Bob's Famous "I Have a Reality" Speech
To quote Schuon, just as "the wings of birds prove the existence of air," man's religious response "proves the existence of its content" (in a proportionate way, of course, conforming to the intrinsic nature of the Mystery; we are not suggesting that religion poses no challenges at all!).
For a normal person, the shadow of a cat will spontaneously "prove the presence of the real cat" -- even if the cat is not seen -- so the crank who demands proof is frankly a little off. He's missing something that is beyond obvious for the vast majority of human beings. But if he wants to spend his life trying to prove cats don't exist, go right ahead. After all, the creator gave us free will.
For example, who is more moralistic than the leftist scold who pretends all morality is relative? In Between Nothingness and Paradise, Niemeyer quotes Lenin, who wrote that for the communist, "morality is entirely subordinated to the interests of the class struggle," and defined by "that which serves to destroy the old exploiting society..."
With these irreligious religious principles in mind, we can understand the inverted morality of the left, for example, vis-a-vis the George Zimmerman case.
For the leftist, morality is deduced from the class struggle -- or, in more contemporary terms, from the distinction between victims and white privilege. As such, the logic of deduction demands that the victim -- Zimmerman -- be transformed into an intrinsically guilty "white" person, and that the thuggressor -- Martin -- be transformed into an innocent child.
This is obviously a perversion of universal principles of morality, which apply to particular acts, not to universal groups. In other words, the left sneaks the principle of universality -- and absoluteness -- into the group (which doesn't even exist in any concrete or homogeneous way). I don't exonerate Zimmerman because he is a "white Hispanic," but because there can be no natural law more natural than defending oneself from a vicious human animal pounding one's skull into the pavement.
In the real world, the most dangerous place for a black child is in his mother's womb, and the second most dangerous place is among other black (male) children and young men. But these are empirical and statistical observations that cannot be deduced from leftist principles. Indeed, they are hatefacts (I believe coined by Greg Gutfeld), so to notice them is to expose oneself as a hater. It's so easy to be a leftist!
But this is what the ideologist does more generally: that is, deduce reality from his principles, instead of actually experiencing reality. This is a constant danger to human beings, because we are indeed situated in the space between the empirical world and general principles. It is easy to default in one direction or the other, but to succeed in doing so is to eclipse experience.
This applies not just to the left per se, but to all ideologies, say, Darwinism. Anyone can see the partial truth of natural selection, but what spiritually normal person can take the vast leap of faith required to elevate Darwinism to a total explanation and thereby contract the horizons of subjectivity to a virtual nothing? By comparison, faith in the Incarnation is just a step away, requiring no great leap over chasms of contradictory data and experience.
I was thinking too of how the left inverts the great Nothing at the heart of the cosmos. What this means is that the left doesn't just mimic the exoteric aspects of religion, but even -- or perhaps especially -- the esoteric.
In fact, one might say that genuine religion is esoteric by implication, whereas leftism is esoteric in principle, deriving its exoterism -- i.e., activism -- by deduction. This goes along with Voegelin's (among many others) observation that ideologies are modern forms of Gnosticism that always vouchsoph a hidden knowledge about the secret order of the world.
The progressive, for example, presumes to know the direction of history (even though his materialism forbids the existence of any transcendent goal or purpose). At any rate, the idea that one may tell truth from a calendar is so 19th century! Nevertheless, it doesn't stop the left from, for example, redefining marriage based upon their special insight into the direction of history.
Note also that the left, because it overvalues a narrow kind of surface cognition, relies upon the "ignorance" of realities so deep that it is difficult to put them into words. For example, until the last couple of decades, no one thought it necessary to explain why marriage is limited to members of the opposite sex.
If every cultural institution needs to be exhaustively explained and defended, then nothing can be so explained and defended -- certainly not "homosexual marriage"! But that is another hatefact, because leftist moral deduction again demands that existing structures of exploitation -- AKA the real world -- be abolished.
About that great Nothing alluded to above. Oscar Milosz had the proper sense of it, writing of how modern man has repudiated this transcendent No-thing, the "only intelligible container of a universe which is as free and as pure as God's thought, the Nothing superior to any notion of finite and infinite" (quoted in Caldecott).
For the apophatheads the left, the real being of the world is located in the future they wish to bring about. Meanwhile, there is just non-being and alienation from that blissful state -- e.g., the "black alienation" described by Obama in last week's infantile discourse on race (no offense to infants).
This sets up the present world as a kind of bad nothing, for which reason, say, Michelle Obama could honestly affirm that her very first experience of being proud of America occurred with her husband's political success in 2008. Prior to that? Nothing.
But this is what happens when one rejects existing reality for possible ones. Martin Luther King had a dream. But he also had a reality.
For Marx, man is labor. This is a rather startling and nightmarish inversion of the Raccoon view that man is ultimately slack, which is at antipodes to labor. Rather, it is an end in itself, and therefore a means to nothing.
For the Raccoon, the most useful things are the most useless -- like this post -- having no purpose or utility but to perhaps dilate the present moment and open out into the great wide Nothing-Everything. I mean, if you can't enjoy the now, then what -- and when -- can you enjoy?
Which reminds me. They used to say the aristocracy lives for the past, the bourgeois for the future, and the lower classes for the now. But contemporary leftwing success depends upon alienating everyone from the now, and instead living for the impossible Sugar Candy Mountain of the future. Like Obamacare, the dream must be deferred, on pain of revealing itself for the nightmare it is in the present.