Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Lies Burn: Yelling Fire in a Clouded World

Before we were interrupted by unforeseen events -- and there is nothing quite so unforeseen as an event -- we were discussing the complementarity of individual <--> social, or narcissism <--> collectivism.

Note that each pole refers to the cosmic interior, as explicated by Wilber in various works. As culture represents the interior-collective, person is the interior-individual.

Note that we do not say "society" and "man," since those belong to the exterior-collective and -individual, respectively.

For similar reasons, "brain" is exterior while "soul" is the quintessence of interiority. One might even say that the purpose of life is to exteriorize the soul while interiorizing the world. The former is creativity, the latter knowledge. But obviously the two should be in harmony; to emphasize one to the detriment of the other is to compose a less than full life, i.e., words + music.

In my opinion, the presence of a cosmic interior -- a subjective horizon -- is without question the most mysterious and astonishing fact in all of existence. Frankly, it is the last thing we'd expect to find here, except that without it there is nothing to find and no one to find it. It is fair to say that the mystery of mysteries is the experience of experience.

One of the worst features -- maybe the worst -- of modernity is the persistent attempt to explain away the cosmic interior through various scientistic fairy tales, or to stunt it by neglect, or to maim it by exposure to a subhuman world that is then interiorized by the hapless soul. Already, at the age of seven, I can see the difference between my son and spiritually deprived children with no exposure to religious truth. A certain kind of light is slowly extinguished in the latter.

The two wings of intelligence are erudition and love. --Don Colacho's Aphorisms

And Without a certain religious childishness, a certain intellectual profundity is unattainable. (ibid.).

If you ignore this interior reality, how could you not end up with a field full of weeds? How else to put it... There is something a little animalistic about such persons, since they live in ignorance of one of the most enduring features of the human mindscape, others of which include such archetypes as romantic love, fatherhood, warrior, priest, death, shadow, great mother, sage, etc.

In my view, the cosmic interior attains a kind of pinpoint focus in man, similar to how a magnifying glass gathers the sun's rays into an intense area of heat and light.

In the soul, warmth is emotion while light is truth. Here again, light without warmth is going to end in the imbalance of, say, scientism or modern atheism (which are "artificial light," like a florescent bulb that makes you look awful).

Conversely, warmth without light ends in any number of pneumapathologies, not the least of which being modern liberalism (AKA illiberal leftism). For an example of balance, think of Jesus, whose warmth is exceeded only by his light (since light must ultimately be the source of warmth).

Think of last night's debate. Obama's goal for the evening was to appear more fiery, which he surely was, although not to the extreme of Biden's self-immolation. But did this equate to more light? Obviously not, except in the negative sense, in that it shed unintentional light on his character and record.

Nevertheless, for the leftist, the presence of this fiery heat is all that matters, which is why most people on the left imagined Biden "won" his debate. How to explain such irrationality in people who like to think they're so much brighter than the rest of us?

Ace takes a stab at it. One reason is that "they believe, as an article of religious faith, that they are smarter than the voters, and the voters are stupid, and therefore simple contradiction must appeal to such people, who are very stupid and think that an argument is won by he who says 'No it isn't!' the most."

And also "Because they themselves just want to hear Biden and Obama call Romney and Ryan 'liars'.... If you just contradict Ryan and Romney, who are by the way lying monsters, then that's awesome, that's 'tough,' and you win."

So behind the aggressive heat is another kind of heat: contempt and superiority, which are two sides of the same coin. In other words, the inflated superiority can only be artificially maintained through contempt. Which is why the one thing the left truly excels at is defamation, slander, vilification, caricature, etc., all in the service of their grandiosity. (The other thing they do well is disguise envy as compassion.)

Not for nothing is this book I happen to be reading entitled Fire in the Minds of Men. Its subtitle is Origins of the Revolutionary Faith, and its origin is, in a word, Fire:

"The heart of revolutionary faith, like any faith, is fire: ordinary material transformed into extraordinary form, quantities of warmth suddenly changing the quality of substance. If we do not know what fire is, we know what it does. It burns. It destroys life; but it also supports it as a source of heat, light, and -- above all -- fascination."

With modernity came the displacement of the quest for spiritual light and heat to the world: "A recurrent mythic model for revolutionaries -- early romantics, the young Marx, the Russians of Lenin's time -- was Prometheus, who stole fire from the gods for the use of mankind. The Promethean faith of revolutionaries resembled in many respects the general modern belief that science would lead men out of darkness into light" (ibid.).

Indeed, the revolutionaries went even further, to a millenarian insistence that "the new day that was dawning" in which "the sun would never set." Tragically, their little spark turned into a conflagration that swept "across national borders, carried by small groups and idiosyncratic individuals who created an incendiary legacy of ideas" (ibid).

It is in this qualified and restricted manner that liberal and science do indeed complement one another: for leftism is the phony warmth and compassion of a bloodless, scientistic metaphysic; and scientism is the artifical light of the horizontalized and desiccated soul. But

An intelligent man is one who maintains his intelligence at a temperature independent of his environment’s temperature. --Don Colacho's Aphorisms

11 Comments:

Blogger ge said...

In my opinion, the presence of a cosmic interior -- a subjective horizon -- is without question the most mysterious and astonishing fact in all of existence. Frankly, it is the last thing we'd expect to find here, except that without it there is nothing to find and no one to find it. It is fair to say that the mystery of mysteries is the experience of experience.

-On this foundation a religion could be built....Oh, they DID: Dzogchen

10/17/2012 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

I am reminded of how materialists like to call themselves "brights".

The handy thing about false light is how easily it can be extinguished when darkness is more comforting -- not to mention how it can be focused to illuminate only that part of the elephant that supports one's argument.

10/17/2012 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

I'm reminded of a link Vanderleun had in his sidebar earlier this week, to an article about a doctor who was only convinced of the existence of the soul after having his own near-death experience. Tellingly, he considered the experiences of every other person to be simple delusion, but his own experience (if the quote at the end is accurate) to be definitive scientific proof...

10/17/2012 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Off topic, a terrorist plot has apparently been foiled in New York. Am I being too cynical in that I question the timing, and can't help wondering just how many hours it will be until Obama spikes the football?

Also, isn't that guy who made the video still in jail?

10/17/2012 01:04:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

I don't think you are too cynical, but how many people are going to think blowing up the Federal Reserve is an act of terror? Isn't that what Bernanke gets paid to do?

10/17/2012 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Also, why is it every time I read the words "Joint Terrorism Task Force", the voice in my head says "Junior Justice League"?

10/17/2012 01:31:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

:D

10/17/2012 01:34:00 PM  
Blogger John Lien said...

"One of the worst features -- maybe the worst -- of modernity is the persistent attempt to explain away the cosmic interior through various scientistic fairy tales, or to stunt it by neglect, or to maim it by exposure to a subhuman world that is then interiorized by the hapless soul."

YEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSS!
(that was expressed with the zeal of a "new" convert)

I now try to get this point across whenever I can squeeze it in when conversing with my young adult daughters. Just hope I'm not too late, or too ineloquent, or too whatever to get the point across. It really is a spiritual war.

10/17/2012 02:54:00 PM  
Blogger EbonyRaptor said...

"Do not accept anything as the truth if it lacks love. And do not accept anything as love which lacks the truth. One without the other becomes a destructive lie." Pope John Paul II

"Light gives Heat" by Jars of Clay http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XJ_s9LQRNo

10/17/2012 06:41:00 PM  
Blogger Esther said...

"What you need is the opposite of a Revolution." de Maistre

Your last two lines are very succinct.

10/17/2012 07:30:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew Casey Smallwood said...

You need the "opposite of Revolution".
de Maistre

Great summary last two lines....

10/17/2012 07:32:00 PM  

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