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.



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.