Cynicism and Gullibility, Faith and Intellection, Pigs and Mothers
Which it is, in the original sense of the word, i.e., sophistry, or a kind of artificial or counterfeit wisdom that negates it precisely. At best, it is a kind of cunning that is always in service to the vital mind below, not the mind of light above. It is calculation based upon the ego's interests, not a surrender to the Truth, which always weakens the ego. Schuon said words to the effect that to assimilate a truth is to die a little. Therefore, to know Truth as such would represent total death and rebirth. You know, " I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me."
But at the same time, we see that leftists are also the most naive and gullible people on the planet, and the two are related. That is, because they cannot reliably penetrate the surface, liberals believe the craziest things, e.g., global warming, global cooling, poverty causes crime, men and women are identical, UAD (unintelligent absence of design), this is the worst economy since the great depression, Iran is not a threat, Saddam was not a threat, the USSR and the US were morally equivalent, Bush is a torturer, Bush lied us into war. The list goes on and on. They are especially naive about the nature of hatred and evil, since they have no insight into their own.
Importantly, just as assimilating truth weakens the ego and nourishes the mind of light, liberal gullibility strengthens the ego and extinguishes the mind of light. Never wonder why the stupidity of the left is so "invincible," for it is as strong as Death.
Just as cynicism and gullibility are joined at the hip, so too are faith and intellection. The liberal -- because he is an idiot -- confuses faith with gullibility, when it is the opposite. That is, faith is belief in order to know, not -- as is cynicism -- a preemptive attack on higher reality in order to not know it.
Faith is openness and receptivity (o) to the Real; it is an unknowing of the lower in order clear a space for the higher -- like turning the lights down in the theatre so you can enjoy the movie. But the sophisticates of the left want to turn the lights on as brightly as possible, and then ridicule those who believe in this nonexistent thing called a "movie." Think of a church as a theatre and the service as the movie. The screen can only be seen in darkness and silence. I am now typing in total darkness.
To give a specific example, the left is a big believer in what they call "sex education." The problem is, they are forbidden by their own lazy cynicism (and therefore gullibility) to ever teach about human sexuality, only animal sexuality projected onto the human plane. If you do mention human sexuality, then you will be accused of "violating the wall between church and state," when what you are actually doing is respecting the gulf between animal and human.
Obviously, human sexuality has reproductive as well as non-reproductive (i.e., non-Darwinian) purposes. At best, the secular leftist might say that the additional purpose is pleasure, but that would be a very stupid thing to say. So the left can only teach humans about animal sexuality, and then wonder why the humans behave like animals. What are they supposed to do? Get married? That implies that human sexuality has a nonlocal telos, and any Darwinian sophisticate knows that that is nonsense, just an elaborate self-deception.
Yes, this is just a rambling prelude to what I really wanted to discuss -- which is the further evolution into the overmental -- but here is a fine example of what we're talking about today at NRO, The Angst of the Aging Lecher:
"In his essay, Sex, Economy, Freedom, and Community, Wendell Berry writes that the 'voyeur cannot crack the shell'; to behold copulating bodies is not to capture sexual intimacy, the mysterious union of souls. In the new film, Elegy, George O’Hearn, a Pulitzer Prize–winning poet tells his academic friend, David Kepesh that, having given their lives to serial sexual relationships, they cannot break the 'beauty barrier.' They are voyeurs who cannot 'crack the shell.'"
Ah, what an unexpected cooncidence. The article continues: "In Kepesh, Elegy gives us a certain highly successful academic type, common enough on American campuses, an academic who combines great intellectual discipline with rather loose sexual mores. What starts out as exuberant passion over time comes to infect the intellectual life itself. The result is an academic life permeated by vanity, wherein truth-seeking is subordinate to the task of drawing attention to oneself, to what and whom one knows. In the case of academics like Kepesh, intellectual prowess becomes an instrument of the sexual seduction of attractive students" (emphasis mine).
You see? Exactly what I was saying above about how the cynical mind is a vital mind that cannot penetrate surfaces and know spiritual reality. Fascinating -- you can also see how the spiritual drive, since it is denied expression due to cynicism, is displaced to the vital, leading to the compulsive -- which it must be, since it cannot know the depth that sustains a relationship -- pursuit of sexual conquest:
"For Kepesh, who walked out on his family many years ago after concluding that marriage is a trap, Consuela is but the latest stage in his restless pursuit of his peculiar version of the American dream -- the next frontier, the latest conquest. As he states, 'Every time you make love you get revenge for all the things that have defeated you in life.' Lending erudition to the free-love moment of the 1960s, Kepesh contends that serial sexuality is more honest, and certainly more pleasurable, than marriage. As he puts it in one wrenching conversation with his bitter and alienated son, Kenneth, abandoning the family was the honest thing to do."
You see? Like a pathetic wretch such as Bill Maher, he actually flatters himself that he is the unflinchingly courageous and honest man who faces life squarely and lives his life free of spiritual illusions. How's that working for you, Doc?
"Kepesh’s attempt to live honestly according to the flesh is, however, hardly an uncomplicated matter of freely satisfied desire. Again, Berry is perceptive: 'Sexual liberation ought logically to have brought in a time of ‘naturalness,’ ease, and candor between men and women. It has, on the contrary, filled the country with sexual self-consciousness, uncertainty, and fear.' Lust, as C.S. Lewis once said, is more abstract than logic. So long as sex involves another human, entanglements will emerge. To protect himself and to continue to cultivate his lifestyle, Kepesh ends up lying to the two women in his life."
So first, Kepesh must "flatten" the emotional surface of life, which then leads to its cognitive and spiritual flattening, which in turn leads to the vital Lie in order to keep the whole charade going. And this will become a deeply entrenched lie, on pain of evoking a sucidal depression over having literally wasted one's life and missed the whole point.
Never ask why leftists hold on to their lies so fiercely. It's obvious. Pride cometh before a fall, but if it is inflated to truly grandiose proportions, it can put off that eventuality until death. In other words, ontological pride can be a sort of vessel that gets one through the journey from biological birth to death. Buy you will not have actually traveled anywhere. In a way, you will never have been born. Or perhaps we can say that you will "only" be born. You will exclude yourself from the second birth, or initiation into the realm of the human. Spiritual asphyxiation is not pretty:
"As he ages, his carefree devotion to the 'carnal aspects of the human comedy' looks more like a cover for anxious dread in the face of death. At the outset, he quotes Tolstoy: a man’s greatest surprise is age. Fear of death, loss, and loneliness plague Kepesh. Avoiding the snare of marriage, he finds himself trapped in an old age without affection and love."
I'm going to say something here that is bound to be misunderstood, but I'm sure that one of you will appreciate the point. I even ran it by Mrs. G last night, and once I explained what I meant, she put down the frying pan.
What I said was something to the effect that, in order for a man to properly love a woman, he must first know how to properly hate them. I have to admit that the sentence popped out of my mouth before I had time to understand my point -- which I often do, so that I can "think beyond myself," so to speak.
I was thinking about how Obama, precisely because he is such a feminized man, expresses such undisguised contempt for women, such as the recent pig comment. Now, why would Obama have unconscious issues with women? One reason might be that he didn't have a noble father in his life, for him to emulate and teach him how to be a man. Instead, his primary identification is with the devouring or idealizing mother, which naturally creates resentment, since fixation in the realm of mother-love prevents one from becoming a Man. (You will also have noticed how frightened he seems to be of his wife, and how sensitive and easily wounded he appears to be.)
Children think in very broad strokes and stark categories. Therefore, a boy's turn to father is always accompanied by a kind of devaluation of mother and the female realm in general (I'm certainly seeing it in my son, as he struggles to pry himself free of mother and turn toward father; just as he used to get angry at me for coming between him and his mother, now he gets angry at her for coming between us). For you mothers of boys, I'm sure you noticed the pattern as your boys grew up. The wise and secure mother does not interfere with this devaluation, because it is part of the process of detaching from biology itself, in order to become the spiritual and social archetype of Man.
Then, once a boy is a man, he can return to the realm of the feminine with a whole new appreciation and wonder -- and equally importantly -- no residual, unconscious resentment. But as Harvey Mansfield notes, you cannot be a gentleman unless you first become a man. The left is full of metrosexual gentlemen who hide their hate behind layers of sophistication and sophistry.
Is it any coincidence that the most gynocentric subculture also features the most blatant misogyny, i.e, rap? Is it any coincidence that Hugh Hefner is one of the biggest supporters of feminism, or that all the lady killers of Hollywood are vocal feminists? Is it any coincidence that the left hates Sarah Palin? No, of course not. To be a feminist, you really have to despise femininity.
Back to the film: it "shows the consequences of a dreadful reduction of imagination, even literary imagination, to fantasy. On this point, Berry is eloquent, 'In sex, as in other things, we have liberated fantasy but killed imagination, and so have sealed ourselves in selfishness and loneliness. Fantasy is of the solitary self, and it cannot lead us away from ourselves. It is by imagination that we cross over the differences between ourselves and other beings and thus learn compassion, forbearance, mercy, forgiveness, sympathy, and love.' Having cultivated the fantasies of the solitary self, Kepesh, increasingly aware that his lust will soon turn to ashes, desperately seeks some other sort of human contact."
Cynicism, gullibility, fantasy, unreality, hatred, death.
Faith, Intellection, Imagination, Reality, Love, Life.
Lileks touches on some of these themes today: "if there’s one thing that’s amused me in the last two weeks, it’s the screechy distaste of Ms. Palin coming from men who embodied the Modern Alda Paradigm of masculinity, which is to say they are nervous around cars, think guns are icky, had their own Snugli, have wives in corporate jobs who make more money than they do, and still get dissed behind their backs because they can’t figure out how to make the bed. The Lost Boys, if you will."