Saturday, January 17, 2009

Pneumababble, the Crock in the Cosmic Egg, and the Word Made Fresh

I've descended into the living hull of the knowa's arkive and emerged with my olden pneumagain pick O the week, your molden oldie from a bygone daze.

*****

Again we return to the Word, or the mystery of language. How to deploy language to achieve God as opposed to eclipsing God? How to use language rather than being used by it? For one can laterally talk of God all naught and deity without actually doing so, whether one is religious or very much so. This is why so much religious talk is precisely meaningless, because it attempts float on the ocean of Spirit with dinghy lingos that are allwetty fool of themselves. Pure pneumababble!

Almost as mythterious as language's ability to smuggle truth across the frontier of our skin boundaries is its capacity to institutionalize nonsense. One would think that "experts" in language would be immune to this problem, but expertise in any area often comes down to an agreed upon system of high-flown prejudices. It's more of an ideological hackupational gatekeeping system for the tenured than a kennel of truth. This can especially be embarked upon with houndsight. Naturally, materialistic (k)nines and lingy dingos enjoy ridiculing certain religious beliefs, but the catalogue of doggerel promulgated by these scientific yap dogs is no less flaw-bitten. Woof!

After all, science changes. It is one human activity in which you know ahead of time that you are wrong. Science deals in hypotheses and tentative conclusions, all built upon a convenient set of assumptions that are methodologically necessary but easily proven to be metaphysically incoherent. By definition these conclusions are bound to change. This is its virtue. In order to even think about reality, science must deal in models of reality, and it is always tempting to reify the abstract model and confuse it with the underlying reality. Real reality will always elude the grasp of science. But this hardly means that it eludes the grasp of Man, who always knows more than he can say, at least when he isn't saying more than he knows.

By contrast with science, religion deals with the timeless and eternally true. The problem is, how does one employ language in such a way that it does not relativize the absolute and reduce it to a "figure of speech?"

As Schuon wrote, "God likes to shatter and to renew forms or the husks of things; for He wants our hearts and is not content with our actions alone." You might say that God perpetually shatters speech, despite our best efforts to put it back together. Or as Joyce -- someone who knew an itsy bitsy about the allforabit -- put it, "And even if Humpty shell fall frumpty times as awkword again, there'll be iggs for the brekkers come to mournhim, sunny side up with care."

In an essay entitled The Gift of Language, the esteemed Theodore Dalrymple easily dismantles one of the orthodoxies of linguistics, the idea that language can be reduced to genetics. Here is a fine example of how an intellectually gifted outsider with common sense can see straight through the absurdity of this or that reigning dogma or catechism. The absurdity can be seen directly by the intellect, because the intellect is made of truth and for this reason can detect pure nonsense when it sees it.

Dalrymple's experience of performing psychiatric evaluations of certain less articulate souls exactly parallels mine. He writes that,

"With a very limited vocabulary, it is impossible to make, or at least to express, important distinctions and to examine any question with conceptual care. My patients often had no words to describe what they were feeling, except in the crudest possible way, with expostulations, exclamations, and physical displays of emotion. Often, by guesswork and my experience of other patients, I could put things into words for them, words that they grasped at eagerly. Everything was on the tip of their tongue, rarely or never reaching the stage of expression out loud. They struggled even to describe in a consecutive and logical fashion what had happened to them, at least without a great deal of prompting. Complex narrative and most abstractions were closed to them."

I am well familiar with the type of person he is describing. Now, both of us -- the patient and myself -- inhabit the identical reality, do we not? No, we don't. This is another area where multiculturalism crashes against the rocks of reality. As I have said before, mental illness is a private culture, whereas culture is more or less a public mental illness (I oppose culture, which is particular, to civilization, which is universal but can take various forms). Human beings are not the same, because although biology takes each of us to the shore of humanness, it is only language -- or, let us say, the Word -- that allows us to stand firmly on dry ground, continue the journey upward and inward, and literally "colonize" more of consciousness.

Consider the patient described above. Like all human beings, he is "conscious" and he possesses "speech." But how much consciousness has he actually conquered with speech? I would suggest that, just like a primitive people, he inhabits a tiny island that he confuses with the whole of reality -- at least until he encounters the wider world. Then he will either remain stupid -- with the assistance of liberals who tell him that his little world is as good as any other -- or he will try to get off the island.

Or sometimes the plantation. This is the vast difference between, say, a Thomas Sowell and a Jesse Jackson. Jackson is a bitter slave living on a tiny plantation, whereas Sowell has long since emancipated himself and hightailed it for the north (the vertical, as it were). Yes, both are "men," but this designation often conceals as much as it reveals. As Aristotle said, "the soul is all that it knows," which is another way of saying that a man is all the consciousness he has colonized.

When it comes to human beings, there are island men, citified men, worldly men, cosmic men, and fully bi-cosmic men, or Raccoons. Naturally, the island man has no way of knowing when he is dealing with one of the others, but the cosmic or bi-cosmic man knows in an instant the pneumagraphical boundaries of the person with whom he is dealing.

The old coonerism that "words are not merely words" contradicts all linguistic orthodogmacy (a "coonerism" is something a Raccoon is born knowing -- it is part of his non-genetic "soul inheritance"). Our spacy-age linguistic elites maintain that "every child, save the severely brain-damaged and those with very rare genetic defects, learns his or her native language with perfect facility, adequate to his needs. He does so because the faculty of language is part of human nature, inscribed in man’s physical being, as it were, and almost independent of environment" (Dalrymple).

The expert linguisitors further proclaim that language "is an inherent biological characteristic of mankind rather than a merely cultural artifact. Moreover, language itself is always rule-governed; and the rules that govern it are universally the same, when stripped of certain minor incidentals and contingencies that superficially appear important but in reality are not" (Dalrymple).

It is this kind of thinking that inevitably leads to the idea that ebonics is as good as the language of Shakespeare. Why not? Who are we to judge? It's just hardware. Like opinions and a**holes, everybody's got one. It's standard issue.

Again, consider how educated one must be to adhere to such nonsense. Only someone very stupid or very educated could possibly believe such a thing. And yet, they do believe it:

"It follows that no language or dialect is superior to any other and that modes of verbal communication cannot be ranked according to complexity, expressiveness, or any other virtue. Thus, attempts to foist alleged grammatical 'correctness' on native speakers of an 'incorrect' dialect are nothing but the unacknowledged and oppressive exercise of social control -- the means by which the elites deprive whole social classes and peoples of self-esteem and keep them in permanent subordination. If they are convinced that they can’t speak their own language properly, how can they possibly feel other than unworthy, humiliated, and disenfranchised? Hence the refusal to teach formal grammar is both in accord with a correct understanding of the nature of language and is politically generous, inasmuch as it confers equal status on all forms of speech and therefore upon all speakers" (Dalrymple).

Here is a fine example of how leftists, as always, believe they are the magnanimous "liberators" when they are actually the oppressors of mankind. They have the idiotic notion they are somehow "anti-imperialist" or "anti-colonialist," when they are specifically colonizing these poor souls with their own parasitic postmodern ideology. By forcing people to live on their little cultural and linguistic islands, they aren't "liberating" anyone. Rather, they are enslaving them. Intellectually and spiritually, a Cornell West or a Harry Belafonte is an abject slave. Likewise, the purpose of an organization such as CAIR is to enslave Muslims, just as the purpose of the NAACP is to enslave blacks, largely through the use of an oppressive and narrow language that sharply limits, defines, and contains reality.

In his essay, Dalrymple proceeds to pick apart one of the world's leading linguists, Steven Pinker. Again, he is able to do this because the intellect can know truth directly. It does not require a study or a consensus of experts to do this. I do not believe Dalrymple is a religious man -- after all, he is European. Nevertheless, he is obviously a "Raccoon without portfolio," for he sees directly into the truth of complex subjects in such a way that he is able to bypass the "experts."

Science vs. religion. I ask you: what is more nutty, the statement, "In the Beginning was the Word," or “Language is qualitatively the same in every individual," or "men are as naturally equal in their ability to express themselves as in their ability to stand on two legs," or “once you begin to look at language as a biological adaptation to communicate information, it is no longer as tempting to see language as an insidious shaper of thought.” What is the kookier notion, the idea that man is made of truth because the primordial word is naturally capable of becoming flesh, or the statement that “When it comes to linguistic form, Plato walks with the Macedonian swineherd, Confucius with the head-hunting savage of Assam”?

Experts say that the idea of one form of language being superior to another is "a pernicious illusion.... Trifling differences between the dialect of the mainstream and the dialect of other groups... are dignified as badges of ‘proper grammar.’” To believe otherwise makes you a contemptible linguistic imperialist, no doubt a racist to boot. In fact, standard English is simply "one of those languages that 'is a dialect with an army and a navy.'” In other words -- in keeping with the abiding leftist faith that all relations may ultimately be reduced to blind power -- the grammatically correct schoolmarms to whom Pinker objects "are in fact but the linguistic arm of a colonial power -- the middle class -- oppressing what would otherwise be a much freer and happier populace" (Dalrymple).

Oh, expert texpert stinking Pinkers, don't you think the joker winks at you? Ho ho ho, he, he he, ha, ha, ha? See how we grin like Coons in a den, see how we smile!

23 Comments:

Blogger QP said...

Update on my yoga teacher.

Donna, who fell and broke her neck while pushing her invalid daughter up a ramp last Sunday, is, after surgery, on her journey to full recovery. Thanksgiving for all who ministered to and prayed for her.

1/17/2009 08:17:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

That is marvelous news, QP. We'll keep praying anyway, but hope she has a full recovery.

**

Experts say that the idea of one form of language being superior to another is "a pernicious illusion.... Trifling differences between the dialect of the mainstream and the dialect of other groups... are dignified as badges of ‘proper grammar.’” To believe otherwise makes you a contemptible linguistic imperialist, no doubt a racist to boot.

I'm reminded of art history. In Rome, there were different classes of art - the familiar realism and beauty, but at the same time there was produced an art for the masses, characterized by a cruder, rougher form of representation. Over time, the crudeness won out, which is why they went from the astounding beauty of Hellenism to the stylization of the Tetrarchs (who were meant to be Emperors of the common people). It wasn't an accident, it was more like the artistic version of Ebonics becoming the language of all; art from the bottom up instead of the top down.

From the Dalrymple:
I should like to see him try to translate a sentence from his book that I have taken at random, “The point that the argument misses is that although natural selection involves incremental steps that enhance functioning, the enhancements do not have to be an existing module,” into the language of the Glasgow or Detroit slums.

He wields a fine hatpin.

1/17/2009 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Another bit from the Dalrymple:

...there is no torture greater than that of a man who is unable to express what is in his soul.

There's that subatomic sound again.

Thanks, Bob - I can't think of many better ways to while away a lazy Saturday morning.

1/17/2009 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Apparently, we are not so guilty of projection as we are guilty of being projected.

Meanwhile, in contemplating beauty and realism, it is sad to note the passing of Andrew Wyeth

1/17/2009 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Great news, QP!

If I may impose upon the good favor of my friendly cohorts here, I solicit your prayers for my placement into a job, any job, and that right soon. Thanks.

1/17/2009 12:38:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Joan, re. the article, I don't know why but I find that incredibly amusing.

As to Wyeth, I must admit that my first thought was, "he was still alive?"

It is sad to hear he has passed, though. It looks like he kept on painting right up to this past year. I have one of his prints hanging in my bedroom.

1/17/2009 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Lately, I've been pondering. If the Word literally became flesh, is the Word still literally flesh?Without the blood of course.

In other words, is Jesus still fully man and fully God?

wv: iraemo...obviously someone else is hogging all the good wv's.

1/17/2009 01:59:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Apropos today's post, Educatin Rita is on.

1/17/2009 02:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nomo, great thought and question. The answer is a resounding "yes!" with a new, glorified body which awaits us all who will rise with Him. Augustine wrote of this in City of God, I believe.

1/17/2009 02:40:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Naturally, materialistic (k)nines and lingy dingos enjoy ridiculing certain religious beliefs, but the catalogue of doggerel promulgated by these scientific yap dogs is no less flaw-bitten. Woof!

Nothin' much worse than a flaw bitten mongrel.

1/17/2009 05:01:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

You might say that God perpetually shatters speech, despite our best efforts to put it back together.

Just look what He did to the tower of babble.

1/17/2009 05:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

Human beings are not the same, because although biology takes each of us to the shore of humanness, it is only language -- or, let us say, the Word -- that allows us to stand firmly on dry ground, continue the journey upward and inward, and literally "colonize" more of consciousness.

Speakin' of which, it's about time for me to suffer bein' colonized again. Did you know there are doctors who do this for a living?

1/17/2009 05:16:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Consider the patient described above. Like all human beings, he is "conscious" and he possesses "speech." But how much consciousness has he actually conquered with speech? I would suggest that, just like a primitive people, he inhabits a tiny island that he confuses with the whole of reality -- at least until he encounters the wider world. Then he will either remain stupid -- with the assistance of liberals who tell him that his little world is as good as any other -- or he will try to get off the island.

Ho! The only "man" that can keep you down is the man on the I-land.

1/17/2009 05:36:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I'll keep prayin' for ya Joan. And Van too. Just don't take no jobs from a guy named guido unless he pays you up front and in cash.

1/17/2009 05:39:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Victor Davis Hanson had this to say, making it #1 on his list of
'Ten Random, Politically-Incorrect Thoughts'

"Four years of high-school Latin would dramatically arrest the decline in American education. In particular, such instruction would do more for minority youths than all the ‘role model’ diversity sermons on Harriet Tubman, Malcolm X, Montezuma, and Caesar Chavez put together. Nothing so enriches the vocabulary, so instructs about English grammar and syntax, so creates a discipline of the mind, an elegance of expression, and serves as a gateway to the thinking and values of Western civilization as mastery of a page of Virgil or Livy (except perhaps Sophocles’s Antigone in Greek or Thucydides’ dialogue at Melos). After some 20 years of teaching mostly minority youth Greek, Latin, and ancient history and literature in translation (1984-2004), I came to the unfortunate conclusion that ethnic studies, women studies — indeed, anything “studies” — were perhaps the fruits of some evil plot dreamed up by illiberal white separatists to ensure that poor minority students in the public schools and universities were offered only a third-rate education."
(November 25, 2008) PJM

1/17/2009 09:14:00 PM  
Anonymous pointer finger said...

Oooo, look at this!

1/17/2009 09:58:00 PM  
Blogger jwm said...

In the beginning was the word.
Without the word there are only hairless primates. Use of the word, not the tool makes us human.

wv: imarp (and this is my friend, orp)

JWM

1/17/2009 10:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob:

How in the world, with anything and everything you could write, cold you come up with this stinker?

Souls wear various bodies, depending on their purpose here on Earth; you know this.

Confucious and the savage from Assam both transit the world stage, fulfilling their missions.

So why stand back like a pompous Roman Prelate and try to rate their performances as either better or worse, including the mode and content of their speech?

Do you actually know what's happening here? Can you tell us what precisiely is the will of the Master as it relates to every individual soul, each national formation, every cultural mood or mode?

Check yourself, man. You overreach badly.

If not, then quit your kvetching.

1/17/2009 11:12:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

Holy cow, I've got a blog. I wouldn't have realized it except I wanted to set up a google account so I could use a cool avatar. I had no idea. Somehow back in 06 I set up a google account for the sake of posting here, and in doing so I must have set up a blog without knowing it. (?!) And worse, it's got a horribly cornball name. And I can't make it go away. Very strange. And still no avatar.


Oh, and go away, nags.

wv:turea

JWM

1/17/2009 11:32:00 PM  
Blogger phil g said...

I'd guess the rise of the various fill in the blank "studies" courses has two causes:
1. Conscious objective to inject toxic and destructive leftist ideology
2. A byproduct of the great democratization of education that started in the 50's and grew in the 60's where too many prospective students created demand for too many colleges needing too many professors. Many of these students, colleges, and professors were not/are not suited for higher education thus the natural decrease in quality of the students and teachers necessitating or enabling useless fields of 'study' and squeezing out classic higher forms of liberal arts from the Western curriculum.

Number 2 probably created the opening for number 1 to be exploited.

1/18/2009 07:38:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

" the shore of humanness, it is only language -- or, let us say, the Word -- that allows us to stand firmly on dry ground, continue the journey upward and inward, and literally "colonize" more of consciousness."

Sooo so true.

'What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;'


... ehh...yeah... and by any other particular name, perhaps, it would be known as the same, but by a name alone, in a language that did not place it within a hierarchical classification of "... a perennial flower shrub or vine of the genus Rosa, within the family Rosaceae, that contains over 100 species. The species form a group of erect shrubs, and climbing or trailing plants, with stems that are often armed with sharp thorns. ...", it would lack that meaning to who ever uttered it.

A word alone, like the savages of the rain forest who have 30 something different names for the different shades of vegetation, but no word for 'Green', is impoverished of meaning and unable to realize it without a language which can support and convey it; it is language, a conceptual language, that is necessary for the poetic to develop, for the spirit to be able to inspire through, and enable the higher meaning of the Logos to dwell within and become developed within the speaker.

The speaker, such as Dalrymple & Gagdad mention, speaking the words which the language fathers, but without knowledge of its conceptual hierarchy, it's meaning... is right back with those savages bereft of 'Green'.

Those who purposefully teach that there is no need for grammar, no need to become familiar with the higher uses of language, are IMHO, vile... and the more conscious they are of the full meaning of what they are doing, they stray into evil.

wv:sickines
it is getting beyond spooky

1/19/2009 01:23:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Joan said "Joan of Argghh! said...
Great news, QP!..."

I'll (2nd) second that as well!

"...If I may impose upon the good favor of my friendly cohorts here, I solicit your prayers for my placement into a job, any job, and that right soon. Thanks."

And tripple that for you and me!

1/19/2009 01:28:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

From Joan's link "...The idea that we live in a hologram probably sounds absurd, but it is a natural extension of our best understanding of black holes, and something with a pretty firm theoretical footing. It has also been surprisingly helpful for physicists wrestling with theories of how the universe works at its most fundamental level..."

Drat, another sci-fi plot I've had on the back burner for decades, is outed.

And no royalties.

Phooey. Back to the classifieds.

wv:astywori
Now it's just getting cocky.

1/19/2009 01:32:00 PM  

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