Wednesday, December 07, 2011

The Thunder Said What?!

Destroy this tower, and you will close escrow on a new one in three days. --The Mystagogic Platitudes of Petey

Continuing from yesterday's post, this is what eventually happens to make believe Towers and to the imagineers who inhabit them: the thunderbolt:

"[H]e who builds a 'tower' to replace revelation from heaven by what he himself has fabricated, will be blasted by a thunderbolt, i.e., he will undergo the humiliation of being reduced to his own subjectivity and to terrestrial reality" (MOTT), i.e., back to the ground -- which, of course, has two very different meanings. There is nothing wrong with humbly living on the ground, for that is where one will find the vertical ground of being (in Eckhart's sense of the term).

This is one of the things I don't get about the appeal of scientism. Surely the scientific materialist knows at the outset -- for despite his denials, he has a mind with which to seek and know truth -- that his knowledge is provisional and relative, and that it will eventually be brought low by the thunderbolt, even if it is only thrown by some tenuredolt with a trivial scientific finding that nevertheless spoils your whole lovely paradigm.

In short, the science is never settled, which is as it should be. So why build a tower on such shifting and unstable ground?

And yet, the McTenured fall in love with their ontic McTowers and cling to their blueprints as if they are holy writ. Even after evacuation has been ordered by the authorities, they refuse to leave, and generally will not leave until they are carried out on their backs or sink under the weight of their honors.

Which, from a psychological standpoint, is perfectly understandable if not forgivable. No one wants to find out at the threshold of death that one has wasted one's life in thrall to an illusion, even a demonic one.

I think of the terminally useful idiotarian Eric Hobsbawm, who, mourning the breakup of the Soviet Union, observed that, "Fragile as the communist systems turned out to be, only a limited, even minimal use of armed coercion was necessary to maintain them from 1957 until 1989."

Eggs. Omelettes. Whatever.

And of the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Hobsie helpfully pointed out that they were innocently providing "military support for a friendly government against American-backed and Pakistan-supplied guerillas."

The underlying nature of the dispute between Galileo and the Church had more to do with the Tower, for it was between relative vs. absolute truth (however awkwardly handled by the Church, which has been absurdly overblown by radical secularists anyway; it is indeed one of their founding myths, and like all myths, impervious to fact).

Does the earth literally revolve around the sun? No, of course not. Only from a relative perspective that assumes some privileged postion -- a center! -- in the cosmos. From the absolute position, the reverse is equally true.

Besides, from the standpoint of later scientific developments (i.e., relativity), Galileo's limited view has been transcended, and the Church is still here. Indeed, by definition, no scientific development will ever oust man from the center of the cosmos, if only because its center is everywhere and circumference nowhere.

Furthermore, to assert a scientific truth -- which is presumed to be timeless, general, and universal -- is to speak from the ontological center of things, and to describe all reality despite the fact that one inhabits only an infinitesimally small portion of it. What makes an insignificant little pimple on creation's aseity think you can speak for all reality? Well?

Conversely, animals can only live at the periphery or edge of existence, since they cannot penetrate beyond appearances. Only man may live in a tower -- and in any floor of the tower, from the repenthouse of eternal rebirth to the pouthouse of perpetual victimhood.

The geocentric -- or anthropocentric, to be exact -- theory remains intrinsically valid if considered vertically. That is, the human being is indeed the "center of the cosmos," in that only he recapitulates and embodies all the vertical degrees of creation within himself. The light of Truth is infinitely more central than sunlight, or we couldn't even know of the latter.

But importantly, to say that man is the center is not to say he is the "top." Rather, he can only be the center of the relative universe because he is the prolongation, so to speak, of a vertical spark that emanates from above. In short, no top, no center. So don't get all full of yourself, because your ceiling is always someone else's floor.

Good news bad news: if your little tower is not mercifully 〇bliterated by the Thunderbolt in this life, then it will be severely blasted upon your exit. From what we have been given to understand, this is when the hypnotic veil of auto-pull-woolery will be lifted, and you will have the opportunity to bear witness to the genesis and full extent of your fally thingamajig.

Frankly, you won't even have to be judged by God. Rather, you will judge yourself, like a child who transitions, say, from Piaget's stage of concrete operations to formal operations, and can objectively look back on his previous mode of cognition because he has transcended it. When you transcend in this supernaturally natural manner, it is as if you move out of the old drafty tower and into a real mansion built by finest craftsman with no hands.

To repeat: the thunderbolt is a mercy, but it all depends upon how one interprets it and what one does with it. Think of it as an extreme form of (?!) or wʘʘt!, for example, the bolt from the blue that knocked Paul from his high horse on the road to Da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-damascus.

You might say that Saul the concrete Tower crumbled to the ground and became Paul the living Tree. Then, instead of placing men in the Tower, he spent the rest of his life helping to spring them from its confines.

bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonnerronntuonnthunn-trovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthurnuk! --Finnegans Wake

To be continued tomorrow, on Thor's day....

20 Comments:

Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Potentially important scientific confirmation of One Cosmos speculation about nonlocality in the brain.

12/07/2011 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

the pouthouse of perpetual victimhood

:D

...if your little tower is not mercifully 〇bliterated by the Thunderbolt in this life, then it will be severely blasted upon your exit.

I've been thinking along those lines this morning; more specifically, I've been thinking about the value of hardship in life. It seems as though much of the collective whining on the left comes from those who have never seen or experienced genuine suffering, the kind you grow through or just live with day after day, to the point where they have not even the remotest grasp of how good they have it compared to the lot of pretty much every human who ever lived prior to the past few decades and even today, outside of the West.

Instapundit linked to an advice column yesterday where the author touched on this topic. Her response was quite good (except the part where she felt the need to explain that even though she's an individualist, she's loyal to the socialist ideal). The comments were interesting as well, until the point where her OWS loyalties were questioned.

With eyes to see, harship is always an opportunity.

12/07/2011 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger SippicanCottage said...

He who builds a 'tower' to replace revelation from heaven by what he himself has fabricated, will be blasted by a thunderbolt.

Yertle the Turtle unavailable for comment.

12/07/2011 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, but he issued a statement through his yolksman, Mr. Dumpty.

12/07/2011 12:08:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Furthermore, to assert a scientific truth -- which is presumed to be timeless, general, and universal -- is to speak from the ontological center of things, and to describe all reality despite the fact that one inhabits only an infinitesimally small portion of it.

Why I am skeptical of skeptics.

12/07/2011 01:41:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Conversely, animals can only live at the periphery or edge of existence, since they cannot penetrate beyond appearances.

This reminds me of Van's analogy from several posts back about relational databases. That's the power of a human brain versus animal brains. My dog and cats are as smart as I am in some ways, but they have no look-up tables.

12/07/2011 01:46:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Bob,
OT, sorta, have you read Berlinski's: The Devil's Delusion?

It seems so long ago when he was discussed in the comments (maybe even in a post or two) I can't remember your take on him..and the book?

WV says batair, but I think that's uncalled for.

12/07/2011 02:08:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Only man may live in a tower -- and in any floor of the tower, from the repenthouse of eternal rebirth to the pouthouse of perpetual victimhood."

Ha ha! Hilarious! The repenthouse smells a lot better than the pouthouse.

12/07/2011 03:42:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Rick -- Berlinski's book is a sound logical and empirical refutation of Darwinism, but that's all it is. He doesn't replace it with any positive theory or metaphysic, nor is he religious. Motivated more by cynicism than the love that moves the sun and stars. So it's ultimately catabolic but not anabolic, so to speak.

12/07/2011 05:30:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Heh - Speaking of towers...

12/07/2011 08:11:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Heh.
I believe there are already buildings in (I think it was Japan) that were built in a nearly fully-automated manner. Difficult to describe. Sort of telescopic. The first floor was the machine and would lift itself up the height of one floor while conveyors added structure beneath it. Then the floor would stand on top of the structure, lift itself up. Repeat. Result is a pretty boring looking building though.
Helicopters sound terribly energy-inefficient. You can't carry much weight with a helicopter for a great expense in fuel. And I don't think the problem building a 2,000 ft building is that you need helicopter to get way up there. It's the enormous weight of materials, compression and tension challenges.

12/07/2011 08:39:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Thanks, Bob.
Hmmm. You said:
"Berlinski's book is a sound logical and empirical refutation of Darwinism, but that's all it is. He doesn't replace it with any positive theory or metaphysic, nor is he religious. Motivated more by cynicism than the love that moves the sun and stars. So it's ultimately catabolic but not anabolic, so to speak."

Jeepers, if his approach doesn't sound like a thunderbolt to a tower of Babel. Maybe we're supposed to bring the anabolic.

This reminds me of my theory that I stole from Hemingway about leaving out the right things makes the story better.

12/07/2011 08:53:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

I have a difficult time believing he's not a believer at heart, based on the interviews I've watched, and what look like "slips" to me. Perhaps he feels it's not his role to get into that area of his life or that his personal belief is irrelevant to his arguments. I think it is irrelevant.

12/07/2011 09:13:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

Ha! re Hem:
i happen to be finishing THE SUN ALSO RISES at this moment, one of those rereads that hits me as fresh, never-seen and stupendous [+ curious the arguably antisemitic treatment of the Cohn character that runs through it...nowadays PC sensitivity would have to censor it]

12/08/2011 02:48:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Ge, I need to reread that one. Apart from Old Man and the Sea, it's one of the only books by him with parts that have stayed with me since being forced to read them as a HS student.
So...thanks for the reminder :-)

12/08/2011 05:02:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Re Berlinski, maybe he sees himself in more of a John the Baptist role. Cleanses and makes the path straight, then decreases. Does John the Baptist bring the anabolic? Or does he prepare for its possibility. Berlinski seems to have a great respect for all the theological work that's been done by others. I mean, he says that. Maybe he thinks those things are best delivered by others. Not his bag. Not his role.
Whether that's true or not, it seems like a role of great value if not also of critical importance.
I know he also says he's agnostic and is a secular Jew. I'm not sure those descriptions mean without a doubt that he is not a believer. I mean, I don't have epirical proof of God and I'm technically a secular Catholic.
Just some observations. I'm glad his book seems good at what he's seems to be trying to do. I'll get a copy. He has a new one out about elementary mathematics that sounds intriguing.
Thanks, Bob.

12/08/2011 05:25:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Sal! I was just thinking about you yesterday. I hope all is well with you :D

12/08/2011 06:38:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"And yet, the McTenured fall in love with their ontic McTowers and cling to their blueprints as if they are holy writ. Even after evacuation has been ordered by the authorities, they refuse to leave, and generally will not leave until they are carried out on their backs or sink under the weight of their honors."

So true.

12/08/2011 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Good news bad news: if your little tower is not mercifully 〇bliterated by the Thunderbolt in this life, then it will be severely blasted upon your exit. From what we have been given to understand, this is when the hypnotic veil of auto-pull-woolery will be lifted, and you will have the opportunity to bear witness to the genesis and full extent of your fally thingamajig."

Can you imagine the feeling of no longer being able to hide from, or deny, what was true... no longer able to pretend to lie to yourself?

Devastating. A blessing... sure, but devastating.

Hey, what if you'd worked yourself into a position of really & truly believing that blessing to be bad? What sort of place would that leave you in?

Wo. I bet things would really start heating up then.

12/08/2011 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

re: robot building contractors... there was a link I had years ago, about a computer prof. from USC? UCLA? who designed a machine that could be programmed with a design pattern, and would follow the pattern, over and over again, laying down a layer of ceramic paste with each circuit, and in the end viola! A house.

And a gleaming, fireproof house(though perhaps not thunderbolt proof... best keep your insurance paid up) at that.

I haven't heard another word about it, it had to be at least 10 years ago... I can't believe that the improvements in all areas of technology wouldn't have made that highly efficient by now. I searched for it a couple months ago, but no hits.

no doubt the ludite proregressive's got ahold of it, realized that it would be as devastating to the economy and employment as ATM's, and scotched the idea.

12/08/2011 09:30:00 AM  

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