Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Left Wing Grave Robbers and Other Snakes on a Plane

A plane of hell, that is. For this region of Hell is teeming with a loathsome swarm of snakes, / So strange and horrible to look upon / That even now it makes my blood run cold. Dante makes the timely point that even Libya cannot boast of such a cruel and depressing storm of malignant pests.

Here The naked souls are running horror-struck with their hands bound behind them by serpents that thrust their heads and tails out through their loins.

There is also an element of hypnosis going on, which reminds me of a note at the end of last Monday's post, from the Oxford Dictionary: Fascinate ARCHAIC (esp. of a snake) deprive (a person or animal) of the ability to resist or escape the power of a look or gaze: the serpent fascinates its prey.

The serpents "transfix" their victims, at which time the latter instantaneously burst into flames and are reduced to ashes. But as in the Terminator movies, the ashes are reunited of themselves / And instantly resume his spirit's form.

The first thought that comes to mind is, of course, the seductive serpent of paradise, who first draws Eve into its spell before Eve hypnotizes Adam with her charms.

For just as grace operates through various intermediaries in a hierarchical, top down fashion (↓), so too does this inverted version -- which is not (↑) per se, but perhaps (↑) devoid of (↓), which renders it promethean and therefore ripe for a fall.

Indeed the fall is inevitable in such a case -- which, I think, is the deeper meaning of today's aphorism: Why deceive ourselves? Science has not answered a single important question.

The point is that science can only answer important questions if it isn't divorced from reality in the fuller sense. In isolation -- in particular, from the vertical -- it is axiomatic that science cannot answer important questions, for only the mature soul (who ipso facto eludes any scientific explanation) knows what is important. This is called judgment.

Back to the canto. The souls here who are tormented by the serpents are thieves -- not just any thieves, but those who steal sacred objects and vestments from the Church sacristy.

Such a theft is full of implications. One immediately thinks of how the secular west is parasitic on the Christian civilization that gave birth to it, but without so much as acknowledging the debt. This is not just a discourtesy but a grave sin.

Think of how contemporary liberals ransack the Constitution in order to remove and distort what they need in order to confer a fraudulent legitimacy upon their policy preferences. Any sensible American intuitively understands that this involves the theft of something sacred -- not the least of which being the blood that was shed in order to make that Constitution possible and to endure.

For even prior to the Constitution are the courageous human beings who recognized and were willing to risk their lives and fortunes in defense of the Good. To steal this priceless treasure from one's countrymen is morally indistinct from grave robbing. Then the left has the hutzpah to call it a "living" document!

Again, it all goes back to the false promise of the serpent: Ye shall be as gods. As Upton explains, "The primal theft was Eve's theft of the forbidden fruit. Tempted by the serpent, she took something from the Divine realm and enclosed it within the human one."

Note the similarity to what I said above about (↑) devoid of (↓): "Man can descend but not ascend on his own power, because his very existence is a gift from God; he can squander but he cannot earn" (Upton).

I would amend that slightly to say that we can earn, but only through a grace that is already operative in the form of a desire for ascent -- for purification and illumination. In other words, the desire to know God is already God. Obey your thirst!

Upton adds another important point, that "Theft, more than any other sin, is involved with concealment, since both the act and the stolen goods must be hidden." This is obvious in the case of stolen objects, but becomes much more complex when one is stealing, say, our Constitution or civilizational heritage. How does one cover up such a massive crime?

Through endless and systematic lying at the highest levels. People must be taught in such a way that the conclusions of the left become at least plausible. One such way is to teach people that their desires are rights, that their defects are society's fault, that the state is good at "solving" the human condition, that the accumulated wisdom of the past is obsolete, that what is newest is the best, and that someone else's wealth redounds to your poverty.

Something stolen cannot really be assimilated into the self. For example, one can pass a test by cheating, but that doesn't mean one has mastered the material. The initial lie will have to be followed by an even bigger lie, because one will have to pretend one has assimilated the information. One becomes a counterfeit version of oneself, a phony, which is a kind of primordial betrayal and lie.

The worst lies begin by pulling the wool over one's own eyes, or auto-flimflammery, for then one may transmit lies with an undisturbed conscience.

Souls struggling with the primordial Lie that gave them birth

29 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

One such way is to teach people that their desires are rights, that their defects are society's fault, that the state is good at "solving" the human condition, that the accumulated wisdom of the past is obsolete, that what is newest is the best, and that someone else's wealth redounds to your poverty.

A couple of examples this morning: First, the links from here comparing two articles regarding income inequality, well worth a few minutes to compare and contrast.

The second pertains more to the idea that one person knows better how others should spend their own money, if you folks'll forgive the self-reference:

In January, my choir director came begging to the group. For our February concert, he had a dream of adding a group of instrumentalists to add depth and life to the music we were to perform at the next concert: a couple percussionists, some strings, and a couple of flutes. He told us how much was needed for this, understood that times were tight, and if it couldn't be done then we'd stick with what we had, just us, the piano and the pipe organ.

Chorale members dug deep and by the next rehearsal we had the funds needed to hire all the instruments (and as it turned out, we had one of our best concerts ever; money well spent, imho). But that next week, when people were passing along checks to the treasurer, one of the fellows behind me was muttering under his breath and clicking his tongue.

"I can't believe they're donating to this. Think of all the poor people they could have helped!"

Seriously. And this guy is quite strongly Christian. I was tempted to turn around and intone, "the poor will always be with us," but managed to hold my tongue.

In his mind, spending money to hire people for a performance is somehow morally inferior - even sinful! - compared to giving money to the poor. But who benefited? Local musicians, who all had some extra money to put food on their tables (and I've never yet met a local musician who didn't need the gig and the dough), as well as the chorale and the audience who had the privilege of participating in a deeper intersubjective experience than they would have had otherwise. Added Christian bonus, the music was all gospel/ spiritual, and I'm pretty sure that a group of folks lifting their voices and making a joyful noise is as important, in its way, as giving money to the poor. Going by the audience responses, I'm quite sure there were more than a few spirits nourished, and man doesn't live by bread alone.

Anyway, to the point, we walk a very dangerous line, I think, when we would make ourselves the arbiter of how others should spend their money. Or their time, or their resources, etc. That is the way of envy, theft, and spiritual inversion. Even for those who would will others "to do good" with what they have.

3/09/2011 09:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And also:
The industrialization of agriculture is stopping up the source of decency in the world.

3/09/2011 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Interesting, I added the quote Anon gives to my sidebar yesterday. I think there's a lot of truth to it. Industrialization is not the same as mechanization. I believe that DC means a farmer's got to have soul -- which is a recognition of the sacred and the entering in of the divine under an "open heaven".

What I was thinking about, though, was the sacred in music, and how easily a song like Ben E. King's "Stand by Me" can sound like gospel. Ry Cooder did a version on his "Chickenskin Music" album back in the '70's. If you didn't know, you'd think it was a prayer.

Sadly, most of the stuff that comes over the radio would make one think nothing is sacred.

I believe in hell because it's the only place some people belong.

3/09/2011 10:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The first thought that comes to mind is, of course, the seductive serpent of paradise, who first draws Eve into its spell before Eve hypnotizes Adam with her charms" - Bob

Is that why you like the allure of "Victoria Secret"?

3/09/2011 10:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Don Colacho said...

Unjust inequality is not remedied by equality, but by just inequality.

3/09/2011 10:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Rich Fader said...

...the desire to know God is already God. Obey your thirst!

Make Heaven-Up yours!

(Sorry. Couldn't resist.)

3/09/2011 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger philmon said...

Think of how contemporary liberals ransack the Constitution in order to remove and distort what they need in order to confer a fraudulent legitimacy upon their policy preferences.

I was arguing with someone under a YouTube video (Bill Whittle's 4th "Firewall" installment -- on Natural Law) where some person who goes by "SocialDemocrat" was arguing that rights are whatever we all agree they are. Democracy is sacred.

I say, as did our founders, Democracy ... pure Democracy, is mob rule. "SocialDemocrat" denies this.

What I notice again and again with these people is that Democracy is sacred until they are on the wrong side of it, at which time they run to that "outdated" worn old document written by the whitepatriarchalhegemonicheteronormativeracistslaveowners ... for protection. Or to some case law they can claim has the cover of that horrible old living document that means what we want it to mean as long as it means what THEY want it to mean.

When it doesn't, they're back to Democracy.

3/09/2011 01:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mushroom,
I agree that DC would mean a farmer's got to have a soul, but given his other aphorisms, I would suggest he is referring, at least in part, to mechanization as well. What happens with mechanization is that fewer and fewer farming families are needed to cultivate the land, and, therefore, the culture of cultivation is diminished. The land and therefore all of us, benefits greatly from loving cultivation and an authentic culture of the family farmer.
It is one of the decided flaws in the modern conservative movement (with the exception of the school of Richard Weaver and the Souther Agrarians--Wendell Berry would be of this school), that it is unable to see that bottom line economics applied to agriculture is not a profound enough set of principles to adequately deal with agriculture. It works fine with nuts and bolts and microchips and what-not, but not with land, and food, and farming, and animals, and the families that tend to these things. Or once did.
"Get big, or get out" is indecent.

3/09/2011 01:26:00 PM  
Blogger Warren said...

>> Again, it all goes back to the false promise of the serpent: Ye shall be as gods.

The whole modern Western experiment, for the last 500 or so years, goes back to that, doesn't it?

BTW, I've been away for a while - are you planning to go through the whole Divine Comedy?

Also, Don Colacho is new to me - great stuff!!!

3/09/2011 01:28:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

(Thanks, Bob. I'll try to quit sounding like a spam bot :)

3/09/2011 01:46:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

One of the worst things about mechanization for the family farmer is the debt that is incurred. One of the disastrous impacts of the Nixon/Ford Administration was Earl Butz and his, 'Get big or get out'. There was a push in that direction even in the '50's and '60's. Butz merely articulated it.

Industrial agriculture, however, is divorced from locale and cycle. The sustainable family farm will have to use much the same equipment that the industrial operation does. The individual will grow the same grain and sell it, just as the industrial farm, but he will use some to feed out his own stock. He'll use the stock to graze off land that will be richer for having been grazed than it would be if it lay fallow.

The industrial farm will have, perhaps, larger, more advanced, more expensive machinery, but the distinguishing characteristic is philosophy. Exploitation versus love. The farmer pours himself into the land because it is his. The industrialist takes what he can get from it.

I'll have to quit. I've taken up too much of Bob's space.

3/09/2011 03:33:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

"Exploitation versus love. The farmer pours himself into the land because it is his."

I understand, Mush. I've seen some people get pretty worked up about this. You know how I feel about farms, etc. I'm not sure there's much that can be done or should be done. Something to do with toothpaste back in the tube and living the period your given. You can still love the land, have your own vine and fig tree. Like you do. And we can at least remember how it was, or remind.

Maybe the industrial farmer pours himself into the land too. Or some of them. There's still, say, a certain romance, for lack of a better word at the moment, to say, the maritime world. I come from a little of that and can say it's still there having it's way with people of all stations.

3/09/2011 06:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Milnos Petranian said...

We've heard about your troubles. How the Christians are mocked and despised by the secular fiends, how the imperialist fatcats are about to have civil war with the bleeding heart tree huggers, how the bluestate communist homosexual feminist atheists are taking over government and how the zionist corporate money-mongers are giving misery to the people.

Your nation is finished, you must face it. Get out while work visas are still plentiful. I can take 10 workers to my enamel-ware factory here in Georgia. We have freedom of worship, here we do not let the atheists or the usurers take power.

Anyone interested? Even Armenian-Americans are Ok.

Don't imagine it will get any better where you are; it won't.

3/09/2011 09:01:00 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Mushroom,
I have some family friends in Northwestern Minnesota who have opted out of the chaos of normal life, purchased ~ 80 acres of good farm land and works it using old, cheap equipment. These types are called 'scratch farmers'. They don't get rich but they can live a good simple life. Their house is a nicely appointed double wide set in a beautiful patch of woods. He hunts the land, repairs his old machinery and farms. Makes about 30-50K per year and has virtually no stress.

I envy his life style.

3/10/2011 04:03:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Beth,
...virtually no stress of a certain kind, maybe.

3/10/2011 05:11:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

I did not see anything except the first paragraph in Anon's post the first time. I think Blogger was playing tricks on me yesterday.

Yes, we can argue about mechanization and the degree to which it is good or bad. But you are absolutely right about the failure of conservatives with regard to agriculture. Agriculture policy in the U.S. has been a disaster, despite the fact that we have fed the world for decades. With so few people on the land and the end of industrial agriculture possibly waiting just beyond the horizon, I wonder if anyone will be marching with signs that say "no blood for food"?

3/10/2011 05:24:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Good point, Rick.

3/10/2011 05:25:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

I think stress is proportional to the person. I'd be pretty stressed if Scotty beamed me down to my very own 100 acre farm in 1938. Unless I'd been raised there, then, knowing me like the back of my hand, this weird life and job would look pretty stressful. I should be able to make either one stressful.

Great thing about modernity (in America) anyone can live like it's 1938. Or not. My point is/was, is that a great thing? Depends how or why you're doing it. I say, the people who lived in 1938 lived in the 1938 they were placed in. There must be a good reason you and I were placed in 2011.

No disrespect to your friends, I'm talking about those who appear to be forcing a lifestyle. I know people, in my family, who long for the 60s.

3/10/2011 05:32:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Geesh, how did I not notice this:
"I envy his life style."

I'm not picking on you Beth, I could have easily said the same thing.

3/10/2011 05:37:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Thanks, Mush. You know I love farms, the old kind.

"Yes, we can argue about mechanization and the degree to which it is good or bad."

I'd find plenty about it to put it in the bad column. I'd just add there's no way to stop it.

Everyone has a role, as Bob has said. And I'm thankful for the scratch farmers. I know no one is suggesting we need to go back to those days. But if we did, the bad guys would Shirley steam roll us. I see the North Koreans have some kinda pulse bomb or something now. Someone needs to be working on that problem and the "no blood for food" zombie apocalypse. 'zall I'm sayin..

3/10/2011 06:22:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I envy the leisurely lifestyle of an antebellum aristocratic southern plantation owner. Without the slave part. And with the internet, modern medicine, and a good high end stereo system.

3/10/2011 06:45:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Operators are standing by..
;-)

3/10/2011 06:50:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

I just called NPR and asked them how hard is it to get some sharks with frikin' lazerbeams on their heads.

3/10/2011 06:56:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Hey, thanks Bob! Now I know what kind of place to look for when we're house hunting in Miami! ;)

3/10/2011 07:20:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Completely apropos of nothing, I really, really love Don Colacho. Today's aphorism's are pure gold, through and through.

3/10/2011 07:41:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Indeed the fall is inevitable in such a case -- which, I think, is the deeper meaning of today's aphorism: Why deceive ourselves? Science has not answered a single important question."

Useful? Yes. Important? Nope.

The more I dig into the ideas behind the modern notion of 'education', the more that very point comes home. The problems we see in education are a direct result of that point not only not being grasped, but it's error serving as the central guiding non-principle of the whole ball of wax.

Ugh.

wv:yalick
Dupree, you need to have a chat with wv, it's getting a bit out of line again.

3/10/2011 08:32:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Julie said "we walk a very dangerous line, I think, when we would make ourselves the arbiter of how others should spend their money. Or their time, or their resources, etc. That is the way of envy, theft, and spiritual inversion. Even for those who would will others "to do good" with what they have."

Amen to that. And added emphasis on especially "...for those who would will others "to do good" with what they have."

3/10/2011 08:39:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Mushroom said "absolutely right about the failure of conservatives with regard to agriculture. Agriculture policy in the U.S. has been a disaster"

Care to guess which industry, quite incidentally I'm sure, it was which locked in the change from Education as puruit of virtue, to education as gathering skills?

The "The farmer pours himself into the land because it is his. The industrialist takes what he can get from it."

... works just as well with,
"The educated student pours himself into the subject because it is his. The trained student takes what he can get from it."

The switcheroo was pulled via the Morrill Act (1863)(big time Republican Morrill) to help promote 'scientific' agricultural practices through modernizing education. Dept of Agriculture established and took root along with it too.

Probably just coincidence.

3/10/2011 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Through endless and systematic lying at the highest levels. People must be taught in such a way that the conclusions of the left become at least plausible. One such way is to teach people that their desires are rights, that their defects are society's fault, that the state is good at "solving" the human condition, that the accumulated wisdom of the past is obsolete, that what is newest is the best, and that someone else's wealth redounds to your poverty."

Well said! Great series, Bob!

3/11/2011 01:02:00 AM  

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