Darwinism and Other Barriers to Human Evolution
Again, time is not mere change, but, like space, "conditions" the contents within it. Just as gravity is a property of curved space, there are many implications that flow from the nature of psychic space. We touched on some of those implications a couple of weeks ago, in the context of a discussion of the "symmetrical logic" of the unconscious mind. Once you appreciate the nature of the symmetrical space of the unconscious (and supraconscious) mind, you see how critical it is to human knowing and being. In reality, the human state (at least in health) is always a dialectical synthesis of symmetrical and asymmetrical modes of knowing. Even the most left-brained science is always rooted in a metaphysical dream that generally goes unacknowledged.
But note that for a strict Darwinist, there cannot even be any objective standard of human normality. In fact, this was one of the first things that intrigued me when I entered graduate school in the early 1980s. I was particularly interested in psychopathology, but not for its own sake. It was an odd situation, because this is just when the political correctness that now dominates academia had begun to strangle the intellect. Thus, it was possible to learn all about various kinds of psychopathology, but no one wanted to go out on a limb and risk defining normality, or the point of being human -- which is to say, the point of life. Because once you do that, you have condemned a large portion of humanity, including whole cultures.
As a result, you then end up reducing psychotherapy to the elimination of pain -- even if the pain is sending a vital message about a pathological way of living. Or you define health on an entirely subjective basis as "do your own thing," "follow your bliss," or some other such new age blather. Again, in such a situation ( which can be called metapsychopathology, to coin a term) there are no objective criteria of psychological health. This is catastrophic in so many ways, but one of them is that genuine maturity does not necessarily involve the elimination of emotional pain, but the tolerance of emotional pain.
I mean, this is something that every parent knows -- or at least should know. Children don't mature as a result of indulgence and the elimination of pain. In fact, one of the most painful aspects of good parenting is to be able to tolerate your child's pain, and not try to instantaneously make it go away! I would much prefer to be in pain than to see my son in pain, but often it is necessary. Truly, he is narcissistic enough without me adding fuel to the fire.
The problem is, when you're the center of the universe, you're in for a rude awakening one way or the other. And we all start out as the center of the universe. Only later do we gradually discover that we're at the periphery. And only with a mature spiritual practice do we regain the center, except at a higher level. Unless you are Deepak Chopra, in which case you revert to infantile omnipotence and call it enlightenment.
This is what happens to any field, including psychology, when it completely detaches itself from philosophy, theology, metaphysics, and other deeper (and more human) modes of analysis. As we were mentioning the other day, you will end up generating a pseudo-autonomous subdiscipline that cannot be integrated with everything else.
Now, no matter how loudly and crudely Darwinists protest to the contrary, humanness is an achievement; it is higher on the vertical scale, not merely one more horizontal arrangement of genetic material. Furthermore, some human beings are objectively better than others, which is to say they have achieved greater "humanness" -- which is not something you can say of any other animal. There are not objective degrees of sheepness or pigginess. True, Michael Moore is a perfect ass, but that is in a manner of speaking.
And once you admit of verticality, you must acknowledge that there is a hierarchical toppermost of of the poppermost that conditions the scale from top to bottom, so you have conceded that the Absolute exists. Which is why Darwinists don't want to concede an inch on this subject, even if it mires them in metaphysical incoherence and stupidity. They are fundamentally committed to intellectual devolution, or the elimination of Man as Such, come what may.
Another way of saying it is that the time of classical physics is reversible. But human time is irreversible, partly because it is developmental. The abstract reversible time of classical physics is like a film that can be run forward or back, or like a mathematical operation that is symmetrical. However, if a cup falls off your table and shatters onto the floor, that is an irreversible process.
The irreversibility of time is tied in with the concept of entropy, which is also irreversible. In the long run, the universe is said to be analogous to a.... to a mortal coil, or a spring that will one day be completely sprung.
But none of this applies to human reality, which is not primarily in the physical or biological realms. To be perfectly accurate, it is "in" those realms, but not entirely "of" them. Rather, a human being transcends but includes (as Ken Wilber would put it) biology and physics, but could never by any stretch of the imagination be reducible to them.
Now, the end result of a temporal series cannot be a member of the series. That is, time is simply a series of events with no "end" or telos. But most everything human beings do, both explicitly and implicitly, has a point, and that point is not equivalent to one more event in the series. For example, the purpose of your life is not just one of the events that constitutes it, ¿comprende? Nor is the theme of a great novel reducible to the plot. Rather, the plot represents the temporal unfolding of the theme.
It is just so for the Raccoon. Once one enters "Coon Time™," one begins to see the events of one's life cohere in the most astonishing, even "miraculous" way, as if they are being "coonditioned" from above; or, as if there is some hidden relationship between what are normally called "inside" and "outside." Soon enough, we discover that the bright line that scientism imposes between these two modes is not so bright after all. And why should it be? On what basis, save for metaphysical whimsy, can anyone say that matter is anterior to consciousness rather than vice versa?
Are we saying, like Deepak, that human consciousness creates reality? No, that is manifestly not what we are saying. Rather, what we are saying is that the human subject is a sort of projected mirror of the dialectical synthesis of subject and object that constitutes what we call "reality." We can try to draw a bright line between subject and object, but that line is entirely manmade. Nature doesn't know anything about it, which is why, for example, math can be lodged in matter, or brains can be lodged in higher consciousness. Once you start to look at the world in this way, you soon begin to realize where all the truth and beauty are coming from, and why we'll never run out of them unless Darwinists and other materialists succeed in their mad attempt to eliminate the goal of the human state.
Again, that goal cannot be part of the temporal series. Rather, it must be eternal and unchanging, not subject to change. Health is etymologically related to wholeness, and this is exquisitely true of human health. So the question becomes, what constitutes a "whole human?" Christianity provides its own archetype in the form of Jesus, who constitutes the "perfect unblended blend," so to speak, of humanness and divinity. Likewise the saints, who represent fixed stars of truth, virtue and beauty (for virtue is human beauty in action).
But what are the fixed stars of Darwinism? Well, first of all, it is an absurd question from "within" the narrow constraints of philosophical Darwinism. Again, no one will ever accuse a Darwinist of being intellectually consistent. But I suppose the fixed star is "survival," even though survival can have no ontological superiority over extinction. I mean, who really cares, except perhaps the one doing the surviving? And even then, natural selection cares only for the group, and is ruthless about weeding out the genes that don't benefit its survival.
Now, there is just no question that Hitler was animated by this metaphysic (as you can see in the sidebar, I'm currently reading a book about him; can't yet say whether I can recommend it). Is this to say that he was a Darwinist, or that Nazism was just some sort of logical extension of Darwinism? No, not at all. It is venturing on the impossible to even suggest that Hitler ever read Darwin in the original. Rather, he was familiar with his ideas -- of which he approved -- only through the popular literature.
But even then, Hitler never "reasoned up" from facts to ideology. Rather, he developed his sinister ideology by 1920 or so, and his only interest in books and ideas was to find things that confirmed his prejudices and preconceptions. Thus, he would have considered Darwinism through the lens of his ideology. Happily for him and tragically for the rest of humanity, he not only found nothing in Darwinism to oppose his ideology, but much to support it, for Darwinism has no intrinsic basis for opposing evil or promoting human evolution. Rather, that's our job.