Tuesday, November 11, 2014

You Shall Not Turn Theft Into Compassion

So, we're out in the bewilderness with the unholy trinity of tempter, temptee, and temptation. It's a true mirror image of reality, because, as in the Trinity, nothing here is forced. Just as God only "offers" his love, so too does the Tempter only offer the temptation. He always respects our free will, otherwise, where's the sport? So in this sense, Satan is not as destructive to our dignity as is the state.

The first temptation is, of course, to turn stones into bread. There is an excellent analysis of this in Meditations on the Tarot, which I'm sure we have discussed in the past. Let's see if I can track it down...

Well, there is this:

"'Lead us not into temptation' has obvious resonance with Jesus' forty days in the desert, just after his baptism. If baptism is the 'purification,' then temptation is the test of purity.

"And as we have discussed before, the adversary never forces the issue; he does not operate through coercion, like some mid-level government functionary, but through temptation.

"Temptation is the test of purity, and purity is the victory over temptation. The purifying 'fire' that occurs in the space between these two poles is our phoenishing school, allowing us to make ashes of our former selves.

"Temptation is etymologically related to stretch, so that it implies a kind of centrifugal pulling of ourselves outward, from the center to the periphery, from coon-centration ("coon central") to dissipation. The world itself is a giant test, an opportunity to challenge our ability to resist its seductions."

Then there is this:

"Appropriately, the temptations all ultimately flow from the violation of the first Commandment, in which God is pushed aside 'as secondary, if not actually superfluous and annoying' (Benedict).

"With this primordial (vertical) act, man inverts the cosmos and places himself at the top.... Doing so redounds to countless errors of every kind, e.g., cognitive, spiritual, philosophical, political, scientific, moral, etc.

"This cosmic inversion cannot fail to result in epic falls, for no house can be built upon sand. In replacing God with man, we necessarily replace truth with opinion, virtue with convention, and wisdom with tenure."

Now, the promise to turn stones to bread is the central promise of the left. It even has a technical name: the Keynesian Multiplier, whereby one can simultaneously feed the masses by stealing from them; it may be visualized as a vast circle of human beings, each with his hand in the next guy's pocket. Or perhaps using a bucket to remove water from one end of the pool and pour it into the other end.

As we expressed this infallible truth back then,

"One popular way to try to turn stones to bread is through the apparatus of the welfare state. In its case, it attempts to transform money obtained through coercion into compassion. But the state has only enumerated powers, not innumerable feelings." Or in other words, it mainly has a feeling for power. To paraphrase someone, when a liberal politician asks us for power to do good, it's usually wise to subtract those last three words.

Bottom lyin': The liberal fuses magical faith and raw power with an irony so thick that his own mind cannot penetrate it, so the self-deception -- the auto-pullwoolery -- is complete, and the totalitarian temptation is able clothe itself in mercy. (See, for example, Jonathan Gruber's candid acknowledgement that it was necessary for the state to lie to its stupid citizens in order gain the power to control their healthcare.)

Yes, for the statist, taxes are his eucharist and entitlements his benediction. His appeal to "progress" is likewise an empty gesture in a world deprived of hierarchy. For how does the materialist measure progress except in the form of more and bigger stones?

Which generations to come will carry on their backs, trundling around in fiscal circles. Americans will still be paying for Obama's stone soup long after we're all gone.

Obama's temptation in the political desert went like this: "if you are truly the One, then transform this stolen pork into prosperity!" Might as well try to turn the bacon back into the pig.

(Sign yoinked from American Digest)

Any materialist has failed the first test of spirituality -- or "temptation in the wilderness" -- which is to not attempt to turn stones into bread, or quantity into quality. For in so doing, the materialist inevitably reduces bread to stones, or life to death, spirit to matter. We are left with only stones, so there is "nothing left to eat," speaking metaphysically. And with nothing to eat, there is no way to grow into spiritual manhood. --That Would Be Me Again

15 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

"One popular way to try to turn stones to bread is through the apparatus of the welfare state. In its case, it attempts to transform money obtained through coercion into compassion. But the state has only enumerated powers, not innumerable feelings."

Yes, just so. The welfare state is one thing I hear many Catholics supporting, which is very frustrating. It seems to be difficult for a lot of people to wrap their minds around the distinction between giving of one's own free will and "giving" by government fiat.

Strangely quiet today; don't think it reflects on the post, it was quite good. I have an excuse; I'll bet everyone else does, too...

11/11/2014 04:03:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Or in other words, it mainly has a feeling for power. To paraphrase someone, when a liberal politician asks us for power to do good, it's usually wise to subtract those last three words."

Aye. Lefties break a helluva lot of eggs and we don't even get an omelette out of it.
The only good they speak of is their intentions (allegedly) and even if their intentions are "good" it does nothing to mitigate the evil consequences.

I question their good intentions because You never see lefties apologizing when their good intentions lead to bad results.
One would think that if they are good they would feel shame when their foolishness leads to disaster.

11/11/2014 04:46:00 PM  
Blogger John Lien said...

Well, my excuse was I didn't want to be the first to post.

I liked this:

The purifying 'fire' that occurs in the space between these two poles is our phoenishing school, allowing us to make ashes of our former selves.

This too:

The world itself is a giant test, an opportunity to challenge our ability to resist its seductions."

Alright, don't want to sound too "out there" but when I resist a temptation, it's not a pleasant experience, I cry a tiny bit inside, like a teeny tiny death.

This Christian path, I was going to mention this the other day, I want to follow it, but it ain't no-way fun. There can be moments of joy, profound joy, but, in general, the best I hope for is a sense of satisfaction that I'm trying to do the right thing and trying to please our Creator as life gives me the ol' boot to the head.

Ah, middle age, in the fall, on standard time.

11/11/2014 04:51:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Now, the promise to turn stones to bread is the central promise of the left. It even has a technical name: the Keynesian Multiplier, whereby one can simultaneously feed the masses by stealing from them; it may be visualized as a vast circle of human beings, each with his hand in the next guy's pocket. Or perhaps using a bucket to remove water from one end of the pool and pour it into the other end."

Yes, the Keynesian Multiplier multiplies greed 'n need.
As opposed to a free market of the economy and of the mind which increases the prosperity of both.

11/11/2014 05:07:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

John, I cry a tiny bit inside, like a teeny tiny death.


That's not "out there" at all. After all, it wouldn't be much of a temptation if the choice wasn't a hard one, and the loss tangible. I'm reminded of what Bob has said in the past about how a wedding is also a death, inasmuch as it means that all other options for getting to Know other people are voluntarily forsaken (assuming of course that the newlyweds are serious). Or again of fasting, which is generally a giving up of something good, knowing that one will suffer a bit for it, but knowing further that it serves a good greater than the good which one is giving up.

11/11/2014 05:11:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

God encourages a free market of the spirit as well, as we all gno. Not simply for self-interest but for the interest of others as well, in the form of free choice rather than force.
That is true compassion.
Ergo, a hand up rather than a hand out (or down).

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

John and Julie,
I cooncur. And that suffering will lead to a far greater joy.


11/11/2014 05:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

Obama is the stone soup nazi.

11/11/2014 05:25:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I been thinkin' lately about joy.
Some people, like my grandma's were, seem to be born with overflowing, radiant joy, while others hafta work for it to varying degrees.

Be that as it may, can joy be learned and even increased?
I believe so but not without unlearning a lot of crap, and not without some serious funnybone grease.
As well as prayer and a personal, growing relationship with Father.

11/11/2014 05:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

Leftists don't have compassion they have con-passion. It's counterfeit.

11/11/2014 05:37:00 PM  
Blogger John Lien said...

Skully's on fire tonight.

Flaming Skully!

11/11/2014 05:44:00 PM  
Blogger John Lien said...

I loved Stone Soup as a little kid. I remember Mom bought it for me after I liked it so much having had it read to me on some PBS program.

Little did I know it was really about some intellectual betters deliberately deceiving the peasants into doing something they didn't want to because the intellectuals thought it would be good for the peasants. While the intellectuals eat free and produce nothing.

You know, maybe unknowing things can lead one back to child-like joy.

11/11/2014 05:58:00 PM  
Blogger Paul Griffin said...

John said: when I resist a temptation, it's not a pleasant experience, I cry a tiny bit inside, like a teeny tiny death.

I'd say if it feels like a death, it's because something is dying. 'Round here we'd call it a mind parasite. The great big lie along for that particular ride is that you can't live without it: "You can't really imagine life without ME can you?" The other big lie is that it will behave if you'll just let it stick around.

I think one of C.S. Lewis' best images was that of the man with the lizard on his shoulder in "The Great Divorce." That thing that wants to be in control will tell you all sorts of things to keep from getting killed off. The lizard in this story hits both of those lies hard and repeatedly, which is part of why I find it to be such a powerful image.

I wouldn't say I enjoy resisting temptation, any more that I particularly enjoy exercise, at least not at the exact moment I'm doing it. But I sure do enjoy the results. I certainly enjoy not being beholden to the whims of an out of control addiction (because that's really how most of our behaviors surrounding a mind parasite seem to operate). If you've ever struggled with one of these bastards, I hope you know what a true joy it is just to live life without it.

It is for freedom that we were set free.

11/11/2014 07:06:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Out yesterday. I agree with Paul about the lizard, which, if I remember correctly, once it is killed, rises up as a horse to carry the man off to the mountain heights.

It's like even the ugliest things in us are seeds that only need to die to flower into beauty and power.

11/12/2014 05:50:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Paul, apropos your comment I was just reading Exodus 23 this morning. The whole of it, it seems to me, serves as an excellent metaphor for conforming the mind to God's will, and how the parasites are displaced over time:

Conquest of the Land
20 “Behold, I am going to send an angel before you to guard you along the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. 21 Be on your guard before him and obey his voice; do not be rebellious toward him, for he will not pardon your transgression, since My name is in him. 22 But if you truly obey his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries. 23 For My angel will go before you and bring you in to the land of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites; and I will completely destroy them. 24 You shall not worship their gods, nor serve them, nor do according to their deeds; but you shall utterly overthrow them and break their sacred pillars in pieces. 25 But you shall serve the Lord your God, [a]and He will bless your bread and your water; and I will remove sickness from your midst. 26 There shall be no one miscarrying or barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days. 27 I will send My terror ahead of you, and throw into confusion all the people among whom you come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you. 28 I will send hornets ahead of you so that they will drive out the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites before you. 29 I will not drive them out before you in a single year, that the land may not become desolate and the beasts of the field become too numerous for you. 30 I will drive them out before you little by little, until you become fruitful and take possession of the land. 31 I will fix your boundary from the [b]Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness to the River Euphrates; for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you will drive them out before you. 32 You shall [c]make no covenant with them or with their gods. 33 They shall not live in your land, because they will make you sin against Me; for if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you.”

11/12/2014 07:50:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home