Monday, December 02, 2013

Frankenchrist and Mankind v2.0

It has no doubt occurred to you that every monster you've ever seen in a movie is just man, or a symbol thereof. Frankenstein, Dracula, the Mummy, the Werewolf, the Invisible Man, the Creature from the Barack Lagoon (Chicago) -- each is just a symbol of what man is capable of.

We are all inhabited by monsters, otherwise we wouldn't recognize them. Hollywood depicts so many monstrous capitalists because these caricatures are a projection of liberal greed and envy. Greed and envy are interior monsters, but they haunt the exterior landscape of the left -- for which reason liberals always denounce someone else's greed, never their own.

You know what Barry says: "White folks' greed runs a world in need." Which begs the question, because why don't the victims of white greed just exercise their own? Then they can run the world.

But enough about ObamaCare.

Think of those classic monsters: Frankenstein, a grotesque experiment in living death, or of inserting the brain of a criminal into the body of a man; Dracula, a nocturnal predator who feeds on the substance of others and whose bite enlists one into his soul murdering cult; the Werewolf, who simply echoes the ancient truism that man is a wolf to man; the Mummy, a restless spirit swaddled in his decaying flesh; the Invisible Man, who can only be seen phenomenally but whose essence is nowhere; Obama, the cold, dead hand of collectivism calmly administering the anesthesia mask over your horror-stricken face.

Yeah, man is some piece of work, ain't he? Of this work-in-progess -- or regress, depending -- Berdyaev begins with the obviousation that he "is the meeting point of two worlds" -- although I think we need to widen this duality out into four dimensions.

In other words, just as the horizontal has a past and a future, the vertical has an up and a down. In nether worlds, a bad monster is the meeting point of an atavistic or barbarous man and the lower vertical -- which explains why no mere animal can be a monster, only a beast.

I suppose you could say that Jesus is another kind of monster, if we take that word literally, e.g., "something unnaturally marvelous," or "one who shows a deviation from the normal in behavior or character." Thus, Christology is really the last word in anthropology, revealing to us a divine-human attractor-destiny:

"Christianity recognizes the eternal significance and the eternal value of man, of the individual soul and its destiny." Thus, "the unique and unrepeatable visage of every man exists only because there exists the unique and unrepeatable image of Christ the God-man" -- in whom we see "the eternal image of every human being" (Berdyaev).

So, I suppose this means that man has the freedom to choose which kind of monster he will be, supernatural or subnatural. For "the very fact of man's existence is a break with the natural world.... As a being belonging to two worlds and capable of overcoming himself, man is a contradictory and paradoxical being, comprehending within himself diametric opposites," "capable of great love and sacrifice or of great cruelty and limitless egotism."

Ultimately, man "is both the child of God and the child of nothingness.... His roots are in heaven, in God, and in the deepest abyss as well." As such, this problem child cannot be solved "from the viewpoint of nature and only in relationship with nature." Rather, "we can understand man only in his relation to God."

To be sure, the world -- or nature -- cannot solve the riddle of man. Or, to bring in another monster, man is the Riddler supreme. Just when you think you have him figured out, he defies your logic and expectations -- which is why the the 20th century was such a monstrous surprise to the 19th.

Even in knowing damn well he is a creature of biology, man knows damn well he isn't, because knowledge transcends biology. Although rooted in biology, man "lifts himself above it, and finds within himself a higher element than the given world, another plane. Knowledge would be impossible if man were only nature, if he were not spirit also" (ibid.).

If we pursue this train of thought all the way to the station of wisdom, we see that "True human-ness is the god-like, the divine in man." And the bad monsters among us are the caboose.

So, here is the orthoparadox: "In order to fully be man, man must resemble God." Alienated from God, man tends not only to be un-human, but "even inhuman.... It is God who demands human-ness of man," man himself being "not very demanding in this connection." To put it mildly.

I think this is the point of Judaism also, i.e., the explication of man's higher nature, or the transformation of the lower via the higher -- almost as if Jesus himself were Jewish or something.

For the Christian, one might say that Christ is simply the actual incarnation of this striving, or its teleological end made fully manifest; again, rather than lower vertical made flesh (the bad monster), this is the upper vertical made so.

Or, to put it in plain coonspeak, the lumen being triumphs over the human beastling. And just as revolutionary leftism is a betrayal of the human state, Christianity is treason against the left. So, if you're not a monstrous Enemy of the State, you're doing it wrong. Thus, an IRS audit is the new martyrdom.

For "Caesar is the eternal symbol of authority, the state, the kingdom of this world." It's simple, really: for caesarian suckups of the left, we must render to Caesar what belongs to us, and render to the state what belongs to God.

19 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

In nether worlds, a bad monster is the meeting point of an atavistic or barbarous man and the lower vertical -- which explains why no mere animal can be a monster, only a beast.

In the news this morning, there's an awful story out of Romania which perfectly illustrates this point. Apparently, a small boy was mauled to death by a feral dog back in August, which resulted in many news stories and much "hysteria" over the huge number of street dogs. Apparently in response, some people have felt free to engage in horrific acts of animal cruelty.

The act of the dog, while horrifying, was merely beastly. The actions of the people who find it acceptable to torture other animals as a result is truly monstrous.

12/02/2013 08:53:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

If it wasn't for Abi Normal Frankenstein would've worked!

12/02/2013 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Riffing on the bad monsters being the caboose, the caboose, in this case is also an engine that's constantly pulling at the rest of the train, impeding it's progress, and ultimately, if it prevails, pulling the train to it's doom.

Of course that goes without sayin' which is why I said it.

12/02/2013 09:50:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

It is God who demands human-ness of man," man himself being "not very demanding in this connection." To put it mildly.

I was going to say this anyway, but Julie's comment highlights it for me. One of the things we do in relation to lower animals is elevate them. But we can go down to their level. Fallen angels are devils worse than humans. Bestial humans are devils worse than the beasts.

12/02/2013 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger Kurt said...

I wonder if the current fascination with zombies is some kind of subliminal reaction to the increasing power of the collective state? You must believe exactly what is prescribed for you to believe and your every thought, word and deed must serve political ends. A person whose life is totally politics is truly the walking dead...

12/02/2013 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Thank you, Jesus!

12/02/2013 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Zombies eat brains. Again Congress is exempt.

My favorite monster is Carpenter's "The Thing". If only the Americans could have understood Norwegian. Instead, they thought the other bunch had gone stir-crazy and were trying to kill a nice doggy.

The left can't understand what we're saying. We're just all crazy haters and racists.

12/02/2013 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Kurt, I concur, although I think the left are more like the Borg, zombies work too. Afterall, it's the collective that counts...until it happens to one of them.
Funny enough, when I was in the military
i never met anyone who was willing to die for leftist ideals.
Come to think of it, I still haven't.

12/02/2013 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Mushroom, that's a brilliant analogy. Excellent flick, too.
Symbolically, I believe the Thing also represents leftism since it seeks to destroy humanity and assimilate it into itself.

12/02/2013 12:02:00 PM  
Blogger Magister said...

the zombie thing is "dead things walking," which parlays lefty slurs against purportedly old ideas like capitalism, normalcy, heterosexuality, fatherhood, the afterlife

personally, I like the vampire trope and consider it criminally underused by righties who could be making a cultural killing off the idea of bloodsucking elites who prey on youth

the hunger games franchise is useful in this respect but it seems too Roman and political/rational in tone -- the vampire thing is more grotesque and visceral

the mob boss, the fatcat crony, the plantation owner, the in-bred aristocrat, the clueless horizontalizing technocrat -- these are the archetypal enemies of the free man and woman

re: the bestial, I read Paradise Lost Book IV (when Satan enters Eden) to Mrs Magister on the drive home from visiting relatives on Thanksgiving - Milton clearly presents sexual envy as the decisive impulse that puts Satan in motion

the devil can't bear the thought that something so beautiful as man and woman could be so free, so orderly, and so productive

12/02/2013 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger ted said...

Ultimately, man "is both the child of God and the child of nothingness.... His roots are in heaven, in God, and in the deepest abyss as well." As such, this problem child cannot be solved "from the viewpoint of nature and only in relationship with nature." Rather, "we can understand man only in his relation to God."

One idea I've been pondering lately is how Berdyaev's process perspective of a God change our relationship with him. Do we conform with the good, true, and beautiful differently than what was required in tradition? Or does our co-creation with God require more of us (than just not being monsters)?

12/02/2013 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Good question, Ted.

I don't know if it requires more or less of me, but I find a lot of peace about co-creation. If Job and his friends had understood it, the book would have been a lot shorter. Instead of spending 30-some chapters with four or five guys trying to figure WHY God did this to Job, they could have just asked WHAT God was doing and moved on to what Job needed to do.

12/02/2013 01:30:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

'every monster you've ever seen in a movie...each is just a symbol of what man is capable of'---
this one too?

"It's indescribable---it's unstoppable!"
sounds like Lofo Libtardism

12/02/2013 01:39:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Don't know how long we'll be on the monster topic, but a review of the megalomaniac letter in MOTT may be in order.
Incidentally, been going through this Breaking Bad tv series and, speaking of monsters, it reminds of, to paraphaze Hemingway on going bankrupt, this chemistry teacher goes bad gradually, then all of a sudden.

12/02/2013 04:48:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Ted said: "Or does our co-creation with God require more of us (than just not being monsters)?"

I believe the Christian Orthodox perspective is that God does not want us to be moral people.
Ultimately.
He wants us to be saved. Which is to say, (I think) not just like some ant farm down there all working together in harmony. He wants us to return to His arms in love.
Ultimately.
But I take it that morality is "on the way there". Not the telos or destination.

12/02/2013 04:57:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Rick, re. Breaking Bad we just recently started watching it, too. Not sure if we'll ever finish it; compelling, but after a while, as with Sopranos, it starts to make the lifestyles of the warped seem too close to normal.

Re. being moral, I've always seen it as one of those (⇵) sort of things. Initially, we do it because that is what we are taught; morality is like a scaffolding that provides the means for the vine to grow upward, to breathe, to reach for the light, and to thrive. Over time, God willing, we discover that morality is that which we do because, imitating Christ, we cannot do otherwise.

In a similar way, I am teaching my boy that when he hurts someone, he must say he's sorry. I know that he generally isn't, and he even seems to understand that there's some element of "feeling" sorry which he lacks; I know that there are many who maintain you shouldn't force a child to say it if they don't feel it. I disagree; if he is in the practice of appropriately expressing compassion and contrition, I believe that he is more likely to develop those feelings than if I simply wait for the feelings to bloom absent a framework in which to express them.

First we learn the rules; it is only later, through experience and the insight gained therein, that we understand the meaning of the forms.

12/02/2013 05:44:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Julie, cooncur. And I don't mean to devalue morality at all. What I mean is, that it should not be regarded as "enough" (if I understand what I think I've read re the Orthodox perspective.)
For an atheist may be acting (truly) moral in all his ways. Fine, of course, I'll take it. But this is still some eternal or permanently fixed distance maintained between him and God. Like Lazarus perhaps, asleep. Is that "saved"?

Re Breaking Bad, I hear you. I was concerned about the desensitizing. I never watched the Sopranos so I can't say about it, but this program seems almost like a parable. It "shows" the various forms and levels of sins, rather than say "endorsing" them or exploiting them. The writers are too good to be wasting their time on the gratuitous or for the thrill of violence. Seems so. They're up to something..

12/02/2013 08:05:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

"I suppose you could say that Jesus is another kind of monster, if we take that word literally, e.g., "something unnaturally marvelous," or "one who shows a deviation from the normal in behavior or character." Thus, Christology is really the last word in anthropology, revealing to us a divine-human attractor-destiny:

"Christianity recognizes the eternal significance and the eternal value of man, of the individual soul and its destiny." Thus, "the unique and unrepeatable visage of every man exists only because there exists the unique and unrepeatable image of Christ the God-man" -- in whom we see "the eternal image of every human being" (Berdyaev)."

Truly monstrous. Just look at the good news of the day from the Roman perspective, and from many of the Jews perspective as well - 'What? He isn't here to (exalt/restore) the state? He's here to save the Individual?! What?! Monstrous!'

As for zombies, I think they are what they are, all for appetite, and appetite for all. The embodiment of an unceasing, omnipresent need to consume, to eat the living, but only so far as there's life in them to consume, then leave the meal unfinished and move on to the next. And with Education having been transformed into the means of delivering useful skills for getting jobs so you can get better things, rather than for teaching what is needed in order for a person to become a more moral and virtuous person able to live in liberty with their fellows (rather than in competition for consumption), what better metaphor is their for the proRegressive society and state, than zombies?

The belly as bounty.

But allowing yourself to be driven by appetite, might keep you moving, it lacks life, and leaves you with the sense that:"in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;"

The idea that true living involves something more than simply filling the belly, that filling the heart is more important to life... is very abi-normal... it is truly monstrous.

And yes, The Blob, appetite incarnate.

12/03/2013 05:51:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

Monster, monstrous, etc. words words words

"Conservative" connotes conserving, keeping, saying "no" to new things. "Progressive" connotes improving, moving on, saying "yes" to new things. As long as this nomenclature stays in place, conservatives will perpetually be on the defensive, which is right where progressives (and even some conservatives) want them.

"Libertarian" is an attempt to move beyond this binary, but it seems limited by its negative definition of liberty; it's mainly liberty from something, not for something, and so fails to capture anything nobler than "whatever I want."

A: How do you describe your politics?
B: Progressive.
A: As in "progressive stages of cancer"?
B: Very funny.
A: As in "progressively worse"?
B: Maybe for you.
A: I'm a progressive, too.
B: No you're not, you're a tea-bagging rethuglican monster.
A: I'm for progress toward a freer, more creative, more prosperous America.
B: Meh, I work for the IRS. What's your SSN?

12/03/2013 07:45:00 AM  

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