Erotic Tales of Metaphysical Ignorance and Tenure
In today's post we shall continue circumnavelgazing human intelligence and try to discover why it poses such a problem in the wrong heads. Obviously Man is intelligent. That's the problem. In fact, almost all his troubles are caused by his intelligence, through which he believes so many amazing things that can't be so. More often than not, the greater the intelligence, the more catastrophic the error, which is why it has been remarked that philosophy is "error on a grandiose scale."
There are many reasons man is in need of salvation, but because of the contemporary under-appreciation of gnosis, few people understand that they are especially in need of intellectual salvation in order to prevent their minds from "rotting in hell," so to speak. (I don't care if you understand all of this metaphorically, so long as you understand it.) There is a reason why so much foolishness comes from the secular left in general and liberal academia in particular. It's not an accident or coincidence, but absolutely "in the nature of things." We all fall, but only the secular left sanctifies the fall and renames it "tenure," for their left brains don't know who their right brains are screwing.
Taylor goes into great detail about how all of the impulses that eventually lead to the despiritualized secular world were rooted in religion. Only later did they become detached from spirit, at which time a new, self-flattering narrative was invented, depicting intellectual liberation as a revolt against spirit instead of its extension and elaboration.
Now we have a situation in which things like science and democracy have been severed from their metaphysical roots -- as if they just "happened," or were developed by people who rejected religion. This is the secular fairy tale we are asked to believe. But all religions have founding myths, and secularism is no different. Atheism is at odds with the humility necessary to receive Truth, and always -- either implicitly or explicitly but always obnoxiously -- "takes itself for a form of moral heroism" (Schuon).
Schuon writes that "modern man collects keys without knowing how to open a door." In contrast to this, a generative metaphysical doctrine "is the mental incarnation of of a universal truth."
Thus, what makes most modern thought so fruitless is that it is detached from its proper object, which results in a kind of sterile cognitive narcissism -- just "brains rubbing together." Since it adam & evesdrops only on the plane of middling relativities, it can only proceed in an absurcular manner, and can never even account for its own fallen activity. In other words, it "seeks the culminating point of the cognitive process on its own level," which, intellectually, is a little like marrying your sister. When that happens, don't be surprised if your offspring are a little off.
This is the difference between the intellection of a fertile egghead vs. the mere intellectualism of academic wacktivists. Most of the people we misleadingly call "intellectuals" fall and fall into the latter category of mental inbreds. They incubate thoughts and ideas to succubi, which are ultimately by the dead and for the tenured (and vice versa).
I suppose one has to have spent 20 years or so in the looniversity bin, as I did, to appreciate the full ghastly picture, but to be granted tenure is to be given access to the wider intellectual jerk circle of mutual master-, bachelor-, and doctorbation. It's really just a form of pornography, and like its sexual cousin, is so boring because no one's ever naked. And in case you don't know what I mean, when I say "no one's naked," I mean that it's full of jaded cynicism, joyless irony, and other posemoderns that are the consolution prizes for its spiritual vacuity and lack of intercourse with the Real.
(I don't want to get sidetracked again, but perhaps I should review my understanding of pornography, as the sexual kind must be just a symbolic sub-category of a wider phenomenon [as I explained in previous posts here and here]. In Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Joyce's alter ego, Stephen Dedalus, discusses the criteria for great art. He says it is the task of the true artist to record "epiphanies," that is, the sudden ingression of spirit into matter, when something leaps through its outer appearance and reveals its true nature in a way that illuminates the soul.
Didactic art is the opposite of this -- in fact, it is not art at all. That is, it lowjacks the medium of an art form and tries to cram some merely worldly message into it. In other words, instead of transmitting radiance from another dimension -- from the higher -- it forces in a message or "lesson" from the lower, from this side of manifestation. This is why nazi or communist or leftist art is so tedious. It is also why so much contemporary art is so awful. It's not really art, but what Joyce called pornography.
Pornography has nothing to do with sex per se; from the Greek, it means "writing of whores," which pretty much summarizes my point. It occurs whenever we completely despiritualize anything and divest it of its otherworldly radiance and spiritual telos. Therefore, there is much that is pornographic that is not sexual at all. By this definition, most contemporary music is indeed pornographic, as is most TV, certainly MSM news. Most literature is pornographic. Even religion can easily be pornographic. And certainly most politics.)
Yesterday, what smelled like a probable denizen of academia left a comment to the effect that this blog and its "true believers" are just plain stupid, proving once again that the wisdom of this world is folly to Godwin. I didn't argue with him, because I know exactly what he means, even if he doesn't.
That is to say, as Schuon points out, a metaphysical truth can never be exhausted on the mental level, as this would be absurd, for the same reason that a three-dimensional sphere contains an infinite number of two-dimensional circles, none of which are "wrong" on their own level, but nevertheless can never be equivalent to the sphere if added together. This is why it is so easy for the Intelligent Stupid to argue that one circle looks different from another circle, therefore the sphere doesn't exist.
In turn, this proves the adage that "when one denies the supernatural it is unwise to hold forth on matters that have no meaning without it" (Schuon). Such critics apply a kind of deranged but impeccable logic "to things that a priori elude them." To paraphrase Schuon, what such a person calls "objectivity" is simply an honest confession of their genuine inability to distinguish truth from error, and then congratulate themselves with the title "objective." You will notice that liberal MSM boneheads do this habitually. They really don't see their bias. Yes, they're that stupid.
The whole point is that a traditional doctrinal formulation is a symbolic emanation of O, so to speak, which "realizes a mental form capable of communicating a ray of [infinite] Truth to one who is intellectually fit to receive it." Thus, it is not we who embrace truth; rather, it is Truth which deigns, or coondescends, to embrace and "become" us.
Everything revolves around truth and the will; the one must penetrate the other. Truth illumines the will, which, when illumined, vivifies the truth.... Intelligence is nothing without truth, and without virtue it is unable to contain truth in a really adequate and absolutely stable way. --Schuon, Spiritual Perspectives and Human Facts
Think outside the postmodern box:
And don't be like the drunk who looks for his keys under the street lamp because that's where the light is: