Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Dogmatic Circles and Birds of Play

The mind is infinite -- or might as well be, because I guarantee you'll never find its edge in your lifetime -- and yet, people choose to live in more or less confined spaces of idolatry, sub-ideology, and convention.

Frankly, that's okay for most people. But not for the Transdimensional Raccoon, who prefers to frolic in the wide open spaces of the wild godhead beyond the subjective horizon.

The auto-enclosure referenced above seems to be an evolutionary holdover, or nul de slack, that once served a purpose, in that early man was naturally distracted by the urgent necessity of mapping the world in some kind of predictable way that bore immediate fruit.

In short, he was preoccupied with survival, both with his own and that of his genes; or food, reproduction, and killing enemies. Hunters hunted and gatherers gathered, and it must have worked because here we are.

There was a time when anthropologists were of the universal belief that mankind developed in stages, e.g., from primitive to agricultural to technological; or from myth to metaphysics to science; or from agrarian to capitalistic to communist; or totemism to polytheism to monotheism; etc.

But this way of looking at things became unfashionable in the 20th century, largely due to the racism that attached to certain theories of development, along with a conflation of genes and culture. I suppose this pathology reached a peak of virulence with Nazi theories of race, but the left will never fully abandon racist ideas so long as they translate to political power.

As a result of the new academic correctness of the 20th century, to suggest, say, that some backward tribe in Africa was "primitive" was -- and still is -- to brand oneself a racist.

But in recent years the left's stranglehold on permissible thought has been weakening, so it is possible to perceive and talk about the human reality beneath an absurd dogma that pretends all cultures are equally wonderful except our own, which is uniquely bad (e.g., Sick Societies, Race And Culture, The Culture Cult, Constant Battles, or War Before Civilization: The Myth of the Peaceful Savage, to name just a few off the top of my head).

Yes, the intellectual red tide is turning, but just as in natural selection, we'll pretty much have to wait for the old demagogues of the left to literally die out and be replaced by a new and nonself-hating generation of the intellectually open and bi-curious (i.e. horizontal and vertical textual orientation).

Only a handful of leftists ever grow out of their adolescent rebellion, and most of these heels will actually dig them in when faced with corrective feedback from reality, e.g., Obama. He is far too narcissistically invested in his fanciful worldview to adjust it to the dictates of reality, which is why we are all being held hostage to one man's immaturity.

So long as there are millions of others to help Obama prop up the fantasy, he can ignore the feedback. But now that his own base is crumbling, we'll see him become increasingly confused about what to say and how to act.

Conversely, it is so liberating to simply speak truth and let the world be the world!

This post wasn't supposed to be about politics per se, but rather, about the snares of thought that capture and enclose the spirit. Then again, for a secular person, politics can be one of the biggest snares.

In Into the Silent Land, Laird tells the story of four Kerry blue terriers he saw in the course of his regular walks. Three of them raced through the open field with "bounding energy, elastic grace, and electric speed," but the fourth stayed close to the side of the owner and ran around in tight little circles.

One day he asked the owner about this behavior, and he responded that prior to his acquisition of the dog, "it had lived practically all its life in a cage and could only exercise by running in circles. For this dog, to run meant to run in tight circles" (emphasis mine).

Let us stipulate that some men aren't dogs, and that they can think, which is to say, run around in hyperspace. But most men seem to run around in tight little circles near their ideological owner while wagging their fingers. Why is that?

Could it be that they are in a cage? Or on a leash? And neutered?

If you will open your Coonifesto to page 21, you will read that the author did not write the book for the absurcular intellectual, tenured ape, or cognitive wanker bee. There are millions of books for them, and they don't need one more bar on the cage.

Rather, the book is addressed to the "free-range spiritual aspirant" and not the "unfertilized egghead of contemporary hyperspecialization." The same is a fortiori true of the blog. The whole innerprize is in a spirit of child-like play, and one of the purposes of play is to vault oneself out of time and into the timeless.

"For indeed we are free, as the Psalmist insists, 'My heart like a bird has escaped from the snare of the fowler." And in the words of Dante, "Reason, even when supported by the senses, has short wings" (both in Laird).

Although that would be a good place to end, one more point that expands upon what the Poet just said.

In the epigraph to his Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Coleridge expresses the idea that "it is good that human beings contemplate invisible things in the universe 'lest the intellect, habituated by the trivia of daily life, may contract itself too much and wholly sink into trifles'" (cited in Piereson).

So, do the myth, sheeple.

17 Comments:

Anonymous William said...

Ha ha more good news for Obama -- Romney leads in Wisconsin. Losers!

6/13/2012 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Psst... willian, if you drop by specifically to tell people that they arr' losers'... That pretty much makes you a loser.

6/13/2012 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Heh - and I'm sure it must be even more good news that he's losing support among black voters...

6/13/2012 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Yes, the intellectual red tide is turning, but just as in natural selection, we'll pretty much have to wait for the old demagogues of the left to literally die out and be replaced by a new and nonself-hating generation of the intellectually open and bi-curious (i.e. horizontal and vertical textual orientation).

I hope that's the case. Can't help wondering, though, what it will take to get there from here. Then again, maybe the disillusionment of many of today's "funemployed" youth will be a part of that shift in orientation.

6/13/2012 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

What can't continue won't continue, and what must happen will happen. But don't hold your breath.

6/13/2012 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger EbonyRaptor said...

"The same is a fortiori true of the blog. The whole innerprize is in a spirit of child-like play, and one of the purposes of play is to vault one out of time and into the timeless."

a fortiori indeed!

My daily challenge is to clear the clutter for a little time to think. Onecosmos helps me slip into the timeless, if only for a little bit. It helps.

6/13/2012 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

"Only a handful of leftists ever grow out of their adolescent rebellion, and most of these heels will actually dig them in when faced with corrective feedback from reality, e.g., Obama. He is far too narcissistically invested in his fanciful worldview to adjust it to the dictates of reality, which is why we are all being held hostage to one man's immaturity. "

Just imagine the joy he'll spread once he's been released to roam in the wild with Jimmy Carter.

6/13/2012 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Another Permanent Pain in the Ass.

6/13/2012 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Rush thinks he'll run again in 2016.

6/13/2012 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

No, not Carter. He's running in 2024.

6/13/2012 11:29:00 AM  
Blogger vanderleun said...

WOOF!

6/13/2012 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

As a result of the new academic correctness of the 20th century, to suggest, say, that some backward tribe in Africa was "primitive" was -- and still is -- to brand oneself a racist.

I was thinking about that after reading the weekend comments on last Friday’s post regarding the roles of men and women. I knew that a dolt like William would hasten to point out some tribe in Lower Coochycoo had a matriarchal structure where women wanted respect and men painted their nails. Meanwhile the dolt fails to grasp that such a group’s adoption of and satisfaction with a screwed up system is why they spent their wretched lives eating grubworms and neighboring tribesmen.

He is far too narcissistically invested in his fanciful worldview to adjust it to the dictates of reality, which is why we are all being held hostage to one man's immaturity.

I would say that is probably the one quality that makes some people – and I’m not one of them – nostalgic for Bill Clinton or think we would be better off with Hillary.

6/13/2012 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

I hadn't heard that speculation about Obama-2016, but I can easily imagine it could happen. Even if the feds did the right thing -- as unlikely as that might be, there are going to be a few million very unhappy people wondering what happened to all the Free Stuff.

And if they don't do the right thing, it will be worse.

6/13/2012 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

On the other hand, Obama's record is so miserable, and so wonderfully archived online, that a run in 2016 would have to devote 2/3 of its resources just to deal with the past crap in his pants. Too many headaches.

Plus, he'll make a mint on the lecture circuit. Plenty of affirmation and satisfaction for the Affirmative Action Ego there.

If Hillary runs, I wouldn't be surprised to find Michelle Obama tapped for some sort of Tsarina position.

Oh joy.

6/14/2012 06:15:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

lest the intellect, habituated by the trivia of daily life, may contract itself too much and wholly sink into trifles

"Habituated by the trivia" -- nice. The internet makes it very easy to consume trivia, and there is a vast fire-hose lot of it. Coleridge sounds like McLuhan. "The media is the massage" (sic).

6/14/2012 06:22:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Magister said "Plus, he'll make a mint on the lecture circuit. Plenty of affirmation and satisfaction for the Affirmative Action Ego there."

I think we'd do well to remember that soon after becoming POTUS, Obama said "I'm still community organizing!". Causing an uproar is Job #1 for a community organizer. Capitalizing on that requires that you not be in a position of power to do anything about it.

To be an effective community organizer, you must be one of the down trodden, so you can stir things up against 'The Man'.

I'm sure Obama is enjoying the perks of being POTUS, but I don't think that's his aim, only a means towards it.

He's still a community organizer.

6/14/2012 07:05:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Obama is just building his resume.

6/14/2012 01:31:00 PM  

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