Thursday, February 28, 2013

Obama: Stage IV Metastatic Liberalism

Today's post is on the Emperor, and it could hardly be more timely, even though it was mostly written several years ago, before Obama came along to foulfill its proophecy. (Don't worry, lots of new material; no post is ever played the same way twice.)

I wrote at the time -- 2008 -- that "This is a timelessly timeless archetype, what with the likely election of a president who embodies so many elements that are the precise opposite of what this arcanum symbolizes."

Meanwhile, we just lived through another election that came down to "full-blown cultural warfare against a large and diverse segment of society known as Republicans.... Allegations that Republicans want sick people to die and hate homosexuals are caricatures you might expect of an extreme House member or a raving partisan running for local office. That a president would say -- or even believe -- such things is deeply disturbing."

But such demonization and slander of conservatives is the only weapon the left has, and the only weapon it has ever had. As their own bumper stickers proclaim, they're all about God, guns, and gays -- hating the first, confiscating the second, and promoting the third.

UF begins with the observation that "the less superficial a person is -- and the more he knows and is capable of -- the greater is his authority." Specifically, "to be something, to know something and to be capable of something is what endows a person with authority."

Being. Knowledge. Action. Rightly ordered knowledge is a reflection of being, just as rightly ordered action follows from knowledge. The more of these one "possesses," the more intrinsic authority. And importantly, this won't be any kind of secular or conventional authority.

Rather, the person will spontaneously radiate the authority outward, from the center to the periphery. Thus, it is a quintessentially centrifugal force, but easy for the rank and foul to confuse with the mere charisma of a JFK or BHO. The latter doesn't just radiate but seduces, so there is a centripetal effect as well.

In turn, each of these categories has a dimension of depth, i.e., verticality. One can know superficially or deeply. One can do something adequately or with great depth, like the genuine artist. But the most interesting category is that of being, for that is the most mysterious of the three. One of the primary purposes of religion is to confer depth at the level of being.

The other day I was reading an article about Schuon by the Orthodox Christian scholar James Cutsinger, whose initial experience of his "intrinsic authority" was virtually identical to mine. No one had to tell me that this man was an authority. Rather, the depth of his authority was communicated directly, center to center:

"Nothing had prepared me for my first encounter with a book by Frithjof Schuon. I vividly recall reading the opening page, and then rereading it again, then a third time and a fourth time, before proceeding" (Cutsinger).

Now interestingly -- and importantly -- the depth is not a matter of "complexity" or sophistication. Indeed, those are often just mystagogic tricks of the tenured to make you believe they are deep when their ideas would be recognized as utterly banal if expressed in plain English.

Cutsinger agrees that "the words themselves were certainly not difficult, nor the style at all complex. Indeed, compared to many a modern philosopher's work, Schuon's books are noted for their simple, and often poetic, beauty. And yet for some reason I found myself unable to move with the speed I was accustomed to."

Precisely. Part of it involves the question of rhythm, in particular, the rhythm of eternity. This is what we call "time dilation," a term borrowed from the Church of the Subgenius. As we penetrate into this realm, time slows down, or "thickens," so to speak. Like water, you can only run if you skim atop the surface. Underneath the surface, the faster you try to go, the more resistance you will encounter.

There is another corollary at work here, for just as only depth can recognize depth, only depth can recognize shallowness and superficiality. This is clearly why so many shallow people seem to think that Obama is deep, or nuanced, or even beyond that -- that he truly represents some sort of messianic or "transformational" figure. \

In reality, the entire content of Obama's mind -- I mean his tawdry principles -- could safely fit into a little corner of the average Raccoon's melon. He's really an ignorant man whose inappropriate confidence is both a cause and effect of the ignorance.

Speaking of water, Cutsinger writes that it was as if he were running along the beach, and then suddenly found himself in the ocean. Very mysterious. In other words, he was merrily scampering on the surface of one medium, but then, to his surprise, found himself in a different medium. Let's just call it "being" for short, but being is not monolithic, and has "many mansions."

As Cutsinger notes, "Here was a new medium, no less able to support my movement, but requiring an altogether different engagement. There would be no more running now. I would have to swim."

You might say that the essence of scientism involves trying to walk on water. At the same time, they naively imagine that we are trying to swim on dry land, since our movements are unintelligible to these savages.

Back to the Emperor. Among other things, the Emperor is the symbol of divine authority on earth. He is not a replacement of divine authority, but its horizontal prolongation. And along these lines, perhaps the most important point is that, as UF writes, "God governs the world by authority, and not by force. If this were not so, there would be neither freedom nor law in the world."

This automatically excludes Obama from being a legitimate ruler, in that the left is all about governing by force. He will not "lure" you toward the good by his intrinsic authority -- by any appeal to truth -- but compel you to "share" and "spread around" the fruits of your labor. And that's all it is: force masquerading as legitimate authority.

God does not "compel" acceptance of his authority, or we wouldn't be free. Thus, the typical atheist who asks for miracles in order for God to "prove" his existence is really asking for God to remove his freedom. But that is something he will never do. Rather, only humans can do that to themselves and to each other. UF elaborates:

"One is free to be believing or unbelieving. Nothing and no one can compel us to have faith -- no scientific discovery, no logical argument, no physical torture can force us to believe, i.e., to freely recognize and accept the authority of God."

The atheist says to Jesus: "Come down from that cross, then I might believe in your power!" But power is not truth. Rather, truth is power. And the truth is, Truth is crucified in history, and yet, survives. This is a powerful miracle, and a lesson to bear in mind as we endure this illegitimate embodiment of falsehood -- this lying little tyrant -- over next four years.


John Lien said...

UF writes, "God governs the world by authority, and not by force. If this were not so, there would be neither freedom nor law in the world."

I've only read MOTT once but that chapter and this concept may have been the most eye-opening for me.

These things take time to percolate through the brain. Hear it, live a little, recognize it in experience which reinforces it, repeat.

mushroom said...

Not so damaging and unpleasant but about as shocking, it's a little like becoming the ground for live current. You may not be able to turn loose even if you want to. As long as there is a flow, you are there.

That's the way the logos or rhema -- in what ever form it takes -- is when you really connect with it.

I'd also agree with John with regard to divergence between force and authority. It has become much clearer over the years.

Dougman said...

" The more of these one "possesses," the more intrinsic authority."

It will be interesting to "See" who the Cardinals pick as the new Holy Papa. And what qualities are radiating from him, if any.

Gagdad Bob said...

Actually, in that case the authority is supposed to come from the office, not the man. Although the one doesn't preclude the other, and it would be nice to have another JP II. Then again, it would be nice to have another Reagan or another Elvis.

mushroom said...

Cardinal Arinze is nearly as old as Ratzinger or I would put my money on him. It's probably wrong to bet on popes.

Right now I'd settle for Nixon and Billy Joel.

julie said...

Thus, the typical atheist who asks for miracles in order for God to "prove" his existence is really asking for God to remove his freedom.

It's disheartening, at times, to see how desirous so many people are to give up their freedom.

julie said...

Just reading the Emperor now, this bit caught my eye as particularly relevant after four years of Obama-driven class warfare:

"Without an Emperor, there will be, sooner or later, no more kings. When there are no kings, there will be, sooner or later, no more nobility. When there is no more nobility, there will be, sooner or later, no more bourgeoisie or peasants, This is how one arrives at the dictatorship of the proletariat, the class hostile to the hierarchical principle, which latter, however, is the reflection of divine order. This is why the proletariat professes atheism."

America has its own version of the hierarchy, one which (judging by its fruits) was every bit as valid as the Imperial version, and which is even now being strangled by the very same dictatorship of the proletariat.

julie said...

Apropos, A Nasty, Brutish, Imperial Presidency

mushroom said...

I remember the Barone warning that Gardner references.

Maybe St. Barack or St. Michelle can replace Mother Teresa who according to a "scientific study", was anything but a saint.

One of the authors is from the University of Montreal's Department of Psychoeducation. As much as that sounds like one of my sarcastic mal mots, that's what they call it.

We are strangers in a strange land.

son of a preacher man said...

Sounds like a Maxwell Smart line:

" it would be nice to have another Reagan or another Elvis."

" I'd settle for Nixon and Billy Joel."

"GW Bush and The Dave Matthews band?"

Gagdad Bob said...

Would you believe Millard Fillmore and Tony Orlando?

ge said...

and Hal Phillip Walker?

Van Harvey said...

"Would you believe seven St. Bernards in heat?"