Friday, June 28, 2013

You're Nowhere Until You're Wondering in the Bewilderness

If you've been following the argument -- or preferably unwrapping its presence -- you will recall that -- to put it in extremes -- self-love (i.e., narciss-ism) redounds to metacosmic obliteration, which is to say, "forgotten by God." Conversely, self-giving, or -abandonment, or -forgetfulness results in what we are calling "re-membered by God."

This doesn't yet amount to an explanation, but it creates a useful schematic or dialectic to understand human action and its real consequences. And, being that it is true, it should be true across all domains, not just vis-a-vis God. Thus, a normal person -- or a person raised by normal parents -- is taught from the youngest age to be caring, compassionate, generous, each of these being an example of "self-giving."

And "taught" isn't quite the right word, since these are things no one could teach if they weren't already in us, so to speak, just waiting to be actualized. One cannot teach a reptile to be compassionate. (Insert Al Sharpton or Harry Reid joke here __________ ).

Thus, if we should choose "the way of self-love," then we pursue "an illusion, since the assertion of 'my solitary subjectivity' involves me in the contradictions of solipsism, 'my subjectivity' having meaning only in relation to centers of consciousness other than my own" (Davie).

As such, we have a useful way to understand various orthoparadoxical remarks by Jesus to the effect that "Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it."

Or in his sermon on nature of the spiritual mount, he suggests that “You are the light of the world" and that "A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."

Now, what is light but the first and last word in "self-giving"? In other words, light cannot not radiate, because radiation is not what it "does" but what it is.

Which is why light is the most adequate analogy to spiritual energies, which, by their nature, radiate. Likewise, consider the sun, which gives and gives and gives, to the just and unjust alike. But who receives it, and who just takes it?

As alluded to above, an individual subjectivity makes no sense whatsoever, as it always implies an other. I've mentioned before that this "discovery" was a major breakthrough in psychoanalysis, when it transitioned from a one-person psychology to a two-person psychology.

This is captured in Winnicott's remark that there is "no such thing as an infant." Rather, there is the infant-mother dyad -- or even prior to that, the mouth-breast relation. That last one might sound a little odd, but it conceals a profound truth, that even human instinct is related to another subject (which is what makes us human).

In a more sophisticated culture this would go to the intrinsic absurdity of homosexual "marriage," since man's sexual instinct is related to its complementary opposite. This also explains why such a union could never be sacramental, because it is deprived of spiritual efficacy at the very root.

A homosexual relationship can be many things -- including things a heterosexual relationship cannot be -- but it obviously cannot be a marriage. Unless you are just oblivious to anything more psychically subtle than a flying mallet. Or just say leftist.

Speaking of which, too bad it's so expensive, but this massive book of Voegelin's letters is la bamba. Lucky for me, I was able to defray the expense by using the modest monthly amazon gift certificate that accrues from you folks clicking through and making purchases. But consistent with the above, helping me is about to help you, because now I'm going to talk about the book the coonosphere gave me, and for which few if any of you would shell out 64 bucks. Even Steven! What goes around comes around, yada yada.

I'm going to need to occasionally take a little time to blog about the book, because there's no way I'll be able to tackle it from the other end of its 941 pages. But through the medium of Coon Magic, whatever I'm reading in one book is always relevant to the other. And if not, we can always use Coon Muscle to force the issue.

I'm trying to read one year of letters per day, which means it will take about a month to get through. Although some letters are relatively banal, others are quite insultaining. Recalling what was said above about spiritually insensate leftists, Voegelin says of the tenured that

"once they have gone through the process of college and graduate school, they are sufficiently brainwashed and morally debased to hold their positions with sincerity, and for the rest of their lives never have a critical doubt."

You all know the type, because the problem is so much worse today than it was in 1954. Indeed, it has become institutionalized, and not just in academia, but anywhere the left has extended its tentacles.

He adds that such individuals "will never achieve the full unfolding of their talents, because too much of their energy is lost overcoming the handicap of their environment." This very much reminds me of Obama, who is an oblivious and completely un-self-critical creature of this dysfunctional environment.

Thus, the crisis is infinitely worse today than it was in the early 1950s, because now the disease doesn't just affect academia, but has spread to the very height of state power. The "leader of the free world" is now the leader of the project to roll back freedom. It would be chilling if it weren't so mortifying.

As we speak, there is a shamful show trial going on because someone had the effrontery to defend himself from one of Obama's depraved spawn -- his self-described image and likeness -- and you can indeed draw a straight line from Obama to Trayvon, from sociopathy in the highest of places to sociopathy in lowest of lives. Not the fruit of his loins, but worse, the rotten fruit of his ideology. (And in any event, only the race-obsessed left believes blood trumps values.)

Voegelin even suggests that it is short-sighted for people to focus only on communist infiltration, because communism is not the only ideology that can be deployed for the destruction of the West. Rather, "Our home-grown varieties of progressivism, pragmatism, instrumentalism, positivism, operationalism, behaviorism, and so forth, do the job quite well."

Indeed. That was in 1954, so we can see how prescient he was.

We've spoken before about the time it takes to undo the spiritual and intellectual damage of an extensive public edu-doctrination. Of this struggle, Voegelin writes that "I would not complain too much about the time lost. We all lose time, for we have to disengage ourselves from the creeds of a dying world."

He adds that he "lost more years than I care to remember with Neo-Kantianism and Phenomenology, before I dropped the nonsense." But we should be consoled by the fact that struggling in this way to shed illusion and find truth makes the path more certain than "if somebody had placed you on it right from the beginning."

So true. The one thing I can always say to any liberal at any time on any subject is, Yeah, I used to believe that. But

"life begins with the Exodus from the civilizational realm of the dead, and the beginning begins with the discovery of the world as the Desert" (ibid.).

Yup. You're precisely nowhere until you're wondering in the desert bewilderness, in an open relationship with the O-asis that transcends you, both above and ahead.

30 Comments:

Blogger Open Trench said...

Hi All:

Loved the post. The distrust of our president is interesting.

To me he seems rather ordinary and runs his presidency adequately.

What would you have him do or say differently? This part I can't understand. His inner life is not the core of the presidency and indeed has little bearing on it.

The president's role is highly codified and not amenable to despotic surges of leftist idealism.

And you can't know his inner life; you can make studied guesses only.

So: you don't like him, and I don't really get why not, and there we have it.

6/28/2013 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

You are a frightful putz.

6/28/2013 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger Open Trench said...

I am relentlessly optimistic. That is the worst sort of putz to deal with.

6/28/2013 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Rather, there is the infant-mother dyad -- or even prior to that, the mouth-breast relation.

Oh, that reminds me of a link I almost shared the other night when DH was wondering what the translation of "El Shaddai" means. I found this page on the Hebrew names for God, and the entry on El Shaddai was quite interesting:

"Jacob's blessing given in Genesis 49:25, however, indicates that Shaddai might be related to the word for breasts (shadaim), indicating sufficiency and nourishment (i.e., "blessings of the breasts and of the womb" (בִּרְכת שָׁדַיִם וָרָחַם)). In this case, the Name might derive from the contraction of sha ("who") and dai ("enough") to indicate God's complete sufficiency to nurture the fledgling nation into fruitfulness. Indeed, God first uses this Name when He refers to multiplying Abraham's offspring (Gen. 17:2)."

Most English translations render it as "God Almighty."

6/28/2013 11:34:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

But we should be consoled by the fact that struggling in this way to shed illusion and find truth makes the path more certain than "if somebody had placed you on it right from the beginning."

This is a phenomenon I've been thinking about a great deal lately. How does it happen that families that start off with good values so often end up with rotten and foolish kids? I have to think part of it comes from being overprotective. When people aren't permitted to make mistakes and suffer the consequences, they never learn to fear the consequences.

Additionally, I think it comes from a certain lack of understanding of the why of traditional values. Generation A understands and lives their values, but fails to pass the understanding on to generation B. Generation B sort of sticks to the traditions, because things were always done that way. But they have no idea why, and when generation C decides the traditions are stupid generation B is at a loss to disagree. Generation C thus lives out every sort of foolishness, and some fortunate few of them learn the hard way that there was a reason generation A developed the traditions which lead to their success. But a great many more will never figure it out.

For instance, when liberal parents who live conservatively (because that's how they were raised) teach their kids that any sort of relationship is okay (mostly because it's not nice to judge; they expect their kids will do as they do, not as they say), they may be horrified to find that their kids then go on to have any and every sort of relationship (often under the guise of "trying to find themselves") except a traditional marriage that would provide a stable home and psychologically healthy grandchildren.

6/28/2013 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

This sounds good.

Speaking of the Sanford lynching and psychology, my nephew hates Dr. Phil with a white-hot passion. I never paid any attention to him. I'd seen his wife's books in the Christian bookstores, so I assumed he had a modicum of sense. Here while back my wife had the TV on when I came in and there was Dr. Phil interviewing the parents of St. Trayvon.

Now I understand. I don't care how big the freak is, I'd stand up on a chair if I had to to spit in his face.

6/28/2013 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

"God Almighty."
what else can you say?

6/28/2013 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Heh - I laughed. But I bet all the menfolk here are hypnotized...


In a completely unfunny and warped reflection of the idea of "sufficiency and nourishment," the NHS proves that it is as unholy as it is possible for any "health system to be.

6/28/2013 12:25:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

The markets are bouncing around more than Kate Upton on a pogo stick.

6/28/2013 01:45:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Thanks GE, for providing a visual sampling of Bob's post.

6/28/2013 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Thanks Mushroom for providing a sufficient mental image of the economy.

Re: "dr." Phil, I always had a distrust of him since Oprah propped him up.
However, I saw just how low he would go when he depicted veterans with ptsd as monsters. r
Top notch scumbag, that guy.

6/28/2013 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

As we speak, there is a shamful show trial going on because someone had the effrontery to defend himself from one of Obama's depraved spawn -- his self-described image and likeness -- and you can indeed draw a straight line from Obama to Trayvon, from sociopathy in the highest of places to sociopathy in lowest of lives. Not the fruit of his loins, but worse, the rotten fruit of his ideology. (And in any event, only the race-obsessed left believes blood trumps values.)

That's a great description on what's really going on with this travesty of justice.
Ironicall, they are doing tit to one of their own...for the greater good, of course.
Rotten to the core.

6/28/2013 03:34:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I mean, um, "it". No, really. I blame GE and Mushroom.

6/28/2013 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

"As alluded to above, an individual subjectivity makes no sense whatsoever, as it always implies an other. I've mentioned before that this "discovery" was a major breakthrough in psychoanalysis, when it transitioned from a one-person psychology to a two-person psychology."

Here's a question Bob.

Why haven't we tried three-person psychotherapy?

Meaning two psychotherapists and one patient?

I've wondered about that for a long time.

6/29/2013 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Two-therapist therapy is ineffective and counterproductive, as it results in a split transference toward the two, often into good and bad objects. It doesn't work for the same reason a three-persoon marriage couldn't work, except perhaps for a lunatic such as Open Trench. In such a case, the arrangement isn't healing, as it should be, but helps to arrest development.

There is, however, conjoint couples therapy, and as a matter of fact, a friend of mine specializes in this and is doing some apparently cutting edge work with it, integrating neuropsychology and marriage.

6/29/2013 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger Leslie Godwin said...

Ben, you are so right about Dr. P and his comments about veterans. I wonder how many vets he actually knows personally. I guess he's seen Full Metal Jacket a couple of times.

Mrs. G

6/29/2013 10:12:00 PM  
Blogger Open Trench said...

I've studied Dr. Phil's work and believe he is centered on the mental plane; he is a pragmatist.

The Zimmerman case is an example of a fearful humanity gone wrong; any morality applied here is a wrong movement.

People go off the rails because they are not awake.

Christ did not carry a weapon when confronting evildoers. This is something to reflect on.

Given that, pepper spray and a truncheon were more appropriate for the occasion, and also Z. should not patrol by himself.

All spirit people should have pepper spray and a stout truncheon at hand in the home and car. These are the ways we apply force.



6/30/2013 07:41:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Pepper spray and truncheon wouldn't phase Rachel Jeantel. Dupree swears by pliers and a blowtorch -- although I've heard him say that for smaller jobs he needs only a hammer and a mop.

6/30/2013 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger son of a preacher man said...

Well when one's own voice can directly effect the reality around him. He does not need to carry a weapon.

And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
- Mark 4:39
They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them.
As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.
- John 18:5-6

6/30/2013 08:54:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

Say what you will re Jeantel, at least she smart:
"He may be a rapist."

6/30/2013 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

ge

She's also obviously a connoisseur of late '60s psychedelia.

6/30/2013 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

Terrific[ally talented] Move tune! thanks
i see in the list adjacent this also killer live version
like not made these days

6/30/2013 09:43:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I've recently been enjoying a remastered version of their last album, which in reality is the first ELO album, but the record company preferred the old name, since it was a known commercial quantity, at least in Europe.

6/30/2013 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

"Chinatown" is a near-perfect pop confection.

6/30/2013 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Chinatown is a catchy song. Excellent recommendation.

6/30/2013 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hi Mrs. G.,
Aye. Phil, along with the leftwing, msm push the stigma that veterans with ptsd are ticking timebombs.

The truth is that those who suffer from ptsd are no more likely to commit violent crimes than someone who doesn't have ptsd.
And with veterans it's even less likely to occur vs civilians.

6/30/2013 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

famous Move-like sound of
Acid Gallery - Dance Around The May Pole
[r wood on hand]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQ26Hpa1f0Q

6/30/2013 02:02:00 PM  
Blogger ted said...

I've always loved Message From the Country. What a perfect song.

6/30/2013 05:39:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

ok sports fans
2 related drudge headers:

"Obama Plans to Power Africa -- With Soccer Balls..."

"Russian Teenagers Behead Homeless Man, Use Head as Soccer Ball..."

BO misses goal again

7/01/2013 06:50:00 AM  
Blogger Jules said...

Obamama is an insult to the human race, let alone americans. He needs to spend 3 months running a small business, say a small construction company , so that he can grow up and understand economics, human nature, how govmt gets in the way 99% of the time etc etc.

7/07/2013 07:51:00 PM  

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