Friday, August 17, 2012

The Scotosis of the POTUS, or A Hole in the One

"History," writes Voegelin, "is not an unbroken stream of existence in truth." Rather, it "is interrupted by periods, or is shot through with levels, of deformed existence."

And that is not all. For such a period of deformation "can impose itself so massively on a man that he conforms to it and consequently deforms himself by making deformed existence the model of true existence." Like a pine tree at the equator or a palm tree in Alaska, we can become deformed -- or uninformed -- by virtue of being planted in the wrong (or less than human) environment.

This isn't just a problem, but might well be THE problem with mankind. When we speak of man as fallen, this may be what he has fallen into, i.e., a deformed existence in exile from truth; and one deformation leads to another, 32 feet per second per second. It may or may not be in the genes, but it is certainly in the memes.

Note that Voegelin speaks of levels of deformed existence. Since man is spread across all levels of existence, from matter (and below) to God (and above, so to speak not) -- or from Ø to O, if you like -- then he can be the picture of health on one level but quite sick on another. Or, he may not manifest at all on this or that level.

We all know perfectly intelligent -- even brilliant -- people who are, say, intellectually or spiritually autistic, or who have no taste in music or literature, or who have the kind of body that no animal other than the human being could ever devolve to.

A lion, for example, can eat whenever and whatever it wants. So how come we don't see any fat lions? And Michelle Obama seems to have a healthy diet, but what ugly flab above the neck and behind the eyes!

I don't mean to be hard on human beings, because being human is hard. For one thing, we have many more levels to manage than does any other animal: emotional, intellectual, aesthetic, interpersonal, political, historical, genetic, economic, spiritual, religious, archetypal, physical, metaphysical, dietary, cultural, sexual, psychosexual, etc. It is easy for one level to get confused with another, or for the legitimate needs of one level to be displaced to another.

To cite an obvious example, it is extremely common for people to substitute food for emotional sustenance, just as it is common to conflate spiritual and intellectual need, or to try to patch up an interpersonal deficit with political or economic power. Indeed, it is fair to say that such fevered displacements, unfortunately, "make the world go 'round."

Why, for example, does Obama seek power over us? This is a difficult question to answer, in part because I'm quite sure he doesn't know. While he will no doubt provide reasons -- to give us free stuff, for example, or to prevent Mitt Romney from murdering us, or to keep y'all from being put in chains -- we can dismiss such pretexts. We know Obama is deformed. But how is he deformed? Which level is confused with which?

These are not questions to be asked in 2012. Rather, they should have been asked in 2008. For just as a period of deformation "can impose itself so massively on a man that he conforms to it and consequently deforms himself," something even worse can happen: the deformed man, given sufficient power, can impose himself so massively on the collective that it is forced to conform to him. Then the collective becomes as deformed as the deformed fellow at the top. See history for details.

This is not a matter of speculation or subjective opinion. Rather, there are real, measurable, and lasting ways that we (including unborn generations) are all being forced to conform to Obama's deformations. But when you think about it, isn't this the very essence of the left? Isn't this what they do?

The leftist has an idea of "how things ought to be," as indeed do we all. The difference is, we do not have the arrogance, self-righteousness, and presumptive wisdom to impose our vision on everyone else. This is supposed to be an empire of liberty, not an empire of dependence. The leftist grasps that liberty is a dreadful thing -- otherwise everyone would cherish it -- but seems constitutionally incapable of perceiving the dreadful deformities engendered by dependency.

I will be the first to admit that I don't know exactly what is best for you, since I'm busy enough trying to make moment-to-moment decisions about what is best for Bob and his immediate family. I realize that Obama wants to help, but I already have a mother-in-law, and besides, she's actually helpful.

It seems that the nation is roughly 50-50 with regard to the percentage of deformed reformers vs. well-formed normals. Again, because we value liberty, we usually don't care about what goes on in our neighbor's head, so long as he doesn't try to include us in his delusion.

The problem is that "the deformed sectors of the field [of experience] acquire the status of true reality, while the sectors of true existence are eclipsed by the imagery of deformation" (Voegelin). But enough about the educational establishment...

The result is a "scotosis of truth," which is a very handy image, since it conforms nicely to the primitive psychic defense mechanisms that prevent us from seeing a reality that is right before our eyes. A scotoma is a hole in the field of vision, as in where the optic nerve connects to the back of the eye. We do not consciously notice this hole because our mind fills the space, leaving no visible scars at all.

Now, transpose this concept to all of the other levels alluded to above. For example, we all have a rough idea of "history," with categories such as neolithic, ancient, medieval, Renaissance, Enlightenment, industrialization, modernity, postmodernity, etc. But every time I read a good history book, I discover another huge scotoma that was invisibly sitting right there before and behind me.

Gee, do you think Obama has, say, an economic scotoma or two? A religious scotoma? A constitutional scotoma? A racial scotoma? A budgetary scotoma? An ethical scotoma?

"Without scotoma" is a fine apophatic, or negative, definition of God, i.e., the whole-in-one. Thus, the most frightening being on earth -- because the most destructive -- is the man with vast power over others, who imagines he is without scotoma.

They gonna shoot y'all, and put a hole in your soul!

17 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

Yes, an ethical scotoma. Were it not for that one, the others might have a chance at being cured...

8/17/2012 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger EbonyRaptor said...

Scotoma is a great analogy. The mind filling in the scotoma in our field of vision to provide visual continuity is a wonderful design feature. However, discontinuity results when the unethical mind seeks to gloss over the blind spots in those areas of study it hasn't studied.

8/17/2012 11:34:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

So lack of awareness of scotoma or an arrogant ego that simply ignores it's sotomas (or thinks it's above such petty concerns) leads to force and slavery (for our own "good" of course).

Obama is a scotoma seared assoul!

Great song! Very apropos. :^)

P.S. Hi Bob! Do you think people like Soros are aware and don't care about their scotomas?

Or, do you think some people actually embrace their scotomas?

8/17/2012 01:58:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Find out in the exciting conclusion to this post!

8/17/2012 02:07:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Roger that! Anticipation...anticipa-ation...

8/17/2012 02:46:00 PM  
Blogger Kurt said...

Bob, thank you for your work. I read your posts everyday but rarely comment. Not every post hits me but some of them, wow, talk about opening up a door I didn't even know was there! I'm still working my way through the 'dimmer switch' and 'flow of presence' from several weeks ago. But I just wanted to encourage you as you have encouraged me. You have helped me grow, more than you will ever know...at least on this side of The River!

Kurt

8/18/2012 06:07:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Thanks, Kurt. We're just trying to be helpful here, so it's helpful to know when it's helped.

8/18/2012 08:07:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

"These are not questions to be asked in 2012. Rather, they should have been asked in 2008. For just as a period of deformation "can impose itself so massively on a man that he conforms to it and consequently deforms himself," something even worse can happen: the deformed man, given sufficient power, can impose himself so massively on the collective that it is forced to conform to him. Then the collective becomes as deformed as the deformed fellow at the top. See history for details."

Yup.

And whereas the brain fills in the scotoma by copying & pasting from images of what is, man fills in his scotomo to complete the image of what he expects to see... and when those expectations don't reflect reality, the pattern is twisted and rent, reformed into their own image - deformed (unDeiformed?).

Bad enough when it happens within one individuals life, but when it happens in the life of someone who is seen as filling in the scotoma of others? Such as a post-modernist writer? An actor? A musician? A preacher? A politician? How many levels deep does the pattern go... more than seven?

8/18/2012 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

""Without scotoma" is a fine apophatic, or negative, definition of God, i.e., the whole-in-one. Thus, the most frightening being on earth -- because the most destructive -- is the man with vast power over others, who imagines he is without scotoma."

... and with an expanse of followers who think he completes theirs.

It's enough to make one tremble and shudder.

8/18/2012 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Ben said "Or, do you think some people actually embrace their scotomas?"

You mean like Lord Byron? Or his scotoma buddy Rousseau? GE put it in mind yesterday, and as I haven't been able to shake it off, I might as well share the 'well F'...'. From the opening of his Confessions (oh, and by the way, he did conceal, and add, much, to his 'book'),

"I have entered upon a performance which is without example, whose accomplishment will have no imitator. I mean to present my fellow-mortals with a man in all the integrity of nature; and this man shall be myself.

I know my heart, and have studied mankind; I am not made like any one I have been acquainted with, perhaps like no one in existence; if not better, I at least claim originality, and whether Nature did wisely in breaking the mould with which she formed me, can only be determined after having read this work.

Whenever the last trumpet shall sound, I will present myself before the sovereign judge with this book in my hand, and loudly proclaim, thus have I acted; these were my thoughts; such was I. With equal freedom and veracity have I related what was laudable or wicked, I have concealed no crimes, added no virtues; and if I have sometimes introduced superfluous ornament, it was merely to occupy a void occasioned by defect of memory: I may have supposed that certain, which I only knew to be probable, but have never asserted as truth, a conscious falsehood. Such as I was, I have declared myself; sometimes vile and despicable, at others, virtuous, generous and sublime; even as thou hast read my inmost soul: Power eternal! assemble round thy throne an innumerable throng of my fellow-mortals, let them listen to my confessions, let them blush at my depravity, let them tremble at my sufferings; let each in his turn expose with equal sincerity the failings, the wanderings of his heart, and, if he dare, aver, I was better than that man."

Imagine a number of key intellectuals in philosophy, the arts, historians and politics, taking that form for their own? What wouldn't follow from that?

Nothing that we don't already know.

8/18/2012 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger tillurdizzy said...

How does a scotoma relate to a mind parasite?

8/18/2012 11:04:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

It's kind of a present absence instead of an absent presence.

8/18/2012 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Actually that's a good question, which I'll try to answer more fully as we proceed. My response isn't wrong, but obviously inadequate.

8/18/2012 02:31:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Speaking of deformations.

Misleading headline, but not as misleading as it might seem.

Consider: The Oregon law had this already in place, it's just there was no way to pay for it. Now it is paid for through Obamacare. Oregon is 'to blame', some say, but we all know that the blame is as much on the addict as it is on his enablers.

8/19/2012 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

From the same, here is a relevant comment and how it dovetails with with the Left's selective use of privacy:

"The Bill went through in 2011, before the ACA went into effect. http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/436.225 A parent or guardian canNOT force their child to undergo a sterilization procedure. And Doctors can say that the 15-year-old cannot provide consent, which will then require a Circuit Court to make a decision.

This has long been the case in Canada, where the parents do not need to be told about their dependent's medical choices. http://www.cba.org/bc/public_media/health/422.aspx Some provinces have no even legal age for consent , the only requirement is that the child understands the procedure and the implications and is deemed by the physician to be "capable of exercising independant judgement for healthcare decisions". http://www.cpso.on.ca/policies/policies/default.aspx?ID=1544

Most states, due to HIPPA, any child aged 15/16 can go to any doctor or hospital and have any medical procedure done or be given a prescription and legally neither the doctor nor the hospital has an obligation to inform a parent or guardian. It's the right to privacy!"


It goes without saying that privacy is only good when it is a weapon in the hands of the state, in this case, to undermine and weaken the family.

8/19/2012 01:11:00 PM  
Blogger phil g said...

Off topic question for Bob:

You used to have a handy link to your Amazon music list. I found this to be a great resource in filling out some of the holes in my collection. It seems to be missing and I'm missing it.

If it still exists, can you possibly point me back to it?

Cheers,
Phil

8/20/2012 03:24:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Good idea. I'll put one of those wheels in the sidebar, based on a changing theme.

8/20/2012 06:37:00 AM  

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