Friday, December 14, 2012

If You Strike at God, You'd Better Kill Him

Guissani provides a little map of our cosmic situation -- a cosmograph, as it were -- and it goes a little something like this:

r --> f <-- v

In this schematic r stands for Reason, f for feeling, and v for value: "The object of knowledge, in so much as it interests us (v), evokes a state of feeling (f) that conditions the capacity for knowledge (r)." (I prefer 'sensibility' to feeling.)

With all due respect, I think we can do a little better than this, although I don't know whether I will be able to depict it in a single cosmograph.

First of all, we need to start with O. From O there is a series of declensions (↓) leading to ʘ, (¶), (+), (•), •••(•)•••, (ø), and the outskirts of Ø. Thus, at one end we have the Absoute, the One, the plenum of goodness, O, while at the other end we have the absolutely relative, the løgøs, the nihil of nihilism, Ø. Man is capable of inhabiting any station between these poles.

(That was rude. It just occurred to me that people who have never read the manifestivus will have no idea what those pneumaticons refer to; let's just say the beatific vision, or atman; the intellect, or nous; the vertically and horizontally integrated self; the ego; the fragmented ego riddled with mind parasites; and MSNBC.)

We would then need a hierarchy of horizontal arrows between world ( ) and man (•), signifying the spectrum of -ologies that spreads out from the Logos, as when light hits a prism: physics, biology, neurology, psychology, etc.

There is also a paradigmatic science appropriate to each level, for example, metaphysics vis-a-vis O and physics vis-a-vis ( ).

Extending further down, we could say that contemporary liberalism is the science of Ø. It draws out all the nasty implications and consequences of living in an absolutely relativistic and therefore meaningless world, where essences (including the human individual) are impossible. In the end, their imperfect nonsense always adds up to ‰, or the "bad infinite."

As we've said before, a communist or fascist is just a leftist with the absolute courage of his convictions, willing to go all the way down the infrahuman heilhole without pulling any punches, and dragging everyone else along with him.

Coincidentally, I read something along these lines just yesterday in Pieper's book on The Concept of Sin. You could say that mortal sin (the unforgivable kind) involves willfully turning from O and instead being oriented to Ø

(And if a certain reader's understandable confusion is an indication, Pieper means "unforgivable" in the normal course of events, absent a rather extreme and unprecedented intervention on the part of the Creator combined with the appropriate response on the part of the mortal sinner, which will naturally involve a great deal of pain followed by a lifetime of efforts at re-conciliation toward a hoped-for absolution; this effort does not imply justification by man, but rather, is a spontaneous reflection of a true con-version, re-pentance, and metanoia; but to simply assume forgiveness is itself a kind of unforgivable hubris).

Thus, we cannot necessarily judge individual sins in a kind of hierarchy of severity, as does the positive law, because the identical act takes on a very different meaning if committed with full consciousness of rejecting O and embracing Ø.

For Pieper, this is why we must withhold ultimate judgment, because we simply do not have access to the state of the person's soul when committing this or that sin.

Nietzsche was the most articulate spokes(ø) for Ø, but in the end, he was just a big talker, and there is no evidence that he actually embodied the principles he espoused. He said, for example, "I rejoice in great sin as my great consolation!," but all evidence suggests that his personal life was rather dull and uneventful.

Nietzsche just got a pneumatic kick out of stirring things up via projection into his readers, and was therefore a kind of prototype of today's academics who are so adept at tearing down what it took centuries to build, and then watching as others suffer the consequences of their follies.

For example, black culture lies in ruins because of the toxic ideas of leftist pinheads with lifetime employment. The left couldn't care less about its millions of victims.

O is the ultimate nonlocal Order of things, and is the Reason why we have a cosmos to begin with (i.e., a local order). Pieper notes that the soul falls into disorder as a consequence of sin, which again comes down to turning away from O, which is the nonlocal source and goal (alpha and omega) of the soul's order.

Therefore, sin "establishes itself as pointless, literally relationless activity... sin lacks the element of being ordered to a goal."

But the person, in essence, is always in relationship, as a terrestrial consequence of the Trinity. Therefore, that other great spokes(ø) for Ø, Sartre, claims that "hell is other people" -- which you might say is a consequence of a loveless (because radically monadic) cosmos.

The opposite -- and correct -- sentiment is related in The Brothers Karamazov, when a character asks, "what is hell? I think it is the pain of no longer being able to love."

Pieper might well be describing our orientation to O, the Great Attractor, when he observes that "the inclination of nature is the hidden gravitational pull that is active in each individual regulation of the will. It is the fundamental energy by virtue of which human existence presses toward its intended goal."

Thus it also accounts for evolution, meaning that "we are born not as static entities but as unfinished products, a 'rough draft' whose realization is demanded by that same nature 'by virtue of creation.'" (As we've said before, metaphysical Darwinism is the very opposite of evolution, since it denies any telos to account for meaningful or progressive change.)

Pieper raises the subtle point that "whoever does wrong can never be completely at one with himself." This is perfectly clear if O is the source of oneness, and if sin involves turning from O.

Therefore, sin always redounds to a condition of •••(•)•••, of a self riven by fragmentation.

Conversely, peace and tranquility are subjective byproducts of at-one-ment. This also explains why we can never match the tireless but empty "activism" of the unhappy left. The evil is in their principles, and therefore poisons any consequences a priori.

To put it colloquially: no, we don't actually have to pass the bill to find out what's in it, so long as we know it was made by the skeevy hands of the left. Or in other words, it's pointless to wash your hands in a muddy river.

So -- speaking of Obamacare -- sin is "a kind of disorder... that brings disorder in its wake."

Pieper is careful to avoid the existentialist's error of equating our freedom with the nothingness of Ø. Nor is evil simply an inevitable consequence of our freedom, or we couldn't say that God is the God of liberty.

Rather, for Pieper, it has to do with the residue of nothingness, so to speak, that characterizes our ontological situation. That is to say, "descent from nothing is inherent in every creature," and this is "the deepest ground for man's capacity for sin." Nothing is as nothing does, I guess.

Ironically, this very much comports with Freud's postulate of a death instinct, thanatos, in dialectic with the life instinct, eros. But it also reminds me of that crack about the Father of Lies. When he lies, he speaks his native language, i.e., the language of Ø. Therefore, only satan can be the perfectly consistent liar, one who is even "at one with himself" as a result of turning from O.

Conversely, "whoever reflects on the phenomenon of human failing, keeping his mind open to all its aspects, can expect that the suprarational dimension of the object will finally emerge onto view." O is always situated just over this suprarational horizon, so be good and know that I AM.

Not sure whether I'll be posting in the next couple of weeks. Only if I feel like it, I guess.

45 Comments:

Blogger EbonyRaptor said...

"what is hell? I think it is the pain of no longer being able to love."

I agree with Dostoyevsky - hell is being cut off from the Source of love, realizing that you arrived at the destination you chose and that you're all alone with nothing but your hate and regrets ... for eternity. Can anything burn more than knowing you did it to yourself - forever?

12/14/2012 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger EbonyRaptor said...

"Not sure whether I'll be posting in the next couple of weeks."

Merry Chistmas Bob, and Happy New Year.

12/14/2012 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger Leslie Godwin said...

I haven't read Pieper, so he probably makes this crystal clear in his writings, but I find it confusing that the same term "mortal sin" can be used to describe Bin Laden, KSM, and Hitler embracing the dark side AND the well-meaning but wrong person who has an abortion and then later realizes the terrible thing they have done, or the parent who hates God after their child died from a terrible illness and later comes to see that God didn't let their child die because it was His will. I am probably getting stuck on the part where they/we can change our hearts, repent and confess, and sincerely ask God to forgive us and through His Mercy, we can be forgiven.

All Catholics must go to confession every year whether they need it or not, so that assumes that we can't take God's Mercy or Grace for granted. And there is no "once saved, always saved" clause in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

But it does seem important to clarify that turning away from God or the Light, etc. as a lifestyle and making that your own truth is different from trying to live a holy life and doing wrong, even knowingly, and then sincerely repenting and going to confession.

Or maybe I'm protesting too much.
Mrs. G



12/14/2012 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Leslie, that's the same sort of issue I had with Catholicism when I was younger: my grandmother was excommunicated because she divorced her first husband, though she did so only after he vanished for a couple of years, only to turn up living with another woman several states away. This being sometime in the 1920s or 30s, a single woman with a couple of kids was in dire straits if she couldn't remarry, so she did what she had to, to take care of her kids. Her new husband's family disowned him for marrying a divorcee; quite the scandal, back then.

When I knew her, by the time she was in her 80s and 90s, she still went to Mass every day but never took Communion. When I was old enough to understand why, I thought it was horrible.

In hindsight, I don't know that she'd agree with me, and I can see better where the Church is coming from. Maybe where she was coming from, too. I don't think she resented not being permitted Communion, and I'm pretty certain she didn't resent the Church, either. As far as I could tell, she was still trying to live a holy life, even though she had at times had to do wrong.

I don't think you protest too much. It strikes me that the hard questions are necessary; it would be a shallow religion indeed that opted for what seems nice to our sensibilities instead of what is simply true, even if we don't like it. It is just such challenges that makes us seek a deeper understanding.

12/14/2012 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

Re -Unbelievable awfulness in NJ, hyperinsanity/demon-possession snowballs hellward, what is with these cowardly selfish killers and their blood-lust for innocents?? [of all the fads to gain ascendancy, schools/malls/theatres and the victims random strangers]

12/14/2012 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I'd like to think that's unforgivable, but God knows best.

12/14/2012 11:32:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

The true meme from hell: "Let's see, today I shall deck myself out in military regalia, load up with plenty of ammo, go where least expected, take as many undeserving souls as I can and then die by cop fire or off myself! Yup, that's a good plan..."

12/14/2012 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

...but I omitted the fame-factor...

12/14/2012 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Seems to me that that's an absolute identification with Ø. Millstones & necks.

12/14/2012 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

kind of a 'striking at God'!
--and into this equation goes [woefully-misdirected] maleness

12/14/2012 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger EbonyRaptor said...

I believe the only unforgiveable sin is rejecting the Holy Spirit. As long as your heart hasn't been hardened - there is hope for relationship and forgiveness.

A mystery I wrestle with is the hardening of the heart - the point of no return. The Bible speaks of people hardening their heart to God, but it also speaks of God hardening a person's heart which I take to mean it is God that closes off the possibility of forgiveness. An example is God hardened Pharoah's heart when Moses demended Pharoah let the Israelites go.

12/14/2012 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

ge - notably, this seems to have been about killing his mOther.

12/14/2012 12:58:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

I don't know. I have said that I don't see how hell could be so bad if you truly didn't love anyone. I have had a bit of physical pain in life a few times -- some of it pretty severe, but the great pain comes from caring about others and being misunderstood, rejected or helpless. Hell, for me, would be being locked into something like that unable to harden -- constantly growing a new liver to be eaten, unable to look away, and unable to fix the situation, just bearing the fault and blame over and over.

I think, then, that truly not being able to love is an impossibility -- at least for most. Perhaps some people do horrible things like murder innocent little children because they want to stop loving and stop feeling the damn love. They aren't worthy, and they are going to, by God, prove it.

They do prove it to us -- possibly to themselves. To Him, probably not.

12/14/2012 08:09:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

This never-heard band + tune just hit me as a revelation! Great work, guys, intense! hence relevant & alive

Wooden Shjips

12/16/2012 04:53:00 PM  
Blogger EbonyRaptor said...

Just finished reading The Religious Sense. I liked it and will re-read after letting it percolate a few weeks.

12/16/2012 10:01:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

INTERVIEWER:

Did [TS] Eliot ever discuss his writing with you?

R. GIROUX:

Only to tell me he considered Four Quartets his best poem and the fourth section, “Little Gidding,” the best quartet and the Dantesque section, “In the uncertain hour before the morning,” with its feminine endings, his best verse.

12/18/2012 05:04:00 AM  
Blogger Frederick Froth said...

Sin is the always enacted presumption of separation from the Living Divine Reality.

There is no real human existence until sin is transcended.

All human beings require Divine Compassion, Love, and Blessing, the thread of Communion with the Living Divine Reality made certain and true and directly experienced.

There is no truly human life without consciously lived Divine Communion, or the submission/surrender of the entire conscious and functional being to the Absolute Divine Reality within which it appears, on which it depends completely. Without that Divine Communion the individual is simply a functional entity living the unconsciously patterned adventure of functional relations. There is no sacred or Divine plane to his or her awareness.

12/18/2012 10:13:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Franklin Jones in the house.

12/19/2012 07:38:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Heh. Seems oddly appropriate that when you google (or rather, Bing) that name, before the apropos wiki entry pops up there's a collection of mug shots. Apparently, being named "Franklin Jones" is a good way to spend much of one's adult life getting into mischief, no matter how strong the alias...

12/19/2012 07:42:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

Interesting about the Adi Da-like post. As a teacher, he often perplexed me... having such spiritual genius and moral corruptness at the same time. But this is the dilemma of non-duality when taken to extremes. Everything falls out, and you just are. And everything is suchness. And distinctions become irrelevant.

12/19/2012 08:32:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

And when there are no distinctions, this becomes possible.

12/19/2012 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Declaring oneself God just never works out.

Speaking of which, it is interesting how in the Gospels Jesus doesn't do that. Rather, he is all about getting the disciples to perceive and experience it for themselves, without blowing his cover. (Giussani discusses this in his At the Origin of the Christian Claim.)

12/19/2012 08:41:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Must suck when you meet God and all you get out of it is herpes.

12/19/2012 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Although I'm sure Da Free John would call it the Eternal Stigmata of the Holy Submission to the Divine Person.

12/19/2012 08:52:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Or the Weeping Love Wound of the Pierced Heart-Being.

12/19/2012 09:00:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

STD = Spiritual Transmission Destiny

12/19/2012 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

similar # of wives but more Rock&Roll by this here
'incarnation'

12/19/2012 09:08:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

And to dissipate the froth, I'll simply offer a favorite Guissani quote, pg. 20:

"Let us begin to judge. This is the beginning of liberation."

I really like this guy.

12/19/2012 09:22:00 AM  
Blogger David J Quackenbush said...

I think that is the most powerful quotation from the book. It is the heart of his faith in reality as a sign of the Good.

12/19/2012 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger Frederick Froth said...

More froth and bubble, or toil and trubble.

For you, the death of bodies is a philosophical matter that causes untrust, distrust, and fear, a matter that fills you with philosophical propositions that are Godless, Ecstasyless, Blissless.

As a matter of fact, the cosmic domain is just like Mother Kali. Excatly so. It is full of death, full of process, full of changes.
Ecstasay requires trust and the utter acceptance of death!

Non-Realization or sin is the worst cancer in the universe. It is the worst sickness. It is the most horrific disease. Its implications cover the entirety of everyone's life. The world is filled with its symptoms and reeks with its torments and potentials, coming from all directions, most of which people cannot even see.

Each of us is responsible to bless all others. Therefore, bless everyone and everything with every action, every thought, and every breath.

Therefore, whatever your stage of psycho-physical maturity, bless all others, worship every being as the Divine presence, acknowledge every being and condition in God. only in this manner are you free in God, invoking and Realizing God in, as, and through every being and condition.

Be in God. See all in God. In this manner, worship and love and Realize ONLY God, by worshipping God, in,as and through everyone and everything. Never be too proud to do this worship. only this is surrender. Only this expresses true Realization.

12/20/2012 02:28:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Freddy, I think there is a difference between non-dualism and non-duelism.

12/20/2012 07:04:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Frederick's words beg for the right actor to deliver them.

12/20/2012 07:09:00 AM  
Blogger Gandalin said...

Wonderful choice, Bob! You would make a great casting director.

Merry Christmas, and a Happy, Healthy 2012!

12/20/2012 12:05:00 PM  
Blogger ted said...

Bob, Feeling some contraction around my impulsive attempts to keep up with your extensive and compelling reading list. Would love it if you ever distilled it to a top 10 list for 2012. :)

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

12/21/2012 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

Contrarian as e'er I'd like to see Bob veer a bit away from the parochial material for a change and try a Longchenpa book or 2! ...that's Longchen Rabjam to you, son... a good'n

he was ....like the UF of Tibet or or the Bubba free da of another era!

12/21/2012 04:18:00 PM  
Blogger ted said...

Cool app that depicts man at the center of all things!

12/22/2012 10:20:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Hey, look - A Festivus present!

12/23/2012 06:22:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

What's the Greatest US one-hit wonder...ever?
my vote

maybe [one of] the greatest ever-- period!...so many cooly-gelling production elements, from the mindless gary glitter backbeat to the inspired backup gospel trio, to the unique guitar sound, to the triangle --or is that finger cymbal?-- taps w/ maracas & claves, to the wryrony of a Jewish guy singing re love of Jesus!...with some Indian imagery to moccasin!
on knobs

12/24/2012 12:58:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

Merry Christmas!

12/25/2012 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger Christina M said...

Merry Christmas, you'all; and for the next twelve days. Woof woof.

Godsdog and all...

12/26/2012 01:45:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

I would like to order an open thread, with a delivery time of between 2 and 5 business days.

Thanks.

12/26/2012 02:42:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

the warp & woof
the weal & woe
the wax & wayne
fontana

12/26/2012 02:59:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Apropos of nothing, if anyone's looking for a laugh, the original moonbat always provides. Even if he doesn't mean to.

12/28/2012 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Julie, that is so perfect. A moon bat recounting a truthful tale, is always a bit like reading a poorly written & farfetched tale in reverse - you catch yourself thinking "They can't really believe that that isn't going to happen... can they?", and against all realistic thinking, they dothink so. Astounding.

12/28/2012 04:53:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Speaking of moonbats, I'm not sure this can be surpassed, not even by Obama's speechwriters.

12/28/2012 05:16:00 PM  

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