Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Rebelling Against God and Darwin

If we're going to fall, we need a space in which to do so. This would be vertical space.

The fact that we fall provides the space with directionality. In other words, once we realize there is a down, this implies that there must be an up. We can also feel as if our lives are going nowhere, which implies being stuck at a certain level with no upward movement, just horizontal drift.

Now, I think everyone recognizes this space, even if they pretend to be otherthanwise. Even a nihilist wants to be a better nihilist than those other nobodies. Look at Nietzsche: he longed to be the superstud, even though I don't believe he ever kissed a girl.

Sometimes vertical space can be in-verted, so the person imagines that worse is better and lower is higher. Think of Miley Cyrus, who is convinced that if she can only debase herself a little more thoroughly, she will reach some sort of pinnacle of crudity. Why is this perfectionist so driven, so hard on herself?

These inverts think they are pushing the envelope when they are just being pulled by gravity. Being consciously unaware of vertical gravity, they don't realize that the whole point is to push back against it.

My son has been learning about space, so he knows that on the moon he could jump much higher, since gravity is only one sixth of what it is here. However, if we lived on the moon, our bones would be much thinner and our muscles much weaker. So, resistance breeds strength.

The same applies to vertical space, where adversity is the mother of evolution. Indeed, Obama didn't have to do anything for the world to know he is a weakling. He's a doctrinaire leftist, and that's enough. The notion of "San Francisco liberal" evokes the image of a flabby being devoid of substance because he lives in a world without restraint. As such, he never develops any vertical bone, muscle or sinew.

Some people think that religiosity is actually a covert form of surrender to vertical gravity. This is implicitly what they mean when they accuse us of, say, weakness, or intellectual cowardice, or an infantile need for security. I assure you that Bill Maher believes himself to be above you in vertical space, even while he categorically denies its existence.

Topping makes an interesting point, that scripture and tradition do not, as it were, chain us to the port, but rather, "serve as a fixed rudder" for our journey across an unknown sea.

I mean, you are free to build your own little dinghy and set off without a map, but it is doubtful that you'll get anywhere or even survive the trip. Or, you'll go "somewhere," just as you will if you put on a blindfold and get behind the wheel of your car.

At the top of vertical space is God. In my opinion, this is a necessary truth that should be self-evident. In other words, if there is a vertical scale, it has a top. The top is what conditions everything below, and allows us to know the hierarchy.

Conversely, to say there is no top is to say there is no truth and that all is relative. And if all is relative, there is only power. To the extent that there is truth or right, it can only be a cynical mask for power and might.

Schuon makes the soph-evident (which means as evident to wisdom as are material objects to the eye) point that "To say that man is the measure of all things is meaningless unless one starts from the idea that God is the measure of man, or that the absolute is the measure of the relative, or again, that the universal Intellect is the measure of individual existence."

For the same reason, "Once man makes of himself a measure, while refusing to be measured in turn, or once he makes definitions while refusing to be defined by what transcends him and gives him all his meaning, all human reference points disappear; cut off from the Divine, the human collapses."

Collapses into what? Yes, into nothing. But nothing is never empty. Rather, this is the Machiavellian or Nietzschean nothing of raw, amoral power.

To say that man uniquely partakes of the vertical and horizontal is to say that he is both free and determined. But freedom and determination exist in both modes. Our fundamental spiritual freedom is vertical, but this freedom would mean nothing without certain restraints, boundary conditions, archetypes, and final causes that help orient and vault us upward.

Horizontally we are restrained by such things as genes, culture, custom, and the like, but we are also "free" in the existential sense of being "condemned to nothingness."

This latter must be the conclusion of any honest atheist or materialist, in that the denial of vertical space means that man has this absurd and inexplicable freedom with which to do or be anything he wishes. There are no restraints except horizontal ones. Again, in this view freedom equates to nothingness, as Sartre well knew.

Schuon suggests that our determinacy and indeterminacy, our restraint and freedom, are iterations of Absolute and Infinite, respectively. Here again, this is something "everyone knows" by virtue of being human, even if they express it in a confused and garbled manner that generates absurdity.

For example, when some tenured yahoo claims that we have no free will and are completely determined by our genetic inheritance, that is Absoluteness in action.

Being that Absolute and Infinite are complementary, we must ask: where did the infinite go? It comes out in the doctrine of radical relativism, in which things are "good" merely by virtue of being instantiations of "diversity." In other words, since nothing can be judged on the vertical scale, infinite plurality takes the place of a vertical standard.

This leads to the absurdity of, say, Facebook providing users with 51 options for gender. The idea of male-female is rejected on vertical grounds, of course; but also on horizontal grounds. In other words, they don't just reject metaphysics and theology, but biology and natural selection as well.

So, if Darwin tries to claim you're a man or a woman, well, you tell Darwin to fuck off! Who does he think he is, God?

23 Comments:

Blogger Dougman said...

I know that drifting feeling all too well.
Adrift in a sea or just rolling down a river of spiritual life,
I cannot really tell at this time.

3/26/2014 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Look at Nietzsche: he longed to be the superstud, even though I don't believe he ever kissed a girl.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought the problem was that he did kiss a girl once, then ended up with syphilis...

3/26/2014 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

The idea of male-female is rejected on vertical grounds, of course; but also on horizontal grounds. In other words, they don't just reject metaphysics and theology, but biology and natural selection as well.

Bingo. They deny any constraints. Which means that they don't even have an absurcular field to stand on; convenient when it comes to defending their choice to deny reality, but then no wonder they are so dis-oriented. To have an up, there must also be a down and an around.

3/26/2014 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

Doh! I better check those gender defaults on my facebook profile.

3/26/2014 02:07:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

"These inverts think they are pushing the envelope when they are just being pulled by gravity."

It may be that they think they've discovered that they are innately gifted at such things.

Most people don't ever get to be good at falling because they never take the time to jump off a cliff!

They have courage!

Where other people cower in fear, they triumphantly embrace the risk that such journeys entail!

It's kind of like playing the lottery.

Except that nobody actually wins because there is no prize.


3/26/2014 03:16:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

"Look at Nietzsche: he longed to be the superstud, even though I don't believe he ever kissed a girl.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought the problem was that he did kiss a girl once, then ended up with syphilis..."

Don't harsh his mellow.

3/26/2014 03:18:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

On Nietzsche's love life: "Nietzsche was grotesquely incompetent at romance. Apparently, Nietzsche’s epic hipster mustache 'scared' women at the time. And that’s probably for the better, because Nietzsche also managed to contract syphilis at a brothel while he was still in college."

However, I have been given to understand that prostitutes draw the line at kissing, so I may still be right!

3/26/2014 03:50:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Oh, good point.

No wonder he was so bitter.

3/26/2014 03:54:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

I guess when it comes to prostitutes, a fellow can only get so much bang for the buck...

3/26/2014 03:57:00 PM  
Blogger ted said...

I never new about the the Robert Pattison book on rock music. Now, that looks like a great read, although I am sure he goes after some of my sacred cows!

3/27/2014 07:20:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

If we look at sex, drugs, and rock & roll as the postmodern vices, rock & roll is all I got left :)

3/27/2014 07:22:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Good line: "Sexual chaos begat family chaos, family chaos begat social chaos, social chaos begat economic chaos, economic chaos begat political chaos.

And "The benefits of license accrue mainly to the well-off and educated, who have the resources to make the most of their enjoyment of them; the costs accrue mainly to the poor, who cannot afford to live, economically or morally, beyond their means.

"Our so-called liberals find themselves in the queasy position of having created a moral culture that has destroyed millions of lives and many communities among the very disadvantaged people they claim to care most about, but they are incapable of criticizing a culture of license that none of them can imagine living without, even if they themselves are square as houses in their sexual habits."

****

This goes to yesterday's post -- it is as if absolute horizontal freedom is mandatory, which prolongs into infinite chaos at various levels, e.g., family, social, economic, and political.

And Ted: I have always regarded rock as spiritually liberating, so to me it is antithetical to the left. Totalitarians don't dance, they march.

3/27/2014 07:24:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

And no post today. The clock is against me.

3/27/2014 07:25:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Exceedingly ironic that blacks, who invented jazz, embrace its political opposite. But then, contemporary tastes run to music that requires only the medulla to appreciate.

3/27/2014 07:32:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Last night I was listening to the Clash with the boy (fantastic new remastering). The sometimes totalitarian politics goes completely under my head, because the sound is so liberating.

3/27/2014 07:39:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Besides, 170 bucks for the box set? Who do these anti-capitalists think they're fooling? This can't be reducing the income inequality between rich and poor rock musicians.

3/27/2014 08:11:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

Just about all rock musicians have been indoctrinated to the left's good intentions because they think with their feelings - hence the poetic/sentimental/heroic prose that they are able to manifest.

3/27/2014 08:13:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

That's why today's Millennials are all pirating the stuff.

3/27/2014 08:15:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

...And the artists make up for it by gorging the baby boomers (like yourself Bob)!

3/27/2014 08:16:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

And more often than not when somebody publicly rants about the evils of income inequality, they do it while reaping the rewards of capitalism.

***

From the National Review article,

"The benefits of license accrue mainly to the well-off and educated, who have the resources to make the most of their enjoyment of them; the costs accrue mainly to the poor, who cannot afford to live, economically or morally, beyond their means. Kate Moss can afford to be a single mother in her $20 million London townhouse."

I was just reading this morning the long (and seemingly laudatory) article about the guy who ran one of the big New York escort services, and his favorite girl. Relevant was this:

But what mattered most to Jason was “the vibe . . . the vibe of the NY Confidential brand” (there was franchising talk about a Philadelphia Confidential and a Vegas Confidential). To describe what he was going for, Jason quotes from a favorite book, The Art of Seduction, a creepily fascinating tome of social Machiavellianism, by Robert Greene.

Discussing “seductive place and time,” Greene notes that “certain kinds of visual stimuli signal that you are not in the real world. Avoid images that have depth, which might provoke thought, or guilt . . . The more artificial, the better . . . Luxury—the sense that money has been spent or even wasted—adds to the feeling that the real world of duty and morality has been banished. Call it the brothel effect.”


Everything was about the money and the illusion of happiness. Notable, too, was that with enough money one can buy a prostitute's kisses.

3/27/2014 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Article link here. It kind of reminds me of that scene in the beginning of Idiocracy when the Army guy gives his presentation about the wonders of a pimp's life.

3/27/2014 08:21:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

Speaking of sexual chaos begat family chaos, family chaos begat social chaos, etc., a surprising turn of events by, of all people, the French!

“We are in a crisis, of meaning, a moral crisis… And yet, within our reach, there is a reservoir, a bearer of meaning, of energy, of solidarity, of relationships: the family, the source of all the human and economic riches of the nation.”

3/27/2014 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I mean, you are free to build your own little dinghy and set off without a map, but it is doubtful that you'll get anywhere or even survive the trip. Or, you'll go "somewhere," just as you will if you put on a blindfold and get behind the wheel of your car."

Well said! There's a huge difference between building yer own dinghy to explore the vast see vs taking yer dinghy offf yer ship to explore a bit of bewildersee (oft times involuntarily, because the Admiral knows what's best for you).

At any rate, in the latter case you will return to yer ship...eventually be ause that's where the charts and nav aids are, and yer ship can withstand the storms as long as you listen to the AdmirO.

3/27/2014 03:14:00 PM  

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