Tuesday, April 14, 2009

On Honoring Truth with Knowledge

I'm just skimming the Theo-Logic while waiting for my brain to come on line, and I noticed an arresting phrase. It's in the context of a discussion of how the lover perceives the ideal within the beloved, piercing through the falsity, the veneer, to the core, or essence, in such a way that the beloved may be known to himself -- his true self -- through the gaze of the lover.

Then he says that in the lover's eyes, the imperfect image has "no right to exist," and is therefore not honored with knowledge.

That was the phrase that struck me: not honored with knowledge. This would imply that knowledge is a kind of honor that is conferred upon reality; more than that, it would mean that truth is honorable, while there is something dishonorable about things that are false or unreal. Therefore, to elevate them to truth is a kind of double dishonoring, for it is also a negation of man's highest potential, even his reason for being, i.e., the link between the Absolute and relative.

Now, there are lies and liars. We all know that. But there are also people who are lies; if there is truth in them -- which there always is, because no one can exist and not partake of truth -- it is accidental, whereas the Lie forms their substance. It is as if they have exchanged one essence for another, as a result of a kind of.... satanic eucharist, or "dyscharist." For truly, it is not philosophy but necrophilia, "the love of death."

In other words, they eat lies, they drink lies, they play with lies, they work with lies, and soon enough, the lie is so woven into their substance through this daily communion, that the cosmos is fully inverted. Not only has the lie become the truth, but the truth becomes a lie.

But it doesn't end there. Rather, in order to "go on being," the person will have to spend the rest of their life "consuming the lie," or else face a kind of "double death," for they will lose the illusion that keeps them going. Losing their illusion would be like awakening from a nightmare, only to find oneself in a real gulag. Therefore, they cherish their lie, even while resenting reality.

I hesitate to do this, because he'll no doubt think I'm honoring his right to exist by calling attention to him. It's just that I check my technorati links in the morning to see what people are saying about me, and it's such a pervect exhumeple of what we're discussing here. It takes what might be overly abstract for some of you, and makes it completely concrete.

It's such a transparent example, that it hardly requires comment on my part. Rather, I'll just let Mtraven speak for himself, so you can all understand the agenda underneath the mask -- an agenda which "has no right to exist" and which should not be "honored with knowledge" -- unless it is in the form of a cautionary tale for you kits who don't understand what is at stake here. i.e., your immortal soul.

"The left is about resistance to authority, God is the ultimate authority, Satan is the rebel, fine. Hail to His Satanic Majesty!"

No, he's not just being gliberal. He favorably quotes the patently diabolical Aleister Crowley, who wrote that “I slept with faith and found a corpse in my arms on awakening; I drank and danced all night with doubt and found her a virgin in the morning." He also references the uber-moonbat Saul Alinsky, who openly acknowledged his debt to "to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins — or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.”

This is sufficient to establish what we have said all along, that the left is not "progressive" -- for progress can only occur in the context of movement toward truth -- but reactionary to the core. They are not revolutionary, for that term is reserved for people such as America's founders, who were actually doing battle with the lie that is "the world," or, let us say, the "worldly powers." Revolvere is to return to the origin by "rolling back."

Rolling back what? Well, for starters, rolling back all of the accumulated lies of the counter-revolutionaries of the left. To cite an obvious example, this is what Ronald Reagan attempted to do -- to roll back the foreign and domestic reactionaries and counter-revolutionaries of the left, who have no right to exist (their ideas, not the people).

And now what is happening? Once again, the counter-revolutionaries, led by an acolyte of the devil-worshipping Saul Alinsky, are back in the saddle. Remember, he was merely following in the footsteps of "the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment..., Lucifer." In this regard, let's just let one of his clowns again speak for himself:

"Satan has always been a more attractive character than God, because rebels are cool and God is such an asshole. Aside from suborning genocide, getting all bent out of shape if he's not worshiped sufficiently, and other assorted Biblical atrocities, just look at the people he has speak for him on Earth. Who wouldn't want to be on the opposite side from such people?"

You see? It's all self-evident. Satan is cool and attractive, God is an asshole, the Bible is a compendium of atrocities, and Godly people are demonic. I never engage in polemic, unless I'm just trying to be funny. But when I say that the worldview of the left is precisely upside down and inside out, I am again being quite literal and matter of fact. Does not Mtraven confirm everything I've said?

Remember what we were saying about Schuon the other day? Of course, like any other human being, he was hardly perfect; indeed, he would be the first to remind us that there is no one good but the One. Nevertheless, on the whole, he was "patently angelic." I mean, I can literally never repay him for the spiritual assistance he has given me.

But here's is how a Liar sees the same person: "He's a theologian with a cult following; a member of a group of 'pereniallists' who disdain New Ageists because...well, I can't tell you, they seem about the same to me...." He includes a brief quote from Schuon, who expresses the truism that certainty of religious truth surely comes from God, for where else could it come from? I think we all realize that faith is a grace that we could never produce out of our own substance. But for Mtraven, this is "a sure recipe for mental disaster. It is almost a parody, a distillation, of the self-reinforcing parasitic brain worm model of religion."

Again, a fascinating inversion. One of Schuon's essential teachings -- and something for which he would never claim credit, for it is universal -- is that it is only the uncreated intellect that can participate directly in truth, since it is of the same substance as truth. But just savor this final pompous inversion, the coup de gracelessness: "[I]n the world of the intellect, where I like to locate myself, everything is open to question. Conservatives complain that the academy is left-wing; but it seems as if thought itself is left-wing, so it's really not that much a surprise."

This has a kind of perverse beauty, does it not? For it means that the highest "truth" is actually doubt, which means that the cretin who can doubt the most truth is the highest intellect. We call this the state of tenure, and on this we agree: "it seems as if thought itself is left-wing, so it's really not that much a surprise."

But when he uses the word "thought," we clearly aren't talking about the same thing. For us, thought is what bears on truth, or else it isn't really thinking, just "mental agitation." If it is only the capacity to doubt, then again, this ineluctably results in a "philosophy of stupidity." The priceless gift that is the intellect is the ability to know; and not just know anything, but to know truth and to know it with certainty.

Let's see what my fellow cult-leader, Schuon, had to say about the intellect: "The Intellect ‘is divine’, first because it is a knower -- or because it is not a non-knower -- and secondly because it reduces all phenomena to their Principle; because it sees the Cause in every effect, and thus surmounts, at a certain level, the vertiginous and devouring multiplicity of the phenomenal world." As we have said before, the intellect reduces multiplicity to unity in whatever realm it operates. Yes, of course, there is an element of doubt involved, but it is analogous to the catabolism that is necessary to metabolize truth.

However, for most men of the present age -- and again, this is soph-evident -- "the intellect is atrophied to the point of being reduced to a mere virtuality, although doubtless there is no watertight partition between it and the reason, for a sound process of reasoning indirectly transmits something of the intellect; be that as it may, the respective operations of the reason -- or the mind -- and of the intellect are fundamentally different from the point of view that interests us here, despite certain appearances due to the fact that every man is a thinking being, whether he be wise or ignorant."

Again, there is intellect and there is its caricature, the mere intellectualism of the tenured.

And what did one of my other favorite cult leaders, Sri Aurobindo, say about doubt? Satprem writes that "The day came when Sri Aurobindo had had enough of these intellectual exercises. He had probably realized that one can go on amassing knowledge indefinitely, reading and learning languages, even learning all the languages in the world and reading all the books in the world, and yet not progress an inch. For the mind does not seek truly to know, even though it appears to -- it seeks to grind. If by chance the machine were to come to a stop because knowledge had been obtained, it would soon rise up in revolt and find something new to grind, just for the sake of grinding and grinding."

Now, notice two things; first, Aurobindo had achieved the summit of philosophical intelligence, which essentially leaves one on a plane where the endless circles of deconstruction and synthesis are inevitable, with no nonlocal vector to guide them to their proper end in Truth as such. In other words, deconstruction is simply intelligence playing with the same facts to come up with radically disparate conclusions. Equally intelligent people can easily be on one side or the other of a particular dispute, or even arrive at opposite ideologies.

But this is not the path to Truth. Unless intelligence is infused with the descent of a higher light, it will forever remain on its own partial plane. Here again, Balthasar speaks of "the moment when one's own inspiration mysteriously passes over into inspiration through the genius, the daimon, or the indwelling god, a moment when the 'spirit that contains the god' obeys a superior command which as such implies form and is able to impose form." This is impossible in the absence of true faith (o) -- which is the real doubt, for it is doubt of the unreal -- through which the person divests himself "of any intent to give himself shape, who makes himself available as matter for the divine action."

Any being that is deprived of... truth, perishes in the long run from want of air and light. Love treats what should not be as it deserves, as something that has absolutely no lawful title to being and whose punishment is simply to have its existence overlooked. --Theo-Logic: The Truth of the World.

Therefore, we could never honor Mtraven, only love him.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Mystery of Love, Divine and Human

So, things attain some sort of "completion in the sphere of subjectivity." This is a strange -- strange but true -- idea, but in order to grasp it, you have to exit the implicit materialist point of view that so demonates our consciousness, which maintains that subjectivity is essentially a kind of meaningless side effect of objects that has no intrinsic connection to them, or to anything else, for that matter. Yes, life exists in this cosmos, but it tells us absolutely nothing about the nature of the cosmos. Yes, consciousness exists, but it is entirely accidental and contingent, not essential. How something that is entirely contingent can presume to pronounce on absolute truth is not explained, but we'll let that go.

To say that things attain their completion in the realm of the subject doesn't just turn the cosmos inside out and on its head. First of all, it is experientially and phenomenologically true, which I believe is Balthasar's point. In this particular volume, The Truth of the World, he doesn't get much into theology per se. Rather, he is just setting the stage for the theology which will come later. For as always, we must begin at the beginning, with the question of "just what kind of cosmos is this, anyway?" And any answer that leaves out life, let alone consciousness, as intrinsic properties, is a non-starter. Once we realize this, then it becomes much easier to understand where religion fits into the picture, i.e., the cosmic principles through which it operates.

In a truly evolutionary worldview, we would see a cosmos gradually becoming more interior to itself, until it reaches a point at which this interiority doubles back upon itself in man. As such, man can be a subject for objects, as well as for other subjects. And that is not all. For man can also reconcile himself to the Absolute subject behind the play of phenomena. Thus, just as objects complete their otherwise meaningless existence in man -- the locus of worldly meaning -- man completes his otherwise meaningless existence in the Absolute subject, the locus of cosmic meaning.

Again, this is not the least bit speculative. Rather, I am simply describing "what happens." I know that Mrs. G., for example, since her baptism last Saturday, has been feeling so reconciled to the Absolute subject, that she is still being flooded with cosmic meaning that can't even be fully articulated. But this is what happens when one goes from being the source of meaning to being with the source of meaning, for it is somewhat like going from death to life -- or being "born again," to purloin a craze.

Only in the sphere of the subject may we reveal ourselves, which is why one doesn't feel self-conscious to be naked in the presence of the dog. Rather, there is a transitional space that opens up between human subjects, but also in the field between the human subject and the divine subject. It is only in this space that one may "unfold latent potentialities that [one] cannot display elsewhere." Do you see the point? A human being who is not intersubjective is not a human being. We are thoroughly entangled in one another in an irreducible way; there is no "I" in the absence of the thou.

In fact, as I attempted to make plain in the Coonifesto, it is actually the thou, i.e., the (m)other, that is first discovered, and who in turn "confers" our subjectivity upon us. In other words, human beings only discover themselves within an interpersonal matrix. Even when you are alone an thinking to yourself, the internal speech is always "for" someone. Oftentimes that is the key to understanding the nature of a mind parasite, for the activity of the parasite may consist of nothing but a kind of repetitive chatter. But to whom is the parasite speaking? That often removes the veil from the little bugger.

For example, I used to get mad at my school. The teachers who taught me weren't cool. You know the story -- holding me down, turning me round, filling me up with their rules. In fact, me used to be angry young man. Me hiding me head in the sand. But to whom was this anger really directed? Suffice it to say that, thanks to the magic of unconscious logic, I was simply tilting at windbags, i.e., symbolic stand-ins, instead of dealing with the true source. Thankfully, before it was too late, He gave me the word, I finally heard, and now I'm doing the best that I can. And I have to admit it's gotten better.

Now, objects -- just like self-respecting subjects -- won't just open themselves up to anyone. There is an intrinsic "modesty" in existence, through which things simultaneously veil and reveal -- or reveil as I put it in the Coonifesto. But at the same time, the object cannot be known except by another subject, and therefore wants to "unveil its inmost being," "just as a patient bares himself before his doctor" -- a prerequisite of which being that you must also bear your unbearable self.

Come to think of it, this is a metaphor I have often used with patients who wonder why I have to ask so many questions during an evaluation. I tell them that it's similar to when they go to a real doctor -- the definition of a real doctor being a stranger who, when they tell you to take off your clothes, you do it -- except that one must reveal oneself in time as opposed to space.

In other words, the body can show it self all at once, before the eye of the senses. But how does the mind reveal itself, since it is like a stream that runs through time? This is why we must look at the patient as a baby, a child, an adolescent, an adult, and from many different angles at each point along the way -- cognitively, emotionally, interpersonally, etc. A person who doesn't wish to cooperate will simply show you a sort of "object" which they have defensively constructed, either consciously or unconsciously.

HvB talks about the "special gaze" which "leads to the inner sanctum of knowledge." For example, in discussions of love, we tend to focus on the desire of the subject. However, equally important is the desire to be desired, or to be the focus of desire of the other. A love in which we only desired the other would be only half a love; likewise, a love in which we only wanted to be the object of desire would be narcissistic. Many relationships end not because of desire per se, but the desire to be desired in a certain way, to experience oneself through the eyes of the desiring other.

Which reminds me. We're really going off on a tangent here, but I remember a particular patient who was a porn addict. When we explored it, interestingly, what most drew him in was not the bodies, but the eyes -- in particular, the way the women would look directly at the camera. In his mind, it was as if they were looking at him, into his eyes.

In turn, it was obvious that he longed to be looked at -- and therefore known -- in a certain way. Blah blah blah yadda yadda, it ultimately came down to never having come into being in the loving space of his mother's gaze, as she had abandoned the family when he was quite young. As a result, the porn actually entered the picture when he was seven or eight years old, as a kind of "maternal container" for a prematurely awakened sexuality that served as a substitute for the real missing link of love. (I have seen the same pattern in many male homosexuals, for whom compulsive sex is merely a means to an intrapsychic end of which they are unaware, i.e., the attempt to internalize male logos.)

HvB beautifully describes the dynamics of knowing oneself through being lovingly known: "This special gaze, which is possible only in the loving attention of the subject, is equally objective and idealizing." Within this supercharged space, the object "hopes to attain in the space of another the ideality that it can never realize in itself." In order to become who we are, so to speak, we need "someone who believes in [us] -- no, who sees [us] already existing in a hidden state, where, however, [we] are visible only to one who firmly holds that [we] can be realized, to one, in other words, who believes and loves."

Frankly, this is again not all that different from therapy, in which the therapist may be able to "see" the positive essence of the person, the essence that is buried under the activity of the mind parasites. In fact, if I cannot feel that essence, I can't help the person. In my own marriage -- and I'm sure this is the rule for most people -- I fell in love with the essence, but after awhile, other things reared their heads and began to get in the way. But you must realize, this is one of the very purposes of marriage, that is, a "loving space" where these things can be worked out. Now there's pretty much only essence left, so it's very much like being back at the beginning and really knowing it for the first time.

HvB talks about the "mystery of love," through which "the object ventures to be what it could have been but would never have dared to be by itself alone.... The image was only concealed in the beloved, and the eyes of love had to come and raise it from the depths" (speaking of resurrection). Truly, we can only be in the ultimate sense within a matrix of love. And obviously, this has profound theological consequences, for it leads directly to the trinitarian godhead, which is nothing if not two subjects eternally joined in love and "witnessing" to each other. And this is why, only in love can you be all you can be.

The beloved [knows] that the realization of his best potentialities is, not his merit, but the creative work of love, which impelled him to realize them, held before him the mirror and the ideal image, and bestowed the strength to attain the goal. In this creative happening, every distinction between subjective and objective becomes meaningless. The image that love saw and held up is doubtless an image of the object. Not, however, of the object as it is, but of the object as it could be. --Theo-Logic: The Truth of the World

Amen. Can I get a witness?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Easterly Wind Blows Where it Will

I've resurrected this old post from around this time last year. Perhaps later today Mrs. G. will telos all about her baptism (which she has now done in a comment), since I wasn't there, and she's still sleeping. Naturally I would have liked to have been there, but someone had to watch the ferret, plus they don't make it convenient for folks like me who are in bed by 9:00. Besides, she wants to renew our vows in the church this summer, and I'll probably show up for that, or at least send my stunt double.

*****

People argue about Jesus -- it is easier than to let yourself be scorched by contact with him. --Henri Le Saux (Swami Abhishiktananda)

All that is true, by whosoever spoken, is from the Holy Ghost. --St. Ambrose

In Christ the Eternal Tao, Hieromonk Damascene makes the claim that "we today are given much more than those who were born before Christ, for while pre-Christian prophets and sages were united with the Tao after their death, we have the potential of experiencing a foretaste of that eternal union during our earthly life. During his life on earth, Christ gave special means -- physical 'channels' of immaterial, Uncreated Teh -- by which to help effect this union."

Yes, the Christian message is universal, but it seems an unavoidable conclusion that it possesses an exoteric side and an esoteric side -- an outer teaching and an inner teaching, a primarily informational component and a more transformational component. Obviously, this can lead to charges of elitism, but in reality, it seems that the inner teaching is surrounded on all sides by cherubim with flaming swords who only allow those with sincere humility and childlike innocence to pass through: amen for a child's job!

And while no one should devalue the informational, or dogmatic, aspect of Christianity -- any more than one should devalue the foundation and structure of a beautiful house -- I guess I agree with Abhishiktananda, who wrote, "let us not confuse the vessel with the treasure it contains.... as long as man attempts to seize and hold God in his words and concepts, he is embracing a mere idol." Thus, "in every religious experience there is a beyond, and it is precisely this 'beyond' that is our goal."

In Matthew 13:10, the disciples ask Jesus why he speaks in parables to the multitude, the implication being that he doesn't speak that way to them. "Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.... I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand." Evidently, teaching to the converted is different than preaching to the perverted.

Of course, everything Jesus said was provocative and well worth pondering. But it would appear that the exoteric teaching -- the parables -- are there to instruct those who can discern their meaning. But they are also vague and ambiguous enough to serve as a sort of protective covering over the esoteric side -- like the shell of a seed that surrounds and protects the kernel. In fact, Jesus proceeds directly to a parable involving a seed. When this seed is planted in "good ground," it "indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty" (Matt 13:23).

In Mark 4:33, it says the same thing: "And with many such parables He spoke the word to them as they were able to hear it.... And when they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples." This in itself has an inner meaning, for who is a disciple? And what does it mean to be alone with Jesus?

Exoteric teaching works from the outside in. But esoteric teaching works from the inside out. Clearly, this is where the third person of the trinity comes in, the "helper" promised by Jesus. There is no way to reconcile this helpful uncreated energy with anything found on this side of nature. It is intrinsically esoteric. Aligning oneself with it is perhaps the principle aim of the Christian life, without which nothing else is possible, not even faith.

Hieromonk Damascene quotes a number of eminent authorities on this matter, for example, St. Seraphim of Sarov, who says that when Christ assures us that "The Kindom of Heaven is within you," he is "referring precisely to this seed of the Grace of the Holy Spirit implanted in the human soul."

Of course, we would all like to purchase a luxury corps at pentecost, but there's no such thing as a free launch. For it is like a treasure hidden in a field: "In order to acquire it, one must sell all that one has, buy the field, and then patiently and diligently dig." Apparently, no one's vehicle crosses the phoenix line unless it is first repossessed and amortized.

But if aligning oneself with the Holy Spirit is the principle aim of the Christian life, "digging" into ourselves is the principle method -- tilling the ground, planting the seed, nurturing it, and, especially, watching over the field. For, according to Hieromonk Damascene, "we still carry within ourselves the inclination and habit to return to our former condition." It is a law of embodied existence that, no matter what, we still fall downward 32 feet per second per second. It seems that the lower self digs itself so much, that it creates its own existential hole and then jumps right in.

Another way of expressing it is to say that there is an inevitable circularity, or "curvature" to our worldly existence. That is, if we make an initial step in the right direction, that is not enough. Without a second step, a third step, a fourth step, etc., a certain inertia will set in that returns us to the place we started.

This inertia is a force that must be constantly countered. In order to alter its inevitable pressure, it must be acted upon by a force external to it. Repeatedly. This is why being "born again" just once will not cut it. Rather, one must pent and repent as necessary.

Hieromonk Damascene calls this "continuous metanoia." In order to achieve it, the ancient Christian ascetics developed the idea of "watchfulness," which involves "a state of inner vigilance, attention and sobriety." This kind of "inner attention" has very obvious parallels to raja yoga and Buddhist mindfulness meditation (while by no means being identical to them).

Jesus did not just say "pray." Rather, he said to "watch and pray." It's easy. First watch. Then pray while watching.

Watching what?

Hieromonk Damascene quotes one of the greatest authorities, St. John Climacus. In his The Ladder of Divine Ascent, he wrote, "Close the door of your cell to the body, the door of your tongue to speech, and your inner gate to evil spirits. Ascend into a watchtower -- if you know how to -- and observe how and when and whence, and in what numbers and what form, the robbers try to break in and steal your grapes.... Guarding against evil thoughts is one thing, keeping watch over the spirit [nous] is another. The latter... is far more difficult to attain. Where thieves see royal weapons at the ready they do not attack the palace lightly. Similarly, spiritual robbers do not lightly try to plunder the person who has enshrined prayer within his heart."

Hieromonk Damascene eliberates on this point, writing that watchfulness involves pulling our awareness "back into an objective state of observant mind, thus keeping watch over [the] spirit or 'higher mind'." In essence, it is a reversal of our primordial fall -- our worldward descent into distraction, fragmentation, and dissipation -- or, alternatively, congealing, thickening, and hardening. "Attention" and "distraction" are opposites. In the words of Christ, our eye must again become "single," so that the "whole body will be full of light."

Man is a microcosm, and only by opening up in a man the foundation of his being can the Spirit transform and spiritualize the cosmos to its depths. --Swami Abhishiktananda

Ferret in tree:

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Anti-Bob Update #7: That Old Devil Moonbat

I went down into the arkive, and this was the first post I grabbed. It was surrounded by a number of other golden wedgies, so I've tried to edit and distill them all down to their demonic essence. Yeah, it's long, but I think its a keeper. All gags and insults that have not stood the test of time have been ruthlessly excised, and new ones embedded. Unlike the left, we do not grant automatic tenure to old jokes just because they reflect our political sentiments.

♪♫ They vote for him and suddenly,
Something in their polices,
Soon begins defrauding me,
It's those old devil moonbats
♫♪ --Apologies to Frank

Let's see what our Unknown Friend has to say about these devils. That would be card XV, Le Diable, which is the French word for "the French."

UF calls it the card of "counter-inspiration" -- of intoxication and electrical fire. But first he warns us that, unlike the other arcana -- with which the seeker should sympathetically identify -- we must keep a certain disrespectful distance from this one, for identification is a form of intuition that also involves comm-union, or becoming one.

This immediately makes me wonder about the lunar 'batmosphere of academonia. As the deviled eggheads of the tenured left say, "give me a child between 18 and 21 with a skull full of mush, and he will be a moonbat forever."

These children become old before their time, preserved in umbrage like the mentally and spiritually sclerotic old geezers who perform the brainwash. As one observer asked of one of their geriatric pep rallies, "What do the old radicals have left to offer the youth? Socialism."

"Expecting a healthy turnout of idealistic youths, I was surprised to find that the crowd was comprised predominantly of middle-aged '60s throwbacks looking to recapture the glory days of the jarring folk music, campus occupations, and general social chaos that accompanied the Vietnam War.... Dominated by the '60s generation as it was, it was unsurprising to see a galaxy of signs and booths invoking the sacred cure-all of nearly every 1960s radical -- socialism.... It is sad that in thirty years, the U.S. Left hasn’t come up with a better idea than [this].... A good many of the older folks, I suspect, are not even motivated by politics so much as by a desire to recapture their youth.... These old coots -- Fonda included -- are like insects trapped in amber; forever destined to to remain fixated and unmoving as time passes them by."

I think this is a key insight, for it highlights the truism that "progressivism" is a deeply nostalgic exercise, politically, developmentally, and even ontologically. Politically it is a form of romanticism, a backward-looking philosophy that naively idealizes human nature and the realm of the instincts in general.

Developmentally it is nostalgic, for it attempts to resuscitate the conditions of infancy, when "wishing" could be instantaneously converted into "having" merely by crying and registering sufficient distress. For a helpless infant this is entirely appropriate, but most of us "move on" -- which is to say we don't moveon.org. This reminds me of one of Petey's "old saws": If wishes were horse's asses, then Democrats would need a much bigger stable for their convention.

And progressivism is ontologically nostalgic, for it denies the ironyclad conditions of the Fall, imagining that our primordial calamity never occurred. Thus, for the leftist, the distance between mankind and paradise is not a result of man, but The Man. If we can just eliminate The Man, then we will all live on Sugar Candy Mountain. Most recently The Man was George Bush, but it could be anyone, so long as it is a Man who represents Manhood -- which is to say, a direct challenge to the dominion of the Great Mother who presides over the dreamworld of infancy.

Of course, it is difficult to speak of these maters without insulting someone, but psychoanalysis does it all the time. As I wrote in the Coonifesto, human beings are structurally trimorphic, which is to say, composed of Mother, Father, and Baby. Just as in the home, their relations in the head can either be harmonious or perpetually conflictual. That is to say, there can be a turf war within the psyche over who is going to be in charge: Mommy, Daddy, or His Majesty, the Baby.

In your home growing up, who was in charge? And was the power wielded benignly, in consultation with the others, or was it lorded over the other two? And who calls the shots in your head today? Hopefully, you have a system of shared powers -- a creative and imaginative, dream-prone infant who is able to conjure a benign reality in the presence of a safe, reverent, containing, and metabolizing (m)other, given protection and structure by the the rule of the Father, or the limitations and responsibilities of the Real.

Please try not to think of this in an overly saturated way, but more in the spirit of it, for as Christopher Bollas writes, each of these modes "is an essential element of the triad seeking truth." Each of these very different orders must be present within the psyche in a balanced way in order for us to process reality -- or to be precise, in order for reality to process us.

Likewise, "any emphasis on one of the three constituents to the subtle exclusion of the others automatically undermines the structure of knowledge..." Growth requires "three elements of authoring and knowing: a celebration of the dreamer, the infant, the child, the producer of vivid ideas; a capacity to receive life and to bear a not knowing..., even though a profound mulling over and playing is the medium of such reception; and finally, a search for the truth that calls for judgment."

It is no wonder that (either literally or figuratively, or both, in the case of Obama) fatherless children account for most of the real trouble in society, for, psychically speaking, these are omnipotent infants in the presence of adoring mothers, with no father to "lay down the law" and provide conditional love. But there are also "motherless children" (again, either literally or figuratively) who suffer in different ways, as well as "infantless adults" who are dead to the most spontaneously alive part of themselves.

It is a banality to point out that there is a dearth of fathers and even an overt devaluation of the concept of fatherhood on the left. In fact, a colleague of mine had an interesting analysis of 9-11 along these lines, noting that one's emotional reaction to it may parallel the type of family in one's head, so to speak. For the left, there was a deep and painful nostalgia for those first couple of weeks after the attack, when we were "unified" and "the world was with us." This is a fantasy of the realm of the infant-mother dyad writ large, a harmonious union of frightened babies. Remember Jodie Foster's supremely inane commencement speech a couple of years ago?

She starts by snidely noting that "my freshman year in the fall of 1980 marked the election of Ronald Reagan [read: the symbolic Father] for his first term in office and a subsequent 12 years that we all know too much about" [read: that I know nothing about, and you certainly don't, since you weren't even born, and your leftist professors would be the last to tell you the truth about it]. Foster then turns her attention to 9-11, to the "unending grief too hard for one nation to bear." But for "one instant of deep sorrowful mourning, the world was with us" [read: Mommy loved us].

In fact, speaking of Mommy, "We reached out our arms as the world reached out its arms -- a terrible moment, a moment of wonder, a moment so true, and so beautiful, and so exquisitely sad, one that we shared with humankind. And then, the moment was gone. In my belief, squandered..."

We had a boo boo, we reached out to mommy, mommy reached out to us. Mommy make better. It was all good. What happened?

Daddy happened, and Daddy don't play. Daddy has a rule: you take out two buildings, we take out two countries. Got it? [Of course, Obama's worldwide "apology tour" is an effort to get mommy to love us again. Predictably, for the the pirates of the world, their lives will now be as easy as stealing candy from a baby.]

Foster closes her infantile wish list with a rap, or urban nursery rhyme: "You better lose yourself in the music / the moment / You own it / you better never let it go." Translated, this means, "You better lose yourself in the womb / the mommy / You own her / you better never let her go / never grow up / stay a Democrat for life!"

Coincidentally, at the same time, Bill Cosby was giving a different kind speech, speaking on behalf of the order of the Father:

"'You have to know that it is time for you all to take charge.... You have to seriously see yourselves not as the old women where the men stood in front and you all stood behind, because the men, most of them are in prison.' In his current... speaking tour, he has emphasized the need for proper parenting and education as self-help answers for low-income, urban families.... Cosby told the graduates that the same male students who are dropping out of high school 'have memorized the lyrics of very difficult rap songs.' Added Cosby: 'And they know how to send their sperm cells out and then walk away from the responsibility of something called fatherhood....' Cosby made a reference to his critics, whom he called 'all those liberals.'"

But of course, first we must overturn the order of leftist, man-fearing, heterophobic white Hollywood mothers who memorize inane rap lyrics and want mother government to usurp the realm of the Father.

Now, according to our Unknown Friend, demons are essentially indistinguishable from what I call mind parasites, which are "engendered subjectively" but then "become forces independent of the subjective consciousness that engendered them." He quotes Jung on the matter, who regarded psychological complexes as "autonomous being[s] capable of interfering with the intentions of the ego," and which "do indeed behave like secondary or partial personalities possessing a mental life of their own."

But there are individual mind parasites and collective ones, for example, Marxism and the neo-Marxist wack magic of modern "progressives." Although writing in the 1960s, UF could be describing today's demon-haunted leftism: "Engendered by the will of the masses," nourished by resentment, and "armed with a dummy intellectuality which is Hegel's dialectic misconstrued," at least half of mankind "is impelled to bow down before this god and to obey it in everything."

In fact, neo-Marxism is a collective demon by its own standards, since it is a wholly materialistic philosophy. Being such, it is only the will to power dressed up as ideology. This is why there is a fundamental incoherence at the root of all forms of leftism, which affirms its own privileged ideological truth in a cosmos where truth is strictly impossible.

I call any philosophy "of the left" if it denies the transcendent truth under- and overwritten by the logos of the One, because once the One is denied, all paths lead to leftism, whether it is materialistic scientism or the kind of bonehead atheism promulgated by phobosophical flaw firm of Harris, Dawkins & Hitchens. Just as all paths of truth lead to God, the denial of Truth is the "final common pathway" to leftist hell on earth.

This is also why all philosophies and institutions that are not explicitly conservative (by which I mean embodying the principles of classical liberalism rooted in Judeo-Christian metaphysics) sooner or later descend into leftism. Moreover, this is why it is no mystery that the Republican Party should fall into a form of "leftism lite," because very few Republicans are explicitly conservative -- which is to say, they may be "conservative" as adjective but not "Conservative" as noun. Thus, when given power, they govern like slightly less intoxicated leftists.

Mankind is sick. This we all know. We also know that there is a "treatment," but no absolute cure.

America's founders, who wanted to "relaunch" mankind in a new setting; not just a geographical setting, but an interior one of spontaneously ordered liberty oriented toward a spiritual telos. And they obviously achieved a smashing success, because America produced the finest and most decent and prosperous country the world has ever known. In fact, it is hard to even imagine what a miserable hellhole the world would be without America's beneficence. (Here is a simple test: what I just said is either immediately self-evident to you, or your soul is possessed by a demon.)

I'm not saying it's your fault, dear moonbat -- to put it in your terms, you may well be a victim, but not in the way that word is usually employed by the left. Rather, leftists are the victims of their own demons, and like all demons, they seek to convert others by "placing the bite" on them. Thus, for example, they have successfully plunged their teeth into the majority of blacks, 90% of whom vote against their best interests by identifying with the Democrat plantation. Secular Jews too have by and large abandoned God for the demons of the left, for how else can you account for their support of the most anti-Semitic institutions and forces in the world?

And adolescents with no spiritual foundation -- which is to say, no anchor in objective truth -- naturally veer leftward, since they, more than any other people, are under the influence of the earth, what with their abundance of hormones raging through a mind that has been temporarily dismantled on the developmental road between childhood and adulthood.

But to inculcate adolescents with leftism at this sensitive age -- to expose them to registered text offenders, which we routinely do by giving them an insanely expensive brainwashing in leftist loondromats -- is a grave, even unforgiveable, offense, for it sanctions a lifetime developmental arrest at a partial stage of what should be a "functional dis-integration," not a permanent one. For it is written:

If anyone of you moonbats causes one of these little ones to reject Truth for the intellectual crack of leftism -- look at me, Chomsky, I'm talking to you -- if any of you little tenuremites eating away at the spiritual foundation of the West do this, it would be better for you to have a large millstone hung around your pencil neck and drowned in the depths of your own bullshit.

The benign "neurological breakdown" that naturally occurs with adolescence serves the greater evolutionary purpose of allowing the mind to re-integrate at a higher level of wholeness and unity. Indeed, this back-and-forth process of dis-integration and synthesis -- what Bion called PS<-->D -- is what makes the human mind unique among the animals, because it signifies a form of neoteny for life. In this sense, we are children for life, but only in the sense that we -- unlike any other animal -- are capable of limitless growth toward an implicit but transcendent end. But no growth is possible if we become arrested at -- and even idealize -- what should be a temporary stage of adolescent questioning and skepticism.

Put another way, leftism is simply intellectual sanction for a lifetime of adolescent rebellion, something which is again self-evident if you merely consider what leftists say -- especially at their many demon-strations -- and how they govern. Obviously, there are no proper adults on Air America. There is no coherent philosophy on dailykos. There is no mature reflection at huffingtonpost. There is no intellectual sophistication at The Nation. There is no wisdom in the New York Times idiotorial pages. There is no Light in the UN, just a family of organized grime. Why is that?

"Now, there is the Word, and there are egregores [collective mind parasites] before whom humanity bows down; there is revelation of divine truth, and the manifestation of the will of human beings; there is the cult of God, and the idols made by man. Is it not a diagnosis and prognosis of the whole history of the human race that at the same time Moses received the revelation of the Word at the summit of the mountain, the people at the foot of the mountain made and worshipped a golden calf?" (UF).

There is the Word -- a supernaturally natural world intelligible to our naturally supernatural intellect -- and there are idols. Ultimately, leftists are intoxicated and grandiose idol-worshipers who bow before their own creations, which are truly an opiate offered to the masses of traumatically lost, confused, bitter, lazy, entitled, and disenchanted souls -- the surly teens among us.

The cure?

As always, "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." And Obama could hardly be more narcissistically self-impotent.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Freedom, Will, Truth, Love

The.

Where to begin? How to possibly unpack all of the endless implications and hidden byways in HvB's use of the simple and yet "infinitely pregnant" word the?

Ho! Fooled you again, boy. That was just me pretending to be Iowahawk satirizing me.

To remind us of where we are, we're still in the mist of a foggy discussion of truth and freedom, the one being inconceivable if not in the general vizzinity of the other. Why is that? I have a note to myself. Or perhaps to you: "On what basis have you chosen what you have used to construct your worldview? For this can never be a merely 'rational' process, even if the resulting worldview is rational."

In fact, you could never possibly specify on any rational grounds all of the infinite particulars that have gone into the construction of your worldview, for in the end, you can't even explain why you prefer blue over red or szechwan over black bean sauce. Or, put it this way: anyone who thinks they are purely rational is the most irrational of all, for there are few things as systematically irrational as dividing thought from intuition and emotion.

What we notice and select out of the world is already conditioned by our irreducible freedom, so truth and choice cannot be separated. Again, facts are everywhere. So too is knowledge. That's not the problem. But a worldview is one's unique stance toward the world, and that stance is always refracted through the lens of the individual. The individual is not the sum total of facts, but more analogous to a river bed or ocean current through which the facts pass. For example, the identical "facts of evolution" pass through me as much as they do Queeg, but what a difference!

HvB: "Thus, what someone selects to know and use as material for shaping his worldview is itself already conditioned in part by his free, ethical attitude toward the world and the ultimate questions of existence." This is always "a matter of choice, insofar as the very sifting of the objects that present themselves to his mind does not occur without his freedom." Thus, at every point the will is already involved in the act of knowledge itself, which as such is from start to finish an act of sifting and accentuation (HvB). Indeed, "there is a limitless number of ways in which a single object can be considered."

Take the example of the word the. How many times have you said to an atheist or leftist, "I do not think it means what you think it means." But then take something a little more complex than that, such as "existence," or "the Constitution," or "economics," or "religion," or "the cosmos." The problem is, because the will is always involved in truth, it leaves a gaping hole for mere willfulness to jump in. The will should assent to truth, where willfulness is what opposes it, as the latter is to ego as the former is to Self.

Or, one could say that it requires an act of will to remain open to the world -- especially in its vertical aspect -- but an act of willfulness to close oneself to the transcendent. Obviously God gave Adam "will," or freedom. But it was Adam's willfulness that resulted in his exile from reality.

I have another note to myself: are you free to choose your worldview, or is it forced upon you by facts? I would say that the more the latter is the case, the less the will is involved, and therefore, the less real truth is accessible. For example, the truly odious thing about political correctness is that no one is free to assent to it. Rather, you are compelled through a labyrinth of illegitimate power to assent to its version of the "facts."

I know that in my own profession of clinical psychology, the mind is simply "forbidden" to enter certain areas under penalty of professional death. For behind this wall of "false truth," there is always the threat of violence. I won't rehearse all of the ways in which this is true, but to suggest that science itself is free of such coercion is disingenuous in the extreme. Look at what happens to people who question the crank science of global warming, or the impossible reductionism of metaphysical Darwinism.

The left has infiltrated and taken over virtually every professional group, so that it has the power to compel lies under the color of authority. Again, this compulsion is antithetical to freedom and therefore truth. The reason why the judiciary is so important to the left is obviously because that is the most efficient way to bypass democracy and impose such things as the redefinition of marriage. That a man cannot marry a man is simply a fact of life. But the real facts of life -- or economics, or science, or race, or human nature -- have never stopped the left in the past.

What is even more sinister is that under the reign of political correctness, one is forbidden to be oneself, so that the entire pneuma-cosmic economy is disrupted. I have mentioned before that I am still recovering from my leftist brainsullying, and probably always will be, for what we call the "left" is simply the most recent incarnation of powers and principalities that long antedate Marx. As Paul said, we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. And don't forget to gird your waist with truth, or the "sacred truss."

Now, as HvB explains, "being for oneself" and "communication of the self" are one and the same, so that to forbid the latter is to damage the former. These two activities, the one passive, the other active, are but two modes of a single, "indivisible illumination of being." For to be is to radiate one's being, i.e., to communicate. But this radiation of one's self, or the desire to give of the self, is inseparable from love. This is not difficult to understand, if we return to the adage "as above, so below," for God surely wishes to communicate truth, but prior to this must be the love that radiates from the sovereign good.

For who wants to share lies? That was a rhetorical question. I assume you've all been to college or read a newspaper. The point is that because truth exists in love, there is always "an ever-new mystery beyond every unveiling," a "never-failing 'something more' than what we already know, without which there would be neither knowing nor anything to be known." Therefore, it is none other than love that ultimately "keeps a being from ever becoming a sheer fact," and always lures knowledge toward its fulfillment in truth.

But what about the knowledge (k) of the non-lover? Among other things, love warms, loosens, and illuminates, so that it melts the existential ice and undoes the ontological knots. But the intelligence of the non-lover is cold, sclerotic, and either hardened or dissipated. Therefore, his vision resembles that of "the nearsighted man: acute, even excessively so, in seeing details," but "incapable of surveying the broad prospects of truth." For in order for truth to disclose itself, we must simultaneously disclose ourselves, and this is again an intimate act that can only be carried out in love and trust.

You could say that the materialist merely lusts after facts instead of passionately loving truth. Again, willfulness can attain to a kind of narrow factuality, but only love gains access to the truth, where being can complete itself in the human subject, and vice versa.

Take the mundane example of "the."

Stop saying that!

Many wait only for someone to love them in order to become who they always could have been from the beginning. It may also be that the lover, with his mysterious, creative gaze, is the first to discover in the beloved possibilities completely unknown to their possessor, to whom they would have appeared incredible.... At love's bidding, the object ventures to be what it could have been but would have never dared to be by itself alone. --All quotes from Theo-Logic: The Truth of the World

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Are My Methods Unsound?

Ascending.

I don't know what to say about this, but, as you know, we've been unpacking volume one of HvB's Theo-Logic, which is only a single trunk of an elephantine, three part, sixteen volume work, with probably at least 8,000 pages of text.

That's a lot of text. But there could have been much more. At a number of points, HvB apologizes for having to give short shrift to many subjects that would be worthy of a book in themselves, even though he also realizes that he is taxing even the most dedicated pneumanauts with the length of his voyage.

For example, I am now well into the five-volume Theo-Drama, and in volume one -- which is only 650 pages -- he mentions that it is so skeletal that it can only serve as "the apparatus, as it were, so that gymnasts may eventually exercise upon it." Which is precisely what we are doing with the Theo-Logic, what with our daily verticalisthenics, gymgnostics, and praerobics.

In volume one of the Theo-Drama, he also mentions that this work is analogous to a pile of iron filings, which will require a magnet to align and assemble them. This magnet, of course, is the Holy Spirit, without which we could have no understanding whatsoever of the "facts" of revelation. In this regard, it seems that both types of fundamentalist, i.e., religious and materialist, miss the point entirely. The Holy Spirit is what gives "life" to the letter, and in-spires the kind of "infinite outpouring" that is HvB's "corpus," or body of work. And this is very much a living body, to say the least, whereas the letter itself is a "corpse" without the spirit to reanimate it.

We know that HvB composes living letters, because even though 8,000 is a lot of pages, each page or two inspires a lengthy post of my own. And each post could go on all day if I didn't have to leave for work!

So, what is the point? First of all, it reminds me of the last line of John, in which he mentions that he has merely skimmed the surface of Jesus' life, and that if all of the other things "were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written."

Now, that statement was written in around AD 96, over 1,900 years ago, and there is still no end in sight, is there? This was a very remarkable -- even "crazy" -- statement to have made at the time, but it now qualifies as a truism. Why? What's going on that creates this never-ending flow of (n)? For I will go one further than John: time itself cannot contain all of the posts that could be written. For God's revelation is like a fractal, which is both bound and yet infinite: wheels within wheels within wheels. We can try to impose boundaries around it, but the Holy Spirit specializes in shattering our little containers and reminding us of who is in charge.

The point is that both revelation and doctrine should paradoxically contain and yet liberate. Do you see the point? It's really quite practical. For example, in raising a child, one of the most important tasks is to help them develop psychological boundaries, which serve as a "restraint" without which growth cannot occur, or will be seriously compromised.

Or, it is like the rules of grammar and syntax, without which one cannot build upon speech to ascend higher or penetrate more deeply. But if your religion does not simultaneously bind and liberate, then something is wrong. And it should liberate at every level -- body, mind, and spirit. It cannot merely "repress," or it has become a caricature of itself (which often happens, obviously through no fault of God).

The other point is that in order for the above-noted magnet to assemble the iron filings, it requires a highly developed ignorance. You could call this "faith," or "unKnowing," but we like the term "higher bewilderness." Whatever you call it, you must eventually learn to love the feeling of being "lost" for the joy of being "found"; or the thrill of leaping into the void for the surprise of being caught at the last second.

For example, each of my posts is a leap into the void. Now, if you don't like what comes out, then that's all they represent: a pointless plunge into nothingness.

But that's not what it feels like to me. It reminds me of a comment I left last night before plunging into my night sea journey, to the effect that It is possible for one's whole life to be a prayer, as it were, in that it is "aimed at God." Certainly it is possible for thinking to be a kind of prayer. To this, Will added that

"I think anything done with full conscience and awareness is a form of prayer. For example, one has a love of cooking, then preparing a meal is prayer, provided one cooks with awareness. Gratitude for one's own existence is a form of prayer. Gratitude for the existence of others, for animals, for trees, is a form of prayer. Such gratitude literally divinizes life, activates the slumbering holy sparks within all things, as the Kabbalist might say. Silence, inner and outer, is a form of prayer. Prayer, among other things, is a state of being, I believe."

In the Coonifesto, I used the symbols (---) and (o) to designate this state of being, which must involve silence and openness, i.e., openness to the vertical. In turn, this is how the iron filings get organized, for you couldn't do it yourself in a million years, any more than you could organize the cells of your body.

In fact, each step in evolution results from something that was once done consciously being handled by the unconscious (or supraconscious, as it were). Again, whatever you think of these posts, they could never be produced "consciously," i.e., by planning ahead, doing research, assembling data, making arguments, anticipating objections, reaching a conclusion, etc.

"The characteristic of the true knower is that he resolves once and for all not to want to know many things.... He disposes of a constructive unmindfulness, which by rejecting some things, helps bring the essential cognitive elements to the fore and, in this way, fashions the world of truth into a vivid relief. It is not until we see this negative capacity to overlook and to withhold attention from things that the corresponding positive capacity to welcome them freely becomes fully visible" (HvB).

In this regard, an important point is that these posts are obviously addressed to the same "mode" or "frequency" in you from where they were produced. In other words, if you experience them in the proper way, then they should "provoke" as much as they "inform," much in the way that HvB has provoked me.

That is to say, HvB bewilders every bit as much as he instructs, and this bewilderness becomes the fertile ground for even more "flow" from the source (i.e., the "increase" given by God). In fact, there are many things HvB says that I frankly don't consciously understand, and yet, the overall effect is nevertheless a kind of palpable transmission.

As someone said of Schuon in one of those videos I linked to yesterday, he is patently angelic. Patently! That means obvious, palpable, empirical, experiential, etc. It seems that many people have no idea how very physical Christianity is, but the (↓) is always there. (Which is also how we can "register" the demonic, which is nothing more than "discerning spirits.")

So I think you see the problem. This post is already getting out of hand, and yet, it has covered zero ground. It was inspired by HvB, and yet, I'm still on the first word, "Ascending...." And when zero inspires everything, you are in the realm of the infinite, almost a mirror image of "creation from nothing." Here is the full sentence, and I think you can see how it relates to everything I've just said:

"Ascending the scale of beings from the point of view of the object, we have found that truth, as self-unveiling, has increasingly taken on the form of freedom."

One could write a whole book from this single sentence! First of all, where the Lord is, there is freedom. The corollary of this is that where the Lord isn't, there is no freedom. But ironically, the only "place" in the cosmos where the Lord cannot be is in the human being who has rejected him in exchange for a counterfeit horizontal freedom. But when the Spirit is "in" a soul such as HvB -- or if HvB is in the Spirit -- we are again witness to this quasi-infinite outpouring which is true intellectual freedom, i.e., the fertile freedom of the intellect properly so-called (not the mere intellectual-ism of the infertile egghead, i.e., the tenured).

Surely the result of this mode of being is an inversion of the cosmic subject, in which we go from passive witness of objects to participant in, or even "co-creator" of, the infinite depth of being. This is what makes knowledge a "spiritual activity" instead of the mere accounting or stamp collecting of the radical secularist living under the tyranny of quantity. The materialist can never kill God. Rather, he is nothing more than an errand boy sent by demonic grocery clerks to collect a bill. But the Raccoon has already eaten all the groceries with great gusto.

And he doesn't have to pay that bill anyway, thanks to the Divine Bailout.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Who is What and What is Who, and Always the Twain Shall Meet

HvB spends considerable time on the irreducible distinction between essence and existence. In short, "the attempt to express even in the barest terms that something is cannot be made without stating what it is." It seems that for the subject, the most basic complementarity is between isness and whatness -- without which there could not be a subject. What is is I AM, and vice versa.

This might sound eggheady, but it's no yolk: to exist is be something, and to be something is to exist. The more you become who you are, i.e., manifest your essence, the more presence you will have. Therefore, there are degrees of existence, so that many if not most human beings are "not all there," while others are more or less "fully accounted for."

Not to get ahead of ourselves, but Jesus would be an example -- the quintessential example -- of someOne who was "completely here." Or, one might say that because he was completely here, so can we be; that is, we can be by virtue of sharing in his being (insert relevant scriptural passage from Nomo here __:__).

Therefore, because of this complementarity, "as soon as we begin thinking we have gotten our hands on either essence or existence, it points immediately to the other pole as the seat of the mystery" (HvB). This very much reminds me of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle in quantum physics, whereby the more one knows about the position of a subatomic particle, the less one knows about its velocity, and vice versa.

Now that I think about it, it also reminds me of Uncle Hyman's uncertainty principle, in which it is impossible to choose between the pastrami and corned beef, since both are "to die for."

In fact, I don't think it would be stretching the analogy to say that essence is analogous to the nonlocal wave, whereas existence is analogous to the local particle. But in reality, anything is always both, in a way that our linear minds cannot comprehend because of the very fact that they are linear and in the field of local time. (You could say that Finnegans Wake was an attempt to tell the entire story of mankind from the nonlocal perspective, which is why the book is so perversely impenetrable to the [merely] logical mind.)

But obviously, since our minds are at one with the very processes that undergird the cosmos, there must be some deeper way in which they mirror this complementarity. And indeed there is, for it is none other than O-->(n), O being (among other things) the nonlocal ocean of being, (n) being its local manifestation. (Looked at another way, O is the "Father," ¶ the "son," at least through adoption.)

Alternatively, another way of looking at it would be through the lens of Ignacio Matte Blanco's "bi-logic," in which there is always a complementarity between the asymmetrical aristotelian logic of our conscious mind and the "symmetrical logic" of the unconscious mind.

In fact, I would say that what we call the "unconscious" is actually the realm of symmetrical logic, in the absence of which we could not be human. Without it, we would be like automatons living in flatland -- like a Vulcan, as it were. On the one hand, the symmetrical logic of the unconscious is what provides the "spice of life," so that nothing really is (merely) as it appears to be. However, it is also where mind parasites hide out, safe from the prying eyes of the conscious mind. You could definitely say that symmetrical logic is a mind parasite "force multiplier."

As I think I explained in the Coonifesto, mind parasites would not be so problematic if it were simply a matter of showing the person the flaw in their logic: "oh, how stupid of me! It's illogical to for me to dress in women's clothing and hang out in a biker bar."

The problem is that, because they are lodged in the unconscious, the mind parasites partake of the logic of symmetry; it is not that they are illogical, but that they operate along the lines of an entirely different kind of logic. (Best intro to the difficult ideas of Matte Blanco here; here is the only other thinker of whom I am aware that applies his ideas to theology, albeit in a more liberal manner than I would).

So, it seems that being, which is one, eternally bifurcates into essence and existence. This is the irreducible business of isness, through which everything is always more than it is. Thus, as HvB explains, being "bears in itself a wealth that cannot be consumed like a finite sum of money." Rather -- and this is an important point -- "It has a secret opening, through which never-failing replenishments of sense and significance ceaselessly flow to it from eternity."

This is none other than "Coon Central," or "upper Coonopolis." where I would prefer to be a stooge over being a prince in the comparatively mundane world of the therebelow. The "secret openings" to which HvB refers are of course the vertical springs that dot the landscape for those with activated cʘʘnvision -- you know, the manley inscape hatches which free us from the gaol of life.

On the one hand, existence is an outpouring of being, a nonstop revelation. But on the other hand, for this very reason, it is ultimately an "impenetrable veil." Why? Because even while existence reveals essence, no one ever gets to the essence. Rather, people only imagine they do -- simple, quasi-animals such as atheists, radical leftists, IRS agents, etc. I don't know what I'd do if my existence weren't magically renewed each morning. But thank God,

"No knower ever exhausts the marvel that things simply exist; and even if a lover were to imagine that he truly knew his beloved's essence, he would still daily renew his thanks to the beloved for the sheer wonder of her existence" (HvB). And this is why the male Raccoon is so thankful for his daily broad.

The sword of being slices right between essence and existence:

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Truth, Mystery, Language, and Interiority

HvB notes that everything in the cosmos necessarily points to the Creator, while simultaneously pointing back to its own non-necessity, or contingency. We didn't have to be, while God cannot not be.

To put it another way, creatures cannot help but to speak of God, whereas God didn't necessarily have to speak us. Rather, he could have only created man in freedom, just as we can only return the love in freedom -- which is ultimately derived from the very unnarcissary freedom in which we were created, or it isn't love.

But in knowing this, we come up against a horizon of unknowablility. In other words, we can posit a vague kind of deistic or demiurgic activity in the cosmos without knowing a thing about the interior life of God. In order to gain insight into that, it will require a positive act on the part of the Creator, a desire and willingness to be known -- indeed, just like any other "person." Persons are always veiled by an irreducible penumbra of mystery that cannot be penetrated, only voluntarily opened. And even then, to open oneself to the other is to share the essence of the mystery, not to eliminate it.

(This, I think, speaks to the horror of real torture, in which the sacred mystery of the other is violated; it most definitely does not speak to the waterboarding of a KSM, who would cynically use our Christian scruples as a shield to hide his demonic essence. His defense is hardly the sacred mystery of being, but the bottomless credulousness of the useful idiots of the left. Those leftists who are kind to the cruel are inevitably cruel to the kind, as Taranto demonstrates.)

Coincidentally, this is Easter week, in which it is said that God revealed his inner being and shared it with human beings in the most intimate possible way. Naturally, -- again, just as in any other person -- to reveal oneself to the other requires vulnerability, and it requires great strength to be so vulnerable; one is, as it were, delivering oneself into the hands of the other, in the "faith" that the other will not abuse the privilege. Thus, this assumes a kind of prior intimacy that will only deepen as a result of the shared intimacy.

But God, of course, never does things halfway, but always goes the whole hog. In the Passion, it is as if God reveals his essence to everyone, worthy and unworthy alike (although I suppose the point is that no one is really worthy of such an infinite sacrifice), to do with it what they will.

That many respond with violence and sadism pretty much tells you all you need to know about man. The pattern is repeated every time we do violence to truth, to beauty, to innocence. Imagine opening yourself up to mankind at large! It is the main reason I prefer anonymity. Just one barbarous troll is enough. Imagine millions. Imagine millions of people taking the truth into their teeth and violently shaking it like a dog in order to subdue it and make it edible on their terms.

The same sort of beast wishes for God to reveal himself like... I don't know, like a kind of religious pornography that also does violence to the mystery of being. As we have said before, pornography is any activity that does this, which is why we would say, for example, that metaphysical Darwinism is truly scientific porn, just as, say, Scientology or Deepak Chopra represent spiritual porn. In "demystifying," they actually attack the sacred mystery at the heart of God's being.

As Balthasar explains, the higher something is situated on the ladder of being, the more it is "surrounded by a protective veil that withdraws them, like something sacred, from the grasping hands of the profane. Only a mind without feeling for nobility and its need for protection will complain of this hiddenness."

God can only be approached with open hand, not with the greedy and grasping hands of a scientistic cretin. It is not that God has not revealed himself to Bill Maher; to the contrary, it is that Bill Maher has concealed himself from God in his own sanctuary of malignantly self-sufficient narcissism. He only sees a God who is as bitterly self-enclosed as he is, but for that reason, neither party really exists. Rather, that God is as dead as Maher. Maher is a figment in the imagination of his non-existent God.

Such postmodern barbarians "confuse hiddenness with a deficient rationality or brand with irrationality all those objects that are not accessible to the anonymous, public knowledge of the man on the street." The point is that All truth is rational, but not every intelligence is competent to know every truth (HvB). On this blog we obviously share the most intimate secrets, and we can all see what the unredeemed man does with them. What they do with them has no effect upon us, but only results in their own further auto-desecration and spiritual beclowning.

Which is a fascinating thing about Truth, is it not? Truly it is a sword that cuts both ways, giving Life to one man and Death to another (and vice versa). Returning to the Passion, was this not a meta-cosmic event that cut through the very heart of history like a great sword? That was a rhetorical question, bearing in mind that the wound that cuts through history runs straight through our own heart, just as the San Andreas fault runs directly below the Slackatoreum. In short, it's my fault, and I know it.

Mystery and interiority are virtually synonymous. Where one intuits mystery, one is also perceiving interiority. Again, mystery is not to be confused with "ignorance," but is a positive mode that points to an essence that can never be seen or touched. Rather, it is like a kind of "radiant darkness" at the heart of all things. But it is also coterminous with delight, is it not? For imagine living in a world in which nothing was protected by this veil of secrecy. Again, this would be a pornographic world, like a giant liberal university campus.

But in reality, because of the mystery of interiority, "there are no naked facts." If there were naked facts, they would have no significance whatsoever, because they would have no relation to the greater mystery of things. Nevertheless, it is this kind of detached facticity that seduces the scientistic or atheistic bonehead. This is none other than Sophia's ugly sister, Agnes, who will "give it up" for anyone -- Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Queeg, Mtraven, you name it. Personally, I wouldn't touch Agnes with a ten foot pole, knowing who's been there.

Here we cannot overlook that mystery of mysteries, language, for language, or the word, is the lifeline suspended between subjects and those who would know them. Thus, at one end, language is always plugged directly into the mystery of being.

But at the same time, it's like an extension cord that can get so far from the source that there's almost no power at the other end -- no "electricity," no "juice," no "zap." You will have noticed that the language of the secular left is entirely of this nature. It couldn't compete with a firefly, for it is plugged into the wrong end. This is the real reason why newspapers will die. There are almost no mainstream journalists who are plugged into the source. Rather, like all fallen men, their source is "the world."

And that is not all. When being is deprived of its mystery and interiority, it also loses its value, its "lovability." In reality, this attitude is a result of boredom, cynicism, and saturation. Ultimately it is the projection of one's own dead and saturated self into the world (there is a reason why our trolls are so boring, but also fascinated by the "life" of this site). Again: knowledge and mystery are not polar opposites, but functions of one another: "Truth is the unveiling of being," but there is always more to unveil.

Existence is surely not a "fact." Rather, it is nothing if not a mystery, and the more we know, the more the mystery deepens. I am the same person I was yesterday. Only more mysterious. Or, to zimmarize, you could say that I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now.

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More of the sane.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Frigid Lies and Molten Truth

Lately we've fallen into this pattern of touching on politics on the weekend, but returning to deeper things on Monday. This follows the upside down and inside out peltanschauung of the Raccoon, but in a way it makes perfect nonsense, because transcendence can take care of itself on the weekends. It's during the week that it is more of a challenge to not get lost in ephemera, just as it's more difficult to embody the "Christmas spirit" in mid-July or the "Toots spirit" before beer o'clock.

But more generally, we want to embody our realization at all times. Being without doing isn't worth much; virtue must "radiate" from knowledge. And doing without being is pretty much worthless. (Although the former needs to be qualified, for as Will has reminded us, there is definitely a nonlocal influence that radiates from the genuine saint, even if history never records his celestial presents.)

The point is, it's relatively easy to slip through the cracks of slack on weekends, but they tend to "seal over" come Monday.

Speaking of prisons, that remands me. We all know about post-traumatic stress. But it is also possible to be "traumatized" by the good, in such a way that it "haunts" us for the rest of our lives. But this haunting is none other than the recollection of paradise, so it's not something to run away from, but toward. For example, when you first fall in love, this is a profound recollection of something that was waiting to be tapped into. To say that human beings are "haunted by love" would be an understatement.

In my case, I am very aware of being haunted by the recollection of summer vacation, which represented the release of the soul into a trackless expanse of infinite slack after nine months of bondage and servitude to the Conspiracy. Not for nothing does the Great Seal of the Raccoons depict Toots leading the children of Bensonhurst out of an old-fashioned schoolhouse.

I also remember my last day of high school. Sure, it's cool to be a cosmically liberated, thrice-cleared operating thetan in the Vertical Church of Upper Tonga. Nevertheless, I have to admit that it doesn't quite match the euphoria of graduating high school. Little did I know that I was simply going from a pent-up frying pan to a fiery outhouse, what with my forthcoming looniversity brainwashing.

Enough gnostalgia. Suffice it to say that if you look at your Raccoon calendar, you will see that today we celebrate the annual Feast of Abner, i.e., opening day of the baseball season, which represents a miraculous ingression of slack into this horizontal wasteland.

Now, the fact that we understand objects, i.e., The World, means that the world is made of "communication." It is full of messages of all kinds, just waiting to be decoded -- quantum mechanical messages, genetic messages, chemical messages, pheromonal messages, divine messages, signs from the third base coach, etc.

Thus, prior to what appears to be the most obvious ontological fact of existence, i.e., the distinction between subjects and objects, there is something even more fundamental: communication. "Comm-unication" is the prior oneness that bifurcates into subjects and objects, and without which objects could not be known and subjects could not know them.

Or, contrary to what atheists and other assorted morons are always saying, if this were a meaningless universe, no one could ever realize it.

Now, interestingly -- this is getting a bit aheart of oursophs -- but what distinguishes the Trinity from those cheaply made bargain gods is that it is irreducibly communicative. Thus, this unique metaphysic renders what is otherwise quite problematic -- an intelligible cosmos that never stops communicating with itself -- an inevitability.

The cosmos "speaks" because there are subjects; and because there is a Subject, the cosmos speaks. True, you are free to argue that the cosmos doesn't speak intelligibly, but not without sacrificing truth, freedom, and intelligibility. And since the substance of man is one part truth, one part freedom, the materialist commits ontological suicide.

Which is fine. The immorality -- the unforgivable crime -- occurs when these undead body snatchers engage in the soul murder of others, especially the innocent kits. Which is why we say without exaggeration or hyperbole that the leftist takeover of the educational system is a kind of....

Let's see, "genocide" is already taken. Let's call it "pneumacide," i.e., the murder of the spirit. This is no joke, as anyone can attest who has recovered from the assault of these elumenationists. I know for a fact that I'm still recovering, and maybe always will be. It's somewhat analogous to nearly dying from some terrible illness, and then having some permanent residuals as a result.

An image comes to mind. On the original Star Trek, they were beaming down some crew members to a particular planet. But in this case, there was a danger that they might rematerialize within solid rock, and then be unrecoverable. In so many ways, a secular brainwashing is to be beamed down into solid rock is it not? Or maybe ice.

Schuon: "Mistaking the ice that imprisons us for Reality, we do not acknowledge what it excludes and experience no desire for deliverance; we try to compel the ice to be happiness."

We must melt the ice, pulverize the rock, and regain our original fluidity. This can only occur in the Great Interiority of the subject, not by chasing phantoms in the object world, which reduces the subject to an effect rather than a cause. Freedom "enters" in this space between subject and object, because, like truth, it is prior to both.

But for the same reason, as Balthasar explains, man is the first entity that is freely capable of lying. That is, with the emergence of man, the Lie enters creation. In fact, if you remember your Genesis, the very first recorded statement of man is a lie to God: I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid myself.

The Bible often makes a critical point by virtue of the order in which something occurs, so surely the first utterance of man is fraught with existential and spiritual significance.

In this case, you could say that the Bible records the emergence of the first liberal, in that Adam immediately tries to excuse his culpability by depicting himself as the victim: hey, you scared me! It's your fault! But that doesn't fly, so next he blames the woman. In fact, there is also an oral teaching that has been handed down from generation to generation and which still lives today, in which Adam blames his malfeasance on conservative talk radio.

Now, the Lie is the beginning of man's self-imprisonment under that sheet of ice alluded to above. It reminds me of when children used to get trapped in those old refrigerators that locked from the outside, for once man gets into the Lie, it is very difficult to get out. For inside it is as dark, cold, and airless as an empty raven's soul.

Truth, like love, radiates, whereas the lie compacts and restricts. Or, looked at another way, truth is like an infinitely hard jewel, whereas the lie disperses and dissipates. The left conflates all of these categories, resulting in beautiful "radiant lies" such as socialism, or the "hardened falsehoods" of political correctness. This results in a kind of perverse mirror homage to conservatism, because the left is not about "progress," but about conserving their "permanent lies." This is also why it is such a parody of religion, since, in denying the sacred, it confers sanctity on the profane.

Because truth radiates, we have speech, or communication. If we didn't have speech, we would combust from the heat. As HvB says, in the absence of the gift of "saying truth," we would be "burned up by an inward abundance that could not be expressed outwardly. It would be like a light that had to shine in itself without being able to emit any rays." Most Raccoons are en fuego, and the only way to turn down the heat is to post about it and try to light up some other folks. Yes, we arsons of God.

But this heat ultimately radiates from that burning bush that is never consumed. This is an irreducible mystery, for the more light we radiate, the more comes in -- like a brush fire that begins to generate its own wind. True, the Spirit blows where it will, but it blows even harder in certain self-generated weather patterns. This has been my experience of immersing myself in the world of HvB, which is like a tornado that lifts my little house over the reignbelow. Call it a Funnel of Love.

It is a fact that the gradual approach of these ontological levels of the spirit's form of existence is synonymous with an interior "clearing," irradiation, and illumination of being. The spiritual substance is light in itself.... Certain accounts of this fact suggest that the levels between matter and spirit are also levels of being's intelligibility. --Theo-Logic: The Truth of the World

Sunday, April 05, 2009

When Sharks Attack: Reign of the Pettifogging Purdyfugger

A reworked post from last year that may shed some darkness on the Current Occupant.

*****

--Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven, is that it?

--Why not? I'm here on the ground with my nose in it since the whole thing began. I've nurtured every sensation man's been inspired to have. I cared about what he wanted and I never judged him. Why? Because I never rejected him. In spite of all his imperfections, I'm a fan of man! I'm a humanist. Maybe the last humanist.
--Dialogue from The Devil's Advocate

Satan. What can one say about the archfiend that hasn't already been better said by Dante, Milton, Shakespeare, or Al Pacino?

Now first of all, the Serpent is a genial fellow who is always willing to "work with us." After all, he is the prince of this world -- a man of wealth and taste, a cultured man, an aesthete and silver-tongued littérateur. He never forces the issue, but meets us where we are and presents us with what he calls "options," but we call supreme "temptations." He is a seducer and flatterer, always.

--Is this a test?

--Isn't everything?


His Satanic Majesty would probably even request that we not call him "evil." Rather, he would turn the tables and say that humans are evil -- just like the ACLU, he would argue that every cop is a criminal and all the Sunnis saints. So please, have some sympathy for the ACLU, or they will be pleased to meet you in court and lay your solvency to waste. After all, our courts are governed by the Adversarial system, in that they are the one place where the Adversary can have the most influence. This is why it is so vital that the Adversary pack the Sssupreme Court in hisss image.

--Cut the shit, Dad! Why lawyers? Why the law?

--Because the law, my boy, puts us into everything. It's the ultimate backstage pass. It's the new priesthood, baby. Did you know there are more students in law school than lawyers walking the Earth? We're coming out, guns blazing!


Old Scratch is never more pleased than when one of his deep darklings argues that he is just a figment of your imagination. Like alcohol, he doesn't make you do anything you don't secretly want to do anyway. When prancing around on stage like a Kansas City you-know-what, he has been known to shout out the rhetorical question, "Who killed Kopechne?," when after all, it was Ted Kennedy and the voters of Massachussetts.

According to Tomberg, the "day aspect" of history represents our collective coming to terms with the three temptations in the wilderness. If you will recall, there is the temptation to worldly power, the temptation to abandoning oneself to the lower vertical -- to an unconscious life of instinctual gratification ("cast yourself down from the pinnacle") -- and the temptation of materialism and horizontality ("change stones into bread").

Yesterday I mentioned that all forms of leftism were satanic, but in a way that no leftist would understand or even be capable of understanding. But looked at in terms of the three temptations, we can see that in each instance, the secular leftist has been seduced, but then turns the seduction into a virtue -- which is a great source of satisfaction to the Father of Lies.

--Who in their right mind, Kevin, could possibly deny the twentieth century was entirely mine?

The leftist yields to the temptation of secular power as a result of the rejection of transcendent truth. That is, truth is the most important societal value. It is the non-coercive glue that binds humanity together and draws it "upward" toward the prior unity that dissolves our differences.

But if truth is undermined or relativized in any way, then we have lost our ability to appeal to something outside human whim, which therefore leaves us open to the usurpation of barbitrary power. Thus, the only way for the leftist to succeed in his will to power is to first confuse us with pseudo-sophisticated intellectual temptations such as deconstruction, moral relativism, multiculturalism, "diversity," "the living constitution," "critical race theory," earth worship, etc. Once these are embraced, there is a "bait and switch," for there is then no way to stand up for Absolute truth. If you do so, then you are branded an "absolutist" or "authoritarian" or "eliminationist."

--What are you?

--Oh, I have so many names...


For the secular left, truth is "multiple" -- if such an intrinsically diabolocal notion may be conceived -- and no truth is privileged. This creates the massive void into which the leftist asserts his power. This is why the most intellectually unfree places in all of America are leftist university campi.

Step one: all truth is relative. Step two: my relativism is absolute. Step three: I control what is permissible to think. "Political correctness" is the Wicked One's Swiss Pacifist Knife. He even loves the name -- "political correctness" -- because it sounds so petty, so trivial, so benign.

But it is as benign as a stage IV brain tumor, for it is the end of the soul's intellectual life and its replacement with the will to power. Ultimately it is a wedge between man and God that with time only increases the distance between them -- which, of course, is the ontological opposite of Christianity, in which God descends in order to bridge that very gap.

It follows that the secular leftist fails the second test by yielding to the temptation to cast himself -- and humanity as such -- from the pinnacle of creation into the pit of the animal unconscious. There is no higher or lower, no absolute good or evil, just authentic depravity or genuine hypocrisy.

But man is not a mere animal -- or, to be precise, he is the only animal proportioned to the Absolute. As a result, his summa vocation is to perpetually transcend himself in light of the Permanent Real. All other animals merely are what they are, but a man who fails to transcend himself isn't a man at all, but only a beast among beasts -- a monster even, for the monstrous is any perversion of the Cosmic Plan.

--You know, I'll tell you, boy... Guilt... it's like a bag of fucking bricks. All you got to do is set it down.

The secular leftist fails the third test by vainly trying to turn stones into bread, or quantites into qualities, the horizontal into the vertical. As such, the "good life" is replaced with "more life," which is to say, more death, because the world of stones is the realm of death.

To tyrannize man with the reign of quantity is to efface man as such, to remove from existence the very arena where man may become man -- which can only occur in the vertical realm that runs perpendicular to the flatland void of secular fundamentalism. It is the ontologically real world of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful, which lay at the One end of our being, vs. the dark world of "sub-matter" slaying at the other's end.

In ether worlds, if the vertical hierarchy of the human world results from the Sovereign Good radiating from the cosmic center to the existential periphery, mankind stands exactly halfway between the Everything above and the Nothing below. We are pulled in both directions -- or let us say that there is a sort of gravity that operates on the human soul. We may humbly "surrender" to the higher, or be "seduced" by the lowyer in high places.

--I'm peaking, Kevin. It's my time now. It's our time!