Monday, August 11, 2008

The Origin and Center of the Human State

Why did this pop into my melon while making my coffee this morning? As Bertie Wooster would say, it's not the sort of thing one springs on a lad with a morning head. But it must have been an artifact of a passing thoughtlet I had yesterday, to the effect that for the radical secularist, they will have all sorts of beliefs, but none of the beliefs can fit together in any integral way, or be justified in any ultimate sense. It will all just be ad hoc and disconnected, with no possibility of unity. I would find such a situation completely unsatisfying intellectually, let alone spiritually. I wouldn't -- and didn't -- give up until I had found the missing unity from which it all emanates, revolves around, and returns.

For example, let's say we have a simpleminded secular person who believes in the literal truth of Darwinism. But he also believes, say, in monogamous marriage. Why? How do you square that circle in any kind of necessary way, as opposed to an arbitrary way? You can't. You just live a fractured existence and don't think about all of the cracks in its foundation.

Or, what if you believe there is no intrinsic difference between animals and humans, but you also believe we shouldn't be allowed to marry the former or eat the latter. Why? On what basis? Homosexuals often argue that they should be allowed to marry because one occasionally sees animals of the same "gender" going at it. But we also see some monkeys eat babies. Can we infer from this that it is acceptable to consume our young?

Or, let us say, we have a typical soul-damaged ACLU activist who spends his meaningless life trying to efface any remnant of our precious Judeo-Christian heritage. Eventually, if he is persistent enough, he will sniff out the very source of the problem, which is that our rights derive from the Creator. As such, we are only Americans in any intrinsically meaningful sense to the extent that there is a Creator. No Creator, no America or Americans. Or, if we are just Americans in the absence of the Creator, then we are just like any other nation, in which our rights come from the state, and we in turn become serfs instead of real men who are free to live from the Center of being, from the inside out, or from O-->(n).

None of this should be seen as remotely abstract. Rather, it is as concrete as can be, as are the implications. For example, the wicked Deepak never tires of criticizing the United Stated as uniquely evil, a place run by deluded Christian fundamentalists. Most recently, this pompously crude and illiterate evil clown (and for the existential implications of evil clowns, please read Dusty's comment at the end of the previous thread) wrote of how the people who hate the United States for our imperialistic war against Iraq are entirely justified in doing so, and that we need to humble ourselves before the democrazy of world opinion.

One of the problems with the left is that they are so casually hyperbolic in their use of language (an effect of having no moral center), that when the real thing comes along, they don't have the words for it. For example, if one is a racist for believing that Obama is a vapid celebrity, what do you call an actual racist? Likewise, when a real imperial war of aggression occurs, such as the one we are seeing between Russia and Georgia, what do you call it? Because if it's no different than Bushitler's invasion of Iraq, then there's no need for concern, is there? As soon as Georgia is capable of defending itself against internal and external enemies, Putin will pull out and let them live autonomously and independently. No problem.

At the same time, Deepak is so morally depraved that his moronic blog defends China. Those of us who are critical of its human rights record are really just annoyed because China "does not toe our line." We are just victims of "stupidity, ignorance, foolishness, and pure dumbness."

Let's get back to the the simpleminded secularist, who doesn't trouble himself with developing a coherent metaphysic. As we all know, he lives in the soil of Judeo-Christian values, even while polluting and poisoning it with his infertile fertilizer, or worthless B.S. I sometimes wonder if the global warming hoax is an unconscious projection of this process. In other words, secularists are making the planet more and more uninhabitable for the human soul, but imagine that the problem has something to do with material reality (since they deny spiritual reality).

It very much reminds me of a depressed person who is in denial of their depression. Such a person will inevitably feel physically ill, with low energy and lots of aches and pains, but they will call it something else, like "fibromyalgia" or "chronic fatigue" or "myofascial pain" (not that these things don't occasionally exist; only that, in my experience, the problem is usually depression). In other words, they misrecognize the psychic and project it onto the field of the body.

It seems that the collective left -- being that they a priori deny the soul -- misrecognize their resultant spiritual pain and emptiness, and instead weep for the earth. In turn, because they cannot recognize evil (and in fact usually deny it altogether), they inevitably call things evil that are manifestly not evil. But in fact, in order to be conistent, if global warming is real, then by any standard, Al Gore or John Edwards are deeply evil people, given the massive sizes of their carbon footprints. Or, put it this way: I'll start to believe in global warming when Al Gore takes it seriously enough to live as simply as I do.

Now, cultures do not evolve -- and could never have evolved -- in the manner of disjointed secular materialist projection. Rather, they evolve organically, with everything a reflection of everything else, both vertically and horizontally. In fact, I remember Schuon saying something to the effect that traditional cultures... here, let me find it. I don't trust my morning head to get it right.

"The whole existence of... traditional peoples in general, is dominated by two key-ideas, the idea of Center and the idea of Origin. In the spatial world where we live, every value is related in some way to a sacred Center, which is the place where Heaven has touched the earth; in every human world there is a place where God has manifested Himself in order to pour forth His grace. And it is the same for the Origin, which is the quasi-timeless moment when Heaven was near and terrestrial things were still half-celestial; but in the case of civilizations having a historical founder, it is also the period when God spoke, thus renewing the primordial covenant for the branch of humanity concerned."

Beautiful. Note what happens when secularists ever attempt to create a new or improved culture from the top down, as in the French Revolution: chaos. It generates chaos because it is completely manmade and arbitrary, and is detached from the very soil that makes the secularist possible. In other words, the secularist is just one of the possibilities of a Judeo-Christian culture that values the sanctity of the individual, who can become whatever he wishes, even if it means cashing in his humanness. But we should not stand by idly and allow them to turn our beautiful civilization upside-down just because they have no contact with its Center and Origin.

Look at this mess of a post. I've gotten completely derailed from the point I wanted to make -- you know, the thought that popped into my head while making my coffee. So let's return to the Center and Origin of this post, which was this: We all know that the simpleminded secular atheist or lizard is paradoxically proud of his meaningless intellect, believing himself to live in the world of "science," "logic," "objectivity," etc., while we religious types live in our supposedly comforting myths and fairy tales. Fair enough.

I remember Einstein, a Princeton professor of some note, saying something to the effect that for the physicist, time cannot ultimately be real. Rather, it is only a "stubborn illusion," a side effect, as it were, of a more fundamental reality that is atemporal. Okay, fine. That makes no sense, but a lot of things about modern physics make no sense to our reason or our experience. Because if it is true, nothing is really happening, including the statement that it isn't. At the very least, we could never say that "this temporal state" is more valuable than "that temporal state." Rather, all temporal states are of equal value, just different arrangements of value-neutral energy. It would be like saying that this ripple on the water is better than that one. If you've seen one ripple, you've seen them all.

But for the Darwinist, time is anything but a "stubborn illusion." Rather, it is everything, given that time is the "place" where evolution plays out. In other words, as we discussed a couple of posts back, Darwinian evolution presupposes the reality of time, which is intrinsically irreversible (even if they refuse to concede that it is also developmental, which it most assuredly is). In Darwinian time, 2 plus 2 equals four, but 4 minus 2 can never get you back to two, any more than you can actually reverse the aging process. And they don't really have any idea of how 2 plus 2 gets to 5 (or monkey + monkey = human), but that's a subject for a different post.

So how do we reconcile the reality of time with the reality of physics? I mean, I know how I do it, but how does the simpleminded secularist? For example, the Raccoon knows that evolution is developmental for the very reason that there is a cosmic Center and Origin (non)located on the vertical plane. For this reason, we know that the human state is superior to the animal state, and that life is "higher" than matter. But for the physicist, there isn't even any way to identify any fundamental difference between living and non-living matter. Rather, life is simply a relatively rare configuration of matter, but that is all.

Likewise, for the Darwinist, the human is just a relatively rare kind of animal. Whatever he is, it can all be reduced to his animal nature, whatever that is, just as life can be reduced to energy, whatever that is. So the secularist ultimately adheres to the philosophy of "whatever." Get him to acknowledge and articulate his first principles, and you will indeed discover that they are "whatever," or "chit happens."

But seriously, folks. How does chit happen? Let's leave to one side the question of how existence happens. What we really want to know is how existence becomes experience, how experience becomes truth, and how truth may know the Absolute. It may do so because Truth is a declension from the Absolute, not another arbitrary state of physics or a result of random genetic errors.

102 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

Not finished reading yet, but there's once again a bit of syncoonicity between your post and Walt's today:

Here -
"It very much reminds me of a depressed person who is in denial of their depression.
...they misrecognize the psychic and project it onto the field of the body."

And from Walt -
"Just as we can consciously release physical tensions through our awareness of the body and its postures, we can also release emotional tensions by recognizing them. As with physical tensions, our emotional tensions have greater power over us the more they are unconscious."

8/11/2008 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

When you share the same Origin and Center, these things happen.

8/11/2008 08:33:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Apparently, Christopher discovered that this weekend as well (in the comments to Walt's Sunday post).

I wonder if that's the signifier of Raccoon initiation, when we start to experience those startling moments of syncoonicity?

On a different note (lots of tangents flying from this post today),

"Note what happens when secularists ever attempt to create a new or improved culture from the top down"

You get things like Canada's Human Rights Kangaroo Court.

8/11/2008 08:42:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Which only proves that humans can sink beneath kangaroos on the evolutionary scale.

8/11/2008 08:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Zophiel said...

Ah, the whole post was great, but this bit at the beginning caught my eye:

"but none of the beliefs can fit together in any integral way, or be justified in any ultimate sense. It will all just be ad hoc and disconnected, with no possibility of unity. I would find such a situation completely unsatisfying intellectually, let alone spiritually."

In college (and a little after), I think this was the thing that ever kept me from going very far into the lefter-side-o-things. Too many things didn't connect right, and I was insistent that religion, philosophy, science, history, all the things I believed in, must agree in some way, or at least, not massively contradict each other. Demanding of myself that my worldview be consistent, reasonably logical and coherent kept me pretty orthodox in many ways, even when out wandering in the wastes and the wilderness.

As for Chopra. . . seriously, and I ain't exaggerating, I've found deeper philosophical insights in anime such as DragonBall Z and Naruto than I have in anything I've read of him-- even Goku and Naruto know that sometimes ya gotta kick some butt if ya want to protect those you love.


Oh, and your bit about inward malaise being projected outward-- Yes, this describes a person I know very well. Interestingly, I think it also works the other way as well-- I was once diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer, but I'm all better now, simply because I was too slackadaisical to worry and fret. I was, um, interiorly sound and happy, and ended up having pretty much no trouble with the chemo, and only slight complications from radiation, even though the whole process took about a year. Now I'm hardly ever sick, while the other person I know goes from one trouble to the next, complaining and seeking pity the whole way.

8/11/2008 08:51:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Think of multiculturalism -- what an intrinsic sower of disunity and confusion, a diversionary tactic so that the human beastlings can take over.

8/11/2008 09:07:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Julie said "I wonder if that's the signifier of Raccoon initiation, when we start to experience those startling moments of syncoonicity? "

Was for me... used to completely floor me, I'd be thinking on an idea for a post, and Gagdad would have already birthed a post on same or strongly related ideas.

I used to be in a perpetual frontal lobe swirling daze...now... eh... just another miracle.

;-)

8/11/2008 09:09:00 AM  
Anonymous dloye said...

As Julie says, a lot of points of departure in this post. The one that grabbed me early on was the "simple minded secular person."
For example, let's say we have a simpleminded secular person who believes in the literal truth of Darwinism. But he also believes, say, in monogamous marriage. Why? How do you square that circle in any kind of necessary way, as opposed to an arbitrary way? You can't.

Let's say you have a simpleminded religious person who believes in the literal truth of.. you see where I'm going here. A lot of folks.. or maybe better said, a lot of US really just don't want to do the work of thinking things through for ourselves.

From a personal point of view, my education in no way except some few rare math courses ever pushed me to think logically, defend my thoughts or push ideas to their conclusion. I was lucky. As a simple minded religious person, I took a lot of what I didn't understand and put it aside, to be thought on later. But it's awfully easy to get pushed about as Paul references in Ephesians 4:14 (which is part of a very long sentence in my RSV translation.) that we may be no longer children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error; So now I'm retired, living in slack, and going back to a lot of questions and thinking I'd set aside in earlier years.

So I guess my point is this. The Origin or anchor point is ... ahem central, but there is also the willingness to just "do the work" which impedes progress in my case. And having said that, my experience is that I'm MUCH more willing to think than most people.

On an individual level it's... individual. If a person chooses to waste his/her life, What a shame. But we who live in a society were allus as individuals vote, we need to keep making as much noise, in the form of music, art, virtue as we can. Unhooking our political system from O is not an option we care to watch passively.

Just do the work.

8/11/2008 09:15:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

For example, let's say we have a simpleminded secular person who believes in the literal truth of Darwinism. But he also believes, say, in monogamous marriage. Why? How do you square that circle in any kind of necessary way, as opposed to an arbitrary way?

First off, in your view must everything have a definite place? Is there no room for individual preference? For example, could someone disagree with you about your ranking here?

Now, monogamous marriage may be a more fundamental issue than ranking soul artists. Perhaps monogamy is no more than my preference - which is not inconsistent with evolution. Still, one could make some pretty good arguments for monogamy based on (a) STDs, (b) the increase in violence in polygamous societies when young men can't find mates, and (c) the deeply satisfying emotional bonds that are formed when one can trust one's spouse implicitly.

8/11/2008 09:20:00 AM  
Anonymous petey said...

d--

Agreed. Always live in temporal resonance with the eternal, and you'll be okay.

8/11/2008 09:21:00 AM  
Anonymous just petey said...

Oi.

Remember the advice of Just Thomism before commenting.

8/11/2008 09:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Which, to refresh your memories was this:

"I doubt that they will be seen as anything other than nonsense by the Dawkins crowd. Trying to explain the truth of the soul to them would be like trying to explain polymer chemistry to a fifteenth century alchemist, or etiquette to the average high-school loudmouth jerk. There is simply too much prerequisite knowledge to make up for.

"There is also a problem of disposition. In my experience, the best spoken theists understand the best atheist arguments very well, and present them carefully and faithfully; but I have never met an atheist who understood the best theist arguments carefully and fully. Never.

"If you have the calling to speak to the Dawkins crowd, you must answer the call, but remember that the full truth is always revealed only to relatively few who seek truth and wisdom faithfully and as disciples of the great masters. The Dawkinses have always been with us. Five years from now they will be replaced by some new fad that feeds on death. They are nothing more or less than the world which is already passing away. At times it seems clear that they don’t even want to refute other arguments, they just want to suck people into an argument that itself will drag everyone down to death. They want us to speak like them: at one time ironic, condescending, and spiteful, and at another time with a false modesty that feeds on ignorance, tepidity, sloth, and death."

8/11/2008 09:27:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

RE: Dusty's comment from yesterday.

The classic 20th century heroes created in comic books were built on the ancient and enduring stories of the human condition and man's place within the Cosmos. That's because a mere generation ago, children were taught to read and think about such deep things while still in Grade School. And if school bored them, why there were comic books aplenty.

How interesting that the geeks of their day and ours, have to disguise the true Truths, lest someone suspect they are being asked to consider impossible possibilities. Parables draw in the thirsty soul, and keep out the insincere who will sneer and mock the premise.

And now that I consider the wisdom of word pictures as a tool for imparting knowledge, why does no Disney cartoon evoke that same sense of transcendence as do the classic superheroes? When not antropomorphing the lesser animals into humanistic themes, they are quite content to flatten the transcendent qualities of man's existence into mere magic. Entertaining for mindless children, I suppose.

But I never saw one boy that idolized Prince Charming or a Chimney Sweep, or a Mouse Detective or Aladdin.

Disney for the girls, Stan Lee for the boys?

8/11/2008 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Iconography, Ms. Joan.

If it isn't done explicitly, it will still be done. We have a lot to learn, it seems.

(Also there is a difference between art and iconography... comic books may be art, but they are also a form of iconography. Perhaps not holy... but iconography nonetheless.)

8/11/2008 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Oh, no offense girl-kits! I was thinking how most Disney themes seem geared toward selling soap to little girls, and Chopra, not Raccoons.

8/11/2008 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

IMHO, Disney is not iconography but just animation; Entertainment. WB Cartoons like Bugs Bunny faded back and forth between the two I think, but I can't think of a coherent set of examples right now.

Japenese Animation rides this fine line; some things clearly belonging to one realm while having glaring 'pieces' of the other.

8/11/2008 09:38:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

I enjoy the study of Orthodox iconography, but admit I'm a huge fan of the graphic style and logo design. The distillation of an Idea as opposed to the hide-in-plain sight clues and details. Both are immensely satisfying for different reasons.

Perhaps the beauty of condensing and unifying an entire idea into one instantaneous flash of an image speaks of God's Logo in the form of Christ.

Compare with Obama's latest and lamest attempt at iconography...

8/11/2008 09:42:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Joan, I think you're on to something there. Unfortunately, the wisdom hidden in comics of the past underwent the same cultural transformations as the rest of our media, to the point that today it is a rarity to find superheroes who are not also subhuman. The Good Guys come with a huge "But...," with a steaming pile of moral relativism stowed in the trunk. If I were a parent, I'd have serious reservations about letting my young kids read new-release comics.

8/11/2008 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Oh, and Joan - no offense taken :) I was never that big of a Disney fan as a kit. Or Barbie, for that matter. Star Wars was more my speed.

8/11/2008 09:49:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

...if global warming is real, then by any standard, Al Gore or John Edwards are deeply evil people, given the massive sizes of their carbon footprints...

"If killing innocent civilians is wrong, then by any standard the U.S. military is wrong because of the many innocent civilians that have been killed in their operations."

No, of course I don't believe the latter. Sometimes you have to do things that have bad side-effects... for the right cause. And U.S. military's been right far more often than not.

Gore, at least, claims to try to 'offset' the damage of, say, his jet travel. I'm not saying he's right, I'm just pointing out that his actions there are not automatically inconsistent.

8/11/2008 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Growing up with 5 older brothers, all Boy Scouts meant that I grew up without any control over the remote. Good training for later in life.

Still, it meant HO-scale train sets, woodworking, bike-fixing, skateboarding (old school), tree-climbing, camping, mumbly-peg, football, model airplanes and battleships, Rat Finks, and Batman and Superman comics.

It's fun nowadays to affect helplessness around the menfolk so that they can let that Superhero code kick in. Didn't know what I was missing!

8/11/2008 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Joan, I think of iconography (in general) is abstraction without loss of representation. It allows things to be depicted which can not be depicted in a photographic or realistic style.

That is, it makes clear the symbols that things really are.

8/11/2008 10:11:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

"Sometimes you have to do things that have bad side-effects... for the right cause."

What is the right cause, and why is it right?

(I know, I know... this is my cue to quit procrastinating and wasting comment space)

8/11/2008 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

River, I think I concur. I'm not a devotee of the form, but a casual admirer. I have a friend who engages in painting Orthodox icons and I love to hear her speak of her work. Of course, she pours out so much of her spiritual energy in describing her passion that my view of it tends to bend toward the mysterious. Which I like!

It seems to be a spiritual discipline for her, and my stunted need for artistic channeling keeps me from fully appreciating it.

8/11/2008 10:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Ray's comment about Al Gore contains merit. Gore may jet travel, but the result of said jet travel will likely give a net reduction in carbon emissions due to his activism.

Bob didn't think it through, but then again he doesn't have to be perfect to be O.K by me.

8/11/2008 10:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob wrote:

"We all know that the simpleminded secular atheist or lizard is paradoxically proud of his meaningless intellect, believing himself to live in the world of "science," "logic," "objectivity," etc., while we religious types live in our supposedly comforting myths and fairy tales."

I'm the lizard who keeps harping on behavior. You see, people say alot of things, mostly to prop up or defend their egos and maintain a sense of coherency in their consciousness. Nobody likes chaos or uncertainty.

The problem is taking oral/written emissions as significant in terms of outcome; generally they are not.

Well to do asian or caucasion people tend to behave/live a certain way, and non-whites another way; these are significant differences yet are seldom verbalized.

Likewise income determines behavior. Marking activities, such as flossing the teeth, are much more significant indicators than "attitudinal statements" or beliefs.

People who floss their teeth are very, very different from those who do not. The whole lifestyle can be predicted on that one behavior.

So, Bob, what I would like from you is to approach a blog subject from the outside in, as it were, focusing on behaviors vis a vis God

8/11/2008 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Clean up in aisle three. Two stinkers...

8/11/2008 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

But, Anon, that would make this your blog and not Bob's. I'm sure you can see the difficulty...

8/11/2008 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Beautiful. Note what happens when secularists ever attempt to create a new or improved culture from the top down, as in the French Revolution: chaos. It generates chaos because it is completely manmade and arbitrary, and is detached from the very soil that makes the secularist possible. "

This, along with what Zophiel said at the top, also follows inevitably, from the very root of their position - reality isn't knowable, something is valid if people believe it to be, every culture is valuable (except the West) because they all establish their own 'truth'.

It is an attempt to remake the world in their own image, hence its ugliness.

8/11/2008 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Joan said "The classic 20th century heroes created in comic books were built on the ancient and enduring stories of the human condition and man's place within the Cosmos... Disney for the girls, Stan Lee for the boys?"

As Zophiel noted "...I've found deeper philosophical insights in anime such as DragonBall Z and Naruto than I have in anything I've read of him..." kids do still find those... they find those examples, no matter where the sucklarist might try to hide them, or bury them under "barbies for boy's" programs.

"Disney for the girls..." yep (but prince charming better grab for his sword when Batman steps into the forest.

8/11/2008 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

ray said "First off, in your view must everything have a definite place?"

That one didn't even make it to stupid.

8/11/2008 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

ray said "Gore, at least, claims to try to 'offset' the damage of, say, his jet travel. I'm not saying he's right, I'm just pointing out that his actions there are not automatically inconsistent."

You know... I don' tink dat woid "Inconsistent" means what chu tink it meens.

8/11/2008 11:32:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

But Van, it did rise to the level of comic relief.

8/11/2008 11:32:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

aninnymouse said "Likewise income determines behavior."

Some seriously infertile fertilizer. Also is completely at odd with what you said afterwards. Not sure how much income in america affects whether or not you floss your teeth.

8/11/2008 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Heh... Joan, hence 'Token Anticoon Diversity Mascot and Scientistic Jester'

8/11/2008 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Van, Anonymous is not serious, hon. He said that whole flossing thing to bait you.

You really are easily baited, like the too-curious Raccoon that you are. It's not a bad trait. It's why you go further and dig deeper and find more than the rest of us!

And step in it more often. Heh.

8/11/2008 11:43:00 AM  
Anonymous son of a preacher man said...

"Gore, at least, claims to try to 'offset' the damage of, say, his jet travel. I'm not saying he's right, I'm just pointing out that his actions there are not automatically inconsistent."

So long as a Christian minister speaks out against fornication and adultery during his Sunday sermons, is he allowed to then run a brothel the rest of the week?

8/11/2008 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

SOaPM, note also that he said that Gore claims to try to offset the damage. Not that he actually does offset the damage.

8/11/2008 12:01:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Van. Good grief. I'm now channeling some sort of ol'timey Southern grandma...

Hehehe!

Must get job soon. Real soon.

SOPM, is he allowed to then run a brothel the rest of the week?

Well, yes, as long as its ultimate goal is to raise money for homeless orphans and burned-out prostitutes, then the end always justifies the means and is therefore, not inconsistent.

/tongue-in-cheek

8/11/2008 12:02:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Having no origin or center makes deception like this perfectly acceptable.

Wow. What is real?

8/11/2008 12:16:00 PM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Son - The question is whether your analogy or mine actually captures something salient about what Gore's doing.

And Julie - good catch. :->

8/11/2008 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

And yet another example of liberal fascism...

8/11/2008 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Van - If you want to understand my question to Bob, read this, or better yet, the actual story.

8/11/2008 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

"At times it seems clear that they don’t even want to refute other arguments, they just want to suck people into an argument that itself will drag everyone down to death."

Yep, once again. As always.

8/11/2008 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

Julie - good catch!

8/11/2008 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Joan said "...And step in it more often..."

Step in it? Me? Ritikulus. eh... could you hand me that stick? sumpn stuck in my sneaker treads here...

"You really are easily baited..."

I know. Baitin' goes both ways though, there's a bit of the goader in here with the flogger.

"I'm now channeling some sort of ol'timey Southern grandma..."

Lol. Yeah that's ok though. However, if you get that "I was born in the 1800's" look in your eye and tell me you're going outside to 'cut a switch an teach youa lesson', I'm hightailing it outta here damn fast, and won't care what I might step in!

8/11/2008 12:50:00 PM  
Anonymous son of a preacher man said...

"Son - The question is whether your analogy or mine actually captures something salient about what Gore's doing."

Where does the road of good intentions lead to?

8/11/2008 01:04:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

"It seems that the collective left -- being that they a priori deny the soul -- misrecognize their resultant spiritual pain and emptiness, and instead weep for the earth."

You know, I have posited a similar theory involving anxiety--because leftists seem more fearful than depressed to me. But depression and anxiety do go hand in hand and certainly spiritual emptiness is at the root of it all. You really hit it on the head.

*******

I'm not clear on how a 10,000 sq. ft. home that uses 12 times the energy of the average home serves the cause of reversing anthropocentric global warming. Perhaps anon ye muss 10:20 can 'splain.

**********

Re: the Joker article from the previous set of comments--Van said what I thought. I think the guy is right on in his i.d. of the evil clown. But I don't like the idea of conceding anything to people who are too apathetic to "do the work" (thanks, dloye). Plus, my Theology Guy got right to the point--the Truth is essentially a Person, which makes talking around him rather problematic.

8/11/2008 01:10:00 PM  
Anonymous christopher said...

"On an individual level it's... individual. If a person chooses to waste his/her life, What a shame. But we who live in a society were allus as individuals vote, we need to keep making as much noise, in the form of music, art, virtue as we can. Unhooking our political system from O is not an option we care to watch passively.

Just do the work."

Dloye said that. I am impressed with the notion of a calling, as I noticed was used on the Thomist site as discussed this weekend. I will leave it to others to discuss how to find a calling, but will say I know I am "guided" and synchronicity is very much a part of that for me. The beauty of synchronicity, the real ones that is, is how ever fresh their experience remains.

In AA we sometimes speak of "God with skin on" when a member speaks deeply but without any knowledge or understanding how that affects another member. This other member is sure he or she just had his life saved. Not by the first member but by "God with skin on."

And of course that is only a public experience if it is shared. Often it is not. If it happens to me, I have the choice of keeping it private, between me and God.

But as to calling, I know that I am not a contender, a fighter, even though I am also not a pacifist. It is a matter of calling. I do what I do, tempered in the fire of my own life, now knowing my shape and how it has changed. I study, even to finding this site, walking in the middle of my own path.

Being passive cannot be my choice. Being active, being in practice, walking under discipline, and dancing in joy, none of this forces me back into struggle. In all humility, I know I cannot criticize the warriors who do engage in various fields such as GBob's debate with the simple minded Darwinist. I also know I withdrew from the battle under the orders of my own destiny. There are other ways to serve.

This is where in the earlier days on this site I found myself arguing for compassion and mercy. I had forgotten for a moment that this is my calling and not that of others. If you are connected to Origin and Center, you are highly likely to receive marching orders also. If it happens, and it has to me, then I am well advised to quit deciding things and follow.

8/11/2008 01:10:00 PM  
Blogger erasmus said...

Ray says:

"First off, in your view must everything have a definite place? Is there no room for individual preference?"

Are you trying to ask where does individual personality preference end and morality begin?

8/11/2008 01:32:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

ray said "Van - If you want to understand my question to Bob, read this, or better yet, the actual story."

Ray's link pointed to a summary of the short story "The Aliens Who Knew, I Mean, Everthing "

Which ends with "...left their own homeworlds mainly to get away from the nuhp and their insufferable opinions."

stare.

I wonder if you've tried to read that from a perspective other than your own?

(careful, it might be painful)

8/11/2008 01:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great interest and attention is given to the semantic content of the blog comments, but there seems to be a paucity of curiosity about all of the other aspects of the comment.

Questions such as: Who comment here? How much time do they spend, on average, commenting here? etc

8/11/2008 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Van - bwaahaha
That's the first time I've read a Ray link in a while. Priceless!

8/11/2008 01:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Spartacus said...

Who comment[s] here? How much time do they spend, on average, commenting here? etc

What, you can't read sitemeter for yourself?

I pay $6 a month to protect those foolish enough to visit my site from the self-satisfied (and likely self-satisfying) trolls. Totally worth it.

But I'll take the bait so as to afford a rest for Van:

I am Spartacus.
I'm into music, hate drama, like things simple and straightforward, enjoy a casual evening at home or a long walk on the beach while contemplating the Cosmos. Can party hearty, throw a spear, kill when necessary. Like kids as long as they don't live with me. Non-smoker, social drinker.
Been hanging around here for a coupla years.
Usually have no time whatsoever to comment here, much to everyone's delight.
I hang out with Skully, so that could be a deal-breaker right there.

8/11/2008 02:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Zophiel said...

Anon @ 1:40--
"Questions such as: Who comment here? How much time do they spend, on average, commenting here? etc"

Well, I'm Zophiel. I don't spend much time at all-- Between work, homework for my Business Law class, tutoring music theory, housework, reverse engineering renaissance polyphony, and my Other Studies, and sleep, ain't got much time left. However, as it so happens, reading this blog and the commentary, and occasionally throwing in my $0.02 happens to fall into the category of Other Studies (sorta-like an after-school study group), so it all works out.

In a way, this is my break time. Relaxing, thought-provoking . . . it settles me, like a good cup of tea, or an awesome new chapter of my favorite manga (only, better!).

But, not as much time as I'd like. Hozitontal Plane responsibilities demand my attention. Like right now, the dog is quite insistent.

8/11/2008 02:03:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Chris: one of the things that is beautiful about the traditions with depth is that they do not 'flatten' out man into a 'one size fits all'. They somehow take note of deeper diversity (not just skin or national origin or political opinion) without becoming 'pluralistically fragmented', i.e. without coherent ordering or completeness. Thus a man may say that it is not for him to fight without having to say that pacifism is the only way. Rather, because 'battle' is understood on more than one level, a man's call to war might never be with material arms. Likewise with his call to peace.

It is far subtler and more encompassing than all other things, this Tradition.

8/11/2008 02:06:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Very average mom to seven who drops by while NAK (nursing at keyboard) or waiting for the oven timer to ding. On summer break, but normally we homeschool most days.

Reading blogs is my substitute for tv (don't have any).

8/11/2008 02:08:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Christopher, some have the gift of helps, some more prophetic giftings, and so on...

8/11/2008 02:13:00 PM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Van - "Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

My question is about what counts as opinion and what counts as fact...

8/11/2008 02:17:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Anonymous, perhaps this will enlighten you (raccoons, you may want to hide your eyes from the ugly truth...):

I'm an overweight, bearded, scarred and tattooed housewife with a resonant voice reminiscent of Dr. Girlfriend's (okay, I exaggerate a bit - I'm more tenor than bass). I visit here between (infrequent) adventures into free-form photography and the occasional volunteer and/or under-the-table graphic design job. Like Suzanne, I spend time online instead of watching television. It's also vastly more entertaining than housework, which I am usually studiously avoiding. I spend most of my days in solitude, and have a very small circle of close friends, whom I see infrequently.

This week, in addition to my usual activities, I get to foray into the mystical world of plumbing and drywall hanging. I'll probably make frequent visits here when I take breaks, because I find it's an excellent way to keep my mind sharp while my body is busy.

Is that what you were looking for?

8/11/2008 02:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

Julie-
Scars N' tattoos? Cool!

8/11/2008 02:41:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Son of a Preacher Man said-

"So long as a Christian minister speaks out against fornication and adultery during his Sunday sermons, is he allowed to then run a brothel the rest of the week?"

Does he pay fornication and adultery offsets...to himself? :^)

8/11/2008 02:44:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Hi, I'm Van. I'm a husband and father of 3. I'm a former musician, former salesmen and currently (for the last 15 years(?)) work as a Web, Windows, PocketPC & Database developer.

I’m intent on deepening my education and understanding of history, literature and philosophy. I enjoy moonlit walks while taking out the trash, and kicking aninnymouses in the hinney.

One of the first consultant co's I worked for had a foosball table in their developer's bullpen, and the only strict rule they had, was that if you found yourself getting stuck, you had to get up and play some foosball for a few minutes, then go back to your problem. I was amazed how much more I got done by taking those time outs.

OC far exceeds foosball for collecting my thoughts, reorienting my perspective and helping me to be more productive in my work and my life, so I comment pretty darn frequently.

My hobbies are lightsaber fighting with the kids, sitting, reading, writing, imbibing reeeealy dark beer and smokey scotch.

8/11/2008 02:44:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Gagdad Bob said...
Which only proves that humans can sink beneath kangaroos on the evolutionary scale.


Crikey!

8/11/2008 02:44:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Hey, Van - lightsaber fighting?

8/11/2008 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ray said "My question is about what counts as opinion and what counts as fact..."

Reality counts as fact, and those who discount our ability to grasp reality, recognize Truth or freely make choices navigating both (free will), disqualify themselves from being taken seriously in either their opinions or claims about the facts.

8/11/2008 02:53:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Nice to know our Daddy's not the only lightsaber wielder out there. :)

8/11/2008 02:55:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

I'm sure you've done the Darth Vader schtick about bringing order to the universe with your son, too. :D

8/11/2008 02:57:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Reality counts as fact, and those who discount our ability to grasp reality, recognize Truth or freely make choices navigating both (free will), disqualify themselves from being taken seriously in either their opinions or claims about the facts.

Van shoots, he scores!

8/11/2008 03:02:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

I'm not going to tell Integralist or his anonymous sock puppet anything about me.

8/11/2008 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I'm Skully.
I'm a semi-retired Privateer (but I only work for the cause of Liberty...n' a substantial booty...hey! Privateerin' has overhead costs, y'know?).

I'm a social n' private drinker.
I like moonlit fights on the beach, or on a ship.
I love parrots, dogs, and cats that eat rats.

Kids are okay but they get on my nerves sometimes...not as much as the freakin' terrorists, commies,
suckularists fascists or AlGorian enviroweirdos though.

I find if you give kids somethin' to do they're pretty much tolerable and can be a fun source of entertainment.

For example, watchin' an eight year old trying to reel in an 800 pound swordfish...hilarious!

Or havin' a seven year old gut n' clean a fish or rabbit can be pretty fun.

I reckon you can say I hang out with an elite bunch that are often...understood in the wrong light.
Cousin Dupree, Sparticus (hey Spart, wuzzup?), Will, JWM, and Ximeze to name a few.
It's always more fun with Scatter, Slim, Doc, LaFayette n' Beaky along.

Hobbies? Hmmm, lotsa hobbies. One of my favorite hobbies is givin' wedgies to cantankerous lizards.
They don't much like it none, though.

I jes tell 'em it's "natural selection." Heh!

8/11/2008 03:13:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Oh, hey! Totally off topic, but dear Charles is now deleting comments with spinoff links to stories about Obama's birth certificate.

The issue at hand isn't what's telling. It that he's choosing his friends in a tighter and tighter circle by dint of deletion.

(Whereas Bob just perplexes folks with bright light, until they leave of their own accord.)

LGF's singularity is almost complete. Soon, Charles will kill comments altogether and proclaim himself a columnist, not a blogger.

Taking bets on that eventuality.

8/11/2008 03:16:00 PM  
Anonymous christopher said...

Thanks, River, Susannah.

You verify for me the truth.

Calling is as it is and so are the talents, spiritual gifts which come with the call. A Tradition is a very good home and guide for the development and that too is a matter of the call.

And River, you are certainly right that the spiritual warrior "fights" in many symbolic worlds as well as occasionally in the so-called real world.

In the long run for one like me, there is no need to "correct" someone who is in "error". I confess that I can't resist often enough.

I love preaching to the choir as much as some others too. There is actually a usefulness to that because we are forgetful of the harder truths if we don't hear them often. This is one of the keys to AA success, frequent meetings and much repeating of the basics keeps people sober. Hearing is good, but speaking is better. Of this there is no doubt.

GBob is really good, retelling the truth of Spirit and Soul over and over but housed in so many different stories. This is another of the reasons I saw that you guys really have something here.

8/11/2008 03:27:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Julie said "Hey, Van - lightsaber fighting?"

Yes indeedy!

Sussannah said "I'm sure you've done the Darth Vader schtick about bringing order to the universe with your son, too. :D"

Yep! Tell your hubby he's not the last of the Jedi.

(Tell 'em to be careful when his padawan learner hits the upper teens though... the force gets really strong with those ones... and they aren't trying not to hurt you. The feeling of molded plastic shoving your eyeball aside and thunking on the back of your eyesocket is one of those experiences best left to the imagination.

Just sayin')

8/11/2008 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger Sal said...

Susanna-
Plus, my Theology Guy got right to the point--the Truth is essentially a Person, which makes talking around him rather problematic.

Exactly.
This is why my try about ten years ago, at living like an atheist was a bust. You can drop an idea, but ignoring a Person is much more difficult.

8/11/2008 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger lance said...

Hi, I am Lance. I'm a political science major and a philosophy minor. I've been married for 7 years now to a wonderful woman who puts up with my intellectual flights of fancy. No kids but we have 2 ferrets, 2 mice, 1 hamster, 2 zebra finches, and 8 society finches. I mainly come her to poke vainly at Van :) but I often find that I learn something as well. Though I do not often agree with Bob's writing as I began to read, by the time I am finished I always have something to think about. For instance the concern I have right now is what I am thinking of a Bob's pluralism and I am having a hard time balancing that with the protestant christian way that I was raised. (I understand I could be wrong about the pluralism, that is just what I am perceiving.) Oh I also play World of Warcraft.

8/11/2008 05:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Bob is the opposite of a pluralist. He is an Absolutist.

8/11/2008 05:22:00 PM  
Anonymous cousin Dupree said...

I just snuck into the arkive and pulled this from Bob's very first post:

"Clinical psychologist Gagdad Bob is an extreme seeker and off-road spiritual aspirant who has spent no less than one lifetime in search of the damn key to the world enigma. A high school graduate at just seventeen and a-half, Dr. Godwin attended business school until the vagaries of academic probation and expulsion (their word) led him to pursue other missed opportunities.

"Capitalizing on a natural ability to simultaneously enjoy movies and lower his expectations, Godwin eventually earned a film degree in just four terms (Ford and Carter, bracketed by parts of Nixon and Reagan). Initially denied admission to graduate school because of "inadequate" academic preparation (their word), Holy Happenstance intervened in the nick of time, and Dr. Godwin went on to obtain two advanced degrees in psychology without allowing it to interfere with his education or with ongoing spiritual research conducted in his suburban liberatoreum. Lengthy periods there of higher bewilderment and intense non-doing resulted in important advances in egobliteration and karmannihilation.

"At the same time, Dr. Godwin spent many years searching and researching for his book, only to conclude that it did not exist, and that if he wanted to read it, he would have to write it himself. Having now read it a number of times, he is happy to share that burden with a wider audience of fertile eggheads interested in peering behind the annoying veil that separates them from ultimate reality."

8/11/2008 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"...spent many years searching and researching for his book, only to conclude that it did not exist, and that if he wanted to read it, he would have to write it himself."

Doh! (slaps forehead, V-8 vendor strides away shaking their head)

So that's why I haven't been able to find my book anywhere! Let me write this down...

(paper's shuffling... dog yelps as he's kicked off of notebook)

'if... I ... want to read my... book...whawasit? Oh yeah... I've got to .... w r i t e ... it first....'

Wow. OC is sooo cool.
(Can't get enough of that tough love stuff)

8/11/2008 05:46:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Lance said "...I mainly come her to poke vainly at Van :)"

If anyone can do something vainly, it'd be you.

(Ooh! Low blow!)

;-)

(Psst! Don't leave the bird cages where raccoons can get to em... wives get just as upset as 9 yr old girls, when their favorite birds turn up eaten. Jus sayin')

8/11/2008 05:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

You mean those birds weren't for eatin', Van?

8/11/2008 06:00:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

I'm most likely the youngest 'coon, you might call me Timothy or Anthony if you want (see the lives of the first St. Timothy and of St. Anthony the Great to get the reference.)

I'm a person of abnormal curiosity, who through grade school got excellent grades until kids realized they could be jerks. Then I got terrible grades and was depressed and scarred until I realized that it didn't matter if they were jerks. Along the way I picked up self awareness.

Eventually my suppressed traits of relentless curiosity, zany playfulness and stubborn temerity woke back up (in that order) after about 10 years of snooze.

When they awoke they informed me that there were many rooms in my unconscious that were filled with visitors whose green cards had long expired.

During my attendence of college those traits led me to study Christian history (which led me to Orthodoxy,) Music and the practice thereof (Which led me to Jazz,) Japanese (which I was led to by my eternal love of comics, cartoons and Anime) Speech, and oh right, my major, Computer Science.

After going through a spiritual purging which involved reading the Bible every night and actually making use of my gift of learning (experience of panic attacks gained? Check!) and bumping my nous against the local Intervarsity Chapter plus two bad girlfriends (or maybe they were only half bad) I was dumped ceremoniously (they have 'commencement' you know) on to the bumpy street of free adultdom.

From there I was drawn inexplicably to political conservatism, having witnessed the most recent evidence of the end times (not Al Gore or Deepak Chopra, but 9/11) I found myself noodling around NRO, LGF, GOV, WOC and Protein Wisdom.

Conservatism provided the necessary tools to become simultaneously continuously educated about and disillusioned of politics in general, and during a stint of 'activism' with the 910 Group (now Vigilant Freedom) a man by the name of bones left a link to this blog.

From there I had only to fall up a few flights of stairs on my head and here I am.

That being said, I try to comment while not commenting, slack while not slacking, and read while not reading at all (the last one shows.) I'm afflicted by chronic hermititis, a case of the pneumamonia, and whooping laugh.

My personal way of slacking is to labor ceaselessly with a free and lighthearted spirit.

I used to take sabbaths, but someone took the dreign plug.

8/11/2008 06:04:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Lengthy periods there of higher bewilderment and intense non-doing resulted in important advances in egobliteration and karmannihilation.

BTW, egobliteration and karmannihilation are great names for a book or a band.

8/11/2008 06:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

"Capitalizing on a natural ability to simultaneously enjoy movies and lower his expectations,..."

Huh. Talk about sycooniquity, just so happens that I too have those natural abilities.

8/11/2008 06:08:00 PM  
Blogger lance said...

Van said: "Lance said "...I mainly come her to poke vainly at Van :)"

If anyone can do something vainly, it'd be you.

(Ooh! Low blow!)

;-)"

OUCH!!! I literally laughed out loud and ached inside at the same time. Besides it is hard to be has vain I am it takes serious effort. :)

8/11/2008 06:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

Hey River-
Didja say "bad" girlfriends?

Some guys have all the luck!

8/11/2008 06:22:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Lance said "Besides it is hard to be has vain I am it takes serious effort. :)"

As always, hard work pays off
ba-dump chingggg!
(olympics inspired rimshot)

;-)

(Ok, I've pre-slapped myself for that one... it was just sitting there... begging to be taken advantage of... would have been cruel to let the jibe go hungry)

8/11/2008 06:23:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Hey Lance, curious, is there a particular field you're planning to put the political science major and philosophy minor towards, or is it for just general broadening ('just'?!)

(No veiled jabs there, actually curious.

Ok... fine... (concealed hand buzzer tossed on to table)... forgot about that one.)

8/11/2008 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

I'm actually slightly... well... half... envious. Now that the wife's completed her classes, I'm thinking about subjecting some poor defenseless college professors to my presence in class.

8/11/2008 06:52:00 PM  
Blogger lance said...

Van, That is a good question, I am thinking of working for the tobacco and alcohol and fire arms industry as a lobbyist. I heard that is where the big money is. I look at it as, not selling out, but buying in. ;) I kid, I kid, that is the answer I give at school to watch the other students heads explode. It is really quite effective. But back to the question, I do have a friend with a political consulting firm and they have handled different state political issues here in Oregon. Because we as a state have made it so easy to put measures on the ballot it is a pretty good way to get involved. But I am not really sure. I have thought about local political involvement as well but I also enjoy both writing and speaking so it is possible that the future might lead in that direction. Barring the fulfillment of that pipedream, I imagine I will look for work in state or city government or for a computer company. Though graduate school is a possibility.

8/11/2008 07:15:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Julie, I'm putting off housework too, if that makes you feel any better. :)

Not a total bum, though...today learned how to make the scrumptious creamy filling that turns homebaked chocolate cupcakes into ho-ho's. Big uh oh.

8/11/2008 07:46:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

I actually did some housework today. It's hard to properly slack when there are chores lurking. My house is rather a disaster at the moment, though - we're just getting started on the repairs from our little flood this summer. Thank goodness for spare bedrooms.

Homemade Ho-Ho's sound absolutely fiendish. I'll have to be sure never to ask for that recipe :)

8/11/2008 08:13:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Veering in yet another direction, I'm still reading "The Spiritual Ascent," and just now came across this delightfully acerbic tidbit under "Wayfaring."

"You failed to go on a pilgrimage because of your ass's nature, not because you have no ass."

I can't help thinking it reminds me of someone...

8/11/2008 09:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

River,

You younger than 14?

8/11/2008 09:49:00 PM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Van - Let me know if you run into someone who discounts our ability to grasp reality, or freely make choices. You never seem to tire of telling me what I think. :->

(Oh, and one of our sons is named Luke. I'm one of the few people who has truthfully said, "Luke... I am your father!" :-> (Of course, technically that's a misquote...))

8/12/2008 06:02:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

At heart, at least.

8/12/2008 06:25:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Ray, in the defense of the others, what you are being told is not so much what you think, but what the implications of your line of reasoning. That you do not decide to entertain these implications does not make them disappear.

8/12/2008 07:00:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

make that "What the implications ... are."

... Time to practice commenting by not commenting :P

8/12/2008 07:08:00 AM  
Blogger QP said...

I'm MizzE, the qp, since I crossed into OC territory over 2 years ago I've noticed an interior gradual slack in output of bullshit...i.e. there's more room for disinfecting Light to get in. Somedays I feel like an Omade Nutty Ho-Ho, but that's OK; I trust the Baker's Plan.

Susannah - For many healthy reasons, I love the pond project y'all cooked up.

8/12/2008 07:48:00 AM  
Anonymous son of a preacher man said...

USS Ben said:

"Does he pay fornication and adultery offsets...to himself? :^)"

Oh Ben please, this is supposed to be a non-profit endeavor

Joan stated perfectly the mission:

"[A]s long as its ultimate goal is to raise money for homeless orphans and burned-out prostitutes, then the end always justifies the means and is therefore, not inconsistent."

Also it is an economical reason to bring back eunuchs. So there is another nice side effect of creating jobs.

Now I feel good about myself and that is the main thing. :p

8/12/2008 07:50:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

River - Is it too much to ask for people to "show their work", then, instead of jumping straight to the end? What if there's a mistake in the answer guide at the back of the teacher's edition?

8/12/2008 08:24:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Ray: Unfortunately, you must live your philosophy completely to understand. (Plotinus was all about this kinda thing) Otherwise the implications will remain 'empty categories' for you that you are tirelessly asking us to fill.

For instance, I could explain to a progressive endlessly why our salvation does not lie in politics. But it would be pointless unless they did two things, and this is important from what I have seen and experienced:

Firstly they need to live out their politics to its fullest, or at least actually live it. For some reading of communism or fascism is enough to disabuse them of the immanentized eschaton; others must take a few body blows.

Secondly they must have a thirst for the truth, to know it. Otherwise they will, when confronted with the monstrosity of what their thoughts really mean or lead to, stop there and accept it as it is.

If they do both of these they will find their own way out of the madness; each of us rightly acts only as a guide or signpost or finger pointing at the moon.

So this is why we are so evasive with you Ray; it must be experienced. Try to pray 'to whomever it may concern' three times a day, standing. Tell me what it does to you. Try to love your enemy, as illogical as it might be in different situations. Try to secretly give alms. So and and so forth. Instead of treating the Gospel as some kind of metaphysical treatise, some kind of moral/philosophical system or even as a historical narrative or legend, treat it like a series of commands. For the Gospels themselves (save for John) were written from a set of sayings of Jesus written down by Matthew in Aramaic (this is what is traditionally held to be the case.)

In the case of all of the Gospels, the commands of Jesus are interspersed with the news that Christ is victorious (the Hebrew word for savior means conqueror. So with the Greek, 'Soter')

It may entail a moral system, it may entail a set of corrected metaphysics, it may include a historical narrative, but first and foremost it is news.

It says, "Victory over the bad shit in life has happened."

What form does this victory take? It is incomprehensible. So instead of trying to explain it (imagine trying to do as Ezekiel did in terms of the light on Mt. Tabor?) he simply establishes the quotes and commands of Jesus in their approximate context so that they may speak to the reader or hearer.

That's it, Ray. Unless you live those things you will only understand so much and beyond it will remain the area of speculation.

Consider it a challenge, from man to man. Cowboy up.

8/12/2008 10:01:00 AM  

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