Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Why Liberalism Smells That Way

If there is no free will, then it would make no sense for human beings to have emotions such as guilt and regret, not to mention hope, responsibility, and merit.

If everything had to be the way it was, and will be the way it must be, then these realities aren't just superfluous but without foundation; philosophically we're simply eliminating one inexplicable reality -- free will -- at the cost of introducing several others. Deploying Occam's razor, we can cut away a lot of loose nonsense by simply accepting the perfect nonsense of free will.

Genesis realizes this at the outset with the focus on shame. If I'm not mistaken, this is the first recorded emotion in the Bible, and it stands as testimony to the reality of our freedom: presumably if Adam hadn't chosen to disobey, then he wouldn't have felt ashamed.

In fact, the existence of shame is full of implications, isn't it? There is no question that a shameless human being hardly qualifies as human. A shameless psychopath is (presumably) genetically human, and yet, his very existence is anti-human to the core; he is the mirror image of a proper human, i.e., a genuine monster.

The implication is that without a capacity for shame, we can't be free, and vice versa.

I wonder what Schuon has to say about the subject? "The purpose of freedom is to enable us to choose what we are in the depths of our heart. We are intrinsically free to the extent that we have a center which frees us: a center which, far from confining us, dilates us by offering us an inward space without limits and without shadows; and this Center is in the last analysis the only one there is."

What about Don Colacho? "Liberty is not an end, but a means. Whoever mistakes it for an end does not know what to do with it when he attains it." And a warning: "Freedom intoxicates, as the license to be another."

Combining this with what Schuon says, we could affirm that freedom misused enables us to be someone other than who we are in the depths of our heart. It allows us to move in the direction of our true self, but also to inhabit the false self and erect the as-if personality: to be someone else (and therefore not be). (And the most common reason why a person chooses to be someone else is shame dysregulation, i.e., intolerance of shame.)

Here's another aphorism, this one on sin: "Nothing makes more evident the reality of sin than the stench of souls that deny its existence" (Don Colacho). Therefore, sin and misused freedom emit the same soul stench.

I might add that millions of people have rendered themselves insensate to this odor. We call them liberals. For various reasons, their pneumatic olfactory gland has become shriveled.

Along these lines, we have this passage from a seven year old Koon Klassic:

"As we know, certain persistent traits set the Raccoon apart from his peers, including a sense of essential Truth, a sense of the sacred, a sense of beauty, a sense of the eternal, a sense of grandeur (or dignity), a sense of mischief, a sense of soul-smell (or stench, depending on the case), a sense of the ridiculous, and a tendency toward ecstasy (often at inopportune moments)."

One more jab from Don Colacho: "Metaphysics is the olfactory nerve rather than the optical nerve." And from Petey: "Who you gonna believe, me or your lying nose?"

This biography of Russell Kirk has a chapter on Christian Humanism that has some helpful tips. For example, Kirk "saw liberalism as little more than a transitional stage between Christianity and totalitarianism. It corrupted everything while solving nothing, he believed."

Thus the purpose of Christian humanism is to humanize men, precisely, over and against the perpetual leftist project of dehumanizing them.

The properly humanized man "has received a training of mind and character that chastens and ennobles and emancipates. He is a man genuinely free; but free only because he obeys the ancient laws, the norms, which govern human nature.... He knows what it is to be a man -- to be truly and fully human. He knows what things a man is forbidden to do. He knows his rights and corresponding duties. He knows what to do with his leisure.... He knows that there is a law for man, and a law for the thing" (Kirk).

Just as with society, order is the source and foundation of personal freedom. The humanized and liberated man "seeks to preserve a society which allows men to attain manhood, rather than keeping them within bonds of perpetual childhood" (ibid.).

Conversely, the malodorous liberal seeks to enforce a repressive (and regressive) society which prevents men from attaining the rights and duties of manhood in exchange for the comforting bonds of perpetual childhood.

7 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

Conversely, the malodorous liberal seeks to enforce a repressive society which prevents men from attaining the rights and duties of manhood in exchange for the comforting bonds of perpetual childhood.

Truly, they believe the worst that could happen to them is they might have to leave the womb.

4/20/2016 09:00:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Womb to tomb welfare is a distinction without a difference.

4/20/2016 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

"We are intrinsically free to the extent that we have a center which frees us: a center which, far from confining us, dilates us by offering us an inward space without limits and without shadows; and this Center is in the last analysis the only one there is." Schuon

coincidentally, I was reading Adrienne von Speyr's _The Handmaid of the Lord_ this morning. Some passages:

"Mary was free because her assent was prearranged and intended from the beginning, from the moment of her conception. Thus, in her being, assent was both cause and effect. In her life assent is not an isolated act; rather did God call her into existence for the sake of that act, and each grace and privilege with which she was endowed was given her for that purpose. And she who lived and grew for the sake of the word she had to say [ i.e. yes!], lived on the strength of that word."

Hm. The conceptual frame with which Von Speyr understands Mary is not free will, but Trinitarian love: "When the Spirit came to overshadow her, it lit upon the Spirit already alive within her, and her assent is contained, as it were, within the assent of the Spirit. Thus immersed in the Holy Spirit, it becomes a true, free and independent expression of her own spirit ... Her spiritual assent expands through the Holy Spirit to embrace the assent of her body; and this was possible because her assent was unbounded."

So Schuon's word "dilating" is of course pregnant with association. Von Speyr: "Her fruitfulness was unlimited because her renunciation knew no bounds. Her assent involved no conditions; she made no reservations, she put herself whole and entire in her answer ... She persevered in her word, and it did not imprison or constrain her -- on the contrary, it was a liberating form, the form which was to shape and free her whole being" -- and ours, because "the fruit of that union is the Saviour of the World. Though the Mother of God did not say Yes without the Son's grace, the Son did not become man without his Mother's assent."

Enlarged: "Assent and salvation are so interwoven, so inseparably one, that the creature cannot give his assent without being redeemed, and equally cannot be redeemed without giving his assent. The source of this mystery lies in the word spoken by Mary: her one word of assent sufficed for the Lord made man to be able to say Yes to all men."

Was Mary's future somehow an empty space into which she could project her choice? Not exactly, for Von Speyr. "The angel and the answer are complementary: taken together they embody a single reality in God. Their meeting constitutes a unity which is their common fulfillment. The grace in Mary enables her to meet the angel, and God's grace consists in sending his angel to meet the grace which awaits him. The presence of the angel expresses her whole attitude no less than her Yes. The meeting of these two is the expression, as it were the center point, of the fullness of grace. God's grace in Mary and the grace sent by God through the angel are ordained to each other."

4/20/2016 01:00:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Magister said "Hm. The conceptual frame with which Von Speyr understands Mary is not free will, but Trinitarian love:..."

Hmmm... can you have Love, without Free Will? I'm gonna go with... nope.

"...When the Spirit came to overshadow her, it lit upon the Spirit already alive within her, and her assent is contained, as it were, within the assent of the Spirit."

Assent is not mindless, but it would be meaningless, without her having the freedom to assent to it. And three ways to Sunday, she said Yes.

4/20/2016 01:24:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

I am determined to believe in free will. I just can't help myself.

Mary was created to be who she was: the one who said, Yes. If she had said, No, she would never have been her true self. And we would all be foroughly thucked. It could have happened.

4/20/2016 07:00:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

It had to be possible for her to say no - even if it would have been contrary to her nature. Thank God she felt no inclination to suddenly become a contrarian!

4/20/2016 07:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Barbara said...

I just started reading "Poem of The Man-God" by Maria Valtorta, found here... It presents an insight on Mary and Jesus on a truly personal level, Pope Pius XII said, "Every person should read this book." Here is a glimpse of what's found in the "Poem" (please pardon the length)...

"But to possess the Spirit, Grace is needed. To possess Truth and Science, Grace is required. To possess the Father, Grace is necessary. Grace is a tent in which the three Persons dwell, it is a Propitiatory on which the Eternal Father rests and speaks, not from within a cloud, but revealing His face to His faithful children. Saints and just people remember God. They remember the words they heard in the Creating Mind and which the Supreme Goodness revives in their hearts to raise them like eagles to the contemplation of the Truth and to the knowledge of Time.

Mary was full of Grace. The whole One and Trine Grace was in Her. The whole One and Trine Grace prepared Her like a Bride for the Wedding, like a Nuptial Bed for the Offspring, like a Divine Person for Her Maternity and mission. She closes the cycle of the Prophetess of the Old Testament and opens the period of the "spokesmen of God" of the New Testament.

True Ark of the Word of God, looking into Her immaculate heart, She discovered the words of eternal knowledge, which the finger of God had written there, and She remembered, as all saints do, that She had already heard them when Her immortal soul was being created by God Father, the Creator of all living beings...And if She did not remember everything of Her future mission, the reason is that God leaves some gaps in every human perfection, according to a Law of divine prudence, out of goodness and as a reward to creatures.

Mary, the second Eve, had to achieve Her part of merit in being the Mother of Christ, with a faithful good will, that God exacted also from His Christ to make Him a Redeemer."

4/21/2016 06:01:00 AM  

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