Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Freedom, Authority, and the Absent-Presence of God (10.19.11)

All false religions -- and true religions falsely understood -- aspire to power rather than truth. The worship of power is, according to UF, the source of all idolatry. We see this current at play both in the new age movement, but also in traditional religious circles, whereby God's absolute omnipotence eclipses man's freedom, and therefore, real existence.

With regard to the former, you might say that the new agers do not ask what they can do for God, but what God can do for them. They basically co-opt religion for the purposes of exalting themselves and bolstering their own narcissism. As UF puts it, they want to "develop their own greatness without the rival grandeur of the Divine to discomfort them." This exercise is "fundamentally infantile," and atheists are certainly right to reject it. But this is probably the only kind of religion with which a Bill Maher is comfortable. I can't imagine him treating Deepak Chopra with the contempt he treats the simple believer.

Consider the titles of some of Chopra's books: The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Pocketbook Guide to Fulfilling Your Dreams. The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence. Creating Affluence: The A-to-Z Steps to a Richer Life. Perfect Weight. Perfect Health. The Seven Spiritual Laws for Parents: Guiding Your Children to Success and Fulfillment. The Way of the Wizard: Twenty Spiritual Lessons for Creating the Life You Want. Grow Younger, Live Longer.

This is all about the bad kind of gnosis, about some "secret" known only to the elect. Become a follower of Chopra and you will be blessed with financial success, spontaneous fulfillment of your every desire, perfect health, a long life, and even successful and fulfilled children! (As if you have the magical power to revoke a child's God-given free will, except perhaps by abusing them.)

In all of these books, you will notice that they have nothing to do with knowing God, but with being God. They prey on the rampant narcissism of our age, as if the answer to the pathology, dysfunction, and misery it creates is more of it. It doesn't just fly in the face of the Christian message, but of the central message of all legitimate spirituality, e.g., "If you want to become full / let yourself be empty / If you want to be given everything / give everything up" (Tao Te Ching).

It is no wonder that Chopra is also a prominent supporter of Obama. He takes quite literally the childish idea that Obama represents a "quantum leap" in consciousness. But if Chopra's kooky ideas are true, one wonders why we need politicians at all? In other words, if Deepak has sold me the magical secrets which will fulfill my every desire, why would I care about some silly politician?

Here again, we see how the irreligious person cannot help being religious. They can deny truth, but it simply returns in some twisted form. Why would Chopra, of all people, believe in the coercive ideology of leftism, which specifically maintains that people have no power to change their lives for the better without a huge and intrusive state? For Chopra, the state is the Father, Obama is the Son, and the IRS is the Holy Ghost. If he actually believed a word of his books, he would not only be a conservative, but a radical libertarian: just unleash the people and let magic take care of the rest!

Anyway. UF then goes on to a provocative analysis of the other extreme. "Fundamentalist" types won't like what he has to say, but it certainly resonates with me. I am not -- nor could I ever be -- one of those people who doesn't worry because "God is in charge," again, as if human free will isn't a terribly irrevocable gift. I believe human beings are free to screw up big time, and that no divine power will help us from falling into the abyss, if that is what we choose.

I am reminded of something a wise Supreme Court justice once said -- something to the effect that if the citizenry wishes to go to hell in a handbag, my job is to help them do so. In other words, this idea that the liberal elites of the Supreme Court are here to rescue the moronic populace through judicial tyranny is a postmodern innovation. The purpose of the Supreme Court is not to overturn our freedom just because one or two of our Robed Masters don't like what we did with it.

Same with God. I would think this would be something the Christian would intuitively understand. Again, UF makes the critical point that the Christian lives with "the paradox of almighty God reduced to a state of extreme powerlessness." This is said to be "the most perfect revelation of the God of love." It is quite radically different from the pagan or new age belief in a God who would leap down from the cross and, for a mere $1995.00, sell you the magical secrets of fulfilling your every desire at a weekend seminar in beautiful Sedona, Arizona!

It seems that many religious people, instead of adopting the Chopra-style narcissistic grandiosity, simply project it onto the deity. It's the same infantile process, only externalized. As UF writes, "their faith in God depends only on the power of God; if God was powerless, they would not believe in him. It is they who teach that God has created souls predestined to eternal damnation and others predestined to salvation; it is they who make God responsible for the entire history of the human race, including all its atrocities.... God is almighty, therefore all that happens is only able to happen through his action and his consent."

In short, "The idol of power has such a hold on some human minds that they prefer a God who is a mixture of good and evil, provided that he is powerful, to a God of love who governs only by intrinsic authority of the Divine -- by truth, beauty, and goodness -- i.e., they prefer a God who is actually almighty to the crucified God."

What is the point of asking for "thy will to be done" on earth as it is in heaven? This obviously implies that in the upper vertical, God's will is done "automatically," so to speak. But down here in the lower pneumatosphere, that is not necessarily the case. There are many vertical degrees of being -- and therefore relatively autonomous horizontal planes -- between the top and bottom. This is not heaven, to say the least.

Either human existence is real or illusory. If real, then so too is our freedom real. In fact, as UF writes, freedom "is none other than the real and complete existence of a being created by God." In other words, to be "free" and "real" are synonymous terms from the spiritual point of view. For if you are not free, then you are determined by something else -- even just an extension of some other entity that is real, whether genes or God, it doesn't matter.

But what is freedom? Freedom implies a kind of (relatively) absolute wholeness, or center, which is a mirror of the Creator. Therefore, to illegitimately constrain or eliminate freedom is to do away with God. Again, no wonder that the religiously irreligious zealots of the left are so profoundly opposed to freedom, and imagine that government can somehow create or "restore" it, when it can only respect or rescind it.

To be free is to exist. For the average leftist who feels "unfree," this is merely a projection of his own lack of psychic freedom. For the leftist, the state exists, and we become its extensions. Think of it. The average American already works for the state until what, mid-April? How will we be more free if Obama succeeds in moving it forward to mid-May?

To the extent that one's mind is inhabited by quasi-autonomous parasites, these intrinsically limit one's freedom. And there's not a thing Obama can do about it. No one else can deliver us from hell or send us to heaven: "Love existence, and you have chosen heaven; hate it, and there you have chosen hell." Likewise, "God is all-powerful in history in as much as there is faith; and he is crucified in so far as one turns away from him." And the Emperor, or legitimate ruler, reigns by intrinsic authority over free beings. Paradoxically, God is "absent" from this center of freedom, otherwise we would not really exist. More on which tomorrow.

When the Master governs, the people
are hardly aware that he exists....
If you don't trust the people, you make them untrustworthy.
The Master doesn't talk, he acts.
When his work is done,
the people say, "Amazing:
we did it, all by ourselves!"
--Tao Te Ching

47 Comments:

Blogger walt said...

Mr. Google says Tax Freedom Day was April 23 this year. What's the problem? That's only a quarter of the year.

But I heard a clip of Barney Frank this morning saying that yes, he thinks raising taxes (ahem) "on the rich" is a good idea, in order to "get some of that money back."

I presume he means "back to the government" where it belongs?

10/21/2008 08:53:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

The wealthy already pay 95% of the tax burden, or whatever it is. Since 40% of the population doesn't pay any federal income tax at all, it's easy for them to vote to take more from others. As such, we now have the opposite problem faced by the Founders: "representation without taxation."

10/21/2008 09:08:00 AM  
Blogger Warren said...

Chesterton: "[The skeptic believes that Christian] dogma gives Man too much freedom when it permits him to fall. Dogma gives even God too much freedom when it permits Him to die."

10/21/2008 09:15:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Walt, that's actually a third of the year. Already. Next year, assuming the worst, it'll be a lot closer to half for some of us.

You're right, Bob, and that's a truly disturbing thought. When a big chunk of the populace gets to make demands without anything being asked of them in return, while a small (make that tiny) minority is expected to pony up to cover the freeloaders' share and then some, that's a problem. It's the tyranny of the dependent over the providers.

As to the issue of free will, I was thinking about that last night in terms of rainbows. It seems to me that one of the reasons God promised never again to flood the world to cleanse it of human evil is that, left to our own devices, if we get bad enough we shall surely destroy ourselves. We don't need His help to make it happen, we need His help to keep it from happening. But to get it, we have to ask, and be ready to do some work from our own end (when you think of the story of the laborers waiting for payment, it's significant that they had to at least show up prepared to work before payment was distributed).

10/21/2008 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger xlbrl said...

Hell is God's compliment to the reality of human freedom and the dignity of human choice--Chesterson

10/21/2008 09:58:00 AM  
OpenID kaffepaus said...

Haha!
Here in Sweden we celebrateted Tax Freedom Day on July the 29th. Thanks to a little bit more generous government that's almost ten days earlier than last year. At least something... And then of course we pay VAT all the year.

Geat post by the way!

/Johan

10/21/2008 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

I needed this. Thank you.

10/21/2008 11:04:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

God's omniscience does not negate our freedom, but ensures it.

10/21/2008 11:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"In all of these books, you will notice that they have nothing to do with knowing God, but with being God."

What are we, ultimately, if not God, and what is our ultimate purpose if not to know that we are God and to then act accordingly?

"I believe human beings are free to screw up big time, and that no divine power will help us from falling into the abyss, if that is what we choose."

Why would any human being knowingly choose to 'screw up big time' unless he is psychologically compromised, and if he screws up because he either knows not what he does or he knows but can't stop himself from doing it anyway, how is he FREE to do anything other than screw up?

"I am reminded of something a wise Supreme Court justice once said -- something to the effect that if the citizenry wishes to go to hell in a handbag, my job is to help them do so. In other words, this idea that the liberal elites of the Supreme Court are here to rescue the moronic populace through judicial tyranny is a postmodern innovation. The purpose of the Supreme Court is not to overturn our freedom just because one or two justices don't like what we did with it."

Isn't a key purpose of the Supreme Court to rescue us from the 'moronic tyranny' of the majority and to prevent those who wish to 'go to hell in a handbag' from dragging those who don't down with them?

"For if you are not free, then you are determined by something else -- even just an extension of some other entity that is real, whether genes or God, it doesn't matter."

But what if you ARE ultimately genes AND God AND the nondual totality of everything within and without? Then aren't you neither free to do other than what unfolds from the nondual totality of your ultimate being nor determined to do what you do by anything outside you since there is, ultimately, nothing outside you?

"To the extent that one's mind is inhabited by quasi-autonomous parasites, these intrinsically limit one's freedom."

Who chooses to do evil except those whose 'parasites' compel them to do it, and, therefore, how are we free, when afflicted by these parasites, when we do evil OR good?

10/21/2008 11:49:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"All false religions -- and true religions falsely understood -- aspire to power rather than truth. The worship of power is, according to UF, the source of all idolatry. We see this current at play both in the new age movement, but also in traditional religious circles, whereby God's absolute omnipotence eclipses man's freedom, and therefore, real existence."

To which I'd add the scientismists and determimystics. Another fun fact about putting power onto your religion, state or gene, is that you don't have to answer for it, or you, anymore.

10/21/2008 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

These parasites are self-inflicted, of course. Just as a man can choose to jump in a pit and thus lose his freedom to roam the earth, so a man can co-opt his will to a demon.

10/21/2008 11:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Kepler Sings said...

As always so much more here than just an initial read. I know I struggle constantly with expressing my freedom, the very atmosphere of our times wars against that freedom.

I was thinking on the gestalt of Christianity and the belief in the rapture. This has to be one of the greatest Christian deceptions of all time. Imagine waiting around for God to bag you and take you to heaven, so he can torture the jerks left here on earth. Mindless escapism, and it produces an imobilized Christianty that goes "tsk, tsk," as evil grows all around them. Instead of fighting the ACLU, or college professors or Hollywood productions etc.

Imagine the change in Hollywood if all Christians walked out of any movie that used the name of Jesus Christ as a cussword? But sitting around waiting for God to do it all in the sweet by and by, we end up not projecting God...the WORD into the earth.

Have we learned nothing? The Word was with God, the Word was God and then it came into this realm. Humans are ultimately either the projection of God into this horizontal realm, or they will be the projection of Satan and demons into this realm.

10/21/2008 12:02:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

"My father says that almost the whole world is asleep. Everybody you know. Everybody you see. Everybody you talk to. He says that only a few people are awake and they live in a state of constant total amazement. "

From "Joe Versus The Volcano"

Just sayin'

10/21/2008 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Man wrong blog dude I gotta keep up with this

10/21/2008 12:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"These parasites are self-inflicted, of course. Just as a man can choose to jump in a pit and thus lose his freedom to roam the earth, so a man can co-opt his will to a demon."

Why would anyone choose to inflict parasites on himself or to co-opt his will to a demon if he fully knew what he was doing and what consequences it entailed and his will was not overridden by pathology?

10/21/2008 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"To be free is to exist. For the average leftist who feels "unfree," this is merely a projection of his own lack of psychic freedom. For the leftist, the state exists, and we become its extensions. Think of it. The average American already works for the state until what, mid-April? How will we be more free if Obama succeeds in moving it forward to mid-May? "

This reminds me of the companion question to the one Alan mentioned at the end of yesterday, "When should force be used to achieve a goal?", and that is "What is it you find acceptable about slavery?".

They've both given me lots of fun filled miles per gall'em.

10/21/2008 12:16:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Simple anony: We don't. A child might fall into a pit because he doesn't realize the danger. Perfect innocence that is not tempered by wisdom can lead to many falls if it is not guided properly.

Alas, we are all as sheep led astray. And so forth.

10/21/2008 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

Interesting how language gets co-opted by the Left in order to assume "authority" they have not earned. In a recent article linked by Bob, Guru Dee opined that Obama supporters tended to be more awakened and that the liberal view belonged to the awake. As Bob once said, they take the mantle at no apparent cost.

On the other hand, one could take the statement from Joe Versus the Volcano and find out whether it is true relative to oneself, and try to discern the implications of that. No need in that approach to one-up anyone, or promote a political agenda.

10/21/2008 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

River, any quote from JVTV is always appropriate in any forum. ;-)

Just sayin.'

10/21/2008 12:22:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Plus anony that's like saying, "What Unit in the military, knowing the potentials and possibilities for ambush would ever let its guard be overcome and get surprised?"

I mean, that's - and I say this out of love - the dumbest thing you could ever say. Knowledge ain't enough. Grace is required.

10/21/2008 12:26:00 PM  
Blogger QP said...

Damn, I have remarkable intuition.

Ed Lasky connects the dots: Market manipulations to achieve geopolitical ends. Is it beyond the realm of possibility?

10/21/2008 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Also, River, the JVTV quote was perfectly apropos in this comment section as well as Walt's. I'll have to watch that again sometime soon.

10/21/2008 01:00:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

As Ximeze mentioned, Joe the plumber was on Hannity and Combs a few days ago.

The best part was when Combs (Skeletor) asked Joe (and I'm paraphrasing) "why would you object to Obama's plan? Under his plan you won't pay any taxes and you'll actually receive money."

Ha! That's always what evil does, it tempts and entices.
"Just bow down to me and I'll give you the world."

But Joe surprised Skeletor. "I don't want my taxes cut if it means someone else has to pay for it."

Skeletor was taken aback! "What does this mean?" His eyes said.
"I'm offering this fool free money."

When Skeletor pressed him, Joe said "I have principles. It's wrong to take money from someone who has earned it, worked all their life for or who was simply lucky."

Skeletor was the one who was the obvious fool. Joe obliterated his argument.
But Skeletor still didn't comprehend Joe's simple principles.
Skeletor is too immersed in Obama's culture of thievery.
Afterall, the commander in thief can't possibly be wrong.

Great post, Bob! Thanks! Lot's to munch today! :^)

10/21/2008 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Not at all, QP. I told my wife early on that I suspected Soros of being involved in the market crash. Not that my opinion is confirmation or anything. It's just that he's an evil old dude and he hates us.

10/21/2008 01:31:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

That, and he's done it before.

10/21/2008 01:36:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Good grief, Johan, July 29th?!?

It could happen here under the Commiebama. His tax "plan" won't be nearly enough to pay his new bureucracies let alone all the "free" bait he wants to "give" the "working class" so we can count on far higher taxes and a sky high unemployment rate.

What a deceptive lie! "Working class." What the Left implies is that only the moddle class works and "rich" fat cats just sit around the country club all the time laughin' at the po' folk.

And then the snObama has the temerity to say this isn't class warfare.
Obama puts his jack boots on one at a time, just like Chavez, Il, Castro, and all the commies he emulates.

And why has no one mentioned that Obama's spiritual advisor, the "Rev." Wight (mispelled on purpose) taught Obama for 20 plus years to eradicate the middle class?

Obama wants to assume God's power.
Because God does not steal, so Obama will, and he will determine who get's his favors. And the lion will sleep with the lamb...in it's stomach.
The only price tag is your adoration and worship. *Spit!*
We gotta stop the Obama thugocracy.
Failin' that, we gotta fight it tooth n' nail! Grrr!

Man, I hate commies! Can't you tell?

10/21/2008 02:05:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

re: Soros

The antichrist won't just rise up without adequate funding, you know. I mean, when he does.
Watch for the wound.

(OK, that's just scary.)

10/21/2008 02:27:00 PM  
Blogger Elephant said...

walt 12:19

Concur. Well thought and articulated. Good point!

10/21/2008 02:50:00 PM  
Blogger Elephant said...

Wow, I didn't mean to make it seem like Walt made it in as a book in the Bible!

10/21/2008 02:50:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

The Book of Walt has many chapters ... but the content is dubious.

10/21/2008 03:01:00 PM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

fast forward some years
to the end of the story
fruit of all power

10/21/2008 03:02:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

I searched it out. There is absolutely no occurrence of "walt" or "froth" in the Bible. Da noive.
Nor doth "elephant" appear... though his distant cousin "behemoth" maketh a brief appearanth.

10/21/2008 03:17:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

All is not lost outside the Coon den.
Ben cited Joe speaking Truth to Ant Man Combs in the belly of the Mediabeast.

The Lie is being exposed & the American People are hep to it. Try these three for encouraging news:

One Small Step for Sanity

Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights?

The Left's Big Blunder

10/21/2008 03:25:00 PM  
Blogger Elephant said...

Every time I hear "working class" as applied to the United States, I want to vomit and actually lurch forward - each time. It is a completely false category as applied to America. How does he (B.O.) ...(and -ites) get away with saying that? It means nothing. Oh, and "working families." If I hear "families" one more time in a political ad... argh. It makes it seem like families are victim units. It is an upside-down, inside-out version of what a family really is - a private dome, to use one of Bob's post-contents (family as dome-domesticity), of internal power, not a unit that needs anything from a politician. Gross. What does that make a family then? What's the point? Way to make the provider (proverbial, literal, and/or role-wise) feel like crap.

I'm sorry I get a little ticked though don't normally post live-ticked-ness. Only once it's already been processed.

10/21/2008 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger Elephant said...

Oh, btw, that comment was in re USS Ben USN (Ret) Comment at 2:05.

10/21/2008 03:49:00 PM  
Blogger Elephant said...

Er hemm... Overclarification from Elephant - So yes, agree with USS Ben USN (Ret) on putting working class in quotes. What empowers is being made to seem like a victim status. Oh you work? Poor you. But that's empowering yes? Reagan says it better in his answer to the best "social program" - a job.

10/21/2008 05:19:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Sure, Nomo, Walt's not there in English, but what about the "Bible Code"?

Apocrypha? Dead Sea Scrolls? Dan Brown? If Dan Brown can find Mary Magdalene in the "Last Supper", we should be able to find the Frothy Gospel According to Walt somewhere.

10/21/2008 06:04:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

The Book of Walt. Heh!

Is Deepak (or are his ilk) behind this bit of freaky weirdness?

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/p-j-gladnick/2008/10/21/manifest-obama-video-cultish-new-agers-envision-obama-presidency

That song is actually a worship song I have sung in churches; the words have been changed a bit. Creepy.

10/21/2008 07:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I call God onto the carpet to ask: Why the game playing? Come out of hiding and lets just have it straight up. Show us the money.

But he won't, and we know it. He wants to be coy, he wants to be difficult. Why? Where does He get off?

And why are we called to account for it? If God wants to be obtuse and to be subtle and to be hidden and play peek a boo I see you, then he can very well take responsibility for the nasty results of rampant ego, people who disbelieve, etc.

I want to know why God makes it so hard to know him. There has to be a reason.

Peeved in Cleve land.

10/21/2008 08:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So K.S, say again: the rapture is bogus?

10/21/2008 08:11:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Ximeze - I love that last one. Thanks. I'm still thinking that the "October Surprise" won't come until November.

;^]

10/21/2008 09:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

Anon-

You're called to account for everything: the good and the bad, and in your case, stupidity.

Is that plain enough, or should I spell it out?

10/21/2008 09:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Kepler Sings said...

annon

IMO the rapture is bogus, it cannot be found in any Christian teachings before about 1830. My observation is it produces escapism, something never done by God for anyone...take a look at his own son.

10/21/2008 09:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Kepler Sings said...

annon said

God could never win with you, if He hides himself in order that you seek Him out and operate from a level of faith you accuse Him of being coy. If He revealed himself in his power...that power is so great it would interfere with your free will even if God was not intending that.

God Himself warned Moses that wanted to see God, "you cannot look upon me and live." Meaning to see God as He is without full spiritual growth and preparation you would cease to exist. His will is so great it would obliterate yours, consume yours.

So you get this present world, the sooner people like you get off your unbeliving ass and seek God out, the sooner the world will stop being the Hell you like to blame on God.

Or you can pretend this all means nothing and live how you want. But to have some peace expunge the idea of God out of your mind, it is all made up by other people anyway, just to control the stupid.

10/21/2008 09:48:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Nomo,
Remember Judy Woodmuff & Co all dressed in go-to-funeral-somber-colors when Kerry finally came out of hiding & conceded the 04 election? Too rich!

It's the image of St Baraka giving his concession speech, with a-very-pissed-off Michelle unable to suppress Goa'uld-eye-flashing at his side that I can't get out of my head.

ohpleez ohpleez ohpleez...

10/21/2008 10:08:00 PM  
Anonymous austracoon said...

Joh 8:33 They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?

"To the extent that one's mind is inhabited by quasi-autonomous parasites, these intrinsically limit one's freedom."

10/22/2008 12:25:00 AM  
Anonymous son of a preacher man said...

Hey Kep

What is Paul talking about in 2nd Thessalonians chapter 2?

You are right that God doesn't want his followers slacking off in anticipation of the rapture...

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
-Hebrews 10:22-25

10/22/2008 08:53:00 AM  

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