral. Damage, that is.

But it doesn't matter. There's always some Jew-hating American like Rachel Corrie who will take the terrorists' side. Her parents should be quite proud. There aren't many parents who can honestly say that their child was just as useful an idiot in death as they were in life. But still, that doesn't make up for the loss. They sued Caterpillar because one of their bulldozers accidentally turned into her and flattened her. In fact, this was the first known case of a Caterpillar turning into a bitterflake.

How about Iran? They may be the first culture to skip the toenail clipper stage of technological development and go straight to nuclear power. I understand it's taking some time because they're trying desperately to develop a weapon that will destroy New York but leave the Times building unharmed.

Anyway, we've got our own problems in America, what with these Wahhabi-lobbies like CAIR that supposedly represent decent Muslims. Well, I guess they do speak for rank-and-foul Muslims.

In fact, those Muslim doctors in the UK botched the terror operation so badly, CAIR is going to sue them for malpractice.

Me, I don't get it with these Muslim doctors. If they wanted to destroy western civilization, why did they spend all that time in medical school? Why not just go to journalism school, like everyone else?

And the U.N. is no bargain. They sent those Jordanian troops on a peace keeping mission in Timor, and they ended up abusing the children. Apparently it was a big misunderstanding -- the Jordanians thought it was supposed to be a piece-copping mission. D'oh! From what I understand, the men offered the children candy in exchange for sexual services, in what is already being called the "oral for food" scandal. Personally, I say "U.S. out of the U.N., U.N. out of Timorese boys!"

This was actually going to be a big story in the New York Times until further investigation revealed that the Jordanian peacekeepers weren't even Catholic, much less priests.

But as usual, the U.N. is pulling the wool over our eyes. If only it were wool panties, this story would would be huge in the MSM.

Do you hate the MSM as much as I do? I remember when journalism used to be the first draft of history. Now it's the first draft of rewritten history. Ever wonder how the New York Times always gets it so wrong? Believe me, it's not easy. They can only do it because they've got a highly trained team of dedicated fact chuckers.

Still, I love New York, showing once again that one rotten bunch doesn't spoil the whole Apple.

But no matter what happens, the media never report anything positive coming out of Iraq. There's a term for this: Reuters' block.

Could the MSM be any more clueless? Their motto ought to be, "Always the last to know, so you won't have to be." They're always looking for "the roots of terror." What do you need to know about the roots of terror except that the average Muslim roots for terror?

That was some election in Iran, a show of real democracy. Iranian elections? That's what you call a farce only a mullah could love. Speaking of farces, they even had elections in Saudi Arabia. In fact, the winners were serenaded with chorus after chorus of Wahhabi Days are Here Again.

One good thing about democracy in the Islamic world is that Muslim politicians all promise to bring less pork to their constituents.

And did you hear the new president of Iran was one of the American hostage takers? That's no surprise. Obviously they wanted to elect a man who was there at the time of their founding fatwas.

I hate to say ayatollah ya' so, but the Iranians are still pushing ahead with their Manhattan Project. I don't know. I think they should come up with a different name, since there's already been an Islamic Manhattan Project. It was called 9-11.

Frankly, I wasn't so worried until they detected large shipments of leather crossing the border into Iran. This can only mean one thing. They're trying to build a suicide belt large enough to deliver a bomb. As usual, the UN is helpless to do anything about it. On the positive side, they did agree that nuclear suitcase bombs must be small enough to fit into the overhead compartment or under the seat in front of you.

Of course, they say they're only developing nuclear reactors for peaceful purposes. Personally I'd feel better about it if Muslims had figured out peaceful applications for rocks and belts. For them, it's a wardrobe malfunction when some boob doesn't explode out of his vest.

And Kofi Annan was very concerned about the situation. In fact, when he found out about it, he nearly skied himself senseless in Switzerland. Plus he's already busy dealing with his son's misbehavior. The other night he had to send Kojo to bed early without his oil-for-food.

Hey, if Iran feels so threatened, here's an idea: why not just build a big fence to keep all the Jews out?

People say that Islam and Judaism are similar, since they're both based on the inerrant word of God, but I'm not so sure. After all, thinking critically about the Torah makes you Jewish, whereas thinking critically about the Koran makes you an infidel. Apparently there are other differences as well. I saw a bumper sticker that read "Jesus saves. Moses invests. Mohammed plunders."

It's pretty odd when you can be less than twelve months away from the atomic bomb but more than twelve centuries away from the atomic age.

I guess we shouldn't worry, because the countries of Western Europe are unified in their opposition to Iran obtaining nukes. In fact, they're calling it the Eunuch Pact.

But the Euros have Muslim problems of their own, like in Holland, where they murdered that film maker, and any politicians who stand up to the Islamist threat have to have 24 hour security. Now if someone mentions the Dutch Masters, I'm not sure if they're talking about painters, cigars, or Muslims.

And the loony left? Forget about it. Why do they always want to burn the flag at their demonstrations? I'm all for flag-burning, so long as the protester first wraps himself in it. Their big champion is Ted Kennedy. The Move-On crowd is probably too young to remember that Kennedy has always had an unwavering commitment to a woman's right to snooze. Under water.

Then you've got the ACLU fighting to put up a blatantly anti-American monument to the victims of 9-11. I guess they have a point, since the monument will be a real time-saver. I mean, imagine the inconvenience of having to track down 3,000 individual grave sites in order to piss on them. Then again, since the monument will be on sacred ground, perhaps the ACLU can sue themselves to get themselves removed. If not, maybe we can all file a classless action suit against the ACLU.

And the ACLU is always protecting Muslims, trying to ensure that they are never, ever offended or inconvenienced in any way, even if doing so would stop terror attacks on our soil. I can see their point. It's racist to discriminate against Muslims just because their skin is thinner than ours. And it's these crazy ACLU types who try to compare Gitmo to the Gulag. I guess in certain respects the Gulag was better than Gitmo. At least in the Gulag, nobody had to read the Koran.

How about Saddam? One of Saddam's lawyers was quoted as saying, "I don't mean to play devil's advocate... oh, wait a minute, yes I do." Pretty weird that a guy who has a taste for putting people through plastic shredders also enjoys eating children's cereal. I guess it's no surprise that he likes Froot Loops, since we know his favorite journalist is Dan Rather. I'm kind of surprised not to see "Gunga Dan" doing a kiss-ass interview with President Ahmadinejad. You know, after CBS canned Rather for making up damaging stories about President Bush, they said they'd let him do sixty minutes. Yes, and not a second more.

Amazingly, the president of Iran doesn't believe the Holocaust happened. That's right, he's even suggested a "scientific conference" to investigate the matter. He's actually open to a change of heart. If their scientific conference "proves" the Germans really did perpetrate the Holocaust, he'll be saying "hey, I think we can work with these people."

But I just don't think this Ahmadinejad is going to back down. I'd say he's a few goats short of a harem. Either that or a few nails short of a suicide bomb. Give him credit, though. He's one ghoul under fire.

Bumper stickers seen in the Palestinian territories: "Practice premeditated acts of violence and gratuitous cruelty." "My Other Car is a Truck Bomb." "Jihad is not healthy for infidels and other vile creatures." "Follow me, I'm lost." "My son graduated summa boom loudly from Arafat Hi." "Pray for world conflagration."

Top ten -- well, seven anyway -- ways you know Hamas and Islamic Jihad have become too moderate:

7. Nobody cares that they're running out of rocks.
6. Days of Rage downgraded to Days of Irritation.
5. People go to car swarms just to pick up chicks instead of body parts.
4. Starting to ask themselves, "are you sure this is how Gandhi did it?"
3. Layoffs at the bomb lab.
2. Hamas and Islamic Jihad putting on delightful joint production of Fiddler on the Roof.
1. Nobody buying the autobiography of Arafat's widow, A Goy Named Suha.

Before he became a Muslim, Cat Stevens wrote the music for the film Harold and Maude, the story of a morbid, death-obsessed young man bent on killing himself to get back at others. The more things change....

How about Ward Churchill? The fact that this America-hating academic fraud was drawing a six-figure salary at taxpayer's expense brought to mind the words of another Churchill: "Never have so many owed so much to a faux Sioux." By the way, Churchill never said he was an Indian -- what he said was that he had "a patchy work history." Either way, I knew the leftwing blogosphere would turn him into their latest Kos s'lob.

Did you hear about the uproar over the Pakistani woman refusing to wear a two-piece bathing suit in the Miss World contest? Well, they agreed on a compromise. She's actually going to wear a two-piece after all: a burqa with a snorkel.

I thought I saw a wet burqini contest on al Jazeera the other day. But they were just sweating from the heat.

I don't know. I think we need a moratorium on the inane "hijacking Islam" phrase. Instead, we ought to consider LoJacking Muslims, so we know where they are at all times. (Hey, it's a joke, people. More or less.)

But at least this is triggering a debate in the Muslim world. Traditional Muslims are rightfully outraged at so-called moderates trying to hijack Islam and reduce jihad to a mealy-mouthed internal struggle with oneself instead of a glorious war of conquest and colonization to impose a worldwide caliphate.

Some people say we need to be more culturally sensitive, perhaps teach the Koran in our schools. After all, it's only fair, since they teach Mein Kampf in every Muslim country. I have a better idea. I think we might begin by adopting their tradition of blowing up people with whom they disagree.

And the Democrats are still calling for us to surrender in Iraq. Then again, they do support the troops. In fact, if their support gets any stronger, the troops will have to obtain a restraining order.

Everyone thinks the Left is just being cynical in their relentless attacks on the war effort, but there's a greater principle involved. That is, if they change their normal behavior and stop trying to weaken America, it will be as if the terrorists have won. Making us less safe is the Democrats' way of sticking it to the terrorists.

Of course, if only Kerry had been elected, none of this mess would have happened. Unlike Bush, he promised to bend over forwards to rebuild our alliances. In fact, if Kerry had been elected, France would never have left Americans' behind. Nor, with John Edwards by his side, would we be living in "two Americas," one that can afford the finest hair care products, the other living in constant fear of a bad hair day.

But at the moment they're stuck with Howard Dean at the helm of the DNC. He works so closely with the a-holes at dailykos and, that after his chairmanship is over he'll be able to switch his specialty to proctology.

And why should the the Left stop attacking the Boy Scouts? After all, the ACLU just wants to make sure that the Boy Scouts will always be a safe place to scout for boys.

I guess what really disgusts the Left about the Boy Scouts is their policy of racial profiling. You know, helping little old ladies cross the street but not Muslim men in their twenties.

Then again, I have an idea for how the Boy Scouts could get around the the ACLU's attempts to bar them from using public property. Just have the boys run around naked in the woods and smear each other with chocolate syrup, and then give them an NEA grant.

Or, maybe the Boy Scouts could strike a compromise with homosexual activists and allow a merit badge for fabulous makeovers.

Personally, I think it would be a good idea for the Scouts to begin awarding a merit badge for keying an ACLU attorney's BMW.

I guess I just don't get it. Why do these leftists need to change the Boy Scouts so that they'll fit in? If they want to be part of a group of atheistic, morally relativistic, America-hating adolescents, they can always join the Democratic party.

I don't know how you feel about Bush spying on the terrorists, but I'm all for it. They need to monitor these mosques and do some basic ignorance gathering. But these Muslim groups like CAIR are always complaining, deflecting responsibility. It's like they're raising an entire not-me! generation.

I read a story the other day about China selling arms to the Sudan, which, last the time I checked, was committing genocide against Christians. That reminded me of some of the lost sayings of Confucius:

--Confucius say Christians pay arm and leg for Chinese arms sold to Sudan.

--Confucius say Chinese government like peeping Tom -- enjoy watching Christians get screwed.

--Confucius say man who feed allahgator get eaten last.

--Confucius say man who do business with Saudi must beware of evil in tent.

It's too bad, we almost got "number two" in al Qaeda, the infamous Dr. Zawahiri. He's an Islamic pediatrician, which means that he cares for children from the time they're born until the day they blow up. He still gets the occasional call from a worried parent, asking for a psychiatric referral for a teenager obsessed with not killing himself. His prescription is always the same: "Take out two infidels and call me in the morning."

They recently held a counter terrorism conference in Saudi Arabia. In fact, they say that never has so much evil been arrayed at one table since Yasser Arafat dined alone. Where else can the president of Libya hobnob with the president of Iran? "Mr. Gaddafi, meet Mr. Godawful." They're calling it an "Arab think tank." Now there's an oxymoron. Shouldn't it be "rage tank," "resentment tank," or "seethe tank?" Or how about "whine cellar?"

When I heard that Muslims were burning cars in France, I was initially sympathetic, since burning a car is sometimes the only way to make sure it won't be driven by a female. Plus, I think something good could eventually come of all this, if we could just find a way to cross-pollenate the French and Muslims, and create a hybrid race of Muslims who surrender.

Speaking of France, everyone thinks they're anti-Semitic, but they're actually quite evenhanded toward Jews and Palestinians. True, they want the Palestinians to have a homeland, but during WWII they also assisted in the return of Jews to their home in Germany.

Well, I guess the big question is why the Islamic world hates us so much. True, if it weren't for US interference, the they wouldn't be stuck in the fourteenth century. Instead, they'd be mired in the twelfth. And they're always boasting about how great Islamic culture is -- you know, that they had mathematical geniuses who supposely discovered zero over a thousand years ago. That's fine, but the problem is, they've been discovering zero ever since. And that's no joke.