Oases of Slack in the Ideological Desert
In fact, "impulsion" is the wrong word, because it only works when it is an attraction. Trying to push one's way in is like trying to press Jello through a small hole -- a hole called the present. I long ago gave up trying to do that. Much easier to be sucked up and in through the hole.
Also, we're still being plagued by the Great Remodeling. Might seem like a small thing to you, but I can't even enter my own liberatoreum today because the hazmat pests are removing the cottage cheese ceiling (which apparently contains an infinitesimal amount of asbestos). Had to remove every last object from the Divine Orifice -- the sacred omphalos of Upper Tonga -- which is beyond overkill, but this is California. I'm sure it's more dangerous walking to the mailbox and exposing oneself to the sun.
So I'm sitting here in utterly unfamiliar blogging territory, at the dining room table, and it's just not the same.
I know. First World Problems.
Every day I have to start all over, but at least there's a trace of continuity. Then again, this condition of wandering in the bewilderness is a permanent feature of human existence in tension toward the divine ground, as Voegelin puts it. I read his Autobiographical Reflections over the weekend, and he says that the essential task of philosophy -- real, literal philosophy -- is to live in the erotic tension toward transcendent wisdom:
"The center of consciousness I found to be the experience of participation, meaning thereby the reality of being in contact with reality outside myself." Thus, human consciousness "is neither in the subject nor in the world of objects but In-Between, and that means In-Between the poles of man and the reality that he experiences."
This obviously cannot be explained by -- or reduced to -- biology, because this mysterious "place" is nowhere to be found in the physical world. Rather, it is specifically in between a physical world and a world of pure transcendence at the other end. Thus the soul is the loving "sensorium of transcendence" (i.e., a love directed toward the transcendent ground).
In the past I have referred to this as the "transitional space" (coined by the psychoanalyst D. W. Winnicott), and it is the discovery, colonization, and expansion of this space that characterizes our human journey -- or exodeus -- through the bewilderness.
The bewilderness -- the desert, if you like -- is this very space, and one cannot collapse this space without cashing in one's humanness to one degree or another. It is always "dehumanizing" to do so, but that hardly stops humans from doing it.
And in our day, the principle way to do it is via ideology, e.g., positivism, scientism, leftism, Darwinism, or any other dogma that freezes us at one end or the other of this Great Divide where all the light gets in.
One cannot turn this space into an object or system, as much as man tries to do so. Rather, it is "a flow of participatory reality in which reality becomes luminous to itself" (Voegelin). Nowhere else but here can the light be seen -- or participated in, to be precise.
What is so shocking is that this mysterious space is ordered. Why should it be ordered? I would say for the same reason we discover order at the levels of physics and biology. "By order," writes Voegelin, "is meant the structure of reality as experienced as well as the attunement of man to an order that is not of his making, i.e., the cosmic order."
To exist outside this order is to exist in a state of alienation, and the purpose of ideology is to "cure" this alienation in a way that only perpetuates itself (which is why, for example, leftism can never work, especially to the extent that it works). Alienation from the divine ground -- or logos -- is not only a "withdrawal from oneself" but "from reason in existence," so no manmade system can put the truthpaste back into the tube.
One who tries to do so must inevitably "arrive at the death of God, not because God is dead but because divine reason has been rejected in the egophanic revolt" -- the latter defined as "defiant self assertion claiming independence from a transcendent ground."
Which would be fine, if the ideologues would simply leave us alone. But "Anybody with an informed and reflective mind" can see that we are "hemmed in, if not oppressed, from all sides by a flood of ideological language..."
And one "cannot deal with the users of ideological language as partners in a discussion" -- i.e., you can't reason with a liberal. Rather, one can only "make them the object of investigation" (and insultainment, I might add).
We may take comfort in the fact that this is hardly the first time in history that "language has been degraded and corrupted to such a degree that it can no longer be used for expressing the truth of existence" (ibid). Moreover, "there are always enclaves" where one may continue the journey despite "the intellectual terrorism of institutions such as the mass media, university departments, foundations, and commercial publishing houses."
To paraphrase Voegelin, no one -- at least in the west -- is obligated to participate in the aberrations, disorders, deformities, and perversions of his day. But it's a constant struggle against the hostile, infrahuman forces that would compel us to do so.