Saturday, March 21, 2009

Antichrist Update Vol. 4: Light Therapy for Electile Dysfunction (1.22.10)

Once again I have descended below dreck into the living hull of the Knowa's Arkive and pulled one out of my assortment for your Saturday gnostalgia.

*****

Obama's finest speeches do not excite. They do not inform. They don't even really inspire. They elevate. They enmesh you in a grander moment, as if history has stopped flowing passively by, and, just for an instant, contracted around you, made you aware of its presence, and your role in it. He is not the Word made flesh, but the triumph of word over flesh, over color, over despair.... The tens of thousands of new voters Obama brought to the polls tonight came because he wrapped them in that experience, because he let them touch politics as it could be, rather than merely as it is. --Ezra Klein

A black man with a white mother became a savior to us. A black man with a white mother could turn out to be one who can lift America from her fall.... This young man is the hope of the entire world that America will change and be made better.... If you look at Barack Obama's audiences and look at the effect of his words, those people are being transformed. --Calypso Louis

Continuing with our analysis of the Devil Card, our Unknown Friend (UF) writes that the excesses of the left are always "owing to an intoxication of the will and imagination which engenders demons."

For example, if Marx and Engels had merely behaved as good Jews or Christians and "simply defended the interests of the industrial workers without having let themselves be carried away by their intoxicated imagination," then their ideas wouldn't have been so apocalyptically destructive. After all, every normal person wants to help the poor and needy, but it is axiomatic that helping the human animal while killing the human soul renders any spiritual benefit inoperative for both parties.

Further, as Schuon commented, "Progressivism is the wish to eliminate effects without wishing to eliminate their causes..." To paraphrase him the leftist wishes to make himself as useful as possible to a collectivity which renders the individual as useless as possible in the process. But

"one must never lose sight of the fact that there exists no higher usefulness than that which envisages the final ends of man. By its divorce from traditional truth... society forfeits its own justification, doubtless not in a perfunctorily animal sense, but in the human sense. This human quality implies that the collectivity, as such, cannot be the aim and purpose of the individual but that, on the contrary, it is the individual who, in his 'solitary stand' before the Absolute and in the exercise of his supreme function, is the aim of purpose of collectivity. Man, whether he be conceived in the plural or the singular, or whether his function be direct or indirect, stands like 'a fragment of absoluteness' and is made for the Absolute.... In any case, one can define the social in terms of truth, but one cannot define truth in terms of the social."

Moreover, the left always couches their supposed empathy for the downtrodden in fantastically broad and sweeping generalizations of historical "and even cosmic significance, such as the statement that God does not exist, that all religion is is only the 'opium of the people,' [and] that all ideology is only a superstructure on the basis of material interests." UF wrote that in the early '60s, but it is no different today, with the intoxication that fuels and pervades the Obama campaign:

"What we hear from Obama is the eternal mantra of the socialists; America is broken, millions have no health care, families cannot afford necessities, the rich are evil, we are selfish, we are unhappy, unfulfilled, without hope, desperate, poverty stricken, morally desolate, corrupt and racist. This nihilism is the lifeblood of all the democrat candidates.... When Michelle Obama claims she is only newly proud of her country, she does not exaggerate. In her world as in Obama's, they believe we are a mess, a land filled with the ignorant and unenlightened, filled with despair" (Fairchok).

Wherever politics tries to be redemptive, it is promising too much. Where it wishes to do the work of God, it becomes, not divine, but demonic. --Pope Benedict XVI

As UF writes, it is always a "matter of excess -- a going beyond the limits of competence and sober and honest knowledge," which the left never doubts, "having been carried away by the intoxicating impulse of radicalism, i.e. by a fever of the will and imagination to change everything utterly at a single stroke."

It is this fever dream of sweeping existential change that animates the left no less than the Islamists, since both deny the possibility of real spiritual change, which is an individual matter; in contrast, man's existential situation cannot be altered, only transcended.

As Lee Harris has written, a fantasy ideology such as Islamism is obviously not a rational response to the world arrived at in a logical, sober manner. Rather, it is a transformative belief, meaning that its primary purpose is to psychologically transform the person who believes the fantasy. And believing the fantasy is an end in itself -- it has no purpose other than to make the fantasy seem like reality -- like it might actually be true. Therefore, the real reason for 9-11 wasn't actually to bring down western civilization. Rather, it was for the Islamists to deepen their trance.

Likewise, anyone with a basic familiarity with economics knows that leftist ideas don't just fail, but backfire. They cause all sorts of unintended consequences that the leftist never connects to the original policy -- e.g., how the welfare state eroded the structure of the black family, how racial quotas inevitably harm blacks, how rent control causes housing shortages, how subsidizing higher education simply drives up the cost, how nationalized health leads to rationing, and how forcing banks to make bad loans to unqualified people is at the epicenter or today's economic problems.

Now, UF explains that the virtue of temperence protects us from the intoxicating counter-inspiration of radical fantasies -- including religious fantasies, which are not actually religious but manmade. As such, it is foolish to blame God or religion for things that emanate from the lower vertical in man.

UF makes the subtle point that one cannot engender a positive collective mind parasite. This is related to the principle that the mind parasite is an effect of "congealed" or "coagulated" psychic energy. As a result, it always "enfolds," whereas the good radiates. The former is an inward, contracting movement, whereas the latter is an expansive, radiant movement. This may sound overly abstract, but we are all familiar with the ontologically closed world of the left, whether it is their elite university campuses or the op-ed page of the New York Times. If you approach these things with your activated cʘʘnvision, you can literally experience them as a sort of dense, black hole of "inverse radiation."

Now, why did people respond to, say, Ronald Reagan? For the opposite reason -- the radiant positive energy of which he was a mere vehicle. This only became more apparent when placed side by side with Jimmy Carter's withered and constipated presence.

I suppose the novel thing about Obama is that he is selling the same constipation, but with a kind of cheap and meretricious radiation that one must be intoxicated to appreciate. Indeed, as Fairchok writes,

"That is his appeal; he is [ironically] an actor, a performer, a cinematic presence that stirs simple emotions, emotions that have little grounding in truth. His speeches are the inane lyrics to a popular song that endures only because it has a great beat. One must not think too deeply on what Obama says, for it turns to smoke and disappears in the light of day. Ezra Klein is correct, Obama's speeches do not inform, they pander, they propagandize, they harmonize with the mythology of despair and the chimera of entitlement. As his hagiographies proclaim, he represents a new Camelot, but one that does not hold America quite so precious, a Camelot of globalists, moral relativists and communitarians."

Now, how to drive out a demon? Easy. As UF explains, "Light drives out darkness. This simple truth is the practical key to the problem of how to combat demons. A demon perceived, i.e. on whom the light of consciousness is thrown, is already a demon rendered impotent.... A demon rendered impotent is a deflated balloon." And the most recent Rasmussen survey indicates that this balloony tune is on a flaccid trip from omnipotence to impotence in record time.

The lords of Falsehood hold, at present, almost complete sway over poor humanity. Not only the lower life-energy, the lower vital being, but also the whole mind of man accepts them. Countless are the ways in which they are worshipped, for they are more subtle in their cunning and seek their ends in variously seductive disguises. The result is that men cling to their falsehood as if it were a treasure, cherishing it more than even the most beautiful things of life. Apprehensive of its safety, they take care to bury it deep down in themselves; but unless they take it out and surrender it to the Divine they will never find true happiness.

Indeed the very act of bringing it out and showing it to the Light would be in itself a momentous conversion and pave the way to the final victory. For the laying bare of each falsehood is in itself a victory -- each acknowledgment of error is the demolition of one of the lords of Darkness.
--The Mother, Conversations on Yoga

Friday, March 20, 2009

Nothing-Buttery vs. Everything-Andery

It is a truism that the postmodern mind specializes in the neo-barbarism of nothing-buttery, in that it is compelled by a force it does not understand to reduce the human dimension to something other than what it is. If you want to be considered sophisticated, you must be among their rank and foul, even though it requires no wisdom, discernment or intelligence, any more than it requires great intelligence to blow up a building. For the left, it is both their creed and their knee-jerk reaction to everything except their own sacred cowpies.

For example, it is true that affirmative action is nothing but government mandated racial discrimination, but the left conceals this behind a penumbra of sanctimony, which is just sanctity with a lot of money behind it. Likewise, liberals are all for the sacred principle of "choice," except when it comes to education, retirement, self-defense, health, political speech, talk radio, union membership, property rights, energy, and transportation.

I believe this infra-human mechanism is at the very heart of the soul-pathology of the psycho-spiritual left. You might say that it is the nuclear physics of the group fantasy that holds them together, the unified field theory that explains so much else about them. I don't want to say that it is synonymous with cynicism, because that is at once self-flattering and too saturated a word, with connotations of its own. Rather, it is much closer to what Bion called "attacks on linking," which is a primitive psychological defense mechanism that does away with unwanted meanings and ultimately exiles qualities from the cosmos.

Clearly, meaning -- any meaning -- exists on a higher plane than that to which the meaning gives meaning, i.e., the "facts" or "data." Thus, to affirm any meaning at all is to have left the world of mere facts behind; indeed, a fact is only a fact by virtue of its participation in a higher narrative, so to speak. Absent the narrative, it is not a fact, just a kind of isolated particle of meaninglessness in search of a thinker to baptize it into the community of the meaningful.

This is as true of science or history as it is of religion, for surely there are scientific facts, historical facts, and religious facts, except that they are all on different planes. Or, to be precise, they become facts by virtue of their participation in a higher meaning. For one person, the human genome is proof of his own existential meaninglessness (or proof that proof does not exist), while for another it is the inevitable side effect of a logocentric cosmos.

For example, it is a fact that human skulls are shaped differently. Not too long ago this was considered a scientific fact, but now it is just a meaningless... what? What do you call a fact that has been ousted from the realm of meaning, besides "John Edwards"?

Likewise, it is a fact that when I woke up this morning my blood glucose was an excellent 87. But is this a historical fact? Of course not. Any real historian can only be guided by a preconceptual understanding of what is to be regarded as a fact, or "unit of meaning." Otherwise, the field of potential historical facts is literally infinite (in the negative sense of a "bad infinite").

How does the historian even recognize a fact unless he already has an idea of what is meaningful? Much more than they realize, historians are like frogs, for whom a moving fly is of utmost existential import, whereas a dead fly doesn't rise to the threshold of gustatory significance. Likewise, for one human being a frog is a delicious appetizer, while for another it is a backstabbing popinjay in need of a bath.

Now, the leftist prides himself on being a member in good standing of the "reality based community." What he means by this is that he rejects the reality of any reality above the narrow one he inhabits, mostly consisting of a mixed bag of sensations, vital emotions, empirical facts, and an aesthetic that exists for its own sake, and does not bear on any higher transcendental dimension.

While the leftist is often interested in "religion" -- or "spirituality," to be precise -- "religious facts" are inevitably co-opted into their ultimately meaningless narrative, which produces the whole sinister firmament of narcissistic gurus, from Deepak to Tony Robbins to Al Gore to Barack Obama. Whoever or whatever the left "worships," you can be sure that it is not something actually worthy of worship, for worship implies "higher," and that is specifically what the flatlanders of the left reject upfront.

So anyway, back to Balthasar, who is always operating from a dimension that is unknown and unknowable to the true leftist, who preemptively attacks the link between relative and Absolute, atman and maya, God and man, and any other intrinsic hierarchy you care to name. As Balthasar writes, "All of the perversions that human freedom can inflict upon being and its qualities always aim at one thing: the annihilation of the depth dimension of being." This is a critical point, for this is the first act of ontological violence that opens the floodgate of leftist violence on the physical plane.

With regard to the spiritual pathology of nothing-buttery, Balthsar notes that "The formula 'A is nothing other than...' typifies this perversion, whatever the transcendental it affects. It is much rather the case that A is always 'something other than...' Neither goodness nor beauty nor truth is exhausted by any de-definition; the multi-dimensional reality of the transcendentals can never be flattened out by any kind of reduction, and there is no way to capture the mystery either of their existence or their essence in a formula" (emphasis mine).

Now, is what HvB just said a statement of fact? No, of course not! It is the True Story which brings the cosmic facts into being; or brings them "out of being," so to speak, instead of being buried there in the airless sarcophagus of matter.

So the most coonsequental decision you will make in your life is this: up or down. Essence or existence. Truth or matter. Mind or neurology. In or out. God or man. Slack or conspiracy.

Here is how Balthasar expresses it: "When inquiring into truth, one could hardly make a more fateful assumption than to suppose that objects form a self-contained world that has no essential, and at best only an accidental, need of the world of subjects." Depending upon which side you come down on, you will enter either a human world overflowing with truth, beauty, glory, harmony, and unity; or a kind of cold and lifeless scaffolding without roof, floor, or walls, just a dark weigh station to enjoy your animal sensations while trying not to think about the death that elevates you above them.

Balthasar: "A tree without its green, its autumnal variety, the pink and white display of its spring blossoms, its fragrance, its hardness and tenacity, its size, its relation to the surrounding landscape, in short, without the thousand qualities that make it what we know it to be, is simply not a tree" (emphasis mine).

Shorn of its qualities -- qualities that only come into being in the human subject who can know and love them -- the tree has no meaning. In this way, the radical secularist robs existence of its intrinsic dignity and mystery, even while indulging in the crude romantic sentimentality of an Al Gore, who, in his inverted psyche, makes the lower the meaning of the higher.

Human beings are not just the coonsummation of the cosmos, but the very space in which the cosmos may display its divine qualities. And if this is true of objects, how much more so of subjects! For beneath the individuality and autonomy of the human subject is a vast field in which we are members of one another, to such an extent that we require the other to bring us into being and to complete ourselves. There is a Talmudic idea that every person has a "missing piece" that is located in another person. That person may not value or even know of the piece, but it is precisely what the other needs to complete himself.

It took me a long time to locate my missing pieces -- which I could only find as a result of others recognizing and valuing them. Therefore, when I get an email from someone thanking me for helping them find their missing piece, I always let them know that that is only half the story, for one of my missing pieces seems to be located in the few people who appreciate my writing. Without them, I truly wouldn't know of its existence, much less any "power" it might have.

My point is that this power is irreducibly intersubjective, and takes place in the space between you and I. Clearly, you bring as much to the exercise as I do, or else everyone would understand me, instead of just a ruggedy remnant of ringtailed misfits and outsiders in revolt against the conspiracy. I'm pretty sure this is what is meant by such phrases as "body of Christ," or Toots' teachings about members of the Scattered Brotherhood who always find a way to locate each other in this life, like cosmic oming pigeons.

I suppose you could say that we simply help each other re-member and assimilate the truth and beauty that are beyond us.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Naked Truth (For Spiritually Mature Audiences Only)

Just warming up here. I was just watching this clip of Laura Ingraham, when I realized why I don't like to argue with leftists. The problem is, it's like a monster movie, or a nightmare, in which you keep pumping bullets into the demon, but it has no effect. And where's the satisfaction in that?

The leftist doesn't have the common decency to die when killed. In giving it some thought, this may be because they are already dead on some level, if not intellectually, then spiritually. But if truth is Life -- which it is -- it makes sense that they would not know what it means to "die to truth," for to paraphrase Schuon, to assimilate a truth is for the ego to die a little. The ego detests objectivity, and always takes refuge in a false subjectivity that can distort any truth and turn good to evil and evil to good.

We had this problem with our most recent troll, who would no doubt use the above paragraphs to prove that I am a "conservative fascist" (an oxymoron) engaging in "eliminationist" rhetoric. Yes, I do love the clean kill. But in my case, I am specifically trying to kill the demon, not the person, by shooting my eros straight through the willing heart. If the heart is not willing, then I suppose it feels like a rape. At best, it is tossing the family jewels before swine.

Not only that, but this is a kind of "little death" out of which life blossoms, and without which, life -- the life divine -- is actually impossible. I am quite sure that when Christ said that he did not bring peace, but a revolver -- or was it a sword? -- this is what he was talking about. As the above clip demonstrates, you cannot make peace with these entities. And only a culture that is already quite sick -- and perhaps on life support -- elevates them to positions of power, status, and influence.

Enough of that. We have a limited amount of timelessness, and we have bigger fish to free. For those of you keeping score at home, we now move to a section of the Theo-Logic called "Subject and Object" (pp.61-78). Obviously, a deep analysis of the nature of subject and object must be at the heart of any ontology and epistemology, for any comprehensive account of existence must concede that it is most assuredly a beast with two backs, interior and exterior.

Furthermore, absolutely everything depends upon getting this relationship right. One false move, and you will spend the rest of your life in an infertile universe founded upon a lie. Indeed, you may well perform a celestial abortion on yourself. So let us proceed cautiously, for you know what they say, little lambs: lie with beasts, and wake up fleeced.

I briefly undressed this subject in the beginning of the Coonifesto -- for where else can one do so but in the beginning? If you wait until the middle or end, then it is already too late, for the distinction between subject and object is the prerequisite not only of any kind of knowledge, but rather, as we said yesterday, of there being a cosmos at all. Viva la difference!

Nevertheless, most all secular misosophies -- including, quintessentially, scientistic materialism -- begin in the middle, with no foreplay at all, oblivious to the metaphysical absurdity of such an approach.

In contrast, the Bible addresses this issue in its very first sentence. In the beginning -- or at the origin, the center -- is the perpetual separation of heaven and earth, the celestial and the worldly, the sacred and the profane, the upper waters and lower waters, the Subject and the object, the Slack and the conspiracy. If it were not for this original fissure in the heart of being, then we couldn't fish at all. As Big Joe Turner lamented, the crawdad hole would be entirely dry.

Like Schuon and Big Joe, Balthasar notes the obvious sexual element in all of this: "Such an enquiry resembles an investigation of the masculine and feminine that attends mainly to the functions and inclinations that predispose them to their union." Or, as expressed in the equally sex-obsessed Coonifesto, the molten infinite pours forth a blazen torrent of incandescent finitude, as light plunges an undying fire into its own shadow (oops! a dirty world and... Well, you know the restavus in the testavus.

Balthasar continues: "The subject is ready to receive the object in itself, but what will issue from this reception cannot be calculated in advance." Not to keep referencing my own sexual fantasies, but this is precisely what I was referring to on p. 16, where it is written, A little metaphysical diddling between a cabbala opposites, and Mamamaya! baby makes Trinity.

You see, the baby produced by the union of subject and object is a third thing that is entirely new and novel. Mrs. G. and I had no idea that Future Leader would be so different from us, but there you go. As Balthasar writes, "In the same way, the object is ready to reveal itself in the space that the subject has placed at its disposal, but it is impossible to guess or gauge from the object alone how it will unfold in this space" (emphasis mine). For no longer does it belong solely to the world of the object or subject. Rather, "intellectual knowledge is an unexpected [and blessed!] event that surprises both [subject and object] and cannot be deduced from them in any way."

Or again: "the subject does not know what the adventure of knowledge will bring it," nor does the object know any more "what to expect in the space opened within the subject than a guest knows how he will be received and hosted in another's home." Look how shabbily the object is treated by the left -- like a common whore!

You see, "both subject and object will be fulfilled by coming together," pardon the French, "but the fulfillment will be a wonder and a gift for both," at least if yr doin it rite. "Their encounter will reveal them to each other, even as the revelation of the other will contain, for each, the revelation of itself, which can come about only in the other."

So the subject, the space, the ♀, must be willing to surrender to the ♂, but this self-giving is in truth a self-finding for both, 'til death do them part. For the sacred space that is nurtured by ♀ and ♂ "can no more unfold by itself than a seed can develop without sunlight." There is a friction that occurs when subject and object interact and when two tingles intermingle: "Without the resistance of the object," the subject "could never transform its possible light into actuality, just as sunlight only becomes brightness when it enters the medium of air."

Thus, "only in going out of itself, in creatively serving the world, does the subject become aware of its purpose, and, therefore, its essence." In short, twoness becomes oneness in threeness. In contrast, materialism is a form of spiritual birth-control that is 100% effective.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Secret Life of Objects and the Cosmic Strip Show

What is an object? I can tell you right off the bat that they aren't what most people think they are. Not just any old thing is qualified to be an object of knowledge. Rather, objects must have very special qualities in order for them to exist at all. For one thing, they must be knowable. And in order to be knowable, a subject is required.

In other words, the object serves as an occasion for our knowledge about it -- without which, neither the object nor the subject can ever emerge from the background of being. Or so it says in my margin notes. But what the hell was I talking about? That is the question.

Here's the problem. I think. On the one hand, we have the Kantian tradition that says that we can't even really know objects at all, only forms of our own sensibility; in short, we are like people inside of a submarine who only interact with various screens and gauges (i.e., our nervous system and its innate categories), but never actually touch the water. Whatever reality is in itself, we haven't a clue. Rather, we have access only to appearances, the phenomena, while the noumenon is forever dark and silent.

On the other hand, we have the naive "realists" (who should really be called "sub-realists") who conflate perception and reality without ever contemplating the metaphysical problems that arise from such a view -- for example, the relationship between mind and matter, and what kind of ontology permits the former to possess valid knowledge of the latter, or how object and subject become "one" in the act of knowing. The problem here, as described by Wolfgang Smith, is that this form of crude realism

"has no place for man, the human witness," so there is no explanation for "even the humblest act of perception." What is implicitly denied is "the very essence of man, which is the Intellect, the faculty by which he knows. If there were not within man something that transcends the cosmos in its entirety, something literally 'not of this world,' he would not be the witness in relation to whom the cosmos exists as an object..."

In fact, oddly enough, the scientistic world can never actually be known at all, for the simple reason that, once sundered into the cartesian categories of res extensa (the physical world) and res cogitans (the thinking being), there is no way to join them back together. But thankfully, as explained in the Coonifesto, modern physics has finally put this dysfunctional worldview to rest, for as Smith says, the so-called paradoxes of quantum mechanics are "simply Nature's way of repudiating a spurious philosophy."

Smith references Whitehead, who pointed out that knowledge is ultimate. If it isn't, I dare you to try and prove it with knowledge, knave! It's as if the materialist has his nose pressed against a black wall, behind which is "reality." Which is an absurd proposition.

No. We cannot make this knower and its knowledge go away that easily, unless we attend college. And even then, it usually requires several years of graduate school to complete the job.

I'll get back to Balthasar in a second, but Smith makes the utterly sound point that to absolutize the cosmos -- as materialists do -- is to exile the knower from the world, precisely. And there is no way to get him back in.

But the Scattered Brotherhood of the Eternal Wisdom -- i.e., Coondom -- does not see it this way. Rather, where the postmodern barbarians see either irreconcilable duality or a naive material monism, we see a sempiternal complementarity in which world and witness co-arise and mutually deepen one another. Anything short of this will be an incomplete cosmology, for it will exclude the very means by which the cosmos is known to itself!

Ultimately, the cosmos cannot be more real than our knowledge of it. Rather, it is that knowledge. This does not mean that we open our eyes and magically create the physical world, as the spiritually retarded Deepaks of the world believe. Rather, what it means is that there are various worlds implicated in the cosmos, and that only an act of knowing can "draw them out," so to speak; a way of knowing brings a world into being. (And as I have mentioned in the past, an authentic religion is most definitely a valid means of knowing worlds that transcend the senses. In fact, that is what they are here for.)

This is why I can affirm with complete confidence that, for example, the leftist inhabits a very different world than the one I inhabit. However, my world easily transcends and contains his little world, which is why my world is the more real. I know this because I once inhabited that little world, just as I once inhabited the world of the fetus, the toddler, the adolescent, the adultolescent, back to the adolescent, the angry leftist (I know, a distinction without a difference) and eventually the adult.

Anyway, back to Balthasar. Just remember, "We know the cosmos to the extent that we know ourselves; we are able, indeed, to know the outer world precisely because it corresponds to the inner" (Smith). And the inner world contains layers and levels unknown to the village atheist.

For Balthasar, truth is the unveiledness of being, which surely implies "a relation to the subject to which it is in fact unveiled." This amounts to the same thing I discussed above. Thus, it is only when this unveiling has occurred, "that being is inwardly illumined and measured." Furthermore, "measure and light are the two properties of truth, and they are inseparable."

You might say that we can only measure objects because they have already been measured within the infinite Subject. Thus, "a being that was not known by God could not be known by a finite subject, for the simple reason that it would not exist in the first place.... [B]eing unknown by God, it would have no measure for its being and thus no truth."

As above, so below. The same way that a cosmos comes into being for us through an act of knowing, it is precisely God's knowing-in-truth that is the origin of this hierarchical, many-layered, glass-onion cosmos, so that things and facts are always more than themselves. You might say that the cosmos stands naked before God, whereas for us it is veiled and reveiled in an endlessly O-luring manner. Thank God! For as Alan Watts once said in a slightly different and probably drunken context, when the stripper removes the last veil, she has surrendered what is left of her erotic mystery.

Nothing is knowable that doesn't already stand in the weird light that shines in the dark but which the dorks don't comprehend. Again: we do not measure God; rather, God is the measure of us, and of everything else. And the measure of a human being is uniquely located and disclosed in time, which is the time it takes for us to become who we are, which, if you are following me, has already been "measured by God." We just have to know into it. To conform ourselves to our divine essence is to live in a portion of the divine light that has been made-to-measure just for us.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A River Runs Through Us

... again, what is it about truth? Why is she so darned attractive and lovable? And what is wrong with the sophisticated cretins who treat her so shabbily? Truth is something -- or someOne -- with whom we have a real and intimate relationship. Truly, it is philo-Sophia, who is the very essence of mystery. The archetypal mysteress, as it were.

For example, this is why, as Balthasar says, the person who opens himself up to truth never experiences its containment, of "comprehension and exhaustion." Rather, he "makes the paradoxical discovery that knowledge does indeed make authentic progress, which means that there is such a thing as certitude but that every new step displays the field of truth in ever greater, ever more infinite enlargements."

In an analogy I have used in the past, our knowledge is like a dot of light at the center of a black space. The more the dot enlarges, the greater the circumference of the dot as it shades off into the darkness. How can this have lead to a situation in which we quite obviously know more about the world than ever before, and yet, people seem to think this diminishes, rather than deepens, the mystery? For there is no scientific theory, from quantum physics to Darwinism, that doesn't open up whole new mystas of vistary; and not mystery in the sense of "ignorance," but in terms of awe before the numinous O, which tosses out scientific theories like grains of sand on the beach.

Thus, "the more of the truth the subject manages to master, the more the truth overmasters it." In other words, the more we contain (♀), the more it shatters (♂) the containers. "The more particular truth the subject comes to know, the higher and vaster the firmament of truth as a whole arches above him." You might say that truth, like love, radiates, but never encloses." Binds, yes, but not encloses.

When a patient comes in for therapy, it is not just that they believe things that cannot possibly be true. Rather, it is also that their area of colonized truth is so tiny. In a way, as this area is expanded and colonized in therapy, the persecutory mind parasites simply become "smaller" in comparison.

As a matter of fact, many longtime readers of this blog may have noticed this merely by virtue of the daily verticalisthenic of coontemplating these posts. They obviously require you to "stretch" the boundaries of your mind, so it shouldn't be surprising if, over the long haul, psychic knots that appeared large a couple of years ago now seem comparatively smaller. If we could harshly interrogate these parasites, they might even say, "I'm still big. It's the damn psychic cartography that got bigger!"

It reminds me of the AIDS virus, which is apparently quite old, but could not flourish until introduced to the... let us say, cramped quarters of the San Francisco bathhouse scene. Likewise, Islamic terror wasn't such a big problem until the physical worldspace got much smaller as a result of modern travel and communication.

The only solution, of course, is to literally expand the mental space in which the typical Muslim (and leftist) lives. After all, we've got medieval Palestinian savages murdering people over olive trees in a digital age that measures wealth in a far more abstract manner. Think of Adam Smith as the quintessential example of someone who opened up the infinite world of wealth, whereas our enemies -- including our domestic enemies of the left -- still see wealth as a tightly bound, zero-sum game. But it is obviously quite difficult to expand a leftist's mind, since they have a death grip on the educational establishment, not to mention media, pop culture, and higher locodemia.

No doubt you've all noticed the psychic pettiness of the left, the tiny container in which they live, move, breath, and think. I'll just leave it at that. I'm only up to page 50 of a 272 page book. We've got lots of space to expand and expound upin.

Speaking of which, I might add that Balthasar is similar to Bion, in the sense that both of them -- albeit in very different ways -- demonstrate while they elucidate. In fact, I actually try to do this myself, which is to say, provoke the actual experience of what it is I am writing about in these posts, i.e., engender the experience of O-->(n).

And, now that I think about it, this is how I distinguish true mystical writing -- i.e., theosophia -- from mere theology. The seal of authenticity of a genuine mystic is that they will be able, to a greater or lesser extent, to directly convey what it is they are trying to communicate with mere words. In my case, I really want you to have a kind of palpable experience as you read these posts. If you are only having an abstract intellectual experience, then im doin it rong. I suppose it helps that these posts are "fresh from the source," with very little interference from this Bob imposter.

Anyway, as for what Balthasar directly communicates in his writing, it literally feels as if I am very close to a kind of geyser of inexhaustible and uncontainable truth. He wrote only 100 or so books (or whatever it was), and if he had lived another 50 years, there would have been 100 more. Truly, he was a living example of what he is saying about the uncontainable nature of truth, and how there is only more of it the more you possess -- again, think of that image of a point with concentric circles around it, except that the closer you get to the point, the larger the territory, until you get to the point, which is infinite.

You could say that the central point is marked by the cross, sort of the way the flagpole shows you where the hole is in golf. The cross shows you where the Whole in Oneness is located.

Many implications follow from the above. First of all, being can never be grasped in its totality, because if it could, it wouldn't be true. Rather, we would be the truth, and we are nothing (since we are contingent), so that won't work. Relativism is always a dead end, or cosmic null de slack.

No. As Balthasar emphasizes, the illumination of being is not confined to our own little heads. Rather, in Truth, we are participating in the uncreated (and uncreateable) light that illuminates both subject and object, or being and consciousness. Yes, this may sound paradoxical, but it is true: our thinking "is embedded in an infinite thinking of being and so can serve as a measuring stick only because it itself is measured by an unmeasured, yet all-measuring, infinite measure."

Do you understand what he means? For example, let's take a gorgon-variety, ovary-tower academon who tries to take the measure of the Bible with her own puny intellect. What happens? Well, nothing, really. In reality, we can only understand the Bible because it understands us. Only a fool tries to measure the infinite, or contain the uncontainable, within himself.

Rather, we must become hosts for the uncontainable, a very different thing. In the latter case, we are like a river, but we do not confuse the river with the molecular state of the water flowing through it at any given time. Indeed, it is only human convention that separates the spring from the river and the river from the ocean. In reality, it is all one flowing process, from God to God -- except that it is a spiraling flow, not a strictly circular one.

In this way, we see that God is known implicitly in every explicit instance of truth: "It follows, then, that truth is indeed disclosed to the subject, and because it is truth, it always touches upon the sphere of the absolute, the infinite, and therefore, the divine."

To summarize: "[T]he more the subject grows by its knowledge in the certainty of the truth, the greater the distance between its own measured measure and God's measuring measure must appear to it. The truth proper to the creature is not so much the possession of the absolute truth as the readiness to receive it again and again."

To which I can only add, again and again and again and....

Monday, March 16, 2009

Holy Poverty, B'atman, We're Blankrupt!

First of all, while I'm warming up my fingers here on the sacred keyboard, everyone should eventually find the time to listen to Evan Sayet's new talk on why the left inevitably hates what is good, promotes the wrong as right, and celebrates behaviors that lead to failure.

Of course that sounds polemical, but it clearly isn't. There's just no other way to say it. His analysis is really quite brilliant, but it all hinges on the rejection of the Absolute, i.e., God. Once that happens, then various cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and spiritual pathologies must follow, for it is The Law, a law none of us above a certain age need to be reminded of, for we have witnessed on a first hand basis the cultural deterioration of the past 40 years, as leftist ideas have come to dominate media, entertainment, academia, and nearly all professional organizations.

So, just watch it (not now, but later, when you have the time). It's a sort of master key with endless implications, in its own way as powerful as Rene Girard's theories of mimesis, scapegoating, and human sacrifice (as most ably summarized in Bailie's masterful Violence Unveiled). As a matter of fact, it would be interesting to try to synthesize Bailie and Sayet, and see what comes out. We'll talk more about it later, but the key idea there would be the disturbing reversion to barbarism and neo-pagan magic caused by the left's rejection of our specifically Judeo-Christian metaphysics, i.e., the cluelesside of the West.

Put it this way: as Schuon said, "The claim that knowledge as such could only be relative amounts to saying that human ignorance is absolute." Thus, the left goes about needlessly proving this truism with their proud displays of absolute ignorance, since the True, the Good, and the Beautiful are all above their praygrade, which is the minimum wages of death. To think that you are the Absolute is the ultimate form of identity theft, and it carries the death penalty.

Now, back to the Theo-Logic. Again the Theo-Logic attempts an immanent phenomenology of worldly truth, mostly keeping God out of the picture -- or, to be perfectly accurate, considering only the revelation of God given in and through creation, since any thinking person implicitly understands that there could be no truth in the absence of God; but one can arrive at this conclusion through generic natural theology, i.e., without any direct revelation, e.g., Taoism and Vedanta.

The point is that natural theology surely leads to the conception of the Absolute, although we must leave it to revelation to disclose more personal information about its specific character -- e.g., whether or not it is a person, whether it cares about human beings, whether it actually roots for one football team over another, etc.

I believe we left off with the idea that only in man is the truth of being progressively unveiled to itself. Man is the hole in creation through which truth and beauty surge into the world. Or, as HvB puts it, "The world is unlocked in its objectivity only in man, because his self-consciousness gives him the measure of being." In other words, our receptivity to being allows objects to unlock their secrets and reveal their essence. Being is obviously loaded to the gills with a literally inexhaustible truth, just waiting for a subject to unpack its presence under the tree of life.

In this regard -- and we will get more into this later -- you will notice that there is a parallel process of mutual "endeepening," as objects penetrate the interiority of subject, and subjects further extend themselves into the depths of the object.

True, as Thomas said, all knowledge begins in the senses; however, not in a static way, but in a dynamically expanding way. Think of how the human subject has delved all the way "down" to the subatomic level, with no end in sight. In fact, there is no end in that direction, only a "relative infinity" that mirrors the true infinity of the Divine. Clearly, the idea that we could ever locate the absolute in that direction is pure metaphysical folly, since the merest act of knowing obliterates any materialistic paradigm. It is not so much that this or that truth is absolute, but that any truth "participates in" or "converges upon" the Absolute. Otherwise, as Schuon said above, only man's ignorance is absolute.

As Stanley Jaki has pointed out, objects object. That is, they push up against us, or vice versa. We cannot make them go away, but must be receptive to them. Now, to be receptive is another way of saying "empty." In fact, in Biblical terms, it is a state of poverty, the recognition of the need for something outside of ourselves to complete ourselves -- even though this completing can never be complete in this realm.

To be "poor" is to be capable of receiving, and therefore to "put the life back in truth." Think about what a hell this would be if it were actually possible to have some complete materialistic explanation of existence: "The subject that already contained the whole reservoir of its truth in itself would be struck with the curse of Midas: wherever it turned, it could find only itself and its own truth." This is indeed the geistatory hell of the atheist, who is a vertically closed system trying to subsist on his own metaphysical defeces. They cannot digest God, so instead they try to devour weak and vulnerable theists as a kind of compensation.

The human being, if he is to evolve, must be an open system, both horizontally and vertically. No flower is stupid enough to turn away from the sun. Only human beings can turn away from the real central sun and imagine they create their own light.

Now, when we talk about the rejection of absolute truth, we are ultimateluy talking about the rejection of love, for as HvB explains, "love presupposes knowledge, while knowledge presupposes being. But the love that stands at the end of the sequence as the goal of its unfolding, in another perspective, at its beginning, is the basic impulse underlying it. Eternity is a circulation in which beginning and end join in unity."

Where have we heard that before? Yes, truth ends in the love that is so merciful that it eternally pours its infinite truth back into being, i.e., "the love that moves the sun and stars," speaking allegheirically. More on which later. Dante letta me forget, eh?

Lesson! My yokes are easy, my words enlight! To be empty is to be capable of listening to the creation. Really, it's just common courtesy, no different than allowing the other to speak without interrupting him. "This openness to any truth that might show itself is an inalienable perfection of every knowing subject, and, as knowledge increases, it cannot contract but only expand." Thus, as we evolve, our emptiness grows, to such an extent that, in the begending, nothing returns to Nothing, the alone to the Allone.

Conversely, only animals, or very simple people, or the tenured, are "full," but this type of opaque fulness conceals an existential emptiness, as most anyone who has attended college knows. There is poverty and there is poverty, and the good kind begins with the truism that there is an Absolute and I am not it, which brings us back to Sayet's talk. To believe oneself to be the absolute is to be darkness visible, like a Bill Maher, who is absolutely overflowing with bitter and acrid narcissistic emptiness.

Truth is always veiled in mystery, thank God! If the acquisition of truth does not increase the mystery, then yur doin it rong. "If truth failed to behave in this way, it would be intrinsically finite, hence, exhaustible, and the subject would inevitably reach the point when truth ceased to open and began to wind down to a conclusion." Instead of the open spiral up and in the cosmic eschalator, "truth would round itself out and become spent." We will have circumnavelgazed the whole of creation, only to find some worthless lint in the ombilicus. Bah.

You see little lambs, if truth were like this, it wouldn't be truth, now woolen it? If we could contain it, then we would be the truth, not the truth contained. No, thank God, the truth always shatters our crocks and containers, which hurts so good, for it is again the breakthrough of love into being. O, to be pierced by one of those divine eros right through the heart, to die in the arms of Truth!

To contain truth would be to render it finite: it "would suggest the possibility of attaining a standpoint that comprehended truth from above, a standpoint, then, that was beyond truth. But if it were beyond truth, then it would obviously be outside of being, which is to say, in the middle of nothing."

Here again, back to Sayet's talk and the catastrophe of the left, for there is either the meretricious wealth of the existential Nada, or the spiritual poverty of the super-essential Fadda'.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

God's Food Pyramid: How Can You Have Any Pudding if You Don't Eat Yer Meat?

Being that I've been posting the Antichrist updates of posts from one year ago, I'm falling behind in my weekend review of posts from two years back. So here's one from early March '07. I don't know about you, but I really look forward to this exercise, because I am always surprised by what I find. I sure wish I could find the time to organize the Gnowa's Arkive into a book or something. But by the time I retire, there will be something like 10,000 posts to wade through (20,000 if Obama's pro-regressive economic policies aren't reversed)....

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Reader Bob says, "I love what you're doing with the Arc of Salvation. I think we have a huge problem with the Arc remaining fossilized in geography though. As a technologist myself, I don't see how we survive what the non-Coons are about to do to us with our own coonkind's technology -- I do believe we all need to become Coons."

Another reader asked me what I thought about a book by an eminent physicist whose thesis is that time does not really exist. True, a number of reviewers felt the book was so boring that they thought it would never end, but endless time is not the same as timelessness.

Obviously this physicist has never heard of the Islamists, who are months away from the nuclear bomb but centuries from the nuclear age. That's a long time. In other words, it takes only one Islamist to disprove all of the quantum physicist's elegant theories about the non-existence of time. For time is not an empty and abstract category of mere duration, nor is it merely an illusory by-product of change. Rather, human time -- which is a distant echo and reflection of divine time -- is both full and directional.

Of all people, the scientist should be aware of the various developmental stages he had traverse in order to end up a scientist capable of detached, abstract cognition about the foundations of reality. A rock cannot do this. Nor an animal, a child, or a radical imam. The changes that occur on the way from child to man are not merely horizontal but vertical. As Ken Wilber has said, true development -- which is to say transcendence -- is not just a matter of rearranging the furniture on the floor of a building, but taking the elevator to the next floor.

Any materialist has failed the first test of spirituality -- or "temptation in the wilderness" -- which is to not try to turn stones into bread, or quantity into quality. For in so doing, the materialist inevitably reduces bread to stones, or life to death, spirit to matter. We are left with only stones, so there is "nothing left to eat," speaking metaphysically. And with nothing to eat, there is no way to grow into spiritual manhood. But if time is an illusion -- or a mere "quantity" -- then growth cannot be real anyway. A man is just a large child.

Those of a materialistic bent like to say that religion is speculative, but in a very real sense, the opposite is true. When it comes to metaphysics -- the science of the absolute -- the scientist can only speculate, while the religiously informed person has access to a realm of perennial knowledge and truth that is as stable and secure as a rock, for it is the "axis of the Real." It reflects truths that cannot be untrue. For example, Paul's delineation of vertical levels of maturity along this vertical axis is a universal truth of spirituality: "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things."

Thus, at its very heart, Christianity is clearly both evolutionary and developmental. No Christian could ever maintain that "time is an illusion," for time is of the essence of Christian life -- again, not the abstract quantitative duration of the physicist, but the explicitly qualitative time that distinguishes the spiritual child from the spiritual adult in the arc of salvation.

Elsewhere in the same epistle Paul proposes a three part schema of spiritual development: infant, child and man. Each requires a different kind of "food." In 1 Corinthians 3:3, he implies that the infant, or "babe," is equivalent to the carnal man, an ironic reversal of secular hubris, in that carnal man is but a spiritual babe in the woods. The infant can only be fed milk rather than solid food (which is for the child) or meat ( which is for the adult).

Thus, as one moves up the developmental axis of spirituality, we eventually graduate to meat -- not only meat, of course, but as a supplement to the other foods. To try to live only on meat would be somewhat analogous to trying to live only on vitamin pills, which are highly potent but not necessarily nourishing if taken out of context. Metaphysics without religion is like the vitamins without the food that "activates" the vitamins, so to speak.

Needless to say, a Raccoon is not just carnivorous, but omnivorous. If you check out the library of a typical Coon, the first thing you will notice is that they'll eat almost anything -- literature, poetry, science, psychology, philosophy, scripture, theology, mysticism, the Sacred Teachings of J.R. "Bob" Dobbs -- but not in an indiscriminate manner. Rather, they respect the "food pyramid," which obviously has a top and a bottom. You've seen the Raccoon food pyramid on the back of any dollar bill -- it has that little eye at the top, radiating light.

An eye radiating light? How does that work? Isn't that a premodern idea? I thought the eye only receives light. How can it radiate light?

Don't worry. We'll get to that.

Not infrequently we have visitors in the Cosmos who are infants or children, which is why they find me indigestible if not frankly nauseating. I'm trying to think of a delicate way to put this, but those of you with babies of your own are certainly accustomed to dealing with the full spectrum of bodily fluids. Let us just say that Dupree's unenviable job is to clean up the projectile vomit these babies leave behind here. We had some last night, but we let Skully swab the deck, although his impulse is usually to deck the slob. (Apologies for the eliminationist rhetroric, but it's really just a very direct form of zen-like chin-foo illuminationist rhetoric: thwack!)

Paul says to his audience -- which by now numbers in the billions, including you -- that there was a time when he could not speak to you as an adult -- not as a spiritual person but only as a carnal one. Furthermore, he "fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still very carnal." Why is that? Because, "where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?"

Well? What say you?

When Paul refers to "divisions among you," he also means divisions within you -- which is to say, within oneself. For among other things, both the line of spiritual development and the arc of salvation are a function of increased integration -- which is to say wholeness, which is to say centration. If your eye [I] is single, then the whole body is full of radiant light; conversely, if it is divided, your I is full of darkness.

Full of darkness? Darkness does not actually exist in any positive sense. Rather, it is only the absence of light, a seemingly paradoxical fact, since the cosmos is made of light. So how can someone be "full" of "absence?" If it is the nature of light to radiate, how do we end up with all these non-radiating lacunae of darkness, both individually and collectively?

Before discussing how it happens, let us just stipulate that it only happens all the time. As a matter of fact, the human being is the only living thing that can be "filled with darkness." Light is knowledge just as love is its heat, which is why these individuals and cultures are filled with an absence of each -- which is to say envy and strife, just as Paul says. Our adversaries are cold and dark, to say the least.

For envy is both a cause and an effect of existential emptiness. It is truly "darkness visible," because it represents insatiable emptiness, exactly analogous to the black holes of quantum cosmology. The strife that accompanies these hungry ghosts is simply the "giant sucking sound" produced by their contact with the world. The perennial class envy of the left is simply the clattering noise produced by institutionalized darkness as it tries to pull down everything round it. This is why it is so indiscriminate and cannot just attack "wealth." Rather, you will have noticed that it also always pulls truth, beauty, and decency into its vortex -- the three "faces" of metaphysical light. In this regard, Obama is playing the lead role a very old tragedy that he is far too unsophisticated to comprehend.

A black hole is an emptiness that pulls everything into it, including light, which becomes "inoperative" in its presence. The primordial property of light, like love, is to "radiate," and in fact, light is a property of the divine radiation rather than vice versa. The envious, divided person is a black hole who will suck the light out of you to no purpose whatsoever-- no good purpose, anyway. The light simply disappears beyond the event horizon, into the darkness of their corrupted soul. Elsewhere in the cosmos, light radiates into darkness, but in the case of a black hole, light is surrounded and swallowed up.

Talk to the mullahs! Yes, why not? Why not talk to a black hole? Indeed, why not pound sand, piss up a rope, and take a flying you-know-what at a rolling donut?

The U.N.? A black hole of darkness visible within the heart of light. If Turtle Bay were any closer to Washington D.C., perhaps the Shining City on A Hill would be pulled into the Valley of of the Shadow of Death. Understood metaphorically, this could actually happen, since it has already happened to most of the rest of the world, which has fallen into this night-cloaked principality ruled by the Cosmocrats of the Dark Aion.

Paul goes on to suggest that human beings may be the efficient or formal cause of their own evolution, but that the Creator is the final cause. In other words, you may cultivate the soil, plant the seeds, and water the garden -- in fact, it is your duty to do so -- but you are not responsible for the growth that results. Rather, as Paul says, "God gives the increase," which is another way of saying that we do not invent ourselves but become ourselves. We are God's "field" or "building," and the strength and resilience of your building will be tested by fire. Oh my yes. If it is built on a foundation of reality it will endure, but otherwise it will be brought low.

Again, time is not mere duration, but the time it takes for something to become what it is -- say, an acorn to become an oak tree or a milk-drinking infant to become an omnivorous Raccoon.

Now, a recent visitor suggested that I am "manichean" in my views. Manichaeism is a dualistic philosophy that divides the cosmos into good and evil in the manner of the Zoroastrians, who saw all of reality as a struggle between Ahriman, the god of darkness, and Ahura Mazda, the god of light.

This charge is plainly untrue, as the differences between Manichaeism and the One True Doctrine are evident. (In fact, I said so in the Coonifesto, where it is written (p. 252) that Ahriman is his own worst enemy, not a separate ontological reality.) That is, Manichaean theology, according to Professor Wiki, postulates "two natures that existed from the beginning: light and darkness. The realm of light lived in peace, while the realm of darkness was in constant conflict with itself. The universe is the temporary result of an attack from the realm of darkness on the realm of light," so that the cosmos is literally said to be the result of a mixture of light and darkness. This is obviously quite different from the conception of the cosmos as a creation radiating from the Sovereign Good.

In fact, "A key belief in Manichaeism is that there is no omnipotent good power. This claim addresses a theoretical part of the problem of evil by denying the infinite perfection of God and postulating the two equal and opposite powers mentioned previously. The human person is seen as a battleground for these powers: the good part is the soul (which is composed of light) and the bad part is the body (composed of dark earth). The soul defines the person and is incorruptible, but it is under the domination of a foreign power, which addressed the practical part of The Problem of Evil. Humans are said to be able to be saved from this power (matter) if they come to know who they are and identify themselves with their soul."

Here is a perfect example of what we were discussing yesterday, that is, the garbled interpretation of the Divine Message as a result of human impurity. For the truth is that existence is a battle between light and darkness, but with extremely important modifications. But at the moment, I am running short of time, so I suppose I'll have to continue this line of thought tomorrow, assuming anyone -- including me -- is interested. For now, just remember, Phase I: milk. Phase II: solid food. Phase III: meat.

Or, in the immortal words of Mr. Pink Floyd, How can you have any pudding if you don't eat yer meat?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Antichrist Update, Vol. 3: Seeming is Deleafing (1.24.10)

This is a condensation of several posts from last year. Remember, the purpose of these retroflections is to gauge the accuracy of our cʘʘnvision one year on. Yeah, it's kind of long, but that shouldn't pose a problem for you all-day seekers & spiritual pathletes.

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The XVth card of the tarot, The Devil, introduces us "to the secrets of the electrical fire and the intoxication of counter-inspiration."

But before proceeding further, let us take to heart the warning of our Unknown Friend (UF), who cautions us that "One can grasp profoundly, i.e. intuitively, only that which one loves. Love is the vital element of profound knowledge, intuitive knowledge." If you have ever wondered why true evil -- nazi evil, Islamist evil -- is so impenetrable, it is because the normal person obviously cannot love evil: "Evil is therefore unknowable in its essence. One can understand it only at a distance, as an observer of its phenomenology."

I suppose another way of saying it is that (in linguistic terms) "evil" is a signifier with no signified, being that true evil represents a genuine absence -- an absence or deprivation of the Good. As such, the essence of evil is that it has no essence.

In turn, this is why evil is truly a "bottomless pit." It is not actually infinite, since only the Absolute can be infinite. It does, however, tend toward its own kind of "false" or "bad" infinite (in the Hegelian sense), which is why man can only rise so high but can fall and fall without ever hitting bottom, as proved by Keith Olbermann. I suppose the physics of black holes might provide a handy way to think about this negative infinity. This would be easier -- and less spiritually dangerous -- than trying to imagine, say, the bottomless darkness of the Berkeley City Council. Some things are so beyond the horizon of the human imagination, that they are best left alone.

UF goes on to say that in comparison to the luminous worlds of the celestial hierarchy, the world of evil is more "like a luxuriant jungle, where you can certainly, if necessary, distinguish hundreds and thousands of particular plants, but where you can never attain to a clear view of the totality." Do you know what he means? I do. It's what makes it so difficult to argue with politically deranged people, who, when you cut off one limb of their argument, just grow another. It's like a collection with no center or ordering principle, just a blob or agglomeration -- which is the opposite of the Life principle, i.e., that which organizes, unifies, and synthesizes. Dynamic wholeness is the essence of Life, which means that evil and death must be related to dispersal and fragmentation. Thus, "the world of evil is a chaotic world -- at least, such as it presents itself to the observer."

Vertically speaking, order is "up," while chaos is down (although, there is a kind of paradoxical "static chaos" at the very bottom of the lyin'). No surprise there. In Genesis, God's first act is simply to separate. Without separation there is only the formless void of primordial chaos. If you don't understand the holiness and the sacredness of Separation, then you don't understand anything. Yes, this separation, or duality, can be transcended, but only from above, never from below. Better to live in Holy duality than to obliterate divinely ordained distinctions out of a self-deluded belief in bogus transcendence, which is what the "new age" is all about.

As is leftism, which might just as well be called "down syndrome," being that it is rooted in the anti-divine principle of blending. For the left, In the Beginning was Order. Now, let us gleefully tear it down and blend darkness with light, the upper waters with the lower waters! Examples are too numerous to mention, but one would have to include the obliteration of sexual differences, the trivialization of generational differences, and the effacement of the distinction between knowledge and wisdom; not to mention the conflation of transcendence and immanence, the con-fusion of moral relativism, the abysmal fall into multiculturalism, and the obsession with the redistribution rather than creation of wealth. All of these trends are evil to the core, despite the paradoxical absence of a core. Again, evil is essentially without essence. It is perpetually going from nowhere to nothing, while enjoying the... what's the word, Jeeves? Yes, the frisson of the fall.

Now, just as the right kind of obedience is freedom -- for example, fidelity to Truth -- the wrong kind of freedom is slavery. According to UF, one of the subtexts of the Devil card is that of slavery, in that it depicts a man and woman bound by the neck to a much larger androgynous entity.

Interestingly, just as the union of male and female can create the miracle of a baby to raise (and who shall in turn raise them in mysterious ways!), it seems that a false blending of their essences can engender another kind of being that shall lower them, so to speak. As UF explains, the card has to do with "the generation of demons and of the power that they have over those who generate them. It is the Arcanum of creation of artificial beings and of the slavery into which the creator can fall -- becoming a slave of his own creation."

Let's pause here for a moment. In this regard, I can remember the precise moment when I crossed over that line from leftist back to liberal (i.e., conservative); or, to put it another way, when it was no longer possible to be on the left. I simply asked myself, "who is responsible for my existential unhappiness?" I won't go into all of the details, as that would take us down a lengthy deitour. But the point is, I realized that I was a slave of my own creation -- for example, an evil creation I called "Ronald Reagan." Of course, my creation had nothing whatsoever to do with the actual Ronald Reagan. Rather -- and this is critical -- not only was it my creation, but it was me. Just as in a dream, I was persecuted by my own elaborate production -- like the spider who lives in a web spun from its own substance.

I was reminded of this again last night in reading the liner notes to the new edition of Donald Fagen's excellent Nightfly Trilogy (nothing I'm about to say detracts from the music). As much as I appreciate Steely Dan (Becker & Fagen), like most people of their generation, their jaded cynicism does not extend to their own default moonbattery, which sits there like a kind of unexamined Holy Writ. Which it is. It is the genesis myth of the Baby Boom generation -- the idea that the evil is Out There in the Nixonian uncool ones who are oppressing us.

I know exactly what Fagen means when he reflects that "to a weekend hippie in the '60s," political paranoia "seemed kind of exciting." Indeed, for me, this was the appeal of a Noam Chomsky or Howard Zinn -- that they provided a kind of secret gnostic knowledge, an alternative conspiracy theory that explained everything -- why the world is so off-kilter and out of joint, and more to the point, why I was so unfulfilled. Ronald Reagan hates me!

It's one thing to think this way in the '60s. But it is rather pathetic to still think it in one's 60s, as Fagen apparently does. He's still haunted by his self-generated demons -- i.e., mind parasites -- which have now appropriated the host, as suggested in the liner notes of the dark and dystopian world of Morph the Cat, released in 2006 (especially when compared to the idealism and optimism of Nightfly). As he writes,

"Paranoia just wasn't fun anymore in the age of al Qaeda." But not because of al Qaeda! Rather, he speaks disparagingly of Republicans taking over his city (New York) at the 2002 convention, and ends his notes with the following warning: "If you see some folks who believe that spirits and ghosts and hell actually exist and they're really sure about it and they're comin' your way -- RUN!"

I agree entirely. Better yet, just wake up from the dream, because you can't actually run away from your own ghosts, much less the Dreamer.

***

Again, the essence of the teaching behind the devil card is how "beings can forfeit their freedom and become slaves of a monstrous entity which makes them degenerate by rendering them similar to it." Thus, the card ultimately has to do with "the generation of demons and of the power that they have over those who generate them," i.e., how we can and do become enslaved by our own projected mind parasites, both individually and collectively.

UF comes very close to Raccoon terminology when he writes that the world of evil operates "in the manner of bacilli, microbes and viruses of infectious diseases in the domain of biology." While there exist "evils" which function to strengthen us (i.e., "trials"), mind parasites form closed systems that become ends in themselves.

UF cites the example of monstrous "gods" that have been created by various communities down through the ages. He notes that these communities are "infatuated with the thrill of fear," but one could add anger and hatred; in fact, the fear is a result of the infantile projection of anger. The Islamists, for example, hate what they fear because they fear what they hate, in a vicious cycle. Jews and infidels are merely "placeholders" for a wholly intrapsychic process. Likewise, Bush Derangement Syndrome is nothing more than the left's hatred of its own projected fear and fear of its projected hatred. Cunningly, Obama is now manipulating that pre-existing energy by focusing it upon Rush Limbaugh, perhaps as a way to distract the mob from noticing that he has kept President Bush's Illegal Torture State Apparatus in place.

In this regard, Bion had many subtle things to say about the development of human thought. In fact, it is fair to say that he felt that the entire human catastrophe could be summarized by the perennial problem of "thoughts and what to do with them." Yes, the logical thing is to think them, but that is not what usually happens. The problem is, there are many people for whom "contact with reality presents most difficulty when that reality is their own mental state." For such people, thinking will not be experienced as a liberation, but rather, a restriction. That was an important sentence, so please reread it. We'll wait.

Most of the cultural craziness in the world has to do with the need to form collective adaptations to problematic thoughts. For example, if I am persecuted by my sexual thoughts, I might come up with the idea of forcing women to live in bags (which is very much like covering the world in leather instead of inventing shoes). If I am persecuted by racist thoughts, I might come up with the idea of racial quotas, or teaching that America is a "racist country," so as to assuage my own guilt. If I am preoccupied with the empty space that religion would properly fill, I might become a "climate change" fanatic. If I am preoccupied with my greed, I might focus my envy on those who have more money than I do. If I am persecuted by thought in general, I might come up with the entire structure of political correctness, in order to prevent the emergence of unwanted meanings. And so on.

Yesterday's pro-Obama commenter depicted this perfectly, in his preference for the language of faux-infinity in order to preserve infantile omnipotence. Reasonable people -- i.e., the "grown ups" -- ask why Obama isn't specific, and this is why. To be specific would be to awaken from the infantile dream -- or to move from the "zero" dimension of infantile omnipotence to the three or four dimensions of the reality principle. The Obamaniacs are especially limited in a way that my generation wasn't, in that at least we had drugs to help fuel the illusion. Apparently, most of the Obamaniacs are producing their euphoria "on the natch," which, in its own way, is quite an achievement. After all, the '60s basically started when the drugs kicked in and ended when they wore off.

Again, the brilliance of scripture is how it is a holographic language that can reveal all sorts of perennial truths merely by "rotating" it this way or that. In this regard, Obamania is foreshadowed in Genesis by turning the story upside down and seeing Adam and Eve as the parents of the infantile God.

"In the Beginning" is the infant, which is surely true for all of us. We are born into the limitless space of infantile omnipotence, and only gradually -- and reluctantly -- awaken to the world of limitation and frustration -- i.e., the world of the parents who actually created and rule over us. Under the best of circumstances, this is a shock to the system, and it it is perhaps not surprising that many adult babies pluck a "mask from the ancient gallery" and banish Mother and Father from the garden in order to preserve their godlike omnipotence.

For such a person, their developmental arrest is essentially rooted in the discovery of no-thing at the end of their desire. Say the baby is hungry, or frightened, or angry. The parent who adequately responds to this helps usher him into the real world, converting these into thoughts instead of mere persecutory, ghostly presences. Conversely, excessive frustration contributes to the development of a real absent presence, a kind of "negative space" we are calling the realm of the no-thing (and a no-thing can easily become a mind parasite). What to do about the no-thing? Usually it is evacuated, and then becomes a sort of persecutory psychic environment, "an object that is immediately hostile and filled with murderous envy towards the quality or function of existence wherever it is to be found." In this way, "the space of the ordinary man" can become suffused "with the objects of mental space."

Oh, it happens. But only all the time.

For the human being, thoughts are not only a problem, but the problem. You might say that tolerating the thought of "no breast" forms the basis of all subsequent thinking. You could also say that the thought of no-breast is specifically the thought that the left cannot tolerate. Therefore, they engage in the project of creating a collective, bountiful, limitless teat known as the State. This benign, omnipotent maternal State is always imbued with fantasy, since the intrusion of reality would spoil the illusion.

As Dennis Prager was saying yesterday, the truly odd thing about leftism is that we already know ahead of time that it won't work, based upon the abundant evidence of other socialist countries. But does that deter left wing fantasists? No, not in the least. Obama's campaign is all about kicking adults who notice this out of Eden. Meanwhile, the walls around Eden are guarded by adultolescent babies wielding flaming pens and microphones. Only by remaining a closed system can the (false) infinite be maintained. The true infinite is located out and up, i.e., in the open spiral of the vertical.

Back to UF. He writes that the demons of the unconscious "become forces independent of the subjective consciousness which engendered them. They are, in other words, magical creations, for magic is the objectification of that which takes its origin in subjective consciousness." They have a semi-autonomous existence, and are analogous to parasitic entities "nourished by the psychic life of [their] parent." Therefore, to keep the parasite "alive," it requires a constant influx of psychic energy. Again, this is what Obamania is all about, as it is fueled by the projected psychic substance of its Obamaniacal co-creators.

Of course, once this fantasy-energy dissipates and the credulousness bubble bursts -- as it is well on its way to doing -- it will be very much as HvB describes:

"The worldly form can irradiate a fascination that we can almost mistake for its own, yet the fascination fades; the form is left standing like a leafless tree in autumn, and the deceptive illusion gives way to a sober dis-illusionment. It is as if the appearance had to become detached from the ground and, in trying to stand on its own two feet, revealed that, at its core, it is mere seeming."

Friday, March 13, 2009

Truth, Freedom, Interiority

Perhaps I should start with some basics while my brain is still coming on line -- I woke up with a sort of fog in my head, and it's not dissipating as rapidly as one would like. Blood sugar slightly low. Perhaps that was a factor.

Anyway, the Theo-logic is presented over three volumes, and we're only only in the beginning of the first, The Truth of the World; this is followed by the Truth of God, and then The Spirit of Truth.

This first volume is actually an immanent phenomenology of worldly truth, without any bearing on God per se. That will not come until volume two, when HvB gets into the problem of finite and infinite truth.

Nevertheless, the second volume is surely implied by the first, for anyone who has truly stood in the ground of truth has under-stood the necessity of God. In other words, truth implies and points to its ultimate sponsor, without whom there wouldn't be the slightest possibility of truth, much less having faith in it. No: worldly truth is grasped in "the sustaining ground from which it emerges: eternal truth." It can be no other way, for necessity cannot be derived from pure contingency.

Any truth carries a promise, and the promise is this: "a sphere of absolute truth in which eternal being and eternal self-consciousness have always already coincided and by which all finite objects have always already been measured and... delivered over to be known by finite subjects." This will become clearer as we proceed, but it is critical to appreciate the relationship between truth, freedom, and interiority, in both their metacosmic and worldly manifestations, the latter again being a reflection of the former.

For truth of any kind quite obviously "presupposes a free, personal inner space." One must be free to discover truth, or it isn't truth at all, and freedom is a function of interiority.

Here again, this is our profound objection to the leftist tyranny of totolerantarian political correctness, which, in one fallen swoop, undermines both freedom and truth. And it also implicitly attenuates the interiority upon which truth depends, since radical secularists and neo-Marxists are absolutely committed to a blind materialism in which our precious interiority is just an epiphenomenon. Thus, no truth, no freedom, no objective interiority. Other than that, we have no problems with the left.

Now, just as worldly truth depends upon absolute truth, so too, ipso facto, do worldly freedom and interiority depend upon the Absolute Subject, who also happens to be infinitely free. We can never measure him; rather, he is the measure of us. Here again, this would have to be considered to be in the realm of the obvious, at least if one takes the time to think about it deeply (assuming other qualifications that the non-Raccoon will not possess, either by training, or more likely, vocation).

Okay, the caffeine drip is beginning to kick in. Unfortunately, Future Leader could stir at any time, plus I have to leave fairly early. Let's get busy.

Phenomenolgically, there is self and there is world, or interior and exterior. However, as mentioned a couple of posts back, while our senses only register the exterior, our intellect innately recognizes that the exterior actually has an interior -- that existence is the manifestation of essence.

As I reflect upon this primordial mystery -- about which I will have much more to say -- I go back to chapter three of the Coonifesto, where I discussed the extremely unlikely situation of a neurologically incomplete baby being born into the trimorphic structure of mommy-daddy-baby, the cosmic implications of which are well beyond this post.

But somewhere in there, I related this to that first bit of purely exterior matter that wrapped around itself and then persisted through time: i.e., that first cosmic declaration of subjectivity, Life. But the cosmic purpose of infants -- who otherwise seem so useless -- is to be the breach in time and space which allows interiority to come flooding in. Here again, it seems that the A.I. people -- much less the sociobiologists -- will never appreciate the profundity of this truly cosmic-developmental event. For it is to the evolution of Spirit what metabolism is to Life.

Here again, we don't have time to get into it, but Bion had a symbol for this interior process, which he called "alpha-function," which is basically the ability to "think about thinking" -- or, more to the point -- to actually think one's thoughts, rather than, say, being thought by them, allowing them to be hijacked by primitive emotion, projecting them, etc. Each of these interferes with the development of the interior world, and therefore erodes freedom and truth.

Now, a human being is not only open to the world, but he is also open to the infinitely wider world of other Subjects, beginning with the (m)other. Indeed, a good mother does not relate to her baby "surface to surface," but reaches "way in," so that they touch subject to subject, interior to interior, and ground to ground, in the most profound and intimate way.

Because this goes on for such an unusually extended period, during which time the brain is assembling itself, it puts in place the fissure in being, the crack in the cosmic egg, that will allow the celestial light in. Again, absent this interior space, neither truth nor freedom would be conceivable, for this space is also -- obviously -- the Cosmic Interior, with all that implies. It is why we can relate not just to people -- but to the world -- interior to interior and essence to essence.

Perhaps this is sounding too abstract, but it isn't. For example, when you open yourself to the beauty of virgin nature, and allow it to breach your boundaries and come pouring in, what do you think is happening? We've recently had a series of particularly beautiful days here in Upper Tonga, and I mentioned to an acquaintance -- a flatlander -- how odd it was that there was no such thing as an ugly cloud. He immediately launched into a dissertation about how he is an "empiricist," so that such statements have no meaning. Suffice it to say, I didn't pursue the subject. As always, the secret protects itself.

The point is, the human subject is not only a window on the world, but he is the only being that also sees the world as one big window, with the light of truth and beauty shining through from essence to existence. Imagine if the world were not like this! Again, this would be tantamount to a living death of severe autism, just flat people in a dead world (and vice versa).

But the human vocation is to serve as "host" for the world's beauty and truth, so long as we have a developed interior and allow it to remain receptive to being. In my view, the essence of psychopathology revolves around these two factors, 1) the absence of a highly developed interior, in which one has colonized a substantial portion of the subjective horizon, and 2) the extent to which the person is an open system (both horizontally and vertically), particularly on a deep emotional level. We will have much more to say about this in a future post, when we discuss the cosmic implications of coonjugal Love.

Damn, better stop again. No time to even spiel-check. Gotta get ready for work. I need a slabatical to really get into this!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

My Bucket's Got a Hole in It

I think I understand why the Theo-Logic is so challenging. It's like one long, ecstatic ode to truth that cannot be reduced to anything other than itself. You know, like a poem: if you try to reduce a poem down to its essence and put it in a memo, you've destroyed the poem, precisely.

So that's the difficulty we're having here: I've finally met my match. I can't wrap my mind around this, because it's too close to the source. Imagine if you have a little bucket, and you're trying to collect water from a fire hose. If you're far enough away, it's not a problem. But if you get right up next to the nozzle, it will send your bucket flying, if not tear it apart. Then u has no bucket.

Obviously, we're gonna need a bigger bucket. Yes, I'm going to have to pull out the Big Crock, which only Bob's Unconscious has access to (and when I say "unconscious," I really mean our total verticality, extending from the lowdown downdest to the tip-toppermost of the poppermost). The unconscious is much bigger, much more capacious and hyperdimensional than the conscious mind that floats on its surface. So, trying to wrap the conscious mind around Balthasar (heretofore HvB for short) is truly like trying to capture the sphere with the circle. It can't be done.

Nope. We're going to have to fight firehose with firehose.

I don't think the conscious mind -- or, let's say left brain -- really has access to being per se anyway. Rather, it is the right brain that gives direct access to the background of being, and the left brain that "thinks" about it in a more linear way. In fact, for those of you who have read my paper on quantum physics and psychoanalysis, it reminds me of how the ponderable explicate world is a function of the ceaselessly flowing implicate world.

It seems to me that HvB operates right on the border where those two worlds touch, and where the one is transformed and translated into the other. And it is my opinion that this is the very reason why we have a left and right brain (or conscious and unconscious, which operate along such different logical principles), because otherwise we could not possibly be proportioned to the totality of the cosmos in both its implicate and explicate poles. (By the way, one could think of, say, Joyce's Finnegans Wake as operating on the other side of that line altogether, in the total implicate darkness of dream logic; in that case, we have to do all of the explicating.)

But of course, there are not really two worlds. Again, we can draw distinctions, but never separate the two poles, for the one is a function of the other. It is really one flowing process, like O-->(n). Or, put it this way: the more alienated one is from the totality of this flow, the more the world will appear to be either, on the one hand, an irreducible chaos, or, on the other, a kind of dead rationalism (the latter being the specialty of the atheistic nerds and other substitious neo-barbarians).

I might also add that this is actually a circular process, something I couldn't really get into in the book (the more symbols a book has, the more likely it is that the potential reader will place it back on the shelf). But in the mode of O-->(n), (n) "returns" to O -- to the ground -- and "refertilizes" it, so to speak, in the manner, say, that leaves fall from the tree and fertilize the ground from which the tree draws its nourishment to produce more leaves. Here again, this is why it is a tree of life for those whose wood beleaf.

You will also note that what I am describing is not "abstract," but quite concrete and empirical. It is simply a description of "what happens" in spiritual growth. All of my regular readers will have noticed that as they shun the junk food and take in only the whole foods, it puts in place a positive feedback loop -- which, not to get self-referential again, was one of the points of the circularity of my book. Only by the end of the book are you fit to restart at the beginning and know the place for the first time. Which is also why it is posssible, in the words of Rabbi Zimmerman, to be "younger than yesterday." Or, as in Cosmobliteration, the attractor suction of the book, And you shall never grow so old again, or dopple, your monkey back.

Let's let the great sax-man Hank Mobley illustrate it for us. Hank? You out there Hank? Alright! Let's give a Big Round of applause to the middleweight king of the tenor! (And remember, to repent is to "turn around.") (This is Hank's greatest record, which is highly raccoomended even if you think you don't like jazz. Musically speaking, it just "flows" from the origin, illustrating our point aurally.)

Now, HvB, talks about the "double-sidedness" of truth, which again can be compared to the cosmic marriage of ♀and ♂ (or container and contained, respectively). In short, truth is neither container nor contained, but the eternal dynamic play between the two. Please bear in mind that this is not at all analogous to the polarity of rational <--> irrational, as a benighted secularist might imagine. Rather, the higher Reason deploys itself in the form of this perpetually living process -- for truth is very much alive, to say the least.

Here is how he describes it: "on the one hand, the object is captured and enclosed within the subject, while, on the other hand, the subject is initiated into the all-embracing world of the objective disclosure of being." So, in this formulation, being is ♂ while the containing subject is ♀. "Thus, knowing the truth happens when knowledge, by virtue of an 'adequation' (♀) to the thing as it really is, lets itself be measured and determined by the thing (♂)."

BUT, it is hardly man's lot to be nothing more than "a kind of machine for recording objective states of affairs," like some hindbrain atheist medullard. Rather, looked at vertically, in the total cosmic context, objects actually come to their full fruition in the human subject that knows their truth (and beauty). That is, "objects exist for the sake of subjects," not vice versa, as that would be an intrinsic absurdity, a his & heresy.

Thus, "the disclosure of being is meaningful only if it is directed to a knowing subject." The subject brings into being the truth of the object; as such, you might say that the human being -- in potential anyway -- is the being that brings being itself to its cosmic conclusion, which is none other than gnosis, properly understood (not "gnosticism," it should go without saying). Rather, it is just that "the human subject enjoys here a special participation in the power of the divine intelligence to positively bring truth into being."

Again, think of that half-luminous penumbra between O and (n): "It is in this shifting middle, in a kind of balancing act between reason's two functions -- receptive, consenting self-abandonment, on the one hand, and judgment, on the other -- that truth itself moves." But the main point is that there is an "indissoluble polarity between subject and object," which quite mysteriously "comprehend each other reciprocally," to the very ends of the total cʘʘvision of, say, a Meister Eckhart.

Given what we have just outlined above, we understand that truth is intrinsic to being, for it is "being unveiled," and it is only unveiled in human subjects -- hence our overall importance to the divine-cosmic economy. For without humans, being cannot become transparent to itself and know its own truth. Other animals can know the exterior of being -- the appearance -- but only human beings can know the interior -- the essence.

Here again, essence and appearance can be distinguished but never separated, for essence only shows itself in terms of its manifold appearances, while appearance is incomprehensible without seeing it as the instantiation of essence.

It can be no other way. Think of the relationship between your own true self -- or, as we call it, your unique coonstellation -- and your outward life. The more you operate from your nonlocal coonstellation, the more your thoughts and actions come into alignment with it. But it is not as if you can ever circumnavigate or know your true self as an object. Rather, it is an inexhaustible plenitude. My posts, for example, are definitely "all me." Cut this blog, and it bleeds Bob's blood. But I am not the sum total of the posts. Rather, they can never be more than just a tiny sample of O.

THIS IS SO FRUSTRATING! Time to get ready for work.