Friday, February 25, 2011

Sexual Secrets of the Normal

I'm a little surprised that Dante, like the ROTC, hasn't been formally banned from elite university campuses. For his third ring of the Seventh Circle of Hell is "the zone of the Sodomites, the 'violent against nature'" (Upton). In the liberal world, this is a conversation we're not even permitted to have, for if you have any reservations whatsoever about homosexuality, you are to keep them to yourselves.

It would be nice if the liberal totolerantarian had the tolerance to practice "don't ask don't tell" toward us heterophilic deviants, but that is not how the insecure tyrannical mind operates.

Such a brazen rejection of nature is naturally going to generate doubt -- how could it not? -- so the doubt is dealt with through forced conformity, just as in any repressive religious climate. Anyone who questions the orthodoxy is, in one way or another, burned at the stake in order to maintain uniformity. Human sacrifice is always unanimity minus one. But then, one normal person makes a majority, does it not?

First of all, we are dealing here with the world of principles, not individuals. Let us stipulate at the outset that what Dante is saying applies to everyone, for these principles are universal. As I have mentioned in the past, it is commonplace for heterosexuals to violate these principles, so it would be a mistake to look only at the outward, superficial behavior, i.e., the choice of sexual object.

For example, many heterosexual men may look like they're having sex with another, when they are actually masturbating with a projected fantasy figure. There is no real relation between persons, which is to say, love.

As Upton explains, "the Sodomite is violent against nature because he denies relatedness to the Other; his erotic energy is turned inward." This is indeed the key point. Man cannot engage in mere animal sexuality without sinking beneath even the animals, who are innocent in their animality.

Conversely, properly human sexuality naturally includes animality, so long as it is in the service of the higher, which transforms it into something beyond itself. Nevertheless, It is impossible to convince the fool that there are pleasures superior to those we share with the rest of the animals (Don Colacho's Aphorisms).

"If he were to open himself to the opposite sex he would encounter the Spirit, but he doesn't want this. The barrenness of the Sodomite is intellectual as well as sexual; [in Hell] he wanders on hot, barren sands" (Upton).

This is an excellent image, for animal sexuality cannot proceed deeper (or higher), since depth is precisely what is denied in the person exiled from Spirit. Therefore, they replace this with a kind of anxiously compulsive sexual acting out, drifting from partner to partner in search of what can never be found in this way, for you can never get enough of what you don't really need. In short, verticality is replaced by horizontality -- or quality by quantity.

But no amount of quantity amounts to quality, except perhaps the qualities of glut and jadedness. Furthermore, we devalue that which is in infinite supply, so this barren life inevitably devolves to chasing after something that decreases in value with each use -- just like the drug addict. In chasing the high you reach a new low.

Dante contrasts a particular hellbound secular humanist intellectual -- the details are unimportant -- with his own devotion to Beatrice, who is obviously "the Divine Feminine, the symbol of Holy Wisdom." She is very clearly Other, someone Dante does not, and cannot, possess. And importantly, this inability to possess opens up the space in which longing and idealization may occur and grow into love.

Conversely, the spiritual Sodomite "will associate with others only so long as they are in some sense his own reflection. Unlike Dante, he refuses the encounter with anyone or anything which might cause him to witness spiritual realities beyond the circle of his ego" (Upton).

In turn, this is why the left's attempt to efface sexual differences is so deeply demonic, for it would essentially turn us all into heterophobic homophiliacs.

For if sex does not involve an encounter and union of two archetypal Others, then it is either mutual masturbation or homosexuality, just bodies rubbing together. Again, to deny sexual difference is to eliminate the very space in which sexuality is transmuted into something beyond itself. For To mature is to discover that every object desired is only the metaphor for the transcendent object of our desire (DC).

And only the crudest intellect would fail to see how this applies to all worlds inhabited by man, for sexual polarity is merely a higher principle projected into the world of biology. Thus, there are "intellectual sodomites" who "are intelligent on a certain level" but who "remain spiritually blind." These are what we call infertile eggheads, and the ovary towers of academia are full of these yolkers.

Upton makes another subtle point, that "there is something in homoeroticism" that not only "has to do with group identification" but more specifically "with the adolescent peer group, the gang."

This is the stage in which the opposite sex is regarded as "icky," which is precisely how feminists regard both sexes, which is to say, human sexuality itself. These feminist gangsters obviously reject the femininity of which they are deeply ashamed, but also the proper masculinity that would awaken the ancient desire of their femininity.

But men will do pretty much anything for sex, even if it requires them to not be men. So where have all the good men gone? Killed by feminism every one.

It just so happens that I am reading another book cowritten by Jennifer Upton with her husband, Charles, Shadow of the Rose: The Esoterism of the Romantic Tradition, which focuses on the male-female relationship as spiritual path.

The Uptons note that this is a uniquely Christian path, for "if Jesus had not championed the cause of particular men and women," "romance would never have been born in the western world." This involves a new value placed on "the inner psychic encounter with one's contra-sexual archetype," and a way to worship "the Formless by means of form." The so-called battle of the sexes is -- or can be -- a deeper one "between the ego and the spiritual Heart," and a "transformation of lust into true love."

Unfortunately, in the contemporary postnormal world, if holy matrimony-as-spiritual path isn't denied outright, then it is either sentimentalized or unrealistically idealized as way to solve all one's problems. But marriage cannot hold up under the weight of such unrealistic expectations. Just as the church you join immediately becomes less than ideal by virtue of your being a member, any marriage that includes us is going to be marred by our presence.

I will leave you with a couple of contrasting aphorisms:

As the uniqueness of each individual reflects the incomparability of the Divine Essence..., so each relationship of love between two human beings is, as it were, its own 'Name of God.' --Shadow of the Rose

Monotonous, like obscenity. --Don Colacho's Aphorisms

Sorry, but you two are not permitted in the faculty lounge.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Atheism and the Wings of Irreligious Faith

Deeper into the seventh circle of Hell are those who are violent against God. Interestingly, they are subject to a pelting rain of fire, which Upton calls "an inversion of Divine Grace, a kind of negative Pentecost." Grace, like sunlight, falls upon everyone (although not everyone is receptive to it). But instead of conveying light and warmth, the inverted version drops Napalm, or liquid fire.

Why, it's a bloody pentecursed, that's what it is. Indeed, one cannot actually curse God without cursing oneself, since all are "included in Him." Thus, the torment of the blasphemers "is the only way they can experience" this inclusion (Upton).

Upton reminds us of Eckhart's wise crack to the effect that the more they blaspheme, the more they praise God. I suppose it's similar to the tenured who deny the existence of truth. The only way they can experience truth is in an inverted form, for to deny truth is obviously to affirm it. Thus, they live in a world of weird conventions and superstitions that hem them into a kind of pseudo version of truth and reality.

It is very difficult, if not impossible, for a serious person to not be preoccupied with God. By this I mean, To speak about God is presumptuous; not to speak of God is idiotic (Don Colacho's Aphorisms). But if one nevertheless idiotically rejects God, what is one to do? This explains the recent reactionary crockload of books by the "new atheists," most of whom are serious if not somber people in their own way.

Being a doctrinaire atheist is obviously one way to be preoccupied with God. And these darkling children do serve a purpose for the believer, in that they help to prevent a descent into intellectual laziness by sharpening the objects that fill one's argumentarium.

Really, to be a believer of any kind is to be religious, because belief in anything requires a leap of faith, even -- or especially! -- for materialists who have no reason to even suppose that contingent organizations of matter may know what is not contingent.

Therefore, instead of taking an absurd leap of faith into faithlessness, or believing in disbelief, one might as well illuminate the muddleman and just be a believer, period.

For Nothing important is reached simply by walking. But jumping is not enough to cross the abyss; one must have wings (DC), i.e., wings of faith. Only wings of faith can carry one safely to the ether side.

Don Colacho has an unusual number of other excellent aphorisms along these lines. Why, just today he said

“Meaning,” “significance,” “importance,” are terms which do not merely designate transitive relations. There are things with meaning, significance, importance, in themselves.

This is such an important point, for to recognize meaning of any kind is to have vaulted oneself -- or to have been vaulted -- into a transcendent space. Virtually everyone recognizes that the world is overflowing with meaning, significance, and importance, in a way that is immediate, which is to say, unmediated by various ideological superstructures that alternately try to explain or explain away the meaning. But after all the explanations are exhausted, there it is (or rather, I AM).

Thus, on the one hand We are fully convinced only by the idea that does not need arguments to convince us (DC). The corollary to this is Our spontaneous aversions are often more lucid than our reasoned convictions. People may imagine they are arguing "for" or "against" God, when they are actually using secondary arguments in order to defend something that is actually self-evident, that is, unmediated (which any experience of God must be by definition, i.e., an experience).

As such, Only to defend our secondary convictions do we possess abundant arguments (DC), again, especially if one is a materialist, since materialism is not something that can actually be experienced by anyone except the dead -- who are no longer there to experience it. Thus, one might say that the materialist actually replaces experience with rational arguments, which is why Sensibility is a compass less susceptible of going crazy or misleading than is “reason” (DC).

And Whoever appeals to any science in order to justify his basic convictions inspires distrust of his honesty or his intelligence (DC). Do you see why? Arguments from science applied to the realm of metaphysics or theology are just arguments from authority, and are far more authoritarian than religion (at least Christianity, which never puts forth a proposition in defiance of our natural reason).

But just as the answer is the disease that kills curiosity, An “explanation” consists in the end in assimilating a strange mystery to a familiar mystery (DC). Which is why materialism, scientism, and atheism manage to be simultaneously mysterious and banal, or mere mystagoguery. For When we invent a universal meaning for the world, we deprive of meaning even those fragments that do have meaning (DC).

In other words, the superimposed dogma of materialism -- and the pseudo-meaning it generates -- either obscures or denies the underlying theophany of the world, i.e., its metaphyscial transparency, or mysterious ability to convey truth and beauty through its veil of appearances. Which is why There are certain types of ignorance that enrich the mind and certain types of knowledge that impoverish it (DC).

You will have noticed that what really separates liberals from conservatives is their very different sensibilities, over which the liberal is prone to superimpose any number of secondary and tertiary explanations.

For example, conservatives spontaneously recoil from the idea of government workers colluding with other government workers to extract money from taxpayers in order to elect more government workers to collude with more government workers and call it a "public sector union," when the correct term is Public Suckler Union: in the first and final analysis, these unions are a fiendishly clever con "by which every taxpayer is forced to fund the Democratic Party" (Barone). Arguments for and against this proposition are just evasions. They do not illuminate but obscure.

Clearly, this is one of the virtues of Christianity, in that it possesses and conveys a meaning that is im-mediate -- which is why it spread so exponentially in its first three centuries. People heard and understood, but long prior to receiving any coherent intellectual explanation. Yes, Only loyalty to a person frees us from all self-complacency (DC).

Indeed, it wasn't until the first Council in 325 that it became necessary to forge a theology that was both universal ("catholic") and intellectually consistent. Otherwise, the "raw" revelation of Christ was too mixed with individual idiosyncrasies to provide universality.

In other words, when Christ meets and mingles with a soul, a "new man" is created, each new in his own way. It is not possible to create a theology in an additive way, out of all these very personal experiences. Even so, there is no escaping the fact that Certain ideas are only clear when formulated, but others are only clear when alluded to (DC).

Thus, ever since then, the Church has tried to maintain the balance between experience and doctrine, which is not possible -- thank God! -- so long as religion is an encounter between free persons. There will always be a living dialectic between the church of Peter and the church of John, between the exterior and interior, between mystics and shepherds. For The truth resides in the indeterminate area where opposing principles interweave and correct each other (all praise to Don Colacho and his loyal trancelighter).

--Could be worse.

--Yeah, how?

--Could be raining fire.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cluelesside in Wisconsin

I think the deadly problem of suicide is similar to the suicidal problem of socialism, in that in both cases one is prevented from rational calculation.

In order to be a rational economic actor, we must begin with the principle of self-interest, upon which all else depends. People who are not-self interested cannot be relied upon to behave in a rational or predictable manner. They do all sorts of things we would never dream of doing, everything from flying planes into buildings to driving our healthcare system into a ditch. All for you!

One wants to say to Obama: mind your own frakking business. But here is a man who has made a virtue of meddling in everyone else's business his entire adult life, and who has never simply looked after himself. But then, The devil can achieve nothing great without the careless collaboration of the virtues (Don Colacho's Aphorisms).

Isn't self-governance a big enough job for anyone? Isn't the order of the self prior to the organization of the community? Why skip that stage in favor of bossing other people around? This only results in systematic governance by the ungovernable, which is what we are seeing in Wisconsin.

These selfless protesters are not protesting in the name of their rights, but of your obligations.

My friends, if only you knew. If only you knew the extent of the human dysfunction embedded in the very concept of "public employee" (I hope it goes without saying that we are dealing in generalizations). For such people, there is no feedback from the world that says: you are a failure. Or, accurate feedback is experienced as persecution, harassment, "stress."

Please note that it is unfair to compare their wages to those in the private sector, since so many of these selfless idealists are unemployable. They cannot care for themselves, so we must. Thus, they are engaged in the type of bold adolescent rebellion that pits dependent children against their parents. You say you can earn more in the private sector? Okay, let's see you try!

My house, my rules. If you think you can find a better deal elsewhere, go for it! But for public employee unions, it is always Mom and Dad I hate you! Now can you drive me and Cheryl to the Capitol mall protest?

Von Mises' great insight was that economics -- like human beings -- is intrinsically intersubjective. Value -- i.e., prices -- is determined in the space between two free subjects who agree upon what something is worth. Nothing has intrinsic value except the valuing subjects.

Remove the valuing subjects from the equation, and there is no way to know what anything is worth. An economy degenerates into chaos when prices are not allowed to spontaneously emerge in this way. To paraphrase the rabbi, there is no relief from the confusion when none of them along the line know what any of it is worth.

Now, in a suicidal culture the self is obviously of no value. Therefore, soon enough, nothing else is of any value (except perhaps the prince at the top).

In short, such a culture quickly descends into abject nihilism, as we were discussing yesterday vis-a-vis imperial Japan. I mean, if you don't even care about yourself, what can you possibly be relied upon to care about? And as the rabbi said, If I am not for myself, who will be for me?

God help us the from selfless public servants! Barney Frank. Harry Reid. Nancy Pelosi. Jesse Jackson. Public employee unions. NPR.

In contrast, America's founding principle is the infinite worth of the individual. One wonders, therefore, if the systematic erosion of this inalienable principle by the left is making us a more "suicidal" culture?

I don't think there's any doubt about that. For a preview of coming attractions, just look at Europe, which is in the midst of demographic suicide as a consequence of its cultural, political, economic and spiritual suicide.

Ironically, just as Germany, France, and the UK are beginning to draw back from the abyss, we have a president who is hurtling us toward it. Will we awaken from the nightmare of socialism, multiculturalism, and moral relativism before it is too late? (Note that multiculturalism is another suicidal doctrine, or rather, the same doctrine applied to the collective -- self-hatred disguised as the love of others.)

Note the problem at the root of it all: all of these supposedly selfless leftists who presume to know better how to run your life, thus removing your own rational self-interest -- and therefore self -- and therefore rational calculation -- from the equation. Is it homicide or suicide? Does it matter?

Our victim culture systematically robs people of their agency and therefore dignity. Or, people are sold victimhood at the cost of their humanity.

Here again, in abrogating one's agency, one abdicates the self, except that a monstrous shadow rushes in to fill the void. This is the omnipotent and entitled narcissistic double who can only make demands upon others. It is a caricature of rational self-interest. It is Entitlement personified, or human rights devoid of the human duties that define Man.

But what is Man, in essence? As Don Colacho aphirms, the permanent possibility of initiating a causal series is what we call a person.

And what is a demon? It is none other than The permanent possibility of undermining and denying man's power to initiate a causal series in pursuit of his own rational interests.


"Think of 'public service' for what it really is, a secondary form of welfare, in which 'workers' pretend to work and the government pretends to 'pay' them — just like in the old Soviet Union! I mean, if it weren’t for government jobs, all of these 'non-essential' personnel would be lounging around on their porches, drinking beer and firing unregulated handguns into the air or at each other — or, even worse, at us — unable to deal with the vicissitudes of life and therefore deserving of our public charity. Without public service, politicians such as Ted Kennedy and Chris Dodd would have been just another couple of Irish barroom horndogs; Governor Moonbeam, Jerry Brown, another Buddhist moonbat; and Robert Byrd a humble white-sheeted follower of Nathan Bedford Forrest. Public service gave these men jobs — real jobs — and meaning to their lives. And you malevolent capitalists want to take it all away" (David Kahane, HT American Digest).

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Shame and Contempt, Suicide and Genocide

In the second ring of the seventh circle is the Wood of the Suicides. As mentioned a couple of posts back, it is difficult for us to understand how violence against the self could be morally lower than violence toward others, so let's see if we can make sense of Dante's scheme.

Upton summarizes what is at issue by noting that "the ego did not create the soul and so the ego cannot destroy it; that is the problem with suicide." However, the ego also didn't create anyone else's soul, so this seems neither here nor there.

Dante and Virgil then come upon a fellow -- the particulars are unimportant -- "who killed himself because he couldn't endure the disgrace," and this gets closer to the heart of the matter, to what might be thought of as a lethal combination of shame and narcissism.

Upton elaborates: "Those who habitually scorn others have, in effect, built their whole lives upon scorn, which is why they can't stand being scorned; they have developed no other psychological or spiritual foundation."

As we all know, there are shame cultures and guilt cultures, the former much more psycho-developmentally primitive than the latter. Most people fail to draw a distinction between shame and guilt, but shame is developmentally prior, and hence, more problematic if it becomes dysregulated due to early trauma (i.e., damage closer to the foundation causes more weakness to the structure).

The problem with shame cultures is not shame per se, but dysregulated shame. What results is a mass of people who actually cannot tolerate shame, and therefore build their culture around that fact. The culture becomes, in effect, a collective defense against shame.

As an aside, our Judeo-Christian culture is -- or should be -- a guilt culture, which is developmentally higher and more mature.

But what is shame that we should be so mindful of it? How can something that arises in three year olds become so deep, persistent, and painful, to the point that one would prefer suicide to enduring it? A psychotically shame-prone person -- or culture -- would prefer to annihilate the eyes that judge him than endure their gaze. If he can't destroy them, then he'll destroy the self (but note that the gazing and judgmental eyes are just a projection of the shame-prone self).

All of this was brought home to me quite vividly in Max Hastings' Retribution: The Battle for Japan, 1944-45. Because of the fascination with Hitler, Japan's enormities tend to be given less prominence, but on the scale of evil, they were every bit his equal.

But what could these very different cultures possibly share in common? Racism? Imperialism? Militarism? Yes, but each of these was in service to something much deeper: racial and cultural superiority, on the one hand, and its underground twin, intense shame. The superiority and shame are just two sides of the same narcissistic coin. Thus, it is no surprise at all that thousands of Japanese and Germans committed suicide in the wake of their loss of World War II. The shame was just unendurable.

One of the reasons why shame is deeper and more problematic than guilt, is that the former has to do with being rather than just action. Guilt pertains to merely doing wrong, but shame applies to existence itself -- to being wrong (or rather, wrong being). It is "existential," which is why so many Germans and Japanese simply could not endure the pain of a world in which they were not only conquered, but ruled, by their contemptible "inferiors."

The examples in both Armageddon and Retribution are far too numerous to catalogue, but one of the things -- perhaps the only thing -- that made Japan such a formidable enemy was their absolute lack of concern for the lives of their soldiers. Obviously, American GIs wanted to survive the war and go on with their lives, but this placed a sharp limit on what they were willing to do in order to achieve victory.

The Japanese had no such limits, except in scattered individual cases. For them, it was literally a suicidal war, and they knew it. However, they believed in their hearts that they could so impress and cow the allies with their suicidal displays of psychotic violence, that we would eventually back down. "Many shared a delusion that human sacrifice... could compensate for a huge shortfall in military capability" (Hastings). The commander in charge of kamikaze operations said that "If we are prepared to sacrifice twenty million Japanese lives in 'special attacks,' victory will be ours."

Well, yeah. In reality, *only* 4,000 kamikaze pilots are known to have died, about one in seven successfully inflicting major damage to an allied ship (Hastings).

In this regard, the Japanese were exactly like the Islamists, whose only advantage is their belief that they love death more than we love life. A corollary to this is that -- to paraphrase Golda Meir -- there will be peace in the Middle East when Arabs love their own children as much as they hate Jewish children.

Here again, the parallels with Germany and Japan are exact. For example, so unconcerned were the Japanese with individual survival, that they they didn't furnish life rafts on their ships (furthermore, if soldiers knew they could survive, they might not fight to the death). To be taken prisoner was completely unacceptable, again, an unendurable shame. It was assumed that fighting to the death and then going down with the ship was preferable to living with the shame of being taken prisoner.

Likewise, while Americans would go to great lengths to try to rescue downed pilots from the sea, the Japanese usually left theirs to perish, despite the high cost of training skilled fliers. And of course, this also explains their savage treatment of allied prisoners, whom they regarded as subhuman in their willingness to prefer captivity over death.

One of innumerable examples: "Thousands of Japanese civilians in Saipan chose to kill themselves, most by leaping from seashore cliffs, rather than submit to the American conquerors" (Hastings).

Japanese soldiers were routinely placed in situations in which death wasn't only probable or likely, but absolutely certain. We all know about the thousands of kamikazes, but the ground soldiers were just as bad. They knew full well that they could not prevail in places like Iwo Jima, and yet, they fought on to the last man (or last suicide).

Before the battle, soldiers were explicitly told that they should regard their foxhole as their grave, which they were to defend from the Americans who wish to desecrate it. Military handbooks warned that "The man who would not disgrace himself must be strong.... Do not survive in shame as a prisoner. Die, to ensure that you do not leave ignominy behind you!"

I might add that Stalin treated his own POWs the same way. Russian soldiers who had been taken prisoner by the Germans were not only given no sympathy, but imprisoned in the Soviet Union long after the war ended.

It is amazing to think that one of the cards Stalin played at Yalta was the disproportionate number of Soviet soldiers killed in the war. But the only reason so many Soviet soldiers died is because Stalin couldn't have cared less how many Soviet soldiers were killed. As with the Japanese, they were routinely placed in situations in which death was a certainty. And anyone who resisted was shot or hanged on the spot. (The Japanese preferred the bayonet.)

The magnitude of the catastrophe resulting from Japan's dysregulated shame is beyond conception. By 1944 it was clear that they could not win the war, and yet, they fought on: "In the last phase, around two million Japanese people paid the price for their rulers' blindness, a sacrifice which availed their country nothing" (Hastings).

Because of the inability to tolerate shame, certain thoughts were literally unthinkable for the Japanese. Due to primitive defense mechanisms, their minds "couldn't go there."

As Hastings explains, "such habits of culture and convention represented a barrier to effective decision-making, which grew even harder to overcome as the war situation deteriorated." In such a psychotic atmosphere, unwelcome news is simply denied. It cannot be. "No one was allowed to say what he really thought," so it was impossible to "explore better ways to do things."

The Japanese also engaged in systematic rape of those they conquered, which in addition to everything else, involves a kind of psychic transmission of shame to the victim. This reflected the low status of women in Japan, which is again an artifact of shame. Anyone who is prone to shame is going to need others to devalue, and into whom they can project their own inferiority.

Hastings notes that "many Japanese soldiers took pride in sending home to their families photographs of beheadings and bayonetings." In the diary of one dead soldier, he "wrote of his love for his family, eulogised the beauty of a sunset -- then described how he participated in the massacre of Filipinos during which he clubbed a baby against a tree." As Hastings, observes, these types of incidents weren't just aberrations but the reflection of "an ethic of massacre."

So I think we can see the problems that arise when suicide becomes a collective virtue.

Immobilized by shame, paralyzed by suicide.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Bullheads and Horse's Asses

Speaking of which, just a short post for Presidents' Day, the stupidest holiday of them all, on which we pretend that Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama share something in common with George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Ronald Reagan. In short, it is a day of historical leveling, of belittling greatness and celebrating mediocrity.

Within the seventh circle -- which houses the violent -- there are different levels, or "rings," corresponding to the degree of seriousness. You might say there is first, second, and third degree violence, against man, self, and God.

All of the violent "have fallen under the power of gravity" (Upton). As we have discussed in the past, man lives between two vertical attractors, one above and one below. The Law of Gravity is complemented by the Law of Levity, and our free will determines whether we float upstream or swim downstream with the terrestrial and eventually subterranean tide.

There is blood at both ends of this stream. If the redemptive blood of the Savior is at the top, then the immorally violent "are immersed in Phlegethon, the river of boiling blood." One might say they are perpetually burned in the blood they have shed -- the innocent blood which cries out from the earth.

To express violent anger is liberating, but in a false manner. It "may feel like a kind of expansion, but it ends by turning us to stone" (ibid.). Children raised by violent parents have a way of turning themselves to stone. They literally shut down sympathetic responses and brain reactions, and "play possum," so to speak, on an interior level. They are able to pre-emptively endeaden themselves in the face of stress or danger.

I see this all the time in adults raised by violent and uncaring parents. Ask them about it and they either "zone out" or confabulate a stream of disjointed gibberish.

Of note, this can even occur in children who are brutally shamed, for dysregulated shame is a kind of internalized attack on the self. Experience of the wider reality grinds to a halt amidst a cascade of neurobiological processes and even postural changes, e.g., slumping, as if one could hide one's head in one's shoulders.

And blushing -- one of the biological markers of shame -- may be thought of as a kind of blood that boils to the surface.

At the deeper levels of the unconscious mind, the separation between psyche and soma become blurred.

Note that for Dante, the violent are ruled and guarded by the Minotaur and centaurs, respectively, who are half animal and half-human, i.e., part psyche and part soma. Both are sub-human, but in differing ways. Furthermore, as Upton notes, each is a kind of mockery or "demonic parody of the Incarnation."

Recall that the centaur has a horse's body with a human head, whereas the Minotaur is a human body with the head of a bull:

For the Minotaur, anger completely dominates the pneumacognitive faculties, whereas the centaurs at least have some degree of human control. But the centaur's faculties are ultimately enslaved "from below, from the unconscious" (Upton). While they may "have good native intelligence," they "are in bondage to their passions" (ibid.), which drag down and limit the intelligence.

The distinction between centaur and Minotaur marks the transition from the merely luciferic -- in which darkness constantly interferes with the Light -- to the truly demonic, in which Darkness rules.

The latter types are truly frightening, since they are literally mammalian or even reptilian. The Minotaur is "the evil genius within the soul whose conscious thoughts are demonic." These are the the souls who conceive "of evil systems, both philosophical and social" (Upton), not to mention political and economic.

One of the central goals of psychoanalytic therapy is to "make the unconscious conscious," so that one may gain insight into the infra-human centaur, so to speak. The Minotaur also makes the unconscious conscious, but in a perverse way.

Actually, the Minotaur renders the conscious unconscious, by legitimizing our most barbaric tendencies, often by calling them "natural" -- as if savage nature is anything for humans to emulate!

For It is above all against what the mob proclaims to be “natural” that the noble soul rebels. And When a revolution breaks out, the appetites are placed at the service of ideals [the centaur]; when the revolution triumphs, ideals are placed at the service of the appetites [the Minotaur] (Don Colacho's Aphorisms).

Note that the denizens of Hell "are there for 'pleasure' in the sense that in life they were attracted to the evils that now torment them" (Upton).

Here we are reminded of another A. by D.C, Hell is the place where man finds all his plans realized. For the Minotaur, the "head" is no longer an image of God, but an image of animality triumphant.

And to live as an animal is to abrogate one's freedom and submit to bondage, whether to impulses, genes, instincts, natural selection, dialectical materialism, "corporations," it matters not.