Thursday, October 30, 2008

Naming the Nameless and Doing the Reality Dance (11.14.11)

Yesterday I mentioned that Meditations on the Tarot really clued me into the intellectual and metaphysical depth and breadth of Christianity. If nothing else, it is simply a superior philosophy. But once you begin to realize just how superior, it leads to other considerations that take you into the heart of the Mystery.

I'm currently reading this book on T.S. Eliot, and I see that he came to Christianity in a similar manner: head first. I suppose that the vast majority of people who convert to Christianity do so either for emotional reasons (which I am not criticizing) or because it just "feels right." Obviously, it operates on levels that are both deeper and higher then the ego, so there is no reason that the average person should be able to articulate these reasons, any more than they could articulate the physics of riding a bicycle. Rather, they just do it. And enjoy the experience. If you have a mediocre mind, your thoughts will just get in the way anyway. Leave it to the professionals.

But it's always interesting when a genius such as Eliot goes through the same process. And it's also disconcerting for the Adversary and his mediocre minions. How could one of the two or three greatest men of letters of the 20th century embrace this primitive nonsense? But as Kirk points out, Christianity has always been a scandal.

It's like the tao: if these spiritual autistics didn't laugh at it, it wouldn't be the tao. You can see how our scientistic jester never stops banging his head against his own self-imposed wall, seemingly incapable of understanding that everyone here has not only heard his arguments, but probably once believed them. But we then discovered something more adequate, and moved on. And in. And up. For our jester to imagine that he, of all people, can tell us something we don't already know about the horizontal Waste Land is either immature or breathtakingly ignorant.

In Eliot's case, he wrote extensively about the subject, both in his poetry and prose. For example, "Most people suppose that some people, because they enjoy the luxury of Christian sentiments and the excitement of Christian ritual, swallow or pretend to swallow incredible dogma. For some the process is exactly opposite. Rational assent may arrive late, intellectual conviction may come slowly, but they come inevitably without violence to honesty and nature. To put the sentiments in order is a later and an immensely difficult task: intellectual freedom is earlier and easier than complete spiritual freedom."

You could say that it's all about restoring / With a new verse the ancient rhyme. Redeem / The time. Redeem / The unread vision in the higher dream / While jewelled unicorns draw by the guilded hearse (Eliot).

Enough with the gilded hearse of scientism. Back to the Hermit's higher dream. When we left off yesterday, we were explaining how he reconciles the three great philosophical antinomies within his own being, the first one being idealism <---> realism (although naturalism would have perhaps have been a less confusing word than realism, since idealism is also known as philosophical realism in scholastic philosophy -- i.e., the notion that the platonic archetypes are more real than the material reality which is their instantiation).

The next antinomy is realism <---> nominalism, and here UF does mean the type of realism just mentioned, that is, the school of thought "which attributes objective reality to general notions that are now usually designated as 'abstract' but which medieval philosophy designated universalia ('universals')." In contrast, the current of thought "which denies the objective reality of universals and which admits reality only in 'particulars' is that of nominalism."

As UF notes, a realist in this sense is an extreme idealist, e.g., Plato. For Plato, the idea, say, of boxer briefs, is more real than the pair I am now wearing. But for the nominalist, these so-called objective ideas are nothing more than words which have no independent reality. You can see where this route 666 leads: more or less directly to deconstruction, multiculturalism, moral relativism,"positive liberties," "gay marriage," etc., the whole catastrophe.

For example, any remotely spiritually attuned person recognizes that marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman. It is a real archetype. Therefore, to promulgate the fantasy that members of the same sex can live in a state of marriage is a kind of violent assault on reality. It's not funny. It is mean spirited, offensive, and cretinous. If you cannot see that, then you, my friend, are a barbarian. I am not being insulting, merely descriptive. There's just no other word for someone who conflates reality with what it reveals of itself to the animal senses and to cold logic isolated from any guiding wisdom.

The irony is that any scientist who actually takes the trouble to think deeply is a philosophical realist. There is no great mathematician who is not an explicit or implicit Platonist. For example, G. H. Hardy, in his A Mathematician's Apology, wrote that "It would be difficult now to find an educated man quite insensitive to the aesthetic appeal of mathematics.... A mathematician, like a painter or a poet, is a maker of patterns. If his patterns are more permanent than theirs, it is because they are made with ideas." Who could argue with that proposition but an innumerate illiterate, or atheistic doubledunce?

If we consider the whole of creation -- i.e., the cosmos.... Wait, let's stop right there: the idea of the cosmos. For that is what it is: an idea. No one has ever seen the cosmos. But it's wrong to say we just "assume" it exists. Rather, we know in our bones that it exists -- that is, the strict totality of all reality, the Absolute. There is no part of reality that exists independently of this Absolute. The interior wholeness that we see at every level of reality is simply a fractal reflection, or distant echo, of this Absolute. It is what accounts for the organicism of organisms, the nonlocality of locality, the unity of the human subject, and the inner coherence of science. Each is a horizontal reflection of the other and a vertical reflection of the O-ther.

The realist (i.e., idealist) says that "the general is anterior to the particular" (deduction). The nominalist says that "the particular is anterior to the general" (induction).

Here again, we see how this plays out at the local level, with disastrous consequences. For example, for the leftist, the collective is more real than the individual man, which is why it is fine to steal from Joe the Plumber and give his hard earned money to Joe the Deadbeat. But the founders of our country knew that the individual was real and that this individuality was rooted in his liberty, which is the means by which we become real. It is the idea of liberty which is ultimately real, and which creates the possibility of real individuals (in other words, without liberty, our ideal "created" self will not be able to actualize).

But for Obama, it is only in the concrete particular that liberty is real, i.e, "positive liberty." In other words, liberty is not real unless the government somehow gives it to you in the form of cash and other valuable prizes. You might say that negative liberty preserves the ideal reality of liberty.

For the nominalist, "truth, beauty and goodness do not exist for it as objective realities, and are only a matter of taste," that great leveler of the hierarchical cosmos. People who "attack links" are always nominalists. You cannot argue with them, because their first cognitive act is to dismantle the very cognitive scaffolding that makes higher thought possible, e.g., the Jesus Seminarians. They first deconstruct the higher edifice of the Bible, and then Jesus comes out the other end a Marxist community organizer.

In truth, we clearly need both, i.e., realism and nominalism: "We cannot dispense with realism if we attach any value to the existence of objective truth (science) and trans-subjective truth (religion)."

How to resolve this question? It's easy, at least if you were lucky enough to be born in Christendom: "The 'problem' of universals was resolved in the spiritual history of mankind by the fact of the Incarnation, where the fundamental universal of the world -- the Logos -- became Jesus Christ, who is the fundamental particular of the world."

Here, the universal of universals, the very principle of intelligibility, the Logos, became the particular of particulars, the very prototype of the personality, Jesus Christ.

This is why for the Raccoon, spiritual knowledge is embodied knowledge, or it is no knowledge at all.

And the weird light shines in the dark, but the dorks don't comprehend it. --Petey

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is...
--Eliot

72 Comments:

Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Offtopic, but I thought y'all might find this amusing.

10/30/2008 08:23:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

I almost posted this yesterday, but today it's actually completely apropos:
Beautiful math.

10/30/2008 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

The adventures of Li'l Obama.

10/30/2008 08:36:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

Words to match my musings:

...a barbarian ... someone who conflates reality with what it reveals of itself to the animal senses and to cold logic isolated from any guiding wisdom.

This is an educational blog!

10/30/2008 08:52:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Re. Li'l Obama, I like the flip-take at the end; it's a nice Lileksian touch.

10/30/2008 08:55:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Talk about marriage in flatland.

10/30/2008 09:03:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Heh - talk about the ultimate onanistic relationship. But hey, whatever makes their lives personally meaningful should be just peachy (right, Ray?). After all, they're not hurting anyone, and besides, where can they find a real girl (or boy) who'll let them project all of their deepest, weirdest tentacle fantasies, over and over again?

Sad truth: I actually knew a guy in college whose first love was an anime girl.

10/30/2008 09:29:00 AM  
Blogger PJB said...

We all appear to be experiencing the sam phenomenon. It just manifests itself according to our particular path. Joining the two together is the problem and the solution. Reality is straightforward but our subjectivity clouds it's presence. Once we have a good take on how it affects us then we can start to apply it to our given situation.

Some of my appreciation is presented on this blog.

http://aviewfromthemindsi.blogspot.com/

Not what you might expect but the vibe is similar. Amazing what we can perceive in what we know.

10/30/2008 09:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God created gayness; it must have some purpose. No human being comes forth after selecting their orientation on an order form.

So; some human beings are made gay by God. This is irrefutable. To ascribe any other cause would be an incomplete reduction.

Therefore, it follows that gayness has a certian gravitas, like other holy creative acts, such as the ability to fall in love, or feel tenderness towards a child. One cannot be said to be of greater holiness than the other; that would be a mental contaminant only.

Now we are left to ponder our responses to gayness, based on that viewpoint.

Gays boink each other avidly; the women no less than the men. Two women taste each other; A Hetero couples mates vigorously in the next room; what is the difference? The prescence of the gametes. To what importance is the difference? It is great in biology, but what about the spirit of the coupling? Is it lustiness all around?

Bob's take is that marriage centers on reproduction. If that is the case, then what of hetero couples with known infertility? Can they then be married?

I am no barbarian; I am both an generalist and and a nominalist. Yet, I don't understand the particularity of marriage as posited by Bob. It remains ill defined.

10/30/2008 09:51:00 AM  
Anonymous cousin dupree said...

Woof.

10/30/2008 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger Niggardly Phil said...

"God created [insert fetish here]; it must have some purpose." and party on.

"I am both an generalist and and a nominalist."

You say that like it's a good thing...

10/30/2008 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger Niggardly Phil said...

For there are some gays, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some gays, which were made gay: and there be gays, which have made themselves gay for the kingdom of Obama's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

10/30/2008 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Anon - You are SO SPECIAL that someone actually wrote about you a very long time ago. I doubt you will give it a moment's consideration out of the sheer terror it could inspire, but..."those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.". If nothing else, make sure you check out 26 and 27.

Hearty approval! Ho!

10/30/2008 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Julie - Yeah, fractals are very cool. What's really interesting is that the Mandelbrot set, for example is generated from such a simple equation: Z(n+1) = Z(n)^2 + C, where Z and C are complex numbers (i.e. a real and imaginary component).

Something so simple, but that can be elaborated into (to borrow a phrase from Bob's lexicon) literally infinite complexity. Where have I heard that before?

Regarding marrying fictional characters... how do they indicate consent? How do they exercise visitation rights in the hospital? Can they inherit?

If fiction does, in fact, make their life personally meaningful, then they should also be able to invent fictional laws that allow that sort of thing, right? Problem solved.

Relationships between real people are a bit different. There, things like visitation rights and inheritance do come up. I'm fine with having, from a legal perspective, civil unions with a set of rights. People who want to be 'married' can go find a church that'll do that, too.

What would be the objection there, anyway? It's not like human law can make someone married or unmarried in the eyes of God, right?

10/30/2008 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Ray, reality is not either image or substance, but a marriage of the two.

10/30/2008 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger Warren said...

Thanks for another great book tip. Eliot as discussed by Kirk - wow, it must be Christmas!

I'm in the process of reading Feser's new book, "The Last Superstition" (I see it on the sidebar), which seems like it might be a good "head first" topic of discussion when you're through with MOTT....

10/30/2008 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

RE: Fractals - Even better, get Fractint... A new version of this ancient program was released just this month.

10/30/2008 11:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Brahman_jnana said...

you said

"For example, any remotely spiritually attuned person recognizes that marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman. It is a real archetype. Therefore, to promulgate the fantasy that members of the same sex can live in a state of marriage is a kind of violent assault on reality. It's not funny. It is mean spirited, offensive, and cretinous. If you cannot see that, then you, my friend, are a barbarian. I am not being insulting, merely descriptive."

As a heterosexual married person who knows quite a few married gay couples whose Union's are strong and good, I am supposed to simply disregard the obvious because you claim that to be spiritually attuned I have to agree with you. Next you will be telling me that the emperor is not naked but wearing a beautiful garment that I just can't see.

And don't be a coward, hiding behind an obviously disingenuous caveat that you aren't being insulting, only descriptive. If you are going to strongly insult someone, have the courage of your convictions and put it right out there.

You disguise a basic uncomfortableness with the Other of homosexual persons [and I stress that they are Persons in absolutely the same sense and magnitude as you or I] in patently confused psuedo-religious language because you can't accept that you are just an immature and frightened man who can't deal with Reality. And so you of course over-compensate by playing the role of defender of Reality.

I'll let you in one something dear sir; Reality doesn't need your protection or your help in communicating itself.

Your thinking is grotesque and sophomoric. And I mean that in an insulting way.

10/30/2008 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Hey Ray, here's something I think you'll find amusing Dehumanism: The Mystical World of the New Atheists. You'll probably really get a kick out of this part,

"These people, the Dennets & Dawkins of the world, are the scientismists, and they degrade and defame Science, in the same manner that various “Womens Studies” and the like, have defamed and degraded the humanities. Evolutionary theorist Stephen Jay Gould, once disparaged Dennett as a "Darwinian fundamentalist."...here are a couple reasons why, for starters:"

Finally got around to getting the post posted.

10/30/2008 11:32:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"For our jester to imagine that he, of all people, can tell us something we don't already know about the horizontal Waste Land is either immature or breathtakingly ignorant."

I'm betting it's more like the boxer's or brief's issue, rather than either/or, I'm betting it's both.

10/30/2008 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

enlightened banana jnana - Paul was talking about you too, I guess.

"Hearty approval!" Ho!

10/30/2008 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Playing offended is a great way to get your way, Bhana.

Every five year old has figured that one out.

10/30/2008 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger Warren said...

Wow - I had no idea that Deepak Chopra trolled this blog....

10/30/2008 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

anony n jninny -

..."the next morning..."

Fire and brimstone! Ho!

10/30/2008 11:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Brahman_jnana said...

river, I am not offended in the least. Bob doesn't have the capacity to cause me to feel anything other than mild pity. I am simply calling him out on his dishonest rhetoric and his obvious childishness.

Another thing five year old children do is modify the name of others in some silly sounding way to try to demean them. But it ceases to work if the other person is an adult.

10/30/2008 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

Topic-wise, Thursday seems to be the new Friday, so here's a good way for relieving stress before next Tuesday.

Yeah I know, sick and wrong. But my inner five year old loves it.

10/30/2008 12:07:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

The other thing they learn is to turn every ploy against the person whom they are annoyed with.

If you can not take note of your offense, then you must truly have mastered the art of denial - to speak in anger and believe you are speaking in peace.

Alas for that!

Boxers is to Briefs as Plato is to Aristotle...

10/30/2008 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

*by the way, if you hadn't noticed, I shortened your name - Brahman Jnana *

I meant for it to be B'hana, but then when I looked, your second name was 'Jnana' and not 'Jhana'.

How unpoetic!

10/30/2008 12:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Brahman_jnana said...

river, you confuse clear and forceful language for anger.

Peacefulness is not passivity.

10/30/2008 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Benihana said "Another thing five year old children do is modify the name of others in some silly sounding way to try to demean them."

ah. so.

10/30/2008 12:32:00 PM  
Anonymous cousin vicki said...

"you confuse clear and forceful language for anger."

Hm. Boxers + briefs = mighty fine comfort
rubber + glue = something both soft and sticky

I guess some things really are better left unmerged.

10/30/2008 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Yes, your clear and forceful language said, "I'm offended that you don't think homosexual unions are as 'good' as non-homosexual ones."

No, not passive at all.

10/30/2008 12:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you please clarify what you mean by "people who attack links"? Thanks...

10/30/2008 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Anonymous, see here and here

10/30/2008 12:46:00 PM  
Anonymous cousin dupree said...

"Homosexual marriage" is the only spiritual reality I know of that was discovered by radical secularists who hate religion. That and income redistribution. And global warming. And moral relativism. And multiculturalism.

10/30/2008 12:46:00 PM  
Anonymous cousin dupree said...

Attacks on Lincoln? That was John Wilkes Booth, wasn't it?

Oh, linking!

10/30/2008 12:50:00 PM  
Anonymous bob f. said...

Mr. Brahman has misunderstood what Bob said. Bob's comment was to the effect that people who advance the idea of "gay marriage" do not understand what marriage is. Mr. Brahman managed to translate that into an attack on homosexuals, a refusal to accept "the other", as we descend into leftspeak. Generally speaking, people I have met who see a problem with "gay marriage" also have a live-and-let-live attitude toward homosexuals, as long as they don't do it in the street and frighten the horses.
People who don't understand that "gay marriage" is an attack on a fundamental institution of our culture, an archetype, ARE barbarians in the same sense as the Greeks created the term, i.e., people who do not speak (or understand)the language and who made sounds in their own speech that sounded to the Greeks like "bar-bar", which is a pretty close approximation to the sounds (absent thought) of Mr. Brahman.

As an unrelated footnote, I came across the following in a book (don't remember title or author): "Music is sensual mathematics; mathematics is intellectual music."
I've had a long-standing interest in the relationship between music and mathematics and what that points to, fractally speaking. I haven't thought to check specifically on what MOTT may have to say about music, but if UF addresses the subject, it would be well worth attention.

10/30/2008 01:02:00 PM  
Blogger PallidBust said...

I appreciate that this question is a tad basic for this group, but could anyone remind me what the Greek-sounding word is for, more or less, "the stripping of power so that an immortal entity becomes an immortal man"?

In other words, that thing that God supposedly did to walk among us as the man Jesus. I think it starts with a "K".

Thanks.

PB

P.S. Love the site, Gagdad, even though I hardly ever know what the Hell you are talking about. Your interpretations of the Ten Commandments are, so far, the posts I can best fit into my little head so I can think about and remember, sometimes even for hours.

10/30/2008 01:07:00 PM  
Anonymous cousin dupree said...

To suggest that Gagdad "hates homosexuals" is as looney as suggesting that he hates siblings because they can't marry either.

For someone who goes by the name "brahman," this ignoramus seems to know nothing of the sacred union of Shiva and Shakti or Purusha and Prakriti. If it were "Shiva and Shiva," there would be no cosmos.

10/30/2008 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger Niggardly Phil said...

@ pallidbust


kenosis?

10/30/2008 01:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Siblings can of course marry, and do so in certain royal lineages.

In Quincy Massachucets in 1701 a stallion mounted a lady bullock and the town priest married them on the spot.

Bob does not have a clear fix on marriage, and neither does anyone else here. It is not a holy thing at all but a man-made figment.

You can only make a "marriage" spiritual by your behavior within the relationship.

Our society does not rest on any archetype of marraige. That is complete bull. It rests on two or even three people who decide to stick it out with each other and form a household.

For any married readers, go rip up your marriage license. You don't need it. You didn't need your wedding, and you don't need the rings.

Just hold your partner dear, and that's it.

For gays that want marriage; they would be better off renouncing the instituion from the get go rather than going through what amounts to a ritual.

But, if they insist they want to do a ritual, I say let it rip and good luck.

Eject all that baggage and get on with it.

10/30/2008 01:31:00 PM  
Anonymous cousin dupree said...

Spoken like a true nominalist.

10/30/2008 01:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Brahman_jnana said...

river, I hardly meant anything like ""I'm offended that you don't think homosexual unions are as 'good' as non-homosexual ones."

Instead, I essentially meant "I find it curiously pitiful that your knowledge of the world is so impoverished that you are unaware of the myriad counter-examples to your silly notion that genuine and good homosexual Unions are impossible. Its absurd that you go around mistaking your lack of knowledge as unquestionable spiritual insight."

I certainly never said bob hates homosexuals. He seems to fear them, or more accurately he fears some mistaken ideas he has about them. He probably just needs to get out of the suburbs.

10/30/2008 01:42:00 PM  
Blogger Niggardly Phil said...

"[Bob's] silly notion that genuine and good homosexual Unions are impossible."

but that's not what he said -

rather:
"members of the same sex can live in a state of marriage is a kind of violent assault on reality"

Do you think, for Bob, union=marriage?

10/30/2008 01:52:00 PM  
Blogger Niggardly Phil said...

Barbarians certainly did not call themselves barbarians. Heh.

10/30/2008 01:57:00 PM  
Anonymous cousin vicki said...

For the special man in your life: the Universal Package Opener

10/30/2008 01:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Alanbvt said...

Anon and others

Agree with you very slightly...God created a very small number with essential gayness. Some combination of trauma, deep attachment dysfunction, sexual abuse and the ever present Kool-Aid of the cultural meme of gayness being " just like being left-handed" creates the rest. I am living proof that same sex attraction can be totally changed. Go to http://www.narth.com/ or http://www.peoplecanchange.com/index.htm and get the facts.

10/30/2008 01:59:00 PM  
Blogger Niggardly Phil said...

Is that for the bris?

10/30/2008 02:00:00 PM  
Anonymous cousin vicki said...

No, silly, it's for the boxer briefs ;)

10/30/2008 02:13:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Iowahawk. 'Nuff said.

10/30/2008 02:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Gays boink each other avidly"

Hmm I was laughing hysterically at that line.

10/30/2008 02:29:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

"...Christianity has always been a scandal."

Indeed.

10/30/2008 02:37:00 PM  
Anonymous christopher said...

It's been interesting today, thanks

10/30/2008 02:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And I'm the one who wrote it.

10/30/2008 03:40:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

OT, Boiling a frog on the Bar-BAustralia's compulsory internet filtering 'costly, ineffective'
"THE Federal Government is planning to make internet censorship compulsory for all Australians and could ban controversial websites on euthanasia or anorexia.

Australia's level of net censorship will put it in the same league as countries including China, Cuba, Iran and North Korea, and the Government will not let users opt out of the proposed national internet filter when it is introduced."


Meanwhile, old news still churning out there,
"Although many are under the impression that the Internet is unregulated, this is not entirely the case. There are a number of technical issues ... allocation of the dot-com or dot-net designations ... codes that are attached to e-mails ... determined by a central entity...This job is currently handled by an American nonprofit: the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). ...While ICANN functions on a charter from the Commerce Department, the U.S. government has followed a strict hands-off policy...
But demands are growing for the "internationalization" of Internet governance. To this end, a number of countries are pressing to remove oversight from ICANN and place it under the auspices of a new organization that would be part of the U.N. system. "


Can't wait till Obama, Pelosi & Reid get power. Fairness doctrine first, 'Net next....

Unless you keep the lights on, it's lights out.

10/30/2008 03:43:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

For Van & anycoon who might be interested, on CSPAN2 booktv:

Reflections on Edmund Burke's "Reflections on the Revolution in France"

Author: Gertrude Himmelfarb

Saturday, November 1, at 8:30 PM
Sunday, November 2, at 3:00 PM

Gertrude Himmelfarb talks about influence of the Irish political philosopher Edmund Burke and his book "Reflections on the Revolution in France." Burke, who died in 1797, served in the British Parliament and became a leading figure in the conservative movement both abroad and in the United States. Includes audience Q&A.

Gertrude Himmelfarb is the author of many books, including "On Looking into the Abyss: Untimely Thoughts on Culture and Society" and "The Moral Imagination: From Edmund Burke to Lionel Trilling." She was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2004.

10/30/2008 03:43:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Thanks Ximeze!

BTW, while Burke's political writings are excellent, for those who haven't read his thoughts and observations on being human, you're missing out on alot!

10/30/2008 05:33:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

A commenter above mentioned the NARTH website, which is very good, and one of the few places you can get accurate information about homosexuality.

10/30/2008 05:50:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Saturn's tiny, icy moon Enceladus has recently been visited by NASA's Cassini
orbiter on several very close approaches - once coming within a mere 25
kilometers (15 miles) of the surface. Scientists are learning a great deal about
this curious little moon. Only about 500 kilometers wide (310 miles), it is very
active, emitting internal heat, churning its surface, and - through
cryovolcanism - ejecting masses of microscopic ice particles into Saturnian
orbit. Cassini has been orbiting Saturn for over 4 years now, and has provided
some amazing views of tiny Enceladus, some collected here. Another close flyby
is scheduled for Halloween, October 31st. (26 photos total)

WOW!

Scan comments for lots of other cool SpaceNerd links

10/30/2008 08:11:00 PM  
Anonymous austracoon said...

"It's like the tao: if these spiritual autistics didn't laugh at it, it wouldn't be the tao."

Eze 26:2 Son of man, because that Tyrus hath said against Jerusalem, Aha, she is broken that was the gates of the people: she is turned unto me: I shall be replenished, now she is laid waste:

10/30/2008 10:34:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

How do you do it, Bob's U?
This is a feast for the soul!

Special thanks to Sal for sendin' me MOTT and grog money! :^)
Thanks Sal!

10/31/2008 12:56:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

" But the founders of our country knew that the individual was real and that this individuality was rooted in his liberty, which is the means by which we become real. It is the idea of liberty which is ultimately real, and which creates the possibility of real individuals (in other words, without liberty, our ideal "created" self will not be able to actualize)."

Worth repeatng. Sometimes I'm shocked that so many millions of Americans don't understand liberty at all.

I mean, I know why they don't (bad education, indoctrination, leftist propaganda).

In another sense, I'm pleasantly shocked at how many of our young people, particularly in the military, manage to learn about liberty despite all the leftist attempts to pervert or prevent it.

Brahma falls in the former and can't comprehend what a real archetype is, or what sacred means. Otherwise he would know that anyone who thinks they are gay wouldn't hafta impose their cretinous attacks on the sacredness of marriage if they understood liberty.

10/31/2008 02:07:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

If She's the Socket
He's the Plug
A Baby's the Machine
& Blood's Electricity...

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

WSJ article on that archetype of sensuality, the vampire.

"Nevertheless, a few indispensable qualities reside at the heart of the vampire's appeal. Vampires are always good-looking, excruciatingly so; the word that Bella Swan, the protagonist of the "Twilight" series, most often uses to describe her adored undead boyfriend Edward is "perfect." Washboard abs are a must. Vampires are also invariably well-dressed, whether in period costume or the pricey designer outfits sported by the blood-sucking boyfriends in Gossip-Girl-style gothics like Richelle Mead's "Vampire Academy" or Melissa de la Cruz's "Blue Bloods," both set in exclusive prep schools. Above all else, vampires are rich. (The source of vampire wealth is obscure, since few of them appear to be gainfully employed. The assumption seems to be that anyone who's been around for 300 years must be in a position to take full advantage of the miracle of compound interest.) In short, they uncannily resemble the heroes of traditional romance novels."

The count with washboard abs? who knew.

10/31/2008 07:08:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Somehow, I find putting 'Vampire' together with 'Washboard abs', to be exceedingly appropriate... since most of those who go seeking to have washboard abs either are, or are being vicimized by real vampires.

10/31/2008 07:59:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Similarly with this Scanning breakthrough:
"This is a really hard problem to solve, and is a prime example of Google injecting its search algorithm with some serious intellectual steroids. Hyperbole aside, Google has made another step on its path of creating software that enables our computers to interpret results as a human would."

Ray would probably like that. To ascribe to computers the ability to 'interpret' in the same way a human would, is not only to misunderstand and over estimate what computers do do, but to misunderstand and underestimate what humans do.

It really sucks the life out of you.

Any garlic in your house Ray?

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

advanced potato sorters. Seriously. They freely choose only the best.

10/31/2008 08:25:00 AM  
Anonymous marimoishe said...

In Quincy Massachucets [sic] in 1701 a stallion mounted a lady bullock and the town priest married them on the spot.

If this anecdote is true, it means only that the citizens of Massachusetts have been confused about what constitutes a marriage far longer than I'd previously thought.

11/01/2008 02:25:00 AM  
Anonymous vkamath said...

"For example, any remotely spiritually attuned person recognizes that marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman."

After all the big words, with this one sentence he exposes his 'Pat Robertson' mentality.

I wonder what this pseudo intellectual think about Sarah Palin.

11/02/2008 07:58:00 PM  
Anonymous cousin dupree said...

He think Sarah Palin good.

11/02/2008 08:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In point of fact, The Mother chose two gay men to bring the integral yoga to America. Is Bob spiritually superior to the Mother?

Many of the most advanced sadhaks in the integral yoga community are gay or bisexual (or were -- because as we progress in this yoga, we all become celibate, regardless of our sexual orientation).

True marriage is a union of souls. It is granted solely by the sanction of the Supreme and the Grace of the Supreme Mahashakti who remakes the instrument so it can bear a constant experience of Light, Peace, and Ananda.

By this standard, 99.999999999% of all married people are unmarried. And most will never get there at least in the embodied realm.

11/03/2008 06:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Establishing wisdom, light, peace and Ananda in the being is the work of a lifetime, or more often, the work of lifetimes. Bob is a smart man but he oversimplifies what is a very, very complex Reality.

11/03/2008 06:46:00 AM  

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