Tuesday, December 06, 2011

The Ivory Tower of Babble is Always a Few Bricks Short

I want to briefly rap upon some lucid ends before moving on to the next subject. First, some helpful comments from back when yesterday's post first appeared over three years ago (in a different guise), this one from James:

For him, unKnown Friend "was the first person to clearly define the difference between divine magic and base sorcery. Sorcery relies on intoxication, and through intoxication the poor mortal gives up control of their life to lower things. This was a breakthrough for me. God bless UF and MOTT. I still think Marxism is more like black magic then most people give it credit for. The principle of intoxication is there as well as the principle of promising one thing and slyly delivering another.

"I had to read [a great deal of] Marxist literature while getting my masters degree. I'll never be a Marxist, but I admit, there was a tiny part of me that wanted to drink the cool aid. Marxism makes you the center of the universe and gives you a mission to recreate society. What an ego trip! I understand why a lot of people fall for it. They like the feeling of power. Of course, they never accomplish anything good, but we are all about feelings anyway. You have to keep the good times rolling.

"My point is that Marxist ideas are dangerous in the same way black magic is dangerous. It seduces you away from reality and God. I believe Marx was inspired, or enslaved, by something diabolical. The mistake conservatives make with their children is they don't understand just how powerful and seductive these ideas are."

Speaking of children, in Taranto's column yesterday, he provided some samples of the kind of childish thought that rattles around the otherwise empty heads of the OWSers. It's especially sad, since some of the most intoxicated banalities are from people whose heads are both empty and grey, such as "We have to stop taking and start giving. That is the mind shift I am trying to bring to the world," and "Politics matters. It is not peripheral. If you want to build a better world, you have to engage in the political process. We need to build a kinder, gentler world." Yeah, like this one:


In response to James, Will reminded us that "Intoxication is always 'heavy' and sticky in some way," whereas "spiritual sobriety is light light light." Thus, "there really is a 'high' in spiritual sobriety -- I mean past the Oceanic One-ness -- which is NOT an intoxication. Like 'effortless effort' it's sort of a 'sober intoxication' or maybe an 'intoxicated sobriety,' whatever. When I dwell on it, I think it's a 'light-ness,' an ultimate transparency. (Just so nobody gets the idea that spiritual sobriety is, you know, boring.)"

This indeed comports with what is marched fourth on page 229 of the cʘʘnifesto:

"In addition to feeling 'lighter, (¶) has other attributes and qualities that can be easily detected, such as calmness, a sense of expanding psychological space, a quiet sort of unconditional joy that has nothing to do with mere physical pleasure, a newfound depth in everyday matters of living," not to mention "a sense of living from the inside-out" accompanied by "intrinsic meaning" that "is constantly being spontaneously and effortlessly generated from within."

Back to James, who commented that "I am blessed to have finally discovered rapture, the spiritual sobriety that you discuss above. No, it is not boring. It is deep, and liberating, and good, but it is subtle, with little in the way of overt, outward signs. Most of the heavy lifting takes place in the vertical, whereas intoxication is a purely horizontal state, which is why it is ultimately empty. I can always tell who is drunk."

Moving on briefly to the other subject -- which may or may not be related to the prequel or sequel -- I have mentioned in the past that one of the books that helped me along the way was Franklin Merrell-Wolff's Experience and Philosophy: A Personal Record of Transformation and a Discussion of Transcendental Consciousness. Many of the experiences he describes therein had for me the coontail ring of truth, although I didn't know anything else about the man.

Yesterday I received a newsletter from the organization that has been established to propagate M-W's ideas, and it had some interesting information about his political orientation. It states that M-W "thought that it was important to engage the political world."

Right on! See you at the OWS rally!

Well, er, not exactly. Alarmed by the outcome of the 1940 presidential election, he decided that he'd had enough of New Deal collectivism, and wrote a booklet called The Vertical Thought Movement, a movement he hoped would serve as a "continuous crusade oriented to a principle and conviction which stands in contrapuntal relation to the Socialist Movement."

Interesting that M-W wanted to "stand athwart history" a decade or so prior to Buckley's arrival on the scene.

I gather that M-W's political philosophy is disappointing and even a little embarrassing to his followers, who I am uncharitably guessing are of the new-age / integral / Chopra type (although it's just a guess -- as always, I am happy to be corrected -- by non-idiotolitarians). In a preemptive apology, the newsletter concedes that, "No doubt some will find aspects of Wolff's political philosophy troubling."

Oh, really? Some kind of communist sympathizer, eh? There was a lot of that going around back then in intellectual circles, so it's understandable, what? It's not like he was some kind of evil conservative, right?

Er, not quite. "[He] was staunchly conservative, and was not shy about expressing his displeasure with the current affairs of his day" -- and not just with the New Deal, but later with "the student rebellion of the 1960s and 1970s." In particular -- and this should be axiomatic to any spiritually awake and alert individual -- "he had no tolerance for a political system that suppressed the expression of human spirituality."

No tolerance?! Well, the totolerantarian left has no tolerance for intolerance! Burn him!

We now move on to the next card, the Tower of Destruction. Perhaps there is some connection to the above, but I don't have time to reflect on it.

This is an important card, so come on in a little closer to your monitor and hear what else I got to say. You got your screen turned down to low. Turn it up!

It has to do with human evil, or "to evil which does not come from the outside, but which certainly has its origin within the human soul" -- not from the body, which is an innocent bystander in man's vertical fall. Depending upon how you look at it, the fall has to do either with willfulness or ignorance, which leads to "illicit" or illegitimate knowledge, and separates us from the Creator. Either way -- i.e., by way of intellect or will -- human beings are exiled from the vertical and plunged into the horizontal.

Now, as UF explains, Genesis is set in a garden, which is a very different thing from a jungle -- which is completely wild -- or a desert -- which is more or less barren -- or a town -- which is a symbol of human invention, and where nothing grows spontaneously. (There is a pneumacosmic reason why the big cities are the main habitats of the America's Blue Moonies).

But a garden is what? It is a combination of vertical and horizontal energies, of planning and spontaneity. A beautiful garden involves a harmonious integration of Spirit and Nature; of Spirit within nature, or Nature rising to Spirit. One thinks of Japanese gardens, which so transparently convey the supernatural within nature, and through which nature surpasses itself (to one whose spiritual eyes are opened).

UF links this to the true mission and vocation of the Raccoon, which is "to cultivate and maintain the 'garden,' i.e. the world in a state of equilibrium and cooperation between Spirit and Nature" Coons are gardeners, not technicians (even if we do technical work). And unlike these modern excuses for gardeners, we do not merely "mow and blow." Rather, we cultivate and we maintain. You know, plant, fertilize, irrigate, pull weeds, harvest, etc.

The Tower of Destruction symbolizes everything the garden is not. As UF explains, it comes about as a result of "the collective will of 'lower selves' to achieve the replacing of the 'true Self' of the celestial hierarchies and God with a superstructure of universal significance fabricated through the will." You could say that it's handbuilt, prick by prick.

But the human will, alienated from spirit, cannot create anything of truly universal, or cosmic, significance. It can only create a tower, which is surely fated for the divine wrecking ball -- which is a mercy, never a punishment. For example, our trolls are always kind or clueless enough to share their silly little towers with us, which we never fail to topple at a glance. And yet, they still prefer to live amidst their haunted ruins. Go figure.

For the Tower of Destruction teaches a law that is both general and universal, meaning that it "operates both on a small scale and on a grand scale, in individual biography as well as in that of mankind, and in the past, present and future equally" (MOTT). It is another one of those things in the Bible that didn't just happen once upon a time, but which happen every time.

To be continued...

20 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

Just so nobody gets the idea that spiritual sobriety is, you know, boring.

Heh - no, it's never that. Then again, regular sobriety generally isn't, either. Life is literally overflowing with the miraculous, most of which is best viewed with a minimum of intoxication, at least in my experience.

12/06/2011 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Re. M-W, that's pretty funny. Not his views, but his followers' discomfort. If they really respect his thought, you'd think they'd at least attempt to grasp where he's coming from politically and why.

12/06/2011 09:43:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Maybe they do. Can't find out because the forum is closed. My guess is that they'd trot out the usual leftist tropes, such as "he would never have approved of today's conservatives, who are so radical."

12/06/2011 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Although he died in 1985, in the middle of Reagan's reign.

12/06/2011 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Too bad the forum's closed. It would be interesting to see what they actually think; there could be raccoons hiding in there...

12/06/2011 09:49:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

"I look like a farmer but I'm a lover."

Probably the highest rated cover of a Big Willie song on my MP3 player.

12/06/2011 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Bo Diddley is a vastly underrated pioneer because of his slightly goofy image. In order to be taken seriously, you need to be a brooding and troubled soul. The day he died I was prescient enough to pick up a limited edition copy of his The Chess Masters 1955-1958 for $15, now going for $200 minimum used. But I'd never part with it!

12/06/2011 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

It is a combination of vertical and horizontal energies, of planning and spontaneity.

Cooperation -- Paul said that he planted, Apollos watered, but it was God who gave the growth.

Or as Moses explained, we get by with a little help from our Friend.

12/06/2011 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger horatio said...

I'm confused....who are today's conservatives?K

12/06/2011 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yesteryear's liberals.

12/06/2011 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

I'm almost speechless:

The Occupy movement is the force that will revitalize traditional Christianity in the United States or signal its moral, social and political irrelevance.

12/06/2011 07:16:00 PM  
Blogger John Lien said...

@julie. Whew! I just read that. A great example of intoxicated blather. Trouble is, he mixes in some good and just fights with his cause which is... I still don't know what he wants. Oh wait, yes, that prodigious pile of pulsating progressive poo was all because Trinity Church wouldn't let them squat on their vacant lot. He must have been hell to raise as a kid.

12/06/2011 08:09:00 PM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

Politics by representation is the opiate of the masses. Let us hope that it continues that way. Nothing good comes from waking up the masses, only from waking up individuals.

12/06/2011 08:45:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Speaking of children, in Taranto's column yesterday, he provided some samples of the kind of childish thought that rattles around the otherwise empty heads of the OWSers. It's especially sad, since some of the most intoxicated banalities are from people whose heads are both empty and grey, such as "We have to stop taking and start giving. That is the mind shift I am trying to bring to the world," and "Politics matters. It is not peripheral. If you want to build a better world, you have to engage in the political process. We need to build a kinder, gentler world.""

I noticed you're mentioned in the credits again, Bob.
Good to see that Taranto appreciates your raccoon sense of humor. :^)

Was it the raccoon story you coontributed?

12/06/2011 09:23:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Politics matters. It is not peripheral. If you want to build a better world, you have to engage in the political process. We need to build a kinder, gentler world."

He forgot "or else!"

12/06/2011 09:26:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Ben -- No, my modest contribution was to "Out on a Limb": Newt Gingrich's Lead Over Mitt Romney and Republican Field Might Not Last

Seems like most days I come across something he can use for one of his running jokes....

12/06/2011 09:38:00 PM  
Blogger horatio said...

"Yesteryear's liberals"
Oh, Straussians.

12/06/2011 10:06:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"But a garden is what? It is a combination of vertical and horizontal energies, of planning and spontaneity. A beautiful garden involves a harmonious integration of Spirit and Nature; of Spirit within nature, or Nature rising to Spirit."

Sounds rather edenic. Wonder why?

12/07/2011 02:04:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

horatio said "Yesteryear's liberals" Oh, Straussians."

There are more possibilities in philosophy, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your poli-sigh.

Straus was most definitely not a proponent of classical liberalism... he's more of what someone reaches for when they don't want someone to think that what they mean by 'neo-con', is what they mean by 'neo-con'.

Calvin Coolidge was probably the last gasp of yester years breed of classical liberal seen in captivity.

12/07/2011 02:14:00 PM  
Blogger horatio said...

Calvin Coolidge.
I thought he died.
I'm still wondering who these 'today's conservatives are that Bob oft refers to, as though it were self evident.
The Straussians have co-opted the name, so I am left to assu,e he just means them.
I know they are not conservative, but I am not sure he does.

12/07/2011 08:38:00 PM  

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