Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Divine Actors, Pomotextuals, and Drama Queegs

The paradox of human existence cannot be resolved within the human being. This is why all godless philosophies are intrinsically absurd. But can absurdity be the last word of existence? It seems that insisting that it is gives the atheist a kind of faux dignity and courage, which is just non-absurdity by another name, for both are derived from God, not our animal nature.

HvB writes that "man, fashioned by the Logos, is essentially constructed along dia-logical lines," so that "any mono-logical interpretation is bound to destroy him." This would include the diverse mono-logues of materialism and false religion.

In fact, this is where the extremes of new age integralism and crypto-Marxist Obamism meet in the muddle. For both negate the real person, who specifically becomes real in light of the Absolute. The former dissolves the person into pure spirit, while the latter dissolves him into matter and/or the collective.

(Some idiot left a comment wondering how a Subgenius could hold my political views. The real question is how one could not hold them, since a mono-logical, flatland existence is intrinsically devoid of Slack. If God does not exist, then Slack is pure illusion.)

I'm mixing up my volumes here, because the Theo-Drama makes so many provocative observations along these lines. So many, that I don't see how I'll ever be able to trancelight them into blog posts. In fact, I'm thinking of writing the next book as a kind of Raccoon/Subgenius playgiarizarion of Balthasar. For me, the problem hasn't been writing another book. But I don't want to just toss another stupid book onto mankind's mountain of pseudo-intellectual or pneuma-babbling vanities. Rather, if I'm going to do it, I want it to be about everything and for all time.

With the first book, my inspiration was Finnegans Wake, which is a kind of closed and yet infinite circle embracing the entire insane (and occasionally sane) collideorescape of history. But now I need a bigger circle. In Balthasar, I think I've found one sufficiently large for my purposes.

Which, when you think about it -- don't worry, I'll stop talking about myself in a minute -- returns to the absurdity and insufficiency of any empirical, materialistic, positivistic, scientistic, or Darwinian view of man. If that is the tiny canvas upon which I am supposed to work, I couldn't even begin. It is analogous to putting someone into a lightless little box and asking him to produce something true and beautiful. Impossible.

No, in order to properly live our lives at all, we need the largest possible canvas. And in my ongoing Adventure in Christianity, I'm discovering that this is the biggest canvas there is. Or at least the biggest one I've found. For in this inword adventure, we get to live our finite life in the light of an infinite Absolute who confers absolute meaning upon it.

Every alternative comes up short of this, and is "boring" by comparison. And one reason it is boring, is because -- as HvB is at pains to point out over the course of some 3,000 pages of Theo-Drama -- it is specifically drained of drama.

For example, take the metaphysical Darwinist. His life is devoid of drama, I suppose with the exception of whether or not he will reproduce, or even just get a date on Saturday night. Thus, I suppose this could confer a kind of faux-drama, or at least urgency, upon Queeg's objectively meaningless life. Will he leave behind a little liztard to carry on his meaningless genetic line? Or will this be it?

But even in the unlikely event that he is "successful," what's the point? He's just kicking the empty genetic can down to the next generation. And not only that, but once you realize that the whole thing is just a trick of the genes, why pursue it at all? Why not just be an obsessive and slightly paranoid computer geek, and stay away from the ladies?

In other words, women aren't really "beautiful." Please. They just appear that way in order to trick us into having sex with them. Once you've seen through the ruse, then you're free to ignore nature's deception that we erroneously call "female beauty." To say that beauty is "beside the point" is literally true, the point being to deposit genetic material into them.

Once you have successfully eliminated the transcendent, then you have taken away any basis for real drama, which can only occur on the "stage" between us and our Creator. For the essence of the drama is the dialectic between finite and infinite freedom. Here is the question and task every human being must face: how do I imprint as much of the absolute as possible in the finite time given? How do I write eternity with these clumsy crayons of time?

Can it be done? Of course it can be done. But it can again only take place in the space between the scylla of materialism and the charybdis of pure mysticism. In the case of the former, both drama and history are reduced to nature. In the case of the latter, they are dissolved in illusion, and have no ultimate value whatsoever. But anyone can look into the eyes of his child and know damn well that he has infinite value.

The other possible non-drama in which to play out one's life -- for in the end, there are only these three possibilities -- is post-Christian Marxism in one of its many guises. And when I say "post-Christian," the operative word is "Christian," for everything from Maoism to Obamaism is just a Christian heresy, specifically, a counter-drama which displaces the conflict between finite and infinite freedom to the plane of a materialistic-messianic hope, in which everyone will have the same amount of stuff.

But then what? The only drama takes place in the illusory hope that this would actually do anything to resolve the paradox of human existence. All the world is just a stage in the Marxist dialectic.

We see quite vividly how this de-Christianized messianic hope has been transferred to the ridiculous figure of Obama, who indeed plays the part for all it is worth (which is ultimately nothing, once the lights of the political theatre come back on). But for those of us who are not sitting in the dark to begin with, the whole sad spectacle is simultaneously pathetic and alarming, for we are seeing this Christian heresy embraced not only by those who hate God, but by so-called Christians as well. Madness!

So there are modes of existence that borrow from Christian theo-drama -- e.g., Marxism, "progressivism," "climate change," Obamism -- and there are modes which destroy the drama up front -- e.g., existentialism, hedonism, Darwinism, the pomo schtick of deconstruction, etc.

If there is drama, there must be fulfillment, as any playwright knows, i.e., conflict and resolution. In the case of our little drama on the stage of the herebelow, the primary conflict is again this persecutory combination of knowledge of the Absolute and of Death. In other words, mankind is condemned to the Absolute if only by virtue of his knowledge of Death, which appears on the stage as a kind of absolute horizon. How can we simultaneously possess absolute knowledge but not be God?

Again, there is your drama! For your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to assimilate as much of the absolute as possible within the allotted time, for everything else will go up in flames faster than Obama's economic policies.

The monuments of those who "make history," only express a desire that is equally that of the insignificant and the powerless: all alike want to scratch something true, something valid, into the face of the dwindling day. --Balthasar

40 Comments:

Blogger walt said...

Sheesh!

If it's just Queeg over here, and a self-appointed Messiah over there, I sez:

"Give me the Drama!"(That can be the title of one of the chapters in your next etc., etc.)

As Ricky says, "Great post, Bob!"

5/05/2009 07:55:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

This would include the diverse mono-logues of materialism and false religion.

And vaginas, though I suppose that would fall under the heading of either or both...

5/05/2009 08:20:00 AM  
Blogger QP said...

Love this:

The monuments of those who "make history," only express a desire that is equally that of the insignificant and the powerless: all alike want to scratch something true, something valid, into the face of the dwindling day. --Balthasar

wv: "gyperms"

Lord lead me to spend my days gyrating around your eternal truths.

5/05/2009 08:28:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Last thing I read in Balthasar yesterday, in reference to Plotinus:

"Spirit is a yearning eternally circling around the mystery of the One...."

5/05/2009 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Again, there is your drama! For your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to assimilate as much of the absolute as possible within the allotted time

It's amazing how, once you sight your sights on the real drama, all of the petty dramas in life - the man-made ones, the games people play to get a frisson of action and self-importance, no different for some people than getting high, really - become so starkly apparent and shabby by contrast.

Hm. I think I just unintentionally tripped over trollish motivations...

5/05/2009 08:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Absolutely. They just want to pull you out of your tree. But you can't be pulled, you can only fall.

5/05/2009 08:47:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Speaking of low drama, this particular bit of theater keeps getting stranger.

5/05/2009 08:56:00 AM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

Here is the question and task every human being must face: how do I imprint as much of the absolute as possible in the finite time given? How do I write eternity with these clumsy crayons of time?

Like this?

5/05/2009 09:05:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

!
Wow, Robin - good answer :D

5/05/2009 09:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Is Andrew Sullivan suggesting that he would prefer to be anally raped 83 times? Because if so, we knew that already.

5/05/2009 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger Warren said...

"All the world is just a stage in the Marxist dialectic."

I wonder how the eventual heat death of the universe fits into the materialist dialectic....

5/05/2009 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger Warren said...

"Obamaism is just a Christian heresy"

I love it. Obama is not merely a Christian heretic (we already knew that) - he's actually a heresy!

5/05/2009 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger Warren said...

"the scylla of materialism and the charybdis of pure mysticism"

Monism, by any other name, would be as meaningless....

This is the oldest running argument in the world that I know of. Heraclitus and Parmenides, still crazy after 2500 years - and still waiting for a Plato to come along and show them another way to look at things....

5/05/2009 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Great post, Bob!
(Waltah! ;-)

“...is to assimilate as much of the absolute as possible within the allotted time.”

Bob, I want to say that UF said something similar in MOTT – to ease the Great Shock at T minus zero…

Does it ring a bell?

- Rick@work (no MOTT w/ my 800 flags sticking out of it)

5/05/2009 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger Warren said...

"Is Andrew Sullivan suggesting that he would prefer to be anally raped 83 times?"

Only if it's by Obama.

5/05/2009 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

And even more petty drama, in the UK Michael Savage is as unwelcome as a high-level murdering terrorist, and British Airways removes Israel from its maps, so as not to offend certain sensibilities.

Seems to me that the latter action is a good way to launch one's business from the midst of low drama to the very most painful excitements of high drama, but what do I know?

5/05/2009 09:49:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Re. Sullivan, the irony there is that if Abu Zubaydah had, for instance, been thrown in with the general prison population there's a good chance that's exactly what would have happened...

5/05/2009 09:53:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"For example, take the metaphysical Darwinist. His life is devoid of drama, I suppose with the exception of whether or not he will reproduce, or even just get a date on Saturday night. Thus, I suppose this could confer a kind of faux-drama, or at least urgency, upon Queeg's objectively meaningless life."

Yep, the need for thrills seems to me, is a symptom for not having access to depth. Once you've sealed yourself off from not only the Wonkavator's, but the stairs as well, all you can do is run up and down the halls trying to peek through keyholes.

5/05/2009 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Again, there is your drama! For your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to assimilate as much of the absolute as possible within the allotted time, for everything else will go up in flames faster than Obama's economic policies. "

I was just reading Seneca's on the shortness of life, and while I'm not so sure he successfully navigated the space between the scylla of materialism and the charybdis of pure mysticism, he does a very good job of pointing out that even a short life lived deeply (which must include leisure), will result in far more life lived, than even the longest of lives spent focused on pursuing the things and thrills and other flotsam glistening on the surface of life.

The conceited queegs of modernity (and good lord, does Seneca ever nail their images to the wall!) who think themselves so advanced, are always so easily seen as completely unevolved, by those with eyes to see, in every age.

5/05/2009 10:19:00 AM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

For in this inword adventure, we get to live our finite life in the light of an infinite Absolute who confers absolute meaning upon it.

Every alternative comes up short of this, and is "boring" by comparison.



Amen

5/05/2009 10:19:00 AM  
Anonymous morlis said...

I'm increasingly getting the feeling that I'm tuning into an LGF troll's blog rather than a an off-road aspirant's journal.

He one-upped you dude. More than once. Move on.

5/05/2009 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Van, thanks for that link. Seneca even manages to tweak the worshipers of hopey changey-ness:

New engrossments take the place of the old, hope leads to new hope, ambition to new ambition. They do not seek an end of their wretchedness, but change the cause. Have we been tormented by our own public honours? Those of others take more of our time. Have we ceased to labour as candidates? We begin to canvass for others. Have we got rid of the troubles of a prosecutor? We find those of a judge. Has a man ceased to be a judge? He becomes president of a court. Has he become infirm in managing the property of others at a salary? He is perplexed by caring for his own wealth.

5/05/2009 11:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

"The liztard that squeals is the one you hit."

5/05/2009 11:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

I heartily endorse the following essay: conservatism is an argument, while liberalism is a promise.

5/05/2009 01:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No need to feel like time is in short supply.

If we look at any mountain chain, let's say the Santa Monica mountains, any among us can say with certainty, "I am more ancient than those peaks."

We are really old, and not by virtue of arising from the amorphous bliss. No, we as discrete entities, real individuals, are mossy and hoary with stupendous age. Some older than others, but for the most part, we all have been around the block and have been transmigrating through various experiences for aeons.

We have all peered out of the glinting eyes of saurians millions of rotations back. Each of us has been a blade of grass, for the joy of experiencing the green explosion of life at a very simple level.

We'll all be around for untold millions more rotations. So, to put life in perspective, its not savvy to waste time, but on the other hand it is a mistake not to take one's time to do things properly.

Generally that means taking one thing at a time, then moving to the next. Focus. Absorb.

Frustration and self-reproach at one's speed at anything is laughable, as we discover as soon as we die.

Its all going to get done. Believe it.

5/05/2009 01:23:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Not me... I ain't older than no mountain bro...

I'm waaaay younger.

5/05/2009 01:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Ain't no mountain high enough to be me.

5/05/2009 02:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Northern Bandit said...

Poor Queeg.

The man is so intellectually feeble -- not to mention so afflicted with a truly porcine stubbornness -- that he still posts over and over on how the swine flu virus "proves" "evolution", and ergo the anti-Darwinists are fools etc.

Some people are simply constitutionally incapable of escaping their blinkered pig-ignorance. Queeg has had every opportunity to engage deeper ideas trough his forum (although banning everyone who can think doesn't help). You might as well read Plato to your dog for all the good it does.

Loser Lizard.

5/05/2009 03:07:00 PM  
Anonymous morlis said...

Amen to that, Cuz.

5/05/2009 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger QP said...

Madness. Right here in Texas. Unhinged feminsts are now trying to allow postpartum depression and “effects of lactation following birth” as an allowable defense for the murder of your own infant.

Texas state representative, Jessica Ferrar, is currently trying to force through a bill that would decriminalize infanticide. Texas HB 3318, the first of its kind in the entire country, known as “the infanticide bill”.

Via Gateway Pundit

5/05/2009 04:20:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

>>The monuments of those who "make history," only express a desire that is equally that of the insignificant and the powerless: all alike want to scratch something true, something valid, into the face of the dwindling day<<

Of course nobody's insignificant/powerless unless they render themselves one of the forgotten ones - that is, if they sink themselves into blank materiality.

Never underestimate the power of the individual human spirit. Not only can you earn heaven (or hell) without ever leaving your own block, but you can avert wars, earthquakes, help bring about the Parousia. And NO, I'm not talking about your voting record. I'm talking spiritual osmosis.

So tend to your garden, walk the dog, greet the neighbor, raise your children, sing in your choir, make your bed, deal with the local auto mechanic, and do it all with a prayerful awareness. Change the world, change everything. We've got the power. So let us use it.

5/05/2009 04:44:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

O yeah, let us be patient, too.

The Theo-Drama has some thrilling, cliff-hanging moments, but 99% of trodding the Path is a matter of patience, just waiting and accepting.

5/05/2009 04:49:00 PM  
Anonymous northern pundit said...

Northern Bandit:

Why so constantly dour, dude?
Isn't winter over yet?
Lose that carping, sour mood-
This life's as good as you're gonna get.

Enough with the vituperative rants already.

5/05/2009 07:17:00 PM  
Blogger debass said...

When I meet the Darwinian types who tell me they are glad they don't have children, I tell them, "Me too. I'm also glad you don't have children." They don't seem to get it.
The socialists of history, Mao, Marx, Obama, etc., have adopted the old west outlaw, Jesse James mantra, "All the world is a stage, so rob it".

wv-upying: Chinese for up yours.

5/05/2009 09:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Correcting the Historical Record on U.S. Interrogation Policy. There is no lie the left will not spew in order to make this country weaker.

5/05/2009 09:47:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

And to put it into a little more perspective, there's this from Taranto today:

"U.S. law prevents their [Uighur Gitmo detainees] deportation to China, because they could face torture -- actual torture, not kid-gloves CIA stuff -- there."

5/05/2009 10:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Northern Bandit said...

pundit:

Thanks for the advice, anonymous troll!

What else should I do?

5/06/2009 06:33:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Heh - he may be on to something, there:

"I keep hearing that Barack Obama is this awesome and mega-wonderful President. I’ve been skeptical about that, but out of the blue I suddenly realized: Have you ever given some thought to how little it would take for that to be really true? All He really needs to do, is treat people who make money the way He treats terrorists, and treat terrorists the way He treats capitalists."

5/06/2009 07:15:00 AM  
Anonymous northern pundit said...

NB:

Add a little yeast. Your culture's fine. Then take time to smell the loaves.

5/06/2009 07:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Kepler Sings said...

Here, as smart as I am, and as spiritually hep, and all these people that Bob has been reading made 16 lane freeways into the realm of spirit years ago, centuries ago, while I am over here trying to get out of Donner's Pass in my Conestoga before the snow gets any higher...damn! And I thought all wisdom and knowledge was just discovered when the liberal Baby Boomers were born! Everyone before that time was just gibbering apes.

5/06/2009 10:51:00 PM  

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