Antichrist Update, Vol. 2 (1.08.10)
I really was never any more than what I was -- a folk musician who gazed into the gray mist with tear-blinded eyes and made up songs that floated in a luminous haze. Now it had blown up in my face and was hanging over me. I wasn't a preacher performing miracles. It would have driven anybody mad. --Bob Dylan
Let's meditate for awhile on the political implications of the Devil card with our Unknown Friend.
First of all, one must understand that the being known as Satan is a source of inspiration; to be in-spired is to receive spirit, and it should go without saying that to merely be "spiritual" is neither here nor there, since there are good and evil spirits.
Thus, this demonic counter-inspiration is still a kind of inspiration. In fact, very much so. To avoid premature saturation, let's just call it (-i). Most of us, assuming we weren't permanently damaged by college, can recognize (i) when we see it, but many people confuse (i) and (-i), with catastrophic results.
For example, America's revolutionary founders were obviously animated by (i). The reactionary counter-revolutionaries -- i.e., the proglodyte left -- are always more or less animated by (-i). Regardless of what they say, they specifically want to arrest and undo our founding, which revolves around liberty converging upon the nonlocal attractor of the Judeo-Christian God (i.e., e pluribus unum, or freedom converging upon the One, or Sovereign Good). Obviously, the founders did not envision a radically secularized and demoralized populace converging upon an omnipotent state.
The campaign of John Edwards, for example, was an exercise in pure (-i). How then did it differ from Obama's campaign? I would say that the Edwards campaign was equally driven by (+H), whereas Obama's campaign is imbued with a meretricious (-L). True, there is always deep (H) under the (-L), but the obamaniacs are able to split off and deny the (H) by bathing in the (-L). To see this, all you have to do criticize Obama, which shows that you are not a part of the social trance, which then triggers the anger that is analogous to being rudely awakened from a deep sleep at 3:00AM.
Along these lines, reader Mike M. left an astute comment yesterday:
"This swooning Obama-worship of someone who seems to be an empty suit is bizarre and curious. Note how it follows the irrational demonization of the current POTUS now seen as a figure of such mythic evil that he, George Bush, is held to have deliberately murdered thousands of innocent Americans on 9/11 as a pretext for immoral imperialist war. This is a view which is resolutely held by graduates of our most prestigious universities! That such an event would have no historical precedent and that such a purported crime would exceed the ruthless cynical evil of the purported Nazi burning of the Reichstag cannot be without meaning....
"Given the powerful projection, scapegoating and displacement poured into the demonization of George W. Bush, could it be that this Obamessiah personna is a necessary counter to the fabricated evil Bush-Hitler figure, and the powerful divisive hysteria and paranoia which has accompanied the demonization of George Bush -- sort of virtual particle and anti-particles emerging from a spiritual vacuum?"
Yes. That is exactly what I am trying to say. Genuine (L) is convergent upon wholeness, truth, beauty, light, harmony, ananda, and freedom. It is never reactive, but active. On the other hand, the Obama-love (-L) is almost wholly reactive, as it exists side by side with the (H) from which it is derived.
This is one of the first and most useful things I learned in my psychoanalytic education. That is, some patients will develop a transference toward the therapist in which they express a lot of anger and hatred. No problem. One expects that. They are not nearly as troublesome as the ones who develop an idealized transference, or "pseudo-love," because when that happens, you had better fasten your seatbelt. You're in for a bumpy ride.
The reason for this is that idealization (understood in its psychoanalytic sense) is a defense mechanism which is simply the other side of denigration, devaluation, and contempt. (Think of our peaceive-aggressive namasté! trolls who have no idea how angry they are.)
In other words, both idealization and contempt are simply ways for the person to manage their own psychic economy. You might say that one person places the bad object outside of himself in order to distance himself from it and attack it, while another person places the good object outside of himself to protect it from his own toxic anger and hatred. Often, on an unconscious level, the patient idealizes you to prevent themselves from tearing you apart -- i.e., to protect you from their own hostility. Haven't you ever been around this kind of person, whose attraction to you was kind of spooky?
Importantly, this is not to confuse the defense mechanism of idealization with its spiritually normal variety. It's somewhat difficult to precisely define the difference, but you can definitely sense when it's the pathological kind. As a therapist, you can intuit the shadow underneath, which gives you an apprehensive feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop. You find yourself with a foreboding sense of, "boy, this guy loves me now, but am I gonna get hammered as soon as I do something to disappoint him."
I suppose it's similar to the creepy signals that an abusive man gives out to a potential victim. When a woman gets involved with an abusive man, it's usually because she ignored the creepy idealization at the beginning of the relationship. And the reason she ignored it was probably because she wasn't loved by a virtuous and spiritually integrated father, so she can't recognize proper male love. With no psychic defense, she sees none of the many red flags.
This is why I mentioned yesterday that a normal person would definitely be unnerved by the kind of hysterical adulation (-L) being directed at Obama. You cannot help wondering about the state of his soul, and whether it is a pathological mirror-image of what is being projected into him -- like an unconscious lock that corresponds perfectly to the projected key. Such a man -- as was true of Clinton -- seeks his own center in the periphery of the idealizing crowd, so to speak. It couldn't be more different from a man with an immutable axis and incorruptible center to which people are "magnetized," such as Ronald Reagan.
(cf. George Will: "In his preternatural neediness, Clinton, an overflowing cauldron of narcissism and solipsism, is still smarting from Obama's banal observation, four weeks ago, that Ronald Reagan was a more transformative president than Clinton.")
If mother love is like the open circle that is both infinite and enveloping (and potentially suffocating), father love is like the absolute point or axis. The circle must come first (i.e., the ineffable background boundary of being), followed by the point, which forms the center (and which will in turn extend "vertically" to the celestial Father, of whom our earthly father is just an authorized deputy).
A man without a father (or father energy, which can come from other sources) is generally a man without a center. He will be either a weak man, or a weak man imitating a strong man (the Sean Penn or Keith Olbermann type).
In addition to seeking his center in the adulation of others, it is also possible for the weak man to fabricate it in a kind of centerless, manic energy -- again, Clinton comes to mind. He is bubbling over with scattered hysterical thought devoid of any coherence or consistency. He is most focussed when he is focused on the adulation of the crowd, which provides him with a faux center and a temporary integration (and also keeps shame and guilt at bay). But it's an addiction, which is why he can't leave politics alone, but also why he has no enduring political principles.
There is a fascinating chapter in Dylan's autobiography, in which he discusses at length the horror of being idealized in the manner he was back in the 1960s. Again, our society has become so narcissistic, that not only is such a bizarre situation seen as normative, but it is something that people actively seek (i.e., the cult of celebrity). People want to be famous and adulated, but obviously for all the wrong reasons. There are few good reasons to be famous. Which is why, as Dennis Prager says, most famous people are utterly insignificant, while most significant people aren't famous.
I am also reminded of something Schuon said, that the spiritually normal man does things because they please God, not for the horizontal affirmation of others. He made a related comment about the purpose of secular humanism, which is "to make oneself as useful as possible to a humanity as useless as possible." Look at Obama, whose whole economic platform involves making himself useful to the takers against the makers. And once there are more takers than makers, i.e., people dependent upon the state, there is no coming back.
One reason why conservatism is always a tough sell, is that these are the kinds of truths that cannot be uttered to the masses. They will think you are saying these things because you have contempt for them (H), when it is really because you deeply wish to help liberate them (L). You will notice, for example, that Rush is routinely described by the left as "hateful," which is only 180˚ from the truth.
I can't help wondering if Obama's absence of a father is a critical element here. It is interesting, is it not, that he identifies with his "blackness," even though his father was an utterly useless abandoning-irresponsible-alcoholic-bigamist-Marxist? If a boy is not initiated by the love of a virtuous man, then he will remain left behind in the murky, oceanic, intoxicating, boundary-less realm of mother love, which is as different from father-love as night is to day or sun is to moon.
Please bear in mind that I am in no way denigrating mother love. Indeed, in watching Mrs. G. interact with Future Leader over the past three years, I am more in awe of it than ever. However, I am equally aware (as is Mrs. G) that if this love weren't tempered by father love, we could have a real monster on our hands.
Awhile back Hoarhey made an insightful comment to the effect that the country wasn't prepared to cope with another fatherless president working out his issues on the national stage. In fact, it is probably no coincidence that in Clinton, the country chose a feminized, mother-bound man as president after the conclusion of the Cold War, since father had done his job and was therefore felt to be no longer necessary. But now, in a time of hot war, are we naive enough -- or in such denial -- to think that we can cow our enemies with sufficient mother love?
Yes. We. Were.