Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Obama, the Malfunctioning Pharaoh

Man's existence is a search for order. Back in the day -- we're talking ancient times -- man sought order via alignment with the cosmos. This approach survives today, for example, in the form of astrology, or new year celebrations, or the search for a mythical TOE (theory of everything) that would reduce all existence to an elegant equation.

Hence the excitement over the apparent confirmation of the "God particle" -- as if metaphysics may be reduced to physics. Why not just enjoy the science on its own level? Failure to curb one's titanic enthusiasm here is tantamount to winning an Oscar and imagining this crowns one "king of the world."

But if one has exiled oneself from the Ground, this doesn't mean one will cease searching after it. Doesn't work that way. It's just that the search will be displaced, no different than, say, the neurotic person who compulsively searches for his father's love via repeated homosexual encounters. The compulsion is fueled by virtue of the fact that no amount of the latter substitutes for the former, for you can never get enough of what you don't really need.

Likewise, it is beyond obvious to say that God -- or the Ground -- is much more than the sum of the parts of the universe, just as no amount of two-dimensional planes adds up to a three-dimensional object. God is capacious enough to contain all possible universes, let alone this one, just as the mind can conceive any number of truths. Don't worry, your mind will never run out of real estate. Unless you aren't real astute, and end up building your own wall around it.

Remember, a cosmos isn't just a cosmos. Rather, "cosmos" is simply the word we use for the existence of the total order at any given time. We always have a sense of this total order, even if the vision or content change from century to century. Today, for example, most people go on living in a pre-Einsteinian cosmos in order to prop up a disordered and defective worldview, e.g., atheists or literal creationists.

Anyway, back in the old days, the ruler was seen as the living link, so to speak, between the celestial (i.e., cosmic) and terrestrial orders. In ancient Egypt, for example, "the Pharaoh is supposed to be the mediator of this order to society" (Voegelin). Thus, if there was disorder -- if things were falling apart and getting too out of hand in the herebelow -- it was "because of the Pharaoh's malfunctioning."

Before you laugh at Egypt for having made no psychospiritual progress in the past 5,000 years -- okay, after laughing -- realize that we do the same thing, albeit in a more or less mature and sublimated manner. If you think back to 2008, the left spoke as if the existing Pharaoh had become so toxic that the cosmos itself had strayed from its axis. In fact, ever since then, Taranto has had a running gag called Everything is Seemingly Spinning Out of Control, based on an epically silly AP headline from that year.

If Obama was good at one thing, it was at exploiting this longing on the part of the left for a new and improved Pharaoh to realign the cosmos. Unfortunately, now that he himself has become the malfunctioning Pharaoh -- i.e., the Emperor's New Empty Suit -- he has been shorn of this one acknowledged skill.

If the Pharodent were to encourage such absurd flights of infantile phantasy this time around, it would simply expose the freudulent hate-and-switch at the root of his previous success. And few figures are more forlorn than a fading pharaoh falling from the fictional pyramid he so fleetly flew up just a few years back.

Remember the immortal self-beclowning of Mark Morford? "[I]n response to... those with broken or sadly dysfunctional karmic antennae -- or no antennae at all -- to all those who just don't understand and maybe even actively recoil against all this chatter about Obama's aura and feel and MLK/JFK-like vibe."

Hold it right there. No one has accused Obama of cheating on his wife.

"To them I say, all right, you want to know what it is? The appeal, the pull, the ethereal and magical thing that seems to enthrall millions of people from all over the world, that keeps opening up and firing into new channels of the culture normally completely unaffected by politics?"

Hmm, let me think. Joe Biden said he was clean, and Harry Reid said he didn't talk like a negro. Is it that?

"No, it's not merely his youthful vigor, or handsomeness, or even inspiring rhetoric. It is not fresh ideas or cool charisma or the fact that a black president will be historic and revolutionary in about a thousand different ways. It is something more. Even Bill Clinton, with all his effortless, winking charm [sic], didn't have what Obama has, which is a sort of powerful luminosity, a unique high-vibration integrity."

I see. A Pharaoh then?

"Dismiss it all you like, but I've heard from far too many enormously smart, wise, spiritually attuned people who've been intuitively blown away by Obama's presence - not speeches, not policies, but sheer presence..."

Well, at least you're not the last person to get burned by Tony Robbins.

I don't know. This all sounds a little... what's the word?

"... gooey. Many spiritually advanced people I know (not coweringly religious, mind you, but deeply spiritual) identify Obama as a Lightworker, that rare kind of attuned being who has the ability to lead us not merely to new foreign policies or health care plans or whatnot, but who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet, of relating and connecting and engaging with this bizarre earthly experiment. These kinds of people actually help us evolve. They are philosophers and peacemakers of a very high order, and they speak not just to reason or emotion, but to the soul."

Now, not only do I not see Obama as an Evolutionary Lightworker who is attuned to my Deeply Spiritual Being, but rather, as a plain old Presidential Failure. But that's all he is: a failed president. Sure, that's bad, but imagine how bad one must feel in the wake of a failed god.

That equates to an ontic collapse, a complete failure of cosmic order -- similar to how the collapse of the Soviet Union left historian Eric Hobsbawm heartbroken. But the heartbreak was misplaced, because it should have been over an utterly wasted life spent using one's god-given talents to defend evil. That is heartbreak, especially when it occurs so close to the night, when no man can work.

Just to wrap this up, on the ontological plane we are discussing, the principle of the cosmological ruler/mediator was eventually displaced -- at least for some -- by the Christic God-man who embodies the trans-cosmic order -- the logos -- in a more direct and personal -- rather than political and collective -- manner. He, of course, cannot be surpassed. But the left will never stop trying, for it is What They Do.

25 Comments:

Blogger Rick said...

Is there more going on with Mark Morford than meets the eye? He is a pharaoh in some sense, or an oracle (which is "higher"?). Or wishes to function as one or the other; by projecting onto Obama a divine magic that he himself thinks he posseses. Listen to how he describes what you may not be able to see. Reminds of the movie Harvey in a (bad) way. "Let me help you evolve.." he seems to say. It comes across as revealing a narcissism.

7/25/2012 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

"Can't you see the fleas, mommy? Can't you see them?"
~John Hammond, Curator of Jurassic Park

7/25/2012 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, one's own narcissism is often fueled by access or fantasized proximity to an even more idealized figure. It's as if the ma'at flows from Obama to Morford. This explains phenomena from name-dropping to autograph hunting, i.e., "if I am close to the Special Person, it makes me special." For the same reason, some people want to kill the Special Person, e.g., the guy who murdered John Lennon.

Remember the end of Batman II? Batman is willing to become the despised figure in order to maintain the psychic equilibrium of Gotham via the purified idealization of Dent.

7/25/2012 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

In short, there is an intimate relationship between idealization <---> contempt, which are usually found together.

7/25/2012 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I might add that there are healthy versions of this, for it is appropriate and necessary to venerate that which is worthy of it.

7/25/2012 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

Substitutes for Church? Legion.

Has anyone ever read anything by Pierre Manent? I haven't, and what I read about him makes me think maybe I should, but then I read things like the following article and can't believe he says this:

no modern original philosopher has been willing or able to include a thorough analysis of political life within his account of the human world, or, conversely, to elaborate his account of the whole from an analysis of our political circumstances

the return of political philosophy

Voegelin? Maybe Manent has some aversion to crossing the Ruhr.

At the speed with which political systems are collapsing, it's hard to marshal the time it takes to slog through "theory." A lot of people bemoan this unwillingness as some sort of mental disease brought on by internet surfing, but they're typically the people who go for the really gassy tomes that waste too much time for one's nickel. They voted for Obama, naturally.

Here's a vote for venerating a Damn Good Editor. Rare breed.

7/25/2012 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

Bob, the "malfunctioning Pharoah" idea should be sent along to the People's Cube for proper rendering. That guy is totally ace.

7/25/2012 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Hold it right there. No one has accused Obama of cheating on his wife.

That’s ‘cause Bouviers don’t pull people’s arms out of their sockets .

7/25/2012 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Good point: Touch that lightsaber, bitch, and it'll be the last thing you ever touch.

7/25/2012 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

Instead, they'll be sent to save Chicago neighborhoods by organizing misunderstood criminal gangs into righteous Marxist militias.

7/25/2012 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

Saw this at ZeroHedge:

Orwell understood the State's ontological imperative is expansion, to the point where it controls every level of community, markets and society. Once the State escapes the control of the citizenry, it is free to exploit them in a parasitic predation that is the mirror-image of Monopoly capital. For what is the State but a monopoly of force, coercion, data manipulation and the regulation of private monopolies?  What is the EU bureaucracy in Brussels but the perfection of a stateless State? … In China, the Elite's looting proceeds along somewhat different rules from the looting of Europe and the U.S., but the end result is the same in all financialized, centrally managed economies: an expansive kleptocracy best understood as the convergence of Marx, Orwell and Kafka.

Yes, but if William enters the Mandarin Class, all will be right with the world. Trust me.

7/25/2012 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

It's kind of sobering to think what might happen in the aftermath of an electoral defeat of "god".

7/25/2012 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes it is. There are already calls for insurrection if Obama should lose without Democrats being able to engage in their usual vote fraud. Today's Taranto discusses this (third story, "Another Lefty Calls for Rebellion").

7/25/2012 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

Calls for insurrection? I thought the Democrats had all the hellots in line.

7/25/2012 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

@Bob: Funny what you said about Batman allowing himself to become the scapegoat in the 2nd film. I actually believe the writers read Rene Girard at some point.

As far as "spiritually advanced people" backing Obama, I do find it interesting how "enlightened" individuals can have such different political affiliations. I guess the Omega Point won't consolidate us into a one-party-town either.

7/25/2012 12:08:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Bwa-ha-HAHAHAHHHH!!!

7/25/2012 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

It's kind of an icon of Christ - part of the imagery he arranged in his crucifixion involves him being 'killed outside of the city' - this was part of the procedure of the 'scapegoat' itself - it was to be slaughtered outside the camp, in the desert maybe, I can't recall exactly, it's in Leviticus somewhere. In any case, it is obvious that he is both 'sheep' and 'goat' in a sense.

I had a friend of mine point out - or try to point out - that Joker was the hero of Batman II. I can only accept the point in the sense that according to the scientistic, materialistic, fallen world, Joker is the hero - for if Batman makes himself the scapegoat (as an image of Christ) he must become the villain.

It has an odd poignancy given the recent Joker related massacre - according to some, it's an open and shut case for demon possession if there ever was one.

Me? I'll bet the same demon that killed Ledger still had an ax to grind.

Art can be dangerous.

7/25/2012 01:34:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Also, this is brilliant

Dire Straits Discography on youtube. The usage of the medium! Five stars. It's like a jukebox.

7/25/2012 02:06:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Interesting, River. Yes, recall, too, that on the Day of Atonement, there were two goats taken before the high priest and lots were cast. One goat was sacrificed at the altar. The other, that is the scapegoat, or goat for Azazel ("entire removal") in more modern translations, was taken by a man out into the wilderness from which it could not return and released.

Dent and the girl were bound by the Joker. One was sacrificed, the other, Dent became an outcast until he was redeemed by Batman becoming the scapegoat, retreating into oblivion.

The only one of the three I've seen is TDK but I thought it was a very good movie.

I agree about demon-possession.

7/25/2012 03:18:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7/25/2012 03:18:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

How did he do that? That is amazing. No better than I can hear these days that's as good as having all the CDs.

7/25/2012 03:25:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

Hooked on this [alas deceased] Bowden guy of late: what an orator!-- never used a microphone or written speech, much less a teleprompter... topics from Nietzsche to Punch & Judy to Savitri Devi to the films of Syberberg
Cultural Communism

7/25/2012 05:39:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

OT:
Wrote a joke today that might cheer ya up. Goes sumthin like this.

401k?
You didn't build that.

No pride of authorship. Spread the love. Works well with home equity too.
Rick-out.

7/25/2012 07:18:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Rick, that last bit would be so much funnier if it weren't so personal just now. *sigh*

7/26/2012 07:05:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

It's laugh or cry, I meant.
And that the joke is on us.

I'm not sure how many people realize, those who, say, even though they are employed, maybe haven't gotten a raise, expenses have gone up, gasoline, sucks, sure but we're not that bad...that guy down the street though, Grace of God... haven't realized how much they've probably lost in wealth because they don't need it right now. It doesn't matter if you don't have a mortgage.

If my Dem friends realize it, they haven't said it to me.

7/26/2012 09:19:00 AM  

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