Friday, December 08, 2017

What Does the Left Want? Freedom! From What? Reality!

Back to diabolical liberty and how it gets that way. Yesterday I was reminding my son that life consists of time. It's all we have, and then it stops (at least on this plane). But time in the absence of freedom would be just... duration, I guess.

It seems like T minus F would be rather tedious, but boredom can only be conceived from the perspective of choice and possibility. My son sometimes asks if our dogs are bored, since they spend most of their time nodding off with glazed expressions. I don't think so. It's just that when affection, treats, walks, or danger from the UPS man aren't in the offing, the world must go kind of blank. Like how your computer goes to sleep if you don't give it something to do.

But man is a reflection of both absoluteness and infinitude, the former going to truth, strength, and virtue, the latter to possibility, novelty, and change.

For our purposes, possibility is another word for freedom (or, as they say, "no alternative, no problem"). However, mere possibility is no better than a dog's life, because that would revert to the essence of the diabolical: if everything is permitted and nothing is forbidden, then Dirty Harvey and his ilk become the ideal.

And don't think there aren't billions just like him. Indeed, the recent outing of so many Hollywood sleazebags and liberal newsfrauds proves the point. What motivates these men? If they simply have the power to actualize the freedom we all secretly desire, then to hell with freedom!

Real freedom -- the nondiabolical kind -- is always present in a much larger context. The moment it is severed from its telos, it becomes diabolical. Thus, to repeat an Aphorism from a few days ago, The proclamation of our autonomy is the founding act of Hell.

As such, The idea of “the free development of personality” seems admirable as long as one does not meet an individual whose personality has developed freely. If you meet such a person, run away! Certainly don't meet with him alone in a hotel room.

That reminds me. Yes, land of the free, but home of the brave; in other words, freedom + courage. And what is courage? It is the resolution to do the right thing in the face of adversity. I remember Bill Maher calling the 911 terrorists "courageous." Wrong. Like freedom, courage severed from its telos is an egocentric or indiscriminate rashness. If courage is evil, then to hell with it too.

Another aphorism to bear in mind in light of these beta predators such as Lauer, Conyers, and Rose: Poverty is the only barrier to the throng of vulgarities that whinny inside souls.

Anyone short of a saint has mind parasites of various types and dimensions (indeed, so too does the saint, except that he has transcended and mastered them). But many of these critters are latent, so to speak, unless infused with power. It is very much as if the power breathes life into them, in an inverse analogy to God in-breathing the human soul.

So, diabolical freedom is a kind of demonic in-spiration. The other day I saw a video of Jordan Peterson, who touched on this, albeit from a different angle. He adverted to studies showing that happiness is correlated with money up to a certain point, after which there is no correlation at all, and often an inverse one.

For example, if you are a cokehead and win the lottery, things are not going to end well. Likewise, if you are Michael Jackson, or Matt Lauer, or Keven Spacey, or all those prematurely dead rock stars: money and power simply breathe life into the mind parasites -- spiritual retroviruses -- that circumstances normally prevent from coming out to play.

But lets zoom out and consider this from a cosmic perspective: in the West, we enjoy a kind of affluence that was available to fewer than .01% of past human beings. To the extent that our ancestors appear more "virtuous" to us, we must remember that they had far fewer temptations, not to mention the fact you can only get into so much trouble if you are, one the one hand, performing backbreaking work from dawn to dusk, and on the other, always pregnant, with no cheap Mexican labor to cook and keep house.

Thus, if contemporary society is crazy and getting crazier, it is because of the in-breathing of diabolical freedom -- very much like those otherwise innocuous embers a few miles away from me, bursting into flames because of the Santa Ana winds.

This must be why the milloonnial generation -- or whatever you want to call it -- is the most fragile in the nation's history. For to say that your biggest problem is hurt feelings as a result of other people expressing an opinion with which you disagree, is to boast that you have no problems at all.

But obviously you have a big problem, because you are proclaiming to the world that you are unfit to endure freedom -- the nondiabolical kind. And your only solution is to place the rest of us in cages -- like the sheltered prince who would rather carpet the world than simply toughen his feet or wear shoes.

As mentioned last week, this book is too sprawling to wrap my mind around. Let's begin with some notes to myself in back (which may or may not be direct quotes) -- for example, "the power to do good can be as evil as the power to do bad, if it is power only." Boom. That is what you call a knockout blow.

The secular left is not only atheistic but anti-theistic, at least as it pertains to the real God. Therefore, it is literally the case that for them, truth reduces to power; or power shielded by the self-styled "good intentions" of the person wielding it.

Put conversely, for the left, there is nothing we can't accomplish with a combination of concentrated power, good intentions, and other people's money! For proof, just look at what Obama accomplished by creating more debt than all past administrations combined. Paradise!

Speaking of which, the left's hysteria since November 2016 is just a mirror image of the hysteria they exhibited through eight years of Obama. For them, Obama and Trump are just reverse caricatures of one another.

This will take us down another distracting rabbit hole, but the point is, leftists got exactly what their hearts were yearning for in 2008. So, heaven on earth, right? No, nothing changed, except for the worse. But do they have any insight into this? Of course not. Like any other mental patient in flight from personal responsibility -- AKA ordered freedom -- they simply want to resume that comforting dream.

Here is another note to myself, one that Schindler emphasizes throughout the book: that diabolical freedom is parasitic on the very reality it abolishes. Think, for example, of the redefinition of marriage. It is obviously parasitic on the real thing, i.e., natural marriage. The left used to be more explicit about the goal of weakening the family, but my guess is that the majority of leftists probably don't even realize that that is the real endgame.

Once again I find myself hovering around the subject of the book without fully diving in. We'll try harder. Next week.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

The World Wide Counter-Web

The diffusion of a few drops of Christianity into a leftist mind transforms the idiot into a perfect idiot. --Dávila

Continuing with the False Promise of Big Government, it's a little like Genesis 3 All Over Again, isn't it? For the promise of Big Government is another phony attempt to beat the system -- the system of reality.

Now, there are systems that can and should be beaten. Indeed, a large part of "fallenness" involves falling into a kind of world wide existential system to which, in many ways, we cannot avoid adapting.

Imagine being born into a crime family, like the Mafia or the Clintons, and not knowing any better. Well, the human species is a kind of crime family. Or maybe you're unacquainted with this thing called history. But God knows: Christianity assumes the misery of history, as Christ assumes that of man. (Dávila).

BTW, yesterday I was reminded of Jesus' friendly warnings to the rich. But back then, wealth was based upon theft, slavery, and plunder. There was no meritocracy, no upward mobility, no secure private property, and no rule of law, so the wealthy were more like thieves than capitalists.

About our being caught in the world wide web, here are some fine aphorisms:

Where Christianity disappears, greed, envy, and lust invent a thousand ideologies to justify themselves.

The Christ of the Gospels is not concerned with the economic situation of the poor, but with the moral condition of the rich.

In the Christianity of the leftist Christian, one of the two elements sooner or later eliminates the other.

Only the Church considers itself a congregation of sinners. All other communities, religious or lay, feel themselves to be a confraternity of saints.

He who claims equal opportunity ends up requiring that the gifted be penalized.

World Wide Web. That reminds me of something. Ah yes, an editorial I've been saving from a couple of weeks ago by Glenn Reynolds on the role of social media in spreading disease -- not biological diseases but cognitive, and I would say, spiritual, diseases:

[I]n recent years we’ve gone from an era when ideas spread comparatively slowly, to one in which social media in particular allow them to spread like wildfire. Sometimes that’s good, when they’re good ideas. But most ideas are probably bad; certainly 90% of ideas aren’t in the top 10%. Maybe we don’t know the mental disease vectors that we’re inadvertently unleashing....

We don’t know much about the spread of ideas, or what would constitute the equivalent of intellectual indoor plumbing. (Censorship isn’t enough, as it often just promotes the spread of bad ideas that people in power like). Over time we’ll learn more. Maybe we’ll come up with something like the germ theory of disease for ideas.

Or, maybe we already have something like the germ theory of disease for bad ideas. I know I do, anyway. Reynolds himself provides a hint: "Better nourished minds are likely more resistant to social-media contagion." Specifically, proper vertical nourishment is without question the best defense against the empty but destructive calories of purely horizontal ideologies.

Thus, for example, "The Church’s function is not to adapt Christianity to the world, nor even to adapt the world to Christianity; her function is to maintain a counterworld in the world" (Dávila).

You don't have to take that literally in order to understand that you need to anchor your thinking -- indeed, your very being -- in the sheetrock of Principles that Cannot Not Be, which serve as a counterworld to the fallenworld.

As you know, I am currently surrounded by flames. There is nothing political about the flames, any more than there is something political about gravity. But this morning I stumbled across the following tweet by some liberal celebrity: "Just evacuated my house. It's like Donald Trump is setting the world on fire. Literally and figuratively."

Of course. Who doesn't see it?

Er, the sane?

Back to the main subject at hand. I only have time enough to quote a couple of relevant passages from the book, and let you do the myth. They don't really require any commentary on my part:

The nongovernmental institutions of civil society transmit to each new generation those virtues without which free societies cannot survive. When these institutions function properly, they help prevent people from becoming too dependent on government. They also unify people and empower them to control government....

So a vicious circle ensues: the more the federal government drains the energy and independence of the social and mediating institutions, the more that individuals become increasingly atomized and separated; and the more individuals become disconnected, the more a centralized government steps into the void.

Let us recall that The proclamation of our autonomy is the founding act of Hell (Dávila). This fall into pseudo-autonomy is followed by the wrong kind of dependence. For ultimate reality is relational, not atomistic; it is not atoms-in-relation, but relation-in-atoms. Big government is one more attempt to undo the effects of the fall, way downstream from where it has occurred.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

The War on Spiritual Poverty

With the generosity of his program does the liberal console himself for the magnitude of the catastrophes it produces. --Dávila

After submitting the previous post to a candid world, I read a brief book that dovetails perfectly with its theme, called The False Promise of Big Government: How Washington Helps the Rich and Hurts the Poor. The title is quite literally true, in that America's four wealthiest counties (and seven of the top ten) surround Washington D.C.

The author reviews six reasons why statism is inevitably destructive, five of which go to more material concerns. Here at One Cosmos we are more preoccupied with the spiritual rot it engenders.

As Ronald Reagan famously said, "The lessons of history" demonstrate

conclusively that continued dependence upon relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fiber. To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit.

Fooled you! That was FDR in 1935.

How could Kingfish Liberal say such a thing? Because 80 years ago it was still possible to state the obvious. The left's War on Noticing had not yet begun in earnest. It was undoubtedly there -- it always is -- but not to the point of totally engulfing the media, academia, entertainment, and politics. In short, liberals used to be liberal. Or at least not flagrantly illiberal, as is the case today.

An actual liberal believes in limited government. Contemporary liberals believe in unlimited government. I mean, if government can force you to bake a cake for people who engage in practices you deplore, then what can't it compel?

It reminds me of something Thomas Sowell often says: that laws and policies, whatever else they do, create systems of incentives, and these incentives may be totally at odds with the stated purpose of the l. or p. For example, what if the multi-trillion dollar "war on poverty" is a vast system of incentives to engender more of it?

For as FDR famously said in 1935,

Our American answer to poverty is not to make the poor more secure in their poverty but to reach down and to help lift themselves out of poverty and move with the large majority along the high road of of hope and prosperity. The days of the dole in our country are numbered.

Probably didn't fool you with that one. That was LBJ in 1964. Since then the days of the dole number close to 20,000, so technically he's right.

At any rate, those comments by FD and LB show that conservatives only believe what prominent liberals once believed -- or at least said -- for which reason we are now called fascists. You know, like other fanatical supporters of limited government such as Adolf Hitler.

Each generation must learn anew the disastrous consequences of big government. But don't worry. Big government has that covered too, since you can sail through 12 or 16 or especially 23 years of Big Education without ever hearing about the disaster.

And why would you? Public education will not inform its captives of the virtues of vouchers, any more than your drug dealer will take you to rehab and offer to pay for it. Satan himself never compels. Rather, incentivizes.

Speaking of Big Education, it seems to me that job one of the left is to eliminate the soul. Once the soul is out of the way, then it cannot be damaged or destroyed. Of course it is still subject to damage and destruction, but the problem will be misdiagnosed, projected, and displaced elsewhere.

Does it surprise you that Hollywood and the media are populated by soulless predators? Only the soulless should be shocked at that revelation. For it is written (by the Aphorist):

The stupid are surprised by stupidity and the corrupt by corruption. The intelligent and the innocent are less easily disconcerted.

A variant of "you can't cheat an honest man."

I just looked at Drudge, and now I'm distracted by the fire that is only about ten miles alway. No threat to us, but it's hard to turn away from the TV when the usual morning commute is going up in flames. In other words, to be continued. After a few pointy ones from the Aphorist:

As the State grows, the individual shrinks.

The progressive Christian’s error lies in believing that Christianity’s perennial polemic against the rich is an implicit defense of socialist programs.

The leftist emulates the devout who continue venerating the relic after the miracle has been proved to be a hoax.

Monday, December 04, 2017

One (Former) Nation Riven by Diversity, AKA Hell

Today's aphoritizer, courtesy Dávila: The proclamation of our autonomy is the founding act of Hell.

Let's analyze all the ways in which this is True.

First of all, it sets man in opposition to God, for "In the serpent's reinterpretation of the order of creation, God's will and man's become reciprocally exclusive" (Schindler).

It also sets man in opposition to man, in the sense that "wills founded on goodness are intrinsically related to one another," whereas "wills founded on power have an essentially competitive relationship to each other..." This highlights the importance of the -- for lack of a better term -- "pneumatic third" that unites human groups.

In fact, a group is defined by its pneumatic third, bearing in mind that there exist bad spirits (boy and how). One of the overarching themes of the OT involves God's effort to get his people organized around the real pneumatic third, rather than its countless alternatives, such as Moloch. Moloch organizes people as much as God does, but not really. Moloch, like his disciple Marx, is the god of the ant heap.

How so? Because organization around Moloch can only be partial and exterior, rather than total and interior. You might even say that God is the "interior totality" without which the cosmos is reduced to the metaphysically sterile logical atomism discussed in the previous post.

Among other things, Moloch demands human sacrifice in order to engender his faux unity. Thus, to paraphrase Gil Bailie (or Rene Girard), human sacrifice is "unanimity minus one." While you may not be the one, there is always the implicit threat that you will be if you endanger the group unity trance. The liberal media are always on the lookout for today's sacrificial victim.

Consider how, say, Clarence Thomas, or Senator Tim Scott, threaten the group unity trance of liberal blacks. The latter constantly preach "unity," but this is a unity in defiance of reality -- like Colin Kaepernick and his imitators, who know less than nothing about the problems they claim to be protesting. Put conversely, if they were conversant with reality, they'd cease their opposition to it at once.

Yes, it is possible for good people to be wrong, which is to say, opposed to the good. How to tell the difference? Well, a good person only opposes goodness accidentally rather than essentially. Once he realizes the mistake, he feels shame and rectifies it immediately.

Not so the person who has made himself essentially bad, such as Al Sharpton, or Gloria Allred, or Hillary Clinton. It is certainly not my job to consign their souls to hell, but I don't think it is polemical or above my praygrade to notice that their souls are willfully organized around various false absolutes.

Moreover, these descendants of the Serpent proudly and conspicuously hate the good, even going so far as to call it "deplorable" or "racist" or "patriarchal," so it is not so much that they are "going to hell" as are its co-creators. As the old crack goes, they forge their fetters from their own passions.

All of this is so much common sense. For example, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance -- or standing up for the national anthem -- used to be uncontroversial, because it was an exercise -- a collective verticalesthenic -- in subordination to the psychic third.

But what are "diversity" and multiculturalism but a rebellion -- worse, an inversion -- of this truth? In this context, "One nation under God" is a pleonasm -- word of the day, pleonasm -- because there is no way for a nation to be one except under God -- or under the real psychic third, if you prefer.

Indeed, the United States is the only nation explicitly founded under this real psychic third, AKA those self-evident truths for which it is government's prime directive to protect. If the government cannot do this, then to hell with it. We're no better than any other crappy country living in some cherished delusion (as in the Middle East, excluding Israel) or nihilistic fragmentation (as in Europe).

All of this must be understood in the context of real freedom, or freedom properly understood. For Schindler, this comes down to the contrast -- or choice! -- between symbolical and diabolical freedom. Put it this way: reality is either symbolical or it is diabolical. How so?

We've actually discussed this critical idea in the past. I myself first encountered it in a slightly different guise (but same Geist) in the works of Stanley Jaki. When you get right down to it, just what kind of cosmos is this? What is its defining characteristic?

Well, first of all, we couldn't even be having this conversation if not for the fact that this is the sort of cosmos in which one thing can stand for -- symbolize -- another. The cosmos is absolutely saturated with meaning and intelligibility. Everywhere it not only gives itself over to (our) intelligence, but, via the Logos, from intelligence to intelligence. This is without question the most startling property of our cosmos -- its transmitable interior logos-unity-light. It is symbolical through and through.

That is my own interpretation. I don't know that Schindler would sign off on it. However, in discussing the primordial calamity of Genesis 3, he notes that "a denial of the truth, a reinterpretation of goodness as power, immediately makes what had been a symbolical unity into an internal strife. Man is cast out of the garden." Or soph-exiled.

"Exile from the garden in the most extreme sense is separation from the good; the furthest distance from the garden may be said to lie at the bottom of Plato's cave."

Which raises an important point: yes, man is fallen, but with varying degrees of distance from the Principle. Indeed, what is the spiritual journey -- the Adventure of Consciousness -- but the Father-Principle returning to himself via his middling relativities, AKA us, his adopted sons?

Another name for diabolical freedom is "perception is reality." This represents a total cosmic inversion -- it is the solipsistic burial of one's head up one's aseity. It is not only living in Plato's cave, or at the bottom of a well, but refusal to look up or out. And compelling others to do the same. For example, what is a government education but indoctrination into the shadows of some diabolical pneumatic third?

I well remember how, as a child, "nothing made sense." Or perhaps more accurately, "everything made no sense," by which I mean that there was no interior unity to all the things I was learning in school. And I wasn't educated in some crap district such as the LAUSD, but in an area where housing prices are inflated because parents want to get their kids into the district.

But it didn't matter. I learned countless facts of history, or science, or literature, without having a clue as to the telos that makes sense of them. I even learned about that very logocentric telos in Sunday school, but it was (ironically) equally fragmented: a seventh day fragment to go along with the fragments I learned on the other five schooldays.

Come to think of it, the only wholly unfragmented day was -- ironically -- the old sabbath, Saturday. It was given over to spontaneous play, or the uninterrupted slack of a self-healing universe.

I don't want to exaggerate the case, for the truth of the matter is that I always found interstices of slack every day of the week. Think of it as a fable, like Genesis. The point is, the real psychic third is always here, because it can never not be here.

Hell is any place from which God is absent.

And

Unbelief is not a sin but a punishment. --Dávila