Friday, October 31, 2008

Do I Dare Disturb the Obamaverse? (11.16.11)

The last of the three antinomies resolved within the Hermit is faith <---> empirical science. As UF writes, "The father of empirical science is doubt and its mother is faith." On the one hand, "doubt is the very root of every question, and questions are the basis of every quest and all research." And yet, as Michael Polanyi has written of so extensively, it is faith that guides us to the potentially fruitful question -- one that can be asked "in good faith," and to which we can expect an answer to be forthcoming.

For example, "Newton doubted the traditional theory of 'gravity,' but he believed in the unity of the world.... Doubt set his thought in motion; faith rendered it fruitful." In a way, you could say that doubt is horizontal, whereas faith is vertical.

But there is faith in doubt and doubt in faith. The doubt in faith is the "dark night of the soul," the days and years spent wandering in the bewilderness, the childlike attitude of expectant silence. Conversely, the faith in doubt is the belief that the cosmos is ultimately intelligible and therefore whole and finally good; that it is a creation through which we may apprehend the qualities of its creator.

The scientist has faith that the vast multiplicity of the cosmos is a reflection of some prior or underlying unity. He also has faith that the human subject is uniquely capable of knowing this unity; as Aldous Huxley remarked, "science is the reduction of multiplicity to unity." And the scientist believes in evolution, which is to say progress. And progress is absolutely meaningless unless it is in light of an absolute standard, e.g., truth. A universe of pure change could never be progressive -- which, by the way, is another reason why "progressivism" is always regressive.

Just last night I was reading how Eliot made this observation back in the 1930s, when there were mindlessly pervasive calls for "change" of a similar nature to what we are witlessing today, i.e., collectivist and fascist change. To say that Obama is "un-American" is not an insult; it just is, just as it would be un-American to, say, enact a law banning homosexuals from teaching in public schools (which was actually attempted in a California ballot initiative in 1978).

Seen in this light, progressivism is just an excuse to unleash violence against the current order, since reality can never match up to the infantile fantasies of the left. "The perfect is the enemy of the good." The leftist does not believe in the permanence of transcendent things, which is precisely what creates the dynamic and fruitful interplay of faith and doubt, or creative evolution. Rather, he believes in a static fantasy of an unattainable utopia, which again serves as the justification for destroying that which is -- including those beautiful values that made this nation possible.

It is the unrepentant spiritual terrorism of the left that frightens us. For when you insist that this is a racist country; a sexist country; a homophobic country; a classist country; you do not just criticize the margins, but delegitimize the center. Progressivism is the expression of thanatos the "death instinct." It is perverse, sadistic, and authoritarian. Which is why, of course, they project these things into conservatives. The left howls in indignation at the prospect of monitoring international phone calls from terrorists. But illegally investigate Joe the Plumber? No problem! It's for the greater good.

Eliot wrote that "if the progress of mankind is to continue as long as man survives upon the earth, then... progress becomes merely change; for the values of man will change, and a world of changed values is valueless to us -- just as we, being a part of the past, will be valueless to it. Or if the progress of mankind is to continue only until a 'perfect' state of society is reached, then this state of society will be valueless simply because of its perfection. It will be at best a smooth-running machine with no meaning..."

The idea that progressivism renders our lives worthless to generations of the future is a subtle point worth dwelling on. Look how easily the left sweeps away not just the average person, but the truly great men of past. The Founding Fathers? Just racist slave holders promoting their economic interests. Lincoln? He didn't care about the plight of blacks, he just wanted to preserve the union. The men who died for our freedom in World War II? Probably just racist rednecks back at home. Hell, the army wasn't even integrated until what, 1948? How could it be a force for good?

The other day, a leftist-integral-Buddhist suggested to me that the liberation of Iraq was an aggressive war. I told him he was either ignorant, intellectually dishonest, or morally retarded. And I meant it literally, not as an insult. Talk about irony. What China did to Tibet was aggressive. Removing the most sadistic tyrant on earth and installing a democracy is a gift from heaven -- even of some, if not most, men have to be driven to paradise with whips.

The point is, the left completely undermines and delegitimizes the United States, and then wants to elect one of its own to be President of the land they so despise. If Obama fails to bring this howling mob the revolutionary change they are clamoring for, who knows what will happen with their collective death instinct? These people aren't playing. They are scary serious. And if you are not a part of their fantasied solution, you are just a problem, like everyone from Joe the Plumber to George the Father. For a primitive person, idealization is always a defense against aggression, so it will be very interesting to see how Obama manages the aggressive idealization being projected into him. I seriously doubt that he appreciates the hatred beneath the love.

In light of the "permanent things," time past and time future become time present. This was one of Eliot's great concerns, expressed so perfectly in Four Quartets. Again, the progressive believes in time as a straight line composed of atomistic and disjointed moments -- which, by the way, is what Eliot was attempting to capture and convey in his earlier, more pessimistic poems, prior to his conversion. Again I think of Bion's concept of "attacks on linking," which can take place in both time and space; in fact, if you think about it, you cannot attack spatial links without attacking temporal links. To attack the one is to attack the other. Deconstruction doesn't just destroy the present, but past and future as well. To destroy history is to destroy the present, and vice versa.

But to dwell in the permanent things -- the essence of conservatism -- is not to live in the discontinuous line, but within a kind of spiritual plenum that connects us to all of mankind, living and dead. It is a kind of sin and scandal, not only that the dead cannot vote, but that the left wishes to force a new country upon us that would be unrecognizable to the men who died to create this one. To say that "we are the ones we've been waiting for" is not just cosmically narcissistic, but profoundly ungrateful. But all children come into the world believing they are cosmically special, otherwise they could not psychically survive infancy.

How did we get here? What about the Hermit?

Science in the absence of religion conforms to the pattern laid out in Genesis: your eyes will be open to the horizontal and you shall become like a god! But this appreciation of the quantitative aspect of the cosmos comes at the price of obscuring the qualitative aspects: "quality is the vertical aspect of the world," and it is ultimately rooted in the permanent things discussed above. The supreme value of values in the vertical is God, just as the supreme quantity of quantities in the horizontal would be some sort of "theory of everything," or simple equation for generating a cosmos.

But as UF asks, why is it necessary to choose between the two? Why not just add the one to the other "under the sign of the cross," i.e., the vertical line of religion -- the permanent things -- bisecting the horizontal plane of science at each and every moment? Why not just crucify the serpent? Do so, and a metamorphosis follows: "The scientistic creed then becomes what it is in reality: the mirroring of the creative Word. It will no longer be truth; it will be method. It will no longer say: 'in the beginning was substance or matter,' but will say: 'in order to understand the mechanism of the made world, it is necessary to choose a method which takes account of the origin of matter and of that which set it in motion from above." Likewise, we will see the brain as a function of intelligence, not vice versa.

In short, "The synthesis of science and religion is not a theory, but rather the inner act of consciousness of adding the spiritual vertical to the scientific horizontal."

46 Comments:

Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Or, as Lileks put it:

"If you’re going to make a fetish out of the Authentic Values of Adolescence, with its withering critiques of humanity, then you’re going to value the slouch and the sneer as signs of a Deep and Serious Person. The Boomers were handed a Utopian ideal – practical, technocratic, rational, with silver wheels in the sky tended over by engineers and scientists - and they abandoned it for a Dionysian version based on wrecking and remaking the world they’d inherited. Their patron saint: Holy St. Caulfield, who identified the greatest sin in the human soul: being a phoney. Better to be an authentic bastard than someone who cannot successfully convince a teenager that some ideas have an importance that transcend the ability of the individual to manifest them 24/7."

10/31/2008 08:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The wedding of science and religion which you describe has been around. Scientists have always regarded science as an investigatory method for probing the practical workings of the created universe and not a replacement for faith or an explanation of how things came into existence. They politely sidestep the question of primary cause as being out of their discipline when asked about it.

10/31/2008 08:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, actually , the greatest sin of the human soul is to be phoney. All trouble stems from that.

If you manifested your genuine soul then you'd be well nigh perfect and terrestrial evolution would be complete.

Further living would be pointless.

This whole comsos runs on the fuel of phoniness. It is a machine designed to clean up phoniness at a slow clip until it's all gone and then 'poof' the thing will be finished.

10/31/2008 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Thank you, Holden.

10/31/2008 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger Niggardly Phil said...

That means that... our whole solar system... could be, like... one tiny atom in the fingernail
of some other giant being.

This is too much! That means... one tiny atom in my fingernail could be--

-Could be one little... tiny universe.



Could l buy some pot from you?

10/31/2008 08:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"All time is redeemable."

Thank God.

When you step into a Catholic Church and participate in the Mass, you step out of time and into heaven, where Christ is present and He is always dying and always rising.

It stuns me every time.

Another good post in a whole series of good posts. I've been enjoying your walk through MoTT. I finally finished my first reading of it about a week ago.

And boy is Lileks spot on about |
"patron saint Holy St. Caulfield."

10/31/2008 08:44:00 AM  
Anonymous sehoy said...

anonymous who said "Thank God," is sehoy and not related to the other anonymous.

10/31/2008 08:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Jonathan said...

George Orwell wrote, "Who controls the present controls the past; who controls the past controls the future."

So true.

10/31/2008 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

The wedding is real, of course, when we transform something (or witness its transformation) we are actually receiving a revelation - more fully knowing what that thing REALLY IS. Just as when a plant grows it reveals more of itself, so do all things. So when we 'transform' science and religion by 'wedding' them, we are not inventing a new thing (since all fruitful science has had this implicitly at hand) but we are 'revealing' what already is, even if it only exists as a potential at the given moment. So we do unto others as was done to us: We once were logoi in God, just ideas and potentials floating around and getting into his hair, so he embodied that knowledge: which I think may be said this is what the soul is, embodied knowledge of an image of God.

10/31/2008 09:43:00 AM  
Blogger Niggardly Phil said...

Ah, gems from Erica Bong:

"The record shows that voting machines in America are rigged."



"My friends Ken Follett and Susan Cheever are extremely worried. Naomi Wolf calls me every day. Yesterday, Jane Fonda sent me an email to tell me that she cried all night and can't cure her ailing back for all the stress that has reduces her to a bundle of nerves."

"My back is also suffering from spasms, so much so that I had to see an acupuncturist and get prescriptions for Valium."

"After having stolen the last two elections, the Republican Mafia…"

"If Obama loses it will spark the second American Civil War. Blood will run in the streets, believe me. And it's not a coincidence that President Bush recalled soldiers from Iraq for Dick Cheney to lead against American citizens in the streets."

"Bush has transformed America into a police state, from torture to the imprisonment of reporters, to the Patriot Act."

10/31/2008 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger Niggardly Phil said...

OH MY ACHING BACK!!!


these people are hilarious. Can you imagine having physical symptoms because your candidate isn't winning? lol. The can't sylvia plath themselves fast enough.

10/31/2008 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger Niggardly Phil said...

The thought of Dick Cheney leading soldiers through the streets is pretty funny though.

"Hang on guys, don't go so fast. I'M the leader here!"



But seriously, up the dosage on Bong's lorazepam perscription.

10/31/2008 11:04:00 AM  
Blogger Aloysius said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yvc0tYG_YpA

10/31/2008 11:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, Bong, I only wish. Bush should have attempted a coup de 'etat last year.

Why don't regimes ever run amok in our country? They get accused of it, but we never actually see any organized power grabs. Sigh...

So, we are obliged have the odious election. But is it properly rigged to get McCain in? Again, sadly, probably not.

What worked in Florida is not going to come down again, because we don't have a governer installed who can exert the proper influence in Nevada,where I hear the issue is to be decided.

Our nation's insistence on sticking to the rules of democracy is a major impediment to getting things done properly and I for one am just resigned to our goody two-shoe electorate who simply can't understand how to reach out and take control of things using the tried and true.

Get control of the Army, get control of the Army...you can say it until you're blue in the face and nobody does anything.

10/31/2008 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger Aloysius said...

From my previous link:

"We ought to start calling Obama Joe the Plumber because he is about to bend America over and lay some serious pipe..."

10/31/2008 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger Niggardly Phil said...

MORE ... What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

ROPER I'd cut down every law in England to do that!

MORE (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on ROPER) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you-where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? (He leaves him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast-man's laws, not God's-and if you cut them down-and you're just the man to do it-d'you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake.

10/31/2008 11:20:00 AM  
Anonymous christopher said...

"And the scientist believes in evolution, which is to say progress. And progress is absolutely meaningless unless it is in light of an absolute standard"

That was probably true some time ago. Of late, the scientists most involved with evolution see such a depth of complexity even at the bottom of living things, even below that, that the notion that evolution is progressive has become clearly questionable simply by weight of facts.

That is why people like Lewis Thomas can make the claim with some sense to it that the living world is made for the single celled, that we multi-celled creatures are simply hitching a ride, and that we should reframe the meaning of humility if we are to really get a sense of the cosmos.

10/31/2008 11:45:00 AM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Take heart my friends. It ain't over till it's over & the Obots are not at all confident they can actually pull off their hustle.

10/31/2008 11:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, NF, I see what you mean in your drama play. A regime may bite the hand that feeds it...just a chance one must take if one would be a kingmaker and a power-player.

If one is careful to align oneself with real power (military power and to a lesser those who exert control of food, water and medicine) then things should shake out O.K. Just be careful what you say/do to not get on the wrong side of people in power. Even better, grab some power for yourself.

Learn what the regime in power wants to hear, and then say it incessantly and publicly. Keep to yourself any differences you might have.

Then the winds can blow all they want, you'll be safe.

10/31/2008 11:51:00 AM  
Anonymous mar said...

" anonymous said...
Well, actually , the greatest sin of the human soul is to be phoney. All trouble stems from that.

If you manifested your genuine soul then you'd be well nigh perfect and terrestrial evolution would be complete.

Further living would be pointless.

This whole comsos runs on the fuel of phoniness. It is a machine designed to clean up phoniness at a slow clip until it's all gone and then 'poof' the thing will be finished.

10/31/2008 08:34:00 AM

gagdad bob said...
Thank you, Holden."


Hahaha.

10/31/2008 12:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What does it mean when I read this post every day, enjoy it to high heaven, and am still voting for Obama? Hmmmmm....

I guess it means that I am a retard whom recognizes Truth on some level, but is fond of watching things die. Even America. I mean, even death is an aspect of the Absolute. Some would even consider it the process by which the Lord actualizes change.

10/31/2008 12:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I realize I speak alot about coups and seizing control of armies and conquering people to install my own will on society. Actually I'm quite pathetic and live in a made up fantasy world most of the time.
The largest give away as to my sense of reality, or lack of, is that I play video games during 7/8 of my waking hours. The rest of the time is spent arguing with my Mom, eating microwave burritos and pissing in a coke can at my computer station so as to not miss any of the action.

10/31/2008 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Phil said "This is too much! That means... one tiny atom in my fingernail could be-- "

Pinto!

10/31/2008 12:41:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Anon,
Pray to the God you don't believe in to help you recognize your own self hatred.

10/31/2008 12:42:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Your entire worldview flows from that sad fact.

10/31/2008 12:43:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Onono: "Actually I'm quite pathetic, but you already gnew that"

Yes indeedee

10/31/2008 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"The left howls in indignation at the prospect of monitoring international phone calls from terrorists. But illegally investigate Joe the Plumber? No problem! It's for the greater good."

Crickets. Amazing, isn't it? Gov't personnel using Gov't computers and resources to seek out dirt on someone under no criminal suspicion or association, other than having ideas... or asking about ideas... that question the Dear Leftist Leader.

Nope, no fascist sympathizers here... move on, nothing to see here.....…

10/31/2008 01:01:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Courtesy of Iowahawk, new phrase for Patriotic Americans:

us flag-humping reactionaries

10/31/2008 01:02:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"The point is, the left completely undermines and delegitimizes the United States, and then wants to elect one of its own to be President of the land they so despise. If Obama fails to bring this howling mob the revolutionary change they are clamoring for, who knows what will happen with their collective death instinct? These people aren't playing. They are scary serious. And if you are not a part of their fantasied solution, you are just a problem, like everyone from Joe the Plumber to George the Father."

Rooted in a philosophy which rejects principles and principled behavior (on principle!), claims that no one can never really know anything let alone Truth... HAS to be Anti-American, based as it is on self-evident Truth, political principles and the pursuit of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

If you are a leftist who has any depth of understanding of your political philosophy (not just out of misguided and little considered feelings of generoisity), you are un-American.

10/31/2008 01:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

generoisity?

10/31/2008 01:34:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

anonnymous said "generoisity?"

misguided,
little considered,
feelings of.

I know too many of them that I know to be good people, who have never given it serious consideration (which I don't give them a pass on, but... they just haven't), and sincerely feel (emphasis on feel) that it is nice to have gov't help people... and they feel people who don't want the gov't to do that are just stingy.

The ones who have given it real thoug... well... who have spent time with their attention on their rationalities... no pass given.

Trick or Treat.

10/31/2008 06:15:00 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Wish I had more time for a comment but I have to hand out goodies to little kids that I fear in a few years will be wearing Obomination brown shirts telling me how many people I have to let live in my house. That is after they politely ask me for any guns I might have, which of course I’d no longer be allowed to have.

10/31/2008 08:16:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

“We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”

Mr. Fascism himself, Barack Obama

He can't control the Military, if elected, to squelch the First and Second Ammendment, among other things, so he'll make his own as he cuts the Military more than Clinton ever dreamed.

Far fetched? Not really. Two democrats (Dingell and DeLauro are sicking the FCC onto retired Military veterans.

This, along with all the other underhanded, anti-American tactics used by Obama, the MSM and other donks is just a sample of what they will continue to attempt to do, whether snObama is elected or not.

These idiots aren't goin' away so we, American patriots, hafta work harder than ever to expose them and take their power away.

10/31/2008 09:43:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

BTW, the FCC was started by none other than FDR. Gee, I wonder why? Maybe it was because he didn't want any interference with his New Deal. Afterall, the more voices in opposition to his anti-Constitutional plans, the harder it would be to implement.
Here's the link:

FCC Fascists

10/31/2008 09:47:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

No really, here's the link:

FCC Fascists

10/31/2008 10:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Vicki said...

Hey, Dupree- Wuzzat you I just saw on the news? In West Hollywood? Dressed as Amy Winehouse? You shoulda never let Scully catch you after that beer 'n bicycle incident
;-)

10/31/2008 10:29:00 PM  
Anonymous marimoishe said...

Generosity is not a characteristic of government. Generosity requires that a person or organization be willing and able to share freely of its own substance. Government has no such substance; everything it gets must be taxed (read: legally extorted) from the individuals who created the wealth in the first place.

There's nothing generous about this. It makes about as much sense as suggesting that a thief who stole your grandma's pension money and gave it all to Greenpeace was generous. IT WASN'T HIS MONEY TO GIVE IN THE FIRST PLACE. When are the so-called "progressives" ever going to suss this out?

11/01/2008 02:02:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

marimoishe said "...There's nothing generous about this. It makes about as much sense as sugg ..."

Oh come on. If any regular here doesn't understand that gov't stealing its citizens property and calling it 'generoisity' is execrable, they should be spanked. Which part of:

"misguided,
little considered,
feelings of."

didn't you get?

Of course it's wrong... it's leftist's saying it! But the people who enable leftists to retain power, are for the most part people who never gave a serious moments thought to any political idea in their lives. They heard some leftist thought pusher trying to mask their corruption with frosting words such as "care for those who can't care for themselves" and "it's the responsibility of those who have, to be generous to those who do not", and they bought it.

That is how leftism is, and has been sold to the public. They mislead good people into serving evil. The road to hell, being paved with good intentions.

As I said, the ones who have given it serious thought, and still spout it, are fools who don't attach meaning to words, or they are corrupt soulless fiends'

11/01/2008 07:29:00 AM  
Anonymous donkey kong said...

Is it my imagination or is the coondom dwindling in size as the election draws nearer? I love the optimistic gnashing of teeth, the arc of grace as the faithful nosedive into the turf, cursing gravity the whole way. Shine on, you dark stars! Let's hear it for a fallible minor diety, the royal scammist himself, the Bob of the failed baseball predictions, the Bob of the "less government is better, unless you're talking about spiritual government, in which case more government is better"...all together now, and hold your donkey ears...

aw...never mind. Elvis left this building a long time ago. He only checks back in to watch the buggy thinkers circle the drain. Y'all keep fighting the good fight. The posers never sleep, the Holdens are now masquerading as dreamers, idealists, even "hopers". God is on your side and no one else's. Remember that, and stay faithful to the mission. And pay no attention to what that loser Obama is saying, even when he wins. He's wack. Bush and Cheney are where it's at. Let's bring back Rumsfeld for an end run and get this economy running as only John McCain is capable of running it. And let's get behind Sarah Palin! We all know she's a flower waiting to bloom. We need some more of her common sense, substance-over-style style.

Hey. I gotta go stick up some yard signs.

11/01/2008 04:15:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"And let's get behind Sarah Palin! We all know she's a flower waiting to bloom. We need some more of her common sense, substance-over-style style.

Hey. I gotta go stick up some yard signs."

12. The Master said, To assume an outward air of fierceness when inwardly trembling is (to take a comparison from low walks of life) as dishonest as to sneak into places where one has no right to be, by boring a hole or climbing through a gap.

By their signs ye shall know them.

Still laughing.

11/01/2008 06:32:00 PM  
Anonymous read it and ignore it said...

"Listen son...there it is. The wild vanlaffter."

"Gee Haw Pappy, sounds exactly like a jackass."

"Yes son, but there's a subtle difference. A jackass has self-awareness."


Losers, schmoozers, fringe caroozers, eat all: I know it's bad form to kick a guy while he's down, but you squirrels are so much more responsive than the white house.

Hee Haww! Hee HAWW! (And this from an elephant. Roll Tide!)

(trying to write this while trembling, you big white male you. Wanna go out for a scone and talk barrel color?)

11/01/2008 10:11:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ahh... jackasses are so cute when they think they have a point.

Psst... no matter who wins, I still get to be me, you on the other hand, if your guy wins, you'll be even more you than you are now.

Sweet dreams.

11/01/2008 10:45:00 PM  
Anonymous marimoishe said...

Van: sorry if I misunderestimated your comment as a misspieling. "Generoisity" is clearly a term describing the prescribed behavior of the gummint anointed toward us hoi polloi; one must, after all, display a certain noblesse obamaliege toward the little folk who so obligingly handed one one's crown.

I do hope we won't see any need to use this word in the near future, tho.

11/02/2008 12:07:00 AM  
Anonymous austracoon said...

"Removing the most sadistic tyrant on earth and installing a democracy is a gift from heaven -- even of some, if not most, men have to be driven to paradise with whips."

Deu 32:10 He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.

11/02/2008 12:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Who's yer daddy? said...

"Psst... no matter who wins, I still get to be me, you on the other hand, if your guy wins, you'll be even more you than you are now."

"Yes, I hear it Pappy! You mean how it turns up kinda shrill at the end?"

"Good listenin son. An hear that pinched sound? That there feller's tryin to beller from his throat 'stead of his gut. That's what fear does."

"Sweet dreams."

"Yeah Pappy. It sounds so..hollow."

Now you got it, son. It sounds hollow because he is hollow. He's propped up by his own words, kinda like a perpetual energy machine. God for him an his like is himownself, an that's where the fear part comes in. He's gotta keep makin everyone else wrong so he can be right. When he sees something come along diff'rent, well, it's gotta be wrong, or else this fella'd be wrong. An himownself can't allow that, see? In Him Own Cosmos there's only one way for all the different people in the world. Remember what we know about learnin? How learnin something you believe in is wrong jest gets you closer to right? This poor feller's pinned against the riverbank by his own thoughts an he don't know it cause the current of himown crowd keeps him glued there. He thinks he's arrived someplace. He don't know nothin about the rest of the trip yet."

"McCain't he climb out, or kick his way free?"

"Sure he can son, soon as he wants to. But look along thisyear bank. See all them bumps? Those are all people! Just like him! See how they've kinda collected in that little undercut? They're after safety, an they found their little spot. Everyone else still on the river is "wrong", an if someone goes by lookin like they might be enjoyin themselves, these folk set up to brayin'."

"Are they good for anything?"

"Course they are, son. They're God's own kinfolk, same as you an me. First all, they're like channel markers. Anytime you hear em you can be pretty sure the water's changin. They don't like change, cause they're comfortable under there. Second of all, they're always good for a meal er two when your tired. You just gotta go over an look interested, an you generally get a "free" meal. That make's em feel like theyre doing God's work there to help a feller along the way, give em a meal an the Word."

"Ain't that dangerous? Can you jest leave when you want?"

"Fer some, it's the end of the road. They git there, they take a meal an like it, they listen to all the carpin and namecallin, an it jest feels like home to them. They mix up feelin smug with feelin good. An in there ain't no one to tell em they're wrong, or they git shoved out. It's what they've been lookin for, so they start figurin a way to settle in, git some roots into the bank, an start brayin along with the rest of the folk. An they do that till they die. Then they float off an do it all again."

"How come you'd come to take a meal in there like you said? How come you ain't stuck in the bank?"

"All's you gotta do son is leave. But you cain't never leave nowhere till you want to first. Them folks there don't want to leave. They're afraid first, and brave second. Most of em generally fergit what brave is after they git settled in. Remember that son, an this world stays a place fer learnin. Fergit that an you end up protectin what never was yours in the first place, an' was always yours without askin."

"What does that mean?"

"Keep yer eyes an ears open son, an remember that the best students outgrow the teacher. Good teachers know that. Bad students jest bray at you when you start to grow. Now let's ease on up to the cut. We'll duck back in fer a meal, then climb on out fer the show."

"What show?"

"The changin'. The river's fixin to rise a good bit. All kinds of stuff is fixin to break loose, all kinds of new water is gonna fill up the banks. They's water comin into the river that ain't been seen round here in a long time. It will taste fresh an sweet, like rain, an the river will begin to roar like a bull."

"What will happen to them under the cut there?"

"Oh they'll lend a hand. If we git up where we can listen to the whole thing an not just ride along, we'll hear 'em pipe in like clarinets in an orchestra."

"Clarinets?"

"You remember, son? Reedy, thin, sour-sounding? The clown voice?"

"Oh yeah! Like the donkeys!"

"Yeah son...like the donkeys."

11/02/2008 06:24:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Heh, after all that I hope you managed to talk yourself into some comforting feelings, gave me a good laugh anyway.

Still laughing.

11/02/2008 08:50:00 AM  

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