Friday, November 09, 2012

Gagdad's Greatest Hates

Since we all seem to be in a nabkaish frame of mind -- and since I don't have much time -- I thought I'd revisit the Cosmos of November 2006, and see what we said after that previous Nabka, when the Democrats stole the nation's credit card and haven't stopped spending since. Now, of course, they've moved on to cultural identity theft, but the underlying principles haven't changed.

If nothing else, this verticalisthenic exercise will show that man is always in the same boat, and that we most certainly would have been in this boat regardless of who prevailed last Tuesday. Frankly, there's no way to not be in the boat short of death. And you certainly can't tax your way out of it. Nevertheless, California is trying, so hopefully it will be the first dumino to fail. The sooner we get the coming catastrophe over with, the better.

Actually, since there were several posts on the subject, I think I'll just republish the most relevant extracts, and make it a sort of Best 'o Bob:

I’m trying to imagine what it must feel like for Horizontal Man to win an election. I know that for me and other vertical beings of my acquaintance, there is no great joy upon winning an election, usually just relief that we have managed to temporarily pull the cultural plane out of its death spiral. But for Horizontal Man, politics is his religion, which is the whole problem with his politics.

Vertical man is born again “from above” (on a moment to moment basis), drawing energies from the cosmogonic center and radiating them to the horizontal periphery. But since Horizontal Man is trapped in the bewilderness of his contingent being (i.e., maya), he projects the Above into the Future, and constructs a faux spiritual life that attempts to draw psychic energies from this self-created illusion.

In other words, the spiritually constricted leftist practices the religion of progressivism, in which belief in a transcendent heaven is immanentized and nourishes the place where his shriveled soul ought to be.

In doing so, he receives a kind of existential consolation which may be compared to a form of counterfeit grace, in particular, when he imagines that he is in proximity to this faux heaven and therefore closer to being “saved” from the existential situation that afflicts all humans.

Or you could just cut out the bullshit and say they're idiots.

In any event, you can clearly see this mechanism of horizontal salvation in action. For if reality were actually what the fantasists of the left have been saying it was prior to the election, we would not see manic exaltation among their ranks. Rather, we would see great sobriety and moral seriousness, as they brood on the monumental achievement of having just barely prevented a theo-fascist takeover of America. If this self-evident fantasy had been real, the more appropriate reaction of the left would be sobbing, not fist-pumping and sack dancing.


Regardless of what happens today, it shouldn’t greatly affect the spiritual equilibrium of the seasoned Raccoon, whose invisible combat will continue unabated. Indeed, this is what distinguishes us from the agitated multitude of horizontal men who locate their salvation in politics. To witness the fevered excitement of a crass and loudmouthed vulgarian such as Chris Matthews or the adamantine darkness visible of a Keith Olbermann and the kos-bags for whom he shrieks is to see the human pig in all its naked horizontal glory.

Whatever the outcome, our lives will continue to center around our own salvation, not for narcissistic reasons, but for the simple reason that it is not possible to help save others unless we have first saved ourselves. Needless to say, horizontal Republicans will not save us from horizontal Democrats. Both bad religion and bad politics follow from the belief that it is possible for essentially lost souls to help other lost souls, which simply ends up drowning both parties -- the blind leading the bland straight into the abyss.


The project of the left is to make us all useful to the collective, when the only possible justification for the collective can lie in its usefulness to the individual -- again, not in a horizontal, egotistical sense, but in a vertical sense. Assuming that life has a transcendent purpose -- and you cannot be human and not make this assumption -- then the purpose of society should be to help human beings achieve this purpose.

To say that human beings cannot live without an ultimate purpose is another way of saying that man is condemned to transcendence and that he cannot avoid the vertical. The choice is whether he will bow before a manmade idol or stand in the light of the Absolute that is the true source of his quasi-divine dignity and metacosmic stature.

Nor, let it be emphasized, can human beings deny the horizontal, on pain of not existing. In order to be at all, we must be separate from the Absolute. The task before us is to find the proper balance between vertical and horizontal, spirit and matter, time and eternity. Horizontal man, in denying the vertical, necessarily replaces it with a counterfeit, meretrocious version that substitutes the collective for the One and human will for the Divine power.

Taken to its illogical extreme, this manifests as the demagogue or dictator-god who expresses the vitalistic will of the people.

But all forms of leftism lie on this cunningtinuum, including the dark side of American democracy, of “people power,” of class warfare, of the false absolutes of “diversity” and cultural and moral relativism. So much of the pandering of the left is merely totalitarianism in disguise -- a false absolute and a counterfeit vertical.

But we all know -- should know -- that there is a horizontal aspect to the true vertical, which manifests as humility, submission, spontaneous adoration, and a sense of awe before the sacred and hOly. Ironically, horizontal man possesses none of these virtues. Rather, he is proud, vulgar, blasphemous, and blind to the sacred, all of which inflate his own self-importance and, in his myøpia, lift him far above his spiritual superiors.


There is no one so vertical -- in its inverted sense -- as the naive atheist or secular leftist, a contingent being who fraudulently claims absolute metaphysical knowledge for himself.

And there is no one so inflated with narcissistic hubris than the leftist social imagineer who will save mankind from its own self-inflicted need for salvation. The leftist can give man everything but what he most needs, and in so doing, destroys the possibility of man.

For masturbatory horizontality goes hand on gland with exteriority and outwardness, which is the initial direction of the fall: first out, then down. Horizontal man is down and out, whereas salvolution lies up and in.

Animals are almost entirely exterior. They do not actually live in the world, but in the closed system of their own neurology. Only man -- inexplicably and miraculously on any strict scientific basis -- can exit the closed system of his own neurology and enter higher worlds, worlds of truth, beauty, and moral goodness.

To be in contact with these higher worlds is to be man. To neglect or deny these anterior worlds is to destroy man, precisely. It is to starve and sophocate man’s spirit by laying waste to his proper environment, the only environment in which he can grow into full manhood.

You cannot replace the holy grail with the lowly gruel of flatland materialism and expect it to feed the multitudes. Human beings do not draw their spiritual nourishment from outside but from above -- which in turn “spiritualizes” and sacralizes the horizontal.


Being what he is -- and isn’t -- horizontal man externalizes concerns about his own collective suicide and obsesses over the future of the planet, over speculative weather reports one hundred years hence.

But right now there is a hell and there is a handcasket, because we can clearly see both with our own third eyes. Furthermore, we can see exactly who is running with one in both hands.


Now, vertical man never obsesses, let alone enters the state of perpetual hysteria of horizontal man. Nevertheless, vertical man naturally frets about the deteriorating conditions of the interior of the human world, and its seemingly unimpeded slide into barbarism, spiritual exhaustion, scientistic magic, neo-paganism, self-worship, the cult of the body, abstract materialism, and a vapid and rudderless subjectivism.

Such lost souls and last men cannot discern the signs of the times, much less the direction of history. For them, history can be nothing more than a meaningless tale told by a tenured idiot, full of sound and fury but signifying a nice paycheck and adoring coeds. Horizontal man scoffs at spiritual reality on the peculiar grounds that it cannot exist, denying its presence with that which affirms it by virtue of its self-evident existence.

It is a truism that vertical man paradoxically lives very close to the ground, hence the cautionary tales of Eden, of Icarus, of Babel, and of various episodes of the Honeymooners. In contrast, horizontal man seizes what does not properly belong to him, not just recrapitulating the fall but enshrining it in his ideology.

But when you cast your vote for horizontal man, you are unwittingly chipping away at the foundation of the very tower in which horizontal man is privileged to sit despite his metaphysical ignorance.

For in reality, we only have the luxury of superfluous and slumbering horizontal men because of the vertical men -- real men -- who came before and built the foundation brick by brick (except for the cornerstone, which was not made by human hands).

Thus we can see our own possible future by casting our gaze at Europe, which is too high and top-heavy for its own long-forgotten foundations, and is in the process of toppling into dust. For when horizontal man falls, he doesn’t actually fall far, only back down to the ground where vertical man awaits him.

Yes, we are exiled in time, but for vertical man, time does not alter the basic existential situation which religion is here to address. It is believed by our intellectually and spiritually shallow elites that religion is no longer relevant.

In so believing, they underscore their own irrelevance, for they blame Truth for their own lack of qualification to understand and accept it. Suffice it to say that to be eternally young is to forever grow -- only inward and upward, toward the primordial light that has already defeated horizontal darkness, today and forever.

So render unto the horizontal the things that belong to the horizontal, but do not store your treasures there, where myths corrupt and chickens come home to roost. As always, be as wise as the horizontal serpents who stand on their bellies, but innocent as vertical doves who kneel on wings.

There's actually a lot more, but now I'm out of time, so maybe I'll continue tomorrow...


Cond0011 said...

"constructs a faux spiritual life that attempts to draw psychic energies from this self-created illusion. "

...and will continue to be hungry and increasingly hungry to the eventual point of ravenous. An emptiness that cannot, can never be filled. This is one of the roots of addiction. It is also idolatry, both of which are intertwined.

"Suffice it to say that to be eternally young is to forever grow -- only inward and upward, toward the primordial light that has already defeated horizontal darkness, today and forever. "

Reminds me of a very nice poem from... well... I'm guessing a treehugger, but it inadvertantly touches the vertical and is quite pleasant to experience (Matter, life, mind, spirit). Enjoy the primordial walk. :)

Van Harvey said...

" Or you could just cut out the bullshit and say they're idiots."

Cliffs Notes. Always useful.

Quackenbush Family said...

Tis the season to read, and re-read, Teilhard's letters from the front in W. W. I -- "The Making of a Mind." Four years of days spent hauling men back on stretchers under machine gun fire, evenings spent counseling soldiers as a holy Jesuit priest, and nights spent composing the first great series of his essays on the truth of the real significance of the horizontal. And thanks for your contribution to the genre, Bob.

mushroom said...

Vertical man is born again "from above" (on a moment to moment basis), drawing energies from the cosmogonic center and radiating them to the horizontal periphery.

And, by the way, thank you again for doing that.

So render unto the horizontal the things that belong to the horizontal, but do not store your treasures there, where myths corrupt and chickens come home to roost.

That's the way it goes, and I certainly hope the belly-crawlers enjoy living down there under the roost. It reminds of the man I knew who turned to one of his grandsons one day and asked, "You know what that white stuff is on chickenshit?"

The kid said, "No."

His grandfather replied, "Chickenshit. Don't get it on you."

chris m said...


This is the raccoons' "selah."

mushroom said...

Chris, you are a better man than I am. I see it and hear Robert Plant singing "D'yer Mak'er".

Jack said...

" it occurs to me just now that the narrative of our culture in recent decades has been that of the Fall all over again. What I m ean is, one of the greatest shifts has been in the domain of What Woman Wants, and this time around it was the knowledge of living like a man. It may be that until such time that Woman again gives a wholehearted Yes to being feminine (and not just embracing Girl Power!) that things will truly turn around...

Julie- I couldn't agree more with this and it is beautiful said. Of course, as we all know, this idea is simply a thought crime these days, and a doubleplusungood one at that. That said, may what you say someday be so.

julie said...

Thanks, Jack. With all the talk about what to bring into the future, I was thinking further today that:

A) the information age has made it fairly unlikely that all the great knowledge of the past few millennia will completely disappear. Aside from the great libraries, so many private people have their own collections that, even if information should become difficult to obtain, it won't be so irretrievably lost as, for instance, the Library of Alexandria was. Of course, I could be wrong, but for now I don't worry so much about that.

B) What is it, in essence, that we are losing, and what is it we strive to conserve? It is a set of ideals, of principles and values. But these things are seeds, and scaffolding. The actual expression of those values, properly nurtured and grown, will still be expressed in dramatically different ways from one generation to the next, fertilized and grown in an ever changing cultural soil. Much like jazz. Inevitably, America will change no matter what we do. The real question is how to nurture that growth in the circumstances we are given.

I think there's more, but not even half-baked. Sorry. This week seems to have wiped me out.

Jack said...


There is now currently some discussion of whether or not the works of Western Civ actually need saving or not in yesterday's comment section. Mine seems to be the minority position.

I agree that, ultimately, the truth doesn't need protecting. Even if all of the great treasures of Western Civ were destroyed, given enough time wouldn't future humans rediscover them? Still, why reinvent the wheel?

Again, I recognize mine is a minority view. Perhaps for a good reason. :)

Jack said...

"Looking at these great works of western man and remembering all that he has achieved in philosophy, poetry, science, law does seem hard to believe that European Civilization can ever vanish. And yet, you know, it has happened once. All the life-giving human activities that we lump together under the word Civilization have been obliterated once in Western Europe. For two centuries the heart of European Civilization stopped beating.

We got through by the skin of our teeth. In the last few years we have developed an uneasy feeling that this could happen again. And advanced thinkers, who, even in Roman times, thought it fine to gang up with the Barbarians, have begun to question if civilization is worth preserving. This is why it seemed a good moment to look at some of the ways in which man, over the last 900 years, has shown himself to be an intelligent, creative and compassionate animal. I don't think that civilization will disappear as long as we believe in it. But it will if we don't"

-from Kenneth Clark's notes for the documentary "Civilization", July 24, 1968