Ontological Correctness and the Cosmic Descent of the Left
So this morning I was thinking about the difference between authoritarian political correctness and the proper authority it mimics and mocks. For there are some thoughts and some speech that no decent person should tolerate or condone -- mainly speech that undermines the very possibility of truth or decency or beauty or liberty or thought itself. Ironically, most of what you learn in a liberal education will be this kind of pathological speech, only hiding behind lofty principles that it can never justify. At the same time, it attacks any attack on it as not only unjustified, but fundamentally illegitimate, through the preemptive strike of "political correctness." This pathological mechanism is such a permanent fixture of leftist thought, that you cannot even imagine the left without it. It is truly their sword and shield, with which they force thought down their crimped and narrow byways and interstellar low ways.
And remember, when I use the word "left," I never mean it in its narrow political sense (any more than I conflate conservative liberalism and "Republicanism"). Rather, leftist politics is the declension of a much vaster cosmic principle known to man from the moment of his psychogenesis. It is spoken of not just in Judeo-Christian revelation, but virtually all the revelations given to man. It is truly part of the religio perennis. Here, let's see if I can find some examples from the Big Book of Spiritual Wisdom, the Ascended Fellow Pages.
1,100 pages. Where to begin. Oh, and by the way -- bear in mind that no secular leftist could believe that any of the perennial wisdom in this book is justifiable on the basis of its self-evident truth, as discerned through intellection. For if you believe in revelation and intellection, you could never in good conscience be a member of the left, for reasons too obvious to delineate here.
Here's a good one by Thomas Traherne (p. 67). It reminds me of what a Harvard education must be like:
"The first light that shined in my Infancy in its primitive and innocent clarity was totally eclipsed.... If you ask me how it was eclipsed? Truly by the customs and manners of men, which like contrary winds blew it out: by an innumerable company of other objects, rude, vulgar, and worthless things, that like so many loads of earth and dung did overwhelm and bury it: by the impetuous torrent of wrong desires in all others whom I saw or knew that carried me away and alienated me from it: by a whole sea of other matters and concealments that covered and drowned it.... by the evil influence of a bad education that did not foster and cherish it.... I was little and reverenced their authority; I was weak and easily guided by their example: ambitious also, and desirous to approve myself unto them. And finding no one syllable in any man's mouth of those things, by degrees they vanished, my thoughts were blotted out; and at last all the celestial, great, and stable treasures to which I was born, as wholly forgotten, as if they had never been."
As I said, there are just too many examples. Shakespeare:
Such harmony is in immortal souls;
But, whilst this muddy vesture of decay
Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it.
Or Chuang-tse: "While keeping my physical frame I lost sight of my real self. Gazing at muddy water, I lost sight of the clear abyss."
The Meister: "And even as the virtuous man will now and then deprive his outward self of all the powers of the soul while embarking on a high adventure, so bestial man will rob his inner self of all its soul-powers to expend them on his outer man."
Marsilio Ficino: "Lowest and unhappiest must be judged those who have closed their eyes to the rays of the highest good shining everywhere so that they cannot see in that very light, outside of which nothing good is seen... "
Speaking of the intelligibility of the Real vs. the contradictions and absurdities of the ponderable or abstract: "Mysteries of the kingdom of God are less inexpressible than the mysteries of the kingdom of man" (Louis-Claude de Saint-Martin).
Anyway, there are hundreds of different example I could have cited. I think I'll stop now.
Because I Said So.
Do parents still say that? I used to hear that line a lot when I was a kid. It's what my father would generally say when the chasm between his ability to articulate and my ability to comprehend was too great.
I'll probably be better able to explain the nature of the Real to Future Leader. Still, I can already tell that I'm going to sometimes have to bring out the rhetorical hammer, not for my sake, but for his. Although slowly waking to our dream, he's still joyfully fused with paradise, without so much as a fig leaf to cover his naked narcissism -- but I can already clearly see what's up ahead: the willfully disobedient proto-Adam.
We often hear the cliché that truth emerges through the clash of opinions in the "marketplace of ideas." This is the ideal of democracy, of unregulated free speech, of political factions. To a certain intrinsically limited extent this approach is obviously valid, but no amount of argument can establish truths that are evident to the Self, and to treat these in the same way as lower truths is self-defeating, to say the least. It is soulicide.
There is lower truth and higher Truth, discovered truth and revealed Truth, inductive truth and antecedent Truth. In each case, the former is the type of truth that may be fought out and given contours in the marketplace of ideas, while the latter is only apprehended in another way. In that case, slugging it out the way you would a spending bill, a scientific debate, or a legal case would only muddy the water and debase and distance ourselves from the Truth we are seeking.
The sort of Truth generally discussed on this blog does not emerge through contra-versy, that is, "flowing against." Rather, it is only achieved through con-versing, or "flowing with." That is, it is a work of fusion and synthesis that could only be achieved by dwelling in a multitude of disparate and outwardly contradictory particulars and allowing their higher truth to emerge at their own rhythm and pace. This truth cannot be imposed from on high. Nevertheless, once it is revealed, it reveals itself to be from "on high." It is a higher truth that flows from the cosmic "center," not on the same plane as the lower truths it synthesizes.
When I talk about this truth, there is a knee-jerk instinct among trolls to treat it as any other truth available on a lower plane. This reflects the postmodern spirit of "everyone's entitled to their own opinion." Yes, that's true, as far as it goes.
When I was diagnosed with diabetes, I might have said to my doctor, "Well, that's your opinion. You're entitled to it, but I have my own ideas." I might have then tried to bait him into debating me. "What, just because you have some fancy letters after your name, you think you're better than me? What do you mean by 'disease?' Are you saying that people without diabetes are better than people with it? Why do you hate diabetics? Are diabetics evil? Is that what you think?"
The Gospels are full of instances illuminating this fundamental problem. Most famously, when Jesus is dragged before the religious and civil authorities -- the bearers of official truth -- he responds to the charges against him with silence. He doesn't even try to explain to Pilate. Why bother? "It is as you say. Whatever." In John, he elaborates a bit more: "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight," that is to say, argue with the moonbats.
Jesus' kingdom and Jesus' Truth are not on the same plane as any truth Pilate is capable of hearing, much less understanding: "For this cause I was born and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice."
Pilate famously responds, "What is truth?," ironically emphasizing the point that those who are not themselves of the truth cannot hear or see, and therefore bear, the truth.
There is a counterfeit version of this process known as polemicism. Polemicists come in both their religious and secular varieties. They too proclaim that "I have come into the world that I should bear witness to the truth." How to tell the difference?
The energy that animates the polemicist is from the serpent. It is always pure horizontality masquerading as verticality. It is full of antagonism, of the pitched battle of controversy rather than the fusion of conversation. Furthermore, being that it is of the serpent, it engages in a two-front battle, against both horizontal and vertical enemies (for horizontal truth must ultimately be derived from the vertical, or it is severed from any rational claim to truth).
The Antichrist is a skillful polemicist. Take, for example, Adolf Hitler. Was he not surrounded by horizontal enemies, but at the same time, waging war on the vertical by trying to replace it with a completely naturalistic substitute? The false prophet is a human beast, equal emphasis on both terms: human + beast. For humanness reduced to its horizontal dimension is mere bestiality. It is actually lower than the noble beasts of nature.
At the same time, if you study the matter closely, I believe you will see that the Antichrist, in whatever form it appears, is intemperate and intoxicated, or angry, excited, manic, and apparently stoned. This is the impression formed if one delves into the world of dailykos or huffingtonpost. Please, try it for yourself. Do you not smell the intoxication? How can you argue with a righteously indignant person stoned out of his mind with intoxicating lies?
Among other things, the fall of man is a hypnotic fall into intoxication and conflict in a confusing zone of illusion, of maya. For the tree of good and evil is the tree of opposites, of mere knowledge, of the clashing of wills, of the strong over the weak. Leftists are always speaking power to Truth when they aren't speaking lies to the powerless to keep them that way.
The Tree of Life is the tree of synthesis, of wisdom, of higher unity, of deeper principles, of the coincidence of opposites. The tree of good and evil is a tree of perpetual doubt and sterility, while the Tree of Life is a tree of calm and quiet certainty that bears sound and nourishing fruit.
I'd stay away from the former tree. Why? Because I said so.