Jihad is Not Just for Jihadis (5.11.12)
The book gets off to a very promising start, with the chapters on divine creation, the process of manifestation, man's primordial birthright, and similar felicitous topics. I suppose this is only fitting, being that the Creator's main excuse for the creation was that "it seemed like a good idea at the time," i.e., "God saw everything he had made, and indeed it was very good." But you know what they say about how the beast waylaid the plans of mousy men. Very soon the karmic wheels fell on the creation, ironically due to its crowing achievement and finishing klutz, Homo simian. What starts out in eternal paradise soon turns into a peeved barking lot of womentary maninfestations, right up to the present day.
This remands me to the clostudy of Finnegans Wake, which begins with a sentence about Adam and Eve ("riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay"), but by the third paragraph is into the Fall ("the fall of a once wallstrait oldparr is retaled early in bed and later on life down through all Christian minstrelsy"), and by the fourth paragraph is ringing in the full scale war of each against all ("arms apeal with larms, appalling. Killykillykilly: a toll, a toll").
Anyway, The Spiritual Ascent hits a bit of a rough patch with the chapters on illusion, sin, suffering, sacrifice, damnation, hell, and the like. Nevertheless, these sections do emphasize the existential stakes involved, as well as the fact that "purification" is somewhat analogous to the manner in which a diamond is made. Just take a lump of coal, put it through unimaginable fire and pressure in the middle of the earth, then chip and chisel away what is impure and unnecessary, and you've got a luminous little gem fit for eternity. What a bi-cosmic coincidence that the name diamond derives from the ancient Greek adamas and that most of them originate from Africa. Reminds me of the Johnny Cash song (written by Billy Joe Shaver):
I'm just an old chunk of coal
But I'm gonna be a diamond some day....
I'm gonna spit and polish my old rough-edged self
'Til I get rid of every single flaw
I'm gonna be the world's best friend
I just finished a couple of fascinating sections, Pilgrimage -- Descent Into Hell and Holy War. Speaking of odd coincidences, here's a weird one. After I finished my post yesterday -- which spontaneously floated on the themes of water, sailing vessels, and the soul's journey -- I picked up the book, opened to page 385 where I had left off, and read the following from the Rig Veda: As in a ship, convey us o'er the flood. Then the next passage, from the Epistle of Discretion, about how the soul is like a ship that "attaineth at the last to the land of stableness, and to the haven of health." In fact, the quote I placed at the very end of yesterday's post was only discovered immediately after it was written. Did you ever feel as if existence were just one big coonspiracy?
The section on Holy War is particularly interesting, as it emphasizes that jihad is not just for jihadis. Rather, there is Jewhad, Buhad, and Crusad, in both the interior and exterior senses, as well as above and below. Quite simply, war is not just inevitable but necessary, with roots extending deep into the very structure of the cosmos.
Conversely, it is pacifism that is not only unnecessary but highly narcissary to boot and bootlicker alike; sanctimonious pacifists are usually just people unaware of their viciousness and cruelty, like Jimmy Carter. Pacifism is essentially to surrender -- not just in war, but in the struggle of existence itself. For as written in Exodus, The Lord is a man of war; or in the words of Jesus: Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword; or in the words of Krishna: Nothing is higher for a [member of the warrior caste] than a righteous war.
In his introduction to the subject of Holy War, Perry cites Guenon, who wrote that the essential reason for war -- legitimate war -- is "to end a dis-order and re-establish order; in other words, it is the unification of a multiplicity, by use of means which belong to the world of multiplicity itself.... War understood in this way, and not limited in an exclusively human sense, thus represents the cosmic process of the reintegration of the manifested into the principial unity." This reintegration necessarily involves destruction, as catabolism is to metabolism.
Guenon continues: "The purpose of war is the establishment of peace, for even in its most ordinary sense peace is really nothing else than order, equilibrium, or harmony, these three terms being nearly synonymous and all designating under slightly different aspects the reflection of unity in multiplicity itself.... Multiplicity is then in fact not really destroyed, but 'transformed'..."
In another sense, legitimate war is none other than justice, being that justice is really an "equilibrating function" which is "directed against those who disturb order and [has] as its object the restoration of order." The reason we catch and punish bad guys is ultimately to restore order -- to the community, to the wronged individual, within the disordered psyche of the perpetrator, and ultimately to the Cosmos itself. In fact, it is fair to say that the blood of the victims cries out from the earth so long as a single murderer draws breath.
I am immediately reminded of Thomas Barnett's theories of the "functioning core" and the "non-integrating gaps" of the world. For example, think of all the deep and complex world unity that resulted from World War II. Likewise, the ultimate purpose of the war in Iraq is obviously to try to integrate the dysfunctional Islamic world into the functioning core of the West, i.e., to create a higher world unity. There really is no other way. Hey, we didn't start it, but we certainly ought to finish it.
I am also reminded of the intrinsically heretical perversion of Black Liberation Theology, which so attracted the weak-minded and weaker-souled Obama: "Many have been asking what Liberation Theology is all about. Well, it is not very complicated! It is the simple belief that in the struggles of poor and oppressed people against their powerful and rich oppressors, God sides with the oppressed against the oppressors."
Thus, it precisely inverts the true meaning of holy war, in that it imagines that God sides only with "the poor" instead of the righteous, or that he is angry at the wealthy instead of the evil (we should say that the righteous side with God). We can be quite certain that God is very displeased with the Palestinians, who are poor but (and because) evil, as God is preoccupied with goodness, not wealth.
This is just the same cold and dark Marxism trying to steal a little warmth and light -- or heart and mind -- from Christianity. If Obama and Wright were not such jihasbeens, they would understand the true source of liberation, black or otherwise: The "great holy war" is the struggle of man against the enemies he carries within himself, that is to say, against all those elements in him which are contrary to order and unity. Thus, the "unity candidate" is anything but. We will become the ones we've been waiting for only once we become more like the One who's been waiting for us.
Many things must be done in correcting with a certain benevolent severity, even against their own wishes, men whose welfare rather than their wishes it is our duty to consult... --St. Augustine
To be continued....