Thursday, June 13, 2013

So Many Worlds, So Little Time

Davie writes that "Although Christian theologians have frequently spoken of the Unacknowledged Christ of the Vedanta, they have been strangely silent about the Unacknowledged Vedanta behind Christianity."

This is unfortunate, because, as alluded to yesterday, the metaphysical principles embodied in Vedanta -- i.e., the Upanishads -- "can be shown to supply the logical precondition of orthodox Christianity."

Certainly they provide a better fit than, say, the dualistic Platonism that some of the early fathers over-relied upon in order to make sense of their new revelation.

More generally, if Christianity is truly universal, there can be no objection to assimilating ideas and concepts from other cultures in ardor to advance our understanding.

True, Christianity is also a historical religion, which can at times work counter to the idea of universality. For example, if the arc of salvation runs only from Jerusalem to Rome, that excludes an awful lot of history. Perhaps we need to reframe the command to preach to the four corners of the world.


There is the exterior world, of course, but more importantly, there is also the interior world. If you take the command literally, you might as well stand alone on top of a mountain in some far off corner of the earth, yelling into the wind.

No, the point is, you have to reach the people who inhabit those corners.

We've all heard about the "first world," "second world," "third world," etc. Every once in awhile it occurs to me that I need to write a post about how there are also various internal worlds in different stages of development.

Starting back-to-front, Professor Wiki says that the 4th world consists of socially excluded sub-populations (even if living in the first world), and hunter-gatherer, nomadic, pastoral, and subsistence farming peoples living beneath the modern industrial norm.

Third world peoples have entered history, and are at least starting to develop, while first world countries are completely there. The second world might be thought of as an attempt to arrest time -- as in the case of contemporary progressives -- via a planned economy.

But as we know from baneful expedience, any effort to control a self-organizing structure from the top down results in chaos, so the second world ends up tending toward the third, as we see in Obamaworld -- e.g., record numbers of people on food stamps and disability, millions giving up on finding work, etc.

How would the above scheme apply to the interior worlds? I suppose you would say that progress in this domain represents a conquest of dimensionality, as we have discussed in the past.

I'm starting to run out of time, but it occurs to me that the interior analogue of the second world would also tend toward the third and fourth, as it involves a rejection of time and of verticality. As we know, there is nothing progressive about progressivism.

Hmm. While searching for something else, it occurs to me that I might have adequately discussed all this in the past, e.g., Pimp-Slapping Obama and Conserving Our Metaphysical Dream of Progress, Universal Religion and the Many Worlds Hypothesis, and Just One Thing I'd Like to Know, How You Stay High, and Live So Low.

Down to 12 minutes. Time enough to say that the fourth world is diffuse mythological/magical, the third world centralized mythic/magical authoritarianism, the second world progressive / leftist / fascist / socialist / atheist statism, and the first world the vertically informed horizontality of American-style classical liberalism.

No time to read them, but probably some more relevant posts under this heading.

And now 5 minutes to spielcheck.


Blogger River Cocytus said...

Who's on first?

6/13/2013 08:16:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

The last.

6/13/2013 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

More generally, if Christianity is truly universal, there can be no objection to assimilating ideas and concepts from other cultures in ardor to advance our understanding.

Unless, apparently, you're Norwegian.

They have a new translation of the Bible, where Mary isn't a virgin (too judgmental; she was just young!), and Jesus isn't crucified. Instead, he was sent to a mental hospital and killed by lethal injection.

Judging by the marketing, the Norwegian idea of making the Bible accessible is to turn it into Game of Thrones.

On the one hand, I guess it's a good thing that people are getting interested in the Bible. Except that, on the other, they aren't...

6/13/2013 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

"Judging by the marketing, the Norwegian idea of making the Bible accessible is to turn it into Game of Thrones."

I never watched that show and yet I loled. There must be a kind of holy spirit in comedy. You can't see it, yet, it works.

6/13/2013 09:50:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

In fairness, I've never watched it, either. I did watch HBO's Rome, back when it was on, and figured that all the similar followup shows (the one about Henry VIII, Spartacus, etc.) that came after were pretty much the same. In fact, we figured by the promos that the first season of Spartacus should have been subtitled "Fighting and F*cking" instead of "Blood and Sand," but maybe that would have been too much truth in advertising. Game of Thrones seems different from the others only inasmuch as it's based completely on a fantasy story, instead of a fantasy about actual history.

6/13/2013 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

...the 4th world consists of socially excluded sub-populations (even if living in the first world), and hunter-gatherer, nomadic, pastoral, and subsistence farming peoples living beneath the modern industrial norm.

Aside from not being nomadic, that was pretty much us growing up.

6/13/2013 01:26:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

I don't remember the "Many Worlds" post. I know I was reading OC back in '07 though not daily.

It looks like pretty good prognostication in light of the way people are now so accepting of the government monitoring everybody, except the real enemy.

6/13/2013 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...


The trusty glass eye of the poet prognosticates something different; it says, Information Age is ending. New era is beginning.

The sourness from what that guy did is gonna spread to all parts of the Internet...

They may photograph your mail but they don't open it and read it. With your email, they can't help but have all the bytes just in case they want to read it later.

6/13/2013 02:57:00 PM  
Blogger ted said...

Seinfeld + Silverman = Love

6/13/2013 06:25:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Oy. I love Seinfeld. Can't stand Silverman; I find her viscerally unappealing. Which isn't to say I'm correct, but that's just where Rick's observations from yesterday's post come into play.

6/13/2013 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Jerry totally faked that interview.

6/13/2013 07:03:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

RE: end of the information age.

River, Big Data is the mantra everywhere right now, which, even before you said that, has been giving me the same feeling I get when everybody is screaming, "Buy" at the peak of a bull market.

6/13/2013 08:32:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Hell week, havn't read the last posts yet, but put on your armor of Freevangelical Pundamentalism Guffah-HA! Jehovial Witticisms and rent "Warm Bodies" now.

6/13/2013 09:54:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Hey. I said Now.

6/13/2013 09:56:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Watching the extras shorts, I don't think the actors or direcas, maybe not even the writer, realized anything more than the Shakespeare aspect of a (divine) comedy zombie movie. It's as if Christianity has been rrabsorbed unseen into the imagery. Curious to see if anyone else catches it.

6/13/2013 10:20:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

[my utterly irrational] Reasons not to like 'Seinfeld':
He stares unblinking at everyone like a scientologist [heard he was one]...the canned laughter... those trebly [faked, actually keyboard] tapped bass guitar riffs between scenes i thought were Stanley Clarke contributions [another scientologist]...the fact that 'everyone else' seemed so smitten and gung-ho on-board for the show, even my non-jewish mom!] -There's nothing i avoid so surely as a mass-hyped celebrated bandwagon

6/14/2013 12:07:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

I don't understand the mass appeal aspects of Jerry, only that it's interesting why it exists. I'm pretty sure those aspects are not why he makes me laugh, because I had to escape that other comedian while everyone else in the audience was having a swell time.
But I understand your instinct, ge. I felt that way about Rocky Horror Picture Show. It had that riot-bond going between the people who enjoyed going to the shows.

6/14/2013 03:33:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I appreciate how the plots involve several bizarre and unrelated stories that somehow converge at the end. The only other show I've seen do that is the unsurpassable Fawlty Towers. Cleese said he could only produce the 12, because it was just too exhausting to write the scripts -- he'd write with long sheets of paper on the floor, so as to plot out how the stories wove in and around one another.

6/14/2013 06:42:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I think I would give both Fawlty Towers and Larry Sanders the nod over Seinfeld. But after Seinfeld & Simpsons, I can't think of what else would go in the top 5. Even Monty Python is somewhat dated.

6/14/2013 06:46:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

You know what was a great program? The Bernie Mac Show, especially certain early episodes. Also, the PJs.

6/14/2013 06:48:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Very few programs actually make me LOL out loud.

6/14/2013 06:50:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

I never watched Fawlty Towers, but Larry S is definitely lol. And there are something like 80 episodes - which I think is hard to keep up for that long.

You know, Jerry should do a car/coffee episode with Gary.

Bob, did you watch the Silverman one Ted linked last night? Body language. I swear Jerry was just going through the motions. He looks like he's not even paying attention to her when he's driving. He looks annoyed. And then he threw in that Hipster comment just to see what she would do. She caught on when he told her she was funny.

6/14/2013 06:58:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

No, didn't see. My default mode is pretty much No TV Except for Sports.

6/14/2013 07:04:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

And I envy the man who hasn't yet seen Fawlty Towers. You need to rent the whole collection, and see every episode (there are only 12). As I said, unsurpassed.

6/14/2013 07:05:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

F.T. is one of the things I introduced the boy too in order to inculcate a sophisticated sense of humor. At age six he was already looking down on his peers for their over-reliance upon butts and farts to the exclusion of character development.

6/14/2013 07:08:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

As you can see, a 1000 laughing average, 628 for 628.

6/14/2013 07:14:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

I just keep forgetting about Faulty Towers, is all.

I don't watch any TV except for Mad Men and Rectify. I watch those because of the writing. Mad Men just happens to also look incredible. MM does this except without comedy:

"I appreciate how the plots involve several bizarre and unrelated stories that somehow converge at the end."

Although it is occasionally funny.
Rectify, though, may be even better written. I believe the same guy created this which we just saw and liked very much:

6/14/2013 07:17:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

"for their over-reliance upon butts and farts"

That settles it. What's the URL for

6/14/2013 07:18:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

I'm suddenly reminded of a line from Idiocracy:

"There was a time when reading wasn't just for fags. And neither was writing. People wrote books and movies. Movies with stories, that made you care about whose ass it was and why it was farting. And I believe that time can come again!"

6/14/2013 07:22:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Now that's lol!

6/14/2013 07:25:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

If you haven't seen Idiocracy, I highly recommend it. The opening scene (two links there; it's split into two parts) alone is worth the price of admission. On the whole, it's a work of prophecy wrapped in dick jokes*

*brought to you by Carl's, Jr.

6/14/2013 07:45:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I second Idiocracy as worth a looksee. It
s funny and, I think, prophetic if the last two elections are any indication (as if the State of public "education" ain't enough).

Thanks for the racoonmendation, Van. I was wondering if that was worth watching.

PS. Frasier was the last tv comedy I lol'd at frequently.

6/14/2013 08:23:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

People forget 1984 is a satire...

6/14/2013 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Julie said "*brought to you by Carl's, Jr. "

Ummm... and Gatorade.

6/14/2013 09:37:00 AM  

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