Saturday, December 27, 2008

We Hold These Truths to be Self-Serving

This is a timely re-run, because I was thinking about careening into a new area that expands upon some of the ideas discussed herein. Specifically, I had the opportunity to reread Robert Bolton's Self and Spirit. I first read it about a year ago, but I raced through it so quickly that I didn't really have the chance to "dialogue" with it and assimilate its considerable light.

The book definitely illuminates some of the points raised in this post, and I believe that it may help to expand upon many ambiguities, subtleties, and outright evasions of Raccoon theology. So I guess that's where the cosmic bus is headed next week.

*****

There are some things that human beings may know with metaphysical certitude. In fact, our access to truth and our knowledge of the Absolute are two of the related principles that define us as human (truth itself being a reflection of the Absolute).

Obviously, no other animal can know truth, much less absolute truth. The moment one realizes this -- assuming one really and truly does -- one understands that the human state is not a Darwinian "extension" of the animal state, but something fundamentally inexplicable on any materialistic basis. It is, in fact, a gate of exit out of mere animality -- indeed, out of the relative cosmos itself. Humans are a "hole" in creation that allows them to know the whole of creation; in our heart is a mysterious absence that potentially holds all the Presence.

For in knowing absolute truth, human beings may participate in eternity on this side of manifestation -- in the relative world. The trick is to, so to speak, "prolong" eternity on this plane. We do this by 1) aligning ourselves with truth, and 2) assimilating truth. By "assimilating," I mean that we must metabolize truth so that it is "interiorized" and becomes mingled with our very psychic substance. We must "eat and breathe" absolute truth in order to become it and live it.

Authentic religion is the vehicle of absolute truth. You might say that absolute truth, the Godhead, the Ain Sof, the Supermind, Nirguna Brahman, or the God-beyond-being, are analogous to white light, whereas each authentic revelation is analogous to a color in the rainbow. This is why religions cannot be mixed "from below," lest you produce a manmade blending of colors that eventually ends up black, not white. However, this hardly means that one religion cannot be more complete than another, or illuminate this or that doctrine more effectively than another.

Christianity, for example, is obviously a complete religion. Nor will I argue with anyone who maintains that it is the "best" or most complete religion (indeed, what other religion is capacious enough to produce and contain both Bach and Aretha Franklin?). Nevertheless, it is obviously the case that some of the greatest Christian thinkers -- true theologians such as Meister Eckhart, Origen, or Denys the Areopagite -- exist only at the margins of contemporary Christianity, if they exist at all.

And once you immerse yourself, say, in the genius of Meister Eckhart, you immediately see the parallels with, say, the greatest Jewish theologian, Moses Maimonides. Then you cannot help seeing certain unavoidable parallels with perhaps the greatest pagan mystic, Plotinus, then it's hard to distinguish him from the immortal Vedantin, Shankara. You needn't "blend" any of these truly celestial beings in order to appreciate how they are reflected in one another, each a particular color that carries and transmits real light.

Most of us cannot know the white light, but each color is in the end nothing other than light, just as rain or snow are nothing other than water. It's a bit like being able to appreciate, say, Arvo Part, Van Morrison, Duke Ellington, Merle Haggard, and James Brown. Each is a musical "avatar" who conveys real musical light, but I wouldn't want to blend them.

Apparently, it is difficult for most rank and file human beings to conceive of the Absolute on its own absolute terms, so they create a human substitute to stand for the Absolute. In short, they intuit the Absolute and believe in the Absolute, but the only way they can "think" about it is to elevate something on the relative plane to the status of Absolute.

This is fine as far as it goes, and it does help those who are not metaphysically gifted to think about ultimate things. Nevertheless, it can end up elevating religion to God, and thereby become a form of idolatry. At the very least, it can place sharp limits on transcendence, and end up being (k)-->O, except on a grandiose scale.

There is a way to "dwell" in religion to use it as a launching pad into O -- which is the actual purpose of religion in its highest sense. But let's not kid ourselves. Most people must be satisfied to align themselves with an exoteric religion in order to gain what might be called a "second hand" sense of the Absolute -- which is again fine, by the way, and certainly preferable to disbelief or to belief in frank nonsense such as atheism, materialism, or reductionistic Darwinism. It is certainly a way of salvation. It is just not our way.

In an article entitled Are You Certain About That?, Jonah Goldberg discusses one of the latest leftist memes. However, it is not so much a meme as the central core of leftism, which in the end embodies an assault on truth and a rejection of the Absolute -- which is impossible both in principle and in fact, which is why leftism is fundamentally and irretrievably incoherent.

Goldberg writes, "Have you heard the news? Belief is bad. Pick up an eggheady book review, an essay in Time magazine, or listen to a thumb-suck session on National Public Radio for very long and you’ll soon hear someone explain that real conviction -- dogmatism! -- is dangerous."

For example, "Andrew Sullivan, in his new book The Conservative Soul, declares a jihad on certainty, by which he means the certainty of fundamentalist 'Christianists' -- the allusion to Islamists is deliberate. The New Republic’s Jonathan Chait proclaims that liberalism is the anti-dogmatic ideology. Sam Harris, a leading proselytizer for atheism, has declared a one-man crusade on religious certainty. Intellectual historian J.P. Diggins writes in the latest issue of The American Interest that there’s a war afoot for 'the soul of the American Republic' between the forces of skepticism and infallibility. And so on."

Superficially, this leftist meme reflects their concern about the alleged “messianic certainty” of President Bush, which "is dangerous and evil in the eyes of supposedly meek and nuanced liberals." Goldberg notes that the meme has naturally trickled from the laughty mountains of academia, where the nonsensical air is rarified, down to the rivers, streams, and crocks below, including Hollywood. For example, in Star Wars III, "a young Obi-Wan Kenobi proclaim[s] 'Only a Sith lord deals in absolutes!' Translation: Only evil people see the world as black-and-white."

Which is ironic, "since it was Lucas himself who originally explained that the entire universe is divided into light and dark sides." Goldberg also cites retired New York Times moonbat columnist Anthony Lewis, who famously wrote in his last column that the one thing he had learned in his long and tedious career was that "certainty is the enemy of decency and humanity in people who are sure they are right, like Osama bin Laden and John Ashcroft.” As if there is anything more beligerently certain than the idiotorial pages of the New York Times.

But absolute relativism is the sine qua non of metaphysical nonsense. It is one thing thing we can know with certainty that cannot be true, for if the relativist’s belief is true, then he has left relativism behind. Then the question becomes “which Absolute is true?” But there can be only one Absolute, so the question is absurd. However, as Schuon points out, although there can be no absolutely relative, there can obviously be a "relative absolute," which is what I regard as the realm of O-->(k). This is where a Meister Eckhart or Jakob Boehme lived, which is why they can at times appear heterodox.

I remember a remark made by Eckhart at his trial that touches on this. He said that some of the more "rare and subtle" passages in his works "had to be explained in light of his good intentions and within the context of the preaching genre" (McGinn): "The whole of what was said is false and absurd according to the imagination of opponents, but it is true according to true understanding." Of another controversial blog post, he commented that "It must be said that this is false and an error, as it sounds. But it is true, devout, and moral of the just person, insofar as he is just..." In other words, right being was a prerequisite for right understanding. Ain't it the truth!

This principle doesn't just apply to contemplatives but to men of action whose shield is Truth, for Goldberg writes that most of the truly heroic figures in human history have been animated “by certainty, by the courage of their convictions” -- by O-->(k), except on the plane of action. Our founders knew with metaphysical certitude that human liberty could only have come from a creator, and that a creator cannot be other than the Creator. For truth is one and liberty is a condition of knowing it: no liberty, no truth, no truth, no liberty; and there can be neither truth nor liberty unless it is principially absolute, like the Creator from whom they flow.

Again, the leftist rejection of absolute truth cannot avoid being incoherent. As Goldberg writes, “Martin Luther King Jr. -- to pick liberalism’s most iconic hero -- was hardly plagued with doubt about the rightness of his cause. A Rosa Parks charged with today’s reigning moral imperative not to be too sure of herself might not have sat at the front of the bus. An FDR certain that certainty is the enemy of decency and humanity might have declined to declare total war on Nazism for fear of becoming as bad as his enemy.”

Thus, the rejection of absolutes -- which flow from the Absolute -- is steeped in hypocrisy, since leftists “aren’t offended by conviction per se, but by convictions they do not hold.” “Certainty” has simply “become code among the intellectual priesthood for people and ideas that can be dismissed out of hand. That’s what is so offensive about this fashionable nonsense: It breeds the very closed-mindedness it pretends to fight.”

Imagine if this country were actually founded upon a wimpy rejection of metaphysical certitude and the leftist embrace of relativism?

We hold these preliminary observations to be more or less adequate, at least convenient for the time being, that all cultures have equal validity, and that each culture has its own ideas about rights and entitlements and so forth and so on and blah blah blah. In our case, we have hit upon this idea -- no offense, but we have this tentative notion -- subject to further studies, of course -- that we would like the government -- that would be your government -- to cut us some slack so that we can do what we want to do -- basically acquire property and "do our thing," whilst trying not to infringe upon anyone else's thing...

Anyhoo, it is our culturally conditioned idea that Governments -- not all of them, of course, but ours -- should actually derive their power from the people, although we have respect and tolerance for the contrary view that you folks hold. Nevertheless, some of our more headstrong citizens think that we should be able to form a government based upon these vague hunches of ours, which, after all, are as good as your hunches. No, that was rude -- let's just say that our hunches are different than yours, and leave it at that.... No one can presume to be a judge of whose hunches are best.... At any rate, since, as the saying goes, "different strokes for different folks," we....

95 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

Seems like a good post to share an observation I came across recently regarding telescopes and radios, which applies just as well to different methods of accessing the absolute: That tool which most reveals (the stars or music, to paraphrase the original) what you seek is the one you are most likely to use. You may have a super powerful telescope with maximum magnification, but if it's too big to pack into your car it won't reveal or reveil much of anything. Except maybe what your neighbors are up to. Likewise, the author noted that the music system which revealed the most music to him was his car stereo. Certainly not the best in sound quality, necessarily, but it's the one he was most likely to use.

From a raccoon point of view, that method (or those methods) by which the Absolute is most reveiled to us is the one that is most beneficial.

12/27/2008 08:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Yes, you can't say that God hasn't tried virtually everything to reach out. In fact, he's dying to meet you.

12/27/2008 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

Schuon points out, although there can be no absolutely relative, there can obviously be a "relative absolute"...

Nowadays, I read such statements and nod in agreement. But such things were not obviously so, just a ways back down the road. For some of us, illumination takes a lot of exposure to the Light (relatively speaking, of course).

So, when Eckhart says, "The whole of what was said is false and absurd according to the imagination of opponents, but it is true according to true understanding," I think of the interior distance that has to be traversed -- a vertical ascent, actually -- before "absurd" transforms into "understanding."

Ha-ha, no wonder the Anonymii get so flustered...

Thanks for the post. Looking forward to Bolton!

12/27/2008 09:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man is an ape; apes cannot know truth; therefore man cannot know truth.

12/27/2008 09:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Therefore, your sillygism is false.

12/27/2008 09:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Man can know truth; truth is eternal; therefore, man is a mode of the absolute.

12/27/2008 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"For in knowing absolute truth, human beings may participate in eternity on this side of manifestation -- in the relative world. The trick is to, so to speak, "prolong" eternity on this plane. We do this by 1) aligning ourselves with truth, and 2) assimilating truth. By "assimilating," I mean that we must metabolize truth so that it is "interiorized" and becomes mingled with our very psychic substance. We must "eat and breathe" absolute truth in order to become it and live it. "

Certainly goes well with yesterday's nugget,
"Truth is the very substance of the intellect."

Couple a' golden Oldies, thanks for giving them another spin.

Play it again Sam,

12/27/2008 10:30:00 AM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Open question:
If some Anonii are 'woof', does it follow that some are not even 'woof'?

12/27/2008 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Of course. You've never heard of a subwoofer?

12/27/2008 02:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Gaia said...

anon:
You are not an ape. You can't be a panda or a dolphin, either. Sorry.

Gaia.

12/27/2008 02:45:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

The curious effects of Truth.

12/27/2008 03:14:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

If you read the original article, you can understand how Christianity is once again the cure for religion:

"Anxiety -- fear of evil spirits, of ancestors, of nature and the wild, of a tribal hierarchy, of quite everyday things -- strikes deep into the whole structure of rural African thought."

12/27/2008 03:25:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Yep. The Conquistadors, those horrid low-born Spaniards, lacked the intellectual nuance to understand why the Aztecs needed to rip hearts out of living sacrifices; they put an end to that whole beautiful, native culture.

I told an anthropologist once that the Mexicans should be happy about that particular conquest, lest they find themselves in the same state as Africa. Alas, after embracing Marxism, they are descending again into the same abyss.

12/27/2008 03:31:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

Truth is Good.
Here's some Beauty to go with it.

JWM

12/27/2008 05:03:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Doh! Of course.

I blame the muddle on the residual effects of recent exposure to pounding obtuseness.

12/27/2008 06:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob wrote:

"Obviously, no other animal can know truth, much less absolute truth."

Bob, how can you be sure? Behind the inscrutable eyes of a bottlenose dolphin, what could be going on?

I agree that while its likely animals don't have God-conciousness like ours, a statement of certainty is a little premature here.

And we don't know to what degee God may reach down to inhabit or influence an animal "mind". It has been amply demonstrated that natural "laws" are suspended or abrogated at the discetion of God; numerous athenticated miracles attest to this.

So, to state a gap between animal and man that is indivisible seems logical and yet severely untested.

In the interests of being rigorous, I think this should be said as a disclaimer.

12/27/2008 08:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Gaia said...

The Aztecs became my special children, once the Egyptians were no longer amusing to me. They were only too willing to listen, watch and learn what pleases me. Simple, and direct from the driver ant to the great anaconda to the jaguar. What pleases me is death, and they gave it to me like a 24/7 Vegas buffet of raw juicy hearts, while I let their transvestite priests dance around wearing the still wet skins of the supple 14 year old virgins they sacrificed to the feathered serpent. It was a hell of a scene, I'm tellin you!
Then those asshole Spaniards arrived led by their insufferable Jehovah, and his Son. Those two spoiled everything. It's all gone now.
I'm still working my remnant way out there in the sticks, though. Take an eco-tour, stray away from the guides for a bit, and maybe I'll introduce you to some of the boys.

Gaia

12/27/2008 08:03:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I just watched Ice Age II on TV with future leader, so I'm pretty sure animals don't know about truth. After all, they all seem to believe in global warming.

12/27/2008 08:48:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

Think of how many mammoths. Think of how many mammoth farts. All that greenhouse methane loose in the atmosphere! They farted themselves, and their whole world right out of existence. That's why we have the Great Lakes instead of the Great Glaciers.

JWM

12/27/2008 09:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Nova said...

Speaking of global warming...

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

12/27/2008 09:35:00 PM  
Anonymous austracoon said...

"Imagine if this country were actually founded upon a wimpy rejection of metaphysical certitude and the leftist embrace of relativism?"

Exo 32:24 And I said unto them, Whosoever hath any gold, let them break it off. So they gave it me: then I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf.

12/28/2008 03:54:00 AM  
Blogger Zoltan said...

Eckhart and all mystics (e.g., also Guyon) remain on the margins of Christian theology and religion generally at all times in the Latin Church since Trent because they probe questions that are not generally asked by most believers.

In India, where nominalism did not triumph as it did at Trent and the Enlightenment -- at least not so far has nominalism triumphed in India, although it is trying hard -- the situation is different and a Shankara or Ramakrishna are considered central rather than marginal figures.

The theological weakness of mysticism in its Latin Church formulations is its glossing of moral questions that most concern most believers.

The theological weakness of the mystical sacramentalism of the Greek Church is its connection with state absolutism.

The Church tries to unite the mystical and the moral impulses of the theological strands and the pietistical demands and always finds this difficult to express in words and symbols for the reason that unity has no second by which to be expressed.

12/28/2008 08:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gaia should be respected. You despoilers of her repent.

Live small, cheaply. Walk, don't ride.

Let animals be your teachers, not your food.

Ingest only plant foods in moderation. Do not smoke, drink alchohol, or use drugs.

Keep you thoughts and speech and writings pure. Abstain from sexual intercourse whenever possible.

Do these things in the name of Jaia-us Christ our World Saviour.

Brittany

12/28/2008 09:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Gaia said...

Don't give me that Brittany crap. And no, you can't be a cute animal today. I'm gonna have your wimpy nameless ass for lunch.

Gaia

12/28/2008 09:13:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

I'm batting .000 today:

Live small, cheaply. Walk, don't ride.

oops.

Let animals be your teachers, not your food.

oops.

Ingest only plant foods in moderation. Do not smoke, drink alchohol, or use drugs.

oops, oops, oops.

Keep you thoughts and speech and writings pure.

oopsy, dammit!

Abstain from sexual intercourse whenever possible.

Keep Gaia outta my bedroom, dammit!

12/28/2008 09:17:00 AM  
Anonymous jwm said...

I like that 'let animals be your teachers, not your food' part. I'm going to go look for a possum, a crow, or a coyote to give me some advice on what to have for lunch. Carrion sounds good...

JWM

12/28/2008 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

I've heard some folks eat 'possum. I skinned one once, years ago; all dark meat, and a beautiful musculature. You'd want to cook it first, of course!

12/28/2008 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Brittany,
Nature to be commanded, must be obeyed - to the best of your understanding, command nature to serve you as best you are able. Skiing, boating, camping are excellent ways to enjoy nature; building a house with a view (if you've done enough commanding to acquire the necessary funds) is highly recommended as well. Still working on that.

Live within your ability to produce, save and invest for future needs, then within those parameters, live as largely as seems reasonable to you in the pursuit of happiness. Don't neglect your body, but don't enslave yourself to it either, use the most economically sensible technology available to travel as you need, must and desire.

Pay attention to your pets, they can teach you something's about friendship and love. Eat whatever of the rest seems tasty. Medium rare. Make liberal use of herbs and spices. Yummy.

Salad & some veggies (Brussel sprouts are obviously fit only for throwing at crows, rats and other vermin) help to bring out and accentuate the flavors and nourishment of the main course. Choose your wine carefully... or just fill the pewter mug to the rim with cold Grog (repeat as necessary). A judicious usage of Scotch is excellent for after dinner conversation. Use aspirin if you're afflicted.

Reason upon about what you say, seek to channel truth, remember to keep compatible what you say and do. Abstain from sexual intercourse when your wife has a headache. Try not to be the source of her headache. Be sure to keep the medicine cabinet stocked with aspirin (and the other two).

Be inspired, but remember, claiming that you do something in someone else's name, won't obscure the truth of what you actually have done; remember you are answerable for what you do, judge and prepare to be judged.

Van

12/28/2008 10:07:00 AM  
Anonymous anonymous said...

Why does there seem to be so many preachers here and so few (apparent) practitioners? If absolute truth is not relative to an individual's ability to perceive, understand, and absorb it, then wouldn't it follow that those "in the know" would all behave similarly? Maybe you should drop the "Christian" label, which seems to be either a thorn or a shield, depending upon whatever idea you're seducing at the time, and simply form a new religion? "Me-stianity", "Coonth Day Adventist", "Denihilism"... get creative. Combine the intrinsic divinity of everyman as made accessible by Jesus (Christian) with intolerance toward outlanders (Islam), and move forward without having to pay all the messy lip service to all that Compassionate Christian crap? It would certainly cut down on the misunderstandings.

12/28/2008 01:23:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

That's my back-up plan.

12/28/2008 01:39:00 PM  
Anonymous anonymous said...

Well there you have it: two minds thinking alike, yet coming up with different conclusions. I say move forward, you say back up. Sounds like absolute relativism to me. Or relative absolutism to you. Or maybe we can call it personal responsibility, and leave it at that. I'll still forgive my debtors in the process though, thanks very much.

12/28/2008 02:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Vizzini said...

Never argue with a Sicilian when death is on the line!

12/28/2008 02:25:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

Sanctimonius said:
I'll still forgive my debtors in the process though, thanks very much.

Go piss up your islamic rope. Links and all.

JWM

12/28/2008 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Anon-
Dude, you CAIR too much to be compassionate.

12/28/2008 02:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

Canuck Raghead said-
"It would certainly cut down on the misunderstandings."

Sura it will.

12/28/2008 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

aninnymouse said "Well there you have it: two minds thinking..."

Hmm... Gagdad, that's one, and... and... say, you weren't including you in that 'two' were you? Heh, and I thought you were trying to say something serious there for a moment. Ha! What a kidder!

12/28/2008 03:12:00 PM  
Blogger debass said...

In a past life, I would tell my militant vegetarian friends that I would not eat anything with an IQ greater than 100. Then I would look them up and down and smile. They stopped their vegetarian rants after that.
I don't eat poor, innocent animals. I only eat the rich, guilty ones.

12/28/2008 03:23:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Debass-
LOL! Those fat capitalist pigs are the best!

12/28/2008 03:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Man is an ape; apes cannot know truth; therefore man cannot know truth."

I'm surprised people are still bringing it up, and still pushing an absolutist mentality.

12/28/2008 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

aninnymouSe said "I'm surprised people are still bringing it up, and still pushing an absolutist mentality."

You sure about that?

12/28/2008 03:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Gaia said...

So this one's back. Listen monkeyboy, I already told you. You can't be an ape no matter how hard you wish. But then- do you really want to play animal with mother Gaia? Oh, please do try. Remember the guy with the bears? I'll quick exchange your worthless hide for a few zillion larvae, and a quick lunch for the nearest predator. Hey- how about a trip to the beach? I'll bet you'd like the ocean.
yours,

Gaia

12/28/2008 04:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Napolean Dynamite said...

This is pretty much the worse commentaries ever made. Gosh!

12/28/2008 04:35:00 PM  
Anonymous anonymous said...

Hey there JWM, HMS Skully, Van...

Ooh, "and all the colored girls go, doot do doot..." Thank ya, thank ya verah much..

Since when is calling a coon a coon cause for a coonish egging? Oh, yeah, since whenever you feel like it. So this is an example of the "absolute" moral code preached here. "Practice? Preach? Aren't they the same?" Discuss among yourselves.

JWM: Sanctimonius? (sic) Moi? Sounds like a personal problem on your end. Thelonius is closer to home. Cut down on the caffeine dude.

12/28/2008 04:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Kip said...

Like you could ever know that, Napoleon.

12/28/2008 04:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Ray Bolger said...

Anybody got a match?

12/28/2008 04:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Napoleon Dynamite said...

Not since Bruce Lee died. Gosh!

12/28/2008 04:55:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

Whineymouse said:
So this is an example of the "absolute" moral code preached here. "Practice? Preach? Aren't they the same?" Discuss among yourselves.


Let's see, which one of the raccoons here went out of his way to seek out an on-line discussion group to harrass with drive-by snarky, condescending comments, all the while not having the courtesy, courage, or street level politeness to identify himself with so much as a nic? Who among us has done this to you? No one? Imagine that.
There is nothing wrong with posting anonymously if one feels a need to anonymously disclose sensitive information.
But coming to a blog repeatedly and posting anon tells the readers that you already hold them in such low regard that you do not deign to bother with an identity.
And then you jump in with both feet, taking everyone's inventory, letting us all know that we are deficient on some scale that you deem important, and, of course, offering a little sacasm for spice.
Then you whine because the locals seem unfriendly. Wonder why.
How does this pattern work for you out there in the real world?

JWM

12/28/2008 05:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Then you whine because the locals seem unfriendly. Wonder why."

The locals have been always been unfriendly to people who voice alternative opinions, regardless of courtesy. And you wonder why Anons seem unfriendly... because it wouldn't change how you'd treat them.

12/28/2008 06:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And Gaia seems to have a God complex.
I'm sorry, I didn't realize calling yourself something gave you authority.

Hi my name is God, I would say that classifying modern man as a greater ape would be correct, it is the most fitting class for them. Also Gaia, we need to have a meeting about your behavior.

Interesting. I should do this more often.

12/28/2008 06:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Standup Guy said...

And you wonder why Anons seem unfriendly... because it wouldn't change how you'd treat them.

Anon walks into a blog and starts complaining about the channel that's tuned in.

Regular patrons are enjoying the selection and razz the interloper to step off.

Anon sez, "I didn't come here to be abused!"

Patrons say, "Well, where do you usually go?"

12/28/2008 06:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unless of course they comply with the belief system wholly.

12/28/2008 06:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Standup Guy said...

Unless of course they comply with the belief system wholly.

And even if they do, why should it matter? Do you crash private parties for a living, trying to convince people not to buy Tupperware?

You're a new troll, having no long history here or you would know the longsuffering of the Raccoons, and especially Bob, with obsessive interlopers with their own agenda.

Most trolls are surprised at how quickly their agenda is sniffed out. Indeed, most times they are not even aware of any agenda, just a faint idea that their self-aggrandizement is not properly appreciated. They hide it behind all sorts of disingenuous blather that older Raccoons never fall for. But dull trolls don't see the ruse, and think the 'coons an unfriendly bunch to an "honest" inquisitor.

The prophet Samuel proclaimed of God: "to the pure you show yourself pure, but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd."

I'm sure that's shocking to a troll who thinks that God should welcome his dishonest attentions with calm understanding and cheek-turning. I'm pretty sure that Gaza is shocked, too, and hoping some Media Trolls take up their part, and quickly. After all, they just have honest disagreement with Israel that they discreetly hide behind teeny little missiles that really don't hurt anyone. They just have a point to make and want attention, and don't know how to actually set up and run a blog or country of their own. They just want to pull down anything that they can't be a part of.

Troll, thy name is Envy.

I don't care why the Raccoons seem unfriendly to you. I don't care if they seem, horrors!, hypocritical. It's their turf and for one reason or another they've asked certain kids to get off their lawn.

Somehow, troll, you think yourself the arbiter of what is Correct. It's all quite clear to you.

Well you know what? It wouldn't matter if you were 100% correct about everything. You'd still be a tiresome trespasser and bully on another's property. Count it among your braver deeds.

12/28/2008 07:30:00 PM  
Blogger Aloysius said...

For the epitome of sublime

J.S. Bach Es is vollbracht

12/28/2008 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Apropos of something or other, while driving along Friday evening I was looking at the sunset gleaming off mountains and orange groves, houselights twinkling cozily on hillsides, and I was wondering what this world would be like if there had been no Fall. It had to be possible, but for free will to be true was it inevitable?

12/28/2008 09:01:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Also, half-dozing just now I had an interesting thought/dream: a rope spooling down from sOmewhere, to be woven into a ladder with which to climb up to meet the Infinite halfway. But of course, with nothing to hang it from it just puddles on the ground, until the weaver realizes that the ground and sky are inverted...

Not sure entirely what that meant, but it seemed relevant.

12/28/2008 09:38:00 PM  
Anonymous anonymouse said...

I agree with Standup Guy. This is a community blog, a club if you will. If coons invaded other websites and deposited baylisascaris procyonis all over the place, well, that’d be different. Most community blog dynamics are the same. Still doesn’t keep me from trying to stir the pot every once in a while.

Speaking of Gaza... After successfully reconquering Palestine, the Jewish have inadvertently set up a self-reinforcing ghetto situation in Gaza which acts as a festering sore, the resolution of which will be interesting to watch. Not discounting that Israeli leadership may have crafted this situation to help keep it’s own citizen defense sharp against larger middle eastern threats...

Sorry. This is a community blog. A club. I feel better now.

12/28/2008 09:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am an older troll, used to being bombed by the raccoons. The RC's are just people; anon has hit upon something I've pointed out before:

Although advanced in the interior, for raccoons nothing really changes on the outside. Bob drives a car, goes to work, purchases the same foods, does exactly the same things at the same times as his lefty foes; an outside observer can spot no difference at all. ONe is puzzled by all the fuss. What does it boot?

Raccoons are thoroughly conventional; their doctrine does not impact their lifestyle. They mainatin an average demographic in every way.

An element of radicalism would benefit this group, beyond a doubt.

"They will know we are Christians by our love, by our love"

What is the lifestyle of the raccoon, and how does it differ form the liztard around the corner? That is the question.

Fool Manchu

12/28/2008 09:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Napolean Dynamite said...

If you want to court Julie, then you'd better have some pretty sweet skills. You know, nunchuck skills, bo hunting skills...a girl will only date a guy who has skills!

12/28/2008 11:29:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Aloysius, thanks for posting the Bach.

I wonder if you're familiar with the Jordi Savall soundtrack to the early '90s French film
'Tous les matins du monde' (All The Mornings of the World)?
It's glorious! Most of the tracks are instrumental viola di gamba, but "as an added bonus, two outstanding vocal pieces are sung with endearing purity, flawless technique, and impeccable intonation by two perfectly matched sopranos."(David Vernier)

Tenebrae is on Youtube as it appears in the film - fortunately the CD does not have voice-overs getting in the way of the music.

12/28/2008 11:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Blews Bro said...

Anon,

I thought you were going to go by your new handle, Taminy Chic was it?

12/28/2008 11:51:00 PM  
Anonymous anonymouse said...

I’m long on skills. Big and long skills. And I can do foreplay if desired, before demonstrating these skills.

12/28/2008 11:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know she is mated up and I can never have her, still I love Julie, who's heart is in the right place.

Sex Perv (Taminy Chic)

There, fixed it for ya.

12/28/2008 11:53:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

JWM,
I agree. Especially about the “identity” part. Anon enjoys all the benefits of addressing us “by name” but offers none of these polite courtesies to us. Then has the nerve to say he’s not treated with common courtesy. There is a reason for these diversions. And I’m certain, until I state it now, that he would say “point to where I used those words”.

Anon,
You may have fooled even yourself, but you haven’t fooled me. I know what you are up to. You are cunning.

You came here in the middle of a beautiful expression to remind us that “men are classified as apes”. There are only two reasons to do this which I called you out on: to “knock down” or to “state the obvious”. I believe you came to do the former under the innocent disguise of the latter.

What calls you to knock down beauty? Are we running low on ugly? This place and its people are not improved by you.

12/29/2008 05:22:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

fool apechew said "An element of radicalism would benefit this group, beyond a doubt. "

So we should do what, shave a kind of inverted Mohawk from our nose to the tip of our tail - a Wo!Hawk? Put on some saffron scarves and dance around on street corners washing our paws? Yeah... nothing says spiritual understanding like attention seeking affectations.

"What is the lifestyle of the raccoon"

Living with style, undeterred by what fools pronounce to be fashionable.

" and how does it differ form the liztard around the corner? That is the question."

Being an old troll, you've seen the answer over and again - the fact is, you aren't up to the question.

(and what Ricky said)

12/29/2008 06:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Beauty School Grad said...

Old trolls won't even do Beauty the courtesy of using a nose-hair trimmer. They think no one will notice if they just comb it into their anonymoustache.

12/29/2008 06:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You're a new troll, having no long history here or you would know the longsuffering of the Raccoons, and especially Bob, with obsessive interlopers with their own agenda."'

I'm not new to this blog, obviously, but only newly a troll. In reality the conflict only resumes as long as I defend my stance. As for sniffing out my agenda, there really wasn't one. I pointed something out and people took offense to something that was never said. There was no intent to make it a continual struggle, but there is certainly intent to stand by what I said. At the least you can't say all trolls intended to be when this community regularly becomes the aggressor.

12/29/2008 06:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Your Old Man said...

"aggressor" ??

Wow, do you ever have a low threshold for pain! Man up!

12/29/2008 06:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Beauty School Grad said...

Old trolls won't even do Beauty the courtesy of using a nose-hair trimmer. They think no one will notice if they just comb it into their anonymoustache."

And it's pointless attacks like this that really don't help to make the community seem rational. Really, a play on words to attack somebody you don't even know? What are you trying to do? Offend nobody?

12/29/2008 06:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

""aggressor" ??

Wow, do you ever have a low threshold for pain! Man up!"

It's a description, not a complaint. Man up? Really? If I said you threw a lot of punches I wouldn't be complaining, especially when they don't hit. I'm just describing your behavior, not my reaction.

12/29/2008 06:18:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Lance?

12/29/2008 06:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Your Old Man said...

No respect for Your Old Man?

Bad manners you learned from your mother. That, and the whiny nagging.

12/29/2008 06:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have the same problem as Gaia,

and maybe you should quit whining that you don't get the respect you don't really deserve just because you chose that name.

12/29/2008 06:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Walt Kowalski said...

Ha! Now you get to decide who deserves respect?

No, you don't.

12/29/2008 06:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Board of the Ringtails said...

Yay troll! You're still 100% Correct and 100% Jealous and 100% Obsessed!

Whatever you were before, the Raccoons are completely responsible for the unholy trinity of trollishness you now exhibit. We admit it! We are to blame. We did not suspect your weak nature and we've now totally subjugated your person to our power.

You are not to blame for your own behavior at this point.

You are no longer your own man, you are now an owned man, cursed to rail and rant at that which is denied you.

We feed you because we own you. It's the least we can do at this point.

12/29/2008 06:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Napolean Dynamite said...

You guys are freakin' retarded!

12/29/2008 06:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Riiight. Board of Ringtails I wasn't saying it's your fault I act this way, I'm saying you can't really complain about how trolls act when you act like that. What do you expect?


"You are no longer your own man, you are now an owned man, cursed to rail and rant at that which is denied you."

What exactly have I been denied? And railing and ranting, 100%! 100%! Yes... 100% of the time!

Lol, that's adorable. You seem so distraught, relax a little.

12/29/2008 08:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Board of the Ringtails said...

I wasn't saying it's your fault I act this way,

Yes, but we are saying it, wholly and apart from anything you wish to discuss. We are declaring it, actually. Not much you can do about that.

We are the reason you are the way you are. Nothing else explains it. Our hard hearts have rendered you a slave.

But we do recognize our own property and chattel. Here, boy, here's another snack for you! Speak! Speak!

12/29/2008 08:51:00 AM  
Anonymous anonymous said...

JWM, assembled coons, and to the practice of personal mastery so perfectly illustrated in the comment above:

Generally I rant in private about these matters, as it does me the most good that way. After all, it's my journey I'm directly connected with. But it's near year's end, and I feel the need to move things forward.

What's so important about a nic? Do you want to send me a card or correspond personally? You know good and well who I am, as well as you ever care to. That has been shown repeatedly in ways both subtle and obvious. What would a single entity behind the same old song do except help you hone your hatred? Sorry pal. Find some other meditation technique.
And what's more courageous: standing around the campfire swapping stories and singing harmonies with your kinfolk, or walking across the rocky landscape of self-discovery, damn the fences, singing your own personal Song of Self? There's a time and a place for both, I'll wager. Just now let's talk relative, not absolute. Don't criticize me for not stepping in your footsteps or following your timeline, eh what?

I don't know who came first, the disease or the sycophants, but you coons present a cultural spectacle unlike any other within my field of vison: a philosophical Rube Goldberg device balancing Seuss-like atop a slight tome called OCUG. How can I stay away, and why would I if I could? This is heady stuff! As the Most High B'ob attempts to remove the self-imposed knife from the center of his back, a host of the similarly afflicted have gathered and formed the High Howlalewya, C'mon An' Let Us Do Ya Choir. Every problematic attribute Bob has graced upon the left, he possesses in spades. This blog, with its fringe agenda, is repeated ad nauseum on any number of fronts be they religious, spiritual, political, or personal. Only the agenda changes. And tho his symptoms mirror his "enemy" precisely, he does not see it. He can't "see" the problem, therefore it does not exist. But the damn pain persists! The stabbing in his back is always someone else's fault: that damned "left". Me. Obama, the Knave! His university professors who fed him the swill he hungered for. Richard Dawkins. That devil spawn Darwin. The Liztard Charles Johnson. Who's next in this parade of plotting picayunes...the California Public School System? (oops. Too late.) Fearless Leader's Waldorf Teacher? Montessori? Maurice Sendak? The in-laws? Your elementary school math teacher? Dammit man! Forgive yourself for your leftist forays and get on with that which is good and whole! In my own heart, Christ's most important teaching was that of forgiveness, and only then, via that broke-down doorway, love. And once understood, feel free to impose the act upon yourself first.

I remember asking once, when I believed you would give me an honest answer, why you felt it necessary to "negatively sell" something as positive as salvation? It stinks of sulfur and deceit, of molten cracks in the earth and pitchforks. Surely you could see that spiritual grace stands as its own justification? Surely you see that those who have attained That Grace draw us by the force and pull of That Grace alone? That a coerced confession is worth nothing? But you delighted the choir by whipping up some answer or another why it could not be so, some carefully surveyed and lasered point that managed to bounce off of a grand tradition here and carom off a spiritual master there, to finally fall, magically, at the mark without once passing through the question standing in front of you. ("Who, ME?") So long as you continue to "sell" your hybridized brand of Intolerant Spiritual Progress, "Chrislam", you will reap the fruits of those labors. So stop whining about the discord. It comes with the territory, mercenary.

If you feel the call to help others in the arena of spiritual salvation, stop selling it like bad religion. Peddle salvation for its own merits or continue to be called out as a public spectacle, a goggle-eyed pitchman with one eye on the ratings and the other on the mirror. And suffer the occasional daring daylight visits by those gathered, as human beings are wont to gather, round the garish spectacle of a bloody man proclaiming his innocence as he simultaneously washes and sharpens his knife.

See youz later, alligators.

12/29/2008 08:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Napoleon Dynamite said...

Grandma just called and said you're supposed to go home. She doesn't want you here when she gets back because you've been ruining everybody's lives and eating all our steak.

12/29/2008 09:25:00 AM  
Anonymous jwm said...

My, but you are full of yourself.

Point number one:
No, we don't know who you are. You are Anon, one of who knows or cares how many nameless snipers who show up from time to time. You flatter yourself if you think people are going to take time to parse out your diction and syntax, so they can recognize you as THAT nameless sniper as opposed to another. If you don't see any value in extending a reader the courtesy of distinguishing yourself by using a consistent handle, then you haven't acquired the common courtesy requisite for entering into any discussion.

Point number two:
There is a bad craziness loose in the world. Bob sees it, and comments on it. So do many other writers. You hear stuff here that you've heard elsewhere? So?

Point number three:
Spare us your diagnosis of all our spiritual, and personal shortcomings. We're working on it, OK?
Bob, and every one of us posess our share of faults, and foibles. Last I looked, no one here was claiming spirtual perfection. Some make claims of learning, or progress. No one has made claims of transcendence. You do here what the left loves to do to any of their targets. (and no, I'm not calling you a lefty) You create some fictional ideal model of what you think a spiritual community ought to be, and then come charging out into the real world outside your head to criticize those who don't meet your measure. We don't meet your measure. Thanks for reminding us.

Point number four:
Bob is not a preacher, and this is not a church. Neither is it a cult, a club, or an organization. Bob gets up each morning and pours his stream of consciousness out into these posts. We read them. Some of like what he says, so we return each day to trade comments. That's the whole enchilada. That's all. No mas. There is no tower here. Just folks posting on a blog.

JWM

12/29/2008 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Ringtails I think maybe before you can call me a slave you'd have to have some way to enforce it. "

We do. You.

Poor BigP.

12/29/2008 09:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Board of the Ringtails said...

Anon,

Good Boy!

Your bark is really all about the rejection of your agenda for another's property, perception, and personal walk that is quite happy, and unafraid to offend where it is warranted. Still, unlike Jesus, Bob has yet to call a poor woman a dog.

Nevertheless, here is a crumb, slave: Because you have been rejected, you will lay awake tonight, your brain racing to find some way, any way, to hammer home your beautiful truth.

There, slave, in the queit of your own bed the Raccoons will still own you, in your innermost turbulent thoughts.

A wretched slave is defined by the power he willingly grants another to control him. As we see it, we own you whether we want to or not. You simply will keep asking us to rule over your mind and set the agenda for your rudderless thought life. Refresh. Refresh. Race back to OCUG and refresh again, to see where you will go today.

Owned. You prove it minute by minute.

Now... speak!

12/29/2008 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

JWM, thanks. You've just put very eloquently what's been dancing on the tip of my mind this past week. The anonies have an idea or an expectation of who they think we should be, how they think we should behave, and what they think we should be moving towards. They have an idealized image of a Truth-seeking community. When we inevitably fail to conform to those expectations, we are scolded, castigated and derided.

What the anonies don't or won't understand is that we are not interested in being who they want us to be. And so it goes, round and round.

12/29/2008 10:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bored of Rigtails:

WTF?! Get some more sleep, dreamer.

JWM: now that's what I call a decent reply. I'm not going to remake the points you misunderstood except to say that you Coons as a rule toss anyone who disagrees or takes your own churlish tones into one large pinata, then begin swinging. Names, nics, distinctions don't matter. Why would I want to patronize that behavior? Either one hops on board Bob's slam-mobile, or one is "exposed" as an interloper. While I can agree with and appreciate lots of things on this site, this persistent persecution of anyone who can't see things Bob's way keeps this site from being anything but a prejudiced, narrow-minded soapbox, like all the "leftie" sites Bob despises. Despite all the pretentions otherwise.

Julie:
"They have an idealized image of a Truth-seeking community. When we inevitably fail to conform to those expectations, we are scolded, castigated and derided.

And how is it again that you are acting any differently in your actions/reactions? Isn't disagreement a part of a truth-seeking community? It's Bob's open and frequent jibes at the left which set this tone. Bob chooses to make the blog public, and chooses an open comments section. If it bothers you all so much then just close comments to the hounds, in which case I think you'd all soon become bored silly. Most of the stank tripe posted here is from "anonymous" coons, not anonymous trolls.

12/29/2008 10:28:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Whoa! All sorts of fun has been happening here in yesterday. The Anonies just keep setting us up for failure. Shouldn't we be discouraged by now?!

12/29/2008 10:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Board of Ringtails said...

Bored of Rigtails:

If only!

How many comments before we discovered you could PUNish us with your wit. Who gnew?

Still owned.

Every click you make
Every shot you take
Every move you make
Every fist you shake
We'll be owning you!

***
(that may be the only good use I've found for that awful stalking song!)
***

Speak, slave troll! We are waiting.

12/29/2008 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger Zoltan said...

Julie, yes, the Fall is related to freedom, and not only of will.

Freedom is one pole of an inseparable polarity: freedom and destiny.

"The Fall" is a symbol of the passage from dreaming innocence, which you were experiencing, to actuality, which comprises polarities to include freedom and destiny.

Others polarities are dynamics and form, and, individualization and participation.

The Fall is a symbol of that passage from dreaming innocence to actuality, not a fact of history and certainly not a point of time in the past or a genetic marker.

It is a condition inevitable for whatever becomes actual, or, passes into actuality from the state of dreaming innocence, thus becoming conditioned.

Deep sleep is the state closest to liberation and realization, the state least conflicted by polarities, the state least conditioned and therefore closest to the Unconditioned.

And thank you for offering the folks to rise above the trivial to discuss the meaningful, such as implications of Bob's labors.

12/29/2008 10:45:00 AM  
Anonymous anonymouse said...

The problem is the dearth of well-populated, well-moderated conservative blogs which encourage free speech for the purpose of self-correction, deeper understandings, and future topic generation.

The debate-addicted oneupmen wind up fruitlessly poking away at the few wide-open community club blogs, such as this one, to vent their frustrations.

12/29/2008 11:26:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

aninnymouse said "…this persistent persecution of anyone… "

As Dennis the Pythonite once said,
"I'm being persecuted! Help! Help! I'm being oppressed! Come see the violence inherent in the system!"

Oh, Board of the Ringtails so has you pegged.

"You speak of this desire as if you know it to be so. How came you by this knowledge, shrill one?"

We know it by your example. You come here to us, you return in angst ridden text ”You are all wrong! I am right in proclaiming my pretentious meekness! Yield to my feebleness! PLEASE!!!”. Again and again and again. You have chained your unbalanced senses to our den door, you need to be seen by us, to rant and spew and demonstrate because we are under your skin, and you can't escape us.

We don't bother following you or your type around. You are of no interest to us. You come back here and blurt your pathetic comments, for our amusement. We are amused. We bat you around a bit, like hikers who come across a tin can in the trail, we continue our conversation while sweeping out a foot to kick it back and forth for as long as possible, until it, that is to say, you, finally skips beyond easy reach, and we continue on with our hike, forgetting your existence.

Until you return again for your next injection of attention.

Oh, you are enslaved to us... but it's your doing. None of us would bother.

12/29/2008 12:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm, posts being deleted?

I guess I've been making a fool of to many of the community.

It's funny that one is saying we're slaves and acting like we're controlled when saying that makes absolutely no difference to our lives.

And then Van who can't figure out that by responding he's actually destroying his whole argument in the first place.

Of course you don't bother with us, which is exactly why you aren't posting... oh wait... I guess you did post to say that... I'm getting mixed signals.

12/29/2008 01:47:00 PM  
Anonymous TV Repairman said...

I'm getting mixed signals.

A little more tinfoil on your antenna will cure that.

12/29/2008 01:50:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

aninymouse said "And then Van who can't figure out that by responding he's actually destroying his whole argument in the first place. "

(Tee-Hee... as if!)

The shiny can plops before my boot,

"What do you own? Really. Tell me you own me, see that I care. Try to control me, see that I'm not controlled by you. You keep speaking like I'm a slave, I'll keep talking like a free man."

Yeah, returns where he's not wanted, blurting for attention from people who couldn't care less about him or his "ideas"... sounds like a free man to me... NOT!!!

(flick-kick) fwingggg!
(the annonytincan clatters on down the road, where, if I notice, I'll boot it and forget it again.

Cool.

12/29/2008 04:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess Van decided not to read the whole paragraph, or he willfully ignored it knowing it pretty much hit it on the nose.

Don't really get why Bob decided to remove Anon temporarily, or delete all the best responses, but I guess that's his decision. I guess that's the usual damage control.

12/29/2008 08:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

* paragraph? I meant post...

12/29/2008 08:15:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

doofusninny, I think you'll find your misplaced droppings here, and please remember to use a pooperscooper after you finish.

12/30/2008 08:24:00 AM  

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