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.