Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Hard Day's Blog

I think I might be a little burned out. Just a vague sense that "there's not enough coffee," combined with the thought that we've pretty much covered the cosmic weirderfount, in concert with the realization that no one cares anyway. Well, boo freaking hoodoo.

You have to understand that if my mind is infected by the slightest concern that I have so few readers, I'm a goner. It's like being a soldier and realizing you could get shot, or being a baseball player and realizing you could get beaned. You can't think about those things, because doing so only interferes with what one needs to do to ensure they don't happen. I just need to do what I do, and forget about the results. You know, karma yoga. Or, as Krishna said to Arjuna, "gita life, buddhi."

Now that I think about it, it is interesting that I get a huge spike in readership whenever I join in the Tempest of the Day and toss some red meat into the fray. This tells me that I could be a very popular fellow if I simply reeled off one of those piece-of-my-mind pieces every day. I wonder what goes through the mind of someone who stumbles upon one of those rants, then returns the next day for more, only to find a discussion of the ontological status of the Lie, or some transrational nuggets of joy from Petey? Whatever it is, they don't come back after that.

But being more popular wouldn't help anyway, and would probably only interfere with the process. Even as it is, it takes a lot of self-discipline to not write for an audience -- or even for myself, for that matter -- but to simply write what comes up... or down. Again, the moment I start to think about a "target," I miss the mark. Total spontaneity. First thought, best thought. Suspend memory, desire, understanding. Mind jazz. If you fluff a note, there are no second takes or redubbing. You have to find a way to resolve it into a higher unity.

I guess it concerns me a little that I think we have something vital to add to the "national conversation," but that there is no point of entry for our views. People for whom I have a great deal of respect might very well be embarrassed to be seen with me. Take, for example, some of the bigger conservative blogs -- PowerLine, NRO, American Thinker. PowerLine is completely rationalistic and legalistic, and would have no use for a mystical point of view. NRO is traditionally Catholic, and would be deeply suspicious if not hostile to my approach.

In fact, National Review once published a letter of mine. It was after the death of George Harrison in 2001, and they had printed what I felt was a rather snarky and ungracious obituary of him, merely because he embraced Eastern religion. I wish I had kept a copy, but the letter had something to do with the parallels between the great sages and seers of India and the saints and mystics of the Catholic church. Interestingly, in my letter, they deleted the word "mystics," which I think is very telling. Saints are okay. Mystics need not apply. But in so doing, you eliminate the blood from the body -- luminaries such as Meister Eckhart, Denys the Areopagite, John Scottus Eriugena, etc. Furthermore, you cede that whole ground to the irrational left, who do indeed drag the supralogical down to the illogocal, as evidenced by the sociopathic likes of a Deepak Chopra and all the rest of the phony gurus.

Obviously the reality of the mystical holds a permanent appeal for human beings, as it is nothing less than a call from home. This is precisely why these sociopaths of the left are able to exploit it, because people will be drawn to counterfeit versions if the real thing is unavailable. If you ban classical music, people will still crave music. In fact, look at what happens, say, in the Islamic world, where truth is effectively banned. There is still no shortage of "intellectuals," except that they are unable to entertain truth. Rather, they simply elaborate lies with the thinking mind.

We are very close to the having that same kind of mass pathology in our liberal universities, which are filled with thinkers but precious little truth or wisdom. It cannot be emphasized enough that the more intelligent the person, the more likely they are to have been indoctrinated by the system. After all, the liberal educational establishment pre-selects for the intelligent, so it should come as no surprise that they are the most brainwashed. But there is no correlation whatsoever between intelligence and wisdom, let alone decency.

I don't have to look any further than my own debased field of psychology to see the soul pathology. I would guess that 90% of clinical psychologists are left/liberal. As a result, there is no end to the lies they embrace and propagate, but which they call "sophistication" or "enlightenment." The whole field is sophocating under a blanket of political correctness. I wouldn't even try to add my voice, because it would be a full time job defending oneself from the vicious attacks that would ensue.

American Thinker occasionally has a religious piece, but again, it is always within the realm of a perhaps slightly intellectualized but nevertheless completely exoteric religiosity that can't really stand up to the light of the intellect, or Mind of Light. They just have to pretend there is no conflict between conservative rationalism and religious irrationalism. Not that exoteric religion is necessarily irrational, only that it requires an illuminated intellect to understand precisely why it isn't.

Furthermore, without that deeper understanding to anchor it, then religion can easily fall prey to a rank irrationalism that the left never stops exploiting. In other words, if you do not understand the sharp distinctions between the logical, illogical, and supralogical, then one way or the other you will end up promoting illogic. Just as a reasonable scientist becomes unreasonable the moment he believes that reason alone is sufficient to disclose the Real, the religious person becomes infralogical the moment he abandons the supralogical (or fails to ever even ascend there).

I suppose that's what troubles me, because it really is like starting a new movement from the ground up. While we have allies, our differences with those allies are very sharp. On the one hand, we share no values whatsoever with the diabolical left, which embodies all of the anti-Divine and anti-evolutionary cosmic forces. But on the other hand, there is only a partial intersection with conservatism, being that they talk about things like virtue and truth, but again in a very limited way that doesn't draw out their cosmic implications in a totally consistent manner. And forget about the Republican Party, which at best serves as an occasional brake on the worst depredations of the illiberal left. They are an embarrassment.

Really, even the most sensibly religious conservatives, such as Dennis Prager, stop halfway. He's another example of someone for whom I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration, but I am quite sure he would be "tone deaf" to my approach. A lot of conservatives -- precisely because they are guided by logic and not emotion -- are suspicious of realities that transcend the logical plane. From their point of view, mysticism looks like mystification and mystagogy.

This may or may not be relevant, but a friend of mine, who is a Beatles fanatic, just returned from a trip to England. While in London, he visited several of the locations where the film A Hard Day's Night was shot. He wrote to me that "as we have discussed, there is a mythological quality about that movie.... partly because it's in black and white.... and these locations that are so familiar are interesting to see in real life. Although, they're never as good as the image you have from the film."

He is definitely not what you would call a Raccoon, but I'm always working on him, since I can't not be me. I wrote back to him that he was merely confirming the fact that what we call the "real world" is actually a lower dimensional declension from the mythological world. But "mythological" is not really a good word, since it has taken on too many negative connotations, as if mythological means "unreal" or "fantasy." But all spiritual metaphysics agree that the material world is merely the epidermis or "outer" layer of reality. It's the last step before nothingness. So A Hard Day's Night -- or any great work of art -- is more real than its subject.

Hmm, he just wrote me back. Let's see if I got through to him. If I did, perhaps there is hope for the world after all:

"I love your take on the 'real' world... versus the one depicted in A Hard Day's Night. As a kid, that world I saw in the movie was so supercharged with life and energy... and yet there's really NOTHING notable about those actual locations. So, what we think of as 'reality'... the riverbank, the train station, are really just small slivers of what's ACTUALLY happening (if I read you right).

"So... to extend the thought, I think one of the keys in life is to somehow burrow under that boring outer layer of reality, and get to the good stuff... where the magic and the mystery happens."

By jove, I think he's got it!

87 Comments:

Blogger Warren said...

"This tells me that I could be a very popular fellow if I simply reeled off one of those piece-of-my-mind pieces every day."

A separate blog for this kind of stuff, maybe? An exoteric conservative blog with a largish readership, and an esoteric mystical blog with a tiny readership?

I predict that some day, Ray will be your only remaining reader. (OK, and maybe me, too.)

9/23/2008 08:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Zophiel said...

"one of the keys in life is to somehow burrow under that boring outer layer of reality, and get to the good stuff... where the magic and the mystery happens."

Ah, exactly! It seems he does get it!

As for the rest, Bob. . . I would not fret about number s of readers, though it is sometimes hard to do. I came to the realization a couple years ago that somethings were given to me to know simply so that somebody, somewhere, sometime, knew them. Even more, because simply knowing this thing or that would change me from inside out, which is what would then trigger greater growth. But that initial seed of Knowing-a -thing could not be shared, because it wasn't for others to know. I stopped trying to find a way to express this seed thought, and instead focused on living out the results.

In this way, the conversations here serve as the seed thoughts and ideas for those who read (whatever their number). These seeds then germinate in the person, sometimes to show leaves in the blogosphere, or elsewhere out in the other planes. But that manifestation--> where you, o scribe, cannot see it--> then plants seeds in others.

A raccoon throws an acorn at a barking dog, which then grows into a mighty oak. Or, a racoon twitches his tail in North America, and several months later, a great typhoon hits China. Take your pick ^_^


PS: Some time ago, you recommended Remember Shakti. I got my Dad a double CD for his birthday, and I'm glad to say he liked it. So thanks for the recoonmendation!

9/23/2008 08:16:00 AM  
Blogger Niggardly Phil said...

Well, I guess they make you pay for it...

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9/23/2008 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger Dougman said...

Looks & sounds like Rachl Lukz is in labor.

Is there a Doctor in the house?
Give her a KISS for me.
Calling Doctor L~o~v~e
They call me Doctor L~O~OV~e

9/23/2008 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...


I guess it concerns me a little that I think we have something vital to add to the "national conversation," but that there is no point of entry for our views. People for whom I have a great deal of respect might very well be embarrassed to be seen with me. Take, for example, some of the bigger conservative blogs -- PowerLine, NRO, American Thinker. PowerLine is completely rationalistic and legalistic, and would have no use for a mystical point of view. NRO is traditionally Catholic, and would be deeply suspicious if not hostile to my approach.


This is one of the reasons I am now Orthodox. I can't imagine what I would have done 100 years ago before much of the work of various Fathers and Saints of the east remained untranslated into English...

My priest is a guy who is conservative and patriotic, but also a mystic. I think its because we kind of live the mysticism through the whole thing of icons + churches + incense + prayin' &c.

Polyani says, "Christian hopes and Greek doubts are incompatible"

Ding! A friend of mine said this, "I can have no certainty in anything but the hope I have in the Lord." Everything else either aligns to the Telos or it goes piff...!

Sounds like real Christian doubts, like Thomas: "I dunno. Let me see it." He's a saint, the guy who went to India.

Anyway, I love the faith, so it's a struggle to not promote it. That should not be my goal, I think, and besides, in terms of people, there are a lot of churches who are ethnocentric and cultural rather than christocentric and mystical. So if I told you to go find a church - any church - you might end up a Sts Constantine & Helen Greek church that has its liturgy in half Greek and half English (clumsily interspersed) plus electric lights, pews, a choir of six old ladies with an electric organ... and breaking it halfway through with news of the latest soccer team victory and when the next Greek festival will be.

But I digress: There are still 9000, as God told Elijah.

9/23/2008 08:39:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

If only Elijah had been around for Anime, he might have understood that God meant, "Over 9000" ..

9/23/2008 08:42:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Speaking personally, but as a member of the loyal contingent, I find the "big-time" blogs mostly a little lacking.

It is as if a person built a beautiful grand staircase that looks great from the foyer, but there are no steps on up past the landing.

If I need to get to the second floor, I'd rather have a solid homemade ladder with all the rungs than a deceptively beautiful unfinished stairway.

9/23/2008 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

That's a very good point. The ladder must span all the way from the bottom floor to the top, not just drop off in either direction at an arbitrary point.

9/23/2008 09:07:00 AM  
Blogger Aloysius said...

Esoteric understanding is hard to evangelize and in fact it could be dangerous to do so as many would misunderstand to damnation. The Holy Ghost works on individuals to understand the mysteries of godliness.

9/23/2008 09:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I suppose that's what troubles me, because it really is like starting a new movement from the ground up."

But what have you said that's really new? I haven't seen anything yet. Although you won't admit it, all this higher evolution of consciousness stuff is just Aleister Crowley's New Aeon in a different wrapper. You're just getting it second hand from other people.

Besides, you actually referred to Marlon Brando as a great actor the other day. That's like calling Andrew Dice Clay a great comedian. No offence, but if this is an example of your enlightened thinking skills, then I'm inclined to think God isn't speaking to you quite so much as you seem to think he is.

9/23/2008 09:28:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Well, to be perfectly accurate, God told me that Richard Burton was like the British Brando.

9/23/2008 09:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Zophiel said...

Anon--

"Although you won't admit it, all this higher evolution of consciousness stuff is just Aleister Crowley's New Aeon in a different wrapper."

Um, I respectfully disagree. Crowley makes me wanna yack. This bunch here makes me wanna smile. Reading Crowley makes my skin crawl-- in the good parts. Reading OC gets me wondering for the rest of the day.

Basically, because Crowley (at least, through his prose) was an unmitigated @$$. Bob & Co are far different animals. (Racoons, ye ken). Please, pay closer attention to light and the lack thereof in various writings out there. Discernment is you friend.

9/23/2008 09:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Zophiel said...

Ahem, *your*. Discernment is your friend. . .

PIMF . . .

9/23/2008 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Well, I guess this discerning troll has finally figured out my true agenda:

"Crowley said that a mystical experience in 1904, while on holiday in Cairo, Egypt, led to his founding of the religious philosophy known as Thelema. Aleister's wife Rose started to behave in an odd way, and this led Aleister to think that some entity had made contact with her. At her instructions, he performed an invocation of the Egyptian god Horus on March 20 with (he wrote) "great success." According to Crowley, the god told him that a new magical Aeon had begun, and that Crowley would serve as its prophet. Rose continued to give information, telling Crowley in detailed terms to await a further revelation. On 8 April and for the following two days at exactly noon he allegedly heard a voice, dictating the words of the text, Liber AL vel Legis, or The Book of the Law, which Crowley wrote down. The voice claimed to be that of Aiwass (or Aiwaz) "the minister of Hoor-paar-kraat", or Horus, the god of force and fire, child of Isis and Osiris and self-appointed conquering lord of the New Aeon, announced through his chosen scribe "the prince-priest the Beast"

9/23/2008 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Yeah, that sounds just like you and Leslie... (* ) (* ) (that's eyes rolling, in case you couldn't tell)
sheesh.

9/23/2008 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, Leslie is undergoing Catholic conversion just so I can infiltrate the Vatican. Don't tell anyone.

9/23/2008 09:57:00 AM  
Anonymous cousin dupree said...

I wonder how it can take a reader 1084 posts to finally figure out that Bob has nothing new to say. I figured it out after one post.

9/23/2008 09:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Zophiel said...

It also occurs to me that there is nothing new for Bob to say. Newness is, it seems to me, horizontal idea. Rather, we here as a group are attempting to map out and describe the Perennial-- The Ancient and New all at the same time. It is not that an idea is new, it is that we are New to an idea-space. Truth was always there, we're only just arriving. . .

9/23/2008 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes. Schuon always said that if he was writing anything new, it was probably wrong. I like to think that I have a new kind of style, but that can conceal the fact that I'm writing about the same old shunyada yada yada.

9/23/2008 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

"Truth was always there, we're only just arriving. . ."

Yep, exactly. Just because it's often new to us (well, me, anyway), doesn't mean it is or should be new.

9/23/2008 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I think the only difference is that I grapple more with the implications of evolution -- but not evolutionism, which I categorically reject.

9/23/2008 10:20:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

True. That's one of those things that people in the past had no way of knowing about, I think, so they had no means or reason to integrate it into their understanding of the Cosmos. Cycles big and small, no problem, but the point, the purpose of history? That's a bit tougher to wrap your head around, especially for those who saw the Golden Age as something in the past, not something potentially to come.

It's vital, I think, that humanity be able to understand God in the context of the world as it is and as it acts. But because we're at a transitional period in history, most people are doing what people do in times of change - either rejecting everything from the past, including faith and tradition, or clinging to literalism, which clearly doesn't reflect the horizontal world as it is. Our mission, then, is to find the middle ground of Wisdom, where Truth, Beauty and Goodness intersect with reason, will and discovery. Or rather, the point of the Cross. It's there - it can't not be. But finding it is not likely to make you popular.

But what if the things you are doing now, like a beautiful little fractal, end up having huge positive effects at some future point, maybe even long after we're gone? I hope that's the case.

9/23/2008 10:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Aquila said...

Crowley???? Gimme a break...

OC readers and "Thelemites" have as much in common as dolphins do with Lake Michigan lampreys.

9/23/2008 10:42:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

Bob -

It's a little strange, because you seldom mention things that "interest" me, and often discuss subjects that do not concern me. Yet, I have read most every post for two years, enjoy them, laugh a lot, am educated by them, and derive real meaning from them.

How can that be?

Hmmm. Must be your approach.
Or your trajectory? Your describing Reality in terms of principles, values, and qualities has given me a template (albeit an unfolding one) through which I can view my own personal interests, that is superior to what I came up with before.

I think you're just involved in a highly specialized line of investigation -- not the sort of thing that large numbers of people will flock to. You manage to stay true to yourself, as far as I can tell, and I believe the Raccoons are sensitive to "issues of genuineness."

Also, refreshing the "beginner's mind" each morning is its own justification. It's very generous of you to share it with us!

9/23/2008 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger James said...

Bob has a better muse then Crowley. That much is certain.

9/23/2008 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

What Zophiel said.

If what you had to say was new, you'd have far more readers but you'd also have a cult. Dedication to Truth, Goodness, and Beauty always has been and still is the best ism-pesticide around, however. Pesticides are unpopular because they kill pests.

OC has a vertical butterfly effect, more powerful (and unpredictable) than the two-by-four approach required for a mainstream readership. Nothing wrong with both approaches, but I know which one would have a shorter shelf life.

9/23/2008 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

“There’s not enough coffee.” It’s just something going around. It’s gone around before, if I recall. Heck, I can’t shake last night’s NyQuil.

I remember a letter Hemingway wrote to a friend that went something like, “I apologize for not writing much, when you write for a living, there’s not much left for letters. All the juice goes in the damn book.” The thin air is bound to catch up with a mere man. I try to write one chapter a Sunday and when finished I’m jetlagged. All I can do afterward is mow the lawn. I don’t know how you do it everyday; never mind to the “elevens” every time.

I know what you mean about AT. I used to read everything there, whenever I had the chance. Now I just touch here and there. But I go back every morning. Did I ever tell you the story of how I was at the end of my rung there once? I didn’t know it. And then suddenly out of knowhere, this guy Lifson points up and it’s the cosmic bus. And there in the navigator’s seat is Petey. With a megaphone crying, “Clean-kill dead ahead!” And then you reach down and say, “Grab my hand if you want to live!”
Awe man, that was a day, my friend. Sort of reminds me of your friend…maybe.

9/23/2008 11:17:00 AM  
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9/23/2008 11:29:00 AM  
Blogger slockhart said...

I came across your blog about a week ago, a link from Dr. Sanity. I found a kindred spirit both religiously and politically. Keep up the good work especially the "discussion of the ontological status of the lie."

9/23/2008 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger Popemobile said...

I really believe the Orthodox have retained the faith as a synthesized and organic whole, in the wording and in the application of their doctrines.

We in the Western Church tend to be overly rational and legalistic, when in reality it is important for reason and emotion to point to the same truth, using words and applications that are guided by the intention of the will to know and pursue the good.

Not that I am condemning my own Catholicism as false; merely that it does seem to me the Truth is more easily discernible under the unchanged doctrines of the East.

In the West, we more go through cycles of faith and reason, over and over again, leading to faith and atheism and back again. The problem is, as Bob pointed out, many in the West get stuck in one side of the cycle--either in the faith or the reason--and so misapply it. Faith without reason clings to, or rather chases around, transitory emotions. But reason without faith leads to an external faith in the truth without an internal assent of the will. Highly intellectual belief in the truth is in its worst form pure cynicism, which only fuels the dissent of sincerely faithful people who view the use of intellect as leading to cynicism.

Flannery O'Connor, my favorite, said, "Smugness is the great Catholic sin." That is true (and very tragic) insofar that for someone who truly knows and believes in the Catholic faith all of the objections to it are ridiculous, just as for anyone who truly knows and believes in Gagdad Bob all of the objections to him are ridiculous. There is great need, however, for us to accept as an article of faith that just because we understand what we mean when we speak of the Truth doesn't mean everyone does, and we should be patient and willing to explain ourselves to those who are open to understanding. Kudos to the Orthodox for being so conscious of the variety of opinions, thinking out ways of expressing their doctrines that make the Truth easy to understand and almost undeniable, and retaining all of this unchanged through so many years.

Please pray for the end of the Schism; we Catholics (yes, I am asking you to pray because of my own selfish desires, but I making the supposition that it is in your own ultimate self-interest not to act in your own self-interest) need the Orthodox to help more fully express and integrate the truths of Christianity, conforming our doctrines with the best expressions of the Truth. With the Truth integrated, I can't think that we would be separated from our Protestant brethren for long, considering that I view the majority of Protestantism's objections to Catholicism as directly flowing from Catholicism's not retaining as competently or consistently the truths that the Orthodox have retained well.

In the meantime, it is my hope that all individuals, whatever their faith, work for greater understanding and consubstantiality among the various diverse expressions of what is Right and Good, in the hope that we may all be united someday without violating that eccentricity which makes each of us unique (we could all be united in our divisiveness, if you catch my meaning, in the U.S. Constitution and in free-market capitalism).

9/23/2008 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger swiftone said...

"I love your take on the 'real' world... versus the one depicted in A Hard Day's Night. As a kid, that world I saw in the movie was so supercharged with life and energy... and yet there's really NOTHING notable about those actual locations. So, what we think of as 'reality'... the riverbank, the train station, are really just small slivers of what's ACTUALLY happening (if I read you right).

"So... to extend the thought, I think one of the keys in life is to somehow burrow under that boring outer layer of reality, and get to the good stuff... where the magic and the mystery happens."


Here, of course, you have the antidote to your tiny burn out. It's tough to hang on to these things, and maybe a blog is not the best way to sing for The Remnant. But Coons without a mystic Gagdad revert to the lonely existence before they found a daily or near daily reminder. The good stuff is not just in the imagination of lonesome CoOnes, but it in fact exists, and can be seen and talked of by others. Yes other people in the pews beside us may not see the same Reality; others in the fight to shine a light on the evil the Dems are peddling may see nothing spiritual in the mission. But for coons who see their reality affirmed, strengthened, hearing you speak of a burn out causes involuntary shudders.

Ok.. now I'll read the comments. But not before linking Bill Whittle hits another one out of the park.

swiftone [aka dloye]

9/23/2008 11:49:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Er ah, and that Pope is a real stand up kinda guy.

Man, I got to get me some words. Can't find 'em!

That being said an addendum to my original comment is that I think it is most important for people of traditions to fully live and realize that tradition, and in doing they may either bring it closer to what is true or find out that it really is broken and be able to really extricate themselves of it.

There they were. Hiding under the rug here...

9/23/2008 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Popemobile:

That was beautifully put. I believe that when a schism forms, it is usually because the people behind it are seeking a more intense and meaningful religious experience, not a less intense one. But then, without the guardrails of tradition, the intensity can lead them off the tracks.

9/23/2008 11:55:00 AM  
Anonymous cousin dupree said...

Use this in an emergency situation if you need to vomit.

9/23/2008 12:02:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

I’ll say..

9/23/2008 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

What Popemobile said, that is..

9/23/2008 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

I dunno, Dupree - I think ipecac might be more palatable and less unpleasant. Probably less effective, though.

Do you think he intentionally timed it so the sun's rays would add a hint of sparkly illumination, or is that just an artifact of poor timing and a dirty lens?

9/23/2008 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger Popemobile said...

Yeah, river cocytus, that makes a lot of sense to me.

Of course, I am not anti-schismatic if that is what you are called to do, in the same way that I am not anti-war if that is what you are called to do (it does take two to create either, so I cannot condemn either side rationally/emotionally as both sides of a war or a schism must make a spiritual appeal to God for the vindication of their actions--as John Locke would say, "The Lord the Judge be judge this day between the children of Israel and the children of Ammon" [Judges xi. 27]).

I suppose "consubstantiality" is a good word to describe the unity I desire, since I really don't mind the material appearance, even if that means that Christianity will remain divided, even if it means that Buddhism remains a separate creed. Just, personally, I feel called to promoted actual material unity of religions and of Christianity as well, not that I have a rational or emotional reason to vindicate this other than that I feel I have a spiritual calling to do so.

9/23/2008 12:57:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

popemobile: Usually, as per the words of Tom Hopko, the Orthodox say, "The fullness of the faith is only found in the Orthodox church."

For those who don't really seek the fullest and most complete expression of Christianity this statement doesn't mean much. This kind of explains what is traditionally meant when we say 'we are the true church" - the definition of Catholicity.

The Orthodox define Catholicity as 'lacking nothing' in terms of Quality, and never in terms of Quantity.

So the fact that there are schisms is like, duh? So?

=3

9/23/2008 01:09:00 PM  
Blogger Popemobile said...

Well, the fact that there is a lack of the full expression outside of the Orthodox Church would probably mean that the Orthodox would want the Catholics (big "C") to come to express the faith more fully, i.e. enter into the Orthodox faith, which holds the fullness of truth. Looked at from a Catholic point of view, this would be the same thing as ending a schism. It is true that great misunderstanding and pain can be caused by an impartial or unwholesome explanation of what is True. So, if for nothing else other than this, I would hope the Orthodox would want the divisions to end.

9/23/2008 01:16:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

That's true, AFAIK. But we also have come to the conclusion that you can't force anyone to do it (though if they're in the church physically you can offer them every encouragement) and so we figure out best choice is to just chill and work out our own salvation. In doing so, God willin', we'll work good for the salvation of others.

Some are not as laid back, but I'm no theologian, evangelist or apostle. I ain't got no dog in that game. Usually if I try to pronounce the goodness and fullness of Orthodoxy it comes across as kind of stupid. But it's not stupid! So I should just keep my mouth shut.

9/23/2008 01:20:00 PM  
Blogger Popemobile said...

Well, there I totally agree with you, river cocytus. I'm not really one for evangelization, except of the economic kind--not enough people trust in Milton Friedman, in my view.

Just, in a place like this, I feel comfortable talking about my dreams of a united, invigorated truly catholic Church. A spiritual pipe dream, I suppose, but one which I believe will come true as the faiths--including a positive, pro-human atheism if such a one develops--draw together against the forces of entropy.

So, if you wanted, you could just pray for whatever and I'd take it as the same spiritual fulfillment of my request as if you had prayed for what I wanted you to.

Really, I don't know why I talk about anything, because everything can be theophilosophically justified for one of a true intention.

BIBLE, BEER, and the US CONSTITUTION!!! There, I just outlined my beliefs for all time.

9/23/2008 01:28:00 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

"I guess it concerns me a little that I think we have something vital to add to the "national conversation," but that there is no point of entry for our views."

DL "Your Bobness", remember John 6:44 "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day."

I'm a darn good salesman and can get people to listen to my story, but even if I get them to church once or twice, it doesn't stick. If they aren't called by the Father, there is little we as men can do, but we should continue to try.

9/23/2008 01:38:00 PM  
Blogger Gecko said...

Gagdad Bob said...

" Yes, Leslie is undergoing Catholic conversion just so I can infiltrate the Vatican. Don't tell anyone."

Hmm, I thought it was so that Future Leader might be the first American Pope.

9/23/2008 01:43:00 PM  
Anonymous cousin dupree said...

As if they are mutually exclusive. Just sayin'.

9/23/2008 01:46:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

"BIBLE, BEER, and the US CONSTITUTION!!! There, I just outlined my beliefs for all time."

Well, PM, you're definitely in the right place :)

9/23/2008 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

As far as orthodoxy and the church mystical, I think I have to go with Paul, the original.

9/23/2008 03:45:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

As far as "Bible, beer, and the US Constitution"...I will assume red wine also qualifies.

9/23/2008 03:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Kurt said...

Bob,
I am a recent addition to the lurkers on your site. I was originally drawn by one of your 'current events' posts, but now I come back everyday to get the spiritual 'burn' from trying to get my mind and heart around your 'mystical' posts. Also, there should be a Surgeon General's Warning on your book - I read the first chapter last night and am still breathless today! I say all this to encourage you to keep on the path set before you. Share what is given to you to share. Don't worry about the volume of traffic - better to deeply connect with a few, than to have the shallow adulation of the many. You are getting through...and so is He! Hold the line, amigo!

9/23/2008 04:37:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Well, thank you.

I guess I should have made it a bit more clear. It's not the blogging that is a burnout, it's the attempt to do it in the context of all my other responsibilities. For example, my real job involves a great deal of writing. I'm guessing that most writers would call it a day after producing a few decent pages. But that's when my day starts.

If not for "the world," the blogging would be a pure joy. It's very much like soaring above the anti-slack Conspiracy. I feel very free when I'm doing it. But we're probably not meant to have unalloyed joy anyway, with no conflict. Makes a man soft. I guess I have to admit that the last three years have been by far the most hectic and the most productive of my life.

9/23/2008 04:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gagdad Bob said...

"Well, I guess this discerning troll has finally figured out my true agenda:

""Crowley said that a mystical experience in 1904, while on holiday in Cairo, Egypt, led to his founding of the religious philosophy known as Thelema...."

So what? What's the difference which spirit entity you each claim as your source of enlightenment. The end result is the same. You're each preaching: a new evolution of the human mind, an ushering in of the gods to become one with that mind, and a new age of heaven on earth.

Oh, and never mind the fact that this nonsense flies in the face what nearly every Christian mystic has ever said, not to mention the Bible. They nearly always speak of a future that is desolate.

And now you've touched on the term holographic. Have you ever actually read "The Holographic Universe"? Talbot quotes from Chet Snows book "Mass Dreams of the Future" (which followed up on the work of psychologist Helen Wambach). Wambach's study involved over 2,500 hypnotized patients who told visions of the future, 75% of which said it was bleak and joyless. Only a few "New Agers" reported living a happier life.

Of course Talbot writes much of this off to his holographic model supporting many different possible futures, and like Snow, he suggests "visualizing a postiive future." Much of his book focusses on "thought as a builder".

And, mind reader that I am, I see your future Bob, writing the same exact things, teaching your drones to create their own reality through mental magic. It's the last piece of the puzzle you've been creating for them.

Go ahead Bob, say in ain't so.

9/23/2008 05:08:00 PM  
Anonymous looptloop said...

I personally love when the red meat in the fray of the day is tossed into the context of the cosmos, then aptly elucidated and formlessly mysticalized. It's a key reason I've been coming here for 2+ yrs. This is a vitally non-vital service within the flatlander blogosphere. It is interesting that there isn’t more of a hunger for it out there, but I’m sure that day will come…

9/23/2008 05:15:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Anonymous:

I don't like to do this, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to put on my psychologist's hat and pull rank on you. You are crazy.

I am curious, though. Could you name a blog that, instead of whispering conspiratorially when it sees you approaching, welcomes you with open arms?

9/23/2008 06:09:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Deepak's place, maybe?

Re. the burnout, oh that kind. Well criminy, Bob - when was the last time you took a vacation?

9/23/2008 06:43:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

Very funny: Deepak used to quote verbatim from The Holographic Universe -- without attribution, I might add.

9/23/2008 06:46:00 PM  
Blogger ZenGolfer said...

Bob,

I for one, would be hard-pressed to find a replacement source of the type of nourishment I get every day from your writings... They are a substantial portion of my spiritual diet...

I do agree that your occasional anti-Liberal (as in leftist liberal) observations are a welcome addition to the more spiritually-minded discussions, especially in the election season, as you tend to use them to make a point, so I can't see how anybody could argue that you're not staying true to the primary purpose of the blog - i.e. I don't see how anyone could compare this blog to say, DailyKos, etc...

So, again, from one racoon to another, I say keep up the good work, as I trust we are all doing in our own ways...

Thanks,

ZenGolfer (aka just another Bob)...

9/23/2008 07:05:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"A lot of conservatives -- precisely because they are guided by logic and not emotion -- are suspicious of realities that transcend the logical plane. From their point of view, mysticism looks like mystification and mystagogy."

That's true, however...there is that special "thing" that's compelling about mysticism.
That "thing" that keeps drawing those of us who are seeking the Truth, and that more abundantly.

And on close examination, it makes "sense" that there is higher, transcending Truth.

Now, I got lots of warning devices that sound off anytime "new age" crap is bein' shovelled.
Even years ago I could sense the new age snake-oil merchants and their "feel good" slime they call truth.

Hell, even some "Pastors, Priests, and Preachers" that call themselves Christians peddle that "feel good" crap.

Try as I might, I couldn't get those alarms to trigger at One Cosmos.
Not from Bob, not from the Bobbleheads who were the precursors of Raccoons.
Only from the trolls, and most are so obvious, it only takes a few words to identify them: atheists, a-theists, moonbats, new agers, the "compassion" is everything compassionbots singin' kumbaya.

But not from Bob. Bob don't even wanna be a cult leader who fleeces his flock, and he could, very easily. Especially among the Left and the lost, but I repeat myself.

Bob just wants to share his amazing gift to help anyone seeking the Truth, and who keep on keeping on, because there is no end to Truth.
And Bob has shown we can find Truth from many different Mystics and Saints, from different Religions that are based upon Truth.

And Bob promises nothin'. We get out of Truth whatever we put into it, and whatever space we make clear to gno as much as we are ready for.
In fact, I usually come up with more questions after every question I have is answered.

It ain't all fun n' games, and sometimes you gotta go through hell before you realize, experience, and become more Truth than you were.

But there are those Owaysis's where the slack seems to never end that make it all worth it.

To me it's like we, the Raccoons, are the Special Forces of Metaphysical Cosmology.
Kinda like SEAL's...on a spiritual plane, but not limited to that plane.

As Bob said, you can't get gun shy, and you can't become fixated on any incoming flack, bull-its or crapnel.

No, you gotta get out there and complete your mission, gnoing the Raccoon behind you has your back just as you have theirs, so to speak.

I'm thankful I can always come to the OC and refresh my soul, go through decom after a rough day in the slime pits, drink a few beers...where everyone gnos your name (or will).

This is the best of times, my friends. Good times! Good times!!! :^)

Thanks Bob!!!

9/23/2008 07:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I don't like to do this, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to put on my psychologist's hat and pull rank on you. You are crazy."

Remember that next Sunday when you're at the altar of your favorite ghost friend.

In my world (the real world) everything kills everything else. And apparently by design.

9/23/2008 08:31:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I knew you were going to say that.

9/23/2008 08:39:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Bob, I'm probably more of the "exoteric" than mystical type, but I still get enough out of your posts to keep coming back. I can't say I practice mysticism (beyond ordinary prayer and whatever Manifest Presence I have experienced in my life), but I do get it, and I enjoy your take on things.

I think we're simpatico enough that I could call myself a Raccoon. :)

As for Orthodox, etc. I once took a quiz and it pegged me eastern Orthodox. Strange, as I know little beyond what I've read in literature. It must be the Vineyard side of me?

9/23/2008 08:43:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Anon.: 1 John 4:4. A mighty fortress.

9/23/2008 08:49:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Anangrymouse - The Bible says not to let the sun go down on your anger. You're gonna have to move really fast, dude.

9/23/2008 09:24:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"I wonder what goes through the mind of someone who stumbles upon one of those rants, then returns the next day for more, only to find a discussion of the ontological status of the Lie, or some transrational nuggets of joy from Petey?"

Speaking for myself, who wandered in via Vanderleun's post on that metroasexual 'whatever' idiot 2 yrs ago, and then came back and found Ray Kurzweil's Singularity exposed as a common vulgarity, and then some tale about a grocery clerk swilling miller lites with a friendly ghost named Petey... my reaction was... WTF?! Why does this seem like it tastes good AND is more filling and fulfilling than the lifeless red meat I came looking for?

"Whatever it is, they don't come back after that."

Trust me. Sometimes, they come back.

9/23/2008 09:31:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"I guess it concerns me a little that I think we have something vital to add to the "national conversation," but that there is no point of entry for our views."

Not that you don't already know it, but if you're in the spirit biz for the sudden impact glitz & glory... blogger's probably not the launchpad. Deepak might have a couple helpful hints though.

If on the other hand, you want to change the world, a small fundamental change in the ideas of a few people who take ideas seriously... can change the course of empires.

Pretty satisfying stuff... as long as you're not hell bent on seeing the changes with your own eyes.

In that case, it could get a little frustrating.

9/23/2008 09:44:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Anon 05:08,

Dude, pull the corncob out, you've suffered enough already.





Thanks again Bob for all that you do. I mean it!

9/23/2008 09:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Gagdad -
or Petey
or whatever you call yer soph.

I've been read'n yer blog for some time - and please don't stop.. .

sorta like the the sower in the bible - ya never know were the seeds might land.

While I don't know what your Traffic looks like (cue up Low Sparks of High Heeled Boys) - I fer one really look forward to reading your ruminations.

BUT - I must comment - that your posts can be needlessly cryptic. I have tried to share your insights -and find myself having to define things such as "petey" and (0) to (k) and what not. Even after I read your book - it's hard to sort your stuff out.

Here is a very simple suggestion. How about a clear FAQ page that defines - unambigueously (sp?) ALL the short-hands and inside jokes you use. EXACTLY what do you mean by a Raccoon? (I know - but try to explain THAT to the uninitiated!).

Also - as a Methodist (I've got a casserole heating in the oven) - and an evangelical conservative (yes . . . and I attend a liberal church - ack!) - there are concerns about mixing the eastern with western. Have you read any articles in the Christian Research Journal discussing Yoga and the Church? They take a dim view of it. It might be godd for you to look those articles up - and provide a cojent response.
(sorry for any typose and bads spellinkts - I didn't bother to pull the dictionary or use spell check. . . )

BTW - this is ALAN - not sure how to post these other than Anonomyusssss. So - I is not try'n ta hide.

9/23/2008 09:51:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Hoarhey, you were one split second away from owing me a new keyboard. I'll have to remember that one :D

9/23/2008 10:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob:

I have given some thought to your readership numbers and as to why/how there is no "breakout" into a larger sphere of action. I have a couple of ideas:

1. Influence takes time. Think of Aurobindo,for example, toiling away at his daily essays for the Arya for year after year. Even 58 years after his demise, Aurobindo's impact is smallish but-- still growing. One pundit (and I don't know exacty who) has said that the Aurobindo movement stands a chance of becoing a mssive or even decisive world force over the coming centuries, because the philosophy undeniably has legs. It is picking up in momentum, not decaying.

2. You, by some bizarre happenstance, are the most adroit and skilled commentator on Aurobindo extant. I know, because I follow these things. Your undogmatic, flexible and intuitive parsing of the writings are far more powerful than the vast majoity of the more straighforward paraphraser smore commonly encountered.

3. Therefore, I tend to coount you as a cellular unit in a larger project, hamely the wholesale lurching of humanity towards the Light. So your readership isn't large? Still, you cover the assigned six yards in front of your battle position. You are a soldier in a trench that stretches for miles to either side in this war. What you are saying is that you'd rather be a general and marshal larger forces, than an infantryman. And yet, is not each infantryman essential in any campaign? It is a matter of perspective.

4. If you do break out large, it will be because of single, very focused/salient idea or commandment linked to concrete action, of which its time has come.

5. Or, an UberCoon or larger entity will subsume you and you will be rolled into the burrito of another movement of some unpredictable or bizzare kind.

9/23/2008 11:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

Huh? Bob the burrito? Where did that come from?

Howzabout Burrito Bob and the flying Burrito's?

Damn! Now I'm hungry!

9/24/2008 12:07:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

I happen to think that any well-articulated spiritual concept or new, fresh explication of the old spiritual verities becomes something of an archetype that "hangs in the air", helping those of genuine spiritual intent, even though they may never read whatever spiritual work may have been written.

In this sense, spiritual works are prayers - and prayers are always creative, they have their own created shape, melody, harmony, color. If they're really prayers, that is. They add uniquely to Creation. They Divinize it, make the rope ladder to heaven a little easier to find. Such works/prayers have their own life and an eternal resonance. They benefit the living and the dead.

The word does have to get out there in the public, of course. Given the nature of things, though, any wide popularity would probably mean (a) Obama really did inspire a mass leap of consciousness, or (b) people are understanding you falsely, which is probably a fate worse than death.

Should add that there has been a univeral deadness lately. The coming rebirth should be interesting.

9/24/2008 01:55:00 AM  
Blogger phil g said...

I'm still here...every blessed day

9/24/2008 02:50:00 AM  
Blogger phil g said...

BIBLE, BEER and the U.S. CONSTITUTION...perfect where do I sign?

9/24/2008 03:07:00 AM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Alan:

Click 'Name/URL'
You'll get an empty 'Name' field
Type 'Alan' (or handle of choice) there
That's it

9/24/2008 03:34:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Will said,
“Should add that there has been a univeral deadness lately.”

I thought there was something going around.
I’m also only about 2 hours drive from the UN so, yesterday did not have a lot going for it. I like how he decided to wear a tie this time and clean up his beard for the event.

9/24/2008 04:38:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

RE Anon 5:08, amazing how it seems as if he’s shouting despite the soundproof comment window and no exclamation points. The “ghost” comment sounds like Bill Maher. And the rest is just as inspiring. How do they attract being so angry and nothing else? That’s the part I can’t figure out… Their numbers should be in the hopper.

9/24/2008 04:52:00 AM  
OpenID kaffepaus said...

G. Bob,

Your way of connecting the horizontal with the vertical, politics with the spiritual, mind with soul, earth with the heavens, man with God, is as far as I know, totally unchallenged and without competition in the so called blogosphere. This is why I lurk around here, like a silent ninja-raccoon in the dark, listening, observing, learning and hopefully impr0ve my understanding of this grande spectacle called Life on Earth.

That, and what Ben said.

Keep it up!

/Johan

9/24/2008 05:03:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Speaking of all work for little play, inspiration if there ever was one, Bob this guy may have been the first “blogger
”.

Talk about making a human dent in the vertical where there wasn't one before. Not to mention the world was breathing down his neck the whole time. Yet somehow he managed to find some wiggle room. His numbers may have been tiny but % growth went through the roof.

9/24/2008 05:14:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Fire – check
Charcoal – check
Cheetos – check
Return On Investment - Infinity

9/24/2008 05:17:00 AM  
Blogger Fido said...

The first?

9/24/2008 06:09:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Does it matter? But really, the point being that he is Adam, he is Noah, he is Van Gogh, he is Aurobindo…you get the idea. In my opinion he, whoever he was, holds the patent on the line because he filled out the necessary forms. Somebody had to do it.

9/24/2008 06:11:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

He was one of the first to see beyond biology.

9/24/2008 06:42:00 AM  
Blogger Dougman said...

"Saints are okay. Mystics need not apply. But in so doing, you eliminate the blood from the body"

The old wineskin can't handle the new wine, dismember?

9/24/2008 07:12:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Mr. Alan: If I recall, since we all approach the same door ("no one comes to the Father except through me" -ICXC) from a different angle, if Bob makes a clear cut definition of his terms (such as Raccoon) they will cease to be useful. It would be best to approach them by figuring out what they AREN'T.

9/24/2008 07:33:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Also

+C

Onion dome emoticon.

9/24/2008 07:39:00 AM  
Blogger goy said...

Bob - what do you see going in Jon Haidt's budding work:

http://www.newyorker.com/online/video/conference/2007/haidt

(details here: http://people.virginia.edu/~jdh6n/ )

?

9/24/2008 07:53:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Wow, that guy totally misses it. IMO. Quintessential flatlander trying to wrap his mind around verticality.

More "conservatives as quaintly curious evolutionary throwbacks" stuff.

9/24/2008 08:13:00 AM  
Blogger goy said...

susannah, I'd submit that not everyone 'gets it' all at once.

I linked to this particular video (and Haidt's page) because he seems to be one of the few liberals with a mind open enough not only to see that there's more to life than 'social justice', but to actually suggest this in a roomful of his fellows. If you listen past the patter he needs to use to get his audience's attention, I think it's pretty remarkable that he's telling liberals that they don't get it.

9/24/2008 12:33:00 PM  

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