Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Postmodern Man: The Eunuch at Every Wedding, the Corpse at Every Birth

Schuon talks about the "metaphysical transparency" of the world -- the fact that something from the other side of being always "spills over" to our side.

Which only proves that human beings aren't solely on this side of the ontological divide, but have a foot in each realm. If this weren't true, then we would have no access at all to transcendental truth, beauty, or love. For surely, to know the truth of something is to know the truth of what isn't there in what appears to be. In other words, truth -- including scientific truth -- is the reality behind appearances. Ultimately it is the vertical in the horizontal.

Balthasar says what amounts to the same thing in describing the relationship between finite and infinite: "infinity truly becomes visible in its appearance as the excess that does not become visible; it is unveiled as what remains veiled; it is made known as the ineliminable mystery of being." Thus, "the truth of any being will always be infinitely richer and greater than the knower is capable of grasping."

Truth, love, beauty, mystery, unity -- these are all "excess" qualities that are left over after any "complete" materialistic account of the world.

Or, to put it another way, if one could somehow successfully undertake the cremation of these qualities, one will have only succeeded in placing man in a cosmic tomb and therefore painting onesoaf into a funereal coroner.

No. Man is upright and he is bipedal; upright because he spans all of the vertical degrees of being; bipedal because he has a foot in both realms, the worldly and the celestial, heaven and earth, slack and conspiracy. He is not a dead man walking to his own godless wake, but a live man waking to his own walk with God.

Now, speaking of waking, something exceedingly mysterious occurred in the cosmos and Cosmos when it segued 3.85 billion years ago from chapter one to chapter two -- that is, when it suddenly "came alive." I did my level best to capture this ontological mutation in pp. 55-65, but try as one might, it seems that words are never sufficient to convey the weirdness of it all.

In order to feel one's way into it this topic, it helps if one is somewhat "psychotic" within a context of sanity. That is, the psychotic person specifically cannot take for granted what others do. For him, every waking moment is a calamitous novelty. For jaded postmodern man, the world is "too dead." But for psychotic man, it is "too alive."

And yet, this is apparently how it was for premodern -- and especially prehistorical -- man. As Hans Jonas argues in The Phenomenon of Life, the "discovery" of a non-living cosmos is a very late one. Rather, for primordial man, life was the general rule, death the exception, the very thing that Lucy and her astoneaged friends needed to 'splain.

When "man became man," it coincided with the perception that life was "everywhere" (i.e., animism), and that "being" was synonymous with "being alive": "Soul flooded the whole of existence and encountered itself in all things. Bare matter, that is, truly inanimate, 'dead' matter, was yet to be discovered -- as indeed its concept, so familiar to us, is anything but obvious." In fact, "that the world is alive is really the most natural view, and largely supported by prima-facie evidence" (Jonas).

This is especially true if one imagines the creepycrawly environmental surroundings in which early man evolved. Life was truly everywhere, and even what was outwardly "inanimate" was "so intimately interwined with the dynamics of life that it seem[ed] to share its nature." It could never have occurred to early man "that life might be a side issue in the universe, not its pervading rule."

Therefore, "to such an extent that life is accepted as the primary state of things, death looms as the disturbing mystery." Interestingly, "before there was wonder at the miracle of life, there was wonder about death and what it might mean" (ibid). In any event, since life was experienced as the reality, death had to either be unreality or else a part of the larger cosmic economy of life.

It is only with modernity that this perspective is reversed, so that death becomes "the natural thing, life the problem." Now that the universe is regarded as a kind of lifeless machine, life becomes a huge conceptual problem, because it must somehow be explained in terms of the lifeless. Could this attitude be one of the metaphysical tributaries to the death culture of the radical secular left? Jonas implies as much: "Our thinking today is under the ontological dominance of death."

I apologize. I'm just thinking out loud here, going wherever my mind leads. But if you think about funeral rites -- which obviously reach way back and down into man's essence, both historically and ontologically, the purpose they serve is to emphasize the continuity of life despite outward appearances. But in the upside-down cosmos of postmodernity, the real "funeral" would have to be for existence itself.

And one doesn't have to read too many existential writers -- e.g., Sartre, Camus, Kafka -- before one realizes that they really do regard life in this deeply pessimystic way -- as a plague or prison with no exit in which human insects are thrown upon birth, and from which we are then nauseatingly alienated once we realize that this is indeed our fate. Just the other day, some profoundly sick feminists celebrated "abortion pride" day. But why not? If our life is just an absurd and meaningless prison house, then surely abortion is a mercy. Why not nip it in the bud?

In my book, I attempted to restore man to his cosmic place, not by returning to premodernity (as fundamentalists attempt to do), but by sailing through modernity and postmodernity, into the world awaiting us beyond them. And what lies beyond them is located back at man's beginning, only now it is as if, from our privileged metahistorical vantage point, we can know the place for the first time.

Jonas was surely converging upon the same Raccoon attractor when he wrote, "Perhaps, rightly understood, man is after all the measure of all things -- not indeed through the legislation of his reason but through the exemplar of his psychophysiological totality which represents the maximum of concrete ontological completeness known to us: a completeness from which, reductively, the species of being may have to be determined by way of progressive subtraction down to the minimum of bare elementary matter."

The irony of this -- as alluded to by Balthasar above -- is that the scientistic "intelligibilty" of life is purchased at the price of a kind of ontological death, which surely includes death of the intellect to whom it was intelligible. In other words, there is a "way of knowing" that ultimately reduces to unintelligibility and death if faithful to its first cadaverous principles. But we already knew this, for it was first taught in paradise by the archetypal opposite of "upright bipedal" man, that is, the downright nopedal snake.

The animal represents a completely new fact that radically changes the situation of epistemology: the new object is now itself a subject. The revolution that this new fact brings with it is fraught with immense consequences (Theo-Logic: The Truth of the World).

We'll have to get further into some of those consequences tomorrow.

74 Comments:

Anonymous lame duck said...

I spoke to an older priest of 45 years last night and brought up Balthasar. I was surprised to find out: "(One of) Balthasar's most controversial theological assertions... the possibility that all men will be saved..." (from Wiki). Not saying I would write him off completely by any means, but I was stunned to learn this.

I did a little more digging and discovered that the belief is linked to Apocatastasis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apokatastasis), or the belief that all will be restored to God including Satan and his angels.

Not meaning to throw a wrench (sorry Bob), but wanted to give the other Catholics here a head's up.

3/31/2009 08:22:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

Fine post, Bob!

Man is upright and he is bipedal; upright because he spans all of the vertical degrees of being; bipedal because he has a foot in both realms, the worldly and the celestial, heaven and earth, slack and conspiracy. He is not a dead man walking to his own godless wake, but a live man waking to his own walk with God.

Because of my particular "angle" on things, this statement strikes me as not only true, but crucial, to a proper understanding. Here is an example of someone who wishes for the opposite direction. We could laugh at it, but there is a note of seriousness in his writing. This is perhaps an example of "wishing for ontological death."

I had not heard of Hans Jonas before. Do you recommend that book?

3/31/2009 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, that is indeed one of his unorthodox beliefs, even though he cites numerous fathers in support of that view, such as Maximus the Confessor.

I have no opinion one way or the other, except that on metaphysical grounds I find it difficult to believe that anything could be eternal except for God, eternal damnation included. Also, it is difficult to conceive of a finite action having absolute consequences. But such questions are ultimately way above my pay grade.

3/31/2009 08:32:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Walt:

I don't know if I can recommend the book or not. I think I mined most of the good stuff from it and reformulated it in my own book.

3/31/2009 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Walt, you picked up on what I was going to quote, particularly that last line. Sets off the gong, it does.

That post you linked is extra-deeply disturbing, if you've read this (via Vanderleun yesterday).

3/31/2009 08:36:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Criminy - speaking of "two legs bad, four legs good," the ofay army is getting mobilized. As DH was noting last night, everything the leftists accused Bush of doing - trampling the Constitution, invading privacy, stifling free speech, etc. - Obama is actually working to accomplish, and the vitriolic dissenters of the past eight years suddenly seem to think all of those things are just great. Which just goes to prove what we've known all along, that they've simply been projecting, seeing everything through the lens of what they'd do given the opportunity.

ugh. Having established this morning's awareness of what's afoot, it's time to read more Balthasar, where I can refocus on awareness of what's aloft. The trouble with keeping one foot in each world is that the left foot inevitably ends up trailing through some truly vile crud at times...

3/31/2009 09:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

That is indeed the left's perpetual strategy: relentlessly attack others for crimes and enormities of which they are guilty.

3/31/2009 09:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Cory said...

It has seemed to me that God's justice is perfect and, that being the case, eternal damnation for a finite act(s) is simply not true. In eastern religion heaven and hell are places of temporary abode and time there is based on accumulated karma which runs down eventually and you find yourself back in mortal life giving it another go. This seems to me to be consistent with real justice and also in alignment with God's mercy and patience though I have no real knowledge of whether one is thrust back into mortal life or carries on along some other track.

If there is eternal damnation it would take an act of will on the part of the damned to maintain it, I think. In the case of Lucifer and his followers this may be the case. It seems to me it would take a very powerful (and twisted) will to look God in the face and then rebel against Him. Maybe there is a degree of pride involved that simply will not submit to any will other than it's own. Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven I guess.

3/31/2009 09:13:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

...it would take an act of will...

But then, that's what it often comes down to, isn't it? According to Balthasar, while grace can only be conferred from above, it must also be willingly accepted from herebelow. By virtue of the gift of free will we always have the choice, to accept God or not. And when we choose not, are we not then choosing damnation? As to duration, well, I can't help but wonder if putting it in the context of time at all isn't something of an error. Though frankly, that's one question I'd rather not learn the answer to.

3/31/2009 09:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The truth of any being will always be infinitely richer and greater than the knower is capable of grasping." - Balthasar

That's absolutly true!

Transcendent Self is itself what recognize/realizes. . .a la "like sees like."
God-spirit itself infuses every cell of his/her body with this Knowlegde.
Every atom in my body vibrates I AM (God consciousness) filling me with Love's sound frequency.

I intend to share much if I'm 'allowed' i.e., to glorify Being. And over time maybe yous' too will see what we mean?

LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD - St. Paul in 1 Cor. ch. 1:31
I promissed........... And, unless I'm not welkome to do this - I'll bow out.

Bob, once you wrote somt. like, "The Glory of God's revelation provides its own proof."
Right?

Theofilia

3/31/2009 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

Truth, love, beauty, mystery, unity -- these are all "excess" qualities that are left over after any "complete" materialistic account of the world.

His cup runneth over. Good Grog Almighty!

3/31/2009 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Truth, love, beauty, mystery, unity -- these are all "excess" qualities that are left over after any "complete" materialistic account of the world."

That is the immediate first level unrealization of all materialists - and is the guiding dark behind the roots of modern educational theory - God help us.

3/31/2009 11:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"... the possibility that all men will be saved..." - lame duck

Since there is nothing but Spirit, nothing can stand in opposition to God-spirit. . . Even the "Lucifer's" personality will in-time mellow out. Will be redeemed. For, what is 'evil' but darkness tortured by its own thirst and hunger?

Was it in vain?, my in 2003 New Years day celebration event of subduing the "unconscious snake" when the collective athmosphere was in-spirits-consuming party mode? (shortly after midnite)

Alone in bed ... From behind I heard his menecing insults, but
no one messess with this soul-missy..I grabed him with both hands (in front) and milked it....Witnessing, emptying him of gobs and gobs of whitish substance.

Don't for one second think I don't feel the collective's psychic storm's , its fear-filled jitters as they curse through me for the purpose of 'purification', via the LOve's compassionate vibe-dedication.

Cory said, "God's justices is perfect" - yey! but He needs us to cultivate peace of mind and serve others to the best of our capacity...Jesus' dictum - "follow me, and do as I do."

Theofilia

3/31/2009 11:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Heresy or Gnosis? said...

A fine description of Balthasar's view on Christ's descent...

http://www.firstthings.com/article.php3?id_article=5422

I would only add that if Balthasar is correct, it seems to me that Christ's suffering must be co-eternal with his love. Taking Balthasar's position to its logical consequence seems to suggest that:

Just as the world is continuously created at every moment, eternally, so Christ eternally suffers the full force of unredeemed humanity's punishment for the sake of our redemption.

Balthasar appears to be suggesting that the the nature of Christ's sacrifice and absolute triumph over death and sin is far beyond what my mind can comfortably tolerate.

I shudder to imagine such love and sacrifice; I am not worthy.

Perhaps Balthasar's view was heretical and I am further perverting it...

But the pain in my heart and tears in my eyes as I write this suggest otherwise.

I am not worthy of such Grace.

3/31/2009 11:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob writes, "Schoun talks about the "metaphysical transparency" of the world, the fact that something from the other side of being always "spills over" to our side."

Ohya....Circa 94', I witness-experienced several "Visitations"...First time was the longest - lasting more than half an hour. 'Tall' - as tall as man's hight - field of golden bright and 'alive' energy dancing before my astonished open eyes gently "undulating" on my right.... I sat staring and staring, not daring to blink at first, thinking "Am I suppose to hear something?" (in day light)
Naah, didn't hear a thing.

The following 'episodes' much shorter time-wise.
The last 'visit' - during watching library - borrowed National Geographic vid. whith two youngest kids and husband . . . There is was, undulating its golden presents about 3/4 feet away against the window's daylight. . . . I didn't say a word to anyone. Smiling I said "hiii" and gazed at it for a bit.

Theofilia

3/31/2009 11:43:00 AM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

Beyond here lies nothin', roundabout April 28.

3/31/2009 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Hey, that new Dylan tune sounds familiar.

3/31/2009 12:41:00 PM  
OpenID kaffepaus said...

Thanks for the link to the ghost-story Julie! A great read, and it really left chills down my spine since I realized that the story has already happend... and is happening again, maybe now on a much grander, but subtler, scale...?

/Johan

3/31/2009 12:58:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

I don't know if I'd call it subtle. Then again, I'm often reminded that what's glaringly obvious to coon vision seems remarkably subtle and dense to a great many people, so perhaps you're right, Johan.

I was just reading this article about the Kindle. DH just downloaded the app for his phone this morning, and I'm tempted to do the same. But reading the linked article, it occurred to me what a two-edged sword it is, relegating books to the ever-chimerical realm of digitized data. Partly, there are the same issues that came up last week regarding CDs vs. mp3s, but with books I think there's even something more. When the overwhelming majority of knowledge is digital instead of tangible, it becomes vulnerable to all of the weaknesses of any digital system, including hackers and those who would control accessible content. It might become very easy for the powerful to edit our store of knowledge to better suit the current approved paradigm, no? Granted, there are lots of ways to keep copies of originals, but the most reliable probably involve printing.

I was thinking of all the knowledge lost in the fires that consumed the Library of Alexandria, and I can't help wondering if (or perhaps when?) it would happen again. So long as there is a wealth of real books, it is unlikely, but how long will that be, when all the world's knowledge is instantly downloadable? How long until books go the way of tapes or Beta?

Interesting times.

3/31/2009 01:39:00 PM  
Anonymous lame duck said...

It does sound like that Fleetwood Mac song! I'll be. I had never heard that song before. I also thought it sounded like a rip off of Santana's "Black Magic Woman".

Getting back to damnation...

I would have to agree with Julie; putting damnation in the context of time is an error.

I certainly don’t think Satan and his demons are going to “mellow” out just by adding a few million years – give or take – to the equation, Theofilia. But what do I know, really. I’m just a lame duck commenter. : ) I'm sure the theologians have mined that one a long time ago.

God is Spirit, you’re right, but there is something besides Spirit, and that’s life or existence outside of Spirit. That, I would imagine, is hell in a nutshell.

I would also agree with Cory's statement, in that eternal damnation is not only a just punishment simply tolled out by God, but an act of the will on the part of the individual soul, as well, eternally refusing God’s love and mercy.

I know this isn't a Catholic site, so forgive me for quoting this here. At the very least, it could prove curious for those who aren't aware of the exact position of the Church. Whether or not you agree with it, is another thing, of course...

“Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire.” – Mt. 25:41

“The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and it’s eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, “eternal fire.” The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.”

“The affirmations of Sacred Scripture and the teachings of the Church on the subject of hell are a call to the responsibility incumbent upon man to make use of his freedom in view of his eternal destiny. They are at the same time an urgent call to conversion: “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
(--from the Cathechism of the Catholic Church 1034-1036)

3/31/2009 01:53:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

The same man wrote both songs -- the great Peter Green. Santana just copied the Fleetwood Mac version note for note. Fleetwood Mac was a great blues-rock outfit before Peter Green left the the group and they reinvented themselves as the bland, MOR corporate rock behemoth of the late '70s.

3/31/2009 02:01:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Did he also write Black Magic Woman? Because it does sound very similar.

3/31/2009 02:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Northern Bandit said...

Speaking of "above my pay grade", the past five or six entries had me struggling for comprehension. Then today's wonderful post comes along and once again I regained that "fits like an old baseball glove" feeling that I got from much -- but not all -- of the Coonifesto itself.

The whole take on being/life/mind/spirit as primordially weird always resonates with me.

Hope there's more to come in this vein!

3/31/2009 02:40:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, Peter Green wrote it. Nice compilation of the original Fleetwood Mac here.

3/31/2009 02:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Northern Bandit said...

Yeah, but what a bland MOR corporate rock behemoth.

/Everyone gets a freebie since you like the Carpenters :-)

3/31/2009 02:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lame duck said: "Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire." Mattew's Gospel

Theofilia sez: "Chipmonk is roaring! Depart o mind parasites in the name of the Blessed Holy Fire! Fear not its LOving grace!"

***Separating chaff from Wheat.
*

From the book cover of Entanglement The Greatest Mystery In Physics, penned by Amid D. Aczel:

(holographically speaking....)

"... the most perplexing phenomenon of all is called "entanglement." Two particles are mysteriously linked together. Whatever happens to one of them immediately causes a change in the other one, whether it is two millimeters away or on the other side of the universe."

P. 252 (hard cover) - "Abner Shimony has referred to entanglement as "passion at a distance," in an effort to avoid the trap of assuming that one can somehow use entanglment to send a message faster than light."

"Entanglement particles transcend space. The two or three entangled entities are really parts of one system, and that system is unaffected by phisical distance between its components. The system acts as a single entity."

(Aczel asserts that "teleportation" of larger objects is theoreticaly possible... but that's another many stories;)

P. 253 - "After the mathematical discovery of entanglement, clever physicists used ingenious methods and arrangements to verify this stunning phenomenon does actually occur. But to truly understand what entanglement is and how it works is for now beyond the reach of science."

*

Best to pray for the depraved. Adding "jittery energy" to the collective is feeding the lower asuras....It is like adding fuel to the fire. Is keeping the "other" nice and fat.

Theofilia

3/31/2009 02:56:00 PM  
Anonymous lame duck said...

As Johnny Carson would say, "I did not know that..." about the song being written by the same dude. Very cool.

Theofilia: I didn't coin the phrase, Kip; you can take that one up with Jesus. Gosh! (Didn't realize Jesus had mind parasites. Always good to know, though.) : )

wv: butcor

3/31/2009 03:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lame duck,

You just don't get it. But then why would you? Unless you're keeping it as some great secret, where are your Kundalini Shakti/Holy Spirit intitiations witnessing words of being 'prepared'... Of being 'groomed' by the Holy one to live a life in the Mystical Body of Christ?

Ever read the writing of the likes of Beatrijs van Tienen, her Seven Manners of Loving?
Or, her contemporary Hadewijch of Brabant?
That's what I mean by being "groomed"....

And, that is EXACTLY what it's like the process.
Read it if you dare, eh?


P.S. Johny Carson was never my teacher. Matter of fact for many, many a'year I didn't watch TV. Didn't expose myself or my kids to paranoic venomics in print media either.

Theofilia

3/31/2009 03:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One verse in Hadewijch's Love Has Seven Names stood out like sore thumb for me: (exact quote)

"HELL (I feel its torture)
damns, covering the world.
Nothing escapes. No one has grace
to see a way out."

Theofilia

3/31/2009 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

“This is especially true if one imagines the creepycrawly environmental surroundings in which early man evolved. Life was truly everywhere, and even what was outwardly "inanimate" was "so intimately interwined with the dynamics of life that it seem[ed] to share its nature." It could never have occurred to early man "that life might be a side issue in the universe, not its pervading rule."”

Patient: “Doc, all of a sudden, there was like, all this, “everything else”. I saw myself as the side dish. What do you think it means?”

Doctor: “You were dreaming. I mean, before this.”

Patient: “Hmmmm…”

Doctor: “Was there a tunnel in the dream?”

Patient: “There was a snake…?”

Doctor: “A talking snake?”

Patient: “I don’t remember…but he was delicious…?”

Doctor: “Cured!”

3/31/2009 04:19:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Julie, I usually download anything significant, and often print hard copies. BTW, the Online Library of Liberty and Gutenberg.org both offer DVD hardcopies of their entire online libraries… a wise pre-Alexandrian-library-fire move.

I have a large number of books in multiple formats, such as audio (on mp3’s or audible.com audio books), ebook (.lit, .pdf, .htm…), AND good ol’ paper (several in multiple copies in Hardback, paperback, and (sadly few) leather bound). The e-versions I’ve got on multiple pc’s, external hard drives, DVD’s and CD’s… so they’re backed up fairly well, and even if all of you get nuked I’ll still get my chance to be like Burgess Meredith amid all the world’s books... without any eye glasses.

I’ll always prefer a leather bound, paper paged book, but I enjoy each format, and having A book in multiple formats especially. Reading a book in my office, listening to it on my PocketPc, and reading it on my PocketPC in odd places (like the Dr’s office today while my 16 yr old got a cast on – remember parents – kids will always do dumb things!, no matter how smart they are)… you find yourself getting different perspectives on the same material, you might not have otherwise, not to mention being able to enjoy it in multiple settings and activities - mowing the lawn is very different experience listening to a good book (eat your heart out Ricky).

The real future issue/nightmare for people will be, assuming they are free, trying to read what we are reading on line today, such as in this post, when few if any of the links, still work. We are creating an incredible wealth of essay’s online… which are going to be de-linked in the near term – a truly disposable literature!

But… I’ll think about that tomorrow.

3/31/2009 04:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob wrote (don't recal whence)

"If you are not a discrete and identifiable whole, then you are simply merged with your surroundings."

*

On the inter-supra-dimensional level Hadewijch expressed thusly:

All things
Are too small
to hold me,
I am so vast

In the Infinite
I reach for the Uncreated
I have touched it,
it undoes me
wider than wide

Everything else is too narrow

You know this well,
You who are also there.

Theofilia

3/31/2009 04:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I didn't coin the phrase"

They misrepent me!

I once sat on a green sofa while over my shoulder and colder to my ear, whispered the shining gate "Run! Forth! Begin ye my endings, lest thorful et tu brute!"

And I of course took that as confirmation that the yellow sun blazed into my child rearing ways, verified and ok'd, and Sophia Loren in my mirror, but granny in yours.

***

You should not quote quotations to me, I fly and am free!

***

Donuts are for dunkin', coffee at .25 a cup, I sip and perchance to dream, aye that's the rub, coffeemate doth make cowherds of us all.

theefulloya

3/31/2009 05:04:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

van, so long as there are folks like you and Lileks who make extra backups of everything, I guess there's not much to worry about. It was mostly idle speculation anyway.

As to the disappearance of the treasury of blog posts online, I dunno - part of me feels that's the ephemeral beauty of the whole thing. No matter how hard we try, we can't hang on to all of this stuff forever, and let's face it - 99% of what's on teh webz isn't exactly the kind of thing we'd want to immortalize, anyway. The other 1%, well, there are folks who care enough to copy and save it to multiple formats, and even sometimes print it out, no?

While I think an Alexandrian-type disaster would be utterly horrific, losing bits and pieces here and there over time doesn't bother me so much. But then, I don't have a strong desire to really cling to much of my own stuff, much less anyone else's. It's just like Bob said yesterday: there is no last photo, or poem or song. Even if every bit of created beauty gets wiped away, there are those of us who'd keep seeking the Beauty because we just can't not do it.

3/31/2009 05:25:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Back to music, I noticed that Crowded House was up earlier. One of my all-time favorite songs is this one, by Neil Finn (I can't remember if I've linked it here before).

The album you have up there now sounds good, too. I'm trying to talk myself out of clicking the button...

3/31/2009 05:32:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

All those formats, Van.
Be careful, this could happen to you


Juss sayin’..

3/31/2009 05:37:00 PM  
Blogger Sal said...

lame duck-
Thanks for the heads up. He can join the others in the 'maybe/but mostly not/really not' file.

Happy that there's still lots to choose from in the Raccoon feeder...

3/31/2009 05:50:00 PM  
Anonymous lame duck said...

(I'm supposed to be ignoring that crazy lady off in the corner, aren't I? Wait, don't answer that..)

I'll make the grog run!

3/31/2009 05:56:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Julie,
If I like the book, I get the paper version. I have a pristine copy of Arnot’s “Parables…” now. Read that one first on eBook. The eBook was free.
Paper versions of The Bible and The Founding Documents. Those will be family heirlooms. Starting with me. Because I don’t have a time machine. Yet.
The rest of the paper library is if the kid’s kid’s kid’s ..want them. That’s what they’re there for. But those first two I hope get handed down for the reasons you say.

Incidentally, ‘twas the disaster at Alexandria gave Algore the idea for the internet. Sez so on GoreWiki. Anywayz, thanks to him the data is not “all in one place”. That was the idea, I believe. But I worry a bit about the little buggers changing the words around too.

“mowing the lawn”
No, Van. That’s where they get written.
:-D

3/31/2009 05:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Not to pull rank, but "I encourage all of you to continue, with interest and enthusiasm, your study of the writings of von Balthasar." --Pope Benedict XVI

3/31/2009 05:57:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Petey said,
“That is indeed the left's perpetual strategy: relentlessly attack others for crimes and enormities of which they are guilty.”

Slight modification, if I may. “[for] which they will soon be guilty”. The strategy requires the attacks on others to come before the attacker’s crimes. This is to disarm you. The “unpatriotic” claim cancels yours out; removed from the battlefield. But only if it comes first. With the label, goes the adhesive.

3/31/2009 06:15:00 PM  
Anonymous lame duck said...

Petey, absolutely. Obviously much to be gained and learned from him even from the small amount I've read on your posts alone. I was just taken back by it and thought some others here might appreciate and want to be in the know, too. It's good to be cautious. But there have been others like Origen, who was brilliant, too, and even though he went astray in the end, there's still much he thought and wrote that was true, great and important to Christian thinking. Was just sayin'.

On another note, I was cautious about MOTT (and still am somewhat), but now halfway through, I'm enthralled by it and don't see anything so far that would be contradictory to Catholic teaching whatsoever. It's absolutely brilliant. I hope it holds up like this to the end. Not only is each chapter an experience in itself, but I find that almost every two pages or so, I have to put the book down and walk around the house just so I can savor each morsel.

Truly awesome and very grateful to have found that book through you, GB.

3/31/2009 06:31:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

As the immortal Carl Denham says,

“‘twas Petey killed the beast.”

3/31/2009 06:37:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ricky said "Be careful, this could happen to you…"

Could happen? Careful lest I lightnin'bolt-palm you....

And Julie..."let's face it - 99% of what's on teh webz isn't exactly the kind of thing we'd want to immortalize, anyway"

?!!!

My. every. werd. is. worty. of. imortaliza... (uhm... wait) My. every. wOrd. is. worty...(um...) My. every. werd. is. worthy. of. im...immore...im... (ohhh to heck with it)I lightnin'bolt-palm you! I keel yuuu!!!

;-)

3/31/2009 06:48:00 PM  
Anonymous word veri said...

That new album looks Baadasss Sauciz.

3/31/2009 06:51:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Van, :D

3/31/2009 06:54:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Van,
Amazing how the iPhone and internet suddenly show up now in the old episodes. Not to mention, James T Hooker doing his own stunts.
I miss the old Shatner.

3/31/2009 07:02:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

I piddy d'fool who rejects my contribution to the time capsule.

3/31/2009 07:05:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Or, to put it another way, if one could somehow successfully undertake the cremation of these qualities, one will have only succeeded in placing man in a cosmic tomb and therefore painting onesoaf into a funereal coroner."

Ha ha! Yes, dead man talkin'. That's always the result when quantity is elevated above quality.
Or, as below so belower, which is why Obama has actually said, and by now, I would hope everyone realizes he wasn't just pandering to the far Left, he means to operate from "the bottom up."

Which is to say he's diggin' the hole deeper, because he can't know where up is.
And since his priority is the reverse of what our Founding Fathers envisioned, down is up to him and his minions.

Why else would Obama wanna punish those who give a hand up rather than a handout (handouts being his preferred method of enslaving people and making them dependent on the Government Nanny. Remember, drug dealers often give the first hit for free)?

In their quest for "equal outcomes" and social "justice," economic "justice," etc., the Left are attempting to hurl the US as fast as they can to their "top" which is the bottom. "Good" intentions only speed up this process.

That's why, as one illustrious commenter I read somewhere put it so eloquently: "This is the worst apocalypse ever!"

Outstanding post, Bob!

3/31/2009 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Lame Duck:

I only discovered Balthasar because he wrote the afterword to Meditations on the Tarot.

3/31/2009 07:52:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

If there is eternal damnation it would take an act of will on the part of the damned to maintain it, "I think. In the case of Lucifer and his followers this may be the case. It seems to me it would take a very powerful (and twisted) will to look God in the face and then rebel against Him. Maybe there is a degree of pride involved that simply will not submit to any will other than it's own. Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven I guess."

Well said, Corey! Lucifer ain't called the prince of darkness for nothin'. I tend to believe that Satan really is that bitter.

3/31/2009 08:06:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I also concur Balthasar has a lot to offer. As does Schuon, whom also disagree with on at least a few points. It's still good info to know, Lame Duck.

3/31/2009 08:17:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

In order to feel one's way into it this topic, it helps if one is somewhat "psychotic" within a context of sanity."

You do realize you are just enabling Skully, don't you Bob? :^)

3/31/2009 08:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

Better than bein' disabled, Cap'n Ben.

"I've always been crazy, but it's kept me from goin' insaaane."

Waylon Jennings

3/31/2009 08:37:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Cory said "It seems to me it would take a very powerful (and twisted) will to look God in the face and then rebel against Him."

Hmmm... I understand what you mean, and it sure seems that way. I suspect however, that it is quite the opposite case.

To use some earthly examples, all it takes is to believe that they have found out how things should be. That they are right, and (worse) to believe that they are doing what is best for everybody.

Leftists knew for decades that welfare was destroying the lives and souls of inner city citizens, that didn't matter. The proof that it didn't work, that it was causing mayhem economically, socially, educationally and spiritually was overwhelming. That didn't matter, what mattered to them, was that it was the right thing to do.

Lenin, Stalin, Mao, all knew millions of lives were being destroyed because of their agricultural and economic policies, that didn't matter. They knew of, and in some cases saw, the corpses pilling up. That didn't matter, what mattered to them, was that it was the right thing to do, and because it was the right thing to do, it excused all of their failings, faults and compulsions.

In this country, the economic proof of the free market, the undeniable facts of lives and conditions immeasurably improved across all social spectrums, of improved economic conditions - even to those who are displaced through the changes it brings - the evidence is overwhelming. The socialist arguments have been refuted over and over and over again. They have been shown, and seen, to bring nothing but failure, over and over and over again.

It doesn't matter to them. What did, and does, matter to them, was that it was the 'right thing to do'. That according to their morality, which they have created out of a materialism which has discarded those extraneous 'virtues', that in what they know to be better and more proper for the good of all - NO MATTER WHETHER OR NOT IT HAS WORKED OR EVEN EVER WILL HAVE A CHANCE OF WORKING - they will choose it... right in the face of all that is demonstratably right and good and true.

Rousseau said "We must Force them to be free" and he meant it! That is their motive force and moral blank check to feel 'good' and justified, no matter the facts and results.

And even in the wake of the burning bodies, they will still assert that they were only trying to do what was best for the good of the people.

Forget about evil that wants to kill and maim and corrupt and destroy. Those 'demons' are Pikers and childish in their impotent antics.

Fear those who are truly evil, those who wish to do good to their fellow man, for their own good - no matter that they would choose otherwise. To seek to force others to act and live their lives as YOU choose for them, to sacrifice their living moment of free will, for what you have decided they should do - that. is. Evil.

Incarnate.

And they will deny it through all of their dying days. They will look you in the face and swear that they are only trying to help.

I often have the thought that if someone were to catch a glimpse of Satan, they'd see no horns, fangs or tails, but a sympathetic face, an offer to fix their problems, and a sincere effort to make others give you what you deserve... if you'll just accept his offer of 'help'.

3/31/2009 09:03:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

I suspect you're right about that, Van. In which case, I'm pretty sure Amazon is all part of the diabolical scheme...

Back to music again (because that's about all I'm [barely] qualified to discuss at the moment), wasn't Tord Gustavson on one of the Rarum CDs? I was trying to remember which one of those you had up, earlier today.

3/31/2009 09:24:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

And they will deny it through all of their dying days. They will look you in the face and swear that they are only trying to help.

How timely. Tonight's example.

3/31/2009 09:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Van:

It is my duty to inform you that Empty Raven just called you a lying howler monkey on his blog. However, as usual, MIke seems to have things well in hand.

3/31/2009 09:49:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

There is no Rarum collection yet for Tord Gustavson, as he only has three CDs out. But he is an otherworldy talent. Definitely one of my new faves.

3/31/2009 09:53:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Doh! Which Rarum was it you had up recently, then? And the samples of Gustavson are really gorgeous; tomorrow I may cave in and download that one.

3/31/2009 09:57:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Van, congrats on earning noteworthy howler monkey status! If only he knew what an honor he bestowed, praising you with faint damns.

3/31/2009 10:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

Cosin Dupree said-
Van:

It is my duty to inform you that Empty Raven just called you a lying howler monkey on his blog."

What a load of crap! Van doesn't lie.

3/31/2009 10:15:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Oh goody, it's gonna snow tonight...again. Truly. This ain't an April fool's joke.

If I was gonna do an April fool's joke I wouldn't do it this way.
But you guys know that.

Now here's some news that looks like an April Fool's day prank but, alas, it ain't.

The state of Washington's Congress wants to pass a bill that require's people to have a prescription from their doctor before they can smoke...cigarettes.

The idiot who drafted the bill said he exp[ects it to fail, but he's just "laying the groundwork" for future legislation.

I have no doubt he will continue pushing this, and if, or should I say when he does get it passed I expect he will then go after "junk" food, rice krispy treats, red meat and anything these fools deem dangerous.

As Van mentioned, these morons will not stop tryin' to "help" us into abject slavery to the State.

3/31/2009 10:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

When they outlaw ding dongs only outlaws will have ding dongs.

3/31/2009 10:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

They can have my ding dong when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers.

3/31/2009 10:35:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Okay Skully, I think they get the picture. I hope they don't get the picture because once they do it's disturbing to say the least.

3/31/2009 10:39:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Thanks Cousin. I left a calling card, but have no interest in his site, his having no ideas of his own to engage with.

If he returns here... maybe... but I won't bother chasing after him, empty craven is no Allotetraploid.

3/31/2009 10:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

And if they lay one stinking hand on my ho ho's, or, God forbid, my bacon, there's gonna be hell to pay!

3/31/2009 10:42:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Skully said "They can have my ding dong when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers."

Uhm... pardon me... while I just get that bit of frosting off... there.

(yum)

Ok, proceed.

3/31/2009 10:43:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Van-

Wait, you eat the frosting off of your ding dong first? :^)

3/31/2009 10:54:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Skully likes to suck the creme filling out with a straw and then dip his ding dong in grog.

I reckon we all got our own way to handle ding dongs, some of which may already be illegal, but banning them ain't the answer.

3/31/2009 10:57:00 PM  
Anonymous too tired to have a name right now said...

You know, handling ding dongs could be considered...oh, nevermind.

3/31/2009 11:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Montag said...

Julie -Have you forgotten about me?

4/01/2009 07:39:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Heh - of course not. If it comes to that, I guess we'll all just have to start brushing up on our memorization skills ;)

4/01/2009 08:17:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home