Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Trialogues At the Edge of Slack

The SlackMeister does not attack people. He discredits ideas -- specifically, ideas that run counter to 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.

20 Comments:

Blogger Brazentide said...

The liberal looks at America and imagines 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

And how.

History has largely been a miserable struggle against starvation, oppression, and ignorance for your average person.

The key problem with the utopians is the externalization of their existential pain. Little do they know that they would be just as miserable in paradise as they are now. (I'm reminded of Masamue Shirow's 'Appleseed')

Regardless, many would still kill the golden goose in order to find out.

5/24/2011 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

""The left’s theses are trains of thought that are carefully stopped before they reach the argument that demolishes them""

I had a good demo of that yesterday on my site regarding Israel. The aninny began with fair questions, but on answering them and pointing out the reasoning for them, they hit the point where they could go no further, had a melt down, reason gone, CAPS and insults (as opposed to insultainment) took it's place.

They held out awhile though, gotta give 'em credit for at least trying to be human.

But there is a point in pursuing the truth where... past which, it just burns....

5/24/2011 08:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello there, Sir!

There's been a while - almost 5 years, actually - since I learned about your blog from dissectleft.blogspot. I have been a lurker around here ever since. Your themes tends to go above my head, but I try to follow it anyway.

I'm very fond of Van Morrison, just as you seems to be too.

The reason why I'm sending this comment to you is that I decided it was about time to call your attention to a compatriote of mine, who's currently living in the US, and about whom I have a great deal of respect - I'm a Brazilian, by the way. He's name is Olavo de Carvalho and I think some of his writings might be of your interest.

Check out his website when possible, and don't miss the online debate he's currently maitaining with Alexander Dugin, on "The USA and the New World Order" - particularly Olavo's 4th post to the debate. Here's the link to it:

http://debateolavodugin.blogspot.com/2011/05/r4-olavo-eng.html

And here's the link to Olavo's website, where some of the texts have been translated into English:

http://www.olavodecarvalho.org/


Sincerely yours,

Miguel


PS 1: Please, nevermind my use of English.

PS 2: My personal email address: zemiguelt@gmail.com

5/24/2011 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Glad to help out.


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?

Yep. It is the state of mind prevalent on most political sites. Even where I generally agree with the politics, they make me uneasy.

5/24/2011 11:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Asomosa the Grandmother said...

The pre-amble for this post dishes up stock responses to grievances in the last post:

--You have no sense of humor.

---You're too sensitive.

--My writing is harmless.

Well I don't buy it. Now you have a woman challenging your control here.

Exactly what you don't want.

5/24/2011 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"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(LOL), 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?"

While politics can help reduce the numbers of problems which other men might introduce into your life, to imagine that it can solve the problems of your living your life... I think indicates a lack of being in the habit of living your own life.

5/24/2011 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger John Lien said...

The SlackMeister sez:

"In ether worlds, you can have all the slack you want, except that you can't be there to enjoy it."

Yeah, that was always nagging at me in my Zen phase. You spend all that time trying to improve yourself so that you can end up losing yourself. Seemed kind of counterproductive, and cold.

"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." "

Nice comparison between east and west today. Very informative.

This Pope guy, he's ok.

5/24/2011 01:40:00 PM  
Anonymous flunky said...

Back in high school, my class was forced by well intentioned instructors to watch a rather graphic Holocaust movie. It was like Mechanized Death on steroids. It bothered me immensely. How can people do this? Who are these people? I repeated to myself, many times.

Are they liberals? Are they conservatives?

Not long after, I noticed that a fellow student named Mike was being openly harassed in the halls. Mike was small and had mildly mongoloid features. Apparently, he had been mainstreamed into our school by well intentioned powers that be.

The nic pasted onto him, was “Nasty Edwin”. I saw no evidence of nasty-ness, or Edwin-ness, but there it was. One day I saw him being bullied in plain sight, by a group of much larger “normals”, and Mike knelt down and cried.

I would have stepped in myself to stop this, but the pragmatic side of me screamed “NO”. It told me that if it wasn’t for Mike, “Baby Huey” and a few chess club members, there but for the grace of God would go I. I was young and very small for my class. I had already been set atop and inside of lockers. So I wisely laid low.

Logic told me that if I had instead been a future mover shaker / star quarterback / class president / swoonie ladies man type, I could have stepped in with a few of my homies and ended this thing.

But apparently, there were no supermen alpha males to be found in that 3000 student school. So turning blind eyes or laying low was the common defense. Mike eventually had a breakdown and we never saw him again.

Many years later I wondered what had happened to the characters in this scenario, and did some homework out of curiosity. Interestingly, many of the abusers were easy to find. One is a mortgage broker in Phoenix. Another owns his own successful Seattle based commercial property management company. Yet another managed to bail from Lehman Brothers before it collapsed, but retained his V.P. status at a similar firm in Chicago.

The nice people were hard to find. One plays in a band by night, plays legal messenger by day. Another does tech support at Nintendo. Another is a faceless accountant in a sea of cubicles within a mega corporation.

Mike is nowhere to be found. But maybe he’s working a fulfilling job somewhere saving up for a plasma TV? I’d sure like to think so.

How does all this relate to the Holocaust? I guess if it’s in your DNA to not care, you’ll do well wherever you go. As long as you’re smart and don’t get roped into the Nazis.

It really is up to you to succeed.

(Disclaimer: I have a BIL who’s a nice guy. And he gets into goofy predicaments sometimes, like having to be rescued hanging off a second story gutter, or being caught digging through his wife’s purse while vacationing in Vegas. He also does his own nothing (do NOT ask him to help you pull an engine). Yet he is a successful vice president at several thousand person sized firm. His lifelong best friend is also his boss. But shhhh! If this gets out the nice guy paradigm might be blown.)

5/24/2011 02:15:00 PM  
Anonymous scory said...

This is an age one of whose defining characteristics is lovelessness. It is natural for any sane person to want to escape it. But that is not the way. The way has been shown by people like Theresa of Calcutta and William Law. And by Ramakrishna. The lesson is to love God with everything one has and to love our fellows - said love being expressed as compassion and service.

It seems to me that in this age, as in every age, the religious among us are small in number and scattered. There are many who proclaim their righteousness but few who live it. And those who live it garner few, if any, headlines and tend to be thought of as odd or even heretical by the "main stream". The best people I know will die unrecognized by the world and prefer it that way.

I am a Christian and I belong to a church that teaches that non-Christians can achieve salvation because God judges the hearts of men and anyone who would have accepted the gospel fully had they heard it will be welcome to His presence. This seems sane to me. But it is a doctrine that many would reject out-of-hand. The church I belong to has, I am quite sure, its share of errors. I have yet to hear of one that doesn't. But the people, the sincere ones who are really trying, are among the best I have ever met. Much better than me. They give without thought to receiving thanks. They repent when they screw up. Jesus called such people the salt of the earth and, as usual, He was right. I believe it is for their sake that this nation has not yet been severely judged.

But the lovelessness that is a signature of the age is growing and overwhelming every decent and good thing. At some point things are going to give. God is not mocked and I believe that the people of this nation have become so degraded, so ignorant, so indifferent that the tipping point is now very near. I believe many of us are aware of this though not attributing it as I am. There is a feeling of dread that permeates the people. The future is not bright but threatening. And because so many have lost the foundation of faith in God they turn to any proferred hope.

But the hope they turn to is loveless. It does not forgive or forbear. It is not meek and mild. It is not prudent or courageous. It is the opposite of all these things but above all it is strident and its stridency drowns out the nagging fear and smothers doubt. It also, sooner or later, fills the gulags and death camps with those who are deemed unfit or a threat to its existence. It destroys its own children in order "ease" the comfort of its devotees. It is pure destruction.

It follows, it seems to me, that the path of devotion is the exact counterpoint to the present age. Love of God and of one's fellows flies in the face of the spirit of "hope" that permeates the world. Love requires individuals in order to achieve its purposes. Union with the will of God makes such individuals. Slack follows naturally from this and in great abundance.

5/24/2011 02:55:00 PM  
Anonymous flunky said...

Where resources are scarce, conflict abounds.

I tried preaching. But it got my cheek slapped. And then the other one, when I turned. Some of the wee bystanders shielded their eyes. Others mocked. But most thought me the fool.

Then I considered getting a few of those Powerlifters for Christ, to be our common superman heroes. Outside of muscles, they aren’t looking for material gain, right? My hope was that these supermen would inspire many others to do the loving thing - looking out for still weaker others who are just trying to do the loving thing, which would ultimately reduce government significantly.

And no more socialized redistribution of wealth towards the rich and powerful (The oil company pro sports team Wall street Sachs too big to fail kind, and not the “liberal” kind).

But then the powerlifters slapped my cheeks. And not the upper ones mind you. I became confused and despondent.

5/24/2011 03:47:00 PM  
Anonymous flunky said...

Don Colacho’s okay, I guess. He sums up big pictures well, but the big picture is usually made up of other pictures. To wit:

Big Picture:
Envy tends to be the true force behind moral indignation.

Other Picture:
Emotional indignation tends to be the true force behind envy, and moral indignation follows.

If your deadbeat sister married well, would you be more envious if she bragged and gloated all the time, or if she happily shared some of her luck with you?
Which sister would wind up being That Gold Digger, and which would be the one you’re proud of?

5/24/2011 04:00:00 PM  
Anonymous flunky said...

I’m going to blame the women.

Loving supermen are appreciated, but what the women really want are the bad boy supermen.

Which begs the question: Are all the good boy supermen gay?

Would you let yourself be helped by an ambiguously gay superhero? I wouldn’t. Maybe getting slapped on the upper cheeks really is better than getting slapped on the lower ones.

Never mind.

5/24/2011 04:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Hennie Penny said...

Flunky, Scory:

I read and understood your heartfelt comments.

Flunky, abuse is endemic in schools. Of course you couldn't help Mike. You were indirectly already a victim of intimidation because you were afraid.

As far as success goes, the only measure of success is virtue. Everything else recycles back to the earth, but virtue accrues to you forever.

Now you are powerful and free. Now if you see abuse, you can act to help the abused one, which is a right action, true, good, and beautiful.

Scory, you are right, our nation is permeated with a sense of lovelessness, where sarcastic cutting remarks, mean humor, and the like all pass as acceptable. But you are now powerful and free and you don't have to dish it out, take it, or stand by while others dish it out or take it.

You can, by your unwavering kindness, bring joy.

By dropping all hatred and all selfish desires like raindrops drop from the lotus leaf, you can spread contentment to others.

Then you are wise and like the moon coming out from behind clouds you illuminate the earth.

Be virtuous,brothers, and love is ascendant.

5/24/2011 05:18:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Scory, Nice to hear someone mention William Law. A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life is one of my favorites.

5/24/2011 05:49:00 PM  
Anonymous flunky said...

I’d recommend a healthy dose of M. Scott Peck’s “People of the Lie” or similar, for those about to embark on journeys of kindness. While many will appreciate your efforts, others will eat you alive for it.

They're out there.

5/24/2011 08:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Napolean said...

This is pretty much my favorite animal:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-13520472

5/24/2011 10:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Plead the Fifth said...

Beuller?

5/24/2011 11:26:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

OFF TOPIC OFF TOPIC
Sarah-John {Huntsman]?

hope is aqui

OLD TESTAMENT OLD TESTAMENT

"REGUN"
NOSHITWV

3rd try sorry for deletes
long links dont 'take'
snamines

5/24/2011 11:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Ousted From Hell and Direct to You said...

I hear you, Flunky.

When you choose the Godly path, which includes full-time kindness, you will attract to you opposition and violence from other people.

Expecting this, God's operative girds the loins and fights, albeit fairly and with kindness.

The Godly operative will gently obstruct and admonish the prospective evildoer and will also shield and defend any prospective victims.

Evildoers are combatted also by educating them. Deep down all who do evil long to be pure again and this element in them can be reached and activated.

That is how the operative deals with those who would try to destroy her.

5/25/2011 10:42:00 AM  
Anonymous flunky said...

Evildoers are combatted also by educating them. Deep down all who do evil long to be pure again and this element in them can be reached and activated.

And lazy liberals become happy conservatives once they discover the value of hard work?

Sorry about the sarcasm, but I’ve already been there. Actually, in my experience you are mostly correct. Wannabes can be cowed. Convicted criminals can be educated in prison. Bullies can be beat down. Goodfellas get whacked. And at least one guy won’t be hiking down Appalachian trails in Argentina with a strong and smart spouse at home, again.

But I also speak of the evildoers who use any and all education to modify their behavior, to become better evildoers. The incorrigible ones. Beck argues from a tabla rasa perspective, I think, but I’m not so sure. Humans have obvious extreme genetic conditions in almost every form imaginable. Why not born psychopaths?

This is why I focus on educating the more normal people. Once you spot, do not follow, or you could be next.

5/25/2011 01:24:00 PM  

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