Thursday, June 19, 2014

Iraq WMD Discovered in Oval Office

Well, at least Obama has finally settled the argument of whether we should have invaded Iraq. If only Bush had known in 2003 that our enemies possess an unsurpassed weapon of mass destruction: liberals. Is there anything they can't destroy? Military victory, hard drives, veterans, marriage, race relations, education, the Constitution, healthcare, borders, the economy...

Which is a thread -- and threat -- that runs through The Common Mind. That is, just as on the biological level, there are forces of integration and dis-integration on the psychic and cultural planes (or what Wilber would call the interior-individual and interior-collective dimensions; each is more verb than noun).

In order for something to be alive, it must engage in a continuous process of catabolism and anabolism, i.e., building up and breaking down. It's why we chew our food preparatory to assimilating it, or why we digest ideas so as to integrate them into our existing world view.

You need to take this quite literally. There is a whole school of psychoanalysis -- the correct one -- that essentially analogizes the mind to the digestive tract.

Where they get it wrong, in my opinion, is in reducing the mind to this, whereas it's really other way around: the digestive tract is the way it is because the psyche is the way it is, and ultimately because God is the way he is/are.

That is, a trinitarian view maintains that God IS a continuous process of giving and of assimilation. There is nothing "beneath" or "above" or "behind" this process. Rather, it is the Ultimate Reality. Therefore, every created thing will be a more or less distant fractal of the same process -- so long as it is Alive.

You could say that Death is the failure or prevention of this living process. Which is why one can detect Grim Death at work on the psychological, spiritual, political, and cultural levels no less than the biological.

BTW, this also explains why it is a Fundamental Error to elevate physics to our paradigmatic science, since this represents the complete inversion of the cosmos. You can't actually get from physics to biology -- much less psychology and theology. But it works fine the other way around. Relativity always implies the Absolute.

As we look around, it isn't difficult to notice the forces of disintegration. Indeed, things are always falling apart. And as they are doing so -- at least at first -- this can feel quite liberating.

Imagine if the law of gravity were suddenly suspended. What a thrill to float above the landscape below! But wait a minute... It's getting a little cold up here... and can someone open a window? Can't catch my bre... The end.

So, dis-order is always a temptation and a seduction. Remember the French revolution? Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, / But to be young was very heaven!

No doubt. But you might want to wait a couple of weeks before you write that one down. You never know. Events may overtake that sentiment. Naive enthusiasm can be nice, but don't lose your head.

Remember the Obama revolution? Bliss was it in that dawn to be a LoFo journalist, / But to be tenured was very heaven!

Yes, you could say that conservatism represents the anabolic process, liberalism the catabolic. Thus, a "pathological conservatism" would overemphasize order to the exclusion of change, while a pathological liberalism would do the opposite.

Which is one reason why I prefer the term "classical liberal," since it balances and harmonizes both trends. Our founders were classical liberals, in that they wished to conserve the very principles that facilitate ordered liberty (order without liberty and liberty without order being the ineradicable pests of history).

The healthy society -- like the healthy mind and body -- is "stable yet possesses the the means of change in the light of experience and circumstances." A truism, right?

No, not for the postmodern idiot who has no stable psychic ground except maybe resentment, and who has convinced himself that all order is just a Mask of Power.

Except when it's inconvenient to believe such BS. For example, the IRS only screwed up because it's underfunded! It had nothing to do with the violent machinery of state power preemptively persecuting those who would limit it.

This whole question of metabolism presupposes something to eat. And not just anything. Here again, there is appropriate and inappropriate nutrition at every level, things we should eat and things we should avoid entirely, otherwise Genesis would be just a diet book.

Which it is. It's like the old schoolyard joke: wanna lose ten pound of ugly fat in hurry? Cut off your head!

I suppose it will take the rest of my life to lose all the ugly fat I acquired as a result of my postgraduate diet of junk metaphysics, fast foolishness, and comfort reading.

Which is what these morning verticalisthencis, gymgnostics, and O-robics are all about: not just building the muscle, but tearing down the flab.

Today's bottom line: "Christian humanism is in a radical tension with the spirit of" postmodernism, "which in deconstructing texts finds an abyss at the heart of them. In the sense in which the postmodernist does the work of the devil, it is at the farthest remove from the creative function of literature."

And of everything else.

Now drop and give me twenty!


Blogger mushroom said...

There is nothing "beneath" or "above" or "behind" this process. Rather, it is the Ultimate Reality.

As an aside -- I owe you a lot, and I have learned a lot over the past six or seven years, but this Here and Now, Creation Is, Process understanding may be the most important.

6/19/2014 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Classical liberal is like a Jack Lelanne or Steve Reeves type of body builder.

Modern conservative is like Monk, a phobic OCD sufferer who hardly leaves the house hoping to "preserve" his health.

Modern liberal falls into two categories. One is the type that ends up weighing 800 pounds unable to any longer even get out their bedroom door. The other type is like the modern, grotesque, useless, steroid-shooting body-builder who destroys his health aiming only to be pointlessly "bigger".

6/19/2014 09:53:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"You need to take this quite literally. There is a whole school of psychoanalysis -- the correct one -- that essentially analogizes the mind to the digestive tract."

Preach it, brother!
My Benzymes have been working overtime lately. Good thing they are in a right to work mind or I might be goin' outta business.

6/19/2014 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Speaking of digestives tracts, I got leftose intolerance somethin' fierce.
Causes acid reflux and more gas than the Blazing Saddles bean eating scene.

6/19/2014 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

The healthy society -- like the healthy mind and body -- is "stable yet possesses the the means of change in the light of experience and circumstances." A truism, right?"

Aye. Leftists hate enlightenment. They want everyone to have black hearts.
Those of us who refuse to nurture a black heart are called racists.

6/19/2014 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Hey, I didn't say it, Camille Paglia did: "the female represents the chaotic and unreasoning aspect of humanity, vital for the survival of the species, fertile when husbanded, and insanely destructive when left unrestrained."

However, I did say that liberalism is pathological femininity, or like the ex-wife from hell.

There's a lot to this, if we think of the Absolute as the cosmic male principle, the Infinite as the cosmic female. Either alone becomes intrinsically pathological.

6/19/2014 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

Gives Shakespeare's hell hath no fury like a woman scorned (or unrestrained) an added punch!

6/19/2014 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

the female represents the chaotic and unreasoning aspect of humanity

Ha - now that I have one of each, I can confirm that this is true.

6/19/2014 01:21:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Though I would add that males do love their own sort of chaos...

6/19/2014 01:21:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Male chaos is more physical.

6/19/2014 01:35:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

"I suppose it will take the rest of my life to lose all the ugly fat I acquired as a result of my postgraduate diet of junk metaphysics, fast foolishness, and comfort reading."

I shudder at all the pc/leftist nonsense I absorbed while watching saturday morning cartoons; in K-12; certainly in college (though being in the music department insulated me to a degree); and having lived in a self-parodying ultra-leftist city most of my adult life.

Honestly, without the internet, I have my doubts whether I would have been able to cross the divide at all.

6/19/2014 05:16:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Julie said "Though I would add that males do love their own sort of chaos..."

Yes, or as we prefer to refer to them as: 'Babes'.


6/19/2014 08:47:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Waitaminute. What about the toothpaste cap and toilet seat thing? That's not chaos. That's excruciating order.

6/20/2014 04:41:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Sure, but just think of the chaos that is kept in check when the order is maintained! If you leave the cap off and the toothpaste forms that crusty goo or gets wet and slimy, or if you leave the seat up and her butt hits the water, you may as well just unleash the kraken.

6/20/2014 05:43:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Let me begin with my apology...

Oddly, I've never suffered from this disease. Not even for the last time. To me a toilet seat up is the same as walkin around with your barn door open. Universal Toots!

6/20/2014 06:05:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...


It's never been an issue here, either. My dad was bad that way, though; somehow I picked up that people do those things (or rather, that category of things, basically whatever little habits drive your partner nuts) for one of two reasons: obliviousness or passive aggression. And 99% of the time, I think it starts as obliviousness. In which case, after you ask the other to change a couple of times, if they still don't/ can't, you can either let it go and realize that there are more important things in life, or you can escalate it into a full-blown war.

I've never been very fond of war, myself.

6/20/2014 06:19:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Heh, my Grandma had a cure for little assaults upon civility such as leaving the seat up, she called it

"Go outside and fetch me a switch. Now."

Not able to close a door? Can't quite figure out how to close a toilet? Please & Thank You gotcha all mixed up?

Grandma had the solution. Guaranteed results.

6/20/2014 06:54:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Oh, indeed - trouble is, you can't really do that with an adult who never had such a grandmother...

6/20/2014 06:58:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Or worse, for whom such a grandmother was ineffective!

6/20/2014 06:59:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Rick: Females definitely tend toward micro order, whereas males tend toward macro order. For example, there are very few female philosophers, and not just because of discrimination. And I was about to say there are few female slobs, but that's not so true anymore. Nevertheless, there's something wrong about a slovenly woman, just as there's something odd about a guy that gets pedicures.

Speaking of order, I don't know if I can post under these unfastidious circumstances. Someone has moved my cheese again. It's the last blast of remodeling in the back end of the house, and my lair is directly in the path. So here I am at the kitchen counter, totally disoriented.

A first world problem of epic scale.

6/20/2014 07:56:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

In other news, Look, look! We totally found gravity waves from the Big Bang! Or maybe just some space dust.

Apparently, they don"t have enough women on the team to explain what "dirt" looks like...

6/20/2014 08:04:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Bob, re micro/macro order, was thinking it might matter whose eyes yer using. In other words, it all looks like macro-order to the beholder. In general.

6/20/2014 08:39:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes. We all need order to orient ourselves and explain things. It seems that men are driven more toward the abstract order of cosmology, theology, and metaphysics, whereas women are more oriented to interpersonal order, or at least order makes no sense to them without the human element.

6/20/2014 09:28:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

And when you think about it, the incarnational order of christology kind of appeals to both -- person is the ultimate order, and persons are intrinsically interpersonal.

6/20/2014 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

"or at least order makes no sense to them without the human element."

Dame Alice von Hildebrand would agree with you (if you watch(ed) that SITC interview I linked the other day..)

6/20/2014 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Speaking of neighborly love, did anyone watch Rectify last night? That last scene... very moving. Never saw that depicted so well on TV or film.

6/20/2014 10:09:00 AM  

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