And the Weird Light Shines in the Dorks, but the Dorks Don't Comprehend it
Science is obviously a wonderful tool, but when it is elevated to a metaphysic it is remarkably empty of content and meaning, especially as it pertains to the meaning of our human journey, the Adventure of Consciousness. One of the implications of Gödel's theorems is that any logical or mathematical system will generate questions that are not answerable within the system. Ironically -- or perhaps "cluelessly" is a better word -- many postmodernists use Gödel to try to prove that all knowledge is therefore relative, but this was not Gödel's point at all.
Rather, Gödel -- and Petey has discussed this with him in great detail -- thought he had proved that Plato was essentially correct -- that there are things that are patently true but which cannot be proven with logic. There is a realm of ideas and archetypes that can only be known directly with the intellect properly so-called -- i.e., the nous, buddhi, or psychic being (Aurobindo's term).
This, of course, is the entire basis of religious knowledge. Our souls prove the existence of the Divine for the simple reason that they are so adequately proportioned to the Divine nature. We were built, so to speak, to know God. If we weren't so built, then we could not know or even conceive of him (except in an illusory sense), any more than a dog can conceive of music or Ray can escape his genetic programming. Nothing can account for the beauty and wonder of the soul except something even more beautiful and wondrous.
Science adequately describes the horizontal cosmos, which is to say, inadequately. In order to acquire an integral understanding of reality, the linear/temporal/horizontal view must be supplemented by the vertical, which is where revelation, myth, and metaphysics take over. Only these modes can take us beyond the horizon of knowability that afflicts your and myopic little ego. Myth and revelation bypass the ego by making an appeal to our lower and higher intuition, respectively, while metaphysics speaks directly to the timeless intellect which may know absolute truth absolutely, since it is in the image of the divine. These are built-in ways for us to see beyond the temporal illusions of our womentary maninfestation.
We might visualize reality as a circle containing a cross (better yet, a sort of spider web, with lines emanating from the center, along with concentric circles signifying the different worlds, or planes of intelligibility). Science describes the horizontal vector, but there is a second “ray of creation” that extends from the top down and then back up again. The downward descending energy is called the “ray of involution,” while the upward ascending one is called the “ray of evolution.” Of course, this is not the same as Darwinian evolution, which only describes change -- but not absolute progress, or progress toward the Absolute -- in the horizontal.
On the strict Darwinian view there is, of course, no such thing as progress, which is as it should be. While technically a “true” theory if we limit ourselves to the horizontal, it is obviously a false and limited understanding if we don’t supplement it with the vertical view of spiritual evolution. Strictly speaking, I can assure you there are no strict “Darwinians,” for even the belief in strict Darwinism takes one out of the strictly horizontal stream of Darwinism, into the realm of transcendent ideas. In short, the theory of pure Darwinism finds itself in the embarassing position of having to express itself in a medium it cannot account for, and make its appeals to a judge that cannot exist. D'oh!
Paradoxically, in order for us to exist and possess our own free will, God cannot "ex-ist" in the way atheists would apparently like him to. But it is not really a paradox, for a moment’s reflection will inform your intellect that if God doesn’t get out of the way, there can be no creation separate from him, no free beings. In other words, at the "top" of the vertical ray is the Absoloute. Even that is a bit misleading, for the top of the ray has a “face” we can see from our relative position, as well as an "interior" or "dark side" we cannot see (dark because the light would be too blinding).
The riddle of the human being is he is the only animal that is both what he is and what he is yet to be, not accidentally, but essentially. Only a human being can fail to become what and who he is, something proven to me every day in my work as a psychologist (and my becoming a freelance theologian has only heightened this awareness). We do not exist in the way that a star, a rock or an animal exists. An animal is what it is. Its nature and essence are fixed. But a human who is not perpetually becoming human is not a proper human at all. In other words, only human beings exist as both being and becoming. Unlike other animals, we have within us an essence that is both present and yet unrealized, and which it is the purpose of life to actualize and fulfill: to bring it from eternity into time and then back to eternity.
A seed does not have any choice in deciding what kind of tree it will become. A lizard doesn't wonder if perhaps it isn't living up to the ideals of real lizardiness, or whether there are better lizards out there. Only humans can fail to become what they are. Only human beings can actually become monsters, for a vile human being is far lower than a noble animal. No animal but the human being can be unfit for life and unworthy of the cosmos that belched him from the void.
The purpose of religion is to become human. Biology will only take you so far, which is not very far at all. A merely biological human being would also be a monster, a misfit, something grotesque. In our bones we know this. In Genesis, the first thing Adam and Eve realize upon attaining self-consciousness is their nakedness, of which they are ashamed. They know instantaneously -- one of those things we cannot not know -- that they are not like the other animals and that there is something shameful in behaving like one. Man has dignity and nobility, or he is not man, merely a hairless ape or an MSNBC anchor.
In so many ways the contemporary left presents a teaching that is completely at odds with our divine blueprint. “You and me baby ain't nothin' but mammals / So let's do it like they do on the Discovery Channel,” as the Bloodhound Gang put it. How did this monstrous inversion occur? It has nothing at all to do with classical liberalism, which was always rooted in the traditional virtues, those perennial truths of our humanness.
Contemporary liberalism has an entirely different intellectual genealogy than classical liberalism. A tipping point was reached in the 1960’s that caused the full cultural breach with traditional wisdom, and we have been reaping its disastrous consequences ever since. The battle in America between left and liberal continues, and its outcome will determine the future of the world, much more so than the war on Islamo-nazism. It is in this context that I object to LGF's alliance with the beasts and monsters.
For leftism, in all its forms, is a revolt. Specifically, it is a revolt against our divine-human nature alluded to above. With the cosmic inversion of 1960’s came the pervasive message that one could be an authentic human only by being subhuman, by rejecting all of society’s "hypocritical" mores and values. In fact, the word "hypocrisy" was redefined as a way to eliminate the realm of metaphysically real values by attacking those who are unable to live up to them (as if anyone but a saint could!). Famous leftists such as Herbert Marcuse and N.O. Brown taught that Western civilization was false, oppressive and inauthentic. Therefore -- in a complete inversion of the cosmic order -- the purpose of life was to become “unrepressed” and to overturn tradition, since the latter was simply an "illegitimate means of control and domination."
This is why the left cannot help aligning itself with movements -- no matter how vile or evil -- that further this goal of overturning Western values. It is why Michael Moore calls terrorists “freedom fighters,” why Cynthia Sheehan calls President Bush a terrorist, why Kos says “screw ‘em” to American “mercenaries” who are beheaded by Iraqi terrorists, why they sympathize with the Palestinians but demonize Israel, why they love Castro, Che, Sandinistas, Hugo Chavez, and now Obama.
At the heart of leftism is revolt, both aggressive and sexual. Unfortunately, with regard to the latter, they have clearly seized the advantage, and it is difficult to see how we could, as a society, ever return to sexual sanity. Ever since the 1960’s the left has succeeded in redefining sexual virtue as unrestrained sexual expression, which we see in the battle to preserve the definition of marriage. Again, it is a complete reversal. As Shelby Steele writes in White Guilt,
“The idea that a lack of sexual inhibition signified a deeper and more compassionate humanity became one of the more fabled ideals of the counterculture. Here casting aside one’s sexual inhibitions was a way of opening up to one’s deeper humanity and, thus, separating oneself from the dark human impulses to racism, sexism, and militarism that plagued the repressed, bourgeois world of one’s parents. At the center of the sixties consciousness was always this confluence of the personal and political where freedom from bourgeois repression was always somehow an aspect of social responsibility.”
The establishment does not require the rebel but the rebel requires the establishment, in the same way that the adolescent requires his parents to act out his rebellion. Therefore, leftism isn't just reactionary, but it is a dance of projective identification in which the leftist projects the most human parts of himself outside and then rebels against them. This is what allows him to live without conscious guilt (unconscious guilt is another matter), for the guilt is converted into the imaginary “right wing fascism,” the "psychic twin" that persecutes him.
For guilt was another thing that was thrown overboard in the 1960’s. Nothing is more “inauthentic” than feeling guilt for doing what comes naturally. But the absence of guilt is the measure of how far we have strayed from our divine blueprint. It is like our sense of physical pain, without which we would quickly damage our bodies beyond repair.
The same thing can happen with the soul, which cannot live without the guidance of a celestial ideal. Humans can either become less -- or all too -- human on their own or more human with a little nonlocal assistance. For it is folly to think that we can pick ourselves up by our own buddhastraps or fly inward and upward with our own Darwings.
Prayer of the Raccoon who is sophering with the Jesus willies: