Monday, May 18, 2009

A Role to Die For in the Cosmic Drama

We're still slowly making our way through the Theo-Logic, which is, of course, the logic of God. And his logic is not our logic, so....

Actually, that's not quite correct. His logic is our logic, but ours is not his. That is to say, his logic transcends but includes our logic, analogous to how calculus transcends but includes simple mathematics.

For example, this is why many liberal fools imagine that it is morally inconsistent or hypocritical to be in favor of, say, capital punishment for murderers but against abortion, or to be against torture but in favor of harsh interrogation of terrorists: same act, different rules. Liberals think this means they have proven we are moral relativists, when we are the exact opposite. How can this be?

The real problem is that a liberal living in flatland is by definition someone who only knows moral math but not moral calculus. Schuon expressed it well when he said that a particular virtue is consciousness of a plane of reality. The more conscious one becomes of the plane, the less one has to think about how to convert it to a rule.

In fact, it is not at all difficult to find examples of how the ethical rule often clashes with the moral reality. Unfortunately, this leads people to reject the Absolute that is reflected through religion, but which can never be fully captured within religion, that is, within a finite formula. Rather, the formula is like language itself, which is supposed to be transparent to the meaning it conveys.

The same applies to moral rules -- say, the Ten Commandments. First of all, bear in mind that this is not something I would tell a child or a leftist, because it would just confuse him. For example, I'm not going to tell Future Leader that the rule against lying must be placed in the context of a total truth that we cannot know.

No. Just like learning a sport, he must start with the basics, otherwise I'll have a young Obama or Bill Clinton on my hands, men who use their intellectual gift to distort and maim the truth.

Better yet, it is like music. One must spend years internalizing those "rigid rules" of music -- scales, chords, and finger exercises -- before one becomes conscious of the plane from which music arises. You cannot start out by being a rule-breaker such as Thelonious Monk. It is only because he is a genius that he can hit a "wrong" note but resolve it in the context of a higher musical space. For the non-genius, the wrong note is just a clam -- an error. You could say that a Monk such as Thelonious comes not to abolish the musical law, but to fulfill it.

I suppose something is still rattling around in my subconscious. It was a comment by Scipio about Notre Dame perversely honoring Obama for "spitting in the face of God." In the comment, he mentioned that "The American Catholic Church has been in schism for decades. Weak, vacillating and corrupt priests and bishops had made it so. But they cannot at all affect the truth of her teachings. To abandon Catholicism is to abandon Reason itself."

I don't want to put words in his mouth, but I would presume this to mean the Reason of reason, the Truth of truth, the Goodness of the good, the Beauty of the beautiful, the Freedom of the free, the Love of love, the Justice of the just, and the Oneness of the harmony.

In each case, the former transcends but includes the latter, just as the Church transcends its flawed members, who can by definition never am-body the total truth entrusted to it. In fact, we have a special name for those who come closest to doing so: saints. And even then, not every moral saint is an "intellectual saint," so to speak. In other words, only one man ever reflected the totality of the higher planes within the lower. And this was because he didn't "have" truth but "was" Truth.

It is the denial of this implicit metaphysic that leads directly to relativism of all kinds, and from there straight to hell on earth. This is the hell that Obama speaks for and from.

To cite just the latest example, to say that he wants judges who are "empathic" is to say that he wants lawless judges. Which would be fine if the judge were "lawless" from above rather than below -- who can see, for example, that there is no "right to abortion" in the Constitution, despite what a bunch of Supreme Pettifuggers might think.

But as Bob Dylan said, "to live outside the law you must be honest," which automatically excludes the relativists of the left, since relativism is "dishonesty itself." It is the lie-made-true, which is naturally an impossibility. But they never stop trying.

The problem is, religion and secularism represent rival claims to totality, except that totality is precisely what the secularist denies up front.

I apologize for the ramble, but yesterday I was reviewing volume one of the Theo-Drama, which, in the final analysis, is all about the dialectic -- or drama -- between infinite and finite freedom.

The problem isn't that man is unfree, assuming that he is not living in literal slavery or attending a politically correct university. Rather, the problem is that man's freedom is not absolute but finite; it is constrained, for example, by death. As is the case with truth, our freedom is inexplicable in the absence of an absolute freedom that we can never possess, but which we can know about.

The question is -- and this is a question God must "ask himself" -- how can I overcome man's "no" without denying him the precious gift of freedom that I have granted him? You could say -- so to speak, of course -- that this is the question God must have pondered before coming up with the idea of the Incarnation.

Or, from our side of the divide, we could reverse engineer the Incarnation, or play metaphysical Jeopardy: A: The Incarnation. Q: How does God overcome man's rejection of Him without denying him his freedom?!

Now, to say "Yes" to the Incarnation is -- again, among other things -- a way for finite freedom to participate in absolute freedom, is it not? It is, to paraphrase Balthasar, to make the finite life of man co-extensive with the infinite life of God. Or, in more Raccoonish terms, it is to play a role in the eternal cosmic drama. To play this role is to simultaneously discover one's reason for being and the meaning of meaning.

I know that I am embedded in this cosmic drama, and it is without a doubt the epic of a lifetime. But what if one is a metaphysical Darwinian? Sure, there is "drama" there as well. The drama of passing along one's genes before being eaten. That's it. This is why I say that it is a "pornographic" world view, because it simultaneously shows "everything" while revealing nothing. It is the world unveiled of its hierarchical veils and forms, beneath which is.... bupkis, to quote Moses.

To paraphrase Balthasar again, you might say that God becomes what he isn't in order to kill it. He becomes "separate" from himself in order to finally end the separation.

Where does that leave us? It leaves us with the task of appropriating and assimilating God in order to become something we could never be in the absence of his radical intervention: ourselves. Jesus is simultaneously God's "anthrop-ology" and man's theo-ology. But thanks to his "solution," they are now two sides of the same coin. But only if you cash in your chimp.

Ascent you a son, amen for a child's job! That's the New Man, we're just putting him on. --One Cosmos, the Home Version

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Vandalizing History and Ransacking the Cathedral of Time

For the more one discovers of God, the more one finds one has to learn. Every step in advance is a return to the beginning, and we shall not really know him as he is, until we have returned to our beginning, and learned to know him both as the beginning and end of our journey. --Bede Griffiths, The Golden String

Several months ago, I came across this oddity that I tucked away for future use:

"Recently, the comedian and movie star Sinbad had to announce that he was not, in fact, dead of a heart attack at age 50, as his Wikipedia entry claimed. Somebody vandalized the page, claimed Wikipedia spokeswoman Sandra Ordonez."

Vandalized the page. This is a perfectly apt metaphor for the postmodern misuse of language, which culminates in the unholy quadrivelum of multiculturalism, moral relativism, tolerance and diversity. It also forms the basis of left-wing guru George "rhymes with" Lakoff's Orwellian theory of "reframing," which progressives employ to try to make their tasteless ideas even more palatable to the indiscriminate. And of course, the horizontal barbarism of deconstruction is the quintessence of the nihilistic ransacking of history by Pomo sapiens, or "tenured ape."

Now, when we refer to intelligence, we are ultimately talking about meaning. And when we refer to meaning, we are ultimately talking about the human phenomenon. No, not this or that finite human life, but the entire meaning of an anthropocentric cosmos that was once (supposedly) lifeless and unconscious but has awakened to its own hidden meaning in the form of the human subject.

This mysterious subjective center has appeared "out of nowhere" and cannot -- nor will it ever -- be explained on any purely naturalistic grounds. But at the same time, the human center will not always be here. The cosmic I only fully opened around 40,000 years ago, and it will close again at some point in the future, one way or the other. The cosmos, let alone our solar system, will not always be fit for life, even if Sheryl Crow uses no toilet paper whatsoever on her private jet.

Therefore, all meaning must be placed in the larger context of the meaning of meaning, or the Human Phenomenon. In the words of theologian Thomas Torrance,

"The fact that the universe expanded in such a way that the emergence of conscious mind in it is an essential property of the universe, must surely mean that we cannot give an adequate account of the universe in its astonishing structure and harmony without taking into account, that is, without including conscious mind as an essential factor in our scientific equations.... Without man, nature is dumb, but it is man's part to give it word: to be its mouth through which the whole universe gives voice to the glory and majesty of the living God."

Any philosophy that falls short of this is simply vandalism, not to mention blarney, since it has the effect of reducing the reality of our cosmic situation to rubble, or blarney rubble. All Stone Age varieties of materialism fall into this category, as they begin their exploration by turning the cosmos upside down and inside out in order to try to understand it.

And any philosophical understanding that flows from such a backward approach begins with inversion but ends in perversion. I say this because the cosmos itself is an expression of the Human Phenomenon, not vice versa. Any true humanist understands -- either explicitly or implicitly -- that reality is a result of the irreducible hypostatic union of subject and object in the human person. The cosmos is actually an "outgrowth" of this fundamental reality, which is why we can affirm the truism that man is the measure of all things, with the exception of that which takes the measure of man, which is to say, God, or the Absolute. To put it another way, if existence were meaningless, man couldn't know it.

Man cannot be properly defined in the absence of knowledge of what a human life is for. Again, man is not simply a bit of discrete matter with easily proscribed spatial boundaries. Rather, a human life is something that can only unfold and express its wholeness -- and therefore its identity -- in time. But our movement in time is not simply arbitrary -- or, at least it should not be. Rather, it is guided by a telos, so that there is something that man -- both individually and collectively -- ought to become. As such, it is possible to waste our lives and fail to become human.

Human beings are not matter and they are not God. If we were matter, we could not evolve, and if we were God, there would be no need to. But in reducing himself to matter, the secularist covertly elevates himself to God, since nothing is higher or lower than anything else -- thus, with a single metaphysical error, the humanist makes a God -- and an ass -- a goddass -- of himself. You will have noticed that this is one of the contradictions at the heart of both scientism and leftism, and which ramifies into countless other clumsy errors too countless to count on every left thumb.

Both beyond and within the Human Phenomenon is the God Phenomenon. We call this latter business revelation, which includes the Incarnation. But in reality, the human phenomenon is itself a revelation and an incarnation. Specifically, the intellect -- no, not the puny intellect of the secular intellectual, but the nous, or intellect properly so-called -- is revelation "subjectivized," just as scripture is the intellect, or Word, objectivized (to paraphrase Schuon). So if one affirms that scripture is the "word of God," it is another way of saying that the intellect through which scripture is understood is also the word of God. They are like two halves of a whole.

But not exactly. Rather, the first and last Word of God -- the Alpha and Omega -- would have to be the hypostatic union of those two words in the human person. Again, the Human Phenomenon is ultimately the unification of the cosmic Subject and Object, and its highest expression -- at least from the human side of the Divine-human divide -- is what is called in the Orthodox Christian tradition theosis. [A point of metaphysical order: obviously this is only possible if God has first "taken on" human nature; we could never accomplish this on our own.]

Thus, theosis is the ultimate meaning of cosmic evolution, a subset of which is the biological evolution that the Darwinians, in their metaphysical blindness, attempt to reduce to random genetic copying errors. Here again, while I do not believe that "intelligent design" should be taught as science -- since it obviously transcends science -- to teach natural selection as metaphysical truth represents the most crude sort of intellectual barbarism imaginable.

Science is simply one of the diverse possibilities of intelligence as such. If, like the Darwinian vandals, we ransack the cosmos and turn it upside down, we place ourselves in the absurd position of using our intelligence to prove that it doesn't actually exist.

In other words, either natural selection explains our intelligence, or our intelligence explains natural selection. You can't have it both ways. Likewise, either intelligence explains the big bang, or the big bang explains intelligence. In reality, no matter how far "back" we search, we find only more divine-human intelligence, the radiance of which is the beauty, truth, and harmony of the mathematical equations governing the physical world.

But even then, "govern" is not quite right, since the big bang is in reality a backward projection of the Human Phenomenon, and without which it would be inconceivable. The equations governing the big bang are not the meaning of existence; rather, human beings are the meaning of those equations. The meaning of anything is not found in its constituent parts; reducing something to its constituent parts is how one destroys meaning, precisely. Rather, meaning is only discovered by understanding what the parts are pointing toward and converging upon.

This brings us back around to the ironically named "progressive" movement, ironic because it excludes the very possibility of progress. Progress, to the extent that it exists -- and it does, in a certain very proscribed manner -- can only be understood in light of the Absolute. Otherwise, how do you measure it? Easy. For the toxic asshat of the left, you simply "make something up." You create some admittedly arbitrary standard out of thin air, and then determine whether or not reality comports with your fantasy of how things should be. And since reality never comports with our fantasies, the leftist is given license to "radically transform" (to put it euphemistically) the present reality.

But in the end, the progressive is hoisted on his own petarded philosophy, which insists that there is no ultimate meaning or truth anyway. Which is why progressivism is such a shallow politico-intellectual game of spiritually stunted adultolescents.

Real progress occurs when the human phenomenon inches closer toward its nonlocal goal, which is to say, its theomorphic center. One of the most dramatic leaps in human progress occurred with the founding of America, and we can see how this is opposed on all sides by forces of darkness that would undo or arrest its further advance -- including the Islamists, leftists, progressives, scientific materialists, metaphysical Darwinians, and other cosmic vandals.

As I wrote in the Coonifesto, the end is always here, because the end of the Human Phenomenon occurs any time one of its individual expressions passes from fragmented multiplicity to true unity-in-diversity, in a neverunending process. This is the cosmic Omcoming we all seek.

Meaning is the golden thread which leads us ever-upward, beyond the subjective horizon, through to the foundation and destiny of the world. This is where the divine substance returns to itsource and one of God's mirrorcles offers the creation back to himSelf in an act of Divine Thanksgiving. This is the cosmic eucharist, the consecration of existence, the wholly communion of a part so ptee doing deuty for the holos. It is not a nothing but a transformational plenitude where the human subject is perpetually transfigured at the crossroads of the vertical and horizontal.

Sinbad lives!

The intellect knows through its very substance all that is capable of being known and, like the blood flowing through even the tiniest arteries of the body, it traverses all the egos of which the universe is woven and opens out “vertically” on the Infinite. In other words: the intellective center of man, which is in practice subconscious, has knowledge, not only of God, but also of man’s nature and his destiny; and this enables us to present Revelation as a “supernaturally natural” manifestation of that which the human species knows, in its virtual and submerged omniscience, both about itself and about God. --Schuon

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Holy Hologram, Shabbatman, Break Out the Shark Repellant!

Hmm. I'd like to post something about this new book I just finished, Why Us?, but as you know, I don't roll on shabbos. Rather, Saturday is re-run day, in which we delve into the knowa's arkive and chew on a predigested bobservation from one or two years ago.

To be honest, the book didn't really tell me anything I didn't already know, but it's always good to have some scientific back-up, because I mostly rely upon common sense, logic, metaphysics, and plain old cʘʘnvision. Regardless of what metaphysical Darwinians say, and how loudly they say it, some things just cannot be true. Period. And one of them is metaphysical Darwinism.

So I've selected a couple of posts from one year ago that touch on some of the topics discussed in Why Us?, which I will use as templates to insert some observations about the book.

By the way, some readers apparently wonder why I keep hammering away at atheism, radical secularism, leftist statism, and metaphysical Darwinism. I would turn it around and say that if the reasons are not self-evident to you, then you have some spiritual work to do, for you are like the fish who doesn't see the water because he is swimming in it. Which wouldn't necessarily be a problem were it not for the fact that these are shark-infested waters, and you are exsanguinating from the intellect. And meta-cosmically speaking, you're either in the game or on the menu.

****

Science and religion both build magnificent cathedrals, but whereas the religious cathedral is analog and "continuous," the scientific one is digital and therefore unavoidably discontinuous and atomistic. It can only approximate or model reality, whereas religion "mirrors" it.

Or, you could say that man is a mirror facing in two directions, above and below. When he turns to the above, he is like the moon reflecting the light of the sun. But when he turns to the below, he reflects the darkness and obscurity of matter, which can only be illuminated by his own intellect "shining" upon it. Otherwise, the world is as flat as a manflake, devoid of depth, dimension, and meaning.

Ideally, pontifical man is the axis mundi who -- like the vertical ray of creation itself -- transverses across all levels of reality, from mystical union above to quantum physics below. As a result of the law of inverse analogy, the paradoxical continuity of the quantum world is a mirror of the highest state of consciousness, in which the many are reconciled into the One. In other words, mystical union is not possible because of the "quantum universe"; rather, vice versa: the discrete matter of middle earth dissolves into the ocean of quantum oneness because it is a distant echo of the One. Oneness cannot not be, whichever end you look at.

You could even say that science (or scientism) is the "worldview" of the linear left cerebral hemisphere, whereas religion embodies the worldview of the right. This is why the naive scientistic fundamentalist always sneaks a foolish version of religion in through the back door. Obviously, the right brain is every bit as "epistemophilic" (knowledge-seeking) as the left brain, but the answers that satisfy the left brain have no necessary relevance to the right. Hence, try as he might, the naive atheist is fighting a quixotic battle against the very forms of thought that give access to Higher Things, e.g., transtemporal vision, spiritual intuition, transcendent art, mythic imagination, archetypal resonance, and so many others. After all, a love of truth is the very basis of religion.

All of these transcendent modes unavoidably "return" to the atheist, except in a laughably crude manner. For example, the recent crop of bonehead atheists are known for their lack of literary skill (Hitchens excepted), but one assumes that they aren't trying to produce such juvenile prose -- that they are at least aiming, however awkwardly, at some sort of transcendent aesthetic ideal in their rhetoric. Perhaps not. Perhaps the medium is the message which mirrors the dreary architecture of their skeevy souls.

Man -- a proper man, anyway -- hungers for the transcendent. And even -- or especially -- an improper man will seek after the transcendent in the immanent. Because man must "transcendentalize" something, he will do so to matter, and thereby become either a hedonist, a virtual animal, or a sort of anti-religious religious fanatic. Of the three, the animal might actually be highest (or least low), since at least he -- like any animal -- doesn't try to wring more pleasure and/or wisdom out of matter than there is in it. Rather, he simply accepts it for what it is, and takes his bovine pleasures as they come.

But one of the marks of the postmodern inversion is to essentially locate the good and the true in matter and the cosmic center at the periphery; thus, the "inverse" wisdom of the the secular left, which is none other than the mind turning on God and therefore itself, and systematically taking a wrecking ball to the beautiful spiritual cathedral man has built brick-by-brick over the centuries. Scratch the surface of any leftist policy, and you will see this assault on the spiritual norms of western civilization.

In the process, man loses his both his center and his spiritual resonance with the beautiful archetypal forms anterior to him. He becomes a kind of orphan of being, i.e., Existential Man, who, in the words of Schuon, embodies "the codification of an acquired infirmity." This is the final "intellectual atrophy of man marked by the 'fall,'" entailing a hypertrophy of practical (i.e., left brain) intelligence but the loss of any capacity to assimilate it into a higher kosmic context.

"Skeptical rationalism and titanesque naturalism are the two great abuses of intelligence, which violate pure intellectuality as well as the sense of the sacred; it is through this propensity that thinkers 'are wise in their own eyes' and end by 'calling evil good, and good evil' and by 'putting darkness for light, and light for darkness' (Isaiah, 5:20 and 21); they are also the ones who, on the plane of life or experience, 'make bitter what is sweet,' namely the love of the eternal God, and 'sweet what is bitter,' namely the illusion of the evanescent world" (Schuon).

Is it any wonder that conservatives are so much happier than liberals, when the kookbook of liberalism is quite literally the recipe for unhappiness? Of course Michelle Obama is the bitterest millionaire; except that she has plenty of company, i.e., Michael Moore, Sean Penn, George Soros, Jimmy Carter, Keith Olbermann, Alec Baldwin, Bruce Springsteen... the list is endless. For it is a list of losers who are spiritually vacant and unconsciously in search of the reason in politics. Hence their energy and fanaticism that can never be matched by the Hordes of the Happy, for the same reason it is literally impossible for a normal person to understand what motivates the jihadi, who is none other than Envy with a bomb attached (whereas the leftist is Envy with a gargantuan state attached).

At least the outright hedonist is not as pretentious and destructive as these endarkened souls. He's just searching after ecstasy -- which in its literal sense means to exit the closed circle of the ego, i.e., "stand outside" -- except that he tries to spring his mortal cage from below instead of above. This is certainly possible; the trouble is, there's no floor there, so one tends to keep falling, which, for awhile, gives a kind of thrill from the bracing "movement." This lasts until one begins to notice the gradual absence of both heat and light (i.e., heart and intellect), as one drifts further and further from the central sun which makes the earth humanly habitable.

This postmodern downward movement really gained steam in the 1920s, but was then placed on hold due to the great depression and World War II. Afterwards it started up again in earnest in the Beat movement of the 1950s, and then reached a critical mass in the 1960s, trickling down into a baby boomer generation that had such a weakened spiritual immune system that the virus took over the host. We still haven't recovered from this adolescent peter pandemic, and perhaps we never will. To paraphrase Christopher Dawson, you can undo in a matter of weeks what it took millennia to build.

Again, that would be our precious Western cathedral, which can only be "animated" by people who can see and appreciate it, just like any work of art -- or even like the quantum world sightlessly envisioned by physicists. Dogs don't get jokes, they don't understand baseball, and they certainly don't get religion. In an analogy I have used before, even something as luminous as scripture is nevertheless like a reflector light on the back of a car. It gives off no light of its own, otherwise it would be visible to dogs and atheists. Rather, it must be "lit up" by something external to it, which would be the uncreated intellect. Shine the intellect on scripture and it suddenly glows in the dark, as light reaches out to light, in the process compressing time and history into an eternal point.

But a dog will just bark and chase after the car. Plus, he wouldn't have the foggiest idea what to do with it if he caught it. Piss on it, I suppose. And if dogs were capable of sinking beneath themselves, they might even consider it a work of art and call it Piss Car.

*****

Well, I never did explicitly insert anything about Why Us? One of the main points I wanted to discuss was how the brain only interprets reality with the use of an internalized map. Again, it's just common sense, but Le Fanu cites the latest brain research that shows how we do not have any unmediated access to reality in the manner believed by the naive materialist.

Instead of quoting him, I'm just going to summarize my own understanding. What we call "reality" is something that is constructed through the interface of sensory and other kinds of input, as it "strikes," so to speak, our internalized map. I would compare it to the way a hologram works, creating a three-dimensional image as a result of the interference pattern produced by a coherent beam of light (a laser) and the light scattered by an object (and if this isn't how holography works, then by golly it should work this way).

Thus, reality is a kind of wave front, or interference pattern. Now, if you have internalized the rigid and reified Darwinian model to understand everything, then any input that strikes it will just be ignored or incorporated into the model. As a result of this unnatural selection process, the person will create a flat and two-dimensional photograph, not a hologram.

But as we have discussed on many occasions, the deep structure of religion also provides a model of reality that is "illuminated" by grace, or by "light from above." So God is in the light -- indeed, he is the Light -- but if you don't have the right map, it will just bounce off of you as if it doesn't exist.

Well, I gotta get some work done. Out.

Friday, May 15, 2009

If Man Can Explain Darwinism, then Darwinism Cannot Explain Man

Metaphysical Darwinism, that is.

Consider the strange inconspicuousness of language. Picking up exactly where we left off two posts back, "the word is able to reveal much more by effacing itself in service than by emphasizing itself in dominion" (HvB).

In this regard, have you ever noticed that sometimes, if the writer is too gifted, the writing begins to draw attention to itself, rather than what it's supposed to be "about?" This isn't generally a problem so long as style is in the service of substance, but sometimes a writer can be so gifted that the gift starts to take precedence over its purpose. In a way, it can be as distracting as bad writing. Keep this point in mind for later, because it illustrates how intelligence can hijack itself, and one can get stuck on smart.

HvB continues: "In man's sense-bound language, then, the image is maximally transparent to the essence precisely insofar as it is not an expression but only a sign of the content that is to be spoken. It is precisely the inconspicuousness of the word that enables us to measure the excessive magnitude of what the mind holds within itself" (emphasis mine).

In my book, I made reference to this enigma in a number of places. Note that phrase the excessive magnitude of what the mind holds within itself, for it is one of the insurmountable realities for which Darwinism can never account. It is as if all animals are swimming beneath the Tide of Life. Then, while drifting along in this tide, along comes Man, who is able to poke his head out above the waters and survey the whole thing, even areas beyond the tide, e.g., the big bang. We are clearly in, but not of, the tide. If that weren't the case, you couldn't even understand this sentence.

On p. 100 of the Coonifesto, I asked the non-rhetorical questions, "leaving aside the matter of how and when [mankind's] creative explosion occurred, the question remains, exactly what did humans discover when they discovered art, religion, love, truth, beauty, language? In other words, what is the ontological status of this new dimension? Is this realm really nothing more than the banal and meaningless side effect of a complex neurological system? Or is it an ontologically real (but more subtle) world that we have the unique privilege of entering, an independent, virtual space with its own laws, attributes, categories, and characteristics?"

Now, for a metaphysical Darwinian, these are stupid questions with ready-made answers: there was no creative explosion. Don't believe your own eyes, and certainly don't believe the fossil record. Forget about those beautiful masterpieces that suddenly appear on cave walls 40,000 years ago. All that stuff -- love, truth, beauty, religion -- it's all just a trick of the genes. The only truth is random genetic copying error + reproductive success. And even that's not "truth," since a genetic replicating machine cannot know truth. Rather, it's just what we can know.

And there is no such thing as "reality," since all we can ever know is an effect of our genes. In other words, we are seeing what the genes show us, nothing more. You only imagine that you can raise your head above the tide of life. In reality, you're all wet, just like everyone else.

I am 100% certain that this is a false view of man, whereas the metaphysical Darwinian is 100% certain that he is correct. Indeed, yesterday Queeg said that Darwinism was actually a "fact," not a theory. This is such a childish view of science that it hardly needs rebutting. Headbutting is more like it. (No, that wasn't a physical threat.)

But Raccoons are well beyond the cramped confines of natural science anyway. Just as the Darwinian knows "for a fact" that he is just a side effect of his genetic programming, I know for a fact that the human world is indeed a "virtual space with its own laws, attributes, categories, and characteristics." And ironically, this conviction only grows, the more deeply I evolve into this space. I am quite sure that most of you have had the identical experience I have had, of gradually exploring and assimilating more of this space as it comes into focus. Look, there's old Krishna! Hello, Moses! How's the mishpokhe? Say hello to Eckhart for me, will you?

Indeed, I would say that it is precisely analogous to physical birth. In watching Future Leader grow up these last four years, it is like seeing a brain-damaged stroke victim slowly regain his faculties. Imagine the blooming, buzzing, and swirling chaos into which he was born. Ever so slowly, day by day, he brings more of this reality under personal control. But in the process, he's not just "conquering" reality, but colonizing his own mind. For what we call reality is mainly a projection of mental space. The more mental space you colonize, the richer reality appears.

But the Darwinian doesn't just colonize mental space. Rather, he is like the imperialist who subjects it to tyrannical control. Again, this is simply a truism. Read any book of sociobiology or evolutionary psychology, and you will see how they are able to reduce anything and everything, no matter how noble or lofty, to selfish genes.

Again, for the benefit of the retarded, I have no problem with natural selection, so long as it is in service to Truth. If it claims to be the total truth, then we're gonna have trouble. For if you cannot see that truth transcends the genes, then there's no hope for you at this time.

Let's go back to language. DNA is a language, just like speech. Let's suppose that, like any other speech, it has a meaning. Just as words do not refer to themselves, but become "transparent" in pointing to their meaning, I believe the human genome is transparent to its meaning. And what is it trying to say? Does it really just point to its own survival? Is the biosphere really just a tenured deconstructionist who believes that genetic language is a closed and self-referential system, with no reality beyond itself?

Here is what I believe. Take it or leave it. What Life is "trying to say" is Man. And what Man is "trying to say" is God.

At every level, reality points beyond itself to its meaning. Let's take the example of Future Leader again. Everyone loves a baby. But that's only because the baby is the quintessence of something that points to its own fulfillment. If the baby were arrested at that stage, he would be as much an occasion for joy as that paralyzed and demented stroke victim. He would be death, not life, being that life by definition reaches beyond itself. It is a "bridge" between matter and Mind, just as Mind is a bridge between Life and Spirit.

If man does not point beyond himself to spirit, then he rapidly devolves into a demon. The other day a reader paraphrased Dostoyevsky, who said something to the effect that to love man without loving God is the essence of the satanic. Do you understand why? If you are sufficiently "in" the human space alluded to above, then it's just obvious. But try explaining it to someone who is not in that space! Good luck.

Again we return to the critical relationship between truth and freedom, the latter being a necessary condition of the former. Thus, if the Darwinian wants to explain how man may know truth, he must first explain how it is that man is free. How is that rope over there standing up from the ground, all by itself? Easy. The rope is dangled from above, not just shooting up from below. Freedom "uses" genes, just as truth uses language to express itself. HvB:

"The excitement of the artistic language of, for example, architecture and music consists in the freedom with which nature-bound expressive forms can be used to bring out the inner contents of the mind. A necessary relation between essence and appearance, hence, a form of truth given in nature, is reshaped by a free relation, so that what is necessary itself becomes itself the expression of freedom."

This is again why it is axiomatic that if man can explain Darwinism, then Darwinism cannot explain man, and if Darwinism is true, it cannot be.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Post-Human Language and the Dreary Fate of Homo Numericus

Vanderleun has a piece today that really got me to thinking about language. I'll see if I can weave some of it in as we continue our reflections on Balthasar's analysis of The Word. If I exceed the limits of fair use, I'll make up for it by exceeding the tasteful limits of slavishly bromantic manlove.

Vanderleun's analysis goes to the very heart of the dichotomy between secular and sacred culture, which in the first and final analysis is the division of qualities and quantities. Only someone who has already quantified the world can easily believe something as unbelievable as materialism or metaphysical Darwinism. Because one cannot quantify the world in this manner unless one has first quantified the self. And once you do that, it shouldn't be surprising that you see nothing but numbers, or perhaps even just 0 and 1.

Now, reality cannot be understood, or even thought about, in the absence of language, so you can well appreciate the importance of a proper understanding of the nature of language. In a way, it is as important as getting your anthropology correct, because if your analysis of human nature is wrong, then so too will your political theories and prescriptions be wack. One of the fundamental reasons we know why the left is intrinsically wrong, is that their anthropology is horribly wrong: good theory, wrong species.

In response to Vanderleun's piece, I left the comment that "It seems that we have no idea what we have lost in reducing the scope of language to the quantification of the world. It's like an entirely different species: Homo numericus." Indeed, I would say that we are different species, and that this is something that is becoming increasingly evident to both sides of the cultural divide. I have nothing in common with Perez Hilton, or Wanda Sykes, or Keith Olbermann, or Al Sharpton, etc.

Bear in mind that one of the definitions of a species is two beings that can have fruitful intercourse. And without even getting into who is right and who is wrong, I personally find it impossible -- not to mention, perverse -- to have verbal intercourse with a leftist. There's just nothing to talk about, because we inhabit diametrically opposed world spaces. I know this may sound harsh, but it is simply a fact that we need to recognize.

In fact, I believe that if we could back away from the surface arguments and clearly define our first principles, it would lead to a lot less pointless combat. The problem is, the left is never honest about their first principles, and the right will never defend theirs (by which I mean the GOP; the first principles of conservatism are articulated all day long on talk radio and the internet, but no place else).

I recently read somewhere that the right is the party of ideas, while the left is the party of promises. But unfortunately, elections are won by promising stuff, which is why Republicans don't articulate their ideas, but just promise less stuff. A true conservative, who offers you nothing but your own freedom back, would be pretty much unelectable. But remember, unlike the free market, Democrat statism is a zero-sum game: whenever the government does something for you, it does something to you.

This is perhaps the greatest danger of socialized medicine. I heard Mark Steyn raise this point the other day. That is, once socialized medicine is in place, it causes a massive existential shift in our relationship to the state. Suddenly, whether we like it or not, we are all wards of the state. From that point on, elections are fought on left wing turf, and there's no turning back. It creates a new kind of human, steeped in dependency instead of freedom and self-determination. Then, to disagree with the Machine is to be opposed to health, or to be in favor of sick children, or to steal grandpa's viagra, or to deny Herb his right to a sex-change operation.

A "religious world" is a verbal world. Ah, but so too is the world of quantity. It's just that the languages are quite different, not just in terms of their content, but in the very nature of the language used. For the secular world, mathematics is their fundamental language. Whatever cannot be quantified and brought under the dominion of mathematics is not real.

I could cite any number of shocking examples, but a Darwinist, for example, would insist that altruism cannot be "real," but is simply a trick of "our" selfish genes (for in this upside-down world, the genes aren't ours, rather, we are theirs). It is the end result of "inclusive fitness," whereby we are willing to sacrifice for our children because our genes have a 50% investment in them. To quote a scientist in the excellent Why Us?, "While no one is prepared to sacrifice his life for any single person [they will do so] for two or more offspring [each of whom shares 50 percent of their parental genes], or four half-brothers [4 x 25 percent], or eight first cousins [8 x 12.5 percent]."

I suppose it's heartening to know that Dupree would risk his life for 1/8 of me. Yes, it's crazy, but this is what evolutionary psychologists believe, and must believe, given their first principles. If you insist that love is a reality in its own right, then you have said something that is completely incompatible with metaphysical Darwinism.

Again, first principles. I am with Prager on this, who talks about valuing clarity over agreement. If our first principles differ, then naturally, there cannot be agreement on their conflicting implications and consequences. We just need to be honest and up front about our first principles, and then let the chips fall where they may. For example, I believe that human beings are endowed by our Creator with the inalienable right to liberty. For the leftist there is no Creator, and liberty is a gift of Obama. Different first principles, different people.

Back to language. Vanderleun talks about how, in order to begin to enter the world of the epic poem, we must "make a leap of imagination from the present day to the night gatherings around bonfires and flickering torches in which these tales of love and death were told."

Obviously the Bible is an epic, and I think we need to pay attention to Vanderleun's advice when entering its world. First of all, it is a world -- a sacred world, or the world of the sacred. Although the epic must be told in a horizontal manner, the obvious purpose of the epic is to attune us to the timeless world of the vertical, which is always present but unnoticed unless we do the noticing -- similar to quantum physics, whereby we decide whether the fundamental reality is particle or wave. Only we can decide whether words are just digits or something more.

The Bible is obviously based upon an oral tradition that was eventually reduced to written form. This is fine, but I wonder if, because we live under the Reign of Quantity, this doesn't render the Bible a closed book for many people? Consider what Vanderleun says about the epic poem: "Part story, part panegyric, part worship, the reciting of an epic was an event that could span days, even weeks. How the earliest bards held all of the poem in memory is still somewhat of a mystery," but he cites the analogy of jazz, which relies upon an underlying fixed structure, over which the soloist freely improvises. Just like human freedom, this musical freedom is not absolute but relative, as it is constrained by the underlying structure.

Again, I cannot help wondering if this isn't the manner in which we are supposed to engage revelation. Because this is exactly what I try to do every morning, which is to say, "riff" over the cosmic chords provided by the Creator. It's really a kind of singing, just singing about this sacred world I find myself in. It is not the world of Darwin, or of matter, or of colliding physical forces. I know it's a real world, and in fact, I also know that it is the cause, not a meaningless effect, of lower worlds. But I have no inclination whatsoever to argue with someone who insists that he is simply the expression of his selfish genes. What can I say? Your genes won. Now go away.

Here is the takeaway point. Vanderleun writes of how contemporary poetry is, "for the most part, deeply embedded in the secular culture, and there is no affirmative available to that culture, since the affirmative depends on a belief in something other than, larger than, the self.... Poetry can't matter as it once mattered because the base ground of being has been yanked out from under the culture, leaving it stranded in mid-air, unable to ascend, having only the fall before it."

Swish! (I mean that in a non-gay way.) To paraphrase the anthropologist Weston LaBarre, "in the symbolic pyramid of culture, very few bricks touch the ground." For secular culture, language is atomized and severed from its sacred ground, which is why it can only speak of a post-human world inhabited by post-humans -- of Homo numericus instead of Homo noeticus. Let's just hope they don't succeed in doing to us what we did to our Neanderthal cousins.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Remembering Your Allforabit and Mythsemantics

Let's talk about words -- which is all a deconstructionist thinks you can talk about, language being a self-referential system of symbols. But human language rides piggyback on a much deeper reality that penetrates to the very source and possibility of truth. If that weren't the case, then we couldn't even have language at all.

First of all, language presupposes a special kind of world in which one thing can stand for another. The word "symbol" means to throw together or across, and this is indeed the function of language, except that language bridges two realities that are already language. Truly, in the beginning was and is the Word.

For example, take a simple description of a material object. As we have already discussed, appearance itself is a kind of language, specifically, the language of being. We have a word for being, that is, being; but being has an infinite and inexhaustible number of words for itself. Being is always hidden beneath or behind the appearance, and yet, never stops revealing itself. Thus, we have to visualize a kind of continuous flow, as from a mountain spring, or from Dupree's magic keg.

Now, the same principle applies to life, mind, and spirit. We can talk about each of these, but we must not confuse our language with theirs. For example, let's take DNA. Is DNA really the "language of life?" Or is, let us say, "joy" or "ananda" or "bliss" the language of life? We'll get back to that question later.

But even to say that DNA is the language of life is to say that life has a language -- that it speaks. As HvB puts it, "The leaf, the flower, and the fruit are, of course, beautiful and pleasing even as appearances, but they demand to be interpreted as the revelations of the life principle at work in them, which does not appear as such."

Obviously, no single expression could ever exhaust or contain the "life principle," for, like being itself, it is a constant flow of living words from depth to surface. This flow is the life principle. Thus, "only when we understand the depth along with the surface" does life itself "take on a decipherable meaning." To only skim along the surface of life is to miss the mark entirely.

The problem is only compounded when this principle is applied to the level of mind, which provides us with an intimate, first hand experience of the flowing structure of reality as such. As a matter of fact -- you will forgive my gnostalgia -- I discussed this at length in my doctoral dissertation, which was published in two lengthy articles back in the early '90s. You could summarize my views with a quotation from one of the twentieth century's great physicists, Werner Heisenberg, which appears at the beginning of the dissertation:

The same organizing forces that have created nature in all its forms, are responsible for the structure of our soul, and likewise our capacity to think.

I don't see how one could argue with that statement and still call oneself a scientist. Nevertheless, it is the kind of statement that is utterly beyond the scientistic Queegs and queeglings of the world, who only communicate surface to surface, like ants bumping their heads together and exchanging their precious bodily fluids.

I'm afraid that this post is beginning to get out of hand. The subject is so vast that it's starting to escape the ability of a mere post to contain it. You could say that it's slipping the surly bonds of human language. I'll see what I can do about that. I'll try not to harm reality too much in reining it in.

Okay. Let's get back to Balthasar. He writes that "the sounds of a word do not betray the essence of the speaker in the same way that, for example, his tone of voice or the laughter accompanying his speech expresses something of his frame of mind." Speech "spans the arc between inside and outside," but nevertheless "forbids any direct intuition [I would say perception] of the essence that speaks itself."

This is a key insight, for not only does language span the distance between word and thing, but even more mysteriously, between inside and outside.

I believe we can see how this applies to each level of reality: matter, life, mind, and spirit. To talk as if there is only an outside is to miss the ultimate significance of language altogether.

Here again, this would be our principle beef with the Queegs of the world, who use the gift of language to deny and reject the gift. It is what makes them so ungrateful, on the one hand, but also so boring and repetitive, since they use language in such a way as to sever it from its dynamic ground and source. It's a self-enclosed hell to which they are welcome. I understand Queeg played on a number of records in the past. But now he is a broken record, and records weren't made to be broken.

Here is the other quotation that accompanied the one by Heisenberg. It's from Finnegans Wake: When a part so ptee does duty for the holos, we soon grow to use of an allforabit.

Now, what does that mean, and why did I think that it was so important that it should appear at the beginning of my dissertation? Om my word! I can think of about a dozen reasons off the tip of my geistberg. For a human being is the petit part who is able to know the holy-whole through the magic allforabit of language.

Indeed, man himself is the allforabit, that is, the microcosm who stretches vertically from shore to cosmic shore and seen to shining seer. We stand on one shore and reach to the other, so you could even say that man is the word of the cosmos. Except we are not the last word, because, try as we might, we cannot span the distance. For that we require the first word, which is none other than Alpha. And Alpha is just the shadow of Omega, cast back in time. Indeed, this is how God can telos all about himsoph down and out here.

So, if you're still following me, Jesus is the ultimate allforabit, is he not? Indeed, the human bit could not contain his overflowing All, which is why the latter could even vanquish death, similar to how life makes easy work of the laws governing matter. For Spirit is to mind as mind is to life as life is to matter. Note that the first and last Word is at the top, not the bottom. And the last word is not "nothing" but "everything."

But the Word is always in service to its Mutterer and Father. "Thus, the word is able to reveal much more by effacing itself in service than by emphasizing itself in dominion" (HvB). Therefore, it is expedient that I go away now. But don't worry. I'll leave you with my allforabit.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Don't Burn Your Bridge of Flames

Okay people, now you've done it. That embarrassing piece of fluff Dupree knocked out yesterday only generated twice the usual traffic, and now he's demanding "equal time." I can't deny that he has a point, because every time I toss out one of those piece-of-my-mind red meat posts, the blog suddenly becomes popular.

I don't even remember where we left off. I'll just start typing, and see if it eventually turns into writing while we wait.

Let's talk about the mystery of unity. On the one hand, as HvB says, we are all members of the species of humanity, even though the species doesn't exist outside the individuals who express it. Each of us contains the whole of human nature, even though the whole transcends us. This is indeed a paradox, for it means that we somehow contain what contains us.

At the same time, "to be a particular man never means to be only a specimen of humanity." Indeed, this would be a kind of insult, as if one were completely interchangeable with anyone else. This is true of insects, or sheep, or MSM journalists, but it is manifestly untrue of persons, each of whom is utterly unique. But how can the unique be a member of any class?

I know that I am unique, which is one of the reasons why it is sometimes difficult to find other people to play with. If this fellow likes philosophy, then he doesn't like baseball. This one likes baseball but doesn't like jazz. This one likes theology, but doesn't want to talk about the first lady's butt. You can see the problem.

This irreducible uniqueness can only be a spark of the divine, since God is uniqueness as such. Man cannot be quantified: "persons, insofar as they really have a uniqueness that images and reflects a glimmer of God's uniqueness, cannot be numbered. Each of them is a world unto himself" (HvB).

This is again a paradox and a mystery, so long as we remember that paradox is the threshold of truth and mystery one of its modes of articulation. For it means that man is forever polarized within the space of two centers; we are "bi-centric," which is what it means to be a human being. Emphasize one center over the other, and our humanness is diminished and we are no longer be-ing but been. Stick a fork in our road, or we're done.

Indeed, this is always a movement, not a static condition. It is more like a perpetual self-giving of God to man (↓) and man to God (↑), a point we will expand upon later, if we ever do.

Consider the strangeness of it all: from the standpoint of the species, our essence -- that which defines us as unique and particular -- can only be a kind of "accident." But from the standpoint of the essence, our common characteristics seem more like accidents.

In other words, the things we share with everyone else are more or less generic by definition, or just "average." Man has "intelligence." He has "language." He has "art." So what? These things don't mean much until you have your own particular versions of them.

Therefore, it is clear that "the concept of unity, which everyone takes for granted as something well known and transparently obvious, is at bottom as full of mystery as all the other fundamental concepts pertaining to being" (HvB). In reality, we do not know what unity is, since our own unity only exists in this bi-centric complementarity of universal and particular. "We can never lay hold of what unity is beyond this duality." "Beyond" this complementarity is not One, but zero.

It very much reminds me of music. I have always been drawn to musicians who are not just musicians, but who have created their own musical world, so to speak. Thelonious Monk is an example. Sun Ra. Duke Ellington. Brian Wilson. Sinatra. Johnny Cash. Ray Davies. It is as if these artists are at a "right angle" to music as such. They have discovered and colonized their own musical worldspace, and to the extent that they have followers, they will just sound like imitators, with the "essence" missing -- like an Elvis impersonator.

But how can one be a musical world of one's own, and still achieve perfection? In other words, what can be the standard of measurement for the unique, since the unique by definition cannot be compared to anything else? This is what some clever fellow meant when he said that "great art cannot surpass itself," since it is already a kind of absolute. Who's better, Aretha or Sinatra? Who knows? They each achieved aesthetic perfection in their own unique way.

Now, you might think that this has nothing to do with theology, but you would be wrong, for it is one of my ongoing struggles. That is, how do I reconcile the uniqueness of me with the universality of, say, the Catholic church? I only really feel as if I am spiritually flying when I'm "doing my own thing." As soon as I try to subordinate myself to another authority, I'm grounded. I know exactly how Blake felt when he said something to the effect that he needed to develop his own system or be the slave of another man's.

But at the same time, I am well aware of the dangers of this approach, and would never make a general recommendation that everyone else should be an off-road spiritual aspirant or extreme seeker. That would be a disaster. Perhaps some people are truly called to this lonely vocation. I don't know.

I do know this. The other day I mentioned the idea that I am not a Christian per se, but on a Christian adventure. I look at it this way. There can be no question that we need the pillars of dogma and tradition, without which Truth cannot survive and be handed down. Now, when someone argues from the standpoint of their particular faith, they are arguing from the "inside out," from first principles to their consequences. Again, I don't want to ever minimize the importance of that.

But I feel as if my particular adventure embodies the opposite movement. That is, I am not arguing from Christianity but toward it, from the outside in. This is exactly what it feels like to me. It's as if I am in this vast phase space with a throbbing mystery at the center drawing me further and further in. I find it so fascinating, that I don't want to end the journey just yet. You know, like Frank:

Hey baby, what's your hurry / Relax and don't you worry / We're gonna fall in love / We're on the road to romance / that's safe to say / But let's make all the stops / along the way.

Again, this is a real ontological movement. As HvB describes it, it is a movement "in which we go out from the empty universal to the particular and return to the universal laden with its fullness." This is virtually identical to how Bion describes mental growth, in which conception involves the "mating" of a preconception and a realization to produce a thought.

Now, another mystery is how we can gauge "progress" for something that is unique. How can the unique surpass itself? And if it was unique before and is unique now, aren't they two different uniquenesses, unique being by definition a singular instance?

That's a difficult question. I'm stumped. Can't we just talk about the hump, the slump, the bump, and the plump rump on that grumpy frump?

This strange journey from unique to unique, what is it? How is it possible, and where does it take place? Yes, it is a kind of progress, and yet, it cannot be reduced to an abstract and impersonal dialectic of progress, à la Hegel. It seems that it simply must be "tolerated" and borne again and again: "Just as the gap between essence and existence can never be closed by thought, there is no way ever to bridge in any real sense the gaps between essence and appearance, universality and particularity."

Unless....

Are we moving toward the fire yet? Or will the fire come to us?

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Liberal Deconstruction of Female Beauty, or The Empress's New Butt

This is Dupree speaking. Bob had to leave early for work, so he's letting me sit in the big chair. He left it entirely up to me to choose a topic.

Hmm, serious post or frivolous post?

It's Monday. I'm still recovering from partying with Mama last night -- my usual gift, the suitcase of Bud. How about if I start out with some superficial frivolousness just to get warmed up, and then move on to the more serious frivolousness?

In the past, I believe that Bob has written a number of posts about how difficult it is to argue with a fantasy. If both parties aren't living in the same reality -- AKA reality -- then there is no basis for discussion. But one of the main features of leftist thought is this insane idea that different cultures just have different realities, and that we must respect them all as being of equal value. This is a surefire recipe for disaster.

For example, liberals always want us to talk to the terrorists -- I mean "man made disaster facilitators" -- but how does one begin to have a rational conversation with someone who lives in a malevolent fantasy? By virtue of talking to them, you're just reinforcing their belief that the fantasy is real. This is why no amount of "negotiation" with Palestinian or Iranian dictators will come to any good, unless it begins with the banal but fundamental truth that they are insane psychopaths. But that is the one thing that is off the table. It's like talking to Jeffrey Dahmer but dancing around the cannibalism part.

One more reason why I detest the left is that they are constantly trying to distort reality in the manner so accurately described by George Orwell. This may seem like a trivial example, but the in-your-face insistence that our first lady is some kind of smokin' hot babe is a case in point. All heterosexual men know that this is an outrageous lie. Who are they trying to kid, and why?

Look, we're talking about an average looking woman here. Sarah Palin is not going to lose any sleep over the comparison. But why is this lie being promulgated with such urgency and to such absurd lengths by the liberal media? There must be something more significant going on when someone is in such an insistent state of denial. It reminds me of the liberal love-fest over the Edwards' marriage a couple of years ago. How'd that work out?

Here is a typical tongue bath by closet lesbian columnist Sally Quinn. She says that the first lady's arms -- her arms, fer cryin' out loud -- "are representative of a new kind of woman: young, strong, vigorous, intelligent, accomplished, sexual, powerful, embracing and, most of all, loving."

Hmm. That's quite a devastating indictment. A young, intelligent, and sexy woman is a "new kind of woman"? This is insane. Not only is Quinn seeing something in Michelle that isn't there, but she's not seeing things that have always been there in abundance. Or perhaps she's never strolled through the UCLA campus on a warm September day. Oh, mama!

Now, I am quite confident that I speak for all heterosexual males when I say that we don't place a great premium on upper arms. It's not that they are unimportant. To the contrary. It's just that it is one of those areas for which one does not get "bonus points" for being normal -- like having five fingers, or one head. Rather, you only get points taken away for having a dimpled pair of wobbly bingo flaps like Helen Thomas trying to get the President's attention at a press conference.

Look, I don't make up the rules, but there is no such thing as an "upper arm man" or "bicep dawg" unless he is a pervert. I have to assume that Sally Quinn has some serious bat wings going on.

Next: "This is a woman who has the courage to say 'I am mom in chief' and make her children and her family -- unapologetically -- her No. 1 priority. She is able to do this because she is so intelligent and accomplished that she doesn't have to prove anything to anyone. She is healthy enough to be able to say, this is who I am, these are my values and my priorities."

Okay. I'll bite. Mrs. G. gave up her career in a nanosecond to be a full time mom. I call this common sense, or the maternal instinct -- plus having a sugar gagdaddy.

However, this is a form of common sense with which the left has been at war for the past four decades. It's crazy. What was once the norm is systematically undermined by the left, and then, when a left wing woman returns to the norm, that makes her intelligent, accomplished, self-confident, and healthy. Spot the internal contradiction! I believe without a doubt that there is no more critical societal role than motherhood. But where has Sally been all these years?

The slobbering continues: "Nothing could be more empowering than to see a woman with all of the attributes of Michelle Obama embrace her children the way she does. She loves those girls, and she is giving them a role model for the kind of strong woman that she wants them to be. A woman should have the right to choose. In every respect. Having a great education, a job, a career is fulfilling. She has a Harvard Law degree and had a powerful job herself. She will take on projects in the White House that will ultimately prove to be transformational."

Wow, she loves her children! She's even going to be their role model! This is unheard of!

I have to take issue with the "accomplished" part. My understanding is that she was given a meaningless but extravagantly overpaid position at a Chicago hospital because of her husband's ability to funnel some serious pork their way. In fact, the job was so critical that she wasn't even replaced when she quit. How will they ever get by without a Diversity Whatever?

Now, this: "Michelle Obama happens to be physically beautiful. She is tall, regal, elegant and statuesque, and her power has been enhanced by that attractiveness."

Look, I'm not trying to be mean, but someone has to say something about this madness. Believe me, I'd say the same thing if conservatives were insisting that Mamie Eisenhower was Marilyn Monroe. But why are otherwise heterosexual men cowed by this surreal agenda? I mean, I wonder if Bob would even touch this topic, for fear of the backlash. But we're not going to fall for it. Here, Sally, I'll spell it out for you:

Average looking first lady:


Above average looking first lady:



Notice the difference? Sally does. She says that the first photo is of "a clearly sexual woman with sexy arms. A woman who is proud and unashamed of her sexuality in a city where that is not the usual image of a powerful woman."

Did you notice the arms in the second photo? I didn't either. But now that you mention it, I find them perfectly acceptable. I see two of them, with no bye-bye fat waving in the breeze.

I have a question for all of you folks out there, even liberals. We're all sexual. But are any of you especially "proud" of it? To the extent that someone is, it usually means that they are unconsciously ashamed of it. But why pride? That seems like such a childish emotion to attach to human sexuality. Paris Hilton is no doubt proud of her sexuality. Would that make her a good first lady?

I think the real issue is that politics is show-biz for the unattractive, so that anyone who isn't a total troll tends to stand out. But it's all phony, otherwise they'd say the same things about Sarah Palin that they say about Michelle Obama. Plus it would have the virtue of being true.

Well, that's about it. Bob will be back with his usual pompous fare tomorrow.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

On the Probability of God's Certainty

I woke up a little sick of hearing myself think, so I'm tempted to just sew an open thread. Plus I overslept.

Before getting to the Sunday rerun, I want to say something about a comment from yesterday. Although appreciative of my efforts, he concluded by saying that

"Your most irksome, yet somehow endearing trait, is your obsession with atheists and leftists. I am an addict, and I know obsession when I see it. You have the disease of addiction, and it takes a very strange form. Your readers are all enabling you as codependents, because none are willing to stand up and say, 'Sir, you repeat yourself endlessly. Whyfore do you do this?'"

I'll take that as an honest question. The reason I do it is because I sincerely believe that the ideals that have always animated the United States are under systematic and continuous assault by the left, and that if they are successful in radically transforming the country, it will eventually spell the end of civilization. I've seen the changes just in my lifetime, and at this rate, the game will be over in a generation or two, when there will be no one left alive who remembers the way things were. At the very least, a new Dark Age will be upon us, until such a time as the perennial truths are rediscovered -- if they ever are.

In terms of my own influences, one person I don't mention enough is Dennis Prager, to whom I have listened for years. In fact, when I started listening to him, I was in the position of the liberal who can't stop reading my blog, even though he disagrees with me. By constant exposure to his thinking, it eventually eradicated the virus. But it took a long time, and I don't think I could have ever recovered in the absence of the day-to-day exposure. Even now, I don't find him repetitive, since the virus is constantly mutating and requires new responses from the spiritual autoimmune system. Among media figures, I consider Prager irreplaceable.

Today it is difficult for me to even remember the negative emotional reaction I once had to him. And it was purely emotional, being that his facts and logic were impeccable. Thus, my only available response was anger or contempt. That is how I know so intimately what it is like to be a leftist, and why they behave the way they do. Since they cannot argue on the merits, they always must rely upon lies, contempt, deceit, superiority, distortion, sanctimony, political correctness, and the galloping herd mentality of "conventional wisdom" they help shape and enforce from preschool all the way to the intellectual kindergarten of the university.

I could go on, but it's getting late. On with the post.

*****

As I mentioned in the book, the existence of God is not on a continuum of probability. It is not as if one becomes a believer because 51% of the evidence points in the direction of a largely nightened deity, or as if God is a plurality instead of the very ground and possibility of unity. Rather, I would say that God is either strictly impossible or absolutely necessary.

Furthermore, if he is not impossible, then he is necessary. Being that a higher cosmic power is obviously not impossible, this is another way of saying that everything proves its existence, most especially atheists, who are like branches that grow more leaves in order to prove that trees don't exist. Frankly, that argument is so green, that they're either very immature or very envious.

And rePetey after him: it's a tree of life for those whose wood beleaf. So long as you are a-living, a-laughing, and a-loving, then you beleafing. No, you cannot leaf God allone, bark as you might. You may well be dysluxic, but even the least of you is not made in the image of doG, for the woof and warp of existence are woven with threads of the vertical and horizontal. I don't mean to needle you pinheads, but this is why you're born to learn and grow in truth and wisdom, even if the best you can come up with is a crazy quilt or quasi-cult of atheistic nonsense.

The Tree of Life has it's nonlocal roots above, its local branches and district orifices down below. Which is why it All Makes Sense, including, of course, science. For if you try to grow the Tree of Life in the infertile soil below, it won't survive the transplant, and can produce nothing, not even death (which requires life). Nothing makes sense in such an inverted cosmos, including atheism, which supernaturally presupposes an intelligence perversely capable of denying its own sufficient reason. There can be no meaning, no purpose, no truth, no values, no nothing, not even nothing (in other words, no animal but man is dense enough to be an existentialist).

You know what they say: the opposite of love is not hate, but indifference. Thus, their every blasphemy praises God. Only animals are atheists. But even then, not really. That's an insult to animals, being that no animal has the unnatural stupidity to deny its own intelligence, instinct being equivalent to animal intellect, just as man's uncreated intellect is his central instinct.

Which is why the vast majority of people are instinctive theists. It just means their intellect is more or less intact. A human who denies the divine is like a flower who turns from the sun. When that happens, your intellect can no longer engage in photosynthesis, which is simply converting spiritual Light into thought. I mean, you can still do it, but don't be surprised that your beleafs are so yellow and withered, perhaps even tenured. Plus, you can't digest them, unless you enjoy word salad -- which this green solid of a post is not to be confused with. Unlike other salad bars, this one actually gets you high.

Again, animals do not live in the cosmos, only in their nervous systems. Alone among the animals, human beings have broken free of their neurology, and inhabit a vast cosmos in which consciousness is the center and axis. Cosmology is ultimately the study of man -- and vice versa.

Here again, the gap between animal and man is infinite, just as is the gap between matter and life. To say that the genomes of humans and chimps are 99% similar (or whatever it is) only points to the poverty of biology to account for the infinite divide between human beings and their furry and/or tenured cousins.

This, by the way, is why Wallace -- the co-discoverer of modern theory of evolution by common descent -- concluded that it was hopelessly inadequate to account for so many defining characteristics of the human race. Ironically, as Berlinksi notes, Darwin had misgivings about the theory because, in "considering its consequences, he feared [it] might be true." But with Wallace, it was the other way around: "Considering, its consequences, he suspected his theory might be false."

And what are those consequences? They are too numerous to mention, but they ultimately result -- as is only logical and necessary -- in the elimination of Man as Such, or the Human Erase, if not in the short term, then most certainly in the long term. Don't you see it happening before your eyes?! Devilution is surely real.

People who pretend to not understand the link between Darwinism or atheism and nazism or communism are just willfully obtuse, for the great mystery of the cosmos is not why evil, or falsehood, or oppression, or ugliness, exist.

Rather, as always, the question is how truth, or goodness, or beauty, can exist in a wholly naturalistic cosmos. Not why there are sinners, but why there are saints. Not why there is despair, but why there is hope and joy. Not why there are liars who take advantage, but why there is Truth to which a good person naturally wishes to conform his being. Not why Madonna exists, but why Van Morrison does. Not why Bill Maher exists, but why Groucho did. And most assuredly, not why Sam Harris or Richard Dawkins sopher their books to exist, but why Frithjof Schuon or Meister Eckhart blessed us in their lifetomes.

As I argued in One Cosmos, Wallace came to the conclusion that "characteristic human abilities must be latent in primitive man, existing somehow as an unopened gift, the entryway to a world that primitive man does not possess and would not recognize." Such a view makes no sense in Darwinian terms, for it would suggest "the forbidden doctrine that evolutionary advantages were frontloaded far away and long ago; it is in conflict with the Darwinian principle that useless genes are subject to negative selection pressure and must therefore find themselves draining away in the sands of time" (Berlinski).

Again: in the upside-down world of secular materialism, the gaps in being are infinite and unbridgeable. But in the right side-up world of the perennial religion, the ontological continuity is infinite, extending as it does from the top down, from the One to the many, from the center to the periphery, and from the Abbasolute father to his middling relativities. In such a universe, evil and falsehood are not permitted, but they are nevertheless "necessary," or at least ineveateapple, or existence could not exist. Which is why all atheist cretins are liars. And why in contrast we are Free Men. Truth has a way of doing that.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Darwinian Delusions and the Codifying of Unintelligence

So, during an idle moment I briefly googled myself last night, and was somewhat surprised to learn that even some people on our side don't like me. And I guess a lot more would simply dismiss me as a crank if only I were more well known. I suppose I shouldn't actually be surprised, since I'm guessing that a lot of the "religious right" would see me as a new ager, or a dangerous gnostic, or a kooky cultist, or something like that. (Schuon once said something to the effect of "the people we like, tend not to like us; and the people we do not like, like us." I can relate, because I don't think Schuon would like me very much.)

One person wrote that "I dislike Gagdad Bob’s stuff. The essay to which you’ve linked provides a good example of my reasons. It’s discursive, incoherent, and unbearably pompous; reading such a thing all the way to the end should entitle the reader to an award for endurance. While speaking of why he’s not peddling his self-aggrandizement out in the world, he postures as an Anything Authority behind the thin cover of a nom de plume.... Give me a plainspoken man who can focus, make his point, and shut up."

Another person wrote that my writing "was harder than hell to follow, but I think I agree with what Bob is saying. He actually is quite good with ideas, but I think is afflicted by the same malediction that I am: the curse of the incessant rambler. This means that while his ideas are excellent, he struggles mightily to communicate them to others."

Or this one: "I am as exasperated sometimes by Gagdad Bob as you are. The original Teflon therapist. So used to being needed too much by hurting people that he overvalues his own opinions when they are really no more than just another searching sinner's notes along the way..."

Nevertheless, a compliment: "he's still good entertainment. Plenty of narcissistic jerks are good for diversion... "

Let's see: discursive, incoherent, unbearably pompous, authoritarian, convoluted, unfocused, rambling, needy, grandiose, narcissistic jerk. And that's just my friends!

The "funny" thing is that I try to be the opposite of these badjectives. To a certain extent, any lack of total coherence has to do with the nature of the subject, which can never be contained, only approached and orbited (at least with words).

I do want to be provocative, but never for its own sake. Rather, in order to talk about God, a little destruction is always necessary -- i.e., some disassembly required. This is because the lower mind has to somehow be bypassed, so that it doesn't imagine it has contained or saturated the subject. Why do you think Jesus spoke in parables? After all, he was the Word, and yet, his own words are often "vague" and "ambiguous." And he was careful not to leave a paper trail, for what do you suppose people would have done with it? They would have undoubtedly confused his words with the Word to which they point, i.e., himself.

Sorry for being so rambly. But I was thinking of this while selecting this oldie from two years ago. I mean, as far as I am concerned, it's a model of clarity that makes religion accessible to the intelligent person who is stuck-on-smart, and thinks he has to leave his mind outside the door if he wants to be religious. And never confuse pomposity with fine insultainment, nor frivolous humor with guffah-HA! experiences.

Oh well. On to the post;

One of the keys to the understanding of our true nature and of our ultimate destiny is the fact that the things of this world never measure up to the real range of our intelligence. Our intelligence is made for the Absolute, or it is nothing. Among all the intelligences of this world the human spirit alone is capable of objectivity, and this implies -- or proves -- that what confers on our intelligence the power to accomplish to the full what it can accomplish, and what makes it wholly what it is, is the Absolute alone. --Schuon

Atheists like to say that it is not incumbent upon them to prove that God doesn't exist. Rather, the burden is on believers to prove that he does. But since the vast majority of human beings are and always have been believers, I would turn the question around and ask, how is it that the atheist is so much stronger and intelligent than the rest of us, able to fearlessly overcome his own genetic programming and look reality straight in the eye, with no comforting delusions?

Of course, if our religiosity is genetically hardwired into us -- having been selected by nature to help adapt us to unreality or unadapt us to reality -- the atheist's strange ability to transcend it doesn't exactly speak well of the discipline of evolutionary psychology. Rather, it is more of an undiscipline, because it can't even control its own unruly causality.

Oh well. Better to faithfully hew to an incoherent absurdity than cede an inch to a coherent one such as religion. As Berlinksi points out, the philosophy of scientism always ends up turning on itself and consuming its own. The head dies first, followed by the heart (or is it the other way around?). As a result of this devolution -- in which the higher dies to the lower -- we're left with Homo crapiens, the deconstructing ape (also known as Tenured Man, for whom cynicism is the highest truth. He cannot see a simple truth because he has no vision, only revision).

This all goes to the fact that the bonehead atheist or doctrinaire Darwinian denies the sufficient reason for man's intelligence. In short, the Darwinian must either plead that there is no explanation for a miraculous intelligence that infinitely surpasses the needs of survival (i.e., eating, mating, and publishing academic drivel); or that we don't actually know any real truth, so that our vaunted intelligence is really a form of arrogant and self-deluded stupidity. But if either of these scenarios are true, it is again difficult to comprehend how nature has somehow produced these atheistic Superapes, or big know-nothing-at-alls.

It's really quite simple, and don't let these cunning sophists try to tell you otherwise: if metaphysical Darwinism is true, it can't be; and if man can know Truth, then natural selection cannot fully explain his existence. Thus, "If intelligence is the capacity to discern 'substances' through 'accidents' or independently of them, 'concretism' can only be described as a kind of philosophical codifying of unintelligence" (Schuon).

It reminds me of a skit I once heard on the radio, involving a man who was so irritated by being placed on hold by a receptionist, that he struggled and broke through its "barrier," back on the line. The receptionist kept placing him on hold, but with sheer force of will, he kept breaking through anyway. Now, natural selection has placed all of us on hold for eternity, and Reality isn't taking any calls. And yet, the Darwinian fights his way through his genes and manages to speak to (and for) the boss, i.e., Truth.

Let us remind ourselves just what is the scope of human intelligence: through it, man is able to reconcile himself to the Infinite, the Absolute, the Eternal. Man's intelligence cannot be surpassed by any potentially "higher" intelligence, for it is already potentially total, which is to say, adequate or proportioned to the Real.

In fact, if we didn't partake of this absolute intellect, we couldn't even know of the relative, which is why, ironically, the cynicism and skepticism of the bonehead atheist is living proof of the transcendent Absolute: "even in their blasphemy they praise him." The intellect may know the principle because it sees the appearances. The profane mind reduces everything to appearances, but then eliminates the principial That of which they are a manifestation, leaving these smirking cats without so much as a Cheshire to back it up.

(As always, we are speaking of the intellect, the nous, not the empirical, or merely logical, ego: "The intellect knows through its very substance all that is capable of being known and, like the blood flowing through even the tiniest arteries of the body, it traverses all the egos of which the universe is woven and opens out 'vertically' on the Infinite" [Schuon].)

Being that I believe human beings are in the image of the Creator, this is hardly a surprise to me (only a perpetual shock), nor is it a problem for my metaphysics. But for the Darwinian, it can only represent a miracle, pure and simple -- again, unless we can't actually know truth, then it's not a problem. But if that were true, then we also couldn't know the truth of Darwinism, so the argument is self-defeating. Scientism devours yet another immature mind.

If the sorry Homo saps sophering from materialitis and reductionosis were correct, our transcendent intelligence would have no cause and no explanation. Oddly, we would have this vast intelligence corresponding to... nothing instead of everything (and make no mistake, it's either one or the other, being that the ontological gap between Truth and Falsehood is infinite; 2+2 cannot kinda sorta be 4 -- it either is or isn't).

Obviously, no other animal has an intelligence that infinitely exceeds the necessities of survival. Rather, whatever intelligence they possess is easily reduced to its sufficient cause located somewhere in the environment, i.e., survival needs. But what is the sufficient cause of poetry, art, humor, music? Of mathematical truth, aesthetic truth, metaphysical truth? As I said in the Summa Coonologica, these are "luxury capacities" that are as different from animal intelligence as life is from matter.

To quote Arthur Koestler, "[T]he evolution of the human brain not only overshot the needs of prehistoric man, it is also the only example of evolution producing a species with an organ which it does not know how to use; a luxury organ, which will take its owner thousands of years to learn how to put to proper use -- if he ever does."

And luxury is an apt word, for it is a kind of extravagant, or de-luxe Light placed in the middle of nowhere. As the zoologist and science writer Matt Ridley put it, there is simply no conventional scientific way to "understand how a costly investment in big brains today may be justified by cultural riches tomorrow."

In fact, there is a certain structural similarity between science and religion, to the extent that both are systematic forms of understanding a world or "plane" of phenomena. In both cases, there is a transitional, generative space that exists between something capable of "revealing" itself and our contemplation of it. Theology has the identical deep structure of science, only on a higher plane that ultimately shades off into pure metaphysics, or those necessary truths which cannot not be -- and without which the real but strictly limited truth of Darwinism could not be either.

Science has what you might call a "written revelation" and an "oral revelation." The written revelation is simply the Cosmos, the World, physical reality, or whatever you want to call it. It is the Object which was here before we arrived, and to which we are Subject. Science -- the evolving "oral tradition" -- takes place in the space between the exterior Object and our own interior Subject, whose intelligence mysteriously conforms to the Object on so many levels that it's positively uncanny -- as if the one were a deep reflection of the other.

Which of course it is. I have no problem with that, which is why I have no problem with scientific or any other kind of truth. The question is, why does the atheist have such a problematic relationship to truth? Must be a genetic defect, I suppose.

When unintelligence joins with passion to prostitute logic, it is impossible to escape a mental satanism which destroys the very basis of intelligence and truth.... When a man has no "visionary" -- as opposed to discursive -- knowledge of Being, and when he thinks only with his brain instead of "seeing" with the heart, all his logic will be useless to him, since he starts from an initial blindness.... Closing itself, above, to the light of the intellect, it opens itself, below, to the darkness of the subconscious. --F. Schuon

Friday, May 08, 2009

Surfing Nonlocal Waves to the Shore of the Now, with a Deepak on My Knee

This post is brought to you by this new art exhibitionism, The Cycle of Life.

The bad news is that "the dead bodies are plasticised, a process invented by Von Hagens involving skinning bodies to display the naked muscles, nerves and tendons underneath, and preserving them with a synthetic resin." The good news is that "the exhibition offers a deep understanding of the human body, the biology of reproduction, and the nature of sexuality." And for those of you who can't afford a trip to Germany but still want to see a couple of cadavers in action, you can always watch Barbara Walters on the Larry King show.

Back to our regular program. The key point is that "just as humanity occurs only as man, so too man occurs only as humanity" (HvB). If that weren't the case, then Jesus wouldn't have been able to change human nature by becoming a man. Rather, he would have changed only that particular man. And the change obviously had to take place at the level of conception in order to be "essential" rather than something merely added in an exterior sense.

Man's existence is an appearance of his essence, even though essence can only manifest as existence. Here again, this is one of our Top Three objections to the left, who always believe, either explicitly or implicitly, that man has no essence. Indeed, this is what it means to be an existentialist, which is just another word for nihilist. The existentialist is a nihilist because he is condemned to freedom in a meaningless cosmos. Therefore, being itself is an infinite nothingness, since no choice can be any better than another choice. In a graceless cosmos, man can only make himself by an act of will, prick by prick.

Which then leads directly to various ideologies of power -- of narcissism and the glorification of the will. Obama is a perfect example of the phenomenon, or a least as perfect as America can produce at this time, given the constraints imposed by a population that is still roughly 50% sane. But we're getting close to the breaking point, what with his complete control of all branches of government, the media, academia, and other powers that might have restrained him.

So the person is the "field of expression" of human essence. In fact, it reminds me very much of quantum physics, in which the local particle is simply the expression of the nonlocal field. The field doesn't manifestly exist except in its complementary relationship with the particle.

For those of you who have auto-initiated yourself by purchasing my book -- and is anyone still interested in Bobographed copies? -- you will see that this is discussed on pp. 209-210, where it explains how O -- which is nonlocal -- requires a local frame of reference, oh, such as an upright bipedal Raccoon, in order to realize itself in the world.

Yes, the cosmos is filled with such "empty fields" of pure logos just waiting for a nervous system sophisticated enough to evoke them! In fact, I'm surfing on one of those nonlocal waves right now. Sounds a bit like this:

Surf's up / aboard a tidal wave / Come about hard and join / the young and often spring you gave / I heard the word / Wonderful thing / A children's song / A child is the father of the man / A children's song / Have you listened as they played / Their song is love / And the children know the way. --Beach Boys, Surf's Up

Excellent. While I was listening to that and waiting around for Nomo, he just left a relevant comment. It was in response to Maineman's point about the need for a "counter-terrorism strategy" against the "wildly destructive" left. Nomo writes that "the Light burns, but it has to come out from hiding," and then references the Nonlocal-Made-Local, who said that

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Do you see the point? Of Light? All we can do -- all we can ever do -- is participate in that very movement of O --> (¶), or of Father --> Son. This is something the left can never put an end to, although they will certainly do their best to try. But this is nothing that Jesus didn't explain in full to the apostles. It's not as if it isn't a built-in feature of the worldly powers and principalities.

For to shine like a light in the darkness is to place a giant target on your back. It makes you a beacon for others, but it also makes you an easily identifiable target. This is why the trolls roost here. No one will have failed to notice how "dark" they are, for their darkness always stands out in the light, does it not? It could hardly be more coonspicuous, for it is indeed "darkness visible."

Speaking of darkness visible, this ought to be good: the hideous Deepak on the meaning of prayer.

"In the Bush era, public or group prayer followed the pattern set down by Nixon in the Sixties: it was a validation of conservative values. God was for law and order and against hippies. God was against anyone who didn't believe in him, a ridiculous position when you think about it.... As long as prayer was simply a shout-out to evangelicals and supporters of the current war, I think it had little value as a national activity."

Shouldn't Deepak be out there on the street with all those other hippies, chanting Hey hey, BHO, how many youthful contingency operators did you kill in your phony war against man made disasters today!

So, what is the real purpose of prayer? O, endarken us, Your Grubbiness:

"It may be too hard for someone in the Judeo-Christian tradition to let go of a personal (and usually masculine) God in favor of something as impersonal as one's own awareness, but.... everything about prayer happens in consciousness and nowhere else. The message is sent and received in consciousness; the results are noticed in consciousness; one's expectations, beliefs, and intentions are rooted in consciousness.... prayer is one process: consciousness interacting with itself. Religions enforce a division between the one who prays and the one who answers, but why? Stripped of religious vocabulary, a prayer is nothing more than an intention. Either that intention comes true or it doesn't."

Oh my. Deepcrock has outdumbed himself. This comment is to theology what copulating cadavers are to sex. And it also goes to what I said about the leftist who denies essence and ends up with an ideology of pure power, of the will. For with Deepak's perverse religiosity, the will simply "prays" to the will for more power. A prayer is nothing more than "intention," i.e., will.

It is no coincidence -- none whatsoever -- that a dreadful, despicable person such as Chopra would be perhaps the most prominent assholy man of the left. For he is the local expression of their nonlocal field of schemes.

Bonus version -- Brian Wilson demo, without the group harmony tag at the end: