Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Darwinian Monkeys and the Plunge into Matter (11.15.11)

Continuing from yesterday’s post, we are tracing the dialectic of nihilism in the postmodern world through the stages of liberalism --> realism --> vitalism --> nihilistic destruction, as outlined by the heavy metal Orthodox Father Seraphim Rose. I wouldn't recommend Rose if you prefer easy listening, MOR, pop theology. He always cranks it up to 11.

Yesterday I mentioned in a comment that the Tyler Cycle reminded me of the Wheel of Fortune Card in Meditations on the Tarot. What did I mean by this? I don't know. Let's find out.

In case you can't make out the action in the card, Unknown Friend (UF) writes that it consists of "three figures in animal form of which two (the monkey and the dog) turn with the wheel, whilst the third (the sphinx) is beyond the movement of the wheel; he is seated on a platform above the wheel." One way to look at it is to imagine that the dog is a troll while the monkey is Dupree -- or is it the other way around? Either way, the sphinx is Petey in Upper Tonga, laughing at both of them.

UF continues: "The monkey descends in order to rise again; the dog rises in order to descend again." Without the sphinx above, the wheel "evokes the idea of a vain and absurd game." Which indeed life is in the absence of the transcendent "higher third" of which we have spoken in the past. The existence of this higher third is without a doubt the most shocking feature of this cosmos, and renders any form of materialism utterly moot. The conquest and colonization of this transcendent position is the true vocation of man, but obviously the vast majority of men prefer the dog and monkey show, as it informs every page of nocturnal metahistory:

The fall of a once wallstrait oldparr is retaled early in bed and later on life down through all christian minstrelsy.... Dimb! He stottered from the latter. Damb! he was a dud. Dumb!.... Phall if you but will, rise you must.... And even if Humpty shell fall frumpty times as awkward again, there'll be iggs for the brekkers come to mournhim.... --Finnegans Wake

UF goes on to enunciate the orthodox Raccoon position, noting that there are two cosmic movements that will determine whether your life will be a wheel of misfortune or a merry gOround: "The one is based on the idea of the Fall, i.e., degeneration and descent from above below." Importantly -- and this is a coonerstone of the whole edifarce, so listen up -- "According to this class of ideas" -- which, of course, is from the vertical perspective -- "it is not the monkey who is the ancestor of man, but rather, on the contrary, it is man who is the ancestor of the monkey," the latter of which "is a degenerate and degraded descendent." After all, if there is evolution, then by definition there is devolution.

If you have difficulty with this cooncept, just remember the self-evident fact that, just as God is not in the cosmos, but rather, vice versa, man is not in the world. Rather, the world is essentially -- or a priori -- in the human soul. It's all here, baby, just waiting to be discovered -- even atheism (but only in the devolving movement from man to monkey).

"The other class of ideas comprises the idea of evolution, i.e., progress transforming from below above. According to this category of ideas, it is the most primitive entity -- from the point of view of consciousness as well as biological structure -- which is the origin of all beings," and "which is their common ancestor."

So the Wheel of Fortune depicts a quasi-human entity who is on the way down. In contrast, the sphinx "represents the plane and stage of being from which the monkey is moving and towards which the dog is approaching." Now, "Does not the monkey lend itself marvelously to serve as a symbol of the animalization which is effected at the expense of the Angelic and human elements of the prototype being?"

Yes, of course. Man is poised between the two extremes of existence, the spiritual and the material. We are drawn by vertical memoirs of the former and pulled by passions for the latter. Schuon has written that man is "condemned to the absolute," but I prefer to think of it as having a passion for wholeness and a gnostalgia for eternity. The one is aspiration, the other inspiration, or exhalation and inhalation. Our very breath is the rhythm of eternity.

An insurmountable problem with reductionistic Darwinism is that it only deals with half the circle, which ignores "the ultimate as well as the effective cause of the whole process of evolution," without which it is unintelligible (to the awakened intellect, not to tenured primates who are falling up the academic ladder). Darwinism will always be unintelligible in so far as it "refuses to accept the other half of the circle, that of involution."

Understood esoterically, evolution is the mystery of "Fall, perdition, redemption and salvation." As such, you must understand that that Darwinism really is fully intelligible to people such as our scientistic jester, which he never tires of reminding us. Please believe him. He is a passenger of evolution, not a witness, for to witness it is to have transcended it -- i.e., to have realized the full circle in the flesh. But of course it is an open circle, so that it constitutes the spiraling ontological and temporal structure of being. Which is why I noted in my book -- from which I earned $59.93 last year -- thank you very much freeloaders on this blog -- that one must pent and repent as necessary, or something to that effect.

Now back to the dialectics of nihilism. Let us stipulate that religion deals with absolute truth, or at least purports to do so. In the end, in the absence of absolute truth, the only option left open to one is nihilism, because nihilism is simply the doctrine of relativity drawn out to its logical conclusion. An honest nihilist such as Nietzsche realizes this: “God is dead and therefore man becomes God and everything is possible.” In the final analysis, the existence of God is the only thing that prevents honest human beings from inevitably coming to Nietzsche’s stark conclusion: “I am God and all is permitted.” Nietzsche also knew full well that once the appeal to absolute truth is vitiated, raw power comes in to fill the void.

As a brief aside, we are all aware of how terrified the left is of religious Christians. I was thinking about this yesterday, and it occurred to me that this speaks volumes about the nihilistic temperament. For to be truly religious is to be humble, to be humble is to pray, and to pray is to think on one’s knees. While I am not literally on my knees as I type these posts, I can assure you that I am figuratively. But this is the one thing you cannot imagine a leftist doing. Can you picture a truly arrogant nihilist of the left -- say, Randi Rhodes or Bill Maher or Keith Olbermann -- ever humbling themselves before God prior to a show and asking for the light of truth and the ability to express it? Of course not. Otherwise they wouldn't conduct themselves the way they do. The essence of being fallen is the pride that comes with one’s (fantasized) independence from God.

Scientific or logical truth is always relative truth. Thanks to Gödel, we know that there is no system of logic that can fully account for itself, or that can be both consistent and complete. Rather, completeness is always purchased at the price of consistency, while a rigidly consistent system will be woefully incomplete -- say, a consistent program of materialism or determinism. Such a philosophy will leave most of reality -- including the most interesting parts -- outside its purview. This is why Marxism is such an inadequate theory. In explaining everything, it explains nothing. But at least it’s rigidly consistent, like Darwinism.

But if there is no absolute there is only the relative, incoherent though that philosophy may be (for the existence of relativity, or degrees of being, proves the absolute, since the relative can only be assessed and judged -- or even perceived -- in light of the absolute). In the face of the the absolute we are easily able to judge various cultures on the basis of their proximity to the ideal. But once we have destroyed the absolute and descended into relativity, then what necessarily follows is multiculturalism, moral relativism, deconstruction, “perception is reality,” etc. All cultures become equally cherished, with the exception of the culture that believes some cultures are better. All truths are privileged with the exception of Truth itself. Belief in Truth itself is "authoritarian" or "fascist."

In the relative world of nihilism, I am necessarily all. The world literally revolves around me, since my truth is absolute. The ultimate questions have no answers except for those I might provide. This is why leftist academia has become so corrupt, for how can it not be “corrupting to hear or read the words of men who do not believe in truth?” “It is yet more corrupting to receive, in place of truth, mere learning and scholarship which, if they are presented as ends in themselves, are no more than parodies of the truth they were meant to serve, no more than a facade behind which there is no substance” (Rose).

The emptiness of relativism evokes the next stage in the nihilist dialectic, realism. This is an entirely new kind of vulgar realism, for, prior to modernity, it had referred to any philosophy which affirmed the self-evident reality of transcendental categories such as truth, love, and beauty. In short. it testified to the reality of the vertical. But this new type of debased realism entirely excluded the vertical, and affirmed that only the horizontal realm was real -- that is, the material, external, and quantifiable world. In one fallen swoop, a philosophy of unreality became the paradigmatic lens through which mankind was now to view the world.

My book begins with a quote from Richard Weaver: “The modernistic searcher after meaning may be likened to a man furiously beating the earth and imagining that the finer he pulverizes it, the nearer he will get to the riddle of existence. But no synthesizing truths lie in that direction. It is in the opposite direction that the path must be followed.” Nevertheless, it is in this downward direction that our fall inevitably takes us.

Here philosophy is officially replaced by modern misosophy: hatred of wisdom. It is a childishly naive ideology that confuses what is most obvious with what is most true and what is most fundamental with what is most real. The cosmos is officially turned upside-down and inside-out, bizarrely elevating insentient matter to the the ultimate. This is certainly intellectual nihilism, but we have a ways to go before we hit bottom, which we will proceed to do in my next two posts.

As Father Rose writes, “Worship of fact is by no means the love of truth; it is, as we have already suggested, parody. It is the presumption of the fragment to replace the whole; it is the proud attempt to build a Tower of Babel, a collection of facts, to reach to the heights of truth and wisdom from below. But truth is only attained by bowing down and accepting what is received from above. All the pretended ‘humility’ of Realist scholars and scientists... cannot conceal the pride of their collective usurpation of the throne of God...”

Such an individual “becomes a fanatical devotee of the only reality that is obvious to the spiritually blind: this world.” Human beings are reduced to races or classes, spiritual love to animal sex, higher needs to lower desires, while the earth is elevated to Goddess, the dramatic to the significant, the celebrity to the important. If there is only this world, I’m going to get mine and have a good time. A new kind of human monster is born, and takes his place a bit lower than the beasts. It is Vital Man, whom we shall discuss in the next post.

63 Comments:

Blogger NoMo said...

spiraling spinning
monkeys chanting "darwin, dar..."
faith conquers the wheel

10/01/2008 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

"The monkeys called the place their city, and pretended to despise the Jungle-People because they lived in the forest. And yet they never knew what the buildings were made for nor how to use them. They would sit in circles on the hall of the king's council chamber, and scratch for fleas and pretend to be men; or they would run in and out of the roofless houses and collect pieces of plaster and old bricks in a corner, and forget where they had hidden them, and fight and cry in scuffling crowds, and then break off to play up and down the terraces of the king's garden, where they would shake the rose trees and the oranges in sport to see the fruit and flowers fall. They explored all the passages and dark tunnels in the palace and the hundreds of little dark rooms, but they never remembered what they had seen and what they had not; and so drifted about in ones and twos or crowds telling each other that they were doing as men did. They drank at the tanks and made the water all muddy, and then they fought over it, and then they would all rush together in mobs and shout: "There is no one in the jungle so wise and good and clever and strong and gentle as the Bandar-log." Then all would begin again till they grew tired of the city and went back to the tree-tops, hoping the Jungle-People would notice them."

Kipling knew of devolution.

And how to deal with trolls:

""The Jungle-People put them out of their mouths and out of their minds. They are very many, evil, dirty, shameless, and they desire, if they have any fixed desire, to be noticed by the Jungle People. But we do not notice them even when they throw nuts and filth on our heads."

He had hardly spoken when a shower of nuts and twigs spattered down through the branches; and they could hear coughings and howlings and angry jumpings high up in the air among the thin branches."

10/01/2008 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Let us stipulate that religion deals with absolute truth, or at least purports to do so.

You fit Darwinian evolution into a larger framework. So do the people you call 'Darwinists', whose world appears to be wider that you are willing (able?) to credit.

One can believe in, say, 'absolute truth' without believing that the 'truth' is itself sentient, for example.

In the final analysis, the existence of God is the only thing that prevents honest human beings from inevitably coming to Nietzsche’s stark conclusion: “I am God and all is permitted.”

Even if the logical progression were exactly as described, saying "all is permitted" is not the same thing as saying "all is wise".

"All the pretended ‘humility’ of Realist scholars and scientists... cannot conceal the pride of their collective usurpation of the throne of God...”

Or, just possibly, "The only way I can think of to reach certain conclusions is through pride, therefore their humility must be pretended." (For examples of such thinking, see Van. :-> )

10/01/2008 09:10:00 AM  
Blogger Warren said...

B'ob,

Thanks for tipping me off to Fr. Rose's uplifting little tome - I haven't read it yet, but I think it'll be right up my alley. Like you, I prefer a strong draught over weak beer anyday. (Which is one of the reasons I enjoy Guenon's books so much, even though about half the time I think he's crazy as a bedbug....)

10/01/2008 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger Warren said...

A looming global economic collapse... America on the verge of installing a Marxist government... and now, the final sign of the Apocalypse:

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=Aq4NMWSmqJn8RaYJfnttFPU5nYcB?slug=ge-cubs093008&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

(Sorry, B'ob, but your boys in blue are goin' down. It's the will of the Absolute - ordained before the foundation of the world. Resistance is futile!)

10/01/2008 09:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Nick said...

The problem with our fall is that once we are turned inside out we find all the facts we need to support our fall. In fact the smarter we are the more well built our prison becomes.
An untamed mind seems to be one of the biggest advesaries of mankind. I think in previous centuries we were all pretty much informationally deprived it could not get us into so much trouble, now we get to indulge our every curiosty in a single mouse click. Turning our minds into allies is dfefintely a trick manknd needs to get the hang of soon

10/01/2008 09:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Burden of responsibility for the fallen state of men must be put back on God.

Material, being easily sensed by our physical apparatus, gets the nod.

God, nebulous, difficult to pin down, and requireing discipline to understand, is not so easy.

The contest has been weighted in favor of the material, and not by the participants in the drama, but by the Writer.

This share of culpability should be kept in mind when judging your blind brothers and sisters.

At the very least, it should mitigate your annoyance with them.

It is OK to direct annoyance at the Master as well; He can handle it. Because really, whatever you find obnoxious here on Earth, you are in fact finding obnoxious in Heaven. He made it; if you don't like it, complain to the management. If you have the sack.

10/01/2008 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

"Which is why I noted in my book -- from which I earned $59.93 last year"

Hey, that's way more than I got for my book, course I haven't finished it yet, that may be because I haven't actually started it yet, but I will soon, real soon.

10/01/2008 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger Warren said...

anon,

Thanks for showing what Christian theology looks like when standing on one's head.

10/01/2008 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger slackjack said...

I think Jim Morrison expressed the nihilist conclusion best when he said (in some concert recording) "I'll tell you this much...I'm gonna get my kicks before the whole sh*thouse goes up in flames"

Little did he know how soon he'd get his wish! I remember despite my adolescent "worship" of the man, being terrified (and maybe a bit exhilarated) by that comment.

It's one I've struggled against ever since.

10/01/2008 10:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Alan said...

Ray said: ""all is permitted" is not the same thing as saying "all is wise"."

Ray, being "wise" assumes criteria for determining what is wise.

How do you determine such criteria?

Any criteria without a God means that man decides on what is ultimate - and that means politics, power, and ultimately.... "all is permitted" unless there is a central authority enforcing what is "what is wise" through force.

Choose.

10/01/2008 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger Niggardly Phil said...

Blame God because he made us this way, eh?


You judge the pre-fall condition by our current condition. God walked with man in the garden, or so God tells us fallen men, a way of saying the opposite of what you say.

and directing annoyance at the Master has little to do with him, as what it says about and does to you. Humble worship is primarily for your good, not His.

10/01/2008 11:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Rev. Wright said...

I blame Bush.

10/01/2008 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"The essence of being fallen is the pride that comes with one’s (fantasized) independence from God."

As is taking pride in the ability to doubt anything and everything, and taking that as proof of knowing better.

Ray said "One can believe in, say, 'absolute truth' without believing that the 'truth' is itself sentient, for example."

One, however, who claims to believe in absolute truth, while at the same time claiming to be unable to reliably perceive what is true, that they are unable to choose their own actions freely, let alone choose between True and False... such a one is capable only of throwing nuts and filth upon the heads of others, their own being already full of the same.

I believe they probably look something like this,

:->

Claiming to be right and to know better than others, while claiming at the same time the ultimate inability to know anything at all... doesn't even rise to the level of thinking.

Take a bow Ray.

10/01/2008 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger Fido said...

Brrrrrilliant!

Oh well…gotta run..

10/01/2008 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Julie, excellent quote!

10/01/2008 11:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Spock said...

I’ve been picking up a lot of UF on the UHF lately.

Interesting.

10/01/2008 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Yes. There’s a lot of this MOTT business going around...

10/01/2008 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Ray - Rather than use the word "wise", at least be consistent to your godless, foolish philosophy and use "expedient". You have no reference for wisdom.

10/01/2008 11:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is absurd to attribute all things bright and beautiful to God, then turn around and ascribe all things dirty and nasty to people.

We are Him. All of our nasty, brutish desires and impulses come from God. The sordid results of our wrongdoings, are partially His.

Discipline, effort, and will-power comprise our share of responsibility; we must exert ourselves against brutish impulses.

However, brutish and nasty impulses themselves are NOT generated by us; we didn't invent them, we didn't ask for them. We don't have to own or feel a sense of complete responsibility or guilt for them.

It takes a TEAM effort to create ugliness, and a TEAM effort to clean it up. A person must strive; God must throw down upon us the obstacles and the fears/desires/attachments/hopes/anticipations/expectations/appetites that drive the whole preposterous affair.

People, please--don't take the full responsibility for evil onto yourselves, or push the burden onto the shoulders of others. Carry your share, but know where the other share comes from:God.

God wants us to push against obstacles, interal and external. That is the only logical conclusion that can be made for the state of things.

Effort is all that is called for. If you are trying, you are doing your part. Lift your hearts with that thought.

10/01/2008 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Here philosophy is officially replaced by modern misosophy: hatred of wisdom. It is a childishly naive ideology that confuses what is most obvious with what is most true and what is most fundamental with what is most real. "

So True.

"The cosmos is officially turned upside-down and inside-out, bizarrely elevating insentient matter to the the ultimate."

And completely unable to distinguish between the two.

"This is certainly intellectual nihilism, but we have a ways to go before we hit bottom, which we will proceed to do in my next two posts."

Sadly too true.

"As Father Rose writes, “Worship of fact is by no means the love of truth; it is, as we have already suggested, parody. "

Bingo.

10/01/2008 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

aninnymouse said "All of our nasty, brutish desires and impulses come from God. The sordid results of our wrongdoings, are partially His."

Good with those bootstraps.

Pull!

10/01/2008 11:32:00 AM  
Blogger Mike L said...

Bob:

It's definitely appropriate to thank us freeloaders for the fact that you earned only $59.93 from your book last year. After all, we recognize that a true artist only makes money when he's dead. ;-)

Best,
Mike

10/01/2008 11:40:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Alan - Man doesn't decide lots of things, like the speed of light and other laws of physics. We also don't get to decide (at least large portions of) our own nature. (Nothing controversial about that. Bob certainly believes that there's a human nature...)

So, as I've said before, it can be permitted to sacrifice your queen for a pawn in chess, that's not wise... at least, if you're playing by normal chess rules and you actually want to win the game.

Desires, needing to act through rules leads to some things, being wiser than others. (Nomo's cites notwithstanding. I'm speaking English. :-> )

10/01/2008 11:50:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

One, however, who claims to believe in absolute truth, while at the same time claiming to be unable to reliably perceive what is true, that they are unable to choose their own actions freely, let alone choose between True and False... such a one is capable only of throwing nuts and filth upon the heads of others, their own being already full of the same.

Let me know if you find somebody like that, Van.

10/01/2008 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

A new kind of human monster is born, and takes his place a bit lower than the beasts.

And now it has an ad campaign.

10/01/2008 11:56:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ray said "Let me know if you find somebody like that, Van."

You'll be the first to no.

:-> )

10/01/2008 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Ray - It's strange, but I have hope for you yet.

10/01/2008 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Van goes yard on the hanging curve ball.

10/01/2008 12:14:00 PM  
Anonymous B.O.bama said...

"White man's greed runs a world in need"

10/01/2008 12:20:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

Gene Clark's [I think definitive] version of FULL CIRCLE SONG is on 'ROADMASTER':
http://www.amazon.com/Roadmaster-Gene-Clark/dp/B0000011SZ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1222888614&sr=1-1

mp3 of my version =
http://www.amazon.com/Full-Circle-Song/dp/B000QZDAWO/ref=sr_f2_1?ie=UTF8&s=dmusic&qid=1222888118&sr=102-1

10/01/2008 12:22:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Robin - good thing I finished eating before clicking that link. I should probably be appalled. Being a rather unladylike kinda girl, though, the laughter wins out.

On another note, it's amazing how quiet it seems in here, once the ass hat has been removed. Almost peaceful. Except for the occasional trouser pinata.

10/01/2008 12:28:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Van,
I thought you and Ray were buds?

10/01/2008 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Apropos of nothing (at least nothing related to today's post), I've been thinking lately about deustinations and raccoonish pursuits. And so I was wondering.

While there is a broad androgynous raccoonish ideal, covered essentially by the three pillars, at some point or in some ways there must be a divergence between things that are ideal for men and things that are ideal for women to strive for (otherwise, what's the point of making men and women different?). Most of the resources out there, sources of True wisdom anyway (as opposed to feminist "spirituality" bullcrap; did I mention I'm not really very ladylike?) are written by men and are best applied to men. While I find they are mostly applicable to women as well, again, there must be some distinctions to bear in mind. I'm thinking in particular of page 167 of the Perry, footnote 76 (too long to quote here, for the moment). I understand what the basic, intrinsic differences are; what I'm wondering is if there are some differences in extrinsic goals I should be coonsidering whilst extreme seeking. It's important to be using the best gear for my soph, after all.

This is something Walt and I were discussing a couple weekends back; he helped plant a seed in my brain and it's starting to grow. So now I'm hoping to plant one in someone else's as well. Anyway, I'd be interested to see your thoughts on this one sometime, Bob, if it should eventually sprout in your noggin.

10/01/2008 12:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To answer Julie:

There are no differences in the spiritual goals for men and women:

Purge oneself of desire, attachment, and fear. Drop all expectations and hopes. Destroy all preconceptions, biases, and fixed notions in your mind until it is empty and clear.

Keep working according to your best understanding of what needs to be done on a daily basis. Move, live, and work according to your inner guidance and without regard to outcome or result.

Do this until you die. That is the program for both sexes.

10/01/2008 01:20:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Male and Female did come to be before the fall. It is mysterious, in that there are meant to be 'man' and 'woman' even in the absence of the need to procreate. Tolkien understood this. What of it, I wonder?

Hm.

10/01/2008 01:24:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Schuon has a number of astute things to say about the issue, but they are scattered around from book to book and article to article.

10/01/2008 01:32:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Now that anonymous has given me the easy answer, I'll be sure to keep my I open for the correct one. It's not the source that matters, it's the Source.

10/01/2008 01:33:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

The footnote in the Perry I referenced above (don't know if you have it handy, so forgive me if that's what you were referring to, Bob) was actually about one of Schuon's observations. I may be wrong, but I think it's the first time I personally have come across somebody pointing out the distinction in regard to spiritual seeking (or maybe just the first time I properly noticed). Anyway, as I said it's taking root, and I've no idea where it leads.

10/01/2008 01:37:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Hoarhey said... "Van, I thought you and Ray were buds?"

Ooh... well that one brought me up short. Let me set these nuts and filth down (yes, I'm aware that I still fail to fail to take notice) and ponder a moment.

'Buds' would not be the word that I'd hope would come to mind, but I don't see Ray as the usual mean spirited troll... just a blind one who thinks he can see. Occasionally Ray comes up with an angle I hadn't considered things from before, and I find it interesting trying to scout a path through those dark lands - even if he doesn't stick to the trail. Usually, I am at turns intrigued by, and not quite able to resist trying to help Ray see (Wham! look, Wham! Open your eyes!,What! I'm here to help!), what he is missing. It is a fascinating challenge, trying to get a smart person to see what they think they are too smart to be fooled by. Call me Van Quixote. And yes, especially since personally discovering undreamt of wisdom, and more, in what I had been convinced were nothing more than 'talking snake stories', I am constantly checking my helmet to see if it's become a barber's bowl again. I don't know that I'd go so far as to call myself humble (Oh... be quiet), but I don't put much stock in what pride has to say... when it says that it's a sunny day out, maybe it is, but I'll know better when I go out and look.

When Ray strays outside his usual jesterish comments and into the political realm however, especially regarding the war, it reminds me that his comments are not only a problem for himself, but a danger to me and mine as well.

I'm not good at, or interested in, masking that.

10/01/2008 01:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"In the end, in the absence of absolute truth, the only option left open to one is nihilism, because nihilism is simply the doctrine of relativity drawn out to its logical conclusion."

This is utterly absurd because absolute truth is always absent. From a standpoint of absolute truth you do not possess it, for you wouldn't ever change your stance on anything if you did. So, clearly you're practicing something that goes against what you say, unless you've secretly chosen nihilism.

10/01/2008 01:56:00 PM  
Blogger James said...

Nick is right. You really do have to fight against the tendencies of your mind to posses virtue.

10/01/2008 02:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm, maybe I could have articulated that more concisely: If you don't know possess absolute truth, how do you know that it is?

10/01/2008 02:03:00 PM  
Anonymous sehoy-godsdog said...

Julie:

Try "The Privilege of Being a Woman" by Alice von Hildebrand.

Also Edith Stein, the saint who I took on upon revesion to Catholicism has some good things to say about the role of women.

10/01/2008 02:09:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Thanks, Sehoy. I'll look into those.

10/01/2008 02:18:00 PM  
Blogger Warren said...

anon,

And thank you again for vividly reminding me why I gave up monism (or pantheism, if you prefer). Your comments have really been helpful today!

10/01/2008 02:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

I love buddhaflaw correcting.

10/01/2008 02:38:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Morality, absent the Absolute. Very disturbing.

10/01/2008 03:30:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Julie said,
“what's the point of making men and women different?”

Riv said,
“Male and Female did come to be before the fall. It is mysterious, in that there are meant to be 'man' and 'woman' even in the absence of the need to procreate.”

Could it be required of hierarchy? Let’s look at the alternative, rather than 2 halves which compliment each other in the next position apart from the One, then how about 3 or 10 “sames”. Seems that is the only alternative. You have to go to “two” before “three” and so on toward the many or you are left with just the One and many. I’m not sure that’s a hierarchy. And I think that’s quantity and not quality. And we know you can’t have the many without the One. If you divide a unity, as echoed from Genesis 1, won’t you have complimentary halves? If not, then we can’t know the other.

10/01/2008 04:51:00 PM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

A nice freebie - Dylan's entire 2 disc Tell Tale Signs is being streamed on NPR prior to next week's release.

10/01/2008 04:55:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Woo hoo!


{grand salami -- Dodgers up 4-2}

10/01/2008 05:18:00 PM  
Blogger Warren said...

Man, I'm telling you, the Cubs are gonna make your guys eat that salami before this series is done....

10/01/2008 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Perhaps. But at the moment, Wrigley sounds like a funeral home.

10/01/2008 06:16:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

Thanks for pointing toward The Wheel of Fortune chapter -- those 30 pages are really loaded!

One of these days it might be interesting to discuss the qualities of the Sphinx, at the top of the Wheel.

Meanwhile, go LA!

10/01/2008 06:30:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I actually feel sorry for the Cubs. You play 162 to get home field advantage in a 5 game series, and then lose it in one game.

I'm not a big fan of these 5 game series...

10/01/2008 06:56:00 PM  
Blogger Warren said...

Agreed. Baseball lost something essential when they got so many teams that they had to go to the playoff format. The old pennant races were very involving and often exciting.

10/01/2008 08:13:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Teams that won Game 1 of the NLDS have gone 23-3 in the Wild Card era. Pretty daunting numbers, but the Cubs are hardly out of it. If Billingsley is on his game tomorrow, he's unhittable, but he's young and untested, so we'll see...

10/01/2008 08:36:00 PM  
Anonymous tsebring said...

Julie,
that's scary all right; sounds kind of like the Hitler Youth or the Red Guards. I believe Stalin's Russia had lots of child informers.

10/01/2008 10:01:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

anonymous: As I recall, the 'light of the absolute' is the 'brilliance of God", which is the second person of the Trinity, the Christ, if you will. Thus, through the spirit who 'art in all places and fillest all things' the absolute truth is ALWAYS present, even if we miss it most of the time or can only grasp it insofar as we humble ourselves. It is always at hand, and to pretend otherwise is silly.

Granted the recognization of truth requires humility by degrees, but to be aware of it strictly speakin' does not. In fact, it is 'tacitly' known, even if its full comprehension is continually lacking.

Thank goodness for that - the Absolute can be quite... overwhelming.

10/02/2008 03:32:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Van - I find it interesting trying to scout a path through those dark lands - even if he doesn't stick to the trail.

You'd see lots more paths
if you didn't insist on
wearing sunglasses.

When Ray strays outside his usual jesterish comments and into the political realm however, especially regarding the war, it reminds me that his comments are not only a problem for himself, but a danger to me and mine as well.

One can disagree
without just believing the
exact opposite.

We're not nearly as different politically as you think. Although you're inconsistent with your principles when it comes to civil liberties (the Founders thought the Bill of Rights was just fine, and they'd been through a nation-threatening war on U.S. soil), economically and mostly socially we're quite sympatico.

10/02/2008 05:24:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ray said "Although you're inconsistent with your principles when it comes to civil liberties"

I'll forgive you for that one, since your grasp of what principles are to begin with, is roughly equivalent to your grasp of Haiku.

10/02/2008 06:34:00 AM  
Blogger Caprice said...

Wheel of Fortune.

"Yeridah tzorekh aliyah."--Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav. (The fall is a nescessary part of the climb)

10/02/2008 07:01:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Grasping the wind he
Hears the chimes in the distance
Moves where it willest

10/02/2008 08:11:00 AM  

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