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