Thursday, July 03, 2008

Materialistic Egomaniacs and Spiritual Logomaniacs

Notes, notes, notes. They're everywhere. Sometimes I think the reason I blog is to try to herd them all into one place and reduce them to some kind of order. Sometimes I can hardly even read them, like when I try to etch them onto the owner's manual with a dead ballpoint pen while driving.

Sometimes it's just the title for a post, with no content, like Charles Johnson's Deterioration and Bion's Concept of the Imaginary Twin; other times I write a few cryptic words, thinking I'll know later what I meant, like this beauty: "atheism is an extrinsic ornament." What the hell is that supposed to mean? Sometimes it's a new insult to be handed off to Dupree, like this one, which isn't really his style: anus miribalis, or what an amazing asshole! Sometimes it's just a stupid joke: "celibacy is the path of lust resistance."

The hard part is telling the difference between the nonsense, the wisdom, the jokes, and the insults. But that's your problem, I suppose.

Today I am told that this post has something to do with the contrast between materialistic egomaniacs and religious logomaniacs. Perhaps this is a timely topic, given that a fairly representative member of the former group -- an apparent materialistic egomaniac named Alobama -- essentially accused me of being a religious one. Let me retrieve the exact quote from its dank bog of incoherence, so as to do it proper injustice.

Alobama expresses the sentiment that the herd of intrinsically diverse and independent Raccoons is analogous to the left-wing Jonestown cult, and that I -- and we -- am "as prideful as a man can be. It's in the Coonish jeans. Deny it without using 'I' if you will. Or better yet skip the plea bargain and just delete all the cajoling proise from your published mosthead, drop your distinguishing GD moniker, and be content to live in the world you wish for rather than the world as it is. Or is your talk also cheap? I've only made it two paragraphs into your diatribe today and already you've soiled your trousers. Sorry to be so dour. I"ll tune in tomorrow when you might be speaking to truth instead of lies. Your own not exempted."

I'll admit that I didn't comprehend Alobama's touchingly earnest groping for coherence except for the references to Jonestown and pride; giving s/h/it the benefit of the doubt, perhaps he scrawled these proto-thoughts with a rusty box cutter while driving his forklift. Be that as it may, the charge is a seriously loony one, and therefore worthy of a seriously derisive response.

Let's start with some definitions. Better yet, let's start with some principles, since they are a priori true, on pain of there being no truth, and therefore no accurate definitions. For to define can be either a passive or an active act; to define is to draw a boundary around something, i.e., to give it a name, which is man's prerogative and duty. In a sense, it is indistinguishable from the thing's existence, at least from our perspective. We can't think clearly about anything that isn't well defined; to put it another way, to the extent that we've clearly and accurately defined something, it likely means that we are thinking clearly about it.

Without an adequate container, there can be no content, and what we call "thinking" is precisely the byplay of container and contained, or the evolution of the container through the assimilation of more refined content. (This is one of the unavoidable problems of atheism, in that they define God in an intrinsically inadequate way, given that they concede at the outset that they've never even experienced this thing that they both define and yet reject. On this basis alone we ridicule these dysluxic dorklings with great gusto.)

Anyway, we begin with the principle of the "two minds," which is present in all religious traditions. In coonspeak, we like to employ unsaturated symbols to describe these two selves, or "interior mindscapes," (•) and (¶). The former stands for that which goes by the name of "ego," while the latter stands for that which goes by various names in different traditions. Both result in a "projected world" which the person goes on to inhabit and then take for reality; but only one is real.

That is, these "two minds" are adequations to different planes of reality. Or, to be perfectly accurate, (•) is a paradoxical adequation to unreality (or that which cannot be ultimately real), while (¶) is a mirror of the Immutable, the Absolute, and the Real. As such, the final end of (•) is a kind of nothing masquerading as a total hardness or dissipation, depending on the temperament, while the final end of (¶) is precisely a Real nobody and a fulsome nothing, something to which all saints and mystics will attest in one way or another. For this reason, humility is always a mark of the saint or sage, even though, looked at from the profane point of view, they can appear grandiose, inflated, egomaniacal, etc. In fact, if you are convinced that only (•) is real, then you really have no choice but to view even the most exalted (¶) as just an oversized (•).

Just to be fully clear, we need to add a couple more definitions here for a complete picture, that is... hmm, I guess my computer doesn't have the upward and downward arrows, so you'll jut have to imagine them; but these refer to the Godman (or avatar) and the saint or bodhisattva, the former a direct manifestation and incarnation of the divine principle within the relative, the latter an ascent of relativity to divinity. These are to be distinguished from the rank and file (¶).

Now, to jump ahead a bit, does the B'ob have an ego? Of course. I make no special claims for myself, but even the best of us has an ego so long as we are in the embodied state. And in fact, if you fail to comprehend this, you will be led into error, as we see in the cases of so many actual cultists and "independent gurus." For these types, the more they insist that they have "transcended the ego," the more narcissistic and egomaniacal they tend to be. For example -- and again, I make no special claims for myself -- but the idea that it would even occur to me to turn God into cash profits by selling a "Kama Sutra Calendar" is quite literally unthinkable. Repellant, really.

In fact, I should think that, once one is aware of God, one would do nothing to make him look foolish or trivial, and do everything to preserve one's good relations with him. The fact that Deepak never runs out of ideas for cashing in on God strikes me as a red flag that we are dealing with a very big (•), not (¶). If trolls want to say I am "jealous of Deepak," one can only ask: what else could you think?

As a brief aside, you will see that I occasionally use humor and even what some might call "vulgarity" to get my points across. But in my case -- and I'll flesh this out later -- I hope that any vulgarity is "from above," so to speak, not "from below," paradoxical though that may appear. Even after I started doing this, I had a great deal of trepidation and ambivalence before being assured that it was for a higher purpose and not merely frivolous.

For example, just yesterday I received a touching email from a grateful reader, who said "Your blog has become a virtual sanctuary for me and, no doubt, many others. Thanks for letting that happen," and went on to single out the following passage: "I have no respect for a reductionistic Darwinist who is not a nihilist and a sociopath, for he is merely a weakling and coward who lacks basic intellectual honesty and the courage of his convictions. He has his feet planted in the soil of Judeo-Christian values, even while he has his head planted in his ass."

Ho! Such passages are clearly not intended to be merely humorous, but are more like a koan, which "is a formula by intention absurd, destined to bring about a kind of liberating rupture in the mind of the person meditating on it, the mind in this instance being considered with regard to its hardness and blindness" (Schuon). The Raccoon refers to these as the sacred "guffah-HA!" experience, which is firmly rooted in the scryptical passage, My yokes are easy, my words enlight! All Raccoons become adept at this, not just me, for it is one of the "gifts of Toots."

As we have been saying in recent posts, the hierarchical continuity of the world is a necessary consequence of the intrinsically radical discontinuity between the Principle and the manifestation, God and creation, Absolute and relative, One and many. You might even say that in each of these antinomies, (¶) is an adequation to the former, while (•) is an adequation to the latter. Thus, in this sense, we see that (•) "must needs be," otherwise we could never even get around in the horizontal world. Yes, O fences must come, but woe to the man who lives behind one!

Speaking as a psychologist, the problem for the majority of patients is not "too much ego," but not enough ego, that is, a stable, coherent, fluid, and open adaptation to the horizontal, within the higher context of a vertical orientation. And for those with a hypertrophied or hardened ego, the problem is that it is closed to anything higher than itself, and thus becomes a kind of living death, or embodied prison.

Each of the following categories is intimately related: ego, individualism, narcissism, relativism, libertinism, and alienation from immutable principles. Conversely, (¶) is related to sanctity, charity, compassion, chastity, humility, "absolutism," and principial reality, not because of any "top-down" dogma, but because of first hand "acquaintance." In short, (¶) is an open system on the vertical plane, which is in dynamic rapport with O. In contrast, (•) is at best an open system with Ø on the horizontal plane. There is nothing wrong with relative knowledge, so long as one recognizes that it is relative, e.g., Darwinism as science, not metaphysics.

To put it another way, man was not created to live within manmade limitations, most especially the "unlimited limitations" of a limitless and therefore totalitarian science. Either you see this, or you don't. Either you are a horizontal egomaniac or a vertical logomaniac. And I guess that's the end of this post, even though I've barely scratched the surface of our eternal owner's manual.

There would be truth,
Truth that nobody sees,
If in the world everyone were like you
--Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes, Se Todos Fossem Iguais a Você

*****

Related: The Necessary Religion:

"On an individual level, natural law holds that there is a Third [vertical] Party, beyond the biological mother and father, involved in the act of human creation. Your two parents generated your material [horizontal] substance, the goop and soup of you; that much could be said of any mammal. But according to natural law, God expresses His interest in every human being through the act of ensoulment -- the creation of an individual soul [(¶)] -- by virtue of which the human being becomes a person. And from that quality of personhood flow the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

42 Comments:

Blogger Van said...

" For these types, the more they insist that they have "transcended the ego," the more narcissistic and egomaniacal they tend to be."

Yes, that has always been the Run Away! alarm for me.

7/03/2008 08:33:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"...the problem for the majority of patients is not "too much ego," but not enough ego, that is, a stable, coherent, fluid, and open adaptation to the horizontal, within the higher context of a vertical orientation..."

I was reviewing something similar earlier this week, with the proregressives and pragmatists. Dewey wanted to change society and was frustrated with how the accepted principles of American society were so often opposed to proregressive changes, and he realized that the changes had to be made by cutting off the roots of those principles, through the in-the-process-of-being-created de-educational system. He focused on clearing the fiction of the 'Individual' out of the way of the more important and real 'collective' entity of society. His pedagogic theories were all dedicated to that, to cutting ties between parent and child, and through pragmatism, from the 'false restraints' of Principle, freeing the child (what was 'the child'? just a roaming expression of the collective) to discover this and that as the urge struck it.

What kind of stable platform is that likely to build? What kind of 'individual' is created from a mass of stimulus swung urges? What can it create? No Individuals, only a collective of random urges seeking eccentric expressions to fake a sense of individuated self.

Without being rooted in the Vertical, the leaves are left blowing in the wind… and eventually into the gutter.

Nothing more dangerous in this world that flat headed ideas determined to fix things.

7/03/2008 09:01:00 AM  
Anonymous alobama said...

Gagdad,

You've buried deep into my psychotic mind through the years I've been reading this blog, I'm even making up words to emulate you in an envious attempt to be as you. But as a subjective being, whatever I imbibe comes out twisted and mis-shappen.
If you knew me, you would recognize that I am not worth responding to and really have nothing of value to say, but I do enjoy the negative attention.
I'll again return in the dark of night when everyone else is sleeping and can't respond to pinch off another load in the middle of your carpet.
I loathe therefore I AM.

7/03/2008 10:24:00 AM  
Anonymous cousin Dupree said...

Complete troll Alobama
This guy hasn't got a clue
Complete troll Alobama
Lord, I'm comin' down on you

7/03/2008 10:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Johan said...

I might be wrong, but I have this feeling of the trolls getting more and more twisted... I mean, whats going on with this Alobama guy? Can't be for real.

7/03/2008 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I don't know... Alobama seems to have manifested an uncanny evolution in the space of a mere 10 or so hours...

7/03/2008 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Its called a random mutation - more of a devolution. Perhaps from troll to trog. It may be only down from here.

7/03/2008 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Will it be the CHUDs next, I wonder?

7/03/2008 11:33:00 AM  
Anonymous cousin Dupree said...

or worse yet, leftist proglodyte....

7/03/2008 11:33:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Cuz,

Did you come up with that one?

Prog-lo-dyte

Main Entry: prog·lo·dyte
Pronunciation: \ˈprä-glə-ˌdīt\
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin proglodytae, plural, from Greek prōglodytai, from prōglē hole, cave (akin to Greek prōgein to gnaw or undermine,
Date: 1848
1 : a member of any of various peoples (as in antiquity) who wish us to return to living in caves.
2 : a person characterized by provincial political echo chamber/blog habits or outmoded or reactionary socio/communist attitudes.
3. Obama supporters.


I like it!

7/03/2008 11:54:00 AM  
Anonymous cousin Dupree said...

we really have to assemble the Raccoon glossary, or logopetia, one of these days....

7/03/2008 12:02:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Lady Writer

Lady writer on the t.v.
Talk about the Virgin Mary...

The 'continuous' guitar solo (made possible by the simple chord structure with jazz-like rhythm) is amazing. I keep remembering why these guys were so good.

7/03/2008 12:11:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

DL says: again, I make no special claims for myself -- but the idea that it would even occur to me to turn God into cash profits by selling a "Kama Sutra Calendar"

You may think this is a strange connection, but I am reminded of the bluegrass classic "Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven (but nobody wants to die)". It's the same mindset that allows Christian preachers to build huge ministries on the "prosperity" message. We'll just have everything we want here. What good is it after you're dead?

I've actually heard preachers say, "You won't need to pay the electric bill and the car note in heaven. You need it now."

Speaking of that song, it's on a CD of Alison Krauss with the Cox Family. There is an instrumental break after the second verse where somebody (almost certainly Alison) comes in with a fiddle. The first note will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.

7/03/2008 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I wish I was a fisherman....

7/03/2008 12:21:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

A-bama said:
"If you knew me, you would recognize that I am not worth responding to and really have nothing of value to say..."

I say: "Done!

Bob wrote:
I hope that any vulgarity is "from above," so to speak, not "from below," paradoxical though that may appear. Even after I started doing this, I had a great deal of trepidation and ambivalence before being assured that it was for a higher purpose and not merely frivolous.

Surely the distinction is that what you write is "for a higher purpose." Of course, detractors could attack that also, but the issue is between you and Conscience. And I don't mean "your conscience," i.e. some kind of personal rule-set.

A passage by Ravi Ravindra addressed this:
This is the lesson of all spiritual traditions: we cannot be right with respect to external nature unless we are right with respect to our internal nature.

Inner (spiritual) and outer (technological) transformation is a human imperative, and all transformation needs force. Unless the transformation is undertaken as a service to the higher levels, for the sake of maintaining the right internal and external order, the force will lead to violence.


As St. Davey once said, "Be sure you're right, then go ahead."

7/03/2008 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

More Waterboys doing Van....

7/03/2008 12:26:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Me too!

7/03/2008 12:28:00 PM  
Anonymous alobama said...

"but the idea that it would even occur to me to turn God into cash profits by selling a "Kama Sutra Calendar" is quite literally unthinkable. Repellant, really"

DeepAct is simply branding, franchising, and capitalizing, B'aab. Not on God, which is probably impossible, but on his particular view of God. (Maybe you're familiar with the practice?) Which leads to profits, which leads to jobs, which leads those with a work ethic to life lessons, perhaps a higher sense of purpose or even a sense of purpose to begin with, blah blah b'ahh, even unto your blog, Amen. What's good enough for Exxon/Mobile ought not be condemned for little DeepAct, all things considered. I'd lots rather find out my niece is making a living stuffing envelopes for DeepAct instead of ferreting out the few remaining moist pockets in the earth's crust. I find the record profits publicly posted by oil companies in the face of this recent price hike far more repellant than someone making a living off of their point of view. Am I missing some point?

It's this kind of perceived doublestink that, speaking in general terms, coons seem to be blind to. It's as if a good jibe is better than some open thinking. I see it constantly in your thought, yet usually don't want to dive into the hairpulling and namecalling that would result if I point it out. That, plus I work for a living. It's easier to dump it and keep panning for flakes and nuggets.

Van asks, why come back? Because I'm a fan, B'aab. Because I do value your insights and your spiritual off-road excursions. That's why I rail when I see you drop in the autopilot so you can wave at the fans as you drive by. If you can't see the rock star aspect of your personality coming to the forefront, email River on the reasons he's tapering off his own blogging. See if there's anything there. Just a hunch, but hey. I'm not claiming any private conduit to The Truth, other than my open heart and mind. You and Oral Roberts (and Jim Jones) may hear from God privately and directly. Not me, not so far.

Look at the fruits of your labor. Is there some charitable side I'm missing? Are you spreading the fruits of Your Truth in some sidebar I haven't found? Isn't God Infinite, and wouldn't that energy, manifesting itself through opened and opening minds result in something more than a churlish band of wordsmiths hammering out their dogma daily on a blog?

Where does this bindness come from? The pride of coons is what I come up with, starting from the top down. I tried to point out yesterday that in man's 100,000 year pleasure cruise toward a readiness to "assimilate the revelation of truth" you alluded to, you've only been maybe 20 years out of the exact opposite line of your current hardline of thinking. Imagine what another five might do. Especially if the ego stays out of the way. Or you could spend them like you've spent the last two, busy defending what you are absolutely sure is The Only Way. The very practice of blogging itself, then of naming, staking out, and defending one's turf in a chat room format becomes no less or more than the watercooler banter corporate democrats start looking forward to in place of their actual jobs. The ego becomes the thing.

Give me a home where anonymous can roam, where I feel free to explore and defend, to engage and slink away beaten, or to engage and clasp arms with the opposing side afterward, realizing we are more kindred than I first realized.

That's all I have time for. Light me up, coons. I'll check back later. I just wanted to assure you that I'm still reading.

7/03/2008 12:42:00 PM  
Anonymous alobama said...

BTW, if you can't distinguish between me and one of the Coonish Illuminati masquerading as me (more fruits of being a regular on your blog?), I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

7/03/2008 12:46:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

No, I spotted the ruse instantly. You missed the knowing wink of comment #6. For one thing, it was clever. Not to mention astute.

As to your questions:

Yes, deeply so; probably so; I don't understand the question; yes; yes; that's a trick question, but it sounds like you know the answer anyway.

7/03/2008 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Alobama: "If you right eye causes you to sin, poke it. For it is better to enter the kingdom of heaven maimed than to cast the whole body and soul into hell."

Because you wanted to know.

7/03/2008 01:34:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

Not to justify Deepak's sexual accessories, nor to agree with your new advisor, but, it's everywhere:

Thumbing thru a trade journal today, I spied "Design Trends for Home Decor," featuring not only the "look of nature," but also "the essence of Zen."

It maintains that such decor has never been more key than with this generation of consumers.

7/03/2008 01:37:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Generally, I take my cues from St. Anthony, the Lord and the Fathers. Bob is more like that guy you always talk to at the bar or back in the day, the salon.

But more like a bar.

I think most people around here feel the same. Bars can get a little territorial.

Don't complain, man. Just, roll with it, and chill out.

7/03/2008 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Spengler: Israel is the World's Happiest Country.

7/03/2008 01:43:00 PM  
Anonymous rabid said...

"Bars can get a little territorial. "

WTF are you talking about, Mister?

Myself, well I prefer ashrams to bars. Not much of a drinker, ya know. Well I do drink, but that's different. Should take Nomos advice, JUST DON'T START TO BEGIN WITH!

7/03/2008 01:56:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Just perusing through Spengler's archive & found this review of an interesting looking book called "Life and death in the Bible," that goes to the ignorance of the Lizards.

7/03/2008 01:56:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Actually, it's called Resurrection: The Power of God for Christians and Jews.

7/03/2008 01:59:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

allopprobrium said "... instead of ferreting out the few remaining moist pockets in the earth's crust. I find the record profits publicly posted by oil companies in the face of this recent price hike far more repellant than someone making a living off of their point of view. Am I missing some point?"

Yes you are missing some point. I love the fact that the oil companies are reaping huge profits and sucking the moist pockets dry as quickly as possible. Really, really... makes me feel good. No sarcasm whatsoever. Sadly, I don't own stock. Don't bother asking about the point... has to do with freedom, the Good, the Beautiful and the True - it's a Human thing, you wouldn't understand.

7/03/2008 02:04:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Bob - I know I'm looking forward to it!

8^)

7/03/2008 04:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HTML for coons....

← left arrow
↑ up arrow
→ right arrow
↓ down arrow

7/03/2008 04:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops....

"←" left arrow
"↑" up arrow
"→" right arrow
"↓" down arrow

Delete the apostrophe marks when using....

7/03/2008 04:45:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Good to see Roger Kimball weighing in on the idiocy that is reductionistic Darwinism.

7/03/2008 04:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Just once I'd like to see Charles defend his point of view instead of just yelling "shill," "hoax," and "Discovery Institute!!!" Then Bob could properly take him down. To Chinatown.

7/03/2008 05:11:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Ha! Good article by Kimball, Bob!

Cuz-
I've yet to see Charles defend his POV in any way whatsoever.
He's blinded himself with his own eggo.

He's also incapable of finding any truth anywhere once he deems that source to be shills and frauds.

In short, he's too busy screaming at the windmill he's charging to listen to anything resembling the truth.

Actually, I don't even see Charles as Don Quixote.
He's more like El Guapo.

And the Gorn. Gorndammit! Hisssss!

7/03/2008 08:52:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"I have no respect for a reductionistic Darwinist who is not a nihilist and a sociopath, for he is merely a weakling and coward who lacks basic intellectual honesty and the courage of his convictions. He has his feet planted in the soil of Judeo-Christian values, even while he has his head planted in his ass."

Ha ha! And when you point out the inevitable outcome of DR, man they become hostile!
Yet whe you ask who or what determines "good" n' "evil" and morality, they never have asn adequate answer.

"A consenses."

Oh, you mean like global warming, or eugenics, or global cooling, etc.?
Really? Just resort to mob rule? Anarchy morality? Totalitarian? Communist? Fascist?

How about liberty? Where does that come from and how does that determine your morality, your sense of good n' evil, your principles?

I never saw any self-evident truth's coming from Dawkins, Sagen, Hitchens, Harris, Chompsky, Gore, Chopra, Soros, etc..
What does their "consensus" say?

Of course, the RD never has an answer when you reveal their sandy foundation so they ignore you and call you an ID/Creationist with no credibility!

"Look at THIS fossil! See? It's SCIENCE!"

Like Alobama they not only miss the point, they can't realize a point they can't deconstruct, which is to say pointless.
A rebel without a clue.

7/03/2008 09:18:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

She blinded them with SCIENCE!

Science!

7/03/2008 10:11:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

She's tidied up, and I can't find anything! All my tubes and jars... and antiquated notions...

7/03/2008 10:28:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Nomo gnos! Ho!
I prefer the more ackurate term: SCYTHEANTS!

But they still don't get the point. Not the one they need, at any rate.

7/03/2008 10:28:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Julie-
Al(gore)chemy! Ha ha!

7/03/2008 10:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

Darweenie reductioninnyans don't get the point, but they doo get the barb! Har!

Skully the filostOfer.

7/03/2008 10:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Johan said...

Coongratulations to all the Raccoons, trolls, and all you citizens of the gratest nation on earth, it's your Independece Day!

Today I will have a Bud after work.

7/04/2008 03:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Johan said...

"Independence Day"... (arggh!)

7/04/2008 03:59:00 AM  

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