Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Evolution in Fact and Fantasy (12.11.11)

Letter XVII, The Star. This is the aracanum of the evolution of life and consciousness. To say that life or consciousness "evolve" is equally to say that evolution is none other than life and consciousness deployed on the plane of matter. As the previous arcanum speaks to the problem of construction, this one discloses the secret of growth, which is spiritual through and through. To meditate deeply upon true growth is to meditate on the workings of Spirit.

(By the way, I apologize in advance if this post is a little skeletal and telegraphic. I just didn't have time to flesh things out in a fully coherent manner, so you're on you're own.)

Growth is always a process of complexification of interior relations, whereas construction is an exterior phenomenon only. The tower is built by piling fully autonomous brick upon brick, but this is clearly not how a body (much less, mind) is "built."

Rather, biology -- and evolution -- presuppose a nonlocal and internally related cosmos, otherwise life -- let alone mind -- could never get off the ground. If Darwinism does not acknowledge this first principle of nonlocal wholeness, it is a metaphysical house built upon sand, for interior wholeness cannot somehow be shoehorned into an atomistic and materialistic paradigm after the fact. We can only "comprehend" evolution at all because of the interior cosmic wholeness that permeates both mind and matter.

A machine has a oneness of function, but no interior unity. In contrast the body and mind have an essential wholeness which permeates each of the parts. Furthermore, you can take away many of the parts of a human being -- legs, eyes, pancreas -- and it is still a whole human being. But if you take away the wheels, seat, and handlebars from a bicycle, it's not a bicycle anymore. This is because the human being is animated by a nonlocal essence, which is his true form.

A living, growing, or evolving thing has three essential requirements: it must be a partially open system that exchanges matter, information, or energy with the environment; it must be in a system state far from equilibrium; and it must exhibit autocatalysis, in which the end product of a reaction feeds back into the system and facilitates further growth of itself.

A living thing is full of innumerable flowing circles (both internal and external), whereas the tower is static and "dry," so to speak. And even if it requires some exchange of energy -- like an internal combustion engine -- the engine obviously doesn't engage in autocatalysis. It will always remain an engine no matter how much gas you put into it. (I should add that to grow is to convert the circle to a spiral, more on which in the following card, the Moon.)

UF has a lot of regard for the philosopher Henri Bergson, with whom I have only a nodding acquaintance. However, Bergson's ideas have a lot of overlap with Whitehead's, and I prefer my philosophy to be made in America, if possible (Whitehead was at Harvard when he switched from mathematics and physics to philosophy).

Like Whitehead, Bergson recognized that "the essence of duration is to flow, and that the fixed [or fully exterior] placed side by side with the fixed will never constitute anything which has duration." In other words, what Bergson calls "duration" is a result of dynamic flow. (Of course, we now understand that even the most solid-looking object is a buzzing iteration of subatomic processes.)

As mentioned the other day, it is strictly absurd to speak of growth in the absence of final causation, or teleology. The final cause of the world is what Teilhard de Chardin calls the "Omega point," and what we call O. It is "that toward which spiritual evolution is tending," which would constitute "the complete unity of the outer and inner, of matter and spirit" -- who is none other than the resurrected Jesus Christ.

As Omega point, Jesus is the cosmic archetype, or logos, who both participates in history while transcending it and "luring" existence in his wake. Thus, he is simultaneously -- and necessarily -- fully present in the diverse modes of past, present and future, each an inevitable reflection of the other. History "drew" God into it (so to speak), just as God draws history back to Him.

Here is how UF expresses it: "I am activity, the effective cause, who set all in motion; and I am contemplation, the final cause, who draws towards himself all that which is in movement. I am primordial action; and I am eternal waiting -- for all to arrive where I am."

Which is why we live "outwardly" in world of dualism, but "inwardly" (or inwordly) in a spiritual world that transcends and heals the wound of duality, seen in light of the future unification of all -- which is always available now.

This is to unify science and religion, evolution and salvation, or what we call salvolution. In fact, this is precisely what I was attempting to express on page 261, which may seem less clear, but is actually more clear than the above, since it is designed to "lure" one up to the Subject under discussion:

What you was trying to find, you done had it all the time, only God is left, now left behind: we swallow our tale and the Word is finished. So much straw anyway. Adameve, Christomega, lifedeath, sundown, Sonarise: Finn again, we rejoyce: salvolution, evelation, ululu-woo-hoo-aluation!

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Word is Sufficient to Your Whys (12.09.11)

So, specialization is a kind of hypertrophy, or imbalance, that leads to a spiritual impasse. In most people the imbalance is obvious, in others more subtle.

UF mentions the guru or fakir who can do what we cannot do, for example, lay on a bed of nails or walk on hot coals. I am reminded of this fellow, who can actually make his brain waves stop when he meditates, for what it's worth. Which apparently isn't much, since he can't even recognize the elementary fact that Tony Robbins is a grotesque con artist who takes advantage of lost, stupid and vulnerable people. As such, one must ask: if this is enlightenment, then truly, what is it good for?

UF writes that the Cross is "mortifying and vivifying at the same time," for it represents the law of evolutionary growth, which is none other than "perpetual dying and becoming." This will lead not to "impasses of specialization, but rather 'throughways' of purification -- which lead to illumination and end in union." The Raccoon chooses the transmutation of perpetual death and rebirth over the folly of mechanical tower-building. The growth that results is a side effect of a life properly lived, not something you attempt to "impose" on your life from the outside with "techniques" or "secret knowledge" or "expensive platitudes" -- not even from Tony Robbins:

The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed upon the ground, and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how (Mark 5:26, cited in MOTT).

Anyone who teaches "techniques" for knowing God is lying to you. For how does one teach real sincerity, real aspiration, real surrender? These are all a result of interior transformations. As UF puts it, the "lotus centers" awaken naturally "in the light, warmth and life of the true, and beautiful and the good, without any special technical method being applied."

Similarly, there is no place for "ready made answers to all questions," in that a genuine spiritual question is a crisis and the answer is "a state of consciousness resulting from the crisis." That is a point worth emphasizing: spiritual growth is consciousness of a reality; it is a new "container," not merely a different content in the same old container. But the new container will transform -- either suddenly or gradually -- all of the old content.

Have you noticed how all of the false (yes, a question can be false), stupid, or petty questions instantly evaporate amidst a genuine existential crisis? This is why we know that the "global warming crisis" is anything but. A real crisis has a liberating quality, in that it liberates us from all of the petty concerns that usually rule our lives.

It makes me wonder if this isn't one of the reasons why there was so much more wisdom in the past, and why our universities have become such bullshit factories. I suppose that if you are a lifetime tenured ward of the state, it "liberates" you to spend all of your time fantasizing about the evils of George Bush, or manufacturing crises about "torture" or civil rights for terrorists. It's almost as if the absence of real crises causes the tenured to invent them. One could say the same of Hollywood.

This was one of the purposes of the symbol system outlined in chapter four of my book -- to avoid the impasse that results from religion becoming a mechanical system. The point is not to replace religion, but merely to help prevent it from becoming saturated with a fixed and mechanical meaning. This is something that human beings habitually do, that is, attempt to contain reality within their own little manmade container, when that is strictly impossible. The moment God becomes contained and saturated, then you're no longer dealing with God, but with your own container, or graven image.

This is why the very last thing John says is a caution to the reader that if one were to attempt to chronicle the whole story of Jesus, "even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written" (John 21:25). Is this not a severe rebuke to the fundamentalist bibliolaters? In other words, the number of potential books exceeds the carrying capacity of the world container itself.

It all comes down to the error of seeing the world atomistically instead of holistically. This also leads to the ideas of "surgery" and "divorce," or, in psychoanalytic parlance, splitting and projective identification (i.e., fantasied evacuation of the contents of one's own mind).

As UF writes, "it is the marriage of opposites' and not their divorce" which constitutes the proper approach. Importantly, this is not a "compromise," but a true union. UF notes that "the 'lower self' is the cross of the 'true Self' and the 'true Self' is the cross of the 'lower self.'" This reminds me of Wilde's comment that the only cure for the senses is the soul, and that the only cure for the soul is the senses. Each might well say of the other: can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em.

It would be easy to, like the atheist, simply project and dissipate the true Self. Likewise, it would be easy to, like the fundamentalist, split off and repress the lower self. But we want to transform and divinize the lower self in a harmonious union of matter and spirit. In the absence of this fluid and dynamic union, the mind hardens and desiccates into a tower that can never keep pace with mother evolution. Hence the thunderbolt from father, which, by the way, Joyce describes on page 1 of Finnegans Wake as sounding like

bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonnerronntuonnthunn-trovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthurnuk!

It is the same with the marriage of science and religion. I have no trouble marrying the two in such a way that each benefits from the union and produces particularly beautiful children. Just yesterday I read about one of Chesterton's novels, in which a priest is disguised as a common thief, and is eventually discovered. When the priest asks how he sniffed him out, Father Brown answers with words to the effect of, "Easy. You attacked reason. It's bad theology."

But one could say the same of the modern atheists. We know they are thieves because they attack sound theology, which is bad logic. Although in their case it's grand larceny, because they steal from the western tradition in order to destroy it. Yes, "the mechanical sciences have divided the clothing of the Word and they dispute amongst themselves for priority in the application of the universal principle," or attempt to absolutize their little corner of His tunic, still fresh with warm blood.

In contrast, we do not "in any way take part in dividing the clothing of the crucified Word, not in drawing lots for its tunic." Rather, we strive "to see the crucified Word clothed in appearance by the mechanical world." Which is why the Word is sufficient to all our whys.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Wondrous Thunder Rends it All Asunder (12.07.11)

Just a short post in order to make some headway on The Tower of Destruction....

How do we prophylactically avoid having our tower blasted by the thunderbolt? Easy. We will invite a bad case of thunderclap if we misconscrew evolution. That is, to express it in biological terms, extinction -- the ultimate bolt out of the blue -- occurs as a result of overspecialization, which confers a temporary advantage but ends up "painting one into an evolutionary coroner," so to speak.

Why are human beings atop the evolutionary heap? Because we specialize in generalization, in a way that no other animal can or ever will. In human beings, intelligence has wrapped around itself in order to produce self-consciousness, and therefore abstract thinking -- or virtual manipulation in the absence of the immediate object.

In my book, I advanced a theory -- which is mine -- of how I believe it came about that human brains became capable of hosting divine souls. Again, it has to do with the evolutionary development of the neurologically incomplete and helpless infant, and all this entails (in short, the infant "creates" the empathic and caring mother, who in turn enlists the protecting father). Space doesn't permit going into all of the details here, but the point is that humanness emerges within this trialectic transitional space. Infants specialize in helplessness, which is the gateway to human generalization.

Because of this arrangement, human infancy (in the collective) represents a kind of infinite potential, which is the precise opposite of specialization. Who could say what human potential remains to be actualized? One could not say this of any other animal, for their existence and their potential are roughly equivalent. The only exception is when humans interfere and bring out potential that would have otherwise remained latent, e.g., turning a mere canine into a seeing-eye dog, or Mike Tyson into a boxer.

So human beings are the ultimate generalists, and this is one of the keys to avoiding the tower and the thunderbolt. UF writes that it involves "the way of general growth or that of 'humbling oneself to the role of a seed,'" in contrast to "the ways of specialization or those of 'exalting oneself by building towers." In short, it is the way of growth vs. the way of building.

Now, growth is not just some local biological phenomenon somehow attached to an otherwise dead and fully exterior cosmos. Frankly, it is both absurd and incoherent to suggest that interiority could have ever resulted from pure exteriority. In other words, biological, psychological, and spiritual growth are not to be thought of as bugs, but features, of the cosmos.

And what is growth? It is a kind of dynamic interior unity with a developmental vector. Growth always wishes to "realize" its possibilities, so it is unavoidably teleological. To say "growth" is to say "teleology." Otherwise it isn't growth, just "expansion" or perhaps "metastasis," that is, the disorganized manner in which a cancer "grows."

The tower -- because it is a narrow specialization -- always leads to a spiritual impasse, at least if one attempts to elevate it to a metaphysical generalization. This is what scientism does, and the spiritual consequences are obviously catastrophic, being more or less synonymous with "hell."

For example, other animals "act out" evolution, but only human beings -- because of their generalization -- know about it. As a result, evolution -- ipso facto -- can never "contain" human beings. Rather, we contain it -- so long as we are contained by O.

For ultimately, it all comes back, down, and up to O. Last night I read a nice passage by Sri Aurobindo, in which he discusses the realization of God. In it, I will substitute O for Brahman, because I think it expresses it in an exceptionally clear and concise manner (one could no doubt locate a similar passage by Eckhart or Denys):

"We have to perceive O comprehensively as both the Stable and the Moving. We must see it in eternal and immutable Spirit and in all the changing manifestations of universe and relativity.

"We have to perceive all things in Space and Time, the far and the near, the immemorial Past, the immediate Present, the infinite Future with all their contents and happenings as O.

"We have to perceive O as that which exceeds, contains and supports all individual things as well as all universe, transcendentally of Time and Space and Causality. We have to perceive O also as that which lives in and possesses the universe and all it contains."

This passage touches on all the main characteristics of the "higher third" of God-realization, which is the ultimate generalization, but simultaneously the ultimate specialization, in that human beings "specialize in God." For at the end of the deity, he is the vector of our interior growth. Failing to follow that vector results in a corrective thunderbolt. If you're lucky.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Erectile Dysfunction, or What the Thunder Said (12.06.11)

Of thunder of spring over distant mountains
He who was living is now dead
We who were living are now dying
--T.S. Eliot, What the Thunder Said

I think we're through with the Devil. On to the Tower of Destruction. This is an extremely important card, so huddle up close to the screen and turn up the volume. It has to do with human evil, or "to evil which does not come from the outside, but which certainly has its origin within the human soul" -- not from the body, which is an innocent bystander in man's vertical fall. Depending upon how you look at it, the fall has to do either with willfulness or ignorance, which leads to "illicit" or illegitimate knowledge, and separates us from the Creator. Either way -- i.e., by way of intellect or will -- human beings are exiled from the vertical and plunged into the horizontal.

Now, as UF explains, Genesis is set in a garden, which is a very different thing from a jungle -- which is completely wild -- or a desert -- which is more or less barren -- or a town -- which is a symbol of human invention, and where nothing grows spontaneously. (There is a pneumacosmic reason why the big cities are the main habitats of the Blue Meanies).

But a garden is what? It is a combination of vertical and horizontal energies, of planning and spontaneity. A beautiful garden, as the Frothy One can attest to, involves a harmonious combination of Spirit and Nature; of Spirit within nature, or Nature rising to Spirit. One thinks of Japanese gardens, which so transparently convey the supernatural within nature.

UF links this to the true mission and vocation of the Raccoon, which is "to cultivate and maintain the 'garden,' i.e. the world in a state of equilibrium and cooperation between Spirit and Nature" Coons are gardeners, not technicians (even if we do technical work). Unlike these modern excuses for gardeners, we do not merely "mow and blow." Rather, we cultivate and we maintain.

The Tower of Destruction symbolizes everything the garden is not. As UF explains, it comes about as a result of "the collective will of 'lower selves' to achieve the replacing of the 'true Self' of the celestial hierarchies and God with a superstructure of universal significance fabricated through the will." You could say that it's built prick by prick.

But the human will, alienated from spirit, cannot create anything of truly universal, or cosmic, significance. It can only create a tower, which is surely fated for the divine wrecking ball -- which is a mercy, never a punishment. For example, our scientistic jester is always kind or clueless enough to share his silly little towers with us, which we never fail to destroy at a glance. And yet, he still no doubt prefers to live amidst their haunted ruins.

For the Tower of Destruction teaches a law that is both general and universal, meaning that it "operates both on a small scale and on a grand scale, in individual biography as well as in that of mankind, and in the past, present and future equally." It is another one of those things in the Bible that didn't just happen once upon a time, but which happen every time. I read yesterday that the Pope had a prophecy of the present economic collapse over two decades ago, and who could say that he was wrong? That is what Towers do, i.e., collapse, whereas "the only solid reality is the word of God.'' Suffice it to say that the Big Three will not outlive the Trinity.

The fall of a once wallstrait oldparr is retaled early in bed and later on life down through all christian minstrelsy. --Finnegans Wake

Here is what eventually happens to imaginary Towers and to the people who live in them: the thunderbolt: "he who builds a 'tower' to replace revelation from heaven by what he himself has fabricated, will be blasted by a thunderbolt, i.e., he will undergo the humiliation of being reduced to his own subjectivity and to terrestrial reality" -- i.e., back to the ground (which, of course, has two very different meanings; there is nothing wrong with humbly living on the ground, for that is where one will find the ground of being).

This is the thing I don't understand about scientism. Surely the scientific materialist knows up front that his knowledge is provisional and relative, and that it will eventually be brought low by the thunderbolt, even if it is only the thunderbolt of a new scientific development. And yet, they fall in love with their cognitive McTowers and cling to them as if they are holy writ.

This was the real dispute between Galileo and the Church, between relative vs. absolute truth (however awkwardly handled by the Church, which has been absurdly overblown anyway by radical secularists; it is indeed one of their "founding myths"). Does the earth really revolve around the sun? No, not at all. Only from a relative position. From the standpoint of later scientific developments (i.e., relativity), Galileo has been transcended, and the Church is still here.

Besides, the geocentric theory remains intrinsically true, if looked at vertically. That is, the human being is indeed the "center of the cosmos," in that only he recapitulates and embodies all the vertical degrees of creation within himself. The light of Truth is infinitely more central than sunlight. What could be more obvious?

If your little tower is not mercifully blasted by the thunderbolt in this life, then it will be severely blasted upon your demise. Evidently, that is when you will have the opportunity to bear witness to the full extent of your folly. You won't even have to be judged by God. Rather, you will judge yourself, like a child who transitions from, say, Piaget's stage of concrete operations to formal operations, and can objectively look back on his previous mode of cognition because he has transcended it. When you transcend, its as if you move out of the old drafty tower and into a real mansion.

I remember interviewing an unsophisticated Spanish-speaking patient a number of years ago. He was chronicling his various complaints, but didn't have the word for "impotence." He struggled to convey his meaning, and eventually confided that my manhood has fallen.

Phall if you but will, rise you must: and none so soon either shall the pharce for the nunce come to a setdown secular phoenish. --Finnegans Wake

But with the erection of manmade towers, the thunderbolt is a mercy, depending upon what one does with it. Think of it as an extreme form of (?!), for example, in the experience of Paul on the road to Damascus. You might say that Saul the tower crumbled to the ground and became Paul the tree.

Much more to go. To be continued.

I sat upon the shore
Fishing, with the arid plain behind me
Shall I at least set my lands in order?
London Bridge is falling down falling down falling down
--Eliot

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue States (12.05.11)

It is not just imagination + will that engenders demons; rather, it is intoxication of will and imagination that does so. As a result, they always go too far; they release inhibitions and partake of other forces that have nothing to do with the matter at hand.

Again, this is something the left does by definition; since they deny the vertical, it returns in a disguised and perverse form, which provides them with a preternatural energy that conservatives can never match. The moment a conservative becomes "ecstatic" about politics, he's no longer a conservative. Intoxication certainly has its place. Just not in politics.

Obviously, young people are more prone to the varieties of psychic intoxication, so it is no surprise that Obama won the election because he took two thirds of the youth vote (the vote was 50-50 for actual adults). To paraphrase someone, these children wish to give us the full benefit of their inexperience.

I'm trying to imagine what the world would look like to me today if I were a 21 year old with a skull full of liberal mush.... Would I be susceptible to Obama intoxication? I don't know. I was a pretty cynical guy, but most cynics are just disappointed idealists, which I suppose I was. My first presidential vote went to Jimmy Carter, who, for those of you below a certain age, was the Obama of the time. He too promised dramatic change, which came in spades -- soaring inflation, increased unemployment, emboldened enemies, loss of respect in the world, diminished confidence at home. And yet, it didn't matter. I still voted for him again in 1980.

So was I drunk, or just stupid? I think mostly just the latter. You have no idea what it was like back then. There was literally no way to gain access to conservative arguments unless you were a National Review subscriber. There were a few conservative voices, but because they were so rare, you just assumed they were crazy, or eccentric at best, and probably evil. It was very much a cultural attitude, because you were basically trained to have a kind of visceral rejection of all things conservative, mainly because they tossed cold water on your intoxication. I am continually amazed that so many members of my auto-hypnotized generation are still completely swaddled in this retrograde cultural attitude....

I will continue this self-indulgent musing below, time permitting. For now, let's get back to The Devil.

UF points out that even Marx and Engels could have avoided intoxication -- and prevented the birth of a hideous genocidal demon -- if they had actually just considered the plight of the poor in a detached and disinterested way. But instead, they went far, far, over the line, into cloud cuckoo land, insisting that God did not exist, that history obeyed scientific laws, that "all ideology is only a superstructure on the basis of material interests," etc.

It is the same with the Darwinists. If they would just maintain a little sobriety, instead of drunkenly careening into areas in which they have nothing to contribute, all would be well. But like a drunken know-it-all at a cocktail party, they just can't stop themselves. They'll tell you everything about love, beauty, truth, God.... It's all wrong, of course, but that's the thing about being drunk -- it feels good.

I am once again reminded of Paul McCartney's first acid trip. His mind was so filled with ideas, that he had his assistant following him around, so he could dictate them to him. He remembered one particularly inspired idea, and insisted that his assistant take it down word for word, and then put it away for safe keeping. The next morning, they eagerly retrieved the scrap of paper, upon which it was written:

There are seven levels.

But it might as well have been: random mutation + adaption, or the workers are the means of production, or I think therefore I am, or abortion is protected by a Right to Privacy, or members of the same sex can "marry," or God is dead, or Hopeandchange.... None of these ideas "work" unless the person is intoxicated in some way. Sober up, and they're either banal or make no sense.

Of the founding fathers of the left, UF writes that "there is no doubt that with them it was a matter of an excess -- a going beyond the limits of competence and sober and honest knowledge -- which they did not in any way doubt, having been carried away by the intoxicating impulse of radicalism."

You must understand that the radical wants to be intoxicated -- with outrage, with self-righteous anger, with smugness, with superiority, with iconoclasm, with fear (e.g., of "domestic spying," or the "theofascistic takeover of the nation"), with "injustice." Like any other drug, radicalism is addictive because of the feelings it engenders. This, I think, explains why so many of my generation refuse to grow up -- because they are literlly addicted to the feelings produced by radicalism.

For example, they do not want racism to be over. For a white liberal, it gives such an intoxicating feeling of being on the side of righteousness, that it's impossible for them to let it go. For you Raccoons of color out there, you probably realize that every white liberal condescendingly imagines that he is noble Atticus Finch, and that you are poor helpless Tom Robinson. And I imagine that all the racial grievance hustlers -- if they aren't just outright sociopaths, like Al Sharpton -- imagine that white people give a lot of thought to race, when they actually couldn't care less (at least conservatives). Personally, I'd never think about race if liberals weren't obsessed with it.

By the way, a boneheaded -- and intoxicated -- commenter compared opposition to the redefinition of marriage to racism. But opposition to "gay marriage" isn't learned. Rather, it is innate. Anyone with a rightly ordered soul is naturally opposed to it. Rather, they have to unlearn what is natural and normal in order to be passionately pro-homosexual marriage.

I well remember being "homophobic" as a boy, but I was never racist. But this innocent homophobia wasn't learned. In fact, I had no idea what a homosexual was. Rather, it was just the innate knowledge that boys should act like boys -- that there was an ideal to which we should aspire. Boys who didn't were suspect. It was a kind of mutual self-policing, like fighting in the NHL.

In fact, it's a little perverse to even call it "homophobia." Rather, it was really just about learning The Art of Manliness, which all boys need to do -- especially today, when manliness is opposed on all sides by passive-aggressive liberal wimps for whom whining is a virtue. Marriage is one of the principle ways that boys become men. Therefore, it is no surprise that liberals want to undermine it.

That is the real agenda behind the intoxicated fury to redefine the institution. I think also that homosexuals imagine that "marrying" would allow them to "grow up," when that is hardly the problem. More often than not, homosexual behavior is specifically a rebellion against growing up, and all it implies. I don't have time to explain, but again, there is a lot of good information at NARTH for the bi-curious.

In contrast, racism must be learned. Yes, I know it is ubiquitous, but it is nevertheless learned. It is really about cultural difference, and race is simply a handy marker for this. In the case of my son, for example, his best friends are a Japanese boy (I mean real Japanese -- he doesn't speak English); two children of a black and white couple; an adopted black child of a white couple; and a child of a white and asian couple. Plus, his mother is a Jewish-Catholic, his father a Vedanta-Christian. He has never mentioned anything pertaining to race, and I don't imagine he ever will unless we teach him that it is somehow important. Being that he won't be attending a public school, he'll be shielded from the racial obsessions of the left, at least for awhile. He will have to learn that race is somehow important, which I imagine will be increasingly difficult, since Obama will be the first president of whom he is consciously aware.

The left also doesn't want poverty to end, because this too would eliminate the cause of their righteous indignation. Otherwise they would define poverty in absolute instead of relative terms. So long as they define it in relative terms, a certain fixed percentage of the population will always be "poor," no matter how fat and affluent. (On his program yesterday, Dennis Prager had an economist who explained this in an extremely lucid and sober manner; can't think of his name.)

Back to the card. Any form of radicalism is given force and momentum by the intoxicated desire to "change everything utterly at a single stroke. And it is this fever to *change* everything utterly at a single stroke which gave birth to the demon of class hatred, atheism, disdain for the past, and material interest being placed above all else, which is now making the rounds in the world."

You see how it works? The ideology legitimizes the intoxicated expression of envy, anger, murder, whatever. It is what allowed Bill Ayers, for example, to want to attempt mass murder in good conscience. When you're full of that much righteous rage, what else can you do? He still has no regrets, because he is still drunk. But like all drunks, he stays drunk in order to avoid the pain of regret -- regret for a wasted life spent wasted on ideology.

Again, this is the counter-inspiration of the Devil, and it is a caricature of spiritual grace and transformation, for as one descends down into the inconscient (↓), something rises up to meet you (↑), which produces the intoxication and gives birth to a third thing.

Whoops. Out of time. To be continued....

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Absolute Lies and Infinite Nonsense (12.02.11)

Of the generation of demons, UF writes that they are a result of the cooperation of the male and female principles, or perverse will and imagination: "a desire that is perverse or contrary to nature, followed by the corresponding imagination, together constitute the act of generation of a demon."

If you look at the card, you can see that the demon is much larger than its parents, "who have become enslaved by their own creation. They represent perverse will and imagination contrary to nature, which have given birth to an androgynous demon, i.e., to a being endowed with desire and imagination, which dominates the forces that engendered it."

Several observations are in order. From 2 Corinthians we know that the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. In other words, the Creator specifically creates man with a spirit of freedom, which you might say is the means to the end of our being, which is theosis, perfection, or God-realization.

Being that we are in the image of the Creator, human beings have no choice but to create. But what shall we create? More importantly, in what spirit shall we do so? Genuine creation should be liberating, expansive, elevating, radiating. But demonic creation will be the opposite: enslaving, constricting, enclosing, debasing. It always makes us smaller, not larger.

I remember awhile back, Pope Benedict made a comment to the effect that rock music was narcissistic and "enclosing." I can't find the exact quote, but I knew exactly what he was referring to, as it is something I became aware of when rock & roll morphed into rock music at some point after 1968. You cannot compare the joyous and uplifting feelings that accompanied Beatlemania with the real darkness that was unleashed later.

I did find this comment by the Pope: "Rock [music] is the expression of elemental passions, and at rock festivals it assumes a cultic character, a form of worship, in fact, in opposition to Christian worship. People are, so to speak, released from themselves by the experience of being part of a crowd and by the emotional shock of rhythm, noise, and special lighting effects. However, in the ecstasy of having all their defenses torn down, the participants sink, as it were, beneath the elemental force of the universe." True as far as it goes, but there is nevertheless rock music that is liberating in an upward way, but much more that only liberates downward, and therefore enslaves.

I am also reminded of Schuon's metaphysics, in which male is a reflection of the Absolute, female a reflection of the Infinite. Perhaps the most destructive force on earth is the absolute will detached from the divine plane. This leads to the will to power and the absolute dictator, and to a cult that is always excessively male (one thinks of the homoeroticism of the Nazis).

On the other hand, the perverse imagination is well reflected in contemporary art and academia. For example, deconstruction is nothing more than a sick and mercurial female whose reality depends upon the mood she is in. There is no fixed, i.e., Absolute, meaning, since the Infinite has become divorced from him: as the cliche goes, "the Infinite needs the Absolute like a fish needs a bicycle." But once you detach language from the Logos, or Law of the Father, it becomes a kind of infinite nonsense generator -- the "infinite blather" of the tenured.

On the other end, once you detach the Absolute from the Infinite, it becomes a kind of soul-crushing ideology to which one must assent, as in 1984. It reminds us of Queeg and his jihad against conservatism, which is specifically a harmonious marriage of Absolute (or transcendence) and Infinite (or immanence).

Here is the irony: Queeg wishes to elevate Darwinian fundamentalism to the status of Absolute, which has the specific effect of denying the infinitude of Man's spirit. The result -- if you are intelligent enough to draw out the implications -- is that both science and Man become strictly impossible, in that they are detached from their very ground.

Which reminds us: please let your voice be heard and vote for Queeg for Biggest Pro-Censorship Ass-Hat (again, his flagrant ass-hattery results from his demonic worship of a false absolute, which he must brittlely defend by excommunicating anyone who recognizes the actual Absolute). And while you're at it, feel free to vote for Bob for Best Religious Blog, but only if you believe that he most adequately reflects the Absolute and Infinite, or divine will and creative imagination, in his scribblings.

Because that is what he is always attempting to do. Again, he looks upon religious truth as an extremely fruitful set of metamusical chords with which we are called upon to creatively improvise over, or riff upon, a la jazz. Think, for example, of the "fixed canon" of popular music, the "Great American Songbook" -- composers such as Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Rogers & Hart, Johnny Mercer, et al. While I Got Rhythm is, on the one hand, an "absolute standard," the jazz musician employs his "infinite musical imagination" to play with it, so that it never comes out the same way twice, despite being absolute. Do you understand what I am saying? For this is also how you make religion truly "come alive."

This is why I believe that the Way of the Raccoon could really be the savior of religion, so to speak, but how many people appreciate jazz anymore? Besides, it is a difficult practice to combine the elements of extreme discipline and radical freedom. But only the disciplined are really free anyway. Might as well take it to the limit, which is the gateway to the limitless.

Back to MOTT. UF next discusses the origins of the left in the false absolute of Marxism: "Engendered by the will of the masses through the generations, armed with a dummy intellectuality which is Hegel's dialectic misconstrued -- this spectre has grown and continues to make the rounds in Europe and in other continents..."

Here is where Marxism and Queegism converge, for with the former "there is no God or gods -- there are only 'demons' in the sense of creations of the human will and imagination." In other words, "Marxism" is simply an ideological superstructure produced by the will of the masses, which is in turn rooted in material economics and nothing more. Likewise, for the Darwnian fundamentalist, everything ultimately boils down to the selfish gene, or an absurdly absolute denial of the Infinite.

This creation of a false absolute is idol worship, pure and simple. But again, although we have created the idol, it has power over us, and we can't seem to get rid of it. Look at the way government grows, no matter who is in power. But that's how demons work -- again, refer to the picture above. The two little people are slaves of the government they created.

I see that al Qaeda just referred to Obama as a "house slave." That's the thing liberals don't understand about genocide. Let it go on long enough, and it eventually leads to hate speech. But the statement is true in a way unintended by al Qaeda, since we're all slaves in the house of this leviathan master we've created.

[W]hat terrible power resides in our will and imagination, and what responsibility it entails for those who unleash it into the world!... We people of the twentieth century know that the "great pests" of our time are the [artificially engendered demons], which have cost humanity more life and suffering than the great epidemics of the Middle Ages. --MOTT

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

How to Create Your Very Own Demon (12.01.11)

There can be entire communities that revolve around collectively generated demons. I find it interesting that one of the early themes of the Bible has to do with the Creator's effort to get folks to stop worshipping these damn mind parasites. As UF explains, "the Canaan Moloch who demanded the bloody sacrifice of the first born, mentioned so often in the Bible," was "a demon created artificially" by the human collective.

As I mentioned in my book -- which has now been in the amazon top two million for 93 consecutive weeks -- when we encounter collective beliefs and practices that appear insane and self-defeating, we are probably dealing with mind parasites. While they don't appear adaptive, they actually are. It's just that they are adaptive to the internal, not external, world. This is no different than a neurotic patient with a baffling symptom. Ultimately the symptom can be traced back to some earlier adaptation.

The most difficult challenge for human beings is to adapt to the problem of having a mind. Ultimately, mind parasites come down to the problem of thoughts and what to do with them -- anxious thoughts, fearful thoughts, envious thoughts, greedy thoughts, angry thoughts, sexual thoughts, etc. One of the primary purposes of culture is to collectively manage these primitive thoughts.

In the course of writing my own book, one of the better works I found on the topic of lethal mind parasites was In the Shadow of Moloch: The Sacrifice of Children and Its Impact on Western Religions. It's probably been over a decade since I read it, so I can't give it an unqualified recommendation. Here's what it says on the inside flap:

"In ancient times, humans projected their hostility into their gods; 'bloodthirsty' gods who 'demanded' the sacrifice of children. In the Shadow of Moloch begins with pre-biblical times by examining Moloch, the god of the 'Children of Ammon' who demanded the burning of children. Tracing the legacy of child sacrifice, Bergmann shows that the greatest efforts to overcome this ritual can found in biblical accounts of the suspended sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham and of the sacrifice of Christ by God the Father to atone for original sin. He argues that the development of Judaism and Christianity can be seen as an effort, only partially successful, to ameliorate past aggression of child sacrifice through the creation of an entirely loving god."

I would say discovery of an entirely loving God, but you get the point, because there is no evolutionary reason to believe that human beings could have "invented" such a being, given their dismal track record. Obviously, the systematic murder of one's children poses a challenge to natural selection, unless there is some deeper mechanism to account for it. Again, I believe that mechanism is the urgent need to adapt to the catastrophic condition of having a self-conscious mind.

It is difficult for us to imagine how catastrophic that was -- to have been, as Richard Prior so poetically put it, the first motherf*cker to look around and ask himself what in the f*ck is goin' on?! Then again, not really, if you can empathize with the emotionally catastrophic conditions of infancy -- which, sad to say, many, if not most, parents still cannot do. I would estimate -- actually, studies on maternal attachment estimate -- that perhaps only a third of parents in the West are able to do this. In more primitive locales, such as in the Islamic world -- well, fuggedaboudit. Child sacrifice goes on unabated. They just call it intifada instead of infanticide.

And in the West, we simply have more subtle means of engaging in child sacrifice. We don't kill the body, but murder the soul. I mean, I literally cannot imagine sending my son to a California public school, because I would in effect be sending him off to be sacrificed to the leftist collective.

I could not bear doing to him what was done to me -- back when the leftist takeover of the educational system wasn't nearly as complete as today. He would have to internalize all of their strange gods -- multiculturalism, moral relativism, materialism, scientism, environmentalism, etc. -- and in so doing, die to his own -- God's own -- soul. I could no more do that than I could have sent him out to a nursemaid moments after his birth -- which is what most well-to-do people once did in the West. Why did they do that? Because they could not tolerate their own internal infant and therefore not tolerate their external infant. Likewise, if you do not know your own soul, you cannot protect and nurture your child's soul.

In fact, continuing with Bergmann's flap, I think it is a truism that "the psychological conflict of child sacrifice still haunts the unconscious of modern men and women." He posits a "Laius complex -- hostility of the father toward the son -- to explain sacrifice. He discloses that, in psychological terms, the development of Western religions is an effort by insufficiently loved men and women to change their inner balance away from hostility, toward a more loving center."

The only problem with the book is that it takes a purely psychoanalytic approach, and is therefore reductionistic. But you can take the same ideas and place them in a more expansive religious metaphysical framework, which is what I attempted to do in my book.

I'm at a crossroads here... continue with Bergmann, or return to MOTT? I'd better stick with the latter, or we'll never finish.

Regarding the collective mind parasites, you can see that UF is really not far from Bergmann: although "engendered subjectively," these artificial demons "become forces independent of the subjective consciousness that engendered them. They are, in other words, magical creations, for magic is the objectification of that which takes its origin in subjective consciousness" (again, think of the image in the card of the man and woman chained to a larger entity that they have co-created).

UF compares these collective demons to psychological complexes, which is why it is something of a truism to say that a culture is a public neurosis, while a neurosis is a private culture. But there are also public psychoses, e.g., the community of dailykos or the viewership of Keith Olbermann.

Yes, they are very frightening to think about, because they really do believe those things. But it's not so much "the things they believe," i.e., the contained (♂), as the container (♀) -- i.e., the very space in which they live -- that is so disturbing. Again, think of that deeply irrational container as a sort of desperate effort to contain their own unbearable proto-thoughts and impulses. You could say that the kos kids and Olberchildren are pathological products of an insane pairing of ♂ and ♀. Leftism is what happens when you put together an abandoning ♀ and a homicidal ♂: uncontainable and incoherent.... yucktoplasm leaking all over the place.

You could also say that these demons represent the premature birth of the unborn due to an inability to tolerate reality and allow the thoughts to "gestate" in the womb of being. In other words, they represent premature closure of the psychic field, which is again one of the main reasons why people believe such weird things.

These weird ideas nevertheless have to be "nourished" by the psychic life of the parent, which is why intellectuals devote their lives to feeding and propping up their craziness -- e.g., Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, and thousands more. Their body of work is a kind of pathological psychic body that is completely detached from reality. When they die, it will "live on" in followers who have been infected by these ghostly and ghastly ideas. Think of "patient zero," Marx, who is still spreading his spiritually fatal infection. Religion -- properly understood -- inoculates one from the infection, but that's the subject for a different post.

Suddenly I am out of time. To be continued.....

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Devil and His Chaotic Minions (11.30.11)

This ought to be juicy: the Devil. In a way, he embodies the counter-movement of all the cosmic principles we've been discussing up to this point. Indeed, this is the aracunum of counter-inspiration, which, interestingly, is not "expiration." In other words, as we've been saying in so many ways, genuine mysticism, gnosis, and magic come about as a result of the harmonious union of (↑) and (↓), while counter-inspiration would have to be some sort of caricature or counterfeit version of this -- a kind of bad breath, or hellitosis.

As vision and inspiration involve tears and sweat, this card introduces us "to the secrets of the electrical fire and the intoxication of counter-inspiration" (MOTT). What? Yes. I didn't want to go there, but a fine example of the electrical intoxication would be the infamous Obama-tingle in Chris Matthews' pasty thigh.

I like this card, because it is also the card of the Mind Parasites. These are the self-generated demons which then have power over those who create them -- which you will no doubt notice represents a kind of pathological cycle of (↑) and (↓); more on which below.

But first, UF makes an extremely important point, that "the world of evil is a chaotic world." Which means, if you wish to create a world in which the Devil has a "free hand," so to speak, you needn't necessarily engage in evil per se. Rather, all you have to do is disrupt the celestial order and sow chaos below. (I actually prefer the word "disorder," since chaos now has a scientific meaning; from the perspective of chaos theory, processes that look chaotic may exhibit extremely deep order, but that's the topic for another post. We'll just stick with "chaos" in its colloquial sense.)

A most obvious example of cosmic order is the distinction between male and female. To blend these categories is not just foolish and unwise, but evil. Or, soon enough, it will lead to evil. I don't want to get sidetracked, but here is a depressing article by Kay Hymowitz on the contemporary state of male-female relations, Love in the Time of Darwinism. The take-away point is that the chaos engendered by feminism and other postmodern idiolatries has hardly been "liberating." Rather, in taking a wrecking ball to the nonlocal celestial hierarchy, it has "ironically" reduced human beings to a state of pure animality in their mating habits. Ladies, be careful what you whine for.

In turn, this is why the homosexual activists clamoring for the redefinition of marriage are promoting evil, pure and simple. One has to be so willfully obtuse to suggest that I am saying that this or that homosexual is evil. That's an entirely different subject. Rather, what I am saying is that I do not want a handful of judges to impose their diabolical values on the rest of us, just because they do not understand that marriage exists as a divine archetype, and that it is not for us to tamper with, any more than it is up to a judge to tamper with the laws of physics. You cannot turn my aunt into a Maserati by judicial Fiat.

One hears other boneheads saying things such as: " duh, gay marriage won't hurt my marriage. What are these conservatives afraid of?" As Dennis Prager always says, we live in the "age of stupidity," and this is about as clear an example as one could imagine. What Prager means is that we live in an age that is devoid of wisdom -- in particular, the accumulated wisdom of the centuries -- which, on a spiritual level, is no less important then the "biological wisdom" embodied in our genes.

And why do we live in an age of stupidity? Because liberals have spent the last fifty years undermining the legitimacy of the divine-human order, and therefore sowing chaos. And once you have chaos, then you have successfully destroyed any standards by which we may objectively guide our lives.

This is what I mean when I try to tell these uncomprehending "integralists" that the left is not the complement of conservative liberalism, but its very negation. A true political complementarity would nevertheless have to share the same first principles, which was more or less the case in America until the 1960s. Today, the problem is not that we differ with the left over this or that policy issue. Rather, they have entirely different first principles, principles which are not rooted in the Constitution, in American tradition, and certainly not in transcendent reality (i.e., the vertical).

So, if you think that article by Hymowitz is depressing, just wait until we've had "homosexual marriage" for a generation or two. When I say that civilization cannot survive the metaphysical chaos this will enshrine, I am not being polemical. I mean it quite literally and dispassionately. This is what happens when human sexuality is reduced to a purely horizontal category.

Even leaving spirituality to the side, the activists express such an astonishing naivete about the power of human sexuality, that it is not even childlike, because children are well aware of such fundamental categories as Father and Mother. Only a leftist could be so stupid as to deny such a primordial reality and call it "progress." As a libertarian, I do not believe it is the business of the state to tell a couple of men or women what sort of erotic partnership they wish to have. Just don't pretend that it is marriage, which it can never, ever be.

Notice that their only possible counter-argument will be a strictly horizontal one, thereby denying the very context of marriage, i.e., the sacred. By the nature of their arguments, one can tell that they have no idea what marriage actually is, in that they see it only in terms of an arbitrary "right" which some people supposedly have but others don't.

Again, it is an entirely horizontal argument. Marriage, like human freedom itself, exists prior to the state. "Homosexual marriage" can only exist if the state imposes a new definition of marriage, thereby destroying it. Yes, yes, Britney Spears or Pamela Anderson also make a mockery of marriage. That is not a counter-argument. Rather, that is the point, idiot.

Anyway, the main point is that if you want to engender evil, all you have to do is promote disorder by denying or blending categories which must remain separate in order for there to be civilization at all. This is why the Creator's very first act is one of separation amidst chaos. Note as well that the homosexual activist will accuse me of being evil because of my deference to the divine order (by which evil is measured to begin with). Is this not diabolical? No, that wasn't a rhetorical question, because while the luciferian is that which opposes the divine reality, the diabolical is that which actively undermines it. Look at how they are attempting to destroy the Boy Scouts for similar reasons.

Back to the card. UF notes that it evokes the idea of slavery, in that it depicts two people "who are attached to the pedestal of a monstrous demon." It suggests "an eminently practical lesson as to how it happens that beings can forfeit their freedom and become slaves of a monstrous entity which makes them degenerate by rendering them similar to it." (If you look closely, you will see that it is actually Mayor Newsom presiding over a gay wedding.)

With regard to these parasitic entities, the analogy with biology is apt, for we know that there are "helpful" and "harmful" bacteria. Some parasites will kill us, while others, for example, live symbiotically in our digestive tract and help us to maintain life. I'm thinking, for example, of the conscience, which opposes us and can at times feel like a parasitic entity that is there to spoil our fun, when its real purpose is to allow for vertical growth -- and to prevent a horizontal death. Recall, for example, how in Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov is punished by his "parasitic" conscience.

Unfortunately, I'm really running short on time here. I don't want to start into a major area and then have to stop. To be continued....

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Vertical Creation and the Rhythm of Eternity

Continuing with yesterday's post, as there are two cerebral hemispheres, there are naturally "two worlds" that result, given the truism that there can be no world but an experienced world.

The scientific world of abstract quantity is one world, true enough in its own way, but obviously not the real world. The scientific world is an abstract and artificial construct that sees things separately and serially, as if the world -- any world -- could ever actually be an agglomeration of discrete, atomistic particles. This metaphysic falls on the basis of its own discoveries, most notably, the wavelike sea of quantum energy that underlies our illusory experience of discrete matter (also the genome, which is much more nonlinear and holistic than biologists had assumed).

But is this sea of energy -- a sea that no human has ever seen or ever will see -- the real world? No, it is merely a physical world, an abstraction of science, a science that starts with the only world we can experience, the corporeal world of every day life. Scientists maintain that the corporeal world accessible to our senses is the secondary, derivative world, and that the abstract world of quantum physics is the more primary one.

Traditional metaphysics turns this upside-down picture back right-side up, which in turn resolves many of the paradoxes of “creationism.” The fact is, despite the best efforts of science, we remain engulfed in a Mystery -- the mystery of our origins, of our present being, and of our final destiny. Science searches outward, toward the periphery, looking at the data of the senses and into the mathematically projected past to find the answers (and in so doing abandons formal and final causation, and therefore any hope of understanding the purpose of our existence).

Mysticism reverses our gaze from the periphery to the center, looking for our source and origin in the mysterious withinness of the cosmos -- by following that withinness all the way back "upstream" to its vertical source above.

A traditional cosmology -- including Genesis -- is only secondarily about the creation of the horizontal world. It is primarily about the mysterious manifestation of reality from the darkness of nonexistence to the light of conscious experience. Out of the Great Unborn, the timeless womb of eternity, forms and beings are ceaselessly given birth and then vertically "sustained" by that same First Cause. As I hint at in the book, we are all beneficiaries of this voidgin birth.

This transcendent ground is the one place in the cosmos where we may truly gain first hand knowledge of the source of All, since the cosmos is psychic through and through. This is the real meaning of traditional cosmologies. On the one hand, they tell the story of the outward manifestation of the cosmos. But at the same time, they convey implicit knowledge of the inward vertical procession of phenomena from the great noumenal Within.

Consider it this way: the big bang didn't just happen once upon a timeless, some 14 billion years ago. Rather, a cosmos mysteriously explodes into being every moment, in every individual's consciousness. Likewise, an entire cosmos comes into being with each new birth, and a whole unrepeatable world withdraws over the subjective horizon with each death. And it's all happening now.

In this view, the vexing duality of mind and matter is resolved in the only way it can be -- by showing how both poles of the dialectic arise from a single, nonlocal source, outside space and time. Every moment -- that is, the ineffable now -- represents a ceaseless flowing out of eternity into time, accompanied by a simultaneous "flowing in" of time back to eternity. This is the cosmogonic cycle upon which grace allows us to hitch a ride, the pullmonistic rhythm of the breath of the eternal.

The beginning of my book -- through page seventeen -- attempts to convey in ponoetic language the "flowing out" of the absolute One into the Infinite many -- for example, The molten infinite pours forth a blazen torrent of incandescent finitude, as light plunges an undying fire into its own shadow; or He expectorated a mirrorcle, now you're the spittin' image. On the one hand, these statements could be about the big bang. On the other, they could be about our own consciousness.

The end of the book -- pages 252-266 -- simply reverses the process, taking us on the ascent from the many back to the One. Again, the reality of the situation is that this is occurring on a moment-by-moment basis. You might even say that this perpetual process represents the "interior life" of the Godhead (with certain modifications introduced by the Christian trinity or Jewish Sefirot that I won't get into here; both, in their own ways, are trying to describe this "interior life" of God.)

Thus, a sample from the end of my book reads as we approach the singularity at the bigending of cosmic history: Returning to the Oneself, borne again to the mysterious mamamatrix of our birthdeath, our winding binding river empties to the sea. Only here are we provisionally cured of plurality as we are Ones again back by oursoph before the beginning, before old nobodaddy committed wholly matterimany and exhaled himself into a world of sorrow and ignorance, no longer dispersed and refracted by so many banged-up and thunder-sundered images of the One.

Traditional cosmologies -- like any other spiritual truth -- will not yield their meanings to the cognitively greedy accustomed only to linear, exterior, fragmented, and scientistic ways of knowing; one cannot simply grasp at them, but must approach the endeavor with open hands (and more importantly, open heart and mind). And whatever you do, don't be serious. Sincere, absolutely. Serious, never. For,

Could it be true that in jesting we are contemplating? Yes. As do all who jest, in jesting we contemplate. --Plotinus

Addendum: I just finished this book, The Last Superstition: A Refutation of the New Atheism, and it's remarkable how similar the arguments are to mine. Feser does an outstanding job of demonstrating how this guy named Aquinas absolutely demolishes the feeble and quite blatantly irrational arguments of the atheistic crowd. Unfortunately, the book is so abusive and polemical that it sometimes distracts from the brilliance of the arguments. I mean, I certainly don't mind sticking it to the adversary, but it should be done with a little style -- with a stiletto, not a sledgehammer.

In any event, look for this Aquinas fellow to gain some notoriety, although I can't imagine that any university would ever hire him, much less offer him tenure, given his thorough debunking of the fashionable materialism of the times.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Left Brain, Right Brain, Transcendent Brain

Here is our weekly repost from two years down and back. Again, when I review these things, it's often like I'm reading them for the first time, so while they may be old to you, they're new to me. I suppose it's a way of assimilating mysoph, which is a strange but necessary exercise. Anyway, I usually look for one that keeps my attention, which this one manages to do.

*****

The psychoanalyst James Grotstein proposes a “dual track” theory of human development, in which there is a separate developmental agenda for the self in isolation and the self in relation to others. Recent work in neurology has suggested that we not only have two cerebral hemispheres (left and right), but two consciousnesses, two very different ways of processing data and experience.

In our normal waking consciousness, one hemisphere subordinates the other, so that we have the subjective impression of a unified consciousness, but in reality, it is somewhat analogous to having two eyes or ears. For example, when they are properly functioning, we are not aware of having two eyes. However, the fact that we have two eyes with slightly different points of view creates the experience of visual depth. Likewise, thanks to having two ears, we can have the experience of a bitchin’ stereo.

The right brain allows us the experience of fusion with others, of oneness with creation, of membership in a larger group. But thanks to the left brain, we can have the experience of uniqueness, of our separateness from the group, of what is called individuation. The two hemispheres also think and process information in divergent ways, one in a holistic, translogical and analogical manner, the other in a linear, logical, and digital manner. One cannot understand religious metaphysics without a highly developed, right brain "poetical" sense.

Especially in the West, we have many excessively left-brained thinkers who derive their philosophies from their own handicapped existence. Here I am thinking of someone like the famous materialist Richard Dawkins, whose spiritually barren atheistic theology is all words and no music, and speaks to no one who is firing in both hemispheres.

This is why atheism so quickly devolves into bad theology. The “return of the repressed” guarantees that the shunned hemisphere will exact its vengeance on the philosopher who tries to naively reject it, exposing the illogic of his metaphysics. In fact, Gödel’s theorems may be thought of as the guarantor of a liberating higher Reason that transcends the logic-bound left-brain.

But it is obviously possible to lurch too far in the other direction as well, and to promulgate a philosophy that is almost entirely a product of right-hemisphere thinking detached from logic, such as Islamism, radical feminism, homosexual activism, etc.

In reality, the two hemispheres are not opposed but complementary, a reflection of the irreducible complementarity of relative existence. When I use the words “vertical” and “horizontal,” you should think of them as “empty categories” or mythsemantical placeholders that subsume many other irreducible complementarities in our existence, such as: wave/particle, whole/part, form/substance, male/female, mind/matter, exterior/interior, thinking/feeling, sensing/intuition, analysis/synthesis, group/individual, time/eternity, brahman/maya, Kirk/Spock. None of these dualities can be resolved in the phenomenal world, because the phenomenal world is their product, so to speak.

Thus, it is not so much that we have two brains, but that the different vertices of the two brains create a third thing that transcends either one alone. At least in a healthy individual. It is not that the two hemispheres should become fused or commingled, so to speak. Rather, there is a harmonious relationship between them. Normally we think of the repressive barrier between ego and unconscious as being vital to the maintenance of the ego. However, the boundary is just as vital for the sake of the unconscious, otherwise each world would destroy the other. "Unconscious" and "ego" are really just different points of view that are simultaneously present, like "God" and "Man."

In last Friday’s post, we spoke of Melanie Klein’s theory of the paranoid-schizoid (dispersive) and depressive (integrative) positions. Grotstein has added a third, which he calls the transcendent position, which represents a higher fusion of the dual tracks referenced above. In other words, these complementarities are not to be resolved by ignoring them or attempting to impose one over the other. Rather, they can only be resolved by moving in the opposite direction, toward the anterior, nonlocal wholeness “above,” of which the complementarities are a local manifestation:

“The two time-space worlds are incompatible and must be kept apart. This is the intercourse that is so sacred that it must not be known; it must always remain inscrutable.

“The act of psychic creation involves the most arcane, most mysterious union between two modes of ‘being’ and of ‘valuing’ the data of inner and outer experience. Their intercourse creates ‘thoughts.’ It can never be penetrated. The subject, being ineffable and inscrutable, does not lend itself to objectification but can reveal itself only in ‘transformations in O,’ with which we at best can become resonant in the transcendent position” (Grotstein). In identifying the transcendent position with “transformations in O,” this is another way of describing the O-->(k) directionality described in my book, from knowledge, to wisdom (n), and to being (¶).

Grotstein goes on to say that the transcendent position is not properly regarded as a stage per se, but an ongoing capability that must be won again and again: “Transcendent means having the ability to transcend our defensiveness, our pettiness, our guilt, our shame, our narcissism, our need for certainty, our strictures, in order to achieve or become ‘one with O,’ which I interpret as becoming one with our aliveness or our very being-ness.”

In the past, I have described this as playing along the infinite shore where the waves of eternity break upon the sands time. In fact, this is what I am attempting to do in most of my posts. If they “resonate” in you, that is probably why. You’re just smelling the salt air and Coppertone.

Many of the fine paradoxables of Jesus may be regarded as murmurandoms from the transcendent position. In fact, in considering who he was, how could they be otherwise? I should do a post on that....

It's fair to say that my book was an effort to write from the transcendent position, in order to resolve our complementary ways of knowing reality, the “scientific” and the “religious.” Remember, in the absence of the transcendent position, science merely becomes bad religion, while religion can become bad science.

Yesterday a reader hinted that I may be edging close to gnosticism, writing that “I believe I understand your point about overly literal interpretation of text obscuring the path to enlightenment/salvation, but it does seem a tad dismissive.” If so, that is not my intent. It is just that I am trying to avoid looking at religion with just the left or right hemisphere, but to do so from the transcendent position. Thus, if someone asks me if this or that event in the Bible is literally true, I cannot provide a simple answer. It’s much more complicated than that. The answer is not yes (with the right brain) or no (with the left), but a very different sort of “yes” that emanates from O. More of a yeah, baby!

In order to elaborate, I have to veer into another major area, and I don’t know whether to do it today or wait until tomorrow. Perhaps we’ll just lay down some of the broad themes here.

No, what's the rush? Mañana.....

Friday, November 14, 2008

Our Precious Disembodied Fluids (11.29.11)

We still have a few things to cover in Temperance. As usual, I'm not entirely sure how they relate to the main topic of the chapter, but they are nevertheless accurate and helpful.

UF points out that there are actually three primary modes of spiritual experience: vision, inspiration, and intuition; or perception, communication, and identification. "Vision presents and shows us spiritual things, inspiration infuses us with understanding of them, and intuition reveals to us their essence by way of assimilation with our essence." Or, to use a digestive metaphor, first you must recognize what to eat; then chew and swallow it; and finally metabolize and assimilate it, so that the two substances become one.

Alternatively, we could think of these modes as taking place on the planes of feeling, knowledge, and being, each of which has degrees of depth (and can only be artificially separated; think of the three modes as a dynamic trialectic). As I have mentioned before, for the average worshipper, religion can embody "metaphysics without knowledge." In other words, the metaphysics is implicate, but nevertheless true.

This is again why the most simpleminded creationist is nevertheless closer to the truth than the most sophisticated atheist. Such a person "feels" the truth, even if he cannot necessarily express it in way acceptable to the atheist, who is incapable of feeling truth to begin with. It should go without saying that there are saintly people who are not intellectuals, and that they know something the atheist doesn't.

UF notes that spiritual vision -- just like its physical analogue -- expands the horizon of one's being. All of our senses are actually different varieties of touch; for example, with vision, we are touching photons; with hearing, we are touching air vibrations; with olfaction, we are touching molecules floating in the air.

Just as our physical vision expands our subjective horizon -- even to the stars and planets -- so too does spiritual vision give access to realities that are not immediately present.

For example, when we read, say, Genesis or the Gospel of John, each of them helps us to see realities that are vertically "present," but might otherwise go undetected -- just as a person without vision (unless told) would know nothing about stars and planets. Scripture literally helps us "touch" these realities. But so too do other spiritual modes -- really, anything that directly communicates divine truth, love, or beauty. Often, as UF describes, this contact or "touch" will be accompanied by tears, which signify the "flow" between the two domains, the eternal and the temporal:

"The contact between image and likeness is experienced as inner weeping.... [T]he expression 'I am moved to tears' is only a reflection of what happens when image and likeness touch. They then mingle in tears -- and the inner current which results is the life of the human soul." I'm guessing that atheists have never wept upon encountering a transformative truth, but that's not surprising, for the tears again signify depth of experience, and nothing as shallow as atheism could ever produce such an effect. (To say nothing of the sacred guffah ha! experience known only to authentic Raccoons.)

There are tears of sorrow, of joy, of gratitude, of admiration, of compassion, of pride in one's children, of tenderness, of reconciliation, each having to do with the intensity of one's inner life, which "pours out" in the form of tears, either outwardly or "inwardly."

When is the last time you were moved to tears? What was that movement about? For me, it occurred just yesterday, while watching the film Becket. I'm not saying I was sobbing convulsively. In fact, you wouldn't have noticed anything, because it was mostly inward (we Godwins are men of steel). But while watching the ceremony where Becket is elevated to Archbishop, the holiness and sanctity of the occasion caused something to well up inside of me. The point is not so much to walk around crying all the time, but to notice these sometimes subtle movements within the soul, for that is your life.

So there is spiritual vision, or touch, which involves depth of feeling and gives access to a new realm of facts. Then there is spiritual inspiration, or communication, which involves depth of knowledge and understanding. It takes the facts given by vision and converts them to explicate knowledge. This is none other then O-->(n), or "gnosis."

At the same time, there is no depth without unity, and vice versa. Necessarily, as one's knowledge deepens one will begin to apprehend the interior cosmic unity, or the Logos, that makes intellectual unity possible to begin with. Contrast this with the absurd "horizontal unity" of the flatlanders, which is a metaphysical impossibility.

Now, vision has more to do with (↓), while inspiration has more to do with (↑). This is because, like our sensory vision, it is mostly a passive modality. We just open our eyes, and whoomp, there it is.

But inspiration, as UF defines it, requires more effort: not just tears, but sweat. We have spoken of tears. When is the last time you sweated to deepen your vision?

I well remember the first time this happened to me. It was in the spring of 1985, when I first encountered Bion. That awakened something in me and set me off on a wild nous chase, the details of which are unimportant. Mrs. G and I were living in sin in a one bedroom apartment with virtually no furniture, so I was sitting on the floor grappling with Bion, literally perspiring in a kind of intellectual fever that was full of implications which took years to sort out. You could say that it was my intellectual "big bang." (By the way, I am not recommending Bion to anyone, because the point is to find the person who introduces you to yourself; I am not a "Bionian.")

Speaking of Bion, in order to have inspirations, one's mind must be unsaturated: "the answer is the disease that kills curiosity." I was apparently a good candidate, for I had essentially learned nothing from kindergarten all the way through my undergraduate work. I had no answers, diseased or otherwise. It's just simple physics that if you want something to pour into you, your vessel should be relatively empty and capacious. Elsewhere UF writes that while nature abhors a vacuum, Spirit requires one.

UF has a good line: "Children know how to ask and dare to ask. Are they presumptuous? No, because each question that they pose is at the same time an avowal of their ignorance." Schuon said something to the effect that there is more light in a good question than most answers. You will note that our scientistic jester is full of bovine questions that harbor no light -- or even capacity for light -- at all.

UF describes inspiration as a "thinking together," and this is indeed what it is. Again, to use the example above, I was not simply "learning" Bion. Rather, we were "thinking together" in such a way that it sounded all sorts of latent themes within me -- and which were me.

So, to summarize for today, "say to yourself that you know nothing, and at the same time say to yourself that you are able to know everything, and -- armed with this healthy humility and this healthy presumption of children -- immerse yourself in the pure and strengthening element of the 'thinking together' of inspiration!"

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Legion of Batboys: They're the Deiciders! (11.28.11)

Who is the third who walks always beside you?
When I count, there are only you and I together
But when I look ahead up the white road
There is always another one walking beside you
Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded
I do not know whether a man or a woman
-But who is that on the other side of you?
--T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land

Meditations on the Tarot has a lengthy account of the nature of guardian angels. It's pretty straightupward, and I don't want to just rewordgitate what UF says. All I can really contribute to the deuscussion is that if you don't think you have a guardian angel, just fake it for awhile. There is no one lonelier than an angel with nothing to do. You might say they're a little... codependent.

As UF writes, "The Angel depends on man in his creative activity. If the human being does not ask for it, if he turns away from him, the Angel has no motive for creative activity. He can then fall into a state of consciousness where all his creative geniality remains in potential and does not manifest. It is a state of vegetation or 'twilight existence' comparable to sleep from the human point of view. An Angel who has nothing to exist for is a tragedy in the spiritual world."

I'm just going to reflect on whatever strikes my attention. I like this: "the formation of wings" depends upon "a current from above (↓) which moves to meet that from below (↑). Wings are formed only when the two currents -- that of human endeavor and that of grace -- meet and unite."

As such, all forms of radical secularism "can create only the wings of Icarus." One is immediately reminded of Novak's On Two Wings: Humble Faith and Common Sense at the American Founding, in that the American Founders -- perhaps because they were listening to the counsel of their better angels -- got the formula exactly right for our extraordinary "national flight" of the past two centuries. (I might add that our prophetic Founders also "created" our national Archangel, but that's another storey in the hierarchy.)

Again, when I say that the left in general and Obama in particular are "anti-American," I do not mean it in an insulting or polemical way. Rather, I mean it in this precise way, in that they wish to proceed on one wing, which will obviously cause our national flight to grind to a halt and leave us taxiing on the runway (and then taxed for it to boot).

When the left belowviates about "separation of church and state," what they really mean is the violent dismemberment of one of our wings. It is equally like cutting off the thumb to spite our hand. The hand will remain, but it won't be able to grasp much, certainly nothing of the vertical. If you've ever wondered why the writing of the left is, if nothing else, so boring, tedious, and uninspirational, this is why.

True, the left can develop wings after a fashion. But we all recognize these wings for what they are, for they are "the wings of a bat, i.e., those of darkness which are organs by means of which one can plunge into the depths of darkness." Most contemporary art and literature is of this nature -- just the further erosion of eros and its replacement with the false gods of their agapelessness. These autists cannot soar upward but only can sink downward and confuse it with flight. The Waste Land comes to mind:

And bats with baby faces in the violet light / Whistled, and beat their wings / And crawled head downward down a blackened wall / And upside down in air were towers / Tolling reminiscent bells, that kept the hours / And voices singing out of empty cisterns and exhausted wells.

You can flap and flap your two vestigial left wings of hope and change, but you will simply turn in a tight little spiral. You'll never achieve vertical liftoff. Nor will you grow, for you are trying to subsist on your own byproducts. Our new dog tries to do that... coprophagia, it's called. But you know what? The left's post-election shit-eating grin won't even last until Inauguration Day.

Our "vastly enlarged perspectives of knowledge should open up fresh vistas of religious faith" (Eliot), not close off the frontier of unKnowing. Remember, human knowledge is like a little expanding circle amidst the sea of Being. Thus, the more we extend our boundaries, the greater the area that we do not know. Thank God we know so much less than our belighted medieval forebears! To put it another way, we have so much more to unKnow in the romp of a single laughtime.

Hmm, here's a coincidence. Russell Kirk writes that no Christian belief is "more neglected today... than the concept of guardian angels," which is "no less credible than many other dogmas which Eliot had learned to accept.... Imperfect though it may be, evidence for the existence of intermediary spiritual beings is no less intelligible than the proofs for various theories of natural science.... [F]or him, there was nothing repugnant or incredible in conceiving of tutelary beings of another order than human."

Hey, why not? Kirk mentions Yeats, "who believed that some great dead man watches over every passionate living man of talents." I believe this. I believe that through a kind of "passionate resonance," we may enter the interior mansion of a great person and steal a bit of their mojo.

As I have mentioned in the past, I certainly endeavored to do this in the writing of my book. Among others, I placed photographs of Teilhard de Chardin, Sri Aurobindo, James Joyce, and Alfred North Whitehead over my desk, so that I could look to them for a little cosmic inspiration (↓). Even if you only reduce it to a kind of right-brain or unconscious demonenon, it still works. You really do become what you venerate. Which again is why ideologies such as scientism and Darwinism are so spritually catastrophic. You actually start to believe that stuff and end up batshit crazy. Unreal.

Who are those hooded hordes swarming
Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth
Ringed by the flat horizon only
What is the city over the mountains
Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air
Falling towers
Jerusalem Athens Alexandria
Vienna London
Unreal
--Eliot

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

More Than a Few Words From the Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler (11.24.11)

I guess we're on to Temperance, which probably sounds like a boring aracanum, but it's not. It is the card of "integrated duality," which is actually rather thrilling, in a Coonish sort of way.

I apologize in advance for the length of this post, and for throwing in a lot of old material below. But much of it is "new to me," for reasons that will become clear. In any event, this works out well for me, because I have a long day ahead, and really should get going.

To exist is to live amidst polarity and tension, the ultimate tension heartache being the distance between image and likeness. It is this that creates the dynamic potential to transcend ourselves and "become what we are." The closing of this gap is the objective measure of your life.

As UF explains, the image represents our essential structure, while likeness represents the functional structure; the former is "timeless," while the latter can only be deployed in time. The image is indestructible and responsible for our freedom, since it is a spark of the Absolute. But the immortality of the likeness is "optional," in that "it is immortal only in proportion to the measure that it conforms to its image." For a variety of reasons, many people choose Death. But to paraphrase the outlaw Josey Wales, "dyin' ain't much of a living, boy," for it is like choosing prison for the image while imagining that the likeness roams free. But you are only free from yoursoph, stupid.

UF then goes into an extended meditation on the metaphysics of angels, which, in the overall scheme of things, are really nothing more than personifications of (↑) and (↓); in other words, they are "vertical emissaries," so to speak. Rabbi Steinsaltz's Thirteen Petalled Rose contains one of the most clear and concise explanations of angelology I've ever found, and it is very much compatible with what UF has to say. In fact, here is something I wrote almost three years ago:

"Steinsaltz notes that the soul [read: image] should not be thought of as a 'point' in space time. Rather, it is 'a continuous line of spiritual being, stretching from the general source of all the souls to beyond the specific body of a particular person.... and because the soul is not a single point in space, it should be viewed not as a single existence having one quality or character, but as many existences, on a variety of spiritual levels...'

In the past, I have used the analogy of a lampshade with many pinprick holes in it. From the outside it will look as if there are many individual lights, but in reality, they are all coming from a single "nonlocal" source.

In another way, it's analogous to these progressive bifocals I just got, which change the focal point depending upon where you point your eyes. Look up, and things that are near become out of focus, but look down, and the distant becomes blurry.

Steinsaltz discusses the distinction between the vertical and horizontal, which for me is the essence of any spiritual metaphysics. Again, in speaking of the vertical, of higher and lower, he is not speaking of an actual physical location. Vertically speaking, "to call a world higher signifies that it is more primary, more basic in terms of being close to a primal source of influence; while a lower world would be a secondary world -- in a sense, a copy."

Thus, viewed horizontally, we may trace the material cosmos back to a primordial event some 13.7 billion years ago. But this is only a horizontal explanation. Traditional metaphysics deals with the vertical causation of the cosmos, which is what confuses some people. From the vertical standpoint, this world is indeed a copy, as are human beings, of a divine prototype. The "logos" might be thought of as the model of all things, the nexus between the divine mind above and the creation here below. Looked at in this manner, the inexplicable beauty of the world is not somehow the outcome of horizontal cause and effect, which would be a ridiculous assertion. Rather beauty is the cause of the cosmos (among other nonlocal causes, such as Love and Truth).

Because of the ubiquitous vertical and horizontal influences, every aspect of human existence is made up of both matter and spirit, of form and essence. While we are fundamentally spiritual, we are unavoidably material, which sets up a host of interesting tensions and conflicts. The fall --or exile, if you like -- is indeed a vertical one, a declension from the divine repose of celestial bliss, down to this world of toil, conflict, uncertainty and ambiguity.

Steinsaltz writes that an angel is simply a "messenger" constituting a point of contact "between our world of action and the higher worlds. The angel is the one who effects transfers of the vital plenty between worlds. An angel's missions go in two directions: it may serve as an emissary of God downward..., and it may also serve as the one who carries things upwards from below, from our world to the higher worlds."

I ran it by Petey, but he was, I don't know, noncommittal. But that's not unusual. It's more like he's disinterested, or at least pretends to be so. The roll of the eyes, the impatient, audible exhalation, the way his little wings flutter, as if he's got something better to do....

I just searched the blog, and found some more interesting material. At least it is for me. You'll have to bear with me, because often it's as if I'm reading these things for the first time. Oh wait. I am reading it for the first time. Petey himself wrote this one a couple of years ago. Of himself, he wrote that:

"I'm here, but I'm not here. How to explain.... I'm always here in the same sense that all 200 or whatever it is crappy TV stations are always streaming into your house. They're what we might call 'implicate.' But you can only tap into one at a time, thereby making the implicate explicate. The multidimensional implicate order is anterior to the explicate order, so that what you folks call 'consensus reality' is more of a mutual agreement to limit the implicate order in a certain way. It's all about managing your existential anxiety, not getting at the Truth. If you want to get at the Truth, you're going to have to tolerate the anxiety of not knowing, not make the anxiety go away with some stupid scientistic-materialistic nonsense.

"You know the old crack -- 'if the doors of perception we cleansed, then everything would appear as it is, infinite.' It is such a monstrous conceit for humans to imagine that their puny minds can encompass the very reality that produced them! Ho!

"Three -- yes, there are higher and lower worlds. I guess this isn't obvious to a leftist, but if any of you saw the 'Live Earth' concert on TV, you know all about people who inhabit a lower world. Their language, their music, their feelings, their world view -- all emanate from a lower world. Ironically, most of them aren't even from the earth plane, but a notch or two below that.

"The point I'm making is that the words high and low 'refer only to the place of any particular world on the ladder of causality. To call a world higher signifies that it is more primary, more basic in terms of being close to a primal source of influence; while a lower world would be a secondary world -- in a sense, a copy. Yet the copy is not just an imitation but rather a whole system, with a more or less independent life of its own, its own variety of experience, characteristics and properties.'

"This is why the flatlanders -- scientists, atheists, materialists -- can become so enclosed in their abcircular illusions. In a way, their worldview is complete (on its own level), and yet, it's radically incomplete (with regard to the whole).

"I remember explaining this to Gödel, who is rather anal (to put it mildly), and sketched it out with ironyclad logic. I say 'irony,' because his ideas have been highjacked by the psycho-spiritual left to suggest that we cannot make absolute statements about reality, when Gödel and I were making the opposite point about the limitations of logic to express things we know damn well to be true. One such point is that things aren't true because they're logical but logical because they're true. Duh!

"If you have stayed with me this far, then you will understand that, just as there are evil beings, there are evil worlds. These are simply the 'space' inhabited by the evil beings. Wisdom is a space, or 'mansion.' So too, creativity, love, beauty, peace. You can sense it when you enter one of those mansions. You can also sense it when you are near one of those haunted mansions where the darklings reside.

"The closest I like to get to one of these mansions is memri.org, which makes the Islamic darkness visible to us on a daily basis. Can you not feel and sense the utterly dark abyss of that black hole, where light neither enters nor escapes? If not, you may want to contact an exorcist, for something has hijacked your moral vision. There are many such vertical abysses in the world. Bottomless pits of anti-Truth and anti-Beauty.

"Enough malevolent wishes and wicked deeds, and pretty soon you have created a closed world, cut off from the divine influence. As Steinsaltz describes it, 'the sinner is punished by the closing of the circle, by being brought into contact with the domain of evil he creates.... as long as man chooses evil, he supports and nurtures whole worlds and mansions of evil, all of them drawing upon the same human sickness of the soul.... as the evil flourishes and spreads over the world because of the deeds of men, these destructive angels become increasingly independent existences, making up a whole realm that feeds on and fattens on evil.'

"Four, being that I was once an ordinary embodied and enmentalled man just like you prior to the farming accident, I feel that I am fit to pronounce on this. Human beings live in a world of 'action,' but imagine that that's where all the action is. Not true.

"Allow me to explain. Or better yet, allow Steinsaltz to explain: 'The lower part of the world of action is what is known as as the "world of physical nature" and of more or less mechanical processes -- that is to say, the world where natural law prevails; while above this world of physical nature is another part of the same world which we may call the "world of spiritual action."

"Now, what these two realms have in common is the action of Man, since 'the human creature is so situated between them that he partakes of both. As part of the physical system of the universe, man is subordinate to the physical, chemical, and biological laws of nature; while from the standpoint of his consciousness, even while this consciousness is totally occupied with matters of a lower order, man belongs to the spiritual world, the world of ideas.... Every aspect of human existence is therefore made up of both matter and spirit.'

"Five, it is my nature to be a 'messenger, to constitute a permanent contact between [your] world of action and the higher worlds. The angel is the one who effects transfers of the vital plenty between worlds.'

"Six, 'An angel's missions go in two directions: it may serve as an emissary of God downward, to other angels and to creatures below the world of formation; and it may also serve as the one who carries things upwards from below, from our world to the higher worlds.' You might call us the transpersonal postal service for prayers and the like.

"Just to make it clear, it was not I who prompted Bob to steal the Holiday Inn flag back in 1980. There are 'subversive angels' that are actually created by the thoughts and actions of men. I believe Bob calls them 'mind parasites.' They are contingent objectifications from various vital-emotional domains. Up here we sometimes call them the 'tempters.' Either that, or the 'mesmerers.' The Holiday Inn incident was a fine example of a tempter tantrum fueled by what we call 'liquid courage.'

"Seven, it would be wrong to conclude on the basis of what I have just said that the difference between you and me is that you have a body and I don't. Rather, 'the soul of man is most complex and includes a whole world of different existential elements of all kinds, while the angel is a being of a single essence and therefore in a sense one-dimensional.' This is why you and I play such different roles in the cosmic economy. You actually have the tougher job, which is to say, because of your 'many-sidedness' and your 'capacity to to contain contradictions,' this makes it possible for you to 'rise to great heights,' but also to fuck up big time, neither of which is true for me. Rather, the angel is 'eternally the same; it is static, an unchanging existence,' 'fixed within rigid limits.''

"You might say that I am already 'whole' in space, whereas it is your vocation to become whole in time. Not easy, I realize.

"Eight, another way of saying it is that I do not evolve, but you can and must. In ether worlds, there is no evolution here in the vertical, only in the horizontal. In the absence of the horizontal, it's frankly a little boring here -- or as I put it in OCUG,

Only himsoph with nowhere to bewrong, hovering over the waters without a kenosis. Vishnu were here, but just His lux, God only knows only God, and frankly, ishwara monotheotenous -- no one beside him, no nous, same old shunyada yada yada.