Monday, November 12, 2012

I Died for What?!

This is a continuation of Friday's post. But it's Veteran's Day, isn't it? So let's consider what follows in light of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the sacred principles espoused therein, because I seriously doubt that many of them did so for food stamps, high taxes, low standards, illegal immigration, corrupt and greedy public employee unions, free birth control, homosexual "marriage," and millions of pathetic women betrothed to the state.

Or, if they did make such a sacrifice, it wasn't a necessary one, because it's much easier to achieve the goals of the left by simply hijacking the educational system, the media, and the Supreme Court. Then, after having produced a couple generations of educated idiots and tenured apes, you will have won the culture war -- the war on culture -- without firing a single shot. No body is killed by a hostile enemy, and only the soul dies by its own hand.

OOOOO

In an election, we are not just choosing a candidate, but affirming what we believe to be The Case -- not just the facts, but the metaphysical paradigm for interpreting them. When truth and intent coincide, then progress can occur. But if there is a rupture between them, then democracy easily becomes the method of its own demise, as in my state, which just voted to raise taxes again in order to funnel more of our hard-won public treasure to our millions of fat and lazy parasites.

Almost all liberals presumably have good intentions. The question is whether their intentions are in accord with reality. For if we could only discern what is true, then voting would be seen not so much as a choice but a ratification of the obvious. In the end, you cannot really vote to reject reality. Or you can, but you’ll lose every time. As I said, let us just hope that the catastrophe comes sooner than later, and that it is swift and sudden rather and long and drawn out, and thus "deniable."

OOOOO

Although we are individuals, we are immersed in a collective mentality out of which our individuality must be won. As along as we live, the group is always trying to pull us back down and out of ourselves -- which makes sense, because excessive individualism would be a problem for human beings, who simply cannot exist as isolated monads (except in fantasy).

On the horizontal level, our “groupishness” is anterior to our individual self, while the reverse is true vertically.

In other words, while the group is existentially prior, the self is ontologically prior. Thus, it shouldn't be surprising that we have a political system that reflects the primordial complementarity between social-ism and individual-ism. This in itself is inevitable and not necessarily a reflection of spiritual illness, any more than sexual polarity is a problem just because hateful feminists turn it into one.

For there is, so to speak, a “left hand” faction of horizontality, groupishness, and rebellious pseudo-indvidualism; and a “right hand” faction of verticality, inwardness, and individual development.

Many consequences flow from this initial bifurcation of mankind. Right hand man, because he sees his earthly vocation in the journey toward vertical transcendence, masters himself and loves doing so. Because of this (super)natural vector, he doesn't require a heavy-handed government to compel him to do the right thing.

In such an individual, the conquest of even a trivial impulse is a victory for God if it brings him closer to his true Self, a Self that can only be discovered and developed in an environment of liberty. For vertical man, society is useful to the extent that it helps the person realize his reason for being. A society is more or less sick to the extent that it doesn't embody, preserve, and foster verticality.

Vertical Man believes that our primary obligation is to defend man from himself -- that our greatest enemies and obstacles are from within -- whereas Horizontal Man believes that his primary obligation is to generate social conditions that allow a man to indulge his desires while remaining beneath himself.

As such, Horizontal Man has no interest in mastering himself, for doing so is identified with judgmentalism, repression, and delayed gratification. He naturally celebrates what is most common and coarse, for there is nothing higher to aim at. Rather, the only “higher” is more freedom, which is a debased liberty understood only in its horizontal aspect.

In other words, while liberty is freedom oriented toward a spiritual telos, horizontal freedom is mere license to express one’s whims and impulses without spiritual consequences. The former is objective and radiates; the latter is subjective and encloses. Vertical liberty leads to Truth, Beauty and Goodness; horizontal freedom leads to “my truth,” to moral relativism, and to ugliness and barbarism masquerading as art. Or in short, nowhere and nothing.

If truth is relative and perception is reality, then no one’s ideas about the world are any better than anyone else’s. Fact is reduced to opinion and conformity to opinion is ultimately maintained by the group or institution that has the power to enforce its version of reality.

But this quickly redounds to the opposite effect intended by its liberal proponents. That is, if we cannot judge the merit of competing ideas by assessing their value in light of an absolute standard, then either everyone will have their own private truth, or truth will be enforced by the state or some other powerful collectivity.

On college campuses, for example, no one is unsophisticated enough to believe that absolute truth exists; however, you'd better not utter the wrong truth, or you will come face to fist with the raw power that enforces absolute horizontal relativism.

Horizontal man is condemned to live beneath himself because that is all he can do. This pretty much tells you everything you need to know about "popular culture."

In this desiccated environment, quantity must somehow make up for qualities that can only be found in the vertical, which is why horizontal man can never get enough of what he doesn't really need, and why no economy could ever be “good enough” for him. Reality simply cannot compete with horizontal man's undisciplined imagination.

By definition, horizontal man can only measure progress empirically, but even then, empiricism must ultimately be ignored because it doesn't speak to the unrecognized non-empirical needs of the soul. Thus, the impoverished soul, with no other outlet to express itself, will do so in the language of quantities -- the many variations of the infant’s “More! More! More! Again!”

The horizontal/vertical divide can also be seen as a reflection of the division between id and superego, or impulses and standards. Based upon a profound misunderstanding of Freud (if a misunderstanding can be called profound), a horizontal psychology emerged in the 1960s to go along with the horizontal ideology of the left, in order to legitimize what in any traditional context would be regarded as the essence of soul pathology.

Major leftist intellectuals like Herbert Marcuse and N.O. Brown developed a beastardized version of Freudianism to argue that people only imagined they were happy, but that they were actually living "inauthentic," repressed lives. In order to be "real," they had to express themselves in an uninhibited and unrepressed manner.

Thus followed the idealization of the primitive in all its ghastly forms. For horizontal man doesn't actually remain horizontal. Rather, he simply removes the impediments to his own fall -- which can admittedly feel exhilarating until one eventually reaches a realm that is without light, warmth, and cash. And when that happens, you just blame angry white men or something.

Regarding our horizontal groupishness, multiculturalism devalues the concept of the individual in favor of the ethnic group, while socialism in all its voracities favors the large and powerful state that "unites" us all. But no such bullying can actually unite us. Rather, it can only push us together like so many anonymous bags of wet cement -- which should describe that uncomfortable feeling you've been having since last Tuesday. No normal person wants to be treated like that.

Deconstruction throws all objective meaning into question, so no one has to have the disappointing experience of being wrong or denied tenure, no matter how sick or stupid one's ideas. The burden of personal responsibility is mitigated, because one's being is determined by accidental factors such as race, class and gender, rather than one's owns values, decisions, and actions.

Skillful knowledge acquired by intense effort is replaced by an obnoxious, hypertrophied, and omniscient adolescent skepticism that knows only how to question but not to learn. It is grounded in a sort of bovine materialism that is not the realm of answers, but the graveyard of meaningful questions. The primitive is idealized, because it is within everyone's reach; it is painful to have standards, because not everyone can attain them. Horizontal man just lowers the target, which amounts to punishing those who aim higher -- for example, via racial quotas and campus "diversity."

OOOOO

The purpose of religion is to become human. Biology will only take us so far, which isn't very far at all. A merely biological human being would also be a monster, a misfit, something grotesque.

In our bOnes we know this. In Genesis, the first thing Adam and Eve realize upon attaining self-consciousness is their nakedness, of which they are ashamed. They know instantaneously -- another one of those things we cannot not know unless we are highly educated -- that they are not like the other animals and that there is something shameful in behaving like one.

In so many ways the contemporary left presents a teaching that is completely at odds with our divine clueprint. How does this happen?

Leftism, in all its forms, is a revolt. Specifically, it is a revolt against our divine-human nature. With the 1960’s came the pervasive message that one could be an authentic human only by being subhuman, by rejecting all of society’s hypocritical mores and values. Therefore -- in a complete inversion of the cosmic order -- the purpose of life was to become “unrepressed” and to overturn tradition, which was simply an illegitimate means of control and domination.

This is why the left cannot help aligning itself with movements -- no matter how vile or evil -- that further this goal of overturning Western Values, which is to say universal virtues.

OOOOO

The establishment doesn't require the rebel but the rebel requires the establishment, in the same way that the adolescent requires his parents to act out his rebellion. Therefore, leftism isn't just reactionary, but it is a dance of projective identification in which the leftist projects the most human parts of himself outside and then rebels against them. This is what allows him to live without guilt, for the guilt is converted into the imaginary “right wing fascism” (or whatever) that persecutes him.

Ultimately, radical secularism fails as a religion because it has no God, only demons: George Bush, Christian fundamentalists, Israel, tax cuts for the rich, waterboarding, Halliburton, Fox News, Abu Ghraib, corporate profits, disparities in wealth, strict constructionists, parental notification, talk radio, and so many more.

On the other hand, the sort of classical liberalism to which we ascribe -- now embodied in the modern American conservative movement -- recognizes that politics must aim at something that is not politics -- something higher, not lower. The alienation of the world can be healed -- or at least treated -- but not in the flat and horizontal line of secular history, nor in the endlessly recurring cycle of primitive fusion with nature. Rather, it can only occur in the ascending, evolutionary spiral.

The secular world is a value-free flatland of nihilism and urgent nonsense, whereas the vertical world accessed by authentic spirituality is a world of hierarchical values to which we are perpetually drawn.

It is here that the luminous horizon of salvolution lies, for so long as there are free individuals endowed by their Creator with an orientation toward the Good, the True, and the Beautiful, there will always be upward frontiers, not just horizontal edges. And there will always be something worth dying for. But only if we live up to the ideals worthy of such sacrifice.

25 Comments:

Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Sartre's blog. This is worthy of Iowahawk.

11/12/2012 09:10:00 AM  
Blogger Cond0011 said...

"In other words, while liberty is freedom oriented toward a spiritual telos, horizontal freedom is mere license to express one’s whims and impulses without spiritual consequences. "

Huh... kinda reminds me of an old, old story called "The Line and the Dot":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGh97__-uLA

VERY worthy 10 minutes of your time, everyone.
"Line" and "Squiggle" portray two archtypes: One in the vertical, the other, horizontal; all in a simple math/geometry format.

11/12/2012 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger Cond0011 said...

LOL

Very nice, Bob. Reminds me of Le Henri, the Cat:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiYUzYozsAQ

Thanks!

11/12/2012 09:28:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

"Because of this (super)natural vector, he doesn't require a heavy-handed government to compel him to do the right thing."

But he does to do the wrong thing.
The whip and the lash.

11/12/2012 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger EbonyRaptor said...

Bob said "In Genesis, the first thing Adam and Eve realize upon attaining self-consciousness is their nakedness, of which they are ashamed. They know instantaneously -- another one of those things we cannot not know unless we are highly educated -- that they are not like the other animals and that there is something shameful in behaving like one."


Yes - a truly profound teaching that I think often gets missed from the Genesis story.

Bob - a great post.

11/12/2012 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger Jeannette said...

Thank you...thank you...well done. I am thinking of people to share with this as I type.

11/12/2012 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

Next up:

THUS BLOGGETH ZARATHUSTRA!

11/12/2012 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger Cond0011 said...

This was a wonderful walk, Bob. I wish I could add more to what you have written. Very enjoyable. Thanks.

Cond0011

11/12/2012 12:21:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

In an election, we are not just choosing a candidate, but affirming what we believe to be The Case -- not just the facts, but the metaphysical paradigm for interpreting them. When truth and intent coincide, then progress can occur. But if there is a rupture between them, then democracy easily becomes the method of its own demise...

Apropos - relevant to the whole post, really - comes this bit of commentary regarding the situation in Staten Island.

Rick, that's an excellent point. And along those lines, for Horizontal Man it is not enough that he be allowed to debase himself, nor enough that everyone else should celebrate his debasement. Rather, he is not content until everyone is as debased as he is. By law, if necessary. The very existence of Vertical Man shines a spotlight on the fact that he is debased, which results in an intolerable shame. If Vertical Man won't debase himself, he will be forced to live outside the law, and punished accordingly...

11/12/2012 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger robinstarfish said...

The secular world is a value-free flatland ...

Yeah. Thanks for proving it, Lance, General P, and Elmo.

Re Elmo. I figured he was a little fluffy. But I'm confused by "underage relationship"...only a month after "rape is rape". Election's over, back to the agenda.

Meanwhile I'm still spitting coffee over Sartre's blog. I laughed right out loud until I was overcome by despair.

11/12/2012 02:29:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Re. Elmo, yeesh. I've never been an Elmo fan. To the point where I bought the boy the old school Sesame Street DVD sets, which he loves, but have never let him watch any of the more recent stuff - I tried once or twice, and found it completely unbearable. Even so, yet another symbol of childhood innocence has been ruined. At least his partner was probably post-pubescent...

11/12/2012 02:38:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

Funny!: Bill Clinton & Monica Lewinsky were both Leo's; Petraeus & Broadwell both Scorpio's [a few days apart]

11/12/2012 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger EbonyRaptor said...

Sartre's blog was hilariously meaningless.

11/12/2012 03:35:00 PM  
Blogger ZenGolfer said...

Thanks - I needed that!!!

;-)

I'm reminded somewhat of how I felt 4 years ago - but this time around, my fatalism seems a bit more "real"... But reading your thoughts/words, which so closely align to my own, it helps me get through the "healing" process of coming to terms with the reality that is - and my place/role in it...

Raccoon's are a rare breed, and as such I believe we are better able to adjust to the situations thrust upon us by the world at large... Were it not so, I would be overcome with melancholy and grief for what "could have been", rather than reinforcing my soul for what is to come...

I've never considered myself an optimist, nor do I consider myself a pessimist, but I would like to think that I'm a realist at heart, and the reality of our age is that we're outnumbered by those who would try and keep us from reaching our own personal achievements, for it is those achievements that they fear, as they lack the understanding of their true nature...

Keep up the good fight, for it is worth the effort, if only for our own souls...

ZenGolfer

11/12/2012 05:10:00 PM  
Blogger Leslie said...

Love this. Sharing. Thank you.

11/12/2012 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger Leslie Godwin said...

Ben and others who have been/are in the military -- thank you for your service!

Meant to post yesterday!

Gratefully,
Mrs. G

11/12/2012 09:23:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

If at first 2008 or 2nd last Tue
you dont suc-ceed,
time to _______?

11/12/2012 10:43:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

" Thus followed the idealization of the primitive in all its ghastly forms. For horizontal man doesn't actually remain horizontal. Rather, he simply removes the impediments to his own fall -- which can admittedly feel exhilarating until one eventually reaches a realm that is without light, warmth, and cash. And when that happens, you just blame angry white men or something."

Leftist marketing plan: 'Have a nice trip, see you next fall'

11/13/2012 04:00:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Cond001 said "Huh... kinda reminds me of an old, old story called "The Line and the Dot""

O.M.G.

Cond001, I have deep feelings for you.

I've been searching for that cartoon since before the WWW got going.

I remember seeing that as a kid, and then I caught the end of it when it came on TV one time when Chad was still in diapers, but I missed the title, and no store clerk or search engine has ever recognized my attempts at describing what it was about.

Unfortunately the kids have all had to put up with my telling it from (poor) memory. The future grandkids will be spared.

Awesome. Thank you.

11/13/2012 04:58:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

"It is here that the luminous horizon of salvolution lies, for so long as there are free individuals endowed by their Creator with an orientation toward the Good, the True, and the Beautiful, there will always be upward frontiers, not just horizontal edges. And there will always be something worth dying for. But only if we live up to the ideals worthy of such sacrifice."

This was one of those posts that if I commented on all the parts that caught me up in them, I'd be reposting the entire thing in the comments, but this last part sums it all up well, 'there will always be upward frontiers, not just horizontal edges.'.

Thank God for those who have recognized that that was worth dying for.

11/13/2012 05:06:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

In other words, while liberty is freedom oriented toward a spiritual telos, horizontal freedom is mere license to express one’s whims and impulses without spiritual consequences.

I think a lot of people are realizing this is the case. One of the ways the left "gets away" with their agenda is to obscure the central lie from which the rest is constructed. Once the center is exposed, the system may fall apart but it is at least as likely to become more and more brutal in enforcing conformity. See China, 1989.

People I would not expect to respond in this way are looking at current events and talking about having "gotten away from God" and "judgment".

11/13/2012 06:21:00 AM  
Blogger Cond0011 said...

You're very welcome, Van.

One of the nice things about lurking on the internet is that a variety of people have pieces of the big puzzle that you've glanced at briefly, but can't recall where that had occurred.

The Truth was out there long before the internet. Its just buried under layers and layers of time and memory.

Years ago, there was a Catholic Priest who was a fantastic speaker. His speeches were video recorded in the 70's, its a shame he and his works has gone down the memory hole because the words he spoke simply rang.

All I remember was him being very lean and he wore the red garments of his occupation.

He had a sharp wit.... hmmm...

11/13/2012 07:23:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Cond001 said "All I remember was him being very lean and he wore the red garments of his occupation..."

Cond001, that's almost a gimme.

I can't pull YouTube up at work, but I do believe that if you plop "Bishop Fulton Sheen" into it (or just google), you'll find that a good chunk of the memory hole's lost & found dept for long gone TV shows, is right there.

11/13/2012 07:54:00 AM  
Blogger Cond0011 said...

That's him.

Thank you, Van. :)

11/13/2012 07:57:00 AM  
Blogger Cond0011 said...

You've just given me hours and hours of pleasure.

11/13/2012 07:58:00 AM  

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