Friday, September 30, 2011

And Why Do We Fall, B'atman? So We Might Learn to Pick Ourselves Up

There are two kinds of men: Those who believe in original sin and idiots. --Don Colacho

Interesting night. What began as a minor disturbance in the force yesterday morning, evolved into a full-blown cold just at bedtime. As such, I was absolutely unable to sleep, and eventually gave up trying. I got up at around 3:30, and have now been awake for, let's see -- almost 24 hours.

At the moment I feel pretty good, but you know how that goes. At some point today there's gonna be a crash.

In any event, with 1,800 posts nestled away in the knowa's arkive, why put any additional strain on the already taxed Gagdad pneumasomatic system? Why not just remumble a little gnosissed and long fleabitten piece of bloggerel from five years ago?

I don't know about you, but these old & moldies are always new to me, plus reposting them gives me the opportunity to entertain second thoughts about those rough first drafts of cosmic history, and determine if they need to be brought up to standards of the Current Truth which never changes.

Also, speaking of memoirs of the future, it occurred to me that perhaps it's time for another guided tour around the impossibly rich world of Meditations on the Tarot. To my knowledge it remains the best book on orthoparadoxical Christian esoterism, and in many ways, it is what started the whole "Raccoon craze" that swept the nation when I first began blogging six years ago. Many new readers have come on board the cosmic bus since then, so perhaps this would be a useful service.

On the other hand, I may regret having brought it up after I get some sleep.

Another possible direction I've been toying with is a series of posts on pure metaphysics, showing how everything fits together with a series of undeniable axioms that harmelodically build upon and interlock with one another, and which are reflected in the implicit metaphysic of revelation.

Naturally I wouldn't rely upon Schuon -- except perhaps to use his ideas for all they're worth -- but I would like to rethink them through from the ground up (or top down) and spread some of my special vertilizer on these seeds. One major difference is that Schuon believed Vedanta to be the "universal metaphysic," but I respectfully disagree. Rather, I believe it is found in the Judeo-Christian stream, of which other religions are partial reflections, in large part because I believe the Trinity to be "more absolute" than any monad.

Anyway, here is your old post, updated and revised. If necessary. Let's call it, I don't know... how about The Lure of Nothingness:

As we have discussed on many occasions, the current divide between left and right, between illiberal leftism and the classic American liberalism of the Fathers, mirrors an ontological divide that goes back to the very Origin and Center of the cosmos.

Looked at in one way, this Origin and Center are situated in the distant (horizontal) past, where history blurs into myth. However, looked at from an other angle -- the vertical -- they can only be situated in the now, since the now is precisely where eternity bisects time, so to speak. Mainly through us.

Human beings are fallen creatures in a fallen world. This concept is thoroughly misunderstood by the secularized mind, perhaps owing to their formidable shallowness and invincible idiocy.

In fact, “misunderstood” is perhaps not a strong enough word, because it presumes that one may understand this principle from the outside. However, as is true of all important metaphysical ideas that are couched in religious language, they can only be comprehended from the inside. One must first be in a religious world to know the world from which religion arises. Otherwise you are somewhat like a music critic who just happens to be deaf.

For similar reasons, most people believe one must first somehow decide whether or not God exists before joining in with the religious fun, but the opposite is true. One becomes religious so as to make God present in one’s life.

Whether or not God exists is a separate issue. Besides, if he doesn't exist, only he knows it. The important point is to make him present and real, and thus inhabit the space where our true humanness emerges. Anything short of this makes one merely human, which is necessarily to say less than human, in the sense that a person who fails to transcend himself sinks beneath himself.

For man alone, a merely "natural" existence is completely unnatural and more than a little pathetic. This is something everyone knows, since knowledge as such depends upon this prior transcendence. The tenured can deny it, but in so doing they affirm it. Way it is.

Once upon a timeless -- we don't have to reify the details -- human consciousness "fell" from one state to another. It is not necessarily a matter of assigning blame, because in order for there to be a cosmos at all -- a manifestivus for the rest of us -- there must in some sense be a "fall," for to say “manifestation” is to say “other than the God,” is to say “relative,” is to say “alienation,” death, toil, and trouble. And here we are.

(It seems to me that in the Christian West they emphasize more the volitional component -- and therefore sin -- whereas in the East they focus more on the inevitability; I think there is room for both, i.e., for both Easter and Christmas, Atonement/Resurrection and Incarnation.)

So we make the vertical leap from up to down and inside out, without which there could not be a sensible cosmos. We exchange essence for existence and plunge headlong into this veil of tears, the cosmic nothing. The link with the invisible world is broken, and a visible world fills the void. Bang! What a strange, eery, beautiful place!

Having said that....

“We must distrust the fascination abysses can exert over us; it is in the nature of cosmic impasses to seduce and play the vampire; the current of forms does not want us to escape its hold. Forms can be snares just as they can be symbols and keys; beauty can chain us to forms just as it can be a door to the non-formal” (Schuon).

The “cosmic leftism” of which Petey, the merciful, the compassionate, the gaseous, speaks, is the fascination of the abyss. In other worlds, it is an extension or prolongation of the fall as a solution to the fall. Should we venture down this path, we become just like a human, only worse.

If we can only keep falling, then perhaps we will “break on through” to the other side, perfect mankind, create heaven on earth, and win the human race. Thus, on the deepest cosmic level, our cultural divide reflects a much larger choice: reverse the fall, or keep on plunging? Or, one could say: or O or ø. Don't kid yourself. It really is that simple and that stark: God or nothing. Creation or Nihilism. Obama or anyone.

Leftists are activists. And they are socially aware. And they are committed. But their frenetic activity is a substitute for the calm and expansiveness of Being. Theirs is “the restless and disappointing turmoil of superfluous things” (Schuon); their self-styled "social awareness" is a poor substitute for vertical awareness; and their "commitment" is an ersatz replacement for faith -- faith in a false absolute that necessarily elevates man to god, for in this provincial view there can be nothing higher than the human beastling. And soon enough, nothing lower.

This is why leftism generates such emotionality in its adherents -- it is religious emotion in the absence of religion. Just as it is almost impossible to treat alcoholism in the absence of a spiritual awakening, I don't see how someone could truly recover from the left without the assistance of nonlocal operators. At the very least, one must become aware of the deeper reality behind the play of appearances, of which the human world is a kind of reflection herebelow.

This plunge of allegiance to the fog represents a hypnotic capitulation to a kind of entropic pull that is always present in humans. In an analogy I have used many times with patients, it is as if we have one "force" that pushes -- or pulls -- us into the future, into novelty, growth, change, and development; and a "counter-force" that runs in the opposite direction, toward stasis, fear of change, regression to safety, etc.

One sees this quite vividly in the developing child, since every developmental stage is fraught with ambivalence: become more independent? Yes! Oops. Where's mommy! There is this constant push for individuation and autonomy, alternating with separation anxiety and abandonment depression.

The reversal of the cosmic fall cannot be achieved, much less imposed, collectively. Rather, it can only be accompliced one assoul at a time through metanoia, repentance, or “turning around,” toward the Light of our transpersonal sun and source.

Secularism begins and therefore ends with the material world. Being that the material world is a shifting and transitory world, one can only derive a shifting and transitory metaphysic from its study. This is by no means to devalue science, only to not confuse it with metaphysics.

Furthermore, with this inversion, one will necessarily confuse the Principle with its manifestation. One will have to adhere, for example, to a bizarre metaphysic that permits a wholly accidental and contingent mind to know absolutely.

Here is what we have heard from the wise. In “reality,” the cosmos may be thought of as a kind of message from God to Himself by Himself, so long as one doesn't take the analogy too far.

But this should by no means be taken as an excuse for pantheism or narcissism, since the message is nonetheless real. For while God is both Alpha and Omega, sender and recipient, the message is deployed in time, and time is a mode of Eternity. We have received -- or assimilated -- the good news of the message when we have achieved our end.

Which is to say, beginning. A flesh start. Perpetually born and borne again, on the river of time to the ocean of eternity. Existence renewed. Been here before. First time. Older than Abraham, young as a babe's I-AM. The circle unbroken by and by.

The Son of God became man so that man might become God. --Saint Athanasius

53 Comments:

Blogger JP said...

I vote for more MOT. Specifically, because I now have my own copy.

Anyway, let's talk about the "fall" in terms of Mormonism. Maybe the fall is inevitable, in the sense that you have to be born, but it's a conscious decision as to whether you decide to fall any deeper.

I actually don't mind core Mormon thought metaphysical thought (to the extent that there is any). It's the autistic exoterism, polygamy, historical revisionism, and insularity that I have a problem with.

9/30/2011 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Another possible direction I've been toying with is a series of posts on pure metaphysics, showing how everything fits together with a series of undeniable axioms that harmelodically build upon and interlock with one another, and which are reflected in the implicit metaphysic of revelation."

Please listen to your GPS (Gagdad Posting Service), 'Turn here. Now!'

9/30/2011 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

perhaps it's time for another guided tour around the impossibly rich world of Meditations on the Tarot.

Another possible direction I've been toying with is a series of posts on pure metaphysics, showing how everything fits together with a series of undeniable axioms that harmelodically build upon and interlock with one another, and which are reflected in the implicit metaphysic of revelation.


We have to choose? I vote for both!

9/30/2011 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger John Lien said...

I'll take some of each please.

Tragedy of the Commons, Bob. We will use you up until you are a shriveled husk. Don't take it personally.

9/30/2011 09:49:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

For man alone, a merely "natural" existence is completely unnatural and more than a little pathetic. This is something everyone knows, since knowledge as such depends upon this prior transcendence.

And yet, not only leftists, but a great many libertarian folkers think that what is "natural" is what is best. We are so far removed from the very real, "red in tooth and claw" harshness of man's basest state of living that many people think we should go back to it, one way or another. Perhaps it is no surprise that the most foolish of these types that I have seen seem to be atheists...

9/30/2011 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Whether or not God exists is a separate issue. Besides, if he doesn't exist, only he knows it. The important point is to make him present and real, and thus inhabit the space where our true humanness emerges. Anything short of this makes one merely human, which is necessarily to say less than human, in the sense that a person who fails to transcend himself sinks beneath himself."

The image that... rose to mind, was of a person fragmented by mind parasites, neurosis', etc, deiciding to seek after the truth, doggedly pursuing it, internalizing it, and gradually untangling and casting aside the errors and issues, and coming into himself once and for all.

There was a news bit a couple weeks ago, where scientists had been struggling for years to understand the structure of a protein, and they heard about a video game designed around proteins, and they offered the gamers a challenge of deciphering their 'ultimate' protein puzzle.

The geeks solved it in 3 weeks.

here it is,
"Gamers have solved the structure of a retrovirus enzyme whose configuration had stumped scientists for more than a decade. The gamers achieved their discovery by playing Foldit, an online game that allows players to collaborate and compete in predicting the structure of protein molecules."

Speaking of singularities and virtual realities (and budding SciFi authors)... imagine a future where you can transfer the structure of your mental cogitations into a computer, and virtually inhabit it, actually 'see what you think'.

Whadayasuppose it would look like if you transposed your neurotic self into a virtual world, and then put yourself into the 'Sim City' peoples, in order to resolve your issues?

Betcha if such a 'game' ever became possible, it'd be a lot more fun to play, if once you entered the game, you could forget you were playing one.

Huh.

9/30/2011 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

Van says:

"Betcha if such a 'game' ever became possible, it'd be a lot more fun to play, if once you entered the game, you could forget you were playing one."

Notwithstanding the fact that we're already immortals playing this "game" on the board of time and space, such a device would be extremely useful for people with severe physical disabilities, as it would enable their life to be fuller.

9/30/2011 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Van, I heard about that. Pretty interesting. I want to know when they'll have a game out for crowdsourcing a workable hyperdrive. Or teleportation device (come to think of it, in some ways I suppose they're much the same, it's just a matter of scale...).

As to virtually gaming your neuroses, there's an interesting application. Though I can't help wondering if the sorts of people who would do that aren't the sorts of people who already do it, in a manner of speaking, via traditional methods of self-reflection...

9/30/2011 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

I love the Mitchum picture. I need to find Night of the Hunter on DVD. All the grandkids should watch it at some point.

The inevitability of the Fall is present in Western Christianity, but more implied than stated explicitly. Many Christians would probably be uncomfortable with the idea, as if it meant that God had somehow provided for evil. Nevertheless, the Bible does say that all of God’s works were finished from the foundation of the world.

9/30/2011 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger Open Trench said...

I would like to inhabit Van's full-immersion Sim's game.

Think of the possibilities...no work, all play, and no limits.

One could debauch like a Roman Empress, lying on a couch, having servants fan you, hold a grape cluster over your lips, paint your toenails, etc etc.

Sign me up.

9/30/2011 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

b.h.o.t. said "Think of the possibilities...no work, all play, and no limits."

I believe you'd be stuck on level 1 for a long, long time.

Kind of like here in real life.

'Would you like to play a game?'

Obviously. The real question is if you'd like to really play reality... and the answer is virtue-ally negative.

9/30/2011 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Re. the either/ or, it occurs to me belatedly that a MotT review with eyes made new may well accomplice the latter, too...

9/30/2011 12:51:00 PM  
Blogger scory said...

Yes. MOTT. I am rereading it and would appreciate any insights you could provide.

JP's post up top is the first time I have seen anyone post anything about Mormonism on this blog. I joined that church in 1996 at the age of 48. I was not a Christian before I joined though I had, in the decade prior, made a fairly sustained effort to study Vedanta and was especially interested in Sri Ramakrishna and his disciples. This brought me into contact with Eckhart and Law, Thomas a Kempis and St. Theresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross and Dionysius the Aeropogate and a number of others whose writings and biographies I found very uplifting and edifying. But I was not a Christian and did not come fully to accept the divinity and necessity of the beloved Savior until well into this decade. I'm still not much of a Christian but at least I got that far.

Most of the time discussions about Mormonism degenerate into nasty name-calling fests. Joseph Smith was greeted with antagonism and ridicule and lived with these every day of his life and the church he organized has lived with these ever since.

There are certainly aspects of the church that are out of the ordinary and I do not pretend to understand or agree with every single aspect of the church's past history or its doctrine. But I doubt I would agree unquestioningly with ANY church's entire doctrine and certainly many of them have rather checkered histories. As Ramakrishna said, all religions contain errors but God is fully aware of this and so long as love of God is sought and cultivated He will certainly straighten all these out for you in the end. So I don't worry so much about what I think are odd notions. What I want and see in this church is a lot of people who have faith in Christ and strive to live up to His teachings and the commandments of God. And I am often amazed (and not a little humbled) by the spiritual insights and knowledge that these people come up with. It seems like every time I start to think that their understanding of religious matters is a bit simple minded and crude someone will teach a lesson or give a sermon that puts the lie to that notion and puts me back in my proper place.

Anyway, I learned to be Christian by joining a church named for Jesus Christ. Which I consider to be a very good thing indeed. I would be interested in any constructive discussions of the church that those who post here might want to make (or not - it is just fine if no one writes a word about it). I have been reading this blog for a few years now and with the exception of the occasional troll everyone else here seems to me to be sincere, insightful from time to time, and respectful.

But I would like to read more about MOTT as I find our Unknown Friend to be a man of amazing intellect, education and spiritual insight and understanding. I certainly do not understand all he has written and have reservations about certain aspects but overall the author was a spirtual genius in my estimation and any help you all can be to furthering my understanding of this work would be greatly appreciated.

9/30/2011 02:14:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Scory - thanks for your perspective. For my part, on the one hand having known quite a few Mormons I find that there is a tremendous amount to respect about the culture and the faith. On the other, I could never be a Mormon because I simply don't believe the Book of Mormon. Family experiences of racism (in the 70s, and I understand thing have improved) have done little to convince me, as well.

That said, I've seen too many Christians treat Mormons as pariahs, either to their faces or (more often) behind their backs, and I think that's just shameful. I live in a heavily Mormon area, and there is a lot of tension between groups, on all sides.

As a teen, I once attended a Bible study group where for several weeks the discussion focused on the elements of Satanism in the Mormon church; it left me disgusted not with Mormons, but with the study group.

Anyway, if being LDS brings you closer to O, it certainly isn't my place to be anything but respectful. Christ may be the door, but there are as many ways to Christ as there are people.

9/30/2011 02:54:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

I just wish that Mormonism would just admit that the Book of Mormon is copied gibberish and move on.

To me, the Book of Mormon has little bearing on Mormonism, being that's is a creature of the Second Great Awakening and is, in fact, the only truly American religion.

The problem with Mormonism is that the truth present in the religion would seem to be at odds with the theological structure built around it.

It will be interesting to see what happens to Mormons as the new generations rise and take control of the organization.

9/30/2011 03:00:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

My view is that I have never yet met a Mormon in person that I did not like. I have not met Harry Reid in person. Walter Martin included the LDS in his books on cults. His view was, as best I recall, that a Mormon could be a Christian but not a "good" Mormon.

I rather doubt that. I discussed our differences at length with a couple of missionaries, and the only real issue was that my previous baptism as a protestant was unacceptable. We agreed on everything else. My contention was that I had been baptized into Christ rather than into a specific church. If Mormonism is a cult, most of the members do not know it.

Consider, too, the Mormon Glenn Beck. There is not a more ardent fundamentalist Christian in America than John Hagee. Yet Hagee and Beck are buds. John Ashcroft never had a problem with Orrin Hatch. I find the organization of the Mormon Church to be rather silly, but I say the same thing about most churches.

9/30/2011 03:29:00 PM  
Blogger Open Trench said...

The book of Mormon is mighty peculiar.

Is there anything to it?

It is as wacky as scientology.

Akhenaten thought God was inside or behind the sun disk (the Aten) and the rays of sun little hands reaching out to touch the skin.

Ever stand in the slanting autumnal sunlight and feel something in those rays?

There could be something to Atenism.

Some of these wierd creeds could be built up around true stuff. Who knows what Bill Smith heard, saw, touched, and smelled?

You just never know.

9/30/2011 04:37:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

OT, I'm a Pentecostal. I have wacky beliefs. The Pope wears funny hats. L. Ron was a con artist. There is no Christ in Scientology; there is only Tom Cruise.

Hey, though, on to real issues. Go Diamondbacks!

Since the Cards are unlikely to get past Philadelphia, we would like to see the Brewers go down as soon as possible, preferably in utter humiliation.

9/30/2011 05:35:00 PM  
Blogger horatio said...

Mormonism relies on the complete ignorance in it's adherents of the Christian tradition.
It claims to accept Christ, yet it rejects His religion.
It posits an erroneous, " apostasy", and then replaces that Divine institution with an amalgam of Masonry and Millenialism.
The Book of Mormon is more complex than many would think, but does not produce sanctity.
As Schuon said, it is intrinsically heterodox.
Yes, Mormons can be "nice". So what.

9/30/2011 10:04:00 PM  
Blogger horatio said...

Furthermore Mushroom,
It is intrinsically heterodox to suggest that the Cards won't get past the Phillies.
I call upon Bob Gibson to strikeout Willie Montanez!

9/30/2011 10:08:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

Non-negative quotes pertinent to scientology & mormonism

"Make it go right" -LRH

"Oh when everything's going right
Till you're satisfied with your life
Till you're living in the Light
Till we get the healing done...

Till you deal with the poison inside
Sometimes you've got to sit down and cry
When you deal with the poison inside
Till we get the healing done"
-Van M


"Joseph! Joseph! Joseph!"
-Brigham Young's last utterance

-being skeptic of the overhyped [from Kanye West through Facebook] & sympathetic to the occasional over-vilified [from Crowley through Serrano + the above]

10/01/2011 04:28:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

The Singularity? You're soaking in it!

Moreover, "They" can already re-create the images in your mind based on a matrix of synaptic impulses already recorded from your brain-pan. Image-reading cannot be far behind language-reading and thus, our very thoughts laid bare.

"What was whispered in secret will be shouted from the rooftops" (or at the least, from radio signals) might be more prescient than we ever imagined.

Tower of Babel, anyone?

10/01/2011 07:32:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Joan, reading that article suddenly makes me long for the days before cell phones, when it was possible to be out of reach of everyone except those in one's immediate vicinity.

Re. mind reading, I take comfort in the fact that, for now, to do so requires scanning in an fMRI; in future, it will at the very least require some sort of prosthetic with some pretty serious magnets embedded, which presumably could do some actual harm if misused or malfunctioning. Though I wouldn't be at all surprised if it also becomes a popular way to get high and seek mystical experiences. Then there's the whole subject of mood regulation...

Anyway, point being you're very likely to only be connected if you choose to be. But Babel, indeed, and what will happen should the networks fall?

10/01/2011 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger stephen b said...

Following a link on Van der Leun's site, I got to John C. Wright's blog and this post: http://www.scifiwright.com/2011/09/the-promissary-note-of-physics/
I just happened to be reading his Golden Age series, so was pleased at this wonderful "coonvolution" of intertube events. Post is further perspective on GB's post today.
MOT was awesome and I thank GB for recommending it, lo those many moons ago.

10/01/2011 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

Julie says:

"Re. mind reading, I take comfort in the fact that, for now, to do so requires scanning in an fMRI; in future, it will at the very least require some sort of prosthetic with some pretty serious magnets embedded, which presumably could do some actual harm if misused or malfunctioning. Though I wouldn't be at all surprised if it also becomes a popular way to get high and seek mystical experiences. Then there's the whole subject of mood regulation...

Anyway, point being you're very likely to only be connected if you choose to be. But Babel, indeed, and what will happen should the networks fall?"

Well, thoughts *already* project, it's just a matter of being able to receive them.

You mean what happens when "The Machine Stops"? (see the short story for details).

Unless someone can tell me exactly how we are going to create a massive amount of cheap energy to keep industrial civilization running, I'm not particularly worried about figure technological wonders. I doubt the Internet (in it's present form) is going to be with us long-term.

10/01/2011 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

jp said "Unless someone can tell me exactly how we are going to create a massive amount of cheap energy to keep industrial civilization running..."

Here ya go.

10/01/2011 11:47:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

I meant after we drain all the cheap energy, Van.

10/01/2011 03:06:00 PM  
Blogger scory said...

Personally I would be quite uncomfortable in a religion or church that was welcomed by all and sundry with open arms and words of universal acceptance and praise.

The comment made about Mormons being ignorant of the Christian tradition is amazingly silly.

No book brings sanctity. The spirit of man infused with the spirit of God brings sanctity. Reading the words of scripture of our spiritual betters can and does inspire the kind of inner search and contemplation that can lead to this. But if a man tells me that he communed with God while reading the Saturday Evening Post I am in no position to declare him a liar and a charlatan.

As for strange beliefs -
Christians believe that a Jewish carpenter some 2,000 years ago went about walking on water, healing the blind, lame and sick and raising the dead. This same carpenter, after stating that he was the son of God, was tortured to death as a blasphemer and liar and general menace to the peace but then came back to life and floated up into the air and on to heaven.

I remember as a child my great grandmother explaining to others in the family why a black couple could not be allowed to attend the First Baptist Church of which she was an ardent member. The blacks could be Baptist but had to attend "their church" which was built for "those people". Blacks have never been denied membership in the LDS church but they were denied the opportunity to access the priesthood and thus were effectively barred from positions of leadership (this was changed in 1978). To my knowledge there has never been a case of a Mormon mob lynching a black man. Neither have Mormons ever burned Jews at the stake or hanged Quakers.

10/01/2011 03:07:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Not all Mormons are so pure. I have a Mormon neighbor who once used the hand towels in his bathroom clearly embroidered with "hers."

10/01/2011 03:11:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Oh, and when caught in the act, he pretended he hadn't noticed because he'd just washed his face and he was squinting because there was water in his eyes.

Typical.

10/01/2011 03:15:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

One time the mailman accidentally put some of my junkmail in his mailbox, and he didn't give it to me until the following day.

10/01/2011 03:16:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Another time he was mowing his lawn and "accidentally" crossed the boundary line and mowed some of the grass on my side of the parking strip. When I confronted him, he stammered, "well, you were going to mow it anyway, weren't you?," implying that I wasn't. Talk about passive-aggressive.

10/01/2011 03:22:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

jp replayed "I meant after we drain all the cheap energy, Van. "

Yeah. I know you did. I realize you're dead set against learning anything that goes against what you prefer to fear, but... here ya go:

W H E N W I L L T H E O I L R U N O U T ?
"It is commonly asked, when will the world’s supply of oil be exhausted? The best one-word answer: Never. Since the human race began to use minerals, there has been eternal struggle — stingy nature versus inquisitive mankind. The payoff is the price of the mineral, and mankind has won big, so far.

However, alarmists point to world oil prices and claim that what has happened “so far” will not continue much longer. They might have a point — if the world oil market featured several different, competitive suppliers. But instead, it is dominated by a monopoly supplier, so the higher prices in themselves mean nothing. To understand this, one needs a quick course in resource economics.
"

, or,

Why the world is not about to run out of oil

You might see more than a little of yourself in this one, "doom-slayer" Julian Simon (who sung most of your favorite doomies)

But if you'd like to choke down the truth in a more conspiratorial atmosphere, here ya go The Myth Of Peak Oil.

10/01/2011 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

@Bob, scandalous. I don't know how you put up with neighbors like that.

When I was a kid, if I slept over at one of my Mormon friends' houses on a Saturday night, I was expected to go to church with the family on Sunday morning. But that's not the worst part; they actually insisted I wear a skirt.

On an unrelated note, I have to ask: I assume the new pic is a movie poster; what's it from?

10/01/2011 04:37:00 PM  
Blogger horatio said...

Scory,
You ignorant misguided @&;$!

Mormonism teaches that very early on, the authority to officiate in the name of God was lost entirely from the earth.
This is a full on rejection of the Christian tradition-Catholicism, Orthodoxy, saints, sages, art, etc.
They really believe that Jesus, Peter, James, et al came and returned and delivered it back to, wait for it, Joseph Smith.
Here's how you know they believe that. Let's have a Catholic, say, ask a Mormon if their baptism is sufficient for salvation.
All else about Mormonism meaningless as it regards it's efficacy. Yes, many nice, well meaning folks. The religion, being without Divine sanction cannot produce salvation or sanctity.
To accept Mormonism is to explicitly reject all other branches of the Christian tradition.

10/01/2011 05:31:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Wow. That seems a little uncalled-for. I don't recall Scory being a dick about his faith, nor being here to proselytize.

10/01/2011 06:23:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Off topic, but after a typical exchange with a liberal acquaintance, it occurred to me that assent to liberalism is impossible if one:

1) uses proper syntax and grammar
2) understands and respects the meaning of words, and
3) avoids logical fallacies.

Haven't thought it through, but it would explain the priorities of the liberal educational establishment. And if one fails to abide by these, the ability to think is crippled at the foundation.

10/01/2011 06:41:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

It also explains why talking to a liberal is very much like talking to a "dark swamp."

10/01/2011 06:42:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Gadzooks!

You are absolutely correct. And the implications are truly disturbing.

10/01/2011 06:52:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

In a way, it follows my practice of "stop reading when you come across the first flagrantly stupid sentence."

Try it with liberal editorialists at Real Clear Politics. The liberal who can write the most sentences before saying something stupid, wins!

10/01/2011 06:57:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Test case. First liberal article at RCP:

"The latest group to claim victim status is the rich."

Nope. Couldn't make it past the first sentence.

10/01/2011 07:04:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Here's one from an influential thinker, i.e., feeler, on the left, Glen Greenwald. Let's see how far he can get!

The first paragraph is all factual. No problemo.

Oops! Second paragraph:

"[The US] almost certainly was able to find and kill Awlaki with the help of its long-time close friend President Saleh, who took a little time off from murdering his own citizens to help the U.S. murder its. The U.S. thus transformed someone who was, at best, a marginal figure into a martyr, and again showed its true face to the world."

*****

So "the world" and Greenwald are in accord: the US is no different than any terror state that murders its own citizens. This is our "true face."

10/01/2011 07:13:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"1) uses proper syntax and grammar
2) understands and respects the meaning of words, and
3) avoids logical fallacies."


OMG.

Gagdad, if you have not yet, read Richard Mitchell, he was a lit professor and grammarian. He began by hand printing a newsletter, he thought, just skewering the grammatical embarrassments of his college's admin staff... and then found, horrifyingly, that those errors were just the signs of the 'worms in the brain'.

Going off memory here, but either the 'Gift of Fire' or "Less Than Words Can Say", though I think 'Less than...' first.

Both available online for free at same site.

10/01/2011 08:24:00 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Bob, re: your Mormon neighbor, if there is a famine you don't have to worry, just break out the old shot gun ;-)
See those Smithites are good for something.

10/01/2011 09:37:00 PM  
Blogger horatio said...

Julie,
You must have not seen the early SNL debate bits. Too bad....

10/01/2011 09:51:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Horatio - yes, I have seen the referenced sketch, but since you didn't actually use the word "slut" I didn't pick up on that. Also, your take-down in the rest of the comment didn't exactly come across as friendly banter.

Whatever Mormons in general think about "Catholicism, Orthodoxy, saints, sages, art, etc.," it seems that Scory doesn't have a problem with any of that, given his stated interests. Whether your broad brush applies in general, I wouldn't know, but it certainly seems to be off the mark here.

10/01/2011 10:09:00 PM  
Blogger horatio said...

Of course I am trying to be nothing, if not friendly.
What better friend can I be than to disabuse someone of error?
No doubt Scory holds his own views relative to this and that. A religion is not a cafeteria, though. There are doctrines and Mormonism's are heterodox.
This isn't like arguing over whether a Catholic can be a democrat and still be saved. It's about whether one's religion is salvific or not.
It is not my objective to personally attack Scory I'm the slightest.

Your responses, though, have made me think of a question for you, or others her for that matter. If Scory had made the same comments about Islam, what would your response have been?

10/01/2011 10:43:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Speaking of "whether a Catholic can be a Democrat and still be saved," does anyone know why Catholic politicians who facilitate and normalize abortion, and advance the homosexual agenda, aren't excommunicated? Tolerance is one thing, but it seems to me that active promotion crosses a line.

10/02/2011 07:45:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

My responses would have been pretty much the same. I am not bothered by the thought of a Muslim who seeks a deeper esoteric wisdom. Schuon was a Sufi, after all. So long as the hypothetical Muslim isn't being a dick and ranting about Jihad and the terrible treatment of Palestinians, I could really care less. Nor do I care is someone is Jewish or Hindu.

As to disabusing someone of error, in this case it seems enough to say simply, "I don't believe in the Book of Mormon." This is clearly someone who is not an idiot, not being rude, and who is not unfamiliar with Christianity. For whatever reason, his search for truth has led him to the LDS. I'm far more concerned with the "Search for Truth" part than the "LDS" part. If he's a genuine seeker, God will lead him where he needs to be.

As to mainstream Mormons in general, well, "by their fruits shall ye know them." In my personal experience, they tend to be good and decent folk who take their faith seriously. By contrast, I've known a lot of Christians whose behavior as Christians make Christ look pretty bad.

10/02/2011 07:48:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Bob, that's a really good question.

10/02/2011 07:51:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Oh yes, the profile pic? It's a copy of my birth announcement. My parents couldn't agree on anything.

10/02/2011 08:07:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

:D

10/02/2011 08:08:00 AM  
Blogger Dougman said...

Mormanism was a wonderful religion for me to visit, but I just couldn't live there.

In fact, I haven't found one yet where I can.

Maybe I'm damned?

wv:dishoup
There's gotta be a song in there somewhere.

10/02/2011 03:46:00 PM  

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