Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Zig-Zag Wandering in the Wild Godhead

Religion -- and the truth it embodies -- would be inconceivable in the absence of the prior unity which it is "about."

Every philosophy too is about unity, but often -- especially in the fragmented postmodern world -- a flight from it. You could say that such philosophies are wholly reactionary, without ever acknowledging the unity to which they are reacting and from which they recoil.

This is not to say that such philosophies do not seek unity, but that is the problem. Instead of situating themselves in the nonlocal vector that leads the fragmented soul from illusion to truth and appearances to reality, they work to bring about their own impoverished substitute version of unity -- usually with force, since that is the only way to get people to order themselves to such top-down disorder.

We define the left as the political action wing of this demented metaphysic, e.g., diversity, multiculturalism, and relativism. How, you might ask, can we force disparate groups of human beings to live together -- to be "one" -- without any acknowledgement of the transcendent oneness that unifies them? With multiculturalism each culture is its own atomistic one, upon which we are expected to confer respect and dignity, irrespective of whether or not they are themselves in communion with the One.

Not only does this undermine any living basis for civic life, it gives official sanction to the elevation of systematic falsehood to a form of truth -- which is like claiming illness as another form of health, or blindness as a form of vision.

Which the left also does, of course: transsexuality and other perversions, obesity, promiscuity, envy, dependence, immaturity, Masculinity Deficiency Syndrome, Femininity Devaluation Hysteria, etc. Each of these is considered to be just as valid as its opposite, which is again an implicit assault on the unity of truth.

Our "political scripture" -- e.g., the Declaration and Constitution -- are documents that are supposed to give unified form to our political body. But the left easily makes hash of these, again destroying any possibility of unity except for that imposed by power, by the state. That is never unity, just a totalist fusion.

I suppose it's analogous to a sedimentary rock, which consists of countless disparate and independent granules compressed into an object. Look closely and you can see that the individual parts are quite different, and yet, they cannot escape the pressure of being objectified into anonymous rockhood. You know, like academia.

Speaking of which, a wise goodcrack by Edmund Burke about the tenured, found in this entertaining autobiography of Russell Kirk: paraphrasing, the man who hangs around a college after having been graduated is like a fellow who builds and stocks a ship, only to never leave port and set sail.

The loony idea that everyone should attend college has resulted, of course, in the need for exponentially more professors, way outstripping the supply of intellectual firepower, which is limited by genes, culture, family, the bell curve, and other factors. Thus, we have a permanent and ineradicable idiocracy that funnels the preposterous into the impressionable, resulting in this downward politico-cultural death spiral.

Just glancing at this chapter on Thomas More in The Common Mind. A character in his Utopia observes that "there is no place for philosophers among kings," to which the narrator replies, "Yes there is, but not for that academic philosophy which fits everything into place." Rather, there is "another, more sophisticated philosophy which accommodates itself" to the reality at hand, and "it is this philosophy that you should use."

Obama is just the latest example of government by Beautiful Theory applied to the wrong species. He is also a counter-example of our first duty, which is "to preserve, such a measure of unity, small or great, as the Christendom of their age has been able to inherit." But such unity is at odds with "the pressure of centralizing and absolutist power," with "the use of positive law for coercive purposes at variance with common law and natural law," and with "respectful use of our common language as opposed to the sophistical subversion of meaning."

Thus, as we have discussed in a number of posts, there are the two unities, one of which is invaluable (and the source of value), the other worthless (and the basis of nihilism, whether acknowledged or not). This is elucidated in Letter IX of Meditations on the Tarot, The Hermit, so I won't repeat the lesson.

Suffice it to say that there is a Light that is the prior source of all color, and a Darkness that results from the indiscriminate blending of all colors. The latter is the unity the left has been waiting for, and Obama is giving it to us, good and hard.

"Ignorant enthusiasm," wrote Kirk, "cannot remake the world." But it never stops trying. And just as there are critical truths "which no amount of mental effort could have produced," there are vital lies that no decent person could have imagined or foreseen. But that's our fault, because we need to balance the innocence of doves with the wisdom of snakes.

Interesting too that we are always zig-zag wanderers in our crookward movement toward the Light, whereas it is possible to plunge straight into darkness like an anvil dropped down a well. The Adversary is efficient that way, allowing gravity to do the work.


julie said...

"Ignorant enthusiasm," wrote Kirk, "cannot remake the world." But it never stops trying.

Yes, unfortunately. It wouldn't be so bad, if only it were the kind of ignorance willing and able to be swayed by experience and reality. Alas, it is more often concerned with, for instance, how the selfies will look on Facebook...

Reading the news, I'm reminded again and again of how our current culture seems to foster a cargo cult mentality. From government fiat to media approval, the outer trappings of whatever is good are foisted upon those who have done nothing to earn them, nor (quite often) have even the slightest understanding of what they are for or why they are good, in the assumption that somehow by giving a veneer of respectability to that which is ugly, foolish, wrong, or just plain evil, it will magically become good. Which is bad enough, but with the media's complicity the lofo voters may actually believe that it has worked; or rather, that there was ever any reason that such things were wrong in the first place.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Not only does this undermine any living basis for civic life, it gives official sanction to the elevation of systematic falsehood to a form of truth -- which is like claiming illness as another form of health, or blindness as a form of vision."

Lefties can see everything because of their double blind studies, you see.

Gagdad Bob said...

The left wants to confer the benefits of success without the formality of developing the habits and traits that result in it. Slight disconnect there.

Gagdad Bob said...

Or, they want to distribute wealth with no earthly idea of how it is created. "You didn't build that" implies a belief that government is a sufficient condition instead of just a necessary one (e.g., protecting private property and upholding the rule of law) for wealth creation.

Gagdad Bob said...

You know how the left habitually projects into conservatives some shady motive for their beliefs? I think one can legitimately do this with the left, because they always champion whatever philosophy or policy that JUST HAPPENS to result in more power to the state, whether Keynesian economics, AGW, state-mandated racial discrimination ("diversity"), "income equality," the "war on women," the minimum wage, public employee unions, and on and on. The only exception I can think of is the military, although they do want to use it to enforce social policy instead of self-defense.

julie said...

It has a twisted logic: having ensured that the veneers are in place, they assume that everything - especially that which is legitimate - is just as twisted and false as what they covered up. So it's not just that "you didn't build that," it's that they think that nobody has ever built anything, and that anyone who claims otherwise is just a liar.

It's as though, having flooded the market with counterfeit money, they believe it's the only kind of money there is, and it was ever thus. Or as though they all live in Potemkin villages, and so believe that all villages are just as fake.

mushroom said...

Instead of Zig-Zags the Left needs JOBs.

Magister said...

If we're talking about liberal academics in the humanities, in which most of the crazy inheres, I think it's worth speculating that many of them got into that line of work because they were risk-averse and didn't like competition. What they do understand, however, is the power of personal evaluation and all the anxieties (or neuroses) that go along with it.

Neurosis can last as long as tenure, and often does.

Paul Griffin said...

The left wants to confer the benefits of success without the formality of developing the habits and traits that result in it.

That's easy, just redefine the meaning of the word "success," and Robert's your father's wife. I know this constitues beating a dead horse around here, but there's no reality behind words for many people. The words ARE the reality, everything else is expected to fall into line once the words are redefined, and you're a bigot when you casually, maybe even helpfully, observe that things don't appear to work that way.

That's not so strange to me, what's strange is how few people notice that they are doing this. It's our culture's primary defence mechanism, and it's just the water we are (more and more forcefully) encouraged to swim in. it's as natural as breathing for so many. When reality wont play along, it's no wonder most people are so angry.

mushroom said...

... we are always zig-zag wanderers in our crookward movement toward the Light

That's true. It's never a good idea to stare straight into the sun. Then those who live in darkness eventually atrophy vision to the point of blindness. They cannot endure exposure to even the faintest suggestion of light.

Hissing cockroaches hurry-scurry for the comforting dark.

Magister said...

Seeing it all clearly, the Captain sang:

the pantalooned duck,
white goose neck, quacked
"webcore, webcore"

Or, flattened into academese:

The common duck, onto which we project our ("pantalooned") ridiculous ideas has a physical reality ("white goose neck") which the duck itself would express as intensely meaningful in, if you like, a kind of hard-core duck-footed naturalism, or "webcore."

I was once paid to write things like that.

Magister said...

Now here's a picture-perfect textbook example of what Bob means. Bjork (remember her?) is doing something pretty interesting as usual with an educational project she calls "Biophilia." Now, any sane person with the scantest knowledge of words would translate that word as "love of Life."

And yet David Attenborough, Celebrity Atheist with Authoritative-Seeming English Accent, won't have anything of the sort. He begins his introduction of the Biophilia project thus:


I suppose, in a universe flattened by Attenborough's atheism, one simply can't single out "Life" itself as a miraculous anomaly, and thus cause for wonder, celebration, and more dimensions dreamt of in his philosophy.

Back reality, back!

Gagdad Bob said...

If they ever discover life on another planet, no one will say, "nah, just a fetus."

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

If they do they would hafta change SETI to SETF.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Heck, it's hard enough finding intelligence on earth with buffoons like Attenborough crawlin' all over the place.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I see Happy Acres has been by, Bob.
Hello, Happy Acres guy!