Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Irrational Rationalism, Untrue Truth, and Illiberal Liberty

Next up in Logic and Transcendence is chapter three, Rationalism Real and Apparent. This will no doubt require more than one post to unpack, as it is full of vital information that every human being needs to know in order to resist the depredations of the secular idiobots, scientistic matter jockeys, and Darwinian DNA hosts, and their intrinsically anti-human agenda.

Once again I am reminded that Schuon is not only perhaps the greatest religious thinker of the 20th century, but -- and for that very reason -- the greatest humanist. And since his stance embodies the essence of real humanism, it stands to reason that those who explicitly or implicitly oppose it are trying to undermine and eliminate our very humanness. It is again confusing, because some of the worst offenders in this regard are called "humanists" (cf. Dr. Sanity's post on the brave New Enlightenment).

Let's begin with a discussion of the limits of reason. If one fails to understand that reason is grounded in something that transcends reason, one renders oneself intellectually blind and spiritually deaf, or an autodeceiver. As Schuon explains, there are two conditions that always condition the effectiveness of our reasoning, one of which is internal, the other external.

The internal factor is "the acuity and profundity of the intelligence" involved. This factor obviously transcends reason, as it varies dramatically in the human mom & population. Shallow and deep thinkers are equally capable of reasoning. For example, in the hands of a shallow intellect such as Charles the Queeg, reason simply confirms its own shallowness, and searches no further. Reason encircles itself and closes up shop, just waiting for the dirt to fall or fire to consume.

But intelligence is not simply a linear phenomenon, as the one-dimensional measurement of IQ would imply. Rather, intelligence "goes beyond the indirect processes of reason in calling upon pure intellection." A mere rationalist is simply someone who is, for whatever reason, unable to reason adequately in realms that transcend the material.

The second factor that interferes with intelligence is again external. It has to do with "the value or extent of the available information." It is more than just a case of "garbage in, garbage out," because the rationalist systematically excludes whole dimensions of reality in trying to describe reality, most notably, revelation in both its principle modes, i.e., God's vertical messages to the human subject, and the human subject as such.

As we have mentioned many times, the human subject is without question the most astonishing fact of the cosmos, but rationalism would reduce the subject to just one of the items in its vast bag of tricks, i.e., logic. However, anyone but a rationalist knows that logic cannot furnish its own materials on which to operate.

It is a "sign of the times" -- i.e., the Age of Stupidity -- that it is even necessary to point out that not every problem can be solved by means of logic alone. Again, to even attempt to do this is both inhuman and anti-human.

It reminds me of CDs, which have to chop off the top and bottom of the musical signal in order to fit it onto the disc. Yes, it provides a facsimile of the music, but something indefinable is lost in translation, most especially the subtleties of the human voice. This post at American Digest inspired me to appreciate my vinyl more than I do, and it's just undeniable. Interestingly, if you "try" to hear the difference, you may not notice. Rather, you have to just passively listen, and notice the different effect on one's being. It's somewhat like the difference between film and video, but more subtle, since the ears are more subtle than the eyes. But religion is similar, in that it subtly discloses other worlds that will be inaccessible to the substitious materialist.

Anyway, the bottom line is that "all thoroughgoing rationalism is false by definition." Think of the implications of this: truth and falsehood lie outside the realm of mere (small-r) reason, a realm that we can know -- and only know -- a priori. If this hasn't yet "clicked" for you, it will as we proceed. But it is a critical point to bear in mind, especially when it comes to the proofs of God, which can only "indicate" in the manner of a great work of art-- and even then only to a person of good will and sufficient intelligence who actually wishes to understand them.

Another critical point: when intellection is rejected, it doesn't just disappear, any more than an unconscious conflict disappears by denying it. Rather, it is simply replaced by all kinds of crazy things, from Marxism, to metaphysical Darwinism, to Scientology, you name it.

What really happens is that the individual severs himself from the objective world disclosed by pure intellection, and plunges himself into subjectivism. If you are following me, this is the source of the left's perverse forms of "freedom." Really, it is the transgressive freedom to be stupid, evil, or insane, so we really need a different word to describe it. Perhaps "lawlessness." But lawlessness is simply the law of the jungle.

Regarding the profundity of intelligence alluded to above; again, we are not talking about a two-dimensional line that can plot different degrees of smarts. Rather, there are two-dimensional, three-dimensional, and hyperdimensional intellects. Furthermore, the lower dimensional intellect cannot know of the higher dimension except through its products, which will initially appear as either magic or foolishness. But if it can truly grasp the products of the higher dimension, it can begin to assimilate and embody it. This is my [hyperdimensional] body, etc.

This is elementary. One of the joys of watching my son grow and develop is witnessing his slow (actually freakishly rapid) conquest of more subtle dimensions of humanness. It never ceases to amaze. It's quite obvious that he is not simply becoming more intelligent or logical in some linear way. Rather, it's much more a case of whole new spaces opening up to him.

Of course, these spaces need to be mirrored by the environment, or they will simply close up again. The law of pneuma-neurology is "use it or lose it." Many if not virtually all atheists have simply abandoned the brain circuits they need in order to know God. Like any skill, from writing to archery, it requires practice. Only Kim Jong Il and Barack Obama can produce a literary classic with no prior experience at writing.

You are now in the position to understand the ironic fact that pure rationalism does not disclose the objective world. Rather, it eventually "gives way to individualism [the bad kind] and arbitrariness insofar as it is divorced from the intellect." The One Truth is thereby replaced with a multitude of kooky so-called truths. Again, the only way one could believe the fairy tale of metaphysical Darwinism is to live in an eccentric world of pure subjectivity detached from the Real, but reinforced by other spiritual retards.

And it is ec-centric, or "outside the circle," the circle whose center is everywhere because the intellect is. Yes, human beings are without question the center of the cosmos regarded vertically, not horizontally (think of the point at the top of a cone, without which there could be no cone). Horizontally, it is correct to say that there is no center, only periphery, and therefore no truth or intellect. But that just proves the intrinsic stupidity of horizontal intelligence divorced from its vertical source and ground.

Intelligence as such is intrinsically unlimited, and therefore not reducible to the horizontal. Or, if it is limited, who limited it? Who put up the wall, if not intelligence? But if intelligence can wall itself in, it can also transcend the walls it imposes upon itself.

"Hence" -- logically! -- "one of two things: either the intelligence by definition includes a principle of illimitability or liberty, whatever the degree of its actualization, in which case there is no need to attribute limits to it." Or, intelligence includes "a principle of limitation or constraint, in which case it no longer includes any certainty and can function no differently from the intelligence of animals..." (Schuon).

Which is why only the religious man can be free and why the radical humanist is a slave or worse, i.e., a slave trader or slaveholder.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I Know Why the Caged Birdbrain Sings Off-Key

As we've discussed in the past, what we used to call the Real is now considered by most garden-variety intellectuals as abstract, whereas what used to be considered totally contingent and therefore unreal -- i.e., matter -- is now considered to be the ultimate reality. It's similar, I suppose, to how the illiberal left is misleadingly called "liberal," whereas freedom-loving classical liberals are now called conservative.

And no, that wasn't just a gratuitous pimpslap. Rather, I think the reasons for the switch are similar, for the essence of conservatism is belief in a transcendent and permanent order to which we owe our primary fidelity, whereas the essence of leftism is rejection of the transcendent and allegiance to matter, i.e., to a single level material ontology.

That being the case, the leftist is absolutely committed to maya, hence his inability to think coherently or to reason on the plane of virtue. Obviously there are plenty of intelligent leftists. But for the vertically challenged, it is a matter of garbage in, garbage out: first comes maya; then comes angelou.

As Schuon explains, the transcendent order is "perfectly accessible to pure intellection." Far from being abstract, it is the most concrete thing imaginable, because it is not subject to change, and is "always there."

In contrast, matter is always changing. You might even say that it is "change as such." But the essence of intelligence is "the capacity to discern 'substances' through 'accidents.'" Thus, to insist that the accidents are more real than the substance "can only be described as a kind of philosophical codifying of unintelligence."

As you can see, this warps intelligence itself, for in reducing it to a reflection of matter, you have undermined its very reason for being. By supposing that intelligence is contingent, you have sundered it from truth, from substance, from the eternal.

Obviously, the reason intelligence can know the substance is that it shares in the substance. Ultimately the intellect is made of the same truth it is able to discern in accidents. To know truth is to exit contingency and to touch eternal being.

Truth, like freedom, is always there, waiting to for us to "enter it," so to speak. Schuon cites the example of a bird that has escaped from its cage: "we say it is free; we might just as truly say that freedom has burst forth from a particular point of the cosmic carapace or that it has taken possession of the bird, or again that it has manifested itself through this creature or form." What he means by this is that freedom is anterior; it is "that which is, which always has been, which will always be." In contrast, liberation is "something that occurs."

For example, we liberated Iraqis so that they might know freedom. Closer to home, America's founders liberated us (tried, anyway) so that we might live in freedom. Here again you see the problem. For the left, freedom is not a priori; rather, it is conferred by the state. But the state cannot confer freedom and other valuable prizes to one person or group unless it appropriates them from another. It cannot "give" healthcare unless it "takes" labor, capital, research, innovation, and Slack.

It reminds me of that sign you sometimes see in small businesses: quality, speed, low price. Pick any two. That pretty much summarizes what will happen with socialized medicine. Only in freedom can the three achieve their natural equilibrium and Death Panels (by any name) be avoided.

You will have noticed that nothing incenses the left more than when one of their victims has escaped from their cage and a point of liberty has been realized in the cosmos. They especially despise blacks and females who are actually free, for they are a painful reminder that real freedom is still possible. This is the real reason they so despise a Clarence Thomas or Sarah Palin. How dare they not be dependent upon brave and kindhearted liberals who struggled for tenure to give them their freedom!

Existentialism -- by which Schuon means all philosophies that deny essence -- is a "monstrous contortion" that presents "the commonest stupidity as intelligence," "disguising it as philosophy while at the same time holding intelligence up to ridicule, that of all intelligent men of all times." Only an intellectual class that has forgotten how to think could ever embrace a philosophy as barren as materialism: "All down through the ages to philosophize was to think; it was left to the twentieth century not to think and to make a philosophy of it."

Now naturally we cannot know absolute truth, or else we would be God. In other words, possession of absolute truth would be identical to the thing in itself, which is impossible in any realm. Rather, we are always dealing with the question of adequation. So long as we are relative beings, there is no absolutely adequate formulation, and to imagine there could be is "the most fruitless of occupations." In the end, religion provides a more than adequate framework for human understanding of the divine planes, but it cannot bridge the gap between God and man on its own.

Rather, that remaining gap can only be diminished by faith on the one hand, and grace on the other. This creates a kind of spark in the dark that undoes that disagreeable business that took place in the park.

Further problems result from man severing his ties with his transcendent source. When that happens, standards obviously go out the window as well -- not just intellectual standards, but aesthetic and moral standards as well (for truth can never be tossed overboard without drowning love and beauty in the process).

This is why, as Dennis Prager always says, the left is the party of compassion rather than standards. But to throw away standards is actually a profoundly uncompassionate act, for you have eliminated man's reason for being and condemned him to a meaningless scuffle for animal satisfactions. Compassion regards "the average as the norm" whereby mediocrity becomes the rule. How could mediocrity not be the norm in a culture devoid of higher truth?

But man always seeks transcendence, and if he cannot escape "from above" he will do so from "below." Thus, mediocrity soon descends into artistic decadence, intellectual vulgarity, and moral degeneracy. This is why Schuon says that these "narrow-minded protagonists of the concrete" usher in "the most unrealistic and most inhuman" forms of politics. They may look like mere change chumps, but they're really quite dangerous. Not to mention expensive.

(The Schuon quotes are found in Logic and Transcendence.)

****

Good intentions backfire if one is mired in untruth. Roger Kimball:

'But what about the malevolence? It all depends on what you mean by “malevolence.” When you calculate a quantum of evil, do you look only at intentions? Or do you also take into account the effects of certain actions, regardless of the intentions of those who brought them about? (Hint: we have here a road paved with good intentions: where do you suppose it leads?) I think the commentator Jim Cramer was onto something when he lamented that “We’ve elected elected a Leninist” whose “agenda is destroying the life savings of millions of Americans.” Was Lenin malevolent? He didn’t think so. He thought he was laboring on behalf of the poor and disenfranchised. Many Western intellectuals believed him. True, his policies — like socialist policies wherever they’re imposed — led to vast immiseration, loss of freedom, and the growth of an unaccountable ruling nomenklatura. But he didn’t mean to precipitate misery: he meant to bring about paradise on earth.'

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Truth and Me: A Love Story

This is instructive, for "what is a bad man but a good man's teacher?" In a post about the cause of stupidity -- which is obviously intelligence, since the reverse could never be true -- our stupid troll naturally takes exception to my certainty of this. He mentions no objection to the actual content, only to my bobnoxious certainty.

This is odd for a couple of reasons. First, isn't it self evident that whatever I say, I believe to be true? But this is precisely the absurdity of the relativist: there is no truth, and that's the truth!

You know the old dadactic gag, "this is not writing."

Second, no relativist actually believes his own BS, otherwise why get angry about someone else's BS? If relativism is true, then it's all just BS by another name, and power is all that counts. But you will have noticed that you never hear relativists say, for example, "there is no 'right' to abortion, for how could anyone be certain that a fetus is not a human being?"

In my experience, liberals are quite certain of the rightness of keynesian economics, or of moral relativism, or of multiculturalism, or of government mandated racial discrimination, or of "climate change," or that freedom of choice in primary education is a bad thing, or that all murderers should be kept alive at taxpayer expense, etc. If you disagree with the left, you're not just wrong, but a well-dressed bedwetting nazi racist employed by the insurance companies.

Nuance!

For the record, I never write anything of which I am not certain, or which I have not personally tested and experienced. You perceptive readers out there will have noticed that I never "get ahead of myself" and begin opining about things that are above my praygrade. When a spiritual writer does this, the phoniness always comes through.

This is one of the ubiquitous dangers of the occult. People can have all kinds of "spiritual experiences" of limited domains. But as a result of ego inflation, they take a little knowledge and then begin spouting off about things they couldn't possibly know. A giveaway is that their "system" will be unique to them, instead of generally comporting with what the great saints and sages have always said throughout history (cf The Spiritual Ascent). (Either that or it won't be a system at all, just an ad hoc jumble.) You will have to take much of what they say on faith, instead of being able to arrive at it independently.

Having said that, I do believe it is possible to go too far in the other direction, and to overemphasize the universal at the expense of the particular. This is one of the areas with which I would respectfully disagree with Schuon, but I am perfectly willing to concede up front that I may be wrong about this. What I mean is that I am not attempting to innovate, or to deviate from perennial truth and come up with my own system. Again, I am not L. Bob Gagdad.

Rather, I am simply attempting to convey the old truths in a new way. And not just a new way, but an utterly unique way, being that I am utterly unique (as is everyone else). This is how it is possible to simultaneously discover universal truth, even while discovering one's unique and particular self.

Do you see what I mean? Normally those two things -- universal and particular -- would stand at antipodes. But in the spiritual ascent, it is possible for the one to be a reflection of the other. One might even go so far as to say that there is no universal, only individual instances of it. For example, there is no separate platonic ideal of a table, only actual instances of the ideal instantiated in all of the diverse tables. So there's no ideal, even though there is.

Again, by far the best analogy I've found for this is real jazz. Jazz deals with a universal aesthetic, but the individual jazz greats do not converge toward this ideal and all sound the same. Far from it! The greater the jazz artist, the more unique his conception and his sound.

Indeed, this is one of the reasons I love jazz. The greatest masters create their own musical world, and yet, it is still within the tradition. It still respects a universal aesthetic, even if it is sometimes difficult to hear this when they are starting out. For example, Thelonious Monk sounded "radical" in the 1940s, but by the early 1960s he was on the cover of Time Magazine. He already sounded a bit old-fashioned, even though he was still cutting edge.

So two things will always come through in my writing: truth, which I hope is timeless, universal, and impersonal. And me, which is obviously personal and I hope at least entertaining.

Look at it this way: you can take the same standard from the American songbook -- say, Witchcraft -- and listen to it played by Liberace, or a Nordstrom pianist, or by Monk. Each will play the same song. And yet, it won't be the same song at all, because for the jazz pianist, the song is simply the basis for improvisation. But no matter how much he improvises and departs from the melody, he is still within the deep structure of the song. You might say that he is spontaneously exploring the hidden implications of the song's structure, which is why jazz is "the sound of surprise" -- including for the artist.

Now, as I go through this book by Schuon and blog my thoughts, this is precisely what I am doing. I am simply taking his rather stately and somber melody, and jazzing it up a bit. Making it swing... a TOE-tapper.

Would Schuon say that I am a common and vulgar man? No doubt. I don't need Traditionalists to remind me of this. But he would probably say that about America in general and certainly about jazz. Truly, it's an American thing. I just love America and the whole idea of America, which I see as spiritual through and through. That, of course, is where the politics comes in, because I want to preserve an America that treasures its jazz tradition. Especially in theology.

That was meant to be a brief intro. Oh well. We only have a little bit more to go in chapter one of Logic and Transcendence, The Contradiction of Relativism.

Ah, perfect segue! Schuon goes into the four essential limitations or "infirmities" of the soul, one of which touches on the issue I raised above about the universal and the particular.

We begin with the Big One. Yes, we are not God. We are "creature, not Creator, manifestation and not Principle or Being." I am certainly aware of this. In fact, only the godless can be unaware of the fact that they are not God, which is one of the great sources of their mischief.

Two, we are not angels. We are not celestial beings but terrestrial ones. We are not at the top of the vertical hierarchy, nor are we at the bottom (at least at the outset of our lives). Rather, we are somewhere in the middle -- which, of course, goes to the issue of free will, as we are suspended halfway between our better and worse selves. A saint is a man who has more or less succeeded in elevating himself to the border between 2 and 3. Thus, he is like an angel on earth.

Third, -- and this is the one I touched on above -- I am me and you are you. We are different. Thank God! And I mean that literally, for our individual differences -- at least for the Christian -- are not accidental or contingent. Rather, our differences are essential. For those of you with more than one child, this is obvious. The differences are a blessing, not a curse. Every face is unique, and yet, a member of the human family. God has counted every hair on your head. We're all different to him (which is the source of our differences, in that we are different ideas of God). And yet mankind is one.

Fourth are the differences that are not essential but contingent. These are the mind parasites. They are "accidental infirmities" that cause a man to sink beneath himself. The problem with a mind parasite is that it's not you, only pretending to be. It is a difference that is from earth (or lower), not heaven.

Now, you can see the mayhem that results if we don't keep these categories straight. The leftist -- because he turns the cosmos upside down and inside out -- begins with #4, and then elevates it to the highest good. Again, this is why the Democrat party is the party of eccentrics, cranks, weirdos, freaks, perverts, misfits, losers, reactionary rebels, rebellious conformists, and the generally noncivilized.

But by the same token, no one can have failed to notice that a certain type of conservative can pretend to be #2 at the expense of #3, so that he ends up being a dogma-spewing robot with no uniqueness about him. I'm sure you know the type. They scare many people away from religion, in part because it looks as if you have to give up your uniqueness (which is not the same as ego).

If you've followed me this far, then you will understand what Schuon means when he says that "Relativism engenders a spirit of rebellion and is at the same time its fruit. The spirit of rebellion, unlike holy anger, is not a passing state, nor is it directed at some worldly abuse; on the contrary it is a chronic malady directed toward Heaven and against everything that represents Heaven or is a reminder of it."

Thus, to come back full circle, our quixotic troll thinks he's tilting at a windbag named Bob, but his real beef is with God, or #1. I'm only #3. And yes, I'm certain of that. But I'm working on inching my way up.

[T]he primordial and normative attitude is this: to think only in reference to what surpasses us and to live for the sake of surpassing ourselves.... Not to acknowledge what surpasses us and not to wish to surpass ourselves: this is... the very definition of Lucifer. --F. Schuon

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Why is There Stupidity?

Stupidities must come, but woe to the man through whom the stupidity comes! --Petey

Why is there stupidity? Why are there trolls? Why is there Obama, Deepak Chopra, the MSM, Scientology, Keith Olbermann, Charles the Queeg, Lawrence Rosie O'Donnell, Bill Maher, the designated hitter rule?

Easy: because there is intelligence. Because there is intelligence, there is stupidity in all its varieties, including the intelligent stupidity of Marxism, socialism, deconstruction, existentialism, atheism, metaphysical Darwinism, radical feminism, climate changerism, you name it. Truth is one. Stupidity is legion.

Obviously, stupidity is a "privative phenomenon." Truth is what is, while error is what is missing, or what is disproportionately overemphasized, or what has no real possibility of ever being there at all. Therefore, while error can and will be present in our approach to truth, as Schuon writes, it cannot be derived from intelligence as such. Rather, since we are relative beings, our intelligence operates amidst other factors -- hopes, fears, dreams, wishes, resentments.

When intelligence goes astray, it is due either to the passions or the will; indeed, this is why one cannot detach the question of stupidity from that of sin, for sin is a kind of stupidity, while stupidity (as opposed to ignorance) is definitely a kind of sin. More problematically, there is unconscious passion and unconscious willfulness, AKA Mind Parasites with hidden agendas all their own.

Human beings are simply the "hosts" for these infrahuman agendas. While not derived from intelligence as such, the mind parasites are hardly unintelligent; like all viruses, they definitely learn their lessons, in particular, how to adapt to new circumstances in order to fool the host and his psychospiritual immune system. This is precisely how Obama was able to fool so many "sophisticated" and "intelligent" people, despite the fact that the truth was and is there for all to see.

To cite one particularly glaring example, there is the science of economics. And there is politics, or "political science." The former is the application of intelligence toward understanding the creation of wealth. The latter is the application of intelligence toward the acquisition of power (or perhaps we should say power misappropriating the intelligence).

These two uses of intelligence are at odds, which is where socialism come in. Socialism -- including Obamanomics -- is the application of the will to bend the science of economics toward the acquisition of power. As Mencken said, "a socialist is simply a man suffering from an overwhelming compulsion to believe what is not true."

Now, all varieties of relativism -- including most notoriously, the intrinsic stupidity of metaphysical Darwinism -- are not only impossible, but posit an impossible world. For example, existentialism -- which is really just relativism drawn out to its ultimate nihilistic implications -- "postulates a definition of the world that is impossible if existentialism is possible" (Schuon). How is that?

Simple. Either knowledge -- and therefore truth -- is possible, or it is not. If truth is possible, then surely it is objective and therefore "absolute in its own order." In fact, the cosmos is hierarchically ordered, with the Absolute at the "top," so to speak, but with lower degrees of reality, all in turn guided by their own "relative absolute."

For example, the very practice of any kind of science, whether physics, biology, or chemistry, is guided by relative absolutes that apply to the plane in question. But biology is not constrained by the laws of physics, any more than the spiritual ascent is constrained by the genes. Different, planes, different relative absolutes. My knowledge of truth is hardly limited by what natural selection supposedly permits me to know.

But once you invert the cosmos, then you have committed the cardinal sin of intelligence, for you have banished intelligence from existence. For such a person, intelligence is reduced to brain activity, brain activity is reduced to genes, genes are reduced to physics, and physics is reduced to.... nothing. And not the good kind.

Thus we insist: either God or nihilism. There is no in between. Or, to the extent that you believe there is, you are living in a self-made fantasy land, pure and simple.

Now, for the theist, there is most definitely a world between God and the nihil. We call it "the world." It is surely real. Just not the ultimate Real. But for the a-theist, "the world" is necessarily reduced to a manifest void.

Please understand that we are being quite literal here. As Scuon writes, any kind of a-theism can only involve "speculations in the void," i.e., no one thinking about nothing. Academic psychologists will assure you that the "self" is an illusion, just a side effect of brain activity, like urine to the kidneys. That being the case, there is no one to get all weewee'd up about nothing at all.

This is the lie that is hidden in plain sight that undergirds all forms of a-theism. The relativist never explains why he is a miraculous exception to his own irony-clad rule: "whence comes this demigiod who accuses, and whence his power to accuse?" (Schuon). For if he is correct, then surely man has the capacity to transcend his relative state and to know the truth of himself.

But what kind of beast is able to share in absolute truth? Only one kind: the kind who is in the image of the creator, the Absolute. Otherwise, the gap between matter and truth is -- and how is this not obvious? -- infinite and absolute.

To insist that the intellectual queegmire of metaphysical Darwinism is absolutely true is as absurd as saying that truth is derived from error, rather than vice versa. There is "no common measure" between a truth-bearing person "and the wholly contingent movement preceding it.... Man is what he is, or else he is nothing" (Schuon).

Yes, human beings may doubt, but only "because there is certainty." Likewise, "the very notion of illusion proves that man has access to reality." And to know reality is to be certain, beyond doubt. Thus, the certainty of faith is the vehicle on which we float upstream in this void called "the world."

Conversely, cynicism is the raft upon which the a-theist rides to his eternal destruction, which is simply cosmic stupidity by another name. Cling to it all you like, but you are like a man holding onto a boulder plummeting to the earth.

Meep meep!

(The Schuon quotes are from his Logic and Transcendence.)

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Interior Logic of Ultimate Reality

Good news for in-home neuronauts and extreme seekers. There's a new translation of Schuon's religious cult classic, Logic and Transcendence. I read the old one, and frankly wasn't aware of a problem with the trancelight, which I found to be quite bright. However, I must admit, this one has less of a German accent. Also, the earlier edition was difficult to track down, and used copies were rather expensive on amazon.

Amazing that such an important book is #774,487 on amazon. It reminds me of something one of those old-school conservatives said about literacy. Even (or perhaps especially) so-called intellectuals simply substitute science for real thought, which places the fallen intellect in servitude to Ø, not O.

Albert Nock felt that government-run education had had the effect "of degrading intellectual standards and impoverishing the quality of literature": "Within my lifetime the country became largely literate, thus opening up an immense market made up of persons who were unable to read but were able to pass literary produce through their minds." For most people, reading is hardly better than watching TV. They say apes can't read. Wanna bet? Ever visited dailykos? Ever looked at a sewer through a glass bottom boat?

It also has the effect of increasing the interior reach of state propaganda. As we know, no one is more brainwashed than the tenured. Indeed, they're "the first to go," the canaries out of their ghoulminds. I am quite certain that Scipio would be unemployable in a public school. Indeed, they'd probably try to arrest him. Which wouldn't be a good move. He's not only dangerous, he's armed.

Irving Babbitt agreed that where there is no vision, the people perish, "but where there is sham vision, they perish even faster." And science, unconstrained by perennial truth, is the quintessence of a sham vision, for it is simply the animal senses extended and magnified. Let's not even talk about Obama's scam vision. I'd like to get away from politics.

Logic and Transcendence is one of Schuon's more important books, if only because it's an actual book. Most of the rest of his books are simply collections of essays on a diversity of topics. What I'd like to do is go through it chapter by chapter -- one chapter per post -- and see how that works out.

Schuon writes in such a compact manner, that it would be impossible to proceed faster than that, even with a short chapter. His writing falls somewhere between theology, gem-cutting, and sutras, the latter of which literally refers to a "thread" that holds beads, "and more metaphorically refers to an aphorism (or line, rule, formula), or a collection of such aphorisms in the form of a manual" (wiki).

As such, a sutra always requires commentary by a gentleman slacker or pneumatic gasbag of the spiritual sort. Indeed, for the esoterist, the Bible is actually a quintessential compendium of sutras, which has always been the rabbinical approach. You might call the Torah the "Mosaic Sutras." Sutras are one of the ways the secret protects itself.

In a brief introduction, Schuon addresses the problem of the degradation of the intellect, which causes many so-called intellectuals to regard religion as an intellect-free zone. As a result, esoterism is conflated with occultism, or Gnosticism, or a vague mysticism, when it is in fact an exact science -- the science of the Real, or Absolute, as it were.

We can still reason about the Absolute, but it requires a different approach than reasoning about the relative. In the end, genuine mysticism is any "inward contact with realities that are directly or indirectly divine," while real gnosis (as opposed to the heresy of Gnosticism) pertains to knowledge associated with one of those realities (in other words, one may make emotional contact, aesthetic contact, intellectual contact, etc.).

Many if not most exoteric religionists also have problems with esoterism, and they are right to be suspicious of wolves in sheep's clothing such as Deepak Chopra. However, this can obscure the fact that exclusive fidelity to exoteric notions can lead "to errors much more problematic than gnosis." In my view, so-called religious fundamentalism is as abusive of the intellect as scientific fundamentalism. A religion that does not speak to the intellect is no religion at all, for the intellect is what sets us apart from the beasts.

The first chapter is called The Contradiction of Relativism. It is an intellectual palate cleanser of the first order. If you read, understand, and assimilate this chapter, it should function like a spiritual antibiotic, killing all your cognitive parasites and teaching you how to think in O. But of course, you must take the full dose, or the infection can return even stronger and more resistant. And the full dose generally requires about 78 years for the average male, closer to 80 for the average female.

Really, you could read just the first sentence and go home: "Relativism reduces every element of absoluteness to relativity while making a completely illogical exception in favor of this reduction itself."

Thanks very much for coming out, folks, and drive home safely! It's been fun blogging for you these past four years!

What? Encore? You're too kind! What's that, Dupree? No they're not! They're saying B'aaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwB.

In my opinion, relativism is the fundamental mind parasite. (And you will have noticed that many on the left are quite open about declaring the opposite: that absolutism is the greatest threat to mankind.) For to be a relativist is to absolutely say that there is no absolute truth, precisely. "One might just as well say that there is no language or write that there is no writing."

There is no writing!

Thus, the "initial absurdity" of relativism "lies in the implicit claim to be unique in escaping, as if by enchantment, from a relativity that is declared to be the only possibility." This is why scientism is magic. Metaphysical Darwinism is magic. Secular leftism is magic. The opposite of Christianity is not science; it is magic.

Now, in order for truth to exist -- or to be known -- there must be objectivity. In a way, truth and objectivity are synonymous. In the postmodern world, subjectivity is absurdly conflated with consciousness, which leads to... absurdity on stilts.

For as truth and objectivity are reflections of one another, so too are relativism and subjectivity. If it is true that one cannot escape from one's subjectivity, then Yes, this is just a fragile and roundabout way of saying that truth is impossible. They're just giving you the long-distance reacharound. But five percent of nothing is still nothing.

But as Schuon points out, the fact that we are even able to conceive of subjectivity means that we are capable of transcending it. Subjectivity "would not even be conceivable for a man who was totally enclosed in his subjectivity." An animal, or a goddinpotty, dwell in pure subjectivity, but don't know it, for to know it is to be objective, precisely.

Or, let us say that it is the first crack in the cosmic egg into which we may plunge the wedge of intellect and begin the process of natural s'lacktion. It is in this manner that we are initiated into the world of the fertile egghead. Or, if you prefer, this is how one enters one's christallus coCoon and caterpults one's buddhafly into the upper atmasphere.

Conversely, to venture into the other side of the cosmic divide is to plunge oneself into error. Through it, "the door may be opened to all manner of misunderstandings, degradations, and deceptions." To which one might add seductions, unhip gnosis, and egoic immortality projects.

Oh my. We're out of time. This is going more slowly than I had anticipated. Is this a timed test?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

You are Charged with Being Guilty of Innocence!

I tells you what: I just discovered something. It's hard to blog about anything other than what I'm actually thinking about. To turn it around, the reason why blogging is so easy for me is that it gives me an outlet for -- well, as Bob Dylan put it, I got a head full of ideas / that are drivin' me insane.

As you may recall, we spent the first seven or so months of 2009 blogging about nothing but Balthasar, Balthasar, Balthasar. Why? Because I ware reading nothing but Balthasar, Balthasar, Balthasar. His body of work is so vast, that I decided to stop reading him so that my blogging could catch up to it. But now the blogging can't catch up, because I'm on to something else, thinking about other things.

This whole idea of "catching up" with myself is odd. It's as if the posts are my vapor trail -- or, as the trolls would say, my "back end." I'm always aware of cutting into the cosmic edge -- or the edge of myself, at any rate -- while the blog is a kind of real-time diary of my non-efforts.

This is also why I can't even think about writing another book. Blogging -- at least the way I blog -- is utterly different from writing, as different as, say, work and play, or comedy and drama, or music and architecture, or jazz and classical. The danger, of course, is that blogging can descend into mere self-indulgence, like the present post.

Is this post actually going anywhere? That's the thing -- I have no idea until I get there. You can't write a book that way. Publisher: "So, what's the book about?" Me: "Good question. I have no idea. I'll let you know when I get there." In fact, my agent wants to know how "the next book is coming along." The good news? It's done -- as is the followup. The bad news? They're entangled somewhere inside 1,500 blog posts, and I'm not the man to disentangle them.

So yesterday we had some objections from one of those traditionalist commenters who believes that history took a wrong turn with the renaissance. This is what Schuon and all of his followers believe. First of all, I do not ridicule their point of view. These are serious men, and even if you disagree with them, it is still worthwhile to read what they have to say.

There are two dangers, I think. The first is idealizing the past and denigrating the present; the second is idealizing the present and denigrating the past. I simply take a moderate position -- which is not the same as a mealy-mouthed compromise.

Rather, I think the only proper conservative position is to preserve the best of the past, not the whole thing, lock, crock and barrel. I think Schuon would counter that cultures are organic, and that you cannot simply pick and choose what you like and don't like.

But this overlooks the fact that once we awaken to the dream of culture, we cannot get back inside the dream. You cannot go home again. Man could no more return to a premodern mentality than an individual can go back to his childhood.

Remember the film American Beauty, in which Kevin Spacey determines that his life took a wrong turn with adolescence? He tries to recover his proper future by returning to the past and reliving his life over. At the very end of the movie, he is seen looking at a photo of his family, as if awakening to the infinite value of his present life. Then a bullet to the head. At least he dies a happy man.

This reminds me of an old patient of mine. Like Kevin Spacey, he was a sad and angry middle aged man who thought that his life had gone completely off track somewhere along the line. In his case, he traced it back to the experience of the 1960s. He had been something of a "square," and was therefore "on the outside looking in" on that dionysian decade.

But as we eventually discovered, "the sixties" was just a symbol for him of his own alienation from the vital core of himself. His visions of beautiful hippy chicks dancing naked in the rain were just a projection of his own suppressed vitality. They were as real as those commercials that show supermodels pounding beer on the beach while playing touch football with the guys. Yeah, that's what supermodels do. Hang out with drunken losers and throw up on the beach.

As far as I am concerned, it is just too easy to be "alienated," whatever historical era you were born into. Who feels completely comfortable on earth except for a well-loved child or well-stocked opium eater? I can guarantee you that if Schuon had been born in 1500, he'd be complaining about....

Well, we don't even have to really speculate. One of the values of this history of American conservatism is that it demonstrates the continuity of a kind of mindset that endures despite changes in the content. There's always something to complain about. Things are always going to hell in a handbasket. But only always. Once you are aware of this, then you can appreciate how the container determines the content, so to speak. Whenever this pattern occurs, you are trapped within a kind of parasite, because you are no longer apprehending reality, only your model of reality (which will be self-authenticating, only focusing on those aspects of reality that confirm it).

This is why, as Allitt points out, prior to the 1950s, conservatism was much more of an attitude than any fixed ideology. On the one hand, it is always skeptical, discerning, elitist. But this can conceal a kind of romantic naïveté about the past, as if one could resolve one's existential problems by living in a more coongenial time. You might say that progressives escape existence by romanticizing the future, while a certain type of conservative does so by romanticizing the past. But I simply see no evidence that people in the past were any less troubled than people of the present. They were just troubled in different ways and by different things, that's all.

In a comment yesterday, I mentioned that this book I'm reading, The Age of Wonder, goes into the history of surgical anesthesia, which was not available in England until 1853. Prior to that, the horror of surgery was mind-boggling. Were people back then tougher than we are? Yes, perhaps marginally. But none would have chosen their lot had they had an alternative. These procedures were "unimaginably painful. The pain also caused shock, which itself could kill. The only known form of a painkiller [alcohol] was largely a method of controlling terror and deadening shock..."

He writes of one physician who performed over 200 amputations on the battlefield in a single 24 hour period (using Obama math, he would have earned a cool ten million dollars that day, i.e., 200 x $50,000). Imagine his horror! There is the account of a woman with cancer who had a mastectomy done without anesthesia in 1811: "When the dreadful steel was plunged into the breast -- I needed no injunction to restrain my cries. I began a scream that lasted [continuously] during the whole time of the incision.... So excruciating was the agony... All descriptions would be baffled... I felt the Knife racking against my breast bone -- scraping it!"

Now, I do believe that most people were probably "different" in the past. In a comment, Susannah touches on the reasons why, that is, the prevalence of infant mortality. She writes that,

"One of the unifying features is that every mother lost a child to some disease or other that we now think nothing about, thanks to vaccinations [not to mention antibiotics -- ever tried to endure the screams of a child with an earache?]. It's heartbreaking to contemplate. I can't even imagine how fearful the first appearance of a cough or fever must have been. I read or listen to a lot of 19th century American writings, and notice the frequency of death, the length of illnesses (weeks in bed!) and the mistaken notions of medicine that were just par for the course then. In short, like you, I am very, very grateful for modernity."

I do not see how infant mortality couldn't have had an adverse effect on attachment and bonding, and therefore adult character and psychopathology. I think for many mothers, it was just too painful to bond with a child until there was some certainty that the child would survive. But those first 6-12 months of infancy are when the baby most needs the "infinite love" of the mother. Deprived of it, they would grow up to be emotionally blunted themselves, since their "core" wasn't intimately responded to when their brain neurology was being assembled. Talk about 'missing the sixties'!

In fact, there is another chapter on the European discovery of the "innocent paradise" of Tahiti in the late 18th century. They were sexually free (to the sailors' delight) and had no notion of private property. Therefore, theft was totally natural. Also totally natural was infanticide, so common that no one gave it a second thought. It was "used with regularity and without compunction as a form of birth control." The explorer, Joseph Banks, questioned couples "who freely admitted to destroying two or three children, showing not the slightest apparent guilt or regret."

You see? Innocence. Isn't it wonderful? But forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

On Conserving Change and Changing Mankind

As I mentioned a couple of days ago, I'm having a little difficulty transitioning from the profane back to the sacred. I wake up in the morning and find that my nonlocal service is still interrupted. Which is fine. We're on a descending path anyway, not an ascending one. Or, at the very least, we believe in the old Raccoon adage, "one step up, two steps down." The only real measure of your vertical progress is how it actually plays out in the horizontal world.

I've had quite a bit of unanticipated slack this month, so I've been blowing through a number of books, some of which deserve at least a post or two. One of these is The Conservatives: Ideas and Personalities Throughout American History, by Patrick Allitt. To his credit, Allitt treats the subject in a detached and scholarly manner (in the old-fashioned liberal sense of the term), to such an extent that it is impossible to say what his own politics might be.

Another good thing about the book is that it is free of... what's the word? You know, that historical fallacy where you project present circumstances into the past -- for example, condemning slavery from our historical vantage point, when in fact slavery was at one time universal. By simply condemning it, you're not likely to understand it. Or to say that men oppressed women, when in fact 90% of humans slaved away on farms from sunup to sundown. For most people there were only two options: toil in the fields raising crops or toil in the house raising children. Frankly, I would prefer the latter.

One critical point Allitt makes is that prior to the 1950s, there was no such thing as "conservatism" as we know it today -- that is, "conservative" as noun, with a specific ideological content. Rather, there was only conservative as adjective. As such, it was more an attitude than any definite agenda, This is no doubt why it began to be thought of as "reactionary," because in a way it was.

The founders even built this dichotomy into the Constitution, with the idea that the house would channel the often irrational passions of the citizenry, while the senate would serve to convert the passions into thought, so to speak -- very much as a mother does with a baby, i.e., serve as the container for the contained. (In fact, it wasn't even until the early 20th century that senators were democratically elected instead of being appointed by state legislatures.)

(From the Department of I Didn't Know That: "The modern word senatorial is derived from the Latin word senātus (senate), which comes from senex, "old man." And now you know why Barbara Boxer looks like a little old man.)

One of the reasons William F. Buckley is so important is that prior to his efforts, there was no coherent conservative movement in the United States. Nor did people identify themselves as "conservative." Nevertheless, it always existed, just implicitly. Allitt says that it is primarily an "attitude to social and political change" that "puts more faith in the lessons of history than in the abstractions of political philosophy." It is skeptical, anti-utopian, and very much aware of the Law of Unintended Consequences. But mainly, it has no delusions about what man is or is capable of being.

If you don't know what man is, then your political philosophy will go astray with its first step. Therefore, psychology must precede politics, and religion (i.e., metaphysics) must precede psychology. (Contemporary) liberalism begins with opposite assumptions about man, failing to appreciate the fragile nature of civilization and the darkness in the heart of man (which is why an enduring feature of liberalism is its naivete toward true evil).

As Allitt writes, conservatives generally share the view "that civilization is fragile and easily disrupted. Every generation must learn anew the importance of restraint, manners, deference, and good citizenship; the survival of the republic presupposes the virtue of its citizens."

Which goes to one of the biggest cliches spewed by our troll goddinpotty, who maintains that conservatives are "against change" and progress. This is absurd on its face, since conservatives are champions of the free market, and nothing in human history has brought about as much dynamic change and progress as the free market.

For example, just since 1990, a billion or so souls (concentrated especially in India and China) have been lifted out of poverty because of free trade. This is absolutely unprecedented in human history, and certainly could not have occurred with leftist economic policies, which would have frozen these people in their state of destitution.

In fact, another highly recommended book is Economics Does Not Lie. In it, Sorman writes that more people have perished as a result of bad economic policy than perhaps any other cause in human history. But of course, through most of history human beings had no idea what correct economic policy was. In short, they didn't have the foggiest notion of how wealth is created. Sorman says that economics has only been a truly objective science since the 1960s.

So who's against change? Indeed, the end result of "global warming" legislation would be to condemn millions of people to poverty. Even if the theory were true -- which it isn't -- far more humans would perish as a result of trying somehow to stop the climate from changing.

It's similar to how millions -- millions! -- of Africans have died of malaria as a result of the ban on DDT. But of course, environmentalists never have blood on their hands, since their intentions are good. When it comes to unintended consequences, they are inveterate scofflaws. Socialized medicine imploding in Canada? Don't worry. We'll eliminate the bugs in the system!

In America, conservative and liberal mean very different things than they do in Europe. For most of American history, they simply referred to two varieties of classical liberalism. But around the same time conservatism emerged as a distinct body of thought, liberalism morphed into the illiberal leftism we know and hate today. You could say that the new left triumphed with the nomination of McGovern, while the new conservatism did with the election of Ronald Reagan. Obama is merely the extension of McGovern, while conservatives are still waiting for their next Reagan. Certainly the liberal George W. Bush wasn't it.

Another critical point to bear in mind is that the conservatism that emerged in the 1950s consisted of a sometimes uneasy coalition of free marketeers, traditionalists, and anti-communists. You might say that the first group embodies the dynamic and radical change of the American system, while the second group embodies the continuity as well as the virtue without which the system cannot function optimally. Liberals have no regard for the second group, but instead want to replace its function with a large and powerful state as a counterweight to the first.

But again, the nicest thing you can say about them is that they ignore the Law of Unintended Consequences, because the state simply becomes a way for untalented or ruthless people to gain power and prestige, in the way that the market allows the talented and productive to gain power and prestige. By denigrating tradition, you simply end up with two sets of scoundrels.

This, by the way, is one of the reasons Buckley excluded the Randian objectivists from the movement he forged, since they were and are profoundly anti-tradition (as are capital-L Libertarians).

Originally, "traditionalist" mainly meant "Catholic." The so-called religious right did not become a political force until the 1970s, especially after the judicial abortion of Roe v Wade. Indeed, the first candidate they backed was the "born again" Jimmy Carter; most people had never even heard the term "born again Christian" before. (Theological "fundamentalism" is in many ways more modern than traditional.)

Which leads to a current struggle within the conservative movement, i.e., the place of the religious right. Many so-called conservative elites have always been uneasy with, and embarrassed by, these people, and some would frankly like to distance themselves altogether from them. To a certain extent, I can relate. As far as I am concerned, they tend to be overly emotional, and their intellectual and theological content is more or less negligible. I wouldn't want them to be the leaders of the movement, because that would throw off the whole balance of the conservative coalition. I don't think that the Pat Robertsons and Jerry Falwells are bad people. But, with all due respect, I think they need to be led, not the leaders.

I am sure that there are some sensible Democrats who have a similar problem with their left (as indeed the "blue dogs" have discovered). You cannot eliminate the kos's the huffpos, the Olbermanns. But if you allow them to lead.... well, look at what has happened in just six months! Republicans shouldn't get too cocky, because the same thing would happen in reverse should the religious right take over the party. This is a center-right country.

Of course, there are also different types of traditionalists, most notably, the "agrarian traditionalists" such as Richard Weaver, Russell Kirk, and Albert Nock. One could also place Schuon and the Traditionalist school of perennial religion in that category. I have a number of problems with them, but perhaps the central one is, assuming they are correct, how would you ever convert their ideology to specific policies?

For example, let's say that Schuon is correct that the pre-Renaissance medieval synthesis represents the apex of culture. How would you go about reinstituting that system, as opposed to simply using it as a bludgeon to critique contemporary culture? Let's just say that it would have to involve a fair amount of tyranny. Frankly, that would be a form of conservative fascism. I have to say, I love the blessings of modernity. Without them I'd have been dead long ago.

Well, I better stop. Long day ahead.

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