Doing Battle with Hope Fiends, Crockheads, and Moonbatshiners (3.21.09)
A black man with a white mother became a savior to us. A black man with a white mother could turn out to be one who can lift America from her fall.... This young man is the hope of the entire world that America will change and be made better.... If you look at Barack Obama's audiences and look at the effect of his words, those people are being transformed. --Calypso Louis
Continuing with our analysis of the Devil Card, Unknown Friend (UF) writes that the excesses of the left are always "owing to an intoxication of the will and imagination which engenders demons." For example, if Marx and Engels had merely behaved as good Jews or Christians and "simply defended the interests of the industrial workers without having let themselves be carried away by their intoxicated imagination," then they wouldn't have been so very destructive. After all, every normal person wants to help the poor and needy, but helping them at the end of a gun, as the left always want us to do, renders any spiritual benefit inoperative for both parties.
Moreover, the left always couches their supposed empathy for the downtrodden in fantastically broad and sweeping generalizations of historical "and even cosmic significance, such as the statement that God does not exist, that all religion is is only the 'opium of the people,' [and] that all ideology is only a superstructure on the basis of material interests." It is no different today, with the intoxication that fuels and pervades the Obama campaign:
"What we hear from Obama is the eternal mantra of the socialists; America is broken, millions have no health care, families cannot afford necessities, the rich are evil, we are selfish, we are unhappy, unfulfilled, without hope, desperate, poverty stricken, morally desolate, corrupt and racist. This nihilism is the lifeblood of all the democrat candidates, even 'hope you can believe in' performers like Obama. When Michelle Obama claims she is only newly proud of her country, she does not exaggerate. In her world as in Obama's, they believe we are a mess, a land filled with the ignorant and unenlightened, filled with despair" (Fairchok).
Wherever politics tries to be redemptive, it is promising too much. Where it wishes to do the work of God, it becomes, not divine, but demonic. --Pope Benedict XVI
As UF writes, it is always a "matter of excess -- a going beyond the limits of competence and sober and honest knowledge," which the left never doubts, "having been carried away by the intoxicating impulse of radicalism, i.e. by a fever of the will and imagination to change everything utterly at a single stroke."
It used to be said of alcoholism that that you can't drown your sorrows because they learn how to swim. The odd thing about the left is that the purpose of their intoxication is not to drown their sorrows but to deny their blessings. Because if one looks at the plain facts in a sober and detached way, we cannot help seeing that, as Fairchok writes,
"Our economy bustles along, with inevitable ups and downs, but remains strong. Americans live better than ever before. As a nation, we live in the best of times, a place that the rest of humanity covets. We did this by the sweat of our brows and the energy of our people. We have more education, more luxury, more life options, more of everything good and far less of everything bad, less disease, less poverty and less struggle than ever before. We have prosperity, we have employment, we have technology. Hope is what America is all about; hope that has every expectation of success. Consider the millions that are desperate to get here. Even our poor have cars, appliances and entertainments. Our concern for them is not hunger but obesity. Never before in the history of mankind has this contradiction existed."
And it is the fever dream of sweeping existential change that animates the left no less than the Islamists. As Lee Harris has written, a fantasy ideology such as Islamism is obviously not a rational response to the world arrived at in a logical, sober manner. Rather, it is a transformative belief, meaning that its primary purpose is to psychologically transform the person who believes the fantasy. And believing the fantasy is an end in itself -- it has no purpose other than to make the fantasy seem like reality -- like it might actually happen. Therefore, the real reason for 9-11 wasn't actually to bring down western civilization. Rather, it was for the Islamists to deepen their fantasy by getting us to play along with it.
Likewise, anyone with a basic familiarity with economics knows that leftist ideas don't just fail, but backfire. They cause all sorts of unintended consequences that the leftist never connects to the original policy -- e.g., how the welfare state eroded the structure of the black family, how racial quotas inevitably harm blacks, how rent control causes housing shortages, or how subsidizing higher education simply drives up the cost. "Progressivism is the wish to eliminate effects without wishing to eliminate their causes..." (Schuon).
Now, UF explains that the virtue of temperence protects us from the intoxicating counter-inspiration of radical fantasies -- including religious fantasies, such as the Inquisition. Remember, there was a time not too long ago when there was no "secular sphere," so that these demonic trends necessarily expressed themselves within the heart of the Church. As such, it is foolish to blame religion for something that is wholly manmade.
UF makes the subtle point that one cannot engender a positive egregore, or collective mind parasite. This is related to the principle that the mind parasite is an effect of "congealed" or "coagulated" psychic energy. As a result, it always "enfolds," whereas the good radiates. The former is an inward, contracting movement, whereas the latter is an expansive, radiant movement. This may sound overly abstract, but we are all familiar with the closed world of the left, whether it is their elite university campuses or the parochial and hidebound pages of the New York Times. If you approach these things with your activated cOOnvision, you can literally experience them as a sort of dense, black hole of inverse radiation.
Now, why did people respond to, say, Ronald Reagan? For the opposite reason -- the intrinsically unlimited radiant positive energy of which he was a mere vehicle. This only became more apparent when placed side by side with Jimmy Carter's withered and constipated presence.
I suppose the novel thing about Obama is that he is selling the same constipation, but with a kind of cheap and meretricious radiation that one must be intoxicated to appreciate. Indeed, as Fairchok writes,
"That is his appeal; he is [ironically] an actor, a performer, a cinematic presence that stirs simple emotions, emotions that have little grounding in truth. His speeches are the inane lyrics to a popular song that endures only because it has a great beat. One must not think to deeply on what Obama says, for it turns to smoke and disappears in the light of day. Ezra Klein is correct, Obama's speeches do not inform, they pander, they propagandize, they harmonize with the mythology of despair and the chimera of entitlement. As his hagiographies proclaim, he represents a new Camelot, but one that does not hold America quite so precious, a Camelot of globalists, moral relativists and communitarians."
Now, how to drive out a demon? Easy. As UF explains, "Light drives out darkness. This simple truth is the practical key to the problem of how to combat demons. A demon perceived, i.e. on whom the light of consciousness is thrown, is already a demon rendered impotent.... A demon rendered impotent is a deflated balloon."
The lords of Falsehood hold, at present, almost complete sway over poor humanity. Not only the lower life-energy, the lower vital being, but also the whole mind of man accepts them. Countless are the ways in which they are worshipped, for they are more subtle in their cunning and seek their ends in variously seductive disguises. The result is that men cling to their falsehood as if it were a treasure, cherishing it more than even the most beautiful things of life. Apprehensive of its safety, they take care to bury it deep down in themselves; but unless they take it out and surrender it to the Divine they will never find true happiness.
Indeed the very act of bringing it out and showing it to the Light would be in itself a momentous conversion and pave the way to the final victory. For the laying bare of each falsehood is in itself a victory -- each acknowledgment of error is the demolition of one of the lords of Darkness. --The Mother, Conversations on Yoga