Tuesday, September 06, 2011

An Important Bulletin from the Millennial Vortex: We Have Defeated the Racist Tea Baggers!

Let's begin with some definitions, because there are distinctly different types of millennial thought and behavior, some of which are terribly -- apocalyptically -- destructive, others of which are quite benign, constructive, and in my opinion, in conformity with reality (which is why they are constructive, precisely).

Landes first draws a very helpful distinction between "apocalyptic time" and "normal time." Normal time is, well, normal. For most people, if that's the only time there is, it's rather boring. All of us like to dilate time, jump in, and abide in the sanctified real estate of nonlocal slack. Nothing wrong with that.

But something else happens to time when we are "plunged into the vortex of messianic expectation." In my opinion -- and we'll get into this in more detail later -- two things happen.

First, this is when there is a transformation within the self, resulting in the millennial dream containing us, rather than vice versa. It is no longer something we can think about, because we are in it. Compare it to the mob mentality, in which people become ecstatically disinhibited and do things they wouldn't do in the absence of the mob.

But secondly -- and more importantly -- there is an intoxicating transition to a more right-hemispheric, symmetrical mode of consciousness that partakes of various categories of transcendence, including timelessness, magical thinking, great strength and power, and a special closeness to the very forces and levers of history.

I'm not going to go into detail at this juncture -- mainly because I haven't yet explicitly worked it all out in my head -- but this follows the ideas of the Chilean psychoanalyst and mathematician Ignacio Matte Blanco, especially as interpreted by Bomford in his Symmetry of God.

(And if any Raccoons have been discouraged from purchasing this book because of the price, I see that amazon has a number of used copies available for under $8. I don't want to oversell it -- the author's theology is on the liberal side -- but there is simply no other book that explores these important ideas. It serves as an accessible introduction to Matte Blanco, who is a major influence, and opens up many fruitful avenues of contemplation and study, providing a way not only to "think about God" but to "think about thinking about God" -- and why it is both necessary and unavoidable that human beings do so.)

(To put it another way, if one doesn't think about God in the proper manner, one will inevitably do so in an improper manner -- which is precisely the problem that infects millennial thinking, irrespective of whether one's religion is Christianity or leftism or atheism. In fact, history proves that atheistic millennialists are by far the more destructive, and that both Judaism and Christianity, properly construed, are mankind's most effective defense against raving millennialists of every stripe. "Indeed, if the last two centuries have told us anything, it is how dangerous those who would perfect the world become when they seize power" [Landes].)

In any event, the plunge into symmetrical logic helps to explain the psychic transformation that occurs when we are pulled into the phase space of the millennial attractor -- when the "inspired prophet" resonates with the "receptive community"; when, "in the expectation of an immanent and radical transformation of the world, [the group] 'burns bridges' to the 'normal future' and 'goes for broke,'" and we "participate in the glorious End of History" (Landes). (Remember James Carville's 2009 classic, 40 More Years: How the Democrats Will Rule the Next Generation? Nor will anyone else.)

Again, I don't want to push the evidence too far -- in part because it's just too easy to do -- but I cannot help interpreting Obamania in this light, as millions of Americans -- now finally including the MSM -- are returning to Normal Time, and for the first time seeing Obama as those of us who never left normal political time have always seen our dear leader-in-the-headlights: as an inept, incurious, rigid, self-absorbed, inarticulate, and unqualified mediocrity of slightly below average intelligence and zero charisma.

Obviously, he has always been this. He hasn't changed. How can one go from awesome to pathetic with the flick of a switch? The only way is projection followed by its sudden withdrawal. Of course, it is hardly a crime to be a nonentity. The crime is in trying to con the rest of us into believing in this emperor's new empty suit.

More importantly, what was the real and enduring source of the misperception, which happens again and again, throughout recorded history? As Landes asks, "How many times... must apocalyptic prophecy fail, before it loses its promise?"

More on that question later. Suffice it to say that all around us, and at all times, there are "hidden transcripts" which, "under the right -- apocalyptic -- conditions -- ... can spread at epidemic speeds and breach the public transcript with explosive force" (Landes).

This is an irruption of unconscious into conscious -- or an obliteration of the boundary between them -- but the important point is that this ingression is structured in a very specific way. It is not as if one is immersed in a world of unstructured psychotic chaos.

Once one enters the vortex of apocalyptic time -- which, in my opinion, partakes of the symmetrical time of the unconscious -- "everything quickens, enlivens, coheres. [Believers] become semiotically aroused -- everything has meaning, patterns. The smallest incident can have immense importance and open the way to an entirely new vision of the world, one in which forces unseen by other mortals operate" and "they can make connections and intuit relations at levels that escape most of us with pedestrian minds" (Landes).

Here again, Matte Blanco's theories apply, for they explain how time becomes eternity, how the small becomes immense (a kind of insistent misinterpretation of "blessed are the poor in spirit"), and how anything means everything (and vice versa).

"Semiotic arousal" is one of Landes' frequent terms. It basically means a kind of self-reinforcing hyper-alertness to signs that confirm the basic premise -- which is not so much a premise, but again, a specific state of mind. It is essentially identical to the manner in which the paranoid mind operates, which sees complex and meaningful connecting links where there are none.

Rather, the paranoid person is specifically engaged in an indiscriminate projection of the contents of his own mind, which provides a kind of relief. But the relief is short lived, because now he is persecuted by the environment, i.e., by his own exteriorized mind. He then attempts to force all of the disconnected bits to cohere by organizing them into a monolithic conspiratorial entity. Once one reaches this stage, "everything" is proof of the theory, which simultaneously renders the person systematically stupid and omnisciently arrogant. But enough about Al Gore.

As Landes describes it, the semiotically aroused apocalyptic believer is privileged to have a special understanding of, and insight into, the world (this strikes me as similar to Voeglin's ideas about left-wing gnosticism). They are "convinced of the superiority of their perceptions, convinced that the uncomprehending masses... will either soon join them or get shredded in the coming cosmic upheaval" (Landes).

Indeed, Landes describes such a movement as analogous to an Indian rope trick, in which "believers climb up on something anchored only in hope." To which I would add, Change! -- which is no joke, because Radical Change! is what it's all about. Which wouldn't be so bad if it didn't involve the attempt -- which is by definition doomed before it starts -- to change what cannot be changed, starting with human nature.

Now, because the millennial movement is at odds with reality -- including the reality of human nature -- it can never last. Such movements are inherently unstable, so there will necessarily be a kind of frantic activity which masquerades as thought, but which is actually a kind of "papering over" logical contradictions and intrusions from that annoying Mr. Reality.

Again, Landes calls this apocalyptic jazz, which we are presently seeing in those dead-enders who still hold fast to the Obama fantasy. These are the professional "Baghdad Bobs" of the left, and it is sometimes difficult to know if they actually believe the crap they're shoveling. Most of these Wolfes are presumably too cynical to believe it, but they swiftly throw the memes out there and rely upon their dinghy little sheep to float them to their fellow gullible travelers.

There is no presence of Tea Party infidels in the city of DC. None. We have killed most of the son-of-bitches, and we will finish off the rest soon. Next question.

14 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

"Indeed, if the last two centuries have told us anything, it is how dangerous those who would perfect the world become when they seize power"

I'm reminded of that strain of atheism which comes about quite frequently in the soft-hearted who cry out against man's inhumanity to man (or woman or child; or especially against a designated victim class...). Such thinking also seems to be one of the primary motivating forces behind many on the left, those who have good intentions and best wishes for everyone.

Of course, it's one thing to fight against genuine brutality and injustice, and to wonder how a good god could allow such things to happen; it's another altogether to decide that one (or one's mortal messiah) knows best how to perfect the world. Inevitably, one does not, and inevitably in trying to force one's vision of perfection upon an imperfect populace, one does tremendous harm instead.

9/06/2011 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Suffice it to say that all around us, and at all times, there are "hidden transcripts" which, "under the right -- apocalyptic -- conditions -- ... can spread at epidemic speeds and breach the public transcript with explosive force" (Landes).

This ties in with something else I've been thinking about lately, mainly the way that constant connectivity affects the transmission of memes in general. At a certain point, the internet acts almost as a sort of hive mind; we saw this in the run-up to the '08 elections: people fainting and getting the vapors, the frightful stupidity of many of the voters ("I won't have to worry about my mortgage payments!") - where did they get such ideas?

Partly, of course, the media fed the frenzy, but partly it seemed like his followers' projections fed upon and reinforced each other in a process that happened below the surface, largely subverbally. They just "knew" their fantasies were about to come to life - and so were completely unabashed about sharing. Or perhaps more accurately, testifying about the forthcoming utopia.

9/06/2011 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Heh

9/06/2011 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Aww, Obama ratings sink to new lows as hope fades, i.e., as the hypnotized reenter normal time.

9/06/2011 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger John Lien said...

Wow! It's lecture AND lab at Gagdad U.

9/06/2011 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

...to change what cannot be changed, starting with human nature.

Amen.

9/06/2011 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Julie's first comment is along the lines of what I was thinking as I listened to the news earlier today. We go to all the trouble to reduce the incidence of infant mortality, to extend life expectancy, to mitigate collateral damage in wars, or to eliminate wars entirely. Then we have people complaining about overpopulation.

Human nature left to itself -- apart from the Judeo-Christian revelation -- will run through cycles of prosperity and collapse like hare and lynx populations.

9/06/2011 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger jwm said...

Speaking of End Times-

This piece by Joel Richardson has had a huge impact on my thinking. (I know. I've linked this before.) Joel Richardson is an unapologetic (no pun meant) End Timer who awaits the imminent return of Jesus Christ. You don't have to be on board with his viewpoint to appreciate the importance of his work. Here is what I take from it, in light of the last two posts here at OC:
The jihad is The millenial (millenarial?) war burning across the planet. Islam's eschatology drives the jihad. This is the nature of the war being waged against us- apocalyptic holy war for the future of the world. Seen from this perspective, every individual act of terror makes sense, because each single act is directed at the same end. And here's the problem- Once the Apocalyptic War has been declared (as it has), we're going to be fighting it whether we believe in the cause or not.

JWM

9/06/2011 02:02:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

""Indeed, if the last two centuries have told us anything, it is how dangerous those who would perfect the world become when they seize power" "

Yep. To perfect the world = Force it to be free.

And those who think intelligence is all, think being smart, qualifies them to to be capable of perfecting the world... and that = apocalypse.

9/06/2011 05:22:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Apropos, Jane Fonda: Class Act:

"So why did Jane Fonda abase herself to a man whom so many of those close to her despised?

The key lay in Hayden’s sterling Left-wing credentials, which she’d failed to acquire herself.

...

For Jane, the idea of doing something meaningful with Hayden gave her a sense of renewed purpose.

‘She sat at Tom’s feet, literally,’ remembers fellow pacifist David Dellinger. ‘She looked up to him like he was some sort of god.’"

9/06/2011 08:36:00 PM  
Blogger AndreLinoge said...

Ever notice that the Left demands a strict dictionary definition of "socialism", yet they give themselves the widest latitude when defining "racism".

9/06/2011 11:47:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Doubly ironic, when they themselves meet the dictionary definition of racist.

9/07/2011 06:29:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Semiotic arousal" is one of Landes' frequent terms. It basically means a kind of self-reinforcing hyper-alertness to signs that confirm the basic premise -- which is not so much a premise, but again, a specific state of mind. It is essentially identical to the manner in which the paranoid mind operates, which sees complex and meaningful connecting links where there are none."

Still reading yesterday's (this)post.
In a moment of perceived urgency, you do of course look for the most meaningful, useful, clues you can, and you of course will look for 'evidence' which signals that a either a fear, or a hoped for opportunity, is present.

There's only thing that can save you from seeing what you want to see in the pattern of sparks, is your awareness of the existece of, and your habit of, securing your thoughts to reality through the recognition of, and habitual seeking after, Truth.

But if you are in that situaiton of hyper-alertness and operating upon the basis of ideas that are built upon ideas, built upon conclusions whose premises you have never rooted in reality, the rationalist can and will ratinalize anything at all, especially an idea which seems to offer the greatest longterm significance to their life, as with,

"...Landes describes such a movement as analogous to an Indian rope trick, in which "believers climb up on something anchored only in hope." To which I would add, Change! -- which is no joke, because Radical Change! is what it's all about...."

The only ingredient which can halt the false linking (assuming a healthy mind), the only anchor having a strong enough purchase in reality to stop your being swept away with the current, is the habituated pursuit of and reverence for, Truth.

9/07/2011 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Such movements are inherently unstable, so there will necessarily be a kind of frantic activity which masquerades as thought, but which is actually a kind of "papering over" logical contradictions and intrusions from that annoying Mr. Reality.

Again, Landes calls this apocalyptic jazz, which we are presently seeing in those dead-enders who still hold fast to the Obama fantasy. "

Apocalyptic Jazz. What a perfect description.

9/07/2011 09:04:00 AM  

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