Monday, October 08, 2007

On Becoming One that You May Find the One

Walt sent me this interesting snippet of a radio interview with the French journalist and writer Louis Pauwels (1920 - 1997):

Jacques Nerson: You wrote in 1968: "Anything is preferable to an honorable career -- exile, or prison, or the monastery."

Louis Pauwels: Well, it was poorly said, and was in the absurd climate of '68. At that time, I was emerging from the adventure of Morning of the Magicians, and I admit that I was spoiled. What was clear to me was that I didn't want, that I never wanted, to be a writer with a public "following." I used to say, as I would still say today: Long live freedom, long live the right to change one's direction, theme, writing, research, or position. I was calling an "honorable career" the career of a man who gives what is expected of him. It has always exhausted me to be considered a guide, or more simply a good provider of the usual merchandise (the current rage). Destiny asks something of me, or of someone in me. Even though I don't understand it, it is destiny that I must follow, endlessly escaping from the diverse images of myself which I create. Better exile, prison, or the monastery than submission to what the public expects of me at every step of my passage through this world.

But exile and prison have nothing in common with the monastery. I was foolish to put all three of these forms of retreat on the same level.

In reality, I have had -- and I pursue -- the life of an intellectual vagabond with mystical tendencies, because I did not have sufficient grace and force to be a true contemplative monk. I had an obscure wish for this kind of life but I didn't know how to see my misery and how to give myself to God in the supremely childlike spirit which pushes man toward the monastery. I had neither enough humility nor this gentle heroism. And this is why I was condemned to wandering. A creative wandering, no doubt... at least I must assume so.

Many years ago (in 1968 to be exact), I attended a seminar in a hotel near the Grand Chartreuse monastery. I went right up to the gate of the monastery. There I was overcome with trembling; I sobbed. I felt that my life had been irredeemably wasted, that it would never be fulfilled. But what fulfills a life? Ah! It is not joys and honors! It is the complete renunciation of oneself; it is the silencing of thoughts; it is the arising of "I", unique and transcendental, faceless, nameless, in the smooth emptiness of the interior of one's being, and its progressive fusion with God, who is the supreme "I" of all things, here below and above....

What fulfills a life? It is not just the serenity of the stoics. It is what my friend Aldous Huxley called, approximately, the "peace of the depths," or my other friend, Arthur Koestler, "the oceanic feeling of life." Koestler committed suicide. Huxley died in despair. Neither they, who were worth infinitely more than I, nor I, knew how to build from eternity with our earthly presence. But this is what makes a contemplative monk. And finally, this is the only honorable thing to do.

In a word: to be in the world but not of it -- action and nonaction embracing. "Like the kingfisher who dives and comes up again without getting his feathers wet." The universal spiritual tradition -- Buddhist, Hindu, or Christian -- deals with these crossings (crosses) between the man in the world and the man behind the man, detached from the world. At one and the same time, here is man: nailed down, yet flying away.

*****

Hmm. Where had I read this before? A quick search of my liberary revealed that it was in this collection of essays on Gurdjieff. It is one of the hundreds of books I raced through in the writing of my own book. As I've mentioned before, only after the book was written have I had the luxury of returning to some of the really good books I encountered along the way, and spending a little more timelessness with them. I'd forgotten all about this one, which, if I remember correctly, was -- in keeping with the man himself -- a sort of mixed bag. As are most bags, books, and beings.

When I read a book, I always highlight it in such a way that I can rapidly reread it and extract its essence, so I can usually judge the merit of a book by the number of highlights. I see that I highlighted one passage from the Pauwels interview, so I must have thought it was important:

"I fell headlong into the teaching of Gurdjieff because my most profound impression was -- and still remains -- the absence in me of being. I had and still have this impression that the whole of my thoughts, my feelings, my sensations, my dreams, my ambitions, my acts, my sorrows, my joys -- that this whole is not my real self. Or, if you wish, that there is something else besides that 'me' named Louis Pauwels, and it is that other thing which could give birth to being if I knew how to cultivate it."

Well, don't keep us hanging. What else happened to Pauwels in his long strange journey from new age pagan occultism to orthodox Catholicism?

Pauwels completed his first novel, Saint Someone, at the age of 25. It is about an ordinary man who is "suddenly transported by the extreme and inhuman unhappiness of finding himself outside himself and outside the world." Interestingly, he states that his dream then was "to depart for the Ashram of Sri Aurobindo" -- a very unusual aspiration, I might add, since very few in the west knew anything about Sri Aurobindo at the time, even Ken Wilber, who in 1945 was negative four years of age and just learning to read.

But then Pauwels met a man who told him that he needn't travel to India, because "there is a spiritual master of of uncommon strength" living in France, who can "provide you with the method for living detached and present at the same time, more detached than you ever imagined you could be, and, consequently, more present than ordinary man can ever be." Thus, he became a pupil of Gurdjieff for two years.

From his exposure to Gurdjieff, Pauwels concluded that, in order to come closer to the core of his being, it was necessary to become nothing, something that Petey often mentions. What he means in this paradoxical oddvoice is that he felt he needed to "die to myself so that an authentic 'I' [could] be born, to be able to present God a more real presence than that of the 'me' named Louis Pauwels."

He eventually concluded that "there was no love in this teaching," and that "the living relationship with others and with God had been left out." But later he changed his mind about this, because the deeper meaning of the teaching was that, in order to establish such a real relationship with God and with others, it was first necessary to establish a relationship with the "more than me which is in me."

(I agree with this, by the way, at least for some people. It actually works both ways. You can discover the "greater me" that is behind or above the ego, i.e., the "psychic being," which is intrinsically connected to the divine, like a spark thrown off from a central fire; or you can first discover the Creator, who is connected to your central spark, so to speak. It's largely a matter of temperament, i.e., bhakti vs. jnani.)

I see that Pauwels says much the same thing: "It is to this that prayer leads: to the extinction of the illusory fires of existence and the appearance of the crystalline light of the core of being. Then only do we call others into being, with love. Only then do we enter into communication with God, who is the nameless and faceless 'I' of all things in Heaven and on Earth. Only then do we begin to understand what incarnation means."

That sounds familiar...

What in carnation?! Congratulations on the equation of your cosmic birth. Oh my stars, He expectorated a mirrorcle, now you're the spittin' image! You haven't perceived the hologram to your private particle? Come in, open His presence, and report for karmic duty. Why, it's a Tree of Life for those whose wood beleaf.

So, did exposure to Gurdjieff help or hinder Pauwel's journey to Catholicism? He concludes that it helped, specifically, "to intensify my prayer and to avoid the soft traps of religious sentimentalism." It also helped him to overcome the two existences within, that of the sleeper and the awakened. You might say it helped him become one, and therefore find the One.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Left, Right & Wrong: Complements Will Get You Everywhere (10.01.10)

Leftism is the static deprivation of the dynamic complementarites of genuine liberalism. --Petey

According to Webster's, metaphor is "a figure of speech in which a word or phrase literally denoting one kind of object or idea is used in the place of another to suggest a likeness or analogy between them." In short, it is figurative language, which is to say, language, for all language is ultimately a "figure of speech," speaking figuratively. How then do I differ from deconstructionists, who also believe that reality is made of language? Fair question.

Human beings communicate through symbols, and all symbols are ultimately metaphors. Language as such is nothing but an endlessly interlocking series of metaphors, but where I differ with deconstructionists is in affirming that human language is woven out of the universal Logos that necessarily subtends it. In other words, for the deconstructionist, there truly is no there there, no ultimate ground or referent for language. But I am quite certain there is a there there, which we call the Logos.

There is nothing you can say about anything that isn't laden with implicit or explicit metaphors, which is one of the reasons why it is so absurd for the materialist to object to spirituality, since the idea of solid matter is itself a sort of airy metaphor, just a fanciful concept based upon the illusions of our nervous system, illusions like "solidity" or unambiguous "place." Scientists often conflate the abstract and the concrete, and essentially extend the concretions of the nervous system into an abstract worldview. Which is fine, so long as you don't confuse them with metaphysical truth, or with the Ultimate Real.

For their part, so-called fundamentalist religionists often do the reverse, which is to say, concretize the abstract. But only God can really do that, since the cosmos itself is none other than a concretion in a small corner of the Divine Mind. As mentioned a couple of days ago, one of the purposes of scripture -- which employs countless metaphors and other seemingly concrete images -- is to follow it back upstream to its hidden source, the "place" from which revelation perpetually flows like a spring from the ground. Indeed, the place from which language itself flows.

It's not that scientists don't use metaphor in most every statement they make about reality, just that the metaphor has generally become dead, or saturated in Bion's terminology. Often, advances in science cannot be made until a new metaphor is employed. For example, the so-called Newtonian worldview regarded the universe as a giant clock. Seeing it as such is definitely useful, and applying it to our experience discloses a range of additional "facts" to ponder. But eventually, facts are inevitably disclosed that don't fit the old metaphor.

That happened with the development of quantum and relativity theories, way back in the 20th century. There is simply no way to understand the quantum world with the clock metaphor. Rather, it is much more like an ocean, a roiling cauldron of ceaselessly flowing energy that tosses up exterior forms the same way the sea waves upon the shore. Or better yet, perhaps it's like the infinitely complex global weather system. We see things like distinct clouds, but we cannot see (with our eyes) that the cloud is simply an outwardly visible product of an inconceivably complex global weather system. Only Al Gore thinks he can see the latter, but of course his head is up his assumptions.... As Michael Crichton has written, Gore's linear paradigm is so last millennium.

I don't know if I want to get sidetracked here.... then again, maybe I do.... Whatever.... I'm just free associating anyway, following language where it leads.... but this is one of the things Joyce was up to in Finnegans Wake, which is a veritable sea of metaphor constructed out of dozens of languages. It is as if the usual solidity of language has "melted" and we are left with only the quantum realm, so to speak, from which it emerges. Throughout the book, various intrinsic complementarities clothe themselves in time and space with the dream logic of night. Just like the thing we call "history." You might say that Joyce shows us the complementarity between the different forms of logic in history and herstory, if you know what I meme.

In fact, one of the central philosophical ideas to emerge from quantum theory is that of complementarity. That is, we can never affirm one thing about the cosmos without "para-doxically" (which literally means "beyond speech") affirming its complementary opposite. Therefore, is the world made of particles? Yes. Is it made of waves? Yes. But these are opposites. Of course. Well, not really. They are complementary, co-arising simultaneously.

Other important irreducible complementarities in the manifest world include mind/matter, subject/object, unity/diversity, form/substance, individual/group, time/eternity, space/time, male/female, and Lennon McCartney.

Incidentally, one might be tempted to think that Democrat/Republican (or liberalism/leftism) represents a true complementarity, but it doesn't. The true complementarity is within conservatism itself (as always, I am speaking of the classical liberalism of our founders, the closest we have to a "perfect" political philosophy). Among others, it embodies the dynamic complementarity between liberty and order, and permanence and change. Leftism is not complementary to liberalism, any more than disease is complementary to health. Leftism is stultifyingly monolithic and denies many of the most important human complementarities that drive change and progress; for example, the complementarities between male and female, child and adult, sacred and profane, equality and liberty.

Furthermore, leftism imposes false complementarities such as good/evil. Only in this way can the left maintain that "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter." Evil is not a complement of the Good, but its deprivation.

Nor are freedom and property complementary, the former being rooted in the latter; which in turn is rooted in the 2nd Amendment, which is to say, "don't steal my stuff or I might just shoot you, because if you steal property you are stealing liberty, and therefore human life and dignity itself."

Perfection/imperfection aren't complementary, either. Rather, imperfection is again a deprivation, a declension from the Absolute, as the celestial rays proceed from the vertical cosmic center to the periphery, which, as Schuon has written, "tends" toward a nothing that can never actually be realized. But the hardcore leftist feels a sort of frisson in riding the winds of the ray of creation all the way into the darkness of nihilism. The thrill of the fall, so to speak.

If you don't realize that imperfection is a necessary deprivation, you may be tempted to try to impose perfection from the herebelow, which is one the left's specialties. But as Russell Kirk wrote, conservatives well understand that human nature "suffers irremediably from certain grave faults":

"Man being imperfect, no perfect social order ever can be created. Because of human restlessness, mankind would grow rebellious under any utopian domination, and would break out once more in violent discontent -- or else expire of boredom. To seek for utopia is to end in disaster, the conservative says: we are not made for perfect things. All that we reasonably can expect is a tolerably ordered, just, and free society, in which some evils, maladjustments, and suffering will continue to lurk. By proper attention to prudent reform, we may preserve and improve this tolerable order. But if the old institutional and moral safeguards of a nation are neglected, then the anarchic impulse in humankind breaks loose: 'the ceremony of innocence is drowned.' The ideologues who promise the perfection of man and society have converted a great part of the twentieth-century world into a terrestrial hell."

A leftist-integralist blogger was impressed by the following quote from Ken Wilber, which is about as good an example of the need for buddhaflaw correcting as I could imagine:

"Spirit is not the good half of the opposites, but the ground of all the opposites, and our 'salvation,' as it were, is not to find the good half of the dualism but to find the Source of both halves of the dualism, for that is what we are in truth. We are both sides in the great Game of Life, because we -- you and I, in the deepest recesses of our very Self -- have created both of these opposites in order to have a grand game of cosmic checkers."

Please. This attitude, if applied to real life, would end in leftist horror. It is another false complementarity based upon partial understanding. For as Schuon writes,

"Assuredly it can be said that the Divinity is 'beyond good and evil,' but on condition of adding that this 'beyond' is in its turn a 'good' in the sense that it testifies to an Essence in which there could be no shadow of limitation or privation, and which consequently cannot but be the absolute Good, or absolute Plenitude."

The idea that conservatives "don't want change" is also preposterous. We do, and desperately. But we don't want to do it by renaming evil good. And we want to evolve toward the Good, not have it imposed by leftist elites with their own peculiar ideas about how we should live. The conservative, according to Kirk, feels

"affection for the proliferating intricacy of long-established social institutions and modes of life, as distinguished from the narrowing uniformity and deadening egalitarianism [read: denial of complementarity] of radical systems. For the preservation of a healthy diversity in any civilization, there must survive orders and classes, differences in material condition, and many sorts of inequality. The only true forms of equality are equality at the Last Judgment and equality before a just court of law; all other attempts at levelling must lead, at best, to social stagnation. Society requires honest and able leadership; and if natural and institutional differences are destroyed, presently some tyrant or host of squalid oligarchs will create new forms of inequality."

The so-called "progressive" fails to consider one of the truly enduring complementarities in governance, which is that whenever government does something for you, it does something to you. Which is why, according to Kirk,

"When a society is progressing in some respects, usually it is declining in other respects. The conservative knows that any healthy society is influenced by two forces..., its Permanence and its Progression. The Permanence of a society is formed by those enduring interests and convictions that gives us stability and continuity; without that Permanence, the fountains of the great deep are broken up, society slipping into anarchy. The Progression in a society is that spirit and that body of talents which urge us on to prudent reform and improvement; without that Progression, a people stagnate."

In other words, progress and permanence are complementary, not opposites: "the intelligent conservative endeavors to reconcile the claims of Permanence and the claims of Progression. He thinks that the liberal and the radical, blind to the just claims of Permanence, would endanger the heritage bequeathed to us, in an endeavor to hurry us into some dubious Terrestrial Paradise. The conservative, in short, favors reasoned and temperate progress; he is opposed to the cult of Progress, whose votaries believe that everything new necessarily is superior to everything old."

Clearly, "Change is essential to the body social, the conservative reasons, just as it is essential to the human body. A body that has ceased to renew itself has begun to die. But if that body is to be vigorous, the change must occur in a regular manner, harmonizing with the form and nature of that body; otherwise change produces a monstrous growth, a cancer, which devours its host. The conservative takes care that nothing in a society should ever be wholly old, and that nothing should ever be wholly new. This is the means of the conservation of a nation, quite as it is the means of conservation of a living organism" (Kirk).

Which is why I say that leftism is truly a death cult. Hey, don't believe me. Just judge it by its fruits. And nuts. And flakes. Speaking literally.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Another Inspiraling Circle 'Round the Radiant Center

Well, let's see. I've been blah-blah-blogging now for exactly two years today. Originally it was with the purpose of pimplicizing my book, since I couldn't think of bitter way to sell my soul. It must have worked, because I'm happy to report that the book has been a commercial failure instead of an outright catastrophe.

Still, it's pretty obvious that Petey will never become a household gnome, except O-->(k)sionally for us Brothers & Sisters Under the Pelt. But that's fine. The Secret Protects Itself, even if my book is such a secret that few will always judge it undercover. Nevertheless, if you want to get the blog a birthday present and yourself an indulgence, you might consider finally ordering the damn book to see if we can get it back into the top 100,000 on amazon. Who knows, you might even get the new corrected (with the invaluable assistance of Ricky Raccoon) edition. (An even better idea, and it's free -- just post a positive review on amazon... don't do it for me, of course, but to assist in our internet reacharound for the lost tribe of Raccoons.)

It's not easy being a windepundent theoconservative gliberal fascistic mystic, except maybe for me. I have a pretty good nous, but the only other one I can sniff of offhound is Roy Masters. I immediately alienate half my potential audience because of my bobnoxious politics, even though there's not really any pollutics littering the book. And ninety percent of the other majority of the potential audience will be put off by the mysticism and supraformal neo-traditionalist approach, leaving only the small remnant of Cosmic Raccoons -- who often don't even know they're Raccoons until they accidentally stumble upon the blog. They know they are something -- something different -- but they just don't know what.

Nor do I. Which is why I suppose I keep blogging, now that the failure of the book is assured. In short, the blog too has now taken on a death of its own, as I use it to discover what I don't think about this and especially that. Interestingly, I don't generally use it to coonvey what I know -- or think I know -- since that would rapidly become boring, just the sleepy trancemission of information from one mind to another. More empty shunyada yada yada. I don't know all that much anywuwei. Rather, I generally use the blog to extend into the unKnown -- to go deep see fleshing in the weird word of O and cast a neural net into the dark waters. You know, provoid a little finite form to the formless infinite void.

As I jewst menschened, if I were a garden-variety new-age mean-green spiraling integralist, soiling books would be as easy as selling magic to a moonbat. I mean, if Deepak Chopra can do it, who couldn't? How many ways can you rewrite the The Sellobscene Profitsy, anyway? That whowel movement prides itself on being the cutting edge of cosmic evolution, but I find it all so aphallingly intellectually flaccid and soph-impotent. What it really does is make advaitanced spirituality loser-fiendly to those on the bleating edge of cosmic narcissism. It gives circumnavelgazing a fad name.

I don't know much, but that I do know. I know it, for example, because none of the psychologists they habitually name-check are on my list of deep thinkers. And if they do cite a more profound thinker, they usually twist the teaching into a form suitable to their narrow grandiosity. None of them are familiar with Bion, Matte Blanco, or modern psychoanalysis in general. The only exception I know of is A. A. Almaas, who has an excellent grasp of the scope of modern psychoanalysis, but whose application of it is rather shallow and new-agey.

While I do believe it is necessary to reframe perennial religious truths in a way that modern people can grasp, I part ways with the integralists in imagining that we are somehow higher or more evolved than our illustrious predecessors. Name any contemporary integralist, and they simply cannot match the depth of spirituality found in representatives of authentic traditions, whether it is a Shankara, an Eckhart or a Maimonides. Each of these men looked directly at truth from a different angle, but I find that the new-agers merely look at the illustrious lookers from a single angle, so to speak. But there is already enough profundity in any given tradition to last a lifetime, in such a way that each seeker will find his reward in accordance with the intensity and sincerity of his aspiration, in concert with the grace which flows through that channel.

I was just reading yesterday about Shankara, the most important philosopher-mystic-theologian-sage in the history of India. What Radhakrishnan wrote of him could apply equally to what is needed today:

"A creative thinker of the first rank, Shankara entered into the philosophic inheritance of his age, and reinterpreted it with special reference to its needs.... The different theistic sects were practicing rites in support of which they could cite some text or other. It was a critical period in the history of the Hindu nation, when there was a general sense of weariness with the wrangling sects. The age needed a religious genius who was unwilling to break with the past and yet open to the good influences of the new creeds, one who could stretch the old moulds without breaking them and synthesize the warring sects on a broad basis of truth, which would have room for all men of all grades of intelligence and culture. Shankara 'set to music' the tune which had been haunting millions of ears, and announced [his philosophy] as offering a common basis for religious unity" (Radhakrishnan, emphasis mine).

If the integralists and "evolutionary" thinkers are too far left, then -- at least for me -- Schuon and the traditionalist school are a bit too far right. Although the traditionalists are far more profound than the integralists, I just don't see how the movement can ever appeal to people on a widespread basis. Therefore, the neo-traditionalist mission of the Transdimensional Order of the Friendly Sons & Daughters of the Cosmic Raccoon. I guess I tried to explain this gnocturnal O-mission in my first post:

Q: We don't need another blog. Why are you inflicting your beastly opinions on us?

A: To those of you who are new to this site, join the club, as I am still in the process of trying to understand the author's intention. For surely, there are already far too many books and blogs, with no way any human being could ever assimilate the information contained therein. Actually, the problem we face is how to relate all of this fragmented and sometimes contradictory knowledge into a coherent picture of our world -- to move from mere knowledge, to understanding, to wisdom.

I am a clinical psychologist with a background in psychoanalysis, and, like Shrinkwrapped, Dr. Sanity, and other Uncle Fromms, will attempt to "put the world on the couch," so to speak. If you can detach yourself somewhat and try to "hover" above it, the news of the day may be regarded as the free associations of a very troubled patient called Homo sapiens. This collective patient, now about 40,000 years old (before that we were genetically Homo sapiens but not particularly human), has many sub-personalities of varying levels of emotional maturity, and one of his problems is that these different aspects of his personality are constantly at war with one another, which tends to drag down the more mature parts.

You could almost go so far as to say that this collective patient suffers from the kind of severe splitting and "acting out" characteristic of Multiple Personality Disorder. One of my axioms is that geographical space reflects developmental time, so that different nations and countries embody different levels of psychological maturity. In this regard, the Islamic world bottoms out the scale at the moment, but there are obviously low levels of development living parasitically within the context of higher levels. We call this the psycho-spiritual "left."

More broadly, what I hope to emphasize is an appreciation of the "vertical" dimension of human history, culture and politics. For example, historians typically view history in a horizontal manner, leading from past, to present, to future. Likewise, we divide our political mindscape in a horizontal fashion, from left to right. However, as in a great novel or film, the "horizontal" plot is merely a device to express the artist's greater intention (the theme), which can only be found in a vertical realm, by standing "above" the plot.

Every patient who comes into therapy is the star of an emotion picture that isn't going quite right. They will spend the first few sessions telling you the plot, but soon the analyst will be aware of a vertical dimension where the true but unKnown "author" of the plot lies. And lies. And lies. This is called the unconscious. However, this is just one realm of the vertical. Spirituality is also located on the vertical plane, both very low (as in jihad or human sacrifice) and high (such as genuine mysticism).

Q: Why "One Cosmos?"

A: The title of the blog is taken from my book, One Cosmos Under God: The Unification of Matter, Life, Mind and Spirit. You might say that the book tries to follow the vertical thread that runs through the entire cosmos, ultimately uniting us with our source. That thread runs through physics, biology, psychology, religion, history, anthropology, art, and much more, and yet, it is somehow all One.

Perhaps the central theme of both book and blog is that the frontiers of knowledge and understanding lay not in the further extension of various fields and subspecialties, but in the borderland between them. Around 40,000 years ago, our patient, Homo sapiens, began splintering into its diverse parts, but underneath all of the bewildering diversity is a vertical unity that this blog will attempt to illuminate in various ways. For the key to growth is understanding ourselves, both individually and collectively. Without it, we remain a child forever.

Q: Who are you, anyway?

A: Clinical psychologist Robert Godwin is an extreme seeker and off-road spiritual aspirant who has spent no less than one lifetime in search of the damn key to the world enigma. A high school graduate at just seventeen and a-half, Dr. Godwin attended business school until the vagaries of academic probation and expulsion led him to pursue other missed opportunities. Capitalizing on a natural ability to simultaneously enjoy movies and lower his expectations, Godwin eventually earned a film degree in just four terms (Ford/Carter and parts of Nixon/Reagan). Initially denied admission to graduate school because of "inadequate" academic preparation (their words), Holy Happenstance intervened in the nick of time, and Dr. Godwin went on to obtain two advanced degrees in psychology without allowing it to interfere with his education or with ongoing spiritual research conducted in his suburban liberatoreum. Lengthy periods there of higher bewilderment and intense non-doing resulted in important advances in egobliteration and karmannihilation. At the same time, Dr. Godwin spent many years searching and researching for his book, only to conclude that it did not exist, and that if he wanted to read it, he would have to write it. Having now read it a number of times, he is happy to share that burden with a wider audience of fertile eggheads interested in peering behind the annoying veil that separates them from ultimate reality.

Q: Why the spiritual mumbo-jumbo?

I don't think it's healthy to orient your life around politics 24/7, as does the secular left, for which politics is their substitute religion. Politics must aim at something that isn't politics, otherwise, what's the point? Politics just becomes a cognitive system to articulate your existential unhappiness. Again, this is what leftists do -- everything for them is politicized.

One of the general purposes of this blog is to try to look at politics in a new way -- to place the day-to-day struggle of politics in a much wider historical, evolutionary, and even cosmic context. History is trying to get somewhere, and it is our job to help it get there. However, that "somewhere" does not lay within the horizontal field of politics, but beyond it. Thus, politics must not only be grounded in something that isn't politics, but aim at something that isn't politics either.

This is not an abstract, impractical or esoteric notion. The ultimate purpose of politics should be to preserve the radical spiritual revolution of the American founders, so that humans may evolve inwardly and upwardly -- not toward a manifest destiny but an unmanifest deustiny.

For example, when we say that politics must be grounded in something that isn't politics, we are simply reflecting the philosophy at the heart of the American revolution, that the sacred rights of mankind, as expressed by Alexander Hamilton, are written in human nature "by the hand of Divinity itself, and can never be erased by mortal power." In short, human beings possess a "spiritual blueprint" that is antecedent to politics, and which it is the task of politics to protect, preserve and nurture.

But not for its own sake. The founders, who were steeped in Judeo-Christian metaphysics, did not believe in mere license, which comes down to meaningless freedom on the horizontal plane. Rather, they believed that horizontal history had a beginning and was guided by a purpose, and that only through the unfolding of human liberty could that "vertical" purpose be achieved. Our founders were progressive to the core, but unlike our contemporary reactionary and anti-evolutionary leftists, they measured progress in relation to permanent standards that lay outside time -- metaphorically speaking, an eschatological "Kingdom of God," or "city on a hill," drawing us toward it. Without this nonlocal telos, the cosmos can really have no frontiers, only edges. Perhaps this is why the left confuses truth with "edginess."

Liberty -- understood in its spiritual sense -- was the key idea of the founders. This cannot be overemphasized. According to Michael Novak (from whose book some of the above quotes were also taken), liberty was understood as the "axis of the universe," and history as "the drama of human liberty." Thomas Jefferson wrote that "the God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time." It was for this reason that Jefferson chose for the design of the seal of the United States Moses leading the children of Israel out of the death-cult of Egypt, out of the horizontal wasteland of spiritual bondage, into the open circle of a higher life. America was quite consciously conceived as an opportunity to "re-launch" mankind after such an initial 100,000 years or so of disappointment, underachievement, and spiritual stagnation.

Although it may sound slightly heretical, without human liberty, the Creator is helpless to act in the horizontal. This does not diminish the Creator but exalts him, for a moment's reflection reveals that an intimation of our spiritual freedom absolutely belies any mere material explanation found within the horizontal confines of history. For ours is an inwardly mobile cosmos, and as the philosopher of science Stanley Jaki writes, our free will brings us "face to face with that realm of metaphysical reality which hangs in midair unless suspended [vertically] from that Ultimate Reality, best called God, the Creator."

Tip O’Neill is evidently responsible for the cliché that “All politics is local.” The greater truth is that all politics is nonlocal, meaning that outward political organization rests on a more fundamental, “inner” ground that interacts with a hierarchy of perennial and timeless values. Arguments about the surface structure of mundane political organization really have to do with whose nonlocal values will prevail, and the local system that will be established in order to achieve those nonlocal values.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Of Time & Maternity: The Birth of an GnOcean

I dreamt that I was pregnant and full with Nothingness.... and that out of this Nothingness God was born. --Meister Eckhart

Where are we, really? As I tried to coonvey in the book, for the great majority of time that the cosmos has been in existence, there was no where there or here here. There couldn't have been, because there was no one here. Or there. Or when. Or why.

This I know: that the only way to live is like the rose, which lives without a why. --Eckhart

I don't just mean in an "if a tree falls in the forest and no one heard it" sort of way. Rather, there was literally no point of view, no perspective, no separate individual there to experience any-thing. Rather, there was only all places at once. Obviously the cosmos didn't "look" like anything, because there were no eyes. It was utterly silent, being that there were no ears. It was not large or small, cold or hot, hard or soft, bright or dim, Democrat or.... Well, obviously it couldn't have been Democrat, because there was no one there to whine or complain. Not a single victim.

When I dwelt in the ground, in the bottom, in the stream, and in the source of the Godhead, no one asked me where I was going or what I was doing. Back in the womb from which I came, I had no God and merely was myself. --Eckhart

In any nonevent, since all of these are properties of senses and perspectives that didn't exist, we can only say that there was truly nothing. As Whitehead wrote, "Apart from the experiences of subjects, there is nothing, bare nothingness." Or, as Schopie wrote, "If I take away the thinking subject, the whole material world must vanish, as this world is nothing but the phenomenal appearance in the sensibility of our own subject, and is a species of the subject's representations."

Now the moment I flowed out from the Creator, all creatures stood up and shouted: "Behold, here is God!" They were correct. For if you ask me, Who is God? What is God? I reply: Isness. Isness is God. --Eckhart

This business of isness represents a more profound notion of creatio ex nihilo, or creation out of nothing, for it means that the creation of the cosmos is truly an eternally recurring psychoneumatic act. And yet, a moment's coontemplation reveals that this mental act is also entangled with the cosmos from which it emerged. Thus, in some way that we generally don't appreciate, the outside and the inside of the cosmos are reflections of one another. The best image I can come up with is that of a Klein Bottle, which has only one surface, but an interior and an exterior:

"In mathematics, the Klein bottle is a certain non-orientable surface, i.e., a surface (a two-dimensional topological space) with no distinction between the 'inside' and 'outside' surfaces. Other related non-orientable objects are the Möbius strip and the real projective plane. Where a Möbius strip is a two dimensional object with only one surface and one edge, a Klein bottle is a two dimensional object with a single surface and no edges. For comparison, a sphere is a two dimensional object with no edges and two surfaces.... Like the Möbius strip, the Klein bottle is a two-dimensional differentiable manifold which is not orientable. Unlike the Möbius strip, the Klein bottle is a closed manifold, meaning it is a compact manifold without boundary. While the Möbius strip can be embedded in three-dimensional Euclidean space R³, the Klein bottle cannot. It can be embedded in R4, however" (Wikipedia).

Thus, perhaps time is nothing more than our wending our way through to the bigending of a snaking Klein Bottle.

In my flowing-out I entered creation. In my Breakthrough I re-enter God.... Just as God breaks through me, so do I break through God in return. --Eckhart

Now, as we have been saying, the unconscious mind preserves the original placelessness of the cosmos. In that regard, it might be thought of as providing a more accurate reflection of the nature of the cosmos.

In ether worlds, just as living beings emerged from a unitary, all-at-once cosmos, so too did (ontologically) and does (developmentally) the individual ego emerge from the timeless mamamatrix of the unconscious oneconscious. Each of us has repeated the process of creation out of nothing by pulling an ego up & out of the formless infinite void. In the words of Sri Aurobindo, "A miracle of the Absolute was born / Infinity put on a finite soul." For this reason, Mouravieff asked "How do you describe the creation of the world?... The world is created anew for each newborn person."

From all eternity Got lies on a maternity bed, giving birth. The essence of God is birthing. --Eckhart

It's all so unnarcissary, isn't it? "The act of creation... is the spontaneous overflow of God's nature.... Out of the fulness of his joy, God scatters abroad life and power" (Radhakrishnan). "God's motive in creation is his love.... Creation is not an act so much of his free will as of his free love" (Kallistos Ware). Yes, "the world is a gift of God." Ah, but "we must know how to perceive the giver through the gift" (O. Clement). How to open His presence?

If the only prayer you say in your entire life is "Thank You," that would suffice. --Eckhart

Now, if the cosmos is hurtling forward to its Origin, then "the final goal of being is the darkness and the unknowability of the hidden divinity, which is that light which shines 'but the darkness cannot comprehend it'" (Eckhart). So, repetey after me,

Unborn body of the bodiless one
Dark rays shining from a midnight sun
Your phase before you were bearthed and begaialed
Empty tomb of a deathlaz child

The most beautiful thing which a person can say about God would be for that person to remain silent from the wisdom of an inner wealth. --Eckhart

Shut my mouth! Enough bull, its ineffable. Stop prehending. Telos when it's over. Now. It is accompliced. End of the piper trail. You're on your own. Above my head, beyond my ken. Thy wilber done. Lost my aperture. Just apophatic nonentity.

A big joke, really. Yes, existence is a laughing martyr:

Do you want to know what goes on in the core of the Trinity? I will tell you. In the core of the Trinity, the Father laughs and gives birth to the Son. The Son laughs back at the Father and gives birth to the Spirit. The whole Trinity laughs and gives birth to us. --Eckhart

Badda-bing, badda-

BANGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!

*All the Eckhart quotes are taken from a nice little book by a naughty little man, Meditations With Meister Eckhart

*****

Unrelated -- Proof that Van Morrison is a Raccoon:

And why Van Should be Taught in Our Schools

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Speaking Toddlerese to the Left

If human beings communicated only from conscious mind to conscious mind, they would be computers, not human beings. True, some communication is purely informational, such as a weather report. But not always. For example, when Al Gore talks about the weather, it is largely unconscious emotion that is being conveyed and stirred, not objective information that is being transmitted. In short, it is group hysteria for the benefit of providing a means for the weak-minded to externalize and articulate their existential anxiety.

Conversely, when a Bill Clinton sounds as if he is communicating unconscious emotion, he is simply manipulating you. That is, just like an actor, he has consciously mastered various techniques to stir unconscious emotion in his listeners. In his case it is pure sham, but one could well imagine cases in which this skill could be put to good use, for example, in the rhetoric Churchill used to rouse his nation during World War II. The problem with Clinton is that his techniques are so laughably transparent to anyone who is not seduced by his sociopathic charms -- the pointed finger, the bitten lip, the squinting eyes, the hands over the heart, etc.

One could even say that one of George Bush's greatest faults has been his inability to rhetorically manipulate citizens in a positive manner, which most any great leader must do in order to be great. Although the content of Bush's speeches is often first rate, the speeches apparently do not communicate from unconscious to unconscious, which truly powerful rhetoric must be able to do in order to speak to the "group mind." If a leader cannot speak to the unconscious, he will generally be rejected.

The psychohistorian Lloyd deMause writes of how a political leader is actually a "fantasy leader" who must articulate and contain the fears and anxieties of the group. To the extent that he fails to do this, he will be attacked and vilified, just as a psychotherapist is when there is a disconnect, or empathic failure, between therapist and patient. While people can be in touch with reality, groups tend not to be. This is why, for example, the economy can be performing quite well, but the group can be living the fantasy that things have never been worse. Since this is an irrational fear, it generally cannot be combated on rational grounds, as anyone who has tried to have a rational conversation with a leftist quickly realizes. The leftist lives in a fantasy world that is quite real to them, and unless you find a way to speak to their fantasies, you'll get nowhere.

This reminds me of a technique we've employed with our son that works like magic, that is, speaking to him in a language he understands, "toddler-ese." This idea was developed by pediatrician Harvey Karp in his book The Happiest Toddler on the Block. It probably sounds like a gimmick, but it's worked for us. As the reviewer says,

"Viewing toddlers as primitive thinkers akin to prehistoric man, Karp divides his patients into developmental groups: the 'Charming Chimp-Child' (12 to 18 months), the 'Knee-High Neanderthal' (18 to 24 months), the 'Clever Cave-Kid' (24 to 36 months) and the 'Versatile Villager' (36 to 48 months). Parents may find the toddler years so frustrating, Karp suggests, because they don't speak their child's language. To deal effectively with the undeveloped brains of toddlers, one must understand 'toddler-ese,' he says, a method of talking to youngsters that employs short phrases, repetition, a dramatic tone of voice and the use of body language."

Another reviewer writes that "Although the analogy to prehistoric man is overdone a bit, there are so many sensible, clear strategies to try with 1-4 year olds that really are working for us. Talking toddler-ese has really made a difference in the cooperation we are now getting from our 2 and 3 year olds. Mirroring their feelings and 'wants' with short, repeated phrases that reflect the child's words, tone and body lauguage has quickly and almost magically stopped much of my toddlers' defiant, annoying behaviors. Karp emphasizes that what you say to someone who is really upset is less important than HOW YOU SAY IT. And his theory has proven itself to be correct in our home."

When a child is angry or frustrated, you will notice that a parent often talks to the child like he's a subordinate adult. Now that I speak toddlerese, I notice this all the time. For example, a child might be playing in the sandbox at the park. The parent says it's time to go, and the child says "no." The parent then says words to the effect of, "let's go. You can come back tomorrow." But this only escalates the child.

Instead, you need to acknowledge what the child is feeling inside. For example, let's say Future Leader is immersed in some enjoyable activity, but it's time for a diaper change. He starts screaming and protesting. What doesn't work is saying, "c'mon, it'll just take a few minutes, then you can get back to what you were doing. Stop complaining, and cowboy up." What does work is saying (with the appropriate emotion) something to the effect of "Tristan's really mad! He was having fun! He doesn't want a new diaper!"

As I said, it works like magic, but once you think about it, it's easy to understand why. First, it puts their otherwise inarticulate emotions into words, thereby containing them. Secondly, it is empathic, demonstrating to them that you know how they feel. Conversely, to say in effect, "shut up, grow a pair, and quit complaining" is to completely ignore and devalue their experience. After all, you wouldn't treat an adult in this authoritarian way. Let's say the husband is engrossed in a ball game on TV, but the wife wants to go shopping. I know of a certain wife who might have said something like, "let's go, it's just a stupid game. There'll be another one tomorrow."

Suffice it to say that they are now divorced.

Speaking of dictators, the other day I was reading a book by Carl Jung, in which he discusses the appeal of Hitler to the German people, which was purely on this level of fantasy leader. He was able, like an oracle, to articulate the group fantasy of the German people, and to speak to them unconscious-to-unconscious.

As Jung said in a 1936 interview, Hitler was a sort of "medium" who had an uncanny ability to articulate what the nation was feeling at any given time: "German policy is not made; it is revealed through Hitler. He is the mouthpiece of the gods as of old. He says the word which expresses everybody's resentment." It is "rule by revelation": "He is the first man to tell every German what he has been thinking and feeling all along in his unconscious about German fate, especially since the defeat in the Great War." "All these symbols together of a Third Reich led by its prophet under the banners of wind and storm and whirling vortices point to a mass movement which is to sweep the German people in a hurricane of unreasoning emotion and go on to a destiny which perhaps none but the seer... can foretell -- and perhaps not even he."

Fuhrermore, in a 1938 interview, Jung contrasted Hitler with Mussolini, the latter of whom was still "human." But "with Hitler, you are scared. You know you would never be able to talk to that man, because there is nobody there. He is not a man, but a collective. He is not an individual, but a whole nation." Nothing Hitler said makes any sense to the non-German unconscious, with the interesting exception of the Islamic world, where Mein Kampf is always a huge seller.

With that in mind, I wonder if Jung's advice to America would be the same as it was in this 1938 interview:

"How to save your democratic U.S.A.? It must, of course, be saved, else we all go under. You must keep away from the craze, avoid the infection.... America must keep big armed forces to help keep the world at peace, or to decide the war if it comes. You are the last resort of Western democracy."

And we must learn toddlerese in order to communicate with the intellectually knee-high neanderthals of the left:

"Dennis is really mad! He wants a Department of Peace! Hillary very upset! Army men are big bullies! Obama scared! Big bombs go boom in night!"

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Mythunderstanding Your Cosmic Mysteress

Male and female He created them.

One thing that characterizes postmodern gender theorists is their incredible shallowness. Not only do they deny the very real sexual differences between men and women, but they entirely overlook the deeper metaphysical implications of male and female -- as if these are simply cultural constructs instead of bi-cosmic categories woven into the very fabric of being.

Men and women - masculinity and femininity - exist, because they represent the distillation of cosmic essences. The dynamic interplay of Male and Female is everywhere and in every thing, as recognized by the Taoist "yin-yang" symbol. As Schuon writes, the basic message of this symbol is that

"transcendence necessarily comprises immanence, and immanence just as necessarily comprises transcendence. For the Transcendent, by virtue of its infinity, projects existence and thereby necessitates immanence; and the Immanent, by virtue of its absoluteness, necessarily remains transcendent in relation to existence."

You might say that transcendence is masculine, while immanence is feminine. But as implied in the yin-yang symbol, transcendence is necessarily immanent, while immanence implies its own kind of feminine transcendence.

Chapter 5 of Finnegans Wake begins with an ode to the eternal feminine:

"In the name of Annah the Allmaziful, the Everliving, the Bringer of Plurabilities, haloed be her eve, her singtime sung, her rill be run, unhemmed as it is uneven! Her untitled mamafesta memorialising the Mosthighest has gone by many names at disjointed times..."

Joseph Campbell writes that this prayer to "the Mother of the World" combines the traits of the Vedantic concept of Maya ("bringer of plurabilities"), the Christian figure of the Virgin (bearer of the Word that "memorialises the Mosthighest"), and the mother-heroine of Finnegans Wake, Anna Livia Plurabelle (who symbolizes all women). She is the eternal springtime of life, the melody of existence. There is even a takeoff on Islam ("Annah the Allmaziful" vs. "Allah the all-merciful"), hinting at the ability of maya to amaze and seduce -- or for us to get lost in the maze of maya.

The eternal feminine has "gone by many names," because she represents the many and the complex, whereas the One is the masculine principle, the simple. In many ways, existence is simply the lila, or play of 1 and 0, male and female. (Interestingly, Bion applied this principle to the mind, using the female symbol for the "container," the male symbol for the "contained"; for example, a word is a container of explosive meaning that will either shatter its container [in order to grow] or be "sMothered" by it. The poetic best combines the male and female properties of language.)

God, the Absolute, is one, while maya -- which is etymologically related to mother and matter -- is many. The light of God can only be conceived in the womb of darkness -- in a container that contains it. As Schuon writes, "The Blessed Virgin is both pure universal Substance (Prakriti), the matrix of the manifested divine Spirit and of all creatures in respect of their theomorphism, and the primordial substance of man, his original purity, his heart inasmuch as it is the support of the Word which delivers." Thus, the soul of man is always female in relation to God.

As Schuon writes, Mary is Virgin, Mother, and Spouse; or Beauty, Goodness, Love: "Mary is Virgin in relation to Joseph, Man; Mother in relation to Jesus, God-Man; Spouse in relation to the Holy Spirit, God. Joseph personifies humanity; Mary incarnates either the Spirit considered in its feminine aspect or the feminine complement of the Spirit." She is "the prototype of the perfect soul; she incarnates the universal soul in her purity, her receptivity towards God, her fecundity and her beauty, attributes which are at origin of all the angelic and human virtues."

The Absolute is masculine, the Infinite feminine: "The distinction between the Absolute and the Infinite expresses the two fundamental aspects of the Real, that of essentiality and that of potentiality; this is the highest principial prefiguration of the masculine and feminine poles. Universal Radiation, thus Maya both divine and cosmic, springs from the second aspect, the Infinite, which coincides with All-Possibility" (Schuon).

Knowledge is masculine while beauty is feminine. But only a fool severs the deep relationship between beauty and knowledge, for "beauty is the splendor of the true." Beauty "is like the sun: it acts without detours, without dialectical intermediaries, its ways are free, direct, incalculable; like love, to which it is closely connected, it can heal, unloose, appease, unite or deliver through its simple radiance." It is "a crystallization of some aspect of universal joy; it is something limitless expressed by means of a limit" (Schuon).

Doctrine is masculine while faith is feminine. But only an unreflective person fails to see that faith gives life to doctrine. Faith is the receptivity to knowledge that surpasses us, an anticipatory perception of that which is growing within the womb of the soul.

Rhythm is masculine while melody is feminine. Likewise, time is masculine, space feminine. Time deploys itself in space, "fertilizing" it and allowing it to "quicken" into forms and other middling relativities. Again, male is absolute, female infinite. When the absolute enters time, it creates infinite being: "be fruitful and multiply."

Male is vertical, female is horizontal. In Eden, Adam is pulled from his verticality by Eve, who is more receptive to the promises of the snake, symbol of horizontality. But woman is the very symbol of attractiveness, that which lures being from non-being, existence from being, time from eternity:

"In the domain of the spiritual life, the same term shakti signifies the celestial energy that allows man to enter into contact with the Divinity, by means of the appropriate rites and on the basis of a traditional system. Essentially, this divine Shakti aids and attracts: She aids as 'Mother,' and attracts as 'Virgin'.... In the Absolute, the Shakti is the aspect of Infinitude that coincides with All-Possibility and gives rise to Maya."

Male is objective, female subjective. But there is no object without a subject who paradoxically gives birth to it. The Atman is pure consciousness, pure subject, pure light. And yet, it is perpetually “objectified” by Maya, "the power of illusion consequent upon the infinity of the Self.... Maya exists only through its contents, which prolong Atma; this is to say that Atma is conceivable without Maya, whereas Maya is intelligible only through the notion of Atma." Maya-Mother is the magical veil that reveils the Absolute.

The Sun is masculine, the Moon feminine. The sun is how we see by day, the moon by night. So this lunatic post probably doesn't make much sense by the light of day. Ask your mother to help you read and reflect upon it in the dark.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

All in the Family

To think, to really think, that Hillary has the only set of C-in-C brass balls among the Democrats may, in fact, turn out to be true. Yet one must always remember that for a Democrat, at this stage of their shady game, to claim to have balls of any metallic substance is an easy gambit. Teflon testicles are today's standard issue for the Crats. I'll admit that measured against someone like John Edwards the impression that Hillary possesses a penis may well have some truth to it... --American Digest

Yesterday I mentioned the idea that in the deep unconscious, where symmetrical logic dominates, both a proposition and its converse can be equally true. This is in contrast to the asymmetrical logic of the conscious mind, in which the converse of a true proposition is a false one. I cited the example of the biblical "proposition" that Jesus died to atone for man's sins against God. However, in the symmetrical unconscious, it might be equally true that Jesus died for God's transgressions against man, thus, without his consciously realizing it, help human beings process their unconscious anger or disappointment toward God.

One could argue that this isn't true, but that's not the point. This is simply how the unconscious mind perceives things, and we wouldn't be human if it didn't. Rather, we'd be more like machines or liberals, just slaves to linear logic, emotion, or the senses. Creativity is not usually a result of logic, but of the unconscious mind's spontaneous ability to form all kinds of unpredictable connections, just as in a dream. It is a merger of Male and Female in their most abstract essences. Especially in Jungian psychology, the unconscious has always been conceptualized as feminine, the conscious as masculine. Neither alone has unfettered access to truth, but psychological health and happiness depend upon a harmonious dialectic between them -- a marriage of opposites, as it were.

Likewise, we all know that in a highly charged emotional situation, it is possible to argue falsely by recourse to common-sense logic. You see this all the time in male-female relations, in which, say, a woman will make an emotionally charged comment, to which the man responds with mere logic, and they're off to the races. The astute man will discern the deeper content of the emotional communication -- the emotional truth that the woman is trying to convey, usually about their relationship -- and not respond to it in a literal manner. It's like two very different forms of communication, and each must learn the other's language.

Anyone who's been happily married for a long time knows that this leads to emotional growth. It's difficult to say this without sounding condescending, but this is the reason why women, when they marry, tend to become both happier and more conservative -- because of the male influence. It's just a fact. Or at least a tendency.

But this is not to suggest that men don't equally benefit from the relationship, since they become more deeply "emotionally intelligent," and researchers are only now understanding the importance this neglected concept. I am in awe of Mrs. G's maternal emotional intelligence, and how attuned she is to Future Leader. (And of course, it should be borne in mind that we are dealing in great generalizations to which it is easy to find exceptions. For example, truly, Margaret Thatcher was a much greater man than any contemporary male liberal I can think of.)

I think we can see this same dynamic in the dysfunctional relationship between the left -- which is so obviously like a child or hysterical (the operative word is hysterical) female -- and the right, which too often deals with the left as if mere logic will satisfy them. It doesn't work and it won't work, as anyone who's tried to have a rational conversation with a leftist knows. In their shrill paranoia, narcissism, and hysteria, it's as if the left is crying out in pain, so that their literal words are completely unimportant. If it were a micro-relationship, we'd know how to deal with them.

But in the macro realm, how does one respond to a whole psychoclass of histrionic girly men? (And please keep in mind that we are specifically talking about a form of dysfunctional feminized consciousness, not the normal or healthy variety. A radical feminist is not a normal woman, any more than Dennis Kucinich is a normal man.) In fact, to be fair, the left is mainly composed of hysterical women (of both sexes) and of adolescent boys and girls. In both cases, there is a developmental arrest, the failure to become a proper man or woman. Indeed, this is one of the premises of leftism, which rejects any concept of a spiritual telos to human psychological growth. Rather, all is relative, so that no way of living or being is superior to any other.

Just as emotion can be used to distort logical truth, logic can be used to distort emotional truth. Here is a fine example of the latter from dailykos, which uses bizarre pseudo-logic and dubious "facts" -- facts that are actually created out of a deep unconscious need -- to propagate perverse lies:

"The social and economic achievements of the revolutionary regime in Iran in the past 25 years look quite progressive in reducing poverty and social inequalities.... Compared to rising inequality in the United States and Israel, ranked numbers one and two for social inequality among developed nations, the Iranians look pretty damn good.

"That, of course, is the problem. If Iran, rather like Venezuela, becomes a regional leader and examplar of social democracy, it becomes a threat to the corporatist and militarist elites that dominate the political classes of Washington and Tel Aviv and exploit the mineral and oil wealth of underdeveloped nations.

"Women and children rarely suffer the isolation, poverty and violence in Iran that so many suffer from family breakdown in America. Women in Iran are now universally educated, taking 65 percent of university places, marrying later, having fewer children, and driving social change. Even Iran has a vibrant gay subculture. The United States imprisons a higher proportion of its population than Iran (or any other nation) does, and that proportion continues to rise despite falling crime rates. Every society is different, and our values are not their values in some ways, but which government best serves the interests of its people is an open question in my mind given that the vast majority of Iranians have benefitted from the social and economic progress of the past 25 years."

Yes, it's crazy. In short, whatever "truth" there is in any of this is being mobilized in the service of a series of monstrous lies. But how could you ever begin to help such a person realize the extent to which their consciousness -- their entire being -- has been infiltrated by the Lie? That they aren't just lying -- to which it would be easy to respond -- but they are a Lie?

This is why I think it was naive of Dean Bollinger to think that his sharp words would have any effect on Ahmadinejad, who also embodies the Lie. One way or another, someone like Ahmadinejad needs to be liquidated, not debated. It's like the police inviting a criminal to come to the police station to lecture them about how bad the police are, and then letting the criminal go his merry way. If the police said, "yes, but we gave the criminal a good talking-to before their lecture," this wouldn't exactly help matters.

(And now an older, somewhat related post from almost two years ago, since I'm out of time.)

One of the central concerns of Jewish theological metaphysics is the idea of separation. When God creates the world, he separates order from primordial chaos, light from darkness, water from land. Without the first step of separation, no further development is possible. This is why Judaism stresses the importance of maintaining and not blending the differences between male and female, adult and child, human and animal, civilized and barbaric, religion and magic, holy and profane.

It is interesting that the American political system -- at least in the 20th century -- spontaneously bifurcated into two-parties more or less mirroring the antecedent maternal and paternal spheres. As it evolved, the Republican party came to represent masculine virtues such as competition, maintaining strict rules (“law and order”), standards over compassion, delayed gratification, and respect for the ways of the father -- that is, conserving what had been handed down by previous generations of fathers, and not just assuming in our adolescent hubris that we know better than they.

The Democratic party, on the other hand, came to represent the realm of maternal nurturance -- compassion over standards (i.e., racial quotas), idealization of the impulses (just as a mother is delighted in the instinctual play of her child), mercy over judgment (reduced prison sentences, criminal rights, etc.), cradle-to-grave welfare, a belief that we can seduce our enemies and do not have to defeat them with violence (Carter, Clinton, Kerry), and the notion that meaning, truth and values are all arbitrary and subject to change (just as is the emotional world in general).

It has become a banality to point out that something is broken in our political system, in that the two parties no longer work together, and seem to be completely at odds. Pundits tell us that the tension and paranoia between the parties has never been this intense. Even if this is an exaggeration, it nevertheless reflects the psychological reality of the situation. That is, there is no question that people feel this tension and bitterness in ways that they didn’t in earlier times in their lives. (At least liberals feel it; the “silent majority” of conservatives probably felt it more in the 1960s and 1970s.)

What is really going on here? In my opinion, we are experiencing a collapse of the covenant between mother and father as represented in the previous maternal/paternal two-party system. It is as if we are children living in a home where mother and father no longer get along, and are bickering constantly. In fact, that is probably putting it too mildly, because the current situation has gone beyond mere arguing, to the point that the masculine and feminine spheres are no longer communicating at all and are going through a very messy and acrimonious divorce. Both sides are “lawyered up” and ready to go for the throat.

I believe we may trace this divorce to the 1960s, when mother government started to become so all powerful that there was almost no role for father. Of course, this began to change in the 1980s, when father began reasserting himself because of the cultural, political and economic chaos that ensued, but by then, something else had happened. That is, the age old distinctions between mother and father and adult and child had begun to attenuate. For example, the feminist movement of the 1960s and '70s had very little to do with honoring femininity, but generally degraded and devalued it. It largely became a vehicle for the expression of female envy, giving angry and maladjusted women license to imitate the men they envied. After all, few women are less feminine than the typical NOW activist. Nor are they masculine, however. A woman cannot actually become a man, but can only become a monstrous blending of male and female.

Importantly, this is not to suggest that a woman cannot develop her masculine side or a man his feminine side. What we are talking about is a complete nullification of the differences, a kind of magical, self-imposed blindness, so that the differences are blended (because they are not acknowledged). As feminists used to say, "a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle."

The other main psychological mutation that occurred beginning with the 1960s was the eradication of the differences between adult and child. Up until then, there was a clear difference between the spheres of adult and child, and everyone knew it. When I was growing up in the '60s, I had my interests and my parents had theirs, and there was very little intersection between the two -- for example, baseball with my father. But we dressed differently, listened to different kinds of music, enjoyed different activities, read different literature, liked different movies, etc.

But that has all changed now. Here again it is critical to point out that there is nothing at all wrong with an adult maintaining contact with the child part of himself. In fact, doing so is vital for creativity, spontaneity and play. Again, as in the blending of male and female, the problem arises when the differences between adult and child are obliterated, which creates a hybrid monster that is neither adult nor child but both at the same time. This affects both adults and children, for our society has become a plague of adult children and childish adults -- that is, prematurely sexualized children who, at the same time, are burdened with all kinds of inappropriate concerns about college and career, and childish adults who psychologically do not grow beyond the age of 21 or so, and never enter the realm of the truly adult. (An excellent book that discusses this phenomenon in detail is Neil Postman’s The Disappearance of Childhood.

As a result, what our two-party political system has now come down to is a battle between the “blenders” and the “separators.” Nothing bothers the blenders more than adult males such as Ronald Reagan, George Bush, or John Roberts -- remember Diane Feinstein, who couldn't vote for Roberts for supreme court justice because she wanted to know how he felt as a man? In short, she wanted him to be more of a male-female hybrid, like herself and her constituents. Simply applying the rule of law is too masculine. We need some female “wiggle room” in the constitution. As Dennis Prager has observed, the problem with this kind of feminized thinking is that it is perfectly appropriate in the micro realm, but only becomes inappropriate and dysfunctional when applied to the macro.

The modern conservative movement is not just trying to preserve the traditional male element, but the traditional separation of the various spheres in general -- civilized vs. barbaric, animal vs, human, adult vs. child -- while the Democratic party is the party of mannish women (e.g., Hillary Clinton, Gloria Allred), feminized men (e.g., Bill Clinton, John Kerry, Al Gore, John Edwards), adult children (Howard Dean, Ted Kennedy, Bill Maher, et al), rank sexual confusion ("transgendered, queer, 'questioning,' intersexed, curious," etc) and even animal humans (PETA members who believe that killing six million chickens is morally indistinguishable from murdering six million Jews, radical environmentalists, etc.). And it is almost impossible to engage in rational debate with the adult child, who has the cynicism of a world-weary grown up but the wisdom of a child, or with the male-female hybrid, who possesses an emotionalized reason that is easily hijacked by the passions. This is not so much a disagreement between the content of thought as its very form.

Ultimately it is a revolt against Father, not just on earth, but in “heaven,” that is, the Father who created all these annoying separations to begin with, and who reminds us of our own lack of omnipotence. It's the same existential whine in a new battle. For the sad reality is that a woman cannot actually be a man and an adult cannot actually be a child without disfiguring their humanity. But this is another realm that the left would like to obliterate -- the separation between the divine and human, which may, come to think of it, be the ultimate source of this loud and messy political divorce we are all going through. Perhaps it is unwise to marry outside your faith after all.

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

or

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.