Monday, December 05, 2011

Liberalism is the Devil Water of the Masses

Resuming Friday's offering: although will and imagination pave the royal road that leads straight to fallville, there is obviously nothing intrinsically morbid about these two modalities. Indeed, in their absence we couldn't be human at all, for what is a bipedal hominid without freedom of action and thought? Just a victim of circumstances, accidents, and contingencies, whether genetic or sociological, it doesn't matter.

After all, will is the vehicle of our exterior liberty, while imagination is the playground of our interior freedom, allowing us to live in the transitional space between thought and action, events and choices, existence and potential, this and that. Without imagination we could never untie the whatknot or see through the veil of its seductive mayaplicity.

No, it isn't just imagination + will that engenders demons; rather, it is an inebriated will and an intoxicated imagination that do so. As a result, they always go too far; in so doing, they release inhibitions and partake of other forces that have nothing to do with the matter at hand. They lend legitimacy to the most primitive impulses, as we vividly see in the OWS movement.

(Here again, being that Raccoon metaphysics is a full-service manual for integrated vertical living, from high to low, we are big fans of primitive impulses in their proper context. Outside its proper context, the primitive devolves to mere barbarism.)

Again, the latter is something the left does by definition; since they deny the vertical, it necessarily returns in a disguised and perverse form, which provides them with a preternatural energy that conservatives can never match on the plane of vulgar politics. The moment a conservative becomes "ecstatic" about politics, he's no longer a conservative. Intoxication certainly has its place. Just not in politics, where sobriety, skepticism, and realism should rule the day.

Obviously, young people are more prone to the varieties of psychic intoxication, so it is no surprise that Obama took two thirds of the youth vote (the vote was 50-50 for actual adults). To paraphrase someone, these children wish to give us the full benefit of their inexperience.

Nor is it any mystery that many Democrats wish to reduce the voting age to 16, since they are going to require an influx of fresh idiots to supplement their existing roster of interest groups to maintain their electoral viability. (Mr. Unity himself is planning a campaign revolving around race-baiting and ethnic pandering.)

I'm trying to imagine what the world would look like to me today if I were a 21 year old with a skull full of liberal mush.... Would I be susceptible to Obama intoxication?

Yeah, probably. My first presidential vote went to Jimmy Carter, who, for those of you below a certain age, was the Obama of his day. He too promised dramatic change, and like Obama, delivered: soaring inflation, increased unemployment, emboldened enemies, loss of respect in the world, diminished confidence at home. And yet, it didn't matter one bit. I still voted for him again in 1980, for my head was deep up the liberal feel-tank.

So was I drunk, or just ignorant? So hard to put myself back into my old Bob.... I was a pretty excitable boy, but I was also an ignoramus who knew what he knew, and that's all he knew (i.e., the cultural matrix of monolithic liberalism). Even if I had wanted to -- if my will weren't inebriated -- there was literally no way to gain access to conservative arguments unless one was a National Review subscriber.

There were a few conservative voices, but because they were so rare, one just assumed they were cranks or eccentrics. It was very much a cultural attitude, because one was basically trained to have a kind of visceral rejection of all things conservative, mainly because they tossed cold water on one's pleasant buzz; or in technical terms, harshed your mellow. I am continually amazed that so many members of my auto-hypnotized generation are still suckling on the liberal crock pipe while swaddled in the adult diapers of hopenchange....

I will continue this charmingly self-indulgent musing below, time permitting. For now, let's get back to The Devil. Or, for my detractors, let's leave this Devil to his inane memories and move on to the next topic.

unKnown Friend points out that even Marx and Engels could have avoided intoxication -- and prevented the birth of a ghastly genocidal demon -- if they had actually just considered the plight of the poor in a detached and disinterested way. But instead, they went far, far, over the line, into cloud cuckoo land, insisting that God didn't exist, that capitalism left "the poor" in a completely hopeless situation, that history obeyed scientific laws, that philosophy is just self-interest in disguise, etc.

It is the same with the Darwinists. If they would just maintain a little sobriety instead of drunkenly careening into areas in which they have nothing of importance to contribute, all would be well. But like a lubricated know-it-all at a cocktail party, they just can't stop themselves. They'll tell you everything about love, beauty, truth, God.... It's all wrong, of course, but that's the thing about being drunk -- it feels good.

I am once again reminded of Paul McCartney's first acid trip. His mind was so filled with ideas, that he had his assistant following him around, so he could dictate them to him. He remembered one particularly inspired idea, and insisted that his assistant take it down word for word, and then put it away for safe keeping. The next morning, they eagerly retrieved the scrap of paper, upon which it was written:

There are seven levels.

But it might as well have been: everything can be explained by random mutation + adaption, or the labor theory of economics, or I think therefore I am, or abortion is guaranteed by the Constitution, or two men can marry, or the audacity of hope, or dude, God is just like vicodin! None of these ideas make any sense unless the person is a senseless drunk. Sober up, and they're either banal or pernicious or both.

Of the founding featherheads of the left, UF writes that "there is no doubt that with them it was a matter of an excess -- a going beyond the limits of competence and sober and honest knowledge -- which they did not in any way doubt, having been carried away by the intoxicating impulse of radicalism."

You must understand that the radical wants to be intoxicated -- with outrage, with self-righteous anger, with smugness, with superiority, with iconoclasm, with fear (e.g., of "domestic spying," or the "theofascistic takeover of the nation"), with "injustice." Like any other drug, radicalism is addictive because of the splendidly expansive feelings it engenders. This, I think, explains why so many of my generation refuse to grow up -- because they are addicted to the feelings produced by radicalism.

For example, in no way do they want racism to be a thing of the past. For a white liberal, it gives such an intoxicating feeling of being on the side of righteousness, that it is impossible for them to let it go. For you Raccoons of color out there, you probably realize that every white liberal condescendingly imagines that he is noble Atticus Finch and that you are poor helpless Tom Robinson.

And I imagine that all the racial grievance hustlers -- if they aren't just outright sociopaths, like Al Sharpton -- imagine that white people give a great deal of thought to race, when they actually couldn't care less (at least conservatives). Personally, I'd never think about race if liberals weren't obsessed with it.

The left also doesn't want poverty to end, because this too would eliminate the cause of their righteous indignation. Otherwise they would define poverty in absolute instead of relative terms, not to mention embrace economic policies that lift people from poverty instead of confining them there. Did you know that LBJ supposedly had no intention whatsoever of erecting a permanent welfare state? Rather, the idea behind "the war on poverty" was to end it in a single generation, not create a vast system of perpetuating it. But that's the thing about Good Intentions.

Back to the card. Any form of radicalism is given force and momentum by the intoxicated desire to "change everything utterly at a single stroke. And it is this fever to *change* everything utterly at a single stroke which gave birth to the demon of class hatred, atheism, disdain for the past, and material interest being placed above all else, which is now making the rounds in the world" (MOTT).

You see how it works? The ideology legitimizes the intoxicated expression of envy, anger, class warfare, racial segregation, murder, whatever. It is what allowed Bill Ayers, for example, to want to attempt mass murder in good conscience. When one is full of that much righteous rage, what less can any decent person do? Wouldn't you have killed the leaders of the Third Reich if given the opportunity? Ayers still has no regrets, because he is still drunk. But like all drunks, he stays drunk in order to avoid the pain of regret -- regret for a wasted life spent wasted on a poisonous ideology.

Again, this is the counter-inspiration of the Devil, and it is a caricature of spiritual grace and transformation, for as one descends down into the inconscient (↓), something rises up to meet you (↑), which produces the intoxication and gives birth to a third thing.

*****

What team? Coonucks, naturally. Can't wait until they play the Devils.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Learn From the Experts How to Generate Your Own Demons!

Of the generation of demons, our unKnown Friend and psychopomp (BTW an odd-sounding word I didn't make up, and which means vertical tour guide or perhaps clinical pneumatologist) writes that they are a result of the cooperation of the male and female principles, or of perverse will and imagination: "a desire that is perverse or contrary to nature, followed by the corresponding imagination, together constitute the act of generation of a demon."

If you peer at the card, you will notice that the demon is much larger than its parents. The parents gave birth to the demon, and yet, "have become enslaved by their own creation. They [the parents] represent perverse will and imagination contrary to nature, which have given birth to an androgynous demon, i.e., to a being endowed with desire and imagination, which dominates the forces that engendered it."

Look at the way government -- obviously man's creation -- grows and makes more demands of us, no matter who is in power. But that's how demons work -- again, refer to the picture above. The two little taxpayers are slaves of the government they created, run by those legions of androgynous castrati whom we cannot eradicate.

Now, what UF describes here will be familiar to parents out there, even if your child is not (always) a demon. For example, when a child is in the midst of a tantrum -- say, bellowing about "income inequality" at an OWS rally -- he is temporarily under the influence of a kind of demonic energy. It's not problematic unless the personality begins to crystalize around the axis of this energy, which can occur as a result of various environmental contingencies, e.g., spoiling, excess self-esteem, failure of gratitude, graduate school, etc.

Its opposite movement essentially falls under the heading of the "civilizing process," a process that has, over the past fifty years or so, fallen out of favor owing to the influence of the secular left. Conveniently, the left's practices produce uncivilized human beings (see European riots for details), while its philosophy forbids pointing this out. Instead of calling them "uncivilized" -- or, more to the point, barbarians -- we must call them "victims," or "disadvantaged," or "special," or some other misleading euphemism.

Several observations are in order regarding demon-detection, without which zeitgeist-busting is impossible. From 2 Corinthians we learn that the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. In other words, man is explicitly created with a spirit of freedom -- cf. the Declaration of Independence -- which you might say is the means to the end of our being, which is ultimately theosis, perfection, or God-realization. In short, the means: liberty. The ends: love, truth, beauty, unity (or the One).

This formula renders existence perfectly intelligible (over the long haul). Its denial renders existence perfectly absurd, although you may or may not know it, on account of your denial of Denial. But Ø x Ø is nevertheless Ø, no matter how you slice it; conversely, 〇 x anything is always everything, more on which as we proceed. Well, okay. Here's a hint, from Alfred North Whitehead:

"The creative principle is everywhere, in animate and inanimate matter, in the ether, water, earth, human hearts.... Insofar as man partakes of this creative process does he partake of the divine...."

"Religion is the vision of something which stands beyond, and within, the passing flux of immediate things; something which is real, and yet, waiting to be realized; something which is a remote possibility, and yet the greatest of present facts; something that gives meaning to all that passes, and yet eludes apprehension; something whose possession is the final good, and yet beyond all reach; something which is the ultimate ideal, and the hopeless quest."

I don't think I could come up with a better description of what I mean by 〇, in and with whom “we live and move and have our being" and "are also His offspring" (Acts 17:28). (Although that penultimate word, "hopeless," can be misinterpreted, for we always have vertical hope. We are only hopeless about the possibility of transforming earth into heaven, because the attempt to do so ushers in hell.)

Being that we are in the image of the Creator, human beings have no choice but to create. But what shall we create? More importantly, in what spirit shall we do so? Genuine creation should be liberating, expansive, elevating, radiating. But demonic creation will be the opposite: enslaving, constricting, enclosing, debasing. It always makes us smaller, not larger, does it knot?

In Schuon's metaphysics (which he felt to be universally valid), male is a reflection of the Absolute, female the Infinite. Perhaps the most destructive force on earth is the absolute will detached from the divine plane. This leads to the raw will to power and the absolute dictator, and to a cult that is always excessively male (one thinks of the homoeroticism of the Nazis).

On the other hand, the perverse imagination is well reflected in contemporary art and academia. For example, deconstruction is reminiscent of a weightless and mercurial female whose reality depends upon the mood she is in. There is no fixed, i.e., Absolute, center, or unmoved mover, since the Infinite has become divorced from the devalued Absolute: as the feminist cliche goes, "the Infinite needs the Absolute like a fish needs a bicycle." But once you detach language from the Logos, it becomes a kind of infinite nonsense generator -- the "infinite blather" of the tenured.

On the other end, once you detach the Absolute from the Infinite, it becomes a kind of soul-crushing ideology to which one must assent, as in 1984. (No, not the book. I mean when I was in graduate school.) It reminds us of Queeg and his jihad against conservatism, the latter of which is specifically a harmonious marriage of Absolute (or transcendence) and Infinite (or immanence).

Here is the irony: Queeg wishes to elevate Darwinian fundamentalism to the status of Absolute, which has the effect of denying the infinitude of Man's spirit. The result -- if you are intelligent enough to draw out the implications -- is that both science and Man become strictly impossible, in that they are detached from their very ground.

unKnown Friend next discusses the origins of the left in the false absolute of Marxism: "Engendered by the will of the masses through the generations, armed with a dummy intellectuality which is Hegel's dialectic misconstrued -- this spectre has grown and continues to make the rounds in Europe and in other continents..." Really? Who knew?

Here is where Marxism and Queegism converge, for with the former "there is no God or gods -- there are only 'demons' in the sense of creations of the human will and imagination." In other words, "Marxism" is simply an ideological superstructure produced by the will of the masses, which is in turn rooted in material economics and nothing more. Likewise, for the Darwnian fundamentalist, everything ultimately boils down to the selfish gene, or an absurdly absolute denial of the Infinite.

This creation of a false absolute is idol worship, pure and simple. And an idol is a wall from, in contrast to an icon, which is a window into, transcendence. Although man creates the idol, it appropriates power over man, walling him off from reality.

[W]hat terrible power resides in our will and imagination, and what responsibility it entails for those who unleash it into the world!... We people of the twentieth century know that the "great pests" of our time are the [artificially engendered demons], which have cost humanity more life and suffering than the great epidemics of the Middle Ages. --MOTT

Despite all its setbacks, the six year struggle [of WWII], he went on, would one day go down in history as "the most glorious and valiant manifestation of a nation's will to existence." -- on Hitler's last will and testament, as related in Kershaw

There would, [Hitler] made clear, be no place in this utopia for the Christian Churches. For the time being, he ordered slow progression in the "Church Question." "But it is clear," noted Goebbels, "that after the war it has to be generally solved... There is, namely, an insoluble opposition between the Christian and Germanic-heroic world-view." --ibid.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

OWS and the Right of Return to Infantile Paradise

Picking up from where we left off yesterday, when we encounter collective beliefs and practices that appear insane and self-defeating, we are probably dealing with mind parasites. Importantly, while they do not appear adaptive to an outside observer, they actually are adaptive to the person who harbors them. It's just that they are adaptive to the interior, not exterior, world. This is no different than a neurotic patient with a baffling symptom. Ultimately the symptom can be traced back to some earlier adaptation to a difficult or traumatic situation.

The most difficult challenge for human beings -- and it is a lifelong one -- is to adapt to the novel problem of having a mind, or of mindedness. Ultimately, mind parasites come down to the problem of thoughts and what to do with them -- anxious thoughts, fearful thoughts, envious thoughts, greedy thoughts, angry thoughts, sexual thoughts, etc. One of the primary purposes of culture is to collectively manage these primitive thoughts. Which is a big reason why diverse cultures historically haven't gotten along well, because one man's idol is another man's pest.

Take, for example, the problem of primitive Arab culture existing side by side with modern Israeli culture. In the absence of contact with the latter, these paranoid, misogynistic, homophobic, and goat-humping religious retrobates would be content to wallow in the mud of their own mind parasites. But contact with a modern liberal culture that values freedom and isn't preoccupied with female sexuality is too much to cope with. The mind parasites must lash out at the culture that threatens their existence.

It is no different with the left. Why do they hate us? Well, for starters, it's a shock to the system to discover so late in life that you aren't "special," that your absurdly inflated self-esteem has no correlation to reality, that they don't hand out trophies just for breathing, and that in the real world your communication studies degree doesn't mean shit. I'll let Adam Carolla explain the rest. You can come back to it after you finish the post.



In the course of writing my book, I did a fair amount of research into the earliest roots of collective mind parasites, which can be difficult to come by because of the absurd manner in which anthropologists idealize man and culture (so long as the man isn't a person of pallor and the culture isn't Christian). One of the books I found helpful at the time -- since it tries to reach all the way to the groundfloor of the collective/historical psyche -- was In the Shadow of Moloch: The Sacrifice of Children and Its Impact on Western Religions. It's been over a decade since I read it, so I can't give it an unqualified raccoomendation.

Here's what the ubiquitous Professor Backflap -- who seems to have read and enjoyed every book in existence -- says about it:

"In ancient times, humans projected their hostility into their gods; 'bloodthirsty' gods who 'demanded' the sacrifice of children. In the Shadow of Moloch begins with pre-biblical times by examining Moloch, the god of the 'Children of Ammon' who demanded the burning of children.

"Tracing the legacy of child sacrifice, Bergmann shows that the greatest efforts to overcome this ritual can be found in biblical accounts of the suspended sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham and of the sacrifice of Christ by God the Father to atone for original sin. He argues that the development of Judaism and Christianity can be seen as an effort, only partially successful, to ameliorate past aggression of child sacrifice through the creation of an entirely loving god."

I would say discovery of an entirely loving God, but you get the point, because there is no evolutionary reason to believe that human beings could have "invented" such a being, given their dismal track record. Obviously, the systematic murder of one's children poses a challenge to natural selection, unless there is some deeper mechanism to account for it. Again, I believe that mechanism is the urgent need to adapt to the catastrophic condition of having a self-conscious mind.

It is indeed difficult for us to imagine how catastrophic this was -- to have been, as Richard Prior so poetically put it, the first motherf*cker to look around and ask himself what in the f*ck is goin' on?!

Then again, not really, if you can empathize with the emotionally catastrophic (as in catastrophe theory) conditions of infancy and early childhood -- which, sad to say, many, if not most, parents still cannot do. I would estimate -- actually, studies on maternal attachment estimate -- that perhaps only a third of parents in the West are able to do this. In more primitive locales, such as in the Islamic world -- well.... child sacrifice goes on unabated. They just call it intifada instead of infanticide, jihad instead of juvecide.

And in the West, we simply have more subtle means of engaging in child sacrifice. We don't kill the body, but murder the soul. I mean, I literally cannot imagine sending my son to a California public school, because I would in effect be sending him off to be sacrificed to the leftist collective.

Coincidentally, just this morning, while standing outside waiting for his ride, I noticed our local rag, the Agoura Acorn, right under the tree. Normally it would go straight to the recycling bin, but while picking it up I noticed the headline: Gay Lesson Plan Coming to School: New state law will require attention to diversity.

First of all: attention? I do not think this word means what they think it means, for the law actually "requires textbooks to highlight the achievements of the gay and lesbian [they left out 'transgendered'] population in California and the United States."

In plain english, the state now mandates that children, starting in kindergarten -- yes, that joyful garden of innocent kinder -- must be brainwashed in a manner comporting with the far left agenda of homosexual activists. This is what we call "diversity."

"Attention" is such a neutral word. For example, I just finished a biography of Hitler that gave a great deal of attention to his unprecedented contributions to European civilization. Not to be judgmental, but suffice it to say, these contributions were less than stellar. I assume that this state-mandated attention to homosexual behavior will similarly highlight its disproportionate contribution to AIDS, just as they no doubt pay similar attention to the white man's one-sided contribution to the genocide of Native Americans.

I couldn't bear doing to my son what was done to me, and that was well before the leftist takeover of the educational system was complete. He would have to internalize all of their strange gods -- multiculturalism, moral relativism, materialism, scientism, environmentalism, etc. -- and in so doing, die to his own soul. But that is a rather passive way of putting it, for this is attempted soul murder, plain and simple. I mean, if you don't know why it's inappropriate to discuss sodomy with six year olds, you shouldn't be allowed to horse around with children, much less presume to instruct them.

In fact, continuing with Bergmann's flapdoodle, I think it is a truism that "the psychological conflict of child sacrifice still haunts the unconscious of modern men and women." He posits what he calls a "Laius complex -- hostility of the father toward the son -- to explain sacrifice. He argues that, in psychological terms, the development of Western religions is an effort by insufficiently loved men and women to change their inner balance away from hostility, toward a more loving center."

You might even say that what we alluded to above about incompatible cultures existing side by side has an analogue in "incompatible generations" existing in intimate proximity. After all, the "generation gap" wasn't invented by the baby boomers. Indeed, the OWS movement is in many ways a ludicrously displaced attack on an older generation that "has all the wealth." It is children rebelling against the parents. Thus, to paraphrase Don Colacho, they are simply spoiled and impatient heirs. And "'social justice' is the term used to claim anything to which we do not have a right."

Regarding the collective mind parasites, you can see that unKnown Friend isn't really too far from Bergmann: although "engendered subjectively," these artificial demons "become forces independent of the subjective consciousness that engendered them. They are, in other words, magical creations, for magic is the objectification of that which takes its origin in subjective consciousness" (again, think of the image in the card of the man and woman chained to a larger entity that they have co-created).

UF compares these collective demons to psychological complexes, which is why it is something of a truism to say that a culture is a public neurosis, while a neurosis is a private culture. But there are also public psychoses, e.g., OWS (and by "psychotic," I simply mean not in contact with reality, or a defect in reality-testing).

Yes, these groups can be frightening to think about, because they (the manipulated ones, anyway) really do believe the things they say. But it's not so much "the things they believe" -- i.e., the contained (♂) -- as the container (♀) -- i.e., the very space in which they live -- that is so disturbing (and I think that what these Obamavillians do to the surrounding environment is a mirror of their chaotic internal state, otherwise they couldn't possibly feel comfortable amidst such squalor and pestilence; then again, at least the million dollars of our money required to clean up the mess in Los Angeles was spent on the children).

Again, think of that deeply irrational container as a sort of desperate effort to manage their own unbearable proto-thoughts and impulses. You could say that OWS is the pathological product of an unsane pairing of ♂ (contained) and ♀ (container). Leftism is what happens when you put together an abandoning ♀ with an enraged ♂: uncontainable and incoherent, just "beta elements" (primitive proto-thoughts without a thinker) leaking out all over the place. When even a Democratic mayor can't handle the stench, you've really accomplished something.

You could also say that these demons represent the premature birth of the unborn due to an inability to tolerate reality and allow the proto-thoughts to "gestate" in the womb of being. In other words, they represent premature closure of the psychic field, which is again one of the main reasons why people believe such weird things.

These weird ideas nevertheless have to be "nourished" by a parental container, which is why adolt intellectuals devote their lives to feeding these kids and legitimizing their emotional and intellectual immaturity. Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Paul Krugman, Robert Reich, et al -- their festering crapus is a kind of pathological psychic body that is utterly detached from reality. When they die, it will "live on" in wackolytes who have been infected by their ghostly and ghastly ideas. Think of "patient zero," Marx, who is still spreading his spiritually fatal infection. Religion -- properly understood -- inoculates one from the disease, but that's the subject for a different post.

Oh, and when Bob uses words like "infection" and "disease," he is, of course, worse than Hitler, so you needn't remind us.

Suddenly I am out of time. To be continued.....

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Speaking of the Devil: Exorcism through Word Magic

Is there some less saturated (or mythological or premodern) way to think about who or what person or process people refer to when they use the noun "devil" or adjective "satanic?"

Because as things stand, they often just sound crazy, stupid, or ill-educated. It doesn't necessarily mean they are any of these things, for if this were the case, then many, if not the majority, of the most luminous minds in the history of western civilization would fall into these categories. And no concept could persist for so many centuries in the absence of a sufficient cause. But what is this cause?

Of course, most postmodern/secular types are happy to consign this topic to the fringe, but this simply results in the phenomena concealing itself under a cover of namelessness. In other words, you cannot make something disappear by dis-inventing the name for it. Indeed, this will only result in more, not less, of the phenomenon in question, since we won't be able to talk about it in any coherent way. It's like trying to eliminate illness by banning the word "sickness," or domesticate Islam by prohibiting the word "terror."

Alert readers will have noticed in an instant that this primitive word-magic is perhaps the most conspicuous strategy of the politically correct left -- and indeed why there is always a "virus in the left's PC." They are constantly shifting the meanings of words, either to disassociate themselves from one that has accumulated too many psychic toxins; or, conversely, to attach themselves to a bright shiny word that hasn't yet been spoiled. For example, the illiberal left first appropriated that noble word, "liberal," but then proceeded to spoil it, so they had to move on to "progressive."

But based upon the uncivilized behavior of the progressive bums, criminals, parasites, and sociopaths of the OWS movement, this word may soon suffer a similar fate. No one will want to be called "progressive," because it will imply an angry, inarticulate, lawless, and lice-ridden loser. In other words, it will have come too close to actually describing reality.

Rather than an ideological strategy, the Left is a lexicographical tactic (Don Colacho's Aphorisms).

Extra-alert readers who pay attention to the "Whatcha' Reading There, Bob?" links in the sidebar will have also noticed that Bob has been sort of immersing himself in the dark world of the satanic, trying to better understand its nature, e.g., Hitler, Mao, Inferno, Heaven on Earth, The Great Lie, etc.

At the same time, I have been balancing this effort by delousing myself under the stream of its exact cosmic counter-movement, as exemplified by souls such as Lincoln, Washington, Reagan, and John Paul II. In a way, these elevated souls are more difficult to account for than the monsters, since they are so much rarer -- rare indeed to the threshold of the miraculous. Think of the inconceivable destruction that can be wrought by one bad actor, compared to how little a single decent person can do.

For example, no matter how good I am, it will pretty much only effect my family, friends, and readers. But if I wanted to be bad -- say, become a mass murderer or television executive -- I could ruin the lives of thousands in an instant. And if I'm lucky enough to live in Norway, pay no price for it.

You might say that the Satanic -- who- or whatever it is -- embodies a kind of counter-movement to all the cosmic principles we've been discussing up to this point. Indeed, unKnown Friend says that this is the aracunum of counter-inspiration, which, interestingly, is not "expiration." In other words, as we've been saying in so many ways, genuine mysticism, gnosis, and magic come about as a result of the harmonious rhythm of (↑) and (↓), while counter-inspiration would have to be some sort of caricature or counterfeit version of this -- a kind of bad breath (spirit and breath both being derived from pneuma) or hellitosis.

As vision and inspiration involve tears and sweat (as explained in yesterday's post), this card introduces us "to the secrets of the electrical fire and the intoxication of counter-inspiration." What? Yes. This "electrical intoxication" would indeed account for the infamous Obama-tingle in Chris Matthews' hairless, pasty and corpulent thigh.

This is also the card of what I call Mind Parasites, which are the self-generated demons which then have power over those who create them -- which you will no doubt notice represents a kind of pathological (because closed) cycle of (↑) and (↓); more on which below.

But first, UF makes an extremely important point, that "the world of evil is a chaotic world." Which means, if you wish to create a world in which the Devil may operate with a "free hand," so to speak, you needn't necessarily engage in evil per se. Rather, all you have to do is disrupt the celestial order and sow chaos below.

(I actually prefer the word "disorder," since chaos now has a scientific meaning; from the perspective of chaos theory, things that superficially look chaotic, such as the free market or my desk, may exhibit extremely deep order, but that's the topic for another post. We'll just stick with "chaos" in its colloquial sense.)

A most obvious example of cosmic order is the distinction between male and female. To blend these categories is not just foolish and unwise, but evil. Or, soon enough it will lead to evil. I don't want to get sidetracked, but here is a depressing article by Kay Hymowitz on the contemporary state of male-female relations, Love in the Time of Darwinism. The take-away point is that the chaos engendered by feminism and other postmodern neopagan idiolatries has hardly been "liberating." Rather, in taking a wrecking ball to the nonlocal celestial hierarchy, the vaginocracy "ironically" reduces human beings to a state of pure animality in their mating habits. Ladies, be careful what you whine for.

In turn, this is why the homosexual and heterophobic activists clamoring for the redefinition of marriage are promoting evil, pure and simple. It is usually unwitting, to be sure, but no less destructive for being so. In no way am I suggesting that this or that homosexual is evil. That's an entirely different subject.

Rather, what I am saying is that I do not want a handful of privileged white male judges to impose their diabolical values on the rest of us, just because they do not understand that marriage exists as a divine archetype, and that it is not for us to tamper with, any more than it is up to a judge to redefine the laws of physics. You cannot turn my aunt into a Maserati by judicial Fiat.

As Dennis Prager always says, we live in the "age of stupidity," meaning that we live in an age that is devoid of wisdom -- or in which wisdom is not honored at the center but consigned to the periphery. But the accumulated spiritual wisdom of the centuries is no less vital to our survival then the "biological wisdom" embodied in our genes. Genes encode information about how to deal with the physical environment, just as religious memes (archetypes) teach us how to adapt to the spiritual environment.

And why do we live in an age of stupidity? Because liberals have spent the last fifty years undermining the legitimacy of the divine-human order, and therefore sowing chaos. And once you have chaos, then you have successfully destroyed any standards by which we may objectively guide our lives.

This is what I mean when I gently inform uncomprehending "integralists" that the left is not the complement of conservative liberalism, but its very negation. A true political complementarity would have to share the same first principles, which was more or less the case in America until the 1960s. Today, the problem is not that we differ with the left over this or that policy issue. Rather, they have entirely different first principles, principles which are not rooted in the Constitution, in American tradition, and certainly not in transcendent reality (i.e., the vertical).

Even leaving spirituality to the side, the anti-vertical activists express such an astonishing naivete about the power of human sexuality, that it is not even childlike, because children are well aware of such fundamental categories as Father and Mother, man and child, boy and girl. Only a certified leftist could be so dense as to deny such a primordial reality and call it "progress." As a classical liberal, I do not believe it is the business of the state to tell a couple of men or women what sort of erotic partnership they wish to have. Just don't pretend that it is marriage, which it can never, ever be.

Notice that their only possible counter-argument will be a strictly horizontal one, thereby denying the very context of marriage, i.e., the sacred. By the nature of their arguments, one can tell that they have no idea what marriage actually is, in that they see it only in terms of an arbitrary "right" which some people supposedly have but others don't.

Anyway, the main point is that if you want to engender evil, all you have to do is promote disorder by denying or blending categories which must remain separate in order for there to be civilization at all. This is why the Creator's very first act is one of separation amidst chaos.

Back to the card. UF notes that it evokes the idea of slavery, in that it depicts two people "who are attached to the pedestal of a monstrous demon." It suggests "an eminently practical lesson as to how it happens that beings can forfeit their freedom and become slaves of a monstrous entity which makes them degenerate by rendering them similar to it."

With regard to these parasitic entities, the analogy with biology is apt, for we know that there are "helpful" and "harmful" bacteria. Some parasites will kill us, while others live symbiotically in us, for example, in our digestive tract to help maintain health.

I'm thinking, for example, of the conscience, which opposes us and can at times feel like a parasitic entity that is there to spoil our fun, when its real purpose is to allow for vertical growth -- and to prevent a horizontal death. Recall, for example, how in Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov is punished by his "parasitic" conscience. The conscience can indeed burn, but this is the method God is reduced to when you have ignored more subtle messages.

To be continued....

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The One in the Many in the One

We still have a few areas to cover in Temperance before moving on to everyone's favorite card, the Devil. Agree or disagree with him, he never phones it in, nor is he a quitter. He always maintains the audacity of hope (horizontalized hope, of course) and is the champion of progressive change.

Speaking of horizontalized hope, in reading this biography of Hitler, I was struck by the resilience of his hope, right up to the end. For example, despite the fact that his bunker was about to be encircled by bloodthirsty Russians, upon hearing of Roosevelt's death on April 12, 1945, he exclaimed "Here!... Here we have the great miracle that I have always foretold. Who's right now? The war is not lost. Read it! Roosevelt is dead!" That is what I call audacious hope.

More devilish dilations tomorrow. Back to where we left off yesterday. Our unKnown Friend and cosmic tour guide points out that there are actually three primary modes of spiritual experience: vision, inspiration, and intuition; or perception, communication, and identification:

"Vision presents and shows us spiritual things, inspiration infuses us with understanding of them, and intuition reveals to us their essence by way of assimilation with our essence."

Or, to spit out a digestive metaphor, first one must determine what to eat; then ingest, chew, and swallow it; and finally metabolize and assimilate it, so that the two substances become one body.

Note that the first two require conscious choice, while the latter occurs without involvement of our conscious will -- nor would we have any idea how to accomplish this task if we had to. (Also, bear in mind that this sequence is preceded, of course, by hunger, which is to say, recognition of spiritual need, or ontological incompleteness and therefore dependence and openness.)

Alternatively, we could think of these modes as taking place on the planes of feeling, knowing, and being, each having its own degrees of depth and interpenetrating the others (i.e., they can only be artificially separated; think of the three modes as a dynamic trialectic, like the human family -- father intellect, mother intuition, and child feeling).

As I have mentioned before, for the typical worshipper, religion embodies a kind of (implicit or non-conscious) metaphysics without (explicitly articulated) knowledge. In other words, the metaphysics is implicate, but no less true for being so. Gravity existed before Newton's discovery of it, just as Christ exists before Jesus.

This is again why the most simpleminded creationist is nevertheless closer to the (absolute, not relative) truth than the most sophisticated atheist. Such a person "feels" the truth, even if he cannot necessarily express it in way acceptable to the atheist, who is incapable of feeling this more subtle mode of truth to begin with. It should go without saying that there are saintly people who are not intellectuals, just as there are intellectuals who are not saints.

UF notes that spiritual vision -- just like its physical analogue -- expands the horizon of one's being. All of our senses are actually different varieties of touch; for example, with vision, we are touching photons; with hearing, we are touching air vibrations; with olfaction, we are touching molecules floating in the air.

Just as our physical vision expands our subjective horizon -- even to distant heavenly bodies that are light-years away -- so too does spiritual vision give access to realities that are "up ahead" (both spatially and temporally) and yet here.

For example, when we read, say, Genesis or the Gospel of John, each helps us to discern realities that are vertically "present," but might otherwise go undetected -- just as a person without vision (unless told) would know nothing of stars and planets. Scripture literally helps us touch these realities with our awakened intellect, and can indeed be the occasion of that very awakening (since there can be no effect without a sufficient cause).

But so too do other spiritual modes involve touch -- really, anything that directly communicates divine truth, love, or beauty. Often, as UF describes, this contact will be accompanied by tears, which result from the "flow" between the two domains, the eternal and the temporal:

"The contact between image and likeness is experienced as inner weeping.... [T]he expression 'I am moved to tears' is only a reflection of what happens when image and likeness touch. They then mingle in tears -- and the inner current which results is the life of the human soul."

I'm guessing that atheists have never wept upon encountering a transformative truth, but that is not surprising, for the tears again signify depth of experience, and nothing as shallow as atheism could ever produce such an effect.

There are tears of sorrow, of joy, of gratitude, of admiration, of compassion, of reverence, of pride in one's children, of tenderness, of reconciliation, each having to do with the intensity of one's inner life, which "pours out" in the form of tears, either outwardly or "inwardly."

When is the last time you were moved in this way to inward tears? I guess for me it was a couple of months ago, when my six year old was baptized into the Catholic faith. I'm not saying I was noticeably weeping or anything -- the Godwins are men of steel -- but I definitely received the memo, enough to in-form me that I was in the presence of a real reality.

So there is spiritual vision, or touch, which involves depth of feeling and gives access to a new realm of facts. Then there is spiritual inspiration, or communication, which involves depth of knowledge and understanding. It takes the facts given by vision and converts them to explicit knowledge. This is none other then O-->(n), or "gnosis" (which all genuine theology should be).

At the same time, there is no depth without unity, and vice versa. Necessarily, as one's knowledge deepens one will begin to apprehend the interior cosmic unity, or the Logos, that makes intellectual unity possible to begin with. Contrast this with the absurd "horizontal unity" of the flatlanders, which is a metaphysical impossibility.

Now, vision has more to do with (↓), while inspiration has more to do with (↑). This is because, like our sensory vision, the former is mostly a passive modality. We just open our eyes and whoomp, there it is, a whole world.

But inspiration, as UF defines it, requires a bit more effort on our part: not just tears, but sweat. We have spoken of tears. When is the last time you sweated to deepen your vision?

I well remember the first time this happened to me. It was in the spring of 1985, when I first encountered Bion. That awakened something in me and set me off on a wild nous chase, the details of which are unimportant. The future Mrs. G and I were living in a one bedroom apartment with virtually no furniture, so I was sitting on the floor grappling with the text, literally perspiring in a kind of intellectual fever that was full of implications which took years to sort out. You could say that it was my intellectual "big bang." (By the way, I am not recommending Bion to anyone, because the point is to find the person who introduces you to yourself; I am not a "Bionian.")

Speaking of Bion, in order to have inspirations, one's mind must be unsaturated: "the answer is the disease that kills curiosity." I was apparently a good candidate, for I had essentially learned nothing (nothing essential) from kindergarten all the way through my undergraduate work. I had no answers, diseased or otherwise. It's just basic physics that if you want something to pour into you, your vessel should be relatively empty and capacious. Elsewhere UF writes that while nature abhors a vacuum, Spirit requires one.

UF has a good line: "Children know how to ask and dare to ask. Are they presumptuous? No, because each question that they pose is at the same time an avowal of their ignorance." Schuon said something to the effect that there is more light in a good question than in most answers. You will note that our trolls are always armed with peripheral questions that contain no light -- or even capacity for light -- at all. They are not the innocent expression of holy ignorance, but a guilt-stained imposition of unholy stupidity.

UF describes inspiration as a thinking together, and this is indeed what it is. Again, to use the example above, I was not simply "learning" Bion. Rather, we were "thinking together" in such a way that it sounded all sorts of latent themes within me -- and which were the primordial and consequent me.

So, your omwork for today is to "say to yourself that you know nothing, and at the same time say to yourself that you are able to know everything, and -- armed with this healthy humility and this healthy presumption of children -- immerse yourself in the pure and strengthening element of the 'thinking together' of inspiration!"

Clearing space to make room for a higher tooth:

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Origin of Feces and the Descent of Man

Who is the third who walks always beside you?
When I count, there are only you and I together
But when I look ahead up the white road
There is always another one walking beside you
Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded
I do not know whether a man or a woman
--But who is that on the other side of you?
--T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land

Meditations on the Tarot has a lengthy account of the nature of guardian angels. It's pretty straightOward, so I don't want to just rewordgitate what our unKnown Friend says. All I can really add is that if you don't think you have a guardian angel, just fake it for awhile. There is no one lonelier than an angel with nothing to do.

Out of curiosity, I looked it up on wikipedia, and it says that "A guardian angel is an angel assigned to protect and guide a particular person or group.... Christian mystics have at times reported ongoing interactions and conversations with their guardian angels, lasting several years."

UF writes that "The Angel depends on man in his creative activity. If the human being does not ask for it, if he turns away from him, the Angel has no motive for creative activity. He can then fall into a state of consciousness where all his creative geniality remains in potential and does not manifest. It is a state of vegetation or 'twilight existence' comparable to sleep from the human point of view. An Angel who has nothing to exist for is a tragedy in the spiritual world."

I'm just going to reflect on whatever strikes my attention, such as the following: "the formation of wings" depends upon "a current from above [read: (↓)] which moves to meet that from below [(↑)]. Wings are formed only when the two currents -- that of human endeavor and that of grace -- meet and unite." Thus, identical to the manner in which earthly wings are formed by natural selection, the need evokes the function.

UF goes on to say that all forms of radical secularism "can create only the wings of Icarus." I am immediately reminded of Michael Novak's outstanding On Two Wings: Humble Faith and Common Sense at the American Founding, in that our Fathers -- perhaps because they were listening to the counsel of their better angels -- got the formula exactly right for our extraordinary national flight of the past two and a quarter centuries.

As always, when we say that the left in general and Obama in particular are "anti-American," we do not mean it in an insulting or polemical way. Rather, we mean it in this precise way: that the left explicitly wishes to clip one of our wings, which, as God is my witness, will cause us to plummet to the ground like bags of wet cement, no different than any other turkey of a nation.

When the flightless birds of the left squawk about "separation of church and state," what they really mean is the violent dismemberment of one of our wings. It makes no more sense than cutting off the thumb to spite our hand. The hand will remain, but it won't be able to grasp much, just as a single-winged biped is unable to achieve liftoff in the vertical. It has nothing to do with politics, but with a pre-political choice. The politics follows logically from this prior auto-amputation.

True, the leftist may develop wings of a sort, but we all recognize these appendages for what they are, for they are "the wings of a bat, i.e., those of darkness which are organs by means of which one can plunge into the depths of darkness" (MOTT). These are the worldly wings that allow one to navigate through that dark and dreadful 'batmosphere. Most contemporary art and literature is of this nature -- just the further erosion of eros and its replacement with the cold and loveless idols of the day. Such autists cannot soar upward but only can sink downward and confuse it with flight (which it is, until one hits bottom). The Waste Land comes to mind:

And bats with baby faces in the violet light / Whistled, and beat their wings / And crawled head downward down a blackened wall / And upside down in air were towers / Tolling reminiscent bells, that kept the hours / And voices singing out of empty cisterns and exhausted wells.

Yes moonbatman, you may flip and flap your two vestigial left wings of hope and change, but you will never achieve true flight, for there is no such thing as a free launch. Rather, you will simply turn on your own axis in a tight little spiral. Nor will you grow, for you are trying to subsist on your own byproducts. The shit-eating grin of Election Day 2008 will be wiped from the face of the left soon after Inauguration Day 2009.

Our "vastly enlarged perspectives of knowledge should open up fresh vistas of religious faith" (Eliot), not close off the frontier of unKnowing. Remember, human knowledge is like a little expanding circle amidst the sea of Being. Thus, the more we extend our boundaries, the greater the area we do not know. As a result, we have all the more to unKnow in the writ of a single lifetome. In other words, for them the problem was paucity of knowledge. For us, a surfeit. Much of the latter needs to be tossed overboard in order to leave the ground.

Russell Kirk writes that no Christian belief is "more neglected today... than the concept of guardian angels," which is "no less credible than many other dogmas which Eliot had learned to accept.... Imperfect though it may be, evidence for the existence of intermediary spiritual beings is no less intelligible than the proofs for various theories of natural science.... [F]or him, there was nothing repugnant or incredible in conceiving of tutelary beings of another order than human."

Hey, why not? Kirk mentions Yeats, "who believed that some great dead man watches over every passionate living man of talents." I believe this. I believe that through a kind of "passionate resonance," we may enter the interior mansion of a great person and borrow a portion of his precious ʘjʘ. Greater men than I just steal it.

As I sit here at this moment, I have several iconic photographs and pneumagraphic icons sitting on my desk, so I may look to them for a little cosmic inspiration (↓) -- or be scared straight up if need be. You really do become what you venerate; or, what you spontaneously venerate reveals your true nature.

Which is again why the unreal ideologies of the left are so spiritually catastrophic. Should one truly believe and assimilate those worthless braindroppings, one ends up batshit crazy.

Who are those hooded hordes swarming
Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth
Ringed by the flat horizon only
What is the city over the mountains
Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air
Falling towers
Jerusalem Athens Alexandria
Vienna London
Unreal
--Eliot

Thursday, November 24, 2011

An Angel Speaks on the Record

Consider this a bonus post, since there won't be another until Monday. It's just that I have a little free time, being that there's no school to interrupt the flow.

Today we shall begin our discussion of temperance, which probably sounds like a boring aracanum, but it's not. For it is the card of "integrated duality," which is actually rather thrilling, since it accounts for most of the action on the vertical plane. Call it "interior action."

To exist is to live amidst polarity and tension, the ultimate tension being the distance between image and likeness. It is this that creates the dynamic potential to transcend ourselves and "become what we are." The closing of this gap is the objective measure of your life. And if not for this "psychic third" that draws us beyond (and toward) ourselves, our lives really would be a vicious and inescapable duality. Coming down on one side or the other would essentially be arbitrary, plus there would be no way to move past it.

As UF explains, the image represents our essential structure, while likeness represents the functional structure; the former is "timeless," while the latter can only be deployed in time. The image is indestructible and responsible for our freedom, since it is a spark of the Absolute.

But the immortality of the likeness is "optional," so to speak, in that "it is immortal only in proportion to the measure that it conforms to its image." For a variety of reasons, many people choose Death. But to paraphrase the outlaw Josey Wales, "dyin' ain't much of a living," for it is analogous to choosing prison for the image while imagining that the likeness roams free. But this results only in freedom for the me but not the I -- the object and not the true subject.

UF then goes into an extended meditation on the metaphysics of angels, which, in the overall scheme of things, might be thought of as personifications of (↑) and (↓); in other words, they are "vertical emissaries," so to speak. Rabbi Steinsaltz's classic Thirteen Petalled Rose contains one of the most clear and concise explanations of angelology I've ever found, and it is very much compatible with what UF has to say. In fact, here is something I wrote about it four years ago:

"Steinsaltz notes that the soul [read: image] should not be thought of as a 'point' in space time. Rather, it is 'a continuous line of spiritual being, stretching from the general source of all the souls [O] to beyond the specific body of a particular person.... and because the soul is not a single point in space, it should be viewed not as a single existence having one quality or character, but as many existences, on a variety of spiritual levels...'

In the past, I have playgiarized with Alan Watts' analogy of a lampshade with many pinprick holes in it. From the outside it will look as if there are many "local" individual lights, but in reality, they are all coming from a single nonlocal source.

In another way, it's analogous to progressive bifocals, which change the focal point depending upon where you point your eyes. Look up through the bottom, and things that are near become out of focus; look down through the top, and the distant becomes blurry. So many errors of scientism result from looking through the wrong end of the bifocals. And they've never even heard of trifocals.

Steinsaltz discusses the distinction between the vertical and horizontal, which for me is the essence of any spiritual metaphysic. Obviously, in speaking of the vertical, of the qualitatively higher and lower, he is not speaking of an actual physical location. Vertically speaking, "to call a world higher signifies that it is more primary, more basic in terms of being close to a primal source of influence; while a lower world would be a secondary world -- in a sense, a copy."

Thus, viewed horizontally, we may trace the material cosmos back to a primordial event some 13.7 billion years ago. But this is only a horizontal explanation. Traditional metaphysics deals with the vertical causation of the cosmos, which is what confuses some people.

From the vertical perspective, this world is indeed a copy, as are human beings, of a divine prototype. The Logos might be thought of as the model of all things, the nexus between the divine mind above and the creation here below. Looked at in this manner, the inexplicable beauty of the world is not somehow the outcome of horizontal cause and effect, which would be a ridiculous assertion. Rather Beauty is a fundamental cause of the cosmos (among other nonlocal causes, such as Love and Truth).

Because of the ubiquitous vertical and horizontal influences, every aspect of human existence is made up of both matter and spirit, of form and essence. While we are fundamentally spiritual, we are unavoidably material, which sets up a host of interesting tensions and conflicts. The fall -- or exile, if you like -- is indeed a vertical one, a declension from the divine repose of celestial peace, down to this world of toil, conflict, uncertainty and ambiguity.

Steinsaltz writes that an angel is simply a "messenger" constituting a point of contact "between our world of action and the higher worlds. The angel is the one who effects transfers of the vital plenty between worlds. An angel's missions go in two directions: it may serve as an emissary of God downward..., and it may also serve as the one who carries things upwards from below, from our world to the higher worlds."

I ran it by Petey, but he was, I don't know, noncommittal. But that's not unusual. It's more like he's disinterested, or at least pretends to be. The roll of the eyes, the impatient, audible exhalation, the way his little wings flutter, as if he's got something better to do....

I just searched the blog, and found some more interesting material. At least it is for me. You'll have to bear with me, because often it's as if I'm reading these things for the first time. Oh wait. I am reading it for the first time. Petey himself wrote this one a couple of years ago. Of himself, he wrote that:

"I'm here, but I'm not here. How to explain.... I'm always here in the same sense that all 200 or whatever it is crappy TV stations are always streaming into your house. They're what we might call 'implicate.' But you can only tap into one station at a time -- assuming you don't have picture-in-picture, which is a little like schizophrenia -- thereby making the implicate explicate.

"The multidimensional implicate order is anterior to the explicate order, so that what you folks call 'consensus reality' is more of a mutual agreement to limit the implicate order in a certain way. It's all about managing your existential anxiety, not getting at the Truth. If you want to get at the Truth, you're going to have to tolerate the anxiety of not knowing, not make the anxiety go away with some stupid scientistic-materialistic nonsense.

"You know the old crack -- 'if the doors of perception were cleansed, then everything would appear as it is, infinite.' It is such a childish conceit for humans to imagine their puny minds can encompass the generative reality that generatively encompasses them!

"Yes, there are higher and lower worlds. I guess this isn't obvious to a leftist, but if any of you saw some of those OWS encampments, you know all about people who inhabit a lower world. Their language, their music, their feelings, their hygiene, their childish world view -- all emanate from a lower world. Ironically, most of them aren't even from the earth plane, but a notch or two below that.

"The point I'm making is that the words high and low refer only to the place of any particular world on the ladder of causality. 'To call a world higher signifies that it is more primary, more basic in terms of being close to a primal source of influence; while a lower world would be a secondary world -- in a sense, a copy. Yet the copy is not just an imitation but rather a whole system, with a more or less independent life of its own, its own variety of experience, characteristics and properties.' [I think that quote might be from Steinsaltz]

"This is why the flatlanders can become so enclosed in their absurcular delusions. In a way, their worldview is complete (on its own level), and yet, it's radically incomplete (with regard to the whole).

"I remember sketching this out with ironyclad logic to Gödel. I say 'irony,' because his ideas have been lowjoked by the psycho-spiritual left to suggest that we cannot make absolute statements about reality, when Gödel and I were making the opposite point about the limitations of logic to express things we damn well know to be true. One such point is that things aren't true because they're logical but logical because they're true. Duh!

"If you have stayed with me this far, then you will understand that, just as there are evil beings, there are evil worlds. These are simply the 'space' inhabited by the evil beings. Wisdom too is a space, or 'mansion.' Also creativity, love, beauty, peace. You can sense it when you enter one of these mansions. You can also sense it when you are near one of those haunted mansions where the darklings reside, or in one of the simplistic McMansions of the left.

"Enough malevolent wishes and wicked deeds, and pretty soon you have created a closed world, cut off from the divine influence. As Steinsaltz describes it, 'the sinner is punished by the closing of the circle, by being brought into contact with the domain of evil he creates.... as long as man chooses evil, he supports and nurtures whole worlds and mansions of evil, all of them drawing upon the same human sickness of the soul.... as the evil flourishes and spreads over the world because of the deeds of men, these destructive angels become increasingly independent existences, making up a whole realm that feeds on and fattens on evil.'

"Being that I was once an ordinary embodied and enmentalled man just like you prior to the farming accident, I feel that I am fit to pronounce on these subjects. Human beings live in a world of physical 'action,' and imagine that this is where all the action is. Not true.

"Allow me to explain. Or better yet, allow Steinsaltz to explain: 'The lower part of the world of action is what is known as as the "world of physical nature" and of more or less mechanical processes -- that is to say, the world where natural law prevails; while above this world of physical nature is another part of the same world which we may call the "world of spiritual action."

"What these two realms have in common is the action of Man, since 'the human creature is so situated between them that he partakes of both. As part of the physical system of the universe, man is subordinate to the physical, chemical, and biological laws of nature; while from the standpoint of his consciousness, even while this consciousness is totally occupied with matters of a lower order, man belongs to the spiritual world, the world of ideas.... Every aspect of human existence is therefore made up of both matter and spirit.'

"It is my nature to be a 'messenger, to constitute a permanent contact between [your] world of action and the higher worlds. The angel is the one who effects transfers of the vital plenty between worlds.'

"'An angel's missions go in two directions: it may serve as an emissary of God downward, to other angels and to creatures below the world of formation; and it may also serve as the one who carries things upwards from below, from our world to the higher worlds' (Steinsaltz). You might call us the transpersonal postal service for prayers and the like.

"Just to make it clear, it was not I who prompted Bob to steal the Las Vegas Holiday Inn flag back in 1980. For there are 'subversive angels' that are actually created by the thoughts and actions of men. I believe Bob calls them 'mind parasites.' They are contingent objectifications from various vital-emotional domains. Up here we sometimes call them the 'tempters.' Either that, or the 'mesmerers.' The Holiday Inn incident was a fine example of a tempter tantrum fueled by what we call 'liquid courage.'

"It would be wrong to conclude on the basis of what I have just said that the difference between you and I is that you have a body and I don't. Rather, 'the soul of man is most complex and includes a whole world of different existential elements of all kinds, while the angel is a being of a single essence and therefore in a sense one-dimensional' (Steinsaltz). This is why you and I play such different roles in the cosmic economy. You actually have the tougher job, which is to say, because of your 'many-sidedness' and your 'capacity to to contain contradictions,' this makes it possible for you to 'rise to great heights,' but also to fuck up big time, neither of which is true for me. Rather, the angel is 'eternally the same; it is static, an unchanging existence,' 'fixed within rigid limits.''

"You might say that I am already 'whole' in space, whereas it is your vocation to become whole in time. Not easy, I realize.

"Lastly, another way of saying it is that I do not evolve, but you can and must. In ether worlds, there is no evolution here in the vertical, only in the horizontal. In the absence of the horizontal, it's frankly a little boring here -- or as Bob (with more than a little assistance from yours truly) put it in the bʘʘk,

Only himsoph with nowhere to bewrong, hovering over the waters without a kenosis. Vishnu were here, but just His lux, God only knows only God, and frankly, ishwara monotheotenous -- no one beside him, no nous, same old shunyada yada yada.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The New Science of Hutzpah: Awaken the Sociopath Within!

The next thing I'd like to discuss about the Death card is UF's account of what I symbolize (↑) and (↓). Both arrows are necessary for spiritual development, and various forms of heresy emphasize one to the exclusion of the other -- which is like emphasizing inspiration over expiration. It just won't work. In fact, it will eventually kill you, if not sooner then later.

Emphasis on (↑) alone leads to the construction of a "Tower of Babel," or purely manmade ladder to God. Emphasis on (↓) alone leads to the fatalism of, say, the Islamic world, or to any form of radical predestination that removes human will from the equation.

Not to resort immediately to Godwin's Law, but I'm reading this superb biography of Hitler, and it is all over the purely (↑) nature of his "project."

Indeed, Mein Kampf means My Struggle; it is the exertion of raw will because, in the end, will is all there is. Biological existence itself is a battle of wills, with only one winner. No compromise is possible. Either you are the hammer or you are the anvil:

"Politics are the conduct and course of historical struggle for life of peoples.... It is an iron principle.... The aim of these struggles is the assertion of existence.... The weaker one falls so that the strong one gains life."

The reason why Hitler so hated Bolshevism had nothing to do with economics -- for Hitler too believed in a controlled economy in service to the state -- but was because it directly opposed his principles of national will and the resultant "natural" hierarchy. (Among other deficits, Hitler was completely absent any sense of humor. He did, however, make one humorous remark, albeit unintentionally, describing Stalin as "probably sick in the brain. His bloody regime can otherwise not be explained.")

A major reason -- if "reason" is the right word -- why Hitler despised Judaism and Christianity was their emphasis on virtue over power, individual over blood, and liberty over subordination to the nation. Anything that presumed to constrain the Fuhrer's will represented the essence of evil. While he was very much opposed to class division, it was in the name of blood, not economics.

There are many contemporary spiritual approaches that revolve solely around (↑), probably because they are too sophisticated to believe in God, and therefore grace, and therefore (↓). But they do believe in "evolution," so they just apply it to the vertical, as if they may simply will their own transformation, or pick themselves up by their own buddhastraps. I think we can sum up the integral movement with a single photo:

I mean, if I saw that huckster on my property, I'd call the cops, not sit down to tea... or Red Bull and tofu chips. Robbins must represent the quintessence of (↑) to the exclusion of (↓) -- you know, Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny! Unlimited Power: The New Science Of Personal Achievement. Live with Passion!: Stategies for Creating a Compelling Future.

What a hideous pneumapath. How about The New Science of Hutzpah! With his Ultimate Relationship Program, Robbins will sell you the keys to LIFELONG PASSION: just leave that old worn out wife and hook up with a youthful, compliant, idealizing, and featherbrained disciple!

But I suppose these oily snakesmen will always be with us, trying to put the bite on a new generation of rubes. Frankly, there is far more wisdom in a single sentence of the Bob.

Even if "successful," the purely (↑) approach represents a catastrophic failure, for it is a kind of terrestrial victory at the cost of celestial death. For UF, it amounts to "the decision to remain remote from the Father. And it is precisely this which is death in a divine sense. Complete crystallization is therefore complete death from the divine point of view..." It is the fulfillment of the promise of the serpent, which is that "You will live remote from God and it will be I who shall attend to the uninterrupted continuation of your life in the horizontal, for I shall make up for the lack of divine wisdom and love by replacing them with the intellect and with psycho-physical electricity, which will be the source of your life."

Yes, says the serpent, allow me to AWAKEN YOUR GIANT ASSOUL WITHIN and give you UNLIMITED POWER and a DIVINE PROFIT STREAM that is FULLY TAX DEDUCTIBLE!

(If this doesn't make you cringe, then you have no heart. At first I thought it was parody:

"As I knocked on the door I was greeted by Colin an assistant of Ken’s. I started to hear music as if a chorus of angels were singing. Walking in, Ken came over to me and light was filling the room, we shook hands and I could feel a surge of energy and heat coming from Ken as an uplifted sense took over. A familiar peace came over me, usually felt after working on a painting for some hours.... Then we talked for awhile as I watched angels dancing around Ken and saw images of Moses, Jesus and Nagarjuna fade in and out.")

UF makes a subtle point that the way of Christianity promises not just Life over Death, but Life over life -- horizontal life. The way of Tony Robbins promises horizontal life over life, which amounts to Death on stilts. The lessons of Genesis are not abstract or remote, but extremely practical and experience-near. In order to make the lesson more vivid, when you read of the serpent, perhaps you should imagine a snake with Tony Robbins' freakishly oversized head. The horror....

The whole point of Christianity is the victory of the vertical over the horizontal, not a pseudo-victory of horizontal over horizontal. It is the victory "of radiation over crystallization." Which reminds me of the narrator's last line of Sunset Boulevard: Life, which can be strangely merciful, had taken pity on Norma Desmond. The dream she had clung to so desperately had enfolded her... (Crystallization is synonymous with enfoldment.)

Now that I think about it, the film is all about crystallization, or about death in life. For that is what Norma is: a breathing corpse, a living death, a monster. She no longer radiates as a living star, but is a dying star from which no light escapes.

The film is even narrated by a dead man, who shares his sardonic insights: "There's nothing tragic about being fifty. Not unless you're trying to be twenty-five." "You don't yell at a sleepwalker -- he may fall and break his neck. That's it: she was still sleepwalking along the giddy heights of a lost career." "How could she breathe in that house full of Norma Desmonds? Around every corner, Norma Desmonds... more Norma Desmonds... and still more Norma Desmonds." Trying to stop the aging process doesn't really make you younger. Rather, it turns you into a corpse. It is not life, but death-resistance.

(Hitler: "I go the way that Providence dictates with the assurance of a sleepwalker.")

The dead chimp at the beginning is highly symbolic, for that is what a human being is in the absence of the Divine. Norma says, "I'd like the coffin to be white, and I want it specially lined with satin. White... or pink. Maybe red! Bright flaming red! Let's make it gay!"

Even the name: Sunset Boulevard. Not only does it convey the dying of the light, but in case you don't live here, Sunset Boulevard is a street that starts in the bowels of Los Angeles, makes its way through Beverly Hills, and empties to the sea.

So, let us follow UF's advice, and "no longer seek amongst the dead for he who is living, and above all let us not seek for immortal Life in the domain of death."

The spiritual ascent is everywhere the same, and always consists of purification, illumination, and union; or rejection, aspiration, and surrender. "This is the eternal way, and no one can invent or find another," not even Tony Robbins and Ken Wilber combined.

Yes, as UF says, you can divide and subdivide it "into thirty-three stages -- or even into ninety-nine," but it always comes back to that same dynamic and interlocking trinity that takes place on a moment-by-moment basis, for purification is illumination -- or consciousness of a Divine reality -- and union with the Divine Will.

Likewise, illumination is purification of the intellect and union with the Divine Mind. And union is a purified heart, which is now the center of one's thought and being.

Or, to turn it around, "a non-illuminated gnostic would not be a gnostic, but rather an 'oddball'; a non-illuminated mage would be only a sorceror; and a non-illuminated philosopher would be either a complete skeptic or an amateur at 'intellectual play.'"

And a non-illuminated gnostic tyrant brings hell to earth.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Seeking Godlessness through Naso-labianism

We're still negotiating with the grim ferryman, Death. unKnown Friend relates Death to mechanism and materialism, which are "not at all the realm of answers, but rather the graveyard for real questions."

Thus, to embrace scientistic reductionism as a worldview (as opposed to a method) is to more or less live as zombie, in which case one is not so much alive as merely undead. And the painful thing about being undead is that one will be aware of an absence -- a present absence -- but not be able to name it.

I am reminded of the preface to Code of the Woosters, in which the author observes that "High seriousness about [Wodehouse] brings to mind poor Professor Scully," who attempted "to describe a smile scientifically." The professor "doggedly dissected 'the drawing back and slight lifting of the corners of the mouth, which partially uncover the teeth, the curving of the naso-labial furrows...' Such an approach is not actively harmful, but it suffers from naso-labianism -- leaving the mystery of Wodehouse's genius intact."

Things are no different today. Ask a victim of materialitis or reductionosis what a smile is, and they could in good faith respond that it involves "the contraction of muscles in the region of the mouth and cheeks, and this latter through electrical impulses transmitted through the nerves from the centre called the 'brain.'" The real cause of the smile -- joy, or humor, or satisfaction -- is defined out of existence.

This misguided approach is similar to trying to understand a telephone conversation by analyzing the electrical impulses that pass back and forth through the wires. The most complete analysis will of necessity be entirely inadequate.

The same applies a fortiori to the mind/brain relationship. Again, a smile is a local manifestation of joy, or humor, or bemusement, which are nonlocal (in the sense that they cannot be found in one unambiguous "place") and which "set in motion both the muscles of the mouth and the electrical impulses of the nerves." As mentioned somewhere in the bʘʘk, every reductionistic explanation harbors a cognitively pathological dualism that results in one side of the dualism sneaking into the other side without acknowledgment.

One might say that, like a psychotic patient, the materialist's explanation is always put forth with the utmost confidence by that which is specifically denied in the explanation. Making a question go away is not the same as having answered it. As UF points out, the question remains but is simply offloaded from conscious to unconscious planes, with no proper connecting flight. Only happens all the time.

If you ever want to know why self-styled rational people believe in such weird things -- global warming, zero-sum economics, tea partiers are extremists, blacks can't function without the state, etc. -- this is why. They descend into an incoherent form of unconscious thinking, because one can no more make the unconscious go away than one could make the sympathetic nervous system go away. All one can do is discipline and channel it, the same way one creates electricity from a wild river.

(This passage is somehow related to the above: "The belief that only conscious actions are 'real' is common among collectivists and economic creationists who can't understand unintended consequences, but this fallacy is akin to believing that drinking a glass of water on a hot day benefits only those who understand the chemical reactions of H2O in human body.")

While ordinary psychoanalysis does an adequate job of describing the lower vertical, in so doing, it generally reduces the upper to the lower vertical. However, one of the purposes of religion is to provide a framework with which to generatively explore the upper vertical. And in fact, it also does a fine job (at least in potential) of structuring and conferring meaning upon the lower vertical.

I'm thinking of all the extraordinary wisdom embodied in, say, the Talmud or in classical elucidations of the cardinal virtues and deadly sins. Awhile back we did a series on the esoteric meaning of the Ten Commandments. Same idea. Just as there is such a thing as a healthy body -- obviously -- there is also such a thing as a healthy soul and spirit. But if one denies the soul and spirit up front, then should one remain spiritually healthy, it will be by accident, not design.

So many decent but useful idiots of the left hypocritically retain religious habits and inclinations with no religious belief to support them. For example, they insist that marriage is sacred -- so sacred, in fact, that we should extend it to relationships in which it is not possible to live in the state of marriage, e.g., polygamous or homosexual.

It is analogous to saying, "eating salads is healthy. Therefore, I will place my cat on a strict diet of fresh vegetables." Good logic. Wrong species. Which pretty much sums up the left. It reminds me of a scene from the Larry Sanders show, when his bitter agent says "our job would be so easy if it weren't for fucking talent!" Leftism would be so great if if weren't for fucking humans! Humans are the problem. So let's give them more power over us!

Most people don't have the time or ability to be metaphysicians, which is one of the practical blessings of religion. If one eliminates religion, one only ushers in bad metaphysics and values, with nothing to oppose them. See 1960s for details. See OWS for examples. See Obama for implications.

This is the true meaning of the culture war. The United States used to be one culture with two political parties. The two parties basically represented different groups of interests with the same underlying culture.

But beginning in the 1960s, the Democrats started to represent a new culture, which is not American, for American culture is rooted in Judeo-Christian principles, among other things. All culture is rooted in the cult, which is the "interior glue" that holds a people together and makes them "brothers."

Which leads us to ask: what is the interior krazy glue that holds the nasolabians of the left together? What is the common axis of, say, global warming alarmists, abortion activists, greedy public employee unions, and people who champion state-mandated racial discrimination and the homosexual agenda? What is their shared cult? Who is the god to whom they all make their sacrifice?

I'll let you answer that question. Let's just call it Ø.

UF makes the point that our vertical freedom is a miracle, by which he means something that transcends any purely mechanistic explanation. You might say that everything that isn't either chaotic or mechanical is a miracle, i.e., a vertical intervention.

And because of our freedom, we can see that the higher illumines the lower, not vice versa. In other words, in the absence of freedom, we couldn't know truth, because truth would be reduced to a kind of mechanical operation that excludes the subject, precisely. So, to say "truth" is to say "freedom" is to say "spirit" is to say "miracle":

"The minimum is only the reduced maximum and it is through the maximum that one understands the minimum, and not vice versa. It is consciousness which renders the mechanical and unconscious comprehensible, the latter being only consciousness reduced to a minimum, not vice versa. It is man who is the key to the biological evolution of Nature and not the primitive organic cell" (MOTT).

Bottom line Upshot: it is the most complete and final form that "illumines and explains the previous stages." Which is why man explains evolution, not vice versa. But who or what explains Man? Or is that too obvious?

Out of time. To be continued...

PS -- I don't know that I'll get around to discussing it, but this biography of Hitler is really outstanding.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Who Disturbs My Tomb?! Death and Sleep, Monsters and Resurrection

Letter XIII, our old friend Death. What would life be without that fiendishly grinning ma-ha-ha-samadhi?

What to make of inscrutable death? How are we to think around its unthinkable essence? One of the reasons death is difficult to penetrate, is that it is such a concrete fact -- just that big black wall over the subjective horizon, or the rapidly approaching canyon floor below Wile E. Coyote.

What do we really know about death? What can we affirm about it that isn't merely an abstract idea? Indeed, most anything we say will be an infinite distance from the state of being dead, unless we happen to be tenured or employed with the MSM.

At first blush, it seems that death is one of those existential parameters that the mind can never contain, but rather, contains us -- like time or space or sexuality or desire.

Sex and death are intimately related, for if we didn't sexually reproduce, we wouldn't die, at least for any biological reason. Rather, we would live endlessly, except that it would be a horizontal endlessness, which is not to be confused with eternity (which is outside time).

Furthermore, without the boundary of death, we couldn't know nothing, which is the beginning of knowledge. Animals can only know something, but even then, they don't know that they know, because they don't know that they die. Only man can know that he he doesn't know, and thereby clear a potential space for knowledge. Out of this deathly silence will grow words of various kinds.

unKnown Friend says that it is the above form of purely biological pseudo-eternal life that the serpent promises when he tells Adam and Eve that they "shall not die." Thus, technically he wasn't lying, because a vertical lie may well be a horizontal truth (and vice versa), as our trolls never stop teaching us.

In our bʘʘk, we wrote of the extreme unlikelihood of anything resembling human intelligence evolving elsewhere in the cosmos, for human intelligence isn't just a matter of "big brains." Far from it. Look at Noam Chomsky or Paul Krugman. It's hard enough for human beings to develop human intelligence, and if history is to be our guide, man usually falls short of this standard.

Humanness emerges specifically because of the trimorphic situation of an immature and incomplete nervous system in dynamic rapport with an "empathic" mother and "protecting" father (and when we speak of "mother" and "father," we are doing so from the infant's archetypal perspective, wherein the early experience of empathy becomes mother, and is directed into that preconceptual archetype or "empty category"; in this view, mother emerges from baby, and then father from mother -- more on which below).

UF writes of the connection between, on the one hand, sleeping, forgetting, and death; and on the other, waking, remembering, and life.

For example, psychoanalysis has long posited the idea that chronic insomnia can result from an inability to die to the day. One lives by day, but then must let it dissolve and scatter within the death of sleep.

So many people cannot "let go of the day." Instead, it intrudes upon their easeful death, persecuting and tormenting them. Then, even worse, they dream -- or more often have nightmares -- by day, since they cannot metabolize experience by night and wake refreshed and resurrected in the morning.

Who disturbs my tomb!!! That's pretty much the question any new patient brings to therapy.

For other people, they cannot die to the unconscious because of the monsters that lie there in in wait and haunt the interior world. This is a routine result of a traumatic childhood, of things that happened to them -- and more commonly, what didn't happen to them, in the form of a secure and "containing" relationship with the mother. For these individuals, they cannot "rest in peace," because their dream life is like a continuous horror movie, a "living death."

For that is what a monster is, isn't it -- an indiscriminate mixture of the categories of life and death, resulting in a grotesque entity that has no proper archetype? During Holloween week TMC ran the classic monster movies, and they all share this feature of living death or death living: Frankenstein, the Wolfman, Dracula, the Mummy.

Perhaps this gives us a clue about death -- that it is not so much the opposite of life, but a dark form of it. One might say that Christmas celebrates Life amidst death, while Halloween "celebrates" death in life. Probably no coincidence that this unholy-day has become much more popular with the increasing secularization of our culture, i.e., the culture of death (which is by extension a culture of journalistic sleeping and left-wing forgetting).

I remember reading an interesting book -- here it is, Vampires, Burial, and Death: Folklore and Reality -- which suggests that most funeral rites evolved around concerns of making certain that the dead stay that way -- that the corpse is not merely dead, but really most sincerely dead. (The book takes an academic and positivistic approach, so it's of limited usefulness except for the historical trivia, which is at times nevertheless fascinating.)

So, to sleep is to forget the day and awaken to the world of the Dreamer: "One forgets, one goes to sleep, and one dies." In turn, "One remembers, one awakes, and one is born" (MOTT).

In a previous post, I discussed the idea that from a developmental perspective, one may turn Genesis on its head and see the infant-Adam as the creator of God and everything else.

In fact, from a certain perspective, this is how it must be, and to the extent that one fails to understand this distinction, one may well fail to appreciate the difference between God and infantile omnipotence.

Unfortunately, not only is this conflation commonplace, but it might even be the norm. Certainly the Islamist god is indistinguishable from an enraged baby, while the infantile dreams of the left are suspiciously similar to those conjured by the omnipotent and implacable gods of the nursery, whose demands are few: I Want!, More!, and Again!

Looked at in this way, the human baby's shocking discovery of Adam and Eve -- or a Mother and Father separate from the baby, with wills, desires, and interests of their own -- is an insult to the baby's omnipotence. How dare Mommy and Daddy exist separate from my magical wishes!

Therefore the baby-god banishes them from the infantile paradise, where the infant restores his "oneness with God." No coincidence therefore that the way back to paradise is blocked by a coterie of babies with flaming swords.

To fall asleep is not just to give up everything, but to do so in the faith that everything will somehow be cleansed and transformed when we are reincarnated and reborn in the morning. So sleep again has this digestive or metabolic property; which implies that death and forgetting do as well.

And in fact, one doesn't have to comb very far through the esoteric literature to discover this idea, that the initial postmortem state is very much analogous to the metabolic function of dreaming, except that it will range over our entire life, so that whatever was "inessential" is consigned to the flames, while what is essential lives in eternity.

In any event, know that your life is being dreamt by forces far greater than yourself, and not just at night.

This is perhaps the central point of Finnegans Wake, which is supposed to be the dream of all human history within the ultimate Dreamer (wake is a play on words, meaning the wake of death and the wide a-wakeness of Dreamer and Resurrection, in which we fin again only to reboot and sin again). Here's how Joseph Campbell describes it:

"Finnegans Wake is a mighty allegory of the fall and resurrection of mankind. It is a strange book, a compound of fable, symphony, and nightmare -- a monstrous enigma beckoning imperiously from the shadowy pits of sleep. Its mechanics resemble those of the dream, a dream which has freed the author from the necessities of common logic and has enabled him to compress all periods of history, all phases of individual and racial development, into a circular design, of which every part is beginning, middle and end.... Joyce presents, develops, amplifies and recondenses nothing more nor less than the eternal dynamic implicit in birth, death, conflict, death, and resurrection."

To be resurrected and continued....