Thursday, February 07, 2013

If This Post Doesn't Make You Want to Vomit, There's Something Wrong with You

Moral indignation is not truly sincere unless it literally ends in vomiting. --Don Colacho's Aphorisms

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

51 Comments:

Blogger mushroom said...

In all terrestrial creatures the cold inertia of matter becomes heat, but in man alone does heat become light.

That whole quote is powerful. Synthesizing and speaking for the rest of life. Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel. (Proverbs 12:10)

Ain't that the truth.


Sometimes you just have to tell it like it is: emptiness or the Absolute. The left's answer is to lock the gate and landmine the lawn.

2/07/2013 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

And then they wonder why we never come by.

2/07/2013 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

Warning: Long post. Don't read unless you intend to flame me good.

Great post as usual Bob. But I am going to take issue (or confuse myself) with some of it, and I realize this is nuanced stuff. I know you have become more influenced by the traditionalists over the years, and I respect that as I have also fallen in love with Schuon and others. But there are slight problems with their metaphysical disposition also. Can we properly elevate the past because of some great saints and deities on record? If Aristotle existed today, we probably could find some tweet of him doing something crazy. I am not defending Wilber and his cohorts here, as I agree with you that I wouldn’t idealize them as exemplars for this time. And although many Integralists are misinformed leftists, if they looked deep into a true evolutionary metaphysic (a la Whitehead, Teilhard, W. Norris Clarke, Joseph Bracken, Aurobindo, etc), they would recognize the Absolute has to always be there. We can’t have movement without permanence. But that permanence (the Absolute) does need to come alive in a culturally relevant way for us in this time (or we would not be a Raccoons, but a traditional church going Roman Catholics). And while the world looks crazy today at times, I wouldn’t want to live in the middle ages. We may not have great saints, but as a whole, we are more civilized (see Steven Pinker on this) and seem to be embracing more rational perspectives. During the times of Aristotle, Aquinas, Madison, Washington, and Lincoln, I doubt the culture at large reflected these greats either. And while we definitely don’t meet this standard today, in general, we aren’t so brutish as we once were. All in all, the true spiritual evolutionaries aren’t holding to a Hegelian utopian ideology, but more a utopian impulse that we may be going somewhere in time. Even the first principles in the Constitution needed history to be revealed and metabolized into a government. Is that the end of history (Fukuyama) or is there further to metabolize? I am hopeful that history makes sense (both as the journey and destination).

2/07/2013 10:31:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I don't really disagree with any of that. Nevertheless, metaphysically one is either an evolutionist or an "absolutist."

2/07/2013 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

BTW, I can't say that I'm a (capital T) Traditionalist, for the very reason that they often fall into the reverse error of the evolutionists.

Remember, as I said, one can surely believe in evolution without being an evolutionist. Mine is really a middle postion that accounts for both: the movement and the permanence.

2/07/2013 10:36:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

Nevertheless, metaphysically one is either an evolutionist or an "absolutist."

Yes, it is impossible to straddle both perfectly. One is always going to have a bias there.

2/07/2013 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Ideas Have Consequences. And obligations.

2/07/2013 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

in-betweenness > subsidiarity > decentralized governance

I'm reading Tocqueville's L'ancien régime, in which he lambastes centralized government "tutelage" in the provinces for weakening the local spirit of liberty and self-governance

when this happens, what you eventually get is servility, instability, and eventually revolution

in short, you establish an either/or, not an in-between

his counterexample at the end of the book is Languedoc, which (like Brittany) had an unusually vigorous culture of local liberty which didn't demonize the centralists in Paris but preferred to tap into them only when absolutely necessary

the statist, marxist, "Democratic," "Progressive," EUSSR types would rather have a flat, seamless surface that would pave over any local (read: "Texas-style") resistance

and in the EUSSR, this happens -- witness the LGBT ruling in British parliament driven by Cameron, who was responding to priorities set by Brussels

Richard North as usual has the skinny

there's no "in-between" funny business when it comes to the EUSSR

2/07/2013 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

or its sycophantic hangers-on like Obama and Kerry

2/07/2013 11:32:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Nor is it any coincidence whatsoever that Obama is such an anti-Semitic piece of s*it.

2/07/2013 11:42:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

Don Colacho

by the way, I found Obama's speech at Newtown repugnant to the point of nausea -- real, visceral nausea

it's in Reader's Digest this month -- my wife gave it to me with tears in her eyes

I couldn't believe what I read -- the children and school staff "lost their lives"? WTF? they were MURDERED

is there ANY mention of the murderer? any at all? NO

it's merely "events like this," i.e. "tragedies"

I'm glad I wasn't at the speech or I'd have grabbed him by the lapels and shaken him

what's his Great Insight? Obama:

Can we honestly say that we’re doing enough to keep our children, all of them, safe from harm? ... if we’re honest with ourselves, the answer’s no. We’re not doing enough. And we will have to change

it's our fault!

The warmth of a small child’s embrace, that is true.

A nice line, and a true one, but it becomes a sentimentality that justifies damn near anything

God has called them all home

No, God did NOT. God did not work through the agency of f'in Adam Lanza! They were TAKEN STOLEN MURDERED by Adam Lanza, you insufferable Marxist moron!

I would've ripped up this trash and said to Favreau, "start over, you gutless hack, and next time, start with the TRUTH."

Wrapped in the gauze of this ersatz sentimentalism is the iron fist of the State, wielded by him, Obama, the Great Consoler, the Great Reformer...

who is taken in with this charade of moral posturing? evidently people are!

2/07/2013 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

The greatest evil of the left is their failure to recognize evil. This results in calling non-evil evil, namely, us, or anyone who disagrees with the left.

2/07/2013 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

This whole subject also explains why a so-called intellectual like Obama can be so stupid and vile, while a so-called non-intellectual like Reagan or Washington can be so wise (not to mention humble)

2/07/2013 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger John Lien said...

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.

Glad you hashed all this out. I came here lo these couple of years ago with this evolving Man mindset. But if man is evolving along a continuum and humanity is distributed along this continuum then some joker will draw a lower bound defining the human/sub-human boundary and then all Hell breaks loose.

2/07/2013 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

I'm against even using the murderer's name, as that is likely what the little punk was after.

I guess I should clarify that -- I'm speaking of the punk who pulled the trigger not the one who made the speech.

As far as evolutionary versus absolute, clearly we are meant to and are to some extent moving toward the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ and toward a more perfect manifestation of the kingdom. But that's a vertical evolution with horizontal effects. We're not evolving in time or in history. The Omega is pulling us upward and it appears that we are progressing in a forward direction.

The left mistakes the effect for the cause -- and to be fair, much of the right.

In fact, right now, we are regressing as far as the spiral of history goes. "Surgical" drone strikes are about as barbarous a method of warfare as I can imagine. No rattles on that flying serpent.

Normally I don't feel too sorry for backward, bloodthirsty, goat-humping jihadis who happen to be in the vicinity when a missile lands, but I would have a hard time arguing that it was a noble or heroic business.

Are we really a better people than my grandfather's generation? Sure they had fist fights for entertainment, and we prefer football, but there sure is a lot of senseless violence. Not to mention stupidity -- Rap music? All those people on "reality" television? We are a lot more vulgar than we used to be.

2/07/2013 12:16:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

John: Truly, that is all the progressive Hitler did. If you accept his premises, the conclusion follows logically.

2/07/2013 12:16:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Mush: Couldn't agree more. The barbarians are not only inside the gates, but behind the wheel.

2/07/2013 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger Magister said...

it did me some good to write the speech I would've wanted to hear at Newtown

(shudder)

these are dark times

2/07/2013 01:33:00 PM  
Blogger Magister said...

mush, I feel that it's probably easier to see the full extent of our vulgarity, and this image in the mirror both fascinates and disgusts us

the overall effect is demoralizing, which is why Gramsci and his ghouls push it so relentlessly

"all that is solid melts into air" ... for the Prince of the Air and his minions

stand firm, and the remnant will be well -- thank God we are not called to save the world ourselves, eh? we are called to love and have faith

there will be wreckage, against His will


2/07/2013 01:57:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

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.

Apropos, we finally got Netflix set up on our TV today. I was glad because hopefully, we'll be able to find a wider range of shows for the boy to watch without all the hassles of regular TV. With that in mind, I let him watch an episode of the current iteration of the Mickey Mouse Club. I will try awfully hard not to let him watch it again (which could be challenging because of course, he loved it). The whole episode was about a race that nobody was allowed to win. The one character who kept trying was punished repeatedly, and only allowed back into the fold at the end when he had learned his lesson. There was a lot to dislike about the show in general, purely from an aesthetic standpoint, but the storyline really did make me want to vomit.

Thankfully, I know are plenty of stories out there that will counteract that particular narrative, but I was shocked to see it displayed so blatantly.

2/07/2013 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger John Lien said...

julie, That race story sounds double plus good!

Have you tried Veggie Tales? The original, maybe 15 year old, ones were mighty entertaining.

2/07/2013 02:50:00 PM  
Blogger Magister said...

Veggie Tales A+ for goodness, pacing, adult wit, and clever music!

as for more vomit-inducing stories, we have Panetta testifying that Obama basically took off to Vegas after hearing a few minutes about Benghazi

Obama at Newtown:

can we truly say, as a nation, that we’re meeting our obligations?

More than you're meeting your obligations, you dissembling sack of sh*t.

2/07/2013 03:13:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

One of the (many) things that finally turned me off of Wilber's view was his definition of what constituted being the "most enlightened". Basically, if you wonder who exactly fit his own definition of "most it could only be he, himself...Wilber.

I am extrapolating a bit, because he never just came out and said it. But it was simply math.

His definition (from wikipedia) of "evolutionary enlightenment" is:

Wilber suggests redefining an evolutionary enlightenment to mean "the realization of oneness with all states and all stages that have evolved so far and that are in existence at any given time."

By his "logic" one would necessary have to believe in his "evolutionary" view to be in the running. Unless you were at post-post-trans-integral stage of development (the off-chartreuse paisley meme, I believe) then you weren't even in the running. No believing Catholics, for example, need apply as they would reject his view outright.

Which leaves him, that Cohen guy and all the rest of their buddies. Way to rig the game!

That did make me want to vomit, just a little.

2/07/2013 04:41:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

If This Post Doesn't Make You Want to Vomit
try THIS

2/07/2013 04:41:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

For some reason, at some point Wilber decided to lead a children's crusade, I'm guessing for the money, girls and general adulation, since he is treated like a rock star in that circle.

2/07/2013 05:05:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Those aren't necessarily terrible reasons, but at least be honest about it, like Alan Watts or Tim Leary!

2/07/2013 05:07:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

I am sure old Ken is doing quite well with his empire. Though I think being honest about it would probably destroy the whole operation.

I live in the same general area as does Wilber. I have seen it many, many times around this new agey burg--even among spiritual minions. Pretending to have transcended such earthly concerns is one of the best way to impress the ladies. I call it the "Zen Shaman" ploy.

Apparently it works like a charm.

Once you've learned to fake sincerity, you've got it made.

2/07/2013 05:22:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I think the turning (away) point for me came when Wilber published his diary, which I found to be cringeworthy and banal beyond belief. Looks like this guy agrees.

2/07/2013 05:24:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I've read a lot of spiritual autobiographies, but that's got to be the worst. Augustine's Confessions it is not. Surprisingly, Da Free John's is actually pretty good. He had some literary potential, and was probably thinking in terms of a Major Motion Picture deal.

2/07/2013 05:46:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

My favorites? I remember enjoying Bede Griffith's The Golden String, although he later got caught up in the "spirit of the '60s," and went downhill thereafter. But for whatever reason, I had a profound spiritual experience while reading it, so I'll always remember it fondly; Swami Abhishiktananda, whose letters almost make you look forward to having a heart attack.

Schuon wrote an unpublished autobiography, which only disciples and Raccoons with connections get to read.

2/07/2013 06:01:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Now that would be an interesting read...

2/07/2013 06:47:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Good stuff, and relevant to today's post. Whittle speaks for me.

2/07/2013 06:54:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Whyowhyowhyowhy are we stuck with these ridiculous Republicans instead of confident and outspoken conservatives?

2/07/2013 06:56:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

I don't know, but suspect that's why we've lost the last two elections.

2/07/2013 06:58:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Gagdad,


"Mine is really a middle position which accounts for both: the movement and the permanence."

I'm not sure, but is a "middle position" really possible? Ultimately, isn't the human condition either evolving (as the materialists and the spiritualist would say) or devolving as the traditionalists would say. There is something that Wilber said which I think perceptively captured the middle view that you eluded to - he said that modernity has proven to be both " a great dignity AND a great disaster."

In one sense, classical liberalism strikes me as the natural fulfillment of Christianity and, yet, in another as its fundamental contradiction. Lately, I've been leaning towards the latter because I see the Enlightenment project as the child of Protestantism.

But, like Ted said, I'm disinclined to endorse returning to the ecclesiastical authoritarianism of the middle ages. On the other hand, I detect something at the hear of classical liberalism which somehow prefigures leftism.

2/07/2013 09:41:00 PM  
Blogger wild said...

The historian Leopold von Ranke (1795 – 1886) declared that "every age is next to God". It is the logical corollary (I suppose) of his (Christian) belief that to be a human being is not simply a means to some other end, but is an end in itself.

2/07/2013 10:13:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

A new philosophy book that materialist-Darwinists loathe!
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0199919755

reviewer:
Thomas Nagel is well-known for asking the question, "What is it like to be a bat?" I think it is a useful exercise to try to answer this question before reading his Mind and Cosmos. At dusk I see bats navigating expertly around trees and making precise changes of course to pluck an insect from the air. Bats evidently have as accurate a representation of three dimensional space as we do but with one crucial difference: it is constructed by a brain that relies on sound rather than light. Try to imagine that. Having a very detailed understanding of how neurons fire in the bat brain will get us no closer to understanding what it is like to be a bat. The same can be said of understanding human consciousness. A scanner that could show us the intricate patterns of neurons firing in real time would be a scientific (and aesthetic) marvel, but viewing the output would bring us no closer to understanding the experience of awareness, the meaning of the thoughts, of what it is like to be that person whose brain is being scanned. Material explanations cannot lead to the understanding of non-material consciousness.
Nagel builds on this insight more thoroughly than any other thinker I am aware of. His claim in this book is that science, being objective and materialist, can make only a limited claim to a Theory of Everything (TOE) because it cannot explain essentially subjective phenomena. Awareness, in all its forms in life on Earth, is a cosmological fact as much as is matter, organized as it is into particles, stars and brains. Science is very successful at prying out the material consequences of the big bang, where each new level of complexity is built on the inherent properties of lower levels. Nagel has no criticism whatsoever of how the scientific enterprise is conducted; he simply questions its claims to completeness...

2/08/2013 05:13:00 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Nagel's atheistic intellectual peers are not being kind to his latest book- I just started "Mind and Cosmos". It would appear that, finally, some folks are starting to see the absurdity of a non-teleological philosophy of nature.

2/08/2013 06:30:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

--I'm not sure, but is a "middle position" really possible?

Not only possible but necessary. Convenient too, since it works both in principle and in fact.

2/08/2013 07:21:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

--isn't the human condition either evolving (as the materialists and the spiritualist would say) or devolving as the traditionalists would say

Not sure what you mean by the "human condition" evolving. Conditions always change, but human nature doesn't, nor does the fundamental structure of reality. Either man discovers truth or he creates truth. If the latter, then there is no truth.

2/08/2013 07:26:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Just thumbing through Schall's The Modern Age for today's blogfodder, and he says this:

"...God is defined as the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, as if to imply that things that 'fall apart' in time do hold together at a higher level."

Yup.

2/08/2013 07:39:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

I'm disinclined to endorse returning to the ecclesiastical authoritarianism of the middle ages

I'm reading Putnam's book, Making Democracy Work. In it is a superb chapter on the history of civic associations in Italy. The middle ages were much more complicated and diverse than the common conception, especially in Italy. I highly recommend it.

2/08/2013 08:14:00 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Very good point. I am guilty of that all too often generalization of the Medieval period. As I understand it, it was the early modern age that ushered in the era of tyrannical kings and aristocratic abuses. The Reformation inaugurated the age of absolutism- not the Middle Ages, which was based on the principle of subsidiary and de-centralization.

Modern discourse on distributism is very interesting.

Perhaps regalism

2/08/2013 02:06:00 PM  
Blogger Jules said...

Keep your heads up Americans ... I was reading an account by Dr Alexander , a neurologist who had an NDE. He said that there are multiple universes , and that earth is one of the hardest encarnations because there is , by design, a lot of evil in this race.
Keep in mind the scene in Lord of the rings where they are surrounded by works and decide to do a last cavalry charge. At this crucial moment gandalf appears with reinforcements . It was never meant to be easy ...

be strong and deos bellator - gods warrior . Obamas hubris will end up tripping him up I suspect.

2/08/2013 07:36:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

"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. ...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."

Yep. I'm glad you got that off my chest.

I was going to say Not for nothing did Sarte write 'Being and Nothingness' and 'Nausea', but then for nothing is precisely why he did write them. And these spiritual and intellectual bulimics of the left offer their

"... Foistupon bargain between private bullies who want stuff and public bullies who want power. ..."

, as a way to proRegress to the egalitarian emptiness they'd like us all to share in.

The transformation of the Vertical into the horizontal... Power - what can't it do?

It is sickening.

2/09/2013 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Ted said "Can we properly elevate the past because of some great saints and deities on record? If Aristotle existed today, we probably could find some tweet of him doing something crazy."

I should probably read the rest of the comments first, no doubt I'm going over old ground, but being late to the party, I'm going straight for the chips & dip that's out.

As much as I revere Aristotle, if you read his Politics, especially the portion on Education (by the state, for the state), you'd find far more than a tweet's worth of crazy. But not dismissing the past, is not the same as elevating them - in fact to elevate them, or the present, or the future, is the evoloonytionists method of subtracting the humanity from what makes us human.

There is much they didn't yet grasp, the 'Individual' for instance, and lacking information will produce errors, but that does not put them on a lower plane than us - it is the fact that we can find their errors, as they would find many of ours, that shows that we are on the same level playing field after all.

The Quantities of errors someone, past, present or future, might make, does not eliminate the Quality being examined - to suggest it does, is to elevate the Quantity over Quality, and Hell on earth follows.

2/09/2013 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Ted said "During the times of Aristotle, Aquinas, Madison, Washington, and Lincoln, I doubt the culture at large reflected these greats either."

Compare the Constitution and the ideas of those greats reflected in it - seen and accepted by the culture of the time - with Obamacare, and those endarkened 'brights' reflected in it - seen and accepted by the culture of our time.

If you see no difference, you simply do not see.

2/09/2013 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

:)
Van, I think "a Tweet's worth of crazy" needs to be an official measure.

2/09/2013 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Ted said "And while we definitely don’t meet this standard today, in general, we aren’t so brutish as we once were."

Blink. A culture that accepts the idea of an after birth abortion (placing an infant in a closet to die), is every bit as brutish as the ancient Spartans and Romans who exposed their unwanted children to the elements to die. If anything, we are more brutish today - at least back then, if someone happened across the baby, they were free to take it and raise it as their own - today they are forbidden by law from doing so.

"Even the first principles in the Constitution needed history to be revealed and metabolized into a government. Is that the end of history (Fukuyama) or is there further to metabolize?"

Fukuyama. Pardon my french.

2/09/2013 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Magister said "A nice line, and a true one, but it becomes a sentimentality that justifies damn near anything"

I was thinking the same when I wrote this post "Jay Carney's vicious, blood thirsty comment: "If even one child’s life is saved..."". Sickening.

And as you said,
"I'm reading Tocqueville's L'ancien régime, in which he lambastes centralized government "tutelage" in the provinces for weakening the local spirit of liberty and self-governance

when this happens, what you eventually get is servility, instability, and eventually revolution"

, centralized tutelage is the means to carrying it out. A friend of mine posted this letter from a teacher, leaving teaching because of the centralized 'Common Core' standards. Reducing us all the the same lack of understanding and common leashsize.

2/09/2013 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

GE @2/07/2013 04:41:00 PM - Mt. Flushmore.

2/09/2013 10:37:00 AM  

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