Monday, July 06, 2009

The Eternal Drama of Cosmic Stupidity and the Cluelesside of Man

One may consider man's evident fallenness from many different angles that correspond to his will, his emotions, his conscience, his lower nature, his intellect, or his taste in music. Undoubtedly it involves all of the above, but Sherrard focuses on the intellect, calling the whole fiasco a drama of knowledge.

Specifically, Sherrard describes "a dislocation and degradation of our consciousness, a lapse of our perceptive and cognitive powers -- a lapse which cuts us off from the presence and awareness of other superior worlds and imprisons us in the fatality of our solitary existence in this world."

On some level, the Fall always comes down to knowledge, for at the very least, if you don't know you are fallen, you can't do anything about it. Instead, you will keep on doing what you're doing, which is to engage in your own auto-expulsion from reality. You end up like the Wicked Witch of the West Side, bitterly blaming everyone and everything for your pathetic condition.

Whether correctly or incorrectly, I always like to get beneath the surface of these things, and discuss them in them in terms of abstract and universal principles. As such, employing the symbols from my book, the "fall" may be preconceptualized as the distance between (•) and (¶). You could even represent the fall schematically as (¶)→(•). Conversely, to be born again in spirit is (•)→(¶).

The fall is also a measure of the distance between matter and spirit -- a distance that is entirely manmade, since matter regains its metaphysical transparency for the spiritually opened eye. Obviously, the spiritual world is not simply something "added on" to the material world, but is its very essence. And even if it goes unacknowledged, the material world cannot be understood at all in the absence of some "spiritualizing" by even the most atheistic man. No man could -- or would want to -- live for a second in a wholly material world deprived of spirit. He would asphyxiate or die of thirst faster than you can say "Richard Dawk..."

The unredeemed (•) commits two fatal errors that flow from the initial separation of spirit and matter. First, "material forms are regarded as totally non-spiritual, and thus either as illusion or as only to be known through identifying their reality with their purely material aspects." In turn, the "the debasement of the physical dimension of things" results in the denial "of our own created existence." When natural things are denied their "theophanic function," the world-revelation becomes a sort of "dead and soulless body." Thus, it is a murder-suicide of spirit.

Now, the "inner meaning" of things obviously cannot be attained by (•), which only has access to the Ø that it simultaneously creates and is created by. As Sherrard writes, "the human mind, without enlightenment from a more-than-human source, cannot attain a valid form of knowledge." In short, we cannot lift ourselves up by our own buddhastraps. Darwinian monkeys cannot know truth or attain to objectivity (which amount to the same thing).

In order to regain the purity of vision and "see things as they are," we must in some way break free of (•) and its highly limited and distorted maps of reality. There are many ways to do this, but obviously "technique" is of secondary consequence. The main point is that "we have to free ourselves form all that we think we know, of all the conceptions we have formed as a result of going in pursuit.... of knowledge we think we have obtained through our own efforts." The reason for this is that true knowledge can neither be obtained nor verified through (•).

This is the distinction between horizontal knowledge (k) and vertical wisdom (n), or true gnosis. Only the latter is unchanging. It is timeless. As such, it is not discovered in the same way we discover something unknown on the horizontal plane. Rather, it is already known to us, but must be recalled. Ultimately this is because (¶) is of the same substance as O, and only like can know like. (The fact that you already know it is why you understand me.)

Here is how Sherrard describes what I call (n): it is not "something that is not known. It is not even something that we do not know. We do know it -- it is our lifeblood -- only we have forgotten and lost it, just as we have forgotten and lost our own reality. If we can recover our own reality we will also recover this knowledge, for the two go hand in hand. This knowledge is part and parcel of who we are, in our true being. If we recollect who we are, we will also recollect this knowledge" (emphasis mine).

This is why I said in the book that it is not necessary to "believe in God" in order to get your spiritual adventure underway. Rather, you can start at either end: with O or with (¶), since the latter is a reflection of the former; or you could say it is the son of the father, and that the O-corn doesn't fall far from the tree of life. But the point is, as (¶) is developed, strengthened, and nourished, O inevitably begins to come into view. A transformation begins to occur, both internally and externally.

In principle, it is no different than the acquisition of profane but highly specialized knowledge, say, of a physician. A gifted physician has the ability to "see" realities that are invisible to the untrained eye. Does this mean that these realities are all "in his head?" Of course not. He has what we might call a "professional (•)," something that most of us have in one field or another. Everyone's an expert on something, even if it's just how to bullshit people. But enough about the MSM.

So, true knowledge "is something that is given to us, but we can perceive it only when we are in a condition to perceive it." Please note that we can never contain this knowledge. O always contains us, on pain of (¶) confusing itself with God -- which of course does happen, always because of unmetabolized traces of (•) -- or, to be technical •••(¶)••• -- you know, mind parasites.

Now, speaking of (•)→(¶), i.e., the reversal of the fall, please bear in mind that all the "→" in the world could not accomplish this in the absence of supernatural grace, or what I call (↓). The (↓) is always there, but even God cannot save us without our co-upperation. Thus, our own (↑) is a necessary but insufficient condition for (•)→(¶).

Referring again to the symbols in my book, (o) and (---) are a prelude to the movement of (•)→(¶). Again, I should emphasize that these symbols are not arbitrary, but as precise -- but empty -- as can be. Here is how Sherrard fills them in: "we have to attain a new state, a state of unknowing which, contrary to the negative not-knowing, frees us from bondage to our ego-consciousness and to its stream of hallucinatory and dismembering thought, and allows us to perceive the seamless robe of nature in all its pristine integrity."

To be continued.....

Sunday, July 05, 2009

The Books of Liberal Wisdom and Islamist Virtues

A short and refrivolous post from two years back, with bonus material added as it comes to me:

The other day, Dr. Sanity posted on the new children's book Mommy is a Moonbat, er, Democrat. One wonders why such a book was necessary, given the existing plethora of college textbooks.

Anyway, here are a few gems pulled out at random:

--Ask not what your country can do for you. Instead, organize a demonstration and demand it.

--It's not how you play the game, so long as no one wins or loses and gets their feelings hurt.

--A fool and someone else's money can solve any societal problem (the Liberal Credo).

--Judge not, lest ye be a member of a liberal-approved victim class.

--Whining isn't everything. It's the only thing.

--If life gives you lemons, file a class action suit against Sunkist.

--A person is known by the company he boycotts.

--A lie travels halfway around the world. The other half doesn't get the New York Times.

--Eternal vigilance is the price of paranoia.

--Like father, like, what's that?

--Don't count your chickens before they're aborted.

--Beggars can't be choosers. Rather, they're now called "homeless."

--Necessity is the mother of government handouts.

--An attorney who represents himself is a lobbyist for the Trial Lawyers Association.

--Spare the forceps, spoil the fetus.

--When I was a child, I spoke as a child. After attending graduate school, it was even worse.

--Boys will be boys until Obamacare provides subsidized ritalin for every one of them.

--Regardless of your background, any American who really works hard at it can still become a victim.

--Those who don't learn from history must have majored in it.

--And a child shall lead them. Unless the GOP can get its act together before 2012.

*****

While at the book store the other day, I came across the Muslim Book of Virtues, by an imam who is sort of the William Bennett of the Islamic world. If we could just take the time to try to understand their culture, I think we'd get along a whole lot better.

I've assembled a list of "wise old Islamic sayings" from the book that I think are particularly relevant to our discussion. These are virtual clichés in the Muslim world, but they are probably new to you:

--Sticks and stones will break your bones if your words should ever humiliate me.

--If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try to blame the Jews.

--Fool me once, death to you. Fool me twice? Not gonna happen.

--A penny saved will help finance a martyrdom operation.

--There's something rotten in Denmark. Free speech.

--Don't judge a book unless it's been approved by the Ministry of Vice and Virtue.

--Don't try to reinvent the wheel before you've even discovered it.

--Give a Palestinian a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and the UN will have to feed him.

--A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Period.

--One picture is worth a thousand riots.

--Ask me no questions and I will tell you lies just for the hell of it.

--The race doesn't always go the swift, but to the sneaky and duplicitous.

--Good fences make it more difficult to kill your neighbors.

--If it ain't broke, that's a relief, because we have no idea how to fix anything.

--If you can't beat 'em, at least try to kill and maim as many of their children as possible.

--If you can't say anything nice, you should run for office in the Palestinian territories.

--It's not whether you win or lose, it's how much meaningless suffering you can inflict.

--It's always darkest before the dawn. So if you're going to sneak into Israel with a suicide bomb, that's the time to do it.

--What doesn't kill you won't kill any Jews either.

--Don't shoot the messenger. Torture his family in front of him.

--The road to hell -- or anyplace else, for that matter -- is paved with IEDs.

--Those who don't learn from history are respecting the will of Allah.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

We Hold These Truths and Virtues to be Soph-Evident

I was going to repost something from 2006 about Independence Day, but there was nothing there. The closest thing was this one from July 3. It has nothing to do with Independence Day. Then again, I suppose it does, because the day would be absolutely meaningless in the absence of absolute truth, objective morality, and decent music.

Allow me to explain. As I have discussed in the past, the possibility of truth is rooted in freedom. Likewise, the possibility of freedom is rooted in truth. That is, if truth isn't freely discovered, it isn't truth (i.e., you can't compel truth, as the left tries to do). And if freedom doesn't lead to truth, then one isn't really free (i.e., to live a lie is only the illusion of freedom).

There are people who do not believe in free will. For them, truth is impossible. Others do not believe in objective truth. For them, freedom is impossible. And there are others who do not believe in the soul, or an essential self. However, that sophistry can be easily disproved, for if man had no essence, he couldn't know it. To speak a truth is to know -- to be -- an essence.

The same principle applies to beauty and morality. If these were not objective categories, we couldn't even know about them. So when our liberal founders said, "we hold these truths to be self-evident," they said at least two things that are offensive to the modern left, that there is objective truth and that it is self-evident to the intellect (which transcends the reason, or empirical ego).

But for the Founders to add that all men are created equal and that they were made this way by their Creator -- I'm surprised that the ACLU hasn't found a way to overturn the Declaration of Independence on the grounds that it's unconstitutional.

There is horizontal freedom and vertical freedom. The former is "freedom from," the latter "freedom to." The former doesn't necessarily lead to the latter, while the latter always implies the former. That is, if one is truly spiritually free, one is free. But the horizontal freedom of the left -- which is only horizontal -- might as well be tyranny. Note as well that it necessarily excludes beauty and morality, except accidentally, not essentially.

In the post of three years ago, I was musing about music. Let's see if we can't tie it in with the above:

When it comes right down to it, the vast majority of music is just ephemera with no lasting value. There are a lot of things I can enjoy, but then not feel compelled to listen to a second time.

It occurred to me that we’re so focussed on the now and the new, that we may not realize that the musical “now” is not a week, or a year, or even a decade. For example, in my case, the musical "now” extends back to the mid 1920’s or so, when Louis Armstrong emerged as the greatest star in jazz -- which, bear in mind, was the popular music of its day. It wasn’t like today, where jazz is considered a scary or esoteric art form for initiates and idle beatniks who gobble down reefer pills all day.

But Armstrong revolutionized singing in a way that is still felt today. You can trace all pop vocalists in a more or less continuous line that eventually leads back to him. Naturally, in the 1920’s, you couldn’t have known this. The records he recorded then were considered ephemera, just cheap trinkets tossed into the marketplace in hope of some quick sales. It never occurred to anyone at the time -- least of all Armstrong -- that they were producing timeless art that would influence music forever, not just in America, but all over the world.

Another thing the average person wouldn’t have noticed in the 1920’s is how singular Armstrong was. Just like today, thousands of records were made by various pop and jazz acts, but how many of them are of any interest to us today? Very few. In hindsight, we can see that only a handful of musicians were even in the same league as Armstrong.

It’s obviously the same way with classical music. There you can survey even larger expanses of time and see that only a few geniuses stand way above the rest -- Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, Brahms, etc. -- all of the usual suspects.

But now the now is more distracting and dizzying than ever, obviously not just with regard to music, but with everything -- religion, philosophy, psychology, you name it. There is so much information, so many choices. On the one hand, this has undeniably positive aspects, but on the other hand, it can leave us drowning in the trivial and transient, when the purpose of life is to see through the accidental to the essential -- to know the truth, and for the truth to set us free.

I am fascinated by things that you might think are subjective, but which are actually 100% objective -- perhaps even more objective than what we call “objective reality,” since that reality is always changing, plus it is colored by our vantage point and by the limitations of our neurology. Does the subatomic world consist of particles? Or waves? Who knows? It depends on how you look.

But there are certain musicians and musical performances that can catch your ear in such a way that you know in your bones that they cannot be surpassed. I'm thinking of, say, Frank Sinatra or Ray Charles between '53 and '61, or Aretha between '66 and '73, or so many others. Sometimes it's just a single song by a particular artist that achieves a kind of perfection that they can never again duplicate.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident.” Today, because of the influence of science, we suppose that the only self-evident truths are found in math or science. But the opposite is true. Science is constantly evolving, changing, progressing, outgrowing old truths. Before Einstein -- the Louis Armstrong of modern physics -- published his revolutionary papers in the early 1900’s, physics was considered essentially complete. College students were discouraged from entering the field, because, with the exception of a couple of “unresolved clouds on the horizon,” physicists had wrapped up their work. But Einstein ignored the received wisdom of his day and forged ahead with his unorthodox ideas.

So, Bob, what's your point? My point is this: religious truth is of the same order as artistic truth, only more so. It too might appear to be subjective, but it is not. In fact, it is the most objective truth available to human beings. There are people who can recognize it, others who, for whatever reason, cannot or will not.

At the time Jesus lived, only a few people recognized what was going on. But they did so in an instant -- John the Baptist, for example. Not to trivialize it, but he clearly experienced something that was as obvious and objective as hearing a perfect musical performance which you just know is true, even though you could never explain why.

More generally, there has probably never been another time in human history when it has been easier to overrun the truth and continue searching for it long after you've found it, as if it never happened. Our founders discovered the keys to liberty, decency, and prosperity. Meanwhile, Obama is busy changing all the locks.

I'm freeeeeeeeeeee!



Friday, July 03, 2009

And the Weird Light Shines in the Dark, but the Dorks Don't Comprehend It

I think we can all agree that there is a real world. I call this world O. This real world is irreducibly horizontal and vertical. There is no vertical in the absence of the horizontal, and no horizontal in the absence of the vertical -- similar to how there is no form without substance, and vice versa.

However, the horizontal is a world of linear effects, while the vertical is the realm of nonlinear causes. Within itself, the vertical is characterized by connections which we experience down here as synchronicities. For example, it is not as if your true self is caused each moment by the immediately preceding moment. Rather, it is ultimately rooted in a vertical archetype that is outside time.

And this archetype is connected to other archetypes reflected in the herebelow. This is how you might be closer to me at this moment than you are to someone in the next room -- or how we can all occupy the same barstool next to Toots. Obviously such a thing would be impossible in profane time and space, or outside Babe's, his favorite watering hole.

Sherrard writes that "Each natural form is the center of an influx coming from its divine archetype or theophanic Divine Name." However, there is no "gap" between archetype and worldly form, at least from the top down: "The one is the other, the archetype is the icon, the icon is the archetype, there is an indissoluble interpenetration of the one by the other." In a way, you could say that this corresponds to the two poles of Christ's -- and of our -- existence, i.e., immanent incarnation and transcendent identity.

But again, these are not two different worlds. Rather, it is more like one world with two ends -- more a way to think about reality than reality itself: "Though there is a disctinction, there is no dualism between the natural and supernatural world. The spiritual world is not another world set apart from the natural world. It intermingles and coexists with, and constitutes the invisible dimension of, the natural world."

But of course, only the saint -- or the Thrice-Cleared Operating Thetan and Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler of the Holy Temple Church of Tonga Pacific -- realizes this truth in its fulness, while the rest of us only get occasional glimpses, or (?!).

Everything is simultaneously within and beyond itself, like an arrow pointing in two directions. Detached from the vertical, no thing is any thing at all; it has no reality, but is merely a condensation of nothingness floating over a sea of dreams. This is what it means to say that creation is dependent upon God. It must be understood in the vertical, not horizontal, sense.

As I described in the book, (k) corresponds to Ø as (¶) corresponds to O; and (k) flows from (•) as (n) flows from (¶). These empty pneumaticons are like algebraic placeholders that must be filled by personal experience. In other words, they have no particular meaning until it is realized by the individual.

Sherrard perfectly describes what is intended by the distinction between (k) and (n): the latter "combines the reflected knowledge of the data given by Revelation and the most personal inner experience; for without such experience, all that can be conveyed is a mere collection of concepts," or (k) (emphasis mine).

In my book, I compared revelation to the reflectors on the back of a car. They are dark until you shine a light into them, at which time they seem to illuminate from the inside out. Here is how Sherrard describes it: "One might say that the divine revelation is the light that makes it possible to see, while the inner experiential vision of the gnostic is the light that sees. To ignore the first -- the divine revelation -- is to remain permanently in the dark. Not to attain the second -- the inner experiential vision -- is to remain blind."

What a wonderful analogy: scientistic darkness vs. religious blindness. Fortunately there is a way out, but it is only thorough (¶) and (n). To plagiaphrase a formulation Schuon used, revelation is the light of the intellect objectfied, while the intellect (¶) is the light of revelation subjectivized. When you think about it, this makes perfect sense: (¶) and (n) are again two poles of the same divine reality. And ultimately, it is as Eckhart described, God knowing God, i.e., "the eye with which I see God is the same eye with which He sees me."

This eye is (¶), and you might say that it shines in three directions, "up," in, and out. It is what illuminates heaven for us, but also that which allows us to know heaven on earth -- or to understand that "the kingdom of heaven is within."

Again, (¶) is qualitative, not quantitative; it is also a measure of depth. Therefore, to spontaneously apprehend the "deep qualities" of existence is ipso facto to be operating out of (¶). This is why I say that one of the organizing principles of the spiritual life is to follow the depth, from whatever realm, whether science, philosophy, or theology, for the attainment of depth is the realization of soul.

Please note as well that this attainment of depth is not a horizontal phenomenon. In other words, it can never be like the hypertrophied (•) which conflates depth and width, so to speak. This is why some wise man or guy said that an intellectual is just an ass bearing a load of books -- or an (•) bearing a load of (k). For if the (•) in question knows nothing of (¶) or (n), what good is he? True, he can be a good plumber or mechanic, but that's all he can be, no matter how tenured.

In contrast, (n) can only take place now. I don't care how much of a biblical scholar you are. If you can't put down the Book and reproduce and transmit some of its light now, then you are probably fooling yourself. Everyone knows the devil can and does quote scripture with the best of them. Indeed, he has been known to memorize the Koran front to back. But the devil knows only the letter, never the spirit that contains, protects, and illuminates scripture.

Thus, (n) is specifically timeless. It cannot be realized in time, because it is atemporal, like a Vegas casino, where there are no clocks. When you play blackjack with God, you bet everything, with no concerns about yesterday or tomorrow. And you can't beat the house.

Just getting started. There's much more. If I don't see you tomorrow, happy Independence Day. And for Obama supporters, happy Dependent Life.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

When Egos Attack!

Sherrard notes that the scientistic reduction and bifurcation of reality into reason and matter ultimately results in the spiritual nadir of Obama worship. Well, not exactly, because he died in 1995. But he might as well say it, because again, as a result of this bifurcation, what is specifically excluded from reality is our mirror of the Real, i.e., the nous, intellect, psychic being, or what I prefer to call (¶).

In one way or another, the elimination of (¶) is always Job One of the left, whatever sophistry they try to hide behind, e.g., "separation of church and state," bonehead Darwinism, multiculturalism, feminism, moral relativism, the "living constitution," etc. Once (¶) is out of the picture, the field is cleared of objectivity, of higher standards, of adults, of timeless truth, of our nonlocal telos, of the very reason for man's existence.

In short, what you end up with is "the triumph of the Demos expressed in such clichés as 'my view is as good as your view'" (Sherrard). You end up in the ironic situation of a "reality based community" that simultaneously believes that "perception is reality." Thus, a scientistic Queegling and hard-left Kosbag find common cause in their magical denial of reality in all of its modes and dimensions. Or, to put it another way, they have a common enemy: reality.

Again, reality "takes place" between O and (¶). We can never know O. As I explained in my book, anyone who is naive enough to think he can contain O within his reason -- no matter how brilliant -- automatically renders it Ø. Thus, the scientistic clown -- Dawkins, Harris, Queeg, et al -- is always talking about Ø, not O. For him, Ø is reality, the reason being that he is identified solely with (•).

I hope this is not getting too obscure or complicated, because my purpose is to cut through the complexity and to literally present things as simply as possible (but no simpler).

Yes, in a certain relative way, perception is obviously reality. That is, we can only know as much reality as our being will permit. A dog lives in a very different reality than a human being. There are many things a dog senses that a human cannot, but many more things a human can know to which a dog has no access at all.

As I have said before, I am not one of those who believes that the ego is intrinsically "evil," or that it is the repository of fallen man. Rather, I believe it serves an evolutionary purpose (which we'll get into later). In the grand scheme of things, it is like a launching stage for further psychic growth.

Indeed, this is why I use an empty symbol for it, (•). It's rather like the body. It's good or bad, depending upon the use to which it is put. Also, the body can become "bad," so to speak -- or at least an impediment to psychic growth -- if we are completely identified with it, like an animal (when man does this, he renders himself lower than an animal).

I routinely see patients who are more or less identified with the body. Usually they are from third-world countries or from lower socio-economic classes, but not always. Really, it's more of caste thing, as I have described in the past. What does the world look like to such an individual? I don't know. A Big Mac. A vagina. A basketball court. [Sounds good to me! --C.D.]

I once thought about writing an article about the idea of a first world, second world, third world, etc., only applied to the psyche instead of economics. Because there surely exist different "worlds" to go along with different degrees of psychological development. This is why we cannot simply say that "man is the measure or all things," because there is no "thing" in the absence of a psychic container. For example, a shoe is a radically different object if contained in the mind of a dog vs. a person.

Likewise, for an illiterate person, a book is just an object. It is not even as interesting as a shoe is to a dog, unless there are lots of pictures.

Now, I have a huge library. Much of it is filled with books on psychoanalysis, religion, theology, mysticism, and metaphysics. For me, they mirror and disclose various worlds. But to the reified (•), they are just meaningless objects. They do not disclose any reality.

Here again, you can appreciate how this attitude leads to the triumph of the spiritually vacant boobieoisie. But what's really going on beneath the surface is an all out attack on O. If you stand back and look at it abstractly, you will see that it actually takes the form of (•) attacking (¶). You can see it in our trolls. Their dispute is not with me. Rather, it is with (¶) disguised as me -- and ultimately with O.

Likewise, this is the basis of my dispute with Obama, who is really a big Øbama. He is a big vacant somebody who is the result of a lot of big nobodies making him into one. But Ø + Ø always adds up to Ø.

Time's up. To be continued....

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Dead Men Waking

So, anything that doesn't have its roots aloft in the divine life is essentially dead -- or undead is more like it, since it is the negation of Life, not its opposite. Our undead self consists of identification with various mind parasites, and it is from this pseudo-self "that we have to be rescued, or saved." Deliverance from this state is a kind of resurrection in this life.

"Basically, then, it is a matter of dying to this false self of our ego-consciousness and to its loves and desires, for this self is our dead self" (Sherrard). We must transition from the egocentric to the theocentric position, which is the true basis for the anthropocentric position; as I mentioned in my book, worship of God activates a kind of latent dialectical space between O and (¶), and this is the fruitful space in which it all goes down.

O "strengthens" and vivifies (¶), while (¶) becomes the "lens" through which the energies of O are refracted. In contrast, the local ego, or (•), basically repels the divine energies (↓). And it is too proud and self-sufficient to reach beyond itself to its source (↑), so the cycle of spiritual metabolism is completely disrupted on both ends. You either asphyxiate or become anorexic.

As I've mentioned before, I can imagine some people thinking that the symbolic system of gnotation I use in OCUG to map spiritual growth is a little cold, or idiosyncratic, or abstract. But I explained there that the whole point is that the symbols must be filled with transpersonal experience, otherwise they remain empty categories.

For example, here is how Sherrard describes what I would call (↑): the "condition of being reborn, or resurrected... cannot be accomplished without the fulfilling of another condition: that we continually aspire towards and form links with the divine world, the world of eternity. The purpose of the spiritual life is not achieved through some abstract conception of the Kingdom of Heaven, or even through belief, in the pious sense, in the Kingdom of Heaven. It is achieved through strengthening our living relationship with the Kingdom of Heaven, and through cultivating in ourselves those organs through which we can experience the life of eternity."

This approach properly emphasizes both sides of the dialectic. Obviously, without the grace of (↓), nothing is possible. I mean, you can try, but good luck. More often than not, you'll ether just go in circles while engaging in some kind of glorified auto-hypnosis, or what we call spiritual Ønanism. In reality, it is just unhip gnosis by another name.

If there is a purpose of life -- and there is -- it can only be understood and actualized in reference to eternity. It's not going to be found down here -- that is, unless we have achieved the ability to see eternity in time, or the nonlocal radiating through the lens of the local.

Indeed, this is how human existence is to be understood: man is the local being through whom the nonlocal may be received and transmitted to the others in the form of truth, love, beauty, etc. Our job is to receive and assimilate (↓), but to then propagate it horizontally (<--¶-->).

If we fail to engage in our verticalisthenics (↑) in this life -- and therefore fail to activate and bring forward the (¶) -- then buddy, you've screwed yourself bigtime. "We will remain impervious to the light of eternity and to the blessings of the Kingdom of Heaven, locked up in our subjective dreams which are by now second nature to us. Surrounded by the spiritual world -- as we are in fact all the time -- we will not be aware of it: we will be outside it, exterior to it, in hell."

Do you see why? The local ego is "exteriority" as such. When you think about it, it's the only thing that is "outside" the cosmos. It is merely a kind of Darwinian adaptation to external circumstances, and is therefore largely a mirror of the environment. It is more or less exiled from spirit, and in need of deliverance, or salvation. This is why various cultures are so crazy, because they have no living relationship to the truth that transcends the quasi-animal ego. Ultimately they are just neurotic or psychotic collective adaptations to the ubiquitous problem of having a mind. For example, read Scipio's post yesterday about the gories of Islam:

"Imagine if any other religion acted as does Islam -- Christianity for example. If Christians made war upon cartoons? If Christians made war upon Buddhist statues? If Christians chopped off heads on camera? If Christians sent legions of suicide killers into schoolhouses? If Christians murdered their daughters for violations of ‘honor?’ If Christians boasted about blasting civilian airliners from the sky? If Christians were involved in almost every war on the planet? If Christians at the Vatican regularly stampeded and trampled to death hundreds of their own? If Christian youth made a sport of raping non-Christian girls? If Christians hunted down and killed all who tried to leave the faith? If Christians sent out hit squads to murder all who insulted the faith? If Christians around the globe jumped with glee after the towers fell? If Protestant and Catholic Christians engaged themselves in mutual slaughter? If Christians sexually mutilated their adolescent girls?"

I don't just blame Islam for their mess. Rather, I blame man. Mankind is the problem, therefore more mankind surely cannot be the solution. This actually goes to one of the quintessential differences between the illiberal left and conservative liberals, something which Dennis Prager reminded me of yesterday: the leftist "loves" mankind, but treats individuals with contempt -- in the same way that the Islamist loves the idea of everyone living under a worldwide Caliphate worse than death, but has no problem butchering and maiming individual Muslims, who are worthless to him.

But the conservative liberal has no great regard for mankind. Rather, he loves individuals and individualism. Which is why an illiberal statist such as Obama must be his sworn enemy. The leftist pretends he can cure mankind with various material inducements, or simply by coercively rearranging the socioeconomic floors of the cultural titanic.

Won't work. Can't work. Wrong species. You're not going to get people out of hell by imposing it on them. Rather, they must realize where they are, and then make the effort to leave. Obama says, "don't worry. No need to change. We love you just the way you are. We'll just change everything else but you."

Real change and real hope can only result from real rebirth. First and foremost, we must nourish and cultivate the subtle organs of spiritual perception, or cʘʘnvision. Engaging in a serious spiritual practice simultaneously opens us to spiritual energies and influences (not just from God, but from certain authorized Deputies and helpful nonlocal operators).

Equally importantly, this will "awaken and galvanize in us the latent spiritual potentialities of our being, those that foster our rebirth, that allow us to transmute our consciousness, to free it from its hidebound ego-centered state in such a way that it is once again able to perceive and mirror divine realities and to interpenetrate with the consciousness of God" (Sherrard).

So the day-to-deity work of spirituality involves severing certain links and nourishing others. Conversely, egoic death-in-life consists of feeding and strengthening the links that keep us bound to illusion and sin, and ignoring those energic channels that would liberate us from our fetters. So the choice is yours: undead man walking, or dead man waking.

More tomorrow on how to circumnavelgaze and I-ambulate around in Bob's peculiar map of hyperspace...

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Maps, Legends, and Seven-Dimensional Cartography

Sherrard writes that "In our post-mortal state our habits continue, though the means for satisfying them are now different." They continue "because we are still in the thrall of those images, or apparitions, or fantasies" which ruled us in this life. And these ghostly fantasies that we call "thoughts" are often themselves the byproducts of mind parasites.

Sherrard mentions the example of Hamlet, who hesitates to plunge in the knife for fear of "what dreams may come": "for it is in the post-mortal state that we are caught up in those passionate, parasitic sequences of thought and image -- those streams of consciousness -- which we have set moving in this life through some 'vital congruity'... of our soul and which we are compelled to follow, like a dream, as they unfold in our post-mortal state."

So be careful what you obsess over. Have you ever had a real obsession, something you couldn't get out of your head, and which just kept replaying over and over, like broken record or Keith Olbermann show? Well, those are just extreme cases. Much of what we call "thought" is really disguised obsession.

In turn, one of the primary purposes of prayer or meditation is to break the link in the obsessional chain. Being that obsessional thought always skitters along the surface horizontally, you can disrupt it at any time by going vertical, or up and in. Remember, you always have inward mobility and upward nobility.

In a later chapter (we'll get back to the present one), Sherrard talks about how even the senses "are false witnesses for those with impure souls." In other words, what we think of as the most "objective" source of data becomes thoroughly subjectivized in the wrong hearts. This is why science, which is neutral, often leads to the pneumapathology of scientism. You might say that scientism is a form of metaphysical OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), in that it is entirely circular and self-enclosed, and yet imagines that it is adequately describing "reality."

Which, of course, is why you could never "debate" someone with such delusions of adequacy -- such as Charles Queeg about Darwinism -- because it would be like trying to talk someone out of a hand-washing compulsion. It's just a mental tic, as his thousands of former readers well understand. I've had patients who wash their hands, or who check their locks or windows or stoves, hundreds of times a day. Saying "don't do that" would be entirely beside the point. It would be as helpful as asking an Islamist to stop hating Jews. You can't break into that closed circle. It is their map of reality, and if you take it away they'll be utterly lost in the cosmos, with no one to contain their unbound hatred.

Sherrard writes that "We must always remember that we can see things only as they appear to us after passing through the filter of our own perceptual equipment, and the degree to which this filter will admit or exclude the reality of what we see, or think we see, will depend entirely upon the modality of our own particular consciousness." Doors of perception, and all that.

One of the great spiritual dangers of "education" is that it inevitably involves a greater or lesser degree of indoctrination. As a result, the most educated people will often be the most indoctrinated. This is because the "educational establishment" becomes a thing in itself, the result being that those who best adapt to it are the ones who "move up" -- again, we would never deny the workings of natural selection, confined to its proper role.

The same is true of the MSM. The reason why they all think alike is because they are adapted to a ghostly reality that they co-create in adapting to it. It only exists in their heads, but they all mutually reenfarce one another, so that the dream appears real.

I well remember taking the state examination for my psychology license in 1991. The written test in particular is utterly irrelevant to what I would call "psychic reality." Rather, it's like a huge body of knowledge that one must master just for the sake of mastering it.

But there is a more sinister implication, because it forces one to defer to the state's definition of the mind and of mental health. But it does not correspond to the human mind. It is mostly a patchwork of disconnected fragments of knowledge compacted together like some sort of monster. And many of the fragments are inserted there by various political interest groups -- all the usual suspects, i.e., sodomites, feminists, cross-dressers, perverts, pagans, and liberal racists. You must regard the abnormal as normal -- or at least pretend you do -- or you cannot be a psychologist. Period.

The purpose of a theory is to mirror a world. As I have mentioned before, this is also the purpose of revelation and of theology: to mirror the divine reality. In the case of both science and religion, it is always a mistake to confuse the map with the territory or the menu with the meal. And in neither case is the map ever complete. Rather, we spend our lives as cartographers, and there is reason to believe that we take our maps with us when we go on the Big Hike.

Looked at in this way, the very purpose of a spiritual practice is to internalize an accurate map of reality in the full sense of the word. To put it another way, it should be the "cure" for various distorted or partial maps. You simply must have an accurate map, or you won't get anywhere. Or, alternatively, if you don't change maps, you're liable to end up where you're headed.

Sherrard discusses one of the subtle effects of the scientific revolution, and that is the bifurcation of reality into mind and matter, or the physical world and the reason. Excluded from this closed world is the intellect, which is our organ of perception of higher worlds (in my book, symbolized as ¶). Note that this bifurcation creates an intrinsically false map, but that the map can't destroy the intellect, any more than the Islamist's bad map of sexuality eliminates the sex drive. Rather, it simply returns in perverse form, as we see in Iran.

So when we are compelled to internalize a false map of reality that excludes the intellect, the intellect will then roam free, like a ghost, and try to make its own map, to the exclusion of the other two (sense and reason). This is how you end up with, on the one hand, fundamentalism, and on the other, the Deepaks of the world. Both have insanely inaccurate maps, the former because their map is two-dimensional, the latter because it corresponds only with his bottomless narcissism.

You might say that the fundamentalist fetishizes the map, turning it into a graven image, while in Deepak's case, his narcissism leads him to devalue the God-given maps, so that his alternatively vacuous or sinister babbling in no way mirrors the divine world.

As Sherrard writes, "This is a dark and hellish world, the world of the ego's self-deception.... This exaltation of our ego-consciousness, and of the pseudo-knowledge that goes with it, are evidence of the fall." In short, "what does not have its roots in [the] divine life is essentially dead."

When Christ says "let the dead bury the dead," he might as well be saying, "let Deepak bury Michael." This is not a casual asnide, but the essence of Christ's life and his example: "He is uttering a universal horation to all those who wish to live: that they have to die to and bury their dead selves; for when identified with these selves, they are as dead."

So crucify and bury those manmade maps, because they don't chart the torahtery.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Of Icons and Ocons

If you want to understand the power of mind parasites, just consider the fate of Michael Jackson, who was literally entombed in them by the time his corpse ceased dysfunctioning. A newspaper report says that at the time of bodily death (which occurred years after psychic death), he weighed 112 pounds, had nothing but pills in his stomach, was covered with needle wounds, had a mass of scars from all the body mutilation (i.e., cosmetic surgery), and had shed virtually all his hair.

But what is even more fascinating to the forensic psychologist in me is that now the family wants to sue someone -- anyone -- and that their sub-bottomfeeding spokeshole, Jesse Jackson, is talking about "foul play." Foul play? Foul play? Of course there was foul play! There always is. How do you think the mind parasites got there in the first place? Too bad Joseph Jackson can't sue himself and win punitive damages -- or maybe even send himself to prison for child abuse. From wiki:

"Jackson said that he was physically and emotionally abused by his father from a young age, enduring incessant rehearsals, whippings and name-calling.... In one altercation, Joseph held Michael upside down by one leg and 'pummeled him over and over again with his hand, hitting him on his back and buttocks.' Joseph would also trip or push his male children into walls.

"One night while Jackson was asleep, Joseph climbed into his room through the bedroom window. Wearing a fright mask, he entered the room screaming and shouting. Joseph said he wanted to teach his children not to leave the window open when they went to sleep. For years afterwards, Jackson said he suffered nightmares about being kidnapped from his bedroom....

"[Jackson] said that during his childhood he often cried from loneliness and would sometimes start to vomit upon seeing his father.... [Join the club -- Ed.] Jackson recalled that Joseph sat in a chair with a belt in his hand as he and his siblings rehearsed and that 'if you didn't do it the right way, he would tear you up, really get you.'"

As I've mentioned before, no matter how horrid the abuse, the mind parasites will nearly always come to the defense of their creator. Thus, Jackson "also credited his father's strict discipline as playing a large part in his success."

Who could ever begin to estimate the financial cost of mind parasites to society? For example, Joe Jackson, who co-created his son's mind parasites, now wants to be reimbursed by someone -- anyone -- for the fact that the parasites finally went a little too far and actually killed the host -- the ghoost that laid the golden records. They were just a little too strong. Either that, or Michael was just a little too temperamentally weak to survive them (no doubt a combination). "Ironic" is just too insufficient a word. The child who murders his parents and then pleads for mercy because he is an orphan is just too insufficient a joke.

One of the reasons you cannot calculate the cost of mind parasites is that you cannot calculate their value. It's analogous to the so-called cost to society of smokers. They never factor in the billions of dollars saved in social security that will never have to be paid out. Plus, you have to die of something. They calculate the medical cost of smoking as if the person wouldn't eventually have had some other costly medical problem.

Mind parasites can create a kind of economic bubble to go along with the psychological bubble. In the case of Jackson, countless people lived in, and fed off of, that bubble -- not just his worthless family members, but various plastic surgeons, pharmaceutical companies, handlers, and a devolving door of rented friends. Plus, because of his essential emptiness, he spent millions upon millions trying to fill it. How could you possibly calculate the economic activity?

Truly, if you could wave a magic wand and instantly make all of the mind parasites disappear, I'm afraid that the economy would grind to a halt. Look at me. I'm not holding myself out as any kind of model, but I lead a very simple life, and that's the way I like it. Complexity merely interferes with the essential bliss, or contentment.

And if the bliss isn't happening, I don't blame it on circumstances, let alone on an absence of complexity. Rather, the bobstacle force is nearly always within. Or we're out of grog. But I think it's fair to say that most people pursue the complications as a replacement for contentment. It's mostly an exciting distraction that lasts as long as the illusion can hold out against psychic reality.

It reminds me of how people complain about our political system, and how the most important job in the world comes down to how many idiots you can influence with 30 second TV commercials. So people talk about limiting the amount of money you can spend on a campaign, or banning political commercials.

But such "solutions" are entirely beside the point. The problem is, people are stupid and impressionable. And one of the main reasons they are stupid and impressionable is that liberals have near total domination of the educational establishment and mass media. Unless we solve the problem of TV and college, we're going to continue to get vapid but dangerous clowns such as Obama. There is something fundamentally wrong with a society that elevates the perverse nightmare of a sadistic father to an icon, and elevates the vacant dream of an absent father to an even bigger con.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Innocence Lost, Found, and Stolen

So, when we die, the mask slips off. But while we live, the mask is in place, to a greater or lesser degree. This immediately brings to mind Adam, whose fall is simultaneous with the placement of the mask. One moment he's walking in the cool of the evening with the Creator, the next moment he's confabulating all over the place. The confabulation fills the gap between divine and human reality.

"Adam, where are you?"

"Er, I was hiking in Appalachia. Yeah, that's it."

Innocence lost. In-nocens, i.e., free from guilt or sin thorough lack of knowledge of evil; blameless; harmless in effect or intention; candid; lack of guile, sophistication or self-consciousness; artless; ingenuous.

So the guilty always wear a mask. The corollary of this is that those who wear a mask are guilty. Which is why they wear it (although sometimes it's for protection -- to hide the true self until it's safe to come out).

"Michael, where were you?"

"Er, I was just sleeping with this boy. I do it all the time. Taking another person into your bed is a beautiful, innocent thing."

Over at Return of Scipio, a (our?) Will made a comment about how Jackson spent his life trying "to reverse the course of spiritual/psychological evolution in [his] egotistical desire to return to a 'land of innocence.'" However, "one can’t return to the land of innocence. If one tries, the result is psychological fragmentation, the center cannot hold."

This is an interesting point, because it suggests that the Fall is associated with the principle of entropy, which results from the fact that time travels in one direction, i.e., that it is irreversible. It is not analogous to a film, which can be run forward or backward. For example, in our world we might see a cup fall to the floor and shatter. But we never see broken fragments on the floor fly onto the table and form a cup. Spilled milk stays that way. Shattered innocence too.

In the case of Jackson, he didn't just wear a mask; he became his own hollow weenie mask. Remember what we were saying yesterday about how in the post-mortem state, there is no "friction" from matter to interfere with thought? One of the perils of great wealth is that it can, in a way, do something similar, so that there is no friction between fantasy and reality. Dreams and wishes can instantly become hearses, no matter how much buggering is involved. But in the process, the real person dies -- slowly and insidiously.

Note also that, instead of being in the image and likeness of the Creator, Jackson had the power to remake (or de-make) himself in the image of himself. He became like a god, and he was his own hideous creation. But this cannibalistic creation fed off the innocence of others in order to maintain its spurious sense of life. Truly, s/h/it was a vampire.

This is why the case of Michael Jackson is so familiar to us. Read Peter Guralnick's great biography of Elvis. Nothing new here. As fantasy displaces reality, it takes more and more energy -- or, let us say psychic substance -- to prop up the fantasy. The fantasy is not real -- it is parasitic -- but like any system, it requires an input of energy to go on being.

I don't want to delve too deeply here into esoteric psychoanalytic theories, but what occurs next is the development of a "psychic twin," or dopplegänger, that displaces -- or exists side by side -- with the real self. Imagine in your mind a kind of ghost that feeds off the psyche, and eventually drains it of substance. This is what we saw in Jackson: by the time he "died," he was already a hideously decayed corpse, kept afloat in a sea of time-stopping opioids. He was just the last to know.

No, wait a minute. The MSM is the last to know. But that's understandable, since the MSM mostly consists of the living dead -- corpses, zombies, and assorted ghouls. So one of their own has... you can't call it "died," since that's redundant. Nor can you call it "grief," since there's so much manic glee associated with it. Call it a "monster party" with all the ghouls in attendance: Larry King, Deepak Chopra, Geraldo, Al Sharpton, all reminiscing about their fellow ghoul. All the corpses are weeping today: Elizabeth Taylor, Madonna, Justin, Britney.

But where is the person with sufficient childlike innocence to blurt out the simple truth to these undead souls? I mean, Dude, he fucked little boys!

Regarding his choice of embalming fluids -- we are hearing stories of demerol, soma, dilaudid, oxycontin -- several of these heroin derivatives do have the property of arresting time. I well remember my colonoscopy in 2007 -- yes, it haunts one forever -- specifically, the blissful afterglow of the anusthesia. For the rest of the day, I was absently floating in a kind of Eden, just observing my thoughts -- my existence, really -- like so many passing clouds.

One could get used to that. However, remember what we said above about the entropic, irreversible nature of time. We live in the middle-earth area between Eden and Heaven, so to speak. As Will mentioned in his comment, we cannot go backward, nor can we remain static, on pain of rotting from within. Rather, once out of paradise, the soul is in motion. Where is it going? Well, that depends on you. In conjunction with some friendly nonlocal operators, of course.

In my book, I discussed the nature of this motion, and the saints, mystics, and assorted pneumanauts who represent the exact opposite of Michael Jackson. Caught up in the deathstream that runs from future to past, he marshaled all of his earthly powers to try to return to the lost paradise of childhood. But that way is ultimately blocked by cherubim bouncers with flaming swords. Nobody gets past them, although many celebrities try to crash the gates in their long black limousines.

In contrast, the saint faithfully throws himself into the lifestream that carries us forward to our deustiny, that "return-route to the forgotten country from which humans set out Before the Beginning. Venturing across the great divide separating man from the incorruptible sphere of the gods, our virtual adventurers then found themselves pulled into the orbit of the Great Attractor, the very ground and goal of existence, the unseparate Source of all being, a mostly uninhabited region at the outskirts of consciousness, the Final, Absolute Reality where cosmos flowers into deity and Bang! you're divine."

No lies. No mask. Holy childhood, shabbatman! Innocence found! It's always in the last place you look....

Friday, June 26, 2009

Does Your Religion Kill Bugs Dead?

Hmm. Now I'm getting a little bored with the arkive, and have the compulsion to come up with something new. Perhaps I have to face the fact that I'm just not that into me. But this really is new -- new information about mind parasites. Whenever I stumble upon anything pertaining to them, my ears naturally perk up, because it's always good to know that I'm not the only one who notices them.

It has to do with what happens to your mind parasites when you die. You'd think that this would be purely speculative, and perhaps it is, but it makes a great deal of sense to me, given what we know about them from our side of the veil. (Actually, the author in question is an Orthodox Christian who translated the Philokalia, so his credentials are pretty impeccable.)

There is a related aspect to all this (which I'll get to in a subsequent post), which has to do with how one's "mission" is carried over into the "next life" (which is obviously just this life "prolonged" in a different dimension).

Thus, one could say that one's mission and one's mind parasites are at antipodes of the psyche. Furthermore, mind parasites are specifically what interfere with one's mission, both here and hereafter. To put it another way, to discover and embark upon one's mission is to activate the mind parasites. This we know.

I came across this new info in chapter eight of Philip Sherard's Christianity: Lineaments of a Sacred Tradition, entitled On Death and Dying: A Christian Approach. I read it last night before going to bed, so it may or may not make sense in the full obscurity of the day. I guess we'll find out.

I was just reading along, blah blah blah, when Sherard makes reference to quasi-autonomous entities within the soul (or to which the soul attaches itself): "then they develop according to a logic of their own. Such growth may go on, or retain its potential for going on, quite apart from our conscious knowledge, so long as the passions which prompted it are unassuaged or unpurified."

It was the next paragraph that caught my I: "We are always setting these sequences going, these 'parasitic vegetables' as Yeats called them, in our soul. Sometimes we act out the logic of their development in our lives, through an endless sequence of objects which they have suggested to us; and sometimes we cut their development short, forcing them back into the psyche but leaving them still with the full power to develop unless we have also freed the soul from the passion or passions which gave them birth."

It reminds me of Saddam's WMD program. Liberals foolishly believe that because relatively few have been found, he wasn't dangerous. But as the Duelfer report indicated, everything was in place to get the programs up and running within a matter of weeks. The point is, the only thing that could ensure our safety was removal of the parasite.

It's obviously the same way with Iran. Obama is delusional enough to think that "extending an open hand" to the Islamist parasites will convert them. This makes about as much sense as extending an open sore to the bubonic plague. Not only that, but the Iranian parasites understand better than American liberals that Obama is a liar and a fraud -- a parasite himself! Why would they ever trust such a man, when they know full well that Americans can't?

As it pertains to the individual, the point is that until such a time as he has mastered the passions that give birth to the mind parasites, "these thoughts or images will continue to haunt us, and will go on breeding these parasitic sequences in our soul until we are freed of them."

However, one of the tricks of the parasites is that they create their own world, so to speak. In other words, they conspire to bring about the world they require in order to "go on being." Imagine the drug addict, for example, who moves to a remote state in order to get away from the environment he has created, in which his parasites are constantly activated and tempted. You know what they say: lead us not into temptation BUT deliver us from evil. Thus, temptation and evil are obviously conjoined. Mind parasites create a world of temptation, and gravity takes care of the rest.

Sherard affirms what amounts to a truism in psychoanalysis, that the "mental images or apparitions to which our soul is attached -- these thoughts -- do in fact constitute for us what we call reality: they constitute our world." But in the very next sentence he affirms what is definitely not a truism in psychoanalysis, that "at our physical death.... we still inhabit, or imagine we inhabit, the same world that we inhabit before our physical death." In short, "the images that compose [our world] have as much power over us then as they do now."

Indeed, it seems that the mind parasites have even more power, since there is no longer the "friction" of matter to constrain them. As a result, several things happen. First of all, the veil that separates you from your mind parasites vanishes, so you can no longer fool yourself (much less imagine that you are fooling God). Thus, one's "true character is revealed."

In this regard he quotes the gospels, including Luke 12:2-3, where it is written that "There is nothing covered that shall not be revealed; nothing hidden that shall not be made known..." You are naked, baby, without so much as a skeevy fig leaf of ego to conceal the dreary architecture your soul. You sink all the way to your rotten core, AKA hell.

Sherard says that a kind of body persists, except that now the body becomes a true mirror of our interior state. In this life, we can fool people, but somewhere in the attic is that ghastly picture of Dorian Gray or Michael Jackson that reveals the ugly truth. Conversely, think of Jesus revealing his transfigured body of light to the disciples.

The post-mortem body will "represent our true ruling disposition rather than any disposition which, like a mask, we have been able to adopt and to convince others is representative of our true self during this life." But of course, there are innumerable instances of saints who become a beautifully transparent body of light in this life. To be continued....

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Image is Everything: Man and Other Mirrorcles of the Absolute

Here's an old post that provoked few comments at the time, whether justifiably or not, I cannot say. But at least it gives me the opportunity to rewordgitate it and delete the old one from the arkive....

You often hear vaguely spiritual but essentially anti-religious people say that they kinda sorta believe in God, but not in some bearded old man sitting on a throne in the sky. Therefore, the non-conformist (or coonformist) in me makes me wonder if that isn't probably the best way to think of God, short of apophatic mystical approaches in which the only thing you can know about God is that you cannot know him; or that whatever you say must be immediately unsaid in order not to mislead.

While God must have an absolute truth known only to himself, down here we partake of relative existence. In short, we are not God. That being the case, it seems that God has extended the courtesy of revealing certain fruitful ways to think about Him so that he may be grasped by the mind on this side of manifestation: king, lawgiver, father, judge, comforter, shooting guard for the Chicago Bulls, etc.

Postmodern man hates more than anything to be duped or taken as a naif, which typically results in a kind of self-enclosed and self-satisfied cynicism that can only belligerently (and narcissistically) affirm what it does not know. While this stance may mimic "sophistication," it is just metaphysical naivete the long way around, like one of our typical trolls. Better to believe in nothing than to risk looking silly in the eyes of other sophistical yahoos and faculty lounge liztards.

Schuon points out that these modern mytherfolkers "merely replace one sentimentality with another when laying claim to 'objectivity'"; in fact, their so-called objectivity is "merely a soft and pretentious sentimentality, which is far more illusory than a transparent 'subjectivity.'" The fundamentalist atheists come to mind, e.g., Dawkins, Harris & Hitchens, all lost in a sentimental and childlike notion of 19th century "objectivity."

This is a caricature of true objectivity, which, as every Raccoon knows, is a union of complements: it "does not set up an opposition between cold and heat but transcends them both: like emptiness it stands opposed to a false plenitude, whether hot or cold, or like silence to a heavy and blind affirmation" (Schuon). The Raccoon knows the secret that God is equally a bearded old man in the sky, and no such thing. He knows this because he himself has a physical form which he transcends (or, to put it another way, is infused with transcendence).

Christianity is obviously not the only religion that has promulgated the idea that God has assumed human form, e.g., the "avatar principle" in Hinduism. Without getting into ecumenical squabbles, let's just agree on the principle that the Absolute may take embodied form in the relative, uniquely so in man, who is the "image and likeness" of the Absolute.

Being that we are the image and likeness, we should expect to see traces of this in both our objective (i.e., bodily) and subjective (i.e., mental) states. Furthermore, there is no reason to believe that other animals shouldn't share traces of this absoluteness, only in lesser degrees, as they are ultimately "descended" from man, rather then vice versa. A man isn't ape + X; rather, the ape is human minus X.

In other words, in relative, horizontal, and Darwinian terms, we may be "descended" from animals (or ascended, really), but in absolute and vertical terms, the converse is true. An ape is a partial manifestation of man; man is not a "perfect ape," although Keith Olbermann comes close.

As Schuon writes, there are certain lower forms of life, such as cockroaches or snakes, that repel us because they are "like living conscious matter," whereas "the law of matter is precisely unconsciousness."

Conversely, monkeys or olbermen are noteworthy for the opposite reason -- that "they are like men who have been deprived of the central consciousness that characterizes mankind." They are not "conscious matter," but "consciousness decentralized, dissipated." At the same time, there are other animals that are obvious symbols of transcendence and beauty, the butterfly being my favorite example. In their case, we see the higher prefigured in the lower.

Now, being that God is transcendent and therefore immanent, every manifested thing is actually "God in disguise." This is not to be confused with pantheism; for example, even a rock is God, but that hardly means that God is a rock. The latter would represent the pantheistic confusion. Everything points in two directions, toward its own form and to something beyond, or to something that "radiates" through it. We see this most vividly in virgin nature, which engenders a kind of spontaneous reverence. The radical environmentalist converts this supernaturally naturalistic awe into a pseudo-religion, conflating an effect with its transcendent cause. Yes, the earth is sacred. But how did it get that way, knucklehead?

In subsequent posts we will be discussing the beauty of the human form, through which transcendence radiates with particular metaphysical clarity, since a human being is nothing other than a "lens" where the vertical collides with the horizontal in the most intense way, very much in the manner that a hologram is produced.

To cite one obvious example of man's subjective deiformity, our minds are both "infinite" and "absolute," just like the Creator. There is no end to the human mind's inexhaustible creativity; but at the same, we are uniquely capable of knowing absolute truth and morality. For example, secular scientists routinely affirm the absolute truth of certain facts and theories, while many leftists can dimly apprehend somewhere in their tarnished souls that innocent human life is of infinite value, even if it is only their own life.

Again, being that our minds share this deiformity, it would be surprising if not impossible to not see traces of this in our physical form, bearing in mind that we are "descended" from the perfect archetype, the Cosmic man, or Adam Kadmon. For example, when we see Michelangelo's Pieta or David, are we not seeing man's formal perfection liberated from marble? Perhaps my standards are low, but I can hear perfection in a three-minute pop song.

When we discuss man's deiform nature, we are talking on the one hand about his capacity to know the absolute, on the other his physical beauty, beauty being embodied truth. Schuon points out that aesthetics is nothing other than "the science of forms," or formal beauty.

But just as beauty is the splendor of the true, truth itself will conform to standards of beauty. This is why a sense of form, rhythm, and proportion all "play an important part of intellective speculation," and can be important criteria of truth. A mathematician never expects to find an ugly equation ordering the cosmos. That we expect to see ugly art excreted from our elite universities tells us all we need to know about them. This distorted art -- which produces a de-divinized and therefore dehumanized picture of man -- can only be produced by willfully infrahuman beings, exiled and alienated from both God and man.

To put it another way, God cannot be a bearded old lesbian performance artist sitting in the faculty lounge (whether female or male).

This also explains the truth and beauty of scripture, for just as some things are too ugly to be true, others are too beautiful not to be.

The unbeliever, on earth, believes only what he sees; the believer, in Heaven, sees all that he believes. --Schuon

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

You Shall Know Them by Their Ideals

An old post with a few contemporary rifferences tossed in....

An analysis of the ego cannot occur without simultaneously discussing the Ideal Man (at least implicitly). Because if the ego is what is wrong, we must have some idea or model of what is right.

This is only true of human beings, by the way. There are no good or bad animals. You can’t tell a pig to stop acting like one, which is why all those visits to the Clinton White House had no effect on Arafat, and Obama's craven appeasement of the Iranian thugs will only encourage them.

Human beings come into the world seeking role models to emulate. Oddly enough, we don’t “know” how to be human, so we imitate and internalize the behavior of those who are immediately at hand. But clearly, not everyone we internalize is noble or praiseworthy, to say the least.

In his formulation of the superego, Freud outlined two distinctly different aspects, the conscience and the ego ideal. Most of us have at least a rudimentary familiarity with the conscience, Arafat or Ahmadinejad to the contrary notwithstanding. It the “internal sentry” that rewards or punishes us for our thoughts and behaviors.

But the superego must not be confused with morality per se. It is extremely common to internalize a superego that punishes good behavior and rewards bad behavior, as we see throughout the Muslim world. (I addressed this problem in a previous post entitled Conscience, Superego, and Huk al Berri.)

It is also common to have a “corrupt superego,” which, as you might imagine, is similar to having a corrupt police force or military. It may technically believe the right thing, but will be unable to enforce it in a consistent manner. It is often at the basis of what we call hypocrisy, although it is completely unconscious.

As I wrote in the post linked above, “The problem with Freud's conception is that the superego will reflect the particular family in which one grew up and the particular culture in which one lives. As such, the superego is not necessarily moral at all. It is essentially amoral, in that it may well punish the individual for morally good behavior and reward him for morally bad behavior, depending upon the culture.

“Here we can understand why the emphasis on truth is so vital. For in the Arab Muslim world, they are so inundated with vicious lies about America and Israel that it would be immoral for them not to hate us. In a racist or anti-Semitic society, the superego will actually demand that its members be racist and anti-Semitic. For example, the nazi movement in Germany was animated by perversely 'high ideals,' without which they couldn't have engaged in their project to exterminate the Jews. Once the lie is established as truth, then the superego takes over, impelling the individual to act in a ‘moral’ way, consistent with the implications of the lie.”

The other dimension of the superego is called the “ego ideal.” Whereas the conscience punishes or restrains, the ego ideal “spurs” or encourages. You might call it our “destiny drive,” as the trajectory of our life can be measured in terms of how effectively we close the distance between ourselves and our ideal.

A person’s ego ideal speaks volumes about who they are “deep down.” However, it also reveals a great deal about a culture or nation, because all groups have collective ego ideals who act as a telos or “north star” to guide them. There are political ego ideals, religious ones, and other kinds.

One of the problems we face in our war against leftist fundamentalism and radical Islam is that we have entirely different and irreconcilable ego ideals. In the case of Islam, their political and religious ego ideal is the same man. But by the standards of the West, Mohammed was not a model worthy of emulation, what with his warlike behavior, his pedophilia, and genocidal attitude toward "infidels."

One of the baleful effects of the secular left has been to “deconstruct” and undermine the heroic and virtuous ego ideals who have always guided the United States. You know the tedious drill -- the founding fathers were just slave holders or self-interested businessmen, capitalism is exploitation, America is hotbed of racistsexisthomophobia . Instead of celebrating Lincoln’s or Washington’s birthdays, we merely have “President’s Day,” which is to conflate a quasi-divine being like Abraham Lincoln with a creepy, sanctimonious, petty, egomaniacal, Jew-hating, and all-around morally reprehensible weasel such as Jimmy Carter.

But this type of moral leveling is always at the heart of the leftist project, because it goes hand in hand with the assault on standards of any kind. For the left, all hierarchies are bad, because some people will fail to meet the ideal and therefore feel bad. But their entire philosophy is a fine example of a collectively corrupt superego, because there is no one so secretly elitist and superior as Leftist Man.

One of the purposes of leftism is to fool the conscience into thinking one is a good person just because one supposedly cares about “the little guy,” or about global warming, or about the evils of Walmart, or about being nice to terrorists. This is why studies always show that conservatives are personally much more charitable and giving (not forgetting happy) than liberals.

Imagine the immense appeal of this corrupt philosophy to the typically narcissistic Hollywood celebrity who has never even attempted to master himself, much less succeeded. But all is forgiven so long as he believes in high taxes and a massive state.

I don’t know about you, but I can look back at my own life and see a series of used and discarded ego ideals who have formed the “stepping stones” to my own true self. Some of them might appear trivial, but in each instance, I can see how they represented an external model for a part of myself that endures to this day.

For example, I remember when the film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest came out, it had a profound effect on me. I totally related to R.P. McMurphy, in that he represented sanity or the “life instinct” amidst the dreary world of totalitarian, life-denying conformity. I didn't see it at the time, but the messianic parallels with Christianity are obvious: McMurphy is actually the sane one in an insane system, so he must be crucified, i.e., lobotomized. Today we call it “political correctness,” which represents a collective mechanism for lobotomizing the sane and killing the truth. The New York Times, the MSM, and academia all represent the oppressive and tedious Nurse Ratched.

Now, just as the Islamist hates America or Israel because he believes lies about them, the pernicious idea that “all you need is love” inevitably leads to an assault on truth and the death of the mind. Thus, Obama's rush to non-judgment about how much he respects the sovereignty of the Iranian government is rooted either in self-deception or outright lying. The most he could say about the evil murder of Neda Agha-Soltani was that it was "unjust." I know how he feels. The other day I unjustly received a parking ticket from the state.

We must only love and respect what is good or what is true, not what is false and indecent. To say “all you need is love” is to say that love is worthless, because it is incapable of discerning what is worthy of being loved. Yes, God is love. But love is not God, for God is also Truth, Judgment, Justice, and even Divine Wrath, and each of these is an important dimension of love.

Yes, there are saints and mystics who ascend so high that these distinctions disappear. But that path specifically involves an upward journey through the God-willed hierarchy, not an iconoclastic downward escape into egalitarian mush. (Speaking of multi-dimensional love, I like the way Mysteress Joan put it the other day, regarding our thankless attempt to lead a hapless young troll to the Light: "You can't really rip his throat out because he's too young to appreciate the gesture.")

We have both a celestial archetype and a worldly one, and it is critical to bear this difference in mind. When Adam fell, he fell from the celestial archetype of “man as such” and became “such and such a man,” as I have heard Schuon express it in a different context. He became a hardened “ego” as it were, closed off from the higher world. Now, an ego can be a prison or it can serve as a means of escape, largely depending upon the ego ideal.

Or perhaps we should draw a distinction between an “ego ideal” and a “celestial ideal.” An ego ideal helps us to discover our own relatively unique way of being who we are, our “soul fingerprint,” as it were. But the celestial ideal leads us back to our pre-fallen state. You might say that the ego ideal is the particular in the universal, while the celestial idea is the universal in the particular.

At some point -- if we are lucky -- we will graduate from being a mere individual (which is itself an accomplishment, since it is freedom lived) to being a “mode of the infinite.” And once that we have attained our precious individuality, we will have something of value to offer up to the divine. For a sacrifice is only worthy to the extent that it is of something valuable.

And here we return to the hierarchy of being and the importance of “being somebody before you can be nobody.” It matters not for an ant to sacrifice himself to the collective, because one ant is just like any other. For the same reason, I suppose it is easy to be a suicide bomber, because there is so little opportunity in the Islamic world to actually become who one is -- to achieve one's potential and be “somebody." So these worthless nobodies escape history “from below,” by blowing up the train and the tracks, and hope for the most worldly forms of egoic gratification in the afterlife. As our own left has everything backwards, the Islamists have it upside down.

Related @ American Thinker: "[T]he most moralistic president since Jimmy [Carter] is also a moral coward. Not surprising, is it? Moralizing is just another way of propping up one's ego. Morality is making the tough choices when life presents us with a clear choice between good and evil."

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Stay Thirsty My Friends

And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. --Revelation 22:1

I think I might be going through Balthasar Withdrawal Syndrome. I immersed myself in his world for so long (over six months of nothing but), that I'm not sure how it all relates to me. I suppose it's the same with any addiction. They say that one of the difficulties of sobering up is that one has to become reacquainted with oneself. Only then do you realize why you drank in the first place: "Not him again. Get me a drink!"

In order to assimilate him into my substance, I must either become "bigger" than he is, or else somehow abstract his essence. But the latter is very difficult to do when the body of work is so vast. Then again, I suppose it's the same difficulty I'm having with myself vis-a-vis the arkive: how do I stand back and wrap my mind around myself?

It reminds me of James Brown's Super Bad, in which he sings, Good God / I jump back / I wanna kiss myself! How is that possible, unless one really is as super baaaaad as JB?

I also must admit that I've hit a bit of a speed bump with Ms. Adrienne. Remember, she was Balthasar's mystic friend who would go into a trance and dictate to him about various spiritual realities. Maybe it's just me, but I tried reading her commentary on the gospel of John, and found it rather... boring. Frankly, I gave up. I guess I'm having difficulty with the idea that someone can be granted an extraordinary charism by God, but the charism can be a little on the tedious side.

Again, it's probably just be me. Someone else might very well find it to be the most stimulating thing they've ever encountered. Come to think of it, it might just be a bhakti/jnani thing. Bhakti yoga primarily involves deeply felt love and adoration of God, whereas jnani joga is rooted more in intellection, wisdom, or sapiential knowledge. The latter is more geared toward fertile eggheads and free-range pneumanauts.

It's not that God has these divisions, but that people do, and it takes all kinds to make a world. Therefore, a full service religion has a little something for everyone. Furthermore, these divisions are eventually transcended within the path one chooses (or which chooses one). In other words, one discovers that knowledge is ultimately rooted in love and communion, while love is its own kind of unitive knowledge.

This would explain why von Speyr doesn't speak directly to me, whereas Schuon, for example, does. He strikes me as the quintessential jnani, even though he clearly had his devotional side. Indeed, he was fundamentally a man of prayer, in that it is always apparent that he is "thinking on his knees." He's not just thinking "about" God, but in God.

I have this compulsion to reconnect with Schuon as a sort of palate cleanser. He is always compact and pithy, but his pithiest book is no doubt Echoes of Perennial Wisdom. Even the title is refreshing: ah, Echoes of Perennial Wisdom. An O-asis of spiritual waters.

Let's take a little drink, shall we? Page 3: "The world scatters us, and the ego compresses us; God gives us recollection and dilates us, He gives us peace and delivers us." Ah, refreshing.

Page 5: "The greatest calamity is the loss of the center and the abandonment of the soul to the caprices of the periphery. To be man is to be at the center; it is to be the center."

But of course, one cannot be the center unless one is connected to the Center, either through love, or wisdom, or prayer, or contemplation, or works. Love is movement, wisdom is movement, movement toward the immobile center. It is (¶) pulled into the attractor of O, which is accompanied by (n) boiling over from O. Yes, "One must be in love with pure Being, which is beyond action and beyond thought."

P. 12: "When God is removed from the universe, it becomes a desert of rocks or ice; it is deprived of life and warmth.... if reality were made of rocks, there would be no place in it for flowers or any beauty or sweetness whatsoever. Similarly for the soul: remove faith -- including that element of faith that forms part of gnosis -- and the soul becomes impoverished, chilled, rigid, and embittered, or it falls into a hedonism unworthy of the human state; moreover, the one does not preclude the other, for blind passions always overlay a heart of ice, in short, a heart that is 'dead.'"

So stay thirsty my friends. (And HT Will for the Dos Equis reference.)

Monday, June 22, 2009

¿ Hurtling Toward History's Denoument ?

One result of rummaging around the arkive is that I have no compulsion to write anything new. Rather, the opposite: I'm attempting to unwrite much of what I've written. I'm hoping that by deleting the clunkers and repeats, I can get it down from over 1,300 posts to more like 1,000. That seems like a more manageable figure. Even though it's not.

It hasn't been difficult to delete a lot of the early posts from 2005. This is because they aren't really in my true voice, which didn't fully come on line until early 2006. Plus, I don't have to worry about deleting comments, since there weren't many.

In a comment yesterday, I speculated that the new Gallup numbers (Rasmussen too) suggest that Obama has entered the "cracking stage" of his presidency. If so, we are in for an exceedingly bumpy ride, as his magical aura crumbles and people's primitive anxiety starts to become unhinged (or "uncontained," to use the technical term).

Thus far, Obama has only aggravated all of the problems that got him elected. As that reality begins to sink in, the effect will be analogous to suddenly weening someone from a powerful anti-anxiety medication. Psychiatric drugs can have subtle effects. Only when someone discontinues a drug do they realize all it was doing. And Obama was a particularly potent intoxicant. The withdrawal effects will be significant.

Anyway, here is a post from last January that goes into the dynamics of the four part presidential cycle of strong --> cracking --> collapse --> sacrifice. Is deMause correct about this cycle? I don't know. But I don't really want to be here when it happens.

It also reminds me of Terence McKenna's crackpot theory of the cosmic timewave, which is scheduled to end in December 2012. He said that in the years immediately leading up to then, history would be compressed into a kind of singularity. It would be as if all of human history would be collapsed to point, and replayed in a matter of months.

Looked at in this way, what we are seeing in Iran is an archetypal replay of a story that has been enacted numberless times in the past, only in an exquisitely pure form. The evil of the mullahs is about as pure as it gets -- if "purity" is the right word. Likewise, the cluelessness of Obama -- cleansed of any particles of truth or light by his postmodern indoctrination -- is as pure as Neville Chamberlain's or Jimmy Carter's. Not a good combination.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Progressive Personality Disorder

Still wading through the early days of the blog, and not finding much that sets my thigh a-tinglin'. However, as a general rule, the posts that I regard as mere trifles generate the most traffic. It seems that people come for the insultainment but never stay for the laughty revelations.

The following post is a case in point. According to my site meter, hardly a day goes by that someone doesn't find their way to it. It also occasioned our very first persistent troll, L.A. Larry, and a record number of comments at the time, the majority of which were deleted. Back then, I was naive enough to think that the best way to deal with a troll was to engage them, which only results in repetition compulsion, AKA the Eternal Return of the troll's weird fixations and willful disunderstanding. Yes, the cause of trolls is paying attention to them, as you will learn today.

I just clicked through from one of Larry's comments to his now abandoned blog, and his last posts from 2006 indicate that he was obsessing over telephone surveillance of terrorists and the omnipotence of Karl Rove. Something tells me he's not currently obsessing over telephone surveillance of terrorists and the omnipotence of David Axelrod.

*****

The following is based on a perceptive post by someone named John Moore, which I found through a link to a link on Dr. Sanity's grand rounds of the psychosphere.

It looks as if it were hastily composed in a manic burst of inspiration, but it's so accurate that it deserves wider dissemination. I've taken the liberty of cleaning it up, editing it, adding a number of criteria, and putting it in the actual format of the DSM (the diagnostic manual for mental health practitioners).

I've also taken the additional liberty of altering the name of the condition, from his "Cognitive Disorder of Progressives" to "Progressive Personality Disorder." This is because Moore's nomenclature implies that this is an Axis I condition. These disorders generally involve a short-term change in functioning, such as a time-limited anxiety or depressive disorder. In short, Axis I conditions usually involve temporary states, whereas Axis II conditions involve quasi-permanent traits.

Axis II is primarily reserved for the Personality Disorders, which are much more difficult to treat, as they involve enduring patterns of maladaptive thought, behavior or emotion that lead to either significant functional impairment or subjective distress -- for example, Paranoid, Narcissistic, or Borderline Personality Disorders. When a person suffers from a personality disorder, much of their condition involves acting out in the world rather than harboring internal "neurotic" conflict within oneself.

As often as not, the person with a personality disorder causes as much or more pain and difficulty for those around them than they do for themselves. Furthermore, it is fair to say that most people with a personality disorder don't ever recognize that they have one. When they come in for treatment, it is usually for some ancillary problem that is caused by the personality disorder, such as difficulty forming stable relationships, identity disturbance, poor self esteem, impulsivity (e.g., with regard to sex, drugs, spending, etc.), sexual identity confusion, meaninglessness, depression, etc.

Ultimately their problem doesn't revolve around the "content" of their mind so much as its very structure. Typically, an individual with a personality disorder has damaged psychological structure as a result of early childhood experience. And the damaged structure typically takes the form of inability to auto-regulate in one or more areas, such as emotion, self-esteem, impulse control, mood, or identity. Rather than treat their condition, such a person may demand that it be regarded as "normal," and that people adapt to them.

For example, in California, it is against the law to discriminate against men who want to pretend they are women, which means that the state forces us to accept the abnormal as normal, the perverse as healthy, and to propagate this lie to our children. But anyone who thinks it is appropriate to expose children to such perversity shouldn't be allowed around children, let alone run the educational establishment

But personality disorders virtually always involve inducting others into the patient's psychodrama as an intrinsic part of their condition. Therefore, politics is the ideal forum for anyone with a personality disorder. In the field of politics, such individuals are given sanction to act out various conflicts in an entirely insight-free way -- indeed, as an alternative to insight. Remember, their mission is to force others to regard their abnormality as normal, e.g., the intrinsic absurdity of "homosexual marriage."

Politics truly is a sort of show business for the unattractive -- the psychologically unattractive. And you can well understand why the Democrat party would attract such people, because unlike conservatism, it does not mainly consist of ideas but of promises made to various constituencies of dysfunctional losers, weirdos, cranks, misfits, and malcontents. It is the party of the Unhappy who imagine that the state can make them happy.

But obviously it never works. Rather, because that breast doesn't actually produce milk, it only provokes more greed and envy toward the breast. So it is no surprise that Obama is in the process of creating the largest breast that has ever existed. But if it actually succeeds in appeasing the hungry mouths of the left, I promise to stop blogging forever.

******

DSM-IV 301.95 PROGRESSIVE PERSONALITY DISORDER

A. A pervasive pattern of progressive political thought and action, rooted in discredited leftist (neo-Marxist) beliefs, beginning in early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by at least five of the following (individual must be at least 18 years of age to qualify for the diagnosis of Progressive Personality Disorder, as many of the criteria are age-appropriate for adolescents):

1. Utopian thinking: A delusional belief that there exist simple, linear, side effect-free solutions to all social problems. (Note to clinician: please differentiate between mere historical ignorance, e.g., a doctorate in history from an elite university, vs. psychotic delusions of grandeur or adequacy.)

2. Anthroplastic ideation: The delusion that behavioral conditioning performed by the government or some other collective will cure all behavioral and social problems, rooted in denial of fixed human nature. Implicit in this delusion is the idea that human beings are infinitely malleable and subject to behavioral manipulation leading to perfect control and predictability. Free will, personal conscience, and objective morality are denied, devalued or denigrated.

3. Anti-theistic rebellion: An emotional antagonism to the Judeo-Christian tradition, rooted in an abnormal persistence of adolescent rebellion (may also be related to the need to avoid counter-arguments that would question utopian, anthroplastic ideation). This behavior ranges from a mere antagonism to Christianity to a hatred of all forms of religion. The rejection of religion leads to a deep longing for a messiah and master. (Generally the more Western a religion is, the more it is despised. Thus, these patients may openly accept more primitive pantheistic, neo-pagan, or animist belief systems, such as Wicca or fraudulent "new age" philosophies, e.g., Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins, etc.)

4. Naturist delusion: The belief that mankind is evil and nature is benign. The incidence of this symptom is inversely related to practical knowledge and experience of nature. Collective self-hatred is a feature in this area, paradoxically existing side by side with egomaniacal omniscience, e.g., ability to accurately predict weather 100 years into the future. Typical thinking includes the paranoid belief that mankind is a cancer on earth and that the planet (subjectively felt as a "feeling being") will "retaliate." The naturist delusion includes considerable cognitive dissonance, since the typical Progressive Personality is a believer in natural selection, which has resulted in untold suffering and cruelty, mitigated only by mankind's presence.

5. Environmental spasm: Chaotic, unreasonable, or incoherent episodes of manic activity on behalf of the environment or "mother nature." The delusional nature of this activity is evidenced by the misanthropic attacks on all works of man, and also by the manic focus on visible or totemic biological objects of little actual worth. The patient is typically obsessed only with cute or cuddly creatures, often a displacement of the nurturing urge (which is not infrequently unfulfilled due to abortion). Such patients may show more concern for the President swatting an insect than waving aside the concerns of millions of human beings living under tyranny and crying out for help.

6. Control obsession: The tendency to strive for excessive control over others through state intrusion. A contemptuous projection of the unconscious oral envy into anonymous others (the mythic "little guy"), which is subjectively experienced as "compassion." Through the magic of this unconscious mechanism, the very people who want the state to appropriate your wealth can imagine themselves to be generous and "compassionate," irrespective of how they actually treat real human beings.

7. Racist/feminist hypocrisy: Passionate advocating of government-enforced discrimination based on sex or race, while aggressively proclaiming opposition to policies which are "racist" or "sexist." Obsession with conformity of thought within a racially diverse population. For example, such a person might favor seating a racist on the Supreme Court, so long as the person is of the "correct" race.

8. Overemotional perception: Excessive concern with how a social action "looks" or "feels," to the exclusion of actual effects in the real world, in particular, any effects beyond the immediate. Resistance to, and denial of, objective evidence proving the adverse consequences of progressive policy. Superficial cognition about most matters of significant import, as the progressive personality relies on the "feel" of issues rather than truly understanding them. Obsession with "fairness" or "social justice" as opposed to what actually works.

9. Sexual dysfunction: Significant anxiety about sexual matters, manifested as:

a. Obsession with sexual and gender roles.

b. Passionate celebration of nontraditional sex roles and preferences.

c. The compulsion to define individuals by their "sexual preference" and to design social policy as if all individuals share the obsession.

d. An inordinate interest in preserving inappropriate, lewd, perverse, or antisocial forms of sexual expression.

e. Fascination with immature or deviant expressions of sexuality; reduction of human sexuality to animal sexuality.

10. Replacement of patriotism with matriotism: Unwillingness to defend country when attacked or threatened. Allied with inability to name or recognize evil. General devaluation of the masculine virtues.

11. Cultural and moral relativism: The fervent belief that all cultures are beautiful except one's own, and that it is immoral to judge another's morality unless they are conservative.

12. The belief that an eagle egg or four-toed salamander is entitled to more legal protection than a human baby.