Friday, April 15, 2016

Real Selves and Worthless Cultures

When you think about it, having no center equates to having no self, or at least not a stable one.

And now that I'm thinking about it, it must be the other way around: no self, no center -- the reason being that there can be no center in the cosmos in the absence of subject. If the world were wholly objective, there would obviously be no center anywhere, just a kind of complete dispersal with no interior coherence, no perspective, and nothing for the phenomena to "revolve around," so to speak.

But to say I AM is to testify to Cosmic Central. Now, how can there be 7 billion cosmic centers on the planet, each insisting that I AM? It's a mystery, unless each of these is a local franchise of the one nonlocal I AM.

I wrote that without peeking ahead, but I see that Schuon agrees:

"Thus there is hope for the man who has no center, whatever the cause of his privation or infirmity might be; for there is a supra-human Center that is always available to us, and whose trace we bear within ourselves, given that we are made in the image of the Creator" (emphasis mine).

Think, for example, of how alcoholics and drug addicts are able to conquer their addictions by surrendering to this Higher Power. Come to think of it, this "is why Christ could say that what is impossible for man is always possible for God." That is to say, "however decentralized man may be, as soon as he sincerely turns to Heaven his relationship with God bestows a center on him" (ibid.).

Wʘʘ hʘʘ!

And -- to go back to what was said above about each of us being Cosmic Central -- "we are always at the center of the world when we address the Eternal" (ibid.). In the absence of this relationship to what infinitely transcends us, we are literally nobody on the road to nowhere.

It so happens that I'm reading another book, After the Natural Law: How the Classical Worldview Supports Our Modern Moral and Political Views, that discusses these same ideas from a slightly different angle; instead of pure metaphysics, it brings the discussion down a few notches to psychology and political science, or, you could say, the psychology of politics.

Not, mind you, the kind of vulgar psychology in which I toil. Rather, the real thing -- "ontological psychology," if you will: the psychology of reality and the reality of psychology. Metapsychology, I suppose: the psychology behind or above or beneath psychology.

Because it really all comes down to the question, What is a Person? Depending upon how you answer it, everything changes, especially politics, which is really just a form of group (or collective) psychology. As we always say, if you get your psychology (or anthropology) wrong, then your political philosophy will be destructive at best and genocidal at worst.

Think, for example, of the psychology of the Dred Scott decision, or Roe v. Wade, in which some human beings are irrationally stripped of their personhood for the convenience of some other group, e.g., slaveholders or feminists.

In chapter 4, The Classical Conception of the Person, Hill cooncurs that "No idea is more foundational to our deepest moral, political, and legal values than the concept of the soul, the self, or the human person."

That is, "Everything depends on who we are, how we are made, whether we are truly free and responsible, and whether there is a foundation for human dignity that transcends each individual's material talents and capacities."

Ultimately it comes down to whether the self is real or just an epiphenomenon, an illusion produced by brain activity that is in turn wholly material. In the latter view the self is to the brain as urine is to the kidneys, just a leftover byproduct with no value.

If the self is real (or unreal), how could we know it? In a way, the question answers itself, because how could a fundamentally unreal thing arrive at real truth?

"For the self to be real," writes Hill, "it must possess a unity of its own and persist through time." In other words -- consistent with what Schuon says about having a center -- the self must be a unity; it cannot be "hopelessly fragmented," but rather, a "centralized locus of identity, decision making and action that serves to bind the person to the whole" (Hill).

The idea of temporal unity is key. A mere object (say, a rock) has spatial unity -- we can see that it is one thing in space. But the self is "one thing in time," so to speak. It is constantly changing, and yet, is always itself. What is the nature and source of this unity? It must be something nonlocal that ties together all of the local experiences and events of one's life.

I would suggest that there is a kind of downward projection of God --> Soul --> Self --> Ego, each a narrower version of its predecessor. The ego is mainly the self's adaptation to the world, while the self is the soul's adaptation to a particular family, culture, and historical epoch.

To jump ahead a bit, how do we know that multiculturalism is such a crock? Because we may ascertain the "goodness" of this or that culture in terms of how much of one's soul may be expressed or potentiated in it.

In other words: what are the chances in this or that culture of actualizing one's real potential? Using this measurement, we could affirm that, say, Saudi Arabia, or the Palestinian Terrortories, or liberal academia, are approximately worthless.

Conversely, the America we once knew, and which has been systematically ravaged by the death cult of the left, was approximately priceless.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

A Miscaste in the White House

So, there is the priestly/intellective caste and the royal/warrior caste. In India, I believe the idea was that society is like a human body, such that one needs a head (intelligence), a heart (courage), hands, feet, etc.

The hands and feet are the province of "the 'honorably average' man: he is essentially a hard worker, well-balanced, persevering; his center is love for work that is useful and well done, and carried out with God in mind; he aspires neither to transcendence nor glory -- although he aspires to be both pious and respectable..." (Schuon). Hard to say that without coming across as condescending, but admit it: you know exactly what he means.

And here is a big problem: liberals devote much of their energy to flattering this caste with the idea that mere labor is beneath them, such that everyone really belongs to the intellectual class. Therefore, everyone should go to college -- even though half the population by definition has an IQ below 100 and has no business in the intellectual world.

Solution? Reduce the standards of the university, such that it no longer requires any intellectual qualifications at all (excepting in those STEM fields that cannot be faked).

I remember a few months ago, an interview of Tavis Smiley (a liberal-certified black pretend-intellectual) by Michael Medved. Regarding black unemployment, Smiley said something to the effect that labor was fine for immigrants, but that "black folks are done with it" -- in other words, the fact that their ancestors had already been laborers somehow automatically qualified them for more intellectually demanding jobs.

The other problem is that in a "knowledge based economy" (or whatever else you want to call it), the population will be sorted as never before along the lines of native intelligence. Or, you could say that it is producing sharper lines than ever between castes.

And there is no way to turn hands and feet into brains -- unless you redefine the brain, as they do in all those fraudulent college disciplines that allow laborers to pretend they are intellectuals. This is why these types are almost always "activists," which is really a case of their lower caste slipping through.

This is also the source of the university/government industrial complex, in that government is of course the ideal place to force one's loony ideas on an unwilling populace -- like health insurance so fantastic that you go to prison if you refuse it. No one has to force quantum physics on anyone.

And once castes are mixed up in this manner, it is an invitation to the sociopath to jump into the mix. This is "the man who lacks a center... because he has two or even three centers at once: this is the type known as the pariah, arising from a 'mixture of castes'..." (ibid.). I suppose the difference today is that we create this type by, for example, putting laborers into the university and convincing them they are geniuses.

The result is a state-sponsored pariah -- like the one who currently occupies the White House. Think of it: he is a product of the university, and yet, is characterized by a breathtaking intellectual dishonesty and cynical amorality that once disqualified one for higher education (or would have been weeded out along the way).

I have to modify what I said above about STEM subjects, because even they are being infected by the new intellectual amorality: of "studies that had originally reported positive results, an astonishing 65 percent failed to show statistical significance on replication, and many of the remainder showed greatly reduced effect sizes." This means that two thirds of science is bullshit!

I haven't read the whole piece, but it concludes with this: "When cultural trends attempt to render science a sort of religion-less clericalism, scientists are apt to forget that they are made of the same crooked timber as the rest of humanity and will necessarily imperil the work that they do. The greatest friends of the Cult of Science are the worst enemies of science’s actual practice."

And this doesn't even get into the question of science being infiltrated by the centerless. "This new type -- who is unhinged -- is capable of 'everything and nothing'.... The pariah has neither center nor continuity; he is a void eager for sensations; his life is a disconnected series of arbitrary experiences" (Schuon).

Do not expect to find continuity or consistency in this type of moral monster (and note that this psychopath is Obama's top advisor on race relations!).

"The danger this type represents for society is evident," writes Schuon. For "no one [!] is willing to trust a leader who is at bottom a circus showman and one who is by his nature predisposed to crime."

Our political system is supposed to guard against this type, since the founders did not trust the power of the executive to emanate from his own center, so to speak. Rather, his center must be located exterior to himself, in the Constitution he has sworn to uphold.

How's that working out?

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Infertile Eggheads & Hero Sumbitches

Schuon's discussion of the man with no center -- touched on in yesterday's post -- is in the context of an essay on the spiritual anthropology of India, AKA the caste system. We've discussed this subject in the past, but I forgot what I wrote about it, and it's easier to come up with something new than to search the hull of the arkive.

The whole notion of caste goes against the American principle of being born equal, but that hardly means equivalent, only that we are equal under the law, or that the law apples to everyone equally. In reality -- and this can only be understood and appreciated in a Judeo-Christianized culture -- everyone is a unique and unrepeatable person.

Nevertheless, there are patterns, for example, introverted vs. extroverted, thinking vs. feeling, daring vs. timid, etc. The subjective center of an extroverted person is not in the same place as the center of an introverted person. Neither one is intrinsically "wrong," but can become wrong if the person lacks consistency and tries to be something or someone he isn't.

For example, we all know pseudo-intellectuals who want to pretend they belong to the intellectual class but are more suited for manual labor.

"To be normal is to be homogeneous, and to be homogeneous is to have a center" (Schuon). This center, of course, cannot be static, but is always a dynamic, open system (both vertically and horizontally) that is never at equilibrium (equilibrium equating to death).

And "a normal man is one whose tendencies are, if not altogether uniform, at least concordant..." (ibid.). We shouldn't be completely at odds with ourself, like the intellectually dishonest liberal who can never be consistent -- or honest with himself -- and remain a liberal.

Again, the reason why our center is so important is that it relates to and tends toward the cosmic source of subjectivity, AKA Celestial Central. Note, for example, how the scattered self conceives of a scattered god, i.e., polytheism. Or, the materialized self conceives of a material god, i.e., pantheism or atheism.

Thus, "the tendency toward the Absolute, for which we are made, is difficult to realize in a heterogeneous soul -- a soul lacking a center, precisely..." It is the proverbial "house divided against itself" and "thus destined to collapse, eschatologically speaking" (ibid.).

This is all covered in pp. 216-218 of the Bʘʘk of the Same Name, albeit in annoying fashion, with the pneumaticon •••(•)••• standing for the scattered and decentered self.

Now, just because the center renders us homogeneous doesn't mean that the center is located in the same place for everyone. This is where the idea of caste comes in, and even if it isn't literally true, it certainly has explanatory power in my experience. For there are men of contemplation, men of action, men of labor, and men who are good for nothing, AKA social and cosmic outcastes.

The first is "the intellective, speculative, contemplative, sacerdotal type," who "tends toward wisdom or holiness." In fact, until rather late in the modern period the connection between the two -- wisdom and holiness -- was implicitly understood. The idea of the intellectual vulgarian who dominates contemporary academia would have been unthinkable.

Come to think of it, this is covered in a book someone sent me called The Political Theory of Christ: "As late as 1800, most Western intellectuals considered reason to be a form of divine revelation" and believed that "reason revealed the true nature of God." Only in the mid-to-late 19th century did the "revelation of a completely material world" become common currency.

Next comes "the warlike and royal type" who tend "towards glory and heroism" -- and not just in the material world, for there are spiritual heroes, AKA saints and martyrs who engage in spiritual combat.

And of course, just as the caste of intellectuals makes the pseudo-intellectual possible, this caste has its own counterfeit versions. In fact, most every hero of the left is a phony version of the real thing, from Caitlyn Jenner to Ted Kennedy to Margaret Sanger to Fidel Castro and on down.

To be continued...

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Liberalism: An Infinitely Valuable Doctrine for Infinitely Worthless People

Speaking of man's deiformity, it is precisely this that gives man his value, his dignity, and his purpose, since without it he is just another animal.

There is secular humanism and there is Christian humanism, and the two could hardly be more opposite in their ground and their aims. For the secular humanist never stops trying to render the human animal "as useful as possible to a humanity as useless as possible" (Schuon).

That sounds like an insult, but it is quite literal. Take the question of abortion, which is founded on the principle that the human being is of no value whatsoever.

Indeed, the "right" to a dead child is considered higher than the child herself -- such that the abortion industry is of infinite value to a species which is of no value at all. So, why shouldn't the first amendment be repealed if it is deployed to question this orthodoxy? If a human being doesn't have the right to live, on what basis can she have the right to speak?

In order for leftism to "work," there must always be slaves and there must always be corpses. For example, what is Black Lives Matter but the systematic insistence that there be more deaths due to black criminality? What is the gay rights movement but the assurance that its beneficiaries live shorter and more miserable lives? What is the minimum wage movement but the desire for increased numbers of the unemployable to be dependent upon the state? And what is the right to healthcare -- or any other "positive" right -- but someone else's obligation to provide it, AKA involuntary servitude?

By way of contrast, Christian humanism begins with the principle of man's deiformity, which is to say that he is in the image and likeness of the Creator. It means that man qua man is utterly unique in the cosmos, in that he has intelligence, reason, self-consciousness, free will, and objectivity, all emanating from a nonlocal center which is the vertical prolongation of the Celestial Subject.

Thus, our proper cosmic orientation is toward the Celestial Subject who draws us into his gravitational field. Or not, for it is always possible to defy gravity and fall into another orbit. In fact, this is precisely what secular humanism does: it forgoes the divine orbit for the human one.

In so doing, it can look like we are elevating man, but we are really demoting him in a way that is solipsistic, narcissistic, and tautologous. In other words, we are enclosing man in a prison of ego, transforming a vertically open system into a closed one, which eventually leads to asphyxiation and/or starvation.

Secular humanism is the extinguishing of any and all possible meaning, since any meaning must derive from our converging upon something that isn't human. Again, to merely converge upon man is to be trapped in an absurcular tautology, to be sophicated in the quacksand of tenure.

Which is why the Master was able to reduce Christian practice to two fundamental principles, i.e., 1) love God and 2) love the neighbor, the second dependent upon the first. Our center comes from the first, our periphery from the second (in that the latter must be a prolongation of the former).

Schuon talks about the man with no center, and there are millions of these decentered people walking around. Look at it this way: people need a center, and if it isn't in God, it will be in something else: sex, drugs, work, ego, politics, intellectualism, hatred, thrill-seeking (sensation), -- even in religion (for example, Islamists).

Schuon suggests that there are people incapable of finding their own center within and above, and the more you think about it, the more useful this theory appears to be. In other words, even if it isn't literally true, it certainly appears to describe a class -- or caste -- of humanoids who, as he puts it, have "no ideal other than more or less gross pleasure."

I used to associate with this type, being that I was a blue collar fellow for all of my 20s and into my early 30s. In fact, I didn't become a fully licensed pslackologist until age 35, so most of my life was spent out of orbit. However, never completely. Somehow, I never lost contact with Celestial Central, and it eventually drew me back in.

Failing that, there is only one course of action for the decentered: "not knowing how to control himself," he "has to be controlled by others, so that his great virtue will be submission and fidelity."

We're almost out of time here, but consider the fact that the Democratic party is rooted in this very principle, i.e., hordes of centerless people who are supposed to do as they are told by a handful of billionaires (the center) and activists (their prolongation).

Monday, April 11, 2016

Science and Jehovial Witticisms

Went to a library book sale over the weekend and picked up five books for a buck each, including this one called The Natural History of Creation: Biblical Evolutionism and the Return of Natural Theology. Nothing much in it will be unfamiliar to Raccoons, but there was one chapter, called A Scientific Interpretation of the Divine Nature, that at least gave me an idea for a brief post.

Can science tell us "what God is like?" I don't see why not. All truth emanates from and speaks to the One Truth, so there's no reason why science should be any different, so long as we don't try to reduce God to what can be expressed scientifically.

Rather, science can provide a "view of God," so to speak (just as it provides a view of matter, or life, or stars, or whatever else it looks at).

Scripture tells us that man is created in the image and likeness of God. Now, man is clearly the most astonishing fact in all of existence, so it makes sense that this most unique and unusual being -- man -- is said to mirror the Absolute Principle underneath the whole existentialada.

Now, what are some of the unique features that define this unusual creature, man?

There are many to choose from, including,




--Free will






I would add that although we cannot know them in their fullest sense, we can certainly intuit timelessness, infinitude, and absoluteness, or in other words, touch the divine qualities of nonlocality, omnipresence, omniscience.

What are the chances? I mean, what are the odds of a randomly evolved being just happening to develop one of these divine traits, let alone all of them?

Indeed, it seems to me that they must come as a package deal, such that we can't have one without the others.

For example, truth is inconceivable in the absence of freedom, and vice versa (i.e., freedom without truth is just another name for meaninglessness, or absurdity, or being lost in the cosmos).

Likewise, knowledge is a priori transcendent, as is disinterested love, or reason, or freedom, and I don't see how we can ever get off the genetic arbitrary goround in the absence of an intersubjectivity that allows us to understand and communicate inner and outer reality.

It seems to me that it must all come down to the Trinitarian nature of God. For if God were... mono- or duo-tarian, then man -- and the cosmos -- would appear much different than they do.

For example, if God is a radical monad, there is no one to love, nothing to know, no one to give back to, etc. You know the old gag:

But it was not good that this Godhead, the Most High, should be allone... Indeed, this old ombody's so philled with jehoviality, can't He create anamour?


In fact, he can't stop (creating, loving, knowing, etc.).