Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Obama the Tyrannical Medicine Man

In the book C.G. Jung Speaking -- a compendium of print and radio interviews with the famous psychoanalyst -- several of the interviews go into his take on the phenomenon of fascism, which was all the rage in the 1930s. His impressions are quite casual and off-the-cuff, perhaps the closest we'll ever get to knowing what it would be like if Jung were a blogger, or if he were tweeting the run-up to World War II.

It's another book I haven't looked at in maybe 15 years. I remember the precise moment I purchased it, because it was during a psychology convention in San Diego. As usual, I was bored out of my skull, and was desperate for something to divert my mind. There was a Barnes & Noble next door to the hotel, and this book looked like it would be interesting enough to keep my attention, but not so challenging that it would be impossible to comprehend in a room full of yapping psychologists.

It's amazing how low the profession has fallen since these interviews were conducted. I have a lot of problems with Jung, but at least he was a serious man. Now when the media want an opinion, we have mediocrities, frauds, and sociopaths -- oh my! -- such as Dr. Phil, Wayne Dyer, and Deepak Chopra. Of course, we do have the great Theodore Dalrymple, but how many people know of him?

Bear in mind that back in the 1930s, fascism was not yet a dirty word. It was simply a designation, not an accusation. If you had called goddinpotty (our current house troll in charge of trolling) a fascist back then, he would have said, "uhhh, so what. What's your point?" Conversely, there was a time when democracy was a bad word. Indeed, our founders were well aware of the inevitable pathologies of direct democracy. This is why Allitt (outstanding book, by the way) refers to the Federalist Papers as the first "American conservative classic."

Back to Jung. There is an interview from 1936 entitled The Psychology of Dictatorship. In it, he casually lumps Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, and Roosevelt together, calling them "tribal rulers" (bear in mind that this was well before Hitler and Stalin were known for their genocide rather than their politics). He points out the truism that the intrinsic chaos and disorder of liberal democracy evokes its own reaction in the form of enforced order. This is why leftism not only requires a crisis to seize control, but manufactures them in order to do so.

Look at Obama. Instead of having some problems in the healthcare system that could be easily addressed by free market solutions, we have a "healthcare crisis" that justifies his revolutionary transformation and state appropriation of the whole system. Likewise, the bogus "climate crisis" justifies the state taking over energy. The economic crisis -- AKA the business cycle -- justifies our children's children going into debt in order to pay off all of the liberal special interests designated in the notorious porkulus bill. And next year, the "immigration crisis" will involve making the crisis go away by turning the immigrants into legal and reliable Democrat voters.

Liberty is a terrible thing. Clearly, it is not natural. This is something that those of us who do cherish liberty sometimes fail to understand. In reality, human beings crave security. This is why conservative classical liberalism is always such a tough sell, because it promises you nothing except to protect your liberty. On the other hand, leftism promises you everything but liberty (except, of course, the liberty to murder your fetus, or sodomize your brother, or be a parasite on another man's productivity, etc.).

Again, Jung is not being the least bit inflammatory when he casually reveals that "I have just come from America, where I saw Roosevelt. Make no mistake, he is a force" with a "perfectly ruthless mind" and "the most amazing power complex, the Mussolini substance, the stuff of a dictator absolutely." Please note that in the 1930s, not only was "fascism" not yet a bad word, but neither was "dictator." Many on the left were calling for a "benign dictatorship" to seize control of the economy and set things right. And anyone who objected to this was redefined as "right wing" -- even people to the left of Roosevelt, such as Father Coughlin!

In fact, this is precisely when our political terms were inverted, so that classical liberalism was now considered "right wing," whereas illiberal authoritarian statism became rebranded as "liberal." Marxists became the "revolutionaries," whereas classical liberals -- the real revolutionaries and liberators -- now became "reactionary." This is how we have the absurdity of a goddinpotty, who brands those who oppose fascism as fascists. President Bush liberates Iraq from fascism. Then he's a fascist! You don't want the state taking over you're healthcare? You're a poorly dressed or well-dressed nazi! Etc.

Jung suggests that there are two types of dictators, the "chieftain type" and the "medicine man type." Hitler clearly falls into the second category, in that he is a "medium" who doesn't so much make policy as reveal it. It is closer to dreaming than discursive logic.

No, for the last time, we are not suggesting that Obama is Hitler. However, I think it is pretty clear that he is the "medicine man" type who simply rules by decree. None of his major positions are well thought-out, to such an extent that even an average (conservative) college student can poke holes in them.

Next comes an interview from 1938 with the breezy title, Diagnosing the Dictators. This raises an interesting point. Yesterday, Rick asked me what I thought would happen to Obama as his popularity dwindled and he was exposed as the empty suit that he is. Not too long ago, Obama was a very full suit. But what was he full of? Yes, himself, that's a given. But that wasn't entirely self-generated.

Rather, it was puffed up from the truly extraordinary projections of his starry-eyed cult. The moonstream media repeatedly refer to his "rock star appeal," and this is indeed the case. I remember exactly what it felt like to elevate rock stars into gods. It can still be something of a shock for me to read about what they were actually like -- how truly pathetic most of them actually were. The god was obviously in me, but merely projected outward.

But I was a kid then. Imagine being an adult -- David Brooks, Peggy Noonan, Colin Powell, Christopher Buckley -- and falling for this? John Lennon once sang, "God is a concept by which we measure our pain." I would agree with him, except to specify that the false god is such a measure. Thus the corollary, "Obama is a concept by which we measure our spiritual emptiness." Today, millions of people are waking up to the emptiness as if from a trance. Except it's not "as if."

Note what Jung says, for I think it's right on target: "the medicine man [is] not strong in himself but [is] strong by reason of the power which the people project into him" (italics in original). He has no intrinsic power, but only that which is funneled through him as a result of projection.

When you experience real power, you can know the difference in an instant. I think of a Schuon, who radiates real vertical power from the center outward. He is like a mountain, whereas Obama is like a mirage. You could put your hand right through him. Likewise, "Hitler as a man scarcely exists." "He is not a man but a collective. He is not an individual; he is a whole nation" (of projections).

He contrasts this with Stalin and Mussolini, who had a real power and presence. Except that it was a primitive and demonic presence: "Stalin is just a brute -- a shrewd peasant, an instinctive powerful beast." Mussolini suggested a kind of physicality that was both sexual and powerful. Perhaps the closest analogy in terms of that kind of energy would be JFK. In fact, had he not died, one could well imagine the left nominating JFK Jr. on the basis of his sexual charisma alone. He certainly had nothing else to recommend him.

But Hitler "belongs in the category of the truly mystic medicine man." His mysticism "makes him do things which to us seem illogical, inexplicable, curious and unreasonable," but which obey his inner voice. Jung talks about the revival of the Teutonic cult of Wotan, which is symbolized by the swastika, a revolving form making a vortex ever toward the left, or toward the unconscious. All of the symbols of National Socialism were intended to sweep up the nation "in a hurricane of unreasoning emotion."

I think this helps the explain the Obama healthcare hurrycon, in which he is trying to con the public into radical change by hurrying us up beyond all reason, before there is even a 1,000 page bill for no one to read or understand. It's just what the Medicine Man ordered, whatever it turns out to be.

More casual political incorrectness: "Hitler's 'religion' is the nearest to Mohammedanism, realistic, earthy, promising the maximum of rewards in this life, but with a Moslem-like Valhalla into which worthy Germans may enter and continue to enjoy themselves. Like Mohammedanism, it teaches the virtue of the sword."

Oh, and how is it possible to treat these fascist patients, Dr. Jung, since they don't even know they're sick? "I dare not tell him to disobey his Voice. He won't do it if I do tell him. He will act even more determinedly than if I did not tell him. All I can do is attempt, by interpreting the Voice, to induce the patient to behave in a way which will be less harmful to himself and to society than if he obeyed his Voice immediately without interpretation."

And how to save the liberal democratic U.S.A.? "It must, of course, be saved, else we all go under. You must keep away from the craze, avoid the infection.... America must keep big armed forces to help keep the world at peace, or to decide the war if it comes. You are the last resort of Western democracy."

Monday, August 17, 2009

Our First Black President?

I don't know if I'm quite ready to make the transition from fascism back to Maximus, especially because I'm pressed for timelesness this morning. It reminds me of Keith Jarrett, who says it takes him several months to switch from jazz to classical and then back to jazz. I wouldn't say it takes me several months to transition from the profane to the sacred, but at least several minutes.

But then again, the whole point of what we've been discussing is the sacred -- or pseudo-sacred -- nature of fascism. Like any counterfeit, it couldn't exist without the real thing. This is again one of Berman's central points, points that are lost on those who stand to most benefit from them, i.e., that fascism is a secular political religion that draws upon many of the same energies as real religion, except with a very different goal in mind. For the fascist, the state is god. It is the embodiment of the people, and the authoritarian leader is the incarnation of the state and the voice of the people.

This is why fascists always stress unity. For example, when American liberal fascists talk about diversity of race or ethnicity, they actually mean conformity of ideology: white Marxists, black Marxists, lesbian Marxists, transgendered Marxists, etc. By no means does this primitive diversity extend to black conservatives such as Thomas Sowell, Clarence Thomas, or Condi Rice, or conservative latinos such as Miguel Estrada or Speedy Gonzalez.

In the past, I have discussed this in terms of the two very different types of unity. If you want to get to the deepest deep structure of the enduring problem of fascism (a word which we probably shouldn't even use, because it obviously freaks out the fascists), this might be it, for it is really the distinction between the "absolute absolute" of God vs. the "absolute relative" of fascism, or scientism, or metaphysical Darwinism, or an other ism that pretends to be absolute.

At this point, I'm so short on time that I think I'll just republish the earlier post, but update and edit it to remove some of the less incendiary passages:

The difference between conservative liberals and reactionary leftists is that they worship different gods -- or more precisely, they have entirely incompatible understandings of the meaning of One. There is an irreconcilable distinction between these two Ones: there is a left One and a right One -- or more precisely, a higher One and a lower one.

In Meditations on the Tarot, our Unknown Friend uses a visual image to conceptualize the problem. Imagine two cones placed base to base, one pointing up, the other down. Thus, similar to Miss Anne Elk's groundbreaking theory of the brontosaurus, this object has one point at the top, a much thicker part in the middle, and then another point at the bottom. The image is UF's; it belongs to him, and he owns it. I'm just borrowing it.

Now, get the image of a brontosaurus out of your mind, and imagine this object as a sort of crystal. At the top is the “white point” where pure light -- which is the synthesis of, and potential for, all colors -- enters. As the light moves down toward the equator it becomes more and more differentiated into the various colors of the spectrum, until they reach their maximum degree of separation and intensity at the equator.

Moving further down, the colors begin to merge and blend until, at the bottom point, they once again lose all of their distinction. But here they become black, which represents the blending and confusion of all colors. As such, there is one sort of synthesis or Oneness above (the white point) but an entirely different kind of oneness below (the black point): O vs. Ø. So too are there different kinds of men at the summit and nadir. We call these ʘ and ⊗, respectfully and disrespectfully, respectively.

The white point is analogous to wisdom (also love, for reasons that are soph-evident), for it represents the underlying unity of all the different types of knowledge available at the equator. It is where the light of divine love breaks out into the maninfestation and where beauty is the splendor of the true: "All that is true, by whosoever spoken, is from the Holy Spirit" (St. Ambrose).

In contrast, at the equator, all of the individual colors represent various disciplines and sciences, which appear separate but cannot actually be, on pain of cosmic incoherence and therefore no cosmos at all, only a chaosmos. If there is any truth, there is All Truth as its sponsor. This you must know, my children.

This image symbolically discloses the central purpose of this blog and of my book, both of which are mine and belong to me. Indeed, this is what I was hoping to convey in the book's full title: One Cosmos Under God: The Unification of Matter, Life, Mind and Spirit. (I would have called it One Cosmos Under O, but you have to read the book in order to know about O.) That is, the synthesis of all our seemingly contradictory truths lies “above,” toward the white light of wisdom and love, not below, swallowed up in the black point of matter and tenure.

If two seemingly contradictory things are true -- say, the Book of Genesis and the theory of evolution -- then their common source of truth must be found above, not below. There is surely a way to resolve the contradiction, but not by finding an "integral compromise" between the two at the equator, much less by simply confusing and blending them together below. This is why we are not an "integralist." Rather, we are an absolutist, and the integrity takes care of itself. But by no means could one ever begin with the parts and then integrate them into the Absolute. This would be folly, since the whole is not only prior to the parts, but is their very ground and possibility.

For example, teaching intelligent design as an adjunct or alternative to natural selection is simply adding another color to the equator. Even worse, teaching it as the only truth would take both the Creator and science down to the black point, merging and blending science and metaphysics in an unWholesum way. The whole point is that metaphysics is not an adjunct to science, but its very context, and without which it has no meaning whatsoever. None.

In fact, this is what is done in the Islamic world. Yes, they have intellectual and spiritual unity there, but it is the bad unity of the black point: One Nation Under God’s Hobnailed Sandal, so to speak. The identical thing happens in the secular totalitarian world of the left, where diversity of thought is not permitted. What we want is to allow maximum diversity but to synthesize it at higher level, not eliminate it on a lower one: this is the meaning of One Cosmos Under God. (And again, "synthesize" may be misleading, since this unity is not actually a synthesis, being that it is prior to separation; and yet, no synthesis of any kind would be possible in the absence of this prior unity.)

Ironically, the secular left in America regard their fellow religious citizens as an incipient Taliban who wish to enforce a black-point unity, when the opposite is true (allowing of course for a handful of religious fascists who no doubt exist). We wish to liberate man from the cramped mayaplicity of the equator into the spacious unity at the top. It's what liberals do. We liberate.

But for the secular left, there is no white point above or black point below. Rather, there is only the equator, where we all live in our beautiful, diverse cultures and subcultures, none better than any other: multiculturalism, moral relativism, no objective or "privileged" truth. And yet, multiculturalism and diversity are enforced from on high, despite the fact that the left supposedly does not recognize the existence of morally superior cultural perspectives.

Nowhere is this more evident than in their bullying efforts to redefine marriage. A command economy is bad enough, but a command culture is even worse. The left is all about dictating the nature of culture, but this is to destroy culture, being that culture is an organic, interior unity that grows from the ground up over a period of centuries. True, there is a "top-down" aspect of culture, but that has to do with the preservation of vertical energies, not with the purely egoic dictates of spiritually untutored leftists.

In reality, the left is enforcing their absolute black point god, but simply denying it. They don't really care what culture you're from, so long as you are absurdly committed to diversity as an end in itself, and intolerant of any other view. This is nothing less than the unwholly god of the black point flexing its tenured muscle while pretending to be just another beautiful color in the rainbow. For example, Deepak Chopra, a major Obama supporter and one of the most prominent fascist God-haters of the left, believes that only people with secular values should even be allowed to vote:

"There never will be, and never should be, a religious reason to pick one candidate over another.... In an ideal world that would never happen. Supernatural beings aren't citizens.... To anyone who holds a serious regard for the Constitution, voting your faith should be a private matter, not a public one.... There's an urgent need, as Obama recognizes, to heal the fracture lines. The electorate will be healthier if he can undo bitter partisanship, and God can go back to knowing everything but not pulling a lever in the voting booth."

Never mind that Obama has spent the vast majority of his adulthood in a bitterly partisan, racist, paranoid, and delusional religious cult. He'll unify us! And never mind that the Constitution specifically forbids the state from interfering with the freedom of religion.

The left has gradually eroded the unifying power of our shared culture. They are ashamed of our Americanism, and would prefer that we all be sophisticated "internationalists," which is again to have no culture at all. In the 11.03.08 National Review, Michael Knox Beran writes of how the postmodern anticulture fails "to give people the tools they need to amalgamate disparate experience and perceive what the Greeks called the 'wholeness' of life." Instead, the alienated secularist "seeks consolation in various and always inadequate intellectual and spiritual opiums on sale in the philosophical markets," from bloodless scientism to intoxicated Obamism and everything in between. Obama's "healer-redeemer qualities" attract the irreligiously religious, but seriously creep out the rest of us.

In reality, there is no absolute system at the equator that can synthesize knowledge and explain our existence. There is only diversity and contradiction there, which is as it should be. Otherwise there would be no creation, nothing separate from the Creator. However, it is only the white light above that illuminates and unites everything below. We must maintain an allegiance to the absolute white light that is reflected in all the relative truths at the equator, not to this or that relative or half-truth enforced absolutely by leftist medullards from below. For that is how the beautiful rainbow devolves into a ugly and dictatorial reignbelow.

Only in this sense will Obama be our first truly black president, being that he will be the first to have lived his entire life within the black point of the left. Everything that comes out of his ghastly piehole betrays his allegiance to this sinister god of secular nihilism.

As UF writes, "Peace is unity in diversity. There is no peace where there is no diversity, and there is no peace when there is only diversity." Do you see the (white) point?

Importantly, the peace at the white point above is not Christian peace per se, because it transcends the creation (and the [L] link between creator and creation). Yes, it is possible to detach from the herebelow and drown oneself in transcendental nirvanic peace, just as it is possible to detach in the other direction and enforce the false hegemonic peace of the Islamists or the false nihilistic peace of the left (remember, both Isl'am and t'enure mean "surrender"). These are not really points of peace, but rather of the "death of diversity and the conflicts that diversity can produce." Ironically, only at the equator is real peace possible, the peace that passes understanding because it unifies from above. This is the peace that oversees our understanding.

The Hermit "knows how to say 'no' to the tendencies aiming at false peace -- those of transcendental indifference, subjugation and nihilism -- just as he knows how to say 'yes' to everything which aims at the true peace of unity in diversity."

So, just say yes to nobama, or no to Øbama. Better yet, just be ʘ to ⊗.

Oh, and the new symbol for fascism? How about .

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Left Wing Pagan Gnosticism and Other Boyish Peccadillos

In discussing the genealogy of liberal fascism, we're getting an interesting variation of cousin Godwin's law, whereby the trolls themselves loudly insist that they are not Adolf Hitler -- as if that will put the genealogy back in the bottle. I suppose it falls under the heading of "methinks thou doth protest too much." Can't I just accuse people of being totalitarian liberal fascists without them assuming that I'm accusing them of being Hitler?

What? Oh. Right. That's how fascists operate. Accuse the accuser of being guilty of accusation.

Anyway, back to The Twisted Cross, which discusses the deeply spiritual nature of fascism, which is first and foremost a secular gnostic political religion.

Speaking of which, I wanted to briefly mention a point. As you all know, I was once a leftist myself -- HEY, WHO ARE YOU CALLING STALIN?!!! -- which it is almost impossible not to be if you are as educated as I once was. You don't even have to think about it, because you simply pick it up through kosmosis by spending so many moons in the rarified error of that lunar 'batmosphere. Eventually your common sense is eclipsed.

It's not just that all of one's professors are explicitly liberal. It's the way they implicitly think about the world -- the problems they notice, the questions they ask, the topics they emphasize, the things they exclude or take for granted, the jokes they make, the things that cannot be joked about, etc.

But if you are intelligent, you don't just leave it at that. Rather, you want to dig a little deeper. This, I believe, is where the gnostic element of (-n) fits in. What makes human intelligence human (and often all-too-human) is our ability to see beneath the surface and unify phenomena on a deeper level. But obviously it is possible to not only get things wrong, but to do so in a systematic way, e.g., Islamism, scientism, atheism, phrenology, etc.

This I think is why leftists always believe such conspiratorial nonsense. In my case, because I knew that there was more to reality than met the eye, I began reading things by Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Edward Herman, Michael Parenti, Eric Hobsbawm, the Frankfurt School of psychopolitical loons, you name it. I didn't even know that these people were Marxists, nor would I have cared if you had told me. I subscribed to The Nation and thought it was actually "objective." I listened to Pacifica radio. I even contributed money to them! How will I explain this to God?

What made it all so seductive was the gnostic element -- the idea that I knew what was really going on beneath the surface of politics. For a godless intellectual, it provides you with the key to the world enigma, or perhaps the business end of the world enema. But if you don't destroy your soul in the process, you soon notice that this "key" only gives access to a dead and repetitive world of compacted fecal matter. Really, it's more of a hammer that reduces every problem to the same dreary nail: power. Corporate power. Class power. Race power. Gender power. Able-bodied power. Heteronormative power. Phallic power (guilty!).

In the end, it's an all-purpose tool that works not because it actually opens anything, but because it smashes it. This is one of the reasons why the left doesn't create anything. Rather, it can only destroy. It cannot create a medical system. Rather, it can only socialize and vampirize an existing one. It cannot create wealth. It can only redistribute it. It cannot create a wonderful group like the Boy Scouts. It can only try to destroy it in court. It cannot create a beautiful institution such as marriage. It can only erode it by redefining it out of existence.

It reminds me of this post about the romanticism of Woodstock at American Thinker. The boomer-left regards Woodstock as some sort of important cultural-spiritual moment (you should hear how they talk about it on PBS, perhaps similar to how a Muslim talks about his pilgrimage to Mecca). But as the author writes, it was really just "five hundred thousand or so young people getting high and watching some bands. That's about all there was to it. They got high, goofed off, made a mess, and then went home and left a pile of trash for someone else to pick up. A real new world creation."

Not that there's anything intrinsically evil about it. There is a place for irresponsible fun, especially when one is young. Just don't elevate it to a metaphysic.

But "Somehow, the fact that The New World that was being created was totally dependent on the Old World's sanitary, transportation and economic structures was totally ignored by the media and the 'Counter Culture.'"

The problem is that "Leftists, being the simpletons that they are, tend to make life-long friends with their basic assumptions about the universe rather than continually updating their thinking as new data become available. They lock in on a mindset and never again question it, like grade schoolers deciding on their favorite color, or flower, or ice cream flavor. Woodstock imprinted strongly on the non-thinkers. They imagined this magical world of fairies and elves and LSD and pot and Jerry Garcia and Janis Joplin and this big evil edifice that is America."

The point is that in order to live in fairyland, someone has to defend the country. Someone has to pick up the trash. Someone has to raise the next generation. Someone has to actually create wealth and employ people.

The pagan aspect of Woodstock -- and of the counter-culture in general -- is no coincidence (bear in mind that the "counter-culture" is now the culture, and that cultured people such as yourselves are now the counter-culture). Indeed, so permeated with romantic mythology was this event, that it would have been appropriate if the film had been directed by Leni Riefenstahl.

Referring again to Coming to Our Senses, Berman quotes H.G. Baynes, who observed in 1941 that "the present division in Europe has to do with the pagan-Christian conflict," and that National Socialism was "the shadow of Christendom." Hitler regarded Christianity as a "civilized veneer that had suppressed a true, pagan Germanic culture."

The essence of paganism is the denial of transcendence, while the essence of fascism is the tyrannical suppression of transcendence.

But like the unconscious, the transcendent can't actually be denied. Rather, it can only be split off and projected elsewhere. The neo-pagan simply locates transcendence within immanence, which results in everything from the gaia-worship of the environmental hysterics, to the sanctity of feticide, to the blood fetish of the diversity mongers, multiculturalists and race-baiters. Instead of the world being a window into the transcendent, it is a doorway into the mud. This is why leftism isn't so much a movement as mere "movementism." It never really gets anywhere, but the fun is in getting there and wallowing in it.

This is not to say it isn't fun to jump into the mud, especially when one is young. This is why leftism is always a children's crusade, including, of course, those permanent children known as the tenured. If voting were restricted to the people who are actually forced to pay for government, an Obama wouldn't stand a chance. But the youth vote ensures a kind of tyranny of the irresponsible over the responsible, the young over the mature, the takers over the makers. Imagine if you ran your family that way!

As Goldberg writes, "Historically, fascism is of necessity and by design a form of youth movement.... The exaltation of passion over reason, action over deliberation, is naturally a youthful impulse. Treating young people as equals, 'privileging' their opinions precisely because they lack experience and knowledge, is an inherently fascist tendency, because at its heart lies the urge to throw off the 'old ways' and 'old dogmas'...."

In short, leftism is an ahistorical blast from the past because children are.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Negative Mysticism of the Left

I first came across the idea of liberal fascism as a political religion almost twenty years ago, although I naturally didn't put 2 + 2 together at the time, since I still was one. It was hidden in a book called Coming to Our Senses: Body and Spirit in the Hidden History of the West. I probably haven't looked at the book since then, and just spent ten minutes rummaging through the stacks deep within the bowels of the slackatoreum to find it. At this point, I don't even know if my recollection is accurate, or whether I'm just making this all up. Let's find out, shall we?

Here we go, chapter 8, The Twisted Cross. It begins with the following statement by Hitler:

Man is becoming God -- that is the simple fact. Man is God in the making.... Those who see in National Socialism nothing more than a political movement know scarcely anything of it. It is even more than a religion: it is the will to create mankind anew.

Now, the first thing that occurs to me is Athanasius' quip -- echoed by many Christian fathers -- that "God became man so that man might become God." However, the two obviously mean it in very different ways. Interesting that they are using the same words to say opposite things. For the Christian way is based upon profound humility, in keeping with the kenotic God who emptied and debased himself in order to glorify himself and man, whereas "nazi divinization" would be based upon promethean man absurdly elevating himself beyond his station.

One is naturally also reminded of Sri Aurobindo, especially since this is his 137th birthday. He too believed that man was a "God in the making," but what a difference! Let's meditate on some lines from his epically epic, free-verse visionary poem, Savitri:

A Nature that denied the eternal Truth...
Hoped to abolish God and reign alone...
Engendering a brute principle of life
Evil and pain begot a monstrous soul....
A shadow substance into emptiness came,
Dim forms were born in the unthinking Void
And eddies met and made an adverse Space
In whose black folds Being imagined Hell....
Accustomed to the unnatural dark, they saw
Unreality made real and conscious Night.
A violent, fierce and formidable world,
An ancient womb of huge calamitous dreams,
Coiled like a larva in the obscurity....
It was the gate of a false Infinite,
An eternity of disastrous absolutes
An immense negation of spiritual things


Etc. It goes on in that vein for a dozen or so pages. To call it "poem" is a bit misleading, at least in the contemporary sense of the word. However, in ancient times, poets were thought to be "seers" who made direct contact with the spiritual world. In Aurobindo's case, he is simply piling vision upon vision in describing what he sees. You might say that he is attempting to disclose the deep structure of the cosmic spiritual forces that oppose the Divine.

Anyway, back to Berman. He says that beneath National Socialism was "an ecstatic phenomenon, the return of the repressed pagan (mystical/heretical) tendencies that had been buried by official Christendom for centuries." Thus, it was "a secular version of the [spiritual] ascent phenomenon." In short, it is (↑) in the absence of O.

Berman correctly points out that nazism was not an intellectual phenomenon guided primarily by ideas, since "ideas, in and of themselves, are not capable of unleashing energy. To do that, something else must be present." As we know, conservatism is about ideas, whereas liberalism is about feelings. Like fascism, it is "not a coherent system, but a leap from despair to utopia." Obama is just the most recent incarnation. He has merely plucked a mask from the ancient gallery, as Jim Morrison would say.

Missing from mere intellectual ideas is the factor of "psychological salvation." By definition, a genuine conservative would never seek salvation in politics (I'm excluding illiberal paleoconservatives such as Pat Buchanan, who are a different story), whereas a secular leftist never stops trying.

Berman describes fascism as a "gnostic phenomenon" or "redemption psychology." People are not intellectually convicted by fascist ideas. Rather, it is "because of their immediate existential situation -- a situation of cosmic meaningless and futility, followed by the emergence of a form of secular, or political, salvation."

We know that magic formed a major part of the Nazi program, in the form of "lighting effects, public rituals, symbolic imagery, and Hitler's own spellbinding oratory." These actually threw people into "a light (sometimes not-so-light) trance" powerful enough to set their corpulent thighs atingle. Hitler didn't yet know about MSNBC hosts, but nevertheless "recognized, instinctively, a religious need on the part of the masses and he responded with a gnostic political program" involving ecstasy, ascent, salvation and redemption.

Berman describes people who underwent "Damascus-like" experiences in their conversion to fascism. It is safe to say that few were convinced by its shifting and contradictory ideas. It was much more visceral than that. He cites research based upon hundreds of autobiographical accounts, documenting that in about 60% of cases, there was "a lost self that was finally saved by stumbling upon National Socialism or hearing a Hitler speech." These people spoke "in terms of a dramatic moment, or a moment of illumination, that moved them from aimlessness to self-organization and self-discovery."

Now, for a radical secularist, demons and hostile forces no longer exist. Therefore, a substitute must be found in order to make the religion "complete." Enter the Jews and the magic of "ritual slaughtering" in order to redeem the earth and secure ultimate salvation. No properly Christian person could believe such nonsense, and Jung was the first to recognize that "Christianity was alien to German religious thought, and that the true god of the Germans was the Teutonic deity of Wotan."

Interestingly, Aurobindo also recognized this in a poem called Children of Wotan, in which he writes of "the hammer of a new creation,"

A seed of blood on the soil, a flower of blood in the skies
We march to make of earth a hell and call it heaven....
We march, lit by Truth's death-pyre, to the world's satanic age.


To be continued....

You should not think of it as a fight for certain nations against others... It is a struggle for an ideal that has to establish itself on earth in the life of humanity, for a Truth that has yet to realize itself fully and against a darkness and falsehood that are trying to overwhelm the earth and mankind....

It is the forces behind the battle that have to be seen and not this or that superficial circumstance... It is a struggle for the liberty of mankind to develop, for conditions in which men have freedom and room to think and act according to the light in them, and to grow in the Truth, grow in the Spirit.

There cannot be the slightest doubt that if one side wins, there will be an end of all such freedom and hope of light and truth, and the [spiritual] work that has to be done will be subjected to conditions which would make it humanly impossible; there will be a reign of falsehood and darkness, a cruel oppression and degradation for most of the human race such as people in this country do not dream of and cannot yet realize.
--Sri Aurobindo

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Extraordinarily High Negative IQ of Obama

Reader William has an interesting idea about "the Marxist frauds who people the academy. I’ve come up with the concept of negative IQ for people who know lots of stuff that is the opposite of truth. These folks no doubt all have very high negative IQs."

Oh my yes. I've posted on that subject in the past, except in different terms -- for example, the idea of (-K), or "negative knowing." Ultimately, you might simply say that Ø is the first principle from which all bad philosophy flows. For us, the first and last principle is always O, the alphOmega, the Ultimate unKnowable Reality.

However, to say "unknowable" can be mystleading, because we mean it in the apophatic sense, through which unknowing becomes the highest knowledge; or let us say a "self emptying" that prepares us to be "instructed by God," as it were. (I just discovered that there's actually an Orthodox word for this roundtrip God-to-God knowledge: theodidaktoi.)

Also, as we have been discussing, although O cannot be known directly, we can certainly know its energies, (↓) -- which, in a way, is true of anything, even a rock. After all, no one actually knows what a rock is. Rather, we can only know about it. But knowing about it is more than enough to get you through the day, just as knowing about God is more than enough to get you through life.

Now, any kind of materialist or Darwinist or radical secularist is necessarily living in a kind of fantasy land, since they begin -- and therefore end -- in Ø. Thus, in the ultimate sense, all of their (K) is automatically rendered (-K). You could file it all under the heading of Whitehead's fallacy of misplaced concreteness.

For example, I just encountered this problem in The Philosophical Baby, which is highly unracooomended because it frames all of its (K) in terms of Ø, which in the end strips the subject of its profundity, or vertical depth.

Really, it's a kind of attack on vertical linking, so that the author's interior deadness is transmitted to the reader, which has the function of tamping down wonder. Certain highly provocative roads are automatically foreclosed by the tenured, in that they could never have gained tenure had they ventured down those roads. This ideological Darwinism explains how the deeply philosophical baby grows up to become the philosophomoric Berkeley professor.

Do I need to cite examples? In my margin notes I use the symbol (-?!), which, as you might guess, is the opposite of (?!). I use it when I encounter something that is so provocatively stupid, that it reaches mystical (or mystagogic) depths. And it is a kind of "reverse gnosis," or (-n), as we will be discussing below.

Let's see... How about this sloppily projected jumble of half-digested metaphysical nonsense about human knowing: "methods of experimentation and statistical analysis seem to be programmed into our brains even when we are tiny babies. Very young children unconsciously use these techniques to change their causal maps of the world. Those programs allow babies, and so the rest of us, to find the truth" (emphasis mine).

Where to even begin? Frankly, I don't think I want to dwell on it. But if one of my students suggested that human beings are programmed by natural selection "to find the truth," I'd probably slap him upside the head with my zen stick. Good thing I don't have any students. Or a zen stick.

I mean, two pages later she breezily affirms that "a hundred years or more of scientific study of the brain has convinced almost all philosophers that everything we experience" is reducible to the brain. Well, first of all, so what? Truth isn't a democracy, much less an authoritarian democracy of the tenured.

But more fundamentally, isn't that what science does and scientists do? It's like saying that "one hundred years of baseball has convinced almost all umpires that pitched baseballs are either balls or strikes." It's just a silly tautology dolled up as a philosophy. Thus, "scientific psychology tells us that we can't explain inner consciosness by saying that there really is a mysterious self that we look at with our inner eye..." Oh really? Who just said that? That thing that's programmed for truth? I'm confused.

Also, as you might expect, the book is larded with the (-K) of political correctness, for example, this clinical inanity: "We can predict that legislature for enriched preschools will lead to fewer crimes, just as we can predict that legislating for controls on carbon dioxide emissions will lead to fewer hurricanes." Wha -?! I must have missed that one. Man can legislate fewer hurricanes. Who knew?

Must move on. Again, the subject is a profound one, but you're much better off reading the works of a deep thinker such as Allan Schore.

Anyway, back to William's point about the negative IQ of the left. This got me to thinking. It's not just their negative IQ that causes so many problems, but a kind of very real "negative mysticism."

In fact, I would suggest that the latter is far more problematic, as it is responsible for the truly mass movements of liberal fascism. I think it's axiomatic that Obama could not have been elected without this tsunami of negative mysticism, or -O. Note as well that the people leading the charge were the so-called intelligentsia, i.e., those founts of (-K) in academia and the media.

This immediately reminded me of Chesterton's comment that when a man stops believing in God he doesn't believe in nothing; rather, he believes anything. I was trying to google the exact quote, but in so doing, found this little gem that applies to our subject: "Democracy means government by the uneducated, while aristocracy [insert rule by liberal elites] means government by the badly educated." This is why for the Raccoon, it generally comes down to a choice between the stupid party and the evil party.

Another brief asnide. We have heard many stories about Obama's vaunted intelligence. First of all, I've never seen it, but then again, my standards are admittedly high. But in my opinion -- and I mean this quite literally, not as mere insultainment -- I believe that Obama is the most ignorant man who has ever been president, at least in my lifetime. What I mean is that, whatever his native intelligence, it has been maimed and distorted as a result of his postmodern education. In short, he is filled to the brim with (-K).

I was reading the other day of how JFK was the first president born in the 20th century. Similarly, Clinton was the first baby-boomer president. The really ominous thing about Obama is that he is our first president who is the product of the postmodern educational establishment, which didn't really gain control until around 1980 or so (Obama would have begun college in the fall of 1979, if I'm not mistaken).

Therefore, the problem isn't just that Obama is "wrong." If only! Rather, it's that he arrogantly knows so many things that just aren't so, and that he flourished in a wackademic environment in which this way of thinking was encouraged, nurtured, and praised. No wonder he's such a moron. Every day he unleashes some kind of crazy remark that you just know he must have picked up in college. But since he's only ever associated with those types of scoundrels, he has no idea how offensive he is to normal people.

Thus, for example, Obama was the first president to ever even think about groveling around the world on an "apology tour." But this is nothing that any liberal academic wouldn't do. Likewise, when Justice Sotomayor made her "wise Latina" crack, she was uttering something so commonplace for the left that it hardly merits comment. Nor did Obama think anything of it. A large part of Obama's free fall has to do with his naively making various comments that reflect his leftist values. Surely he is intelligent enough to know that the leftist must always lie about his true beliefs and intentions.

Darn, I wanted to get into the "minus O" of liberal fascism. Maybe tomorrow.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Man: The End of, and Escape from, Evolution

I woke up quite early this morning, so I actually have time to think. Let's get this party started!

In a subtle passage, Balthasar writes that man "lives himself into God and lives God into himself; in that sense, he becomes a 'part of God.'" This mutual transformation occurs in a kind of bipolar space which God "opens up to man." Within this space, "man's divinization takes place through the love of God" and "God's hominization takes place through the love of man."

I don't know which is more shocking, the (↑) that potentially results in the divinization of man, or the (↓) that makes possible the hominization of God.

But in any event, it is clear that (↑) and (↓) must be necessary reflections of one another, for each implies the other. And since we are not God, we must conclude that (↑) is already a form of (↓); in other words, our aspiration toward God is already God; it is certainly a grace, and grace can no more be separated from God than daylight from the sun.

This would also imply that man-as-such is already Christ -- in potential -- even before the appearance of Jesus in time. If this were not the case, then Jesus could not have become man, nor could the Incarnation have benefitted him.

Thus, if you really want to understand (↑) and (↓) in their fullness, then you have to picture them as interconnected, like a spiraling circle. Then, widen this circle to encompass all of creation, and you have an accurate symbol of the cosmic procession and return, or involution and evolution, or creation and salvation, or Incarnation and Resurrection. And you will begin to intuit how man is the realsymbol of this metacosmic process.

In other words, man could not "return to God" unless it were already possible to do so. The path must be there, even before no one has taken it. Obviously we couldn't make the passage on our own, any more than dead matter could simply "come alive" one fine day, or monkeys could arrive at the theory of relativity.

As Balthasar writes -- and this should be a truism -- man is ontologically incapable of "the fulfillment of its own intelligible structure without at the same time reaching out toward what is other than itself," and "without loving the infinite reality that lies at the root of its own radicality." In other words, "fulfillment of the creature within the world's terms is unthinkable." Man is made for transcendence; not only that, but transcendence in love (which are two sides of the same coin).

I haven't yet gotten too far in The Philosophical Baby, but this is something Gopnik hints at (even though she is a materialist who, like virtually all Darwinians, doesn't understand the implications of her own scientific findings; still, I'm pleased that science is slowly catching up to coonical pslackology and confirming our wildest spookulations about the human baby being the fulcrum of cosmic evolution).

For example, Gopnik writes that "If our nature is determined by our genes, you would think that we would be the same now as we were in the Pleistocene" -- that everyone would think like Keith Olbermann or Bill Maher. But "The great evolutionary advantage of human beings is their ability to escape from the constraints of evolution."

Huh?

Talk about a non-falsifiable (and therefore unscientific) theory! Violation of the theory is proof of the theory. This verges on leftist logic, e.g., "crime down despite increased rates of incarceration," or "black families destroyed despite welfare," or "medical expenses out of control despite government intervention," or "government revenues down despite tax increases." Leftism too is unfalsifiable, which is one of its great appeals, for it means never having to say you're a sorryass.

Later she discusses infantile bonding and attachment, and notes that "All the processes of change, maturation, and learning depend on love" (emphasis mine). "Parental love isn't just a primitive and primordial instinct, continuous with the nurturing behavior of other animals."

Why yes, precisely! But what is the nature of this ontologically discontinuous thing we call "love?" I'm afraid we won't find it in this book. But that's okay. We can easily assimilate scientific truth into a higher synthesis, whereas the reverse is impossible.

Back to reality. Now, hominization is already divinization -- which is precisely what it means to say that man is deiform, or "in the image of the Creator" -- not just his mind, mind you -- which is obvious -- but his body as well.

This latter point is something that was emphasized by Schuon, that is, the "traces of divinity" that illuminate the human form. This is a key idea, as it can help to rescue one from the kind of dead-end Darwinism or philosophical cul-de-slack that constrains Gopnik. That is, some things come from "below." Other things come from "above." There are terrestrial and celestial energies, and if you cannot distinguish between them, then you are what we call "lost in the vertical." In Gopnik's case, she realizes that love is discontinuous with natural selection. But she has no paradigm to account for it, so it just hangs there suspended, like something hanging there suspended.

The human being doesn't just transcend the animal mentally and spiritually, but physically. I was thinking about this the other day. Think of a man raised in the wild by other animals. He has never shaved, had a haircut, or worn clothing. He scrambles about on all fours; there is no "light" in his eyes, which simply dart about the landscape looking for food or predators. This would not be a man, but something less than a man, a failure to embody the human archetype. Note that from a Darwinian perspective, he would still be 100% human.

But a Darwinian has no way of knowing that man is "the summit of earthly creatures, but also -- and for that very reason -- the exit from their condition" (Schuon). Is that clear? This goes directly to what Gopnik said above about man "escaping the constraints of evolution." You might say that the "escape from evolution" is the fulfillment of evolution, since we have now entered a realm that quite obviously transcends matter.

But as I tried to make clear in my book, this transcendent realm is not formless, any more than the material realm is formless. Rather, it is filled with archetypes that are ontologically (that is, vertically) anterior to our entrance into it. But we cannot expect a committed Darwinian to know anything about this space, any more than we should expect him to know anything about the quantum space "beneath" biology.

"Male and female he created them." No, not Darwin. Rather, as Schuon explains, the masculine body accentuates the absolute, while the feminine body accentuates the infinite. This helps to explain why there are no female "porn addicts," since this is specifically a male problem, i.e., "falling" into the infinitude of the female form, in which a million is not enough.

Obviously, female beauty is "infinite." To put it politely, "the feminine body is far too perfect and spiritually too eloquent to be no more than a kind of transitory accident" (Schuon). Once you realize this, you can gain some degree of control over it. Or, you can spend your life looking for that elusive signified behind the multitude of nubile signifiers. But there's always more where that came from, sucker.

If our humanness were reducible to natural selection, then it could have no finality. Rather, every species would only be "on the way" to something else. But again, man cannot be surpassed, because man is capable of conceiving and knowing the Absolute. Obviously there cannot be a "more absolute absolute." Rather, there is only one Absolute. Therefore, man is the end of, and exit from evolution. Because there is Man, we can know that more primitive forms are descended from him, not vice versa.

Again, man is the "perfect animal," if you like; or, the "imperfect God," so to speak. That being the case, there are necessarily "degrees of perfection." But there could be no perfection at all in the absence of the transcendent Absolute.

In contrast to man, the animal is a "closed book." "The animal, which can manifest perfections but not the Absolute," is "as it were enclosed in its own perfection; whereas man is like an open door allowing him to escape his limits, which are those of the world rather than his own" (Schuon).

In other words, in an odd way, man's perfection is his imperfection. It is only because we are capable of sinking beneath our humanness -- like the animal-man or MSNBC host described above -- that we are capable of transcending it. If you want to have man, you just have to tolerate the unfortunate possibility of olbermann.

Here again, this is something Gopnik describes, but without really understanding its implications (unless the book changes tone rather dramatically later on). That is, it is only our neurological immaturity that makes us fit vessels for divinization. In the absence of that neurological plasticity, we would be like any other animal, basically driven by hardwired instinct.

But this plasticity is not, and cannot be, infinitely open-ended, or there could be no such thing as truth. Thus, man is open and yet converging upon a transcendent reality we call O. And if we weren't converging upon O, man would be a truly pathetic beast, a freak, a monster even. Which, of course, some people are. Some ideologies are the products of these monsters. And the purpose of these ideologies is to create more monsters.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cheating On the Ego and Running Off with Truth

How is it that existence may know of the essence? It's easy enough for a person of average intellect to determine that God exists. But unaided, we cannot know who God is.

Once again I use the analogy of a person. Say a patient comes into my consulting room for the first time. Thus, it is safe to say that he exists. But who is he? What is he all about? What's his story? Does he have insurance? I cannot know any of these things until he tells me.

More or less. You can actually know quite a bit by body language, posture, facial expression, eye contact, body odor. Many people have a gelatinous physique or drooping posture that says "I have given up," or that bespeaks a total lack of discipline or boundaries. To them you want to say, "go away and come back after you've learned to carry yourself like a proper Man!"

One of my rules of thumb is that if someone comes into the office carrying food -- especially while in the act of eating -- it is a sure sign of a boundary disturbance. Such individuals almost always have personality disorders with primitive boundary issues. It is as if there is no ontological distinction between the mouth they use to eat and the one they use to speak.

Again, we see how such disturbances are made possible because of the symmetrical logic of the unconscious mind. In primitive patients, one commonly sees what is called "zonal confusion," whereby, say, the ear becomes a voracious or angry mouth. As you might guess, such a person does very odd things with the words I transmit to them -- similar to what our trolls do -- e.g., tearing them apart with their teeth, swallowing them without chewing, spitting them out, etc.

It is a truism that you just never know what the patient hears, nor how they hear it. You can think you're making one crystal clear point, but they pick out something completely different. Again, communication becomes less problematic as one moves up the developmental scale, from primitive to neurotic to mature and beyond.

So now imagine the unenviable position of God. He wishes to communicate, to be known. But look at the bunch of losers and retards to whom he wishes to communicate! Humans! Of all people! Is it any wonder that the message gets so distorted? Talk about zonal confusion. For a primitive human being, it is the work of an instant to turn the ear into a mouth, an anus, a fist, or a phallus.

Inevitably this is going to sound a bit insane, isn't it? I well remember the first time I encountered such strange ideas (see also here). I skated through my masters program without ever truly penetrating beneath the well-lit space of the ego. It wasn't until my doctoral program that I was initiated into the noncivilized world of the primitive unconscious, mainly because I had an incredibly gifted professor, Dr. Panajian, who didn't just transmit (k) about it, but (n).

In this regard, understanding the unconscious is no different than understanding the supraconscious, for in both cases, experience is what counts. Book learning will only get you so far, and in many cases it will simply mislead. Here again, this is why in my book of the sane gnome I used the abstract symbols to talk about the supramental, for the same reason that Bion used them to talk about the unconscious.

Now, Balthasar makes reference to the "abyss that yawns between uncreated and created nature." Since we are creatures, we know there is a creator. But again, what's he like? We can employ metaphysical logic to understand certain things. For example, the neo-Platonists determined that God had to be "good," and that it was in the nature of the good to communicate itself.

True enough, but this reduces God to a kind of automatic mechanism. In short, it removes his personhood and therefore his freedom. To my knowledge, no Greek thinker ever conceived of God as a person, with all that implies (as opposed to a mythological figure such as Zeus).

Balthasar writes that this abyss "can only be bridged by a free creative act of God, not through some impersonal 'seepage' or -- as the Origenists suggested -- through the sinful disintegration" of the original unity of the ideal cosmos.

Again, it's the same as with any person. We don't just understand them because something seeps out of them, but because of what they choose to communicate. And there are varying levels of communication, from the very public, to the very private, to the intimate, to the secret.

This is why I say that everyone has a public life, a private life, and a secret life. Furthermore, these lives can become detached or split off from one another, when the task is to keep things flowing between them. If your public life has none of your private life, it will be without meaning. And if your private life has none of your secret life, it will be without passion. Etc. This is why rationalists are so boring. For the rationalist, all knowledge is potentially "public" and publishable, when the highest knowledge can't even be put into words, much less reduced to reason.

Certainly God couldn't publicize knowledge of himself with mere words. Rather, he could only do so by "becoming" that which he wished to convey. As they say, the primary teaching is "Christ crucified" -- and all it implies -- not any kind of explicit and unambiguous formula. Indeed, a formula is simply a defense against reality and thought, whether a religious one or a scientific one such as natural selection.

But reality is not like a leftist bumper sticker, such as "War is Not the Answer," "Question Authority," or "Don't Question Obama's Authority." Again, in the final unalysis, it is a person. And how do you understand a person?

Well, first of all you develop a relationship with them, don't you? You invite them in, maybe take them to lunch. Things deepen between the two of you, and then suddenly it goes in an unforeseen direction and you're being unfaithful to your ego. Then the ego gets a little jealous. Recriminations, ridicule, pleas for sympathy, wavering back and forth....

But you've made your choice. You must be strong! This time it's for real.

In this, most elevated sense, the phrase "Be what you are," as an invitation to conform one's existent being to the idea God has of it, is identical with the call to follow the Son of God. --Balthasar

Give me back my broken night
my mirrored room, my secret life
it's lonely here,
there's no one left to torture
Give me absolute control
over every living soul
And lie beside me, baby,
that's an order!
--Leonard Cohen

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

On Touching God

The book we've been focusing on for the past few weeks -- Cosmic Liturgy -- is 400 pages long, and we're only up to page 80. I'd like to move things along if possible. Then again, what's the rush? After all, if it took Christianity 600 years to arrive at this synthesis, surely we can spend 600 posts on it.

I don't know if we need to dwell too long on Maximus' apophaticism, because this is something the average 'Coon already understands so well. He sounds very much like Schuon when he points out that God's "immanent name" is Being, while his "transcendent name" -- which, of course, can only be unSaid -- is Not-being (Schuon would say beyond being). The latter is a kind of "ray of darkness," not because of the absence of light, but because of the surfeit. It's too much light for us to see, so it can look like darkness until one's I adapts.

Put another way, we can know of God's existence but not his essence. And we know his existence by his energies, energies that we know could not have arisen from "nature."

Maximus writes that "as a consequence of his existence beyond being, he is more properly spoken of in terms of not-being." I don't know about you, but since human beings are in the image of the creator, I think of this in the same way I think of another human being.

That is, no matter how close you get to another human being, they nevertheless remain completely inaccessible in terms of a first hand knowledge of their essence. Rather, all you can know of them is their energies -- speech, movement, facial expressions. The latter all accompany the essence but are only analogues, not the real thing.

The miracle, really, is how unproblematic it is (for the healthy person, anyway) to "know" the essence of the other. What I mean is that human beings are able to share their essence with each other in such a way that they don't even know they're completely alone and trapped inside their neurology.

And it is a miracle, which I define as anything that comes about as a result of vertical causation. When two human beings are "together," it's not like a couple of objects brushing up against one another. Rather, we are intrinsically intersubjective -- in my opinion because God is. Again, the Trinity is the very essence of intersubjectivity, and cannot really be understood in any other way.

This is how we might understand certain paradoxical statements, such as "God goes forth out of himself and remains within himself." I mean, this is what I am doing at this very moment. With this post, I am "going out of myself," propagating my energies out into the world. And yet, I obviously haven't left my own head. I haven't actually moved at all. The really weird part is that so many of you are able to intuit my essence through these energies. For others, such as goddinpotty, the energies merely bounce off of them.

One of the most important psychoanalytic theorists was a fellow named R. D. Fairbairn, a brilliant man who helped psychoanalysis move from a one person inter-objective model to a two person intersubjective one. I don't want to get too pedantic here, but for Fairbairn, the essence of psychopathology lies in how well the person can manage their intersubjectivity. The project is intrinsically hazardous, because we obviously cannot do so without the assistance of other human beings, especially the Mother.

Think of our consciousness as a kind of infinite abyss. We are born into this abyss with no points of reference, nothing to hold on to, no way to convert it to "thought." In order to be a successful parent, you must be able to reach way down into the infinite subjectivity of your baby and help them form a map of reality. Conversely, it is easy enough to deny their subjective depth by treating them as an object.

Over the past four years, I've been able to spend a fair amount of time around parents who do this to their children, and it always makes me wince, because they are laying down barriers for the child's self-exploration and self-knowing. Yes, it can be regained later, but usually it is not (Fairbairn called it the "schizoid position"). I believe this is why so many people are so boring. Seriously, how many real live wires do you meet in a year? You know, people around whom you feel more alive, more free, more creative. Most people have the opposite effect.

This is something I noticed even -- or perhaps especially -- as a child. Why did so many grown-ups appear so dead, while others were so full of life? This is one of the reasons why I instinctively recoil from most leftists, as they are every bit as tedious as our current troll. What is political correctness but a kind of soul-crushing parental wet blanket that forecloses various avenues of thought, and therefore being?

Fairbairn pointed out that for the infant, the non-responsive parent cannot be understood in terms of an "absence." Rather, it is understood as the presence of something bad, i.e., a "bad object." This object is unconsciously internalized by the child, and forms the basis of what I call mind parasites.

A mind parasite is actually an "object relation" that consists of three parts: the subject, the object, and the affective link between them. Furthermore, because of the symmetrical logic of the unconscious, the person can at different times identify with either pole of the relation. This is something I see virtually every day in my practice. I could give examples, but I think you get the picture. It is why the liberal victim is always a bully, and vice versa.

The point is, what we call "reality" is actually a vast intersubjective space. And your ability to think deeply about it will partly depend upon the depth of your own intersubjective space. This space has no limits. Rather, any limits are only in your head. Thus, for example, to say that "God doesn't exist," is not a statement about God, but about one's own intersubjective space, which is unable to breach the walls of its own self-imposed limits.

But it's not just a religious problem. Many people are unable to truly love. Why? Because they are closed off from the intersubjective ground without which love could not exist.

Most of us have experienced this state, for example, if you have ever been truly depressed. "Sadness" is only an effect of depression. In my opinion, the real basis of it is a kind of exile into a hellish domain that loses its intersubjective depth. One can neither reach "in" nor "out." Nor can anyone else reach in. A friend of mine is going through this at the moment, and I'm doing what I can to help her through it, because one of the most bewildering aspects of depression is that one loses all of the familiar signposts that only exist in intersubjective space -- passions, hobbies, interests, etc. Without this passionate engagement with the world, there is only a kind of dis-oriented living death.

Hmm, how did we get here?

Oh yes, the intersubjective nature of God. How can one person have a vivid, passionate and life-affirming relationship with God, while for another, God doesn't even exist?

I guess at this point that's kind of a rhetorical question. I know that my four year-old already has a passionate relationship with God, even though I do nothing to impose any kind of top-down dogma on him. Rather, I help him name and explore his own spontaneous awareness of God. And as you parents out there know, it's just about the sweetest, purest thing you can possibly imagine. It cannot fail to render one misty with the old unshed, as my man Jeeves would say.

Why is that? Because, to paraphrase UnKnown Friend, tears signify "contact" between one plane of consciousness and another. It's literally touching.

Monday, August 10, 2009

When Infants Attack! On Reality and its Adversaries

I only have time for a speed post, if that. But my day doesn't feel complete if I don't write something. For me, it's more than just blah-blah-blogging. It's my primary verticalisthenic exercise.

Oddly, having a readership is important, even though this is primarily between me and O. I haven't formulated the exact dynamics of it, but there must be some sort of trinitarian aspect to it. In the absence of community, the verticalisthenics might devolve into a kind of binary narcissism. The sharing is intrinsic to the experience. It must be given away immediately. Or inflicted, depending upon where you stand.

It is also interesting that I have devoted readers for whom I do not write and who cannot benefit from my writing, since it either doesn't penetrate them or bounces off their opaque psychic substance -- for which they then blame me. You will have noticed that our trolls are always angry and even bitter. It's odd. They habitually seek me out in order to misunderstand my message so they can nurture their misplaced anger toward me. A psychologist would call this "madness."

I am always drawn to light and to depth, irrespective of the source. It's like a cold animal being drawn toward heat. As I've mentioned before, doing so can pretty much constitute the Raccoon path. Just follow the light and the depth and let the rest take care of itself. To a large extent you can't do anything else anyway, any more than you can make your muscles bigger by thinking about them. Rather, in the latter case, all you can do is engage in the conditions that will allow your muscles to grow. In short, you just lift weights and the muscles will automatically grow without you having to think about them.

Truly, spiritual growth is something that happens while you're busy doing other things, mainly just living. But living in a certain way. Once you turn around and orient yourself to O, then everything becomes an occasion for growth. But the growth is "microscopic," so to speak, until a certain threshold is reached, somewhat like filling a cup with water. The cup is either filling up or overflowing, even though you haven't changed your behavior. One day you just notice water all over the floor.

Schuon writes that the Christian way is essentially a "way of Grace," i.e., (↓). However, (↓) has an "outer" aspect and an inner one; the former is much more general, propagating itself "in the largest measure possible" -- even, I might add, to those who are not aware of its operation. If God's grace were to stop for one second, we would be reduced to animals. Atheists should be careful what they wish for, because in the absence of grace, everyone would look like Bill Maher, or Keith Olbermann, or goddinpotty -- and that's on a good day!

In other words, even a disreputable lowlife such as Bill Maher is the unwitting recipient of a kind of "residual grace" that infuses Christendom. In his own perverse way, he does care about truth and decency, except that in his inverted world the good becomes bad and Truth becomes the lie. If your world is fundamentally inverted, extra effort will only result in taking one further from the Source. Is this not obvious?

This is why there is no necessary relationship between intelligence and wisdom, and often an inverse one. If intelligence is not in service to a Truth that is anterior to it, you end up with -- obviously examples abound, but let's say Paul Krugman. One can assume Krugman has a higher than average IQ, but it is in such total service to an a priori Lie, that the result is indistinguishable from severe mental illness.

No, I am not attempting to diagnose an individual from a distance without examining him. But if I were treating such an individual, naturally I would not fail to notice his distortion of reality. Such distortion may superficially appear "passive" -- as if he has simply overlooked something -- when it is usually quite active, the result of an unconscious "attack on linking," as Bion called it. Such attacks are actually quite ferocious, but since they are unconscious, the person doesn't realize the extent of their rage. Picture a dog violently shaking something in its jaws. It's like that.

And why are they so enraged? Again, we can only speak in generalities, but it usually has something to do with the failure of reality to comport with infantile fantasy. Naturally this is something with which we all have to deal, and to which we must all reconcile ourselves. We all harbor "traces of omnipotence" resulting from our primary identification with the Great Mother. No matter who you are, irrespective of time or place, this is the land from which all humans have journeyed -- either successfully or not.

Infantile omnipotence is only given up reluctantly (even while there is a parallel drive toward autonomy and individuation). All perceptive parents are aware of this. I certainly see it in my four year-old, and it's a fascinating thing to behold. One of the important tasks of parenthood is to ease this transition, to not make it too abrupt on the one hand, or to overly indulge the child on the other hand. This is what the great psychoanalytic theorist D.W. Winnicott called "good enough parenting." The child must be "let down easy," so to speak. Err on one side and the child is traumatized by reality; err on the other side and he will be unable to face it.

The consequences of failure to properly individuate are increasingly well understood, not just by attachment theorists (who primarily rely upon infant-mother observation), but by developmental neuro-psychoanalysts such as Alan Schore (difficult) or Dan Siegel (easy).

I realize this will sound disingenuous to some, but I'm really not trying to "pathologize" my ideological adversaries. Rather, as I have discussed in the past, I'm simply operating from a developmental model that has a certain idea of what constitutes a healthy human being. Not only will certain systems facilitate or retard human development, but people will generally attempt to construct a system that reflects their level of development. This is why we say that "cultural space" is the instantiation of developmental time.

We just have two irreconcilable visions of the source and destiny of Man, that's all. Bygones!

Oops. Out of time. good DAY!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Liberal Fascism and Omniscient Stupidity

A random post from two years ago. As always, I've edited it, applied some of its insights to current historical tragedies and farces, and tossed in some fresh insultainment.

You might say that this verticalisthenic exercise of revisiting my past allows me hold a conversation with myself, almost like dream interpretation, in which one mode of consciousness dwells in another for the benefit of both. In this case, I'm trying to learn something from the old Bob, even while gently correcting his errors.

One of the enduring defects of leftist thought is that it habitually tries to change the world before it has understood the world -- which is one more reason why it is so cute that they refer to themselves as the "reality based community." Children and leftists say the darndest things!

For the left, politics comes down to one after another failed experiment against reality -- economic reality, historical reality, psychosexual reality, geopolitical reality, and spiritual reality, to name a few. (Speaking of which, this book, Economics Does Not Lie, is highly recommended. Bottom line: it doesn't. I'd love to say more, but I left the book at the office. Virtually every page brims with insights that every free citizen -- in order to become or remain free -- needs to know. But since leftists control education, the last thing they want citizens to know about is the science of economics. Rather, they need you to be innumerate in order to exert economic control over you and thereby expand the god of the State.)

When you think about it, at least half of our "lived freedom" comes in the form of economic activity. Therefore, to engage in economic activity without understanding how economics works is like.... engaging in some activity without understanding how it works. Notice how eager leftist are to, say, educate children about homosexual activity, when so few of us will ever engage in such activity. I'm trying to think back.... No, I've never put any of that stuff they taught me about homosexuality into practice.

Anyway, this compulsion -- and it is a compulsion -- to radically change the world before understanding it has been true ever since Marx, who believed that philosophy had theretofore regarded its task as interpreting the world, whereas its real mission and duty was to transform it. Allied with this cavalier attitude toward understanding reality is an equally ironic "progressivism" that has no stable ground and no transcendent purpose, and therefore easily becomes an arbitrary, anti-human tyranny whose elites march us forward directly into the past.

Look at the current healthcare debate. In America, we have developed the finest healthcare system in the world. How did we do it? Mainly by getting out of the way. In a way, we cannot understand how it happened, because that's how the free market works. As Hayek taught us, there is a near infinite amount of information dispersed throughout the market, which no government and certainly no person could ever grasp, and which is why the "fatal conceit" of top-down leftist economics never works in practice.

But does that stop the statists of the left from wanting to appropriate 17% of the economy? Of course not. They intend to instantly transform the medical system without having a clue as to how and why it has developed the way it has. Think about it. Something that evolved over hundreds of years, and yet, they want us to toss it all aside in favor of a bill that no one has even read yet! Madness.

Part of the madness is based on the idea that people have a "right" to healthcare. But how can one have a right to something that doesn't exist until someone produces it? I'm a doctor. No, not the kind that can tell a perfect stranger to take off her clothes. But you can bet that the left will try to get mental health treatment into universal coverage. What this means is that American citizens will be "entitled" to my labor. It's a right! But how is this different from me being a slave of the state?

When this post first appeared two years ago, I reviewed a laughable Report From Yearly Kos: The Intersection of Science and Progressive Values. In it, the author caricatures science, as if it could possibly arbitrate moral and political issues that intrinsically lie outside its strictly limited purview. See of you can detect the giant epistemological hole the left creates in order for them to slip in the fascism:

"[I]t has fallen to those of us who oppose the direction the country has been heading to simultaneously champion a way of thinking that would have averted so many blunders and disasters: empirical thinking. Scientific thinking. Critical thinking."

This is always the mode of the left: 1) create crisis. 2) insert "experts."

"... [N]ow more than ever before, we're finally waking up to the fact that the practices of science themselves encode a set of values -- a way of approaching the world, understanding it, and acting within it. At its core, it's a world view that is humble about what we know and don't know, flexible about what we do and don't decide to do, and open about admitting past mistakes and listening to contrary opinion. In short, it's the utter opposite of Bush's stubborn, inflexible, unwavering certainty about everything."

Yes, as that fascist President Bush said, "I don't want people who disagree with my takeover of the economy to do a lot of talking. I want them to get out of the way, and I want my fellow patriots to turn their names into the state so they can be properly dealt with."

Ah, humility. Flexibility. Openness to admitting past mistakes. Will the left now humbly admit that their grandiose "war on poverty" has failed, and that, trillions of dollars later, they have no exit strategy for this senseless quagmire? Will they finally concede that economic principles are universal, and that their porkulus bill did nothing to stimulate the economy? Will they acknowledge that the surge in Iraq worked? Will they admit that none of the predictions of the global warming cult are panning out? Will they admit that it's August in southern California, and I'm a little cold right now?

Here is a fine example of the deep scientific humility of the progressive mind. The author opened the panel by "airing some lessons" from his new book, which explores "the scientific relationship between hurricanes and global warming." Hmm, just what is that scientific relationship? Well, it "remains murky and incompletely understood," another way of saying that there is no known scientific relationship.

But that forms no barrier to the leftist, who believes in... science! And... progress! And, most importantly, that manmade global warming causes hurricanes, whatever the evidence shows. Therefore, the absence of proof "hardly means that we ought to throw up our hands and ignore the subject, or simply wait for more research to come in. On the contrary, we have quite a lot at stake." As such, "we have every right to be worried that storms might be getting worse, and ought to move now to better protect ourselves against them."

Remember Marx's dictum about changing the world -- if he were a meteorologist, he might have said, "everybody talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it!"

So let's get this straight. Science is a humble exercise in which we employ empirical thinking and listen to contrary opinion. But in this case, we can't wait for research to come in! There's too much at stake! We must ignore contrary opinion! We have every right to be worried that storms might be getting worse, even though they're not! We must move now to better protect ourselves against them! (I wonder if the author would be gracious enough to allow President Bush this attitude vis-à-vis the far more compelling evidence for Saddam's WMD?)

What lesson does the author draw from his stated need to urgently act on his scientific ignorance? This

"highlights a fundamental truth about most science policy issues: the inescapable fact of both science and reality is that we never know everything, and never will. Yet this pervasive state of uncertainty hardly lessens the moral imperative to take whatever it is that we do know and use it to improve our lives..."

That pretty much sums up the attitude of the left, whether we're talking about global warming or radically transforming the healthcare system: omniscient stupidity. It reminds me of Bion's three characteristics of the psychotic mind: 1) omnipotence, 2) stupidity, and 3) curiosity. Not healthy curiosity, mind you, but a kind of bovine curiosity about things that are perfectly settled and no sane person would question.

If this man's morality is grounded in empirical thought, how does he arrive at an urgent moral imperative based upon murky evidence? Shouldn't it be a murky moral imperative, or moral murkiness? To suggest that we have an urgent moral imperative to act on our scientific ignorance is again about as good a summary of the leftist mindset as you could imagine, for it combines a radical cynicism that destroys traditional values, with an insane moral passion.

Another speaker at Yearly Kos spoke of the distinction between "mundane ignorance" and "virulent ignorance," the latter of which is "the willful disregard for contrary knowledge and opinion in favor of a set of dubious 'facts' that are the result of ideology and indoctrination." Ahem.

The above statement about the limits of science also conflates science and theology. Yes, it is an inescapable fact that "we never know everything, and never will," but that is not the purpose of science. Of course science can never "know everything." As Schuon writes, it is not problematic for science to study a "fragmentary field within the limits of its competence." Problems only arise when "it claims to be in a position to attain to total knowledge" and "ventures conclusions in fields accessible only to a supra-sensible and truly intellective wisdom, the existence of which it refuses on principle to admit."

By definition, science cannot know the Ultimate Real because "it replaces the universal Substance by matter alone, either by denying the universal Principle or reducing it to matter or to some kind of pseudo-absolute from which all transcendence has been eliminated." They forget that information is vertically anterior to matter, and that mind is anterior to information.

Science, properly understood, is an inherently conservative (i.e., classically liberal, not leftist) endeavor. It operates under the metaphysical assumption that there is a hidden order in the cosmos that may be uniquely disclosed to the human intellect, but it proceeds cautiously, builds on its past, respects its own traditions, and is slow to accept radical innovation in the absence of extraordinary proof. But secular progressives are never truly scientific, let alone humble. Rather, they nearly always adhere to the pseudo-philosophy of scientism, which conflates what may be known by the scientific method with the totality of what may be known. And as Schuon points out, scientism redounds to

"a totalitarian rationalism that eliminates both Revelation and Intellect, and at the same time a totalitarian materialism that ignores the metaphysical relativity -- and therewith also the impermanence -- of matter and of the world. It does not know that the supra-sensible, situated as it is beyond space and time, is the concrete principle of the world, and that it is consequently also at the origin of that contingent and changeable coagulation we call 'matter.' A science that is called 'exact' is in fact an 'intelligence without wisdom,' just as post-scholastic philosophy is inversely a 'wisdom without intelligence.'”

The radical change promised to us by liberal fascists is rooted in intelligence without wisdom. If that.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

The Ill Logic of the Left

Do you need to know the whole story? Why not. This old post came to my attention this morning because it generated some automated comments that I had to delete. The title of the post looked interesting -- Marriage Counseling Between Islamists and the Left -- so I reread it. It had potential but needed some work, so I have endeavored here to flesh it out.

In The Symmetry of God, Bomford cites a typical but fascinating example of how the symmetrical logic of the deep unconscious mind applies to three-term propositions. Up to now, we have been discussing the symmetry of two-term propositions, for example, how it is that the left can turn a quintessential patriot such as General Petraeus into a traitor, while transforming their own treasonous beliefs and actions into patriotism.

In terms of conventional, aristotelean logic, this makes no sense -- as indeed so little of the leftist project makes sense. For example, when they dissent, it is the highest form of patriotism; when conservatives do, it is nazism. How can this be? Are they just cynical and calculating? Or is there something deeper going on?

Human beings are not "logic machines." Or, to be precise, there are at least two distinctly different forms of logic that govern thought: the machine-like asymmetrical logic of the conscious mind and the very unmachine-like symmetrical logic of the unconscious (and I believe supraconscious) mind. One of the most important points to bear in mind is that we might believe a person to be illogical, when they are in fact obeying a different form of logic: symmetrical logic (as elucidated by the brilliant Chilean psychoanalyst and logician Ignacio Matte Blanco).

Indeed, this was one of Freud's central insights, that the sick person was actually logical in his own way. One of purposes of therapy is to expose the unconscious logic that is causing pain or dysfunction.

But it is also critical not to automatically "pathologize" all symmetrical logic, as many scientistic, atheistic, or rationalist types do, for without it, we would not be human. Rather, we would be hyper-rational Vulcans with no "emotional intelligence," no interior understanding of things, no ability to comprehend God, religion or art, and no ability to love or create.

In reality, our "humanness" takes place in the transcendent "higher third" that unifies symmetrical and asymmetrical logic. The more "harmonious" this marriage, the more healthy the person. You might say that it gives depth to asymmetrical logic and height to symmetrical logic. Love, play, creativity, and worship would all be impossible without it.

To take an example ripped from this morning's headlines, it is obviously kooky for the left to regard citizens who don't want the state to take over their healthcare as "fascists." For one thing, logically speaking, anyone who wants a smaller and less intrusive government is the polar opposite of a fascist.

But in the unconscious mind, where symmetrical logic rules the night, it is the work of an instant to convert terms to their opposite. This is how we may understand what makes the leftist tick: whatever he accuses others of, is what he is unconsciously guilty of. Thus, when he says, "you are astroturfing," he means "I am astroturfing." When he says "American citizens are behaving like fascists," he means "we and our union thugs are behaving like fascists." When he says "you are a racist," he means "I am preoccupied with race and cannot see beyond it." Etc.

This is nothing new. The left does the same thing with criminals. It makes no sense to a psychologically healthy person, but to an unhealthy person, liberal victimhood is psychologically empowering, because at least it allows the self-proclaimed victim to externalize their subjugation while secretly being responsible for it. Consciously they look like masochists, but unconsciously they have internalized a sadistic part that positively glories in the abuse. This is why self-proclaimed leftist victims are always such bullies. But because they are victims, they can consciously deny their aggression. Who's a bigger bully than Keith Olbermann?

This is also why, for example, Al Sharpton panicked at the idea of Henry Gates and Sgt. Crowley getting along. If there is no hostility between the races, then Sharpton is not only out of business, but he is stuck with his own internal sadist, with no one to project it into. The left must keep racial discord alive. One cannot be opposed to the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor because she is an idiot and a leftist hack, but because she is "Latina." One cannot think that Obama is a socialist joker. Rather, one must be racist.

A leftist can be a typical loser whose failure is entirely self-generated. But proclaiming oneself victim means never having to say I'm a sorry-ass excuse of a human being. Perfect! You oppress yourself all the way to secular godhood, for the victim is the sacred liberal icon who justifies all of their intrusive and oppressive policies. In the liberal world, you are not innocent until proven guilty, you are guilty unless granted victim status, and then you are never guilty.

The victim is the "cause" of the victimizing state that will pretend to rescue him. Thus, in its own self-interest, the state must produce more victims to prop it up. In terms of the present debate, if we are all victims of evil insurance companies, then we need to be rescued by the state. But once the rubicon of socialized medicine is crossed, then we will have fundamentally altered our relation to the state. We will have become a nation of dependent serfs, not free citizens. We really will have become victims.

Things can get a bit more complicated in a three-term proposition. Bomford uses the example of a social worker intervening in a case of domestic violence. Outwardly, it looks straightforward enough: the social worker is rescuing a victim (usually a woman) from a persecutor (usually a man).

However, as Bomford writes, each of the parties may unconsciously experience the intervention as a persecution of the actual persecutor, a bullying of the bully, or "a new persecution from which the apparent persecutor has to be rescued by the victim." In other words, the rescuer (the social worker) becomes the persecutor of the persecutor (the man, who is now her victim), and the victim (the woman) mobilizes her unconscious defenses to become the rescuer of her own persecutor. Both she and her abuser will now see the social worker as the persecutory threat to their dysfunctional relationship.

This pattern is so commonplace, and yet, seems to defy logic. However, it makes perfect sense if you understand that people commonly marry disowned and projected parts of their own psyche. Therefore, in this case, the masochistic woman is married to her inner sadist. If she leaves him, or if he is punished by the law, then her own internal sadist will attack her, resulting in unbearably profound guilt and depression.

But it gets even more complicated. For example, many people are drawn to social work (and to the helping professions in general) because of an unconscious sense of victimization that they try to spuriously heal by projecting into others. This is why these fields (including my own field of psychology) are so overrun by leftist do-gooders with rescue fantasies. The leftist feels victimized by anyone or anything that arouses their tendency to feel victimized. Thus, in the above scenario, on a deep unconscious level the real abuser -- the persecutor -- becomes a sort of rescuer who rescues the social worker from her feelings of victimization, allowing a temporary discharge of victim feelings.

Again, think of the typical leftist activist who is "rescued" from an otherwise meaningless life by entertaining persecutory fantasies of global warming, or "income disparity," or "male oppression," or "racial profiling," or what have you. This explains why the leftist clings to his persecutor long after the persecution has stopped. The left cannot "let go" of George Bush, any more than the radical feminist can let go of her symbolic "rapist" or the Islamist can let go of his Jew hatred, for these are the organizing principles of their own rage and hostility. Six months ago I predicted that the left would be unable to let go of George Bush. I was right. They cannot let go because "he" (their fantasy) is a vital part of them.

Later in the book, Bomford considers the three term proposition of God, Jesus, and man from this angle. Consciously, it is said that Jesus died to atone for man's sins against God. Good enough.

But since Jesus is all man and all God, one possible unconscious conclusion (among many) would be that Jesus (God) died for God's sins against man. This thought is "not permitted" consciously, but it would certainly make sense to the unconscious -- i.e., that the "reconciliation" between God and man works both ways. I am quite sure that this is an example of how the richness of religious symbolism reaches way down into regions of the mind which bypass the conscious awareness of the ego.

Remember, in the deep unconscious, there is no rigid distinction between fantasy and reality. Let's say human beings have an issue with their creator. Let's say they are angry at the existential mess they're in, and that they secretly do blame God for this unfair and unjust world. But you can't express this anger directly, any more than the child can express his homicidal rage toward the parent without fear of retaliation.

In the Christianized unconscious, there may well be the perception that God has "atoned" for this mess by suffering and dying for man, thus balancing the scales, so that we may relate to God in an unambivalent manner. We are purged of our anger toward God. He's paid the debt in full.

I'm not saying that this is the case, mind you. This has to do with man's unconscious perception, not with God per se. Imagine someone from another planet, trying to understand people who wear a little tortured man around their neck. What, are these people sadists?

As a matter of fact, yes. But some of us are forgiven.