Wednesday, September 24, 2008

One x One = Someone; One x Nothing = Nobody

Two things to clarify. First, as I mentioned in a comment, it's not the blogging that is a burnout, it's the attempt to do it in the context of all my other responsibilities. In fact, I wish I could earn a living from being a writer, instead of doing it as a hobby. But I also realize that if that were to somehow happen, it would mean that something had gone terribly wrong. I don't want to write for the idiot masses. I have no need to imagine that I am a Big Somebody just because a bunch of Nobodies fantasize that I am one.

This may sound "elitist," but that is not at all the point. For example, Deepak Chopra is appalling enough. But try sampling the kinds of deeply moronic and psychologically deranged comments he generates on his site, and see the quality of person who is attracted to him. It is a cesspool of ignorance, superstition, intellectual sloth, and a smug, passive-aggressive hatred of normality. If I actually attracted readers of that caliber, I couldn't live with myself.

It's the same with someone like Ken Wilber. As intelligent as he may or may not be at this point in his life -- it seems to me that he lost his fastball over a decade ago -- he surrounds himself with a cult of dullards and mediocrities, which I suppose one must do if one is going to try to make a living off this racket. I would never want to be placed in a position of being beholden to the marketplace, and then have to tolerate the annoying presence of all these boobs in order to sell my books.

It's not that I have any special animus for morons, unless they're getting in my way. Plus, I want to write for spiritual adults, not lead some kind of new age children's crusade. The last thing I want is for a bunch of adultolescents to generate a mass transference on me, as if I am the transmitter instead of a mere lightning rod. I want everyone to be a lightning rod and have their own lightning blog, like Robin, Walt, Rick, Van, and the rest of you.

Sri Aurobindo expressed it well, when he wrote in a letter that "I do not readily accept disciples, as this path of Yoga is a difficult one and can be followed only if there is a special call." In another letter he balked at the notion of trying to create some kind of mass movement, because "For serious work it is a poison.... a movement in the case of a work like mine means the founding of a school or a sect or some other damned nonsense. It means that hundreds or thousands of useless people join in and corrupt the work or reduce it to a pompous farce from which the Truth that was coming down recedes into secrecy and silence."

Bear in mind that Aurobindo had a sly sense of humor, and that he wasn't saying this in bitterness or anger. Rather, he was just highlighting the banal reality of the situation. Look at it this way: many people call themselves Raccoons, but Petey will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye crypto-new age troll.

Importantly, no one is excluded. But it's like playing in the NBA: You've got to have game. Feel free to join in, but the instant you drive down the lane with some cliche or pompous platitude, don't be surprised if you are fouled hard. This is my house, so don't bring that weak sh*t to the bucket, or you will be posterized.

The brilliant Mark Perry -- who is just a tad too... fascist for my taste -- nevertheless expresses it well. Along with Schuon, he feels that we have entered the "Kali Yuga," signifying the outer limit of the cosmic descent, when stupidity and evil shall reign. I don't agree with that. I do, however, agree with Dennis Prager that, for a variety of less occult reasons, we live in an "age of stupidity" which affects the secular and religious alike.

At any rate, Perry writes that in this age of egalitarian relativism, "it is rare, if not impossible, for truly truly superior individuals" to "rise to the public prominence their stamp would normally secure for them because, in a regime where mass numbers prevail, they must constantly defer to -- and be held accountable -- to swarms of inferiors who cannot possibly understand them and who assume everyone is exactly like them because they have no real understanding of what a being with a noble heart is."

As a result, a true demo-cracy -- which the United States was never intended to be -- "by dignifying numbers, sentences the superior 'one' to the station of a wandering outcast. Or, by exalting quantity (which can never be intelligent) abolishes quality (which can never be 'many'...)."

This is a subtle point, but Perry points out that all numbers are simply multiples of One, so that if one removes the unique, "the rest is pulverized, because the many can only derive their reality from the One, never the other way around, as the proponents of pluralism [and relativism, I might add] propose." This regressive and degenerative process cannot help but to go backward, as it sunders itself from the true singular authority to which we must bow down in order to be men. Or to be anything, for that matter.

One wonders: to whom does Bill Maher bow down? If the answer is no one and nothing, then it means that he worships himself. As if we didn't know that. And a man who is is own god has an idiot for a worshipper.

Now, this would be a pretty pathetic and impoverished cosmos if there weren't beings before whom I spontaneously bow down and to whom I look up. In other words, recognition of hierarchy -- and the archetypal qualities it embodies -- is the essence of the human station.

A man without reverence for the sacred is not a man at all. Rather, he makes himself a god, and therefore a devil. A society of such pseudo-individuals will therefore be a society well on its way to hell. And remember, as "unique" or "edgy" as they may seem, it can only be a caricature of individuality, since true uniqueness can only be derived from the One, for whom every hair on your head is counted. That's how unique you are.

Bill Maher is such a moron. I can't wait to review his idiotic film attacking religion and extolling his own religion of auto-fellatio. I saw a clip on You Tube the other day, in which he heaps praise upon Roseanne Barr for her courageous transgressions of taste, decency, intelligence, and sanity. As he put it, the world needs people like Barr, because if you don't cross the line, you don't know where it is. As if these people care about the boundaries that define humanness, or would even recognize them if they tripped on them! Or as if they cannot help compulsively rebelling against boundaries, because they are either fixated adolescents or borderline personalities. These people don't really exist. They only seem to. They are just a bundle of reactions.

The point is, they wish to destroy the boundaries that define the human in order to justify their own quasi-animal existence. Remember, to name something is synonymous with existence. To give a name means to both recognize and confer boundaries. There is such a thing as the human being. But only if it is derived from the One.

69 Comments:

Blogger Susannah said...

"Mark Perry, who is just a tad too... fascist for my taste, nevertheless also expresses it well. Along with Schuon, he feels that we have entered the "Kali Yuga," signifying the outer limit of the cosmic descent, when stupidity and evil shall reign. I don't agree with that. I do, however, agree with Dennis Prager that, for a variety of less occult reasons, we live in an "age of stupidity" which affects the secular and religious alike.

At any rate, Perry writes that in this age of egalitarian relativism, "it is rare, if not impossible, for truly truly superior individuals" to "rise to the public prominence their stamp would normally secure for them because, in a regime where mass numbers prevail, they must constantly defer to -- and be held accountable -- to swarms of inferiors who cannot possibly understand them and who assume everyone is exactly like them because they have no real understanding of what a being with a noble heart is."

Bob, my understanding has always been that the work of God's Spirit generally goes unseen. It is the unseen undercurrent driving history to its purposeful conclusion (new heaven & earth).

Scripture seems to indicate that what men esteem as wisdom is foolishness, and because of their spiritual deadness, God's eternal wisdom appears to them as foolishness. God delights in confounding the "wise" with this "foolishness." He delights in taking the despised elements of society (outcasts, weak, etc.) and making them his beloved Bride.

I think Jesus made it abundantly clear that anyone who follows him will be just as hated by the world as he is. You are quite right not to expect a mass following. How many of this world are truly spiritually alive?

(Cf. that Haidt link at the end of yesterday's post for worldly foolishness tarted up as wisdom.)

9/24/2008 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

I have to agree with your assessment of Perry - brilliant, but...

Still, I'm close to finishing, and it was well worth the read. Thanks again for the recommendation.

9/24/2008 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

Perry's book is also useful because he very precisely defines many terms we bump into on the Raccoon Quest -- his chapter on "stupidity" would be an example. For those clarities alone it is worth the read.

But reading it made my hair hurt.

9/24/2008 09:08:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Susannah – As you know, the answer is startling, even barely comprehensible to us: FEW. We have to accept it is all God needs.

9/24/2008 09:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Now, that's what I call real political incorrectness.

9/24/2008 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Oddly, I sometimes detect a whiff of "a smug, passive-aggressive hatred of normality" here, too. (Though I'm not sure about the "passive".)

9/24/2008 10:04:00 AM  
Anonymous cousin dupree said...

That's the point, Einstein. We don't conceal our animus for the Normies.

9/24/2008 10:07:00 AM  
Anonymous cousin dupree said...

You know, the dreaded Pinks.

9/24/2008 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Nomo, another apropos connection (from the Perry, Chapter 7):

"The center, which from the profane point of view appears as a constrictively exclusive point, the "narrow gate" of the Gospels through which the endless, conflictive diversity of the world is reduced or mortified back into original singleness, becomes "inside" a liberating breadth where what was before multiplying fragmentation or a disjointed babble of voices and sounds, is transfigured into the sparkling infinitude of one substance now become a tapestry of unified threads or the chorus hosanna of bliss rising from creation. Language cannot do justice to this reality."

9/24/2008 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Hehe - from Dupree's link:

"Bob" being the center of the Slack plane cannot fail, even his failures are startling successes as a result of his absurdly high Slack. Popular Church phrases supporting these goals are "Give Me Slack or KILL ME!", "The SubGenius Must Have Slack" and "Fuck 'Em If They Can't Take A Joke."

9/24/2008 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Ray: Define, "normal"

9/24/2008 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Amen, NoMo.

That phrase Julie quoted brings up fond memories of my SMY. Our variation was "If ya can't dance, F* ya." This was frequently punctuated by ducking, throwing a punch or catching one.

9/24/2008 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Surely, River, you haven't been paying attention: Ray is the measure of all things.

9/24/2008 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger QP said...

The most potent power on earth
is the kingdom of heaven here within ourselves.
But we are usually more concerned
with the pose of heaven in other people,
even more interested in the kind of heaven
that takes many rules to enter,
and strangely
our highest fascination is with hell.

It's hard to trust a man of little faith.
His words come from repeating others,
not from the holy spirit moving in his own heart.
He takes credit for the accomplishments,
forgetting that God does all the work.

A Tao te Ching for Christians, Paul Brennan
[ from a series at the qp's quipTorum ]

9/24/2008 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

The Socratic method dictates that verity be demonstrated by the questioned replying :D

Back to work!

9/24/2008 11:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob,

I've noticed a bit of a shift in the tone of your writing over the past couple of months. The best I can describe is sort of a "push back" against traditionalism, conservatism and orthodoxy. Or perhaps a re-embracing of "the wierd." Or a plunge back into the mystery.

It's not that you're devaluing conservatism/traditionalism/orthodoxy, but that maybe you've finally synthesized it into a broader understanding of the world.

Do know what I mean? Like you've finally "married the opposites" of
evolutionary and traditionalist streams. And that your new found synthesis/balance comes out in your writing as a push back against "the mainstream."

9/24/2008 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Point taken, RC.

Gotta work today, myself.

9/24/2008 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Mushroom - Oh, there's 'hatred' of me, too, but that's not the same as contempt for anyone who's not a Raccoon. There's room for plenty of kinds of 'hatred' at One Cosmos. :->

I've freely admitted I'm not normal, but that doesn't mean I hold others in contempt.

9/24/2008 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

A man without reverence for the sacred is not a man at all.

Is it possible to see one's sacred duty as questioning the sacred?

9/24/2008 11:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's you, Ray.

Sacred doody.

9/24/2008 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

Speaking of Deepak, here's a real WTF moment in advertising. The guy right after Deepak unwittingly nails him though. ;-)

There is such a thing as the human being. But only if it is derived from the One.

9/24/2008 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

Blogger strikes again. Here's the link which works this time.

9/24/2008 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Robin - LOL! Normally, I don't even remotely care what operating system anyone uses, but after that commercial I like my Mac just a little more.

Ray,
"Is it possible to see one's sacred duty as questioning the sacred?"

First, you have to acknowledge that anything can actually be sacred. By which I most assuredly do not mean merely "worthy of respect" or "venerable," but rather "worthy of religious veneration."

In your case, the answer then is no. If you try, you're likely to end up with a fundamental problem, requiring the inventive use of forceps, a couple extra hands and a flashlight for extrication. But first, you have to realize that extrication is in order...

9/24/2008 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"One wonders: to whom does Bill Maher bow down? If the answer is no one and nothing, then it means that he worships himself. As if we didn't know that. And a man who is is own god has an idiot for a worshipper."

As above, so below.

I don't normally see the page links at the bottom since I don't normally open the post that way, but I did today and saw that this,

"I don't want to write for the idiot masses."

was line that made up the sole content of Nag's post "Elitist Quote of the Day ".

Isn't that the perfect passive aggressive self congratulatory sniff? By declaring that there is no Elite (wiki:"élite is a relatively small dominant group within a large society, which enjoys a privileged status envied by individuals of lower social status"), that there is no hierarchy, that no one is in anyway more elite than anyone else, then you are just as high up on the scale as everyone else, that no one is more qualified as a leader in any area or more skilled or knowledgeable or virtuous or brave or kind or generous ... etc... than You! Wonderful You!...and of course, no one is any worse in anyway, than you(go ahead, give yourself a bow naganinny).

Gotta love good comedy.

9/24/2008 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Oh, and Ray - for what it's worth, I really don't think you warrant actual hatred. That's generally reserved for people who slaughter innocents, both physically and spiritually. Are you annoying? Frequently, yes, but you're also often amusing, and you keep coming back for more abuse; either you're something of a masochist, or there's some distant hope for you yet. Mockery does not equal hatred.

9/24/2008 11:48:00 AM  
Anonymous chandler said...

Bob,

You underestimate your influence. Those of us who read you religiously, also quote you to others, and they, too,pay it forward. It could be years before that vibratory echo returns from the canyon to your doorstep.

I have told you bfore that you are good enough to write for the masses and make a fortune...Mark Steyn does it without compromising his thing.

And you could keep the blog and certain books elevated beyond your cheering throngs.

9/24/2008 12:14:00 PM  
Anonymous bob f. said...

It's dark outside; would hate to have your candle go out.

Thanks for your combination of Seraphim Rose and iowahawk.

9/24/2008 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

I actually like that MS ad (save the Deepak appearance) - it's getting back to their bland but decent series of ads, which are actually somewhat apropos. They make the most used operating system. People use it for all kinds of stuff - not just for being an urban hipster. (IMO.)

As a computer guy, I've got no thumbs up for any operating system except for Slackware, but that's only in theory. Working with code enough will obliterate any fashions regarding particular computer brands...

I'd be like (anyway) I'm a laptop!

9/24/2008 12:40:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Arrived this morning via email from moonbat friends:

Jonathan Haidt: The real difference between liberals and conservatives
(The Moral Matrix of Liberals and Conservatives- a TED talk)

Two versions: Regular or High Res.

Full disclosure coonfession: I play Moderate Independent Undecided Voter in their presence as cover for Conservative Mole with Access. Keeps me on their moonbat mass email recipient list & quite an intel haul it's been these last few months.

I was visiting them the day MSNBC yanked Olbermann/Matthews & what a bizarre experience that was: complete meltdown, right on the spot. As tho beloved, long-time pets had been run-over, or something. Saying stuff like: "MSNBC is run by Right-Wingers don't ya know, so O&M had to be got-rid-of for being so talented & speaking the truth - ALL of the MSM are corrupt Right-Winger, don't trust them!"

My jaw on the floor 'bout blew my cover & had to do some fancy-talking, real quick, to keep my creds. And I like these people, they're kind, generous & fun, but moonbat-nutty.

Oh dear.

9/24/2008 12:48:00 PM  
Anonymous balaam's ass said...

Looks like The ass got in Ray's head.

9/24/2008 01:42:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Ximeze, the irony of the video comes toward the end, where he exhorts his listeners to remember that both sides honestly think they're right. What's the aphorism? Conservatives generally think Liberals are well-meaning but misguided; Liberals generally think Conservatives are Evil. That's certainly been my personal experience.

I've never yet met anyone who holds their political beliefs in the hopes of wreaking havoc (even when the only possible outcome of a proposed action is actual and serious harm; I'm talking only about intent), but have met several people who seem to honestly believe that Conservatives wake up in the morning thinking of ways to screw over other people.

9/24/2008 01:54:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Ximeze - Stranger in an ever-stranger land. Expect a whole lot more of the same.

9/24/2008 02:30:00 PM  
Blogger Popemobile said...

“Look at it this way: many people call themselves Raccoons, but Petey will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye crypto-new age troll."

Ho! I’ll try to be more careful next time.

A child who does not mature but who instead merely realizes he is not God will project a need for humility onto the mature God-centered adults around him.

Not just “there is no God and we are his prophets” (love that one) but also “there are no prophets and you are not God” as well, because it seems to him that mature adults are being arrogant when they are merely doing what is right.

But do not mistake a humble child with pride for a prideful adult with humility; sometimes they may sound alike because of the fine line that defines their wholly opposed natures. I suppose Petey would know the difference.

9/24/2008 02:38:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

>> . . . we have entered the "Kali Yuga," signifying the outer limit of the cosmic descent, when stupidity and evil shall reign (according to Schuon and Perry)<<

Well, I think the Kali Yuga does accord with biblical prophecy re: an eventual subjugation of the earth to the forces of materialism, the time when the major governing institutions of the planet are completely subsumed by a secular materialism. And by "materialism", I mean the sort of post-Enlightenment intellectualism completely divorced from Spirit. Things have always been brutal, but I think this sad state of affairs is unique in recorded history. I think this could very well constitute the "outer limit of the cosmic descent."

I can understand how one could recoil from such a concept - it seems to equate with ultimate entropy, the Heat Death of the Universe, etc., depressing enough on the surface. BUT - I think the Kali Yuga concept must also augur an Ultimate New Beginning, the coming of a genuine Golden Age. You know, the darker the night, the brighter the coming sunrise. The Light can only be born in the darkest of nights - when Christ was really born, I dunno, but it is symbolically fitting that we celebrate his birth at the time of year when the days are shortest and the daylight most fleeting.

Another way of stating it: a universal stupidity and evil, even if in control for a period of time, MUST, by virtue of higher nature, self-destruct. Thus anything built on a false foundation will collapse. All that left standing will be that based on Spirit. And genuine Spirit is manifested today, not much, but here, there. It's the seed of the coming dawn.

Now, I don't exactly welcome chaos, but if it means the destruction of the old governing archetypes, then OK, bring it on.

9/24/2008 02:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If one will take even the dullest and most deluded individual, such as Maher, they will still exude the Godhead if closely read or expolicated.

For instance, if one were to put a sample of Maher's tissue under a microscope, one would see the miracles of cellular organization swim into view, all of the chromosomes, organelles, etc. There's the Master, Bingo, indwelling in the Fool. Genius.

So what parts of Maher are contaminated with evil? I would say it is limited to areas of the cortex weighing no more than two to four ounces; and here just the bioelectric emphemera of his thoughts crackling across the synapses.

If we dissected Maher's psyche, regressed him to childhood, etc, we would probably divest him of his evil right there. A near death experience or a profound depression could rewrite his software and do the trick as well.

The point is, evil is a very cosmetic and surface construction. Even Maher, panned by you as majorly corrupted, is more like a piece of bread with a few moldy spots; scrape them off, and you could still have your sandwich.

Now basic goodness, on the other hand, is pervasive. There are no individuals who are primarily evil and just a small part good.

The proportions are always heavily weighted in favor of the Master. Why I mention this I do not know; perhaps to inject perspective into the dialogue.

9/24/2008 03:29:00 PM  
Anonymous christopher said...

GBob, I don't comment anymore but I still read.

9/24/2008 03:40:00 PM  
Blogger goy said...

ximeze,

Haidt is speaking truth to adolescence. He is doing it in the language the adolescents understand, which is why it will grate on any conservative's nerves (and likely any coon's, from what I gather).

I think we ignore or dismiss someone like Haidt to our discredit - and perhaps even at our peril. Everyone makes the journey out of adolescence and into adulthood in their own way. I did. You did. GBob did. neo-neocon did. Bill Whittle did. Haidt is, I believe.

One reason that I say this is in the video I DIDN'T link to in the previous comment thread (only 5 hours before yours, ximeze, from a completely different source - James Hudnall's site). Watch the TED Talk video and if you get bugged, just skip forward to 10:30 and watch at least through the end. Haidt's reference to the Bosch painting was the first thing that popped into my mind when I read GBob's "A society of such pseudo-individuals will therefore be a society well on its way to hell."

9/24/2008 04:54:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

>>The point is, evil is a very cosmetic and surface construction<<

Sorry, but nope. That's why it takes something traumatic, an NDE of some sort, a genuine dark night of the soul as a spiritual "curative". Such a trauma must necessarily reach down into the depths, turn a person inside out. This is not a cosmetic curative - the problem isn't cosmetic.

But here's the deal - a person like Maher, all similar soul-less automotons, have to have at least s shred of spiritual desire before they're blessed with a spiritually rejuvenating, regenerating dark night of the soul.

Now I grant you that there are relatively few (I'm hoping, at any rate) souls that do not have at least a little a drop of redemptive Light within themselves. The ones with the least amount of Light within are in for a very long, tough shrivening, long and tough because their spiritual blindness is anything but cosmetic.

I suspect, however, that souls without any Light within at all do exist, I mean anti-souls, the living dead. And I think their numbers are more plentiful than ever before.

9/24/2008 05:31:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Anonymous, even though I'm not certain where you're coming from (is this yet another one of those comments leading up to the idea that we should be "compassionate" to everyone? Spare us, please. Some people really are better than others, even if we're all basically the same puniness in relation to God. If you can't make that honest observation, you really can't make any point at all), I'm reminded of something that occurred to me the other day, watching that foul harpy Sandra Bernhard doing her latest "comedy" routine.

Talk about corruption - I don't know what happened in her life to turn her so violently ugly, but like the antithesis of beauty it shines from the inside out. Which is to say, I've always found her really repulsive, but I bet if she'd lose the perpetual sneer and the angry brow, find a little true Awe and Wonder and Humility, she's probably not bad looking. You know, like when she's in deep REM sleep. Though by now, maybe not even then; she's been making that face for a mighty long time.

I'm pretty sure the tattered remnant of her soul, that spark of the Godhead, is locked up in a dank corner of her psyche, forced to endure the torment of her wretchedness. Like a wavering spark imprisoned in a suffocating black box, with just enough oxygen to keep from being snuffed altogether. Is she created in the image of God? Of course. But at some point, she dedicated her life to besmirching that image as much as she can. It's a shame. Literally. And I'm with Will - it's much more than cosmetic.

As to the moldy spot idea: I'll bet that everyone has them, to some degree or other, with the exception of the occasional saint. But there comes a point when the mold-to-bread ratio is too big for even a bite, much less a sandwich. And the bread, once it's taken over by the mold, doesn't exactly grow back.

Perhaps a different analogy would be in order?

9/24/2008 05:49:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Yep, that's right - some people are better than others.

9/24/2008 06:16:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

>>I'm pretty sure the tattered remnant of her soul, that spark of the Godhead, is locked up in a dank corner of her psyche, forced to endure the torment of her wretchedness<<

That could be, Julie, but the rest of her is probably immensely enjoying the perversity of it all. People generally don't persist in something or other if they don't actually like to do so.

Like . . . well, it's kinda fun to get angry, isn't it? It's perverse fun, destroys you from within, health-deteriorating, etc., but it does make one feel large, grandiose, magnified, powerful.

Yeah, the Lightless do suffer, at least by a spiritual reckoning, but they are getting their kicks in their own way. If and when they do accept their spiritual failings, then they learn, through the purgative process, what real suffering is all about. It's like an addict withdrawing from the addiction. In the long run, they know it's for the best, but in the short run, the addiction itself is where the fun is - and the withdrawing is pure hell.

9/24/2008 07:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I question the assumption that some people are better than others. The adjective is too general; better for what? Better for whom?

Bear in mind--it all comes down to speed in the end. Spirit people are taking a process which is slowly and automatically grinding forward (evolution via the slow and convulated byways of nature) and making a case that faster is better, and the slowskis are bad for being backward.

The trouble is, we don't know at what rate God desires the process of spiritualization to occur. We assume faster is "better" but really what proof do we have of it?

If God wanted fast he could remove all barriers today and have over with it. So, how do we figure?

Raccoons assume greater closeness to God is better than not so close, but really you can only speak for yourself; another being may have a different setting placed there by the Designer.

A different way of evaluating people should be developed, probably on the basis of the pleasure/pain principle.

9/24/2008 08:36:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

"Even Maher, panned by you as majorly corrupted, is more like a piece of bread with a few moldy spots; scrape them off, and you could still have your sandwich."

Ho! this calls for a Foodie-moment on Bread Mold as apt analogy:

1) it's never only on the surface
2) fungi, pandemic distribution with spore formation
3) deep roots thriving below the surface growing in the form of multicellular filaments
4) when conditions do not enable growth, may remain alive in a dormant state
5) is capable of causing opportunistic infections of humans, particularly those with a weakened immune system
6) handle with care, always with gloves and in sealed containers
7) decontaminate surfaces or contaminated items with a solution of 10% bleach
8) do not breath in, maintain proper handling and disposal at all times

Sure sounds like Maher-exposure to me

9/24/2008 08:39:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

aninnymouse said "I question the assumption that some people are better than others."

Thereby proving the fact that some people are stupider than others, which serves to establish the existence of a natural hierarchy with aninnymouses towards the bottom, and Raccoons, who have no trouble grasping such obvious facts, towards the top.

9/24/2008 08:44:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

Now Van, there you go, being all judgmental and stuff. Hey, wait, now I'm being judgmental. Hmm. This hellish treadmill of judgment, how can we ever escape??

Anonymous, I'd bet most people here would get your point, which is not the point, however. There is long-term judgment in which, absolutely, we can rightly perceive people spiritually awaken at their own paces, all of them being one in God, etc., etc. And then there is short-term judgment. This is NECESSARY short term judgment, being that we have to establish order on this fallen world and that by our exercise of such judgment we increase our own spiritual swareness. So, we can point at Syria, eg., and say without fear of contradiction, that is one effed-up, primitive, tribalistic offalhole, particularly when compared with its neighbor Israel. Thus we as a nation favor Israel over Syria. For the time being, anyway.

OK, so maybe Syria is proceeding toward holiness at the pace God intended it - I dunno. It's also possible that it's going down the permanent drain due to its willful eff'd-up-ness, but in any event . . . in the short term, we have to view it - and its human analogues - as decidedly inferior. In spiritual terms, this means "having less conscious awareness."

9/24/2008 09:49:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Yes, exactly, Will. I say again: Some people (or peeps, as the case may be) are better than others.

9/24/2008 09:55:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Hmmm. Perhaps One x Nothing = Everybody.

9/24/2008 10:01:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

FOR FERGUS THE CAT (1990 - 2008)

I know you're here somewhere,
Hiding like you always did
In your improvised tiger lair,

Waiting for me to find you;
And when I did, you'd pounce
And paw, laughing, and then you flew

To yet another hiding place -
But now where? I'm still looking;
Almost, almost, I see your face

Behind the desk, under the chair,
In the blue shadows beneath my shirts,
But no, not there, not there -

How strange; it's as if you are young
Again, feline lithe and kittenish,
Sure of your royalty among

The cats - It's been a while, has it not?
Since we've played hide and seek,
Your legs could no longer hold you, so I thought,

Your orange eyes almost blind -
Did I ever thank you
For helping to teach me to be kind?

Where are you now? You fill the air
With your streaking presence,
Running, hiding, everywhere -

Dear cat, I'll find you presently,
I know I will; or if I can't,
Please come find me -

c. - wm '08

9/25/2008 12:48:00 AM  
Anonymous beaky said...

Godspeed Fergus
R.I.S. my friend

9/25/2008 02:39:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

Will -

Oh, ouch!

The place he is is in your heart.

9/25/2008 03:43:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Will... wrenching
One way or the other you know,
Crouching behind the last place you look,
waiting to pounce.

9/25/2008 05:27:00 AM  
Anonymous tanis said...

Will, What Walt Said.

~ qp

9/25/2008 06:17:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Julie - what is it about "religious veneration" that makes it specifically "religious"? I have my ideas, but I doubt they'd match yours...

9/25/2008 06:27:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

"Did I ever thank you
For helping to teach me to be kind?"

Oh, Will. Tears. :(

I am very attached to our Neena. (Pics of Neena on blog today, BTW.)

Julie, that second link was very good. Daddy used to invite JWs in too.

9/25/2008 07:20:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Ray, et al. I've been thinking (though admittedly not with the depth it deserves--mommy brain) and I think for me, it all comes down to the preeminence of Christ.

As for my attitude toward unbelievers (the spiritually dead, as per scripture), it isn't always Christlike. Nevertheless, I strive to be like him. He did not mince words in diagnosing our wickedness, did he? Yet, he is the shepherd who leaves all to go after the one lost sheep.

"When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things."

It's a two-sided coin. Compassion for the lost, but not compromising the good, true and beautiful...teaching them "many things."

It isn't about hate, so much as diagnosis, I believe. God "hates sin." He cannot abide it in is holiness. Yet, he "so loved the world that he gave his one and only son."

Basic gospel. Nothing new here.

9/25/2008 07:28:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Okay, about the Haidt thing...I'll admit, I got about as far as conservatives living in pockets of old-world heirarchy, and I just gave up. I should have gone on listening. I figured he started out on the assumption that evolution gives us kindness, so he was already off the rails, as far as I was concerned.

Forgive me, but I don't see kindness in liberalism. Hasn't he been watching the news over the last few months? Given the left's penchant for redefining words, I suspect they have simply relabeled condescension as kindness.

9/25/2008 07:33:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Sorry for my 10:01 reference. The likes of Bill Maher and Sandra Bernhard can put me in a pretty dark place.

9/25/2008 07:34:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Sorry about your feline friend, Will. Eighteen years is a pretty good run for a cat named Fergus.

9/25/2008 07:56:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

I think because each person bears the imago Dei, that aspect is what underlies our basic treatment of our fellow humans. As James says, "With [our tongues] we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God."

Yet James does indeed go on to "diagnose"...

"You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you."

As someone said earlier about what it takes for a Bill Maher, etc. to repent...see above. Submission to God, which usually involves a breaking of some kind. God is merciful, and often brings us to the end of ourselves so we can look back and see ourselves, and our appalling lack, clearly. Yes we mourn, over the evil by which our lives have been characterized. Submission is the only way to freedom.

9/25/2008 07:57:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

My coondolences, Will, for the loss of your noble friend. Perhaps a good time to remember the words of Eliot:

When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell, you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Effanineffable
Deep and inscrutable singular name.


He has become his Name.

9/25/2008 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger Nagarjuna said...

Van--
Since you mentioned me in your comment here, I'm going to address it here.

I do believe that some people are smarter than others. For instance, I believe that Bob is smarter than I am, and I suspect that you are too. I believe that some people are more qualified to lead than others. For example, I believe that Barack Obama is more qualified to lead this country as president than is John McCain, and it seems that very smart George Will may well believe this too.

But, in the spiritual realm, I believe that the most "qualified" or "elite" don't shun or hold in contempt those lower in the spiritual "hierarchy" by derisively dismissing them as "idiots" and "morons" or by condemning them for their perceived ignorance or hostility. I also believe that there can be value in those of higher intellect, wisdom, or spiritual development trying to dialog with those lower in the hierarchy, and that, as Chandler suggests, it may be possible to do this without compromising oneself.

Now maybe I'm right in these beliefs. Maybe I'm wrong. I posted Bob's quote and a link to his entire post to encourage people to read and ponder all of what he has to say and to reach their own conclusions about it.

9/25/2008 11:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin dupree said...

You've got it precisely backwards. I hardly think you need to worry about finding a religion moronic enough to match your level of density. Bob's concern is quite different, i.e., that it is unfair that the intellectually gifted should be excluded from religion. He is not about to compromise his message just to allow fools to imagine they are wise.

9/25/2008 07:11:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

any you folks interested if that's the word in this recent tragedy?
http://www.mcsweeneys.net/dfw/memories.html

-perdoneme the presumed topiclessness

9/26/2008 03:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You've got it precisely backwards. I hardly think you need to worry about finding a religion moronic enough to match your level of density. Bob's concern is quite different, i.e., that it is unfair that the intellectually gifted should be excluded from religion. He is not about to compromise his message just to allow fools to imagine they are wise."

Well personally I call bullshit. A fool won't know he's a fool even if you call him on it. The condescension is still unnecessary, and that's the most pathetic attempt at excusing name calling I've ever heard. If they're too stupid to get it, then it won't matter that you call them stupid, they don't get it and they'll think you're stupid in return.

Here's a fool who thinks he's a wise man thinking it's not foolish to to convince a fool he's a fool. Thus, the first wise fool I've ever met.

"A prudent man concealeth knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness."

9/26/2008 05:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder where that quote came from...

9/26/2008 05:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know, but I would wholly recommend Fools and Jester's in Literature, Art, and History.

It'll give a good understanding of what a fool is, and gives some logical arguments as to why what fools do is foolish. Though hardly do all the conditions provided in the book cover all aspects of being an idiot, you'll see that very few can rise above that label. You won't even get to page 20 before thinking of Godwin.

9/26/2008 06:14:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I think I get it. Here's a fool who thinks he's a wise man thinking it's not foolish to to convince a fool who thinks he's a wise man thinking it's not foolish to call a fool a fool, calling me a fool.

9/26/2008 06:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Idiot Savant said...

Who is REALLY fooling himself? The person of modest intellect who seeks to become as wise as possible, or the person of superior intellect who dismisses the former as one of the "idiot masses" unworthy of his august revelations? And if a message is clear enough for the person of modest intellect to understand it, will the intellectually gifted not understand it too?

9/26/2008 07:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob really that was so stupid I mean 3rd graders are capable of mocking like that. No quite literally my little nephew has mocked people the same way it's not clever and it doesn't insult me when I can equate you to a child.

9/30/2008 06:28:00 AM  

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