If This Post Doesn't Make You Want to Vomit, There's Something Wrong with You
This is not just a blog, and sometimes not even that. Rather, it's just an all-purpose clearing house for the thoughts that come into my head. In other words, blogging helps to keep my melon clean and empty, as it should be.
But sometimes these are just one-off thoughts, unconnected to anything else -- you know, as in Larry King's head. I could always tweet these fragments, but I found that medium to be more taxing than it's worth. Besides, if people want me, they know where to find me. No need to irritweet them with constant reminders that I'm here.
So before we continue with the Magician, I just want to offload a few pieces of my mind.
The other day, a commenter asked what my main beef is with Ken Wilber. Well, one would surely be that he is an evolutionist and I am not. This has nothing to do with belief in evolution or natural selection, but rather, whether we are just a stage or a phase on the way to something else, something "better" or "higher." True, as soon as you think about it it makes no sense, but it is nevertheless one more pestilent pneumapathology that must be confronted.
I have several objections to such a metaphysic. First, if true, it robs man of his intrinsic value and dignity, because it means that all of the human beings who preceded us weren't only "incomplete," so to speak, but just a means to arrive at us, the better and more important people.
Yes, everyone likes to feel like a VIP -- a Very Impressive Primate -- but the immediate corollary is that we are just a means to some superior end -- to the Better Sort at the end of the evolutionary rainbow. You know, people like Wilber, or that quintessential Evolutionary Being of Light, King Barry himself.
This is another example of a "bad infinite," because it actually ends up depriving us of any standard, and relativizes everything. There can be no final, unalterable truth, because we can always evolve into something better tomorrow, or in a hundred or a thousand years. With one exception: "The progressive believes that everything soon becomes obsolete, except his ideas" (Don Colacho's aphorisms).
For which reason the leftist also sees the irony in everything but himself. The ridiculousness of the left? Forget about it. They're not sufficiently evolved to know about that.
But the classical liberal tradition -- and the Western tradition more generally -- is founded upon certain final and unchanging truths that preserve and protect man's infinite value, for example, that all men are created equal and endowed with certain unalienable rights. If the evolutionist metaphysic is "true," then the immediate implication is that human beings are neither created nor equal. We are better than past humans -- woo hoo! -- but future humans are better than us -- d'oh!
By what standard? Oh, you're not supposed to ask that. Remember, for the evolutionist, all is in flux, so there can't actually be any standard. This is not to suggest that they won't try to slip one in the back door, hence, a dreadful Deepak will be the first to tell you that he is more "evolved" than those evil conservatives who believe in absolute standards through which to measure evolution. To put it another way, either evolution explains man or man explains evolution.
Which leads to the other problem with the evolutionist metaphysic: that it simply doesn't see what man is. For man can only know the absolute because he partakes of the absolute, which is again the source of his dignity, his value, and his purpose.
Don't try to fool yourself here, because this is very much an either/or question: either man partakes of the absolute, or he is nothing. I think once you realize this central truth, you can never be an evolutionist or a progressive leftist. And you probably haven't fully realized it if these two ideologies don't make you want to vomit. The realization should be that powerful.
For us, any man at any time has access to absolute -- and therefore saving -- truth, for this is what defines man. Man is surely "in between," as suggested by evolutionists, except we are not between what we presently are and some future mutation. Rather, we are first and foremost between matter and God. In between man and God there is a further vertical hierarchy, but it is fixed, not some epiphenomenon of random terrestrial mutation. Hence, for example, the necessity of angels, of the community of saints, of the Fellowship of Post-Biological Raccoons who reach across the great divide and throw us the occasional bone from on high, etc.
Here Schuon expresses the point in a way that is both exceptionally clear and beautiful: the object of man's existence
"is to be in the middle: it is to transcend matter while being situated there, and to realize the light, the Sky, starting from this intermediary level. It is true that the other creatures also participate in life, but man synthesizes them: he carries all life within himself and thus becomes the spokesman for all life, the vertical axis where life opens onto the spirit and where it becomes spirit. In all terrestrial creatures the cold inertia of matter becomes heat, but in man alone does heat become light."
Here is a more concise way of saying the same thing: "The very word 'man' implies 'God,'" just as "the very word 'relative' implies 'Absolute.'”
Here it is from another angle: man "is intelligence; and intelligence -- in its principle and its plenitude -- is knowledge of the Absolute; the Absolute is the fundamental content of the intelligence and determines its nature and functions" (emphasis mine).
In other words, in the absence of the Absolute, then all of man's thoughts are just so many shadows that reveal nothing about reality.
The following goes to the absolute poverty (and we absolutely mean this literally, not polemically) of any form of evolutionism: "Once man makes of himself a measure, while refusing to be measured in turn, or once he makes definitions while refusing to be defined by what transcends him and gives him all his meaning, all human reference points disappear; cut off from the Divine, the human collapses" (Schuon, emphasis mine).
Which is again why, if the left doesn't make you want to vomit, there is something desperately wrong with you. To repeat, this is not at all polemical but objective. The left DESTROYS MAN because it first annihilates (in fantasy) the Absolute. Thus, the evolutionist or progressive does not transcend man, but rather, fails to ascend to him.
What is an antonym for transcend? You could say that the progressive evolutionist fails man, or loses man, or worsens man. And if you don't see that, just look to history, to all of the politico-ideological states that have been premised on the improvement of man: fascism, Nazism, communism, etc. When you deny man's infinite value up front, you have already excused yourself for the genocide that will surely follow, as night follows day.
One irony of Obama-style progressivism is that it violates its own spirit by pre-emptively attacking future generations. While the latter are supposed to be more evolved than us -- making us just an evolutionary stepping stone to them -- Obama is undermining them in such a way that it will be very difficult for them to overcome the financial catastrophe he is bequeathing them.
For they are the ones the low-information progressive herd is waiting for: the ones who will pick up the tab for Obama's drunken power spree. Obama has truly given these future subjects a bargain they can't refuse, since most of them aren't yet born. Long after Obama passes from the scene, these patsies will be financially obligated to him.
I was about to say that leftism is a Foistupon bargain between private bullies who want stuff and public bullies who want power. Or, as Don Colacho sez, To corrupt the individual it suffices to teach him to call his personal desires rights and the rights of others abuses. Thus, Obama makes no demands upon his envious flock, only upon the unborn who will foot the bill (for which reason you'd think he'd have a little respect for the unborn).Yes, there is always a forgotten man in the bargain, or, in this case, forgotten generations, both past and future. What it really represents is man forgotten (as in the nature of man). And to forget this is to fall yet again.
Oh well, those future brains will be much more evolved than ours, just as we are more evolved than Aristotle, Aquinas, Madison, Washington, and Lincoln. They'll figure it out. I mean, just imagine a world full of Deepaks and Wilbers and Gores! What won't they be capable of, if not intellectually, then at least morally? When lawlessness disguises itself as law, anything is both possible and permissible. Right to the throat, good and hard.
You could say that for the reactionary, the past justifies anything; for the hedonist or psychopath, the present justifies anything; and for the leftist, the ideologue, or the evolutionist, the future justifies anything.
In contrast to these defective visions, our metaphysic begins with the principle that man is made in the image of the Absolute. Period. To imagine you can do better than this is to ensure hell on earth, or haven't you noticed?
Damn, that was supposed to be like one or two sentences. Oh well. To paraphrase John Lee Hooker's mama & papa, the boy's got it in him, and it got to come out somehow.
To say that man is made of intelligence, will and sentiment, means that he is made for the Truth, the Way, and Virtue. In other words: intelligence is made for comprehension of the True; will, for concentration on the Sovereign Good; and sentiment, for conformity to the True and the Good. --Schuon