Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cheating On the Ego and Running Off with Truth

How is it that existence may know of the essence? It's easy enough for a person of average intellect to determine that God exists. But unaided, we cannot know who God is.

Once again I use the analogy of a person. Say a patient comes into my consulting room for the first time. Thus, it is safe to say that he exists. But who is he? What is he all about? What's his story? Does he have insurance? I cannot know any of these things until he tells me.

More or less. You can actually know quite a bit by body language, posture, facial expression, eye contact, body odor. Many people have a gelatinous physique or drooping posture that says "I have given up," or that bespeaks a total lack of discipline or boundaries. To them you want to say, "go away and come back after you've learned to carry yourself like a proper Man!"

One of my rules of thumb is that if someone comes into the office carrying food -- especially while in the act of eating -- it is a sure sign of a boundary disturbance. Such individuals almost always have personality disorders with primitive boundary issues. It is as if there is no ontological distinction between the mouth they use to eat and the one they use to speak.

Again, we see how such disturbances are made possible because of the symmetrical logic of the unconscious mind. In primitive patients, one commonly sees what is called "zonal confusion," whereby, say, the ear becomes a voracious or angry mouth. As you might guess, such a person does very odd things with the words I transmit to them -- similar to what our trolls do -- e.g., tearing them apart with their teeth, swallowing them without chewing, spitting them out, etc.

It is a truism that you just never know what the patient hears, nor how they hear it. You can think you're making one crystal clear point, but they pick out something completely different. Again, communication becomes less problematic as one moves up the developmental scale, from primitive to neurotic to mature and beyond.

So now imagine the unenviable position of God. He wishes to communicate, to be known. But look at the bunch of losers and retards to whom he wishes to communicate! Humans! Of all people! Is it any wonder that the message gets so distorted? Talk about zonal confusion. For a primitive human being, it is the work of an instant to turn the ear into a mouth, an anus, a fist, or a phallus.

Inevitably this is going to sound a bit insane, isn't it? I well remember the first time I encountered such strange ideas (see also here). I skated through my masters program without ever truly penetrating beneath the well-lit space of the ego. It wasn't until my doctoral program that I was initiated into the noncivilized world of the primitive unconscious, mainly because I had an incredibly gifted professor, Dr. Panajian, who didn't just transmit (k) about it, but (n).

In this regard, understanding the unconscious is no different than understanding the supraconscious, for in both cases, experience is what counts. Book learning will only get you so far, and in many cases it will simply mislead. Here again, this is why in my book of the sane gnome I used the abstract symbols to talk about the supramental, for the same reason that Bion used them to talk about the unconscious.

Now, Balthasar makes reference to the "abyss that yawns between uncreated and created nature." Since we are creatures, we know there is a creator. But again, what's he like? We can employ metaphysical logic to understand certain things. For example, the neo-Platonists determined that God had to be "good," and that it was in the nature of the good to communicate itself.

True enough, but this reduces God to a kind of automatic mechanism. In short, it removes his personhood and therefore his freedom. To my knowledge, no Greek thinker ever conceived of God as a person, with all that implies (as opposed to a mythological figure such as Zeus).

Balthasar writes that this abyss "can only be bridged by a free creative act of God, not through some impersonal 'seepage' or -- as the Origenists suggested -- through the sinful disintegration" of the original unity of the ideal cosmos.

Again, it's the same as with any person. We don't just understand them because something seeps out of them, but because of what they choose to communicate. And there are varying levels of communication, from the very public, to the very private, to the intimate, to the secret.

This is why I say that everyone has a public life, a private life, and a secret life. Furthermore, these lives can become detached or split off from one another, when the task is to keep things flowing between them. If your public life has none of your private life, it will be without meaning. And if your private life has none of your secret life, it will be without passion. Etc. This is why rationalists are so boring. For the rationalist, all knowledge is potentially "public" and publishable, when the highest knowledge can't even be put into words, much less reduced to reason.

Certainly God couldn't publicize knowledge of himself with mere words. Rather, he could only do so by "becoming" that which he wished to convey. As they say, the primary teaching is "Christ crucified" -- and all it implies -- not any kind of explicit and unambiguous formula. Indeed, a formula is simply a defense against reality and thought, whether a religious one or a scientific one such as natural selection.

But reality is not like a leftist bumper sticker, such as "War is Not the Answer," "Question Authority," or "Don't Question Obama's Authority." Again, in the final unalysis, it is a person. And how do you understand a person?

Well, first of all you develop a relationship with them, don't you? You invite them in, maybe take them to lunch. Things deepen between the two of you, and then suddenly it goes in an unforeseen direction and you're being unfaithful to your ego. Then the ego gets a little jealous. Recriminations, ridicule, pleas for sympathy, wavering back and forth....

But you've made your choice. You must be strong! This time it's for real.

In this, most elevated sense, the phrase "Be what you are," as an invitation to conform one's existent being to the idea God has of it, is identical with the call to follow the Son of God. --Balthasar

Give me back my broken night
my mirrored room, my secret life
it's lonely here,
there's no one left to torture
Give me absolute control
over every living soul
And lie beside me, baby,
that's an order!
--Leonard Cohen

20 Comments:

Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Leggo my ego!

8/12/2009 09:45:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Such individuals almost always have personality disorders with primitive boundary issues. It is as if there is no ontological distinction between the mouth they use to eat and the one they use to speak."

Reminds me of what one of the Old dead white guys I'm reading said of one of the older dead white guys, Jason (of the Argonauts) 'he felt hungry when he was not a tyrant,'.

8/12/2009 10:20:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

There really is such a thing as "butthead." As if we didn't know.

8/12/2009 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

As as Petey says, never butt heads with a butthead.

8/12/2009 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

“That’s why when I was born they slapped my father!”
- Rodney D

8/12/2009 10:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Abdul said...

Controls of vacations if I understand this. Do you create it this, all the just as, of that she announces a commentary, that one is in the divergence of the opinion with you of solved way, a bar of you the fish of the friction that you are? They think that people don't called owns it opinions, of which they are based generally on good more obvious, than is? They make that everything has you, certainly write, has the reference in the left method where and of the bars of you fish that they drag of them intelligence of the lack? They are a bar of the fish of the friction, I that I also do this for one. Nevertheless, you, but it has to do another one, this one is and trying in the contradiction with you the end to force the luminous hand here; a miracle its handspike that will be fought if exactly of the face of the later one so very. That loses me, but had made them the sweepings of the delegates. We live in a material world, Abdul

8/12/2009 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

I think he's trying to blink us a message.

8/12/2009 10:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Northern Bandit said...

QueegWatch:

One a single page Queeg today manages to:

1. Label conservatives insane purveyors of "creationism" and "gay-bashing"

2. Defend Obama's indefensible healthcare fiasco

3. Threaten to ban anyone who voices strong opposition to #2

4. Call Palin "nuts"

5. Pay obligatory respects to that great humanitarian martyr, the Good Doctor George Tiller

6. Reinforce idea that Nazism is somehow "of the Right"

7. Take several more broadsides at "creationists"

8. Praise the BBC

9. Slander town-hall attendees

10. Defend global-warmists by advocating one of their most notorious BS websites


I can say quite honestly that this guy always gave me a weird vibe when I was an LGF regular. He enver liked me and I never liked him.

The only thing worse than his benighted, predicatable middle-brow crypto-leftism is the sheer number of shamelessly sycophantic hangers-on that here, here! on every syllable he utters. Blecch.

8/12/2009 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Abdul said "They are a bar of the fish of the friction, I that I also do this for one."

Ya know... maybe I've been wrong about Abdul... maybe Abdul isn't just running a paragraph of the days post through a couple translators and posting it back... maybe Kurzweil's Singularity has finally occured, and Abdul is actually Word Verification winking into independent consciousness!

Where else would it happen but at One Cosmos!

Asstounding! Welcome wv!

wv:untic
(just a speech impediment... wouldn't worry about it)

new wv: hoterma
No thanks, Mrs. V is hot enough

8/12/2009 11:39:00 AM  
Anonymous bob f. said...

Have to share this: been reading Stephen Meyer's Signature in the Cell about ID; first, it is worth noting that I never had any problem with Darwinism, just took it for granted like a good little Deist; so this isn't a screed by a crypto-Creationist who secretly believes the Earth was created a few centuries before Homer (or Jethro).
The book is world-changing. The reason the Darwinists are so adament about keeping ID out of the schools is the same reason you wouldn't want to play golf with Tiger Woods for a $1,000 a hole. He (Meyer, not Woods) blows Darwinism completely out of the water (but in a nice way).
And the key question is: where does the information come from? What information?, you may ask. Read the book. It will change your mind, either metanoia or meta-annoy ya.

8/12/2009 01:32:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

This is an interesting story. I can't help wondering if he remembers how to read.

8/12/2009 02:01:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

Van -

I swear - when Abdul first began his transmissions, I thought, whoa, somewhere in the near-infinite lattice work of the internet, a consciousness has been born and it's *trying to learn to communicate*.

A.B.D.U.L. - Artificial-Being Developing Universal Language

8/12/2009 03:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Paula Abdul.

8/12/2009 04:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leneord Cohen also sang ' The story of Isac, which has similarities with the story of God the Father and Jesus. The Will of God being ,to be in compliance with the visitation of evil deeds, of torture and crucifixion on anyone or anything, is something I cannot subscribe to. I am in agreement with everything Jesus said and did in reality.

8/12/2009 07:43:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Again, it's the same as with any person. We don't just understand them because something seeps out of them, but because of what they choose to communicate."

Precisely! What is it they intend to communicate? And, I might add, there are times that people unconciously communicate their intent while they are attempting a con job.

Obama does this a lot! Unfortunately, the MSMrarely point this out.

"Um, I didn't bow."
"I misspoke."
"I was taken out of context."

Even his non-apology to that police sgt. blames everyone else who misunderstood him.

You see, everyone misses Obama's "nuance," thus they are racist for misunderstanding him.

Don't look at what he intends, look at those purty words he uses to distract from his real intentions.

The truth always leaks out, even from professional hucksters like Obama.
We just gotta keep pointing it out that yes, Obama uses his mouth like a two dollar whore, but the substance of his messages is worse than any STD.

8/12/2009 11:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

Gagdad Bob said...
As as Petey says, never butt heads with a butthead.

As Skully says, Buttheads are like crack to leftists.

8/12/2009 11:42:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Northern Bandit-

Aye. Queeg is out-buttheading himself. He's totally cracked, and has gone full anal.

8/12/2009 11:45:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

In this, most elevated sense, the phrase "Be what you are," as an invitation to conform one's existent being to the idea God has of it, is identical with the call to follow the Son of God. --Balthasar

Well said, Balty! In a word: Destiny.

And in more words, one can't be themself unless they are fulfilling their destiny by being who they truly are.

8/12/2009 11:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lord, I enjoy this blog. Wow.

8/15/2009 08:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But its hard as heck to sign in.

8/15/2009 08:15:00 PM  

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