Thursday, May 01, 2008

Jihad is Not Just for Jihadis (5.11.12)

I've had very little time for any sustained reading, so I'm still making my way through the 1,100 page The Spiritual Ascent, a "compendium of the world's wisdom" organized into three main sections that mirror the universal stages of purification, illumination, and union, but with dozens of subsections. In a way, you could say it is fractally organized, in that each section is a part of the whole, even while the whole is in each part. Likewise, every day of our lives is a process of purification, illumination and union, at least if we are consciously aware of this once in a lifetome uppertunity to write our own wrungs on Jacob's ladder.

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....

22 Comments:

Anonymous fm said...

Bob,

Thanks for doing some heavy lifting in sorting out this nightmare we're in. I have to disconect sometimes just to get things done, but there it is, always waiting, more insanity and more lies from wackos on every corner. The weight of it all makes it easy to say, "It's someone elses problem." I've heard friends and family say, "I can't be bothered with THAT!" Your premise of the danger in pacifism is exactly what I needed to read today. Thanks!

And then there's this - HA!
Future News

5/01/2008 11:06:00 AM  
Anonymous fm said...

disconnect - [sp]

5/01/2008 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

In case you're wondering, Bob, the resounding silence is likely due to the fact that this is a particularly heavy chunk o' Bread, which requires a goodly amount of chewing and digesting before it can be properly absorbed.

But it is exceedingly nutritious, imho.

5/01/2008 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger QP said...

"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"

So Bob, you will keep this in mind the next time FL plays in the trash?@%$?

Shorter version:
"You can do it the easy way or you can do it the hard way".

Hey, worked for my Dad. As I grew, it became easier to choose the easy way -> Just obey.

5/01/2008 12:16:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

The concept of wealth as evil and poverty as good is an interesting one. You will often hear religious texts cited in support, yet this is a perversion. God has no problem with you possessing neat rectangles of colored paper/cloth or shiny chunks of metal. He is opposed to us trusting in and depending on wealth as a false god. You don't even have to have money to worship it. Consider the millions of Americans currently in bondage to debt as a sign of their devotion to Mammon.

The left is rather selective about their condemnation of wealth. Google, Gates and Oprah seem to be to OK, as are Soros and Streisand. Cheney and corporate executives are not OK. They reserve their true hatred for capital -- as taught by their prophet Marx. It is evil to them that capital should reproduce.

While we can all agree that charitable distributions are to some extent beneficial, the benefits are limited. The coercive redistributions of government -- enforced at gunpoint -- except for carefully circumscribed assistance given in extreme instances -- can be deadly to a nation.

Bastiat has some timeless and very accessible writings on what you might call the righteousness of capital. Reading Bastiat, who died in 1850, gives a great perspective on how old and tired the "new progressive" ideas really are.

5/01/2008 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

You just have to laugh at any leftist who claims to be concerned about civil liberties. If it weren't for the IRS -- the muscle of liberal statists -- it would be absolutely nobody's business how much money anyone else had.

5/01/2008 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

What Julie said. Chew 10x before swallowing.

"Pacifism is essentially to surrender -- not just in war, but in the struggle of existence itself."

Attended a Holocaust Memorial service at noon today and was utterly struck at the solemnity and conviction of the few hundred people in the room to never let anything like this happen again. No pacifists anywhere in sight, but many humble WWII vets who radiated real peace.

Most moving was a reading of Jonathan Wallace's Auschwitz Alphabet. The room was in tears and people were awake.

5/01/2008 03:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Friend of Unknown Friend said...

Nor, I assume, is it a coincidence that just last night I finished reading the Arcanum of Force...

5/01/2008 04:31:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Speaking of which, Robin, some related thoughts here. (Erica was also my source for the video last week; I forgot to give her credit.)

5/01/2008 04:41:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

FoUF:

Very good. I should review that chapter in the morning, and see how well it stacks up with everything else we'll be discussing...

5/01/2008 04:42:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

“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?”

Is this a tricky raccoon questschuon?

5/01/2008 05:38:00 PM  
Blogger QP said...

Ricky - Obviously we are under attack from superior consciousness.

5/01/2008 07:37:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

QP,
…or the superconscious…

Mr. Sulu, please file this report under “Coonspiracy”:

Your Captain spent all yesterday on a dead ship*. Dead tired when I got home wanting happy dreams so picked up right where I left off the night before in Satprem’s “Sri Aurobindo Adventure of Consciousness”.

All stOOdents please turn to the bottom of page 125:

“War and destruction, he wrote, are not only a universal principal of our life here in its purely material aspects…”

...and further, on the next page on pacifism:

“Therefore, so far as the problem of the individual’s action goes, his abstention from strife and its inevitable concomitant destruction in their more gross and physical form may help his own moral being, but it leaves the Slayer of creatures unabolished.”

*True story. “Dead ship” just means a ship with no power (…or does it...).
No worries. It was tied to the pier :-)

5/02/2008 04:57:00 AM  
Blogger Fido said...

But Captain, that folder…scratch that…that file cabinet is overflowing now!

5/02/2008 04:59:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Scotty, please order another file cabinet.

5/02/2008 05:01:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Yarr, this is why video games have the potential of being such an awesome idea. They teach people to fight without killin' people. You know, 'cause our enemies aren't flesh and blood.

No quarter!

5/02/2008 06:20:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Julie said "...Bob, the resounding silence is likely due to the fact that this is a particularly heavy chunk o' Bread, which requires a goodly amount of chewing and digesting ..."

That... and it was the 9 yr old's birthday yesterday... which she celebrated by breaking her collarbone.

Sheesh.

5/02/2008 06:30:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Mushroom said "Bastiat has some timeless and very accessible writings on what you might call the righteousness of capital. Reading Bastiat, who died in 1850, gives a great perspective on how old and tired the "new progressive" ideas really are."

Oh, how right you are! Tell you what, gave me a thrill seeing someone else bring his name up! You can find lot's of Bastiat's Essays Here (The Law might be particularly helpful to lefties who think it is for them to put their dreams (our nightmares) into reality with.

5/02/2008 06:39:00 AM  
Blogger QP said...

[qp's arm shoots up]

"Teacher, teacher, I recall a great
Doctor* imploring a Pope with these words: . . . "be a manly man...wanting to live in peace is often the greatest cruelty. When the boil has come to a head it must be cut with the lance and burned with fire and if that is not done, and only a plaster is put on it the corruption will spread and that is often worse than death. I wish to see you as a manly man so that you may serve the Bride of Christ (the church and its people) without fear, and work spiritually and temporally for the glory of God according to the needs of that sweet Bride in our times."

*Saint Catherine of Siena

5/02/2008 07:04:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Quite simply, war is not just inevitable but necessary, with roots extending deep into the very structure of the cosmos. "

Or as that happy ol' Greek guy Heraclitus sobbed "We must know that war (polemos) is common to all and strife is justice, and that all things come into being through strife necessarily".

The more things change, the more...

5/02/2008 07:44:00 AM  
Blogger QP said...

"Did you ever feel as if existence were just one big coonspiracy?” ~ Gagdad Bob

High voltage coonspiracy sensations going off in le body de qp. Ahora, aqui.

5/02/2008 08:44:00 AM  
Anonymous marimoishe said...

At risk of pointing out something you're all already aware of: the nave of a cathedral is named after the Latin navis, ship. Cathedrals, then, are meant to be ships which convey the faithful through the choppy seas of mortality back to the safe haven of God.

5/02/2008 01:37:00 PM  

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