Thursday, November 20, 2008

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue States (12.05.11)

It is not just imagination + will that engenders demons; rather, it is intoxication of will and imagination that does so. As a result, they always go too far; they release inhibitions and partake of other forces that have nothing to do with the matter at hand.

Again, this is something the left does by definition; since they deny the vertical, it returns in a disguised and perverse form, which provides them with a preternatural energy that conservatives can never match. The moment a conservative becomes "ecstatic" about politics, he's no longer a conservative. Intoxication certainly has its place. Just not in politics.

Obviously, young people are more prone to the varieties of psychic intoxication, so it is no surprise that Obama won the election because he took two thirds of the youth vote (the vote was 50-50 for actual adults). To paraphrase someone, these children wish to give us the full benefit of their inexperience.

I'm trying to imagine what the world would look like to me today if I were a 21 year old with a skull full of liberal mush.... Would I be susceptible to Obama intoxication? I don't know. I was a pretty cynical guy, but most cynics are just disappointed idealists, which I suppose I was. My first presidential vote went to Jimmy Carter, who, for those of you below a certain age, was the Obama of the time. He too promised dramatic change, which came in spades -- soaring inflation, increased unemployment, emboldened enemies, loss of respect in the world, diminished confidence at home. And yet, it didn't matter. I still voted for him again in 1980.

So was I drunk, or just stupid? I think mostly just the latter. You have no idea what it was like back then. There was literally no way to gain access to conservative arguments unless you were a National Review subscriber. There were a few conservative voices, but because they were so rare, you just assumed they were crazy, or eccentric at best, and probably evil. It was very much a cultural attitude, because you were basically trained to have a kind of visceral rejection of all things conservative, mainly because they tossed cold water on your intoxication. I am continually amazed that so many members of my auto-hypnotized generation are still completely swaddled in this retrograde cultural attitude....

I will continue this self-indulgent musing below, time permitting. For now, let's get back to The Devil.

UF points out that even Marx and Engels could have avoided intoxication -- and prevented the birth of a hideous genocidal demon -- if they had actually just considered the plight of the poor in a detached and disinterested way. But instead, they went far, far, over the line, into cloud cuckoo land, insisting that God did not exist, that history obeyed scientific laws, that "all ideology is only a superstructure on the basis of material interests," etc.

It is the same with the Darwinists. If they would just maintain a little sobriety, instead of drunkenly careening into areas in which they have nothing to contribute, all would be well. But like a drunken know-it-all at a cocktail party, they just can't stop themselves. They'll tell you everything about love, beauty, truth, God.... It's all wrong, of course, but that's the thing about being drunk -- it feels good.

I am once again reminded of Paul McCartney's first acid trip. His mind was so filled with ideas, that he had his assistant following him around, so he could dictate them to him. He remembered one particularly inspired idea, and insisted that his assistant take it down word for word, and then put it away for safe keeping. The next morning, they eagerly retrieved the scrap of paper, upon which it was written:

There are seven levels.

But it might as well have been: random mutation + adaption, or the workers are the means of production, or I think therefore I am, or abortion is protected by a Right to Privacy, or members of the same sex can "marry," or God is dead, or Hopeandchange.... None of these ideas "work" unless the person is intoxicated in some way. Sober up, and they're either banal or make no sense.

Of the founding fathers of the left, UF writes that "there is no doubt that with them it was a matter of an excess -- a going beyond the limits of competence and sober and honest knowledge -- which they did not in any way doubt, having been carried away by the intoxicating impulse of radicalism."

You must understand that the radical wants to be intoxicated -- with outrage, with self-righteous anger, with smugness, with superiority, with iconoclasm, with fear (e.g., of "domestic spying," or the "theofascistic takeover of the nation"), with "injustice." Like any other drug, radicalism is addictive because of the feelings it engenders. This, I think, explains why so many of my generation refuse to grow up -- because they are literlly addicted to the feelings produced by radicalism.

For example, they do not want racism to be over. For a white liberal, it gives such an intoxicating feeling of being on the side of righteousness, that it's impossible for them to let it go. For you Raccoons of color out there, you probably realize that every white liberal condescendingly imagines that he is noble Atticus Finch, and that you are poor helpless Tom Robinson. And I imagine that all the racial grievance hustlers -- if they aren't just outright sociopaths, like Al Sharpton -- imagine that white people give a lot of thought to race, when they actually couldn't care less (at least conservatives). Personally, I'd never think about race if liberals weren't obsessed with it.

By the way, a boneheaded -- and intoxicated -- commenter compared opposition to the redefinition of marriage to racism. But opposition to "gay marriage" isn't learned. Rather, it is innate. Anyone with a rightly ordered soul is naturally opposed to it. Rather, they have to unlearn what is natural and normal in order to be passionately pro-homosexual marriage.

I well remember being "homophobic" as a boy, but I was never racist. But this innocent homophobia wasn't learned. In fact, I had no idea what a homosexual was. Rather, it was just the innate knowledge that boys should act like boys -- that there was an ideal to which we should aspire. Boys who didn't were suspect. It was a kind of mutual self-policing, like fighting in the NHL.

In fact, it's a little perverse to even call it "homophobia." Rather, it was really just about learning The Art of Manliness, which all boys need to do -- especially today, when manliness is opposed on all sides by passive-aggressive liberal wimps for whom whining is a virtue. Marriage is one of the principle ways that boys become men. Therefore, it is no surprise that liberals want to undermine it.

That is the real agenda behind the intoxicated fury to redefine the institution. I think also that homosexuals imagine that "marrying" would allow them to "grow up," when that is hardly the problem. More often than not, homosexual behavior is specifically a rebellion against growing up, and all it implies. I don't have time to explain, but again, there is a lot of good information at NARTH for the bi-curious.

In contrast, racism must be learned. Yes, I know it is ubiquitous, but it is nevertheless learned. It is really about cultural difference, and race is simply a handy marker for this. In the case of my son, for example, his best friends are a Japanese boy (I mean real Japanese -- he doesn't speak English); two children of a black and white couple; an adopted black child of a white couple; and a child of a white and asian couple. Plus, his mother is a Jewish-Catholic, his father a Vedanta-Christian. He has never mentioned anything pertaining to race, and I don't imagine he ever will unless we teach him that it is somehow important. Being that he won't be attending a public school, he'll be shielded from the racial obsessions of the left, at least for awhile. He will have to learn that race is somehow important, which I imagine will be increasingly difficult, since Obama will be the first president of whom he is consciously aware.

The left also doesn't want poverty to end, because this too would eliminate the cause of their righteous indignation. Otherwise they would define poverty in absolute instead of relative terms. So long as they define it in relative terms, a certain fixed percentage of the population will always be "poor," no matter how fat and affluent. (On his program yesterday, Dennis Prager had an economist who explained this in an extremely lucid and sober manner; can't think of his name.)

Back to the card. Any form of radicalism is given force and momentum by the intoxicated desire to "change everything utterly at a single stroke. And it is this fever to *change* everything utterly at a single stroke which gave birth to the demon of class hatred, atheism, disdain for the past, and material interest being placed above all else, which is now making the rounds in the world."

You see how it works? The ideology legitimizes the intoxicated expression of envy, anger, murder, whatever. It is what allowed Bill Ayers, for example, to want to attempt mass murder in good conscience. When you're full of that much righteous rage, what else can you do? He still has no regrets, because he is still drunk. But like all drunks, he stays drunk in order to avoid the pain of regret -- regret for a wasted life spent wasted on ideology.

Again, this is the counter-inspiration of the Devil, and it is a caricature of spiritual grace and transformation, for as one descends down into the inconscient (↓), something rises up to meet you (↑), which produces the intoxication and gives birth to a third thing.

Whoops. Out of time. To be continued....

77 Comments:

Blogger walt said...

Intoxication certainly has its place. Just not in politics.

Lots of drunks walking the political landscape these days. But your point reminded me of an old truism born, interestingly enough, out of Chicago politics:

"Don't ever fall in love with a politician -- they will always break your heart!"

11/20/2008 08:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the number one health problem of America's "poor" is obesity.

11/20/2008 08:42:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

You must understand that the radical wants to be intoxicated -- with outrage, with self-righteous anger, with smugness, with superiority, with iconoclasm, with fear...

Fortunately, when coons do the same thing, they aren't intoxicated.

(Oh, and there aren't any deep blue or deep red states - see here.)

11/20/2008 08:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Leave it to Ray to turn a play on words into a chore.

11/20/2008 08:54:00 AM  
Blogger James said...

UF was the first person to clearly define the difference between divine magic and base sorcery. Sorcery relies on intoxication, and through intoxication the poor mortal gives up control of their life to lower things. This was a breakthrough for me. God bless UF and MOTT. I still think Marxism is more like black magic then most people give it credit for. The principle of intoxication is there as well as the principle of promising one thing and slyly delivering another. I had to read mucho Marxist literature while getting my masters degree. I'll never be a Marxist, but I admit, there was a tiny part of me that wanted to drink the cool aid. Marxism makes you the center of the universe and gives you a mission to recreate society. What and ego trip! I understand why a lot of people fall for it. They like the feeling of power. Of course, they never accomplish anything good, but we are all about feelings anyway. You have to keep the good times rolling.
My point is that Marxist ideas are dangerous in the same way black magic is dangerous. It seduces you away from reality and God. I believe Marx was inspired, or enslaved, by something diabolical. The mistake conservatives make with their children is they don't understand just how powerful and seductive these ideas are.

11/20/2008 09:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Seductive-Hypnotic-Enslaving.

11/20/2008 09:13:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

There are some mystics - the sufi poets come to mind - who describe spiritual enlightenment as an intoxication, being "drunk", giddy with universal love, etc.

I think this kind of spiritual intoxication can become a spiritual roadblock, particularly in a pilgrim's initial experience. The temptation becomes: let's re-live the ecstasy, gots to have the ecstasy! - gotta jones for the Oceanic One-ness -

That's one thing I never hear when it comes to theories on why people do drugs - it just feels good! It feels good in a heavy, syrupy, fly-in-the-ointment, help-me-I-can't-move-my-arms, boy-am-I-going-to-pay-for-this-tomorrow way, but it does feel good.

However - there really is a "high" in spiritual sobriety - I mean past the Oceanic One-ness - which is NOT an intoxication. Like "effortless effort" it's sort of a "sober intoxication" or maybe an "intoxicated sobriety", whatever. When I dwell on it, I think it's a "light-ness", an ultimate transparency.

Intoxication is always "heavy" and sticky in some way. Spiritual sobriety is light light light.

11/20/2008 09:15:00 AM  
Blogger James said...

Will,

I think you are spot on.

11/20/2008 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

It reminds me of people who say that Obama "inspires" young people. As Dennis Prager asks, to do what, exactly, besides vote for him?

11/20/2008 09:24:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

James -

Just so nobody gets the idea that spiritual sobriety is, you know, boring.

BTW, the late Malichi Martin wrote something or other on Marx - the upshot being that Marx's diabolism may have been a little more intentional than what people generally think - ie., Marxism as derived from Marx himself was not simply a matter of "a good but misguided heart", but was a conscious act of evil.

11/20/2008 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

I am once again reminded of Paul McCartney's first acid trip.

There's a fine line sometimes between being onto something and being on something. Of course, "The Fool On The Hill" was onto something, in the song at least.

11/20/2008 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger Rolf Krake said...

Hi Bob,

I came upon one of your articles 'Putting the "Psycho" in Psychoblogging' (which I find brilliant) while googling.

It is spot on!

I couldn't help to post your article in a comment on the blog of the deranged moonbat utopist.

Comments need moderation on the lunatic's site and I didn't expect him to accept it but 'helas' - He did.

I still giggles from the laughter I had, you made my day Bob.

I guess the hapless moonbat too it as a compliment, still rolling with laughter, hahaha.

Check it out:
Putting the "Psycho" in Psychoblogging

The intellectual bankruptcy of the left is appalling.

You won an instant fan Bob,
Best regards, Rolf, a Dane.

11/20/2008 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger Rolf Krake said...

Typo:

I guess the hapless moonbat THINK it as a compliment

11/20/2008 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Dupree - I actually enjoy learning, but to each their own.

11/20/2008 10:11:00 AM  
Blogger James said...

Will,

From what little I know of these things. I think it would have to be willful act of evil. Evil by accident just doesn't endure. And this particular evil has lasted far longer then good sense dictates. I mean, come on, 100 million dead, a slew of social programs that waste money, destroy lives, and ultimately don't work, and yet here we are, black magic indeed.
I am blessed to have finally discovered rapture, the spiritual sobriety that you discuss above. No, it is not boring. It is deep, and liberating, and good, but it is subtle with little in the way of overt, outward signs. Most of the heavy lifting takes place in the vertical. Where intoxication is a purely horizontal state, which is why it is ultimately empty. I can always tell who is drunk.

This has got my thinking about intoxication. Someone dropped this idea by: Everyone has heard "Absolute power corrupts absolutely" But that isn't quite true. Absolute power intoxicates absolutely. I've seen otherwise good people go off the deep end once they got some juice. I was an officer in the Air Force. I had good friends who went off the deep end once the promoted to captain. I think it is the intoxication that leads to the corruption. I also think that power = intoxication is a universal feature of the human race. It's part of human nature. Which is why limited government, term limits, and rule of law are such good things. It helps control the drunkenness.

11/20/2008 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Ray - Imagine reordering everything you "know" into the context of a reality where God exists. Imagine.

Now that's real learning and enjoyment. Sober intoxication.

11/20/2008 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

The economist Prager had on was Nicholas Eberstadt, author of The Poverty of the Poverty Rate: Measure and Mismeasure of Material Deprivation in Modern America.

11/20/2008 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

The first law of understanding politics is: "Thou that judgest doest the same things."

11/20/2008 11:20:00 AM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Vis a vis the 'race question' & the Obama election, Shelby Steele is up to #4 of 5 on NROtv's Uncommon Knowledge, as follow-on to A Bound Man

For a twofer, Thomas Sowell on A Conflict of Visions (parts 1-5) is just below Shelby.


PS the full Oscar Wilde quote is:

"In America the young are always ready to give to those who are older than themselves the full benefits of their inexperience."

11/20/2008 11:56:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Nomo - One of the definitions of a science fiction fan is 'someone who enjoys revising their mental models based on startling new data'. I love stories that involve assuming one impossible thing, and working out what the implications of that might be. (Quite often, the 'impossible' thing turns out to be rather possible. One pulp magazine in the 1940's got visited by the FBI because of their story about an 'atom bomb'...)

Imagine someone in the 18th century proposing automobiles. A bad story would involve some hero using the first one to outrace some horses to save his girl. A better story would be one that foresaw parking lots and gas stations. A great story would be one that foresaw traffic lights, rush hour, and interstate freeways.

For a really good example, see Primer. It can be unravelled, but you'll need to watch it a few times.

As to God, though, I have thought about how to reconcile what I know with such a reality, and I haven't been able to so far.

11/20/2008 12:12:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

james -

>>power = intoxication is a universal feature of the human race<<

It is. I think maybe you can take it to: self-aggrandizement = intoxication = spiritual corruption.

11/20/2008 12:23:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

>>There are seven levels<<

I almost hate to say this, but . . . . well, there are certain psychotropic drugs, plants, teas, etc., that really can afford one a "higher sobriety", a genuine spiritual insight or two. With something as overwhelmingly intense as LSD, the sudden shock of a higher sobriety can amount to an intoxication.

Just how far Sir PM saw into the nature of things, I can't say - maybe he was just thinking about the days of the week and then elevated this into some kind of universality. Which is not necessarily a dense thing to do, by the way.

Or maybe his insight went much deeper. Jacob Boehme, in a vision, perceived the Creator and Creation as being seven-leveled.

Boehme, however, earned his spiritual vision the old-fashioned way, through suffering, perseverance, faith - the vision stayed with him and he wrote it down, systemized it. (altho make no mistake, it's not easy to comprehend)

Sir PM forgot his vision as soon as the acid wore off.

11/20/2008 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

"self-aggrandizement = intoxication = spiritual corruption"

Which underscores the vast importance of humility.

11/20/2008 12:58:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

>>Which underscores the vast importance of humility<<

Which in turn underscores the vast importance of constant self-examination and conscience-checking.

11/20/2008 01:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Kepler Sings said...

Bob, This is perhaps just a technical point about demons as the behavior and probably the cure is the same no matter if the demon is self-created, or as I believe demons are real objective entities.

As Christ treated them as "real," beings to be cast out. Remember the demons answering Him by giving him their name in the demoniac and then being cast out, they went into the pigs, who were immediately driven insane and dashed over a cliff into the sea.

That argues they are not just a twisting of the human psyche. Not sure if you are saying such, but if you could clarify your thoughts on this I would appreciate. I personally think there are real demons and scripture is not laying a morality on us because God is sort of a prissy prude, but because straying out of moral boundaries puts you into contact with the demonic, and worse with fallen angels (two different order of beings).

Morality is not God spoiling our fun, but it is the knowledge of a full-sighted God of the dangers and His desire for our protection. As such the Left, or anyone that defies morality (Biblical Morality) becomes prey to these demons, and at some point all they are is an expression of those demons.

The Left becomes prey to anti-Chirst, or to "a" anti-Christ because in their rebellion, conscious or subconscious to a creator God they must defy His morality, or more simply His scouting reports of where the enemy lurks in a hostile and alien world. Want to ignore the wagon master and dash off on your own across the wild prarie to get there sooner and by a better route?

Might end up eating each other in a snowed-in mountain pass, or run headlong into a village of Sioux or Kiowas that hate your guts.

11/20/2008 01:19:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, UF makes it clear that there is a difference between demons -- i.e., vertical beings -- and self-generated demons. See p. 285, f. 104 of my book.

11/20/2008 01:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Joseph said...

Will,

My recollection is that Martin actually argued that Marx was aactually a Satanist. I would have to go back to his books, but he quotes from a Pope who studied the evidence thoroughly.

11/20/2008 01:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Joseph said...

Bob,

I think there is also a kind of natural or innate racism as well. Not one that finds one race superior to the other, but as different, and different for archetypal reasons.
There would, therefore, be no innate rejection to befriending someone from a different race, but there could be from intermarrying.

11/20/2008 01:51:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

"Which in turn underscores the vast importance of constant self-examination and conscience-checking."

Indeed. I had a somewhat interesting experience last night while trying to get my personal cacophony to just SHUT UP for a while (every once in a long while, I manage to get them to quiet down, but they always come back; it's like the break actually refreshes the bastards. Oy). I took a mental step back and asked mysoph,
"who exactly benefits from this line of thought?!? Because it sure as hell isn't me." It worked for a while. I'm sure they'll be back, though.

I guess one thing to bear in mind is that even humility can become a form of self-aggrandizement, wherein we strive to be "humbler than thou."

Dang - I'm sure I had more of a point, but it's gone. Oh well.

11/20/2008 02:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Kepler Sings said...

Julie

I think that is why prayer or even meditation only takes you so far. Now I was taught by a real man of God, who knew the voice of the Lord well enough he could tell you where you lost your keys this morning...stuff in detail.

He said that probably the greatest truth hidden in the Bible is that you have to learn to wait on the Lord. He called it the prayer of listening. He said we should do that 90% and actually pray about 10%. The point is to think God's thoughts after Him.

Studying this out, I am pretty convinced that the brain is simply a physical holding place for our soul and spirit, but what is spirit? I think it is a real essence, where person comes from.

Our physical world gives a clue. Where energy and matter are convertible, but energy cannot be created or destroyed...sort of cluing us into spirit. Something that is uncreated. Now spirit does what? I believe it manifests thought. Not sure if it generates thought, or it channels thought, I think it does both.

Much like a motor and generator are almost the same thing physically, just wired differently. One converts energy to mechancical power, the other mechanical power to energy. and that distinction is important.

Anyway all those voices, thoughts, from whence do they come? Some I seem to control, others I don't. But better to just finally let it be God's thoughts in us; I think that is ultimately where we will find rest.

And I think it takes practice to think God's thoughts. The voices, what is generated by our spirits, other spirits is like children plunking on a piano, all discordant, ceaseless noise. But after training we can play Mozart, or Chopin, depending on the mood.

11/20/2008 02:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Kepler Sings said...

Bob, Thanks I will check that out.

11/20/2008 02:22:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Ray - Speaking of imagination (and humility) - forget whether or not you agree with the following words, but tell me from where a notion like this have arisen from within materialism (much less 18 centuries ago)?

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

In your relationships with one another, have the same attitude of mind Christ Jesus had: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

And being found in appearance as a human being, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross!"

(Philippians 2)

Some notion.

11/20/2008 02:31:00 PM  
Blogger Matteo said...

"Homophobia" is such an asinine term. Let's examine the word, shall we?

First, how is it used? No one ever says "You know, we need to have compassion and understanding for homophobics." No. Instead it is always used to denote wickedness.

Second, it is in the form of a psychological diagnosis, denoting some sort of abnormal condition.

Third, it relates specifically to sexuality.

Therefore, what "homophobia" really means is a "wicked psychosexual disorder".

Interesting that homosexual activists would throw around such a term of disparagement, yes? And they claim to be specifically against such labeling.

For them, some people are evil because they have a wicked psychosexual disorder!

Projection is not just a river in Africa...

11/20/2008 02:49:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

You should read about the fraudulent means through which homosexual activists managed to get homosexuality removed from the DSM.

11/20/2008 03:04:00 PM  
Blogger QP said...

Signs are indicating a global depression is just around the corner, which means "Funds are low again, [...] that means God trusts us and is willing to leave His reputation in our hands." C. T. Studd (1860-1931)

What's a soul to do besides check the condition of his conscience and pantry?

Faustian economics:
Hell hath no limits

By Wendell Berry

11/20/2008 03:08:00 PM  
Anonymous chandler said...

Bob says: Otherwise they would define poverty in absolute instead of relative terms. So long as they define it in relative terms, a certain fixed percentage of the population will always be "poor," no matter how fat and affluent.



. . . This was the John Edwards hustle. Devoted to ending poverty and the Two Americas he saw in his dreams. Both Americas however had very fat adults and children with more food and clothes and toys and cars than they would ever need. So what would Edwards have given that Other America, that poverty America? All U Can Eat? More X boxes? Certainly not principles.

.....I go to this blog to have my own principles fine-tuned like the strings on a classical guitar.

11/20/2008 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

More proof that atheism isn't just harmful to the soul, but to the body as well.

11/20/2008 03:16:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

Julie -

You made your point just fine. Re: the inner cacaphony (or my fave term for it, "roof brain chatter", I don't try to quell it or try to achieve some utterly silent, calm lake of the mind or anything of the sort. Thoughts, impressions are going to come and go like clouds.

I do try to get particular negative thoughts in focus - they always amount to some self-aggrandizing impulse. I don't try to "reason" with them. By simply bringing them into focus, I prevent them from taking unconscious root in my head. Also, there is something about awareness itself, simple dispassionate, non-judgmental awareness that cleanses the mental palate. Awareness is like light - flick it on and the shadows disappear.

11/20/2008 04:00:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

“There is something here that we don’t quite understand. It is always possible that some unknown or unmeasured factors confounded these results”

Gee, I wonder what that could possibly be?

11/20/2008 04:04:00 PM  
Blogger QP said...

Who wrote this?

"[I]t’s interesting how the culture now regards domestic Communists as either persecuted idealists or just really extra-strength liberals in a hurry who had no idea, absolutely none whatsoever, that things over there weren’t happy worker hoedowns over exceeded tractor-tire-production quotas."

from Lileks' newest screed.

11/20/2008 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Will,

"Also, there is something about awareness itself, simple dispassionate, non-judgmental awareness that cleanses the mental palate."

I agree - I think that's really the key. It's just that sometimes, trying to isolate them is like trying to pin down jello. I'm getting better at it, though.

Also, redirecting the focus to something in a similar vein but to a positive aim is helping.

Stakes, Sonlight and holy water, in other words ;)

11/20/2008 04:10:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

Julie -

>>it's just that sometimes, trying to isolate them is like trying to pin down jello<<

I do know what you mean. Instead of trying to isolate them, I just try to deal with them as they arise so as to let them isolate themselves. For example, I try to catch myself when I'm being impatient with someone (often myself) or when some unnamable sadness sweeps in, a sadness that will latch on to any excuse for its existence. My awareness of the parasites doesn't always vanquish the negativity, but it does seem to prevent the negativity from rooting itself in my head and jerking me around like a puppet for the rest of the day.

Also, in the evening I make a little review of my day's mental/emotional ups and downs, my little failures of spiritual venture.

I think this sort of thing should be de-mystified as much as possible. It's really very simple (though it does take effort). People get scared off sometimes because the spiritual quest sounds too exotic, too mystical for the average person to undertake.

Actually, it is very profound and mystical - but in a very everybody-can-do-it way.

11/20/2008 06:06:00 PM  
Anonymous spirit of fergus the cat said...

Julie, try this for profound and mystical. You'll laugh, you'll cry, it will change your life, yes, for the better.

http://www.iserenity.com/cat/cat.htm

11/20/2008 06:49:00 PM  
Blogger Gecko said...

Fergus, thank you, I kneaded that.

11/20/2008 08:24:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"Rather, they have to unlearn what is natural and normal in order to ..." and with that done, the Blank can be filled in with anything you want. The deliberate choice to do what makes no common sense, in favor of a personal preference, is a common key. That one is a big, big key.

11/20/2008 09:16:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Fergus, thank you. My life will never be the same!

It's been a shamefully long time since I've heard that particular sound (most of the family is tragically allergic to cats). Makes me want a kitten. Then again, the dogs would want a kitten, too, but for entirely different reasons.

11/20/2008 09:17:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

In other news, Queeg won by a very strong margin.

Here he is,
the Biggest Pro-Censorship Asshat in the Universe!

*clap clap clap*

11/20/2008 09:36:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Today's sign of the apocalypse. Also, one more reason to consider sending your kids to a trade school instead of a university.

"They're not disciplinarians. They're called facilitators for a reason."

Yep - there to facilitate the students unlearning of the natural in favor of the state-mandated PC "dialogue" du jour.

"We are trained to interrupt behaviour in a non-blameful and non-judgmental manner, so it's not like we're pulling someone aside and reprimanding them about their behaviour. It is honestly trying to get to the root of what they're trying to say - seeing if that can be said in a different manner."

Yes, I know - it's Canada, so not too surprising. But really, it's not a far cry from campus thought-policing practices that already happen here. Just one more casual, facilitating step, really.

11/20/2008 09:46:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ray... you've really become boring.

11/20/2008 09:48:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Will said... "James -
>>power = intoxication is a universal feature of the human race<<
It is. I think maybe you can take it to: self-aggrandizement = intoxication = spiritual corruption."

Let me cast one more twist upon this.

People naturally want their way, they want their way because they 'think' that their way will be better, they think that they are right. This is the default urge inherent in all people, and it is only overridden by experience and knowledge, by a gradual education that enables you to grasp a wider, and higher, understanding of what is Right and Wrong, and which shows you that imposing your desire would not be 'good', even in those situations where it might technically be 'right', it would be deeply and irredeemably wrong to impose your urges over others choices.

Where the corruption of Power, the intoxication comes in, is, I think, a result of people who didn't (all or in some significant part) learn and understand that imposing their desires would be wrong, instead they only grasped that it wouldn't be practical to do so, or that there would be unpleasant consequences from doing so.

For these morally immature people, attaining some level of Power, just removes the inhibitions which previously kept them in check from doing what they wanted... and who doesn't get a thrill from suddenly being able todo whatever you want to do! Sans the existence within you as an integral part of you, of the existence of better judgment, perspective, wisdom; you are left thinking that it is RIGHT that you do what you want, and finally all the obstructions are removed from your way so that you can do it, Yes You Can!.

Ignorance and error, are the ultimate intoxicants, because they 'free' you from having internal restraints, whether that be fear of consequences, or the result of a wiser and more far seeing vision, so that you can do what you want to do.

Power doesn't corrupt, so much as power only emboldens you to stop faking a reticence towards doing what you only feared to do. Fear may the beginning of wisdom, but it is only a beginning. That is why power in the hands of a truly good and moral person is not abused; they literally don't want to do those things the weaker and more foolish person does secretly desire to do, and that is why all hell is breaks loose when power is put into the hands of those who don't understand what Should Not be done - let alone, what Should.

11/20/2008 09:57:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

(Van - Yes, he rather has. I saw his first comment coming pretty much as soon as I read it in Bob's post.)

What was that phrase about "chickens" that was being bandied about earlier this year? Something to do with "roosting?"

Bwaahahaha

The economy may be tanking and the terrorists may be regrouping, but schadenfreude levels are expected to skyrocket in the next few months.

11/20/2008 10:00:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

The philosophical reflection of the above, is found in the gleeful and deliberate unlearning of what makes common sense, in favor of personal preference, such as putting yourself and your desires as primaries over and above what is, as follows from "I think, therefore I am", and which is soon followed by "we cannot truly know the cause of anything" and soon after by "No IS can be shown to imply an OUGHT"... and then as demonstrated from Marx on down to our pomofo's, it's jokers wild!

"Why so serious!?"

11/20/2008 10:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ray Ingles,
Somebody say red blue maps?

An oldie but goodie

11/20/2008 10:13:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ah... phooey... I've barely made it into the comments, I can see Ximeze, Kepler and Fegus! but I'm sleep typing already... well that's one nice thing about having a discussion in HTML... it'll hold that thought for you to come back in the morning.

Nite' all....

(I'm betting Ben & Co. will keep a good watch on things 'till then)

11/20/2008 10:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the matter of race, I disagree with Bob that it is of no interest and is best ignored.

The variations in skin color and features between the races are quite fascinating; one can imagine the chronic climactic conditions that led to them.

For example, the freckled Caucasian skin came about from a need to let the attenuated high latitude sun penetrate into the skin to synthesize vitamin D.

The black skin of the Negroid races, conversely, took form under the blazing equatorial sun and preventing UV damage was the priority.

The brown, reds, and yellows of Asiatic and Arabic peoples are a compromise situation for mid-latitudes.

One can wonder endlessly about the thick everted lips of the Negroid race; probably they are for sexual enhancement under the pressure to compete for mates. Or are they a merely ornamental invention? Also, the addtion of the "bubble butt" on same; clearly, sexual differentiation reached its apogee in Africa.

There are racial tendencies in temperaments as well; Asians tend toward seriousness and practicality, Blacks towards joviality and love of novelty; Caucasians have a moral and industrious bent. Polynesians are fatalistic, etc.

A keen observer finds much of interest in racial differences, which are of no small consequence. For instance, men and women of different races get extra horny when in proximity. The novelty factor is very high. The children of mixed races tend to be attractive and sturdy individuals, a benefit of the variety of genes.

Negroid athletes excell at running; Caucasians dominate swimming; Asians rule in precision gymnastics.

And so on and so forth. Human racial variation, although it is albeit not to the point where there are subspecies, is worthy of study and thought and should not be snubbed.

11/20/2008 11:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

Intoxication certainly has its place. Just not in politics.

Here here! Burp!

11/21/2008 12:19:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Skully has never run before.
Fortunately.

11/21/2008 12:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Skully said...

Oh I've run alright, Cap'n. Just not for office. In my defense, Dupree was runnin' too.

11/21/2008 12:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Skully said...

"Like "effortless effort" it's sort of a "sober intoxication" or maybe an "intoxicated sobriety", whatever."

Hey Will!
We gotta find a way to bottle that!

11/21/2008 12:42:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Julie said...
"self-aggrandizement = intoxication = spiritual corruption"

Which underscores the vast importance of humility.

Will said...
>>Which underscores the vast importance of humility<<

Which in turn underscores the vast importance of constant self-examination and conscience-checking."

Yes, it's almost like leprosy where you hafta check every inch of your body often, because the nerves die and the only way to tell if you're injured is by visually checking.

That concept works on the mind and spirit as well.

11/21/2008 12:51:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

will, like your point, made me think of one of my fave Sufis, not very famous but purty cool [liked 'em enough to hand copy years back]

MAKE WAY FOR THE KING!

From spacelessness
love
descends
to lover's heart;
so sweep
yourself
up
for the King of the world
descends
to this dust heap
and
the soul
becomes as flesh
when the Soul of soul
plunges
into the soul

and why not?
If treasure
is dug in ruins
why not
love
in your heart?
Get out of the doorway!
The King of love
approaches
the house:

All you nobodies
OUT!
The guardian
of those
who have no one
approaches
the house
and
once the house
is vacant
of others
the mercy
will
descend…

A King is lurking
in my closet
but the whole world
cannot contain him.
Once he gets here
both worlds
will implode
into dust
and
atoms—
for he
descends no where
but
Nowhere.

What is the heart?
The hawk
of
High
Holy Heaven.
How can it bear
to nest
in the
herebelow?


Mo’in*
is dust on the stoop…
where else
would you expect
to find him?



-------------------------
O Lord it’s me: blanked out in divine light
And become a horizon of rays flashing from the Essence.

My every atom yearned for vision
Till I fell drunk on the manifestations of lordship.

Love polished the rust from my heart’s mirror
Till I began to see the mysteries;

I emerged from the darkness of existence
And became what I am (you know me)
From the Light of Being:

Blackened like charcoal dark soul’s smoke
But mixed with love fires and illumined.

Some say the path is difficult;
God forgive them, I went so easily:

The Holy Spirit breathes his every breath into Mo’in*—
who knows? Maybe I’m the second Jesus.

* Mo-in his alter ego

-GHARIB NAWAZ

11/21/2008 04:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Ziggy S said...

"It reminds me of people who say that Obama "inspires" young people. As Dennis Prager asks, to do what, exactly, besides vote for him?"

A crystal-clear example of the view not afforded one by scaling one's self-made mountain.

It's OK Bob. Just because some can't grasp the plot doesn't mean the movie isn't still unfolding.

Stay tuned. As if you have a choice.

11/21/2008 05:11:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Bob, Julie - There are other possible theories to account for those results.

"The positive effect of religion in the real world, to my mind, is tied to this last, community component--rather than a belief in constant surveillance by a higher power. Humans are social beings, and we are happier, and better, when connected to others... The Danes and the Swedes, despite being godless, have strong communities. In fact, Zuckerman points out that most Danes and Swedes identify themselves as Christian. They get married in church, have their babies baptized, give some of their income to the church, and feel attached to their religious community -- they just don't believe in God."

Oh, and Van - my entertainment value for you has not ever been a high priority for me. Sorry.

11/21/2008 05:23:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Julie said "What was that phrase about "chickens" that was being bandied about earlier this year? Something to do with "roosting?""
This is the kind of chicken I like to see coming home to roost:

"The Progressive is one of our most important voices, and yet it is facing an acute cash-flow crisis. I'm hoping you'll make a generous tax-deductible gift right now." - Howard Zinn

Reality's way of letting the headless chicken know that it's dead.

BwaahahahaBwaahahahaBwaahahahaBwaahahaha!!!

11/21/2008 05:40:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Will said "Awareness is like light - flick it on and the shadows disappear."

Gongggg.....

11/21/2008 05:53:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Julie said "It's been a shamefully long time since I've heard that particular sound (most of the family is tragically allergic to cats). Makes me want a kitten. Then again, the dogs would want a kitten, too, but for entirely different reasons."

Yep, I'm in the same boat. Thanks Fergus.

11/21/2008 05:58:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

From Julie's sign of the apocolapse:

Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., has hired six students whose jobs as "dialogue facilitators" will involve intervening in conversations among students in dining halls and common rooms to encourage discussion of such social justice issues as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability and social class.

...She gave the example of a conversation about a gay character on television as a good example of such a moment.

...Jason Laker, dean of student affairs, said their activities will also include formal discussion sessions, perhaps after controversial incidents in residence, and open discussions of topical books or movies.

"They're not disciplinarians. They're called facilitators for a reason," he said, adding that such a program is of particular value now that so much communication by young people happens over the Internet.

"It's not trying to stifle something. It's trying to foster something," he said. "We're not trying to be parental."


Perhaps former residents of utopian USSR will have fond memories of such Party officers.

Key phrase of hope " he said, adding that such a program is of particular value now that so much communication by young people happens over the Internet."

Perhaps that means that students are finally getting enough outside information and thinking of questions that can't be answered (quashed), that they're getting worried....

11/21/2008 06:06:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Ray - You didn't answer my very simple question. From where in your material paradigm sprang the notion of selflessness and humility as described in my quote?

Dig deep, now.

11/21/2008 06:28:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ray said "Oh, and Van - my entertainment value for you has not ever been a high priority for me. Sorry. "

Oh, sorry, I didn't mean that as "you failed to entertain me" (which would be more of a reflection on me, than you), but more in the sense of "to be tiresome or dull", you know, predictable, uninteresting, without challenge... I guess that's sort of the fate of the horizontally inclined though.

Still... not a good sign in a jester, scientistic or otherwise.

11/21/2008 06:44:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Nomo - But I already did, a while ago. As have other people.

And Van - You're surprised that calling someone something doesn't make it so?

11/21/2008 07:54:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Ray - I asked to explain the very notion of the humility and self-sacrifice described in my quote... not morals or right and wrong.

But, take the easy way out. It's your choice...or is it?

11/21/2008 08:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Ass hat said...

(*sigh*
"Just a sec..."
*rummaging around in the back of the closet...donning gray hat with big ears*)

Ray, I'm going to paste this because obviously you didn't read the article (emphasis mine).

"The study adjusted for participation of individuals within communal organizations and group activities that promote a strong social life and enjoyable routines, behaviors known to lead to overall wellness. However, even after controlling for such behavior and other health-related factors, the improvements in morbidity and mortality rates exceeded expectations.

'Interestingly, the protection against mortality provided by religion cannot be entirely explained by expected factors that include enhanced social support of friends or family, lifestyle choices and reduced smoking and alcohol consumption,' said Dr. Schnall, who was lead author of the study. 'There is something here that we don’t quite understand. It is always possible that some unknown or unmeasured factors confounded these results,'he added."

Earlier, you said this:

"As to God, though, I have thought about how to reconcile what I know with such a reality, and I haven't been able to so far."

We know, Ray. We know.

(*removes hat...starts to toss it in the fireplace...jams it back into the depths of the closet instead*)

11/21/2008 08:18:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Nomo - Traits can vary. You can't name a single trait - no matter how good - that's impossible to be taken to a pathological extreme. If 'material' causes can explain the arising of humility and self-sacrifice at all (and, well, seems to me they can) then it can explain the extreme versions, too. Not unlike ants and bees and multicellularity in general.

Van - I, uh, did read that article. I pointed out the Danes because the study was limited to the U.S. - where the non-religious are more marginalized than in Europe. A stressor, I believe.

11/21/2008 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Ray's epitaph:

"...and, well, seems to me..."

11/21/2008 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ray said "Van - I, uh, did read that arti..."

Sorry Ray, not me. My Van Asshat ® © TM needs no pseudonym ... please address your comments to the anonymous Ass Hat.

11/21/2008 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Whoops, sorry Van.

11/21/2008 12:18:00 PM  
OpenID ropata said...

Hey, Raccoons! You suck.

heh-heh. Not really :)

The above link makes me want to go live in the States actually.

12/04/2008 06:20:00 PM  

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