Saturday, March 27, 2010

Disordered Reason and the Illegitimate Force of Obamacare

Might as well continue with our discussion of the order of the polity, which we started yesterday. One critical point is that the order of the polity is not synonymous with the spontaneous order of the collective as such. In fact, it often directly interferes with and undermines that order, as all statists know that bottom-up spontaneous orders can be a direct competitor to the top-down order of the state.

One of the things that most struck de Tocqueville about America was its robust "civil society," by which he meant all of the voluntary, spontaneous orders that sprang up independent of the state -- church groups, charitable missions, fraternal organizations, trade unions, book clubs, secret internet cults masquerading as a mere "blog," all rooted in distinct values freely arrived at by their members. Nothing could be more distinct from the statism of the left, which imposes its own values in order to create its dreary and monotonous collective.

In fact, Ken Wilber developed a useful way of marking the distinction between the two, referring to the "interior collective" and the "exterior collective." The interior collective is to we as the individual is to I -- that is, an internally related center of order. For example, a passionate marriage is a true "we" at every level, body, mind, and spirit (and that is indeed one of its purposes, since it helps develop the "I" to its true potential, even while allowing us to transcend it in the "we").

But the exterior collective is not a spontaneous order. Rather, it is something that you are essentially forced to be a part of, like Obamacare. Ironically, collectivism can never be a true collective, since most people don't want or choose to be members of it. It is imposed from the outside to varying degrees, so it's only a "we" for certain constituents, eg., the MSM, Hollywood, the tenured, the stupid, the envious, the immature.

But this is what defines the leftist spectrum, from Obama/Euro style democratic socialism, to authoritarian fascism, and on to totalitarianism. Obviously, none of these are compatible with conservative liberalism. We are pro-choice. If you want to get together with like-minded people of the left, pool your resources, and live on a commune, we say, go for it! We won't stop you, if you won't stop us from being individuals.

Now, speaking of marriage, being the quintessence of the type of spontaneous order we're talking about, it should come as no surprise that the left would be at war with this institution, even redefining it as "any two or more mammals who love the government."

There's nothing conspiratorial about this diabolical plot of moose and squirrel. Rather, this is straight-up neo-Marxism, i.e., looking after one's class interests. It is for the same reason that tenured wards of the state are disproportionately statists; they're the last people who would want to reduce the size and reach of the government! (What's that aphorism by Mencken? "Never expect a man to see a truth when his livelihood depends on his not seeing it.")

I know the subject intimately, since I live in a failing state, California -- which cannot afford its own bloated government -- and also happen to have a brother who is a useless, and no doubt un-fireable, functionary at a low-level state university. In California there are thousands upon thousands of government free riders just like him. But touch a hair on his head, and out come the cries that anti-education extremists are harming the children! If only these children knew how much of their tuition goes to the lavish health benefits and retirement packages of their parasitic overlords.

Anyway, when Aristotle made that crack about man being a "political animal," he wasn't talking about pathetic political junkies and policy wonks who watch cable TV, but about our need to associate with other human beings in order to accomplish goods that would be impossible on an individual basis. But once one brings politics into the equation, that can go against these very collective goods, since the state must back its edicts with violence.

There is nothing fundamentally wrong with that -- we are not anarchists -- but coercion and violence must always be in the name of ordered reason. For example, the Iranian government uses violence to accomplish its ends. But who would argue that any of the violence is rooted in reason, or that they could present a rational argument to persuade others that the violence is legitimate? Can't be done.

Rather, in order to legitimize the violence, these Islamists must live in a parallel looniverse of outrageous lies, most especially about America and about the Jewish people. This is why, by the way, truth -- not compassion -- is the highest collective good, because the Lie is at the root of illegitimate violence (and this is also why the left invented the scurrilous lies about George Bush lying about WMD, so they could characterize the liberation of Iraq as illegitimate).

As Schall writes, force "is to be legitimately used only in the name of ordered reason," whether it is the police, the military, the legal system, or the IRS. Each of these is authorized to use force, up to and including taking away your liberty and even life. For there are some things more important than life and liberty, most notably, the conditions that allow them to flourish, and the transcendent end to which our liberty is ordered.

Now, in addition to force not being rooted in ordered reason, another characteristic of the illegitimate state is that, instead of fostering the conditions of goodness, it promotes badness and even sometimes outlaws the good. I'm thinking, for example, of our federal government, which makes it against the law to embrace the self-evident good of racial colorblindness. Instead, we are subject to legal jeopardy if we fail to discriminate on the basis of race.

I'm also thinking of the force that has now been authorized to compel us to accept Obamacare. Again, this force would have been legitimate had the bill been rooted in ordered reason. But that is a literal impossibility, since house members voted on the bill without even knowing what was in it, much less having any deep understanding of its myriad consequences. How could if ever be rational to vote for a bill one hasn't even read? Yes, you could say that it was an act of faith, but no one is required to have faith in things that are not demonstrable to reason.

This is the very definition of imposing disorder on the polity and backing it with the violence of the state. But again, this is standard operating procedure for the left, everywhere and everywhen. It's just a matter of degree. The leftist convinces himself that something is good, and then arrogantly and contemptuously imposes it on the rest of us, since he knows better how to spend our freedom and to make decisions for us.

No thanks, Barry. You first. If I'm gonna get clipped, I'd prefer that it be my choice.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Creature From the Barack Lagoon & the Tyranny of the Disordered

The problem with the left in general and Obama in particular is that they violate the fundamental purpose of politics, which is to nurture order for the purpose of liberal (in the true sense of the word) goods that can never be found in politics.

But for a liberal flatlander with no awareness of, or grounding in, the Transcendent, politics itself becomes the highest good. And again, this is why it is so difficult to do battle with these people, because for them, politics is everything. It is their religion, so all of their religious energy is channelled into it, not unlike a sexual pervert who focuses his libido on shoes, or on a cosmic cult leader with light emanating from his butt.

But for the normal person who just wants to enjoy the higher goods that political order makes possible, it's a little like having to learn how to survive long periods in the dark or under water, where these people dwell all the time. Folks who live in the Light don't want to have to go down there into that fetid swamp and do battle with deformed entities that have adapted to those conditions and are able to comfortably live there without light or oxygen. We can't stay down there that long -- which explains the doggedness of Obama-Pelosi-Reid. They actually like it down there. They have evolved "backward," so to speak, from walking on dry land to crawling beneath the dark waters.

Some people can stay down there and fight with liberals under their home rock, and God bless 'em. Conservatives need aggressive political warriors like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin and all the rest -- people who seem to relish taking it to the left on their own terms. I don't think that they should be the intellectual source of conservatism, any more than the military should be the intellectual center of the nation. But without the military to keep the order, there would be no intellect, for the same reason that you can't study Torah on an empty stomach.

The aggressive healthcare takeover by the left represents a triumph of the forces of disorder over order. Thus, when Obama immaturely taunts us about the prospects for repeal and says "nah nah nah, I dare you!," he's really acting as the swamp creature that he is, daring us to descend down where he and his fellow thugs dart around in the shadows. In its own way, it's like Osama in his hellish mountain hideout telling us, "you want me? Come and get me!" The last thing he's going to do is come out into the light and fight like a man.

Now, just as a central purpose of religion is to order the soul, the central purpose of politics is to order the collective. But again, not for its own sake, but for the possibility of higher things (which ultimately revert back to the order of the soul). Thus, a government of disordered souls who only increase political disorder is actually a real evil, and should be recognized as such.

After all, this is why Obama's fellow traveler, the nakedly evil Castro, is so proud of him at this moment -- although he will reserve full approval until Obama can ram through some equally disordered authoritarian legislation under the pretext of "climate change"; and surely, yesterday's humiliation of our most important ally in the Middle East goes toward appeasing the enemies of global order and cementing the Obama administraton's reputation as a surrender cult.

Speaking of disordered souls governing the ordered, wouldn't it be nice if Obama could begin ordering his own soul by, for example, quitting smoking, before trying to micromanage ours? My life is already ordered, thank you. I don't need the extra "order" imposed by the state. In fact, if you know your chaos theory, you know that imposing top down control over a spontaneous, non-linear system is guaranteed to generate disorder. The left just has no understanding whatsoever of the infinitely complex dynamics of non-linear systems.

Democrats truly are the anti-science party, in that they ignore any advances in scientific metaphysics beyond the mechanistic rationalism of the late 19th century. Thus their idiotic treatment of everything from genetics to public policy to economics as a static or linear system. To put it another way, they are never surprised by the inevitable unintended consequences of their misbegotten policies, because they never, ever recognize them to begin with, for the day you can do that, you are cured of your liberalism.

But liberals just aren't intellectually curious enough to wonder why the things most heavily subsidized by government are the most expensive. Not once in this entire "healthcare debate" did I hear one of them explaining why medical care is "too expensive." But if price is not reflecting economic reality, there are reasons. You don't remedy a market distortion by institutionalizing it. After leaving here, I urge you to read Doctor Zero's Parable of the Satellite Dish. As I've said before, that guy is brilliant.

The above preliminary reflections were provoked by reading James Schall's The Order of Things. The book includes chapters on the order of the Godhead, the cosmos, the soul, the mind, and other dimensions, but given the world-historical events of the past week, I jumped ahead to chapter five, The Order of the Polity.

First of all, let me say that Father Schall is a beacon of Light. As I mentioned in a comment, this is about as concise a treatment of the intersection of Catholicism and Raccoonism as one could imagine. It's still somewhat on the exoteric side, which is fine. In that regard, it serves as a fine complement to MOTT which exhaustively deals with the esoteric side. Together they are like night and day, or symmetrical and asymmetrical logic, or conscious and supra-conscious, flesh and spirit, etc. (Not that there is no spirit in the exoteric -- hardly! -- only that it has a different inflection and speaks to different personalities with distinct needs.)

One of the problems I've noticed with liberals is that they are literally unable to recognize (capital T) Truth -- by which I mean higher truths that are "seen" by the intellect, not merely arrived at through the mechanics of logic. For example, in his chapter on the order of the polity, Schall shows us a great many intrinsic truths to which the purified mind can only assent, in the same way the body assents to gravity or any other law of physics.

But this is the whole point about the infallible truth of metaphysics: to understand it is to believe it, because it's a matter of recollection of things that cannot not be. Looked at this way, "political science" -- which has become one more academic joke -- actually is a kind of very exact science, for its principles are universal. (One is reminded of Blake's comment to the effect that truth cannot be told so as to be understood and not believed.)

To cite an obvious example, when the Founders said that all men are created equal, this is a metaphysical truth that can be discovered by natural reason; being true, it is therefore universal. For by definition there is no truth that isn't universal -- one more reason why the left is so confused, since they elevate the absurdity (for it is an empty set) of "non-universal truth," e.g., multiculturalism, moral relativism, and historicism, to the highest intellectual attainment. It is difficult to think of a more direct method to poison and destroy an intellect at the roots. No wonder they're so addicted to this intellectual crack.

Similarly, another fundamental lie of the left is that man is not ordered to a transcendent plane that is both his source and destiny. Again, either you see this or you don't, but you will rarely see a human being who isn't ordered to something that transcends (or subtends) himself, even though he lies to himself about it. A man who is only a man isn't a man at all.

The good polity is ordered around the common good; but if one eliminates the highest good up front, then ipso facto one cannot have a good political order. Take, for example, the Soviet Union. Even leaving aside the more obvious pathologies, the whole monstrosity was ordered around the idea that matter is all, and that man has no transcendent destiny.

Therefore, the first step of any kind of socialism is to quite literally kill man in order to justify everything that is done to him subsequently. For remember, man spans all the degrees of being: matter, life, mind and spirit, with the first three converging upon the fourth. Eliminate the fourth and you have destroyed man's very purpose -- no different, say, than trying to grow palm trees in alaska or pine trees at the equator. Destroy man's soul-habitat, and you are well on the way to controlling him through his petty desires and animal appetites, since those are the only things left.

A key point is that political force is only legitimate when there is a lack of proper order: "it is to be legitimately used only in the name of ordered reason." And what is ordered reason?

Well, let's take the example of the government takeover of our healthcare. The violence it authorizes to force us to comply with its dictates is fundamentally illegitimate, for at no time were its proponents able to sucessfully make an appeal to our reason through persuasion. To the contrary, no one denies that Obama, Reid and Pelosi straight-up lost that argument by a wide margin (and on a bipartisan basis, I might add). Thus, they had to rely upon raw force -- including bribes and threats to the unpersuaded -- to impose their will on a recalcitrant public. This is the very definition of bad governance.

And as mentioned above, the imposition of top-down control on a spontaneous order will inevitably generate chaos. Thus we see so much anger breaking out among the unwilling victims of Obama's audacious power grab. But since liberals control the media, they are trying to spin this as a case of the victims being the aggressors! It's like in hockey, where the ref only sees the retaliation, not the instigator.

But James Taranto eviscerates this disgustingly self-serving narrative, since the anger is hardly an example of "fascism" but a reaction to it: "Kristallnacht was a nationwide pogrom carried out under the direction of a totalitarian state. It is in no way 'parallel' to small-scale acts of vandalism spurred by impotent rage against the party in power" (emphasis mine).

But projection of aggression is what the left does. Take away their hate, and there's not much left of the left.

Yes, all I ask is that the left give us the same understanding and respect they extend to Islamic terrorists. For any hope of peace, they must understand the root causes of our anger! I don't know about you, but for me it's the left occupying my sacred land.

To be continued.....

Thursday, March 25, 2010

On Re-Gifting God

When I started blogging almost five years ago, one of the purposes was to try to assimilate things that I had learned over the years. In other words, it's one thing to know something (as our trolls do), another thing to understand it (as our trolls don't), and yet another thing to "become" it (as our trolls can never do unless they seriously get a clue before it's too late).

And when it comes to spiritual growth, #3 is all. Knowledge -- essential knowledge, or knowledge of essence -- does not save unless it becomes substance -- or returns to substance, to be exact. And this goes to the vast difference between intellect and mere intellectualism, between common sense and tenure, or between (n) and (k).

You may think of gnosis (n) as a memo from God to God, with man as mediator. Truly, Man as such is the middleman of the divine economy. To be this middleman requires much more than mere know-how. Rather, it requires a great deal of be-who.

What this means is that -- and believe it or not, this is straight-up Catholic doctrine if you read the fine Prince -- the whole Trinitarian business goes to this virtuous circle of economic exchange between various persons of the Trinity.

I know I'm not saying this correctly, -- like a seminary student might -- but my rustic and omspun manner of expression is actually a big part of my point. If you truly assimilate a teaching, it shouldn't involve just repeating it verbatim, any more than having a child is like reproducing a carbon based copy of oneself.

There's a kind of "wildness" in the Godhead that makes it ever-generative and ever-new (not unlike sex, really, if I misunderstand the latter correctly), so that it can't actually be contained by our categories, even though they are nonetheless necessary to chart the territory of the torahteller.

For example, we learn musical scales not to just repeat them but to use them as the basis for composition and improvisation. The one does not negate the other.

But while improvisation would not be possible in the absence of the scales (the latter are a necessary condition), I would nevertheless say that the scales were made for improvisation rather than vice versa. The Spirit always takes precedence over the Letter, but never obviates it.

As for the intrinsic orthodoxy of this view, Schall writes that "what is not God will, in its own way, manifest the non-loneliness or friendship that is characteristic of the inner life of God. The first point of what is not God will be the last point, as it were, of what is within God" (emphasis mine).

If you don't understand what that means, think of God's grace descending into the creation, and then returning to him in the form of man's love, truth, virtue, and sanctity; or of man "surrendering" and offering up these gifts to the Divine.

Again, we're dealing with that virtuous circle through which "the last point of the inner life of God is the receptivity in which the love of the Father and Son is reflected in the Person of the Spirit...." The Spirit is like the energy that completes this circle of giving, receiving, and giving back. Thus sayeth Petey: Come in, open His presence, and report for karmic duty.

Or, in a nutschall, "If we return to the inner life or order within the Godhead, we see that the love of the Father and the Son is understood to be a Gift..." The world is not "complete" in the absence of this particular form of "eternal return."

So really, a spiritual practice is like re-gifting God, but that's okay. What else are you supposed to give someOne who already has everything? It's the thought that counts -- from one to three and back again, but who's counting? Prayer is really self-offering.

If that wasn't sufficiently unclear, allow Schall to shed a little more obscurity on the subject: "the highest point of contact between the inner life of God and the life of the world is at the point where an intelligent creature is capable of receiving a gift and returning it to its source."

And this, if you really want to know, goes to the circular structure of my book, in which the cosmos perpetually returns to God in the self-offering kenosis of the saint, sage, or mystic who empties himself in order to be filled by God: not I, but Christ lives in me. So sayeth Petey of this circle: We'll meet again. Up ahead, 'round the bend. The circle unbroken, by and by. A Divine child, a godsend, a touch of infanity, a bloomin' yes!

That is, we offer or surrender God's highest gift -- the human subject -- in exchange for an even better model, a luxury corps at pentecost! Saying "yes" to this gift is more difficult than one might imagine, as many people are more comfortable with giving than receiving.

Again, speaking of improvisation, what always strikes this Coon with great force is when something I raved off the top of my head comes back to hunt me later like a pack of wild dogmas in the from of orthodox doctrine that some fellow independently discovered hundreds of years ago, but just expressed in a different way.

For Schall expresses orthoparadoxical Raccoon dogma when he writes that "ultimately the point of contact is where God meets gift, where what proceeds out of the inner life of the Godhead meets the inner life of the finite persons who have, in the end, nothing higher to do than to accept" the gift back from God, in that eternal circle of truth, love, and union.

The cosmos ends in man, but man ends in God. Therefore the cosmos ends in God, right back where it started, as does this post. Thank you and you're welcome.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

See What Happens, Barry, When You F*ck a Stranger in the Ass?

Edited version for those who are sensitive to Walter's vivid language.

Can't find the real one. Here's an unbowdlerized reenaction:

Slow Joe got it right. It's a big fuckin' deal to do that to millions of strangers behind their backs. Who wouldn't want to take a nine iron to the presidential limo?

The problem with the word "antichrist" is that you can't use it without people getting the wrong idea -- you know, as if I mean it allegorically on the one hand, or literally on the other. But when I use the word, I am trying to be quite precise in describing a perennial phenomenon.

For if there is a metacosmic dimension we call "Christ," then surely there is a realm of the antichristic. I'm not really interested in mythological uses of the term, nor in naming "the" antichrist per se, only in charting the movements of its energy here in middle earth.

Now, I do believe in all sincerity that the left is antichristic. This is not just my opinion, but theirs, since they are obviously deeply opposed to the transcendent -- i.e., the "permanent real" -- in general. Conservatism is rooted in a transcendent reality which the left denies by definition. In my mind, it should be as uncontroversial as pointing out that there is a realm of science, and therefore, anti-science, the latter being parasitic on the former.

However, in the case of the antichristic, we are not just dealing with negation or opposition, but inversion -- inversion of the good, the true, the beautiful, and the One, among other transcendental and archetypal categories uniquely open to man (and without which man is not man).

At the very least, we can say that Obama is the messiah of false slack. I say this because, as a coonical pslackologist, I have spent a laughtime studying the source of human slack, and Obama -- and the left in general -- embodies the opposite principles. Obamacare was the greatest theft of the nation's slack since I don't know when; I suppose since the Oh, Great Society programs of 40 or 50 years ago, which we will never stop paying for.

As it pertains to Obama, the really frightening thing about him is his "superior ignorance," but especially his conspicuous ignorance of that which he blindly opposes. For example, his long-time membership in that racist, anti-American religious sect can only mean that he must take this diseased Marxist aberration for normative Christianity.

But I think the real source of Obama's ignorance is that he is our first postmodern president. True, Presidents Clinton and Bush were ivy league educated, but this was when it still meant something -- before the leftist takeover of higher education. This transformation began in the late '60s but was only complete by the 1980s. Also, the fact that Obama was likely a benefactor of the "diversity" fraud, means that he had even less cognitive equipment than the typical student to resist the neo-Marxist indoctrination he was about to receive.

In any event, by the time Obama attended college in the 1980s, it was possible -- even likely -- that one could pass through one's higher education without once encountering any serious conservative (i.e., liberal) oppostion -- like one of those subatomic particles that can pass through the earth without touching matter. Dennis Prager often mentions that when he speaks on college campuses, students routinely approach him and tell him that they have never heard conservative ideas in any of their classrooms, except perhaps in a caricatured, straw-man way.

Is it any wonder that this remains Obama's primary mode of argument when it comes to addressing conservative objections? You know, "some people say that we should hunt down children of the poor and bury them alive in shallow graves. But Democrats don't believe that. We have a better idea."

The weak-minded postmodern leftist lives in a kind of hermetically sealed ignorance that they call "education" or "sophistication." And this is why they feel no need to condescend to the level of those who disagree with them, since we are not just a priori wrong, but evil, misguided, and malevolent as well. These haters project their hatred into us, and then react to the hatred.

As recently as a few hundred years ago, mankind at large was mired in a slackless existence that hadn't changed all that much for the average geezer in thousands of years. It was war, famine, plague, tyranny, oppression, stupidity, poverty, illiteracy, backbreaking toil, early death, very bad smells, and repeat as unnecessary.

However, one place on earth took a great leap forward into the realm of slack, a realm that left wing medullards and proglodytes take for grunted today. The engine that drove this expansion of our slack was the free market, accompanied by its enablers such as private property, civil rights (founded upon the sanctity of the human person), and the rule of law.

Some say this slack doesn't really exist, that it's all a big con job by the powers that be, and that we are condemned to a world in which everything averages out to zero.

Thus, for example, the only way to have healthcare for all is to forcibly take it from those who have too much and give it to those who don't -- as if the problems of shortage and price aren't a result of government interference with the free market. Healthcare costs only began spinning out of control after the massive state interference. Based on my intimate knowledge of the California Workers Compensation system, this is inevitable, for it is basically a system of incentives for patients, lawyers, and physicians to abuse.

Linear-thinking Leftists never understand the non-linear system of incentives they are putting in place when they enact complex legislation, so they inevitably must introduce more legislation to deal with those baleful consequences. Never forget that the government programs of the 1960s were sold as a way to end poverty, not to make it a permanent feature to justify the need for more big government.

The penultimate lie of the left -- following on the heels of absolute relativity -- is that the state is the source of our slack, or that it can even create slack, which is an intrinsic metacosmic heresy. Look at Obama's oft-cited claim that he is going to create or save X number of jobs. But the government can only "create" jobs by taking money out of the job-creating private sector, so he is truly selling us false slack, an entirely meretricious something-for-nothing, or "turd made fresh."

The state can surely protect slack. In fact, that is the president's primary job. His oath is to preserve and protect the Constitution, which is the guarantor of our unencumbered pursuit of slack. But with FDR a line was crossed, and people began looking to the state as the source of slack, and we can all see what has resulted. And it's only going to get worse, because the state can only transfer slack that it has been appropriated from someone else. Thus the preposterous lies about the real aims of Obamacare.

When people depend upon the state for their slack, the pool of slack is gradually dissipated in one way or another. For the state only has three sources of slack: taxation, printing money (as if slack grows on trees!), or borrowing. Two of these come down to outright theft, while the third is simply deferred theft from future generations. My son will have less slack because of Obama's larcenous actions today.

The bottom lyin' is that Obama is trying to increase the slack of the takers by stealing it from the makers. This was obviously the point of the Obamacare bill, which is again greatest transfer of stolen slack in at least a couple of generations.

In the real slack-generating economy, nothing happens until someone sells something. But in the anti-slack world of the left, nothing happens until the government takes something from someone. You get stuck with the bill, while someone else gets the goods. But not for long, since the whole exercise must be repeated forever -- or at least until there is no one left to tax

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Keep Your Stinking Paws Off My Body and Out of My Pocket, You Damn Dirty Apes!

Know what I hate? I hate it when the left drags me and everything else down to the crudest level of raw power politics, so that I can't ignore them even if I want to. The point is, real Americans mostly just want to be left alone by the State, just as they would be pleased if criminals would refrain from breaking into their cars and houses.

But just as we must take precautions against criminals and sociopaths, our well intended liberal fascists force us to take steps against them. Who would want to spend a moment thinking about the likes of Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid unless they were in your face, trying to purloin your slack? What did I ever do to them? Nothing. Indeed, I pay their salary and for their travel, retirement, and healthcare (hair plugs and botox injections included). All I ask in return is that they leave me alone.

But no, they can't do that. They can't keep their hands off my body and out of my pocketbook. And not one of them can acknowledge that they are committing an act of naked aggression when they force us to do something we don't want to do. But that's plainly what it is, by definition. More than half the country recognizes this. Hence the rage. The rage is not taking place in a vacuum. The stock answer of the race-obsessed MSM is that the anger must be because Obama is half white, as if anyone but a liberal would care about such trivia. Nuance.

But -- to cite just one example -- $10 billion to pay for 16,500 new IRS agents is not exactly a peck on the cheek. Only a liberal fascist imagines otherwise. That's raw muscle, baby, Chicago style. Look at yesterday's bellicose reaction from our authoritarian troll. The moment I enabled anonymous comments, he chimed in with Hearing you people froth at the mouth has truly made this a special day for me. This does not put me in the mood to open my wallet to him.

This only proves the adage that people inevitably devalue what is given to them. Indeed, on the very day we are forced to pay for the healthcare of this disordered soul, he responds not with gratitude but by lashing out at his new benefactors.

But was it not ever thus? Since when was a ward of the state ever grateful for his handouts? Statism always breeds ingratitude and a narcissistic sense of entitlement. It literally changes the consciousness of a people. It makes them worse, in that it de-spiritualizes them and renders them material extensions of the state (instead of making the state embody the spiritual ideals of its citizens).

It is literally impossible to imagine the mindset of such flatlanders. Where does one begin? I have a relative -- well, more than one, actually -- who falls into this category, so discussing politics with him is little like talking to a Soviet citizen who was only exposed to Pravda, and took it as truth. There's literally no point of contact. It's fantasy in, fantasy out.

The false messianism of the left takes the Jewish idea of the messiah, and politicizes it. This creates a "radical eschatology," in which it is believed that our existential problems -- which are universal -- can be remedied by overturning the present order. A mature person realizes that things are not ideal and that they never can be.

But the immature person -- say, our President -- is absolutely clueless as to the historical miracle that has allowed our condition to be this freaking good. Instead, he proposes to blow up the whole system because it isn't ideal, with no understanding whatsoever of the myriad unintended consequences he will unleash, nor the baleful effect of human nature, which will always cause the childish dreams of the leftist to crash and burn.

But this is why the left is always so reactionary, since they inevitably convert perennial existential / ontological / spiritual problems into political ones. In turn, they will always be attracted to false messiahs and anti-Bobs, whereas the spiritually normal person will be immune to the attraction. There are no political solutions to spiritual problems, whereas there is almost always a spiritual solution to most politicized problems.

Thus, Obama's first principle is to create a false crisis, so that he can "solve" it. Now that he's solved the problem of healthcare, he will move on to the quintessential false crisis of global warming. Meanwhile, the real crisis is Obama himself.

All valid theology has to do with systematic distinctions between ego and Self on the one hand, and reality and illusion on the other. Ego is to illusion as Self is to reality. Human beings are uniquely and providentially situated in the cosmos so as to be naturally (horizontally) idolatrous but supernaturally (vertically) -- or "transnaturally" -- oriented to the Absolute. This is just another way of saying that human beings are mirrors of the Absolute, and potentially contain within themselves the entire scale of being, the whole existentialada.

For example, Schuon notes that the great Christian virtues, e.g., charity, humility, poverty, and holy childlikeness, have their final end in the transcendent Self. Each of these virtues represents a negation "of that ontological inflation which is the ego." Practice of them helps soften and dissolve this existential infarct that clogs up the arteries of being. Likewise, Christ represents "the Self holding out a hand to 'me'; man must lose his life, the life of the ego, in order to keep it, the life of the Self."

In genuine theology it is understood that "the world" -- and by extension, your very life -- is "on fire," so to speak. This is how many of Jesus' most extreme statements are to be taken -- as urgent calls to get a clue about the eternal order of existence, and to do something about it before it is too late -- for the night is coming in which no man can work.

I would say "obviously," but I guess it's not -- especially to a member of Reverend Wright's wee church of the Perpetual Victim -- that Jesus was not referring to the political order of the world. Rather, he was speaking to Man as such about Existence as such -- not to this or that man in this or that transient situation, but about the way things always are for man as he always is.

The very existence of the left proves that it is the easiest thing in the world -- for the way is broad -- to confuse the manacles we forge for ourselves with the ones we imagine are placed upon us by others, and then rail against the others as a substitute for the universal call to self-betterment and transcendence.

For as Schuon writes, "the man who does not know that existence is an immense brazier has no imperative reason for wanting to get out of it" -- which is why the beginning of wisdom is the awe of God, not the hatred of white people, or Rush Limbaugh, or Fox viewers, or stupid policemen, or health insurance companies, or tea partiers, the latter attitude only plunging those who embrace it deeper into the flames. To them we can only say,

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Day of the Locust: Id is Accomplished

The earth has become small, and on it hops the last man, who makes everything small. His race is as ineradicable as the flea; the last man lives longest.... One has one's little pleasure for the day and one's little pleasure for the night: but one has a regard for health. --Nietzsche

Let's at least congratulate MephistO for a job well done. For those capable of reading the signs of the times, it is no exaggeration to say that yesterday was one of the darkest days in the history of the nation, and therefore the world. For make no mistake: the hostile forces intent on destroying the United States as we know it have won a huge victory. Irrespective of your politics, you must acknowledge that we are not the same country today that we were yesterday morning. But our Founders would no doubt weep over this latest assault on their dream and vision of an empire of liberty, and today the cosmos itself groans a little more audibly in its travail.

As Mark Steyn writes, "it's hard to overestimate the magnitude of what the Democrats have accomplished.... the governmentalization of health care will accelerate, private insurers will no longer be free to be 'insurers' in any meaningful sense of that term (ie, evaluators of risk), and once that's clear we'll be on the fast track to Obama's desired destination of single payer as a fait accompli....

"It's a huge transformative event in Americans' view of themselves and of the role of government. You can say, oh, well, the polls show most people opposed to it, but, if that mattered, the Dems wouldn't be doing what they're doing. Their bet is that it can't be undone, and that over time, as I've been saying for years now, governmentalized health care not only changes the relationship of the citizen to the state but the very character of the people. As I wrote in NR recently, there's plenty of evidence to support that from Britain, Canada and elsewhere.

"More prosaically, it's also unaffordable. That's why one of the first things that middle-rank powers abandon once they go down this road is a global military capability. If you take the view that the US is an imperialist aggressor, congratulations: You can cease worrying. But, if you think that America has been the ultimate guarantor of the post-war global order, it's less cheery. Five years from now, just as in Canada and Europe two generations ago, we'll be getting used to announcements of defense cuts to prop up the unsustainable costs of big government at home. And, as the superpower retrenches, America's enemies will be quick to scent opportunity.

"Longer wait times, fewer doctors, more bureaucracy, massive IRS expansion, explosive debt, the end of the Pax Americana, and global Armageddon. Must try to look on the bright side..."

Even PowerLine -- not given to bombast or hype, or to spiritual concerns for that matter -- agrees: "This is a dark day in American history; one of the darkest." But it is important to remember that the darkness is still potential, not close to being fully realized. For example, Dunkirk was one of the darkest episodes in the history of the West. And yet, in another way, it was the beginning of our response to the evil that threatened us all.

Or, to take a more recent example, the September 11, 2001 Islamist attacks; the threat had always been there, but people finally woke up to it on that day. Often, evil's greatest triumph can be the same moment it starts to be turned back. But it will never be vanquished in this cosmic cycle. Rather, it can only be controlled, like a chronic illness.

Indeed, you could even think of it as a disease process. The greatest triumph for my type I diabetes was July 3, 2004, when I found out about it. That morning, my fasting blood sugar was 238. It's been in complete control since. But it's only in control because I know it's there every day, trying to kill me.

So too is the left here every day, trying to destroy (of course, they would say "rescue") the country we love, with values antithetical to ours. Just as we cannot understand the motivations of the Islamists, it is difficult for a normal person to comprehend the diabolical tenacity, endurance, and ferocity with which Obama, Pelosi, and Reid rammed through their legislative crime.

The energy is literally superhuman; or, to be precise, infrahuman. What, do you really think that that botoxed and blinking cypher is able to cow grown men just with her charm and powers of persuasion? No. These people are literally under the spell of the adversary. Using only his human powers, Harry Reid couldn't persuade you to purchase a mobile home in Pahrump.

Why is this such a hinge of cosmic history? First, because the United States really is a shining city on a hill, the beacon of liberty, the last best hope of mankind, the guiding example and exception for the rest of the world. But there have always been forces that want to reduce us to the status of any other crappy little country. It is only a republic if we can keep it. As de Tocqueville observed -- and this is not a principle that escaped the Founders, who were well aware of the dangers of democracy -- "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."

As we know, every time the state does something for you, it does something to you. And once it does everything for us, it will be able to do anything to us. Our life -- and therefore our death -- will be in its icy grip.

The nation has a pre-existing spiritual illness. We call it the Left. But now the left has free and universal access to its own treatment, which will always be more of the same. As Doctor Zero writes, by its very nature, "No government program is a solution to anything." I would qualify that, and say that every government program is a solution to the problem of how the left can deny our liberty and usurp more power over our lives. Don't you feel better just knowing that 18,000 new IRS agents and dozens of federal agencies now have you in their hearts?

Why did Obama ram through a steaming pile of legislation that appears to seal the doom of his party? Because he realizes that what they have lost in terms of free and productive citizens they have more than made up for in serfs and wards (which is why amnesty for illegal Democrats is next, to assure a fresh crop of dependent voters). From now until November and beyond, the usual rabble of slaves and losers, the immature and irresponsible, will be hearing how much the Massa' has done for them.

Ace of Spades linked to the following quote, which may be unverified but nonetheless true: "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship."

Christ's last words on the cross are It is accomplished. What was accomplished? Well, for starters, a bridge between man and God, time and eternity, the union of the divine and human nature, the terrestrial and celestial. But Alas, the time is coming when man will no longer give birth to a star.

This is a good day for the left, for truly, they can offer up their own version of Id is accomplished. For this is the union of man with his lower nature, everything small, petty, selfish, frightened, envious, and hateful of liberty. For him, mediocrity is the highest standard, beyond which is both inconceivable and forbidden, for knowing of it might damage the self-regard of the mediocrities. It is a triumph of Man the Insect, who hops around his flat little world in the inglorious Last Days.

Alas, the time of the most despicable man is coming, he that is no longer able to despise himself. Behold, I show you the last man.... --Nietzsche

Yes, but perhaps we should remember another quip spake by Fred -- that what doesn't kill us makes us stronger.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Resistance Training For Spiritual Strength and Endurance

An old Sunday Sermon that generated little comment at the time.... Frankly, it's a little cryptic and unsaturated, and will require your comments to flesh out. Or, you could say that it's a half-baked post that you'll need to warm up at home in your own divine fireplace.

In water, resistance increases with the cube of speed. At a leisurely swim, it isn't bad at all, but if you enter the water from a great height, it is nearly like solid rock. Likewise, soil has its own resistance, which at our speed is very high, but roots at their deliberate speed easily find their way through the ground.

When the seeker awakens and begins moving with purpose, there is also a resistance from the "world," and it too increases proportionately with the speed. I'm not sure whether this is a design flaw or the work of a conscious enemy; perhaps it is a security device to keep the crazies from thrashing about too wildly. But it must be very frustrating for one who sees his goal clearly and tries to get there in the limited time given him.

If I were a lesser man, I would have immediately deleted this outstanding comment by Magnus and then claimed credit for it myself. At any rate, it is a fine example of a couple of symbolic "chords" which the Raccoon may use as the basis for a little pneumatic improvisation.

Naturally, in discussing the transnatural, we must rely upon analogies and symbols from the ponderable world, such as "soil," "light," "speed," "height," "water," "resistance," and "asshole." This is not because spirit is a mere projection of these things, but rather, the converse; the "world" is the temporal manifestation of timeless principles that can be understood by the law of analogy ("as above, so below"). Thus, water flows like grace, the sun shines like Truth, and the lower gastrointestinal tract flatulently "speaks" in the manner of the Cosmic Troll, or "anti-Bob."

The reason why the world is so full of analogy, metaphor, and symbol, is that these aren't just literary devices but literal dei-voices, i.e., the ethereal Word made fleshy, or earthereal. No matter how lo One gos, the Logos goes two. And then three, as we shall see. (For if it were only two, that would constitute a dualistic stalemate.)

Thus, we shouldn't be surprised at the fractal and holographic nature of reality, meaning that we see the same patterns and principles repeat themselves at all levels. This is why the pneumanetwork of synchronicities in your life can become so thick that you could cut them with the knife you "coincidentally" hold in your head.

In my own way, I suppose I've always appreciated this analogical cosmic structure, but it took awhile to recognize what I was cognizing and to re-recognize it at a "meta" level. For example, as I've mentioned before, the topic of my doctoral dissertation was the parallels between psychoanalytic metapsychology, quantum physics, and non-linear, dissipative structures in biology.

In short, I saw clear analogies between the way the physicist looks at the subatomic world, the way the biologist looks at life systems, and the way the psychoanalyst conceptualizes the deep structure of mental functioning. "Seeing" is one thing, but seeing what you're seeing is another. And to see this is yet another. In fact, you could almost say that this is the trinitarian structure of transcendence: knowing (which an animal can do), knowing that you know (which humans can do), and then knowing that you know you know (what the gnostic knows).

So, as Magnus suggests, Spirit clearly meets with "resistance" in the herebelow. As for whether this is providential or demonic, let's consider the alternatives -- or whether there could actually be any on this side of manifestation. For example, if you want to create muscular beings with robust skeletons, you need to have gravity. If we had evolved on the moon, we couldn't have evolved, since there isn't enough gravity there to keep us down to earth.

Clearly, physical strength is a function of resistance. Could Spiritual strength function any differently? Isn't our character revealed and honed on the rocks of adversity, the playing fields of Eton, and other clichés? Could there actually be any excellence in the world in the absence of resistance? To put it another way, could any useful thought be produced if we all lived in the friction-free land of the tenured?

I am reminded of the beauty of the competitive free market. One of the reasons the North evolved past the South is that in the case of the latter, physical toil was felt to be beneath the dignity of a proper man. Thus, physical labor was outsourced to slaves and other "undesirables." But it is only by struggling with recalcitrant matter that one begins to unlock its principles. Thus, the North leapt ahead of the South in discovery, invention, and creativity.

For certain non-Western cultures, a similar problem arose, in that the world was regarded as fundamentally illusory and changing, so that the evolved man sought out the timeless principles "behind" or "above" the world. Thus, these cultures produced bupkis.

Only in the logoistic Christian West was it recognized -- or at least practically realized -- that matter is a declension of spirit, so that the world necessarily veils and discloses the "mind of the Creator," so to speak, and is worthy in its own right. This is why "beauty is the splendor of the true," why truth is buried everywhere we look, both surrounding and penetrating us, why the human mind is a mirrorcle of the Abbasolute, yada yada, etc., etc.

[T]here is no metaphysical or spiritual difference between a truth manifested by temporal facts and a truth expressed by other symbols, under a mythological form.... With God, truth lies above all in the symbol's effective power of enlightenment and not in its literalness....

Historical reality is less "real" than the profound truth it expresses, and which myths likewise express; a mythological symbolism is infinitely more "true" than a fact deprived of symbolism....

The uncreated Word shatters speech while at the same time directing it toward concrete and saving truth.

In coonclusion, God is not so much a rigid mathematician as a playful mythsemantician.