Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Soul of Obama and His Spiritual Housing Crisis (4.08.10)

Man is made in such a way that he is never fully actualized within the limits of his possibilities except with the help of constraints, otherwise he would be perfect; where there is no brake there is exaggeration and unconsciousness. --F. Schuon

One of the intrinsic problems of leftism is that it confuses an absence of constraints with freedom, when the only real freedom is precisely a result of thinking, feeling, willing and even "being" within what I believe are God-given constraints. For example, just as it isn't possible to "think mathematically" in the absence of mathematical equations, or to play music in the absence of harmony, melody, and rhythm, it is not possible to "think spiritually" in the absence of authentic and timeless religious forms. These are the boundary conditions that vault one's thought into a higher vertical space which is anterior to us, even while we "co-create" it -- again, somewhat analogous to musical improvisation. Real thought is the essence of prayer, linking man with what is timeless and eternal.

To put it another way, the purpose of religious forms -- one of them, anyway -- is to allow us to think spiritually, and to do so in a productive way. One of the reasons why the "new age" is so empty and ultimately unfruitful is that it tries to make up its own spiritual language, which amounts to thinking without constraints or playing music with no harmonic or melodic structure. Certain self-styled "independent gurus" fall into this category, and this is the primary reason why their work dies with them, since it does not arise out of any eternal tradition. They end up trying to invent their own tradition, which is analogous to the musician trying to invent music itself.

I remember Bob Dylan saying something similar with regard to his artistic development. He said something to the effect that he didn't understand how young musicians can think they'll produce anything of enduring value by simply imitating contemporary sounds, instead of immersing themselves in an authentic tradition.

In Dylan's case, one of the keys to his greatness was that he surrendered and submitted himself to the American folk tradition, as if it were a religion. Which, in a way it was and is. That is, just as authentic religious revelations descend from "above" and are invented by "no one" and "everyone," a genuine folk tradition arises from "below," in the collective experience of mankind. This is what gives it its resonant mythological power, a power that no one person could have "invented."

Only once he had immersed himself in the folk tradition could Dylan then "legitimately" branch of into "freer" directions; but even so, I believe he would be the first to acknowledge that he is still working with timeless materials within a traditional framework. He is not truly an "innovator" in the way we usually think of that word. To the contrary, he is a strict traditionalist, out of which comes both his power and authority. One other important point is that this approach ensures that music is not merely made for egoic or narcissistic reasons, but out of love -- love and respect for the tradition that is higher and greater than oneself. So much music is vile because it does violence the traditions out of which it arose.

If one truly immerses oneself in a tradition and is guided by love, an alchemical transformation occurs within the soul. In this process, the lower self "dissolves," so to speak, allowing one to graft onto or merge with the tradition in a seamless way. The reason why this can occur is that a legitimate tradition embodies what is permanent within the self (in both its celestial and terrestrial aspects), so it is not really a discovery but a deep recollection of one's true being.

This, by the way, is one of the things that is so troubling about Obama. It is not so much that he is the spiritual disciple of an ignorant and vile madman, but that he has surrendered himself to a tradition that is not a legitimate one at all, but one that is wholly -- or largely -- manmade. Any spiritually attuned person can listen to Jeremiah Wright and know this in an instant. That he is not radiating divine qualities is patently obvious. He has no dignity, no nobility, no sobriety; rather, he is "wild," intoxicated, uncontained, and decentered. At best, he mimics certain qualities such as divine wrath and judgment, as well as a genuine fake charisma that emanates from his fascinatingly unbound mind parasites, as opposed to any celestial "gift." All demagogues have this toxic gift that resonates in the susceptible. One thinks of Bill Clinton.

A person of genuine spiritual attainment will radiate from the calm center, and be an image of the "motionless mover." Think, for example, of the recent visit of the Pope, and contrast his dignified bearing -- simultaneously humble and majestic -- with the circus freakery of a Jeremiah Wright. He is all periphery and no center; he has no spiritual center and therefore no intellectual center, hence, the wild conspiracy theories, which are both "systematic" and incoherent, just like any clinical paranoid who is invincible in his certainty of the impossible. He has quite literally substituted paranoia for metanoia, in that he orients himself around projected illusions instead of "turning around" and calmly orienting himself toward and around the peace and tranquility of the One.

As a commenter mentioned yesterday, this is not religion but Marxism, Marxism being the archetypal inversion of religion precisely. As I have mentioned on many occasions, this is my principal objection to the psychospiritual left, as it inverts the cosmic order, so that everything is quite literally backward and upside down. Mixed with religion, it becomes a particularly potent and destructive force, even demonic in the strict sense of the term.

Now, why is this important? Because a religion is where one's soul finds its rest. It is where one feels spiritually "at home." As such, if one finds one's home in a false religion, one is ipso facto a false self. To put it another way, if one finds one's truth in lies, then one is living a lie -- or worse yet, one is a Lie.

But why would someone "fall in love" with religious lies and liars? Good question. It could just be because it is convenient to do so, or congenial with what one already wishes to believe. Thus, a person who has already committed himself to neo-Marxism finds his soul's rest in the tawdry "liberation theology" of a Jeremiah Wright, which is not theology and certainly not liberating.

Is this what has happened with Obama? Unfortunately, we just don't know, and that's the problem. Is Obama just cynical and calculating? Spiritually blind and tone deaf? Not too bright underneath his smooth veneer? In any case, his attraction to this buffoon Wright speaks to some sort of flaw which is quite deep, and which reveals a fundamentally dis-ordered soul. Spiritually speaking, people lied, Obama died.

We all have flaws. But hopefully we do not glorify them and give them a divine imprimatur. It's like a sex addict joining a polygamous church, or Jeffrey Dahmer converting to the Aztec religion.

If Obama felt he needed to join a black church in order to gain some sort of "street credibility," it certainly wouldn't have been difficult to find a mainstream one. I happen to believe that the black church at its best represents an authentic sub-tradition, as it is the spontaneous merging of the gospel with an oppressed people with their own unique heritage. There is so much truth and beauty in the black church, e.g., gospel music. Why get involved with this perverse and parasitic version of it?

If we give Obama the benefit of the doubt and assume that he is not a malicious person, then we are left with the option that he is simply a man with no identity in search of one. Such a centerless man will grope around for his center at the periphery, and feel at home there, just as secular leftist losers feel at home with fellow outcasts (i.e., people who do not know their caste) and sociopaths, blindly wandering from sensation to sensation in a kind of false eternity.

Interestingly, you will notice that Obama appears to be everything Wright is not -- calm, centered, dignified, even aristocratic. These are all fine qualities so long as they are both genuine and spiritually grounded.

But again, one wonders how genuine they can be if Obama is so deeply attracted to someone who embodies their opposite. Imagine the contradiction. It's analogous to a sober scientist being a secret devotee of palm reading, or a classical conductor enjoying Britney Spears in his spare time, or a Raccoon who spends $1,000 for a weekend seminar with Deepak Chopra or Tony Robbins.

More generally, I detest religious people who make religion look foolish or evil. There are few greater sins. Maybe none, for it is the one sin that negates all the others.

Monday, April 28, 2008

On the Cosmic Meaning of Race

I guess it's hard to avoid the big kerfuffle of the day, which is Jeremiah Wright's speech before the NAACP over the weekend, in which he claimed that "black brains" have a different neurological structure than "white brains," so that cultural differences would be rooted in our hardware, not our software, so to speak. (Here is a link to the video.) Ironically, this is what got the authors of The Bell Curve in so much trouble a decade ago, for it is strictly forbidden to entertain the idea that race could involve any "essential" differences as opposed to "accidental" ones.

Now, there is no question that Jeremiah Wright is a lunatic, a racist, and a hate-monger, but that's beside the point, for truth -- if it is truth -- cannot be sullied by its vehicle. 2 + 2 = 4 is no less true even if it comes out of the deranged mouth of a Keith Olbermann. But let's look at this in a detached and disinterested way, and see if there's any truth to it.

This subject is truly the "third rail" of academia, so I will no doubt say something offensive in what follows -- or, at the very least, something that will be willfully misunderstood. On the one hand, we're all supposed to be obsessed with race and racial differences, and yet, deny that they have any intrinsic basis. If you are a politically correct leftist, you must simultaneously believe that race is "everything" and yet "nothing." It is of the utmost importance in judging people, and yet, of no importance at all. To believe there are racial differences is to automatically brand oneself a nazi, even if one is positively disposed to the differences. It's a very confusing message. Remember the Seinfeld episode, in which Jerry proclaimed that he loved Asian women? Elaine responded, "that's so racist!," and a bewildered Jerry asked words to the effect of, "how can it be racist? I said I love them."

As an example of how ideology shapes scientific perception -- or what the scientist is "permitted" to believe, and even perceive -- it has long been assumed in anthropological circles that race is entirely contingent and superficial. We are all descended from the same small band of Homo sapiens from as recently as 70,000 years ago, and that's just too short a time in evolutionary terms to result in any real changes to the human genotype. On this assumption, all human beings are genetically no different than a human being from 70,000 years ago. I am hardly the first to observe that this stance is largely an institutional reaction to the monstrosities of the racial theories of the 20th century and to the legacy of Western slavery.

The most recent scientific evidence suggests that the idea that evolution ceased 70,000 years ago is simply untrue. Awhile back I posted on Nicholas Wade's Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors (Wade is a science writer for the New York Times, no less), and he says that there is no question that significant genetic changes have taken place within just a few generations as a result of certain human groups being isolated from one another.

I don't recall all of the details, but I do recall Wade's example of the Ashkenazi Jews, whom he said rapidly developed higher IQs because they were prevented from working in most fields as a result of European anti-Semitism. In short, Jews could mostly find work in "disreputable" fields that required a certain kind of more abstract mental ability as opposed to "honest labor." But Jews got the last laugh, as they were genetically selected for higher IQs in a very short span of time. If this is true, it would explain why Ashkenazi Jews continue to have a significantly higher IQs than the average. (That's not me talking, but Wade summarizing the scientific evidence.)

Another relevant book along these lines is Richard Nisbett's The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently...and Why. The Publishers Weekly review says the book

"may mark the beginning of a new front in the science wars. Nisbett, an eminent psychologist..., contends that 'human cognition is not everywhere the same' -- that those brought up in Western and East Asian cultures think differently from one another in scientifically measurable ways.... Westerners tend to inculcate individualism and choice..., while East Asians are oriented toward group relations and obligations ('the tall poppy is cut down' remains a popular Chinese aphorism). Next, Nisbett presents his actual experiments and data, [which] seem to show East Asians [to be] measurably more holistic in their perceptions (taking in whole scenes rather than a few stand-out objects). Westerners, or those brought up in Northern European and Anglo-Saxon-descended cultures, have a 'tunnel-vision perceptual style' that focuses much more on identifying what's prominent in certain scenes and remembering it."

Now, I am not a big fan of IQ testing as a measure of general intelligence, and I believe that any average human being is equipped to comprehend absolute truth; conversely, a high IQ in no way correlates with conformity to truth, much less to creativity. If anything, the opposite is true. After a certain cut-off point, a high IQ is associated with less creativity, not to mention a narcissistic pride that results in idiosyncratic deviations from truth, which are no more than an egoic and thoroughly disposable "song of myself." Conformity to truth requires a humility that is too often lacking in the intellectually grandiose.

We needn't look further than leftist academia to appreciate the truism that a certain kind of one-dimensional high intelligence more often than not correlates with systematic nonsense, not truth. For example, college educated people vote overwhelmingly Republican, while people who have attended graduate school (business or economics excepted, of course) vote overwhelmingly Democrat. This doesn't surprise me in the least, as the problem of over-education is actually much more harmful than the problem of under-education. The latter group causes relatively few societal problems compared to the former. This is why William F. Buckley famously quipped that he would prefer to be governed by the first 100 names in the Boston telephone book than the Harvard faculty, and why he was correct. It truly takes an over-educated buffoon to believe most of the nonsense that comes out of academia.

You can only be a racist if you believe that race is unvaryingly rooted in genetics, and that certain groups are unavoidably superior and therefore inferior. But again, what if different groups are just different, but not in any pejorative sense? Or, what if each group has its strengths and weakness, so that it is once again not a matter of "either/or" but "both/and"? Just as the human being is not male or female, but the complementarity of male/female, what if the archetypal Man is all of the races harmoniously combined? What if we really should cherish the differences rather than use them as a battering ram for leftist grievance-mongering and victimization?

The most up-to-date research on intelligence indicates what should be a truism, that intelligence is not only not a general construct (or not only), but that it has many relatively independent "modules." For example, one can obviously be a musical genius but a political dolt. Too many painful examples come to mind. Likewise, one can be a scientific genius, like Einstein, and be a philosophical mediocrity and political nuisance. Or, one can be a religious genius and be a scientific kook. One can have rhetorical skills, like Obama, which conceal an intellect that is mediocre, or poor rhetorical skills, like President Bush, and have a superior IQ.

Now, I don't happen to believe that race is genetic -- or only genetic (everything is by definition genetic in some sense, so it's a tautology). Furthermore, one of the most critical points to bear in mind is that intelligence is on a Bell curve anyway, so that each group actually contains all of the human potential, just in a different mixture. Yes, the vast majority of immortal jazz musicians were black, and I believe only could have been black. And yet there have been some white jazz musicians that also achieved aesthetic perfection, e.g., Bill Evans, Stan Getz, Art Pepper.

As Schuon observed -- and Schuon is a person who not only loved racial differences, but truly cherished them -- "If racism is to be rejected, so is an anti-racism which errs in the opposite direction by attributing racial difference to merely accidental causes and which seeks to reduce to nothing these differences by talking about blood-groups, or in other words by mixing up things situated on different levels." To put it another way, nothing as precious and valuable as these differences could be a result of mere genetic shuffling. Thus the differences between, say, Taosim and Christianity, which really do involve different "inflections" of the one truth, even though -- at least according to Schuon -- they are each "complete."

What we call "race" must be a combination of genetics, culture, archetypal essences, and individuality. So it is impossible in principle to reduce someone to his race, even if we can discuss it in general terms. Furthermore, it seems to be something we can't help noticing, even if we needn't attach any negative connotations to it. For example, my son's best friends are a Japanese boy; a Chinese-American girl; an African-American adoptee of a white couple; and a boy and girl of a mixed Caucasian/African American couple. We assumed that Tristan would grow up not noticing race, but the other night we were watching a Dodger game, with the Japanese pitcher Hiroki Kuroda on the mound. Tristan happily exclaimed, "he looks like KK!," his little Japanese friend.

One of the reasons I am so disoriented by the left, is that by the 1970s, like any good liberal, I had been naive enough to believe that Americans really were "beyond race." I was raised to believe that it was of no importance, and I didn't even know any liberals who believed otherwise. It seems to me that only with the OJ trial was the mask ripped off, and the full extent of the horror of invidious leftist race obsessions became apparent. That's when it dawned on me with great force that these people are not like me. Not African-Americans. The left. And that is much deeper than any mere racial difference. Let's put it this way: I am a different race than Jeremiah Wright, but the same one as Thomas Sowell. But I wish I were the same race as Bobby Bland or Van Morrison....

To be continued....

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Lumin Beings & Loony Moonbats

New policy: Saturdays will feature an edited post from two years previous. No post on Sundays. Policy may change at any time without my noticing.

*****

In certain ways, it's very simple: you become like that to which you look up. This is one of the bases of normal human development. As children, we require models to imitate, identify with, and internalize. My son, who is three years-old, already mimics and/or mocks everything I do. Yesterday I told him to stop playing in the garbage in the kitchen. He looks at me and calmly says, get a grip, Daddy.

This "mimesis" is fundamental to being human, and it doesn't stop in early childhood. It emerges again quite powerfully in adolescence, during which there a deep hunger for models -- which often end up being bad ones by default -- to imitate. You'll likely see it again in your professional life, as you try to define your own approach to your craft or profession. At first the model will seem exterior, but eventually, through an osmotic psychic process that isn't entirely clear, we "become" the model from the inside. We no longer require the external support.

It is just so with the spiritual life. Anonymous Friend writes that one venerates (i.e., loves and respects) "a non-incarnated being -- a departed person, a saint, or a hierarchical being -- in a disinterested manner. Your veneration -- which includes love, respect, gratitude, the desire to conform, etc. -- cannot fail to create an invisible link of sympathy with its object," as like calls out to like.

He continues: "It may be in a subtle and dramatic way, or rather in a slow, gradual and almost imperceptible way -- this does not matter -- the day will come when you will experience the presence... not a fluidic, semi-electrical presence close to you in space -- as in the apparition of a phantom or ghost -- but the breath of radiant serenity, of which you know with certain knowledge that the source from which it emanates is not at all in you. It influences and fills you but it does not take its origin in you; it comes from outside of you.

"Just as you know, in drawing near to a fireplace, that the warmth that you feel does not arise from you but rather from the fireplace, so also do you feel that the breath of serenity in question is due to an objective presence."

Once such a relationship is established, "it is up to you to remain silently concentrated so that the relationship established is subsequently developed, i.e., that it gains in intensity and clarity -- that it becomes a meeting in full consciousness." (My vibrant relationship with Anonymous Friend is a fine example of what he's talking about.)

It is largely because of our postmodern materialism and cynicism that we no longer seem to appreciate a process that is quite natural and must have felt obvious to generations past. In other words, something unnatural and inhuman has to be superimposed over this process in order for us to deny or be unaware of its operation.

Perhaps it is also because the process requires a certain childlike trust and unguarded spontaneity -- the very same way the little boy expectantly looks up to his father. We begin with a “feeling response” that is actually of greater significance than the literal truth or falsehood of the teacher’s claims.

Rather, a sort of “chemistry” or “resonance” must first be established -- which is actually very similar to psychotherapy. It is as if one must first be capable of recognizing someone who speaks “from truth” before we can discuss this or that particular truth. You might say that the true spiritual "medium" is the message. In fact, for many people with a "bhakti" temperament, this devotion is all they require.

If we try to identify with this source before honoring it as greater than ourselves, we will simply build a new addition to our ego. This is the esoteric meaning of "honor your father and mother." The ego can either orient itself around its true parent or pledge its loyalty to the "father of lies."

Throughout this process is the dual mystery of word and incarnation. In every case of identification and eventual internalization, it is as if an external seed is planted in the fertile ground of the soul, eventually taking root there and blossoming on its own. Then it is capable of producing its own seed. Sonflowering seeds. It is a very organic process. But the garden must be regularly watered, weeded, and harvested. Or, topped and smoked.

We are all looking for our fixed "star" to guide us -- that which we may follow without reserve. This star does not necessarily have to take human form, but it can be a big help. The star is your future Self, calling you to join it.

In life, we can become so lost that we seem to lose our orbit, like a planet that is too far away and begins to drift off aimlessly into space. Secular leftism is an entire philosophy that elevates the drifting planet to a virtue. Gaia replaces the sun, which, ironically, makes secularism the most vain and self-centered of all philosophies.

But it is also an infra-human philosophy, for man was made to revolve around the spiritual sun, just as a boy was made to revolve around his terrestrial father, who should be a reflection of the celestial light. Take away the light and warmth of the sun, and we live in a cold, dead universe: a culture of death is its natural consequence and intellectual blandmaiden.

Have you ever seen the sun shining at midnight? Even when all else is dark, in the middle of the night, you can see the light of the sun reflecting off of the moon. Who is the moon? The moon has always been conceptualized in feminine ways -- after all "moon" and "menses" are etymologically related. Wisdom is sophia or Mary, and true wisdom is always reflected from a greater source.

The moon is not the sun, and we are not God. But we can become receptacles or "luminaries," that is, lumin beings who ride the wild soph on waves of divine light. Or we may become glittering moonbats, those dim bulbs who form a circle and flick their Bics to look for the sun.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Humanity is One... Unfortunately

Why is it that these Buddhist trolls who believe the self is an illusion always have the most unattractive selves? I suppose it's like an unappealing woman who becomes a feminist and decides that gender is just a social construct anyway, so she can pretend she's not missing anything. Likewise, what these vulgarized Buddhists call "emptiness" we call a "major blind spot." It doesn't reflect well on Buddhism, which obviously has its share of perennial wisdom, even if it can never be "ultimate."

I just read a book by one of these blinkered new-age Buddhist types, and all I can say is, if your prose has the capacity to set my teeth on edge, you're probably not as liberated as you think. Rather, you're just in denial of the malignant power of your self, or, at the very least, unaware of the aesthetic requirements of Truth. (Of course, this has no common measure with the inevitable psychic "disturbance" caused by genuine sages, saints, and mystics, which is a mark of authenticity, Jesus being absolutely paradigmatic in this regard. Only the ultimate Life could inspire the ultimate murder in the wrong type of people.)

No, the body and the Self (as opposed to the local and contingent ego) are both real and enduring (i.e., the Real is reflected in both body and Self). Last night the Dreamer provided me with another vivid reminder of this. As I have said before, for all practical purposes, I don't think you can really eliminate mind parasites, any more than you could eliminate all the bacteria and viruses from the world (nor would you want to). But you can "outgrow" your mind parasites. Or, put it this way: if you have a particularly disruptive and dysfunctional mind parasite, you can confront it head on, say, in therapy, and gain insight into its ways and means and try to rid yourself of its mean ways.

But in a more general sense, it is also possible to simply become "larger" and more capacious than your mind parasites, so that they no longer contain you, but rather, the reverse: you contain them by virtue of your psychic "growth" or maturity, and mind parasites can't grow if you don't feed them with the experiences they require. I suppose it's similar to having a robust immune system that can either ward off infections or tamp them down before they get out of hand. An immature or compromised immune system can't do that. The point is that the same infection -- say, the flu -- can be deadly for a person with a compromised immune system, e.g., children, the elderly, AIDS patients, but not a big problem for others. Same parasite; very different result.

Just so, the identical mind parasite -- let's say, envy, because it is so ubiquitous and pesky -- can be contained in one person, but become the ruling passion (i.e., the container) of another, say, a leftist. In so many ways, the left is simply the mind parasite of envy writ large, the normalization of a particular soul-pathology. And once the parasite is normalized, there is no hope of transcending it.

To cite an obvious example, you often hear clueless leftist neo-Marxist elites such as Obama say that they just don't understand how a middle class conservative can "vote against his economic interests" -- which is just another way of saying that they just don't understand people who aren't plagued by envy. Of course the little people are envious. They just channel it into guns, or religion, or homophobia, or voting Republican.

But in truth, affluent leftist elites -- the Hollywood herd of independent minds is the quintessential example -- merely project their own envy into "the little people" for whom they have such palpable contempt, under the guise of "caring" about them. This is why the ministrations of the leftist always feel so creepy and malignant to a normal person. It feels so creepy because it is so narcissistic and "off key," and has nothing to do with your actual personhood. Rather, it specifically robs you of your unique personhood -- which is your most precious gift, being that it represents "freedom lived" (in the higher sense).

For example, I heard someone say that Obama's understanding of the average American seems about as deep as a Bruce Springsteen song, to such an extent that he should appoint him Secretary of Labor. Now, I was a union member and working class stiff for half of my adult life, and it was strictly laughable that Springsteen's depressingly cartoonish vision of a blue collar American Hell had anything to do with my life.

In fact, based upon his morose lyrics, I am quite sure that my life -- and my internal world -- was more rewarding than his. I certainly wouldn't want to be him for anything. I mean imagine, if you will, the darkness of someone who confesses to actually receiving spiritual sustenance from Maureen Dowd and Paul Krugman. That is quite literally hell, equivalent to gaining "intellectual sustenance" from Air America or huffingtonpost.

Unlike me, Springsteen was and is a pampered millionaire who has never worked a day in his life. But outward circumstances do not alter the contours of the self, which again, endures. In Springsteen's case, he had to do something with his envy, since it could no longer be rationalized, so he simply put it into people like me. At the same time, he became a leftist, which allowed him to be free of my imaginary (projected) envy of him, since now the government will "appease" my (his) envy by taking away stuff from "the wealthy" and giving it to contemptible losers like me. I wish that Springsteen would just stop voting against his economic interests and leave me alone.

The whole thing is so transparent. When the left complains about "tax cuts for the wealthy," this is simply their psychic transformation of greed and envy into a bogus altruism that allows their parasites to "sleep." But these parasites never sleep, as the Dreamer reminded me last night. What the leftist really means is that "poor people are envious of my stuff, so we'd better give these losers some 'free' stuff from the government, so I won't feel so persecuted by my undeserved wealth." This is why all the Hollywood entertainers complain about "CEO pay" or "income disparity," but not a single one of them complains about the excessive salaries of movie stars or rappers. You will never see Sean Penn structure his contract so there is not such a chasm between his salary and that of the lowly set carpenter or assistant editor.

The self does not end at your skin boundaries, that's for sure. Projection is going on all the time, and it's best to try to understand what you're projecting rather than imagining that you are free of this ubiquitous mechanism. You may not feel your toxicity, but that's because we do.

In other words, before you blithely proclaim that "all is one," you had better understand what this implies, i.e., its dark side of unwanted psychic influences passed from mind to mind. Obviously this applies on both the micro (individual) and macro (collective) levels, and both above and below. For example, Obama's bogus call for "unity" is actually just tyranny in disguise, since his notion of "bringing us together" is "to have conservatives live with getting a 100% liberal agenda jammed down their throats" (Bill Otis). There is the white unity from which the diversity of colors emerges, and the black unity that denies diversity by blending all the colors.

Likewise, Jimmy Carter is a transparently loathsome, vicious, and poisonous human being who is not only clueless to his evildoing, but sanctimoniously imagines that he is morally superior to the rest of us. Carter will never know how toxic he is, even though (or, more precisely, because) the toxins leak out everywhere, and we must bear them. And yet, he is at peace.

Indeed, Carter is a man of peace. But like so many others of his ilk -- Gandhi comes to mind -- he's really just a peaceive aggressive S.O.B. in denial of his belligerent parasites. Never trust a peace-monger, unless they happen to be carrying a big sword and know how to consciously use it, and whom to use it upon. Righteous aggression is infinitely preferable to the morally depraved passive-aggressiveness of the left, who are quite naturally kind to the cruel (e.g., Hamas) while being cruel to the kind.

Anyway, just as the immune system is based upon a sophisticated system of identification in which your body is able to distinguish self from not-self, the more you know about your mind parasites, the less likely you will be to act them out in the manner of yesterday's "enlightened" troll, who is the only person who is unaware of his samskary monsters. In short, if you are unaware of your mind parasites, someone else will be, for I regret to inform you that We Are the World, and there's not a damn thing you can do about it.

This is the peril of living in the "human community," which is a vast field of projection, for better and worse; without projection, we could never become human, but pathological projection leaves us either less than or "all too" human. Thus the wise words of Jesus, "watch and pray," or pray while keeping one eye on your mind parasites, so they don't prey on you -- or others.

Reminds me of a Big Joe Turner song, in which he assures his scheming woman,

If you see me sleeping, baby,
Please don't think that I'm drunk.
I got one eye on my pistol
And the other one on my trunk.


***
Leftists have hijacked the educational establishment to use it as a huge projective field in which to infect children and young adults with their mind parasites. Dr. Sanity:

"Taking the mind of a child and feeding it exclusively on your ideological pablum is not only the most cruel and abusive of behaviors; it also ensures that such a mind becomes cognitively stunted and morally impaired (much like the minds of teachers so steeped in ideological bullshit like Bill Ayers and his cohorts from the 'loving' 60's, who so proudly and caually approve of oppression and violence toward those who disagree with them)."

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Cosmic Man and the Source of Certitude

Last night the Dreamer gave me a series of vivid dreams that confirmed most everything I wrote in my post yesterday, including, most importantly, the existence of the Dreamer himself. That's a form of confirmation and a source of certainty, but it obviously isn't "scientific" certainty. In fact, whatever I write, I feel as if it is backed by the full faith and credit of forces greater than myself, hence, the certainty that is so bobnoxious to trolls.

On the other hand, I often wonder at the source of the scientific materialist's certainty, since it is a metaphysic that doesn't permit man access to any certainty at all. Only revelation can do that, understood in its three senses as the Cosmos, the uncreated Intellect, and Scripture. So why is the materialist so insistent about his beliefs? It makes no sense. Of all people, they should be the ones to not only confess ultimate ignorance, but the impossibility of exiting that impoverished, third-world state in any absolute way that transcends matter.

But they don't. Rather, they are filled with certainty, which is only a disguised form of pseudo-faith. Today at American Thinker there is a piece that touches on this, The Left's Theft of the Open Society and the Scientific Method. It goes into a topic we have discussed here in the past, that is, the curious fact -- Orwellian, even -- that George Soros, one of the sweetest sugar daddies of the sour infantile left, claims to be an advocate of Karl Popper's "open society," when his leftist philosophy represents its single greatest threat. It is strictly impossible to believe in the open society and to be a man of the left. Impossible. Popper was a liberal, not a leftist. How can someone be so stupid -- unless they aren't stupid at all, just evil? Yes, that was ratorical.

But this is hardly anything new. Carson writes of the truism that "the Left misappropriates intellectual capital for perverse ends, in order to lend itself a veneer of respectability and befuddle its critics." I'm not a big fan of Popper's philosophy -- I much prefer his coontemporary, Polanyi, who covered the same ground as Popper, but in a deeper way that is entirely compatible with religion. In fact, to my knowledge, Popper was a materialist, which automatically makes his philosophy ungroundable, and rooted in the same metaphysical error as his opponents. To blame Plato for Marx is like blaming Moses for Chomsky.

As Carson notes, Popper's main villain was "Marxist historical inevitability and its pink cousin Western progressivism. We cannot predict scientific discoveries. Otherwise, they would not be discoveries. Scientific discoveries have an enormous influence on the future. Therefore, we cannot predict the future. Marxists and progressives who think that they represent the future are dangerous and deluded."

But Popper was ultimately wrong because man does have access to certainty, just not the horizontal certainty of scientism or leftist historicism. Rather, he has access to a realm of "vertical certainty" that comes clothed in various symbolic or exoteric forms that must be "decoded" to reveal their essential harmony and their unitary source in the Cosmic Dreamer.

In this sense, religion is certainly "falsifiable," just not in the scientific/materialistic sense of the word. For example, to say that "God is evil" is easily falsifiable on the plane of a priori metaphysical certitude, just as "all men are created equal" is easily confirmable. Besides, to say that "falsifiability" is the key to knowledge is like saying that "no" is the key to "yes." Again, as per Gödel, man has a source of certainty that cannot be reduced to any logical system.

You can never vanquish the left on its own materialistic level, otherwise you have made the central concession that matter is the only level. It is fighting ire with fire. A Popperian would have to say: we hold the following hypothesis to be untrue because unfalsifiable, that all men are created equal.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled program about the human body. Speaking of which, is it really possible that biology and natural selection tell us everything we need to know about the human body? What a moronic belief. It's like suggesting that physics tells us everything we need to know about music or architecture. I suppose in a way it does, being that architecture is "frozen music," just as quantum physics suggests that the ponderable world is a kind of "solid energy." Therefore, man's body is a combination of geometry + music. And we are once again back to Male and Female, or the Absolute and the Infinite.

Obviously, everything we know can only be known within the "environment" of our human form, both in its objective and subjective modes. Nevertheless, the human form is absolute, being that man, unlike any other animal, is capable of transcendent truth. In other words, as Schuon points out, "the human form cannot be transcended, its sufficient reason being precisely to express the Absolute, hence the untranscendable." Critically, this cuts off any purely evolutionist, reductionist viewpoint at the knees -- or ankles, really. For if man could be reduced to the forces of natural selection, his form "would be the result of a prolonged elaboration starting from animal forms; an elaboration that is at once arbitrary and unlimited." No final truth could be known, including that one.

Do you see the point? In this context, there could exist no truth-bearing animal. The ontological gap between the highest animal and the lowest man is so great as to be quite literally infinite, as infinite as the gaps between being and non-being, or between a living and non-living cosmos. In fact, to even say "cosmos" is to say life and mind, no? Here's a hint:

"The word Cosmos... meant originally 'order,' and this order is perceived as harmony, as consonance between ourselves and the Universe. This idea was developed as the correspondence between the Macrocosmos (the World) and the Microcosmos, or Man, with sometimes the Temple as link, as 'proprotional mean' between the two" (Perry).

Thus when you "go to church" -- in whatever form -- you are attempting to reconcile the Micro- and Macrocosmos; or, to be perfectly accurate, to personally experience their a priori unity. You know, One Cosmos. Under you-know-who, the only thing it could possibly be under. Call it 1 under O, if you like. It's certainly not "one cosmos over matter," much less "one mind over Darwin." That is strictly impossible.

Rather, you can only know about a unitary cosmos to the extent that you yourself are one: if thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. Again, obvious, is it not? The human mind intuits the prior oneness of existence because that is the human privilege. It cannot be surpassed by "evolution," because it is already ultimate. "The invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made" (Rom: 1:20).

By this we know, that all human properties proceed from one; that they all have but one only root and mother; otherwise, one man could not understand another.... Man has indeed all the forms of all the three worlds lying in him; for he is a complete image of God, or of the Being of all beings. -- Jacob Boehme

Of this you may be certain. For it is the certainty without which there can be none, and to deny it is to deny the very roots of knowledge. Plus, Petey said so, and that should be enough for anyOne.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Body of Your Dreams (4.22.10)

If the human body carries a message, who's the messenger? Is it Darwin or God? Or some weird hybrid, like Dargod or Godwin? In other words, if the body is a reflective surface, does it only reflect the below, or does it also convey information about the above?

As we have discussed before, this is a problem science can't even pose, let alone resolve, because it excludes at the outset that which it is not predisposed to believe. But for the believer, there can be no privilege higher than Truth, regardless of where it leads or comes from. Science can only deal with a small subset of this greater Truth, and cannot even justify the existence of its own assertions, as per our friend Gödel.

Speaking of Gödel, now that I think about it, there were probably three or four singular intellectual developments in the 20th century that must be counted as being of the utmost importance to metaphysics, for they decisively undermined the entire metaphysical framework of reductionistic scientism.

In no particular order, these would be Gödel's theorems, which proved that any sufficiently complex logical system contains assumptions that cannot be justified by the system, but which are nevertheless true in the platonic sense (by extension, this means that a logical system can be consistent or complete, but not both).

Never forget Gödel.

Second, the nonlocality of the cosmos, as per the "experimental metaphysics" of Alain Aspect, which showed that subatomic particles are in instantaneous communion, irrespective of the distance involved.

Third, the emergence of chaos and complexity theories, revealing the deep fractal order of the cosmos at all levels, and how complex systems are governed by nonlocal attractors.

And fourth, the systematic mapping of the unconscious mind, showing that human thought results from a dialectical (or "bi-logical") synthesis of the asymmetrical conscious and the symmetrical unconscious mind.

Any attempt to comprehend the world without these deep truths will be feeble at best. As you may have noticed, religion has no difficulty accommodating these truths (indeed, it rests upon them), whereas they are highly problematic for any linear, atomistic, rationalistic, or reductionistic metaphysic. For example, anyone who has felt the real presence of a Great Soul who is no longer technically living, has no problem with nonlocality. I mean, I rely upon guidance from the "communion of saints" in the same way another person might rely upon wikipedia. I just take it for granted that they can speak to one in the here and now, across any spatial or temporal boundaries. It's not magic. Rather, it would be magic if they couldn't.

Nor does any religious person have a problem with the idea that science can provide no final answers to the quandary of existence. Rather, he is very comfortable with the provocative symbolism of revelation, which vaults the mind into a higher and deeper understanding, into the very dimension from which truth and revelation emanate like so many sparks from a central fire. Science can't do that.

And surely, no believer has a problem with the idea of mysterious archetypal attractors that seem to canalize or lure existence from a nonlocal phase space. Isn't this why we pray to do the Creator's will, to conform ourselves to the greatest and most attractive Attractor of them all?

And what sophisticated believer would be a big enough ass to think that mere logic exhausts the Real? Please. We thank God for the unruly symmetrical logic of the unconscious mind, for it is truly the Spice of Life. Without it, we couldn't have imagination, poetry, mythology (in its higher sense), and even the visionary leaps of the true scientist. If not for the unconscious (I should really say "transconscious" or "metaconscious"), bean-counting mathematicians would be the legislators of this world, instead of poets and prophets.

Anyway. Where were we? Yes, the message of the human body. That reminds me. Did you know that I've never had a professional massage on my human body? I think it might help this persistent stiffness in my neck. But I'm the kind of person who likes his space. Boundary issues, I suppose. Being touched like that by a stranger might just make me more tense. And if it's a man, forget about it. Is that homophobia? What do you think? An elderly, unattractive woman. That's what I need.

Now, as we were saying yesterday, the supreme principle breaks out into the absolute and infinite, or the male principle and the female principle. As Schuon writes, "each of the two bodies, the masculine and feminine, manifests modes of perfection by definition evoked by their respective sex; all cosmic qualities are divided in fact into two complementary groups."

This is just as the great physicist Neils Bohr might have predicted. In fact, in my list of 20th century metaphysical breakthroughs, I should have mentioned the principle of complementarity. In your day-to-day life, whenever you are confronted with a seemingly unresolvable paradox, it's almost always a case of complementarity -- not "either/or," but "both/and" -- for example, time/eternity, form/substance, subject/object, matter/spirit, wave/particle, conscious/unconscious, male/female, science/religion, intelligent design/natural selection, etc.

As it pertains to the complementarity of male/female, Schuon points out that there is naturally something anterior to this, which is "the non-material being that was the primordial androgyne," and "which survives in each of us." This is Adam Kadmon, the Cosmic Man, or divine blueprint for humans. Or, as I put it in the Coonifesto, The body, an ephemeral harmelody of adams forged from within stars, our life, a fugitive dream within the deathless, sleeping what's-His-G-d-name.

What this means in plain english -- I think -- is that the human form is a "harmelody," i.e., a complementary synthesis of vertical chords (the archetypes) and horizontal melody (or terrestrial plunge into time and evolution), and that we are of a nonlocal piece with the stars that gave birth to the elements of which we are composed. In other words, when a human being looks at a star in the night time sky, he is really registering photons from a long-ago event that might very well mirror his own cosmic birth. The cosmos is thoroughly entangled with itself in this bizarre manner, so that we can literally see our own cosmic past as it arrives at our doorstep.

And to say that we are but a fugitive dream within the deathless, sleeping what's-His-G-d-name, is simply to acknowledge that our life is a dream dreamt by the nonlocal Dreamer beyond name and form, a Dreamer that lives within our deepest Self. Yes,

The world of things that come to be and cease to be is a world of dreams. He who is asleep and dreaming (in the literal sense) in this world is in reality dreaming doubly; and when he wakes (in the literal sense), he is like a man who has been awakened from an "incidental" sleep, but has given himself up again to his "natural" sleep. --Hermes

So awaken to the great Dreamer who dreams the dream of this cosmos, and dream actively instead of being passively dreamt -- especially by the hypnopompous dreams of sleeping materialists.

I once had a dream. I dreamt that I, even though a man, was pregnant, pregnant and full with Nothingness like a woman who is with child. And out of this Nothingness God was born. --Meister Eckhart

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If you have half an hour to spare, check it out. I think we have ourselves a new Black Messiah, definitely not the same as the old Black Messiah. It's what happens when one awakens from the slave-dream of the left. This guy's more dangerous to liberalism than marriage, hard work, and lack of self-pity (TW: Julie):

Monday, April 21, 2008

Heavenly Bodies & Earthy Souls (4.11.10)

Who, looking at the universe, would be so feeble-minded as not to believe that God is all in all; that he clothes himself with the universe, and at the same time contains it and dwells in it? --Gregory of Nyssa

To say that one believes in the self-evident truth of "intelligent design" is really to say that one believes in intelligence, especially human intelligence. For intelligence is nothing if it cannot know truth, and no random shuffling of Darwinian evolution could result in truth-bearing animals.

Rather, because the cosmos is logoistic, we should never be surprised to find traces of the logos wherever we look, whether in objects or in the subjects to whom they are intelligible. This is the absaridity in the reductionistic desert of orthodorks neo-Darwinism, in that it posits an absolute contingency capable of knowing absolute truth about itself. If it can do that, then it is no longer merely contingent, but participates in a transcendent absoluteness for which it can never account. Obviously there is relative truth in natural selection, but surely not absolute truth.

Instead of "intelligent design," one might just as well say "beautiful design." For example, underneath the temporal flux of the cosmos, we see those beautiful and elegant mathematical structures that seem to abide in a disembodied platonic realm of their own.

Yes, ugliness -- even butt ugliness -- "must needs be," but we can only know it because it is a privation. Only in the postmodern world "has ugliness become something like a norm or principle; in this case, beauty appears as a specialty, even a luxury" (Schuon). But this ugliness is merely an exteriorization of the endarkened souls who produce it, e.g., the aptly named Aliza Shvarts. It requires no talent, since it takes none to produce ugliness and barbarism. It requires the exertion of will to arrest it, and the application of talent to reverse it. To put it another way, some butts are quite beautiful.

It seems that our decline into the postmodern cult of ugliness began at the other end, with the aesthetic movement of "art for art's sake." But this was an aesthetics cut off from its transcendent source. Once that happened, then gravity took care of the rest, and down we went on a wilde ride to the bottom. Idolatry of the beautiful is still idolatry, which is why the modern art museum became a kind of church for irreligious sophisticates. It is also why so much modern art is ultimately "empty," because it has been drained of any transcendent reference. In the absence of transcendence, all art is merely decoration on our prison walls.

Art is obviously a form; but the form must skillfully convey something of the nonformal; it is the real presence of the infinite captured within, or radiating through, the finite. Schuon wrote that "beauty is the mirror of happiness [I would say delight] and truth." Without the element of delight, "there remains only the bare form," and without the element of truth, "there remains only an entirely subjective enjoyment -- a luxury," and we are stuck with a decadent aestheticism instead of aesthetics, which is as intellectualism to the intellect, just a counterfoot to the head.

In this regard, to say that there are no objective standards of aesthetic value is to insist (to paraphrase Schuon) that myopia and blindness are merely different ways of looking instead of "defects of vision." Stupidity is not just another form of intelligence. So why should we call formal ugliness art, especially when it ultimately serves as an accomplice in ushering man's spirit down and away from its source? This is a quintessential form of demonism, of black magic, a "revolt of the darkness." Obviously it doesn't "elevate," since the telovator of the postmodern mind can never ascend from the ground floor to begin with. But curiously, it can nevertheless descend. It can do this because this is where they locate the "real," in matter. This is why their vision is so hellish.

Now, what does this all have to do with the human body? I don't know yet. I guess we're about to find out.

Again, man is said to be the image and likeness of the Creator. It is the Raccoon position that we will therefore find traces of this deiformity in both our subjectivity (e.g., our capacity to know truth, to will the good, and to love beauty), but also in our material form.

This is not a new idea, but an archetypal one that belongs to the religio perennis, or the religion from which religion is derived. As the Orthodox Christian Olivier Clement writes, "There is no culture or religion that has not received and does not express a 'visitation of the Word.'" For "he is before all things, and in him all things hold together" (Col 1:16-17).

Quoting from Manly Hall's sometimes kooky, sometimes helpful Secret Teachings of All Ages, he writes that "The oldest, most profound, the most universal of all symbols is the human body. The Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, and Hindus considered philosophical analysis of man's triune nature to be an indispensable part of ethical and religious training."

In this approach, "the laws, elements, and powers of the universe were epitomized in the human constitution," so that "everything which existed outside of man had its analogue within man." An outgrowth of this was the notion that God is a "Grand Man," while man is a "little god." Thus, "the greater universe was termed the Macrocosm -- the Great World or Body," while man's body, "the individual human universe, was termed the Microcosm." As above, so below. Placed in this context, the idea that "the Word has become flesh" is perfectly comprehensible, even inevitable.

And in fact -- and we will get into this in more detail later -- even the secular scientist believes in this ancient formulation after his own fashion. To cite one obvious example, how is it that human beings are uniquely privileged to have access to the abstract formal system that rules the heavens? In other words, the quantum cosmologist "contains" the cosmos just as surely as it contains him.

But this is what the Christian has always believed; it is the materialist who cannot account for this mystery: "Understand that you have within yourself, upon a small scale, a second universe" (Origen). "Man, this major world in miniature, is a unified abridgment of all that exists, and the crowning of divine works" (St. Gregory of Palamas). "Man is the microcosm in the strictest sense of the word. He is the summary of all existence" (John Scottus Erigena). "All things in Heaven above, and Earth beneath, meet in the Constitution of each individual" (Peter Sterry).

You will often hear reductionistic Darwinians refute design with reference to certain "ugly" realities in the world, say, the mosquito, or man's windpipe being too close to the esophagus, or Randi Rhodes' voice. And yet, such quibbles actually "praise God," being that there is an implicit recognition or "recollection" of perfection.

But again, the manifestation is not the Principle, otherwise the world would be God. Nevertheless, as Schuon points out, "the world is fundamentally made of beauty, not ugliness.... and [it] could not contain ugliness if it did not contain a priori far more beauty." Likewise, contingency and randomness necessarily exist, but they are ultimately harnessed by a higher ordering principle to achieve newer and deeper syntheses. There is no metabolism without catabolism.

Running out of time. Here's a johnish quote to ponder and a petrified pun to quander:

"The Father is God beyond all, the origin of all that is. The incarnate Son is God with us, and he who becomes incarnate is none other than the Logos who gives form to the world by his creative words. The Spirit of God in us, the Breath, the Pneuma, gives life to all and brings every object to its proper perfection. The Logos appears as order and intelligibility, the Pneuma as dynamism and life.... Thus, to contemplate the smallest object is to experience the Trinity: the very being of the object takes us back to the Father; the meaning it expresses, its logos, speaks to us of the Logos; its growth to fullness and beauty reveals the Breath, the Life-giver" (Olivier Clement).

And His name & number shall be Immanuelent, which trancelighted, means "Godwithinus." --The Coonifesto (see also Matt 1:23)

To be continued....

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The God in Man in God

You often hear vaguely spiritual but essentially anti-religious people say that they kinda sorta believe in God, but not in some bearded old man sitting on a throne in the sky. Therefore, the non-conformist (or coonformist) in me makes me wonder if that isn't probably the best way to think of God, short of apophatic mystical approaches in which the only thing you can know about God is that you cannot know him; or whatever you say must be immediately unsaid in order to not mislead.

While that is "absolutely" true, we nevertheless possess a relative existence, and it seems that God has revealed certain fruitful ways to think about him so that he may be grasped by the mind on this side of manifestation: king, lawgiver, father, judge, comforter, etc.

Postmodern man hates more than anything to be duped or taken as a naif, which becomes the source of his self-enclosed and self-satisfied cynicism; it is just metaphysical naivete the long way around, like a Bill Maher. Better to believe in nothing than to risk looking silly in the eyes of other sophisticated yahoos.

As such, as Schuon points out, these sophisticates "merely replace one sentimentality with another when laying claim to 'objectivity'"; in fact, their so-called objectivity is "merely a soft and pretentious sentimentality, which is far more illusory than a transparent 'subjectivity.'" The fundamentalist atheists come to mind, e.g., Dawkins, Harris & Hitchens, all lost in a sentimental and childlike "objectivity."

This is a caricature of true objectivity, which, as every Raccoon knows, is a union of complements: it "does not set up an opposition between cold and heat but transcends them both: like emptiness it stands opposed to a false plenitude, whether hot or cold, or like silence to a heavy and blind affirmation" (Schuon). The Raccoon knows the secret that God is equally a bearded man in the sky, and no such thing. He knows this because he himself has a physical form which he transcends.

Christianity is obviously not the only religion that has promulgated the idea that God has assumed human form, e.g., the "avatar principle" in Hinduism. The main point is this idea that the Absolute may take embodied form in the relative, uniquely so in man, who is the "image and likeness" of the Absolute.

Being that we are the image and likeness, we should expect to see traces of this in both our objective (i.e., bodily) and subjective (i.e., mental) states. Furthermore, there is no reason to believe that other animals shouldn't share traces of this absoluteness, only in lesser forms, as they are "descended" from man, rather then vice versa.

In other words, in relative, horizontal, and Darwinian terms, we may be "descended" from animals (or ascended, really), but in absolute and vertical terms the reverse is true. An ape is a partial manifestation of man; man is not a "perfect ape," although Keith Olbermann comes close.

As Schuon writes, there are certain lower forms of life, such as cockroaches or snakes, that repel us because they are "like living conscious matter," whereas "the law of matter is precisely unconsciousness." Conversely, monkeys or olbermen are noteworthy for the opposite reason, that "they are like men who have been deprived of the central consciousness that characterizes mankind." They are not "conscious matter," but "consciousness decentralized, dissipated." At the same time, there are other animals that are obvious symbols of transcendence and beauty, the butterfly being my favorite example. In their case, we see the higher prefigured in the lower.

Now, being that God is both transcendent and immanent, every manifested thing is actually "God in disguise." This is not to be confused with pantheism; for example, even a rock is God, but that does not mean that God is a rock. The latter would represent the pantheistic confusion. Everything points in two directions, toward its own form and to something beyond, or to something that "radiates" through it. We see this most vividly in virgin nature, which engenders a kind of spontaneous worship. The radical environmentalist converts this supernaturally naturalistic awe into a pseudo-religion, conflating an effect with its transcendent cause. Yes, the earth is sacred. But how did it get that way?

In subsequent posts we will be discussing the beauty of the human form, through which transcendence radiates with particular metaphysical clarity, since a human being is nothing other than a "lens" where the vertical "collides" with the horizontal in the most intense way. There was probably a time when it was actually easier for human beings to think of this in the objective sense, whereas now it is probably easier for us to think of it in subjective terms.

To cite one obvious example of man's subjective deiformity, our minds are both "infinite" and "absolute," just like the creator. There is no end to the human mind's inexhaustible creativity; but at the same, we are uniquely capable of knowing absolute truth, even if you are just a secular scientist who believes in the absolute truth of certain mathematical equations.

Again, being that our minds share this deiformity, it would be surprising if not impossible to not see traces of this in our physical form, bearing in mind that we are "descended" from the perfect archetype, the Cosmic man, or Adam Kadmon. For example, when we see Michelangelo's Pieta or David, are we not seeing man's formal perfection liberated from marble? Perhaps my standards are low, but I can see perfection in a three-minute pop song.

When we discuss man's deiform nature, we are talking on the one hand about his capacity to know the absolute, on the other his physical beauty, which itself is a kind of embodied truth. Schuon points out that aesthetics is nothing other than "the science of forms," or formal beauty.

But just as beauty is the splendor of the true, truth itself will conform to standards of beauty. This is why a sense of form, rhythm, and proportion all "play an important part of intellective speculation," and can be important criteria of truth. A mathematician never expects to find an ugly equation ordering the cosmos. That we expect to see ugly art come out of our elite universities tells us all we need to know about them. This art, which produces a de-divinized and therefore dehumanized picture of man, can only be produced by an infrahuman being, exiled and alienated from both God and man.

To put it another way, God cannot be a bearded old lesbian performance artist sitting in the faculty lounge (whether female or male).

This also explains the truth and beauty of scripture, for just as some things are too ugly to be true, others are too beautiful not to be.

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Here's nice little three-minute pop confection by Brian Wilson, although you really need to hear it on the Big Hi-Fi to get the full effect of the musical production values:

Friday, April 18, 2008

Father Knows Breast, or The Story of Adam & Evolution

Ms. Shvarts is engaged in performance art. The entire project is an art piece, a creative fiction designed to draw attention to the ambiguity surrounding form and function of a woman’s body. --A Yale Woman

Luckily, there are always enough women who respect themselves as women to serve as models for those who do not.... Clearly, a society's attitudes toward women and toward maternity will deeply influence its psychological health and all its other institutional attitudes. --Weston LaBarre, The Human Animal

Let's discuss one of my favorite subjects, the ambiguity surrounding the form and function of a woman's body. Being that you can't be with me here in the liberatoreum, I must attempt to convey my views with mere words, instead of performing a little interpretive dance involving cow entrails and a bucket of blood. As you know, that would eliminate any ambiguity.

The first thought that occurs to me is that leftism is neither scientific nor religious, so that it naturally results in ambiguity -- which is just a fancy word for confusion -- about the form and function of the human body, indeed, about the very purpose of human existence. It is how and why one is reduced to being a "performance artist" to begin with. Suffice it to say, there are no conservative performance artists. For there is no confusion at all on the scientific level, nor is there confusion on the religious; the tricky part is harmonizing these two, which is the very purpose of the latter, esoterically understood, i.e., the conjunctio oppositorum of male and female.

Let's start with some psychoanalytic observations that are sure to bring some very surprised and disappointed google searchers to this site. As I discussed in the Coonifesto, the human being is intrinsically trimorphic, consisting of the three-in-one entity of father-mother-baby. Let's forget for the moment the question of whether these represent archetypal religious categories, and speak purely in terms of evolutionary psychology. The fact is, none of these three -- father, mother, baby -- could have evolved in the absence of the other two. As LaBarre put it, the "functional togetherness of individuals is the essence of human nature; it is openly visible in the very physiques of women, children, and men."

For example, the helpless baby -- whose neoteny and neurological plasticity are the very gateway to humanness -- is only made possible by the full attention of the mother, who is in turn only made possible by the protection of the father. In this regard, both the baby and the father have diverse "claims" on the mother's body. From a psychoanalytic standpoint, you could say that the breast belongs to the baby, while the vagina belongs to the father.

LaBarre explains: "No wild animal has a permanent breast. The female in Homo sapiens possesses such a specialization alone of all the mammals -- with the exception of the domesticated milch animals which are man's own creation long after the fact of his humanity. This anatomical feature in humans, however, is more than a mere 'domesticated' trait and certainly more than a merely cosmetic creation of sexual selection. It is, rather, one of the causes of human domestication itself, in a complex chain of mutually related factors." But the baby is again key, as the greater closeness and intimacy of the mother-infant bond has later profound effects on our desire and ability to bond with the opposite sex and recreate that kind of physical-emotional intimacy.

Let's pause here for a moment, and think about all the weird google searches that are going to end up here. But in a logoistic cosmos, the world is made of language, and the human body is no exception. And what is the message of the human body (restricting ourselves for the moment to science)? It is that the body is not made for oneself, but for the other. I can't remember the psychoanalytic theorist who discusses this, nor does it really matter, but it is a kind of narcissism to presume that one's genitals belong to oneself, so to speak. Rather, penis "belongs" to vagina, and vice versa. The one is obviously unthinkable in the absence of the other; each is a signifier that doesn't refer to itself, but to its complementary opposite, on which it has a "lawful" claim.

I believe that this is the "spirit" of the truth which the Biblical injunction condemning onanism (and homosexuality, for that matter) is really about, for it violates God's belief that it is not good for man to be alone (or with a narcissistic image of himself). As LaBarre explains, one of the "wrong messages" one may internalize from a dysfunctional childhood is that "there is no love to be had in another's body, and his only pleasure resources are in his own body and his own mind; he is not taught by love of the Other, the not-self that lies outside his own organic skin." Thus, the real injunction is against a self-sufficiency that forecloses the space where love and knowledge (not to mention religion) occur. The same thing would apply to alcoholism, or food addiction, or any other activity that encloses us in vice instead of versa.

LaBarre writes that "the permanent human breast and heightened sexuality evidence a persistent and organically rooted inter-individual interest in other persons." In other words, our intrinsic intersubjectivity -- which is what marks us as human -- rests upon a foundation of interobjectivity, of bodily need for the complementary other. In this regard, the importance of father cannot be overemphasized, and more generally, the trimorphic situation that made the emergence of the human being possible. For humanness could never have developed in a diadic, much less monadic, situation. Obviously this is a fruitful area for theological speculation as well, but we will defer that discussion for now.

What LaBarre means is that the female was able to specialize in motherhood only by "luring" the male with year round sexual availability (i.e., the loss of estrus). So you could say that the human female was the "domesticate" of the male; or, you could say that the human female was clever enough to trick the human male into imagining that she was his domesticate. Or, you could say that the helpless baby was cleverest of all, ensuring his own survival by coaxing intersubjectivity and monogamy out of proto-human apes.

But the story obviously didn't end there. As LaBarre explains, once the trimorphic situation was in place, human beings were subjectively "plugged in" to one another in an entirely novel way that allowed us to transcend Darwinian evolution in an upward spiral. "The real evolutionary unit now is not man's mere body; it is 'all - mankind's - brains - together - with - all - the - extrabodily - materials - that - come - under - the - manipulation - of - their - hands."

Here I should point out that the emergence of the human hand was obviously another necessary condition for the emergence of humanness, as its infinite uses emancipated man into the world of abstraction (for example, many evolutionary psychologists believe that human language first began as sign language, which would explain why the language center is in the left brain, as it controls the right hand).

LaBarre notes that "It is a tragedy of our male-centered culture that women do not fully enough know how important they are as women." In this regard, we can see how the sort of contemporary feminism embraced by an Aliza Shvarts is simply a pathological image of the "patriarchy" it presumes to overturn. In reality, it does not advance the cause of women, but undermines the very possibility being one, Shvarts herself being a fine example. She represents a cutting edge that cuts downward:

"... [W]e reward those that discover, as Shvarts has, new and ever more deeply depraved, depths. And don't think this little episode of glorifying multiple spontaneous abortions is the end. I often think 'Surely, we've reached the bottom.' And just as often I am reminded, as I am by the depraved Ms. Shvarts, that there really is no bottom.... I'm predicting, and I won't be wrong, that her 'show' will be attended by throngs and a major gallery in New York will sign her. Few of the people involved will have children. Childless and soulless are the hallmarks of that tribe. Such is the nature of the parasites we've allowed to infest us" (Vanderleun, emphasis mine).

In attacking the very foundation of society, radical feminism drags down men and babies with it, and then wonders why everything is so "ambiguous." Once you determine that a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle, you are only one step away from the human jungle from which we emerged. Babies don't need mothers, boys don't need to be husbands or fathers, and -- pardon my Greek -- penises might just as well refer to anuses as vaginas.

I had wanted to get into the religious angle of all this, but that will have to await the next post.

The human female is in every significant respect exuberantly more mammalian than any other mammal. Among mammalian infants, the human infant is as extravagantly infantile as they come. And among male animals, the human male is too without a doubt the best mammal in the business. In these [evolutionary] circumstances, with father come home to stay, it is clearly the inescapable predicament of Homo sapiens to become human. --Weston LaBarre

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Only Humanity Was Harmed in the Making of This Exhibit

I'm not even fully awake yet, and I'm trying to absorb the horror of the following story linked to Drudge. My first thought was that this is a parody, but then, that's always my first thought about the left. But some things just aren't funny. There's nothing funny about the Holocaust, or child abuse, or animal cruelty.

For Senior, Abortion a Medium for Art, Political Discourse:

"Art major Aliza Shvarts '08 wants to make a statement."

Okay, let's stop right there. Why not just make the statement with words? Art should be reserved for disclosing transcendent realities that are beyond the reach of words. For example, great poetry and prose have the mysterious capacity to say what words cannot say, which is why they require skill and vision. To put it another way, if you are merely trying to encode some profane ideology in a work of art, it isn't art, but a tedious form of pedantry and didacticism. It's not art but pornography, the latter being any activity that drains reality of its transcendent dimension.

On to her senior art project, which consists of

"a documentation of a nine-month process during which she artificially inseminated herself as often as possible while periodically taking abortifacient drugs to induce miscarriages.... The project will feature a large cube suspended from the ceiling of a room in the gallery.... Schvarts will wrap hundreds of feet of plastic sheeting around this cube; lined between layers of the sheeting will be the blood from Schvarts' self-induced miscarriages mixed with Vaseline in order to prevent the blood from drying and to extend the blood throughout the plastic sheeting.

"Schvarts will then project recorded videos onto the four sides of the cube. These videos, captured on a VHS camcorder, will show her experiencing miscarriages in her bathrooom tub, she said."

It would never occur to the psychologist in me to call this "art." Rather, I would take this as prima facie evidence of a severe mental disorder -- perhaps a borderline personality with psychopathic and psychotic features -- psychopathic because of the evident lack of a rudimentary conscience, psychotic because of the primitive rage directed at the content of her own womb (which is a symbol of her hostile and dismembered psyche). While a conscience remains, it is "torn into bits," so to speak, so that it becomes a meaningless cluster of persecutory demons no longer bearing any relationship to a human moral code. In a way, it becomes a subhuman moral code, with no true center or consistency -- just a kind of sadistic lashing out. It is punishment with no crime. Thus, the infinitely innocent fetus is the ideal repository for an infinite rage.

To put it another way, if the dismembered and projected "bits" of her conscience were ever to again cohere into a recognizably human form, she would likely experience a suicidal depression. As would any decent person upon realizing the unforgivable nature of their transgression. A regrettable abortion is one thing. But this is a different category altogether, a "snuff abortion film." The conversion of shame to narcissistic exhibitionism only makes it more bizarre.

Classical liberalism is founded on a sober recognition of man's dark side. It is not cynical, but realistic. This dark side cannot be eliminated, but it can be sublimated, for example, through the magic of the free market.

But the left denies this dark side, while at the same time covertly elevating it to a kind of God. This is where the atavism and primitivity of the left comes in. When defending some work of creative psychopathy, e.g., "gangster rap," how many times have you heard the responsible party say words to the effect that, "I just want to show how things really are." Again, if this is the case, words will suffice. The purpose of art cannot be to remind us that sewage smells, much less that it actually smells good -- i.e., that it is not shit masquerading as art, but vice versa.

Anyway, on to the "purpose" of Shvarts' project:

"The goal in creating the art exhibition, Shvarts said, was to spark conversation and debate on the relationship between art and the human body."

Hmmm. Schuon once made a comment to the effect that most modern art that is called "surreal" -- ie., "above" reality -- is actually sub-real, or beneath it. Here is a fine example. In this instance, there was no need to go to the trouble of intentionally making oneself pregnant, knowing full well ahead of time that one was going to repeatedly destroy the lives created. Rather, one could just wonder out loud, "what if I do this?" If you are anything close to a normal woman -- well, if you are normal, the question would never occur to you. But if it did, the self-evident answer -- whether from nature or God -- would preclude the possibility of actually carrying out the "project." For what is there to say in this "conversation" besides "what is wrong with me?"

Yes, a spiritually normal person regards the left with horror. But one of the central projects of the left over the past half century has been -- in the words of one of the last liberal Democrats, Daniel Patrick Moynihan -- to "define deviancy down," so that the perverse, the amoral, the subhuman, all become normative.

Likewise, the central political project of the left has been to use government to create more human dysfunction and dependence, thus creating and encouraging a greater need for government to "rescue" people from their dysfunction and cater to their dependence. It will be very difficult -- if not impossible -- to arrest this civilizational decline. After all, Ms. Shvarts did not come up with her soul pathology unassisted. Rather, her attitudes were nurtured in one of our most esteemed temples of "higher" learning. Fifty years ago she might have been committed. Today she will be granted a Ph.D.

The clueless Shvarts says that she hopes her project "inspires some sort of discourse.... Sure, some people will be upset with the message and will not agree with it, but it's not the intention of the piece to scandalize anyone.'"

"Inspire some discourse." This is the all-purpose excuse for any subhuman activity that hides behind the word "art." Why not, say, murder some homeless, mentally ill people, in order to inspire discourse on the relationship between mental illness and the lack of a fixed address?

In a chilling statement straight out of the nazi playbook, Shvarts says "she was not concerned about any medical effects the forced miscarriages may have had on her body. The abortifacient drugs she took were legal and herbal, she said, and she did not feel the need to consult a doctor about her repeated miscarriages." Undoubtedly nazi doctors washed their hands and took other sanitary precautions when performing their medical experiments on Jewish children.

Another student says that he is "intrigued by the creativity and beauty" of the project. I wonder if this same person is intrigued by the beauty of President Bush's project to bring democracy to the Muslim world?

Hey, it's not as if Shvarts has no values. Rather, "I believe strongly that art should be a medium for politics and ideologies, not just a commodity.... I think that I'm creating a project that lives up to the standard of what art is supposed to be."

As I have written many times, the horror of the left emanates from a combination of ruthless morality cynically detached from any traditional channel. Thus, ideology trumps common decency every time, and thereby becomes deadly.

But at least no animals were harmed in the making of this exhibit. Only humans. And human decency.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ontological Correctness and the Cosmic Descent of the Left

I need to catch up on my work, so I'm reposting one from a couple of years ago, randomly plucked from the Knowa's Arkive (below the asterisks). However, as most of you know by now, the Arkive never works "randomly." Rather, if you approach it with a question or conundrum with a sincere desire for the answer, and then run your blind mouse down the cheesy Arkive and click where you will, there is a good chance that the answer will be given to you by Petey. Even more mysteriously, sometimes Petey will not reveal the answer, even though he obviously could if he wanted to.

So this morning I was thinking about the difference between authoritarian political correctness and the proper authority it mimics and mocks. For there are some thoughts and some speech that no decent person should tolerate or condone -- mainly speech that undermines the very possibility of truth or decency or beauty or liberty or thought itself. Ironically, most of what you learn in a liberal education will be this kind of pathological speech, only hiding behind lofty principles that it can never justify. At the same time, it attacks any attack on it as not only unjustified, but fundamentally illegitimate, through the preemptive strike of "political correctness." This pathological mechanism is such a permanent fixture of leftist thought, that you cannot even imagine the left without it. It is truly their sword and shield, with which they force thought down their crimped and narrow byways and interstellar low ways.

And remember, when I use the word "left," I never mean it in its narrow political sense (any more than I conflate conservative liberalism and "Republicanism"). Rather, leftist politics is the declension of a much vaster cosmic principle known to man from the moment of his psychogenesis. It is spoken of not just in Judeo-Christian revelation, but virtually all the revelations given to man. It is truly part of the religio perennis. Here, let's see if I can find some examples from the Big Book of Spiritual Wisdom, the Ascended Fellow Pages.

1,100 pages. Where to begin. Oh, and by the way -- bear in mind that no secular leftist could believe that any of the perennial wisdom in this book is justifiable on the basis of its self-evident truth, as discerned through intellection. For if you believe in revelation and intellection, you could never in good conscience be a member of the left, for reasons too obvious to delineate here.

Here's a good one by Thomas Traherne (p. 67). It reminds me of what a Harvard education must be like:

"The first light that shined in my Infancy in its primitive and innocent clarity was totally eclipsed.... If you ask me how it was eclipsed? Truly by the customs and manners of men, which like contrary winds blew it out: by an innumerable company of other objects, rude, vulgar, and worthless things, that like so many loads of earth and dung did overwhelm and bury it: by the impetuous torrent of wrong desires in all others whom I saw or knew that carried me away and alienated me from it: by a whole sea of other matters and concealments that covered and drowned it.... by the evil influence of a bad education that did not foster and cherish it.... I was little and reverenced their authority; I was weak and easily guided by their example: ambitious also, and desirous to approve myself unto them. And finding no one syllable in any man's mouth of those things, by degrees they vanished, my thoughts were blotted out; and at last all the celestial, great, and stable treasures to which I was born, as wholly forgotten, as if they had never been."

As I said, there are just too many examples. Shakespeare:

Such harmony is in immortal souls;
But, whilst this muddy vesture of decay
Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it.

Or Chuang-tse: "While keeping my physical frame I lost sight of my real self. Gazing at muddy water, I lost sight of the clear abyss."

The Meister: "And even as the virtuous man will now and then deprive his outward self of all the powers of the soul while embarking on a high adventure, so bestial man will rob his inner self of all its soul-powers to expend them on his outer man."

Marsilio Ficino: "Lowest and unhappiest must be judged those who have closed their eyes to the rays of the highest good shining everywhere so that they cannot see in that very light, outside of which nothing good is seen... "

Speaking of the intelligibility of the Real vs. the contradictions and absurdities of the ponderable or abstract: "Mysteries of the kingdom of God are less inexpressible than the mysteries of the kingdom of man" (Louis-Claude de Saint-Martin).

Anyway, there are hundreds of different example I could have cited. I think I'll stop now.

*****

Because I Said So.

Do parents still say that? I used to hear that line a lot when I was a kid. It's what my father would generally say when the chasm between his ability to articulate and my ability to comprehend was too great.

I'll probably be better able to explain the nature of the Real to Future Leader. Still, I can already tell that I'm going to sometimes have to bring out the rhetorical hammer, not for my sake, but for his. Although slowly waking to our dream, he's still joyfully fused with paradise, without so much as a fig leaf to cover his naked narcissism -- but I can already clearly see what's up ahead: the willfully disobedient proto-Adam.

We often hear the cliché that truth emerges through the clash of opinions in the "marketplace of ideas." This is the ideal of democracy, of unregulated free speech, of political factions. To a certain intrinsically limited extent this approach is obviously valid, but no amount of argument can establish truths that are evident to the Self, and to treat these in the same way as lower truths is self-defeating, to say the least. It is soulicide.

There is lower truth and higher Truth, discovered truth and revealed Truth, inductive truth and antecedent Truth. In each case, the former is the type of truth that may be fought out and given contours in the marketplace of ideas, while the latter is only apprehended in another way. In that case, slugging it out the way you would a spending bill, a scientific debate, or a legal case would only muddy the water and debase and distance ourselves from the Truth we are seeking.

The sort of Truth generally discussed on this blog does not emerge through contra-versy, that is, "flowing against." Rather, it is only achieved through con-versing, or "flowing with." That is, it is a work of fusion and synthesis that could only be achieved by dwelling in a multitude of disparate and outwardly contradictory particulars and allowing their higher truth to emerge at their own rhythm and pace. This truth cannot be imposed from on high. Nevertheless, once it is revealed, it reveals itself to be from "on high." It is a higher truth that flows from the cosmic "center," not on the same plane as the lower truths it synthesizes.

When I talk about this truth, there is a knee-jerk instinct among trolls to treat it as any other truth available on a lower plane. This reflects the postmodern spirit of "everyone's entitled to their own opinion." Yes, that's true, as far as it goes.

When I was diagnosed with diabetes, I might have said to my doctor, "Well, that's your opinion. You're entitled to it, but I have my own ideas." I might have then tried to bait him into debating me. "What, just because you have some fancy letters after your name, you think you're better than me? What do you mean by 'disease?' Are you saying that people without diabetes are better than people with it? Why do you hate diabetics? Are diabetics evil? Is that what you think?"

The Gospels are full of instances illuminating this fundamental problem. Most famously, when Jesus is dragged before the religious and civil authorities -- the bearers of official truth -- he responds to the charges against him with silence. He doesn't even try to explain to Pilate. Why bother? "It is as you say. Whatever." In John, he elaborates a bit more: "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight," that is to say, argue with the moonbats.

Jesus' kingdom and Jesus' Truth are not on the same plane as any truth Pilate is capable of hearing, much less understanding: "For this cause I was born and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice."

Pilate famously responds, "What is truth?," ironically emphasizing the point that those who are not themselves of the truth cannot hear or see, and therefore bear, the truth.

There is a counterfeit version of this process known as polemicism. Polemicists come in both their religious and secular varieties. They too proclaim that "I have come into the world that I should bear witness to the truth." How to tell the difference?

The energy that animates the polemicist is from the serpent. It is always pure horizontality masquerading as verticality. It is full of antagonism, of the pitched battle of controversy rather than the fusion of conversation. Furthermore, being that it is of the serpent, it engages in a two-front battle, against both horizontal and vertical enemies (for horizontal truth must ultimately be derived from the vertical, or it is severed from any rational claim to truth).

The Antichrist is a skillful polemicist. Take, for example, Adolf Hitler. Was he not surrounded by horizontal enemies, but at the same time, waging war on the vertical by trying to replace it with a completely naturalistic substitute? The false prophet is a human beast, equal emphasis on both terms: human + beast. For humanness reduced to its horizontal dimension is mere bestiality. It is actually lower than the noble beasts of nature.

At the same time, if you study the matter closely, I believe you will see that the Antichrist, in whatever form it appears, is intemperate and intoxicated, or angry, excited, manic, and apparently stoned. This is the impression formed if one delves into the world of dailykos or huffingtonpost. Please, try it for yourself. Do you not smell the intoxication? How can you argue with a righteously indignant person stoned out of his mind with intoxicating lies?

Among other things, the fall of man is a hypnotic fall into intoxication and conflict in a confusing zone of illusion, of maya. For the tree of good and evil is the tree of opposites, of mere knowledge, of the clashing of wills, of the strong over the weak. Leftists are always speaking power to Truth when they aren't speaking lies to the powerless to keep them that way.

The Tree of Life is the tree of synthesis, of wisdom, of higher unity, of deeper principles, of the coincidence of opposites. The tree of good and evil is a tree of perpetual doubt and sterility, while the Tree of Life is a tree of calm and quiet certainty that bears sound and nourishing fruit.

I'd stay away from the former tree. Why? Because I said so.