Coonversations With Mysoph
As always, this weekly verticalisthenic exercise also gives me the opportunity to do some basic editing for the first time, not to mention a proper grammar- and spellcheck, in order to make sure that the puns are properly misspelled and the syntax is fully unigmatic and in the wrong locution.
That reminds me. One of Bill Evans' most famous recordings is called Conversations With Myself. Condescending jazz purist that I am, I've never actually heard it, since it sounded gimmicky to me. On this recording, he first played a piece, and then later overdubbed himself having another musical "conversation" with it, spontaneously weaving in, out, and around it, making for a sort "double creation," which in turn creates a "higher third," or a whole new whole. "Piano for Hegelians," so to speak....
Most psychological studies are worthless, because they either confirm common sense or violate it so thoroughly that no sensible person would believe the study. In fact, once you even reduce the study of psychology to that which can be proven with a study, you are pretty much a lost soul. This is because if one conflates the realm of Truth with that which can be proven with reason alone, you have done a very irrational thing. [So far, so good.]
First, reason can only operate with the materials with which it has been provided, and there is no strictly logical operation that can tell you which materials to select. Secondly, it excludes all forms of Truth that are known directly [or "seen"] through the intellect as such, including religious truths. Therefore, you no longer care about Truth as such but only the small subset that can be proven with logic. Furthermore, you have excluded pure intelligence as such [which clearly transcends reason, reason being one of its tools]. Some people are just much smarter or deeper than others, so what they say carries much more weight. [As our trolls teach us, the matter of intellectual -- not to mention spiritual -- qualification is not something that can be reduced to reason.]
To cite just one example, every sensible person knows that men and women are fundamentally different. In fact, it is difficult not to know this unless you've spent too much time in college. I've heard Dennis Prager ask any number of academics about it, and most of them say words to the effect of, “I’m not saying it’s impossible, but without the data to back it up, we just can’t say.” It would be more accurate for them to say, “we’re not allowed to say” -- or, more precisely -- "we’re not allowed to think,” for “thinking” is not synonymous with “drawing conclusions from premises” or data. Rather, the latter is just one of many operations and faculties available to thinking as such, i.e., to the intellect proper.
The irrational reduction of thinking to reason is at the heart of the leftist project, which is precisely why it is so deeply illogical. Because I can assure you, if you have a particular conclusion in mind (we're speaking of the humanities here), you can almost always find the premises you need to support it. Furthermore, it is very easy to attack and belittle translogical Truth as illogical, for the very reason that it transcends -- but does not exclude -- mere logic.
For example, this week the New York Times logically concluded that it was critical to reveal state secrets and undermine our national security because of the “greater danger” posed by President Bush's “threat to civil liberties.” This test fails their own logic, because four years ago the Times opined that the Bush administration was not doing enough to track terrorists through their financial activities: “If America is going to wage a new kind of war against terrorism, it must act on all fronts, including the financial one.” The difference, of course, is that the new stance is overwhelmingly driven by blind emotional hatred -- by the implicit premise that Bush is evil. Therefore, one is permitted to draw any pernicious conclusion one wishes from that fundamental -- but completely prelogical -- ”truth.”
[A critical point, for there is an essentially infinite difference between prelogical and translogical truth; the left -- not to mention the cretins at LGF -- habitually conflate the two; there is no difference in the crude manner in which the typical kos or LGF vulgarian confidently dismisses metaphysical truth.]
So I am always highly skeptical of psychological studies. I’m thinking of one in particular that wanted to prove that there is no difference between children raised by a mother and father vs. children raised by homosexual parents. In fact, said the study, there might even be a slight advantage to the latter, because the children of homosexual parents were more sexually adventurous. Hmm, “adventurous”.... That’s an interesting term for a scientific study. What does it mean? What it means for a person with common sense is that the children were more promiscuous and more confused about their sexual identities. Nuts & sluts, if you like.
Likewise, there have been studies proving that daycare is good for children, that molestation can be a positive experience, that mother love is toxic, that all homosexuality is genetic, that conservatives are mentally ill, that psychoanalysis is ineffective, that crime is caused by poverty or low self esteem, all agenda-driven nonsense.
Here is a study found on Pajamas Media, Immaturity Levels Rising. I would place it in the neutral category, for it contains some superficial truth that obscures much deeper truths that necessarily go unaddressed because they transcend anything that an academic psychological study can cope with.
The article notes that “new research is showing that grown-ups are more immature than ever.” This is a profoundly misleading statement, for the authors obviously have no idea how emotionally immature people were in the historical past, for example, in the Middle Ages, when most people were extremely immature and childlike, almost like children in adult bodies. Furthermore, most indigenous peoples and citizens of third world countries are extraordinarily immature, but those are generally not permissible thoughts in wackademia.
[Perhaps I need to re-emphasize that we are talking about the average mentality, e.g., not the few who were permitted to realize their potential. It seems that in all times and places, some people have been able to reach the "upper limit" of humanness; likewise, the frustrating thing about our day and age is that so few people even reach "basic humanness," especially if they have had too much of a secular brainwashing.]
To cite a contemporary example, the clash between Israel and her Arab neighbors is not a war over land but a war of psychoclasses, one side being markedly more mature than the other in every measurable way. In many respects, it is no mere hyperbole to say that our enemies in the war against Islamo-fascism are similar to Middle Age personalities: childlike, impulsive, illogical, illiterate, unworldly, and obviously prone to utter confusion between intensity of feeling and clarity of thought.
[I should point out that my opinion here was not produced from thin air, but has a lot of scholarly opinion to back it up. But again, this shouldn't be taken to suggest that we are superior to our forebears, for in no way do I believe, for example, that the typical academic philosopher is superior to, say, Aquinas, or the typical poet is superior to Dante! That would be absurd. It is just that certain conditions prevailed which prevented most people from achieving their potential, e.g., very short lifespan, ridiculously high infant mortality, widespread disease and famine, illiteracy, backbreaking labor, malnutrition, etc.]
The article goes on to say that “it seems a growing number of people are retaining the behaviors and attitudes associated with youth. As a consequence, many older people simply never achieve mental adulthood, according to a leading expert on evolutionary psychiatry.”
Now this is interesting, because it contains another implicit assumption that can either be illogical or translogical, but which can never be proven with reason. Specifically, what is the proper end of human development? What does it mean to be a fully developed human being? Is this something that can ever be proven by a study? Clearly, it is not synonymous with “average,” for the average person is probably an idiot, and the purpose of life cannot possibly be to become an idiot, the writers of dailykos and huffingtonpost to the contrary notwithstanding. [Academic studies also beg the question of whether it is possible to stably evolve beyond the ego, in the manner of the saint, sage, or mystic.]
The lead author of the study, an evolutionary psychologist, thinks he knows what is going on. He says that “humans have an inherent attraction to physical youth, since it can be a sign of fertility, health and vitality. In the mid-20th century, however, another force kicked in, due to increasing need for individuals to change jobs, learn new skills, move to new places and make new friends.”
Specifically, a “childlike flexibility of attitudes, behaviors and knowledge” is probably adaptive to the increased instability of the modern world.... Formal education now extends well past physical maturity, leaving students with minds that are ‘unfinished.’”
But here lies a deep confusion, for being “unfinished” is also a mark of psychological maturity. You see, there are two varieties of “unfinishedness,” one horizontal, the other vertical.
The author of the study obviously [and necessarily, since this is an academic study] doesn’t know anything about the vertical, so he naturally conflates it with the horizontal. He goes on to say that “formal education requires a childlike stance of receptivity to new learning, and cognitive flexibility." Yes, that much is true. Growth of any kind, in any sphere, requires that the entity in question be an open system that exchanges energy or information with the environment. [But that is not the same as an empty center, i.e., one with no translogical, vertical center.]
But he then makes the claim that "When formal education continues into the early twenties, it probably, to an extent, counteracts the attainment of psychological maturity, which would otherwise occur at about this age.” True enough, in the absence of the vertical, human beings will simply be adrift in the horizontal. It is a merely a mental-emotional realm, and therefore cynical, adolescent, and rebellious. As a matter of fact, it is pretty much the terminal state of most of academia (at least in the humanities), which is why it produces so much absurcular foolishness and so little wisdom.
The author then makes a particularly outlandish claim, that “past physical environments were more stable and allowed for a state of psychological maturity. In hunter-gatherer societies, that maturity was probably achieved during a person’s late teens or early twenties.... By contrast, many modern adults fail to attain this maturity, and such failure is common and indeed characteristic of highly educated and, on the whole, effective and socially valuable people." Again, primitive people in hunter-gatherer societies were hardly “mature” just because they stopped growing. They were simply stunted and developmentally arrested because they prematurely became closed systems.
[In other words, the author is confusing primitive "maturity" with "nothing left to know" and "nowhere left to grow"; and he is confusing the absence of an intellectual center in modern man with "flexibility" or "open-mindedness," when in reality, the world of secular academia is generally highly parochial and closed-minded, in particular, to the translogical truth that makes man Man.]
But the following conclusion by the professor is surely accurate: "People such as academics, teachers, scientists and many other professionals are often strikingly immature outside of their strictly specialist competence in the sense of being unpredictable, unbalanced in priorities, and tending to overreact.... The faults of youth are retained along with the virtues.... These include short attention span, sensation and novelty-seeking, short cycles of arbitrary fashion and a sense of cultural shallowness.”
Exactly. Why is this? Because in the absence of a definition of true human maturity, a telos, an OMega point, an O megapoint, an O, Me! gapoint, a proper end toward which our humanness is oriented, we truly are perpetual adolescents [or, alternatively, a kind of sclerotic and hardened pseudo-adult] adrift in the horizontal. As I emphasized in the Coonifesto, we have both a genetic blueprint and a vertical blueprint, as it were. There is a transcendent or archetypal (not in Jung’s confused sense) realm of universal human nature toward which we are drawn by maintaining ourselves as open systems in the vertical dimension. This is a realm of grace, aspiration, and primordial truth, and it contains the only end truly worthy of a human life. To be in conformity with this transcendent clueprint -- without losing our individuality -- is what it means to be a mature human qua human.
[Needless to say, this is a reality that Darwinism not only cannot disclose, but can only obscure.]