Friday, December 09, 2011

You Can't Grow a Tower and You Can't Build a Tree

So: specialization can result in a kind of hypertrophy, or imbalance, that leads to a spiritual impasse. In most people the imbalance is obvious, in others more subtle. One often sees this in athletes who have devoted their entire lives to one stupid human trick, such as remaining buoyant in water or hitting a golf ball. Often, the more freakish the skill, the worse the case.

The list is endless, but think of, say, Tiger Woods, whose mastery of the links surpassed any previous golfer, but whose personal life -- such as it is -- was reduced to wallowing in the compulsive iderations of preadolescent sexuality.

It is very much as if only the single meaningless skill sits atop the tower, while the rest of the personality remains below, not only undeveloped but free to act out its primitive dramas because of the vast accumulation of false slack.

unKnown Friend mentions the guru or fakir who indulge in stupid human tricks we cannot or will not do, such as laying on a bed of nails or walking on hot coals.

I am reminded of this fellow, who can supposedly make his brain waves stop when he meditates, for what it's worth. Which apparently isn't much, since he can't even recognize the elementary fact that Tony Robbins and Deepak Chopra are grotesque con artists who take advantage of lost, stupid and vulnerable people. As such, one must ask: if this be enlightenment, then truly -- truly -- what is it good for?

"Judge them by their fruits." That is: be skeptical. This should be one's default position vis-a-vis spirituality, otherwise it's too easy to be taken in. The ultimate fruit is sanctity, or saint-making. Therefore, in approaching a religion, sect, or teaching, always ask: where are the saints?

Excuse me?

I said, could you please show me the saints? What, do you think I'm going to commit my life to something without evidence that it actually works?

Importantly, sanctity manifests in a variety of ways, both subjective and objective, but in either case is mediated by "light." Nor are we referring only to the light of virtue, which is how we generally think of the saint.

Rather, there is also sanctity of intellect, which comes down to a "mind of light" (AKA the "good egghead"). Truth is to the mind of light as morality is to the actions of the virtuous. But the mind of light has other characteristics as well, for it is clean, chaste, well-ordered, lighthearted, radiant, generative, magnanimous, and never petty, narrow, self-serving, expedient, or stupidly curious.

This is not to say that there is no darkness in the light. UF writes that the Cross is "mortifying and vivifying at the same time," for it represents the law of evolutionary growth, which is none other than "perpetual dying and becoming." It leads not to "impasses of specialization, but rather 'throughways' of purification -- which lead to illumination and end in union."

The Raccoon chooses the transmutation of perpetual death and rebirth over the folly of mechanical tower-building. The growth that results is a side effect of a life properly lived, not something one attempts to impose upon life from the outside, or with "techniques" or "secret knowledge" or "expensive platitudes."

The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed upon the ground, and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how (Mark 5:26, cited in MOTT).

That being the case, anyone who teaches "techniques" for knowing God (with the exception of planting, cultivating, and harvesting) is lying. For how does one teach real sincerity, real aspiration, real surrender? Each of these is both a cause and consequence of interior transformation, but the ultimate cause is from "above."

Even if it should appear to be self-generated, that is already evidence of contact with something higher. As UF puts it, the "lotus centers" awaken naturally "in the light, warmth and life of the true, and beautiful and the good, without any special technical method being applied." There is a naturalness about it, like a key fitting into a lock.

Similarly, there is no place for "ready made answers to all questions," in that a genuine spiritual quest-ion is a crisis and the answer is "a state of consciousness resulting from the crisis" (MOTT).

This is a point worth emphasizing: spiritual growth is consciousness of a reality; it is a new "container," not merely a different content in the same old container, or new wine in the same old skin. But the new container will transform -- either suddenly or gradually -- the old content.

Have you noticed how all of the false stupid, or petty questions instantly evaporate amidst a genuine existential crisis? (Yes, a question can surely be false and even dark -- consider the ones posed by liberal moderators to Republican candidates.)

This is why we know that the "global warming crisis" is anything but. A real crisis has a liberating quality, in the sense that it liberates us from all of the petty concerns that usually rule our lives. It reminds me of when a professional athlete suddenly dies for some reason. Teammates will all comment about how it puts things in perspective and makes them realize that "it's only a game." Which lasts for two or three days before it's back to the Tower.

It makes me wonder if this isn't one of the reasons why there was so much more wisdom in the past, and why our universities have become such flagrant bullshit factories. I suppose that if one is a lifetime tenured ward of the state, it "liberates" one to spend all of one's time fantasizing about the evils of George Bush, or manufacturing crises about "torture," or going on about the urgent need to confer civil rights upon terrorists.

It's almost as if the absence of real existential crises causes the subRaccoon to invent them. Alec Baldwin is incapable of introspection -- the horror! -- so he turns a trivial airplane rule into an epic clash of principles. Flying used to be an elegant experience!, he wails. Yes, until you stepped on the plane.

This was one of the purposes of the symbol system outlined in chapter four of the bʘʘk -- to avoid impasses that can result from religion becoming a kind of mechanical system. The point is not to replace religion, but merely to help prevent it from becoming saturated with a fixed and predigested meaning.

This is something that human beings habitually do, that is, attempt to circumnavelgaze reality within their own little manmade containers, when that is strictly impossible. The moment God becomes contained and saturated, then you're no longer dealing with God, but with your own belly button, or graven image, whether an innie or outie it doesn't matter.

This is why the very last thing John says is a caution to the reader that if one were to attempt to chronicle the whole story of Jesus, "even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written" (John 21:25). Is this not a severe rebuke to the fundamentalist bibliolaters? In other words, the number of potential books exceeds the carrying capacity of the world container itself.

To a large extent, it comes down to the error of seeing the world atomistically instead of holistically (or rather, as a dynamic complementarity of the two). This also leads to the ideas of psychic "surgery" and "divorce," or, in psychoanalytic parlance, splitting and projective identification (i.e., fantasied evacuation of the contents of one's own mind, either "out," "below," or "off to the side").

As UF writes, "it is the marriage of opposites and not their divorce" which constitutes the proper approach to the altar. Importantly, this is not a "compromise," but a true union. UF notes that "the 'lower self' is the cross of the 'true Self' and the 'true Self' is the cross of the 'lower self.'"

This reminds me of Wilde's comment that the only cure for the senses is the soul, and the only cure for the soul is the senses. Each might well say of the other: can't live with her, can't live without him.

It is easy enough to simply project and dissipate the higher Self, or to split off and repress the lower self. But we want to transform and divinize the lower self in a harmonious union of mind and matter, or spirit and biology. In the absence of this fluid and dynamic union, the mind hardens into a static tower.

It is the same with the marriage of science and religion. I have no trouble marrying the two in such a way that each benefits from the union and produces particularly beautiful and high-functioning children.

Just yesterday I read about one of Chesterton's novels, in which a thief disguised as a priest is eventually discovered. When the thief asks how he sniffed him out, Father Brown answers with words to the effect of, "Easy. You attacked reason. It's bad theology."

But one could say the same of the modern atheist. We know they are thieves because they attack sound theology, which is bad logic. Although in their case it's grand larceny, because they steal from our priceless western tradition in order to destroy it.

Yes, those confined to the tower of scientism have "divided the clothing of the Word and they dispute amongst themselves for priority in the application of the universal principle" (MOTT). They attempt to absolutize their little corner of His tunic, still fresh with warm blood.

In contrast, we do not "in any way take part in dividing the clothing of the crucified Word, nor in drawing lots for its tunic." Rather, we strive "to see the crucified Word clothed in appearance by the mechanical world"(ibid.). Which is where the Word is sufficient to our whys. The deepest ones, anyway.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

I Specialize in Love

Continuing with the Tower of Destruction: just how do we prophylactically avoid having our tower blasted by the thunderbolt? How do we know if our tower is tall enough to reach the ground, or conversely, too high-and-mighty to reach the firmament?

We invite a bad case of thunderclap if we misconscrew evolution. That is, to express it in biological terms, extinction, the ultimate and irreversible bolt from the blue -- or cosmic d'oh! -- can occur as a result of overspecialization, the latter of which confers a temporary advantage but results in painting oneself into an evolutionary coroner. That is, change the environment, or put the organism in a different one, and it cannot adapt. Poof! Nature is through with you.

For humans, the problem of specialization no longer applies to the natural environment, but rather, to the psychological, intellectual, spiritual, and economic environments.

For example, there is much complaining on the left about the loss of certain jobs, even of punishing companies that "ship jobs overseas." What no politician can utter out loud is that the people who once held these jobs have made themselves "unnecessary" to the real economic environment, to which they cannot adapt because they know -- or rather, can do -- only One Thing.

Why are human beings atop the evolutionary heap? Because we specialize in generalization, in a way that no other animal can or ever will. In human beings, intelligence has wrapped around itself in order to produce self-consciousness, and therefore abstract thinking -- or virtual manipulation in the absence of the physical object. Virtual manipulation is none other than thought, or at least the basis of thought.

And beneath this manipulation is that first all-purpose tool, the swiss army knife of evolution, the human hand (L manipulus handful). Some evolutionary psychologists even speculate that sign language is prior to spoken language, which is why the language center is located in the left brain (which controls the right hand). Many words that have to do with intelligibility are related to the hand, e.g., grasp, seize, catch on, apprehend, comprehend, wrap around, etc.

In the bʘʘk, I advanced the theory -- which is mine -- and which belongs to me -- of how it came about that human brains became capable of "hosting" divine souls.

For clearly, the brain must reach a certain threshold of complexity before it can host a soul. But equally important, this brain must also be intersubjective, for knowledge of the other precedes and makes possible knowledge of the self. And this is not just knowledge of the exterior, but of the interior, or of the depth beneath appearances. Only another human being can usher us into the intersubjective depths of humanness.

Conversely, deprivation of such an intimate relationship -- whether for genetic or developmental reasons -- results in an autistic state, which leaves one on the surface and therefore periphery of existence, unable to "read" interiors.

John Paul (then Wojtyla) writes that the person -- in order to be one, precisely -- "must continually discover himself in the other and the other in himself. Love is impossible for beings who are mutually impenetrable -- only the spirituality and 'inwardness' of persons create the conditions for mutual interpenetration..." (emphasis mine).

This is a key point in the further extra-biological or transnatural evolution of the cosmos, for as JPII points out, life becomes a "school of perfection" within this transitional space, wherein we discover and co-create the "we" that is mediated by love.

Love is always "between" two persons, while also pointing "beyond." Therefore, to treat persons as objects is to foreclose the interior and relate only to the surface, which is the very basis of cultural devolution (think of an extreme example such as Nazi Germany, in which case whole classes of persons -- Jews, Gypsies, Christians, Slavs, Russians -- were treated as.... classes, not persons with a God-given interior).

The basis of the human person is clearly not a monadic "I"; but nor is it the I-Thou relationship, critical though that is. Rather: it is the I-Thou-We. For the "we" is not just rooted in mutual love, but love of a "psychic third." Otherwise, we would be dealing with a vicious duality that is only one degree removed from narcissism. More subtly, it would result in a kind of infinite or bottomless regress, in that "I" would find its reality in "Thou," and vice versa, like two mirrors facing one another. In short, there would be no deeper reality sponsoring the We.

Because of the psychic third, our love can expand and encompass more of reality. Here is where love emerges from the harmonious union of truth and freedom, for "Freedom exists for the sake of love" (ibid.), and in the absence of truth, freedom would be either meaningless or a persecutory burden.

To put it another way, love integrates and makes one whole (or puts one "on the way" to wholeness). "The process of integrating love relies on the primary elements of the human spirit -- freedom and truth" (ibid.). And man seeks truth and love because he lacks them, which is why he is always dependent upon that which transcends him; or, discovers himself in surpassing himself (in love and truth).

The upshot is that human beings are the ultimate generalists, and this is one of the keys to avoiding the tower and the thunderbolt. unKnown Friend writes that it involves "the way of general growth or that of 'humbling oneself to the role of a seed,'" in contrast to "the ways of specialization or those of 'exalting oneself by building towers." In short, it is the way of organic growth vs. the way of mechanical building.

Now, growth isn't just some local biological phenomenon somehow attached to an otherwise dead and fully exterior cosmos. Frankly, it is both absurd and incoherent to suggest that interiority could ever have resulted from pure exteriority. In other words, biological, psychological, and spiritual growth are not to be thought of as bugs, but features, of the cosmos.

And what is growth? It is a kind of dynamic interior unity with a developmental vector, a "striving for wholeness." Growth always wishes to realize its possibilities, so it is unavoidably teleological. To say "growth" is to say "teleology." Otherwise it isn't growth, just "expansion" or perhaps "metastasis," that is, the disorganized manner in which a cancer grows and spreads. This is not to say that there are no cancers of the soul, because clearly there are.

The tower -- because, among other things, it is a narrow specialization -- always leads to a spiritual impasse, at least if one attempts to elevate it to a metaphysical generalization. This is what scientism does, and the spiritual consequences are catastrophic, being more or less synonymous with "hell."

And when I say "specialization," I mean reducing the spectrum of reality to the framework of one's particular specialty. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with specialization, so long as it is integrated with the rest of reality, and not mistaken for the whole. I think of A.N. Whitehead, who wrote of the necessity of a metaphysic that frames "a coherent, logical, necessary system of general ideas in terms of which every element of our experience can be interpreted." A metaphysic that fails to illuminate the most conspicuous aspects of human existence is a non-starter.

You might say that other animals merely "act out" evolution, but that human beings -- because of their generalization -- know about it. As a result, evolution -- ipso facto, if that means what I think it does -- can never "contain" human beings. Rather, we contain it -- so long as we are contained by the "total reality" of O.

Last night I read a nice passage by Sri Aurobindo, in which he discusses the realization of God in an exceptionally clear and concise manner (and one could easily locate a similar passage by Eckhart or Denys). In it I will substitute O for Brahman:

"We have to perceive O comprehensively as both the Stable and the Moving. We must see it in eternal and immutable Spirit and in all the changing manifestations of universe and relativity.

"We have to perceive all things in Space and Time, the far and the near, the immemorial Past, the immediate Present, the infinite Future with all their contents and happenings as O.

"We have to perceive O as that which exceeds, contains and supports all individual things as well as all universe, transcendentally of Time and Space and Causality. We have to perceive O also as that which lives in and possesses the universe and all it contains."

Or, in the words of John Paul: "When love attains its full dimensions, it introduces into a relationship not only a 'climate' of honesty between persons but a certain awareness of the 'absolute,' a sense of contact with the unconditional and the ultimate. Love is indeed the highest of moral values. But one must know how to transfer it to the ordinary affairs of everyday life."

These passages touch on all the main characteristics of the "higher third" of God-realization, which is the ultimate generalization, but simultaneously -- and ironically -- the ultimate specialization, in that human beings "specialize in love." For at the end of the deity, this is the vector of our interior growth. Failing to follow that vector will result in a corrective thunderbolt. If you're lucky in love.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

The Thunder Said What?!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eggs. Omelettes. Whatever.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonnerronntuonnthunn-trovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthurnuk! --Finnegans Wake

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

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

The Ivory Tower of Babble is Always a Few Bricks Short

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Right on! See you at the OWS rally!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To be continued...

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.