Monday, March 31, 2008

More Odds & Endlesses

Where were we? And does it matter in the non-linear dimension where I hang out? No, not at all. I can just peruse Bob's sacred journals at my leisure and riff away. I can explain the passages or just toss them out to readers and leave them shrouded in their penumbra of irritating mystery, adding to Petey's mystique -- as if it were possible to "increase" what is already infinite.

Here's one: "The left must make you metaphysically ignorant in order to convert healthy impulses into the sick ones they require in order to fulfill their project."

This reminds me once again that truth -- at least on the macro level -- must be the highest value, from which all others flow. I am currently reading a book that holds "liberation" to be the highest value, but this cannot be true. If it were true, then the truth of it would have to take precedence. Besides, "liberation" or "realization" are of no use to the world in the absence of truth, let alone love and beauty. Raccoons have no interest in "realizationism" unless it is an undeserved byproduct of the traditional virtues removing the impediments to grace; it is analogous to happiness, which cannot actually be sought on its own level, since it is an effect of right living, not a thing in itself.

Even if I could experience Oneness, I'd give it up in a nanosecond for twoness and then the threeness which is its fruit. I'm quite sure God feels the same way, which is why his interior life is intrinsically three. Yes, he had it all, but he gave it up for love. That's all you need to know about cosmology, at least as it pertains to your day-to-day life.

Yes, you can argue that "all is one," but only if you make the immediate caveat that the One holds the two within itself, the womb of eternity, or that the Subject gives birth to the object for all time. For "what good is it to me if this eternal birth of the divine Son takes place unceasingly but does not take place within myself?" (Eckhart).

Do you want to know what goes on in the core of the Trinity? I will tell you. In the core of the Trinity, the Father laughs and gives birth to the Son. The Son laughs back at the Father and gives birth to the Spirit. The whole Trinity laughs and gives birth to us (Eckhart).

Jesus is the smoking cr(e)ator at the center of history. This is to say, an Idea descended into time, the Idea of ideas. Once this Idea entered time, we could not love the world in the same way, except insofar as it embodies and reflects this eternal Idea.

The contemporary left wing equivalent of religion + sadism is narcissism + sanctimony.

America's founders were not anti-religious. Rather, they simply wanted to ensure an even praying field.

Whenever you hear the phrase "socially conscious," reach for your revolver. For the left, this replaces being "spiritually conscious," or just having a conscience in the traditional sense. It is their version of "fundamentalism." This is the reason why leftists are so attracted to environmental hysteria, as it allows them to feel morally superior at no cost to their moral depravity. They can lead an immoral life but imagine that they are purchasing "moral credits" by scolding the rest of us. Thus, the scam of "carbon credits" is no different than purchasing indulgences.

I would much prefer to have my theology politicized than to have politics theologized. In other words, there should be no objection to wishing to see one's religious values reflected in politics. This is altogether different from the left's project of elevating their horizontal ideology to a state religion.

Liberals only want to be judged by their intentions, never outcomes or consequences. As such, this is again similar to a reverse religion, in the sense that they worship at the altar of a kind of pure metaphysics (actually, "infraphysics," as it were), unsullied by the actual events of history. This is why the young and stupid are so susceptible to its charms, since they have the least history. I remember when I lived in the quasi-timelessness of childhood and adolescence. No wonder I was drawn to an ideology that reflected that false infinite.

Contemporary liberalism is for the carnal man (the only man who exists, since his spiritual nature is denied at the outset), therefore the weak man who wants his weakness "normalized." Furthermore, it relieves him of the strength of character it requires to grow to full manhood, while at the same time making him both wise and righteous in his own eyes. No wonder it's so popular!

Take your pick: crystal clear ambiguity or vague certainty.

Just as in science, we need a frame of reference with which to "see" religious facts. Just as the paradigm of quantum physics creates a way to see phenomena inaccessible to the Newtonian paradigm, religion illuminates a field of eternal and transcendent "theologoumena," or "facts of God." A fact is a relation between two events. Therefore, a religious fact is a relation between man and God, or O and (¶).

Once you admit the idea of "higher" and "lower" in any sense whatsoever, it's just a way of saying that things are oriented from the top down, not from the bottom up, otherwise your distinction is supported by "nothing."

God is either One or Zero. No, wait. The Godhead is beyond-being, or Zero, which gives birth to One, or being. Gravity takes care of the rest.

Atheistic mental masturbation: nOnanism.

Their telovator doesn't go to the top floor.

Is what we see a projection of psychic space? Or is psychic space the interiorization of the exterior? Obviously the former. For what does it mean to say that something is deep in the absence of a mental conception of space? If the cosmos is "infinite," it is only because the mind is; or let us say that exterior and interior are infinite in both directions. But since there cannot be "two infinites," it's merely two sides of the same möbius strip joint. The outer reaches of inner space: the only final frontier there has ever been, the evolution of the interior horizon. We're already living on the Other Side we're dying to get to. Hallow, noumena!

And another journal is swept into the recycling bin of history.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Reading the Sunday Timeless -- Live Tree Edition (3.21.10)

In water, resistance increases with the cube of speed. At a leisurely swim, it isn't bad at all, but if you enter the water from a great height, it is nearly like solid rock. Likewise, soil has its own resistance, which at our speed is very high, but roots at their deliberate speed easily find their way through the ground.

When the seeker awakens and begins moving with purpose, there is also a resistance from the "world," and it too increases proportionately with the speed. I'm not sure whether this is a design flaw or the work of a conscious enemy; perhaps it is a security device to keep the crazies from thrashing about too wildly. But it must be very frustrating for one who sees his goal clearly and tries to get there in the limited time given him.


If I were a lesser man, I would have immediately deleted this outstanding comment by Magnus and then claimed credit for it myself. At any rate, it is a fine example of a couple of symbolic "chords" with which the Raccoon may use as the basis of pneumatic improvisation.

Naturally, in discussing the transnatural, we must rely upon analogies and symbols from the ponderable world, such as "soil," "light," "speed," "height," "water," "resistance," and "asshole." This is not because spirit is a mere "projection" of these things, but rather, the converse; the "world" is the temporal manifestation of timeless principles that can be understood by the law of analogy. Thus, water flows like grace, the sun shines like Truth, and the lower gastrointestinal system "speaks" in the manner of the Cosmic Troll, or "anti-Bob."

As I was just mentioning to someone a couple of seconds ago, the reason why the world is so full of analogy, metaphor, and symbol, is that these aren't just literary devices but literal deivoices, i.e., the ethereal Word made fleshy, or earthereal. No matter how lo One gos, the logos goes two. And then three, as we shall see.

Thus, we shouldn't be surprised at the fractal and holographic nature of reality, meaning that we see the same patterns and principles repeat themselves at all levels. This is why the pneumanetwork of synchronicities in one's life can become so thick that you could cut them with the knife you "coincidentally" hold in your head.

In my own way, I guess I've always recognized this analogical cosmic structure, but it took a while to recognize what I was cognizing and to rerecognize it at a "meta" level. For example, as I've mentioned before, the topic of my doctoral dissertation was the parallels between psychoanalytic metapsychology, quantum physics, and non-linear, dissipative structures in biology.

In short, I saw clear "analogies" between the way the physicist looks at the subatomic world, the way the biologist looks at life systems, and the way the psychoanalyst conceptualizes the deep structure of mental functioning. "Seeing" is one thing, but seeing what you're seeing is another. And to see this is yet another. In fact, you could almost say that this is the trinitarian structure of transcendence: knowing, knowing that you know, and then knowing that you know you know.

So Spirit clearly meets with "resistance" in the herebelow. As for whether this is providential or demonic, let's consider the alternatives -- or whether there could actually be any on this side of manifestation. For example, if you want to create muscular beings with robust skeletons, you need to have gravity. If we had evolved on the moon, we couldn't have evolved, since there isn't enough gravity there to keep us down to earth.

Clearly, physical strength is a function of resistance. Could Spiritual strength function any differently? Isn't our character revealed and honed on the rocks of adversity and other cliches? Could there actually be any excellence in the world in the absence of resistance? To put it another way, could any useful thought be produced if we all lived in the friction-free land of the tenured?

I am reminded of the beauty of the competitive free market. One of the reasons the North evolved past the South is that in the case of the latter, physical toil was felt to be beneath the dignity of a proper man. Thus, physical labor was outsourced to slaves and other "undesirables." But it is only by struggling with recalcitrant matter that one begins to unlock its principles. Thus, the North leapt ahead of the South in discovery, invention, and creativity.

For certain non-Western cultures, a similar problem arose, in that the world was regarded as fundamentally illusory and changing, so that the evolved man sought out the timeless principles "behind" or "above" the world. Thus, these cultures produced bupkis.

Only in the logoistic Christian West was it recognized -- or at least practically realized -- that matter is a declension of spirit, so that the world necessarily veils and discloses the "mind of the Creator," so to speak, and is worthy in its own right. This is why "beauty is the splendor of the true," why truth is buried everywhere we look, both surrounding and penetrating us, why the human mind is a sonny mirrorcle of the Abbasolute, yada yada, etc., etc.

Not much time this morning, so let's wrap it up with a clear passage by Schuon and an Opeek one by Petey:

[T]here is no metaphysical or spiritual difference between a truth manifested by temporal facts and a truth expressed by other symbols, under a mythological form.... With God, truth lies above all in the symbol's effective power of enlightenment and not in its literalness....

Historical reality is less "real" than the profound truth it expresses, and which myths likewise express; a mythological symbolism is infinitely more "true" than a fact deprived of symbolism....

The uncreated Word shatters speech while at the same time directing it toward concrete and saving truth.


In coonclusion, God is not so much a rigid mathematician as a playful mythsemantician.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Knocking Down Walls With Spirit Jazz

Why are we blogging on a Saturday? In fact, why are we blogging at all, when Bob said he was going to cut back? As to the first question, Bob just woke up refreshed and alert at 6:30, and here we are with nothing else to do. It's the only time during the day that the house is silent and peaceful, so why waste the silence and peace?

As to the second -- it's a little more complicated - but when that layer of rock forms between O and (n), we've decided that, instead of throwing up our hands, Bob's going to use me to bash his head against the rock with all the more force. Rather than backing off, we're going to ramp up the gymgnostics and verticalisthenics. Perhaps just as in weightlifting, the resistance is what creates the strength.

I am reminded of Sri Aurobindo, who often wrote of his struggles to "break on through" despite obstacles -- obstacles which seemed to throw up more resistance the more he progressed. Satprem (author of the best book on Aurobindo, The Adventure of Consciousness) writes that "if one draws down too strong a light, all the darkness below groans, violated." This aspect of the the mind "can be quite formidable, like an army of ants against an elephant." As Aurobindo's collaborator (known as "the Mother") put it, "the question in this race towards transformation is to know which of the two will arrive first, the person who wants to transform the body in the image of divine Truth, or the body's old habit of disintegrating." It's Evolution vs. Entropy, in a fight to the finish. Satprem elaborates:

"The more one descends the scale of consciousness, the thicker the falsehood and the more things die, of course, because falsehood is in essence rot.... Old age and illness are among its most evident falsehoods -- how could what is true become old, ugly, worn out, or ill? Truth is radiant, it is beautiful, luminous, and eternal. That is obvious. Truth is invincible. Death and old age can only touch us through our lack of Truth." This dark counter-force cannot be undone except by way of "a pressure from above, which responds to a call from below and breaks the seal, as the sun breaks the skin of the seed."

Sri Aurobindo spoke of the work of "dredging, dredging, dredging the mire of the subconscious." Satprem: "There is still too much jungle down below. The world is still full of jungles" over which "our mental colonization is a very thin crust." "In short, one has to face everything -- and everything resists.... [W]e cannot solve a problem, on any plane, without confronting all the opposites of our Goal.... And one easily understands how no transformation is possible as long as the forces [i.e., mind parasites] are simply muzzled, and remain prowling around in dark corners awaiting their hour. Since nothing can be subtracted from the universe, they must be converted." Thus, as Aurobindo wrote to a disciple,

"There is a sort of locked struggle in which neither side can make an appreciable advance (somewhat like the trench warfare of Europe), the spiritual force insisting against the resistance of the physical world, that resistance disputing every inch and making more or less effective counter-attacks." This touches on the folly of leftism, "the colossal vanity of those who pretend to cure the world by external means and new institutions; no sooner is evil healed in one place than it revives instantly elsewhere, in some other place, in some other form. Evil is not outside, it is within and below, and as long as that particular Disease has not been cured, the world cannot be cured" (Satprem). The whole world resists: "It is not we who wage war, it is everything that wars against us!" (Aurobindo).

It is not difficult to trancelight any of this into Christian terms. Paul: For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God and the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench the fiery darts of the wicked one. Or as Jesus himself said, No one after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. No, we plunge ahead, bashing our hearts against the headstone. (I'm sure that Nomo can find many more good examples.)

Hmm, that was only meant to be a brief prelude, but I'm afraid it may have turned into a quaalude that put you all to sleep. We're still flipping through these mysterious journals that Bob has laying around, trying to decipher their childish scrawl and see if we can't mind a few gnuggets from them. Here's one I like. It says something to the effect that Schuon is like stately and dignified classical music, whereas new-age/integral pop is more like banal and trivial pap music. Then it says -- or I think it says -- "Coony Tunes = Modern Jazz."

I think I understand what he's driving at here. In the case of classical music, it's almost like revelation, in the sense that there is a fixed canon of immortal works that few people believe will ever be surpassed, e.g., Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, et al. Pop music is the opposite, in that it is almost entirely ephemeral and without lasting value.

You could also say that classical music represents "old Europe," or even the old world in general, whereas pop music embodies the most crass and superficial elements of consumer driven fashion. But what about jazz? First of all, jazz is intrinsically American. But what is it? Above all, it is the art of spontaneous composition, but not in an undisciplined or arbitrary way. Rather, it involves instantaneous creativity utilizing a fixed chordal structure; or, to put it another way, inspired horizontal improvisation that is "spun out" through the vertical chordal changes.

As Bob tried to explain in the book, there is a reason why humans are so attracted to music, the reason being that there is something about music that reveals the very structure of the cosmos in both its "exterior" and "interior" aspects.

For example, a scientist might look at creation as an elaborate solo over the "chords of creation," that is, the twenty mathematical parameters that govern the character and development of the universe. These parameters do not rigidly determine events, any more than the chords of I Got Rhythm determine the musician's solo. Rather, the solo is infinitely free to vary within the constraints of the chords. In fact, in the absence of the chordal constraints, there can be no coherent solo.

A Raccoon looks at revelation in the same way, bearing in mind that there are three more or less co-equal branches of revelation, 1) the cosmos, 2) scripture, and 3) the uncreated intellect that represents the subjective "extension" of the Divine into the human realm. So Raccoons basically play live spirit-jazz out of these three songbooks in order to produce our loose canon of non-standards. Call it spiritual improve-isation.

good-Day!

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Journal of a Laughtime with Bob's Unconscious

Okay, I don't think that went over too well, and I think I know why. Bob just posted a bunch of unconscious fragments, when he should have allowed me -- Bob's unconscious -- to elaborate on them. After all, I am the one who produces these quirky gems to begin with, so I should be allowed to flesh them out to a glossy sheen. Which is basically how I operate down here in my analogical world, blending this and that metaphor in various inappropriate ways.

So today, Bob has set me free to look over the sacred journals, and to spontaneously "free associate" as I see fit, as soon as I come across a passage that engages my attention. This may take us far afield, but so what? I don't live in the same world as you timebound clockjockeys. I'm free, baby. The horizontal Man can't touch me. I'm always just over the subjective horizon, relaxing in Upper Tonga.

Here's a good one. The left in particular, because they deny the vertical, end up projecting it into the horizontal, which then creates a sort of dividing line between the way things are and the way they would like them to be.

Actually, I don't think it's just leftists who do this, except that in their case they can't help doing it. It must be a universal human tendency that becomes their default state in the absence of any vertical orientation. It's why the unreflective "reality based community" always lives in a fantasy they don't even know they're creating.

If you project the vertical into the horizontal, it results in either pathological hope or a dysfunctional, distorting kind of nostalgia. For example, back when Bob was a Boy of the Left, he idealized the 1960s, as if that were the apex of human liberation and fulfillment instead of a manic and frivolous escape from history, maturity, and hygiene. Some people might idealize "the Clinton years," or "the Kennedy years," and the media encourage this kind of reification of time.

Obviously, some conservatives and probably most Republicans are prone to the same thing, idealizing "the Reagan years," or imagining that some ideal candidate could come along and fundamentally alter our reality. But it has never happened and it never will happen. A true conservative realizes this, which is one of the reasons why we do not get too excited about day-to-day politics, since history is full of irony and surprises and forces we do not understand. It's like the weather.

One of the reasons why the global warming hysteria is such a scam is that they rely upon models that select a finite number of variables out of an infinite number. But if you overlook a critical variable, the whole model just generates BS, which is increasingly obvious with "global warming" models. It reminds me of the old joke about the Soviet Union. When their models didn't pan out, they promised to dissolve the people and elect a new one.

With regard to history, it cannot be reduced to anything less complex than itself. It cannot be comprehended from "within," but this is not to say that it cannot be comprehended. But the only way to do so is to escape "upward" and understand the metaphysical principles of which it is an instantiation. History is derivative -- an unpleasant "side effect" -- of vertical principles that play out in unpredictable ways in the herebelow. In fact, this is how we balance free will and predestination, as the large contours are fixed, even while we are given more than enough rope to hang ourselves down here.

Along these lines, there is an article today at American Thinker called Whites Can't Make Blacks Happy:

"One of the creepy things about our 'need to have a conversation about race' is the assumption that whites can somehow make blacks feel better, or be happier, or be more self-accepting. Nobody has the power to do that, except what individuals do for themselves, one person at a time."

Exactly. It is the height of immaturity to think otherwise, so to encourage this mindset is to encourage emotional immaturity -- which, of course, is the left's specialty, since emotional immaturity creates dependence, and dependence is the source of their power.

This is what I call Loser Power, and you should never underestimate its potential. It is somewhat analogous to gravity, in that it's just the tendency of fallen bodies to seek a state of repose by following the pathology of least resistance. And yet, just as a clever person can harness gravity and turn it into a productive force, e.g., a dam or waterwheel, a clever demagogue can convert a collective sense of narcissistic entitlement into real power. Think of how much narcissism and immaturity it takes to keep the leftist wheel of misfortune spinning! But they have no worries, because there's always an endless supply of inflated self-regard, Man being what he is, which is either less than or all too much of one.

We'll never run out of gravity, since it's not fundamentally a force, but a property of spacetime curvature. Likewise, narcissism is not a force, but a result of the ego's similar tendency to curve and bend psychic space around itself in a tight and compacted spiral. It is the opposite of spiritual "radiance," which must be marshaled to counter this tendency.

The bottom lyin' for the left is the belief that the ego can make itself happy on its own level. Thus, the left constantly promises things it can never deliver -- which is, ironically, what they accuse religion of doing. It is vital for the left that you not know the source of your own existential misery, and that you fall for their empty promise that they can deliver you from your own hell. As Lewis explains,

"Most people don't come close to lasting happiness in their own lives. So the popular Leftist charge of America's 'institutional racism' comes down to saying that 'The Great White Conspiracy is responsible for rescuing you from your bad feelings.' That is just cockeyed."

The real problem is that "Far too many black people don't feel good about themselves, and are constantly looking for answers from somebody else. That quest for the impossible has been turned into an accusation against the invisible but all-powerful white racist establishment. Michelle and Barack Obama were indoctrinated with those toxic beliefs at Princeton and Harvard, so that they are now making more than a million bucks a year, living in a mansion in Chicago while still feeling sorry for themselves."

This is what I mean about the endless supply of narcissism and entitlement. Whatever bounty the Obamas receive, it will never be enough to appease their in-built envy. Their motto should be "We made it, and so can't you!"

Speaking of converting envy, hatred, narcissism and paranoia into cash and other valuable prizes, just look at their spiritual dementor, the Reverend Wright. American Thinker reports that this poor, persecuted black man is about to move into his new $1.6 million, 10,340-square-foot shack in suburban Chicago. Maybe when he said Goddamn America, he meant it in that ironic, streetwise way, as in Damn, America be baaaaaad!

It seems that the Reverend walks around with the opposite of a pimp roll, which is a wad of singles with a hundred dollar bill around it to make the pimp look more affluent than he is. In the case of the Reverend, he has a roll of hundreds concealed by a tattered old one dollar bill on the outside.

Here's what the Constitution guarantees: 1) Life, since without it nothing is possible, while with it, all things are possible; 2) Liberty, since human life in the absence of liberty is not worth living, freedom being intrinsic to the human state -- even if most humans have to be driven toward it with whips, whether in Iraq or Berkeley; and 3) The pursuit of happiness, which is quite the opposite of a) the pursuit of pleasure, which is mere hedonism, and b) entitlement to happiness, much less pleasure. No, the government is only there to ensure that you yourself may pursue this elusive spiritual state called "happiness." To put it another way, if the government can confer it upon you, it's not happiness, but something far less -- something beneath the properly human state.

But as Lewis points out, the professional politician won't get far by promising that he can't make you happy -- which is why it is so difficult to translate the conservative intellectual movement into a political one, i.e., to turn Republicans into conservatives: "For politicians, voter dissatisfaction is the fuel of personal careers. You can't get anywhere by promising all the answers to people who don't need you. So the first order of business is to find dissatisfied voters, and if they're not there, stir up some dissatisfaction. That's why Obama needed the Rev -- to get him in good with a proletariat, any proletariat, in this case a black one."

This is also how you can discern a false religion from a true one, as the false one will exploit various things that are intrinsic to the human condition, and offer quick solutions to resolving or overcoming them. In contrast, Petey and the Transdimensional Order of the Friendly Sons and Daughters of the Cosmic Raccoon promise only a struggle and an adventure, but the struggle is worth it, and it will be the adventure of a lifetime, because it will transpose your little melody of a life into a higher key, so that you might even hear the song supreme and the cosmic suite.

At the end of Lewis' piece, he offers what might be a "prayer for the soul of the leftist." Just admit that there is a power greater than your narrow sense of entitlement, and repeat,

"1. There is no excuse for lack of effort.

2. Although I may be unhappy with my circumstances, and although racism and sexism and other 'isms' exist, I know that things are better now than ever, and the future is even brighter.

3. While I may be unhappy with my circumstances, I have the power to change and improve my life. I refuse to be a victim.

4. Others may have been blessed with more money, better connections, a better home environment, and even better looks, but I can succeed through hard work, perseverance, and education."

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Spring Cleaning: Mythellaneous Gods & Ends

As I mentioned the other day, I'd like to clear out all of these notepads and post-its I have laying around, and reduce them to some kind of coherent disorder, so I can finally toss them. I must have at least half a dozen notepads here in my lap, filled with murky mudditations and cognitively arrested developments that never even grew to juvenilia.

Let's start with this big yellow one. Hmm. Some of this looks pretty self-indulgent. When I look back over these things, sometimes I'm not even sure what I meant. Oh well. Maybe you can figure them out, or at least find a useful nugget or two on which to coontemplate. In any event, I apologize in advance for some of these nascent pre-thoughts that perhaps should have been allowed to properly grow up and become fully half-baked before being prematurely sent out to make their way in the world.

Is a merely rational theology possible? Need for a-logic in theology, or patterned transrationality. Pre-scientific mythologies are incoherent non-absurdities. Mental illness is an incoherent absurdity. Reason reduces world to coherent absurdity. Only metaphysics leads to coherent non-absurdity.

How do we mediate between a theological literalism that no longer speaks to modern minds and a liberalism that drains it of any emotional resonance with the deeper strata of consciousness? In order to understand the vertical, the realm of imagination must be engaged & expanded, e.g., Genesis: the less saturated, the more likely imagination can fill the innerstices. "Form walks with meaning in the ascent to infinity." God is found in the "deep within" of things. If not there, where?

To convey the eternal, the transcendent, the infinite, the absolute, within the things of time, one cannot do so without symbolism, paradox, myth, wordplay, oxymoron (virgin-mother) & other deivoices. Must have both spiritual experiences and a special way to communicate and talk about them. In so doing, the one pole strengthens the other. Trying to speak in such a way as to attract and engage the attention of the supramental consciousness. Linguistic theological attractors.

Mystical theology revolves around a central point vs. linear description of science. The verbal hammer hits the celestial stone, sending luminous sparks down below. The stone is one, the sparks infinite.

Why is there a literal hunger for music? To whom or what is it speaking? What's the difference between listening to the Eroica Symphony and reading a good biography of Napoleon? Schuon: "Music is the art of bringing terrestrial shadows back to celestial vibrations and divine archetypes."

Aquinas: time measures before and after, eternity is the simultaneous presence of the whole: "no beforeafter, nobodaddy, no mamafestation, nothing but neti..." Wholly present vs. everlasting. Christ annuls time, full-fills history: first and last, Alphomega, it is accomplished.

Mysticism is no different from ordinary life, just a different angle. Not an attempt to obliterate the ego by entering a murky cloud of unconsciousness, but infusing one's being with it -- not to merge with the ocean but to partake of it. Not merging with the infinite, nor clinging to fixed thoughts about it, but living in the flow between them. Epistemology vs. Mystepistemology: what did you not know and when did you unKnow it?

Your Being is God's Doing.

Something must be understood a priori of the nature of God before we can make any statements about him. It is tautology unless we have uncreated, implicit, pre-conceptual knowledge of the category of God, into which certain experiences will flow, or be "attracted." If we don't agree on our ontology, epistemology will just confuse. God is an innate readiness to experience O. Or vice versa. To "invite" the religious object.

When you ask what something "is," is it atoms? Or is it the palpably physical? Or the thoughts you have that are able to ponder the physical or atomic, the macro or the micro? Which is more "real?" The supraconscious does not "ex-ist," or "stand out." In-sist, maybe. We can notice its vapor trails on the inscape of consciousness. Higher realities don't "stand out" except to those who "stand in" them. How do you go about standing in them? Same way you stand in the unconscious. Relux & call it a deity.

Rt. brain develops ahead of left brain & is where our unitary background of primary being resides. Just so, God is not what stands out, but that from which other things stand out. God is not in space. Space is in God. Creation is holographic and fractal: therefore, whole of God is in the consecrated bread. It has no physical existence, and yet, can only ex-ist in the physical. So the question is not whether God exists -- it is whether or not God can be made present.

Creation and storage of eternal memories. How is this done? How do temporal events move into the zone of timelessness? Garden of Eden: from the zone of timelessness to time, symmetry to asymmetry. We live in time but we remember the timeless. Adam blew it. He's our blewprint.

Revelation is the first draft of metahistory, journalism makes a daft farce of history. Merger of vertical and horizontal in prehistory. They only became completely separate with modernity. Still merged in Islamic world.

Those half-humans who live solely in the scientistic horizontal: factsimians.

Idea for title of Victoria's Secret catalogue: "All Thongs Considered."

Viagra: a cure for what fails you.

Trying to make a post out of all this BS: "composting."

Modern philosophy: "A systematic abuse of language invented for that purpose." (Not sure who came up with that one.)

Dream a little dream: you are the dream programmer, the medium through which the programmer works, and the material with which he works. The world is in your dreams, but you are the world that is in your dreams -- i.e., you created the dreamworld you inhabit, as well as the you that you experience in the dream. How is this any different from waking life? Like a Klein Bottle: there is an "inside" and an "outside," but only one surface. Could the dream be the cosmos outside in, and "reality" the dreamer inside out? How could it not be.

Well, one journal down, six or seven more to go.....

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

How the Word is Flushed When the Weird Becomes Flesh

In The Religion of Eternal Racism and Eternal Sexism, Bruce Walker addresses a sort of paradox, that is, the left's embodiment of "eternal" principles, when the whole point of the left is that -- in the turgid but accurate phrase of Eric Voegelin - it "immamentizes the eschaton," meaning, in plain Raccoon lingo, that it collapses the vertical into the horizontal, which dispenses with the "permanent things" of the transcendent realm altogether. As a result, all that is left for the bereft left is a horizontal, temporal, and material struggle "below," which necessarily pits one group against another, based solely upon the lust for power. Any cynical "humanist" will tell you that this is simply the way of the world.

This is because, in the absence of absolute principles to guide them, humans are reduced to something slightly below the animal kingdom, in that we have their form but not their nobility, restraint, and common sense. Rather, we are like "animals gone wild," somehow liberated from our genetic program to undo nature's delicate balance and wreak havoc on the planet. Any good "environmentalist" will tell you this.

My point is that the left can have no "eternal principles" on pain of immediate and final self-refutation. Therefore, it must obscure its absence of principles with constant tactical maneuvers that change from day to day, week to week, and year to year. Obviously, if you deny what Schuon calls the higher "principial" realm -- which contains the absolute and eternal metaphysical principles of which this lower world is an instantiation -- you can only live in a kind of "absolute relativity," which, if you give it a moment's thought, is intrinsically absurd. Frankly, it is metaphysically impossible, as relativity would then be absolute, thus negating itself. Obviously, cultural and moral relativism are intrinsically absurd and self-negating as well.

Walker highlights this absurdity of the left, in that it hews to faux-eternal principles which can never change irrespective of what actually happens in what they ironically call "reality," being that reality for them is reduced to the flatland, material world. For example, Walker asks, "How many 'civil rights' leaders talk as if racism is an immutable, eternal characteristic of American society? How many feminist leaders talk as if sexism is an immutable, eternal characteristic of American society? The mere passage of years, the mere enactment of statutes or adoption of polices, the decades long public relations campaign against bigotry -- none of this can be allowed to make a difference" (emphasis mine).

But why does the left embrace a kind of bitter and reactionary anti-theology, in which they hold to such a negative view of the world despite what actually occurs here? As Walker writes, "the sins of America are a religious article of faith to self-appointed black leaders and to self-appointed representatives of the female sex."

But here again we can see that the left is not guided by true principles, for example, the truly eternal principle that "all men are created equal." Rather, for the left, "it is crucial that the sin is not racism or sexism, but specifically American (or, perhaps, Western) racism and sexism." If the crimes aren't committed by white Westerners, feminists aren't interested. They will yawn "when told about honor murders, female circumcision and the imprisonment of rape victims," so long as non-Christian people of color are responsible. "The catechism of the Left is that America is evil," not that rape or honor killing are evil.

So the true motive that animates the left is not a "positive" principle such as equality, much less liberty, but an anti-principle. And this is why it takes such diverse forms, as the leftist must always fool you (and, more importantly, himself) into believing that he is defending eternal principles, principles in which he doesn't actually believe. For example, the left universally believes that it is proper for the government to discriminate on the basis of race, "gender" and "sexual orientation", and that failure to do so should be illegal. Not surprisingly, the party of trial lawyers loves these kinds of laws, because trial lawyers are the group that most benefits from this crass power grab in the guise of a principle.

The left once unanimously maintained that we should judge people by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. But the fact that they so readily abandoned this principle shows how they are always rooted in tactics, not principles. Likewise, up until the late '60s and early '70s, the left was a vocal supporter of Israel, whereas now all of the wholesale anti-Semitism in the world emanates from the left (including, of course, the Obama campaign (cf here).

America's founders were (among other things) political mystics, in that they did not "deduce" the spiritual principles upon which the country was founded, but saw into the realm where they eternally abide. The intellect "sees" these principles with absolute certainty, "light to light," so to speak. As Schuon explains, "Metaphysical truths are by no means accepted because they are merely logically clear, but because they are ontologically clear, and their logical clarity is only a trace of this imprinted on the mind." Here again, this kind of higher truth is "not held to be true -- by those who understand it -- because it is expressed in a logical manner, but it can be expressed in a logical manner because it is true, without -- obviously -- its truth ever being compromised by the possible shortcomings of human reason."

As further explained by Oldmeadow, metaphysical truth "has nothing to do with personal opinion, originality, or creativity -- quite the contrary. It is directed towards those realities which lie outside mental perimeters and which are unchanging. The most a metaphysician will ever want to do is reformulate some timeless truth so that it becomes more intelligible in the prevailing climate." Indeed that is the whole purpose of my book and this blog -- it's why I tried to make the book a metaphysical joyread, and to make cosmic truth fun for the whole family!

Thus, when the Founders said, "we hold these truths to be self-evident," they were not appealing to mere logic, but to something much higher -- something eternal, axial, and principial, in this or any other cosmos. They were not conveying to King George what they "thought" about reality, but they were disclosing and imparting this transcendent reality to the monarch. These principles would still be true if not a single human being were aware of them -- which, strictly speaking, is impossible, being that the human, qua human, is the being that is by definition conformed or "proportioned" to the absolute. Humans and humans alone are the cosmic mediators between time and eternity, God and creation, vertical and horizontal -- which is why we may know eternal Truth and conform ourselves to it. Or not.

In short, because we possess free will (freedom being one of the Divine attributes reflected in the human being) we may incarnate Truth or uncarnate the Lie. It's all up -- or down -- to you.

*****

Dr. Sanity brings attention to the same unprincipled leftist principles in her post Morally Twisted, which gets into the question of why the worthless Palestinians get so much more attention than the worthy Tibetans. Read the whole thing, as it really lays bare the broken moral compass of the left:

"In the holy book of leftist belief, 'victimhood' is the most celebrated quality deserving of attention and pity. This is in part because many on the political left have a pathologically narcissistic need to see themselves as 'champions of the oppressed', hence the constant need to find and maintain an oppressed class of people to champion. But it also dovetails nicely into the the Marxist dialectic that underlies that ideology. The world is divided up into two groups, you see: the oppressors (i.e., white, male,heterosexual, Republican, Americans or Israelis) and the oppressed (everyone else)....

"Now compare and contrast the Palestinians with the relatively gentle culture of Tibet and the non-violent philosophy of its spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. You can also compare and contrast the deliberate brutality of China and its Communist leadership with Israel. China's brutality and oppression is almost always given a free pass by the left in much the same way they have extended to Fidel Castro and other despotic totalitarian and authoritarian regimes their devoted loyalty and sympathy. Israel, as a Democratic and morally conscious nation actually works hard to spare innocent human life is automatically condemned whenever they respond to Palestinian provocation simply because it represents Western values and is by definition of the neo-marxists of our day, an 'official' oppressor. The left always calls Israel's response to the provocations 'disproportionate'; but in reality, it is the left's moral equivalence that is so disgustingly disproportionate."

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Cosmic Forces and Terrestrial Farces (3.11.10)

We live in a world of forces.

Duh. What an insipid way to start a post.

No, wait. I don't just mean physical forces, but mental forces, spiritual forces, and even "wealth forces." For example, at American Digest there is a quote from the Adam Smith Institute to the effect that there are no causes of poverty, being that it is obviously the "natural condition." There are no wealthy animals. Poverty "is the rest state, that which happens when you don't do anything. If you want to experience poverty, just do nothing and it will come. To ask what causes poverty is like asking what causes cold in the universe; it is the absence of energy. Similarly poverty is the absence of wealth. For most of humanity's existence on this planet, poverty has been the norm, the natural condition."

Poverty just is. It doesn't become an actual force until the left takes over and begins to magically "create poverty" with bad ideas. There are no wealthy animals, and human wealth only began to exist on a widespread scale in the past couple of hundred years. There are forces that result in wealth, such as human creativity, initiative, vision, risk, etc: "We should ask what are the causes of wealth and try to recreate and reproduce them. When you ask the wrong question, 'What causes poverty,' you end up with wrong answers.... Instead of trying to take wealth away from rich people and redistribute it, we should be seeking to implement the conditions in which as many people as possible can join in the wealth-creating process for themselves." Thus, the first law of wealth is "get off your ass." The second is "get the government off your ass."

In the mental realm, truth is a force. In fact, it is without question the most important force. Some people -- mostly aging hippies and addle-brained youths, who represent the two main constituencies of the left, wacktivists and hedonists -- will tell you that love is the most important force, but love is a derivative of Truth, not vice versa. I do not worship "the God of love" unless he is first the God of Truth, for who besides a leftist would worship a lovely liar like Marx or Obama?

Hmm, I read something to this effect just the other day.... Where was it.... Yes, here it is, by you-know-who, Mr. Gnosis-all: "God is 'Light' before He is 'Heat,' if it may be so expressed; gnosis 'precedes' love, or rather, love 'follows' gnosis, since the latter includes love after its own fashion...." Schuon goes on to explain that "one can love something false, without love ceasing to be what it is; but one cannot 'know' the false in a similar way, that is to say knowledge cannot be under illusion as to its object without ceasing to be what it is; error always implies a privation of knowledge, whereas sin does not imply a privation of will."

Although the lie -- being a privation -- has no "absolute" existence, it does represent a potent "counter-force" on the horizontal plane. In fact, if you think about it for even a moment, it has possibly had an even greater impact and influence on the world than truth. Or at the very least, it is a constant battle. Truth is always embattled on all sides, just as light is surrounded by darkness. Only by positing something "fundamentally wrong" with humans can you explain their constant attraction to the Lie. The bigger they are, the harder we fall.

You'd think it would be uncontroversial to utter a simple truth, but you'd be wrong, wouldn't you? I am reminded of Obama's shamelessly opportunistic and manipulative "dialogue about race," when the whole reason we cannot say anything useful or productive about race is that the left will brand you as racist if you do. It seems that to carry Truth is to pick up a cross and paint a target on one's back.

Animals cannot lie. While they can have certain naturally selected mechanisms of deception, they certainly cannot live a lie. But living a lie is in the normal course of events for human beings. Someone said that language was given to man so as to conceal his thoughts. Interestingly, this problem is fully recognized in scripture, as the very first conversations recorded in the Bible are lies. The serpent lies to the woman, the woman transmits the lie to the man, and the man lies about it to God, and then a rebellious angel leaks it to the Times. The very emergence of self-consciousness seems to be inseparable from lying.

So lying is absolutely fundamental to human existence, a fact that wasn't systematized until the early 20th century, in the works of Freud (the good Freud) and his followers. In particular, the psychoanalyst W.R. Bion developed a sophisticated epistemology showing how a vital lie is at the basis of most all forms of psychopathology (at least those that aren't mainly genetic and/or biochemical). Once the lie is in place, it causes the psyche to enter a sort of parallel universe, for it constructs itself on the foundations of that initial falsehood.

A mind parasite is essentially an internalized lie that takes on a pseudo-life of its own. I believe the term is an accurate one, for it is meant to convey the idea that a vital lie that lodges itself in the psyche is not static, but takes on the characteristics of the host, so to speak. I remember once discussing this with my analyst. I don't remember the exact context of the problem I was whining about, but he said words to the effect of, "What do you expect? It's as smart as you are."

In other words, the mind parasite has available to it all of the elaborate machinery of the mind. Therefore, it can easily justify itself, elaborate itself, gang up on the truth, intimidate healthier parts of the psyche. It's like a dictator who uses legitimate means to come to power, but then corruptly uses all of the levers of power to stay there and eliminate opponents.

Those who are in thrall to the lie are by definition slaves. While they may enjoy a subjective sense of freedom, it is an illusion. In fact, they have forfeited their freedom and are attached to a monstrous demon that they have generated out of their own psychic substance, in the same way that a spider weaves a web out of its own body.

Think of a vivid example that is readily at hand -- the Islamists. Is it not obvious that they are absolutely enslaved by artificial beings of their own creation? And that they want everyone else to be enslaved by the same demon? Does this not demonstrate the insane power of demons?

There are personal mind parasites and collective mind parasites. Many cultures revolve entirely around monstrous entities that have been engendered by whole communities, such as the Aztec. Here again, it would be wrong to say that the Aztec had a "bloodthirsty god" -- rather, it clearly had them. Thousands upon thousands of human beings sacrificed to satisfy this god's appetite for human blood, elaborate mechanisms set up to supply fresh bodies, the heart of the sacrificial victim cut out by the officiating priest who would himself take a bite out of it while it was still beating. A whole society of Jeffrey Dahmers trying desperately to allay anxiety by vampirically ingesting the life force of others. The Islamists are just the latest idition of this unconscious anti-religion. But you undoubtedly know some people in your own life who do the same thing -- hungry ghosts who "feed" on the spirit or blog of others.

In all times and in all places, human beings have looked for ways to objectify and worship their self-created demons. This is preferable to having them run around loose in one's own psyche. Take again the example of the Islamist. How would one even begin to tell him: "you have a persecutory entity inside of you that your life revolves around. You have placed it outside of yourself so as to make your life bearable, for it conceals a truth that is too painful to endure."

To a large extent, this dynamic is at the heart of more mundane politics as well. For those who do not experience George Bush as a demon, it is almost impossible to understand those who do, any more than we can really understand the motivations of the Aztec. The collective mind parasite has a grammar and logic all its own, inaccessible to all but initiates into the Lie.

You don't actually want to get that close to an intoxicating Lie of that magnitude. It's not safe. Better to observe it from a respectful distance. Otherwise, you will find yourself pulled down into a false world of counter-lying rather than simple truth. You cannot create an artificial "good demon,” which is what secular leftists are trying to do when they aren't creating bad ones. Those who criticize my "negativity" probably think I am engaging in the former -- heatedly countering the lie -- when I am calmly engaged in the latter -- simply affirming the truth that is and has always been. This is the inner meaning of "resist not evil." Resist it in the wrong way, and you come into its orbit.

For as old Anonymous points out, a demon operates through a combination of will and imagination. You may think of perverse will as the male principle and perverse imagination as the female principle. Together they beget the demon child that then controls the parents, taking over both will and imagination. C onsider how so much art and academic nonsense is nothing more than the elaboration of the perverse imagination -- ideological superstructures giving cover to lies of various magnitude. Think of how much "activism" is simply the angry agitation of the perverse will, just the punitive hedonism of a corrupt superego.

This is the inner meaning of "you shall not make for yourself a graven image," for Truth is a living thing, a Being, that cannot be reduced to the idolatrous systems of men, especially corrupted men who do not honor Truth to begin with. Most modern and postmodern ideologies and philosophies are opiates of elites too sophisticated for such powerful pneumaceuticals as Truth.

And this is the inner meaning of "honor your father and mother”: not rebelling against received truth and tradition in an adolescent manner, especially before you are even mature enough to understand what it means. But the Obamaniacs will always be with us in one form or another.

Monday, March 24, 2008

How to Use Your Brain to Your Eternal Advantage

When I began blogging, I started the habit of jotting down any thoughtlets or ideas for ideas, so as not to lose them. It was only once I began paying attention to them that I realized how many thoughts our minds are host to.

The exact number -- see page 294, footnote 76 of your Coonifesto -- is 4,000 distinct thoughts in a typical day in the life, one hundred million in an average lifetime. Thus, now we know how many thoughts it takes to fill the average soul (I'd lo-o-o-o-ve to tur-r-r-r-r-r-n th-e-e-e-e-e-e-m off-f-f-f-f-f).

But not all of them, just the worthless ones.

For better or worse, this is where all the puns come from. As I explained in a previous post -- just like those other four blind dumbos -- once I set myself to the elaphantine tusk of trying to describe the translinguistic object with mere language, the words began streaking into my head like shooting stars, or like sparks thrown out of a campy fire. And, like shooting stars, these eternal jokes would only be risible for a moment before passing into perhaps well-deserved bobscurity, so I had to seize them as soon as they passed through bobworld -- not just the wordplay, but the wordwork as well -- you know, the so-called ideas.

Now, everyone knows that some atmaspheric conditions are preferable when you are attempting to gaze at those fixed stars that are muddled in broad daylight. And even then, most of the stars can't be seen by looking directly at them. Rather, analogous to ego death, you can only see them out of the coroner of your I.

In this regard, the problem is similar to what we were discussing last Friday, with the differences between the two cerebral hemispheres. If the left hemisphere is the home of daytime, "wideawake and cutandry" consciousness, then the right side is where we have sufficient darkness to read the Evening World.

It's not so much the content but the mode of consciousness that is so important. However, at the same time, the two modes specialize in very different kinds of content, in that the left mode specializes in digital exhuminations of "dead" knowledge, whereas right mode excels in analogical and symbolic knowing, or a kind of "living" knowledge of Being itself. Therefore, at the very least, it's important to "feed" it with a daily diet of richly resonant starries at breadtime, or you won't mythunderstand a thing about your life. In fact, the soul has always been understood as "passive" or "feminine" in relation to O, which is why we pray, "give us this day our daily broad."

I'm pretty sure that most of you have by now noticed that the quality of thoughts that pass into your night noggin has a lot to do with the seeds you plant there by day (insert appropriate scriptural passage by Nomo here). I don't want to get sidetracked here into making an actually useful point, but this is what I was attempting to convey yesterday with my Easter bungle of a post. Let's take someone like, I don't know, Van der Leun. He is not what you would call an orthodox "believer," but nor is he a "non-believer."

But I also wouldn't place him in the category of "a-gnostic," the reason being that he clearly is, as is soph-evident to so many of his readers. When he "dwells" in spiritual topics, the light is there for all to see. In the skillful unKnowing is concealed the knowing. It reminds me of a wise crack by Schuon, who said something to the effect that "poorly posed questions no more attract the light than they are derived from it," but that "a good question can be derived from the very light it seeks." Likewise, a good quest creates its own journey.

In this regard, have you noticed that whenever one of our trolls confronts us with one of their Opaque questions, we know in advance that there is no answer that will satisfy them, since there is no "light" in the question? Rather, the question -- which is derived from darkness -- seeks only the darkness it needs to illuminate its error and imbue it with a false "light." This is pretty much a summary of the atheist mind, which is the very embodiment of self-confirming false light.

My point is that there are many ways to prove the existence of God -- or let us just say O. One way for the intellectually gifted person -- whose very gift might, under modern conditions, turn him away from O -- is to immerse himself in these traditional, "timeless tested" ways of knowing the self and the cosmos, and to wait and see what your right brain does with them. In ether worlds, when we dwell imaginatively in revelation -- and I don't mean to think critically about it in the manner of the left brain, but to dive into its world with the right -- something happens. I guess my point is that you can still gnaw God even if you can't swallow everything about organized religion.

You don't have to read too many serious spiritual autobiographies -- by which I mean autobiographies of serious people -- to hear this story again and again, under widely divergent personal and cultural circumstances, from a St. Augustine to a T.S. Eliot to countless others. Augustine, for example, was probably the smartest guy alive in his day -- or at least we have no documentary evidence of a sharper bulb in the ancient knifesocket. But his mind wasn't "illuminated" until it abandoned itself to the luminous obscurity of faith, at which time the outpouring of (n) never stopped, and he became a veritable fount of O.

Now, one important point is that, once this happens, you don't arrive at any "finality." Rather, in an analogy I have stolen in the past, it's as if the soul is a series of concentric circles, only as you move toward the center -- unlike left-brained Euclidean geopneumography -- each successive circle is bigger, until you get to the center, which is infinite.

We know this is true, because we know of a number of transhistorical personagelesses who did not just speak from that infinite circle, but became it, for example, Ramana Maharshi, Meister Eckhart, Shankara, Denys the Areopagite, Jacob Boehme, Sri Aurobindo, and countless others. Scripture itself is O objectified, where as these diverse spiritual maestros represent O subjectivized, so to speak.

Well, I have almost no time this morning, being that I caught a cold and overslept. Plus I'm behind in my work-work, and had better get started on it. I was going to use this post as an excuse to clear my files of a few dozen incomplete thoughts from my overflOwing (n)otebooks, but I guess my oriental brain occidentally came down with enough for a post.

Escape your left-brained cage once in awhile and check out the wider world:

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Petey's Easter Message: Hooray! Surrection!

This is just a rambling compilation of past Easter posts. Not sure if they make much sense or even nonsense. I'll let you decide.

***

Here it is, the religious unday of them all, the sonny dei that commemorates the undoing of what was did way back when, on that dark and sinny day in the park. Remama? You knew the One. Around Eve, it was. It's a hiss & her story, he shed we dead, but insurrection comes to resurrection in the serpentine foulness of time, at the bar of history. So a beery Hoppy Yeaster to you ale, the whole brewed!

Aside from that, what can one possibly say about Easter that hasn't been said in the past 1975 years, give or take? Somehow, despite all that has been said and written about it for hundreds and hundreds of years, there is always more to say. It is incapable of becoming saturated. You think you're looking at it, but it is always looking through you. It is actually a means with which to look at the the world, especially the deep vertical world.

Because of its specifically "unsaturatable" quality, we can never really comprehend a divine revelation, in the literal sense of "wrapping our understanding" around it. Rather, try as we might, it is always comprehending us. Furthermore, paradoxically, the more of it we comprehend, the more it comprehends us.

How can this be? It is the reverse of becoming an "expert" at something. An expert knows everything about something that is ultimately about nothing. But spiritual growth involves the constant rediscovery that you know what amounts to nothing about the ultimate something. You are a lifetime apprentice, apophatic nonentity. It is constantly instructing you.

Mouravieff writes that unless one is unusually saintly, one will not be able to travel the path of the Way without a kind of death, "without first passing through an interior bankruptcy; a moral collapse." Paradoxically -- but not really -- Mouravieff notes that for most men, "success and joy, instead of awakening them, plunge them into mental sleep." Thus, "from the esoteric point of view, disagreeable shocks are a better base for work than happy accidents."

For one thing, these shocks will tend to ground one in the sense of humility that is demanded of anyone on the spiritual path. Best to start off broken than to fall from a much greater height later on. When we fall, we only fall back to the ground. For those who believe themselves to be high above the ground, the height is only in their imagination anyway.

A number of Coons have mentioned recently that they have been undergoing a sort of "reversal," in which worldly things that used to interest and excite them no longer do so. It is not a transformation they have consciously willed, but it is simply happening of its own accord. It seems that this is an inevitable consequence of increasingly living one's life in the light of the Real or Absolute. It is the death of one mode of being, accompanied by the birth of another.

2000 years ago, Rome certainly represented the world. It had always been and would always be, and it certainly would not tolerate someone who presumed to live -- and taught others how to live -- outside its strict boundaries. But like everything else on the horizontal plane, Rome had a beginning and an end. However, the vertical principle they attempted to extinguish proved to be only a beginning, as it always is.

For horizontal man, there truly is no exit to their absurcular existence. The cosmos is a closed circle with no doorway in, up, or out. Life is a straight line with a period at the end of the death sentence. Period.

In manifesting his celestial nature on earth, Jesus did not seem particularly concerned about making it fully intelligible, at least in words. After all, that's why we're still talking and arguing about it two thousand years later. He simply incarnated his cosmic destiny and largely left it for others to figure out. What did it all mean? What could it possibly mean?

Rudolf Steiner wrote something to the effect that "the secrets of the Mysteries became wholly manifest in Christianity."

An anonymous Greek Orthodox theologian remarked that "We do not ask whether or not the resurrection happened. It is the horizon in which we live." Dwelling within this vertical horizon is a way to contemplate reality at its deepest level -- a level that is well beyond mere discursive thought. I'm not sure if this is fully kosher, but I understand the Father as the eternally transcendent aspect of God, the Son as the immanent aspect. How to reconcile them?

Perhaps they were only ever separated by the illusory veil of death. It is said that upon Jesus’ death, the temple veil was rent vertically from top to bottom. The resurrection is reality unveiled, which is to say reveiled, for it is a mysterious new veil with which to engage reality and to reconcile its ultimate terms.

The Catholic theologian von Balthasar wrote that "truth is the unconcealment of being, while... the someone to whom being is unconcealed is God."

In a similar vein, Lucy Beckett writes that "If God does not exist, the transcendent has been wiped away, there is no longer a vertical axis for the human soul, but only a horizontal, that is, a historical, axis for the human mind. More particularly, the vertical never crossed the horizontal in the Incarnation."

Nor in us. Now that would be a real inconveyance, not to mention, folly -- to be up to Greek without any kenosis.

Friday, March 21, 2008

A Courageous Discussion of Race in the Cosmos

Race is either of critical importance, as believed by the left, or of no consequence at all, as believed by conservative classical liberals. I fall into the latter category, one more reason why I could not in good conscience remain a rank-and-foul member of the race-obsessed Democrat party.

Sounds quaint, but I was raised to believe that categorizing people by race is a pernicious act, and in my day-to-day dealings with people, I have always judged them on the basis of their competency and their politeness. And maybe their smell. Public figures are different, in that we don't really care how they smell, but must assess them on the basis of their ideas and their impact on the macro arena, not just their outward behavior in the realm of the micro. Thus, it should go without saying that there are many people I routinely consign to hell on this blog, but with whom I could be quite friendly if they were my neighbor. I get along with everyone. No one has ever seen my irascible side, except in print.

Now, Raccoons are, as we know, bicosmic; which is not just a "fancy" way, but the proper way, of saying that we are in the world but not of the world. As the new age gag goes, we are not material beings having a spiritual experience, but spiritual beings having a material experience. Which is true of everyone -- well, almost everyone, a few soulless asuras of the material realm notwithstanding. The difference is, a Raccoon doesn't just know this formula, but lives it from the inside out.

Like all people, we have (at least) two subjectivities, one "horizontal," the other "vertical" (the horizontal self can have numerous subjectivities, i.e., mind parasites). We can look at this from many angles, even the purely neurological, if you want to be reductionistic about it.

That is to say, we have a left brain and a right brain, each with a very different way of processing information and a very different sense of self. I don't want to oversimplify, but you could even say that the left cerebral hemisphere is the realm of the ego, while the right hemisphere is the realm of the Self. Any comprehensive definition of humanness -- or any real sense of what it's like to be human -- would have to include both. Like so many apparent dualities, it is actually a complementarity; in fact, more than a complementarity, a synthesis. The higher functioning person will, in my opinion, have the more comprehensive synthesis of "left and right," neurologically speaking.

Back when I was in graduate school, I had to undergo psychoanalytic therapy as a requirement of the program. As such, it was part therapeutic, part pedagogic. In one of the first sessions, as I lay there on the couch idly shooting the breeze with myself, verbalizing whatever bobbled up into my head, my analyst interrupted my reveries and asked something to the effect of, "Do you know what you're doing?"

"Excuse me?"

"Do you know what you're trying to do, what this is all about?"

"Blaming my mother for all my problems?"

"No, you're trying to disable your left brain so as to allow the right brain to speak. That's where the unconscious is. We're interrogating the right brain, taking its deposition, getting its view of things."

Later, when I read about the neurobiology of emotional development in Allan Schore's magisterial Affect Regulation and the Origin of the Self, I learned that this left-right distinction wasn't only "in a manner of speaking," or just a new scientific mythunderstanding. Rather, if you will turn to page 112 of your Coonifesto, you will see where it is written,

"Strange as it may sound, immature babies interact with mothers in such a way as to use them as an 'auxiliary cortex' for the purpose of downloading programs from her brain into his.... Of note, this 'downloading' mostly occurs in the nonverbal right brain, which develops earlier than the syntactically organized left brain, and is dominant during the first two or three years of life. Furthermore, recent research indicates that early experience lays down many deep connections between the right brain and the emotional limbic system, so that it is fairly clear that the 'unconscious' is located in the right cerebral hemisphere.

"The right brain is where early traumas take root, where disowned parts of the self reside undetected by language and linear logic, where the parents' unconscious conflicts are imported, where the deepest psychosomatic representation of oneself endures, where dysregulated systems are locked in, and where 'mind parasites' and other ghostly psychotoxins hide out."

So you see, I was right all along. It was my mother's fault.

Now, what does any of this have to do with race?

I don't know yet. Let me think.

One of my self-imposed life challenges -- I know, you should have such problems -- is to try to recooncile science and religion, and then religion and psychoanalysis. It's not easy, but I never stop trying. For example, Schuon, whom I revere in so many ways, detested psychoanalysis and certainly thought of modern science as a gross aberration insofar as its pernicious effect on man's understanding of his place and role in the cosmic drama. In that regard, I guess I can relate to Obama, because I could no more abandon Schuon than I could my white psychoanalyst.

Let's forget about left and right brains for the moment, and coonceptualize our bicosmic nature from a different angle. Schuon writes that "it is impossible to escape our subjectivity, precisely because we exist; the most deified man is an individual, parallel to what we may call his divine state" (emphasis mine). He continues: "The fact is that man has two subjectivities: the ego and the intellect; the ego follows the divine attraction within the limits of its nature -- it can do nothing else -- whereas the intellect, also in accordance with its nature, opens itself to the Principle and realizes it; both ways combine while remaining independent of each other" (emphasis yours).

Very interesting. Two ways of knowing the world, each independent of the other. However, one of the purposes of the spiritual life -- being that the efficient and final cause of the spiritual life is unity in diversity and diversity in unity -- is to bring the two modes together in a harmonious union. Or, as Schuon puts it, "to the extent that we understand metaphysics -- to this very extent we shall spontaneously be capable of seeing the principle in the Manifestation, Atma in Maya.... [For] he who knows transcendence will know immanence."

Yes, he will be a bloody Raccoon, for he will be bicosmic. He will see eternity in a grain of sand, which is another way of saying that he sees the Subject in every object, even while seeing that the Subject contains the object within its own substance. That's what we call 20-20 cOOnvision.

Now, back to Obama, who is psychically "unraveling" in public. Obama is quite clearly a man with no center. Or to be precise, he has (at least) two "horizontal" centers, which by definition means no center at all. He is not just callow and immature, which is self-evident, but he is searching for his missing center while using us as props. Again I will defer to Schuon:

"To be normal is to be homogeneous, and to be homogeneous is to have a center. A normal man is one whose tendencies are, if not altogether univocal, at least concordant; that is, sufficiently concordant to serve as a vehicle for that decisive center which we may call the sense of the Absolute.... The tendency towards the Absolute, for which we are made, is difficult to realize in a heteroclite soul; a soul lacking a center, precisely, and by that fact contrary to its reason for being. Such a soul is a priori a 'house divided against itself,' thus destined to fall eschatologically speaking."

And politically speaking as well. For the problem is not that Obama is "biracial." Again, that is of no consequence. Rather, the man has two horizontal centers, and his left brain doesn't know what his wright brain is doodooing.

Mankind upon earth is one foremost self-expression of the universal Being in His cosmic self-unfolding; he expresses, under the conditions of the terrestrial world he inhabits, the mental power of the universal existence....

But within this general nature and general destiny of mankind each individual human being has to follow the common aim on the lines of his own nature and to arrive at his possible perfection by a growth from within.... [T]he group self has no right to regard the individual as if he were only a cell of its body, a stone in its edifice, a passive instrument of its collective life and growth
. --Sri Aurobindo

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Herd of Independent Minds and Life at the Periphery of Nothing

I was doing the usual "morning rounds," checking in on the blogs I consider indispensable (most of which are in the sidebar), when I happened upon a brief reference at PowerLine to David Mamet's recent confession about his conversion from "brain-dead liberalism" to reality. "Mamet's rejection of 'brain-dead liberalism' is the rebellion of the thinking man against the herd of independent minds."

I guess the coffee hadn't yet flipped the on switch of the frontal lobes, because my first thought was, "hmm, typo. They must mean dependent minds," given the dreary uniformity of liberal thought.

But then the penny dropped and I came to my cents. "Oh, I get it. Duh." What an arresting phrase for an alert copper: The herd of independent minds. Who is responsible for this coining this pneumismatic little gem? After all, conservatism can't usually be reduced in the manner of the simplistic sentiments of Mamet's "brain-dead liberal," e.g. "War is Not the Answer," "One Nation, Under Surveillance," "Save A Planet -- Take A Bus," etc.

So I followed the link to Commentary Magazine, where I learned that Harold Rosenberg had published an article by that name in 1948. The abstract is pretty abstract, but it states that,

"THE basis of mass culture in all its forms is an experience recognized as common to many people. It is because millions are known to react in the same way to scenes of love or battle -- because certain colors or certain kinds of music will call up certain moods -- because assent or antagonism will inevitably be evoked by certain moral or political opinions -- that popular novels, movies, radio programs, magazines, advertisements, ideologies can be contrived. The more exactly he grasps, whether by instinct or through study, the existing element of sameness in people, the more successful is the mass-culture maker. Indeed, so deeply is he committed to the concept that men are alike that he may even fancy that there exists a kind of human dead center in which everyone is identical with everyone else, and that if he can hit that psychic bull's eye he can make all of mankind twitch at once. (The proposition, All men are alike replaces the proposition, All men are equal....)"

So, as early as 1948 -- way before I was born or even unborn -- Rosenberg had uncovered the mechanism of political correctness, the cognitive pressure system that makes leftists such intellectual lemmings and bullies. However, only by leaving the herd and undergoing gender reassignment, as did Mamet, can one clearly see all of the cultural pressures that were operating on one's mind, keeping it in crockstep with the others. Only when you go against the liberal groin are you aware of the constant friction and its attendant conformance anxiety. Being that I work in a very liberal profession and live in a very liberal area, I am never unaware of these annoying pressures in my dealings with the Conspiracy and the collectivist Pinks who would steal our precious Slack. You must indeed internalize their tribal ways, their cues, their sentiments, in order to "pass" as a Normal.

Rosenberg makes another critical point, that the so-called "alienation" of the neurotic artist -- who is generally just a complicated and self-deluded Normie posing as one of us true oddballs -- is one of the critical transmitters of mass-culture thinking. After all, who is shocked when a Sean Penn or Bruce Springsteen or some other entertainment yahoo expresses their hatred of President Bush and their support for Dennis Kucinich? We shouldn't be surprised at the soilidarity of such dirtbags.

But as Rosenberg notes, "the concept that the artist is 'alienated from reality' has little to support it either in the psychology of artists or in any metaphysics of art. As Thomas Mann said, it depends on who gets sick; the sickness of a Nietszche may bring him much closer to the truth of the situation, and in that sense be much more 'normal,' than the health of a thousand editorial writers."

Exactly. If art doesn't bring us closer to reality, what is it good for? Desecrating your prison walls, basically.

Which reminds me. I've been meaning to pimp this new Van Morrison collection, the reason being that it is a limited edition, plus it's the only thing close to a comprehensive, career-spanning collection of his work. The word "artist" has become so debased that it no longer conveys any useful meaning. It's like other words, such as "professor" or "judge" that used to inspire an automatic sense of respect, whereas now your first thought is likely to be that you are dealing with a moral idiot.

But Morrison is a true artist, and in fact, his soph-evidently transnatural music was instrumental... for once, no pun intended... in turning me around and putting me back on the right path when I rediscovered him in the mid-1980s. But that's a story for another post.

A quick google search of Rosenberg led to an editorial by Ruth Wisse, in which she too discusses the abject conformity of the academic left, a grazing multitude of rebellious sheep if ever there was one, all somehow bleating in unison while fleecing the parents who pay through the nose to have their children indoctrinated with wooly leftist ideas:

"The Federal Election Commission could not have foreseen that when it required employment information on political donations of over $200, it would expose scandalous uniformity in a university community that advertises its diversity. The Sacramento Bee reported that the University of California system gave more to the Kerry campaign than any other single employee group, and that Harvard was second, with only 15,000 employees to UC's 160,000. A blogger computed the percentages of Kerry contributions over Bush: Cornell 93%, Dartmouth 97%, Yale 93%, Brown 89%.

"Personally, I greatly enjoy being in the conservative opposition. My colleagues are cordial, and since I'm not looking for promotions I willingly sustain an occasional snub for the greater advantage of being able to speak my mind. Students making the transition from liberal to conservative are often wounded by their first exposure to the contempt that greets their support for the war in Iraq or opposition to abortion or whatever else separates them from the liberal campus. I suggest to them that, as opposed to living in constant terror of offending some received idea, they relish their freedom of expression. The self-acknowledged conservative never experiences intellectual constraint." Exactly. You can think what you want, outside the narrow dictates of PC.

In a piece called Mass Man and Totalitarianism, Roger Kimball touches on today's topic. He makes reference to the "admonitory parallels between the mass men of the past, who proved such pliable fodder for the totalitarian ambitions of the twentieth century, and the mass men of today, that 'susceptible' creature who 'is fundamentally ignorant, though remarkably 'well informed.'” "Mass man’s inertia accepts the dictates of bureaucracy. He has no 'great idea' or 'faith' to guard him against expedient compromise, or participation in genocide.” He quotes J.R. Nyquist, who writes that

“Once upon a time we had a civilization. We had standards. We had notions of objectivity. We had a culture that wasn’t low-minded. We looked back to great men as we looked forward to our posterity. Art was beautiful and meaningful. Politics was evolving away from tyranny. Economics was about liberty and responsibility. What do we have today? .... Subjectivity has cynically declared that objectivity is impossible. Everything high-minded has fallen to neglect.

"But more important, and even more disastrous, the emergence of 'mass man' has something to do with the emergence of totalitarianism (which claimed roughly 100 million lives in the last century). And it is safe to say that totalitarianism is going to claim even more lives in the future. But people don’t want to wake up. They don’t want to acknowledge that totalitarianism is something real and ongoing. It grows in the soil of mass culture. It leads to destruction and mass murder because every totalitarian construct is based on lies, sustained by crime and driven by the politicization of personal disappointment and envy" (Nyquist). Someone ought to write a book on liberal fascism....

Now, how does this all relate to the whole existentialada? What's the cosmic significance of today's post? In this regard, Schuon had a number of typically acute observations. For example he notes that "progressivism is the wish to eliminate effects without wishing to eliminate their causes; it is the wish to eliminate calamities without realizing that they are nothing other than what man himself is."

Furtherless, progressives wish "to achieve a perfect man outside the truths which give the human phenomenon all its meaning." The leftist tries "to reform the world without having either the will or the power to reform man, and this flagrant contradiction, this attempt to make a better world on the basis of a worsened humanity, can only end in the very abolition of what is human, and consequently in the abolition of happiness too."

No, "the collectivity could not be the aim and reason for being of the individual, but on the contrary... it is the individual in his solitary station before the Absolute and thus by the exercise of his highest function, who is the aim and reason for being of the collectivity."

Or, put it this way: "One of two things must be true: either it is possible to save others, or it is impossible to do so; if it is possible, this implies that we first seek our personal salvation, otherwise saving others is impossible, precisely." But the typical leftist embarks on a mission of "saving" others before he can even govern, much less save, his own soul. The self-hypnotizing obamantra is "change," but never of the one chanting it. No, they're beautiful just as they are. It's the rest of us who will have to change to suit their need for reality to conform to their infantile wishes.

To paraphrase Schuon, such individuals live on the fringes of their own being, and spend their lives giving blood to phantoms. If it were only their blood, I suppose we could live with the phantoms.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Slack Liberation Theology (3.13.10)

If we could only somehow get to the bottom of it all. Isn't that what we're trying to do? Have a direct, unmediated encounter with reality, whatever that is?

Science has a lot of answers. But only to very narrow and specific questions. If you ask the wrong question, for example, "Why are truth and beauty so intimately related?", you get no answer at all. Worse, some questions just generate paradox, like, "What was before the big bang?"

Various sciences abstract from the meaning of being as a whole, which is only possible because truth emanates from being -- which is itself a timeless truth which we may know with certainty on pain of the impossibility of knowing anything. But science alone can never explain the existence of the truth-bearing scientist, any more than you can give birth to yourself.

Sciences develop very technical languages to convey this truth of Being -- for example, the language of quantum mechanics or the hyper-sophisticated coding of the human genome. But again, these languages aren't Being itself. The map is not the territory. The human genome project is not alive, nor can you make a cosmos out of mathematics.

Being just is. We can describe it any way we like, but our description can never exhaust the infinite ocean of Being. It perpetually flows into our little vessel of human knowing without being diminished one iota.

In my book, I use the symbol "O" to stand for the infinite and unknowable ground of ultimate reality from which our existence is derived, the latter of which is like a spark thrown from a central fire. It can never be known. We can only know "about" it. On the other hand, we can experience its heat and light directly -- or its warmth and illumination.

In fact, we can know many things about O, just as I can know many things about you. But I can never know you in the same way you know yourself in an unmediated way, from the inside. Only you can have this kind of "inside information" about yourself.

Thus, observational science proceeds in the direction of O--(k), while logico-deductive science proceeds in the direction of (k)-->O. (k) is the realm of everyday dualistic knowledge about O. This knowledge may be known objectively and passed like an object from mind to mind.

For example, the theory of natural selection is (k) about the ultimate unknowable mystery of the living O. It is not to be confused with O. For surely, O is alive, and yet, it can hardly be reduced to a biological object, which is only an effect, not a cause.

At risk of pointing out the obvious, the theory of natural selection cannot tell you how O evolved to the point that it could hypothesize and know a truth about itself, any more than musical notation can account for the existence of music.

Music is completely unperturbed by all the efforts to capture and contain it. All the music that has been produced in the history of the world has not yet made a dent in it. We will never "run out" of music.

Music will continue to flow forever, just as will language. Language will never explain the ceaseless creativity of language. It just flows and flows and flows, regardless of your theory or system. It is truly a mirror of the infinite, since it is one of the primary modes of O. "The Word" was with O from the beginning, and the beginning is always now: Yes, When He prepared the heavens, I was there. When He drew a circle on the face of the deep.... I was beside Him as a master craftsman (Proverbs 8:27).

Science must satisfy itself with (k), which is fine. Obviously, (k) has its place so long as we exist, as we must, in the "separative illusion." Since most cultures revolve around (-k), I am thankful I won the cosmic lottery and live in a place that mostly honors (k). For any method of science is correct, on its own level, to the extent that it submits to O and allows itself to be molded and determined by the limited object or domain it is studying.

But for most of history -- and in much of the contemporary world, in particular, the Islamic world -- this direction is reversed, and reality is determined and molded by (k), which automatically converts it to (-k). To be precise, in the case of the Islamic world, it is overrun with the more pernicious (-n), which never touched O to begin with. (Obama's hateful Trinity Church is a fine example of [-n].)

Worse yet, when (k) replaces O, one then lives in the parallel loooniverse of -O, or ø, which is where so much of contemporary leftist wackademia resides. Whenever you deny O, you will simply replace it with ø, and fall from essence to existence.

In fact, you may even elevate yourself to O, as do so many secular fundamentalist fanatics. They do this in both trivial and profound ways, from dictating how the infinitely complex system of the economy should be governed, to making it against the law to discuss O in public schools.

We in the West suffer from a different problem than the one that afflicts the (-n) Muslim world. Unfortunately, our culture does more than honor (k). Rather, it elevates it to the highest. The secular world tries to eradicate O and replace it with mere (k), which automatically places you in an abstract, substitute, and counterfeit world at least one degree removed from reality.

Religions, properly understood, attempt to restore our primordial relationship with O. Fundamentally, they contemplate the holy and manifest mystery of Being by trying to enter it directly -- not talk about it but from within it. And when they do talk about the mystery, it is not in the manner of (k)-->O (or at least it shouldn't be). Rather, the direction is reversed, and it is O-->(n).

(n) is not to be confused with (k). To take just one obvious example, it would be a grave error to reduce the words of Jesus to mere (k). Rather, Jesus spoke in almost pure (n). You will note that Jesus used no technical terms at all.

Obviously, specialized (k) can be quite technical. Most of it is well over -- or under -- your head. But (n) is often quite homespun and plain -- even rustic -- sounding. The Tao Te Ching, for example, contains no technical terms at all. Nor do the Upanishads or the Talmud. Nor, for that matter, did most of the great philosophers of history employ any technical language: Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Schopenhauer. Only when (k) started to become confused with O did we see this great confusion in philosophy, a confusion that pervades the contemporary academic world.

In fact, sad to say, contemporary philosophy has detached itself entirely from O. It now consists of nothing more than (k) about (k), which, suffice it to say, is merely (-k) as it pertains to metaphysics, the latter of which being the science of the Real.

If revelation is an objective manifestation of O, the intellect as such is its subjective manifestation, the one mirroring the other.

The scientistic world of (k)-->O is a barren one that is unfit for humans. Being spontaneously gives itself to us, but in order to appreciate that, we must adopt an attitude of receptiveness. If we do not maintain this receptive attitude, the world cannot open up and give of itself from within -- within to within. Although the way of the jnani is not the way of the bhakti, in that it is "intellectual," there is considerable overlap, in that it is nevertheless a love relationship. It is phil of sophia, a passionate longing for Truth and Reality. Love opens up, or "liquifies" the hardened or frozen world of the self-projecting ego, and aligns us with the eternal source of divine Slack.