Who's At Fault For the Fault Between the Fantasy and Reality of Obama?
One thing that interests me -- and confirms the idea that group fantasies are very much real -- is that suddenly everyone is seeing Obama in the way we saw him from the first moment we laid three eyes on him. How can this be? Has Obama changed? Hardly. Then how to account for the distance between who Obama actually is and what people imagined he was?
One annoying reader keeps chiding me for using psychology to understand this gulf, but what is one supposed to use, physics? To the extent that there is a subjective abyss between the way things are and the way a person thinks they are, that's my bag, baby.
Here is a sample what people are only now seeing in Obama, even though there is "nothing new" here for the Raccoon:
"... [I]n this White House, there is no there there. It's all smoke and mirrors, bells and whistles, held together with glib talk, Chicago politics and an audacious sense of entitlement. At the center is a young and talented celebrity whose worldview, we now know, is an incoherent jumble of poses and big-government instincts. His self-aggrandizing ambition exceeds his ability by so much that he is making a mess of everything he touches.
"He never advances a practical idea. Every proposal overreaches and comes wrapped in ideology and a claim of moral superiority. He doesn't listen to anybody who doesn't agree with him. After his first year on the job, America is sliding backwards, into grave danger at home and around the world. So much so that I now believe either of his rivals, Hillary Clinton or John McCain, would have made a better, more reliable and more trustworthy president."
I might add that I am not engaging in any kind of "vicious attack" on anyone. For one thing, I'm talking about generally good people who have been captured by an ideology. And if you could actually see me instead of projecting all sorts of hostility into my words, you'd see that I am as calm and dispassionate as a person can be.
The plain fact of the matter is that psychology alone cannot account for the distance between fantasy and reality, not when it is this great. The XVth card of the tarot, The Devil, introduces us "to the secrets of the electrical fire and the intoxication of counter-inspiration."
But before proceeding further, let us take to heart the warning of our Unknown Friend (UF), who cautions us that "One can grasp profoundly, i.e. intuitively, only that which one loves. Love is the vital element of profound knowledge, intuitive knowledge." If you have ever wondered why true evil -- nazi evil, Islamist evil -- is so impenetrable, it is because the normal person obviously cannot love evil: "Evil is therefore unknowable in its essence. One can understand it only at a distance, as an observer of its phenomenology."
I suppose another way of saying it is that (in linguistic terms) "evil" is a signifier with no coherent signified, being that true evil represents a genuine absence -- an absence or deprivation of the Good. As such, the essence of evil is that it has no essence. It is slippery, shape-shifting, mercurial... You know what it's like to argue with it.
In turn, this is why evil is truly a "bottomless pit." It is not actually infinite, since only the Absolute can be infinite. It does, however, tend toward its own kind of "false" or "bad" infinite (in the Hegelian sense), which is why man can only rise so high but can fall and fall without ever hitting bottom, as proved by Keith Olbermann. I suppose the physics of black holes might provide a handy way to think about this negative infinity. This would be easier -- and less spiritually dangerous -- than trying to imagine, say, the bottomless darkness of the Berkeley City Council.
UF goes on to say that in comparison to the luminous worlds of the celestial hierarchy, the world of evil is more "like a luxuriant jungle, where you can certainly, if necessary, distinguish hundreds and thousands of particular plants, but where you can never attain to a clear view of the totality."
Do you know what he means? I do. It's what makes it so difficult to argue with politically deranged people, who, when you cut off one limb of their argument, just grow another. It's like a collection with no center or ordering principle, just a blob or agglomeration -- which is the opposite of the Life principle, i.e., that which organizes, unifies, and synthesizes. Dynamic wholeness is the essence of Life, which means that evil and death must be related to dispersal and fragmentation. Thus, "the world of evil is a chaotic world -- at least, such as it presents itself to the observer." (You will also have noticed that true science is impossible for such a person, because they cannot see the totality, only a collection of parts.)
Vertically speaking, order is "up," while chaos is down (although, there is a kind of paradoxical "static chaos" at the very bottom). No surprise there. In Genesis, God's first act is simply to separate. Without separation there is only the formless void of primordial chaos. If you don't understand the holiness and the sacredness of divine separation, then you don't understand anything. Yes, this separation, or duality, can be transcended, but only from above, never from below. Better to live in Holy duality than to obliterate divinely ordained distinctions out of a self-deluded belief in bogus transcendence, which is what the "new age" is all about.
As is leftism, which might just as well be called "down syndrome," being that it is rooted in the anti-divine principle of blending. For the left, In the Beginning was Order. Now, let us gleefully tear it down and blend darkness with light, the upper waters with the lower waters!
Examples are too numerous to mention, but one would have to include the obliteration of sexual differences, the trivialization of generational differences, the effacement of the distinction between knowledge and wisdom, the attack on private property, and the judicial activism which blurs the plain meaning of the Constitution; not to mention the conflation of transcendence and immanence, the satanic confusion of moral relativism, the abysmal fall into multiculturalism, and the obsession with the redistribution rather than creation of wealth. All of these trends are evil to the core, despite the paradoxical absence of a core. Again, evil is essentially without essence. It is perpetually going from nowhere to nothing, while enjoying the... what's the word, Jeeves? Yes, the frisson of the fall.
Now, just as the right kind of obedience is freedom -- for example, fidelity to Truth -- the wrong kind of freedom is slavery. According to UF, one of the subtexts of the Devil card is that of slavery, in that it depicts a man and woman bound by the neck to a much larger androgynous entity.
Interestingly, just as the union of male and female can create the miracle of a baby to raise (and who shall in turn raise them up in mysterious ways!), it seems that a false blending of their essences can engender another kind of being that shall lower them, so to speak. As UF explains, the card has to do with "the generation of demons and of the power that they have over those who generate them. It is the Arcanum of creation of artificial beings and of the slavery into which the creator can fall -- becoming a slave of his own creation." (For example, consider how Tiger Woods is a slave of this false blending.)
Let's pause here for a moment. In this regard, I can remember the precise moment when I crossed over that line from leftist back to liberal (i.e., conservative); or, to put it another way, when it was no longer possible to be on the left. I simply asked myself, "who is responsible for my existential unhappiness?" I won't go into all of the details, as that would take us down a lengthy deitour. But the point is, I realized that I was a slave of my own creation -- for example, an evil creation I called "Ronald Reagan." Of course, my creation had nothing whatsoever to do with the actual Ronald Reagan. Rather -- and this is critical -- not only was it my creation, but it was me. Just as in a dream, I was persecuted by my own elaborate production -- like the spider who lives in a web spun from its own substance.
I was reminded of this again last night in reading the liner notes to the new edition of Donald Fagen's excellent Nightfly Trilogy (nothing I'm about to say detracts from the music). As much as I appreciate Steely Dan (Becker & Fagen), like most people of their generation, their jaded cynicism does not extend to their own default moonbattery, which sits there like a kind of unexamined Holy Writ. Which it is. It is the genesis myth of the Baby Boom generation -- the idea that the evil is Out There in the Nixonian uncool ones who are oppressing us. (And which is why they imagined that the Cool One would save the planet.)
I know exactly what Fagen means when he reflects that "to a weekend hippie in the '60s," political paranoia "seemed kind of exciting." Indeed, for me, this was the appeal of a Noam Chomsky or Howard Zinn -- that they provided a kind of secret gnostic knowledge, an alternative conspiracy theory that explained everything -- why the world is so off-kilter and out of joint, and more to the point, why I was so unfulfilled. Ronald Reagan hates me!
It's one thing to think this way in the '60s. But it is rather pathetic to still think it in one's 60s, as Fagen apparently does. He's still haunted by his self-generated demons -- i.e., mind parasites -- which have now appropriated the host, as suggested in the liner notes of the dark and dystopian world of Morph the Cat, released in 2006 (especially when compared to the idealism and optimism of Nightfly). As he writes,
"Paranoia just wasn't fun anymore in the age of al Qaeda." But not because of al Qaeda! Rather, he speaks disparagingly of Republicans taking over his city (New York) at the 2002 convention, and ends his notes with the following warning: "If you see some folks who believe that spirits and ghosts and hell actually exist and they're really sure about it and they're comin' your way -- RUN!"
I couldn't agree more -- run away from those who believe in vague spirits called "change," ghosts called "Bush" or "Cheney," or the hell of Gitmo.