Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Permanent Cootie Protection from the Left

In his introduction to Science, Politics, and Gnosticism, Ellis Sandoz writes that Voegelin's new science of politics -- you heard me: science -- "can be used to diagnose maladies of contemporary political existence and offer remedies within the modest limits of reason and science." Or in other words, it deals with the cause and cure of various political pathologies.

Consider the analogy to medicine. In the West, we have settled on allopathic medicine as the most useful approach to the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. But there are also other systems: homeopathic, osteopathic, ayurvedic, humorism, traditional Chinese medicine. Each of these posits a different etiological, classificatory, and therapeutic system for physical illness.

Since the mind is obviously more ambiguous than the body, there are even more treatment approaches to the psyche, veering from the completely biological to the completely psychological, from the collective to the individual, and from theories that consider everyone neurotic to crazy psychiatrists who conveniently consider abnormality normal.

Body. Mind. What about spiritual disorders? First of all, you can disabuse yourself of the notion that there is "no such thing," because each religion -- like the different schools of medicine -- provides a kind of diagnosis and cure for man's spiritual condition. Sometimes these are presented in mytho-speculative language, but they are no less penetrating for it.

Consider, for example, the Bhagavad Gita, which is none other than a dialogue between the troubled patient, Arjuna, and the spiritual doctor, Krishna. Likewise, the Buddha clearly diagnoses mankind (the four noble truths) before offering the cure (the eight-fold path). In the Yoga Sutras Patanjali does the same, and Jesus frankly compares himself to a physician.

In short, all religions recognize that there is something fundamentally wrong with man. And in our view, one of the things that is fundamentally wrong with man is his tendency to become a closed system. Please note that this is true of every level of existence, the material, psychic, and pneumatic.

Of Voegelin, Sandoz writes that he "evokes the philosopher as physician of the soul." This is not philosophy as understood by the tenured rabble, i.e., cosmo-psychic masturbation, but rather, a way of life; for it is "the love of being through love of divine Being as the source of its order" (Voegelin).

In this context, Sandoz notes that "protecting philosophy against perversion is vital to the larger task of protecting human existence itself against perversion and tyranny."

Especially in a free society such as ours, right thinking is our main line of defense against tyranny, which is precisely why it is attacked and undermined by the irrational and dis-ordered forces of the left. The left imposes a system in which lies either become compulsory, or in which the proper conclusions cannot be drawn from the allowable data.

The essence of modern tyranny involves prohibiting questions that might undermine the credibility of the system, which is why there is no place in America where speech is less free than on a college campus. No surprise there.

In the book, Voegelin outlines "three major types for whom a human inquiry has become a practical impossibility," including "socialist man," "positivist [e.g., scientistic, Darwinistic, reductionistic] man," and "national-socialist man."

Now, as there is philosophy (in Voegelin's sense), there is anti-philosophy. Political Gnosticism is an instance of the latter, which Voegelin defines as a perverse desire for "dominion over being; in order to seize control of being the gnostic constructs a system."

Thus, instead of a spiritually open engagement with reality and truth -- which is philo-sophy, or love of wisdom -- the gnostic closes himself to this ground and constructs a closed system based upon the Answer known only to elites such as himself, quintessential examples being Marxism on the political plane or metaphysical Darwinism on the scientific plane (and this is the kind of perverse and simplistic science -- i.e., scientism -- preferred by the left in order to bolster its enfeebled image of man).

Each of these denies transcendence up front, which has the practical effect of murdering man. As Sandoz explains, modern forms of Gnosticism are characterized by their "renunciation of 'vertical' or otherworldly transcendence and [their] proclamation of a 'horizontal' transcendence or futuristic parousia of Being -- that is, intramundane or worldly" salvation. In short, a dreamworld of hope and change.

But in imposing this absurd doctrine of worldly salvation, the parousia must be perpetually postponed. For the gnostic, it is always right around the corner, the endless Recovery Summer. The War on Poverty is not a Keynesian quackmire, but actually winnable with one last surge of obscenely profligate spending on our pet projects and political allies!

Thus, although the Obama campaign is less flamboyantly gnostic this time around, it will nevertheless be asking us to ignore what has actually happened to the economy over the last four years. Rather, look ahead, to the glorious future that is promised by Dear Leader's new Four Year Plan, which looks suspiciously like the old Four Year Plan, except for the unseemly aggression toward people who notice that.

To be continued....

29 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

Rather, look ahead, to the glorious future that is promised by Dear Leader's new Four Year Plan, which looks suspiciously like the old Four Year Plan, except for the unseemly aggression toward people who notice that.

Forward, into the past!

modern forms of Gnosticism are characterized by their "renunciation of 'vertical' or otherworldly transcendence and [their] proclamation of a 'horizontal' transcendence or futuristic parousia of Being -- that is, intramundane or worldly" salvation.

I hadn't given it much thought before, but the vision of every Darwinistic visionary is to somehow "perfect" the human race. But of course, such a perfection runs completely counter to the actual function of evolution. On the micro scale, it is obvious that small changes occur within a species which help that species survive whatever its current circumstances may be; however, these changes in no way make the species "more perfect." Just slightly different, and when you consider that every other species interacting with it is in the same struggle for survival, really you just end up with changes that have all the forward progress of a man running on an unstoppable treadmill.

And yet, this is the mechanism by which we are somehow to surpass mere humanity? It would be laughable if their efforts weren't so universally devastating.

5/09/2012 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Also, as Zombie demonstrates yet again, it seems like these modern Gnostic movements quite often result in anything but the improvement of humanity...

5/09/2012 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

This left me contemplating some great excerpts from MOTT:

Now, we occultists, magicians, esotericists and Hermeticists — all those who want to "do" instead of merely waiting, who want "to take their evolution in their own hands" and "to direct it towards an aim"—are confronted with this choice in a much more dramatic way, I should say, than is so for people who are not concerned with esotericism. Our principal danger (if not the only true danger) is that of preferring the role of "builders of the tower of Babel" (no matter whether personally or in a community) to watching over "as gardeners or vine-growers the garden or the vine of the Lord". Truth to tell, the only truly morally founded reason for keeping esotericism "esoteric", i.e. for not bringing it to the broad light of day and popularising it, is the danger of the great misunderstanding of confusing the tower with the tree, as a consequence of which "masons" will be recruited instead of "gardeners".

and...

To be a guardian signifies two things: firstly, the study of and practical application of the heritage of the past, and secondly continuous creative effort aiming at the advancement of the work. The tradition lives only when it is deepened, elevated and increased in size. Conservation alone does not suffice at all. It is only a corpse which lends itself to conservation by means of mummification.

5/09/2012 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Especially in a free society such as ours, right thinking is our main line of defense against tyranny, which is precisely why it is attacked and undermined by the irrational and dis-ordered forces of the left. The left imposes a system in which lies either become compulsory, or in which the proper conclusions cannot be drawn from the allowable data.

This is pretty much where the Church got to, as well, which led, eventually, to the necessity of Renaissance, Reformation, and Enlightenment.

When the old, bad priesthood wrecked the church bus, they hot-wired scientism and took off in it, pulling Marx in a trailer.

5/09/2012 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, it is quite clear that a living thing is an open system and that Gnosticism is always closed and therefore dead. One must love truth, not pretend to possess it, let alone deny its existence. The metabolism of truth leads to growth, but one still needs to eat every day.

5/09/2012 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

and Mushroom: I am currently reading a fascinating book on What Happened at Vatican II, and a big part of it was definitely becoming more "open" in the ways I'm talking about. I had no idea how conservative they had become during what the author calls the "long 19th" century, lasting from the French Revolution to V2. It seems that utter stasis had become the ideal, at least for the ruling majority.

5/09/2012 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

I confess I never knew much about Catholicism before I met my wife and possibly even less afterward. I never realized how earth-shattering V2, but I did get the impression from members of her family that things were not the way they has always been.

Looks like another book I need to read.

5/09/2012 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"Especially in a free society such as ours, right thinking is our main line of defense against tyranny, which is precisely why it is attacked and undermined by the irrational and dis-ordered forces of the left. The left imposes a system in which lies either become compulsory, or in which the proper conclusions cannot be drawn from the allowable data."

Recent events, especially this week which I posted on last night (and even yesterday)... that term 'right thinking', is deeply bound up with imaginative, figurative, language, the use of which must be read and considered as such in order to be able to discover and understand its meaning. If, on the other hand, the language is held to a rigid, literal reading (and this is by no means confined to the left, though more obvious there), the language, the thought, the rightness of the reasoning is strangled almost as soon as it passes into the eye.

"... The essence of modern tyranny involves prohibiting questions that might undermine the credibility of the system..."

It really is as if there is a Leftist-Aphasia, where each believer becomes their own Big Brother, and with which they render themselves incapable of interpreting figurative language in any way but literally.

It not only prohibits questions, but thinking as such, and the mind falls flattened upon its face.

5/09/2012 02:05:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

... not surprisingly, that also describes the development of education, schooling and curriculum, particularly over the last century.

Facts. Literal facts, only. Dryly delivered in unimaginative textbooks. Precisely and rigidly tested upon in multiple choice or T or F format.

Lots of results, some retention, and ever lessening possibilities for right reasoning.

5/09/2012 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

"And in our view, one of the things that is fundamentally wrong with man is his tendency to become a closed system. Please note that this is true of every level of existence, the material, psychic, and pneumatic."

Life makes a lot more sense once you realize this.

Moral of the story?

Don't turn your back on O.

5/09/2012 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

They understand it -- especially that sow. Claire was just looking for some excuse to be a victim and be "brave". She didn't have a chance, I guess, to dodge sniper fire in Serbia.

It reminds me of Daily Rash thing Gerard put up the other day about the old Revlon model. I can't remember her name, and it's not worth looking up. A bunch of people reacted that thinking the woman was really that stupid because it was so close to the reality of leftists that it was completely believable.

5/09/2012 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

I shouldn't have called her a sow.

I apologize.

5/09/2012 03:45:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

"and Mushroom: I am currently reading a fascinating book on What Happened at Vatican II, and a big part of it was definitely becoming more "open" in the ways I'm talking about. I had no idea how conservative they had become during what the author calls the "long 19th" century, lasting from the French Revolution to V2. It seems that utter stasis had become the ideal, at least for the ruling majority."

You know, it would be a good idea for someone to map the Catholic church from after the Pornocracy (the Cluniac era) to the present era with respect to openness and stasis, looking in particular at the orders and various initiatives.

5/09/2012 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

Julie says:

"I hadn't given it much thought before, but the vision of every Darwinistic visionary is to somehow "perfect" the human race. But of course, such a perfection runs completely counter to the actual function of evolution."

I think one of the "actual functions" of Darwinian evolution is to produce man.

So, it did what it's supposed to do.

5/09/2012 03:50:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Thus, instead of a spiritually open engagement with reality and truth -- which is philo-sophy, or love of wisdom -- the gnostic closes himself to this ground and constructs a closed system based upon the Answer known only to elites such as himself, quintessential examples being Marxism on the political plane or metaphysical Darwinism on the scientific plane (and this is the kind of perverse and simplistic science -- i.e., scientism -- preferred by the left in order to bolster its enfeebled image of man). Each of these denies transcendence up front, which has the practical effect of murdering man."

Murder indeed. The living can't communicate with the walking dead let alone reason with them.

Those who deny transcendence have already reached the top ("top of the world ma!").
Or perhaps I should say the bottom.

Thing is, these bottom feeders need something to feed on and they are never content, so they simultaneously seek to pull us down to their level and feed on us like the parasites they have become.

And like mosquitos they can spread their dis-ease so be wise and circumspect to their ways.

Very important to remember to use your parasite O-pellent.
Better known as the armor of god.

5/10/2012 04:42:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Well, r'coons, seems like the latest political development is quite the hummdinger. Had myself threatened with violence for saying I opposed Gay Marriage (and called a bigot to boot) even though I did so wholly on principle.

It's not surprising at all, but it's always sad when its a friend of yours.

I understand that each person needs to follow their conscience on such things, so I understand why some people support it. But I don't - I can't - in good conscience support it.

My reasons however are either 'obtuse' or unacceptable. Hard to understand why if one believes in sin, and not just as a matter of blind faith but from experience of its effects, how one can support the validation of a sin? It is one thing to say nothing (to hide one's neighbor's sin, as it were) but another to enable them.

They crossed the line when they threatened to eat my kids. I guess they forgot that some people in the conversation actually had children.

And I'm the one accused of lacking openness!

5/10/2012 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

@ted

That's a very good quote. I think it applies not only to esoteric spiritual knowledge, but also to almost any other craft. Every power risks becoming a means for man to make a monument to his own perceived greatness. God of course casts down all such towers... If I recall the meaning of the Tower card has much to do with this meaning: the Mason who imprisons himself so he can build his mad way to God.

5/10/2012 08:05:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

River! It's been quite a while :)

How many kids do you have now?

5/10/2012 08:11:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Still just the one... he's a handful. Getting close to learning to walk!

5/10/2012 08:12:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Aw, that's a fun stage. Hard to believe mine was there, just over a year ago; now he likes to run and jump everywhere.

5/10/2012 08:14:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Yep. I've also started a mad game project. Well, started isn't the word, so much as, I have working demos. When my brother finishes his work on their nursery (having twins, he and his wife) he'll be able to being helping me.

The name of the project is Grown and I've been keeping a tumblr where I muse about all manner of stuff.

Anyway, glad to see the Bobster is still at it!

5/10/2012 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

The game idea sounds cool - I hope it goes well!

Didn't know you had a tumblr now; glad you're still at it, though. If you don't mind sharing, what's the address?

5/10/2012 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Hey River, long time, no virtual see.

Sorry about your friend, but congrats on the toddler toddling! At least some people are still learning to grow up.

5/10/2012 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Hey ya, Van!

Julie,
This is the link.

5/10/2012 08:57:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Thanks! Interesting stuff - I don't have a tumblr, so probably can't comment there, but I like your thoughts on game development.

5/10/2012 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger Bilejones said...

This line and its variants always makes me laugh:

"Especially in a free society such as ours"

The US, of course, is the world's biggest Gulag: 5% of the population, 25% of those in cages.

5/10/2012 05:21:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Must have attended college to not know what the gulags were and who instituted them (hint: it wasn't conservatives). Either that or Senator Durbin is a new reader.

5/10/2012 05:31:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Riv! good to see you.

Sorry about your friend.
Something similar, although not nearly to such an extreme, happened to me a few years ago with a friend (who was/is) a coworker. For lack of a better way to put it, it (the explosive event) almost seemed to be the beginning of his recovery. Both a symptom and necessary stage for him to pass through. (Maybe Bob has seen this sort of thing in the practice, similar to, maybe, the explosive event when the therapist and patient simulataneously get dangerously close to discovering the "actual" problem and the patient goes medieval on Dr.) My friend has been slowly turning conservative over the years since. Actually, I think of it as a recognition of what was already there, but dormant. I can't tell you how many times he's dropped hints about his (new) opinions -- like he can't keep them in. He wants me to know.

So maybe there is hope for your friend, that your shared "event" is both a sign and a threshold.

5/11/2012 06:37:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

RE gay marriage, I think my only issue with it is the use of the word marriage. I have no problem with calling it civil union. Seems just fine. And the claim to rights of equal treatment that gay couples say are not being met (I don't doubt them) seem to me to already be protected under the Constitution.

So as you say "on principle", we concur. Gay marriage is not up to me. I can't bless it nor can any man. It is a fraud and disservice to say it is the same or just as good or to say it is blessed. But I understand the desire to wish it to be so. And I think the love, if it is truly there and genuine, that is blessed.

5/11/2012 06:54:00 AM  

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