Saturday, August 02, 2008

The Ten Commandments of Koslings, Liztards, and Geeks

Saturday is higher gnostalgia day, in which we look forward to the arkive from two years ago and try to pluck out the blest of the bunch.

In rifling through August 2006, I see that much of it was taken up by a series entitled The Ten Commandments of Satan. Actually, satan never "commands," but only suggests, advises, and encourages. At any rate, this little exercise shows just how much celestial wisdom (not to mention esoteric and ontonoetic be-who) is packed into the Ten Commandments, and by extrapolation, how much evil and stupidity is propagated by the Koslings and Queeglings who would have us bow down to their little manmode idols. Each of the commandments of the secular left represents an inversion of the actual commandment, so that the world is turned upside-down and/or inside-out.

Rather than repost each of them, I think I'll condense them down and do two or three at a time. As always, there is new material added as the whim strikes.


Satan’s first commandment is really just a reversal of the actual first commandment. Instead of “I am your God and you shall have no other gods before me,” the parallel looniverse of the secular left begins with “there is no Absolute and you shall be absolutely subject to the sacred relativities we have inserted in His place.”

Many implications follow from this initial inversion. In fact, reader Gumshoe touched on a number of them yesterday, quoting the author Eric Raymond. For example, “There is no truth, only competing agendas,” “All Western claims to moral superiority are vitiated by the West’s history of racism and colonialism,” and “There are no objective standards by which we may judge one culture to be better than another. Anyone who claims that there are such standards is an evil oppressor.” Ironically, each of these is a false and repressive absolute disguised as a relativity. Their real purpose is to undermine and subvert the Absolute.

Reader Will also touched on this first commandment, noting that an intrinsic part of the secular left's agenda is to reduce Intellect (which is the means by which human beings may know Truth) to mind and mind to brain, making it a wholly material epiphenomenon. However, “Like any physical attribute, if the human intellect is not yoked to and governed by the Higher Intelligence, it runs amok and eventually goes crazy. It's taken some time to get there, but currently, the spiritually bereft intellect is basically in charge of most of the world's influential institutions, which of course means the world is in deep stew. As far as definitions of the Antichrist go, I think this would do OK.”

Precisely. Again, the secular left turns the cosmos upside down and inside out. As a result, instead of being conditioned in a hierarchical manner from the top down, it is conditioned from the bottom up. This results not in true liberation, only in rebellion and arbitrary pseudo-liberation, for there can be no meaningful freedom outside objective Truth.

The left rejects top-town hierarchies as intrinsically repressive, but the opposite is true -- only in being conditioned by the higher can we actually elevate and liberate ourselves from contingency and relativity. Are there repressive hierarchies? Of course. But almost all of them come from the left, in the form of various socialist schemes, or from Muslim fanatics, in the form of totalitarian Sharia law. America is an experiment in ordered liberty oriented toward an explicitly spiritual telos, not a satanic workshop to explore and celebrate the numberless cul-de-slacks of mere horizontal license.

The list of liberal icons and sacred cows is endless (indeed, they want to make one president), for the very reason that it partakes of time and not eternity -- of the many and not the One. I don’t know if anyone has really noticed, but the reason I entitled my book One Cosmos Under God is to emphasize the hierarchical nature of the cosmos, and the fact that the cosmos only makes sense because it is conditioned from the top down.

Although it is a banality to point out that we live in the relative, there is no such thing as the “absolutely relative” on pain of immediate self-refutation. The Absolute is anterior to the relative, whether conceived of as ground (at the base) or source (at the apex) of creation; it is actually both, resulting from the fact that the Absolute is necessarily both immanent and transcendent. For the same reason, the relative necessarily and inevitably contains degrees of being as it radiates from the center to the periphery, with the first and last degree known as “God.”

Now, the first five commandments govern man’s relationship to God, i.e., the vertical, while the second five govern man-to-man relations. However, these second five do not so much represent the horizontal as they do the vertical emanating downward and then radiating outward into all of creation, but especially toward other human beings. Thus, if, and only if, the commandments were actually followed by everyone, "thy will would be done," and it would be "on earth as it is in heaven."

Yesterday we discussed the secular leftist project of undermining the first commandment and replacing it with its counter-commandment (“there is no God, and we are his angry clowns”). This has the practical effect of turning the cosmos upside down and absolutizing the relative, thus shackling us in the Egypt of ontological Flatland. Sounds like a good deal, but in the end, you're going to be spiritually e-gypped. Big time.

The first commandment is actually a fractal that contains all of the others, so once you eliminate it, a host of disastrous implications follows in its wake: the reign of quantity, the tyranny of the horizontal, the subversion of truth, the devaluation of beauty, the perversion of real rationalism, and the loss of the quintessential categories of the holy and the sacred through which celestial energies radiate into our world. In short, hell on earth.

The reason why it is necessary to acknowledge the Absolute prior to the relative is that, in the absence of the Absolute, all transcendent values are bleached out and ultimately wiped away. Values can only exist in a hierarchy (i.e., some things are more precious and valuable than others), and any hierarchy is conditioned from top to bottom. There can be no higher or lower in an infinite horizontal wasteland. Rather, in such a case, the world is simply a brute fact, with nothing to spiritualize it. Matter is elevated to the “ultimate,” so that the world shrinks down to our most primitive way of knowing it. In fact, it is precisely because there are degrees within the relative that we may prove the Absolute, in that these degrees of relativity reflect the Absolute either more or less adequately.

Although Liztards and other narrow-souled secularists like to think that their's represents a sophisticated view of the world, in reality, no philosophy could be more provincial and monkey-bound. As Richard Weaver has noted, it substitutes facts for truth and logic for wisdom, elevating the world of the senses above the antecedent reality that can only be known by the intellect. Man becomes the center of authority, which makes him no authority at all, for God is the measure of man, just as man is the measure of the world.

The secular materialist attempts through endless induction to assemble the cosmos from the bottom up, but you can never get there from here. No one has ever even seen this thing called “cosmos,” and no one ever will. Rather, it is accepted on faith, as it is an inevitable shadow of its unitary creator. In other words, we all intuit that there is a strict totality of interacting objects and events because we were built to do so (unlike any other animal). To say “cosmos” is to say “God,” for God is the cosmos, even though the cosmos is not God. It is a "reflection" or "prolongation" of God, and therefore cannot help but to be One.

Haven’t you ever wondered why the cosmos is so beautiful? Why should it be? Why in the world should there be a category called “the beautiful?” Where is that beauty? Is it actually in the cosmos? Or is it only in us? If so, how did it get there, and what is its purpose?

In reality, beauty is another inevitable “residue” of its transcendent source, an exteriorization of the Universal Mind. To the extent that ugliness exists -- and it surely does -- it does not represent a fundamental reality but a deprivation of such. It is a measure of distance from the divine archetype, the full brunt of which reality could not bear. Thus we have degrees of beauty just as we have degrees of goodness and truth. And no one could plausibly argue that this beauty is perceived by the senses, but only by the uncreated intellect that mirrors it.

Two things that the uncorrupted mind cannot not know: that the world is intelligible and man is free. Take away either, and the world is simply an absurdity, a monstrosity, a mistake. For to say that we may know is equally to say that we are free, otherwise it is not knowledge at all. Knowledge proves freedom, freedom proves knowledge, and both prove the Creator, for the hierarchy of being disclosed by the free intellect leads back to its nonlocal source above.

Therefore, the second commandment follows logically from the first: you shall not turn the cosmos upside down and inside out and worship created things. There are, of course, many parallel injunctions in the Upanishads: “He alone is the reality. Wherefore, renouncing vain appearances, rejoice in him.” Because of our uncreated intellect, humans, and only humans, are able to discern between the Real and the apparent, maya and Brahman, the Absolute and the relative, the evolving and the immutable, the transient and the eternal, Raccoons and Liztards.

Behind the idolatrous secular impulse is a persistent, vulgar materialism that collapses the hierarchy of being and reduces the Absolute to some tangibly manifest idea or object that can be “contained” by the lower mind. But these are truly “mind games” for the childlike secularist, for no fragmented detail at the periphery of existence can explain the mysterious whole, much less the infinite interior center that represents its beating heart.

Life, for example, is not a function of DNA. Rather, the reverse is true. Likewise, consciousness is not a product of brains, but vice versa. For at the tip-toppermost of the poppermost, reality is sat-chit-ananda, or being-consciousness-bliss. Or so we have heard from the wise, from Petey, the merciful, the compassionate, the tendentious, the obnoxious!

“The universe is a tree eternally existing, its root aloft, its branches spread below.” So says the Katha Upanishad. We know that tree, for it is the same tree that appears in Genesis. It is a Tree of Life for those whose wood beleaf. For the grazing herdhearted woodenheads who wouldn't, they are the sap.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Scientism: Theology for the Brain Damaged (7.30.11)

As long as one clings to time, space, number and quantity, that person is on the wrong track and God is strange and far away. --Meister Eckhart

We couldn't be human if we didn't have something analogous to a left and right cerebral hemisphere, with very different ways of understanding the world and processing information. As I mentioned yesterday, I believe the reason we have a left and right brain is because we simultaneously mirror, and are mirrored by, the cosmos, which has both a horizontal and vertical structure.

Obviously science deals with the horizontal aspects of the world. It is linear, deterministic, past-to-future, bottom-up, etc. It also presumes the logical atomism that seems to be "common sense" for the left brain. That is, the universe consists of an infinite number of parts subject to various forces.

But the right brain isn't like this at all. Where the left brain is time oriented, the right brain sees things all at once. It is also inherently relational as opposed to atomistic. The right brain sees connections, whereas the left brain sees divisions. It is continuous where the left brain is discontinuous.

I recognize that is is rather simplistic, but even if it is only "in a manner of speaking," there is nevertheless much truth to it. Just as it is impossible to imagine a great poet, painter or musician without a highly developed and integrated right brain, it is inconceivable that one could be a great theologian, let alone, saint or mystic, without one.

Now, it is again a simplification, but it is safe to say that the left brain operates along the lines of asymmetrical logic, while the right brain is the realm of symmetrical logic. But no one, unless they are severely brain damaged, operates out of only one lobe, so there is always some degree of integration, although it can be relatively conscious and harmonious or unconscious and unharmonious. For example, much of the bonehead philosophy that emanates from scientism comes either from unacknowledged sympathies coming from the right brain, or a denial of its voice altogether. It sounds half-witted because it is.

It should be noted that in childhood the right brain develops in advance of the left, and that it has much deeper connections to the older parts of the brain such as the limbic system; as such, it is more "emotional," bearing in mind that emotions are a source of information, and that there can be both subtle and gross emotions, and even true and false ones.

As you may have noticed, much of spiritual development involves -- or is at least accompanied by -- a kind of "subtilization" of emotion, which is why it gets harder for you to tolerate being around the Barbarians. For example, although the sacred or holy are just as real as, say, matter -- actually, more so -- they obviously cannot be detected only by the senses, but in the heart, so to speak. In turn, this is why for the left, or for Queeg, nothing is sacred, except in an arbitrary or idiosyncratic way. They cluelessly steamroll over what is infinitely precious, like a child who gleefully smashes a cocoon to see what's inside. Like Queeg, they always confuse blasphemy with courage.

Now, one of the easiest ways to render scripture or Dylan's lyrics absurd is to approach them with the left brain of the scientistic mind. This is typically what the anti-religious bigots do, with great self-satisfaction, as if they are the first to notice that a literal reading of scripture is problematic. But if you approach the same passages with bi-logic, the problem usually disappears.

For example, what can it possibly mean that "Christ is in me" and that "I am in Christ"? From the standpoint of conventional logic, this is patently absurd, like saying that "I am in the Slacktuary" and that "the Slacktuary is in me." But from the standpoint of symmetrical logic, it not only makes perfect sense, but is a kind of logical corollary, if that is the correct word. That is, if Christ is in me, then I am necessarily in him. (Again, think of dream logic, in which contradictory statements can be equally true.)

Likewise, we all know that God is both radically transcendent, or "beyond everything," and intensely immanent, or "within everything." With conventional logic, these statements would be mutually exclusive, but from the standpoint of symmetrical logic, they are again complementary.

Speaking of complementarity, one wonders if some of the conundrums of physics cannot be reconciled in this manner. For example, from the standpoint of conventional logic, it is deeply problematic that the electron appears as either particle or wave, depending upon how one looks at it. In other words, it can either be an isolated part, or else a wave that shades off into the totality of existence. In the former sense, things are externally related and local, whereas in the latter sense they are internally related and nonlocal. This is a mystery to the left brain, but a banality to the right.

To extend the analogy a bit -- and again, bear in mind that I am drawing things out to their extremes in order to create a more vivid contrast -- much of the Bible is a primer on verticality. It simultaneously acquaints us with the vertical realm, while at the same time furnishes us with a vivid kind of language with which to think about and communicate it. This language was obviously quite effective for most of mankind's history. Indeed, it is perhaps difficult for modern sophisticates to understand how easily Christianity spread. People simply heard the story and said, "makes sense to me," and that was that.

But why did it make sense? The modern sophisticate will say that it had something to do with childlike naivete, or fear of death, or wishing to have a spurious sense of control over the environment. This may well be partly true, at least for the masses. But it is patently untrue if one reads the early fathers, whose thinking is enormously subtle and sophisticated, and still completely relevant to moderns, to say the least. But again, the whole key is to understand things -- or at least to supplement one's understanding -- with symmetrical logic.

(Review material ahead -- I slept late again, and I hear the boy waking up. Plus I woke up with low blood sugar, which always causes the brain to be a bit slow in rebooting. I had hoped to get into more specific examples from scripture that exemplify symmetrical logic, in particular, Genesis and some of the sayings of Jesus. Maybe tomorrow.)

In the Symmetry of God, Bomford notes that we cannot actually conceve of eternity, since it is both timeless and changeless, whereas linear thought naturally takes place in time. But we can grasp it through various analogies in the herebelow, for example, the "everlasting," which "provides the closest image of the timeless within time." Therefore, we gain a sense of timelessness in proximity to things that are very old, like a European cathedral, or the Pyramids, or Larry King -- anything "whose beginning is lost in the mists of time, the ancient and the ageless, for these approximate in feeling to the everlasting."

At the same time, at the other end of the extreme, we may also glimpse the eternal in the passing moment, "for such a thing is simultaneously whole and unchanging -- it has no time in which to change.... It is there in its fullness -- and it is gone again." Thus, a mystic such as William Blake could see eternity in a flower or grain of sand, just as Lileks can see it in an old matchbook or motel postcard.

Eternity can also be suggested "by the last event of a series." Bomford cites the example of an aging travel-writer "who had long before visited many places for the first time, and returned often, found a renewed significance in returning once more deliberately for the last time. Places regained the freshness of the first visit." Similarly, "the last words of the dying may be seen as a key to an understanding of a whole life. The last of the series completes the picture, ends the story, and thus hints at the instantaneous wholeness of eternity."

Think "it is accomlished." What was? Oh, I don't know, maybe a little bridge between time and eternity in the heart of the cosmos, making each moment an eternal new year where death touches Life and the former is tranfsigured by the latter.

Every December 31, we touch the edge of eternity, as we approach the "end" of one year and the "beginning" of another -- the uniting of old and new, as they are joined at midnight. The Book of Revelation captures this quality, only on a cosmic scale, when the enthroned Christ "announces himself as The First and the Last and the Lord God himself is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and end." Similarly, St. Augustine "addressed God as 'Thou Beauty, both so ancient and so new,'" an expression of eternity which has a deep unconscious resonance.

Traditional metaphysics always makes a distinction between the God-being and the God-beyond-being -- between the personal God that can be named and thought about and the Supreme Reality that is beyond name and form. The former is the cataphatic God about whom we may talk, debate and theologize in a somewhat linear way, while the latter is the apophatic God that so utterly transcends our categories that the most we can say about it is what it is not. Various formulations are "fingers pointing at the moon," and although they are "doorways" into the divine mystery, one should not mistake the finger for the moon.

Most rank-and-file religious people have never heard of the God-beyond-being and might even be offended by the idea. They have a clear conception of what God is like, and don't want to be reminded that the real unconditioned God blows away those mental idols like a tornado through a Buddhist sand painting convention... which, by the way, is the whole point of a sand painting.

This distinction between the God-being and God-beyond-being is actually a distinction within God himself, and perhaps mirrors the distinction within us between symmetrical and asymmetrical logic. It is not a bobmade principle, but one that would be intrinsic to the inner life of the godhead. It is easy to prove that it exists, more problematic to prove that we or anything else can exist outside it. As a matter of fact, the God-beyond-being is the only thing that cannot not be, although numerous implications immediately follow. Ultimately it is the distinction between Brahman and maya, between reality and appearance, between absolute and relative, between necessary and contingent.

This brings up an interesting point. That is, does God have divine mind parasites?

Oh yes. I’m afraid so. For what is a mind parasite in the final analysis? It is a relativity that partakes of, and confuses itself with, absoluteness. God being God, he cannot help being present in all relativities. But being God, he cannot help being beyond them as well. A divine mind parasite is a relativity that steals from the absolute and then forces itself upon others absolutely. In short it is a demon. Like everything else, it must ultimately be "of God," even though it can't be. Only symmetrical logic can reconcile such a problem. Evil must needs be, but woe to the man who commits it.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Transcendent Position and its Three Brains

Let's flesh out this idea that my right brain agrees with the non-evolutionism of Schuon, while my left brain agrees with the cosmic evolutionary view of Aurbobindo/Teilhard. Is there a way to combine the two into a "higher third?" And, if so, might this not be the whole freaking point? For if thine brain be single, thy whole mind shall be full of light.

In the past, I have posted many times on the theories of Ignacio Matte Blanco, who was a major influence on my thinking. Along with Bion, he is probably the most far-reaching psychoanalytic thinker, in such a way that he far transcends psychoanalysis. Among other things, he drew out the implications of the unconscious mind, allowing one to fruitfully think about a number of pesky metaphysical problems in new ways.

I just looked him up on wikipedia and was surprised to see that there is actually a short entry:

"Ignacio Matte Blanco was a Chilean psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who developed a rule-based structure for the unconscious which allows us to make sense of the non-logical aspects of thought. Matte Blanco suggested that our thinking combines conventional logic with a different, symmetrical logic in varying degrees, and he named this combination 'bi-logic.' He studied Freud's five characteristics of the unconscious and deduced that if the unconscious has consistent characteristics it must have rules, or there would be chaos.

"However the nature of the characteristics indicate that the rules differ from conventional logic. In The Unconscious as Infinite Sets, Matte Blanco proposes that the structure of the unconscious can be summarised by the principle of Generalisation and the principle of Symmetry. Under the principle of Generalisation the unconscious perceives individual objects as members of classes or sets which are in turn grouped into more general classes. This is compatible with conventional logic. The discontinuity is introduced by the principle of Symmetry, under which relationships are treated as symmetrical, or reversible. For example an asymmetrical relationship, X is greater than Y, becomes reversible so that Y is simultaneously greater than X.

"The principle of Symmetry is clearly outside of conventional logic, consequently Matte Blanco suggests that this alternative logic be called symmetrical logic."

It is difficult for me to discuss this subject without getting pedantic, which I would like to avoid. Rather, I would prefer to operate in my customary mode of free-wheeling vulgarization. I also hate to repeat myself. Nevertheless let me quickly search the blog for "Matte Blanco," and see if there is anything useful for our present purposes...

Yes. Here is some material that will set the stage; there's so much of it, that this post may end up being something of a review, otherwise it will just get too long.

Matte Blanco begins with Freud's model of the unconscious, which is characterized by 1) eternity (or timelessness), 2) spacelessness, 3) symbolism, 4) non-contradiction, and 5) non-distinction between imagination and reality.

However, Matte Blanco, who was also a mathematician, realized that these characteristics were necessary consequences of the kind of logic employed by the unconscious mind, which is to say, symmetrical logic. You might say that this is the logic of the timeless world of eternity, whereas Aristotelian ("asymmetrical") logic only applies to the more limited temporal world, which is a subset of the former. (Which, now that I think about it, is consistent with Robert Rosen's idea that biology is more general than physics, but that is a subject for a different post.)

For example, in the asymmetrical world, it is not possible for two objects to occupy the same space. But in the unconscious mind? No problemo . There, your husband can be your mother, a government can be a bountiful breast, President Bush can be Hitler, or, as Queeg demonstrates on a daily basis, a good Christian or Jew can be an Islamic terrorist.

Likewise, in the unconscious mind, "time travel" is as easy as falling off a log, or Queeg's blog falling off. One of the most vivid clinical cases I've seen of this involved a man who had been shot in the abdomen in an attempted robbery about a decade before. He thought he had forgotten all about it, until one day at work a couple of coworkers decided to play a practical joke on him. One of them aimed a metal tube at him, as if he were holding a rifle. The other coworker slapped together a couple of two-by-fours, creating a loud cracking noise that happened to sound just like gunfire.

The patient reacted just as if he had been shot. He looked down and literally saw blood flowing from his abdomen. He became agitated, and an ambulance had to be called. He was actually taken to the ER, and only after being given a strong anxiolytic did "the past" recede from the present, like an unconscious wave pulling back from the shore of the conscious mind. But for 30 to 45 minutes, the past and present were completely interpenetrating, pulling him down into an infinite terror.

This is simply a vivid example of what happens to us all on a moment-to-moment basis. The past and present are constantly -- and necessarily -- conflated on a deep unconscious level, which accounts for so much of the richness of being. But it also accounts for virtually all psychopathology, which you might say consists not of unpleasant memories that we recall, but unpleasant memories which recall us. [I might add that mind parasites always partake of symmetrical logic, which is why they are impossible to eliminate with mere reason; they "hide out" in the right brain, something that has actually been empirically confirmed, c.f. the works of Allan Schore.]

I'm sure you've all felt the bottomless and unending nameless dread at some point in your life. When I was younger I used to feel it from time to time in the middle of the night. I'd wake up and feel as if all my familiar psychological landmarks had vanished, so to speak. Instead, I was wrapped -- or "unwrapped," actually -- in the eternal silence of the infinite spaces, as Pascal called it -- "the infinite immensity of spaces of which I know nothing and which know nothing of me."

Naturally, it felt like an "external" space, but it was in internal space merely projected outward. In reality, there is no outer space, only inner space projected. A lot of people who are obsessed with extra-terrestrial life are merely inside-out psychoanalysts, treating fantasized objects as if they come from the outside rather than the inside.

In hindsight, it is also obvious to me now how my very first heartbreak at 17 reasonated in an infinite way with the loss of Eden that Robin was discussing the other day. I wasn't just alone, but infintely so. Furthermore, I always would be. Thank God for Joseph Coors, who was there when I needed him.

Usually, the deeper the emotion, the more it partakes of symmetrical logic (what would love be if it weren't "forever and ever, amen"?). For example, Matte Blanco noticed that a large part of the pain of psychosis is that emotions are raised to a kind of infinite fever pitch. Imagine my little night-terror occurring 24/7, with no way to stop it. Each moment is a calamitous novelty, completely beyond your control. Even if you've had a single panic attack, you can get a sense of this "bad infinite," which is boundless and unending. This is why some psychiatric patients slash themselves or put cigarette burns into their skin -- anything to end the nameless dread and bring them back into contact with the boundaries of time and space. Finite physical pain is far preferable to infinite emotional pain. (BTW, I also notice this with my son, whom I love so much "I can't stand it"; perhaps I should try burning some cigarets on my arm.)

The logic of the symmetrical unconscious helps explains the angry left. To anyone who is not participating in their group fantasy, one can see how absurdly overblown their fears are, whether it is global warming hysteria, "civil rights," or Queeg's fear of Christians and Jews. But it all makes sense in the deep unconscious. Because of its symmetrical nature, that which you deeply hate is deeply frightening. The more you hate or fear it, the more powerful it becomes, until it is equated with the all-powerful and all-evil. (Might this not be the deeper meaning of "turn the other cheek"?)

The conscious mind, because of its asymmetry, is able to discern sharp differences, whereas the unconscious mind ignores -- or transcends -- distinctions and sees deep similarities. Obviously this has an important function that is vital to psychological health and happiness. But both processes can go haywire. For example, Queeg notices that Islamists and Christians or Jews all believe in some form of Creation, therefore on an unconscious level they are identical. Only the "sameness" is seen, not the vast and irreconcilable differences. Or, it is possible to enforce conscious distinctions in an illogical way, for example, between the nature of our fascist enemies in WWII and our fascist enemies today. There the left sees distinctions where it should see the similarities.

It is easy to see how asymmetrical logic can go awry, as demonstrated on a daily basis by our scientistic mascot. In one sense, yes, science is "true." But from the standpoint of total reality, it obviously cannot possibly be true. Rather, it is merely a left-brain abstraction from the totality of being, the latter of which may only be known by the right brain, since it has access to a mode of thinking that is much deeper than mere language. You might say that science, if wrenched from the mystery of being, automatically becomes a perversion. Just so, scripture reduced to a left-brain narrative can also become a perversion.

In the past, I've posted on the book The Symmetry of God by Rodney Bomford, which applies Matte Blanco's ideas to God and religion. I can't say that I recommend this book without reservation, first because it is kind of expensive for a relatively short book, and second, because the author is a bit too liberal for my tastes. That is, he comes very close to reducing scripture only to a sort of allegorical or mythological language that is understood by the right brain, a la Jung.

That is definitely not what I am saying. Rather, I am saying that scripture reveals deeper realities that can only be decoded and understood by symmetrical logic. Bomford might say that things like scripture and poetry exist because we happen to have a right brain. I am saying the opposite: that we have a right brain because man is a microcosmos who mirrors the totality, and in order to accomplish that, we must possess both modes functioning "to the hilt" in a harmoniously interacting manner. As we shall see later, my whole point is that there is a "transcendent position" that arises from the dialectic between left and right brains, or more to the point, a higher synthesis of symmetrical and assymetrical logic.

With that caveat in mind, I found that Bomford had some incredibly useful things to say about symmetrical logic and its relation to God, and about how we may meaningfully communicate about something that vastly exceeds the limits of language. The book attempts to resolve the issue of literalism vs. reductionism. That is to say, it is for someone who "neither clings rigidly to the literal truth of every word of the Bible, nor on the other hand reduces the faith by rejecting most of what the past has believed to be central." This interdisciplinary spirit allows one to be a believer and still engage with the same world as those outside the faith. In fact, without this engagement, one will inevitably create a sort of intellectual ghetto for oneself. But there is no reason whatsoever that one cannot build sturdy and robust bridges between religion and any other discipline, which was obviously the whole point of my own book. There should be no intrinsic barrier between religion and the most up-to-date science.

As mankind has evolved, we have become increasingly aware of the internal world of consciousness itself. Religion has followed this trend, which is why the further back in history you travel, the more religion tends to be dominated by an externalizing tendency (of course, there have always been individual exceptions). Today, if you ask the average person where God is encountered, they will likely respond "within myself." In other words, they do not believe that they are literally going to visit God in the church or temple -- although our consciousness of God is surely "focussed," so to speak, in certain proscribed areas and rituals. But when we attend a service, engage in a ritual, meditate, pray, or purchase an indulgence from Petey, we are obviously attempting to heighten our consciousness of God, are we not?

But what do we know about consciousness? What is it? Or, to put it another way, what can consciousness know of itself?

Bomford begins with what amounts to a truism, that our conscious self -- or ego -- is situated in a much larger area of consciousness as such, much of which goes by the name "unconscious." This is a misleading term, since the unconscious is not unconscious, just not fully available to the ego; obviously, the totality of consciousness cannot be circumscribed by the little ego.

Traditionally, psychoanlaysts have imagined a sort of horizontal line, with the ego above and the unconscious below. But I believe a more accurate mental image would be an island surrounded by water on all sides, or like a point within a sphere (which is itself multidimensional). I would also argue that consciousness is not linear but holographically structured, so that the unconscious is not spatially above or below, but within consciousness (somewhat analogous to God, who is both immanent and transcendent, the deepest within and the furthest beyond of any "thing" that partakes of Being).

Furthermore, we must abandon the idea that the unconscious is merely an uncivilized repository of repressed mind parasites and other troubling forces and entities. That is surely part of the picture, but only part. For example, Grotstein writes of the unconscious as a sort of alter-ego, or “stranger within” that shadows our existence in a most intimate, creative, and mysterious way. Far from being “primitive and impersonal” (although it obviously includes primitive, lower vertical elements as well), it is “subjective and ultra-personal,” a “mystical, preternatural, numinous second self” characterized by “a loftiness, sophistication, versatility, profundity, virtuosity, and brilliance that utterly dwarf the conscious aspects of the ego.” (In other words, it is more like an analogue of O; if I could reproduce the symbol, it would be a small o within O, or "uh oh.")

The production of a dream, for example, "is a unique and mysterious event, an undertaking that requires an ability to think and to create that is beyond the capacity of conscious human beings.... [D]reams are, at the very least, complex cinematographic productions requiring consummate artistry, technology, and aesthetic decision making.... [D]reams are dramatic plays that are written, cast, plotted, directed, and produced and require the help of scenic designers and location scouts, along with other experts.... I am really proposing the existence of a profound preturnatural presence whose other name is the Ineffable Subject of Being, which itself is a part of a larger holographic entity, the Supraordinate Subject of Being and Agency."

Now, this is what I meant when I referred to Kepler's songs appealing to my right brain, as they might more accurately be described as "Kepler's Dreams" -- which can be said of any "prophet." In my view, a real prophet is simply someone who has truly mastered the "transcendent position," and can speak the rich and resonant language of the higher third.

Oy, this post is getting entirely too long, isn't it? A little bit more:

Religion provides an extremely sophisticated language through which we may speak of the Absolute, the eternal, the immutable. Remember, eternity is not time everlasting, but timelessness. As I explained in my book, time is a function of eternity. In fact, the two are dialectically related, and one is not possible without the other. However, our surface ego, or frontal personality, gives us the illusion that only time exists.

Yet, we always have intuitions of the eternal ground from which the events of time perpetually arise and return. Religion is a way of acknowledging and talking about this, of giving form and substance to this more primary ground of timelessness. It is where we came from before birth and where we are headed after death, only it is present in every now. In fact, now is the only place eternity is or has ever been.

Recall that when God reveals his name to Moses, he says that it is, "I AM THAT I AM." Not I was, or I will be, but I AM. When you think about it, there is something very mysterious about this "I" and this "AM." As a matter of fact, there is no science or philosophy that can even begin to account for them or explain what they actually are. They are ultimate categories of thought that mere conventional logic can never penetrate. As it so happens, this "I" and "AM" are the slots in the cosmos where eternity comes pouring into time consciously.

Similarly, what did Jesus say? "Before Abraham was, I AM." Also, the Upanishads speak of this in many ways: "aham asmi" (I AM), or "so ham asmi" ("I am he"). The Tao Te Ching too: "Since before time and space were, the Tao is. It is beyond is and is not. How do I know this is true? I look inside myself and see."

Or, in Petey's thirdspeak: Cut me down to sighs. Too old, older than Abraham, too young, young as a babe's I AM. Brahmasmi the Truth. The whole Truth. Nothing but the Truth. So ham, me God.

Again I apologize for all this dreary review, but we do have a number of new regulars, so it might be worthwhile to get them up to speed on some of the Raccoon basics.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Evolutionary Creationism (7.24.11)

Alright, let's resolve this thing once and for all. 200,000 years is long enough for anyone to have to live in darkness about his origins. How do we reconcile God and Darwin, Adam and evolution, kings and chimps, Elvis and Scatter?

The most daunting aspect of this problem is the possibility of provoking the righteous wrath of Kepler Sings, who, if I get this wrong, might do to me what the Rrrrreverend Jackson wishes to do to Obama. I accept virtually everything he says, by the way. He is a fine spokesman for my right cerebral hemisphere. The difficulty lies in reconciling it with everything else I accept.

Let me preface this by saying that I am more or less willing to adopt what science determines to be "true" -- within sharp philosophical limits, of course -- for the same reason that I am willing to accept the advice of my doctor that if I don't take insulin I will die.

I mean... put it this way. As it so happens, my mother was a Christian Scientist, and I attended Christian Science Sunday school until the age of 10 or so. In fact, you could say that my mother was a devout Christian Scientist, with the exception of the Christian Science part. That is, when we left the plane of theological abstraction for the world of concrete reality, we took medicine and went to the doctor, just like anyone else -- in fact, more so; my mother was a bit of a hypochondriac by proxy. Frankly, there was no attempt whatsoever to reconcile what I heard in Sunday school with what went on the rest of the week, especially if I had a fever of 98.7, in which case it was off to the Doctor.

Which I suppose played a role in sowing the seeds of religious doubt in my mind, being that I became a vocal atheist by the age of complete ensoulment, or by the time I turned nine. So in my case, my Christian indoctrination completely backfired, as it was one of the primary causes of my rejection of it. Obviously, I am not alone in this regard. The absence of elementary consistency was abundantly evident even to a nine year-old, and a healthy mind seeks unity above all else. It is what the mind does and what it is for. It can also analyze into parts, but always for the purpose of synthesizing things into a higher and more complex unity.

The other day, I heard a brilliant analysis of Obama by Rush Limbaugh. He was pointing out that the reason he is reduced to such a stuttering prick (to quote Tommy DeVito) when off the teleprompter, is that he is a deeply divided person, either consciously or unconsciously (and undoubtedly both, in my opinion). He is the polar opposite of, say, Ronald Reagan, who always knew what he thought and could answer any question, for it was simply a matter of returning to first principles and applying them to the problem. Very scientific, if you will.

But one of the intrinsic problems in being a liberal is that you can never reveal your first principles, because if you explicitly articulate them, people will be repelled at what a contemptuous and supercilious asshat you are. Therefore, you must always couch them in terms of "compassion," or "helping the little guy," or "healing the planet," or "unity," or some other such blather. So in that regard, Obama is dealing with a more general problem that is intrinsic to liberalism, which is How to Fool the Idiots. One must be very cautious, because even the idiots are only so stupid. Thus Obama's constant verbal ticks: "uh, uh, uh, let me, uh, say this, uh, uh, I've been completely, uh, consistent about this, blah blah blah."

Being that liberalism is the political embodiment of multiplicity (or of an oppressive "bad unity" to try to heal it), it should not be surprising that its adherents are so intrinsically inconsistent. It's not so much that they are dishonest, but that the whole ideology is dishonest -- it is a lie from the ground up. Which is also why, the worse your character (or the less your intelligence), the better you will fare as a liberal politician, because you will be able to lie with great ease and even fool yourself.

Anyway, in Rush's analysis, he was pointing out that Obama is running several campaigns simultaneously, and that it is obviously a struggle for him to keep them all straight in his head, thus the great difficulty in being consistent and giving straight answers. Because of this, he is always one gaffe away from a major meltdown. For example, he's running one campaign for blacks, but an entirely different one for whites. (I won't even review the whole list, because it would take too much time, and I've already made my point; here is a list of the various irreconcilable positions which Obama must hopelessly try keep straight in his mind.)

My only point is that in the ultimate sense, science is the reduction of objective multiplicity to subjective unity. But the only reason this is possible is because the human intellect mirrors the unity of creation. Our mind operates the way it does because we live in a cosmos, which is to say, an ordered totality. And the cosmos is an ordered totality because it exhibits "nonlocal" internal relations. Because of this, every part of the cosmos embodies and participates in the whole, just as every gene contains the blueprint for the whole body. Again, the cosmos is thoroughly entangled with itself, which is why we may know anything and also why we may know anything. It is how and why Man may be the microcosmos that he is.

Now, metaphysics is all about first principles. As with the example of Reagan above, my intention is to have a completely consistent metaphysic, so that, in order to answer any question, I need only "return to first principles" to answer it. In this sense, Darwinism is a lie, because it cannot furnish any consistent first principles. In fact, whenever a committed Darwinist tries, they end up making self-refuting statements right out of the box, just like a liberal politician.

But so too, in my opinion, do literal "creationists." Of course you are free to insist upon young earth creationism, but you must know that it is going to contradict so much evidence that you will essentially have to split your mind in two. You will live in a scientific world with all of its blessings, and yet, a part of you will have to reject it, or at least not be able to fully integrate it into your belief system.

I made reference to this the other day when I only half-jokingly mentioned that my right brain agrees with Schuon about evolution, while my left brain agrees with Aurobindo (or Teilhard, if you like). One of Bion's adages (which he borrowed from someone else) is that the answer is the disease that kills curiosity. In the case of my book, I've posted in the past about how it was essentially the fruit of years spent in the state of "higher bewilderness," essentially trying to resolve the dilemma of Adam and evolution. In a sense, it would be easy to just come down on one side or the other, and make the coontradiction go away.

But for me to do this, I would feel as if I were back to the life of a Christian Scientist hypochondriac. For better or worse, the way my mind is built, it seeks unity or wholeness, which is a very different thing from "unicity." In other words, to simply accept an ideology -- whether scientific or religious -- and superimpose it on the world would be an example of unicity. Such a worldview will be "consistent" but it will not be complete, as it will necessarily have to omit a lot of details and anomalies.

Or, I could accept both science and religion, and not worry about the lack of reconciliation. Such a world view will be more complete, but it will lack consistency.

The Raccoon, dash it all, wishes to have a maximum of completeness and consistency -- at least as much as Gödel will allow. Which is a lot, once you accept the implications of his theorems, one of which is that truth is prior to our fragmentary logical "proofs" of it.

The point is, there must be a deeper way to harmonize revelation and science. But the only way to arrive at this is to dwell in the bewilderness and actually ratchet up the tension, as opposed to prematurely resolving it. The same thing applies to psychotherapy, at least as Bion envisioned it.

For example, a therapist might know what is going on with a patient after the very first session. But it won't do the patient any good to simply provide him the answer, which would essentially foreclose the evolution of O by superimposing mere (k) upon it. Rather, what you want to happen is for O to evolve into genuine (k) in the patient; it is the difference between (k)-->Ø and O-->(k). In order to accomplish the latter, one must exercise Yeats, I mean Keats, "negative capablity," which is to dwell in "uncertainties, mysteries, and doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason."

If one does this long enough, one will eventually "snap." Now, being that a Raccoon is an extreme seeker and off-road spiritual aspirant, you might say that he wants the ultimate spiritual adventure. Therefore, he will feed his head with inconsistencies and contradictions until it basically explodes. But in a good way.

I think.

Well, I guess I've barely cleared my throat on this one, and now we're out of time. I assume we'll continue tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Infinite Stupidity of the Liztardian Mind

Those that deny the creator are the most miserable of all things. --Kepler Sings

[H]umanistic culture, insofar as it functions as an ideology and therefore as a religion, consists essentially in being unaware of three things: firstly, of what God is, because it does not grant primacy to Him; secondly, of what man is, because it puts him in the place of God; thirdly, of what the meaning of life is, because this culture limits itself to playing with evanescent things and to plunging into them with criminal unconscious. In a word, there is nothing more inhuman than humanism, by the fact that it, so to speak, decapitates man: wishing to make of him an animal which is perfect, it succeeds in turning him into a perfect animal; not all at once... but in the long run, since it inevitably ends by “re-barbarizing” society, while “dehumanizing” it ipso facto in depth. --F. Schuon

Man is not only capable of knowing the Absolute, but he was made to know it. As such, not only may he ascend to the eternal, the sublime, the godly, but he may sink beneath himself into a kind of infinite stupidity that in turn opens the floodgates to evil. For if man does not know what is ultimately true, he cannot act in accordance with virtue, at least in any essential, ontologically grounded way. Thus, infinite stupidity goes hand in hand with infinite evil.

For example, the reason we stand in awe of our military heroes is that they risk nothing less than an infinite sacrifice, for to give one's life for the Good is not susceptible to any human calculus. Likewise, to take an innocent life is an evil that can never be reconciled, at least on the human plane. A murderer with even a shred of human decency would ask to be put to death, because he has destroyed something infinite and infinitely precious.

Although it may be "in a manner of speaking" in order to emphasize the point, Jesus says that the one sin that will not be forgiven is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Why should this be so? I believe because in essence it undermines the very possibility of grace, redemption, and salvation, and attributes to man -- or to "matter" -- what can only come from the Creator. It is to turn the cosmos upside down, always and forever, rendering Man spiritually lost for all time.

In other words, to sin against the Holy Spirit is essentially to murder God, and how can that be forgiven? For this is to murder the Sovereign Good, the very source of truth, beauty, virtue, perfection, wisdom, harmony, holiness, light, radiance, the sacred. Furthermore in annihilating God, one commits the genocide of Man as such. And none of this can be accomplished unless it is under a cloak of pride, hubris, and cosmic narcissism.

At First Things there is an essay by Joseph Bottum (TW: Michael Egnor) that speaks to the infinite stupidity of the Liztardian mind and its gleeful vandalism against the human station. The essay is about the philosopher José Ortega y Gasset, whose most famous Vicious and Unhinged Rant Against Queeg was The Revolt of the Masses, which I read long ago. In it he discusses a new psychohistorical phenomenon, the "mass man," who "is not just an ordinary man, and he is not associated with any particular class. He is, rather, a product of European historical development, a kind of human being born for the first time in the nineteenth century."

Thus, we appreciate the immediate irony that the Liztardian queegling is most assuredly a product of "evolution," except that it is a downward evolution -- or devolution -- away from what man was intended to be, in the direction of matter, of infinite stupidity, of "anti-wisdom," or (-n).

Indeed, without the vector provided by the Absolute, Darwinism can only produce the lateral mutation of this or that, but nothing of eternal value. There can be no standard of excellence, nothing timelessly true or beautiful. Obviously nothing can be higher than anything else, which is precisely why postmodernity is necessarily the cult of mediocrity in which every Queeg is "entitled to his opinion," no matter how banal and childlike.

To assault the Holy Spirit is to decimate the hierarchy that allows the mind to discern the infinite gulf between a Meister Eckhart and Masterless Liztard. So one might say that Queeg's puny misosphy is entirely self-serving, as it a priori places him on the same plane as those who infinitely surpass him, like a child who has no conception of adulthood (except perhaps as something from which to reflexively rebel). To paraphrase Schuon, the Raccoon is "one who transcends himself and loves to transcend himself," while the worldly Liztard "remains horizontal and detests the vertical dimension." Ho!

Again, this attitude is both an effect and cause of Cosmic Narcissism. As Bottum explains, "The mass man lives without any discipline"; he "possesses no quality of excellence," and "demands more and more, as if it were his natural right, without realizing that what he wants was the privilege of a tiny group only a century ago. He does not understand that technological wonders are the product of an intricate cultural process for which he should be grateful. 'What before would have been considered one of fortune’s gifts, inspiring humble gratitude toward destiny, was converted into a right, not to be grateful for, but to be insisted on...'"

In short, Ortega understood "that the nineteenth century created the kind of human being who would become the dominant social force in the twentieth century." He was concerned -- and rightfully so -- that this whole process would end in "the total disappearance of man as man and his silent return to the animal scale." Those with eyes to see are already witness to this re-barbarization of Man. The infinite stupidity of the Koslings and Queeglings is but a symptom.

Both of these deviant cults of ignorance "lack of even a rudimentary understanding of culture," which is to say, "the set of ideas, motives, and religious truths that gave birth to civilization." The cult member is "oblivious to the fact" that modern science is solidly rooted in Judeo-Christian metaphysics. Once in place, science can obviously continue. However, once severed from the roots that gave birth to it, it can be no different than when behavior is severed from consciousness of virtue. Being that man is "suspended," as it were, between God and matter, he does not remain stationary. If he does not ascend toward the nonlocal attractor, then he tends to fall in the other direction, toward dispersion, fragmentation, and absence of any true center.

Along these lines, Schuon writes that "We do not deny that evolution exists within certain limits, as is indeed evident enough, but we do deny that it is a universal principle, and hence a law which affects and determines all things, including the immutable; evolution and degeneration can moreover go hand in hand, each then occurring on a different plane. However that may be, what has to be categorically rejected is the idea that truth evolves, or that revealed doctrines are the product of an evolution" (emphasis mine).

In a way, that sums up the argument against the cult of Queeglings. Evolution cannot be a "universal principle," for nothing absolute can ever be derived from pure relativity. Clearly, change cannot affect the changeless, and if there is no vertical realm of absolute truth, then we would have no way to discern the difference between evolution and devolution, progress and degeneration. And truth surely cannot be a product of evolution. Rather, it is realized through evolution. Again, to the extent that human beings may know truth, then they have ipso facto either transcended it or realized its end -- which amounts to the same thing.

In this sense, the Raccoon obviously believes in real evolution, not the anemic, watered down version of the Liztards. As always, we go the whole hog, and say that Man is the pinnacle of evolution, which cannot be surpassed, being that he is capable of knowing the infinite, the absolute and the eternal, and none of these things can be exceeded. Rather, we can only fall short of them, like the devolutionary cult of clueless Liztards. Man's plight and his saving grace is that he is not fixed but an evolutionary possibility. A spiritually unevolving man who is "frozen" and encased in matter is a deviant monster.

There is a great deal of talk these days about “humanism,” talk which forgets that once man abandons his prerogatives to matter, to machines, to quantitative knowledge, he ceases to be truly “human".... Humanism is the reign of horizontality, either naïve or perfidious; and since it is also -- and by that very fact -- the negation of the Absolute, it is a door open to a multitude of sham absolutes, which in addition are often negative, subversive, and destructive.... What is human is what is natural to man, and what is most essentially or most specifically natural to man is what relates to the Absolute and which consequently requires the transcending of what is earthly in man. --F. Schuon

Monday, July 28, 2008

What is the Liztard, that the Cosmos is Mindful of Him?

I guess we can't quite move on from the LGF business, with so many people in the blogosphere talking and writing about its ontonoetic free fall into clinical inanity. For example, Joan says that she was disappeared by the brittle Queeg for making a single comment:

"I did not argue for or against ID, but merely posited that IF I were an Islamo-fascist, then I would certainly appreciate all the excitement and hand-wringing about the Christians, as it would make my plans much easier.

"I pointed out that millions of young minds had been taught the Bible story in their youth and still went on, unassailed, to learn sound scientific principle.

"I ended with a lament that the real damage done to young minds was in forcing them to read JD Salinger."

Who could argue with that? By undermining faith and denigrating Jews and Christians, Charles is doing some of the heavy lifting for the Islamists, who know that Darwinists are only programmed to protect their own genetic asses, but do not fight for transcendent principles, since those principles can only be an illusion. Or, if they are not an illusion, then it is incumbent upon Queeg to explain how that can be so. But again, he mostly engages in ad hominem and argument from the authority of comedians.

Queeg keeps insisting that one can be religious and believe in evolution, and that is surely true. However, I am quite certain that he lacks the cognitive firepower to explain how that would work in theory and in practice. I say this because he accuses anyone who actually tries to do so of being a SHILL and a FRAUD who is perpetrating a HOAX on the CHILDREN! And then, when he bans them for trying to sap and impurify the precious bodily fluids of Liztards, they become UNHINGED and turn on him with VICIOUS ATTACKS, like this one! It is as if his critics have stolen ALL THE ADJECTIVES, so that Queeg is reduced to recycling the same ones OVER and OVER in EVERY POST about the subject!!!

Another vicious commenter, Yank in the EU, mentioned Queeg's modest foray into metaphysics, which goes as follows:

"Belief in God does not preclude belief in evolution.
Belief in evolution does not preclude belief in God.
Do not trust those who insist otherwise."

Yank writes that "This is a remarkable kind of statement. Following both faith and metaphysical understanding, I envision a domain of final causes that underlies and guides, impercercptibly and in a way our finite minds cannot adequately grasp, efficient causes in nature / evolution. Indeed, one might call this natural teleology or 'intelligent design' in a classical sense."

Precisely. Let's stop right there for a moment. I hate to have to impart such elementary truths, but for the benefit of Liztards from Rio Linda, if God exists, then God by definition transcends biology and everything else. In fact, God is transcendence as such, the sufficient reason for the self-evident presence of a vertical realm of transcendent being, consciousness, and bliss in this cosmos. Or, if you prefer, intelligent power, truth, and life.

A moment's reflection will confirm to you that the Absolute, being transcendent, is necessarily immanent. In other words, transcendence cannot possibly be derived from immanence, any more than Truth can be derived from matter, or "bread from stones." But the Absolute Principle, or Sovereign Good, unnarcissarily "spills over" into creation, which is precisely why, among other convenient features of our living cosmos, everything makes so much freaking sense to us. Everywhere we look, order, order, order, truth, truth, truth, beauty, beauty, beauty. How do you think it got there, moron? By random genetic drift? Sexual selection? Get a clue!

Yank continues his vicious attack: "But if, say, another person, who is intellectually sincere, reasons from perhaps theology, philosophy or even an empirical scientific point of view that there might be a conflict between some versions of the theory of evolution and the idea that that God created the universe, are we to view that person with fundamental distrust? That would be quite tyrannical, morally wrong and diametrically opposed to serious intellectual discourse with one's opponents, as if they can't be trusted merely on the basis that they arrive at different intellectual conclusions on this problem.

"Now, consider all the support this kind of obviously disturbing statement recieves at LGF. LGF has become in ways quite Stalinist and totalitarian in its dogmatic secularism, i.e. deciding which types of Christians / intellectual views are acceptable in their eyes and those worthy of personal distrust or scorn."

Again, precisely. There is nothing liberal -- and therefore conservative -- about Queeg's heavy-handed foreclosure of certain lines of investigation. To say on the one hand that God and evolution are compatible, but to then foreclose any attempt to unify them is -- well, I don't want to get technical here, but there are forms of psychosis that are "negative," so to speak, rather than "positive," so they don't stand out in the same florid way.

I don't want to get too sidetracked here, but this is commonly encountered in clinical practice. In fact, I'll no doubt see a case of it at work today. That is, there are people who see or hear or imagine "what isn't there." They are the "positive hallucinators," and they obviously represent a small minority.

But Bion recognized that there are equally people who "unhallucinate" what is there. In my writing, I call this a "dimensional defense mechanism," because the way it most commonly works is to render the meaningful meaningless by unconsciously attacking the links that connect them. This is very different from repression or from denial, the latter of which is much more crude and obvious. In contrast, the dimensional defense is reconizable by a kind of intellectual "flatness" that we recognize in our scientistic mascot, Ray, or in Queeg and the rest of the anti-intellectual neo-Liztard rabble of little Queeglings.

For these people, inability to see the evidence is confused with an absence of evidence. But that isn't where it ends, because it must be combined with a kind of omnipotent grandiosity that we always detect in these people, a grandiosity that is entirely uncalled for if reductionistic Darwinism provides an accurate account of Man -- which, after all, should provoke the very opposite sentiment, a kind of abject humility. Our pet chimp Scatter comes to mind. In spite of it all, he knows his place. It never occurs to him that he is special enough understand the origins of the cosmos, life, man, and everything else. He is a proper Darwinist, who stays within the bounds of his irreducible incompetence.

We all see that the left continues to go through a massive collective negative hallucination with regard to what is going on in Iraq. They do the same thing with regard to the burgeoning evidence against manmade global warming, or the intrinsic problems with socialized medicine, or the deleterious impact of judicial leniency in fostering crime, etc. The list is endless.

But this is where Queeg is cheek-to-jowl with the kos kids, or huffpo, or the ACLU. In fact, we should play a little game called, "Who said it, Kos or Queeg?" You will see that it's quite difficult to tell, because both employ the identical kind of rhetoric that lets you know that you're not dealing with a rational person, but with a negative hallucinator. You know this because, if you are sensitive to it, you can sense what is being projected into you -- that is to say, the heat but not any light. You can sense that you are being inducted into someone else's psychodrama, which a normal person wishes to resist. But instead of lashing out in kind, you need to reflect on what is being projected, otherwise you just fuel the negative hallucination. You will notice, for example, how a Dennis Prager routinely picks apart the negative hallucinators of the left by never engaging them on the same emotional plane, but by staying within his higher space.

So while Yank is correct that Queeg is "Stalinist" and "totalitarian," I don't think I'd put it in such terms, which are bound to be willfully misunderstood in such a way that they will simply add fuel to the hallucination.

Yank makes the critical point that there might be a conflict between some versions of the theory of evolution and the idea that God created the universe. As I have mentioned before, when someone else began writing my book about a dozen years ago -- being that I was not yet me at the time -- I attempted to, in effect, "reason upward" from the evidence of science to arrive at God. Frankly, this isn't difficult to do, so I will not rehearse all that evidence here.

But in the end, it doesn't really accomplish much, because it only makes God possible -- or even necessary -- but it doesn't tell you anything about what sort of God you are dealing with, except perhaps one who is devilishly good at math. Nor does it allow one to experience God.

No. For that, you have to get into the back of the line and start all over, through one of the traditional channels. So at best, the self-evident existence of "intelligent design" gives one "permission to believe," but that is all. (And when I say "self-evident," I mean that one is simply drawing out all of the vast metaphysical implications that follow from the fact that man is indeed intelligent and may therefore know truth; to understand this is to understand that the non-living and the unintelligent cannot be ultimate.)

Once I began a serious spiritual practice in 1995 (although in hindsight, I now see that the practice began many years before that, and that I was guided all along by an unthought Self that was dragging me toward it), I began to "harvest" in such a way that what was once a lot of theoretical knowledge (k) began blossoming into (n). Once that happens, you stop asking if "intelligent design" proves the existence of God.

Rather, in your properly oriented, right-side-up cosmos, you now begin to ask "given that God exists, what must the universe be like?" While I suppose other universes could exist, they couldn't be a lot different from this one in terms of the fundamental metaphysical principles that govern it, at least if it is to include self-conscious and intelligent subjects capable of knowing truth, love, and beauty, not to mention the Absolute.

And this is where a Frithjof Schuon comes in, for I believe that he most adequately articulates the nature of those timeless principles, at least in the most intelligent and luminous way (for one needs both, the intelligence and barakah, or light and grace) that is suitable for the true gnostic. These identical principles are -- of necessity -- embedded in Christianity or Judaism, but for certain types -- the Raccoon type, actually -- we want to go past the shell and get to the kernel. But not for a moment do we denigrate the bhakta or karma yogin; it's just that it takes all kinds to make up a world, and I don't think God intended for religion to exclude the intellectually gifted.

An example of one of the surprising findings of modern science that "must be" is that the cosmos is thoroughly entangled with itself across both space and time. If this weren't the case, then neither knowledge nor intelligence could exist, not to mention the intersbjectivity that makes human consciousness possible. It is only because we are "members of one another" that we can be human at all. But only a very special type of cosmos allows for intersubjectivity, as explained in my book.

Given the temporal and spatial entanglement of the cosmos, when we look "out" at the red shift that proves the big bang, we are also looking back, in, and forward. Because when rays of light from this event -- simultaneously distant and close -- touch our retina and enter the brain, we are in effect witnessing the birth of the cosmos. But since the cosmos is nonlocal, one could equally say that the cosmos is watching itself being given birth through the medium of human consciousness -- which is paradoxically there at the beginning (and even before the beginning, if you believe Petey).

So are we seeing consciousness give birth to the cosmos? Or the cosmos give birth to consciousness?

Yes. Continuously.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Sunday Timeless

Intellectual intuition (nous) involves the direct perception of Truth. Logic (dianoia), on the other hand, is merely a mental operation that can lead to true or false conclusions, depending upon the data provided it. Logic is particularly useless -- even dangerous -- without the a priori intuition of Truth, without which logic alone eventually leads one over the abyss.

The most important truths are indeed "self evident," that is, evident to the higher self. Clearly they are not necessarily evident to the lower self, which is why liberty and human dignity are a tough sell in the Islamic world, which awaits the day when its progress is not thwarted by the infrahuman majority in its midst. In America, the anti-progressive forces are represented by secular progressives, anti-religious Liztards, and other spiritual medullards.

The application of mere logic would dismiss as silly superstition those transcendent truths that are known directly by the higher mind. This is why you cannot prove the existence of God to such a logic-bound individual, any more than you could prove it to a dog. Religious truths are conveyed through symbolism and analogy (with the assistance of grace), more like a great work of art than a mathematical equation. Although not merely logical, it would be a grave and simplistic error to suggest that the great revelations are illogical, any more than a Shakespearean sonnet or one of Beethoven’s symphonies are illogical. Rather, they are translogical.

In the case of those latter two modes, poetical and musical truth are conveyed directly to something analogous to the senses, only on level that obviously transcends them. Those who demand “proof” of God are almost always coming from a quasi-autistic plane where the transcendent truth is simply unavailable to them -- like someone who listens to the notes but cannot hear the symphony. A musical boob and a connoisseur of music have access to completely different realities when they listen to a great masterwork, and only an ass would reduce the whole of the symphony to its parts, and then think he understands it better then the expert.

This Liztardian attitude involves a kind of invincible ignorance disguised as healthy skepticism. It reminds me of Bion’s description of the psychotic mind, which, he said, combined the characteristics of arrogance, stupidity, and curiosity. When you put those three together, you end up with a kind of arrogant, omnipotent ignorance that is inordinately proud of its own stupidity. Thus the childlike self-assuredness of the Head Lizard in denigrating what transcends him. He is such a mental twerp -- a nothing, really -- in the context of the timeless celestial truth he mocks (and which mocks him right back; I am only the messenger).

This type of mind is too saturated by lower things -- computer programming books, and the like -- and "knows" too much to ever consider the possibility of truths that lie on plane higher than their own meager qualifications. These people too are “impenetrable.” They suffer from a distorting mental hypertrophy that is to the mind what those musclebound bodybuilding freaks are to the physique. Only the delusional members of the cult believe that they actually look good -- mostly to each other, to which the gradually diminishing interest in LGF testifies.

The scientific plane discloses relative truths that provide causal explanations for various material processes. As such, science is obviously entirely appropriate for the horizontal plane to which it is addressed. But religious truths do not have to do with horizontal causation, or only secondarily. Rather, they are intended to provide the higher mind with a means to realize vertical truth (and virtue). There is nothing that can be provided by mere logic alone that can help one ascend this vertical hierarchy.

Again, religious truths are seen directly, in the very same way that one's eyes see directly in the material plane. When you see something directly before your eyes, only a fool would ask you to prove that vision exists. When you hear the obvious beauty in a work of music, to such an extent that it moves you to tears, no one asks you to first prove to them that hearing exists -- as if the existence of mere hearing could explain musical truth anyway. Frankly, you wouldn’t even know how to respond to such an individual. What, prove to a crawling Liztard the truths that are furnished by one's own wings? How about proving to me that your mind exists, and explain how it is able to discover cosmic Truths that transcend the genes, then we’ll talk.

While the lower mind is active, or “male,” it has always been understood that the higher mind is passive, or “female,” in relation to Truth. The lower mind is an acquisitive mind, a grasping mind, even a restless and greedy mind. Part of the reason it is restless and greedy is that it can never be satisfied with what it is capable of acquiring, what with its own inherent limitations. The mind cannot rest until it has found its proper home, and that home is only found in the transcendent metaphysical truths to which it is conformed. There are certain things that the human mind is designed to know, and once it knows them, it "settles down," as in marriage. In fact, it is a marriage -- a metaphysical union.

Likewise, there are certain things human beings were not necessarily meant to know. It is not that we should not or cannot know them, only that these things are “accidental” and not essential. Someone who rejects the divine in favor of the material plane has rejected what is essential in favor of what is accidental and contingent. Therefore, their soul will suffer proportionately. It will become deformed instead of deiformed. They will “think,” but the thinking really won’t get anywhere, at least philosophically. Any end to their thinking will, as Schopenhaur recognized, be arbitrary. Even the greatest secular philosopher simply stops asking “why” at a certain arbitrary juncture, and thus founds a school.

On the secular philosophical plane, there is nothing you can prove that you cannot equally disprove. It is “a journey of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing,” a "systematic abuse of language designed for that purpose." If a man doesn’t realize this by the age of 40 or so, he hasn’t learned much in his life's journey. He doesn't necessarily have to do anything about it, but he should at least realize that the intellectual game is up, that it’s all for show -- for vanity and tenure.

The secular philosopher doesn’t only end his thinking at an arbitrary point. The truth of the matter is that he also begins it at an arbitrary point that can never be justified by his own philosophy. Postmodern philosophers like to congratulate themselves on the idea that they begin with “ignorance” or total skepticism, but it is an odd philosophy that begins by declaring to people that they cannot know what they most certainly do know.

These folks take great pride in living in darkness, and ridicule those of us who simply enjoy the sun’s rays, which both warm and illuminate. I certainly don’t care if some scaly bloghard wants to insist that the sun doesn’t exist. That’s fine. We have no quarrel. I know where he's coming from, because I can see the darkness. But he cannot know where we're coming from until he steps outside into the inner Light.

The higher mind is truly a mirrorcle of the absolute. In fact, its very existence establishes its own proof of the absolute, just as eyes prove the existence of material objects that can be seen. If truth exists, then surely it is accessible to us. If it doesn’t exist, then there is no point in pursuing it or even speaking of it. We should banish it from our vocabulary as sort of persistent illusion to which the fallible human mind is subject. Of course, the academic left is already hard at work on this diabolical project of “deconstruction,” but the fact of the matter is, the Left as such -- whatever you wish to call it -- has always been with us, and always will be. In this wider understanding, LGF is part of the material left, and has no intrinsic commonality with transcendent conservatism.

For the deep structure of the Left may be traced all the way back to the first appearance of humanity in its horizontal maninfestation. It is not so much that relativism is incorrect as such. Obviously, our own existence proves that relativism is real, otherwise there would only be God. But by the same token, relativism cannot be absolute. Rather, the absolute is precisely that which makes hierarchical relativity possible to begin with. By definition, there is no such thing as an incomplete hierarchy. To paraphrase Richard Weaver, if a series is hierarchically ordered it is conditioned from top to bottom and so cannot be infinite. If it is infinite, it cannot be conditioned top to bottom, and there is no higher or lower -- only Hegel's "bad infinite," or the black night in which all lizards are dark.

Our existence proves beyond the doubt of a shadow that we inhabit a hierarchical cosmos with degrees of being -- atoms, molecules, cells, animals, Man. Man is an arrow that points beyond himself to his source above, not below or behind.

"Certain things are known; other things have to be thought about. Some of the things we know we don't think we know because we think about them. Yet they are there in front of us and if we didn't consider them separate from ourselves and worthy of thinking about, we would know them for what they are.... The feeling of losing yourself is often the feeling of remembering yourself -- you are losing your personality and gaining your center....

"Our society has chosen its priorities quite clearly: surfaces. So it is no surprise that centers hold no interest. And yet, whether there is interest or not, the lie of the surfaces... is a lie.... Thus we have lost the knowledge of 'wholes.' We can 'think about' and 'talk about' wholes, but we do not know them. As a result, much of our world has been destroyed by... the lack of intuitive knowledge of centers.... Science is a view from exactly one perspective.... its discoveries are discrete and always relate to the world as defined by science.... But only knowledge of centers (or Center) will fix the core of our world... " --Keith Jarrett, Changeless