Monday, April 27, 2009

Subjectivity, Objectivity, Intersubjectivity, and Knowledge

Slept late. Must hurry. I don't even remember where we left off on Friday. Yes, truth, lies, Lies, intersubjectivity, and thinking one's thoughts.

I don't have time to flesh out some of these ideas, so I'll trust you to use your imagination to fill in a few blanks and angry diatribes.

James has a couple of interesting posts about subjectivity, objectivity, and knowledge. Perhaps we can include them in this party while my brain is still coming on line. He points out that the distinction between objective and subjective "is not as clear as the easy use of the terms would suggest. The terms are adjectives, after all, but it's not entirely clear what they modify."

Indeed, what do they modify? What is the difference between "subjective" knowledge and "objective" knowledge? James writes that "the subjective and the objective don’t appear to be two different kinds of knowledge, since objective knowledge seems redundant and subjective knowledge impossible." Yada yada yada, he concludes with the observation that "subjectivity is more in the order to appetite than knowledge, and so would be secondary to objectivity."

Obviously, only subjects may possess knowledge. Then again, the knowledge they are able to possess must somehow be "in" the objects that are known by the subject.

It's too early in the morning for this.

I would just say that truth is the cause and substance of knowledge, and that love is the cause of truth. Hear me now, believe me later. Love comes into the picture with intersubjectivity.

I don't mean to keep harping on this, but it was one of the novel -- by which I mean kind of, you know, "scientific" even -- coontributions of my book, being that I don't know of anyone else who discusses it.

But one of the most important reasons why Darwinism cannot account for our humanness is that no matter how big a brain were produced by natural selection, it could never have gained access to humanness (which is one pole of the divine-human, which now renders the theory "unscientific") in the absence of intersubjectivity -- of human beings being members of one another. And this only occurs due to the unique circumstances of human infancy. Remove or alter those circumstances, and no subject will come into being. Or, to be precise, it will be there, but like a seed that is never given sunlight and water.

What is the sunlight and water for the human infant? Duh! It is Luv. You don't have to teach an infant anything for it to bloom. Rather, all you have to do is water him with love, and voila! You've got an annoying little narcissist on your hands.

Which is where fathers come in. Father love is quite different from mother love. I was in awe of the power of mother love, or at least pretended I was so that I didn't have to wake up in the middle of the night to take care of him. Now that he's four years old, Mrs. G is in awe of the power of father love. Each can do things the other cannot, for they are like night and day, and it would be a very loooong day around here without paternal boundaries around the Beast of Narcissus.

< insert diatribe about redefinition of marriage here >

< insert diatribe about implications of destroying unit of civilization, which is unity of male-female >

< insert diatribe about trinitarian basis of civilization, i.e., mother-father-baby: see Spengler for deep relationship between this naturally supernatural trinity and economics. Link not working. >

Now, just as it takes a subject to know another subject, it takes a subject to see beyond the appearance of objects and reach into the essence. Here again, we can only do this because it was done to us as infants. In the book, I summarize this with the adage that "if you weren't read (as in infant), then you are cognitively dead (as an adult)."

This is actually the basis of modern psychoanalytic psychotherapy. When someone is acting out their mind parasites, it is partly because they are unable to "read" them. Mind parasites always operate below the radar of conscious cognition. One of the primary tasks of the therapist is to read what the patient cannot read -- the same way the mother "reads" her infant, or "thinks his thoughts."

When a patient comes in for treatment, he always presents with a mystery. The problem is, he is a mystery to himself -- either some aspect of his behavior, or emotions, or ideas. Why am I doing this? Why do I feel this way? Why do I keep having these unbidden thoughts? Why can I not stay away from One Cosmos, in spite of myself?

This is why it is a truism that the neurotic is more healthy than the person with a personality disorder, for in the case of the latter, his pathological actions, emotions, and ideas will often be concordant with his pathological sense of self. For example, the pathological narcissist can be oblivious to his grandiosity and entitlement so long as it is mirrored by the people around him.

Thus, in his case, the absence of pain is the symptom that needs to be addressed. But since he is unaware of the pain, he will not seek treatment. Or, his treatment will consist of bolstering his narcissism -- for example, through drugs -- or else getting new mirrors -- e.g., a new trophy wife. A pathological narcissist such as Bill Clinton only feels shame after he is busted, but it's not real shame. Rather, the narcissist "suffers" from what is called "shame dysregulation," meaning that shame -- the pain of shame -- is precisely what they cannot tolerate. This is why it is no mystery whatsoever why so many politicians are conspicuously shameless, since it is their pathological narcissism that impels them into politics to begin with.

< insert diatribe about preposterous narcissism of Barry O and media enablers; media as maternal mirror of infantile grandiosity >

< conservative radio as "father media" >

< disturbing "sexualization" of president, even by so-called "heterosexual" liberals. President as penis-breast. No joke. Term of art: see zonal confusion, Donald Meltzer.

Back to subject and object. Again, only the subject can "reach into" the object and "extract" its essence, so to speak. So where is the truth in this dynamic? You could say that it is "extended" in intersubjective space, which is why the "deeper" you become, the more access to truth you will have. As it pertains to religion, this is more or less "everything," and why it is impossible to prove the existence of God to someone with insufficient intersubjective depth, for depth is the "field of God."

The two dangers to be avoided are "empiricism" on the one end, and impersonal mysticism on the other, for both are wiped clean of your humanass. The one is surface with no depth, while the other is depth with no surface. Christianity, of course, resolves this dilemma in the form of the Incarnation, through which the universal and particular, or absolute and relative, are reconciled -- again, reconciled in love, for only love could accomplish this harmonious intersubjective union between Father and Son.

Which is also why God cannot be mother and Jesus could not be wo-man, for then the whole thing would get confused with biological fecundity instead of spiritual fecundity.

< insert diatribe against feminists and liberal theologians here >

< insert comical diatribe about how President Penisbreast's wife looks more masculine than he does: first lady Phallic Mother. No joke. Term of art. Hey, I didn't bring up her appearance. I'm happy to leave it alone, while the liberal media is obsessed with it. But I question the privileged heteronormativity of men who find her "HOT" or something. >

< Tasteless. Apologize for dragging James into this. Insert this joke instead about first 101 days between Obama and liberal media >


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the Post. It condenses the usual political vitriol into sound bites that can be processed quickly. Definitely saves time.

I'll condense my rebuttal, too.

Insert usual pro-Obama screed, anti-torture screed, etc.

Insert sanctimonious note about emotional outbursts by JWM, secretly hoping he'll throw a big flame ball today.

But really, your psychospiritual theory is quite interesting and lays heavy stress on the unique child-rearing arrangement of humanity. Fascinating...

EMTA: Early Morning Troll ATtack.

4/27/2009 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Here's the Spengler link again.

4/27/2009 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

The two dangers to be avoided are "empiricism" on the one end, and impersonal mysticism on the other, for both are emptied of your humanass.

At Walt's again,

"You were seeking me like a mother in search of her child; I was fleeing from you like an ass.
"The ass flees from his master because of asininity; his owner runs after him because of good-nature.
"He seeks him, not on account of profit or loss, but in order that a wolf or other wild beast may not tear him.

4/27/2009 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger mtraven said...

Hm, Melanie Klein, what does that suggest:

Melanie Klein: The primitive ego cannot perceive or conceive of the objects in its external world as whole, multifaceted persons. Instead it lives in a world of one-dimensional objects that have either good or bad intentions towards the infant (The psycho-analysis of children, 1932).

Gagdad Bob: Likewise, when Islamists murder, it is evil. But when we murder Islamists, it is good. I know this is confusing to you, but I actually place good and evil over any political principle. Therefore, if we waterboard KSM and he informs us of active terrorist plots, that is good. But if KSM tortures American soldiers, that is bad. We bomb nazi Germany, good; nazi Germany bombs England, bad. Police shoot bad guys, good. Bad guys shoot police, bad. Same act, diametrically opposed morality.

The whole mysticism schtick seems to be an effort to regress to an infantile state where the warm embrace of the Absolute will save you from the effort of dealing with messy, ambiguous, and dangerous reality. No wonder my efforts to get you to face up to the real world are met with such hostility; it's as if I was yanking a baby off of its mother's breast.

Whee, this psychologizing-ad-hominem stuff is fun!

4/27/2009 09:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Nice try, but the real question is whether flesh-and-blood human beings are victims, not whether monsters are victims.

Again, it is simply a truism that the McCravens of the world who are kind to the cruel, are cruel to the kind.

4/27/2009 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Well, that answers one question anyway: Are there any mysteries that I don't care to solve?


Strangely enough, this doesn't make the mystery in question evaporate; rather, like a foetid miasma it lingers, fading briefly then assaulting the nostrils just when you start to believe (or at least hope in) its promises of dissipation.

4/27/2009 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

The above comment by me misrepresents my view, since killing is not synonymous with murder. "Murder" is what terrorists do. At risk of being a champion of the obvious, we kill them to stop the murdering.

4/27/2009 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

Obviously, everyone "waits" for a freshly-baked OC to come from the oven on Monday morning.

The trolls wait "to pounce." They are hungry.

Others, too, seek nutrition. They are hungry also.

"Same act, diametrically opposed morality."

4/27/2009 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Good point. A mind parasite is indeed a "hungry ghost."

4/27/2009 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Somehow I knew, that with a title like "President Penisbreast and the Liberal Media Big Mouths", the raving craven would squack.

Ok, back to reading....

Underwater schnookering

4/27/2009 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, for some people, I am what is known as the "fecal breast." No joke. Term of art.

4/27/2009 10:42:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Although I did laugh out loud in class the first time I heard it.

4/27/2009 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I might add that I thought Melanie Klein was either insane or indulging in fantasies until I treated some psychotic patients at the state mental hospital.

4/27/2009 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I had one patient who turned a Rorschach picture into a kind of exploding Hustler magazine -- parts of breasts and penises everywhere!

4/27/2009 10:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Cory said...

Bob, you are right, it is useless to debate with anyone who has "absolutized the relative". Their "truth" is always shifting.
The sole criterion upon which they operate is whether they perceive themselves to be "winning" at the moment. Nothing else counts because, for such people, nothing else exists. They create enemies out of thin air in order to have someone to "beat". The implications of this are actually pretty scary.

4/27/2009 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

From final 'insert' to "HOT" link " meant getting busy. 101 days straight kind of busy..."

Travelling musicians everywhere will blink, scratch head, then ask "Why'd it take 'em 101 days?" Reading on down, "... the couple found an intimacy they thought was gone..." "Huaw... eggeheads, on top of being incompetent, they even believe their own lines!"

(sorry. Insert reprimand here.)

4/27/2009 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, the first principle of leftism is that there are no principles -- everything is just means to end. Truth never even enters the picture, unless it can be conveniently appropriated for an ulterior purpose, which in turn reverts to horizontal power.

Indeed, this is what I learned from my leftist political science teachers: politics is about power.

But for us, it is first about truth (to which power is posterior), beginning with the truth of human nature -- which, if it excludes God, is no longer human.

4/27/2009 11:11:00 AM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

fecal breast? As in they can't wait to get their morning dump out of their system?


wv: mater (no joke, term of art)

4/27/2009 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

No, you are confusing that with the toilet breast. No joke -- term of art. For example, George Bush is a pretty transparent example vis-a-vis the left. They project all of their psychic feces into him, which is why they cannot let him go, for he is literally part of them.

4/27/2009 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Gagdad Bob said "Yes, the first principle of leftism is that there are no principles -- everything is just means to end...."

Yep, and the leading method of leftists to avoid and/or misuse principles, is to drop relevant all contexts right off the bat, this enables them to flatten even the deepest considerations, to a one dimensional exercise in connecting only those dots they desire to see.

See any mtcraven comment for an example.

(Insert most recent post on the issue here.)

4/27/2009 11:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Truly, like all invisible warfare, it is hand to hand combat without hands.

4/27/2009 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

If you want to get a feel for the "fecal breast," just think of any narcissist you know, who imagines that he is a source of "milk," when he is actually a non-stop flow of toxins. Think Sean Penn, or Keith Olbermann, or Mark Morford. This is the reason why they leave you with such a bad taste in your mouth.

4/27/2009 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Gagdad said "If you want to get a feel for the "fecal breast"..."

Oh. Uh... thanks, no.

4/27/2009 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

BTW, regarding "President Penisbreast," I wish I had had time to work in primitive ideas of kingship, and how the spiritual energy radiates through the king and into his subjects. I will be posting on this in the future, as it is a prominent form of "counterfeit grace," as we see with the left's reaction to Obama. This is why leftists love their cults of personality. Look at how the congressional black leftist caucus responds to Castro, or how the international left loved the monster Arafat.....

4/27/2009 11:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Aquila said...

Speaking of media "fecal breasts" -- looks like the sh!tt!est one of them all is now drawing unemployment, rather than "editorial cartoon" blood-libels.

4/27/2009 12:10:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Ok, think I starting to get it re fecal breast. Just how is toilet breast distinguished from it?

Or, is that the wrong way to frame the question... oh dear, I'm confused. Again

4/27/2009 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

A toilet breast is a projected object one uses in order to "flush" away projected bad content from one's own mind. As is true of all projections, they are actually taking place intrapsychically.

To take the Bush example, the left projects all their bad content into him, in hilariously distorted form. But again, the key idea is that it's taking place internally. It's really a toilet breast inside, projected outside.

Probably seems far-fetched. Imagine my surprise when my study of anthropology turned up primitive groups who have gods they call "eaters of shit," and which cleanse the psychic toxins of the group. I'll try to find some references, but you might even be able to google it....

4/27/2009 12:22:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Here you go: holy shit!

4/27/2009 12:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

In Islam they call it a "shit eating jinn."

4/27/2009 12:25:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Re. the phallic mother, one of my best friends when I was little was a boy whose mother had told him that girls have "little tiny balls," presumably in response to the question of why/ how girls and boys have different plumbing.

A few years later, I was completely unsurprised to hear that he was gay (for other behavioral reasons), but now I wonder what effect that explanation may have had.

4/27/2009 12:25:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

That wouldn't have any effect unless it were just a screen memory for some more pervasive psychosexual weirdness going on, which there usually is, at least in my experience.

4/27/2009 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Makes sense.

I guess what I was wondering in a broader sense is if, in someone who has a strong likelihood of being gay from the outset, he grows up in a situation where the feminine is demystified (both in the physical sense [i.e. if girls have tiny penises, what more do you need to know?] and in the more common sense of being raised mainly by women) and the adult masculine remains a mystery (because the father is absent more than present), it's just one more thing in combination with a multitude of others that might have an effect.

I didn't mean to imply that's all it would take to alter his orientation or even that that was a major factor; I should have clarified.

4/27/2009 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

As penance for bringing a humorous discussion to a screeching halt, here - Have a Slogan.

4/27/2009 01:28:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

*Warning - some of those are probably really offensive; the first couple I saw made me laugh, but I underestimated how far the site designers would take it. So consider yourself warned...

4/27/2009 01:33:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Stink Spirit?

From Spirited Away...

4/27/2009 01:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Noid said...

Longtime reader, infrequent commenter here. Could it be that I'm the first to link the latest in Obamessianaic psychospiritual silliness?Coincidentally, I'm reading the Devil chapter in MOTT, and wondering where all the egregores coming from the Left are landing. I suspect Obama came to the game with some demons on his shoulder already, and there's got to be quite a crowd assembled there now.

4/27/2009 01:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Psychospiritual silliness? I had to click on that link -

Wo . . . First time I'm seeing such silliness. I was hesitant about sharing my, with Obama psychic encounter, but it is clear now why I felt compelled to post (yesterday) about my face-to-face meeting.


4/27/2009 03:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ooops! wrong day - 4/25 at 4:47, my post about my asking Obama if he thought he was THE ONE.


4/27/2009 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

at least the stink spirit was there to get clean...

4/27/2009 03:38:00 PM  
Blogger Brazentide said...

Nice reference Ricky~

I find Miyazaki to be sublime and indeed one of the last great storytellers./l

4/27/2009 03:56:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Apropos of nothing, a lovely tidbit from today's Bleat:

"...there was a gigantic bass violin case blocking the way. I hesitated to touch it, not knowing how many thousands of dollars were contained inside in varnished wood form - but when I touched it, the case was feather light. It was empty. It was like a chrysalis from which a gigantic gossamer-winged insect with a very low voice had departed."


4/27/2009 05:37:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

I always appreciate good metaphors and analogies. The one you used today, contrasting "surface and depth," has rolled around my mind all day.

(Insert Julie's *gong* here.)

You wrote:
The two dangers to be avoided are "empiricism" on the one end, and impersonal mysticism on the other.... The one is surface with no depth, while the other is depth with no surface. Christianity, of course, resolves this dilemma in the form of the Incarnation, through which the universal and particular, or absolute and relative, are reconciled...It seems to me that statement is pretty pithy.

The imagery of surface and depth also corresponds to that used in various somatic disciplines I've studied, and your language and concept let me see it on a much broader Scale. Thanks!

4/27/2009 05:38:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Mary Ann Glendon, former US Ambassador to the Vatican, refuses to sell her soul for a medal. Way to go Mary Ann - great letter too.

4/27/2009 06:17:00 PM  
Anonymous uncle Remus said...

and does you believe dat everwhere those coons went, dat dusty ol' Br'er Raven kep a followin' and a followin' An no matter how many feathers dem coons plucked off'n him, he jus kep on a squawkin away an lookin' foolisher an' foolisher. Soon even Br'er Moonbat was a laughin' at dat fool ol' Raven. Br'er Moonbat, he say, "You leave dem coons alone, and come to de protess." But ol' Br'er Raven, he didn' want to go to no protess becuz he too busy squawkin a dat bunch o' coons.
Well, soon'nuff dem rascly coons had plucked out all'n Br'er Raven's feathers an' left him nekkid as a fried chicken. And does you know dat dat dusty o'l Br'er Raven jus never could leave dem coons alone? Alla de res t'n his days, dat foolish nekkid bird jus kep on a chasin' dem coons aroun jus a squawkin' and a squawkin' and a squawkin...

4/27/2009 07:52:00 PM  
Blogger jwm said...

Ricky- Spirited Away is a good candidate for my favorite movie of all time. It's one of the very few films I've encountered that I can watch repeatedly without getting tired of it. Maybe there's a lesson there about the Stink Spirit. For that matter, No face comes to mind.
Uncle Remus seems to have it pegged.


4/27/2009 08:45:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Again apropos of nothing, you know how every once in a while, you have one of those moments of self-awareness, where for the briefest of seconds you catch a glimpse of yourself as other people really see you? Or even more humbling, as you actually compare to the Absolute? It's shocking when that happens even just regarding how we look (and probably also one of the reasons so many people hate having their picture taken), but even more so when it's an in-depth view.

Now imagine (but not too clearly, or you may have a tough time recovering) having that experience if you were this guy. (Via Treacher, who seems to find him endlessly entertaining).

4/27/2009 09:53:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Thanks uncle Remus!
I always enjoy your commentary. :^)

4/28/2009 12:25:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

RE Spirited Away, it’s probably in my top 3 fav rerun movies, if it’s the summer. If we spent the day at the beach and “Dad, we just watched Totoro last Saturday”, then Spirited Away is neck-n-neck with Jaws.

Totoro reminds me of every summer I think I had as a kid rolled into one. When we were outside all the time and there was no technotainment. Bob, I’d bet FL would love it. It is the most beautiful, meditative animated movie I can think of. He may need to be a little older for Spirited Away.

Jaws looks, sounds and smells like the New England I grew up in. I had just completed the 4th grade that summer. Would be a new school next year. I had this new sense of freedom – like an older kid, or rather a young man. And then….adults didn’t want to go in the water. It was my coming-of-age movie. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing on the screen.

Bob, chances are pretty good you’ve seen Jaws. Aside from my personal associations from it, there is a “trinity” in there two. A mommy-daddy-makes-a-Brody. Or something like that. You could flesh it out better than I. But, who brings together the opposing forces of the ancient Wisdom of the World of Capt Quint with the new knowledge of Dr Hooper to “solve” the shark? ‘Twas Brody killed the beast. Talk about a slap in the ass.

4/28/2009 05:40:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

No Face reminds me of Michael Jackson. Sounds like him too. I miss when it was normal to like Michael Jackson. The early version. He probably does too :-) I mean, I didn't even know I liked the guy until he well...left. Bob, if you take requests, maybe sometime you could explain what went rong there. You know, your deeper than the standard drive-by assesment.

4/28/2009 05:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Skully said...


Re: Michael Jackson: He went "Bad."

4/28/2009 05:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Rick@work said...

That’s 'zactly what I’m talking about not talking about. But how you said it doesn’t make it any less true, 'course.

4/28/2009 06:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Skully said...

Dammit Rick, I'm a privateer, not a doctor! :^)

4/28/2009 06:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Capt Kirk said...

I like the cut of your Brody. Send me a resume. Better yet, include a photo of you tying a sheep shank.

RR :-)

4/28/2009 07:11:00 AM  
Blogger Brazentide said...

My neighbor Totoro captures innocence and joy in a way I suspect has made some of my horizontally minded friends subconsciously uncomfortable.

He's got a New one coming out in the US this August

4/28/2009 07:30:00 PM  

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