Wednesday, January 20, 2010

There Is No Such Thing as a Liberal

Rather, there is only a boundaryless, mixed-up fusion of Baby Democrat and Mommy State. But we'll get to that in a moment.

Right now, I just want to say -- and let me be perfectly clear about this -- that I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when the oceans began to rise and our freezing planet began to warm up again… That this was the moment when we dodged a bullet with a ballot and prevented a tyrannical federal government from permanently extending its grasping tentacles into the most intimate reaches of our bodies. We love Uncle Sam, but he doesn't have a license to practice medicine, and he has no right to examine our prostate. Only the IRS can do that.

My friends, this is the moment when we said NO! to the dork farces who insist that you can fill the economic swimming pool by taking water from the deep end and pouring it into the shallow end. This was the moment -- yes, the delicious moment -- when we came together as a nation and made Tingles Matthews cry on national TV. And folks, it doesn't get any better than that.

Actually, I can't relate to all the hoopla surrounding last night's election. First of all, a conservative doesn't locate his salvation in politics. But even then, it's literally a matter of avoiding a catastrophe as opposed to imagining that suddenly the world has been transformed. True, the sense of relief is real, but relief is very different from joy. It's much more temperate and sober, like finding out that that spot on the CT scan is just a fatty cyst, not an inoperable tumor.

Plus, we realize that the same atavistic and entropic powers and principalities who are the wind beneath Obama's bag are still here, and that these powers will always have the upper hand in this world. They never rest, they never take the day off, and they never quit. They do not know slack. They politicize everything and everyone, because that is their religion. Theirs is a manichaean world, minus the nuance.

And just as a practical matter, the Department of Irony (which presides over history) forecasts that this could actually benefit the Democrats, since it will prevent them from enacting their most kooky and destructive legislation, so that they may actually be in a stronger position next November. We never forget the orthoparadox that more tears are shed over answered prayers than unanswered ones.

No time for an all new post, but this one from a few years back seems relevant:

I’m trying to imagine what it must feel like for Horizontal Man to win -- or even hope to win -- an election. I know that for me and other verticaloids of my acquaintance, there is no great joy upon winning an election, usually just relief that we have managed to temporarily pull the cultural plane out of its death spiral.

But for Horizontal Man, politics is his religion, which is the whole problem with his politics. The Obama phenemonon is the quintessential example of this. He is almost wholly the product of vertical wishes and dreams inappropriately (because unconsciously) displaced onto the horizontal plane. Obama most certainly realizes this, which is why he is running one of the most cynical and manipulative campaigns in living memory.

One way or another, vertical man is born again “from above.” Therefore, he draws his energies from the vertical center and radiates them to the horizontal periphery. But since Horizontal Man is trapped in the bewilderness of his contingent being (i.e., maya), he unconsciously projects the above into the future, and thereby constructs a faux spiritual life that attempts to draw on the psychic energies of his self-created (and self-enclosing) illusion.

In other words, horizontal man (if he isn't just an honest nihilist or self-consistent hedonist) practices the religion of progressivism, in which belief in a transcendent order is immamentized and "nourishes" the vacuum where his soul ought to be.

In so doing, the leftist receives a kind of existential consolation which may be compared to a form of counterfeit grace, in particular, when he imagines that he is in proximity to his imaginary heaven and therefore closer to being “saved” from the existential situation that afflicts all humans. Obviously, the Obamaniacs are feeling very "close" to this heaven, which ratchets up their creepy fervor. (The depth of spiritual hopelessness and primitive hatred defended against by this false hope is frightening to consider; cf. here.)

You can clearly recognize this mechanism of hoped-for horizontal salvation in action. For if reality were actually as awful as what the fantasists of the left have been saying for the past seven years, we would not see this manic exaltation among their rank and foul. Rather, we would see great sobriety and moral seriousness, as they brood on the monumental work of undoing the theo-fascist takeover of America, of saving the biosphere from immanent demise from the Bush-caused planetary inferno, of repairing our "permanently damaged" standing in the world. After all, if all it takes to undo these problems is to elect a smiling cipher, then the problems couldn't have been that serious to begin with.

The great psychoanalyst Melanie Klein divided childhood psychological development into two main stages, which she termed the paranoid-schizoid and the depressive positions. (I will try to avoid pedantry at risk of over-simplification.)

For Klein, the primary goal of development was to move from the former to the latter, although in reality, the relationship between the two is more dialectical than linear, similar to the relationship that exists between the conscious and unconscious minds, or between what might be called mental metabolism (building up) and catabolism (breaking down).

In other words, we no longer think of an unconscious mind per se, but a dialectical relationship between the conscious and unconscious. This dialectic can be fruitful and generative, or stultifying and self-defeating, but you can no more rid yourself of unconscious processes than you could speak without the implicit deep structure of grammar, or understand religious symbolism without the archetypal clueprint implanted into us by God.

Human beings are subject to the nuisance of intrusive thoughts long before they are capable of thinking them. The problem for development is to build a robust psychic structure in which one may think thoughts instead of merely being thought by, or subject to, them.

Naturally, our earliest psychological reality is almost wholly fantastic, and it is actually the primary job of the parent to prolong this fantasy until the baby becomes capable of discovering and bearing reality. In the absence of unconscious buffers, reality truly would be unbearable -- something like looking straight into the sun, or trying to live on the surface of mars, or being trapped in a SigAlert with only Air America on the radio.

This is why you cannot “spoil” an infant. Rather, you must indulge them until they are resilient enough to tolerate the painful and disappointing discovery of reality. Ironically, this can only be achieved if they have a firm foundation of entitlement and generative fantasy -- for example, the fantasy that one’s painful hunger causes a generous and bountiful breast to magically appear out of nowhere.

The baby must imagine that this loving breast is his own creation before he makes the disappointing discovery that it actually belongs to mother (let alone a third interloper!), otherwise reality will have to be rejected or even attacked in some form or fashion. We must be provided with, and then gradually disillusioned of, our infantile omnipotence, on pain of trying to hold on to it or resurrect it for the rest of our lives.

The paranoid-schizoid position predominates during the first year of life. Naturally there is no clear sense of psychological boundaries at this time, which is why the psychoanalyst D.W. Winnicott made the famously wise crack that “there is no such thing as an infant.” Rather, there is primarily a harmonious (or inharmonious), mixed-up fusion of mother and baby. The baby’s sense of individual selfhood will only gradually emerge from this primordial matrix.

Klein called this the “paranoid-schizoid position” because it is the source of our most primitive psychological defenses -- e.g., denial, splitting, and projection. These defenses are normative for a baby, but only become problematic to the extent that we fail to evolve into the depressive position.

At this early age, we shouldn’t even think of them as defenses, but more as primitive modes of "thinking," i.e., of organizing our otherwise chaotic mental experience, almost like primitive neurological "categories" or preconceptions. (And research by Allen Schore indicates that these are very much neuro-biological signposts that order our world.)

For example, splitting early experience into a “good” and “bad” breast is analogous to God’s separation of the primordial waters. It is an attempt to achieve safety by placing a distance between what are in reality different aspects of oneself. Projection obviously works the same way, in that it allows the person to evacuate the "bad" or to place the good outside the self for "safekeeping."

End of part one.

27 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the Post:

"Rather, we would see great sobriety and moral seriousness, as they brood on the monumental work of undoing the theo-fascist takeover of America, of saving the biosphere from immanent demise from the Bush-caused planetary inferno, of repairing our "permanently damaged" standing in the world."

You've correctly identified the important issues of our day (which is half the battle), but as you say we have a long way to go. Obama is only a start.

It is premature to celebrate, although there are always other things to celebrate.

So, no need to be serious ALL the time. :)

1/20/2010 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Yesterday Gagdad Bob said: "...complementarity is higher than the modes it unifies. I do know that from the human end, there is no form without substance.

Today Gagdad Bob said: "... One way or another, vertical man is born again “from above.” Therefore, he draws his energies from the vertical center and radiates them to the horizontal periphery.

Could we say that this is the INvisible church as God sees it - both those living and those who have died? ie: "The Body of Christ " which is comprised only of regenerate individuals (in whom dwells the Spirit of God) - The Elect Lady - The Bride of Christ - The Sheep - The Wheat. ie: The "new temple" not built with literal stones but built with Christian individuals who are "living stones" (form with substance). (1 Pet.2:5) ie: Each regenerate individual is "God's house". [Heb. 3:6] and Jesus Christ is viewed as "the builder" of that individual house [Heb.3:3] which collectively are called a "holy priesthood" ..." [1 Pet. 2:5] -- "the pillar and the bulwark of the truth." [1 Tim 3:15] , etc., etc. If we are willing to stipulate the foregoing, could we not also legitimately then say that the invisible church is (and always was) scattered throughout the earth inside and outside of all sorts of organizations of men?

Today Gagdad Bob said: "... But since Horizontal Man is trapped in the bewilderness of his contingent being (i.e., maya), he unconsciously projects the above into the future, and thereby constructs a faux spiritual life that attempts to draw on the psychic energies of his self-created (and self-enclosing) illusion. In other words, horizontal man (if he isn't just an honest nihilist or self-consistent hedonist) practices the religion of progressivism, in which belief in a transcendent order is immamentized and "nourishes" the vacuum where his soul ought to be. In so doing, the leftist receives a kind of existential consolation which may be compared to a form of counterfeit grace, in particular, when he imagines that he is in proximity to his imaginary heaven and therefore closer to being “saved” from the existential situation that afflicts all humans. Obviously, the Obamaniacs are feeling very "close" to this heaven, which ratchets up their creepy fervor. (The depth of spiritual hopelessness and primitive hatred defended against by this false hope is frightening to consider; cf. here.) You can clearly recognize this mechanism of hoped-for horizontal salvation in action. ..."


Could we say that this is the visible (temporal) church as Christians and others on earth see it? ie: The one comprised of those who profess faith in Christ - both the regenerate and the unregenerate, ALL currently living. ie: The sheep and the goats - the believers and the unbelievers - wolves among the sheep, the wheat and the tares growing together of which only God knows the difference, etc.

1/20/2010 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Theirs is a manichaean world, minus the nuance."

Lol.

1/20/2010 10:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Lynn--

Yes -- also bearing in mind the "other sheep I have which are not of this fold."

1/20/2010 10:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Tanis said...

>> They never rest, they never take the day off, and they never quit. <<

The Christian is the real radical of our generation, for he stands against the monolithic, modern concept of truth as
relative. But too often, instead of being the radical, standing against the shifting sands of relativism, he subsides into merely maintaining the status quo. If it is true that evil is evil, that God hates it to the point of the cross, and that there is a moral law fixed in what God is in Himself, then Christians should be the first into the field against what is
wrong. ~Francis A. Schaeffer

Carry on slackers. Ho!

1/20/2010 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

That's a good point, Lynn. When Jesus explained the parable of the Wheat and Tares, He says plainly that "the field is the world".

Even sheep that are not of the same fold are still recognizable as sheep -- especially by other sheep.

Or as the Brothers Gibb once said, "You can tell by the way I use my walk..."

1/20/2010 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

We must be provided with, and then gradually disillusioned of, our infantile omnipotence, on pain of trying to hold on to it or resurrect it for the rest of our lives.

You know my brother-in-law.

1/20/2010 11:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Petey - Who does "other sheep" refer to?

1/20/2010 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

There sure as hell is such thing as a leftist, however.

Stuck my nose into the comments section of some mainstream lefty sites. Holy shit those people are crazy-evil (well, some of them anyhow). Plenty of them really do want to destroy America -- the West in general -- utterly and start again from year zero. Of course there may be fewer of them than it seems and the ones that exist are all concentrated in those corners of the Internet, but it doesn't make their existence in the US any less creepy.

1/20/2010 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

The latest batshit crazy leftist "meme" (hate that Dawkinsism, but you know what I mean) floating around is that by not allowing government takeover of the healthcare system "46,000 Americans will die every year" and it's (insert name here)'s FAULT.

In other nations at other times this sort of demonization can and has swerved off the road and descended into concentration camps for the impure of thought. That so many people on the Left buy into such obviously spurious hyperbole is pretty frightening.

1/20/2010 11:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Anon:

Only the Shepherd knows for sure.

1/20/2010 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Off topic, but apropos anony's unseemly demand that Bob expose himself yesterday, here's an excellent piece on holy secrecy. (TW River)

1/20/2010 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

You have to really admire America though. All this animosity and political strife yet not one death. In very large portions of the world such divisiveness would inevitably be settled with bullets.

Once again we saw last night that deep down the American system still works.

1/20/2010 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger Gerard said...

Sychronicity continues. It seems at the same moment I was QOTDing you Bob, you were helping me put Charles Johnson down like the old bitch gone in the teeth that he is.

1/20/2010 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Petey said: Lynn--Yes -- also bearing in mind the 'other sheep I have which are not of this fold.'"


This is how I personally understand that Scripture at this point in time:


Theologically, Jesus was sent (as Messiah) to the Jew only. The biblical intent was that the Nation of Israel would accept the Messiah, receive the Spirit, and turn-around and evangelize/minister to the whole world (as they will some day--Romans 11.15).

The Gentiles were included in the covenant promises to Abraham, but the blessings to them would come "through Abraham" (Gen 12.3). Cf. Jesus remarks in John 4: "Salvation is from the Jews." So, His PUBLIC ministry was semi-confined to the nation of Israel. [In fact, ..."

[..........]

"... This notion of the future time for blessing of the gentiles is ALSO present in that image, and this would have been instructional both for her personal faith, and for the theological education of the disciples--they needed to know about the later mission to the gentiles that would occur (cf. John 10.16: 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.).

HERE

1/20/2010 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger Gerard said...

Ahem. "Harmonious" mixed-up fusion has better chops than boundaryless. <-- Arrk! Bad nonword word.

I shall not be correcting my quote of the original.

1/20/2010 12:20:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

I agree with you, Lynn, in historical terms, that Jesus was referring to the Gentiles at that point. (I have Unraveling Wittgenstein's Net on my sidebar. It's a great resource.) Today I think it is applicable to those who are not usually thought of as Christians but recognize who Jesus is -- sometimes referred to as feral Christians (did JWM come up with that one, too?).

1/20/2010 01:03:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Mushroom, JWM was the first I heard use “feral Christian.”
He’s got the good ones.
Wasn't he also responsible for the “Jesus-willies?”

1/20/2010 01:42:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

NB said,
"The latest batshit crazy leftist "meme" (hate that Dawkinsism, but you know what I mean) floating around is that by not allowing government takeover of the healthcare system "46,000 Americans will die every year" and it's (insert name here)'s FAULT."

Don't know if you caught it, but Rush ran some quick numbers on insuring like 12 million people - comes to about $30b's a year.
This admin doesn't bend over to pick up 30b's.

1/20/2010 01:44:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

mushroom-

The world is also the soul.

lynn-

From the eternal perspective all must face Christ and join him or not. In this sense there are those who are 'eternally' in the church, invisibly [because they will eventually join]. But from the temporal perspective the notion of an invisible church is a cop-out. It simply is us, like Moses, offering a certificate of divorce because we are stiff-necked and will not obey our Mother.

More generally, you are speaking of people who are 'good' - an idea which has ancient origins and does not require hijacking the Church.

Bob:

In Japanese, 'jiyuu' is roughly translated as freedom. The component characters are 'self' and 'reason'.

Confucius say...

1/20/2010 01:45:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

NB said,
"You have to really admire America though. All this animosity and political strife yet not one death."

Contrast that with the fact that the weather can be a factor in our elections. When they mentioned that possibility yesterday, I couldn't help remembering how the Iraqi's risked their lives for a "purple thumb."

1/20/2010 01:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

River Cocytus:

"all must face Christ and join him or not" So the church is like some kind of club we can join? That's the good news?
1 Corinthians 15:1-4

"the notion of an invisible church is a cop-out" Huh?
1 Corinthians 12:27
Ephesians 4:12
Colossians 1:18
Colossians 1:24

"you are speaking of people who are 'good'" Umm, who exactly?
Mark 7:21-23
Jer. 17:9
Rom. 6:14-20
Rom. 3:1
1 Cor. 2:14
Eph. 2:15
Eph. 2:3

"the world is also the soul" Huh?

I anonymously, humbly, and heartily recommend you spend more time in God's word (the Bible) and less in the writings of others who did.

1/20/2010 02:30:00 PM  
Anonymous coonified said...

Son of a preacher man:

Are you kiddin'. I'm a good ole boy to the core. No joke. I know what good country music is.

1/20/2010 03:39:00 PM  
Blogger jwm said...

Rick:
"Feral" came from whom I haven't written to in quite a while. She was very influential in my growth in spirit, along with Gagdad, Song and Dance Man, and a few others from the old days at LGF before CJ went creepazoid. "Jesus Willies" is my own turn of phrase.

JWM

1/20/2010 05:49:00 PM  
Blogger jwm said...

Odd. I tried to link Babazee's blog using the a=href thing and not only did it not link, it disappeared BabbaZee as well.

JWM

1/20/2010 05:52:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Babazee might be flagged by google? Try it again.

1/20/2010 06:41:00 PM  
Anonymous son of a preacher man said...

coonifed

I apparently conflated your post of trying to understand sacred art with trying to find sacred art, my apologies. Speaking of the trinity, there are three Hanks; Hiram, Randall, & Shelton.

Familiar with Reno & Smiley?

1/21/2010 06:51:00 AM  

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