Wednesday, February 16, 2011

An Ass Always Gets What He Brays For

In Canto X, among the heretics who possess and overvalue "fragments of the truth," we "encounter the tombs of the Epicureans," a thoroughly bourgeois, pharochial, and conformist philosophy that might appear daring or avant-garde to the spiritually opaque, but which is "inherently complacent." For in reality "it is a narrow vision of things pursued in the name of safety and security" (Upton).

Epicureanism, like most any other brand-name philosophy from materialism on up, surely possesses a "fragment of truth." Indeed, this is what makes philosophy -- and intelligence -- so dangerous. Intelligence + pride = disaster. See Genesis 3 for details.

Great stupidities do not come from the people. First, they have seduced intelligent men. --Don Colacho

Speaking of which, yesterday I had a pleasant conversation with a very cultured man who describes himself as an "absolute materialist." I informed him that if his metaphysic were true, he couldn't possibly know it.

It wouldn't be quite accurate to say that he failed to understand, for the space where "he" should be has been colonized by an anti-human philosophy that has possession of his soul. His intelligence has turned upon itself like a scorpion, which happens much more often than people realize.

For if the purpose of language is to conceal thought, the purpose of secular philosophy is to conceal man from himself.

Who are these Epicureans of whom Dante speaks? They too are materialists who deny "the immortality of the soul" and "give up their lives to externals" (Upton). Which means that the Epicure is a symptom of the very disease that afflicts him.

Now, the soul is not just the interior of the cosmos, but interiority as such. Therefore, these are people who have not only turned the cosmos upside-down, but inside-out.

However, please note that the one inevitably follows the other: for to dwell at the bottom is to live in the exterior, while to cling to the exterior is to live at the bottom. All bottom-dwellers externalize the soul to the point of dissipation. And all dissipated souls live outside reality.

Just as Life employs the language of DNA to free biology from matter, language frees man from the prison of biology. Biology exists within one morphic space of possibility, mind in another. Language vaults us over the confining prison wall of the senses, and into the world of Imagination.

Upton concurs that "The life of the senses is a tomb. Thus the punishment endured by the Epicureans for their denial of the soul's immortality is to be forced to spend eternity as corpses."

In other words, Epicureans believe that the soul dies with the body. And they are correct. For the materialist doesn't believe what he sees, but sees what he believes.

In this circle of Hell, Virgil appropriately cautions Dante about the misuse of language: Here your words must be appropriate (or well-considered). This is for reasons alluded to above; as Upton explains, "Appropriate speech is a way of keeping one's distance from the damned."

This is difficult to do, because one must remain in one's spiritual center without being seduced or hypnotized by the speech (and emotionality) of the damned. It is especially difficult for half-formed children in college, the latter of which serves as the most important recruitment center and seminary for Tools of the Conspiracy.

Please note that the sophisticated yahoos and trousered barbarians of the left -- whose institutional stupidity is crystalized and enshrined in academia and the MSM -- are "the 'civilized damned,' whose sophisticated style can almost make a damned soul look attractive" (ibid.)

Think of all the damned souls who have attracted the left at one time or another: Castro, Stalin, Mao, et al. But every hero of the left has a little Stalin in him, for the totalitarian temptation is intrinsic to leftism.

As Upton explains, "To see humanity as only earthly is to deny the human state." And to deny the human state is to usher in the infra-human State to fill the vacuum.

Another subtle point: there are two "presents," one animal, one human (and therefore Divine). There is a merely "sensory" present, and then there is the present that is a prolongation of, and window to, Eternity. The materialist is fixated on the former, which prevents him from climbing on the inscape of the ladder.

Note that the leftist never understands the present, only a projected past and future. This is because, as any neurologist can tell you, the sensory present is already past; it is merely "the light from a dead star," to plagiaphrase Don Colacho. And let the dead bury the dead.

The Rule of Wholes: if you find yourself in a grave, stop digging.

27 Comments:

Blogger Mizz E said...

>>"
Epicureanism, like most any other brand-name philosophy from materialism on up, surely possesses a "fragment of truth." Indeed, this is what makes philosophy -- and intelligence -- so dangerous. Intelligence + pride = disaster. See Genesis 3 for details."<<

LMA**O.

Will resume reading after I regain composure.

2/16/2011 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Speaking of which, yesterday I had a pleasant conversation with a very cultured man who describes himself as an "absolute materialist." I informed him that if his metaphysic were true, he couldn't possibly know it.

Heh - I'd like to have been a fly on the wall for that conversation.

2/16/2011 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Julie, re your Bobquote, truly, "the son of Toots has nowhere to lay his head.."

Great post, BobTM

2/16/2011 09:11:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

>>Epicureanism, like most any other brand-name philosophy from materialism on up, surely possesses a "fragment of truth<<

I think William James said something to the effect of : "Every religion has some truth to it." Well, yeah, even Scientology has a few nuggets of truth, hell, I'll so far as to say that there are a few outlines of truth in the Nation of Islam, though you have to look very hard to see them.

The problem is, of course, that these sprinkles of truth are in service of what is ultimately a materialistic doctrine - in the case of the Nation of Islam, it manifests as sheer racism and anti-Semitism, and in the case of Scientology, it manifests as a manipulative self-empowerment.

The very fact that there is some truth in these "religions" renders them not just wrong and misleading but demonic.

2/16/2011 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Pardon me, Will (not Walt),
re "some truth", brings to mind:

"…it is necessary to not be hypnotized…to not disparage a mountain because of a fissure and, conversely, praise an evil because of an inevitable particle of good.” ~ Schuon

2/16/2011 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

Rick -

I feel like I've been replaced.

2/16/2011 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Sorry Walt :-)
Now I want to use the "they broke the mold" joke.

2/16/2011 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Great stupidities do not come from the people. First, they have seduced intelligent men.

My fellow Missourians once elected a dead man to the Senate -- granted, he was running against John Ashcroft*.

I'm thinking we should elect Don Colacho President of the United States for life -- and since he's already dead, that would pretty well eliminate having to ever elect another one. We could get a Max Headroom CGI or one of those creepy Japanese robots to randomly speak one of the Don's aphorisms for the SOTU, press conferences, Oval Office addresses, fireside chats, and all.

We'd have to repeal the 25th and 22nd Amendments (I think those are the right ones) and maybe add a new that says, "Don Colacho is the President, like forever."

Signing bills would be a bit of a problem, so we'd just assume he'd veto everything -- with the issuance of an applicable Don Colachoism. That would mean nothing could become law without a 2/3 vote from both chambers.

I don't see a problem with this.

Now I need to read the rest of the post.



*Attorney General Ashcroft and I used to go to the same local church and had a number of mutual friends. I'm told he's really a pretty decent guy.

2/16/2011 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Mushroom, I can't find a single flaw with that plan.

Okay, maybe there are a couple, but it can't possibly be any worse than what we've got now.

2/16/2011 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger robinstarfish said...

"Appropriate speech is a way of keeping one's distance from the damned."

In this context, I'd say that Serene Branson comported herself admirably at the Grammys.

2/16/2011 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

I don't seen a difference between absolute materialism and nihlism.

In other news, I cannot remember a single thing about John Ashcroft, either good or bad. I had forgotten he existed. Is he still alive?

2/16/2011 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Regarding language and the damned, beware of semantic infiltration.

2/16/2011 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

More here.

2/16/2011 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Re. the Power Line link, I like the last couple of lines:

Either way, we should regard "pragmatism" as another form of highly suspicious semantic infiltration. I'll take the older Aristotelian idea of prudence instead. Prudence keeps the fixed ends always in sight and always on our mind.

2/16/2011 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"For if the purpose of language is to conceal thought, the purpose of secular philosophy is to conceal man from himself."

And oh, it does a bang-up job at that, doesn't it?

2/16/2011 11:31:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

Re: semantic infiltration -

"social justice"

or how about the MSM fave "so and so politician is "growing in the job"", meaning of course so and so is morphing into a lefty.

2/16/2011 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Mushroom, I must say I like your proposition much better than the various 'Repeal Amendments' and proposals for Article V conventions making the rounds these days. Very much better.

Julie's quote:"Either way, we should regard "pragmatism" as another form of highly suspicious semantic infiltration. I'll take the older Aristotelian idea of prudence instead. Prudence keeps the fixed ends always in sight and always on our mind."

I'll double down on that one too.

2/16/2011 11:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

When values replace virtues, reach for your revolver.

2/16/2011 11:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Don Colacho said...

Formulating the problems of today in a traditional vocabulary strips away their false pretenses.

2/16/2011 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

There can, as I sometimes say, be no meaningful conversation between and asshat and and an arhat. Even if the two speak the same language about the same topic, these are just the pipes through which runs the water of their lives. One has an aqueduct from Heaven, one a sewer from Hell.

Of course, most people are thoroughly mundane, but in this there can sometimes be a great protection. Philosophy is not a path without danger, to say the least.

2/16/2011 02:34:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

magnus:

>>most people are thoroughly mundane, but in this there can sometimes be a great protection<<

For a while at least. But in the long term, ignorance ain't bliss - remaining mundane takes a certain amount of repression, and that which is repressed is going to come back and manifest in various debilitating forms.

Anyway, I have the feeling that the days of the "protection of the mundane" are going to come to a close. To be sure, we seem to be living in times in which the extraordinary is now ordinary. And I suspect things are going to become even more spectacular.

Those who are looking for the protection of the mundane are in for some sleepless nights.

2/16/2011 03:01:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

I don't think that Magnus is saying that you should be mundane to seek protection.

Rather, it's that most people are mundane and are incapable of playing directly with the most destructive and demonic thoughts of the lower vertical.

And thus, the fact that they are mundane is itself a form of protection.

For those who are not mundane, there is no protection in trying to become what you are not.

2/16/2011 03:49:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

scholar's ink martyr's blood

2/16/2011 04:26:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

>>I don't think that Magnus is saying that you should be mundane to seek protection<<

I don't think he was saying that either. My point was that such protection can't last all that long, and that given the current state of the world, such protection is even more fragile and probably getting fragiler (a word of my own coinage) by the hour.

2/16/2011 05:22:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

This may explain quite a bit about certain segments of our society. It turns out you can get much more mileage out of being a victim than out of being a hero.

2/16/2011 07:57:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Heh - it figures. People are far more willing to fetch someone a waaahmbulance than to believe that anyone could actually be heroic. Everyone can be a "victim;" heck, everyone pretty much is a victim, if they only choose to see their lives that way. It's a lot tougher to be a hero, and heroes make the "victims" look, well, like the whiners they know they are.

2/16/2011 08:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fragiler is also what we used to call the designated grenade thrower (or launcher launcher, depending on what was available att the moment)...oh wait...maybe it was fragolier....or...fragger?. .well, one of those. Ben...cant sign into blogerr

2/17/2011 04:09:00 AM  

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