Monday, October 25, 2010

Swaddled in Ideology, Enclosed in the Arms of Death

It seems that people routinely conflate dogma and ideology, but religion is -- or should be -- the opposite of ideology, since the latter encloses, while religion dilates and liberates. Furthermore, the most sublime religious philosophy eventually yields to the unitive experience of divine communion which is its source (cf. Thomas Aquinas).

Ideology can only pretend to be disinterested and "intellectual," hence the secret danger that it actually enlists -- and parasitizes -- much more of us than we realize. First we give it life, then it takes from us, like Obamacare.

Man wishes to know (and is made know), and he wants to know totally and with certainty -- which requires knowing with his entire being. Our deepest desire is to give ourselves over totally to something that transcends us; no one actually wants to be an atheist or skeptic, which is why atheism so quickly turns into a faux religion. An atheist is an atheist because he loves truth, however fragmentary and dimly perceived.

When Bertrand Russell was jailed during World War I for some sort of civil disobedience, the jailer asked him his religion. "Agnostic," he said. Unfamiliar with the term, the jailer said, "I guess it's all right. We all worship the same God, don't we?"

Of course the anecdote is told for the purpose of ridiculing the jailer's naiveté and Russell's subtlety, when from the higher perspective, the roles are ironically reversed. Russell is the naive one.

For as Schuon writes, the rationalist merely "calls 'reason' his lack of imagination and knowledge, and his ignorances are for him the 'data' of reason." When the unimaginative mentality grinds away at ignorance, the result is the kind of highflown philosophistry Russell spent his life producing and defending.

Yes, it is sophistry but it is equally philo, again, because man is made to sincerely love truth. As Schuon writes, "to be sincere is to draw from the Truth the maximal consequences from the point of view of both intelligence and will."

Indeed, this is why intellectual leftism and the willfulness of activism go hand in hand. It is not enough for the leftist to love his self-styled truth; rather, he feels an inner compulsion to impose it upon others. Why do you think the trolls feel compelled to come here and educate us? It is a good impulse turned bad as a result of a passionate attachment to the Lie. In short, it is a perversion.

Sincerity is "to think and will with the heart, hence with our entire being, with all we are" (Schuon). Again, man does not wish to live in a fragmented state in which he is alienated from God, self and world. No one wants to be Bill Maher; rather, one has no perceived choice but to be Bill Maher. One is enclosed in Bill Maher, with no apparent exit. It would take a bigger man than Bill Maher to not be so bitter about his total bedickament.

Both types of fundamentalist -- religious and secular -- end up enclosing "the intelligence and sensibility within the phenomenal order" (Schuon). This is a quite critical point, for metaphysics (and therefore total truth) is not, and cannot be, derived from the phenomenal realm.

Rather, the converse: the phenomenal realm, the manifestation, is a function of the principial realm. Here again, this is why secular ideology must enclose, for it reverses the ontological situation and contains man in what he properly contains.

In other words, in the ultimate sense, the soul is not in the cosmos; rather, the cosmos is in the soul. Which is to say, the soul contains the cosmos. If this were not the case, we couldn't have transcendent and universal knowledge of the cosmos.

But the scientistic ideologue makes the elementary error of forgetting his own transcendence and sealing himself up in his own imagination, like, I don't know, like this picture worth a thousand posts:


In fact, you often hear atheist sophisticates say that they have no problem with injunctions against murder and theft, but what's the deal with the graven images? This is the deal with graven images, that they can become a self-dug grave for the imagination if one forgets that they are only images.

Again, ideology suffocates, spirit in-spires. Ideology suffocates because it does not breathe in the Real: "in the human microcosm, the descent is inspiration and the ascent is aspiration; the descent is divine grace whereas the ascent is human effort, the content of which is the 'remembrance of God'" (Schuon).

In short, it is the psychospiritual metabolism represented by (↓↑). Now, imagine life in the absence of this metabolism. What would happen? Well, on the spiritual plane, approximately the same thing that happens to a person with kidney failure denied dialysis. There is an accumulation of toxins, which in turn leads to damage to the organism.

In the mind denied its proper metabolism, the toxic build-up must be dealt with in another manner. For example, I'm thinking of when I was diagnosed with diabetes a few years back. You know you have diabetes when you can't get enough water and you can't stop peeing. What is happening is that your body is defaulting to "plan B" to get rid of all the excess sugar, i.e., urination.

What is plan B for the intoxicated mind? Let us count the ways: denial, splitting, projection, projective identification, acting out, infantile omniscience, envy, devaluation, contempt. Or, just say "left."

In the book, we symbolize it •••()•••, which alludes to the fact that the mind remains open (as it must in order to survive), only on a horizontal level, with demons outside instead of below.

And as I mentioned above, it is not just leftists and radical secularists who engage in this, but religious flatlanders as well. Just two sides of the same counterfeit coin of the realm.

Out of time....

30 Comments:

Blogger Grant Maher said...

Bob, this post is profound on several levels. The extended metaphor of the "intoxicated mind" is the focus of my comment.

Per your analysis, as physical disorder is compensated by the body, so mental disorder is compensated by the mechanisms you listed, which are also the spawning grounds of human evil and suffering.

On the street level, this means we must avoid the fundamental error of attribution; we cannot routinely attribute evil acts to a fundamentally willful or wicked character, out of hand. I'm sure in a few special cases we may see genuine wickedness but for the most part, not.

We must humanize doers of evil and recognize that they are suffering from an involuntary malady for which there is a remedy.

This recognition must extend to ourselves as well. We must humanize ourselves, forgiving our faults at the same time as seeking to correct them.

Unless we are genuinely wicked. Fewer than ten in several hundred thousand are of that type. If you are one, you will know it.

Compassion, tolerance, and patience are the sensible ways in our daily lives, for ourselves and for others.

Every day, every minute, seek to apply the remedy to the open sores in the minds around you. Even a speck of ointment applied is of incalcuable worth; whereas, making a million dollars, if it offers not that solace, is of lesser worth.

10/25/2010 08:51:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

"Bedickament"

lol

Now the baby is looking at me funny. Back to reading...

10/25/2010 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

the descent is divine grace whereas the ascent is human effort, the content of which is the 'remembrance of God'

I've been thinking of that word lately, "remember," and how it is the opposite of "dismember." Not etymologically, perhaps, but in a literal sense nonetheless. That is, to properly remember is to make something or someone whole within the self.

So, for instance, when Christ says "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me," there is more to the act than simple recall.

10/25/2010 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Grant said-

"The extended metaphor of the "intoxicated mind" is the focus of my comment."

Obviously.

"I'm sure in a few special cases we may see genuine wickedness but for the most part, not."

Unless you are spiritually deaf and blind, there is genuine wickedness perty much all over the place. Just look at our present bedickament and the bedick-in-chief...hell, I could go on all day listing examples and barely cover the tip of the blightberg.

"We must humanize doers of evil and recognize that they are suffering from an involuntary malady for which there is a remedy."

No, "we" must not, but I'm ue you'll give it the 'ol college try.

"Unless we are genuinely wicked. Fewer than ten in several hundred thousand are of that type."

What's with the "we" talk? Are you talkin' about you? And where did you pull those numbers from? Note: that's a rhetorical crack.

"If you are one, you will know it."

Really? While some might know it, I seriously doubt most do. As for me, I was rootin' for Doctor Evil.

"Compassion, tolerance, and patience are the sensible ways in our daily lives, for ourselves and for others."

Except for "tolerance" I actually agree with you. Remember, Jesus had no tolerance for the moneychangers and hypocritical pharisees.
Tolerance of evil is beyond idiotic, it's a recipe for the destruction of humanity.

"Even a speck of ointment applied is of incalcuable worth;"

I dunno, I'm sure God has a big enough calculator.

10/25/2010 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Julie said-

"I've been thinking of that word lately, "remember," and how it is the opposite of "dismember." Not etymologically, perhaps, but in a literal sense nonetheless. That is, to properly remember is to make something or someone whole within the self."

That's a remarkable truth to meditate on, Julie. Thanks! :^)

10/25/2010 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Indeed, this is why intellectual leftism and the willfulness of activism go hand in hand. It is not enough for the leftist to love his self-styled truth; rather, he feels an inner compulsion to impose it upon others. Why do you think the trolls feel compelled to come here and educate us? It is a good impulse turned bad as a result of a passionate attachment to the Lie. In short, it is a perversion."

IMPOSE by force. Definitely a perversion and here is another example of wickedness for Grant. These folks think nothin' of taking our liberties away and enslaving us in the chains of their hell-spawned ideology.

10/25/2010 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"In the book, we symbolize it •••()•••, which alludes to the fact that the mind remains open (as it must in order to survive), only on a horizontal level, with demons outside instead of below."

And, dare I say it (yes, I dare, I dare!): demons inside. Great post, Bob!

10/25/2010 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Looks like I'm a Social Liberal (66% permissive) and an Economic Conservative (71% permissive) best described as a Libertarian, who exhibits a very well-developed sense of Right and Wrong and believe in economic fairness.

Take the test.

10/25/2010 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I think Classical Liberal would be the more accurate designation....

10/25/2010 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

I had the same numbers. I didn't think Libertarian was quite right as a designation, either. Classical Liberal I can live with.

10/25/2010 11:50:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Mine is:

Social Conservative
(38% permissive)

and an...

Economic Conservative
(78% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Republican

You exhibit a very well-developed sense of Right and Wrong and believe in economic fairness.

I thought some of the questions were too vague, but it was set up by mathmeticians running a dating site...

I cooncur with the classical (coonicle) liberal description as well. :^)

10/25/2010 12:22:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Ben - agreed about the vagueness. I don't know if I'd get the same score if I took it again, just because there were quite a few that had me thinking my response would depend on the circumstances. I would have liked to see a noncommittal option for at least some of the questions.

Because it's so important to be properly classified by online quizzes ;)

10/25/2010 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger Grant Maher said...

USN Ben: From your rebuttal to my comment I gather you would rather not split hairs over what constitutes "wickedness" or why it occurs. Keeping it general has its merits.

The matter at hand relates to fear. Fear is the state of anxiety over what will happen.
If one trusts that the best will always happen, then fear is removed.

The working hypothesis is that once fear is removed from humanity, 99% of wickedness melts away, exposing only a small cadre of fearless evildoers; that is, these people have no anxiety over outcome. They trust that the worst will always happen, and they like it that way.

They have little regard for their own wellbeing but paradoxically seem to do quite well, probably because they are so relaxed and happy.

Sheep and wolves. Just a few of the latter.

10/25/2010 01:55:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

grant said "The working hypothesis is that once fear is removed from humanity, 99% of wickedness melts away"

Your working hypothesis doesn't work. 99.74230008% of fools are quite free from fear and wickedness follows in their wake.

Add to that that you assUme that consciously evil doers could be either relaxed or happy, and your table falls to the ground, knocking all matter from your hand 87.3664972100002% of the time.

10/25/2010 02:24:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

But the scientistic ideologue makes the elementary error of forgetting his own transcendence and sealing himself up in his own imagination

In other news, Love at First Sight Exists, Scientists Say.

‘These results confirm love has a scientific basis.’

Of course, it's all caused by chemicals.

In tests, Prof Ortigue’s team analysed the brain’s reaction to love...

I'm really curious as to how they carried out this study. Did they introduce sets of strangers then measure their chemical reactions, checking to see whether anyone fell in love (or "love")? How much heavy petting was involved? Who in their right mind would allow a budding romance to be chemically analyzed? Did any marriages result?

So many questions, so little real science...

10/25/2010 02:30:00 PM  
Blogger Grant Maher said...

I'm not getting anywhere with USN Ben or Van. They are sarcastic and do not cut to the chase. I need the real McCoy here.

Bob, please render an opinion regarding the hypothesis that consciously evil persons exist, and on the assertion such people will be found to be pretty comfortable with life.

I believe you may have had exposure to such in your line of work and would know, using arcane senses, which these were.

Why is this important? Because although the rank and file deviant and criminal is a scared and defensive sheep, the hard-core bad person is an althogether different animal. The raccoon must be able to make the correct call so as to know how to act, on a case by case basis.

Otherwise the treatment goes too harsh for the former, and too lenient for the latter. One size does not fit all.

10/25/2010 03:39:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

grunt maker said “The raccoon must be able to make the correct call so as to know how to act, on a case by case basis.”

‘nuff said.

10/25/2010 05:10:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

You are a

Social Conservative
(38% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(21% permissive)


You are best described as a:

Totalitarian

Sounds about right.

That certainly fits well with my mood today.

10/25/2010 05:52:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

I'd make a great Puritan Leveler.

10/25/2010 06:01:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

Gagdaddy!

Mr. Test called me a Libertarian, too! So then I told him, "Oh, huh!"

And he said I'm almost as permissive as you, but just as, er, "tight" as you about fiscal things!

What does he know, anywayz??

10/25/2010 06:12:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"Your true political self:
You are a

Social Liberal
(68% permissive)

and an...

Economic Conservative
(76% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Libertarian [B. Friggin' S.!]

You exhibit a very well-developed sense of Right and Wrong and believe in economic fairness
."

As much as I hate to disagree with the idea that ideas can be properly evaluated and identified by multiple choice questions... I really object to the 'libertarian' label.

Yep, Classical Liberal here too.

10/25/2010 06:21:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

... and I don't believe in political, legal, social or economic 'fairness', as determined by any official orifice.

10/25/2010 06:25:00 PM  
Blogger Grant Maher said...

Van, I've asked you not to call me 'grunt maker,'and you have agreed not to. Now you've done it again.

I explained to you that I do not like being called names. I really do not like it at all.

I am dissapointed and angry with you. I expect you to comport yourself as a gentleman. If you have a problem with me, you will speak directly to me about the issue without resorting to name calling.

Are we clear on this now?

I hope so. Now speak up, what's on your mind?

10/25/2010 10:54:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

grunt maker said “I explained to you that I do not like being called names. I really do not like it at all.”

How about green eggs and ham?

I was reminded this morning of two adages which sum up my opinion of you and your sock puppets:

Hanlon’s Razor: "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."

And writer Arthur C. Clark’s,
Clark's Law: "Sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice."

The upshot of which is that despite your constipated attempts to sound mannered and logical, your grunting is too loud to understand your words, and that falls below the minimum requirements of gentlemanly conduct, which leaves only the option of childish behavior for dealing with most of your comments.

That, and I like name calling – especially when the name called is more accurate than the name given.

10/26/2010 05:57:00 AM  
Blogger SippicanCottage said...

The Bertrand Russell anecdote is the shiznit.

I took that test. The website said it was calling the authorities if I ever corresponded with them again.

10/26/2010 06:24:00 AM  
OpenID kaffepaus said...

I am a Social Liberal (63% permissive)

and an... Economic Conservative (80% permissive)

I'm are best described as a Libertarian.

**

I would say that it is quite correct.

I like this quiz: http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz. Takes less time to fill in and makes me a Libertarian (or a classic liberal/conservative) too.

/Johan

10/26/2010 07:14:00 AM  
Blogger Grant Maher said...

Van:

Your contempt for me comes through loud and clear, although you did not explain exactly what about me incites this.

"Loud grunting" does not do it.

"Sock puppet" is inscrutable.

Your conduct with me is without merit.

Compared to an honorable military man like USN Ben or dignified lady like Julie you are an undisciplined rougue and a disgrace to this blogsite. You are not fit to comment beside them.

You should also be upbraided by the blogsite author.

In short, I challenge you to a duel.

Consider yourself slapped on each cheek by a white glove.

You are a callow brigand and shall be brought to account.

10/26/2010 08:17:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Sippican Cottage said "I took that test. The website said it was calling the authorities if I ever corresponded with them again."

Heh, I've my own short quiz which I like much better:
1) Do you believe that Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn and that 2+2=4?

2) Do you believe our Rights are derived from our nature as human beings?

3) Do you believe that in order to be secure in your rights, the property of everyone must be secured and protected by law; for only if men are at liberty to create, acquire, use, or sell their property as they choose, which is inseparable from their choices over their life and limb, speech, actions and recreation, only then will men have true liberty and their Rights secured - yes or no?

Answering "Yes" to 1, 2 and 3 and remaining consistent with them, makes you, at least potentially, a Classical Liberal, and so perhaps worth talking further with.

Denying either 1, 2 or 3 puts you into one tyrannical camp or the other, the particular flavor or fashions of which aren't particularly important. Until you can agree on 1, 2 & 3, there's no point pretending to be discussing anything else.

10/26/2010 08:32:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

grunt maker said "Consider yourself slapped on each cheek by a white glove."

[laughs, strolls back to work]

10/26/2010 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger Grant Maher said...

Come back here you knave and I'll take the belt to you.

You won't be sitting for awhile. Hmmph.

10/26/2010 01:39:00 PM  

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