Saturday, September 12, 2009

Give Me Dependency or Give Me Excuses

Concluding with The Argument from Substance, Schuon notes that the essence of sin involves "the absurdity of an accident wishing to be pure Substance," or the appearance the reality. Thus, it is to deny God while covertly elevating oneself to godhood (only a "god" can deny God).

At the same time, it necessarily reduces Being to the status of "things" -- i.e., materialism -- so that Being itself "appears as an 'abstraction.'"

The irony is that the same people who reduce reality to things also reduce it to a bloodless abstraction, at least if they are "thinking people," as they like to refer to themselves. For there could be no philosophy more abstract and out of touch with reality than materialism in all its varieties. If the world doesn't "release" its truth or radiate its beauty to your intellect, ur doin it rong. Light and warmth are not abstractions.

Must we have an ego? Yes, I believe so, for the same reason we must have a body. But that doesn't mean we must identify with it. You may recoil from a post a few weeks back, in which we discussed the four intrinsic "infirmities," or limitations, of man.

First, as alluded to above, we are "creature, not Creator, manifestation and not Principle" (Schuon). Second, we are not angels; we are neither at the top nor the bottom of the vertical hierarchy, but somewhere in the middle -- which, of course, goes to the issue of free will, as we are suspended halfway between our better and worse selves. Third, we have essential differences that are not accidental or contingent. This is not a matter of "ego" but of self.

Only the fourth infirmity touches on what we usually think of as sin, since these are the differences that are accidental or contingent, not essential. More often than not they are a result of mind parasites of varying degrees of virulence, but sometimes they are simply a result of inertia, stupidity, conformity, credulousness, absence of curiosity, or just a kind of pre-human, animal dullness. Forgive them, for they know not what they do.

When the Anointed talk about "self esteem," they are usually referring to infirmity #4. The last thing on their mind is elevating the self so that it is actually worthy of esteem. Rather, what they mean is that you are perfect and lovable just the way you are. Your accidental infirmities are a gift to be cherished. It is analogous to the minimum wage, which attempts to make a man more valuable by paying him more than he's worth.

The same fools generalize the concept to morality (moral relativism) and culture (multiculturalism), which is nothing less than the attempt to heal man by abolishing illness. It is to say that the highest morality is no morality or that the highest cultural value is barbarism.

Deep down, these people also know that there is something very "wrong" with themselves. But instead of facing it and dealing with it, they propose to heal you instead. Thus the compulsive actoutivism of the left, who imagine they are for "progress" even while imposing policies that make it impossible.

I thought of this while reading Sowell's Vision of the Anointed. In every measurable way, blacks were making great progress until the imposition of the various "Great Society" programs in the mid-1960s. Only thereafter was the progress reversed: increased violence, crime, drug abuse, joblessness, bastardy, drop out rates, etc.

The remarkable thing is that the Great Society was originally proposed as a final solution for decreasing dependency upon the government, not to increase it to a permanent feature of American life. If they had known ahead of time how it would play out in reality, few people would have supported it. Thus, by their own original standard, it has been a catastrophic failure.

But the left quickly changed the standard, so that the government became the rescuer of the victims it perpetually creates.

I also think about, say, the billion or so people who have been lifted from poverty since 1990. This did not happen because anyone "tried" to make it happen. Rather, it occurred as a result of globalization and free markets. Imagine if some government bureaucrat had tried to come up with a policy to lift a billion people out of poverty! Actually, you don't have to imagine. Just look at Africa.

Closer to home, just consider how the left constantly abuses the term, "the poor." In fact, there is no such thing as "the poor," only individuals who, for a host of reasons, have relatively less than others. But the left divides the populace into quintiles and then reifies the bottom 20%, who, by this definition, will always be with us, unless we abolish the numbers 1 through 20.

I forget the exact figure, but it is a fact that if you actually look at concrete individuals rather than abstract quintiles, very few people remain in the bottom 20% their whole life. Rather, within a decade, something like 80% of those 20% are in a higher bracket.

Here again: imagine trying to impose a government program that could be so successful! Certainly welfare didn't do it; rather, the reverse: it rewarded people for staying at the bottom. But not as much as it rewarded the Anointed for imagining themselves to be so kind, compassionate, and morally superior to the rest of us.

Or, imagine government coming up with a plan to create the finest healthcare system in world, at the cost of a certain percentage uninsured, mostly consisting of young people who prefer to spend their money on other things, and illegal immigrants who get free healthcare anyway. Let's do it!

Anyway. Here's the deal. "Men have built a world made of artificial phenomena around themselves, within whose distorting framework all their errors and misdeeds take on the appearance of self-evident truths or glories; this artificial world is so constructed that evil appears as good and good as an evil." This inverted world is then called "reality." And if you refuse to bow down before it, then we will just rahm it through anyway.

Administered Freedom. Inquisitorial Tolerance. Equality by Command (Kalb).

29 Comments:

Anonymous an old hand said...

"Men have built a world made of artificial phenomena around themselves..."

Oh, BIG-TIME!

Thanks for a fine post, Bob. You always extract profit and meaning from chaos.

9/12/2009 11:26:00 AM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

"Men have built a world made of artificial phenomena around themselves, within whose distorting framework all their errors and misdeeds take on the appearance of self-evident truths or glories; this artificial world is so constructed that evil appears as good and good as an evil." This inverted world is then called "reality." And if you refuse to bow down before it, then we will just rahm it through anyway.

Object lesson from yesterday in David Horowitz's The Manchurian Candidate


vw:chiented (yes, they've become dogs)

9/12/2009 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Apropos at House of Eratosthenes,

However, after He “corrected” the record and the fact-checkers got done fact-checking His corrections, it seems the “rumors” that He was “correcting” were not regarding anything that exists on this plane of reality, but rather in some kind of vision that exists in His Holy Head (hat tip to blogsister Cassy). And He may not even have been telling the truth about that.

9/12/2009 01:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Northern Bandit said...

Heck, I just dropped by to see if Dupree was allowed out -- didn't expect all the profundity.

Naw, seriouly though, I think Dupree may have Skulley's last (uncashed) paycheck.

9/12/2009 04:18:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

George W. addresses today's Congress

9/12/2009 04:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, you've come forward a bit in this post at least in admitting that condtiions are actually pretty good these days.

9/12/2009 05:54:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

My life couldn't be better. It's you I worry about.

9/12/2009 06:02:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

The remarkable thing is that the Great Society was originally proposed as a final solution for decreasing dependency upon the government, not to increase it to a permanent feature of American life. If they had known ahead of time how it would play out in reality, few people would have supported it. Thus, by their own original standard, it has been a catastrophic failure."

Indeedymundo. Another symptom of reducing Being to the status of things.
And the only solution the left can come up with is bigger nanny state fascism and more money, heisted by those that produce, which will, of course, make everything worse.

9/12/2009 08:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

The left's utopia ain't progress, it's Egypt.
What they are basically sayin' is "hey! Let's go back to Egypt. Then we'll all be free to be slaves. Just as long as we don't actually have to work on the plantation ourselves."

Because, according to the left, we all not only have the choice to be slaves, but it must also be mandatory...for our own "good."
Afterall, there's safety in chains.

9/12/2009 08:27:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Deep down, these people also know that there is something very "wrong" with themselves. But instead of facing it and dealing with it, they propose to heal you instead."

Precisely! Notice they never "do unto themselves" first.
For instance, if Obamascare is so good, why doesn't Congress and Obambi want it for themselves?

If paying more taxes is so "patriotic" why ain't lefties giving more to mommy government voluntarily?

If Congress critters and Obama can "save" several hundred billions of dollars from Medicare (which will soon be broke) by cutting fraud and waste, why haven't they done it?
I'm sure most Republicans would be onboard with that, as long as those massive savings ain't spent on more big government incompetentness.

If CEO's and top executives and businesses are making "obscene" profits, why doesn't the left also go after hollywood movie stars and musicians that have far more than their "fair share" of money?

And speaking of obscene, is there anything more obscene than taking away our liberties and forcing us to put on the chains of dependency?

"Oooh that smell. Can't ya smell that smell?"

There's a multitude of examples, but suffice to say to be a leftist is the epitomy of hypocriticalism.
It's rather funny, because very few leftists wanna actually live how they want others to live.

"Do unto others as they won't do unto themselves" is their motto.

"Thus the compulsive actoutivism of the left, who imagine they are for "progress" even while imposing policies that make it impossible."

Ho! Actoutivism makes them feel good, even as they destroy all that is good.

9/12/2009 08:53:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

The remarkable thing is that the Great Society was originally proposed as a final solution for decreasing dependency upon the government, not to increase it to a permanent feature of American life."

Now the left wants the Great Society to BE the Final Solution.

Of course, there will be no death panels...only end of life "dignity" "care."

Because we all know how crucial it is to make death a "dignified" affair.
I'm not surprised the left embraces the "standards" of the Hemlock Society.
It's a match made in mutual suicide. Can't you see the "beauty" of it?

We wanna fullfill our Destiny, while the left wants to impose the Final Destination.

9/12/2009 09:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

I also think about, say, the billion or so people who have been lifted from poverty since 1990. This did not happen because anyone "tried" to make it happen. Rather, it occurred as a result of globalization and free markets."

And just imagine how much sooner and faster that process would occur if the left didn't impose their perpetual poverty of progressivism?

9/12/2009 09:10:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

But the left divides the populace into quintiles and then reifies the bottom 20%, who, by this definition, will always be with us, unless we abolish the numbers 1 through 20."

Aye! The irony is most profound when a symptom of western "poverty" is obesity.

I doubt even the best politician or grifter (not that the terms are mutually exclusive) could ever convince folks who are in ACTUAL poverty that we have folks living in poverty too. 60 million!

"Well, no, they aren't malnourished, and yes, many are overweight but that's due to the depression caused by being poor you see. They eat to forget how poor they really are."

"What's that? Well everyone should have cell phones, a pc or mac, a stereo system, AC, big screen color tv's, microwaves, a car, and yes, half of our poor own houses and more than one car but it's not like they are living in mansions or driving caddy's, so just shut the f*ck up, okay? We said they are poor so they are poor! Who are you to judge?"

9/12/2009 09:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

Northern Bandit said...

"Naw, seriouly though, I think Dupree may have Skulley's last (uncashed) paycheck."

Waitaminnit! I get paychecks?

9/12/2009 09:27:00 PM  
Blogger katzxy said...

USS Ben

'"Do unto others as they won't do unto themselves" is their motto.'

Or, they should preach what they practice.

I think I first heard that from Prager.

9/12/2009 10:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Northern Bandit said...

If you ever want to be reminded of the desolation once again, spend part of a weekend with whiskey and Plath. Youtube provides the voices. Plath flipped the switch. Eliot didn't.

Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.
But to what purpose
Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves
I do not know.
Other echoes
Inhabit the garden. Shall we follow?
Quick, said the bird, find them, find them,
Round the corner. Through the first gate,
Into our first world, shall we follow
The deception of the thrush? Into our first world.
There they were, dignified, invisible,
Moving without pressure, over the dead leaves,
In the autumn heat, through the vibrant air,
And the bird called, in response to
The unheard music hidden in the shrubbery,
And the unseen eyebeam crossed, for the roses
Had the look of flowers that are looked at.

9/13/2009 12:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Northern Bandit said...

T. S. Eliot made his entire life into a work of art -- well, it was expressed through him. Desolation, conflict, fulfillment, resolution.

Is Eliot banned on campus these days? Might as well be. That scary Catholic bit at the end just wrecks the whole narrative.

vw: shing (Irish take on schwing)
second vw: sierse (feels Italian in here all of the sudden)

9/13/2009 12:40:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Did you know that Queeg has now banished PowerLine?!!!!

He has really gone round the bend.

9/13/2009 07:40:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Doctor Zero will see you now.

9/13/2009 07:49:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

File under What Was That?

Ever had a continuous dream that lasted eight hours?

9/13/2009 08:17:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

BTW, old girlfriends don't die, they just take up residence in dreamworld.

9/13/2009 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

He's banished Powerline? Who does he have left to link to?

I can't help picturing what it must be like to have to live or work with that guy. They must spend all their time walking on eggshells around him.

How sad - talk about being encased in stone.

9/13/2009 08:20:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

In other news, Norman Borlaug, RIS.
God knows, he's truly earned it.

9/13/2009 08:29:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Yes, he banned Iowahawk and JammieWearingFool for the high crime of...taking the LGF link off of their sidebar.
LGF is now virtually indistinguishable from Huffing and pissed and DailyKos.
He also sniped at American Thinker calls Michelle Malkin nuts, and ain't too happy with Zombie, who'll probably be the next to go.

And this is just from a quick perusal. There's hardly no conservatives left over there and the comments are increasingly vile as he stocks up on leftists.

I reckon when someone like Queeg is so paranoid that he see's a creationist and/or a nazi behind every tree it was bound to happen...and at an increasingly accelerated rate.

He still defends Van Jones, Obama, and Acorn and yet calls us (and practically everyone in the conservative blogosphere) fascists.

Queeg should rename the blog Little Green Fascists, because that definitely fits.

9/13/2009 08:44:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Gagdad Bob said...
File under What Was That?

Ever had a continuous dream that lasted eight hours?"

Every once in awhile, but less than I used to since I get up more often. But I do have continuations, or dreams that start where they left off if I'm not up for more than a few minutes takin' care of business.

Pretty cool when it happens. Really throws off my sense of time, though.

9/13/2009 08:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Skully said...

Gagdad Bob said...
Did you know that Queeg has now banished PowerLine?!!!!

He has really gone round the bend."

If someone ever makes a movie about Queeg they would hafta call it:
One Crawled Over The Cuckoos Nest.

9/13/2009 08:54:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"The irony is that the same people who reduce reality to things also reduce it to a bloodless abstraction, at least if they are "thinking people," as they like to refer to themselves. For there could be no philosophy more abstract and out of touch with reality than materialism in all its varieties. "

Yep it literally squeezes the life out of you and out of your thoughts - and as it moves into determinism, it even forces you out of your thoughts.

9/13/2009 09:00:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

(scans comments...)

Sheesh... show up a day late and Ben & Skully swipe everything you wanted to say....

9/13/2009 09:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Skully said...

Not everything, Van
Fer instance, I was gonna post somethin' really profound but I fergot it doo to a brain fart.

So...you can have that one.

9/13/2009 09:26:00 AM  

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