Saturday, May 17, 2008

Where There is No Verticality, the People Perish

First published in May 2006.; as always, I've edited it and added a few things. I tried to select a post from that month that touches on our recent discussions, but it was somewhat difficult to choose just one. Therefore, I may post another tomorrow.

****

Below the title of this blog you will see the oxymoronic term, “Evolutionary Traditionalism” [not anymore, as I keep changing them, but "Darwhiggian Evolution" amounts to the same thing]. Some of the people I most revere are traditionalists who see modernity -- let alone postmodernity -- as an unmitigated catastrophe for mankind. Although I consider the spiritual insights of these individuals to be truly priceless, I just can’t go with them that far [at least on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays]. In fact, one of the major aims of my book was to try to vindicate modernity by integrating science and traditional wisdom, and situating religion within a cosmos that has been evolving for 13.7 billion years, ever since the Creator banged it into being in his spare timelessness.

I am optimistic by nature, but sometimes it’s difficult to see how human beings are going to get out of the mess they’re in. I suppose one of the frustrating things about the day and age in which we live is that almost all of the answers, for the first time in history, are present and available, but it doesn’t seem to matter.

For example, we finally understand how wealth is created. Furthermore, we’ve pretty much tamed the boom-or-bust business cycle, so we don’t have the sorts of major economic upheavals we did even 75 years ago. We know how to conquer or control most diseases. There’s more than enough food. We understand the vital importance of early attachment, and how bad parenting leads to adult psychopathology. Higher education is available to everyone, to such an extent that the majority of people in college don’t even belong there. We live longer than ever, and air and water have never been cleaner. All of the greatest art, literature, music, and thought that has ever been produced by mankind is literally at our fingertips.

And yet, none of this is enough for most people. How can something like 70% of the population think we’re "on the wrong track," when they’ve never had it so good? Why, just because gasoline, adjusted for inflation, is almost as expensive as it was in 1981 [or whatever it is]?

True, part of the reason is that most people are completely ahistorical, and seem to have no idea how hard it was for previous generations just to put food on the table. But apparently, this is the default position of mankind. Whatever we have, we feel we are entitled to it, and then we just want more. Not only that, but this default attitude of entitlement can be infinitely aggravated and made worse by envy.

The envious imagination is truly infinite in its demonic capacity to devalue what it has and to then feel entitled to what someone else has (in fact, the latter is a function of the former, a critical point). It is the whole key to the leftist mindset, in that they have completely forgotten (if indeed they ever knew) how wealth is produced, and feel that the only remaining task is to "redistribute" it in an equitable fashion. But if we had assented to leftist envy at any point in the last 300 years, the average person wouldn't enjoy the kind of prosperity and affluence he does today. Likewise, if we give in to the demands of leftists today, we will just make our children and grandchildren that much poorer, for we will put the brakes on the very engine of material progress.

On the one hand it is a conceit to suggest that history has labored for lo these thousands of years to produce our privileged generation. And yet, from a certain point of view, if you think teleologically, it is surely true. For just as your present life is the result of thousands and thousands of little choices you made in the past, the present state of humanity is the result of countless past choices that were all aiming at our present state of affairs. In other words, we are the goal (I am tempted to say "the ones we've been waiting for"). This miraculous way of life that we enjoy in the United States was simply an unattainable dream for past generations. But for us, the dream has come true. The lifestyle of the average American so surpasses the dreams of Marx, that he must be spinning in his fire pit.

And yet, few people seem to appreciate that. Indeed, many people seem to think that we’re in some kind of nightmare, even more so than when we actually were in one (which we have been for virtually all of history, at least by our cushy contemporary standards). I'm not sure I could even live without some of the conveniences of the last 20 years -- for example, blogging and microbreweries -- let alone 200).

You would probably be hard-pressed to find rhetoric from the height of the Great Depression any more bitter and angry than what you can find every day on the dailykos and its constantlyhuffing. In considering the minds of such individuals, one suspects that politics is simply a means for them to externalize a hellish and unhappy internal world. The external world changes and evolves, but mankind’s internal world is comparatively fixed. For such lost souls, politics is simply a symbolic system for them to articulate their existential misery.

This is why it is so difficult for happy people to compete politically. They just don’t have the bitter energy, nor do they live in the illusion that human fulfillment is a product of transient circumstances. I intuitively figured out by my early 20s that my happiness was my responsibility, and that focussing on external circumstances really had little to do with it. For a number of reasons, I was able to realize that my internal happiness had a life -- and death -- of its own, irrespective of external circumstances (excluding, of course, real tragedies and losses, such as the breakup with a girlfriend, the loss of a loved one, or Jack Clark hitting that homerun against the Dodgers in the 1985 NLCS).

As a matter of fact, this intuitive attitude of mine coincides with the ultimate basis of spirituality, which is to see beyond the contingent and illusory nature of changing phenomena, to the permanent and unchanging -- to shed what is accidental, contingent, and existential in favor of what is real, substantial and essential. Supposedly, our unchanging center is sat-chit-ananda, or being-consciousness-bliss. Therefore, it was folly to get all excited about this or that tempest of the day, and imagine that anything would change with regard to my own internal world, which, after all, is the real world. It cannot be overemphasized that the external world is largely a projective field in which we merely adapt to our own self-generated emotional climate patterns. Many people have to actually die before they can realize that they had it all, but were simply incapable of treasuring and enjoying it.

When I emphasize the priority of the internal over the external, it should be clear that I do not mean it in the narcissistic manner of the left, i.e., "perception is reality." It is not so much that perception is reality. However, reality is perception, if understood in a vertical sense. For a person below a certain spiritual level, higher realities simply cannot be seen, certainly not with any certitude. More importantly, they cannot be lived. Proofs of God are meaningless to those who are not endowed with understanding, and understanding has height, weight, and depth that varies from person to person. This is where the traditionalists have it exactly right, for a civilization that loses contact with the vertical dimension will be completely rudderless and adrift.

This in turn is my objection to the left, for the left -- which does not see, much less acknowledge, the vertical -- replaces vertical aspirations with purely horizontal ones. This is why you will see that the left habitually exhibits religious fervor but without religion, which is, in the long run, as dangerous and destructive as the Islamists who exhibit psychotic anger, envy and sexual perversion -- the lower vertical -- in the guise of the higher vertical. Both attitudes are toxic to the soul.

I had intended this post to segue into a discussion of the four cardinal virtues. In considering what I wanted to say, it immediately struck me that these virtues are a very simple and straightforward way of talking about vertical reality, which in turn made me realize what has gone wrong with our educational establishment.

It is bad enough that leftist courts have so willfully misunderstood the intentions of the founders with regard to the so-called “separation of church and state,” which has in reality become the pretext for an aggressive assault on the vertical. This willful blindness is just part of a much more widespread attack on the vertical itself, to such an extent that it is unlikely that a child will ever receive any “vertical education” at all, from kindergarten right through graduate school. As such, he will likely become an educated barbarian.

For example, instead of learning about the four cardinal virtues to which we must perpetually aspire if we wish to become (more) human, they will be inculcated with substitute horizontal concepts such as “self esteem” and “tolerance.” These toxic ideas then become the axis around which a corrupted horizontal religiosity forms. Not only will this fail to yield human happiness, but it will even more firmly ensnore the sleeping soul in the bosom of maya, thus accomplishing the very opposite of what a liberal (which is obviously related to the word “liberate”) education is supposed to achieve.

This in itself is remarkable, considered in light of the wisdom of the ancients. The Catholic philosopher Josef Pieper, in his book Leisure: The Basis of Culture, points out that the word for leisure in Greek is skole, and in Latin, scola, both meaning "school." Therefore, leisure, properly understood, is a school, an unhurried realm where some sort of learning takes place. The very possibility of culture rests on a foundation of leisure -- a sphere of activity that is entirely detached from our immediate wants and needs, free from practical or political considerations -- free from the tyranny of the horizontal.

It is only here, in this leisurely space, that we can learn what it is to be a human, and actually become one. For our humanness is not given to us at birth, only our potential for such. This is something that was widely understood until our modern deviation, and this is an example of where I stand firmly on the side of the anti-modern traditionalists. For in truth, traditionalists have always been evolutionary traditionalists, except that they are preoccupied with vertical evolution and spiritually inward mobility, not mere horizontal “progress” and economically upward mobility,

The question is, can we enjoy the sort of incredible horizontal progress that past generations only dreamed of, while at the same time understand that this progress is of no significance unless the leisure and abundance that accompany it make it easier for us to progress in the vertical -- to fulfill our human potential?

For that is the tragedy of the past -- so much timeless wisdom, but no temporal slack for the ordinary individual to be able to appreciate it. Even if one were lucky enough to be literate, one’s relatively brief life was generally spent performing mindless, backbreaking work, punctuated by disease, pain, famine, and loss.

Modern man suffers -- but doesn’t know he suffers -- from the opposite tragedy: an impossibly rich and affluent horizontal world that has largely lost access to the vertical. Thus, he spiritually starves amidst plenty, and forms a complaint department known as “the left” to articulate his chronic existential dissaffection. At the same time, he is blind to the motivations of the Muslim barbarians whom he believes he can “buy off” with horizontal inducements. The Islamists may be crazy, but they’re not stupid. Somewhere inside, they probably even feel sorry for such people, in that they can sense the root cause of their unhappiness.

44 Comments:

Anonymous coonified said...

"I'm not sure I could even live without some of the conveniences of the last 20 years -- for example, blogging and microbreweries -- let alone 200"

Before I read anymore...I don't think that I would even have lived that long without access to unlimited--that is, without the constraints of my families evil attacks against any info beyond themselves--information online. I would have never found the books or people that I needed at the time that I needed them. I'm sure that I would have shriveled up and died of pneumatic suffocation-- Horrible! The information age gave me life in the most serious sense.

5/17/2008 08:43:00 AM  
Anonymous coonified said...

Another point...By contrast to my life and the small opening that I've found, and seeing how tight a squeeze it actually is--since I'm still trying to get a part of me through it--the "fleshlights" of the past are impressive to the point of...well, the impossible becoming possible. It's confounding how they can happen at all!

5/17/2008 08:48:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Here is an outstanding piece by Roger Kimball that touches on some of today's themes.

5/17/2008 08:52:00 AM  
Blogger LukeBlogWalker said...

Nice work, Bob. Thanks for mentioning the book to coonfield, I think I'll check that out too.

In my recent reading, I enjoyed this book on Afghanistan:

Afghanistan, a Companion and Guide
ISBN-10: 9622177468 / ISBN-13: 978-9622177468

It is not a travel guide, but a wonderfully done book about the country with lots of photos. Tome-ish in weight due to the fancy photo paper used.

Also, "The Strange Case of Hellish Nell" -one I will leave to you to locate if interested.

Life is about to get very interesting.

-Luke

5/17/2008 09:31:00 AM  
Blogger LukeBlogWalker said...

Oh, and choice of Title was excellent.. right on target. Zero error of circular probability. :)

5/17/2008 09:31:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"This is where the traditionalists have it exactly right, for a civilization that loses contact with the vertical dimension will be completely rudderless and adrift. "

Which occurs when the intellectuals lose touch with reality.

"...have so willfully misunderstood the intentions of the founders with regard to the so-called “separation of church and state,” which has in reality become the pretext for an aggressive assault on the vertical. This willful blindness is just part of a much more widespread attack on the vertical itself, to such an extent that it is unlikely that a child will ever receive any “vertical education” at all, from kindergarten right through graduate school. As such, he will likely become an educated barbarian. "

Freeing the most fearsome of beasts - Intellectual power without intellectual understanding - so much the opposite to liberating and anything Liberal, it is the most self enslaving of conditions.

5/17/2008 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Hey Luke, been awhile. Afghanistan, eh?

5/17/2008 10:02:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Skole bro.

5/17/2008 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

"For that is the tragedy of the past -- so much timeless wisdom, but no temporal slack for the ordinary individual to be able to appreciate it."

Seems to me that for the majority of the people I know, this hasn't changed much. The trouble with all of the time-saving devices we've created is that people are not content to use that time to reflect and relax, they strive to fill it to the brim with work or entertainment or activities so that they feel like they've accomplished something. Which in truth must be an outward projection of their inner states - if they actually were to take leisure time, they might actually be able to silence their mind, which might actually lead (horror of horrors!) to self-realization...

5/17/2008 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

To paraphrase Bion, the central problem for human beings is thoughts and what to do with them.

5/17/2008 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger AFFA said...

"This is my long-run forecast in brief: The material conditions of life will continue to get better for most people, in most countries, most of the time, indefinitely. Within a century or two, all nations and most of humanity will be at or above today's Western living standards. I also speculate, however, that many people will continue to think and say that the conditions of life are getting worse." - Julian Simon

To someone who has never known suffering, waking up in the morning probably seems like suffering.

5/17/2008 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Related Gecko post here; and if you missed it, Vanderleun's "Clear History" post also seems rather apropos.

5/17/2008 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger LukeBlogWalker said...

affa,

I am not sure I agree. Seems to me, at the bottom of your notion is the late 19th Century / early 20th Century notion that man is basically good, and given sufficient time and resources will excel at being so.

This generally brought the idea that man would usher in "Heaven on Earth" -something Barack Obama's crew seems to believe in. This is just an old rehash of an obvious falsehood.

The first two world wars proved that when man increases his knowledge, it becomes that much greater --his ability to destroy himself.

The basic problem is the Judeo-Christian viewpoint is on target here -that man is basically evil, and needs the vertical as the only means of salvation.

Things will not get better left to their own, any more than crops plant and harvest themselves to take care of feeding the masses.

Having "optimism" or wishful thinking does not change this reality. (I'm thinking of an old military axiom about hope in this hand and.. but I won't go there today).

In other words, technology and knowledge, in and of themselves are void without context. Man's life did not increase in quality because of cars, dynamite and computers, it increased because cars can move people and things, dynamite can make dams and the Panama canal, and computers can solve problems and analyze things we cannot directly do in a reasonable amount of time.

But computers also serve and surf up pornography and hate.

So merely the technology and knowledge and their accessories and tangents are valueless w/o a context. This brings is spot on back to the necessity of the vertical.

There is no light in the horizontal, except that which comes from above.

Using the flashlights of our minds and our inventions is nothing compared to the light of a relationship to God.

(To rehash myself from previous years) -knowing about God is not it, knowing God is. Sure, lots of related thoughts and spin off impressions and growth in that. Read: not as cut and dried as some would say.

But to treat that relationship as a philosophy is to distance yourself from the connection to the reality.

Remember the old saw about technology and knowledge, "A power so great, it can only be used for good or evil."

Evil is the dominant desire. It masquerades as being calm, or cool and collected, or enlightened, but always has that non-ring of truth to it -so long as you know the ring of real truth.

I belabor the point now, so I will shut up!

-Luke

5/17/2008 12:16:00 PM  
Blogger LukeBlogWalker said...

Van!

Yes, Afghanistan. Where everything tastes like goat.. not chicken.. goat!

I'll be on a base with lots of guys with guns, some attack helicopters, and working in an armored office.

How cool is that? ;)

Bob -if a coon is temporarily confused about something, is this a "coondogle" ?

Or way out in the middle of nowhere.. the "coondocks" ?

:)

-Luke

5/17/2008 12:21:00 PM  
Blogger LukeBlogWalker said...

..perhaps the coondocks is when a racoon is in the middle of coon-ness, rather than being lost, is found.

There, thats better.

-Luke

5/17/2008 12:22:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Gloomy-smoomy - I'm just PO'd at gutless RINO losers & frustrated that there's not a single Adult with a pair in the whole worthless bunch: Disgusting!

Like a huge, bloated, ten-armed Kali that uses the first set of hands to wring in front & the other sets to cover its eyes, ears & mouth. Last set is used to spread its cheeks & bend over to put its head up there.

From Michelle Malkin • May 16, 2008 04:51 PM:

"All week long, you and I have been blasting the bereft Beltway GOP leadership for their empty sloganeering and Obama-esque change obsession.

Now, the NRCC is hearing it directly on its website. Reader Fritz e-mails that the comments section in the NRCC blog post by chairman Tom Cole is sizzling hot with aggravated grass-roots conservative feedback."

http://blog.nrcc.org/comment.cfm?entry_
id=400

Grass-root Conservatives are not in the least confused, & gno exactly what needs to done: Pull Your Heads Out!

I'm pretty sure Van made a comment over there this afternoon, tho he tried to disguise himself by using 'John' instead of Van as his identifier:

"I have a few suggestions for the new laws that the Republican Party can enact so my family and I can enjoy more freedom. I have also included an old note outlining why I feel we deserve these freedoms.You might be interested."

Below this are the full texts of:
The Constitution of the United States
Bill of Rights & Amendments 11-27
Declaration of Independence

Way to go Van, even if you WERE pretending to be 'John'.

5/17/2008 02:38:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ximeze, John was me in shared spirit only... but I just stopped in and left him some back up.

5/17/2008 03:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, it's one thing to say that standards of living are great, but it's another to say that they're getting better. I mean, when the median household income hasn't kept up with inflation, even if you claim gasoline prices haven't gone above inflation, there's still a problem. There is a problem fast approaching, and it is no longer an issue of "if" but rather "when."

What I find naive is that so many think that we've set up a system that can prevent any extreme economic hardships, so when economists tell us there's a serious problem, nobody acts because they think that there's a solution. But the solution in large part requires our participation, and instead of listening to economists, we listen to the president and congress, who have been rather naive themselves.

By the way, the mere fact that a great number of people are worried about the economy is a cause of economic problems in and of itself, whether that concern be real or perceived. If the cattle go on a stampede because a twig snaps, it's still a stampede, and you still have to deal with it.

And how do I know for certain there's an economic problem? Well personally I work for an independent federal agency, and we've been given specific information in regards on how our agency will deal with the coming "recession, possible depression."

Should you be afraid? No, but you should be aware. Depends on your circumstances but you're worse off by choosing to think you're unaffected. I would at least be certain of your own economic standings.

Moving on to a different subject, the US is an exception to religion and any correlation to standard of living. And a big one. Maybe looking around the US you could come to the conclusion the title assumes, but on a world level it's a prima facie case that it just doesn't hold water by mere example.

But here's a bigger issue I'd like people to focus on, we're in for some tough times economically, and you're arguing what religion does for society. As far as I'm concerned, be religious, but when you are finally affected by whatever happens in the next 6 months, don't come back and put that on politics or morality, because these comments today show where the problem really lies, and you are a part of it. Simply put, it sounds like you're ignoring the problem, or unaware of it, which has nothing to with your spiritual standings whatsoever, so don't get confused.

When you are affected you'll blame certain people for their small and insignificant contributions to the problem, when in reality it will be a collective issue, due to failures in regulations and policies and the failure of many individuals to handle their own finances. Religion is in no way significant in coming up with a solution(and charity would be too insignificant to work and if it could it would be too taxing on the charities), whether or not verticality could be a trait significant to preventing the flaws society kills itself with. Simply put, verticality is at this point insignificant. And where there is verticality there is still the possibility people could perish, only perhaps from different circumstances.

At this point it just seems like everybody thinks there is nothing to fear, and when something happens everybody will have something(somebody?) to blame. Obviously if you do nothing you haven't done anything wrong, except you still have to take on the problems you didn't cause, which wouldn't be problems had you done something more than nothing when it mattered most.

You can blame liberals for expecting handouts, but you'll still have to deal with it, which is a good example of why economic policies must balance well with societal expectations. Conservative economics don't work well because of greed, liberal economics don't work well because of sloth.

5/17/2008 03:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The GOP is desperate. Especially after losing all those special election seats. They're not looking too good, and I'm fairly certain the Dems have an easy fight to get the presidency in November, not because of the Democrat, but because of the Republican.

5/17/2008 03:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Joseph said...

Microbrews--I agree, it is one of the few signs that things are possibly improving. Oddly, and I don't mean to be contrary, we have Jimmy Carter to thank, in part, for that, since he signed into law the opportunity for home brewers to make beer without the feds butting in. It was, to be sure, the only good thing he did in office. It is also true, though, that in 1880, there were some 2200 breweries in the US, with the population at 50 million. There are now over 1500 in the US, but with 6 times the people. So, we still have some making up to do.

Jack Clark. On May 3rd, 1985, I caught, in a blanket thankfully, a home run he hit in St. Louis. It may have been the hardest ball I have ever seen hit in my life. If I had tried using my hands, I would be without them now.

5/17/2008 03:31:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Wow, Anonymous (3:10). So basically you're saying "who cares about religion, we're headed for the Great Depression?"

Because that's what came across, anyway.

If you want to speak about preparing for the worst (both financially and materially), I suspect that most of the readers here have already given thought to such things; that's what responsible people do. The truth is, a big recession may be coming (and if the Democrats are largely in charge this time next year with free reign to implement their stated goals it's a near certainty). I can guarantee you that hard times on every scale are coming for everyone, sooner or later - that's a simple, unavoidable fact of life.

Faith matters, especially when life gets difficult. Why? Because it affects a person's outlook on hardship and ability to cope with difficulties great and small. A culture whose dominant faith teaches how to deal effectively with adversity is likely to be more successful than a culture whose dominant faith (or anti-faith) teaches such things as fatalism, nihilism or godlessness (because while some people seem to be inherently good and moral, the vast majority of humans are naturally amoral at best).

So yeah, we do worry about the state of faith in this nation and in the world in general. And if you think that's a waste of time, there are lots of places you can go that focus on the things that matter to you.

5/17/2008 03:38:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Thanks for the dissertation Anon., now can I get back to my blissful meditation?

5/17/2008 03:43:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Anon said,
"As far as I'm concerned, be religious, but when you are finally affected by whatever happens in the next 6 months, don't come back and put that on politics or morality, because these comments today show where the problem really lies, and you are a part of it."

I'm going to blame YOU since you work for the Fed.

5/17/2008 03:50:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

aninnymouse said "Simply put, verticality is at this point insignificant"

Simply put, please don't use 10 pargraphs to say 8 words. If you have nothing to say, using that many words to say it is just plain tedious.

5/17/2008 03:55:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Anon, thanks for sharing your chicken scratches in the earth. Most illuminating.

5/17/2008 03:58:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

You do so much for so many of us (unless I'm just projecting?) You must know that or you wouldn't keep it up. Thank you seriously, Bob.

5/17/2008 06:00:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

LUKE! Been missing you, man. God bless you.

VAN - Will I be wasting my vote when I cast it for Bob Barr?

5/17/2008 06:16:00 PM  
Anonymous marimoishe said...

Bob sed:
For that is the tragedy of the past -- so much timeless wisdom, but no temporal slack for the ordinary individual to be able to appreciate it. Even if one were lucky enough to be literate, one’s relatively brief life was generally spent performing mindless, backbreaking work, punctuated by disease, pain, famine, and loss.

Modern man suffers -- but doesn’t know he suffers -- from the opposite tragedy: an impossibly rich and affluent horizontal world that has largely lost access to the vertical.


These two states are, of course, intimately related. It's sometimes said that God allows His people to experience sorrow and trials so that they will remember Him and turn to Him. Likewise, amid luxurious affluence the people perish, because they forget where all that material goodness came from and who was responsible for bestowing it on them. Rather than thanking God, they congratulate themselves.

Rare indeed is the society that appreciates both its Maker and its material wealth. The United States was such a society until relatively recently. Now I fear we are largely losing a sense of gratitude for our unbelievably bounteous blessings--and that's among those who believe in a Personage to whom such blessings can be ascribed. Among the atheists or apatheists, there is rarely a sense of gratitude (the closest one gets is a recognition of good fortune) and more often than not a mindless whining obtains.

5/17/2008 07:19:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Has anycoon watched the BBC series on
Hitler(history) Channel entitled:
"The Nazis: A Warning from History" ?

My Public Library has it, Nexflix & of course Amazon too. One Amazon customer review includes:

"This series is very good a zeroing in on individual Nazis to show how ordinary people did terrible things within the framework of the larger state. It also does an excellent job of explaining the Nazi world view. It pays well deserved attention to the importance Hitler placed on "art" and culture as well as the way in which SOCIAL DARWINISM was twisted into a culture of lawlessness where the strong were encouraged to exploit, if not destroy, the weak."

"But in many ways Hitler was very lazy and let his subordinates do pretty much whatever they wanted. He had obtained great power through his gift of rhetoric and ambitious people sought access to that power. These power seekers put great effort into trying to please him. Hitler didn't command them to commit all the great atrocities. They devised and implemented them in an attempt to please him and obtain still more wealth and power. If they furthered the broad goals of more territory and power for the Germans then Hitler did not interfere and they obtained the resources to further their work."

Is it suitable as a cluebat shortcut to recommend to our anti-cognition trolls?

5/17/2008 07:45:00 PM  
Blogger bobyu said...

I don't know how true this is, but I am inspired to write this.

Best religions for helping us get in direct touch with the Infinite/Verticality: Buddhism, Hinduism (or Vedanta?)

Even though there is only a tiny, tiny number of truly illumined beings in history, Eastern religions seem to produce a little bit of them more through hard, systematic, spiritual disciplines (or maybe Western religions suffer from p.r. problem or they were better at persecuting them)

Best religions for translating adequately what comes/arises from Verticality into Horizontality: Christianity, Judaism.

The main proof is that the best things of modernism all come from science which is rooted in Christianity.

Conservative philosophy is biased towards vertical evolution (how to get in touch with Verticality); liberal philosophy is biased towards horizontal evolution (how to continuously better express Verticality into Horizontality, thus enabling progress and increasing individual human freedom).

This may also explain two well-known archetypes of mystics: either they go into the hiding into their caves (conservative) or they come into the world and shake it to its core and create a new world legacy (liberal).

The problem is that modern conservatives are clueless about the origin of conservative principles and virtues, namely the Nameless One. Hence what they conserve is NOT the perenial root of All and the tried-and-true way to re-unite with it, but its temporary and impermanent form that is rooted in long gone culture.

The problem with modern liberals is that instead of going back to the Source and finding a better and progressive way to express and manifest that Verticality to complement what has come before, they reject and throw out everything in the past and then use purely horizontally inspired ideas that lead us all into hell.

I believe this is why a true integral religion is one that is simultaneously deeply conservative and liberal. Before the Absolute one can only utterly submit and be humble and obey unquestionly; to carry out the mission of the Absolute one has to work ceasely to improve and progress to manifest the Will of Divine, to make heaven on earth, primarily through sheer inner work, followed by non-recognition seeking public work.

5/17/2008 08:13:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Nomo said "Will I be wasting my vote when I cast it for Bob Barr?"

Depends on how well you consider it. When Bush 41 broke his 'no new taxes' pledge, that was it for me, and Perot saved me from sitting it out completely. One result is that with the olde guarde Republicans defeat, Newt was able to bring on the Contract with America and the conservative surge that brought about the 'end of welfare', etc. On the other hand, we also got the Clinton years. Would Bush have made similar mistakes and neglect of a growing al queada as Clinton? The mood of Monica Gate, etc?

As with many things, the choice isn't always between good and bad, but bad and worse - and you never really know. I guess all you can do is try to consider it from all angles... try to 'think beyond square one', as Thomas Sowell puts it. I can't vote for McCain... but can I not put my vote where I think it will best support the islambie war and the Troops fighting it? I don't know that I can, and... at least at this point.... a vote cast where it won't directly oppose the dem's, would be the wasted vote.

But.

Especially after seeing the the post Ximeze pointed to, the disgusting apeing of the leftie platform that the Republicans are planning on foisting on us... I can certainly understand coming to a different coonclusion.

I may yet as well.

5/17/2008 08:22:00 PM  
Blogger bobyu said...

p.s.

It seems to me that Masculine principle is the desire to re-unite with the Emptiness. Hence Buddha's injunction to leave one's family behind to seek nirvana is one example of that.

However, once rooted in Emptiness, one sees the world of Form and Compassion arises - hence Christ's injunction of loving our neighbours.

The conservative principles serve two functions: how to live in the world ethically and morally; and how to increase the chance of re-uniting with the Emptiness.

The liberal principles come after: once rooted in Emptiness, now come back to the world to emancipate others and to increase freedom in the world.

In both cases, God is the center of it all. Too bad that politcal conservatives and liberals have totally excluded God/Nirvana/Absolute in their politcal foundations.

5/17/2008 08:35:00 PM  
Blogger LukeBlogWalker said...

Hey NOMO! Sup holmes?

Verticality IS reality. The rest is just chaos in background noise.

Anonymous. I did not bother after the first few lines, simply because I forgot my latest rule.

If you don't have a big enough pair to identify yourself somehow, then I could care less about what you have to say.

Real men have real monikers, and are not bomb throwing cognitive weaklings.

Would you like more government cheese with that whine?

There is so much more to life, than main lining the main stream media, Al Gore, and loser ideologies that are only variations of a puking death. One designed to deceive you, mislead you, scare you and terrorize your heart / twist your mind and soul.

Evil does not care, it just wants to take you to death with it. Flailing while you hang onto it adoringly does not a convincing thesis make.

Semper Fi Nomo!

-Luke

5/17/2008 09:31:00 PM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

the return of luke
striking back at the empires
of mass deception

Welcome back dude! Rock it over there.

I just spent the day in Hell, the Canyon section. Hot.

5/17/2008 10:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you want to see what a culture would look like that has no vertical dimension to it whatsoever, and that has wall to wall 24/7 propaganda against such a possibility then turn on your TV set.

Even the "religious" programs are all pure flatland.

Welcome to flatland -- even FAT-land. Everyone uncomfortably numb stuffed to the eyeballs with junk "food".

Junk TV "culture"--junk "food".

5/17/2008 11:47:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

I don't have a TV set, what do I do now?

5/18/2008 12:19:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hi Luke!
Welcome back! How's business in the 'stan?

5/18/2008 07:20:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Coonified said:
"I would have never found the books or people that I needed at the time that I needed them. I'm sure that I would have shriveled up and died of pneumatic suffocation-- Horrible! The information age gave me life in the most serious sense."

Well said, and I couldn't agree more!

5/18/2008 07:23:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Hello Luke! So pleased to meet you. Nice rules you got there. I see we resupply in the same space. I found this watering whole only Jan 07. Not sure the last time you were here. But I can tell when you walked in the door that you are a man I’d like to have a word with. What a delight to meet someone new (to me anyway) who has been with us, and therefore me too, in spirit.
RR

Hi Ben!

5/18/2008 07:29:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hoarhey said...
I don't have a TV set, what do I do now?

Ha ha! Good one, Hoarhey!
I can't say I missed "TV is the devil!" Anononymous.

I mean, hey, if TV ain't your bag that's cool, but Anonymous goes overboard...lost at see overboard.

5/18/2008 07:29:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hi Rick!
How goes it? Hope the little guy is doin' okay.

5/18/2008 07:34:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

It’s hard to say, Ben. He’s sort of developed a different limp now. Every time I tell myself, “well it’s just going to be a sloooow recovery”, he gets a little slower. But it seems to bother me more than it does him. He must miss “tug o war” terribly, though.

5/18/2008 07:52:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I bet he does too. Hopefully, he will be playin' tug of war again, sooner rather than later.

5/18/2008 07:56:00 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Lately Colleen and I have both been very discouraged at the behaviors we see in the children we are parenting. With the two foster children (not the baby) and one adopted child, it seems that their vertical compass is stuck on down. That is not to say that our own children are that much better.

Thank you, Bob, for the nourishment. Your comments about the left in this and today's post are right on target, as always.

5/18/2008 09:52:00 AM  

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