Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Circular Logic and Absolute Stupidity

When progressives talk about "progress," they cannot mean the same thing we do, for objective progress is precisely what is rendered impossible in their metaphysic.

One can approach this from various angles, but the result is always the same, for a determined stupidity at the start of a journey assures stupidity at the end -- like insisting that if only one travels far enough, one can prove that parallel lines meet, and then setting out for points unknowable.

Since there is no "fixed point" in leftism, it can claim no truth and hence no measure of progress. Schuon hits the troll on the head in his usual pithy style: "To claim that knowledge as such could only be relative amounts to saying that human ignorance is absolute."

Either that thought will appeal to you, and be used as a stepping stone to higher things, or you will literally find it "repulsive," in that it will repel you onto a relative and therefore subjective, idiosyncratic, and ultimately arbitrary path. Mal voyage!

Once on that false path, no matter how rigorously one otherwise applies reason, one will be in a world that is fundamentally unreal. Therefore, one will be apportioning clouds, sowing the wind, spanking the monkey, etc. That is the bad kind of cosmic circle -- as the French put it, the cirque du jerkeil.

The cosmos is, of course, "structured," so to speak, as a circle, but it is a benignly inspiraling one, not a viciously repetitive one, i.e. an eternal return, or a Neitzsche you can't scratchy. When I first realized this, I thought I had hit on something kind of unique. Now I wish I had compiled all of the statements I've stumbled upon that affirm the same thing.

For example, this one, by Schuon: "There are basically but three miracles: existence, life, intelligence; with intelligence, the curve springing from God closes on itself like a ring which in reality has never parted from the Infinite."

In fact, even prior to the establishment of the first Raccoon lodge on March 4, 1355, Thomas Aquinas had used exactly this organizational structure for the Summa: a chain of interior and exterior certitudes forming a Great Circle of Being:

"In the emergence of creatures from their first source is revealed a kind of circular movement, in which all things return, as to their end, back to the very place from which they had their origin in the first place."

There is a two-way journey; one can call it out and back, or down and up, or many and one, or conspiracy and slack, or just ø and O.

In any -- and every -- event, there is a "Journey away from Home, where creatures actively unfold their diverse dynamic natures as finite participations in the divine perfection and as centers of self-expressive and self-communicating action and interaction with each other, thus forming a universe, that is, a system of many real beings joined together by their interaction to form the community of all existents -- the ultimate of all communities. This part of the journey was called the exitus (journey out)" (Clarke).

This is accompanied by the journey back toward the Great Attractor, O, whereby creation is "drawn by this same Source through the pull of the Good built in to the very nature of every being through the mediation of final causation," or what Bob calls the the personal telovator or cosmic eschalator.

The bottom -- and top -- line is that this "ultimate One now appears as both the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and End, at once the Source and the Goal of the restless dynamism of all nature, of all finite beings."

It's just that in human beings, this restless longing, this passion for wholeness, has become conscious, and this consciousness, you might say, is the initial "spark" (?!) that occurs when two tingles mingle and abysses meet, i.e., the Divine and human:

"There is religious conversion which is 'being grasped by ultimate concern. It is an other-worldly falling in love....' The outcome of such conversion is that the Holy Spirit and the human spirit encounter profoundly" (Norris).

Love at first Light.

10 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

"There is religious conversion which is 'being grasped by ultimate concern. It is an other-worldly falling in love....' The outcome of such conversion is that the Holy Spirit and the human spirit encounter profoundly" (Norris).

Yes, just so. This neatly sums up my thoughts in response to Verdiales early last week, when he objected to the term "eros" as being overly enthusiastic. I could only disagree, but for whatever reason had a difficult time translating thought to word.

3/20/2012 09:15:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

When you understand the truth, it is hard not to think that everything will be all right.

I don't know if you have seen this New Statesman piece, "The God Wars".

A couple of agnostics and a couple of atheists take on what they call the neo-atheists. It's fairly long, but the comments on Dawkins are worth the price of admission.

Apparently even atheists are being attacked for being too tolerant of religion.

“Why," she asks me, "are the followers of reason so unreasonable?"

It also includes a bit about a couple of evolutionary psychologists who were attacked for "a highly sophisticated analysis of Darwinian thought which concluded that the theory of natural selection could not be stated coherently".

3/20/2012 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger Verdiales said...

hi Julie

"encounter profoundly"

Right, I just thought this was deeper than eros, which is typically anxious and not very contemplative.

St. John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila ... I know, I know.

3/20/2012 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger Verdiales said...

Mush

I can't help but wonder whether half (or more) of public fascination with soapbox atheists is based on the feeling of hilarity that rises up when one hears someone let loose some skillful stream of venom and invective.

I confess to feeling a little bit of that hilarity when I hear Pat Condell rant about Islam. He gets off "zingers" which are fun to hear, but when you try to find substance behind the assertion, or logic, it's usually thin and low quality.

I think a lot of people can see through this kind of thing and just appreciate a good rant for what it is.

Nice to see atheists bickering among themselves in their little corners.

3/20/2012 11:42:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

" Once on that false path, no matter how rigorously one otherwise applies reason, one will be in a world that is fundamentally unreal."

Whats interesting is that people think they are getting away with something, when they succeed in putting something over on others... but all they've succeeded in doing, is distancing themselves from reality.

Wouldn't you think that'd hurt?

But what am I saying, of course it hurts... been keeping psychologists & priests supplied with a booming business for ages.

3/20/2012 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Verdiales - "I just thought this was deeper than eros, which is typically anxious and not very contemplative. "

I do understand, and up until a few years ago, would have agreed with you. My perspective has since shifted.

As to eros, I would argue that what people typically think of - lust, passion, possessiveness, etc. - when they hear the term are not considering the source from whence it comes. Like all Love, it is profound, and when concerning the Absolute it must therefore be the ultimate expression of unity, intimacy (closer than your own skin...), knowledge, Beauty, etc. Not for nothing is Christ's relationship to the church described as spousal, as opposed to parental or brotherly or anything else.

What we tend to think of as "erotic" is but a pale shadow of the truth.

All that said, some things do have to be (?!) to be believed :)

3/20/2012 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger Verdiales said...

"objective progress ... is rendered impossible in their metaphysic"

ah, but subjective progress is easy and can be phrased thus:

"no more harshings of my buzz"

if you can sail through life without anyone thinking badly of your choices and actions, then you'll be living in a "realm of freedom" wrested from a realm of necessity

all that was solid will have melted into air, your modernity will finally be "liquid," oceanic, untroubled

anything that challenges your infantile fantasies will NOT be tolerated

in fact, everyone will chip in so you can have free contraception

whee!

3/20/2012 01:28:00 PM  
Blogger Verdiales said...

julie

well, I was hoping for something like "agapal" rather than "spousal" but I get your drift, and there just isn't a good beer and beef equivalent to "agape"

3/20/2012 01:31:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Verdiales, I agree, and I think, too, that atheists, even the idiotic "neo" variety like Dawkins, do Christians a service. A good enemy will make you stronger.

Regarding a less conversationally awkward substitute for the very true spousal, I suggest covenantal, which, though weaker in some ways, is probably easier to kick back and forth around the campfire. Marriage, of course, is the covenant with which we are most familiar.

3/20/2012 01:50:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Van said, ...but all they've succeeded in doing, is distancing themselves from reality.

If they actually faced reality and dealt with it, like the rest of us do, they would lose their rallying cry, "I'm a victim of circumstance!"

3/20/2012 02:06:00 PM  

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