When Infants Attack! On Reality and its Adversaries
Oddly, having a readership is important, even though this is primarily between me and O. I haven't formulated the exact dynamics of it, but there must be some sort of trinitarian aspect to it. In the absence of community, the verticalisthenics might devolve into a kind of binary narcissism. The sharing is intrinsic to the experience. It must be given away immediately. Or inflicted, depending upon where you stand.
It is also interesting that I have devoted readers for whom I do not write and who cannot benefit from my writing, since it either doesn't penetrate them or bounces off their opaque psychic substance -- for which they then blame me. You will have noticed that our trolls are always angry and even bitter. It's odd. They habitually seek me out in order to misunderstand my message so they can nurture their misplaced anger toward me. A psychologist would call this "madness."
I am always drawn to light and to depth, irrespective of the source. It's like a cold animal being drawn toward heat. As I've mentioned before, doing so can pretty much constitute the Raccoon path. Just follow the light and the depth and let the rest take care of itself. To a large extent you can't do anything else anyway, any more than you can make your muscles bigger by thinking about them. Rather, in the latter case, all you can do is engage in the conditions that will allow your muscles to grow. In short, you just lift weights and the muscles will automatically grow without you having to think about them.
Truly, spiritual growth is something that happens while you're busy doing other things, mainly just living. But living in a certain way. Once you turn around and orient yourself to O, then everything becomes an occasion for growth. But the growth is "microscopic," so to speak, until a certain threshold is reached, somewhat like filling a cup with water. The cup is either filling up or overflowing, even though you haven't changed your behavior. One day you just notice water all over the floor.
Schuon writes that the Christian way is essentially a "way of Grace," i.e., (↓). However, (↓) has an "outer" aspect and an inner one; the former is much more general, propagating itself "in the largest measure possible" -- even, I might add, to those who are not aware of its operation. If God's grace were to stop for one second, we would be reduced to animals. Atheists should be careful what they wish for, because in the absence of grace, everyone would look like Bill Maher, or Keith Olbermann, or goddinpotty -- and that's on a good day!
In other words, even a disreputable lowlife such as Bill Maher is the unwitting recipient of a kind of "residual grace" that infuses Christendom. In his own perverse way, he does care about truth and decency, except that in his inverted world the good becomes bad and Truth becomes the lie. If your world is fundamentally inverted, extra effort will only result in taking one further from the Source. Is this not obvious?
This is why there is no necessary relationship between intelligence and wisdom, and often an inverse one. If intelligence is not in service to a Truth that is anterior to it, you end up with -- obviously examples abound, but let's say Paul Krugman. One can assume Krugman has a higher than average IQ, but it is in such total service to an a priori Lie, that the result is indistinguishable from severe mental illness.
No, I am not attempting to diagnose an individual from a distance without examining him. But if I were treating such an individual, naturally I would not fail to notice his distortion of reality. Such distortion may superficially appear "passive" -- as if he has simply overlooked something -- when it is usually quite active, the result of an unconscious "attack on linking," as Bion called it. Such attacks are actually quite ferocious, but since they are unconscious, the person doesn't realize the extent of their rage. Picture a dog violently shaking something in its jaws. It's like that.
And why are they so enraged? Again, we can only speak in generalities, but it usually has something to do with the failure of reality to comport with infantile fantasy. Naturally this is something with which we all have to deal, and to which we must all reconcile ourselves. We all harbor "traces of omnipotence" resulting from our primary identification with the Great Mother. No matter who you are, irrespective of time or place, this is the land from which all humans have journeyed -- either successfully or not.
Infantile omnipotence is only given up reluctantly (even while there is a parallel drive toward autonomy and individuation). All perceptive parents are aware of this. I certainly see it in my four year-old, and it's a fascinating thing to behold. One of the important tasks of parenthood is to ease this transition, to not make it too abrupt on the one hand, or to overly indulge the child on the other hand. This is what the great psychoanalytic theorist D.W. Winnicott called "good enough parenting." The child must be "let down easy," so to speak. Err on one side and the child is traumatized by reality; err on the other side and he will be unable to face it.
The consequences of failure to properly individuate are increasingly well understood, not just by attachment theorists (who primarily rely upon infant-mother observation), but by developmental neuro-psychoanalysts such as Alan Schore (difficult) or Dan Siegel (easy).
I realize this will sound disingenuous to some, but I'm really not trying to "pathologize" my ideological adversaries. Rather, as I have discussed in the past, I'm simply operating from a developmental model that has a certain idea of what constitutes a healthy human being. Not only will certain systems facilitate or retard human development, but people will generally attempt to construct a system that reflects their level of development. This is why we say that "cultural space" is the instantiation of developmental time.
We just have two irreconcilable visions of the source and destiny of Man, that's all. Bygones!
Oops. Out of time. good DAY!