The good news: he knows where Bill Ayers lives.
Next up in our chapter-by-chapter dialogue with MOTT, Letter IX, The Hermit. Tomberg claims that a person who is "truly young, i.e., living for an ideal," is instinctively drawn to this figure. This is neoteny raised to a higher key, in that it makes a man fit to understand and appreciate the highest things. The attraction is a result of archetypal projection, whereby the unsaturated archetype -- or contentless form -- is "within," but we must first locate it without.
In so doing, we assimilate the content into the preconceptual form within. Without the experience, the archetype will remain an empty category -- a dead letter addressed from the Self to oneself; alternatively, it might accumulate a hodgepodge of elements in a random way, but only if you attend a public school or university.
When atheists speak of God, for example, this is usually what's going on. They have the archetype, like anyone else, but without any systematic or rational/experiential content.
Or, think of a Sean Penn, whose archetype of "wise and good ruler" is filled with Hugo Chavez. How did that happen? For that matter, how did Obama happen? How does "the world's greatest deliberative body" end up headed by Harry Reid? Much more productive to ask: what the f*ck is wrong with man? That's the question our Founders started with. Which is why the left starts with the question of what the f*ck is wrong with the Founders.
The Hermit is "a wise and good father... who has passed through the narrow gate and who walks the hard way -- someone whom one could trust without reserve and whom one could venerate and love without limit." To venerate is to revere, not worship. However, you might say that veneration is horizontal worship, while worship is vertical veneration.
The reason why there are so many false teachers is that we have an innate need for actual(ized) ones -- just as counterfeit money (or fake anything) is parasitic upon the existence of the real thing.
But since our culture has largely -- and proudly -- severed itself from its own wisdom tradition, the Deepaks of the world rush in to fill the void. In fact, we can see that Obama is riding the waves of that same archetypal energy field. Human nature does not change, obviously.
The difference is that the sophisticates of the left do not believe in human nature (unless it is convenient to do so), which only makes them more susceptible to deviant versions of it. Which explains, for example, their insistence that the federal government enforce a new definition of marriage in violation of human nature. "Same-sex marriage," what ever else it is, can only be a caricature of the real thing, because a man cannot really be a woman, and vice versa. I have no objection to human beings arranging their personal affairs in whatever way pleases them. But why invert reality in the process? It's totally uncalled for.
With regard to our current two-bit hood of state, only a culture that has lost its spiritual bearings could regard this bumbling cipher as unusually intelligent, let alone wise. For an insight into Obama's unconscious archetypal swamp, one must only recall the sinister minister he idealized as his own Hermit -- Reverend Wright! That, my friends, is what archetypal pathology looks like (although Bill Ayers-as-freedom fighter will do just as well).
Such an odious choice of ideals runs much deeper than the question of "judgment," for what and who one loves simultaneously reveals who one is and what one shall become. Truly, we become what we love; or, to put it inversely, we love what we want to become. To paraphrase an aphorism of Don Colacho, to love a person is to understand the reason why God created them. But what does it say about someone who loves things that could only be repellent to God?
Likewise, the person who would expose his children to the spiritually toxic environment surrounding a Reverend Wright is unfit to be a father, much less president. The point is to protect your child's innocence, not shatter it with hatred and vicious lies.
I am also reminded of an insightful comment by Henry Kissinger that runs counter to conventional wisdom. That is, we often hear about presidents "growing into the office," but according to Kissinger, it is the opposite.
That is, by the time a man runs for president, he has acquired the bulk of his intellectual capital, and if he should succeed in making it all the way to the presidency, he will simply draw upon the existing capital, not add to it. It's not as if a liberal president is going to suddenly decide to look into the Federalist Papers, or read the Constitution, or immerse himself in Hayek, and realize his professors led him astray and that he is trying to govern with a headful of destructive fantasies.
For one thing, there is no longer any time or space to think, to read serious books, or to reflect. This is why Obama appears to shrink with each passing month, since he didn't have much working capital to begin with -- or, more problematically, it was just the intellectually worthless coin of the left. And even that was given to him to assuage white liberal guilt, meaning that he's really using inherited funny money. He's not just worthless, but worthlessness².
Now, the real Hermit "possesses the gift of letting the light shine in the darkness -- this is his lamp." And here is a critical point: "he has the faculty of separating himself from the collective moods, prejudices and desires of race, nation, class and family -- the faculty of reducing to silence the cacophony of collectivism vociferating around him in order to listen to and understand the hierarchical harmony of the spheres."
This reminds me of the task of the psychoanalyst, which is to listen to the patient with "even hovering attention" -- or with the "third ear" -- in order to hear into the deeper layers of the unconscious (or nonlinear and translinguistic right brain). One must "unlisten" to the explicit in order to hear the implicit; or one must delve beneath (or above) the plot in order to apprehend the theme or soul-mission.
Bion said that one must suspend memory, desire, and understanding, in order to enter a state of faith, or what we symbolize in the book as the receptive and anticipatory mode of (o). (o) is evidence of things unKnown, a memoir of the future, an apprehension of as yet undiscovered -- or of prediscovered -- realities.
But that is not all, because if it were, we would live in a kind of bloodless idealism which Christianity specifically reconciles with flesh-and-blood reality -- or, materiality, to be precise. In other words, the Hermit unites reality and matter within his own being. Or, you could say that he embodies the ideal, or principle, in imitation of the Master himself (and in whose absence the whole innerprize would be impossible). As Tomberg writes, the Hermit
"possesses a sense of realism which is so developed that he stands in the domain of reality... on three [feet], i.e., he advances only after having touched the ground through immediate experience and at first-hand contact without intermediaries." This is none other than 〇-->(n), or the transformation of prior reality into experience, which is the foundation of all real knowledge, i.e. Truth.
So the Hermit is an archetypal reflection of the good father, behind or above whom is the Father in heaven. The Hermit is a little word from our nonlocal sponsor, so to speak.
As Tomberg says, he also represents the method of obtaining valid spiritual knowledge, in that he is able to synthesize within himself the three great antinomies with which any thinking man is confronted, and which any efficacious philosophy must reconcile. These are the complementary pairs of 1) idealism <---> realism; 2) realism <---> nominalism; and 3) faith <---> empirical science.
Which we will leave for tomorrow's post.