Friday, August 22, 2014

The Theory of Divine Relativity: Nothing Exceeds the Speed of One

Good definition of orthoparadox: "For the Christian the truth is in tension between certain contrary propositions." Thus, "theology has no function in resolving the conflict, but in showing its necessity" (Dávila).

The etymology of paradox is para + doxos, i.e., contrary to thinking, or thoughts that seem to run counter to one another. Ortho-paradox borrows from it and from ortho-doxy, meaning "correct opinion."

Therefore, orthoparadox -- which began life as one of those annoying but harmless portmanteaus compulsively tossed out by Petey -- has come to actually mean something in the Raccoon luxicon, something quite important and even central to understanding our cosmic situation. It is a joke no more, or at least a serious guffah HA!

Orthoparadox must be distinguished from mere paradox, which implies a problem in the data or in the thinker, something that can eventually be overcome, e.g. a false assumption or naive expectation or hidden variable.

For example, Einstein spent a lot of time thinking about certain paradoxes of classical physics before he resolved them by vaulting himself to an entirely new plane. However, that plane has now generated paradoxes of its own, most conspicuously, the disjunction between quantum physics and special relativity, or between locality and nonlocality. In short, special relativity insists that nothing can exceed the speed of light, while the cosmos feels otherwise.

And as it so happens, "feel" is more than just a figure of speech. Rather, it is actually central to Whitehead's metaphysic, which in turn forms the basis of process theology. For what is feeling? For our purposes, it is a kind of spontaneous interior knowing, which in turn implies a wavelike connectedness or unity of things.

Let's zoom out for a moment and consider the big picture: the Christian truth alluded to above by Dávila posits -- or embodies -- several irreducible orthoparadoxes of the greatest possible significance, for example, Trinity, Incarnation, and Resurrection. Expressed in the simplest possible way, God is One and Three; Divine and human; and Life in death.

None of these are paradoxes, nor are they mere mysteries that cannot be thought about. Nevertheless, as Dávila says, "In clumsy hands theology becomes the art of making mystery ridiculous." What I would say is that when the typical theologian reaches the threshold of a paradox, he makes a special plea to Mystery, and hopes you won't ask any more questions.

One of the most annoying examples of this is in the attempt to reconcile divine omnipotence with the obvious existence of evil. This is a difficult one to squirm out of, which is why even serious theologians will throw up their hands and say, for example, "God's ways are not our ways." Thanks for the tip!

The first thing I want to say is that perhaps God's ways are more like our ways than some assume. I mean, you and I want to eliminate evil, don't we? I always go back to something our Unknown Friend said, to the effect that God doesn't control history -- after all, he himself was crucified in history. At the very least, he doesn't control history in the way you imagine -- like a tyrannical dictator who eliminates freedom.

Here we are very much in the realm of orthoparadox, i.e., "the Creator of history crucified in history," which is a little like me jumping into this post and allowing myself to be physically pummeled by commenters.

Back to that idea of "feeling." Humans are social beings. Why? Or first, how? Because of "fellow feeling," or sympathy with and for our fellow man. When my son hurts, I hurt even more. Why? Well, Hartshorne writes that while humans love and care, they do not do so "perfectly." Our "social awareness" is mixed with a good deal of selfishness, or narcissism, or social unawareness -- granted, not as much as an Obama, who is so heartbroken that he nearly misses his tee time -- but we clearly have limitations, or we'd go insane.

Not so God, who is "socially aware -- period" (Hartshorne). He is the source and ground of our own soci-ability, which is to say, love. Thus, "We do not 'love' literally, but with qualifications" (ibid.); taken literally, love is God. He is the literal instance of what is for us a category. Likewise "knowing." We can know a little bit about everything, but we cannot know everything about a single thing. But God is knowing -- period.

Now, this knowing is, in my opinion, also the ground of nonlocality; you might say that nonlocality is the shadow of God's omniscience, or in other words, a consequence of the radical unity of things forged by God's knowledge-love. This interior unity is prior to any outward multiplicity. It is not so much "faster" then the speed of light as prior to it, for it is truly One Cosmos, and nothing arrives here more instantaneously than Oneness.

Well, I didn't have time to get nearly as deeply into this as I had wanted, but we'll take another plunge on Monday.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Snicking Suspicions and Absolute Stupidity

For many months now, I've been intending to get back to Hartshorne and to my modified neotraditional vision of his process theology -- since last November, I think. And even as I wrote that sentence, I thought of several other loose strands I need to follow up on. The cosmic area rug is getting a bit ragged along the edges.

Then again, maybe I'm just fooling myself, and it's all as Owen Barfield once said of C.S. Lewis: "somehow what he thought about everything was secretly present in what he said about anything." You know, holo-pneumatic, or a soul fractal.

As an aside, I can't say I remember much of the past 2,500 posts. However, I have noticed that if I encounter even a single sentence of mine, I know instantly that that is ME. If they are someone else's words, I know right away that I wouldn't have expressed it that way. Therefore, "I" am indeed somehow present in the words. Is this true of everyone? I have no idea. But it's analogous to how the immune system, on the material level, distinguishes me from not me. Most of the time.

And now that I think about it, some of you folks have wondered how it is that I plow through so many books. Well, I don't exactly skim, because that implies a value neutral or global approach. It is too broad a description. Rather, it is as if I am "looking for something," and I always recognize it when I find it. I just skim past the things I am not looking for.

However, it's a little more complicated than that, because I don't necessarily know what I'm looking for until I find it. Thus, I am like a lock searching for the key -- the key to myself. When I find it, there is a satisfying sensation that feels like the "snick" of a good stick shift. I suppose it is related to what was said above about recognizing myself in my sentences, except that it's someone else's sentence. That's what it's like with one of Dávila's aphorisms, right? Snick!

I wonder if this means that I cannot actually be wrong or right, only Bob? Well, yes and no. What we are shooting for is the universal in the personal, or universal truth uniquely expressed. Both sides are necessary for the snick of the manuall trancemission.

Here is a beautiful example of something that deeply snicks in me: "The universe is not difficult to read because it is a hermetically sealed text, but because it is a text without punctuation." Thus, "Without the adequate ascending and ascending intonation, its ontological syntax is unintelligible" (Dávila).

The universe is not difficult to read. To the contrary! Any idiot can read it, except they put the punctuation where they please, which messes up the semantics.

To cite a prominent example, materialists place a period after matter. But who says the period goes there, or that that is a complete sentence? Indeed, what if the sentence, like Hebrew, is read right to left, not left to right? Or, more to the point, up to down, not down to up?

That is precisely what a Raccoon believes: that the sentence runs from God to matter, not vice versa.

Similarly, a metaphysical Darwinian has convinced himself that there is a period after life. As such, man is not a new sentence, but rather, just an adjective or footnote appended to an ape.

This is the whole point of the peculiar punctuation of The Book, in that each chapter is both discrete and continuous, particle and wave: the whole book is a wavicle, to be precisely blurry. And the wavicle is me, I guess. One might say that the wave is universal while the particle is singular.

Here is another snicky aphorism that expresses a samething psimilar: "Nothing affects divine transcendence; but human attitudes, in changing, regulate the tides of his immanence." As such, "God infiltrates out to the tips of the branches or recedes back into his empyrean."

What I would say is that the waters of (↓) are always present but that human beings -- both individually and collectively -- may "regulate its tide," so to speak. The left, for example, has built a seawall to keep it out. For them, God has indeed "receded," which may be filed under the heading "be careful what you hope and vote for, dryling."

Back to the first aphorism about the cosmic syntax, and how it is unintelligible without the proper intonation. Obviously, spoken language preceded written language, and spoken language has no punctuation. Rather, meaning is conveyed via emphasis, pauses, musicality, timing, rhythm, etc. The punctuation is not so black-and-white, nor is the speech uniform, like the Steven Hawking voice generator.

All of this is critical to bear in mind if it is true that the Word is God. And if it isn't, then the cosmos truly is a tail wagged by an idiot, full of sound and fury but signifying tenure.

Now, what does this have to do with process theology? Well, let's begin with an implicit commentary on yesterday's post, in particular, the bit about positive knowledge sometimes being a mask for omniscient ignorance.

Let's stipulate that all knowledge is by definition relative. The question is, relative to what? The Raccoon says: relative to reality, moron. But the moron says: relative to language. In other words, words don't reveal -- much less incarnate -- reality; rather, language is absolutely relative to language, in an absurcular snorecase.


Well, consider all those crazies and savages in Ferguson, up to and including the Attorney Generalismo: to what is their "knowledge" relative? It is certainly not relative to reality, at least as far as we know. Nor is it relative to "nothing"; it's not just "nonsense."

Rather, it is relative to a narrative, or in other words, other words. Thus, this narrative of theirs is not properly relative at all, but rather, absolute. Therefore, words and facts that do not relate to the narrative are sentences about "nothing" -- but really, sentences about racism.

Therefore, all speech about the situation confirms the narrative of white racism. For example, my present line of thought is not about what you think it is, it's about racism. The left's narrative is always unfalsifiable, and certainly not by mere reality!

We have all heard that "snicking" sound in the mind of a leftist who has succeeded in twisting reality into the shape of his narrative. It's no doubt a satisfying feeling for them, but to call it a snick is an abuse of the term. It's more like the perverse satisfaction Procrustes might have felt when violently lopping off a head or amputating a limb.

But what I really want to emphasize is that knowledge is the most relative thing conceivable, in that it is always relative to a known. A difference between God and man is that God's knowledge is absolutely relative, in the sense that it is always perfectly and infallibly relative to the truth of things.

Thus, the problem with the left's narrative(s) is not that it is too relative. Rather, it is absolute, and permits of no relation to truth and reality.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Reality: A Spiraling Vertical Space Between Two Infinite Mirrors

Remystification of the world is more of a negative capability than a positive one: you just have to stop pretending, assoul.

Negative capability? That's a term-of-artist Keats came up with to describe

"the capacity of human beings to transcend and revise their contexts." It is "the ability of the individual to perceive, think, and operate beyond any presupposition of a predetermined capacity of the human being. It further captures the rejection of the constraints of any context, and the ability to experience phenomena free from epistemological bounds, as well as to assert one's own will and individuality upon their activity."

In Keats' own words, it is the ability of a man to tolerate "uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason."

How about that: there's even a paragraph about Bion, who really didn't influence me beyond plagiarizing him for all he's worth:

"The twentieth-century British psychoanalyst Wilfred Bion elaborated on Keats's term to illustrate an attitude of openness of mind which he considered of central importance, not only in the psychoanalytic session, but in life itself.

"For Bion, negative capability was the ability to tolerate the pain and confusion of not knowing, rather than imposing ready-made or omnipotent certainties upon an ambiguous situation or emotional challenge."

This is especially important in psychotherapy, where one must tolerate the ambiguity and not foreclose the bipersonal space with mere knowledge, which any "expert" can do, in any field, therefore Pundits.

Rather, some truths -- the humanly important ones -- must be experienced. Indeed, Bion's first book was called Learning From Experience. Where else does one really learn? Let us count the ways!

No, let's not. But let us throw in some gratuitous insultainment, in that Obama's omniscient ignorance is exactly in proportion to a contaminated pool of positive knowledge of which he is nevertheless quite certain. I don't think his narcissism permits any of the negative kind.

Thus the Meltdown into and through the core of reality, as the latter refuses to conform to his knowledge. As Taranto observes, "If it's taken Obama this long to sense that he isn't omnipotent, maybe he isn't omniscient either." Wo. That would be something.

Dávila has an aphorism for the occasion, that "Without philosophy, the sciences do not know what they know" -- let alone what they do not and cannot know. And "Each person sees in the world exactly what he deserves to see." I am sorry to report that Americans deserve to live in the world Obama sees, since they twice elected this ignoranus (which is of course an assoul who has no idea what he doesn't know).

Those rioters and looters in Ferguson -- they too see the world they deserve. They too are ignorant with positive knowledge -- most conspicuously, the knowledge that an innocent young man was gunned down by the police for no reason but his race. Why do people want to believe things that are patently untrue? Might as well ask why people want to be liberal: because it makes the irritating ignorance go away by replacing it with high-density stupidity.

Which is one of the reasons why "The most repulsive spectacle is that of the ascendancy of a living professor over a dead genius," for it always means that higher mystery is being displaced by lowdown fashionable stupidity. There is mystery in great literature, great poetry, great music: indeed, that is a measure of its greatness, that it radiates an inexhaustible mystery, a luminous darkness, so to speak. How does it do that?

I would say that the palpable radiation is actually a kind of shadow of its inwardness. It is the penumbra around its seductive allure; it is soul calling out to soul, or depth to depth. And not only. For in the final unalysis, this is the very structure of reality, which I have attempted to schematize with the pneumaticons O <--> (¶).

Ironically, the idea for these pneumaticons goes back to Bion, who developed an "empty" symbol system to deal with psychological change and development, whereas my purpose is to abstractly outline the complementary ontological confrontation between spirit and cosmos: the least and most we can really say is that there is an inexhaustible "reality," or O, at one end; and the human spirit (¶) at the other: the result is a spiraling vertical space, or worldpool, between two infinite mirrors.

The bad news is that the space goes both up and down. Or just say right and left. Or, in the astringent words of Dávila,

Between the profane world and the divine world there is the sacred world; and God is the region that one who walks forward finally reaches. One who does not walk in circles.

A progressive walks only in circles. If we are lucky.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Magical Mystery & Tragical History

I could complain about having no time again this morning, but that would just be a waste of what little time I do have, wouldn't it? Maybe this will change next year, when I can start raiding my retirement accounts and extract a little slack.

And what are we to do with our slack? What is its purpose? Dávila says that "Our most urgent task is that of reconstructing the mystery of the world."

Normally we wouldn't use "slack" and "task" in the same sentence, but there are always worldly currents running counter to the stream of slack -- or just vertical gravity -- for which reason doing nothing can be the most difficult activity of all.

I am often reminded of the adage that we have a few -- or even one -- guiding ideas to which we return again and again. One of mine is a phrase that popped into my head long ago: the remystification of the world. The Official Narrative is that, over the past 300 or 3,000 or 30,000 years, mankind has experienced a gradual demystification of the world.

This was indeed the thrust of Comte's naive positivism, which held that mankind evolved in predictable stages from the theological, to the abstract/metaphysical, to the positive/scientific. There are so many things wrong with this that it's difficult to know where to begin, but let's just say that these categories are complementary, not linear.

Nor, for the Actually Sentient, does this supposedly linear development result in some kind of final unveiling of the Radical Mystery of it all. If anything, the mystery only deepens, and not just in a manner of speaking.

Rather, someone actually agrees with Bob that "Knowledge is not unlike a circle of light in a dark field of unknowing. The circumference of the circle of light is the size of our exposure to the dark. Each time the circumference of knowledge becomes larger, the length of our exposure to the unknown advances geometrically."

Thus, we should all welcome the new Light, but at the same time retain our humility and awe before the infinite mystery of the expanding Darkness. You could call this philosophy Logical Negativism, but people would no doubt get the wrong idea and confuse it with the Illogical Negativism of the left.

I suppose where Comte and his scientistic progeny are most naive is with the implicit idea that scientific knowledge is somehow unconditioned and transcendent of any cultural, historical, or personal perspective, whereas religion and metaphysics are at the opposite end: hopelessly contaminated by the human perspective.

But for the Raccoon, it is precisely the opposite: science is always necessarily perspectival, whereas metaphysics and theology provide the best and most objective view possible. Nor would I ever place metaphysics after theology, for to do so denies the very reason for theology, which is to communicate the ultimate transhuman truth of things -- the truth that sets us free (into slack), among other benefits.

In other words and ethereal worlds, what revelation reveals is meta-physical (or trans-natural) truths, while metaphysics illuminates what is latent or mythologically expressed in revelation.

That is to say, the most profound, universal, and culturally unconditioned truths are to be found, say, in Genesis. To pretend that science has somehow evolved beyond these primordial truths is one of the Founding Fantasies of the left.

Ironically, the regression to positivism doesn't lead the way to Objectivity and Universality, but rather, the opposite: the Seven Bad Ideas of Leftism are a kind of perverse remystification of the world, in that scientism drains the world of mystery at one end, while the religiously untutored masses dive into subjectivity at the other end, hoping for a little oxygen and light, i.e., a bit of Slack!

Solipsism, relativism, subjectivism, irrationalism, pervertarianism, nihilism, anything. Just get me out of this machine or cage or ideology or skull or skin or something!

Hey, it works, or it wouldn't have persisted since Genesis 3. "Leftism dulls the mental acuity. That is its purpose." In other words, it diminishes the pain of the demystification.

Monday, August 18, 2014

What Untamed Envy Looks Like

No time for a post today, and possibly tomorrow. But here's a timely aphorism by Dávila: "The worst demagogues are not recruited from the envious poor, but from among the embarrassed wealthy."

This fully explains the high-low composition of the Democratic party, with super-wealthy elites at one end and lofo and lower IQ hordes at the other. You could say that the difference between the two is that the elites are bankrupt in every way except financially.

This little formula explains why the wealthiest counties in the nation trend Democrat, just as do places like Ferguson. The two are locked in a deathly parasitic embrace, for liberals destroy and have destroyed the very people they most rely upon to support them at the polls, and the underclass can be relied upon to support the very people and polices that ensure its own continued ruin. The resultant civilizational collapse is what they call "progress."

Is greed a sufficient reason to account for wealth? If so, then every human being would be wealthy. But envy is a sufficient reason to account for poverty, and the left's core idea -- well, to be perfectly accurate, it is not an idea. Rather, envy is a human instinct that cannot be eliminated, only indulged or overcome. A necessary condition of national wealth is breaking through the envy barrier, so that people can become successful and wealthy without incurring the primitive "evil eye" of the envious.

But at the same time, the successful must tolerate the inevitable envy of others without surrendering to the impulse to make the envy go away by feeding it. This only fuels the envy, which is precisely why race riots only began after the greatest successes of the civil rights movement. (And to be clear, the cosmic imperative to exercise charity toward one's fellow man has nothing to do with appeasing envy; they arise from radically different places.)

After 1965 the movement transitioned from advocating universal principles to nurturing universal envy and resentment. If an Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson -- or Jeremiah Wright -- are actually your "leaders," then that is a hint that you have spiritually hit bottom.