Thursday, April 03, 2008

Everything Must Go!

Only six comments yesterday. I don't know if cleaning out Bob's journals in public is such a good idea. Seems to be driving away all but the stalkers.

Still, I'm enjoying it. It's like a garage sale. Sure, there's a lot of crap, but you never know if you might find that Beatles butcher cover in a pile of old records. Besides, what can I do without Bob's cooperation? You can't expect me to be linear and coherent. That's not my thing. I just enjoy sniffing along the trail for the post-cartesian unified paradigm. I feel as if I'm drowning in a sea of clues, and these journals are like the bucket with which I bail out the dinghy. So if some of it sounds dingy or all wet, that's why.

Here are some notes about Bob's favorite secular philosopher, Michael Polanyi: How is it possible to see a good problem? It is an intimation of a hidden coherence not yet comprehended in the particulars. "Knowledge of an approaching discovery" is an indispensable kind of pre-knowledge that is needed for mental evolution to occur. To put it another way, your life depends on identifying the right question. Ask the wrong question, and you might just waste the opportunity of a lifetime.

Truth is recognized by its fruitfulness. But how is it possible to implicitly apprehend the wealth of undiscovered consequences before we have discovered the truth from which they proceed? We are always in the presence of a hidden reality toward which various clues are pointing. Faith "knows" this. It is our "negative capability," when man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, & doubts without any irritable reaching after fact & reason (Keats)

In this regard, does history reveal a higher principle? Is it a representation of something unseen? Do we only imagine the unity of history behind the multiplicity, or is there genuine synthetic knowledge at the level of history?

Yes, there must be an object of history, the nonlocal eschaton, the Omega point, which reveals the meaning of the local particulars. This point once "walked among us." It still does. Phenomenal history is a temporal reality behind which is the noumenal transhistorical reality of fall and redemption, the Arc of Salvation.

Our task is always to relate the horizontal realm of change to the vertical realm of changelessness. This is the crossroads where humans live, die, and are reborn. Otherwise, history truly is meaningless, a kind of literal tunnel vision or transtemporal myopia. Again, the point is to move from the line to the open spiral. The secular historian is like a frog at the bottom of a well who knows the sky only as a small blue disc.

An avatar is anyone who saves mankind from itself. Vertical emissaries are dropped from on high into history from time to time for various purposes, be they political, religious, scientific, military, or artistic. Most of them are unknown, others are hidden in plain sight.

***

Science is intelligence without wisdom. But religion, while it remains the safeguard of wisdom, often promulgates a wisdom without intelligence, so to speak. What religion should provide is intelligence guided by wisdom. Thus, it can never be world-denying, nor can it ever flinch from the discoveries of science.

Religious wisdom can easily accommodate any scientific truth. But if religion is reduced to a kind of flatland literalism, then it immediately puts itself in competition with science for the best "horizontal explanation," and this is a battle it not only cannot win, but looks foolish trying.

Likewise, when science attempts to be a source of wisdom on its own level, it looks just as foolish as the fundamentalist who insists that the world is only 6,000 years old. You cannot derive values from science, any more than you can derive metaphysics from the empirical world. Values and metaphysics are anterior to the world. They cannot "evolve" or change. Murder is evil in any cosmos, just as surely as being is always the first-born of beyond being, or the Son proceeds from the Father in the very nature of things.

And love will always be superior to unity, God being what he is. Or let us say that unity is only unity if it is a unity of differences, not a blending. Even if I could experience this unity-without-difference, I'd give it up for love. Which is why we ex-ist. Yoga is the union of local and nonlocal, which are bound by a love that is superior to both, but impossible in the absence of this "division," a division which is in the interior nature of things -- again, God being what he is.

***

Two statements that are equally "true," but what a difference: 1) Steven Pinker is an expert on language. 2) William Shakespeare is an expert on language. Which of these two men better comprehends -- or runs circles around -- the other?

This exemplifies the vast gulf that exists between (k) and (n). Pinker possesses (k) about language. By definition it can never be complete, being that using language to comprehend language is analogous to giving birth to oneself. And let's not even waste time with the idea that language can convey the truth of itself if it is reduced to a fancy system of animal signals. Rather, if language can transmit truth, then language is much more than it can ever say. Truth itself can never be exhausted on the plane of language. Poets have always known this.

In contrast to Pinker, Shakespeare -- as far as we know -- did not trouble himself with reductionistic explanations of how monkeys learned to speak. Rather, he simply demonstrated his implicit knowledge in a way that can never be surpassed. It is no different than the knowledge possessed by a musicologist vs. the knowledge possessed by Bach. These are clearly of a vastly different order, to such an extent that it would be silly to even place musicology on the same plane as music.

Just so, there are theologians and there are... pneumanauts. Theology is a declension from O, or O-->(k); its purpose is to give a coherent and "authorized" account for those kinds of experience we call "religious," but the experiences nevertheless take priority, otherwise theology is void of human content.

Theology is fine as far as it goes, but let us never forget that, say, Jesus, was no theologian. I'd have to go back and reread all of his words, but as far as I can recall, they are almost all (n), or direct "demonstrations" of O, analogous to the difference between Bach composing "for the glory of God" and a college professor yammering for the glory of tenure.

***

The genealogy of leftist wickedness follows from a number of key presumptions or under-lies. They are, 1) human beings have no essential identity, only an accidental or "existential" identity centered on race, class, gender, ethnicity, or "sexual orientation."

From this follows 2) rejection of that most precious of God's creations, the unique individual who can only actualize his potential and discover this uniqueness under conditions of ordered liberty; 3) no objective morality transcending culture; 4) an exclusive focus on nature at the expense of what humans have always recognized as "the Real," i.e., the transcendent and eternal; 5) a replacement of knowledge with a kind of bovine skepticism and doubt, which results in refined stupidity displacing Truth, or an "anti-word" that attacks the very links that make existence comprehensible; 6) a worship of the primitive as "authentic," since the lower is all that really exists; 7) an upside-down mysticism, or "pathological we" that revolves around material interests instead of transpersonal bonds. It is the "body of gaia" as opposed to the "body of Christ," so to speak. The former is the "black unity," being that an absence of light causes all distinctions to merge. The latter is the singular "body of light" that is superior to the distinctions it illuminates.

Leftism is a deeply spiritual movement, bearing in mind that "spirit" is obviously a neutral term. For example, the nazis were profoundly spiritual, as are the Islamists. It is a "revolt of spirit" to be sure, but this revolt cannot be understood on any material basis.

When authentic religion is rejected, it is always displaced by the magic from which religion rescues us. To put it another way, religion -- at least in its esoteric sense -- is a mental disinfectant that prevents the mind from proceeding down all sorts of fruitless and pathological dieways and loways. Thus, never ask why the left is so full of magical thinking, for that is the inevitable result of rejecting the transcendent truth to which the human mind must conform on pain of dying to reality and living in fantasy. Which isn't really "living" at all, just existing for a dark moment between two luminous slabs of eternity.

39 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there such a thing as a "rhetorical answer"? - an answer that gives you the question you didn't know you wanted to ask?

That's what I've felt like reading these tidbits over the last few dates... good stuff that just needs to be absorbed and requires no comments.

4/03/2008 10:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Alan said...

that anon was me, alan (continuing my week of struggling with technology!)

4/03/2008 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

"I don't know if cleaning out Bob's journals in public is such a good idea. Seems to be driving away all but the stalkers."

Hm. Guess that puts me in the stalker category :) This has actually been interesting, a bit like looking through an artist's sketchbook and finding the stick figures, doodles and rough sketches that are the seedlings of masterpieces.

It occurred to me yesterday that it would be interesting if some of the regulars were to pick up the thread of a Bobservation or two from the past few days and expound upon it (an OC Call and Response, perhaps?). Not that I'd actually be the first to start.

But it would be interesting...

4/03/2008 10:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Bob's unconscious said...

Hey, I like being stalked. It makes me feel wanted.

4/03/2008 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger Webutante said...

Just look at it this way, Bob. If you were getting more comments right now, you might be approached by Target to sell this community so it could become a marketing tool for "stuff coons like."

4/03/2008 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

Bob, it's sort of like hanging around while you clean out your garage: you know what's worth saving, and what goes where.

Doesn't mean we don't like your stuff, or enjoy the company.

4/03/2008 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Bob

Been enjoying the last few ramblings, just not much to say right now.


WV:rnekyfx

I am a bit redneckie but don't need to be fixed

4/03/2008 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

I'm a seagull circling high above the landfill wondering why someone would toss out such tasty morsels. Hmmm, where to start...

Ahhh, there's one - "And love will always be superior to unity, God being what he is." For real Unity is only the result of real Love. Be sure to check out the entire chapter for the full context.

Now, for a little more circling...

4/03/2008 12:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Bob's unconscious said...

Nomo:

Bullseye. Vanderleun posted a relevant quote by Robert Fulghum:

"You renew existing truth as it passes through you for the first time and is recycled in your way of expression out of your specific experience." The real task is to "rephrase everlasting wisdom in the currency of the language and metaphors of one's own time. One is always building with used bricks."

4/03/2008 12:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Bob's unconscious said...

In other words, I hope I'm just another brick in the door.

4/03/2008 12:23:00 PM  
Anonymous dusty said...

"Knowledge of an approaching discovery"

Within the realms of psychology and the psyche in general, Bion would call "knowledge of an approaching discovery" the "selected fact," or "the pattern [that]...allows the analyst to interpret the intuited pattern (create a permanent constant conjunction of the elements presented)." (Grotstein) Constant conjunction was Humes' phrase for hypothesis, the permanent ones becoming fact and principle. Choosing a life of faith, then, is the same as choosing to living life of constantly impinging problems, or the preoccupation with the ultimate problem--O--since as almost all good people of true faith gnow that within every chaotic circumstance, there is a corresponding chaotic attractor-organizer that leads from dissonance to coherence; from Egypt to the “promised land.”

One characteristic that the extreme left and right share, I think, is the absence of this "negative capability," which implies the ability to tolerate and withstand long periods of inner chaos, while the godhead--the a priori transcendental condition of the subject—evolves out of falsity and no-thing. In absence of this ability, a person, instead “seeing” that there is nothing to do except to the adhere to the eschaton, proceeds to use their finite minds to organize and rearrange chaotic nothingness as if moving things around is going change the content present. Now days, this “squirming” is what we call “change,” and false object of history—the Utopian lie, the esquirmaton--“progress.”

“Science is intelligence without wisdom.”

This seems incomplete, because it does take a certain depth of wisdom in order to make the certain scientific discoveries--which raises the question, does wisdom have to be an open system in order to be wisdom? That is to say, is wisdom only wise when operating as ‘wisdom as such’, purely vertical? Because it seems that scientism is the work of a superior quality of wisdom from that generally found in tradition, but it is also wisdom that—maybe because there’s the perception of being superior—has become shut up and sealed by pride of knowing more about people long past than they knew about themselves. I’m sure this “generation of unwisdom,” to quote Prager, has something to do with the absence of a constantly open and operating wisdom—a steady influx of (n), as opposed to having no emergent quality at all. It’s just, the wiser we are, the more unwise we can fall (into (-n)).

Well, there's my input. :)

4/03/2008 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger Warren said...

Bob: "Even if I could experience this unity-without-difference, I'd give it up for love."

Ramakrishna: "I want to taste sugar; I don't want to BE sugar."

4/03/2008 01:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Tanisha said...

I want to be Smoov's sugar.

4/03/2008 02:01:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Circling, circling…ahhh, there’s another nice bit – “Theology is fine as far as it goes, but let us never forget that, say, Jesus, was no theologian.” No, but interestingly enough He is recorded as quoting from at least 24 different Old Testament books, known in His time as 3 collections – the law (Torah), the prophets (Neviim), and the writings (Kethubim). If you want to know more about His view of scripture, check this out…

Circling…

4/03/2008 02:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Bob's unconscious said...

Very good point about Jesus. By definition he would have to both encompass and transcend theology.

4/03/2008 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Hey, there's one from yesterday - "It is one of the many reasons I don't believe in extra-terrestrial life.." I don't know, you might have to rethink that.

4/03/2008 02:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Bob's unconscious said...

Which, BTW, is the Orthodox understanding of a theologian. A quick google search reveals that

"When referring to Orthodox theology, we do not simply mean a history of theology... In Patristic tradition, theologians are the God-seers... Intellectual theology differs greatly from the experience of the vision of God, to the illumination of the nous and to divinisation (theosis). Theology is the fruit of man's cure and the path which leads to cure and the acquisition of the knowledge of God."

4/03/2008 02:19:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Nomo, I don't know (about the extraterrestrial life). The article says that ancient cellulose fibers have been found in salt deposits on Earth, not that they've been found on Mars; rather, it notes that since Mars has salt deposits, if fossils are present that's where they might be found.

Also, while the conditions for bacterial/microbial growth and life forms may be abundantly present throughout the universe (they grow in a startling array of seemingly inhospitable places on this planet), but the conditions required for advanced life to evolve are much more strict. In order for Earth to be hospitable, it has to be just the right distance from the sun, made from just the right materials, with a large moon that stabilizes the rotation of the planet and provides some small protection from incoming objects, in a solar system just far away enough from nearby stars to avoid being zapped in a gamma ray burst or other dangerous stellar event (so far, at least), plus about a million other variables both know and unknown that make this planet uniquely friendly to multicellular life.

There may actually be other such havens scattered across the universe, but odds are it's taking them the same amount of time to evolve as it's taking us, and they're probably just as isolated as we are. The chance that we'll ever make contact with such life seems decidedly slim.

4/03/2008 02:55:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Just came from checking-out BookTV's weekend schedule: once again a veritable river of word-diarrhoea. It's like they get infected with a form of Leftist Amoebic dysentery & crap just spews forth in an unstoppable torrent.

Oh dear.

What a crack-up to juxtapose these bobservation-kernels with that flatland-ocean of blah blah blah.

4/03/2008 03:00:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Here's a follow-on to comments last week. Perhaps barbaric-Islam will be eroded from the inside-out:

"Ex-Muslim Magdi Allam's very public baptism on Easter Sunday made headlines, but he is just one among legions converting from Islam around the world."

Muslims Leaving Islam in Droves

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/muslims-
leaving-islam-in-droves/

4/03/2008 03:23:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Julie - You're so serious. ;^) I was really just having fun with the title of the article. But seriously, if the Creator has other beings "in His image" elsewhere in this vast universe, I suspect we won't know until we meet them - in the afterlife (be there or be nowhere). And they have nothing to do with us in this life. IMHO

4/03/2008 03:41:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Nomo - at times :)

4/03/2008 03:57:00 PM  
Blogger Elephant said...

Personally, I'm delirious from a moving process, so when I read Julie's comment, the world just became a little more surreal, as suddenly there was a detailed, articulate discussion about the veracity of alien life form existence theories. Sleep deprivation can color things humorous in amazingly abstract ways, and this was somehow a little funny to me then.

4/03/2008 04:24:00 PM  
Blogger Elephant said...

Not picking on Julie's comment, of course... it was just surreal...
or something. :)

4/03/2008 04:25:00 PM  
Blogger Elephant said...

Julie said: "in a solar system just far away enough from nearby stars to avoid being zapped in a gamma ray burst or other dangerous stellar event (so far, at least)"

This gave something to be -

a)thankful for [along with many other things, of course.]

and

b)a refreshingly far away back up to be concerned with if I'm ever tempted to fret over rising seas or other such matters. (Jesus sleeping in boat event.)

4/03/2008 04:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding Jesus and His view of Scripture, the article seems to assert that because Jesus attested to the truth of the "Law and the Prophets" that means that everything is factual.

Obviously, there is a difference between Truth and facts. Truth may be related by a work of fiction -- examples abound, I will mention The Lord of the Rings. Facts may illustrate Truth if the facts are correctly understood. They may point to Truth, but they do not in and of themselves constitute Truth.

Scripture is often figurative and poetic. Mountains melt. Trees clap their hands. The Genesis account of creation would appear to be rendered using a poetic device that enables easy memorization. God isn't teaching science, He's giving revelation. The truth is important, the timeline not so much.

When people talk about finding the remains of Noah's ark or the earth being created in six 24-days in the year 4004 B.C., I find myself alternating between cringes and yawns.

4/03/2008 04:59:00 PM  
Anonymous bob f. said...

"Western societies find themselves in the odd position of giving priority to a class of human rights whose exercise seems inconsistent with the continued existence of humans."

This is from John Reilly's Homepage; no particular reason for it; just wanted to share....(and I like its Mark Steyn-ish attitude.)

4/03/2008 05:03:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Elephant, I'm delighted I helped add a little surreality to your day!

However, I do need to remember to set the safety on my hair-trigger knee ;)

4/03/2008 05:16:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"Ask the wrong question, and you might just waste the opportunity of a lifetime. "

Oh boy, if we could walk that one back in time to Hume & tell him not to waste his time asking where he could find his pieces of causality, but to instead concentrate on identifying reality, he might have found causes and effects to become apparent - Kant may have slept on, Marx might not have been missed, and Obama might have been Irish!

4/03/2008 06:15:00 PM  
Blogger QP said...

For the circling seagull.

Happy to see you landing on the keys here today.

4/03/2008 06:51:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

When I look at my notepad of pull quotes from your journal pad, I see I've basically pulled the whole post... so... executing self restraint... I'll just pick one (uhm... one more, that is. ok, maybe two. Or three. Sue me.)

"...Religious wisdom can easily accommodate any scientific truth. But if religion is reduced to a kind of flatland literalism, then it immediately puts itself in competition with science for the best "horizontal explanation," and this is a battle it not only cannot win, but looks foolish trying.

Likewise, when science attempts to be a source of wisdom on its own level, it looks just as foolish as the fundamentalist who insists that the world is only 6,000 years old. You cannot derive values from science, any more than you can derive metaphysics from the empirical world. ..."

What is so frustrating is that that is so blatantly obvious - once you see it - and so completely missed - unless you're looking through it. Having for so long missed it as well... I try to empathize with people... as I'm whacking them for missing it. "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy...."

4/03/2008 07:52:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"... 5) a replacement of knowledge with a kind of bovine skepticism and doubt, which results in refined stupidity displacing Truth, or an "anti-word" that attacks the very links that make existence comprehensible;"

As usual, you say it in about one tenth the space I need, but (warning:Shameless self Promotion) that's where I start in on poor Hume, in my latest post Liberal Fascism - Getting to the Root of the Matter:

"How this pertains to Hume, is that because of his peculiar manner of making his observations, he observed what he did not see and succeeded in convincing others that his myopic perspective was in fact the whole vista of what was there to be seen. In his blindness was sown the seeds of not seeing what was clearly there to be seen with two good eyes - but necessarily missed with a single microscope. He not only convinced others that what he didn’t see, was there to be seen by all, but that in order to claim to see, you had to shut one eye and refuse to see the full picture. The philosophic equivalent of zooming in on a picture of Marilyn Monroe so that only the pixels are visible, and claiming that to be conclusive proof not only that she was not beautiful, but that beauty itself is an illusion. What he didn’t see, was Causality, which means nothing less than our connection to reality – no causation, no connection to reality, no principles, no Good, no Beauty, no Truth.

It’s a biggee to miss out on."

4/03/2008 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

What Alan as anon said at the top.

4/03/2008 08:02:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"...the absence of this "negative capability," which implies the ability to tolerate and withstand long periods of inner chaos, while the godhead--the a priori transcendental condition of the subject—evolves out of falsity and no-thing. In absence of this ability, a person, instead “seeing” that there is nothing to do except to the adhere to the eschaton, proceeds to use their finite minds to organize and rearrange chaotic nothingness as if moving things around is going change the content present."

Good comment Dusty, and I think it also applies to your following comment on the Science question. Science, when put to work on its realm, and acknowledging its patches of ignorance, can involve and even deepen wisdom - but failing to acknowledge where it has no knowledge, choosing to move "things around is going change the content present.", lets their air out. Few scientists (those seeking after publicity at any rate), would have the wisdom and courage of Newton, who when pressed for an explanation of the source of Gravity said "I don't know",

"I have not yet been able to discover the cause of these properties of gravity from phenomena and I frame no hypotheses... It is enough that gravity does really exist and acts according to the laws I have explained, and that it abundantly serves to account for all the motions of celestial bodies."

Without the wisdom to admit the obvious, even without being fully able to explain it (though possessing enough to establish it), you'll end up saying things like "No one can prove anything", "I don't think there is any such thing as consciousness" and of course "No one can know anything".

Why is it that the lefites overdeveloped sense of irony completely misses their own situ... oh yeah... never mind.

4/03/2008 08:51:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Anon 4:59 - Just as long as you don't let the views of others keep you from your own exploration of scripture.

4/03/2008 09:12:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Only six comments yesterday. I don't know if cleaning out Bob's journals in public is such a good idea. Seems to be driving away all but the stalkers."

I am...the Knight stalker! :^)

Hi Bob! I mentally responded to your post yesterday, but didn't get around to actually using the keyboard.
It amounted to over twenty comments though.

4/04/2008 12:51:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"To put it another way, your life depends on identifying the right question."

As opposed to the inane (and insane) Wright question.

4/04/2008 12:53:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Is there such a thing as a "rhetorical answer"? - an answer that gives you the question you didn't know you wanted to ask?"

Good point, Alan!

When I read Bob's posts, and when they reasonate so strongly, it is as if Bob has organized the messy clauset and jungle of thoughts I have, producing a deja vu effect.

"Hey! I've seen that! I've experienced that revelation! I gno that questyon!"

Sort if like Bob is tweaking my song and turning it into a hit.

Sometimes this is only a parshow
O-ffect, and sometimes it's an entirely gnew question that I reconeyes, but the song still resonates and expands my realization in some way or two.

I keep hearing and seeing these songs in my dreams, although I can't write them as I saw it there.

That doesn't stop me from tryin', however. :^)

Thanks Bob, for O'ganizing my gOrage! Now I can park my carma in there.

4/04/2008 01:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 4:59 holler back

Thanks for the advice, Nomo. I will keep on.

Bob's "flatland literalism" phrase is just beautiful. It is the very thing that bound the Pharisees during the Incarnation, and binds their heirs today: limiting God to the two-dimensions of the printed page.

See Jesus! The Word in 3-D! (at least)

4/04/2008 06:42:00 AM  

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