The New and Improved Evolution, Now With Added Meaning!
You see, these posts only discover what they are about in the process of being written. They are definitely about something, there's no doubt about that. But unlike my competitors, they are completely improvised and omade, so it can take awhile for me to get what I'm driving at. I can't just get to the point if I don't know what it is. Unless I actually do know what it is, only implicitly instead of explicitly. If that is the case, then what we call evolution, or developmental time, is a function of an implicate order becoming explicate, perhaps as understood by David Bohm.
This, of course, is the whole point of psychoanalysis, where it is assumed that by free associating -- that is, by saying whatever pops into your melon -- a deeper order will emerge from the seeming chaos. However, it generally takes a trained professional to recognize this order, but not always, any more than you need a literary critic to understand the deeper meaning of a novel. But you do need to disable your left brain, so to speak, in order to allow the right brain to give its deposition. You will notice that that is something with which the scientistically minded always have great difficulty, which is why they habitually confuse their mental abstractions with reality.
So that's what we do here, in the "faith" that order will emerge from chaos, and the post will find its attractor state before it's time to go to work. Which means that the future is in some sense implicit in the present, at least as it pertains to thought. As Brand Blanshard writes, "So intimately are end and process bound up with each other, that thought can be defined only with reference to its end; indeed, it is that end in the course of realization."
Now, what if the cosmos is more like a giant thought than a giant object? If looked at in that way, then many of the most paradoxical aspects of existence will suddenly make a lot more sense, including evolution. Because as it stands, biologists can only pretend that evolution makes sense, so long as they place it in the matrix of an outmoded 19th century scientism. But nothing whatsoever aside from prejudice, convention, and lack of imagination prevents them from understanding evolution in a more cosmic context. As mentioned a couple of posts back, much of the problem results from placing arbitrary, manmade lines where there are none.
Or, as I put it in my book, who can actually say what a mature cosmos looks like, unless you either already have an implicit idea already, or ignore the question altogether? Physics operates under the assumption that all time slices are equivalent (or value neutral), but in a developing cosmos, that can't possibly be true. I mean, no physicist actually lives his life as if one slice of time is no different than any other slice. There are people who do live that way: they are called autistic or psychotic. Or sometimes even just a severe depression can do this to you: suddenly time is devoid of all of the qualities that render it meaningful. Rather, life becomes just meaningless duration, which is to say, a living death.
Likewise, the biologist assumes that evolution is a wholly lateral reshuffling of genes, so that any vertical development is illusory. It's just our opinion, say, that a human being is higher than an ape -- and even there, a lot of people, such as PETA members, are at least philosophically consistent in insisting that human beings are not more valuable than animals, and that "murdering" 6 million chickens is morally equivalent to the Holocaust. Colonel Sanders really is as evil as Adolf Hitler. But these moral retards obviously don't denigrate Colonel Sanders, only trivialize Hitler. In so doing, they actually make genocide more likely, because if murdering a human being is no worse than eating a chicken, what's the big deal? (I know it sounds crazy, but Dennis Prager had on a PETA spokesman who insisted that one could draw no intrinsic distinction between humans and chickens.)
It all makes no sense, for any normal human being knows implicitly, and with absolute veracity, that human beings are infinitely more valuable than animals -- if only because we can know how valuable animals are! I'll join PETA the day that animals open up hospitals to take care of humans, or when mosquitos get together to try to eliminate malaria.
But most human beings are not normal. True, they are average, but average is not normal. The average Palestinian wants to murder every last Jewish man, woman, and child, but that is not normal. But what is human normality? Here again, if you attend a major university, you will learn that there is no such thing -- that what we call normal is abnormal for another culture. Values are a function of culture, not a reflection of timeless truth, since the latter is strictly impossible on any Darwinian/materialistic basis. One person gives their daughter a sweet sixteen party, while another person chops off her head because she held hands with a Christian boy. We are in no position to condemn the latter.
Nor can we condemn Putin for invading a small country to secure oil for itself, since we did the same thing in Iraq. Which is odd, because we don't see nearly the kind of hysteria emanating from the left over the Georgia bashing as we do over George Bush. All leftists know that George Bush is an evil liar who invaded Iraq in order to enrich the oil companies. But why then is their rhetoric so muted, so nuanced, with regard to Putin? Because leftism not only lies, it is a lie.
That is, once you eliminate objective truth and virtue, then whatever you say is merely arbitrary. It is said in order to achieve an end, which ultimately comes down to power, because that is all there is in a Darwinian and materialist cosmos. Never ask why leftist thought is so inconsistent and ad hoc. It has no principles except that there are no principles. Which means that there actually is one principle: power, or survival.
When a leftist says that he cannot say when human life begins, because it is "above my pay grade," one can only laugh. Since when do leftists refrain from making sweeping moral condemnations? They do when it is a matter of power and convenience. They can never openly disclose the first principles that animate them, for to know their beginning would be to know their devious ends. Obviously, in actual practice, the secular leftist has no difficulty whatsoever in insisting that a human fetus is of no more intrinsic value than a decayed tooth. A woman has an absolute right to do whatever she pleases with "her" body, so the fetus doesn't even properly exist. Why not just say so?
Again, because if a leftist just blurts out their first principles in mixed company, people -- spiritually normal people, anyway -- will be repelled. A leftist cannot say in polite company that there is no moral distinction between the U.S. and Russia, even though their every word and deed would actually have you believe that the U.S. is worse.
A conservative is inconsistent in the application of his principles, which is called "hypocrisy." But a true leftist is inconsistent in the articulation of his principles, because they are rooted in convenience and are therefore not even principles, just nihilism by another name. One day the left can fight against racial discrimination, the next day they are the only organized ideology that openly defends it. Why? Because they don't actually care about racial discrimination per se, unless it can result in the acquisition of political power. That is the only consistent thread that unifies the otherwise irreconcilable opposites.
The other day, Dennis Prager published an essay entitled Why I Am Not a Liberal. Agree or disagree, you can see how easy it is for a conservative to lay out their first principles in an open and transparent way, something that a liberal can never do, on pain of never being elected. Hence the need for nuance. "Nuance" is a word invented by liberals to cover the rhetorical divide between what liberals actually believe and what they must say in order to get elected. "Simplistic" is the word they use for people who can articulate moral truth in an unambiguous manner.
For example, a conservative can come right out and say, like Prager, that "I believe that the bigger government gets and the more powerful the state becomes, the greater the threat to individual liberty and the greater the likelihood that evil will ensue. In the 20th century, the powerful state, not religion, was the greatest purveyor of evil in the world." In contrast, the leftist believes that "the bigger government gets and the more powerful the state becomes, the greater the enhancement of equality and the greater the likelihood that social justice will ensue. In all of history, religion, not the powerful state, has been the greatest purveyor of evil in the world." Again, that's what they actually believe. But what they say is a different matter, at least outside college classrooms or Kucinich campaign headquarters.
Likewise, for me it is a commonplace to say that "the American military has done more to preserve and foster goodness and liberty on Earth than all the artists and professors in America put together." In fact, there are actually no courageous leftist artists, despite their constant self-flattery about "speaking truth to power." Speaking truth to power is what Solzhenitsyn did, not what Sean Penn, George Clooney, or the Dixie Chicks do. I mean, imagine the courage of George Clooney to condemn Joe McCarthy! How do you explain such uncommon valor, especially in a cynical age in which young American fascists join the military to advance George Bush's evil empire! For years, I heard the left complain about how Saddam and so many other authoritarian regimes were our responsibility. If that were true, then one would think they would be pleased that someone finally came along and did something about it. Fat chance.
One could go on and on. My point is....
Uh oh. What is my point?
Well, one point is that when listening to the left, you must always read between the lyin'. But that's not much of a point. No need to champion the bobvious.
The other point -- a more implicit metapoint -- is that, as Errol Harris writes, "if anything is to be what it is, the whole must be. Because of this implicit presence in every finite being, every finite being proclaims the existence of God." In other words, "the final emergent is logically prior to the undeveloped forms. They can be rightly conceived only in terms of what they are becoming, and so can the process itself. The finally mature is the key to the nature of every immature phase. The developed form, therefore, is logically prior, even when it is temporally posterior, to every other form."
Now, don't you know, this goes to the heart of my beef with Schuon, who believed that the cosmos was necessarily "winding down" into increased evil, chaos, and disorder, the further time takes us from the ideal. But if this were true, we would live in a very different kind of cosmos on every level. Unfortunately, I don't have time to fully make this point, but I think I've finally resolved my painful dilemma between the entropic cosmos of Schuon and the evolutionary one of Aurobindo. In a sense, it is the "third way" for which man has been searching ever since the scientific revolution began to oust him from his comforting religious framework some 400 years ago. Virtually every -ism, -ology, and -osophy since then has been an attempt to resolve this tension, usually at the expense of eliminating one side of the dialectic. But the third way would unify science and religion at a much deeper level, and reveal the One from which they are both an omanation.