Thursday, February 03, 2011

Left Wing Proglodytes: Marching Boldly into the Future Toward an Imaginary Past

One more repost and I think tomorrow I'll be good to go, back into the Inferno. But this is not just filler, because I'm actually interested in re-examining a previous series of posts on Hitler in light of Armageddon: The Battle for Germany, 1944-1945. So I'll be adding a lot of new material as we go along.

Can any general principles be derived from something that seems so uniquely evil, i.e., the Nazi phenomenon? And not just banalities such as "don't appease bullies," or "genocide is bad," or "get rid of that stupid little mustache."

[The first thing that occurs to me is that, not only was Nazism not unique, but if we are honest, we must admit that we actually required the assistance of forces that were every bit as evil as Nazism in order to defeat it.]

[In reading Armegeddon, it seems that Churchill was very much aware of the depth of Stalin's evil, whereas Roosevelt (to say nothing of the left in general) was quite naive about it -- which caused Churchill considerable grief. He didn't want to liberate Poland or Czechoslovakia from the Nazis, only to hand it over to monsters who were even worse! But by the time of Yalta, Churchill held little sway].

[Wikipedia: Churchill believed Stalin "to be a devil-like tyrant leading a vile system," whereas the clueless FDR said "I just have a hunch that Stalin is not that kind of a man. ... I think that if I give him everything I possibly can and ask for nothing from him in return, noblesse oblige, he won't try to annex anything and will work with me for a world of democracy and peace." Thus, Churchill was fighting a losing battle, not only against FDR and our communist-infiltrated state department, but in his own homeland, where many of the soldiers -- not to mention intellectuals -- were men of the left who believed themselves to be fighting for socialist principles.]

As mentioned yesterday, one of the important contexts of Nazism was romanticism, which was itself a reaction to the alienation that was felt as a result of the industrial revolution in particular and modernity in general. Veith writes that "people felt alienated from nature, from society, and -- because their identity had become such an enigma -- from themselves. The rationalism of the Enlightenment, which seemed responsible for this malaise, was answered in the 19th century by Romanticism."

Marxism is rooted in the myopic fallacy that things were getting worse for the average worker, when the reality was that, for the first time in 10,000 years, they were actually getting dramatically better.

In this regard, Marx was not just economically illiterate, but appallingly ahistorical, a malady that continues to afflict the left to this day. The free market will eventually solve most problems that leftist policies will only perpetuate or aggravate, which means that the left is the very disease it attempts to cure. In order to carry this off, the leftist relies upon people being riveted to the ahistorical moment, so they may implement a radical solution to redeem the future. But the former never works and the latter never arrives.

Let's consider the idea that sudden progress may evoke sudden regression -- or at least make certain people more vulnerable to it. Yesterday we mentioned the 1960s. Why would the most affluent and pampered generation in history suddenly revert to neo-paganism, earth-worship, deconstruction, moral relativism, polymorphous perversity, and a rejection of the very civilizational inheritance that allowed such unprecedented affluence to begin with?

It reminds me of an unfortunate incident that occurred last Sunday, when Mrs. G backed her car out of the garage, and in the process managed to amputate my driver's side view mirror. So for the last few days I've been rolling the Coonmobile without one, and it's more disorienting than you might think. You realize the extent to which successfully moving forward requires one to keep an eye riveted on the past. Without that view of the past, it can sneak up on you in surprising ways. Your every move risks colliding with someone else's unfolding line of spacetime. Furthermore, I found myself reflexively looking for the past in the usual place, but finding only a "hole" -- except that the hole was filled with the present.

In the 1960s, the boomer generation gleefully tore the rearview mirror off the vehicle of civilization, while simultaneously believing they could put the pedal to the metal on the engine of progress. Is it therefore surprising that so many fatal accidents occurred? The breakup of the family, soaring crime rates, subrealistic art that became a celebration of the primitive and infrahuman, a deteriorating educational system at all levels, a general recrudescence of neopaganism, with its cult of the body and exaltation of the instincts, women emulating men, men emulating women, the rejection of our own Judeo-Christian wisdom tradition, etc. All because a bunch adolescents went on a joyride and tore the rear view mirror off Dad's car.

Will makes the point that "Nazism was, in a sense, a stab at progress, and a spiritual progress, to be sure. Doomed to failure, of course, because it, like communism, attempted to transcend collectively, an impossibility. I think we should make no mistake, though -- there is a meta-power in the collective that can be harnassed, channeled. Thus Nazism was a mysticism gone bad, and when mysticism goes bad, it becomes evil."

Precisely. In Hitler and His God, we read of Aurobindo making a similar comment, only in the 1930s: "Hitler is a new type, an infra-rational mystic, representing the dark counterpart of what we are striving to arrive at: a supra-rational mysticism.... He is a mystic, only a mystic of the wrong kind! He goes into solitude for his messages and waits till they come."

This was true. Hitler's "voice" was inconsistent with any garden variety psychosis, in which the individual has no control over his delusions and hallucinations. But in Hitler's case, he would court and call upon "the voice," in the same way an artist might call upon his muse or I might call upon my household gnome.

So who or what was the voice? Whatever it was, it gave him a kind of absolute conviction, plus the complete fearlessness and unwavering faith to carry out its promptings. Now, who does this remind us of? Yes, the Islamists follow that same pattern, with their insane faith in the transcendently evil. Clearly, it is no coincidence that Mein Kampf is a perennial bestseller in the Muslim world, or that the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem was an ally of Hitler, or that Jew hatred is central to both ideologies.

Just as the Divine leaves its traces in time, Satan always leaves his scent, so to speak. It reminds me of one of the final scenes of Batman Begins, where the Lieutenant hands Batman the Joker's calling card. For what is the Joker card? It is simultaneously nothing and anything. In fact, it can be anything you want it to be, from the highest of the high (the king) to the lowest of the low, or anything in between. It can even be another gender (the queen). As such, it abolishes all distinction and hierarchy, except that in a perverse way, the nothing-anything of the Joker is the "top," as he stands completely outside -- he transcends and upends -- any established or meaningful order.

Now, this is surely a kind of mysticism, but it is again a mysticism "from below" rather than above. It abolishes distinctions before they even have a chance to become distinct, which was again one of the central features of Nazism. You might say that there were only two real distinctions, 1) the Volk, and 2) the Führer -- who was truly a nothing and a nobody who became the German "all."

There was also the SA and the SS, but in both cases, their admittance into the hierarchy very much depended upon the degree to which they had subordinated their own will and identity to the Führer principle. The SS in particular was a sort of esoteric mystic body; in fact, they modeled themselves after the Jesuits, only absolutely committed to Hitler instead of Christ. In Armageddon, I couldn't help drawing an inverse parallel between them and the early Christian martyrs, in that they were absolutely ready and willing to die for their führer, even into May 1945.

In his comment, Will also noted that "Personal responsibility arises from genuine individualism and self-awareness -- meaning the attempt to overcome one's self-love, one's own lower instincts. When the emphasis is on a collective responsibility -- meaning making sure you recycle and pay respects to Gaia, etc. -- and personal responsibility is distinctly de-emphasized, then we're veering close to a mysticism gone bad."

As Will implies, the nationalism of Germany was a parody of the patriotism of the United States, the latter of which must first involve defense of the sacred principle of the individual. But in the case of German nationalism, it was in defense of the innate superiority of the German people in the collective sense. Again, this was conceived in terms of a mystical essence that emanated from the Volk, and only through the individual in a derivative way. There was a "German genius" that was in the blood, not on "paper," as it is in the case of America's founding documents.

Therefore, in the case of Nazi Germany, they needed to eliminate "foreign blood" in the same way Americans must constantly battle against "lies," or more precisely, "the lie." Hitler had no scruples whatsoever in lying, murdering, or backstabbing in order to further his "higher" truth, which was the racial purity of the German spirit. In fact, in that context, no degree of barbarism was off limits. Everything followed logically -- or infralogically -- from his first principles, which were written in the blood.

Van Vrekhem makes the interesting point that it is no coincidence that the Protestant revolt began in Germany with Luther. I have no idea whether this is generally accepted by other scholars, but Van Vrekhem notes that Christianity always had an uneasy relationship with the German psyche, and was very much superimposed on a more primitive pagan mythology that was never forgotten among the "volk." Therefore, when Luther came along to declare independence from the central church, he was merely exploiting collective psychic energies that were already very near the surface.

Führermore, it seems that the longing for a "strong man from above" was a continuous feature of the German psyche. As Van Vrekhem notes, "This need for an all-powerful master was an important feature in the psychological make-up of the Germans long before the strong man became the paragon of Fascism in many European nations. The Fürher was longed and prayed for; he was expected before he took the shape of Adolf Hitler. It was not the least of of Hitler's intuitions that he knew exactly how to take on the part and act in a way to which the German masses subconsciously responded with religious fervor." Another observer wrote that "The cry for a leader arose from the searing wish for somebody who would provide meaning in a secularized time, which apparently burdened the individual with an excess of individual responsibility and made him feel lonely" (emphases mine).

Van Vrekhem relates story after story of how strong men -- generals, diplomats, artists, intellectuals and journalists -- were reduced to Jello in Hitler's presence. He clearly transmitted a kind of preternatural power to which many individuals attested. So the ultimate responsibility is not in the führer but in the volk from whom he draws his very substance.

Speaking of which, is there an "artist" in Hollywood, or a celebrity journalist, or a tenured mediocretin, who didn't fall under Obama's spiel? Yes, a few, but only a few. Obama clearly has a similar kind of power, at least over the susceptible -- for example, his vaunted ability to make Chris Matthews' pasty thigh tingle. Obviously it can't be Obama's ideas, which are so banal, nor his accomplishments, which are nil.

As was very much true of Hitler, Obama's words usually make no literal sense on paper, and yet, he personally has this undeniably potent persuasive power. And he especially has this power over people who are not inoculated by genuine religion. In other words, he has a "religious effect" on the secularized mind. Deepak could be speaking of Hitler when he writes of how the Annointed One will bring about a "quantum leap" in human consciousness. How could anyone believe such sacred cow manührer?

Michael Burleigh writes of how Germans marched "boldly into the future in search of an imaginary past." In so doing, they created a gilded mythology in which they were the superior ones the world was waiting for. So don't blame Obama. Blame the sick mythofolkers who fuel the fantasy.

50 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

...the clueless FDR said...

I almost spat out my coffee on that one. How could the "leader of the free world" - a politician(!) - be so unbelievably naive? I mean, is it even possible to get to that position without a long-cultivated jaded cynicism, even about those one would consider "friends?" Or is that part of the problem - having been surrounded by conniving jerks for so long, he just really wanted to trust someone, so he picked frickin' Stalin?

Ahem.

*sigh*

I shouldn't be surprised, he must have considered the guy a fellow traveler, given that this is the same president who brought us the New Deal.

Back to reading...

2/03/2011 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

"so they may implement a radical solution to redeem the future."

Don't you mean, W.in T.he F.uture?

2/03/2011 09:27:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Good to see Will around, even if only in rear-view mirror mode (so far) today. Like ol' times.

2/03/2011 09:29:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

You've missed out on the last three days, haven't you?

Better go back and check the comments... ;)

2/03/2011 09:31:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Nope. I've been here.
I just meant today Will is "made present" via Greatest Hits post.
:-)
So far only in rear view mirror mode, 'nother words. The day is still young..

2/03/2011 10:02:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Oh. :) Indeed!

***

Obama clearly has a similar kind of power, at least over the susceptible

*sigh*

Some days, I really hate Facebook. I use it to keep up with family, and just now clicked over to see that various members of my own flesh and blood have been reading CNN's editorials, and are feeling woeful and emotive for the Won because racists are questioning his Christianity.

This is what we're up against, outside of the blogosphere: generally decent people - even wonderful people - who have neither the time nor the inclination, nor (if I'm being honest) sometimes the simple wisdom or intelligence to see through the facade. They want him to have magical properties, and so, for them, he does, and if you say any different there's something wrong with you.

There are plenty of volk, here and now.

2/03/2011 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

FDR believed what he wanted to believe.

Magical thinking at its finest.

Plus, socialism/communism was really really cool then.

So, FDR wanted to believe in a really cool communist, who ran a powerful nation, and was fighting the Nazis.

So he must have been exactly like FDR. And FDR trusted himself. So, he decided to trust Stalin.

2/03/2011 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"In this regard, Marx was not just economically illiterate, but appallingly ahistorical, a malady that continues to afflict the left to this day. The free market will eventually solve most problems that leftist policies will only perpetuate or aggravate, which means that the left is the very disease it attempts to cure. In order to carry this off, the leftist relies upon people being riveted to the ahistorical moment, so they may implement a radical solution to redeem the future. But the former never works and the latter never arrives."

And yet, of course, being ahistorical, most will never believe it, and will continue to bleed us as a cure, and administer mercury (this time in light bulbs rather than pills) in the expectation of making us all better. Still ailing? Triple the dose!

2/03/2011 10:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This book, if you can find it, has a really wonderful insight into the Nazi phenomena.

Do not be put off by the title, Webb was no "occultist" at all, he was wholly rational skeptic as regards "magic". He was a rather gifted historian who died to much too young. He also was a wonderful writer who here shows a hilariously wry sense of irony.

Webb started out to debunk the "occult underpinnings" of the Nazis but found that in a historical, cultural and psychological sense there was quite a bit too it.

He said, and I am quoting from memory here so I might be a bit off, that what was of interest in the Nazi was the fact that "for one of the few times, perhaps the first time, the purveyors of rejected knowledge had come to power".

He attributed this mostly to the effects of WW1 and the collapse of the old social, cultural and spiritual order-- the "cracking of altar and crown". He neatly chronicles the "Cult of the Irrational" as a parallel cultural stream going back long before the so-called "Enlightenment". I think that is is a much better view than an opposition of "The Rational" and The Romantic", which is really somewhat artificial and naive, perhaps ahistorical, and in the end not a very satisfying analysis of the NAZIS, the 19th century underpinnings of that movement or spiritual and cuitural life of 19th century Europe in general.

To see how this is so, one need but list to Brahms, the ultimate Romantic,at least in one sense who drew heavily on both folk music and the German tradition, and yet sought a synthesis with Classicism.

2/03/2011 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Excellent point about the "purveyors of rejected knowledge" coming to power. This is similar to Voegelin's idea of the gnosis at the heart of the left. In my view, the specific content is not as important as the the idea of possessing this special knowledge accessible only to initiates and elites, shrouded in ritual and secrecy. History then becomes a kind of conspiracy in which one is a key player. This is what the true believers -- e.g. the SS -- felt until the end. And it is certainly how Marxists have always felt.

2/03/2011 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

One could say the same of the global warmists and their special knowledge...

2/03/2011 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Just as the Divine leaves its traces in time, Satan always leaves his scent, so to speak. It reminds me of one of the final scenes of Batman Begins, where the Lieutenant hands Batman the Joker's calling card."

Reminds me of a lecture I listened to yesterday while shoveling ice. Recall how the Joker kept sincerely retelling his autobiography, but different each time? It's carrying it a bit far, but true nonetheless, the lecturer was talking about Rousseau (approvingly, to my disgust), and said something like "One of the difficulties in understanding Rousseau's ideas, is that they are so rooted in his autobiography... and each time he recounts it, it's seems as if it's someone else’s..."

2/03/2011 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Note also that counterfeit gnosis -- just like counterfeit bills -- can only exist because of the real thing it mimics.

2/03/2011 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Re Rousseau -- he reminds me of a borderline patient, whose history will change depending upon the feeling that happens to be present. Perhaps no coincidence that Rousseau's philosophy is rooted in feeling...

2/03/2011 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Gagdad said "Perhaps no coincidence that Rousseau's philosophy is rooted in feeling..."

Remember where the whole 'Romantic' movement originated from - Rousseau. And injected itself into the German mind via his adoring fan, Kant.

2/03/2011 10:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Mikal said...

Anon 10:15 AM & Gagster,

Your comments about "rejected knowledge" reminded me of this long and dense, but insightful piece about postmodern "underground" culture. Among other things, this is the only essay I've ever read by a PoMo "cultural studies" figure where deconstruction itself is deconstructed, and found badly wanting.

2/03/2011 10:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Mikal said...

Sorry -- the link above may not work properly. Here it is in TinyURL format:

http://tinyurl.com/4bgystf

2/03/2011 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"So don't blame Obama. Blame the sick mythofolkers who fuel the fantasy. "

Which is as it's always been, sssay, you too can have the power of sssaying what is true, what isss good and evil. Prior to Rousseau (and his enabler, Descartes), such nonsense had been rejected out of hand, but afterwards, and spurred on by Hume who provided a seemingly respectable skeptical chink in the armor, 'the purveyors of rejected knowledge' had came to power.

Darn mythofolkers.

Remember the snippet I passed on a while back, where a guy was saying something like 'Because there's causality, Free Will would require time travel to go back and change events to causally align with any truly free choice?'. I've been continuing with him, he's deluded, but 'honestly' thinks he's right, and wants to hash it out. He's getting extremely frustrated in that I won't allow any of his subjective modernist terms & wisdom, until he explains to me how his position that reality can't be known, is known. It's fascinating to watch him try to sneak around the point that Truth is only true, because it is real and able to known, or denied, by choice.

If you've ever seen one of those movies where a shape shifter is pinned to the ground and writhing in a frenzy tries shifting from one shape to another, over and over, trying to get past the spear pinning it to the ground, but it's appearance can't alter the fact that they are pinned... it's like that.

Very wierd. But fascinating.

2/03/2011 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

...leftist policies will only perpetuate or aggravate, which means that the left is the very disease it attempts to cure...

This reminds me of Harry Harrison's novel Deathworld in which the humans settled in the only city on a planet are fighting and slowly but steadily losing a battle against viciously poisonous and rapidly evolving native flora and fauna. It turns out that the "war" is caused because the native life forms perceived the humans in the city as a "natural disaster" and united to eliminate the threat.

There are humans living outside the city and beyond the deadly perimeter that surrounds it who are not attacked by the native life in the same way. It's the city dwellers' own hatred and revulsion that is projected out and being thrown back into their faces by the native life.

One of the key elements in the plot is that the city dwellers completely ignore history. They have allowed all their historical documents to be destroyed, and they focus only upon the moment, even when short-term victory causes more long-term loss.

2/03/2011 11:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Van: Spinoza opens this up much earlier than that, if you are talking about relativism, utilitarianism, determinsim and all of that.

Really there are two forces here: "rational" obectivists and the "irrationalists".

Both lead to the moral quandary of the late 18th and the19th centuries. The crisis of "crown and altar", as I call it, was not a matter of fashion or even immorality. Ir was a very real and unavoidable one, perhaps, in fact, inevitable.

2/03/2011 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Anonymous "Spinoza opens this up much earlier than that, if you are talking about relativism, utilitarianism, determinsim and all of that."

Yes, Spinoza contributed too, as did Bacon, Hobbes, and before them Machiavelli(each of which I've given some attention to on my site... argh, late for a mtg, no time to dig links), with the 'first' materialist outlook to gain traction. But in trying to pinpoint a source, it's not so much the first - or many firsts - but the one without whom none of the rest can forseeably have come to pass, and that would very much be Rousseau.

(and of course, had there not been the general fertility of mind in the various areas of Europe seeking to give such thoughts a place to root, none of them would have taken either)
From Rousseau, into the German, via Kant.
From Rousseau, into the English, via Godwin.
Again, that leaves out many actors, but without them... it might have been nothing more than interesting fads popping up here and there.

And of course, without Descartes, maybe none of it. And without Hume, Kant might never have gotten traction... impossible to nail the possibilities, but sound nonetheless.

2/03/2011 12:01:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Anon -- I think you are correct in the idea that what is called "Romanticism" is just a new name for a permanent strain of human consciousness -- one of its possibilities, as it were. I remember a book by the Thomist philosopher Thomas Molnar, which argued something to the effect that there are seven different structures of philosophy, or "archetypes of thought," which one may fall into, and that they just repeat themselves through time, e.g., utopianism, irrationalism, etc. And as you say, none are completely invalid, just an over-emphasized part of the whole existentialada. They lack both harmony and wholeness, not to mention radiance and beauty.

Re our esoterism, I see myself as a pretty orthodox guy...

2/03/2011 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Van said,
"Reminds me of a lecture I listened to yesterday while shoveling ice. Recall how the Joker kept sincerely retelling his autobiography, but different each time?"

The Joker has no past (no biography). He was making it up to fit the person -- to "get to the person". Sort of (it's been awhile since I read it) like in 1984 with the rat cage mask thing. Or the Joker was simply projecting. But I can't ignore the "no past". I think it was a bit of both. The Joker suffering from envy would invent a false past to project onto the individual to tempt him. Since you can't tempt someone with something they won't be tempted to latch on to. Like me and liquorice ;-)

2/03/2011 12:25:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Liquorice bounces off me like bullets off of Superman's eyeball.
Likewise, I don't fear liquorice.

2/03/2011 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

'put the pedal to the metal'
or the petal to the medal
or...

2/03/2011 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Rick said "The Joker has no past (no biography)"

Like I said, "It's carrying it a bit far...", and it's a stretch to say the least, but... it's my guess that in the fundamentals, it's still "... true nonetheless".

2/03/2011 01:30:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

And along the lines of Rousseau's place in things, this from Irving Babbitt's 'Rousseau and Romanticism' (1919), gets it well, from the intro:

"...The outpour of books on Rousseau had indeed in the period immediately preceding the war become somewhat portentous.1 This preoccupation with Rousseau is after all easy to explain. It is his somewhat formidable privilege to represent more fully than any other one person a great international movement. To attack Rousseau or to defend him is most often only a way of attacking or defending this movement.

It is from this point of view at all events that the present work is conceived. I have not undertaken a systematic study of Rousseau's life and doctrines. The appearance of his name in my title is justified, if at all, simply because he comes at a fairly early stage in the international movement the rise and growth of which I am tracing, and has on the whole supplied me with the most significant illustrations of it. I have already put forth certain views regarding this movement in three previous volumes.1 Though each one of these volumes attempts to do justice to a particular topic, it is at the same time intended to be a link in a continuous argument. I hope that I may be allowed to speak here with some frankness of the main trend of this argument both on its negative and on its positive, or constructive, side.

Perhaps the best key to both sides of my argument is found in the lines of Emerson I have taken as epigraph for "Literature and the American College":

There are two laws discrete
Not reconciled, —
Law for man, and law for thing;
The last builds town and fleet,
But it runs wild,
And doth the man unking.

On its negative side my argument is directed against this undue emphasis on the "law for thing," against the attempt to erect on naturalistic foundations a complete philosophy of life. I define two main forms of naturalism — on the one hand, utilitarian and scientific and, on the other, emotional naturalism. The type of romanticism I am studying is inseparably bound up with emotional naturalism.

This type of romanticism encouraged by the naturalistic movement is only one of three main types I distinguish and I am dealing for the most part with only one aspect of it. But even when thus circumscribed the subject can scarcely be said to lack importance; for if I am right in my conviction as to the unsoundness of a Rousseauistic philosophy of life, it follows that the total tendency of the Occident at present is away from rather than towards civilization."

2/03/2011 01:32:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

I reacted to the use of "sincerely".
That is all.

2/03/2011 01:35:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Oh, yeah... I suppose that was a bad choice of word. Deliberately, maybe, and with effrontery... or maybe performance 'art' of bald faced pathological lying... or... oh heck, why so serious.

;-)

2/03/2011 02:03:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Made you say it.
:-)

2/03/2011 02:19:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

Egypt photos---- My gut says: Nuke 'em

2/03/2011 03:16:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Julie,
Just received the red leather-bound copy of Inferno.
Wow! Had no idea it was that huge. And so many illustrations. Incredible.
$18. What a country.
Thanks again.

2/03/2011 04:36:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Bob, you write for a living. You know, the day job. How do you keep out the omspun jehovial witticisms? Especially after a morning roll?

2/03/2011 05:20:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

It's not just work -- true humor is little tolerated in life. This is one more reason why the Sons of Toots have no place to lay their heads. Our jokes are easy and our words enlight, but gravity pretends to rule in this world. And yet, no one escapes the Law of Levity, the great guffah-HA! experience.

2/03/2011 05:41:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Ain't THAT the truth.

2/03/2011 05:56:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Rick, you're welcome. Glad you like it :)

2/03/2011 05:57:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

The boy just fell in love with the first line in Inferno. He read it to me. I couldn't believe it.

2/03/2011 05:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

The prophecy has been fulfilled. The end times are officially at hand.

2/03/2011 07:25:00 PM  
Blogger Jason T. said...

You know, reading today's re-post, which I enjoyed very much, coincided with some thoughts I have been having recently concerning a book I am getting ready to finish, Jeffrey Kripal's "Authors of the Impossible: The Paranormal and the Sacred."

While I find the book quite fascinating something that bothers me about it is the blanketing of the term 'paranormal activities' with a spiritual covering, as if all things that are not of the everyday senses are by defacto 'spiritual' in nature. Kripal argues that this is necessary in any serious investigation of the subject as the former are primarily, although not exclusively, manifestations of the latter, that spiritual practice throughout history produces the most abnormal abilities.

I, however, don't feel right about this. It reminds me of some warnings given by the Unknown Friend that just because something is seemingly supernatural DOES NOT mean that it is of realized Spirit. What we are dealing with here is one thing: the manifestation of 'mystical' or 'serpent' energy via ritualized concentration practices. It seems to be the case that if a human being ritualizes an activity, be it seated meditation, mantra, reading, a musical instrument, shooting guns, performing whacked out ceremonies deep underground at Harvard involving jelly lube and the bones of founding members, what have you, it creates this 'magnetism' that Bob mentioned. Hitler, like many others throughout history, had a SOMETHING about him which attracted people, made them feel...vicariously powerful.

Something that I have to come to grips and be wary of with in my own life is the performance of poetry in front of crowds. There is a card in the tarot deck called the Prince of Wands. The interpretation that I have learned of this card, and what I have used it as in my life, is 'mastery over spiritual practice through the creative process, tying together ones' creative expression with worship, there-bye transforming oneself and providing the platform through the artwork/expression for others to glimpse the spiritual state.' My ideal for this, those that I look to for the archetype, are the likes of Rumi, Aurobindo with Savitri, Hafiz, Paul Foster Case, even Aleister Crowely, although I have yet to really delve into his work deeply.

Now, what I do is center myself fully, feel the Presence and Being deep within, and then simply express without expectation of result. Doing this some truly magical and mystical and dare I say spiritual experiences have occurred. One time, believe me if you will, I saw an image of the Virgin Mary manifest as a being of Light right where I stood and continuously radiate Light into the room for the remainder of the evening after I had given my performance. When such an event happens the results with the crowd are tangible, as there is much, MUCH more of an interest to speak with me afterwards, ask me about the work, what poets I like, etc.

The point is this: human beings who can concentrate and ritualize activities can become personally powerful, even more so when they turn inward and touch the nature of Mind, which without question has energetic AND spiritual properties. Trouble begins in confusing the lower expression of Mind (energy and symbol) for the higher (Spirit), as it confers those who are not grounded with a sense of supernatural omnipotence and opens them to what is below.

In the Darkness.

2/03/2011 09:48:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

Jason, mentioning Crowley [I compare his rep. to Limbaugh's, ie a figure oft prejudged-vilified by the ignorant herd]
---i have read most of this insanely prolific author [mountaineer-poet] and happen to now be nearing the climax of the fun novel MOONCHILD --my third time through. Interesting how a major villain is Turk Abdul Bey...

2/04/2011 02:33:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Petey said "The prophecy has been fulfilled."

That's so gay.

2/04/2011 06:58:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Egads, Petey!

Lesson plans have been drawn up for pupils as young as four, in a scheme funded with a £35,000 grant from an education quango, the Training and Development Agency for Schools.

The initiative will be officially launched next month at the start of "LGBT History Month" – an initiative to encourage teaching about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual issues.

David Watkins, a teacher involved in the scheme (yeah, this is a scheme alright), said: "We don't want teachers to start out saying 'This is a gay lesson.' We just want lessons that don't ignore that there are lesbian and gay people who suffer from issues and problems.

"When you have a maths problem, why does it have to involve a straight family or a boyfriend and girlfriend? Why not two boys or two girls? (Why not freakin' apples n' oranges you imbecile?)

"It's not about teaching about gay sex, it is about images and exposing children to the idea that there are other types of people out there."
(About "images" and "exposing...")

I think the parents should expose this pervert to a knuckle sammich.

Are these blokes bloody mad?

In related news:
Cantebury is sufficiently gay

After a complaint sparked a two month investigation costing thousands of pounds, a government watchdog decided that Canterbury in Kent does enough to promote homosexual culture, rejecting a complaint by local activists.

Rob Davies, spokesman for the council, said: "Obviously we're delighted with the outcome of the investigation."
(Yes...obviously.)

Mr Brettell, in his 60s, said last month: "We do not believe the council want a thriving LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community in our city. The impression I get is that the council just doesn't want to know.

"I get the feeling it is precious because Canterbury has a cathedral and history. I think they think the gay community will turn it into Sodom and Gomorrah."
(Now where would they get such a preposterous idea?)

2/04/2011 07:06:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

BTW, Sodom and Gomorrah had an LGBT month too.
And they were sufficiently gay.

Just sayin'.

2/04/2011 07:11:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Jason -- you are absolutely correct. Just because someone is "spiritual," that is neither here nor there. Analogously, Islamists are profoundly "moral," but it hardly means they are good.

I'll probably be getting more deeply into this subject in today's post, but we must always remember that the vertical proceeds all way up AND all the way down...

Crowley, though, was a bad egg!

2/04/2011 07:38:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

an unusual paragraph from MOONCHILD:

The formula of humanity is the willing acceptance of death; and as love, in the male, is itself of the nature of a voluntary death, and therefore a sacrament, so that he who loves slays himself, therefore he who slays himself that life may live becomes a lover. Vesquit stretched out his arms in the sign of the cross, the symbol of Him who gives life through his own death, or of the instrument of that life and of that death, of the Holy One appointed from the foundation of the world as its redeemer.

It was as if there had come to him a flash of that most secret Word of all initiated knowledge, so secret and so simple that it may be declared openly in the market-place, and no man hear it...


WV=
fables...
of which
Crowley was a master
[what a lover of language]

2/04/2011 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ben, here's a 'maths' lesson they can use, and point to their populations to verify:

1 boy + 1 boy = 0 descendents.
1 girl + 1 girl = 0 descendents.
1 culture which accepts this + 1 culture which doesn't accept this = 1 culture left standing (or kneeling & prostate 5x a day, as the case may be)

wv:state

Not for long.

2/04/2011 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger Jason T. said...

Bob,

While I appreciate the sentiment that Crowley was, as you put it, a bad egg, there is something there that both intrigues me and makes me nervous, which is a sign that I need to investigate, understand, and synthesize. I would never do so unless I was proof positive that I had already found my Teacher(s). I hope you take it as a compliment that your firmly rooted state of O-ver-consciousness is counted among those whom keep me firmly rooted in the Real of the Right. Also, Crowley's tarot deack is freaking gorgeous; no one who could create such a thing can be ALL bad.

2/04/2011 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger The Crack Emcee said...

Another fine post, GB, mighty fine.

2/04/2011 03:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Michael said...

It appears pretty ahistorical to me to claim that "the German psyche always had an uneasy relationship with Christianity". In the Middle Ages Germany and the Germans were just as devoutly Christian as anybody else in Europe. You still have the monuments -- the churches and monasteries in particular -- testifying to that everywhere in the country.

As to Luther himself, he certainly is a complex and ambivalent phenomenon, but I don't think it's fair to make a shortcut from him to Hitler.

Also remember that a lot of other peoples in Europe turned away from the Catholic Church in the 16th century without them becoming fascists later on. Plus, very Catholic Italy and Spain produced their own varieties of 20th century fascism -- which admittedly were almost benign though by comparison with German Nazism.

Historically more proximate reasons and events than Luther's revolt also deserve attention in the etiology of Nazism. I'm here thinking of the ravages of WWI in particular, and the Versailles legacy. These developments plowed the field very thoroughly for the sick sprouting of the devilish seed that was Hitler. Yes, I absolutely agree that he was beholden to dark, dark powers from far below: their agent on earth.

In case you didn't yet infer it from my handling of English: I'm German.

2/04/2011 07:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Ron Krumpos said...

Suprarational consciousness, complete intuitive insight realized in divine grace, is aware that our soul and all other souls are divine and that the spirits of the many are united in the Spirit of the One, without contradiction. Certainty of oneness overcomes most of the uncertainties of this life; liberation from ego and individuality leads to a freedom seldom experienced in worldly existence. Many of the downsides of ordinary living become upsides during divine living.

2/18/2011 06:05:00 PM  

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