The Messiah and the Dark Side of the Moonbat
Think of how the assimilation of culture works for the child. Is he assimilating it, or does it assimilate him? Or how about language? Do we speak it, or does it speak us? This might seem like an idle question, but as I pointed out in my book, the average person is actually spoken by language. They more or less consist of a storehouse of disconnected memes that they rewordgitate like prerecorded tapes, depending upon which button you push. Indeed, this is what makes them so boring. But Petey never repeteys himsoph.
A person who is actually alive to language and operating out of a "free center" is always a dangerous person -- dangerous to the establishment. Perhaps I should clarify. "Establishment" is a term used by Bion to denote the "group container," as it were. It can only be understood dialectically, in relation to what Bion called the "mystic" or "messiah" (again, you need to strip these -- at least initially -- of their religious overtones).
Man is obviously a social animal who belongs to various groups. The first group is infant-breast (or even mouth-breast). And although it is becoming more of a rarity, some of us move on from there. However, it must be emphasized that the identical mechanisms that characterize that first group can and do operate in later ones, such as "culture."
As I explained in my book, whatever else it is, culture is first and foremost a psychological container that can be more or less in touch with reality -- just like a person. Thus, an orthodox Raccoon would not ask why this or that culture is so freaking crazy. Rather, he would ask why some are relatively sane. If you realize how crazy people are, then you understand why cultures are the way they are. Or, to put it another way, only someone who is completely blind to the dark side of human nature can proudly call themselves a "multiculturalist." Might as well boast that you have Multiple Personality Disorder.
You could say that a culture is just a neurosis writ large, while a neurosis is just a private culture. And the latter is a culture, because you don't have to be a clinical psychologist to know that the average person is at cross-purposes with himself because he is inhabited by various alter-egos with differing agendas, which we call mind parasites. Mind parasites generally operate unconsciously, while the conscious mind makes excuses for them in order to confer a spurious sense of unity upon the self -- a coherent narrative.
But this narrative is always a lie (more or less), as it is in the service of mind parasites, not Truth. Thus, to surrender to Truth is always a threat to the mind parasites. You might even imagine that you don't have any until you try to act in such a way that threatens them. One of the reasons I enjoy reading autobiographies of genuine saints and mystics is that they always go into detail about this -- about how they dealt with the rebellious mind parasites that were stirred up by virtue of their attempting to conform themselves to the Divine. So to enter the spiritual path is to declare war on your mind parasites, precisely.
Again, the establishment features the identical defense mechanisms that are present in the most basic group, i.e., mouth-breast. These include splitting, projection, internalization, deification, evacuation, envy, contempt and triumph. None of these has any necessary relationship to truth. For example, a person who is projecting may say something that is technically true, but that isn't why he's saying it. Rather, for that person, the real truth is the function of his defense mechanism, which is to expel the bad from the psyche in order to maintain homeostasis.
The mind is obviously an "order-seeking" organ. However, like all systems, it is open and at disequilibrium. As such, it can never actually achieve homeostasis except when you are dead (and it goes without saying that one may continue biological life long after one is intellectually dead, a point which is proven by the existence of the tenured). Therefore, all man-made intellectual systems, no matter how lofty, will have a component of the most primitive infantile anxiety, which comes down to the fantasy that I possess the breast (to be pedantic, this unconscious process is actually spelled phantasy, to distinguish it from conscious fantasy).
To cite one obvious example, the naive Darwinian who truly believes that his ideology provides any kind of adequate explanation of the human situation is really acting out of the most primitive defense imaginable -- just whistling past the graveyard. Please note that this does not apply to someone who simply embraces the science in a disinterested way, knowing that it's only a scientific abstraction, not to be confused with reality.
Only when people begin to invest psychic energy in these things do you see the primitive defenses coming to the fore. Obviously there are things worth getting excited over. Ida is not one of them. Nor even is the genome, since we share 98% or more of our DNA with chimps, 40% with a banana, and 30% with Keith Olbermann. But since a banana is infinitely more intelligent than a Keith Olbermann, there is more to life than DNA.
According to the sadly out of print New Introduction to the Work of Bion (used copies for only $84 to $140), "Attempts to evacuate, deify, or dogmatize are defensive reactions in the face of catastrophic change," a principle that applies "to any scientific, religious, therapeutic, or social group."
Change. Where have I heard that before? Oh yes. It appears that we are in the midst of some catastrophic changes these days. And what does the catastrophic change elicit and call out from the deep?
Yes, precisely. The Messiah. But of course, the Messiah is only the visible side of the moon. We all know that there is a dark side of the moonbat, so that whenever we see such a bright, gory sun god cast himself upon our alien shore (Henry Miller), we should always look for those other primitive mechanisms that surround him, because it's all just one great big defense. Against what? Against reality. Thus, to quote Vanderleun quoting some even grander loon, the more things change, the more they stay insane.
This is why in a creepily unprecedented way, the entire liberal media extablishment is working as a farce-multiplier for Obama's political deification. After all, no one is in the midst of a bigger crisis than the liberal media, who are in the process of becoming extinct, messiah or no messiah. Or, put this way: even the real God couldn't save newspapers. You could name Jesus editor of Snoozeweek, and even he couldn't wake it from the dead.
The more threatened the group, the more violent the projection and other primitive defenses. This is why they cannot stop demonizing conservatives, despite the fact that conservatives have absolutely no political power at this time. But if you wade into some of the more prominent left wing sites, they sound as if we are still on schedule for President Bush's theofascist takeover of the government. They must obsess over Bush and Cheney in order to "cleanse" the messiah of their own psychic toxins. After all, the toxins have to go somewhere. It's just a fact of psychic life: behind deification you will always find defecation.
It reminds me of an ironic comment that Bion made upon emigrating from England to the United States when he was well into his 60s. When asked why, he said something to the effect that in England he was so weighted down with honors that he was in danger of sinking without a trace. There is much truth to this, as it is possible to kill a man through idealization just as easily as through denigration. I ask you: how many so-called Christians kill Christ in this way?
Balthasar was certainly on the case. Why? Because the real messiah is exceedingly dangerous. He is not the cure for catastrophic change. Rather, he is its cause. He sets up his "death-jump" into history "as a model: he lures men from their limits out into the same inevitably deadly adventure. His fire is to burn on in others. Now and then he actually succeeds, like dynamite, in blasting a soul into the air, and far and wide the windows rattle and the foundations of houses quake."
Ah, but "what does one do when there is threat of conflagration? One hedges it in. One attempts to deprive the fire of its fuel and, if necessary, whole city-blocks have to be blown up and demolished. A bare strip is made through a burning forest, or, if it is a plains burning, a wide ditch is dug. So too must we attempt to hem him in. Create all around him a space void of air where neither fire nor love can breathe! Choke him -- but gently" (Heart of the World).
So, how can you tell a real messiah from a false one? The real one gets crucified. But only every day.