Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Aliens Among Us and the Final Frontier

As we were saying yesterday, free will is an acquired taste. You might say that it must be freely chosen; it is only offered, never forced upon unwilling victims.

It is also on a continuum, and is essentially indistinguishable from spiritual growth, the reason being that the latter expands the "space" from where free will arises. Free will may be thought of as a spark of the uncaused cause within. It would not be inaccurate to call it the "caused uncaused cause" or the "created creator."

In Foundations of Free Will, Bolton notes that we begin life being almost "wholly determined by the external." However, some of us move on from there. By transforming ourselves, these external causes no longer act on the same entity; a kind of "break" is created in nature, where linear causation becomes discontinuous.

It reminds me of Leonard Cohen's line: There's a crack in everything / That's how the light gets in. Indeed, Bolton writes that "every breakdown of a culture is also an opening through which a way back to its spiritual foundation can be found by those who are alert for it."

Which is why, as bad as things might appear to be at the moment -- and they are bad indeed -- it is nevertheless an auspicious time to be alive for extreme seekers and off-road spiritual aspirants. Law of Compensation, and all that.

I discussed this somewhere in the Coonifesto -- here it is, p. 233, amongst the commanishads and upanishalts. Believe it or not, it falls under the heading of the Second Law of Reversed Thermodynamics, right after the self-tautology that there is no O but O. Being that there is no O but O, you shall not deify Ø, much less (k).

I won't remumbo the entire jumbo here, but there is also some relevant material on p. 236, on observing the sabbath speed limit: "ultimately the sabbath must be internalized, so that the very real and tangible presence of the world cannot sink its teeth into you and remake you in its image." Various Raccoon techniques for accomplicing this include lowering the Zone of Silence, internalizing the the PortaPew, mastering the UnderReaction, achieving TimeDilation, and of course, installing the DePakinator.

Now, just because we are subject to external and internal causes of various kinds, it hardly means that we lack free will. For one thing, we couldn't be aware of these causes unless they were pushing against a part of us that may or may not be happy about it, and is capable of resisting.

This is why only human beings may become neurotic, which essentially means that they may be at cross-purposes with themselves, and subject to internalized causes that clash with the will of our true self.

As we mentioned yesterday, it is critical to understand how truth and freedom are intrinsically linked, and how one is strictly impossible in the absence of the other. As Bolton explains, freedom cannot occur in the absence of truth, because if our actions are based upon falsehood, we cannot say that they were free in any meaningful sense.

In other words, if I believe something that is utterly false, and then organize my life around that falsehood, no freedom can result. Rather, freedom results from acknowledging truth and acting upon it. Conversely, actions can "always be made involuntary by ignorance of matters of fact" (Bolton). We are only free to act on truth.

Think of a courtroom scene in which false evidence is offered in order to convict someone and send them to prison, thus eliminating their freedom. But the identical thing happens if we convict ourselves with false evidence. We end up in a prison of our own making.

This must also mean that the free act is "one which is motivated toward the intelligible good" and which "must have a final cause in something higher in the scale of values in respect of truth and moral and aesthetic value" (Bolton). Thus, we are only free to do good. Those who do evil are slaves, irrespective of how it may subjectively feel to be operating outside the Law.

We all know that our liberty is rooted in the rule of law. But terrestrial laws are (or should be) merely instantiations of celestial ones, eg. don't murder, steal, bear false witness, etc. If theft is legal -- as, for example, under socialism -- there can be no freedom (or a severe limitation of it).

But nor can there be the free pursuit of truth under socialism, because the state must prevent certain threatening avenues from being explored. Thus, it is no surprise that the state-run media is on the warpath against those of us who simply want to diminish the power of the state. They are only acting in their perceived self-interest, which comes down to power, not truth.

Speaking of which, is it not ironic that a new hero of the left is "a septuagenarian white sheriff from Arizona with a hostility to free speech"? Here again we see a tool of the state bearing false witness, ultimately in order to diminish our freedom.

Sheriff Dupeschtick is a quintessential sleazy reicher. As Bolton writes, "the typical result of such actions is for the will to become the prisoner of other wills." In other words, to the extent that one agrees with the Sheriff, one become a prisoner of his lies (just as the left remains a prisoner of the lie that "Bush lied").

To withhold our assent to the Lie is to commit a flagrant act of freedom. Conversely, "evil actions are therefore never more than semi-free at their inception." And they only progress from there, "toward states [that are] are ever-increasingly under the power of alien causes, owing to which their freedom would tend almost to disappear" (Bolton).

Now, what is an "alien cause" but a mind parasite? To be perfectly accurate, the latter is an internalized alien cause. We are all subject to alien causes all day long, but it doesn't mean we must act on them. Just because I hear neo-Marxist rhetoric from my government, I don't have to believe it.

But if I do assent to these liars, then I have internalized a vicious and self-defeating mind parasite that now has influence over me, and is limiting my freedom. Then one's life is given over to fate; we have sunk beneath ourselves into the world of these lower causes, so that one is dragged along on the Darwinian monkeygoround instead of rising upon the spiral stairs / That lead up to that heart of light.

In short, what would have become your individuated self "will remain a more or less undifferentiated part of the macrocosm, and will not develop into a microcosm" (Bolton). You have committed a self-administered celestial abortion.

And this also explains how the key to state control is in the Lie. You must assent to lies in order to give control over to the state. As Ronald Reagan said, "A government cannot control the economy without controlling people," which means lying to them -- not accidentally, but essentially.

Nor can there be socialism without unhinged moralizing. The left doesn't actually offer economic arguments, but substitutes moral arguments in the space where economics should be. You only have to read a single column by the left's most influential economist, Paul Krugman, to understand this. Instead of thought, we are treated to another bout of encopresis, fecal smearing, and political tourette's syndrome.

For the Raccoon, the interior "space of freedom" is the final (and only) frontier. Of it, Bolton writes that "ignoring the 'empty' aspect of the soul-life is by no means immediately evident, but it inevitably leads to relations with alien wills and forces in which one's own will has less and less relevance."

These alien powers and principalities are what we call the "tissue of mind parasites," or the conspiracy to rob you of your slack.

To be continued...

Monday, January 17, 2011

Free Atlas, Great God Almighty a Free Atlas!

I just finished reading Robert Bolton's Foundations of Free Will, which touches on many of the sane themes we've been discussing lately.

For example, Bolton agrees that freedom and necessity are not opposites but complementary, and that one would be impossible (and even unthinkable) in the absence of the other. Necessity relates "to free will as the earth with its fixed shape and cardinal points relates to the direction-finding of a traveler" (ibid.).

If we remove such constraints we are "free," but in a way that is just as meaningless as being fully determined. Without these constraints, freedom devolves to "just another word for nothing left to lose."

Bolton also reminds us that man "is situated on the dividing-line between two realms, those of nature, where necessity rules, and of the spirit, where freedom rules." Thus, without objective epistemological and moral constraints -- i.e., truth and virtue -- we could be no more free than a person floating aimlessly in space with no orientation whatsoever.

And this, of course, leads to one of our core Raccoon principles, that freedom is a function of truth, and vice versa. If truth does not exist -- or, if man cannot know it -- then freedom is strictly impossible and even inconceivable.

Conversely, because man was made to know truth, he is created to be free; or, in an even higher sense, he is created to create, which combines the most felicitous union of truth and freedom with their fair sister beauty. For the superior man, nothing should be done artlessly.

This is not a principle that should be passed over lightly, for it is one of the keys to this whole existentialiada with free holiness on the side. For it entails its corollary: that those who embrace the Lie are not -- and cannot be -- free. Lies can only ape a facsimian of freedom, for freedom is obviously not free if it is oriented toward error.

If you spend your life in subjugation to the Lie, you will have wasted the uppertunity of a lifetome, for you will have lived as an illiterate slave. Might as well not have been born, except at least your bad example can serve as a tutelary tale and cautionary tool for those who are tempted to believe that truth is relative or a mere cultural construct.

We all know people who spend their lives buried beneath themselves in a tomb of illusion, which is why the unexhumined life is not worth living.

Think of those cardinal points alluded to in the first paragraph. What if there are cardinal points all around, but they all arbitrarily point the wrong way? A person will rely upon them to guide him through life's journey, even though they lead precisely nowhere.

Therefore, this person's subjective sense of freedom -- irrespective of how "real" if feels -- is completely illusory. Such is the "academic freedom" of the tenured, which is supposed to be a means, not just a deadened nul-de-slack. Severed from truth, such faux freedom perishes with each vain publication.

Bolton also agrees with us that freedom cannot be an either/or proposition. Rather, it exists on a coontinuum, and not just because of the evil and lie-bound assouls who would deprive us of it.

Rather, in a free society such as ours, obstacles to freedom are clearly situated primarily within. As we ascend vertically, we can flush away these impurities, which is why man is his own best enema.

At any rate, freedom "is a possibility which develops out of an originally unfree state" (Bolton). And unless the reality of freedom is emphasized from the outset, "most human beings will not bother to develop their natural capacities to the full" (ibid.), as we see in the Islamic world. Since they believe everything is fated by Allah, why bother trying to improve oneself?

The same spiritual illness afflicts the left, in that their principle lie is that human beings are mere objects who are defined by race, class and gender, and who react in a deterministic way to the environment around them.

This leads logically to their theory of government, which posits a large and intrusive state to manipulate people toward its preferred ends. Of course, they never explain how the elites who determine the preferred ends are able to escape the chain of epistemological causation and freely perceive a reality unconditioned by their class-based "false consciousness."

You don't even have to believe in free will in order to know it is real. Bolton uses the example of two people, one of whom believes in free will, the other of whom does not. As a consequence of believing in it, the person will conduct himself quite differently than the one who does not. One little spud will endeavor to actualize his potential, while the other will remain a half-baked potato too lazy to even invent the couch.

Thus, we see how belief of any kind enters the causal chain to alter human reality. Again, this is rather obvious when we consider cultures that cherish freedom vs. those that deny it. Ye shall know the latter by their fruitlessness, both individually and collectively.

Unfree cultures tend to produce worthless people, as in the Palestinian terrortories or the New York Times idiotorial board, to cite a couple examples of low-hanging fruitlessness.

If providence subsists prior to fate, this must be analogous to what we were saying the other day about entropy being parasitic on order. Obviously we could not speak of disorder in the absence of order.

Therefore, no matter what physicists say about the priority of the second law of thermodynamics, God exists prior to the world, not just in the horizontal past, but in the descent of each vertical moment. If there is any order, there is only One transcendent order and one theography course to pass through. And that's an order!

So don't just recycle that free atlas the Creator issues us at birth, for it is a map to the stars.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Religious Causation and the Climate of Love

Q: What caused that evil assoul to murder six people?

A. Jared Loughner.

Q: What causes liberals to imagine that causes outside Jared Loughner caused Jared Loughner to murder six people? (We are assuming, of course, that he is capable of distinguishing right from wrong.)

A: That is impossible for the liberal to answer, owing to the infinite regression of liberal fantasies about psychic causation. If everything is caused by something less, then so too are liberal ideas about causation.

But the short answer is usually college, where young adults go to eliminate their common sense, the first step in indoctrinating them with liberal ideology. If you can get a person to doubt the most obvious things, then you can get them to doubt anything, from truth, to free will, to objective morality. And this is the space the liberal exploits in order to fill with their nonsense.

As I have mentioned before, just because someone pretends to be irreligious, it hardly means that they actually are. If you consider the fact that virtually all human beings for all of human history have been religious, we're talking about something that is so deeply ingrained in the human being that it would be folly to imagine that one could so easily slip out of this reality by a mere conscious declaration. (Indeed, adopting the moronic view of the psychic determinist, what actually causes the person to reject religion? Perhaps it is just the climate of anti-religious bigotry among our elites.)

It is critical to bear in mind that religion is not just a content, but a container. It is not just a belief system but a dynamic mode of thought. And in order to comprehend religious truth, one must deploy this mode of thought, even if (as is usually the case) it is done unconsciously. No one needs to do it consciously, which is one of the beauties of authentic revelation, which has been "pre-thought," so to speak, by a mind vastly superior to ours.

While the average person routinely draws upon the religious mode of thinking, they have no idea they are doing so -- any more than the person who falls in love is aware of all the unconscious processes that contribute to this phenomenon, and without which it could not occur. No one employs logic to will themselves to fall in love. And it would be absurd for a rationalist to come along and say they don't believe in love just because it escapes their little net of reason.

Rather, once the person enters the "space" of eros, they are entering a kind of ancient cathedral that long antedates their own personal existence. Hidden forces begin to emerge, as if one is suddenly thrust upon the stage of a very old play. Remember?

I do, partly because I was by no means prepared for the forces that were unleashed when I was 17. For a weaker man, it might have been, in the words of Sonny Boy Williamson, her funeral and my trial, but the point is that there are human realities that it would be foolish to pretend we understand, or that we can simply "reject" with our local ego. Nothing could be more naive.

The same obviously applies to religion. Much better to simply acknowledge that one is religious rather than to pretend one has escaped this vital and pervasive mode of thought. For the consciously religious person, it is strictly impossible to escape religiosity as a consequence of our deiform nature. In other words, the plain fact of the matter is that human beings are in the image of their Creator. The absolute abides within us, which is why we may know absolutely -- which is another way of saying know, full stop. It also means that a spark of the "uncaused cause" indwells us, i.e., divine freedom.

Think of what happens when one becomes a mother. It is as if a whole new computer program kicks in. One doesn't have to accept it. Rather, one can only reject it. Many "born again" experiences are analogous to this, in that the person's "religious mode" has suddenly come on line, so they are able to see and understand a whole new dimension of reality that was there all the time, but had gone undetected without the software to discern it. It is no different than what words look like to the illiterate -- just random squiggles.

Which is why when we say that for the leftist, "nothing is sacred," we mean that ironically. For as soon as one says that, the leftist takes offense, which only proves that something is indeed sacred to the leftist, even if it is only irreverence and blasphemy. But the point is, one cannot actually be human and be unaware of the reality of the sacred, even if one idolatrously displaces it to profane objects and ideas. You can even reverse-engineer a person. Find out what is sacred to them, and you have discovered their religion.

I still remember quite vividly when my religious mode came on line and I suddenly found myself on the "other side." I don't want to romanticize this, because it is such a common experience, perhaps only made more noticeable for someone who had made the journey all the way back up from ideological atheism. As I mentioned in the book, it was analogous to those magic eye pictures, in which the third dimension suddenly pops out at you. Or do you pop into it?

Now, a religious practice largely involves maintaining and deepening one's involvement with this previously hidden dimension. At first it might be dimly perceived, or perhaps one moves in and out of it. One reason why I still struggle with conventional religiosity is that I cannot imagine, say, going to a religious service once a week and thinking that that is in any way sufficient to maintain contact with O.

Importantly, the idea of weekly worship evolved in a context that was thoroughly religious. It wasn't as if there were no religion for six days and then religion for one. But because of the radical secularization of our culture, we truly need to develop and internalize our own "private cathedral" that is with us at all times. Modernity brings countless blessings, but we must also be aware of the costs, for there is generally no blessing without a curse (and vice versa).

These blessings are mostly in the horizontal/quantitative mode, which can easily hypnotize and seduce us away from the vertical/qualitative which confers meaning upon them -- just as a disproportionately religious culture can be pulled away from the world, so it remains stuck in an unevolving socioeconomic rut. To be excessively in or out of "the world" is to push a partial truth beyond the breaking point. Rather, we should be in but not of, as the Man says.

The real Cosmos is not and cannot be synonymous with what materialists call "the universe." The universe is an abstract construct employed by scientists to help explain and frame their data. It does not actually exist, except as an abstraction. You might say that it is the (merely) logical residue of the living Cosmos, the latter of which is the ordered totality of being, as reflected on both the macro and micro scales ("as above, so below"), and in both its interior and exterior aspects (subjective and objective).

In turn, the cosmos cannot be synonymous with the Creator (pantheism), but is, however, incomprehensible in his absence. The world is none other than God, but God is not the world.

Now, each of us is born with certain invariants which constitute our true or essential self. However, these categories remain empty potential unless they are actualized in life. We are all "driven" to achieve this unique potential, something the psychoanalyst Christopher Bollas calls our "destiny drive."

The word "drive" is probably misleading, because this doesn't operate like other drives, which are more mechanistic and past-to-future in their orientation. Rather, the destiny drive is clearly teleonomical, operating in a future-to-present, or top-down manner. Sensing one's destiny feels very different than discharging an urge. Furthermore, it is not a repetitive or one-time-only sort of thing, as in "What did you do last weekend?" "Oh, I gratified my destiny drive. I think I'll do it again next Saturday."

Rather, the destiny drive mysteriously applies to the whole of one's life, not just to an isolated part of it (in fact, analogous to the cosmos, you could say that it is the implicit totality of one's being, which naturally must be disclosed in time, for it cannot possibly manifest all at once). It is the ultimate organizing principle on the subjective-micro scale of human existence. Obviously it is not coterminous with the ego, which is a general function that most everyone has.

The ego is more like hands or teeth -- which is to say, a tool for navigating around internal and external reality. Just as soma is in psyche and psyche in pneuma, the ego is in the self.

The ego is unique in the way that a snowflake is unique. Yes, every snowflake is distinct, but it's a distinction without an essential difference. No snowflake surpasses "snowflakiness." Like the egos of Hollywood, everyone is different, but they're all the same flake. Alec Baldwin is no flakier than Sean Penn, and they both smell about as sweet as a Rosie or Roseanne.

Bolton discusses this question of uniqueness in Keys of Gnosis, but I would use slightly different terminology. That is, I would say that each snowflake is an individual, but they are not individuated. Only a human being can individuate, which is to say, achieve a destiny which is unique to him. Everything else in the cosmos simply is what it is; only man is orthoparadoxically both who he is and is not yet.

So yes, there is a kind of "predestination," but it is very different from the materialistic predestination of a snowflake. Human beings alone can become something they are not, and thus arrive at the wrong destination. No one has to tell a pig to be one, but you can never stop telling a liberal to be a Man.

In fact, there can be a fine line between destiny and fate. Only destiny is within the realm of providence, whereas fate implies its opposite.

Now, a universe of pure providence would be indistinguishable from a universe of pure fate, and therefore, devoid of destiny. Under a system of pure providence, only the whole system has a destiny, which is no destiny at all. This is a monist metaphysic that Obliterates the value of the unique individual.

In a materialistic context, hard determinism reduces one to a plaything of genes, physics, and chemistry, while in a Christian context, predestination reduces one to a praything of God. And in an Eastern context, one is just a preything of maya. But the whole point of traditional Christian metaphysics is that time is both real and irreversible, so that true and eternally valuable novelty occurs within it.

"For this reason," as Bolton explains, "supposedly spiritual teachings for which the total system is the only real agent [i.e., monism] are only disguised expressions of Fate," and fate is not providence, let alone destiny. Predestination explains precisely nothing, but unexplains everything of concern to us.

Rather, providence and destiny work with the freedom left over by fate, and are manifest "in the ordering of things by a benign intelligence which leads souls to a good which seems to have been pre-ordained for them, or for which they seem to have been made" (Bolton). Interestingly, we are able to recognize fate as fate, because it is a "constraining force" that can never totally contain us, and which we could not recognize "unless there were something in us which did not belong to it."

But at the same time, providence could have no meaning unless it existed over and against the "unfreedom" of fate: "[T]he Catholic idea of co-operating with Providence is linked to the idea of realizing one's individual Form or Exemplar." Thus, it is not so much that "God is my co-pilot." Rather, I am God's co-pilot, a formulation that uber-Coon Meister Eckhart would have appreciated, had he known about airplanes, which he might have used to flee from the authoritarian forces of fate in religious garb.

By the way, although airplanes crash, that is not what they were designed to do. Yes, you need a blueprint to create an airplane capable of crashing, but that is not the purpose of non-Muslim airplanes. As such, as Bolton says, there is no grounds for a "negative predestination," since creating something to fail is a contradiction of terms.

Fate has to do with those things over which we have little power, "a kind of order manifest as necessity, constraint, and coercive causality, which includes purely random events" (Bolton). For example, we are fated to die, or to live with sexual tension, or to toil for our daily bread, or to endure dopey comments from trolls.

This is very different from our destiny. Fate generally interferes with our destiny, but even then one must be cautious in leaping to conclusions, for in hindsight our lives can often look like a trail of fate which led to our destiny. Here I think that fate can serve approximately the same purpose as entropy, discussed in yesterday's post. An organism can never eliminate entropy; rather, it uses entropy by dissipating it in order to maintain its dynamic equilibrium.

Likewise, we can "dissipate" fate to achieve our destiny. In this regard, fate has a way of underminding the "best laid plans of mice and men," plans that likely came from the ego, not the Self. Thus, fate can often serve the purpose of eroding the ego's pretensions of control. This may sound a bit abstract, but it's not. For example, I have a sense that this blog has to do with my destiny -- who knows, maybe even yours, but that's for you to discern.

But I could never do this with my ego in the way. Rather, I can only achieve "control" of my destiny by giving up egoic control. I could never do this with effort. Quite the opposite. Each morning I abandon memory, desire, and understanding, in order to make a little raid on the wild godhead. So, even if I'm wrong, let it never be said that I wasn't truly, uniquely, and unprecedentedly wrong in the way only Bob could be: deeply wrong to the very core of his being. Which is the only right way to live.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Moral Entropy and the Eviction of Mind Parasites

One reason why the left has the advantage in our civil war is that the battle always takes place on their turf. We never have the home field advantage, for the simple reason that politics is not our home. Rather, it is an alien place we would prefer to avoid.

But when the left is engaging in one of its ritual witch hunts, and one happens to be a member of the group they are hunting, they leave one no choice but to descend down into the lunar 'batmosphere with them. You know the story. It's like mud wrestling with a pig. You're both going to get dirty, except Krugman enjoys it.

For the leftist, politics is his religion, his purpose, his filthy pigpen. It is impossible to match that level of frenetic energy when one has a life, not to mention a religion. Which is why it is so ironic for the leftist to distort the plain meaning of the first amendment in order to fuse his religion with the state while barring others from even coming near it. How convenient.

Yes, the left has a true monotheopoly. Among the many reasons I would never send my son to a public school is that I don't want him to undergo a radical secular brainwashing and soulectomy. I'm very happy with his Catholic school, where there is a clear separation of church and state, faith and science. While he's getting a fine religious education there, they don't confuse it with the science or history, and certainly not with biology. No authority figure in his school pretends that boys are girls, nor will he hear the word "gender" bandied about by sexually ambiguous castrati and castrata.

Here he is on a recent field trip, bringing food to day laborers, not because he advocates illegal immigration, nor because he's a hateful anti-tea party fanatic, but in order to cultivate simple apolitical compassion. Nor is he learning to offload his compassion to the state. What a concept! If he were in a public school, they'd no doubt have the students write letters to Obama asking him why Governor Brewer is so mean.

As mentioned in yesterday's post both grace (↓) and the Lie (L) are loose in the world: "just as grace enters the human plane 'from above' and then recirculates in unpredictable ways, even causing it to operate in people who specifically reject the very possibility, the Lie works in the same way. The Lie is a kind of anti-grace, as it were, which also circulates in the psychic economy and which will be picked up by susceptible host-minds."

Bolton puts forth the provocative idea that "having children may be a way of off-loading one's karmic debts. Those who dislike this doctrine usually ignore its equal implication that rewards earned by the virtues of ancestors must also be inheritable." Thus, "the act of inheriting life at all must mean inheriting both goods and evils from the ancestors, and to expect to receive only good is a result of sentimentality" (emphasis mine), similar to how DNA is loaded with ancestral experience.

Yes, we are created with an immortal soul. This soul is unique and present in its totality from the moment of conception. However, no different than our bodies, it will require various conditions, circumstances, and experiences in order to actualize its powers. Clearly, some circumstances are more conducive to the soul's actualization. Is this unfair? Perhaps, but there is simply no alternative that is compatible with the freedom -- and therefore dignity -- that is intrinsic to the soul. In short, if not for bad luck, we wouldn't have no luck at all.

Let's take the example of the depressed mother who is unable for whatever reason to appropriately respond to her infant. She herself is afflicted by a mind parasite (whether somatic, psychic, or spiritual) that is causing her depression, or addiction, or whatever. Where did it come from? In all likelihood she has no idea, as she's never thought about it, certainly not in any systematic way. Therefore, her only way to process it is by doing to her child what was done to her, effectively projecting the parasite into her child, who may or may not be able to deal with it in his life.

I cannot tell you how often I have seen this and similar scenarios play out through the generations. Most psychologists see a few patients over a longer period, but the nature of my work in forensic psychology means that I see a lot of patients -- especially including patients you'd never otherwise see in the mental health system -- for a short but intense period, in which I review their entire life.

You'd be surprised how often these people reveal things they have shared with no one else in their entire lives -- not their spouse, their best friend, or their priest. As a result, I have a somewhat unique vantage point on mind parasites and their inter-generational transmission. I can see how they vary in different cultures and different nations, and the diverse personal and collective strategies for dealing with them. You might say that I am well aware of the dark side of diversity and multiculturalism.

Bolton suggests that real personal power results from the eradication of alien powers inhabiting and taking up room in one's personal (subjective) space: the gradual accumulation of this power is a function of "the progressive exhaustion of the hostile reactions which were occasioned by one's own negative potentialities and the ones which one had inherited." There are all kinds of dynamic (self-organizing) entities in our heads that have no business being there, and which it is necessary to identify in order to distinguish between us and them.

You may call this the distinction between self and ego, or sacred and profane, or worldly and divine. The important point is to notice the distinction. Dennis Prager wrote an insightful essay that touches on this, noting that for the left there are no Sacred Texts. This is the result of a genuine spiritual infirmity that prevents them from perceiving a whole dimension of reality -- a dimension that is clearly more "real" than the secular world which can only be a declension from the spiritual.

You may recall that the present discussion of mind parasites is taking place in the greater context of free will and moral causality (karma), and how the latter does not operate in an immediate way, as on the plane of physics. Thus "when cosmic reactions are due, they do not necessarily happen all at once to everyone who deserves them, or in easily recognized patterns" (Bolton). This applies to both personal and collective history.

I'm guessing that in small, premodern communities, the workings of the Law -- i.e., karma -- were much easier to discern. But in the modern world, there are so many additional layers of causality, that reactions to actions can go unappreciated because they are so delayed and distorted. It's probably similar to voting. Your vote obviously has much more impact in your local city election than it does nationally. You're the same size, but your local vote -- and therefore your causal influence -- is larger and more direct.

Whatever the case may be, Bolton insists that the Law must exist, because it is rooted in a much deeper principle, "namely, that the world-order is moral, despite all contrary appearances." I suppose it can get confusing, because if the whole cosmic system is to be moral, there will necessarily be seeming exceptions that may fool us into believing this isn't the case.

However, in this regard, it may be analogous to the second law of thermodynamics, which -- according to physicists -- can never be violated on the macro scale, local appearances to the contrary notwithstanding. More to the point, according to chaos theorists such as Ilya Prigogine, life could not exist in the absence of entropy.

However, there is no unsane reason one cannot turn this formulation back on its feet, and affirm that entropy can only exist in a cosmos that is fundamentally ordered. In other words, it seems obvious that entropy is always parasitic on order, not vice versa. And where did all the a priori order come from? Physicists are not permitted to say, since -- ironically -- they necessarily operate in a closed system of their own invention, in which no influences from outside the system can intrude. This is an assumption that science can never prove, on pain of making Gödel spin in his grave, which cannot happen, since he has been at complete thermal equilibrium since 1978.

I personally believe -- and Petey agrees with me -- that it is preposterous to suggest that the deep order -- say, those 20 or so mathematical parameters that govern the character and development of the physical universe, discussed in the Coonifesto -- is accidental. Such an accident cannot happen, for the same reason I flunked trigonometry in the 12th grade -- that is, you cannot pull higher mathematics out of complete emptiness and utter indifference. (This follows from the big bong theory, which I don't have time to explain at the moment.)

No, it's worse than that. It's like insisting that the cosmos was created from "nothing" instead of Nothing -- which makes all the difference, "difference" being the very opposite of entropy. You could even say that God makes all the difference, which is certainly what Genesis teaches, in that the very first act -- the act which makes any subsequent action possible -- is to separate. Just try googling "genesis separation chaos judaism," and watch how google instantaneously organizes the chaos of cyberspace into metaphysical truth at your fingertips, just like a perpetual echo of Genesis-is-is-is-is....

Again, we are not denying entropy, only putting it in its proper place. For one thing, if entropy did not exist, we could not have freedom, for the universe would either be the pure order of a machine or a pure absence of order -- a chaosmos, not a cosmos. Entropy is a middle term without which we could not get from here to there, not a final term that ultimately allows us to go nowhere.

For example, the reason why the Commandments were necessary was to keep moral entropy in check. Left to his own devices, man will morally dissipate. But this surely doesn't mean that moral dissipation is the inevitable end of man. Rather, the soul may journey toward perfection because of entropy. It is not the final or formal cause, but it is a necessary one. (Just as the soul is prior to the body, but nevertheless requires a body in order to actualize its powers.)

Man always lives his life in relation to value, "value" being the essence of quality, which can never be reduced to quantity. To live in relation to value is to live teleognostically and to therefore allow oneself to be shaped by influences from "above" or from "the future." Now, are these transcendent values permanent truths, like the truths of mathematics, or are they just worthless artifacts to be worn away by the sands of entropy? Is it true that we shouldn't murder, or is this commandment no more real than a rainbow?

In the real world, entropy exists. In fact, you could say that this is one of the lessons of Genesis 3. There is no entropy in paradise -- no death, no knowledge of duality, no separation from the Principle, no place whatsoever for the left (as they say, in heaven it's not needed, and in hell it already rules).

So in the end, absolute predestination is indistinguishable from strict scientism, which are both just sloppy solipsisms and slippery solecisms. To quote Bolton, "When everything is believed to happen because of natural forces alone without relation to value," we become what we are not, which is to say, a closed system. And if actions and their consequences have no moral value, then existential entropy is absolute and man can never become what he is: "A world in which anything could happen to anyone would be one in which the natural order was inherently amoral, and the commandments of religion would not make any concrete difference. Far from meaning an openness to Providence, it would really mean no Providence at all" (ibid).

The "good news" of religion is that the world is not a closed circle, that it is not an eternal prison, that it has an exit and an entrance.... "Perdition" is to be caught up in the eternal circulation of the world of the closed circle... [whereas] "salvation" is life in the world of the open circle, or spiral, where there is both exit and entrance. --Meditations on the Tarot

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Care and Feeding of Media Monsters

This morning I want to spend some timelessness discussing the propagation and dissemination of mind parasites, since this is what we are witnessing in real time, what with the left's vile attempt to blame the actions of a mass murderer on peaceful citizens who merely have different ideas than they do.

Human beings obviously did not evolve in an environment of mass media. Indeed, there was no medium at all except for speech and sign language. Nor were there "masses," only bands numbering thirty to fifty closely related souls.

A critical point is that in human psychological development -- both as a species and person -- the group precedes the individual; indeed, the group is the matrix, or soil, which nourishes the individual, and out of which the latter will "grow."

Thus, we may have groups without genuine individuals, but it would be impossible to have individuals without the group. Humanness is simply impossible in the absence of the intimate, intersubjective group relationship (beginning with mother <--> infant), which is one of many reasons I do not believe intelligent (self-aware) life has evolved elsewhere. The requisite conditions are just too imponderably specific.

In order for a coherent group to emerge, its members must inhabit the same "reality." Now, it is obvious that all human beings, regardless of the group, live in the same physical reality. But we inhabit vastly different psychological and spiritual environments, to such an extent that mere geography becomes incidental to human differences. Look at North Korea and South Korea, or Israel and the Palestinian terrortories, or Harvard and Hillsdale. Same species, completely irreconcilable psychospiritual realities.

Whether fortunately or unfortunately, we could say the same of "red" and "blue" states, except that blue states contain big heap plenty redman such as myself, and vice versa.

But thanks to mass media, this is no longer an obstacle to group membership. In the millennia prior to mass media, I wouldn't even know about other groups, only my own and maybe that other group that I wanted to exterminate. I would grow and be shaped by those immediately around me, and even if I felt that somehow I didn't fit in, there would be no alternative.

One of the wonderful things about modernity is that we may choose our own group based upon who we actually are. Look at this blog. It doesn't have many readers, but it has readers from all over the world who may have more in common with each other than they do with their immediate group.

Now, even though modernity gives us this new access to diverse groups, we must bear in mind that the same primitive rules apply. It is analogous to, say, sex. Just because you can meet someone through the miracle of the internet, this does not mean that, should you get together, the relationship will somehow transcend the most primitive drives and impulses -- lust, jealousy, possessiveness, and all the rest. Indeed, the desire to meet someone over the internet is still motivated by the ancient human drive for intimate relationships.

So in one sense the psyche rides piggyback on the technology, but in another sense, it is the converse.

Now, as alluded to above, although Americans obviously inhabit one physical country, they do not live in the same worlds. Let's not even get into the question of which is the "real world," but just acknowledge the fact that they are irreconcilable.

For example, one side believes that human beings are created equal in the image of their Creator, that our rights flow from this reality, and that the purpose of government is to protect these rights. The other group believes this is a pernicious fairy tale that provokes its members to commit mass murder. I know that's how I feel when I read the Constitution.

If you stand back from the historical situation and take a martian's-eye view, the transmission of mind parasites might seem unfair to the individual, but it ultimately benefits the collective, since each individual is tasked with the mission of eradicating the parasites that he has inherited from his parents (and they from theirs, all the way back to the dawn of human time).

This is one way to conceptualize our "fallenness," in that each of us repeats the fall, but in our own way. As implied in yesterday's post, one cannot undo the fall by "normalizing" it, nor can one undo it by imposing a coercive collective solution, the two main prongs of the left. Undoing the Problem of Man does not involve merely fine-tuning the rewards and punishments meted out by the state. It has never worked and never will.

Since they are not fully formed individuals, children can hardly avoid sharing in the moral merits and demerits of their parents and of the society to which they belong. While this seems to render them "less than human," it actually means that they are more than animal right from the start, in that they are engaging in psychic transactions with those around them, probably even in the womb -- and it is through these psychic transactions that we become -- or fail to become -- who we are. Again, membership in the group must be prior to the emergence of the individual.

An important point is that these psychic transmissions are projected back and forth from parent to child, within the fluid and boundary-less transitional space between them. For example, a hungry or frightened infant cannot imagine the absence of anything (since that would require abstract, symbolic thought, i.e., "bupkis"), only the presence of something bad. This concrete "bad object" is projected into the good mother, who transforms it into the experience of a soothing good object, which the child internalizes.

Please don't to be too literal, but try to imagine it in a more poetic and less mechanistic way. In a sense, it's easier to think about what happens when something goes wrong in the relationship -- say, a depressed or otherwise emotionally unavailable mother -- which will result in the inability of the baby to metabolize and transform its bad objects, which is how they gradually "solidify" into enduring mind parasites. What to do with them?

Psychotherapy is one way to process them, but that's only been in existence for a hundred years or so, and even then it usually only proceeds on a pretty superficial basis. Most people end up dealing with them in a pathological way, either through the development of symptoms or through acting out.

To greatly simplify, you could say that a neurotic mostly keeps his mind parasites to himself, while the person with a Personality Disorder (e.g., Borderline, Narcissistic, Paranoid, etc.) inevitably involves others in his or her psychodrama. (And the psychotic is in a world all his own, so he is in a different category altogether.)

If the world were filled only with neurotically conflicted people, it would pretty much be paradise, or as close as you can get to it on earth. This is because neurotics mostly hurt themselves and maybe disappoint or frustrate others around them, but they aren't sadistic or murderous, and are mostly prone to distorting reality in less significant ways, like unconsciously confusing your wife with your mother. The mere neurotic does not confuse Jews with Satan, or President Bush with Hitler, or Sarah Palin with a mass murderer.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that if you even know you have mind parasites with their own agendas, you are more evolved than around 99% of the humans who have ever lived. Most of the real wholesale evil in the world is obviously caused by failure to recognize the existence of mind parasites and consequently projecting them into others for their elimination.

Imagine if Yasser Arafat could have paused for a moment and pondered the question, "gee, why do I hate Jews so much? Where did that come from? And why am I so attracted to little boys? Could it be because of the Islamic fear and degradation of women? Or was it because I was so indulged by my mother that I'm afraid of being devoured by her vagina? Yeah, that's probably it."

Liberals, of course, want us to understand the terrorists. But one of the first things I learned in my psychoanalytic training is that real empathy has nothing to do with reinforcing someone's delusions just to make them feel better. Rather, it must involve things like confrontation, interpretation, clarification, etc.

So the most empathic thing you could do for a bin Laden -- for the whole Islamic world, for that matter -- would be to confront them with the truth of which they are so desperately in need, for a mind deprived of truth still "needs to eat," but it will feed on lies, which in turn creates a monster. You do not flatter them with the monstrous lie -- as did Secretary of State Clinton the other day -- by implying that "you folks have your politically motivated extremists and so do we, with that tea partier who murdered all those people the other day."

Lies are monster food. All monsters feed on lies, and a monster is simply a living lie. They are the lie made flesh.

Hitler could not have been the monster he was without a steady diet of outrageous lies with no connection whatsoever to reality. Stalin, Mao, Castro, Arafat, Pol Pot, and all the rest of the 20th century Monster Club -- all were soulless zombies because of their fidelity to the Lie which created them.

In this regard, you can certainly see how ideology becomes a substitute religion rooted in the satanic eucharist (or "dyscharist") of ingesting the Lie. Once the liar is in place, he needs a steady diet of more lies in order to maintain himself. Conversely, he will respond to truth in the way a vampire reacts to garlic or Obama to media scrutiny.

So, just as grace enters the human plane "from above" and then recirculates in unpredictable ways, even causing it to operate in people who specifically reject the very possibility, the Lie works in the same way. The Lie is a kind of anti-grace, as it were, which also circulates in the psychic economy and which will be picked up by susceptible host-minds.

One of the primary tasks of the MSM -- as we have vividly seen this week -- is to propagate these parasites in a rapid and efficient manner to the most weak and unreflective minds. For such media enablers and their passive victims, the gift of shame is impossible. No, they have no decency.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Revenge of the Ghouls: When Liberals Attack

(Visitors new to this blog might want to skip the first paragraph. While I can assure you it makes perfect nonsense, only prolonged exposure to the blog can shed sufficient obscurity on its pundamental meaning. Suffice it to say that it's funny because it's true!)

For fertile eggheads, thinking is a trinitarian process that results from the harmonious union of Father conscious and mother unConscious producing baby thoughtlet. This little thought then grows up and mary's his own true-to-wife unConscious, the innercourse of which eventually produces bouncing new grandthoughts out of the voidgin soil. And sow on and sow fourth.

And just as we couldn't have a complex genetic blueprint without copying errors, we couldn't have real thinking without mistakes. Of course we could have logic, but logic isn't thinking. If thinking is reduced to logic, then you end up shooting psychic blanks with forms of pseudo-thinking such as materialism, atheism, or radical secularism.

And even then, anyone should know that logic is useless and often dangerous in the absence of a nonlocal thinker who knows how and when to deploy it, and is aware of the limits beyond which it becomes patently irrational. To apply logic beyond its proper limits is like trying to use a sundial on the dark side of the moon.

Logic cannot give birth to its own materials, nor can it father its own boundaries. This is why the problem of our Ønanistic trolls can be summarized in four words: their boys can't swim. Their masturbatory thoughts are dead on arrival.

In the absence of a prudent thinker -- prudence being the cardinal virtue -- logic is just as likely to use faulty premises to arrive at illogical conclusions; or, as is intrinsic to contemporary liberalism, fail to draw out the full chain of reasoning.

Rather, the liberal arbitrarily stops thinking at a point that suits his desires, his flattering self-image, and his policy preferences. Nor are liberals capable of entertaining counterfactuals, i.e., what might have been absent their meddling.

If liberals would only reason just a little bit farther -- from A all the way to C or D, instead of stopping at B, they might begin to see the actual effects of their countless failed government programs. But doing this would require them to exit their fishy world of squishy wish fulfillment and enter the painful world of the reality principle.

Roger Kimball writes that "This is the oldest and the best argument for conservatism: the argument from the fact that our actions almost always have unforeseen and unwelcome consequences. It is an argument from so great and so mournful a fund of experience, that nothing can rationally outweigh it.

"Yet somehow, at any rate in societies like ours, this argument never is given its due weight. When what is called a 'reform' proves to be, yet again, a cure worse than the disease, the assumption is always that what is needed is still more, and still more drastic, 'reform.' Progressives cannot wrap their minds (or, more to the point, their hearts) around this irony: that 'reform' so regularly exacerbates either the evil it was meant to cure or another evil it had hardly glimpsed."

Even more alarmingly, the reforms forced upon us by liberals not only produce unintended consequences, but unintended human beings and an unintended culture for them to feel comfortable in. In short, it produces deviant people who then require the very cultural circumstances that gave psychic birth to them in order to feel "normal."

Senior Raccoons will remember a time, not too long ago, that abnormal people in our culture actually felt abnormal. They were aware of their deviancy, and how this deviancy contributed to an unhappiness that no government has the power to eliminate.

But under the guise of "tolerance" and multiculturalism, we have deprived these poor souls of the feedback they need in order to know that they are not normal. This is not empathy, but cruelty -- like shielding someone from a cancer diagnosis on the grounds that it will make them feel bad, but depriving them of the chance to fight it.

In order to allow such people to feel normal in their abnormalcy, we have had to develop a deviant culture for them to live in, to such an extent that the normal are now made to feel abnormal. A liberal can rename someone "special," but that doesn't alter the gravity of the actual condition.

This is one of the influences on the Tea Party movement, and more generally the effort to take our country back from the deviant. Not surprisingly, this is enraging the abnormals of the left, as witnessed, for example, by the weird attempt to suggest that normal people somehow caused the patently abnormal Jared Loughner to open fire on a bunch of normal people.

If multiculturalism were true, it would mean that all cultures are of equal value. But this is equivalent to saying that there is no reality to which culture is an adaptation. As a result, culture devolves to a mere fantasy world. Which, of course, it is for the left. They are, by their own lights, not oriented to reality, since reality is just an oppressive white European male construct.

So, what is the left adapted to? That is a good question. I suppose it depends upon the day and the circumstances, for it changes -- which is their prerogative, since change is their only reality. Yesterday dissent was the highest form of patriotism, whereas today it is a Climate of Hate. Nuance!

Nothing is more futile than trying to hold a liberal to what they said yesterday. A leftist assassinates JFK? You can't use that to tar the left. A Palestinian assassinates RFK? Can't use that to implicate Palestinian nationalism. Some loon almost murders Reagan in the densest climate of statist haters since the Confederacy? Whatever.

As Kimball writes, one good reason to be wary of promiscuous change is that "lasting cultural accomplishments are hard-won achievements that are easy to lose but difficult to recoup." To paraphrase Dawson, it is possible to destroy something in a day that took 5,000 years to build. Then again, Dawson was obviously unaware of New Deal and Great Society programs, which seem to be as permanent as the pyramids of Egypt.

The language of mindless change also discourages the cultivation of gratitude, which is one of the prerequisites of human happiness. In the words of Kimball, "the rhetoric of change encourages us to discount present blessings that are real for future promises that are uncertain at best."

Mind parasites are generally not too destructive so long as they are confined to individual minds and played out in personal relationships. But just as neurosis may be thought of as a private culture, culture often comes down to a public neurosis. And that is when the mind parasites can result in the enfeeblement and even eradication of the host, as in contemporary leftism.

In reading of the left's egregious political exploitation of the Arizona murders, I was struck yesterday by how many times I saw the words "liberal" and "ghoulish" conjoined. This is no accident. When the abnormals are confronted with their abnormality in a consistent and unyielding way, their ghoulishness becomes all the more evident, as it must come out from hiding and actually defend the indefensible.

And of course, the ghouls will subjectively experience this as a climate of hatred.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Murderous Impulses of the Left

This weekend I was reminded of the joke about the Jew who liked Nazi rhetoric, because it made him feel like a big shot -- after all, Jews own the banks, rule the media, control Hollywood, and generally run the world.

There have already been any number of definitive analyses of the left's exploitation of the Arizona shootings, so I don't want to repeat them; cf. here, here, here, and here. Is there anything else to say except that one should never be surprised at the moral rot of the left? This is what they do. Since they they know as well as anyone that they cannot win on the merits, their first and last resort is always to defame, to smear, and to demonize.

If we limit ourselves to conscious motivations, then Glenn Reynolds is correct in saying that there are really only two explanations for such disgusting behavior on part of the left: they are either "(a) asserting a connection between the 'rhetoric' and the shooting, which based on evidence to date would be what we call a vicious lie; or (b) [they're] not, in which case [they're] just seizing on a tragedy to try to score unrelated political points, which is contemptible. Which is it?"

But there is a third alternative, which is that they actually do believe what they are saying. That the left is morally insane is not controversial. To embrace moral relativism is ultimately to affirm that no act is forbidden, that there is no transcendent source of morality, and that we are not held accountable for our actions. Which is why one can never accuse a leftist of hypocrisy, since it is impossible for a true nihilist to be a hypocrite.

We will not review our many posts that explain how and why the ideology of leftism is animated by hatred and envy. But because of this, it is impossible for the leftist to handle the cognitive dissonance that is generated between two diametrically opposed psychic realities. On the one hand, the leftist is no different than anyone else, in that he has a reservoir of hatred, greed, irrational thinking, prejudices, etc.

However, the leftist regards himself as morally superior, to such an extent that he deems himself worthy and capable of ruling over all the other unenlightened and morally inferior beings who are greedy, irrational, power-hungry, etc. The conservative is not sanguine about human nature, beginning with his own. But the leftist denies human nature, beginning with his own.

How can such beautiful souls as Barney Frank, Paul Krugman, Keith Olbermann, or Nancy Pelosi be animated by anything less than the most lofty and selfless goals? Easy. They cannot be. Therefore, what is denied in themselves must be projected into others, which is where conservatives come in.

For the left, conservatism is, was, and always will be a convenient repository for their own psychic projections. Many commenters have noticed that if you really want to know what's going on in the leftist's mind, just take note what they condemn in others. This is axiomatic.

In the case of the Arizona shootings, what is the left projecting? From the moment information about the murderer's preoccupations became available, it was evident to me that he suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, and I will be very surprised if that is not the final verdict. Suffice it to say that the paranoid schizophrenic is not in contact with what we call reality, and that their motivations emanate from a tangle of irrational impulses, fears, obsessions, hallucinations, and delusions.

So at this point, there is obviously no rational basis whatsoever to attribute the murderer's actions to anything other than severe mental illness (and perhaps to the people around him who ignored or enabled it). Note that the left is irrationally using this irrational person in order to insert their own peculiar preoccupations, and furnish him with an understandable motivation: he murdered because he was animated by conservative ideas and principles.

What this actually means is that these murderous impulses are indeed real, except that they are first in the mind of the leftist. The left is in a state of perpetual rage at conservatives, even more so than usual since last year's election. To put it simply, we drive them nuts with anger. They would like to kill, but their beautiful self image prevents them from recognizing and owning their own rage. Therefore they must project it into others: into Glenn Beck, or Rush Limbaugh, or Sarah Palin, or this insane criminal.

Or me. I am well aware of the fact that I provoke intense anger in our trolls, which is instantaneously projected into me, and transformed into hatred to which they feel compelled to react. In other words, I become the spurious "cause" of their anger and hatred.

Contemporary liberalism (i.e., leftism, not classical liberalism) is not just accidentally but intrinsically wrong. It is wrong not just in this or that elaboration of its principles and policies, but in its very substance. As such, it's like trying to use defective bricks to erect a building, or magical thinking as the basis of science. When your first principles are in error, then everything entailed in those principles will also be in error. To put it another way, it really is possible to be rotten to the core.

Schuon is never explicitly political, but he frequently slips in a page-stopping observation that is pregnant with political implications. It would be strictly impossible to be a student of his and also be a leftist, just as it would be impossible for any seriously religious person to be a leftist.

Not that there aren't religious leftists (indeed, leftism is a political religion). It's just that their values are deeply at odds with perennial truth, and when push comes to shove, it is clear that they derive their values from ideology and not religion; or, if from religion, they deeply misunderstand its esoteric and often even plain meaning. Rather, they simply use religion as a vehicle to advance their political agenda, an agenda that is rooted in ungoverned feeling. Everyone knows this, which is why Democrat candidates are so awkward and unnatural when they talk about religion.

Metaphysical truths, in order to be effective, must become operative in the will. Thus, to transfer responsibility for a dimly perceived spiritual truth to the state is to render it inoperative, since it relieves man of having to be personally conscious of the principle.

Leftists flatter themselves by imagining they "speak truth to power," when they actually promulgate seductive lies to the powerless in order to keep them that way (and to keep voting Democrat). After all, it isn't as if the simple behavioral principles for avoiding poverty aren't well understood. But since they require the cultivation of certain timeless virtues -- and don't allow the sentimental liberal to feel good about himself -- the liberal isn't interested.

Is there a single leftist who understands the following principle?: "Too great an indulgence toward others is often caused not by an innate weakness of character but by an actual inability to conceive the frailty of men and the malice of the devil" (Schuon). And the reason they cannot conceive of the frailty of men is that it would require too much painful self-examination. They'd rather project it into others. On the one hand they project a weak and pathetic part of themselves into "the poor." And they project an angry and controlling part into "the rich."

One immediately thinks of the Hollywood left, who project their deep character flaws into those they presume to rescue, which then absolves them of the need to root out their own frailties and rise above themselves. But "to take fallen man as the human norm is to end up idealizing not man but the human animal, the thinking beast" (ibid). This is why no one is more anti-human than a humanist, for they undermine man's sufficient reason for being, not to mention his rootedness in the transcendent.

A Bill Clinton embodies the qualities of earthly intelligence and oily charm; or cunning and seduction; or calculation and hypnosis. As Harvey Mansfeld wrote, he is "the envy of vulgar men," and deservedly so.

But as Schuon explains, cunning is no more a normal mode of intelligence than paranoia is a normal mode of perception. The latter is not perception but apperception, i.e., the systematic confirmation of one's own projected thoughts and impulses. Leftists know what motivated the Arizona murderer, which is a roundabout way of saying they unconsciously know their own motivations.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Tilting the Cosmic Pinball Machine

On page 226 it is written that "even if you were to forcefully yank on the brake of the Karmic Express, its sheer momentum will continue to carry it down the tracks for a while."

Thus, one "shouldn't be surprised at the persistent weeds that will continue to sprout in your spiritual garden. These are the result of karmic 'seeds' you have mindlessly deposited throughout your life, each with a different life cycle (many seeds take years to sprout). They will continue to sprout up long after you've stopped being naughty, just as the good seeds you are currently planting will take some time to germinate and yield their sound fruit."

True in 2005, truer today, truest tomorrow.

I know that Bob hates to sound like some kind of hippy-dippy liberal, even though, in the final urinalysis, that is precisely what he is. No one is more surprised than he is over the fascinnoying spectacle of his supposedly liberal generational cohort becoming the leading edge of left-wing psychic conformity, state control, and spiritual materialism. But the reactionary rebel only rebels against himself, so it is easier to just cut out the middleman and identify with the Man himself -- the cause, not the effect.

Now, the idea of karma has become a kind of airy fairy, windy Hindi subject. Nevertheless, as mentioned a couple of posts back, the Bible is full of references to karma -- which is simply cause and effect on the moral plane -- to such an extent that the entire metaphysical system presented in its pages breaks down if we eliminate it -- just as the physical world makes no sense in the absence of horizontal causation.

However, causation on the moral plane cannot be as simple and linear as it is on the material plane. This is easy to understand, because it is true of most any phenomenon above the plane of matter, e.g., biology, history, economics, etc. Each of these is irreducibly nonlinear and non-deterministic.

In the Primordial Tradition of which Raccoons are a nonlocal branch (although we retain our autonomy), there are always no less than three degrees of being: the material, the psychological, and the spiritual worlds, corresponding to body, mind (or soul), and spirit (or intellect, i.e., the nous).

In turn, these three worlds correspond to the three main ways of understanding it, 1) empirical science (the eye of the senses), 2) philosophy (the eye of reason), and 3) theology and metaphysics (the contemplative eye of spirit, or pure intellection and understanding); one might also say fact-truth-wisdom, or observation-axiom-principle. (Ken Wilber does a good job of summarizing this perennial truth in his Eye to Eye.)

Of Aristotle's four causes -- material, formal, efficient, and final -- it is the latter which takes priority for human beings (at least in a free society). It is what organizes and enlists the other three, similar to the manner in which the design of a machine exploits the freedom left over by the boundary conditions of lower levels, e.g., physics and chemistry. We only have the freedom to create a machine because of stable and consistent laws (which is why leftist economics never works, and why transparent and unambiguous law and private property are necessary conditions for the generation of wealth and prosperity).

Now, reality is far too complex for one to ever have anything like complete control over one's fate. However, according to Bolton, "By keeping increasingly free from certain states of mind for long enough, one may exhaust the negative reactions from the world which would need to connect with such corresponding inner states in order to be manifest. In this way, the 'cosmic debts' incurred by the use of negative energies can be dissipated."

This is a critical point, one that Walt immediately picked up on the other day. Obviously the materialist will dismiss it a priori, as his conclusions are always buried in his premises. This is not to be confused with "thinking." We all understand that there are moral causes loose in the world -- think, for example, of Martin Luther King's crusade to make America live up to its first principles.

Partly because actions cannot be divorced from the state of mind -- even the total being -- of the person engaging in them, there is no guarantee that the same action will redound to the same personal consequences. In short, we just don't know, which is all the more reason to be virtuous for its own sake, not for any immediate karmic payoff or huge slackpot.

In turn, this is the benefit of understanding how the total system works, for, among other things, it gives us the patience to gracefully endure what we inevitably have coming to us -- our Cross to bear -- and to gratefully accept those injustices that we would probably deserve anyway in a just world.

To put it another way, in a just world, no man would escape a severe wedgie. Appreciating this is a fine psychic defense against the auto-victimization of the left, which makes a man powerless, resentful, irresponsible, and entitled to that which he doesn't deserve. It is also why we all feel compelled to give Dennis Kucinich the wedgie of his life.

In Keys of Gnosis, Bolton points out that "it is mainly because of the wide variations among these time intervals that the succession of action and reaction passes unnoticed. A major factor here is the degree to which true values inform one's life.... The return of reactions rapidly enough for them to be recognized as such is a sign of closeness to the truth" (italics mine).

This is analogous to what we were saying the other day about how proximity to O effectively "thickens" time, so that we begin to take notice of the nonlocal web of causation that permeates our life. Indeed, it is difficult to ignore. Reminds me of a couple of tunes from Van Morrison's Poetic Champions Compose:

There are strange things happening every day / I hear music up above my head / Fill me up with wonder / Give me my rapture today (Give Me My Rapture), and

I began to realize the magic in my life / See it manifest in oh so many ways / Every day is gettin' better and better / I wanna be daily walking close to you (Did Ye Get Healed?)

Conversely, "the long or indefinite delay of [reactions] is a sign that one has strayed too far from the truth to be able to atone for wrongs in this life." We want to believe we can instantaneously turn things around and realize the magic in our life -- to "see it manifest in oh so many ways" -- but that can't possibly occur without undermining the logic of the whole system. It's not that easy to create a moral universe. You try it.

Just as in science, many things are known to be true by virtue of the fact that if they weren't, then a multitude of other truths would be nullified as well, and the whole existentialada would fall apart. It's no different on the metaphysical plane, where most things are known to be true because they must be. The karmic web of cause and effect is one such example. To say I AM is to implicitly say I AM TRUTH and I AM GOOD, and therefore I AM the WAY.

This is why, unlike those new age frauds, Bob doesn't make the absurd claim that if you read his book you will somehow achieve "instant enlightenment." Rather, he makes the much more humble guarantee of eternal life while you wait. (Waiting times may vary. Claim has no caché value. Tenured not eligible for this offer. Void where prohibited by left.)

Thursday, January 06, 2011

There's One in Every Cloud

That might be the most star power I've ever had in one dream -- a cavalcade of marginal talent, including Jennifer Aniston, Robert Redford, and Sally Field. Why my Dreamer cast those three in particular is something of mystery, but at one point Redford mentioned that Joe Biden had suffered a disabling stroke. My kneejerk reaction was "how can they tell?"

Which I immediately regretted, because I'm not normally like that in mixed company. I live in a liberal state and in a liberal city, and work in a liberal if not completely gay profession. I'm used to stifling my thoughts and maintaining a discrete silence in such a hostile environment, since it is pointless to argue with a liberal. To do so is to not know what a liberal is. Liberalism can only be "awakened from," not argued out of.

Yes, on the blog I often have the needle out, but that's because it is addressed to like-minded people, so it's all in fun. I am not here to argue but to help, and I am not presumptuous enough to imagine that I could help you, of all people. If the blog doesn't benefit you, then there are no hard feelings. You may go your way and zen no more. But many people are attracted to what they hate, thus the trolls. If you search your past, perhaps you may have once been like this yourself -- looking for conflict as a way to externalize your own absence of tranquility.

I know I was. I used to enjoy the bracing sensation of verbal aggression along my keel. In this regard, it is important to examine the feelings one is experiencing amidst aggression, whether it is verbal or physical. You may notice a primitive sensation that is pleasurable even though it is being destructive. Our trolls generally drip this from every pore. Which is why I counsel readers to respond to them with good humor and to always leave a quip, otherwise there is the danger of being enlisted into their angry little drama.

Now, back to our transconscious journey through the hidden arteries of the cosmos to look for the meaning and purpose of free will, which otherwise hangs suspended from our official scientific paradigm like a loose shirttail with no footprints in the air.

Either human freedom is significant, or it is not significant. But if it is not significant, then it is difficult to account for how only the existence of freedom makes possible something as manifestly significant as science.

And how can one promulgate a Science that is unable to justify the necessary conditions for its own practice, i.e., minds that are free to discover truth? If you don't see that freedom and truth are necessary conditions of each other, then you just don't see, period. You are metaphysically blind. I'd say get lost, but you already are. So get found!

Actually, we prefer to employ the word liberty, since mere freedom is neither here nor there. Animals are free of constraint, but so what? We do not advocate a radical bewilderness oddventure in which every spud is free to live in his own private Idaho. Just as knowledge can only exist in a universe of unconditional truth, liberty must be oriented around the Good. Otherwise we merely have the tyrannical freedom discussed by bedwetting existentialists such as Sartre, i.e., a freedom indistinguishable from nothingness.

The whole purpose of traditional metaphysics is to show us what must necessarily be concretely true, despite appearances -- not only what is true in this particular cosmos, but in any hypothetical cosmic maninfestation. Traditional metaphysics deals with the very conditions of existence. Period.

On a deeper level, religion discloses this objective metaphysics through its symbolic forms. The fact that scripture does this in such a way that it transcends whatever its writers thought they were writing about, leads to the conclusion that it is at the very least "inspired," but "revealed" is probably more like it.

Interestingly, Dennis Prager was discussing this the other day, in his "ultimate issues" hour. For the remainder of 2011, he plans to use this hour to explain why the Bible is the wisest book ever written, irrespective of whether one is religious or atheist. Rather, he is going to discuss the book on its own merits, and subject it to the same critique one would any other work of philosophy. (In this regard, his approach is similar to Kass's The Beginning of Wisdom.)

But as we were saying yesterday, if you think about the barbarity of the Hebrew tribes that were handed the Jewish revelation, you know that it couldn't have sprung from the unaided mind of man as such. At best, they could have come up with transparently childlike and speculative myths and fairy tales, not any kind of transcendent wisdom that would fruitfully attract and occupy the sharpest human minds for the subsequent three or four thousand years.

It is difficult to imagine any of the new rabble of atheistic sods expressing a single thought that won't be forgotten just as soon as they're safely beneath the sod, let alone pored over thousands of years from now. In a way, these flatulent earthbounders are just the inevitable shadow given off by the light, parasightless Nietzschean leeches on the inner reaches of primordial speechings and celestial teachings.

Let's look at it -- or listen to it -- this way. Think of the thousands of musical sophisticates who have obtained Ph.D.s in music in the past half century. How many of them have written a single note of music that will be remurmured by thousands of lips hence?

Flatlanders do not see the secret because it is not at the bottom of the cosmos, where they are constrained to live, but at the top. And one cannot disclose its existence by pulverizing matter into smaller and smaller bits with bigger and bigger hammers.

Since existence is a hierarchical manifestation from above, it is as if each level is "stamped" by the level immediately above. As such, there is inevitably some information that is "lost" with each successive level. Thus, the higher can disclose the lower, but the lower can only partially disclose the higher. As we have said, life isn't the secret of DNA; rather, DNA is the secret of life. And sow on and sow on, if you seed what we meme. That's the harvest part.

Do letters cause words, or vice versa? Do words cause sentences? Don't be an idiot. Yes, letters are more "fundamental" than words, in the same way that physics is more fundamental than biology. But to employ Ken Wilber's nomenclature, fundamental does not mean significant. Significance is at the top, not the bottom; or, to be precise, significance is located along the vertical spectrum.

This is why, no matter what you say about the Creator, it is both too much and never enough, because it can't possibly "contain" him without distorting him. Human language can contain what is lower than language, but never what is higher. It can only symbolize or indicate the higher -- which, I might add, is completely adequate for the spiritually normal.

That is to say, the higher dimensions may be spoken of in a poetic, symbolic, elliptical, or suggestive manner, through which the symbol implicitly resonates with much more than we could explicitly say.

I suppose it's somewhat analogous to opera. In opera, the story line is usually rather lame and skeletal. It only hints at the real action, which is taking place on a purely musical level. If the libretto were less lame -- i.e., more saturated and detailed -- this would obscure the much deeper level of transverbal meaning which the music is disclosing.

This, of course, is why Jesus speaks in parables. For one thing, being who he is, he cannot speak in any other way (since his being vastly transcends the human container, which includes language). But even on a purely talktical level, this is the only way to ensure that his words will have a timeless and transcultural relevance. He only says enough so that you may participate in the transcendent reality he is talking about. Say too much, and the listener is stuck in religio-scientific fundamentalist flatland. Say too little and he is alone in a cloud, fruitlessly deepakin' the chopra.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Why Good Things Happen... At All

When last we spoke, we were discussing the cosmic Law of cause and effect, or of moral causality -- the latter of which exists, but not always as rapidly and efficiently (as compared to material causes) as we would like. But this has always been known; some version of The wheels of justice grind slowly but exceedingly fine has been making the rounds since antiquity.

Likewise the flusteration and doubtrage when the blue meanies seem to triumph -- for nothing provokes doubt more than the appearance of injustice. Justice is implanted in our hearts, but only the childish, the stupid, and the left (I repeat myself) imagine that perfect justice can be achieved on earth.

But most people ask the wrong question, or look out the wrong end of the teloscope. As far as we are concerned, the question is not why good things happen to bad people, but why good things happen at all. Of course pleasant things must happen, but good things ought to happen, and the world of the ought begins where natural science ends -- the latter of which deals with the is only, and even then, the manner in which the Is appears to our senses.

Thus, if one is a flat cosmos materialist, then there is no mystery, since the only question is why pleasurable things happen, and pleasurable things happen because certain subjective sensations were selected by evolution in order to tell us when we are engaging in some life-enhancing activity that increases our chances of passing on our genes, like bashing in someone's head when they don't see things our way, or raping the next attractive woman who comes along.

But every conscious being knows that the moral order cannot be reduced to neurology and genes, any more than a great work of art can be reduced to its molecular components. Thus, if one is a materialist, then one must necessarily be a cynic, as the cynic is able to see through the naive people who believe in a fixed moral order. The cynic knows that these people are just fooling themselves -- or worse yet, just trying to manipulate and control others -- and that good and evil cannot actually exist.

Deep -- or even not so deep -- down, we all know that there are objectively bad behaviors, which negates the materialist's frivolous argument, but this has no impact upon him, since for him truth cannot exist either.

If the materialist is intellectually honest, he will have to acknowledge that Bach was just a musical con man, what with his sinister idea that the purpose of his music was to reveal the divine order, or that Abraham Lincoln was just a tyrant and demagogue who used the slavery issue to consolidate presidential power in unprecedented ways, or that Christians only pretend a fetus has some intrinsic value in order to gain control over women's bodies.

O, what is a troll but the lice on Bob's transdimensional vapor trail? But enviously suckling on the creativity of another feels good, so it must be right. We wouldn't know, but biting ankles must feel like an accomplishment to someone who has never seen a calf, knee, or thighbone.

Now, as far as we can tell, one of the intrafamilial squabbles between Judaism and Christianity -- but not really, as we shall see -- is over the value of action in isolation from the state of the soul engaging in it. We have heard Dennis Prager (Medved too) speak of this on numerous occasions, that in Jewish thought, the overriding concern is the value of the action, not the motivations of the person engaging in it. Thus, bad people can do a lot of good. "Charity and pride have different aims, yet both feed the poor," say the rabbis.

There is obviously some real truth to this, but I think that overall, taken in isolation, this is a morality intended for an earlier age. It is certainly not invalid, but incomplete for the spiritual aspirant who wishes to ascend beyond moral convention toward the source of morality itself.

Clearly, Judaism was a covenant with a people, a collective. This is perfectly appropriate, being that the individual as we understand it simply did not exist at the time of the Jewish revelation, which we believe was vitally necessary in order to create the context for the interior individual to later emerge.

This is not to say that the Jewish approach is negated by Christianity. To the extent that it is "transcended," it is only because it must be included in the Christian approach, just as Jesus said, i.e., that he did not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill it.

In our view, truly fulfilling the law would be to merge action and intention, heart and body, spirit and letter, words and music, man and God. There remain Christians who emphasize works, others who emphasize faith, but to the extent that we wish to become "perfect," there should really be a marriage of the two.

Nevertheless, man's capacity for autoflimflammery, or pulling the wool over his own I, is more or less infinite, so it is morally perilous to operate without the sort of external guide rails provided by a revealed moral code filtered through contemplative generations of The Wise.

Or, as Rabbi Zimmerman expresses it, To live outside the law you must be honest. Virtually all people need to be shown the good before they can see and know the good -- even though the good must already be "inside" in order to recognize it "outside." A life spent contemplating the Law in the manner of a Jewish sage no doubt has a transformative and purifying effect on the soul, for as the Yiddish saying goes, Everyone is kneaded out of the same dough but not baked in the same oven.

I can see how this operates in real time, since my five and a-half year old attends a Catholic school where his fresh dough is being baked in a really wonderful way.

This has direct relevance to our discussion of free will, for a good action that is forced is just as servile and unfree as a bad action, just as a dog that is trained to assist a blind person isn't really "choosing" the good. The dog could just as easily transfer its loyalty to Kim Jung Il, assuming he didn't eat it first.

Similarly, memorizing truth in a rote fashion can never be the same as possessing wisdom, no matter how true. To quote another rabbinical quip, "he falsifies who renders a verse just as it looks." Indeed, "for every answer you can find a new question." Thus the ironyclad Bionic adage that the answer is the disease that kills curiosity.

So intentions do matter, especially when it comes to the modern self, which is much more "interior." In a way, this is more challenging than merely engaging in outwardly good deeds, for it adds a whole new world in need of purification and sanctification.

For no sooner had this new interior self emerged, than a whole host of new evils flooded into the psychospiritual world, or at least exacerbated the old ones. With the modern self came the appearance of the kind of unlimited evil we witnessed in the 20th century, and which we now see in Islamofascism. Islam becomes combustible when merged with certain "ideals" imported from the modern West, among them, fascism and scientific technology. Imagine if, say, the ancient Mesopotamians had had access to weapons of mass destruction, and not just the modern ones.

Bolton agrees that "physically similar actions can differ internally." Perhaps most importantly, "the actions of conscious agents owe so much of their true nature to the beliefs and intentions with which they are performed." And it is on the level of intention that the Law (discussed yesterday) really becomes apparent and that "like attracts like."

This is why people are not united by common actions, but by a common spirit that draws them together into the same spiritual attractor. Even the blatantly anti-spiritual left operates out of a debased spiritual attractor that will be well familiar to Raccoons. We understand them perfectly, but they cannot understand us.

In turn, this is why there is a "culture war" in America, and why the frumpy no-labelists who complain that there is "too much divisiveness" are missing the whole point. John Edwards is correct: there are two Americas -- the material flatland of his Marxian fantasies, and the real one. In his world, theft is moral because it is detached from the moral order that he doesn't recognize to begin with. Which is how he became wealthy.

Bolton says that it is on the interior plane that we will especially see the effect of the Law, as we attract people and things into our life which share a similar "spirit."

For example, Raccoons who "stumbled" upon this blog and to its community were actually drawn here, "attractor to attractor," something that becomes increasingly clear as one's internal attractor develops in time. Why the trolls are drawn here is a different matter entirely, although for some, there may actually be a latent good spirit that was attracted here but which is concealed by their envy and intellectual deadness. For them there is hope yet, so long as the pilot light isn't extinguished.

Bolton goes on to emphasize that "interior" does not necessarily mean "private," and that the interior does affect the exterior:

"By virtue of the Law, actions and orientations are never merely private, despite appearances. Consequently, a manner of being which deepens the relation to God and universal values, and so identifies with a more concrete reality, thus interacts with the ambient world simply by being a part of it. This is to be the instrument of an action of presence which necessarily attracts proportionate positive action from the world, and so liberates potentialities within it which increase its order and stability."

Which is why the rabbis teach that a minimum of 36 righteous souls in each generation is required to sustain the world. Yes, that's all it takes to keep all the leftist do-gooders in check.

When the great Tao is forgotten, goodness and piety appear. --Tao Te Ching

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Spiritual Conspirators and Atheistic Lone Nuts

If we're going to try to understand free will and its limits, then we had better try to understand the nature of causality, especially as it applies to realms above matter.

The horizontal and linear causation of natural science (at least above the quantum level) is fairly well understood, if not in essence, at least for practical purposes.

In the last two or three decades, science has also developed a greater appreciation of chaos and complexity, i.e., dynamic systems that are intrinsically unpredictable. Because of the multitude of variable causal inputs -- not to mention random noise -- there is no way to predict the behavior of the system in a deterministic way (for example, the weather, or the human brain).

The situation only becomes more challenging when we toss vertical causation into the mix, since science has no idea how the mind can affect the body in a top-down manner (let alone how the soul affects the mind), nor how the material body interacts with the immaterial mind. (And this is leaving aside the impossibility of natural processes ever being the "cause" of infinitely higher realities such as truth; nothing can be the cause of what transcends it.)

In fact, because of its own self-imposed limitations, this is an area that science as presently conceived will never understand. As it stands, science mostly deals with the problem by treating mind as an epiphenomenon of genetic and electrochemical processes.

In short, researchers apply what they think they understand to what they clearly don't, which ends in a mythological pseudo-science more primitive than phrenology. One thinks of the tenured mechanics who attempt to identify the "god part" of the brain. Why not the "bogus science part" of the brain?

Not only does the brain qualify as a quintessential dynamic system, but it contains so many billions of causal links that only a fool would suggest that it can be understood deterministically. Nevertheless, the fact of the matter remains that my immaterial self can conceive the idea of making a fist, and it happens. Somehow the idea is translated to will, which somehow enlists billions of nerve cells to get organized and instantaneously do its bidding.

In contrast, if I notice that my hand is in the shape of a fist, this does not send a signal to my brain that I should punch someone. Human beings are not causally closed systems. Nevertheless, there is clearly a two-way channel between psyche and soma. In fact, at birth -- and for a couple of years thereafter -- we do not have a clear concept of self. Rather, we start with a "body ego" that is more or less merged with the (m)other (or maternal environment).

Only gradually, through the slow process of separation and individuation, do we (some of us) develop an autonomous and unique self (note also that human uniqueness is absolutely inconsistent with any kind of reductionistic causality). But even then, the conscious self forever remains in a dialectical relationship to its unconscious -- or supraconscious -- ground. It's not as if we can ever leave the orbit of that wi(l)der world.

In his Keys of Gnosis, Bolton describes another dimension of causality, the cosmic law of "action and reaction," and how this relates to providence and fate.

Until modern times, religion often had more to do with the attempt to magically control external circumstances, an idea which became increasingly untenable with the rise of science. As a result, religion became more of an interior pursuit for extreme seekers, dealing less with material than spiritual reality.

Bolton provides a useful way to think through this dualism, and to steer a course between what amounts to deism -- that is, an impersonal God of the philosophers and mathematicians who merely got the universe underway, but has a hands-off policy thereafter; and the "cosmic bellhop" of popular mythology, i.e., a God who magically fulfills our every infantile wish like a liberal politician.

As Bolton points out, one cannot deny the fact that scripture makes numerous references to the law of action and reaction (henceforth, "the Law") -- that is, the idea that we reap what we sow, that those who live by the sword shall die by it, "forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors," etc. In a word, karma. The Bible is filled with references to karma -- that what goes around comes around, and that evil will be punished and good rewarded.

Obviously we all want this to be true, but is it true in fact? It seems that most people conclude that it can't possibly be true -- that everywhere the wicked flourish and the decent are punished. Therefore, in order to maintain the belief in a just cosmos, reward and punishment must take place on some post-mortem plane.

More generally, if the very nature of the universe proves to us that it must have been created, and that its creator must be good, then goodness must somehow prevail "in the end." Thus, the cosmos must be moral through and through, even if it's often in a very obscure way due to the hierarchical complexity of manifest existence, both spatially and temporally.

Furthermore, the cosmos is obviously not a machine and man is clearly free. If the cosmos were a machine, then we would see an immediate relationship between cause and effect on the moral plane. You'd do something bad, and a lightning bolt would come down and strike you from the sky.

But if morality operated in this instantaneous manner, then we wouldn't actually be morally free in any meaningful way. Rather, we'd just be good to avoid the punishment. We would not inhabit a moral space in which we are free to choose between good and evil, and no one would be good for goodness' sake, so there would be no Christmas presence.

It is interesting that materialists naturally accept the existence of cause and effect on the material plane. And yet, they deny the possibility of anything similar on the moral plane, which is one more reason why their metaphysic is so feeble.

But if we turn the cosmos upside down -- which is to say, right side up -- then we can see that material cause and effect is simply the "residue" of the first cause, which must be above, not below. One cannot derive free will from materialism, but one can derive matter from a freely willed universe. And as Bob mentioned yesterday, humans can only exercise freedom in a universe that has a stable foundation, so to speak, i.e., predictable boundary conditions (which include moral laws).

I think most senior Raccoons will have noticed that as one comes into closer proximity to O (so to speak), one also "shortens" the distance between cause and effect on the moral plane.

As one is drawn more deeply into the Great Attractor beam, the web of synchronicities becomes more dense, and the Law becomes more apparent. Something happens to time, whereby it "thickens," and we begin to intuit all sorts of causal connections operating along different, immaterial timelines. Eventually it begins to look as if our life were more of an airy-tale conSpiracy (↓↑) than the breathless workings of a lone nut (•).

To be continued....