Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Don't Blink When God's Flash Bulb Goes Off

Unity involves the synthesis of contraries and the ordering of degrees of being. That being the case, it is precisely the opposite of the left's horizontalized approach to reality -- or rather, to denying it -- since they abhor hierarchy and obliterate differences, most notoriously, the differences between Man and Woman. This inevitably results in such misbegotten inventions as "homosexual marriage."

And I use the word "horizontalized" advisedly, because it would be a misunderstanding to call the leftist merely "horizontal," as if bad values and no values are synonymous.

Very few people are actually horizontal, generally only the brain-damaged, the severely retarded, the sociopathic, and Charles Johnson. Everyone else lives in vertical space, no matter how much they would like to deny it.

It reminds me of a bright fellow to whom Mizz E linked yesterday, who writes of free will and the overeducated knaves who pretend to deny what cannot be denied without affirming it:

"Unless a person’s faculties are truncated or injured by some tragedy, each and every one of us recognizes in himself an intelligent and free agent. Many people argue, in their personal flight from truth, that this recognition is an illusion, but nobody -- I repeat, nobody -- lives as if it is an illusion. We go right on analyzing our world, formulating goals and purposes, and directing ourselves to pursue them. What’s more, we perceive that we do this, and we reflect abstractly on our ability to do it, on what is required to do it well, and on how the process is working out. We human persons are supremely self-aware, and sometimes embarrassedly so.

"This is simply another way of saying that intellect and will are at the core of what we are. It is one of the fundamental things that we cannot not know."

Swish! What this ultimately means is that any form of doctrinaire leftism immediately and by its very nature sets itself over and against the deep structural patterns of reality, since its vulgar and horizontalized world view simply cannot account for any of the quintessential properties of our humanness -- properties which man attempts to recognize and sanctify through rituals that simultaneously turn us inward and open us to the transcendent. These are what we might call "flash bulb" moments of divine ingression. So don't blink!

These are decisive -- as in scission between the "old" and "new" man -- moments when the divine reality manifests in the clothing of time -- or the clothing becomes transparent to the unseen -- and that we need to acknowledge on pain of closing ourselves to the vertical reality that precedes and gives our lives structure, direction, and meaning (which are aspects of the same reality as manifested in space, time, and depth, respectively).

Man must "turn around to recognize how blind he is if he trusts only what he sees with his eyes" (Ratzinger, Introduction to Christianity).

Or, in the words of Don Colacho, "To be stupid is to believe that it is possible to take a photograph of the place about which a poet sang." And to be extra-stupid is to believe it is possible for members of the same sex to take out a marriage license and imagine they will know the thing itself instead of a mere facsimile, a "pretend" version.

The bar mitzvah would represent an archetypal example. Boyhood is oriented -- or at least it should be -- to the ideal of responsible manhood, i.e., the post-biological categories -- or divine deputations -- of Husband and Father (either literally or figuratively).

But in a purely secular world, time has no qualities or properties that condition our existence. Rather, it is simply a "straight line" leading from nothing to nowhere.

Sure, we can make up conventions such as birthdays, anniversaries, baptisms, confirmations, and awards shows, but they are only human contrivances to make it seem like time isn't just a graveyard train hurtling us toward the tomb and that celebrities aren't just a bunch of selfish narcissists.

Religious forms are not intended to "invent" but to disclose and acknowledge reality. And in some sense, most of these forms revolve around birth and death -- or death and rebirth. Obviously a funeral has this explicit purpose in mind. Likewise circumcision, baptism, and communion.

But so too is marriage a funeral rite. It is the death of the mere "man" or "woman" and their rebirth as husband and wife, which only a fool would regard as somehow "equivalent" (equal yes, but hardly equivalent -- thank God!).

Now, one-to-a-customer man-woman marriage is obviously a Judeo-Christian ideal. However, unfortunately, so too is the destruction of this sacred institution. I say this because the unchurched mob that mindlessly clamors for the redefinition of its plain meaning are usually motivated by such fine Judeo-Christian liberal principles as tolerance, compassion, and fairness. It is "not fair" that two people of the same sex cannot get married. End of discussion.

This only goes to show that any virtue isolated from the others and removed from its properly organic hierarchy will eventually turn upon itself. As Don Colacho observes, and history confirms, "The devil can achieve nothing great without the careless collaboration of the virtues." And "The fool calls conclusions he does not understand 'prejudices.'"

With this sleight of unseen hands, the leftist places his sanctimoniass on the side of angels and has no obligation to engage with the bigots who beg to differ with him.

Ratzinger, in Salt of the Earth, notes that "law without a foundation in morality becomes injustice." Misguided leftists pretend they want to preserve a "wall of separation" between religion and government, but what they really mean is that they want to impose their materialistic value system on the rest of us, and that our traditional Judeo-Christian value system somehow violates a Constitution that the left otherwise doesn't take seriously anyway: you know, "the Constitution has no fixed meaning, and you're violating it!"

What are the values that animate the left's desire to impose "homosexual marriage?" Obviously the values cannot have a transcendent or objective source. Therefore they are immanent only, invented by man and rooted in his shifting sensibilities.

For the leftist, this ultimately means that in order to distinguish wrong from right -- or this action from that -- he consults his feelings. It feels good -- even superior! -- to permit people of the same sex to marry, and what kind of assoul wants to make people feel bad?

Again, in the Judeo-Christian tradition, time is not linear, but nor is it circular, as it is for pagans and other Nietzsche brothers living in Bongo Congo. And it certainly isn't determined, as "revealed" by the dreary gods of Islam and scientism. Rather, it is a spiral-bound bewilderness adventure.

As Ratzinger notes in Spirit of the Liturgy, this is "the great movement of the cosmos."

Thus, "Our existence is a kind of fractal of the whole," in that "the small circles of the lives of individuals are inscribed within the one great circle of history as it moves from exitus to reditus. The small circles carry within themselves the great rhythm of the whole, give it concrete forms that are ever new, and so provide it with the force of movement."

This is why, in the book, we symbolize it as ʘ (the dot in the middle is a fractal of the whOle) nestled in the spiraling trinitarian energies of (↓↑). ("So to say," it should otherwise go without saying at all.)

Ratzinger continues: "The two -- the great circle and the small circles -- are interconnected" in such a way that "worship is bound up with all three dimensions of the cross-shaped movement: the personal, the social, and the universal."

But critically, what distinguishes the Judeo-Christian understanding from, say, Plotinus, is that the initial "exitus" is not some kind of mistake or necessary prolongation of the One, but rather, a positive and free act of creation. It is a gift, not a curse.

And man's troubled predicament in this annoying "vortex of finitude" is not intrinsic to our nature, but a fall from it. It doesn't have to be this way, since nothing can negate our freedom. It is wounded, yes, but not killed.

Not yet, anyway.

41 Comments:

Blogger LexAequitas said...

I'm a bit confused, you first say that those supporting gay marriage are motivated by Judeo-Christian ideals such as tolerance, compassion, and fairness, and then go on to say the values motivating them cannot have any transcendent source. Are these values not sourced transcendentally, and if not, why call them "Judeo-Christian" instead of simply "Western"?

I'm also a little unclear about what you mean by having gay marriage "forced on us". I'm not under any compulsion to recognize gay marriage -- I remain free to regard a gay "married" couple as just living together. Maybe it would have more relevance if I had a state job, but even then it would just be regarding practicalities like taxes or inheritance or somesuch, and I wouldn't need to personally consider them spiritually wedded.

6/28/2011 08:47:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6/28/2011 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

"I'm not under any compulsion to recognize gay marriage"

Precisely.
Soon you will not be able to say "gay marriage" (out loud). You will have to remove the adjective "gay". However, you will be able to use the term "opposite sex marriage". Which of course was once considered redundant, but for a very short time, during your reeducation.

6/28/2011 09:42:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Unity involves the synthesis of contraries and the ordering of degrees of being. That being the case, it is precisely the opposite of the left's horizontalized approach to reality"...

, and leads directly to...
"...For the leftist, this ultimately means that in order to distinguish wrong from right -- or this action from that -- he consults his feelings. It feels good -- even superior!..."

, at speeds of up to 32' per second, per second.

6/28/2011 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

LexAequitas said "I'm a bit confused, you first say that those supporting gay marriage are motivated by Judeo-Christian ideals such as tolerance, compassion, and fairness, and then go on to say the values motivating them cannot have any transcendent source."

Looks like you missed this part,

"This only goes to show that any virtue isolated from the others and removed from its properly organic hierarchy will eventually turn upon itself. As Don Colacho observes, and history confirms, "The devil can achieve nothing great without the careless collaboration of the virtues." And "The fool calls conclusions he does not understand 'prejudices.'""

It does get confusing when you just analyze and forget to synthesize... just as you start building up an argument, it just falls down on you.

6/28/2011 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Religious forms are not intended to "invent" but to disclose and acknowledge reality.

That is truth.

As Someone said, "These signs shall follow them that believe."

6/28/2011 10:42:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

The devil can achieve nothing great without the careless collaboration of the virtues.

There is no demonic virtue even as there is no demonic truth. The devil and the left borrow Judeo-Christian virtues and pervert them. Having none of their own, it's really all they can do.

6/28/2011 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Mushroom said "Having none of their own, it's really all they can do."

Yeah, the bummer of being a nihilist... is that you can't be a nihilist.

And it burns.

6/28/2011 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Religious forms are not intended to "invent" but to disclose and acknowledge reality. And in some sense, most of these forms revolve around birth and death -- or death and rebirth. Obviously a funeral has this explicit purpose in mind. Likewise circumcision, baptism, and communion.

Mushroom has a rather apropos post up, which he probably won't mention:

"We should expect no end to the writing of histories, especially given the agendas of the progressive historians like Howard Zinn. Imagine if the Bible, in the Pentateuch and Joshua, rather than telling the tales of the Israelites and God’s intention for them to inhabit the Promised Land, told of the indignities suffered by the Egyptians or focused on the oppression and displacement of the people of Canaan. How would the Israelites have maintained their identity and founded a nation?"

In other words, how would they have known they were on a spiral and not merely an endless circle if the nature of reality had not been revealed and reveiled to them?

6/28/2011 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger Sal said...

Happy Birthday, MizzE!

6/28/2011 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Lex:

If being against the redefinition of marriage is morally identical to being against interracial marriage -- as its advocates say -- then you can be sure that churches that do not recognize it will soon enough lose their tax exempt status. The statists will adopt the same strategy they have toward the Boy Scouts, whom they are trying to hound out of existence for not wanting to have openly homosexual leaders.

Also, I do not want my son to attend a state indoctrination center, where he is taught that it makes no difference whatsoever whether he marries a man or woman. This hits me in the pocketbook, because I have to send him to a private school to spare him the abuse, while still paying taxes to support the leftist seminaries

6/28/2011 02:06:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Speaking of circularity and marriage, this paragraph from Introduction to Christianity seems fitting today:

"Lastly, it could be demonstrated that the finality of the alliance of two human beings, which Christian faith knows to be established by the Yes of love on which marriage is based, also has its roots here. Indissoluble marriage is in fact only comprehensible and feasible on the basis of faith in God's henceforward irrevocable decision, embodied in Christ, in favor of "marriage" with mankind (cf. Eph 5:22-33). It stands or falls with this faith; in the long run, it is just as impossible outside this faith as it is necessary within it. And once again it should be stated that it is precisely this apparent fixation on the decision of one moment in life that enables man to march forward, to consolidate himself stage by stage, while the continual annulment of such decisions keeps sending him back to the beginning again and condemns him to a circular motion that encloses itself in the fiction of eternal youth and thus refuses to accept the totality of human existence.

6/28/2011 03:31:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Schuon also has a good essay in From the Divine to the Human called "The Message of the Human Body."

The question ultimately comes down to whether sexual identification is essential or accidental. Thus, it is no surprise that so many products of modern liberal indoctrination are neither man nor woman, just a weird hybrid.

Again, it is abusive to both the individual and culture to interfere with a child's acquisition of a strong sexual identity, because it is no exaggeration to say that the principle task of a culture is to transform boys to men. Look at a culture's masculine ideal, and you can pretty much assess its value. At the same time, warp female identity and it will result in a different kind of man, as we can see quite vividly, since men will lower -- or elevate -- themselves to whatever is sexually available.

6/28/2011 04:09:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

In other words, we end up with either wimps or barbarians, who are really just two sides of the same coin. Obama is a quintessential example of the type.

6/28/2011 04:14:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Yeah, I can't quite see that whole "messiah" gig working a second time, when four years of bitter reality will have thoroughly disillusioned a significant number of previous Obama voters.

6/28/2011 04:40:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Speaking of the warping of male and female identity, I find it astonishing that Margaret Sanger actually thought contraception would make women view their husbands as sex gods worthy of "profoundest worship." Again, the reality of decades of cheap sex has had quite the opposite effect; in fact, with women being by far the main instigators of divorce, I can't help wondering if they have largely forgotten how to love men altogether, much less find them worthy of worship or adoration.

6/28/2011 04:48:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes. Idealization can only be nurtured in the space between desire and fulfillment. Collapse that human space and it is reduced to animal attraction, unless the two are specifically committed to something higher -- the "higher third," as it were. This is quite obviously one of the primary purposes of marriage. I am by no means opposed to same sex couples working out their own type of formal commitment protected by law. But it reflects a singular absence of wisdom and self-understanding to poach ours.

6/28/2011 05:21:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Thanks for the ref, Julie.

RE: reasonably bright. Occasionally I am wrong, but I am still amused.

6/28/2011 07:28:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"I say this because the unchurched mob that mindlessly clamors for the redefinition of its plain meaning are usually motivated by such fine Judeo-Christian liberal principles as tolerance, compassion, and fairness."

Aye. They like to "fix" stuff that ain't broken.
Then they wonder why their fix doesn't make it work better, oblivious to the fact that they broke it.

Doesn't matter how good the intentions or motivations, if there is no corrosponding intellect n' wisdom to go along with it then it's just another nicely paved highway to hell.

6/28/2011 08:19:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I would also add: the unchurched mob also perverts the very principles that motivate them.

This is how we get idiots who are all about "mercy" for criminals but virtually ignore justice or the people criminals hurt and/or murder.
They are imbalanced to say the least and they cherry pick only certain principles as it suits them.

6/28/2011 08:29:00 PM  
Blogger John Lien said...

So much good stuff tonight.

@julie. That marriage passage was powerful stuff. Personally, the timing was good. Funny the route some answers take.

@anon. Just because Lee Atwater said it doesn't make it true. That warped thinking is a narrative that you must believe in order to make us boogeymen. Then you can dismiss our views because, well, we are boogeymen!

@Bob.
"I am by no means opposed to same sex couples working out their own type of formal commitment protected by law. But it reflects a singular absence of wisdom and self-understanding to poach ours."

I agree but I think you are being too kind. Their insistance upon calling their unions Marriage is an act of aggression.

6/28/2011 09:28:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

True.

And Mushroom makes a good point: one must distinguish the vertical relation of God-human (i.e., man in the image of the Absolute) from the horizontal complementarity of man-woman (i.e., "male and female he created them").

6/28/2011 10:07:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Thanks to all the @'s, there's not a thing left to say, and what was said was said better and more in tune than I'd imagined it.

What a remarkable place this is.

Virtual my ass.

6/28/2011 10:36:00 PM  
Blogger John said...

Timothy Dalrymple, at Patheos - Philosophical Fragments patheos@patheos.com , asks,
Is Homosexuality Voluntary? This meditation is useful.

Bob, Great post.

6/28/2011 11:01:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

John,
Thanks for mentioning the Timothy Dalrymple posts. I thought the Intro and second in the series are good also.

6/29/2011 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Very good. That is quite close to the truth, but too prone to misunderstanding to be included in the canon.

6/29/2011 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger William said...

What is wrong with this picture? We are in a fiscal crisis and why do these idiots spend mental energy on abortion, gay marriage, banning Sharia law, English only laws, Planned Parenthood, NPR, NEA, busting unions … things meant to divide, foster hate, eliminate rights, etc…

Which side of the aisle do ALL of this issues come from? The side that has become mentally ill with such foolish obsessions.

Such people need to start a new christian theocratic nation and leave these UNITED States of America alone and quit trumpeting these foolish obsessions so America can solve real problems address serious issues like the deficit, jobs, infrastructure, education, innovation, international relations, research and development.

Interesting to note that MA has the lowest divorce rate in America - a state where gay marriage is legal. The highest divorce rates are in the conservative states... oh the sanctity of marriage!

As for family values, conservatives are also the biggest consumers of pornography.

Perfect.

6/30/2011 05:48:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

What is wrong with this picture? We are in a fiscal crisis and why do these leftist idiots spend mental energy on promoting abortion, redefining marriage, appeasing Islamists, promoting multiculturalism, funding "Planned Parenthood" and state propaganda though NPR, forcing us to pay for art no one wants, rescuing public employee unions that are bankrupting state governments … things meant to divide, foster hate, eliminate rights, etc…

6/30/2011 06:05:00 PM  
Blogger William said...

No one is "promoting abortion" ... the legislative agenda to protect abortion rights is nil compared to the recent efforts to the contrary.

You're a virtual bullshit fountain.

6/30/2011 06:12:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Abortion doesn't matter but pornography does?

6/30/2011 06:12:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

William,
I don't know why you come here. It's clearly not fruitful for any of us.

6/30/2011 06:23:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

It takes either chutzpah or epic cluelessness to suggest that conservatives are somehow preoccupied with changing the fundamental institution of our civilization that has stood for thousands of years.

6/30/2011 06:23:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

My 17 year old son knows what abortion is to the 14th decimal place. I know he didn't learn it from me.

6/30/2011 06:25:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

He comes here for the same reason I couldn't stop listening to Dennis Prager, even though I couldn't stand him.

6/30/2011 06:26:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

I really hope.

6/30/2011 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

BRB, I have some pornography on the stove..

6/30/2011 06:32:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

354 visits since Apr 12, 2011 so either that or he's a masochist. He's my most loyal reader.

6/30/2011 06:33:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

That hurts, Bob.

6/30/2011 06:37:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

willian croaked "What is wrong with this picture? We are in a fiscal crisis and why do these idiots spend mental energy on abortion, gay marriage, banning Sharia law, English only laws, Planned Parenthood, NPR, NEA, busting unions … things meant to divide, foster hate, eliminate rights, etc…"

It was the finer points of Western Civilization that got us to the pinacle of history - those finer points being respecting and defending individual rights, property rights, the free market, Western sensibilities of the importance of the family, a community of shared values, manners, self responsibility, work ethic, etc.

I won't point out the obvious, you wouldn't see it even if I did, but the rest of us are having another good laugh at your expense.

Thanks yet again.

6/30/2011 07:01:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Bob@ 6:33,
That is both weird and strangely heartening. Though if all this attention presages a metanoia on his part, I don't envy him the pain he will feel upon awakening...

6/30/2011 10:17:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

At least one other person lives in William's fantasy world, so he's not completely alone. Yuval Levin:

"[Obama's press conference] had the feel of a childish tantrum by a person who desperately wishes he were living in a different reality — one in which he is the heroic man of action and his opponents are irresponsible and weak. But the fact is, the president and congressional Democrats have so far utterly failed to offer any path out of our fiscal problems — problems that they have greatly exacerbated. The president proposed a budget in February that would have increased the deficit, and then he retracted it in April and proposed nothing in particular in its place. Senate Democrats have not proposed a budget in two years; they now suggest they finally have one, though apparently it won’t really be brought to a vote. Republicans, meanwhile, have proposed a specific path out of our fiscal mess — averting a debt crisis and setting the budget on a course toward balance through discretionary cuts, budget-process reforms, and gradual but significant entitlement reforms. Rather than negotiate over that budget, the president has chosen to play the demagogue, simultaneously insisting that the budget offers nothing and that it goes too far in cutting government services (medical research, food inspectors, and the weather service are apparently in particular danger, he said yesterday, providing a kind of Salvador Dali map of post-modern lifestyle liberalism)."

7/01/2011 06:38:00 AM  

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