Monday, November 29, 2010

Anti-Religious Bigotry and the Cultivation of Stupidity

(Formerly titled On Cutting Off Your Nous To Spite the Face Before You Were Born, which was too oblique.)

Just as behind all religion and all spiritual philosophy there is a metaphysical assent -- the affirmation of Being -- so behind materialism... there is a metaphysical negation -- the denial of Being -- which is the ultimate and quasi-mystical ground of the materialistic position. --Christopher Dawson

What if the ultimate purpose of education were not simply to receive the state's idea of knowledge (k) but to nurture and strengthen the Light which makes it possible to know at all? For if one cannot know what it is important to know -- and why -- it hardly matters what one does know.

Knowledge always exists in a context -- a container -- and if the context is false, it renders the content dubious at best. For example, the left can never understand America, because the container of its "adversary intellectuals" distorts the country into one that is fundamentally racist, or sexist, or homophobic, or greedy, or what have you.

I suppose there are still some people who bitterly cling to the idea that Obama is unusually intelligent. But even if this were the case, his container is so messed up that whatever native intelligence he does possess is steeped in the Lie. I think this becomes more evident with every passing month -- that Obama has a deeply flawed vision of America and of reality more generally (i.e., economics, religion, science, history, psychology, etc.).

As it so happens, the purpose of a (classical) liberal education is, as the adjective suggests, to liberate the mind from various contingencies -- i.e., to truly adequate oneself to the diverse manifestations of the Real in a disinterested manner. Therefore, those who run our educational establishment are mainly engaged in something else entirely. They may be ideologues, or propagandists, or technicians, or mechanics, but they are anything but liberated from their narrow agendas.

It is no wonder that young adolts are generally more stupid coming out of a liberal university than they were going into it. Because if one is not exposed to the Light, one will simply assimilate the darkness and try to use it to illuminate one's life. I am convinced that this is one of the primary reasons why the left is so confused, and why its adherents cannot argue or even think logically. They value education but not the Light from which it derives its value -- just as they value art without beauty and the maintenance of politically correct beliefs without individual virtue.

The dehumanized and anti-intellectual climate of our university system is obvious to us today, but Dawson noticed the problem some fifty or sixty years ago -- that it was starting to become disturbingly illiberal, un-scholarly, and post-literate because anti-religious. This wackademic mania "arose among the half-educated and gradually spread both upwards and downwards."

Among other distortions, the upside-down education of the left emphasizes such impossibilities as knowledge without truth, rights without duties, self-esteem over self-transcendence, and the antihero over the hero, since the former is the authentic nihilist who sees through the sham of authoritarian hierarchy, oppression, perennial values, and first principles.

The left idealizes these monsters because they have the courage -- i.e., violence -- to permanently solve the annoying problem of classical liberals and their delusions of freedom, private property, and individual conscience. (And anyone who thinks I'm being polemical ought to read the extensively documented Dupes: How America's Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century.)

A genuine hero is only heroic to the extent that he risks life and limb for a real and permanent good that transcends himself. Since transcendence doesn't exist for the secularist, the hero must therefore be an idiot or a manipulative liar. One saw this deep moral confusion in the torture debate. Even if one regards waterboarding as torture, only a moral imbecile cannot see that it makes all the difference in the world whether it is in the pursuit of evil ends -- just as there is an infinite difference between an American violently killing a nazi and a nazi killing an American. Same act, different context.

The religiously super mensch differs from the Nietzschean superman, in that the former "is free from some of the practical implications of morality only by identifying with the intelligible source from whence morality arises" (Bolton). He is free not just to do anything, but to do good, which is the only real freedom -- just as freedom to know truth can be the only real intellectual freedom.

Another way of saying it is that the hero is free to defend reality, while the antihero is "free" to be hostile to spiritual reality and to therefore live in fantasy. Leftist intellectuals are certainly free within the constraints of their two horizontal dimensions (who, because of the tamasic inertia caused by the absence of grace, also inevitably fall into a third dimension, the lower vertical), but in the absence of the transcendent, their freedom doesn't even have the value of animal freedom, since it will always be tainted by a guilt-stained recollection of the Real, or what Joyce called the agenbite of inwit.

Yes, the left has its heroes, but when you scratch the surface, you will see that they are always worshipped for their destructive, not creative, capacities. For example, one of the reasons I was against the MLK holiday is that I knew the left would simply turn it into a partisan anti-holiday celebrating anger, bitterness, envy and division -- the opposite of what a holy-day is supposed to accomplish, which is the facilitation or recollection of the wholeness or transcendent unity that makes a nation possible.

The problem isn't with King, at least to the extent that he was simply trying to make America comport with its first principles, which are so obviously rooted in the transcendent, i.e., "all men are created equal." The problem is how the left cynically uses King to advance principles that have nothing to do with American ideals. Ultimately, the left is a revolt against the vertical order, or "defiance of the cause of their own existence," i.e., pneumacognitive cluelesscide.

Why do leftists instinctively and unreflectively embrace the environmental hysteria of the climate change fanatics? It is because in the absence of mature spirituality, they have no metaphysical bullshit detector, so they essentially convert a spiritual crisis into a weather crisis -- the externalization of inward evils. In the hierarchy of being, Man is above the natural environment, not an entity that is reducible to it. Nature is not actually our mother, unless balanced with the transcendent male principle, i.e., immamanence + patranscendence.

But if "liberated" from transcendence -- i.e., the Father -- we are swallowed up in the infra-rational realm of the Great Mother. Free of the One, we simply fall back into the orbit of the (m)Other. If this were ever completely successful, the result would be, in the words of Bolton, "an opting out of [Man's] place in the cosmic hierarchy, while retaining a dominance over nature based on human powers and techniques alone. Nothing further from truth and stability could be conceived, nor anything better calculated to result in a stampede into the jaws of Fate in its most inhuman form." In other words, leftism in itself is an environmental crisis of the first magnitude.

This reminds me very much of depressed patients who cannot bear their depression and therefore experience it only in the body, i.e., the "physical environment." I recently evaluated just such a woman, who was clearly profoundly depressed but consciously unaware of being so. However, she had pain in nearly every part of her body, in the absence of any objective medical findings to account for it.

In her case, her conscious mind very much existed on a two-dimensional plane that excluded emotional (and therefore intellectual) depth, so that the only way she could "think" about her depression was through the body. In other words, one can no more deny the unconscious than one can pretend one doesn't have a body. To the extent that it is denied, it will simply return in some other misrecognized form.

It is no different with Spirit -- both good and bad. To the extent that it is denied, it will simply return in some disguised form. And this is why, to paraphrase Richard Weaver, all attacks on religion inevitably result in attacks on the mind, for how could it not be so? To cite just one obvious example, if we are nothing more than materialistic Darwinian machines, then there could be no way for us to know that truth. All truth, by definition, is transnatural and could never have come from mere matter. Nor could goodness or beauty come from nature -- unless nature is not what you think it is.

This is why we can say that all good comes from God, even if indirectly -- which is almost always necessarily the case, given the hierarchical complexity of manifest existence (just as your brain must work through so many layers and systems to accomplish even the simplest goal; it doesn't accomplish its ends by magic -- except that it actually does). Real power is always spiritual power, the ability to make an idea manifest in the material world. In this sense, we are all mirrorcles of the absolute, in that we have the capacity to make the word flesh. Civilization itself is nothing but word made flesh.

What, you think dirt just becomes flesh and flesh becomes Word on its own? Then you're a moron and you desperately need to know it, which is the only reason why I say it. Believe me, it doesn't give me any pleasure to do so. Dupree, that's a different story. Nevertheless, extremism in the defense of reality is no vice, just as tolerance of the intolerable is no virtue.

21 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

A genuine hero is only heroic to the extent that he risks life and limb for a real and permanent good that transcends himself.

First link of the day...

11/29/2010 08:56:00 AM  
Blogger black hole said...

Ah, a blank slate, a new post. Love it.

To Rebut:

America is Leftist. It is ours. You are the one who doesn't understand America. You have taken a different trail than the majority of your countrymen.

Deal with it.

Universities are Leftist. They exist to propogate and reinforce our ideology.

You don't like that. So you've said. But we are Darwinians and we want to exist, so we use the University to that end.

Religious Universities can do their own thing. We don't care.

You call us Morons. So be it. But the first order of business here is to exist, to dominate, to subsume, to control.

That's the game, brothah. I concede God exists, and He is true, and he is beautiful, and everything else you say.

But this is Earth. This is a free-for all. So bring it or go home.

11/29/2010 08:58:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Julie:

So true. One of the things that really stood out in this wonderful book on the Six Day War is the hideous manner in which Muslim countries treat their soldiers.

11/29/2010 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger black hole said...

Turn on the TV and surf the channels. You are outflanked, clearly.

By all rights the crush of non-raccoons should have put out the lights long ago for the Brotherhood.

Why, tho scattered and surrounded, do raccoons exist at all? How do they propogate and survive from one generation to the next?

Answer that and you may get a clue as to what you should be doing.

11/29/2010 09:28:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

"I recently evaluated just such a woman, who was clearly profoundly depressed but consciously unaware of being so....In her case, her conscious mind very much existed on a two-dimensional plane."

What was the cause of her depression? Was it caused, in a sense, by a denial of the vertical? Or perhaps by the "some thing" or "missing some thing" that existed there?

11/29/2010 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Parental Empathic Failure resulting in inadequate Alpha-function.

11/29/2010 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger SippicanCottage said...

One appreciates candor, especially when so many say one thing so they can do an entirely different thing when they're in the driver's seat.

But it's still amusing to see a candid parasite mocking the host it's living off, and planning a big party -- scheduled for the day the host dies.

But Bob went over that already.

11/29/2010 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger Matthew Casey Smallwood said...

Gaghdad Bob, you may enjoy Richard Mitchell (on education):
http://www.sourcetext.com/grammarian/

A great post.

11/29/2010 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

To: Gagdad
Re: "Parental Empathic Failure resulting in inadequate Alpha-function."

Several things flashed my mind reading your diagnosis. First, humans were designed to be loved and to love. Absence of this manna has serious consequences. Secondly, those that suffer from PEF project it in their voting patterns and belief systems in hopes of creating the loving and involved parent they were denied. Basically, they want to hire the state to fix them via a surrogate daddy. What happens when the PEF projectionists realize that they have elected a surrogate father figure who himself suffers from PEF? Whom do they blame then?

11/29/2010 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

Tigtog says:

"What happens when the PEF projectionists realize that they have elected a surrogate father figure who himself suffers from PEF? Whom do they blame then?"

George W. Bush.

11/29/2010 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

Bob says:

"Parental Empathic Failure resulting in inadequate Alpha-function."

Is this a Bion thingy?

11/29/2010 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

"Parental Empathic Failure resulting in inadequate Alpha-function."

Okay, don't tell me.

11/29/2010 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

I think she wasn't hugged enough as a child resulting in her inability ,uh, Alphaize her Beta thoughts.

11/29/2010 01:17:00 PM  
Blogger black hole said...

Ian, 28, graduate of U of C Davis in Solar Engineering.

Single, scruffy beard, casual clothes. Makes good money.

Vegan. Belives in Green Energy and reducing the carbon footprint. Not so sure about God. If She exists, is far away and does not attend to humans.

Hikes and paints. Does not hunt or fish. Does not own a gun. Doesn't like guns.

Father is well connected: Engineer for the State.

Ian will attend rallies and vote for all Democratic initiatives.

We can scramble 10,000 Ians to any part of the country as needed to say, protest some drilling proposition.

Maggie, 52, teacher, married, two kids. Prays, believes, and feels the prescence of God.

Good, Truth, and Beauty are her standards.

Reads scripture. Meditates. Has a rich spiritual iife.

Votes Republican.

Has no time or energy to go to political rallies or protests.

No connections in government.

Doesn't belive in GW. Owns a shotgun.


So you see raccoons, why the Leftys are bullying you and taking your lunch money.

We indoctrinate from cradle to grave. Our people work tirelessly for our causes, and believe in them fervently.

No one can hope to match our system.

So talk about us with disdain, but you'd do well to take lessons from us instead.

11/29/2010 05:23:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

But if "liberated" from transcendence -- i.e., the Father -- we are swallowed up in the infra-rational realm of the Great Mother. Free of the One, we simply fall back into the orbit of the (m)Other. If this were ever completely successful, the result would be, in the words of Bolton, "an opting out of [Man's] place in the cosmic hierarchy, while retaining a dominance over nature based on human powers and techniques alone. Nothing further from truth and stability could be conceived, nor anything better calculated to result in a stampede into the jaws of Fate in its most inhuman form." In other words, leftism in itself is an environmental crisis of the first magnitude.

Perhaps I'm wrong, but it seems to me that if modern man were to regress to such a point, it would also be far worse than when, for instance, a primitive tribe practices a pagan spirituality. By which I mean, for most Westerners such earth worship represents a cultural regression every bit as shocking as if a grown man were to suddenly behave like a toddler, simply because he doesn't like being an adult.

In other words, at a certain stage of cultural development earth worship is probably normal, maybe even healthy, but once that stage is past to return is inherently - and deeply - disordered.

***

I like the new pic, btw. FL is super cute!

11/29/2010 05:38:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

So you see raccoons, why the Leftys are bullying you and taking your lunch money.

We indoctrinate from cradle to grave. Our people work tirelessly for our causes, and believe in them fervently.


And He asked him, "What is thy name?" And he answered, saying, "My name is Legion: for we are many."

11/29/2010 09:12:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Completely off topic, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Also, that nobody had to deal with family like this...

11/29/2010 09:27:00 PM  
Blogger SippicanCottage said...

Edgey as a bowling ball. Dancing on the twenty yard line.

Try again.

11/30/2010 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger SippicanCottage said...

Not referring to you of course, Julie. You're swell.

11/30/2010 09:08:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

I didn't figure. But thanks for the clarification :)

11/30/2010 09:14:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Although if you had been talking about me, it would have been reasonably accurate. I try to keep my sharp edges retracted unless somebody reallY needs flaying...

11/30/2010 09:32:00 PM  

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