Friday, December 15, 2017

Unavoidable Truths and Inevitable Lies

Before moving on, a loose end. Recall our Supreme Court's sophomoric take on the meaning of freedom: At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.

Now, no one denies that one has the "right" to be stupid. But the Court covertly turns this right into a kind of obligation, because if the essence of liberty is whatever anyone wants it to be, then liberty is essentially reduced to nothing. My freedom, say, to keep my own money, is indistinguishable from your freedom to take it. Some freedom.

It's equivalent to saying that "the essence of truth is the right to believe whatever we want," which is another recipe for nihilism. Worse, it's the recipe for leftism -- for multiculturalism, moral relativism, and "diversity." As Schuon puts it in one of his most important books, Logic & Transcendence,

Relativism reduces every element of absoluteness to relativity while making a completely illogical exception in favor of this reduction itself. Fundamentally it consists in propounding the claim that there is no truth as if this were truth or in declaring it to be absolutely true that there is nothing but the relatively true; one might just as well say that there is no language or write that there is no writing.

Now, that is what you call the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. It is as true today as it has always been and always will be. Imagine if we had such lucid minds on the Supreme Court, instead of those four or five pompous and over-educated tools?

Education should consist first and foremost in being acquainted with truths that cannot not be. Instead, children are indoctrinated into the diabolical principle that absolute truth absolutely cannot be.

Put conversely, to systematically deny the mind knowledge of, and access to, the absolute, is the worst form of abuse. It is to undermine the very reason why we have a mind, the purpose of which is to conform itself to the true -- to distinguish reality from appearances, the real from the un- or less real, the essential from the contingent.

As Schuon puts it elsewhere,

The prerogative of the human state is objectivity, the essential content of which is the Absolute. There is no knowledge without objectivity of the intelligence; there is no freedom without objectivity of the will; and there is no nobility without objectivity of the soul.

And in his most concise but no less penetrating book (good for keeping by the bedside to seed one's dreams), he writes that "The worth of man lies in his consciousness of the Absolute."

Think about that one: we all -- those who aren't soul-dead -- know that man is somehow "different," and that he is of ultimate value. Why? On what basis? The Golden Rule? Yes, that's a good start, but there is a deeper principle involved, which Schuon enunciates. It's another way of saying that man is in the image of the Creator, AKA the Absolute. Why love our neighbor? Just because some authority told us to? Or did the authority tell us to do this because it reflects the truth of things -- that our neighbor is as much a reflection of God as we are?

As we've discussed before, there is obviously a horizontal continuity between man and animal. However, there is also a kind of -- literally -- infinite discontinuity on the vertical plane. No animal can conceive of the Absolute, or love his neighbor, or freely choose good over evil, or know truth, or be objective and disinterested.

Schuon says something above that dovetails nicely with our ongoing discussion of diabolical liberty, that "there is no freedom without objectivity of the will." You will note that this is precisely the opposite of what the Supreme Clowns say -- that freedom is 100% subjective, with no rational telos whatsoever. They might just as well say -- again, literally -- that "at the heart of law is the right to do whatever the hell you want to."

Which comes very close to what a modern liberal would say -- that we are permitted to do whatever we want to do -- that nothing is forbidden -- so long as it doesn't hurt someone else. Either way, it entirely drains liberty of any meaning whatsoever.

Furthermore, once down that path, it's easy enough to justify any monstrosity, from Dred Scott to Roe v. Wade. Both decisions are based on an arbitrary -- which is to say, subjective -- interpretation of freedom. Put conversely, neither decision is rooted in the Nature of Things -- those things that cannot not be.

"Separation of church and state." There is a sane principle buried in that cliché, so long as we interpret its meaning in terms of truths that cannot not be. One truth that cannot not be is that man is religious. I'm no doubt thinking about this because of another book I'm reading, called No God, No Science: Theology, Cosmology, Biology. But the type of vulgar atheism with which we are so familiar, for example, is just a banal Christian heresy. Therefore, if a leftist wants to be true to his principle, then he must also maintain a separation between atheism and state.

But that is not how the Supreme Kooks see it. Scalia writes of how, over the past half century or so, the Court has gone from neutrality toward religion to overt hostility. But since man cannot not be religious, this only ends up privileging the secular religion of the left, conveniently hiding behind the subjective "evolving standards of decency" gag.

That's about it for today. The end. No, wait. Here's a juicy passage from Chesterton, cited by Schindler:

We are fond of talking about "liberty"; but the way we end up talking of it is an attempt to avoid discussing what is good. We are fond of talking about "progress"; that is a dodge to avoid discussing what is good. We are fond of talking about "education"; that is a dodge to avoid discussing what is good.

So, "Let us not decide what is good, but let it be considered good not to decide it." In short, let us all live in the comfort and safety of our own delusions, and call it freedom. After all, it is the Law of the Land.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

An Offer You Must Refuse

One of Schindler's main points is that freedom cannot be understood in isolation, but is always part of an organic whole that includes both the good and the real. This shouldn't be surprising, since the good and the real are essentially fungible: things are good insofar as they exist. How they exist is another matter, especially as it pertains to humans, since we have a hand in that determination.

Even Hitler was good vis-a-vis his sheer existence. What he did with his existence... you know the rest.

Or, maybe you don't. What went wrong? "He made bad choices," to put it mildly. But this presupposes good choices, which goes back to the idea that freedom and goodness are intrinsically related. Which modernity denies, absolutely.

Again, this cosmic heresy was ably articulated by those five illustrious idiots on the Supreme Court:

At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life."

As we have put it before, paradise is walled by complementarities, one of which is freedom <--> good. Thus, to sever this complementarity -- as SCOTUS has done above -- is not the way to paradise. Rather, it is the way to permanently bar entry.

You might say that, prior to our vertical plunge, man is spontaneously good, such that his freedom is not misused. With the fall, this unity is broken, such that outside paradise man must endeavor to consciously put them back together. A saint is someone who has succeeded at this -- i.e., attained heroic virtue through cooperation with infused grace. Then there's the restavus.

Both freedom and goodness are real. But that is not how modernity sees it. That train left the metaphysical station a few hundred years ago, such that today we are living in the End Times of that perspective. What I mean is that reality is one, and our job is to evolve in that direction and conform ourselves to it.

But this is not the approach of the left. Rather, the precise opposite, into diabolical fragmentation, disunity, and "diversity." (As Schindler notes, dia-ballo means "to divide" and "to set apart or at odds"). This will not and cannot end well, as anyone with three eyes open can see.

Speaking of which, I wonder when blacks will figure out that race-virtue signaling leftists have the same attitude toward them as do "feminist men" toward women? A real feminist doesn't divide men and women to begin with, but rather, apprehends their unity-in-complementarity.

Same with race. Once you have divided people by race, there is no return to unity. It's either one nation under God, or no nation -- and eternal hostility -- under multiculturalism and identity politics.

Returning to the deeper meaning of diabolical, Schindler describes six essential features. Although you may not have consciously considered these before, they will be familiar to you, at least if you've ever watched CNN or MSNBC, or read the NY Times:

(1) the diabolical presents a deceptive image that substitutes for reality; (2) it is characterized by an essential negativity; (3) it renders appearance more decisive than reality, and indeed, better than reality according to the measure of convenience and efficiency; (4) it has a supra-individual dimension that is nevertheless impersonal: that is, it tends to take the form of an essentially self-referential system; (5) it is "soulless" in the sense of lacking an animating principle of unity; and (6) it is essentially self-destructive.

Boom. To the sixth power.

But how on earth does one explain this to the liberal who either cannot or will not see it? I don't know. Each of these principles (or their opposite, rather) is implicitly embodied in Christian metaphysics, but that atheistic train has also left the intellectual station. Liberals "getting what they want" is the worst possible catastrophe one can imagine, whether individually or collectively.

Which brings to mind an aphorism or three:

--Hell is the place where man finds all his projects realized.

--Earth will never be a paradise, but it could perhaps be prevented from approaching closer and closer to being a cheap imitation of Hell.

--Hell is any place from which God is absent.

Or, as Schindler puts it, "the immediate possession of all things in appearance coincides with a complete oblivion with respect to their real situation..." Inside Plato's Leftist Cave, "desires are perfectly satisfied, but only in a transformed mode, namely, in appearance." You can have it all, if all you want is Nothing, AKA freedom from reality.

This is to be really, really woke -- i.e., to be completely asleep to the Light: "what is perhaps the most diabolical of all is that we become our own jailers, since the imprisonment is subjectively experienced as the most complete liberation, offered in place of the inevitable burden of the real. It is precisely its being a bargain that reveals its provenance from the devil."

"Progressives." Those who live in the twilight of history imagine that the day is being born when night is approaching.

So, put on your armor of Light, and don't let the disilluminati get to you.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Endless Layers of Dissemblance and the Lefthand Way to Auto-Divinity

A note to myself in the margin suggests the following passage would be a good start in our attempt to wrap our minds around diabolical liberty and its Freedom From Reality. I actually referenced it a couple weeks ago, but then got sidetracked. So let's begin again:

Modern liberty is, in sum, a deceptive and ultimately soul-destroying illusion, which cuts one off from, and indeed sets one in opposition to, God, the world, other people, the community as a whole... and even oneself, so that one's inner being, in its congenital blindness to the inner reality of everything else without exception, is smothered by endless layers of dissemblance.

Endless layers of dissemblance. That's our world, alright. Just think, for example, of the endless l's. of d. that are being exposed by the very existence of a President Trump -- in other words, the bottomless layers, liars, and lawyers of the Deep State. Conversely, imagine how these sinister players would have been smothered by additional layers had Clinton been elected.

Indeed, how would you characterize a Clinton? I can't think of a more accurate description than layers of dissemblance. What is beneath the dissemblance? Yes, more dissembling. Interestingly, if Schindler is right, then there is no there there: each lie simply conceals another, such that it is obfuscation all the way down (and in).

Thus, one day Clinton is an unwavering supporter of traditional marriage, AKA marriage. Next day, supporters of traditional marriage are deplorable. Was she lying then, or is she lying now? Neither. She is a lie, and the lie is in service to power. It is not the "opposite" of truth, but the negation of its very possibility, as alluded to by Schindler.

At least we always know what liberals are thinking, since they attribute their thoughts, emotions, and motives to others. As such, we can see how they have projected a web of dissemblance onto President Trump, AKA Russian Collusion. This grand conspiracy consists of layer upon layer of vaporous allegations, surrounding a total vacuum. Or, surrounding the DNC's collusion with Russia to defeat Trump via the infamous dossier, itself a diabolical crock.

At any rate, "Modern liberty is not merely an instance of the diabolical, but is, we might say, diabolicality itself." As such, there is nothing modern about it per se; what makes it modern is the total forgetfulness of where it comes from, and the elevation of diabolical liberty to the ideal.

In other words, it is not just the inversion of reality -- for that is a consequence of the fall -- but the insistence that this inversion is normative. You might say that, instead of falling downward, the ideologues of diabolical liberty pretend that we fall upward. But this upward fall always requires violence and coercion; the bigger the lie, the bigger the government needed to force us to believe it.

I hope that is clear, because it is literally true. But sometimes I feel as if I can't quite reach the words I need to describe the reality I'm seeing. The point is, Genesis 3 is a mythic formulation of metaphysical truth. I don't like the term "noble lie," because the myth really involves the transmission of a timeless and universal truth that transcends the ego. It is not illogical, just beyond the limits of terrestrial logic (which can only be circular).

In the first sentence of this post, I alluded to the attempt to "wrap our minds" around the concept of liberty. However, in truth, this is something we can never do, for we are contained by liberty, rather than vice versa. If we could contain liberty, then we would be God. So, strictly speaking, we cannot "understand" freedom, only live it.

Of course, we are free to deny freedom, but then we literally cannot understand anything. The denial of freedom -- as in, say Marxism or behaviorism or Darwinism -- results in a descent into permanent and total stupidity. But it doesn't end there. Rather, this total stupidity will be surrounded by layers of dissemblance.

Now, even a child -- or perhaps especially a child -- can see through the layers of dissemblance. For example, ask a Darwinian where truth comes from, and how human beings can know it, and you will be treated to a blizzard of dissemblance. Likewise, ask a physicist what caused the big bang, or a geneticist what causes all the symbolic information, and prepare yourself to be bamboozled.

Why does man insist on trying to do it himself -- by denying the intrinsic otherness of truth and reality? Genesis doesn't really say, does it? Or, it's a little vague: ye shall be as gods. It seems that this is the first and last temptation: it is ontologically first, and chronologically as recent as this morning's headline, whatever it is.

Put it this way: we can have a relationship to the truth that is anterior to us; or, we can presume to possess the truth. But in the case of the latter, we are really pretending to be the truth, which is to say, God. Therefore, it's really our own lame attempt at the Incarnation, isn't it?

We're again getting close to the fire, where words start to melt, but knowledge follows being, and being is relationship: what Is is being-in-relation. You can't "know being" (in its totality) because it is being that knows in every act of knowing.

I recently reread Schuon's Stations of Wisdom, which contains some of his most challenging essays, but they are challenging precisely because of proximity to the essence of things, where words begin to fail. But try this on for size:

Some people see a kind of incompatibility between metaphysics -- which they confuse with the more or less logical constructions of the discursive mind -- and the love of God, of which they seem to see only the most human side.

But I am here to tell you that

the love of God is something universal: the term "love" designates not only a path depending on will and feeling, but also -- and this is its broadest meaning -- every path insofar as it attaches us to the Divine; "love" is everything that makes us prefer God to the world and contemplation to earthly activity, wherever this alternative has a meaning.

In this context, this blog is nothing but the love of God, every morning, delivered fresh to your vertical door. In the same context, you can see how and why the contemporary left is and must be a hate cult surrounded by layers of dissembling. Not fake news, but fakery, period.

For "the first act of Adam and Eve, after eating the fruit is the self-protective gesture of fashioning a covering for themselves," in which they "hide from God." In the resultant cosmic inversion, "things that had initially mediated an intimacy between God and the creature have now become means to keep the creator at a distance" (Schindler).

This all very much reminds me of an Aphorism, that In order to challenge God, man puffs up his emptiness. Specifically, he puffs up the emptiness by surrounding it with layers of dissemblance. Dip him in water, though, and all his impressive plumage is shown to conceal a naked rat.