Trialogues At the Edge of Slack
Okay, he sometimes makes fun of the high and mighty and likes to cut the pompous down to size, but he always favors the smiling bon mot over the scowling malediction. He's just trying to get you to join in with the rest of your so-called friends and laugh at yourself.
But the SlackMeister is fully aware of the fact that most liberals are perfectly decent and well-intentioned people. That is not at issue. The only question that concerns us is whether the ideas they champion will result in more or less slack.
If so, bring it on. Not that there is any chance we will regress to our outgrown adultolescent belief system, but go ahead if you must.
But in any event, stop whining and being so sensitive. It reflects badly on your femininity. Unless you are a male, in which case your overheated rhetoric sounds like the weak man's impression of a strong man.
Ah. I see that the reader called Mushroom has already expressed it well, freeing us to move on:
"I just don't understand why so many people want to force other people to 'be good' by their definition. If your way is better, make your pitch. Convince me. Stir my conscience. Make the argument. If you're all reason and logic, lay it out. That is the Christian approach. We make disciples by presenting the truth."
"Controlling the government police power and using it to force me to do what you want is not the same as winning hearts and minds. Of course, the preference for conversion by the sword is something the left and Islam have in common."
Consistent with his entire approach to life, the SlackMeister offers only. He is not trying to change anyone, nor does he have a shred of power to compel, although he does believe that to the extent his principles are seen and understood, his conclusions arise ineluctably. Conversely, "The left’s theses are trains of thought that are carefully stopped before they reach the argument that demolishes them" (Don Colacho's Aphorisms).
But perception of higher worlds can never be compelled, since they are a function of faith. Faith is a kind of prior declaration that they exist based upon the reliable witness of others, but it is an empty letter until it is filled out by experience. We will discuss this in more detail as we proceed.
By the way, nor does the SlackMeister believe there is any other political solution to the Problem of Man, including contemporary conservatism (much less randy Aynism, whom he would never embrace). Just because he passionately argues for the lesser of two evils, it hardly means that he is passionate about evil. Where is your sense of irony?
The liberal looks at America and fantasizes how much more perfect it could be. The conservative looks at the same world and is amazed and relieved that the system works at all; which also makes him wary of tinkering with it in fundamental ways -- which always carries with it unintended, and usually baleful, consequences that will ripple through the entire system.
Will my life change if my "dream candidate" becomes president? Well, first of all, the SlackMeister has no dream candidate, since this is a transparent form of idolatry displaced from the spiritual to the political realm.
But in any event, his life would not change, since he places no hope in politics as such. Indeed, to imagine one's life would change in fundamental ways with the election of this or that politician makes one a little pathetic, don't you think?
The vast majority of human pain is a result of his existential situation, a situation that no politician can undo. But politicians almost always exploit this reservoir of human pain in order to make their promises of change. Remember when they exploited Christopher Reeve and Michael J. Fox in order to generate a Five Minutes Hate toward Republicans who want more quadroplegia and Parkinson's Disease?
Perhaps the SlackMeister was just raised by a pair of child abusers, but he was brought up to believe that if things didn't go well in his life, it was pretty much his fault. He was never even exposed to the novel idea that his screw-ups, laziness, greed, underachievement, and self-defeatism were the fault of someone or something else, least of all a politician in Washington.
The SlackMeister was raised in freedom, which is a terrible thing for the Loser, because it leaves one naked to the world without so much as a fig leaf of plausible deniability and misattribution.
And even if he were the victim of circumstances, the young SlackMeister intuitively grasped that wallowing in this and expecting someone else to rescue him was a doctrine of failure. It never even occurred to him to wait for the State to make things right for him.
Thank God, or he'd still be waiting. Government-issued slack may look like the real thing, but it is a false and meretricious substitute. Tool's gold.
Now, among other things, Christ is slack-made-flesh, for he is the quintessence of God's absolute freedom dwelling in the finite and relative human form. The "purpose" of this enfleshment is to infuse our humanness with the ultimate slack, thus delivering us from the principle of antiSlack that seems to prevail on earth. Or again, to assimilate man into this more slackful divine reality.
Christianity (and Judaism) is fundamentally a religion of descent. What this means is that, unlike the religions of the East, we do not attempt to lift ourselves by our own buddhastraps and ascend out of it into the world of impersonal slack, but bring the slack into the person -- and into the world with him, for there is no slack without persons: "When he died, Christ did not leave behind documents, but disciples. A person left behind new people" (Don Colacho).
Here is how the Pope expresses it: the Neoplatonic or Eastern approach
"signifies deliverance as far as finitude (self-awareness) is concerned, which in the final analysis is seen to be a facade, the abolition of myself in the ocean of the completely other, which as compared to our world of facades, is nothingness but nonetheless the only true being." In ether worlds, you can have all the slack you want, except that you can't be there to enjoy it.
Please note that this wasn't really problematic prior to the emergence of the modern self. If you have no distinct self anyway, you have little to lose by chucking it aside.
But what if yourSelf is not an illusion but your most precious asshat?
Here "union is seen in a completely different way: it is the union of love, in which differences are not destroyed but are transformed in a higher union of those who love each other."
This is none other than a trinitarian mirrorcle of the Absolute interior. Thus, Christianity "sees finitude not as negation but as a creation, the fruit of a divine will that creates a free partner, a creature who does not have to be destroyed but must be completed, must insert itself into the free act of love."
Here "difference is not abolished, but becomes the means to a higher unity." Therefore, as it pertains to politics, this is necessarily a philosophy of liberty, since the individual must be free to become who and what he actually is.
But man is never "complete," the reason being that he is always dependent. Furthermore, as a consequence of his divine freedom, he has a kind of inexhaustible creativity.
On the one hand, creativity implies an absence of completeness, since we lack the created thing until it is created. But in reality, dynamic creativity is superior to static oneness, even if it confers a kind of restlessness on our existence.
Seen in the proper light, this is the "eternal restlessness" of the Trinity, which does not imply a passive One-for-itself, but being-for eternally coarising with a being-from in the context of being-with -- i.e., Father, Son, Holy Spirit; or Principle, Manifestation, Return; or One, Many, Love; etc.
In any event, this fractured place herebelow is a holy matterimany that includes the possibility of a higher union, not a negation of one or the other into mystical union on the one hand, or mystagogical materialism on the other.