Logopathology, Talking Heads, and Political Hatred
Say, why do we have free speech, anyway? Isn't most of it inane if not counterproductive? Perhaps, but first of all, man would go insane without the ability to let off steam by serially discharging his interior world.
The other day we jokingly made a $50 bet with our seven year old that he couldn't go all day without speaking. He took us seriously, and was disappointed when he only lasted about five minutes. To shut him up would be like trying to push back against a volcano.
Where does this interior pressure come from? Why the incessant blah blah, which hasn't stopped since the day he was born? For all of us, even when our mouth isn't moving, our gums are flapping away in our heads, aren't they? Freud tried to reduce it all to "instinctual energy" -- as if speaking would be unnecessary if only we had enough instantaneous food and sex.
No, in order to understand man, we must consider humanness on its own level. Yes, man includes material and biological planes -- obviously -- but he also encompasses and expresses emotional, spiritual, cognitive, aesthetic, moral, mystical, and other planes and modes.
Ever since the scientific revolution there has been an attempt to understand the phenomenon of man by reducing him to something less than he is. It works, except you eliminate man in the process -- like cutting open someone's head to see where the thoughts come from.
trephination, which involved drilling a hole through the skull. This was prehistoric man's first form of psychotherapy, and you can understand why. Presumably mental illness was as common then as it is today -- although I suspect it was actually more common. In any event, for pre-literate human beings with extremely concrete thinking, it would make sense to drill a hole in the head in order to allow the persecutory thoughts to escape.
In fact, this explains the contemporary phenomenon of self-cutting. When such an individual slashes himself, he subjectively feels a relief of interior pressure.
But more generally, modern man has innumerable outlets to relieve the build-up of psychic pressure. As I've mentioned before, human beings are probably no healthier than they were, say, 100 years ago. It's just that they have so many more means available to act out their illness, which also relieves pressure.
A hundred years ago, for example, a Madonna would be just a typical gorgon-variety sexual hysteric instead of a sad quinquagenarian flasher. Neither solution is preferable, although for some reason the latter is considered "liberated."
For good or bad, this is often what politics comes down to. To paraphrase someone, politics involves "the organization of hatreds," and this isn't far from the truth, certainly for the left.
In fact, this is one of our problems with our leftist friends: we try to engage them with ideas, but they just want to hate us. As such, we are a necessary part of their psychic furniture, similar to the function Jews serve in the Arab mind. If not for Jews, all that hatred would be stuck inside Arab heads, for which reason they'd probably have to resort to trephination (or else mutilate more females than they already do).
When you listen to someone articulate your own hatreds, it provides a sense of relief. And sometimes this is helpful, as in Churchill's speeches during WWII, or Reagan's vis-a-vis the Evil Empire. To paraphrase something Kimball wrote in the latest National Review, temper should be deployed, not lost. And "one should be angry at the proper things, in the proper degree, for the proper duration." Sober, in other words, not just indulgent.
We're getting a little far afield here. What I wanted to discuss is the logos, which is the real reason man's interior life "overflows" in the way it does. It does this because we are in the image of the Creator, who has the same "problem," as it were. All a part of being Infinite.
Voeglin writes of "the power of the logos as a cosmic force that can be used by man for good or evil purposes in accordance with order or disorder in the psyche."
One reflection of the logos is of course speech, which can be "a great and powerful master; it operates with magic force on man; the spell of divinely inspired language can swerve the soul when it is weakened, by passion or lack of knowledge, toward opinion in conflict with truth..."
Indeed, "the power of the logos over the soul can be compared to that of a drug over the body; as the drug can heal or kill, harmful persuasion can drug and bewitch the soul."
But enough about Obama. Besides, Clinton has the same effect on the susceptible, through which people long to be magically healed via soothing and self-serving lies and distortions. Which never works, at least in the long term. But MSM journalists never stop trying.
In short, "speech is a powerful thing... that can form or deform the order of man and his actions, while in their turn the movements of the psyche can move language toward truth or nontruth."
And the slave is any person who can neither order himself "nor respond to the order of mature men."
In conclusion, a few words about the true order of the psyche. Properly ordered, it is engaged in "the loving quest of truth in response to the divine drawing from the Beyond; the divine-human movement and countermovement of love is the source of man's knowledge concerning his existence in truth..." Or just say O <--> (¶).