Thursday, July 17, 2014

Why I Am Right and Everyone Else is Wrong

Continuing with yesterday's post, we were talking about the Science of the Real, or of the highest Metacosmic Truths accessible to common sense.

Which, by the way, I think is an interesting and exciting subject. I don't really understand why everybody else isn't interested, because one would think it would be the first thing on the human agenda, i.e., exactly WTF is going on down here?!

True, there are philosophers, but they constitute a tiny minority, plus they are almost all ridiculously wrong -- just philodoxers in disguise, in love with their own blather.

That's a pretty bold statement, Bob. What, you're smarter than all those luminaries?

Well, in our day and age, we have been trained to believe that truth is inaccessible to man, and that the best we can do is come up with clever and complicated systems of conjecture, which are always contradicted by the guesswork of some other tenured ape.

Thus, if you take a university philosophy course, you will be treated to a survey of the considered opinions of all the usual suspects, from the pre-Socratics to the postmoderns, leaving you in a dispirited, disillusioned, and defeated muddle. For without truth there is no hope, not even hope for hope.

As always, humans hunger for truth. We are epistemophilic to the ground, and yet, we are told before we even begin the human adventure that no object corresponds to this drive.

Imagine if we were all tormented by a sex drive, with no corresponding object. Imagine a world in which half the population consists of normal males, the other half clones of Sandra Fluke. If such were the case, we would have every right to call God a sadist and existence absurd.

And make no mistake: existence is either a reflection of truth, or it is absurd. God or nihilism. There is no other rational choice, and the sooner one admits it, the better. Either you are living in a fantasy for believing man may know Truth; or you are living in a fantasy for not so believing.

How have we arrived at this parched world of hollow men? Two ways, one vertical, the other horizontal. The first is simple rejection of transcendence, or the blind reenactment of Genesis 3. The second -- the horizontal -- consists mostly of crude repetition and violent pressure to conform.

This repetition is both verbal and nonverbal, and the latter is the more dangerous because it is implicit and pervasive in the culture. It goes to Breitbart's Axiom that politics is downstream from culture. It is as if everything about the culture is designed to not even confuse you, but to inculcate passive acceptance of pneumatic disorder as normative.

It reminds me of Evan Sayek's famous lecture on how the left first undermines judgment and discrimination, which results in an inverted world in which these become identified with moral turpitude. In the world of the left, judgment is judgmentally condemned, which results in a disconnect between the soul and truth. The disconnect is then enforced via political correctness, which someone called a War on Noticing. For example, if you notice the banality that it is impossible for two men to marry, you are a HATER.

So, someone is wrong on this question of whether man may know Truth. And if we want to be strictly logical about it, to insist there is no truth is to of course posit the truth of that statement. Yes, but is it a trivial truth? I don't see how, because to know any truth is to enter a transcendence in need of explanation.

Every secular humanist, every materialist, every leftist, every postmodernist, is just wrong, wrong, wrong, irrespective of how brilliant they and their disciples think they are. For the human longing for truth does have an object, which we call O. Which we will now proceed to explore, if not occupy.

As alluded to in yesterday's post, there is Truth and there are the diverse ways of expressing it. It seems that people become confused by this diversity, as if it implies that truth itself is "diverse."

Not so. For example, put ten people in a room, and each one will have a different view. We do not conclude from this that there exist ten different rooms; rather, there is just the one room seen from different perspectives.

Let's also stipulate that the ten people are diverse: there are men and women, intelligent and stupid, different languages and cultures, different developmental stages, etc. Doesn't matter. It's still one room.

Likewise, it is One Cosmos. Here again, we all implicitly recognize this, or we wouldn't even bother to try to communicate. Indeed, if multiplicity were the ground of existence, then communication itself would be strictly impossible, because there would be no common, implicit substratum of meaning and reality. Frankly, to say "cosmos" is to say God, but let's take it nice and easy and enjoy some stops along the way, shall we?

Where do we start? It seems that we have two pairs of possibility: we can begin with multiplicity or unity; and we can begin with the subject or the object.

Don't fall for his trick! For it is always both: multiplicity implies unity, just as unity implies multiplicity. Likewise, there can be no object without a subject who apprehends it, nor any subject without objects to apprehend. In a word: complementarity, or, if you prefer, orthoparadox.

Schuon writes that "In metaphysics, it is necessary to start from the idea that the Supreme Reality is absolute." This is the Principle of principles, but you don't have to accept it. Again, you can affirm the opposite -- that the supreme reality is relativistic. But then you can stop, because the game is over. Congratulations, you've lost! But only forever.

I do have some slight disagreements with Schuon at this juncture, again, because of the Advaita Vedanta vs. Trinity thing, but we can agree that the Absolute must also by definition be Infinite. There are different ways to conceptualize or visualize the absolute. It is, as Schuon describes, "reflected in space by the point or the center; in time by the moment or the present," "in form, by the sphere," and "in number, by unity" (in other words, all numbers are multiples of one).

Think about this for a moment: each of these is a profound mystery, i.e., center, moment, unity. Each needs to be explained, not simply assumed. How is it, for example, that every human being is a unified subjective center of the cosmos, in each and every moment? Because we are the image and likeness of the Absolute, that's why. Our center is His Center (although His Center is not our center, if you catch my drift).

Many of Meister Eckhart's juiciest comments go to this reality. Let's see if I can dig one out.

--Every single creature is full of God, and is a book about God.

--The eye with which I see God is the same eye with which God sees me.

--Wherever I am, there is God.

--Being is God's circle, and in this circle all creatures exist.

--It is a joy to God to have poured out the divine nature and being into us, who are divine images.

--Outside of God there is nothing but nothing, and The divine one is a negation of negations.

--For you ask me: Who is God? What is God? I reply: Isness. Isness is God. Where there is isness, there God is. Creation is the giving of isness by God.

Those will do. As for me, it's the end of isness and the start of business. To be continued.

27 Comments:

Blogger Magister said...

This morning as I walked the dog, I passed a field full of wildflowers. The sun was just then rising above the trees, and the field was full of that green spicy smell one sense from cornflowers and tall grass. From the very tops of the flowers emerged (I kid you not) beautifully precise volutes of steam, as well-defined as smoke rising from an ashtray. Only it wasn't smoke, but the morning mist. The landscape was utterly still, and the cardinals were whistling from the trees.

Moments like these make me grateful to be alive.

7/17/2014 09:20:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

I don't really understand why everybody else isn't interested, because one would think it would be the first thing on the human agenda, i.e., exactly WTF is going on down here?!

Yes, just so. Once I finally pulled my head out of my nether regions and realized that atheism cannot possibly be true, it seemed obvious that the most important thing one could do in life is to find out the Who? and Why??

In truth, I'm somewhat baffled that more people don't do just that.

7/17/2014 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I'm pretty sure that in my case a prerequisite wasn't necessarily intelligence but just outsider status. I've always run counter to the culture, whatever the culture, starting with the family I was dropped into. Not their fault, but I certainly didn't fit in.

As Russell Kirk emphasizes, in these matters, imagination is more important than intelligence. If the imagination can be successfully killed off -- as it is in public education and college -- then intelligence can never get over the cosmic hump.

7/17/2014 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I like this: "it is the writing of the verse that produces whatever delights or interests or facets that are going to catch the light. The cutting of the gem has to be finished before you can see whether it shines."

And "another definition of poetry is dawn -- that it’s something dawning on you while you’re writing it. It comes off if it really dawns when the light comes at the end." "You’ve got to be the happy discoverer of your ends."

The Light -- or Life -- is implicitly there, but it is up to us to capture and reflect it.

7/17/2014 09:50:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

So, Why do intelligent people believe such dumb things? Maybe because they are the most indoctrinated into relativism, or perhaps the death of imagination and religion gives rise to magical thinking.

7/17/2014 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger John Lien said...

I don't really understand why everybody else isn't interested, because one would think it would be the first thing on the human agenda, i.e., exactly WTF is going on down here?!

Once you start on this track you can't go back.

I've realized other persuits are diversions, ok to have in moderation but you gotta keep your eyes on the prize.

You shared a quote last week, I believe, about the futility, (sin?) of engaging in the mental grind. Just grinding with no goal.

That one hit me.

7/17/2014 10:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every secular humanist, every materialist, every leftist, every postmodernist, is just wrong, wrong, wrong, irrespective of how brilliant they and their disciples think they are. For the human longing for truth does have an object, which we call O.

All those things you name derive their existence from the fact that the traditional institutions that claimed to have the authoritative representation of Ultimate Truth were demonstrably wrong, wrong, wrong, not to mention corrupt and reactionary.

So the general thrust of the postmodern is not that there is no Truth but that it is generally not to be approached directly, and that nobody has a monopoly on it. And when somebody claims to speak for Truth, you better keep an eye on your wallet.

7/17/2014 11:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Is that true?

7/17/2014 11:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

And why are you looking at my wallet?

7/17/2014 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Well, it's certainly true of Deepak Chopra, or Tony Robbins, or Dr. Oz...

Speaking of why smart people believe dumb things. Though to be fair, a lot of people who think of themselves as smart seem, on the whole, to be kind of dumb. Or maybe just naive, or credulous. I dunno. Anyway, not prone to making wise decisions, nor prone to having a strong grasp of reality and how things work.

7/17/2014 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Just consider all these intelligent young people who spend all that money in order to obtain worthless degrees in made up subjects.

Amazing how the left is simultaneously so cynical and credulous.

7/17/2014 01:10:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I have a worthless degree in a made up subject -- Radio-TV-Film -- but at least it only cost me $105 per semester back in the day.

7/17/2014 01:12:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Heh - me too: Painting. Good for getting me a job in a small number of service industry positions. It was more expensive, but not by a whole lot. Thank goodness for state schools!

7/17/2014 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Now I wish I had majored in Leisure Studies, because it would be such an enduring source of humor.

Yes, you can major in Leisure Studies at CSUN. Check out some of the rigorous subjects: Recreation & Leisure in, Recreation & Community Development, Promotion of the Recreation Experience, Models of Play, Recreation & Leisure, and Challenges in Leisure Services.

Challenges, like when the batteries go dead in the TV remote control.

7/17/2014 01:21:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

It's a self fulfilling profit-o-misosophy, once you've declared that you've fallen out of love with Wisdom, and filed for divorce, no longer are you held to such mundane things as Philosophy, Literature and the like... phonebooks couldn't hold the number of 'studies' that can be proclaimed as valid! And necessary! And for Credit Hour$! Imagine the Degree$ just waiting to be peddled!

And who's going to say they're wrong? According to what! Fool, you're 'Ultimate Truths were demonstrably wrong, wrong, wrong, not to mention corrupt and reactionary'! Ha! Pay u$ & UP!

7/17/2014 02:44:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Listening to God is just good isness.

7/17/2014 04:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

There's no isness like O isness like no isness I gno...

7/17/2014 04:45:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Gagdad Bob said...
I have a worthless degree in a made up subject -- Radio-TV-Film -- but at least it only cost me $105 per semester back in the day."

I think it's been rather helpful when you weave that knowledge into your bloggin'.
For instance, when you were riffin on Batman, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, The Big Lebowski, To name a few that was very helpful to me.

7/17/2014 04:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

I'm eagerly awaitin' Cap'n Bob's take on Big Trouble In Little China.
Is that a great flick or what?

7/17/2014 04:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a self fulfilling profit-o-misosophy, once you've declared that you've fallen out of love with Wisdom, and filed for divorce,

You strike me as kind of a stalker of wisdom. She's told you politely but firmly that she isn't interested, but you persist in hanging about in her vicinity pretending to an non-existent intimate relationship.

She's just not that into you.

7/17/2014 05:05:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Sounds like yer short on electrolytes again, anon.

7/17/2014 05:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

At least he's finally speaking from experience.

7/17/2014 05:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Skully said...

Indeed he is Cuz, and he's projectin' his experience onto Bob so he can feel better about his own failures in that dept..
No doubt an extension of anon's wymyn troubles.

7/17/2014 08:41:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Every secular humanist, every materialist, every leftist, every postmodernist, is just wrong, wrong, wrong, irrespective of how brilliant they and their disciples think they are. For the human longing for truth does have an object, which we call O.

I ran across somebody's sig line that said something like, "Perception wins the battles. Reality wins the war."

Keynes quote about us all being dead in the long run actually seems to reinforce that idea.

7/18/2014 06:55:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Hey, there's a little bit of good news today: U.S. territories aren't subject to Obamacare. I must say, I quite liked visiting the US Virgin Islands the one time I was there. And hey, if you're going to flee, I can think of worse places than an Americanized island nation. Nice to dream, anyway...

7/18/2014 06:59:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

aninnymouse mewled "You strike me as kind of a stalker of wisdom."

Stalking the wild Wisdom, yep, that's me.

"She's told you politely but firmly that she isn't interested,"

That is true as well, Wisdom is not interested in man, man seeks her out because his Life itself depends upon her - without pursuing her, you'd be forced to accept what's Left.

" but you persist in hanging about in her vicinity..."

As closely as I can possibly get.

"... pretending to an non-existent intimate relationship."

Heh, I claim no relation to her but that of pursuer, knowing full well that what I see as being True, can always be found to be less true than that which is more deeply True, and there is no way to those depths than by further questioning what you know to be true. There is no Answer that I've found that I do not question still - Question, mind you, not doubt, Question - And... I'm not the one pretending that the any college "studies", the further from the most high, the better, are of value and worthy of popular praise and ca$h, and that a degree actually indicates 'knowing something'.

"She's just not that into you. "

And I am satisfied with loving her from afar.

You, on the other hand, are here, snidely praising your own ability to know more about what you claim can't be known to be true, praising the pursuit of physical sensations, the more gross and disintegrated the better. In the choice between pursuing what can never be fully caught up with, or frolicking in the gutter, you not only choose the gutter but seek with all that's in you to make Progress towards the sewer.

Newsflash aninny: That stink ain't perfume.

But then again, seeing as you've declared your independence from Truth... that's probably as close to a blessing as you're ever likely to receive. And not only that, it's really funny to watch you preen in it.

Comedy, it is golden.

7/18/2014 07:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Frank said...

I might add that a lady doesn't wander all over the room and blow on some other guy's dice. Why not let a gentleman see just how nice a dame you can be? I know the way you've treated other trolls you've been with, so Wisdom be a lady with me.

7/18/2014 08:21:00 AM  

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