Friday, March 20, 2009

Nothing-Buttery vs. Everything-Andery

It is a truism that the postmodern mind specializes in the neo-barbarism of nothing-buttery, in that it is compelled by a force it does not understand to reduce the human dimension to something other than what it is. If you want to be considered sophisticated, you must be among their rank and foul, even though it requires no wisdom, discernment or intelligence, any more than it requires great intelligence to blow up a building. For the left, it is both their creed and their knee-jerk reaction to everything except their own sacred cowpies.

For example, it is true that affirmative action is nothing but government mandated racial discrimination, but the left conceals this behind a penumbra of sanctimony, which is just sanctity with a lot of money behind it. Likewise, liberals are all for the sacred principle of "choice," except when it comes to education, retirement, self-defense, health, political speech, talk radio, union membership, property rights, energy, and transportation.

I believe this infra-human mechanism is at the very heart of the soul-pathology of the psycho-spiritual left. You might say that it is the nuclear physics of the group fantasy that holds them together, the unified field theory that explains so much else about them. I don't want to say that it is synonymous with cynicism, because that is at once self-flattering and too saturated a word, with connotations of its own. Rather, it is much closer to what Bion called "attacks on linking," which is a primitive psychological defense mechanism that does away with unwanted meanings and ultimately exiles qualities from the cosmos.

Clearly, meaning -- any meaning -- exists on a higher plane than that to which the meaning gives meaning, i.e., the "facts" or "data." Thus, to affirm any meaning at all is to have left the world of mere facts behind; indeed, a fact is only a fact by virtue of its participation in a higher narrative, so to speak. Absent the narrative, it is not a fact, just a kind of isolated particle of meaninglessness in search of a thinker to baptize it into the community of the meaningful.

This is as true of science or history as it is of religion, for surely there are scientific facts, historical facts, and religious facts, except that they are all on different planes. Or, to be precise, they become facts by virtue of their participation in a higher meaning. For one person, the human genome is proof of his own existential meaninglessness (or proof that proof does not exist), while for another it is the inevitable side effect of a logocentric cosmos.

For example, it is a fact that human skulls are shaped differently. Not too long ago this was considered a scientific fact, but now it is just a meaningless... what? What do you call a fact that has been ousted from the realm of meaning, besides "John Edwards"?

Likewise, it is a fact that when I woke up this morning my blood glucose was an excellent 87. But is this a historical fact? Of course not. Any real historian can only be guided by a preconceptual understanding of what is to be regarded as a fact, or "unit of meaning." Otherwise, the field of potential historical facts is literally infinite (in the negative sense of a "bad infinite").

How does the historian even recognize a fact unless he already has an idea of what is meaningful? Much more than they realize, historians are like frogs, for whom a moving fly is of utmost existential import, whereas a dead fly doesn't rise to the threshold of gustatory significance. Likewise, for one human being a frog is a delicious appetizer, while for another it is a backstabbing popinjay in need of a bath.

Now, the leftist prides himself on being a member in good standing of the "reality based community." What he means by this is that he rejects the reality of any reality above the narrow one he inhabits, mostly consisting of a mixed bag of sensations, vital emotions, empirical facts, and an aesthetic that exists for its own sake, and does not bear on any higher transcendental dimension.

While the leftist is often interested in "religion" -- or "spirituality," to be precise -- "religious facts" are inevitably co-opted into their ultimately meaningless narrative, which produces the whole sinister firmament of narcissistic gurus, from Deepak to Tony Robbins to Al Gore to Barack Obama. Whoever or whatever the left "worships," you can be sure that it is not something actually worthy of worship, for worship implies "higher," and that is specifically what the flatlanders of the left reject upfront.

So anyway, back to Balthasar, who is always operating from a dimension that is unknown and unknowable to the true leftist, who preemptively attacks the link between relative and Absolute, atman and maya, God and man, and any other intrinsic hierarchy you care to name. As Balthasar writes, "All of the perversions that human freedom can inflict upon being and its qualities always aim at one thing: the annihilation of the depth dimension of being." This is a critical point, for this is the first act of ontological violence that opens the floodgate of leftist violence on the physical plane.

With regard to the spiritual pathology of nothing-buttery, Balthsar notes that "The formula 'A is nothing other than...' typifies this perversion, whatever the transcendental it affects. It is much rather the case that A is always 'something other than...' Neither goodness nor beauty nor truth is exhausted by any de-definition; the multi-dimensional reality of the transcendentals can never be flattened out by any kind of reduction, and there is no way to capture the mystery either of their existence or their essence in a formula" (emphasis mine).

Now, is what HvB just said a statement of fact? No, of course not! It is the True Story which brings the cosmic facts into being; or brings them "out of being," so to speak, instead of being buried there in the airless sarcophagus of matter.

So the most coonsequental decision you will make in your life is this: up or down. Essence or existence. Truth or matter. Mind or neurology. In or out. God or man. Slack or conspiracy.

Here is how Balthasar expresses it: "When inquiring into truth, one could hardly make a more fateful assumption than to suppose that objects form a self-contained world that has no essential, and at best only an accidental, need of the world of subjects." Depending upon which side you come down on, you will enter either a human world overflowing with truth, beauty, glory, harmony, and unity; or a kind of cold and lifeless scaffolding without roof, floor, or walls, just a dark weigh station to enjoy your animal sensations while trying not to think about the death that elevates you above them.

Balthasar: "A tree without its green, its autumnal variety, the pink and white display of its spring blossoms, its fragrance, its hardness and tenacity, its size, its relation to the surrounding landscape, in short, without the thousand qualities that make it what we know it to be, is simply not a tree" (emphasis mine).

Shorn of its qualities -- qualities that only come into being in the human subject who can know and love them -- the tree has no meaning. In this way, the radical secularist robs existence of its intrinsic dignity and mystery, even while indulging in the crude romantic sentimentality of an Al Gore, who, in his inverted psyche, makes the lower the meaning of the higher.

Human beings are not just the coonsummation of the cosmos, but the very space in which the cosmos may display its divine qualities. And if this is true of objects, how much more so of subjects! For beneath the individuality and autonomy of the human subject is a vast field in which we are members of one another, to such an extent that we require the other to bring us into being and to complete ourselves. There is a Talmudic idea that every person has a "missing piece" that is located in another person. That person may not value or even know of the piece, but it is precisely what the other needs to complete himself.

It took me a long time to locate my missing pieces -- which I could only find as a result of others recognizing and valuing them. Therefore, when I get an email from someone thanking me for helping them find their missing piece, I always let them know that that is only half the story, for one of my missing pieces seems to be located in the few people who appreciate my writing. Without them, I truly wouldn't know of its existence, much less any "power" it might have.

My point is that this power is irreducibly intersubjective, and takes place in the space between you and I. Clearly, you bring as much to the exercise as I do, or else everyone would understand me, instead of just a ruggedy remnant of ringtailed misfits and outsiders in revolt against the conspiracy. I'm pretty sure this is what is meant by such phrases as "body of Christ," or Toots' teachings about members of the Scattered Brotherhood who always find a way to locate each other in this life, like cosmic oming pigeons.

I suppose you could say that we simply help each other re-member and assimilate the truth and beauty that are beyond us.

37 Comments:

Anonymous Cory said...

You keep writing them, Brother Robert, and I will keep reading them.

Good stuff. Thanks.

3/20/2009 08:17:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Before I came here, I had no idea I was missing any major pieces, beyond maybe kids or a close friend or two. Never in my wildest imaginings could I have conceived of being part of the coonmunity, much less this intersubjective connection that we share. We raccoons may never meet face-to-face, but we still meet soul-to-soul, every day. What a miracle that is, and in hindsight how small and isolated my world was, BOC (before One Cosmos ;).

3/20/2009 08:43:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Speaking of attacks on linking, Krauthammer today:

"And there is such a thing as law. The way to break a contract legally is Chapter 11. Short of that, a contract is a contract. The AIG bonuses were agreed to before the government takeover and are perfectly legal. Is the rule now that when public anger is kindled, Congress will summarily cancel contracts?"

3/20/2009 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

"...there are scientific facts, historical facts, and religious facts, except that they are all on different planes. Or, to be precise, they become facts by virtue of their participation in a higher meaning."

You went on to use the example that the human genome might mean different things, depending on the person's understanding. And this reminded me of objective art, how one person sees a rock, or some plaster, or paint on a canvas, and another sees ... well, the cosmos! Here is an example, posted by QP today.

Then you wrote:
"Human beings are not just the coonsummation of the cosmos, but the very space in which the cosmos may display its divine qualities."

Dang! If that is so then, by golly, there must be a reason for Man to be here!

And good quote above the comment box. I'm swipin' it!

3/20/2009 09:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Yes. To paraphrase Schuon, nothing so beneath the scope of man's intelligence as materialism could possibly be true. To put it another way, what it is possible for man to know is the sufficient reason for his intelligence, which is why man may know the Absolute.

3/20/2009 09:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Djadja said...

Julie said, “Before I came here, I had no idea I was missing any major pieces, beyond maybe kids or a close friend or two.”

I was the flipside of that. I was a spiritual mendicant, well aware something was missing but never knowing what. Bouncing between the walls of scriptural literalism and aspiritual scientism, I would occasionally come across something, like Bergson’s "Creative Evolution" and get a glimpse of something not either. Then I would be off again, looking about for that missing piece, searching for spiritual food that didn’t return me to another variant on scriptural literalism or offer me Chopraesque deformity.

I found this blog through providence, and return to it daily for the Slack I’ve found nowhere else.

3/20/2009 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Djadja, I suppose I should amend my earlier statement slightly. I knew I was missing something spiritually or maybe psychologically. My underlying and unvoiced assumption was that when I found what I needed, it would still be a largely solitary thing. I expected to find or open something inside myself that I probably wouldn't be sharing with anyone else, something to read and meditate on that might bring me closer to God, but not really closer to other people. I never imagined this, the existence of a family I didn't know I had, the syncoonicities and underlying connections. But here you all are, and without you I couldn't possibly have the awareness of God and of my little self that I am gaining.

I've been called a variety of things from "reserved" to "ice queen," and while I never thought of myself as icy nor queenly (remote, shy and introverted would be more accurate) I know that's maybe not far off, where most people are concerned, and that was fine with me. I used to think I was essentially whole - all I needed was DH, a couple dogs, occasional visits with family and a good friend or two, and life was fine. Now I know I was wrong, and I'm glad. My world, though still small, is infinitely bigger as a result.

3/20/2009 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

So the most coonsequental decision you will make in your life is this: up or down. Essence or existence. Truth or matter. Mind or neurology. In or out. God or man. Slack or conspiracy.

A day by day decision; heck, minute by minute. And to know the Cooniverse is just a browser-click away is an immense help.

Here's looking at you, kids.

wv: Tizerati!

3/20/2009 10:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Brayo said...

Hey Julie, you should check out a book called, "Party of One: The Loner's Manifesto". It isn't anything like OC, Balthasar, etc... but it's a neat read for the introvert (me being one, as well).

3/20/2009 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"As Balthasar writes, "All of the perversions that human freedom can inflict upon being and its qualities always aim at one thing: the annihilation of the depth dimension of being." This is a critical point, for this is the first act of ontological violence that opens the floodgate of leftist violence on the physical plane."

Yes, it is the very root of it all.

"Shorn of its qualities -- qualities that only come into being in the human subject who can know and love them -- the tree has no meaning. In this way, the radical secularist robs existence of its intrinsic dignity and mystery, even while indulging in the crude romantic sentimentality of an Al Gore, who, in his inverted psyche, makes the lower the meaning of the higher."

And once you refuse to look up, you are hopelessly lost in the flatlands.

It is an old truism, that you attack a giant through its strengths by turning those against them. From the link I gave yesterday to a Hillsdale Imprimis issue, Who Killed Excellence?, one of the best summaries I've found of how America has been assaulted through its educationista's,

"... The American classroom has been transformed into a psych lab and the function of a psych lab is not academic excellence.

If education consists of the interaction between an effective teacher and a willing learner, then you can't have it in a psych lab which has neither. In the lab you have the trainer and the trainee, the controller and the controlled, the experimenter and the subject, the therapist and the patient. What should go on in a classroom is teaching and learning. What goes on in the psych lab is stimulus and response, diagnosis and treatment.

Many people think that behaviorism is simply the study of behavior. But, according to B. F. Skinner, behaviorism is a theory of knowledge, in which knowing and thinking are regarded merely as forms of behavior. Although psychology was supposed to be the study of the life of the psyche—the mind—behaviorists, starting with Thorndike, reduced the functions of the mind to where today the mind ceases to be a factor in education. Behavioral objectives are the goals of today's teachers.

Who killed excellence? Behavioral psychology did. Why? Because it is based on a lie: that man is an animal, without mind or soul, and can be taught as an animal. And that concept is based on an even greater lie: that there is no God, no Creator.
"

Julie linked to a classroom horror earlier in the week, well this gives a very good historical sketch of how that came to be, and will continue to be. We are powerless to fight this thing, as long as we continue to think that politicians, activists, media, etc are the culprits, and actually increase the poisonous dosage with every attempt to 'improve' education - it is the form of 'education' that we have adopted, that is killing us. It is what turns Religion into Liberation and Prosperity theologies. It is the method for training people to look away from, and deny the existence, of meaning. When the way you 'learn' is reduced to a stimulus/response pattern, of picture/caption, Good becomes trite, Beauty becomes lust, Truth becomes an empty threat. 'All' the administrators, professors, colleges, teachers, even those intending to do good, they've been 'educated' to think that modern educational theory is the cure, and continue to increase the same prescriptions It is that very prescription which has made us insensible to the only thing which can save us, the Good, the Beautiful and the True... the three faces of the One.

Like the Dr's who, thinking they were helping George Washington when he fell ill, turned his bed into his guaranteed deathbed by increasing their treatments, bleeding him of five pints of blood, etc.

It is an apt metaphor - those who are regarded as our doctors, are killing us.

3/20/2009 10:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Even Jesus' miracles could not compel faith in people with no openness. Even wintessing a miracle does not force a person to interpret it as divine sign. It might be atrributed to Satan or ignored altogether (Mk 3:22)"
*
"Grace is offered but must be accepted."
*
"Spirit may draw, but people must consent. The Spirit helps us, but we are also coworkers with God(2 Cor 6:1; Phil 1:19)"
Flame of Love, C. H. Pinnock

Once upon even before I read those words it seemed natural for me to act with 'opennes'. It Sure didn't feel weird when one day - while sitting in my tree roots throne, under a century old maple tree - beseaching with tears, with all my heart and soul, for "Brothers and Sisters of light to help us, because we don't know what we're doing!".... My, calling to my missing pieces moment. One of many.

Heck, even the tree blinks in and out of existence, quantomly speaking.

WV says "retra", it must therefore mean "you go retra grrrl!"
One way to find out that we are more than a bag of bones etc. , is to have a "Thundering Combustion Experience of 96'" shocking the dickens out of me....Just sleeping away when suddenly a rip-roaring energy seized my head. "My entire being became like an exploding missle - had only time to think "God be with me!"
I was convinced it was toast time... but not for long. The next moment just as suddenly I became aware of being aware of being i a realm of 'Crystal Silence'.
"Crystal", bec. of the finest sound-vibration imaginable. I even imagined it afterwards to be the voices of the Angelic realm in-bliss singing "yessssss". Sure felt blissful.
But not for long, bec. the next instant my lightbody was snapped back so forcefully my torso rose/sat up before gently laying back down.

I'm not sure the date... In a dreamland I one was talking to white small statue of Jesus'which was placed up on a high shelf. ....Asking for blessing....Next instant kissing his feet.
*
Not in vain His suffering!

Theofilia

3/20/2009 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Julie, same here... hear hear!

3/20/2009 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger The Slackosopher said...

"To put it another way, what it is possible for man to know is the sufficient reason for his intelligence, which is why man may know the Absolute."

Petey, is this a koan? Something in me recognizes effortlessly that the above statement is true. But my cerebral intellect can't figure out why exactly...

3/20/2009 11:04:00 AM  
Blogger The Slackosopher said...

Julie-

I live in a *very* Lefty college town...this blog is like a mental/spiritual oasis for me. So even though I usually hide in the shadows (being an introvert myself) I truly appreciate the community here and it is always a breath of fresh sanity to be part of what goes on here...so I know what you mean.

p.s. I dug the Krauthammer article...

3/20/2009 11:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Yes, the purpose of our mind is revealed by that to which it is proportioned, which is nothing less than the Absolute. All other animals are merely proportioned to their environment, to survival needs, to passing the bar exam, etc.

3/20/2009 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger Ryan said...

The Greek Cosmologists were the first to propose that there was some sort of "Immortal Principles" the lies behind the mere appearances we experience. The Cosmologists proposed different Principles such as water, fire, number, mind, many, or one.

Socrates taught that the Principle was "Truth" and the way to get at "Truth" was dialectic, logical discourse that asked questions about our experience to break them down into intellectual categories. Man had always had this ability to name things in order to give meaning, boundary, and utility to our experience of life. But Plato absolutized these names into fixed references called Ideal Forms. These Forms constituted an unchanging invisible substrate to life. These categories became for philosophers what was really real. It was our sense experience of life that was an illusion.

Enter the Sophists. They are accused of challenging Plato's absolutized Truth by teaching that Truth was relative and that the Good was absolute. Plato called this pandering and I think today we would call it "subjective." This is not exactly true. . . Actually, they were more like Daoist sages, teaching people about the Good that made life significant. Rather than being enemies of Truth, teaching the relativity of Truth, they taught that because life is "just this" experience of fluid relationships in change, all naming is relative or provisional. Mere appearances were not illusions. What appeared to our senses was actually there, not an illusion.

It was just that our ability to exhaustively describe things that is limited. It wasn't that Truth was relative it was that naming was never perfect. Truth comes to us immediately in the moment before our minds begin to name and interpret the immediate reality of "just this" into linguistic categories. It isn't that these categories are bad, or untrue, just imperfect, limited, and provisional. Our mistake is to absolutize these linguistic categories into "fixed references" or into an "Immortal Principle" like the philosophers did. Their mistake was to confuse the map of the world for the world itself.

This also produces a profound separation of subject (independent knowing mind) and object (things capable of being known). This causes a dis-integration of life as a whole integrated multiplicity of undivided and interpenetrating processes that the person is also apart of. In the world the sages saw, the mind and heart give meaning to our experience of reality but reality also shapes the mind and heart so that there is no absolute frame of reference or independent, objective, disinterested point of view. We are profoundly apart of our environment and effected by it. We effect our environment if in no other way by assigning names and values to our experience in order to make this life significant. That is why it would be absurd to the sages to propose a subject, independent knowing mind un-effected by the world, and objects or things capable of being known but unaffected by the person doing the knowing. It was a profoundly un-natural way of experiencing the world. Could either thing, subject or object, really be true if it was so alien and removed from our ordinary immediate sense experience. It only makes sense if one abstracts the world of our experience into intellectual categories and then absolutized these categories as a kind of "reality more real than just this."

The Good, Arete, or Virtue is that state of being where there is harmony between universals and particulars. Or in other words, when our lives give a proper account of the world as it is there is rest and peace of mind. There is alienation in the world to the extent that we abstract our experiences into absolutized categories such as a spiritual-good / physical-bad dualism.

Who we are reflects the life of God. God isn't Anthomorphic, Man is Theomorphic. God does not change, but he does speak? And that speech has no beginning or end but is filled with a movement of creative love that is characterized by giving and receiving without before or after. God is multiplicity of Persons in a perfect mutually indwelling relationship so his creation is filled with bottomless, particular, relational, co-creational, mutually indwelt becoming, & uniqueness that is not an illusion. He has created this world for one reason, to give shape to his love for his creatures so that they might grow and mature into the full likeness of Christ and thus share the life of God forever.

Thoughts?

3/20/2009 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger CrypticLife said...

Agreed on John Edwards, Affirmative Action, and then general suggestion that people tend to minimalize facts that they don't find significant.

As for what facts mean, though, the meaning in facts is in what they tell us. You cite variation in human skull shape as a "meaningless" fact, probably thinking of phrenology or the alleged Nazi use of skull shape in identifying victims. Skull shape is used in a variety of current scientific areas, however, from evolution to medicine to anthropology.

As for other facts, why would you say they're "meaningless" rather than that they merely have undiscovered meaning?


"Likewise, liberals are all for the sacred principle of "choice," except when it comes to education, retirement, self-defense, health, political speech, talk radio, union membership, property rights, energy, and transportation."

Heh.

3/20/2009 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ryan said "They are accused of challenging Plato's absolutized Truth by teaching that Truth was relative and that the Good was absolute... Rather than being enemies of Truth, teaching the relativity of Truth, they taught that because life is "just this" experience of fluid relationships in change, all naming is relative or provisional. Mere appearances were not illusions."

Skipping the philosophical history (I'm sure I've more than bored the readers here with all that years ago), these are two different reflections of the same error, that the subject or object are either primary to, or separate from each other; which is like arguing that the inside or the outside surface of a ball is the REAL surface.

Existence exists, and as we learn more about the identity of that which exists, we develop a deeper depth in our conceptual understanding of it, which can proceed and deepen infinitely. What do we know about a Cue Ball? "ball, white & hard, once made of Ivory but now a industrial plastic, both transmit force and are resilient, and ..." so on to the molecular, the atomic, the subatomic levels... unlike Hume, a proper understanding of a Cue Ball does not leave open the possibility that "... a Billiard-ball moving in a straight line towards another; even suppose motion in the second ball should by accident be suggested to me, as the result of their contact or impulse; may I not conceive, that a hundred different events might as well follow from that cause? May not both these balls remain at absolute rest? May not the first ball return in a straight line, or leap off from the second in any line or direction? All these suppositions are consistent and conceivable. Why then should we give the preference to one, which is no more consistent or conceivable than the rest? All our reasonings a priori will never be able to show us any foundation for this preference." - no they may not, such an 'understanding' can only be conceived of by a mind in opposition to reality.

Modern day sophists such as Hume, were absorbed with the appearances, intent on being in 'the reality based community', and convinced that concepts and principles, since they couldn't be seen or touched, reflected nothing but rationalistic pretences or platonic forms with no relation to reality. Hume examined realities such as the billiard ball, examined it closely for some packets of 'causality', and seeing none, declared such concepts to be nothing but rationalizations for numerous occurrences we happen to have experienced and which seemed to have similarities - but that mere appearances were all that was really real; meaning not only that meaning and principles were nothing but illusions, but that ultimately even our very experience of reality, is illusory and that no IS can imply an OUGHT, etc.

That, or the reactions to it, have been the dominant 'forms' of modern philosophical thought, and with both sides being equally false and distanced from reality, they have encouraged and bred ever increasingly bizarre psychological pathologies.

Concepts, forms, whatever, do not exist in a higher realm, they are developed, and deepened, through our experience in reality, physically and mentally, with objective reality, concepts do not blind us to, or separate us from reality, they are our human method of grasping and understanding the depths of reality. The structure of an atom is fully integrated with the entire structure of the universe (which is contained by the Cosmos, it is not synonymous with it) and could not be otherwise, and our minds can be conceptually integrated to reflect and be informed by that which is True - but unlike the atoms and neutrons, we do have a choice, and we can believe otherwise than what is - for every conclusion we hold, involves our choices in our evaluation and estimation of what is true, every step of the way.

We can't escape what is True, but we can make an error in understanding, or even evade, what is true. We can't escape integrating our concepts, but we can mis-link them, or do as Gagdad discusses, engage in an 'attack on linking'. Our every thought rests upon whether or not we accurately grasp what IS, and what that implies. Every error we makes, affects how far and fast we can progress, just as a wheel out of balance can only attain to a certain speed, without shaking its car to pieces. And just as an out of balance wheel produces ever more and more increasingly violent vibrations, falsehood produces ever more apparent disharmonies, ugliness.

Every error retained, imposes its own limitations upon our ability to progress, and similarly, every gap of ignorance in our knowledge, will prevent us from rising beyond a certain level, just as a building whose structural supports are only strong enough to support a two story building, cannot develop into a three story building.

These limits apply equally to the physical, the philosophical, and the spiritual progress we can achieve, and as was mentioned recently, the truth protects itself. If someone takes Genesis as nothing more than 'talking snake stories', they bar themselves from the deeper truth within it, and while I won't attempt to expound upon Truth, it is, and suffuses all through the interiority of reality; I'll only say while facts may be true, truth is not fact alone. The quantities can never amount to the quality, and the Quality, will not be found in the material; that is within what is without, and we have to choose to grasp it.

3/20/2009 01:32:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

You know what the benefit of the small comment box is? You think your comment isn't all that long.


Benefit?!

3/20/2009 01:33:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

CryptLife said "As for other facts, why would you say they're "meaningless" rather than that they merely have undiscovered meaning?"

Less us, there is no meaning to be had. Prior to us, there were no planets, no stars, no blackholes... only stuff. It takes us to differentiate, integrate and understand, in order for meaning to be found among the facts.

3/20/2009 01:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Bob, I disagree on one point--

Affirmative Action: Yes, it may be distorted as you allege but the main push of it is to offset that Southern good ol' boy joviality that finds sneaky ways to deny the pigmented their due.

Such a Southerner in effigy burrowed its way into the bones and skin of many Americans, of all pigments, where it lies a latent poison and does in fact call for a legislative antidote. Yes, still. Give it 50 more and then maybe we can take it off.

Go dwell in Arkansas for awhile and then talk about affirmative action. You have no idea.

Fact is, only the minorities who fall under the penumbra of affirmative action are qualified to state whether its needed or not. White people can opine, but the final arbiter in any investigation are the material witnesses. These would be black people and other minorities. When they say its time to resicnd AA, then its time. Not before.

Now, out California way the white intelligentsia mostly don't harbor the pathology and so don't feel the remedy is fair play.

In many cases, affirmative action is NOT fair play and then it does becomes a dysfunctional menace. But, you've got to weigh the percentages. It balances out as more good than harm and better than doing nothing. It is a remnant of our past that is still in the final stages of resolution but yer jumping the gun in calling for its abolition.

You have alleged that leftists are condescending and want to permanantly infantilize the more pigmented among us. Yes, I've seen this. But as a motive for continuing affirmative action? That's a stretch.

No human behavior is done without some reward or avoidance of pain as a payoff. The left simply does not get paid for having that attitude. More than likely you are wrong about it.

3/20/2009 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Remembering -- That's why we say "Aha" or even "Aha-ha-ha".

wv seems to be hinting for a new toststa

3/20/2009 01:48:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Even if affirmative action didn't demonstrably harm its supposed beneficiaries, I would still be against it on constitutional grounds.

3/20/2009 01:54:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

anonymous said "Fact is, only the minorities who fall under the penumbra of affirmative action are qualified to state whether its needed or not."

More than a little tempting to shout out 'Bigot'.

The only way to infringe upon the rights of some people, in order to benefit other people, is to destroy the integrity of Rights, for all people, altogether... and of course it can only be done through the guise of an 'ends justify the means' scenario, and once that is allowed, you break the constitutional restraints upon Power, which the Founders put a great deal of foresight into binding up into the Constitution.

Once you buy into the "I'll give you three wishes" seduction, and release the Genie, putting him back ... may be a fairy tale, or at least a myth, for when Prometheus is bound by Force and Violence, he must endure his liver being eaten daily... for a very long time.

The Greeks knew a thing or two...

3/20/2009 02:14:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

A few Fundamental Documents worth considering, before getting all wrapped (or bound) up in 'penumbra's'.

3/20/2009 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger Ryan said...

You say:

Concepts, forms, whatever, do not exist in a higher realm, they are developed, and deepened, through our experience in reality, physically and mentally, with objective reality, concepts do not blind us to, or separate us from reality, they are our human method of grasping and understanding the depths of reality.

I totally agree and I don't think I disagree with everything else. Some parts confuse me. I do reject objectivity and subjectivity as well as idealism.

Objectivity is the idea that the mind can arrive at knowledge about objects from an isolated non-dependent fixed frame of reference that does not interfere or effect what is being observed and likewise protects the observer from what is being observed. It is a zero sum game, nothing ends up changed. Idealism is the idea that invisible prototypes are "more real than just this." This is supposedly a solution to the problem of the One and the Many.

Perspectivism is not the same thing as relativism. Perspectivism is being honest about your perspective and aware of the limits of exhaustive description. It does not stand against truth but against the myths of objectivity and idealism. Subjectivity is also out because it is part of an abstract dualism that just isn't helpful.

I guess I am looking for a cosmology / epistemology that avoids the traps of Platonic / Gnostic dualism on the one hand and Nihilism on the other. I think it is bizarre that Eastern philosophy is often disparaged as denying the world as an illusion while as it turns out the eastern "just this" approach totally overturns the western epistemology of imaginary invisible prototypes more real than our sense experience.

But carefully note, my approach so far was not an 'attack on linking' or what I might call reductionism. I clearly show that "just this" is not only "mere appearances" but has an intoxicating bottomlessness of inter-penetrating, mutually indweling, co-creative relationships and patterns hidden by conceptulizations. I also do not disparage conceptulizations as evil or unimportant but praise them for their utility.

What I am skeptical about is whether what lies behind "just this" is more real. Seems like gnostic dulism. It also makes no sense of our experience. I would not say "all is being." Everything that exists is in becoming. "Only becomings are." Life is just this and it is marvelous and real and not an illusion. God makes us present to himself by creating us, by lending some of his "Materiality" to us. God makes himself present to us by incarnating Himself in the flesh. As of yet we speak the language of flesh imperfectly while it is one of Christ's native languages. We will mature and speak it fluently some day as well.

Lastly, I am comfortable with the subject/object dichotomy if it is understood as a conventional description and not a "Platonic Form" and if it is granted that subject and object are part of a seamless temporal relationship where they flow into one another and thus co-create themselves. Everything changes.

3/20/2009 02:43:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ryan said "But carefully note, my approach so far was not an 'attack on linking' or what I might call reductionism."

Didn't intend to imply that you had.

"What I am skeptical about is whether what lies behind "just this" is more real."

Yep ... a couple rounds I went with assertions of something "behind 'just this'" from awhile back, or whether such things can even be discussed, in As it is above,

"And yet here I am, and there is something within me that wants to know, and yet I do not know whether within each of us is an individual light formed of the slow rubbing and bubbling of DNA swelling into cells & babies & bodies - individual lights that blaze and burn down and out - or lights that slowly work their way into the physical world from a wider spiritual realm, slowly wriggling into reality through the slow rubbing and bubbling of DNA swelling into cells & babies & bodies - individual lights that blaze alike in this world then withdraw and return.

I don't know - and again I can not help but imagine that if there is a God, then this operation is by design.

Everything else in our world that can be discussed is physically examinable in one form or another, and it is only because of that that it can be discussed, argued, speculated upon and proved or disproved.

The world can be objectively discussed - your soul cannot. All knowledge can be written and stored, but it is but marks on paper, it can only be learned within, it remains only marks, until You gather it within you as information, and then slowly with effort it becomes knowledge, and even more slowly and with more attention it becomes understanding - and you can not give that TO someone else. Anyone who has ever tried to teach a lesson to someone who doesn't quite grasp the meaning, knows the truth of that frustration.

And if there is a God, and he wants us to know and understand him, he knows that as well, we can not understand except by doing and learning and choosing to persist in the effort to do so..."


And my first willing steps into those Charged thoughts...

3/20/2009 03:43:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

On an utterly frivolous sidetrack, speaking of Sinatra, Spring and Feeling Young (I've decided that Amazon mp3 downloads are a dangerous thing. Sure, you think you can stop with just one, but then something else that looks interesting pops up, and after a while those 99¢ downloads start to add up...), so the other day I took my rental child out to wander in the desert for a few hours. On the way back, we stopped at the store and I decided beer was in order. The cashier grabbed the six-pack, then looked at us and said "Who's buying this?" I laughed - it was either me or the 13-year-old, but she was very serious. "I really have to see some ID!" She was actually shocked to see that I'm in my 30s. It wouldn't be worth mentioning, but her reaction was so surprising. She actually apologized, but it just made me laugh. Certainly makes me feel younger, though. It must be from all the extra sunshine this week :)

3/20/2009 06:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Northern Bandit said...

Big volcanic eruption in Tonga today. Apparently men remained in hammocks while women beat volcano into submission with clubs.

3/20/2009 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Julie,
You spelt moonshine rong! :-D

3/20/2009 06:43:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

…and I was just surfin iTunes. Potato chips, indeed.

Bob, any Jean-luc Ponty on the shelf?

3/20/2009 06:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Van,

I want to respond to the following:
"The world can be objectively discussed - your soul cannot. All knowledge can be written and stored but it can only be learned within, it remains only marks, until You gather it within you as information, and then slowly with effort it becomes knowledge, and even more slowly and with attention it becomes understanding - and you can not give that TO someone else."

- hope I got that right, this quickly scriblled quote.

Normally I wouldn't be at the computer right now, but my soul received a couple of 'sign-signals' (long story).

That no one can directly transsmit "understanding" to another is not quite right in my experience.
To make brutally short - without going into my own bio-history, the why's and hows' it all came about, I will describe what happened one day during hands-on transmission to one of my students. Just one, the most dramatic of'em all I think.

Maybe first a short bio-info on T. - he who studied psychology for 3 years before giving up. Both his parents (I met them) were psychologist. He, a very grounded and secure indidvidual.

He didn't have to release rage or anything like that. That particular session, a very tranquil time always.. Afterwards, he shared another of his bliss-filled shares, but with a new twist. A first for him for sure. Tho it was close once. The time his wife and I (student also) where balancing his energy, during which he said "I feel like I'm going to levitate."
"Go for it", I said.

OK , back to the dramatic episode. After the session calmly he described what happened..."I sat up and was wondering what would happen if I kept going."

"That's the part of you which can't die" , I offered...While gazing out the window he said softly "there is something".

There is something, said the self confessed non-believer....Inwardly my soul dancing with joy:)

The following week only his wife showed up. They had 2 young children and somtimes they took turns staying at home.
She shared his desire to wear a crucifix when he got home asking if she could give it to him for Christmas.
"At first I thought it would be blasphemy, but who am I to deny him that." L. is a practicing Catholic.

Soon thereafter, they both went shopping for a crucifix. "It's not too small and not too big. It's nice."
Of course from then on I had to pretend not to notice it.

Theofilia

3/20/2009 06:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oops! Theofilia forgot to yell "Not in vain His suffering!"
:)

3/20/2009 07:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jesus represented humanity in such a way that what took place in him could be repeated in us. This is not easy for us to grasp because of our tendency toward individualist thinking. But it is not beyond us altogether. People serve us by acting on our behalf all the time. Leaders represent us in the corridors of power; doctors and engineers do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. Representation is experienced in every social group."

"I take it that Jesus became the turning point of history because he could represent the race. He could stand in our place and act for for our benefit."

Flame of LOve Theology of the Holy Spirit penned by Clark H. Pinnock.

Thank You!

3/20/2009 08:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the sake of vocation to mission, there must be God's reality in us. Faith must not be just theory nor its basis just historical reality. The miracle of encountering God cannot be replaced by anything else.
The sacrament of receiving and rekindling the gift is often laying on of hands. In his ministry, Jesus often touched sick people (Lk 5:13). They in turn reached out to touch him (Mk 5:28). (and so on )
Adding, "Those who desire greater spiritual fullness should ask for prayer and the laying on of hands from those who are filled."

I would very boldly underline "from those who are filled". Out of the maybe 60 people who I met in person - the wana be healer types - only a couple of people were "filled". My teacher being one of the two. She, who I was in dream-experience guided to be my teacher. As per my recorded journal entry dated Oct. 16,93'

TWO only! out of 60 or more so-called healers. The rest? oy vey:( so beware. This is a very serious thing and not at all for the fainthearted. Certainly not for those those who wana be rich.

Theofilia

3/20/2009 09:10:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

White people can opine, but the final arbiter in any investigation are the material witnesses. These would be black people and other minorities. When they say its time to resicnd AA, then its time. Not before. Anon 1:47pm

Are Thomas Sowell & Justice Thomas Black enough for you?

3/21/2009 02:50:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Van said-
"We are powerless to fight this thing, as long as we continue to think that politicians, activists, media, etc are the culprits, and actually increase the poisonous dosage with every attempt to 'improve' education - it is the form of 'education' that we have adopted, that is killing us."

Yeah, they are the symptoms and bad education is the root of the problem.
Good link, Van, thanks!
If I ever go to a college that Hillsdale looks like a good one.

3/21/2009 09:46:00 AM  

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