Wednesday, February 19, 2014

On Being MisCaste in the Role of a Lifetime

Expert? Know it all? I hardly think so. If I had to blog about what I already know, I'd be bored out of my skull. It would be like writing a hit song and then having to perform it the same way for the rest of your life. I can't imagine why any musician would want to do that. That's not making music. It's being prevented from doing so.

The occasional commenter has suggested that I only ridicule the tenured because I envy them. But it has never occurred to me that teaching some predigested course to a bunch of adolescent mediocrities would suit my temperament. I'm interested in the unknown, not the known.

Once something is known, it quickly becomes tacit knowledge for probing further into the unknown -- like the stick of the blind man we discussed a few posts back. To obsess over the stick is to miss the point of the stick. Rather, its purpose is to reach beyond itself into the unseen, the unknown, the unassimilated. I don't want to practice the servile art of stick making; rather, the quintessential liberal art of inward mobility. I want to be an explorer. A pneumanaut. A vertical adventurer. Doesn't everyone?

Well, no. Apparently it's a caste thingy. There are warriors, priests, merchants, laborers, et al, and it is very difficult if not impossible to oust a person from his caste (any more than a person can fundamentally change his innate temperament). In fact, now that I think about it, most of the problems in the world are due to miscaste people.

Think of all the intellectual lightweights in Washington who fancy themselves geniuses, beginning with the dimwit at the top. Obama should be a salesman. Indeed, he is a salesman, maybe even a brilliant one. Say what you want, but he has become a wealthy man from selling his crap, and it presumably requires more skill to peddle crap than Crayolas.

It also requires a degree of sociopathy, because one must make the sale without feeling guilty about it. For example, I see no evidence that Obama has any qualms about having sold Obamacare to a gullible nation. Perhaps he even believes his own bullshit, which is the pinnacle of salesmanship: autopullwoolery.

About being miscaste. Plato suggested a way around this: that we only cast philosophers as kings. I can't see how that could possibly work, because a lover of wisdom is indifferent to power, plus it just brings a plague of sham philosophers, similar to how widespread access to higher education has caused an epidemic of worthless Ph.D.s and idiot professors.

In his Language of the Self, Schuon has a chapter on The Meaning of Caste. It's a very unAmerican idea, but then again no, because our founders were quite aware of the natural -- not hereditary -- aristocracy, and intended to create a system which would redound to their leadership without having to impose it on anyone. If one must be ruled, who doesn't want to be ruled by the best people -- as opposed to being ruled by people who pretend to be better than us?

For example, George Washington is a better man than I. Barack Obama -- or Joe Biden, or John Kerry, or Harry Reid on down -- only pretends to be.

"In its spiritual sense," writes Schuon, "caste is the 'law' or dharma governing a particular category of men in accord with their qualifications. It is in this sense, and only in this sense, that the Bhagavad-Gita says: 'Better for each one is his own law of action, even if imperfect, than the law of another, even well applied. It is better to perish in one’s own law; it is perilous to follow the law of another.” For example, it is dangerous for Lileks to pretend at home repair. He may fool himself, but he doesn't fool the expert.

Again, think of all the societal problems caused by intellectuals who aren't wise, holy men who aren't holy, military people who aren't warriors, etc. Yes, in America you can be -- or at least pretend to be -- anything you want, but it doesn't mean you should be. Should women be warriors? Should homosexuals? Our society has become so deranged that it is no longer permissible to even ask such questions.

Of the castes, "There is first of all the intellective, speculative, contemplative, sacerdotal type, which tends towards wisdom or holiness; holiness referring more particularly to contemplation, and wisdom to discernment." (Bear in mind that in our upside-down world, an Al Sharpton or Fred Phelps or Jesse Jackson or Deepak Chopra or Jeremiah Wright are all certified holy men.)

"Next there is the warlike and royal type, which tends towards glory and heroism; even in spirituality -- since holiness is for everyone -- this type will readily be active, combative and heroic, hence the ideal of the 'heroicalness of virtue.'" (Typical miscaste knights would be Colin Powell, Wesley Clark, or John Kerry.)

The knightly type possesses "a keen intelligence, but it is an intelligence turned toward action" as opposed to contemplation and speculation. Here I am again reminded of a George Washington, for the strength of this type "lies especially in his character; he makes up for the aggressiveness of his energy by his generosity and for his passionate nature by his nobility, self-control, and greatness of soul." That's GW.

"The third type is the respectable 'average' man: he is essentially industrious, balanced, persevering; his center is love for work that is useful and well done, and carried out with God in mind; he aspires neither to transcendence nor to glory -- although he desires to be both pious and respectable -- but like the sacerdotal type, he loves peace and is not interested in adventures; a tendency which predisposes him to a contemplativeness conformable with his occupations."

The majority of men are of this nature -- happy so long as they are productively employed and able to support their families. My father was like this. There is certainly nothing wrong with it. To the contrary, the whole system would fall apart without such individuals, who are selfless in their own way. Which is another reason why Obama's devaluation of work is so sinister -- as if everyone should be writing poems and novels. This will only result in more bad poetry and literature than we already have.

"Lastly there is the type that has no ideal other than that of pleasure in the more or less coarse sense of the word; this is concupiscent man who, not knowing how to master himself, has to be mastered by others, so that his great virtue will be submission and fidelity."

I think you see the problem. Liberals pander to caste four, those with "no ideal other than that of pleasure," and who either do not or cannot master themselves. These masterless men now presume to be our masters, so the world order is truly inverted.

In fact, I'm afraid it's even worse than that, for the lowest caste -- or out-caste -- is composed of those who are completely outside the human system, so to speak. Perhaps you've never met one, in which case you are either sheltered or lucky. These are human beings who possess no "homogeneous nature," but rather, are chaotic and mercurial. They exhibit "a tendency to realize psychological possibilities that are excluded for others" -- in other words, they engage in things you or I wouldn't dream of. They are prone to "transgression" and find "satisfaction in what others reject."

Maybe I'm just sensitive, but I have always been aware of this type of person, and instinctively stayed away. However, they can be charismatic; think of a Charles Manson, or Adolf Hitler, or any number of celebrities and entertainers. Schuon writes that such individuals are capable "of anything and nothing," and are laws unto themselves. John Lennon was of this nature: if he hadn't been a musician he would have been a criminal or parasite.

God help us when the miscaste and uncaste organize into a voting bloc. Not for nothing does the Obama administration vehemently oppose any reasonable effort to reduce voter fraud, and now proposes to repeal laws that prohibit millions of felons from voting. Naturally they frame it in terms of racial demagoguery, but "Caste takes precedence over race because spirit has priority over form; race is a form while caste is a spirit" (Schuon).


Blogger julie said...

But it has never occurred to me that teaching some predigested course to a bunch of adolescent mediocrities would suit my temperament.

Especially these days, when ( so it seems) each successive class of students comes in with less and less actual knowledge, and more and more fragile self esteem...

2/19/2014 09:15:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

It wouldn't be a privilege but a horror.

2/19/2014 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

The miscaste control the universities.

2/19/2014 09:29:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Catch and release outcaste pirates and terrorists. But nail D'Souza's ass!

2/19/2014 09:31:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

"Should women be warriors? Should homosexuals? Our society has become so deranged that it is no longer permissible to even ask such questions."

Not reminded of the warrior caste but rather more caste in general. Was flipping through the internets and tumbld across this article recently that I think may require the Raccoon as caste to even listen to the "ask[ing of] such questions":

A case against heterosexuality.

2/19/2014 09:31:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Interesting article. He does have a point, there; it would certainly be simpler to step away from the question of whether a church is anti-gay, which of course rejects certain persons, and instead to simply state that a church is anti-sodomy, which is simply a set of behaviors.

Of course, the downside of that is that by some definitions, many if not most heterosexual acts these days would be considered sodomy...

2/19/2014 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Yes, I should only be interested in what God means by sodomy (not an easy task, admittedly) or sins in the "sex department". I think it's worth further study.

I tend to think on the scale of human sins, it's not as bad as many. And that as the author claims, matter no more or less if one is homo or hetero.

However, I think a good portion of his point is what harm it does to the soul to self-identify with an act. "I am not my sin," as he says.

Plus the part he talks about thinking one has a free-pass by recognizing ones self as hetero. Or rather, one doesn't even think it.

2/19/2014 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I think the issue should revolve around the sacred and intrinsic cosmic polarity of male and female. But in a culture in which men are women and women are men, it hardly matters if homosexuals pretend to marry. Once sexual differences are effaced, human differences follow, e.g., our difference from the animal world.

2/19/2014 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

In short, it takes an awful lot of societal effort to miscaste a man as a woman, and vice versa, instead of doing what comes naturally. Likewise to miscaste two members of the same sex as "married."

2/19/2014 10:51:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

True that.
Can't remember if it was on Ace but the blog mentioned some state's group trying to get rid of the state issuing marriage licenses altogether. The state never should have gotten involved (or allowed to) was the point. Since how can the state bless anything.

2/19/2014 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Had that conversation with a family member once. And I was trying to make the case that even the Church has no authority to bless same-sex marriage, never mind the state. Where can we point to scripture and say, here is where it says it is blessed. Since the family member was trying to change my mind about it, I said, what you want I can't give.

2/19/2014 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I think some things are so much a matter of common sense that there is no need to defend them. Or at least was. Trying to defend heterosexual marriage is like trying to prove that eyes can see before you are permitted to look at anything.

2/19/2014 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Look, my son is eight, almost nine. He has no animus toward homosexuals, but he certainly knows it is crazy to imagine two men could be married. There are some things human beings know instinctively -- there's a whole list, for example, the difference between life and non-life, or human and animal. Such things can only be unlearned, and doing so takes a lot of effort.

2/19/2014 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Re. the state's interest in marriage, I always assumed the state got involved, initially, because of the contractual aspects, especially as regarding inheritance, etc. Then of course once taxes come into play, the state has even more of an interest, which of course it uses to start trying to control human behavior.

That said, I have seen some proposals for getting around the state's meddling, for instance when it comes to deciding who is eligible for certain types of benefits. When marriage becomes a fiscal liability, it is easy enough to get a state-sanctioned "divorce" while still maintaining a Church-sanctioned and officially recognized marriage. I've heard of people doing this in order to be eligible for certain medical procedures, such as transplants.

All that said, you also have a good point, Rick: there are plenty of "marriages" that aren't really so and maybe never were, and there are others who are married even though they never seek official recognition. Ultimately, like the state of one's soul, the truth of the situation is known essentially only to the spouses, whatever their officially recognized title, and God.

2/19/2014 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

@Bob - yes, exactly.

2/19/2014 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Why do homosexuals insist on calling it "marriage"? That's what bothers me, because it speaks to a breathtaking level of denial and fantasy, and then forcing society to accept the fantasy. Just give it a different name.

2/19/2014 11:22:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

If I were homosexual I would have no problem whatsoever calling a committed relationship by a different name, because it IS different. Simple as.

2/19/2014 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Agreed; I think plenty of people who are opposed to gay marriage see no problem whatsoever with civil unions that confer all of the same benefits. It's the demand that language be perverted to fit their own image that so many people find problematic.

2/19/2014 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Another *ironic* example of the left denying diversity, i.e., the differences between heterosexual and homosexual relationships.

2/19/2014 11:26:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

'zactly. They can't give it a different name. Because what is wanted is that it is "just as good".

My guess, anyway.

The love between of course is good. I think the author makes that point when talking about superficial same-sex friendships (or the lack of deep ones).

2/19/2014 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Form your article, Bob. laughoutloud!:

"I tried to redirect the violence in the play by having my dinosaurs offer friendship and joint living in a cave."

Did she say joint?

2/19/2014 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

A lot of mothers are just that clueless. The war on boys is (naturally) quite passive-aggressive.

2/19/2014 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Many of them seem to regard my son as some kind of barbarian. Which he is. Like his dad.

2/19/2014 11:40:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I like the line by Harvey Mansfield: that one must be a man prior to being a gentleman, otherwise it means nothing. I know how hard it is for my son to behave, which makes me all the more proud of him.

2/19/2014 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Everyone should listen to the relationship expert Allison Armstrong when she's on Prager's show four times a year. She is a savant when it comes to insight into male and female natures. Furthermore, I don't believe she has any professional training, which proves my point about innate caste.

2/19/2014 11:47:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

To paraphrase UF: we have gorillas so that we know what a man is.

2/19/2014 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

re Allison Armstrong, looks like there are some youtubes to check out.

2/19/2014 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...


Re. Barbarian boys, I'm reminded of a time last fall when mine was playing outside. I went to check on him, and he (naturally) had a stick, which he was using to make war on the shrubberies. Asked what he was doing, he replied, "I'm just smashing things!"

I did ask him to go easy on the plants (they can't fight back), and just smash the fence or the ground instead, but of course that wasn't as exciting...

2/19/2014 12:02:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I have no idea if Armstrong is as good without Prager than with him, but he certainly seems to draw out her best.

2/19/2014 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Gagdad said "Such things can only be unlearned, and doing so takes a lot of effort."

Yes it does, and it ain't cheap either, have you seen the cost of college tuition lately?

2/19/2014 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Gagdad said "Why do homosexuals insist on calling it "marriage"?"

I don't think homosexuals as such do, political activists do, and in particular those with a hyper egalitarian, anti-hierarchical, bent do, and they are pleased as bunch to do so under the brand name of the most popular new victim class, 'homosexual'.

2/19/2014 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Van, re. tuition you aren't kidding. Instapundit had a link to an article yesterday about a girl who became a porn star to cover the costs of her freshman year. The first commenter astutely noted,

"Once upon a time, parents sent their daughters to college so that they would not have to take off their clothes for money."

2/19/2014 03:26:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

I've been listening to some Prager and Armstrong on youtube. Very good stuff. I guess if nothing else it makes me realize that bachelorhood has probably always been where I'd end up. I simply don't have it in me to really understand. Even with Armstrong's insights.

Maybe it a form of autism on my part but it all seems just so byzantine and mildly insane. It's actually quite depressing.

Whatever it may be there seems to be more and more men like myself all the time. In fact, now in middle age I try to stay away from most women the best I can--which wasn't how I was, or wanted to be, when young. Granted the fact that I live in a hyper-lefty/feminist small city may also have something to do with it.

Increasingly it seems that for me dealing with women is simply a matter of when the bomb is going to explode. Not if, but when. Like those cliched scenes in cop movies where they have to cut the blue wire or the red wire to prevent a devastating exploding. But which wire you need to cut changes from second to second. "If you loved me, you'd just know!" Huh?

I say this with little or no rancor, but much bewilderment. So, I welcome any and all criticism or words of wisdom--or none at all for that matter. Or even a "get thee to a hermitage!".

2/19/2014 04:41:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Jack, if it makes you feel any better I find a lot of female behavior baffling, too. But then, I'm a little weird :)

2/19/2014 04:45:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...


Believe it or not, the fact that you make the thoughtful, cogent and insightful comments you do here on OC has long impressed upon me that not *every single woman* is utterly baffling and seemingly purely emotionally driven.

I mean that as the highest compliment.

2/19/2014 04:57:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Thanks, Jack :)

I'd offer advice on how to find someone who's a little more levelheaded than average, but if I knew that, I'd probably have more friends. All I can suggest is you might be better off looking for an introvert than an extrovert, and maybe someone who doesn't focus much on outward displays; for instance, someone who dresses not to stand out, but rather to blend in. Of course, almost by definition that makes us tougher to spot...

2/19/2014 05:27:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...


I agree on the merits of finding an introvert. Though as something of one myself, I often wonder how two introverts find each other.

It's as if one declaimed, "Introverts of the world unite!" and expected someone to show up.

2/19/2014 06:10:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...


Yeah, I met mine in college, when we lived in the same dorm and there were only about 15 other students. Plus that was 20 years ago. I have no idea how people do it now.

2/19/2014 06:38:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

It's madness out there!

There is an article from a few years back in the Weekly Standard about dating etc entitled "The New Dating Game". Basically, we've entered the new paleolithic.

2/19/2014 06:53:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hi Jack,
The only thing that worked for me was to give up looking for the right lady.

Doesn't make much sense (or perhaps it makes complete semse) but once you get out of your own way the sailin' gets a wee bit easier.

2/20/2014 06:03:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

In light of Bob's post:
Don't attempt to caste the flick you are in yourself.
Let the CSA do that part and there's a greater chance your film will be successful.

2/20/2014 06:10:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Bob, the Armstrong / Prager interviews are great. She is amazing - my eyes popped-out a few times at how right she really is. Really struck home, I mean, on some things I "knew" but never recognized. She really has a knack for explaining the woman side; making it understandable I mean, to at least this man. It's as if she is bilingual (can speak womanese and manese). I can "hear" the manese. As to whether women can understand the manese, I can't say. There was one woman caller who didn't buy what she was selling. But it seemed Armstrong got her to come around. Also, she seems to be able to answer any question Prager asks; no matter how far back he goes looking for causes.

I'll have to see if the interviews make an impression with my wife. I'm curious about the Valentines Day interview (Armstrong thinks it's a disaster of a holiday) mainly because in the case of my wife and I, we seem to be reversed in roles as Armstrong depicts them.

Also, her voice sounds remarkably like Sarah Jessica Parker.

2/20/2014 08:15:00 AM  
Blogger Jack said...


Those are both well considered points. To some degree I have tried to implement them both. I could do better with listening to prompts from central caste-ing.

2/20/2014 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Julie, have you listened to any of the Armstrong/Prager interviews? And if so, were they insightful to you from a woman's perspective? (I mean, did they tell you anything you didn't already know about men or yours in particular)
I'm going to ask my wife, but it's difficult to extrapolate from one data point.
Bob, how about Mrs G?

The database metaphor is throwing me. I don't think my wife keeps one. Then again, I may have just proved her point.

2/20/2014 02:14:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Rick, that's a good question. I did listen to the five-minute version of the Valentines Day episode today, because you had mentioned it. Would have listened to more, but the kids make it tough.

Anyway, re. the database, it's tough for me to say. I don't think I work quite the way she says; in fact, in my house I'd say I probably have a much harder time with the whole gift-giving thing than he does, and I'm famous for being oblivious to the things a lot of women tend to notice, like haircuts or new shoes. My brain is like flypaper, in some ways, but often the things that stick are completely useless from a romantic perspective.

That said, I think in broad generalities she's absolutely right. Women have a bad habit of assuming that other people, especially those they love, should be able to read their minds. I've seen it again and again; a friend will be deeply unhappy about something, and when I ask if she's talked about why she's unhappy with her partner (or whoever it is; could just as easily be a sister, for instance), she'll say something to the effect that the other person ought to know - either through nonverbal cues, or through vague hints, or pretty much any means but just coming out and saying what she needs. And they're genuinely hurt that the other person doesn't know.

Somehow, I learned early on that of course, that doesn't work. If there's anything that important, it's better to just come out and say it instead of assuming the other person can read your mind. Even if they know you so well that they pretty much can read your mind.

2/20/2014 04:40:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

In my case, Armstrong's ideas were in the context of having listened to Prager for many years, and one of his themes has always been male-female relations. His ideas were a real revelation at the beginning, since they were so contrary to all the cultural indoctrination that men and women are basically the same. Quite liberating -- felt like a cat who has only tasted kibble finally getting to eat real meat. Or something like that. It's mainly a combination of politically incorrect common sense and religion-based wisdom. As for Armstrong, I've mainly noticed how she is able to intuit extremely subtle expressions of male and female nature. For me, she puts into words the unthought known.

2/20/2014 04:56:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I also picked up a few things from listening to the crazy-wise Roy Masters, although there's an awful lot of crazy you have to filter out. Still, wisdom is wisdom.

2/20/2014 04:59:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

For me, she puts into words the unthought known.

Yes, that's a great way of putting it. I haven't been able to listen to talk radio for a couple of years, but that was definitely one of the great things about listening to Prager. It was good to have someone verify what I already knew, especially since so many people didn't seem to get it.

2/20/2014 05:02:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Thanks, Julie, Bob.

Yes, it's her ability to "intuit extremely subtle expressions". I never would have thought about the subtle things being a matter of us thinking in different ways -- such as how she says her environment speaks to her like the trash is demanding it be taken out vs men being linear and internal and rather not interrupt what they're doing at the moment because they are accomplish-focused. Or however she put it.

In my case I like to maximize the efficiency of the trash bag. I'm not kidding.

And the taking things personal but not saying anything. Hell, I do that.

2/20/2014 05:53:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

I was raised on Limbaugh and never listened to Prager 'cep a clip here and there. So some new lightbulbs in here. It's pretty obvious Prager is quite taken by her abilities.

2/20/2014 05:56:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Roy Masters. Never heard of him. Lots of crazy? Gonna need some guidance on what to listen to then, if you may..

2/20/2014 05:58:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Re. the taking things personally, I was thinking about that a bit more. Honestly, I think almost everyone does it, male and female, to some degree; they make the mistake of thinking that other people process things in the same way they do. It's just that the things that bother them tend to be diametrically opposed.

2/20/2014 06:04:00 PM  

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