Friday, May 01, 2015

Escaping the Cosmic Matrix for the Open Womb

That last post probably wasn't entirely clear, but neither is Corbin. But the first thought that occurs to my vulgar mind is that it's a bit like the Matrix, for our earthly task "is to free ourselves from a trap that we do not know we are in" (Cheetham).

Here we have to tread cautiously, because we want to avoid the whole Gnostic-Manichaean thing about a divided world and about superior people being saved through knowledge.

Then again, the whole Gnostic-Manichaean thing has -- as do all heresies -- an element of truth to it, only exaggerated, or partial, or out of proportion with the totality.

You might say -- heh -- that there is a good and an evil Manichaeism, in the sense that of course there there are two worlds (light and dark, good and evil, slack and conspiracy, etc.) and of course the truth sets us free from the endarkened one. The principal difference, I suppose, is that the orthoparadoxical Christian insists all the same that there is just one world and that it's a good one, appearances to the contrary notwithstanding.

You could say that there is a world of appearances because there is a world of reality. They are not radically separate, because an appearance is still an appearance of something real, or it couldn't appear at all.

Which goes to the idea that evil is not only parasitic on the good, but even a more or less perverse expression of it. The sexual instinct in itself is still a good, despite what pedophiles and rapists do with it.

So yes, we are "trapped" in a false reality; or, we are always situated in a world with degrees of reality, and we fall when we become attached and devoted to a false one -- or when it attaches itself to us.

Interestingly, in response to a comment a couple of posts back, I linked to this piece by James Taranto on the phenomenon of oikophobia, which is "fear of the familiar." It is "the disposition, in any conflict, to side with 'them' against 'us', and the felt need to denigrate the customs, culture and institutions that are identifiably 'ours.'"

Having spent so much time among the tenured, I was once a Manichaean oik myself. If I try to think back on what that was all about, it was more than a little like a form of intellectual Gnosticism, through which tenured conformists are rendered superior owing to our possession of the Secret and Forbidden knowledge of real political reality. As such, I would have known exactly what Obama means with his evocation of bitter clingers and his general contempt for all things American.

One doesn't have to speculate about Obama being a secret Muslim and all that. Rather, he is a garden variety left wing oikophobe. He can't help himself from signaling his membership in that elite horde of clueless mediocretins.

Taranto raises an interesting irony, which is that the flyover country yahoos for whom the elites have so much contempt are the real cosmic universalists, because we actually believe, for example, that all men are created equal, whereas the left is obsessed with appearances and contingencies such as race, gender, class, etc. So in reality, our cognitive elites are in, of, and for the Matrix, and they do not hesitate to punish people who try to escape from it -- like "don't you dare call a thug a thug!" (These crazies literally want us to say nigger when, no, we really mean thug.)

This also goes to my own little idea about mind parasites through which you might say we import the matrix into our own heads. Now, "matrix" literally comes from mother and from womb. In short, it begins with concrete images and experiences, and only subsequently takes on the more abstract contemporary meaning of "something within or from which something else originates, develops, or takes form."

The matrix is always a container for a contained. Bion symbolized these two ♀ and ♂, respectively. So the a matrix is a ♀.

Obviously, man cannot live without various kinds of ♀. Think, for example, of your skin. Where would we be without it? Or, think of the boundaries of a sovereign nation. Where would we be without those? That's right, in a permanent liberal majority due to the ceaseless influx of low IQ Democrats.

Now, one of the important insights of interpersonal neurobiology is that we form boundaries of various kinds during our earliest development. One potential problem is that boundaries simultaneously permit thought but simultaneously limit it. If one is not conscious of this, one will inevitably confuse the container and content, which is a good way to take up residence in a false reality.

For example, scientism is a way to think about the world. But if one confuses it with the actual world, then one is trapped in a self-reinforcing matrix. It's the same with Darwinism, Marxism, feminism, or any other manmade container.

The only way to really be free is to escape human containment altogether. How do we do that? Well, for Christians it has already been done: thus the most radical idea possible, that the uncontainable absolute actually takes up residence in a human container -- including in a quite literal matrix-womb.

On the one hand, Christ liberates us from the containment of the Law, not to mention other containers such as slave vs. free, race, class, nation, etc. But to paraphrase Schuon, this new (un)container is at once less "burdensome" but all the more demanding, if you know what I mean. For example, now we go from merely avoiding concrete adultery to the impossible standard of complete purification of the interior heart. That's like the uncontainable within the uncontained.

For human beings, one thing that is contained by the container is "presence," and some containers allow us to be more present than others. Indeed, for the intuitive among us, this is quite experience-near, and can be felt in the... in the astral body, I guess. But we can all feel that dilation of space (or the painful opposite) that liberates us into a more expansive realm, like peeking through a hole in the wall and seeing the Grand Canyon. Wo, where have you been hiding?!

O, just a micron beyond that invisible wall you built.

As Cheetham describes, "The mode of presence is what situates us, what determines the quality of the space in which we live, and the nature of our relationship to the objects in our world, to what we can know. The mode of presence determines what can be understood..."

As we shall see, this very much goes to what we have recently written about personal idiom, for we recognize our idiom by virtue of the presence it evokes in us. And if God is really present in Jesus, well, that pretty much blows the ideological trains right off their existential tracks. And when Obama calls himself a "Christian," he actually means the opposite -- which is still a "form" of Christianity, only contained and perverted by ideology. In general, "liberal Christianity" is not so much an oxymoron as Christianity contained and more or less falsified by liberalism.

30 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

For human beings, one thing that is contained by the container is "presence," and some containers allow us to be more present than others. Indeed, for the intuitive among us, this is quite experience-near, and can be felt in the... in the astral body, I guess. But we can all feel that dilation of space (or the painful opposite) that liberates us into a more expansive realm, like peeking through a hole in the wall and seeing the Grand Canyon. Wo, where have you been hiding?!

Interesting. Nothing to add, just wanted to chew it over a bit more.

5/01/2015 12:25:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Re. the Manichean oiks, it brings to mind those who love to travel to Europe while talking disparagingly about "the Ugly Americans." Not themselves, of course, because they are The Right Sort of Americans, but the ones who are loud and obnoxious and don't bother to learn about the cultures they are visiting. In my experience, these are also the sort who can't help fawning over People of Color (doing things White People like).

5/01/2015 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

"You could say that there is a world of appearances because there is a world of reality. They are not radically separate, because an appearance is still an appearance of something real, or it couldn't appear at all."

Yep. You can look at it this way, or you can look at it that way, but either way you look at it, you haven't multiplied the Its that you're looking at.

5/01/2015 12:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go tell it on the mountain. Of course, that is not so much an intellectual struggle. Big skies, and all.

My goodness, art, science, priesthood would be just an ideation without some environment that is just archeology from the high ground.

I have been to a town. Good to be home.

5/01/2015 04:46:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Didn't see that coming: Cheetham waits until the last chapter to inform us that "Corbin never converted to Islam" and "considered himself an Occidental and a Christian..."

5/01/2015 04:48:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Wow - I didn't know these sorts of books came with surprise endings.

5/01/2015 04:53:00 PM  
Blogger ted said...

Ha ha! He didn't walk the walk. I find many of us Occidentals get caught up with the exotic only to find that we were coming home.

5/01/2015 06:02:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Wow. Totally OT, and of interest only in a psychological, philosophical, gory car wreck on the side of the road... that you can only turn away from after already having taken a stunned gander, I submit this gem. The least bad of the new atheists, Sam Harris, trying to engage high priest if Uber-leftardness, Noam Chomsky, in a stab at intelligent conversation.

Just, bloody, jaw droppingly, awful.
Harris vs. Chomsky

5/01/2015 09:28:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"One doesn't have to speculate about Obama being a secret Muslim and all that. Rather, he is a garden variety left wing oikophobe. He can't help himself from signaling his membership in that elite horde of clueless mediocretins."

Indeed. Oikaphobes also can never accurately depict that which they fear and hate.
They do, however describe themselves whenever they project, not to mention the obvious rotten fruit of their actions.

5/02/2015 04:15:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

Van, that was fascinating to read. I tend to say Harris won that battle in a way that Moe could probably beat Curly in a trivia contest. A win nevertheless.

5/02/2015 04:45:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Van, that exchange reminds me of nothing so much as Screwtape lecturing Wormwood... with Screwtape doomed to be both Harris AND Chomsky in a mockable attempt at authenticity or something as close to it as a lie can approach.

5/02/2015 07:55:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

You can't argue with a lunatic.

I've mentioned before how I actually saw Chomsky speak back in 1991. Among other things, he was explaining how Bush #1 was about to invade Cuba.

I think Chomsky's craziness must have a kind of secular gnostic appeal. You're not insane, you're special!

5/02/2015 07:59:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Now that I think about it, it's a kind of short-cut to self-styled brilliance, since you get to express a high-handed contempt for little things like common sense and objective reality. You sink beneath the horde while imagining you're rising above. Obama is steeped in that mentality.

5/02/2015 08:02:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I had an uncle by marriage who was the same way, a professor of history at the U of Chicago. You couldn't have a "normal" conversation with him unless you accepted all of his abnormal premises. Imagine having a "conversation about race" with Al Sharpton. That's what it was like to have a "conversation about history" with Uncle Professor.

5/02/2015 08:07:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

His last book, before he died, was on how Jews exploit the Holocaust for the purposes of power. Naturally he was Jewish.

5/02/2015 08:08:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

The latest post at Ace's seems to have an appropriate response to that type of argument...

5/02/2015 08:12:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I like it! I've been thinking much along the same lines lately. It's why I supported Rudy back in 2008, because he doesn't take any shit off the media. The media is so despised, why can't a conservative candidate exploit that? Scott Walker shows some sings of doing so.

5/02/2015 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Then again, the best approach is Dennis Prager's, except that few are capable of mastering it. I've never heard the tenured leftist that he can't calmly eviscerate. It's a rare gift.

5/02/2015 08:28:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

He is definitely a master. Too bad there aren't more who can do that.

5/02/2015 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

He does it with such courtesy, too, like "please allow me to hold your coat while I pass this bullet through your skull."

5/02/2015 08:33:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

In reality, most leftists cannot respond to a rational argument, although they are good at arguing. I notice this all the time with left wing pundits. I'm trying to think of an analogy. Maybe like the Detroit Pistons of the late 1980s, who weren't nearly as good at basketball as winning via thuggery.

5/02/2015 08:37:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

It's why left wing talk radio doesn't work.

5/02/2015 08:41:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

They can't hide the frothing idiocy when speaking to fill air time.

5/02/2015 08:43:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I wouldn't say leftists are good at arguing so much as they are good at using tactics to avoid a rational argument.
For instance, they have created "micro-aggressioms" and "trigger guards," to avoid burning, uncomfortable truths, as well as stawmen, deflections, lies, etc..

The cone of silence around the truth must be maintained at all costs!
So that now entire college campuses are turned into panic rooms, where these special pansies can protect their delicate senses from the cold, harsh truth.

5/02/2015 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Outside of colleges leftists want the entire world to be a safe place, so they simply calll the truth hate speech and try to get it outlawed.
Essentially, the truth is blasphemy to their cult and we heretics and infidels must be silenced by any means possible.

5/02/2015 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

There's an old Buddhist story about a king who tried to cover the world in leather instead of just wearing shoes.

5/02/2015 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Van,
Thanks for the laughs. Good grief, Chomsky is so tedious and mendacious.
He literally will not entertain facts on any level whatsoever.

"Read my 50 years of infralectual claptrap before questioning me, boy."
But he needs to write novel-sized paragraphs to say that. Lol.

Not that Harris is much better, but at least he flirts with the truth every once in awhile, even if it's mostly by accident.

5/02/2015 10:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Skully said...

Ahoy, Cap'n Bob!
Now that there is funny. Although I must say that leather covered decks on a ship would be appealing.

In a good way, I mean.

5/02/2015 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

This is a remarkable book so far: All the World an Icon. Covers much of the same ground as The World Turned Inside Out, but more clearly. It might be the most similar to my own Book IV that I've ever stumbled upon, although parts of it still need to be purified and rendered coonologically correct. I'm sure we'll be blogging about it for awhile.

5/03/2015 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger Magister said...

Ah the tenured oikophobes, Lord I know them well.

I have only one observation, which is that almost none of them have any practical skills. They cannot change their oil, they cannot mend a fence, they own no power tools, and they would rather purchase over-priced vegetables from Whole Foods than grow them in their own dirt. The spouse of one of these people is a very fine cook (a former pro). This guy alone is calm and collected enough not to make an overly intellectualized and opinionated ass of himself.

My only question is why he married a waspishly neurotic intellectual.

5/04/2015 08:20:00 AM  

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