Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Inversion, Subversion, and Perversion of the Left

I really like Schuon's compact description of the purpose of sacred art: "the return of accidents to Substance."

It's actually a two-way, or circular, process, very much like Creation itself (which is obviously no coincidence, given our theomorphism): "Art expresses this relationship in a movement that is at once descending and ascending, for on the one hand it reveals the Archetype in the form and on the other hand it brings the form or soul back to the Archetype."

Thus, it is a literal (↓↑), like an exteriorization of the interior followed by an interiorization of the exterior. And clearly, the descending or involutionary arrow must be prior in this relationship, one more reason why scientism and metaphysical Darwinism are such absurdities.

If you consider history, it obviously reveals a great deal of accident and contingency, which, of course, it must. This is not heaven.

However, looked at in another way, its most important features are nothing less than exteriorizations of the soul, which are in turn interiorized by those who come later. And when I say "interiorized," I mean that these past exteriorizations are precisely the Archetypes that awaken both the intelligence in general but also its specific contours and forms.

This used to be the grand meaning of a "liberal education": in the words of Matthew Arnold, it was to familiarize oneself with "the best that has been said and thought in the world."

But today, to obtain a liberal education is to familiarize oneself with -- and internalize -- all that is petty, envious, egalitarian, mediocre, bureaucratic, aesthetically toxic and spiritually corrosive, even while elevating oneself for being so destructively cynical toward all that is properly human. Cynicism instantly converts the inferior man to a superior man (in his own mind, of course.) It is a kind of "negative omniscience," like the infantile Power of No!

The pathological combination of cynicism and contempt is the mother's milk of the leftist, which we are now seeing in all its disturbing transparency due to the rabble's rejection of our elite masters.

Narcissists never take rejection well, but this is more than mere rejection. It is a dramatic repudiation of a whole worldview that is upside-down. Leftists don't realize it, but they literally cannot function in a world that is right-side up. To put it mildly, there is no place for a lowlife, thuggish, anti-intellectual, spiritually barren community agitator in the real world, much less as its leader. To put it another way, leftism is an employment program for the unemployable. Imagine Al Sharpton actually having to function somewhere!

And while looking up the exact wording of that quote by Arnold, I found another that equally applies: "Culture is properly described as the love of perfection; it is a study of perfection."

Now, what is perfection? It is something free of defect. In a way, it is to say that every part is necessary to the whole, and not contingent, which is another way of expressing Schuon's formulation above. Thus, to quote Arnold again, "Greatness is a spiritual condition," and creative life is "Waiting for the spark from heaven to fall."

Last week I considered writing a post about the importance of envy and contempt in the psychospiritual economy, but I refrained from doing so because I thought it would be too technical. But it just keeps coming up, as the left deals with its ongoing implosion. Taranto touched on it yesterday, quoting a typically clueless moonbat who cannot even consider the possibility that her leftist worldview is defective. The problem for poor progressives, you see, is that they are "partisans of reason and rational choice" (!).

As always, the problem for the left is Americans; but really, it's human beings, since their metaphysic does not apply to us. Which is why it never works. Especially in practice.

I won't dwell too much on envy and contempt, only to say that they are an important component of what Melanie Klein called the "manic defenses." Basically, you may think of the manic defenses as ways to deny an impending reality.

Let's suppose "4" is a disturbing reality. Therefore, just as you are about to realize that 2+2 = 4, the manic defenses come to the rescue to deny 4. How do they do it? Well, one way is to devalue or destroy 4 through contempt and envy. In colloquial terms, you might think if it as "sour grapes." But unconsciously, the person realizes -- or fears -- that the grapes are not sour at all.

So I am seeing this defense every day, multiple times a day. If the left knew what they were doing -- or had any control over the process -- I don't think they'd do it. Or at least they wouldn't publicly engage in it, because it is so personally unflattering, and so alienates normal Americans -- the very Americans whose lives these elites wish to control! And no wonder they wish to control us, since we are all racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic, xenophobic, and all the rest. How could such monsters be capable of self-government?

Klein writes that the purpose of the manic defenses is to deny a psychic reality, usually as a result of a significant loss of some kind. The loss for the leftist is not just in the exterior "political" world, but more importantly, in the interior world, since for the leftist, his identity is much more bound up with his politics than is the case for the spiritually normative person. The leftist is a "superior person" -- more wise, noble, tolerant, and intelligent than the rest of us -- so that to have his politics repudiated is a personal affront.

I think I'll move on. But this sidebar into politics is not entirely irrelevant to our discussion of art, since, as Schuon points out, "the return of the accidental to the Substance, of the formal to the Essence, amounts to the reintegration of plurality into Unity."

Thus, it is possible to deny this higher unity, which is what the left does a priori, what with its multiculturalism, moral relativism, egalitarianism, "tolerance" of the intolerable, deconstructionism, etc. As we have discussed before, leftism is the doctrine of ontological multiplicity and its implications, so that the only way out is down, into the black night where all is just another kind of one -- the bad and ultimately fascistic kind.

I'm running out of time here, but to say unity-multiplicity is also to say center-periphery. Now, the further from the center we fall, the less of the divine influence there is. At the extreme periphery there is a privation of the Good, but it is possible to crash through even that, and into the realm of cosmic subversion.

You might say that the upcoming election will result in a subversion of all the perversion, except that it will actually represent a supraversion of the left's cosmic inversion -- which is to say, a vertical ingression. God wi↓↑ing.

11 Comments:

Blogger JP said...

Bob says:

"So I am seeing this defense every day, multiple times a day. If the left knew what they were doing -- or had any control over the process -- I don't think they'd do it. Or at least they wouldn't publicly engage in it, because it is so personally unflattering, and so alienates normal Americans -- the very Americans whose lives these elites wish to control! And no wonder they wish to control us, since we are all racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic, xenophobic, and all the rest. How could such monsters be capable of self-government?"

The answer to your question is that they have to go to law school first.

Although it won't really solve the self-government problem, it will answer that age old question: "What is the easiest and most effective way to obtain $150,000 in non-dischargable debt?"

10/14/2010 08:15:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

"the return of the accidental to the Substance, of the formal to the Essence, amounts to the reintegration of plurality into Unity."

Or again, to be long multiple...

Last week I considered writing a post about the importance of envy and contempt in the psychospiritual economy, but I refrained from doing so because I thought it would be too technical.

I don't think you should let that stop you. If it really is too technical, we'll let you know - but sometimes it's exactly that sort of challenge that leads to more fruitful discussions. Certainly what you touched on today made perfect sense; it would be hard not to understand, given the abundance of examples.

10/14/2010 08:23:00 AM  
Blogger black hole said...

Actually, Bob, you are too kind to us.

Let's cut to the chase. The Left is not going to cloak itself in any appearances of being noble, kind, or tolerant.

We are predators. You are prey. We want your money and your property. All of it.

And we want to put you to work making more money and property that we can take from you.

We control the government, the police, the armed forces, the national guard, all radio and television stations, and all schools and universities.

Just now you're waking up. Guess what--too late.

So you want to resist. Well come on then, take it all back if you think you're man enough. Good luck with that.

All you have left is the internet. But we'll have that too before long-wait and see.

The Hole.

10/14/2010 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

only the most planned-&-executed vote-steal ever seen here [don't scoff]...
seems able to prevent a Dem. flameout come Nov.

10/14/2010 08:41:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Apropos

10/14/2010 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"I really like Schuon's compact description of the purpose of sacred art: "the return of accidents to Substance." "

Oh, I really like that too. It describes what is happening much better than the steps involved in making it happen... 'deliberately selecting those particulars that should be included, how stylistically, and in proper relation to the others, to convey the theme.'

What it's really doing is just that, returning what is the seemingly accidental, in order to elicit & convey what is of real Substance.

I like it.

10/14/2010 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"This used to be the grand meaning of a "liberal education": in the words of Matthew Arnold, it was to familiarize oneself with "the best that has been said and thought in the world." "

One of my favorites, here's Gutenberg's available docs for
Matthew Arnold.


"But today, to obtain a liberal education is to familiarize oneself with -- and internalize -- all that is petty, envious, egalitarian, mediocre, bureaucratic, aesthetically toxic and spiritually corrosive, even while elevating oneself for being so destructively cynical toward all that is properly human. Cynicism instantly converts the inferior man to a superior man (in his own mind, of course.) It is a kind of "negative omniscience," like the infantile Power of No!"

Cynicism, skepticism, contempt... they are the material and purpose of modern education.

"The pathological combination of cynicism and contempt is the mother's milk of the leftist, which we are now seeing in all its disturbing transparency due to the rabble's rejection of our elite masters. "

Ok, I can see that this is going to be one of those posts that I'll want to repost & comment on every line... so I'll stop now untill after I've read it all.

Difficult. To. Do.

10/14/2010 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

This is what happens when I read multiple posts in one day. But these last two really dovetail in my spirit.

I would say a good case could be made for exoteric religion at least making me aware of the danger my cynicism and contempt posed. I may not have been cured by fundamentalism, but nothing else was going to put me on the path to wholeness.

I guess it's like anti-venom -- good when you're snake-bit, but you wouldn't want it for lunch every day.

** Thank you, Julie :) **

10/14/2010 01:38:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Today, Taranto again touches on how "Democrats and their supporters in the press, since the summer of 2009, have been waging a smear campaign against the voters."

10/14/2010 01:49:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Taranto also provides more great examples of moonbats who don't ever consider that their worldview might be defective in his excerpts of the NYT Obama interview:

"Instead of confronting their own substantive shortcomings, Obama officials are blaming others:

In their darkest moments, White House aides wonder aloud whether it is even possible for a modern president to succeed, no matter how many bills he signs. . . . "

10/14/2010 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Completely OT, a bit of surreality just in case the day was too normal...

10/14/2010 03:52:00 PM  

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