Saturday, December 13, 2008

Exposing the Spiritual Counterfeiters

In a comment yesterday, Dupree linked to one of those cringe-inducing integralists whose writing is so bad that it causes physical pain in the aesthetically -- let alone, spiritually -- sensitive. As you know, unlike my competitors, when I speak of spiritual matters, I try to do so with precision and clarity, because so many of these creeps and con-men hide behind a bloviating cloud of cliché -ridden drivel, thereby giving God and religion a bad name to anyone with a functioning intellect.

While casting about the arkive for a Saturday repost, I found this one from two years ago, which fortuitously addresses some of these concerns.

****

For all that is good, or true, or beautiful, there exist counterfeit versions. In fact, this is one of the surest ways to know that objective truth, beauty and morality exist, because uncorrupted human beings have a built in way to recognize sham versions of them. But the operative word is “uncorrupted,” because it seems that most people actually prefer the counterfeit to the real -- which is odd, because why would someone prefer a cheap and tawdry imitation? There must be something about real truth, beauty, and goodness that cuts both ways, and makes the corrupt soul recoil and draw away from them.

Consider the fact, for example, that nearly all totalitarian regimes, such as Iran, hold “elections.” They also have a person called “president,” as if there is any analogy at all between an Iranian president and a United States president -- but he’s just a counterfeit version. Obviously there is no meaningful liberty or democracy in Iran, but the Mullahs must nevertheless pretend they exist. Who -- or what -- are they trying to fool? In other words, why don’t they just come out and say what they actually believe? Why the tribute that totalitarianism needs to pay to liberty? No matter how deeply the mullahs are plunged into the Lie, it seems that they still know the Truth -- just as the Soviets knew the truth. They also held sham elections to give the appearance of democracy.

And it is the same way with the American left, which is why they must always either lie about their ideas or couch them in more acceptable terms -- i.e., "undoing the Bush tax cuts" instead of raising your taxes, “redeployment” instead of surrendering to our enemies, “affirmative action” instead of racial discrimination, “civil rights” instead of special rights, “speech codes” instead of censoring non-leftist thought. When the left uses the tired phrase “speaking truth to power,” they nearly always mean “speaking seductive lies to the powerless in order to gain power over them.”

And the left certainly has its sham versions of courage, for example, giving a “free speech” award to a crude thug such as Sean Penn -- as if great courage, rather than craven conformity, is required for a Hollywood celebrity to criticize President Bush. He'd better be careful -- if he's any more critical of the President, he may be in danger of winning another Oscar.

Obviously counterfeit money can only work if there exists real money somewhere. The counterfeit money is entirely parasitic on the existence of sound money. Which makes the situation in American academia so ironic. American universities have become great bastions of counterfeit truth. What makes secular academia (again, we are always speaking of the liberal arts, not the sciences) such a spiritually sick institution is that it is as if only counterfeit truth is allowed. Imagine banning real money, but only allowing counterfeiters. Obviously, the counterfeit money would soon be valueless, because you couldn’t pass it off as “the real thing.” With multiculturalism, moral relativism, and deconstruction, each professor can be his own counterfeiter. Only monopoly money exists. But in order to make sure that your children obtain their share of this worthless monopoly money, it costs you real money -- what, $40,000 a year? Madness!

Yesterday [Political Correctness: Hammer of the Godless] I cited the example of how Dr. Dobson naively tried beat the intellectual bullies at their own game by using some of their academic funny money in support of real truth, and was soon attacked by the counterfeiters. The same thing would happen in Iran if a citizen there were to try to take their counterfeit democracy seriously. They would be liquidated by the counterfeiters. If people learn to recognize real money, then the counterfeiters are out of business.

Likewise, the U.N. is an entirely counterfeit institution that allows dictators and tyrants to be placed on the same moral plane as their liberal democratic counterparts. But who do the leftist counterfeiters denounce? John Bolton, because he sees the U.N. for the den of iniquity that it is, and seems constitutionally incapable of uttering counterfeit words. In the bizarro leftist world of Time Magazine, Ahmadinejad is a "champion of the dispossessed, a global Everyman." Can you imagine them saying that of John Bolton, who is a genuine champion of the dispossessed -- including those who are condemned to live under the global everymonster Ahamdinejad?

Counterfeiters have always flourished in the spiritual and religious arenas. But here again there is an upside, for the existence of these phony gurus and sham versions of religion let us know that the real things exist. The “new age” movement is overflowing with counterfeit spirituality, which bears the same relationship to real spirituality as the Iranian mullahs do to real democracy, or the left does to the truly liberal vision of America’s founders.

Yesterday we were visited by one of these types, who tried to pass some counterfeit bills in the Cosmos. One thing you will notice about the discerning Raccoon is that he is something of a spiritual treasury agent, like a regular Eliot Nous. For him, it is the work of an instant to detect a counterfeiter trying to pass phony spiritual ideas. Most of my readers are undoubtedly rather humble, so they may not stop to think about the implications of this ability, but it obviously means that they may be more in touch with the Treasury of Truth than even they realize. For if you can know it by its absence, you clearly have implicit knowledge of Truth. It’s just a matter of fleshing it out and making it more explicit.

This disingenuous counterfeiter, who called himself “Integralist” this time, wrote, “Wow, I'm a bit surprised. After reading Mr. Godwin's book about a year ago and seeing his name related with the budding ‘integral movement,’ I was rather surprised to find his blog such a haven of vitriol and non-integralism (I only just discovered it after reading his enjoyable interview in What Is Enlightenment?).”

We know right off the moonbat that this person is a liar and a counterfeiter, even if he doesn’t know it. Just because he “read” my book doesn’t mean he actually read it, much less understood it, for if he had understood it, he would know that it is part of no movement to integrate lies and truth. He claims that he is not a leftist but an “integralist” who aspires “towards a synthesis of liberalism and conservatism, the best of both -- not an outright castigation of one extreme in favor of the other.” He says “I've only browsed your website for about an hour, but please point me to a post that embodies an integral embrace of the important aspects of Left and Right? From what I've seen it is almost a spitting image of the same sort of vitriol that you and others here seem to revile in the Dark and Evil Leftist Empire.”

The whole point of leftism is that it is a counterfeit ideology par excellence. Any truth or beauty it possesses is merely a reflection of the real thing, nothing intrinsic to it, for it must always pretend that it is promulgating ideals that it specifically rejects -- just like the mullahs. In effect, what this reader would like for me to do is integrate the counterfeiters into my world view -- the phony image of truth with Truth -- and call it “integral.”

Let’s just look at some of the institutions that have already been taken over by the left, such as academia. Is it any coincidence that universities have become such factories of foolishness? There is no idea so crazy, vile, or stupid that it isn’t taught in a major university. And this is only possible because the university continues to benefit from its historical association with genuine liberalism, which promoted the disinterested pursuit of objective and timeless truth in order to actualize what is latent in the soul so as to be able to realize the good. Truth must always precede goodness. Political correctness is the very opposite of liberalism, for, as we saw yesterday, it dictates a certain narrow outcome ahead of time, thereby displacing both truth and being (from which truth flows) in one fallen swoop.

Of course, leftism also represents counterfeit compassion -- which is what is so annoying about the inane term “compassionate conservatism.” For in coining this misleading term, it was as if the treasury were trying to imitate the counterfeiters, instead of vice versa. There is nothing compassionate about racial discrimination masquerading as affirmative action, or economic innumeracy masquerading as “caring for the little guy,” or attacks on the foundations of civilization masquerading as “gay rights,” or judicial tyranny masquerading as “anti-discrimination,” or state censorship of ideological opponents masquerading as a "Fairness Doctrine." In each case the Truth must be known by the liar prior to the Lie.

Again, these leftist shams are only effective because they are parasites on the real thing: liberty, justice, the rule of law, compassion, free speech, etc. There is nothing “compassionate” about instituting a single payer health care system in which health care is rationed in the form of a six month wait to get an MRI for that tumor that is growing inside of you. There is nothing “just” about causing serious damage to the world’s economy based upon fanciful weather reports, thereby killing and impoverishing millions more people than if you do nothing. There is nothing “humane” about morally equating the only liberal democracy in the whole of the Middle East with the genocidal barbarians who wish to destroy it. And there is certainly nothing equitable about forcing people of modest means to subsidize the union greed that results in unskilled laborers receiving $70 an hour, or whatever it is. Talk about bad carma.

The leftist counterfeiters rely on your very liberality to elevate the lies that are death to real liberalism. These phony “integralists” attack me for my classical liberalism, as if they have the slightest interest in integrating my views with theirs. That’s just a lie. I challenge any of them to find an “integralist” who is as angry and hostile toward leftists as they are toward me. Let’s see the “integralist” who uses the same terms to attack a real monomaniacal nut like Al Gore, or a vicious anti-Semite like Jimmy Carter, or a paranoid, America-hating crank like Noam Chomsky, as they do to discredit me.

They’re not integralists. They’re just leftist counterfeiters trafficking in reflected light.

An astute reader pointed this out a couple of weeks ago. Truth is not a bottom-up, inductive, sum total of all the truths, half truths, lies, and stupid ideas of the world. Rather, truth is anterior to the minds that think it. As Bion wrote in his paradoxical way, the thinker is only required for the lie, in the sense that he must first know the truth in order to lie about it. Truth only requires that we conform ourselves to it. This is why most of the thinkers of the left are merely liars. And only a fool would mingle lies with truth and label it “integralism.”

28 Comments:

Blogger walt said...

If only we could get Ray and Inty started talking to one another, they would be happy, and we would be happy.

Very modern: a win/win/win!

And your Seattle blogger that Dupree linked yesterday exemplifies the real danger of the lie you wrote about today -- for he states that his whole purpose is "to organize the logic" of the progressive agenda.

Such folkers have a genuine lust for manipulating the world we live in that escapes me entirely.

On a (much) brighter note, the book you recommended to Julie, Merrell-Wolff's Pathways Through To Space, is Raccoon Food through and through. Thanks for that!

12/13/2008 08:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Nick said...

http://bewareofthedoghouse.com/VideoPage.aspx

12/13/2008 09:29:00 AM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Walt, you're actually able to read more than a few sentences of Seattleblogger type stuff? Amazing. Most impressive. I really do try to, but just can't make it happen.

"If only we could get Ray and Inty started talking to one another someplace other than OC, they would be happy, and we would be happy."

There. Fixed that for ya Walt.

12/13/2008 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I don't know about that commercial. I happen to think Mrs. G. will love her new Garden Weasel.

12/13/2008 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

Ximeze -

Re: Mr. Seattle

If only you knew how ashamed I feel after I'm through ...

12/13/2008 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Heh - DH forwarded me that one a couple weeks ago. It's got the men's rights crowd up in arms, but I thought it was kind of funny. Maybe only because we don't have a doghouse.

Though honestly, I'd be delighted if he got me a good vacuum cleaner ;)

12/13/2008 09:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is also no analogy between a presidential election in America today and one prior to 1900. Your naïveté regarding American politics is sometimes astonishing. Doubly so after the debaucle of the past few months as we have watched "conservatives" and "liberals" team up to "bail-out" the banksters.

12/13/2008 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

No surprise. If there is true conservatism, it necessarily gives rise to counterfeit conservatives.

12/13/2008 10:20:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Walt's making up his Christmas Wish List I see.

Will Santa be swayed by a petition? Cuz you can add my sentiments and a plate of cookies and a glass of cold milk to go along with yours, Walt.

12/13/2008 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger debass said...

Julie-

THere are no good vacuum cleaners according to my mother. Her relationship to them is like the Twilight Zone episode with the slot machine.
Fraaankliiin!

12/13/2008 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Wo.

Did I say Wo yet? Let me say that again,

Wo.

I am of course used to encountering more tpsp (Truth per square paragraph) at OC than any of the other leading netsources... but... wow. Triple the full raccoonmended daily dosage of The Good, The Beautiful and The True was crammed into every single line here today... I've got an OC buzz.

"There must be something about real truth, beauty, and goodness that cuts both ways, and makes the corrupt soul recoil and draw away from them."

Definitely.

You should put a warning label at the top of this post for the leftist inclined,
WARNING: Reading further could be fatal to your current world view, or invoke such an entombing overreaction of denial that you will to never see the light of day again.

12/13/2008 12:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hahaha.

I am amused.

12/13/2008 02:05:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

And in the age of fake, artificial phoniness trying to pass itself off as the real thing- Hollywood has jumped its own shark with a global warming version of "The Day the Earth Stood Still". By all accounts, it's majorly preachitudinous, and blows serious chunks.

Oh, and Thug Sean Penn is up for an award for playing gay homosexual San Francisco politician Harvey Milk who was gay, incidently. The film is called "Milk", and it's about Harvey Milk who was a gay politician in San Francisco.

also at a theater near you.

JWM

12/13/2008 02:37:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

I wonder if Milk will have any mention of his connection to Peoples Temple?

Not that I ever intend to watch it to find out.

12/13/2008 03:17:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

Debass:
If the vaccuums would at least spit out a dollar after they've scared the bejeebers out of you it wouldn't be so bad.
That episode scared the pants off me when I was a kid.

JWM

12/13/2008 04:12:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

Julie:
Yeah, somehow, "Milk" isn't up there very high on my must-see list.
Actually, I'd rather be strapped in Clockwork Orange style, and be forced to take LSD, and watch a damaged VHS copy of Terms of Endearment played on a 15" made in North Korea TV.

JWM

12/13/2008 04:20:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

No shit? Harvey Milk was gay? Who'da thunk?

Inty did take a beating during that prolonged dust up.

12/13/2008 05:24:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

And only a fool would mingle lies with truth and label it “integralism.”


If you put a cup of wine into a barrel of sewage, you have a barrel of sewage.

If you put a cup of sewage into a barrel of wine, you have a barrel of sewage.

JWM

12/13/2008 06:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'And only a fool would mingle lies with truth and label it “integralism.”'

The undivided Ishwara is behind all points of view, all ideologies and all philosophies. If something seems horrible to you, it only means your own vision needs to be adjusted. This is the great play of masks, the Lila of the Divine, and only those committed to a life of love and courage over and above all petty human ideologies can embrace it. As Sri Aurobindo puts it:

"The rejection of falsehood by the mind seeking after truth is one of the chief causes why mind cannot attain to the settled, rounded & perfect truth; not to escape falsehood is the effort of divine mind, but to seize the truth which lies masked behind even the most grotesque or far-wandering error."

Some day, I'd like to see you have the courage to call Sri Aurobindo and the Mother "counterfeiters" too.

If you have studied their philosophy and the way they organized the integral yoga community (specifically Auroville, the community in Tamil Nadu, which is still thriving), and if you've ever interacted with the IY community in America and elsewhere in the world, you would find Sri Aurobindo and the Mother incorporated many, many aspects of what you would consider "leftism" into their philosophy and their ideals of community life. That legacy is being upheld by the community today. (You'd be VERY disappointed if you interacted with the American IY community. You'd probably stop citing Sri Aurobindo on your blog at all, considering that some of them are people who met Sri Aurobindo or the Mother, or both of them, *in person*.)

I'm not an American (I'm South Asian), but I was curious about the conservative movement in America that you represent, and, as a devotee of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, found your blog while searching for something on integral yoga (which I'm convinced you have no "initiatic" understanding of). You're a smart man, but my impression is that you don't have much experiential idea of what self-transformation entails -- all you have are mental ideas. The amount of self-righteousness, shadow-projection and scapegoating on your blog is quite appalling for someone who claims to be on the spiritual path. You also seem to not have any idea that yoga and morality are totally different things, and that Truth transcends all ideologies and all moral/ethical systems. Ironically, this actually makes you not much better than the New Agers, Wilberian-style integralists and all the rest you claim to be superior to on your blog.

And no, Bob, I'm not a leftist. I really have no personal stake in the silliness of human politics, whether in America or elsewhere (interestingly the Mother forbade all discussion of politics at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram). I wouldn't even comment here, were it not for the arrogance with which you're always quoting Sri Aurobindo and the Mother (and only the parts that you like -- you'll never quote the things they say that contradict your thought), as if they have something to do with your partisan political ideology.

And I would suspect, frankly, that even Traditionalists, most of all Schuon himself, would probably also object to how their work has been chopped up to fit into an ideology on your blog.

I call your scholarly and spiritual integrity into question. Before you accuse others of being counterfeiters, you might want to be very sure that you aren't one yourself. To me it is clear that your childish machismo is just a cover for the fact that you really have not done your homework on this count.

I would actually be willing to engage in a dialogue with you (I'm never afraid of dialoguing with people who disagree with me), but I've seen the defensive, belligerent and aggressive way you speak to anyone who disagrees with your ideas or points out their limitations, and think that a dialogue with you would probably not be fruitful.

12/13/2008 08:28:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Do you have a question?

12/13/2008 08:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Chill, my windy Hindi. The UNDIVIDED ISHVARA is behind all points of view, all ideologies and all philosophies, even though the UNDIVIDED ISHVARA is not actually UNDIVIDED, but is divided from the UNDIVIDED BRAHMAN. But forget about my academic quibbling. In any event, we have heard from the wise that if Bob seems horrible to you, it only means your own lousy vision needs to be adjusted. Either that, or you are in serious need of a girlfriend.

12/13/2008 09:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 8:21 was a little harsh on you, Bob. I do think you have a solid grasp of IY.

However, the anonymous complainant has noticed the curious blind spot you have about your unusually critical affect towards others.

The part of you that drives the blog is, paradoxically, probably in need of purification.

No offense Bob. We all have areas that we need to work on. The question is, is your pugilistic attitude a symptom of contamination or domuination by undivine elements?

I would say unfortunately that it is.

The only way to see if it is is to try to say what you need to say in a different way; probably you need to look for the deeper movement behind the movements that you find objectionable.

Dig deeper. Ask yourself, why? Whay are things as they are? And then don't answer that question with your mind. Answer it with your something else.

12/13/2008 10:45:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

The hypocrites of divine contradiction have spoken.
Heed and be healed.

12/14/2008 01:07:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

BTW, I'm from Sri Lanka and have partied with Aurobindo many times.

12/14/2008 01:21:00 AM  
Blogger Aloysius said...

The whining of our counterfeit integralists exposes them.

12/14/2008 03:26:00 AM  
Blogger phil g said...

I'll sum up the Windy Hindi's argument:

"You velly velly bad man, Bob, bad man, velly velly bad man"

12/14/2008 03:55:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

No, I am special.... my mother was right....

12/14/2008 06:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Babu @ 10:45 -- We all have areas that we need to work on. The question is, is your passive attitude a symptom of contamination or domuination by undivine elements? Dig deeper. Ask yourself, why? Why do I sound so gay?

12/14/2008 06:42:00 AM  

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