But this highlights a more general principle, to the effect that our intellect must adhere to our faith, and vice versa.
Which reminds me of a particularly cluminous essay in a new collection thereof called Splendor of the True: A Frithjof Schuon Reader. For me, the Schuon scale of luminosity runs from bright to blinding, but in this piece nearly every sentence is highlylighted or wonderlined.
The essay is called Understanding and Believing (it originally appeared in his forcibly raccoomended Logic and Transcendence).
Schuon begins with the truism that it is possible for a man to believe without understanding. At the looooow end this is just bovine stupidity, but at the high end this is mature faith, which is quintessentially an intuitive perception of an unfathomable truth experienced subjectively as a generative mystery (i.e., as an active presence, not a mere absence).
But what people generally don't realize is that the opposite is equally true, "that one can understand without believing" (Schuon).
How can this be so? Didn't Blake say that "truth cannot be told so as to be understood and not believed"?
Yes, but the operative word there is truth. Evidently, one of the hallmarks of falsehood is that it can indeed be understood (so to speak) but not actually believed -- for it is written, who would believe that shit?
There appears to be something paradoxical here, because why would one need faith if one has understanding? Isn't faith just a kind of booby prize for those who lack understanding, a glorified fig leaf over our naked ignorance?
That's one way of looking at it.
Schuon goes on to say that a form of hypocrisy arises whenever there is a disjunction between certainty and behavior, and here is where we see the gulf between understanding and faith. This is because genuine belief -- or faith -- involves "identifying oneself with the truth one accepts" -- and then waiting for the truth to be realized or actualized within.
When I read this passage, the first thing that occurred to me is that secular materialists of all kinds -- proglodyte liberals, assorted purveyors of blind scientism, kosher darwienies, atheistic sales reptiles -- do not actually believe what they understand, or their behavior would be entirely different.
In short, materialists are devoid of real faith, for they do not put into practice what they screech, nor do they exhibit the courage of their concrocktions.
Consider: if I understand myself to be nothing more than a wild animal who has no possible contact with anything transcending matter -- e.g., truth, morality, beauty, wisdom, etc. -- then my behavior should comport with my understanding.
Such an animal will frankly meet the diagnostic criteria for a Sociopathic Personality Disorder, except they would not be ill. Rather, they would be "awakened" or "enlightened," like a reverse Buddha, or an inscapee to Plato's mancave.
Let's look at those criteria, and see if the shoe fits up their ass.
"A pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others occurring since age 15 years."
Well, sure. But why 15? Isn't that a little arbitrary? Why not birth? Rights are for suckers -- Christians, constitutional conservatives, "civil" libertarians, homos.
"Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest."
I know. Give Obama credit. There's a leftist whose faith is in conformity to his understanding.
"Impulsivity or failure to plan ahead."
One word: Obamacare. Okay, two more: Arab spring. Three? Fast and Furious. Four? I will close Gitmo. Five? That idiotic reset button gift.
"Deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying."
Yeah, I see your point. Maybe the left isn't so hypocritical after all, because the media-academic complex certainly embraces such hopenlie antisocial behavior:
"The new Western media, products of the fully propagandized Western university, have broadly succumbed to the sympathy with totalitarian ethics and intentions that Revel warned was the West's imminent danger, and the communists' long-term strategy....
"Having morally weakened the West by exploiting the legitimate free press to their clever advantage, and at last having converted that press itself into a de facto ally, the enemies of freedom could begin their work on the inside of the Western establishment in earnest. It was now time to bring the ideological war home."
Meanwhile, "The Western media has been factionalized into the totalitarian propagandist majority and the searching, skeptical minority which forms the last remnant of the true calling of that free press which was once supposed to be a bulwark of liberty" (Jonescu).
But in the inverted world of the sociopath, we are the sick folks, for which reason those regular folkers sic the IRS on us.
Yes, the left directly attacks what freedom they haven't yet eroded. But at this point, what difference does it make? What's good for the state is good for you. You don't know that?
The next criterion: "consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to honor financial obligations."
Too easy. Let's move on.
"Lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another."
At this point, what difference does it make?
"Irritability and aggressiveness."
ARE YOU DEAF? AT THIS POINT, WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE, FUCKWIT? LET'S JUST HOPE YOU KEPT THOSE RECEIPTS FOR 'CHARITABLE GIVING' BACK IN 2006! AND NO, I DON'T CARE THAT YOUR CHURCH DOESN'T ISSUE RECEIPTS.
Okay, you got me. But at least this proves that I can keep an open mind. I hereby withdraw my charge of leftist hypocrisy.