Friday, August 07, 2015

If You Can't Correct Your Own Rotten Character, Just Fundamentally Transform the World

Now, touching on this business of Man. You know, creating him. Frankly I don't like the term -- Man -- and not because of its andronormative and patriarchal associations.

Rather, it implies an object, when the whole point of man is that he is a subject. But even then, all animals, right down to the itsiest bitsy, are subjects, for which reason we reserve the term Person for human beings. Other animals are subjects, but only man is a Person.

To review, these persons are trimporphic to the ground, in that there is no "part" that doesn't partake of it. (I saw an arresting image in the book Pathological Altruism, located here, on the second page from the top [right after the cover]. Just imagine it as tri-complementary instead of bi-complementary, and you've get the idea. Each "part" looks like this, as does the whole.)

As mentioned a few posts back, man is either "something" or he is nothing. In other words, either he has an essence and a nature, or he is the Beast With No Nature, and therefore a kind of literal monster, a cancer on Gaia.

From a Darwinian perspective man can have no essential nature, because any "nature" is just a temporary genetic weigh station on the endless road to some other random accident and transient adaptation. While this could be true, if it is, we couldn't know it.

Imagine, say, a pair of dice. It might land on any combination of numbers, but one could never say that one particular combination expresses the nature of the dice. Rather, their nature is to vary. Except to say that with the genes there is an infinite number of possibilities instead of just... 36?

Which is why you should never bet on man. Really, it's very similar to what they say about horse racing: no matter how much information you have, never forget that it all comes down to a dumb animal.

A contribution by Happy Acres Guy caught my attention this morning: "Political correctness & so many of the political fashions of our day could only be perpetrated on adolescent minds."

Quite true, but why are there so many adolescent minds? Why are they stuck in adolescence instead of being properly childlike or even infantile?

The reason is that Man, like the adolescent, is perpetually "on the way," the difference being that for the adolescent it becomes a pathological way of life. I am reminded of something Donald Fagen once said, to the effect that all of life is a midlife crisis. If you imagine there is some point that you can let your guard down and just relax, you're fooling yourself. Death alone takes care of that illusion. So adolescents do have that part right.

But what is a crisis, really?

Well now this is interesting. I was just looking it up and I see there is something called Crisis Theology: a neo-orthodox view of human nature "that holds that man and all human institutions are inevitably confounded by their own inner contradictions and that the resultant crisis forces man to despair of his own efforts" and therefore turn to the Divine Grace.

Okay. So I'm a crisis theologian.

But back to crisis, the word. It is "the turning point for better or worse." Interestingly, it is etymologically related to the verb to separate. Thus, it seems to me that time itself is a perpetual crisis. Or at least it is a crisis if we toss freedom into the mix.

In other words, if the world were actually deterministic, then there could be no crises because there could be no options and no separation into good and bad, or, more likely, bad and worse: no alternatives, no problems.

If eternity is the still point of the turning world, and time the moving image of eternity, we might say that Crisis is the turning point of the moving world. Thus, although Obama is surely a world-historical crisis, when has it not been a crisis? Even if the world weren't in crisis, your life still would be.

Indeed, one reason why the leftist is so caught up in the world-catastrophe is to deny and externalize his own existential crisis into the mode of politics (e.g., the "personal is the political"). As usual, N.G.D. has many excellent aphorisms to this end:

--The left is a collection of those who blame society for nature's shabby treatment of them. (So don't blame me for your low IQ, poor impulse control, and lowlife father!)

--The individual today rebels against immutable human nature so that he might refrain from amending his own correctable nature. (Actually the left wants it both ways, as they are quick to appeal to an "immutable nature" when it is convenient, e.g., homosexuality or brucejennerism.)

--Transforming the world: the occupation of a convict resigned to his punishment. (Which is why the unhappy leftist wishes for everyone to be as miserable as he is. Hey, fundamentally transforming the world is easier than addressing your own reprobate character.)

At the very bottom of our sidebar, what does it say? RIDDING THE WORLD OF MALEVOLENT BEINGS SINCE 2005, ONE ASSOUL AT A TIME. If I have succeeded in ridding the world of just one, then this is more than Obama has in seven years. Rather, he has only added bodies to Satan's Payroll.

But what I really want to discuss is something Brother Nicolás alluded to above about "immutable human nature." If man is something, then this is the something he is, i.e., the immutable part.

The mutable parts are nothing, that is, unless they converge upon the Immutable itself(s). In turn, this is what distinguishes the adolescent from the adult, in that the adult surely changes, but the change is measured in terms of proximity or conformity to the Absolute.

You know the old crack: To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often. That the "progressive" doesn't progress is a truism; but that he also doesn't change is perhaps less appreciated.

But progressives will always be with us for the simple reason that there will always be human beings who are developmentally arrested in adolescence. For the typical adult, leftism is just a rebellious rite of passage wrapped up in the project of individuation. But for the adult leftist, immaturity is a career.

So, if man is an image of the Absolute, what then is absolute in man? What is immutable and normative? For the multiculturalist, nothing is immutable except his belief that nothing is immutable. This gag yoinked from Happy Acres summarizes their incoherence diversity:

In the excellent Book of Absolutes, Gairdner has whole chapters devoted to the absolutes that constrain and orient our life assage, including universals of human life and culture, of nature, of biology, of human sexuality, of language, of natural law, etc. But that's about it for today. I've fallen behind and I need to catch up.

9 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

But back to crisis, the word. It is "the turning point for better or worse."

In a sense, then, it is also like a fulcrum...

***

That the "progressive" doesn't progress is a truism; but that he also doesn't change is perhaps less appreciated.

Reading Hebrews this week, there is much discussion about the importance of discipline - both from parents, and ultimately from God. Specifically, the idea that discipline is an expression of love; and that any child who isn't disciplined by his father is a "bastard." And what is discipline, but the guiding hand that shapes our characters, which would otherwise fail to change for the better?

Now we have a culture overflowing with those who never had fatherly discipline, much less a desire to seek out the discipline of the Father of Fathers. And so it goes...

8/07/2015 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

What is the evolutionary value of angst in a deterministic world?

Is this a corollary to the Costanza axiom? They call themselves progressives because they never change. They call themselves liberal because they are puritans. They call themselves enlightened because they have their collective heads up their collective asses.

8/07/2015 12:20:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"But what is a crisis, really?

Well now this is interesting. I was just looking it up and I see there is something called Crisis Theology: a neo-orthodox view of human nature "that holds that man and all human institutions are inevitably confounded by their own inner contradictions and that the resultant crisis forces man to despair of his own efforts" and therefore turn to the Divine Grace.

Okay. So I'm a crisis theologian."

So, sort of like metaphysical crises management? Or perhaps Christus theologian, since we obviously wouldn't be managing Christ (but managing to be as much like Him as we are able).

8/07/2015 09:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

Are you saying I can no longer hold out for that management position?

8/07/2015 09:21:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

"...for which reason we reserve the term Person for human beings. Other animals are subjects, but only man is a Person."

This distinction is so important to know. I can hardly think of a more important one.
Oddly too, the word person seems to have some quality that prevents redefinition. Which is why, I think, abortion proponents simply deny the application of the word; a rejection of the word's existence, in a way.

8/08/2015 07:25:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Only persons can have rights because only persons can have responsibilities. To the person who believes in an intrinsic right to abortion, I would ask: what is the prior intrinsic duty associated with it?

8/08/2015 07:33:00 AM  
Blogger Ann Kellett said...

I sometimes think this is why we know virtually nothing about the pre-adult Christ. God and man in the body of a sixteen-year-old "on the way" would be too profound to behold.

8/08/2015 08:45:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Gives new meaning to "adolescent identity crisis."

8/08/2015 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Today's Raccoon

8/09/2015 09:00:00 AM  

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