Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Laughing Matter of the Cosmos: Badda-Bing, Badda-BANG! (3.04.10)

Of all the vicious circles one could imagine, that in which the materialist encloses himself is the most primitive, restrictive, and binding. --Charles DeKoninck, The Cosmos

How does a cosmos that is supposedly purely exterior, become interior to itself? Or again, how does mere existence become experience? How does a primordial nuclear conflagration become conscious of is own truth? It seems that to even ask such questions takes us to the threshold of the unglishable, beyond which lies... what?

But pretending that the question permits of no answer is hardly the same having answered it. This is an example of how an intrinsic deficit of the scientistic approach is converted to a metaphysical dogma -- a minus is covertly turned into a positive, as it were.

DeKoninck illustrates the problem with the example of a simple electron. One could hypothetically follow its trail "from the water of a spring through the grass eaten by a cow and the cow in turn eaten by this gentleman," but it's the same electron. The electron will have remained identical as it passes from water to cow to gentleman -- even perhaps participating in his thoughts of how yummy the cow tasted. So how does an electron that is part of the pure exteriority of water become part of the pure interiority of a man's psychic life? How does the yummy become the yumminess?

In tracing this electron, there is no conceivable experiment -- nor could there ever be one -- that could disclose the ontological significance of the electron's activities, which simply "are what they are." Only up here, on the macro level of human experience, can we appreciate the infinite gulf between the electrons of a rock and those of a human subject.

But the same can obviously be said of our genetic endowment. Biologists tell us that the DNA of chimps and humans is 99% identical, or whatever it is. Does this mean that a chimp has 99% of the ontological value of a human being? Only a moral idiot would suggest such a thing. For whatever else DNA is, it cannot account for the infinite gap between humans and animals. When it comes to electrons or genes, context is everything.

Coincidentally, I see that James has touched on this same issue this morning. The absurcular philosopher asks "how can the intellect be immaterial when no one can imagine how the immaterial can interact with the material?" But "It’s odd that people view this as an objection. I look at the same facts and view it as a proof. Of course you can’t imagine the interaction. That’s the whole point! Did you think we were kidding when we said 'immaterial'? If I could imagine the interaction, then I’d be wrong! Don’t you see that I’m insisting that you can’t imagine any interaction?"

Again, the scientistic bonehead essentially says, "Duh, I don't see anything immaterial. So it must not exist." Which is about as sophisticated as a child putting a blanket over his head and asking "who turned off the lights?!"

The point is, any attempt at an even minimally adequate ontology or epistemology breaks down if we fail to admit the reality of the immaterial. But once you admit the immaterial, then you are on a path that inevitably leads straight to God. Therefore, the contemporary materialist would prefer to promulgate a hopelessly incoherent worldview to ceding an inch of ground to any form of theism. I am quite sure this explains the spluttering hysteria and anti-intellectualism of a Queeg and his rabble of howling clones.

Raccoon metaphysics looks at the same mysteries as science, but regards them as doors or windows instead of walls. We begin with the idea that the interior of the cosmos is not something that is magically and unaccountably added later on in a wholly inexplicable manner. Rather, we say that there cannot not be an interior, for the simple reason that any outside by definition has an inside. This is more or less straight Taoism. However, it is also present in any all-purpose revelation.

For example, when Jesus says that his Kingdom is "within," this is what he means. In the Gospel of Thomas, he says the kingdom of heaven is spread out across the earth, only people do not see it.. Even if you question the authenticity of that book, I'm sure this is a sentiment Jesus would endorse. (One might even say that the kingdom is withinness as such, with certain qualifications.)

So, in Raccoon metaphysics we begin with interiority as an irreducible cosmic category. Indeed, if you try to reduce interiority to anything else, you are what we call a "moron." Nor will we bother debating you, for you are in essence affirming the thoroughly self-refuting position that neither truth nor the uncreated intellect that knows it actually exist. Go away and think some more. Preferably on your knees.

The notion of cosmic interiority is a key that opens many locks, and is the unifying cooncept that helps us to fruitfully approach most of the other mysteries in which we seem to be plunged. These would include wholeness, intelligibility, beauty, morality, love, individuality, creativity -- pretty much everything that defines the human world. In contrast, the bonehead materialist must reduce all of these cosmic realities to something more "fundamental," again destroying that which he presumes to explain. This is nothing less than intellectual and spiritual genocide.

I came across an all too typical example yesterday, which was breathtaking in its breezy confidence and abject stupidity -- you know, in the way that members of the MSM always combine those qualities. Let's see if I can track down the link... Here it is: Why Dreams Mean Less Than We Think. In short, move along, nothing to see here. A couple of scientific experts have "proved" that dreams are just a "complex but observable interaction of proteins and neurons and other mostly uncontrolled cellular activity." In a statement of unsurpassable naiveté, the author assures us that "After all, brain activity isn't mystical but — for the most part — highly predictable."

What's with the qualifier he slips in there, "for the most part"? What, is brain activity 51% uncontrolled cellular activity and 49% mystical? What a clown. If my dreams are nothing more than "uncontrolled cellular activity," why have they gradually transformed in tone and content as I have grown spiritually? Even on the face of it, the scientistic position is absurd. When you are granted one of those epic transformational dreams that are so pregnant with meaning, you know that you could no more have produced it than you could have made Citizen Kane in your sleep.

Here again, this is a classic case of scientistic bait-and-switch, of "(implicit) materialism in, (explicit) materialism out" -- of a metaphysical assumption dressed up as a scientific conclusion. In one therapy session, I could prove to these scientists that they are not even wrong about dreams. Or maybe not, depending upon their level of defensiveness and denial.

O, endarkened trolls, remember the sacred guffah-ha!, for we are not laughing with you, but at you and the inrisible yolk you can never crack!

But it is with the philosophical sense as it is with the sense of humor. All the arguments in the world aiming at showing the humor of a farce cannot make a person without a sense of humor laugh. A farce has lost its savor when one has demonstrated its risible qualities. The man without humor will follow our dialectic, but he will not laugh.... [And] we will laugh all the more at the spectacle infinitely more comic of the man without a sense of humor's grotesque disdain for that which he cannot apreciate. --DeKoninck

32 Comments:

Blogger NoMo said...

"In the Gospel of Thomas, he says the kingdom of heaven is spread out across the earth, only people do not see it.. Even if you question the authenticity of that book, I'm sure this is a sentiment Jesus would endorse."

The materialists and legalists have always been with us - hard at work denying Reality.

2/26/2009 08:39:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Brilliant post Bob.

Yet, even though one may come to accept immaterial reality, how many of us there are who still miss Eternal Life in the invisible Kingdom.

"This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." (John 17:3)

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

2/26/2009 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, "immaterial" hardly means without proper form. To the contrary, it is form.

2/26/2009 09:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Bion said...

Ya know I asked our favorite elephant in the zoo and he said, “I’d like to know where the heck he got the crazy notion that dreams were worth looking into, anyway.”
Ya hadda be there…

2/26/2009 09:22:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Way OT, but its now official. Trillion is the new billion! Finally, Big Brother can seriously get down to business with this budget!

2/26/2009 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Ok. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

Ok. A Priest and a Rabbi are walking down the street.
Priest: I think Jesus probably has a very good sense of humor.
Rabbi: I never heard him say anything really funny.
Priest: But it's common sense. He's got super strength, super speed.. I'm sure he's got super humor.
Rabbi: You would think that, but either you're born with a sense of humor, or you're not. It's not going to change even if you go from the red sun of Krypton all the way to the yellow sun of the Earth.
Priest: Why? Why would that one area of his mind not be affected by the yellow sun of Earth?
Rabbi: I don't know but he ain't funny.

(No offense Priests, Rabbis, Cantstandjyas..)

2/26/2009 11:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Mr. Hemingwaytoyoubub said...

"I wouldn't kid Our Lord if he was on the cross. But I would attempt a joke with him if I ran into him chasing the money changers out of the temple."

2/26/2009 11:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Jean Stapleton (cough) said...

Moneychangers!

2/26/2009 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Rather, we say that there cannot not be an interior, for the simple reason that any outside by definition has an inside. This is more or less straight Taoism. However, it is also present in any all-purpose revelation.

Like duct tape.

For example, when Jesus says that his Kingdom is "within," this is what he means.

As I recall, even in the accepted Gospels, "within" could be read as "among" -- which would carry the same connotation as "you're looking at it, but you can't see it."

wv: rerlaw -- Homophobe!

2/26/2009 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Fair warning; I've been trying to drink from the firehose the last couple of days and all this pressure has to go somewhere; babbling may ensue...

So speaking of dreams, Tuesday morning just before I woke up, I was in my kitchen when I noticed a young tree branch growing out of the wall. The morning sunlight was streaming in through the window, shining through the leaves, and I could see it growing. In vivid color, too. Alas, my first thought was along the lines of "oh, that's lovely, but it'll destroy the wall. I'll have to cut it out..." Fortunately, when I woke up I came to my senses and realized that the branch must be nurtured, and the wall will just have to work around it.

2/26/2009 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

After a comment you made a couple of days ago, I was about to admonish you to pay close attention to your dreams....

2/26/2009 12:50:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Julie,
Babbling? Sounds like perfect nonsense to me.

wv: ofire

2/26/2009 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

I also got a good chuckle yesterday with Time's groundbreaking dream article. The money quote near the end: "All the competing theories on why we dream may be wrong."

Great. I wasted three whole minutes to find that what I just read was filler.

Let's see. Jacob's Ladder. Daniel n' Neb. Joseph warned to flee to Egypt. Revelation. Julie's branch. All mean less than we think.

As Seth and Amy would say, "Really??!"

2/26/2009 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

"All the competing theories on why we dream may be wrong."

I believe that is called a "vacuous qualifier." It sounds like it's saying something, but it's really saying nothing.

2/26/2009 01:14:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Actually, the Lord was probably a funny guy. If many of the saints are any indication, they had a 'serious in writing and teaching' and 'personally warm and jolly' thing going.

2/26/2009 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

Raccoon metaphysics looks at the same mysteries as science, but regards them as doors or windows instead of walls. We begin with the idea that the interior of the cosmos is not something that is magically and unaccountably added later on in a wholly inexplicable manner. Rather, we say that there cannot not be an interior, for the simple reason that any outside by definition has an inside.

Julie's dream is a perfect illustration of recognizing and nurturing the interpenetration of interior and exterior, done the right way. Me - I gravitate toward the sledgehammer approach. ;-)

2/26/2009 01:16:00 PM  
Blogger Brazentide said...

OT to be sure, but NoMo's Trillion-billion post got me thinking. (I suppose in a dream-like way.)

A proper government should be set up to serve its people in the same way a patient gardener waters his garden, makes sure it is weeded and walls it to keep out the wild vermin. A properly tended garden will have a variety of wonderful things: trees, beautiful flowers, water lilies, vines, etc. or in other words, real diversity.

Our current gardeners cut down the trees for taking up too much sunlight, treat the weeds as flowers that haven't had a chance to grow, stomp the flowers for making the weeds look bad, and break down the walls to let the oppressed vermin in.

Like all inversions, it is demonic in nature.

2/26/2009 01:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the subtle world of ethereality first glimpsed is hard to hold distractedly schizmed from gross view, but, that it may be glimpsed gives way to beholding it, as it is it which all is held. I liken it to a Mother fore-giving all in a constinuous birth, and I have come to understand that She will leap all law for Hers. Leaping from mountaintop to mountaintop as beloved to lover. were it so simple to all in their broken hearts, to know they are held in love everlasting. it is hard to understand something written by one etherealized as they have written it 'down' to those without such sight, that they scratch their heads in thinking to interpret what is un-interpretable. How does one explain a Mother's love for Hers? one may abide in it and let it abide in them. is all, and it may be seen "spread out across the earth", without a doubt thought born in question. This Thomas shares, for he too had doubted and had not seen. easily dismissed in the thinking, yet, hard to see the authentic you in it while abiding in interpretive thinking.

2/26/2009 02:57:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

So, in Raccoon metaphysics we begin with interiority as an irreducible cosmic category. "Indeed, if you try to reduce interiority to anything else, you are what we call a "moron." Nor will we bother debating you, for you are in essence affirming the thoroughly self-refuting position that neither truth nor the uncreated intellect that knows it actually exist. Go away and think some more. Preferably on your knees."

Aye! We hold these truth's to be Self evident, whereas the scientistick morons hold their lies to be self(ishly) evident.

Great post, Bob! :^)

2/26/2009 06:45:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

In a statement of unsurpassable naiveté, the author assures us that "After all, brain activity isn't mystical but — for the most part — highly predictable."

Well, that's partly true. Scientistic reductionistas like Queeg are highly predictable.

2/26/2009 07:00:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

IRT the Time article, I saw a similar but even more disgusting study awhile back at Ace of Spades claiming courage is the result of chemical reactions, and that the most courageous people simply have more of the "right" chemicals.

Scientistic bozo's will do anything to explain away their cowardice.

2/26/2009 07:04:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Julie-
What a beautiful dream! :^)

2/26/2009 07:06:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Mr. Mushroom,
I'm workin' on a book that I call, The Metaphysics Of Duct Tape.

Or maybe Duct Tape For the Soul will be more catchy.

Quantum Duct Tape?

The Secret...With Duct Tape.

The Purpose Driven Duct Tape.

The Duct Tape Diet (now that just might sell!).

2/26/2009 07:10:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Speaking of dreams, I had one recently that I don't recall at all. However, my wife, who was tryin' to wake me up, told me I kept sayin' "I'm at Ting Palace."

I looked up the meaning of Ting, which is Chinese for "Silent."
Perhaps that's a not so subtle hint for me. :^)

2/26/2009 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger PSGInfinity said...

Ben,

Tao te (Duct)Tape?
The Art of Duct Tape?
On Duct Tape?
The Power of Positive Duct Tape?
The Duct Tape Majority?
Yabba Dabba Duct Tape!

(I think I'll go away now)
wv: sespae (Spayed Sesame Street?!)

2/26/2009 08:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Cassandra said...

Two nights ago I had a vivid dream. I was in a long dress. My teenage son was in a brown uniform going to war, and we were all at the train station to see him off. He gave me a lily, or rather, a sort of big white daffodil, and I clutched it in my hands.
When he got on the train, there were those big puffs of steam around old trains that you see in movies. We waved goodbye and the train pulled out.
I touched the flower and it dissolved in my hand and turned into a kleenex.

I think the chief meaning of the dream may be that you should not read books about World War I when you have a bad head cold.

2/26/2009 08:17:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Ben, I think you're onto something. I am pretty sure the duct tape diet will work, as long as the duct tape holds. You'll be on Oprah.


Her show I mean.

2/26/2009 08:27:00 PM  
Anonymous your ad campaign said...

got Duct Tape?

2/26/2009 09:43:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

And exclusively for Raccoons:

One Cosmos Under Duct Tape

Meditations On The Duct Tape

Holy Duct Tape Rollers

The Cross and the Duct Tape

198Duct Tape

The Screwducttape Letters

Mere Duct Tape

My Utmost For His Duct Tape

The Lion, The Witch and the Duct Tape

The Lord of the Duct Tape:
The Fellowship of the Duct Tape
The Two Duct Tapes
Return of the Duct Tape

Survey of Metaphysics and EsoDuct Tape
By Frithjof (the tool man) Schuon

From the Divine to the Duct Tape

The Art of Duct Tape

Mushroom-
As Jim Varney would say: Ewwwwwwww!

PSGInfinity-
Good 'uns! :^)

WV: I kid you not- gumis

2/26/2009 10:07:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

For the trolls-

The Audacity of Duct Tape

Duct Tape of my Fathers

The Duct Tape Monologues

Origin Of the Duct Tapes

Little Green Duct TapeWorms

The Daily Duct Tape

The Huffington Duct Tape

Duct Tape Underground

God I hate God and Duct Tape
By Richard Dawkins

If You Aren't Me You Are a Fascist or a Shill For The Discovery Institute and Duct Tape

An Inconvenient Duct Tape

Farenheit 9Duct Tape

Progressive Duct Tape

The Color of Duct Tape

Duct Tape is a Right

Universal Duct Tape Care

Diversity of Duct Tape

The Chickens Have Come Home to Duct Tape

Speaking Truth To Duct Tape

Planned Duct Tapehood

Hell No We Won't Duct Tape!

Sticking It To the Duct Tape

911 Was An Inside Duct Tape

Che Duct Tape

Hope and Duct Tape

Yes We Can Duct Tape

2/26/2009 10:35:00 PM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

How can dreams mean less than you think when what you think means nothing? After all, your thoughts are just atoms moving apart and combining in new forms. And even your precious science is just an attempt to maintain status in your pack and impress the opposite sex so your DNA can avoid disintegration for another generation. In the end, it all comes down to the stability of electron bonds between atoms.

2/26/2009 11:47:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Sorry Ben and all, but I think Red Green and friends beat you to the punch!

wv: garkmo ! Exactly.

2/27/2009 06:33:00 AM  

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